We have previously discussed the legal blindspot for businesses that sell products with a claim of a divine touch like ChristianMingle.com and heaven-blocking bullets for Muslims. An analogous issue was raised this week with a filing in Los Angeles in which Klarissa Castro is suing her former psychic, Jennifer Williams and her company, Psychic Readings By Yana, over her failure to life a curse on her love life. The case could be dismissed under the notion of “a fool and her money are soon separated” but there were some interesting wrinkles in the psychic treatment.
The lawsuit alleges fraud and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Castro says that she consulted with Williams in August 2010 and was told that a curse had been placed on her, but that she was in luck. Williams allegedly said that she could lift the curse through “a series of psychic sessions with Williams.”
The first consultation cost $500 and then the costs mounted to $4,025 over the next two years. Williams instructed Castro to buy special candles blessed by her and perform other acts. Castro spent another $1,400 on gift cards and gave them to the psychic, which she said Williams told her would be used to buy items representing the love between the plaintiff and her boyfriend. Then came the big ticket item. Castro says that Williams convinced her to give Williams a $5,020 to commission a painting that the defendant said would help “lift the curse on plaintiff” and make her and her boyfriend grow closer together. She says that she never saw the picture and “No change occurred in plaintiff’s life as promised by Williams throughout the approximate two years that (she) was seeing Williams.”
I found ads for Psychic readings by Yana in California that read:
Spiritual Psychic help and guidance, in love,marriage ,money. bring back lost loves. One visit will amaze you.Past,Present,Future. 45 yrs.exp. West la Psychic Reader Yana has the God Given gift to help! $25 Reading if You Mention This Add!! A REAL PSYCHIC! Ethical,Reliable,Guaranteed Results. http://www.psychicloves.com
The ad assures that “Yana” has a gift of God with “guaranteed results.” That last part could be a key for a legal action if this is the same Yana.
The case again rides the line between fraud and faith. Whether a priest or a psychic, a court could easily say that any adult would realize that these are unenforceable promises of salvation or divine intervention. This complaint however details a far greater degree of economic damage. Yet, can a court rule that this psychic stuff is just hokum without taking the same position on selling prayer clothes or dating services?
What do you think?
Source: Daily News
16 thoughts on “California Woman Sues Former Psychic Over Failure To Lift Love Curse”
“We have previously discussed the legal blindspot for businesses that sell products with a claim of a divine touch … What do you think?”
Let’s not leave out the government or military that runs it. They are big-time divine aren’t they?
They both have claimed a divine touch for decades, according to a book written in 1944:
(Myth Addiction Is Establishment’s LSD – 3). Don’t bother suing them though because the enjoy sovereign immunity and they be trippin’ …
Lottakatz ((*(_*)) (and I am a lover of punctuation.)
Leejcaroll, you can never have too many smileys or too much punctuation. 🙂
Leejcaroll, I remember that episode. It’s pretty sad that a TV series episode from half a century ago tells you everything you need to know about a situation and people are still getting fooled.
What’s the difference between this scam and someone like a priest of pastor telling you prayer, and a novena (for a price), and a contribution to the building fund can make Dog look more favorably on you and alleviate your worldly burdens? That’s not even getting int buying those little prayer squares that will put your prayers to Dog at the front of the line (for a price) or heal your illness. The difference is only popularity and political clout ’cause it’s all the same scam at its most basic.
You got me Lottakatz.
I guess some folk would say the Bible says tithe so therefore it is okay to then say give a buck to light a candle, pay 2$ for a novena and so forth and G-d will look upon you with favor. Makes me think it is at odds with ‘the poor will always be with you’ – since poor enough you can’t afford that 1, 2$ and more, but then maybe some of those poor are the folks who gave too much in the first place to the church/synagogue, mosque/psychic . (Can’t decide if I want to put a smile after that or not ((*_*)) )
It’s funny that the psychic didn’t foresee this lawsuit.
Maybe she just needs to give it more time. These curses don’t just lift overnight, you know.
From the advertisment I was not swayed the soothsayer was committing a violation until I read the “Guaranteed Results” element. I agree that might be a factor in the plaintiff’s case. There was an offer to “help” the person in previous words but that was essentially it.
Maybe this is why the television commercials of ten or so years ago offering psychic hotline services had “for entertainment purposes” as a disclaimer to prevent such legal recourses.
I wonder if this psychic might get into trouble for say some “questionable accounting practices”, as some might argue with the requirement that the plaintiff compensate for services with consideration such as gift cards and the likes rather than checks or more conventional payments.
leej, I bet Joe Friday gave the victim one of his classic lectures. I don’t remember that one.
It’s a shame. She must have missed the classic Dragnet episode where a gypsy woman did the same things and the person learned her lesson about being conned in this way.
Sometimes desperation causes you to leave your common sense and intelligence at the door.
I’m a bit surprised no one has picked up the psychic’s address is on the infamous Bundy Drive. We were on vacation in LA during the OJ trial and drove by the Bundy address. My wife just read the article and says it’s a classic Gypsy scam MO.
As a Federal Probation Officer my wife dealt w/ a similar case. The psychic was a Gypsy[Roma is the very new pc term] and conned a woman, who was well educated, out of 6 figures. Gypsies often use Anglo names. The mother of the gypsy put a curse on my wife when the defendant was sent to prison.
Now, I am not a believer….
Wow. Interesting case, but crazy at the same time. Who can believe this crap, especially after spending so much money?
I believe a fraud claim will fail due to the issue of reasonable reliance. The word “guarantee” in the ad, however, may provide some substance for a contract claim, but a judge might well decide that a contract to remove a “love curse,” whatever that means, is not enforceable on public policy grounds. And, of course, the buyer is a fool.
Selling an invisible product has its advantages.
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