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Are Psychics Real?

Aired September 3, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the psychic and the skeptic square off with a million dollars at stake. In L.A., best-selling author Sylvia Browne says she can communicate with the dead.

In Miami, professional debunker James Randi says, "Prove it." And he's offering a six-figure prize if she passes his foundation's paranormal challenge. They are next with your calls on LARRY KING LIVE!

Thank you. Very happy Labor Day. We salute all those who labor for their living. Our guests are in Miami, James Randi, the paranormal skeptical known -- the paranormal skeptic known as the Amazing Randi, president of the James Randi Education Foundation. And here in Los Angeles, Sylvia Browne, the world-renowned psychic, author of a new book "Past Lives, Future Healing." There you see its cover. Her previous works have reached number one on the "New York Times" best seller list.

Randi has offered a million dollars in the past to those who would take his challenge. Would you first -- let's start with Randi -- explain what the challenge constitutes? You will pay a million dollars if?

JAMES RANDI, PRESIDENT, JAMES RANDI EDUCATION FOUNDATION: A million dollars in negotiable bonds, Larry, to any person or persons who can provide evidence of any paranormal, occult or supernatural event or ability of any kind under proper observing conditions. It is that simple.

KING: OK, and the observing conditions would be?

RANDI: It would depend upon what the claim is. I have got a whole outline right here that will tell Sylvia exactly what the test would be if she agrees to take the test.

KING: Sylvia, in the past you have not agreed to this.

SYLVIA BROWNE, AUTHOR: Well, I don't even want his million dollars. I don't want his million dollars. I mean, the reason I came on is because he kept you know, my web site, yeah, yeah, and said I would never come on and face him. But I don't care about his million dollars. I mean, I don't need his million. That's not it. It's not -- I would like him to go through a series of -- because there is a man in Australia who is going to give him a million dollars if he can disprove the fact that it doesn't exist. His name is Victor Zemet, he's an Australian lawyer. So...

KING: Are you willing to take his test?

BROWNE: Yeah, whatever test it is. But how can you test it?

KING: What would be the conditions, James? Explain what would happen. Let's say she says, "I'm willing to take it." What would be the conditions?

RANDI: The conditions are rather simple, Larry. And it is all logical and rational and in order. I have a few yes or no questions that require just that -- yes or no answers -- to ask Sylvia so we can outline, clearly and quickly, a proper definitive preliminary test of her claims to apply towards winning the million dollar prize. May I do that?

KING: Yeah. This condition -- if you were to eventually do this, wherever it is done, and get the million, you could give it to charity.

BROWNE: Absolutely.


BROWNE: Absolutely.

KING: What are the preliminary questions that you need to know to begin this?

RANDI: Well, Sylvia, my observations lead me to believe that you are playing a version of the 20 Questions game with your subject. That you ask questions, you observe expressions and body language, you make guesses, you offer suggestions, throw out words and initials. You then wait for answers. It appears to me that you are only guessing what the subject tells you, rather than telling them things, otherwise...

KING: Randi.

BROWNE: Wait, wait, wait a minute you've got the wrong psychic. I don't do initials and I don't do that. And what about over the phone?

RANDI: That is the answer to the question, then, no. Correct?

BROWNE: Right.

RANDI: This my opinion and if I'm wrong, I stand corrected. Very well. Now we have also seen do you readings merely by talking to folks on the phone. You seem to be very successful with this method. Are you telling us that doing it by telephone is also not done by the methods I have just outlined?

BROWNE: Randi, I don't know how I do it. It's a God-given gift, it comes from my family. I don't know how do it.

RANDI: The answer...

BROWNE: That would be like saying I don't know...

KING: The answer is she does it and doesn't know how she does it.

BROWNE: I don't know how I do it. I've done it all my life.

RANDI: OK. Tell me this, if you would. Just what do you require in the way of information from person you are reading? For example...

BROWNE: Nothing.

RANDI: Nothing?

BROWNE: Nothing.

RANDI: Would your knowing the gender, the name and the age of the subject be sufficient for you to establish a proper connection?

BROWNE: Well, usually when I get a person on the phone -- naturally when you're sitting across from a person, Randi, you know what gender they are. But when you are on the phone with a person, all I ask is for their name, because I have to get their name and their telephone number. That's all.

RANDI: I see. OK. Now, would a person for whom such a reading is done over the telephone be able to recognize that they are the person who is a subject? Would they identify with it firmly?

BROWNE: Absolutely. That's why I have stayed in business 48 years.

RANDI: OK. In that case, then, Sylvia, I think our situation is somewhat simplified. I have a proposed test approved by the people at Harvard and at MIT that would clearly test whether or not you are simply doing the guessing game or that you have the powers you claim to have. May I suggest this process to you?

KING: What kind of test do you propose?

RANDI: OK. I suggest that we advertise via the Internet -- perhaps even on Larry's web page if that would be possible, Larry -- to get 10 people who would be willing to be subjects for this test, done via telephone. Each one would have to attest in writing that A) they believed in Sylvia's powers, that they believe that she can do a genuine spiritual reading, and that they have had a personal loss of a loved one within a year. Understood?

