Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
“Psychic” Sylvia Browne, a former Catholic school teacher, reportedly told kidnap victim Amanda Berry’s mother on a television show that her daughter was dead. Amanda Berry’s mother died a year later likely thinking that her daughter was dead. Some might say she died of heart failure. But I’m pretty sure she died of a broken heart.
Of course, Berry escaped her captors this week along with two other women.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time Browne has terribly misled families of missing people.
Browne once reportedly told a mother that her missing daughter wasn’t dead at all but was actually working as a stripper in California. Later, police discovered the young girl had been killed in 1996.
Browne reportedly told the family of a missing 6 year old that she’d been kidnapped and forced into slavery in Japan. It turned out that the girl had been killed hours after being abducted.
About ten years ago, Browne reportedly said that an eleven year old boy had been abducted and killed. He was found alive years later.
What kind of person does things like this? Maybe the kind that’s previously been convicted of securities fraud as Browne reportedly had been in 1992. The best possible view I can put on it is that she’s insane. But I think it’s more likely that she is a person who willfully preys on people’s loss and longings for her own fame and monetary gain?
Psychics and mediums, despite what so many people tell you, are not just harmless fun. It's likely they are either complete and heartless frauds or they could actually be something much worse. I can not completely understand what a parent of a missing child must go through. Think of the overwhelming temptation that parents of missing children must feel when police can’t help and a psychic promises to give them some insight, some hope. I understand that. But I recoil at the soul of someone who would prey upon those feelings. What darkness.
Browne has not responded to the growing outrage. Perhaps she’s too busy writing another book. Or maybe she’s busy talking to her spirit friend “Francine” who has reportedly told Browne she’s lived many past lives. As Anderson Cooper tweeted yesterday, “Has she no shame?”
The answer would seem to be no.