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James Randi on Larry King Live - Comments

GODLESS101's Avatar Comment 1 by GODLESS101

GO RANDI! Rosemary Altea is a fake, just like every other so-called "Psychic." If there really were psychics in this world, we'd know by now. So, to all the psychics out there, put up or shut up.

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 20:28:00 UTC | #17906

Shine's Avatar Comment 2 by Shine

I really wish that Mr. Randi would deliver his "coup de grâce" already. You can see it on the tip of his tongue after they say "I don't need the money" or "I don't think the money exists" or anything else that involves them dodging the point.

But then again, I'm not as accomplished or as knowledgeable as Mr. Randi. Perhaps he has some cards he isn't showing.

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 20:42:00 UTC | #17909

Janus's Avatar Comment 3 by Janus

Shine,

I don't understand, what kind of "cards" are you talking about?

Btw, kudos for spelling "coup de grâce" correctly. :)

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 20:56:00 UTC | #17911

sarpulhu's Avatar Comment 4 by sarpulhu

James Randi was on 360 today so hopefully someone will upload it to youtube

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 21:43:00 UTC | #17916

Shine's Avatar Comment 5 by Shine

Janus -"I don't understand, what kind of "cards" are you talking about?"

I meant that perhaps he has a secret plan to expose these con-artists. It was also a pun due to him being a magician (a very good one, as well.) :P

Perhaps his new plan is to rope "psychics" into making there own verbal flubs instead of him doing all of the work. Exposing con-artists such as these "psychics" has become increasingly easy as science and understanding advances, but it's hard to dissuade true-believers from their asinine belief... unless their "leader" starts showing their true colors.

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 21:45:00 UTC | #17917

peterdoubt's Avatar Comment 6 by peterdoubt

Im sorry, this may be a little off topic, but Larry King is a complete and utter nincompoop.

Who let him on television??

He is one of the morons in the media lending credibility to these phonies.
He didnt even do his homework before hand to know what the kidnapper looked like, and then tries to cover up his blunder by saying the kidnappers hair was "long based on my own hair." (The kidnappers hair was SHORTER than Larry's.)

Im tired of his no-talent, divorced five times,ugly, make-up wearing vulture face.

Ahhhh. I feel better now. Anyway. I love James Randi. Randi should have his own show every night. It would be so much nicer if American televison thrived on exposing phonies rather than supporting them.

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 21:57:00 UTC | #17919

Joadist's Avatar Comment 7 by Joadist

A trickster exposing a trickster!

What next?

Will Depak Chopra expose Benny Hinn?

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 22:10:00 UTC | #17921

Stewart's Avatar Comment 8 by Stewart

There is a plan and it's not secret: a million-dollar prize no one is willing to take despite all their claims. Rosemary Altea's best answer throughout this appearance was that she was skeptical that the money existed. So she won't risk a little bit of time in case it doesn't exist, when Randi has been so public about its existence that she could probably sue him for the same million if it weren't there - after she's taken a - short - test.

Anyway, check out his site and read about how he's getting more active and investigating the possibilities for getting these people in court for fraudulent business practices, whether they agree to be tested or not. The huge carrot has been avoided for years now by those who know they lack the teeth to bite into it, so Randi's working on a stick. Sad that it's taken a case as obvious as Hornbeck's to wake people up to the fact that it isn't harmless fun that should be left alone; it's cruel and dangerous and the main victims are those who are already vulnerable.

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 22:15:00 UTC | #17923

Zaphod's Avatar Comment 9 by Zaphod

$1,000,000 is yours if you prove your psychic ability. All you have to do is prove what you claim. Give an independant panel to judge Rosemary Altea giving a reading to a complete stranger who she has never met, seen, spoke to or has any knowledge of.

If she actually has an ability it will be shown. I bet if she ever did agree to it she would come up with some excuse if it didn't work. Fatigue or something.

People believe stupid stuff.

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 22:21:00 UTC | #17924

Aussie's Avatar Comment 10 by Aussie

I also have the rare gift of psychic abilities.

Does anyone have Randi's phone number. I want to get in first before Rosemary changes her mind.

