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Old 15th May 2021, 06:19 AM   #1
Sherman Bay
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What has JREF done lately?

It's time to update my will.

For a few years, I have had a donation in my will, no strings attached, with JREF as the recipient. But checking the JREF website, it looks moribund since Randi died. Even before that, it wasn't looking too healthy or active.

I'm reluctant to throw money down a useless hole. Can anyone update me about present and future JREF activities? Is there any future to this noble cause?

You might want to take a look at the JREF Wikipedia entry as well, which is out of date in several ways. I could update it myself, but somebody may take issue with me, and I don't have much fight left for this sort of thing.
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Old 15th May 2021, 10:05 AM   #2
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It certainly does seem at a slightly-more-than-casual glance that the JREF is defunct, practically speaking. Given that the forum is no longer affiliated, it makes sense that organizational news and updates would not necessarily be posted here, though; I too am curious if anyone else with actual, direct knowledge has more of a bead on what's going on with the Foundation.
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Old 15th May 2021, 10:16 AM   #3
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The foundation made a grant to someone last fall, but based on this page of its website, I'd go ahead and find another charity to leave your money to.

Quote:
On January 1, 2016 the Foundation ceased being a public charity and became a private non-operating foundation. The JREF is no longer soliciting donations and any donations made after January 1, 2016 may not be fully tax deductible
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Old 15th May 2021, 11:35 AM   #4
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That's too bad. I wonder if the only thing that kept JREF going was Randi. Surely, as evidenced by participation in this forum, there are people who'd like to continue his legacy?

And what happened to the million dollars? Was it absorbed into the general fund?
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Old 15th May 2021, 12:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
Surely, as evidenced by participation in this forum, there are people who'd like to continue his legacy?
Oh boy.

If there were people who'd like to continue his legacy, they'd be running the foundation. Kind of like how the people interested in continuing Alfred Nobel's legacy are out there doing Nobel stuff.

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Old 15th May 2021, 01:23 PM   #6
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JREF.

The Center for Inquiry seems to be carrying on the work of the JREF.
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Old 15th May 2021, 08:50 PM   #7
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Honestly, I would research other charities until you can find something else that you feel is worthy of your support.

I gave to JREF in the past, but that was when Randi was still alive.

I think there are plenty of other things out there that are very noble and worthy causes. But there are also some dubious ostensibly charitable organizations too.
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Old 15th May 2021, 09:21 PM   #8
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Maybe donate to the BBC. They have a special disinformation reporter, Marianna Spring.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianna_Spring
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Old 15th May 2021, 10:01 PM   #9
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There are a number of media literacy organizations out there and we really need that in the new era of CTs and fake news.

Center fort Media Literacy lists a number of national (US) organizations.

Northwest Alliance for Media Literacy lists some national and international groups promoting media literacy.

Some excellent causes represented in a number of those groups. You'll need to check yourself if they are currently active (most/all of them are) and what they'll do with your donation.
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Old 26th June 2021, 04:13 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have had ties to SCICOP in the past, even went to their conventions in Amherst, NY, but they don't seem to be very active now, either, since Paul Kurtz is gone.

I think I will shift my donation focus to local community charity groups. I have many good ones to choose from.
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Old 28th June 2021, 11:18 AM   #11
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I understand food bank cash donations can go a long way--in fact, multiple times better than direct food donations, as they are able to make good deals to purchase bulk food. It also allows them to better target the specific products needed.

I've also been giving to the ACLU. Given the character of the upper levels of our federal court system these days it seems vital, even if I don't always agree with their priorities.
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Old 10th February 2022, 12:27 PM   #12
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I'm not trying to get anyone to include them in their wills, but the CFIIG (the investigation arm of CFI) is continuing the legacy with a quarter of a million dollar prize. For the past couple of decades, even while the JREF prize was "active," the IIG was conducting many more tests than the JREF.

They meet in Los Angeles, but there is now (thanks to COVID) always a Zoom link to their meetings. I can't say the meetings are always the most exciting, but when they are testing a claimant....

They are truly carrying on the legacy of (or copying) James Randi. Of course, Randi was carrying on the legacy of (or copying) Houdini.

https://cfiig.org/about-the-iig/

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Old 10th February 2022, 08:39 PM   #13
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Thank you, I will be reading more about that.

Considering that the Million Dollar Challenge was what first made me take an interest in the JREF and its forum, I hope this becomes better known.
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Old 11th February 2022, 02:26 AM   #14
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I used to live in Los Angeles, and know where CFI is. (Didn't they used to be on Hollywood Blvd.? I had an office about a block away. Now their address is on Temple St, downtown LA.) But they weren't there when I was. Too bad, I would have loved to assist in their investigations.

I just read several of the $250K Challenge tests. Interesting, but disappointing. The web site has numerous missing links, and a dearth of material that I would have liked to see, like complete videos of the tests. Considering that they are in LA, the movie capital of the world, it's strange that what little material they supply to the public is of irregular quality and their publicity, lacking.
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Old 11th February 2022, 06:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
I'm not trying to get anyone to include them in their wills, but the CFIIG (the investigation arm of CFI) is continuing the legacy with a quarter of a million dollar prize. For the past couple of decades, even while the JREF prize was "active," the IIG was conducting many more tests than the JREF.

