Tomorrow, I am going to go visit a psychic.
There are at least 20 psychic shops set up within a five mile radius of my house so one won’t be hard to find. In fact, every new age and alternative practice is well represented in Hollywood. Some you may never even have heard of. Fantasy and faith runs deep in this town. It is after-all, the city were dreams are literally made into a reality every day.
I plan on visiting a few psychics.
Then, I plan on investigating some alternative health practices. I’m going to go get a ‘healing’ massage and have my palm read and my feet analyzed by a reflexologist and who knows what else. Maybe I’ll go talk to someone about all the mystery toxins that are apparently, everywhere and for some reason, concentrated in my body. I will take photos and report on my experiences.
Do I think it’s all unsubstantiated charlatanism? For the most part, yes. Am I going in with a skeptical mindset? Obviously. But I think I will be a better and more educated skeptic if I take the time to personally investigate these practices and the people involved, so that I can better understand the appeal and the techniques for grabbing peoples attention and their wallets. Honestly, I’m curious.
And that brings me to the main concern I have heard voiced again and again when I mention this project:
“Oh but you can’t give them your money. Then you are supporting them.”
Do you think it is better in this day and age to be an armchair skeptic? Is investigation a waste of time because it’s been done before and it is funneling money into a corrupt business? Can any good come out of paranormal investigating and reporting?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.