Sylvia Celeste Shoemaker (now Browne, having added an e to the Brown of her third of four marriages) is a psychic, medium, bestselling author, regular on TV and radio talk shows and purported aide to police and FBI investigations and doctors (350 of them at last count) for certain types of treatments. She entertains in Las Vegas and the world over. Her grandmother was a so-called psychic, and her son and granddaughter, too, at least by her mentioning. She has written a book on Heaven (Life on the Other Side, Dutton Adult, 2000), which she says is 3 feet above ground at a higher vibrational level with a constant 78°F (25.6°C) temperature, where there are pets. She has also scientifically proven the existence of an afterlife. Scientifically, mind you.
She has been indicted and convicted of investment fraud and has a long running feud with the Great Randi. She got the latest “laugh,” when in 2001 on the Larry King Show she warned Randi about a coming heart attack, which he suffered in 2006. She also foresees prostate cancer for another nemesis, Paul Kurtz, but men of advanced age are prone to this condition. Kurtz remains free of that ailment. All good predictors skew their predictions based on sound statistical evidence.
She agreed three times (they appear together regularly on TV shows) to be tested by Randi, but has conveniently provided excuses, including not being able to find him, which drew the obvious response: if she can locate people in Heaven, how can she not find me in Florida?
In 2004 and 2005, on the Montel Williams TV Show, she predicted that troops would be pulled out of Iraq, Osama Bin Laden was dead, Michael Jackson would go to jail, Martha Stewart wouldn’t, the U.S. would go to war with North Korea and Elizabeth Taylor would die, among some of them. She scored with 25-30% accuracy, but two 4th grade classes in Oklahoma City scored about 50% on the same issues.
She tried again in 2006:
o The weather will be worse than last year (WRONG)
o Hurricanes will hit the northeast U.S. (WRONG)
o Two more earthquakes in Asia. (WRONG)
o Governor Schwarzenegger will lose popularity and reelection. (WRONG)
o The 2008 presidential election will be between Kerry and McClain (not wrong yet, but will be)
o The U.S. will not invade Syria (RIGHT, but that’s pretty easy to predict)
There were 32 issues, and she guessed right on less than 10%, with some of the hits being of questionable nature, like the immediate above.
Her predictions for the next century? Remodeling of face to duplicate any look. People will be able to walk out of their bodies at death. There will be no U.S. presidency, as the country will convert to a Green Senate structure. Tsunamis will wipe out a large portion of Japan. After 2050, the people will turn to spirituality. One planetary government. People will see and speak with deceased ones on the other side. Aliens will begin to appear. There are 40 predictions, and some of them actually make sense.
Her first husband, Gary Dufresne, was quoted in 2007 that Sylvia admitted she had no paranormal abilities, but that the gullibles deserve to be taken. So why am I spending so much time on her? She talks about the afterlife. A lot of Americans believe in her and I worry about why they do.