Centerville Tells Spiritual Store to Stop Telling Fortunes

6:23 PM, Apr 15, 2010   |    comments
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When the city of Centerville heard about a new spiritual store possibly violating city laws from an article in the Macon Telegraph, they decided to take action.

On April 12, the city sent a letter to Courtney Bibb, owner of Energy Among Us, asking her to stop offering services that violated of a city ordinance.

Click here to read the letter.

"A recent article in the Local and State section of The Telegraph indicates that your business, Energy Among Us, is operating in violation of Section 6-1. At this time the City asks that you discontinue offering any of the services described in this ordinance," said a letter from City Clerk Krista A. Bedingfield.

Along with the letter came a copy of Centerville's code that says it's against the law for anyone to practice fortunetelling, astrology, clairvoyance, palmistry, and other similar services.

"How can someone tell me that I can't practice spiritualism? That's wrong!" said Bibb. She says the city is trying to prevent her from practicing her religious belief.

Bibb says she spent the last four years working to open her business.  The store opened in January.

The city also sent Bibb a copy of a Centerville ordinance signed in 1985, saying people found to be in violation of the city's law would receive a fine of up to $500 and face up to 60 days in jail.

"You can't punish me for my belief!" said Bibb. She says she's hired an attorney to represent her, and wants the city to reconsider its ordinance.

Bedingfield's letter said Bibb's business license application described her store as a "wellness center/bookstore." It went on to say any confusion could have been cleared up if Bibb had disclosed the full nature of her business.

Bibb says she has done tarot card readings and what she describes as intuitive counseling for people who have paid for her services, but says she's also done it for free as well.

"God gives us all gifts and I can quote scripture to back up what I do," said Bibb. She says she's working on earning a certificate in theology from Universal Life Church.

The letter also warned Bibb to make sure an upcoming event she planned operated within the city's laws as well.

Bedingfield said the City Marshal would check in with Bibb to make sure she was operating legally and that the city wouldn't issue a citation but expected her to comply with Centerville ordinances.






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