My Bet’s on People Who Use Data, Facts

I’m sure by this point everyone has heard that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight have been found alive after being held captive for ten years in a Cleveland home.  The reunion, however, was one person short as Amanda’s mother died back in 2006 of pancreatitis.

She also died convinced that her daughter was dead, thanks to the load of utter crap heaped upon her by professional “psychic” Sylvia Brown.

Desperate for any clue as to Amanda Berry’s whereabouts, and tired of unanswered questions from authorities, Miller turned to a psychic on Montel Williams’ nationally syndicated television show.  The psychic said what the FBI, police and Miller hadn’t.

“She’s not alive, honey,” Sylvia Browne told her matter-of-factly. “Your daughter’s not the kind who wouldn’t call.”

Browne said she envisioned Amanda’s jacket in a Dumpster with “DNA on it.”

No one wants to hear that their chronic or terminal illness has no cure, or that they’re going to lose their home and get thrown out into the street, or that their child who simply vanished without a trace one day is still missing … with no leads, clues, evidence, or anything that could put their minds at ease.  Nobody wants to have to live through something so traumatic while enduring the perceived indifference (right or wrong) of those tasked to help … so it’s completely understandable to just want some kind of answer.

Unfortunately, those answers and plenty of other forms of false comfort are in abundance thanks to people like Sylvia and other “empaths”, “intuitives”, or whatever the hell they call themselves now who prey on these especially vulnerable people like the ill, the financially unstable, or those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.  Thankfully, during the ten years of her absence, investigators took a somewhat more practical approach to her case:

The FBI and police put less faith in Browne’s powers, saying they still will consider Berry alive and missing until her body or evidence is found to prove otherwise, officials said.

Obviously, we now know the outcome.  As unlikely as the circumstances may have been, Amanda and two others escaped and are very much alive.  I doubt in all sincerity they’ll ever be truly “well” again but time, therapy, and family support will hopefully go a long way.

As for Sylvia, she was wrong yet again … thus further demonstrating why psychics aren’t used by the FBI and other official institutions.  Maybe before enlisting her services, there should be a warning to potential customers that she has been proven wrong enough times that there is little reason to think she’s anything other than a fraud.  Adept at cold-reading, perhaps … as desperate for your money as you are for an answer … but not an actual psychic.  You’re better off with a magic 8-ball and a bottle of Johnny Walker Black.

Well, enough complaining about her.  To Amanda, Gina, and Michelle, welcome home.

(photo from the FBI)

This entry was posted in Dr. Bob's House of Crap, generic skepticism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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