It’s been a tough go for the Italians recently. Despite being the 3rd largest economy in the EU, growth has been nonexistent for the past 10 years. Now it seems that the Italian people are turning to the Occult and Witchcraft for answers.
The Italian government is reporting that nearly 13 Million citizens are reaching out to tarot card readers, faith healers and fortune tellers every year. A number that’s up from 10 Million in 2008 when the economic downturn began.
The Italian Consumer Affairs Association says that the Occult and Witchcraft sector is largely unregulated and undeclared in the country. They estimate the industry to be worth $8 Billion Euros per year while 95% of the earnings go untaxed.
Unfortunately, things aren’t looking up for Italy this year either. Economic experts are saying growth will either hit zero again or decline. Not terribly good news for the general population.
An investigation by Italy’s finance police, the Guardia di Finanza, has shown the situation is worse than first thought. While some of these Occult services are set up to genuinely help people, many are taking advantage of the situation, and the people, in pretty terrible ways. Pressure tactics, blackmail and overcharging are pervasive throughout the market place. The more desperate people become, the bigger the problem gets.
It’s gotten so bad that the Catholic church has set up a toll-free help line to help people in dubious situations. The Father running the service says that people have lost hope, that they’re just looking for work or stability and are willing to turn anywhere to get it.
The Vatican states that the most common services are tarot card readings, fortune telling and magic ceremonies using spells and charms. Their official position being that any belief in false superstitions can lead to black magic and even… evil worship.
Pretty serious stuff.
The situation is so serious for the Vatican that in May of this year they invited outside denominations to Rome to discuss the problem. You have to hand it to the Witches. They’re probably the only group on the planet that could get the Catholics to invite the Protestants over for lunch.