Psychic Friends

I have a good friend who is a palm and tarot card reader. She is beautiful, sweet and funny, and despite our obviously different worldviews, we have managed to stay good friends for  many years. When I painted a painting about psychics, she agreed to be the subject. Before I shared it with the world, she came over to take a look at finished painting to give her approval.

"The Psychic" 2009 by Amy Davis Roth Acrylic on Canvas 3ftx4ft

During her visit, we had a conversation about her psychic powers and she told me essentially that she was more of an “intuitive”. She told me that the lines on your hands and face are a road map to who you are, where you have been, and where you are heading.

I asked her to tell me something about the future. She said she couldn’t predict the future; she can only warn people of where they might be heading. I asked here where the information comes from when she gives readings and if she has ever heard of cold reading. She told me that she is aware of cold reading but does not use it. She said there is energy all around us and just like a cell phone picks up waves, she too can tune in to certain energies to find answers and to give meaning to client’s questions. We went back and forth for a bit. I told her she had a profound misunderstanding of science and technology and that psychics are just scamming people for money. She smiled and told me that she inherited her abilities from the women in her family.

Then she got a call from a client who needed a private double reading done and had to leave. She approved of the painting and asked if I would make her a print. We hugged. Neither one of us had even slightly changed our opinion; both of us convinced that we are trying to help the world by spreading the truth in our own way.

I wrote a “reading” of my own that I put on the painting. It is meant for the viewer (that’s you).

As the moon begins to wane this month you may become more and more aware that things are not quite what you thought they were. Your house of finance may be threatened if you don’t come to terms with these new realizations. You may want to reevaluate where you stand in the world or you may find yourself disappointed. The truth is a slippery fish but the fishbowl it resides in is clear. You just must be willing to look. You may regret it if you let the chance slip by and remember, when the student is ready the teacher will appear, just be sure the teacher isn’t after your wallet. There is a new friend and a new foe around every corner and you will find them both. Put your trust into the outstretched hands of the wise and not the greedy or the uniformed. The future tells no tales. The cards and the stars are blind to your folly.

Detail of the Psychic. (Tarot Cards)
Detail of “The Psychic”

This experience has left me with a few questions. If you truly believe in what you are doing or if you simply don’t know any better, is it less of a scam? Is it a scam at all if you are just giving advice based on what you believe to be true? Is my friend a psychic or a life coach with props? And ultimately, can a skeptic and a believer stay friends?

Here is a 35 second video of me painting this painting. It is my first attempt at documenting the process of painting.

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. I think most psychics are scam artists and that a tiny fraction are are self delusional and possibly suffering from some form of mental illness. I don’t know if a skeptic and a psychic can remain friends but I am unwilling to say that something like that is impossible. Far stranger friendships have endured.

  2. She is not claiming to see the future, merely giving guidance that can apply to anybody. Self-reflection is not a bad thing. Friendships like yours are all about viewpoints.

  3. “And ultimately, can a skeptic and a believer stay friends?”

    Ugh.. so complicated (especially with significant others)… the answer is yes, but that means a lot of sacrifice that may not be fair to either people…

    Can they? Yes. Should they bother? Probably not.

  4. I think if someone genuinely believes in it, it’s not a scam per se; that doesn’t make everything groovy. First of all, if you’re providing a service you need to look carefully at what you’re selling, and represent it honestly to your customers. Second, of course, I just don’t get how anyone can seriously think that inanimate objects have some ability to point towards the future. (This, incidentally, is coming from someone who owns and uses a deck of Tarot cards – not for what I’d consider “woo” reasons, but as a way to stir up my own thoughts and make connections I might have overlooked, especially with regard to my writing. I can’t do readings for other people.)

  5. I read Tarot, but I don’t believe or present the idea that it’s mystical in any way. Mostly I give a general description of the card’s “meaning” based on Jungian archetypes that are in the images. Then I ask the subject what they see in the card, what image elements jump out, and so on. The position of the cards in the layout provides a general structure to provide the subject a context with which their imagination can form connections and so on.

    Pretty much the subject sees what they want to see in them, and I just shuffle and put the cards down. It’s purely entertainment as far as my readings go, and I never – NEVER charge anyone anything to do one.

    I’ve been reading them since sixth grade, by the way, and always the same way (though the idea of the Jungian Archetypes came in college)

  6. Awesome painting, and really cool watching you work. Seeing people being creative like that is always slightly trippy for me because I so can’t do it.

