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JREF Blackmail Tapes

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

Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby NucleicAcid » 28 Mar 2010, 13:23

Perhaps my comparison was a little too polarized. Basically, there are definitely lewd tapes, there is no doubt about that. However, there is not much evidence that the tapes were of an intentional solicitory nature (other than the content of the tapes), nor is there much evidence that they weren't (in terms of corroborating with Randi's statement). Is Randi being unnecessarily and suspiciously creepy? Definitely. I also think the by and large homophobic public, coupled with Randi's many enemies, would have snapped on any tidbit of potential wrongdoing and blown it all over the tabloids and newspapers with every bit of might. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle, but it is nonetheless a mystery to me.

I still think Randi is a jerk, regardless.
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

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Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby Azrael » 28 Mar 2010, 21:25

NucleicAcid wrote:Perhaps my comparison was a little too polarized. Basically, there are definitely lewd tapes, there is no doubt about that. However, there is not much evidence that the tapes were of an intentional solicitory nature (other than the content of the tapes), nor is there much evidence that they weren't (in terms of corroborating with Randi's statement). Is Randi being unnecessarily and suspiciously creepy? Definitely. I also think the by and large homophobic public, coupled with Randi's many enemies, would have snapped on any tidbit of potential wrongdoing and blown it all over the tabloids and newspapers with every bit of might. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle, but it is nonetheless a mystery to me.

I still think Randi is a jerk, regardless.


He thinks highly of you too.
I'm always very skeptical of any situation where someone's notability hinges on their connection to another notable person
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby NucleicAcid » 29 Mar 2010, 01:28

Azrael wrote:He thinks highly of you too.


See, the problem with people like Randi is that they would not respect people such as myself as a scientist, just because I am interested in psi. According to them, because I believe that there is a possibility psi might exist and might be worth researching, I must be utterly irrational, lack critical thinking skills, and have the logical prowess of a 1st grader. Which is frankly quite the opposite, I'm at times so rational and logical that it interferes with actually seeing the big picture. People often tell me I think too much.

The difference between us is that Randi judges people as being irrational or stupid just for a belief in something supernatural, whereas I judge people like Randi as being bigoted because they have a long history of judging people based on a minimum of parameters.
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby Azrael » 29 Mar 2010, 19:18

NucleicAcid wrote:
Azrael wrote:He thinks highly of you too.


See, the problem with people like Randi is that they would not respect people such as myself as a scientist, just because I am interested in psi. According to them, because I believe that there is a possibility psi might exist and might be worth researching, I must be utterly irrational, lack critical thinking skills, and have the logical prowess of a 1st grader. Which is frankly quite the opposite, I'm at times so rational and logical that it interferes with actually seeing the big picture. People often tell me I think too much.

Possibility a unicorn with an elf riding will ride down the high street but it's extremeley unlikely.

The difference between us is that Randi judges people as being irrational or stupid just for a belief in something supernatural, whereas I judge people like Randi as being bigoted because they have a long history of judging people based on a minimum of parameters.


Randi is entitled to his opinion though I dont recall him stating anyone who believes in supernatural to be stupid,maybe you can quote him. Narrowest of parameters? He says do it at better than chance odds,simple. Any scientist would agree with that.
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby NucleicAcid » 29 Mar 2010, 22:27

I don't have any specific quotes because I'm too lazy to go quote mining. It doesn't take much insight to see that Randi does not think highly of people with supernatural beliefs.

Also, if you think the odds of psi existing are so low to be nonexistent, how do you explain many prominent skeptics, such as Hyman and Wiseman, agreeing that by any other standard of science, ESP and the like have been shown to exist? Don't answer that here, as this thread is still technically on the infamous tapes, but I invite you to continue the discussion on the "Parapsychology is a Pseudoscience" thread: http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=451
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby Azrael » 30 Mar 2010, 01:53

NucleicAcid wrote:The difference between us is that Randi judges people as being irrational or stupid just for a belief in something supernatural

A bold statement
NucleicAcid wrote:I don't have any specific quotes because I'm too lazy to go quote mining.


