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Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate."

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Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate."

Old 09-03-10, 06:30 PM
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Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate."

Good news for those of you who live in Warren, Michigan. From now on, the government will help you to identity which psychics and fortune tellers are "legitimate," and which ones are not.

For those of us who don't live in that city, I guess the best that we can do is to write our mayors and councilmembers and urge them to pass this same kind of law in our own cities.

Or maybe we could just move to Warren.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/2010090...08599201567600

Psychics and Fortune Tellers Being Regulated to Reduce Fraud

By ELIZABETH DIAS / WASHINGTON Elizabeth Dias / Washington 2 hrs 1 min ago

Starting this week, fortune tellers in Warren, Mich., must be fingerprinted and pay an annual fee of $150 - plus $10 for a police background check - to practice their craft. The new rules are among America's strictest on palmists, fortune readers and other psychics, part of a growing push to regulate a business that has never been taken, or overseen, very seriously. But officials in Warren, a town of 138,000 near Detroit, say it's time to weed out tricksters. "We had no mechanism of enforcement to protect people against unsavory characters," Warren city-council member Keith Sadowski says. "We want to be sure there is some recourse in case we do get somebody who is not legitimate."

Regulating an industry that deems itself clairvoyant, has no standard education requirements and yet rakes in cash for revealing spiritual truths may itself be an act of faith. It also might make good economic sense: about 1 in 7 Americans consulted a psychic or fortune teller in 2009, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. That could be 30 million or more people.

Municipalities are struggling to manage their activities. Annapolis, Md., issues what it calls a "fortune-telling license" only if its police force concludes the applicant is "of good moral character." Last year, Will County, Illinois, decided to count fortune telling as an official business (along with tattooing and dog watching). Three years ago, Salem, Mass., famous for its 17th century witch trials - and something of a magnet for spiritual artisans - tightened its rules on background checks for psychics while easing its cap on the number of local fortune tellers allowed in town.

Warren's beefed-up regs came about this spring when Matt Nichols, a Warren police officer, told the city council that the town appeared vulnerable to fortune-telling crime. Once a year since at least 2005, Nichols says, he has had to try to persuade a psychic to return jewelry or cash taken from a client in exchange for performing spells or freeing the client from a curse. But since no regulations barred such acts, criminal charges weren't an option. "We are not looking to do anything to oppress people's beliefs," argues Nichols, who is also a member of the National Association of Bunco Investigators, a nonprofit group dedicated to combating scams and cons. "We are looking to specifically identify crime and people who prey on the vulnerable."

That makes sense, given the harm unscrupulous fortune tellers can inflict. Psychic Gina Marie Marks pleaded guilty Wednesday, Sept. 1, in Florida to grand theft and organized fraud. One of her victims testified that Marks swindled her out of $312,926.29 - and persuaded her to get a tattoo, to boot. It's now "a constant reminder of the psychological abuse I endured at the hands of this false prophet," she told a Broward County judge. (See pictures of spiritual healing around the world.)

But other observers, peering into their own crystal balls, see new worries. Michael Steinburg, of the Michigan branch of the ACLU, suggests Warren's policy may jeopardize those practicing yoga or predicting the weather. "It makes it illegal to say incantations to give good luck without having a license," he tells TIME. The ACLU has defended the free-speech rights of Maryland fortune teller Nick Nefedro, who won his case in June to operate a shop in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. (In that case, the judge even challenged a common stereotype: "We are not, however, persuaded that all fortune telling is fraudulent," Clayton Greene Jr. wrote.)

But the transparency that regulation requires seems to be in short supply. Several psychics contacted by TIME refused to discuss their practices. Others, like members of the Astrology Association of St. Petersburg, Fl., fear discrimination may result. Some psychics, sensing the way the wind is blowing, are developing codes of ethics to ensure honest clairvoyance. Southern California medium Linda Mackenzie, for example, promises to not use her powers for personal gain or revenge. Allie Theiss, a psychic in Wooster, Ohio, posts a confidentiality agreement on her website and assures potential customers that readings are done without regard for a client's race, gender, creed, color or sexual orientation. (Comment on this story.)

