All psychics are either misled or frauds. It is as simple as that. The frauds range from
the large scale con artists such as John Edwards, Sylvia Brown, and James Van Praagh to the kitchen psychics. An example of the latter is Jackeline Lopez of Palmdale, California. She was recently arrested for convincing as 12 year old that she was cursed and encouraging her to steal from her parents to pay for the required offering and sacrifice.
Jackeline Lopez of Palmdale, California, is being accused by police of offering psychic readings to children as a way to prey on children’s vulnerabilities. The woman allegedly gave one particular 12-year old girl a psychic reading in her garage and claimed the girl was cursed — that bad things might happen to her. Lopez then used her influence, playing upon the girl’s fear, to convince her that she could lift the curse if the girl brought her things of value — a sort of offering and sacrifice.
The tween girl, wanting to rid herself of such a nasty curse, brought Lopez jewelry that she stole from her family. Each time the items were given to Lopez, she said that the offering failed because it wasn’t enough. Finally, the girl’s family noticed the missing items and confronted the child who told them about Lopez’s demands. At that point, the family contacted the police.
Lopez has since been arrested and charged with extortion but is thought to have had an accomplice, a male, who sold the jewelry. Police believe they have surveillance video implicating the man of selling stolen jewelry at local pawn shops. The man is still at large.
This is one example of a woman who is obviously a con artist preying on the fears of a child. However, the entire industry of psychic cons in at least partially to blame for this. The TV stations that carry the big name psychics and the media personal such as Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra who openly support and promote these people should be held culpable for this family’s trouble. Shows that purport to find evidence for the paranormal need to be counterbalanced by shows that show natural explanations for unusual phenomena.
We need mainstream shows like The Mentalist where the protagonist demonstrates the total absence of truth behind these claims, not shows like Ghost Whisperer that keep the paranormal into the mainstream. As parents we need to encourage skeptical thinking in our children. I don’t know anything about this girl’s home life, but perhaps is her parents had encouraged critical thought, she might have been less likely to go to a psychic, never mind being conned by one.
My blog exists in a small corner of the on-line world. I don’t get the page views of the major sites, but I try to do my part to marginalize the concept of the supernatural.