Criticism of Sylvia Browne
This page lists some common criticisms leveled again Sylvia Browne. It is not an exhaustive list and it does not seek to judge, it is provided as a reference only.
- She has a very poor strike rate, with no real evidence that she has ever helped find a missing person, accurately diagnose a medical condition, or do any of the other feats she claims.
- She lies habitually. Many of her lies have been documented at www.randi.org.
- She is very expensive, charging $US700 for a half-hour session. Given the vulnerable position of her clients, this is said to be ethically questionable.
- She is always confident in her information, for example, she says "He is alive" or "He is dead", not "I think/feel...". People then make decisions based on the information, which invariably turns out to be incorrect. This is especially devastating for families of missing persons, and incredibly dangerous when dealing with medical conditions.
- Some items of "diamond jewellery" sold on Sylvia Browne's web site was not made with diamonds as advertised, but instead was made with cubic zirconia ("simulated" diamonds).
- Sylvia Browne's church, The Society of Novus Spiritus, has come under fire from disillusioned members for being too controlling and money-oriented. A number of websites launched by former members have been shut down under threat from Browne's legal team.
- Browne's books contain phrases which are identical, or near-identical, to phrases in previously published works by other authors.
- Browne misled readers of her website by endorsing a new website at www.gosylviabrowne.com and calling it "independant", when there is in fact a close family connection.
- James Randi has kept a catalogue of alleged lies and deception by Browne at www.randi.org.
- Gary Dufresne, Browne's former husband, has denounced her as a fraud.
- On January 19 2007, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 television show featured a segment devoted to Sylvia Browne. Titled "Dead Wrong," it was generally critical of Browne.
- www.stopsylviabrowne.com is a website that lists various grievances against Browne.