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Sylvia Browne's Failed Amanda Berry Prediction Returns To Haunt Her

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  • Julienne
    Sylvia Browne s Failed Amanda Berry Prediction Returns To Haunt Her Posted: 05/09/2013 6:09 pm EDT | Updated: 05/09/2013 7:52 pm EDT Psychic Sylvia Browne is
    Message 1 of 3 , May 10, 2013
      Sylvia Browne's Failed Amanda Berry Prediction Returns To Haunt Her

      Posted: 05/09/2013 6:09 pm EDT | Updated: 05/09/2013 7:52 pm EDT
      Psychic Sylvia Browne is under fire after incorrectly claiming years
      ago that kidnapping victim Amanda Berry was dead.

      Celebrity psychic Sylvia Browne is doing damage control over a
      prediction made nearly 10 years ago claiming Ohio kidnapping victim
      Amanda Berry was dead, but her actions may represent a watershed
      moment in how Americans view psychics.

      "The [Ariel Castro abduction] is a test case for all psychics," said
      Joe Nickell, editor of Skeptical Inquirer, a magazine that encourages
      science-based analysis of paranormal and fringe-science claims. "Why
      didn't one psychic wake up in the middle of the night and know where
      they were?"

      Browne told Louwana Miller, the mother of Amanda Berry, on "The
      Montel Williams Show" in 2004: "She's not alive, honey. Your
      daughter's not the kind who wouldn't call," The Atlantic Wire
      reported. Berry was kidnapped 10 years ago and was found alive on Monday.

      Browne responded with an official statement to The Huffington Post
      earlier this week that included this line: "Only God is right all the time."

      For more than 50 years as a spiritual psychic and guide, when
      called upon to either help authorities with missing person cases or
      to help families with questions about their loved ones, I have been
      more right than wrong. If ever there was a time to be grateful and
      relieved for being mistaken, this is that time. Only God is right all
      the time. My heart goes out to Amanda Berry, her family, the other
      victims and their families. I wish you a peaceful recovery.

      Browne has estimated an 87-to-90 percent success rate with cold
      cases, but Skeptical Inquirer did a 2010 analysis of 115 predictions
      she made on "The Montel Williams Show" and put her success rate at zero.

      Nickell has also headed projects researching the success rate of
      psychics working on police investigations, and found no substantial
      evidence of their effectiveness. However, he concedes that some
      investigators will accept psychic assistance as a very last resort.

      "One detective, a homicide commander, told me, 'you can be skeptical,
      but when you have a distraught family and a psychic has convinced
      them they have clues, it's hard to refuse,'" Nickell told HuffPost.

      Problem is, according to Nickell, many of the so-called "clues"
      offered by the psychics are too vague to be of use. Once the police
      find out the answers through legitimate police work, the vague clues
      might seem to fit after the fact, a process he calls "retrofitting."

      Parapsychology researcher Ben Radford, a deputy editor at Skeptical
      Inquirer, said that anytime there is a high-profile, missing-person
      case, psychics and mediums come out of the woodwork.

      "We call them 'grief vampires'," he told HuffPost. "But every single
      time, the psychics fail to find the person."

      Browne is also drawing criticism from other psychics like Craig
      Weiler, who said Browne's callous prediction to Berry's now-deceased
      mom crossed a line, possibly doing "harm to the family." He advises
      mediums to use disclaimers.

      "They need to say, 'this is my impression' or 'this is my truth,'"
      Weiler told HuffPost. "Something like 'this is what I feel' is OK ..."

      Weiler runs a blog that attempts to explain scientific studies of
      parapsychology in layman's terms, but said off-the-cuff predictions
      make things harder for people like him who are trying to demonstrate
      psychic ability is real.

      "Failed predictions that are so high-profile are a pain in the ass,"
      Weiler said. "There's a public perception that psychics are fake.
      They're not, but it hurts."

      Weiler said it's just as unfair to judge psychics by one big failed
      prediction as it is to judge them by one successful one. "That's the
      problem scientifically," he said. "In order to tell how good she is,
      you need both success and failures."

      Browne is attracting comments to her Facebook and Twitter pages like,
      "What do you have to say for yourself? What a horrible horrible thing
      to say to a family holding on to nothing but hope and faith" and "Can
      you admit that you're a hack now?" according to RawStory.com

      D.J. Grothe, president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, an
      organization that works to stop paranormal and pseudoscientific
      frauds and has long criticized Browne, said this latest psychic
      scandal is even more reprehensible than others.

      "It's not just her lack of success that bothers me. It's that she
      deigns to give so-called psychic or spiritual advice to people when
      they're at their lowest and hurting most," he told HuffPost by email.
      "How reprehensible for this TV psychic to disrupt criminal
      investigations or cause a family to lose hope about their missing
      loved ones like that."

