Witchcraft is definitely not the first thing we think of when we have a problem with modern technology. Silicon Valley companies though don't seem to think this way. They recently employed a Wiccan witch to help them deal with hackers, computer viruses and demonic possessions.
Computer programmers, software designers and engineers are dealing with issue that appear to be supernatural in nature. The solution was calling a Marin County-based witch with absolutely no experience in technology. With more than 40 years of experience in the field, Reverend Joey Talley, a witch of the Wicca faith, is an expert in dealing with the occult and holds three Master’s degrees.
“Most people want me to protect their computers from viruses and hacks”, she says. “So I’ll make charms for them. I like to use flora". If plants fail, she turns to Jet, a black gemstone that acts as an energy blocker, ideal for debugging office hardware. However, larger or more vulnerable computer networks often require “a rainbow of colors to divert excess energy". And to keep things going smooth, she can also cast a protection spell over the entire company.
Her field of expertise is dealing with evil spirits. “I really like dealing with demons", she says. One of her first tasks in this new field has been helping a startup whose office alarm was infected by what she defined an “invasive species”. All electricians failed to fix it, so the company called her and she solved the issue, “I don’t know anything about electronics, but I got the spirit out”.
To eradicate entities from an electronic machine she uses a variety of techniques: from placing stones on the computer, to cleaning the negative energy by imposing one's mind. The time necessary for the virus to be eliminated varies according the kind of evil entity, she says that sometimes it just takes an hour, sometimes even four.
"When I go into the room where somebody’s computer is, I go in fresh, I step in like a fresh sheet, and I’m open to feel what’s going on with the computer".
Source: Motherboard, Image: Shutterstock
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I think any rational person would agree that there's no way of interfering with a computers' operations without manipulating a keyboard, a mouse or any other device able to change the software of a computer. If a computer would read this story it would probably say "01110011 01110100 01110101 01110000 01101001 01100100 00100000 01101000 01110101 01101101 01100001 01101110 01110011", meaning: stupid humans. What the story is really about, in my opinion, is that even though we interact with computers everyday, indeed our lives are increasingly computerized and organized, and our knowledge of the world incessantly expands, our caveman instincts haven't ceased to exist, and thus we remain susceptible to superstition and the correlation fallacy. This article tells us more about the nature of humans than anything else. It's funny that the "rational people" among us detest or laugh about these stories as we feel that the witch and her clients are inferior to us. But we "rationalists" are as irrational as they are, we're just too smart (or stupid) to admit our ignorance. The point is: believing that the false is true, or that there is anything true at all, and ignoring our ignorance are inherently human attributes. Is our purpose to eliminate these 'weaknesses' and become the ultimate rationalist, i.e. computer, or are we proud of our belief without proof? It does makes life easier if you think you know more than you do; ordinary conversations are founded on a mismatch of knowledge and our limited ability to convey what we know and overestimation of what we think we know. That's what makes life interesting: not knowing. What kind of life will we live if information spreads instantaneous and singular and we know everything at once?
Martijn van Mensvoort
I my perception this article includes sort of a hoax story, because a closer reading of various related media-reports (presented below) suggests that things are actually a little different from what they appear to be at first sight. For example: The Motherboard crew asked Reverend Joey Talley to describe what companies have used here services; she answered: "The individuals will approach me themselves, not as a company. They’re afraid. They don’t want to be accused of being ridiculous or stoned or devil worshippers or something. They’ve got to be cautious." (This suggests that there are actually no companies among her clients, only individual persons) Another example: A report involving one of her first experiences with tech issues, which suggests that the person involved actually was already under the spells of this Wicca witch before the tech issue manifested: "I had a client who I had worked with doing success spells and business spells, and he had a burglar alarm problem." (This suggests that the person did not contact the witch for this tech problem in specific) One more example: It appears that this witch usually actually works through the power of suggestion, because another media report suggests that she usually tries to sell her tech-services for prevention: "Most people want me to protect their computers from viruses and hacks," she told SF Weekly (Source: http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/san-francisco-psychics-astrologers-tech-silicon-valley-startup-spirituality/Content?oid=3819687&showFullText=true ) And... whenever her tool doesn't work, she proposes to use one of her other tools, etc.: "... If all else fails, Talley can cast a spell over an entire office to protect against pesky spirits. That can't be cheap." (Source: http://www.techradar.com/us/news/world-of-tech/who-solves-silicon-valley-s-biggest-tech-issues-a-witch-1299532) Conclusion: the services provided by this person from Northern California can be recognized to operate merely through psychology... that find it's origin in her religion: Wicca. This is just an urban legend (in Dutch language: een broodjeaapverhaal!!!) Just like christians tend to see 'miracles' in arbitrary issues, those who do not believe in wicca won't see any magic at all! PS. By the way, Margherita Olivo suggests that tech problems are "supernatural in nature"; however, I perceive this to be an arbitrary suggestion... because tech problems by principle always can safely be assumed to have a sensible (scientific) explanation - even when some individuals assume that it may not be the case. My background in psychology & technical physics made me able to make these observations.