Talk:James Randi

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This Skeptics related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


Yep. He's gay.[edit]

I was going to add a section on Randi's recent announcement of his homosexuality, but I'm not sure how to frame it as relevant. Also unsure of the tastefulness of Dumbledore jokes. EVDebs (talk) 14:43, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it is particularly relevant, though. He appears so far to be pretty much like Stephen Fry and Simon Amstell in respect to refusing to be defined by it. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:22, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Works for me. EVDebs (talk) 15:37, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I dunno. I t would be nice to note it, but as you say, it does not define who he is. Maybe a "see also" at homosexuality or something? meaning it's not here, but it is noted elsewhere? ħumanUser talk:Human 08:43, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I added it as evidence of the inherent superiority of Homo homo - David Gerard (talk)

19:53, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I think it's relevant, in that his detractors will surely mention it. I'm also sure that if CP has an article on Randi, his homosexuality will be a big part of it. Majintahu (talk) 01:37, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank goodness I wasn't the only one who mentally came up with a Dumbledore joke Ebon (talk) 07:10, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Amazingly, it appears that CP's article on Randi lacks any reference to his homosexuality. Also, it mentions his anti-religion stance in an ostensibly non-biased, objective way. I imagine Schlafly/Conservative, et al. haven't seen it yet.ChrisB (talk) 19:15, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

I would think James Randi would care even less about what those people had to say about it. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 19:37, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Scientific Consensus[edit]

Fun Video Majintahu (talk) 01:29, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Nice video. Thank you for sharing it. Punky Your mental puke relief 01:36, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Important Stuff[edit]

James Randi became known for he revealde how his colleagues trick was done. The damaged this part of the entertainment industry, as James Randi had to start revealing other things. His contacts with Elisabth Whelan enabled him to raise money to bring the chemical industry positions. By calling enviromentalists for pseudoscientists, you got ignorant and uncritical people spreading propagndan . Skeptics movement became a good place for the dissemination of profitable ideas. It soon became necessary to build institutions that were controlled by reliable people that brought out positions for remuneration, and held the positions where they could settle. It was important that the central authorities stood over democratic control, so that the leaders can not be removed. Education of members have been very successful, thanks to psychologists from the advertising industry. For example, it did not damaged the movement when James Randi's boyfriend revealed as the identity thief. That was before their common foreign tour as his boyfriend had a U.S. passport to travel to the U.S. again, although his student visa had long expired. When the theft was revealde no skeptics critsised this obvious violation of the law, which created many problems for the victim. It shows how successful the program has been. Fairly small costs have created a popular movement, which propagate the issues the industry pay to have spread. The leaders appointed by the old leaders, who control the money coming in from industry. The principle that leaders are appointed from above down is preferable over other models. To maintain it requires a certain cult of leaders, as Randi touring example.— Unsigned, by: Mamma / talk / contribs

Okay, now it's on the talk page... can anyone decipher this? rpeh •TCE 11:05, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
An example of the shill gambit. Apparently, the sceptical movement has been started by "the industry" to spread anti-environmental messages, using Randi as a figurehead to control the movement by growing a personality cult around Randi. The identity theft thing is a reference to José Alvarez's problems with the law.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:10, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Sexual harassment[edit]

We can't prevent it that there are these allegations in our movement. [1] We can avoid sweeping allegations under the carpet as the RC's did with child abuse. If these matters were swept under the carpet later the whole skeptical movement could be blamed as well as those who actually did harassment. (It's likely that at least some of these allegations are true though we don't know (yet?) which.)
  1. Carrie Poppy tells all
We can't insist harassment actually happened without further evidence but PZ Myers is fairly well respected and his blog is sufficient evidence that allegations were made. Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:21, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Proxima, you are the last person who should be writing about this. You just lack the writing skills.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:25, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I hope this version is better. The constant fault finding can make it hard to motivate oneself to do well. Proxima Centauri (talk) 09:12, 9 August 2013 (UTC)


Hi there, I'm new, but not new to Wikis. Regarding his AGW stand, I recall being dismayed to read about it a year and a half or so ago in an excellent book called the Heretics of Science (Will Storr). However, then I am fairly sure I found a message in passing that he had reviewed the science more carefully and changed his mind.

However, when I google, all I find are the links in this article. Does anyone know of Randi's current stance from a more recent source?

Many thanks, Leord (talk) 19:35, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Should we add anything about Eugenics and social darwinism?[edit]

Apparently on his old website, James Randi went on some pretty harsh pro-Eugenics rants.

