A look at the claims, predictions and behavior of a media "psychic".


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Christopher Dufresne: "His psychic ability is equal to Sylvia's."

Is Sylvia Browne positioning her son to take the reins?

Published: May 31 2008
Written by: Robert S. Lancaster

Chris Dufresne

Christopher Dufresne.
From the cover of his book "My Life With Sylvia Browne"


For years, Sylvia Browne's son Christopher Dufresne has been following in his mother's footsteps.

Recent events seem to indicate that he is being positioned to take over more of the business.

This article examines that, and takes a look at other things we have been told about Dufresne.

The Email

I received an email a few days ago from a woman in Manchester, England.

Here, with her permission, is that email (emphasis mine):

Subject: Thank You...
From: "[name]" <[email address]>
Date: Wed, May 28, 2008 2:17 pm
To: <[email address]>

Thank you for a most informative website. Having been given the name from a friend of the ‘famous’ psychic Sylvia Browne whom she had read about I decided to try and arrange a reading with her, I Googled her name and quickly came upon her website, I called her office and was greeted with a greeting that said Sylvia had a 7 year waiting list so I selected the option to book with her son Chris who surprisingly enough was available next Monday??

Alarm bells should have rang then I guess!! Why such a difference in schedules when they were supposedly as good as each other I donÂ’t know and didnÂ’t feel compelled to ask the question at that very moment. However having given my credit card details and arranged my slot for next Monday and for Chris to call anytime between 1:30pm and 7:30pm UK time, which would have been between 6:30am and 12:30pm CA time?? I decided to Google him when I came off the phone!

IÂ’m so glad I did, I just saved myself $525 the price for an international reading!! The first hit was stopsylviabrowne.com having read and re-read the posts it became pretty obvious that what I thought I was paying for was maybe NOT what I was going to get! I guess I canÂ’t make any sweeping statements as to the validity of their readings having never had one, but can say I read enough of those that had to make up my mind and decided to put my money to better use!

I called their office and cancelled my appointment, a surprisingly easy affair, they wouldnÂ’t give me an email address to confirm this action, but assured me I was taken off the schedule and my details destroyed, to be safe I also informed my credit card company of the conversation.

Anyway, just wanted to drop an email to thank the organisers and contributors of this site for their input. IÂ’m glad I came across it BEFORE I had the reading!!

Best regards,

Manchester, England.

I was gratified to hear that the site had been of assistance to this woman, but I was surprised to hear that Browne's waiting list was now supposedly seven years long.

The length of Sylvia's "waiting list" changes every time I hear about it. Three years, one year, four years, three years... now seven. But almost every email I receive from someone who has had a phone reading with Sylvia Browne, as well as accounts I've read elsewhere from those who have had such readings, say that the office called them back less than a year later to say that an opening had suddenly appeared in Browne's schedule. Would they like to take the opening?

Why are these people all jumping two and three years ahead of others on the list? Why didn't any of the others ahead of them take the opening?

The only way this makes sense to me is that the "years long" waiting list is nothing more than a marketing gimmick to make Browne seem like she is more in demand than she actually is.

The other function this supposed waiting list serves is to encourage people to get a reading with Browne's son, Christopher Dufresne. And in fact, every email I receive from those who have had a phone reading with Dufresne starts out saying that the person did not want to wait years and years to speak with Browne, and so decided to settle for a reading with her son.

But seven years? It sounded like they were pushing Dufresne on customers harder than ever.

The Advertisement

Email advertising Dufresne's 'new availability.'

Email advertising Dufresne's "new availability."

Two days later, Browne's office sent an email out to their followers.

Here is that email, interspersed with my comments (emphasis mine):

From: Sylvia Browne [email address]
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 2:19 AM
To: Sylvia Browne Subscribers
Subject: Sylvia Browne's Son, Chris, now Available for Readings


We know that over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to schedule a reading with either Sylvia or her son, Chris, in a timely fashion. Sylvia has a waiting list which is now up to 8 years ahead. As a result we are not adding any additional people to Sylvia's list at this time.

So, now the supposed waiting list is up to eight years long. Just how many people would that be?

Browne has repeatedly claimed that she does twenty readings a day. Assuming that she does so only five days a week, and that she only works forty weeks out of the year, an eight-year waiting list would have thirty-two thousand people on it.

I will leave it to the reader to decide just how likely that is.

Back to the advertisement:

If you are currently on Sylvia's reading waiting list, you can continue to remain on her list and also still have a consultation with Chris. This will not delay your reading with Sylvia in any way.

Chris has now extended his hours and also opened up weekend appointments to make it more convenient for people to schedule an appointment considerably sooner than ever before.

Evidently so, as he was available to the woman in the previous email in less than a week.

For those who are not aware of Chris, his psychic ability is equal to Sylvia's and he has been practicing professionally alongside his mother for over 25 years.