BROWNE: Understood, but Randi what you don't understand is I'm not like the other psychics. I don't just talk to the dead. That is not my -- that is not just my whole forte. I deal with finances, I deal with health.

RANDI: OK. BROWNE: So I mean, you have got to give me lateral movement, because now, this is what John Edwards does. This is what James van Prague does. I will communicate with the dead, but that's not my big thing. My big thing, if you knew anything about me, has been the health thing. And also locating dead bodies with the police department.

RANDI: Fine. May I continue for just a moment, if you will.

KING: You would be willing to do that, right?

BROWNE: Oh, yeah. Yes I would be willing to do that. But I just want him to know that that is not only thing I do.

KING: I have a question. Randi, of the 10, if eight were exactly correct and two missed, is that good enough for you?

RANDI: Let me continue, if you would, Larry.

KING: But what happens if she -- what happens if she gets part one eight right?

RANDI: We haven't decided what would be right and what would be wrong. So please let me continue.

KING: Right is right and wrong is wrong.

RANDI: That's true. OK, let me propose this. At a date and time convenient to you, Sylvia -- I know you're busy -- we would randomly select one of those 10 persons by choosing a number from a hat. Then either you would call us or we would call you, your choice. You would be given the gender, the name and the age of the chosen subject and you would do a reading over the telephone without getting feedback. That is, without doing questions and answers, or asking for guesses, because...

BROWNE: I don't want to even know the gender. I just want to know the name.

RANDI: OK, fine. That's fine, that's your...

BROWNE: I'll make it even easier for you.

RANDI: This reading.

KING: At this point let me get a break. How long is this?

BROWNE: It is really long. This is -- you know...

KING: How many conditions are there?

RANDI: This is pretty well it. OK.

KING: Hold on. Let me get a break. We'll come back, we'll pick up and discuss a lot of other things with Sylvia Browne. Her new book is "Past Lives, Future Healing." And the Amazing Randi. Don't go away.


KING: We are back with Randi and Sylvia Browne. OK, what are the other -- are there other things, James?

RANDI: Larry, you will forgive me for running on with something like this. But it has to be done logically and rationally. There is a million dollars at stake, after all.

KING: Ok. So she agrees to have the person shown out of a hat. This person believes in her. And she gives the gender and does a reading. Then what?

RANDI: She does this over the telephone without the feedback.

KING: Right.

RANDI: That reading can take a minute or two. It can take half an hour. Again, Sylvia, that's your choice so you can make sure that you have made this connection. When the reading is finished, you would so indicate and the subject would then be asked gave to a score to the reading from zero to 10 points, an evaluation. Now following that, we would contact, again in random order, each of the other nine persons for whom the reading was not...

BROWNE: Follow-up.

RANDI: Yes, and present them with a transcript of the reading or an audiotape of it for them to also score from zero to 10.

BROWNE: That is why I give my people anyway an audiotape. Every person who has reading with me has an audiotape.

KING: He is saying he would give this same tape to the other nine people. For what purpose, James?

BROWNE: Oh, to see if I'm repeating. I see what he's saying. To see if it's a cold reading. I know where you are going.

RANDI: OK. Now, we would expect that the person for whom the reading is done should obtain a score of, say, six through 10 or something like that. And unless my guessing game scenario is correct, the other nine for whom the reading was not done would have scores of zero to five. But to simplify all this, in order to beat 50 to 1 odds -- which is much better than the 1000-to-one odds that we usually require for a such test -- eight of those scores would have to be less than the score given by the person for whom the reading was actually done. Do we follow that?

KING: We follow that. I follow that.

BROWNE: I follow that. Yeah, I'm very smart.

RANDI: OK. I point out to you that the person chosen to have the reading would be believer in Sylvia's powers and would therefore be expected to be a sympathetic person for her success.

KING: You said that twice.

RANDI: And we would give all of the records and the videotapes and everything to Sylvia so she could be assured of the qualifications of these people.

KING: How does she set this up?

RANDI: Well, we would advertise, as I said on the Internet. Certainly on my Internet and...

KING: Let me ask her something. Would you be willing to do this?

BROWNE: It doesn't bother me. That's why I came on your show, because you know, everybody that was sitting with me that day said no, they wouldn't pick up the challenge. And Randi's challenged me for years, but I have a day job. I do a lot of stuff. I mean, you know, charity work.

KING: This doesn't seem to take away a lot of your time.

BROWNE: No, it wouldn't take away a lot of my time. Besides, I'm not afraid of what he has to show me. I would like to ask him some questions though.

KING: Sure.

RANDI: A million dollars you'll get to give to charity.

BROWNE: Yeah. and I know exactly -- I would give -- I want to know -- of course this is a rhetorical question, because I know where you are coming -- but -- and so many people have asked me this. Randi, do you believe in God?

RANDI: Which god? There are lots of gods, thousands of them out there.

BROWNE: No. I mean a supreme being.

RANDI: Well, there are thousands of supreme beings, too.

BROWNE: You are hedging me.

KING: He doesn't believe in a single god.


RANDI: I don't believe in deities in general.

BROWNE: I know that. You don't believe in an afterlife, either.

RANDI: I have no evidence for an afterlife, no.

BROWNE: That's too bad. That's too bad. I'm sorry for you, Randi.

