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Tags telepathy , mdc , challenge application

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Old 12th October 2004, 08:23 AM   #1
KRAMER
Former challenge facilitator
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,434
ACHAU NGUYEN, Hawaiian Psychic

Dr. Nguyen is the gentleman from Hawaii for whom Randi posted a request for investigative assistance on the JREF website.

This application and the accompanying initial claim letter (see below) came in sometime in early February of this year, just prior to my arrival here at JREF. I got to it a few weeks later.

The subsequent post in this thread will contain his second claim letter, and details on the preliminary test he eventually agreed to.
=============================================
I am going to start this introduction by telling you a little about myself, first I would just like to say that I'm not really a smart or intellectual person, I'm not a scientist or researcher. I'm just your average ordinary person, but what makes me qualified for this challenge is (and I state for a fact) that I possess and can prove to you that paranormal powers really do exist. The powers I possess are telepathy and another type of power which I'm not really sure of what it's called, and I will also be demonstrating on how I can increase the strength of my powers, but I also must add that I do not have total control over it, in other words their really isn't an on and off switch where I can turn it on and off.

The first demonstration I will be doing is "telepathy". First lets just say anything that I think or even read in my mind would be telepath out through my brain waves, or something in which I'm not sure about, how it actually dose work. To demonstrate this lets say you'll select a bunch of words or sentences, or create a paragraph on a sheet of paper, that you chose or create. You than will make copy's of that sheet of paper and give me a copy and you'll also give all the observers (witnesses) and yourself a copy.

From there I will read the sheet of paper in my mind and telepath out whatever it is that's on the sheet of paper, and you'll be able to hear it with out me using my mouth to say it aloud. (You may also cover my mouth however you chose to for reassurance) I can't really explain how its going to happen but you will just have to see it for yourself in person.

The second demonstration I will be doing is the other power I have told you about, which I'm not sure what it really is. To describe it, I'm going to have to say it's like a type of force that I believe is putted on your mind, maybe like an electrical shock wave or some sort of electrical current. I'm not too sure what it really is. To do this I will concentrate and try to produce the force on every ones mind. (I'll do this to every one, one by one to let them feel it for themselves) Sometimes this dose not always work rite away so I will third demonstrate how I can increase the strength of my powers. To do this I will put pressure on myself, to explain that more, it's like I'm going to wear myself out.

Wells let me explain how I'm going to put pressure on myself. I'm going to be doing push ups until I wear myself out a little and when I wear myself out for some odd reason I put pressure up in my head, I learned of this when I was working out (lifting weights) so maybe if you could arrange to have a set of weights at the testing that'll be very helpful to me, but if not the push ups should be able to do it, it just takes a little bit longer to build up the pressure.

From there I'll demonstrate the force on you and the observers , and if I'm correct the powers of my telepathy should have grown too, so in other words it'll be louder.

To summarize this, everything I'll be demonstrating can only be felt, seen, heard only from sources of the human body itself, so if you're going to be using machines and recorders to save and collect data for later research upon the test, I must warn you that I'm not to sure that it'll show up on your reading and recording instruments. If you have a better way or don't approve of my demonstrations and that you would rather create the tests yourself I would be more than glad and fully cooperate with any test or method that you'll come up with.

Thank you for your time and have a nice day.
=============================================

JREF accepted this claim but advised the applicant that only one claim would be tested. I then requested specifics regarding what the applicant proposed would constitute a successful test result. I also advised him to answer briefly, in two paragraphs, if possible.

Check the following post in this thread for his lengthy reply.

It proved impossible to locate a qualified investigator in Hawaii.
My numerous attempts to enlist the assistance of someone from the local universities went unanswered. During this time, Mr. Nguyen sent numerous emails in which he expressed grave concerns over the possibility that someone else would win the million dollars while he was waiting to be tested.

Finally, not too long after Randi posted a request on the JREF website for assistance with this claim, we received an email from a qualified investigator; a mainland volcano scientist making plans to visit Hawaii's evolving volcanic areas. The investigator stated that he would most likely be able to find the time to spend a few hours investigating this claim. The next step was to locate more observers, as a single investigator without a team of observers would hardly be a proper manner in which to impartially investigate this (or any) paranormal claim.

Mr. Nguyen's patience is running out, understandably, as only this morning he accuses me of "playing dumb" as regards the status of the preliminary testing of his claim:

==========================================
Im sorry if im mistakened but, it seems as if your playing dumb? It was posted by you on the JREF forums in the challenge section. Unless that wasnt a pre-test but only a demonstration or what so nots, please forgive me for being wrong.