    I don’t think “scam” is at all an appropriate word for what your friend does, or what most people like her do. It sounds like she’s completely sincere and well intentioned, and probably gives her clients exactly what they want (and hopefully, in most cases, pretty much what they need).

    I suspect there comes a point where it would become her responsibility to know better, though – at the money Sylvia Browne charges for the services she offers, it wouldn’t matter even if I was convinced that she was pure of heart (or even had a heart to be pure at all). Wringing that much cash and emotional dependence out of people is just wrong, however successfully you’ve managed to delude yourself that you’re doing something worthwhile. But I don’t know where you’d draw the line.

    Clearly a skeptic and a believer can stay friends – you’re a skeptic, she’s a believer, you’re still friends, myth busted. But such a range of ideas and attitudes can be described by those two labels, it seems impossible to generalise.

  7. I used to know a woman who was a phone psychic. I still don’t know to this day if she believed in her hype or if she was just very dedicated to keeping up the front. The entire time I knew her, she was quite nice to me, but I was just never comfortable around her. I just stopped going to her place and didn’t email her anymore. It was making me too uncomfortable to bite my tongue all the time.

    I’ve known other people who are “psychic” and read tarot and they didn’t come across to me the way she did. They are kind people who actually try to help others. This woman looked at everything and *weighed* it to see what it would get her.

    So it depends on the people involved I think. There are friends of mine that I dearly love that will remain friends who read cards and use pendulums. People like that woman… no.

  8. @Indigo:
    I don’t think my friend is intentionally scamming anyone and I think she looks at the cards in a way that is similar to you, only she is convinced that there is true meaning in the randomness and that she somehow can connect into some type of deeper wisdom that exists in the form of “energy”. The problem I have with these readings she and other “initiatives” give is that it encourages a lack of critical thinking, promotes mysticism and ultimately the belief that we are not in control of our lives. I figure if she wants to help people make decisions then why not study psychology or psychiatry? Why fool around with parlor tricks that have no legitimacy?

  9. Amy, you always paint the most amazing eyes.

    I’m currently reading The Private Death of Public Discourse* a book that examines how illiteracy and the lack of book reading is contributing to the meanness of spirit that affects the US.

    The author postulates that books give us a rich inner life, a place where we can be open to other peoples ideas and approach a dialog with some give and take.

    Without this larger inner self, we can only take a stand on a position and insist that we are right, parroting things that we have heard. So there is no actual conversation, just an escalation of louder and louder fact-stating.

    So, If your and your psychic friend can continue to come together with an open mind, you can continue the conversation and stay friends.

    Or, you could just talk about other stuff. I’m willing to bet that she thinks 911, moon-landing and other hoaxes are hogwash. That common ground could lead to other examines of critical thinking.

    *One word review: depressing

  10. Sorry about my off topic post, but i think that skeptics and believers can totally be friends. I live in a household that has @ least 3 Woo believers and we get along just fine, i we stay off the topic. But I think that my skepticism has rubbed off a bit, some of them have stopped believing in homeopathy and most of the other “fringe” of the fringe “treatments”. The problem is that if they are believe in Woo, and practice it theres no way you can convince them otherwise.

  11. Amy, That picture is amazing. You are so talented. I will definitely be purchasing a print too. Do you sell the original paintings, as well?

    As far as the question goes: I think it all boils down to intentions. If they truly believe, and they truly think they are trying to help, they are not scammers.

    However, they still shouldn’t do what they do, because there is the very real chance that they could hurt someone. Emotionally despondent people, especially those that believe in magic (and thus, can shift blame to outside forces), are vulnerable. An innocent “reading” could lead the client to make decisions that lead to disaster.

    That was depressing to type. However, I do LOVE the painting!

  12. If you truly believe in what you are doing or if you simply don’t know any better, is it less of a scam?

    I think a sceptic would answer no, it is still a scam; a true believer, yes, it is not so much a scam.

    And ultimately, can a skeptic and a believer stay friends?

    Based on my experiences (and perhaps yours) there seems no reason why they can’t. They just have disagreements.

  13. @Amy: “I don’t think my friend is intentionally scamming anyone and I think she looks at the cards in a way that is similar to you, only she is convinced that there is true meaning in the randomness and that she somehow can connect…”

    I don’t think it matters if a psychic is pure of heart or not. As soon as they claim “I can help you” the psychic incurs legal and ethical liability. It the advice they offer is trivial like “Avoid people named Dave” then they probably won’t hurt anyone. If their advice is “Stop taking insulin” I hope they go up on murder charges.

