Oxymoron of the day – the Psychics code of ethics

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It seems that psychics have a code of ethics, and it’s published by the Australian Psychics Association on their website. It’s entertaining reading, and I couldn’t resist a little light-hearted review:

1. You are to give your psychic readings as accurately as possible.

Yes, we wouldn’t want to mis-lead anyone.

2. In the process of your readings, you may make reference to legal or medical issues, but you are not to give legal or medical advice. You are to refer clients to suitable people in the above professional categories if that need should arise.

I like this one. Know your boundaries and limitations. Stick to things from other dimensions that can’t be measured. Don’t dabble in those things that are in, well, books, for example.

3. At no time will you offer to cast spells or incantations for a fee, where such spells or incantations are to be used to influence the will of others against their will. These kinds of techniques should only be used to strengthen the client’s visualisation or as a self-hypnosis technique.

This one is so nice, I feel like hugging a psychic. Actually, now that I think about it, it also means that if you are going to influence people to do something against their will, you should do it for free. I suppose the benefit is that there’s no paper trail.

4. Promises to bring lovers together by psychic means for a fee will not be tolerated. Where either partner does not will such an event to occur, you are infringing on their rights of free will.

Er, this seems to be the same as 3, but specifically about lovers. Again, if you do it for free, or just your amusement I suppose, then it’s all good.

5. Average fees should be around $60-$80 per hour. Naturally those with many years experience will charge more. However, the association will not tolerate any members asking for exhorbitant sums in return for services that fall outside the normal psychic advice. Reference is particularly made in regards to the use of magic or witchcraft to interfere with the will of others.

No, we will not tolerate rip-offs!

6. At no time should professional members promise to be 100% accurate. Allowing for an error margin in predictions and the like is quite reasonable. Making ridiculous claims does not increase your standing in the clients’ eyes. Honesty, on the other hand, will always serve you well.

Yes, under no circumstances make ridiculous claims; we are, after all, psychics. Here I was thinking that my tarot readings have been 100% correct.

7. Members are required to hand in a statutory declaration form signed by a Justice of the Peace stating that they are who they claim to be, i.e. an accurate psychic. This procedure protects the public by ensuring that when they see a member of the association they will receive a quality reading from that member.

Oh yes! A stat-dec makes all the difference. I’m not going to take anyone’s word for it, I’m going to demand that a JP agrees with you that you are a real, ‘accurate’ psychic.

This actually brings up a serious issue – surely any JP who would sign such a thing is breaching their duty? They can’t possibly certify something that in effect verifies that Joe Bloggs is ‘an accurate psychic’, can they? More on this later.

8. Members are also required to hand in statutory declaration forms signed by a Justice of the Peace from three (3) clients, who indicate in the above document that they are satisfied with the work done for them by the respective member. Under no circumstances will a Certificate of Professional Membership be bestowed on anyone who does not fulfil the above requirements.

Ooooohh, man, they’re really serious about this!

9. All statutory declaration forms sent to the association should be the original forms, with copies kept by the respective member for their own records. Until such original statutory declaration forms are received, a member will be regarded as a Provisional member. Once the forms are received the respective member will become a Full member.

Wait a minute? Aren’t these supposed to be a code of ethics? At some point (around 6 or 7) I think, it became the membership rules!

I’ve also had a quick look at the code of conduct for JPs in Victoria, and selected a couple of the items which might come into play here:

  • Item 2. A JP must not: a) behave in a way that brings the office of JP into disrepute;

Certifying a psychic could certainly bring the JP, and the Department of Justice into disrepute.

  • Item 4. A JP must not: a) use his or her position or title of JP to gain benefit or to be seen to gain benefit or advantage for himself or herself, another person, organisation or agency;

Since this APA membership is transparently a marketing tool, certification would certainly be intended to create a business benefit.

  • 8. If a JP has reasonable doubts about the identity of the person or that person’s capacity to make an oath or declaration, a JP must not witness or attest the document.

This clinches it – surely a JP must have reasonable doubts about the ability of Joe Bloggs to make an oath or declaration in respect of being an ‘accurate psychic’. Just ‘psychic’ would be bad enough, but also to certify the ‘accurate’ bit is ridiculous.

Out of interest, I checked out the membership fees of the APA – in the order of $50-$60. And in return, what does APA do for you? They don’t say. I suppose the $50 buys you the right to say you’re a member of the APA, and are certified ‘accurate’. Or it could be just a money spinner for a few enterprising individuals, to con the con-artists out of some money.

Why didn’t I think of it!

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