Chapter 12. Visions and Challenges – Priorities for Professionals

Clairvoyant (Psychic) Futurist


Clairvoyant (Psychic).

One unfortunately persistent foresight practitioner type, found the world over, is the Clairvoyant futurist, or Psychic. A Clairvoyant makes a living convincing credulous others, that they possess uniquely gifted foresight ability. When clairvoyants recognize they are predicting the future simply by reading their clients, to find out more about them than they realize they are giving away, they are actually Soothsayers, a problematic type we’ll discuss next. When they think their thoughts “manifest” as reality, that if they simply believe something enough it will come true, they are being Dogmatic, Utopian, or Scriptural futurists, also types we’ll discuss next.

It is when they believe they have their own unique intuitive ability to foretell the future, that they are being clairvoyants. They overinflate their own personal ability to fore see the future. We all believe we have useful intuitions about the future at times. When we keep our intuitions from becoming hubris, when we seek evidence for our feelings, when we get diverse feedback on our intuitions, and review them for accuracy, we can keep from sliding into clairvoyancy ourselves.

Clearly, all those who use various methods of divination, including psychics, fortunetellers, and most religious prophets, are examples of this type. Consider The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Divining the Future, written by Scott, a “psychic,” and Linge, a writer (2003). Unfortunately, this book is a popular title (#77) in New Age & Spirituality Reference works at Amazon. Fortunately, while clairvoyants can prey on gullible individuals, they don’t tend to do well in business world, as the unjustified specificity and frequency of their predictions, their overconfidence, and their minimal reference to evidence will quickly get them into trouble.

Until we have an education system that places critical thinking, data science, and STEM literacy in their proper place, so that we can reform our socially valuable religious traditions to conform with modern scientific knowledge, clairvoyants will be more frequent than we like, particularly in economically disadvantaged groups.

Our society will continue to be plagued with credulous individuals whose thinking is primarily driven by unjustified intuitions and faiths of various kinds, not evidence. Instead, we need to help our clients to learn to trust not only their intuitions and faith, but their reason, critical dialog, and evidence, in arriving at the goal, adaptive judgment.