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Gypsy Bad Fortune PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

A Maryland man who refers to himself as a Gypsy is claiming discrimination in the case of a Bethesda, Maryland law that forbids "foretelling the future." And.. the ACLU is on his side.

He claims that as a Gypsy, it's his historical heritage to open a fortune telling business, and that it's only because of the desire to drive Gypsies away that the law was put in place.

After you read the article, you may notice that most of the comments are in favor of the ban being overturned. And I'm in agreement.

Finn from San Marcos, TX had this comment on witchvox.com:

I view the matter in a simple, direct way. If someone wants to sell their services as a fortuneteller (or any other name which means the same thing) then they should have to prove them adequate to the task. Plumbers must be able to plumb. Mechanics have to be able to fix your car. Carpenters who build your house have to be able to do the job. If they do a shoddy job, the consumer has recourse.

This means that fortunetellers who sell their services as genuine must be able to pass some sort of test showing that they can actually do it. Otherwise they must have a massive sign that says "WE ARE NOT REAL. THIS IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT VALUE ONLY. YOU WILL GET JUST AS GOOD ADVICE THROWING A DART AT THE PAPER." I have no problem with those who claim they can see the future, talk to the dead, read your aura, and so on. I merely state that in the interest of consumer protection, they must prove their competency the moment they start charging for it.

And we have just the test!

Finn is completely right. These laws are enacted for two reasons: 1) To drive Gypsies away, as the man claims and 2) to prevent blasphemy. Neither of these is ethical in my view. Groups should not be driven away, and blasphemy should be legal.

While I'm certainly not in favor of people pretending to tell the future without a FOR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY sign, I'm also not in favor of these laws.

Why? Well, you see... we already have laws to protect us against fortune telling. The crime is very specific: it's called fraud. Now we just need to get some law enforcement folks interested in prosecuting it.

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"Went to the fortune teller"
written by TDjazz, August 28, 2009
Why is there a law that forbids foretelling the future? Politicians do it all the time.
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written by bosshog, August 28, 2009
"The Government is my shepherd, I shall not want. It maketh me down to lie in pastures green. It leadeth me the silent waters by...Its rod and its staff they comfort me."

Maybe we should outlaw fortune cookies and telling our children Grimm's fairy tales while we're at it - aw hell, just pass a law telling us what we ARE allowed to do and leave it at that.
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written by InvertedWorld, August 28, 2009
Shouldn't he have foreseen this?
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written by Careyp74, August 28, 2009
I love how everyone shouts "It should be illegal" when someone gets taken by one of these con artists. Now because of Jeff saying he agrees, the sheep are bleating a different tune. Hey, where is the proof that these laws are to keep gypsies out? Why can't a gypsy get a real job? I guess since he comes from a long line of people who don't contribute anything to the common good, he has a right to continue?

From the article: "He argues that fortunetelling is part of his heritage"

So is nomadism. Move along.

"Wiccan minister argued that his passing along messages is the same as a Christian minister purporting to proclaim God's word."

yes, we are still working on that one, thanks.
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Wouldn't it be grand to know what we're actually talking about?
written by Digger, August 28, 2009
It's a bit of effort to find the actual law involved, but they seem fair to me.
From http://www.aclu-md.org/aPress/...roMoCo.pdf via http://www.aclu-md.org/aPress/...eller.html
Montgomery County Code § 32-7. Fortunetelling.
Every person who shall demand or accept any remuneration or gratuity for
forecasting or foretelling or for pretending to forecast or foretell the future by
cards, palm reading or any other scheme, practice or device shall be subject to
punishment for a class B violation as set forth in section 1-19 of chapter 1 of the
County Code; and in any warrant for a violation of the above provisions, it shall be
sufficient to allege that the defendant forecast or foretold or pretended to forecast
or foretell the future by a certain scheme, practice or device without setting forth
the particular scheme, practice or device employed; provided, that this section
shall not apply to any benefit performance or part thereof conducted pursuant to
section 30-4 of this Code.


Montgomery County Code § 11-4. Deceptive Trade Practices.
A merchant must not engage in a deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable trade
practice, whether or not any specific consumer has, in fact, been misled, deceived,
or damaged thereby. Deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable trade practices include:
(n) any deception, fraud, false pretense, false premise, misrepresentation, or
concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with the intent that
consumers rely on the concealment, suppression, or omission, in connection with
any consumer goods or services[.]


