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Psychic Responsibility in the Wake of the Amanda Berry Case

This post was written by Angela
on May 8, 2013 | Comments (18)

As I’ve been following the conclusion of a decade long missing persons case along with so many others, I am grateful that a tragic story has become a triumphant one. The story of Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus, and Michele Knight is beyond comprehension. After being swiped in their teens/early twenties, missing for nearly a decade, and thought by many to have been dead, suddenly they are miraculously present and alive. They broke free. They survived. They are found.

I’m sure plenty more will unfold in this case and justice certainly still needs to be served, but my attention has also been drawn to psychic backlash in connection to this story. While these women were hidden away against their will, Amanda Berry’s mother was told by famous psychic Sylvia Browne that her missing daughter was dead. According to an article with Good Morning America by Colleen Curry, this isn’t the first time Browne has been in the negative spotlight for providing inaccurate information and a site is even up cataloguing her failed predictions.

In this same article Dwayne Baker shared his story: “My son was missing for two years, two months and 12 days. Psychics called me. I even received a DVD in the mail that a guy claimed he could talk to the dead and this was Travis’ voice, with no return address. I don’t understand why people would want to do that.”

But I could. While I wouldn’t go sending out unsolicited DVDs, when an old friend of mine went missing I quietly called on my own inner guidance in an effort to find answers to help bring resolution amid the horror. While I’ve had accurate predictions in the past, I didn’t share anything in this case because in the end if I wasn’t accurate I didn’t feel I could handle the backlash. I didn’t want to dishonor the family and my personal sense of psychic responsibility wouldn’t allow for chance in such dramatic events. That’s not to say I was right or wrong in choosing to share or not, but if I had acted on it, my intention would have always been for love and healing.

“I don’t understand why people would want to do that.” It’s a statement that sticks with me because it deserves to be answered for the benefit of both sides.

From my personal perspective there is the good and the bad, as with anything else. Mechanic, doctor, teacher, officer, business person, psychic, etc. Some seek money. Some seek attention, importance, success, and fame; this is the ego rush. Some simply want to help with absolutely no hidden agenda and I feel this is the largest group. Some are bleeding hearts who feel the pain of other’s stories and want to offer a helping hand. Unfortunately in an effort to do good, they may overstep their boundaries by offering assistance when it’s not asked for. But in the end their intention is to bring understanding to the journey, resolution and relief to pain, and healing in an often wounded world.

So as a personal promoter, practitioner, and fan of psychics and intuitive ability why am I even highlighting this story? Why give it more attention than it already has? The more I tried to wave it off, the more it pulled and nagged at me to process and share. For the part of me that heard the outcry and thought, “See, it’s better to always hide all my intuitive guidance,” I had to start a discussion, because I know that thought isn’t right. I have to call it out because I can see both sides. We can’t look at this in black and white because the world doesn’t work that way. I’ve seen a pained family peppered with unwelcome psychic messages. I’ve withheld my own information to not overstep boundaries. I’ve been accurate at times and inaccurate at others. The black and white response that all psychics are evil, irresponsible con artists is hard to watch, but I get it. It’s why psychics have worked in hush for so long and have only been coming strongly back into the public eye recently. So will a story like this set this community back? Will it set you personally back if you’ve been working to trust your intuition independently?

I would love to see more discussion from all sides including those in the psychic community, those who appreciate or criticize psychic services, and those who are simply trying to honor that still small voice they know as their higher spiritual self, an internal GPS, or even God. In the end, it’s not Sylvia Browne alone that’s in the spotlight. It’s anyone who trusts their intuition or puts faith in the spiritual ability of others. Perhaps sometimes it’s right or sometimes it’s wrong, but do we only determine this and paint with a broad brush when we realize we’ve been wrong to give or receive information? What are your thoughts?

Reader Comments

Written By Robin Tauber
on May 8th, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

I Live In A Family Who Feels Psychic Sences Are Bogus…But I Am A Strong Feeler…And I Have To Hide It. Mom Always Wonders How I’m Able To Make Such Quick Decitions. I Read Tarot For Friends…But My Family Is So Against It…I Don’t Want Their Scorn If I I Work As A Reader. I Call It “Practice” And Just Read For Friends…I Am Just On My Guard That Someone Will Accuse Me Of Beeing A “Fake”.

