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Marla Steele lies to pet owners and takes their money

Posted in Skepchick by Skepdude on August 21, 2008


I suggest you never sign up for Google to send you alerts whenever the word “psychic” appears in a news story, because before long you may become like me — prone to slipping into a fantasy world inside your head where journalists write investigative articles about people claiming to have paranormal powers. This will develop as a defense mechanism against the stark reality where journalists write long advertisements for frauds in the form of softball question-and-answer sessions, ending with a convenient way for the target consumer/reader to contact the fraud about his or her services.

So it is that this morning I opened my Google “psychic” alert and read an article titled “Marla Steele makes pet talk a two-way street,” prompting electrical impulses to travel through my brain, first activating areas devoted to basic reading comprehension and understanding the meaning of the words, then jumping to my understanding of the phrase “pet psychic,” then to my understanding of reality, eventually hitting upon the key phrase


which finally threw a switch that sent my brain into survival mode, where I retreated to a fantasy world resulting in me thinking I was reading the title of this post.

From the article:

Last winter, a good friend of mine consulted a pet psychic to help her comfort and care for her cat Mambo who was battling cancer. As a gal who is inherently wary of everything woo-woo, I

” . . . investigated a local pet psychic and found that she was full of at least seventeen different variations of BULLSHIT and she couldn’t even psychically connect with the bull from which it emerged.”

How did you learn to communicate with pets? I believe that we’re all born equipped to do this, but most of us get distracted and wrapped up in a completely different way of relating and communicating in the world. Being a pet communicator requires practice just like any other kind of work. It’s a muscle that needs to be flexed or it goes away.

When did you realize that you

” . . . could rip off naive pet owners?”

For as long as I can remember . . . they . . . paid.

Where do your readings take place? Usually over the phone or by email.

Um, over the phone? And email? Really? How does that work?

“. . . because it sounds like total bullshit.”

How long have you been

” . . . ripping off pet owners?”

I first heard about animal communication from a coworker at Nordstrom’s who was paying $100 to talk to a pet psychic in Oregon about her German Shepherd. I always listened politely to her stories, but secretly thought she must just have money to burn, or be crazy, or both. Now we laugh because I not only became a pet psychic, I also appear on radio and television talk shows all over the country.

“Wow, that sounds exactly like you know “pet psychics” are complete bullshit, but you realized how easy it is to scam people out of much more money than you could make working in retail the rest of your life, you cruel, sniveling fraud.”

Here are some other questions the real reporter missed but my fantasy reporter asked:

“Can you demonstrate your ability?”

“Can you perform under controlled circumstances so we can make sure you’re not just making things up?”

“Can you tell me what my last dog died of?”

“Can you tell me my cat’s name?”

“Can you tell me what illness this randomly chosen shelter dog has?”

“Can you prove you have any of the paranormal powers you’ve claimed?”

Here’s one last quote from the real article with emphasis added:

The Pet Specialist Showcase is an ongoing Tails of the City series. Please send your suggestions for future posts to

One more thing: Boston Skeptics in the Pub is coming up this Monday, Aug. 25. It’ll be skeptical trivia again hosted by yours truly. I’ll post all the details tomorrow, but here’s the Facebook event page in the meantime.

Also, I’ll be in New York City next weekend, so stay tuned for a possible meet-up!


2 Responses

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  1. Rose said, on October 30, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Seeing as how this article does not prove nor disprove anything at all, it comes off merely as a way to complain about your dislike of pet psychics, real or not.

    • CAM said, on November 7, 2016 at 4:30 PM

      Rose sounds like she (or he, or whatever) will go along with man-made global warming or the notion of no God (both having not been “proven” either way), but is “open-minded” when it comes to complete BS. Another Clinton in the Whitehouse anyone…. anyone?

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