The Psychics' Code of Ethics

Lattus, a man with the deep, melodic voice of a disc jockey and the reassuring slow cadences of a therapist, leads me through the Academy's Code of Ethics. Number one, he says, is

We protect the sanctity of client relationships and information. The ethical psychic treats his clients' confidences the way a doctor or lawyer or priest does.

In fact, the Academy is making efforts to see that the psychic/seeker relationship is recognized legally, just like doctor/patient privilege. What if keeping the client's confidences means harming someone else? Well, Lattus says slowly, "in my own private practice I've run into a few situations like that. In one, an incest case, the perpetrator was the one who consulted me. He brought his wife along, apparently in an effort to get me to dissuade her suspicions. I would not have in conscience been able to do so. It was a sticky situation; technically he was the client. So I met with him privately and told him of my sense of the situation, and if he wanted me discuss this with his wife, this was what I was going to say. It has a nice ending in that we did have a conversation with his wife and he did get into treatment."

We maintain a safe, sensitive and supportive environment to facilitate personal growth and enrichment for all. The ethical psychic does not adopt a godlike attitude and become dogmatic.

Here again, says Lattus, "you should get the same bedside manner you would from a good physician."

We value our client's time as our own. The ethical psychic provides answers as quickly as he or she can.

"But," says Lattus warningly, "as a practitioner, you also become aware pretty quickly that some people really want to talk and have someone listen in a caring way." In other words, hey, sometimes you gotta let the client drone on. They're paying.

We enforce the universal gift and responsibility of free-will choice.

The most controversial statement in the Ethics! Many psychics would disagree, saying that the future is indeed predestined. But Lattus says, "My responsibility is to remember that if I create an enormous fear in the client that something will happen, I can actually begin to make the thing happen, because as the client focuses on it more and more in a fearful fashion, they will energize it more and more. So I try to emphasize the positive measures that can be taken." Empowering, non?

"Free will..." he repeats. Ah yes.
What point are we on here? I ask Lattus. "I don't have them numbered, hon," he answers testily.

Oh. Well, you just did 'free will,' I tell him.

"Free will..." he repeats. Ah yes.

We describe our services and products truthfully and without exaggeration. We highlight that we have no supernatural powers, cannot cause nor prevent any occurrence.

Some psychics believe they have supernatural powers, but the Academy's position is that psychic talent is just as natural as musical talent. "Some people are more psychically gifted than others, just like some musicians are more gifted than others. And some musicians that might not be so gifted, but they practice a lot."

"Some people are more psychically gifted than others, just like some musicians are more gifted than others. And some musicians practice a lot."

We explain that results from our work vary by individual.

It's a chemistry thing, a vibe thing. A snotty, skeptical attitude can get in the way of reliable psychic results. Bear this in mind.

We are forthright about the terms and conditions under which we work.

"No hidden costs, no mumbo-jumbo, no surprises," says Lattus. "Unlike the psychic who advertises $5 readings but to get out of there you've got to buy $100 candles." What should one expect to pay? "For a solid professional psychic, expect to pay what you would a similarly qualified attorney, psychiatrist, or medical specialist in your marketplace." Lattus' fee: $200 an hour.

Ethical psychics do not step up their hours or prices simply because the kids need orthodontia.
We communicate immediately any fee we charge for products or services. We base our fees on time or costs involved, never escalating solely for agency of need nor client emotional state.

In other words, ethical psychics do not step up their hours or prices simply because the kids need orthodontia. "Or because the client's wife leaves him and he's hysterical," Lattus says pointedly. "I see circumstances every week where I could charge five times what I charge."

We suggest alternatives to those in financial hardship.

Books, self-study materials.

We avoid divided loyalties, hidden agendas and dual relationships which could compromise our judgment.

For instance, dating a client is Bad Bad Bad.

We guard against creating unhealthy dependency or abiding disrespect for the profession. We better the profession as a whole by keeping current with developments, furthering our education and experience, sharing our results and research and acting as mentors to those less experienced.

Stand up and be proud of metaphysical work! Fie on these "professional skeptics" and "science fetish people" who earn their living by pointing fingers and calling people frauds and charlatans!

"The scientific method has some real limitations in evaluating psychic work."

"The scientific method, which we're so devoted to in Western culture, has some real limitations in evaluating psychic work," says Lattus witheringly. Its proponents invariably dismiss evidence of psychic giftedness as trickery, irreproducible results or coincidence.

Yet the public's clamor for psychics is unabated. Pourquoi? "I jokingly call the psychic profession the second oldest profession," says Lattus. "It's been around for eons; the 900 numbers are evidence of the enormous need for it. Something is going on here."

And while we absolutely reserve our right to choose for whom we work on the basis of individual consideration, we pledge to honor and maintain the Academy's more than 20—year tradition for ethical and social responsibility by making our services and products available without regard to gender, race, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, social standing, advanced age or physical status.

Some psychics do pro bono work and have sliding scales, Lattus says. Others think it's wrong to charge for their services at all, "which I personally think is foolishness." He himself will do psychic consultations for free once someone has taken the time and effort to fill out a questionnaire. What percentage of his clients get this no-fee deal? "I don't think I can answer that. That's proprietary," he says.

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