Fred Hickman says he doesn't put his faith in numbers.
"Oh, I like numbers, but I'm no numerologist," the Caldwell octogenarian says.
Numerology is any belief in divine, mystical or other special relationship between a number and some coinciding events. It has many systems and traditions and beliefs. Today, numerology is often associated with the paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts.
That's why when he received a letter from Numerological Resource Center, in New York, that claimed he was a "New Life Winner," he cringed and sent the letter to the Better Business Bureau.
The letter states: "You might suspect our organization is conducting a sweepstakes. Or a Lottery. But, that couldn't be further from the truth."
The letter recipient is selected by the "analysis division" to advance his or her status in life.
"Our goal is to help you in all aspects of your life," it claims - if you pay a $20 handling fee for everything you receive from the Analysis Division, implying that more material or products will be sent.
NRC director Gerald St. John does guarantee that you'll see in "black and white" over $2.1 million total payout.
But the Better Business Bureau's own assessment shows a possible numerical coincidence. The company also operates under the name of Waverly Direct, with the same phone numbers and addresses.
Another interesting number is 13. That's the number of businesses operating under the address of Numerological Resource Center.
While knowing your future or knowing what might lie in the numbers for you has always piqued human curiosity, here are a few numbers to remember.
1) Investigate your interests. No one can pinpoint the phenomenon of divinatory arts and how they seem to work. Look for a fit into your personal needs. Look on websites, blogs or social media. The Internet gives background, personality and testimonial into the person or persons involved in the medium.
2) Check references. Are those performing the reading doing it for their own personal ego or is it an aid to help others? Make a list of those who fit your needs, and eliminate those who fill their own needs (spiritual or financial).
3) Pay attention to price. When looking at a price consider the rates for you, not the glitz or glamour. If the price is too high, then it may be just too high. Remember price doesn't equate to a quality session. Trust your own instincts.
4) Initiate contact. Invitations to participate in a society, conference or foundation should not be a reason for signing up for a session. By initiating the contact, it means you've done your homework. Don't panic and pay.
5) Ask for business references. Check with BBB.org. Conduct an Internet search - city, state and type of divinatory art. If someone has done something right (or wrong), it will be out there.
Talk to a friend about your reasons for wanting to join a foundation, organization, group or association. If they are asking for money to join, make sure you know how the money's being spent. As Fred says, "The number $20 didn't add up."
Robb Hicken: 947-2115