Ryan Shaffer is a writer and historian. He has a PhD in history and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Global Studies at Stony Brook University in New York.
Recently obtained FBI files shatter Sylvia Browne’s insinuation that she had a relationship with federal law enforcement and show that the only interest the agency had in Browne was investigating her for fraud.
‘Ex-Muslim’ Tries to Revive Reputation and Sues Critics
The modern practice of witch hunting in India includes violence and beliefs that have led to the torture and murder of alleged witches. State governments and rationalist groups are trying to address the problem but face big obstacles.
Indian Skeptic Assassinated, World’s First Anti-Superstition Law Passed
An update of our “Psychic Defective” analysis examines developments in eleven cases Sylvia Browne made predictions about, explores a new reading, and scrutinizes her other failed predictions about the papacy and American politics.
With the rise of Islamic extremism in Pakistan, the country not only has to protect people from fraudulent healers but also has the challenge of protecting these fraudsters from violence.
The Stolen Soundtrack of Faith Healing
Over the years, Occhino has claimed to assist in missing persons cases, talk to the dead, and peer into the futures of celebrity lives. This article delves into Occhino’s predictions and activities, revealing that while Occhino is short on claims, her claims are short on independent proof. . .
An Old and Familiar Face Behind a ‘Phony’ Psychic Business
Sathya Sai Baba, a living god for nearly forty million people, died in April. He had a nine-billion-dollar organization and religious centers throughout the world. Who was Baba? Why was he thought to be a god?
Allison DuBois, the best-selling author who inspired the recently cancelled television show Medium, claims to have amazing psychic abilities. But when her skills are tested in the real world—first with a missing-child case and then at a dinner party on reality-TV—they prove less than stellar.
The most extensive study of alleged psychic Sylvia Browne’s predictions about missing persons and murder cases reveals a strange discrepancy: despite her...
Entertainment, Fakery, and Ambiguity: Examining New York’s ‘Fortune Telling Law’
On October 9, 2009, Tiffany Evans was arrested at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, New York, for fraudulent accosting, attempted grand larceny, and three...
Skeptic’s Web Site Becomes Advertising for Psychic Business
In October, a Hollywood-based Web site selling psychic consultations and other products acquired a notable skeptic's Web site...
Where’s the Responsibility? UK Broadcasting Code Prevents Re-Airing Psychic’s Failure
In all of these television shows, not once has any psychic ability been demonstrated in a double-blind test.
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