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Michael Goodspeed critique of James Randi

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Michael Goodspeed critique of James Randi

Postby woodwater » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:06 am

The article, by and large, offers little evidence to support its claim
that Randi cheats, though in truth, I quit reading about half way
through. Let's compare the document for internal consistency.

"Second, if such an operation would be too "costly" for JREF, then one
wonders where they got the million dollars from. "

Is this the complaint Randi gives for why he doesn't test breatharians?
Here's the quote from Randi:

"Such a claim is difficult to test merely because of the time involved
and the personnel necessary, and the claimants moan that they can't
afford the costs involved."

It isn't JREF that doesn't have the money, it's the claimants. The
challenge clearly states that claimants must pay for any expenses
involved in performing a test. Furthermore, any contributors towards
the fund which is the source for the million dollar challenge have NOT
agreed to pay for tests of paranormal claimants, but rather, to pay for
SUCCESSFUL paranormal claims. It would be irresponsible and arguably
illegal for JREF to pay for the tests out of these funds.
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Postby Winston » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:43 pm

I'll ask Goodspeed about that, but there are several guys I know who have applied and were not given any test dates. For example:

http://www.vithoulkas.com/content/view/1973/lang,en/
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Postby woodwater » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:13 pm

WWu777 wrote:I'll ask Goodspeed about that, but there are several guys I know who have applied and were not given any test dates. For example:

http://www.vithoulkas.com/content/view/1973/lang,en/


> claims that randi dismisses applicants who arent famous

It is currently the policy of JREF not to test anyone unless they
already have some media recognition of their supposed ability. It is
possible I am mistaken about this, since I could not find this
stipulation on their website. It isn't required that you be famous.

> and that
> randi claims that so far everyione failed the preliminary test but when
> asked who was the psychic who failed he says the person wants to remain
> anonymous,

I don't know if they are declining to release the names of claimants.
Not all claims involve psychic abilities. It is odd if Randi claims
confidentiality forbids him from releasing their names, since I believe
they have that legal right. One of the rules says,

"Applicant agrees that all data (photographic, recorded, written, etc.)
gathered as a result of the setup, the protocol, and the actual testing,
may be used freely by the JREF."

If you want the name of one, I have done something like three
preliminary tests on one Cameron Johnson. He failed all three times.

If you want a list of applicants, I believe you can find one here:

http://forums.randi.org/forumdisplay.php?f=43

I haven't gone through the list to see which ones have had tests done.

> so we dont really know if there were any applications at all

I suppose we could imagine Randi lied to me, and said they applied, and
Mr. Johnson also lied, or you could imagine I am lying to you now, but I
personally am certain there have been claimants who failed preliminary
tests. I have no way of verifying Randi's assertion about the NUMBER of
such claimants, but if you are going to claim someone is "cheating"
you'd better have better evidence than "I can't prove they are telling
the truth."



As for those claiming they can live without food, JREF clearly forbids
such tests on the grounds that they would be unethical and arguably
legally actionable, should a claimant fail such a test.




__._,_.___
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Postby Winston » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:30 pm

It's clear from Randi's own words that he distorts the truth often. He says that something doesn't exist, then he says that he would never say that. He says Uri Geller never passed any controlled tests, but there are a list of scientists and magicians who say that Geller did pass controlled tests, which I posted.

Randi claims that the Targ and Puthoff at SRI had no controls. That's not true. Their controls went beyond what Randi could imagine. I already posted about this before.

Rupert Sheldrake caught Randi lying a few times too. He posted them on a site. It's on this board. Scroll down to find it.

Surely you don't think that Randi is an objective truth seeker? He does not ask honest questions. He merely claims that he knows that every claim is bunk.
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Postby Winston » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:36 pm

Here is what Rupert Sheldrake had to say about some of Randi's lies:

http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controversies/randi.html

James Randi - a Conjurer Attempts to Debunk Research on Animals

The January 2000 issue of Dog World magazine included an article on a possible sixth sense in dogs, which discussed some of my research. In this article Randi was quoted as saying that in relation to canine ESP, "We at the JREF [James Randi Educational Foundation] have tested these claims. They fail." No details were given of these tests.