Should a section be added for his statements? There is an entire section of Sam Harris's extreme statements, why not for James Randi?

Im curious why James Randi's controversial statements on social Darwinism are not in the article.

"I believe that if the sale and use of drugs were to be suddenly legalized, first, the entire criminal community would be almost instantly crippled due to lack of income, on an international scale. Second, those individuals who were stupid enough to rush into the arms of the mythical houris and/or Adonis’s they would expect to greet them, would simply do so and die – by whatever chemical or biological fate would overcome them. Third, the principle of Survival of the Fittest would draconically prove itself for a couple of years, after which Natural Selection would weed out those for whom there is no hope except through our forbearance, and I’m very, very, weary of supporting these losers with my tax dollars. As reader Wellcome points out, our species – the American sector – made the very expensive and very failed Prohibition experiment, yet we have survived cancelling that error, rather well"

Soarce is here:"

Here is another tidbit:

"[T]hose individuals who were stupid enough to rush into the arms of the mythical houris and/or Adonis's they would expect to greet them, would simply do so and die - by whatever chemical or biological fate would overcome them... [T]he principle of Survival of the Fittest would draconically prove itself for a couple of years, after which Natural Selection would weed out those for whom there is no hope except through our forbearance.

...Any weeping and wailing over the Poor Little Kids who would perish by immediately gobbling down pills and injecting poison, is summoning up crocodile tears, in my opinion. They would - and presently do - mature into grown-up idiots, and Darwin would be appalled that his lessons were ignored." — Unsigned, by: Wan Abi Sufi / talk / contribs

No; as it doesn't show support for eugenics. He merely observes that people who engage in self-destructive behaviour are less likely to have offspring and that the traits that lead to such behaviour will eventually die out. If would be eugenics if he supported killing drug users, but that's not what he says. Carpetsmoker (talk) 05:40, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
CarpetSmoker, the quote shows he clearly favours it, and thinks it is a good thing. He isn't making an observation, the tone shows he believes it's good for society. It at least, shows a support for social darwinism "Let them kill themselves off for the betterment of mankind"
Even if he doesn't directly say it, he calls the people that will die off from natural selection "Losers"
It's not like he is making an observation but seems to delight in it.
Even if it isn't Eugenics, it's pretty damn shitty for him to say that, especially considering that many of the "losers" are probably also skeptics.— Unsigned, by: Wan Abi Sufi / talk / contribs
That's not advocacy of eugenics. He's very harsh on addicts -- really meanspirited -- but he's only arguing that people whose habits make them self-destructive will simply proceed to do so if we alter our drug policies, and that this is nothing to lament.---Mona- (talk) 06:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
It's still a pretty damn despicable and reprehensible attitude to have. What of those people who suffer from major depression or similar disorders and may be driven to self-medicate for lack of being able to find anything else that could alleviate their suffering? What of people with physical problems that leave them in constant pain and likewise seek to self-medicate to relieve their suffering? (As someone with both major depression and social anxiety, and physical problems that leave me in constant pain, I can fully understand the very powerful urge to seek relief.) His attitude is apparently that these people are all simply "losers" and the lowest dregs of humanity who cannot contribute anything worthwhile to human society or culture, and the rest of the species is better off without them. Now, if all the artists throughout history who suffered from depression had simply been allowed to kill themselves off with uncontrolled drug-use, as Randi seems to be advocating, well... let's just say that the number of great artists of history who suffered from depression is pretty damn high, and with a policy like Randi is advocating humanity would have been deprived of some of its greatest works of art, literature, and music (just look at the "27 Club" as a small example of what we lost already.) One could even say that depression and pain is almost a requirement to creating great art. Offhandedly dismissing everyone who would seek to self-medicate as being "losers" who don't have anything worthwhile to contribute to humanity, or are even worthy of living (and apparently he believes that their simple existence as human beings isn't enough of a contribution to humanity to warrant their continued life, something I'm sure their friends and families might not agree with) isn't just insensitive and cold, it's a downright short-sighted, reprehensible, irrational Objectivist attitude ("losers" IE "useless eaters.") His comment that "I’m very, very, weary of supporting these losers with my tax dollars" makes it pretty clear that he doesn't see these "losers" as even being worthy of living, and actually resents their very existence as "freeloading" off of him. Reading these comments has caused me to lose a HUGE amount of respect for Randi; I had no idea he held such views and they make me think much, much less of him. I think that people should be made aware of such attitudes in people they would otherwise admire, or else it could leave RationalWiki open to criticisms of sweeping under the rug any unpleasant aspects of the personalities of people RW admires. As an ardent fan of HP Lovecraft I am long used to having to deal with unpleasant aspects of people I would admire, and I don't try to deny his virulent racism. If Randi holds such views as revealed by his comments, they shouldn't just be ignored. In fact, these comments are so bad they make me want to ask if they're actually real, or planted by someone wanting to discredit Randi... but I'll have to assume they're genuine. However, all of this is just my opinion; I'm new here and I'm not going to try to edit anything in or start an argument about it, I just wanted to add my two cents here on the Talk Page. I hope that's OK.  :) Nyarlathotep (talk) 05:17, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Yeah. Amongst skeptics Randi is viewed as a sort of godlike figure. But I think it's important to point out where the guys really got some shitty views.

