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About the James Randi Million dollar challenge

There’s been a lot of talk about James Randi’s Million dollar challenge. In this challenge, Randi promises a prize of one million dollars to anyone proving his paranormal abilities. Skeptics of anything paranormal use the fact that no one got the prize that they are right and nothing paranormal exists all claiming otherwise are either misguided or frauds. I’ve written about Randi before in James Randi attacks Uri Geller again.


Some good write-ups about Randi’s prize are available from these sources:

Michael Prescott’s blog – Prescott posted a series of article’s about Randi’s challenge. You can read his posts in The challenge, part one and in The challenge, part two. In these posts Michael Prescott reviews the FAQ of the JREF Million Dollar Challenge. JREF stands for James Randi Educational Foundation. One of the things going against the challenge is that it’s hard to apply and to get to the part where you actually have to prove something. In the review of the FAQ Prescott shows various parts of the challenge that demonstrate the nature of the prize offer, where some claims are not even considered because they are being pre-decided as being false claims. Read those posts.

PsiPog’s founder Sean (aka Peebrain) wrote about his try to take and win the million dollars. Sean describes how his question about the nature of the Million dollars (offered in some kind of bonds) was left unanswered and his correspondence with the foundation was edited to remove foul language of the foundation’s representative and an email which he never wrote was posted on the forum as being written by him. This is a very interesting evidence of how hard it is to apply and how the foundation treats the applicants. Read Beware Pseudo-Skepticism.

Jaime Licauco from Inquirer – wrote about his correspondence with James Randi, where Randi answers some of his previous claims. It’s a short and interesting read. One quote:

Randi: “I have never said that Uri Geller was a ‘fake psychic.’ Geller never filed any harassment suit against me. In the one case he did file, he lost and had to pay $150,000 in sanctions.”


He may not have called Geller a fake psychic, but he certainly hounded him for years, saying what Geller was doing was plain trickery that he could duplicate anytime.

Let me quote Dr. Broughton again (from the above mentioned book “Parapsychology”): “The research on Geller’s alleged PK abilities has received severe criticism, primarily from James Randi and others with conjuring and sleight-of-hand experience. In fact, Randi has made something of a career as Geller’s debunker, having risen from relative obscurity to national prominence through books and television appearances in which he claims to expose Geller’s tricks. Randi and other critics claim that all scientists who observed Geller’s demonstrations were simply duped by conjuring tricks.”

Another interesting quote is about CSICOP, which is the organization which Randi headed sometime during his carreer:

Fate Magazine said in its September 1983 issue, “They call themselves the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. In fact, they are a group of would-be de-bunkers who bungled their major investigation, falsified the results, covered up their errors and gave the boot to a colleague (Dennis Rawlins) who threatened to tell the truth.”

Jeffrey Mishlove – Doctor of parapsychology, whom I interviewed in Interview with Jeffrey Mishlove wrote this on his blog entry Objections to ESP:

Although on the popular media scene many magicians-such as the Amazing Randi have claimed that they can duplicate parapsychological effects using magic tricks, they have consistently been unable or unwilling to do so under controlled laboratory conditions (Eisenbud 1975).

In another entry on his blog “The “Pigasus Award Ironies … he writes:

But, I believe Randi’s offer is a scam. And, I will say why I believe it to be so, in very simple terms.

First of all, there is no doubt that Randi has used his alleged offer – over a period of many years – to generate enormous publicity for himself and his cult of debunkers.

Second of all, Randi’s offer sets himself up as judge and jury. And, of course, he has not the slightest interest in losing the very game that he has created. A true prize would have an independent panel of neutral judges – and these judges, not Randi, should be in control of prize money, to determine if and when it shall be released.

So while James Randi and his cult go around accusing the general public of falling for a wide variety of psychic scams, they themselves are engaged in perpetrating a scam of an equal and opposite sort. The final irony is that they are the very near a mirror image of the phonies they try to expose.

As long as they set about exposing the true frauds and schemes in the psychic world, they do the world a service. And, I applaud Randi and his ilk for that. But, in their fanatical zeal, they sometimes endeavor to put a stop to legitimate scientific and academic inquiry. (I know this, first hand, as they attempted to interfere with my own doctoral degree program in parapsychology at the University of California, Berkeley.) When they go this far, as they did with Brenda Dunne, they simply reveal the philosophical and moral emptiness of their position.

