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To charge or not to charge? That's the question!

By:Yvonne Welch
Date: Wed,16 Apr 2008
Submitter:Yvonne Welch
Views:9077

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Money, Money, Money!

The other day, I listened to a radio programme with Donal MacIntyre on BBC five. The programme was about Psychic Scams and the change in the Fraudulent Mediums Act. This brief discussion took place with a representative from the Bad Psychics site Dave Anderson.

Although I agree that the consumer should be protected, it seems that the other problem many Sceptics have, is that Mediums and Psychics Charge for their services.
Mr Anderson’s idea was that none ought to charge until it has been scientifically proven that either contact with Spirit is possible or that ‘fortune-telling is possible’ (Sorry, but that is how they incorrectly describe the work of a Psychic).

Apart from the scientific bit, the dispute between Sceptics and Spiritual Workers can also be found amongst Spiritual Workers themselves. To Charge or not to Charge?

There seems to be some kind of assumption that the majority of Spiritual Workers are people that have become extremely well off by giving consultations to the Public.
It is only a minority that have been able to make a living out of it and these are the ones that travel from Fair to Fair throughout the country and of course the ones we see in the Media.
Many though, run cost covering societies, even charitable societies, associations or churches. They outweigh the few that are dedicated enough to make a living out of it.
In an ideal world, I wish for Spiritual Consultations to be free of charge but I would like to visit my Dentist free of charge as well and not have to donate anything when I attend a church service... everything these days has a price and some a very steep one!
How can people find out about a Spiritual Worker’s services? In the Local Paper, the Yellow Pages, Psychic Fairs and Festivals etc.
Unfortunately these services aren’t free either.

A Midlands Psychic Fair organiser charged £100 for a table and later increased it to £120 for a day. Travel Costs and Hotel costs on the Spiritual Worker. He placed one advert in the local news paper for the value of £60 - £100. And had at times as many as 10 - 12 readers working at a venue. Do the maths yourself... Many of the readers went home at a loss as the one advert didn’t generate enough public to at least cover the costs for the readers.
The only one that went home with a profit of just over £900 was the organiser. Not bad for a day’s work? Yes, he did do work, he charged the public an entrance fee of £2.00 as well and for that he had to sit at the door the whole day. Giving the 'consumer' entry tickets and drinking a cuppa whilst doing so.

One known large organiser charges for a 1x1m stand for a weekend close to £600!! Needless to say, I never attended this organiser’s fair and never will. Consultations at this organiser’s fair are ranging between £40 - £60 for a mere 20 minutes (if you are lucky).

The general public doesn’t know about this side of the coin. The argument of this organiser is that the consultant will get a good exposure from a marketing point of view. Do they really?

Judging from what the Sceptics say, obviously not. And I cannot help but again, agree. I just find it a pity that the Sceptic doesn’t realise how far and deep the exploitation in some cases runs.
I have come across many, wonderful and lovely talented mediums and psychics that have stopped giving their genuine services because of the very hard underlying core that you can come across amongst the Fair organisers.

If for example the SNU is not your cuppa tea, there isn’t much for a psychically talented person to turn to Nationwide. An alternative is often found through trial and error and many never get there as they simply ‘give-up’.

Where do we draw the line between Spirituality and a Commercial enterprise? To me Spirituality from this point of view is at this moment in time from this perspective indeed completely lost.
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Comments

Yvonne Welch - The Source Spiritual Society said:

Hi Dave,
I am very aware that the new legislation covers all practices but that was not my concern. My concern is that incorrect understanding of terminology is being broadcasted. As a police officer you should know the implications that incorrect statements can have.

Thank you for giving a little background as it gives an insight from where you are coming from. The way I read your post I assume you label your mum and grandmother under the group of ‘tricksters’ as well? Or are they in your opinion ‘genuine’?
Did they study the following as well?
Cold reading, Hot reading, Barnum statements and the Forer Effect? You give the Spiritual workers a lot of credit for assuming that they have studied these too. What came first the chicken or the egg scenario?
I didn’t attack you personally, I merely asked you some questions. If you took them personal then I am sorry for you having interpreted it as such.
But... I am sure that some people here feel the same about your statements made to them?
Sat,19 Apr 2008,15:10:10 GMT

Yvonne Welch - The Source Spiritual Society said:

Hi Hotchic,
This is exactly what my article is about... To charge or not to charge? Your idea of giving free readings is very honourable and I certainly respect that. And as you can see this is a dispute not just between sceptics and non-sceptics but even between spiritual workers.
If you choose to work by word of mouth, again you have to start somewhere. You might at first do a reading once in a while. This is how most 'professional' (i.o.w. people that get paid) started out too.
It is the supply and demand situation that will follow if you are good at what you do. When the demand becomes too much, then you’ll find at a certain stage that some people will abuse your generosity.
You cannot expect all spiritual workers to sacrifice their free time in order to give a spiritual consultation. I for one rather spend my free time with my family...
Sat,19 Apr 2008,14:48:50 GMT

Hotchic said:

I have to say, from a believer's perspective, I have never been to a psychic fayre that has been worth it's salt. All the crystals dotted around and the mediums that profess that they have been on 'living tv' etc etc, and they charge £35+ for a non specific general reading. Would never go again. Learnt that lesson rapidly.

I have been a developing medium, working with 'some internationally known' mediums, and I would never charge for any reading I do. It is not about making money. Anyone that pays for a table and then charges is there to make money....and no other reason. I would give a reading in my own home, by recommendation, for free. It is surely about helping people in their recovery, and personal journey.

If mediumism and spirituality is that important to you then make it a pastime and a joy, not a living. I totally back this law after meeting many people who have disillusioned me. There has to be some kind of safeguard. It is about a belief, and people will always believe in it in some way. No one will stamp it out. However it is also not about fighting. Bad Psychics are about not letting people get ripped off, and there are plenty of bad guys out there, ripping people off. £40,000,000 per year being made by fraudsters....so something had to be done, and in exactly the same way as a fraud builder or plumber would be.

Is that actually not a compliment? The government never recognised it before!
Fri,18 Apr 2008,22:02:27 GMT

Meercat said:

"Dave, I wrote 'They' describe the work of a Psychic. When something incorrect is said on radio, you incorrectly influence the listeners. You are so HOT on science and facts, that if you want to bring your point across correctly, make sure that people understand the terminology used correctly too."

As I have stated, the new legislation covers ALL of the practices.

"This has nothing to do with who's corner you are fighting, you are fighting yourself by allowing assumptions and conclusions to be drawn on incorrect information."

Strange then that you appear to be the only person who has commented on it?

"You want to approach it scientifically, fine by me but as quickly as you point out errors, you don't like to have them pointed out to you?"

I have no problem at all with errors being pointed out. I merely wanted to clarify that you misquoted me.

"Not much time on the radio to bring your issue across or yourself across? Has the idea of a 'celeb' status gotten to you?"

A person attack is a very poor way of arguing a point. Had I wished for 'celebrity status' I would not use an assumed name. I have never contacted any media institutions to 'get my point across', I was contacted by them.
Before you question the assumed name, I was a Police Officer for a number of years involved in a great deal of plain clothes work, getting 'celebrity status' as you put it would not be beneficial to myself or family.

"See an opportunity to make money out of this?"

No. I work for free, always have, always will.

"What is more important, getting your findings right on correct information, or force your findings on fraudulent information?"

And exactly which 'fraudulent information' have I used?

"May I ask you something? Did you ever pay for a reading? What is the foundation of you going to great lengths trying to find fault with spiritual workers? What has happened to you, that you are so hot on this..."

Yes I have paid for a reading, many times over the last twenty years or so. At one point I was a true believer, my Great Grandmother was a Psychic, as was my Mother. Once I found out how easy it was to recreate the readings I had been given, I realised that many people were being taken for a ride. The information that these people said had been coming from a particular dead relative, was in fact rubbish.

"Did you have a bad experience yourself or are you like a sheep merely following James Randi's tail?"

At the time I thought my readings were anything but 'bad', but now having studied cold reading, hot reading, Barnum statements and the Forer Effect I see them for what they are. Randi, in my book, is just another bloke. He has his own way of doing things. I have never met the man, nor had any dealings with him. What he does or thinks has no relevance on MY way of thinking.

"Clever man - this James Randi, has made a lot of money out of this..."

I'm sure he has. But I doubt he has ever charged for a non-tangible service.




Fri,18 Apr 2008,16:45:38 GMT

Yvonne Welch - The Source Spiritual Society said:

Dave,
I wrote 'They' describe the work of a Psychic. When something incorrect is said on radio, you incorrectly influence the listeners. You are so HOT on science and facts, that if you want to bring your point across correctly, make sure that people understand the terminology used correctly too.

