Sylvia Brown is not a real psychic. Still.

As I continue my fight to cure the common cold (this time using naught but tremendous amounts of coffee), one news item in particular has acted as the bright beam of sunlight cracking through my foggy little head: Sylvia Browne’s lawyers attempting to bully my buddy Robert into taking down Oh, the funny!

In the highly comical letter sent to Robert by the Hodgson Law Group (a firm specializing in trademark law in the entertainment industry), Syl and her cronies demand the site be removed because it infringes on the vile harpy’s trademarked name, of all things.

Of course, Robert is quaking in his boots. As a psychic, Sylvia Browne already knows the outcome of the court case that is sure to follow. Oh, wait! Sylvia Browne is not a real psychic! Sylvia Browne cannot use paranormal abilities to predict the future! Sylvia Browne is a hideous ass-beast, inside and out! Sylvia Browne was unable to predict that the letter her lawyers sent has only served to give us all a hearty chuckle, confirming the fact that she is scared and desperate. I would enjoy seeing Sylvia take the stand in a court of law and attempt to disprove any of the above statements.

Keep up the great work, Robert!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. I can't wait till the blitz really starts.

    The sad thing is, when people really catch on that she's a vile monster they'll just find some other hack to latch on to.

    As I have talked about on the SGU board we really need to orginize a grave dancing party for when she goes under. I'm talking full blown chorus lines. Weeks upon weeks of debauchery in the name of a dead monster.

  2. As a public figure, she doesn't have much of basis for that lawsuit.

    I'm hoping that Rob has some friendly lawers offering to help out.

  3. This is vile behavior. It falls into the Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt category of arm-twisting intimidation. I really hope Browne's status as a public figure and the Peter "the truth can't be libel" Zenger tradition make this turn out OK.

  4. On the plus side, I find an irrepressible memory stirred by the subject line "Sylvia Brown is not a real psychic. Still."

    Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. . . .

  5. I think it needs to turn out more than OK, there needs to be a negative backlash to this sort of behavior. I notice shes not going after Anderson Cooper for showing negative peices at her.

  6. That letter is too funny. I'm actually a little surprised she's so desperate already. I was pretty sure that she'll be back to (coniving, evil, abhorant) normal once this missing child bad press dies down. Too many people want to believe in her. Hasn't she learned from all the celebrities in the past that lawsuits only compound ones bad press? Psychic indeed!

    If someone started a site called we could all show Browne how the truth effectively defends itself!

    "I think, therefore I question."

  7. Briarking, psychics see the future, not the past. ;-)

    Remember the part on the Larry King interview with Randi and Rosemary Altea when Altea said she didn't think the JREF Challenge money really existed? Randi replied that they'd been over this before, the money is saved with Goldman Sachs — but I was sort of wishing that he'd say, "I can verify this with a simple telephone call. Is a telephone more powerful than your psychic abilities?"

  8. Amazing. Just amazing. Yeah, there is definitely desperation and a thin skinned ego involved here.

    This is what she has to defend herself with? Transparent-to-nonexistent charges of "confusing" and "diluting" her trademarks and reputation? The more attention she gives Mr. Lancaster and his site, the worse off she'll be.

    One would think her "gifts" would have provided some warning in that regard.

  9. “I can verify this with a simple telephone call. Is a telephone more powerful than your psychic abilities?”

    Dude you need to ghost write for randi.

  10. She won't be able to shut the site down, but there is some risk here. Domain disputes tend to go in favor of the trademark holder. (Usually decided by ICANN, not a court of law though, iirc.) See any one of the www.* cases where major companies won out over disgruntled customers, by spewing that "dilution" line of b.s.

    It would suck for him to lose the domain name. Of course, I think is still available…

  11. Sorry for the double: I realized that some of the more critical disputes have gone in favor of the little guy and it was WIPO not ICANN. (Case in point:

    Still. Something to consider.

  12. r3v, I think that at best, Sylvia Browne's lawyers could try to make a case for libel, claiming the site is only used to dilute the trademark by intentionally making her look bad through the use of false statements. scaring off potential "customers" who stumble upon his site first.

    But since everything on Robert's site is the truth, there's really no case to be made there. In fact, I doubt Sylvia would want to go to court and have every claim on Robert's site scrutinized, only to find them all standing the test.

    Stay tuned though. We may be witnessing the very ugly death-struggle of an exposed con-artist. It's been a few decades since a downfall of this magnitude took place (i.e. Peter Popoff).

  13. Anybody in NY that knows Lorne Michaels?

    I am totally sure the guys at SNL would be more than willing to do a sketch out of SB and this particular case, or maybe a mention in the "weekly news" segment…

    No, really!

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