WARNING: This is really long. Be gentle with your scroller-roller thingy if you want to read an earlier entry.
Already partway through the starting preview, and it's looking extra-silly, speaking of repressed memories by aliens. "Sylvia's clearest vision ever" is a featured line. How much do you want to bet nothing will come of it? Or even that it will ever be mentioned ever again?
2 minutes, 11 seconds: We're not off to a terribly good start, with Montel seeming almost proud of how shamelessly he promotes her book. I know that's a standard thing, but this seems a bit more excessive. I'm willing to suspect that's my bias showing. Not going to pretend I'm unbiased. At least he doesn't go into too much detail.
First other guest: A woman broken up about the ghosts in her house. Mentions a woman's head peeking around the corner. Yeah, and I always end up seeing fellow residents thanks to blurry peripheral vision. Some scenes are spookified by putting them in negative. Vague man in a suit and another in a hooded coat. Claims they were seen by her family, probably after she mentioned them herself. Wonder what would happen if they independently told some police sketch artists some descriptions. Probably would be a lot of variance.
Moving along, she mentions a physical attack. She says she was in bed, going to sleep and heard an electrical humming in her head and wound up paralyzed. Fellow skeptics probably know the most parsimonious explanation for that. A fairly typical description of one of the related nightmares/hallucinations follows, including fears that the ghost or whatever'll steal her soul.
It's situations like this that demonstrate that magical thinking and all that isn't gumdrops and lollipops, like woos are fond of implying.
~5:00 Sylvia says the ghost (which one?) is named Carl, along with a female named Darla. How we verify this, I don't know. Says that she's doing this to herself, describing it as "Astral catalepsy." Says the subconscious is powerful, which I don't doubt, but she's saying it's her trying to get back in her body or something. The guest doesn't seem to be very willing to accept it. Sylvia then waters down her assertion it was her fault by saying the ghost made her vulnerable or something.
~6:00 She describes a Native American ghost, and Sylvia manages to stutter out "Silver Dove" as his name (something that'll probably go unverified), probably because she's used to typical non-native American set of names. Says he comes and goes. Mostly concerned about Carl and Darla from earlier. Only after the
~7:00 Montel brings up a good point. If ghost attacks were so effective, wouldn't people be dying (literally) for a chance to get revenge on someone? Of course, this question seems to be raised to defend the whole "Astral catalepsy" hypothesis over the ghost attack one.
~7:30 In an abrupt change, and audience member asks if she'll meet "somebody" in her future. Great. We've got a woman spiralling downward as a result of sleep paralysis, and someone changes the subject to her love life. Montel comments with mock frustration about the commonality of the question.
Preview before first commercial break: Seems someone lost an hour in their car. My gut is already telling me that they forgot about daylight savings time.
Sweet annoying commercials. Takin' a break.
Return: She's going to find a Richard in 3 1/2 years. Turns out her ex is named "Michael-Richard." Weird name. Think we'll be seeing her again in 2009/2010ish to verify? No, I don't, either. I hope she doesn't take Sylvia seriously and pass on a soulmate because he isn't named "Richard." More likely, she'll keep doing what she's doing and will look for a tenuous "Richard" link to justify it.
Next guest is someone who went stargazing. Saw three stars in a triangle (along side a dramatization showing an equallateral triangle, though she didn't specify that, yet). As we all know, humans can perfectly perceive angles and recall them with exactitude. Joined together and went neon green. Saw some grays with a flashlight. And another sleep paralysis-like dream/hallucination-sounding experience where she has trouble escaping. She wakes up, has a little car trouble that probably got exaggerated, and manages to get going on the second try. Gets home and notices the clock indescrepancy, which was probably around since fall, assuming they remembered to set the in-house clocks.
Notices a large bruise in the morning. Nothing all that special about that. Sylvia says she did have an encounter, but wasn't abducted. Talks about her own experiences with lost time, says the guest got neuralized after talking with the alien. Doesn't really tell the guest what's up with her bruise, despite it being a primary concern.