They meet in Los Angeles, but there is now (thanks to COVID) always a Zoom link to their meetings. I can't say the meetings are always the most exciting, but when they are testing a claimant....

They are truly carrying on the legacy of (or copying) James Randi. Of course, Randi was carrying on the legacy of (or copying) Houdini.

https://cfiig.org/about-the-iig/

Ward

Thanks for posting about this. More people should know about this. (Speaking for myself, this is the first I'm even hearing about these people.)

If you, or others, know a bit about this outfit, and would like to share with others, then perhaps we could have a thread focused on them? If they're doing more or less what JREF used to do, then I'm sure people here would like to know about it, and to provide such participation and support as they are able to.
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Old 13th February 2022, 10:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
I used to live in Los Angeles, and know where CFI is. (Didn't they used to be on Hollywood Blvd.? I had an office about a block away. Now their address is on Temple St, downtown LA.) But they weren't there when I was. Too bad, I would have loved to assist in their investigations.

I just read several of the $250K Challenge tests. Interesting, but disappointing. The web site has numerous missing links, and a dearth of material that I would have liked to see, like complete videos of the tests. Considering that they are in LA, the movie capital of the world, it's strange that what little material they supply to the public is of irregular quality and their publicity, lacking.
Yes, Temple St. is, ironically, the new location. I'm sure they would not mind being told that there are dead links on their page as long as you specified where. It's an all-volunteer organization that meets once a month, so there's no real "staff" in charge of such things. But they might not even know what bad links you are finding, or not finding as the case may be.

Ward
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Old 16th February 2022, 12:03 PM   #17
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When the JREF was divesting itself of this forum, I was hoping that the CFIIG could take it over and it could continue and also become the place to discuss paranormal claimants who applied for the $250,000 prize. There could be a special section where claimants could post. It would have to be heavily monitored because they are skittish and the bullies and trolls would scare them away.

Unfortunately, the JREF's announced timeline for the transition away from the forum was truncated very quickly and they just dumped it into Icerat's lap. I'm glad he's kept it alive, but I wish it were more active. I don't blame him. It's the way of the online forum.

Ward
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Old 17th February 2022, 03:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
When the JREF was divesting itself of this forum, I was hoping that the CFIIG could take it over and it could continue and also become the place to discuss paranormal claimants who applied for the $250,000 prize. There could be a special section where claimants could post. It would have to be heavily monitored because they are skittish and the bullies and trolls would scare them away.

Unfortunately, the JREF's announced timeline for the transition away from the forum was truncated very quickly and they just dumped it into Icerat's lap. I'm glad he's kept it alive, but I wish it were more active. I don't blame him. It's the way of the online forum.

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That is what has happened to most forums. But JREF could have been an exception.
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Old 17th February 2022, 10:57 AM   #19
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We could still log on to CFIIG, couldn't we? If people here are interested in the kinds of threads that one finds from ye olden JREF times, the here-be-woo-slinging-million-dollar-claimants kind; and provided CFIIG is interested in linking with a bunch of gasbags (albeit some of them/us very well informed gasbags, so that it isn't as if that wouldn't add value).

Any arrangement of this kind needn't even be exclusive. I mean, I hadn't known about CFIIG. Nor am I the only one who hadn't known of them, even in this very short thread. So that there may well be other organizations doing this kind of work. (In fact, I haven't gone back and checked, but there was a thread here where some other organizations had been mentioned, including international ones, that is to say outside of the US of A.) We could do gasbag-duty for all of them that might want us (and we them).

Be fun to go poke at people again, that claim to read thoughts or divine underground water or bend spoons by squinting or whatever, like they used to in earlier times. Me, I'd probably do no more than attempt an occasional wisecrack, but even our diminished numbers include people who'll be able to present good meaningful criticism.
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Old 17th February 2022, 04:35 PM   #20
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If anyone is interested, the CFIIG is meeting this Saturday at 11:00am California time. Locals can meet in person (if vaxxed). Everyone else can join via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8136659273...luSXRkWW41dz09

Zoom room opens at 10:30 if you want to arrive early and socialize. No claimants to test this month, but there are always interesting topics as well as boring bureaucracy.

Ward
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Old 17th February 2022, 11:08 PM   #21
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Can we have a thread on CFIIG from someone who knows about them? Wardenclyffe?
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Old 18th February 2022, 07:44 PM   #22
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I'm trying to figure out where to post a new thread. I don't think it should be under JREF, but I don't know where it should be either. I also don't know how to start a new sub-forum.

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Old 18th February 2022, 08:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
I'm trying to figure out where to post a new thread. I don't think it should be under JREF, but I don't know where it should be either. I also don't know how to start a new sub-forum.

Ward

In the General Skepticism sub-forum.
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Old 18th February 2022, 08:54 PM   #24
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Creating a new subforum could be a bit tricky. You'd need to volunteer for modhood, then bribe the rest to accept you in, then invest time to get close to Darat, and then, finally, quietly do the deed and take over.

