Sylvia Browne is a professional psychic whose career began on May 8, 1973
with a small meeting, and is still going strongly with appearances in several
TV shows (Larry King Live, for instance).
A ticket for one of her own shows may sell for upwards of $200, while a private
psychic reading by telephone will take care of that $700 you simply couldn't bear
to keep in your wallet anymore.
In an almost unprecedented move for the psychic community, Sylvia actually
agreed be tested for James Randi's Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge...
...851 days ago (as of January 1, 2004).
She tried to back out of it, claiming that she was unable to contact Randi
(www.randi.org, go figure) and that he didn't call her back; with a sly move,
Mr. Randi sent her a certified mail, and the documentation is on display
on his site - along with a "Sylvia Clock", ticking away the days since her public statement
In her website (www.sylvia.org) she takes great pains to dissociate herself from psychic hot lines or 900
numbers, and her web site warns visitors about frauds perpetrated in her name.
Sylvia also makes predictions for the next 100 years; mostly it's Star Trek stuff, robotic houses, electric cars and so on, but there are some gems like "Execution for the death penalty will become a complete vaporization of the body." Talk about cruel and unusual punishments!
As a side note, she claims to be a Catholic; I'd like to hear her explanation
about some passages of the Bible, most notably
"Let no one be found among you [...] who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the
dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord." (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 NIV).
See also Leviticus 19:31; II Kings 21:6; I Chronicles 10:13; II Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19-20.