What potential motives could Randi have for discouraging someone from demonstrating paranormal abilities?

What potential motives could Randi have for discouraging someone from demonstrating paranormal abilities?
Are any motives strong enough that someone should be skeptical of his claim of actually wanting to discover proof of the paranormal? Or is it safe enough to assume that he wouldn’t deceive anyone because he is amazing? Can you truly be skeptical if you aren’t skeptical of other skeptics?
Skeptics who make assumptions (Randi can be trusted and actually wants to find someone with supernatural abilities) give real skeptics a bad name.

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http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AuHlRBAjdvMp.yf.FZ6fe6nty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20100927010656AA8yw2M&show=7#profile-info-aIZfiU6Kaa
Why do psychics never win the lotto.

I made some good points and they were ignored – also pointed out that the JREF test will never unlikely uncover anything paranormal for all the things that are refused to even be tested and are filtered out of testing … things like the man in India who passed the test of no food water or bathroom for 2 weeks that JREF says is impossible and they will not test for…. or the test that insearchof did and passed Aaron Donahue with remote viewing. You can not dismiss something without testing it – here the JREF has a belief this was impossible but was WRONG.

Randi’s offer sets himself up as judge and jury. And, of course, he has not the slightest interest in losing the very game that he has created. A true prize would have an independent panel of neutral judges – and these judges, not Randi, should be in control of prize money, to determine if and when it shall be released.

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2006/12/the_challenge_p.html

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2006/12/the_challenge.html

http://psipog.net/print-beware-pseudo-skepticism.html

My credability on the bonds is 100% – if they are so valuable why has he never posted any info about them and left this question unanswered. Why also not liquidate them and put cash up pure and simple. During the banking issues bonds were hit the hardest and some lost 100% of their value – bonds are not cash, they are an IOU and are only as good as the company or entity that issues them.

These are things from Randi’s FAQ (now missing) he will not even test for even if someone applied as are impossible in his opinion and we shown things on the list validated JREF rules state are impossible – so what else on this list might he be wrong about and JREF be unwilling to test someone based on this mistaken belief bias?

There are some claims that are far too implausible to warrant any serious examination, such as the “Breatharian” claims in which the applicant states that he can survive without food or water. Science conclusively tells us all we need to know about such matters, and the JREF feels no obligation to engage applicants in such delusions….

Other claims, such as “Crop Circles” and UFO’s are rejected because they have been definitively proven to be the result of hoaxes or mass hysteria. Claims involving “Cloud-Busting”, for example, are rejected because Science (along with keen observation) tells us conclusively that clouds will move and disperse despite the efforts of humankind to move them according to their wishes.

So it appears that quite a wide variety of phenomena will not even be considered by JREF because Science (the word is always capitalized in the FAQ) has already “definitively” or “conclusively” refuted such claims. It may come as news to most of us that all (not just some) UFO sightings have been “definitively proven to be the result of hoaxes or mass hysteria,”

What’s odd about all this is that JREF seems to be starting with the presumption that huge swaths of paranormal phenomena have already been explained. In section 4.9 we’re told: Claims of psychic healing border on the miraculous, and the JREF declines to investigate them.

In his Personal FAQ at the end of the document, Randi observes – The [applicants'] claims are sometimes interesting variations on very old misconceptions or delusions, but seldom is there anything that surprises us or that requires very much heavy analysis.

No analysis is needed, since the claimants are delusional. Back to Section 4.9: Most investigators will not want to waste their time with the most implausible claims, and claims involving “psychic healing” most certainly fall within the realm of the highly implausible….

Some of the more “miraculous” claims simply cannot be considered without strong proof that it is worthy of the enormous effort involved in investigating it.

Note that in the last paragraph quoted above, we are told that dowsers and remote viewers are in a better position than psychic healers, because their claims are easier to test
THEN…

Of course, when confronted with a particularly incredible claim like “remote viewing” (the current version of “clairvoyance”) we can easily stop short and ask ourselves just why we are involved with such obvious nonsense.

Nope no testing here! Evidently, then, remote viewing is to be categorized with the miraculous and incredible claims that are hard to take seriously, after all.

