Astrology and Television
The Astrological Association's Response to Ofcom
- Introducing the Astrological Association of Great Britain 3
- Section 5 - Harm and Offence
Objections to the proposed wording under Item 2.6 4
- Section 4 - Protecting the Under Eighteens
Objections to the proposed wording under Item 1.21
and to Items 82 to 97 of the Regulatory Impact Assessment 6
- Appendix (Reprinted from the Association’s
submission to the 8
ITC in the autumn of 2003)
The Astrological Association is Britain’s premier astrological organisation with a world-wide reputation. Founded in June 1958, it is now in its forty-seventh year.
The Association’s objects officially stated in its constitution are “the advancement of education of the public by the critical study of astrology in all its branches, to encourage and draw together all students of astrology, to enlarge and integrate the knowledge of astrology, to co-ordinate and publish results as desirable and generally work for its more widespread understanding as an art and science. Astrology is the practice of relating heavenly bodies to lives and events on earth, and the traditions that have thus been generated.
Its membership consists of a wide range of professionals and enthusiastic amateurs. Many have been studying and exploring the subject in a varying and complex range of ways for several decades. As well as younger people, we have members with thirty years or more experience. Our oldest is approaching 102 and boasts of more than “75 years in astrology”. A much higher proportion than the average have Bachelor, or higher degrees, including a number holding or studying for doctorates.
For the last 36 years, it has organised annual conferences that are attended by more than 250 delegates. Numbers are often much higher, reaching over 600. Delegates and presenters come from the leading astrological schools and organisations in Britain and throughout the world. Some of these are older than ourselves - up to 90 years. Delegates travel from as far away as Japan, Australasia, South Africa and American to attend.
The Association publishes a quality AA Journal every two months, containing incisive and erudite, socially aware astro-analysis and comment. Bi-annually it publishes fully academic journals: Correlation for astrological research and Culture and Cosmos for cultural studies. We would be happy to provide the Commission with copies of our journals and programmes of our conferences, and further information of the academic qualifications of all those involved.
The Association is regularly asked to comment on astrology by all areas of local, national and international, television, radio and the press. In 1997, it was proud to play a major part in assisting BBC1 in its Everyman production of “Twinkle, Twinkle”. Its President has appeared in BBC1’s Heaven and Earth Show. A less fortunate example was Channel 5’s “The New Zodiac” (2002). This was the subject of an official complaint from the Association to the ITC (reference and contact were 1574 - Stuart Paterson).
With this background and experience, we feel that the Association is in a unique position to give Ofcom the perspective of an important and highly relevant body of opinion that unfortunately seems to have been overlooked until now.
The Association feels, therefore, the need to outline its concerns with some strength below, to correct misunderstandings, ignorance and the consequent injustice that has existed generally and in media for far too long, and which has been reflected in television regulation.
Demonstrations of exorcism, the occult, the paranormal, divination and related practices must be treated with due objectivity. Entertainment programmes that contain such demonstrations must be clearly labelled as such for the audience. No potentially life changing advice may be given. (Religious programmes are exempted from the rule about life-changing advice but must, in any event, comply with the provisions in the section regarding religious programmes in this Code.) (Please also note the scheduling restrictions contained in section 1 of this Code.) Films, dramas and fiction generally are not bound by this rule.
1) The range of activities covered here is far too wide and not justified by any public research findings.
The Ofcom Consultation Document (page 26, background comments Number 15) seeks to justify the inclusion of this item by reference to findings in the ITC’s Beyond Entertainment research. This showed that a considerable percentage of the public interviewees did not wish to see “Satanism, black magic, ouija and voodoo” and were borderline about demonstrations that “contacted” the ‘“known” dead and clairvoyance”.
However, respondents were not asked about “occult, paranormal, divination and related practices” as a whole. Where some individual activities were asked about, no more negativity was found towards them than there would be towards a particular cultural minority, or special-interest group or activity. This in spite of the prejudicial methodology of the Beyond Entertainment research itself (Please refer to full argument submitted by the Association in 2003 – reprinted in our Appendix that follows – pages 10 and 11 make particularly precise and detailed criticisms).
2) To bundle together all “occult, paranormal, divination and related practices” and to assume that they are intrinsically harmful in themselves are anachronistic cultural prejudices and are not based on scholarship or knowledge.