    What is it with reading Tarot and tea leaves and palms? If you’re going to get into the psychic business why not make it interesting and read nipples or public hair? “Either your life will be cut tragically short or it is very cold in here.”

  14. @ThatMDude:
    I do think skeptics and believers can be friends and I like to think that skeptics can be a wonderful influence on believers as long as we don’t act like know-it-alls. If we just share factual information when appropriate we might seed the minds of those around us who will at some point take the information and incorporate it as their own and we as skeptics might learn a thing or two about patience and the journey towards a more educated future.
    ((((group hug))))))

  15. Way back when, for a number of reasons, I had a reputation for being a psychic. This not because I presented myself that way. I never made any money from this reputation in any event. I wasn’t even quite sure I was psychic.

    But the fact is that I “knew” things about people; things they hadn’t told me and that I had no way to know on my own. I also made a lot of predictions that turned out to be true; again, things I could not have arranged the outcome for, and therefore had no way to know in advance that they’d come to pass.

    Over time, though, I figured out what was going on. I was simply very observant and perceptive. I picked up small cues from people, and saw hints in their behavior, without even being aware of it all the time.

    You could say, then, that I was cold-reading and possibly warm-reading them. But honestly, I wasn’t always aware I was doing it.

    The way I discovered this is when I was talking to a friend while we sat in a city park. I saw a young woman and remarked, to my friend, that she must be waiting for her boyfriend. About 10 seconds later a young man walked up, they kissed, and walked away. The person I was with asked me how I knew that … and I told her.

    I knew she was waiting for an opposite-sex person by the way she was carrying herself and looking around. I knew it must have been a boyfriend ’cause I saw no wedding or engagement ring on her hand. And on it went. Lots of little cues that added up to “girl waiting for boyfriend.”

    I no longer consider myself “psychic” (if I ever did!), but I can see how there are people who do believe they are “intuitives” like your friend. It is very possible to be “reading” people, and figuring out things about them, without even being overtly aware of it.

    While I’m convinced there are psychics who are frauds, especially those who are the most vocal about it and make the most money on it, I’m not sure it’s fair to say that all are. Nor would “self-delusional” even be a fair term for what they all are … since if they’re like me, their experiences may lead them to conclude they’re psychic.

  16. @PsiCop: Interesting i have met people like this tough they seem not to consider themselves psychic… hmm you put forward a point to that they may attribute their “attention to details” psychic powers

  17. @Gabrielbrawley:

    Self-deluded, sure, but you don’t have to be mentally ill to believe you have psychic powers. I’d say that most people who have an honest belief that they possess a 6th sense are perfectly sane, otherwise reasonable people.

    I’d even go as far to say that I think most people trying to make a living off of their “powers” are people who honestly believe in what they’re doing.

  18. The Pope probably truly believes. Does that make him any less of a scammer?

    Many Creationists certainly truly believe. Does that make any of them any less of a scammer?

    The guy who owns that goofball “museum” that PZ Meyers and his crew went to visit, probably truly believes. Does that make him any less of a scammer?

    Are we now giving self-delusion a free ride because we have friends who are happily self-deluded?

    I guess I am cynical and confused.

  19. One of my friends is Wiccan and not one of those groups of teenagers who do it for fun, she was raised this way. We tend to focus on other things like our mutual love for civil rights and feminism.

  20. I knew a woman once, who, after graduating with a BSW was unable to get a job in her field. Her solution was to practice cold reading for a couple of weeks, then she set up a psychic hotline. She used the cold reading to build trust and learn what she could about the person, then applied her training to give them the advice they were looking for. It paid the rent until she got the job she wanted.
    Except for the phone line, she didn’t pretend to be psychic in any way. Was she scamming?

  21. @Skepotter: @SicPreFix:
    I suppose we have to look at intention. In my opinion, if you do not purposely intend to mislead someone then you are not running a scam you are just deluded. This doesn’t justify the person’s actions but I think it sheds a bit of light on the types of personalities we are dealing with.

  22. If skeptics and believers can’t be friends then the world will have a lot of trouble making any progress. We have to be able to have conversations with people who’s viewpoints differ from our own. That is what keeps life interesting. Sure, there will be a level of closeness that cannot be reached because you will disagree on issues that are near and dear to each parties hearts, but doesn’t that make the friendship all that more important? It might not be an easy relationship to maintain, but I think it’s vital to the progression of society, as well as teaching tolerance and compassion on an individual level. You’re friend isn’t a bad person, just misguided. And she’s lucky to have you in her life.