RANDI: Well, feel sorry for me if you will.

BROWNE: Yeah, but I mean I think it is must be so lonely for you, so miserable that you don't have any god center, you don't have any belief system. You know what I mean.

RANDI: I just have to get along on facts.

BROWNE: Yeah, well, facts are one thing, but also ignorance of truth or bigotry is something else.

RANDI: Sylvia, don't feel sorry for me. Let's get on the with discussion.

BROWNE: You've been able to discuss everything you want. I have a chance.

KING: All right -- Sylvia has agreed to your conditions.


KING: You and Sylvia will set this up. We'll use your web site, you can use my web site. I'd be happy to use my web site. I offer it in good conscience.

RANDI: Very good.

KING: Both of you -- I like both of you very much. And I'm open. I'm open to anything. I have no preset opinion on this subject, I have...

BROWNE: You have always been very fair about it, yes.

KING: I have spoken with both of you on many occasions, and I'm looking forward to this. Why do you so disbelieve, James? In other words, just because you don't see it -- I don't see electricity. I know that going through me right now are television stations, radio stations. I don't see it.

BROWNE: Or oxygen. You don't see oxygen, either.

RANDI: You don't see it but we can show they are there. We can show by evidence, Larry, that these things are there and they are real. The fact that you can't see them or hear them doesn't mean they are not real.

BROWNE: You are exactly saying what I'm saying. You are saying exactly what we all have said, yes.

RANDI: But I'm looking for evidence, Sylvia, I'm not looking for a preferred belief. I'm looking for evidence.

KING: You can't prove an afterlife can you, Sylvia?

BROWNE: Pretty much, yes, yes. I pretty much have proven it, as far as even scientists -- and I've worked with doctors and I've worked with -- I mean, there was marvelous article that just came out of England on this Dr. Parnea (ph) who doesn't -- didn't believe in anything. It said that 3,000 people, you know, who have near-death experience -- and you know how they're always saying deprivation of oxygen. He said no, that's not the fact.

KING: Amazing Randi, Bishop James Pike, who I knew very well -- an Episcopal leader -- tend to mock all this, and then believed that he had communicated with his late son.

RANDI: He certainly did.

KING: He was certainly not some off-the-wall guy.

RANDI: That's true, but you've got to compare the tens of thousands of people who say the opposite sort of thing, Larry. You can't just look for individuals who say there is such a thing but don't have any evidence for it.

BROWNE: Randi, how do you explain that on the Montel show -- and this is validated by being live on the air -- that I found 14 criminals. What is that? That's just a guessing game, right?

RANDI: Well, I would have to look into that. I don't have that evidence.

BROWNE: Well -- then you don't know anything about me, do you? You haven't followed me.

RANDI: I know a great deal about you, Sylvia, but I don't know the specific things. If you submit them to me, we will examine them. That is our job.

BROWNE: Or that I have helped child with seizures, that I cured a child with seizures. That I worked with 350 doctors. I mean, you don't know anything about this.

RANDI: I do, Sylvia. Believe me I do. But I have to have it submitted to me in the form of evidence, and we will examine it.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. We'll be including your phone calls. Sylvia's new book is "Past Lives, Future Healing." Oprah is the guest tomorrow night.

BROWNE: That is neat.

KING: Don't go away.


KING: We are back with Randi and Sylvia Browne. By the way, Randi, can I be the independent evaluator to look at both sides of this and make a judgment?

RANDI: Absolutely, Larry. Of course. KING: OK. By the way, now, both these people have missions. James Randi's Education Foundation is to further Randi's work as a skeptic of paranormal claims. Sylvia Brown's web page is to show the world that the soul survives death. Do you believe your talent -- for want of a better word, Sylvia -- is genetic?

BROWNE: I believe it comes from God. But I mean it's absolutely valid. My grandmother was a working psychic. My son is, her mother was, her mother-- and in fact I had one of my clients that actually researched the genealogy and went to 1700.

KING: How do you explain, Randi, those occasions when things happen that are not explainable? You -- the phone rings and you know who is calling.

RANDI: You forget, Larry, that we get a lot of phone calls during the day. Certainly I do, and I know you do, too. And if you happen to be thinking of a person at the moment that they call, that is what is called in psychology reinforcement. You remember that one. You forget all of the calls that didn't coincide that way. We tend to select.

BROWNE: What do you mean? The ring sounds different?

RANDI: I didn't follow that, Sylvia.

BROWNE: No. I said what do you mean, the ringer sounds different? What?

RANDI: No. I'm saying that when it coincides with you having thought of that person just before they call, you remember that -- but you forget the hundreds of other calls that don't coincide.

KING: That you didn't...

BROWNE: I see. I see what he is saying.

KING: There are studies -- I mean, you will admit, Randi, there is a lot of things we don't know. A lot of things we don't know. I was doing a radio show one night on twins. We were discussing twins. And we had a twin on. And we were taking a multitude of calls, the lights were flashing. I was going to go to the next call and he said, "That's my brother."

RANDI: Right.

KING: These were calls from all over the United States from 400 radio stations.


KING: He knew when his brother was calling. How you would explain that?

RANDI: Larry, if...

