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Encouragement Award 2004Comment and Opinion

This site earned an Encouragement Award in the 2004 Millenium Awards.

Sylvia Browne - Spiritual Teacher and Psychic

Could this be referring to Sylvia?

See more of Cectic here.

Sylvia peering into the futureThis woman steals money from people by pretending to be a psychic. She claims to be able to see the future and to be able to talk to the dead. When she was asked by James Randi for some evidence of these claims she blathered. (And she has been avoiding the issue for 4,646 days. [There used to be a counter there from March 1, 2001, but I stopped counting when Silvia died in 2013. I thought it unlikely that she would do any more after she died than she did before. PB]) The worst part, however, was when she was asked why she had not foreseen the tragedy at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Here is the pathetic rubbish she posted on her web site:

Sylvia has been given the following information regarding the attack:

Sylvia did not get advance warning because she is not omniscient. Her list of predictions in 1999 warned of terrorism, but clearly the timing was wrong. Please pray for the wellbeing of the victims and their families, and focus your anger on helping other people rather than seeking revenge.

See Sylvia accepting Randi's challenge

Sylvia - suppository or saint? (29/11/2003)
Someone was not pleased with what I had to say about charlatan Sylvia Browne, and sent me the following message.

Sylvia - suppository or saint?

Translated into something compatible with the characteristics of the human eye, it said:

Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 00:26:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: sylvia browne

its people like you that diminsh good faith in the world and the people that bring it. Lucky for sylvia, she pays no attention...get over youre ego guy

I know Sylvia pays no attention. If she did she would either do what she says she can do and collect James Randi's million dollars or she would shut up and stop lying.

Sylvia Browne vindicates herself (15/1/2005)
On December 26, 2004, an earthquake off the western end of Indonesia caused a tsunami wave which damaged coastal towns in many countries around the Indian Ocean and killed more than 150,000 people. I wondered if the world's great psychics had predicted this, so I wrote to Sylvia Browne:

Subject: Tsunami
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 11:01:08 +1100


I realise that Sylvia doesn't usually read emails, but I am sure that she has been asking the office staff to print this one out for her as soon as it arrives.

I have been looking all over Sylvia's web site for a warning about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami which caused so much death and destruction in the countries bordering the Indian Ocean yesterday. As it is the holiday season I know that web site updates may not be a high priority (my site, The Millenium Project, is usually updated on either Saturday or Sunday, but the schedule is a real mess for this week and next), but a notice about a disaster like this could have been put up on the site before everyone went home for Christmas.

There is, of course, the distasteful possibility that Sylvia only warned people who paid $750 for her time to do so, but as the majority of the people in the affected areas could not afford this I am sure that it is not the case.

On a brighter note, if such a term can be used in such tragic circumstances, I am sure that Sylvia will offer her services to pass on messages from the victims to their friends and relatives. I have no doubt that the Red Cross would welcome her assistance and perhaps even provide her with transport (most residents of the disaster area cannot afford to ring the US, even when the phones are working), but I have heard that Psychiques Sans Frontieres is assembling a disaster relief team and she may prefer to work through that organisation.

I received no answer, but the following appeared on her web site:

In October 2004 on the Montel Williams Show, Sylvia advised viewers to avoid travel to India due to safety concerns. On December 26th Sylvia's prediction was validated when a tsunami devastated India. Sylvia further warns that travel to the region will not be safe for another 6 months due to health issues (water purity, disease) created in the aftermath of the tsunami.

Anyone who has seen or read the news will know that only a psychic clutching at straws would say that the tsunami "devastated India". It affected a very small part of the southern tip of the country, but had no effect on the main tourist destinations or the commercial, agricultural or manufacturing areas. Saying that the tsunami devastated India is equivalent to saying that the most recent hurricanes to do damage in Florida devastated the USA. I would be much more impressed if Sylvia could point to a prediction advising people not to go to Banda Aceh. Surely the death toll there would have made a bigger ripple in whatever forces in the universe she uses to predict the future.

What is it about Sylvia fans and weird emails.

From: "Kelly Mays"
Subject: U R AN...........
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 01:38:13 -0500

IDIOT!!!!!Sarcastic smiley emoticon IF, IF..... SHE WERE 100% CORRECTThinking smiley emoticon ON EVERYTHING, SHE WOULDN'T
Aging Woman  SHE'D BE SOME PROFIT Church OR ANGELAngel smiley emoticon  Girl Angel FROM HEAVENRainbow emoticon
Trinity Circles "WARNING US," Yield  Do Not Enter  Danger  Caution AND SHE'D BE RIGHT ON TARGET. !
FOR GOD'S Rainbow emoticonSAKE!! GET OVER IT!!!!!!Surprised smiley emoticon
INDEED LIFE Family 4  Family Road Trip  Puppy  Kitty 1  Mouse  Rooster  Bear  Giraffe  Igloo Penguin  Mountain 2
 Sun  Moon  Rainbow 2  Flower  Flowers & Butterfly  Flowers  Tree  Tree 3 AFTER DEATH!!!! Dramatic Death Scared To Death 2 Tombstone  Angel 3
 Gold Cross  Russian Cross  Jesus Fish  Bible 1  Dove 2  Chi Rho  I.H.S.  Star Of Jacob  Trinity Circles  Church  Place Of Worship  Prayer  Ark
YOU DON'T BELIEVE? THAN HELL, I FEEL SORRYEmbarrassed smiley emoticon FOR YOU AND STUPID RANDIEmbarrassed smiley emoticon.
VERY SINCERELY,Red rose emoticon
Sleeping half-moon emoticon
Money 1 IS GOING?
Thinking smiley emoticon AND WHY SHE AMONG OTHERS CHARGE
Money 1 SO DAMN MUCH FOR SOMEONE'S GRIEFCrying face smiley emoticonBroken heart emoticon, OR ETC;dv-calm emoticon BUT IT'S HER
Sick In Bed NEED LOVE, Need A Hug  I Love You Mug NEED ATTENTION. Peace Sign Dove BUT
$750.00 Money 1 IS OUT RANGIEST TO SAY THE LEAST. Thumbs Down  Mad  Crying Visit My Mail Stamp!

