(this is a copy of
the guidelines as drawn up for the new Government legislations
would be interested in your comments and views)
Mediumship is about providing
proof of life after physical death. Broadly speaking mediums
believe that we are essentially spirit and when the body dies
the spirit continues. A medium's role is to bring evidence of
this loved one's survival and continuing existence after they
have died their physical death. Because the intention is to
prove life after physical death these messages should be evidence
based. However, because evidence is very subjective and very
personal it is quite hard to define. What is evidence to one
person may not be to another and vice versa.
Although evidence can take
many forms it should be evidence that is personal to recipient/enquirer
and means something to the recipient/enquirer. This could be
in the words or mannerisms that can be attributed to the person
coming through or in the form of more direct evidence such as
ages, names, descriptions, memories, how they passed, anniversaries
or something similar. These are, however, just examples. Even
if the message does not contain these it could still provide
the evidence that you need. Furthermore, evidence that is given
will sometimes not be immediately identifiable. Sometimes it
is only in discussion with other members of the family that
information comes to light that the recipient may not have previously
known. We also have quite bad memories so sometimes we do not
remember things clearly or recognise the evidence until later.
It should also be remembered that mediums are individuals and
as such work in different ways.
A medium may also be expected
to aspire to bring spiritual advice and guidance to those living
on the earth plane, and to bring the teachings of rather more
exalted beings through to those who wish to hear them.
Mediums working on public
platform, whether in a church or secular centre, should always
ask the recipient's permission to give them a communication
from spirit before proceeding with the contact and giving a
Mediums should always be
mindful of the possible impact of that message, and be wary
of passing on anything of a negative nature.
Mediums should remember
that they represent the spiritual movement as a whole, and ensure
that they are clean and tidy in appearance.
As ambassadors of the spiritual movement, mediums should moderate
their language and show respect when they speak towards those
they serve, both in this world and in spirit.
There are also some things
that are totally unacceptable. For instance a medium should not:
Give predictions including,
but not limited to the following:
Tell you that someone
is going to die
Tell you that someone who is ill is going to get better
Tell you to change your job
Tell you to leave your partner
Tell you to move house
Tell you your partner is going to leave you
Tell you your partner is going to have an affair
Tell you that your prayers are not answered if you are
Tell you that you need to pay to have your aura repaired
Tell you that you need to pay to have a curse lifted
Tell you that you or your relatives are going to die
unless you pay
Tell you that you or your relatives will have bad luck
unless you pay
Tell you that you need to buy spiritual artefacts/books
Reveal the names of people that have been given readings
to a third
Repeat anything they have given as a reading
Reveal any information about you to a third party
Give obviously confidential information in a public arena
Embarrass a sitter or member of an audience
Use information gained from a reading or message to the
Use information gained from a reading to materially,
physically or sexually abuse or control the recipient
Act in any way that could cause offence
Become publicly embroiled in religious arguments
Go into trance during mediumship unless there is someone
who is able to take responsibility and it has been previously
Give messages to those under the age of consent without
consent in writing
Give instructions to people about how to open up without
Hold development circles without proper training
Carry out exorcisms or house clearances alone and without
from Various sources
Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 was a law in England and Wales which
prohibited a person from claiming to be a psychic, medium, or
other spiritualist while attempting to deceive and to make money
from the deception (other than solely for the purpose of entertainment).
It was repealed on 26 May 2008. There were five prosecutions
under this Act between 1980 and 1995, all resulting in conviction.
The Act was replaced by new Consumer Protection Regulations
following an EU directive targeting unfair sales and marketing
It also repealed the Witchcraft Act 1735. It is sometimes said,
erroneously, that until 1951 British law recognised witchcraft
as real. In fact, the 1735 Act was the first to recognise that
magic is impossible, explicitly stating that it was an act against
Practised since 19th Century
Believe in god
Believe contact with dead is possible
Many mediums are not spiritualists
On 6 April 2008, Consumer
Protection Law is changing in the UK. The Consumer Protection
from Unfair Trading Regulations 2007 (known as the 'CPRs') will
come into force. This change is due to an EU Directive designed
to standardise consumer protection law across Europe.
The CPRs will affect any
business or individual that sells products or services to consumers
rather than to other businesses. Much of the existing UK legislation
will be amended or repealed at the same time, including the
Trade Descriptions Act 1968, the Consumer Protection Act 1987,
the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 and others.
Note : The final version
of the CPRs have not yet been published and so the following
is based on the draft Regulations and guidance given by the
Office of Fair Trading.