It is not logical, or fair to select a myriad range of activities and designate them as always harmful and needing to be handled with extreme caution. Many things in life, which are shown without restriction on the media, are extremely harmful, but only if misused. “Occult, paranormal, divination and related practices” have not even been shown to be harmful; rather there is prejudice against them by some special interest groups. Ofcom must take proper advice on the code for the regulation of these topics from respected experts. In the academic field Dr Nicholas Campion (Bath Spa University College), Dr Percy Seymour (University of Plymouth) and Dr Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (University of Lampeter) are only three of the many academic authorities who can offer Ofcom guidance in this area. The AA would be happy to suggest further authorities.
It is in the public interest to help the public understand “the occult, paranormal, divination and related practices”, so they can approach these areas of knowledge with sensible, open eyes and make up their own minds. However, cultural prejudice against these activities, often fuelled by media, is frequently in the same tradition of prejudice that in the past restricted equal opportunities for “blacks and coloureds”, “Jews”, “Catholics” and women.
3) Rather than labelling specific activities that, if misused, might be harmful to vulnerable viewers, it would be more beneficial to identify the actual harm. Ofcom’s focus of concern should be on the giving of specific, life-changing advice in whatever form and on the giver’s bona fides. Advice giving may in itself be harmful (whatever cultural assumptions the advice is based upon) and should always be presented in a broad, objective context.
We agree with Ofcom that vulnerable adults and children should be protected from being exploited and inappropriately advised by invalid methods and individuals.
However, we object to the assumption that all people using astrology are likely to be harmful, whereas people using more fashionable, or socially acceptable methods are not restricted at all. Ofcom allows agony aunts, life-style gurus, body-language experts, journalists, commentators and any kind of celebrities to give unrestricted individual, “life-changing” advice. Even economists, psychiatrists and qualified medical experts may not be competent to give professional advice on the media, either because of their particular professional prejudices, or the very nature of the broadcasting situation itself. Astrological Association members are both responsible and take great care to encourage clients to make their own personal decisions and not base them on superstition.
Certainly, there is no reason to assume that our advice is so potentially harmful that it warrants a special rule to protect the vulnerable. It should be sufficient to ask the broadcaster to ensure that all advice given by experts of any kind is thoroughly examined by the recipient before he is called to act on it. If the code is to protect the vulnerable then it must focus on the way the advice is given and what warnings might be necessary.
4) It is the picking on, humiliation and intimidating of vulnerable people for selfish pleasure that harms not only the people involved, but also viewers and listeners.
It is clear from interviewees’ responses to the Beyond Entertainment research (see appendix) that it was the broadcasting of black art activity that they were rejecting, not the entire an entire range of activities arbitrarily worded “paranormal”. Indeed the actual meaning of paranormal is likely to change as research leads to new discoveries and cultural fashions move on. Ofcom’s role is to reflect, not to dictate the concerns of society, and it will not wish to change its code regularly to keep up to date with cultural fashion. Rather Ofcom should seek to make rules of deep human principle that will stand the test of time. To achieve this, we suggest the following wording.
Rule 2.6 New suggested wording
Demonstrations and attempts to possess, manipulate, emotionally exploit, harm and ridicule people by any real, or imagined means must be treated with due objectivity. Entertainment programmes that contain such demonstrations must be clearly labelled as such for the audience. (Please note the scheduling restrictions contained in section 1 of this Code). Films, dramas and fiction generally are not bound by this rule. No specific potentially life-changing advice should be given, except by people with recognised qualifications and bona fides to do so. It should be offered with due objectivity. Religious programmes are exempted from this rule, but must, in any event, comply with the provisions in the section regarding religious programmes in this Code.
Demonstrations of exorcism and the occult must not be transmitted before the watershed, or when children are particularly likely to be listening.
Items 82 to 97 of the Regulatory Impact Assessment
87. Option two - bring all televisions services under one rule.
The distinction regarding PSBs could be removed. The proposed rule could read "Demonstrations of the paranormal must not be transmitted when significant numbers of children may be expected to be watching in the case of television or are particularly likely to be listening in the case of radio. (Religious programmes are exempted from this rule but must comply with the provisions in the section regarding religious programmes in this Code)."
