Enquirer Magazine

This article is great!  It tells how Patricia started in her work as a Psychic.    A must to read!

Patricia Mischell
barefoot psychic

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by Michael McLeod
Enquirer Magazine   

Sunday, August 29, 1982
The woman in the white dress slipped out of her shoes, explaining briefly:  "I'm from West Virginia."
     She asked for silence, then began to move through the crowd - haltingly, as if invisible strings were tugging at her from opposite ends of the room.  Finally, she stopped in front of a man in the second row and spoke:
     "Do you wish to receive a message?"  He nodded.  The woman paused, her hand resting lightly on the man's shoulder, her head bent slightly forward, her eyes fixed and distant.  When she began to speak, it was in a deliberate, measured voice, and the crowd of a hundred or so listened to her intently.
     "There must not be tears that are shed for the loss of  that one who is about to leave this earth,"  she said to the man.  "Your wife must know that her mother is only going to step from one place of being to another.  The mother does not wish to remain here.  Her soul is ready, and has already said goodbye.
     "Your friend that sits next to you must be told that there is money which will come into his life, a great sum...."
     The woman in white spoke to the man a few moments longer, and then began moving again, tracing a slow, preoccupied semicircle through the room, stopping now and then to deliver other messages.  She paused in front of a heavyset, gray-haired woman to share what she said was a message from the spirit of an American Indian:  "I come to you, my old friend, and I speak to you in love and peace.  Your mind has been in darkness, and you have overcome a monumental obstacle.  Through illness, through periods of having and not having, I have been there, and I am walking with you now.  Continue fighting.  It is not worth leaving the earth.  The opportunities for  your soul are tremendous."  
     Of all the words that might be used to describe those messages and that scene, "routine" is probably the last one to come to mind.  But routine they are:  Like clock work, every second Sunday of the month, Patricia Mischell performs "shines," she calls it at the Sheraton Inn in Springdale.
    Mischell is a self- professed psychic, the area's most well known practitioner.  She teaches classes on psychic phenomenon; appears regularly on the "Bob Braun Show", is negotiating for a nationwide cable television show to be called "Patricia", and is president and founder of "The World of ESP."
     "The World of ESP" is a sort of psychic flea market.  Every second Sunday, besides attending Mischell's lecture- demonstration, devotees can visit a ballroom next door - all for a single cover charge of $6.  There, from circular tables arranged around the room, dozens of psychics, astrologers, and parapsychologist ply their specialties.  This is the place for people who need to have their auras "cleaned,' a service provided by woman who makes fussy little brushing movements around the outlines of her patrons.  This is the place for someone who wants to visit, under hypnotic suggestion, a previous incarnation; for "Star Trek" fans who would like to tune into a man who says he can perform a "Valcun mind meld"; for tarot card readings; healings; dream interpretations; information on UFOs; and the chance to study plaster casts of supposed Bigfoot tracks.
  There's more, but that much is probably enough- enough to make most people conceive of Patricia Michelle and her band of ESPers as the kind of folks who resemble Elsa Lanchester in  "Bride of Frankenstein" and are usually accompanied by the theme from "The Twilight Zone" when they walk into a room.
     But this is reality - which does not come equipped with special effects or a spooky soundtrack; where the mundane and the supernatural hang out together like inseparable old pals.  If you want to have your aura cleaned at "The World of ESP," for example, you have to abide by the same rule that applies at the Laundromat: come early, or wait in line.  Mundane. Supernatural.
     And not all of the psychic messages delivered at the World of ESP are of great spiritual significance.  During a question- and-answer session at Mischell's lecture, most audience members had everyday concerns on their minds.  A teenager asked Mischell to look into the future to see if he was going to get a new career.  (Her answer:  Sorry, not for a while.)  Others asked about their health, their business ventures, whether they should break up with troublesome boyfriends or girlfriends,.  will my daughter ever find a husband?  Where is the watch I misplaced?  One woman waved two letters in the air and asked what to do about them.  Mischell raised her hands as if to protect herself from the letters.  Then she advised the woman that they had been written in a jealous rage, and told her to burn them, flush the ashes down the toilet, and say a silent prayer for the person who wrote them.
     The question and answer session was part "Dear Abby," part Amy McPherson.  It was a little bit country; it was sort of old fashioned.
     And like the carnival ballroom full of ESPers it was only a fleeting hint about the personality of Patricia Mischell, barefoot psychic from West Virginia.  