Ah not so bold after all. Likely made up.
NucleicAcid wrote:Also, if you think the odds of psi existing are so low to be nonexistent, how do you explain many prominent skeptics, such as Hyman and Wiseman, agreeing that by any other standard of science, ESP and the like have been shown to exist? Don't answer that here, as this thread is still technically on the infamous tapes, but I invite you to continue the discussion on the "Parapsychology is a Pseudoscience" thread: http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=451


Ill check the thread.
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby NucleicAcid » 30 Mar 2010, 04:46

Will you settle for unlikely, unreasonable, bizarre, and fantastic?

Rather than argue or try to reason by their standards, I'll settle for pointing out, briefly, how unlikely, unreasonable, bizarre, and fantastic their basic claims are, dealing for the most part with those I'm more familiar with, from personal experience.


http://www.randi.org/jr/072503.html

I doubt he will ever call anything 'stupid' on his blog, because he does a decent job of being polite. But I don't think it takes much interpolation to gather how he really feels about credulous sorts of people.
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby The Professor » 03 Apr 2010, 11:19

NucleicAcid wrote:I just want to add my $0.02, because I hate liars.

As we all know, Randi just came out as gay. I think that is wonderful, and I am happy he has the strength to come out with it after hiding it after all these years. I have many gay, queer, and bisexual friends, and I know that learning about yourself occurs at a young age, usually in teens or twenties, so he's likely lived with this and hid this for 60 or so years. I can't imagine the pressure, although, he has made a living hiding stuff from people.

However, I think it really puts a new twist on the Randi Telephone Sex Tapes story.

Look guys, Occam's Razor!!

Which story is more plausible? (quotes are paraphrased)

Story #1) Some kids get a hold of Randi's phone number. They spread it around and crank call him a bunch of times. Randi gets involved with the police, ostensibly to help catch pedophiles. These conversations get extremely graphic, talks of soliciting oral sex for money, and worries of one of the kids about committing illegal acts and getting caught by the police. Alas, it's all just part of the show to catch...crank callers? Pedophiles? (I'm frankly not sure who the sting would be targeting.) Randi's public story has changed several times over the course of the years because, well, actually I don't know why he's retracted several statements on the matter. Records of Randi's involvement collaborating with the police are nonexistent. Any actual court files involving the kids would be sealed, naturally, but again, no evidence.

Story #2) Randi is into younger guys. Totally fine in and of itself. He puts his phone number on a bathroom stall, possibly with a pseudonym. Perhaps also circulates his phone number amongst some of his friends. Some younger boys, perhaps a little too young even, curious, unsure of themselves, but intrigued, call up. Conversations build up, get explicit, sizing each other up, the types of things they'd want to do, talks of getting together. "How old are you?" "...17..." Close enough. The boy worries about getting caught because he might be perhaps a bit too young? It's okay, Randi's house is safe. Ran out of time on the anonymous payphone? "Give me your number, I'll call you back." Later down the road, tapes get exposed during trial. Randi tacitly realizes the damage this information could do to his reputation in the wrong hands. After the trial thing blows over, pours tremendous resources into making the tapes and any knowledge of their existence disappear like a rabbit into a hat. He has good friends in high places, and a bit of money to swing around. The tapes all but vanish until they wind up in the hands of someone sick of Randi lying all over the place and changing the facts. Randi's statements on the matter go from saying that it wasn't him (denial), but when that gets found out to be a lie, switches to, "Oh, it's a joke." When that too is found to be a lie, he comes up with the story of Working With The Police To Catch Assorted Bad Peoples.

Which story really sounds more plausible? That he got the police involved and used a rather in-depth method to catch some local kids making crank calls that just happen to sound like making plans for sex? Or in his past, Randi did in fact make telephone calls with young boys (technically ephebophilia, pedophilia is pre-pubescent, which hasn't been totally ruled out, either), and used his grace at magic, lying, and concealment to cover up a past that might tarnish his reputation, regardless of legality?

