Bunko or Violation of Religious Freedom?
I saw this article on Facebook and while I am glad they have gotten these frauds off the streets, I’m not entirely happy with the way this story has been covered. Yes, a good number of so-called psychics are frauds (as are unfortunately present in almost any profession these days it seems). Flat-out fraud and bunko like telling someone you can find someone for payment of a huge amount of money, or “removing curses”, that’s something that most of the practicing psychics I know look down on, and we celebrate when those frauds are prosecuted. In my book, “Living With Your Psychic Gifts”, I say:
“Don’t let anyone tell you they can take care of a psychic attack or a “curse” for you for large sums of money. These folks are frauds and cheats by definition.”
“There are usually clear indications from the beginning, if you know what to look for. Some of these signs are so clear, that a fraudulent reader might as well put up a sign saying “RIPOFFS HERE”. Study the information or literature that the reader has available. Be on the lookout for any psychic who seems to be trying deliberately to cultivate a “gypsy fortune teller” image or makes extraordinary claims.
I have worked next to true gypsy readers and have heard tales both good and bad, just like everyone else. However, those who try too hard to cultivate such an image are more often interested in show business than in serious substance. This often goes together with outrageous claims: “Madame So-n-So… Knows All…Sees All” If Madame So-n-So knows ALL…what’s she doing selling readings at the Psychic Fair for $20? Worst of all – I have encountered so-called “gypsy psychics” who are not even gypsies – so they end up giving true gypsy psychics a bad name, while exploiting a mysterious image in the popular imagination.”
But there is a deeper issue here, one the article doesn’t even attempt to address. I want to know why these women are in jail, and these guys are not: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y1xJAVZxXg The average scam artist pretending to read palms couldn’t DREAM of coming close to what these guys make, for essentially the same false promises, and then some! But the gypsy psychic goes to jail while the televangelist gets a tax exemption?
I don’t do professional readings any longer in my own work, but not because I believe it was bogus. Quite the contrary. I was good at it, and my clients often affirmed I was amazingly accurate. I quit doing readings though because it was so emotionally challenging and draining. When I did readings I had a policy, anyone not satisfied got a full refund, no questions asked. I can still count on one hand how many requested a refund at the end of a session. Whether or not anyone else believes in psychics or not, our clients believe that fair value is exchanged for services given, and we should have the exact same rights any televangelist enjoys. If I ever did go back into readings now, I’d take the precaution first of getting registered as a minister first. Then I could get a tax exemption and legal protection to boot! It’s ridiculous.
I want to know why no-one was interviewed speaking for the thousands of psychics who sincerely believe in their craft, and the clients who find great solace in it. It appears to me that at least one of these women was coerced into denouncing her practice, or at the very least hoped to get consideration for doing so. I’d like to know about the actual law being invoked in this case. Is it actually against the law simply to do readings, or is there something specific they all did to attract attention from law enforcement?
I have sent a letter along these lines to the author of this article. If they respond and agree to it, I’ll post a response. In the meantime, your thoughts?