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Stop Sylvia Browne!
Doubting Thomas
Here's a very good website exposing so-called psychic Sylvia Browne for the obvious fraud she is.

[url]http://www.stopsylviabrowne.com[/url]

I highly suggest reading the articles where it details all of Browne's erronous predictions. Most notable are the many incidents where families of missing people turn to her for help and she totally misses the mark. One item in particular of note is the Shawn Hornbeck case where she told his parents that he had been murdered and he turned up very much alive having been kidnapped for four years.
 
seeker
I've always been interested in these psychic prediction nuts ever since Jeane Dixon got famous for 'predicting' the Kennedy Assassination. i specifically remember her because she had a regular column in which she made prediction after prediction that didn't come true.

Even her most famous prediction wasa problematic. The following is from the site [url=http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1736/did-psychic-jeane-dixon-predict-jfks-assassination]Straight Dope[/url]:

The actual blurb which ran in the Sunday supplement Parade on May 13, 1956, was, shall we say, a bit less specific: "As for the 1960 election Mrs. Dixon thinks it will be dominated by labor and won by a Democrat. But he will be assassinated or die in office 'though not necessarily in his first term.'" Less equivocal than most "psychic" predictions, but really just a lucky guess which grew in the retelling.

But here's the real problem--in 1960, she forecast that Kennedy would not win the coming election. Yes, that's right. Although she is credited with predicting his assassination because of her 1956 statement, her 1960 one is routinely ignored by those who perpetuate this myth. And unlike her previous one, it couldn't be more specific: She predicted clearly that "John F. Kennedy would fail to win the presidency."

Well, if he wasn't going to win, how could she have predicted that he would be assassinated in office?

The answer: She didn't. Instead she made a lot of vague predictions, some of which contradicted each other, and then relied on people to only remember those which could somehow be worked into a claimed "hit" with 20/20 hindsight while forgetting the far-more-numerous misses. This same technique is used all over the globe today. And people still fall for it. P.T. Barnum would be proud.
 
catman
People like to believe in silly hocus-pocus. Just look at how many churches there are.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
RayvenAlandria
For every belief system there are droves of con-artists.
 
Hypatia
I wonder how much of Reagan's itinerary was scheduled based on Nancy's astrologer's predictions, in addition to his White House time that was worked around morning prayer meetings with members of the 'Moral Majority', etc.

Some people plan their lives around 'psycho' predictions, others use it to "help" run a country.

:rolleyes:

Help us.
Edited by Hypatia on 08/30/2008 04:05
 
Doubting Thomas
Yeah, Seeker, I once kept a page out of the National Enquirer or some similar rag that had Dixon's "predictions" for the following year, just to see if any would come true. I don't think one of them did. I don't remember what year this was but would have been in the late 1980's. Most were pretty well forgettable, but others were just plain bizarre, such as "Drug kingpins will die of AIDS."
 
neilmarr
Richard Dawkins recently did an excellent three-part TV docmentary in which he examines and debunks several forms of superstitious nonsense from faith healing and homeopathy to spiritualism, water divining, ESP, astrology, etc, etc, simply by asking famous exponents to show us their stuff ... and watching them fall flat on their arses every single time.

It's aptly called Enemies of Reason and is now on YouTube in five parts. Very highly recommended. Part one is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyQ57X3YhH4

Best. Neil
 
Bob of QF
Homeopathy is one of the most insane ideas ever conceived by humans.

The dilution factor in their "medicines" is such that, if you had a sample the size of the solar system, you _might_ have a chance at a single molecule of the "active" ingredient(s).

When questioned about this, they claim that the "spirit" of the substance is retained by the water.

If that were the case, anyone drinking city water that is not fresh from a mountain stream.... is drinking the "spirit" of hundreds of people from upstream....

....idiocy at it's finest.

P.T Barnum would've been proud. Grin
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Doubting Thomas
Yeah they use such pseudoscientific nonsense buzzwords like "vibrations" as in the water retains the vibrations of the original molecule, a molecule of substance which wouldn't cure whatever the illness was in the first place.

But getting back to Sylvia Browne, I subscribed to the email updates to the articles on the website. After reading all those articles it's hard not to have a picture of Browne as a cold, heartless, greedy, selfish, lying bitch who doesn't give a rat's ass about the people she is "reading." Telling people that their missing loved one has been sold into sex slavery in a foriegn country is not going to put their mind at ease.
 
seeker
The thing is that people tend toignore the failures and remember the successes. If I make an outrageous set of predictions and one out of a hundred of them comes true people will remeber that one and discard the other 99.
 
Skeeve
The Amazing Randi has been a "friend" of Sylvia Browne for many years.

[url]http://www.randi.org/joom/content/view/112/81/[/url]

When she became a regular on the Montel Williams, what little credibility he had went right out the window.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Doubting Thomas
And fortunately/unfortunately, that's where a majority of her false predictions have come to light, especially with the missing person cases. In every incident where the missing person was found, Browne was found to be totally way off. And in the other cases where people are still missing, she's obviously been no help whatsoever, since they're still missing.

