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Email: Linda Rossi
Sylvia Browne's business operations manager criticizes this web site.
After publishing the article Novus Spiritus: An Aramaic Prayer?, I solicited input from Linda Rossi (Sylvia Browne's Business Office manager) and Rev. Michael McClellan (one of three prelates within Novus Spiritus) regarding the article, to give Novus an opportunity to give their explanation for the "Aramaic" prayer.
Ms. Rossi replied, and part of that reply was quoted in the article Follow-up to "Novus Spiritus: An Aramaic Prayer?".
I told Ms. Rossi that I would publish her entire email verbatim, but since it commented on several things beyond the scope of the "Aramaic" Prayer article, I only published the pertinent excerpt from it there, deciding that the email deserved its own article.
This is that article.
Who is Linda Rossi?
Linda Rossi on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees".
Linda Rossi is the Business Operations manager for Sylvia Browne Corp. She has worked with Sylvia Browne in one capacity or another for more than 35 years.
In January of 2007, when Sylvia Browne was avoiding the media firestorm that resulted from her involvement in the Shawn Hornbeck story, it was Ms. Rossi who Browne sent in her stead to appear on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 show, where she defended Browne from noted skeptic James Randi, and at times, from Anderson Cooper.
Here, with Ms. Rossi's permission, is the email, with my comments and responses (all emphasis mine):
Well, I was warned by ex-ministers from Novus Spiritus that Browne's office would try to spin the article - and this entire site - as being critical of those who follow Novus Spiritus. I state again: it is not. It is critical of Sylvia Browne, period.
Unless one of the basic beliefs of Novus Spiritus is "Sylvia Browne is really psychic," then I have not attacked any of the church's basic beliefs.
I think the closest I have come to doing that is in showing that one of their prayers was not in Aramaic, as parishioners had been told. This is something which Rossi herself confirmed in an email subsequent to the one in this article, and which is printed in the Follow-up article mentioned above.
Back to the email...
Read the Follow-up article to get the full story on this.
As I have said elsewhere on this site, I believe this phrase - which as Ms. Rossi notes, is used constantly by Browne - to be nothing more than a cold-reader's tactic. She is in essence saying "if there is anything I say that you know is false, or that you feel in your gut is wrong - forget I ever said it!"
Although it appears to be very broad-minded and generous ("she doesn't insist I believe all of this!"), I feel it is simply an attempt to sweep questionable things under the rug, and to get you to only pay attention to that which you are already prone to believe.
Not only does it seem disingenuous, but it totally contradicts something else which Browne says frequently, which is "Don’t take my word for anything, research and come to your own conclusions."
Yet I am told by ex-Novus ministers and congregants that if you do research and question something Browne has said, you are given the "take with you what you want..." line again.
Back to the email...
Here, Ms. Rossi is setting up a "strawman argument" - trying to put statements into my mouth which I have never uttered. I have never said, on this site or anywhere else, that the people who follow Novus Spiritus don't have the right to do so. In fact, I celebrate their right to do so.
I also celebrate my right to express my opinion about Sylvia Browne and her supposed "abilities," as well as Ms. Rossi's right to express her opinion about me. Back to that...
This is in reference to my doubting that the Novus "Arem, Shem..." prayer was in Aramaic, as they claimed. They have since backed down from that claim, saying now that it is something originally said while "speaking in tongues."
And if the Bible, Talmud or Koran had passages in gibberish which were claimed to be in a known language, I would definitely be curious about it. Would I put together a website about it? I just might, if the founder of one of the religions involved ever went on television and told the desperate parents of a missing child that he was dead, and he turned up later very much alive.
Whether or not this web site is "evil" is something I will leave for each visitor to the site to decide for themselves.
This was in response to another email I had sent. I am currently writing an article about Browne's claimed participation in the Polly Klaas case.
I will deal with most of the above paragraph within that article, but I will say that the smokescreen of comparing her nonsense with actual professions is something she uses time and again. I will address it in more detail in the Polly Klaas article.
I find this very interesting.
First, I believe that up until now, all of my correspondence with anyone at sylvia.org or novus.org has been displayed on this site. There has not been a single time when anyone from either of those sites has sent something to me for publication which I have not published.
Ms. Rossi isn't specific here, but I can only imagine that she is referring to the following:
Not long after the Gary and Ree Dufresne Interview article appeared on this site, I received an email from someone claiming to be Sylvia Browne's sister Sharon. Whoever wrote the email, they did indeed have some very uncomplimentary things to say about Mr. Dufresne.
Did I ask for anything to be notarized? No. Here is a direct quote from my March 29 2007 reply to that email:
I never received a reply.
On the same day as the letter purportedly from Sylvia's sister arrived, I received another email from someone purporting to be another of Browne's ex-husbands, Kensil "Dal" Brown. Oddly enough, it was from the same email address as the one purportedly from the sister.
Did I request that anything be notarized? Again, no.
Here is part of my lengthy reply of March 29 2007 to that email:
I never received a reply to this either.
I wanted to make sure the authors of the emails were who they claimed to be, and not someone in Sylvia Browne's office.
So now, Linda Rossi's use of the word "we" (in "when we do send you contradictory responses") is very interesting.
Back to the email...
No, because Gary Dufresne didn't come looking for me. I went looking for him. And before I had even placed the first phone call to him, I had done my research and knew he was indeed the Gary Dufresne who had been married to Sylvia Browne years ago.
The sister and Dal Brown (if that's who they really were) approached me out of the blue, and, when I asked them to simply supply evidence that they were who they claimed to be, I never heard from them again.
Then I wonder: why wasn't Ms. Rossi able to produce any credible evidence of Browne's "psychic powers" helping anyone when Ms. Rossi appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360?
If true, that is commendable.
But with all of the claims by and about Browne which have come under serious question, I hope Ms. Rossi will understand when I don't just take her word for it.
I would imagine there are a few billion people on the planet who would disagree with that statement - people who might not put Browne "on a par" with, say, Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed...
I guess my "contribution to humanity" is for others to judge. But I know that, if nothing else, I have helped a lot of people keep $750 rather than throw it away on a twenty-minute phone call with a cold-reader.
I don't know about "spewing," but this site has contained no "chastisement" for Browne's followers - just Browne herself. This is yet another attempt at "spinning" my position so that members of Novus Spiritus will be less prone to listen to what I have to say.
Ms. Rossi, if you do not like my "evil" web site, if you do not like the facts I discuss here, and the opinions I express here, it would be a simple matter to get me to retract my statements about Sylvia Browne. And it would be easy for Browne to do, if her claims are true.
Show us the proof that I am wrong. Here are some suggestions:
Hell, just showing us proof of Sylvia Browne's Master's Degree in English Literature would be a start.
Again, if Browne's claims were true, these would all be very, very easy things for her to do.
But it does not take a psychic to predict that she won't.
My thanks to Ms. Rossi for her correspondence.
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