Wednesday, January 24

Shove That Crystal Ball Straight Up Your Chute.

Sylvia Browne.
An Open Letter To Sylvia Browne - By: The CDP.

Dear Sylvia,

Hello there. My name is the CDP. I want to talk to you about your job.

You know, Sylvia, people don't believe in you because they think you have a gift. They believe in you because they want to think you have a gift. They may not know this, but it's true.

Your gift gives them hope for the future. It allows them to think they'll see deceased loved ones again. It allows them to think they'll find their missing car keys. You are in the business of selling hope, which is always a hot commodity. Who doesn't want something to believe in? Who doesn't want to know there's something else beyond their homemaker status, dumbass husband and filthy children? (Most of your fans are women, because men are less apt to put blind faith into something that isn't a football team.)

Personally, I believe in a lot of things. I believe in logic, knowledge and understanding. Don't get me wrong, I have my faith and spirituality, but I'm fairly certain that the God I know wouldn't bestow such a phenomenal gift upon a 14 pack-a-day smoker with 4-inch fingernails. He's got a sense of humor and all, but there's no way that he'd feel good about his decisions after watching you and your cement-mixer voice on Montel for a few minutes.

That all being said, people take pleasure in your words because it gives them something that they cannot get without you.

Well, sort of.

I mean, I could stand on stage and do the same exact thing that you do for an hour or two, and end up with a similar percentage of accuracy. Why? Because I'm good at psychology, magic and perception, and I can read people just as good as you can. There's no doubt in my mind that with the right marketing and Minor key theme music, I could have a whole slew of followers hanging on my every word.

We don't need to tell them it's a trick; they're not going to listen to logic anyways. Believe me, I've tried. People that believe in your gift are a stubborn lot, and for good reason. After all the money, all the hope and all the faith these people have put into you, it would be pretty disheartening to find out that you're a fraud. That's why your followers ignore your glaring examples of fault. Even a broken clock is right two times a day, and that's all people need to cling to you like a dryer sheet to a down comforter.

Damn. Sylvia, your followers are more loyal than Cubs fans.

Here's one thing I just don't get, though. You also take a lot of pleasure in destroying lives. Never mind all of the money you've taken from losers, spiritualists and the terminally ill. You also seem to get a kick out of telling mothers that their missing children are dead, regardless of if this is the truth or not. I don't know what kind of enjoyment you can take out of watching someone crumple in a heap, but you're the psychic, not me.

You've blown a lot of calls, though. A whole lot. Way more than you've been correct. If you're rattling off the names of spirit guides to a room full of nodding heads, it's impossible to disprove your findings. Good work; you can't be wrong if nobody can prove that you're right. However, there have been a few times where you've told someone that their kid was dead, only to have them pop up the next week, alive and well. It's a great ending to the story, and no doubt, the family will let you off the hook for speculating that their son or daughter was a corpse.

It pains me to see the look in someone's face when they realize that you're nothing. To watch the years of loyalty and faith melt off of their faces is a great awakening, but it comes at a depressing and somber price. Just yesterday, I watched a clip of a woman asking you if they would ever find the remains of her husband. You told her that he drown in the ocean, so no, they would never find him. She then informed you that he was a firefighter that died during 9-11. In an effort to save face, you told her that she was wrong.

Just before she sat back down, I saw the look in her eyes. The look that people get when they realize they have been duped. The look that people get when they realize that they have sacrificed their intelligence, credibility and emotional worth in exchange for false hope and faith. I'm sure you've never felt that, but it's a bad feeling, I can assure you.

I'm not going to get into exactly why you're a fraud, because most decent and intelligent people have already figured that out by now. You're intuitive, you read a lot and keep abreast of current events. Cold reads and educated guesses are all you need to write a book, as John Edwards and many others have figured out. It's a pretty sweet gig being a medium; but I guess you already know that.

Every year, me and my wife stay at a bed & breakfast that's owned by a self-proclaimed psychic, and I've had three readings with her in the past three years. I enjoy these readings because the psychic in question is an incredibly intuitive and deep human being. For the most part, we talk about things in our lives and what we can do to better them for ourselves. Anything that she brings up concerning 'the future' is always taken with a grain of salt, and considered more of a suggestion than a fact. She makes certain that we know that, as human beings are capable of changing their lives any way they please.

Does this make her a fraud? Absolutely not. People pay her money for therapy, entertainment and guidance, NOT because they should shape their lives around her words and accept them as the gospel truth. Even she dislikes you, because ripping off the gullible isn't her motive. She's in the market of getting people to see that we can all be as happy as we choose to be, and I like that.

You know, in a strange and perverse way, I very much envy you. There are many days when I wish that I was cold and ruthless enough to take advantage of the stupid, faithful and grieving. There's always money to be made at the hands of disaster and folly, and it's all there for the taking; provided you have the unmitigated gall and lack of conscience required to snatch it all up. Yes, you most certainly have a gift that's shared by very few people, but it ain't predicting the future.

