5 Ways You Can Tell a Psychic is Full of Hot Air
“Superstition is a departure from the worship that we give to the true God. It is manifested in idolatry, as well as in various forms of divination and magic.” (CCC 2138)
The Catholic Church has always denounced psychics and fortunetelling. But, putting aside the sin of subscribing to these people, there is a matter of basic common sense and logic that proves these people are unreliable as to their pronouncements. The failures of paganism are easily apparent and not one of them stands up to even half-hearted scrutiny:
1. Why Didn’t They Know?
The best proof that fortunetelling doesn’t work is Sept. 10, 2001.
If any of the many hundreds of thousands of so-called “psychics” around the world had had even an inkling that something was going to go horribly wrong the next day in New York City, it’s odd to think that none of them chose to warn us.
Sylvia Browne, who calls herself the “greatest psychic that has every lived” and who claimed she was on a secret mission from Jesus Christ himself to spread the word that she is His new and last “prophet,” was flummoxed when the attack occurred. She subsequently claimed to have “misspoken” and had, in fact, actually foretold the attack. Oddly, she had no proof of this claim whatsoever. She’s subsequently died and has stood before God for her sins.
Either these supposed psychics aren’t as gifted as they would have us believe or they are truly sociopathic. If anyone had foreknowledge that his neighbor was going to kill his wife ― whether that knowledge was gained by any of the five normal human senses or a supposed “sixth sense” ― that person is morally and legally obliged to inform the appropriate authorities to stop that senseless, horrible death. To think that every psychic in the world simply ignored what all of us “non-psychics” realized intuitively, that we must all stop evil, is chilling and very telling. Surely these “psychics” couldn't possibly be this cold-blooded. But, either they’re eager to help very bad people escape justice and let countless millions of innocent people die or, more likely, these “psychics” are frauds and have no special abilities whatsoever.
2. The Stories Don’t Sync Up
It might be argued, as these psychic charlatans often do, that for security reasons, that they couldn't trust any political or legal authority with the “prophecies.” This is actually quite understandable. However, it doesn't jive with the frequent, self-aggrandizing claim of psychics.
In their attempts at “legitimizing” themselves, fake psychics will often claim to have assisted the police in finding “thousands” of criminals, missing children and even dead bodies. In fact, if pressed, they will often insist they’ve assisted their state police, the FBI, CIA and Interpol.
Which one is it? Have they been appropriately vetted by their great success with law professionals or haven’t they?
The best way to trap a fake psychic is to first ask if they had ever used their “powers” to assist the police. Ten times out of ten they will answer in the affirmative. Once you have their “admission,” ask them then why they didn't say anything to warn us about 9/11 or, in fact, every other natural and manmade disaster in the past few decades. If they, in fact, had a good, verifiable record of working with assisting government authorities and were themselves vetted and trusted individuals with “incredible powers,” why did they then choose to ignore the deaths of thousands of their fellow human beings? Surely they already had connections in the government who trusted their “psychic powers.” In fact, why didn’t any psychic warn the residents of New Orleans a few days before Hurricane Katrina struck that city in 2009 or the people of the Pacific Rim before the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami that killed 250,000 people, or the 2009 Haiti Earthquake, or the British Petroleum Gulf explosion that killed dozens of men and cost BP and Great Britain countless billions of dollars? Why indeed do psychics routinely ignore the suffering that readily befalls mankind in the past few centuries?
3. False Legitimization
It should be noted that these “psychic” criminals will often, when dealing with Catholics, claim to have been examined and even recommended by “priests and nuns.” I met one who insisted that she was told by a priest that she was “too smart for the seminary.” However, if pressed, these psychics can never recall the names of these nonexistent Church personnel. Some of these criminals will even claim to have been priests and nuns but are suddenly stymied when asked the name of their religious community.
The long and short of it is the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize psychic ability. The choice as to who to believe in this case is clear. Either you can believe a 2,000-year-old community founded by God Himself which he created to bring all souls to him for eternity and which has produced hundreds of millions of saints over the course of two millennia and that has given more money and goods to the poor than any other institution, religion, philosophy, nation, etc., and which charges no money for its teachings or blessings — or you can believe somebody who charges $800 to tell you that your grandfather forgave you before he died. Psychic and occult charlatans offer nothing to the poor and do little, if anything at all, for free. The choice is yours.
4. How Come There’s No Evidence?
Despite the fact psychic and occult charlatans will claim to have assisted the police and other law-enforcement agencies, they’ll suddenly be stricken with irreversible amnesia concerning each and every professionals’ names. Even more oddly, none of these “miracles” were ever recorded by any newspaper or television report even though we live in a nation that thrives on 24/7 news where everything, no matter how odd, common, trivial, disturbing or boring, is considered broadcastable and newsworthy.
At this point, we should all ask ourselves: Would we normally believe someone who made impossible, self-aggrandizing claims while refusing to offer any proof of their claims even though such extraordinary claims should have been noted by someone in the media? A psychic actually finding a murderer, a missing child or even a misplaced corpse would at least make the news in a country with as many news agencies as we have. To think that a single psychic lays claims to hundreds, if not thousands, of such murderers, missing children and enough misplaced corpses to fill several cemeteries, it’s odd in the extreme to think not one of them was ever reported in a newspaper or announced on national television. Shouldn’t all of them be mentioned in the legitimate media? The only thing a wise and reasonable person can conclude from this lack of evidence is that the psychic is lying.
5. Why Isn’t Magic Effective?
The best proof magic and paganism is ineffective and worthless is Haiti. Haiti is the undisputed center of a form of paganism known as Voodoo. Practitioners of this magical system make incredible claims as to the powers of their priests and priestesses. But despite these practitioners’ supposed accumulated power, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It’s impossible to suggest that Voodoo has any effect on the physical or spiritual worlds if its practitioners can neither produce health, wealth or good fortune. If, on the other hand, Haiti was an exceptionally rich and powerful country, Voodoo practitioners could then claim that their powers assisted Haiti's “rise to power.”
Another case in point is Isaac Bonewitz, a self-proclaimed pagan “high priest” (they’re always “high priests”, by the way) who had spent time with Anton LaVey’s satanic cult, often claimed to have fantastic powers over the physical and metaphysical worlds. Despite these incredible powers, he was diagnosed with Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome in 1990, which precluded the possibility of working at a full-time job, which in turn, resulted in a life of some economic hardship, as he often claimed on his website and in interviews.
In addition, the disorder led indirectly to his untimely demise on Oct. 25, 2009, of a rare form of colon cancer. This life of illness, misery and poverty is extremely shocking considering the amazing powers and titles Bonewitz claimed for himself throughout his life.
If paganic magic cannot improve health, cure illness and alleviate poverty, what good is it? Christianity would have a run for its money if every pagan got everything he wanted simply by sacrificing a few black cats in a cemetery at midnight. Instead, they only make grandiose claims of extraordinary power and to have literally nothing to show for it is an embarrassment for that community and a sign of mental deterioration including absorption and folie à plusieurs, “the madness of many.” That is, a psychosis that spreads across like-minded people who fundamentally agree with each other.
Either psychics can produce magic and preternaturally control the universe, force God’s hand and otherwise get anything and everything they want or they have to stop making claims to be able to do so.