Bearing in mind that the definition of “extraordinary” or “miraculous” or “incredible” claims seems rather fluid, what happens if an applicant does make such a claim? Section 4.3 tells us: Also, if your claim seems extraordinarily implausible (such as: “I can place my thoughts within the minds of others”…or, “I can make lights shoot out of the top of my head”), you will more than likely be asked to submit three (3) notarized affidavits from professional individuals — doctors, lawyers, professors…no janitor, dishwashers or busboys — stating that they have witnessed this phenomenon and can offer no rational explanation for it. In fact, if you have such a claim and wish to see the application process expedited, don’t wait to be asked; provide it along with your application.

Thus, placing your “thoughts within the minds of others” is also included among the most implausible claims. This means that telepathy, in the sense of sending thoughts (as opposed to receiving them), is another of the apparently miraculous claims. One begins to wonder if JREF would consider any paranormal claim to be anything other than “extraordinary, incredible, and miraculous.” (One also wonders what JREF has against janitors and busboys.)

Section 4.8 elaborates at length on what the applicant with an “extraordinary” claim must do:

… there is a certain criteria applied for the acceptance of affidavits. Try to find persons who are skeptical by nature, and try to avoid enlisting the aid of friends who share your beliefs. Do your very best to seek impartial individuals who work in professional fields, if you want your affidavits accepted quickly….

The following is a list of examples of persons who would NOT be acceptable as affidavit providers:

Family members, minors, persons you have met while in “treatment” or during the course of any “psychic studies” you may have embarked upon, persons presently taking medication for bi-polar disease, schizophrenia or other forms of mental illness, alcoholics & drug addicts, spiritual advisors or priests/rabbis, anyone involved in any way with the so-called “psychic arts”, etc.

In the last paragraph you may have noticed a reference to being in “treatment.” There’s a reason for this. JREF seems to assume that a very large number of applicants are, to put it bluntly, nuts.

Section 4.2:

Many people who claim to have paranormal powers are, sadly, suffering from an advanced state of delusion. That isn’t to say that you are, but it’s a hypothesis that may be raised during the application process. So, be prepared for this in advance, especially if your claim is extremely remote by reasonable standards.

We’ve already seen that almost any claim likely to be fielded by JREF can be judged “extremely remote by reasonable standards” (whatever that means). Now we learn that the “hypothesis” of mental illness “may be raised during the application process.”

The JREF will also not waste its time (or jeopardize the applicant’s safety and well being) with claims from applicants who exhibit clear signs of paranoid delusions, schizophrenia or other mental illness, feeling strongly that it is their moral responsibility to avoid the furthering of such delusions in the minds of those who may be in need of immediate psychiatric attention. What this means is that it is OK for you to be deluded, as the JREF feels many applicants may well be, but it is not OK for the JREF to support your illness, if you have shown clear, clinical signs of suffering from one. Randi feels that his personal and moral obligations in this regard far supercede [sic] the JREF’s professional obligation to test all applicants.

And Section 5.3 warns,

While you may be neither mistaken nor a cheater, the JREF will always assume that you are one or the other.

Now we return to our question: How objective is JREF in deciding which applicants will be accepted? Well, it appears that JREF categorizes virtually all paranormal claims as “extraordinarily implausible” and assumes that many, perhaps most, applicants are mentally ill. JREF reserves the right to ignore an application from anyone whose claim is too “incredible” to be taken seriously, or whose claim contradicts the findings of “Science,” as understood by JREF. Further, JREF reserves the right to ignore applications from people who are psychologically impaired – a determination that can be made by JREF alone.

This challenge will never be passed as all worthwhile evidence is filtered out by all the facts JREF believes to be TRUE and obviously are not and are 100% possible but JREF will not even consider the possability.

THIS IS NOT SCIENCE! This is a belief system!

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That is simple. To stop uneducated, gullible, closed minded people from being ripped off by charlatans.

“Can you truly be skeptical if you aren’t skeptical of other skeptics?”. Err I think that is almost bordering paranoia?

Suggestion by Gary Y
Randi has been saying for decades that he would love for some paranormal claim to be proven; he even originally put his own money up for the paranormal challenge. While it’s important to be skeptical of all claims, I don’t see any reason to doubt Randi’s sincerity. And I can assure you that skeptics are quick to jump down each other’s throats when necessary.

Add your own answer in the comments!

I was using an Ouija board, and I had an elder relative tell me that I had physic ability.?
I asked how to test these ability’s, and he said to practice. I asked how to practice, and he said to study. I cant find anything on the internet, and was wondering if anyone could help.

Suggestion by Casey(keriafu)
Ouija board’s are wwwaaaayyyy out of your hands.

