Despite scientific tests to the contrary, many people still believe in dousing — divining for water, oil, buried treasure, etc. Those who sell divining rods are either deluded (they truly believe their device works) or they are con artists.
You decide which of those applies to Jim McCormick, of ATSC Ltd. McCormick recently sold the Iraqi government a supply of divining rods that he claimed could detect bombs — for $85,000,000. Since then, hundreds of people have been blown to smithereens as a direct result of believing his device "told" them they were safe. Deluded or con artist, McCormick is a mass murderer.
I am pleased to say that McCormick was just arrested. I am not pleased to say that, while awaiting trial, he is free on bail.
You might call this an extreme case. Agreed. But if we didn't indulge more "innocent" dousing devices — say, divining for water — the extremes would have no precedent to rely on. And, for the record, I do not agree that divining for anything can properly be dismissed as "innocent." But that's another blog.