Click here to support the Daily Grail for as little as $US1 per month on Patreon

Randi’s Million

I’ve always wondered about the James Randi “Million Dollar” prize for his paranormal challenge – rumours have flown that there is no million dollars, while others say it’s there in cash waiting. Welp, in his latest newsletter Randi has given evidence for the prize, via a PDF image taken from the prize account’s financial statement. Unfortunately, I don’t really have the accounting knowledge to understand some of the terminology: I understand the $4K in cash, and can take a guess at the $52K in cash equivalents. But can anyone fill me in on what the $1 million in “Investment Grade Fixed Income” means? It certainly seems that this is ‘actual’ money of some sort, considering the $4K in interest earned during December. But I’d appreciate clarification.

By the way: stand by for more information about the actual challenge part…I’ve found out some interesting things and will be posting an article soon about it all.

Editor
  1. Investment Grade Fixed Income
    Greg,

    You mean you would not care having 1 million dollars sitting around in a checking or saving account? So why the surprise? Nothing untoward here.

    A “Investment Grade Fixed Income” account is a low risk portfolio with higher liquidity.

    From Morgan Stanley: http://tinyurl.com/2rhy7l

    Seeks to provide an attractive rate of return, measured in US Dollars, through investment primarily in US Dollar denominated fixed income securities issued by governments, agencies and corporations either in the US domestic markets or in the Euromarkets. The Fund may also invest on an ancillary basis in foreign fixed income securities, including emerging markets fixed income securities.

    This is an old tired argument that Randi does not have the 1 million and it is in worthless bonds.

    Instead of swinging at the ball people start swinging at the pitcher – in this case its Randi who is the pitcher.

    On another point, why is Randi so preoccupied with “Spoon bending” Geller? Geller made his “claim to fame” by emphatically stating he was the “real deal”. There are far too many gullible people who lose their moeny to such flagrant frauds – like Q Ray bracelets (they actually had to admit they do nothing).

    We all would like to believe in something but lets not get carried away by blind belief. πŸ™‚

    Cheers

    1. “On another point, why is
      “On another point, why is Randi so preoccupied with “Spoon bending” Geller?”

      Past life adversaries still duking it out in this life? Perhaps Geller saw the light and let it go; Randi is still very attached to or stuck in this karmic relationship and cannot let it go. Maybe Randi was a witch-hunter or grand inquisitor in the dark Middle Ages and he’s still playing this role.

      When will he and other such skeptics wake up and see the Light? Learn, grow and evolve! πŸ˜‰

    2. ??
      [quote=tihz_ho]
      From Morgan Stanley: http://tinyurl.com/2rhy7l

      Seeks to provide an attractive rate of return, measured in US Dollars, through investment primarily in US Dollar denominated fixed income securities issued by governments, agencies and corporations either in the US domestic markets or in the Euromarkets. The Fund may also invest on an ancillary basis in foreign fixed income securities, including emerging markets fixed income securities.[/quote]

      ….Huh? πŸ™

      —–
      It’s not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me…
      It’s all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

      Red Pill Junkie

    3. Belief and skepticism
      [quote=tihz_ho]You mean you would not care having 1 million dollars sitting around in a checking or saving account? So why the surprise? Nothing untoward here. [/quote]

      I’m not catching your meaning here in regards to my posting. I’m currently writing an article on the Million Dollar Challenge, and naturally this is one area that I need to clarify. I’m not “surprised” by anything…just asking for clarification from people with more knowledge than myself on a particular topic.

      [quote]A “Investment Grade Fixed Income” account is a low risk portfolio with higher liquidity.

      From Morgan Stanley: http://tinyurl.com/2rhy7l%5B/quote%5D

      Well, that’s exactly the kind of talk that I *don’t* understand! πŸ˜‰

      My interest isn’t so much with “is it worth a million dollars”, rather “is it worth a million now, or is it a 30-year-deal” or similar. From all I can see though (e.g. in the Challenge FAQ), Randi is confident that it can be turned into cash very quickly, and I would imagine your definition also fits this. He also mentions that as the prompt payment is in the rules, he could be sued for it if he didn’t do it in any case.

      [quote]Instead of swinging at the ball people start swinging at the pitcher – in this case its Randi who is the pitcher.[/quote]

      Surely Randi would encourage people to be skeptical of the challenge? Skepticism/critical thinking is, after all, his raison d’etre. I would think he should be disappointed if we all just accepted his claims without investigation…

      [quote]We all would like to believe in something but lets not get carried away by blind belief. :)[/quote]

      Who is getting “carried away” by blind belief, and what belief is it that we’re talking about? I don’t see how your comment applies to my posting at all?