In essence, the CPRs will
do three things. They impose a duty on all businesses dealing
with consumers not to trade unfairly and not to use misleading
or aggressive practices. They also outlaw completely certain
Clearly, it will be important
to deal openly and fairly with clients but there are some aspects
that will particularly affect healers, readers, psychics and
False Claims of Cures
One of the practices that
are banned completely is falsely claiming that a product
is able to cure illness, dysfunction or malformations.
There is a real danger that
this prohibition could be used by those who oppose alternative
and complimentary therapies. Just how far it will be allowed
to curb such therapies will depend largely on how the prosecuting
authorities and courts decide to interpret the new law.
In the meantime, healers
should particularly be slow to make definitive claims in their
literature, consultations or healing sessions that they can
cure an ailment. It would be far better to simply set out how
their treatment might help the client, what it can do, what
it cant do and what it is likely or not likely but possible
to achieve. A claim such as this treatment might help
your condition would be far better than a claim such as
this treatment will cure you. The latter is likely
to be illegal unless you can prove that it will provide the
complete cure you suggest.
Misleading or Aggressive
This outlaws the use of
harassment, coercion or undue influence such that it could impair
a clients freedom of choice in such a way that they are
more likely to use your services or pay more for them.
Clearly, this is designed
to curb particularly aggressive or misleading sales techniques.
It is important to realise, however, that, as a healer, reader,
psychic or medium, you are often put in a position of power
when it comes to clients, especially those who are ill or emotionally
vulnerable. This might make you open to accusations of undue
influence. It is important therefore that clients have complete
freedom of choice as to whether to use your services. The idea
of informed consent is likely to be important (and
is good practice in any event): make sure your client knows
exactly what you offer, what outcomes are likely, what outcomes
are unlikely but possible, what the alternatives are and what
it will cost.
Not to Trade Unfairly
This is a catch-all
provision that prohibits practices that are unreasonable, dishonest
or done in bad faith which are likely to make the typical client
of such services more likely to use your services or pay more
for them. Again, the informed consent approach is
likely to be the best way forward.
The new Regulations are
designed to standardise unfair trade practices across Europe
but will tighten up the law in many areas. It is too early to
see exactly what this will mean in practice: we will need to
wait for the final version of the Regulations to be published
and to see how the prosecuting authorities and courts view things.
Certainly, there are groups
that are against activities such as alternative and complimentary
therapies, readers, psychics and mediums and they can be expected
to put pressure on the prosecuting authorities to take action.
It is important to realise
that these Regulations are not designed to outlaw these therapies
and readings but are more focused on the way they are marketed
and what happens at the point of sale. It will be important
not to make exaggerated claims as to the efficacy of healing
techniques or to restrict the choice of a client when they decide
whether to use your services or what to pay for them. It may
be that the idea of informed consent, much used now in the medical
profession, will be the way forward. It remains to be seen whether
it would be advisable to obtain written consent to treatments
but certainly some sort of record of what advice was given should
This article is not intended
to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete
and authoritative statement of the law. Legal advice should
always be sought to confirm whether or how any information in
this article applies to your particular situation.
6th April 2008
A whole list of disclaimers must be added to the spiritualists'
spiel if they are to avoid an avalanche of writs following the
repeal next month of the Fraudulent Mediums Act, to be replaced
by the new Consumer Protection Regulations. Promises to raise
the dead, secure good fortune or heal through the laying on
of hands are all at risk of legal action from disgruntled customers.
Spiritualists say they will be forced to issue disclaimers,
such as 'this is a scientific experiment, the results of which
cannot be guaranteed'. They claim the new regulations will leave
them open to malicious civil action by sceptics.
The problem is that very little in the multi-million-pound psychic
industry in Britain is for free, and anyone charging or accepting
'gifts' in exchange for a service is bound by the new regulations.
There are charges for seances, Tarot, psychic readings and clairvoyance.
Spiritualist church service-goers - and there are more than
300 spiritualist churches in Britain - are charged or asked
for donations. Psychic mailings - letters promising spiritualist
services in exchange for a cheque - are estimated to have cost
Britons £40m in 2006-07, according to Office of Fair Trading
research. Psychic services via telephone, online and satellite
TV keep the tills ringing further. For the past half-century,
'genuine' mediums have been protected by the 1951 Fraudulent
Mediums Act, under which prosecutors had to prove fraud and
dishonest intent to secure a criminal conviction, which was
difficult. There have been fewer than 10 convictions in the
past 20 years. With that protection gone, there will now be
nothing between the medium and the trading standards officer
- and no need to prove fraud. Instead it will be up to the trader,
in this case the medium, to prove they did not mislead, coerce
or take advantage of any 'vulnerable' consumers.
