James (Amazing) Randi is still debunking and his $1M challenge fund is still safe

August 27, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

My local alternative weekly newspaper, The Riverfront Times, just published a detailed article on James “The Amazing” Randi, professional magician and debunker of claims of the paranormal.   I learned a lot.  Here’s an excerpt:

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Randi has debunked more than 100 psychics and faith healers in a quest to rid the world of hucksters. It also makes him the subject of scorn among purveyors of the paranormal, true believers who say Randi has made himself rich, pulling in nearly $200,000 a year from his foundation, at the expense of others’ careers.

Now, however, Randi’s work may be in jeopardy. His foundation has been hemorrhaging money, and Randi, who has spent his career challenging the notion of an afterlife, now faces his own mortality. He has intestinal cancer and may not have long to live. Randi has been a commanding presence for four decades, but it’s unclear who could fill his role as the face of the skeptic community.


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Category: Current Events, Education, Fraud, ignorance, snake oil

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. According to this site the challenge has been "won" (in quotation marks).


    I guess they're keeping it a secret from Randi.

  2. Erika Price says:

    I wouldn't worry about Randi's legacy. Randi has been in semi-retirement for a long time, from what I can glean, and he has many thriving proteges. He has given occasional contributions to the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast for years, and has largely passed the torch to the show's hosts when it comes to running big skeptic events like The Amazing! Meeting. Randi also has longtime fans and proteges in fellow magicians Penn and Teller. According to their personal sites/vlogs/tweets, P&T have conducted many of the physic challenge experiments on Randi's behalf. The skeptic community will be just fine, I think, though they will surely mourn Randi's immense contribution.

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