Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

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Robert McDaniel
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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Robert McDaniel » November 18th, 2004, 6:11 pm

Well, I think everything's been said at this point. It's been a very enlightening discussion, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps it's time to end this thread. My thanks to everyone who responded. I think I certainly know the answer to my original question now, which was "Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Whew.... thanks again,
Robert

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Steve V » November 18th, 2004, 6:38 pm

Just to settle things for certain I went by her 'church' today. They told me she was completely legit, guess that resolves it.
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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 19th, 2004, 5:20 am

Originally posted by Robert McDaniel:
Well, I think everything's been said at this point. ...
Any idea what Sylvia's mother says?

Has anyone done an experiment where more than one medium channels the same spirit at the same time?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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AMCabral
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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby AMCabral » November 19th, 2004, 9:42 am

Originally posted by Robert McDaniel:
Well, I think everything's been said at this point. It's been a very enlightening discussion, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps it's time to end this thread. My thanks to everyone who responded. I think I certainly know the answer to my original question now, which was "Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Whew.... thanks again,
Robert
Much obliged.

And yet...

Special Agent Kreskin, at your service?

Somebody please tell me he's "entitled" to be on the payroll on account of his "earnestness"...

-Tony

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2004, 9:20 am

To the general populus and to no one in particular:

It is important to remember both views are equally valid and invalid. Both are perspectives, both are beliefs, boths rely on incomplete evidence, bias, and many other elements. Both postitions are incorrect, incomplete, yet both are often defended viciosuly by their adherents. Both positions have those who evangelically prosletize and dismiss the other side as wrong. Both have some elements about which they are correct and yet still incomplete. And therein is the rub.

Those wedded to eitehr position rarely realize that there is more to a world view than their own limited view, their own mind set, their own position and belief structure and hence few make little headway into actual progress, personal evolution and development.

Far better to be open to possibility that may not ever occur than closed to it as impossibility.
Better for the mind, and for one's health.

Narrowmindedness, intolerance demonstrated by both sides, and in challenges, and in debunking,
and in blind believership of either position does little to further human kind.

Taking away hope does little to help those suffering heal. Better to have false hope than no hope at all. LITERALLY. The body responds differently when hopeful than when not. Not only IS that scientific but it is also common sense.

A door open leads to other places a door closed secures you within - or without.

Open our minds, try on another point of view, it may not fit, but you will learn far more from the opposition's point than from defending your own again and again. Repetition is madness too when it gets us nowhere but back to square one.

Stop fighting about your beliefs of the world and open up to accept others.

Does ESP exist - yes and no.

Does ESP not exist - yes and no.

And both sides have proof. But both sides also refuse to examine each other's side openly and without prior bias. Hence... no one is satisfied.

And guess what - maybe, just maybe that is the way of the world, of the universe ... that the answer is a possibility - not a cut and dried black and white wither or, yes or no. Maybe a probablity, a slim next to none chance, a quantum description rather than a Newtonian one. Perhaps in all actuality it is a brlurr and not a clear deliniated, well bordered, crisp image-

perhaps that is the comos sense of humor - that we ultimately will never know - but we will kill each other over our point of view. Defend to the death the right of the other person to hold a position diametrically opposed to yours, adopt their map, think outside your box, try walking a mile in their shoes and you will puch your personal evolution envelope further than if you remain set in your ways.

Aging is the weeding out of behaviors - the ben there done that. It is the acceptance of letting other people actually think for you and basing conclusions on others expereince instead of actually expereinceing your own. It is forgeting you were a child and yelling at the kids to get the ball out of your yard because the grass is more important than the innocent play of a child.

The truth will never be one side or the other. We should stop trying to make it so.

And small feeble minds - those that parrot others, that get their experience vicariously bore me...

the live their lives by the decsions others have made. Sadly, they also seem to yell the loudest and argue their believes more than others.

Who are the gullible - those who believe others, quote others, on either side. Sure we can use whatever evidence to prop up our argument, we can quote science, scientists, philosphgers, religous people, friends, family and foes etc. etc.
but realize that it is always incomplete and innacuate.

