random thoughts, Tarot, writing

Faux Psychics

Bruce Ely/The Oregonian

With all the Tarot talk here lately, I thought it might be a good idea to state my position on Tarot and fortune telling, and psychics in general, especially after running across this item today on KGW’s Web site. (the site’s kind of obnoxious, but they have a video there which can’t be embedded here)

First off, I want to know where this guy came up with the name Drakar Druella because no, I don’t think it’s real. Secondly, there’s apparently far more to the story than the report at KGW would let you believe. Like, according to the Oregonian, these two were planning to go into business together.

However, be that as it may, when someone says you have a curse on you and they can lift it for large sums of money, this is a sign unto you that your hair just caught fire and you should be running out the door screaming. You do not, repeat, DO NOT have a curse on you. Or demons following you. Sorry. Get over it. It doesn’t work like that.

According to the police search warrant affidavit and an interview with Druella, he first paid Stevens $265 for advice on Oct. 8. She told him he had “negative energy” and a demon attached to him, and she could help him get rid of it. But in order to do so, she said she’d need $22,000 to buy a “tabernacle” and she’d conduct an exorcism. She instructed him not to say anything to others and also asked him to turn over to her his personal journals.

Only rarely in the past have I accepted money for doing Tarot readings. My former hairdresser and I used to trade services. She’d do my hair, and in payment I would read her cards (bear in mind I was not getting $250 haircuts, we’re talking the equivalent of about $50). Sometimes she’d give me a bottle of the shampoo I liked that I could only get at salons. A couple of times I did phone readings for one of those online services, but I couldn’t stand that for long. Now mostly I read for myself, or occasionally for a friend, for free. If I was going to make a living at it, sure, I’d have to charge something but it wouldn’t involve expensive cars as payment. Unless you really insist on giving me one.
toy car


12 thoughts on “Faux Psychics”

  1. i’ve always wondered why the psychics weren’t hanging out at the track or local OTB parlor? but people will believe what they want to hear ~ we see that happen everyday in politics. i do love his cheesy moniker, the mash-up of a cologne and a Disney villain. 🙂


  2. Right? 🙂 LOL I hadn’t even thought about the cologne!

    Seriously, if I could get the winning Powerball numbers out of my ouija board… People like Sylvia Browne and Jonathan Edwards just make me want to throw things. The one that really made me laugh though was the “Pet Psychic” that used to be on tv, no idea if she still is or not. It cracked me up the way the pets could tell her all about their feelings and why they were unhappy and so on… but she had to ask the owners what the pets’ names were.


  3. Hoo boy! I’m sorry, but I fall squarely in the category of heartless souls who can’t believe anybody could be so dumb. I mean, the first reading, sure. I can even see being a little creeped out when a person who seems perceptive tells you she senses a “curse.” But somewhere between the 3rd and 4th Rolex and the HumVee, wouldn’t ya start to smell a rat?! It sounds like some kind of scam gone wrong – maybe the fortuneteller was laundering $$, or receiving stolen goods, or something. I’m guessing that since Drakar is transgendered, the name is kind of a drag moniker that stuck. maybe nobody’s seen Cathy b/c she and Drakar are the same person.


  4. One night many years ago, my mother called me up, laughing so hard she could barely talk. I yelled “WHAT??!!” and when she finally caught her breath, she gasped, “I’m watching the Pet Psychic.”

    John Edwards even sounds like a con artist – that weird, buzzy patter of his reminds me of the low rent magicians and “hypnotists” you see in community theater. One thing I’ll say for Sylvia Browne – she basically wraps harmless self-help advice in an ooky-spooky package: I’ve seen her tell audience members (true confessions – I used to watch Sylvia occasionally on the Montel Williams show) stuff like “Oh yes, I sense that your grandmother’s angel is a strong presence; if you leave your deadbeat boyfriend, she’ll lead you to your true soulmate.”


  5. LOL did you see the mug shot of Cathy? I’d be creeped out before she said a word about curses. And I am so with you. Sure, this guy walked in the door not expecting to get taken to the cleaners so he played along … but honest to god, do people check their brains at the door? My bullshit detector would have been at full tilt at the mention of a curse that needed lifting to the tune of $22,000.


  6. Absolutely. He just doesn’t come across as empty-headed enough to fall for a line like this. Why did it take all this time, and all that money before he finally figured out he was being suckered? Doesn’t add up.


  7. I just wanted to toss in my 2c worth on this. I have heard more than a few stories much like this (altho’ not to the unbelievable tune of $22,000!) and it always appalls me. And I’m talking about first hand accounts too, not rumors or news articles. Some people tell me they just laughed and walked away, but one guy was really worried that he had an evil spirit haunting him and I had to work a little to convince him that this was bull$hit.

    One addition to this info here that might help people be on the look out — If a reader has a storefront (which costs money) but still offers cheap readings (like “Readings — only $10”) and doesn’t have a line of customers out the door, how do you think they make enough money to stay in business? They put on a scam like this. This sort of thing is reprehensible and it gives us legitimate readers a bad reputation.

    I hope this blog post of yours alerts people to be on the look out for this sort of a scam, and it reminds me to do one similar sometime.


  8. Hi James,

    Thanks for coming by and for your comment. This one truly is a spectacular example of a con artist. I don’t know if you had a chance to read the article, but the $22,000 was just the cash he paid. The full damages came to $150,000!! It’s mind-boggling that someone would allow themselves to get fleeced to that degree, which is why I have my doubts about at what point he is a ‘victim’ and at what point he was complicit in this scheme.

    And you’re right, it does a horrible disservice to the good, ethical Tarot readers out there. When confronted by someone in the state of mind this guy claims to have been in at the start of this debacle, most readers would refer them to professional counseling. I know many readers who keep a list of emergency contact numbers handy to give to querents who clearly need more help than a Tarot reading can give them (mental health crisis lines, etc.). Sadly these are the ‘readers’ who get press, and it gives the impression that all readers are like this. Hopefully reputable readers speaking out against these types will prove otherwise.


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