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Proof of the money

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Re: Proof of the money

Postby caniswalensis » 22 Oct 2010, 21:14

derrida wrote:im gonna said it again that
i am sorry that it was interpreted in that way
and i am really happy to find another rational thinker in this forum
actually..
a real rational thinker which i am not
i am a cynic
i cant control when people start with the name calling
i wish i could be like you

but when people start calling an 80 year old NOBODY a pope
that gets me mad.. cause i know that they are doing it because they need that lie to be true to keep their fantasies
but well ... ill try to compose myself
as long as nobody else starts attacking the real world


Hey, don't go comparing yourself with me, it'll end up driving you crazy. lol

I understand your frustration. When one person disagrees with something that seems obvious to another, it is hard for either to understand why. However, it is highly illogical for someone to call a person names because they did not like the person calling a third party a name. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Actually, I prefer to talk with people that hold different views from my own. I find it much more interesting than discussions with people that agree with me; fascinating, even.

Take this situation, for instance. Craig is basically a nice guy that will treat others about as well as they treat him. But, he seems to have this opinion that the skeptical movement is about the same as scientology. I don't agree, but I want to know why he formed that opinion. Sure, I could just dismiss it as a delusion or a lie, but I have learned nothing from that, and I would be guilty of judging something without the facts. That's something no skeptic would ever want to.

So what i did above is ask politely for Craig to clarify his position and why he holds it. It doesn't make me angry that he believes what he does, because I know there are many people in the world that disagree with me, and there always will be. There is no real reason to be angry or worry about it, and no profit from it either. Another thing is that I am also disagreeing with Craig at the same time he is disagreeing with me. i would not expect him to be angry with me just fir holding my own opinion. Would you?

I find Craig's opinion to be more interesting than frustrating. I hope that he will explain it more to me. Once I understand it's basis, I may then judge it to be good or bad. But Craig and I do not have to agree on every issue to be nice and respectful towards each other. He is an interesting guy with lots to say. If I alienate him over a relatively trivial opinion like this, then I will miss out on some good conversations.

I know that if I insult craig or call him names, then I will have done three things that hurt myself:
1. I will have not learned anything.
2. I will have alienated another human being that i have more in common with then I have differences.
3. Most importantly, I will have stepped off the true parth of critical thinking.

Given the above, I don't see how people could not want to be civil to each other.

Regards, Canis
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby derrida » 23 Oct 2010, 01:24

i am pretty sure you are right :D

just one thing
craig bills himself as a psychic entertainer
he doesnt do disclaimers when he starts with the magic tricks not before, not after
he wants people to believe he is the real deal
thats why he attacks the rational thinking movement
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby Arouet » 23 Oct 2010, 01:39

I'm not sure he's gone that far, but I think he likes to be ambiguous about it. From his site:

Is Any of It Real?

Craig Browning is a noted Psychic Counselor & Ordained Minister of Metaphysical thought hosting a Life-Achievement based Doctorates Degree in Religion, Religious History & Philosophy, and as such a very strong believer in things Psychic, Paranormal and esoteric. His is also a "realist" in that he is a vicious and tenacious opponent of those that use the idea of being Psychic/Spiritual to defraud the public.

Due to his vast background in show business Mr. Browning has the unique ability to see and understand either side of the "Psychic" question, as it is known, and incorporates as much fact as possible into his shows so as to educate audiences as well as entertain. Whereas most of the manifestations you will encounter in a Craig Browning performance involve elements of psychology and theatrical technology, there is some degree of legitimacy behind what he does. Especially when he begins "Reading" members of the audience, revealing insights about them and their lives. Along these lines Mr. Browning is credited with an 85%+ accuracy rating on average with his predictions hitting in the lower 90% range.
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby Craig Browning » 23 Oct 2010, 05:20

derrida wrote:i am pretty sure you are right :D

just one thing
craig bills himself as a psychic entertainer
he doesnt do disclaimers when he starts with the magic tricks not before, not after
he wants people to believe he is the real deal
thats why he attacks the rational thinking movement


And yet, I use my REAL NAME and don't hide behind a faux identity, including trying to fool folks into thinking you're new here vs. a retread known for creating all sorts of upset.

The Evansons, one of the hottest award winning Mentalism acts on the planet REFUSE TO USE DISCLAIMERS and actually refuse to play those establishments that insist on such (like a certain Monday Night group in NYC). I can list dozens of others if not hundreds that feel the same way, including Max Maven, Jerome Finley, Millard Longman, Ron Martin, John Riggs, etc. so maybe you should actually learn what you're talking about before barking.

When "rational thinking" is in fact "rational" I have little to now problem with it. When on the other hand, it is a disguise used by bullies that want to use it in the same way Christian fundamentalist use their bible as a holy suppository... well, I'll lash right back just as I do with the bible thumping hypocrites and everyone else out there trying to push their views onto others and looking down on one and all that don't comply.