You know what I learned most in college. THat data could be fudged, falsified and accepted. That I could argue whatever I wanted and find eveidence for it and support for it and that it could be reviewede and accepted even if I purposefully presented a false premise, thesis, or data.

Scientists could be fooled. researchers could be fooled, not unlike the alpha project - but guess what so are philosophers, politicians, religions icons, and every day people. Police are fooled, FBI, and house wives. We are all gullible and guilty of acting as if we aren't. We all think we have the correct view, the right statistic, the critical, skeptical, rational, mind.

Hey we are all wrong more often than not. Let's accept it, face it, cut each other some slack and move forward.

You want to believe in PSI - MORE POWER TO YOU.

You don't want to believe in PSI - MORE POWER TO YOU.

Just let the other side believe what they want too and we will have a friendly, more tolerant open place - and while the verdict is still out - because after all it truly is - STILL OUT.

And we will do more to find the truth when we are open to it - than when we close are minds and refuse the possibility.

2 more cents by Rex


PS You know who can really be fooled - anyone on this forum.

Anyone that says a magician is equipped to do anything other than entertainer...

because that is what each field says about themselves. Doctors know better than anyone, Law enforcement knows better than... scientists are better than...

don't believe for a second that any of us are actually better equipped...

we are all subject to thinking, believing and doing absolutely foolish things.

PSS I especially detest pompous magicians who think they know it all to claim to have the ultimate truth of any matter. They are as bad as the people the criticize - opposite side of the fense - same small minds.

So I repeat emphatically: we are all subject to thinking, believing and doing absolutely foolish things.

Guest

Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2004, 9:01 pm

regarding the original question:

Crusty old fraud, shameless old-school gypsy,and obviously fake/bad cold-reader with attitude and superior-tude exuding from every pore...and now rich, cause Montel is no fool either, and will put her up often because of ratings: Montel Williams;a gutless Springer who would rather have Brown than a good fight on the show. Thus, he is the intellectual, and she is the Master Psychic. He is too intelligent to NOT know who/what she is, and is selling out his audience for a rating point. Both are shameless. God'll get 'em.

Guest

Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2004, 10:58 am

Great topic! Great insight! What does this say about magicians????? I'm going to print this discussion and show it to every non-magician I can think of and get some feed back. I'll post the comments over the next week.

The question will be simple?....

1. What does this topic say about magicians?


In regards to Sylvia Browne... If she's a fake....(I can't say if she is or isn't at this point)... I just know she has a HUGE fan base and she has made a HUGE amount of money doing what she does best! She has impressed people from all walks of life. Her seminars are packed and when she's on TV, Montell's rating go up. So my question is, does it really matter?

From where I'm standing, it seems like we magicians knock our own system. We would rather write long essays on why someone else's act is fake, just to bring attention to ourselves (and our act).

Case in point, I was at the Magic Castle three weeks ago, and I sat next to a member that was trying to impress a woman by pointing out that the performer really couldn't read minds. He continued to tell her how he "forced the card" to control the results. I wanted to smack the guy, until I saw the look on the woman's face, which was one of complete bewilderment. She couldn't believe that her date, A CASTLE MEMBER was ruining the show! Of course he got the picture after she shhhhhhht him!

If anyone here is a big enough magician or skeptic to debunk Sylvia Browne(and get her fan base to turn on her)... please step up, because I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW THE SECRETS TO THE TRICKS OF HER TRADE....just so I can some of the crap to my little bag of tricks.

Quite Sincerely,
JM

P.S.- I still believe in God, how about the rest of you? Serious question! Are we so far advanced and educated that we can rightfully question the existence of GOD? HHHHHHHHM?

Guest

Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2004, 11:04 am

Tom....
If God is going to get them.... when? It seems like he's allowed both of them great success.

Then again.... That's what some of the good Christian folks use to tell me when I would show kids a few card tricks at church, "God's doesn't like that stuff son!", as they would usher off their kids after giving me the evil eye!

