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Tags Lindsay Wells , sylvia browne

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Old 25th September 2009, 09:57 PM   #1
Questioninggeller
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Sylvia Browne useless again: Lindsay Wells (brother posting in this forum)

Ryan Wells, the brother of Lindsay Wells who went missing March 29th, 1999, appeared with Sylvia Browne on the Montel show. He just posted on the JREF forum, and I wanted to create this thread to discuss his experience in more detail. In that thread, Ryan wrote:

Originally Posted by rwells View Post
#24 My sister is still missing. After going on the show and talking with Sylvia I went looking all around where I live and spent 2 weeks doing it. I even called Sylvias office with no returned phone call.

Ryan Wells.
I wanted to see if Ryan can tell us a little more the experience.

I dug up the transcript of the appearance:
Quote:
TITLE: Vanished with Sylvia Browne; psychic Sylvia Browne answers questions for people who have had a loved one disappear
DATE: February 26, 2003 Wednesday
SHOW: The Montel Williams Show (5:00 PM ET) - SYND
LENGTH: 7232 words
HOST: Montel Williams

...
WILLIAMS: She was nine months pregnant when she vanished without a trace. I want you to take a look at this.

(Excerpt from videotape)

Announcer #2: On the morning of March 29th, 1999, Lindsay Wells was sound asleep in her bed. That was the last time anyone saw the 22-year-old woman. She was nine months pregnant with a son when she vanished. She already had a daughter, Michaeli. The nursery was set up, and the baby shower was scheduled for that week. Lindsay's family, especially her younger brother, Ryan, are desperate for answers. They wonder every day what happened to Lindsay.

WILLIAMS: Please welcome Lindsay's brother, Ryan, to the show. You and your sister were extremely close.

RYAN (His Sister Vanished March 29, 1999): Yes.

WILLIAMS: You were one of the last people to talk to her. Is that correct? Or no?

RYAN: Yeah. The last time I saw her, I dropped her at her house with her boyfriend.

WILLIAMS: That day?

RYAN: It was like three days before.

WILLIAMS: Three days before. Did anybody--who's the last--did anybody have contact with her, with...

RYAN: The last person to see her was her boyfriend's mom.

WILLIAMS: And she saw her at what time?

RYAN: Before she went to work, I guess probably around 10 in the morning.

WILLIAMS: And then did she disappear directly out of--she disappeared from the house. It's like no one knows what--what happened, what time.

RYAN: Supposedly, yeah.

BROWNE: Do you know any person that she was around that was really a little bit shorter than her, very thick build, had a mustache?

RYAN: We have some pictures of a guy, yeah.

BROWNE: Go there. Go there. I mean, go question.

RYAN: Is she alive?

BROWNE: No. For one thing--stop and think about this--it's very much the same as I would say to these dear people here. These are not the kind of people that would have left you hanging, unless they were brainwashed. Do you see what I mean? In other words, she would have called you. You were so close. It's like Montel said.

WILLIAMS: And her baby was due--Right?--I mean, within a week or two--two weeks after.

RYAN: Two weeks, yeah.

BROWNE: Yeah.

WILLIAMS: right.

RYAN: Do you know where she's at?

BROWNE: She is in--what do you call those big cylinder things, you know, like those pipes?

WILLIAMS: Oh, um--um...

BROWNE: I don't know what they call them.

WILLIAMS: Oh, what do they call them? You know when they have big--not causeways, but the drainage pipes.

BROWNE: But they're--they're like big pipes.

Unidentified Audience Member: A culvert.

WILLIAMS: Cauldrons.

BROWNE: Yeah, like a big culvert.

RYAN: Is it in where we live? Because...

BROWNE: Yeah, close to it. Yes.

RYAN: Like it's in the same city.

BROWNE: It can't be--it's above ground. I mean, I don't know why someone hasn't you know--I mean, it's not underground.

RYAN: But it is--OK. Do you know the guy's name or anything?

BROWNE: No, but I don't know who looks like that except this person that, you know, you and I both know. Who looks like that? Shorter than her, kind of stocky.

RYAN: I don't know his name. There's just some pictures that she left.

WILLIAMS: So I'd take those pictures to the police...

BROWNE: They should be able--yeah, please.