I don't have as much of a problem with his alleged actions involving phone calls (even though as many shows in recent history have shown that this is, at times, a very serious problem. But as for older men soliciting sex with younger men, this happens all the time, and is not at all a bad thing, so long as it is truly consensual and legal according to jurisdiction) as I do with him being an all-around liar, cheat, manipulator, and generally dishonest person, not to mention having a rather bitter, cynical personality.

Skepticism, people. Simplest explanation. Occam's Razor. Invisible pink...collaborations with law enforcement?


This is a great post and very insightful!
Randi's excuses evolved with the amount of truth that was exposed.
Now the confessions begin.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSED TO TEST FOR A MILLION DOLLARS
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby Craig Browning » 04 Apr 2010, 02:13

:? Anyone here actually see the transcripts? (I have them)

About two years ago one of my nemesis within the magic community (and I have very few of them) thought he'd put me on the spot by having Randi visit a particular forum one week for a Q&A with the kiddies. He and his chums deliberately brought up the whole pedophile thing trying to force a head to head between Randi and I. Randi did a nice tape dance that of course, kept him looking good... I on the other hand, emailed a portion of the Trial Transcripts (the phone calls) to the owner of the forum and two of his moderators... they were so repulsed that they quietly put an end to the antagonism being mounted and similarly, let the whole experience of the old perv's visit ooze into the the crevasses of the soil not to be found or discussed again...

The problem with the whole Trial side of things is that it is but one small chapter when it comes to Randi's various escapades with "the lads"... he got caught up in harboring under-aged boys from Haiti in his basement, whose passports, etc. had run out. The explanation is that they were dancers he was using in a new show and he'd planned on helping them with their immigration, etc. nonetheless, it was three boys between 16 and 18 as I understand... There are the handful of young magicians who were working at Tannen's magic back in the 70's when Randi was at the height of his popularity (within the industry only), who were proposition quite directly at the counter. We also need to look at how often the old guy moved from city to city and ask ourselves why he seemed to move so often and why either before the move or within a few short months afterwords, rumors of his trespass came to the surface?

I'm totally amazed as to how Randi has managed to escape physical retaliation by parents or even a big brother here and there. Then again, we've seen how a ton of priests have been repositioned regularly for the same exact reasons and they never got lynched :x

I've spoken with a couple of the people who were "victimized" by Randi back in the day, none of them wishing to come out about it... one explaining that he can't say anything because of legal arrangements... I believe we all know what that means; especially when his college got paid for by an anonymous benefactor (I guess that's where the "education" part of the JREF name comes into play???)

Pardon my rant, but the one thing I loathe more than a bigot is any person that would prey on the "helpless" be it children or senior citizens. But a person that would steal a young person's youth let alone their sense of innocence?

Sting 'm Up! :evil:
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby Azrael » 04 Apr 2010, 07:10

Craig we canjnot believe a word you say,you make many claims -like The Professor--yet back up none of them. Isnt odd how Randi is so sick and predatory etc etc that he has never been convicted of anything. Go back to your dowsing rod or pull up a straitjacket next to Koneig's relatives. :lol:
You are obsessed and have a vivid imagination, repeating ad hoc the same spiel on forums for years.

You cannot prove the paranormal to an old man and it must seriously annoy you.
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby NucleicAcid » 04 Apr 2010, 08:03

Everything else aside, the paranormal can't be proven to Randi in the same way that you can't measure a system without altering what you are measuring. If psi exists, then expectations influence reality. Randi expects nothing to happen. This will sway any deviation in probability back to normality.

Nay, if we are to prove psi to skeptics, we have to "trick" someone or something, in the same way that the Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser "tricks" particles into making one choice or another.

If I could design a system in which I make it look like If Psi Exists, then the System Will Do This, and have the skeptic "test" someone using it, of course they would expect it to do nothing at all. However, the system is rigged in such a way that it will only do nothing IF a mental force is acted upon it. Ergo, you use the skeptic's skepticism against them to demonstrate a psi effect.
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby Craig Browning » 04 Apr 2010, 20:51

Azrael wrote:Craig we canjnot believe a word you say,you make many claims -like The Professor--yet back up none of them. Isnt odd how Randi is so sick and predatory etc etc that he has never been convicted of anything. Go back to your dowsing rod or pull up a straitjacket next to Koneig's relatives. :lol:
You are obsessed and have a vivid imagination, repeating ad hoc the same spiel on forums for years.

