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Old 3rd March 2013, 10:57 AM   #23
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 26
And now it is time for me to eat humble pie.

While I was rambling on and on, Randi apparently addressed the issue here:

It seems a well written response and I applaud him for it.
Case closed as far as I am concerned. I am back to being a Randi fanboy.

Since I don't know how to link to his exact post itself I have included it here.

Allow me to address the present brouhaha that has arisen about some very much misunderstood and misconstrued comments that have been assembled to produce an unfortunate situation involving reporter Will Storr and myself. I offer you less than 800 words to plow through…

Until just recently, I did not recall having spoken with Mr. Storr years ago about certain comments posted on, and I barely recall that event, even now This is an understandable lapse, since I’m constantly being interviewed, and often under circumstances that call for my attention to be otherwise directed, Also, some interviews occurred during a time of my life in recent years when my health – and thus my cognition – were not at their best. The unfair suggestion that Mr. Storr tried to provoke me, or that he’s a “bad guy,” is something I must dismiss, since I believe I would have remembered that sort of behavior. In any case, I now know much more about the described encounter, and I maintain that I would never have said I was a Social Darwinist, since I only recently learned in detail what that term really means, and in fact I was quite ignorant of the history of the movement organized around that false idea. I’ve been surprised that this was not obvious to people discussing the matter, but I accept that the conversation with Mr. Storr went just as described. No problem with that.

I have said, many times, that I would do anything to prevent any young person from taking up drugs, and in fact I have had two instances in years past when I spent a lot of my time and money trying to do just that, and I failed. One of these people died, and the other, I was told a few years ago, is still a barely-surviving and tortured addict. That failure on my part still haunts me.
Survival of the fittest works very well. It’s what is responsible for the present success of our own species, despite what individuals try to do to make us fail. In our work with the JREF, my colleagues and I try to get individuals to think about what they’re doing by wasting their lives in acceptance of superstitious nonsense, because there are just no charities or government programs that provide that much-needed service. Folks, we care.

Though my Foundation is small, we’ve had a measurable and important effect on both young and old, internationally, and countless persons have expressed their thanks to us for educating them against false beliefs and attitudes. There are few greater rewards than that.

Now, contrast that with the fact that there are massively-funded, very widely publicized, very active charities and agencies that constantly demonstrate to the public the damage done to them by narcotics or alcohol, the dangers of using them, the dire results on individuals and on families, and the very real penalties – health-wise and financially – that are thus incurred. I have always believed that people should be held accountable for the bad decisions they make, especially when society spends so much in time and resources to warn them of the likely consequences. I cannot understand how any informed adult who is aware of the facts may still choose to misuse drugs or alcohol. I believe that they should simply get out of the way of those who want a cleaner, better, safer and productive environment in which to raise their families.

I’m well aware that I sometimes “shoot from the hip” and speak on things about which I know very little. In this present situation, I published my personal opinions about drug addiction without knowing very much about the neuroscience behind addiction, or the addiction recovery field. Not only did I say some deeply regrettable and insensitive things, but as I’ve learned more about the questions and issues at hand, I accept that I have been wrongheaded on a number of topics related to these issues. Even at 84, I’m still learning. Please bear with me, folks.

I also want to express that I’m angry, very angry, at those who attribute motives of anything but altruism and charity to the JREF, because I know that my valued colleagues are of like mind with me. Again, we deeply care.

I ask you to care, too. When it’s pointed out to me that I’m wrong, as it has been by my colleagues in this instance, I admit my mistakes, only asking that the JREF and I not be treated as targets, fun objects to attack. I never make apologies for expressing my honest opinions, I’ve never even hinted that I’m perfect, and I have recognized faults, I’ve made errors, and I know it. I can only hope that my earnest and honorable efforts will survive my peccadilloes…


James Randi
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