Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Dutch Prisons Using Psychics

Here’s one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard. In the Netherlands, the prisons actually employ psychics — errr, people who mistakenly think they are psychics or are pretending to be psychics — to counsel inmates:

Paul van Bree, a self-styled “paragnost” or clairvoyant, has been hired by the Dutch prison service to teach prisoners how to “love themselves”.

“I tell them that dead relatives are doing well and that they love them. That brings them peace. Big strong men burst into tears,” he said.


And he is not alone, nor are the prisons alone in the use of such charlatans:

The Dutch paranormal, who describes himself as the “happy Buddha” told De Tijd magazine that he is not the only psychic healer employed by the Dutch justice ministry.

He has claimed that by talking to both the prisoner and the prisoner’s dead parents he can discover key psychological insights to help the prison authorities rehabilitate criminals.

“With my antennae I sometimes reveal more than a psychologist or a prison welfare officer,” he said. “My work can be compared to mental health care in widest sense of the words.”

A spokesman for the Dutch justice ministry said: “This is not something which fits in our treatment field.”

The Dutch employment service has also looked beyond the normal to use “regression therapy” and tarot cards to help the jobless.

Uncooperative welfare claimants have been told they will lose benefits unless they accept the guidance of a regression therapist to help them get in touch with their past lives.

In 2007, 42,500 Dutch people signed up to state funded spiritually-based “personal development programmes”.

Tarot cards to help the jobless. Sounds like they’re already helping the jobless by hiring them to be frauds.