    Awesome painting. Love seeing you’re creative process. I’m now trying to think of a cool way to show how a poem takes shape over the course of multiple drafts/editing.

  23. I am a scam artist. I am a graphic artist and illustrator for an aerospace company whom I have scammed into thinking what I do is incredibly hard and noone else could possibly do it as well as I can.

    I don’t think it’s working. But they love me anyway cause I’m gorgeous, witty, and cheap.

  24. Very beautiful painting! I also agree with what laurae said. Pretty much all of my friends are believers to some extent, but i can understand better because i used to be a believer myself. I know it can be hard to be their friend at times, especially if something negative happens to them (such as getting conned out of a good deal of money). When i look for a friend, it isn’t whether they are a skeptic or a believer really, but moreso what kind of person overall are they. Are they someone i can get along with or are they very ignorant? I knew someone who gave me a tarot reading before and i wasn’t a skeptic back then, but i never really believed in that stuff. I just viewed it as something fun to do for a laugh. Of course, money wasn’t involved then though. I don’t think anyone should be scammed out of their money.

  25. Is it a scam to sell a car that is a lemon even if you think it’s great?

    No, it’s not but you are sill screwing a customer that is expecting one thing and receiving another.

    While I have more patience for a believer that performs readings it’s still a misrepresentation and depending on the advice being given could be harmful. I’m reminded of a discussion with a friend that knows a homeopath. This homeopath knows what she’s doing is fake but claims it makes people feel better and would always refer patients to a doctor if they needed one.

    How does she know when a person needs a doctor? She’s a quack offering sham advice and that’s just plain wrong, no matter what the justification.

  26. I would say that it is a scam: she is scamming is herself.

    I also have to agree with
    @Ayche. There’s nothing wrong with schilling your wares every now and then, especially amongst such a willing and appreciative audience, but maybe not with every post? Also more transparency would be good; rather than:

    “here’s a story about this painting (which incidentally you can buy)”

    you could go with:

    “here’s this painting you can buy! (and incidentally a story about it).”

    Anyway I hope I’m not being too narcy. I realise that art is a big part of who you are and what you do day to day, so it’s only natural that you’d blog about it. And I do think the painting is great. Art is a great hole in the skeptical / atheist movement. Religion has produced so much great stuff, but we don’t have much to show for ourselves (yet).

  27. She didn’t even have prints up for sale yet, it was only people in the comments asking about buying it that she referred them to where they could. More of “I did this painting and here’s the story behind it because it’s interesting and relevant to this blog”. Selling it wasn’t mentioned until Gabrielbrawley asked how much a print would be. Imho, Ayche and The 327th Male are just being bitchy.

    Also, I seem to be the only one who noticed that it’s pretty awesome and openminded of your believer friend to agree to model for that kind of painting, that’s basically calling her a liar. Props to her for that.

  28. I believe the question “is it still a scam if you truly believe it yourself” sort of relates to the question “are you truly breaking the law by speeding even if you didn’t know the speed limit for the area you’re driving through”.

    In my opinion, ignorance of the law is not an excuse, only a mitigating factor. So the answer to both is “YES”.

    The law is (as it should be) blind to your motives for scamming people, even if unintentionally. Ignorance of the truth behind palm reading / tarot / staring into a crystal ball / etc… doesn’t mean you’re not scamming people with cold reading even if you’re unaware of the fact that’s precisely what you’re doing. People are still losing money thinking you have a mystical connection to the afterlife or the stars. Clearly, you do not, ergo they have been deceived.

  29. @Ayche: How is this post in any way an “advertisement?” The only conversation about buying anything came from answering a commenter’s question. The post itself a personal story involving what she does for a living, and it makes a lot of sense her job would play a big part in what she has to write about, as it does for the rest of us.

  30. @Ayche: She wasn’t advertising the painting. I was just really taken with it and was asking her house much a print would be and how I could get one. Hardly and advertisement. If I could afford the original I would have bought it yesterday.

  31. scam artist (plural scam artists)

    1. A person who attempts to defraud others by presenting a fraudulent offer and pretending that it is legitimate; a con artist.

    You’re friend is not a scam artist. She is misguided and perhaps naive.

