James Randi in Trondheim

Famous illusionist and skeptic, James Randi, visited Trondheim 21/3 2011. The Student TV station will put out a complete recording, but until then we present you with a short exerpt. As the audio is quite poor, a transcript is provided below the video:

I was in your capital city here, and had a wonderful show. But I have to read you this letter I got on email immediately after the show. I have to read you this one, I think you'll find it interesting. It is from a gentleman named Ole Arson, and this one it starts with: "You are pathetic".

It says "you have a name and a livelihood" profession" - American slang for occupation, profession - a livelihood - "that’s great. But to enlightened people that does not count as a job. As to the spirit you are wrong. You do not see it, because you live by the five senses, which makes you blind and lame." Now it's true I have a bad hip, but I'm not that old.

And he quotes to me from the Bible "Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water." That’s from John 2, 2 to 3.

Do you know what that means?

But then he continues, he says. "As other atheists, you suffer from lack of perception, you are stuck in the left hemisphere of the brain." I can’t believe I'm right here.

"A very sad predicament, so You spend your life going after those who know God within. They do not need you. That’s why atheist community exists in their existence, and no positive message then, just cold materialists." And then he ends up with: "God bless you."

That’s cosmetic. That’s cheap. I have an answer for him. I won't accept this. Help me interpret this,

"I and the entire humanist movement, are a threat to this man’s comfort and security, we offer the world an escape from the imprisonment he so enjoys and embraces. He chooses to bow down before the man, the heavenly father-figure in the sky, to fear retribution, revenge for offending this God. Yet he generously gives leniency from destruction by asking the beast to bless me. No thank you sir! I do fear you and your kind, but I do not tremble before your ghost, nor will I bow down before him, her or it whatever it may be. I decline your gratuitous act hence."
I will send that to him on email later on tonight.

This is the kind of opposition that is offered to rationality, and I can tell you Ladies and Gentlemen, when I first arrived in Oslo two days ago, and the humanist community met me of course, and - very enthusiastically - and I found that the humanist movement in Norway is very strong, much stronger than it is in the United States.


(Talking about an experience with some journalists)

...and then, I'm upstairs, I went down the hall, and i Reached in my pocket. I didn't have my key. They all reached for their pencils immediately. “Escape artist can't get into his room". That would be fun you see, and they all made notes of it, they all nudged oneanother. I said "oh, wait a minute", so I took a deck of cards out of my pocket, went through it, took out the three of diamonds, put it in the lock, and opened the door.

Now what I had done, I had simply taken the magnetic card for my hotel, and I had glued it onto the back of the three of diamonds, and when I dipped it in there, it opened the door.

And a reporter asked me, and that is the important part of this story: "Will that work with any playing card?"...

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