WILLIAMS: ... and have the--have that person identified.

BROWNE: Yeah.

WILLIAMS: And then maybe that might be a lead.

BROWNE: A big lead. A big lead.

WILLIAMS: A big lead. I gotta take a little break. We'll be back right after this.

(Announcements)
...
This snip is from the full transcript at lexisnexis.com.



The Wells' family has a website about Lindsay at http://lindsaywells.com for more detail about her case.

Last edited by Questioninggeller; 25th September 2009 at 10:14 PM. Reason: lindsaywells.com
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Old 25th September 2009, 10:00 PM   #2
EeneyMinnieMoe
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QG- I found this one ages ago. It has been on the list for years.

Welcome, Ryan. My utmost sympathies to you.
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Old 25th September 2009, 10:06 PM   #3
Questioninggeller
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Originally Posted by EeneyMinnieMoe View Post
QG- I found this one ages ago. It has been on the list for years.
I think that's how he spotted the forum and highlighted her name in the thread.
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Old 25th September 2009, 11:16 PM   #4
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I apolgize, Ryan, but I have spent too much of the past few years looking into such cases to be the least bit optimistic. Sylvia Browne is normally full of ****, but I cannot use naysaying her crap to build false hope.

I'm sorry.

Last edited by dropzone; 25th September 2009 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 26th September 2009, 12:02 AM   #5
rjh01
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I just added a tag to this thread. I also did a search for
"Lindsay Wells" missing
This thread came up number 2. The other generic thread (http://www.internationalskeptics.com....php?p=5142974) came up number 3. Proof that if you want to discuss missing people and have people find the discussion, this is the forum to do it on.

Number 1 result was http://lindsaywells.com/.
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Old 26th September 2009, 12:04 PM   #6
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Thanks, QG. You're amazing to do all of this. The mind boggles at your work and at her ineptness and giving false hope and still manages to remain famous and trusted by people in pain.
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Old 26th September 2009, 12:30 PM   #7
EeneyMinnieMoe
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Even I'm shocked at the results of this project. When I first started researching Browne, I didn't know very much about psychic detectives and was certain there would be something (though not paranormal) to it. You know? I thought there would be something to debunk.

Maybe there would be a case where she was right or mostly right or half right through educated guessing and luck. Maybe she had gotten hold of some classified police information and used it to her advantage. Maybe someone had told her something off the record and she spilled the beans. Maybe she had a case where it was obvious who did it but the police had not yet arrested him/her and she pointed the finger at the killer and turned out to be "right" when he was arrested and convicted. I thought there were some cases she had solved (though not through psychic means).

She never even had that.

I thought we'd be debunking claims of Sylvia having solved this-and-that. There aren't even claims to debunk.

Why do people think she solves crimes? Why?

There's not an atom of evidence to support it. There's not even an atom of bad evidence to support it!!

There's literally nothing to it. Nothing. Not even false claims or half true urban legends!

She doesn't even get things right by chance or good guessing!
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Last edited by EeneyMinnieMoe; 26th September 2009 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 27th September 2009, 07:51 AM   #8
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My utmost sympathy to the family.

EeneyMinnieMoe, I felt the same way when I started reading up on 'psychic' detectives.
I recognise that sense of shock that there is almost literally nothing to debunk; smoke and mirrors all the way.
Then when it comes the turn of 'psychic' healers, the same thing happens.
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Old 27th September 2009, 01:01 PM   #9
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Once I (and my site) am back on all cylinders, this will be one of the first articles I will write. Thanks yet again, QG.
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Who is "Kaz?" Read about her at www.StopKaz.com.

Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?
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Old 27th September 2009, 01:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
My utmost sympathy to the family.

EeneyMinnieMoe, I felt the same way when I started reading up on 'psychic' detectives.
I recognise that sense of shock that there is almost literally nothing to debunk; smoke and mirrors all the way.
Then when it comes the turn of 'psychic' healers, the same thing happens.
One of the first things I read up on when finding this site was Sylvia brown and then the stop sylvia site. These investigations are very important for people 'on the fence' if not for everyone. I hear your frustration EeneyMinnieMoe and I think many here share it. Keep up the good work you guys!
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Old 27th September 2009, 01:15 PM   #11
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Ryan, I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family. Have you been in touch with our member Kelly?
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Old 27th September 2009, 01:57 PM   #12
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When was Sylvia Brown ever useful.
I do hope they find her alive and well.
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Last edited by Steelmage; 27th September 2009 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 27th September 2009, 06:04 PM   #13
EeneyMinnieMoe
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Well, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that people take psychics at their word and believe that they can find missing people when they say so and give the vague impression that they do.

