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last updated by  Eric 16 years, 4 months ago
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  • #62354
    ariechert
    Participant

    Just got finished reading a “report” about John Edward by James Randi. It was full of lies and half truths. Same old stuff. This is my take on James Randi. James Randi will probably be one of those of wandering ghosts or spirits after he dies because he won’t believe he’s dead. He’ll be like, “I can’t be dead because if I were I wouldn’t exist. I must be dreaming I’m dead. Yeah, that’s what this is! It’s a dream!” He’ll be too skeptical to go to the light after he dies because he won’t believe it. I wonder how many hundreds of years it will take him before he finally figures out that – Yes, he died, and Yes, he still exists! James, BE SURE AND GO TO THE LIGHT! – Art

    #70723
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    (Moving your thread to this forum, out of the view of the general forum. There are some who’d rather not deal with Randi, that’s why they don’t have access to this forum :) )

    You are now being returned to your regularly scheduled thread….

    #70725
    sgrenard
    Participant

    The Peeking Hypothesis

    If you are interested in the tricks and hoaxes perpetrated by James Randi, and the problems he causes for genuine mediumship, you have to look no further than our new Debunking the Debunkers section at:

    http://www.survivalscience.org

    I am glad that you can read between Randi’s lines and can judge the veracity of what he writes for yourself. Unfortunately, just like the people he castigates, there are many gullible people who swallow everything he writes, hook, line and proverbial sinker.

    We have said it here and so has John, its okay to be skeptical. But be open minded and hold your cynicism in check. Randi is closed minded and is as cynical as they come. He has taken John and other mediums (e.g. Sylvia Browne) to task every opportunity he gets (and thats a least once a week in his commentary/editorial) with nothing but rhetoric and half baked hypotheses, a number of which have been falsified repeatedly. But unless or until he can expose a genuine medium like JE as he has recently debunked a 15 year who claimed she could read/see with her eyes blindfolded, use your own judgement. In fact in this case of the Russian child (Natalia?) as far as many are concerned the jury is still out. (Randi said she was cheating by “peeking” — in fact the same argument he lodged against JE in the Univ of Ariz study but in an entirely different context and which proved to be unfounded.

    We’re waiting for Part II and then the response, if any, from the experients before we make up our minds even on this.

    #75760
    ariechert
    Participant

    In the article I read by James Randi he comes right out and says that he has made up his mind all ready. He has also said that he has never seen the show. Every person I either read about or seen on TV who has been to one of Johh Edward’s shows has said “WOW!” My main problem with Randi is that he says John “only” comes across with “general” information which is simply not true. If you remember when he was talking to that young kid about hanging out on the roof of the house – would Randi say that all middle school kids hang out on the roof of a their house? I never did. I am scared of heights and would NEVER go out on a roof. Every day he says something that just blows me away. If John Edward had said something to me about “My-T Fine” pudding it wouldn’t have been true for me at all. I do make pudding but it isn’t chocolate and it isn’t My-T Fine. I wonder why Randi is so venomous about his hatred of John Edward. The fruits of his work are only good. He brings people peace, happiness, and most importantly – HOPE. The hope that one day we will be reunited with the people we love. What does James Randi offer us? That one day we will be annihilated and one day cease to exist. That life is a big cosmic joke, a fluke of the Universe? Between the moon one day pulling away from the earth’s gravitational pull and then the “spin” of the earth being too erratic to sustain life, or the sun going supernova, or the fact that the Andromeda Galaxy is on a collision course with the Milky Way and our Solar System since it is in the outer arms of the Milky Way will one day be swallowed by the black hole in the middle of the Andromeda Galaxy? That is what James Randi offers us. Only annihilation and NO HOPE. No thanks. I have the hope of eternal life with the creator of the Universe; I’ll stick to that – thank you very much. Have you ever seen James Randi smile? Does he look happy to you? If all I had to look forward to was non-existence I guess I would be sad all the time too. What a miserable unhappy person he must be.
    – Art

    #75752
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    REminder: We have a “be respectful” rule.

