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← James Randi's fiery takedown of psychic fraud

James Randi's fiery takedown of psychic fraud - Comments

Shiva's Avatar Comment 1 by Shiva


Thu, 22 Apr 2010 19:30:00 UTC | #461908

canatheist's Avatar Comment 2 by canatheist

The Amazing Randi really is amazing!

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 19:35:00 UTC | #461911

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 3 by scottishgeologist

Good old Randi! I love his style, his almost surgical methods for dealing with woo-woo.

Would love to experience his "Amaz!ng Meeting"

Richard Dawkins of course has been a guest on these in the past.

Deserves to be better known on this side of the Atlantic (UK)


Thu, 22 Apr 2010 19:36:00 UTC | #461912

Ania's Avatar Comment 4 by Ania

i totally love him!!!

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 19:40:00 UTC | #461913

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 5 by Stafford Gordon


Thu, 22 Apr 2010 19:41:00 UTC | #461915

LuchinG's Avatar Comment 6 by LuchinG

He saw Uri Geller by the middle, but ¿can he beat the Pope in red hands?

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 19:53:00 UTC | #461918

drmagyar's Avatar Comment 7 by drmagyar

Seriously folks what can be done about this stuff?

Is there no way to legally stop all these charlatans from practicing?

It does seem crazy that these days in the so called age of science these people are allowed to fleece the gullible public.

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 19:56:00 UTC | #461919

rsharvey's Avatar Comment 8 by rsharvey

I love Randi! I always used to think how great it would be to have him as a grandad. But that seems even less likely now, since he revealed last month that he's gay! :D Oh well. I guess having a magical great-uncle would be pretty cool too.

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 20:01:00 UTC | #461920

100meters's Avatar Comment 9 by 100meters

Have always dug the Randi, ever since he gutted Uri Geller on Johnny Carson thirty years ago.

One wonders how many folks in that live audience, and viewers of this video, while nodding and smiling in total agreement with Randi's call for an end to this financial exploitation of the gullible and less-informed, just last Sunday gave 10% of their earnings to an organization (insert favorite denomination here) so that after they die, they will live forever on a pretty cloud with their old dog Spot?

I think Randi's "barely grazing" around the edges of this point is similar to those thoughtful first readers of Darwin way back when, who, putting the book down with a satisfied nod of agreement, stopped while going upstairs to bed, and suddenly thought "Wait a minute...if this is all true for every living and once-living species...then what about us? Gasp."

Supernatural = Woo = Make Believe = Religion

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 20:40:00 UTC | #461931

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 10 by Philoctetes

Is it the job of the critically competent to resist the separation of fools and their money?

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 20:43:00 UTC | #461933

mikeybates's Avatar Comment 11 by mikeybates

"Is there no way to legally stop all these charlatans from practicing?"

I don't think that would be a good approach. Banning something does not fix the underlying problem. The public just needs to be provided with clear accurate information, as they aren't necessarily all gullible, just not well informed.

Creating a special label that can only be used if a product has been scientifically/medically proven could work better. Maybe a prominent BSI stamp (in Britain). The charlatans wouldn't be able to use it, and the public trusts official stamps like that.

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 21:35:00 UTC | #461958

chuckg's Avatar Comment 12 by chuckg

The Rand is the man!

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 22:04:00 UTC | #461968

blitz442's Avatar Comment 13 by blitz442

12. Comment #482726 by chuckgoecke

He is, but do you think that his pants are high enough? He's like my grandpa, who's close to wearing his belt around his sternum.

No, seriously, excellent talk. I especially loved the exposure of homeopathy.

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 22:09:00 UTC | #461973

chuckg's Avatar Comment 14 by chuckg

Ya know, I bet he has lots of hair in his ears also. A sure sign he is a geezer!

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:26:00 UTC | #461988

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 15 by Carl Sai Baba

Until yesterday, when it was announced that the Saudis were not going to execute that TV psychic after all, my ongoing suggestion was to give these crooks a free vacation to Saudi Arabia so the muslims can convict them of witchcraft and do the dirty work for us.

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:34:00 UTC | #461989

jackal's Avatar Comment 16 by jackal

They should make a reality show in which they expose a new fraud in each episode. I'd watch.

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:45:00 UTC | #461993

Greyman's Avatar Comment 17 by Greyman

Oh, he's good.  A most excellent use of humour to make his point all the more memorable.

Like, 13:30: "The more dilute the medicine is, they say, the more powerful it is.  Now wait a minute.  We heard about a guy in Florida, the poor man, he died on an overdose.  He forgot to take his pill."

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 00:02:00 UTC | #461995

weavehole's Avatar Comment 18 by weavehole

If we assume that his Grandma really did hide the family will, then if everyone on has a guess as to its whereabouts, we should be able to take that million dollars. How many places can it be? One of us will get it correct. ;)

In w0O voice: She's telling me its somewhere above shoulder height, maybe somewhere warm or warmer than the fridge did she have a fridge? Something beginning with F? No? I'm getting the image of a tree or a plant... did she like gardening?... Oh. Of course, not up a tree she's saying it's up the stairs in the loft. Yes in a box in the loft! Thats where the will is... Oh, a bungalow you say?

Quick piece of pedantry: Surely, the 'active' ingredient in homeopathic headache pills would be something that causes headaches not aspirin as Randi says. Maybe they dilute a 'punch to the head' a gajillion times?

Here's a lecture from 2001 on homeopathy where Randi goes in to more detail. Follow the links for loads more Randi amazingness.