I don't really see a problem with either of these laws. If you try fortune telling for money, you have to be able to explain how it works, and you're not allowed to defraud people by false practices. That's the way I read it.
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Bill O'Rights
written by paiute, August 28, 2009
I was married by a minister from a Spiritualist Church. Part of their doctrine and practice is seeing the future. How can that be outlawed under the Constitution?

Geez Louise, not to mention that a huge part of the orthodox Christian tradition is based on the foretelling of future events.
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written by LovleAnjel, August 28, 2009
@ paiute

They have outlawed fortune telling in exchange for money. People can still go around telling fortunes for free.

I agree that laws created to discriminate against an ethnic group or to enforce a religious doctrine are wrong. The way I read it, he should be able to tell fortunes for "donations" just as a church can save your soul for a tithe (yes, I know, I'm simplifying). This takes him out of a trade practice and into the more protected realm of religious practices.
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written by cullen, August 28, 2009
The problem with requiring a "For Entertainment Only" sign is that it has no effect. When asked about it the "fortune teller" will merely say that the law requires such a sign and, as such, it has no meaning. Additionally, it indemnifies the "fortune teller" against fraud charges ("Well, yes, I believe I can tell the future, and it's possible my client believed I could tell the future, but they were warned by this legally required sign to ignore anything I said and if they took any action based on my statements, well, that's just too bad for them.")
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written by daveg703, August 28, 2009
Ref: Montgomery County Code § 11-4
Deceptive Trade Practices.
A merchant must not engage in a deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable trade practice... (n) any deception, fraud, false pretense, false premise, misrepresentation,


The 'unconscionable' strikes me as dreadfully lacking in stringency, since the consciences of charlatans are certainly open to question.

Now as for 'false pretense'- that is a most peculiar term, and appears to be self-negating, redundant, or something that you would have a hard time defining as a ticketable offense. Isn't telling the truth a false pretense?
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hmmmmm....
written by CasaRojo, August 28, 2009
Perhaps the laws should simply be redone/reworded and listed under fraud statutes. I suspect that many laws throughout the U.S. should be revisited and updated.
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written by RichVR, August 28, 2009
Why not just make the law "illegal to tell fortunes in exchange for money or any other form of remuneration"? Sure, Gypsies can follow their heritage, but only for free.
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written by GeekGoddess, August 28, 2009
The article quotes the self-defined Christian attorney:
"On the one hand, I can understand the reason for this law and that is to prohibit witchcraft and those kinds of things, which was fairly common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries," he notes. "On the other hand, the question is how far could this law be applied?"


Is it on the books because of witchcraft or because the Montgomery County code was protecting gullible people from charlatans? Also, are you are charlatan if you truly believe in your power?

It would be nice if people didn't believe in this stuff.
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@Paiuti
written by Careyp74, August 28, 2009
"not to mention that a huge part of the orthodox Christian tradition is based on the foretelling of future events"

I am not sure what christians are orthodox, and what traditions they base on foretelling future events. Could you give me some examples of this?
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Put up or shut up
written by Sadhatter, August 28, 2009
While i agree laws that discriminate against a group should not be laws. The law simply needs to be re written.

Have a group of skeptics that are versed in cold reading, and other arts of fortune telling. And anyone who wants to be a fortune teller needs to prove that through supernatural means they are able to tell the future.

The prophecy must be exact, and not able to be made through general research, or other trickery. If someone can pass this test i have no problems with them telling fortunes for money. Even for the price of one million dollars which would simply be a fringe benefit if they could do this.

I mean lets say i said i was an certified doctor. Now when i am asked to prove this by doing something simple such as an appendix removal. I tell them that my methods are not exact and when i do them under scrutiny there is a large chance of failure. This would raise some pretty big red flags as to the legitimacy of my medical skills.

Psychics always want to move the yardstick when they get cornered. And this is not fair, a doctor cannot simply change the qualifications of being a doctor if people are trying to shut him down due to poor skills, and psychics should not be able to do the same. IF this person can fortell specific events he should be able to show it. If not then it is as plain as a turd in the punchbowl that he is using trickery, and should not be able to claim powers he does not have for the purpose of making money.

