8 May 2020

Sylvia Browne Predicted the Covid19 Coronavirus and Skeptics are going crazy!

UPDATE: Please Read This First
I hate that I have to write this, but due to the abuse I am getting from the so called Skeptic community I think it is best I say a couple of things.

2. The whole point of this article is about the difference between a good skeptic and a great skeptic. Taking a deliberate "click bait" type headline and breaking it all down. A good skeptic just debunks a claim. A great skeptic gives the claim the benefit of the doubt, gives the claim every possible chance to be real, puts the claim on a pedestal and STILL debunks it. And by doing so removes all doubt.
3. If you read the whole article I actually expose Sylvia's claim, yet I have skeptics who only read half the article and then call me a "Sylvia Browne Apologist". You people are not true skeptics, you are imbeciles. And you are the very people I reference in the headline about "going crazy".

By Jon Donnis
I have always wanted to write a ridiculous click bait type headline like that, and now I have my chance.

So before I start let me make a few things clear. Sylvia Browne is dead, she died on 20th November 2013, and up until the day she died she maintained that she was a real psychic medium, who could communicate with the dead and see the future. That was a lie. She was a fraud. Like literally, a convicted fraudster. In 1992, Browne and her then-husband Kenzil Dalzell Brown were indicted on several charges of investment fraud and grand theft, she was found guilty.

So to make absolutely clear where I stand on Sylvia Brown, she was a fake, a fraud, a con-women, a charlatan, in fact I was exposing her as such decades ago, and in fact I helped the late great Robert Lancaster start his "Stop Sylvia" website, and when he started that, I stepped back from writing about her, as he was going to only concentrate on her.

Now with that out of the way, let's get back to the lovely click bait headline, that any hack at the Tabloid media would be proud of.

Sylvia Browne predicted the Covid19 Coronavirus.

This was bizarrely first brought up by everyone's favourite tooth shaped celebrity Kim Kardashian.

Sylvia wrote a book in 2008 called "End of Days" whereby she recorded many future predictions.
And yes in that book is the very passage that Kim shared on her twitter account.

She wrote
"In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tunes and resisting all known treatments. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it arrived, attack again ten years later, and then disappear completely."

Now let us ignore the ten years later bit, as we will have to wait until 2030 to see if that happens.
So did she get this prediction correct? Yes.

Unlike the vast vast majority of psychic predictions she was very specific. She gave a year, she described the symptoms of the disease, and how no treatments would work.

These claims are objectively true. Let us look closer at what she said.
"around 2020"
Well the virus officially started in 2019, but it became a global pandemic in 2020, so for her to use the word "around" is actually more accurate than it is vague. A lot of skeptics have tried to use that as an excuse to dismiss it.

"a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tunes"

From a laypersons point of view, she perfectly describes the symptoms of the Covid19 Coronavirus. This is not some vague "he felt a pain in his chest before he died" type of claim you often get from mediums. This is an accurate and very specific description of the main symptoms of the virus that people suffer with who get very ill and then die.

She also stated it "will spread throughout the globe", again this is objectively true. She could have easily just said the United States, in fact if I was to make a vague future prediction, it would be easier to just say one country, that way if there was a bad flu outbreak that year (which there was at the end of 2019) you could claim that you were correct. But instead she clearly states it will spread around the globe. Unlike any other major outbreak of this kind in history, this virus has spread around the globe, to more countries than SARS, MERS, or any of the big name coronaviruses you will have heard of.

Next up she stated "resisting all known treatments" again so far this is objectively true. China knew of the virus at least 6 months ago, if not longer, but at the very least 6 months, so after 6 months can you name a single confirmed treatment that works? There has been some promising results with a few treatments, but at the best they may help you recover a couple of days sooner if at all. So 6 months after the virus is out there, and we have no truly workable, accepted treatments. Now that doesn't mean there wont be one, but as of writing this, her prediction is objectively true on the treatments aspect, and even if there is a treatment found tomorrow, that's 6 months worth of her being right.

The rest of her prediction we can't answer since we don't know if it will just vanish itself, or if it will come back, so that has to be left open.

Up to this point of the article I can see you all scratching your heads and asking "I thought Jon was supposed to expose fake psychics and mediums, yet all he has done so far is point out Sylvia Browne was right".