Guest says lots of weird things happen with her kids. Describes a "perfect" triangular burn mark on one of them. I get the impression that this was a long time ago, and as a UFO/UAP woo, I doubt she kept her memory intact. Wonder if she'll show a photo. Says she has medical records, doctors couldn't figure it out (therefore, it's obviously aliens!), and something about heightened white blood cell count. Non-medical guess: An infection of some sort, in a roughly triangular shape, maybe?
~16:00 Says her body temperature went down to 34.2. No units. According to my conversion, that's about 93.5 degrees F, if the 34.2 was in Celsius. Probably looked at the wrong lines or something on the thermometer. Otherwise, I don't think she'd survive being just barely above the freezing point.
~16:30 Sylvia tells the guest that "You've always had a ticklish nervous system." And goes on about a friend who has a varying body temp... Were those thoughts related. Wants the guest to get in touch with her angels or something. Says that she's not questioning the UFO encounter... But what about the alien encounter? Anyone can see something unfamiliar in the sky.
~17:30 Audience guest member. She mentions health problems and stays thankfully vague, other than the doctors having trouble pinpointing it. Sylvia's diagnosis ...Fibermyalgia? That's a new one on me. Think I may save this for Orac or someone with more medical knowledge. She says that there are lots of tests that can't detect it. Says it comes with something called Candida, chronic fatigue (what doesn't come with that?) Says they can't find it in a fecal matter test, but they used to be able. Weird. This is definitely Orac's territory. She gives some advice that she tells people "again and again and again and again" to drink juice and up her protein. Juice, definitely. Protein, not so sure that's so near-universally good advice... Green juice? We know that tends to get associated with nonsense.
Commercial break preview: Mother wanting to know how her son got killed. I think we know where this may be going.
Sweet, sweet commercials.
~22:00 Back from break. Audience question. ([Possible sexism] Are there any males in the building? I'm not sure Montel counts. [/Possible sexism]) She wants to know the outcome of her mother's "condition".
Sylvia: "Um... It looks like there's some surgery going to be involved. Were you going to be worried about that?"Such profound insight. Who would guess that a middle-aged woman's mother would be facing surgery?
Guest: (smiles and nods.)
Sylvia: "Are you aware of that? Well, it's going to come out alright."
Next guest: Mid-late 30ish woman. Mentions her marriage, wanting to know if there are going to be any more children in her future. Sylvia says it'll be a boy, which she seems glad about. I doubt we'll be hearing from this guest ever again. Sylvia estimates birth at 2 years, 4 months. I'll mark my calendar.
Now onto the woman with the murdered son. Understandably upset. Murder took place November 24th, 2004. Biography montage. He was coming home from work, got shot, his car veered to the right. Took place 3 blocks from home. $1,000 in his pocket, and other items of value, so it wasn't a robbery.
See if you can remember this name: Christopher Abraham Mader. I doubt Sylvia will be solving the case.
Sylvia: "Samantha, when I work, and I work with a lot of police..."Last time I checked, Sylvia doesn't work with the police. "Psychics" work with the survivors, who tend to yank the police along wild goose chases. Note that to date, there has never been a case of a psychic being helpful in a police case.
Sylvia almost gives a name, but interrupts herself. Since this woman seems to be from a small neighborhood, Sylvia seems reluctant to name names, since she could get one very angry innocent on her. Tries to pass it as road rage. It's my understanding that road rage tends to get people out of their cars, and this guy's car was apparently in motion enough to veer off the road. Anyway, Sylvia says the argument started with unappealing food. Talks about getting aggrivated over stuff like that. Samantha seems hesitant to nod. Sylvia then talks about the son's dislike of injustice. (Who doesn't dislike injustice... Jambo?)
Says the cook was crazy/stupid with an elevator euphemism. Says the cook was passing by and shot him. I wonder if some innocent but short-tempered cook is going to wind up with the blame, now. Says the attack was car-to-car, which strikes me as a little on the unlikely side, unless we're talking about fairly ideal conditions or high rates of fire.
Of course, I don't expect to hear anything further about this from Montel or Sylvia.