    While I’m no great fan of Randi, let’s be careful not get into a discussion about what kind of person he is, and whether or not he’s miserable. His claim would be that he’s very happy to believe as he does, and that’s fine. We wish everyone to be blessed in what they believe. But we don’t want to do what he does, by defending our own beliefs by attacking his character.

    We can stick to the facts, which are many, which speak to his character, without us having to spell it out.

    #75185
    sgrenard
    Participant

    Pam is right. We don’t need to read anything into Randi’s persona that we cannot get by responding to what he writes or says in the media. I have made it a practice never to attack him personally but only to attack what he has said, written or done
    or blatantly NOT done (see below).

    Frankly I don’t think he’s miserable at all, I think he enjoys what he does and is happy doing it.

    Although the worst psychic scam (in history) in terms of numbers of people ripped off and dollars scammed has been the psychic phone line calls ins, and especially Miss Cleo ..so bad in fact that the FTC has now taken action against this company, you are all reminded that Mr. Randi has seen fit to devote all of three or four lines to this rip-off in the time this has been in operation. This followed my questionning of this to one of his buddies. And it was polite in the extreme even then. Does it bother me? Yup. Perhaps Randi and the perpetrators of this scam even know each other, having offices only a mile or so away from each other in Ft. Lauderdale, which has earned a reputation not only for sun, sand and spring break fun but for boiler room stock swindling operations and other scams.

    The real threats to his worldview, JE, Uri Geller, Laurie Campbell and James Van Praagh get regular and repeated coverage and thousands of lines of diatribe from him. He is indeed obsessed by a small group of high profile mediums while he ignores the most flagrant and obvious scammers. He also ignores the serious scientists who are studying this problem, the physicists and others. He has never investigated EVP, ITC or TDC for example. He has never investigated materialization mediumship and he has had nary a desparaging word about the work Stevenson has done, over 40 years, on reincarnation. Why? Because it is impeccable research that one cannot find any notable fault with.
    In 2001 there were two major studies done of NDEs as well, both published in peer reviewed mainline medical journals (The Lancet and Resuscitation). Has he said a word about these? Nope.
    Yet the reality of OBEs and NDEs go to the very heart of the possibilities which underly post-mortem survival of the consciousness.

    And, while Randi is debunking some Russian child
    in Brooklyn for peeking , he ignores the teleportation research going on in Europe, sponsored by IBM and some major universities.

    Randi goes after targets he knows he can get away with. This is obvious by looking at his body of work to date. And when he is confronted by unpleasant (to him) realities of his shortfalls, he
    “refuses to discuss the matter” as he did with Dr. Gary Schwartz regarding the University of Arizona studies. As far as anyone is concerned, he lost on that one.

    His generalization hypothesis(*) has been falsified also. I have provided the work on that elsewhere. This is why Sylvia Browne will not agree to go forward with his proposal to read one person but be rated by a mere 9 others she does not read. It is a farce.
    I have said so from the moment I heard it him propose it on the air. How can Sylvia be rated on statistical probability of people she does not read when there are only 9 of them? She can’t. Its impossible. I am not saying Randi has anything up his sleeve but with only 9 people he can easily control their opinions of their response to the reading. Why not be objective and use a few hundred people? And then it would be statistically significant.

    (*Generalization is a cold-reading technique used by fraudulent mediums. However, as Art noted, genuine mediums go well beyond generalization once commonalities are dispensed with. They have done so without any verbal or visual feedback under
    experimental conditions as well.)

    #74137
    GoldDragon
    Participant

    Originally posted by sgrenard

    The real threats to his worldview, JE, Uri Geller, Laurie Campbell and James Van Praagh get regular and repeated coverage and thousands of lines of diatribe from him. He is indeed obsessed by a small group of high profile mediums while he ignores the most flagrant and obvious scammers.

    There are quite a few boiler rooms in Fort Lauderdale, certainly – but I wonder: is there anyone out there who actually *believes* Ms. Cleo’s line? Why bother debunking someone nobody believes anyway? Seems like a waste of time to me.

    He also ignores the serious scientists who are studying this problem, the physicists and others. He has never investigated EVP, ITC or TDC for example. He has never investigated materialization mediumship and he has had nary a desparaging word about the work Stevenson has done, over 40 years, on reincarnation. Why? Because it is impeccable research that one cannot find any notable fault with.

