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19 October 1993 (USA)  »

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James Randi: Magical thinking, you know, is a slippery slope. Sometimes it's harmless enough, but other times it's quite dangerous. Now personally I'm opposed to that kind of fakery, so I have no reservations at all about exposing these people and their illusions for what they really are.
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Secrets Of The Psychics
22 December 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In a little under an hour, legendary magician and psychic debunker James Randi delivers a tour de force of reasoned investigation into and explanation for filmflam. Archive footage of Uri Geller failing to deliver the goods under controlled conditions and Christian healer Peter Popoff working in collusion with his wife through a transmitter and ear piece are supplemented with demonstrations of sleight-of- hand and the Barnum statements of palm reading and astrology.

Randi replicates the handiwork of psychic surgeons in the Philippines, and also visits Moscow in the then recently opened up and now former Soviet Union where he challenges the garbage being peddled as alternative medicine and meets two women who claim to be able to read a person's personality if not his life history from a photograph. The one Randi provided them was of Ted Bundy, whose infamy had apparently not yet reached the Russia capital; he was said to have played tennis, worked for the military, and even to have visited Switzerland, but there was no mention of him driving around in a VW, kidnapping, raping and murdering women, and no mention either of the fact that he had been dead for four years, although three years previously something significant was said to have happened to him. Perhaps he was relocated to a hotter spot in Hell?

Alas, the wicked do not burn in Hell anymore than the righteous float with the angels, which is the point of Randi's exercise. Although all his efforts, the efforts of those who preceded him, and those who will come after have not dented nor will they dent the faith of the true believers one iota, a sad fact of life with which he has long come to terms.


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