ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 29th March 2009, 09:32 PM   #1
PastBrowneFan
Critical Thinker
 
PastBrowneFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 373
Sylvia Begging For Money

I must admit I had to laugh at this one: reminds me of the Televangelist. Next she'll be selling junk on paid programming shows like her former bff Montel. Though I must say I'm glad that I did not write this one, as I still regret writing the one on the Novus Site http://www.novus.org/home/support_novus.cfm

************************************************** ************************************************** *

I need your help and I expect it to be
returned to you a thousand-fold!

In these dire economic times, I am asking for your help to keep my church, the Society of Novus Spiritus alive. It has become overwhelmingly difficult for me to be nearly the sole support of this representation of our belief and philosophy. I am asking for only $1.00 (or more) as seed money and as such, expect it to be returned to you a thousand-fold. God bless you for your help in our time of need.

God love you,
I do,
Sylvia

Use your credit card for your * tax-deductible donation by visiting our secure servers at www.novus.org and use the input box at the bottom of the page or click here to download a word document that you can print, complete and mail or fax to us.

* Society of Novus Spiritus® is a nonprofit religious corporation as defined by the IRS Code 501(c)(3), which was granted on September 7, 1990. In addition, we are a religious corporation under California code RTC 23701d, which was granted on May 8, 1990. Donations are tax deductible. Each donation of $250 or more will receive a letter for the IRS. Society of Novus Spiritus® was originally founded under the name the Church of Novus Spiritus by Sylvia Browne in July 1986.

Society of Novus Spiritus® · 1700 Winchester Blvd. Suite 100 · Campbell , CA 95008 · (P) 408-379-7070

Last edited by PastBrowneFan; 29th March 2009 at 09:35 PM.
PastBrowneFan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2009, 10:26 PM   #2
EeneyMinnieMoe
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,221
Amazing. If they are a nonprofit religious organization, they should be the ones helping others in times of need.

You have to feel sorry for the true and sincere members of this organization who joined because they really felt Sylvia' message was a great one, she was an alternative to things they didn't like in other religions and she was helping people and so on and so forth.
__________________
Help Robert out- please visit (Stop) Sylvia Browne !

StopJohnofGod.blogspot.com
EeneyMinnieMoe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 01:29 AM   #3
rjh01
Gentleman of leisure
Tagger
 
rjh01's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Flying around in the sky
Posts: 24,623
What is the minimum amount that can be spent via credit card? Can I donate $1 by this method? If so then there is no problem, otherwise the e-mail is a bit misleading.

I suggest they are losing supporters. Their forum appears to be slowing down a bit.
rjh01 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 03:39 AM   #4
SirPhilip
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,444
Dead Center

Originally Posted by PastBrowneFan View Post
I must admit I had to laugh at this one
It always surprises me how frequently spiritualism and life are used in conjoined context. Considering spirits (which encompasses shades of mortals to sky gods)are people that are no longer alive - keeping a spiritual institution "alive" is oxymoronic.
SirPhilip is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 04:45 AM   #5
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 6,906
"I am asking for only $1.00 (or more) as seed money and as such, expect it to be returned to you a thousand-fold."

So, I invest $1.00 and Sylvia guarantees $1,000 in return?

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority would be all over this claim like a rash.

I hope you informed RSL of this latest development.
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. Art Buchwald
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 05:22 AM   #6
Hokulele
Deleterious Slab of Damnation
 
Hokulele's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Biggest Little City in the World
Posts: 29,576
Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
"I am asking for only $1.00 (or more) as seed money and as such, expect it to be returned to you a thousand-fold."

So, I invest $1.00 and Sylvia guarantees $1,000 in return?

Nah, she is saying "I am only asking for $1 now, but if you can do this, expect me to return and ask for another $1 at least a thousand times."