      Grothe said he wouldn't have as many problems with psychic performers
      if they would tell people their predictions are "for entertainment
      purposes only" and if they refused to offer spiritual guidance or
      psychic advice in any form.

      One personality who does that is the Amazing Kreskin who has done
      hundreds of performance art shows similar to magic for more than 40 years.

      Kreskin said he has helped the police with 84 crime cases, but
      acknowledges that he was only helpful one-third of the time. "I can
      help potential witnesses uncover information they didn't realize they
      had," Kreskin said.

      However, Kreskin said that any mentalist, psychic or medium who
      suggests someone is dead without physical evidence is on shaky
      ethical ground. "It's the height of irresponsibility and it
      indirectly aids the criminal because the people who believe the
      psychic may have less of a reason to continue to search for the
      victim," he said.

      Sherry Cole, Amanda Berry's cousin, told HuffPost that the family "in
      no way blames Sylvia," but Weiler still believes anyone claiming to
      be psychic needs to be responsible about how they use their abilities.

      "They need to be truthful," he said. "They're not 100 percent. They
      should say, 'this is what I feel is happening,' but that's it."

      CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that
      D.J. Grothe would be OK with psychics if they said their predictions
      were "for entertainment purposes" only. Grothe stresses that they
      shouldn't offer spiritual or psychic advice either.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/sylvia-brownes-amanda-perry-psychic_n_3240157.html?1368137363



      "Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil". -Thomas Mann
    • Edgar Owen
      Julienne, Thanks for this informative objective post for a change. Though somehow I suspect you ll soon be telling us you predicted where they were and when
      Message 2 of 3 , May 11, 2013
        Julienne,

        Thanks for this informative objective post for a change.

        Though somehow I suspect you'll soon be telling us you predicted where they were and when they would be found from their astrological charts?

        Edgar



        On May 10, 2013, at 11:05 AM, Julienne wrote:

         



        Sylvia Browne's Failed Amanda Berry Prediction Returns To Haunt Her

        Posted: 05/09/2013 6:09 pm EDT | Updated: 05/09/2013 7:52 pm EDT
        Psychic Sylvia Browne is under fire after incorrectly claiming years
        ago that kidnapping victim Amanda Berry was dead.

        Celebrity psychic Sylvia Browne is doing damage control over a
        prediction made nearly 10 years ago claiming Ohio kidnapping victim
        Amanda Berry was dead, but her actions may represent a watershed
        moment in how Americans view psychics.

        "The [Ariel Castro abduction] is a test case for all psychics," said
        Joe Nickell, editor of Skeptical Inquirer, a magazine that encourages
        science-based analysis of paranormal and fringe-science claims. "Why
        didn't one psychic wake up in the middle of the night and know where
        they were?"

        Browne told Louwana Miller, the mother of Amanda Berry, on "The
        Montel Williams Show" in 2004: "She's not alive, honey. Your
        daughter's not the kind who wouldn't call," The Atlantic Wire
        reported. Berry was kidnapped 10 years ago and was found alive on Monday.

        Browne responded with an official statement to The Huffington Post
        earlier this week that included this line: "Only God is right all the time."

        For more than 50 years as a spiritual psychic and guide, when
        called upon to either help authorities with missing person cases or
        to help families with questions about their loved ones, I have been
        more right than wrong. If ever there was a time to be grateful and
        relieved for being mistaken, this is that time. Only God is right all
        the time. My heart goes out to Amanda Berry, her family, the other
        victims and their families. I wish you a peaceful recovery.

        Browne has estimated an 87-to-90 percent success rate with cold
        cases, but Skeptical Inquirer did a 2010 analysis of 115 predictions
        she made on "The Montel Williams Show" and put her success rate at zero.

        Nickell has also headed projects researching the success rate of
        psychics working on police investigations, and found no substantial
        evidence of their effectiveness. However, he concedes that some
        investigators will accept psychic assistance as a very last resort.

        "One detective, a homicide commander, told me, 'you can be skeptical,
        but when you have a distraught family and a psychic has convinced
        them they have clues, it's hard to refuse,'" Nickell told HuffPost.

        Problem is, according to Nickell, many of the so-called "clues"
        offered by the psychics are too vague to be of use. Once the police
        find out the answers through legitimate police work, the vague clues
        might seem to fit after the fact, a process he calls "retrofitting."

        Parapsychology researcher Ben Radford, a deputy editor at Skeptical
        Inquirer, said that anytime there is a high-profile, missing-person
        case, psychics and mediums come out of the woodwork.

        "We call them 'grief vampires'," he told HuffPost. "But every single
        time, the psychics fail to find the person."

        Browne is also drawing criticism from other psychics like Craig
        Weiler, who said Browne's callous prediction to Berry's now-deceased
        mom crossed a line, possibly doing "harm to the family." He advises
        mediums to use disclaimers.

