Hoping that this gets to Duffie, and just betting that it will.....

James Randi --- Wizard (JREFInfo@ssr.com)
Sun, 1 Mar 1998 01:21:51 -0800 (PST)

Straightening Out Duffie, or, Light Cast into the Darkness of self
Delusion.

A strange individual named Peter Duffie who appears on the
Internet at http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~p.duffie has a rather
unrealistic and largely invented version of my work which needs to be
straightened out. Folks like Professor Marcello Truzzi of Ypsilanti,
Michigan, often choose to accept and repeat various canards of this
nature, so to spare Truzzi and others the embarrassment of being wrong
yet another time, I will do some dissection of Duffie's errors.
First, you should know that in response to one correction that I
sent Duffie, along with an offer to point out his other errors on the
Internet concerning me, he published this notice: "Note that no more
mail from; James Randi, the James Randi Organisation, or the James
Randi Educational Foundation will be read. All will be deleted
immediately. This includes any suspect mail sent by his disciples on
his behalf. So you will know that any further quotes purporting to
come from me will be false." Well, now we know how dedicated
Mr. Duffie is to knowing about the real world. Truth, as always, is
the greatest enemy of these folks and the most feared specter.
In a page titled "RUN, RANDI RUN!" (his punctuation, not mine) he
quotes a sentence from my book "James Randi: Psychic Investigator,"
which was published in the U.K. following my series there for Granada
TV. It reads: "During the preparation of my manuscript for this book,
my repeated requests to the healers themselves for documentation of
their successes went unanswered." True, and supported by those at
Granada who also sought evidence from them.
But Duffie has received a letter from the wife of a Tom Johanson,
only one of the hundreds of U.K. "spiritual healers" who did not
appear on my programs, but still wants to comment. Says his wife,
"While taking a big demonstration in the States Tom straightened a
ladies back from a bad curvature. Randi stood up and claimed that she
was a plant, and that anyone could do this trick. As there was another
similar case waiting for treatment and there was a doctor in the
audience, Tom suggested that proof was given by him that the case was
genuine, then said to Randi, 'Now you come up and correct this back --
if not, I will.' Randi walked out!"
Gee, that's a real surprise to me. The event is a total
fabrication, having no truth in at all. I don't know Tom Johanson,
have no idea of what he looks like, never confronted him, and never
met him, anywhere or any time. It's a lie, pure and simple.
But I do know his wife, who appeared on my Granada series and who
utterly failed her demonstration of "spirit drawings." But she
directs a kick at me with the comment, "Randi did a conjuring trick at
the beginning of the show to let the audience see how easy it was to
fool people -- but he had to do it three times before he got it
correct, so he really is not a very good illusionist himself. Maybe
that is why he has to make a living trying to debunk us." Well,
Ms. Johanson, I don't only try to debunk you, but I do it regularly.
And the three attempts at the trick, as you well know, were so that
the cameramen could get a good "take," not because the trick failed.
As a matter of fact, my performance -- as usual -- was flawless.
Ahem.
Duffie continues: "Randi has claimed that he can duplicate any
psychic feat under the same conditions as those imposed on any
psychic. The problem is he's never entered a scientific establishment
and done it. E . . Randi has never, personally, done anything like
that . . . because he can only duplicate psychic phenomena under
conditions controlled by him" Oh dear, Peter, again you fail to speak
sooth! I've been in any number of labs, under control, doing the
whole spectrum of "psychic" wonders. To quote briefly from just one
report on my efforts:

Mr. James Randi appeared before us today at the Department of
Biophysics and demonstrated in a laboratory his ability to
bend and break spoons and keys that we supplied. He caused
bursts on a Geiger counter and made one of our spoons become
flexible and finally break in two while one of us held it at
each end. Then Mr. Randi caused a compass needle to deflect
by about 15 degrees and caused several watches to advance. .
. . We gave him no advantage that might be given to a
"sensitive."

That report was signed by five major scientists, one a Nobel
laureate, one a former editor of Nature Magazine, one a prominent
writer on paranormal matters. The tests took place at the University
of London King's College, not all that far from where Mr. Duffie
resides.
But Duffie is far from finished with misreporting. "At no time
in any one investigation," he writes, "has he conclusively proved any
psychic to be fraudulent. That is one sorry track record." If true,
it would indeed be a bad record. But, again, it's not at all true.
Some thirty psychics -- those who would sit still to be examined,
unlike Uri Geller and most of the other pros -- went down in flames as
a result of my investigations, and Duffie surely knows that to be
true. But, as usual, he adopts a loss of memory. Or maybe he just
doesn't know his subject. Could that be?
Duffie chortles at my statement that "I've NEVER 'sat (or stood)'
with Geller. Never." Yep. Never. But Duffie, in his infinite
patience, discovered that once -- just once -- I sat in the same room
with Geller "in the offices of Time magazine on Sunday 4 February
1973." Et le voil! Proof that I lied! Got me on that one, Peter!
Can't fool you, can I?
And -- here you simply must admire the man for colossal gall -- I
asked him to produce just one example of a "blatant fabrication" on my
part (he said that he had a load of such fabrications) and offered to
pay him the US$1.1 million prize I have on offer, if he could do so.
He answered: "He disqualified me because I gave him 50 prime
examples... He only asked for one!" And he still didn't name one of
this stream of items he advertises! For more than a million dollars,
he won't name one of this multitude of lies? Wanna buy some swampland
in Florida, Mr. Duffie?
I also asked Duffie if he would name just one of "those
scientists who shun me due to my attacks on their colleagues," as he
had claimed there were so many. He named Jacques Benveniste, Harold
E. Puthoff, and Russell Targ, hardly scientists who are complaining
about my pursuit of their colleagues, but rather of themselves! Do we
get the idea that perhaps Duffie is not rowing with both oars in the
water....?
There is much, much, more to correct for this poor misinformed
man, but I'll leave the rest to a few installments that will appear
shortly. Right now, I have to get on with my real existence, and
leave the world of fantasy to Duffie and his sycophants. He's rather
a bore, too.
More anon.

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