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Imagine yourself walking on bare and dusty feet through the narrow, high-walled streets of an ancient city somewhere in the Middle East. It is hot. You are thirsty. A camel bellows. A toothless merchant calls out to you in his indecipherable tongue. You are at once blinded by the desert sun, then blind in the sudden, stark shade. You are slightly dizzy. Smoky incense lures you like a snake to the charmer’s nagaswaram (the horn that “sounds for the snake”). You follow the fragrance until you hear the soft jangle of silver bracelets sliding upon an aged woman’s leathery arm. You turn toward the sound, anticipating a hushed conversation with a mystic, a seer, a fortune teller, a gifted someone who, with the aid of say, a crystal ball, tarot cards, or tea leaves can help you find the answers you seek. And you find yourself face to face with . . . a strapping, six-foot-tall, 30-something that could (and has) passed for Wonder Woman — and her laptop computer.


Snap out of it. This is a modern world, and the psychic you seek can easily be found in the Yellow Pages, hard copy and Internet versions, although this one comes to you via the quaintly magical medium called word-of-mouth. You are most resolutely located in Los Angeles. Your lean, athletic form is stretched out on your favorite couch, your pedicured feet propped on a pretty pillow that looks like it might have been imported from India, and the central air kicks in with a soothing whisper. Said Wonder Woman, who is at this very moment in your home, only acted the part for a gig with DC Comics at the Six-Flags theme park in San Antonio, Texas; her resume includes stunt work. She’s no veiled-behind-the-smokey-incense fortune teller: she’s a clairvoyant, a quantum touch clairvoyant, to be precise. And that’s no ordinary $2,000 laptop wired to the sensors strapped on your wrists, ankles and head — it’s linked to a $13,000, 10,000+frequency, SCIO/QXCI, but let’s just call it the “QXCI”, for short. This nifty little device painlessly scans your energy frequencies for physical, emotional, and spiritual imbalances. It sniffs out said imbalances, and zaps back the energy-in-need: and heals. Best of all, your health insurance will cover several sessions under the clause: “bio feedback sessions”. But please, be careful not to pull on the wires while you reach for your glass of iced tea.


The QXCI is “mind blowing”, said Maggie Moline, the high-tech clairvoyant and aforementioned Wonder Woman, “. . . it is truly amazing. You see, as humans, we are electric, so that is how we can read and heal each other.” Moline used to practice the more traditional, unwired method of psychic healing one has come to expect of those in her profession, such as sitting quietly and passing her hands over your body using only a “quantum” touch (manipulating your energy at all levels, physical, emotional, and psychic.) Before we met, I hadn’t known Moline might practice her ancient art by anything but the traditional methods. I admit, I was hoping she’d show me her tarot cards or any comparable “exotic” prop. It’s just as well she didn’t bring the QXCI; I’d learn later that it looks like a cross between a portable cassette machine and a plug-in 8-track player for the car.


Moline was visiting Chicago for a few days and agreed to meet with me for lunch at an Irish pub. She sipped from the essence of java while I imbibed from fermented wheat. She is warm, open, and friendly, as one would expect of a healer. After a bit of warm-up chat, she offered to do a low-tech, nary a prop energy adjustment for me right then and there, while sitting across the table from me. Fellow diners didn’t seem to notice as her hands motioned a languorous outline of my head. I sat quietly, wondering if the good feeling I was getting was from her energy work or the bubbles in my beer. Her hands flowed down toward my elbows, resting on the table across from her, then suddenly she stopped, dropped her hands to her sides, and shrugged. I worried that she picked up on some bad vibes I had going on about some things in my life that were really pissing me off. Perhaps in some shady recess of my mind a rabid jackal snarled at her gentle approach. But we just smiled, laughed a little, and moved on with our discussion of modern technology applied to an ancient practice that includes balancing chakras and calling upon (kind) religious personalities or (nice) animal tokens, whichever you prefer, for guidance.


Moline is thrilled to be a wired healer, and will talk of little else. “These doctors (the creators of the QXCI) figured out how to measure over 10,000 different frequencies (presumably of the emotional and psychic realms residing within each of us)”, Moline said, “and they put this detecting technology into a device that will read which frequencies match up with you, and then list the top 280 frequencies that are out of balance, displayed right there on my computer screen.” Let’s see that leaves . . . 9,720 frequencies that are, I assume, undetected by her laptop . . . But our conversation moved on quickly, leaving the untapped frequencies behind in our stardust. A detailed understanding of how this machine really works doesn’t seem to interest Moline, or at least, she didn’t care to explain beyond what she already had, and I couldn’t figure out any more after visiting the QXCI website. Suffice it to say that Moline accepts the claims of its ability with good faith and presumably an intuit’s good sense, and she judiciously practices perfecting her craft with this mind-melding machine. She achieved certification to own and operate the QXCI by attending the required workshops (many, conveniently, on-line) offered by its makers.


“There is no way any human psychic could compete with the QXCI,” she continued, “Using its new cybernetic loop technology, the QXCI will actually send back frequencies to you to help balance those frequencies that are out of balance.” But unlike the dentist’s stinging needle and electrically-powered drill, the QXCI application, although “deep”, is physically painless. A clairvoyant can do her healing work without this machine, of course, but apparently even the best clairvoyant can’t keep up with the QXCI’s level of accuracy and volume of information. I shudder at the dangerous implications of a session with an inaccurate clairvoyant; one might be sent into a Dante-esque journey for many lives. That’s just one good argument for using state-of-the-art technology in this field.


