A prospective judge for a Canadian beauty pageant has been rejected because of her interest in tarot cards and reiki, which organisers view as witchcraft.
Stephanie Conover, who is the reigning Miss Canada Plus ("Celebrating Women with Real Curves") was invited to be a judge for the upcoming Miss Toronto Tourism pageant on 2 February, only to find herself rejected after submitting her biography to the organisers.
Speaking to the Toronto Star Karen Murray, the pageant's director, explained her reason's for rejecting Conover: "We just got her bio a week ago and we don't agree with it. We want someone down to earth, not someone into the dark side or the occult".
Not that Murray objects to these practices on rational grounds. Rather, it seems that Conover was rejected because her beliefs don't fit the God-fearing stance of the pageant organisers. In a letter to the Miss Canada Plus group last week, Murray and another organiser outlined their objections to Conover appearing as a judge: "We need a judge who has an upright reputation and we would be proud to introduce to the audience ... Our board of directors has eliminated her as a judge as tarot card reading and reiki are the occult and is not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians. Tarot card reading is witchcraft and is used by witches, spiritists and mediums to consult the dark world ... We hope that Stephanie Conover will turn from these belief systems and will repent from her practice of them."
Conover, who is now considering challenging the pageant organisers under human rights laws, was keen to defend her practices from accusations of evil, telling the Toronto Star "I was fuming. They said tarot cards are the occult and that I use them to commune with dark forces. They're completely benign. I use them for healing, to give guidance."
Sounds like nonsense v nonsense to us...