For my pre-testing date, im sorry but it seems as if you guys dont keep yourselves updated on any of the tests you guys give out?? I sworn in the last email i sent you, I did tell you that Mr. Schuelter said that he wasnt sure whether or not if hes gonna be available with all of the erruptings of the volcanoes and what so nots and i did email him also and am waiting for a reply.
============================================

So, this reflects an all too common hardship JREF encounters when attempting to enlist qualified investigators to help with claims. Very often we can eventually locate someone we feel is qualified (in this particular case NOT an experienced paranormal phenomenon investigator but a scientist and critical thinker, which will do just fine), but then, once the investigator has conducted some correspondence with the applicant, his initial interest is lost in the presumption that the claim is not valid, and will provide nothing more than the loss of a chunk of time that can never be reclaimed. Sometimes people will offer to help, but then cannot seem to go the distance. This is unfortunate, but not entirely beyond the realm of human understanding.

We experience this a lot, and this most certainly leads many applicants to the conclusion that JREF is "jerking them around", forgetting that no JREF representative is involved in testing, and that tests are determined with Randi's approval, but without his direct involvement, in order to insure absolute impartiality in the testing procedure. JREF cannot guarantee the continued involvement of any third parties who volunteer their time (without any form of compensation) on behalf of The JREF Challenge.

If the world had more critical thinkers who were interested in such matters, each claim would be tested the moment an acceptable test protocol was determined. Would that we could all live in such a perfect world.

The NGUYEN correspondence is voluminous. I cannot post it all, but I will post what is relevant to the proceedings.

Since Mr. Nguyen stated that he would welcome any alternative protocol that we felt would best validate his claim, I offered him a standard double-blind test for "remote reading", which he anxiously accepted.

I will describe said protocol in the following post.
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Old 12th October 2004, 09:31 AM   #2
KRAMER
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Mr. NGUYEN's 2nd claim letter

The standard double-blind test often utilized for claims such as Mr. Nguyen's is as follows:

The applicant is given a list of "objects" or "things" that cannot possibly be confused with anything else on the list.

-fork
-glasses
-shoe
-telephone
-padlock
scissors
-boat
-clock
-hammer
-house
-dog
-banana
-teapot
-glove
-motorcycle
-book
-bird
-triangle
-stop sign
-clenched fist
-handgun
-hat
-hairbrush

From that list, the applicant is given the opportunity to chose at least 10 objects he/she feels can most easily be "transmitted" or "sent" to the "receiver". A series of tests are then conducted (perhaps 5 or 6) to determine the validity of the claim. The applicant would need to perform significantly above CHANCE results in order to pass the preliminary testing phase of the Challenge. To date, no applicant has passed preliminary testing, and most often, results far below CHANCE are what we actually see.

Here are the relevant excerpts from Mr. Nguyen's second claim letter, received on May 26th, 2004.

=============================================

Telepathy is the communication of thoughts, feelings, or knowledge from one person to another without the use of the senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste or touch (from the World Book Encyclopedia). My telepathy powers are limited, I can only send but not receive other peoples thoughts. For this demonstration you could put me in a closed sealed booth/room and inside that room or booth have a sheet of paper and a deck of cards shuffled (which the JREF can shuffle or I will). Than we would place the judges outside the booth or lets say in a next room from which I am in, sitting down alongside a table next to each other, and each judge will be given a sheet of paper. I will than start flipping the cards over and I will write down whatever card is shown on my sheet of paper. Than I will send the info on the card that I flipped over to the judges, one by one. The judges than will be asked to write down the info in each card that is send to them by my telepathy. (if the judges will not be able to participate in the demonstrations than I can bring a second party or JREF can supply the second party to take the place of the judges). At the end of the demonstration we will compare my sheet of paper to whomever sheet of papers has participated in the demonstration. On this demonstration I can claim an accuracy rate of 95% correct that my sheet of paper and the participants sheet of paper will match with the same cards written down in the same order.

I must add though, my telepathy is not really controllable, when transferring my thoughts, other party's around may also receive my thoughts. I have not yet come to a point where I can send my thoughts through my telepathy to only one single party. It's been more of to whomever is around me when its happening. Lets just say it is uncontrollable, and at times I won't even be able to stop it.