KING: It was his brother.

RANDI: If he...

KING: But it was his brother. He said that's my brother.


KING: He didn't know how he knew it was his brother.

RANDI: True, true. But if he had been wrong, you wouldn't remember it at all and no attention would be paid.

KING: This was on the radio, 400 stations, how do you like to be right? That's my brother. You can admit, Randi, that you don't have the answer to that.

RANDI: Well, I don't have an answer to it because there is no question.

KING: The question is how did he know, of hundreds of thousands of calls, did he know -- and they are all over country -- that the next one I was going to hit was his brother?

RANDI: I don't know, Larry, because there is no question here. It happens but it's...

KING: The question is how did he know?

RANDI: Larry, that is not a question that can be answered. It's not a case of whether -- it is a case of whether he did know or whether he made a guess and happened to be right.

KING: Wild guess.

RANDI: That happens.

KING: OK. Sylvia? You will admit, though, that we have never seen a person who has departed, come back. And that there are in your field -- and there are...

BROWNE: I think Christians would have a real problem with that.

KING: What? There are in your field charlatans.

BROWNE: Oh, my God.

KING: And your charlatans help Randi.

BROWNE: We have 900 numbers -- I am not against Randi debunking. That's what is so strange. I am not against Randi debunking. I think we need debunkers. I think that there are so many -- and I won't mention 900 numbers and all that stuff -- but what about the rest of us that are in the field that are spiritually truly trying to get a message across, and have a society that works with people, that takes care of the elderly and children, what about us? KING: Don't you believe, Randi, in their motives? Let's say Sylvia's motives. Do you think Sylvia is honest? Do you think Sylvia believes what she believes?

RANDI: I don't think that Sylvia is fooling herself on this sort of thing. She has a method of doing these things. She knows very well what it is, and she is very good at it.

KING: We will take a break and be right back with Randi and Sylvia Browne. We're going to include your phone calls. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Oprah tomorrow night. Other big guests coming this week. We'll tell you about it tomorrow night when Oprah is with us. Don't go away.


KING: We will start to include phone calls. Sylvia Browne will take Randi up on the challenge. We'll let you know about the date and time and everything, I will be kind of the interloper. Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. How are you? I would like to know from -- this question is for Randi. If you believe in some sort of supreme being, how can you be so shallow-minded as to think he would not give some of us some special gift?

RANDI: Well, if I did believe in a supreme being I might believe that. But I have no belief in deities of any kind.

KING: And you can understand that I'm sure, Sylvia. Many people...

BROWNE: I don't know if I understand it.

KING: People who don't believe?

BROWNE: I think I should rephrase that, actually, Larry. I think that it's so sad, because it is so -- as much as he says it's unprovable, it is provable. I mean if -- I don't care if you are Buddhist, I don't care if you're Shinto, I don't care if you're Muslim -- whatever. But there is always something greater -- you see what I mean -- than we are. I mean, it is a marvelous story about a doctor that I used to work with, who said he was never going to raise his children to ever believe in anything.

He took them to an island -- this is absolutely validated -- from Kansas City, Missouri, where I'm from. The children -- in the morning he couldn't find them -- were down on the beach with their arms extended at the sun. They said -- he said, what in God's name are you doing? They said the sun so much greater than we are, it's so beautiful. It is innate within a human being to worship or to look beyond themselves. It is innate within us.

RANDI: That doesn't mean there is something there.

BROWNE: Well, it is the same thing. If we've got instincts to do certain things, why wouldn't we have the instinctual feeling that there is something greater than we are?

KING: How would you would respond to that, Randi?

RANDI: Well, I was just in Australia and I saw some wonderful things there, Ayers Rock and a few things that are much greater than I am. Certainly there are greater things than we are, Larry, there's no question to that. That doesn't mean it has to be a deity.

KING: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: Sylvia and Larry, I enjoy you so very, very much. I listened to you for years and I just wanted to get on for a long time. Randi, I feel sorry for you as well, because we have to believe in something. My question is, Sylvia, I never had a chance to say good- bye to my husband. And I am wondering if he knows how much I loved him.

BROWNE: Not only did he know that, but what was the -- clot or whatever that let loose? Because it looks like there was something about a clot.

CALLER: Yes, he had a severe brain hemorrhage at the very last minute.

BROWNE: Because it looks likes it was, not only that, but this was massive.

CALLER: Yes, it was.


CALLER: Right through the top of his head.

BROWNE: And he really -- you know, there are so many times, like when I lost so many people. I don't care how many times if you can say good-bye, you never have enough good-byes. But see, aside from Randi, he hears everything you say, especially when you talk to him.

CALLER: Well, I don't really know whether I can say anything to him. There are people like that. But I feel sorry for them. Because we have to believe.

KING: I thank you, ma'am. Now, help me with something.


KING: Did you see that clot?

BROWNE: I saw the clot letting loose.

KING: How do you explain?

BROWNE: I don't know.

KING: Millions of people are dead.

BROWNE: I don't know. It's like Randi said one time to one of the psychics, a lot of psychics just say chest. Of course, because a lot of people have chest problem. But not everybody has a massive embolism.

KING: How would you explain that. A massive...

BROWNE: I know what he is going to say, it's a guess.

