July 20, 2002 at 4:32 pm #63143Pam-adminKeymaster
This is an excellent article, outlinging exactly why James Randi should not be a role model for true skeptical thinking. Skeptics and believers alike should enjoy reading:
James Randi – His Amazing Role in the Great Psi Media Circus by Nicholls (1991)
http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/background/nicholls.htmlJuly 20, 2002 at 4:54 pm #78537ceylavieParticipant
Pam — the link isn’t working……..or maybe it’s me!!July 20, 2002 at 5:39 pm #78538PsyQuestorParticipant
The link is fixed, try it now :)
TammyJuly 20, 2002 at 5:40 pm #78539Pam-adminKeymaster
Thank you Tammy :)July 22, 2002 at 1:05 pm #78551marciaParticipant
Great article, and I can understand the name modification. The Amazing Zwinge wouldn’t have quite the same ring to it.July 30, 2002 at 12:16 am #78675greeParticipant
This article saysQuote:Whereas earlier magicians such as Houdini, Maskelyne and Goldstone had reluctantly admitted that some mediumship was indeed genuine, Randi has exhibited an almost fanatical dislike and used unprecedented tactics to deny the existence of any paranormal occurrences.
I have never heard Houdini admit genuine mediumship. Does anyone know anything about that?July 30, 2002 at 12:20 am #78676sgrenardParticipant
Houdini believed that most psychic mediums were frauds and had a hand in exposing quite a few. Bu he told his wife he would leave a sealed message and that she should consult mediums after he died to see if any could come up with the message.
Well I believe the story goes that one did (Arthur Ford) and his wife said so publicly. But then she was pressured into recanting by the skeptics plus all the usual blah bah blah that she opened the envelope, tipped the contents and that it got around to the medium who came up with all or part of the message. My feeling is she just didn’t want all the attention and notoriety heaped upon her for admitting this. As is their customary the skeptics of the era were relentless in their pursuit of this refutation. AFterall, the great Houdini’s memory had to remain unblemished by something such as this, especially for the cynical and dogmatic magicians who make a living out of debunking fraudulent mediumship.
So I think Houdini was open mindedly skeptical and truly ambivalent about mediumship. Like any true skeptic I think he admitted, by his deathbed actions, that he just wasn’t certain.
For a lengthy account of Houdini’s activities in this area plus his friendship with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle see:
Not surprisingly, this otherwise lengthy and well researched piece omits the Arthur Ford sitting where Houdini’s message was revealed. This is because it comes from the Italian branch of a skeptical organization similar to our CSICOP.
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