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From The Mailbag

onegoodmove reader David writes, "In memory of Johnny Carson's great work for the skeptic movement and in helping expose frauds and charlatans, I captured a video clip that includes James Randi and Johnny Carson collaborating to debunk UriGeller, Peter Popoff, and Psychic Healing on the Tonight Show. The clip is from the NOVA episode "Secrets of the Psychics"

Quicktime Video 2.97MB 1'53
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I love the Amazing James Randi!

What really gets me about this clip is how civil Johnny is to his guest. Even though he's exposing him, he's saying "I'm not trying to put you down." If we could all be so levelheaded in trying to expose frauds, we would have so much more credibility. You don't have to be spewing venom to get your point across - I think that's something we forget on both sides these days.

i poopy myself

anybody know where more carson clips are available?

i don't know too much about this story, but it's a very interesting clip. it appears that johnny's actually waiting uri out and letting uri's own inability come out, rather than blatantly exposing him. amazing that tv wasn't as quickly edited and chopped as it is today, it really emphasises those silences.

I don't know if many of the Randi lovers here are familiar with his apparent predilection for pederasty. He has also been on the losing end of lawsuits for slander and has been removed from some of the skeptic clubs due to another predilection for irrational and inflammatory comments. This may be new info to some of you, but if you are brave enough to see one of your heroes in a different light this info should not be difficult to find.

What are we to make of your undocumented ad hominem attack against Mr. Randi. Do you believe the charges, even if true, somehow make his debunking of Uri Geller and others less persuasive. They don't.

If you are not in the least bit lazy, you can find the information yourself. Searching the web is quite easy, I have confidence you can do it! The real question is whether or not you're brave enough.

I think you'll find, that is if you're not too disinclined to do the little bit of research, that when Randi is unable to disprove something he resorts to slander and personal attacks of the most viscious nature.

There is nothing to anon's claims, except a lot of rumor-mongering carried on by anonymous posters like anon.

The only defamation suit against Randi I'm aware of is the one brought by Geller several years ago. Geller lost, and had to pay a $150K fine for bringing a frivolous lawsuit.

I'm sure anon would prove me wrong if he could. After all, "searching the web is quite easy." Yet, somehow, I don't expect him to be providing us with any reliable citations...

I'd sure like to see the longer clip that includes Popoff, etc. Any chance for a link to that?

Here is the longer clip

Thanks very much. Unfortunately, the link doesn't work--I get a message about the file name or syntax being incorrect.

That's odd. It works for me. Try a different browser or download manager such as WackGet.


Norm, if only you were like Geller, you wouldn't have to search on the internet for the info - you'd just magically know it.

I got it to work by downloading the file first--maybe the streaming problem was a PC-to-Mac issue. Anyway, great to see that--thanks again.

buffalo, Indeed, I wonder what ever happened to Geller? He's probably selling used cars in Tucson.


I can't thank you enough for posting these clips.I read all randi's books, but this is actually the first time I can see Popov and Geller in action. Man, they're even worst than all I imagined. And that guy's face, at the end of the horoscope bit, you can see he's having a hard time with the crucial notion that you can't prove a negative...

great clip

it reminds me of an old That's Incredible clip

or was it Ripley's Believe It Or Not?

where they exposed some guy who claimed to be able to move inanimate objects

and this guy did it by blowing air out of his mouth -- and moving pencils back and forth -- and vibrating leaves of plants

and then when they exposed this guy in a clip on the TV show as a fraud the guy flipped out and knocked over the table in front of him and confessed.

that he had gotten so good at doing breaths of air out of his mouth and moving his hands about like he was doing telekinesis on a pencil or a leaf on a plant behind him

he was able to fool people into thinking he had psychic powers

but he was a fraud like ALL psychics -- especially that old skank on Montel Williams Sylivia Browne.

Johnny was excellent at his job. He was able to refrain from snickering or laughing his ass off on that clip, yet he could fall off his chair laughing at comedians. I'm that old to remember him in those times, and I guess you're not going to find someone as good as Johnny, considering there have been thousands of guests on his show and none have ever been found out of those guests to be equal to him as a host. I expect to hear from those who differ with my opinion, but to me he seemed hypnotising with his expertise.


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