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UK Psychics Fined

Submitted by on June 26, 2013 – 7:00 AM15 Comments | 534 views

Okay, hardly an alert, but in a story that comes as absolutely no surprise to most everybody but the psychic community…

From The Register

Telly psychics fail to foresee £12k fine for peddling nonsense
By Bill Ray, 24th June 2013

Insert ‘didn’t see that coming’ gag here

Oh, I will

Psychic TV has been fined £12,500 for failing to remind viewers that it’s all nonsense, while interactive quiz channel The Big Deal got stung with a 10 grand fine for advertising the service – something neither of them saw coming.

The broadcast breached Ofcom’s latest guidance for flimflam artists: that they must regularly remind viewers they’re talking bollocks, both in words and on-screen banners, and that claims of efficacy aren’t permitted. Both Psychic TV and Big Deal managed to breach both those clauses.

The broadcast claimed psychics could provide “accurate and precise” readings for those who called in. Presenters provided evidence in the form of anecdotes about previous successes (which isn’t allowed) and claimed to have worked for various police forces in solving crimes, specifically in connection with the murder of Milly Dowler, which is also verboten – if only because it isn’t true.

Ofcom can’t ban psychics from appearing on TV, and dial-in TV is a burgeoning industry right now, so the regulator erects a maze of legislation requiring broadcasters to constantly remind viewers that it’s all a bit of fun and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

I have to say, the motto of the Register strikes a warm feeling for me, writing the sorts of articles that we do here.

Biting The Hand That Feeds IT

Used to be that psychics and other frauds depended upon information not being available to the general public. At first maybe it seemed like the Internet would be a new way to peddle their fantasies, and it will probably always
remain that way. But that has become a two edged sword as it also becomes the way to get the word out about the bs they regularly peddle.

Maybe they should all stick to being pet psychics, after all, Fluffy, Rover, and Mr Bubbles cant actually tell you what the psychic is saying is absolute garbage.

But then…

You will just about as much luck. I could barely ever beat that chicken who played Tic-Tac-Toe on the boardwalk.

Any psychics out there who need to contact me can do so.

[email protected]

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Henry Paterson

Editor at GhostTheory
I would like nothing more than the proof of various cryptids, alien civilizations, even alien visitors to be found. But that proof will come only through rigorous science and objective analysis, and by holding evidence to the highest standards of scrutiny. Born in south eastern Pennsylvania, i have found myself at one time or another living in Chicago, Cleveland, Raleigh-Durham, on the island of Kaua'i and finally landed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. I have turned my hand to various professions from early work in 3d graphics to historic building restoration, carpentry and log home building to working in a bronze art foundry on the WWII Veterans Memorial. Currently I am a writer, script writer and working for a non profit organization called Empowerment Through Connection which is involved in equine assisted therapy for veterans, at risk teens and women.

Latest posts by Henry Paterson (see all)

  • IThinkso

    Jackpots?

  • anthem

    hmm, do they make the same requirement of religious programs. Why is one belief more valid than another, especially when it has to do with something that cannot be proven. How is a minister claiming to hear or speak to god any different than a psychic claiming to speak with the dead? I’m all for the disclaimer of “only entertainment” but then let’s apply the rule to everyone that can’t prove their claims.

  • IThinkso

    Genuine psychics cannot provide part of a correct piece from the large puzzle is unproven. But to expect them to be as deterministic as a digital machine, has been proven.

  • BW

    Had to laugh at the banner ad running on this page right above this article. The ad is for online gambling.

    Rather the mixed message — it is okay for online shysters to take the money of gullible people but not okay for those who call themselves psychic to do so.

    Makes it hard to take this article seriously.

    Cheers

  • http://GhostTheory.com/ Henry

    At least with gambling you know there is no guarantee, the psychics tell you otherwise, that is the point.

  • Henry

    No argument here.
    Of course it could easily apply to a lot of the News as well.

  • Semper_5

    Er… I think they’re both designed to exploit the weak, the desperate and the gullible in order to turn a buck, no? In any case I would say the data is demonstrably more damning of the effects of gambling on the individual, families, and society – than television entertainer/physics.

  • BW

    For me, the fine depicts (again) society’s hypocrisy. Gambling houses, as far as I know, are -not- required to point out that clients are very much more liable to lose money than to win. Yet, in the U.K., the “psychics” get publicly fined for not stating that their “product” is only entertainment. Semper’s comment below is on-target.

    I would also not be at all surprised to learn that on occasion, U.K. authorities engage the services of “psychics” — police, and perhaps, the military as well. Their kingdom is, after all, a hotbed of ghost stories — indicative of a national outlook that positively nurtures the paranormal. Perhaps the authorities who fined the TV psychics didn’t feel like they were getting a cut of the action.

    Cheers

  • Semper_5

    You’ll find the astronomical statistics against winning are available in most places that offer slots, poker &c. As are flyers offering helplines for addicts. Neither make much of a difference, and are offered to placate regulations and cover the venues legally – much the same as all these psychics advertise themselves as “entertainers” which seems to have no bearing on their audience’s ability to suspend disbelief – facts are irrelevant to the person who has a vested interest in believing otherwise. For the gambler it’s rationalizing digging downwards to exit a hole, for the psychic “believer” it’s slapping a band-aid on the existential horror that creeps in as we become more self-aware with age and experience and go looking for “answers”.

