On Tuesday night, Sarah Fobes, co-owner of Revel & Riot got to meet one of her role models (and one of Revel & Riot’s role models as well – last year at the age of 81, he came out as gay) the great James Randi. Randi was giving a lecture at McGill University in Montreal, on pseudoscience and disproving paranormal claims. Randi is possibly the world’s most famous skeptic. With an early career as a world class magician, he began to use the principals of the trickery of magic to draw attention to ease with which humans can be tricked and duped under other (non-magical) circumstances. He is well known for debunking psychics, medical frauds and televangelists among others. In the 80s, Randi famously exposed ‘Reverend’ Peter Popoff, who claimed god spoke to him, telling him people’s ailments and giving him the power to spontaneously heal them, as a con-artist with an ear piece.
Currently, James Randi runs the James Randi Educational Foundation.
The JREF sponsors The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge offering a prize of US$1,000,000 to anyone who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event, under test conditions agreed to by both parties. The prize has not been claimed in the eleven years since it began!
James Randi’s lecture at McGill was wonderful and entertaining and culminated with the delivery of the his important message – BE A CRITICAL THINKER, because we are truly all being tricked and duped left and right by the media, products, religion and governments. Oh, and magicians too.