Not all psychics fear tougher government oversight. "I think it's wonderful," Julia Mary Cox, a Michigan psychic plying her craft near Warren, says of the town's new rules. "There are so many people practicing out there, doing it under false pretenses, giving honest people a bad name." But she concedes she wishes Warren's new rules could more clearly separate true fortune tellers from false seers. "They are not looking at any training," she notes. "I have a college degree, I have a background in religion and philosophy and English, and I have experience doing this." While all that may be true, it's also irrelevant. Cox concedes there's nothing like a driver's test for oracles. "There aren't any classes you can take where you say, 'Here are three boxes. Which box holds the apple?' " But given Americans' hunger to know the unknowable - and their willingness to pay for it - it's a safe bet that psychics are going to keep peddling predictions, regulated or not.
Old 09-03-10, 06:31 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

clearly the legitimate psychics saw this coming.
Old 09-03-10, 06:39 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Old 09-03-10, 06:41 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

In other news, Sylvia Browne sells her summer home in Warren , MI

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Old 09-03-10, 06:44 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

about 1 in 7 Americans consulted a psychic or fortune teller in 2009, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Old 09-03-10, 06:49 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

I saw that coming, which is why I am not operating in Michigan.

(because I'm not a "legitimate" psychic, I'm self-taught)
Old 09-03-10, 06:57 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Government wanting to regulate "legitimate psychic" is like the government wanting to screen professional wrestlers to make sure they're not just pretending to fight in the ring.

It is truly stunning how stupid people are.
Old 09-03-10, 08:29 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

I can save the government money right now by listing the legit ones:

1.
Old 09-03-10, 09:50 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

There's a woman in town that claims to be psychic. I laugh every time I drive by her business cause it was forced to move a couple of years ago. I don't know why the hell she'd rent a place if she knew she was going to have to move.
Old 09-03-10, 10:01 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Not long ago I saw a sign that read "Psychic Fair Today". Why would they need a sign at all?
Old 09-03-10, 10:12 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Not long ago I saw a sign that read "Psychic Fair Today". Why would they need a sign at all?
Speaking of that: I always wondered why, on Miss Cleo's commercials, she always opened the call with "What's your name?". If she's psychic, shouldn't she know the name of her caller?
Old 09-03-10, 10:16 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Originally Posted by Bob_Bobbson View Post
Speaking of that: I always wondered why, on Miss Cleo's commercials, she always opened the call with "What's your name?". If she's psychic, shouldn't she know the name of her caller?
Or you know, at least she has caller ID.
Old 09-03-10, 10:17 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

I predict:

Spoiler:
Guarddog will try to top this
Old 09-03-10, 11:58 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Well, yeah. Jesus was psychic and guarddog can point to many Youtube videos to prove it.
Old 09-04-10, 02:03 AM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Shawn's thankful he doesn't live in Warren.


This guy suspects somethings up already.
Old 09-04-10, 06:59 AM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

My friends are all funeral singers. ;-) Not really, but I liked the movie.
Old 09-04-10, 08:26 AM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Legitimate psychics
Old 09-04-10, 01:24 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Hey, I'm the real deal. For instance, I foresee you getting rear-ended before you get home today.
Old 09-04-10, 03:05 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
Hey, I'm the real deal. For instance, I foresee you getting rear-ended before you get home today.
In a car or surprise buttsecks?
Old 09-04-10, 05:08 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Originally Posted by resinrats View Post
In a car or surprise buttsecks?
Some things in life should be a surprise... Oh, and you dropped something.
Old 09-04-10, 05:10 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Originally Posted by Eric D. View Post
Legitimate psychics
What's wrong with physics?

Wait a second...

Oh!

Never mind.
Old 09-04-10, 06:11 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Psychics should definitely be regulated in terms of what kind of services they're allowed to offer and what kind of limitations there are on consumers, in the same ways that gambling regulations work. They aren't perfect, but they prevent people in general from having irrational expectations of wealth.
Old 09-04-10, 06:28 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

Originally Posted by Superboy View Post
Psychics should definitely be regulated in terms of what kind of services they're allowed to offer and what kind of limitations there are on consumers, in the same ways that gambling regulations work. They aren't perfect, but they prevent people in general from having irrational expectations of wealth.
"Hi, this is purely for entertainment. All predictions, healings or advice should be discussed with an appropriate professional before any action is taken"
Old 09-04-10, 06:43 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate

In the rare event of a prediction lasting more than 4 hours, seek immediate medical help.
Old 09-04-10, 08:16 PM
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Re: Govt will regulate psychics and fortune tellers to make sure they are "legitimate



Yes I agree that it's somewhat of an absurd case, but there are still problems with psychic services. They prey on people who are especially vulnerable. If anything, they're offering borderline psychotherapy... which would actually be a discount.

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