Recently a girlfriend of mine was telling me about the process she went through to get her security clearance. As we were talking she mentioned that it might be quite difficult for someone to do an investigation for clearance on someone like me, a psychic medium. I prefer clairvoyant, empathic medium but who am I kidding? Most people will call me a psychic no matter how many times I protest. As we spoke I embarked on a thought experiment of what it might be like to investigate a medium for both legitimacy as well as a clearance job. After this being stuck at the forefront in my mind for several weeks I decided to write about it. The following is primarily based on personal experience and is more of a documentation of my thought process than it is set of guidelines based on fact. Here are some suggestions on how to investigate a medium.
1. Is the subject in stable and managed mental health?
2. Does the subject harvest any resentment toward the government?
3. Is this the subject vulnerable to extremism or radical beliefs?
4. What are the subject's points of vulnerability to influence?
5. Does the individual engage in any illegal activities such as fraud?
6. Are the morals and convictions of the subject malleable to a degree of desirability?
7. Are the spiritual beliefs of the subject rational in context of the culture?
8. Simply, are they who they portray themselves to be?
9. Is it possible to prove legitimacy of mediumship ability?
10. If legitimate, does the individual pose a threat to national security?
11. What are the cons of having such a talent in diplomacy?
12. What benefit would a medium have in a diplomatic position that other applicants might not have?
If you asked these things of a person who work doesn't hold much taboo in society they might be easy to answer, however, when you are asking these things of a person who's entire identification and existence fly in the face of the most rational and/or God fearing people, how do you judge legitimacy and morals? What ends up happening is that these questions and potential answers start to cross over into other areas of interest more than the average applicant.
- If the subject has a set of beliefs that is contrary to scientific proof and conflicts with some major religions in the world, is that affect the individual’s mental health? Is it an indicator of mental health issues?
- Is the subject charging for a service that has no value? If so, does the subject believe is it of value or are they knowingly committing fraud? Even if the subject believes their product holds value, is it still fraud if the product doesn't scientifically exist? Who decides whether or not the product holds value? And if they are committing fraud, does that show that the subject has an undesirable degree of flexible morals?
- Can "magical thinking" indicate vulnerability to extremist beliefs? Does magical thinking provide for justification of behaviors that are in moral conflict with society and law. Is magical thinking contraindicated with being compliant in an institution requiring strict regulation. Does this type of thinking lend to extremism? If the subject claims to be able to do something that is by definition considered by their most encompassing society to be extreme, then is that an indicator that they are prone to fanciful explanations such as conspiracy theory? Conspiracy theorists are also prone to fanaticism which is in turn linked to extremism.
Bare with me, I am trying to be as objective about how the world might view psychic mediumship as possible.
The intention of this thought experiment to focus on the aspects of a background investigation that may come up that are specific to subjects that work in fields that are scientifically contested. I am likely to bypass subjects that may be an obvious part of the investigation if they don't seem to pose a unique problem related to the current subject.
I am also going to try and answer these questions from a personal perspective as if I was investigating myself as well as if I was non-medium trying to come up with a protocol to investigate someone who claims to use Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP) with a track record of perceived legitimacy by clients. First I will address potential issues in circles of influence that may pose conflicts to the normal investigative process. The following comes my personal experience in my life, practice and community.
CIRCLES OF INFLUENCE
POTENTIAL RISK CIRCLE
It is common for the intimate circle of a medium to be in very strong support of their work. It may even be stronger support than many others receive for non-spiritual work. The reasons for this might be that people who have spiritual practices often remove people who don't believe their work is valid to the outer and outermost circles. They very often don't get support from family members and friends when they disclose their talents and beliefs. It is rational to consider constructive criticism but after a medium provides a number of situations where events are validated and cannot be explained except by the possibility of mediumship, that person should be supportive or the medium will typically remove them from the inner circle.
