Beware of Queen of Celebrity Psychics – Sylvia Browne
According to Sylvia Browne’s website, she’s a spiritual teacher and psychic. People can join her inner circle for $49.95/year and buy her books, jewelry, newsletter and other items. Currently, her fee for a reading that lasts for a maximum of 1/2 hour has a sale price of $795 instead of $850. There’s one free cassette tape of the reading, but it’s not guaranteed to be delivered by mail or against any malfunctioning. She founded the Society of Novus Spiritus, alleging it’s a Gnostic Church. In 2004, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, reported member Browne earned a minimum of $847 for each talk show appearance.
Allegations of Browne’s Inaccurate Readings Documented
Browne was a frequent guest on the defunct The Montel Williams Show. She gave misinformation about murder and missing person cases, ghosts and medical advice, practicing medicine without a license. She claims to be over 85% accurate. The most extensive study of Browne’s predictions about missing person and murder cases reveals a major discrepancy. Research confirmed that in 115 cases, Browne’s confirmable accuracy was 0%.
Browne’s False Readings Cause Emotional Distress
Browne did a reading for Opal Jo Jennings, who wanted to know what happened to her six-year-old granddaughter who was abducted from her yard. She told Jennings that the girl was put into a slavery ring in Japan. Jennings’ remains were, later, discovered. Browne said missing Holly Krewson was in Los Angeles, a drug addict and working in an adult entertainment club. Holly had already been murdered. Eleven-year old Shawn Hornbeck vanished while riding his bicycle. In February 2003, his parents asked Browne what happened to him. She said he was dead and described his murderer in detail. Later, Browne contacted his parents to say she would help for a fee. Shawn had been kidnapped and found alive in January 2007. When proved wrong, Browne simply sloughed it off.
Former Minister of Browne’s Church Receives Reading
The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, requested a $500 reading from Chris Dufresne because she couldn’t afford one from his mother. She was in a bad marriage. Dufresne told her that her husband was in a mid-life crisis and it would end in a year, both of which were wrong. Her legs were becoming numb and the numbness was progressing. Dufresne said she was “fine.” A surgeon found a tumor at the base of her spine which required surgery. She emailed Browne about the operation who wrote that she would be “fine.” The woman still had physical problems after the post-surgery rehab.
Browne’s Felony Conviction of Fraud
The June 6, 1992 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Browne and, then husband, Kensil Brown, were arraigned in a case of six counts of grand theft and investment fraud. They, allegedly, sold securities for a gold mining venture under false pretenses. According to the criminal complaint filed in Santa Clara County California Superior Court, the couple told investors their money would pay for the mine’s operating expenses. It was alleged that they transferred at least $27,000 to their Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research’s, forerunner of the Society of Novus Spiritus, account, founded in 1974. One month after the transfer, the Browns declared bankruptcy in the mining venture.
According to a plea bargain, grand theft and other charges were dropped on the condition the Browns pay back all money to the victims before their Superior Court sentencing in September. Sylvia paid the restitution and was sentenced to one year’s probation for selling securities without a permit. Kensil was sentenced to four months in jail and three years’ probation. Obviously, the totality of this escapade isn’t in any of Browne’s books. She wrote about the bankruptcy in Adventures of a Psychic, demurring that she can’t be psychic about herself.
Is Browne Hazardous to People’s Health?
She told people dead loved ones are alive and in dire straits, as she did with readings about Jennings and Krewson, told Hornbeck’s parents he was murdered when he was alive and the former minster of her church that she would be “fine.” These caused considerable emotional distress, personal injury, the basis for exemplary damages awarded for pain and suffering. One must wonder how many other people she gave false “advice” to on TV shows have suffered physical injury due to this. Why have Montel Williams and others been silent about her dismal failures and consequences people have suffered because of heeding to her wrong “advice”?