Sylvia Browne, whose real name is Sylvia Celeste Shoemaker, is an American writer, psychic, and self-described spiritual medium. Born October 19, 1936, Browne made a name for herself as a guest on popular TV shows, such as Larry King Live, weekly appearances on The Montel Williams Show, and by hosting her own radio show. In these various TV and radio appearances, Browne presented herself as a psychic and medium, discussing issues related to all things paranormal and even giving callers to the show personal advice based on her communications with the dead and her psychic abilities.
Sylvia Browne: A Brief Biography
Sylvia grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. Her father was Jewish and her mother Episcopalian, though Browne has said in many interviews that she herself feels closer to the Jewish faith than any other. Her father worked as the vice president of a major freight line, and Browne’s early life was spent in upper middle class and wealthy neighborhoods of Kansas City, a genesis story that sets her apart from the stories of many psychic mediums who claim to come from poor backgrounds.
According to Browne’s books, her psychic visions started when she was five years old, and that she was taught to understand these visions by her grandmother Ada Coil, who was also a psychic medium. Sylvia was coached and taught by Ada, and Ada Coil’s influence is evident in all of Sylvia’s books and interviews.
Browne’s real career as a medium started out in 1974, giving one-on-one readings to clients in her tiny apartment. Her fame grew by word-of-mouth, and as of this writing, Browne is one of the more expensive psychic mediums in the world. The last time we spoke, she told me she now charges $850 for 30 minute telephone reading.
Browne is a bit controversial because of claims she’s made about her work with police departments and the FBI. Browne has called herself a “psychic detective,” and is almost always in the news when some major crime hits the headlines. Though Browne has never backed up her claims of working with the FBI to solve crimes, she still appears on TV programs and in radio interviews to discuss the location of missing people or bodies–this kind of spiritual medium work is always controversial.
Sylvia Browne’s Website
Launched in April of 2008, SylviaBrowne.com is described as “an online spirituality destination that includes articles, blog postings, and videos from Sylvia.” On her Website, you can find information about getting private readings from Sylvia, and information about the abilities of her son Chris, whose services are listed on the Website as “discounted.” Chris charges around $300 for a 30-minute telephone reading, and claims his psychic medium powers are a genetic gift from his mother.
Sylvia Browne’s Predictions
One of the things Browne is most famous for are predictions. Anyone who makes predictions about the future, especially the near-future, is going to be controversial. Here are some samples of Browne’s most recent predictions, taken from an interview with SpiritNow.com in 2008:
“I predict a great rise in skin cancer in children until 2010. There is a lot of media coverage about the UV rays and many products to protect people against them.”
I’ve searched and searched and I can’t find anything about an increase in skin cancer in children between 2008 and 2010, and nothing about increased skin cancer among the young between 2008 and this writing, either. You could chalk up this prediction to a misreading, a misunderstanding, or just bad advice.
“I predict the President elected sometime between 2008 and 2020 will die in office from a heart attack. The Vice President who will finish their term will have an unpopular and mistaken intention to declare war on North Korea. By that time, North Korea will have weapons of mass destruction. In the middle of efforts to declare war, I predict the Vice President will be assassinated.”
Saying something of this magnitude is a big deal for any psychic medium. There are four elections between 2008 and 2020, and so far, no President has died in office from a heart attack, but we still have eight years to go to test this prediction. It is interesting, however, that Browne talks about the VP wanting to declare war on North Korea and their possession of weapons of mass destruction, as this falls in line with the latest news from North Korea. Whether or not a Vice President planning to go to war with North Korea will be assassinated is still up in the air, though it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that America could go to war with North Korea, as that nation accumulates long-range missiles and continues to undergo a ton of political instability.
Sylvia Browne Church 2012
One thing Browne has done that no other modern medium has really gotten into is founding her own church. Novus Spiritus is a self-described “Gnostic Christian” church, which is strange considering that Browne has talked a lot about her Jewish faith in the past. The church has a grand total of 40 ministers, with Sylvia acting as just one of many leaders of the church.
According to the church’s Website, they follow “the same traditions and teachings which Jesus himself followed, yet does not exclude Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, or Hinduism.” Sylvia Browne’s church sounds more like a Unitarian/Universalist group, but they cling to that Gnostic Christian label, though nothing about the church is particularly Gnostic. Sometimes Browne’s sermons and spiritual readings include readings from the Gnostic Gospels (such as the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Thomas), and she has been known to say that the Bible is a great book full of wisdom but is not “the unaltered word of God.”
Browne has her hand in a lot of different projects, and continues to give psychic readings, make TV appearances, and minister at her Novus Spiritus church in California, even though she had what was described as a “massive heart attack” in 2011. If you’re a fan of Sylvia Browne, you have plenty of books and magazine articles to pore through, as she is a particularly popular spiritual medium. Though her predictions haven’t always come true, she’s a major voice in the psychic community, and her founding of a Gnostic Christian church represents a new movement in the world of modern-day psychics and spiritual leaders.