From my perspective, this is a sad thread, stemming from lots of misinformation, and some strange grudges against James Randi. I know James Randi a bit personally, and this stuff being said about him here, is mainly a bunch of distortion dreamed up by people who Randi has debunked, or stuff people have read written by people trying to discredit Randi, instead of dealing with the facts that Randi showed they were scammers.
I see it as a similar dynamic to Rick Ross, where you have people who attack Rick Ross due to his work, who try to smear him as part of their business model.
Its the same with James Randi, people who he has exposed, come after him as well, and make up all sorts of half-truths and falsehoods, etc.
Of course, people can think whatever they like, but its too bad when some folks seem to make up their mind first, and then look for misinformation to support it.
Randi does NOT want anyone on earth to "believe" him. He wants people to think for themselves. He wants people to be skeptical. But ya gotta stick with the facts!
Randi has no problem with other people's religions. He doesn't believe in it, and criticizes it freely, but he doesn't care if you want to believe in your God or not. Why should he care?
Randi simply relies on scientific evidence, and conforms to the evidence. If you can show scientific evidence for something, than that's that. I know of no circumstance where Randi has gone against the scientific evidence.
I personally had him modify one of his views regarding the placebo effect several years ago.
Randi never seriously boasts that he is "always right". That is an absurd statement, countless times he has admitted errors, for those who care to read his newsletters.
When Randi says stuff like "I'm Right!", that's a joke, the guys is very sarcastic. If you know Randi's work, its all about the [b:bc3eb175f3]evidence[/b:bc3eb175f3].
The false statements being made about the Million Dollar Challenge here are very bizarre. [www.randi.org
Its as if this person has never read the protocol, and knows nothing about it? As a matter of fact, if you could accept the Challenge, and make it work, then you could sue him, and he would be forced to pay. But the protocol has to be crystal clear.
Like I have said, if someone can prove any paranormal ability, I will file the Challenge with them, and make them famous. Talk is cheap. Facts are tough.
If anyone can think of a way to PROVE a paranormal ability,[b:bc3eb175f3] I will help you win it[/b:bc3eb175f3]. Like I said, if I could do it, I would, and I am not kidding.
If you know anyone who CAN do it, and PROVE it, I can make them world famous in short order, I know the people to contact right now.
Try to PROVE it objectively for yourself. Its very enlightening.
Randi has bent over backwards in his Challenge. Some people claim Randi is so "negative" that he psychically destroys the abilities of others, so they don't work in his presence! So he agreed to have tests done without his knowledge by third parties. They always back out of the tests.
Carl Sagan was a HUGE SUPPORTER of James Randi, but criticized him a bit for being a bit too angry, but also said that different people have different styles, and that Randi has done amazing work. Carl Sagan was a big supporter of Randi, but of course, the con-artist who are trying to discredit Randi, distort the words of Carl Sagan too, from the book Demon Haunted World.
Uri Geller is a simple fraud and a con-artist, and I feel sorry for anyone who can be duped by a two bit con-artist like Uri Geller, the guy is really bad.
He sued Randi and LOST, case closed.
Here is Uri Geller being exposed by Johnny Carson (who was a magician and knows how the tricks are done) on the Tonight Show.
Uri Geller has lost all of the nuisance lawsuits he brought forward. [skepdic.com
Both Randi and Stephen Barrett are totally OPEN to claims that so-called "alternative health" might work. Just show some PROOF. There are thousands of SCAMMERS out there ripping sick people off, and they are pointing them out. But many people don't even know what scientific proof is, and just want to promote their own belief system and sell their products.
Stephen Barrett is a tough cookie, but he is doing good work. Again, its all about the scientific facts, but sadly, many people don't seem to know what that even means.
Randi is an equal opportunity debunker.
Check out Randi debunking the Quacks in the Audiophile community, its hilarious. He goes after Quackery in all fields, with a sense of humor. He also goes after the Feng Shui stuff too.
He mocks the New Age nonsense, but he is [b:bc3eb175f3]not opposed to all of it[/b:bc3eb175f3], he knows it can have emotional-placebo benefits. And if anyone can PROVE something works, and can produce the evidence, than GREAT.
