A Tour Of The Afterlife

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Huntn, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
    Sylvia Browne: Life On The Other Side

    Anyone read this? I'm only 2 chapters in, but this very very interesting. The author is a psychic, she has had a spirit guide since she was a young, she was a theology major in college and claims to have studied every religion in the world including the 26 versions of the Bible. She claims through regression hypnosis, she accidentally stumbled into past lives of subjects, some back as far as the pyramids. That reincarnation is a fact, but it is chosen by spirits. She strongly believes in God, but all most everything else, in religion is man's meddling and attempts to exert control over fellow man. Most interesting, apparently she has a spirit guide that likes to blab about the other side. If you are open minded, it's a pretty incredible read, but I acknowledge it all boils down to do you believe her...

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  2. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

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    #3
    Studied every religion in the world? By what measure?

    I'd be curious to read this though, it's always fun seeing people try make this stuff believable. Out of curiosity OP, how much did it cost?
     
  3. Huntn, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #4
    I have not finished the book yet. ;) Seriously, for any kind of media based info, whether it is history, or ghosts, or recent events, belief puts you at the mercy of the reliability of the information. Based on what I know about human beings I all ready suspect that the majority of religious dogma is the creation of man. On the surface, her premise sounds more reasonable than religion as I understand it (being raised Presbyterian and turning Agnostic).

    I assume you don't know who this person is so it's very interesting you sound ready to discount a book like this based on your prejudices. Of course that is what humans do. :)

    This book goes on Amazon for $4-8. It was published about 2000. It's an easy, interesting read. By what measure (she studied regions?)- as much as a theology majors see fit to study different religions I guess. She spent time in a Catholic school and the stuff they were teaching did not jive with her experiences. She states it was her goal to become educated about established religions so she could have a basis to move forward.

    Are you a Theist or an Atheist or other? Because depending on the answer it puts a different light on your "it's always fun" comment. If you are a theist, I'll have a bone to pick. :)
     
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #5
    Why would you believe her?

    She adamantly refuses to have her "psychic abilities" tested, even refusing the chance to win $1,000,000 if her claims are proven; her track record is terrible given that she's wrong far more than she's right, about the odds we'd expect from chance; and she's a disgusting human being... She has a well established history of preying on the weak and vulnerable, charging hundreds of dollars to those who are in dire and desperate circumstances for "services" that are unproven and unhelpful.

    Not only does she prey on the weak and vulnerable, it would appear she enjoys it, like when she told the parents of Shawn Hornbeck (who was abducted in 2002), that their kid was dead... except he wasn't. He was found alive years later, and virtually all of the "facts" she had told police about Shawn's abductor were incorrect. Not only did she give this family devastating news that just wasn't true, she hampered legitimate efforts to find Shawn by pretending to know things she clearly didn't.

    For those who enjoy links: http://www.stopsylvia.com
     
  5. matbook101 macrumors 6502

    matbook101

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    #6
    Ouch. +1 to you sir.
     
  6. Huntn, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #7
    I did not start this thread to defend her but to solicit opinion. Thanks! :) Psychics don't claim 100% accuracy, ever. Refusing to take a "test" might seal her fraudulence in your mind, but that proves or disproves nothing. She claims to have one of the strongest records among psychics. A friend of mine recently went to a show of hers and was able to ask a question about her grandfather, a person that no body in the family would talk about and was absent and she was very impressed with the answer, including his background and which included a name. Proof? No, not without research.
     
  7. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

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    #8
    Nope, no idea who she is. My question about her studying every religion in the world was more to do with what gets to be called a religion. I'm about 99% certain she's studied a lot of different ones but not every single one. Probably just me being nitpicky, but I think that's a very brave claim to make.

    I'm an atheist. I have no problem with others peoples beliefs, I think people should be able to pray to whom or whatever they choose, but claims like those in the original post come off as being something straight out of a bad sci-fi movie. I enjoy poking holes in those sorts of claims (to myself).
     
  8. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #9
    You're right. But her track record isn't any better than what would be expected from a non-psychic. It's barely better than chance. Sylvia also has a history of claiming she predicted an event after it happened, with no record of her prediction before the event. ...Accurate predictions are hard, but rewriting history is easy.

    You're also right: she does claim to have one of the strongest records among psychics, which is a curious claim for two reasons. 1) She's comparing herself to other psychics, which is a bit like stating that superman has saved the most lives of any superhero, and 2) She's the one claiming it, so it's a bit more like Superman claiming he's saved the most lives of any superhero. Are you really going to take his word for it? What would you expect him to say? He's trying to sell you a book, after all.

    Cold reading is very impressive, and works wonderfully, and that's what your friend experienced. It's well established, well understood, and certainly requires no supernatural powers. Sure, maybe Sylvia has psychic abilities which explain your friend's experience, but if your friend's experience can be equally explained without invoking the paranormal (by cold reading), then which is the more rational (and likely) explanation?

    Proof would be nice, but at this point there's not even evidence to suggest she might have extraordinary powers... Except her extraordinary mean streak; that's well documented.

