CFI Urges Public Library on Long Island to Cancel Taxpayer-Funded Event With Psychic

October 21, 2013

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) has written to several public officials on Long Island urging them to cancel a taxpayer-funded October 24 event at the Hauppauge Public Library featuring Adrienne DeSalvo, a self-proclaimed “Spiritual Counselor and Psychic Medium.”

Our letter was sent to Hauppage Public Library Director Matthew Bollerman; Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vechio; Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci; and Suffolk Country Executive Steven Bellone. It reads, in part:

“Ms. DeSalvo may sincerely believe she has these abilities, or may simply have found a way of making money. She also has a constitutionally protected right to run her website and to claim to have these powers, however non-existent the evidence for them is. However, by hosting, funding, and advertising this program, the Hauppauge Public Library is placing its official stamp of approval on her activities. Libraries have, throughout American history, been a focal point of community education. Their mission is to provide enlightenment, not to further specious beliefs and, more disturbingly, to generate false hope in the bereaved. Especially in light of the current budget situation faced by all public bodies, it cannot be seen as an appropriate use of public funds to hold and promote such a meeting as this.”

The full letter can be downloaded here (PDF). 

This event was initially brought to CFI’s attention by active members of the CFI-Long Island community, who had previously made several unsuccessful attempts to press Mr. Bollerman to cancel the event. We will let you know if and when there is an update.