What are your thoughts on the Randi Million Dollars Challenge?

   

 

 

62 Comments

  1. “they can bend a spoon with their mind only (i.e. without touching it at all).” yes, they can, and it was proven by
    scientists :) Most of you dont’t know nothing about PK tests done years ago.

    • persoanlly i wish I could achieve the Darth Vader telekinetic choke grip on James Randi. And then laugh at his reaction.

      • Morons, all of you. Wanna sit and bitch about JREF? TRY GETTING THE PRIZE YOU STUPID IDIOTS! If you’re all so psychic, then go ahead and strangle him with a ‘Darth Vader telekinetic choke grip’…shame its not possible. Grow up you morons and apply for the prize. Put up or shut up.

        • You’re an idiot, you know that. The test is rigged and he puts up bonds that probably don’t have monetary value as a prize.

          He’s actually denied multiple people because they have an ability that at first glance has no problems other than being too long of an experiment. Such as the man who can survive off of sunlight and water.

          You tell them to grow up, I tell you to stop being a hypocrite. You probably have the brain of a 5 year old and is scared of change.

  2. why are you people so damn primitive?
    whats the point of prooving the world that paranormal abilities exists? dont you know what happened when humans recieved guns from scientist? + money cannot buy the persons will to do it ,people with paranormal abilities dont really need the money because they cannot take it with them when they leave this world.
    On top of that , did you really think about what will happen to the person who actually prooved it?
    nothing good , he or she will just become a Rat to the scientific experiments. No wonder they put up 1 million just for that.
    seriously its the same thing as sending someone to a death sentence.

    ahaha Ken Human evolution?
    You mean useless wars which we deal today ? before mentioning the word evolution make sure you learn whats going on in our planet ,and seriously dont talk about evolution because we aint advancing at all, the only thing we do advance in is technology…………………..

    • Why are people so primitive? That is a good question. Most people will not evolve because of belief systems, they know the “TRUTH”. Their communication style is one of talking at people, not a back and forth style, where the questions asked are the the ones answered.
      It’s like asking a politician a question.

      When I see or hear someone using evasive tactics when asked about their abilities or beliefs, (and not back up what they are saying) then I believe they are either naive or spouting BS. On this site, it appears proof is never repeatable or current.

      The people who believe, will most likely not stop believing, the skeptical will most likely stay skeptical. What I’m hoping to highlight is for the people in the middle, (not knowing what to believe) is that wishful thinking doesn’t make things so. Have faith in God if you want, but be somewhat critical of people who apparently cannot backup ANY claims beyond normal human abilities or probabilities.

      Most people aren’t aware of their own blindspots. I think the Johari window models this pretty well. I am amazed at the answers people give about something they believe they know. Things are so because I say so.

      For example, ask someone to explain the phases of the moon. Roughly more than half of the people I’ve asked will explain that the phases of the moon are the effect of earth’s shadow on the moon. Most of the people I’ve asked have a least 2 years of college. Most people never question their beliefs. Their beliefs were for the most part inherited thru family, media and cultural experiences.

      Ask people what percent of our total atmosphere is made up of CO2. Most people I’ve asked who are very passionate about the environment give me answers that they think it’s between 5 to 80% of our atmosheric gasses. When I tell them that the total amount of CO2 in our environment is estimated to be between 0.03 – 0.06% they do not believe me. But of course they haven’t read anything about it, they just know it has to be higher than that.

      Some of the books I’ve read about human evolution state that basically evolution occurs after the existing system (including values and belief systems) fail. Change does not occur in a comfort zone. Why would change occur or people evolve when life is working for them.

      Magicians have been in business for hundreds of years, not because they are magical, but because they learned how to deceive the audience. They will charge you a fee to watch the show, but no one gets hurt. They are honest about their tricking the audience. Deceiving people and giving false hopes is not enlightenment.

      In order for evolution to begin to occur, belief systems will have to be challenged.

