How This TV Psychic Became A Pop Culture Icon

building with neon sign with psychic displaying
Briona Lamback
March 9, 2023

“Call me now!” Miss Cleo’s voice sang into America’s living rooms through a gummy smile, Jamaican accent, and a deck of tarot cards shuffling between her hands. She was using her divine gifts to help people in their darkest hours. 

But nobody kept that same energy when it was time to protect her.

Miss Cleo’s animated, no-nonsense psychic infomercials made her a 90s cultural icon, but behind the scenes, the Psychic Readers Network was playing with her future. 

They were busy making $1 billion during hotline callers, while Miss Cleo only saw pennies of it. When the deception came to light, however, she was pushed into the scandalous spotlight, forced to bear the brunt of their deception.

 Miss Cleo was actually a spiritual advisor trained by a 30-year high priestess in Vodou, so she really did understand spirituality. But still the fraudulent accusations persisted, and this took a toll on her life.

After years of being a recluse, she continued her private spiritual practice. She dropped the Miss Cleo moniker to help clients worldwide, and reclaimed her time and power, But one thing didn’t change, she still truly felt she had a gift to help others.

Hollywood has made a decades-long career out of exploiting our people. Miss Cleo’s story is a cautionary tale to protect our gifts and always lean into our discernment when sharing our talent with anti-Black institutions looking to capitalize on our gifts.

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