      I think skepticism is warranted when you read accounts such as this. In any case, I am not so much interested in the million dollar part (and am quite confident it is there), as to the actual challenge itself. But more on that later.

      Kind regards,
      Greg
      ——————————————-
      You monkeys only think you’re running things

      1. A new adjective
        Maybe we could come up with a new adjective:

        Randillionaire

        I’m still not sure what it would mean though πŸ™‚

        —–
        It’s not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me…
        It’s all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

        Red Pill Junkie

      2. In Reply
        Greg,

        It seemed to me that your posting was slanted towards “Is there $1,000,000 or not?” rather than the point of the challenge which is for people who claim they have paranormal powers or abilities by their own well crafted “proofs” to actually prove it to a objective third party. This is the spirit and purpose of the $1M challenge and one which ought to be embraced and applauded.

        I use the term “paranormal” as a “catch-all” for anything which is either Pseudo-science or people with supernatural or psychic powers which has yet to be proved in an objective way. This is not to say that these things do not exist, it might be only our ability to test for them by our limitations in technology and understanding. This I feel is the purpose of the challenge, to put these claims under an objective and scientific light, to better understand and clarify them if shown to be true, or to expose them to be false.

        However…

        All things “Paranormal” is a multi-billion dollar industry. Doesn’t it seem odd that there are more and more “discoveries” and “re-discoveries” to be sold to people who fall for the pseudo-science and the romantic notion that thousands of years ago the “Ancients” who were obviously more attuned to nature only now have their wisdom “re-discovered” and available for a price?

        Geller, Q-Ray, Crystals, all things Pyramidal et al, and billions and billions of dollars spent on things that are more sermon than substance.

        The link you provided as to raising doubts on the veracity of Randi’s challenge seems more preoccupied in swinging at the pitcher than at the ball as it questions “is there is or is there not the 1 Million dollars?” Seems to me this is classic “misdirection” which is important to a Magician and their craft.

        Most of the headings say it all…

        What is a bond, and why is it different than cash?

        How can bonds be legally worth money, but be worthless?

        How does this all translate to the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge?

        Does the Challenge have worthless bonds?

        “If someone wins, how will they be paid?

        “If I pass the formal test and win the Challenge, how will I be paid?

        It turns out the prize IS THE BONDS.

        So how is this swinging at the ball which is challenging the people or products who have made claims to submit to scientific scrutiny?

        If there has been a less than objective scrutiny on the part of Randi and the challenge then present that so it could be addressed. This however seems impossible for many “open minded” people to do or for people who know they are rubbish merchants and this will hurt their bottom line.

        I made the statement ‘we all want to believe’ for the simple reason it seems the more “open minded” and “attuned” people are the more “closed mined” and unwilling they are to accept that what they believed might not be true.

        Q-Ray bracelets have been shown to be nothing at all other than a bracelet – but people refuse to accept that as there must be some conspiracy involved to keep the “truth” from them.

        A $400 wooden knob et al for your sound system to improve its sound performance.

        The phrase “A fool and his money is soon parted” comes to mind.

        The so called “Bosnian Pyramid” is another example. It has been shown to just be a natural geologic feature presented in such a way to suggest its artificial. This has been asserted by Dr Robert Schoch who has studied it and came to this conclusion.

        It was also the same Dr Robert Schoch who supported Anthony West’s claim of water erosion of the Sphinx and its older age.

        Do we freely accept Dr Schoch’s conclusions regarding the Sphinx as this is what we want to believe while rejecting his conclusions of the so called Bosnian Pyramid as that is not what we want to believe? We cannot pick and choose only things which will support our preconceptions – that is not scientific.

        I am reminded of the X Files and Mulder wanting that “objective view” from Scully. We also need a ‘Randi’ and a ‘$1M challenge’ as they say in Australia “to keep the bastards honest”

        I apologize if I did not fully clarify my points then and now as I am not a professional writer such as yourself. I do enjoy your web site as you link to many interesting sites and allow a forum for such paranormal topics. I also read Randi’s SWIFT as part of my Friday ritual with my cup of coffee – “just to keep the bastards honest”

        Cheers

        1. Paranormal and Skepticism
          [quote=tihz_ho]It seemed to me that your posting was slanted towards “Is there $1,000,000 or not?” rather than the point of the challenge which is for people who claim they have paranormal powers or abilities by their own well crafted “proofs” to actually prove it to a objective third party. This is the spirit and purpose of the $1M challenge and one which ought to be embraced and applauded. [/quote]

          Hi Tihz_ho,

          You are correct, this post was specifically addressing that question…I just wanted clarification of what the bonds actually were.

