(Investigator 15, 1990 November)

Everyone is currently facing such good luck and opportunity as to make astrologers "stop in their tracks" and offer everyone immediate personal attention.

Whether you're old or young, male or female, intellectually handicapped or university graduate, dead or alive, Aries or Scorpio, your message from the stars is the same.

Eight persons of different birth dates helped Investigator by responding to the advertisement:

ACT NOW and you can have your own PERSONAL horoscope computer charted by world famous astrologers ..."

 The S.A. Skeptics sent a further ten.

Six of our eight received a reply. The exceptions were a 36-year old male who used a xerox of the ad and a 94-year old female.

The six lucky ones each received a 4-page computer printout of:
(1) ASTROLOGICAL NATAL HOROSCOPE. This is a diagram showing positions of planets and moon relative to the star constellations at the persons date of birth.
(2) Tables of ASTRONOMICAL DATA of the positions of planets, sun and moon at date of birth.
(3) ASTROLOGICAL READING stating the character traits that resulted to the person from each planet's position at his birth date.
(4) THE ASCENDANT SIGN — a table of the constellation positioned on the horizon at each 2-hour period of the person's day of birth and the character trait he would have depending on which 2-hour time period he was born in.

The Astrological Reading for Miss M contained, according to relatives, "hardly a true word". The reason is that Miss M. is intellectually handicapped.

The computer printout for each person can be produced in only a minute or two using a computer, easily obtainable program, and a printer. Almost anyone could do it.

Each of our six recipients also received a 6-page letter designed to appear as if personally addressed to them. Finally there was a 2-page questionaire plus a request for $25 marked down from $35.
The "personal" 6-page letter was identical every time.    

The alleged reason the astrologer wrote "personally" was because of the person's "more interesting birth chart" which "stopped me in my tracks". This, as well as much of the rest of the letter, was an appeal to vanity since many persons like to believe they are unique and special.

The main message was that the person is facing good luck just ahead but also "one or two dark clouds". To benefit from the former and avoid the latter he needs his "complete horoscope". That's where the $25 comes in.

Besides one "94-year old" and one intellectually handicapped, "Investigator" also sent away on behalf of a dead person who died early this year.

Like the others the deceased woman is facing "exciting events", a "job related change", a "once in a lifetime opportunity", "noticeable improvement in your present situation", "profit" within the "next twelve months", etc.

She'll also have to: "Avoid violent discussion on matters of real estate". She should have no problem with that.

The S.A, Skeptics Association received the same material to their responses to the ad that Investigator received. At our last contact with them they were considering presenting their findings to the Office of Fair Trading (formerly Department of Consumer Affairs).

The ads for free horoscope appeared in Adelaide's Sunday Mail, June to September, usually on alternate Sundays.

The standard "Confidential" reply by the "Director of Astrological Research" to the five volunteers who received replies, and to the dead person, was the following six-page letter:

Dear Ms / Mr  [ name ]

I have taken the liberty of writing to you personally because I have some wonderful news for you and I felt you should know about it right away.
Now that the Christmas rush is over I have been examining some of the more interesting birth charts in detail looking for anything of special importance. I have to tell you that the latent planetary conjunctions in your chart stopped me in my tracks and I felt I simply must write to you to tell you about some very exciting events that seem to be in store for you in the near future! In fact my impressions of a great and exciting change coming your way very soon are so strong that I felt I had to stop work and contact you at once, right this very minute. The strength of the conjunctions indicate there may not be a moment to lose!

Your chart has indicated a great and beneficial change about to come into your life. This event is directly related to your position in life which shows a great improvement coming very very soon. This change will have a double barrelled effect as it entails both the financial and the emotional side of your life, which is what makes it such a rare and exciting event.

You have a great happiness in store for both you and someone you care about. You seem to be about to either meet someone who will be very important to you, or perhaps someone who is already very important to you will do something, or bring you something, which will make you very happy, it is unclear which. The other major change is job related. In your immediate sphere there is a major planetary movement indicated. Money is involved, a well deserved reward is at last coming your way, it looks like it could be bigger than expected.