As I've said before, most of the jerks in the magic world that cling to your musty view on things, typically do so for ___ reasons;

* The Realization That They Aren't Good Enough to Pull it Off
* Fear of Being Responsible for What You Are Doing, Saying, Sharing, etc.
* Fear of the Art Itself because of How Real it Can Get (especially when one learns the deeper side of Reading work & Muscle Reading techniques... gives them the willies... )
* Fear of Your Own Sense of Greed & Larceny; not having the morals or ethics or human decency to NOT take ill advantage of others.

It's safe sitting at home or at the coffee shop with a bunch of naysayers barfing up and lapping up the same B.S. views that have kept the good ole boys of magic go'n since before Houdini's day (he wasn't the first, btw.) But at the end of the day NONE OF YOU can honestly say that you in fact KNOW what it's all about because your scared as hell to jump into the pit with the vipers; not just to out the criminals and protect the innocent, but to help the needy to learn how to help themselves at the same time.

So, if I'm so full of hot air because I actually am involved in all the shut eye world and doing those things, what does that make you? Where's your foundation and experience?

NO, NO... you can't fall back on all those books... if Christians can't use their bible then you can't use your reams of reports... the holy writ of the arrogant and blind in many instances... little boys that got picked on in school for being geeks & nerds that have found an environment via which they might switch roles.


Randi is on par with Pat Robertson or any other charismatic religious leader with the JREF being one in the same as the Southern Baptist Convention or any such entity; it all represents a single point of view that isn't just skeptical but grossly cynical and cruel about just about anything one might wish to table, not just the paranormal. But understand, I do give the old pervert his due as well; I actually have a reasonable sense of respect for some of the things he's helped bring about but as the young pagan lad said one day whilst on his knees praying to god... "Jesus save me from your followers"... and so is my mantra when it comes to 99.9% of those that start in on the "skeptic" chant. Especially when I've had some great times and decent friendships with several leading people within the JREF as well as CSICOPS only to have the fledglings and neophytes of their respective congregations trying to bust my balls. If I'm such an evil wizard why hasn't Banacheck or Rick Maue "outed" me? Or why do they still return my phone calls for that matter? :roll:

As I've told you before, GROW UP!
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby caniswalensis » 23 Oct 2010, 06:33

Well, the phrase "reap what you sow" comes to mind here.
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby derrida » 23 Oct 2010, 06:35

relax craig
my name comes from a french philosopher which you are obviously not familiar with.

lets say i was a dowser
if i knew i had that ability i would show it to the world
to tell those horrible rational thinkers cult followers that I WAS RIGHT
but nah.. i wont do it.. i think is way better to ramble on paranormal forums and accuse those truth seekers of being a religion.. yeah.. i think ill do that. thats way smarter.

dont you see how funny that is?

what is cultish or religious about asking for just one guy to prove to the world they can do what they say they can do under proper conditions?... explain to me, why i am so wrong to ask for that and not to believe every elvis is alive story?
can you offer anything else than a story?
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby Craig Browning » 24 Oct 2010, 01:20

You're missing out on one constant in the world when it comes to the majority of folks that have a knack for dowsing, doing Readings, Healings, etc. and that is the fact that they see it from a spiritual perspective not something to exploit to build name & reputation. This has been a constant throughout history just as we've seen the glory chasers generation after generation, be it the Jim Jones/David Korish types or my favorite phony Sylvia Brown... in fact, she's a perfect example as to the sort most folks in the "spirituality" culture, reject out right because she has exploited her abilities for the sake of fortune and fame... a very big taboo in that world... always has been.

Sylvia's accuracy on her Readings went into a massive decline a good two years before the whole Randi thing, because she had deliberately betrayed her "gift" as they say.

As I've pointed out numerous times on this board, most of those that are genuine and exceptional HIDE... they live well outside the major cities (because the chaos makes the ill) and typically, this live rather austere life styles, never making money off their abilities unless they are in a personal position of urgency and choose to do Reading. Even when that happens few of them ever see more than a $35,000.00 annual gross vs. the hundreds of thousands seen by egos like Ms. Brown and her $700.00 + 15 minute sessions.

If you need a Readings, call me... I only charge $40.00 for 20 minutes :lol:
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby derrida » 24 Oct 2010, 02:21

craig, i believe you are worth those 40dollars and more
i prefer to pay you a guy that actually read the systems and have developed several
than to pay whatever amount sylvia is asking
i am pretty sure your readings are really interesting a are worth of studying

i am just questioning the whole ¨those people exist but if they come out they will lose their talents¨..
and those that come out are just phonies, talentless and have been proven to be fakes.
that just so convenient.. isnt?..
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby NinjaPuppy » 25 Oct 2010, 19:37

derrida wrote:i am just questioning the whole ¨those people exist but if they come out they will lose their talents¨..
and those that come out are just phonies, talentless and have been proven to be fakes.
that just so convenient.. isnt?..

I wouldn't say, "lose their talents". It's more like the money or fame seems to take priority and skews the entire process. Whatever it is that gives people the insight tends to get burried once money/fame/ego enters into the equation.
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby Craig Browning » 25 Oct 2010, 20:13

derrida wrote:craig, i believe you are worth those 40dollars and more
i prefer to pay you a guy that actually read the systems and have developed several
than to pay whatever amount sylvia is asking
i am pretty sure your readings are really interesting a are worth of studying

i am just questioning the whole ¨those people exist but if they come out they will lose their talents¨..
and those that come out are just phonies, talentless and have been proven to be fakes.
that just so convenient.. isnt?..