18 April 2008
A change in the law could mean mediums, psychics and healers
face prosecution if they cannot justify their claims. Spiritualists
are delivering a mass petition to Downing Street and complaining
that a genuine religion is being discriminated against.
Whether it's TS Eliot or Shirley Ghostman, the world of the
medium has been gently drizzled with ridicule for some decades.
But now psychics, healers and spiritualists fear a new threat.
Not gentle ribbing, but the long arm of the law.
Parliament is about to debate measures that will see all forms
of paid-for paranormal activities fall under the new Consumer
Protection Regulations. As well as tackling a raft of more mundane
commercial sharp practice, these regulations will also replace
the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951.
And some mediums are not
happy. Under the old legislation, it had to be proven that any
accused psychic was setting out to commit a fraud. The first
case was a man in 1952 on a charge that he did in "purporting
to act as a spiritualistic medium, unlawfully use a certain
fraudulent device, namely, a length of cheesecloth". He
was acquitted, setting a pattern for the last 50 years of very
Under the new laws, some mediums feel they will be obliged to
prove what they do. And when you're in the business of contacting
spirits in the afterlife, that's not easy. The new laws mean
that medium's even if they are only working for expenses will
have to give disclaimers along the lines of "this is not
science" and "this is just an experiment", or
"this is for entertainment purposes only".
Aimed at unfair sales and marketing practices
Follow EU directive
Will need approval by Parliament
Centre on "reasonable expectations of the average consumer"
Persistent breaches punishable by enforcement order
Breach of order punishable by two years in prison or fine
23 April 2008
Lord Tunnicliffe (Labour)
My Lords, I shall also speak
to the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations
2008. Both sets of regulations implement EC directives and are
being made under Section 2(2) of the European Communities Act
The consumer protection
regulations implement the unfair commercial practices directive.
The regulations prohibit traders in all sectors from engaging
in unfair commercial practices with consumers. Commercial practices
are acts or omissions by a trader directly connected to the
promotion, sale or supply of products to or from consumers.
The regulations will operate flexibly to catch unfair practices.
At their heart is a prohibition on the use of unfair commercial
practices. A commercial practice is unfair if it amounts to
conduct below a level that may be expected towards consumers
in accordance with honest market practice or good faith. This
is intended to act as safety-net protection for all consumers.
This broad category of unfair
commercial practices is supplemented with more specific categories
concerning misleading actions and omissions and aggressive practices.
The vast majority of practices that would be considered unfair
would fall under these provisions. For a practice to be unfair
under these rules, it must harm, or be likely to harm, the economic
interests of the average consumerin effect, they make
a choice that they would not otherwise have made.
The normal benchmark for
determining the likely effect of a practice is the average consumer.
However, where a practice is targeted at particular groups of
consumers, or is likely to adversely affect the economic behaviour
of only a clearly identifiable group of vulnerable consumers
in a way that the trader could reasonably foresee, the average
member of this group is the one who becomes the benchmark against
which the effect of the practice will be assessed.
The regulations also ban
31 specific practices in all circumstances, irrespective of
whether they may affect consumers' economic behaviour. These
include prize-draw scams, bogus closing-down sales, and preying
on elderly people's fears about their personal security to sell
them burglar alarms. The prohibition on the use of unfair commercial
practices will be enforceable through the procedure for the
enforcement of Community infringements in Part 8 of the Enterprise
Act 2002. This enables the Office of Fair Trading, Trading Standards,
and designatedmainly sectoralenforcers such as Ofgem
to apply to the courts for enforcement orders to prevent or
stop the use of unfair commercial practices.
In addition, with limited
exceptions, a breach of the prohibition on unfair commercial
practices will be a criminal offence. Most of the offences follow
the general approach of strict liability, which requires proof
only that a commercial practice is prohibited. However, there
will be no offence merely because a commercial practice falls
within the broad category of those falling below honest market
practice or good faith, unless the trader knowingly or recklessly
engages in this conduct. This is because of the wide-ranging
nature of this category.
The Office of Fair Trading
and Trading Standards will have a duty to enforce the regulations.
However, where there are effective systems of self-regulation,
such as those administered by the Advertising Standards Authority
and PhonepayPlus, we would usually expect complaints to be referred
to them in the first place for action, as established means
under both these regulations and the business protection regulations.
