LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Sitting in a cafe, one of those lazy places by the beach with dogs sprawled on the floor taking naps and sniffing out fallen crumbs, I prepped for my interview with a psychic medium. His publicist said he could discuss political issues. I figured — why not? Five minutes before our scheduled interview, my boss called. Slightly anxious, I figured the psychic would know intuitively why I got tied up. Unless I despise the person, I hardly ever feel right about rushing a boss off the phone.
Twenty minutes later I had Bill Philipps on the horn. I immediately asked if he knew why I couldn’t pick up when he called in twice and got my voicemail. He said he knew there was going to be confusion, but didn’t know what. I apologized profusely and we moved on.
Whenever I’d refer to him as a psychic, he’d correct me, saying he was more of a “psychic medium” than a psychic and could connect with dead people on the other side. “My true gift is as a medium,” he told me. Which explains why one of his more well-known clients is Tanya Brown, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, who, according to a court of law, was not nearly decapitated by her ex-husband O.J. Simpson. (The court of public opinion is another story.) Philipps has also done readings for Carmen Electra, Jay Mohr, and John Farley (Chris Farley’s brother),
On his website’s testimonial page, Tanya Brown sings his praises: “One of the best gifts I received was from my good friend. She wanted me to meet with Bill to see if he could channel my sister, Nicole Brown Simpson, who you may know was murdered in 1994. I was a bit skeptical at first because everyone knew everything about Nicole and my entire family from the media circus. …I cannot tell you what a gift this was. …Bill knew things that no one knew, not only of Nicole, but many of my friends and family who passed many years prior. These were individuals that were never spoken of in the public. So, of course, he had my attention.”
The Backgrounder: Philipps’ progression into the psychic profession came with a painful incident when he was 15. “It was very traumatic,” he says of his mother’s death. “She had a very bad addiction issue with drugs and alcohol. Where she is now in spirit is more helpful. I don’t do any drugs or drink. I am very pure.”
But she didn’t stay away for long, at least not in the spirit sense. “When she passed away she came to me,” he said. “I woke up with her light illuminating the room. It was a silhouette. It was a beautiful. She was in a good space and [told me] that she would be protecting me in my life.”
Phillipps grew up in Mission Viejo, Calif. and was raised in very Christian household. He struggled with it. But flash forward five or six years, he went to music school and graduated. “I would do readings for people,” he said. “When I graduated, I decided to use it as my life journey to help me.”
Whatever you want to say about psychics, he books six months in advance. He also specializes in audience readings. “I’m able to connect those who are living and those who are dead,” he said.
Philipps describes his mind as “a nagging mind” and says his psychic thoughts are continual. He did recently approach a waitress with a message from a deceased loved one. But mostly he tries not to approach strangers, and if he does, he asks permission before he says anything. Otherwise, he says, “I don’t think it’s appropriate.”
At this point we are both startled to discover that he lives in Newport Beach, which is just one town over from Laguna. His publicist hadn’t disclosed his whereabouts. We assumed our interview would be by phone. But two days later we met at a Laguna cafe by the sea, where I peppered him with questions about everything from the future of The Daily Caller and Politico to Hillary Clinton, Lindsay Lohan, Oscar Pistorius and the missing Malaysian airliner. He’d never heard of The Daily Caller or Politico, but said if I gave him basics he could tune in.
We met at Orange Inn. It’s a cute, laid back cafe known for their orange muffins. I won’t go into great detail about this part, but this is relevant: Midway through our interview, he held onto his head, shut his eyes for a few moments and began asking me questions. It was like he couldn’t help himself. Oh no, I thought. I’m not here for this and I don’t want to know any weird woo woo stuff. But he knew things he couldn’t possibly have known or looked up anywhere. He had plenty to say, he was lovely, kind and if you ever want a psychic medium, he may be your guy.
Forget the story. He said this was the reason we had to meet. He said he had things he needed to tell me. None of it was scary. Amid a few embarrassing teardrops, he made me smile. It was time to proceed.
