The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

Coming Out of the Psychic Closet


A few years ago, when I first started blogging on psychic stuff I did some research on characteristics of psychic people and realized in the process that the description I was able to put together included me.  Being psychic wasn’t about being a professional and doing readings or hearings, it was a set of characteristics that made people highly sensitive in a variety of ways.  It had nothing to do with what I did, but rather it was about my physiological and psychological characteristics.  It wasn’t a skill or a superpower so much as an identity.  In this way, it’s a lot like being gay.

Once I had gathered the information together and understood this for the first time, I came out of the closet.  Just like that.

And it was no big deal.  My family didn’t care.  It wasn’t important to them one way or the other.  It was like when one of my nephews came out as gay.  It didn’t change how any family members thought of him as a person.  There was a collective “oh, OK.” and that was it.  I got the same treatment.  Outside of family most people who knew me were not exactly surprised.  And those that were surprised didn’t really care beyond mild curiosity.  I’d been into this stuff for years, including a couple of years trying my hand at psychic healing.  I’d always felt that I had psychic ability, but never described myself as psychic.  In real life, when I’ve told people who don’t know me, they are usually just curious.  Beyond that, no one seems to care.

On line where people hide behind anonymous screen names, the situation is somewhat different.  I’ve encountered more hostility in a day on the Internet than in the entire rest of my life.  That’s a whole different article.

My story  comes with several caveats.  I was in my late forties and I was self employed when I came out and I knew that from a career stand point, this wasn’tt a problem.  I was not going to seek out jobs where I might face discrimination; I was not going to run for President or put myself in a position where this mattered.  My life was never going in that direction, so coming out was utterly without risk for me financially.

I had also run my own business for many years by this time, which included constant contact with customers.  It toughens you up.  As a consequence I could tell people I was psychic, but not really care what they thought.  If anything, it was a way to weed out people I wouldn’t want to associate with anyways.  People pick up on our attitudes and this I-don’t-really-give-a-shit approach, may have lessened the temptation of anyone who might have been inclined to say something unpleasant to me.  If people have had bad things to say about me and being psychic, they’ve kept it to themselves.

But judging from the other stories I’ve encountered, the single most important feature that made coming out easy for me was that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It is extremely diverse racially and culturally here and ferociously tolerant.  What do I mean by that?  It is very hard to find a church around here that does not get along with other religions.  We have too many different ones for that to be an option.  I’m sure the fundamentalists are out there, but they keep a very low profile.  Fundamentalism, racism and bigotry of any sort is treated with all the enthusiasm of venereal disease here.  It isn’t culturally acceptable . . . at all.  As an example, many many years ago the anti-abortion crowd came to town with the idea of putting up a show of force at a Planned Parenthood clinic and possibly terrorizing them.  This was around the time a couple of abortion performing doctors were shot and killed.

The demonstration never happened.  No one showed up, probably because the clinic was defended by a wall of over a hundred people.  The anti-abortion crowd  hasn’t tried since.  We were also ground zero for the AIDS epidemic which radically changed the gay community’s interactions with the rest of the world.  And all this came around the time that the New Age Movement reached its peak and again, the SF Bay Area was the center of that.  The skeptics have never caught on here.  We have a few organizations, but they are very marginal despite the huge amount of educated people who live in this area.

If you’re psychic, in other words, you couldn’t possibly find a better place to come out in the entire Western world.  The area not only enforces tolerance culturally, it draws in people who already think that way.  Had I come out nearly anywhere else, my story might have been substantially different.  A prosperous psychic who (I think) lives in or near Las Vegas, Nevada had a very different experience from mine.  Psychic medium Erin Pavlina described her experience in this blog post:

I immediately got a bunch of nasty emails from readers who told me I was doing the devil’s work, and that the Bible expressly prohibited them from interacting with me in any way, shape, or form.  They told me they were going to stop reading the magazine, even though they’d been loyal readers for years and found the information great.  That surprised me. 

