November 21, 2013 by kittynh
“A step down morally is usually a step up financially.”
Self proclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne is dead. Many in the skeptic community thought of her as the Keith Richards of psychics, how medical science was keeping her alive was impressive. Her raspy voice indicated long term tobacco use, and in recent years she had taken to using a wheelchair. She seemed always a woman of poor health, and yet she didn’t truly ever retire from what she called her profession. Followers and fans saw this as a strength, to the end she kept passing on messages from the dead to the living, for an impressive fee of course. I wondered if her entourage, including her son who was following in her footsteps, was simply too big for her ever stop making money.
I never felt sorry for her. I was too busy feeling sorry for the many people she hurt over the years. One defense I’ve heard from people that did not believe she had any paranormal abilities, but that she should be left alone by skeptics, is that she “Made the grieving feel better.” I didn’t buy it for a minute. All you have to do is remember the case of Amanda Berry, one of the Chicago kidnapping victims. Sylvia Browne told her mother that Amanda was dead. Amanda’s mother died never knowing her daughter was still alive. If that had been the only known case it would be still unforgivable, but besides her public failures I wonder how many failures there were in her countless private sessions she charged to much money for? How many Amanda Berry’s and Shawn Hornbeck’s were there we’ll never know about.
I have to say a tipping point for many people, is when I tell them
that Sylvia Browne once said on the TV show “Larry King Live” that skunks aren’t allowed into heaven. Even Larry chuckled, it seemed a bit silly to him. Browne insisted they weren’t allowed. Why this story sometimes convinces people that she was making stuff up used to confused me. Then I found out most people do not dislike skunks. They understand the skunk is simply engaging in a form of self defense that is quite mild and harmless. Browne believed pets and animals went to heaven. Skunks however, creatures that defend themselves without killing, do not. I could make a joke here about if skunks don’t get into heaven this certainly means Browne will not also, but that would be once again unfair to skunks.
But, let’s just pretend for a moment. Pretend that Sylvia Browne’s claims about heaven and the afterlife were correct.
Sylvia Browne Meets St.Peter
Browne : “Wow, I mean, I never really thought this would be real. I hope all the dead people I claimed to talk to aren’t going to want a cut of all the money I made off of their families over the years by pretending to talk to them.”
St.Peter:” Hey Sylvia! I’ve been waiting for you! Bet you never thought you’d be standing before me! Let’s see, I know I have those books here somewhere….”
Browne:”Books? I thought you just had a judgement book, who gets in and who doesn’t?”
St.Peter:”Sylvia, usually I do just have one book of judgement, but in your case we’ve compiled a multiple volumes just for you. Let’s see, it seems you told people they were talking to their dead relatives, friends and you even claimed to talk to children that had died. Yet when you got it wrong, you claimed it was because you couldn’t always get it right.”
Browne:“It wasn’t me, it was the audience, the pressure to perform. I couldn’t always get a connection. Plus over the years I did learn what to say to make people happy. Alright, I’ll admit it, I was making it up. But it made people happy, they had closure.’
St.Peter”You do realize where you are? I can’t be fooled by your self justifications.”
Browne:”Alright! I had to live, I had to pay the mortgage, I had staff, do you know how many people depended on me? I had to go out on a wheelchair and make money and write books. I was never able to retire. I can’t help it if people demanded more books and readings. I deserved to make a living. Other religious leaders lie to their congregations, i was no different than any other.’
St.Peter “Don’t worry, we have volumes on them also. We’re talking about you. Did you never think, that one day, you might have to be judged for all that you have done? If you had, you could have at least stopped. It was all about the money in the end. How could you imagine that any deity would be fine with you making a living supposedly talking to dead children and charging their parent for it? If such a communication between the dead and the living existed, morally how could anyone ever charge a grieving parent to talk to their child? If you truly had such a power, you would have renounced all material things and given this gift, a gift from God and heaven, away freely.”
Browne:“I knew someone was going to want a cut, look tell God, I couldn’t bring it with me, but you know I did have my own church. That’s sort of like giving Him a cut of the profits. It isn’t as if I really could talk to the dead. Like the agreements to my shows state in the small print, entertainment purposes only!”
St.Peter:“No Sylvia, God does not want a cut. He does however want to make sure you don’t make the cut to get in here. Please stand aside, I see a nice little skunk that was only recently road kill wanting to come in.”
Skunk:“St.Peter, will it hurt my chances of getting in if I spray her as I pass by?”
St.Peter:“You’ve lived a good life little skunk, but I think it can only help your chances. Welcome to heaven skunk!”
Also, I would like to personally thank Robert Lancaster and James Randi for their never ending vigilance and hard work in making sure the world knew the truth about this woman. I feel sorry for those that believed, and I am sorry for her family that will miss her. But I and not sorry she will never make a “mistake” that will break a parent’s heart again.
I know all the years of hard work both Randi and Robert have put into making sure the world knew the truth about her supposed abilities. Skepticism does not buy you the lifestyle Sylvia and other psychics have. They do what they do because for those two men, truth is more important than money.