The $1 million treasure just sits there for the taking. Quite literally. The nonprofit organization The James Randi Educational Foundation has $1 million tucked in an escrow account for any celebrity psychic able to prove their “powers” in a controlled atmosphere.
This seems about as safe as offering to fling money at any WWE wrestler who takes down an MMA fighter, or telling your local bar’s karaoke star you’ll pay them top dollar when they have a record top the Billboard charts.
Either way, your money is safe. And that’s exactly what James Randi, a magician and founder of eponymous educational foundation, banks on by taking his challenge public and working to get the word out about a group of people he considers con artists.
After a recent Nightline television program showcased psychic celebrities, Randi wanted to promote his own views. “James Van Praagh and Allison DuBois have turned the huckster art of ‘cold reading’ into a multi-million-dollar industry, preying on families’ deepest fears and regrets,” he says in a statement announcing the challenge. “They should be embarrassed by the transparent performances.”
Using cold readings—a technique that employs repeating back the answers of leading questions to make it appear the answers were discovered supernaturally—and “hot readings,” which is really what we all do nowadays anyway, using Google to find information out about an individual, these “psychic mediums” have made quite a name to some.
But to win $1 million, you better have the real deal psychic power in your back pocket. Participants must prove their worth on randomly chosen strangers in controlled environments, two conditions that take all the fun—and likelihood—out of pocketing people’s money.
Without a single documented case of a psychic pulling through in a real-life situation, according to Discovery News, finding a taker for this $1 million challenge proves unlikely, at best.
But who knows? NewsFeed is no psychic, so maybe somebody will step up to the challenge.