I’ve avoided this entry for a while. I’ve tried writing it a few times, and always trashed whatever I had down. I have avoided this topic for a while, because I wasn’t sure the reaction from certain people. Once read that reason will be clear. I hope that they understand why I had to write it, why I wrote what I did, and that it doesn’t alienate them too much. I hope they understand that I love them dearly, even if I don’t share the same ideas as them, and that when it comes to family, that doesn’t matter. But either way, here it is, for better or worse, come what may.
When you have a missing person, psychics seem to come out of the woodwork. It seems this field breeds a special type of person, who feels they can exploit distraught and grieving families desperate for any hope possible about their missing loved one. Many think these people will be their salvation, and end to their suffering. And with TV, books, movies, all proclaiming the joys of these people (Think Montell and his constant use of Sylvia Browne), it’s hard to not think it will work in your favor.
Before I delve into this subject, and I won’t get too in depth on the types, I need to add a bit of a disclaimer. Growing up I was surrounded by psychics. My mother at one point was even employed as one for years. She had a keen interest into this type of world. She did tarot cards, psychic readings, I Ching, herbalist (homeopathic remedies), gem/crystal work, chakra balancing, energy clearings, and Reiki. She also held a ministers license in the Aquarian religion. Those are just the ones I know of that she worked with. She for all I know could have done much more. Throughout much of my childhood she worked, and later so did I, at a new age bookstore that would hold psychic fairs and gem shows with a high regularity. I spent most of my summers working or partaking in the yearly summer solstice festivals. I will not name the book store, or the people involved. I am not one to really throw another persons beliefs around. I do not care what religion or what have you that others practice, as long as you are not hurting yourself or others.
That last sentence is very important. The things I listed that mom practiced she forced on no one. She accepted money for using these things in an entertainment purpose only. She was not one to run to the police, or seek out people to use these practices. People came to her. I remember many times her pointing out this was for entertainment only, not something a person should live and die by. Whether she always did this, I do not know. Yes I have met many a person to come back later and say whatever was foretold in the “readings” came to be in reality. Coincidences and lucky guesses happen. For a few years, on and off, I trained under these things too. They were fun – not to be taken completely seriously. The older I got, the more and more away from it I went. It was something to dabble with, but mostly very few knew I even knew how to do them. I do not claim to have any gift. Never have I, nor will I. I do not remember ever hearing mom say she had a “gift” but I can’t say for sure. It’s not my place to defend any of it, again, you may believe as you wish. I have my own thoughts on the matter, many very contrary to my mothers’. And when she went missing, whatever miniscule tangible facination I had with it vanished. It angered me more then anything, and people I grew up with, that I consider family, called to tell me their readings and visions, I lashed out in a very harsh way. I am in no way saying that someone somewhere doesn’t have a gift that goes against all science and logic, but there is no proof to back this up. Many institutions and TV shows have tried to test these people, and all have failed. The evidence that these people do more harm then good is overwhelming, and terrifying when you think of how many have been taken by them. Even if they do not charge a fee, which some will offer to do, ends up allowing more emotional turmoil then needed. Families of the missing will already be under enough strain, why add to it? If you are particularly religious, most faiths also have guidelines for dealing with what they refer to as “prophets”, and I believe the Dueteronomy lists the things used to “test” a person making such claims.
Before mom went missing, these things became a point of contention with us at times. Later it became comfortable, her accepting my lack of belief and her maintaning hers. Again, faith is different for every person. I knew it was important to her, she knew I prefered cold hard facts and science. In short, I have very little “faith” in anything unknown. What I classify myself as changes a lot, and that is not what I am here to talk about now – only mentioning to nip that conversation before it starts.
I do not believe in psychics. I do not believe in leaving my life, or at the time finding my mother, up to someones “gift”.
When mom went missing I had many a psychic – friends and strangers – contact me with the lovely “visions” and “readings” they had. Some of my favorites are:
1. Water faeries came in a vision to say she was in an abandoned car a block away from the intersection she was last seen at.
