get out your pens

James Randi --- Wizard (randi-hotline@ssr.com)
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 03:15:52 -0400

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THIS NOTICE!

Seeing the success of the 2000 Club, and the continuing pledge input,
we have decided to expand our scope somewhat. The present total of
pledges (with some 20 or so recently-arrived pledge letters not yet
entered or acknowledged) is US$742,000. Along the way, we've had to
drop out 19 would-be pledgers who didn't get their properly-filled-out
and signed forms back to us, even after several requests. Those folks
should see the end of this posting....

To those of you who might wonder what this is all about, I'll explain
a bit. (The name "2000 Club" was (a) a play on the TV evangelists'
"700 Club," (b) a wild presumption that by the year 2000 A.D. we could
disband the club (!) and (c) a hope that we just might attract 2000
pledgers.) Back in October of 1995, it was suggested to me that I
could enlarge my long-standing challenge offer of US$10,000 for a
genuine paranormal/psychic/supernatural event (details on this and on
how to become a pledger are available on http://www.randi.org) simply
by asking others to pledge money to accompany mine. That sounded like
a dandy idea.

I was naively reaching for a projected grand total of US$100,000, but
within a few days that figure had been far surpassed. It quickly
reached US$600,000, with pledgers from fifteen countries, then
levelled off to a steady trickle until the present total was arrived
at.

Pledges begin at US$1,000 (minimum) and increase in even increments of
US$1,000. The highest are a couple at US$90,000. We have many at the
US$5,000 and US$10,000 levels.

An obvious problem was that a winner of the prize would have to call
in the more than 200 pledges from all over the world. And, as we
might expect, that excuse was immediately seized upon by the
wonder-workers, who bleated that it was a burden to them -- though few
of us would hesitate to accept that job. We've surmounted that excuse
by agreeing that my personal pledge of US$10,000 will be immediately
paid to any winner, and that the additional sum will be paid within 7
days by the James Randi Educational Foundation. The Foundation will
then take up the task of collecting the individual pledges, but the
claimant will already have the money in the bank. (The 7 days would
be needed to allow us to negotiate some stock sales to have the funds
paid from our immediate cash account.)

Of course -- why are we not surprised? -- the miracle-mongers have
developed a whole spectrum of alibis for not lining up at our door to
win the prize. A few:

(a) I can't afford to be in a higher tax bracket.
(b) I'm already rich.
(c) I don't want the money; I'm totally spiritual.
(d) You wouldn't pay me the money, anyway.
(e) It's all a lie; there is no prize.
(f) It's a trap by the CIA to identify and murder me.
(g) The prize comes from the CIA (or from the communists).
(h) God told me not to get into it.
(i) If I win, you'll have me killed to save the money.
(j) You'll put out negative vibes to inhibit my powers.
(k) Since you're a trickster, you'll fool me somehow.
(l) It's too much money.
(m) It's not enough money.
(n) I want the money in a pile, in cash, (or
a certified check) before I try.

And it goes on and on.....

All these, and many other idiotic objections, are baseless, of course.
This is real money, the rules are ours, and the claimants cannot make
their own conditions. It's sort of like betting at the track: if you
win, the track pays. The only differences are (a) that the claimant
in our setup doesn't have to put up anything -- not even a $2 bet --
and (b) unlike the track, we don't expect we'll ever have to pay
because there's no evidence that the horse can even walk, let alone
run. It just might be that these folks don't have the powers they say
they have. Could that be it?

Well, to the main point of this communication. I'm asking all present
pledgers if they might wish to upgrade their pledges (in increments of
US$1,000 only, please) so that by the end of 1996 we will be able to
announce that we have a whole US$1,000,000 offer to the psychics.

Since this whole matter is now being administered by the James Randi
Educational Foundation, and the Foundation is guaranteeing the
payment, please communicate with the office directly if you wish to
become a new pledger or to upgrade your present pledge.

Just in case that those would-be pledgers who failed to complete their
obligations should wish to get back into the 2000 Club, I'll list just
their surnames here. They are:

Aldous, Beardslee, Booth, Chappell, Eakins,
Ehrmantraut, Frank, Legrand, Levine (J),
Levy, Powers, Rufener, Schroeder, Spencer,
Steinbach, Vandermey, Wall, Williamson,
and DeKorte.

Guys, I feel that there can be no legitimate reason why a person
claiming psychic powers will fail to be attracted to this huge,
guaranteed prize. Holding up a cool million bucks to back your
opinions makes for a strong point of argument. Remember, as a pledger
you put up nothing except your sincere pledge to pay in the case of a
winner. No cash goes out until and unless that occurs.

I'm off to Chicago until Sunday. Will I have a raft of pledges
awaiting me when I return.....?

James Randi

************************************
James Randi Educational Foundation
201 S.E. Davie Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale FL
33316-1815 U.S.A.

phone: +1 954 467 1112
fax: +1 954 467 1660
http://www.randi.org

Requests to be added to or deleted from the randi-hotline mailing list,
must be sent to the service address:

Internet: randi-hotline-request@ssr.com

PLEASE BE PATIENT. All requests are processed before each new mailing
to the list and these can be widely spaced. You *will* be added if
your request was sent to the correct address.

If you wish to contact Randi, mail to randi-hotline@ssr.com will
return an information message explaining how.

BACK ISSUES OF THE HOTLINE:

On the Web:

http://www.mindspring.com/~anson/randi-hotline/

Via FTP:

USA:
ftp.netcom.com directory: /pub/an/anson/Mailing_Lists/geller-hotline
ftp.ssr.com: directory: /Randi

Please try netcom.com first, since ftp.ssr.com is very busy.

EUROPE:
mercurio.iet.unipi.it directory: /pub/Randi

Our gratitude goes to Anson Kennedy and Massimo Macucci for providing
the ftp sites at netcom and unipi.it, respectively.

Randi also has a web page, now hosted at the new FOUNDATION! Check it out at:

http://www.randi.org/