|James Randi Educational Foundation|
|Founded||1996, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.|
|Headquarters||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Key people||James Randi, Director|
The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) is a Fort Lauderdale, Florida non-profit organization founded in 1996 by magician and skeptic James Randi. A non-profit organization ( abbreviated "NPO" also "not-for-profit" is a legally constituted Organization whose objective is to support or engage Fort Lauderdale, known as the "Venice of America" due to its expansive and intricate Canal system is a city in Broward County, Florida, The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Fort Lauderdale, known as the "Venice of America" due to its expansive and intricate Canal system is a city in Broward County, Florida, James Randi (born August 7 1928 (stage name The Amazing Randi) is a stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of Paranormal For other uses of this term see Industry (disambiguation An industry (from Latin industrius, "diligent industrious" Education encompasses both the Teaching and Learning of Knowledge, proper conduct, and technical competency A website (alternatively web site or Web site, a back-construction from the Proper noun World Wide Web) is a collection of Web pages Fort Lauderdale, known as the "Venice of America" due to its expansive and intricate Canal system is a city in Broward County, Florida, A non-profit organization ( abbreviated "NPO" also "not-for-profit" is a legally constituted Organization whose objective is to support or engage Scientific skepticism or rational skepticism ( also spelled scepticism) sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is a scientific or practical James Randi (born August 7 1928 (stage name The Amazing Randi) is a stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of Paranormal The JREF's mission includes educating the public and the media on the dangers of accepting unproven claims, and to support research into paranormal claims in controlled scientific experimental conditions. Paranormal is an Umbrella term used to describe unusual Phenomena or experiences that lack an obvious Scientific explanation A randomized controlled trial (RCT is a type of scientific Experiment most commonly used in testing the Efficacy or Effectiveness of Healthcare
The organization offers a prize of one million U.S. dollars which it claims it will pay out to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding The JREF also maintains a legal defense fund to assist persons who are attacked as a result of their investigations and criticism of people who make paranormal claims.
The organization is funded through member contributions, grants, sales of books and videos, and conferences. Each Friday the JREF website publishes a written commentary titled Swift: Online Newsletter of the JREF, which includes the latest JREF news and information.
The James Randi Educational Foundation officially came into existence on February 29, 1996 (a leap year day) when it was registered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Delaware in the United States. Leap years Although the modern calendar counts a year as 365 days a complete revolution around the sun takes approximately 365 days and 6 hours Year 1996 ( MCMXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar) A leap year (or intercalary year) is a year containing one or more extra days (or in the case of Lunisolar calendars an extra month in order to keep the Delaware ( is a state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.  On April 3, 1996 James Randi formally announced the creation of the JREF through his email hotline:
THE FOUNDATION IS IN BUSINESS! It is my great pleasure to announce the creation of the James Randi Educational Foundation. Events 1043 - Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England. Year 1996 ( MCMXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar) This is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational foundation under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, incorporated in the State of Delaware. The Foundation is generously funded by a sponsor in Washington D. C. who wishes, at this point in time, to remain anonymous.
On November 7, 1997 The JREF officially registered with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations as a foreign nonprofit corporation and was granted a certificate of authority to operate within the state. Events 1043 - Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England. Year 1996 ( MCMXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar) Events 1492 - The Ensisheim Meteorite the oldest Meteorite with a known date of impact strikes the Earth around noon in a Wheat Year 1997 ( MCMXCVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar  As a legal entity, the Foundation is referred to as a nonprofit Delaware domestic corporation and in Florida where it has its principal office, it is called a nonprofit foreign corporation (the term describes either out-of-state or out-of-the-country corporations operating in Florida). While the JREF's Delaware corporate entity address is 980 air miles north of its principal office in Fort Lauderdale, the Foundation is still bound by Florida's corporate laws as if it were a domestic Florida corporation (Florida Statute 607. 1505).  However, being a foreign corporation in Florida means that the State of Florida cannot legally regulate the organization or internal affairs of the JREF and the Foundation is able to take advantage of Delaware's more protective corporate laws. 
According to the year 2007 registration information for the JREF filed with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, the current officers of the JREF are as follows:
In 1968, James Randi was working on a radio program with his friend and parapsychologist Stanley Crypter. Parapsychology is a discipline that seeks to demonstrate the existence and causes of Psychic abilities and life after death using the Scientific method During one of the programs, someone challenged him to "put his money where his mouth is", and Randi offered $100 of his own money (even though he wasn't sure if he had $100 at that time) to the first person who could provide objective proof of the paranormal. Eventually this grew to $1,000 and then $10,000. Later, Lexington Broadcasting wanted him to do a show called the "$100,000 Psychic Prize", so they added $90,000 to the original $10,000 raised by Randi. Finally, years later a rich investor told Randi that he "should have more teeth" to his challenge and offered him the current $1,000,000 prize. As the prize fund grew, the rules that surround claiming the prize became more official and legal. 
