Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Italy is for Sorcerers

Here's another story from last week that slipped through the cracks. Apparently Italy is the place to be if you're trying to find work as a sorcerer, astrologer, or spiritual healer.

Nearly 18 percent of the Italian population -- 11 million people -- trusts self-styled sorcerers and healers, a consumer watchdog said in a report Monday.

The group Telefono Antiplagio found more than 16,000 cases of people being scammed by sorcerers and healers since 1994. There are 155,000 sorcerers and healers active in Italy.

Every day, 33,000 people see sorcerers or astrologers in Italy, the study found.

While 16,000 sounds like a big number from how it is framed in the article, what surprises me is how low it is. If 33,000 people see sorcerers every day that works out to about 174,652,500 visits over the last 14 1/2 years if we assume that the rate of visits remains constant. If there have only been 16,000 complaints, that means that less than .01% of all visits spark complaints.

Normal people do slightly better than that when trying to influence quantum diodes with their minds based on research done by the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) project, and according to skeptics those results are not statistically significant. Nonetheless, I won't be surprised if I see them throwing this statistic around as proof of how fraudulent Italian magicians are.

It's also interesting to find out that the sorcery trade is pretty much the same wherever you go.

The top reason for seeing a sorcerer is to soothe a broken heart (46 percent), followed by health problems (25 percent), violence (22 percent) and trouble at work (seven percent).

These are also the sorts of things people usually are interested in when they e-mail me asking how to cast a specific kind of spell. Maybe if I lived in Italy there would be enough of those questions that I could justify making a business of it and quit my day job.

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1 comment:

Soror FSO said...

Love all your little tidbits of info...keep up the good work!

Soror FSO