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James Randi vs the 9-11 scam

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posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 04:04 PM
I love James Randi and consider him a national treasure.

Most of you probably know he's the former professional magician who's
made a career of exposing psychic frauds of all kinds and stripes,
including Nostradamus, Uri Geller, etc.

His website is:

My favorite of his books is 'The Faith Healers' (1987), where he goes
after televangelist healer scams, from historical to modern. It is an
incredibly funny and gripping account of human greed and folly.

More recently, he is being invoked as an expert debunker of
challenges to The Official 9-11 Boxcutter Cartoon (such challenges are
also known, among the respectable media elite, as trailer-park trash
"conspiracy theories", ignoring the fact that the Kean Commission is
also selling a conspiracy supposedly masterminded by
OBL/AQ). The Official idea is that the Kean Commission's OBJ/AQ
Boxcutter Cartoon is the Sacred Truth. Anybody who challenges that,
suggesting USA milgov complicity or facilitation, is a flimflam scam
artist looking to make a buck, or else an idiot, or possibly just a
complete loon.

Randi votes for stupid. Commenting on the fact that some
academic people are 9-11 skeptics, Randi said: "Well-educated
intelligent people doesn't mean smart people."

We can all nod sympathetically to that statement for sure!

Anyway, under this media paradigm, Randi's status as the ultimate
hard-headed skeptic can be invoked by established media power as
needed to belittle "9-11 skeptics" (in this context “skeptic” means those who don't accept the Kean Commission's Official 9-11 Boxcutter Cartoon, sorry for all the vocabulary inversion in this sordid tale!)

A recent example is the story below, where Randi essentially states
that anybody questioning the Official 9-11 Boxcutter Cartoon is a fool:

Much as I love Randi, I would like to offer a logical reformulation
that should actually appeal to him.

My basic question is: what is the proper target of skepticism in the
9-11 case? To which end of the battlefield ought Randi's considerable
rational artillery be most appropriately applied?

I'd like to answer this question using Randi's own superb standards,
painstakingly established in books such as 'The Faith Healers'.

What does he say there?

In discussing W. V. Grant (a popular fake healer televangelist of the 1980’s) he
makes the interesting observation:

"When Grant was in Fort Lauderdale for a three-day stay in January
1987, I put his operation under intensive surveillance. I saw his
unmarked truck arrive behind the War Memorial Auditorium where the
show was to take place, and I saw some 30 of those familiar
wheelchairs [fake healing props - SM] being unloaded and taken into a
staging area in the front lobby. Later, when my team and I attended
the show, we saw early arrivals walking in, some using canes. A few
were taken to those same wheelchairs and wheeled up front by Grant's
assistants. Asked why they did not think it strange that they were
asked to rise and walks when they were already able to do so [later in
the show when fake healing occurs - SM], they either replied that they
thought Grant had misunderstood their malady and they had not wanted
to embarrass him, or they refused to discuss it and turned away from
him. That last attitude deserves close attention. Many people who
attend these services are well aware that they or others around them
have been questioned by the evangelist or his assistants in
preparation for the "calling out" trick. Some of them have gone to
Grant and have volunteered information. They know about the wheelchair
fakery. Many are fully conscious of the fact that they are not healed
when they stand and declare that they are healed. Perhaps Professor
Barnhart is correct in his theory that they are 'play acting'. I
prefer to believe this than to believe that they are not very bright."

Let’s consider the USA milgov’s 9-11 Cartoon narrative in light of Randi's comments above.

Where should the skepticism direct itself? Is it even remotely
possible that Official Boxcutter 9-11 is actually the "show" -
channeled through the Sovietized American mainstream media (CNN,
big 3 networks, Fox, Time, WSJ, etc.) ? And then the televidiot American population is the audience, under the big revival tent? Could Randi entertain for a moment this reversal of his world? Has Randi himself fallen victim to rationalization, suspension of skepticism, and the "need to believe"?

If he could, just for a moment, strictly as a thought game, entertain the inversion above, if he could ponder the possibility of 9-11 as a USA milgov showman's scam, then all his above quoted "skeptical' considerations would coming rushing in with tidal wave force, and I think he'd very quickly see that the USA milgov is dazzling our eyes for power and profit. In other words, Randi just hasn't yet realized that he's mistakenly put on the wrong uniform for this particular battle.

In discussing another fake Christian healer, Peter Popoff, Randi writes: “Before the Popoff ministry collapsed, he told an independent filmmaker in San Francisco, ‘There are two kinds of people in the world.’ He said there were those who believed and those who didn’t, and that he was dealing with the former. The latter were of no interest to him. Cameraman Gary Clarke echoed Rod’s conviction, saying, ‘We have a certain kind of client… they just WANT to believe.”

Doesn’t that suggest that the USA milgov planner have also figured out that there exists a core target audience, or demographic, for the 9-11 narrative (fires, explosions, Arab villains, American heroes) and this audience will tolerate almost any degree of absurdity in the story line and paucity of confirming evidence as long as you play deep to their “want[ing] to believe”? And that maybe Randi himself has at long last fallen victim to the syndrome, in a sphere outside his normal concerns?

