Dependence on para-normal practices
Superstition is the belief in irrational or inexplicable phenomena as opposed to demonstrable facts and the reasoned theories of science and philosophy. Superstition has traditionally hindered progress, development and the effective use of technology. Superstition may also be a value judgement on religions or societies which have a different and possibly more 'backward' nature by technologically advanced cultures which fail to see the rites and customs performed by such societies as an integral part of their way of life, often well adapted to the environment. Superstition includes the belief in spirits, magic, taboos, witchcraft, and spiritual healing. Superstition as a value judgement applies to all primitive tribes and to less primitive groups where tradition still persists. Superstition of the same kind may exist in advanced cultures but less overtly and it may be a source of embarrassment to national governments which seek to eradicate it. Astrologists may be consulted by very eminent and cultured people in developed countries, and in Asia, but it is not a very open practice owing to the more general disbelief in it by sophisticated society, and it is frequently proscribed by law. Related are gypsy fortune-tellers at fairs and daily, weekly or monthly horoscopes which are widespread in journals. Superstition is an industry.
Superstitious inclinations are evidenced in the 'mystique' and 'charisma' attributed to political leaders whose own rhetoric often includes the word 'destiny'. Political superstition is universal and has facilitated the rise of dictatorships. Religious and political superstitions have been combined in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia but also in Europe from the time of the Pythagorean Brotherhood, to the Knights Templars and the Freemasons.