RANDI: Larry, you're asking me to explain specific things. I don't know who this woman is who called. I don't know whether she is a ringer. I'm not saying she is and I'm not suggesting that.


RANDI: But it is possible. There are many possibilities here. We have made a lucky guess, and we have hit. An embolism. A clot.

KING: There are many possibilities. Is one of them, Randi -- is one of the possibilities Sylvia is right.

RANDI: Absolutely.

KING: OK. We'll take a break. We will come back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, and more of your phone calls as well. Don't go away.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

In Miami, James Randi, paranormal skeptic, known as the Amazing Randi, president of the James Randi Education Foundation. Here in Los Angeles, Sylvia Browne, world-renowned psychic and author of the new book, "Past Lives, Future Healing." Sylvia will also be conducting a psychic endeavor in Greece and Turkey in October. You can contact her on her Web site for more information, you...

BROWNE: It's going to be a -- yes, it's going to be a wonderful tour. We're going to go to Greece and Turkey, some of the most wonderful -- Ankara, some of the most spiritual places.

KING: You're going on a plane, and then you walk around?

BROWNE: Yes, with New Visions Travel, you know, it's a wonderful trip.

KING: Seattle, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Sylvia. I went on your trip to Egypt last October, and I met a wonderful friend. We quickly became the best of friends. And now she's separating herself from me, and I don't know why. I was hoping maybe you might have some insight. BROWNE: Yes, you know, this is a crazy thing to tell you, because it sounds so far out. But please listen to this. She's got a jealousy problem with you. You know the problem with jealousy is that it's one of the most aggravating emotions to ever figure out. I think she was jealous of your spirituality, of everything.

And you can't fight that.

CALLER: Well, is there anything I can do to fix this?

BROWNE: No, you just have to kind of, like our Lord said, kind of shake the dust off your feet and walk away.


KING: Sad.

BROWNE: It's sad.

KING: Randi, any comment on that?

RANDI: No. We don't know who the people are, and we have no evidence to judge here.

KING: Well, evidence is a tough thing in your field, isn't it?

BROWNE: Yes, it can only be -- and he said in the beginning, if I remember right, is that the person has to validate you. That's the only way they can validate you. And you see, the thing about is, and I do like the fact that Randi says -- and I do hope if, especially if you're the unbiased observer, is that they follow the person down the line.

You know, you can -- you might be right today or so, but you've got to follow them down the line four, five, six months, whatever, you know, to see what really does happen.

RANDI: But Sylvia, if you're given all the time in the world for the thing to come true, it's eventually probably going to come true.

BROWNE: Oh, no, I give times, Randi.

RANDI: Oh, I see.

BROWNE: If you know so much about me, I give times.

KING: Yes, you give times. Schaumberg, Illinois, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Sylvia, how are you?

BROWNE: Yes, I'm fine, dear.

CALLER: I recently had a family member pass away about nine months ago. I was going to see if you could tell me how they're doing and if you had any insight on me and my future.

BROWNE: One -- who is the young male with the beautiful eyes?

CALLER: How young?

BROWNE: I don't think -- see, I'm 65, so everybody's starting to look younger. I'd say maybe in the 40s, maybe, 50s?

CALLER: Yes, that's -- 40s, my boyfriend.

BROWNE: Yes. With a very, very -- nose a little bit blunt at the top. Yes, and the cheekbones high.


BROWNE: OK, and a jawline -- the front part of the jaw straight, and the back part of the jaw joweled.

CALLER: I suppose.


KING: What's the point?

BROWNE: Because this person comes around her all the time.


BROWNE: Now, who is this person...

CALLER: This is someone who's deceased?

BROWNE: No, no, this person's alive.


BROWNE: Yes. Now, the person...

KING: Are you asking about someone who's deceased, ma'am?

CALLER: Yes, sir.

BROWNE: Now, OK, but see, when you ask me a question, I'm going to get the whole thing. It's like Rosemary Althea does, we get the whole thing. Now, who is the older woman that's passed over, very small, sharp features?

CALLER: I don't know, because my grandmother passed away a long time ago.

BROWNE: Little woman. This is a little woman who comes around, sharp features, wore glasses, short hair.

CALLER: Oh, that's probably my aunt, my Aunt Donna.

BROWNE: Yes, because this was a disintegrating illness.

CALLER: Yes. BROWNE: OK. Well, what I'm more concerned about is this male...

KING: Do you know who this is, ma'am?

BROWNE: ... that I was describing.

CALLER: I do not know who this male is. I've recently relocated, so I don't know if it's someone who's going to be here, perhaps, or...

BROWNE: You know, the man with the -- I told you, with the high cheekbones, the blunt nose.

CALLER: Right.

BROWNE: Yes, because this is a male that seems to be around you.

KING: Get ready, he's coming. But how...

CALLER: Thank you.

KING: ... how can you explain what you see there? I mean, where did that face come from? Because...

BROWNE: It comes from future, it comes...


BROWNE: ... you know what it -- See, that's why I always say to people when I'm doing a reading, Tell me if something just recently happened, because I know where I'm -- whether I'm in past or future.

KING: Yes, but what do you -- can you...

BROWNE: I begin to see the face.

