The Faith Healers

The Faith Healers

by James Randi, Carl Sagan

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940013971219
Publisher: James Randi Educational Foundation
Publication date: 08/24/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 315
Sales rank: 396,989
File size: 15 MB
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About the Author

James Randi (born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge; August 7, 1928) is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Randi began his career as a magician, as The Amazing Randi, but after retiring at age 60, he began investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo." Although often referred to as a "debunker," Randi rejects that title owing to its perceived bias, instead describing himself as an "investigator." He has written about the paranormal, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!.

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The Faith Healers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As both a believer in the supernatural world and a Christian I can do nothing but stand up and applaud James Randi for this book. He goes through some of the biggest charlitans and frauds in the business and prove the lot of them are nothing but con artists protected by outdated laws. The particular example of Leroy Jenkins claim regarding challenging Randi to prove him wrong. As the reproduced advertisement blatently shows any reader this was grand standing at its worst. He did it for publicity knowing full well no skeptic would take him up on it because his premise was patently impossible. Why? For the same reason you can't prove that the moon is not made out of a particularly rock like brand of green cheese or that Santa Claus does not exist. Its impossible to prove a negative and simply enough thats not the point of science. It's Jenkin's responsibility to prove his claims some thing he is incapable of doing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book that deserves to be read by anyone interested in critical thinking. As is often the case, some people are unable to separate the message from the messenger and have harshly criticized Randi for speaking the truth and reporting the facts.
Devil_llama on LibraryThing 19 days ago
The man who exposed Uri Geller turns his attention to the vast commercial enterprise of faith healing. Exposing many of the tricks used by faith healers to bilk victims out of their money is the main gist of this book, and he discussed some of the big names, including his expose of Peter Popoff and with a chapter on everyone's favorite, Oral Roberts. One place where the author and I do part company is that I feel perhaps a fool and his money should be soon parted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
James Randi would like us to view him as an objective 'skeptic' offended by confidence tricksters using religion as a cover for their scams. However his book advances a far more ambitious agenda; he views religious faith as a 'primitive state' of humanity and would like to see the U.S. Supreme Court change the law to 'protect' those simpleminded enough to adhere to such 'superstitions' (p.s 297, 298 & 304.) The narrative is mostly rhetoric tarring those whose philosophies are not shared by Randi as closed-minded suckers, a view expounded in the introduction but well expressed in chapter 9 when a correspondant admonishes Randi, saying: 'You're not familiar with Christian people... the way they think.' Randi replies: 'It seems there isn't much thinking going on... they'll believe anything.' (p 154) This is part of a steady stream of mean-spirited elitism directed not simply against those Randi sees as frauds but at their 'victims' as well. There ARE accusations of real fraud in the book, especially directed against Oral Roberts, Peter Popoff and W. V. Grant. Yet on page 97, when faith healer Leroy Jenkins challenges Randi to prove his allegations, Randi responds: 'Well, as is usual with most of these challengers, Jenkins got it backwards. It's MY challenge to HIM to prove that he is genuine. I'm not saying, nor have I ever said, that he is 'a phony'. I'm only saying that he has not proved that he's for real.' Had Randi contented himself with his assertions and provided the necessary factual data to support them, his book might have some value. Instead we get a discreditable attempt to cast scorn not only on all faith healing but on all religious belief, using guilt by association, ridicule, unsubstantiated gossip, ad hominem attacks, pop-psychological profiling and pseudo-scientific 'standards for evaluation' to do so. One of the acts of the great magician Harry 'Houdini' Weiss was 'exposing' fraudulent psychics. Although Houdini suggested that fraudulent mediums were preying on the weaknesses of their clients he never implied that religious believers were his intellectual inferiors. James Randi's imitation is no flattery - it's a bitterly bigoted attack inspired by his own fanatical faith in Scientific Materialism, and every bit as manipulative and distorted as his targets' presumed crimes.