Written By RMMG
on May 8th, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

Thank you! I expect there to be hecklers, but there was an immediate rain of anti religious and psychic blogs following the news about the victims release and rescue. This has always been the case. I am noticing fewer people standing up for the other side as time goes on though. I think you might be the first person, who is a recognized media voice, to speak up. Good for you. Brightest of blessings.

Written By Melicent
on May 8th, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

I am a reader to some of my friends…I can tell you this….there are times when Im spot on and there are times when Im way off.. I really cant say why this is…but I do know that I try to be helpful whenever I can…

Written By kristina
on May 8th, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

they say that Charles ramsey used his intuition, that something just wasn’t right. and he knew his neighbor. if someone so close to the situation has doubts of their own intuition, how can psychics be held responsible for a “missed”/negative read. I say kudos to all who are even trying to hear the messages being sent to them. from their intuition, instinct, gut feeling, god, ancestors…whatever..Listen and it will help.

Written By sunny
on May 8th, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

i feel like she just really didnt concentrate on that lady as the show producers hurry her along.i belive in her and what she is teachig us about faith.i know that it is hard to be in that business because it isn’t a tangible job.it’s esoteric,and it takes a enlightened soul to get to that level of understanding.so i will continue to support her and others in the feild.

Written By julie
on May 8th, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

I think that many psychics are often under the influence of evil, michievious demons! These find the open,unprotected psychic easy prey, and the psychic truly believes they are helping but have been duped! I always pray and work with the holy spirit, and the light of Jesus Christ, that way no demons can latch on and give false information.psychics, like doctors and nurses ,rarely get praised or recognised for the help and comfort they give, it is only the bad psychic or doctor that gets the limelight! Good news isn’t’ news ‘…

Written By Alexandra Chauran
on May 8th, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

I think and write a lot about psychic accountability. This story should be in the spotlight as long as we can all learn from it. Consider whether that mother was properly prepared for a negative or erroneous answer before the reading. Was that the right context for such a serious subject? What if the psychic had seen the kidnapper? Would even a correct answer be appropriate when given to that mother on television? Even though the reading was given ostensibly for free to a willing audience member, I think that the psychic community as a whole needs to discuss the ethics of reading on open cases. I offer that such answers would only be appropriately given to the police with a disclaimer about possible error, who may be able to work constructively with the information.

Written By KCHS
on May 8th, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

I have lived directly connected to mediumship for most of my life. My Mother was anordained minister and certified medium. My personal experience is long and varied but I have found for the most part what is shared can be pertinent to both the receiver as well as the giver of messages. Even if the message is incorrect in outcome as it does happen.
Ms. Brown having given the message that this family lost their member permanently and yet years later she is rescued and alive, felt strongly enough to risk her reputation on delivering the message. It may sully Ms. Brown’s future interaction with other similar cases or maybe it is a lesson for her to learn something crucial to her journey. Maybe the family need some peace for a little while until the rescue occurred?
Should this hurt the reputation of mediums world wide. I think not! What is important to remember is that when message is given it is for a reason and we don’t always know why or what the results of those reasons are. Faith in who we are and what we share regardless of how the world perceives us is what is helping us gain strength for all that lyes ahead.

Written By Angela
on May 8th, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

Thanks all for sharing your thoughts! I’m glad to hear them. Here was another post someone shared with me this afternoon that’s worth checking out for additional thought prompts and perspective on exaclty the kinds of things we’re talking about here: http://wildhunt.org/2013/05/sylvia-browne-amanda-berry-and-psychic-arts.html

Written By Angela
on May 8th, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

Robin, I’m glad to hear your practicing your abilities among friends. Whether it’s in a class with a like-minded group or with family or friends you trust this is a great way to build confidence, even when you don’t feel the support quite where you’d hope to. You’re definitely not alone in that category of feeling isolation and acting to some degree in secrecy for fear of backlash, which is why the broad brush of “psychics are evil” is so hard to see rearing up again. But I think there are some really great points that others are making here as well. Honesty, empathy, psychic protection, reading context, sitter preparation, reader accountability, and more…it’s all so important to consider.

