What Do You Think About Famous Debunkers / Skeptics Houdini and James Randi?
Apart from being a magician / escape artist Harry Houdini was also a debunker of the paranormal – mainly psychics who were swindling the desperate.
At the time he was hated by some because of his approach and that he destroyed people’s career and reputations.
James Randi is also another magician / debunker of which nobody has won his $ 1 Million dollar prize to prove you have “super abilities”.
Suggestion by Algol
What to think? They both were/are paragons of reason. Houdini’s approach was particularly interesting in that he went into his investigations with an eye to actually contacting his departed mother. He had an extremely open mind, but he found that everything he witnessed that was supposedly communication with the dead, he could easily reproduce physically (i.e., through trickery). He served on the Scientific American Committee which (in the 1920’s) offered a $ 5,000.00 reward to anyone proving the ability to communicate to the dead. The preferred method at that time was the “seance”. As a side note, it is also interesting that the seance has given way to the “100 questions” method of talking to the dead that the John Edwards, James van Pragh (spelling?), etc. prefer today. I think this is because the use of physical mechanisms such as table rapping, ectoplasmic discharges, and flying objects are too easily exposed!
James Randi, of course, offers a VERY large prize for the same reasons (and more) that the Sci-Am Committee offered and no one has collected on that, either.The rules, contrary to popular myth I’ve seen many times here, are fair and necessary to avoid trickery. You’d think, that if someone could move objects with their mind, dowse, read minds, remote view, etc., then the prize money would be snapped up fast. Either these things can be done, or they can’t. Seems to me they can’t!
Keep up the good work, Randi.
Suggestion by Ron
Algol is right on both accounts, Houdini was an only child and was devastated at the loss of his mother, especially as he was away on one of his world tours at the time.
It was his good friend Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (Sherlock Holmes author) a keen spiritualist that suggested that he contacted a medium.
Just like Randi, being a magician he could see instantly that these mediums were using simple conjuring tricks to extort money from often bereaved and gullible people, he didn’t give up though he went to another and another but never found a genuine one, he then spent the rest of his life debunking fake mediums all over the world during his magic tours.
Interestingly he told his wife long before his untimely death, that when he did eventually die she would be inundated by messages from these debunked mediums saying that they had talked to him in the spirit world and that he was very sorry for what he had done to them while alive, and that they were right after all.
Houdini however, open minded to the last, gave her a code word, and said that if any medium came to her with a message from him they would use this code word first.
As you might expect, when he did die, all these debunked nediums crawled out of the woodwork with the messages that Houdini had predicted, NOT ONE knew about the code word.
I’ve met James Randi and he is amazing, he performed the Uri Geller spoon bending trick in front of my nose and I couldn’t see how he did it, thankfully he is carrying on where Houdini left off, he’s been looking worldwide for a genuine one for the past 60 years.
The application form for his challenge is unambiguous and quite clearly followed for those who thinks his challenge is not genuine.
Any ‘genuine’ mediums out there who don’t like our answers, here’s the details for you.
EDIT: Randi is not the judge MS, have the decency to read rule 6 in my link before going in for puerile personal attacks.
EDIT2:There are plenty of other similar organisations around the world that offer similar (if not as generous) prizes, with similar conditions, are they all liars also?
Suggestion by military supporter
James Randi is the biggest liar in the world.Anyone who falls for his spiel is an idiot and probably mentally deficient.There is no intention of ever paying the $ 1 million. He is the judge of the evidence and has no qualifications to judge an ESP experiment. The Rhine Institute is the best qualified group to decide. They will never be chosen because of people who don’t want the truth known.
Give your answer to this question below!
What exactly is a spiritualist church?
I was doing some research on a town I plan to visit and I came across all these local news reports raving about the surge in interest of the Spiritualist churches.
So what do they do, what do they believe???
Suggestion by Warrior
They normally believe in divine healing, but i think it is all bs.
Suggestion by Corey
Sounds like a trend for religious people so that they can feel self-righteous.
Suggestion by ricardo9505
maybe they handle snakes or can cure your AIDS or cancer with a few hymns. at least think they can
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!