It's almost not your fault. As long as there are people more than willing to give you money in exchange for hope, it would be silly of you not to take it. Hucksters have been around since biblical times, and they will be here until the end of the world. Preachers, faith healers, pyramid schemers, psychics, sideshow barkers, tonic salesmen and magicians make the world go round. I'm sure the money is great, but how can you sleep at night knowing what your job is? I can barely sleep as is, and I grade tests for a living.

In conclusion, I hope that your years of smoking give you a baseball-sized tumor right in the center of your chest. I also hope that it grows out in 9 different directions and you get the New Age doctor that doesn't believe in anesthesia.

Bet you didn't see that one coming.

There's a special place in hell for people like you,
-theCDP.

LINKS:
How did she die?
(Watch Sylvia blow the call with grieving parents.)

Where did he die?
(Watch Sylvia blow the call big time with a 9/11 widow.)

Is he really dead?
(Watch Sylvia tell parents that their son is dead. He's not.)

Stop Sylvia Browne
(One of the better collections on the web.)

James Randi Foundation
(The greatest skeptic site in the world.)

Comments:
Excellent letter, babe! I love it :)
 
Thanks.

I should mention the fact that understanding that Sylvia Browne is a fraud doesn't necessarily make you a 'skeptic.' It just makes you a logical person. I just wanted to make the distinction between 'logic' and 'skepticism.'
 
That Stop Sylvia Browne website is really good...very nice layout and lots of content.
 
Unfortunately, I'm sitting with my mother who truly believes Sylvia Browne is real and I'm being tortured for an hour of watching her on Montel... I think I'm about to head to the tattoo shop to get away from it all.

My mother also believes that her cousin is a psychic too and that she "cleaned" her house of evil spirits while she was visiting from Germany, just to give you an idea of my mother's gullibility factor.

Oh boy, she just told a woman to tell her daughter to tell her spirit guide to tell the dead lady that was haunting her to go away because she was dead... I'm headed to the tattoo shop!

Great letter though!
 
It is one thing to believe that we human beings give off energy, which can linger even after death.

It's also one thing to believe that there are certain people who are more sensitive to understanding and feeling this energy than others.

Hell, you can even support the claim that the spiritual energy of the deceased makes efforts to contact the living world that have been captured on film and audio.

I can roll with that.

It is quite another thing to tell two parents that their son is dead, when he isn't, and then offer to help them locate the body for $700 an hour. That's manipulative and criminal.

Sylvia Browne, DIAF. Seriously.
 
snap That's what this place needs!

Minor key theme music!!





I have never heard of this women. It does not surprise me she's on Montel. Right up the daytime soap demographic alley.
 
Consider yourself lucky.
 
I had never heard of her, but what really pisses me off is how Montel tries to cover for her. What a hack. Even Rosie was a more talented talk show host, and that's saying a lot.
 
You'd think that Montel would have gotten better at his craft after doing talk shows for the last 20 years. He's as big of a joke as she is.

John Edwards is the same way. Watching him perform in front of a room of people is really amazing, but it's got nothing to do with psychic ability. He's just a master Cold Reader with great manipulation techniques.

Sylvia isn't even a good cold reader, though. She just throws crap to the wall and keeps whatever sticks.
 
CDP...it has come to me in a vision...your Uncle Leroy, who has been missing since 1978...is traveling in a circus as a master juggler...but was injured in 1993 when he dropped a chainsaw, thus severing his left leg...now he's: Leroy, the amazing hopping juggler!

What, you don't have a missing Uncle Leroy? Hmmm...well, I'm picking up something...maybe he belonged to the Missus? No? BluStaCon? No? Wait, he was my uncle! I'm a genius!
 
Exactly.

Everyone in the audience thinks that the psychic is one step ahead of them, rattling off facts from the other side while the crowd chooses which ones pertain to them.

The trick is that the psychic is one step behind the audience, allowing them to pick up the slack and lead the psychic all around the room, depending on where their shot-in-the-dark guesses take them.

It's really quite brilliant, which is why it's worked for 2000 years.
 
If it wasn't for my darn conscience, I swear I'd make a living off of cold reads...seems like such easy money.
 
That's kind of what I'm getting at.

It's weird. People pay good money to see things like magic shows and professional wrestling, because they appreciate the illusion and enjoy being entertained. People know that David Copperfield's not sawing a woman in half, and that's why they applaud at the end.

However, nobody would pay money for a Cold Reading, unless they were convinced that it was anything but an illusion. Why is that?

I'm not evil enough to make money as a Cold Reader, so I'm just going to write a movie about it instead.
 
JT you are so wrong about my Uncle Leroy. The chainsaw accident was in 1992 not 1993.

what a hack.
 
What I meant was "the year before 1993." Yeah...that's the ticket.
 
For those of you who didn't watch UFC: Fight Night Live! last night, here's what you missed out on.

Rashad Evans Destroys Sean Salmon.

So remember, if you're having a bad week, just be glad you're not Sean Salmon.
 
It should be noted that Sean "Smoked" Salmon was unconscious for 7 minutes following the shot. It's already considered one of the most vicious knockouts in UFC history.

He's fine, by the way.
 

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