In troubled times, people want answers. We also need to relax and alleviate stress, and activities like fortune telling and predictions seem like quirky fun games. Psychics are available to offer such services to celebrities and other guests for our enjoyment on several TV shows we may all be streaming now. The less well-known ones may be found all over the internet, waiting to tell us what the future holds.This past fall, a “psychic fair” was even held here in Utica.
Far from being a portal to insight, or a fun game to play, psychic readings are scams, and the people who offer them are scammers.
Psychics are not reading anything. The scam starts in the mind of the scam victim.
The first tool a psychic uses to scam their victims is the target’s own mindset. People who accept these things as real are going into the psychic fair or the psychic’s office or booth already expecting to talk to their ancestor who died over a hundred years ago, or getting to meet a favorite rock star who has passed on without going to heaven themselves first.
Once you convince yourself something is going to happen, it’s easy to think it’s happening, even when it is not. Think back to the last time some minor detail about your appearance made you self-conscious. Maybe your haircut or color didn’t turn out the way you wanted, or you tried trimming your beard or wearing a new shade of lipstick and thought the result was unflattering. You probably thought everyone was looking at you and noticing how bad you looked that day. In reality, strangers had no idea you looked any different than you did yesterday, and could not possibly have known something happened to your appearance. But you were convinced they were “noticing” your odd looks. That look you interpreted as ‘What a weird way to wear your hair,’ or ‘What did that guy do to his beard?’ was really just them looking for someone over your shoulder, or the color of your sweater or shirt catching their eye. But you convinced yourself people were giving you critical glances, so that’s what you experienced.
Psychics work the same way. You see them communicating with those who have passed or spirit guides because you’ve convinced yourself that’s what they are doing. They’re not truly communicating with anyone, except for you.
Psychic “messages” are nothing more than prompts to make their targets talk.
In the “Prompts” series, I write about different subjects in the hope that you will begin thinking and talking about something I said and take it from there in your writing, painting, or other art work. If I were dishonet, I could make a great living as a psychic. They’re doing the same thing. Psychics are just using random words and phrases instead of entire articles, and the goal is to get you to talk to them, not to create a piece of art.
The psychic says, “I’m getting a dark haired woman. Someone from your past. Maybe a mother. Maybe a mother figure…” Those statements prompt you to think of someone with dark hair who had something to do with mothers. They’re so general, they will prompt anyone to come up with something. Everybody can think of somebody who has some relation to a mother or a mother figure, and everyone has seen a woman whose hair they would describe as dark.
Once you blurt something out, the psychic tosses out another prompt. If I fell for it, I might say, “Oh yes. That’s my Great-grandmother, the mother of my grandfather. She had thick black hair.”
I just gave the psychic a lot more detail to throw out some more prompts, tailored to me. The longer I continue, the more detail I provide, giving the psychic further material to use to tailor his or her word prompts to me.
Continuing with the example above, the psychic would know my thoughts went to someone I had never met, who had passed on. This would tell them there were no dark haired maternal figures currently in my life weighing on my mind.
“She’s watching over you. She sees what you’re going through today,” might come next. This would encourage me to start thinking about any problem I might be having today, and talk to the psychic about it.
“My novel,” I might say.
“Yes,” the psychic could then say. “She sees you writing your novel. She knows the issue you’re having with it. Maybe…I’m getting a pen…publishing….writing…editing.”
“Writing!” I would yell out in response to the prompt. “That’s it. I have no time to write..” Now the psychic knows I am either overly busy or have poor time management skills and can start getting “messages” about time for me.
By the end, nothing would have happened beyond me responding to additional prompts with enough personal detail to enable the psychic to craft increasingly elaborate prompts. And this is all that ever happens during a psychic reading. They are not doing anything you couldn’t do yourself with a simple writing prompt book or word association exercise.
Despite psychic readings being fake, there are some real dangers.
Because the psychic is nothing more than a random person doing a word and phrase prompt exercise with you, they may seem harmless. Okay, so you’re not getting to meet Duke Ellington or Freddie Mercury for advice on your music career without having to go to heaven yourself first. But what’s the harm in pretending if it allows you to talk through an issue you may be having?
On a purely psychological level, there is the danger of dependence. You become so used to consulting a psychic for the answers to questions you could have simply written down in your journal, brought up at your next scheduled therapy appointment, or mentioned over coffee with a trusted friend, you become unable to work through your problems in these more everyday ways. You become dependent on psychic readings, thinking you can only get the answers from them.
Spiritually, the danger of psychics takes us all the way back to the Book of Genesis in the Bible. Knowing the future, talking directly to those who have passed on and getting a response, and controlling supernatural beings are forms of knowledge and power that belong to God, not humans. Consulting a psychic announces that you think you should have some of God’s power. This attitude pleases the enemy of man, who would like nothing more than to enter your life and mess with you in any way he can. The devil is delighted to see you providing an opening for him via the most narcissistic attitude you could possibly adopt.
Don’t make uncertain, stressful times worse by inviting influences you definitely do not want into your life, while at the same time rendering yourself unable to cope on a practical level.