With her eyes pinched shut, Priti Mahalanobis listened as a gong sounded near her right ear, then her left. A woman's voice chanted. Mahalanobis, 42, opened her eyes.

Peaches Stevens, in her late 20s with straw-blond hair and pouty lips, sat down across from her client in the Orlando office. With a knife, she slowly cut into a grapefruit that Mahalanobis had brought. The blade dipped into the fruit. A second perpendicular cut formed a cross shape.

As Stevens peeled the skin back, Mahalanobis gasped. Instead of juicy pink fruit, inside was a stringy black mass, like something hacked up from an animal's throat.

"The evil has made a home in your body," Stevens consoled her panicked guest. "Don't worry. I'm going to put this evil to rest."

Only a week earlier, in March 2010, Stevens had sailed into Mahalanobis' life with the junk mail. Flipping through a stack of coupons, Mahalanobis found an ad offering $20 psychic readings.

A prim, petite Indian woman with a husband and two children, she had been swirling with anxiety. Her sister was ill, her brother's marriage was ending, and the economy was threatening to sink her father's business. Mahalanobis herself was nervously preparing to cut the ribbon on her own Quiznos franchise. Stomach problems kept her in constant discomfort.

"I called the number," Mahalanobis recalls. "The appointment was for the next day."

The Meditation and Healing Center was located in a one-story house steps from the local police station. In their first meeting, a sympathetic listen was all it took to pick the lock on everything Mahalanobis had been holding in.

The psychic sensed negative energy. She said that for $200, she could hunt for answers through meditation. Mahalanobis agreed. As a Hindu, concepts of negative energy and meditation were familiar. "All her terminology was couched more to appeal to more people with Eastern belief systems and philosophies," Mahalanobis explains in retrospect.

But the recon from the other side was bad. The psychic informed Mahalanobis that before marrying her mother, Mahalanobis' father had been involved with another woman but rejected her. The scorned lady placed a curse on the family for three generations.

"It would affect us in the area of love, health, and money," Mahalanobis says. "Suddenly, it seemed to make sense."

With a master's degree in applied economics, Mahalanobis was trained to look for patterns in a mess of data. A curse sensibly wove together all the seemingly random bad news.

The curse could be proven, Stevens claimed. She told her client to go home and write the names of her extended family on a piece of paper. She would also need a $100 bill for each person and a grapefruit. That night, Mahalanobis placed her list — 11 people total — plus $1,100 in an envelope under her pillow as instructed. She put a grapefruit under her bed.

The next day, Mahalanobis was staring at the proof her family was cursed. They couldn't just toss the evil — which had been siphoned out of her body and into the grapefruit — in the dumpster. It would have to be put to rest in a golden tabernacle. The psychic could handle the work, but it would cost $19,000.

Mahalanobis hid and rationalized her actions. At the bank, pulling $1,000 in cash for the psychic, she noticed the teller counted out the bills in the shape of a cross — just as Stevens had cut the grapefruit. When Mahalanobis' side began to ache, it was just as Stevens had warned: Now that the evil had vacated her body, it would leave an emptiness. When she began to doubt Stevens, it was just the curse manifesting negative ideas.

The stress burned 20 pounds off her frame. Gray began creeping into her fine black hair. When friends asked why she looked ground up, she blamed the new business. But because she was rerouting its income to Stevens, her new Quiznos closed after only two months.

Three months in, Stevens had a revelation: Mahalanobis, not her father, was the root of the family curse. Seven lifetimes back, when she had been a man, she had caused much pain and suffering. The curse wouldn't let up now until seven golden tabernacles were constructed. This plot twist sent Mahalanobis scrambling for more money and rested new guilt on her shoulders. The karmic stain was on her.

Her life shrank to a single purpose — saving her family. She gave to protect the 11 lives that mattered most. The money couldn't leave her hands fast enough.

"What would I not give if it meant the freedom of my whole entire family?" she asks today. "At that point, if she had told me to give up my life, I probably would have done it."

One day, Mahalanobis' husband of 20 years asked why she'd spent $13,000 at a store called Zodiac Gallery. Mahalanobis cooked up a limp lie about buying herbal medicine for a sick friend. Her husband said she'd have to sell her gold jewelry to cover the debt. She'd already pawned it.