They hand a guest the microphone. Our first XY chromosome member. Apparently the guy lost his vision for as yet unknown reasons. Montel spoke with him before the show, so we've got a probable big info leak. At least he admitted it upfront. Sylvia says it's part of a "macrodegeneration" (macular?) instead of neurological. "It assimilates that." Huh? Says they'll be able to fix it in a year or year and a half with some kind of lens transplant. The guy seems unimpressed to me, probably because it's not a lens problem. Montel will probably see to it that we'll never know. Keep your eyes open (Ugh. Pun not intended) for some kind of surgical treatment for macro/macular degeneration about a year from now.
Next guest: Woman mentions her old grandmother who can recall events from a hundred years ago but, with Sylvia accurately, and unimpressively interrupting with short-term memory loss as the problem. Guest asks if her grandmother will ever recover. Sylvia goes with the odds and says no, saying she'll about to die (big surprise.)
Next guest: Another marriage-seeker. Someone really great in early spring. Yeah. Real specific, there. I doubt we'll be hearing of a return.
Back. Almost. 'Nother book mention.
Guest: Father passed away when she was five. Close to him. 40. Only recently got around to planting flowers at his grave. Wants to know if he's still looking over her. The answer is always yes. No need to prove it, though. Nope, nope.
~32:00 Another guest wants to know if Sylvia sees a "big move" coming up in her life. Sylvia says she sees a move to someplace warmer. Around Florida. Wishes her luck with the hurricanes.
Next guest: She could be Meg from Family Guy, or a plain woman with a young voice. Says she was diagnosed with scarred fallopian tubes. Got pregnant with twins. Lost the son. 29 weeks eruption. Wants to know if she can get pregnant naturally. Sylvia takes the safe bet and votes for adoption. Next question: How'd her son die? Sylvia says something about air flow. Doesn't strike me as an impressive guess. Doctors said he erupted and bled to death. Sounds like a definitive miss to me. First one I spotted, especially since Sylvia's been sticking with the big unknown and the perfectly reasonable so far.
Featured guest: Man with a wife who was murdered. July 2004. Fire department chief was the one who told him. Closed casket funeral. Death certificate said she was stabbed.
Back with the husband. Montel asks if there was a computer in the office. No cameras in the store she was working in.
Sylvia determines the murderer was male. I don't know crime statistics, but that strikes me as the safe bet. Says he was a maniac and tried to get sexy with her. Big guy. Starting to gray, heavy eyebrows. Tail end of an argument. Husband seems to be getting incredulous. Fingerprints and DNA are mentioned by the husband.
Squeaky clean commercials.
Audience: Asking about career changes. Says she'll go into "media work". She doesn't seem convinced.
'Nother audience member: Has an anxiety experience getting worried about her kid, yet she implies that there was a big time between when she reacted, and when the problem showed up: Kid tried to tie a rope around his neck 9 times. When asked why, he said "the white man" told him to do it. Had nightmare experiences and more white man scenes.
Sylvia reasonably links hallucinations with mentioned seizures. Leans towards medical. Guess she does it now, to avoid sounding dogmatic.
'Nother audience: Soul being pulled out of her feet while she was paralyzed. Scroll way up. Sylvia says she's astrally projecting because she wants to travel.
Ad for Sylvia's website. Here comes a better one.
Mid-reading on return. Stuff about saying goodbye. Another book plug.
Audience member asking if her dead father wants to say something. Something about dropping coins. She hasn't found any mystery coins. She takes Montel's word for it that he's around.
Another audience member asking about her father. He was found in his car near a bar, drunk and then shot. Wants to know why. Sylvia says it was 3 men. Said that he knew them. Montel interrupts before Sylvia gives names. Talks about friends with him, as if it's weird for a guy to have friends at a bar. Website plug interrupts.
Back. Yet another book plug. Montel comments on the number of women and the divorce rate. Talks about male perceptions and that women should sometimes keep their mouths shut. Sylvia should take her own advice. At least I won't have to listen to her until I do the next episode.
The Big Sylvia Browne Thread