WAS THE DELPHIC ORACLE A SCAM? Since we don’t believe in oracles, it is not surprising we think of Delphi as a scam. However, even when Delphi was in its heyday jokes about fraudulent oracles were featured in Greek comedies. It was a point in favor of Delphi that in its thousand year history there was only only one documented bribery scandal. A point in favor of modern skeptics arises from the fact that the priestess who gave the oracles was supposedly in a trance when she did so. This wikipedia article says that: “The usual theory has been that the [priestess] delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from a chasm in the rock….” Excavations, however, had not found a chasm. If the vapor was a scam, then it seemed more likely that the oracle was a scam.

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