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Psychic tries to stop Stop Sylvia Browne

Earlier today I was listening to the latest episode of Skeptoid which lists the top ten celebrities who promote harmful pseudoscience.

At the bottom of the list, Brian Dunning chose Montel Williams and, in his explanation of this choice, mentioned that Hal Bidlack wrote an open letter to Montel regarding Sylvia Browne. I had never heard of this letter so I wanted to read more. I did a quick search on Google and found the Google linked to it on the StopSylviaBrowne site.

It said the link was not found. Robert Lancaster has always made his site easy to navigate so I figured I could get to it somehow through the main page. So I went to my bookmarks and clicked on the site. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the expected SSB logo had been replaced with a new design. I thought it was odd, but continued to look around. It didn’t take me long to realize that this wasn’t a redesign of the site, this was simply NOT Stop Sylvia Browne. It was a believer’s version of it. And I was on the correct domain.

I was shocked. So I quickly went to the JREF forum to see what was going on. It seems the site had been this way since Tuesday. There was a lot of speculation going on about hacking, illegal domain transfers, etc.

Yesterday, our fears were confirmed. The domain registration has expired and had been legally auctioned off by its registrar, GoDaddy. It is now in possession of someone associated with a psychic business and website.

Robert’s wife wrote:

Well, Folks, apparently I paid for the “hosting” but not the domain name. Notifications were sent to Robert’s email, which I have not had access to. I was told a mailing went out as well, but I never got it.

The domain was sold – legally.

There are many people currently trying to find a way to get the domain back for Robert, and if that fails, the site will move to a new domain with no information loss. As some point out though, this will affect its google ranking.

Robert Lancaster, the webmaster of StopSylviaBrowne, has done some tremendous work with this site and has become a sort of celebrity among skeptics. The site has been a constant source of information for myself and many others. It exposed the type of person Sylvia Browne really is. It has also helped many people see the truth about Sylvia Browne as evidenced in the emails he occasionaly publishes. One thing’s for sure, this will not affect Robert’s or the skeptical community’s resolve to Stop Sylvia Browne.

5 comments to Psychic tries to stop Stop Sylvia Browne

  • The word came in on the JREF Forum from Susan Lancaster (Robert’s wife) about 8 hours ago. He wants us all to start using the name STOPSYLVIA.COM to link to the site. This domain is up and running and points to his original content right now.

    We need to mobilize the skeptic community to not only create new links to this address, but also to edit all the old links in existing web pages and blog posts. Essentially we need to googlebomb the new domain name.

    I explain exactly how googlebombs work and offer specific advice in this case in a blog post on my Skeptical Software Tools blog. For example, be aware you should NOT include the word “Stop” in your hyperlink.

    All the details here:

    http://skeptools.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/skeptics-load-your-google-bombs/

  • wb4

    Huh, so that’s why the StopSylviaBrown button image stopped loading at the bottom of my blog. I’ve removed the link until the real site gets back online. Meanwhile, I just sent a friendly email to the new domain owner requesting that he sell it back to Robert.

  • IPVlazy

    Oh jeez that’s not a good thing at all. I do hope that this site can get up and running again, so as to maintain the process of running Sylvia Browne into the ground.. hehe that kinda rhymes a bit.

  • Tim Farley has it exactly right. I wrote about the Stop Sylvia Browne issue today. I’ve made sure to link to Stop Sylvia.com, while leaving out the link to the original StopSylviaBrowne.com.

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