2. The spirits said she was near water.
3. She was near a dumpster, that might be the colors red/yellow/green, where pennant flags were visible.
4. She was thirsty, needed water, and couldn’t get it herself because she was injured.
Those are the first few we got. I had to laugh at the idea of the spirits and faeries giving off her location. Plus the near water thing? over 70% of the world is water. We are all near water. I live 30 minutes from a large lake – technically that means I live near water. The dumpster thing made me laugh as well. That covers almost every dumpster out there, especially in a city who used green ones by the company Waste Management – whose corporate colors were green and yellow.
This is a big thing with these people. You will get, always, vague descriptions that could mean anything and anywhere. Near water? Everyone is somehow near water. Again, you get vagueness. I shouted into the phone at one family friend, owner of the bookstore, that until she had a street address or a very distinctive location (IE store sign, park name, city) to not call me again. She seemed to understand, and honestly she was very, very, considerate to not call again. I know she only did to begin with because of her long years working with mom. Another friend called me too, expressed her discomfort with “reading” me, and I told her to just not waste her or I’s time.
Then the police got many from estranged family, and strangers. Some so hardcore in their beliefs that they practically harassed the officer with these readings and their distress with the police not acting on their “visions”. The detective and I were pretty much of the consensus that if that’s how we find her, cool, but we will stick mainly to real police work and my research. If a vision happens to help, then that’s how it works, but we will not ignore tangible solid evidence over it.
I’d like to believe that people are smarter then these psychics, that they know to do their research on ANYONE they deal with. That they are smart enough to google psychics and see that never (that’s NEVER) has one EVER closed a missing persons case thansk to their tips.
Let me repeat this. NO PSYCHIC HAS EVER SOLVED A MISSING PERSONS CASE. NEVER.
While many have great claims, never once have they solved a case. And they will come out of the woodwork. Before you even know what’s happening, many will contact you and say for so much money they will help find your family. I know one woman who wasted thousands on these scams.
A close friend was very insistent on obtaining the services of one famous psychic after mom went missing. She seemed determined to prove to me that this was the way to find mom, and if that’s what she needed ot believe, so be it. I provided my reasoning against it, explained I would not partake. She called many times, had many tips given. All of them were fruitless, all of them were obsurd. One of the tips even claimed mom has made it down to West Virginia and said we needed to focus our search there. The tips on WV changed from she walked there, to she had a boyfriend who took her there, to she caught a ride with a trucker. I played along enough to fax a copy of our report to that sheriffs office, but nothing more. And I never paid for any of these readings. I outright refused. I also outright refused to meet with any of them. Again, it was what that friend needed to cope, and I’m glad she didn’t spend a dime on the services, but it was not what I needed. I needed facts. After a while she seemed to lose interest in the whole matter, which made me feel better for her, that she was no longer putting stock in such crap and could finally begin to mentally process what was happening to us.
Just to show how fraudulant these people are. Recently I had a psychic named Rosie contact me on facebook. She claimed she had seen news stories on mom, and wanted to help find her… 7 months after mom’s body had been recovered and we had dna to prove the remains were hers. I played along, wanting to see how obsurd this woman was. After a few emails, as she told me of all her gifts, how many things she had achieved, she then asked me if I would want to employ her (pay her for readings). I told her that I would LOVE to have her help in finding momma, but I was short on funds. But luckily a distant relative I never knew I had had just emailed me, he was a Jordanian prince and needed help getting out of a bind. Once I gave him my bank account info he would wire thousands to me. I let Rosie know, that once I had this money I would only then employ her. I have not heard from her since.
Funny how many powers she had, she couldn’t gleam from the spirits mom was found so long ago. Normally when contacted by a psychic I would point out that their gifts weren’t that great if their tarot cards couldn’t inform them I thought they were full of crap. Normally that stopped the conversations right away.
Notice how I never said in all that that I contacted a psychic. They always found me. And they will find you. They feed off the agony they cause families. It makes them feel validated. And never once have psychics solved a missing persons case. I will keep repeating that. NEVER HAVE THEY.
And the ones who contact you are no different. No one has ever once solved a case, and the new psychic on the block sure as hell ain’t gonna either.