When interviewing the inner circle and investigator needs to consider that there is a strong likelihood they have experienced the subjects mediumship on many occasions and is not likely to be objectively critical of that person. A group that has experienced many events that are not accepted in general by society is tricky group to interview.
The close friends of a medium may not even know exactly what she/he does dismissing them as hippie or new age. Most mediums I know don’t bother to correct this misinterpretation since would require more explaining than it is worth. The reason for this is that I have learned that keeping the two worlds apart creates positive boundaries that allow me to have healthier relationships. Once a friend realizes how serious I am about my work they tend to ask me to do readings. I tend to separate clients from friends. This sometimes comes at a cost. When our friends have not seen me at work, they don't fully understand me, however, if they have, sometimes I am asked to do my work for them for free or under circumstances that are not good for the friendship. On a rare occasion this is ok, but most often I see very personal information about the friend that s/he would have rather kept quiet. It creates boundary questions. I often say the worst thing a medium can do to a good friendship is be too accurate during a reading. Suddenly your friends realize the protective barriers they have put up are not as protective as they hoped. This is not something I want ANYONE to feel. I have very strict rules for myself when it comes to my personal relationships. I DO NOT look into them intuitively unless I am asked or it is a life or death situation. This includes my husband. I promised him long ago I would never pry without his consent and I have kept that promise even in the most difficult circumstances. I have done so even when there was a significant risk to his health and wellbeing. When he traveled it was quite tempting when I was feeling insecure but I never did it. I simply had to trust him and respect his work. I believe no one is perfect, but he is among the most trustworthy of people I have ever known. I simply would not be able to maintain an intimate relationship with someone who wasn’t. He is even honest about what he cannot be honest about and simply doesn't tell me. I do the same with him since I employ the same amount of confidentiality in my practice a HIPPA compliant medical professional. I am aware that not all couples could survive a marriage like this but I think a fair amount of autonomy is healthy and necessary in a relationship.
I hate to admit it but when a psychic has the accuracy I tend to have, boundaries becomes the hot topic. My spiritual guides tend to block me when it is not in my best interest to know anyway. The good thing is that if I abuse the gift for personal gain in this way, it tends to go away. There are moral guidelines I respect generally and when I don't consider them, the universe lets me know it's not ok. I do make mistakes, but they tend to get corrected rather quickly.
These are simple moral guidelines such as:
Use your talent for the greatest good of the people involved. Use it to bring order rather than chaos. Know that whatever you send out will come back to you many times over. It can be used for self preservation but not for greed. Many of the ten commandments also apply although I am not particularly religious myself. Also, I don’t try to manipulate people’s free will with spiritual gifts. This is a NO NO. There are others for another post someday. This is not studied dogma. This is from experience. If I cross these lines my talent vanishes until I figure out why, at which point it returns. This may be due to my own violation of my own moral compass and the talent is blocked by guilt, or it could be something more. I don’t claim to know. Also, it is my experience that those who are mediums have guides that are protective. Protective guides do not tell anyone to do anything. I maintain as much free will as any other person. I am never “told” to do anything. If I did have this experience I would discount the message immediately. Anyone who claims a spirit told them to do something should be investigated with greater scrutiny.
When questioning the inner circle I imagine you might get a variation of responses: 1. The inner circle may think the medium thinks too much of themselves if the medium believes their work is special (as apposed to a talent with professional application) and the friends don't have the experience of the clients with the medium 2. If the medium is humble about their work, the friends might not have any idea what they do or that it is accurate to the degree that it is. Questions about their work may deliver anticlimactic answers like 'I don't know'. It is better to inquire about personality traits than their work in the inner circle. This is the group that may most clearly see the strengths and weakness of the subject as an individual but so much as a medium. This group may also be wrought with out of date information about the individual.
Note: Many mediums talk about being blocked from seeing for this group or information for themselves. If this group is involved in the spiritual lessons of the medium him/herself then they may have little to no ability in this circle. It is also a protective measure to allow the medium to maintain a support group. Frankly, if I could see impending tragedies that my friends might face, I would have a hard time not communicating it even when it is inappropriate to do so.
