Spook Racket: Psychic Mafia

Title page from Lamar Keene’s tell-all tome THE PSYCHIC MAFIA (1976)

Oddly enough in the seemingly endless line of grifters and con artists in and around the spook racket, I had not read this volume. I first ran across the BBC radio series on it — part of their ongoing fascination with grifters like Anna Delvey.

Lamar tells his story (with Spraggett’s help) with relish, albeit occasionally reminding us that he is reformed. Along the way he throws every colleague under the bus, even his longtime partner. We get insight into how the big organisations ran — files and files of index cards sharing info (this is before the internet put everything at your fingertips, you lazy folk) — and to how various spooky shenanigans were enacted. There’s even a whole chapter on folks who like to get it on in the spirit realm, which he claims to have not done.

His come to Jesus moment was facilitated by a much older wealthy woman who loved him like a son. After the book came out his life was threatened, shots were fired, and he had to hide his whereabouts. Just like a real mafia informer. At the height of his fame he cut quite the swathe in his white suit. You can find the book cheap or borrow it from a library if this floats your boat. An entertaining and informative read.

Lamar Keene clad in dazzling spiritual white

Of course every time I opened this book, in my head I heard this song: did Mark E. Smith read the book? I wonder. Seems right up his alley.

The Fall: Psycho Mafia Peel Session 1978