    In regards to hypocrisy – gambling (online and off) is heavily taxed and bankable revenue stream for a lot of
    Governments – and websites – whereas TV psychics are as much a niche market as Rock and Roll and Star Trek. It’s not so much a double standard as backing the faster horse. As I pointed out above though – one of the two is more demonstrably “evil” in it’s social damage. While the other, if only for the placebo-effect, offers comfort to some people I suppose.

  • BW

    I’ve made comments before about what I believe is a hypocritical attitude on the part of society when it comes to the paranormal. A lot of people pile on those who report UFOs — but are perfectly happy to ignore the sheer volume of reports and what that may portend for the overall mental health of society (and other “downstream” implications.) Likewise, the U.K. govt fines psychics but probably consults them on other occasions when it suits them to do so. I recognize my desire for a consistent approach is not particularly realistic but, still, it irritates all the same.

    Cheers

  • Semper_5

    Re: UFOs – I don’t think anybody doubts that people see things in the sky. The debate usually stems from the interpretation as fantastical rather than logical. I’ve pointed out elsewhere that there is an demonstrable improvement of witnessed UFO technology from the second world war onwards that would be concurrent with the test phases of own later revealed battle-field technology – Stealth tech, drones &c. But that’s just one explanation and may well be incorrect as well.

    Re: Psychics – While I can’t categorically rule out all psychics as frauds – though it’s seems bizarre not one prize amongst the many have ever been claimed – ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prizes_for_evidence_of_the_paranormal ) – I would imagine at least a majority of the psychics on Psychic-TV are just doing it to make a buck. I mean the other half of the studio is the porn channel – I don’t think the producers are too concerned one way or the other where the revenue comes in. I personally would love to see legislation written against making false claims, but it will never happen – as marketing and government rely on certain legal loop-holes when making false product/campaign claims ( outlined in this humorous and bile-inducing article: http://www.cracked.com/article_19485_5-outrageous-lies-companies-are-legally-allowed-to-tell-you.html )
    You’ll find that the attorneys for the psychics will toe this very line in their defense.

  • BW

    I cannot accept Lord Trefgarne’s view that there is no Defence interest in this case. Unless Lt. Col. Halt was out of his mind, there is clear evidence in his report that British airspace and territory were intruded upon by an unidentified vehicle on two occasions in late December 1980 and that no authority was able to prevent this. If, on the other hand, Halt’s report cannot be believed, there is equally clear evidence of a serious misjudgement of events by USAF personnel at an important base in British territory. Either way, the case can hardly be without Defence significance. — Ralph Noyes, commenting on the Rendlesham Forest incident.

    Mr. Noyes stated what I think about many of the reports of paranormal activity and the corresponding responses by authority. It is all sort of a “let’s have our cake and eat it, too.” But Noyes went on to say that he thought that this cover-up is of ignorance and unease — meaning that authority has no idea what is going on but also has no real desire to state such unambiguously to the public.

    Cheers

  • Semper_5

    A foreign government with classified and unidentified spy planes over your country would be equally as uncomfortable to deal with, no? And if it’s internal just because one part of the Army or Navy or whatever is testing equipment doesn’t mean every soldier down to the grunt is briefed. It’s entirely possible that there is nothing to tell on UFOs but for classified test-flights that may indeed have wandered into foreign air-space – and would make for unnecessary outrage/chest-beating sessions from the folks who owned the land beneath that foreign airspace if released to the public. Just because it’s secret doesn’t mean it’s interesting. Perhaps a small percentage is truly unknown by everyone involved – but I’d bank on most being human beings being human beings. Though I read this page – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%B6kk%C3%A1lfar_and_Lj%C3%B3s%C3%A1lfar – on Wikipedia today while looking up a word – and thought it sounds an awful lot like both angels and demons, and the various aliens getting round in Whitley Streibers head. Who knows, huh.

  • BW

    It is worth looking over the material on David Clarke’s page regarding the 1956 incident at Lakenheath. In that specific case, my guess is that the radar was getting false returns because of heavy weather.

    On Noyes’ comment in general, it is for me another data point. He spent a long time in the MoD and saw his share of radar tracks, interceptions, etc. He also was quite interested in UFOs after he left government service. Once again, who knows . . . but his comment on how determinations are made in one sense but equally damning information is ignored in the same case is for me a classic example of how the “authorities” react to something they can’t (or won’t) explain.

    Cheers

  • Semper_5

    An ex-government man getting into UFOs could be explained by strictly psychological/behavioral means. Either deeds rendered while part of the MOD where abhorrent enough to make him look upwards and outwards to make the universe both stranger and wider, so he wasn’t just one man alone amongst many in an indifferent universe, playing solitaire with a deck of morally ugly deeds done for petty favor in a job. Or, because of his status as glorified file-clerk in the MOD it gave his very human ruminations on the meaning of life and the supernatural a modicum of credibility – and he dug the attention. Thirdly it’s possible he was still working for the MOD, and it was a public disinformation campaign to just place doubt around the situation and allow them to put spy-planes in foreign airspace without fear of starting WW3. Maybe it’s a mix of all these things. Like Uncle Gabby said the way to tell truth from fantasy is “If it wonderful and interesting it’s made up. It’s it’s ugly and ordinary it’s real.”