My second paranormal power I will be demonstrating is a PSI force. I believe this power has no name or even has been discovered yet. Its a force that comes from my mind which is created under specific circumstances. I guess you can say I build it on my mind and transfer it to a second party. I am not too sure what the second party feels when the force is transferred over but I believe its like a shock of some sort to the head and I know that its not a very pleasant feeling. To demonstrate I will make myself come under those circumstances I have quite frankly mentioned and start building the force upon myself. I than will approach each judge and come within one foot from them and face them face to face and than will transfer the force over to them one by one. If the judge feels the force upon them they will be asked to raise there hand and say they feel it and then I will move on to the next judge, I will do this continuously to all the judges and I will also do it to Mr James Randi himself if he wants to particpate in the demonstration. If again the judges will not be able to participate in the demonstrations I'd ask that the JREF supply party's to participate in this demonstration. At the end of the demonstration we will ask the party/party's that have participated in the demonstration if they felt the force. On this demonstration I can also claim an accuracy of 95% that all participants will have felt the PSI force.

Another way I have found to demonstrate this is to transfer it through the internet. Let me explain, lets say you'll put a party in a room equipped with a computer and a live webcam, and then you'll put me in another room with just a computer with no webcam, watching this party on the webcam through my computer screen. Just by seeing them on the computer screen I can transfer the PSI force over to them but they must be live on the webcam. With this demonstration I also claim 95% accuracy that the party will feel the PSI force from another room which I am in.

I also must add twith this ability, it is also uncontrollable. There are a lot of times which I would be shocking a person without me even knowing it. Shocking is what I like to call when the PSI force is being transferred. With this power I do not know how to stop it either. It'll eventually go away after I have relaxed and calmed down. So I must warn that any partys around when this demonstration is going on will mite get shocked also.

My third paranormal power has something to do with telepathy. I'm not sure what its called but what it basically is is that I transfer images that I picutre in my head to another party. What is this power you ask, wells its exactly what I said, tranferring images I picture in my head to another parties head. To demonstrate this we will have the participant/participants along side a table again, in front of them their will be a bunch of toothpicks laying down lined up forming a shape. I will than stand in front of the participant/participants within a foot or so away from them, face to face again and than I will start picturing of ways on how I can move the toothpicks around to create another shape, and at the same time I will also be transferring the pictures over to the participant/participants, one at a time or maybe even a couple at a time. At the end of the demonstration we will ask the participants if they had an image in their head of the toothpicks moving around forming another shape.On this demonstration I claim an accuracy of only 60% that the participant/participants will have seen the images in their heads. The reason I claim such a lower percentage rate on this demonstration is that I have not used this power enough to make me confident that it'll work on a basis whenever I try it, it'll work.

I must warn you though, like I have mentioned earlier, I do not have complete control over my powers. My powers can also be increased and affected in other ways under different circumstances. Here are some of the circumstances; when I first wake up from sleeping, when I'm tired or hungry, when I get nervous and paranoid, when I'm angry or sad, when I have an adrenaline going through my body and when I have cold/fever/flu. My powers are also affected by outside substances such as alcohol, caffiene, drugs, and selected candys that are very sweet. So if anyone is harmed, injured or some sort, that's around, while the demonstration are going on, I will not be responsible for them.

============================================

I really don't think it's too difficult to see how an investigator might have serious misgivings about devoting his/her time to the testing procedure, subsequent to reading the claim letter.
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Old 12th October 2004, 09:54 AM   #3
KRAMER
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,434
Mr. Nguyen, circa August 2004

Dear Mr. Kramer, I'm sorry for taking awhile to respond back Im very happy to hear from you again, I must say I am disappointed that you and the JREF have niot found anyone to do preliminary testing on me from Hawaii but I must ass that it'll be ok fro me to travel to the mainaland to take my preliminary testing, I just ask that you give me a month and a half notice of when the test will be taken so that I can save up money for expenses for the trip, and yes I'm still also willing to pay for a trip for an investigator to fly over to Hawaii that includes airfare/car/hotel (just to letchu know the airfare is gonna be coach and the car and hotel is gonna be avergae, ac, power, everything, and an average room) Theres only one problem I see here, and that is the test protocol, here are some of the reason, and which at least I think their pretty reasonable:

I don't understand why my other two claims are not accepted under scientific conditions. But my telepathy is only one way, in other words I can only communicate with another party, but I can't let them communicate with me. If telepathy can't be tested under scientific conditions, then why did science give a name for it? thats all i have to say about this claim. then second claim is a PSI force which I would put on a person.