Sadly many will get taken, in their grief they will want any help, from anywhere, no matter how unseemly the source. It happens. We all want answers, and some get so desperate they don’t care who gives them to them. And sadly sometimes it takes loosing your savings before you wise up and realize you were had.
As with anything in life, and espeically a missing persons case, be aware of who you are dealing with. Do your research, check references and credentials. I still laugh when I remember the look on the face of one detective when my husband refused to even let him speak until he saw all his credentials. The same thing happened later with a reporter, who had to walk a block back to his car to get his press pass. My husband was very smart, and very protective. Everyone should be that way. I was so worn out by the time the reporters came around I didn’t think to ask to see his press pass.
Which leads me into another thing here. Always try and have someone with you who keeps a level head. I wasn’t mentally aware of things around me, being so worn down with stress and crying, not eating and not sleeping from the anxiety. My husband was there and kept me safe those first few weeks. Later I had friends keeping track of me. And they called me on anything that seemed not quite right. But I kept my husbands words in my mind at all times: know who I was dealing with and when. Make things on my terms, and stay safe. While I wasn’t one who allowed psychics in, I did almost fall prey to false advocates. But again, I did my research on them, asked around, and soon learned who I was really dealing with. I was lucky, I had real honest advocates keepin an eye on me too. And I am forever thankful for them.
Psychics are everywhere. They have their own time and place. If you’re looking for some fun, something as a goof that isn’t to be taken seriously and just want to see what’s up, then sure go to a fair and get a reading. Do not use it as tried and true. Do not spend money on something. Be outright and honest with your police agency and advocates when a psychic approaches you and they will lead you safely in the right direction when it comes to using those with “paranormal gifts”. They will advise you, and keep you safe. They will also protect your best interests, and yes you’re bank account, from these predators.
Now many might be thinking, they knew things no one else did! Well yes. But you gave those tidbits away, with a look, an intake a breath at the mention of something, or they got the information from the media or online. Many will research you first. Also, what you’re wearing can give you away. I wear mom’s ring, and it’s clear I don’t have children. The little piece of jewelry can give away that I am missing a mother who for some reason isn’t around. They use different tactics, like cold reads, or by having a possession of the missing person. Also they ask leading questions, read body language and the situation. They are nothing more then illusionists in this regard – a sideshow act, so to say.
If you have been taken by one of them, keep in mind you’re not the first. And sadly you won’t be the last. But we can all try to stop this from happening to another family, but speaking out about it. By keeping others aware of these scams. It takes a village sometimes, and with psychics this is one of those times. Do not feel that you are harming your case, or causing your loved one to not be located, because you refused a psychics assistance. They will guilt you and cause you to doubt yourself to make you want their help. YOU ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG by refusing. Again, it is a tactic to get you hooked. You cannot blame yourself because of their ill motives.
If I had listened to any of these psychics, I would never have found mom. Ever. None of them were close to where she was, or how she was found. She was not in a car, or near a dumpster, or thirsty. She was dead, and from what I understand was within hours of her disappearance. Later, when she was found, these people tried to call the detective and get him to admit they were right. In one case they were, because they were so vague the clue could have meant ANYWHERE on the entire Eastern coast.
Before this becomes a huge tome in and of itself, I want to reiterate the following. NO PSYCHIC HAS EVER SOLVED A MISSING PERSONS CASE EVER. And everyone must be aware of who they are dealing with at all times. Be aware, be safe, and be logical. If you can’t get someone to act as a sounding board for you, someone to guide you in the right direction when you can’t do it yourself; Whether that be an advocate, a family member or friend, or your police agency.
Quickly, if anyone has been lucky enough to read it on her orgs website, or sit through her presentation at a conferences, you know that Kelly of Project Jason has a great lecture on psychics and the missing. Her information is from personal expierence, and that of others she has dealt with. Am positive it is much more eloquent and informative then this post. This post was not meant to be a compelte guide, I did not list the various types of psychics, there are many. If you are interested in knowing more, research is availble in mass quantites online or through PJ.