Though I now live and work in South Florida, I keep in touch with people up north, and make new friends throughout the world every day, thanks to modern technology.
It’s a blessing, especially when my friends keep me abreast of goings-on back home, and around the globe.
One story I have been following with interest is the arrest of “psychic” Sylvia Mitchell in Mystic, CT.
The New London Day was gracious enough to publish my letter to them regarding their early coverage of the story (text at the end of this post).
My friend Jim K. has been sending me clippings through the mail, and links through email.
This morning he sent me a link to today’s story in the Day. Connecticut has dropped their charges against Mitchell. It looks as though she is still facing charges in New York. I bet she will beat those, too. Every time a neon gypsy gets busted, they seem to find a way to get off free and continue their pernicious behavior.
What is a “neon gypsy?”
If you’ve ever been scammed by one, you know. If you are a legitimate metaphysical practitioner, you know.
Here’s how it works. You visit a psychic, perhaps one with a large neon sign in a storefront window. The psychic gives you a splendidly accurate reading, and zeros in on a particular worry in your life. She sees dark things, terrible things, things that can be averted . . . for a price.
Here are some neon gypsy scams I have personally witnessed in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida.
A woman troubled by her sexuality gave an expensive sports car to a neon gypsy to “cure” her lesbianism ( I met her new girlfriend shortly thereafter).
A man, grieving his late wife, gave four thousand dollars to unlock four gates so his wife could enter heaven.
An elderly woman with an incurable spinal disorder gave her life’s savings, $20,000, in hopes of having her spine straightened.
A man going through a divorce gave a car, an apartment and many thousands of dollars to a young, attractive neon gypsy to “remove the darkness” from her life so she would be able to be his new partner in the future. Unfortunately, the darkness got to her anyway, so she was unable to fulfill the relationship commitment.
A mother was worried about her son’s drug habit, and gave precious family heirloom jewelry to a neon gypsy to help with his recovery.
A young, impoverished single mother paid $900 for a magickal spell in hopes of her ex-husband returning to her.
A mother whose drug-addicted son committed suicide gave $3,000 to prevent her son from doing drugs in heaven.
If the neon gypsy cannot find a particular weakness to exploit, she might instead offer to lift the family curse. The family curse, of course, is the reason you lost your job, had a miscarriage, can’t find the right guy or had your car stolen. Whatever misfortune have befallen you, the family curse is the culprit. If it is not lifted, (for a price) you can be sure misfortune will strike again.
I have compassion for the otherwise intelligent people who fall for this. Fear is a powerful motivator. I suspect, too, that many folks don’t want to take responsibility for their own lives, and are happy to pay someone else to do it for them. Sometimes people are in such a place of spiritual poverty that the only hope they can find has a price tag.
I do believe in magick. I practice it, and teach it. I don’t believe in manipulation or exploitation. I know that magick can’t cure every ill, although it can give us the strength we need to handle every ill.
I also know that, in some cultures, spiritual leaders practice magick for a price in ways that are not as exploitive, and offer actual comfort. As in all ethical questions, culture is a factor.
For me, the difference is about fear, and using fear to manipulate. Magick, and psychic reading in general, should be about empowering the individual, and encouraging self-reflection and personal growth.
I worry sometimes that legitimate tarot organizations don’t address the problem of the neon gypsies as directly as perhaps we should. Do these practitioners have a legitimate place in our community? I personally don’t think so.
Neon gypsies live in more expensive homes than I do, and drive spiffier cars. They can afford to post bond and retain the best legal defense. For them, it is just the cost of doing business.
My letter to the New London Day, published 6/19/11)
I am responding to the article regarding Sylvia Mitchell, the “Mystic psychic” who has been charged with multiple counts of larceny. (“New York faced with difficult task in Mystic psychic case,” June 13.)
The Day outlined the legal problems associated with this troubling case. The scope of the article did not include the fact that there exist ethical, trained metaphysical practitioners who function differently than Ms. Mitchell.
Many people remember me as the “Resident psychic of Q105,” and later, the “Resident psychic of Jammin 107.7.” Readers such as Ms. Mitchell, and there are many, have been one of the biggest frustrations of my career.
The Day failed to make a distinction between practitioners like Ms. Mitchell, and practitioners like me.
I, along with other trained professionals, offer tarot readings at reasonable rates. We do not claim to solve impossible problems for a price. Instead, we offer perspective, insight and entertainment. We often volunteer our services in support of charities in the community.
I am disheartened to be lumped into same unsavory category as Sylvia Mitchell. That The Day did not research my industry and represent it fairly in the article makes me another kind of victim to Ms. Mitchell’s unscrupulous practices.
Editor’s note: The writer is a certified tarot grandmaster.
I have removed and closed comments on this post. I appreciate the many people who commented in support of me, and the many people who asked questions. I am happy to engage in dialog with anyone, but I now have a new appreciation of the kinds of aggressive, manipulative tactics people use to suppress the truth. What I have experienced on this post was an example to me of how fraudulent psychics use circular logic and bullying. If you have questions, look up the many arrest reports on file in towns all across the country, or visit this site: http://www.gypsypsychicscams.com. If you have been defrauded by one of these con artists do not be embarrassed and do not be afraid. Simply call the police.