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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » James Randi in the SF Weekly (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gaddy
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*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Dannydoyle
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An interesting article. I am sure it will cause many a controversial response, but I enjoyed it. Man it was a puff piece on Randi. Papers and maggazines do them all the time. Accurate? Who knows who cares? It was intended to simply highlight him. I don't think that is the worst thing in the world.
Thanks for posting it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dr. Solar
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Hi gaggy,

Always a laugh to hear from the old codger from time to time, not you by that. Some people always thought that Ed Teller was a wise and powerful all knowing fellow too, sadly ending his last years with ramblings of nuking astroids. Most probably have never had any personal dealings with the great Randi or his trumpted up institute. I sent for and after many attempts got the three page "rules" of his on- again-off-again challange. From 1997 for about five -six years there was no million dollar standing eventhough he let the rumor exist. I had to laugh where Teller likened him to Dylan and Picasso as an "innovator".Problem is, that those two were artists. Randi is a shock jock at best. There will be no fear as to who will take over the foundation, who else but Penn? Any takers on this, or mark my words...when all the dust is settled, reopen my envelope, my prediction....Penn.

See ya soon,
Doc
"look for me in all things forgotten"
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Beaulieu
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Dr. Solar,

The organization (JREF) already has a new man at the helm and it isn't Penn Jillette! The foundation is headed up by Phil Plait (from Bad Astronomy). Penn won't be running the ship Smile.

~Ben
"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out" ~Bertrand Russell
Slim King
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Lot's of problems with the article Smile

"Across from Sonne on the stage is a magician named Banachek. Back in 1980, with help from Randi, he tricked scientists at Washington University's now-defunct McDonnell Laboratory for Psychical Research in St. Louis into believing he had supernatural powers. He later admitted he had performed an elaborate hoax. Today, Banachek is administering Sonne's test."

I would like to see the Scientific Paper from the Washington University Scientists claiming that Steve Shaw (Banachek now) had Supernatural Powers.

There isn't one!

The Hoax is a Hoax is a Hoax... Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Banachek
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Okay Dave,

Respectfully,

I have video that states emphatically that Peter Phillips brought in Mark Schafer who corroborated what he had already found and was also able to find other abilities. From Peter's mouth himself talking about us on a tape he presented at a parapsychological convention.

Also at the end Peter would not answer the phone and his first words were, "is it true, what about .... well what about ...." they believed. So please do not do injustice to Project Alpha by saying they did not. I will not take a back seat to those accusations.

The hoax is not the hoax in this case, but the accusations are.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
Slim King
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Respectfully Steve.
I would love to see the video. After all ... I love great advertising and hype. I recently purchased PS2 and I'm reading it now. I think we all should make the truth sound as good as it possibly can!!!!! Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Banachek
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Again, respectfully,

Not sure what making the truth "sound as good as it can" means. To me the truth is the truth and anything in between the truth and a lie is grey. If you are insinuating that PS2 is not as good as you were led to believe, let me know please as it seems you are saying it by including it in the above statement about hype. Otherwise there is not reason to include it in the statement about hype. I find it insulting however you are free to have your opinion but please say what you mean if you don't see it's worth. Otherwise don't taint it with insinuations.

All I can say is there are bits and routines I use in my own show included in the book. Any hype came from others who read it as I hate to advertise my stuff and usually step down on my praise of my own work. I did not give it the book of the year award, others did.

Tape you want to see is avaiblable from Shermers's skeptic group, if you want to really see it rather than argue about it, please by all means purchase a copy.

Also if you look at wiki you can see direct evidence the scientists believed despite being informed we were fakes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Alpha

enjoy.

The Skeptical Inquirer had revealed that Steve Shaw was a fake psychic in their Fall 1980 issue. At the time neither the authors (McBurney and Greenberg) nor the editor (Kendrick Frazier) knew that Shaw was part of Project Alpha. In addition, rumors that the psychics were fake reached the researchers, but they didn't believe them.[13] According to the researchers,

"The rumor seemed unlikely to be true for several reasons: the two young men came from different states and had never met before being brought to the MacLab; if they were both conspiring with Randi, then the plot had gone on for 21 months. What critic would be so persistent in engaging in fraud and conspiracy on such a time-scale? There seemed to be no precedent. Nor was it possible to track down how reliable the rumor might be.[14]
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
Slim King
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Of course I'm not slagging you about PS2. I've just purchased it and I'm a very slow reader. I included it to show I'm not prejudice against you just because of your affiliation with the group that shall not be named.

I'll look into purchasing the tape since that sounds much different than the paper that the scientists themselves have released about the situation.

On a side note, randi's video provided in this article is very interesting but extremely misleading.