KING: You see the face. And you associate it with this because, of course, this woman's on the phone.

BROWNE: Right.

KING: Not the woman holding on the next call.

BROWNE: No, no, I don't mix them up.

KING: And what -- all you're saying, Randi, is, that's unprovable, right?

RANDI: Well, not only that, but we've got the past, present, and future, and all of the civilization of earth to deal with here to find this person. And the lady wasn't able to find them.

BROWNE: Well, no, because we're talking about future. That's why I just said earlier to Larry, You've got to follow them down the...

RANDI: So you can't be wrong.

BROWNE: Well, only God is right. I -- it'd be terrifying if I was right all the time. That would be terrifying.

RANDI: I think...

BROWNE: And -- sorry, here's, here's a very good insight for you. I'm not psychic about me.

But I'll tell you something about you, Randi. You've got to look into your left ventricle in your heart. Now, you can say I'm just full of, you know, whatever, but you've got to check your left ventricle.

RANDI: They've been telling about my kidneys and about my prostate, about my feet, about my heart, my lungs. I'm in very bad shape.

BROWNE: No, no, no, no. No, no, no. No, no. I'm very serious. You've got something wrong in your left ventricle.

RANDI: Yes, well, we'll check it out, and I'll let you know...

KING: Now, what happened when -- as an example, Randi, just as an example, supposing you went to a cardiologist tomorrow, and he said -- this is just hypothetical -- and he says to you, Whew, your left ventricle...

BROWNE: It's all screwed up.

KING: ... we have to look right, something's the matter.

RANDI: I would get back...

KING: What would you then say -- would you then say...

RANDI: I would get back to you immediately, Larry...

KING: You would.

RANDI: ... and I would tell you that it is true. Yes.

KING: And would you then -- would that give you a plus toward maybe Sylvia has something?

RANDI: Well, as a matter of fact, I will call my cardiac surgeon tomorrow, and I will get back to you on e-mail, Larry, or by phone call if you will, and I will give you a complete report on the condition of my heart.

KING: He'll have to see you, though, because this could have happened...

BROWNE: Yes, right.

RANDI: Well, that's true too, yes. OK, I will do that. BROWNE: You can't just call him up.

KING: All right. We'll take a break, and we'll be right back. Don't go away.

Don't forget, by the way, it's time to log onto my King's Quiz at We're everywhere.

We'll be right back.


KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE with the Amazing Randi and Sylvia Browne.

And we go to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Hi, Sylvia, I just want to tell you how much you've shed so much light on my spirit lately. I've had a lot of problems.

BROWNE: Oh, bless your heart.

CALLER: I just need to know if my son's ever going to be better.

BROWNE: Yes, isn't there a neurological problem?


BROWNE: Yes. Have you contacted anybody about Tegretol?

CALLER: Tegretol?


CALLER: No, I haven't.

BROWNE: You know, because I work with a lot of doctors. Will you please check on that medication with the doctor?

KING: That's a drug for what?

BROWNE: It's a drug for anybody that has neurological problems, that has nerve synaptic -- because there's synaptic impulses that are off.

KING: And do you see him getting better, or you wouldn't know?

BROWNE: No, I do know that. I just wanted to -- because I keep in touch with so many doctors. Have her check the Tegretol.

KING: How do...

BROWNE: I can't do it. But the doctor can.

KING: How do you explain this medical aspect? BROWNE: I don't know. My master's degree is in English literature, so I don't know where it comes from.

KING: So when she called in, you picked up on her.

BROWNE: Yes, well, she said, Will my sons get better? I mean, you know, and Randi would say that's a lead-in, but the neurological problem's not a lead-in.

KING: Yes, how would she...

BROWNE: Could be any millions of things.

KING: Randi...


KING: ... was that a good guess?

RANDI: I don't know, because we don't have the evidence at hand, do we, Larry? Neurological problem, people who are sick have neurological problems. That's not a surprise. But how -- how...

BROWNE: Why would her son have a neurological problem? He could have had a drug problem, he could have had a leg problem, he could have had an eye problem, he could have had a foot problem.

RANDI: Maybe he does.

BROWNE: No, he doesn't. You have a heart problem.

KING: Check it.

RANDI: We'll see, we'll see.

KING: Collins, Iowa, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Sylvia.

BROWNE: Yes, dear.

CALLER: I've got a daughter that has been in the hospital. She's been sick for the last seven months. They cannot find anything extremely wrong. Can you tell me if they're ever going to find anything?

BROWNE: Yes, but I want them to get a bilirubin count done on her in the liver area. And I also want them to check -- this is kind of a little bit harsh on TV -- but I also want them to check a fecal matter test for Candida and Epstein-Barr, because she's tired, she's depressed, she's languid, she -- her muscle tone is going down. And that's also very symptomatic of chronic fatigue and Epstein-Barr.

And it's awfully hard to prove without a fecal matter test.

CALLER: And that's spelled... KING: What?

CALLER: That fecal manner, what -- I don't know how it's spelt.

BROWNE: Honey, it means a bowel movement test, honey.


KING: It's a bowel movement test.

BROWNE: It's a bowel movement test.

CALLER: Oh, it's a bowel movement test.

