Psychics thwart expo-crashing skeptics
Rather than a clash of the big forwards, it was a clash between the skeptical and the spiritual at Brother's Leagues Club in Manunda on Saturday morning. The club is the venue for the biennial Psychic Expo, which attracts mystics from around the globe and is always a hotly anticipated event in Cairns.
"I just love getting my stars done with Cassandra," said Deztanee Egan-O'Dowd, 44, of Mossman. "She was so helpful last year with advice about how I would be following my dreams and making some changes in my creative outlets. Also spot-on with some stock choices."
The tranquility of the event was disturbed somewhat when six members of the Smithfield Atheists and Skeptics Alliance entered the venue. The Alliance has recently caused some controversy and been subject to some ridicule over their extreme positions on issues as diverse as levitation and basketball.
"We at the SASA have a considered position that every merchant here is a peddler of bullshit," declared spokesperson Tegan Johnstone, 24, of Aeroglen. "No offence, but they are a bunch of fucking cranks and crooks, and we really think there should be some oversight and some kind of refund policy."
As the skeptic group moved through the booths, they passed out pamphlets and succeeded in disrupting psychic readings, chakra attenuations and generally drawing the ire of attendees.
"We were simply asking if any of the purveyors of psi would participate in a longitudinal triple-blind trial involving either retrospective or predictive claims," Ms Johnstone said. "We've got WBU lined up to manage the committee stage and the SASA board have approved a budget for incense and whatever ouija resources are required. Jason Taumalolo is keen to be involved at the executive level."
Security had to be called when psychics and the skeptics clashed near the aura-photography-and-body-acidity stand. After the ensuing struggle, Mr Ewan Atkins, 32, of Palm Cove had to be rushed to Cairns Base Hospital with lacerations.
"The victim was impacted with a shard of amethyst shrapnel," reported Rick Lonergan of the FNQ Ambulance service. "It's a pretty common injury up in Kuranda so we knew how to deal with it. Pretty painful though."
Controversial president of the SASA, Jonas Humberstone, did not attend the event. "He's been in a bit of a funk ever since the Taipans got smashed in the west," explained Johnstone. "And The Amazing Keith still has hasn't lifted that restraining order arising from the harmless stalking Jonas did in 2015. We're fighting that one in court."
Spokeperson for the expo, Konnie, was upbeat about the incident. "No damage done," she said from her hotel in Portsmith. "We pretty much foresaw that there would be some disturbances in the psychic equivalence at around 10:30am. All the signs were there. So we had already put everyone on code yellow."
Police are still investigating as to whether any charges will be laid.