The Return of Ms. Cleo, Mambo Priestess ?

Psychic. Fifth Avenue, NYC. By Timothy Krause.Licensed under CC 2.0

“Call me now ….”

Ms Cleo was the face and more memorably the voice of psychic readings in the late 90’s. My friends and I are still known to respectfully mimic her classic patois. Vice yesterday published an interview with the divine Ms herself. It’s very entertaining and I suggest everyone read it for themselves.

Ms. Cleo talks about being raised in the tradition of Obeah (the Jamaican based variation of Voodoo,) and her initiation and study up to become a Mambo priestess. She tells of being a playwright. Surprisingly she even gives her side of the legal troubles surrounding the Psychic Readers Network which was charged with deceptive advertising and billing by the Federal Trade Commission in 2002. The Director of the commission at the time said “ you don’t need a crystal ball to know that the FTC will continue to stop unfair and deceptive trade practices.” Ms. Cleo however says she was only paid $1,750 for the first infomercial, despite the company’s huge success. She has suffered a lot of bad press, but luckily for us she is present in the new documentary Hotline. It’s an official selection at this year’s Hot Docs. The documentary examines sex lines, psychic lines, suicide hotlines, and even prayer lines, and what it means to be on the phone in these ways.

Watch the trailer and Ms. Cleo if you’re reading this… Call me now, I’d love to interview you here on Voodoo Universe :)

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