88. This would be contained in section 1 of the Code - Protecting the Under Eighteens. Other related rules concerning due objectivity, preventing the giving of life-changing advice and appropriate information would be contained in section 2 of the proposed Code on Harm and Offence.
89. The benefit of option one is that children would be 'protected' from exposure to programmes about the paranormal until 2100, on PSB services. The present prohibition on PSBs is particularly relevant in the light of 319(4)(d) and may particularly protect children during term time day time.
90. The benefits of option two is that all broadcasters including PSBs could make decisions based on the likely number of children in the audience as allowed for by section 319(4)(b) and can also provide information as also allowed for by section 319(4)(c). This would allow adult audiences without multi-channel services (or who have not bought, or have no access to, a relevant premium subscription service) access to such programmes. This is potentially significant for viewers.
91. Any change that allowed PSBs to transmit such material pre watershed would be a potentially significant change in that it would give the PSBs access to a new potentially highly commercial genre of programming. They have not previously been allowed to schedule paranormal programming such as medium entertainment shows in the afternoon during term time. That may open new sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
92. During the ITC consultation some PSB broadcasters objected to the principle of applying specific regulation which differentiated between PSB and niche channels.
93. Option one would maintain that distinction.
94. However with option two certain television services who have built up a niche audience for such programmes may suffer commercially if there is competition, particularly from PSBs who have a significant share of the audience. This is potentially significant for these services.
95. Children may be more likely to come across such material if it is potentially available on all television services given the large audiences of the PSBs. However, they may be unable to assess it as objectively as an adult and may be offended, distressed, confused or potentially harmed. Adults who have not chosen to see such material may also come across it in error and may be offended.
96. Ofcom recommends that the proposed rule contained in option two should be included in the Code so that regulation is targeted where it is necessary and proportionate, and so that regulation is applied consistently across all services.
97. Please see related question in section 4.
1) The assumption that a range of activities loosely and incorrectly defined here as “paranormal” must be intrinsically harmful and therefore not shown to children is based on mistaken cultural prejudice and a grossly over-simplified reading of the Beyond Entertainment research results.
It is right, proper and socially beneficial that children have the opportunity to know about many other kinds of cultures and religions as well as their own. Indeed, to deny such experience is a direct cause of ignorance and prejudice. The Beyond Entertainment research found a majority content to receive astrology readings on the media at Breakfast time. Only particularly dark and negative activities received high rejection.
Yet Ofcom appears to want to rule against a broad and undefined area, which it broadly labels “paranormal”. This is unhelpful and therefore unacceptable, particularly since most religious material could also most likely be labeled ‘paranormal’. Both scholars and experts would agree that it is ignorance about the paranormal (including the ignorance and prejudice of many broadcasters) which could cause harm to children and to adults by exposing them to exploitation by those who distort, and make “black” use of, the knowledge.
Rule 1.21 should say precisely what it wishes to protect children from, not allow out-of-date prejudice to blanket reject a vast number of very different activities. For these reasons, we see no justification for the wording under Item 1.21, or for the recommendations under RIA 96 and 97. Instead, we suggest the wording below.
Rule 1.21 New suggested wording
Except as drama or fiction, where it is clearly labelled as such, demonstrations of exorcism, Satanism, black magic, and attempts to possess, manipulate, emotionally exploit, harm and ridicule people must not be transmitted before the watershed, or when children are particularly likely to be watching or listening.
NOTE (September 2004) The Ofcom consultation document does answer some of the criticisms written last year and re-printed below, but the fundamental problem remains. The basic assumption that an entire area of knowledge (arbitrarily termed “paranormal” or “occult”) is of itself harmful, however and by whomever it is practiced, is simply unacceptable in a modern, multi-cultural society. Public ignorance in this area, compounded by the existence of this extremely restrictive broadcasting regulatory stance, is considerable. Viewers and listeners have the right to be properly and correctly informed in these areas rather than kept in ignorance, as this is dangerous. Analysis of the ‘Beyond Entertainment’ research findings shows no support from the public for Ofcom’s current blanket position.
(The following is reprinted from the Astrological Association’s submission to the ITC in the Autumn of 2003)
Consultation Process Limitations & Consequent Shortcomings of the Beyond Entertainment Research
1) To seek for such a Code is a denial of natural justice
That there should be a Code at all concerning what the Commission calls “Paranormal Programming” is a historical assumption that stems from some now-outdated prejudices against certain activities and social groups in our society, rather than any valid need to protect the public. For, while abuse of personal charisma and use of power and position for malevolent ends on television is certainly a problem to be addressed, to pick out what the ITC refers to as psychic or occult activity, without qualifying whether it harmful or not, for special (and particularly repressive control) is unreasonable and unjust.