Suggestion by Suzy
The Bible says to stay away from these things. They are not from God but from Satan.

Suggestion by Metzae
Ouija boards do not allow you to connect with the dead. Extra Sensory Perception is not real. You can’t practice something that isn’t real.

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14 Responses to What potential motives could Randi have for discouraging someone from demonstrating paranormal abilities?

  1. rumpel December 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    don’t use the board. If you really are ‘psychic’, which only means you’re more open to external energies than most people, you will be more vulnerable and could get possessed. be careful what you go into.

  2. Johnny Mac December 28, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    The Ouija board basically works through your subconscious mind. The conscious and subconscious can work independently of each other. So, when you are subconsciously moving the oracle across the board, it may seem like it is moving by itself to your conscious mind.

  3. Lynn December 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Hi Eso,

    Your unconscious mind can use any of your senses to communicate; these will include your five senses, these are list below.

    Vision this involves isolated images or symbols you see or it can be more detailed images of clairvoyance or remote viewing.

    Hearing also known as clairaudience, this involves hearing words or sounds in one ear and not in the other. This can be scary for those who are not familiar with it as hearing voices is traditionally a sign of insanity.

    Touch is probably also considered clairsentience as it is a feeling intuition as physical body sensations.

    Smell can also give psychic information whether simple or complex.

    Taste although far less common than the other methods, it has been known for some psychics to get a taste in their mouths when interpreting psychic information.

    There are many ways you can develop psychic abilities through using your intuition. List below are some ways you can practice using your intuition.

    Traffic; If you life in a city with frequent traffic reports try to guess which roads are bad and why. This works even better if you have two routes to get home, each with an equal chance of having delays. You can guess which roads to use to get home faster, and then listen to the traffic report. It is not helpful if one road is always bad, because then logic takes over.

    Shopping; Without checking the adverts try to guess what you are going to pay for something and where the best place to buy it is. Afterwards check out the facts. Sometimes you know the shop has not got what you want, however you still go there. Why do this you know you are wasting your time, if you believe in what you are being told you can move on to the next shop and save yourself time.

    Parking; Try to let your intuition guide you to the best parking place. This is particularly useful during holiday season.

    Telephone; See if you know is on the phone before you pick it up.

    Sports: Without knowing anything about the game or the teams try to guess who will win and what the scores will be. When the game is finished, check the results.

    The trick in developing psychic ability is to find something you care about, or something you cannot know for sure based on past knowledge and experiences and you can then get feedback. Then pay attention to the difference in feelings between that which proves to be right and that which proves to be wrong.

    To develop psychic abilities do not ignore your intuition and if you do see if you later regret not acting upon it, be aware of how that information came to you so that next time it happens. When you start receiving information or you start seeing spirit it can be very hard to switch it off, however, this is something you must do. If you do not you will suffer from information overload, this can cause you to have headaches or to feel very tired.

    Lynn

  4. Fireball December 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    he is wrong…SATANic dangerous dont mess with this!!!!!! throw it out in the trash

  5. David H December 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    You have physic ability? You mean like castor oil?

  6. SPL Texas December 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Dump the Ouija:

    You will invite demonic being and be begging for help.
    You can even become possessed and then be destroyed.

    Dump it now!

  7. chainlightningâ…ś December 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    There are lots of other places that also have challenges if so some strange reason you don’t like Randi. His just pays the most. Also the rules are going to be pretty much the same. Everything is going to have legal agreements to protect all parties involved. The Randi challenge requires a sponsor now. Meaning you will have to prove your ability to another source, such as the media.

    The problem is there are the people that think paranormal ability is actually common. Maybe even millions can alter the laws of physics any time they choose. They always come up with hundreds of reason why they can’t or won’t prove them but never one reason why they will.

    “If you are in possession of this revolutionary secret of science, why not prove it and be hailed as the new Newton? Of course, we know the answer. You can’t do it. You are a fake”.
    Richard Dawkins

  8. wushuboy001 December 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Are you saying that paying one million dollars to demonstrate paranormal abilities is meant to discourage people?
    Personally, I could use the money, and if I had such abilities, I would be demonstrating them and cashing in on the prize.
    Most people in this world would view a million dollar prize as encouragement, not discouragement.

    If you mean because he doesn’t coddle those who make claims but can’t provide, I think that is something completely different. He is trying to sort out the liars and con-artists from those who really have the ability. So far, no one who really has the ability has come forth.

