Sunday, April 29, 2007

No agape for psychics in Philadelphia

City inspectors in Philadelphia shut down more than a dozen psychics, astrologers and tarot-card readers after learning about a decades-old state law that bans fortune telling for profit. More --->

This is a timely warning for anyone in the "psychic business" that antiquated laws and attitudes still rule in many parts of the USA. Hopefully the ACLU and some of the affected businesses will sue to repeal this unfair law. In my opinion it is an infringement and a violation of the civil and spiritual rights of the people of Philadelphia.

I am as concerned as anyone about hoaxers and frauds in this business, and I believe that the police should be called in wherever there is evidence of "curse removal" or similar scams going on. I want to see hoaxers hammered - hard. But if we were to apply the same broad-brush tactics to medicine or psychiatry, we'd be closing down hospitals willy-nilly just because of the presence of a few quacks. In my personal experience with the medical establishment and with psychics, I have to say I have encountered as many frauds and quacks in medicine as I have in psychic fairs.

Canada has a federal law dating back to the 1800's outlawing "witchcraft", which forbids anyone from "pretending to tell the future". In Canada, it is rare that there is any attempt to enforce it. Periodically fundamentalists invoke that law to try to get psychic fairs and businesses shut down. I was present at on fair in Calgary, where the week before we'd been forced to get "fortune teller" licenses at $200 a pop. Then the police reluctantly showed up to try to shut the show down, with a small gaggle of placard-waving protestors behind them. The irony was not lost on police that we had city-issued licenses for the activity they were wanting to shut us down for. We put up signs saying readings were for fun and entertainment purposes only which satisfied the police, and the issue was dropped.

Even though the situation was resolved amicably, the repulsive law remains on the books in Canada, and it is periodically dragged up by religious groups or skeptics to harass psychics. If this law outlawed any other religious belief and forbade "prophecy", there would be an outcry across the country. But it is still okay to persecute "witches" and those who would pursue faith and spirit independent of an organized faith. Psychics beware ... Salem is not that long past us.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another "Hit" on Coast to Coast AM

"I think the Dow will go to over 14,000 this year" - Shawn David Morton, earlier this year on Coast to Coast.

So far the "Coast Psychics" have a pretty good hit rate. I am finding it impressive, even if I know most skeptics won't. I have also started some discussions with some other psychics who are not wild about my "prediction versus forecast" position. But I don't think they are understanding what I am saying. Most of those who have taken issue with what I said feature "predictions" heavily as part of their work. But when I really read what they are doing, they are in fact "forecasting", at least for the most part. I'm only taking them to task for their choice of language. I'd like to see us be more precise about what it is we claim to do. There are some limitations to foresight. What works well are overviews of conditions in the future. What works less well are predictions as to the actual manifestation those conditions will trigger.

"I think the Dow will go to over 14,000 this year" is pretty specific. It's probably based on two things - one being Mr. Morton's knowledge of remote viewing, and the other his understanding of the markets. Someone like Mr. Morton can take the symbolic impressions common to psychics and remote viewers and make an educated assessment (some psychics did not like my use of the word "guess") as to how the energy behind those symbols will manifest.

One of the challenges for beginners and professionals alike is taking the symbolic language of psychic ability and translating that into the expected manifestation. For example, one time I had two clients with strong transits in their fifth houses of their astrological charts. One got pregnant, and the other started a new business (daycare as it happens). Recently I have had a strong transit in the 5th house, and I recently decided to sponsor a child through Children International, plus I have been cranking out one painting after another. All these things feature children and creativity, the hallmarks of the 5th house. But as we are very different people, we all used that same energy in very different ways.

It's my position that we will continue to face irrational and energetic skepticism until we can come to an agreement as to just what it is psychics claim to do. When we focus on our "predictions" without explainging the process to our clients and the media, we reinforce the idea that we are making claims we can't support. I feel a small change in our language would help illustrate the difference between "predictions" and "forecasts", and that would help us all.

On the other hand ... I am secretly rooting for the Coast Psychics. The better they do, the more clear it becomes that we're not all crazy after all.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dr. Evelyn Paglini makes two solid hits on Coast to Coast

April 21, 2007 - Tonight on Coast to Coast with Art Bell, who was filling in for George Noory, psychic Evelyn Paglini was brought in to talk about successful predictions she has made on previous Coast shows. She had been on the show March 31 where she predicted that "the pet food problem will continue to spread" and that "children killing children ... will escalate". There were references to a disaster worse than Columbine, and people jumping out of windows in her earlier prediction.

"This was one time I did not want to be anywhere close to being right," said Paglini. "I started picking up this evil presence back in November. We're going to see more carnage and more horror. There is a non-human evil at work here."

She said this evening that she foresees another similar event that will include explosions. She also sees a horrendous killer heatwave, blackouts, and power-outages in the USA and Europe. There will be a "number of arson fires in the West that will be worse than usual. She sees a couple groups doing planning, who are "intentionally setting fires [CNN reports the "Witch Fire" (interesting name for it) in Santiago County was deliberately set, October 24] . A deadly flu outbreak will be unleashed, there will be panic, but they will ultimately find a treatment. There will be a "contaminant found in canned human foods. There will be flooding in India.

