Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.
First I have to say, as somebody who always thought about writing a book called Debunking the Debunkers, I was surprised to find a sight like this. It was mentioned in one of the videos by that lawyer who studies the afterlife.
One day I was watching a video on Youtube where in two different lab experiments, people who claimed to have ODE's during sleep were tested and succeeded in describing hidden numbers/pictures while asleep. At some later point I ran across a Randi video of him trying to deceive a bunch of people where he claimed to have a dream where he was out of his body looking down upon it and could see himself laying under a specific blanket and his cat laying on his bed. IIRC when he woke up he learned that his cat was not in his room and the blanket he saw in the dream was in the clothes washer, or something to that affect. So of course he thinks his dream somehow debunks real OBE's (which of course he never mentioned the verified experiments: that's lying by omission). What a sleaze he is.
But I then thought, it seemed just a little too contrived that he would have a dream like this. Where's the proof. If we use the skeptic's claim of proof, and if somebody can't come up with proof, to them that means it doesn't exist. That got me to thinking about dreams in general and that to this day not one of the 7 billion people on this planet have provided proof they dream. ZERO. ZIP. It's all anecdotal as the liars/deniers/skeptics would claim, and therefore no proof at all. So it must be stated that James Randi has never had a dream and dreams don't exist. It's time to make them adhere to their own B.S. Nobody likes a hypocrite.
As somebody who has watched virtually every documentary on paranormal phenomena, all of them seem to feel the need to put on some dumbass skeptic to lie about what we just saw with our very own eyes. Joe Nickell was one common guest. Time and time again he would lie or fabricate false stories that had nothing to do with the actual case. It would irritate the hell out of me that he kept getting away with this. Every show was the same. Truthful people tell what they experienced followed by a skeptic who basically called them liars or confused people. Never were the skeptics put on the spot and forced to answer pointed questions or to address their ridiculous conclusions about the cases or to explain certain facts that they ignored. There's a lot of talk in general about their tactics, but there needs to be more specific examples that show them as the bald face liars they are. They need to be pinned down to address their denial of actual facts until they look like idiots.
Just to pick a random case of what I mean. There was a case of spontaneous human combustion. It involved a woman, her husband, and their son who were at their Spamalamadingdong table in the middle of a meal. The woman burst into flames internally and they were coming out of her mouth, and of course this was witnessed by her husband and son who were sitting right there. She died from it. Then up pops Joe Nickell and he says something like: "Here's what I think could have happened. The husband was probably smoking, needed to flick his ashes somewhere, so he got up, walked to the window, flicked his ashes out of the window, then a breeze blew them back into the Spamalamadingdong, landed on the woman's sweater, caught fire, and as she breathed in and out, they mistook that as the flames coming out of her mouth". I couldn't have made up a more unbelievable and idiotic story if I tried. After Joe Nickells got his fabricated story in, they then pointed out the woman's autopsy showed her esophagus down to her stomach were burned up. The problem is, why didn't they force this info into Joe Nickell's face and force him to deal with it? This is never done, but it needs to be.
Welcome to the forum but be aware, there are some major Randi fans on here not just the anti-skeptic types. Too, you need to consider the one thing I encourage everyone to do -- get away from the extremes and find the mid-point, this is the one place you are most likely to find the greater truth, not when you are pure believer or pure naysayer.
I have a very long list of reasons to distrust Randi including a few that his followers refuse to recognize (and I'm not just referring to his sexual exploits with under-aged boys). At the same time I have shared with him (directly) certain discoveries I've come across when it comes to dangerous operators and vice-versa, in that we both share an agenda when it comes to exposing and prosecuting the charlatans. . . and there are a lot of them out there, most far more sinister than those harassed by Mr. Houdini 80 or so years ago. . . then again, most of these "debunkers" only target the safer individuals or groups to really go after, the one's not likely to get physical. . . kind of like the cops that prefer dealing with petty crime than actually policing the community and getting rid of the real problems.
Yes, Randi, Joe Nichol, Ray Haman and the lot of them are bigger frauds than the people they've each cashed in on. Each of them are "has been" magicians that knew a modicum of success in show biz but couldn't hack it for whatever reason so they became anti-everything jerks that alluded to the media and thus, the public, that "Intelligent People Don't Believe in Such Things". . . in other words, they are Evangelists for the American Atheist movement and have received some serious life-achievement awards for their contributions to said cause. Historically however, most of the more brilliant writers, thinkers, philosophers and "scientists" were all men (and a few women) that shared very deep religious/spiritual beliefs even though their understanding was often in conflict with the orthodoxy (mainly due to the more Gnostic nature of it all i.e.; Jesus was just a man, a learned and thus "enlightened" individual akin to Buddha, NOT some kind of immortal Son of a deity like all the other great heroes of the Easter-Western European environment.
Randi, as far as I'm concerned, is a Cult-Leader who had a faux institution built around him so that he could live like a king while side-stepping tax laws. Then again he was run out of his home nation (Canada), literally disowned, because he was a Political Dissident and trouble-maker (active/radical Communist if I recall correctly) so he came to the U.S. (the cover-story as I can piece things together suggesting that he was some kind of CIA Observer which I really find doubtful given how big his mouth is, how short his temper tends to be and the extreme lack of discipline he tends to exhibit in general) It was somewhere in this era two scandals show up around him, the first of several Pedophile situations (not to mention the dozens of young teens he hit on who are afraid to speak about things publicly these days...you'd think Randi was a Catholic Priest ) the other scandal involved some kind of Art Fraud which, as I understand things, has never actually been fully resolved, just buried.
Nichol, Hayman and Shermer are simply arrogant jerks that love to feel superior to any and all. Hayman has been slapped down more than a few times by people that actually know about certain things he's played authority on and then proven to be quite wrong over; like Ian Rowland, a bit of ethical perspective needed to be handed to him (originally) but all of the aforementioned in the long run, because of their encouragement to harass people that consider themselves Psychic/Spiritual -- something this sort of Left-Brain functioning jackass can't comprehend and generally refuses to let go enough to allow themselves to honestly learn about it, experience it, etc. Interestingly, a great deal of clinical psychology doesn't work well for these same fools because they put up blocks (huge block walls) that prevent them from opening up and experiencing LIFE over EXISTENCE... I find it a very sad note even though certain people within the Skeptic's arena seem to have captured the essence of what the Buddha encouraged. I've even pointed out to a couple of my skeptic friends, like Randi's successor Steven Shaw (Banachek) that he seems to have that kind of peace and balance so many New Agers keep trying to capture, because he has managed to disconnect so well, in the ways that matter while retaining a balanced point of view when it comes to his environment. Steve's quite an amazing guy and NOT the sort of hard "in your face" skeptic these other jerks tend to be. Nor is he a media hound ego that wants to be featured on every low budget expose' program barfed up by this and that news or documentary group. . . we can't say that about the others, can we?
When it comes to Randi however, I'll share with you something a friend of mine said a few years ago when I asked if he'd contribute to a "debunking the debunkers" styled book I've been working on, "He's an old man with one foot in the grave who's health is failing him and conscience is getting the better of him; I have no more time, energy or desire to pick at this wound. Let him have what peace he can know and die quietly". The man that said this was Uri Geller, the "charlatan" that seems willing to extend far more grace and honor than Randi or any of the others will ever muster.
Sooooooo, you BOTH are writing a "Debunking the Debunkers" book? Hmpf.
If I may suggest, since I was taught in grade school grade that a double negative is usually not a good thing, how about you both write something positive? Wouldn't that be a more interesting read? Sorry, just thinking to myself out-loud.
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