Easier to just start in Skepticism, and then the mods can move it if they like.



eta: What Orphiya Nay said, without the woul-be funny blather.

And thanks for starting that thread!

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Old 19th February 2022, 02:47 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
...I'm sure they would not mind being told that there are dead links on their page as long as you specified where...
Just looking at pages at random, I found a dead link on almost every one, so I don't think a list would be all that useful. Made me think that the site is poorly maintained, perhaps dormant.

If someone wanted to take on the task, I could see a book (they still make those, don't they?) written about the MDC, its clones and successors. With the right author, it could be made into a seat-edge cliffhanging mystery. Think Scooby-Doo.

Wasn't Randi working on something like this before his death? I wonder if someone could finish the project if he left enough notes. Or maybe access his spiritual mind thru a medium.
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Old 20th February 2022, 06:37 PM   #26
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Wardenclyffe's new thread on the CFIIG:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=357071
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Old 17th March 2022, 04:32 PM   #27
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There is a monthly meeting of the CFIIG on Saturday, March 19 at 11am Los Angeles time. Locals can meet in person (if vaxxed). Everyone else can join via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8136659273...luSXRkWW41dz09

Zoom room opens at 10:30 if you want to arrive early and socialize. No claimants to test this month, but there are always interesting topics as well as boring bureaucracy.

Ward
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Old 15th April 2022, 09:34 AM   #28
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There is a monthly meeting tomorrow (Saturday, April 16) at 11am Los Angeles time. Locals can meet in person (if vaxxed). Everyone else can join via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8136659273...luSXRkWW41dz09

Zoom room opens at 10:30 if you want to arrive early and socialize. No claimants to test this month, but there are always interesting topics as well as boring bureaucracy.

Ward
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Old 22nd April 2022, 09:19 PM   #29
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CFI are suing Boiron!

https://cdn.centerforinquiry.org/wp-...aint-FINAL.pdf

"Center for Inquiry, Inc. brings this action against Defendant Boiron, Inc. for the unfair and deceptive trade practices it regularly utilizes in the marketing and sale of homeopathic products."

“Homeopathy does not cure. Homeopathy is wishful thinking, deceptively packaged and sold for a hefty profit, nothing more.”

Go, CFI!!
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Old 22nd April 2022, 10:50 PM   #30
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That's a pretty powerful legal challenge. Unfortunately, Boiron's war chest is many times bigger than CFI's. The major winners in this war will be the lawyers.
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Old 23rd April 2022, 07:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
CFI are suing Boiron!

https://cdn.centerforinquiry.org/wp-...aint-FINAL.pdf

"Center for Inquiry, Inc. brings this action against Defendant Boiron, Inc. for the unfair and deceptive trade practices it regularly utilizes in the marketing and sale of homeopathic products."

“Homeopathy does not cure. Homeopathy is wishful thinking, deceptively packaged and sold for a hefty profit, nothing more.”

Go, CFI!!

Good for them!

Just in case they're able to pull this off, that might actually make a really huge difference, in terms of setting a precedent about the legal treatment of the peddling of the whole range of BS.
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Old 23rd April 2022, 05:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Good for them!

Just in case they're able to pull this off, that might actually make a really huge difference, in terms of setting a precedent about the legal treatment of the peddling of the whole range of BS.

Maybe it deserves its own thread. Might do it when I get home on my PC.
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Old 23rd April 2022, 08:53 PM   #33
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New thread:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1#post13790571
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Old 18th June 2022, 08:08 AM   #34
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There is a monthly meeting today at 11am Los Angeles time. Locals can meet in person (if vaxxed). Everyone else can join via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8136659273...luSXRkWW41dz09

Zoom room opens at 10:30 if you want to arrive early and socialize. No claimants to test this month, but there are always interesting topics as well as boring bureaucracy.

Ward
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- Alenara Al'Kher'aat, aged 347
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Old 14th July 2022, 01:41 PM   #35
wardenclyffe
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The IIG is scheduled to run a test for the $250,000 prize on Saturday. I say scheduled because claimants will often schedule a test, but then they don't show up. So there's no promise of a test, only a promise that one is scheduled. Details:

There is a monthly meeting today at 11am Los Angeles time. Locals can meet in person (if vaxxed). Everyone else can join via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8136659273...luSXRkWW41dz09

Zoom room opens at 10:30 if you want to arrive early and socialize.

Ward
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~~Na eth'er aa, ammre' en ank'aar'eith, d'emner'aa-, asd'reng'aather, em'n'err-aae...~
- Alenara Al'Kher'aat, aged 347
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Old 14th July 2022, 01:45 PM   #36
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I hate to immediately pull the rug out from under my previous post, but I'm told that the test has been postponed. The applicant cannot make it because they will be helping someone with a demon possession. The meeting should still be interesting, though.

Ward
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~~Na eth'er aa, ammre' en ank'aar'eith, d'emner'aa-, asd'reng'aather, em'n'err-aae...~
- Alenara Al'Kher'aat, aged 347
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