James Randi

James “The Amazing” Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi has pursued “psychic” spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water “with a memory,” and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over the public’s eyes in the name of the supernatural. He is the author of numerous books, including The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. His lectures and television appearances have delighted — and vexed — audiences around the world. In 1996, The James Randi Education Foundation was established to further Randi’s work. Randi’s long-standing challenge to psychics now stands as a $1,000,000 prize administered by the Foundation. It remains unclaimed.

Mr. Randi was host of The Randi Show on WOR-Radio, New York City (1966/67) and has had his own TV Specials in Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and the USA. He has appeared in a great many TV documentaries, interview shows and variety productions in France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy, the UK and other countries. He appears frequently on US television shows. He has done three world tours as a performer and lecturer through the Far East, Europe, Australia and North and South America. In 1974 he performed by special request at the White House. He spends much of his time traveling between performances and lectures all over the globe. A Granada TV series, James Randi: Psychic Investigator was shown in the UK in 1991. It dealt with testing of individuals who claim to have paranormal, supernatural or occult powers of various kinds. In 2003, a 14-episode TV series by Seoul Broadcasting Corp. with Mr. Randi as the host, was shown in South Korea offering his million-dollar prize.

He was a founding fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) based in Buffalo, NY. This organization of academics and other experts is devoted to the examination of paranormal, occult and supernatural claims. Nonprofit, it serves the media, other scientific groups, and the public as an information source. Their journal is the Skeptical Inquirer, which reaches 40,000 subscribers. Mr. Randi also writes a column, “’Twas Brillig,” for The Skeptic, the journal of the Skeptic’s Society, headquartered in California. He is editor of SWIFT, the online newsletter of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), which was set up in 1996 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as a data source for educators, students, media, and researchers. The JREF’s web site receives more than 100,000 unique visitors each month. The Foundation offers prizes and scholarships to students, conducts seminars and workshops, and also funds and originates selected, original parapsychological research. The Foundation’s annual conference, The Amaz!ng Meeting, features international speakers on a variety of topics.

Mr. Randi’s writings (articles, essays, stories, book reviews) have appeared in major periodicals internationally and has spoken for numerous schools, colleges, universities, and prominent organizations internationally.

Mr. Randi frequently speaks to medical societies and science teachers’ organizations. He has taught at New York University (NYC) and at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey, was 1984 Regents Lecturer at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and has conducted several seminars at other colleges in recent years.

The Fraud & Swindle School course for police officers conducted by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Florida has featured lectures by James Randi on charity scams, fortune-telling and “psychic” operators in the state. The evaluation tallies turned in by attendees have consistently ranked this lecture very highly. James Randi serves as an expert witness and special consultant to lawyers, in the field of paranormal claims.

For more than 25 years, Mr. Randi’s prize of $10,000 for “the performance of any paranormal, occult or supernatural event, under proper observing conditions” went unclaimed. A syndicated television special for Lexington Broadcasting titled, “Exploring Psychic Powers – Live,” was broadcast June 7, 1989, and seen all over the USA, in Italy (with simultaneous translation) and in Australia. The $10,000 prize was temporarily increased to $100,000 for this occasion. The two-hour program was also seen later in Scandinavia, Japan, France, England and Germany. Currently, the prize amounts to $1,000,000 – thanks to a donation from a patron. There are still no takers. The prize is now administered and guaranteed by the James Randi Educational Foundation, and held in a special account.