Making no claim

One of the first things the psychic can do is try to disarm the sceptic. A good way to do this is to say that she makes no claims, and asks the client to believe in nothing. The guiding principle here is that a claim that is not made is a claim that cannot be disproved. A typical riff on these lines might go like this:

"Let me say at the outset that I myself make no claims on behalf of the tarot (or astrology, etc.). All I can tell you is that millions of people find it is a useful way of enhancing their perspective on life, and perhaps opening a window to a broader appreciation of the cycles and themes in life which affect us all. But everyone is different, and it may turn out that the tarot is not something that works for you. All I ask is that you keep an open mind, enjoy the reading, and then in the weeks ahead you can see if it seems to work for you."

In this way, the psychic can defuse all possible sceptical challenges. She is effectively writing her own contract to suit herself. She cannot fail to deliver on her promises, because she has been careful not to make any. Nor has she made any promises on behalf of her particular discipline. She has not said it will reveal truths, solve problems or prove anything at all.

As an industry, the psychic trade has the best client contracts of all time: "You pay me, and I promise nothing in return". I suggest this should be regarded as a consumer rights issue, in which case the appropriate response is:

"Ifyou're not promising anything, then what am I paying for?"

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