Because I have posted so many times about psychics and seers, I feel I should mention the passing of one of the best known of these folks, Sylvia Browne. She died last week at the age of 77. That's interesting because she had predicted she would die at 88. Of course many of those who wrote of her death played on the "she didn't see it coming" theme. Fair enough, it seems. According to her website, which I checked when I learned of her death, she was booking reservations for an upcoming March cruise with her fans. Obviously she wasn't planning on dying any time soon, but, as she said about other of her misforecasts, for example, telling the distraught mother of Amanda Berry that her daughter was dead (when we now know she wasn't) "only God is right all the time."
It is hard for me to understand how she was able to amass such a following, especially in view of her constant miscues. She managed to get herself banned from the Coast To Coast AM radio program - something that would seem hard to do in view of the many bizarre subjects they discuss. (She had predicted on air that some trapped miners in the Sago Mine would be found alive and rescued. They were not (except for a lone survivor), and that was discovered, again, while they were on air.)
She was friend of Montel Williams and a frequent guest on his talk show. Her sheer audacity bluffed many, I suppose. A friend of mine, quite gullible but extremely sweet, made the comment to me as we were discussing the psychic's latest appearance there, "she must really have a gift from God." I told her that I didn't think so. And I don't.
She wrote a host of books as a supposed authority on spirituality and such, many touted as bestsellers, with interesting titles such as.Contacting Your Spirit Guide, Life on the Other Side: A Psychic's Guide to the Afterlife, All Pets Go To Heaven: The Spiritual Live of the Animals We Love, Past Lives of the Rich and Famous, Phenomenon: Everything You Need To Know About The Paranormal, Sylvia Browne's Book of Angels, to name just a handful.
Is there any reason to think her ideas presented in those books are any more accurate than her predictions? I think not. Truly it can be said that if there is anything at all on the "other side," Ms. Browne is in a much better position now to know than she was when she penned her many books.
My opinion is that Browne was just an audacious fraud who preyed on the vulnerable and gullible. I can't find myself charitable enough to cut her slack as being a sincere but deluded believer. She knew her track record. She knew she wasn't able to predict the future. Yet she raked in tons of money giving private readings to folks who should have known better.
It isn't that I take pleasure in her death. At the same time I can't feel sorrow that her activities as a "psychic" have now ended.