County Board seeks ban on seances, fortune telling


Alex Parker

April 20, 2010 @ 7:00 AM

Sorry, seers. If a county proposal goes forward, some of you might have to find a new line of work.

County commissioners today referred to the County Board's law enforcement committee a proposed law that would ban people from committing fraud under the guise of performing spiritual acts for money.

The proposal, from Commissioners Edwin Reyes, Bridget Gainer and Gregg Goslin, includes a swath of spirituality.

It would affect mediumship, palmistry, card reading, astrology, seership, "crafty science," and fortune telling that might take place as gatherings, circles and seances.

"This was something that was highlighted to say there is a variety of different things out there that could be covered by certain deceptive practices," Gainer says.

She says the measure was suggested by the sheriff's department, and that more people dealing with a tough economy might be hoodwinked by frauds posing as spiritual leaders.

"It's like anything else. It's like video poker," Gainer says. "It's predatory and puts people in a bad spot. It's a ban on the fraudulent use of this vehicle to defraud people of their resources."

It's also part of a larger bill that gives Cook County sheriff's police more authority to write tickets to non-violent offenders - such as those who are publicly intoxicated or vandalizing cemeteries - rather than arrest them, thus cutting administrative costs.

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