      Here is how Mischell says she learned that she was psychic:  Seven years ago, she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.  It was serious enough that the doctor was beginning
to talk about wheel-chairs.  A friend told her about an  aging psychic in Cincinnati who might be able to help her.  When she went to see the man, he told her:  "You are psychic.  You could do a reading on me."  She thought to herself:  "this man must be crazy.  I'm in no shape to be doing anything for anybody.  Can't he see I'm falling apart?" But something told her to go ahead and try it.  So she moved closer to him, and before she had time to think, images of this life seemed to come flooding into her.  She told him she saw him with a teen-ager who appeared to be his son.  She said she saw the boy going away at the age of 16.  It didn't seem to make any sense - he seemed to old to have a son that age but when she looked up, the old psychic was crying.  "that was my nephew you saw,"  he told her.  "I raised him like a son.  He died of heart failure when he was 16."
     The incident with the psychic was a turning point in her life.  She began reading voraciously - books about developing mental powers, positive thinking, meditation.  She read about a mental exercise that consisted of visualizing an image of herself with a healthy body.  It seemed to work.  Her physical condition began to improve.  Eventually, the arthritis cleared up altogether.
     Today, at the age of 46 Mischell is combination of ambition, earthiness, and glamour.  Her clear, gray eyes seem to radiate sedateness and strength.  In her rare moments of relaxation, she tinkers with houseplants, worries about her three children, and fusses with the house cats in her home/office in suburban Fairfield.
     Born and raised a Catholic, she believes her psychic powers are a natural gift of God.  She insists that she herself is not a phony, and says she has, in fact, blown the whistle on unscrupulous psychics a number of times.  Once, she says, she called police when one of her students confessed that she had fallen prey to this psychic scam:  A "psychic" convinced the student that she (the student) had a hex, or curse, over her head.  To remove it, the psychic said she needed $500 and a live chicken.  The psychic killed the chicken, took the money, and instructed the student to take the dead chicken and run naked through a cemetery with it that night.
   After hearing the story, Mischell called the police, and the phony psychic was arrested for fraud.
     A television producer once told Mischell he wanted to put "chills" in the audience during her show "in case your psychic stuff isn't working."  The same producer also wanted to jazz up her image.  "the people out there want magic," he said.  "they want to see you pull rabbits out of hats."
     Mischell refused to perform with plants in the audience; she also declined to pull rabbits out of hats.  Such props, she says, aren't necessary for someone who can do what she does.
     People who have met Mischell tend to agree.
     Bob Braun says that he was amazed when she predicted, accurately, that he was going to land a new recording contract this fall.  Doe Koppana, of Hyde Park, says that on two occasions when she was seriously ill, Mischell was able to accurately diagnose her ailments where doctors had failed.  Theresa Westover, of New Jerusalem (a catholic-charismatic community of about 400), went to see Mischell after her daughter had been abducted.  Mischell told her that her daughter was safe, was living in a warm climate with her father, and would be returned in June of that year.  She was off by exactly one year:  in  June of the next year, the child was returned home from Orlando, FL.
     Attempting to prove or disprove whether Mischell has a psychic gift would take a longer story and a far more scientific approach.  But assuming that she does have a gift, what is it?  And how does it work? Here's how she explains it:  When she "reads" a person, she feels as if she is mentally projecting herself into a kind of time tunnel, in which portions of that person's past, present and future are revealed to her.  "All of a sudden," she says,  "everything else falls away, and I am only right there with that person's - I guess you would call it their soul.  I don't even see the person's face or their body any more.  It's like daydreaming; it's like looking at pictures.  And there doesn't seem to be any sort of time with that; so I can go back, and I can move into the future."
     But the pictures, says Mischell, are occasionally misleading and often fragmented.  Mischell says she usually "sees" a jumble of images when she reads someone: a date, a wedding ring, a house, a geographic detail.  Interpreting the images is another step.  If she sees an image of a person who appears to be hollow or full of holes, for example, she might interpret that to mean that the person is psychologically exhausted, in need of affection and support.  If she "sees" a wedding ring that is hovering about someone's hand, she might interpret it to mean they are about to get married.
     The fragmented images can be frustrating, particularly when Mischell is trying to assist police with missing persons cases.  "I want to help so much, and it bothers me that I can't see more specific things," she says.  "When you look into that dimension, you get pieces of things - a well, a body
