by Jamie Hale
Psychic busted again
The following quote is from Consumer Health Digest #10-07
February 18, 2010 (Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D)
”A detailed three-year study of alleged psychic Sylvia Browne's predictions about missing persons and murder cases has found that despite her repeated claims to be more than 85% correct, ‘Browne has not even been mostly correct in a single case.’ The study's authors collected Browne's televised statements about 115 cases and compared them with newspaper reports that are believed to be factual. They found that in 25 cases where the actual outcome is known, she was dead wrong in every one; and in the rest, where the final outcome is unknown, her predictions could not be substantiated. The study indicates that the media outlets that repeatedly promote Browne's work have no visible concern about whether she is untrustworthy or harms people.”
[Shafer R, Jadwiszczok A. Psychic defective: Sylvia Browne's history of failure. Skeptical Inquirer 34(2):38-42, 2010]
Sylvia Browne is the so-called psychic that has made numerous appearances on the Montel Williams show. The following quote is from the Stop Sylvia Browne website, “On February 6 2007, Lt. Colonel Hal Bidlack (Ret) mailed a letter to Montel Williams, asking him some serious questions regarding Williams' continued support of Sylvia Browne.” http://stopsylvia.com/articles/montelresponsetoopenletter.shtml
Sylvia’s predictions have proven highly unreliable, but she still charges $850 for a phone reading. However, she is Sylvia Browne- a real psychic- and “Unlike some pseudo-psychics who tell people that their problems are caused by curses, evil entities, demons, or karmic retribution neither Sylvia nor Chris will blame the negative occurrences on your life on these things, and each of them feel it is important to advise their clients to not believe in such things. They do not exist.” http://readings.sylviabrowne.com/#promos
If I could ask Sylvia (the real psychic) one question, it would be- why haven’t you collected the one million dollars James Randi has been offering you for years? If you really believe in your psychic ability why not make an easy million?
In 2001, Sylvia said she would take Randi up on his one million dollar challenge- a challenge that states if you can demonstrate supernatural abilities in a controlled scientific study you will receive one million dollars. At this time, Browne has still not taken the challenge. She has made various excuses for why she hasn’t participated in the challenge. To entice Browne, Randi even changed the rules of the challenge when he offered to put the money in an escrow account and make Montel Williams and Larry King, both Browne supporters, the escrow agents
Check out Robert S. Lancaster’s website
Stop Sylvia Browne
Fitness expert in the hott seat!
So-called fitness expert from NBC-TV’s reality show, “The Biggest Loser” is being sued for falsely advertising that her “Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control” will provide “automatic” weight loss if taken before meals. “Christie Christensen of Lake Elsinore, California has filed a class-action lawsuit against Jillian Michaels and two companies [Thincare International and Basic Research, LL] that market her products”
False advertising by weight loss, or supplement companies is nothing new. It may actually be the norm. This doesn’t make it right, but, in my opinion it means many other celebs and companies should also be sued.
Let me make it clear, I am not defending Michaels or her false assertions. I think Michaels should be fined and barred from the fitness industry, along with others participating in false ad campaigns.