Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not always easy.

Fakes come in many guises, ranging from the simply deluded to the outright scammer. One thing that generally starts the fake-o-meter twitching is when they ask for money.

In the old days, and occasionally still, a gypsy fortune teller might ask you to cross her palm with silver. She was not actually asking for money although let's be fair, she wouldn't have been wealthy and would not have turned down a donation. What she meant was literally what she said - take something silver and draw it across her palm. Why, I'm not sure, maybe it was something to 'activate the power' or maybe it was a matter of showing trust - that you could put something valuable in her hand and she wouldn't steal it from you. You cannot form any sort of bond with someone who doesn't trust you.

Now we have those massively wealthy 'mediums' who claim to be able to call up any spirit associated with anyone at any time and who can do it on the phone or internet via an assistant (excuse me while I pause to swear a lot) where the interaction involves a voice or typed text and no actual medium at all (another pause...) and they charge money for this.

It doesn't work like that. Mediums don't know who's going to turn up. There is no way to make money from mediumship. No medium could stand in front of an audience of strangers and immediately get the right number of spirits to match the length of the show, none of those spirits being unconnected with anyone and never, ever, finding that someone's brought the whole dead family along. My ancestors are not going to know what phones are and are not likely to turn up at the other end of the line if I talk to a medium on the phone. If they turn up they'll be at my end of the line where the medium can't be talking to them.

So I have that first guideline. If they ask for money, they're most probably faking and the more money they want, the higher up the fake-scale they go. Phone and internet mediumship is just stupid.

That's mediums. What about others? Reiki, homeopathy, astrology, crystal work and so on don't rely on the vagaries of spirits. They rely on internal or external chemical, physiological or physical attributes and if those things are reproducible then it's possible to make money from them. I'm only talking about spirits in this post.

The other side of mediums, the 'anti-medium', is the exorcist. In recent years (the last 2000) this has been the sole preserve of religion. That's because religion attributes all spirit contact as evil and only religion has the competency to deal with it. Which is rubbish.

I've recently driven an annoying presence from my house through no action other than being more annoying to it than it was to me. I'm not an exorcist. I did not banish it. I'd like it to come back because I'm not finished with it. I make no claim to exorcist powers and have not witnessed an actual 'demonic possession' of anyone and if I did, I'd be unlikely to try to get rid of it without collecting a lot of data first.

As with mediums, I am sceptical of any exorcist that charges for their services.

So this one poses a dilemma.

He charges nothing. He enjoys success but has no interest in fame or money. However, the explanation for the boy's behaviour given by the priest is entirely plausible except where the priest says the exorcist made matters worse. He did not. In fact, the exorcist appears to have effected a cure - which could be real or psychosomatic. In this case, did the exorcist drive out a real demon or merely set the boy's mind at ease?

He believes he exorcises demons. I don't think he's a fake because he's not scamming anyone. Is he deluded or is he really doing it? It's not possible to tell for sure from that one case but I'd be interested to hear more from anyone who's experienced such things.


Astrology said...

I'm going to take the Sting defense here: Intellectually, I don't believe in the devil, but damn if I can rid myself of the unreasonable fear that it could be possible. Hollywood screwed me up for life.

btw, Normally, I respect things done by National Geographic, but tell me, how can anyone see "hundreds of patients in a day"? Now that I don't think is possible.

Romulus Crowe said...

I've never seen evidence of God or the devil. There are some unpleasant spirits around but I don't see any evidence there's a 'boss bad guy'.

There might be. I don't know. I'm not going to actively seek out such a beast either!

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