Then I got an email from a woman who had contributed several articles to the site over the years – a  woman I had exchanged many pleasant emails with – who asked me to remove all of her articles from the site because I was going against the Lord and working for Satan.

(. . .) Next, a couple of my web clients stopped doing business with me because I was a psychic.  And some members of the vegan community with whom I’d been doing business suddenly stopped responding to my emails.  None of them called me devil-spawn, they just drifted away or gave me the cold shoulder.  So coming out publicly as a psychic negatively impacted my businesses and to some extent my income.

(. . .)  It took me a while to figure out why some of my friends and acquaintances were treating me so coldly.  I found out quite by accident that they were wondering why I’d turned to a life of crime.  Yes, crime!  Apparently, and I’m not sure you’re aware of this, all psychics are frauds, charlatans, and criminals who prey on people who are gullible enough to think that psychic abilities and talking to dead people is even possible.

Intuitive counselor Anna Sayce, who lives in New Zealand, in a blog interview with professional psychic Kara Thompson, had this story:

What was the worst reaction you ever got after telling someone you were psychic?

That would probably be when I told a Catholic PhD nuclear physicist about the work I did.  He was at the same university as me and was vigorously against what I do, and told me that I was doing people harm. I went to a very traditional ‘Ivy League’ kind of University (but a British one).  Many of the students there seemed to be total believers in whatever science can prove. If it hasn’t been proven by science, it can’t be taken seriously.

These are people who have come out as a necessity for their business, but there are many more people who have no pressing need to come out other than they might feel better about themselves.  For them, they have far more to lose than to gain.  I know a man a bit older than me who lives in rural Georgia and the atmosphere is nearly intolerable for him.  He is extremely psychic, but he only dares tell a very few people about it.  If the whole small town knew he might have to leave due to harassment.  It is very much a secret for him.  I also have received many comments on my blog on various articles from people who confess that they have a great fear of coming out.  This usually means that a close family member is almost fanatically bigoted against psychic people for some reason, usually religion.

Patrick John Coleman, who came out as gay found that coming out as being psychic was harder.

Since I came out as gay 25 years ago, I’ve watched the rest of America acclimate to what was natural and right for me and millions of others. Do I have to wait 25 MORE years for this next part?

In fact, it was fairly easy to search for psychics coming out of the closet to see what people had written.  There were several pages in Google Search addressing the topic including articles on how to come out of the psychic closet.  Most of this material is fairly recent.  2009 was the oldest I saw.  It’s definitely an issue that gets talked about and treated as legitimate among psychic people.

But let’s assume that in the future there is a big protest and psychics everywhere stand up to “The Man” and demand respect.  “The Man,” seeing the big protest, asks a sensible question:

What do you want?

What are we going to ask for?  It’s all very well and good to ask for respect and legitimacy, but these have to be translated into concrete terms.  For gays, it’s the right to marriage and freedom from job and housing discrimination.  There are important civil rights issues involved.

But with psychic people this is more of a grey area.  No one is going to stop us from getting married for being psychic or discriminate in housing.  It’s not like being gay where in order to live a normal life with their partner a gay person has to be obvious about it.  Being psychic isn’t something that has to be out in the open for a person to live a normal life.

And people reject psychics for entirely different reasons.  A religious person considers psychic ability to be real, but rejects it as evil.  A skeptic does not consider psychic ability to be evil, but rejects it as fraud or delusion.  This is harder to deal with.

What do you want?

I know that subtle discrimination exists, but unlike with gays, much of this discrimination is a result of a natural human tendency to isolate those who exhibit traits of otherness.  For instance, creativity is a trait strong associated with psychic ability, yet it is routinely rejected.

Online job boards burst with ads recruiting “idea people” and “out of the box” thinkers. We are taught that our own creativity will be celebrated as well, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed.

It’s all a lie. This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.

It’s an indication that while gays and other minorities have been accepted over time, we might never be.  The most important thing our hypothetical protest is supposed to achieve, acceptance, will be forever beyond our reach.  So . . .

