Niagara Gazette

July 12, 2013

Group to picket outside Sylvia Browne's Falls show on Saturday

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

She may or may not have seen this coming but members of the Center for Inquiry Canada will be demonstrating outside Seneca Niagara Casino Saturday night to protest Sylvia Browne's show. The self-proclaimed psychic medium will be on stage at 8 p.m. A representative for the group says demonstrators intend to provide information about Browne's tactics and her history of spectacularly incorrect predictions.

In a release, the group says: You may already know Browne from her recurrent appearances on The Montel Williams Show and Larry King Live. She has made millions from the claim that she has psychic abilities, including the ability to communicate with the dead; for example, she has been known to charge rates exceeding $1,500 per hour for personal telephone readings. 

Although her star fell after the Montel and King shows went off the air, Browne again made news this past May after the rescue of three kidnapped women in Cleveland. The mother of Amanda Berry, one of the Cleveland victims, appeared on Montel in 2004 after the investigative trail about Amanda's disappearance had gone cold. Browne confidently told the mother that "she's not alive, honey."

Amanda's 2013 rescue ultimately and happily proved Browne wrong, but unfortunately far too late for Amanda's mother, who died in 2006 believing that she could never again see her daughter alive. According to a Cleveland Plain Dealer journalist who covered the disappearance, the experience on Montel took away "her final hope."

This is only the most recent example of Browne getting it so wrong: dozens more have been catalogued by skeptical observers. 

"We are of the considered opinion that Browne's performances amount to little more than an educated guessing game. The foundation of her success is the exploitation of intense grief and common errors of human psychology," said Steve Livingston, co-chair, Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism, for the group.