My daughter just sent me a link to a talk show that focused on psychic mediums as frauds who prey upon the innocent. She loves the show and was disturbed by what she saw. While we know that there are people within all professions who manipulate and betray others or who are just not good at their work, those exceptions do not represent the majority. Imagine highlighting a show on all the doctors with malpractice suits, who either knowingly or unwittingly hurt the innocent and then using that handful of the profession to insist that all doctors are scum. Or try to imagine that all people from Mexico are rapists, murders and drug dealers. If one is bad, then the whole bunch must be bad, right? This type of gross generalization is at the heart of most bigotry. And it is dangerous.

But beyond that ignorance, is the misunderstanding of what most mediums go through and how they work. If John Oliver’s show had taken the time to genuinely interview and research mediums, he might find something that contradicted the current paradigm he uses to spin his contempt into a comedic slam at our expense.

On a personal note, I never sought out being a medium. While being intuitive was something I had experienced in early life, mediumship was not a part of my worldview.  My shamanic mediumship grew out of a series of direct encounters with guides and angels who saved my life, guided my path and helped me heal and grow. Growing up in our western culture and within a family emphasis on the intellectual, meant that I learned early to never share my experiences for fear of being judged or deemed crazy.

When I had returned to graduate school for a career change, I had more life-altering interactions with angels. While working as a graduate-intern, I would see the spirits connected to my clients or notice the imprints in their energy body influencing their issues. I intuitively knew that either connecting with the loved ones presenting from Spirit or removing these energetic blocks would serve their healing process. I did not know how I knew this; I just did. And I had no idea how to reconcile my experiences with the path I was studying.

I spent a lot of time contemplating and openly discussing these metaphysical phenomena with my clinical and academic supervisors. I even focused my master’s research on the experience of being a multisensory person and interviewed myriad individuals who worked in the mainstream world while allowing their intuitive gifts to guide their professional life. All of them shared how the bigotries from society left them feeling judged and isolated. Their courage allowed them to eventually step out of the cultural paradigms that consistently marginalize individuals with intuitive abilities and embrace their multisensory experience of life.

What irks me about John Oliver’s segment, is the wanton bigotry it uses as the basis of its joke. In his show, he highlights unethical or inept scenarios to make his case. But he was not ever interested in the truth. He was solely focused on proving his bias.

If you think I’m being too sensitive, I implore you to consider that this type of blanket contempt has led to genocidal actions toward individuals like me, throughout history. Women and men have been tortured and slaughtered for revealing their mystical abilities. Leaping to the conclusion that most individuals who offer their gifts as mediums are without scruples, integrity and impeccable devotion to serving the highest good of their clients is both erroneous, cruel and dangerous. If you only took the time to open your own mind and heart with true curiosity, you may discover a world that challenges the beliefs you hold onto so tightly as fact. From my experience, living this life continues to blow my learned paradigms wide open.

I make no pretense that I “know for a fact” about what’s happening as a medium or as a shamanic or intuitive practitioner. I often tell my clients and students “this is what I understand it to be, at my level of consciousness” because that is the truth. It is what I know and experience, here and now.  I’ve long moved beyond the need to “prove myself” to anyone, but that does not preclude the devotion to providing an ethical framework from which I serve.

Ethical mediumship requires the medium to offer clear evidence from Spirit that can be validated by the client. Without that, it becomes something less than the profession’s standard urges mediums to uphold. After all these years, I remain as curious as when I began. I approach my work with an open heart and mind and devote myself to bring through that which serves the highest good of my clients and students. And I have encountered the same explicit disdain toward my work from the onset. I’ve been attacked as a “witch”, a “fraud” and publicly slammed for “going against the Torah and/or Bible”. My daughter too, has had to deal with children telling her that her mom is a fraud, a creep or weirdo. She’s been dropped by friends and parents, simply because of their judgment about who I am and what I do professionally. Being Jewish, adopted, a woman, a shamanic medium has all brought some version of hatred in my direction. Which one of those categories do you think is acceptable to mock?

John Oliver’s show seeks to make us psychics mediums the butt of his jokes. But what else does he hope to accomplish? Should all of us who experience direct encounter with Spirit and other metaphysical phenomena simply hide away in shame or just laugh along? Would it be better if we all just waited for science to validate our mystical experiences so the rational mind can catch up? Should we mediums all lower our heads in shame because some are unscrupulous? What’s the hope: that we just go away?

We all have a responsibility to serve life well. We are all encouraged by the benevolent forces of the universe to live with impeccability of thought, word and deed. We are all asked never to cause harm to any life. And that includes all professions, all mediums and John Oliver that includes you!