    That's my opinion of her, at least. :)
     
  9. Huntn, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #11
    I did not get it into my last reply to you, but she claims to have a spirit guide who knows about the status of spirits on this Earth. Based on this premise, I admit it would be suspicious if she told a family their son was dead but in reality he was alive, unless spirit guides make mistakes too... ;)

    Years ago I watched a documentary where a college recorded a woman whose son had commited suicide with 3 psychics. I seem to recall one was James Van Praagh. They knew nothing about her but the goal was to see how fast they could figure out her situation. It was impressive to watch. They did not go fishing but zeroed right in on him. Of course, again, this was a tv show...real or fake? I can't say.

    I'm not focused on predictions, but on interactions with spirits. But if she is doing them, and they are wrong, that is suspicious.
     
  10. mudslag macrumors regular

    mudslag

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    #12

    She is a pretend psychic, of course she claims to talk to the dead and sees the future. She wouldn't be able to pull it off without it. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #13
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Yet more proof that the human race is past it's expiration date.
     
  12. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #14
    She's a disgusting excuse for a human being who preys on people when they're most vulnerable to turn a quick buck.

    The fact that she's modified her pathetic charlatan act into a book doesn't make it any less morally bankrupt or any more believable.
     
  13. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #15
    I can't comment on the documentary, but if you get the chance to watch it again, listens to how the psychics ask questions and respond to their subject.

    Psychics (and similar professions) use a variety of methods, including cold-reading (not to mention warm and hot-reads). Psychics may also be adept at reading micro-expressions, applied psychology, and body language. (The show "Lie to Me" was about people who used these techniques to solve crimes.)
     
  14. mudslag macrumors regular

    mudslag

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    #16
    and The Mentalist
     
  15. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I prefer the Buddhist version, where rebirth occurs endlessly, and it is the result of cause and effect.
     
  16. boss.king macrumors 68040

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    #18
    I love that show. That's actually the first thing I thought of when I read this thread, although she is actually not good at it.
     
  17. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #19
    About 28 years before this book was published I made a mental-excursion to the "other side" during a LSD-powered experiment. The place I visited was remarkably similar to what Browne describes in one of the chapters in her book, e.g., hall of wisdom with it's scanning machine, etc.

    At the time however, I didn't view this as evidence of the "other side", I just viewed it was me getting in touch with my subconscious side. Since that 1st visit, I've revisited the place many times during sleep in dreams (of the non-drug induced kind). In some dreams of those dreams, I've had conversation with a "spirit guide" or sorts, who in the real world was a real person that I knew who died while still young. In these dreams, I've walked around the "hall of science" with her and visited many other places on the "other side". But still yet, I write all of this off simply as a journey into my unconscious.

    I'm not bothered from having those sort of dreams. They're extremely vivid and thus very entertaining. Although they often help me sort things out, I don't see them as being any sort of profound revelation. There have been times when they've warned of something to come. But those "visions of the future" were outcomes I could have easily predicted (if I'd given the matter some thought) during my waking hours. I think many humans have had these sorts of dreams for millions of years... It seems to be a pattern.
     
  18. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Utter nonsense. Once someone is dead and brain function ceases they are dead. There has never been any evidence to show anything 'magical' happens or whatever. These people are either deluding themselves or con-artists.

    I'll make my usual request for a peer reviewed scientific paper published in a respectable journal providing evidence of psychics/ESP etc.
     
  19. Sedulous macrumors 68020

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    #21
    I remember watching a documentary by Richard Dawkins called "Enemies of Reason" where he interviewed this woman that claimed DNA is shaped like triangles and aligning the 12 triangles of DNA would make you healthy. Her source? She claimed this was knowledge passed down from the people of Atlantis. Why people believe in this stuff is unfathomable.
     
  20. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #22
    We're still in a dark state of knowledge, we know very little and have proof of very little. Many facts we possess today may well be mocked 3000 years from now.

    There is an incredible universe out there, too incredible for our minds to comprehend right now. Because of that I can't dismiss any possibility.

    Talk above of 'respectable' institutions etc always give me a smile. Men telling other men thy are fit and worthy to pass judgement. Ultimately ridiculous, but currently it's our best method as crude as it is, do I can't blame anyone for adhering to it to some extent. It's a nice security blanket for those who need it.

    Sylvia Brown or any other may or may not be capable of what they think but that doesn't discount the possibility of psychic abilities, the afterlife or extra-dimensional guides.

    Discovery unfortunately lies at the hands of the infinitely fallible man and the quest seems unattractive to any institutionalised researcher.
     
  21. Sedulous macrumors 68020

    Sedulous

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    #23
    And yet the more we learn the less room there is for the supernatural.
     
  22. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #24
    I dismiss no possibility either, but I'm also not going to believe something without any evidence. Sure, anything is possible; that doesn't mean everything is true.

    I respect a man who followed the evidence and got it wrong, more than a man who put his faith in a belief contrary to evidence and was right by mere chance.
     
  23. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #25
    Or more.

    ----------

    I don't even believe what I'm told even when there is 'evidence'. I'm probably a far greater cynic than you, even though my post reads as the opposite to some.
     

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