By December 2010, Mahalanobis could no longer handle the stress. On a Christmas trip to Arizona, she asked her father point-blank if he'd been with another woman before his marriage. The answer was a definite no.

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22 comments
dontbefooled
dontbefooled like.author.displayName 1 Like

I've got a little test for any supposed psychics out there. This is open only to those that believe that they have psychic powers. 

I have written a random number down on a piece of paper. I am looking at the number right now. I will look at the number again from time to time. Simply channel my thoughts, and tell me the number. 


smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@dontbefooled Just for the hell of it, 42!  And I havent an ounce of psychic anything.

NayaAerodiode
NayaAerodiode

These fortune tellers are selling hope, and honestly, I'd rather them make the profit from their sales than any of the other purveyors of hope out there - that is, politicians and religious organizations.  At least the fortune tellers only scam the willing, and they only spend the money on cars and vacations, rather than the really destructive things that churches and political organizations do.  If a fool is going to be separated from his money, I'd rather it go to these guys than preachers.

dontbefooled
dontbefooled like.author.displayName 1 Like

@NayaAerodiode These fortune tellers are cleaning out the entire bank accounts of their gullible victims in short order. 

Religious organizations usually take a small portion of your money over time, not all at once. For that reason, I would say that the fortune tells are worse. 

It's a little harder to avoid the government completely, so I'll ignore that point.

I will agree that belief in nonsense, like you get from religion, could lead you to belief systems that will allow you to get fleeced by gypsies. 

Your best defense is to have a world view that comports as closely to reality as possible. 

wingedwolfpsion
wingedwolfpsion

Please don't refer to these people as psychics.  They are NOT psychic. They are frauds.  There are many legitimate people out there who are trying to use their abilities honestly.  You may not believe in them, but THEY believe in themselves, and do their best to represent their skills honestly.  (Here's a hint - no one legitimate tells you that you're cursed, and offers to lift it for additional money - they'd either offer to lift it for free, or wouldn't offer at all.  Plus, that sort of thing is pretty rare (depending on where you live).

Also, haven't the Roma been discriminated against enough, without being implicated, as a people, in things like this?  Discrimination against Roma in the US has been less severe than in many other places.  Fueling it is reprehensible.

dontbefooled
dontbefooled

@wingedwolfpsion 

Sorry, it's all bullshit. Just degrees. If you believe in ANY of this nonsense, it's goodbye money!

wingedwolfpsion
wingedwolfpsion

@dontbefooled@wingedwolfpsionYour faith in the nonexistence of such things is no more legitimate than others beliefs in their existence. 

dontbefooled
dontbefooled

@wingedwolfpsion @dontbefooled 

Wrong again. You're just talking out your ass again. That's not the scientific method at all. You don't try to prove a negative. 

Psychic phenominon has not been PROVEN. It fails every time they attempt to demonstrate it in controlled scientific tests. That's why rational people discount it. If we believed in every wild assertion because it could not be disproven, we would believe a bunch of crazy stuff, as you appear to. And we would be in the right frame of mind to be ripped off like the poor souls in the stories above.

I'll be happy to change my belief system when new scientific evidence is presented. As for the rest of your screed, it's just more wild-ass conspiracy stuff to be discounted out of hand by rational people. 

wingedwolfpsion
wingedwolfpsion

@dontbefooled @wingedwolfpsion It's never been proven not to, either.  You confuse lack of proof with proof of lack - a common mistake among those who do not understand the scientific method, but are overly fond of their own belief system.  Any scientist would laugh at your statement (that things which are not proven can be discounted).  How incurious of you!  The reality is more complicated than you imagine it to be.  People with ability have far more to lose when proof comes, than they would have to gain.  The reaction of those who do not have ability would not be something any of us wants to see.  As a result, you will find few people with high level ability are willing to put themselves into a lab.  I would point out that our government is still using remote viewing, however.  They seem quite attached to top secret programs utilizing this ability which you discount...  Your confidence makes you the same as any other religious fanatic; make no mistake about that.

dontbefooled
dontbefooled

@wingedwolfpsion @dontbefooled 

Wrong! Psychic phenomenon has never been proven to exist. Until it is, it can be discounted entirely just like any other absurd claim that you want to pull out of your ass.