      If someone has the talent to bend a spoon, is it possible they could disable a suicide bombers device and save lives?
      There appears to be many, many people who claim they have a gift. If that were so, collectivly they could change the world. What are they waiting for?

  3. By the way, I’m aware that I appear to be contradicting myself. How can psi effects be mostly unconscious and yet be shown in thousands of quality lab experiments?

    The answer is that many studies have either a) Studied unconscious anomalous effects such as nervous system response, b) Put study subjects in altered states of awareness, or c) Shown effects that were small but statistically very significant, just not as dramatic as the spoon-bending or card reading tricks we’ve been conditioned to expect by a hundred bad TV shows and movies.

  4. Two facts (I’m new to this site, so pardon me if I’m being a touch too polite or respectful):

    1) Thousands of rigorous, replicated scientific experiments (not to mention millions of anecdotal stories that are, alas, regarded as scientifically useless) have left little doubt that abilities such as remote viewing, ESP and PK are indeed genuine, though there is as yet no cogent theory as to how they could work. Contrary to what many skeptics have stated, the majority of these experiments conform to exceptionally strict standards for experimental design.

    2) A large body of experimentation also strongly suggests that for 99% of people, these abilities are largely unconscious in nature, that is, precognitive flashes just “appear” without volition, rather than someone being able to say, “OK, I’m going to find out what number’s going to come up on the roulette wheel.” For the vast majority of human beings, anomalous cognition seems to be beyond deliberate control. It just happens.

    So the Randi Challenge would appear to be a rigged game in that sense. We have phenomena that are genuine but are difficult to replicate on demand—and frequently scare the living daylights out of those who experience them. What remains are the deluded, the tricksters and the New Age credulous.

    For those of you who are truly curious about such phenomena, a wonderful point of view from a skeptic-turned-seeker can be found in the book “Extraordinary Knowing” by Dr. Elizabeth Mayer.

  5. oh by the way, what is this little magic spoonbending trick that all skeptics claim disproves psionics

    • There are a number of methods of these tricks. I’ve spent the past month learning them, and have destroyed quite a few spoons (and some keys) in the process. Learning this is instructive, and has allowed me to catch a number of “cheaters” (for a lack of a less pejorative term) on Youtube. Simple stuff, yet powerful when…well, I’ll let Martin Gardner explain. I suggest you get his book “Science, Good, Bad, and Bogus.”

      To summarize, this “little trick” makes objects appear to bend be rubbing them. Also, you can turn a spoon in loops using the normal force of your arms, which is critical to Rohde’s video.

  6. I have to agree that complaining about the $1,000,000 prize being in bonds is probably the lamest excuse I ever heard for not wanting to bother to claim the $1,000,000 prize.

    To paraphrase George Carlin “A Ferrari? Damn, we already have a small car.”

    I think the claims that ‘it is a lot of work’, that there are a lot of preliminary requirements may be the second lamest excuse.

    ‘Yeah, it’s a million dollars, but it would take me a month to do every thing they want.’

    You’re right, if it takes more than just a few hours to earn a million dollars it’s not worth it. Stick with the day job.

    • You know, all of you have inspired me to go ahead and take the challenge as soon a i feel im good enough to, so,
      IT’S ON ASSHOLES.

      Oh btw there is footage of somewone bending a spoon without touching it, its at: http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=1099342525 if it doesnt show up as a hyperlink then copy and paste it lamers.

      • Carl:

        1) The kid in that video WAS touching it.
        2) I look forward to laughing at your miserable failure.

        • Alex:

          1) the usual technique for spoon bending was to hold the spoon in one hand while rubbing it lightly with the other to
          “get the feel of the spoon’s energy” (i think its unneccesary)
          then weakening the spoon’s molecular structure softening it
          the applying physical force with the other hand not holding the spoon to bend it (unneccesary as well).
          So, obviously you didnts fully examine the video like i did watching his two fingers holding the spoon making sure that there was no physical foce involved. The standard method of spoon bending involves two hands touching the spoon, the guy in the video only used one TO HOLD IT.

          2) Thank you for your encouraging support.