        "They need to say, 'this is my impression' or 'this is my truth,'"
        Weiler told HuffPost. "Something like 'this is what I feel' is OK ..."

        Weiler runs a blog that attempts to explain scientific studies of
        parapsychology in layman's terms, but said off-the-cuff predictions
        make things harder for people like him who are trying to demonstrate
        psychic ability is real.

        "Failed predictions that are so high-profile are a pain in the ass,"
        Weiler said. "There's a public perception that psychics are fake.
        They're not, but it hurts."

        Weiler said it's just as unfair to judge psychics by one big failed
        prediction as it is to judge them by one successful one. "That's the
        problem scientifically," he said. "In order to tell how good she is,
        you need both success and failures."

        Browne is attracting comments to her Facebook and Twitter pages like,
        "What do you have to say for yourself? What a horrible horrible thing
        to say to a family holding on to nothing but hope and faith" and "Can
        you admit that you're a hack now?" according to RawStory.com

        D.J. Grothe, president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, an
        organization that works to stop paranormal and pseudoscientific
        frauds and has long criticized Browne, said this latest psychic
        scandal is even more reprehensible than others.

        "It's not just her lack of success that bothers me. It's that she
        deigns to give so-called psychic or spiritual advice to people when
        they're at their lowest and hurting most," he told HuffPost by email.
        "How reprehensible for this TV psychic to disrupt criminal
        investigations or cause a family to lose hope about their missing
        loved ones like that."

        Grothe said he wouldn't have as many problems with psychic performers
        if they would tell people their predictions are "for entertainment
        purposes only" and if they refused to offer spiritual guidance or
        psychic advice in any form.

        One personality who does that is the Amazing Kreskin who has done
        hundreds of performance art shows similar to magic for more than 40 years.

        Kreskin said he has helped the police with 84 crime cases, but
        acknowledges that he was only helpful one-third of the time. "I can
        help potential witnesses uncover information they didn't realize they
        had," Kreskin said.

        However, Kreskin said that any mentalist, psychic or medium who
        suggests someone is dead without physical evidence is on shaky
        ethical ground. "It's the height of irresponsibility and it
        indirectly aids the criminal because the people who believe the
        psychic may have less of a reason to continue to search for the
        victim," he said.

        Sherry Cole, Amanda Berry's cousin, told HuffPost that the family "in
        no way blames Sylvia," but Weiler still believes anyone claiming to
        be psychic needs to be responsible about how they use their abilities.

        "They need to be truthful," he said. "They're not 100 percent. They
        should say, 'this is what I feel is happening,' but that's it."

        CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that
        D.J. Grothe would be OK with psychics if they said their predictions
        were "for entertainment purposes" only. Grothe stresses that they
        shouldn't offer spiritual or psychic advice either.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/sylvia-brownes-amanda-perry-psychic_n_3240157.html?1368137363

        "Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil". -Thomas Mann


      • Julienne
        ... No, Edgar, I wouldn t even attempt to make such a prediction . I think this kind of prediction is cruel. Sylvia Brown always looks to me as though she is
        Message 3 of 3 , May 14, 2013
          At 06:16 AM 5/11/2013, Edgar Owen wrote:


          >Julienne,
          >
          >Thanks for this informative objective post for a change.
          >
          >Though somehow I suspect you'll soon be telling us you predicted
          >where they were and when they would be found from their astrological charts?
          >
          >Edgar

          No, Edgar, I wouldn't even attempt to make such a "prediction". I
          think this kind of prediction is cruel. Sylvia Brown always looks to
          me as though she is disengaged - not even involved in the predictive
          declarations she makes - even bored. I find her to have no integrity.

          I'm an astrologer, Edgar, not a psychic. One of the problems is that
          so many of these people, like Sylvia Brown, pretend to be
          astrologers, but they're not. It is people like Sylvia who are the
          shameless scam artists.

          Sylvia says psychics aren't always right - so why make such a cruel
          prediction - that Amanda Berry was dead, when she couldn't be sure?
          Such cold arrogance is irresponsible and disturbing. It's also
          heartless and cold. There's an element of self-aggrandisement -
          wanting attention for herself instead of having empathy for the
          people for whom she makes such pronouncements.

          Have you ever seen her on TV? S looks to me as though she's bored to
          tears, with clearly no respect for or connection to, the people in
          her audience.


          Julienne








          >On May 10, 2013, at 11:05 AM, Julienne wrote:
          >
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>Sylvia Browne's Failed Amanda Berry Prediction Returns To Haunt Her
          >>
          >>Posted: 05/09/2013 6:09 pm EDT | Updated: 05/09/2013 7:52 pm EDT
          >>Psychic Sylvia Browne is under fire after incorrectly claiming years
          >>ago that kidnapping victim Amanda Berry was dead.
          >
          >"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil". -Thomas Mann
          >
          >
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