Sylvia Browne was a world renowned psychic and spiritual teacher who gained wild popularity in 1970’s after her opening of the Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research, a nonprofit organization that aimed to assist in clairvoyant research.
Sylvia was born in 1938 in Kansas City, MO and seemed to be destined for a psychic career from the start. Many members in Browne’s family had claimed to have clairvoyant abilities and Browne even had an uncle that she claimed had connections to UFO’s.
Sylvia Browne had realized her psychic abilities very early on in life at just the age of three when she, with assistance from her medium grandmother, started to cultivate her own psychic abilities. For years growing up, Sylvia gave readings and spiritual guidance to family and friends, which strengthened her abilities and love for her gift.
Along with Sylvia deeply psychic beliefs, Browne held a spiritual connection with God being raised in a mostly Catholic upbringing. Browne even attended a Roman Catholic college in Kansas before committing herself to clairvoyant studies.
At 28, Sylvia decided move to California from Missouri to expand her reach and to help people on a larger scale. Sylvia spent time through out California giving spiritual readings to a growing number of supporters but wanted to be able to professionally assist individuals on a large scale. In 1974, Browne had reached a high enough level of support and popularity to manifest her dreams and opened the Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research, which would later be renamed The Sylvia Browne Corporation.
Along with the Nirvana Foundation, Browne opened a church in 1986 in Campbell, CA under the name the Novus Spiritus, a Gnostic Christian church, incorporating teachings from various religious sects.
Browne claimed to have a variety of gifts and special talents in clairvoyant nature. Browne used different practices such as hypnotism, fortune telling and speaking with God in her readings. Mostly Browne operated as a Trance Medium and was said to believe that she was assisted in her practices from an Aztec woman named Francine whom she had first encountered when she was 8 years old.
After the Nirvana Foundation had opened Browne’s popularity took off and national recognition soon followed. Browne began to get bookings on popular radio and television programs which only expanded her reach and popularity. Browne had become a return guest on both the Montel Williams Show and Larry King during the peak of her career.
Along with media success, Browne became a best selling author, writing over 50 books with over 20 landing on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Browne had made many claims during her career that gained extreme media coverage and even was involved in some detective cases. Sylvia’s most controversial claim was that of the Sago Miners in 2006. Browne claimed live on a radio program that the miners who had been caught in a mining collapse would be found. During the program it was discovered that they were found but that there were no survivors. Browne quickly changed her claim stating she thought they would be found dead in fact.
Along with the Sago Miners incident, Browne had made over a dozen claims in high profile cases and investigations that later turned out to be false. These and other claims led James Randi, a psychic skeptic who offered a million dollars to anyone who could pass his psychic abilities test, to believe Browne was a fake. On one episode of Larry King, Browne insisted she would have her abilities tested by Randi but avoided the actual test for years following.
Browne ultimately made one last incorrect prediction regarding her own death which she claimed would occur when she was 88 years old. Browne died on November, 20 2013 in San Jose, CA at age 77. Regardless of your beliefs in Browne’s abilities there is no denying she was a one of the most popular psychics in the country and perhaps the world during her career. Her rise and fall in popularity was riddled with controversy and it is hard to say how many, if any of the claims that Browne made throughout her life were ever proven to be true.
Browne’s legacy and practice still live on through her son Chris’s work who operates under the Sylvia Browne Corporation today. Chris offers live readings in the Sylvia Brown Corporation’s office in Campbell, CA and also via Skype and phone.