How exactly are you guys gonna be conducting the test?because as stated in my applicationI said that I would have to be within a foot or so from the 2nd party, to send images to them. Also how accurate does the drawing have to be, lets say if its a house with 4 windows showing and the 2nd party draws a house with 2 windows, will that pass? If so I could just use my telepathy and tell him to draw a house. Let me know.

I tell you the truth, if JREF is true to its words about the challenge, and all the neagative rumors I hear about the JREF isn't true (I'm not saying it is). All we would have to do is a live webcam preliminary test just as I stated in my application, all we would have to do is, get a computer with a webcam, and somehow let me connect to the webcam and see you live on it and I'll show you my PSI force right through the internet. This may sound ridiculous, but hey its the cheapest and fastest way, let me know what you guys think on this idea.
=============================================

Obviously, the applicant's webcam proposal would indeed be cheap and fast but it would hardly be an acceptable, scientific test.

JREF also declines all offers from applicants to cover travel expenses for investigators, for obvious reasons.
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Old 12th October 2004, 10:05 AM   #4
KRAMER
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Email of September 23rd, 2004

Dear Mr. Kramer,
I've just gotten an email from Mr. Roger Scheulter. He has mentioned how busy his schedules gonna be and that he mite only have a few hours to spare for the testing, and if something happens with the rumblings of the Maunakea and Maunaloa mountains, his schedule mite be totally canceled, or something, I really didn't understand it. But anyways lets say that if nothing goes through with Mr. Scheulter, I really wanna take the trip to Florida and get this over with, I don't care what you guys think of me wasting my money and so on, I mean I'm thankful for you guys for looking out for me, but like I said, I can't wait any longer.
I'm sorry if I sound demanding but it seems as if my whole preliminary testing is just getting dragged along and no process at all is moving along. Let me know if this is possible.


One more thing, before the testing and during the testing, I will be doing things to boost up my powers, as you can say. I just want to clarify this with you and make sure its OK. Here are some things imma be doing: 1- i'll eat or drink something with caffiene or sugar as in coffee, soda, chocolate, etc., 2- i'll be doing exsercises as in push upz and jumping jacks and so on.

If any of those things prohibits me from taking the test, please let me know, thanks again Kramer.

=============================================
My reply:

Dear Mr. Nguyen,
JREF does NOT conduct testing at its Florida headquarters. None of the things you mentioned would prohibit you from taking the test, which will occur in Hawaii at the earliest possible convenience. Again, I apologize for the unavoidable delays.
Yours, KRAMER...JREF Paranormal Claims Dept.
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Old 8th December 2004, 11:09 AM   #5
KRAMER
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Hawaiian Eruptions...

It seems that we have a protocol agreed upon, as follows (submitted by our lead investigator for this claim):
=========================================

1- Kramer will submit 4 lists of 30 words each. each word will be distinct and not able to be confused with any other word on that list. each list will be in a sealed security envelope, so they cannot be tampered with.

2- Mr. Nguyen will be situated in one room & the target receiving person will be situated in another room where the target can neither see nor hear Mr. Nguyen.

3- When Mr. Nguyen is comfortable & ready to begin the test, Dr. Gackle will select one of the sealed envelopes & the target receiver will be notified that the test is about to begin. The target will be expected to write down the words in the order in which they are received.

4- The envelope is opened and Mr. Nguyen will select 20 words words from that list that he will send. Dr. GAckle will then record those words & the sequence they are to be sent in. At the end of 30 minutes, the applicant's list and the receiver's list will be compared by Dr. Gackle. To count as a correct "hit" the spelling of the word and the sequence must be correct. In accordance with Mr. Nguyen's claim, 19 of the 20 words must be correct andn in sequence in order to constitute a successful preliminary test.

What say you all? Shall we proceed with finding a neutral testing location?

=============================================

The applicant tried to have testing conducted at his private facility. We declined. We received the following reply to this final protocol:

I like everything about the test protocol except the spelling part. I know I'll be spelling out the words for the recipient but there is such thing as human error and I wouldn't want a couple misplaced letters in a couple words to jeopardize the passing of my testing and like you said each word will be distinct and not be able to be confused with any other word. For instance if the word is encyclopedia and he spells it ecycopedia, it would only be obvious that hes tryna write encyclopedia. Like I've mentioned in my application, I'm just an ordinary guy, and so are my friends, which one of them will be the recipient, and we'll make mistakes here and there. Let me know on how you guys feel about this.

