MAIL-ORDER PSYCHICS: YOUR FUTURE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER! JUST SEND $19.95

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2 1997 12:00 a.m. MST

The first letter arrived in August.

I don't mean to alarm you, but what just happened to me was very frightening. Someone who has passed over to the other side, just poked me hard in the ribs that awoke me from a deep sleep and told me to contact you as quickly as possible.Despite the bad syntax and the stray comma, it was hard not to read on.

Your Magnificent Golden Miracle "360 Day" event starts September 9, 1996 and if I don't hear from you in the next 10 days it may be blocked out of your life forever. PLEASE! PLEASE! WRITE TO ME AT ONCE . . . If you write me in the next 10 days I will be able to reveal to you your "Magnificent Golden Miracle" Reading. In this reading you may discover concealed bank accounts or lost stock certificates that may make you an overnight mil-lion-aire.

This was the first letter. Since then there have been over 30 more - from psychics, astrologers, psychic astrologers, numerologists, a metaphysical supernatural adviser, the Brain Wave Analysis Center, a spiritual visionary, the Amazing Kreskin, a life analyst, the Angel Inspirational Center, a dancing ta'i chi master and the Special Human Being Laboratory in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Fortunetelling, apparently, isn't what it used to be. Gone are the crystal balls and seedy storefront parlors. In their place are computerized mailing lists and an aggressive campaign to track down the forlorn, the afflicted and the gullible.

I am not writing this letter to everyone. I have been up all night. I cannot sleep. I have not been able to eat. I need your help.

I am writing you this letter because last night I had one of the strangest psychic episodes of my entire life. I saw many incredible and wonderful things. I saw your winning numbers and gigantic amounts of money in startling detail. AND I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU! I COULD NOT GET YOU OUT OF MY MIND.

That letter was from Valerie Morrison of Money Drawing Psychic Channeling and the Brainwave Analysis Center, both of Las Vegas.

Take the Brainwave pattern that is in your hand and place it on your forehead for ONE FULL MINUTE. No less. While it is against your forehead, concentrate on money as hard as you can. Concentrate on synchronizing your thoughts with mine. I will receive your thoughts and unblock your psychic energy centers.

Then you must return the brainwave to me in the special COURIER ENVELOPE that I have enclosed for you. Be sure to include my psychic services fee of $20.00 I will send you the information I "read" from our two brains being locked psychically into one.

Valerie Morrison doesn't actually live in Las Vegas. There aren't any really well-known psychics in

Vegas, says Kevin Kasday. Kasday is president of Astral Sciences of Las Vegas, which is apparentlysort of a clearinghouse for psychics, astrologers and brain-wave readers.

Astral Sciences has to get its psychics from out of state, says Kasday. It represents not only Morrison but Irene Hughes (psychic astrologer to the stars), Lucky Crystal and the Guardians of the Oracle National Research Society.

"We represent real psychics, not made-up ones," says Kasday. "Our psychics have dealt with presidents, etcetera, etcetera. . . . These are not just people off the street."

"We're a very clean company," he adds. "We deliver exactly what we say in the pieces."

Congratulations. I am writing you today about a matter of great importance. You have been bitterly disappointed in your life, haven't you? . . . You're not as happy as you have a right to be, are you? . . . We have news for you that might make you a very RICH, HAPPY, and FULFILLED person in just a short period of time!

You will receive a full report with full information on NOSTRADAMUS. You will receive a PERSONAL, SEALED REPORT on what might be your fate. THIS INCLUDES THE FULL INFORMATION AVAILABLE ABOUT MONEY, HAPPINESS, LOVE, AND NEW WONDERFUL THINGS, LIKE HOMES, CARS, AND VACATIONS.

Of course it's not hard to deliver exactly what you say when what you say is might. And possible and maybe.

It's possible you could tomorrow get overseas check for up to U.S. $102,704.13. And, I Ready to Help You With T'ai Chi. I Release Your Hidden Power. I pledge you will receive so much joy and maybe up to $102,704.13 fast.

Still, just to be on the safe side, many psychics don't operate in the states indicated by their P.O. boxes.

"You never do business, if you're not on the up and up, within your own state, because the attorney general will be after you," says Fran Stephens, executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Roanoke, Va.

So, even though the Rolla Nordic Estate, the American Research Organization of Psychic and Astrological Sciences, and psychic Maria DeVries use Roanoke as their business address, these addresses are actually mail drops. They really operate out of New York, says Stephens.

And a person with a New York mailing address usually is operating out of some other state.

My name is Dr. Roger Grimstone, and I am Research Director of the Special Human Being Research Laboratory of New York. Here at the research laboratory, it is my job to seek out and find extraordinary individuals who have tried again and again, but for one reason or another, have failed to achieve the happiness, love and financial security that life owes them.

You are a Beyonder. You belong to a special category of people to whom none of the known laws of the universe apply . . .

In respect to the fact that you are a Beyonder, as a special service to you we have gone beyond the usual scope of our research. . . . To obtain your reserve copy of THE GUIDE just send $30.

Apparently the letters are fairly new to Utah, where the Consumer Protection Division has as yet received only one inquiry.

"It's clearly in a gray area of the law," says spokesman Kim Morris. The psychics are technically providing customers something for their money, even if the something is vague.

As Kasday of Astral Sciences points out, "We're not strong-arming anyone." Some people, he notes, really believe in psychics, numerologists and brain-wave readers, even psychics who begin their letters like this:

We have arranged Hand-Delivery of this Letter directly to you at your residence as you should know that this is the most important letter you will receive this year now securely on file from our Registry.

The Utah Consumer Protection Division has no plans to investigate mail-order psychics for fraud, but if it ever did, Morris already has figured out what the first sentence of his letter to the psychics will say:

As you've been expecting . . .

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