          Just for you ill try learning spoon bending with out any contact. Yes, you personally. :-)

        • 1) I don’t care what the “usual technique” is. The specified challenge was to find someone who can do it without touching the spoon.

          2) Make sure you come back and apologize once you realize how futile your efforts are.

        • 1) i’ll try to laern to do it your way then

          2) if i fail, i’ll be sure that i do

  7. Seems like all you paranormal types can think of endless reasons why you don’t win Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge or why you don’t take it in the first place (including insultingly stupid reasons like “it’s all in some kind of bonds.” Listen, that may or may not be true but bonds are negotiable securities. You don’t walk around with a million dollars in cash. I’d happily accept those bonds.)

    What you can’t do is actually pass the challenge. Put up or shut up. The rest of us are not fooled.

    • Well, in reply to all of the bashes and suggestions i have some things to say to everyone.

      You can call me a faker or a poser whatever you like, but, it doesnt change the truth. Every psychic and psion out there, when they speak about these issues, are representatives of the psionic community. Though we all have different opinions about different things our goal is still the same, to go where few have gone. I was not trying to debunk randi because you cant disprove slight of hand, And ive never applied for the million dollar prize. By you bashing me it only further proves the point ive been getting at all along, that (* most “normal” people just arent ready to accept the fact that it does exist. *) Anywone can learn to do this, and instead of focusing on trying to debunk me, why dont you take the time and the effort to learn this stuff yourself like i did, and decide for yourself wheather its for real or or a really cool trick. And in all actuallity im not that good, im at rolling pens. And why dont you all take a look at how much slander and sneering comments is being aimed at me for posting one message in a forum, now if i went ahead and proved that psionics exists, bases on how much abuse i have recieved here i would be having skeptics from all over publicly and openly dragging my name throught the dirt. And everyone’s comments like faker and “i beseech thee o great one: move this bend that” only furthur proves my other point about close minded people trying to get at us any way they can. Your Pseudo-skepticism hasnt phased me one bit. And no my abillities dont have a spell check installed, mabye, if i was typing telekineticly.:-)

      • “if i went ahead and proved that psionics exists, bases on how much abuse i have recieved here i would be having skeptics from all over publicly and openly dragging my name throught the dirt. ”

        Quite the opposite – I’m sure every skeptic here would happily agree, “If you put up – we will shut up”

  8. If you believe you are psychic, and you don’t want all of the fame, fortune, money, and people following you around telling you to bend this, bend that, then the intelligent thing to do is not to tell anyone at all. Enjoy what you perceive to be your special powers in private, and you will never have to hear a single detractor, or get caught up in the whole ‘money and fame’ thing.

    The problem is that people who claim to have such powers are seeking attention for having such powers.

    Imagine that I start calling myself “A Painter of Enormous Talent”. When asked to demonstrate my fantastic painting powers, I reuse to produce any work. I expect people to accept that I have this wonderful gift, and I find every opportunity to express that I HAVE such a wonderful gift, but when asked to put brush to canvas I am offended and insulted that anyone questions my genius. Maybe I’ll pull a painted canvas out of the back room, and let people view it, and I’ll claim that I painted it. “See, this piece of art uses Cadmium Blue, and _I_ have Cadmium Blue here in my paint box!”

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, regardless of the talent being claimed.

    • Perfect comment! One of the best comparisons I’ve read! Oh and I’m the world’s best magician and I don’t need a Raven or a Spider, etc.

  9. Wow, I had many comments to make and a couple of references to post, but it seems they’ve all been made. Alpha Project, for the Win.

  10. Don’t worry about the million bucks – if you can prove you have paranormal powers the NSC will rendition your ass in an instant.

  11. From what I’ve read of the challenge forum, the biggest misunderstanding is that the applicant must delineate exactly what he is going to demonstrate. The aforementioned rudeness was often, I thought, the byproduct of asking a claimant over and over, e.g., “what are you proposing to do specifically?”
    “I’m psychic!”
    “But how do you propose to demonstrate your ability?”
    “I’m psychic!”
    “Yes, but in what specific task will you try to demonstrate…”
    “I’m psychic!”
    Ad nauseam

  12. “Although on the popular media scene many magicians-such as the Amazing Randi have claimed that they can duplicate parapsychological effects using magic tricks, they have consistently been unable or unwilling to do so under controlled laboratory conditions (Eisenbud 1975).”