Before meeting Maggie Moline, I assumed those who practiced such ancient arts, and those who partook of them, would be wary and resistance to technology’s intrusion into their arena. I found her enthusiasm for something with a much higher start-up cost than a simple telephone line and monthly ISP fee rather surprising. Indeed, I’ve come away from our interview with the impression that Moline is a trailblazer in her field; she is breaking from the established traditions of healing work. Unphased by the skeptics, Moline’s take on the matter is that you still need your basic tools and learning in order to be a clairvoyant. Comparably, medical doctors may have sophisticated operating equipment, but they still need their basic, hands-on medical training — and look at all the cool gadgets they get to use. Moline believes that in our modernly skeptical and thus modified, yet resolutely superstitious world, the QXCI adds credibility to psychic work.


The inventor of this mind-blowing, “cybernetic loop” device, Dr. Nelson, moved to Hungary at some point in his career because, said Moline, “(Hungarians) are more accepting of energetic medicine and alternative forms of healing.” Or perhaps Hungary is simply less rigorous in regulating medical devices than the US? Well, that’s just novice speculation on my part. As it is, Moline’s colleagues-in-the-machine, at least as applied to psychic work, seem to be few and far, very far from Los Angeles. Apparently, dentists and chiropractors (and vetrinarians and sport doctors and many others in healing fields) find the QXCI useful, too — most likely many such practitioners are located in Southern California, as well — but at this interview, held on a wet, cold day in early 2004, Moline didn’t know anyone else who was using the device in psychic work.


Prior to her work as a clairvoyant, for many years Maggie worked as a stunt actor, a movie extra, a singer, and as a professional basketball and volleyball player — but it is her acting work that led her to take meditation classes to better prepare herself for an acting role. She found herself drawn to the Southern California Psychic Institute (SCPI), a veritable “boot camp” of psychics school; a very “intense” and “hard core” place, where students have to meditate, a lot, before obtaining psychic certification. “I took all of the meditation classes, healing classes, and women’s intuition classes they have to offer on their website,” said Moline, “I also studied in their clairvoyant program.” Sounds exhausting. A trained and certified quantum healer with more than six years of the healing arts under her belt, and now, too, certified in the QXCI (the machine and its counterparts, whatever they may be, are not taught at SCPI), Moline has been primarily earning her living of late by providing her high-tech clairvoyant services to athletes and other educated and relatively affluent clients, all of whom are quite receptive to receiving an energy healing adjustment with the aid of hard wires, the soft tap-tap of the keyboard, and a cool, computer-generated glow on the face of their clairvoyant.


Indeed, we of modern means seem to like our dose of psyching healing with a dash of technical “cool”, much like we want it in our entertainment systems, our medical care, and who doesn’t want a Global Positioning System in their already highly-computerized car? The QXCI website boasts that Lance Armstrong is a big believer in this technology, and beamed at a Milan football team, this machine purportedly helped ensure the team’s success. Just think: no more need for anabolic steroids. Would the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) be in an uproar were its agents to spot a mysterious man crouched near the track, aiming a strange, hand-held device at an athlete running the 100-meter dash? Would a blast from the QXCI show up in an athlete’s urine test? How would the IAAF regulate such a thing?


At a bargain starting rate of $95 for a two-hour energy session (rates for psychic work can range from $20-$200 per hour) — a session that could purportedly save you years of counseling — the benefits of the healing machine to star athletes like Armstrong can be yours, too. Moline’s clients are growing from the athlete concerned about performance and the middle-aged woman seeking relief from the pain of divorce to the spookier side of psychic work: parapsychology (of which Moline made her first foray not long after our interview). Now that’s a specialized field with its own set of cool, spirit-tracking gadgetry (of which the QXCI seems to be adaptable). According to Parapsychologydegrees.com, you can get a PhD in parapsychology. I’m not sure where such educated people in this field find work, but as reported in the 23 August 2002 issue of Wired.com, the International Society for Paranormal Research conducted an online search to find two clairvoyant investigators. But the job market was tight, then, and many applicants, probably PhDs among them, were turned away.


The job market for clairvoyants remains tight, but Moline is adaptable. Other means of modern technology help keep her profession viable and accessible: for example, to expand her clientele yet keep her commuting costs down, she can work in sub-space. That doesn’t mean she’s off floating in a space capsule working with the crew on their anxiety over a lunar landing. Rather, she can do her healing work via a phone call or e-mail. It’s simple, really, she’ll begin by asking your name, date of birth, place of birth, then ask you to describe what’s troubling you. Moline and her machine do the rest. An easy cruise through the (Internet) Yellow Pages reveals an array of psychics that gravitate to sub-space practices. I imagined that those minds behind the veil of telephones and e-mails, those pay per-question psychics were, for the most part, people with insufficient income who were doing this kind of sub-space work to help pay for groceries and rent. Then I came face-to-face with Moline, this very active, multi-skilled Wonder Woman stand-in. My assumptions were shattered by this woman of mythical, mystical powers, this modern-day, technology-enabled foot soldier in the ranks of energy work.


On the matter of jobs for clairvoyants, The Southern California Psychic Institute didn’t reply to my e-mails inquiring about job placement for their graduates. Nor does the Berkeley Psychic Institute have a job placement program posted on their website. For that matter, the websites for both institutions are somewhat . . . vague . . . in their description of coursework, too. As for finding work, I guess those who are accomplished in this fields “know” where the jobs are. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. Or more likely, clairvoyants like Moline keep the day job, in her case, multiple jobs in stunt and acting work, as they come and go, wax and wane, appear and disappear, according to the will of the universe.

Karen Zarker, Managing Editor at PopMatters, works with a talented array of writers throughout the magazine. She manages the PopMatters Books Series, and also holds many behind-the-scenes operational responsibilities. She can be reached at zarker(at)popmatters.com.


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