And to be honest, that author may not have any evidence that Randi said he is a social darwinist, but it seems consistent with the collection of quotes where Randi says people with Low IQs should get taken out of the gene pool as well as addicts as losers and "we should let" draconian measures take them out.

I mean that is a really shitty and scary position. We should be able to appreciate James Randi's work without making him into some secular humanist saint. -Wan Abi Sufi

I think it's worthwhile to include this - though, as CarpetSmoker points out, this isn't eugenics. This is "just" a rather cynical stance on wellfare and a disregard of the psychology surrounding drug abuse. That's worthy to mention, no doubt - but understand that eugenics takes far more steps than sourly concluding that "nature runs its course when it runs its course". Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:09, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

James Randi, a dishonest liar[edit]

Might it not be a good idea to mention under the 'The Dark Side of Randi' section that James Randi has a history of seemingly pathological lying (as detailed in this article about him)?

For example, in the 1970s Randi claimed in an interview to have examined the work of Dr Rupert Sheldrake concerning telepathic abilities in dogs and that his own tests did not reproduce the findings of Dr Sheldrake. Sheldrake himself alleged that in response to this interview he contacted Randi and inquired about the data of these tests which lead Randi to first fabricate excuses only to eventually admit to him that he had not conducted them in the first place. These fabrications included claims of the data having been washed away in a flood (which, as the author notes, took place four years before the alleged tests) and the dogs used in the test having been relocated to Mexico (which means outside of anyone's reach, apparently) because their owner died in a tragic accident. Despite this he publicly continued to claim that the data was available at their website and that Sheldrake could have always simply contacted him (thus denying that Sheldrake ever did so).

The author of the article confronted Randi with his research into this affair in 2011 and Randi continued lying, even doubting that he ever said that any tests took place to begin with. When presented with evidence to the contrary and the author's overall impression of him he finally concedes that he 'sometimes' lies yet that he does not know 'whether the lies are conscious lies all the time' and finally ending with graciously allowing that 'there can be untruths'.

Aside from this the article also mentions that he tells outlandish lies about his own past, claiming for instance that he had been born with an IQ of 168 and that as a result he was given a special pass that exempted him from attending school.

Seems like something worthy of inclusion but I am not familiar enough with Wiki editing, etiquettes and style to do it, I think, so I would appreicate it if someone else would give it a try. -- (talk) 08:57, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Robert Lindblad (talk) 18:05, 24 December 2018 (UTC)--Robert Lindblad (talk) 18:05, 24 December 2018 (UTC)== Million dollar challenge ==

A message to the The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge promoter James Randi you still owe me, Robert Lindblad, $10,000 from when I beat you at your contest called PUT UP OR SHUT UP in 1992 .... and you never put up the $10,000 you promised or shut up about your outright lie that psychics don't exist you then even raised the prize to a million and changed the name of the challenge after I won your challenge and being a magician you magically decided to hide that truth from everyone pretty easy to do when you choose what to tell people and not what to tell people ... as a magician your profession is to hide the truth and you have done so very well too bad you incorporated the outright lie that psychics do not exist in your act. And when you state that police have never mentioned that a psychic has ever solved a missing childs' case you know why ... it is because police never mention their informants whether that person is psychic or not however like a deceptive magician you leave that fact out of your statement... if you just stated that some psychics are fake but not all and I want to weed out the fakers you would sound better and it would make a lot more sense. Just visit my website where their are news articles and investigative documentary concerning my work that prove it. You believe in James Randi professing that psychics do not exist. You have read his books and listened to him speak however he has created a very narrow point of view from which to view the subject he has created that psychics do not exist. So it being that you believe absolutely in what he is saying you know as an educated observer that evidence that is proven through investigation of a subject is undeniable. Here is undeniable proof documented by investigative journalists: The articles of Le Journal de Montreal 31-05-98 & 01-06-98 on my site are certifiably acceptable in a court of law as evidence. In the article of Le Journal de Montreal 31-05-98 I stated to the mother Saturday morning over the phone within two minutes of her call that her son who had been missing for near a month and a half had accidentaly drowned and in which body of water his corpse was. The next day they found his corpse floating in the body of water which I had pointed out to the mother the day before and this was printed in the Le Journal de Montreal of 01-06-98. When the mother called me she had asked if I heard of her sons' case. I said "No but I can help." She then filled me in on the details that he had been missing for near a month and a half and that police with hundreds of volunteers, divers, searh dogs, and helicopters had been searching daily since the day he went missing with no results as to what happened to him, whether he was living or dead, and his whereabouts. Within two minutes I told her that her son had accidentaly drowned and in which body of water his corpse was and the next day they found his corpse floating in the body of water I had pointed out to the mother. Their is also another news article providing undeniable evidence concerning a dog I found in Lake Oswego, Oregon from here in Montreal.