A supplementary objective in transposing the directive was to
achieve some regulatory simplification, where that was possible
without reducing consumer protection. The consumer protection
regulations repeal provisions in a number of laws, including
most of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and the provisions on
misleading price indications in Part III of the Consumer Protection
The consumer protection
regulations represent the biggest change to the UK consumer
protection framework for almost 40 years. They will put in place
a more comprehensive framework for tackling sharp practices
and rogue traders who exploit loopholes in the existing prescriptive
legislation. They will also deliver a big part of BERR's simplification
plan. This is a good law for both consumers and honest businesses.
Consumers will obtain better protection from unfair practices.
Honest businesses will no longer have to face unfair competition
from traders who use underhand tactics. The changes will also
simplify consumer protection, making it clear which commercial
practices are, and are not, allowed.
I turn to the second instrument
under discussion today. The business protection regulations
implement the 2006 misleading and comparative advertising directive.
That directive consolidated the previous 1984 directive on the
subject with amendments made to it by other directives, including
the UCPD. The previous 1984 directive is currently implemented
by the Control of Misleading Advertising Regulations 1988, which
will be repealed by the consumer protection regulations.
The business protection
regulations prohibit advertising that misleads traders and set
out the conditions under which comparative advertising is permitted.
Comparative advertising is advertising that identifies a competitor
or a competitor's product. A trader who engages in advertising
which misleads traders will be guilty of a criminal offence.
The OFT and Trading Standards have a duty to enforce the regulations.
Those enforcement authorities are given the power to apply to
the courts for injunctions to secure compliance with the regulations.
Making misleading advertising a criminal offence, and giving
Trading Standards a duty to enforce the regulations, will ensure
that there is no reduction in business protection following
the repeal of certain laws, such as most of the Trade Descriptions
Act, which protects businesses as well as consumers.
There has been extensive
consultation on the transposition of the unfair commercial practices
directive into UK law and on these two sets of regulations.
I therefore commend the regulations to the House and beg to
Moved, That the draft regulations
laid before the House on 3 March be approved. 13th Report from
the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.(Lord Tunnicliffe.)
27th May 2008
in new Consumer Protection RegulationsThe below article was
taken from the Times-On-Line website on this linkThe fortune-tellers,
at least, must have seen it coming. The biggest overhaul of
consumer laws for 40 years takes effect on Monday, tightening
controls on everything from door-to-door salesmen to children's
advertising. The below article was taken from the Times-On-Line
website on this linkFortune-tellers and astrologists will be
bracketed with double-glazing salesman under the new Consumer
Protection Regulations. The changes, which implement an EU directive
on unfair commercial practices, require businesses for the first
time to act fairly towards consumers and will outlaw disreputable
Fortune-tellers will have
to tell customers that what they offer is 'for entertainment
only' and not 'experimentally proven'. This means that a fortune-teller
who sets up a tent at a funfair will have to put up a disclaimer
on a board outside.
Similar disclaimers will
need to be posted on the websites of faith healers, spiritualists
or mediums where appropriate, as well as on invoices and at
the top of any printed terms and conditions.
Andy Millmore, a partner
at the law firm Harbottle & Lewis in London, said: 'What
is significant is the sweeping nature of the regulations. They
will effectively criminalise actions that might in the past
have escaped legal censure, even if they may perhaps have been
covered by industry voluntary codes.
'Personalised services may
also come under scrutiny. A tarot pack reader, for instance,
cannot just pick one of several templates it would have
to be a proper reading designed for that person.'
Claims to secure good fortune,
contact the dead or heal through the laying-on of hands are
all services that will also have to carry disclaimers, other
lawyers say. 'You could argue that this is no different from
promises given by the Church of Eternal Life, which people pay
for, in the sense that they feel obliged to give to the collection,'
one said. 'Its no more proven.'
Mr Millmore said that the
changes created a lower test for prosecution. 'Before, a prosecution
had to show that there was a false or misleading trade description.
Now the test is, is it an unfair commercial trade practice?
So we are likely to see more prosecutions,' he said.
The new test would also
take account of the context of the sale, he said. If the target
were an elderly or vulnerable person, the courts would take
a harsher view. 'If my aged grandmother lets in a double-glazing
seller, and he presses her to make a sale, that would probably
constitute an aggressive practice and be criminalised.'
The rules state that anyone
offering a service must not engage in unfair commercial practice,
misleading statement or omission or aggressive sales practice.
This would criminalise practices such as 'closing down' sales
that arent, limited time offers that then last longer
and false testimonials left on websites.