And now we get to the problem I have with this whole story. As skeptics we are supposed to look at the evidence and build our opinion based on that evidence, and so far pretty much every skeptic has blindly dismissed Sylvia Browne's prediction, just rubbished it without any real explanation. I have seen some skeptics just say she was vague, others just refuse to even talk about it, yet I have shown here she was not at all vague, she was incredible specific. Others have pointed out that she was a proven fraud so what's the point of giving any credence to this prediction, and yes there is some weight to that argument, but there is also the counter "black swan theory". In other words it only takes one black swan to prove that black swans exist. (They do exist by the way, the theory was talked about when there was a presumption that none existed).

So where does that leave us?
It leaves me annoyed with the skeptic community, for they do the very thing they accuse others of doing, ignoring the evidence, being closed minded, dismissing out of hand something just because it seems impossible or unlikely.

As skeptics the thing we demand more than anything from psychics is for them to be specific, we don't want vague comments that could apply to anyone, we want specific dates, times, names, descriptions, we harp on about this all the time, and this one time we get the kind of super specific example of a psychic prediction, and the skeptic community buries its head in the sand.

I refuse to do that.

So I am stating here that in 2008, in her book "End of Days", Sylvia Browne made the single greatest, most accurate, self proclaimed "psychic" prediction in history. Her prediction on any level of understanding was correct and it could yet further come true as time passes.

But now the big problem. I am a skeptic, I have accepted that her prediction came true, it was not at all vague, how do I deal with this. Quite simply really. Of the thousands and thousands of predictions she made in her life, she got one right. It's that simple. She had a failure rate of 99.99999%. She was a fraud, a fake, and just once, she got something right.

If I make a pinhole in a wall, pick up a handful of sand and throw it at the wall, and one single grain of sand lands in that pinhole, I can claim correctly that I threw a single grain of sand and it landed in a pinhole, something so impossible to do, that the fact I did it means I have magic sand throwing powers.

Now we can talk about how and where she came up with the idea of the prediction, well the SARS outbreak happened a few years before she wrote her prediction, that virus infected over 8000 people around the world, killing 774. It infected people in 29 different countries, so very much a "global" disease.
But here is where it gets interesting, the SARS virus came, it then went, it then came back and then it disappeared, and there has not been a single case of it in over 15 years. Sound familiar?

There was no treatment for SARS and no vaccine was every created, and in fact Covid19 is a strain of that virus, so if we had have developed a treatment for SARS it would likely help in the fight against Covid19.

When you look at the SARS outbreak, the lack of treatment etc, it kinda sounds like what Sylvia predicted does it not?

Since she released her book there has actually been 4 different outbreaks that had she used a different year in her prediction, they would also fit.

Swine Flu 2009-2010 (200,000 Dead)
MERS 2012-2020 (850 Dead)
Ebola 2014-2016 (11,300 Dead)
Covid19 2019-2020 (270,000+ Dead)

Remember no where in her prediction did she actually state number of people who would die.
So if a virus had killed less than 1000 people like MERS has then her prediction is just as accurate as Swine Flu which killed 200,000 people.

Before the SARS outbreak, with the exception of HIV, there had not really been any major worldwide virus since the late 60s and the Hong Kong flu.

The question you have to ask yourself, would she still have made the same prediction had the SARS virus never have happened? or if it had not gotten media attention? Probably not.

So when you look at these things as a whole, when you put things into context, then you can figure out the more likely reasons behind the prediction, but to just dismiss it, is a mistake, for when you just dismiss such things, you make yourself a target of the deluded.

Never back away from such a claim, I didn't, and I'd like to think I explained away her prediction pretty well. But let us not pretend that her prediction was not in itself, and on its own, and without further context, the single greatest "psychic" prediction in history, it was. But that still does not make her psychic.

By Jon Donnis.

(Some of my numbers might be off, or might change as time passes, so please if anything is wrong feel free to correct me in the comments, also please feel free to leave your opinions, and if you think I am wrong, then say so.)

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Unknown said...

Nice one. I was waiting (and in my head predicted) for the part where you would mention how many 'failed' predictions she made. At least she was more accurate than Nostradamus. Although his vague meandering quatrains are actually fun to read.

JD said...

You should see the abuse I'm getting on social media from people who haven't read the whole article and think I'm defending her. ,🤦🏻‍♂️

Unknown said...

That is a sign of the typical attention span. It has become more and more suited to the length of a tweet. Thanks for the nice write up, and your work in general.

Adrian H said...

Great Post Jon I have taken the liberty of putting a link to this article on a skeptical/atheist forum of which I'm a member it'll be interesting to see what people there make of it.

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