Psychic LTE Published [Times Leader]

I’m not against people who present psychic services with the very clear purpose of entertainment.

I’m not against parents who want help to find their children.

I’m not against people who seek psychic services and who understand that the services aren’t “real.”

What I am against, though, is people who say that they have supernatural powers and don’t offer their services as entertainment. Self-proclaimed psychics offer false hope and can exploit people who often are in very desperate need of assurance, are very afraid and are desperate to find missing persons.

Pauline Bailey, a resident of Pittston, recently contacted psychic Carla Baron with sincere hopes of finding her missing daughter. According to Baron’s website, phone sessions range from $155 to $310. I’m not sure whether the Pittston resident was charged for the services of Baron, but there is little doubt that other individuals have been charged.

There is no compelling evidence that people have supernatural powers. If psychics such as Baron do have powers, they should submit themselves to experimental testing and prove their abilities. Until this is done, everyone should be very skeptical.

I have challenged Baron to a test of her psychic abilities and also have referred her to James Randi’s “The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge.” As of this writing, she has not responded to my message.

Justin Vacula

Justin Vacula hosts the Stoic Philosophy Podcast; serves as co-organizer and spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society; and has hosted monthly Stoic Philosophy discussion groups for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia.

He has appeared on and hosted various radio shows and podcasts; participated in formal debates and discussions; was a guest speaker for college-level courses; was featured in local, national, and international news; and has been invited to speak at various national, local, and statewide events.

Vacula received bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in the Scranton, PA area attending Marywood University’s graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program and has worked with the Arc of Luzerne County’s Transition to Community Employment program as a teacher’s assistant and job coach alongside adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

He also plays poker; volunteers as a member of the website and media team for the Greyhawk Reborn Dungeons & Dragons campaign while playing at events in the Eastern United States; and enjoys metal music.