If you, or someone you know, have paranormal powers such as talking to the dead, reading minds or foretelling the future and can prove it, there is a million dollars waiting for you. James Randi is making this offer to the first person that can provide scientific proof of their paranormal powers. Be forewarned: for more than a decade now people have tried to take his money. About 250 self-believers have tried, but none have passed the scientific test that they and Randi both agreed upon prior to beginning each experiment.
James Randi is internationally renowned for his tireless work as an investigator and debunker of the paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. His first career was that of a magician, the "Amazing Randi," learning his first trick back stage at the age of 12 from the famous Harry Blackstone, Sr. He was also a famous escape artist.
Recently Randi was the guest speaker at the Technology Alliance of Central New York awards banquet. The group is a conglomeration of technology related industries, societies and associations promoting technology in central New York. Randi's presentation was entitled, "Pseudo-Technology in the New Millennium."
"I am a liar, a cheat and a fake," Randi proudly proclaimed.
Then he smiled and said, "I'm a magician."
Randi derided and took the mystery out of such things as healing magnets, homeopathy, therapeutic touch, aromatherapy, psychics, psychic surgery, communicating with the dead, faith healing and even Homeland Security for its use of electronic dowsing rods that cost an average of $1,700 each.
SU's promotion of facilitative communication
Randi became really angry on the subject of Syracuse University's continued promotion of facilitative communication (FC).
"It is quackery, science fiction, mythology," he yelled.
FC is when a person called a facilitator supports the hand or arm of a communicatively-impaired individual, helping them to use a keyboard or other device. This assists the individual to develop pointing skills and to communicate. It has been used extensively with autistic children. The majority of peer-reviewed studies have indicated that it is actually the facilitator -- consciously or unconsciously -- directing the subject's arm and hand movements -- not the communicatively-impaired individual. "Syracuse University is taking money from parents who only want to help their child," Randi said. "It's a criminal act."