Thursday, November 01, 2007

ronson on browne

Going up against a medium or a psychic should be, really, childs play for any journalist or documentary maker; it doesn't take a Dawkins to work out the extent to which they play upon people's insecurities and exploit them. So I could probably do a web trawl and link to a dozen articles which make for fun and furious reading.

Few journalists are as good as Jon Ronson, of course - so I was particularly pleased to see him taking on Sylvia Browne in the Guardian last week, even if it meant him enduring a pretty awful sounding cruise to get close to her. Like all of Ronson's writings, it's worth a read. Here's an extract. It's safe to say that Browne was not really much enamoured with her ironical British interviewer...

I jump ship in Athens, two days early. I miss Sylvia's final lecture. The next day I receive an email from Cassie, the German fan who went off her after she was rude in the shopping arcade. "Please call me!" she writes. "Sylvia talked so harsh about you! I wrote everything down she said!"

I phone her.

"You have no idea what that woman said about you yesterday!" Cassie says. "She got up on stage and said to the audience, 'Are you guys enjoying the trip?' And everyone yelled, 'Yeah! Whooh!' And then she said, 'Because I heard that some of you aren't enjoying the trip.' And she launched into this huge attack on you! She said, 'I had an interview with this pale little man and he said I was rude to some of you in the shopping arcade. You must have seen him around. He's a creepy little worm ...' She said you were a worm and a creep and a dark soul entity. She just went on and on about you. It lasted for about 20 minutes!"

"How did the audience respond?" I ask.

"People didn't know where the hell this was coming from," Cassie says. "A few of them said to me afterwards, 'I didn't pay 4,000 euros to listen to someone go on like that.' "

All this proves one thing to me. Now I know for sure that Sylvia isn't psychic, because I don't have a dark soul at all. I have a very light soul.
Read the rest of the article here.

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