Your lunar position indicates that you may finally achieve the independence that will allow your true talents to be recognised. There are also a number of other extremely lucky signs in your near future, but their importance is obscured at present. However a deeper reading of your horoscope could reveal the true potential of these Astral gifts.


Naturally there are also one or two dark clouds on the horizon and you must be careful not to let them stand in the way of your good fortune. There will be certain times when you must act positively in order to take advantage of your good fortune and certain other times when it would be wiser to sit back and observe rather than risk getting involved. However you need not worry too much as I believe I can help you recognise your golden opportunities and avoid the pitfalls. Fate seems to have given you a once in a lifetime opportunity to take charge of your future. For heavens sake take action at the right time don't let this golden chance slip out of your hands.

Astrologically speaking your time of great opportunity has arrived. What's more in addition to this, Fate has placed you in a unique position to take advantage of this opportunity. I see that your path to prosperity and happiness although clearly marked has certain obstacles along the way obstacles that you need to know about.

This is why I am writing to you now, because I feel instinctively that you are unaware that you are about to pass through the single most important phase of your life and you may need help with this potentially rewarding period. With a little more information I will be able to compile for you in-depth an accurate and highly detailed Horoscope which will give you complete guidance to the exciting potentials your birth chart has revealed.

Your complete horoscope will be your trusted and constant guide showing you in vivid detail how to avoid or overcome the obstacles and reliably point you in the direction of the wonderful new life - which is your true destiny.

I am enclosing a brief list of questions and I would like you to answer as many of these questions as you can and return the form to me as soon as possible, so that I can start work on your Complete Horoscope without delay. The sooner I am able to get this vital information back to you the better.

I sincerely believe now that I have had the opportunity to fully examine your birth chart that I will be able to use the information contained in your horoscope to guide you, not only to avoid serious matters that could cause you heartache, but also to show you how to tune into your psychic forces to guide you into happiness and true contentment of mind and spirit.

Following my survey of your chart, certain things have become clear to me and I feel that it is only right and proper that I offer you my advice and guidance on these important matters.

During the last few years you may not have succeeded as you could have expected considering your possibilities and talents, this is due to lack of guidance and your tendency to seek advice from people who do not fully understand your true potentials.




- 6 -
I sincerely believe that events appear to be moving ahead so quickly for you it is vital that you have the guidance of your fully detailed horoscope as soon as possible. I am so concerned that you may miss out on this once in a lifetime chance, that I want to give you my private phone number ________. Should you have any difficulty in filling in the questionnaire or order form, please do feel free to phone me.

Also so that nothing will stand in the way of your coming good fortune I am going to give you a little bit more help. If money should be a problem right now, I am going to help you out by giving you a reduction in the cost of your Complete Horoscope. The normal cost would be $35. Since I have already done some of the major work on your horoscope I feel that I will be able to compile your Complete Horoscope for just $25 and of course you are still covered by Astrology Today's full money back guarantee.
By the way your birthchart shows that numbers will be vitally important to you this year, especially relating to investments that have something to do with numbers, such as the stock market or perhaps you play Lotto? Of course, you will appreciate that information about the stock market is beyond the scope of a personal horoscope. But the numbers that are showing as very, very lucky for you this year could mean big wins for you if you play Lotto. Whats more these same groups of numbers appears to be repeating over and over again when I checked and rechecked the secondary planetary aspects of your horoscope.

It therefore appears that these numbers if used properly could make big money for you. I found this run of numbers to be so unusually strong in your case, that I took the liberty of making a special note of these numbers and when you should use them. If you sometimes play Lotto and I believe from your horoscope that you possibly do, I will be able to send you this information along with your horoscope for no extra charge. I can give you this little bit of extra help since, as I have already completed this list for you and it therefore means no extra work for me but it could mean big money for you. So I won't forget to send you your Lucky Numbers of Power I have drawn in on the bottom of the request form a special section for you to tick to receive your numbers.

Remember the stars show you are entering the most favourable period of your life. I do most strongly advise you to find out how to take advantage of it. It may never occur again.

Yours very sincerely,

Another investigation of "Astrology Today" was done by Harry Edwards and published in the Skeptic: Skeptic Volume 12 (1992) No 4.pdf