But wait, there's more!

From: "Kelly Mays"
Subject: How Did U Get This??
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 01:09:24 -0500

I was wondering HOW DID U GET THIS? I've NEVER Visited your site, So I'm wondering just HOW U Got A Hold of This Message?

YES!!!! As USUAL I WENT OVER BOARD WITH MY FREAKING ICONS! Trying to get MY POINT ACROSS!! For I Understand my GRAMMAR SUCKS, and seems to BOTHER THE HELL Out of A LOT of Folks??!! So Tell me something? "Why would U put MY MESSAGE on your Board"??

Sincerely Or Love,
"The Strange, Crazy, Drama Queen"

  1. I got it by you addressing an email to me using a link on the bottom of a page.
  2. It is not a board, it is a web site.
  3. I will publish anything that comes to me if I feel like doing so.
  4. If I were to be critical of someone's grammar it would not be for the correct use of the subjunctive mood.

A haggish fraud lawyers up (10/2/2007)
Or should that be "A fraudulent hag lawyers up?" One of the worlds most blatant non-psychics, Sylvia Browne™, has decided that she doesn't like criticism of her and her work and has threatened legal action against a web site called [Update 9/5/2009: Robert Lancaster, who created the StopSylviaBrowne web site suffered a serious illness and missed the deadline for renewing the domain name. Either Browne or one of the fraudster's sycophants grabbed the name and used it to promote Browne. I have corrected the link so that it points to where it should. PB 9 May 2009 A link check in early 2019 went to something totally irrelevant.]  In the true spirit of people who either can't or won't respond to criticism by presenting facts, Sylvia Browne™ has not sued for defamation but has claimed that The Trademark hersefthe site owner is damaging the trademark "Sylvia Browne". This strategy can be used to initiate and maintain a lengthy and expensive court case where lawyers argue about the finer points of commercial and intellectual property law while avoiding any discussion of freedom of speech until the respondent either goes broke or gives up. I have had some experience with this. (I should point out that my use of the term "intellectual property" should in no way be taken to imply that there is anything about Sylvia Browne™ that is in any way related to the every-day use of the word "intellectual".)

Stop The Trademark!Here are some facts. Sylvia Browne™ has no power to see the future or to detect anything by any form of supernatural or paranormal power. She is a stage performer who pretends to be really doing things that many other stage performers will admit are tricks of the trade. She could be seen as a harmless buffoon if she didn't charge very large sums of money to deceive and disappoint people who are influenced by the credibility given to her by uncritical television programs. The most recent in a long series of Sylvia Browne™ gaffes was to tell the parents of a missing boy that their son was dead and then offer to locate his body (for a suitable fee, of course). The boy was alive and has been returned to his parents, but has The Trademark apologised? Of course not. I have children of my own and I can imagine what these parents went through not knowing what had happened to their son. I can equally imagine how they must feel now that they know that they were lied to and had their hopes almost destroyed by a charlatan who only saw them as an unopened pay packet.

A logoOn a lighter note, I was intrigued by the logo used by The Trademark's law firm (who managed to misspell their client's name at one point, a sure sign of competence in a business where cases can be decided on ambiguities in punctuation). It looks very much as if the logo includes a representation of a goose. (Note to lawyers - the logo is reproduced here for the purpose of fair comment and any suggestions that its appearance here dilutes or damages its commercial value will be met with incredulity and several more entries in the Google index for the words "idiotic" and "risible".)

Under the headword "goose" in my copy of the Macquarie Dictionary it gives as one of the definitions "a silly or foolish person; simpleton". The word can also be used as a verb, and here the dictionary says "to poke someone between the buttocks". Perhaps this could be taken as a suggestion for what Sylvia Browne™ and her lawyers should do with their ridiculous law suit.

An offer I certainly can refuse (17/9/2011)
I received this invitation the other day.

I just had to click on the huge "Click here" command and got this.

The question it raises is this: if Sylvia Browne is such a great psychic, why couldn't she predict what my RSVP would be?

Gone, gone, gone. (25/11/2013)
The disgusting pretend psychic Sylvia Browne has died. This is a person who made a living by exploiting and mining the grief of families with dead or missing relatives. Bizarrely, some people who should know better are complaining that not enough respect is being shown to her family and that only nice things should be said about this heartless ghoul. My view is that her family were well aware of how she got her money and they were quite willing to spend it. They were totally complicit in her fraud and the only respect they deserve is to not be individually or collectively addressed personally in messages rejoicing at her death.

The world is better off without her.


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