Sylvia Browne
Posted: 18 January 2008 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This woman gets on my nerves, she always has, long before I became such a scientifically-minded atheist. I disliked her even when I still believed astrology was valid—astrology being the last superstition I threw off. For some reason it stuck with me longer than anything.

There is a fantastic site about her: http://www.stopsylviabrowne.com/

The articles section is a goldmine of information on her fakery and the damage she does to people with her fraudulent nonsense. I was puzzled as to why Montel Williams has her on his show so often, until I read the article that says it’s all about ratings, and he doesn’t believe any of her nonsense.

I personally feel this woman should be imprisoned for fraud. She’s as bad as someone who performs identity theft, and in some ways she’s worse.

And so very many people look up to her and treat her like she’s legitimate. I agree with the site’s premise: she needs to be stopped.

I’m not too impressed with John Edward either, but I have yet to find a site on him.

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People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.—H.L. Mencken
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Posted: 18 January 2008 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Randi has been whacking at her for awhile now, IIRC. She seems pretty yucky.

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Posted: 18 January 2008 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I actually found that link at the JREF forum, one of the members is responsible for it.

Speaking of Randi, the site I used to belong to says that his million dollar promise was fraudulent as well. That there weren’t funds to cover it.

I’m wondering what the take of members here is on that subject.

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People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.—H.L. Mencken
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Posted: 18 January 2008 08:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Atheist_Pariah - 18 January 2008 08:38 AM

Speaking of Randi, the site I used to belong to says that his million dollar promise was fraudulent as well. That there weren’t funds to cover it.

I’m wondering what the take of members here is on that subject.

AFAIK that’s simply a lie. Randi got his million dollars in a grant from his friend Johnnie Carson. Carson was himself a magician and very upset about the sort of mystery-mongering that Randi exposed.

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Posted: 18 January 2008 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I always got the idea that the people spouting that were full of it. Thanks for clearing that up.

I have a great deal of respect for Randi, myself, which is why I was wondering.

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People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.—H.L. Mencken
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Posted: 18 January 2008 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Atheist_Pariah - 18 January 2008 08:01 AM

This woman gets on my nerves, she always has, long before I became such a scientifically-minded atheist. I disliked her even when I still believed astrology was valid—astrology being the last superstition I threw off. For some reason it stuck with me longer than anything.

There is a fantastic site about her: http://www.stopsylviabrowne.com/

I had never heard of Sylvia Browne until I started listening to the podcasts of “The Skeptics Guide to the Universe”.  They bring up Sylvia numerous times, once last year in re-capping “The Amazing Meeting 5” and most recently in a re-cap of 2007 and psychic predictions (and particularly noteworthy events that were not predicted, as far as they could tell).

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Posted: 18 January 2008 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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She can be downright nauseating to listen to. She was going on once about when people see unexptected butterflies fluttering around, it was their dead loved ones. All I could think was, don’t the dead ever manifest as cockroaches, or rats? Just butterflies?

I get a lot of practice with sarcasm when I accidentally get Sylvia Browne exposure.  LOL

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People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.—H.L. Mencken
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Posted: 20 February 2008 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Did anybody see the article in the lastes Skeptical Inquirer—“Cool Careers for Dummies: Psychic Detective”?  I hadn’t laughed so hard in a long time.

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Posted: 09 March 2008 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Unfortunately, people like Browne and John Edwards (Crossing Over) have made a killing on the ignorance of so many. Cold reading is a powerfully effective technique for those who are unaware of what to look for. A great book on Cold Reading is : Full Facts of Cold Reading by Ian Rowland. After reading his book, I haven’t seen one technique from Browne or Edwards that isn’t described in it.

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Posted: 19 May 2008 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi I’m new here and hoping to find some intelligent discussion, factually based.

You would think this is the place to find it but i’m noticing a couple confusing things here.

1: A majority of the posts seem more hateful and bashing than impartial discussion of practical supporting arguments answering someone’s question of validity. All I’ve witnessed here is ignorance on a bandwagon. Hope thats not too offensive, but read it yourselves. The conversation sounds more like gossip than a welcomed platform for any debate or mature discussion. 

