A rather popular breed of scam in Asia, exploiting the amazingly gullible people in Hong Kong, Taiwan and now China. For the degree of Westernization in those societies, I am surprised by the amount of times some two-bit con-man is able to extort millions of dollars out of helpless old folks blabbering about feng shui. It has since spread to America, with several cases on the West Coast, most notably in Vancouver and San Francisco, which are both choke-full of rich Asian retirees.

The usual flow of the trap sees the con-man befriending gullible folks and passing himself off as a "feng shui master", then coercing millions of dollars worth of "fees" to perform pseudo-services, mostly involving simple blessings, "consultations" and exorcising evil spirits, as well as arranging furniture.

Some cases see the con-man eliminating the gullible fools after he gets his money to cover his tracks. A popular scheme involves poisoning the family, blaming the sickness on bad feng shui, then getting even more money before killing them. There were several highly publicized executions of these quacks in China last year, more are expected this year.

A disturbing trend in real estate prices in areas with heavy Asian populations in America nowadays is the skyrocketing of prices for plots with good feng shui. This is happened in Asia for decades but has since been curbed by the government (and education of the ignorati). Hotspots for this type of daylight robbery in North America include the aforementioned cities, plus Los Angeles, New York City, Toronto, Miami and Arizona.

For the pseudo-buddhists and other folks entranced with the Eastern spirituality fad out there: feng shui is a complete scam. Anyone who charges exorbitant prices for feng shui consultations is a con-man.

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