.....True story!

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 1st, 2004, 4:19 pm

Of course she's a damn fake: what kind of crap is this? Please don't tell me that anyone on this Forum is stupid enough to think that anyone can talk to the dead.
NO ONE CAN TALK TO DEAD PEOPLE.
Wake the hell up!
And I don't want anyone to confuse this idiocy with Gospel Magic: they are unrelated.
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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Gary Freed » December 1st, 2004, 4:59 pm

Richard,
Anyone can talk to the dead! It's the dead talking back that's crap

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby John Smetana » December 1st, 2004, 5:59 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
[QB] Of course she's a damn fake: what kind of crap is this? Please don't tell me that anyone on this Forum is stupid enough to think that anyone can talk to the dead.
NO ONE CAN TALK TO DEAD PEOPLE.
Wake the hell up!
QUOTE]

Paging Dan Rather..Paging Dan Rather..Tell Edward R to scare the crap out of Kaufman..Then he'll see the light...

All the best,
John Smetana

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 1st, 2004, 7:01 pm

Gary ... very funny (really).
I meant "talk" as in "have a conversation with."
Who is Edward R.?
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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2004, 10:10 pm

Richard,

Dan Rather is very recently quoted as saying he has spoken with the ghost of Edward R. Murrow in the halls of CBS. Apparrently, Murrow's editorial skills on the other side failed to augur him on the hazards of document manufacturing. . .

--Ron

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Bill Duncan » December 1st, 2004, 10:17 pm

Ron,
Sort of off topic, but how did Rather go from being fooled by fake documents to being referred to as the creator of same?

Guest

Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2004, 11:30 pm

Bill,

First (and Richard, feel free to zap this) I guess I should have specified that being journalistically involved with manufactured documents was the problem. So he's one handshake away from a Texas Kinkos. Sorry.

Dan Rather "fooled?" Yeah, CBS is doing their best to forge that little gem out of coal as well. A little too exculpatory for a guy who had everybody but his "source" and maybe Sylvia Brown warning him this was a time bomb.

Anyway, I was merely adding a bit of salt in the act of answering Richard's question.

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Robert Allen » December 2nd, 2004, 11:22 am

Flaming about Sylvia Browne talking to the dead makes about as much sense as flaming about priests or the Pope talking to God. Either is quite improbable, and both are why each has a large following. The whole thing reminds me of that joke about arguing with a pig...it wastes your time and annoys the pig. Or somesuch.

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 2nd, 2004, 11:39 am

Originally posted by rex sikes:
...The truth will never be one side or the other. We should stop trying to make it so....
This is not specifically pointed at Rex, though uses some common language that comes from NLP so's not to invalidate anyone elses perspective or faith.

Whose truth? My truth changes from time to time. Are we looking for a truth of the matter with a capital "T"?

Let's agree with the notion that one's map is not the territory and that none of our maps are identical.

Working from that notion of map, it remains a dishonest practice to do a center tear with someone else's map in order to convince them of something self serving.

For example, consider the following scenario:

To a widow: If I can get in touch with your dearly departed, I'd like to offer to manage the assets of your family as per their instructions. If you can remember something ONLY the two of you said to eachother... and focus on that, I will use my powers to seek them in the "fill in the blank". To help you focus on that word or phrase, please write it down. Sometimes seeing the words brings additional focus. ... fill in the rest of this con and let's discuss.

Was it wrong to use the center tear to offer solace? Was it wrong to offer some closure? Let's say you are good at managing finances... would it still be wrong to solicit a client in this way? How about if you are the head or representative of a foundation and use this procedure to solicit contributions? What if you use this procedure as part of a campaign to legitimize an organization? At what point have we disrespected their inner map of the world by subsuming it into an institutional belief system? This process makes them dependent upon the medium, or entrepreneur in an interesting way. Which will they lose first, their faith or their money?

It's all well and good to have voices that speak into your mind, and converse with such things. I'm not so sure it makes sense to claim those voices belong to someone else. Is it really the same person? How can we know this? Such a claim is exactly the kind of thing we have science to help sort out.

