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Janet Adams Case Update PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

As reported in this Swift, there are rare occasions where so-called psychics who bilk people out of money are brought to justice. This is an update on one of them.

In this San Francisco Chonicle article, we learn that Janet Adams pled "no contest" in court to the charges that she bilked a family out of more than $80,000 by claiming that they needed to pay her exhorbitant amounts of money for special prayers to save the husband from certain death. She is being held on $500,000 bail.

While the news of her plea might not seem like it's much news, it's important to keep an eye on cases like this as they are rare, and can be used as precedent for more cases in the future. We will continue to report on the case as it happens.

I do wonder why a psychic would plea "no contest." If she can see the future, she should be able to see a verdict of "guilty" or "not guilty." If she sees a verdict of guilty, I can see why should would plead "no contest" even though it has the same result. But if she reacted that way, wouldn't she see "no contest" in the future? I think I'll not spend any more time on this paradox, and continue to watch the case with interest. The good news is she's going to be sentenced, and hopefully it will be a sizable one.

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written by Willy K, February 12, 2009
Methinks that whatever her punishment will be that it will have no impact at all.

Why does methinks this?

It won't have an impact until the US courts stop having people swear to god on a bible. smilies/cry.gif
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I hope she gets served.
written by Josh111485, February 12, 2009
I hope this disgrace of a human being gets at least a 2 year sentence and eats nothing but bread and water for that two years. Maybe an occasional roach.
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written by ConTester, February 12, 2009
Perhaps the duplicitous Ms Adams’s plea is itself prophetic rather than being based on one of her prophesies. Proving her guilt may be “no contest” in a manner of speaking. That way she gets to keep her “psychic” pretensions. No doubt Ms Adams is so well versed in the art of spinning a self-serving yarn that she’ll continue to dupe her clients and make it sound like she was wrongfully prosecuted. Her clients in turn will believe her without question because, after all, she operates on a “higher plane.”
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written by Rogue Medic, February 12, 2009
Good news. Let's hope for a sentence that does justice for her cruelty.
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written by janis1207, February 12, 2009
Well, unfortunately psychics get sued only when they get greedy beyond measure. Had she been content with 500 - 700$ or so from one person, her business would have prospered.
Even if people would see that she is no good, they would just switch to some other Reiki master or whatever without feeling that they have been swindled (yeah, she tried, but was too weak for this job). It's only a sum like 80 000$ that can work as a real eye opener.
Unfortunately the bulk of information in mass media about psychics, alternative medicine, etc. if quite positive. Unless a major shift first in media, and then in public perception occurs, court cases like this one will be quite rare...
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She needs to be punished hard
written by advancedGIR, February 12, 2009
Come on, death is the only true certain thing in life (after the IRS, of course), she can't just take it away from her victims, that's too inhumane!
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written by Roo, February 13, 2009
I really hope this person gets what they deserve - a just punishment. Bet she didn't see that arrest coming... smilies/wink.gif

There are few things that I find more satisfying in life than seeing one of these psychic fraudsters get their comeuppance. I just wish the public at large would learn from such cases and draw the conclusion that none of them are worth parting with any cash for.

Have a good weekend everyone.
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 13, 2009
Her 'no contest' plea is likely a lawyer-advised ploy to protect her from any potential civil court lawsuit. A guilty plea admits guilt, while a no contest plea does not. An order to pay restitution is standard in the penalty phase of the criminal trial, but exceedingly difficult to enforce, especially when you expect the money back from a con artist.

We can hope to see justice, but overcrowded prisons tend to make for increased sentences of probation for nonviolent 'money' crimes like this. I can divine the future, but a likely outcome is: Little or no jail time, or jail time with a ridiculously early release, no or only token restitution payment, a lengthy probationary period which is easy for a con artist to abscond to another state which doesn't have an extradition agreement with California on this level crime, and a quick return to her con artist ways. In the con game, just like with other organized crime, convictions like this are considered merely operating costs, part of doing crooked business.
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 13, 2009
Correction: I CAN'T divine the future. But I can divine the past. Which is why I only saw this typo after I posted it.
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written by Arts Myth, February 13, 2009
Her punishment should be at least a year in prison. She would be scheduled to be put in solitary two thirds of the time, the days chosen randomly (2/3 to discourage guessing). Each day she is allowed to predict whether she's scheduled for solitary or not. If she predicts correctly, no solitary; incorrectly, and she gets solitary even if it wasn't scheduled. One can dream.
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written by Arts Myth, February 13, 2009
Dratted statistics! Just realized that, as long as she knows that 2/3 of the days would be solitary, she still just has to guess two solitaries for every non, and still be able to have a 50/50 rate. Well, maybe they'd pick a different ratio at random intervals and not inform her. Keep her, well, guessing.
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Here come the villagers!
written by pxatkins, February 13, 2009
When first I stopped being religious, I became anti-religious. I stopped that when it dawned on anti-religion is a religion too. Some of these comments disappoint me in that they illustrate a growing sub-set of Randi-ites that do the cause no good. This is just a good old-fashioned witch burning.
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written by Geezer, February 13, 2009
@pxatkins who said "This is just a good old-fashioned witch burning."