13. Comment #482731 by blitz442
Looking at the belt-lines in 2001 and 2007 it seems that the height increases proportionately with age and beard length. Randi should be able to tuck his beard into his belt sometime in late 2019.

Does this occur because we always buy the same length trousers even as we lose height? If so, does this mean Simon Cowell was once 20ft tall? We should be told!

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 01:51:00 UTC | #462007

Steve_the_Instro's Avatar Comment 19 by Steve_the_Instro

James (the Amazing) Randi, one of my heros!
The world NEEDS people like him (and Richard).

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 02:09:00 UTC | #462010

Will7's Avatar Comment 20 by Will7

now that IS good!

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 02:28:00 UTC | #462014

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 21 by Styrer-

Absolutely wonderful man. A hero through and through.

If the link I'm about to provide has any validity, then I am saddened beyond belief that this brilliant man whose forte has been the public evisceration of deceit in favour of truth at all costs should have felt so unable to apply the very same to his own identity, to himself, until this very late age:

Sean Tyrer

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 02:42:00 UTC | #462017

weavehole's Avatar Comment 22 by weavehole

Bang on Styrer, I sometimes still can't get my head around how anyone wouldn't feel comfortable coming out in this day and age. It's incredible how different the culture in US can be even from the UK (still far from perfect obv). Then to think that attitudes in the US are nowhere near the worst in the world is even more worrying.

A fucked up little planet we live on. There's a lot of work to be done.

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 03:10:00 UTC | #462021

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 23 by Bonzai


From the amazing man himself.

No need to be too harsh to the man. Not "coming out" is not active deception, it is merely not making a public statement. It would be a deception if he had married and paraded his wife around like some closeted politicians and evangelists.

I can respect his lifelong silence on the topic, one picks his battle.

In an ideal world people shouldn't have to "come out". We should all just mind our own business.

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 03:46:00 UTC | #462023

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 24 by Steve Zara


Not "coming out" is not active deception,

Yes, it is active deception, because it is making an issue out of something that should not be of concern, and it allowing people to assume the default - that you are straight.

In an ideal world people shouldn't have to "come out". We should all just mind our own business.

But this isn't an ideal world, and treating homosexuality as something to hide continues to make it so.

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 04:28:00 UTC | #462025

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 25 by Bonzai


Yes, it is active deception, because it is making an issue out of something that should not be of concern, and it allowing people to assume the default - that you are straight.

I am not sure I understand what you are saying.

How is it "making an issue" by not saying anything about your sex life? I would think it would be the other way around. It would be making an issue to broadcast your sexual preference even when no one is asking or interested.

I don't know if anyone who admires Randi's work would actually care that Randi is straight or gay.
The people who dislike him have enough reason to anyway whatever his sexual orientation is.

What I am saying is that his public persona has nothing to do with sexuality and the question simply would not have been raised.

Also I don't know how one can live his life based on what he thinks others may think about him by default.

Edited By your argument it would be a deception if I don't go out of my way to act like a stereotypical flamboyant homo (lisp, make up and jewelery and limp wrists? No, I hate mustache) because other people would simply assume that I am straight "by default" without those explicit signs.

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 04:40:00 UTC | #462028

markg's Avatar Comment 26 by markg

Good stuff from the Amazing Randi.

Comment #482731 by blitz442

He's like my grandpa, who's close to wearing his belt around his sternum.

Ever notice the migration of the belt from those of Randi's age on down to today's teens wearing their belts below their ass cheeks? I've done some calculations and in about 20 years teens will be wearing their pants and belts between their knees and ankles.

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 05:12:00 UTC | #462031

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 27 by Bonzai


I think old men wear their belts on their chests because they have shrunken and their old pants are now too long for them. I doubt that it is a fashion statement.

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 05:19:00 UTC | #462033

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 28 by Styrer-


I am rather more sensitive to Steve's account of this than to yours, may I say. He nails it absolutely in his first riposte to you, in his advancing the idea that 'not coming out' is itself a proclamation of concern, however silently expressed.

Thanks, Bonzai, for the link. It reinforces the idea that he's decided that he must get something off his chest, despite his refutation of any such idea. He presents no reason whatsoever for expressing through the media that he is gay, at his advanced age. But it clearly matters to him, despite the hopefully unfettered homosexual life he has enjoyed till now.

Why now does he feel the need to publicise his sexual proclivities? Why not continue to the end in silence, enjoying whatever male company he can? Why is he making such a fuss now?

If Randi has been enjoying the most fabulous of lives all these years, then why suddenly does he intrude upon OUR understanding of him by claiming that he is gay? What the hell are we supposed to do with this information? Ignore it in the way that Randi did not?

Randi has been unflinching during his career in confirming that truth is more valuable than lies. How can his confession-like statement of homosexuality at the age of 81, conducted in almost embarrassed and very quiet manner - as distinct from his easily conducting a million-dollar parade with fireworks and fun and games for all to celebrate his own identity/'coming out' - be anything but a betrayal of his own claims to openness and of those in the homosexual community who would have benefited from the kudos he'd have afforded them?

There is some shame to allot here: whether to James or to us all ourselves, or to a bit of both: I can't quite work it out.

Certainly James is not off the hook, not at all.

Sean Tyrer

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 05:26:00 UTC | #462034

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 29 by Stafford Gordon

Worth his weight in gold!

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 05:44:00 UTC | #462036

j s bach's Avatar Comment 30 by j s bach

He makes no reference to the religious who talk to the dead on a daily basis too and claim that they are heard and that the dead answer back: eg speaking to Jesus (dead), to the saints (dead) and to Yahweh (not alive). So what's the difference?

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 05:51:00 UTC | #462037