H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore sage, achieved his fame through such shattering, punch-in-the-eye kind of statements. While he was admittedly an unconscionable generalizer, everything he said held a ring of truth.
One thing that proves he knew what he was talking about was when he said,
“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” It is the fortune-telling racket.
Each year it is estimated that people who seem otherwise reasonably sane, spend $200 million on fortune-tellers, astrology and such “bunkum.”
It’s a strange thing about fortune-telling. In some cases, it can help a person; but the impressionable individual is taking a terrible chance when he goes to a fortune-teller.
Everything can be said to work out fine if young Johnny Jones goes to a fortune teller, and the fortune-teller has the dramatic ability to convince. If the fortune-teller shows Johnny, he’s going to be president of his firm someday; it could be useful for him. With this kind of suggestion deeply planted in his mind, he’ll actually become president of the firm. That’s why what fortune-tellers tell us so often comes true.
They make us believe something is going to happen, and things in which we firmly believe – do happen.
Once, a fortune-teller told a woman that she was the jealous type and would have many marriages. She had been getting along fine with her husband until then. However, when he planted the seed of suggestion in her mind, she suddenly felt that she was nothing more than an unfortunate victim of fate and became terribly jealous. So she started accusing her poor husband of everything under the sun, all sorts of things; and just as the fortune-teller foretold, she wound up getting a divorce. She married another man and then repeated the whole process.
She ruined her own life by believing a fortune-teller.
People, some people, like to feel they’re martyrs… martyrs to anything. Even if they know that it might lead to destruction, if they can convince themselves they’re being picked on by preordaining fate, they’ll go along with it.
What the poor fools don’t realize, is that each of us can tell his own fortune if he only has enough sense to realize it. By missing this point they miss the real enjoyment of living successfully.
Just as someone can follow the suggestions made by a phony fortune-teller, he can follow the suggestions of his own dreams and desires.
By doing this, he can accomplish anything he sets out to accomplish. No one can tell another’s fortune unless the person is impressionable enough to follow suggestions. However, we can tell our own fortunes. We can call our own shots in life year after year, all the years of our lives, if we only knew it!
$200 million a year down the drain, paying others to do for us what we can do for ourselves!
The next time you see a sign offering to tell your fortune, you might wonder why, with all that kind of occult power, the person doesn’t tell his own. There’s one thing you’ll never find a fortune-teller guilty of – you’ll never find a fortune-teller going to a fortune-teller.