    Umm, Alpha Project anyone?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Alpha

  13. It’s very simple to check the more extreme claims for the paranormal. Such things as dowsing, telekinesis, remote viewing, talking to the dead, and so on would be very easy to test. The problem is that people claiming those powers refuse to let themselves be tested.

    All they’d have to do to embarass James Randi is to file a challenge and then demonstrate the powers in public and on video in front of a panel. To be complete the panel would have to include magicians who could detect tricks. That’s all. Very simple. Nobody who claims any of those powers has ever been willing to do it. I wonder why?

  14. Put up or shut up.

  15. It is sad that there are soo many people, either on purpose or are delusional who live in such foo foo. Everybody wants to be special, everybody wants something to believe in. It gives us purpose. There are too many gullible people in the world who want to believe in something and can be harmed by you fakes. If you really are such enlightened spiritual beings, win the money and give it to your favorite charity (besides yourself). The hard part of accepting the Challenge is where you define what exactly you claim you talent is and testing it in a manner that shows beyond normal probability that something abnormal actually occured.

    The “gifted” seem to spend way too much time with the smoke and mirrors of complaining about the Challenge.
    If the challenge was bogus; prove it in a court of law, not in a forum where no one can be made accoutable. Stand up or sit down and shut up. I’ve known where people have ruined their lives listening to quackery. Wouldn’t it be your duty to educate the world and maybe give the world hope if you truely had a gift that science couldn’t explain.

  16. I find it pretty pathetic how fakes are always knocking the Challenge, using the same tired lies over and over again (as if repeating them enough times makes them true). But if you’re so afraid of Randi, then do what any logical person with half a brain would do: convince ANY respected intelligent person that your powers are real, go on TV and make $1 M X $1 M! You don’t need Randi to make money if your powers are real–heck I’ll motrgage my house and personally bet you that you’ll fail at your claim in a controlled environment. Grow up.

  17. If anybody is interested, Randi.org has published the actual communications with Challenge applicants. I suggest anybody interested in this subject at least look at a few of those, to get a clear understanding of what the Challenge is (and the application process), straight from the horse’s mouth.

    FYI: My personal favorite is Tyrone Shoelace, the fecal magician.

  18. So, in order to “debunk” James Randi you … quote a lot of people?

    Wow! I’m convinced! *roll-eyes*

  19. Rather than blogging about Randi and his prize being fraudulent, why don’t you set out to win it? If you try, and fail because of the conditions Randi set up, you actually win, because the publicity will kill him and his Foundation. If you try, and succeed, the publicity will kill him and his Foundation.

    How can you lose? Unless you’re a fake.

    • i am a regularvisitor of psipog.net, a wonderful site for beginners (i myself started there!), and the randi coorperation is made up of pouty little boys frustrated that they cant do what sean can, then they insult him!?! its unacceptable! and parlor magicions and master magicions like chris angel and randi himself
      give the psychic community a bad wrap by assimilating parlor magic with pschic abillities.
      And the reason us psi practicioners dont go after the million dollar prize is:
      1.to us there is no need for us to go around and prove everything let alone teach you everything because we have lives too.
      2.even if we did win, it wouldnt kill the skepicism because some people are just SO NARROW MINDED that they are just hell bent on disproving us and naming us frauds and EVEN WHEN CONFRONTED WITH SCIENTIFIC FACTS AND ANALISIS’ of people like Nina kulagina and Uri Geller they still don’t get it
      3. none of us would really like that kind of publicity and being treated like geleer was on jonny carsons tonight show “bend this move that” from any joe blow walking by on the street AND THEN being insulted from comments like “what ya cant do it” and being sneered at if we refuse
      4. after we win being subject to lab rat tests and analytical procedures and having scientists use their usual copout
      “The object was moved by no explicable means.” and be almost forced to because it would be “suspicious” if we refused and critics all over would use that to rub our name in the mud

      So DO NOT make false accusations or assumptions or sneering comments unless you ARE psychic and just trying to weed out posers, and DO NOT try to antagonize or intimidate us into their petty little scam because the ONLY thing you will get from us is ridicule for being a fluff bunny and a moron. So why dont you try learning it for yourself and then looking at it from our point of view and then you’ll mabye understand.

      • FAKERRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

      • from your point 1: *there is no need for us to go around and prove everything* — in other words, when you make your extraordinary claims, people should just accept them? Oh My God!! Carl, all of your money is cursed! There’s so little time! Send it to me now, immediately, don’t delay!! I’ll return it once I’ve cleansed it, I swear.

        from your point 1: *no need for us to … teach you everything* — I believe my ellipsis preserves your meaning; apologies if it doesn’t — the challenge is coming from skeptics, who believe you *have nothing* to teach. If you *tried* to teach them, they’d probably claim a prior engagement and back away. Of course, things might be different if you could actually achieve what you claim you can, but by then you’d have the million. If you still felt uncharitable, you could walk away, leaving them begging for enlightenment.

        from your point 2: *it wouldnt kill the skepicism* [sic] — true. Given normal scientific process, there’d inevitably be pressure to replicate the test. But, you could happily say “I’m too busy eco-touring the rainforest with Randi’s million dollars.” Scientists would then bother one of the many other talented paranormals while you frolicked. Maybe they’d pick on the guy who beams negative spelling energy your way.

        from your point 3: *none of us would really like that kind of publicity and being treated like geleer was on jonny carsons tonight show … and being sneered at …* [sic] — as I recall, Johnny was very polite with Geller, and didn’t sneer even once. Of course Geller was unhappy that he didn’t control the setting, but does he have much of a gift if it only works when he can set up every aspect of it beforehand?

        from your point 3: *”bend this move that” from any joe blow walking by on the street* — the testing protocol would be something agreed upon by both yourself and Randi’s organization. So you could specify that it must be a particular Jimmy SixPack off the street instead, and that the wording be “O Mighty Carl, we humbly beseech, bend this move that.”

        from your point 4: *after we win being subject to lab rat tests and analytical procedures* — unless you live under some totalitarian regime, you can say no. Don’t forget the benefits: should Randi’s test validate you, just think of your value as a guest on Montel Williams’ or Larry King’s shows. You’d be far more credible than their current crop of charlatans. You’d get a book deal and a ghost-writer and be rolling in money. To say that winning the skeptics’ prize would be a bad thing is simply “sour grapes”. You know that story? The fox who couldn’t jump high enough to reach the grapes rationalizes: “They were probably sour, anyway. It’s good that I can’t reach them.”

        It’s possible you believe you have a gift. You might be completely sincere in your objections. A million dollars may be not enough to sway you from your principles.

        But are all paranormals like you? Surely Uri Geller and Sylvia Browne are way beyond being sensitive to people’s opinions of them, and surely they are quite happy to use their gifts to generate revenue.

        Then why has no one been able to pry the million dollars out of Randi’s skeptical fingers?

      • “Although on the popular media scene many magicians-such as the Amazing Randi have claimed that they can duplicate parapsychological effects using magic tricks, they have consistently been unable or unwilling to do so under controlled laboratory conditions (Eisenbud 1975).”

        Like hell they haven’t. Browse youtube and you’ll see Randi do it. In my opinion he does it with more style and panache than Geller – even if he admits its just trickery.

      • Obviously your powers don’t enable spell check.

        • this means you, carl.

  20. Will all you paranormals stop being so delicate, and just step up, show off those powers you have, and take that million away from Randi?

    Think of the children:

    Demonstrating your powers would not only prove your point, it would take those cynical skeptics down more than a notch, and drain their purse. Then, donate the million to the Children’s Wish Foundation and bring joy to some dying kids.

    Come *on*, paranormals! Is Randi’s paperwork really enough to put you off demonstrating your compassion for these unfortunate innocents?

    Or are you just a bunch of prima donnas who want a pat on the head for having a “gift”? If the “gift” only works when nobody can call you on it, then just drop it and learn to spend your time usefully. Either way, stop moping and show us all what you’re made of.

  21. I can understand some of the gripes about people being too easily dismissed, but the rest of the complaints have no merit.

