Lee Ann Marino’s Review of The Truth About Psychics: What’s Real, What’s Not, And How To Tell The Difference

psychicsThe Truth About Psychics: What’s Real, What’s Not, And How To Tell The Difference

By: Sylvia Browne (with Lindsay Harrison)

  • Hardcover: 411 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (April 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410424073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410424075
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches

I’ll start by saying that I was never the biggest fan of Sylvia Browne (1936-2013) when she was alive. I used to keep track of her predictions, particularly the ones that related to world events or to celebrities, and she had a horrible track record. I remember her accuracy being somewhere in the area of about 10%, which made me wonder why anyone would seek her out, let alone pay her tremendous amounts of money, for readings. Then when I found out she had her own Gnostic-based church, I really wondered what the draw was to her. I get that we are all curious about the paranormal and all, but to actually sit up under a woman who claims to have a “gift” that renders her inaccurate just seemed…well…unwise.

Alas, when I came across her book, The Truth About Psychics, I only bought it because it was a Bargain Book and I thought it might give me some insight into spirits that I was seeking to learn about. As a Christian minister, I find Christian books about spirits and witchcraft all have the same tone: they are trying so hard to make something seem spiritually wrong, they start giving out exaggerated or incorrect information that can be easily proven false. So, when I want to learn more about spiritual activity, particularly in the realm of witchcraft, demonology, or “alternative powers,” I try to read sources that are more about information than prevention. This helps me to better identify things I see in ministry, especially when they are different or manifest differently from what our often untrained experts tell us they are.

The book itself presents some interesting insights into the afterlife as is viewed in the major world religions. She also breaks down different forms of divination in a way that anyone who desires to learn more about it can understand. That’s about all I have to say about the book that is positive. The book itself really isn’t about psychics, but about the entire expanse of New Age paranormal studies, including past life regression, the modern history of the paranormal movement, and different tricks of the trade, but very little of it really focuses on psychics themselves. It also is very clearly written from the personal perspective of Browne herself, and is very opinionated based on her own personal revelations of these matters, rather than fact-based, on issues that pertain to the paranormal. For example, she adamantly opposes Ouija boards, feeling they invite any type of spirit into one’s life, but she is very much in favor of tarot cards. If Ouija boards can invite spirits, why does she think that tarot cards, or divining methods, or reading tea leaves, or even crystal balls are not door openers to the spirit world in a questionable way? Her inconsistencies in perspective as well as slanting of facts from her own clearly biased perspective make the book a huge disappointment.

I give the book one star, as the information on the afterlife and divination methods are decent and easy to understand. The book overall, however, just doesn’t measure up. If you are looking for a book on how psychics operate, don’t let the title fool you. This book isn’t it.

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