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 23:31:00 UTC | #17927

moopet's Avatar Comment 11 by moopet

Aussie, I'm thinking of the number right now. Go for it.

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 00:36:00 UTC | #17931

William's Avatar Comment 12 by William

What a snake this Rosemary Altea is!

Notice how she throws her peer Sylvia Browne under the bus and portrays herself as the "responsible" psychic. I guess there really is no honor among thieves...

She also, as is the custom when psychics appear on TV with him, attempts to discredit Randi with outright lies - i.e. "he was unable to produce the money." This is not true and she knows it, but she also knows that the people watching at home won't bother to check up on her accusation - which they could easily do with a simple google search or a visit to Randi's website.

Then she attempts to belittle him by cackling at his (quite reasonable) response and saying "here we go again..." (Part 3, 2:14), the object being to make Randi come across as a tiresome old man.

She consistently tries to evade Randi's challenge to answer "yes or no", her only explanation being "we've been down this road before" (as if she's tired of being pestered with opportunities to win a million dollars!) and that senile git Larry King lets her off the hook! He changes the subject at a crucial moment, veering off into a pointless digression - "I once interviewed the guy...what was that guy's name?" WTF?! And this is one of the few shows that will have James Randi on!

I'm sorry to rant and rave, but after watching these videos I was struck with a visceral loathing for this oily woman.

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 01:25:00 UTC | #17936

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 13 by scottishgeologist

Randi is wonderful. First thing I do on a Friday is visit his website. It gets the weekend off to a great start!

Just search Youtube or video.google for James Randi and you'll find some crackers. Like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9w7jHYriFo

Geller and Popoff getting exposed.

Just wonderful. More please! Lots more!

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 01:31:00 UTC | #17938

Stewart's Avatar Comment 14 by Stewart

The kind of funny thing about all this is that while we're skeptical of the powers of psychics, what the psychics are skeptical about is that there's a million dollars actually waiting for one of them if they come through in a simple demonstration of the abilities they claim for themselves. What proof do they need of that that Randi hasn't already provided or declared himself willing to provide? In my daydream version of this latest Larry King escapade, Randi tells the cameraman to zoom out to include, sitting next to him, a bigwig from Goldman Sachs who confirms the million dollars is there and waiting for Rosemary, like Woody Allen did with Marshall McLuhan in "Annie Hall."

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 02:33:00 UTC | #17947

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 15 by scottishgeologist

Also, there is the fact that if a "psychic", charismatic faith healer, spoon bender, came forward and actually won the Randi challenge, unequivocally, then just think of the blow that that would strike for "mysticism", psi, religion, "spirituality" and so forth. Atheists and rationalists would have to think again! A blow for the "unknown". Reason takes a kicking!

We'd all have to say, "you know , maybe there IS something in it after all..." After all, scientific method, verifiability, testaability - hey we'd all be hung with our own rope!

Isnt it funny, isnt it just a little bit strange than none of them are prepared to strike this mortal blow? There would probably be a Nobel prize in it as well. Not to mention a major, like, REALLY MAJOR, paradigm shift in our worldview. Everyone's worldview.

But in particular if it was a faith healer that demonstrably showed their powers, then think of the impact on the unbelievers! Religion proven right! And the Christian one at that. Iraq war over - mass conversion of muzzies to xians..... Richard Dawkins seen heading to communion...


Answer of course is simple. Its all BS. And they all know it. Randi's dosh is safe!

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 06:18:00 UTC | #17997

Johan's Avatar Comment 16 by Johan

Here is a question:
why couldn't Rosemary Altea use her "psychic ability" to check if there really is a million bucks in that bank account. Perhaps Randi's dead grandfather could verify the claim from the "spirit world" . Or perhaps some dead relative of a bank employee.

Oh, what a load of codswallop!

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 10:35:00 UTC | #18047

NoLongerHaveBelief's Avatar Comment 17 by NoLongerHaveBelief

Yeah! Dead right Johan!

Over the past few days, I've been wondering about my Atheism. [We surely all do at times?]. No longer. Thanks to this link, I'm back to rationality.