And on a personal note i find using ones ethnicity as a claim to a profession, or ability disgusting. Sure not many people talk about gypsy rights , but if this was a jewish man claiming he should not be required to go to school for banking because his ethnicity makes him good with money. OR a black man claiming he should not have to try out for a basket ball team because his lineage makes him awesome at sports. First we would laugh, then we would be disgusted. But this gypsy is doing the same thing.

I mean if the law gets overturned due to someones ethnicity, then what next, italians demanding their " ethnic right" to be members of organized crime? This man is not only harming reason, taking peoples money, but attempting to perpetuate a negative stereotype as well. Very few people i can think of manage to harm science, finance and equal rights in one fell swoop as well as this man.
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TDjazz is Absolutely Right
written by Realitysage, August 28, 2009
"Why is there a law that forbids foretelling the future? Politicians do it all the time"....

Especially when they claim that they'll save taxpayer money by spending lots of it. That's it! We have a government full of Gypsys!
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written by Kuroyume, August 28, 2009
No, we have a government full of two-sided con men. Just ask Native Americans about how treaties were made (in perpetuity many times) and then broken within years or even months, usually under false pretenses (just had to fit that in there somewhere) or outright falsehoods. Not happening these days but then there are precious few of them left.

Now you ask what the heck this has to do with fortune telling and "Politicians do it all the time". Two words: Manifest Destiny.
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Crazy
written by speedy cash, August 28, 2009
Thats an astounding law. Who gets hurt here? nobody?
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important
written by jer, August 28, 2009
I thank Jeff for bringing this up, and I think it's important for skeptics to come in on the right side of this issue - not to sympathize with the scam artists (we don't), but to keep it clear WHY we oppose psychics.

The law, as explained above, prohibits "forecasting or foretelling or for pretending to forecast or foretell the future" for money. If we side with this law, we are saying that a psychic should not be able to practice his trade for money even if his ability were real (highly unlikely). The foundation of our argument against psychics is that they are fraudulent. Not only is this law the wrong stand, it DOES violate a person's rights and feeds into their claims of persecution. It also, as a side effect, goes too far in acknowledging the psychics' powers.

Let's oppose this law and instead focus our attention on 1) demanding clear proof of their claims and 2) providing stiff penalties on the basis of FRAUD. Let's oppose the same people with the same intensity, but do it for the right reason.
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written by popsaw, August 28, 2009
This law applies to all persons that wish to fortune tell for money, not just gypsies. For this reason , it does not discriminate. If the law applied only to gypsies, that would be discrimination!
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written by Bill Henry, August 28, 2009
Why is there a law that forbids foretelling the future? Politicians do it all the time.

And they should be charged with fraud because they are usually completely wrong.
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written by Careyp74, August 28, 2009
OK enough with the politician bit, getting old and isn't funny, or true.

quoting Jeff "These laws are enacted for two reasons: 1) To drive Gypsies away, as the man claims and 2) to prevent blasphemy"

Where is the proof of this, or are you just assuming it is true?

"we already have laws to protect us against fortune telling. The crime is very specific: it's called fraud. Now we just need to get some law enforcement folks interested in prosecuting it."

What you obviously think of as fraud is a little less clear to others, like those who believe in fortune telling. That is why these laws are around, for people like jer who wants to allow REAL fortune tellers to continue their trade, while only stopping the FAKE ones.

Also, Jeff, I must have missed something, because Finn didn't say anything about the laws being around just to get rid of gypsies, or prevent blasphemy. The only comment saying anything to that effect is from someone else, who doesn't back up their claims, just like you aren't backing up yours.
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written by Kuroyume, August 28, 2009
I love how posting any opinion gets you negative comments because people don't agree or it isn't direct. Hey, I didn't say this was a direct comment. It was an indirect comment regarding RealitySage's comment. And if you think Manifest Destiny didn't exist, try again. Not as much fortune telling as doctrinal future goals.

