letters | a bill of sale in salem

So, some are vexed over a hex? This is a job for (cue the trumpets) government regulation!

RE “SALEM: Curse victims, meet Adam Smith” (Editorial, Nov. 2): Regarding the lifting of curses, I say this market needs more government regulation, not less.

First, there’s licensing: Only graduates of accredited programs, such as Hogwarts, should be allowed to practice curse removal.

Then there’s diagnostics: How are consumers to know for sure that they are cursed? Reliable state-run testing labs would prevent a lot of people from paying for relief from life’s travails that are in fact caused by other things, such as a bad tuna melt, the wrong fuel-to-air mixture, the Stuxnet virus, a lack of depth in the bullpen, or global warming. These labs could also prevent false negatives.


Millions of dollars paid to hospitals on cases of so-called health problems may be wasted each year when overlooked curses are to blame. A $16,000 bill from Fatima’s Psychic Studio in Salem would seem like a bargain.

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Finally, the issue of service after the sale looms large. What protection is there for the victim of a quack warlock or sham shaman?

There needs to be a 90-day warranty with full refund if a curse remains after three attempted removals, with price controls on extended warranties. Call it the “rotten pumpkin law.”

The free market can only do so much.

Geoffrey Patton