To claim, one must agree to a protocol for testing, must show in a preliminary test before a foundation representative that they are likely to succeed, and finally make a demonstration in a formal test in front of independent witnesses.  To date, over 1,000 applications have been filed but no one has passed a preliminary test, which is set up and agreed upon by both Randi and the applicant.
In the conditions and rules governing the one million U. S. -dollar challenge, Randi plainly states that both parties (himself and the party accepting the challenge) must agree in advance as to what conditions of the test constitute a "success" and what constitutes a "failure. " He also refuses to accept any challengers who might suffer serious injury or death as a result of the test they intend to undergo. 
Since April 1, 2007 only those with an already existing media profile and the backing of a reputable academic are allowed to apply for the challenge. Events 527 - Byzantine Emperor Justin I names his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.  The resources freed up by not having to test obscure and possibly mentally ill claimants will then be used to challenge high-profile alleged psychics and mediums such as Sylvia Browne and John Edward with a campaign in the media. Mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as Sylvia Browne (born Sylvia Celeste Shoemaker October 19, 1936) is a best-selling American Author on the subject of Spirituality John Edward McGee Jr (born October 19, 1969) better known as John Edward, is an American author and Television personality 
Dennis Rawlins claims the challenge is insincere, and that Randi will ensure he never has to pay out. Dennis Rawlins ( 1937 Baltimore Maryland, US &ndash is an American astronomer historian and publisher In the October 1981 issue of Fate, Rawlins quoted him as saying "I always have an out". Fate is a magazine of Paranormal phenomena founded in 1948 by Raymond A  Victor Zammit interprets this to mean Randi will never let his organization lose such a challenge. Victor James Zammit is an Australian writer and researcher into the Paranormal.  Others, noting this magazine article grew out of political infighting among the members of CSICOP, believe this quote is being misapplied, and that it refers to the fact that Randi employs safeguards against cheating. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry ( CSI) formerly known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal ( CSICOP) is a Randi has stated that Rawlins did not give the entire quotation.  Randi actually said "Concerning the challenge, I always have an 'out': I'm right!", which carries a quite different meaning. Randi claims that the phrase "I always have an out" refers to the fact that he does not allow test subjects to cheat, and others have interpreted it to mean that Randi regards the chances of him having to pay out as zero due to his a priori assumption that so-called "paranormal phenomena" do not exist. "A priori" redirects here For other uses see A priori.
On Larry King Live March 6, 2001 Larry King asked Sylvia Browne if she would take the challenge and she agreed. Larry King Live is an American talk show hosted by Larry King on CNN. Events 1079 - Omar Khayyám completes the Iranian calendar. 1454 - Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. Larry King (born November 19, 1933) is an American television/radio host Sylvia Browne (born Sylvia Celeste Shoemaker October 19, 1936) is a best-selling American Author on the subject of Spirituality  Then Randi appeared with Browne on Larry King Live on September 3, 2001 and she again accepted the challenge. Events 36 BC - In the Battle of Naulochus, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Admiral of Octavian, defeats Sextus Pompeius Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar.  However, she has refused to be tested and Randi keeps a clock on his website recording the number of weeks that have passed since Sylvia accepted the challenge without following through. In an appearance on Larry King Live on January 26, 2007, Randi challenged Rosemary Altea to take the one million challenge. Events 1340 - King Edward III of England is declared King of France. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Rosemary Altea (born 1946 is a Psychic and author She has appeared on various programs including Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show Altea refused to even answer the question of whether or not she would take challenge. This is similar to Altea and Randi's June 5, 2001 meeting on the same show, where Altea would not address the question. Events 70 - Titus and his Roman Legions breach the middle wall of Jerusalem in the Siege of Jerusalem Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar.  Instead Altea, in part, replied "I agree with what he says, that there are many, many people who claim to be spiritual mediums, they claim to talk to the dead. There are many, people, we all know this. There are cheats and charlatans everywhere. "
Randi has recently challenged David R. Hawkins to win the prize with Hawkins' "arm-pressing technique" (applied kinesiology), suggesting it would only take thirty minutes of easy work, but believing that Hawkins would not even attempt to apply for the challenge for "obvious" reasons. Applied Kinesiology (AK is a practice of using manual muscle-strength testing for medical diagnosis and a subsequent determination of prescribed therapy 
As an April Fool's prank on April 1st, 2008 at the MIT Media Lab Seth Raphael and James Randi performed a demonstration of Seth Raphael's psychic abilities which was awarded the prize. This article is about the informal holiday For other uses see April Fool. The MIT Media Lab (also known as the Media Lab) is a department within the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
