What a lovely way to start the New Year, catching up on all the blogging I missed while I was on vacation. While doing so, via Skeptico, I came across a most worthy project: Stop Sylvia Browne. In this site, Rob Lancaster has accumulated in one easy stop a lot of useful information that helps to show how Sylvia Browne cannot really do what she claims she can do and how what she does appears indistinguishable from cold reading. Rob’s manifesto:
Over the years, Sylvia Browne has been the focus of a number of skeptical pages on the web, but I don’t think that there has ever before been one site which focused solely on her. The goal of this site is to fill that void by providing a central place where she, her track record and all of her claims are examined and analyzed.
Although I will be approaching the subject from a skeptical viewpoint (the name of the site should show that), I will try to do so in as fair and factual a manner as possible.
Where I state a fact, I will try to back it up with references. Where I state an opinion, I will try to clearly label it as such.
Is she a well-intentioned spiritual leader, with actual psychic powers? Is she a fraud, making money by callously manipulating and using the bereaved? Or is she something else entirely?
This site will attempt to answer these questions.
Now, whenever you come across someone credulous about Sylvia Browne’s claims, you have another, more dedicated site to send them to, other than James Randi’s Sylvia Browne Clock. I think I’ll add this one to my sidebar.