Friday, April 23, 2010

Robbie Thomas, The Angler Fish of Psychics

As the opening of a previous article on this very subject goes: JoJo’s Psychic Alliance called, they want their frauds back…

It’s not entirely clear really, who’s at fault here, charlatans such as Mr. Robbie Thomas or the ever eager clientele of these predators. Does Robbie Thomas, the Robbie Thomas who actively misrepresents his involvement in these various cases of missing and murdered persons across Ontario and into the US, exist out of his own design? Is he the mastermind of a malicious plot to defraud millions of people out of their hard earned money? Is he an evil genius, undertaking to consume the world in a psychic rage?

Hardly...

There is a notion among Evolutionists, that the prey of certain fish, namely the Angler fish, is actually the selecting factor in the natural evolution of that particular species (Richard Dawkins – The Greatest Show on Earth). Angler fish are amazing creatures, living and thriving in the inhospitable depths of the ocean, where sunlight scarcely penetrates. These gruesome Angler fish have adapted to their environment with a surprising and apparently efficient mechanism for attracting the smaller fish they prey on. Anglers of different varieties have long “rods” protruding from their heads (presumably resembling fishing rods, and hence their apt name); on the ends of these rods are lures – small pieces of flesh resembling worms or deep sea insects. Some species of Angler fish actually use bioluminescent bacteria to light up their “lure”, all in an effort to make this little death trap as attractive as possible for their prey. They lurk in the dark depths of this unseen world, dangling their “lure”, aglow and wriggling, waiting for prey of a suitable size to take the bait, and with the horrific power of a Hollywood monster, the Angler opens its gaping maw of a mouth, sucking water into its body and swallowing whole anything unfortunate enough to have fallen for its trick.

It is said by these Evolutionists, that it is the prey who selects the most attractive and most effective individuals of this species (otherwise known as the fittest) for evolutionary advancement, by “taking their bait”, therefore allowing that individual a greater chance to survive and in-turn pass on their genetic material to future generations.

Is it the same with Robbie Thomas? Is he the ugly Angler fish of the psychic ocean? Spreading his lies and half-truths as a lure to potential victims, all the while refining his methods, evolving his modus operandi into an ever more efficient means of separating fools from their money? Is he the product of his own misguided sense of moral obligation, or is he the inevitable result of a society that is entirely too gullible? This may be a variation of the chicken vs. the egg argument, but it does illustrate a point nicely. Robbie is the product of his environment, that environment thus far rewarding him for behaving as he does. It’s time for that environment to change, for the betterment of society at large, and as well for the betterment of this community of morally responsible psychics and paranormal enthusiast that he attempts to hide amongst.

A good deal of time and effort has been spent to determine and document the misdoings of Mr. Thomas, never failing to miss the sad fact that his misdeeds are many and far reaching. This website [www.stoprobbie.com] is now dedicated to highlighting these egregious acts of fraud and misrepresentation, and in that vein it’s important to understand the legal nature of the situation at hand.

The Canadian Criminal Code provides us with definitions for fraud and false pretences (below), and as one would think that it should be enough to simply catch Robbie Thomas in a lie, the law, however, requires much more than that for prosecution.

False pretence (Definition)

s.361 (1) A false pretence is a representation of a matter of fact either present or past, made by words or otherwise, that is known by the person who makes it to be false and that is made with a fraudulent intent to induce the person to whom it is made to act on it.

Whether a seasoned veteran of the Canadian Justice System or a layman who’s never seen the inside of a court room, it’s relatively easy to see that Robbie Thomas is guilty of offering false pretence under this definition. He actively misrepresents his involvement with various levels of law enforcement, as a key investigator or consultant in the investigation of missing persons, and in the recovery of remains in homicide investigations, even though in each case we can show that he either was not involved at all, or that his involvement was akin to an anonymous tipster. Furthermore, he uses this false representation, deliberately and with full intent, as a lure to potential clientele for his fortune telling business. As if it weren’t painfully obvious already, the key point here is simply that Robbie Thomas uses these various lies as advertising testimonials, in a vain attempt to add undue credibility to his services.

Unfortunately, finding similarities between the above definition and the actions of Mr. Thomas is not the same as finding his behaviour to be in contravention of law. This definition is laid out by the Canadian Criminal Code for the sole purpose of defining the nature of false pretence, as it pertains to the offence of False Pretence (below).