    First of all, the rules are clearly stated as to how a claimant is supposed to apply. Getting things notarized, etc, in the case of a million dollar payout, is just common sense.

    As for getting 3 notarized letters from witnesses that have seen your paranormal ability, that’s also just common sense. If I claim that I can move things with telekinesis, but I’m the only person that can see it happen, then you’re mostly likely dealing with a schizophrenic, and you’re wasting your time.

    Other claims, like breatharians, etc, are open lawsuits waiting to happen.

    As for the protocols, the claimant suggests protocols as a rule of the test, and they are accepted if they are randomized double-blind.

    The payment itself is offered as negotiable bonds. Any person that has ever managed any finances besides a checking account, knows that interest is important, especially with such a large sum. The money is held with Goldman Sachs, one of the most prestigious financial institutions in the world.

    I agree that the person responding to applicants/claimants might be a little too dismissive sometimes, but anybody with actual paranormal abilities could get the money from Randi easily. The test is designed to exclude frauds and crazy people, and that’s what it does.

  22. (sound of crickets)

  23. “First of all, there is no doubt that Randi has used his alleged offer – over a period of many years – to generate enormous publicity for himself and his cult of debunkers. ”

    So has Who Wants to be a Millionaire, but that doesnt mean the game is rigged (cult, now thats rich).

    “Second of all, Randi’s offer sets himself up as judge and jury. ”

    Utterly wrong. Proves he isnt even familiar with the protocol. Both sides must agree to what constitutes success before the test is even attempted. There can be no ambiguity.

    The funny thing is- if you (self deluded or just cruel) phonies could do what you claim, why dont you do something useful like find Bin Ladin or cure cancer? Or for gods sake just put one of your precious spoons on a counter and _dont touch it_ and bend it- video tape it and change the world! BECAUSE YOU CANT DO IT YOU FRAUDS.

    • EXACTLY!!!!

  24. If any of you bothered to actually read the rules of the test (available at http://www.randi.org/research/index.html ), you’d find the following:

    Randi does not partiicpate inthe testing. No one from the JREF participates in the final testing. The applicant helps to design the testing protocols, so the test is not rigged against the applicant.

    Quote: “The JREF does not involve itself in the testing procedure, other than helping to design the protocol and approving the conditions under which a test will take place. All tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant. In most cases, the applicant will be asked to perform a relatively simple preliminary test of the claim, which if successful, will be followed by the formal test. Preliminary tests are usually conducted by associates of the JREF at the site where the applicant lives”

    The APPLICANT – not JREF – must state what abilites will be demonstarted and what will constitute a positive and neagtive result:

    QUOTE: “Applicant must state clearly in advance, and applicant and JREF will agree upon, what powers or abilities will be demonstrated, the limits of the proposed demonstration (so far as time, location and other variables are concerned) and what will constitute both a positive and a negative result.”

    As for the pirze, the rules clearly state that:
    “At the formal test, in advance, an independent person will be placed in charge of a personal check from James Randi for US$10,000. In the event that the claimant is successful under the agreed terms and conditions, that check shall be immediately surrendered to the claimant, and within ten days the James Randi Educational Foundation will pay to the claimant the remainder of the reward, for a total of US$1,000,000. One million dollars in negotiable bonds is held by an investment firm in New York, in the “James Randi Educational Foundation Prize Account” as surety for the prize funds. Validation of this account and its current status may be obtained by contacting the Foundation by telephone, fax, or e-mail. ”

    Check the facts before you complain

  25. If $1,000,000 is too much money to win, or the JREF challenge too difficult to apply for, or (add all other excuses here), I’d be happy to offer $5 (Australian) for any person who could demonstrate to me that they can bend a spoon with their mind only (i.e. without touching it at all).
    Five bucks! Come and get it!

  26. Most of the claims here (that the million doesn’t exist, that since Randi is judging it’s impossible to win) have been address repeatedly by Randi, and are false. Most of this just looks like people making excuses for why they won’t take the challenge or can’t win the million.

  27. My thoughts are that someone needs to actually win the challenge first and then if Randy doesn’t hand over $1M in cash you’ll have proof you need to sue the JREF.

