Another skeptic dogs the trail of psychic Sylvia Browne

Robert Lancaster is a California computer programmer, who like me, is fed up listening to so-called psychics trying to convince the public they actually have supernatural powers. His site, which is about six months old, scrutinizes the career of Sylvia Browne, who purports to be able to find missing persons.

Ms Browne’s track record is awful, yet she manages to bamboozle people into believing she is somehow gifted. A close look at her failures should convince anyone she is a fraud. Lancaster does a pretty good job of documenting her work. James “The Amazing” Randi also tracks Browne’s predictions and readings.

She is so bad that it is doubtful she will ever appear again on George Noory’s radio show, Coast to Coast AM. During a live broadcast in January 2006, while the nation anxiously awaited news of West Virginia miners trapped underground, Browne said she knew they were all alive.

As it turned out, all but one was dead, and that news came out while Browne was on the air. It was obvious she blew it, on a show with millions of worldwide listeners.

Why criticize Browne? She is a multi-millionaire who has made her fortune off the gullible and the desperate. (John Edward of TV fame is another example.) As Lancaster and Randi put it, if she’s a real psychic, she needs to put up or shut up.

[UPDATE (11/4/08): Lancaster has suffered a stroke. While he was in hospital, his domain name registration lapsed and a domain squatter snapped up his domain. The anti-Sylvia Browne site now has a new location: If you linked to the old site, please change your links. It will help Lancaster’s site stay high up in the Google search results.]

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