2: Facts? Closest thing i’ve seen is fly-by sourcing, i.e. “This website or this guy said so”. If you guys need some help on how to cite a source properly, I’m here to help! just ask.


For this topic particularly it wouldn’t be hard to raise many good points as to why Ms. Browne’s abilities are fraudulent claims. This could actually be a great topic with incentive for many individuals in these forums to study into and shed light on in the realms of Randi’s tests and claims against Sylvia’s accurate reading, inaccurate readings, and third party scientific materials supporting both.

Seems like a lot of crap, but some people like the challenge, the study-work, and most of all seeing all the facts manifest into strongly supported revolutionary concepts in science. I read “Center for Inquiry” at the top of the web page and am pretty sure that I am in the right place with my expectations.

I believe a scientific mind that dismisses theories out of anger for lack of evidence will happily reinvent the toaster for the rest of his life. Always search for the evidence, especially when you think it isn’t there, until you therein prove through your findings that it is in fact, not there. 

In this case; anger out of lacking fulfillment in someone’s past hopes that total proof of religion and paranormal would be scientifically revealed to them above so many others. I really do wonder how deeply you looked into your convictions (especially scientifically)  before disregarding every shred of anything beyond material existence simply because such a greater truth wasn’t just handed to you during your “phase” of faith.

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Posted: 19 May 2008 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Bobby I agree with you that we need to be open minded, but I think you misunderstand the purpose of science. Science doesn’t need to disprove the existence of something beyond “material existence” as you put it. It is the obligation of those promoting such theories to prove their theory. When a scientist proposes a new theory he/she must provide experimental evidence to support his theory. He doesn’t lay out his theory and then ask the scientific world to either accept it or disprove it.

Most of the people promoting these pseudoscientific ideas make no effort to follow the scientific method and seem to think its up to us to prove them wrong. This is what generates a lot of the anger on this site. There are far too many of these people promoting their ideas, and in many cases to their own financial benefit, and to the detriment of those who are naive enough to listen.

While I agree we should take a detached and completely unemotional approach to these situations, it becomes quite frustrating to be fighting the same battles over and over with people who don’t play by the rules, and a gullible society that keeps falling for this stuff.

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For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

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Posted: 20 May 2008 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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dougsmith - 18 January 2008 08:02 AM

Randi has been whacking at her for awhile now, IIRC. She seems pretty yucky.

I have to get my mind out of the gutter.  zipper

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Posted: 21 May 2008 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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BobbyDigital - 19 May 2008 11:59 AM

I believe a scientific mind that dismisses theories out of anger for lack of evidence will happily reinvent the toaster for the rest of his life. Always search for the evidence, especially when you think it isn’t there, until you therein prove through your findings that it is in fact, not there.

I think you’re jumping the gun here, Bobby.  Might we ask you to “Prove” that we “dismiss theories out of anger”?  And call me crazy but it seems to me that lack of evidence is a pretty darn good reason for not believing something.  Why should I be expected to waste time trying to categorically prove that Sylvia Brown is NOT a psychic?

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Posted: 21 May 2008 04:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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advocatus - 21 May 2008 10:25 AM
BobbyDigital - 19 May 2008 11:59 AM

I believe a scientific mind that dismisses theories out of anger for lack of evidence will happily reinvent the toaster for the rest of his life. Always search for the evidence, especially when you think it isn’t there, until you therein prove through your findings that it is in fact, not there.

I think you’re jumping the gun here, Bobby.  Might we ask you to “Prove” that we “dismiss theories out of anger”?  And call me crazy but it seems to me that lack of evidence is a pretty darn good reason for not believing something.  Why should I be expected to waste time trying to categorically prove that Sylvia Brown is NOT a psychic?

I couldn’t agree more Advocatus. Since when is the burden of proof placed on the skeptic?

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Posted: 23 May 2008 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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That one’s easy, Jaik.  When they find they can’t prove their point, they shift the burden to us!

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