In fact, it could be argued that many of the beliefs and practices concerning God, justice, hell, karma, the afterlife and burial processes of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist religions can seem, to parents who feel strongly against one or more of these religions, like an offensive danger to their children. Many parents may feel that evangelical and fundamentalist damnation, stories of the terrible punishments of hell, encouraging feelings of guilt and remorse, rushing bodies warm to the grave, having a wake with alcohol around the corpse are all practices of some mainstream religions to which they do not wish their children to be exposed. Yet, apparently, none of these activities is singled out for investigation and restriction.
It can also be argued that the tendency of television to idolise celebrities as role models can do far more harm to young minds. In recent years of BSE and market downturn, scientific and financial advisers have probably done more harm to families than any “paranormal” activity. Contradictory expert “scientific” findings on health, crime and personal behaviour are presented unchecked on the news. Representatives from all these areas of our society can appear on television without investigative challenge at any time. If studies like Beyond Entertainment were undertaken on these, or many other social activities represented on television, the findings might well also seem to suggest the need for a repressive Code to protect the public.
In paragraph 1, page 4 of the research report, the Commission seems to assume it knows what “paranormal” activities are, that they may well be harmful and it has a duty to act. However, it gives no authority for this assumption, except to mention (paragraph 6) that its proposed new Code has the approval of the Central Religious Advisory Committee (CRAC). We understand “Its membership is drawn from the major Christian traditions and world faiths represented in the UK”, and that some of the Christian representatives are chosen because they have multi-cultural and interfaith experience. However, it still may not be entirely the appropriate body to advice on this matter.
Certainly astrology is a crucial tool that assists spiritual insight in the Hindu, Buddhist, some Christian and other religious cultures in our society. Their ceremonial calendars, as well as Jewish, Muslim and Christian ones are astrologically based. Yet most mainstream religious leaders and evangelical Christians know very little about astrology, or condemn it by their way of interpreting the Old Testament. Many wrongly assert that astrologers seek to usurp the position of God, which is the opposite of the truth. Such people have the same authority to restrain astrology, as would a Labour government have to restrain the Conservative Party.
Furthermore, many aspects of astrology’s relationship with Jungian psychology, cultural history and academia generally, business and human resource strategy, medical, social and personal development may be secular and not lie entirely within Crack’s remit.
In all these circumstances, it is surprising the CRAC has not met with representatives of the astrological organisation, or other groups it chooses to label “paranormal”. We would be happy to correct this situation.
2) The pre-research consultations were unbalanced.
Even if it is valid to engage in research to determine policy, we submit that the consultation process leading to the research design was unbalanced and prejudiced. The first paragraph of page 17 indicates that the established religions were asked their opinion, but not astrologers, or any of the other groups actually being studied.
The ITC failure to make contact with the Association is especially surprising, as at the time the Beyond Entertainment research was being undertaken and compiled, we were in contact with it regarding a serious complaint concerning “The New Zodiac” (your reference 1574, Stuart Paterson) - a biased and unfair programme, that we feel was encouraged by the present ITC Code.
It would not be appropriate for the ITC to make decisions, or conduct research into: medicine without referring to the BMA, or on scientific affairs without referring to the Royal Society?
3) The unbalanced consultations led to poor definitions and prejudiced sampling and grouping. As a result the research design is essentially flawed and its results likely to be prejudiced against astrology.
Because it failed to take proper expert advice, the research draws poor definitions of psychic and occult and assumes horoscopes, astrology and palmistry to be “similar psychic practices”? Where is the association between psychic activity and astrology and where is the evidence that suggests they are associated?
Astrology is based upon theoretical formulations about observable phenomena. It is a system of analysis that is based on defined principles and rules for interpreting astrological factors in a birth chart, i.e., the map of planetary positions in the sky for the time, date and location of an individual’s birth - an event. Potentially the interpretation of these factors may be learnt / acquired by any person.
