Sylvia Browne & Wrong Predictions
Browne has been Convicted of Investment Fraud and Grand Theft
|Sylvia Browne & Wrong Predictions
Browne has been Convicted of Investment Fraud and Grand Theft
Sylvia Brown tells a woman that her boyfriend died by drowning when in reality her boyfriend died in 9/11. He was a fireman who died during September 11th but Sylvia brown is insistent that he died by drowning and then claims it may have had something to do with putting out the fire during the aftermath of the attack.
|Sylvia Browne (born Sylvia Celeste
Shoemaker October 19th, 1936) is an American author on the subject of
spirituality who describes herself as a psychic and spiritual medium.
She has made several appearances on Larry King Live, was a weekly guest
on The Montel Williams Show, and hosts her own hour-long show on Hay
House Radio, discussing paranormal issues and giving callers advice in
her role as a psychic.
Browne has been convicted of investment fraud and grand theft, and has
been involved in numerous controversies regarding her claims and
predictions, with reports about her failed predictions and claims
appearing in several newspapers.
Critics such as James Randi, with whom she has had a long running feud,
say that she is a cold reader whose readings are indistinguishable from
those achieved by mentalists using cold and hot reading techniques.
Recent press coverage has asserted that she is overall inaccurate,
claimed to have given insight into how she treats her fans, and reported
her feelings about critics like Randi.
A detailed three-year study of her predictions about 115 missing persons
and murder cases has found that despite her repeated claims to be more
than 85% correct, "Browne has not even been mostly correct in a single
Browne was born in Springfield, Missouri to Bill
Shoemaker and Celeste Coil and she is the eldest of their two daughters.
Her father was Jewish and had many jobs including mail delivery and
jewelry salesman, and was vice president of a major freight line.
mother was Episcopalian, and her maternal grandmother Ada Coil was a
devout Lutheran. However, Browne said in 2001 that she was Jewish.
She has given thousands of one-on-one readings and with a
wide variety of groups and individuals; as of 2008, she charges $850
for a 20-30 minute telephone reading. Browne claims to have provided
information to police departments and the FBI as a psychic detective.
Browne says that visions started appearing when she was five years old and that her grandmother Ada Coil, who she said was a psychic medium, helped her understand why she had them.
Browne also asserts that her great-uncle was also a psychic medium and was "rabid about UFOs."
Browne started to give claimed psychic readings in 1974 and has attracted followings of supporters and detractors.
Randi has researched this and in at least one case found that a police officer Browne claimed to work with did not work at the police department.
In April 2008, Sylvia Browne launched a new website billed as "an online spirituality destination that includes articles, blog postings, and videos from Sylvia."
Browne says she knows what it is like in heaven. In her book The Other Side and Back, she says the temperature is a constant 78°F (25.6°C), that there are no insects–-unless one wants there to be, that pets go to heaven, and that one can build one's house wherever one wants unless it obscures the view of a river or some trees, in which case one needs permission.
She asserts that the "other side" exists approximately three feet above ground level and at a "higher vibrational level" and so is difficult for humans to perceive.
However, like other psychics, she claims to have been born able to perceive a wider range of "vibrational frequencies". Browne declares that she can see angels and that they look similar to depictions in paintings, but have different traits depending on their "phylum."
She has also claimed that they do not speak. Her granddaughter, who is purportedly psychic, claims to have witnessed the angels that Browne states surround humans. Browne professes the ability to speak with her spirit guide, "Francine," and has given details of 54 of her own former lives as divined by her.
Janet McDonald, an author of books for young adults,
describes her experience receiving a psychic reading
via phone, for which she paid Browne $700.
Browne predicted a "really long life" for McDonald,
who died of cancer at 53 just over four years later.
Although Browne has made many public predictions, according to debunker James Randi her accuracy rate has been no better than educated guessing.
Her predictions include:
- that Bill Clinton was falsely accused in the Lewinsky scandal (proved incorrect)
- that George H. W. Bush would defeat Bill Clinton in the 1992 U.S. presidential election (Bush lost)
- that Bill Bradley would win the 2000 U.S. presidential election with the Reform Party coming in second (proved incorrect)
- a verdict of guilty in the 2005 child molestation trial of Michael Jackson (Jackson was acquitted, now deceased)
- the cure and prevention of breast cancer by the end of 1999. (There is no known cure)
In 2005 Browne told Newsweek that Larry King, a believer in the paranormal, has asked her to perform private psychic readings.
On September 3rd, 2001, Browne stated on Larry King Live that she would accept the James Randi Educational Foundation's $1,000,000 challenge to demonstrate supernatural abilities in a controlled scientific test.
A January 2007 episode of Anderson Cooper 360 featured Linda Rossi, Browne's business manager for 35 years, and James Randi.
Randi proposed that Browne undergo a test where she would provide readings for ten sympathetic people, each of whom would then identify their own reading among the ten. Rossi declined on Browne's behalf.
At the Gibson Amphitheater, Universal Studios, Los Angeles, Dec. 29th, 2009 Skeptic/Mentalist Mark Edward approached the microphone during the question portion of her show and said he had been hearing voices in his head, they were giving him the names...Opal Jo Jennings...Terrence Farrell...Holly Krewson and the Sego Miners. Browne could not tell he was lying and explained the voices were his spirit guides.
Of her predictions that might be considered accurate, many are predictions that are easy to make. Examples from her list of predictions for the 21st century include:
"Elizabeth Taylor ends up back at the Betty Ford Center";
"Neither Warren Beatty nor Donald Trump has any success in politics";
"Air travel reaches an all-time high, but because of overbookings and poor service, the airlines will need to revamp their scheduling practices".
A detailed three-year study of her predictions about missing persons and murder cases has found that despite her repeated claims to be more than 85% correct, "Browne has not even been mostly correct in a single case." The study's authors collected Browne's televised statements about 115 cases and compared them with newspaper reports that are believed to be factual.
They found that in 25 cases where the actual outcome is known, she was completely wrong in every one; and in the rest, where the final outcome is unknown, her predictions could not be substantiated. The study indicates that the media outlets that repeatedly promote Browne's work have no visible concern about whether she is untrustworthy or harms people.