Lets see the peer-reviewed studies!
One of the worst scammers out there, is Sylvia Browne who is robbing widows, and Randi has rightly ripped her to shreds. [www.randi.org
She is just a Cold Reader, and takes advantage of people who are hurting due to a recent death. Yet people fall for it. I can't believe people are that credulous...she is SO BAD I cannot even watch her...
Randi does not make much money, he mainly survives his small organization on donations, TAM conferences, etc. The guy works his ass off trying to STOP people from getting scammed! He is having health problems, and sadly might not be with us much longer, but I hope he is.
If you want to learn about Randi, read his free newsletters for a while, and have a sense of HUMOR, and think critically. Sure, Randi is sarcastic as hell, but he is RARELY wrong. When he is wrong, people tell him, and he admits it next week! People LIVE to correct Randi, and do so every week, and he always admits it. This is why the "always right" is just a fabrication.
Randi does not make much money from his work, but he is now selling a joke Voodoo doll of himself though. So for those who despise Randi I suppose they could get this Voodoo Doll of him, and stick pins in it.
For those who seem to have this bizarre hatred of Randi, I will show you how to get the ultimate revenge on him.
All you have to do is PROVE ANY "paranormal" ability, and I will help you win the Million Dollar Challenge, and make you world famous.
If anyone can outline what they think is a real "paranormal" ability, I will help you set up the tests, in your city.
Its that easy.
I can tell you factually, that the processes set up by Randi are sound, and if anyone could actually do something "paranormal" they could win the prize, and change the world, and I would personally help them do it.
All they have to do is move a pin one centimeter with their mind, or read another person's mind, or make accurate predictions about the future, its a very simple protocol. But no one has EVER done it, in a way that has been verified...yet. If anyone can do anything paranormal, even the tiniest thing, and PROVE it, then I can have them on the cover of Time magazine, Nature and Science magazine in a few months, and make them as famous as Einstein.
By the way, countless cult leaders claim Supernatural Powers, but not ONE of them, has EVER proven any of their claims. Basically all organized big-time cult leaders know they are frauds, and they perpetrate this Supernatural fraud on their followers to make them think they are powerful and special.
But I think the regular folks who think they have psychic powers, are experiencing the Confirmation Bias. [skepdic.com
The only way to figure it out are careful scientific tests, which are not easy to carry out, and its easy to trick oneself.
But lets face it, many people enjoy believing that stuff as a type of personal religion and entertainment.
But again, I find the misinformation about James Randi, especially in a forum like this, to be depressing. But it does show that not everyone who attacks guys like Randi are the crooks and cons, but actually believe it. It would be interesting though to see where they picked up that information about Randi, and from which websites they got that misinformation. If you trace it back, its most likely coming from people who Randi has exposed, who are trying to save their own scam.
I used to believe most "psychic" claims, and wanted to do that research for a living, and in pursuing it full-time for a number of years, finally realized there was no evidence that it exists whatsoever. So I have spent (wasted?) years of my life on this subject, and thousands of hours of research.
Its clearly mainly self-deception.
Maybe some evidence will turn up someday...but I am aware of zero objective evidence to back up the claims at this time.
But if anyone has any proof, then lets see it!
This proof can be shown to James Randi, and I can tell you, if you can prove it, he will shout it from the rooftops.
James Randi is a great guy...he is tough...he attacks the scammers...but he does it because he cares about people getting scammed.
But if anyone can PROVE anything paranormal, then lets see the proper evidence. That's what its all about.
But the organized propaganda against James Randi, is mainly coming from people who Randi has exposed as being frauds, and THEY DON'T LIKE IT.
Sylvia Brown does not like being shown that she is scamming widows.
So those folks lie about Randi, twist, and make stuff up.
Because Randi could destroy their Golden Goose, by showing the public that they are frauds, and con-artists.
So beware those who are doing Ad Hominem attacks on Randi, and read his newsletters and materials over a period of time, and go from that. He is being very misrepresented.
In the end, its all about the evidence, and following the proper objective, scientific evidence, which is very hard to do.