__________________
"Oh god...What have you done, zooterkin? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!?!?!" - Cleon
Hokulele is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 05:42 AM   #7
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,198
I was under the impression that each chapter? church? of Novus Spiritus is self supporting, and Browne personally contributes very little, if anything, to subsidize them. Is that incorrect?
__________________
"It's obvious that you seem to be threatened by me for some reason and I find that extremely amusing." - Jodie
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 06:49 AM   #8
Horatius
NWO Kitty Wrangler
 
Horatius's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 27,163
Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
"I am asking for only $1.00 (or more) as seed money and as such, expect it to be returned to you a thousand-fold."

So, I invest $1.00 and Sylvia guarantees $1,000 in return?

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority would be all over this claim like a rash.

I hope you informed RSL of this latest development.

Ah, but "expect" isn't "guarantees", is it? You can expect things all you want, but they may not turn up. Also note, as further wiggle room, she hasn't said when you can expect it to return. "Oh, darn, you died yesterday, just before the $1000 returned to you!"
__________________
Obviously, that means cats are indeed evil and that ownership or display of a feline is an overt declaration of one's affiliation with dark forces. - Cl1mh4224rd
Horatius is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 07:19 AM   #9
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 6,906
Damn - and I forgot to mention RSL's site Stop Sylvia Browne at http://stopsylvia.com/ when I commented on the deceiptful nature of Sylvia Browne's advertising for funds for for her Novus Spiritus "church". That should do it.
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. Art Buchwald
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 07:25 AM   #10
headscratcher4
Philosopher
 
headscratcher4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,776
All, of course, begs the question of what she's done with all the money she raised for all of these years? Invest in Madoff? BTW, is she selling her home, her car, what have you to keep the church going -- it would seem to me she'd want that 1000X profit that the universe will deliver back for such faith in SB.
__________________
Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel.

-- Homer Simpson
headscratcher4 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 07:38 AM   #11
Gord_in_Toronto
Penultimate Amazing
 
Gord_in_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,648
With a little bit of Googling I see that churches registered under IRS Code 501(c)(3) don't pay taxes but do have to file an annual report. Anyone know what this is supposed to contain, whether one(s) have been filed and if they are a public document?

There are also a lot restrictions on what non-profit organizations can do, for example:
Quote:
  • No distribution of financial gains to directors, officers or members.
  • Corporate assets may only be distributed to another tax exempt organization upon dissolution of the nonprofit corporation
Any lawyers around? It seems to me that there is some potential for validating the compliance of the Spirits with the law.
__________________
"Reality is what's left when you cease to believe." Philip K. Dick
Gord_in_Toronto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 08:53 AM   #12
ExMinister
RSL Acolyte
 
ExMinister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,982
Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
What is the minimum amount that can be spent via credit card? Can I donate $1 by this method? If so then there is no problem, otherwise the e-mail is a bit misleading.

I suggest they are losing supporters. Their forum appears to be slowing down a bit.
There appears to be no minimum purchase via credit card unless the merchant decides there should be one.

Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
"I am asking for only $1.00 (or more) as seed money and as such, expect it to be returned to you a thousand-fold."

So, I invest $1.00 and Sylvia guarantees $1,000 in return?

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority would be all over this claim like a rash.

I hope you informed RSL of this latest development.
I'm not sure there's any way to inform RSL these days, other than the possibility that he may be following these threads. He's not available by email as far as I know, since he's been in the hospital, and I wouldn't want to load Susan down with this stuff. Does anyone know if I'm wrong about this?

Originally Posted by desertgal View Post
I was under the impression that each chapter? church? of Novus Spiritus is self supporting, and Browne personally contributes very little, if anything, to subsidize them. Is that incorrect?
Correct.
__________________
www.stopsylvia.com
ExMinister is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 08:59 AM   #13
ExMinister
RSL Acolyte
 
ExMinister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,982
Originally Posted by headscratcher4 View Post
All, of course, begs the question of what she's done with all the money she raised for all of these years? Invest in Madoff? BTW, is she selling her home, her car, what have you to keep the church going -- it would seem to me she'd want that 1000X profit that the universe will deliver back for such faith in SB.
Make that homes.
__________________
www.stopsylvia.com
ExMinister is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 09:07 AM   #14
ravdin
Illuminator
 
ravdin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,985
With any luck, I will see SB on the street corner holding out a tin cup and muttering to herself.
__________________
Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way. -Christopher Hitchens

