Sensing a rise in psychic beliefs

HER VISION: Spiritualist Kathryn Weldon says everyone is born with psychic powers but now more people are believers. ''It's, do they tune in, do they trust it, do they believe what they are tuning into?''
HER VISION: Spiritualist Kathryn Weldon says everyone is born with psychic powers but now more people are believers. ''It's, do they tune in, do they trust it, do they believe what they are tuning into?''

Psychics were once viewed as witches and burned at the stake. But the findings of a new study show perceptions of them have improved considerably over the centuries.

Research published yesterday shows 55 per cent of Kiwis believe some people have psychic powers. Fifty-seven per cent believe in life after death; 24 per cent think astrology can predict people's futures; and 33 per cent believe Earth has been visited by UFOs from other planets.

Meanwhile, 54 per cent of Wellingtonians believe in God, compared with 67 per cent in Auckland and 60 per cent nationally.

Kathryn Weldon, a Wellington minister at the Spiritualist Church of New Zealand, who practises in Hataitai, said the results showed people were "waking up" to the idea that psychic powers existed.

However, New Zealand Skeptics said the figure on belief in psychics was "relatively sad" if it was representative of the population.

The data comes from UMR Research's online survey, which covered a nationally representative sample of 1000 New Zealanders aged 18 and over and explored beliefs in a range of areas.

Mrs Weldon said everyone was born with psychic powers. "It's, do they tune in, do they trust it, do they believe what they are tuning into? It's that gut instinct really."

She used cards and her intuition to "empower people to understand themselves better". "I tune into a higher vibration with those that have passed over who work as my guides and helpers to bring me messages from the other side.

"Some people say we are psycho rather than psychic. Sceptics keep us on our toes. We are not here to convince or convert anyone ... People often have their own experiences that often wake them up."

New Zealand Skeptics spokeswoman Vicki Hyde said the survey result was great for psychics "because they can use it as a marketing tool for their dubious purposes''.

''They're bound to jump on the result because it justifies them exploiting vulnerable people. People should treat it with a grain of salt."

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

78 per cent believe Jesus was a real person who lived 2000 years ago.

61 per cent nationally believed in "a God or universal spirit" – 72 per cent of women and 52 per cent of men.

57per cent believe in life after death.

55 per cent think some people have psychic powers such as ESP.

33 per cent believe Earth has been visited by UFOs from other planets.

24 per cent think astrology can predict people's futures.

The Dominion Post