After all, if someone at a party told you that they were an professional artist or a classical pianist, you would probably believe them (unless you had reason to suspect it was a lie). You wouldn't demand they show you a painting of theirs and prove they had painted it or demand that they play a symphony in front of three independent witnesses with two cameras rolling. If they were lying, it would come out in other ways. Such as that someone asked to see something of theirs out of curiosity or asked them to play a song for them. Same with psychics. You take it pretty much for granted they exist and can do what they say they can do until the evidence they don't comes out all by itself.

Of course, being a pro artist or pianist, while quite rare and very difficult to be, is not physically impossible. While there is no good evidence that any sort of psychic powers exist. If, however, it is part of someone's worldview that psychics exist (or it is not only a possibility to them but something they take for granted) it's as believable to them as there being artists and pianists in the world.
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Last edited by EeneyMinnieMoe; 27th September 2009 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 27th September 2009, 06:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by EeneyMinnieMoe View Post
Well, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that people take psychics at their word and believe that they can find missing people when they say so and give the vague impression that they do.

After all, if someone at a party told you that they were an professional artist or a classical pianist, you would probably believe them (unless you had reason to suspect it was a lie). You wouldn't demand they show you a painting of theirs and prove they had painted it or demand that they play a symphony in front of three independent witnesses with two cameras rolling. If they were lying, it would come out in other ways. Such as that someone asked to see something of theirs out of curiosity or asked them to play a song for them. Same with psychics. You take it pretty much for granted they exist and can do what they say they can do until the evidence they don't comes out all by itself.

Of course, being a pro artist or pianist, while quite rare and very difficult to be, is not physically impossible. While there is no good evidence that any sort of psychic powers exist. If, however, it is part of someone's worldview that psychics exist (or it is not only a possibility to them but something they take for granted) it's as believable to them as there being artists and pianists in the world.
When I was part of her organization I took her at her word when she said she always had a stack of missing persons/murder cases she was working on. We all did. No evidence was offered. But I trusted her, so I was willing to take her word on it.

But you know what I think is going on here? I think this is mostly due to Montel. She made the claims, sure, before she became a regular on his show, and she had a chapter in the first book she published on crimes she'd "solved," which would tend to make a believer think she probably had other successes that were similar. But it was Montel who catapulted her into fame, and they did shows specifically about missing persons/murder cases and she was set up as someone who could psychically solve these crimes. Thanks to the way Montel presented her and conducted the shows (people weren't allowed to openly contradict Sylvia on air, if I recall that correctly), people who already believe in this sort of thing would have no reason to doubt her. In fact, if not for you and QG collecting the transcripts and taking the time to research and follow up on these cases - and of course Robert turning them into articles - no one would be any wiser.

But what you said earlier about her accuracy rate and how she isn't even good at guessing - now THAT totally baffles me, too.

I never imagined she'd be so completely WRONG about so much! I mean, this is someone who gets away with charging $850 a reading! She charges people $1000 to attend a salon!! Shouldn't we at the very LEAST expect her to have amazing cold-reading skills???

But she doesn't! And that's the part that's just so weird. All I can think is that she got away with it because Montel gave her instant "fame." And then she was no longer required to give accurate readings in order to generate clientele. All she had to do was show up on the Montel show and just go along with it.
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Old 27th September 2009, 07:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
But what you said earlier about her accuracy rate and how she isn't even good at guessing - now THAT totally baffles me, too.

I never imagined she'd be so completely WRONG about so much! I mean, this is someone who gets away with charging $850 a reading! She charges people $1000 to attend a salon!! Shouldn't we at the very LEAST expect her to have amazing cold-reading skills???

But she doesn't! And that's the part that's just so weird. All I can think is that she got away with it because Montel gave her instant "fame." And then she was no longer required to give accurate readings in order to generate clientele. All she had to do was show up on the Montel show and just go along with it.
I know exactly what you mean! Not only isn't she a good alleged psychic, she isn't even a good cold reader!

