A Philadelphia man named Hector Ayala is on trial for raping one 15-year old and two 16-year old girls, allegedly tricking them into performing/receiving oral and vaginal sex in order to lift curses and avoid predicted misfortunes. The 15-year old has testified that the rapes began when she was just 13 and her home life was “getting complicated.” Ayala, age 59, was a family friend.
This is, obviously horrifying. Sadly, it’s also expected.
Of course, not all psychics (or even most, I hope) rape children. But, this horrific case does fit in with the usual modus operandi of the average psychic:
1. Identify a vulnerable person
This could be someone who has recently lost a close relative (hello, John Edward) or a young girl with a turbulent home life. Someone who is vulnerable will be looking for any kind of attention and validation, and will be more likely to buy whatever you’re selling.
2. Gain their trust
Get a TV show, dress up like a gypsy seer, offer a sympathetic ear, or just be a family friend.
3. Pretend to have supernatural powers
No psychic has ever proven under scientific scrutiny to have anything near to supernatural powers. Never. Ever. Therefore, it is perfectly safe to assume they are knowingly or unknowingly making it up. Ayala used tarot cards, but others have used crystal balls, “talking to the dead” acts, or faith healing.
4. Get what you want
For many professional psychics, the end goal is money, pure and simple. For others, they may just be seeking attention (like many of their victims, in fact). For Ayala, the end goal was sex and power over teenagers.
If Ayala is found guilty, I hope he goes to jail for a very long time. Because of the MO listed above, I’ve always been disturbed by psychics and their complete lack of humanity. In this case, it’s particularly frightening.