The JREF Brings Skepticism to Mainstream Media like Never Before
Randi has often remarked that the news and “infotainment” media are
largely to blame for widespread belief in pseudoscience and the
supernatural. Since our founding, one of the most important roles of the
JREF has been to win ink and airtime for the skeptical perspective, and
to challenge the perpetrators of scams and frauds on their own home
In the first nine months of 2011, the JREF has earned more media than in the last several years combined.
Forbes, and Wired covered our challenge to Homeopathy. Our Million
Dollar Challenge Director Banachek debunked “performance bracelets” on
the CBS Early Show. The Los Angeles Times and AOL News covered our
“Pigasus Awards” for the year’s worst promoters of nonsense, bringing
the skeptical movement’s criticisms of Dr. Oz and others into the
mainstream. More than four million people watched the Primetime Nightline episode on “Psychic Powers”
that prominently featured the JREF and our Million Dollar Challenge,
and they learned how celebrity psychics like James Van Praagh ply their
trade by cheating.
Now, the JREF has earned national coverage in Canada in advance of Randi’s tour of nine Canadian cities.
these stories and through radio appearances across the U.S. and around
the world, we’re using the media to share our skeptical perspective with
a wider audience than ever before.
Click here to read some of the stories we’ve earned so far in 2011, or scroll to the end of this email to see the stories from just the last month.
Become a JREF Member During SGU-24 And Get a TAM London DVD Set; New Subscribers Can Win $1,200 TAM Experience Package
JREF is proud to sponsor the first ever 24-hour marathon broadcast of
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, beginning Friday, Sept. 23 at 8:00
p.m. Eastern and continuing until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. If
you become a member of the JREF
during the 24-hour show, you'll receive a TAM London 2009 DVD set as a token of our appreciation. As a separate promotion, new subscribers to our e-newsletter during the show will be entered in a drawing to receive a TAM Experience package to The Amazing Meeting 2012 in Las Vegas—a $1,200 value. The package includes full access to TAM, all workshops, and all
And make sure to tune in to the show for interviews with JREF President D.J. Grothe and Communications Director Sadie Crabtree!
JREF Awards 2011-2012 Academic Scholarships
For the fifth year in a row, the JREF has granted scholarships to deserving undergraduate and graduate students on the basis of academic achievement, outreach and community service in the name of science and critical thinking education, and career objectives that are aligned with the goals and values of the JREF. We're pleased to announce that the recipient of this year's scholarship is Narine E. Wandrey, an undergraduate at the University of Dallas.
Read more about the recipients of the 2011-2012 JREF Academic Scholarships.
Reports Filed With Federal and State Agencies Against East Coast Alt-Med Company
JREF has filed formal complaints with the Food and Drug Administration,
the Federal Trade Commission, and a state Department of Health against
an East Coast company for selling useless quack therapies for the
treatment of serious diseases such as cancer. The complaints include
evidence from tips and investigation done by a local JREF volunteer.
We’ll follow up on these complaints and share updates. If you know of a
local company that you suspect is breaking the law to sell quack
therapies and want to help expose them, email email@example.com.
Upcoming Workshop in D.C. Area: The Science of Divination
are happy to announce that the JREF has joined with the University of
Maryland Society of Inquiry and the National Capital Area Skeptics to
present The Science of Divination: What They DON'T Teach at Hogwarts,
a comprehensive, hands-on workshop all about the undying pseudoscience
of dowsing. Participants will learn the history of dowsing and the
scientific explanation for its strange and uncanny effects. Plus, they
will create their own pendulums and dowsing rods to try divining for
themselves. The workshop will be held on Sunday, September 25 at the
University of Maryland—email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or
visit the event page to register.
is just one of the interactive and educational workshops offered by the
JREF on a range of topics, from the truth behind ESP to the basics of
being a skeptical thinker. Keep an eye on Randi.org for announcements
about upcoming workshops and information about how you can bring one to
The Truth About Uri Geller eBook Now Available
We’re happy to announce that our third eBook, James Randi’s The Truth About Uri Geller, is now available for the iPhone/iPad, Kindle, and Nook. You can download The Truth About Uri Geller in all major eBook formats at Randi.org.
And don’t forget our other eBook offerings: Flim-Flam! on
Kindle or iBooks, and The Faith
Kindle or iBooks.
James Randi Embarks on Speaking Tour of Canada
Randi is currently on his whirlwind lecture tour of Canada. In his
unique and entertaining way, Randi will explain how even the most
rational minds can be fooled by the same tricks used by magicians and
conjurers for centuries.
friends at CFI Canada are kindly hosting the tour, which will take
Randi from Vancouver to Halifax, with stops in Kelowna, Calgary,
Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal along the way. Find out how you can attend here, and keep an eye on Randi.org and the JREF's Facebook and Twitter pages for updates from the road, including photos, blog posts, and videos.
