A few weeks ago, the well-known historian and Inquirer columnist Ambeth Ocampo expressed his ire and frustration against local fortunetellers and astrologers, saying that they only tell clients what they want to hear.
Although I’ve met a few really good ones, many of them are not really worth the time and money spent.
In a study conducted in the United States many years ago, several fortunetellers and psychics were asked to predict what would happen that whole year. At the end of the year they looked at how many predictions turned out correct. Only 10 percent were correct, but the reputation of those fortunetellers rested on that 10 percent chance.
This reminded me of the story of the 16th-century king, Croesus of Lydia (now part of Turkey), who reigned for 14 years until his defeat by King Cyrus of Persia.
Threatened by warlike Persians, Croesus wanted to know what would happen if he attacked Persia. So he sought the counsel of soothsayers, fortunetellers and oracles. But first he wanted to test how accurate they were.
He sent several messengers to oracles in Greece and Lydia. At exactly 100 days after leaving Sardis (some sources say after seven days), the messengers were to ask the oracles, “What was Croesus doing at that time?”
Oracle at Delphi
The king at that time decided to boil a tortoise and a lamb in a cauldron made of brass. The Oracle at Delphi was the only one that got it correct. She told the messengers she could “smell the scent of a lamb and a tortoise being boiled in a cauldron made of brass.”
The elated king hastily melted a huge amount of gold as offering to the god Apollo at the Oracle at Delphi. In front of the high priestess King Croesus asked, “What would happen if I attacked Persia? “
The answer came: “A mighty kingdom will be destroyed.”
So Croesus attacked Persia and lost his kingdom. Was the Oracle wrong? Not necessarily. The king forgot to ask which kingdom will be destroyed. The Oracle at Delphi was often vague in her answers.
The mistake that King Croesus committed was that he tested the oracles and psychics on the wrong psychic ability or power.
He tested them for their ability to remotely view something from afar. This is technically called “traveling clairvoyance,” which was scientifically proven at the Stanford Research Institute (now called SRI International) in Menlo Park, California, after 20 years of research.
However, the king asked the oracle what would happen if he attacked Persia. This is precognition or the ability to tell future events and not remote viewing or clairvoyance.
If King Croesus had enrolled in my Basic ESP seminar, he would not have made that mistake. INQ