The Amazing Meeting 2014

Like it? Share it!

Sign up for news and updates!






Enter word seen below
Visually impaired? Click here to have an audio challenge played.  You will then need to enter the code that is spelled out.
Change image

CAPTCHA image
Please leave this field empty

Login Form



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.

James Arthur Ray in Denver PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Reed Esau   

Tuesday evening in Denver I attended a free seminar featuring a self-help guru who is currently the focus of a triple-homicide investigation.

That guru's name is James Arthur Ray.  I had never heard of Mr. Ray until a couple weeks ago when reading news of deaths in a sweat lodge incident at a New Age spiritual retreat in Sedona, Arizona.  That incident had resulted in 18 injuries requiring hospitalization and the deaths of two people. One of the injured lay in a coma at a hospital in Flagstaff due to multiple organ damage and would later succumb to those injuries for a total of three deaths.

James Ray is notably one of the principle teachers behind "The Secret", a 2007 film and bestselling book by Rhonda Byrne which asserts that the key to personal success is in harnessing a set of mysterious universal laws, including the infamous "Law of Attraction." Ray leads his own organization, "James Ray International", which sells books and hosts events centered around his teachings.

One of those events is the annual 5-day "Spiritual Warrior" retreat which costs many of its participants over $9,000 to attend.  That may seem like a steep price for a retreat, but because Ray preaches that one "gets what they give" the $9,000 is likely seen by its participants as a bargain towards meeting one's personal goals.

 
Woo in Review: Paranormal Activity PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Alison Smith   

Oren Peli, formerly a video game designer, launched his film career with the recently-premiered horror movie Paranormal Activity, which he both wrote and directed. Not that you would have any clue who Oren Peli was if you had seen the movie - not even if you sat through the credits - mostly because there are no credits. I know this because I sat in the theater waiting for the credits to come up until every other person in attendance had wandered out. I waited until the projector stopped running and the lights came up. I waited because I refused to believe that a film could be so completely dishonest.

 
An Interesting Exchange PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

Updated at the bottom - MaryEllen posts a response

The JREF forum, found at forums.randi.org, has a long history of... well... everything. It's the busiest board on the Internet for skeptics, and at times things get heated. In an attempt to keep things on an approximately even keel, we have a set of rules which are listed here. Every member must read these rules before joining the forum. Some folks can't seem to do this. Most of the times these things are handled matter-of-factly, however I've decided to share this particular series of communications with you, as it illustrates a common mindset that we deal with frequently.

I was at the JREF headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, FL when I received a call from one Eddie Benitez. He informed that he had been banned from the forum, and that he'd like an explanation. I had never heard of Mr. Benitez, and when I informed him of this fact, he seemed amazed as he apparently considered himself to be famous. He told me that his Google presence was far superior to mine, and though that's likely true, I didn't see the relevance.

 
Strange Animal Sighting Confirmed! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

bionicbigfootRecently, a mountain lion was sighted in a wooded area of Kansas. More importantly, it was photographed, and those photos have been authenticated. We can now say that there are mountain lions in Kansas for the first time since 1909.

The Wichita Eagle's report is very interesting, and it tells us a lot about bigfoot sightings. Like bigfoot, there are a number of sightings each year. Also like bigfoot, most of the pictures taken are blurry and inconclusive. So, given that sightings of a real animal bear so much in common with bigfoot sightings, does this lend credence to the theory that there are hairy hominids wandering the Pacific Northwest?

Well, yes, but that's only because many hunters eschew shaving rituals during deer camp.

 
Delusions About Dilutions Never Cease PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

In "Challenging Challenges" (Swift, Oct 17), Jeff Wagg posted a video with weird sounds and the voice of John Benneth, who is challenging Randi's Million Dollar Challenge. I recently had an e-mail exchange with Benneth that was very illuminating.

A former unsuccessful applicant for the MDC, he is considering re-applying.  He thinks he can distinguish between water and homeopathic remedies. He believes a recent study by Montagnier et al. supports homeopathy, and he wants to perform a variant of the same experiment. He is not alone in praising the Montagnier study: homeopaths are touting it as proof that homeopathy works.

 
<< Start < Prev 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 Next > End >>

Page 221 of 316