Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yes, Sylvia Browne Told Amanda Berry's Mother She Was Dead

This is for everyone putting Sylvia Browne into search engines and hitting our site. YES, Sylvia Browne did tell Amanda Berry's mother that she was dead in 2004 on Montel William's show.  For those of you saying, "Who cares about Sylvia Browne?" I say to our surprise as well  a majority of people find us through searching for Sylvia Browne and have been since we first wrote about her in 2009. People are googling her name constantly and we'd rather they find this information than hers.

We are all extremely happy that Georgina "Gina" de Jesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight were all recently found alive and well here in Cleveland. It is wonderful this is one of those rare occasions when someone is missing for so long but eventually safely re-unites with their loved ones (Edit- It is with great sadness to report that Amanda Berry's mother who spoke with Sylvia died in 2006 before ever learning that her daughter was still alive.)  From news reports it sounds that many people continued to support the friends and families of these young women while others, perhaps, did not.
“She’s not alive, honey,” Sylvia Browne told her matter-of-factly. “Your daughter’s not the kind who wouldn’t call.” The Plain Dealer, Nov. 18, 2004
Maybe she just missed this one, right? Even psychics make mistakes?  But this isn't the first time Browne has really missed the mark.

For example, she also told Shawn Hornbeck's parents that their son was dead on Montel's show as well.  She confidently goes into great detail to two parents so completely desperate, desperate for anything, even if it goes against their better judgment. He was found alive 4 years later, but not before her information disrupted the police investigation and not before Sylvia offered the parents an additional private reading for $700 and hour according to the Hornbecks in the above video. (Part 2 of the above video here; and there are countless other videos on youtube documenting even more flubs.)

I can't imagine how many people in desperation have come to Sylvia Browne (and others like her) and how many have been willing to pay her money just for one shred of a chance of some glimmer of hope or information. They traveled to this show for this, only to be told he was dead.

Sylvia told another woman looking for her 6 year old granddaughter, Opal Jo Jennings, that she was taken into slavery into Japan, even giving a specific location name. What? It's bad enough not knowing if she's alive or dead but now this poor woman must have started worrying that her grand daughter was in a foreign land where she couldn't help her.  She could have been tempted to spend money and time to go there.  Sadly, Opal Jo was found dead. She had been killed not long after she had disappeared.

This video shows many more unfortunate ooops situations which sadly, were more than just an "ooops" to the grieving people coming to her for advice.
Additional readings:

Robert Lancaster's wonderful resource, StopSyliva.com. Mr. Lancaster has tirelessly assembled a ton of information here. This one letter he received from a thankful reader may just sum up why he's done this:
...My parents had died, and I needed to find some meaning, some explanation for it. There's a sucker born every second, yet I thought I was immune. I thought I was enlightened, educated, and open to new ideas, even ones with no proof. I told myself that some things just don't need proof; some things just have to "feel" right. It's been seven years since my parents died, and I still grieve for them, but it's been long enough now that I can see that time in my life clearly. Just before I sat down to write this email, I gathered up all the books, tapes, and other Sylvia Browne garbage I could find, and tossed it in the garbage where it belongs.
Thank you for your website; it is an invaluable tool to help those of us searching for truth. Your truth may not offer any spiritual healing or grief counseling, but it is real and shows immense respect for your fellow human beings, and Sylvia Browne cannot claim to have the same respect for people like me, who she continues to exploit for her own selfish gain...

Again, we are all very happy for the three young women and their friends and families who have been through much and who will be recovering for so long. May anyone out there who is still grieving for a lost love one consider this information about Sylvia and others like her in their hours of darkness when they want nothing more but some glimmer of hope or information. There are many people in the world who are more than happy to lend a supportive shoulder and not ask for a single cent.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
If your child is missing

Grief Beyond Belief -Grief support group for non-believers

Search for support services including bereavement and more

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Darwin Day! Movie Judgment Day with Patricia Princehouse

(Email us at theclevelandskeptics at gmail with questions or to RSVP. Or join our meetup group to RSVP as well as receive future event announcements.)

Join The Cleveland Skeptics  for a screening of NOVA's Judgement Day about the important intelligent design court case out of Dover, PA. Afterward, we will have discussion and commentary with our very special guest Dr. Patricia Princehouse. We are extremely excited to have Dr. Princehouse come and talk with us. She has been considered, "a major voice in the struggle to secure the integrity of science education in America's public schools." She consulted on the Dover trial and the John Freshwater case in Ohio. She teaches History and Philosophy of Science at Case Western Reserve University and she's also an evolutionary biologist that studied with Stephen Jay Gould. Watch her in action as she debates Michael Behe on C-SPAN.

Please bring a snack or drink to share. Movie will start at 1pm. Please arrive on time so that we can start watching the movie without interruption.

Dr. Princehouse teaches Evolutionary Biology, and the History & Philosophy of Science at Case Western Reserve University, where she is co-director of the College Scholars Program, and has won many teaching awards.

Originally from Dayton, OH, Princehouse earned a Masters in Biological Anthropology from Yale, and her PhD at HarvardUniversity, working with Everett Mendelsohn, Richard Lewontin, and Stephen Jay Gould. Her scientific work concerns primate evolution, and she has done museum and fieldwork in North America, Europe, and Africa.

Believing firmly that academics must not isolate themselves from the public square, Princehouse has become a major voice in the struggle to secure the integrity of science education in America's public schools. Interviewed frequently in the national and international press, Princehouse helped found Ohio Citizens for Science and Help Ohio Public Education. She serves on the board of these and other organizations, including the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, and helped advise the plaintiffs' legal team in the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover trial. 

Her work has won recognition and awards including Ohio Magazine's Educational Excellence Award, the 2006 Hefner First Amendment Award, and the 2003 "Friend of Darwin" Award from the National Center for Science Education.

We are very happy and lucky to have Dr. Princehouse as our first speaker for our Darwin Day celebration. You can read more about Dr. Princehouse by clicking here.