Moscow deputies seek to regulate sorcerers: report

Moscow deputies seek to regulate sorcerers: report
March 5, 2009

MOSCOW (AFP) — The Moscow city legislature is considering a bill that would rein in the flourishing industry of self-styled wizards and psychic healers, the newspaper Noviye Izvestia reported Thursday.

The draft bill would set up an expert council to grant licenses to healers, psychics, wizards and sorcerers, and applicants who were found not to have supernatural powers could be charged with fraud, the daily said.

"Take any newspaper and you will see a mass of adverts for the services of faith-healers and sorcerers. But nobody controls their activities and millions suffer as a result," the paper quoted lawmaker Nikolai Gubenko as saying.

Noviye Izvestia noted that it was unclear how bureaucrats would determine whether applicants had psychic or magical powers.

Russians' belief in the paranormal has enjoyed a revival since the atheist Soviet system began crumbling in the late 1980s, when some prominent psychics even got airtime on national television to broadcast their powers.

Newspapers in Moscow regularly feature adverts by self-styled sorcerers who offer services such as miracle cures, curse removal and even the retrieval of wayward husbands.

Copyright © 2009 AFP
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