of water, the color red, a station wagon.  Why can't I see a license number, something specific?"  
    Sometimes, working on police cases has other, more frightening drawbacks.  Mischell sat in the car from which Jerry Stanfield was abducted, 
trying to get a sense of what had happened to her.  Police would later learn that Stanfield had been murdered, but for those long  days of not knowing last winter, Mischell tried to mentally contact her.
     The only result was that, night after night, she would wake up terrified, convinced that she was about to die.  "I've been through hell", she says. 
     "One of the most painful and important lesson I've had to learn is to keep working on myself and on my own consciousness, to clean up all the feeling of revenge and prejudice I might have," she says.  "Otherwise I can't do a very good job at helping other people work out their problems."  Mischell reasons that a psychic is just like a doctor or a lawyer:  all the professional skills in the world are useless if the person who yields them is a spiritual cripple.
     The wall in the basement-office of Mischell's home seems to attest to her commitment to keep herself mentally fit.  The wall is filled with diplomas and certifications:  Silva Mind Control; Psycho- Cybernetics; Member, Positive Living Foundation; Member, Astarian Brotherhood; Graduate, the Institute of metaphysics; Graduate, Adventures in Attitudes.  Mischell says that one reason the diplomas are so important to her is that she never made it past the eight grade in school.  The courses represent a broad quest for self awareness one that has extended well beyond psychic studies. 
     One of the courses she took included an exercise that seemed ridiculous, at first:  she was told to look in the mirror every morning for 30 days and say, "I love you."   It wasn't easy.  She remembered her grandmother telling her that it was wrong for people to waste affection on themselves; it was vanity; it was a sin.  But she kept doing the exercise, and one day, the eyes that looked back at her said, "I love you, too."  It was then, she says, that she first started to really assert herself, because she realized that the eyes in the mirror had seen something that was worth defending.
  Now, when she has classes about psychic powers, she makes her students do the same exercise - "Because I know that they can't keep looking into their own eyes without seeing something great within themselves.  
     Interviews with several of Mischell's students and patrons turned up a curious theme; most tended to talk more about her spiritual counseling than her psychic abilities.  "What I got from Patricia was much, much more than helping me find my daughter," said Theresa Westover.  "The biggest thing she gave me was this:  I immediately recognized in Pat a deep spirituality.  I knew I could learn from this woman.  I always used to think you had to be a nun to be spiritual.  To me, Pat represented a lay person who was attractive, sexy, and also deeply spiritual."  
     Another patron, Middletown restaurateur Anne Slezak, went to see Mischell for the first time 10 years ago.  It was during a low point in Slezak's life:  her son-in-law, a young man of 30 had just died.  "As old as I am, you'd think I'd be used to that idea of death," she said.  "But I just couldn't understand why a young man had been taken away, when he was just like a flower beginning to bloom.   I was bitter with God.  I'd talk to nuns and priests about it, and they would just say, 'Well, that's God's will.'  I kept asking, 'Why would something like this be his will?'  "Well, I went to Pat, and she explained it to me in such a way that she just made me understand.  I don't now how.  She changed my life.  She helped me to handle that thing about death.  I have a more positive outlook now."
     "If you focus just on her psychic abilities," says Westover, "you miss the best part of Pat.  By just giving people a few quick answers, you aren't really solving anything.  She gets down deeper than that.  She gives people more."
     One of Mischell's students finds it a little incongruous that she continues to associate with mind molders and Bigfoot buffs.  "Patricia is really at a much higher level than a lot of those people," said the student.  "I think she needs to realize that she has outgrown them,"
     Sometimes, Mischell herself seems headed toward that conclusion.  "I truly believe that my work is a ministry," she says.  "One of the things that has happened is that all of a sudden, being psychic doesn't seem so important anymore.  It becomes bigger than that.  What is beginning to take over for me is an overwhelming desire to serve.  I think I can do something - maybe not big, but something for people, for humanity."
     When Mischell was told, seven years ago, that she was psychic, she didn't even know how to spell the word.  She looked it up, wrote it down on a scrap of paper, and carried it around in her purse. 
     Today, that word is printed neatly on her stationery and her business cards.  But she admits that sometimes, it still seems a little alien to her: psychic, "If I were just psychic," she says, "I wouldn't be where I am today."


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