January 4th, 2006


Hindsight is 20/20, Second Sight is Baloney

Apparently, Sylvia Browne was on George Noory's radio show last night. When the topic of the lucky surviving WV miners came up, she said she knew it all along. Of course, what she knew was wrong, because all but one of them was, in fact, dead.

The media is taking lumps from all directions from outraged, grieving families, from its watchdogs and from itself. But no one will take Sylvia to task for her fantasies passed off as fact. Her own reaction was apparently to bash the media for making her post-diction look foolish.

Sure, telephone psychics are all labelled 'for entertainment value only', but how many people disregard that warning and waste their money? Enough that Miss Cleo alone had racked up $1 Billion with a B during three years of operation. Were people that desperate for entertainment? And Sylvia doesn't say that her services are for entertainment only. It's the genuine article, except (of course) when she's wrong. But what have you got to lose, other than $700 for a 30 minute phone call?

It's not just the money that pisses me off, but the way psychics prey on the fragile and despairing. Just ask Marc Klaas, father of Polly Klaas:

"I have very strong feelings about psychics," Klaas said Tuesday. "They're part of a second wave of predators. The first wave is the person who takes the child. The second is the ambulance-chasing lawyers, the exploitation journalists and psychics. She came up with the same crap that we heard from every other psychic we talked to. She said she saw rolling hills and green trees and a babbling brook. She described nearly every spot in northern California."

Or perhaps you might ask Elizabeth Smart's uncle about his dealings with PSI-TECH, who declared that Elizabeth was dead? Or imagine yourself in Elizabeth's shoes; imagine that psychics have told your family and the police that you're dead; imagine them searching for bodies on a psychic wild goose-chase, while you're being sexually assaulted by a nutball.

Everyone yells at the media when they get it wrong; why do the psychics get a free pass?

Edited to Add: Partial Transcript from Faux News:

Noory: "Had you been on the program today, would [you] have felt if — because they heard no sound — that this was a very gloomy moment — and that they might have all died?"

Browne: "No. I knew they were going to be found. I hate people that say something after the fact."