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Tags james randi , kreskin

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Old 17th January 2008, 11:28 AM   #1
bwinwright
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The Amazing Randi and The Amazing Kreskin

I have always wondered if The Amazing Randi ever challenged The Amazing Kreskin. I remember seeing The Amazing Kreskin on Merv Griffin's show and maybe on the Johnny Carson Show back in the 1970's and I though he was quite amazing.

Kreskin called himself a "mentalist" and offered to pay anyone a million dollars if they could prove he was using anything other than his mind to do his amazing tricks.

About that same time, The Amazing Randi was growing in popularity for exposing frauds like the Reverend Popov, Uri Geller, etc. The Amazing Randi made an offer, at that time, to pay anyone $10,000 if they could demonstrate, in Randi's presence, any form of paranormal activity, like ESP, telekinesis, etc. Randi claimed he never had to pay out the $10,000.

At that time, I just thought The Amazing Randi could pick up a cool million by proving that Kreskin was a fraud. Does anyone know what ever happened here?
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Old 17th January 2008, 11:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by bwinwright View Post
I have always wondered if The Amazing Randi ever challenged The Amazing Kreskin. I remember seeing The Amazing Kreskin on Merv Griffin's show and maybe on the Johnny Carson Show back in the 1970's and I though he was quite amazing.

Kreskin called himself a "mentalist" and offered to pay anyone a million dollars if they could prove he was using anything other than his mind to do his amazing tricks.

About that same time, The Amazing Randi was growing in popularity for exposing frauds like the Reverend Popov, Uri Geller, etc. The Amazing Randi made an offer, at that time, to pay anyone $10,000 if they could demonstrate, in Randi's presence, any form of paranormal activity, like ESP, telekinesis, etc. Randi claimed he never had to pay out the $10,000.

At that time, I just thought The Amazing Randi could pick up a cool million by proving that Kreskin was a fraud. Does anyone know what ever happened here?
Knowing Randi, he probably did personally challenge Kreskin at some point. Even if he didn't, the million dollars still sits there so I guess Kreskin doesn't want it.

Also, the burden of proof is on Kreskin because he is making the claim not Randi.
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Last edited by KingMerv00; 17th January 2008 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 17th January 2008, 11:43 AM   #3
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"Kreskin has acknowledged that he has no paranormal powers"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreskin

Randi has clearly stated the challenge is to be awarded for demonstrating paranormal powers which Kreskin doesn't claim to have.

Originally Posted by bwinwright View Post
Kreskin called himself a "mentalist" and offered to pay anyone a million dollars if they could prove he was using anything other than his mind to do his amazing tricks.
What is your source for this?
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Last edited by MWare; 17th January 2008 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 17th January 2008, 12:26 PM   #4
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Kreskin is a magician (of the menalist variety). The only controversy surrounding him is where he draws the line at allowing his audience to believe his "powers" are paranormal. Different menalists have different opinions on this issue. But I believe when speaking outside of his performing persona Kreskin admits there is nothing paranormal.
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Old 17th January 2008, 12:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Monza View Post
Kreskin is a magician (of the menalist variety). The only controversy surrounding him is where he draws the line at allowing his audience to believe his "powers" are paranormal. Different menalists have different opinions on this issue. But I believe when speaking outside of his performing persona Kreskin admits there is nothing paranormal.

Yes, and I don't think Carson would have had him on so many times had he claimed to have real powers. We've all seen what he did to Geller.
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Old 17th January 2008, 01:49 PM   #6
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This is the guy who wanted you to buy his book so you could know how to go on unemployment for six months ("get paid by the government while you start your own business!"), hardly a difficult thing to do. It's all in the phrasing.
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Old 18th January 2008, 08:31 AM   #7
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I heard him say it on the Merv Griffin show..I believe

Originally Posted by MWare View Post
"Kreskin has acknowledged that he has no paranormal powers"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreskin

Randi has clearly stated the challenge is to be awarded for demonstrating paranormal powers which Kreskin doesn't claim to have.