    You know, I’ve never heard of most of this stuff. Can I find links on your website for it? I’d be interested in checking it out.

    In 2001 there were two major studies done of NDEs as well, both published in peer reviewed mainline medical journals (The Lancet and Resuscitation). Has he said a word about these? Nope.
    Yet the reality of OBEs and NDEs go to the very heart of the possibilities which underly post-mortem survival of the consciousness.

    It’s also possible that he doesn’t know about the studies. Why not send him the links and suggest he check them out?

    And, while Randi is debunking some Russian child
    in Brooklyn for peeking , he ignores the teleportation research going on in Europe, sponsored by IBM and some major universities.

    That’s because *she* contacted *him*, and IBM hasn’t. The Russian girl was one of the claimants for his Challenge, and requested a test.

    This is why Sylvia Browne will not agree to go forward with his proposal to read one person but be rated by a mere 9 others she does not read. It is a farce. I have said so from the moment I heard it him propose it on the air. How can Sylvia be rated on statistical probability of people she does not read when there are only 9 of them? She can’t. Its impossible. I am not saying Randi has anything up his sleeve but with only 9 people he can easily control their opinions of their response to the reading. Why not be objective and use a few hundred people? And then it would be statistically significant.

    Well, she agreed to be tested on Larry King Live, twice if I recall correctly. If she disagrees with the testing protocol she agreed to on the air, as certainly she might have after further reflection (national television not being a place to stop and consider things), then I’m certain she could propose a different procedure – Randi’s own rules state that the person being tested must agree wholeheartedly with the protocol. If she suggested an alternative, and they weren’t able to work something out, then he wouldn’t be *able* to kvetch about her not contacting him, or not testing.

    Of course, this is all solely my own opinion, and as such, subject to error. :)

    Cheers,
    GoldDragon

    #73576
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Hey folks – I know I’ve been called the board dominatrix, but “oh well”.

    I’m politely asking our die hard believers, and skeptical new members (all 2 dozen of you who surfed over here from that senseless thread at Randi’s board) that we not get into a discussion about things that are off topic to this board.

    If we can’t stick to a discussion that includes only 1 degree of separation from the belief in John Edward, life after death, and after death communication, then we might as well be discussing which movies we’re going out to see this weekend, and which motor oil works best in our cars.

    I know that all these wonderful worthy subjects (Cleo, some Russian child, Randi’s and Sylvia Browne) have been discussed here before, in fact beaten into the ground, but I’m getting lots of emails from people who are sick of the ensuing discussion where every one quotes each other a dozen times in a post and gets into a “he said/she said”, “yes it does/no it doesn’t” debate. No one enjoys that discussion except for the two people having it, and if that’s the case, go discuss via email. It’s old, it’s tired, it goes on in countless other discussion boards on the internet, so I don’t feel a need to provide disk space for it here too.

    Rand-ites: You simply don’t belong here. For every one of you that bitches and moans about the way I run the board, there’s at least 100 members who will email me and thank me profusely for the way I run the board. I never promised to try and please everyone.

    #74227
    sgrenard
    Participant

    I agree Pam. I will try and address Gold’s remarks as briefly and as succinctly as possible w/o requoting:

    1. It is asserted by authorities that Miss Cleo’s company rakes in
    millions of dollars. As it is charges to a phone system, this info is
    available. Obviously her commercials are designed to deceive, are placed around shows like John’s, and do exaclty that. So yes, there are MANY people gullible enough to believe her service is genuine.

    2. Yes all that information is at http://www.survivalscience.org including the NDE studies mentioned.

    3. I agree Sylvia should respond to Randi in writing indicating to him that his suggested protocol is statistically invalid and his
    generalization hypothesis has already been falsified both by Roy & Robertson in the UK and by Schwartz et al in the U.S. on much larger and statistically more significant samples.

    #74238
    GoldDragon
    Participant

    Heard and understood, to both of you. :)

    I promise I meant no offense – the subject of the post caught my eye, and the conversation my curiousity. I am not nearly as close-minded on the subject as you may think, despite my having been referred here from the JREF board.