I emailed James Randi to ask for details of this JREF research. He did not reply. He ignored a second request for information too.

I then asked members of the JREF Scientific Advisory Board to help me find out more about this claim. They did indeed help by advising Randi to reply. In an email sent on Februaury 6, 2000 he told me that the tests he referred to were not done at the JREF, but took place "years ago" and were "informal". They involved two dogs belonging to a friend of his that he observed over a two-week period. All records had been lost. He wrote: "I overstated my case for doubting the reality of dog ESP based on the small amount of data I obtained. It was rash and improper of me to do so."

Randi also claimed to have debunked one of my experiments with the dog Jaytee, a part of which was shown on television. Jaytee went to the window to wait for his owner when she set off to come home, but did not do so before she set off. In Dog World, Randi stated: "Viewing the entire tape, we see that the dog responded to every car that drove by, and to every person who walked by." This is simply not true, and Randi now admits that he has never seen the tape.
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Postby woodwater » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:01 pm

WWu777 wrote:It's clear from Randi's own words that he distorts the truth often. He says that something doesn't exist, then he says that he would never say that. He says Uri Geller never passed any controlled tests, but there are a list of scientists and magicians who say that Geller did pass controlled tests, which I posted.

Randi claims that the Targ and Puthoff at SRI had no controls. That's not true. Their controls went beyond what Randi could imagine. I already posted about this before.

Rupert Sheldrake caught Randi lying a few times too. He posted them on a site. It's on this board. Scroll down to find it.

Surely you don't think that Randi is an objective truth seeker? He does not ask honest questions. He merely claims that he knows that every claim is bunk.


http://www.mydigitalproduct.com/video/video/h4bttkBoTQk

see this
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Postby woodwater » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:13 pm

WWu777 wrote:It's clear from Randi's own words that he distorts the truth often. He says that something doesn't exist, then he says that he would never say that. He says Uri Geller never passed any controlled tests, but there are a list of scientists and magicians who say that Geller did pass controlled tests, which I posted.

Randi claims that the Targ and Puthoff at SRI had no controls. That's not true. Their controls went beyond what Randi could imagine. I already posted about this before.

Rupert Sheldrake caught Randi lying a few times too. He posted them on a site. It's on this board. Scroll down to find it.

Surely you don't think that Randi is an objective truth seeker? He does not ask honest questions. He merely claims that he knows that every claim is bunk.

by the way when i posted a link to your site yahoogroups rejected with the following message:

Reason: Quoted website attempts to install malware.


> by the way the source is www.happierabroad.com
>
> owned by winston wu
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Postby Winston » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:30 pm

I've posted my site on yahoogroups many times and it never got rejected. That is strange.

Regarding Randi, just because no one won his challenge does not erase my personal psi experiences or that of half of the world's population.

Example, I think I experienced a real ghost one time. But how can I prove that? What would constitute hard evidence of something that's not even solid?

Would I have to capture one in a bottle? lol

My friend John Benneth applied for the JREF challenge back in 1999 and has still not been tested. He has a working formula for homeopathy that will get results.

See his new blog:

http://johnbenneth.wordpress.com/about/
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

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Postby woodwater » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:21 am

WWu777 wrote:I've posted my site on yahoogroups many times and it never got rejected. That is strange.

Regarding Randi, just because no one won his challenge does not erase my personal psi experiences or that of half of the world's population.

See the astrology thread in this board. I mentioned that a high percentage of girls I met in my travels are Aries. My long time ex is Aries. And even Dianne is one too. The JREF challenge, whether won or unwon, does NOT change that fact.

Example, I think I experienced a real ghost one time. But how can I prove that? What would constitute hard evidence of something that's not even solid?

Would I have to capture one in a bottle? lol

My friend John Benneth applied for the JREF challenge back in 1999 and has still not been tested. He has a working formula for homeopathy that will get results.