gypsyhunter
gypsyhunter

sometimes people are in dire need of answers to the problems in their life. When someone is already in a vulnerable place, seeing a psychic for direction may seem like the last resort. Nobody goes to a psychic already knowing that they are cursed. Perhaps they should change their con to something different bc it seems like everyone that goes to them is somehow cursed. While some psychics are not fraudulent and may offer words of wisdom, others are in for the kill. The difference is that these fraudulent fortune tellers are selling false hope to vulnerable people, they are stealing money by false pretense. If what they are doing was not criminal, they would not be arrested and prosecuted. More and more people are stepping up to the plate and going after them. The majority of them chose to remain illiterate and not assimilate into American society. They should go back to where they came from. They truly are disgusting people. If you have not experienced it, DONT knock it!

gypsyhunter
gypsyhunter

sometimes people are in dire need of answers to the problems in their life. When someone is already in a vulnerable place, seeing a psychic for direction may seem like the last resort. Nobody goes to a psychic already knowing that they are cursed. Perhaps they should change their con to something different bc it seems like everyone that goes to them is somehow cursed. While some psychics are not fraudulent and may offer words of wisdom, others are in for the kill. The difference is that these fraudulent fortune tellers are selling false hope to vulnerable people, they are stealing money by false pretense. If what they are doing was not criminal, they would not be arrested and prosecuted. More and more people are stepping up to the plate and going after them. The majority of them chose to remain illiterate and not assimilate into American society. They should go back to where they came from. They truly are disgusting people. If you have not experienced it, DONT knock it!

gypsyhunter
gypsyhunter

sometimes people are in dire need of answers to the problems in their life. When someone is already in a vulnerable place, seeing a psychic for direction may seem like the last resort. Nobody goes to a psychic already knowing that they are cursed. Perhaps they should change their con to something different bc it seems like everyone that goes to them is somehow cursed. While some psychics are not fraudulent and may offer words of wisdom, others are in for the kill. The difference is that these fraudulent fortune tellers are selling false hope to vulnerable people, they are stealing money by false pretense. If what they are doing was not criminal, they would not be arrested and prosecuted. More and more people are stepping up to the plate and going after them. The majority of them chose to remain illiterate and not assimilate into American society. They should go back to where they came from. They truly are disgusting people. If you have not experienced it, DONT knock it!

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

People need to stop being gullible.  What these people did was truly horrific, but there are no laws that can prevent gullible people from giving money to these people.  Psychics do not exist.  If they did, do you think they would be working out of a crappy storefront or house?  

Apply logic.  If it does not make sense, dont take part.

gypsyhunter
gypsyhunter

@smdrpepper sometimes people are in dire need of answers to the problems in their life. When someone is already in a vulnerable place, seeing a psychic for direction may seem like the last resort. Nobody goes to a psychic already knowing that they are cursed. Perhaps they should change their con to something different bc it seems like everyone that goes to them is somehow cursed. While some psychics are not fraudulent and may offer words of wisdom, others are in for the kill. The difference is that these fraudulent fortune tellers are selling false hope to vulnerable people, they are stealing money by false pretense. If what they are doing was not criminal, they would not be arrested and prosecuted. More and more people are stepping up to the plate and going after them. The majority of them chose to remain illiterate and not assimilate into American society. They should go back to where they came from. They truly are disgusting people. If you have not experienced it, DONT knock it!

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@gypsyhunter @smdrpepper Its still fake.  There are no psychics and never have been.  All of them are out to take advantage of those people who are gullible and seeking answers for things when they just cannot blame themselves.

Sorry, but ALL psychics are fake and con artists.

dontbefooled
dontbefooled

@wingedwolfpsion @smdrpepper @gypsyhunter 

THEY may believe in what they do. That does not change the fact that what they believe in is untrue. If you believe in things that are untrue, then you are a sucker. A sheep ready to be fleeced. 


TBPlayer
TBPlayer

@wingedwolfpsion @smdrpepper @gypsyhunter There may be some people who honestly believe they are "psychic," but if so, they are deluded.  They may not be as morally culpable as the knowing frauds (the vast majority of "psychics," IMHO), but they probably do as much damage.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@wingedwolfpsion @smdrpepper @gypsyhunter I agree, they believe in fleecing the gullible from their money.  Show me one bit of evidence that "psychic powers" exist and I will reconsider.  However, since there is no proof of any of these so called "psychics" have done anything but harm, any benefit they may have is purely a placebo.

 
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