Back in January of 2007, I received an email from a gentleman who wanted very much to share the account of his face-to-face reading with Sylvia Browne. He was hopeful that others would learn from it, and save their money.
Attached to that email was a Word document containing the gentleman's account.
Here is the account, from the email attachment.
Clutched by the Claws: My Reading with Psychic Sylvia Browne
I remember excitedly scribbling down question after question on a paper napkin surrounded by pretzels and orange juice, while on the morning flight conveying me from the east coast to San Jose. It was 2001, and my yearlong appointment wait was up. I was now on my two thousand mile journey to meet Sylvia Browne.
After arriving and spending the day with a friend, I proofed my question list and finalized it before heading to bed. Tomorrow, I thought, will be the day that I will come face-to-face with an ability that can transgress the limitations of our five senses. Tomorrow I will meet a woman who has the capability of interacting with God's beings on the Other Side; with his omniscience; with his compassion; with his supreme love. Tomorrow, I thought, my world will change forever. How right I was. It did change.
Upon arriving at Sylvia's office (her previous one, on Dillon Avenue), I was greeted by some excited first-time visitors. Many were just looking through the vast number of celebrity photographs with Sylvia, hung somewhat crookedly and insecurely on the walls—almost as if someone were trying to imply her importance by shoving them in wherever there was still wallpaper showing.
Nevertheless, the air was abuzz with the delight that Sylvia was in today (a rarity, as she seldom steps foot in her office, preferring instead to conduct her telephone readings from home). This was probably my fourth visit, so I was quite accustomed to the giant smiles and big eyes of the visitors, some of whom were volunteering in the back, helping to bind the Journey of the Soul series, copy lecture and Novus Spiritus service tapes and otherwise engage in various tasks, all to prepare Sylvia's products to be sold.
I suppose I had become an habitué of the office, as I was also no stranger to the smug Michael (Sylvia's right-hand assistant, whose colossal ego barely allows his passage through the doors each morning). Not only this, but the atmosphere created by most of the staff was an egregious one, especially for such a "spiritual" organization. Attitudes hung high and impatience was copious. I have, in fact, never encountered a more negative air in a business (a customer service business, no less). Any mention of Sylvia by us guests had the workforce's ears thickly perked from every corner, lest someone should say something negative about their dear demigoddess. Barring all of this, though, I had business of my own with Sylvia; my appointment was only minutes away. And I was trembling.
So I waited…and waited. I waited about a half hour, until Michael informed me that Sylvia was "running a little behind today," that I should go and get a cup of coffee "or something" and return in about two hours. You see, when it comes to Sylvia's schedule, the customer always waits. But I figured it had already been a year, what was two more anxiety-filled hours?
So I jaunted with my friend, who accompanied me that day, to the local Starbucks and had a fabulous brew of something I couldn't pronounce. Two very long hours later, I found myself back in the tiny waiting room when "the woman" appeared before me. She looked dazzling in a beautiful dress, with bleach blonde hair perfectly styled, and smelled of a fabulous coconut oil. She called me in and said she would be right with me—which she was, about ten minutes later.
Finally, she entered and sat across from me at her very costly antique desk. Without so much as a greeting, she asked me, "What's going on with your stomach?" Quite puzzled, I responded, "Nothing." "No, there's something wrong with your stomach. I'm concerned you might have nervous stomach," she said. Befuddled and not wanting to disappoint her with a miss already, I thought of any recent stomachaches I may have had, perhaps a flu, anything. But, to my knowledge, absolutely nothing was wrong with my stomach. So I nervously shook my head, hoping her notorious temper would not come out. "Well, I want you to take lecithin. L-E-C-I-T-H-I-N. You can get it at any drug store. It will help you." Medical advice from a psychic? Really? "Okay," I responded (with no intention of getting any lecithin) and hoped to move on. (A side note: I have read many posts and articles from people who have had readings with Sylvia, and, almost invariably, each one has been told to take lecithin, but for various reasons—not just stomach "problems." And after each prescription, Sylvia without fail spells out the name of the drug for her client. I now wonder if the makers of lecithin pay Sylvia to promote their herbal medicine.)
"I also want you to pay attention to your lower back," she said. I guess this could be construed a hit, as, on occasion, I have awakened to some lower back pain—but, honestly, who hasn't? It has never been a chronic thing, and I have never spoken with anyone in my life who said he never had any occasional lower back pain, especially upon awakening. So, in my frantic hope that this reading was not the equivalent of taking $750 and running it through a high-speed shredder, I said, "Yes, I have had some lower back pain." To which Sylvia smartly replied, "I know. That's what I just told you—[whispering] I'm psychic."
Okay, chalk one up for her, I thought. We're beginning to get somewhere.
"What did you want to ask me, darling?" she asked. Already? What happened to your reading my "chart," of which your web site speaks so extensively? I thought I would only have to ask questions at the very end, and only if necessary, as Sylvia would be able to tell me many important things beforehand. (Palms beginning to sweat).
"Sylvia, I'd like to know about my career. What will I eventually do?"
"You are a healer. You will get into holistic medicine and heal people." This is my career? To be a long-haired, crystal-wearing, pot-smoking hippie who lays his hands on people and heals them at, what, twenty bucks a pop? Lovely.
"Well, I was thinking more about aviation. I would love to be an airline pilot."
"Oh, yes, and you will," she said. "But you will also become a healer. That will be your main focus in life."
"Okay," I said. "Can you see what airline I will work for?"
