“Psychic” Sylvia Browne Dead

November 21st, 2013
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Perhaps it is in poor taste not to be a bit more sad and respectful of the dead, but if that is the case, let me be in poor taste.

There are many self-proclaimed psychics who take advantage of people who are in a state of grief or desperation.  One of the most odious has been Sylvia Browne.   A frequent guest on the Montel Williams show, she is known for having made a series of predictions that turned out to be dead wrong, such as saying Shawn Hornbeck was dead when he was later found alive.

While the more skeptical of us would not pay much attention, it did cause a great deal of pain to the families searching for their lost loved ones.

So bad were her scams that my friend Robert Lancaster started the page Stop Sylvia some time ago.

Well, now she is stopped….

sylviaxout

Via the Huffington Post:

Sylvia Browne: Dead Psychic’s Legacy Riddled With Failed Predictions, Fraud

When celebrity psychic Sylvia Browne died Nov. 20 at the age of 77, it marked the end of a career of immense fame marked by inaccurate predictions — including one she made about her own death.

In May 2003, Browne predicted to Larry King that she would die when she was 88. She was off by 11 years.

Browne rose to fame in part because of her frequent appearances on the Montel Williams Show between 1991 and 2008, where she would claim to speak to the dead and offer information about missing people.

One of her most infamous predictions came in 2004, when she told Louwana Miller, the mother of Amanda Berry, that her kidnapped daughter was dead.

“She’s not alive, honey,” Browne said at the time, according to NBC affiliate WKYC’s report on the segment. “Your daughter’s not the kind who wouldn’t call.”

In May, it was discovered that Berry was still alive and had been held captive by Ariel Castro for nearly a decade. Miller died in 2006 and was not alive to hear the good news — or the news that she was exploited by Browne.

Browne responded to media questions with a prepared statement that included this line: “Only God is right all the time.”

Although Browne claimed to have a psychic success rate between 87-to-90 percent, a 2010 analysis of of 115 predictions she made on “The Montel Williams Show” by Skeptical Inquirer magazine put her success rate at zero.

In some cases, she charged a police department $400 for her services.

In 2002, Browne told the parents of missing 11-year-old Shawn Hornbeck on the Montel Williams Show that the child was dead and kidnapped by a dark-skinned man with dreadlocks.

Hornbeck was found alive in 2007 and his accused kidnapper, Michael Devlin, was Caucasian and short-haired. Hornbeck’s stepfather, Craig Akers, told Anderson Cooper that Browne offered to do a more extensive psychic reading off-camera for $700. She denied the claim.

When she was asked about her inaccurate prediction, she responded with the same sentence, “Only God is right all the time.”

I can’t say I will miss her…


This entry was posted on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at 8:45 pm and is filed under Announcements, Bad Science, media, Misc, Paranormal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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13 Responses to ““Psychic” Sylvia Browne Dead”

  1. 1
    DV82XL Says:

    In May 2003, Browne predicted to Larry King that she would die when she was 88. She was off by 11 years.

    As fitting an epitaph for this odious fraud as one can think of.


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  2. 2
    Anon Says:

    Good riddance.

    http://www.rudism.com/comics?cectic&20 explains where her alleged 90% accuracy rate came from.


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  3. 3
    outcast Says:

    The only downside to our pending age of techno-immortality is that all the other Silvia Brownes of the word will also live forever…..


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  4. 4
    PsihoKekec Says:

    Breaking news: Psychic fails to predict her own death.


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  5. 5
    L.Long Says:

    ‘Breaking news: Psychic fails to predict her own death.”
    Now you know the other authentic psychos..er..psychics will say that our powers are limited to helping other people as they fail when we try to help ourselves. You know just like witches can’t cast beauty or love spells for themselves.


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  6. 6
    BMS Says:

            PsihoKekec said:

    Breaking news: Psychic fails to predict her own death.

    You should give credit where credit is due. Sure she was a fraud, but as a fraud, she was sly as a fox.

    Were I in her shoes, I would have predicted my death at something like 88 as well. The last thing that you want to do is underpredict the age of your death, because when that time comes and you fail to meet the prediction, you end up being a laughing stock, which can adversely affect your income in this carny business of fraud and deceit. Thus, she chose an age at which, had she managed to outlive it, she would have probably been too old/senile to care. That’s smart.

    So she was wrong — so what? Since she was only in it for the gold anyway, she’s beyond caring. Money isn’t going to do her any good now. You can’t take it with you.


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  7. 7
    L.Long Says:

    When I heard the news with here picture the 1st thing to jump into my warped little mind…..
    Ding Dong the Witch is dead
    The wicked witch is dead……

    But I have no real ill will against her or for her, she was a real con artist. No worse or better then any priest or re-Puke-ian in congress.
    I also don’t feel anything for her victims, they believe BS stuff and spend money on their BS beliefs, tat’s their problem and good job Sylvia. As said before ‘there is a sucker born every minute’ and someone has to take advantage of them as I sure can’t do it.


