On December 29, 2009, Mark Edwards â€”Â who has made a name asÂ a mentalist/magician, as well as a skepticÂ â€” along with several of his friends, attended a Sylvia Browne performance at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios. By pooling together lottery chances, they managed to getÂ Edwards a reading from the clawed one, and the entire episode was videotaped.
The picture quality is not great, but you can easily make out the voices ofÂ Sylvia Browne and her cohort Montel Williams. An apparently disgruntled man grills Sylvia about the age of his deceased father, and then Edwards steps to the microphone.
Edwards complains toÂ Browne of being plagued by â€œspiritsâ€; a seemingly innocentÂ problem among believers that the medium can help with. ButÂ he quicklyÂ unveilsÂ anÂ ulteriorÂ schemeÂ when he names the spiritsÂ asÂ Opal Jo Jennings, Terrance Farrell,Â and other deceased people whose memories Browne has desecrated over the years by giving horribly inaccurate “psychic” information. He claims the spirits of these dead peopleÂ are pissed off, presumably because Browne disrespected them and hurt their already grieving families even more. He then fakes a fainting spell for some reasonÂ and isÂ helped out of the theatre.
What is your opinion of the incident? Is this skeptical activism? Grandstanding? Waste of time? What might you have done in this situation?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.