I recommend everyone watch it before I continue with the revelations about it.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Banachek
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The scientists Peter Phillips and Mark Schaefer directly themselves never did release a paper after. It was others who made comments. Michael THalbourne made some statements on papers and there were indeed inaccuracies in his accounts, he came at the very end of the Maclab. It was primarily spokes-people for McDonnell Douglas who were never involved with the MacLab at ANY time ever who made statements to the press. They made a few false statements trying to cover their backsides without having all the information.

I still remember my phone call with the personel at the MacLab after the incident, "well what about this, well what about this." They were looking for one thing to hold on to. They were good people, very kind good people.
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Banachek
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PEA Creativity Award Recipient
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edh
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I have a question...what did this do to the reputation of the investigating scientists careers?
Magic is a vanishing art.
critter
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Entertaining article. I like how Uri Geller says the psychics should "just ignore the skeptics," and then continues to go on and on about the skeptics.
He's a funny guy.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Banachek
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Tainted their psychic investigation careers. Peter had tenure at Wash U. so was fine on that end a terrific physics professor from what I understand.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
Slim King
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This is an interesting addendum to all of this .....

http://www.aiprinc.org/para-c05_Thalbourne_1995.pdf

POSTSCRIPT 1995:TWELVE YEARS ON
Though over a decade has gone by since the public revelation of the
Randi Hoax (otherwise known as Project Alpha), its architect James Randi
continues to make use of it for entertainment and other purposes. One such
use was in an introduction to a performance by Steve Shaw at the banquet
of the Dallas meeting of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of
Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), held October 16-18, 1992. I have in
my possession a transcript of most of this introduction. Given the nature of
both his topic and his audiences it comes as no surprise that Randi chose to
pour ridicule and sarcasm upon the efforts of parapsychology. More dis-
turbing, however, is the distorted version of events he gives surrounding
the Hoax. In particular, and among other incorrect statements, he implies
that the MacLab failed to consult him until after the Hoax was revealed,
and that after consulting him no more experiments were conducted. Both
claims are entirely false. Faced with such ongoing misrepresentation, and
Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research364
in spite of the late date, this paper has been published in order to have on
public record the point of view of the MacLab. In his introduction Randi
refers to his faulty memory, and we can only hope that it doesn’t continue
to cause him to misdescribe the facts surrounding his Hoax, as he did on
this occasion. As Peter Phillips commented, “when people misremember
something they usually do it in such a way as to make themselves look
better,” quoting Shakespeare’s Henry V, “he’ll remember, with advan-
tages, what deeds he did that day.”


And also this at the end

APPENDIX
McDonnell Laboratory For Psychical Research
PUBLIC STATEMENT ON RESEARCH WITH MIKE EDWARDS
September 1, 1981
On 6 occasions between late 1979 and July 1981 Mike Edwards partic-
ipated in exploratory research on observable psychokinetic phenomena at
the McDonnell Laboratory for Psychical Research. The outcome of this
research is suggestive of psychokinesis but inconclusive, due to its explor-
Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research366
atory nature. A research brief delivered at the Parapsychological Associ-
ation Annual Convention in August 1981, at Syracuse University, men-
tions several events that have occurred, including influence on standard
keys, Polaroid photographic film, and electronic fuses. However, ordinary
explanations exist for these effects, given the conditions under which they
have been observed. Thus, although several events of interest have tran-
spired, we do not claim that evidence conclusive of “psychic ability” has
yet been demonstrated in our research. We hope that in the future we and
others will be able to conduct tests under conditions which will allow us to
drawmore definite conclusions.
Peter R. Phillips
Mark Shafer
McDonnell Laboratory for Psychical Research
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
lane99
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I used to have a very cynical view of these kind of psychic investigators. Assuming they had some ignoble ulterior motive(s) for seeking to create some facade of plausibility in front of what they otherwise knew full well were almost certaintly bogus phenomena.

I've come to realize that many of them are probably quite sincere, though perhaps misguided by wish fulfillment.
Banachek
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As I stated previous "Michael Thalbourne made some statements in papers and there were indeed inaccuracies in his accounts, he came at the very end of the Maclab." That is his paper you are citing.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
gwarek
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Hi guys - I don't really want to get into the whole Randi debate, I was just wondering - the article mentions that Randi is suffering from intestinal cancer. I haven't been able to find more information about this [I like Randi...]. Can we assume that this is just another attempt at making 'the old man' appear weak?
critter
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Sadly, it is true. Some people have even stooped to making comments on anti-skeptic blogs celebrating Randi's health problems.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2009-08-30 21:11, critter wrote:
Sadly, it is true. Some people have even stooped to making comments on anti-skeptic blogs celebrating Randi's health problems.


anti-skeptic?

Where are these? This a gotta see! URL's please?
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
critter
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Here's Randi talking about his condition:
http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/jref......ngs.html
I admire his courage.

I will PM a couple of the anti-skeptic sites. They get pretty nasty.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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