This circle I would say includes mostly community members, business associates and those in groups the medium is a member of. However, don’t be surprised if this circle also includes a lot of family. There is a common theme in the lives of highly sensitive people, empaths and mediums. We tend to be the blacksheeps and scapegoats of the family. "A prophet is never respected in his hometown." (a paraphrased quote from the bible). It might be less due to the mediumship and more because of the empathic element. Empaths don’t have the luxury of denial. Empaths live in the midst of true feelings, thoughts and intentions. Because of this we can be disruptive to dysfunctional family units often bringing up unsolved traumas by simply being who we are. A fundamental inability to comply with emotional dishonestly is common trait among empaths as children and young adults. I learned the necessary social skills of withholding emotions, opinions and personal truths at certain times and places at a much later date than others of my pier groups. I personally don’t have a lot of time for this circle with the requirements of my family and practice. I am not sure you will find much information in this circle other than mores distant or past family dynamics.
I am going to include clients, acquaintances and currently linked social media connections in this circle. Ironically, I think this is where you would be able to find the most information about the medium’s work, belief system and thought processes. This is certainly true for me. I reach out to the world to help others understand what it is I do and why. I think this is becoming more increasing common since many people don’t breech this subject with their inner circles due the taboos associated with communicating with the dead.
Chances are that this circle has had the most experience with the medium on an intuitive, intellectual and professional level. As I said before, I am likely to keep my intimate and inner circles and my work separate. I may discuss my spiritual experiences but not actually use them in the inner circle unless it's an emergency. The power dynamics just get too weird and hard to navigate. I don’t know how true this is for other mediums but the majority of the mediums I know maintain these circles very similarly.
ABOUT LEGITIMACY VS FRAUD
Here are some questions to ask previous clients in order to decide whether they are legitimate:
1. Did the medium take personal information before the reading that can be used to do an extensive internet search?
2. Did the medium take and keep payment info that can be used at a later date?
3. Does the medium ask questions about the client before or at the beginning of a reading?
4. Did the medium give the client information that might be extrapolated with stereotypes of the way that person looks and dresses?
5. Did the medium focus almost exclusively on future/not verifiable facts during the reading?
6. Did the medium have prior knowledge of the client due to a mutual personal connection?
7. How did the medium respond to the client telling them some of the information is wrong? Did they try to change the information to fit the answer the client desired? (Red flag) Did they try to convince the client the info is correct despite obviously being wrong? (Red flag) Did they simply explain they are wrong sometimes and move on with a more accurate subject? (This is more honest) Did they offer to end the reading at no cost due to inaccurate information which could legitimately be from a weak energetic connection for various reasons? (In my opinion this is the most professional and honest thing to do.)8. How did the client feel afterward? Did they feel like they a had to try and fit the facts into the details? Where the facts so inaccurate it left the client bewildered and confused? Or did the client find great value in the information given?
POTENTIAL RISK CIRCLE
1. People the subject is in debt to
2. Groups or individuals with extreme and magical thinking
3. Those with anti-government ideology
4. Potential witnesses of a crime committed by the subject
5. Politically influenced groups
6. Providers of any financial gain from illegal activities
7. Individuals engaging in a pattern of abusive relationships
I myself have looked close into my own past to see if there are any threats from this category. I am not sure how I could speak for other mediums in this segment so I won’t attempt to.
This is highly individualized and I do not believe there are any consistencies within the group I am speaking for here. I myself have no debts owed to anyone who is not a formal and legal or federal lending institution.
Defined as follows: “Magical thinking, the belief that one’s ideas, thoughts, actions, words, or use of symbols can influence the course of events in the material world. Magical thinking presumes a causal link between one’s inner, personal experience and the external physical world…” -Britannica.