Written By Chad Samples
on May 8th, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

Let’s not forget that Sylvia Browne made her predictions on a CABLE TALK SHOW. Whether or not her abilities have ever been genuine, she’s always had a desire to be in the spot light. That is…in and of itself …asking for a black eye. She got it!

Written By Angela
on May 8th, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

Alexandra, you bring up some really great points. I really agree with your thoughts on open cases. If we knew this as an expectation and baseline within the community and as a policy with police it would release any sense of personal responsibility, duty, and back and forth over what to offer and what not to offer.

Written By sunny
on May 8th, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

I think that the producers of the show hurried ms. Browne along. I watched every time she was on and I saw the people taking the mic away from the guests.they are also attacking teresa caputo , a woman who is also gifted. Being experinced with mediumship you realize the need for focus and how silence allows such focus. The producers of such shows don’t. Allow the luxury of it.I don’t belive the fault lies with the medium it lies with the media.

Written By TINA
on May 8th, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

…another perspective…Death is a state of being. Perhaps at the moment Ms Browne was attempting to make contact, the young Ms Berry was so traumatized that she, in fact, experienced a ‘death’ a psychic/mental/emotional break and may have believed that her life was over. I say these things because I have had a personal experience where I was the victim of a stalker (people use that term much too loosely) My attacker held me hostage for many hours and I was beaten, raped etc; he intended to kill me. If even an exceptionally gifted reader had attempted to connect with me during those hours I don’t doubt that she may have come to the conclusion that I had crossed over. I do doubt that there are too many people who can truly imagine what it is like to experience being kidnapped and held hostage, and your life taken away. In conclusion, then Ms Browne was not entirely incorrect

Written By A Langston
on May 9th, 2013 @ 12:01 am

Many expect perfection from those with special abilities like doctors and psychics and it makes it easier to fault them when they aren’t perfect….I would always be eerie of any reading with anyone else around me or with any electronic equipment around…I believe there is so much energy around when there is a reading from all over the place and the more people and equipment the more energy which can and does interfere with the outcome of the reading….I don’t think this will interfere backlash will affect those of us that truly understand how these readings work.

Written By Alan
on May 9th, 2013 @ 12:19 am

I think the story will set the community back a little. I also think it *should*. We should re-examine ourselves to see if we’re using our gifts honorably and authentically, we should discuss the issue of psychic ethics and how, at the very least, one shouldn’t tell a worried parent their child is dead on national television. What’s wrong with testing ourselves, tracking our successes/failures and calmly and factually stating our accuracy rate? One may be better at precognition than clairvoyance, for example, but without testing and measuring results and averages we’ll never know. I think if we take ourselves seriously, and check our egos and fantasies at the door, we’ll do fine through and after the coming backlash. We’ll probably come through it stronger and better for all of the discussions we’re having on the subject.

Written By Robin Tauber
on May 9th, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

Tina’s Point Was What Occured To Me, As Well. The Young Lady Probably Felt her Life Was Over…And A Part Of Her Died. I Don’t Have Cable TV, Never Did, The Point Of The Nature Of The Fast Pace Of A TV Talk Show Wold Make It Hard To Focus. I Have Enough Trouble Focusing With The Questioner There. If They Are Present, I Ask Them To Step Away And Buisey Themselves With Something Else…And I Write The Reading As A Letter…Where I Can Focus Better. I Focus Better When I Write.

Written By Jhane
on May 9th, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

It is a painful controversy I must say. but as an empath, I can understand why it is never 100% accurate. My thoughts are, Sylvia probably felt a darkened energy which does feel like death. The drowning she thought she saw was the drowning feeling of being put under, in this case underground (the basement), which feels all the same to a kidnapped child who is in severe dispair. I’m sure Sylvia has crazy emotions right now because of it, but happiness being the top note, since being wrong could never feel so right! I hope this doesn’t dampen the faith of those who believe, because I still do. 🙂

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