Brex­iter spir­i­tu­al­ists will raise hell over this hatchet job but, as they’ll un­der­stand, it’s all for ‘en­ter­tain­ment pur­poses only’

The Herald on Sunday - - FUTURE SHOCK - with Bill Bain

JE­SUS, the orig­i­nal and best rab­bler­ous­ing so­cial­ist fire­brand with the ini­tials JC, once ad­vised his flock that it’s eas­ier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a nee­dle than for a rich man to en­ter Heaven. You’ll note he didn’t men­tion how women qual­ify, but maybe it’s be­cause there’s sim­ply no re­quire­ment for de­fined gen­der “up there”. Sex is likely in­fea­si­ble in spir­i­tual orb form.

Such spec­u­la­tive the­o­log­i­cal mus­ings do beg one se­ri­ous ques­tion, how­ever – do we keep our gen­i­tals in the af­ter­life? It’s a con­dun­drum that in­spired the late Chuck Berry to write My Ding A Ling – an earnest ode to his old chap. Per­haps this leg­endary non-mu­si­cal in­stru­ment should have been pick­led in a jar and dis­played next to his guitar in the Hard Rock Cafe.

Spare a thought too for the eter­nal soul of late ch-ch-changeling David Bowie. Who knows which of his many ques­tion­able hair­dos he’s now for­ever lum­bered with in im­mor­tal spirit form.

Then again, Je­sus made clear that only the skint and meek get into Heaven – def­i­nitely rul­ing that pair out. Iron­i­cally, this strict door pol­icy must also then knock back those who claim to have a di­rect line to Heaven – spir­i­tu­al­ists, the re­al­ity-dis­tort­ing grief par­a­sites fu­elling what is now a highly lu­cra­tive mul­ti­mil­lion-pound global in­dus­try.

It’s as if these well-heeled prac­ti­tion­ers of other-worldly com­mu­nion aren’t ac­tu­ally that both­ered about en­ter­ing the af­ter­life them­selves. In fact, it’s al­most like they don’t be­lieve in it at all.

The orig­i­nal Meg

PER­HAPS I’m be­ing a bit hasty in pre­sum­ing these trans-di­men­sional con­duits are all Chris­tians who fol­low the words and teach­ings of a zom­bie Bee Gee. The leg­endary Mys­tic Meg cer­tainly didn’t.

Pre­sent­ing her­self as a glam sor­cer­ess styled by Prince and the Rev­o­lu­tion – and quite likely Jessie J’s mum

– Meg’s pow­ers dur­ing her

News Of The World hey­day ac­tu­ally seemed on an equal par to God him­self. Pre­dict­ing the fu­ture, talk­ing to the dead, tarot, crys­tals, horo­scopes, past-life re­gres­sion, your bath­room grout­ing – you name it, Meg had it cov­ered.

In­deed, so awe­some were her abil­i­ties that that she could even iden­tify in­di­vid­ual read­ers of the now-de­funct news­pa­per by print­ing their ini­tials next to a per­sonal mes­sage from the great be­yond. Per­haps she sim­ply was privy to the sub­scribers’ list.

De­spite search­ing ev­ery Sun­day morn­ing for many years, I never got a mes­sage – but one mem­o­rable com­mu­ni­ca­tion lingers long in the mind: “F.B. of Lon­don, you will have no need for the gloves in Amer­ica.” Per­haps Frank Bruno could have saved him­self a tank­ing from Mike Tyson if he had sim­ply checked his horo­scope. Meg, how­ever, cer­tainly had an in­sight into the fu­ture when it came to the art of mon­etis­ing her “gift” us­ing the power of tech­nol­ogy. Blaz­ing a trail for ca­reer psy­chics, Meg would fleece the naive, des­per­ate and vul­ner­a­ble with a pre­mium rate phone line – no web­sites, apps or Face­book then. This cost 90p a minute, yet call­ers were greeted not by Meg, but a sloooooowly and spoooook­ily spo­ken recorded mes­sage telling call­ers ev­ery­thing was gooooo­ing to be ooooooook in their trou­bled lives. But Meg was ly­ing. It wasn’t go­ing to be OK – all those call­ers were go­ing to die. Per­haps alone and painfully. As are you and I. Our last thoughts pep­pered with re­gret and re­morse, be­fore their eter­nal era­sure from the cos­mic can­vas for­ever.

The odd delu­sion

GIVEN the un­palat­able re­al­ity of eter­nal noth­ing­ness, our species’ de­sire to be­lieve in some­thing other is un­der­stand­able. Yet, our will­ing­ness to be se­dated by com­fort­ing delu­sions has now birthed a £100 mil­lion in­dus­try in the UK – one which is grow­ing at a star­tling rate. When al­go­rithms ren­der us all use­less and re­dun­dant, it’s likely you’ll fancy a piece of that ac­tion your­self.

It doesn’t even say whether su­per­nat­u­ral pow­ers are a re­quire­ment at one on­line “Psy­chic De­vel­op­ment Course” (just £225), so we must as­sume folk are sim­ply be­ing trained to be good old-fash­ioned con­fi­dence trick­sters.

Even some­thing as in­nocu­ous and silly as psy­chic mail­ings – let­ters promis­ing spir­i­tual mes­sages – is es­ti­mated to cost UK be­liev­ers £40m each year, ac­cord­ing to Of­fice of Fair Trad­ing re­search.

Yet, it’s newer tech­no­log­i­cal dev­ilry such as on­line and satel­lite TV ser­vices that have al­lowed spir­i­tu­al­ism to join the dark pan­theon of dig­i­tal cam-sex, casi­nos and bingo in cast­ing a spell of mass zomb­i­fied stu­por over the na­tion.

Right now, mil­lions sac­ri­fice their dig­nity scrap­ping over yel­low Whoops! sticker food items just so they have cash to send on a one-way jour­ney to hum­ming servers reg­is­tered for tax rea­sons in the Isle of Man – chas­ing the dragon of thrills and com­fort clearly miss­ing in their real lives.

Psy­chic Brex­iters

IN a world where a TV ad­vert high­light­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal folly of palm oil pro­duc­tion is banned, you may won­der how medi­ums get the green light to ad­ver­tise that they can con­tact the dead and pre­dict the fu­ture. Well, since 2008, they ac­tu­ally can’t – and it’s how the spir­i­tu­al­ist com­mu­nity found un­likely sol­i­dar­ity in an­other set of con­fi­dence trick­ers – the Brex­iters. Una­mused by folk prof­it­ing from the mis­ery and vul­ner­a­bil­ity of oth­ers, the EU brought in new Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion from Un­fair Trad­ing Reg­u­la­tions forc­ing all com­mer­cial traders to sub­stan­ti­ate claims made about their busi­ness – not easy for psy­chics with the whole chat­ting to the dead thing. They clearly never saw it com­ing. (The EU also states that ev­ery ar­ti­cle like this has to in­clude that joke.) Hu­mil­i­ated spir­i­tu­al­ists have since been forced to de­scribe their on­cerevered ser­vices as “for en­ter­tain­ment pur­poses only” or “an ex­per­i­ment”. Per­haps they should be happy they’ll never need to prove their cre­ative fab­ri­ca­tions are valid ban­ter from the spirit world. It also seems the EU made a sound pre­dic­tion it­self – that in Brexit Bri­tain, more “en­ter­tain­ment” will be nec­es­sary to stop us eat­ing each other.

Men of a cer­tain age may shift around un­com­fort­ably see­ing this pic again

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