PSYCHICS SUED

(Investigator 175, 2017 July)



MISLEADING PSYCHICS SUED

In 1994 Peter Woolcock, Doctor of Philosophy, former president of the SA Skeptics, and onetime contributor to Investigator, suggested an idea now being discussed worldwide, namely "Misleading psychics should be sued…"

A recent Google Search on the phrase "Psychics Sued" found thousands of results with a link to Investigator and Dr Woolcock in 16th place.

An article in Investigator #36 (1994) reprinted from The City Messenger of Adelaide, said in part:

DISGRUNTLED clients of psychics, astrologers or mystics should be able to sue if damaged by false or misleading information, says a leading SA sceptic.

SA Skeptics president and philosophy professor Peter Woolcock said … a person advertising and making an income from alleged special powers should be liable to the same regulations governing other businesses … they should be open to penalties if benefits were not realised…


SEARCH RESULTS

Here are some of the Google search results on "Psychics Sued":

Can You Sue a Psychic and Win? Recent Rulings on Psychic Ripoffs
https://exemplore.com

Man Who Gave Psychics $718,000 'Just Got Sucked In'
https://www.nytimes.com/.../lured-in-by-two-manhattan-psychics-to-the-tune-of-718000...
Nov 15, 2015 - Niall Rice, a 33-year-old consultant who paid two psychics who promised to help him reunite with the woman he loved, even after she died...

Psychic Sent to Prison for 5 years for Fraud ...
scienceblogs.com/denialism/2012/02/29/psychic-sent-to-prison-for-5-y/

Psychic Ordered to Pay $7 Million for False Claims
https://www.seeker.com/psychic-ordered-to-pay-7-million-for-false-claims-17675900...
Jun 17, 2013 - The owners of a Texas ranch raided by police based on a psychic's bogus information about a massacre have sued the psychic...

Can you sue a psychic?
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091203183049AA3WBda

Psychics should be sued and pay penalties for failed predictions ...
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-739226.html

North Hollywood woman sues her psychic: She paid $11k...
www.dailynews.com/article/zz/20130710/NEWS/130719975
Jul 10, 2013 - LOS ANGELES -- A woman sued her former psychic reader today, alleging the soothsayer conned her out of nearly $11000...

Psychic Sued for False Prophecy…
www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=22177

Houston attorney sues psychic, claiming breach of contract...
www.chron.com/.../Houston-attorney-sues-psychic-claiming-breach-of-5082623.php
Dec 20, 2013 - A Houston lawyer who says he paid a psychic $3,200 has sued the woman in State District Court, claiming her "love ritual" didn't work.

Long Island man sues Mendham psychic in alleged $250K scam...
www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/03/lawsuit_ny_man_claims_psychic.html

Psychic Sued for Consumer Fraud…
www.biklaw.com/psychic-sued-for-consumer-fraud/

Psychic Gets Sued
https://www.mccluskeychevrolet.com/psychic-gets-sued/

Should Di's psychic be sued for malpractice for failing to warn her?
connection.ebscohost.com/c/.../should-dis-psychic-be-sued-malpractice-failing-warn-...

The Psychic Astronaut Who Got Sued By...
https://soundcloud.com/.../the-moon-walking-alien-hunting-psychic-astronaut-who-g...

Why aren't psychics in violation of false advertising?
https://www.quora.com/Why-arent-psychics-in-violation-of-false-advertising

Feds Shut Down Psychic Scammers Who Tricked Victims Out Of $180…
https://consumerist.com/.../feds-shut-down-psychic-scammers-who-tricked-victims-ou...

FTC Charges "Miss Cleo" with Deceptive Advertising, Billing and ...
https://www.ftc.gov/.../ftc-charges-miss-cleo-promoters-deceptive-advertising-billing-...

Can Psychic/Mediums/Charlatans Be Sued?
https://forums.digitalspy.com

SEC Sues Psychic For Securities Fraud…
www.npr.org/sections/money/2010/03/sec_sues_psychic_for_securitie.html

CAN i SUE A PSYCHIC FOR FRAUD...
www.justanswer.com

Paranormal Searchers: Psychic sued for $80,500...
www.paranormalsearchers.com/2009/09/psychic-sued-for-80500-after-failing-to.html

Woman claiming to be psychic sued for fraud
cookcountyrecord.com/.../510577716-woman-claiming-to-be-psychic-sued-for-fraud


COMMENTS

Psychic practice, including fortune telling and aura reading, is in many countries protected by religious freedom legislation.

There is no government certificate that "psychics" must obtain or professional qualifications they must meet, therefore they cannot be sued for presenting false qualifications. Giving misleading advice and telling lies are not necessarily crimes and therefore people cannot sue for that.

Victims can sue a psychic if fraud can be proved. An example would be if the psychic advertises free phone readings but charges fees, or convinces clients to let him invest their money for them but does not invest as promised.

Psychics' ads may state "for entertainment only", which undercuts grounds for lawsuits, and they usually refuse to give clear guarantees. An investigation (Investigator 38) into whether psychics could direct job-seekers to employers who will definitely employ them found no Adelaide psychic who would guarantee success.

If you're dying from inoperative cancer because a psychic declared you cancer-free and this delayed you from seeking professional help you might have a case if you can prove all of this. The court, however, may still rule against you because it was your decision to consult a psychic instead of a doctor.


CONCLUSION

Dr Woolcock's statement that "clients of psychics … should be able to sue if damaged by false or misleading information" seems like common sense and is now echoed across the Internet but is usually difficult to enforce.


REFERENCES:

Eccles, D. Misleading Psychics Should Be Sued, The City Messenger, March 16, 1994; Investigator #36, May 1994

(BS)


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