The afterlife is a myth. God is a fraud. There is no such thing as a 'psychic'. It's all just a bunch of crap.

Fear. Ignorance. Superstition. Control. Power. That's the true root of Religion, God and people like Rosemary who won't take the challenge.

If I thought I had any psychic ability, I'd have a go. It's all trash - and some people seem to be making a fine living from it.

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 12:25:00 UTC | #18058

StephenH's Avatar Comment 18 by StephenH

James Randi & Michael Shermer recorded an hour long interview last year, whilst on a boat, near Bermuda
It was broadcast on the Skepticality Podcast

http://skepticality.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=133719#

James Randi was talking about Sylvia Browne
When she actually accepted his million dollar challenge, then said that she was unable to find Randi.. just use your 'psychic' powers Sylvia, said Randi :) *nearly falling off chair*

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 13:07:00 UTC | #18066

sarpulhu's Avatar Comment 19 by sarpulhu

See James Randi on Anderson Cooper from a couple days ago talking more about the topic:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L9hki5Nlyo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts_To4zmEdE

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 15:03:00 UTC | #18089

LBraschi's Avatar Comment 20 by LBraschi

Yes, Anderson Cooper seems a much better jounalist than Larry King.

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 16:20:00 UTC | #18108

Feuerbach's Avatar Comment 21 by Feuerbach

I am a software developer, and have my own business. The success of my business depends very much on the ability to do what I claim, and the reputation that develops over time, based on my history of successes. My claim is "I can build a software system that works and is testable according to the promises I make".

If I am required to back up my claims with evidence, then surely it is encumbent on a medium, mystic, or faith healer to do the same. I cannot go out and say to a client, "well, I have this power to develop software, but it doesn't always work, and if it doesn't I can't be responsible as I am not god but you still have to pay me." This is complete insanity.

These people who claim to speak with the dead are absolute phoneys. There has NEVER been one ounce of proof that a channel to another world exists, and it falls back on the reliable "matter of faith" argument. I hope Randi sticks it to these shonks and shows them up for the fake parasites they are.

If you make an outrageous claim such as speaking with dead people, and you rely on people to believe in you, then you must yourself be convinced of the evidence. If you yourself are convinced of evidence it is surely not a great stretch to convince others in a laboratory setting. Claiming it is a "special power" that only you can access is not acceptable. Once that special power reaches you it must be able to be proved by you to exist.

I find it amazing what gullible people will buy into.

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 22:14:00 UTC | #18133

Shuggy's Avatar Comment 22 by Shuggy

"I'm thinking of the number right now. Go for it!"

Nice one Moopet.

Aussie, the test is whatever you and Randi can agree on that really will test your powers. EG, if you claim to get in touch with someone's dead relatives, you will be required to get in touch with a particular person A's particular dead relative B and get some information from them that only B could know (and can be checked independently). No near-misses will be allowed and no fishing. They will be very specific about the nature of the information. If you claim to bend spoons, Randi will ask "Which way?" and bending it the other way won't count. (And the spoon will be sooty, to rule out handling.)

And most important, before you start you will be required to sign a form saying you believe you can do it and conditions are propitious. In other words, you won't be allowed to say afterwards that you failed because the vibes were wrong or the skeptics cast baleful influences that prevented your powers from working. (It's amazing how many people sign the paper but say this anyway.)

I think it's a really impressive protocol, and people with real powers should welcome it, because when someone passes it will be such an impressive testimony to their powers.

I think Randi will be able to spend the interest for a long time to come.

-----
I agree that King is a nincompoop. He even spelt out J. B. R H E I N when it's Rhine.

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 23:59:00 UTC | #18140

Stewart's Avatar Comment 23 by Stewart

It is sad how much people's wishful thinking controls what they believe, i.e. that so many people think it is likelier that someone is communicating with their dead relatives than that someone is falsely claiming to be communicating with their dead relatives. It's as if making a false claim is the really spectacular, never-been-heard-of, never-been-proven phenomenon, rather than having a hot line to another world.

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 02:21:00 UTC | #18147

Noodly's Avatar Comment 24 by Noodly

Stewart (19990) and Johan (20095) have nailed it. If Altea doesn't know if the $1M is genuine and Goldman Sachs provide an affidavit that it is, then she is on the back foot.

