Ad watchdog cracks down on magic claims for talismans

The advertising watchdog has banned a website for a company headed by an “unrivalled” western mystic for making misleading claims about the power of amulets and other talismans.

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The Circle of Raphael website says that it is a group composed of “genuine adepts” and that it had been “world famous for over 20 years”.

Cornwall Trading Standards Service challenged whether any of these claims can be substantiated, as the Circle seemed to be a company managed by a sole trader. It also challenged claims that products such as the Chi-Ro Qabalah Protective talisman could repel “violent and aggressive people” and bestow other benefits.

The founder of the Circle of Raphael defended the claims and said that he was a mystic and established the religious sect nearly 40 years ago in Dublin. He said that the crafting of “holy religious pendants” was an important part of the religion and the other members of the group were happy for him to sell them via a business.

He added that it the website complied with all UK laws regarding distance selling.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that it had seen no evidence that the Circle of Raphael comprised a group of genuine adepts and that it was unclear to what extent the Circle was a group or a sole trader.

The ASA also saw no evidence to support the efficacy claims of any talismans and was particularly worried about the protective talisman because it could lead people “to put themselves in confrontational situations”.

Also the website did not contain a mandatory statement that consumers had the right to cancel orders fro products.

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