Note that in his usual work, exposing psychics, mentalists, and
paranormal healers, Randi feels that he's standing on very firm
ground. Before he even begins an particular investigation, he can feel
confident of the outcome, because the people he investigates are
claiming things which, on Randi's straight and simple Newtonian/Einsteinian materialist worldview, are scientifically impossible. This makes his work comfortable, entertaining, and easy. He knows the outcome in advance, and the tactical challenge is just to uncover and prove the specific mechanism of deception that applies to the case at hand.

9-11 is a very different situation, and he should be very careful
about thoughtlessly transferring his normal mindset to this particular
problem. In the case of 9-11 skepticism, those who are the targets of
his attacks, i.e. those who challenge the Official Boxcutter Cartoon,
are NOT claiming or demonstrating anything paranormal at all.
Everything they allege (cruise missile hit the Pentagon, WTC & brought
down by controlled demolition, USAF/NORAD standdown, etc.) is at
least physically possible. And there are plenty of historical
precedents for the USA and other milgov's planning and/or conducting
all kinds of lies and fakery for power and profit (Gulf of Tonkin,
Maine, Reichstag, Operation Northwoods, no end to this clownishness).

So I would respectfully suggest that Randi is standing on his head
when it comes to 9-11. He needs to right himself and seriously
question whether his amazing talents at detecting sleight of hand and
fakery are best employed in attacking the 9-11 skeptics, or rather in
deconstructing the USA milgov's Official Boxcutter Cartoon.

We all know very well, despite any peripheral lies and sleight of hand about WMD’s in Iraq, that the emotional engine for the current Imperial spitstorm is 9-11. Maybe Randi’s greatest contribution would be to reveal the exact backstage mechanism whereby the USA milgov pulled, from the tophat of 9-11, the rabbit of Orwellian Perpetual War.

- Scott Meredith
[AlasBabylon list owner]

ed: removed link for member's website

[edit on 13-6-2005 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 04:27 PM
Welcome to ATS SeeOtter great start. I like Randi too but he is so sure of himself and I feel he picks and chooses his battles wisely. In this case he is totaly out of his depth. Go back to spoonbenders Randi. Otter I am voting you WA.

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 04:51 PM
Penn & Teller did a rip on conspiracy theorists also

[edit on 13-6-2005 by HowardRoark]

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 05:08 PM
I totally agree, SeeOtter. Randi, although very respectable for his skepticisms and devotion to uncovering fraudulent activities, in this instance I believe is biased. It is always hard to distance ourselves from what we believe or need to believe in order to scrutinize the facts in any situation, but this ability should be mandatory for a person that intends to expose fraud wherever they may find it.

Skepticism needs to be universal in an attitude, not only used when an idea goes against what you believe. If Randi cannot question all sides of this particular incident until all provable facts are uncovered, then IMO he should never have associated himself with the case at all. I would much rather see him explore the plausibility and inconsistencies of all sides before making a public condemnation. Someone with his reputation has the responsibility to do so.

One more point...

By the way we spoke with The Pentagon about the conspiracy theory, and they said, "it's so ridiculous, we don't even address it."

Also, only my opinion, but shouldn’t the Pentagon address all concerns that any American may have involving this issue? Even if it is no more than setting up a website with all of their evidence to send conspiracy theorist to. This sends up a red flag. Denial to deal with questions of such an important event in our lives shows either lack of care or lack of honest answers. I like Dr. Dewdney’s response to this critique:

Dewdney's reply -- prove him wrong.
Dr. Dewdney: "By all means get in touch with us none of us want to spend our time doing this if we are just wasting our time if we are wrong."

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 05:52 PM

Nice research.

Where has Mr Randi's work to support the 9/11 official conspiracy theory surfaced - at a few isolated websites, or with some mainstream coverage? I have missed all that.

I remember him being physically assaulted in a faraway place a long time ago by a TV compere for getting stuck into everyone's favorite clairvoyant of the time Doris Stokes. He did not respond well under pressure.

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 06:12 PM
There was mention in Autobiography of a Sufi by E.J. Gold, 1976, of a group of "seekers" which included experts of "sleight of hand" and the author named a "Randi," with no further identification, as one of that particular group.

The Sufi religion is an offshoot of Islam.
"Sufism (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. In modern language it might also be referred to as "Islamic spirituality" or "Islamic mysticism". Some non-Islamic Sufi organizations also exist, especially in the West."

Now, it is a stretch of certainty to say that this was actually Randi of SCICOP fame.

I always thought it was indeed referring to James Randi. And I thought it very odd. I've always believed thereafter that the man James Randi was quite a bit more than he seems.

And this link is the important A.K. Dewdney link, in SeeOtter's link above.
"Project Achilles: Cellphone Experiments in a Light Aircraft" and MUCH more
- SeeOtter's link)
[edit on 6/13/2005 by Noumenon]

[edit on 6/13/2005 by Noumenon]

[edit on 6/13/2005 by Noumenon]

[edit on 6/13/2005 by Noumenon]

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