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


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Contradiction - Do Angels Have Wings?

Even Browne's spirit guide "Francine" seems confused about this.

'Sylvia Browne's Book of Angels'

"Sylvia Browne's Book of Angels".


One thing which has changed in Sylvia Browne's philosophy is whether or not angels have wings.

Many of Browne's followers know that early on, Browne said that angels do not have wings, and that now she says that all angels have them.

However, I think that most of her fans don't realize that there is more to the story than that.

About "Francine"

To understand the rest of this article, it is necessary to learn about "Francine," Browne's "spirit guide."

A being from The Other Side (heaven) who has been with Browne all of her life, Francine first appeared to Browne when Browne was three years old. It is through Francine that Browne purportedly gets most of her knowledge about "The Other Side" (what most people would refer to as "heaven").

On page 20 of Browne's book The Other Side and Back (hardback edition), she describes Francine as :

...an Aztec-Incan woman named Iena, although I took it upon myself to change her name to Francine. She was born in northern Colombia in 1500 and was killed in a Spanish attack on her city in 1520. That was her only incarnation on this earth...

According to Browne, Francine - like all Spirit guides - is a wealth of knowledge, because, as she says on page 21 of the same book:

Their vantage point on The Other Side gives them direct access to God's divine knowledge...

According to Browne, Francine has been there, on The Other Side, training as a Spirit Guide and gaining knowledge for nearly five hundred years.

So, I would imagine, if anyone knows what an angel looks like, it would be Francine.

1991 - Francine Says "No Wings"

Not only does Francine speak to Browne, but over the years, Browne has performed "trance sessions" where she "channels" Francine. During these sessions, Francine supposedly takes total control of Browne's body, and Browne is not conscious of anything which happens during the trance. Francine gives lectures during some of these trances (not as much nowadays as back in the early 90s), and even answers questions from the audience.

(NOTE: One woman's account of one of these "trance readings" can be read in this article.)

I recently was given an audio tape of one of these "trance sessions," which was recorded on February 19, 1991.

The person who sent me the tape was present when the tape was made, and in fact recorded it with his/her own tape recorder.

At the time, people attending these "trance sessions" were encouraged to tape them. Later, I am told, Browne's people did the taping exclusively, and recording by anyone else was forbidden.

At the beginning of this particular tape, Larry Beck (who would later marry Browne) explains the trance process to those present. Here is part of that explanation:

Well, this a situation in which Sylvia will be in this chair, Francine will be in Sylvia, speaking to you.

Now, it's not a big, mystical thing, so don't get all scared. It's the same thing as a driver getting into a different car. No big deal.

Very few people can do this, by the way. Ninety-nine percent of those so-called channelers, um, have some kind of a short in their brain. But Sylvia is indeed a full, deep-trance medium, and she will not remember what was said or spoken by Francine. Francine uses Sylvia's entire apparatus, so there is no significant change of voice. The mannerisms and style of presentation are certainly different, but that's the personality.

So don't expect anything unusual, just as if you were talking to somebody that's in a chair.

When Francine comes in, and Sylvia leaves, there's just a small motion in the... head, a little jerk, so don't be disconcerted by that.

At this point, there is silence for a few moments, then Sylvia Browne, supposedly channeling Francine, says:

I'll answer your questions in a little bit, but I would like to address something that Sylvia has been studying, and something that I would like to clear up, and that has to do with... angels.

Francine talks for a while about angels, and at one point, says the following about them:

Click here to listen to the audio.

Of course they don't have wings!

They do not have wings, they do not need wings, wings are silly. They're for birds!

The reason why they put wings on them is, they couldn't understand why they could travel so fast, and the reason why they could travel so fast is because they think themselves to a place, and they're instantly there.

But it would be a horrifying... anomaly to have something flapping around that grew out of your shoulder blades.

We've always been horrified by that. That's like a monster of some kind!

So, according to Francine, who has "direct access to God's divine knowledge," angels have no wings. The very thought of them having wings is horrifying to those on The Other Side.

Angels have no wings - case closed.


