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Bad and Good Stars in the Sky PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

wmPuerto Rico's 76-year-old Walter Mercado is a fixture on Univision's popular Spanish-language show "Primer Impacto." If you've never seen his show, I'd spoil the experience for you by describing it. It may be enough for you to know that he has a doctorate in Divinity from the International Philo-Byzantine Academy & University, in 1969 he was inducted as a Universal Teacher in Poona, Bombay, in Tibet and Nepal he holds the title of Chela and Buddhist Bikku, he has been a minister of the California Christian Brotherhood since 1970, and he also has a doctorate in Divine Healing from Tokyo, Japan. On top of all that, Walter is an astrologer. Wow!

It seems that the flamboyant Liberace-costumed astrologer had the right stars aligned this week when a federal jury found that though he improperly broke his contract with his former management companies, he did not have to pay the millions of dollars they sought from him for lost profits and damages. Mercado's astonished attorney said he never had a jury find that a client broke contractual obligations but owed nothing.

Said he:

This is very unique. The jury determined Walter didn't perform in 2006, but they really couldn't prove [the plaintiffs] had sustained any damages.

In the 1990s, Mercado - already a well-known woo-woo celebrity in the Hispanic community - was introduced to agent Guiliermo Bakula by the rock star Prince's promoter. Bakula signed Mercado to a contract to expand his brands of nonsense. Together they formed more than a dozen companies for Mercado "products" such as DVDs, books, radio spots, a 1-900 psychic hotline, and text messages. Then in 2006 Mercado had a dispute with Bakula over compensation, assigned all of his products to his own company, Astromundo, and hired a new agent. In 2007, six entities with names like Waltervision Productions, sued Mercado.

Mercado's lawyer said that the plaintiff companies had asked for about $10 million from his client. The contract only paid Mercado a paltry $32,000 a month and a pro rata share of anything more than $2 million made in the United States and any other country using his name, image and/or voice. The lawyer also pointed out that the 1995 contract was never-ending, so that the astrologer would have to work for these companies forever. Hey, if he can find sense in astrology, Mercado certainly can manage to live forever...!

The complaint against Mercado listed a number of obligations he'd failed to fulfill, such as: taping a commercial for the 1-900 business in Mexico, recording audio horoscopes, writing 2007 predictions for a magazine and Web sites, and taping television horoscopes to be aired on Univision. In return, Mercado countersued for $450,000 he claimed he was owed. After 45 minutes of deep thought on this woo-woo - a minute for every $10,000 - the jury decided that Mercado couldn't ask for damages because he didn't properly terminate his agreement.

The moral of all this? Silly people get involved with other silly people, and the only ones who come out on top are the fake in the glitzy costume and all the lawyers on both sides, who are equally happy...

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written by luisclaudio, February 17, 2009
I remember of Walter Mercado in his incursions on Brazil at late-90s, early-2000 in which he gained a lot of fame not because of his duties but by his misspell of the phrase "ligue já" (call now) in TV commercials. Maybe the problem was in input some value based on the gains that the company would obtain... forever.
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In next week's episode
written by paiute, February 18, 2009
Michael has to get his mother out of an astrology lawsuit.

(Burn Notice reference, see the photo.)
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written by bosshog, February 18, 2009
BRRRR-ATZ!
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written by bosshog, February 18, 2009
Doesn't the law refuse to recognize contracts that require either illegal actions or those impossible to deliver on?
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written by Alan3354, February 18, 2009
Weird looking dude. If it's a dude.
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written by K. Söse, February 18, 2009
At least Liberace could play the piano.
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Wait a second...
written by zaphod, February 18, 2009
...that's a GUY?! I could've sworn that was the actress who played one of the Head District Attorneys on Law&Order...
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written by kedo1981, February 18, 2009
wait a second--------------thats a man????????????????
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Seems Like Everybody Here's a Sceptic...
written by Realitysage, February 18, 2009
...when it comes to Mercado's gender......or lack of it?
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written by Adavidson, February 18, 2009
I am just kicking my self laughing, how can someone have such a long CV with all of thoses different types of education and not know that every single title and degree is bullshit?

Not ONE single proper, usefull education.

What a wonderful world.
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written by Rogue Medic, February 19, 2009
Adavidson,

Maybe he does know. On the other hand, he looks as if he has been spending a lot of time with a plastic surgeon (for face lifts, not gender reassignment you silly people). smilies/wink.gif

A real plastic surgeon, since psychic surgery doesn't work, besides it might be unethical for him to perform psychic surgery on himself. Not that he is likely to let a lack of ethics stop him. He is a fraud, after all.
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Correct me if I'm wrong.
written by epok205, February 22, 2009
Doesn't mercado mean "market" in Spanish? Is this a coincidence or "divine interpretation?

mercado
masculine noun
1. market
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written by KingMerv00, February 23, 2009
Of course there were no damages. His employers paid him to be a fake. Didn't they get what they paid for?
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written by mama1974, February 24, 2009
So this person get answers from the stars? Did the stars tell him to dress like that? Bad stars! Bad, bad stars!
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What not to wear
written by Marlinspike, March 03, 2009
please, someone, call the fashion police. That jacket is an abomination.
I'm willing to bet he was not 76 years old when that photo was taken.
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Guys like this give real Astrologers and Psychic's a bad name
written by AstrologyChick, August 21, 2010
Ugh, what a train wreck, how do these guys make it so big?
All I can say is AVOID these kinds of psychic hotlines.
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