Let’s hope Google picks up on that headline.
Jumaani is a numerologist who’s getting paid obscene amounts of money to tell people what they want to hear. His advice boils down to: Change the spelling of your name to make it more unique or just be born on the right day:
According to Mr. Jumaani, people’s personalities and destinies are shaped by the interplay of various numbers. Among the most important are numbers derived from birth dates, like the sum of the digits that make up the day of birth. Babies born on the 28th day of a month, for example, are said to have a good life ahead of them because 2 and 8 add up to 10, and 1 plus 0 equals 1.
One, three, five and six are considered auspicious numbers: Mr. Jumaani points out that Bill Gates was born on Oct. 28, 1955.
Numbers correspond to the sun, the moon or a planet; one is the sun, two is the moon, three is Jupiter and so on.
But people who are not born on a fortunate date need not despair. While he cannot change their birth dates, Mr. Jumaani said clients can benefit by changing their names. (He would not disclose how numbers are assigned to letters.) Wearing appropriate gems and colors can also change fortunes.
In other words, 40% of the digits are special. And you can manipulate most numbers to get one of those four digits.
Even if Gates was born on the inauspicious Oct. 29, 1955, you could just as easily say 10/29 = 1 + 0 + 2 + 9 = 12 = 1 + 2 = 3 = Auspicious!
Much like James Randi, the Science and Rationalists’ Association of India is trying to fight back against the pseudoscience.
“This practice caters to people’s craving to know, modify or improve their future,” said Prabir Ghosh, an author who has debated astrologers and numerologists on Indian television. “In this era of cutthroat competition intensified by the global recession people will do anything before going into a new venture.”
Mr. Ghosh, who is the general secretary of the Science and Rationalists’ Association of India, has said his group will pay numerologists, astrologers and other spiritual guides two million rupee ($43,000) if they prove that their practices work as advertised. He has made no payments so far.
Of course no one will try to claim the money. These numerologists and other deceivers know what they are doing — they have convinced themselves they have a special talent. They may not even be purposely lying, but they’re completely mistaken about their “gift.” They don’t have one. And they refuse to undergo any real scrutiny from skeptics because they know any real study would prove their “powers” to be non-existent.
As Ghosh says, people will do anything to get ahead, including consulting with numerologists and the like. The problem is that some of these people have little money to begin with. They’re giving up substantial amounts of money to be given a path to success from a person who can guarantee nothing of the sort.
All he has to offer is hope. That’s something a close friend could give you for free.
There’s no reason to give a single rupee to a con like Jumaani.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that all this is so pervasive in India. Even serious things like marriages are often only allowed to proceed if certain astrological signs are met.
I think I should change my name to Hemaant Mehtaa. What do you think?
I love this comment from hoverFrog:
I think the most auspicious day for Jumaani is when his clients were born yesterday.
(Thanks to Prabhat for the link!)