What do you want?

I can think of a few things that would help:

1.  Scientific acceptance of the evidence for psychic ability.  It’s overwhelming at this point and the lack of acceptance is hurting people.

2.  Public rejection by the mainstream media of skeptical organizations and calling them out for what they are:  bigotry machines.

3.  Creativity and psychic testing for children so that they can be identified and helped along the way to be healthy, successful adults.

4.  General awareness of psychic ability as a normal human function.

The first point is probably the most important and easiest to achieve.  The second should follow from the first and the last two are probably the most difficult to achieve.  It’s hard, very hard to get people to change.

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20 comments on “Coming Out of the Psychic Closet

  1. Jared
    March 24, 2016

    Hello craig, good points. I think most psychic people are tired of being labeled as schizophrenic or mentally ill. So maybe a change in psychological definition and a new look at medication that might be given to psychics.

    Also I know this is an old page but it’s new to me so I figured I’d post. Also I recently sent you an email to Craig @ Weller . I don’t know if you still check that or what

    • craigweiler
      March 24, 2016

      Hi Jared, I did get your email. I don’t have a lot of free time at the moment and I’m not feeling well. I’ll respond when I can.
      Craig

  2. Elarnda Gentle
    May 14, 2014

    I like that you mention the left and right. My head moves to face right with truths and left with false truth, I spin mentally in circles with confirmatiom, when began to experience this I went the doctor for a CT and MRI. The doctor told me that I had a beautiful brain, I knew exactly the outcome before it happens. I have visions, dreams, and much more. Predictions are easy. Empathy is what I am working on now, it really drains my energy. Other than my husband and my children ppl isolate themselves from me. I have learned to accept the inevitable. There somethings you don’t have control over. Thank you for your posts.

  3. Elarnda Gentle
    May 14, 2014

    I would like to stay in contact with you upon these topics. I can relate to your way of thinking. I don’t care for religious beliefs. I have seen a lot in my 39 yrs. Yes, sleep is difficult but possible by training our minds. We was brainwashed at one point by others and ourselves to fit in. I would love for you to send me me more of your literature to my email. I love to research and divide the truth. Thank you for sharing so openly and honest.

  4. Syl
    March 6, 2014

    Craig,

    I bet you and your readers gonna find this opinion piece interesting.

    “Obsessive Debunking Disorder (ODD)? Are Hardcore Skeptics and Debunkers Actually Brain Deficient? Their Own Beloved ‘Hard Science’ Might Well Suggest Many Are.”

    http://thomassheridanarts.com/articles.php?article_id=82

    I used to be a hard-core skeptic – but _not_ a debunker, my philosophy was rather “live and let live”. Then Kundalini kicked in and I have become more or less a “Urpsychic” – and have had a very hard time coming to terms with that. I would say I am healed now of the self-induced skeptic schizophrenia described in the article linked above.

    Here is an anecdote supporting the article’s thesis: in the course of the Kundalini deployment I realized I had become ambidextrous again, as in my childhood, after some 30 years of right-hand domination!

    • Sheila Joshi
      March 6, 2014

      Good find, Syl! Very interesting discussion of left / right hemispheres.

      Michael Prescott wrote a blog post recently that jibes with this one – about two types of people and how they approach this reality –

      http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2014/02/commitment-to-the-game-.html

      And how very cool that Kundalini is returning you to factory condition!

    • craigweiler
      March 7, 2014

      I have linked to that article somewhere else and I mention it in my book. It’s very good. Your personal experience is very interesting.

