Bain Capital is one of the world’s leading private, alternative asset management firms, with approximately $65 billion in assets under management. That’s the first thing you read when you go to their web page. That’s right $65 billion, let’s say approximately and round off at 66 billion. Last night a Bain representative (who will for the time being be referred to as Mr. X) called me up to discuss “platforms” and “marketing options” his investor clients want to take a look at. They are interested in the “psychic market.” Hmmmmmm. Looks like the Big Bucks guys are looking for new ways to make the money grab now that Romney is out.Flattering as it was to be their “go to guy” in this enterprise, my antennae went up after I first Googled this fellow’s name before officially accepting his call. I’ve been here before. The last time somebody wanted to pump me for the “how to” on 900 lines, it was Uri Geller himself back in the 90′s. Uri wanted to set-up a new phone line with me as his partner. I declined. Later he left a voice mail on my message machine and believe it or not, after listening to his greeting, that machine never worked again. But that’s another story.
It was odd indeed to be interviewed by a person who apparently hadn’t read my book, “Psychic Blues” or have any idea about what my take on this dicey world would be. I guess they are just too busy counting money over at Bain to get into the higher spiritual realms.
The key phrase Mr. X used that set the tone was, “…We aren’t interested in the skeptical aspects of your work.” Yeah. Duh. This was not a surprising introduction to what was to come.
Bain and their partners, clients and moguls are knocking on the doors of the psychic world. Again, not surprising at all really. Who wouldn’t? Especially when you’ve got billions to spend?
We know as skeptics we are mostly losing the battle for rational thinking (and now investing) and when things get worse in the economy and elsewhere; well, …things get worse. The vultures are circling. They smell blood in the water and want their piece of the action. Knowing what little I know about Bain, the Koch brothers and their pack I braced myself, listened carefully and as in my past role infiltrating the psychic market in “Psychic Blues;” I played the game.
Standard questions such as who calls 900 lines, payment, basic demographics and such were covered. I told Mr. X the absolute truth from the perspective of someone who has been there and back. I made sure to underscore the fact that back in the 90′s when 900 psychic lines began to take off, it was a novelty and fun new way for many people to feel “entertained.” It remains true that when times get tough, psychics tend to prosper and people want cheap solutions to their problems now just as then. The problem for young guys like Mr. X and his investors today is since convicted frauds like Miss Cleo, the Psychic Friends Network and their ilk have ben so badly discredited or gone belly up, not only are most people thankfully a little bit smarter than back then, they also have little or no discretionary funds to piss away on such frivolities. They need things like food, gas and heating more than psychic harmony or healing crystals. I let him know in no uncertain terms it’s now more than ever a risky business for anyone to get into and unless somebody comes up with an original and exciting way to banish the deceptive practices and woo mumbo-jumbo, they are bound to lose money and fail.
After dwelling on the downside of entering into a business that would no doubt increase the misery and poverty of millions of people, Mr. X told me he personally had “moral reservations” about supporting alliences with his investors in these ventures, but hey, …that’s his job. Nice dodge Mr. X.
It’s clear to me that no matter how discouraging my answers to this interrogation may have been, Bain & Co. are likely going full-steam-ahead with their plans. Mr X told me they had spoken to many other “psychics, healers and intuitives” about future options. I got the distinct feeling I was the one dissenting voice in his day. Let’s face it, I’m sure those “professional” charlatans made things look as rosy and inviting as possible.
So get ready Ladies and Gentlemen – a whole new barrage of hyped-up nonsense is on the horizon. With people like Dr. Phil (take home pay 35 million a year) and the Koch brothers hosting the lowest of the low in our society, it won’t be long before your PC, iPhone, and most private sensitive information will be skillfully woven into a huge fabric of consumer fraud and used against you by people who have the money, power and initiative to think up bigger and more devious ways to convince you they have what you need in “spiritual guidance.”
Without wanting to sound too conspiratorial – or political, expect this new wave of streamlinde state-of-the-art bullshit to subtly inject right-wing thought into their new witche’s brew of high-tech wonders.
I predict things like; “…Psychics are into inner higher awareness and shun big government intrusion into their space” or “Psychics support the right to carry concealed weapons – it’s all about Karma” etc.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.