An Honest Liar

An Honest Liar

Truth and Deception in the Life of James "The Amazing" Randi

DVD - 2014
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Publisher: [Culver City] : Flim Flam Films, 2014.
Branch Call Number: DVD 364.163092 Randi-H
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (93 min.) : digital, sound, colour ; 12 cm
Language Note: Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

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j
jimg2000
Feb 19, 2018

Highly educational material in the ex-magician's quest in exposing psychics (psychological techniques), faith healers (tricks and scams), and con-artists (spoon benders.) Enjoyed the real personalities and their stage acts along with those old TV video clips on personalities like Barbara Walters, Dick Cavett and Johnny Carson. Be ready to be amazed by how those big brain scientists and their labs full of test equipment got fooled by the magicians.

j
Janice21383
Jan 29, 2017

This documentary about magician and fraud buster James Randi begins with the usual elements of his life story: lonely childhood, discovery of his homosexuality, rise in the entertainment industry, and various charlatans he uncovered. One illusion I hadn't heard about is the psychic kids, who fooled parapsychology professors though Randi sent the researchers detailed guidelines on testing psychics beforehand -- which they mostly ignored. Turns out the kids were Randi's assistants, who pulled a very long con to make a point. But then Randi himself is revealed to have been conned -- or was he? Either way, it must have been extremely painful to be exposed in a way that touched intimately on his personal and professional life. As Randi puts it: anyone can be fooled.

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j
jimg2000
Feb 20, 2018

"I'm a magician. I know how to deceive people, and I know how to recognize when people are being deceived. I can cheat you countless different ways and you won't know. You won't catch me. Some people cannot believe that a magician can fool them in such a way that they can't figure it out. But magicians can and magicians do. Don't be too sure of yourself. No matter how smart or well educated you are, you can be deceived."

j
jimg2000
Feb 19, 2018

Some people cannot believe that a magician can fool them in such a way that they can't figure it out. But magicians can and magicians do. Swindlers do, conmen do all the time. They're not magicians, they're fakes. They are lying to us, they're deceiving us. It's OK to fool people, as long as you're doing that to teach them a lesson which will better their knowledge of how the real world works. No matter how smart or well-educated you are, you can be deceived.
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SPOILER ALERT:

It turns out that God's frequency - I didn't know he used radio - is 39.170 megahertz, and God is a woman, obviously, and sounds exactly like Popoff's wife, Elizabeth.
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I can't imagine what it would be like to maintain a life where your living and your wellbeing of you and your family depends upon you lying every single day.

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