  5. Sigrid
    March 3, 2014

    My children grew up with a psychic mother. I have asked them over the years what, if any, consequences occurred being raised in an environment where future events were told ahead of time, ghosts resided at some of our residences and they had to tell the truth because they knew I’d find out anyway. They said it seemed normal, after all, they’d just grown up that way. It was a loving environment and they have grown into successful adults. I have now found I let my friends know when I pick up information that may be helpful for their careers, life situations or even messages from loved ones who have passed. I have found these people accept what is happening, do not shy away from me and accept me for who I am in this life. There have been others who do not react as supportively when they find out what I can do, but I accept their negative reaction without feelings of negativity and hope someday they will come to accept this ability that I think we all have; t’s just that some of us seem to have it a bit more than others. There is a point in the movie Cloud Atlas where one of the characters says: “My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” I believe each time a person sees these abilities exist merely as a sense like sight or hearing, that eventually it will become accepted just as people who are gay proved by being themselves that there is nothing to fear.

  6. Sheila Joshi
    March 2, 2014

    Very, interesting, thought-provoking post, Craig! Don’t despair – things have gotten better for gay people astonishingly quickly recently.

    One also has to “come out of the closet” about even being interested in psi. I did. That was a process for me.

    I’m of the James Carpenter position that we are all using psi all the time. Some people are more capable in their use of it. This way, it’s a continuum, not a “them” and “us.”

    One can move away from a dichotomous view of sexuality, too. Younger people seem to be doing that, with more fluid sexual identities.

    So then maybe we can also borrow the concept of homophobia. If you agree that the people who are most rabidly anti-gay are the ones who are the most afraid of their own homoerotic impulses, then we can suppose that the people who are the most rabidly anti-psi are the ones who are the most afraid of having a psychic experience. But, honestly, I don’t think increased comfort with homoeroticism has led to increased respect for gay people! 🙂

    What I think has helped the most is *knowing* a gay person. So, by bravely coming out, gay people have shown family, friends, co-workers, store owners, etc. that they’re likable and lovable and very much human like everyone else. I believe that coming out as psychic or interested in psi will work the same way. Our sheer numbers and likableness 🙂 will normalize the issue.

  7. Mark
    February 28, 2014

    “What do you want?” Here’s what I want. I want people to be punished for failing to show the proper level of respect to psi and the psi community. After all, we punish those who fail to show the proper level of respect to gay people just for being gay. We do the same to those who fail to show the proper level of respect to black people just for being black. The Wright Brothers were not respected for building a heavier-than-air flying machine that worked. The Wright Brothers were only respected when conditions arose that caused those who didn’t show the proper level of respect to the Wrights to be punished for failing to show the proper level of respect to the Wrights. If you want proof, you can read that article where the author was, pretty much, calling the Wrights frauds in Scientific American magazine. Though the article might not have had the word “fraud” in it, it was pretty clear that the author was calling the Wrights frauds. It was printed about two or so years after the Wrights’ machine flew for the first time. Sadly, most humans will not change through reason, alone, at least on issues that they have a strong resistance to.

  8. Tom Butler
    February 28, 2014

    Interesting perspective Craig. After studying this subject most of my life, I am pretty clear in my mind that everyone is psychic to some extent, but that some people are just naturally more psychic than others. As with other natural abilities, how well this ability is expressed seems to be a function of both innate and developed skills.

    The subject is an important one because it goes to quality of life. As you posted a while back about John Carpenter’s First Sight theory, current research indicates that everything and every event has a psi signature which we sense along with the physical information from our environment. That information is unconsciously processed and indirectly goes into how we consciously experience our world.

    The fact that psi ability is naturally occurring is potentially an important consideration for the design of curriculum for the education of our youth. Just as we try to socialize our children with group activity, teach them hygiene and the importance of exercise, we will likely eventually include education about psi functioning. A happy person (and probably a successful one) is one who is able to consciously integrate the full spectrum of environmental senses.

