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Sylvia Browne

Sylvia Browne is Dead

The website of ‘psychic icon’ Sylvia Browne has today announced her passing:

World renowned spiritual teacher, psychic icon, author, and lecturer Sylvia Celeste Browne passed away at 7:10am this morning (Wednesday, November 20) at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, CA. Born October 19, 1936, Browne was 77 years old.

…A best-selling author, Browne published over 50 works throughout her life with 22 appearing on the New York Times Bestsellers List. She was also a frequent guest on radio and television shows including Larry King Live and The Montel Williams Show, where Browneโ€™s appearances quickly became a popular weekly highlight among regular viewers for over 17 years.

“A beacon that shined for so many was extinguished today, but its brightness was relit and will now shine forever for many of us from above,โ€ said Williams. โ€œI, like so many of you, lost a friend today. But, as has been for the last twenty years, she’ll always remain a part of me. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sylvia’s family in this time of loss.”

Browne is survived by her husband Michael Ulery, sons Christopher and Paul Dufresne, three grandchildren, Angelia, Jeffrey, and William; and her sister Sharon Bortolussi.

A private memorial service is to be scheduled.

I have never been a fan of Browne in any sense – everything I saw of her seemed false, and in many cases, downright ugly. She was infamous for her incorrect predictions regarding missing children – Amanda Berry and Shawn Hornbeck being prime examples – and these alone should stand as testament to her lack of care and empathy when it came to discussing such delicate matters. In fact, I find it difficult to understand what made her so famous – she was wrong often, she showed a distinct lack of emotional connection to ‘sitters’ (to the point of being outright rude to them), and her personality seemed abrasive and self-centred.

Some people obviously did have profound moments via her psychic readings, and she is survived by her children and grandchildren, so I’m sure there will be many who grieve for Browne. I can’t include myself on that list though, sad to say.


  1. Greg – What a petty, heartless commentary

    You didn’t like her work so you dismiss her life?? WTF? Check yourself man. I do understand those who are cold about people they view as intentionally evil but beyond that . . . .

    She is a person. like yourself, living, loving, being loved, finding her way as best she can. I’d go as far as to say that the degree to which you can appreciate another’s life says a lot about your appreciation for self. No matter what you tell yourself.

    1. Her work was her life
      Just because someone has died we should collectively go “Awwwww” regardless of the fact that person was a heartless cheat praying on other people’s weaknesses?

      I would never wish for someone to die…well, Hitler perhaps, however the world is a better place now without the infamous Silvia Brown.

      Seems rather odd she didn’t predict her own death…

      1. No one’s work is their life
        [quote=tihz_ho]Just because someone has died we should collectively go “Awwwww” regardless of the fact that person was a heartless cheat praying on other people’s weaknesses?[/quote]

        That you equate work with person-hood shows you to be superficail – at best. As for the “heartless cheat” there is little to support such a claim. And “praying on other people’s weaknesses” ? lol. spare me the melodrama.

        It’s not about “going awww” – it’s not even about feeling sad or having a sense of loss. But you don’t and given your comments likely cannot grasp what it *is* about.

        No the world is *not* a better place without her – far from it – but I think it would be a better place without mindsets like yours.

    2. Excuse me?
      [quote=pov]You didn’t like her work so you dismiss her life?? WTF? Check yourself man.[/quote]

      Please do show where I dismissed her life? I in fact explicitly said “Some people obviously did have profound moments via her psychic readings, and she is survived by her children and grandchildren, so I’m sure there will be many who grieve for Browne”. I then said that I won’t. That’s not dismissing her life.

      Conversely, I found it rather ironic that this criticism comes from you, considering that since you showed up here at TDG you’ve consistently berated and criticised people in most of your comments, without taking any time to get to know them or understand their points of view.

  2. My thoughts on Browne’s work
    In the current climate, psychic work is not as easy to do accurately as it could be. Additionally, a person with some degree of overt psychic ability may unintentionally get too full of themselves and stop paying attention to all the various strands. Given that there are realities rather than the single reality the materialists like to think exists, it is not difficult to pick up on something that manifests in a version other than the one a psychic is centering in. It is on the psychic to know that but unfortunately many psychics have also bought into the singular reality delusions.

    Was that the case with Browne? Only those who have – as objectively as possible – studied all her work would be in a position to say. She may have been someone who had a few instance of overt connection with her abilities and fudged through the rest.

    1. Fudged through the rest
      Question: Did she ever admit to have been wrong with some of her predictions?

      Because if not, that would have been part of the “getting too full of themselves” flaw that in the end undermines credibility in psychic abilities among the general population.

  3. Predictions…
    About 1994 the girl who grew up across the street from me disappeared (we were 22/23 at the time). Her mother, to her great credit NEVER gave up looking for her, even going so far as to be in the audience during one of Ms. Browne’s appearances on Oprah, circa 1998 or so. When called on from the audience, Ms. Browne told her something along the lines of “I know she’s alive, I feel her somewhere in Hollywood… she wants to contact you but she’s afraid of someone” or somesuch.
    Several years later (and after the death of her mother) someone going through cold case files matched her dental records to the corpse of a Jane Doe found in a shallow grave in the back country not too long after she disappeared, but the local PD din’t computerize fully until some months later, so her case never got entered-it just wasn’t high enough priority.
    Long story short, her disappearance was likely caused by her death (maybe accidental OD, she was running with a rough crowd) and she had been both dead and her body discovered by the police years before Ms. Browne ‘felt’ her alive.

