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JREF Swift Blog
Swift, named for Jonathan Swift, is the JREF's daily blog, featuring content from James Randi, the JREF staff, and other featured authors.

SWIFT July 31, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Lunar Astronaut Still Deluded and Spaced-Out, The State of Homequackery, Yet More on Homeopathy, What’s Sauce for the Goose..., Help Wanted, Another Superstitious Horror, “The One”: Episode 4, More Sniffex, The USPTO Again, and In Closing...

Mitchell

I first refer you to tinyurl.com/594kgk, where you’ll read Phil Plait’s overly-kind but honest reference to the latest nonsense to come from former astronaut Edgar Mitchell, one of the only twelve persons ever to actually walk on the Moon – that we know of, that is. Mitchell is now insisting that he’s privy to firm evidence that UFO-nauts exist, and that the truth has been – you guessed it! – suppressed by those People in Charge.

 

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SWIFT July 25, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

An Encouraging Development, The Netherlands Scene, Tattoo Time, Tantric Tantrum, Next Episode Down Under, I’m Shaking in My Boots, and In Conclusion…

Sniffex

Our readers will recall a tedious matter that occupied this site for several months. It was yet another “dowsing stick” farce, this one headed up by a Paul B. Johnson, CEO of the “Sniffex” company. Johnson eagerly sued the JREF when we published the facts about the fraudulent toy he was marketing as a bomb detection device, obviously hoping to benefit from the growing public concern with security. In fact, in September of 2006, he actually changed the name of his company to “Homeland Safety International Inc.,” keeping up to date with the latest media headlines, and perhaps hoping to imply connections with federal government agencies. He issued a series of 33 news releases that contained mostly false information about the product and about the company's financial situation. This maneuver drove the share price of the stock from 80 cents to about $6, earning a combined $32 million in illegal profits.

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SWIFT July 18, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Another Loud Bellow Is Heard, A Follow-Up, From Bob’s Page, Will the Delegate From Sirius Please Stand?, But It’s Only Art…, Remember Takahashi?, A McQuarie Query, Wild Web Too Wild?, Clever…, More Love Notes, and In Closing…

Bentley

The currently-most-popular religious “healer” to infest the lecture venues of America is a 32-year-old Canadian decorated with tattoos, plus a pierced eyebrow and chin. As if this isn’t ugly enough, he appears before his gullible audiences nightly wearing a t-shirt so that his illustrations can more easily be appreciated – rather like the scribblings on the back fence of a grade school, but making less sense.

In his current “Lakeland Revival,” Todd Bentley preaches that some god or other acts through him to cure cancer, heal the deaf, and raise the dead. Really? Well, The Illustrated Man can snap up a million dollars that’s available right here at the JREF – as if he didn’t already know that – as soon as he produces the evidence for any healing he’s invoked by his rantings. Now, Bentley claims that he has medical proof of many healings he’s brought about – the same story we regularly hear from all these liars – but he’s somehow not able to produce it! For the Associated Press, when asked, his “ministry” came up with a list of fifteen persons it said were cured, and who they said they’d checked out. Bentley’s people said that all but three of their stories had been "medically verified." That sounded good – though it was a rather slim number, given the thousands upon thousands of cures for which they say they can show proof.

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SWIFT July 11, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

A Premiere Report, The Opposition Revealed, Dr. Tyson Again, Same Old Routine, A Pleasant Surprise, and In Closing…

rs

Reader Robert Matic of Melbourne, Australia, reports to us on the Tuesday, 8 July, 2008, premiere of what has been advertised there as “a search for Australia’s most gifted psychic.” That’s much like saying, “a search for the least incompetent guesser,” in my opinion. It’s titled “The One,” and has now emerged on prime-time commercial television. This is the show we mentioned at tinyurl.com/5uuq52. Robert writes:

We were promised from the outset, by host Andrew Daddo, to receive a balanced program with one of the two judges being a believer (Stacey Demarco – Witch) and the other a skeptic (Richard Saunders – Australian Skeptics). Although the judges were given equal time to comment on the results of the tests – approximately ten seconds each per test! – the editing of the show heavily and predictably leaned towards the believer’s point of view. After introducing the seven psychics competing for the title – with loads of anecdotal evidence from clients, of course – the first episode went through one “controlled” test and, later, an open display of the psychics’ powers in front of the live studio audience.

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SWIFT July 4, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

How Ridiculous Can You Get?, More Needles-in-Your-Face, Saunders Is In Action, TAM6 Preview, Giggle Time, In Closing.

RCKC

We may have an answer to this simple, basic, question, taken directly from the very interesting SkepticWiki site at http://www.skepticwiki.org/index.php, which I recommend you visit often, especially since one of the hilarious and very effective Richard Wiseman videos is currently featured. Please, since you’ll be convulsed with laughter at the truly incredible naivety of the Comfort/Cameron team, read this in private. SkepicWiki tells us:

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