    …never though of it as coming out, but I have had a few people get in my face with “You do believe in Jesus, don’t you” when I said I used a recorder to communicate with dead people. 🙂

  9. billy_mavreas (@billy_mavreas)
    February 28, 2014

    i saw that there was a documentary being made about this very issue, folks telling their loved ones that they are psychic. i saw the trailer on their website but cannot find it right now.
    anyone know what i’m talking about ? it looked good

  10. Sandy Sue
    February 28, 2014

    Very interesting. I’ve come to accept that anything north or south of “normal” will be misunderstood. The haters will hate no matter what we do, but being open to sharing my story (tactfully) and educating those who are interested has helped combat stigma.

  11. Barney Holmes
    February 28, 2014

    Craig Weiler. That post reminded me strongly of my time in San Francisco. The FEELING of that place came flooding back to me … have tears in my eye’s, laughter. I think they call it freedom. Psychic and psychic as in psychological healthiness. The creativity thing is interesting. Look at us with our music and films, video games. Also reminds me of the feeling at a good House Music party … there’s a sample … ” this is our house and our house music. I AM the creator !”. I believe its called LOVE, its called LIFE. Its beat (heart beat, beat, beat of the music) is too strong to stop, like water.

  12. zhai2nan2
    February 28, 2014

    >The skeptics ridicule, lie and humiliate. It’s bigotry. You ok with that?

    In a weird way, I am okay with the sinners, although I pointedly visualize the sin as departing from my life. (This is my New Thought version of “love the sinner, hate the sin.)

    There are some pseudo-skeptics who are not honest about skepticism. That is a kind of spiritual sin that I find more repulsive than violence.

    There are simple, narrow-minded people in all communities. There are dogmatic gays just as there are dogmatic straights. My solution is to focus on freedom from dogma in my own life. I presume the rest of the world will follow my example if I can just get my own life in order.

  13. David
    February 27, 2014

    Very well said and I agreed with al of it, but I think you could have said it in half the time. My advice is use your ability to help yourself and let the rest either find out for themselves or go drop off the wayside but don’t waste your time / life on trying to help those who do not ask for it. Even worse, those who don’t know they need it. Kind regards.

  14. Antoine
    February 27, 2014

    Wow, just loved the article! And if before I could have come up with at least 100 reasons what do psychics want , now just feel there is nothing to be asked for. (I need my coffee now ) .Nevertheless, have to agree with you Craig for the points you bring up. They are most essential here and if applied could and are going to make a difference to many. Especially for kids this could be a life changer. Have a great week end dear psychic souls 🙂

  15. Julia Mae
    February 27, 2014

    About your 4 suggestions.

    1. There’s plenty of scientific evidence by very qualified researchers that prove psychism exists. But like Newton who was accused of “bowing to mysticism” when he proposed a theory of Universal Gravity, it takes a while. A rather large percentage of people reject biological evolution and global warming.

    2. Calling for the public to reject the skeptic media is really just you wanting everyone to think what you think. Stop it.

    3. You want to take children and make them “special?” More different than they already feel?

    4. General awareness of psychism as a normal human function? So, you’re only going to help the kids who are at the high end of the psychic spectrum? They’ll be the special ones and the averagely or below-averagely psychic can … what, exactly?

    This is an extremely disturbing post in that is seems to fly in the face of what psychism teaches everyone, or should: that wholeness is everything. The trick is to become part of, not apart from.

    John Edward said, “Mediumship without a faith context is a parlor trick.” If your psychism is not leading you into deeper understanding and acceptance of others, then it’s kind of like having green eyes. Not that common and not significant at all.

    • craigweiler
      February 27, 2014

      1. So what?
      2. The skeptics ridicule, lie and humiliate. It’s bigotry. You ok with that?
      3. The kids are already different. They need help, not denial.
      4. It’s the people who are at the high end of the spectrum who are having the most problems, so yes, those are the people I’m most interested in helping.

    • ann. prince
      March 4, 2014

      All mediums are psychic but Not all psychics are Mediums. There is a difference between psychics and Mediums. Being psychic or mediumistic. are NOT like being gay. It is not ashame

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This entry was posted on February 27, 2014 by in Psychic's Psychology, Psychics and the Media, Stuff about Craig and tagged , .
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