Don’t Be Duped

I caught a TV show while visiting Korea last year called, “One Thousand People”. The producer surveyed a thousand people on different topics and invited experts to talk about the results. The show’s survey that day concerned shamanism, and the guest for that show was a spiritualist. He said he was born to a shaman family and worked for 10 years as a fortuneteller after going through the ritual of “receiving the spirit”. He said that fortunetelling was nothing more than a business, and advised against buying talismans and paying for rituals to cast out evil spirits or prevent misfortune.

“People who go to fortunetellers are easy to manipulate. They are so eager to believe that if a spiritualist even hints that misfortune is lurking at their door or that an accident is about to happen, they invariably come back to hear more.”

When they’re convinced that spiritualists know something they don’t, they’re easily exploited. “If a customer doesn’t look well-to-do, spiritualists suggest buying talismans that cost $300-500. If a customer is rich, spiritualists suggest shaman rituals to protect them from evil spirits or misfortunes. The price for these rituals varies. I have performed a ritual that costs $50,000, once for a colonel’s wife, and another time for a woman who was having an affair.”

Good spiritualists get customers to reveal information about themselves and pretend to get it supernaturally. If they truly had the supernatural power to see the future, we would be hearing about spiritualists winning the lottery or making big money by investing in companies they know will do well.

According to the show’s survey, half of the Korean population visits a fortuneteller at least once a year. 30% of them spend at least $30 a month and 8% spend more than $100 a month on fortunetellers.

I do think that some spiritualists really do receive spirits. They know secret histories of their customers because evil spirits tell them. Spiritualists are good at revealing the past but poor in predicting the future because the future is in God’s hands. Evil spirits cannot know what God will do.

I was once curious about the accuracy of fortunetellers’ predictions. So I clipped the predictions made at the beginning of the year by well-known spiritualists and assessed them at the end of the year. Their success rate was about 50%, no better than purely guessing.

People visit fortunetellers because they are uncertain about their futures. They are worried and fearful and want to obtain peace of mind. But only God can give real peace of mind. Instead of seeking spiritualists, they should seek God.

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