Fortune Teller Industry Needs Better Regulation
Apparently Eastpointe, MI, had a little problem with fake fortune tellers bilking citizens, so the city council passed an ordinance requiring psychics buy a $150 license to practice their craft.
To qualify for the license, which needs annual renewal, applicants must reveal any criminal background, operate within specific hours and fit the city’s definition of “fortune teller.”
That definition details quite extensively what qualifies as fortune telling, and lists acceptable tools, including crystals, coffee grinds and the occult, as well as proper usage of one’s powers, which can be summoned for “effecting spells, charms, or incantations, or placing, or removing curses,” among other things.
Here are the specifics in full. I’ve highlighted some of the more curious practices Eastpointe’s city council approved:
“Fortunetelling” shall mean the telling of fortunes, forecasting of futures, or reading the past, by means of any occult, psychic power, faculty, force, clairvoyance, cartomancy, psychometry, phrenology, spirits, tea leaves, tarot cards, scrying, coins, sticks, dice, sand, coffee grounds, crystal gazing or other such reading, or through mediumship, seership, prophecy, augury, astrology, palmistry, necromancy, mindreading, telepathy or other craft, art, science, talisman, charm, potion, magnetism, magnetized article or substance, or by any such similar thing or act. It shall also include effecting spells, charms, or incantations, or placing, or removing curses or advising the taking or administering of what are commonly called love powders or potions in order for example, to get or recover property, stop bad luck, give good luck, put bad luck on a person or animal, stop or injure the business or health of a person or shorten a person’s life, obtain success in business, enterprise, speculation and games of chance, win the affection of a person, make one person marry or divorce another, induce a person to make or alter a will, tell where money or other property is hidden, make a person dispose of property in favor of another, or other such similar activity.
Then there’s this addition: “Fortunetelling shall also include pretending to perform these actions.”
So, the city council passed an ordinance to root out phony psychics, and that ordinance condones “pretending” to be a fortune teller? Then they charge them to stay in business? That’s a great racket, guys. Miss Cleo would be proud.
That said, I suppose $150 is a small price to pay. If Eastpointe, which sounds suspiciously like Eastwick, were Salem circa 1692, the fortune tellers would be burned at the stake. A fee seems more reasonable, although not necessarily more just.