          As for the challenge, it is my conclusion that largely it is a publicity gimmick for Randi and the JREF. As I said, I will be posting about this more in an upcoming article.

          [quote]This I feel is the purpose of the challenge, to put these claims under an objective and scientific light, to better understand and clarify them if shown to be true, or to expose them to be false. [/quote]

          Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Largely it is focused towards a one-off challenge, and as such the success rate required is much higher than long-term, scientific trials would require. On the flipside, a one-off failure of a psychic in the challenge does not expose them as “false” – that is bad science. And yet that is how Randi would have it.

          [quote]All things “Paranormal” is a multi-billion dollar industry. Doesn’t it seem odd that there are more and more “discoveries” and “re-discoveries” to be sold to people who fall for the pseudo-science and the romantic notion that thousands of years ago the “Ancients” who were obviously more attuned to nature only now have their wisdom “re-discovered” and available for a price? [/quote]

          I agree with you completely. There is a lot of rubbish out there. However, there is also a lot of interesting subject matter which is lumped in with the rubbish by Randi et al, and which I think is undeserving of that association.

          [quote]The link you provided as to raising doubts on the veracity of Randi’s challenge seems more preoccupied in swinging at the pitcher than at the ball as it questions “is there is or is there not the 1 Million dollars?” Seems to me this is classic “misdirection” which is important to a Magician and their craft. [/quote]

          Again, I agree that it focuses on seeming misbehaviour of JREF officials. And I think, ultimately, it is wrong about its suspicions about the bonds. But it does document the obstructions put up when investigating this “fair and objective” test. It also demonstrates that applicants should be wary of those administrating the challenge.

          I might add, that Randi himself very often “swings at the pitcher” rather than at the ball.

          [quote]I made the statement ‘we all want to believe’ for the simple reason it seems the more “open minded” and “attuned” people are the more “closed mined” and unwilling they are to accept that what they believed might not be true.

          Q-Ray bracelets have been shown to be nothing at all other than a bracelet – but people refuse to accept that as there must be some conspiracy involved to keep the “truth” from them.

          A $400 wooden knob et al for your sound system to improve its sound performance. [/quote]

          Again, agreed. I have previously praised Randi’s actions against frauds and snake oil salesmen. I do take issue, however, with his ad hominem attacks on serious parapsychology researchers, and various other aspects of his personality/philosophy.

          [quote]Do we freely accept Dr Schoch’s conclusions regarding the Sphinx as this is what we want to believe while rejecting his conclusions of the so called Bosnian Pyramid as that is not what we want to believe? We cannot pick and choose only things which will support our preconceptions – that is not scientific. [/quote]

          I can’t speak for others here, but I currently trust Robert’s ‘debunking’ of the Bosnian ‘Pyramid’, until I see evidence to the contrary. I have said as much here on TDG.

          [quote]I am reminded of the X Files and Mulder wanting that “objective view” from Scully. We also need a ‘Randi’ and a ‘$1M challenge’ as they say in Australia “to keep the bastards honest” [/quote]

          Once again, I have often advised readers here to read through skeptical resources (most recently, Michael Shermer’s new website) as part of their Internet travels. Though I think in large part the modern skeptical movement is actually based more in aggressive materialist philosophy rather than skepticism, I do believe they play a part in the dialogue over fringe ideas.

          I don’t agree that we “need” the $1M Challenge. I think it is just a propaganda tool for the modern skeptical movement. What we “need” is more scientists reading good paranormal research, and fostering widespread and honest investigation to see if the effects are robust.

          Thanks for your detailed thoughts, appreciate the dialogue.

          Kind regards,
          Greg
          ——————————————-
          You monkeys only think you’re running things

      3. Investment Link on your front page
        [quote=Greg]

        [quote]A “Investment Grade Fixed Income” account is a low risk portfolio with higher liquidity.

        From Morgan Stanley: http://tinyurl.com/2rhy7l%5B/quote%5D

        Well, that’s exactly the kind of talk that I *don’t* understand! πŸ˜‰

        [/quote]

        Well you did have a link on your front page for investments

        http://tinyurl.com/23my78

        Along with “Angel Guides” and “Are you Psychic” links.

