Opinion Former Article

British Humanist Association welcomes stricter regulations on spiritualism

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today welcomed the forthcoming repeal of the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 and its replacement with much stricter regulations, offering often very vulnerable consumers much greater protection against fraud and dishonest behaviour when they access spiritualist 'services'.

Hanne Stinson, BHA Chief Executive, said, 'With only a handful of convictions against dishonest and fraudulent mediums and others in their field, it is clear that the current law is not fit for purpose. We hope that the new regulations will make real changes to the current situation, where psychic 'practitioners' are permitted to make completely unsubstantiated claims, and to take payment for their services, without fear of legal action.'

Ms Stinson continued, 'It is misleading for spiritualists to claim that, as 'religious' practitioners they should not be regulated under consumer laws. The psychic industry is huge and lucrative and it exploits some very vulnerable, and some very gullible, people with claims for which there is no scientific evidence. It is high time that this industry is better regulated, with adequate protections for consumers.'

Under the new regulations, dishonest intent will no longer have to be proved before legal action can be taken by a consumer, and the burden of proof that fraud, dishonesty and so on did not take place will lie with the trader.

Notes

For more information, contact Hanne Stinson at hanne@humanism.org.uk or on 020 7079 3585

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief. It exists to support and represent people who seek to live good and responsible lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.

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