See his new blog:

http://johnbenneth.wordpress.com/about/


> What is a bond, and why is it different than cash?

I expect at least ninety percent of the people on this list know what a
bond is, and you don't need to explain it to us.

[snip]

> How does this all translate to the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge?
> The prize isn't cash.

Oh really? And where did you get that idea?

[snip]

> Whoa, ok, that's a surprise. The rules state: "...JREF will pay to the
> claimant the remainder of the reward, for a total of US$1,000,000.

That sounds like cash. Okay, maybe they don't hand you a briefcase full
of cash, but it's the equivalent.

> One
> million dollars in negotiable bonds is held by an investment firm in New
> York..."

Maybe this edit was deliberate? Let's see that it ACTUALLY says.

"One million dollars in negotiable bonds is held by an investment firm
in New York, in the "James Randi Educational Foundation Prize Account"
as surety for the prize funds."

Now, look up the word "surety"

> This can be read either way. Personally, I read it to say the
> prize is bonds.

That means you misread it.

> Kramer decided to interpret it that the prize is CASH
> (based on the "US$1,000,000" quote).

Perhaps because he speaks English.

> So I'm the idiot, right?

Um, I'm not going to touch that one, too easy.

> Luckily, there were others who saw it my way.

Which proves other don't know what surety means either?
[snip]

> "If I pass the formal test and win the Challenge, how will I be paid?
> The first $10,000 of the prize money will be paid by check, as stated in
> the Challenge rules, immediately upon the successful demonstration of
> their claim. The prize money is held in the form of bonds as a way to
> publicly show that the money really does exist. These immediately
> convertible bonds will be awarded to the Challenge winner within 10 days
> of passing the formal test. The manner of transfer of these bonds will
> be at the discretion of the JREF and the Challenge winner, in accordance
> with acceptable legal standards."
>
> It turns out the prize IS THE BONDS.

Nope, you're still misreading it. Nor does it matter what the FAQ says,
the challenge is the contract, and they are bound by it, whatever the
FAQ says. I'll admit, this statement in the FAQ is poorly worded, but
there's no way in hell a judge would let them get away with awarding the
bonds rather than cash.

[incidentally, last I checked, the bonds were worth more than $1
million, but you are only entitled to $1 million, no matter HOW MUCH the
bonds are worth]

Incidentally, if you play the lottery, the award IS in the form of
bonds, unless you prefer cash, in which case they give you a lot less.
Plus, debunking the same crackpot
theory anew every time a challenger of the skeptical / scientific view
pops up, over and over and over again, that gets kinda boring and
requires superhuman patience on the part of the debunkers. That's
probably why Randi's patience runs thin and he respond a bit too gruff
at times.
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Postby Winston » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:17 pm

Here is the response from John Benneth:

"Technically he's right saying that no homeopath has ever applied. I applied, but I'm not a homeopath. Geroge Vithoulkas, a well known Greek homeopath, negotiated for five years with Randi over a clinical demonstration of homeopathy, but according to Randi, never sent in the application.
And he is certainly at liberty to say "If ANY homeopathic claim were demonstrated for us, we'd give the million-dollar prize" just as I am l;iberty to say that'll he'll never accept a demonstration of ANY homeopathic claim and the offer is a phony one.
It's just more of his bamboozle.
However . . amongst other numerous measures I think the demonstration to press now is autoradiography. It's quite simple. Two months exposure to a homeopathic solution on xray film leaves a burn mark from the subtle yet specific radiation being emitted.
Autoradiography was first done in 1908 using regular photogrpahic paper and a dilute of radium bromide (Boericke and Tafel), but recently its been done since 1985 by the French using xray film (Conte et al)
I'd be happy to negotiate this demonstration for Randi under the terms of my application filed in 1999. I've already apprised phsyicists who have been studying homeopathy, Tiller at Stanford and Roy at Penn State, and others about this test and am in regular correspondence with Rolland Conte.
So now what? Randi will dodge it unless he pressed by others, inclouding the media. Perhaps a few well publicized demos are needed now.
best wishes, and thanks for the upadates Winston. You're doing a great job!
John Benneth"
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Postby woodwater » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:23 am

from a skeptic-

Uri Geller Reaches a New Level of Lame
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLSI45ra ... re=related

COMMENT: Can our paranormal pals spot the Geller trick in this YouTube
video?