But here, I'll comment directly:

The law doesn't appear to single out any particular group. This guy is making the claim to garner sympathy from discrimination. Won't work. So it is a good law - maybe not perfect, but then show me a perfect law. I agree that anytime someone performs a task, whether it be fortune telling or dowsing, for a fee, they must provide evidence of efficacy. Unfortunately, our laws are very far behind concerning such fraud protection. Isn't that part of what the JREF is encouraging? One of our goals is to show that claims for the efficacy of some products or services are fraudulent because they have no scientific backing or are based on non-scientific notions. Homeopathy, which has zero efficacy is still being sold in pharmacies with claims of cures and relief.
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@Careyp74
written by JeffWagg, August 28, 2009
To address your comment - Here's a quote from an LA Times article: http://articles.latimes.com/19...ty-council
"(Barry)Fisher said many cities enacted laws against fortune-telling decades ago to discourage Gypsies from moving to their towns. The laws contained derogatory language about Gypsies and the references have persisted out of ignorance, he said. "Very few people know anything about Gypsies."


While this is biased attorney's position, I believe it's fairly accurate based on my observations of how local governments work.

The idea that these laws are enacted to discourage "undesirables" is also backed up by this challenge to North Carolina law: http://www.oldenwilde.org/olde..._info.html

As for the religious angle, it's currently illegal in many states to "take the Lord's name in vain." It's seems very likely to me that the same legislators who passed the legislation would agree that fortune telling is a blasphemy and that is should be prohibited. The only references I can find pre-date the constitution however.

So while your criticism that I did not back up my claims is correct, I didn't think it necessary for such as short article. My claims were about the motivations of the people who passed these laws, and subject to speculation at best. I could have worded it in a less positivist manner.


As for laws against blasphemy, that's fairly obvious.
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written by pxatkins, August 28, 2009
Any mention of why 'they' wanted rid of gypsies?
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written by redwench, August 28, 2009
If it is illegal to forecast or pretend to forecast the future, wouldn't that law cover meteorologists, vulcanologists, epidemiologists, and others? I can pretty well forecast the future of someone with advanced Alzheimers, does that make me a criminal if I charge for that service?

If someone wishes to forecast or foretell the future, simply follow 1 of 4 rules:
1. do it for free
2. provide proof of your ability. Obviously, a PhD in meteorology should qualify you to forecast the weather, for example.
3. don't claim to foretell anything. Offer your services as an advisor. See life coach smilies/wink.gif
4. make it clear it is for entertainment purposes only.

@pxatkins
Gypsies used to be widely considered to be criminals, troublemakers, witches, etc. (you name it) The root of the discrimination probably lies in their origins, which would be of different ethnic and religious backgrounds than the majority. Some people still believe this nonsense, especially in Europe.
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written by GeekGoddess, August 28, 2009
@pxatkins

There is a very long history of discrimination against Gypsies, going back hundreds of years, which you can easily find on numerous websites via Google. Gypsies were one of the groups specifically sought out for extermination by Nazis. Some of the prejudice followed them to the Americas. There were often ordinances against caravans parking near the city limits, fortune telling, and other activities associated with their nomadic culture. If you do some research, you'll find that country after country (Spain, France, England, Hungary, the Holy Roman Empire.They'd move to a new place, and eventually be expelled from that country as well. Their name comes from an old and probably erroneous belief that they originally came out of Egypt, but it is believed they came out of India prior to entering the Middle East.

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News Flash!
written by Willy K, August 28, 2009
This just in.... Mr. Phillip E. Johnson, considered the father of the intelligent design movement, or ID, has agreed to support the Maryland man who refers to himself as a Gypsy. Mr. Johnson has decreed that "fortune telling" will now be referred to as "Inverse History", or IH.

Let the trial(s) begin. smilies/wink.gif
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@Willy
written by CasaRojo, August 28, 2009
"This just in.... Mr. Phillip E. Johnson, considered the father of the intelligent design movement, or ID, has agreed to support the Maryland man who refers to himself as a Gypsy. Mr. Johnson has decreed that "fortune telling" will now be referred to as "Inverse History", or IH. "

It oughta be Inverse Operational Theory so you could combine it with Intelligent Design and the acronym would be IDIOT

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Enough is enough
written by Ssider, August 28, 2009
If someone's culture traits include "fortune telling" (scamming) then it should be illegal. Fleecing the stupid should not be legal because you are from a particular ethnic group. For example, my family came the U.S. from southern Italy. Does that mean I can legally make juice loans and shake down businesses for a street tax? (I am, however, legally entitled to speak with my hands and eat huge mortadella sandwiches in public places). If Mr. or Mrs. Gypsy is a psychic, let them prove it. Otherwise they can hang a "For Entertainment Purposes Only" sign in their front door, end of story.

