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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) A Buffalo-based organization consisting of professionals in various sciences, journalists, technicians, philosophers, and other specialists such as conjurors, founded in 1976. Its purpose is to examine claims made in support of paranormal powers, to prepare reports on these subjects, to convene conferences and meetings, to publish the Skeptical Inquirer as a journal, and to encourage research on the subjects.
      CSICOP is essentially a scientific group, has no religious ties, and has a strong advocacy of truth and investigation of paranormal, occult and supernatural reports. It began with funding from the American Humanist Association, then became totally autonomous. Numerous similar groups in twenty-seven states and in thirty-seven foreign countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela) have sprung up, but are distinctly independent of CSICOP.
      As might be expected, committed believers in the occult have chosen to distort the aims and purpose of CSICOP. For example, U.K. author Colin Wilson has described the committee as “a society to combat belief in all forms of occultism,” thereby missing——perhaps purposely——the intent and value of the group.
      CSICOP and the Skeptical Inquirer can be contacted at P.O. Box 703, Buffalo, NY 14226-0703.



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