  32. @Gabrielbrawley:

    I think most psychics are scam artists and that a tiny fraction are are self delusional and possibly suffering from some form of mental illness.

    I don’t think that people need to be suffering from mental illness to fall for a delusion like thinking they are psychic (I won’t even bother to complain about your using mental illness as an insult). Every single person is prone to confirmation bias, even skeptics. I actually used to think I was psychic when I was a child, but eventually I realized that it was a combination of intuition, strong empathy, a talent for recognizing patterns, and ultimately, confirmation bias. I may have been delusional, but that doesn’t mean I was crazy. A lot of psychics don’t have the benefit of the same education I had. (On a tangent – I think everyone would benefit from an intro social psychology course.) It’s very, very easy to fall for stuff like this. Have you heard of the Forer effect?

    Is everyone delusional who falls for it?

    What about Clever Hans?

    Were his trainers delusional for believing there was something more than just subconscious signals?

    While psychics take this to a more extreme level, I think it’s basically the same thing. I don’t think we need delusions to explain something as simple and common as the confirmation bias.

  33. @Ayche: @The 327th Male:

    I never said my painting was for sale and it’s true that I don’t even have prints available yet. Yes, I linked the image to my website (which we would do with anyone’s work we posted). The post itself was not about me selling my work, the post was about me painting a painting about my friend who is a psychic. I am an artist for a living, it’s what I do everyday. If someone asks me about purchasing something I kindly direct them to my website so we can discuss it off the blog. I appreciate the people who want to support what I do. It’s not easy making a living as an artist. My posts are often going to focus around my work because it is who I am and what my life is about. I am also a skeptic who loves science. Would you be upset at a scientist for posting about science because you would assume they are trying to get funding for future research? I would also like to point out that I am new to Skepchick and I have only posted a 5 times. One of those posts was about Whoopi Goldberg and another was about John Travolta. Wouldn’t you then assume that I am trying to get a movie gig as well? I do live in Hollywood.

  34. @catgirl: I wasn’t trying to use mental illness as an insult. I was trying to say that a person with mental illness is more likely than someone without mental illness to beleive strange things.

    I still think that someone who continues to believe in something when all of the available evidence refutes that belief is deluding themselves.

    An adult who still believes in Santa Clause is delusional.

    It is one thing to believe in something when there is no evidence to contradict that belief. It is very differnt to believe something when there is no evidence to support that belief and all of the available evidence contradicts your belief.

    And as too your second point. It is hard to convey tone. I hope this doesn’t come off as angry or being a jerk.

  35. I don’t want to accuse Amy of anything, but I agree with @Ayche & @The 327th Male. An unusually high concentration of posts seem to be about something for sale. The approach–“here’s a story that, on the surface, has nothing to do with ceramics and all the ceramics I made about it”–strikes me as disingenuous, too.

    And I know Amy didn’t offer the prints for sale in the post; but it’s funny, maybe I’m cynical, but when I was reading it I was thinking “how many comments before someone takes the bait and asks what prints cost.” I got a laugh when it was the first one.

    Just sayin’.

  36. Uh, dude? That post with the ceramics was the ceramics she made about it AND DONATED TO THE CAUSE SHE WAS WRITING ABOUT, not something she was selling. Take the stick out of your freaking arse.

  37. All caps is how people type to indicate that they have turned their rational up a notch.

    No need to get upset about it, we’re all friends here.

  38. So I’ve been thinking about how some people reacted to the questions regarding whether her friend is or is not a scam artist. Perhaps I’m overly sensitive to tone in comments (maybe even reading into them too much) but it seems some people have reacted with disgust. I’m on the side that her friend needs compassion because she’s been wronged too. Her friend has been duped into thinking she has a power she clearly doesn’t have.

    The way I see it, her friend is exactly the kind of person skeptics are trying to help. I mean, that’s why we go to the trouble of calling ourselves skeptics right? To raise awareness that anyone is capable of being duped. To keep people from falling into traps that might harm themselves or others. It’s the same as a friend who is buying into a pyramid scheme. Should we vilify people who have been sold a bill of goods? Or should we try to find common ground and move toward a greater understanding of one another in the hopes that we ALL might learn something? I would like to think that skeptics are willing to take the time to educate people – because if you aren’t, why even bother calling yourself a skeptic?

    Just my two cents.

    Also: @Amy: I’m really glad you are writing for Skepchick. I love all the other writers too, but it’s great to have creative people represented in the skeptic community. I hope more creative/artistic skeptics will come out of the closet (so to speak) – I think it can only lead to great things. Yay!