Then again, if the ACLU will protect me from usury laws, I might just try it!
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written by hamradioguy, August 28, 2009
Gypsies were very common in Vermont during the Great Depression. Which may explain why St. Johnsbury for many years had a law on the books forbidding fortunetelling. It was never enforced,and dropped (with some fanfare) a year ago. Bunko and other scams remain illegal however.
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written by bosshog, August 28, 2009
Sadhatter:
"Have a group of skeptics that are versed in cold reading, and other arts of fortune telling. And anyone who wants to be a fortune teller needs to prove that through supernatural means they are able to tell the future."
Ah, now we get down to the nut kernel of the matter. SKEPTICS alone should decide what is and isn't true - and enforce their ideas on everyone else.

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Blasphemy
written by drzeus99, August 28, 2009
Jeff, there are NO laws against blasphemy in the United States,
which is where the case is. You write that: "blasphemy should be legal"
And you are correct. It should be...and it already is, and has been ever since the US Constitution was created.
With that said, I'm fairly certain this case has nothing to do with blasphemy,
or blasphemy laws.
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Blasphemer!!!!!!
written by CasaRojo, August 28, 2009
"With Ireland’s passage of blasphemy laws, I thought it would be interesting to look at the blasphemy language codified by six U.S. states that still have these types of laws on the books: Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wyoming. This article gives you links to those laws, the text, and some interesting cases that talk about blasphemy."
http://www.goddiscussion.com/7751/what-do-the-state-blasphemy-laws-actually-say/
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Blasphemy Part 2
written by drzeus99, August 28, 2009
Just wanted to add.

While there still MAY be some OUTDATED, UNCONSTITUTION, and UNENFORCED laws on the books in some US States, my main point is that blasphemy is not a crime in the US, as any
charges proclaiming blasphemy as the criminal offense would immediately be tossed out of
any court as being unconstitutional. Even the rube DAs in the deep south are well aware that charges of this nature are clearly unconstitutional.
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written by cdion321, August 28, 2009
The law needs to go. Virtually everyone makes predictions of the future, even if it's as simple as "that falling apple will come to rest on the earth's surface."

That being said, I don't agree with the angle of attack this man is using. Sure, Gypsies historically tell fortunes. They also historically steal, trespass and grift.

Interesting, if I say "I got Jewed out of ten dollars" people will be all over me. But I can say "he Gypped me out of ten dollars," and hardly anyone even realizes the reference.
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Blasphemer!!!!!! Part 2
written by CasaRojo, August 28, 2009
"Pennsylvania’s blasphemy law was adopted in June 1973 and was recently enforced when a film maker attempted to reserve a corporate name that the state found blasphemous (see discussion below). Not that I am saying that blasphemy laws are “normal,” but Pennsylvania’s version is particularly odd because it is tied into corporate names, but not speech or writing. Here’s what it states:"
http://www.goddiscussion.com/7751/what-do-the-state-blasphemy-laws-actually-say/
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Blasphemer, sort of also
written by JerryC, August 29, 2009
Michigan also has a law against using "sexually explicit, vulgar, or offensive language" and leave the definition completely open as to what is offensive. And it is actually enforced! One man was recently charged with swearing within hearing range of other people, and another was charged, under the same crime, for barking at a police dog. Believe it or not. Barking falls under the catagory of offensive language. I guess the dog didn't like what the man was saying.

So if you are offended by someone cursing God within hearing range of other people in Michigan, all you have to do call the police.
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Unfortunately ..,
written by rosie, August 29, 2009
Kuroyume wrote "This guy is making the claim to garner sympathy from discrimination. Won't work."

Unfortunately it does work, all too often.
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@Bosshog
written by Sadhatter, August 29, 2009
You know i see the error of my ways. We should not have judges make decisions in court cases. Because that would be the law enforcing its beliefs on the unlawful. And we shouldn't have scientists on panels for medicine tests, because that is just them pushing their beliefs on the general population. Thank you for showing me the light.

The fact that the panel would be made up of skeptics, is a simple case of the only people with the skills being the only people for the job. If a group of plumbers, or baseball players would suffice, i would say they should be the ones doing it. But the fact remains that skeptics know the means of deception used, and have the incentive to show them.

This is not a matter of belief, this is a person ( i would hate to say group, because i am sure not all gypsies are woo flinging con artist. ) saying he has real abilities in the real world. And if he has these abilities, no ones opinion or belief can alter the fact that he does.

