Psychics are Full of Shit!

Here’s an article I wrote for the Union Newspaper:

I am sure many of you have heard about the Shawn Hornbeck case over the past week or so, but if you haven’t here is the scoop: About four years ago an eleven year old boy named Shawn Hornbeck was kidnapped. His parents and the authorities searched for him, and eventually gave up. A few weeks ago, they found him alive and well. There is a lot of interesting debate about why he didn’t leave sooner, since apparently he had many opportunities, but I am not interested in discussing the Stockholm syndrome or leaping on the blame-the-victim-bandwagon. No, who I want to talk about is a lying, ravenous crook named Sylvia Browne. Browne claims to be a psychic, garnering such skills as ESP, Clairvoyance, and the ability to chat with the deceased in her repertoire of deceit. Sylvia is loved by many, and she presumably rakes in a pretty penny. So, what does she have to do with any of this? She was dead wrong about Shawn Hornbeck. Shortly after his kidnapping, Shawn Hornbeck’s parents, obviously grief-stricken and desperate for answers, went to a taping of the Montel Williams show where Browne was scheduled to appear. The Hornbecks inquired about their son, and Browne (remember she is a psychic), confidently explained that he was “no longer with us,” and that his body was located in a field, or a meadow of some sort, between two oddly placed rocks. If that wasn’t bad enough, she felt compelled to describe Shawn’s abductor as dark Hispanic man with dreadlocks. In the real world, Shawn is alive, has a lip ring, and the man who abducted him was a fat white asshole with a patchy beard. Can Hispanic guys even grow dreadlocks? Some psychic.

This is, of course, not her first unforgivable blunder. For instance, a few years ago – shortly after she insisted upon a McCain vs. Kerry presidential race in ’04 – Browne assured her audience, and the news media, that all but one of the victims of a tragic Virginia mining accident were alive. That simply was not the case, and shortly after Brown made her statement of clairvoyance, it was reported that all the members of the mining crew had perished and had been dead for some time. Similarly, she once insisted on the Montel Williams show that a bereaved couple’s daughter had been shot. Unfortunately for Browne, she misread the couple’s question, assuming that their daughter was missing. She wasn’t, she was found dead in her bedroom with no apparent cause of death. If she’d been shot, it seems that the parents just might have noticed the bleeding hole in her skull. Browne proceeded to back pedal, insisting desperately that the child had been shot or struck in some way – perhaps during school sport. Nice try, Ms. Browne, trying to save your ass with vague language. Or, there was the time that she suggested to the grandmother of a missing child that her grandaughter, whose body was found later not far from her home, had been sold into “some sort of slavery-thing” in Japan. There are more. I suggest Youtube. Browne is usually wrong. When she is right, which isn’t very often, it can be attributed to pure chance.

People like Sylvia Browne, John Edwards (see South Park, “The Biggest Douche in the Universe.”), and, as far as I can tell, all alleged “psychics” and purveyors of the supernatural willing to take your money are tricksters and frauds. The rest are, in all likelyhood, deluded. They use techniques like cold reading, pre-acquired data, and vague language to fool people, and subsequently empty their pocket-books, usually during times of extreme emotional vulnerability. Some of these “psychics,” while they won’t admit that they are fakes, suggest that they do a service to people. They say that they help people get through periods of grief, but I can’t see how telling an old woman that her grand daughter has been sold into slavery would work to that end. I fail to see how spending 750 dollars to talk on the phone with Sylvia Browne for 20 minutes would help, either. Unless, of course, the goal is to help Sylvia Browne.



8 Responses to “Psychics are Full of Shit!”

  1. Roy Says:

    Nice Sean, nice.

  2. dreadlocks Says:



  3. Sarah Says:

    I completely agree with you. The article is very well written and you have a lot of ridiculous examples to back up your argument. It just proves that there are a lot of brainwashed, one-dimensional type people out there just clueless enough to buy into her bull.

  4. Aaron Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. It is a case of wanting to believe and when you are dealing with people at an emotionally vulnerable time, it is unforgivable to rinse them when they are down.

    In classic days of old, these witchdoctor fraudsters would have been hung high for this. I don’t condone a death penalty, but at least throw these jerks in prison for a year or two, unless of course they can irrefutably prove what claim is true, that is a trial I would love to see.

  5. mortimer dedmann Says:

    yeah…sylvia browne once said that bigfoot is a paranormal being with the ability to appear and disappear, shapeshift, travel between dimensions, etc.
    What a crock of horseshit…that woman has no extraordinary talent other than her ability to con people.

  6. Starr E Says:

    I am a Christian, one that really doesn’t agree with alot of things in the secular world. But Sean, I agree with you 100%. I worked on a tv set and there is a psychic involved that just sounds utterly ridiculous. Telling these poor stupid naive people that their parents are coming to them through the dog and stupid shit like that. Thanks for the article

  7. Hades Says:

    >>Telling these poor stupid naive people that their parents are coming to them through the dog and stupid shit like that.

    About as stupid as saying there is a heaven and a hell and a god who actually punishes those who don’t believe in his son being nailed to bits of wood as punishment for humanity by sending 90% of the human race to suffer in torment for eternity. Suddenly their beliefs don’t appear so wacky now, do they?

  8. PhoenixJade Says:

    I completely understand your story and by no means find it appealing that Ms. Browne and other money hungry individuals do this, however, don’t let it tarnish the possibilities. There are many individuals out there with abilities, to be quite frank, we all have these cognitive, intuitive, empathic abilities. The levels to which we may understand them varies. To pay someone for something you already have is ridiculous. Many are misinformed about their feelings and/or gut feelings. We naturally have radars which allow us the opportunity to know right from wrong, which affords us the visions of what will happen if we choose path a or b. A mother’s connection with her children and knowing when one of them may be in harms way or ill is natural. A wife/husband feeling when something is wrong with their significant other or if they were in a accident, etc. is natural. Natural abilities come randomly unless one studies how to improve them or just naturally has the ability to teach yourself to work with them and/or advance them. I know many people who don’t charge for their abilities, however, I also know that because it can be a rather time consuming effort to help many different individuals, one may have to make it a full time job. This would entail opening a store or something to that nature where you may be able to provide products for individuals to help them help themselves with their abilities. Even in this case scenario, I still don’t believe that information that a person receives freely should be charged to give to others, especially when to some degree we are privileged to this information. Unfortunately, there are many individuals out there posing to be something they aren’t. Most of these individuals have the abilities and are sensitive to them on a greater level, but to manipulate the masses while profiting from their weakness is immoral. A true “Psychic” also knows that things come from all directions, not just that which lays in front of you as obvious. Without getting into the philosophical aspects or the metaphysical quantum physics and the like, likes just say, nothing is written in stone, destiny changes on a daily basis.

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