Kim Weaver believes she can see the future. She’s sees a world with more perfect Obamacare, a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and more restrictions on pollution. Ms. Weaver was, until not so long ago, part of the $2 billion psychic industry. As in paid fortune tellers.
Now Weaver, a Democrat, sees herself in the United States Congress, sitting in the seat currently occupied by a man called Steve King. She ran against Rep. King in 2016, garnering 39% of the vote in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. On a recent edition of MSNBC’s AM Joy, Weaver looked into her crystal ball and saw herself as part of a wave of Democrats capitalizing on anti-Trump sentiment to recapture the Congress in 2018; proudly announcing her intent to challenge King once again next year.
All that was before someone sent the Des Moines Register anonymous information indicating that Weaver “operated an array of psychic services websites, hosted an internet radio show and participated in online discussions of the supernatural.”
“Doesn’t change a thing regarding my race,” said Weaver.
In her day job, Weaver is an ombudsman for the Iowa Department of Aging. That apparently means she investigates complaints and acts as an advocate. Presumably empathy would be a good skill in the ombudsman job, which seemingly crosses over with her work as a psychic, though that more metaphysically transcendent work apparently occurred before 2012.
Weaver proudly claims that in her last race she spent just $1.22 per voter, compared to $22 for her competitor. If you change the nouns a bit you can almost hear her in a Midwestern version of the old Miss Cleo ads for telephone psychics. Just $1.22 for the first 30 minutes, CALL NOW!
While the sudden appearance of damaging information about her candidacy smells a lot like the sinister spirits of opposition researcher, you wonder if Weaver might have foreseen these revelations in her cards?
It will be a shock to some, but it turns out online psychics are largely a racket.
“Your call with a psychic is private and confidential” says the website of Californiapsychics.com. Before the customer does anything, or even knows how the service costs, the site demands credit card information, claiming to have “the best psychics in the industry.”
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of con artists out there,” Shay Parker, founder of Best American Psychics, an online directory of seers who reportedly undergo testing and criminal background checks told The Los Angeles Times.
Miss Cleo, who was from Los Angeles, famously adopted a Jamaican accent and headscarf (talk about cultural appropriation). She was forced to pay $5 million to settle charges that her service misled customers with promises of free psychic readings.
According to the Federal Trade Commission settlement in 2002, only the first few minutes were free. Sadly, Miss Cleo (her real name was Youree Harris) passed away in Palm Beach a few years ago after battling cancer.
Online review sites are full of feedback and complaints about the latest wave of psychic services. A lot of the customers for these services seem to be lovelorn younger women.
One reviewer of a Los Angeles based psychic service said “she was instructed last year to pay $125 to remove “a negative curse” preventing her from meeting Mr. Right. When that didn’t work, she was told to withdraw $7,000 from the bank and sleep with it in her bed along with a dozen red roses and a picture of herself.”
Californiapsychics.com illicit some equally painful online reviews:
My 19 year old daughter was going thru a terrible break up. She desperately turned to the Psychics to see what was in her future with this boy. Well they totally scammed her, they gave her false hope, telling her they were going to get back together on a certain date, that he would call on a certain date, that they would be married, etc. They totally told her what she wanted to hear. They kept her on the phone, they called her and solicited more “readings” all to the tune of over 1800.00 which was taken out of her account that was set up for her student loans to go into. When these predictions did not come true, my daughter tried to commit suicide, and she ended up in the hospital for 3 days … This company should be shut down. How do I get my money back from these scammers?
Psychics and politicians may have a lot in common after all.