These of us who are critical of psychics and other peddlers of the paranormal are often questioned as to our motives. "What's the harm?" "It's just entertainment." "No one takes this seriously." "They have real insights, some have helped the police." "Have an open mind".
Tell that to Colleen Leduc, who has been put through the horrific experience of being told her 11-year old autistic daughter was being sexually molested, complete with an investigative visit from the Children's Aid Society. Why? Because an educational assistant visited a psychic who said so.
Credit the CAS for rationality; they dismissed the complaint as "ridiculous". However, it was in no small part due to the unlikely fact that Ms. Leduc had equipped her daughter with a GPS and recording device which enabled her to all but prove the accusation was false. We can only imagine the hell she would have endured had that not been the case, or worse yet, had there been some innocent circumstance that might have looked suspicious to the credulous, such as her having a new boyfriend that fit the description, or a neighbor who spent time with the girl.
The teacher and educational assistant should be fired immediately. No one with judgement that poor should be in charge of children. The psychic should be charged to the full extent of the law with whatever law would be applied to a person who yelled "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. And people who continue to make excuses for this nonsense ought to think about what that experience might have been like, because that could happen to anyone with a child. You want to be entertained, go watch a movie. There shouldn't be anything entertaining about someone pretending to know what they don't. We already have a word for that - lying.
hat tip: Pharyngula