I know some of you sarcastic folk are going to give me shit about this, but I swear I don't normally watch Montel. That being the case, while I was tidying up the master bedroom this afternoon, I grabbed the remote and hit power. The television was tuned to the channel that carries Montel's talk show.
Now, I'm not a Sylvia Browne fan. I think she's a fraud. More than that, I think she's a shameless manipulator. If you doubt this, then please read this. The widowed woman (we'll call her Jane) in the account is an old friend of mine. For those who don't want to read it, I'll do a redux of the issue.
Jane lost her mother to breast cancer when she was very young. It kind of haunted her because her she didn't get to say "good bye" before her mother died. More than that, experiencing something that traumatic in youth could lead you, in my opinion, to seek some way to change the reality of the situation. Reality says that your mom is dead and there is no way you can truly communicate with her. So, grasping at any straw is probably part of human nature. ESPECIALLY as a child.
Jane grew up. Went to school. And, finally met a fantastic guy who she ended up marrying. When they married, he was (I believe) training to be a firefighter. He received his first post just ten weeks before the attacks on 9/11. He died on 9/11. So, Jane is distraught. She considers suicide. She remembers reading the book by Sylvia Browne and, having seen her on television, decides that she wants a reading. She calls and they tell her Sylvia is booked for a year and that she should go to a class or reading to get an in. She blurts out that she can't wait that long or afford a bunch of lectures. She tells the scheduler that her husband died on 9/11. Well, this was the magic word! The scheduler promised her a phone interview with Sylvia post-haste and gave her a discount if she would allow Sylvia to use the reading in a book in the works. Here's where it gets interesting- Sylvia and she do the phone reading. Sylvia, after some cold reading, tells her that her husband "knew he was going to die" when he went "into the building". "It was his destiny." "He helped people down the stairs" before dying. One problem. Jane's husband died in a car accident while responding to a fire. And, he was far, far away from the attack sites. Whoops. Sylvia back-peddled and sputtered and then called Jane a liar who wanted to take Sylvia down. Thus...I think Sylvia Browne is probably one of the most repulsive people on the planet.
Anyway, as I was saying, I caught the show today. Sylvia goes on his show every Wednesday to cold read the audience and diagnose people with medical problems they do not have and are medically impossible, but...you know, it's hard to run a scam these days. *rolls eyes* Montel starts talking about two women who are haunted by dolls. After the commercial break, a video montage rolls and talks about two women who were given four "Aztec Incan sacrifice idols" (Sylvia's words) by a cousin who'd dug them up in Mexico. These idols are clearly very old and one wonders why these two women hate their cousin so much as to do a show that could get him arrested for smuggling antiquities from a foreign country. But, I digress...
The women put these idols in their living room and one idol starts "decaying" (Sylvia's word after seeing the video). Let's set aside the fact that non-organic matter doesn't really decay. One idol loses a foot. Over the next week, one of the women develops a horrible foot fungus that won't go away. How very Greg-Brady-v-Tiki-God! She goes to doctors who can't diagnose her foot rot. So, she decides that the footless stone idol is creepy and takes it outside...where she bashes it to smithereens with a hammer. Now,...if this were me and I imagined some hocus pocus of angry idols, wouldn't completely destroying it just piss the other three off? I would think your bad juju points would skyrocket! As time goes by, they bash another idol for some reason I didn't quite catch. They are convinced these things are terrorizing them and giving them bad luck.
Of course, they did have to fly to the studio for the taping of the show. And, they brought the two, evil remaining idols. WTF? If you think the idols are the cause of your bad luck, why the hell would you get on a plane with them? They sit in the audience with these things and ask all sorts of stupid questions.
In five minutes, Sylvia tells them they are "Aztec Incan" "sacrifice idols" that are "2000 years old". *boggle* Let's review our Mexican history, shall we?
* The Aztecs controlled Mesoamerica in the early 1500s, but they had only existed as a civilization for some 200 years.
* The Incans were in dominated the west coast of South America in the 1200s.
* The idols the women hold are not "sacrifice idols", but fertility idols.
So, one wonders how these "Aztec Incan" idols broke all physical laws of space and time to be in both places at once. And, one wonders why it would be a "sacrifice idol", as neither culture left stone idols with their sacrificial humans. Sylvia doesn't stop there, though. She then starts babbling on about the fact that these women need to banish the idols from their home, because "they're not worth anything. Just get rid of them." At which point, Montel jumps up with a hammer. He rushes the women and says, "Let's just solve this right now." and reaches for one of the stone idols. The women, luckily, aren't that friggin' stupid and one tells Montel that a local museum offered them "several thousand dollars for the dolls". Gosh! I'm so glad they're "not worth anything". And, let's hear it for Montel Williams - destroyer of ancient artifacts in the name of pseudo science! What a nimrod.
The stupid...it burns!!!!!!!!!!!
Sylvia Browne is an uneducated sheister.
Montel Williams is an enabler of epic proportions and all-around stooge.
Between this episode and my friend's experience, I'm amazed that this woman can appear in public without people stoning her. No wonder she never accepted James Randi's Million Dollar Challenge.