Not really, the witches of old was innocent victims

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written by pxatkins, February 13, 2009
Then I stand corrected. Burn her.
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written by Phildonnia, February 13, 2009
Willy K:
I don't follow.
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written by Slaughter, February 13, 2009
Willy K

I don't know about other states, but in Arizona, you don't have to swear on a Bible. Just an affirmation that you will tell the truth is fine. At least that was the case when I served on a grand jury.
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 13, 2009
pxatkins: "When first I stopped being religious, I became anti-religious. I stopped that when it dawned on anti-religion is a religion too. Some of these comments disappoint me in that they illustrate a growing sub-set of Randi-ites that do the cause no good. This is just a good old-fashioned witch burning."

Huh? The above story appears here because Janet Adams is a con artist who bilked an old lady out of $80,000 by claiming to be a 'psychic'. The psychic part is just the mechanism of the scam. Another con artist might have used the home repair scam, where they convince her the roof is about to cave, work up the highest price she'll bear to repair it, and then spend a day on her roof playing cards, drinking beer, and banging a hammer once in a while to make it sound good. Bottom line though, Janet Adams is a thief of the con artist variety using the 'psychic' schtick. We "Randi-ites" disapprove and hope she gets properly punished.

How in the world does this constitute a 'witch burning' by ignorant, angry villagers?



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written by Rogue Medic, February 13, 2009
pxatkins,

Calling this a witch burning? If she is guilty of fraud and of conning a dying person out of seeking effective treatment, then it is not a witch burning, but a criminal prosecution.

No witch.

No burning.

The expression of pleasure at the misfortune of another is schadenfreude, if you feel the need to use correct terminology. First time for everything. smilies/grin.gif
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We Need A Consumer Proection Czar...
written by Chris Long, February 13, 2009
...who can shut down these sorts of scams with a wave of the pen; and get websites blocked or disabled with a simple Email or phone call...

Guess there is a potent web and psychic scammers lobby, eh ? Why else does all this go on and on and on ?

Guess that psychic's powers abandoned her for a while and she didn't see that arrest coming...
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written by Willy K, February 13, 2009
written by Phildonnia, February 13, 2009
Willy K:
I don't follow.


I realize that my comment was pretty terse. Let me expound a tiny bit.

Psychics, mediums, priests, rabbis and/or any other dirtbags that claim supernatural connections are counting on gullible peoples irrationality.

Any court in the USA, from town courts to the Supreme Court, that has people swear to god with their hand on a bible, is making legitimate the most irrational of all concepts, deities and religion.

How can US courts protect citizens from fraud when they perpetuate irrationality?
How can US courts protect citizens when they disregard the US Constitution's First Amendment?

Until the US courts change, putting thieves like Janet Adams in jail will just be an anomaly that irrational folks, and the fraudsters that rip them off, will ignore.

Just imagine if the charlatans that Randi and others mention here on the Swift Blog were given long sentences and huge fines as a matter of course?

The world would be a better place if John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Pat Robinson and Kevin Trudeau were rotting away in prison rather than continuing to rip off millions of dollars from millions of people!

smilies/grin.gif
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Not again!
written by BillyJoe, February 13, 2009
pxatkins,

Are you are gymnast by any chance.
Specialising in the standing back-flip.

smilies/cheesy.gif

regards,
BillyJoe
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written by Rogue Medic, February 14, 2009
Witches burn because they are made of wood.

If... she.. weighs the same as a duck, she's made of wood.
And therefore--?
A witch!


The Sacred Texts - Scene 5
How do you know she is a witch?
Pendragon, Bedemir, villagers #1, #2, and #3.
Journal of Grail Quests
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mphg/mphg.htm

The science is irrefutable. Nobody here has compared this fine example of human being to a duck, nor has anyone suggested that she is made of wood, therefore, nobody has suggested that we burn her, except pxatkins. Maybe pxatkins hasn't recovered from being a newt, yet.
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