HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Should taxpayer money be spent on psychic events?
That question is at the heart of an issue on Long Island where the Hauppauge Public Library has decided to pay a psychic $450 for a 90-minute lecture.
Adrienne DeSalvo said her lecture, titled “The Afterlife with Adrienne,” is educational.
“My events are becoming more and more popular because more and more people are interested in the nature of the spirit,” DeSalvo said, adding that many are seeking answers to the questions, “What are we doing here? What’s happening? What happens after death? Is there life after death?”
DeSalvo said even skeptics who think it’s a scam seek her out after her events and she urges people to “come to the event, just listen.”
Matthew Bollerman, the Hauppauge library director, called the event entertainment and pointed out other libraries have booked psychics.
“If a program is illegal, of course we wouldn’t host it, but we are not here to judge the universe of thought,” Bollerman told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
DeSalvo said she spoke Tuesday evening at the Babylon Public Library.
“This is my seventh year at Babylon Library,” DeSalvo told 1010 WINS. “We had a full house. We had 60 people, and people try to get in, so it’s becoming more popular.”
By Thursday afternoon, there was one seat available for Friday’s lecture in Hauppauge, according to the library’s website.
Despite the event’s popularity, some residents want it stopped, calling it a scam and accusing the library of using public money for religion, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
“A library is not about entertainment, it’s about learning, and I don’t see any reason why we should have a psychic go in there. That doesn’t make any sense at all,” one man said.
“There is a big difference between a magician, who the audience is in on the secret and comes to be fooled and a psychic, who pretends to speak to relatives who have passed on,” resident Dan Simon told Gusoff.
Simon contacted the Center for Inquiry, a science and reason organization that calls public funding for a psychic event inappropriate.
“There is no proof of it. If there is something that comes out that it’s true, that would be great. I would love to talk to my grandma,” said the center’s Amy Frushour Kelly.
Others didn’t seem to have a problem with the event.
“From what I understand they pay $450 for staplers in the government, so I don’t care,” a man said.
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