"Yes, Delta," she replied. This is strike two. Not only did I decide not to pursue flying as a career, I opted instead to take the graduate school path in order to teach. This decision, of course, could only have occurred after I wised up about the excrement spewing from this charlatan's mouth. Oh, and I never became a healer—and I can't see myself doing that precisely because I don't believe in it. Unless what Sylvia meant was that I could trick others into believing I could heal, for which I could charge them disturbing amounts of money—you know, as she does.
Plus, even if I had chosen the flying path, Delta would not likely be the airline to work for; they will most probably soon become U.S. Airways in an anticipated 2007 merger. So much for that one.
But I didn't know any of this at the time.
"Sylvia, I'd like to ask about my partner; you know, if we're right for each other."
Without hesitation came a blurting, "No. He's gray, honey, not dark, but he's too selfish and manipulates you all the time. No, you'll find someone perfect in May ."
For those who don't know, she's referring to dark and gray entities, as opposed to white entities, fondly spoken of in the church of Novus Spiritus. Dark entities are said to be those who are eternally separated from God and the grays are those whose apparent mission it is to make the choice of dark or white. Pointless, I know, but I thought I would clarify what she is talking about.
At that point in 2001, I had been with my partner for a year and a half, and we had just moved in together. I never met anyone in May, and my partner and I are together to this day, totaling now nearly seven wonderful years.
Sylvia also told me I would move to California within two years and set up shop as that healer she talked about. And for anyone who knows me well, they know I hate California. Not the people, just everything else. I would never move there unless forced to. Instead, I moved to the northeast, where I'm very happy in the bitter cold winters, which, thanks to global warming, we're not even having.
When I asked of my father, with whom I have never had much luck in getting along, Sylvia informed me that he is "dark," evil, and to stay away from him. This puzzled me most of all during my interactions with Browne. My father may be bad-tempered, even mean at times, but he is anything but evil. It is a rule of his that he will not even kill a spider in the house, out of respect for its right to live (the same goes for any other disgusting creature unless it is a poisonous threat). This is not the kind of rule a wicked dictator comes up with. But what I could not believe most was that she told me to stay away from him. This is preposterous! Sylvia Browne tells "clients" whom to break up with, what loved ones to stay away from, and what medicine to take—and all this with her stellar 5% accuracy record (I say 5% because she does turn out somewhat right on one prediction in my reading, which I will get to later). But God knows how many people have taken her advice and lost connection with loved ones over arguments that could have been worked through. This is hardly Christian advice, and Browne certainly claims to be Gnostic Christian (which, in Novus's ultimate form, is only a putrefied version of the Catholic Church).
What Browne was correct about was one small, last minute prediction. When I asked about my then sister-in-law, and what her career path would be, Sylvia instantly answered, "Massotherapy. She will become a masseur." I did not tell Sylvia that that was exactly the field my sister-in-law was considering. So, I would say Sylvia was correct, except that my sister-in-law never finished her program, eventually turning to drugs and failing the curriculum in its later stages. For some reason, Sylvia never saw that fabulous part of the story.
And if you think that this psychic's "for entertainment purposes only" premonitions cannot do harm, consider this: I was a stupid kid who believed that Sylvia actually held the abilities she purported to have. Because of this one-time intense belief, I nearly ended my relationship with my partner; I began to think back on my father's behavior and believe he really was evil—and considered never speaking with him again; I almost began taking chemicals into my body as prescribed by a psychic (remember L-E-C-I-T-H-I-N?), chemicals that could have done permanent damage to some organ; my respect for life diminished, and I wanted badly to die sooner than later in order to cross over to the "Other Side," where Sylvia claims our real existences are (as she says this life is nothing but a hassle).
And, looking back from a far more educated perspective, I realize that if there is no afterlife, no God, no heaven to which we travel for our good works, I would have given up my appreciation for this life, here and now—quite possibly the only one we get. I was beginning to wave it all away, and all because of the advice of a very greedy, very entertaining, very manipulative, very convicted felon—who, like all other frauds, claims to have the sympathy of an angel, even while endorsing her victims' checks with pen in claw-nailed hands.
Though I can't imagine life is much of a hassle for Sylvia these days. With her purported twenty readings a day, each at $750, five days a week; and with her $35 and $65 lecture ticket prices multiplied by the thousands of attendees per city, multiplied by hundreds of cities; and her several thousand dollar cruises; and her equally expensive jewelry line; and her gazillion best-selling books a year; and her $1,000 per ticket Salons (during which about 35 persons attends every few weeks—you do the math); and with her yearlong waitlist of future clients who continue to guarantee her exorbitant income.
What amazes me more than anything is that this animal is allowed not only to continue raping her victims, but that she is allowed to walk the streets and sleep peacefully at night. Sylvia Browne must be stopped, yes, but maybe, for our stupidity in believing her and continuing to, even in the face of her proven failures and criminal background, just maybe we deserve this.
My total costs for this reading:
Reading itself: $750
Airline ticket: $300
Other travel expenses: $300
That damn Starbucks coffee $1.50
My total potential costs for this reading:
$1351.50 (see above)
An expensive lesson, but it seems as though it was well-learned.
It should be noted that Browne's fee for an in-person "reading" has increased since 2001. Although this gentleman paid $750, Browne now charges that much for her over the phone, 20-30 minute readings. Although her in-person fee is not currently mentioned on her web site, I have been told that it is $2,000.00.
My thanks to this gentleman for sharing his story.