RIP: James “The Amazing” Randi

Aged 92, this great man spent his life as a skeptic debunking claims of spoon bending, mind reading, fortune telling, ghost whispering, water dowsing, faith healing, UFO spotting and sundry other forms of “bamboozlement, bunco, chicanery, flimflam, flummery, humbuggery, mountebankery, pettifoggery, and quacksalvery” as he often said.

I met Mr Randi at an International Skeptics Convention – he demonstrated how to remove organs from a body. I was about 2 metres away, he wore a short sleeve shirt and all this blood and gristle was pulled from the chest of the unfortunate volunteer. Of course, as with all of his demonstrations, he said it was a trick.

Mr Randi will be missed and made a major contribution to the skeptic movement.

About Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

I'm a retired general who occasionally gets called back to save the republic before returning to my plough.
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38 Responses to RIP: James “The Amazing” Randi

  1. Mark A

    Remember him well. Spec the episode when Don Lane ordered him off the stage.RIP

  2. Roger

    He was always very entertaining.

    Especially when he appeared on The Don Lane Show. 😉

  3. Roger

    Having seen Randi in his prime, that photo puts me in mind of Yeats’s line:

    An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick.

  4. Bear Necessities

    He also made an appearance in a Happy Days episode!

  5. He outlived Morton Isaacson by 11 years (I never forgave Don Lane for that infamous episode).
    Being sceptical must be good for ones health.

    What happens if he finds himself in Heaven (or the other joint)?
    I’m sure he is up there and God is saying to him “Please show me how they remove those organs from live people. For the life of me I can’t figure it out.”

    (actually, that would make a good Leak cartoon)

  6. Lee

    The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the headline was Don Lane’s disgraceful and very unprofessional conduct when he had Randi on.

  7. Nob

    I also remember Don Lane angrily telling him to “piss off” because Randi was undermining Lane’s favourite fraud Doris Stokes.

  8. Bruce of Newcastle

    Credulousness is the new woke mental state.

    Ever since Trump came to office witches have been casting a curse upon him each new moon. There’s something over a million of them in the US alone. Recently they all got very excited:

    Witches Are Trying to Figure Out Whose Spell Gave Trump COVID-19 (10 Oct)

    The news that President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 was surreal. … But Trump’s test result also came through on October 1, which happened to be a harvest moon, which is significant to witches for its symbolism related to the changing of the seasons—think of it as a particularly potent full moon. Don’t pat yourself on the back for your full moon ritual just yet, though. A lot of witches have been hexing Trump for a very long time.

    The basic reasoning behind the idea that Trump’s diagnosis is a result of a witch’s hex is the timing. Pam Grossman, host of The Witch Wave podcast and author of Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic and Power, said that the moon itself played a role in the symbolism that made October 1 feel particularly witchy. The President announced his positive test result late on October 1, which is a full moon and also the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, known as a harvest moon. She said that while many of the rituals that witches have been doing previously have fallen on the new moon, which symbolizes starting a new chapter or a new beginning. She said that the full moon is more about releasing energies and powers that have been growing throughout the waxing of the moon, now that they have reached their full potential.

    “We have two full moons in October, on the first day and the last day, which is rare,” she said. “The last day happens to be what people call Halloween, which we in the pagan community call Samhain.”

    I wonder what they felt like when he recovered from the virus in two days? But witches are probably very optimistic people. Trump shouldn’t go near any pumpkins on 31 Oct.

    We could do with a lot more James Randis in this new century, methinks.

  9. jupes

    Randi and his organisation lost all cred when they fell for the climate change scam.

  10. sfw

    Randi was influential in the sceptic movement about 10 years ago he said he had doubts about global warming. The mainstream sceptics take AGW as faith and turned on him. He racanted and they took him back. Even the Great Randi folded under pressure.

  11. Albatross

    Sounds like a rubbish magician.

  12. Albatross

    I met Mr Randi at an International Skeptics Convention

    Who would admit to this?

  13. Albatross

    Don Lane should have been sent back. Like an expatriate NBL basketballer: not good enough to make it in the big leagues.

