A psychic Tells F What to Expect for Halloween, the 2004 Election, and the Future of the World
Manda Aufochs Gillespie
Illustrations by Martin Azari
Joseph DeLouise's fame as a psychic dates back to 1967 when he predicted the collapse of the Silver Bridge that spanned the Ohio River in West Virginia. As I walk, nervously grasping the arm of my friend and co-conspirator Michelle Zis, into the marble and mirrored lobby of 8 S. Michigan, DeLouise is no more than the largest ad in the yellow pages and the one that touted "radio and TV fame." Since I wasn't going to be paying him but just wanted to solve the issue of how to deal in print with an election that would, more or less, be decided while this paper was at the printer, radio and TV fame suggested someone sensitive to my dilemma.
I am surprised when I get to his office to find that he has a secretary. And, that his office isn't smoky and the crystal ball doesn't even emerge until about the time I am leaving. The secretary shows us into his room and DeLouise is sitting in a large recliner that is covered with a blanket in a moon and star motif. He looks appropriately wizard-like, the impression heightened by the wall of books and leather upholstery.
I discover quickly that DeLouise isn't just any psychic. For one, he's incredibly straight-forward with a winning grin and an amused attitude toward his gift. At some point, when Zis asks him, "Do you like what you do?" he laughs back, "I love it! I never work up a sweat." He keeps looking over at me and saying, "Anyone can be a psychic if they work at it." I wonder if it might not be more lucrative than writing. DeLouise, as finely coiffed as you would expect a man to be who got his start as a barber, looks like he is doing well for himself. Later, the articles I read about him suggest he must be at least seventy years old, and I am even more impressed with his hair and his humor.
DeLouise, who is "from the old country" and dropped out of school in the eighth grade, has a list of accomplishments that, quite literally, fill a bookshelf, a wall and a little round magazine rack with photocopies of newspaper clippings. His record suggests he is a far more successful political pundit than Robert Novak and Ann Coulter. Among other things, he predicted the Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne tragedy, the Sharon Tate murder case that led to the arrest of Charles Manson, the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987 and the soar of 1998, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and numerous natural disasters. As well, he invented an "uncrashable" airplane with the help of Lenardo Da Vinci, who visited him in his dreams. He is a favorite with the news media, appearing in everything from The Wall Street Journal to the Reader's Digest.
I, however, just want him to tell me who is going to win the election. Like a fly, closing in on the question, I send out discontented buzzings when the answers are taken away. I start to ask about Bush, and DeLouise (reading my mind?), answers, "You are good now but you are going to be really good later."
"So, who do you predict..."
"You might be leaving the state," he continues. He then tells me I will have a happy marriage and two children. Okay, I say, "So, who is going to win..." then he tells Zis to try and not repeat the mistakes of her past. "You really are a good person," he tells her, like he's trying to convince someone. I look at her questioningly.
"So, who do you predict..."
He turns to me, "Let me tell you, I've got a real strong feeling, not a prediction," "Yes?" I am excited now. "...that there isn't going to be an election," he continues. My pen pauses in mid scribble. Hmm, is this the answer I want? What does he mean it's not a prediction, just a strong feeling?
"What do you mean that it's not a prediction..."
"Something," he interrupts, "is going to happen before the election that will scare people from going to the polls. Almost like the terrorists are going to attack, but not in one place, but six or seven places. Why won't the person go to the polls? Because they are afraid to go to the polls. If you can't have a count, you can't have an election."
Actually, I think to myself, there are plenty of people who would be just as happy to call it an election whether anyone actually got to the polls or not. Beyond my sarcasm, it was still a scary prediction. Wait, not prediction. Feeling.
"What is the difference between a feeling and a prediction?" I ask.
"A lot!" He pauses. "It's hard to explain."
Oh. Maybe it is, whether it comes true or not, I think. Not that I don't believe him, because I can't help myself, I am superstitious. And, he is more reliable than the pundits and more accurate than the polls.
"I am also predicting that we are heading toward a police state, that we are in [it] right now."
Well, this you don't need a psychic to tell you, but at least he said "predicted," so that makes me happy.
"And," he continues, "the market is going to go straight down regardless of who wins. It's going down because of too much debt." He does have a reputation for picking the market's highs and lows, this talent being what landed him on the pages of The Wall Street Journal. He had also successfully picked the lottery numbers during the Reagen administration. Unfortunately the winning numbers didn't come until 11 weeks after the prediction.
"So, if you can predict the market and pick lottery numbers, why aren't you rich and famous?" I don't even get the question out before he starts answering it.
"I've already made predictions that made me famous, and they didn't make me that famous. I'm not interested in having a public relations campaign to tell lies about me." He says, "It doesn't work that way, if I tried [to use my powers to win the lottery] it doesn't happen." He goes on, consoling himself, "The very rich are often sort
He does put my mind at ease about a few other things. No one is going to bomb the Sears Tower, the administration is not going to find Osama Bin Laden before the election though he will be found eventually, North Korea isn't going to be a problem, he doesn't see Israel being bombed, and the government of Iran will be overthrown by students, but "give it a little time," he emphasizes. He explains that over the next 30 to 40 years the world is going to become more of a global community, what DeLouise refers to as "one world."
I am starting to feel better when he says, "I don't see things getting better. Before they get better, they get worse. I do see them getting better," which of course leaves me incredibly confused. When I try to get to the bottom of that statement he tells me, "I don't see an atomic war. I don't see an all-out war but I do see wars. I don't see any attack on Israel."
He continues with, "Christians are brainwashed, Muslims are brainwashed. Most wars are religious wars," and then tells us how his mother hated Jews because she was brainwashed by the church but that this kind of persecution of the Jews was over. Well, at least he's culturally sensitive psychic, I think.
I try to get specific and I am told that we will have a black vice president in about 12 years.
I saw him counting the years before making that prediction. If I take DeLouise's suggestion and hone my psychic abilities, I will predict Obama. I am already getting a strong feeling.
When I ask him who really runs the country, he answers, "the military," without hardly batting the lash on his inner eye. The president doesn't know what's happening."
He does give this bit of hope to students: "There is going to be a new type of education: electrodes in the head. This will teach you math genetically or through code, but it will be very expensive at first." Don't worry, "We aren't that far away from it."
Before we leave, he sits back in his recliner and meditates on his crystal ball. The ball is the size of a cantaloupe, and I expect it to fill with fog and swirl around. It doesn't, but after some time he gives us two clear predictions, the kind that I expect to get from a psychic with a crystal ball: "I see something about a dam breaking" and "something serious is going to happen for Halloween. Yes, something happens around the time of Halloween." He opens his eyes and looks at me, "That is before the election. ..."
I write it down. Ah, at last, my election story.
Joseph DeLouise can read your fortune, help you with hypnosis or work with you to strengthen your own intuitive abilities. He can be found at 8 S. Michigan in Suite 620 or by calling (312) 332-1841.