This has nothing to do with who's corner you are fighting, you are fighting yourself by allowing assumptions and conclusions to be drawn on incorrect information. You want to approach it scientifically, fine by me but as quickly as you point out errors, you don't like to have them pointed out to you?
Not much time on the radio to bring your issue across or yourself across? Has the idea of a 'celeb' status gotten to you? See an opportunity to make money out of this? What is more important, getting your findings right on correct information, or force your findings on fraudulent information? A sword cuts both ways Dave...

May I ask you something? Did you ever pay for a reading? What is the foundation of you going to great lengths trying to find fault with spiritual workers? What has happened to you, that you are so hot on this...

Did you have a bad experience yourself or are you like a sheep merely following James Randi's tail? (Clever man - this James Randi, has made a lot of money out of this...) Like Warren said (Pegasus holistics) there are Rogues in any trade and yes even scientists.
Thu,17 Apr 2008,14:27:52 GMT

pegasus holistics said:

Why the obsession all of a sudden with spiritual people, people have
been lied to by the christian churches for 2000 years, they dont have to
pay tax, they get free accomodation, have more child abuse cases against
them than anyone and nobody says anything...... We as spiritual people
have over 10000 years of british heritage standing behind us in what we
do and you sceptics are simply just attacking something because you dont
understand it. We dedicate our lives to helping people and our own
lives, what are you doing with yours? parapsychologists study psychlogy
and then rather than helping people they dedicate there lives coming up
with scientific terms for things they simply cant explain or
understand... Yes we know there are fakes around, but they will
eventually be found out. Its like anything
as an ex builder i know there are a lot of poeple charging for dodgy
work which damages the reputation of the good builders! Same thing here.
Spirit is a fact, there are a lot of misconceptions with it but it
exists whether people like it, are afraid of it or simply feel
threatened by it. Anyone who would like to discuss further contact me
through my site www.pegasusholistics.co.uk. Warren
Thu,17 Apr 2008,11:51:44 GMT

Meercat said:

"No, you didn't but Donal did and you didn't correct him?
quote Donal: "If the Psychics can't foretell the future, you get you rmoney back?"
Your reply: "Absolutely" etc. etc."

I think you misunderstand my intentions, I was not there to 'fight your corner'. His comment was made in a general way as the new legislation covers not only 'mediums' but also people such as 'tarot card readers'.
Your article implies that 'I' said it, you should also take into account that during a few minutes interview, I'm hardly going to waste time on 'definitions' when the issue at hand is in fact financial.
Thu,17 Apr 2008,11:36:15 GMT

Yvonne Welch - The Source Spiritual Society said:

Hi Dave,
No, you didn't but Donal did and you didn't correct him?
quote Donal: "If the Psychics can't foretell the future, you get you rmoney back?"
Your reply: "Absolutely" etc. etc.
Thu,17 Apr 2008,09:51:34 GMT

Meercat said:

"Mr Anderson’s idea was that none ought to charge until it has been scientifically proven that either contact with Spirit is possible or that ‘fortune-telling is possible’ (Sorry, but that is how they incorrectly describe the work of a Psychic)."

I'M Dave Anderson and can I just clarify the fact that I NEVER mentioned 'fortune telling' during that interview. The interview is available to listen to on the BadPsychics website to confirm this.
Wed,16 Apr 2008,23:46:49 GMT

Fed Up said:

I went to the doctors the other day to have a passport signed and he wanted £25. I feel exploited for 5 seconds worth of work.
Wed,16 Apr 2008,20:09:17 GMT

Terri said:

Here here!!!! I believe you are paying for the time and overheads of the medium not the outcome. All types of therapists charge at least £40 per hour if not a lot more. I don’t believe in the view because it’s a “gift” people should do it out of love alone. As you so rightly say that doesn’t pay the bills! Now I know some of you out there will say they should get a regular job as well. Well I for one would prefer a well-trained and tuned medium to be doing what is his/her rightful job that is often not just their job but their vocation. All the mediums I know, and no I’m not one, have spent lots of time and money honing their skills and also use a lot of energy connecting with spirit. They often help people out with their troubles and grief and in my view most of them do an excellent job. I would rather they be doing that than doing a mundane task anyone can do. Priest’s get paid. Most of them are given accommodation as well. What I say is, don’t go and see a medium if you don’t want to pay! Nobody’s forcing anyone into having a reading are they?
Wed,16 Apr 2008,19:50:11 GMT
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