  14. Shane

    ”Albatross
    #3628866, posted on October 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    I met Mr Randi at an International Skeptics Convention

    Who would admit to this? ”

    It helps to explain Lucius & his unique slant on things, though we should continue to give Lucius some slack as those Skeptic conferences associated with Randi, were notorious for what the participants’ networking actually consisted of .
    Also Randi was notorious for being taped in an extremely suspect conversation with a purported 13 yr old boy.
    Also, those with an interest in actual critical enquiry [& various foundations like the Clinton Foundation or the more recent Harry & Meaghan Sussex], have speculated for years about those anonymous sources which provide the income for his charitable foundation i.e James Randi Educational Foundation
    which ”… took in $368,445 in ANONYMOUS contributions in 2010. Huh? Multiply that by the six years I was asking for and we get a total of $2,216,670, allegedly, “To promote critical thinking and investigate claims of the paranormal?” .”
    “Skeptics.” The group, made up, I believe, of life’s flotsam and jetsam, inhabits the internet after a minimal training at some skeptic conference teaching them how to be even nastier, sleazier, human beings than they were before they found the organized clutter based out of Amherst, New York. This group is reinforced by a five foot tall moron who calls himself “The Amazing Randi.”

    Randi, in his megalomania, has actually, magically I guess, created himself as an arbiter of all things, even publicly offering the occasional “Million Dollar Challenge,” setting up (laugh here) parameters in his challenge which allow him, and him alone, to change those parameters as he goes along, eliminating, of course, the possibility of anyone being able to collect on the so-called million. Don’t be surprised – this gambit is a cornerstone of this form of skepticism.

    More, Randi, astoundingly, actually found someone to fund, and help him set up (get ready to choke with laughter) the “James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF)”. Before you laugh too loudly I want you to take a look at an attached document called an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990. JREF reported, in 2010, a total income of $999,971.00 and a Total Asset claim of $1,736,101. Click here to see the available JREF Form 990.

    Under the JREF Form 990 Summary Section – Box One, asking for the organization’s mission, JREF answers “To promote critical thinking and investigate claims of the paranormal.”

    All of the Form 990 for JREF is not available to the public. One section called the Form Schedule B, a list of, with addresses and amounts, of contributors who individually contribute over $5,000 is not there. So, recently, I sent an email to James Randi asking:

    “I’ve been busy, or I would have contacted you before. But, now that I have you – could you send me a copy of your JREF IRS Form 990 Schedule B for calendar years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010? That info would be helpful for my series on you. We’ve discussed the issue of your funding sources before, as I recall…………”

    Randi was rude in his response to my polite inquiry. He said:

    “”Timmie”: It’s difficult to believe that you – whoever you are – can be so deluded… But I’ve dealt with woo-woos before, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Be sure to scan the index of my next book. You won’t be there…”

    Why would I want to see his Form 990 Schedule Bs for five years? Well (raise your eyebrows here), JREF took in $368,445 in ANONYMOUS contributions in 2010. Huh? Multiply that by the six years I was asking for and we get a total of $2,216,670, allegedly, “To promote critical thinking and investigate claims of the paranormal?”

    Who in the world would give a basically uneducated mini-twerp like James Randi $2,216,670 to promote critical thinking or investigate the paranormal? Or for any reason? More, Randi takes a $195,000, per year, salary out of this organization.

    Now you see why I want to see those Schedule Bs. What’s REALLY going on here? ”

    https://bolenreport.com/will-the-top-skeptic-amazing-randi-be-federally-indicted-in-florida/

  15. Bela Bartok

    I met Mr Randi at an International Skeptics Convention

    Sure you were. I’m not convinced.

  16. Professor Fred Lenin

    I remember a water dowser looking for a buried water main at a racecourse using two bent welding rods .
    The spt he chose was marked clearly he was only 35 metres out when we excavated ,it was a 6inch pipe and metal .

  17. mundi

    WTF is with all the hate here… he was a great magician and went around endlessly debunking fraudsters and charlatans. On several occasions he tricked the ABC and other left media with obvious nonsense claims to show how pathetic and sensationalist their investigative journalism was.

