John Knoll of the Santa Fe New Mexican called me last week, asking whether psychics had ever been tested scientifically. I told him that scientific verification of any 'psychic' ability is still lacking, and discussed James Randi's long-standing offer of a million dollars to anyone who can demonstrate paranormal abilities in controlled conditions. However, Knoll ignored everything I said. When his article finally appeared, it turned out that Knoll decided just to focus only on all the wonderful things the psychic will be bringing the valley. Here's what he wrote on June 8th:
"Seventeen miles north of Santa Fe, on the west side of U.S. 84/285, there's a compelling sign that reads: Psychic Healer, with a picture of a dark-haired woman, hands cupped around a crystal ball. Tarot cards flank the woman's image and in smaller red letters, below the crystal ball, the words: 'curandera' and 'espiritista'. Gina, an eighth-generation, psychic healer who prefers to go only by her first name, is the person depicted on the sign. She opened her Pojoaque business May 25 after moving to the area because she 'felt a strong psychic feeling of reaching out to people in the area.' 'Our healing tradition has been passed down to the women of our family,' she said. 'None of the men in my family have this ability. 'I think it's in my DNA,' she said, sitting in her reading room where she holds her healing sessions. 'The energy gets stronger through every generation.' The word 'vision' pops up frequently in her conversation, as does the word 'God.' 'Vision comes through my third-eye chakra,' she said. 'My gift to heal is a gift from God. If God decides to work through me, I can heal. I don't have the power to heal. God is the only healer.' Gina said her first vision came to her in a dream when she was three. Although she didn't want to recount the dream 'because it's private,' she did have this to say about her first encounter with the spiritual dimension. 'I saw a soft, bright light,' she said. 'The most beautiful part was the silence and the peace and energy I felt that connected my body, mind and spirit.' Unlike many curanderas in Northern New Mexico, Gina said she does not use herbs to heal her clients; neither does she delve into the area of exorcising spirits as is often the case with espiritistas. She said she uses the terms: curandera, psychic healer and espiritista as synonyms, all of which mean 'a healer.' Gina's methodology involves Tarot card readings, palm readings and crystal gazing. 'I don't need these to heal, but some people prefer them,' she said. 'I can connect psychically to people without the aid of anything, except God.' Sounding somewhat like a psychotherapist, she said, 'I help people understand their problem by helping them realize what the problem is. Most people don't realize their capacities. I tell them, 'Be who you are. Be what God made you to be.' ' Many people, she said, don't know how to pray. If that is the case, they can drop by her office and she'll give free prayer instructions. For her other services, there is a fee. A crystal ball reading is $65. 'I can see 5 to 6 years into the future,' she said. 'I don't hold back. I tell it all, good and bad. Life isn't perfect. I try to help people understand that.' A Tarot card reading starts at $40, and a palm reading is $30. Until June 15, she has a $25 special on both types of readings. Working by appointment, her telephone number is 988-9941; she said she welcomes people of all faiths and denominations. 'I respect all beliefs,' she said. 'God believes in you, even if you don't believe in him.' ..."Do YOU think this is "fair and balanced" reporting, or "fairly unbalanced"? Contact John Knoll at email@example.com; or better yet, write Howard Houghton, City Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. How are our Albuquerque psychics doing? Not so hot!