People Are Pissed at Sylvia Browne. Again.

Despite an abrasive personality and abominable track record for predicting pretty much anything, human lamprey and supposed psychic Sylvia Browne has successfully supped upon the misery of the desperate for decades now. Inexplicable as it may seem, there are those who continue to respond angrily every time another one of her psychic messages fails to deliver. The most recent episode of public outrage has occurred in the aftermath of the Cleveland kidnapping.

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  • echar

    It saddens me that I know some people who almost worship this person.

  • echar

    It saddens me that I know some people who almost worship this person.

  • HateToNeedToDoThis BecauseOfYo

    this video auto-plays when the page is open. which is super annoying when the person next to you is trying to sleep.

    • http://www.sacredgeometryinternational.com/ Camron Wiltshire

      Sorry, didn’t realize how bad the issue was. I was watching on my phone and didn’t have it start as soon as I visited disinfo. Apologies, so often people give Matt shit without considering it may be out of his control.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      this is a really troubling development. I actually force-quit my browser because of this auto play. Couldn’t tell where the audio was coming from until I rebooted, and then scrolled down to find the offending video.

      If I wanted to hear people’s unsolicited voices talking at me I’d listen to the radio or watch tv.

    • Matt Staggs

      Doesn’t autoplay here. I’m sorry about that. Had I been aware of the problem I would have tried to take measures to ensure that didn’t happen. Apologies to your bed-mate.

  • HateToNeedToDoThis BecauseOfYo

    this video auto-plays when the page is open. which is super annoying when the person next to you is trying to sleep.

  • BuzzCoastin

    well, it’s not like she didn’t see this backlash coming
    that’s the benefit of being psycho

  • DrDavidKelly

    Should have consulted Derren Brown instead.

  • VaudeVillain

    I’ve figured out a surefire way to figure out the frauds:

    If somebody claims to have supernatural powers, then tries to make money by telling other people about these powers, it’s a scam.

    If Sylvia Browne were actually a psychic, she could make money by just reading minds and predicting the future. It’s trivially easy to think of ways this could be done: betting on sporting events, investing in stocks (or shorting ones that are about to bust), winning the lottery… I’m not even getting creative here, there are an absurd number of directions this could go.

    Instead, she has chosen to make money by talking about how psychic she is and charging people large sums of money to tell them information that has no intrinsic value. This is decidedly the hard way, and people don’t generally do things the hard way unless they are insane or stupid. I guess her adherents are welcome to argue that she isn’t a fraud, just insane and/or stupid, but I’m not sure that’s a direction most of them want to go.

    • kowalityjesus

      We should not assume that powers granted by unseen forces will be so “pragmatic” in a worldly sense.

      That being said, Deuteronomy 18:20 states that the sentence for a false prophet is DEATH.

      • VaudeVillain

        “We should not assume that powers granted by unseen forces will be so “pragmatic” in a worldly sense.”

        Fair enough, but I think it’s fair to evaluate the rationality of a person’s actions within the bounds of what they claim to do. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense that psychic powers can reveal sexual affairs or the details of a murder or allow communication with the dead for the purpose of assuaging guilt, but that that they can’t reveal anything that an even slightly clever person could use to make money. And if the problem is that these powers are resistant to being exploited for profit, then I don’t see how invoicing people for using them is acceptable.

        The problem I see with most of these claims is that they not only fail to jive with the rest of reality, but in general they lack even basic internal coherence.

        “That being said, Deuteronomy 18:20 states that the sentence for a false prophet is DEATH.”

        YIKES! I’m all for publicly criticizing people, and even criminal prosecution for fraud where appropriate… but death? You’re on your own there.

        • kowalityjesus

          I was indeed being facetious, though citing a wise source.

          I think the chicken came before the egg on this one. I will believe that certain individuals are invested with a powerful spiritual consciousness which concerns itself primarily with the nuance that is of greatest gravity on a plane intangibly removed from most aspects of our lives. I will cite Jesus’s notion that the rich man has roughly a ‘snowball’s chance in hell’ of going to heaven as an authority in the idea that the volition behind ‘revealed esoteric premonition of the unseen world’ probably has little gravity in concerning itself with capitalistic matters. That being said, I think a person probably loses all or most of her credibility from her obfuscated sources when she engages in this exploitative brand of hoopla.

          • VaudeVillain

            I figured as much, but you have to understand that it is personal policy that, when confronted by somebody citing Deuteronomy or Leviticus, my response is to back away slowly as if from a potentially rabid dog. One can never be too careful.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            Luckily he doesn’t post in all caps, either!

          • kowalityjesus

            lol

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