WWu777 wrote:I've posted my site on yahoogroups many times and it never got rejected. That is strange.

Regarding Randi, just because no one won his challenge does not erase my personal psi experiences or that of half of the world's population.

Example, I think I experienced a real ghost one time. But how can I prove that? What would constitute hard evidence of something that's not even solid?

Would I have to capture one in a bottle? lol

My friend John Benneth applied for the JREF challenge back in 1999 and has still not been tested. He has a working formula for homeopathy that will get results.

See his new blog:

http://johnbenneth.wordpress.com/about/
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Postby woodwater » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:06 pm

WWu777 wrote:Here is the response from John Benneth:

"Technically he's right saying that no homeopath has ever applied. I applied, but I'm not a homeopath. Geroge Vithoulkas, a well known Greek homeopath, negotiated for five years with Randi over a clinical demonstration of homeopathy, but according to Randi, never sent in the application.
And he is certainly at liberty to say "If ANY homeopathic claim were demonstrated for us, we'd give the million-dollar prize" just as I am l;iberty to say that'll he'll never accept a demonstration of ANY homeopathic claim and the offer is a phony one.
It's just more of his bamboozle.
However . . amongst other numerous measures I think the demonstration to press now is autoradiography. It's quite simple. Two months exposure to a homeopathic solution on xray film leaves a burn mark from the subtle yet specific radiation being emitted.
Autoradiography was first done in 1908 using regular photogrpahic paper and a dilute of radium bromide (Boericke and Tafel), but recently its been done since 1985 by the French using xray film (Conte et al)
I'd be happy to negotiate this demonstration for Randi under the terms of my application filed in 1999. I've already apprised phsyicists who have been studying homeopathy, Tiller at Stanford and Roy at Penn State, and others about this test and am in regular correspondence with Rolland Conte.
So now what? Randi will dodge it unless he pressed by others, inclouding the media. Perhaps a few well publicized demos are needed now.
best wishes, and thanks for the upadates Winston. You're doing a great job!
John Benneth"


> Here is the response from John Benneth:

Ah yes, Mr. Benneth was on this forum(skeptics-forum) for a while. I even offered to do
a test of homeopathy with him, and offered him some of my own money.
Eventually he declined.

> "Technically he's right saying that no homeopath has ever applied. I
> applied, but I'm not a homeopath. Geroge Vithoulkas, a well known Greek
> homeopath, negotiated for five years with Randi over a clinical
> demonstration of homeopathy, but according to Randi, never sent in the
> application.

As far as I can tell, no one has claimed that Vithoulkas sent in the
application. Hence the claim that Randi cheated him seems to be without
foundation.

[snip]

> I'd be happy to negotiate this demonstration for Randi under the terms
> of my application filed in 1999.

Really? Benneth is happy to negotiate with Randi? When he was here
before, he went livid every time Randi was mentioned. He accused me of
dishonesty, of being in Randi's pay, and I can't remember what else.
Eventually I learned simply not to discuss Randi with him, he
immediately became so unreasonable it was virtually impossible to have
discussion with him. Benneth's hostile attitude towards Randi would
make him a terrible choice for negotiating anything with Randi. I like
to think I was unfailingly polite to him, and still found him almost
impossible to deal with.

[snip]

> So now what? Randi will dodge it unless he pressed by others, inclouding
> the media. Perhaps a few well publicized demos are needed now.
> best wishes, and thanks for the upadates Winston. You're doing a great job!
> John Benneth"

Has anyone made such an application yet? You can hardly blame him for
"dodging" if an application hasn't even been submitted. Benneth's many
year old application isn't appropriate, since it doesn't use this technique.

