Not only is it full of churches, we've abundant "woo-woo" places that peddle snake-oil treatments, false hope and dangerous ideas. Fortunately for those suffering from the benefits of modernity - waste management, clean water, health care, vaccinations, sanitation - and that forget everything that science and evidence have brought us because they're not reminded of the "good old days" when people died of preventable diseases or, the even luckier, didn't even make it through childbirth. These same people who, today, suffer from TWS (thick wallet syndrome) have a great new place to go to have their money exchanged for deceit.
Sarnia's recently opened "Mystic Mind" store in downtown Sarnia is willing to take your money if you'll only believe the bullshit they're selling. Reflexology is prominently advertised on their facebook site - so if you like getting your foot rubbed while someone claims they're doing magic medicine but achieving no objective health improvements, they've got you covered.
In addition, they advertise Reiki - I've summarized Reiki previously (It's bullshit.)
And finally, a blog favourite, psychic readings. Robbie Thomas (of http://robbiethomas.sarnia.com fame) and Darin James have done "readings" at the Mystic Mind - Darin's even their "resident" or "house" psychic. I'm sure, at $80 an hour, the owners of Mystic Mind are simply hopng that some trusting people will kick them some coin to have Darin lie to them and replace their real memories with fake ones or will have Darin give them false hope/direction when it comes to important life decisions. Psychic readings are not for entertainment only - that is their quack warning simply to get them out of legal responsibility for their lies - people who attend psychics are often not there for "fun". Who honestly believes that someone "communicating" with your dead relative should be doing so (pretend it is even possible) for a laugh?
If you haven't seen Penn & Teller's Bullshit! television series, it is a must see! In the very first episode they cover "Talking to the dead" and after showing some clips of people getting "readings" or having a "medium" "communicate" to deceased relatives, Penn says:
Before we bust up this party- and god dammit we're gonna bust it up- we have to make it very clear where our hearts are. We have nothing but empathy for the people who are experiencing the loss and grief of the death of a loved one. That guy who lost his mom rips my heart out. I'm a momma's boy whose mom died a couple of years ago, and I'll never get over it, and my dad died at around the same time, and I was very close to both of them. I loved them so much there isn't a moment that goes by that I don't miss them. Houdini didn't really go nuts busting these mediums until he lost his mom. Once you've felt that pure grief, seeing it exploited can take away your sense of humor. Once a loved one has died, all we have is our memories of them. There is nothing more precious to me than my memories of my mom and dad. We don't give a rat's ass about the money these bastards are taking from the grief stricken; what we do care about deeply is the desecration of memories. These "performance artists" are, in a very real sense, mother-fuckers. That poor guy's grieving memories of his mother are now all fucked up by somebody else's images. All he will ever have left of his mom are memories, and this pig has pissed on those for a buck and a little un-earned fame. I'm sure these lame fucks tell themselves that they're easing the grief, but skits for money can not replace loving memories. How low do you have to be to exploit someone's true grief to sell some bullshit book? (Wikiquote)Let us not forget that psychics, by lying to their customers, are doing real harm. This isn't a fair exchange - people are trusting in abilities that don't exist. "Psychics" are taking advantage of people - telling them things that may be hurtful or they could be selling false hope.
We need to protect vulnerable people - not abuse them. Selling lies is abuse no matter how you look at it. Let's stop calling people gullible, let's call out the people who are taking advantage of their trust.