  9. Meilin December 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Randi is extremely wealthy.

    He gotten rich from 2 things:

    1) Faking the paranormal. He is a former stage magician, after all
    2) Denying the paranormal.

    Let’s look at things sensibly, shall we. What percentage of Randi’s funding comes from people who want him to prove that the paranormal doesn’t exist, and what percentage comes form people who want him to prove that it does exist?

    I think you’ll find that the answer is pretty self evident.

    Randi is almost exclusively funded by people who want him to prove that the paranormal is a mixtures of people seeing shadows or people attention seeking. If he were to prove that the paranormal existed he’d be ruined. He’d loose his funding, and his past work would be discredited.

    If he were to demonstrate that the paranormal were real he’d be destroy everything that he’s worked to build up.

    For example, Randi is currently offering $ 1 million to anybody who can demonstrate paranormal abilities. That money isn’t sitting in a box under his bed. It’s been invested. So long as nobody wins the prize his foundation is cashing in on it. That money is making them a lot of money. It would be a big loss to them if somebody were actually to win.

    If you read the “conditions” applied to his prize you will see that it’s almost unwinnable. They were deliberately written to ensure that a person must A) Be an attention seeking publicity hound B) Must have significant academic backing. Both of which are contradictions.

    People who meet criteria A are significantly more likely to be a fake because they make big outrageous claims that attract a lot of media attention. And they are thus less likely to attract serious academic backing because of this. While people who have a genuine ability are more likely to want to maintain their privacy (You can still get lynched as a witch in some places if you have paranormal abilities. Including some places in the US, too), and is thus not going to meet criteria A.

    Randi also largely excludes foreign nationals. Most people outside of the US don’t even know that there is a prize on offer, and wouldn’t be able to apply for it unless they had significant media coverage in the US.

  10. Tunsa December 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Well, let’s consider this from a less personal perspective.

    Consider a person who is a public personality, perhaps an actor or a politician. Consider that, at a very young age, they find a topic that is appealing to the public and gives them great popularity. Let’s say that topic is something related to “sitting to close to the TV will make you nearsighted”. Consider that they believe in this claim with their whole heart and put every bit of energy into battling it. Their career becomes intricately tied up with this cause and this person becomes famous by selling furniture to force people to sit far from their TV. The person creates “far-away” TV merchandise like glasses, remote controls, head sets, and many other things that make this person very rich.

    Anytime that somebody says that sitting close to the TV isn’t bad for you, this person sites case after case where a person that has been examined by a “famous doctor” sat close to the TV and now is nearsighted. Experiments are designed by this person and his selected scientists with this belief in mind, and every experiment confirms this belief. At the same time, there are some independent, but less popular scientists saying that the distance from the TV has no effect on vision, but nobody is listening, because this celebrity has become a master at distraction and confusing an argument.

    25 years later, this same person, who has created an entire career based on this belief meets a person who seems reasonable in a private location. This person is a scientist who has completed experiements and presents evidence that is very convincing that nearsightedness is not affected by how close you sit to the TV. The celebrity is convinced. Even so, after years and years of viemintly defending his claim and ridiculing thousands of people in the process, he will not back down from his public claim. He has not only created his own wealth, but many thousands of people worldwide have followed his lead and built thier lives around his claims. A change in direction would not only make him look like he has been a fool for years, but it would also have a terrible effect on many people who have built their lives around this belief.

    If you were in this situation, would you admit you were wrong? Sometimes, right action does not involve telling the whole truth all of the time.

  11. Glacier December 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    I hardly think an offer of $ 1,000,000 for the demonstration of paranormal abilities under reasonable conditions would be considered “discouraging”.

  12. Dr.Nice Guy December 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Because he’s a big old meanie. He wants to ruin the fun for the rest of us.

    Edit. M when you use that ludicrous bond excuse it can mean two things. 1. You have no knowledge of how finances work. 2. You’re deliberately distorting the issue, lying to bolster your point. Either way you’re credibility is zero.

    Edit. Keep a million bucks around in cash for a prize????
    Now that’s just plain silliness.

    Edit. Keeping a million bucks around in cash for a prize. Now that’s just silly,name one person that does that!!

  13. John December 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    None. In fact he’s willing to give $ 1 Million just to encourage it.

  14. inteleyes December 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    No need for me to waste a lot of words on this….
    I am not skeptical about Randi, I know he is amazingly no good liar skeptic.

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