As a medium who is trying to be objective this one is difficult for me. Yes, most mental health professionals would regard any person who holds a belief in the supernatural as a magical thinker. This is a person who holds a belief regardless of its utter lack of proof. I have myself also encountered mediums who not only engage in magical thinking but also have some extreme beliefs. It is not uncommon for people who regard themselves as highly spiritual to justify behaviors with their beliefs that they might not otherwise be able to justify. This may be an area of concern especially if that individual also regards themselves as a being that is more enlightened or more special than others. I myself have on occasion had difficulty in relationships with other people who hold a strong belief in the supernatural because of some extreme ideology. This also lends to some extreme political ideas. I cannot deny that by definition I do engage in magical thinking sometimes but I reject that I could be defined as a magical thinker anymore than I can be defined as a mechanic because I have on occasion been able to work on my car engine. I also challenge anyone who suggests another is a magical thinker to research the quantum concept of wave-partical duality. While I don't subscribe to the idea that I can positively think anything into reality, I do believe our interaction with the world has a direct effect on it and how the physical laws are perceived. I also think thought patterns can change our physical self and the way we are perceived by others.
I have, hundreds of times, put myself in situations that forced me to gather empirical data about my mediumship. I have at points in my life refused to accept this talent without empirical data. I have over the years documented and time stamped predictions before the fact. I have communicated these predictions to trusted individuals just so I had someone to answer to. I have emailed myself on multiple occasions before hand to force myself to acknowledge inconsistencies and inaccuracies. I write and draw out the images I receive during clairvoyance and hand them to clients so that they see I am doing my best to validate their experiences. I have also developed a way to conduct my readings so that there can be little doubt that what I am doing cannot currently be explained by science. I do believe eventually it will be. I am not saying I am sometimes wrong. I am saying that the more I force myself to document, the more accurate my readings become because I am more and more able to interpret the messages due to my own scrutiny. I do not consider my belief in the work that I do to be magical thinking. Frankly, I am constantly challenging myself in order to avoid it.
Defined as follows: Extremism means, literally, "the quality or state of being extreme" or "the advocacy of extreme measures or views".-Wikipedia. I searched for other sources for a legal definition and found that there is no specific legal definition. Wikipedia is the best source I have found so far. Click here or a more elaborate definition.
When it comes to extreme thinking, it is not common for those who practice true mediumship to be prone to it. I find most reputable mediums to be drawn to the middle ground. Being engulfed in the spiritual world also means having an extensive knowledge of how it is balanced. Having balance becomes crucial to the work. It’s this middle thinking that tends to promote a greater sense of well rounded empathy when extreme empathy for a certain group or individual can lead to an imbalance causing a lack of empathy for the opposition. I have met quite a few highly sensitive, highly intuitive people who tended toward this kind of stratified empathy but none of them were mediums. I don't know if there is a true correlation with mediums and middle thinking but that has been my experience thus far. When you are dealing with the darkest emotions of mankind, you cannot allow yourself to get out of balance. It is often those reared with dogmatic religion that may be more prone to extreme views. I would not necessarily rule out New Age as a dogmatic religion based on the amount of judgement the person employs in their actions regarding their belief system. This, again, is from personal experience. Most people who regard themselves New Age are interested in harmony over conflict and have a general belief system of tolerance and inclusion. However, lately there is a growing group that is becoming more extreme in the idea that they are somehow more enlightened and therefore more capable than others. This sometimes leads to the desire to oppress the opposition. It is also well known that people of other religions sometimes use their moral belief system to oppress agnostics and atheists. Extreme thinking is not limited to one belief system.
I myself tend more toward the middle way. This is true in most of my world views including politics. I am a moderate democrat. Extreme views tend to strike me as imbalanced if not down right dangerous. I am both repelled and fascinated by people who think in this manner. I read extensively about what makes people think this way. Even though I consider myself highly empathic, I often have difficulty identifying with this personality type. This is why I make the extra effort to not be judgmental so that I may understand it better.
