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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 March 7, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Breaking News, Easy Solution, Another Wrist-Slap, Just Another Cold Reader, A Happy Convert, Explanation, Prophet/Profit Manual, Musical Advice, Rebuttal, That Old Null Hypothesis Problem, Steorn’s Demise Again Denied, Who & Why?, That Health Anchor, Desiré?, and In Closing…

padre pio

The corpse of Padre Pio, the Italian monk from the Capuchin order who was said to have regularly exhibited stigmata – wounds on his hands, feet and side like those of Jesus Christ during his crucifixion – and who was made a saint by Pope John Paul II, has been exhumed on the 40th anniversary of his death. Some seven million people visit his tomb every year. Those wounds reputedly bled frequently throughout his adult life. He was exhumed in order to be put on public display at the end of April. We’re told that the remains will be “prepared by experts before being placed in a glass coffin.” I certainly hope so.

The body was in "fair" condition, a Church statement said, and “his nails looked as if they had just undergone a manicure.” The statement also said that the body “has been conserved well,'' and “we could clearly make out the beard,” except that

The top part of the skull is partly skeletal but the chin is perfect and the rest of the body is well preserved.

SWIFT February 29, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

The Latest on the Geller Front, Steorn: Still Active?, South Africa Again, And Once More, Howe Numb Noory, Hot Air A-Plenty, Homeopathic Tragedies Revisited, Accept the Good Part, The Grubbies Attack!, Defended, Price Winner, Norwegian Nuttery, In Closing..


The TV program titled “The Next Uri Geller” – just run by the Pro-Sieben channel in Germany – now has its audience wondering just why anyone would want to have another such character. Though it was all kept very secretive, the strange clauses in the contract signed by mentalists who asked to be part of the program, have now been made public, and since German law is very contract-oriented, there are many questions being asked – a little too late. Some of the contract terms were anything

SWIFT February 22, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Scientology Under the Microscope, Freiburg Fumble, To Read, Comments on Comments, Shut Down Due to Failure, Excuses and Creative Editing, New for TAM6, and In Closing…

time An Internet site that has examined some of the claims made by the Church of Scientology [CoS] concerning the history of their founder Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, is chock-full of obscenities and juvenile comments, a factor that goes directly into the CoS arsenal and provides them with all sorts of weapons with which to devalue that site – though not the facts stated therein. However, the site’s observations deserve to be disseminated, and I summarize them here:

SWIFT February 15, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Achtung JREF Members in Germany!, Fleeced Again, What Makes Us Tick, Ecology Matters, Calling In the Expert, Marc Salem, Obviously Spirits, Oz is Back, DKL Redux, As For the Witches, Another Marvelous Machine, and In Closing... 


The program that I taped in Germany last week about Geller’s current series being shown there – “The New Uri Geller” – will be titled “Kraft der Gedanken” – “Power of Thought” – as part of the “Welt der Wunder” – "World of Wonder" – series. This hour-long program will investigate whether or not there is any merit in the claims of people such as Geller, who has said for the last 36 years that he doesn’t use trickery when he bends spoons and does his "telepathy" demos. The conclusions arrived at in this program will not be very welcome to Mr. Geller, I believe.

SWIFT February 8, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Monstrous UFO Thingy, Blocked, Credit Where It’s Due, Hard To Believe, Little Blue Books, Passing of a Legend, Coop's Party, In Conclusion…


Never unwilling to bring you important breaking news, I hasten to inform my readers that the UFO matter now seems to have been definitively resolved. Well, according to Dr. Bruce Cornet, M.S., Ph.D., of El Paso, Texas, that is. In a recent posting to his huge mailing list – some 401 recipients, though I’m not on there! – he announced:

I agree with Victor's comments about skeptics and debunkers. We have been through similar cycles many times in the last 50 years, and each time the amount of solid evidence has increased.

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