Eric Carlson
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Postby Winston » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:41 pm

Randi got suspended from YouTube for some unknown reason:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ra ... rom+youtub
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Postby Winston » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:46 pm

Response from John Benneth and Dr. Victor Zammit:

John Benneth:

"I have never claimed to be a homeopath. I have used homeoapthic remedies, but so have millions. But who cares? What does that have to do with anything? Why aren't you interested in the autoradiography test? Here is a clear and definite way to win his test, if its for real, which it isn't. If I'm wrong, then prove me wrong. Put this in front of everyone who says Randi's offer is for real. Randi has said that if homeopathic remedies can be identified in a double blind trial, that will win his door prize. I've just come up with a way to do it, so what are we waiting for? What's the hold up? I didn't discover this test, but I'm in contact with people who have done it. It takes about $10 worth of x ray film and a couple months of exposure. The only problem is keeping Randi or his shills away from the key to the double blind, which is what Benveniste failed to do, allowing Randi to handle it.
What we want is a lot of people doing this test."

Dr. Victor Zammit:

"Hi – one of the Australian skeptics asked why I raised the legal issue of ‘estoppel’ for Geroge Vithoulkas to pursue. (When the George Vithoulkas issue was raised I stated this is a matter of legal (promissory) estoppel – for George V to pursue. Hereinafter is my technical rationale.

The principle involved in this one is as follows;

1. the applicant G Vithoulkas and Randi made an agreement,

2. both parties agreed to fundamental, expressly stated and other implied conditions.

3. Randi made a representation that a particular fundamental condition would not be applied.

4. Over time the applicant was given all indications that all conditions of the agreement were going to be fulfilled – the test was going to proceed,

5. Expenses were incurred by the applicant.

6. Subsequently, when it was perceived by Randi that he was going to be beaten, Randi raised the same fundamental condition – number 3 above. This is a classic case of estoppel.

7. This is a classic example how Randi always finds ‘a way out ‘ of paying a cent (remember Prof Dennis Rawlings?) on his alleged challenge.

It’s now up to the applicant to pursue the matter.

Victor Zammit"
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Postby woodwater » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:17 pm

WWu777 wrote:Here is the response from John Benneth:

"Technically he's right saying that no homeopath has ever applied. I applied, but I'm not a homeopath. Geroge Vithoulkas, a well known Greek homeopath, negotiated for five years with Randi over a clinical demonstration of homeopathy, but according to Randi, never sent in the application.
And he is certainly at liberty to say "If ANY homeopathic claim were demonstrated for us, we'd give the million-dollar prize" just as I am l;iberty to say that'll he'll never accept a demonstration of ANY homeopathic claim and the offer is a phony one.
It's just more of his bamboozle.
However . . amongst other numerous measures I think the demonstration to press now is autoradiography. It's quite simple. Two months exposure to a homeopathic solution on xray film leaves a burn mark from the subtle yet specific radiation being emitted.
Autoradiography was first done in 1908 using regular photogrpahic paper and a dilute of radium bromide (Boericke and Tafel), but recently its been done since 1985 by the French using xray film (Conte et al)
I'd be happy to negotiate this demonstration for Randi under the terms of my application filed in 1999. I've already apprised phsyicists who have been studying homeopathy, Tiller at Stanford and Roy at Penn State, and others about this test and am in regular correspondence with Rolland Conte.
So now what? Randi will dodge it unless he pressed by others, inclouding the media. Perhaps a few well publicized demos are needed now.
best wishes, and thanks for the upadates Winston. You're doing a great job!
John Benneth"


From Eric:
If you wish to argue for this on behalf of Mr. Benneth, you can. We had
this debate with him at this site, years ago. It was difficult to
determine the facts. I offered at the time to try to negotiate with Mr.
Randi on his behalf, at which point he accused me of being in his pay,
etc. Eventually I stopped pursuing asking him what happened, because
every time I mentioned "Randi" he would go off on a tirade.

Initially, Benneth did not send in a protocol, which is required when
you send in an application. He posted a protocol online, but I don't
know if he ever sent it in. I pointed out several flaws in the
protocol, and he got angry at me.
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