Those who break the new
laws, which will be enforced by the Office of Fair Trading or
trading standards officers, will face fines of up to £5,000
if their case is heard in a magistrates courts or a fine
and up to two years in jail if the case is severe enough to
be heard in the Crown Court.
The new regulations also
include a blacklist of 31 activities, which include claiming
falsely to have signed up to an approved code of conduct; advertising
a product at a cheap price, knowing there is insufficient stock
to meet demand, so-called bait advertising; making customers
think that they cannot leave without signing; and suggesting
in childrens advertising that not buying a product would
leave a child disadvantaged.
The Spiritualist Workers
Association attacked the changes, saying on its website: 'We
do not believe we are conducting a scientific experiment. To
have to stand up and say so is a denial of our beliefs. It is
also sending out a message that we do not believe what we are
saying and doing.'
Lyn Guest de Swarte, a clairvoyant,
said: 'Its like trying to regulate God.' Mr Millmores
view is that fortune-tellers will not be the main target. 'The
double-glazing sellers who go for elderly ladies its
in those areas that people would expect the new laws to bite,'
he said. On the cards Ready-made consumer protection disclaimers
for psychics, tarot card readers, astrologers and fortune-tellers
Astrologers 'Beware a tall, dark stranger claiming to predict
the future' Tarot card readers 'Living your life in accordance
with our predictions could damage your health' Fortune tellers
'Customers crossing my palm with silver do so at their own risk'
Mediums 'Is there anybody out there? Maybe . . . or maybe not'
Psychic healers 'Close your eyes and breathe deeply but
dont part with your money just yet'
- A Censored Word? 2008
Posted By and Copyright to: Carole and David McEntee-Taylor (Saahera-Centre)
If certain trading standards
offices are allowed to interpret the new legislation this is
how we may have to advertise spiritual healing in the future.
The following is a transcript of one individuals interpretation
of the new legislation. This comes from a trading standards
office on the South Coast. Apart from showing a staggering level
of ignorance is this a worrying foretaste of what is to come?
1. By using the words heal
or healer you are suggesting that you can cure, this is not
an acceptable term within the new legislation unless you can
give proof of such claims. Anecdotal evidence on your abilities
is now not enough, you will need to be able to justify any claim
you are making.
2. You can only claim to
be a Reiki Master if this is a recognised endorsement
3. Reflexology, if you claim
that it can improve and help many conditions you must be able
to provide proof of it, again not just anecdotal evidence.
4. Indian Head Massage -
have you proof it promotes longevity and general well being?
5. This law is wide ranging
you must make every attempt to avoid misleading comments or
6. Sadly unless again you
have absolute proof that angels exist you cannot claim they
heal you. Some creative writing may be needed to the claims
they can be connected to your clients.
Many spiritual healers do
not charge and so may consider that they do not come within
the new Consumer Protection Regulations. However, if you charge
people to come into an event and then offer free Spiritual Healing
as part of the event, then you will come within the Consumer
Protection Regulations, because money has changed hands.
Those who provide spiritual
healing on a full time basis do have to cover their overheads
and therefore do charge. If they have their own clinic they
will have to keep records, have someone available to be a chaperone/receptionist,
pay for heating, lighting etc. They also have to pay taxes so
that our politicians can continue to live in the style to which
they have become accustomed. These taxes also pay the wages
of those who bring in legislation without any knowledge of the
subject and the wages of those who enforce it. Like most legislation,
it is the individual interpretation that causes the problems.
The way we view the world stems from our life experiences, upbringing
and education. These experiences also develop and reinforce
our prejudices and it is a very rare person who is able to rise
above their own prejudices and make a totally unbiased judgement.
In some countries in Europe
(where the new legislation came from) healing is illegal. ECHO,
(European Confederation of Healing Organisations) one of the
Partner Organisations of the SWA, is campaigning to get the
European Parliament to make changes and recognise that healers
have as much right to work in Europe as anyone else. To do this
they need to demonstrate the support of over 100,000 people
across Europe. If you feel as strongly as we do about this then
please join us and help us support ECHO in their campaign.
We know that many spiritual
people do not believe that they should get involved in politics.
However, politicians are now interfering in your lives, they
are now telling you how you can work and what you should believe.
Can you really justify doing nothing?
A final point Many
religions talk about angels and many mainstream religions have
healing services. How soon before they too are told what they
should believe or they are asked to prove their beliefs?
of the articles, stories and pictures on this page are copyrighted
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prior written permission from the owner. ©
Brenda Diskin 2008