Why is Bosley’s Pet Foods Bringing in an ‘Animal Communicator’?

***Update***: Bosley’s noted on Facebook that they will be canceling this event!

Nice job, all!

Bosley’s Pet Foods is a retail store in British Columbia and they have a special guest visiting one of their stores next week:

Reisa Stone is an “animal communicator” who uses the power of telepathy to talk to animals dead and alive. (Remember when Harry Potter spoke Parseltongue? Yeah, it’s like that.)

Reisa Stone

Julie, a blogger at The Misanthropic Shiba, was upset to see this partnership taking place. It meant that Bosley’s was tacitly (if not strongly) supporting this con. So she said something about it:

Anyway, why am I all up in arms over this? I mean, it’s just nonsensical fun, right? Light-hearted fun.

Wrong. At $150 an hour, Ms. Stone is charging people for her ‘telepathy’ services — desperate people who are hoping for a miracle to help them help their pet. And people are paying this. Even if they’re stupid/ignorant/ill-informed, it’s up to the rest of us to stop reliance on the ‘woo’ and keep encouraging pet owners to seek out competent professionals who have made animal behaviour a study.

It’s the same reason we criticize John Edward and James Van Praagh and Sylvia Browne and all those other fake-psychics who pretend to communicate with the dead: It’s not just an entertainment act. They’re duping gullible, desperate people out of their money by manipulating their emotions.

It’s also good reason not to shop at Bosley’s. If they want to endorse Stone by giving her access to their customers, it just shows how little respect they have for the people who buy their products.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Stone saw Julie’s post and felt the need to comment on it.

First, Stone took a passive-aggressive approach:

… I am getting quite a few good contacts from your blog post. Particularly from people who are against racism, experience a deep connection with animals, and have some knowledge of quantum physics. Keep going :)

If that doesn’t make any sense to you, it’s because it doesn’t make any sense to anyone.

Then, not getting the supportive response she was expecting, Stone took it up another notch: She threatened to “out” Julie to her not-so-skeptical employer:

… since your employer wrote [an] article about Animal Communication, I’m sure she will be thrilled to read yours.

Julie, to her credit, didn’t back down. She responded to Stone directly:

I think your claims are false and that you’re taking money from people who are desperately searching for answers. You may apply stuff that actually works, like desensitization techniques and getting strong chemicals out of a pet’s living area, but wrapping it in the guise of being able to actually speak to animals is dead wrong. As is the claim to speak with dead animals — making money by telling people grieving over their dead pets stories to make them feel better. I think it’s reprehensible.

I don’t really care about you, though. You can peddle your psychic wares to anyone foolish enough to listen. However, when a store chain that I shop at endorses you by creating an event and inviting you, I am not going to support them with my money. And that’s what I’m blogging about.

Go Julie!

If Stone wanted to prove her powers were real, she could always take James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge. She won’t do that, though. It would expose her as a fraud and the money well would dry up.

If you shop at this Bosley’s, let them know you’re disappointed in their hosting of this event. Their number is 1-604-591-1013. You can also reach corporate headquarters through here.

If the store managers really care about pets and their owners, then they shouldn’t be supporting someone who has no respect for that relationship and who pretends to communicate with animals in order to make money.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.