Psychic Readings Government Approved
Do you think the government should decide who is allowed to practice as a psychic or a medium and, by extension, who you can go to for a reading? Right now, there is a movement afoot on several continents to introduce legislation to regulate “the psychic industry”. What most supporters of the idea of regulation seem to have in mind are the “psychic hotlines” that have sprung up like mushrooms on the fringes of the web over the past few years, advertising “3 Minute Free Readings” and featuring photos of “psychics” with brief descriptions of their specialities. The argument advanced in favour of government regulation is twofold: to protect the unwary consumer from fraud and his/her own gullibility and to ensure that the psychics available on the web are answerable to the law, i.e., to the government. In a way this harks back to the days of the ‘Court Astrologer” who was chosen to advise the monarch of the day on auspicious dates for important royal duties like coronations, hunting parties, levying taxes, or starting a war. Nowadays, Cabinets fulfill this function with variable success. And government has intruded ever more deeply into the intimate areas of our lives with cyber spying which makes US transparent to THEM whilst THEY remain opaque to US. Just today I read an article in The Economist describing a new laser technology developed for use in “airport security”. So, what’s new about that, you ask? This laser system reads our molecules. Our molecules for heaven’s sake! |And from a distance. The system claims to be able to detect your level of anxiety, drugs in your body’s cells, even when you last ate and what you had. This device can be aimed at you and used entirely without your knowledge or permission. But hey, you don’t have to take your clothes off, so really it’s not – technically – a violation of your right to the “sanctity of your person”, right? And in any case Security is far more important that individual rights, right?
Psychic Readings Government Approved
Ordinarily, I am favour of consumer protection laws a la Ralph Nader. Thanks to the efforts of Nader and his Raiders we have road safety legislation, listing of ingredients on food products, truth in advertising laws, and many others. Where legislation is most useful and effective is in areas that affect our physical safety and well-being in public spaces, ensure fair policies in access to housing, education, employment, etc. All of this is to the good. But since the Age of Enlightenment the law has also protected the individual right to freedom of thought and expression, freedom of religion and the right of assembly, to petition government to right a wrong done to us or to an entire group of people, and other similar rights. There was in the thinking of the great minds of the Enlightenment a recognition that human thought and the spiritual life of the person could not and should not be regulated. We might deem certain public utterances in times of war as “treasonous” but we cannot stop people from having treasonous thoughts anymore than we can pass a law forbidding the wind to blow. Thought and its related mental phenomena (imagining, wishing, hoping, wondering, worrying, musing, etc.) are beyond the ham-fisted control of the law and attempts to control such things have resulted in orgies of insanity like the Chinese “self-criticism sessions” in which individuals confessed to having un-Maoist thoughts and were subjected to mental and often physical abuse to ensure that no thought other that those of Chairman Mao would ever be permitted in the patriotic mind again! How crazy is that?
Testing Psychic Ability
So, what has this to do with regulating psychics? Anyone who has seriously studied the field of “psychic phenomena” knows how difficult it is to develop reliable methods to test psychic ability or verify contact between a deceased person and a medium. In order to eliminate any possibility of cheating, protocols must be applied completely in the blind. Sound proof, light proof, tamper proof rooms must be constructed and constantly monitored. Every step must be recorded in the research logs and results protected in every possible way from contamination. Dr. Gary Schwartz, a Harvard and Yale trained psychiatrist and professor, developed such a protocol over years of intensive research at the U of Arizona in the 1990s. Anyone who troubles to read the records of the experiments and the process of refining the research methods cannot help but be impressed with the quality of the protocols deveoped by Schwartz and his research associates. What is relevant here is that there are no short cuts to assessing purported psychic ability. It is time, money and labour intensive if the results are to be credible and pass muster in scientific terms. Dr. Schwartz’s team accomplished this and they were able to test and re-test psychics and mediums over time to establish their levels of accuracy. Somehow, I can’t imagine civil servants with no scientific training “qualifying” psychics and mediums. At best they are likely to have candidates take automated tests using randomly generated symbols like those touted by James Randi and to require a certain percentage of “hits” to pass the test. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Yes, until you consider that there is a requirement that each candidate would have undergo thousands of repeats of this test before the results could be deemed statistically and scientifically valid. Given the mess that government has made of food safety “inspections”, the cosmic quake in the financial “industry” and all other debacles of recent decades, are we really prepared to let the government decide who we may go to for a psychic reading or to try to make contact with a loved one who has passed over? Furthermore, if people want to waste their money on”spell casters” and the like, what business is that of the government. Unless of course the government wants to outlaw stupidity…But then the government itself would disappear…Hmmm. Vicious circle.
Books on Mediums and Psychics can be found in Delia’s Amazon Shop HERE.
© Delia O’Riordan 2012
Image credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons