According to a very thorough report by The Des Moines Register, Kim Weaver, 52, a Democrat from Sheldon, Iowa who lost to Republican incumbent Rep. Steve King in 2016, is planning to challenge him again in 2018. However, this time, she will be doing so with quite a bit more baggage.
As the Register reports, Weaver was once heavily involved in occult practices such as psychic readings and astrology. Going by the name Kimberanne and “The Spirit Weaver” she operated an arrange of psychic services websites, hosted an internet radio show and participated in online discussions of the supernatural. On her biographical page, she billed herself as a hypnotherapist, astrologer, psychic medium, and Karmic Path Evaluator in addition to being a licensed social worker and professional speaker.
She promised to provide medium and tarot readings, group past life regression workshops, Karmic Record Readings, and Astrological consultations. She charged customers as much as $3.99 per minute for an online or phone session where she gave all kinds of advice to the troubled which she is now saying was “just entertainment” and nothing more than a “hobby.”
“I didn’t really actually do anything,” Weaver said in an interview. “It was all for entertainment purposes. Did I make a living from it? No, definitely not.”
Even though she was employed as a long-term care ombudsman for the Iowa Department of Aging, she was very active in her psychic work. The Register uncovered several recordings of advice she gave on the radio to callers such as to one woman who called into the show concerned about her husband who had gone out for a doctor’s appointment and never came home. His vehicle was later found abandoned with “a little bit of blood in it.” The woman feared he was now dead and asked Weaver for a reading.
Weaver proceeded to tell the woman that she would hear something about her husband in six weeks and arranged to connect with her on Facebook free-of-charge.
“I heard six weeks,” Weaver tells the woman on the recording. “I heard six weeks and I am not seeing an actual death.”
Some of the readings didn’t go as planned, such as the mother who called in for advice about her daughter. Weaver told her she was seeing “lots of positive things” until the mother explained that her 18 year-old daughter was dating a 33 year-old man.
Weaver then changed her tune. “I’m throwing out all these different love cards, but then a separation,” she said. “It’s almost like it looks like everything is happy, wonderful and then all the sudden there’s a breakup.”
“Good!” the mother replied.
In another call, Weaver suggested that the caller might be in line for a new job or promotion until she was told that the caller was legally blind and living on disability.
The Register interviewed Terence Hines, a professor of psychology at Pace University and the author of “Pseudoscience and the Paranormal,” who said there is no scientific basis for psychic and paranormal activities which is why these services are so untrustworthy.
According to Hines, psychics operate by providing vague information that listeners then interpret as having a specific meaning. In other words, practitioners either know they’re engaging in a ruse or “buy into the illusion” along with their customers.
“If she believes it, that’s a real problem,” Hines said. “If she doesn’t believe it, she’s dishonest and holding this out as a shtick.”
When asked if she believed she misled anyone by offering services as a psychic, Weaver was emphatic that she did not.
“To me, it was more for entertainment purposes than anything else,” she said.
Weaver goes on to claim that she never hid her past psychic activities and that it wasn’t an issue in the 2016 race even though she lost to King by 22 points.
She is currently the only declared Democratic candidate in a very conservative district of Iowa and currently serves on the Iowa Democratic Party’s state central committee. In spite of her poor performance in 2016, her candidacy is being buoyed by dozens of Iowa Democratic officeholders and activists as well as Hollywood stars like Rosie O’Donnell, supposedly because of Rep. King’s “inflammatory” remarks about race and immigration.
She has thus far managed to raise $179,000 since the beginning of the year with the vast majority of the cash coming from out-of-state.
In a statement provided to the Register on Monday, Weaver’s political director, Todd Prieb, suggested that information about her psychic activities came from Republican campaign groups who were concerned that she might unseat King in 2018.
“Frankly, the idea that people would care about something Kim did 10 years ago on an entertainment website more than Steve King’s horrendous voting record is insulting to the voters of this district,” Prieb said in the statement. “Kim does not actually believe she has psychic abilities, but she does foresee Steve King being unemployed after 2018.”
Only time will tell how accurate that prediction will prove to be.