Believe what you're told. There would be chaos if everyone thought for themselves. -Top Dog slogan
ravdin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 10:08 AM   #15
headscratcher4
Philosopher
 
headscratcher4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,776
Originally Posted by ravdin View Post
With any luck, I will see SB on the street corner holding out a tin cup and muttering to herself.
Not likely, I doubt she risks anything to raise money for this cause, save future earnings...
__________________
Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel.

-- Homer Simpson
headscratcher4 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 10:33 AM   #16
learner
Graduate Poster
 
learner's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,687
Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
"I am asking for only $1.00 (or more) as seed money and as such, expect it to be returned to you a thousand-fold."

So, I invest $1.00 and Sylvia guarantees $1,000 in return?

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority would be all over this claim like a rash.

I hope you informed RSL of this latest development.
I believe that in the UK you need to be a licensed financial advisor before dishing out a x1000 return recommendation. Don't know about the US.
__________________
"I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous" - My Mate Dave
" How do you expect me to use my initiative if you wont tell me what to do?" - Dave again
learner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 11:17 AM   #17
FramerDave
Muse
 
FramerDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 819
Originally Posted by SirPhilip View Post
It always surprises me how frequently spiritualism and life are used in conjoined context. Considering spirits (which encompasses shades of mortals to sky gods)are people that are no longer alive - keeping a spiritual institution "alive" is oxymoronic.
Good start, but it could use a little editing. If I may:

Keeping a spiritual institution "alive" is moronic.

Ah, much better.
__________________
"You're likely to be the next one to get sucked up in a spaceship and butt-diddled and dropped off at the Seven Eleven." mayday

"If you want to see what baby oil does to lactating breasts pm me your email." mayday
FramerDave is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 01:53 PM   #18
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,198
Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
Originally Posted by desertgal
I was under the impression that each chapter? church? of Novus Spiritus is self supporting, and Browne personally contributes very little, if anything, to subsidize them. Is that incorrect?
Correct.
Sorry? Correct that my impression is incorrect, or correct that Browne doesn't financially support Novus Spiritus?
__________________
"It's obvious that you seem to be threatened by me for some reason and I find that extremely amusing." - Jodie
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 01:56 PM   #19
Steelmage
Muse
 
Steelmage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Great, you got her on the run.
__________________
Anything makes sense as long as you do not think about it. -Steelmage

It is better to want what you can't have then to have what you don't want. -Denny Crane, Boston Legal
Steelmage is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 02:21 PM   #20
ExMinister
RSL Acolyte
 
ExMinister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,982
Originally Posted by desertgal View Post
Sorry? Correct that my impression is incorrect, or correct that Browne doesn't financially support Novus Spiritus?
Browne doesn't financially support Novus Spiritus. The ministers and churches outside Campbell are self-supporting and pay 10% back to Browne. I would think Browne owns or rents the facility for the church in Campbell. I doubt the ministers are paid to hold the Sunday church services there either, beyond whatever they are paid if they are on staff.
__________________
www.stopsylvia.com

Last edited by ExMinister; 30th March 2009 at 02:23 PM.
ExMinister is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2009, 05:06 PM   #21
RSL's better half
RSL Groupie
 
RSL's better half's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,167
I just saw this thread. I'll show it to Robert tomorrow. Has anyone shared this with Randi?
RSL's better half is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st March 2009, 02:30 AM   #22
Jackalgirl
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,801
I highly suspect that Browne's statement about returning the investment "a thousand-fold" does not mean that she is promising to return $1000 to people for every $1 they donate.

I suspect that it is more along the lines of the Threefold Law (everything you do comes back to you threefold). In other words, Sylvia is promising that people will feel good (or that good things will happen to them) that will feel like $1000 worth of goodness. It's not a concrete promise, but rather a promise of abstracted goodness down the road.

