Women: We were scammed by a psychic

Mind Games: Part One

WLFI News 18, Indiana/October 27, 2010

By Joe LePage

Lafayette, Ind. (WLFI) - Two area women said their lives and bank accounts have been forever altered by a psychic in our area.

How much would you pay to save a relationship with someone you cared about? The women said they gave all they had to clairvoyant and healer Patricia Johns.

"She strings people along and she takes advantage of them," said the first woman. "Especially when she knows they're feeling really bad."

We hid the names and faces of the women in our story and altered their voices. The women feared that Johns might recognize them, and wanted to avoid negative public perceptions.

One of the women wanted to improve her marriage. The other said she wanted Johns' help to mend a relationship with her best friend.

"Good friends are hard to find," said the woman.

The first woman said this healer did her nothing but harm.

"I'm devastated over what she has done to me," said the first woman. "She has just ruined my life."

The first woman said Johns used smooth talk to get her hooked. The second said it was a different approach.

"She did not say anything that was sweet-sounding," said the second woman. "She had you in such fear - for your life, of things that she said people were doing to you. You are already in a weird state of mind when you have a great loss."

That loss was not just emotional: it was financial too. All told, the two women said they lost more than $85,000.

Each sought Johns' counsel for approximately six months, so how did the money add up so fast?

One of the alleged victims said she was amazed by how easy it was.

"You do not feel like you are yourself," she said. "You do not know who you are or what is going on around you at all."

A police report NewsChannel 18 obtained from the Lafayette Police Department offers some insight. In the report, one of the women said Johns' add-ons started early, during the first meeting. A $100 hour-long session quickly turned into $400 session after Johns said she needed to purchase a special curse-removing candle. The cost of John's help ballooned when a Rolex watch was added to the list of things to buy.

"It had to do a time piece because it happened at a certain time," said the second woman. "It had to be a special time piece."

The woman said she filled out a credit card application and bought the $26,000 watch.

"She picked it out, she handled it, she carried it out, she left the store with it, and I paid for it," said the woman.

The watch was supposed to be thrown in the Wabash River to remove a curse on her marriage. The woman said she caught a glimpse of a watch being thrown into the river, but admitted she had no idea if it was a Rolex. That woman claimed the wish list continued to grow.

The first woman said it was different item that broke her bank. She bought a two-and-a-half foot tall amethyst crystal. The price tag for the crystal? $20,000.

"They take that negative energy and trap it inside the crystal," said the first woman. "That is the way it was explained to me. The negative energy cannot escape the crystal."

The woman said Johns told her there was a lot of negative energy in her relationship with a friend. We ran the $20,000 price-tag by Rain Castle, owner of Castle-Brooks Spiritual Supply in Lafayette.

"A 2-foot-tall one would run you a couple thousand," said Castle. "I think Von's sells them cheaper than that."

Von's does sell them for cheaper. We checked it out and found that Von's Cards and Beads has a wide selection of crystals of all kinds. Comparable crystals seemed to sell for roughly $200.

We showed Von's owner John Von Erdmannsdorff a picture of Patricia Johns. He said she comes in quite a bit.

"I believe she is a regular customer of ours for rocks and crystals," said Von Erdmannsdorff.

Both women said the high-priced items did not work; instead, they were left with crushed hopes and credit problems.

In part 2 of our series "Mind Game$" we hear from clairvoyant Patricia Johns to get her side of the story. Is she a psychic or scammer? We ask her that question.

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