These days it isn't uncommon to read in our newspapers, and in other media, that someone has been involved in fraudulent activities. Such people are found in a diverse range of business' and professions. Including those that could be termed "New Age". So it isn't that surprising if this topic is raised at one of our meetings.


There are a number of important things to keep in mind :


(1) Not everyone who is fraudulent is known to be that way. (Because your local newspaper does not report that business "X" or person "Y" is fraudulent it doesn't follow that they aren't. Many such situations go unknown, or un-reported.)

That includes people/business' that could be termed "New Age" and those that aren't.


(2) Not everyone who is convicted of being fraudulent is in fact fraudulent. (Such as those who are found to be "guilty" in a court of law. The legal profession doesn't always get things right.


Innocent people have been found guilty of crimes ranging from very small matters all the way up to murder. For example a guy called Alton Logan was put in prison for 26 YEARS for a murder he didn't commit. Even the prosecuting attorneys knew all along that he was innocent. More details here.


That case is only one of many. In 2004 a study showed that hundreds of people have wrongly been found "guilty" of crimes as serious as rape and murder. More details here. Or other reports here. In another case a guy called Ronald Cotton was innocent and he was left in jail for 11 years before he was set free. See here. The only reason that he was set free was because he happened, while in Jail, to meet the guy who actually did the crime. Had he not had that meeting then he could still be serving time. There are numerous other cases of injustice in legal systems for those who want to research this issue. An Australian one is here.)


That includes people/business' that could be termed "New Age" and those that aren't.


(3) Watch out for reports of "fraud" that have no basis in fact.


Some people accuse others of fraud even when they have nothing to prove their claim. Sometimes people like to discredit people in general. Sometimes "New Age" people in particular.


(4) Invalid proof.


In some cases, so-called "proof" isn't proof at all. For example, suppose someone does something where one can do the same thing oneself through trickery. Doing the latter does not prove that the person's claims are fraudulent. All it has done is prove that it might have been done through trickery.


For example, suppose a dowser suggests that water can be found on a particular piece of land. Suppose further that water is in fact found there.


If someone, at a later date, does a seismic survey that also confirms the existence of water, it doesn't "prove" that the dowser secretly did the same thing, and/or had access to seismic results obtained by mechanical means.


(5) Beware of invalid conclusions.


Suppose a medium were to tell someone in a studio audience something that was correct about themselves and/or a dead relative. Some people would conclude that the medium "must have" done some prior research on the person to get that info.


Of course they "must have" done nothing of the sort. It may be that the information was obtained through psychic means. The research explanation isn't the only possible one.


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