You cannot prove the paranormal to an old man and it must seriously annoy you.


And I bet you're another asshole magician that know all :roll:

If you noticed, I said I had the trial transcripts... there's a reason I have such material and why I would have spoken to others about Randi's habits. For a rationalist you certainly don't weigh things very well. But then you're afraid of using your real name on any forum you visit unlike my self... so who's being the more allusive?

You are (yet again) chanting the JREF Mantra on this issue... "He wasn't convicted"... something that has little to do with his history of imposition. Many pedophile types have gotten off the proverbial hook and yet, they have a very long and wide swatch cut through the brush when it comes to their on-going escapades which includes the proven pattern of moving frequently... especially when suspicions towards them start surfacing. And by the way, Liberace was never "convicted" either to my knowledge, but it was well established that he liked his young men (though they were a bit older than those sought out by Randi).

Cynics, such as you present yourself, aren't satisfied with any form of documentation/proof that can be tabled. If you are who I suspect you to be, I've told you before that I don't jump through hoops like a trick pony just because you say "jump". I stopped playing that game many years ago because I learned that there was no satisfying Cynics and too, it's part of their game tactics... to deliberately frustrate the claimant so that they (the cynics) might gloat and claim yet another faux triumph.

:x
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby Azrael » 04 Apr 2010, 22:12

Craig Browning wrote:
Azrael wrote:Craig we canjnot believe a word you say,you make many claims -like The Professor--yet back up none of them. Isnt odd how Randi is so sick and predatory etc etc that he has never been convicted of anything. Go back to your dowsing rod or pull up a straitjacket next to Koneig's relatives. :lol:
You are obsessed and have a vivid imagination, repeating ad hoc the same spiel on forums for years.

You cannot prove the paranormal to an old man and it must seriously annoy you.


And I bet you're another asshole magician that know all :roll:

If you noticed, I said I had the trial transcripts... there's a reason I have such material and why I would have spoken to others about Randi's habits. For a rationalist you certainly don't weigh things very well. But then you're afraid of using your real name on any forum you visit unlike my self... so who's being the more allusive?

You are (yet again) chanting the JREF Mantra on this issue... "He wasn't convicted"... something that has little to do with his history of imposition. Many pedophile types have gotten off the proverbial hook and yet, they have a very long and wide swatch cut through the brush when it comes to their on-going escapades which includes the proven pattern of moving frequently... especially when suspicions towards them start surfacing. And by the way, Liberace was never "convicted" either to my knowledge, but it was well established that he liked his young men (though they were a bit older than those sought out by Randi).

Cynics, such as you present yourself, aren't satisfied with any form of documentation/proof that can be tabled. If you are who I suspect you to be, I've told you before that I don't jump through hoops like a trick pony just because you say "jump". I stopped playing that game many years ago because I learned that there was no satisfying Cynics and too, it's part of their game tactics... to deliberately frustrate the claimant so that they (the cynics) might gloat and claim yet another faux triumph.

:x


Isnt that Jim callahans line not using your real name. Tell it the millions of people on forums all over the internet who use psedunoyms! My name is John Mather there you happy now? No you dont jump through hoops Craig,you dont do anything.All talk and no action.Maybe you and the Professor are one and the same.
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby ciscop » 05 Apr 2010, 05:56

nah
they are different
they are just 2 magicians that started to believe their own bullshit and reminiscence about the time where the magi were worshiped... oh yes.. magicians that are into the paranormal have an inner wish for being there when everybody believed that their stupid tricks were real

that goes for craig and dave
both swallowed their own bs
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: JREF Blackmail Tapes

Postby Azrael » 05 Apr 2010, 07:44

Ah but Craig believes medium John Edward is real!! :o
You see he passed Craig's test...God help us!

I tihnk the test went somehting like this :
Craig "Hi John do you really communicate with the dead?"
John Edward:"Yes of course"
Craig "wow you are genuine." :lol:
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