  39. @Ayche ,@The 327th Male and @noreply : Seriously? Where in the post does it state that Amy is selling something? Where is she implying that she wants you to buy this painting or ask for prints of it? The painting is relevant to the post. She is an artist. That’s her background. Of course she’s going to reference it!

    I don’t understand how that is what you nitpick on. It’s a good article, it’s an interesting topic. Who gives a flying flip if people are going to ask her where they can get a copy of the painting?

  40. @NoReply:
    The skeptical community is the audience for this painting. Within the immediate image are inside jokes near and dear to skeptics. So it’s natural that both the painting and the ideas that floated around during its creation would be presented here. This painting ties in with the attitudes here & the question was appropriate for this blog.

    Oh but that’s not the point. She is trying to cash in on her work. Ok, what exactly is wrong with that?

    If Amy happens to get some sales out of this post, then bully for her. There is NOTHING wrong that. It only shows that the painting works, it resonates with its intended audience. Which is the fucking point of art.

    Many times psychics will accuse James Randi of making a buck off his debunking activities. His response is always “Yes and so what?” Making a living off something you love is not a crime. It does not negate the work that you do.

  41. By no means do I intend to discourage Amy from being an artist or selling her creations to skeptics. But, I also believe there’s a time and a place for hawking one’s wares, and all this product placement detracts from Amy’s articles
    and, frankly, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I just think there’s a difference between writing from an artist’s standpoint and referencing
    your own products wherever you can, just to get them seen.

  42. @Ayche:
    So by your rationale, my post would be more interesting and relevant without the photos of the work and without the video, and that is not intended to discourage me from being an artist.

  43. Nice painting!


    I do much the same thing. While I originally bought a deck to piss off my mother (who is a devout Christian), I found they were a really good conversation starter for people. Really, since they’re based on archetypes, you can see just about anyone you want in them. And they’re a good way to get people to talk about things if they need to.

    I think there’s a fine line between a scam and someone genuinely helping someone else. I think its a scam if you make promises you can’t keep, but if you are providing someone with a way of talking about something that is troubling them–that’s a service.

  44. @Ayche: FWIW I read the article and thought nothing of Amy selling a thing.

    I have however read (and later mostly skimmed) countless comments bitching about what should or should not happen on this site.

    IMO if it’s an issue it should be Rebecca’s issue. She is the one that should dictate what is or is not advertised on this site.

    It’s like TV folks. If you don’t like the ads, go to the bathroom.

  45. @Jill:

    I agree completely with Jill, I do not think any part of Amy’s post was geared towards too much advertising (or any at all, really…).

    That being said, I personally love the opportunity to find nifty artistic things with a skeptical theme. Please advertise these things to me, hardly anybody else in the world is.

  46. Strange, I never got the feeling that I was being pitched to. I would’ve expected the price to be listed if that was the case. As Jill said, Amy’s an artist, so what she writes about is going to come from that perspective, just like Evelyn’s posts come from her perspective as a geology student. The painting was perfectly relevant to what Amy was talking about here, so I fail to see what the problem is.

  47. @Amy: Sorry, I was probably overreacting a bit. You see some devious things when it comes to advertising, so I tend to put my guard up when I think someone is trying their pitch.

    I remember reading wil wheton’s blog and seeing all these “” links and finding out that he was being paid to promote them. It’s icky.

    But I realise that you are just a small independent artist, the kind of thing we should be promoting rather than tearing down.

  48. Recently I suffered through a kidney stone, and it coincided with my birthday so imagine how bummed I was. As I was suffering I recieved a package from Amy, it was an FSM pendant with the sweetest card. I was really needed the smile that it brought, I only hope to be worthy of such friendship. She sent it without asking for anything in return, and that was all the way up here in Canada.

    Here’s a pic

    I don’t see a problem if Amy showcases her work, I love them and she does need to eat too.

    And Amy I’ve got a great big Canadian hug for you and Johnny next time we meet :)

  49. Your painting is wonderfully crafted.

    Regarding whether or not your friend scams others … no, in my opinion, she does not scam for I think scam infers intent to deceive. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have capacity to do harm. If the person seeking her services uses her services when what he/she truly needs is a counselor , physician, or even a psychiatrist, then that’s a potentially harmful detour. Hopefully , your friend is savvy enough to recognize when a person needs a more conventional pathway to healing.

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