As an example, if i did not think that a professional fighter could break a board with only his fist. Then we could set up a test to easily prove this. Now if the judges happened to be made up of people that hated professional fighters, that has not one whit of impact on this mans ability to break the board, does it?

Similarly if this man can predict the future, and i was a member of the group that tested him, no amount of humbuggery on my part could change the fact that " John smith will accidentally sever his finger at 3:10 on tuesday afternoon, in Corunna ontario using a carving knife attempting to drive a screw. " would be a correct prediction, assuming it happens.

Whenever someone uses the kind of logic your post promoted , i cannot help but boil it down to " If they don't have a chance to cheat they can't win" and i agree, but giving them that chance for the sake of being fair to a belief is not only intellectually dishonest. It is harmful to people in the real world, and the real world is where belief stops becoming harmless and starts becoming a thorn in my ass and a hand in peoples pocket.
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written by AndyD, August 30, 2009
Maybe someone already said this - I haven't read all comments due to near-pathological laziness - but it seems to me that it's pointless for him to whine.

Either he already knows the laws will be dropped, in which case he simply needs ready himself to set up shop, or he knows the laws will never be dropped, in which case his whining serves no useful purpose.

Assuming he can see into the future, that is.
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Not all fortune telling is claimed to be supernatural
written by Zoroaster, September 01, 2009
I see nothing in the statutes that exempts meteorologists. It's about time we cracked down on those fakers too.
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Meteorologists
written by Alan3354, September 02, 2009
Don't forget economists. A useless lot, waaayyyy overpaid.
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written by garyg, September 05, 2009
I was out of town when Jeff posted this (I sent it to him since I live in this county).

My view, which will not be popular among libertarians, is that a government which does not protect the most vulnerable among us isn't worthy of the name. Consumer protection is a proper function just as is public health.

I don't support regulation of this "industry" because it suggests that someone can actually foretell the future IN THE MANNER OF A FORTUNETELLER.
Just as with UFOs, psychics, Bigfoot sightings, etc., the debunking of one makes no impression on the credulous: they'll just point to another example and say, "what about that?"

It's simply not enough to sit back with folded arms and say, "Well, they should think critically, stop going to church", etc. If fraud and quackery are tolerated they will multiply and leach money from those who can least afford it.
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written by msexceptiontotherule, November 25, 2009
If I'm not mistaken, a case involving fraud (at least in California) can only be filed in civil court unless the person who is accused of committing a fraudulent act is a public official or the fraud is related to embezzlement. Fraud requires several elements; a misrepresentation of material facts or conditions with knowledge that they are false or with reckless regard for the truth, an intent to induce another party to rely on the misrepresentation, a justifiable reliance on the mistrepresentation by the deceived party, damages suffered as the result of that reliance, and a causal connection between the misrepresentation and the injury suffered. Now, while someone who sets up a fortunetelling business may be sued if they intentionally deceive someone for material gain, but the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff who has filed a legal action against the fortune-teller and it is they who must show the court that their claim does indeed have all of the elements required to constitute a tort of fraud and/or fraudulent misrepresentation. So there may be a little more difficulty than we might think, should we try to use existing laws against a fortune-teller who we believe has just ruined our life, gave us a permanent bad fortune, and relieved us of a large amount of money. Despite the many examples of frivolous lawsuits if we look at just the cases that the media turned into headlines alone, I'm not sure that there are many court justices who would allow someone to proceed with a case against a fortune-teller based on fraud. I do realize that I'm making statements of opinion on how judges would act in this type of case, and there are most likely a few that would allow the case to proceed, even if they thought that a reasonable person should know that fortunetelling is a bad idea to rely on for what to invest one's life-savings on the stock market, and that a reasonable person would know such services are for entertainment purposes only. Just because a fortune-teller can predict the future or help choose stock options about as well as my dog can do those things, doesn't mean that they should be denied the right to free enterprise and unable to open a fortune-telling business. Such a business is no different from someone who starts a business as a pet psychic or a store that sells mystical/occultist supplies - both are plentiful in California, go figure. Unfortunately, we have to allow the laws to include everyone, as the laws were intended to be used of course, even if some people are going to be allowed to use them to protect their rights to open fortunetelling or feng shui businesses.
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