February 5, 2011 |
Magician James Randi, who has devoted the latter part of his career to exposing fraud, scams and charlatans, and a network of skeptics known as the 10:23 Campaign launched a major campaign Saturday against the manufacturers of so-called homeopathic drugs, charging that the companies that sell the drugs are packaging worthless products that are cheating customers out of their money. In an online video , Randi consumed an overdose of homeopathic sleeping pills to demonstrate that they have no effect, and skeptics elsewhere consumed large overdoses of other homeopathic drugs in similar demonstrations.
September 7, 2002
Thanks to Brian Lowry for his excellent article about the "Crossing Over" show and others of that ilk ("Room for Doubt? There Ought to Be," Sept. 4). For years, my good friend Michael Shermer has been in the front line battling the charlatans and has been looking for responsible representation in the media to present his point of view. The James Randi Educational Foundation has held endless meetings with network executives in the past decade to discuss the possibility of a TV series to examine--and test--the talking-with-the-dead con artists, as well as faith-healers and other quacks.
February 21, 1999
Who appointed Michael Shermer head of the psychic police ("Medium of the Moment," by Paul Lieberman, Jan. 24)? If James Van Praagh can bring comfort to grieving relatives, is what he does so bad? Shermer and his skeptics group sound like a bunch of elitist, hypocritical neurotics. He preaches against gurus, yet his literature identifies James Randi as their spiritual leader. Isn't that a guru? Shermer offers up a lot of claptrap and mostly gets away with it; thinking people have better things to do than pay attention.
October 17, 1993 |
James (The Amazing) Randi used to be content escaping Houdini-style from locks and straitjackets while suspended over a Manhattan boulevard. But with the rise of popularity in all things paranormal in the '60s--from UFO sightings to Uri Geller bending spoons--Randi began a crusade to show that paranormal claims were nothing more than the results of the kind of magic tricks he learned long ago as a teen-age student of magician Harry Blackstone.
January 24, 1993 |
CONJURING By James Randi, Esq. (St. Martin's: $29.95; 314 pp.) . James (The Amazing) Randi is not going to tell you how it's done. You didn't want to know anyway, did you? Even Roman philosopher Seneca preferred ignorance: "It is the trickery itself that pleases me; show how it's done and I have lost interest." Instead, Randi has twirled his cape and--Presto!--revealed the world of magic through the men (and a few women) who make it work.
October 25, 1992
The eminent film producer Ray Stark appears to be having a difficult time finding an exciting plot in the life of Harry Houdini. This is about as demanding as discovering a sports theme in the Babe Ruth story ("Houdini, the Movie: Many Have Escaped Already," Film Clips, Oct. 11). Houdini, one of 10 children of a failed Hungarian rabbi, rose from a poor home in Appleton, Wis., to become the unchallenged king of all the magicians who ever lived, and his name is still invoked to describe various impossibilities achieved by those performers today who emulate his feats.