Who will run in 2016? “I always feel that Hillary would run for office. I think Marianne Williamson will attempt it, but she won’t win it. I do feel like she [Hillary Clinton] will win. Again, I do feel that way. I definitely see her going further with it than maybe she thought she was going to.”
Hillary Clinton’s health: “I don’t sense any significant or life-altering disease with her right now.”
Potential GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush: “I don’t believe he is going to run.”
The missing Malaysia airliner: “It’s one of those things where I think we’re being deceived. I’m not convinced we’re going to find clues or resolve this anytime soon. Some government has information they’re not relaying. Information is being withheld.” Asked if he thought there were any survivors, he replied, “no.”
Oscar Pistorius: “Guilty. Crime of passion. Jealousy. Of course he feels horrible about it. Arguing. Jealousy. I feel like it’s going to be a lesser sentence than he deserves.”
Actress Lindsay Lohan: “I think it’s very humbling what has happened to her the last few years. I think she’ll have more struggle. I think she has the opportunity to help other people. I don’t see her being out of the clear anytime soon. Let’s see where she is in eight or nine months [laughter].”
Actor Charlie Sheen: “I see him going through different women. He has not learned his lesson.”
Justin Bieber: “I feel like he’s getting into a really big pickle. I see him getting into some legal issues where he wouldn’t be able to use his name to get out of it. I see a lot more drama over car issues. I see more of an addiction issue too. More illegal substances than we know about right now.”
Washington, D.C. in general: “A lot of turmoil obviously that I don’t see getting better. A lot more issues with Obama and Obamacare. I don’t believe that it has a lot of time. It has a lot of issues. It’s not going to be what he intended for it to be. The dynamic of it will change. I don’t have an exact timeline. It’s not going to last. I actually feel with him…he’s under a lot of stress. I feel a lot of deterioriation of his health, his heart racing. I don’t mean he is going to die. I mean, there is going to be some issues with his heart, his blood pressure.”
Is Bill Clinton being faithful to his wife? “Oh my God. Horrible question to ask. I kind of feel like…goodness…I kind of feel like once a cheater always a cheater. I believe he has gotten his hand caught in the cookie jar more than once. I’m going to say no but it’s part of his DNA. He’s not going to change who he is. I kind of feel like she has made peace with it. She is in her career. She wants to go further with it. Yeah, she’s married, but she’s married to her career.”
The Daily Caller: “I do feel that there is a lot more coverage coming up with you guys. I’m seeing an actual print, something being in print. I’m seeing growth. I’m seeing something with a European connection. I’m seeing expansion overseas.”
Betsy: “I’m seeing movement. It’s going to be more East. Eastward direction. December, January, coming up. Physical move. I would release any fear that you have. You’re on the right path. Barely scratching the surface. I kind of feel like you’re doing this political thing right now, but that there were two different areas you could have gone into, blending art and politics. I feel like what you’re doing right now is creating, designing.”
BuzzFeed: “I’m seeing it grow larger. I’m seeing it Facebook integrated. At some point they may blend with them.” (Note to readers: Philipps said this weeks before BuzzFeed announced it’s WHCD party with Facebook.)
How do you know when you’re guessing, vs. getting some psychic guidance? “That’s a really good question. There’s a difference between your intuitive and your mind. The difference is knowing which one has a trail behind it and which one is random. I know whatever comes into my head that is not of my own vocabulary, I know that is a connection.”
Are psychic predictions better at dealing with luck (unpredicted bad weather, a car accident, etc.) or characters making idiosyncratic decisions? “I think it’s both. People have misinformation that a psychic is a fortune teller. We have free will. A psychic can guide you. To possibly bring you through or prepare you for things on your path.”
Will Vox Media‘s Ezra Klein’s new journalism venture succeed? “I do believe he’s going to be successful. It’ll be a stepping stone in an even bigger direction…a bridge to a new world. I don’t know how long he’ll be there, but it’ll guide him to the next part of his career.”