I am not defending Sylvia Browne. I am pointing out that this is, as always, more in the way she attempts to take money for giving people good (or "saccharine" might be a better word) feelings (among other, more nefarious stuff that she does).
Jackalgirl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st March 2009, 04:24 AM   #23
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 6,906
Originally Posted by RSL's better half View Post
I just saw this thread. I'll show it to Robert tomorrow. Has anyone shared this with Randi?
I found some guidelines at the Federal Trade Commission on advertising, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/resourc...dance/adv.shtm they also have an (online) complaints section.

I've yet to trawl the site for a particular guideline on this type of advertising, but thought others might enjoy some detective work. Perhaps some of us here could do some groundwork on behalf of Robert and James?
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. Art Buchwald
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st March 2009, 07:06 AM   #24
ExMinister
RSL Acolyte
 
ExMinister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,982
Some of you may be reading too much into this seed money thing. It's just a New Agey request for money based on the tithing myth that if you give money (usually 10% of your income) in support of God's work (church, etc), God returns it back to you ten-fold. Some pastors/televangelists go so far as to claim this may come back to you in cash (you give $100, you'll get that back ten-fold). She has exaggerated this to a thousand-fold but the point is that it's not a guaranteed return and she has a church and that's what she's doing. Most people who read it will understand that she is claiming exactly that.
__________________
www.stopsylvia.com

Last edited by ExMinister; 31st March 2009 at 07:08 AM.
ExMinister is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st March 2009, 07:13 AM   #25
Ashles
Pith Artist
 
Ashles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The '80s
Posts: 8,689
It's things like this that almost make you believe there is a God.
__________________
With extraordinary few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat. - Jeffrey Burton Russell
It is obvious to any scientist that the bumblebee can fly because experiment proves it. - Zetie 1996
Ashles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st March 2009, 09:37 AM   #26
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,198
Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
Browne doesn't financially support Novus Spiritus. The ministers and churches outside Campbell are self-supporting and pay 10% back to Browne. I would think Browne owns or rents the facility for the church in Campbell. I doubt the ministers are paid to hold the Sunday church services there either, beyond whatever they are paid if they are on staff.
Thank you. And I agree with ExMinister about the tithing myth. That is the way I have always understood such 'ten fold' statements.

Is there any evidence that Sylvia Browne died as a child and came back as the undead? I don't believe in the undead, but it does come to mind when contemplating her complete lack of conscience, honesty, and compassion.
__________________
"It's obvious that you seem to be threatened by me for some reason and I find that extremely amusing." - Jodie
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st March 2009, 09:48 AM   #27
Ashles
Pith Artist
 
Ashles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The '80s
Posts: 8,689
Originally Posted by desertgal View Post
Is there any evidence that Sylvia Browne died as a child and came back as the undead? I don't believe in the undead, but it does come to mind when contemplating her complete lack of conscience, honesty, and compassion.
And her face.
__________________
With extraordinary few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat. - Jeffrey Burton Russell
It is obvious to any scientist that the bumblebee can fly because experiment proves it. - Zetie 1996
Ashles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st March 2009, 01:57 PM   #28
Earthborn
Terrestrial Intelligence
 
Earthborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Terra Firma
Posts: 6,034
I've heard there is some guy called Pandi or Sandi or something, who gives a million dollars to any genuine psychic. Why doesn't she try that first?
__________________
Perhaps nothing is entirely true; and not even that!
Multatuli
Earthborn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st March 2009, 04:05 PM   #29
Reno
Inquisitor
 
Reno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,483
Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
I've heard there is some guy called Pandi or Sandi or something, who gives a million dollars to any genuine psychic. Why doesn't she try that first?
She already said she will. She is a liar.
__________________
"You're entitled to your opinion; you're just not entitled to have it taken seriously when you can offer no evidence to support it." - Garrison

"I am the danger." - Heisenberg
Reno is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:21 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.