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A couple of weeks ago, I got a letter from someone billing herself as Neelie, Florida Lottery Commission Consultant/Psychic. With various enclosures, it was about a dozen pages of the most unbelievable bullcrap; descriptions of the luxurious lifestyle I was about to enter, statistics about how much money is given out in lotteries, and Neelie's channeling of the Archangel Michael which allows her to give advice to those who subscribe to her psychic services.
I trashed the letter after giving momentary consideration to writing it up here, and put it out of my mind.
Two weeks later I got another four page letter from Neelie together with three more pamphlet enclosures.
Let me quote some passages from the second letter along with some of my comments:
- I don't understand why I haven't heard back from you. (and you call yourself a psychic?)
- Look, I didn't write the first letter to you on a whim. The Archangel Michael appeared to me and revealed things to me. He told me to write to you. (Your imaginary friend is not a real archangel. He did not tell you to write to me specifically, though your imaginary friend might have told you to send out bulk mailing to everyone on a mailing list you bought.)
- Trust me on this, I'm a psychic. (Your claim to be a psychic is a reason not to trust you.)
- Michael's words have always come to pass. (Strange that he indicated that you could get money out of me for your "services." Did he predict that I would write critically of you?)
- The International Psychic Society has certified me as a psychic counsellor. (A web search finds the only reference to this society in a slightly dirty joke.)
- I have been made a member of the "Circle of Power," the most elite group of Psychics in the world. (This organization is so unknown, it does not have a dirty joke yet, but it is the name of a 1983 movie.)
- Florida Lottery Commission Consultant/Psychic. (Well there actually is a State Lottery Commission in Florida, but I don't believe you are a psychic consultant to them as the word consultant is commonly used in the business world. I suspect that sometime in the past you might have made a voluntary presentation - unpaid.)
It is beyond me why anyone would respond to such a mailing. This Neelie person - based on a web search - seems relatively unknown in the psychic community. Her claimed credentials seem invented or exaggerated. And Christians - who would probably be the majority of the recipients of the mailing - should be offended by her claim to be channelling Archangel Michael.
But, clearly the mass mailing went out with the expectations (whether psychic or rational) of covering costs and making a profit.
To me, the whole thing has the appearance of a scam, bordering on fraud.
"Trust me on this, I'm a psychic" writes Neelie.
Well, Neelie, I believe that there are two types of psychics.
- There are those who are deluded and genuinely believe they are psychics. Their occasional successes feed their delusion and they unconsciously ignore their failures.
- There are those who knowingly run a scam.
Neelie, I don't think you are deluded, except perhaps, in hoping I would take you up on your offer.
But Neelie, if you are a real psychic, then there is a way for you to become rich legally rather than fraudulently claiming to be able to make others rich. Just take up James Randi on his Million Dollar Offer. Do that successfully, and I will apologize to you in this space.
- Unfortunately the original link is defunct, but fortunately it has been archived, and that link has been substituted. Or as that page is slow loading, the joke has been republished here - only because it refers to Neelie's questionable International Psychic Society.
- A web search in March 2010 reveals that the International Psychic Society is now a ("a" as in one individual) psychic giving consultations in Manila.