Top Posts on the Randi.org Blog
- September 22: James Randi in Vancouver, BC
- September 23: James Randi in Kelowna, BC
- September 24: James Randi in Calgary, AB
- September 25: James Randi in Edmonton, AB at University of Alberta
- September 25: Workshop in D.C. Area: The Science of Divination featuring JREF educational director, Michael Blanford
- September 26: James Randi in Saskatoon, SK at the Roxy Theater
- September 27: James Randi in Toronto, ON
- September 28: James Randi in Ottawa, ON
- September 29: James Randi in Montreal, QC
- September 30: James Randi in Halifax, NS
- October 27-30: James Randi at CSICon in New Orleans
- November 12: James Randi speaks at Carl Sagan Day celebration at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.
- March 24, 2012: James Randi speaks at the Reason Rally: A Celebration of Secular Values
JREF In The News
- The Browser, Sept. 16, 2011 | FiveBooks Interview: James Randi on Skepticism
- Calgary Herald, Sept. 16, 2011 | A Skeptic's Progress
- Dispatches From the Culture Wars | FreeThoughtBlogs, Sept. 15, 2011 | ‘Psychic’ Backs Out of Randi Challenge
95.7 Nova Scotia, Sept. 8, 2011 | Maritime Morning with Jordi Morgan:
James Randi interview and call-in about the Million Dollar Challenge
(not available online)
1010 Toronto, Sept. 6, 2011 | Jim Richards interviews James Randi about
the Million Dollar Challenge (not available online)
- United Press International, Sept. 6, 2011 | Canada psychic says may take $1M challenge
- CBC News Canada, Sept. 6, 2011 | Toronto psychic denies running from $1M challenge
- Gay Calgary, Sept. 2011 | James Randi: the Thinking Sceptic
- The Phoenix (University of British Columbia-Okanagan), Sept. 5, 2011 | Escape Artist and Paranormal Skeptic Shares His Two Cents
- CJAD Radio Montreal, Sept. 2, 2011 | Live interview with Jamy Ian Swiss on the Million Dollar Challenge (click “Jamy Ian Swiss” under Audio Highlights)
- Joe. My. God., September 2, 2011 | HomoQuotable: James Randi
Allan Show, 570News and Cable 20 Ontario, Sept. 1, 2011 | Live
interview with James Randi on the Million Dollar Challenge (not
- CBC News, August 31, 2011 | 'Top' psychics offered $1M to prove powers
- CBC Radio-Canada, August 31, 2011 | Interview with D.J. Grothe on the Million Dollar Challenge (not available online)
- Ross & Burbank Show | KIRO News Radio Seattle, August 29, 2011 | Get skeptical: Mind reading into the million dollar psychic challenge (Live interview with Jamy Ian Swiss)
- Forbes, August 29, 2011 | Amazing Randi, On Ice
- CFI: A Skeptic Reads The Newspaper, August 29, 2011 | JREF $1 Million Challenge Delights and Amuses Psychic Carla Baron
- Friendly Atheist, August 28, 2011 | JREF Brings Pressure to ‘Psychic’ Frauds
- The Moment (Nigeria), August 28, 2011 | Dismantling the myth of witchcraft in Africa
- ABC News Online, August 27, 2011 | Psychics Challenged, Offered $1 Million to Prove Powers
- CNN Global Public Square, August 26, 2011 | Debunking the paranormal: No, you can't bend a spoon with your mind
- Radio Free Europe, August 26, 2011 | Interview with D.J. Grothe about the JREF's Million Dollar Challenge (not available online)
Lynn Woolley Show, August 26, 2011 | Interview with James Randi about
the JREF’s challenge to celebrity psychics (Syndicated across Texas; not
- Pharyngula | Science Blogs, August 26, 2011 | It'll never happen (post on JREF challenge to Van Praagh and DuBois)
- Daily Eastern News, August 25, 2011 | Column: What 1,652 skeptics do in Las Vegas in July
- The Skeptical Teacher, August 24, 2011 | ABC News’s “Beyond Belief” Illustrates How Badly Psychics Fail
- Nerve.com, August 24, 2011 | Medium James Van Praagh offered $1 million to prove psychic powers
- TIME.com, August 24, 2011 | Calling All Psychics: Prove Your Worth for $1 Million
- AOL News, August 24, 2011 | James Van Praagh Offered $1 Million To Prove Mental Powers
- Gizmodo, August 22, 2011 | Celebrity Psychics Can Claim $1M If Their Powers Are Real
- Discovery News, August 22, 2011 | Skeptics Issue Million-Dollar Psychic Challenge
- Large Idea Collider | Ars Technica, August 19, 2011 | Crank who targeted science writers lured into threatening police
- (A)theologies | Religion Dispatches, August 17, 2011 | Does Atheism Have a Misogyny Problem?
- Pharyngula | FreeThoughtBlogs.com, August 17, 2011 | The JREF on TV? Maybe. I’m skeptical.
- Primetime Nightline | ABC, August 17, 2011 | Beyond Belief—Psychic Powers (Full episode)
- Good Morning America | ABC Network, August 17, 2011 | “Psychic Powers” (segment begins at 44 minutes)
- Nightline | ABC Network, August 16, 2011 | ‘Psychic Detectives’ Put To The Test
- Friendly Atheist, August 16, 2011 | JREF to Appear on ABC’s Primetime Nightline
- Skeptical Science, August 16, 2011 | JREF on ABC’s Primetime Nightline, Weds. 10pm / 9pm Central