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A publicist who obviously didn’t read my site very carefully sent me this e-mail:

Subject: wow…website is giving away free psychic readings with a famous psychic

Thought your audience would be interested in this. The savvy staff from the site,, is offering a refer-a-friend sweepstakes that’s unlike anything else …, whose contributors include Whoopi Goldberg, Marlo Thomas and “60 Minutes” Lesley Stahl, is offering four people the chance to win a free psychic reading with revered psychic, medium Peggy Rometo. Peggy has worked with celebrities such as Demi Moore and Fortune 500 execs to provide life-affirming and life-changing information.

Feel free to post the link on your Web site and share this opportunity with your readers.

If any of you want to enter this sweepstakes, readers, have at it. But somehow, I doubt we’re the intended audience.

I’d never heard of this “famous psychic” Peggy Rometo, so I went and Googled her name. Judging by the number of results – a few dozen at best, most of which were advertising – I’d say “world renowned” is out of the question, and even “famous” would be stretching the truth. She doesn’t have any discernible history prior to her affiliation with this site. Even by the necessarily lax standards of psychics, her credentials seem extraordinarily thin, and I strongly suspect she’s only getting all this promotion because she’s a personal friend of one of the owners of this site. Not that this stops her from charging a jaw-dropping $500 per hour for personal consultations, according to her own website, which also hawks books and CDs with titles like “Using Your Intuition in Real Estate”. (If only Wall Street had sought her advice before investing in all those subprime mortgage bonds!)

If you still haven’t had enough Peggy, there’s also this interview, which liberally piles on the gibberish:

My main psychic sense is hearing and feeling (known as a clairaudient, clairempathic and clairsentient); seeing is secondary (clairvoyance). I mainly focus and listen for any thoughts that come through my inner right ear/right brain. A spirit will oftentimes express themselves to me by interrupting me, unless I’ve asked for them ahead of time, per the client’s request. I always start out a session by connecting to what I call “Universal Consciousness”; it’s an energy flow that is available to all of us, at all times and is all inclusive of everything we should ever want or need.

With all those incredible powers, I don’t suppose you’d be interested in applying for James Randi’s million dollars while the challenge is still open, would you, Peggy? No? Didn’t think so.

In all seriousness: This, from all appearances, very garden-variety psychic is just another specimen of the legions who exploit people’s deep-seated fears and personal troubles for profit and offer nothing in return but trite platitudes and supernatural gibberish. It’s a shame, and frankly an insult to women, that a site designed to appeal to the female gender promotes such credulous nonsense. There are plenty of smart, skeptical women out there. Why don’t we hear from them instead?

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...