Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Sylvia Browne is the worst person in the world
I think the story of the three women in Cleveland who were rescued after ten years of captivity is pretty wonderful in a "wonderful relief after being pretty horrible" sort of way. In looking for some instant background to fill out their stories, most of the press has mentioned the fact that Amada Berry's mother died a few years after she vanished, brokenhearted, believing her daughter was dead. If they had followed that sideline a little further they would have discovered a truly disgusting element in it.
Like any parent, Louwana Miller was desperate for any news about her daughter, any tiny glimmer of hope. When all the authorities could tell he was that they were still hunting, she eventually turned to less orthodox sources for information and encouragement. A year and a half after Amanda's disappearance Louwana Miller appeared on an episode of Montel Williams’ syndicated talk show with the self-proclaimed psychic, Sylvia Browne. In front of the live and broadcast audiences, Browne told Miller, "She’s not alive, honey."
Miller was devastated She took down her daughter's pictures, cleaned out her room, and gave away many of her belongings. When she died a few years later, her friends said it was of a broken heart.
Browne is a complete and utter fraud. Every year she plays the odds by predicting that some Hollywood couple will have marital problems and that there be hurricanes during the hurricane season, along with some other vague predictions. At the beginning of the following year, she cherry picks the two or three things she guessed right and announces them as proof of her amazing powers. Most of the time, this is pretty harmless entertainment. Other times it's a cruel deception. This was one of those times.
Browne was, once again, playing the odds. In the majority of cases, abductees are killed within a few days of their disappearance The longer they are missing, the closer the odds of their safe return approach zero. Missing teenagers are often runaways and can turn up months or years later. But, the abduction Gina DeJesus from the same location a year later made it extremely likely that she had been the victim of a serial killer and that both women had been raped, killed, and buried in shallow graves. Browne played the odds. In this case, she could be confident that time would prove her guess correct, that her bluntness could be portrayed as a tough love type of kindness in telling Amanda's mother to stop mourning and get on with her life.
This time, Browne's gamble didn't pay off. She needs to pay the casino and she needs pay big. Sylvia Browne is not just a fraud, she's a callous and cruel fraud and needs to be labeled as such. Today, Sylvia Browne is the worst person in the world.