1999: Francine Says "Only Archangels Have Wings"

Things get a bit more confused when you read the following, which first appeared on www.Sylvia.org's Frequently Asked Questions Page in February of 1999 (emphasis mine):

Do Angels have wings?

For many years I believed that the wings depicted on Angels were simply an artistic concept rather than an actual fact (my logical mind was always asking why would anyone need wings if they were in spirit form?). Yet when I was young I actually did see a vision of the most beautiful Angelic Being with very big golden wings. But then I have always had odd visions which seem to defy logic - at least until my intellect grew enough to see the bigger picture of reality. And more recently my granddaughter Angelia (also psychic) called me into a room with tall ceilings and pointed to an enormous winged Angel (yes, we both saw it).

So I finally asked my Spirit Guide, named Francine, about wings on Angels. She replied that wings only appear on Archangels, not on any others. It is meant to distinguish their importance and get our attention.

A few years later, on page 40 of Sylvia Browne's Book of Angels, Browne gives a slightly different version of why she had changed her mind on the "wings issue" in recent years.

She describes being 22 years old, sitting in a parked car, feeling very low, when suddenly a striking-looking man knocks on the window and speaks briefly with her. She continues (emphasis mine):

I started the car, and as I began driving home, Francine said "Well, Sylvia, you just saw an angel."

At the time, I replied, "An angel! No wings, no color."

She said, "Yes, they come as messengers in human form."

From that point on, as some people can attest from attending my early lectures and reading my previous books, I firmly believed that angels didn't have wings. But all that changed in an instant four years ago when I was staying overnight at my son Chris's house.

I'd gotten up in the middle of the night to go from my room across the long entry hall with its high, vaulted ceiling to get a drink of water in the bathroom. Much to my amazement, there in the foyer was a huge - and I mean gigantic - being, the likes of which I'd never experienced. Not only was the height of this being awesome, but it had magnificent, gorgeously colored wings folded carefully into place. As I stood there staring at this beautiful creation for a good two minutes, the angel remained perfectly still as if it were guarding the house.

Note that now, it is Browne alone who sees the archangel, not Browne and her granddaughter.

Also note that in both versions, Browne fails to mention that it was Francine herself who first put forth the "no wings" teaching. Instead, Browne passes it off as a misunderstanding on her part.

In Browne's audio recording Angels and Spirit Guides, she tells yet another version of the "angel in the foyer" story, ending with Francine explaining to Browne why the archangel is there.

In some versions of the story, the archangel simply vanishes after smiling. In at least one other version, the archangel tells her its name (Ariel), and why it is there (to guard Browne's granddaughter).

It seems to be a very flexible story.

So now, Browne says that only archangels have wings. None of the other types of angels (seraphim, cherubim, etc.) have them. And, remember, it is Francine who tells her that.

Case closed. Only archangels have wings. Until...

2003: Francine Says "All Angels Have Wings."

Illustration of Winged Angel from 'Sylvia Browne's Book of Angels'

Illustration of Winged Angel from "Sylvia Browne's Book of Angels".

Published in 2003, Sylvia Browne's Book of Angels adds to the confusion, explaining in great detail all the types and ranks of angels, and how you can tell them apart by the color of their wings. On pages 49-50 of the hardbound edition of the book, an "angel chart" can be found which tells us, among other things, what types of angels have what color of wings:

AngelsWhite with silver tips
ArchangelsWhite with blue tips
CherubimWhite with rose tips
SeraphimWhite with rose tips
PowersWhite with greenish-white tips
CarrionsWhite with an orange tint
VirtuesSilver with pale blue tips
DominionsWhite with a maroon tint
ThronesPurplish white

So, Browne's story at this point is, she was wrong for years, angels do indeed have wings. All of them.

And again there is no mention of the fact that it was Francine who originally said that angels do not have wings, nor that it was Francine who later said that only Archangels have wings.

So, case closed? Who knows? Evidently, not Francine.

For someone who supposedly has "direct access to God's divine knowledge," Francine certainly seems to have a hard time keeping her story straight.

Added Oct 24, 2007

2007: All angels still have wings, but...
Browne's 2007 book 'Psychic Children'

Cover of Browne's 2007 book "Psychic Children".