False pretence or false statement (Offence)

s.362 (1) Everyone commits an offence who

(a) by a false pretence, whether directly or through the medium of a contract obtained by a false pretence, obtains anything in respect of which the offence of theft may be committed or causes it to be delivered to another person;

(b) obtains credit by a false pretence or by fraud;

(c) knowingly makes or causes to be made, directly or indirectly, a false statement in writing with intent that it should be relied on, with respect to the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or any person, firm or corporation that he is interested in or that he acts for, for the purpose of procuring, in any form whatever, whether for his benefit or the benefit of that person, firm or corporation,

(i) the delivery of personal property,

(ii) the payment of money,

(iii) the making of a loan,

(iv) the grant or extension of credit,

(v) the discount of an account receivable, or

(vi) the making, accepting, discounting or endorsing of a bill of exchange, cheque, draft or promissory note; or

(d) knowing that a false statement in writing has been made with respect to the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or another person, firm or corporation that he is interested in or that he acts for, procures on the faith of that statement, whether for his benefit or for the benefit of that person, firm or corporation, anything mentioned in subparagraphs (c)(i) to (vi).

As can be plainly seen, assigning any level of guilt to Thomas under this section –unfortunately the only section that could possibly apply to his circumstance– requires a bit more work. In layman’s terms, the crime detailed above is simply: anyone who knowingly lies –whether in writing, verbally, or even through the symbolism of implied right– for the purpose of causing someone else to act, by way of handing over property (real or intellectual) or money (actual funds, credit, or even discounts) is guilty of an offence under this section. This, as any reasonable person would agree, is illegal, and rightfully so. It should follow that the same reasonable person would find the above description to be fundamentally congruent with the behaviour of Mr. Robbie Thomas.

It has been suggested that another section of the Canadian Criminal Code might be more appropriate, given the profession Mr. Thomas engages in. The Criminal Code, through a section whose vintage is somewhat aligned with the 17th century witch hunts of early American and western European history (though is somewhat more restrained in its nature) provides the means to prosecute (as opposed to persecute) persons who offer so-called psychic or occult services in a fraudulent manner. Unfortunately, and for many wide-ranging reasons, this section (shown below) is not applicable in this circumstance, and while it might have been an easier thing to simply call Mr. Thomas a psychic fraud and be done with it, the fact that he claims to be psychic has little to do with the current distain for his behaviour. His actions would be viewed as morally reprehensible no matter his occupation, from psychic to refrigerator salesman.

Pretending to practise witchcraft, etc.

s.365. Every one who fraudulently;

(a) pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration,

(b) undertakes, for a consideration, to tell fortunes, or

(c) pretends from his skill in or knowledge of an occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner anything that is supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction. R.S., c. C-34, s. 323.

The reason for the discrepancy, or misunderstanding if you will, is simply that Robbie Thomas’ claim to being psychic is not necessarily in question. Quite frankly, few people care if Mr. Thomas has any real ability as a psychic or not (personal opinions and anecdote aside), the fact that he fraudulently represents himself as being affiliated with both law enforcement and with the grieving families of the missing/deceased persons in these cases is more than fair reason to justify a public outcry, and we needn’t enter into an argument of semantics over his self-proclaimed abilities. He may proclaim any manner of silly and entirely ridiculous personal powers, for doing so only makes the case for rational thought all the more potent; what we, the supporters of this website and this movement, assert, is that he may not use the names of innocent and grieving people (often children) in his pursuit of notoriety and fame.

As illustrated by the Angler fish analogy though, is the simple and underlying notion that Robbie Thomas is not to blame, and in this regard we must be careful. Robbie Thomas has wilfully and knowingly offered false pretence by way of his website and through various advertising mediums in conjunction with his website, time and again, and culpability for those actions is his and his alone. Where the rest of us come into this bizarre and twisted picture, is in allowing the Robbie Thomas-es of this world to exist in the first place. Like the prey of the Angler fish, we haplessly select these people for success by accepting their stories and lies without question, teaching them to be better flimflam artists along the way. We allow Robbie Thomas to behave the way he does, and ultimately we, as a society, must be held accountable for this serious and potentially harmful oversight. There is no time left for mulling and deliberation, Robbie Thomas and those like him must be made to atone for their transgressions, by way of law and by way of publicly exposing them for the charlatans that they truly are.

So why, you may ask, has he been allowed to continue? And this is indeed the million dollar question. Why have authorities failed to take notice? Why have the families of the deceased stood by while this cretin usurps their charity? Why has the paranormal community at large not shunned his likeness from their various institutions and halls? These are difficult questions to answer, except with a loud and deliberate call to arms in the name of morality. We cannot confidently solve these puzzles here, but we can take ownership of the situation going forward, and demand a higher standard of justice for the victims of these brutal crimes and for their surviving families, and somewhere well down the list of priorities, we can demand a higher standard for the administration and self-policing of the paranormal community.

It is sincerely hoped that these words will be taken with the gravity and forthrightness with which they were offered. This is a subject that demands and deserves our due attention and respect.

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