The official Challenge rules stipulate that the participant must agree, in writing, to the conditions and criteria of their test. Claims that cannot be tested experimentally are not eligible for the Challenge. To ensure that the experimental conditions themselves do not negatively affect a claimant's ability to perform, non-blinded preliminary control tests are often performed. For example, the JREF has dowsers perform a control test, in which the dowser attempts to locate the target substance or object using their dowsing ability, even though the target's location has been revealed to the applicant. Dowsing, sometimes called doodlebugging, divining or water witching, is a practice whereby dowsers attempt to locate hidden Water wells Failure to display a 100% success rate in the open test will cause their immediate disqualification. However, claimants are usually able to perform successfully during the open test, confirming that experimental conditions are adequate. According to the JREF, despite success in these open tests, no claimants have yet been able to successfully demonstrate evidence of their claims while blinded under otherwise identical conditions. Some participants have stated afterwards that the threat of disqualification is the main factor in their apparent success in the open test. Randi has said that few unsuccessful applicants ever seriously consider that their failure to perform might be due to the nonexistence of the power they believe they possess. The discussions between the JREF and applicants were at one time posted on a public discussion board for all to see.  Since the resignation of Randi's assistant, Mr. Kramer—and subsequent changes to challenge rules requiring applicants to have demonstrated considerable notability—new applications are no longer logged, but the JREF continues to maintain an archive of previous applicants.
Another objection made by critics of the challenge is that the rules prohibit independent judging, making the success or failure of the challenge dependent on whether Randi agrees that the test has been passed. While acknowledging the prohibition of independent judges, JREF staff and affiliates point out that the nature of the experimental design makes subjective judging of results unnecessary. Since claimants agree to readily observable success criteria prior to the test, results are unambiguous and clearly indicate whether or not the criteria have been met. Critics have also claimed that Randi's degree of control over the conditions of the challenge discourages serious applicants from applying, due to a perception of bias. Randi has said that he need not participate in any way with the actual execution of the test, and he has been willing to travel far from the test location to avoid the perception that his anti-paranormal bias could influence the test results. Additionally, claimants are able to influence all aspects of the testing procedure, including location and participants, during the initial negotiation phase of the challenge.
Additional criticisms of the test and its rules include:
In April 2007, the JREF made several changes to the testing procedure in an effort to streamline the process and refocus it to target high-profile and professional paranormalists. The foundation now requires a demonstrated media profile as well as the support from some member of the academic community before it will discuss the challenge with claimants. The foundation has also stated that these qualifications can be essentially met by anyone who can win any of the smaller and more regional skeptics prize challenges.
Randi and his associates have stated two primary reasons for the change:
On January 4, 2008 it was announced that the prize would be discontinued on March 6, 2010 in order to free the money for other uses. Events 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Events 1079 - Omar Khayyám completes the Iranian calendar. 1454 - Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of For the film see 2010 The Year We Make Contact. For the book see 2010 Odyssey Two. In the meantime, claimants are welcome to vie for it. One of the reasons offered for its discontinuation is the unwillingness of higher profile claimants to apply. 
Some of these are listed at. 
Exploring Psychic Powers Live! was a television show aired live on June 7, 1989, wherein Randi examined several people claiming psychic powers. Events 1099 - The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins Year 1989 ( MCMLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar) The show offered $100,000 (Randi's then $10,000 prize plus $90,000 put up by the show's syndicator, Lexington Broadcasting ) to anyone who could demonstrate genuine psychic powers. In Broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast Radio shows and Television shows to multiple individual stations without going through Lexington Broadcast Services Company was a Television production and syndication company founded in 1976 The show is a good illustration of how claimants and Randi agree to test protocols and how no "judging" is required.
Since 2003, the JREF has annually hosted The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM), a gathering of scientists, skeptics, atheists, and other freethinkers, with noted speakers from the community. A scientist, in the broadest sense refers to any person that engages in a systematic activity to acquire Knowledge or an individual that engages in such practices In ordinary usage skepticism or scepticism ( Greek 'σκέπτομαι' skeptomai, to look about to consider see also spelling differences Atheism
Perennial speakers include Christopher Hitchens, Penn & Teller, Phil Plait, Michael Shermer and Julia Sweeney. Christopher Eric Hitchens (born April 13, 1949) is a British Author, Journalist, Literary critic and American Penn & Teller ( Penn Fraser Jillette and Teller) are Las Vegas headliners whose act is an amalgam of illusion and Comedy. Dr Philip Plait (aka The Bad Astronomer) is an Astronomer and Skeptic who runs the Website BadAstronomy Michael Brand Shermer (born September 8, 1954 in Glendale California) is an American science writer historian of science founder of The Skeptics Julia Sweeney (born October 10, 1959) is an American actress and Comedian who lives in Hollywood California.
