Here are the shocking facts:
- When she was on the Montel Williams Show Browne claimed a girl died by being shot; in fact, her body was found in her own bed, unmarked by any wounds whatsoever.
- Browne added the 'e' to her last name after being indicted on security fraud.
- She claimed Al Gore would win the election; Bush won.
- She claimed a person died in water who was killed in the Twin Tower 9/11 attack.
- Browne's spirit guide Francine apparently lied to her because Browne was all wrong about what happened to the trapped miners when she went on Noory's radio show.
- Browne called the church she founded 'Gnostic Christian'. Once again, her spirit guide lied to her. She later found out the ancient Gnostics were anti-woman, not proto feminists, anti flesh, anti sex, and anti life. She has confusedly retracted many of her Gnostic church belief nonsense.
- She told the parents of Shawn Hornbeck he was dead. He was later found alive.
Among hundreds upon hundreds of other wrong pronouncements. A survey of her predictions in criminal cases has shown her to be almost never right. Tossing a coin in the air would likely do better.
But what have scientists found out about all claims of psychic ability?
Despite lurid TV show claims, the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2008 Jan;20(1):182-92 reviewed 75 years of research and concluded "there is no evidence that psychic ability exists". I repeat: 75 years, and no evidence any psychic ability exists.
What has research shown about those who believe in psychic powers and who hold New Age beliefs?
1. Rosemary Aird of the University of Queensland studied 3,700 21-year-olds in Brisbane and concluded that New Age spirituality was linked "with higher rates of depression, disturbed...ways of thinking, and anti-social behavior". Her conclusion: New Age beliefs undermine mental health.
2. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, v14 n3 p261-272 Aug 2009 " paranormal beliefs are strongly associated with higher levels of suicide.
3. Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London SE5 8AF, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org : findings confirmed that paranormal beliefs were predicted by delusion and hallucination-proneness.
4. Psychol Rep. 2002 Apr;90(2):405-11. Narcissism and belief in the paranormal - found that scores for narcissism correlated with belief in ESP and New Age beliefs but not in a belief in life after death.
5. Professor Michael King, from University College of London, and his fellow researchers wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry: "Our main finding is that people who had a spiritual understanding of life had worse mental health than those who were followers of a religion. Those who called themselves spiritual but not religious were 77 per cent more likely than the others to be dependent on drugs, 72 per cent more likely to suffer from a phobia, and 50 per cent more likely to have a generalised anxiety disorder. They were also 40 per cent more likely to be receiving treatment with psychotropic drugs, and at a 37 per cent higher risk of neurotic disorder."
The study was based on a survey of 7,403 randomly selected men and women in England who were questioned about their spiritual and religious beliefs, and mental state.
And then there are the illogical, fact-challenged statements in her latest cash-cow book.
"...most of the world's great religions - including Christianity until Pope Constantine...embraced reincarnation" (p 4).
Reincarnation was certainly known and discussed in the ancient Greek world. It never, ever, was part of either Judaism or Christianity. Both rejected it utterly. As anyone with a capacity to read history books should know. Once again, Francine is mysteriously lying to Sylvia.
Sylvia invents a new version of reincarnation, about which she wheezes "We design literally every aspect of our lives" (p 20). Sylvia has none of that nastiness about being incarnated as a rat in your next life.
Look, reincarnation in Hinduism is a grim, fatalistic belief that has kept millions of poor, starving Indians locked into an evil caste system for thousands of years. Brahmin Hindus actually rioted recently against the idea of helping the poor Untouchables because it might hinder their fulfilling their karma.
And yes, that's why Mother Teresa had to go and help the poorest of the poor in India - because a belief in reincarnation preached against helping even those who are starving to death. Browne, in her vicious hatred against orthodox Christianity, has Mother Teresa in earlier incarnations persecuted by none other than the evil church. Oh, right.
Browne knows so little about history or religion that she makes a complete mess when she blathers on about reincarnation, reformulating it to appeal to the spoiled narcissists of the richest country in the the world.
We design every bit of our life to be? What if someone feels they really, really need to be a billionaire (I, personally, have felt this call for some time) but the world is already chock full of billionaires, how does that work? Does God have a say in this at all?
Why do so many really stupid people inhabit the earth if we had our say in our new incarnations?
And what about that pesky little problem of evil? In the Hindu religion, both evil and good are denied - they simply don't exist because everything is an illusion. So, apparently, why did all those Jews want, ask, and plan to be gassed to death by Hitler? Please explain Sylvia. And serial killers, too, they designed every aspect of their lives...because why, Francine???
Then, last and worst of all, there is Sylvia's pronouncement that God will never send us "to an eternity of hell" (p 3).
Really? Even if we lie about God, and lie about Christianity and lie to people about reincarnation?
How about if we drag other people to hell? Is that what your really believe, Sylvia, or is it what you desperately, urgently hope?