    It seems strange to me though, that no one has ever pased even a preliminary test of their supposed abilities. There is ALWAYS some excuse given as to why their powers don’t hold up under scrutiny. Very strange indeed.

    • The ‘excuse’ why nobody has passed the prelininary test is that there is no such thing as demonstrated paranormal phenomena.

      As somebody said: if you think Randi is a fraud, PUT UP OR SHUT UP. All it takes is ONE scientifically verifiable paranormal event to win the prize. Just one. 1. Anybody. Certainly the editor of this website and/or “thepsychicsblog.blogspot.com” should be able t come up with ONE example, right?

      Oh no. What we get here is:
      1. let’s all stick our fingers in our ears and ignore this guy (thepsychicsblog.blogspot.com’s editor said)
      2. randi is a self promoting guy. as if this somehow invalidates his test. Of course his prize is meant to be self-promoting since then there is little excuse for not attempting it. In other words, you have no excuse to put up or shut up.
      3. “I don’t need the money.” Right. Give it to charity then.
      4. the tests are unfair. Nonsense. Every claim along these lines has already been debunked by other commentators here.

      See, that’s the great thing about the internet. You people supporting nonsense can’t so much hide in some little corner any more hoping that facts and reality won’t find you.

  28. Will somebody please just apply and win the million dollars or prove that the challenge is a scam.

  29. The Million Dollar Challenge is immoral, IMO. Psychics, etc. have all of this power that for some reason they refuse to use for purposes better than bending spoons and giving wrong predictions about missing people and trying but failing to dowse. Why give them more money, the greedy punks?

  30. Well I usually welcome guys like you to th club. Yes the club of all of those terrified by the JREF and their one million dollar challege.

    FAKERRRR!!!!!

    Stop making excusessss and go claim the prize!!!!!

  31. I’m a skeptic of ESP and the like but I’m open to any evidence presented to me. I’d love to be proven wrong – how amazing would it be if the mind is able to literally influence matter and move bits around by intention alone!

    But I’m quite dismayed to hear that this foundation is insulting to its applicants. Seems totally unncessary not to mention unprofessional.

    • So the JREF is insulting and unprofessional.

      Well……more reasons for all these thousands of people with “paranormal abilities” to go and snatch that million dude!!!!!

  32. Liked “Peebrains” write, regards the “bond” issue. The best solution is, anything Randi promotes , or TV shows he gets on, would be to switch channels and/or ignore promotions. Enough poor ratings would wipe out the “invites” to appear on shows, and perhaps generate some real behind the scenes responses, of his actions. Anyway, the best way now, as I see it, is to “ignore” him totally.
    I enjoy the info shared here, good writes.

    The Psychics Blog – http://thepsychicsblog.blogspot.com/

  33. Thank you! I was conversing with Peebrain while this was happening. Everybody on PsiPog had kind of guessed he wouldn’t be accepted, but we didn’t think he would be mistreated in that manner. Another prominent member of PsiPog was rejected as well, JoeT. They simply regarded him as a “waste of time” and wouldn’t even let him test.

    This challenge is not fair in a lot of ways, and it is hardly sensible to use it as proof that stuff like telepathy or psychokinesis don’t exist.

    Or at least, that’s what I think.

    -Hatter

    • you call that “thinking”?
      lol.

  34. I guess that James Randi would never admit that there is any kind of “magic”. He uses this “challenge” as a personal publicity. He seems to believes firmly in separation. He never realized that life is magic itself!

    • You believe in santa claus also ??

      lol.

  35. The pro and con, of hard to validate “anything” situations will never cease. It all makes for headlines, power or profit in some fashion. Be that as it may, there are some life experiences that defy replication at will. Out of curiosity, I started blogging things , that I experienced, but can only “guess” at , regards the ‘how” of it. I think I know the how of it, yet am unable to repeat at will, or even veryify it. So does that mean none of it is true! Would enjoy, for a million bucks, to be able to validate, what was experienced, unable to do so, alass, will just have to keep my old Volvo a tad longer.
    So I blogged what I experienced, regardless of what any one else believes.
    The Psychics Blog – http://thepsychicsblog.blogspot.com/

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