What is your source for this?
MWare, I heard Kreskin say this on the Merv Griffin show, I believe. It might have been the Johnny Carson show. Wherever he said it is unimportant. The important thing is he said it. So, Randi doesn't consider mental telepathy and telekinesis to be paranormal?
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Old 18th January 2008, 08:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bwinwright View Post
MWare, I heard Kreskin say this on the Merv Griffin show, I believe. It might have been the Johnny Carson show. Wherever he said it is unimportant. The important thing is he said it. So, Randi doesn't consider mental telepathy and telekinesis to be paranormal?
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Kreskin does not claim to have supernatural powers. He is doing magic tricks. You don't have to believe his tricks are real to enjoy the show.

While we're at it, there is no Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny.
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Old 18th January 2008, 09:15 AM   #9
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http://http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/03/the-amazing-kreskin-on-2008-and-stacy-peterson/

Judging from this piece, I would suggest that perhaps the Amazin Kreskin has gone around the bend.

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Old 18th January 2008, 10:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bwinwright View Post
MWare, I heard Kreskin say this on the Merv Griffin show, I believe. It might have been the Johnny Carson show. Wherever he said it is unimportant. The important thing is he said it. So, Randi doesn't consider mental telepathy and telekinesis to be paranormal?
According to IMDB (http://imdb.com/name/nm0470916/) Kreskin never appeared on the Merv Griffin Show (or the Johnny Carson Show). He did appear on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson several times, but the most recent was 1979. So at best, your source is your own memory from nearly 30 years ago. Also, you must not be aware of Johnny Carson's involvement with skepticism and James Randi. To think he would have let a challenge like the one you describe simply pass, I find very difficult to believe.
Of course I find most of your claims difficult to believe.
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Last edited by MWare; 18th January 2008 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 18th January 2008, 10:32 AM   #11
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One of Kreskin's big deals, was that the producers of the show he was to appear in would hide his pay check somewhere ( sometimes under a seat in the audience ) and he would find it, or not get paid..

Pretty cool ..
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Old 18th January 2008, 10:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ravdin View Post
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Kreskin does not claim to have supernatural powers. He is doing magic tricks. You don't have to believe his tricks are real to enjoy the show.

While we're at it, there is no Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny.
Actually, Kreskin has gone over to the dark side...

http://www.amazingkreskin.com/

http://www.tampabayskeptics.org/Kreskin.html

According to Randi, when Carson asked Kreskin how he did a particular trick, Kreskin gave a response on the order of "I don't know how I do it" and Carson never had him on the show after that.

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Old 18th January 2008, 10:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hindmost View Post
Actually, Kreskin has gone over to the dark side...
Aw, shucks! What an [rule 10].

That doesn't prove he believes he really has supernatural powers, but it does convince me that he's a scumbag.
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Old 18th January 2008, 12:44 PM   #14
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Search randi.org for references to Kreskin. Mr. Randi has mentioned him in a few commentaries. Kreskin apparently waffles between saying that there is nothing paranormal about what he does, to saying the opposite.
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Old 18th January 2008, 02:26 PM   #15
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Ask Penn Jillette about Kreskin, then sit back and enjoy. Jillette got gypped (as did some in my family) by Kreskin's ESP "game." Those who bought the thing and who expected to learn something profound from Kreskin learned only the extent of their own profound disappointment.

Kreskin did some pretty neat stuff in the '70s, but on the whole I found his act to be lame (and it somewhat soured mentalism for me). If I remember right, one of Kreskin's best moments was when he appeared on the Flip Wilson Show and somehow knew that a lady in the audience was from Morocco. I now have a good idea how this was done, but at the time, it was a pretty impressive revelation. How on Earth would someone guess that she was from Morocco of all places??

On the "Tonight" Show, Kreskin did a trick that was purely mathematical. Or perhaps I should say that precisely the same effect could be achieved by using a very easy mathematical principle, and therefore the effect would be a very poor demonstrator of any amazing ability. Sadly, the math principle was not only easy, it was screaming obvious (I was just a kid when I saw the show, and the principle was drop dead obvious to me). What made it worse in my mind, though, was that Carson basically endorsed the trick. Kreskin said something like, "Johnny, I think you'd agree that the chances of the two numbers being the same are astronomical!" and Carson affirmatively agreed. I can imagine that Carson was too much of a gentleman and too sympathic a perfomer to expose one of Kreskin's tricks, even a trick as lame as this one, but I also think that Carson should have been quick enough to avoid giving a false impression that his guest had performed a genuine supernatural feat.
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