A correspondent to this site who says that she is "on the fence" about Browne, has just informed me of yet another change to Browne's story about angels' wings.

Published in 2007, Browne's book Psychic Children adds even further to the confusion. Starting on page 141 of the hardback edition, Browne says the following:

There are actually eight levels of angels.


To help children know which level of Angel they're seeing around them, tell them to watch closely to see what color the Angels' wings are, since that's how one level is physically distinguished from another when Angels are at Home on the Other side.

First, there are the least experienced ones, simply called Angels, whose wings are a dusty gray white.

Next come the Archangels, with pure white wings.

The Cherubim are next. Their wings are white with gold tips.

The Cherubim are followed by the Seraphim. Their wings are white with silver tips.

Then come the Virtues, with their pale blue wings, followed by the Dominions, with green wings.

The second highest level of Angels are the Thrones, whose wings are a deep, royal purple.

Last come the highest level, the most powerful Angels of all.

"They're called the Principalities, and their wings are a brilliant solid gold."

Note that in this list, there are only eight types of angels, rather than the ten mentioned in her earlier Book of Angels. Also, note the totally different colors Browne assigns to the various types:

TypeColors in "Book of Angels" (2003)Colors in "Psychic Children" (2007)
AngelsWhite with silver tipsDusty gray white
ArchangelsWhite with blue tipsPure white
CherubimWhite with rose tipsWhite with gold tips.
SeraphimWhite with rose tipsWhite with silver tips
PowersWhite with greenish-white tipsNot mentioned
CarrionsWhite with an orange tintNot mentioned
VirtuesSilver with pale blue tipsPale blue
DominionsWhite with a maroon tintGreen
ThronesPurplish whiteDeep, royal purple
PrincipalitiesGoldBrilliant solid gold

What happened to Powers and Carrions? And why do all the remaining types (except Principalities) now have different colors?

Perhaps Psychic Children, though published four years later, was written before Book of Angels, and so before Browne supposedly "learned" of Powers and Carrions. But that would not explain the totally different "color scheme".

Whichever book was written later, why doesn't Browne explain, or even mention, this total change?


Compared to the number of people reading Browne's books in the late 1990s, the number of people who had attended Browne's "trance sessions" in 1991 was miniscule. I think it likely that Browne counted on the fact that nobody from those early days would remember what she (playing the part of Francine) said about the topic.

Then, in the late 90s and early 2000s, when the topic of angels was suddenly very popular, and books filled with pictures of beautiful, winged angels were selling like hotcakes, Browne changes Francine's story. Was it in order to crank out some books which capitalized on the newly-popular topic?

Listening to Francine on the "trance session" tape, to me it seems painfully obvious that it is simply Sylvia Browne pretending to be Francine. Francine - who is supposedly an ancient Incan - talks in the exact same colloquialisms as Sylvia Browne does, using some of Browne's oft-repeated phrases such as "Don'tcha see?"

And if she is an ancient wise one, full of centuries' worth of wisdom and knowledge, why does she stutter and stammer, peppering her lecture with "ummms" and "uhhhs" like most of us on "This Side" do?

I have heard from ex-members of Browne's church of Novus Spiritus who say that even the die-hards back in the early 90s started to wonder if Browne was faking at least some of the "trance sessions."

One tells me that there is a tape where Browne slips up and "breaks character," with Francine referring to Sylvia's grandmother as "my grandmother."

I have also been told that these old tapes of the Francine sessions are no longer available from the church. That even some of the ministers have requested copies, and were refused. Is it because Browne doesn't want people to notice how Francine and her story changed? Are there other contradictions which could be found on those tapes?

Eventually, according to more than one ex-member, many came to the inescapable conclusion that the whole Francine thing was a charade.


When I told a friend about all of the above, he sarcastically said "Gee, it's almost like Sylvia Browne is making it all up!"

I myself find it difficult to come to any other conclusion.

My thanks to the people who pointed this whole story out to me, and to the one among them who fortunately still had a copy of this tape, and shared it with me.

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