BROWNE: Yes, yes.


BROWNE: All right?

CALLER: Because I know she's very definitely sick, and I -- and they don't seem to be able to find for sure.


KING: How old is she?

CALLER: She's 54.

BROWNE: But I want her to really get -- also, I want her to get a complete bilirubin count on her liver.

KING: What's that?

BROWNE: Bilirubin count is enzymes in the liver, because that could show it too.

KING: Now, you saw her in the hospital, you saw the daughter?

BROWNE: Saw the daughter. I saw that she has a heart-shaped face -- I wish she was -- heart-shaped face, big round eyes. But, I mean, even the muscle tone is beginning to depreciate.

KING: Don't -- with this kind of power, don't you go a little wacky?

BROWNE: I'm not sure that I've ever been normal. I mean, you know, what's normal? I mean...


BROWNE: ... according to Randi...

KING: ... I mean, and you run into people, and you say, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Go check your head. I mean, I'd go nuts. BROWNE: You know, well, but -- you know, I've learned -- because I'm 65 now -- I've learned to turn the light down, because it used to make me much more crazier when I was younger, because I'd walk into a room and knew who had ulcers and who was getting a divorced.

KING: Would you want this power, Randi?

RANDI: No, I do not, thankfully.

BROWNE: Well, you've never had it anyway, Randi.

KING: I would not want it either.

BROWNE: There's no way that you'd have it.

KING: But I would not want it, because I think it gives you more misery.

BROWNE: See, I don't know where -- see...

KING: First of all, you tend to be kind to people, right?


KING: So you see some...

BROWNE: And, and, you know...

KING: ... dark things, don't you?

BROWNE: Oh, sure, I see dark people, and I see things that are evil and bad in the world, and things you don't want to see. But I know that everything evens up in God's time, because all this here is nothing more than a test for us. See, this is God's test...

KING: You also see people who are going to die.

BROWNE: Yes, I do see people that are going to die. That's why I know you have a long life. Now, we can also validate that too, Randi, we can watch and see if he dies or not.

But the thing about it is...

KING: Don't save that tape! I don't need this in my life.

BROWNE: No, you're -- you have a long life.


Randi, let us hope that she's right about me and wrong about you.

RANDI: Absolutely.


RANDI: Absolutely. KING: We'll be back with more after this.


KING: We're back with James Randi and Sylvia Browne. And she will take up Mr. Randi on his challenge, and we'll be the independent investigator involved in all this, let you know how it comes out.

Southwick, Massachusetts, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Hi, Sylvia.

BROWNE: Hi, honey.

CALLER: I think you're wonderful.

BROWNE: Thank you, dear.

CALLER: I know you've helped so many people.

My mom passed away on Mother's Day, and I didn't get a chance to be with her. I couldn't be with her when she passed away. And I just can't seem to get past it. I feel so bad.

BROWNE: I know, and, you know, like I was just saying, in -- a little bit earlier in the show, even if we are there, you know, how many -- like with my father, who I adored, I said, Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. There wasn't enough goodbyes. But, you know, your mother was so understanding, for one thing, unlike some mothers in the world, by the way, is that she would have known. She really did try to hang on, though.

CALLER: I know she did.

BROWNE: I know. And not only that, but she was stubborn as an ox, so she was...


BROWNE: ... she was really trying to -- You know, she had a very, very definite way of -- when she got nervous, she would pull on her mouth.

CALLER: Oh, my God.

BROWNE: She was doing something with her mouth, she'd pull on her lip.



CALLER: Yes. She was always pulling at the blankets and...

BROWNE: Always straightening everything.




KING: Is she watching her now?

BROWNE: Oh, she's watching over her now, yes, absolutely. You know what you'll get, is a funny tinny chime noise.

CALLER: Really?

BROWNE: Uh-huh.

CALLER: In my house?

BROWNE: Yes. Yes, like you say, Is that the doorbell? Is that the -- what is that?



CALLER: Ahh, that's...

KING: That'll be her mother.

BROWNE: That's her mother. They give signals.

KING: Thank you, ma'am.

Now, Randi...


KING: ... for argument's sake, don't you think that Sylvia helps people? Don't you think that that woman feels better?

RANDI: Oh, yes, no question of it. No question of it.

KING: So the second question would be, what's the harm?

RANDI: The harm is, Larry, that it leads you into ways of believing about the world and...

BROWNE: And God.

RANDI: ... believing -- and other people -- no, about the world...

BROWNE: And God.

RANDI: ... I'm talking about the world now, not gods and deities, that's...

BROWNE: Oh, yes, but we are, but that's what I -- where I'm coming from. So if I have to be...


RANDI: Pardon me, I was asked a question.

KING: Yes, let him finish.

RANDI: All right.

KING: Go ahead.

RANDI: The harm that it does, Larry, is it believes -- it leads people into, like the thin edge of the wedge, into much more dangerous, perhaps much more dangerous, forms of belief. They'll fall for almost any kind of a swindle once they accept something on a very small scale, it leads them into the rest of it. And it can be very, very dangerous. I've seen it.

KING: True.

BROWNE: I believe that. And then you start getting the Kool-Aid thing.

KING: Yes.