When I saw her in person, I was amazed at how many softballs she missed. If cold reading was baseball, she'd miss Little League pitches. People asked her questions where the obvious answers were contained in the question - and she screwed up in those performances! (Oh, I mean "readings" ). That's why it's impossible that she does hot reading- she can't even focus on, remember and deduce from what someone is flat out telling her!

I'm a better cold reader than she is! How is that possible?

The only theory- like bad actors and bad actresses, she has reached the level of fame where she doesn't even have to be competent because her celebrity is enough.

Maybe she was once a good cold reader. And actually tried. And actually focused and thought about what people were telling her and bothered to use a few tricks.

Edit: It's also true that the power of media is amazing. Amazing. If Sylvia Browne wasn't on TV and being watched by millions, she wouldn't be selling hand readings for 5 bucks a pop. Unless she really stepped up her game.

What fame, TV and millions of viewers can do! And the lended charisma of someone like Montel Williams (who is so slick and so smooth and so charismatic, he could sell you anything. He missed his calling as a politician or lawyer. )

Edit 2: This might be a good quote to use about psychic powers: "It's not even a house of cards. It's a house of smoke!".
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Last edited by EeneyMinnieMoe; 27th September 2009 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 27th September 2009, 09:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
But it was Montel who catapulted her into fame, and they did shows specifically about missing persons/murder cases and she was set up as someone who could psychically solve these crimes. Thanks to the way Montel presented her and conducted the shows (people weren't allowed to openly contradict Sylvia on air, if I recall that correctly), people who already believe in this sort of thing would have no reason to doubt her. In fact, if not for you and QG collecting the transcripts and taking the time to research and follow up on these cases - and of course Robert turning them into articles - no one would be any wiser.

But what you said earlier about her accuracy rate and how she isn't even good at guessing - now THAT totally baffles me, too.
Browne is lucky in one regard. Older shows of Montel aren't available through news transcript services. If those older transcripts were available documenting her wrong claims made to the families of missing and murdered people would be much easier to track. As it stands, we have 100+ cases she was tied to and provided wrong information or no help. If we had further access to the transcripts from the 1990s that number would triple.

She's also lucky that she got away with this before the rise of the internet since older news articles aren't all available in news databases or we'd know more about her involvement with non-Montel missing children and crime.

I think Browne marks the end of an era. With the internet, "psychics" will have to be much more careful in how they interact with the families of missing people. A few seconds at google with a missing persons name and any psychic can have a Shawn Hornbeck repeat.

Montel's show, the tool that she used to gain fame in the 1990s, is the same tool being used to demonstrate her lack of psychic ability in the 2000s. Wouldn't a psychic have seen that coming?
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Old 27th September 2009, 10:07 PM   #17
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That's the sad thing- these numbers are enormous. And they are all the families she victimized from 2001 to 2006! (We have a near "complete" set as we have found almost everyone in the transcripts. Though there are more than a few we just don't have cause we didn't have enough to work with.) They don't even touch her 50 year plus career! And this isn't even to mention all the readings she did off the show!

Well, some of these are private readings that came to light because of newspaper reports...but think how many there could have been that didn't.

If I had the complete transcripts of every show she did for the past 17 years, my job would be very, very, very easy. We'd have a wealth of material to work with several times this size, as QG said.
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Last edited by EeneyMinnieMoe; 27th September 2009 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 15th December 2009, 01:44 AM   #18
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Thanks

Thank You to all. We are still trying to find out what happend. Going on 11 years now. And yes thats how I found this site. I think I typed in "Sylvia Browne" Montel on yahoo. Although I'm not sure how much I can say about the show other then what everyone else has seen and read. But do I feel I was givin false hope? Yes. Did this false hope effect me? Yes.

Ryan Wells
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Old 15th December 2009, 08:01 AM   #19
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I'm sorry to hear about this, rwells. And I'm even sorrier that Sylvia Browne messed with you like that.
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Old 15th December 2009, 09:00 AM   #20
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I also am sorry, Ryan. As a once time believer in Sylvia I am now disgusted by her and her ilk. I am sorry she caused you and yours pain.
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