End of the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge

At the beginning of this month, James Randi announced that he will be ending his offer of $1 million to anyone who can provide "evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event." From the announcement on his website:
The James Randi Educational Foundation Million-Dollar Challenge will be discontinued 24 months from this coming March 6th, and those prize funds will then be available to generally add to our flexibility. This move will free us to do many more projects, which will be announced at that time. This means that all those wishing to be claimants are required to get their applications in before the deadline, properly filled out and notarized as described in the published rules.

This announcement has predictably brought out the crazies -- people shouting and fuming that Randi is some kind of charlatan. Members of this crowd have been sending out mass emails ranting about Randi, and for some reason they've cc'ed me on these emails. Randi eventually responded with a detailed reply that he promises he'll post in full on his website. Here's a snippet of it:
6. Re: You refer to the speculation that [our] bonds are worthless.  As I’ve written many times, and as specified in the Basic English rules for the challenge applicants, a simple inquiry to the JREF via fax, phone call, e-mail, postal letter, or perhaps telepathy (?) will promptly bring anyone a copy of the current JREF Prize Account status – which I append, since you seem to lack any of these means of communication!  The million dollars is there, reserved for this purpose alone.  Our regular bank accounts are separate from this account, Dustin. See? Here is a copy of the statement, above, as GSdocument.jpg.  
 7. Re: You ask: Economy hitting those IOUs hard these days Randi?  Umm, no, Dustin. Try to understand: the JREF owes no money, we have no mortgage, we own the JREF property, free and clear.  We have an excellent credit rating – as I do, personally, and I, too, have no mortgage nor loans of any sort. Sorry to disappoint you.
 8. Re:  You refer to my spat with Geller.  No, that’s not a “spat,” Dustin.  It’s a full battle that has lasted 35 years now, and has resulted in Mr. Geller having to admit that he’s a trickster, and that he has lied for all those years to anyone who would listen.  You forgot about all that, did you…?

Personally I think that Jennifer Dziura's proposal deserved the prize money. But no one else even came close.


Posted on Tue Jan 22, 2008


So what happens with the money? does it go to charity?
Posted by samemo  on  Wed Jan 23, 2008  at  12:49 AM
No, as Randi explained in his weekly online column, the million bucks will be used by JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) for other purposes.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jan 24, 2008  at  02:24 AM
I'm just astounded that he actually had that money waiting for people to prove him wrong. I was under the impression that it was an offer and he would get the money if anyone ever could prove paranormal activities. Meanwhile, it's been sittting in a bank account. It's amazing how sincere he is about the issue.
Posted by Archibold  on  Thu Jan 24, 2008  at  10:08 AM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.