The UK regulator, Ofcom, has issued a clarification for purveyors of TV programmes based around psychic powers, basically reminding them that they are all frauds. Most advertising is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority, but participation television – where viewers are encouraged to call in, and pay, still falls to …
Bet they didn't see that coming
There was a Tarot shop in Bristol that burnt out once. I reasoned that it must have been deliberate (or at least wanted), because otherwise they wouldn't have allowed it to happen.
It's the best kind, and it's legal too!
Re: Secular bigotry
Tell someone who is making extraordinary claims to put up or shut up is not bigotry.
Sorry but were mostly scientists and techies on this site and from an early age we've been taught to never believe what you read, see or hear at face value, prove it.
When some dopey sod comes out with a a load twaddle about "reaching through the veil" and "Ohh, does anyone here have a brother or sister?" or "I'm getting something, is there a Mr Smith in the audience tonight?", I have to question the validity of such a comedy act.
Best psychic I've ever seen was Clinton Baptiste on Phoenix Nights, probably the most genuine I've ever seen in my life!
"Anyone claiming to be in touch with such a power (other than a recognised deity) must be very clear that they're doing so "for entertainment purposes only" and not just with a banner at the bottom of the screen either, it has to be stated by the presenters."
I'd like to see the same rule applied to recognised deities too, given there's as much evidence of being in touch with him is there is with dear departed auntie Norma.
I was directly touched by the noodly goodness last night.
Or as some would call it, dinner.
Now there's a double standard
Catholics have to say that the bread and wine they take during Communion is miraculously transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ after consumption, but the Pastafarians just go for it.
That said, I suppose the Catholics have little choice. If they claimed they really were eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, then either they would be cannibals or Christ would be the Pillsbury Alcoholic.
The difference is that deities are often a matter of Faith, ie. the purveyor believes it and is not trying to hoodwink anyone. If Mother Theresa appears on your screen talking about helping the sick, or the Archbishop of Canturbury does a Philippine flood appeal, you can be pretty sure they were not doing it "for entertainment purposes only".
I can't see it's any more fraudulent to claim to be able to talk to the dead as to claim that you'll still be around after you're dead, and that's a promise made to millions on TV every day.
It's only tradition that prevents ministers of religion being thrown in jail with the rest of the frauds, which is where they belong.
I remember Tony Blair being interviewed about the Iraq war... He stated that he prayed for guidance...
So our country went to war because of what the voice in his head replied. Or was it just for the oil or for some kind of back hand from G Dubya?
If the voice was claimed to be anything other than a recognised (who compiles the list?) deity you would get locked up, yet there is no more proof for the existence of "insert recognise deity here" than there is for the flying spaghetti monster. Which is exactly the point of FSM.
Blair never said he got an answer. I doubt he would have heard one over the sound of his own ego anyway.
Many of these "psychics" believes it too, and honestly have convinced themselves they are doing a good service. Can you be convinced that religious leaders haven't done the same?
And I'm sure there are many religious leaders who do suspect they are only there to hoodwink people.
If Joe Power appeared on screen talking about helping the sick, these Ofcom rules on "Psychics" wouldn't apply anyway; so it's a null point.
It works both ways, but at least this is a start. In my opinion, the first country to ban non-educational religious broadcast will be a big step forward for logic and humanity.
Sorry, I don’t understand this, are they saying it is OK to be touched by the followers of a particular $DEITY, recognised or otherwise, if they tell you they are only doing it for entertainment purposes only?
But that’s being going on for years!!!!!!!
LOL! Aren't the "fruit of the vine and the work of human hands (that) will be our spiritual drink" merely "props"? Is it for entertainment?
How about adult channels? (Do those exist in the UK?) I can imagine an enforced disclaimer on global adult entertianment channels (and, I've been waiting a LONG time to use this following":
"fruit issued from behind, jerk of human glands, it will be come -- our rhytmical slink... is for en(d)ter(s)tainment purposes only..." (C) 2011-12-21 DSSF
(DISS Claimer... I attended an RCC school from 4th Grade til 6th Grade...and saw in those 3 years more craziness than in all the other 10 years on public school -- combined! Hence, random thoughs and manufactured Spoonerisms along these lines.......)
"Or was it just for the oil or for some kind of reach around from G Dubya?"
There, fixed it for you!
Wishing on a star is astronomically stupid!
Lovely reading from the ofcom PDF:
“Advertisements for personalised and live services that rely on belief in astrology,
horoscopes, tarot and derivative practices are acceptable only on channels that are
licensed for the purpose of the promotion of such services and are appropriately
labelled: both the advertisement and the product or service itself must state that the
product or service is for entertainment purposes only”.
As an astronomer, I thoroughly endorse the notion that astrology is suitable for entertainment purposes only. Astronomy is better entertainment still, in my opinion, but I understand that not everyone wants to freeze their nadgers off while looking through a telescope.
Astrology works, dammit!
I can see your future. Scorpio is rising into the house of Neptune, which shows that your future will contain both a flask of Bovril and cold testicles. However Venus and Mars are soon to achieve conjunction, which predicts a sudden warming of said testicles when you spill the bovril on them.
I also can see that with Uranus rising - that you can probably complete this joke yourself...
Looking through an eyepiece is /so/ last century - this is why God gave us CCDs and remote control.
If you can afford that kind of kit, fine! Still, seeing a supernova with my own eyes beats googling for images of it (making your own images is a thrill, I know).
