James Randi --- Wizard (
Fri, 17 Nov 1995 01:43:38 -0500

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to speak....."

My daily outrage this morning was the result of a
representative from the Aromatherapy Research Institute
(whatever the hell THAT means) smiling his way through an
interview on the NBC-TV "Today" show behind a stack of
inhalants, bath-water drops and other varied scent-
distributors. His inevitable reference to the antiquity
of this passive quackery segued right into a statement
that the Institute was using "scientists and researchers"
(wow!) to validate the use of the "basic life forces" of
herbs (great buzz-word) and flowers to unleash "natural"
(even greater buzz-word!) energies for healing purposes.
When host Katie wondered about using smells to treat
"real illness," the Institute flack got into a dither
lest the implied value of this flummery be doubted, but
the sum total of the spot was that Aromatherapy offers us
all a new-old means to avoid real therapy. Codswollop.

"...of many things."

Even Front Line, the excellent PBS series, managed to
further depress my faith-in-human-nature over the weekend
by presenting a dreary documentary about a Russian
multiple murderer in which the chief investigator humbly
visits a professional "psychic" to ask how the culprit in
the case will fare (he ends up kissing her hand!), and a
gypsy card-reader is provided to the prisoner for
personal guidance. It is little satisfaction to report
that both seers were 100% wrong in their declarations.

"Of ships and shoes, of sealing wax...."

A Moment of Truth is here for the 2000 Club members. I
would now like to receive from each of you a stamped,
self-addressed envelope so that I may send you your
membership card, and so that I might also receive a short
written statement from you stating your earnest intention
to pay your pledge if and when a genuine psychic event is
produced that passes the simple tests required. It
should read:

"I, -----name-----, of -----address-----, declare that I
will pay the sum of -----pledge amount----- to whatever
person successfully passes the agreed tests to establish
any psychic powers. This amount will be added to the
already-published offer of James Randi as found in the
World Wide Web entry under

and will be paid by me at the earliest possible
opportunity following Mr. Randi's completion of such
examination and validation of these powers."

And you sign it. Yes, I'm aware that you must trust me
not to work a scam on you by suddenly discovering a true
psychic. But that's what I'm asking of you, and all I
can offer you is my assurance that my intentions are
honorable and honest. We have to start somewhere....

Send the SSAE to:
12000 NW 8th Street, Plantation, FL 33325-1406

And, I will shortly issue a list of those few members who
have not yet sent in their postal addresses to complete
my records. Please be sure that data is provided to me.

"....of cabbages and kings."

As many regular readers are aware, NBC-TV Dateline is
preparing a piece dealing with my work. Broadcast date
is a couple of months away. In order to get the news to
Mr. Geller -- since I always call my shots -- I suggested
that Dateline reach the fabulous "Riley" (who has now
taken on Geller as a partner) for his possible
participation in the filming. Not to my surprise,
"Riley" declined, but of course scurried to inform his
partner and other sycophants. Shortly after, the usual
poison-pen crap appeared at the NBC-TV offices, via
Geller's Automated Crap Dispenser Unit. That's an
independent unit that serves the interests of the spoon-
bending guru, hoping to interdict his inexorable decline.
It is staffed by failed UFO/conspiracy/flat-earth/Bigfoot
advocates with much time on hand. And, breathlessly
alerted to this latest threat against irrationality, the
usual lawyers began admonishing NBC ("Please be informed
that our client.....") about saying anything at all about
him, thus gleefully providing evidence of their highly
efficient covert operation, the "Constant Surveillance on
Randi" movement. Geller need not worry; the program will
deal with currently interesting claims, not the tired,
boring flapdoodle of yore.

In this comic opera we have strange legal persons
perpetually poised at the mouths of their caves, ever
alert to defend Geller against the invasion of facts and
awaiting the latest gossip from the tawdry gaggle of
disciples who need to get better life goals than being
manipulated. The lawyers' obviously uninformed citation
of long-discredited "scientific" support for spoon-
bending, alone, serves as proof of how medieval their
thinking is. But, they're paid to defend anything that
is presented to them; they are therefore perhaps not as
dense as we might suppose.

"And if the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have

Your average pig does not have wings. In case you're one
of the Watchers, and were wondering.

James Randi.


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