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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Psychic Detective Sylvia Browne's Misfire

     The biggest load of crap I can envision is a bus-full of psychic detectives en route to a charlatan convention in Las Vegas. Real detectives who give these frauds credibility by consulting them should be busted back to the street for wasting time and taxpayer money.

     A study in England published in 1996 pitted people who claimed to be psychic detectives against undergraduate psychology students. Each participant in the experiment was handed an item from a real crime scene and asked to utter whatever popped into their minds regarding the offense. As it turned out, the psychics as well as the students did no better at making accurate comments than could be expected  from mere chance. The results of this study showed that the only difference between a psychic and an ordinary person is the ability to act, and to lie with a straight face. Over the years, similar findings that discredit psychics have been replicated numerous times by other researchers. (Conducting a serious study to determine if psychics are bogus is like conducting a massive study to confirm that the earth is round.)

     In the wake of the Cleveland kidnapping case, it has been revealed that in 2004 the celebrity psychic detective Sylvia Browne, appearing on the "Montel Williams Show," told Amanda Berry's mother Louwana Miller that her daughter was "in heaven and on the other side" when in fact she was living in hell in Cleveland, Ohio. According to psychic Browne, Amanda Berry's last words were, "Goodbye, mom, I love you." (Over the years Browne had been a regular on the "Montel Williams" TV program.)

     Earlier in the year, Sylvia Browne told a Fox columnist that her "God-given gift" was her DNA. "I was just born this way," she said, straight-faced. Revealing her deep love of self, pathological phoniness, and gift for the absurd, Browne continued: "Why did Beethoven create symphonies and everything? (I'm a big fan of Beethoven's everything.) Why did he play the piano when he was three years old? I was just born with this. My grandmother and my mother was and my son is, and we go back 300 years. It may be a genetic thing."

     Given the fact that so many Americans believe in ghosts, big-foot, flying saucers, Elvis sightings and the like, Sylvia Browne's Amanda Berry misfire didn't knock her off television.

     If there ever would be a bus full of psychic detectives rolling toward a charlatan convention in Las Vegas, Sylvia Browne would be driving the vehicle wearing a blindfold with peep holes.  

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