It should be illegal to profit from psychic services. Let’s see if they are so committed to ‘comforting’ the bereaved if they’re not making money doing soby Felicity Hannah / September 29, 2017 / Leave a comment
We have strict laws in the UK about how we market ‘cures’ for cancer. The 1939 Cancer Act prevents both legitimate pharmaceuticals and snake-oil merchants from directly targeting the public with advertising. It’s a way to protect the desperate and the terrified.
Cases being brought under this act are relatively rare but recent prosecutions include people promoting colloidal silver, protein shakes and “distance healing services.” (Colloidal silver, if you’re interested, is silver particles suspended in liquid and its use was largely discontinued after antibiotics became mainstream medicine.)
I give these examples because I wish there were a similar law to protect the bereaved. They, too, are vulnerable and desperate—and yet across the UK, a network of self-styled psychics regularly charge upwards of £60-£100 for private readings, during which they claim to talk to customers’ dead loved ones or to receive insights from other spirits.
People disagree about whether there are any “genuine” psychics out there. Personally, I do not believe that being an effective psychic means anything more than relying on the stage magic-style sleight of hand plied by mentalists like Derren Brown—a man who states clearly that his performance is a trick. However, I certainly haven’t tested each one.
Yet there are some useful guidelines for staying safe, including a booklet from the Association for Skeptical Enquiry entitled ‘Before You See a Psychic.’
It’s a must-read for anyone who is seriously considering paying for a session. It outlines the various tricks used by at least some mediums to encourage their customer to feed them information in response to comments that sound specific but are actually incredibly vague.
For example: “In describing someone dying the medium will often point generally to the chest area and say that’s where he/she had ‘trouble’. Apart from something wrong with the brain, it’s fairly likely that any cause of death will involve the upper torso.”
“The most common causes of death in the UK are heart attack and lung disease. But even if they died of ingrowing toenail the psychic can point out that ultimately their heart stopped beating—hence the chest.”
Even those who do believe that the dead are happy to pop back for a chat, and that some people are able to mystically channel their voices,…