Ok... you've visited some Spiritualist Groups haven't you? :lol:

I swear, the worse Readers I've ever encountered come out of that camp; they're horrid!

Truthfully, I do very little of the work these days. I'm just not gung-ho about much of anything lately
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby really? » 25 Oct 2010, 22:53

caniswalensis wrote:
Craig Browning wrote:
derrida wrote:see?
i knew it
non skeptics need the money to be non existant
since nobody has come forward and beat the challenge
they started the theory it doesnt exists

but hey believers are known because of their vivid imagination


I don't "need" the money to be "non-existent" I merely understand the gaping loop-hole and legal speak... I also know that Randi is a conman, plain and simple; the leader of a new cult and he probably laughs frequently at how well he and L. Ron Hubbard have done with their bet...

Hi Craig,

I do not begrudge you your opinion of Randi. Honestly, though, do you really think it is fair to compare skeptisim and scientology? Don't you think there are some subatantial differences between the two?

If you really believe they are alike, and are not just spouting off, please explain what they have in common that would justify calling skepticsm a "cult."

regards, Canis


Craig seems rather silent on this comparison.

P.S. Almost forgot to say all us skeptics are wearing our Snuggies and gettin together to do what ever Craig thinks us skeptic culties do. Craig if you read this you are welcomed to come. But you don't get to wear a Snuggie cause you ain't a culty skeptic. Time/date TBD.
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby derrida » 26 Oct 2010, 03:17

yeah i know...

is obvious that the problem
is that because they cant find ONE person to come out and show us wrong
they have to rely in talking trash about critical thinking
such a shame..
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby mr. mike » 08 Dec 2010, 07:47

Getting back to the money, I thought it was proven that the million dollars was in bonds, so that if anybody ever defeats Randi's system and proves their abilities, they have to deal with the various bond-holders to get the cash.

On the cult thing, I would say that there was a lot of veneration of the man at the last TAM; even Stephen Fry was bowing and scraping in his presence, and Fry has a university degree, while Randi got into magic after dropping out of high school. JREF does remind me of Scientology only in its certainty that it is right, everybody else is wrong and that its paradigm of reality is the one true way.

Finally I wish that Randi would go back to deunking the faith healers. He earned a lot of credability proving that Peter Popoff was a fraud, and Popoff is back. Heck Robert "Pastor Gas" Tilton has re-emerged to stink up BET at 2am. There are also new guys, like Kearney "The Screaming Preacher" Thomas, and Benny Hinn, which Randi never went after. If Randi wants to look good, nailing these guys, if even for his YouTube channel, would be the easiest thing because their cons are child's play. I know that there are guys like DPRJones on YouTube that have done great debunking jobs of Popoff's scams; but they don't have the media connections Randi does.
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby derrida » 08 Dec 2010, 09:57

[quote="mr. mike" ]

On the cult thing, I would say that there was a lot of veneration of the man at the last TAM; even Stephen Fry was bowing and scraping in his presence, and Fry has a university degree, while Randi got into magic after dropping out of high school. JREF does remind me of Scientology only in its certainty that it is right, everybody else is wrong and that its paradigm of reality is the one true way.

[/quote]


thats a really bad comparison
cults arent open to debate, skeptics are
skeptics are open to debate.. why do you think there´s so many of them here? (im not including myself, i am a cynic)

and yeah.. randi drop out of highschool.. does it really matter?
he has said many times his field of study is way narrow.. he only cares about deceiving people and how people deceive themselves.. so a magician seems quite proper.. (a psychologist way better.. but we got wiseman for that).
then again..
like i said.. it only takes one guy to humilliate randi and proove him wrong.. but believers havent got it yet.. so their resource is to attack randi..
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Re: Proof of the money

Postby mr. mike » 08 Dec 2010, 13:48

It does matter that JREF fosters a cult-like atmosphere because then it stops being a forum where things can be debated and devolves into a propaganda outfit. The same thing happened to CSICOP in the late 1970s and they have done no major investigatory work since. It also makes skepticism look bad if the group says "we are for expanding human knowledge" and yet they are unwilling to investigate or discuss paranormal things. I believe that the paranormal should be investigated scientifically, not quickly debunked and then ignored.

Yes, in working around the paranormal a college degree (preferrably one in the sciences) is a necessity. Randi may know how to defeat slight-of-hand tricks, but could he figure out how to debunk Zero Point Energy, Cold Fusion, or something more esoteric? I don't know. What I do know is that the guy is so dismissive of any claims he calls them "woo-woo", much like how Dr. Edwin U. Condon called UFOlogy "UFoology" (i.e. he considered it a waste of time.) As for the humiliation, Randi sometimes brings that on himself, as seen by the alleged "sex tapes" which I won't discuss because I don't care.

I don't hate James Randi; I just feel his personality gets in the way of his skepticism, so he moves goalposts, uses straw men, etc.
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