It does not require any occult skills or powers of mystical divination, with or without a medium or contact “with the other side”. Computers can and have been programmed to generate insightful reports with no psychic involvement whatsoever.
If there are special indefinable and intangible skills they are in the synthesis of the various elements and factors suggested by the calculations, that is down to special individual skills – and that is as true of a doctor or a scientist as it is of an astrologer. The same applies with equal logical force to other disciplines that are widely used for assessing human characteristics and potential such as graphology and even psychometric testing. So, why has the ITC decided not to bracket these and other similar disciplines with “palmistry and other psychic practises.” Indeed, we think that the palmists may also have a strong case against this blanket bracketing “with other psychic practises,” because their discipline is also based on a system of long established, widely acknowledged and pre-determined rules and principles for interpretation. 'It can be, and has been taught for thousands of years.
We now understand that the word “horoscope”
was intended to guard against the giving of specific individual
advice based on sun-signs alone. Sun-signs divide the world population
into twelve. Genuine astrologers would be as critical of this
as the Commission. However, the word “horoscope” means
the “chart of the hour”. This is not the way to refer
to Sun-sign comments. An alternative wording is needed. We would
say that to give specific, individual advice based on sun-signs
alone would be a psychic, not an astrological practice. The restriction
is therefore sufficient without reference to “horoscope”,
or any alternative word.
A code reading “that palmistry and similar ‘psychic’ practices............” would achieve the Commission’s purposes without any counter-productive side-effects.
Page 17 of Beyond Entertainment outlines the nature of the samples and suggests they were balanced. This misses the point - unless it is the ITC’s aim to use majority taste to justify censoring minority opinion and cultures.
Yet, even if we suspend this objection, the sampling was not balanced, as is claimed. It was unrepresentative. Many who adopt astrology as a part of their religion and culture live in particular areas of the country, but the quantitative groups were chosen by sex, age and social class alone. By not considering regional balance as well, the research is in danger of under-representing Hindu, Buddhist and other religious groups.
The qualitative groups are fundamentally flawed. Four “mainstream religion”, five agnostics / atheists in each group. Which “mainstream religion” could be critical, or indeed prejudicial, but this is not stated? Religious believers are more likely to have feelings against astrology (see the reference to CRAC in A 1) above). This could intimidate the opinion of the others, who, by the other criteria set for the group (no practitioners / astrologers etc.), are unlikely to know much about the subject. So, the groups are set up to deny the certainty of a single knowledgeable person in favour of astrology being present. On the other hand, it is certain that one or two, even four people will be against it. With regard to the other five: since astrology is not taught at school and has always been subject to repressive, restricted coverage in the media, it is unlikely that a representative sample of the population will have a reasonable understanding of what they are being asked. The wording and presentation of the questions need to be carefully constructed by people who understand this. As far as we know, no astrologers were consulted.
So, even within its own terms, the research seems to have asked the wrong people the wrong questions. Hence the answers they gave are of no use in determining whether there should be an ITC Code on the
paranormal and what its wording should be.
4) In spite of its obvious structural and prejudicial limitations, the report’s findings still do not justify the proposed wording of the ITC Code.
The first paragraph on page 12, shows most people in the qualitative groups found horoscopes as “relatively harmless” and about “the acquisition of positive, comforting information and generic advice.” On page 13, paragraph 5, the research does not say how the poorly constructed qualitative groups came to the conclusion they did about the watershed. Were they asked whether they agreed with the watershed formula in the proposed Code alone, or given a number of options? What group action preceded their stating an opinion? In any case, the paragraph talks about the “programming watershed” with regard to “psychic programming on BBC1 and ITV1”. This is an arbitrary and an ill-defined general group of activities. As has been shown in A 3) above, astrology is not a psychic activity, so the group could not have been referring to astrology. Any reference to it should be deleted from the Code.
That the group did not mean to include astrology is further corroborated by the findings from the quantitative group. The table on page 26 shows the following percentages of the quantitative group did not agree, or strongly did not agree that the following practices were harmful: a personal horoscope 72%; a personal reading from an astrologer 76% and a general horoscope 86%. So, although the questionnaire was designed to encourage them to be negative, very large proportions of these possibly prejudicially designed samples, declined to be so.