Has anyone else caught the "Psychic Detectives" program on Tru TV (old Court TV)? In each case the "psychics" are brought in to "investigate" the crimes. In every episode, aboslutely nothing new about the case is discovered. In fact, at the end of every episode, they have a phone number to call if you have any information about the case. Isn't that what the psychics were supposed to provide?

One episode was classic. They took the so-called psychic to a spot on the river and he said, "She was murdered here and placed in the water, but she wasn't found here." Well, duh... if you put a body in a river it's going to float downstream. You don't have to be a psychic to predict that. But the fact that the body was found downstream was shown to be proof of the so-called psychic's powers.

In every episode they do just that, provide one or two hits, but never show how many guesses the psychics get wrong. And the show tends to be a weak attempt to show that ESP really does exist, but as I stated above none of the cases are ever solved by the psychics. In fact, no new verifiable information is ever found.
 
catman
That's the kind of junk that makes me wonder why I subscribe to cable.

Bob of QF: Right on. I can hardly believe that anyone falls for homeopathic medicine. What a crock.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Doubting Thomas
I really do like Tru TV since they have lots of crime stories on there which show how people get caught, but I just can't stand to watch the show Psychic Detectives. As I said, the main focus of the show is to show one or two small guesses the psychic gets right rather than actually try to solve the case. I would put more faith in so-called psychic detectives if they said, "The killer's name is Bob Smith, he lives at 123 E 5th Street" instead of "He is kind of tall, or maybe medium height, has blonde or light brown hair, kind of a thin or medium build, or could be stocky. I think his name begins with an M or possibly an S..." which is the hallmark of someone who's just guessing.
 
Hypatia
I had heard of Sylvia Browne before, and I think this psychic stuff is pure crap. But I've been reading some of the articles from the link DT posted, and I'm absolutely appalled at the things this woman (and no doubt others like her do the same thing) has told people about their loved ones who are missing.

The agony and sorrow these families must go through, first of all just because they have a family member whose missing, and then because this nut job Sylvia Browne tells them something completely untrue and batshit from what has actually happened with them.

It's too bad these people go to psychics anyway, but I understand that when there is someone missing in a family, especially, they would do almost anything to get the information about that person out to the public.

It's bullshit that these shows like Montel Williams would hook the families up with 'psychics', for crying out loud, rather than just having the families on their shows and allowing them to tell about the person who is missing and show their photos.

Some of the families have said they only met with the 'psychics' on the shows in desperation, as a way of getting information about their family member out to the public in an effort in locating them and bringing in information about them. The producers of these shows should be ashamed for exploiting people in this way! It's an outrage! If they want to help people, then help people, goddammit. Don't exploit them and make their agony deeper.

This makes me so fucking angry. I don't watch shows like Montel Williams anyway, but I sure wish I lived close enough to picket the studios where these shows are made. I'd do it in a heartbeat.

These kinds of shows are cruel.

;angry;

Stop Sylvia Browne, and anyone like her!


 
Bob of QF
Anytime anyone claims psychics are "real" I just point out that in ANY state lottery system, if they WERE real.....who would win every time?
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Doubting Thomas
Yeah, I won't believe in psychic ability until I read a headline that says "Psychic Wins Lottery Again."

Ask them why they don't play and they always give you some bullshit answer like "We can't use our powers for financial gain." Oh, like Sylvia Browne hasn't become a multi-millionaire conning people with her supposed psychic ability. Charging someone $750 for a half-hour "reading?" Seems like she's profiting very nicely.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
catman
It's good to know that all psychics have such high moral standards.;pukeright;

She doesn't need to play the lottery, with a scam like that.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Hypatia
Has anyone seen that there is now a t.v. show (dish) about 'psychic kids'? At least I'd never noticed it before. I watched an episode of it and basically some 'Dr.' and a couple of adult 'psychics' bring together kids who think they're psychics and encourage the kids to agree that they feel all alone because they don't know anyone else like themselves (and now they finally do), and they all visit some place that's supposed to be 'haunted', 'test out' their abilities (all a bunch of hooey) and basically scare the bejeezus out of each other.

Phooey.

 
Bob of QF
Hypatia wrote:
Has anyone seen that there is now a t.v. show (dish) about 'psychic kids'? At least I'd never noticed it before. I watched an episode of it and basically some 'Dr.' and a couple of adult 'psychics' bring together kids who think they're psychics and encourage the kids to agree that they feel all alone because they don't know anyone else like themselves (and now they finally do), and they all visit some place that's supposed to be 'haunted', 'test out' their abilities (all a bunch of hooey) and basically scare the bejeezus out of each other.

Phooey.



No, I can't say I've seen that exact show.

However, what you describe sounds suspiciously like inner city "christian children's" programs.... see the parallels?

*bleah* (I need some brain chlorine, now...)
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
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