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Saturday, April 19, 2008

UK: Mediums, Psychics And Healers May Face Prosecution If They Cannot Justify Their Claims

From the BBC.
Whether it's TS Eliot or Shirley Ghostman, the world of the medium has been gently drizzled with ridicule for some decades.

But now psychics, healers and spiritualists fear a new threat. Not gentle ribbing, but the long arm of the law.

Parliament is about to debate measures that will see all forms of paid-for paranormal activities fall under the new Consumer Protection Regulations. As well as tackling a raft of more mundane commercial sharp practice, these regulations will also replace the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951.

And some mediums are not happy. Under the old legislation, it had to be proven that any accused psychic was setting out to commit a fraud. The first case was a man in 1952 on a charge that he did in "purporting to act as a spiritualistic medium, unlawfully use a certain fraudulent device, namely, a length of cheesecloth". He was acquitted, setting a pattern for the last 50 years of very few prosecutions.

Under the new laws, some mediums feel they will be obliged to prove what they do. And when you're in the business of contacting spirits in the afterlife, that's not easy.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. While this looks like typical nanny-state legislation that has become commonplace in Britain, at the same time I can see their point, as this would only cover "paid-for" services. If this passes, it seems like it would effectively put an end to these businesses.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ordinary Girl said...

I think fraud should be prosecuted, no matter what guise it's under. Why should a psychic be exempt from fraud laws just because of the claim of the supernatural? If you're going to charge someone for a service, then you should meet the claims, as in any other industry.

4/20/2008 12:27 PM  
Blogger Venjanz said...

I know, I just don't like that kind of government interference in something so... trivial, especially when there are far worse problems that need to be dealt with.

4/21/2008 6:15 PM  

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