"You will have this year more shootings in schools ... with guns and with explosives."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Major Ed Dames - Coast to Coast AM Predictions April 02, 2007

My one pet beef with what I call "Media Psychics" is the focus on predictions. I wonder about the ethics of making predictions for a number of reasons. First, there seems to be little if any accountability. Nobody is really doing any serious tracking or oversight of how accurate they are. Second, I have noticed that it seems to be the more sensational and negative psychics who make it on the air (the subject of today's blog being a prime example). Finally, I wonder about the usefulness of predictions altogether. One reason I got out of doing readings is that was the item of biggest interest to my clients, and of least interest to me. I believe the future is always in motion, a change of mind can change the world. A healthy mind stays focused on the only moment that matters: right now.

I do recognize that most of my audience doesn't share those concerns <g> ... you love predictions. So I figured it would be interesting to log the predictions and statements of popular psychics here for posterity, so we can all have a look at them in the future. I also decided to have a little fun on my blog with my favorite radio show, Coast to Coast AM. They often have psychics and remote viewers on, they tend to feature some of the more popular and famous psychics on a fairly regular basis. I was thinking it would be fun to review the shows that feature psychics and psychic topics like remote viewing and consciousness. I can't promise to review each one of these appearances, I don't listen every night ... okay I DO listen every night, but I foresee the possibility that one night I might not be able to do so.

Major Ed Dames - Coast to Coast AM Predictions April 02, 2007

Ed Dames is a well known "remote viewer" whose main focus seems to be end-times prophecies, finding lost items and generally scaring the willies out of his audience. His nickname is "Doctor Doom", and for good reason, his predictions are almost exclusively about disasters. I am not going into some of the past predictions they went through on the show, I will focus only on the new predictions he is making.

This time, Ed predicts:

Worldwide damage to wheat and grass crops Update April 16, 2007 on Coast with Art Bell - Apparently there is a new variety of wheat rust fungus spreading in Africa, which meets the outline as Dames predicted.

Honey Bees will become extinct soon (there are already reports of them disappearing, nobody knows why). He believes intense UV radiation is blinding them, that they are starving to death.

We are facing a barren planet within 50 years. Quote "We are going down". He recommends people look into underground self-contained habitats.
Plankton in the ocean will die off.

There will be a nuclear reactor accident in Russia, another Chernobyl-like release of radiation.

A space shuttle will be forced to the ground by a meteor shower then there will be a massive solar flare Ed calls "The Kill Shot" that will take out most life on earth.

There is an alien race on earth watching us, helping with the ozone level. One of his working groups is working on contact.

The US will not get to Mars, the Russians and Chinese will make it first.

Casini may not be able to photograph it, but there is one of the deepest canyons in the solar system on Titan.

Once again Art Bell and Ed circled and danced around each other on the issue of free will. Ed Dames believes in free will "on some level" but does not believe that the things he sees in remote viewing sessions can be changed. I firmly disagree with this assertion. Far too many times I have clearly foreseen a specific outcome, related it to a client and had them change their path for the better. This is of course another reason why I am not a huge fan of predictions, especially as given by negative fatalists. I agree with art. I see no benefit to knowing a future that I cannot change.

The danger with predictions is in taking them too seriously and too literally, both faults I have found with his process. Whenever I listen to Ed Dames I am reminded of one psychic I used to know in Vancouver who was forever predicting the fatal earthquake that would dump the city into the ocean. Every time she had a vision though, it was right before another blow up with her abusive husband.

The "earthquakes" never happened for Vancouver, but the earth was definitely shaking in her dysfunctional home. I learned to stay away from her family for a few days whenever she'd have another vision. I tried to point this out to her, but she was convinced that eventually these predictions would pan out. I have not seen her for nearly 15 years, but Vancouver is still there, last time I checked. Eventually she will be right, after all, Vancouver is part of the Ring of Fire, and earthquakes are not uncommon there. But her visions are not about the ground shaking, they are metaphors for part of her life she wants to remain in denial about.

Ed Dames might protest that this process does not apply to him - after all, it's not just him seeing these things, he has large numbers of students seeing the same thing. Fair enough, and time will tell. Some of his previous predictions have come true. But remember also that like attracts like. People who have similar talents, biases and issues are going to be drawn into his inner circle. I remember when I did readings, I would attract one person after another to my booth who had the exact same "stuff" going on in their lives that I did. In the "Psychic Circle" we noticed that we would all do it. The reader with the breakup would attract the lonely hearts. I would attract the prosperity-seekers. There would be exceptions, but the rule held about 90% of the time. I got to figure out what issues I was overlooking by watching the themes people brought to me as clients. I believe that the Dames project teams are reading as much off him as they are each other, and this is coloring the results they get.