    Sadly, like most in the ‘skeptical’/’rational’/’atheist’ communtiy, they tend to be hard leftists and want government regulation to fix everything.

  18. Professor Fred Lenin

    Albatross , I never liked DonLane he was exactly as you described him ,big frog little pond ,I orefferred Bert Newton ,he was at least a local .

  19. Bruce of Newcastle

    Prof. – I forgive Don Lane anything and everything since he brought gridiron to Australia. His shows were fun and the football was excellent. I’m just sad the NFL have now caught the woke disease. I and many millions of others can’t stand their hypocritical posturing. So I’ve not watched even 5 minutes this season. I am sad at that. So I can truly say vale Don Lane.

  20. Michael

    Penn Jilette spoke highly of Randi as an influence.

  21. Professor Fred Lenin

    Bruce ,this insidous woke crap must be a socialist thing It hates people enjoying anything,socialists have ne sense of humour or ebjoyment ,they are Biege people asBilly Connoly says .

  22. Dot

    “Skeptics” now believe in global warming (“climate change”), Aboriginal “agriculture” and gender as a “social construct”.

    I’ll take Lemaître & Mendel and their “sky fairy!” any day over pettifogging know it alls.

  23. Dot

    Who in the world would give a basically uneducated mini-twerp like James Randi $2,216,670 to promote critical thinking or investigate the paranormal? Or for any reason? More, Randi takes a $195,000, per year, salary out of this organization.

    ‘sactly.

  24. mem

    It was worth reading the post if for nothing else than to mouth those now old fashioned words including; “bamboozlement, bunco, chicanery, flimflam, flummery, humbuggery, mountebankery, pettifoggery, and quacksalvery” . Mind you “flummery” comes awfully close to “Flannery” and in time they may meld together in our lexicon to have the same meaning.

  25. Rhomax

    I’ve listened to a lot sceptic podcasts (including ones that have featured Randi) and have always been amazed at their economic and political ignorance. For groups concerned with the sanctity of the scientific method, they are amazingly ignorant of the cultural and political norms that have allow it to operate it effectively. It’s like they live in a utopian vacuum disconnected from reality.

    Does any one know of any sceptic sites, podcasts, groups etc… that are a bit more rational then the ‘mainstream’ groups?

  26. Albatross

    Michael
    #3628975, posted on October 22, 2020 at 8:41 pm
    Penn Jilette spoke highly of Randi as an influence.

    Another reason to dislike him.

  27. Albatross

    Dot, did they put Frank Walker in jail for attempted sedition against Maximum Leader?

  28. Clam Chowdah

    There were some aspects of James Randi that perhaps will now get an airing.

  29. Clam Chowdah

    James Randi was to magic and skepticism as Michael Jackson was to Music.

  30. Infidel Tiger

    Randi and his organisation lost all cred when they fell for the climate change scam.

    Yep.

  31. John A

    Albatross #3629050, posted on October 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Dot, did they put Frank Walker in jail for attempted sedition against Maximum Leader?

    Ah, this is a new meaning for the word “sedition” is it?

    The selling of tiles by atrocious advertising…

    🙂

  32. Albatross

    How dare you. Frank Walker is a national treasure.

  33. Albatross

    Clam Chowdah
    #3629073, posted on October 22, 2020 at 10:21 pm
    James Randi was to magic and skepticism as Michael Jackson was to Music.

    No good at it without Quincy Jones?

  34. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    Penn Jilette is also a genius. The fake comments by Clam Chowdah and others in this thread are pathetic. Randi was a great skeptic who deserves to have a statue erected in his honour. The slurs above are not worthy of a response because they are lies.

  35. mh

    I met Mr Randi at an International Skeptics Convention

    Photos or it never happened.

  36. Albatross

    Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus
    #3629136, posted on October 22, 2020 at 11:57 pm
    Penn Jilette is also a genius.

    How so? While a successful entertainer, I see no evidence of it.

    https://youtube.com/embed/rVJhPuH5azI

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