BROWNE: And if you knew anything about me, Randi, my whole philosophy has always been, take what you want and leave the rest.

RANDI: I'm not concerned with your philosophy.

BROWNE: And I agree with -- Well, no, no, you're not concerned with any philosophy. But apparently you want to test me, but you don't want to know anything about me. That's sort of an oxymoron situation, isn't it?

RANDI: Oh, no. The test is going to be the test, Sylvia. We can't wait.

KING: Yonkers, New York, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Sylvia. My niece recently passed away, and I wanted to know if she suffered at all, and if it was her fault at all.

BROWNE: No, it wasn't her fault, and it -- no, she didn't suffer. But what I'm saying is, this looks like it was very quick.

CALLER: Right.

BROWNE: Yes. But this also -- what it has to do with the breathing, because it looks like there was something wrong with the breathing apparatus.

CALLER: OK. Does she know how much she's missed, and how many people came to see her?

BROWNE: Yes. Also, which is very unusual, too, but a lot of people don't come, because she did come to her service.

CALLER: Right.

KING: What made you think of -- about the question of fault, ma'am?

CALLER: I'm sorry?

KING: Why did you ask about fault?

BROWNE: Because she was afraid of suicide.

CALLER: It was a car accident, and...

KING: And whether she was at fault...

CALLER: Right, whether she was at fault or exactly what happened. We don't know.

BROWNE: Yes, she wasn't at fault, honey. She was trying to veer off from something. But she says that something hit, she couldn't breathe.


KING: Thank you.

We'll be back with our remaining moments with James Randi and Sylvia Browne.

Oprah tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: By the way, you can now log onto our Web site at for the answer to King's Quiz.

Sylvia Browne has a Web site, if you want to contact her, it's www.sylvia.organization. Do you have a Web site, Randi?

RANDI: Do I have a Web site! www.randi -- that's R-A-N-D-I -- .org.

KING: OK,, I don't know what "www" is, and I don't know what "org" is.

RANDI: World Wide...

KING: World Wide Web, aha! I've learned it.

And you do a lot of work in crime.

BROWNE: Yes. I'm -- in fact, I'm working with Stephen Zantos (ph) out of the Rumson, New Jersey, police department right now.

KING: On a case?

BROWNE: On a case, on a case that I'm getting ready to close.

KING: Detroit, hello.

CALLER: Yes, good evening, Larry and Sylvia and Randi.

Sylvia, this question is for you. I've always been a dreamer since -- oh, as far back as I can remember, since I was child...

BROWNE: Yes, but I'm not too sure you're not an astral projector.


BROWNE: No, what I'm saying, I think your dreams are more real.

CALLER: Oh, yes...

BROWNE: I mean, I think you're going out of your body...


BROWNE: ... because they're so real.


KING: What's the question?

CALLER: My question is this. I lost my son eight years ago, but prior to his death, I dreamed it. I tried to tell him...

BROWNE: I know.

CALLER: ... and he blew me off by saying, Oh, there you go, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Sylvia, there's been no closure. We don't know why and probably will never know who. But for the family's sake, because I have resigned myself, I have dreamed about him since his death.

BROWNE: You know, there was two people involved with this.


BROWNE: And one of the person's names -- we have to be awfully careful -- was a person by the name of Curtis, with an L.


BROWNE: And then there was a Lee J. Roth that had -- that knows a lot.


BROWNE: I'm not saying these are actually the perpetrators. But all of a sudden, when this happened, everybody scattered.

CALLER: Yes. It happened broad daylight, and then supposedly people saw something, but...

BROWNE: Yes, but see, everybody was afraid.


KING: How was your son killed?

CALLER: He was murdered on the streets of Detroit.


KING: And you saw it in a dream.

CALLER: I saw -- I -- well, I saw that -- I was able to get to him. I held him in my arms, and...

KING: And do you think he -- had he listened, you could have prevented it?

CALLER: I don't know if I could have not...


BROWNE: No, honey, you can't. See, I've had people too, and, you know, it's in God's plan. And what's going to happen -- just because we know it doesn't mean we could prevent it.

KING: Randi, do you have thoughts on dreams? Do you believe in cognitive dreams and analysis of dreams?

RANDI: Analysis of dreams is usually based upon the fact that if something coincides with a dream that you had the night before, you remember that, and you do connect it. We have as many as 30 dreams a night that we don't remember. But we do tend to remember them by reinforcement if and when they coincide with facts.

KING: And if you dream of something that's going to happen and it happens, what does that mean?

RANDI: It means that -- essentially, just what you said. It doesn't mean that it's supernatural.

KING: All right. I thank you both very much.

BROWNE: Well, that's a great explanation.

KING: Sylvia Browne's new book is "Past Lives, Future Healing." You can contact her at James Randi, who has the James Randi Education Foundation, you can contact him at

And we're going to see that the two get together and go through this test. And we'll let you know about it. And we thank them both very much for being with us. Tomorrow night, Oprah is our special guest for the hour. We'll include your phone calls. And special guests the rest of the week, we'll announce them tomorrow night when Oprah's with us. So hang -- it's called a grabber.

Thanks very much for joining us. Stay tuned for "CNN TONIGHT." And good night, I think.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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