    I did not post intending to offend, insult, or belittle.

    Oh, and thank you for the link, Sgrenard – I will be sure to check it out. :)

    Cheers,
    GoldDragon

    #74229
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Thank you :)

    #75296
    kimk
    Participant

    No Pam, Thank You! You wrote exactly how I feel. I find those types of “discussions” B-O-R-I-N-G. I am getting the distinct feeling that the JREF people are on a mission here and they need to know that we are not interested in engaging in this ridiculous nonsense.

    PLEASE: Go find another forum. There are many places where you can go for this type of discussion. You are simply NOT wanted here and we are simply NOT interested. We are here by choice and we are not choosing to participate in those other discussions for a reason. Move on!

    #75889
    GoldDragon
    Participant

    Kimc, apparently you’ve misread my post. However, I’m not at all interested in causing trouble, so never fear, I’ll leave.

    Cheers,
    GoldDragon

    #75876
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Originally posted by kimk
    No Pam, Thank You! You wrote exactly how I feel. I find those types of “discussions” B-O-R-I-N-G. I am getting the distinct feeling that the JREF people are on a mission here and they need to know that we are not interested in engaging in this ridiculous nonsense.

    PLEASE: Go find another forum. There are many places where you can go for this type of discussion. You are simply NOT wanted here and we are simply NOT interested. We are here by choice and we are not choosing to participate in those other discussions for a reason. Move on!

    Kim, while I understand and agree with you about some of these semi-related discussions being boring, because we’ve read them over and over again, I don’t feel that GoldenDragon should be unwelcome here. I also understand that GD might seem to represent or symbolize those who have been unkind towards us, but I would ask you to reread her posts with different eyes.

    I do wonder why someone would associate with the type of people that can appear at Randi’s board, but so far she hasn’t broken any of our admittedly strict guidelines.

    GodlenDragon, I would hope that you understand while it’s not ideal that you’re not met with open arms, it’s the way it is. I’m sorry I didn’t see this post sooner – I don’t often get time to read each and every post every day.

    #71975
    sgrenard
    Participant

    GoldDragon wrote:

    That’s because *she* contacted *him*, and IBM hasn’t. The Russian girl was one of the claimants for his Challenge, and requested a test

    Reply: Yes, the Russian child contacted him. However, this does not stop Randi from discussing claims made by people and organizations who do NOT contact him. John Edward has never contacted him. Uri Geller, certainly, has not asked him to be tested and ditto goes for many others he discusses on his website. When a group of dowsers offered to help find victims at the WTC he was on them in a flash ridiculing them. They didn’t contact him either even though there was no money asked for, they were volunteering to help if they could and didn’t want any publicity until he got wind of their presence.

    Gold also asked:
    It’s also possible that he doesn’t know about the studies. Why not send him the links and suggest he check them out?

    Reply: Randi is aware of this work. Some of it has been going on for 40 years and is well publicized. He doesn’t need me to tell him where to look, nor would I risk being gratuitously humiliated by him because I tried to point something out as, for example, John Benneth has when he tried to point Randi to experiments on the serially agitated or succussed water used to prepare homeopathic remedies. Although in fairness to John he was an
    appplicant and since, after investigating his claims, Randi decided to call him mentally distrubed and have nothing more to do with him, the challenege was not picked by Randi. In fact John considers himself the winner of the million by default.

    He did the same thing to Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona who was, however, not an applicant. Randi wrote a letter to the President of the University challenging them to submit Schwartz’ data to him for the million dollar prize. When Schwartz tried to contact him about it Randi decided he was no longer speaking to Schwartz either.

    Gold this is all well documented, in some cases by Randi himself with giving his own “reasons” he has decided on but which for far short of adequate given the importance of the project he tries to promote. Its as if he doesn’t take himself seriously. These events have also been documented, from their point of view, by by John Benneth and Dr. Schwartz. In fact we include a rebuttal Schwartz makes to Randi on our website (torandi”). I have to point out that Randi’s comments are from his documented written web commentaries.

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