• After Death Charlatans

    Dt-logoTwo examples of after death charlatans are in the news today. First up is that psychic Sylvia Browne died yesterday at the surprising age of 77. I say surprising because Browne had stated that she knew for certain that she would die at the age of 88. Oops.

    Sylvia Browne made the news a few months ago when one of the dead women she had talked to turned out to be alive. I’m talking of course of Amanda Berry who went missing ten years ago and then turned out to be in Ariel Castro’s basement along with three other women and a child.

    You would think that at that point all her credibility would have been thrown out the window since she was not only proven wrong, but also proven to be a liar. But no, people still believe in her “gifts.” I’m sure her family will continue to claim that Browne was a real psychic and that she really did speak with the dead. Personally, I don’t even think she is talking to the dead now that she actually is dead.

    Speaking of speaking to the dead, the world’s youngest death charlatan has a movie coming out based on a book about his alleged experiences. I’m talking about Colton Burpo who at the age of three started to convince his PASTOR father that he visited Heaven and that Jesus was riding a rainbow-colored horse. I’m not joking; that is actually what the kid claimed and the book his PASTOR father wrote about his son’s journey to Heaven actually sold millions and will now be a major studio film (as opposed to one of those crappy Christian studio films). Check out the trailer:

    Look, I can’t really blame this kid. He was three and his parents almost certainly egged him on. Now, I’m sure he really believes his own story. My four and a half year old told me that fought an evil robot in pre-school the other day. If I took him seriously and went out on the talk show circuit telling everyone that evil robots are trying to take over the world… and people seriously believed it, I’m sure my son would start to believe it too.

    Kids have imaginations! They hear things that we don’t think they hear. Parents who want to believe such bullshit might lead them to say things and even know things that they might now normally say or know. The real charlatan here is Colton’s father who should fucking know better and instead has used his son’s normal imagination and turned it into a cash-cow at the expense of his son’s sanity.

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    Category: AtheismfeaturedHeavenSkepticism


    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.