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.
Suggestion by Mobius
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.
Randiâ€™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 â€“ and these judges, not Randi, should be in control of prize money, to determine if and when it shall be released.
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
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 â€” doctors, lawyers, professors…no janitor, dishwashers or busboys â€” 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.
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!
Suggestion by sausage wallet
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.
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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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