The Future of Fortune Telling

Talk about predictable news: The Wolf Files asked several top psychics about the fate of their own profession, and they see great things in their own future.

August ushers in National Psychic Week, and just to let you know how cynical I am, you can be sure that if I had psychic powers, I'd run to a racetrack and make it so that my children's children's children wouldn't have to work.

An even easier payday would be to collect the $1 million prize from the James Randi Educational Foundation in Florida, offered to any demonstration of paranormal powers under laboratory conditions.

"Please take my money," says Randi, renewing his challenge to the clairvoyant community. "If you feel bad about it, donate the $1 million to any charity you want."

Thank goodness most psychics don't exploit their extrasensory perception. For just a small fee, they'll tell our fortunes, and we apparently need them more than ever. Here are some visions of the future by and for people who say they see into the future.

1. Even ET Needs a Psychic: Space Crystal Balls By the year 2030, extraterrestrials will not only phone home, they'll be sending intergalactic greetings with the help of clairvoyant translators, says Sylvia Browne, one of TV's most famous psychics.

"It's abundantly clear that we already have extraterrestrials living among us, and people are stepping forward who can communicate with them," says Browne, 68, who shares predictions in her new book, Prophecy: What The Future Holds For You (Dutton).

"We shouldn't be scared of ETs," she says. "If they wanted to destroy us, they would have a long time ago."

In the next 25 years, Brown sees a world where robot-servants will become everyday appliances. Doors will lock at the blink of an eye, and we'll take trips to the moon to meet with advanced life forms from other planets.

By that time, psychics will be licensed professionals, like doctors and lawyers, to help us communicate and do business with these new life forms. "The need is coming to test and license psychics to protect the world from rip-off artists," says Browne, "And we know they're out there."

2. The Psychic News Network: We Predict, You Decide

Are you ready for tomorrow's news today? It's time for Ahead-Line News, a 30-minute weekly TV show that features four top psychics predicting future headlines, with correspondents in the field where tomorrow's news is expected to occur.

"You get to keep tabs with what psychics predict, and if they're not right, they're risking their own reputations," says Frank Lunn, who is pitching the show to several networks and hopes to have it up in a year.

Viewers may be warned to turn the channel if they don't want to ruin the suspense of Election Day. Ahead-Line News might even poll other psychics so that you can see what President Nader's approval rating might be, 18 months from now.

Just beware the broadcast that ends with, "The weather tomorrow will be partially sunny, followed by the collapse of civilization and life as we know it. Good night."

3. Do-It-Yourself Precognition: Be Your Own Intuitive Consultant

When the phone rings, do you have an uncanny sense of who's on the line? We all have the power to develop our paranormal powers, according to Lynn Robinson, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being Psychic.

Unfortunately, while anyone can learn to play the piano, not all of us can play like Liberace. Apparently, you may still need to pay a professional.

Robinson says Fortune 500 companies have hired her as an "intuitive consultant," and she'd be willing to tell us which companies use her skills if she hadn't signed nondisclosure agreements. "It's too controversial," she says. "Look at the trouble Nancy Reagan got into," referring to reports that the former first lady set her husband's agenda after consulting with San Francisco astrologer Joan Quigley.

4. The Secretary of Foresight: Cabinet-Level Clairvoyance As one of several psychics who claim to have foreseen the capture of Saddam Hussein, medium Jill Dahne is now predicting that the next president will create a new Cabinet position, "secretary of foresight."

Dahne has a strong feeling that President Bush will be re-elected, but the Florida medium is promising to work with John Kerry if she's wrong.

"You have to be willing to get involved if you've got a special gift," she says. "It's not enough to predict the future. You have to do what you can to make the future a better place."

If a career in politics doesn't work out, Dahne's future is still sweet. Her mother markets Micki Dahne's Psychic Scents, a set of 12 specially formulated fragrances to complement the unique personality traits of the 12 astrological signs.

5. Celebrity DNA Readings: Bio-Astrology

As Shakespeare might have said, "The fault lies not in our stars, but in our stars' DNA."

Psychic Bayless Secord of Medina, Minn., believes that in the future, fortunetellers will be reading DNA, just as they've been reading palms. Last year, he set up DNApsychic.com, a Web site that explained how extra strands in the DNA of celebrities like Tom Hanks account for their special auras.

"A friend told me, as a DNA psychic, I'm a little ahead of my time. It's a little like trying to sell real estate on Mars," he told The Wolf Files last year, after launching the site. "I take that as a challenge." Unfortunately, DNA fortunetelling has yet to catch on, and Secord has temporarily shut down his Web site. "I'm still working on this," he says.

"It took thousands of years for astrologers to chart out the stars. Now, we must do the same thing with our DNA, because we'll be working toward truly cosmic answers."

Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.

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