Page 43, first paragraph shows that at breakfast-time, when children are preparing for school, the percentage of ITV1 viewers willing to accept the following astrological information were: newspaper horoscopes 83%; personal horoscopes 73%; personal astrology readings 68%. Although the second paragraph shows the first remained the same and the last two increased by 6% and 11% respectively after the watershed, clearly a majority of viewers surveyed are happy to see all the main kinds of astrology on their screen before the watershed.
In summary, none of these findings from the ITC’s own report Beyond Entertainment justifies any restriction on the presentation of astrology on television, either before or after the watershed. The word “horoscopes” and all reference to astrology should be deleted from the Code.
The section on the historical and social background that follows suggests now-outdated prejudice led to the creation of the ITC Code. It also explains why, because of unfortunate programming problems, we feel so strongly that the Code should be changed without delay.
B. The Historical and Social Background to the Present and Proposed ITC Codes on Paranormal Programming
The use of the term “paranormal” is of uncertain meaning and intended to be pejorative. What is “normal” and what “beyond normal”?
If only tangible material science is normal, then all religion, most psychology and some of the more advanced ideas in modern physics are all paranormal. Is the proposed Code designed to apply to all these things? In the year 1900, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity would have been paranormal. In 1830, Faraday’s work on electromagnetism that led to modern electric generators and the very world we live in today would have been paranormal. At the time of the Renaissance “paranormal” people were burned for suggesting the world was round and the solar system heliocentric. The concept of what is normal changes.. To fix what can and cannot be known and exchanged as “normal” is to freeze
knowledge and limit our children’s future.
The grouping of a number of poorly understood and very different activities under the one heading of “paranormal”, and seeing them as harmful to individual well-being is a product of the early 20th century world view. This saw white Anglo-Saxon Christian culture and a narrow understanding of Newtonian science as supreme and anything else dark and dangerous. Such a view was used to justify colonialism, racism, male chauvinism and other forms of discrimination.
We are reassured by the clarification in our recent meeting that the restrictions on “horoscopes” in section 10.1 of the ITC Code do not apply to astrology that is part of a religious practice and that such presentations should be considered under section 7 of the Code. However, as explained in section A 1), this does not include all serious, academic and responsible astrology. Furthermore, because misinterpretation of the ITC Code has led to misunderstandings about astrology, a clear change in code is needed immediately. A detailed description of the problems that make this urgently necessary is given below.
Because it is arbitrarily grouped in this way, astrology is only allowed to be shown as “entertainment, or the subject of legitimate investigation”. “Entertainment” means that only sun-sign, newspaper style “horoscopes”, are allowed without challenge. These roughly divide the world population into twelve. Well-written, these may have some general use; but are to genuine astrology as playing Chop Sticks is to a Beethoven symphony. The difference in complexity is as great. Yet, without a proper education in the subject the general public can feel no more than incredulous fascination.
The phrase “the subject of legitimate investigation” may at first sight seem to offer a fair chance for the public to learn and judge. In practice, it does not. Nearly every attempt to talk seriously about astrology on television puts “astrology on trial”. All the astrologer’s statements are challenged and argued against. (Please refer to our complaint - your reference 1574 -for full details of just one of many such examples.) How would a Christian priest, a Jewish rabbi, an eminent physicist, or doctor feel, if subjected to such a treatment? Frequently psychologists, political, financial and sociological commentators are allowed to comment, or present whole documentaries without a contrary view being expressed. Why should astrologers be singled out?
As our complaint shows, a group of prejudiced sceptics have taken advantage of the current ITC ruling to deny astrology reasonable and balanced airtime, in which to breathe and express itself. Because of the ITC ruling, an associate of this group known by its initials CSICOP is usually asked to appear when astrology is discussed. Unsuspecting astrologers are encouraged to take part. Facts are misrepresented. Nearly every programme is a repeat of discredited “research”, well-trod biased accounts, old arguments and counter-arguments. The ITC ruling forces the programme makers to have the debunkers there. So discussion rarely gets passed first base and little is learned.
Ignorance of the true nature of astrology creates fear and vulnerability concerning it. A society denied proper knowledge of electricity, might see it as lethal. Some people might urge access to it be barred. Their world would lose many of the benefits we enjoy. By having a Code that bars progress and is open to misuse, we feel the ITC denies proper knowledge of astrology in the media. In our experience, it is this that “leads to distress and harm being caused to vulnerable individuals” and their children - not astrology.