This was ecological for me. If there is a part of you that has concerns, ask it to type a reply so we can discuss.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Robert Allen » December 2nd, 2004, 1:02 pm

That's an interesting quesion Jonathan. I guess I'd have to say, "I think using the center tear or any similar method of gathering information to help you in your reading for the bereaved individual is wrong." Why? For the same reason I would object to a preacher or therapist doing the same thing. Let them offer succor, solace, and informed opionion. When you cross over into bolstering your case as it were, it's a very very slipperly slope, and it goes from providing comfort to them, to manipulating them. IMHO.

A counter argument to this would be something along the lines of "cold reading is a device just like the center tear". Well, not really IMHO. You are not gathering any secret info, no matter how good you are with cold reading, unlike using a device or technique such as the center tear.

Mankind has a tendency to 'game' any system put into place. Morals and self-restraint are the only thing that retards this behavior.

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Bill Hallahan » December 2nd, 2004, 1:45 pm

I make a distinction between people's belief in the Eastern philosophy of the uncaused cause, whether their belief is in a sentient being (or beings) or some other form of metaphysics and the belief in the abilities of specific people. People can be tested.

The reluctance of most purported psychics to accept the results of rational testing procedures defies credulity. How is a psychic able to demonstrate their apparent successes to people? Why do those abilities disappear when trickery is ruled out?

Without repeatability, reproducibility, and statistical significance, the ability is useless even if it exists.

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » December 4th, 2004, 7:57 am

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Of course she's a damn fake: what kind of crap is this? Please don't tell me that anyone on this Forum is stupid enough to think that anyone can talk to the dead.
NO ONE CAN TALK TO DEAD PEOPLE.
Wake the hell up!
And I don't want anyone to confuse this idiocy with Gospel Magic: they are unrelated.
I absolutely disagree with you Richard. It is the same as gospel magic - utiliizing magic as entertianment to illustrate how a god manifests with his/her people. It is about belief and one uses magic to convice or persuade or support that their religon is real. While they may claim they are only doing tricks and god does actual miracles they are fostering a belief in things unseen that asks people to donate money, time and effort. THey are furthering a belief system which may or may not be correct - any more than spiritualism.

Calling your people on this forum idiots and stupid is not the best way to behave. I would think you would encourage open discussion of opposong viewpoints even if they differ from yours.

But apparently not. And that is as sad as belief in talking with the dead.

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 4th, 2004, 8:37 am

Rex, if you can't see the difference between paying a charlatan money so that person can hustle you by making you believe they have communicated with your dead relatives, and gospel magic, then you just don't get it.
Gospel Magic is a performance of magic by someone who has been hired to entertain a group. It is simply another kind of magic show with a message that is thought to be more substantial than what they would perhaps consider "mere" entertainment.
Gospel magicians are not malicious con men and women who pray on the emotional vulnerability of victims and bilk them out of money in the process.
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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Robert Allen » December 4th, 2004, 10:03 am

True. The only comparison which could be made would be between 'psychics' and more traditional purveyers of belief such as preachers/priests/ministers. And having said that, I don't think anyone really wants to rathole on that comparison. It's all about faith and belief, and such things are IMHO beyond the domain of this board.

Gospel magic is just like Just Say No anti-drug magic: it's entertainment used to send a specific message.

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » December 4th, 2004, 10:12 am

I'd have to agree with Rex. Nobody can prove that any one religion is more real than another. How is Spiritualism any less real than Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, etc.? So if the practicioners and promoters of Spiritualism are somehow guilty of being con-artists, then so are the promoters of Christianity. That would include gospel magicians.

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Ian Kendall » December 4th, 2004, 10:50 am

Quote: Nobody can prove that any one religion is more real than another

Maybe so, but they do make a good point of proving the unreality of all religions themselves. By their own tenets, if one religion is 'right' then _all_ the others are wrong, which is a fairly arrogant assumption at the best of times. For example, if the Romans had the 'right' religion, what were the South American Indians doing worshipping Quetzcoatl and the like? And if they are both wrong, what do the Hindus (or any other polytheisic system you care to mention) have to say? Unless of course religions are just a way for less advanced civilizations to explain the unexplainable.

