Tonight a UK television channel aired a reality show following a popular medium who featured at one of the main entertainment venues in Margate (in fact, not too far from me). The similar methodology employed by Psychic Sally and several well-known televangelists was quite uncanny, including: the celebrity status of the medium/televangelist, the inevitable build up of expectations among attendees before the show, the announcement during the show of a name/illness/situation and asking the person affected to come forward (have you noticed how the relevant divine/spiritual authority never seems to provide the person on the stage with the full set of details, requiring them instead to go through a process of Twenty Questions?), providing further insight into that person's situation once they have come forward, and then - having had their their divine/magical credentials confirmed - offering advice/words of wisdom/solutions to seal the contract.
Unfortunately (and rather sadly), there are other ways in which such people are reminiscent of here-today-(not always)-gone-tomorrow televangelists, namely: the business nature of the contract, exploiting the genuine grief, suffering and/or expectations of the individuals seeking solace or help, the disproportionate impact of charletanry on the most vulnerable, granting of false hope, and the thoroughly business nature of the whole episode. Sadly, people like tonight's popular medium and her televangelist counterparts have existed for years. As the Preacher notes, "There is nothing new under the sun" (Ecc 1:9).