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  8. 8
    DV82XL Says:

            L.Long said:

    But I have no real ill will against her or for her, she was a real con artist. No worse or better then any priest or re-Puke-ian in congress.

    Not being any worse than those is no excuse. While I tend to agree she was cut from the same cloth as every other parasite that lives off of the ignorance of others, in as much as I hold them in utter contempt, so do i hold her and her ilk.

            L.Long said:

    I also don’t feel anything for her victims, they believe BS stuff and spend money on their BS beliefs…

    Again up to a point I tend to agree, however there are some situations, like a missing child, where one’s capacity for reason is reduced due to grief and worry and in those cases the onus is on the rest of us to step in and protect potential victims of this sort of fraud as we should do for any vulnerable group.


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  9. 9
    BMS Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Not being any worse than those is no excuse. While I tend to agree she was cut from the same cloth as every other parasite that lives off of the ignorance of others, in as much as I hold them in utter contempt, so do i hold her and her ilk.

    Well, there is something to be said for admiring an art for art’s sake. Nevertheless, Browne was no great practitioner of her art. Yes, she made a good deal of money, and (as I have pointed out above) she occasionally used some good strategy, but she was basically a bottom-feeder, exploiting the naivety of that part of society that is least equipped to critically evaluate her nonsense.


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  10. 10
    drbuzz0 Says:

            L.Long said:

    I also don’t feel anything for her victims, they believe BS stuff and spend money on their BS beliefs, tat’s their problem and good job Sylvia. As said before ‘there is a sucker born every minute’ and someone has to take advantage of them as I sure can’t do it.

    I would have agreed with that at one point, but having looked more at it, I don’t think that is a fair assessment. There are at least four distinct cases where this is problematic for those who it should not be.

    The first and most obvious is those in a state of sheer desperation. If you see the videos of some of these people, they are understandably vulnerable and irrational. Some look like they have not slept in days. If a child is missing the parents try everything. The police can’t find the child. They post a reward, go to the media, hire private investigators and so on. Eventually they fall back on “I don’t believe this, but hell, it’s worth a shot” or “this is the only hope I have left.” No, it’s not a good decision, but under the circumstances, it’s understandable.

    The second thing to remember is that the real victim may be a missing person and they may even be still alive. The psychic may be believed by the relatives or something, and maybe they are suckers, but it still hits the victim.

    Imagine, for example, a woman goes missing and she has a very creepy ex boyfriend who is an obvious suspect. He kidnapped her and if he was targeted by police, she would be found. But the family goes to a psychic who tells them she was taken to Japan by a cult group. The family believes it so much they never tell the police “Oh by the way… her ex, he always threatened her” they pressure authorities to divert resources in the wrong direction. The victim suffers while the wild goose chase is conducted.

    The third scenario is where a psychic tip is investigated by the police because they have to. If someone says “I saw this murder in a dream” the police have to consider that the tip may be a thinly veiled admission or perhaps a mentally unstable person does have information. It has been known to happen. People claim magical knowledge of an event, but really, they know about it directly. It has to be investigated. This costs manpower and money. It can divert important resources and, at the end of the day, the taxpayer gets the bill.

    Another scenario, which is apparently common, but I had not even thought of, until it was pointed out that it has happened is where only one person believes the psychic but that person makes things difficult for everyone else. Lets say, for example, you lost a child. You do not believe in psychics and neither does yous spouse. But your mother in law is 100% convinced. So now your mother in law keeps trying to inject herself into the investigation and convince you to look where the psychic says. She is spending lots of her own money and it’s making you and your spouse even more stressed out.

    This apparently can happen. All of a sudden, one of the grandparents or some other family member gets convinced of the psychic and starts making things difficult on the investigation.


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  11. 11
    L.Long Says:

    drbuzz0 @10…
    I will admit that there is a kind of scuzz ball feeling to what she did to some.
    But the one point you said was ‘these psychic calls are sometime the killer or associate making the call.’
    I would love to know what percentage of these ‘calls’ were from the actual people involved as the statement has the feel of an urban legend.
    And as far as the police having to follow up vague calls about ‘I feel the X is near water.’ type crap is investigated only because if the aren’t the dimwitted public will be upset the police were smart enough NOT to take it seriously. Way to many believe this BS is real.
    Now if some psychic called and said ‘the X is in the basement of 324 W shire road and was still alive at 3PM so get there fast.’ That I think the police should follow up.


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  12. 12
    James Greenidge Says:

    Have no guilt or regrets or remourse. You hit the nail on the head on all counts. I’ve no tears for cons and predators.

    James Greenidge


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  13. 13
    ty Says:

            L.Long said:

    .

    But I have no real ill will against her or for her, she was a real con artist. No worse or better then any priest or re-Puke-ian in congress.
    .

    What does politics have to do with this? Communists such as yourselves can’t be duped? Oh yes – you can keep your doctor and/or your insurance if you like either…Same snake oil.


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