As magicians we know of the need for an answer, however unfeasable that may be. My mainstay is the muscle pass/coin that falls up. I've had many people _tell_ me I've got a magnet implanted in my hand - never mind that the coin is not ferrous, or no magnet would be strong enough to lift a coin eighteen inches off my hand - they _need_ an answer and so they provide one for themselves.

However many thousand years ago people needed an answer as to how the sun comes up in the morning, what the stars are or why volcanos erupt. Without the benefit of the knowledge we now have they made up the answers they needed. As a testament to how similar this need is, groups in areas separated by vast distances (for example the Romans and the Incas), who could never have made contact, have similar pantheons of gods.

Magicians, of all people, have a better insight to this than most. We know that supernatural acts (Magic, to use the catch all term) are realised through trickery and deception. _We_ know that objects do not dissappear, in fact our whole reason d'etre centres on lies and illusion.

Gospel magicians are no different to Trade show workers; both use the effect as a transport for the message, and while you may not agree with their single minded zeal, trade show workers have to eat as well.

Psychics, on the other hand, are (in my opinion) misrepresenting themselves. There is a big difference between 'this billiard ball represents a load of bread and - hey! Now there's seven of them' and 'I've had a wee chat with your dead mother and she hates your new curtains'.

Take care, Ian

By way of disclosure - of my circle of friends there are several funamentalist Christians, a couple of Muslims and a few athiests and you know what? It's not an issue, because we don't make it one. It's a question of respecting each other as people. But then again, none of us tries to convert the others...

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » December 4th, 2004, 11:38 am

So it appears that we agree Ian.
1) More than likely ALL religions are wrong.
2) People need an answer.

Assuming that the psychic actually believes they are real, what is the problem? Sure, there are a lot of psychics who are con-artists, although not all of them. And unless they are using deceptive methods that can be exposed, nobody can be sure. As we all know, a lot of traditional religous leaders have been known to also use deception. Some of it outright evil and some of it accepted by the administration and leaders of the "church".

No difference IMO between spiritualism and religion. They all claim to have the answers to death.

Guest

Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Guest » December 4th, 2004, 12:00 pm

I say they are in fact the same - different methods for certain, but both prosletyze for a cause or a religion - in which the end result is to give money or tithe or better yet adopt a belief system, a lifestyle and manner of thinking and behaving.

Some talk to the dead - some talk to god, jesus, angels, budha, vishnu, the great pumpkin or matzo man. When anyone understakes to promote a belief system by what ever means they are an agent of that belief system. Whether they calim they do tricks, presnt the porgram like D.A.R.E. or do a gypsy switch - the fact remains that they are encouraging a belief in things which may or may not be.

My original post was that - none of us have the final answer. we may think we do, act as if we do and insist that others see as we do - but point of fact - we just don't. And to claim we have the final is just as deceptive as anyone else's claims.

BUT I am not opposed to gosepel magicians or psychics. I say anything is possible.

Now if someone is using a trick to get them to believe in some and invest in something then that is fraudulent.

If someone genuinely believes they communicate with the dead - or a psychic, if they do tea leaves, tarot or whatever, then they are following their religion just as the rest do.

And to attack another's religion whatever that is - is not justified. And that is what apepars to be going on here. Perhaps not, but it seems dangerously close to label someone a frraud becasue you disagree with their parctice.

I don't care for Sylvia Brown - of all of them I consider her the most questionable - but I am not going to say that those people who listen to her, pay her, read her books are idiots any more than those that practice christianity, judasim, hindusim or atheism.

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Re: Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 4th, 2004, 2:20 pm

Well, I have the final answer for me and anyone else whose head is properly screwed on and isn't suffering from delusions: no one can have a conversation with the dead or tell you what dead people are ostensibly saying to them. It's utter [censored].
Topic closed.
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