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Modern Mysteries

Arch-debunker James Randi has died, aged 92

October 22, 2020 | Comment icon 59 comments

James Randi was a keen skeptic. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Steve Jurvetson
The Canadian-American stage magician and skeptic was well known for debunking fake psychics and frauds.
Born in Toronto in 1928, Randi developed an early interest in magic and dropped out of school at the age of 17 to become a conjurer at a carnival roadshow.

These tentative first steps into the world of showbusiness ultimately lead him to become one of the world's most recognisable stage magicians under the name 'The Amazing Randi'.

Over the next few decades he undertook several world tours, hosted numerous television specials and appeared on countless talk shows and performances where he would demonstrate his magic tricks and escapism expertise; even breaking records set by legendary escape artist Harry Houdini.

In later life, Randi became known as a staunch skeptic - using his knowledge of stage magic to expose people claiming to possess psychic powers such as Uri Geller with whom he had a life-long rivalry.
He believed that people like Geller used magic tricks and slight-of-hand to fool people into believing that they had special abilities - whereas, he often argued, as a magician he had been upfront about the fact that everything he was doing was a trick.

He wrote multiple books on the subject and successfully exposed several frauds including infamous 'psychic' James Allen Hydrick who claimed to be able to move objects with his mind.

His efforts to expose such individuals culminated in his offering of a $1 million prize to anyone who could prove that they had psychic powers - a sum that to this day has never been claimed.

The James Randi Educational Foundation confirmed his death from old age on October 21st.

He was 92.

Comments (59)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #50 Posted by papageorge1 1 year ago
Randi is a guy that made his public career out of demeaning others. I would think we can have an adult conversation about that like we would about Sylvia Browne or Uri Geller (when he dies someday). I hope this forum would be consistent in demanding respect for those psychic/paranormal figures after they pass.  
Comment icon #51 Posted by rashore 1 year ago
I hope you leave this thread at respects and that's it. I also hope that when others die that people will be respectful at that time to those people as well. That will be conversations for another time. That would be an adult conversation- to just leave it at respects, and let it rest. Or just leave the thread alone, if one cannot keep it at respects. 
Comment icon #52 Posted by thedutchiedutch 1 year ago
R.I.P. James. Thank you for everything you did and you will be missed
Comment icon #53 Posted by psyche101 1 year ago
Comment icon #54 Posted by rashore 1 year ago
Thread cleaned, again...  And again as has been requested, for obvious reasons, let's keep the comments civil and respectful please.
Comment icon #55 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 1 year ago
I'm surprised that there is so much animosity towards a man dedicated to expose frauds. Even if you believe in the paranormal isn't it in everybodys best interest to expose those that prey on peoples trust ?
Comment icon #56 Posted by Raptor Witness 1 year ago
Critical thinking is a tool, it’s not a law of the universe. It’s also severely limited by our current understanding. For example, try explaining epilepsy to people living 2,000 years ago. Would critical thinking have proven that a person wasn’t possessed by the Devil, thus possibly saving a life? A recognition of the limitations of critical thinking, is also critical to thinking. R.I.P. James Randi ... 
Comment icon #57 Posted by Raptor Witness 1 year ago
Comment icon #58 Posted by TripGun 1 year ago
He's dead? I don't believe it....
Comment icon #59 Posted by Saru 1 year ago
Thread closed to further replies.

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