 James Randi founded CSICOP so that he could expand his cash influx and add some strength to his illusion even while off stage. Once again the evidence is clear in the investigative reports by J.E. and The Journal de Montreal who are investigators out to bust fraud artists, the S.O.S. investigative documentary I was on in Japan , and the news articles concerning the missing dog I found in Lake Oswego , Oregon in real time over the phone from here in Montreal were done by professional investigative reporters not people who were there to make friends or money. James Randi is not a professional investigator he is a magician who has made a very financialy healthy career out of telling people that psychics do not exist... and being a magician he gives himself the right to hide the truth as hiding the truth is integral to magicianship and since he is making a very healthy profit off his act - the act of stating that psychics do not exist - so it is all part of magicianship and part of his act and he is fine with that. James Randis' Million Dollar Challenge is nothing more than a vaudeville act that keeps you focused on him making you ignore evidence provided by investigative journalists whos' job is to bust fraud artists, evidence provided by parents of missing children, and evidence provided by owners of missing pets from all over the world over that of an illusionist who has made a very financially profitable corporate enterprise out of the illusion he has created that of telling people that psychics do not exist. ... here is a song for all James Randi followers provided directly by Murray Head

Contrary to what is written here, and I'm surprised to see this write up here because rationalwiki is normally scientifically sound, Randi's challenge didn't (necessarily) disprove anything paranormal.

In order to win the challenge, the test subject had to score 100% accuracy. That isn't the standard for scientific claims which is that something has to be 'statistically significant' to, at least, merit further study. Since the challenge did not use proper scientific protocols, it couldn't conclude anything.

The challenge was nothing more than an ongoing publicity stunt to dishonestly attempt to discredit all paranormal claims. "If you're so certain in your paranormal abilities, put up or shut up, take Randi's challenge" was often heard, or something like it. Well, Randi's challenge itself used pseudo-scientific methods.

Randi did good work exposing frauds and charlatans, but he himself is, in many ways, a fraud and a charlatan.

So, essentially, I think either this sentence should be removed from the article: "No one has ever produced any actual evidence for faith-healing, telepathy, psionics, dowsing, precognative psychic friends with astral bodies, past life remembrance, or spectral manifestations of any kind", or an explanation of the failure of the challenge to use proper scientific protocols should be added. Template:Robert Lindblad

I agree with Robert Lindblad. There was an article I read once that debunked his million dollar challenge. It went into detail about how it's automatically set up for people to fail. By it's on context, when you sign, you waive all their legal accountability and permit the organization to utilize the information however they see fit and you're not allowed to say anything, meaning they can lie about it and there is nothing you can say/do about it. The article also went on to (which reinforces Robert's comments) about how their testers do not actually use scientific methods but call it "tests." Randi has also declined the application of several paranormals that were adamant they would win. So he can pick/choose who can participate and deliberately pick those who appear to be obvious frauds. This was similar to a guy I knew who picked/chose people who he played a certain game against and deliberately chose people he knew 100% that he would beat and loved to market himself as "undefeated."
That said, I do agree that sentence should be removed. Gerad Summers — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
LMAO. You just spam this bullshit all over the internet, huh? ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:00, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
PS, I've removed hyperlinks to your sites, please don't use us in your self-promotion. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:02, 23 October 2019 (UTC)

If you feel like proving me wrong[edit]

All you have to do is describe the experiment he had you do and the methodological controls that were in place. If you can accurately describe such an experiment, even if you make it the fuck up, it'd be enough for me to conclude you're at least not batshit. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:05, 23 October 2019 (UTC)