Richard Dawkins and Joe Nickell appeared at the 2005 TAM 3. Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941 is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and Popular science Joe Nickell was born December 1, 1944. He is a former stage magician and is a prominent skeptical investigator of the Paranormal
TAM 4 in 2006 saw ACLU president Nadine Strossen, planetary scientist with the Voyager program Carolyn Porco, Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, The Skeptic's Dictionary author Robert Todd Carroll and Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann. The American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU) consists of two separate Non-profit organizations the ACLU Foundation a 501(c(3 organization which focuses Nadine Strossen (born August 18, 1950) is the current president of the American Civil Liberties Union. Carolyn Porco (born March 6 1953 in New York City) is an American planetary scientist known for MythBusters is a Popular science Television program produced by Australian firm Beyond Television Productions originally for the James Earl "Jamie" Hyneman (born September 25 1956 is an American Visual effects expert best known for being the co-host of the Television series Adam Whitney Savage (born 15 July 1967 is an American Industrial design and Special effects engineer actor educator and co-host of the Discovery Robert Todd Carroll (born 1945 PhD, is an American writer and academic Murray Gell-Mann (born September 15, 1929) is an American Physicist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work
TAM 5, held January 18 - January 21, 2007, included regulars Michael Shermer, Penn & Teller, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Wiseman, MythBuster Adam Savage, and Phil Plait. Events 350 - Generallus Magnentius deposes Roman Emperor Constans and proclaims himself Emperor Events 1189 - Philip II of France and Richard I of England begin to assemble troops to wage the Third Crusade. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Michael Brand Shermer (born September 8, 1954 in Glendale California) is an American science writer historian of science founder of The Skeptics Penn & Teller ( Penn Fraser Jillette and Teller) are Las Vegas headliners whose act is an amalgam of illusion and Comedy. Christopher Eric Hitchens (born April 13, 1949) is a British Author, Journalist, Literary critic and American Richard Wiseman (born 1966 is Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. Adam Whitney Savage (born 15 July 1967 is an American Industrial design and Special effects engineer actor educator and co-host of the Discovery Dr Philip Plait (aka The Bad Astronomer) is an Astronomer and Skeptic who runs the Website BadAstronomy Also presenting were Eugenie Scott, Peter Sagal, Neil Gershenfeld, Nick Gillespie, John Rennie, Lori Lipman Brown and Margaret Downey. Eugenie Carol Scott (born October 24 1945) is an American physical anthropologist who has been the executive director of the National Peter Sagal is an American Playwright, Screenwriter, Actor, and host of the National Public Radio Game show Neil Gershenfeld is a professor at MIT and the head of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms, a sister lab spun out of the popular MIT Media Lab. Nick Gillespie is the editor of Reasoncom and Reasontv and was the editor in chief of Reason magazine from 2000 to 2007 John Rennie (b 1959 became the seventh Editor in chief of Scientific American magazine in late 1994 having been a member of the Board of Editors since Lori Lipman Brown has served as a State senator, Lobbyist, Lawyer, Educator, and Social worker supporter Margaret Downey is an Atheist activist who is the former President of Atheist Alliance International and the founder and former president of the Freethought Society South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone also made an appearance. South Park is an animated American television comedy series created and written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for Comedy Central Randolph Severn "Trey" Parker III (born October 19, 1969) is an American Animator, Screenwriter, Film director Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone (born May 26, 1971) is an Academy Award - nominated Emmy Award - winning American Animator
The 2008 meeting is scheduled for June 19 to 22 in Las Vegas. Events 1179 - The Norwegian Battle of Kalvskinnet outside Nidaros. Las Vegas ( Spanish: "The Meadows" is the most populous City in the state of Nevada, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally
The JREF also is affiliated with The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast, where James Randi has a commentary section. The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is a weekly one-hour Podcast hosted by Steven Novella, MD and a panel of " skeptical rogues "
In 2007 the JREF announced that it would award critical thinking scholarships to college students. Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, Analysis and Evaluation. A scholarship is an award of access to an institution or a financial aid award for an individual student scholar for the purpose of furthering their Education