Alternatively, you move to southern France, where skies are clearer and frost is rarer (a man can dream).
A good remark I heard on stargazerslounge.com:
"There are people whose sleeping patterns are profoundly disturbed by the positions of moon and planets. Such people are called astronomers."
Must be a bit hard to recognise these deities since they're all invisible and all....
... what about Songs of Praise?!
Well you don't have to phone a premium rate telephone number to attempt to contact the spirit of the late Thora Hird on the nation's public service broadcaster so I guess it doesn't come under OFCOM rules.
Not to forget
That listening to music is often considered entertainment.
Okay, there's some damn fine religious music but from my brief exposure it's not to found on Song of Praise.
Steve Wright in the Afternoon!
Does this mean that on Radio 2's Steve Wright in the Afternoon show Jonathon Cainer will have to admit he's actually a fraud or will he simply have to turn to his adoring Steve and say " Well Steve, I can see from Uranus that I'm only here for a little fun."
I dunno. I hope so.
Cainer is real??
I assumed he was a character like Ask Elvis or Barry from Watford - who knew??
It's no joke
Having seen from personal experience (recently deceased friend, on disability benefits, whose assets didn't cover the cost of a cheap funeral, but who paid out hundreds of quid to these bloodsuckers) how these scum fleece the vulnerable via their personal tarot reading hot-lines etc, I really think they need to bring back the old Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951, and also ban them from using premium rate services and in fact any electronic means of communication - face-to-face transactions, cash on the nail, in a fairground booth should be the only way they can operate. Step outside those bounds and it's a stake and a large pile of faggots - now that WOULD be entertainment!
"I'm going to fine you for being a fraud. The fine will be delivered in 48 hours time. If you can tell me the exact value of the fine before it arrives we will let you off."
Hazy Mediums Not Seeing Cleoly Enough?
"Cleaoly, if Miss Cleo practiced reality, she'd have seen the suit and jail/prison time coming....
Miss Cleo: Another One Bites The Dust
Feds Accuse Miss Cleo Hot Lines of Fraud
Inside Look of The Fake Phone Psychic Industry
Also Known as CALL CENTERS or BOOKSTORES
Why can't they make psychic TV illegal? Because defrauding idiots makes money?
Umm.I thought they could only hunt ghosts and solve crimes
Priorities Straight I See
Nice to see Ofcom having sorted their priorities and cracking down on the evil pedlars of bogus psychic advice. Once they've solved the problem of losses to the British goat industry due to bridge dwelling trolls maybe they could devote some attention to the gentlemen from 'Windows' who phone me daily informing me of a problem with my computer and how they can fix it for a fee.
Do seem to be the work-around-du-jour at the minute :/
re: Spirit Guides
The answers to many questions can often be found in a bottle of Talisker, IME :-)
My favourite place to search is three glasses down a bottle of Laphroaig, but I salute you, sir.
Regardless of any of our personal opinions on the supernatural... this seems a bit harsh on anyone who is serious about such things, and is forced to say "this is just for fun".
Although I suppose giving up on your principles is par for the course if you want to be on TV.
I quote Tim Minchin when I say...
"These people aren't plying a skill...
They're either lying or mentally ill"
It is how still fine...
To show a Christian mass on TV.
They aren't trying to predict your specific mortal future
It is how still fine...
Culture, history and faith. Christianity has billions of adherents, the UK has been Christian for 1200 years, every village has a church, our national anthem begins with the word "God" and the Queen wears a big cross on her head. If you want a country where free religious activities do not exist, see North Korea.
State legislated reality is good
I applaud Ofcom for putting legislation in place to help people legally recognise the boundaries of reality.
Makes me proud to be British and live in the country where the Army no longer record U.F.O sightings because everyone knows U.F.O's don't exist ...
Its good to have a thoughtful Government defining reality for me.
I believe in UFOs, but not really the alien kind. There are all kinds of flying objects I can't identify. I'm not really much into birds or commercial jets so I couldn't identify very many of them at all.
The law is a wonderful thing
It has such historical oddities buried in it. Indeed, this decision derives from one of them. Prior to 1736 or so, witchcraft was punishable by death in England, although not normally by burning at the stake, which was reserved for the Continent and Scotland.
At that time, the Establishment came to the conclusion that, in fact, they could find no real evidence that witchcraft was real (although plenty of people were accused of it, and some even brought such accusations on themselves). So the legal principles were changed, along with the law. The witchcraft acts made all claims of being a witch (or other magical practitioner) illegal because they were fraudulent. In 1952, the last of these acts was replaced by a law that still makes such claims illegal, but now allows an escape clause: "for entertainment purposes only".
Not sure I would recognise Jesus if he passed me on the street
Nor any of the others for that matter.
Ganesh would probably stand out on the high street.
You don't live in Birmingham, do you?
Fleecing the vulnerable and desperate of their cash
Isn't that what Sky's for?
No, that's what the BBC is for. Sky has to actually work and sell itself for the money, whilst Auntie just has to sit on her bloated arse and have it handed over for nothing.
I must object
As it is far far preferable on so many levels for the people of this country to hand over a per household tax so that Dad's Army may be repeated indefinitely on BB2 than leave the provision of TV in the hands of the wizened American with the Australian accent and one less British newspaper than he used to have.
I may also raise ITV as an example of a media company that is supposed to work and sell itself and now has two settings - X factor and Downton Abbey