I believe there might be a slight increase in anti-government sentimentality in the population of psychic mediums but most are interested in laws, justice and fairness. This is because government and science are often linked and when a person’s self-identity is specifically denied by an institution it is hard to remain in support of that institution. Most mediums I know personally are true patriots. I myself have no anti-government sentiments. I believe strongly in a democratic governing body. It is essential to our freedoms and protection. I also believe it is crucial to keeping the peace amongst world super powers. While I do have a strong aversion to certain individuals within the government it is only because I believe those certain individuals to be a threat to our system of democracy as a whole. Our system is not perfect but it is best we have. It needs to be protected and nurtured and that requires moderation and tolerance. I have little patience for non-patriotic people even though I do think a true patriot of democracy needs to question leadership when appropriate.
I think this is also a highly individualized subject. Psychics and mediums are as much in a range of law abiding to criminal as any group. Some do have malicious intentions although these are probably more likely to be frauds and not true mediums. I wish it was not true that some people use the guise of healing to defraud others. However, in my personal experience it is the mediumship group that tends to have a strong sense of empathy and morals. I believe this group is less likely to engage in criminal activity. This has been my personal experience.
I myself am very law abiding. I may be seen making a U-turn now and then, but that is the extent in which I might break the law. I have no arrests, no convictions and no judgements or blemishes on my driving record.
Most mediums I have met are not interested in political agendas. They try to have a more wholistic perspective for mankind and are not interested in political rivalries or divisions. I would say that this is not common for spiritual mediums at all. They may differentiate between their own personal preferences and their view of the world spiritually. On occasion one might want to become more involved but I do believe this is a minority. This minority, in my experience, gravitate more toward protecting civil rights and the environment. It had less to with gaining proximity to power.
I may fall in that minority. While I am interested in the workings of the political system I am strongly against division. Because of this I am an independent FOR partisanship. That said I am not interested in groups. I am also more interested in diplomacy than actual politics for the sake of power.
FINANCIAL BENEFIT FROM ILLEGAL MEANS:
I look at most of people I have known who were highly spiritual or identified as mediums and I have to say there is one area of concern that stands out. That is when federal and state marijuana laws are incongruent. Marijuana is considered medicinal by many people in this group. Let’s look at situations where the person willfully broke BOTH Federal AND State laws. I know very few that either intentionally broke these laws or willfully benefited from breaking them. It’s still a subject highly contested. However, it is illegal federally and that cannot be disputed. Great care needs to be given when an individual lives in a state with legal acceptance or tolerance. This federal/state discrepancy is confusing to US citizens.
I myself have unknowingly gained from someone breaking this law over twelve years ago. Once I discovered this truth, I immediately removed myself completely from that person’s life. This decision made things very financially difficult for me but I am not comfortable with breaking the law for my own financial gain.
PATTERNS OF ABUSE:
Ask any practicing medium, shaman or healer and they will tell you they have had much difficulty in their lives. It is not uncommon in this group for there to be distinct patterns of abuse and history of breaking these abusive cycles. This may be one of the reasons a person feels compelled to help others any way they can. It may be part of the reason people who do this work have higher levels of empathy than the average person. I will not deny that there is a very strong connection between abusive dynamics and those who practice mediumship. I have met quite a few who name their spiritual experiences as the primary motivator to break these habits and go into service.
I have a long history of making mistakes in love relationships. I will not deny that. I also attribute my “waking up” to my mediumship. In my far past I have over-empathized with people who did not have my best interest in mind. Subsequently, I have also sought help in all forms to break these habits. Through professional counseling, medical professionals and alternative healing practices I have arrived at a place in my life where I no longer tolerate abusive patterns from others. To do so, I have had to make sure I don’t promote any myself. I still make mistakes, but every day I make fewer. That’s as much as most of us can hope for. Only imperfection is perfectly expressed.
In conclusion, I hope this post will help others who embark upon investigating mediums for specialized jobs make more informed decisions. I also hope this will spark other intuitives to be more introspective about their beliefs. At the very least I know it will help two groups; the medium and skeptic, better understand each other's perspectives.