        Ok fair enough that is supplied by Ads by Google. However don’t you, as the owner of this site, have some responsibility for endorsement of these people, services and products by association?

        Cheers

        1. Who Said anything about Endorsement?
          [quote=tihz_ho]Ok fair enough that is supplied by Ads by Google. However don’t you, as the owner of this site, have some responsibility for endorsement of these people, services and products by association? [/quote]

          Does it say “Ads by Google”, or “Ads by Greg”?

          Unlike various members of the skeptical movement, I trust in the intelligence and critical thinking abilities of my readers.

          Kind regards,
          Greg
          ——————————————-
          You monkeys only think you’re running things

  2. looking forward to your
    looking forward to your article. Radin nailed this one, though no one in the Google crowd seemed to have an understanding of the statistics. I was really impressed with his calmness and clarity – must be all the experience!

  3. Unscientific
    Hello everybody,

    I am new on here and would not usually have commented on this subject but, and excuse me if ive missed some of the obvious ongoing debate, it seems as though some people are more bothered about their position in the debate than the debate itself.

    1 million for anybody who can prove metaphysical phenomena? Thats the impression I get. Thats a bit like saying, if the roles were reversed, 1 million for proving the laws of physics, in one go. Fail and you dont get the prize. So I say ‘ok, this is gravity, i jump up and this invisable force will pull me back down’, thank you very much, mines an Aston Martin.

    For a million i’d expect people to be coming back down every time!

    All the arguing about how tricky it is to prove the existence of these effects we are are talking about is giving the metaphysical/paranormal/supernatural etc, etc, community a bad name.

    There is money to be made in allowing people to believe in the supernatural, and ways of talking around the obviousness of it not being a particulary objective subject! People WANT to believe it, its an interesting subject, its enlightening to think in these ways, it feels good! Religion has these effects as well, so does the fantasy world of children.

    Why the animosity ? if paranormal is true then it will be proven to be so and it’ll all be hunky dory but in the mean time we have to live with the fact that it hasnt been proved, not like gravity as a real effect, and money and publicity is still there for people to argue about it.

    ads by google, 1 million from Randi. links, seminars, ego’s…………….

    And that was my first post on here and i havnt the foggiest what i’m on about.

    Love, peace and magic.

    1. Hi loop
      Welcome, and hopeflly you’ll care to contribute with more comments as good as this one in the future.

      I certainly cannot add anything more to the subject of this $1 million prize, since I haven’t studied the aspects of the contest in detail. I’m sure Greg will have much more to say with his upcoming article.

      However, just as I was reading your comment, it striked me as odd how everybody on this planet can proved the existence of gravity by simply jumping or falling on one’s ass β€”a couple of Tequila shots on a Friday night can be excellent for this experiment BTW…

      And yet, we still haven’t a clear idea of WHAT exactly causes gravity. The most common force in human experience and apparently to discover its secrets our scientists need to perform the most expensive experiments by building the biggest machine in the history of mankind: the Large Hadron Collider; this with the purpose of proving the existence of the ellusive Higgs Boson, or β€”if notβ€” to come up with a better theory of how everything falls into place.

      Don’t worry, I haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m trying to say here either πŸ™‚

      I suppose that all these tcomments we’ve made have to do with the peculiar personality of James Randi; the way he ends up appearing like a rather petulant person to some people for the way he approaches the paranormal phenomena, despite the fact that his intentions are noble and has important things to add to the discussion. Cynism and snark after all, seems to be the obligatory trait of any “respectable” modern skeptic nowadays.

      —–
      It’s not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me…
      It’s all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

      Red Pill Junkie

  4. Short of a 1 million dollars
    My hope is to make a run for the million dollars by year’s end. Even if I don’t succeed in taking Randi’s loot, I hope to make it past the first preliminary stage, as no one has succeeded doing that since the million dollar prize began back in 1998.

  5. Short of a 1 million dollars
    My hope is to make a run for the million dollars by year’s end. Even if I don’t succeed in taking Randi’s loot, I hope to make it past the first preliminary stage, as no one has succeeded doing that since the million dollar prize began back in 1998.

  6. Randy’s Million Dollar Wager
    I belive I can Prove This Spirit for you,I have A special power with awsome results.I can garuntee my method will work every Time on Time under variable guidelines I have set.I can move my thoughts through time Via Recording Device.It Works Everytme.
    EncriptedtoKnight@Yahoo.com

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mobile menu - fractal