    So while I love my Daily Grail, to this day I take all this psychic stuff with a grain of salt the size of a shallow grave in in the San Diego hills.

  4. Honestly…
    …I hadn’t known much about the woman before I joined TDG. I knew of her seeming lack of true ability and her, as you put it, “ugly” mispredictions. When I read the topic line I thought “Well…dang, that happened quick after all of the controversy a few months ago.” Then the song from The Wizard of Oz “Ding, Dong…” started playing in my head, and then after reading through the comments here I let out a sigh and thought “All well, shit happens.”

    I don’t believe her death will affect most of our lives and it makes no difference to me that she is dead. I’m sorry to sound like a dick here but I didn’t know her, so I don’t have an opinion on her as a person, other than what I have read and seen on the news, to quote a comment above, “with a grain of salt.” Of course, I don’t have a very high opinion of her, but then again I just can’t find myself giving a damn either way. If I was one of the families who got a wrong predictions from her, I suppose I would be pretty pissed.

    My condolences to the family, however, because whether you liked her or not we have all at some point lost loved ones in our lives and had to fill out mounds of paperwork ๐Ÿ˜›

    On the scale from 0-10 with 0 being John Edwards and 10 being any “real” psychic (take your pick), she might be a 1.5 or a -1 depending on the news source.

  5. Got into a big FB-argument over James Randi….
    One of my Facebook friends posted about her and included Jim Randi.

    I said psychics are not a big problem and Randi does not care about their “victims”—and that he’s not respected by scientists.

    I’m glad I did that as the small number of folks that know about Randi don’t tend to look at him with any sort of “critical thinking”

    1. Still LOTSA psychics
      Despite his “lifetime achievement ” award from the AHA (gawd)

      James Randi has not kept folks from going to psychics and fortune -tellers and sending money to TV-preachers.

      Sylvia Browne and John Edwards were not affected by Jim Randi and his foundation—and I am fucking FINE with that—stop protecting me from myself.

      If folks wanna get fleeced LET THEM—they are poorly educated folks who I don’t care about.

      Idiots think Randi is some kind of “hero” for exposing psychics BUT—he’s not “shut them down” at all

      1. Randi and psychics
        [quote=gbv23]Idiots think Randi is some kind of “hero” for exposing psychics BUT—he’s not “shut them down” at all[/quote]

        There are also many psychics and mediums that are moralistic and well-meaning folks. Even if they may be deluded (and I do believe that some, at least, have a genuine psychic ability) I think the majority of psychics are not fraudulent, but, for the most part, kind souls with good intentions who sincerely think they have powers and think they are helping people.

        Randi has probably done some good work, but as I see it, what he has mostly accomplished is to spread hatred and bigotry towards anyone who identifies as a psychic or a medium or as mystical/spiritual in some sort of alternative way, most of whom are quite lovely people. I think Randi and his organisation have spread bigotry much in the same way that racist individuals and organisations have done so. I’ve thought for a long time that prejudice against psychics and mediums is no different to racism and homophobia. Just different targets.

        In short, I think Randi has done at least as much harm as good, and possibly even more.

        1. Randi’s motive?
          Concerning dear old Randi –

          I often wonder whether his encouragement – whether deliberate or unwitting – of intolerance towards those claiming ‘psychic’ powers, or indeed towards anyone having any interest in psi-related matters, may stem from his own experiences during his youth.

          Randi is gay, and in interviews he has described how he had a poor relationship with his father. Randi wasn’t too specific about this, but it’s possible that either his father was conventionally religious, and/or that James was raised within an orthodox Jewish community (Randi’s real surname is Zwinge.) Either way, he may well have been made to feel ‘sinful’ or ‘dirty’ because of his homosexuality.

          And being a smart youngster, he may well have felt furiously angry about being looked down upon by those he would have viewed as his intellectual inferiors – they were stupid enough to believe in God, after all.

          And so, I can’t help but wonder – is Randi motivated by a need to hurt others just as he himself was hurt? Perhaps he lashes out at ‘psi believers’ in the same way that religious communities, just a few decades ago, were quite openly lashing out at gay people?

          It’s just a thought. The guy might well have had a tough, lonely childhood and maybe we need to consider this possibility when we read his angry diatribes. Perhaps Randi is exorcising his own childhood demons when he verbally lays into psychics. If so, we could perhaps be more understanding and charitable towards him.

  6. I have psychic moments.
    I have psychic moments myself, so I can sort of understand both sides of the argument. That said, she probably did fudge her way through her career most of the time. I don’t blame people for feeling the way they do about her.

    I remember seeing her books at the library and book stores during my quest to understand myself better, and what it is exactly that I’m dealing with, and I always felt turned off by her work. I’d get this “ugh” feeling and would skip her section. Plus, I do think it was wrong for her to be so bold and sure of herself with some of her uglier predictions. When I heard about some of the things she told people, I felt so disheartened.

    As for me, some months back I came to the conclusion that Pov speaks of…that I am picking up on different versions of realities. In my case, it’s through precognitive dreaming. There are some dreams that are 100% spot on, but then there are others that are “off” in some way. I’ll relive moments where the dialog is totally different than what it “should” have been. Or some things that I am dead certain is going to happen, doesn’t happen at all. I could never be certain of it enough to try to make and make a career out of it. It has taken me a long time to try to understand it, and I still don’t understand it fully. Plus, I grew up in a religious family where I was often told to pray against it. I had to overcome that aspect of my childhood before I could come to terms with what was going on. One thing’s for sure, it’s been an interesting journey of self analysis.

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