I am somewhat distressed by their claim that Dufresne has been a professional psychic for over 25 years. Browne states on page 85 of her book Adventures of a Psychic: "Christopher Michael Dufresne was born on February 19, 1966." Since Dufresne is now 42 years old, this would mean that Browne had him working as a "professional psychic" when he was seventeen at the oldest.

During this time, we have received thousands of affidavits attesting to his accuracy. Among them are:

Janna from Indiana:
"It has been only a short while since my phone reading with Chris and already things are occurring as he said they would. What a gift! I hope others will take the opportunity to let Chris help them as he has me. I will never forget the experience."

Reba from Georgia:
"Chris, the time we spent talking will always be one of the most treasured and memorable moments of my life. You have no idea how much you helped me. I will be forever grateful to you."

If you contact our office by the end of June, 2008 and refer to this email, you will receive $25 off the fee for a reading with Chris and your choice of either Sylvia's new book, Temples on the Other Side or one of Chris' books, My Life with Sylvia Browne or My Psychic Journey. Please call [phone number] or [phone number] or you can email [email address].

Sylvia Browne Corporation · [address] · [city] · [phone]

Quotes About Dufresne Readings

Sylvia Browne and Chris Dufresne

Sylvia Browne and Christopher Dufresne.
From the cover of his book "My Psychic Journey"

If Sylvia Browne Corp. has many quotes from people who have had readings with Dufresne, so do I.

Here are a few:

"I just read your posting about one woman’s reading with Christopher—how true! That is EXACTLY the same kind of reading I received from him---TOTALLY worthless mumbo jumbo!"

"Unfortunately, there are many psychics who are not accurate at all..each say different things. Well, as far as my reading with Chris Dufresne..he was very rude, it sounded as if he didn't like his job."

"If she is a fake her son Chris is worst, I had a reading with him a few days ago for 500.00 did not last more than 10 minutes and he did not get one thing right. This is sad, because they prey on people that believe in them."

"Well, as I suspected, the reading gave me nothing substantial."

"I just had my reading with Chris, now im starting to question how strong his abilities are. ... Im kinda disapointed and I was woundering if any of Chris's readings have been dead on or proven to be correct."

"I had a reading with Chris on 02/2006 and am fairly disappointed at this point. At the time of this reading, I really believed in both Sylvia and Chris and after my reading I was fairly happy with the outcome(despite him missing the whole back thing). But as time has gone on and things he predicted have not happened, I am starting to believe that he is a fraud as well. "

"I too found Chris to be inpatient and a little bit overbearing on the phone. It did seem like he was in a hurry to get off the phone. Also, he tended to lecture a little too much and at times talk a lot about himself. I would love to have my money back since he seemed to miss the reasons for me calling (my back and if I would be getting married)."

"April of 2006 I had a reading with Sylvias son, needless to say I realized during the reading that it was all a scam, the things that he said were not accurate and very general and could have applied to anyone I felt he was very vague and very rushed."

"I wanted to let you know that the letter posted on your website is a similar situation that my mom and I feel and went through after a reading earlier this week with Chris. We are in the process of trying to get a refund."

"When I asked how my new business would be, he said 'I'm not a mind reader, what's the business?' Most of the reading went like that."

Here is a lengthier quote, from an African-American woman who had an in-person reading with Dufresne:

"He told me that my current boyfriend was a dark haired, dark skinned black man and that he wasn't 'the one'.

My boyfriend at the time was a blonde blue eyed man and while he wasn't 'the one', the physical description was way off the mark.

Because I'm black I think he assumed that I only dated black men.


I smiled and said, 'Just so you'll know, my current boyfriend is blonde and blue eyed...'

He replied, 'In a past life he was a black man... I see past lives as well'

I asked him how he could have confused the two. He cut the session short.

And these are just a sample of the many such reports I have received about Dufresne.

It should be noted that a few of these email authors were not totally disappointed in their reading from Dufresne. But the majority were.


The volume of complaints I have received about Dufresne's readings come as no surprise. Several ex-ministers with Browne's church of Novus Spiritus have told me that people who work in Browne's office often complain about the volume of complaints and requests or refunds they get from Dufresne's phone-reading customers.

I don't think that it is necessarily because he is any worse at cold-reading than his mother is. It may just be that, with all of Browne's books, and all of her appearances on the Montel Williams show, people disappointed in her readings may be more inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt, or to somehow blame themselves.

Or perhaps his heart just isn't in it. Many people have told me that he is abrupt, rude, and can't wait to get off of the phone. And when I interviewed his father, Gary Dufresne, he said the following of a conversation he had with Chris:

"...and he said basically, he was talking to me about the fact that he hates what he does, but you know, the money's good, and his mother pushes it, and actually, what else is he going to do? And um, but he did state that he really disliked what he was doing."


The advertisement from Browne's office claimed of Dufresne that "his psychic ability is equal to Sylvia's."

I am inclined to agree.

My thanks to all of the email authors quoted above.

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