The time is very close where Randi and others will challenge them openly with fraud. Randi himself got burned when he challenged Uri Geller some time ago, even though spoon bending ought to be easier to test.
However, unless you can prove deliberate deception, someone who genuinely believes they are psychic is not fraudulent.

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 03:46:00 UTC | #18153

NoLongerHaveBelief's Avatar Comment 25 by NoLongerHaveBelief

>>Comment #20185 by Feuerbach<<

Brilliant! Truly brilliant posting!

It seems Feuerbach, that ANY other area of expertise needs evidence of knowledge.

Except God, religion and mysticism! These areas are exempt, apparently.

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 04:24:00 UTC | #18157

Stewart's Avatar Comment 26 by Stewart

Can we then say that by not knowing the million dollars is there, Rosemary Altea has already failed the test? Look at Randi's site and read about the people who do apply for the million but can't be tested because their claims are too vague to be testable. The big shots, who are making money from the powers they pretend to have, can't afford to do that. They know they can't get the million with proper supervision and they make too much money to risk losing it by being discredited.

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 04:38:00 UTC | #18158

Noodly's Avatar Comment 27 by Noodly

What if Randi turns the challenge on its head?

Agree the same pass / fail criteria, but promise to pay the $1M if Altea fails and nothing if she passes!

If Altea is successful then she won't get Randi's $1M, but she will easily rake in much more, very quickly. If she fails then she can retire with the $1M and Randi has exposed a fake. Win-win for Altea and win for Randi (he won't doubt that she'll fail).

If I was Randi I'd prefer to lose the $1M and expose a prominent fake now rather than let it sit in a bank indefinitely.

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 05:31:00 UTC | #18163

Feuerbach's Avatar Comment 28 by Feuerbach

<< Comment #20210 by NoLongerHaveBelief >>

The convenient argument a psychic gives is that he or she has a special power that cannot be disproved. Fair enough, but they must therefore deny any claim to having evidence of that power, for evidence is not objective, it requires ratification by at least one other person to have any right to be classified as evidence. (I'm not talking about another person holding the belief in the psychic, but a reasonable person who is convinced by scientific methods that ae repeatable). It is my contention, then, that without being able to provide evidence scientifically, that the psychic cannot be convinced in themselves of their power, therefore they are acting fraudulently. I realise I am claiming here to know another person's mind, which is another debate altogether, but their fraudulence is just as convincing to me as would be a failure to prove a claim that a person can run so fast, or jump so high - the claim is not enough and until the proof exists it is reasonable to say with high probability that their claim is false, and that they KNOW that it is just as well as I.

Ethics does not live in a vacuum - yet somehow there is a loophole in the law which allows these shonks to operate outside of the standards we set for interacting within a social and economic framework.

The people who fall for it are just as culpable in my mind, unfortunately there will always exist vultures in the world, and they will prey on the vulnerable. Then again, if someone is stupid enough to part with $700 for a 30 minute psychic session they don't deserve to keep it.

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 05:35:00 UTC | #18164

Stewart's Avatar Comment 29 by Stewart

Noodly, you do see the problem in your suggestion, I trust? Randi only has one million dollars, he gives it to Altea for losing, she lives happily ever after and all the other "psychics" get away with claiming she was the only fake in bunch, feign "good riddance" and carry on fleecing the public. What, no "psychic" has ever properly been unmasked? Why waste a million on just one more? I am more impressed by a million that no one has ever succeeded in collecting, and that all the people who are supposedly best at this skill in the world refuse to be tested for it. Would you trade "proof" that one psychic is a fake for the near-certain (under the circumstances) knowledge that they all are? In other words, "one proven fake" doesn't tell me as much as "not a single proven psychic." It's not our fault that so many people refuse to get it when it's that obvious.

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 06:44:00 UTC | #18173

Noodly's Avatar Comment 30 by Noodly

Stewart, I agree entirely with your comment 20226, I hadn't thought my idea through properly. It looks like it'll have to be law suits.

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 08:09:00 UTC | #18182