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Exploring Psychic Powers Live (1989)

With the aide of two experts on psychology and the paranormal, James Randi lets people with self-professed abilities try out under guidelines for a large cash prize.


Stan Harris


Cort Casady


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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Randi ... Himself
Arthur Benjamin Arthur Benjamin ... Himself (human calculator)
Sylvia Brown Sylvia Brown ... Herself
Bob McCoy Bob McCoy ... Himself
Penn Jillette ... Himself
Teller ... Himself
Uri Geller ... Himself
Bill Bixby ... Himself - Host
Valerie Swan Valerie Swan ... Herself (ESP challenger)
Joseph Meriwether Joseph Meriwether ... Himself (astrology challenger)
Barbara Martin Barbara Martin ... Herself (aura reader challenger)
Forrest Bayes Forrest Bayes ... Himself (divining challenger)
Sharon McLaren-Straz Sharon McLaren-Straz ... Herself (psychometry challenger)
Stanley Krippner Stanley Krippner ... Himself (parapsychology expert)
Ray Hyman Ray Hyman ... Himself (psychology professor)


With the aide of two experts on psychology and the paranormal, James Randi lets people with self-professed abilities try out under guidelines for a large cash prize.

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Release Date:

7 June 1989 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


James Randi: We can conclude our breif examination of predictions with this observation: in the week prior to this show, it is especially interesting to note that no one - known or unknown - predicted the unspeakable bloodshef in China, the death of the Ayatollah Khomeini, or the horrible explosion and train wreck in Russia which claimed over eight hundred lives. It makes you wonder, doesn't it?
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User Reviews

Exploring Psychic Powers Live
9 June 2017 | by a_baronSee all my reviews

The programme was actually a potpourri. It included Randi duplicating psychic surgery; cameos from Penn & Teller, and performances from both Uri Geller and Sylvia Browne. This was said to have been the first time Randi and Geller had ever come face to face. That claim may be true, but they had crossed swords prior to this. In 1973, Geller appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. After he was booked to appear, Randi got a call from the programme, and gave the people behind it some protocols to put in place. Geller's powers refused to manifest. Two decades on from the current programme, Geller admitted what all but the gullible knew already, namely that he was simply a magician, ie a con man. He has made different pronouncements since then; feel free to take him at first value if you are prepared to rewrite the laws of physics. Like Geller, "psychic" Sylvia Browne was not bidding for the prize money. In spite of her celebrity status, Browne was an abject failure. In 2004, she told the mother of Amanda Berry her daughter was dead. Any policeman would have made the same prediction, but leaving aside the horror story that she and her fellow Cleveland captives told after their escape, this was truly a miracle. Browne predicted her own death at 88; she died in 2013 aged 77. Strangely, she was introduced on this programme as a consummate professional.

The bloke who claimed to talk to the dead was a real idiot; he told a roomful of people he could hear the name John. Seriously?

Psychic artist Coral Polge put in an appearance; she was not a competitor either, neither was Arthur Benjamin, a genuine talent who dazzled the audience with his lightning calculations.

This was of course far from either the first or the last time that self-styled psychics have been exposed for the frauds and deluded individuals they are. For all the work Randi and others have put into debunking this flim-flam, the con artists are still raking in the bucks from the gullible. Sylvia Browne's website has been taken over her son; Chris Dufresne is offering the same dubious services for the same typically outrageous fees.

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