=============================================

My reply, as follows:

The JREF has no problem allowing for minor errors, but, we will NOT be presenting you with lists of long, complicated or little-known words. CAT and DOG are good examples of the types of words we might use. We are NOT trying to trip you up. In fact, we want to make it as simple as possible. So stop worrying and start practicing your powers. You're going to be tested soon.
-Kramer, JREF
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Old 17th December 2004, 01:34 PM   #6
KRAMER
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The WAFFLING begins...

This just in from Hawaii...

==============================================

Hey Kramer, sorry I dont have any updates for you yet at this momeny but, I was reading the challenge app. forums again, and I must applaud you on the Paul Carey case, very welll done. There was one thing that concerned me though, his claim is pretty much the same thing as my claim but yet the JREF stated that my testing would had to be done multiple times, as in "4 lists of words" that we'd agreed upon for my testing, but why did Paul Careys protocol only consist of only 1 list?? Im not tryna back out of the protocol we agreed upon or anything but thats just sorta unfair in a way dont yah think?? Wells its all good though, im still sticking with my protocol its just for future reference for you guys just incase a claim simillar to this comes up again and the applicant complains about it.- Achau Nguyen

=============================================

My response:

It's four lists from which you would chose one, right? So you'd still be "sending" from a single list, right?

I'm not sure why this would be seen by you as "unfair"? You'll have the exact same number of words, and you won't be required to do anything more than Mr. Carey. The only difference is that you'd have four lists to chose from.

You want one list? Fine.

Kramer, JREF
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Old 2nd February 2005, 10:56 AM   #7
KRAMER
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More delays...Very Frustrating

No less than two investigators have now backed out of testing this applicant residing on the remote Hawaiian Islands. I'm not sure the JREF has ever had so patient an applicant.

Mr. Nguyen has now offered to help in locating a potential investigator. The form letter he has sent out to various sources in his locale is shown below.

If any forum members can offer advice on how we might locate a qualified investigator in Hawaii, please let me know.

============================================

To whom it may concern, hello my names Achau Nguyen, im an applicant for the JREF $1million paranormal challenge. (you can go to randi.org for more info on the challenge) Anyways, the reason im writing to you is, im short of 2 qualified volunteers to conduct my testing, so I was wondering if your foundation would happen to have any affiliates, members, staff or what so not living around my home area, which is in Honolulu, Hawaii (thats the reason why its hard to find help for the testing, its so remote over here) who would be willing to volunteer and help out with the testing, note that this would cost the volunteer and your foundation nothing at all, just yours and the volunteers valuable time. If interested, you can contact me back at this email or you could contact Mr. Kramer, head of the chellenge dept. over at JREF at (kramer@randi.org) you can also get moire info. on my testing at (http://www.internationalskeptics.com...threadid=46657), thanks for your time and I hope I'll be hearing back from you soon.

-Achau Nguyen
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Old 5th April 2005, 08:25 AM   #8
KRAMER
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A Trip to California

Hey Kramer, its been awhile. I have good news and bad news for you. First off the bad news, I still haven't found any help from the university, but the good news is, a trip to California will be coming up very soon, im not sure on the exact date and so on, but I'm aiming around a month or two at the most from now. So if you could, could you please redirect me to skeptic oraganization you was mentioning before in southern california. One last thing, it seems the challenge is getting more and more popular every time I visit the forums, even you, yourself are getting a spotlight in the topics, dont know if you read it yet, but it's quite interesting. Anyways have a good day Kramer, try not to let those comments about you and JREF mess up your day, it's not worth stressing over. Hope to hear from you soon.

---Achau Nguyen


=============================================

Hello Mr. Nguyen,

OK, let's see what we can do for you in Southern California.

Independent Investigations Group
Contact: James Underdown
(323) 666-9797 xt.101 Email: jmu@cfiwest.org

Center for Inquiry-West, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90027
Phone: 323-666-9797 ext.156 Website: www.IIGWest.com

As you can see, I've copied this email to Jim Underdown, so he'll be expecting an email from you.

PLEASE try them emailing first. Hopefully, one of these two organizations will agree to test your claim.

-Kramer, JREF
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Old 3rd May 2005, 08:33 AM   #9
KRAMER
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A Test with CFI-West

Mr. Nguyen has planned a trip to Southern California during which he will be tested by James Underdown and colleagues at CFI-West, hopefully.

Here is their initial correspondence...

I wasn't sure if I was suppose to write and mail in my description of my powers that I claim or if it was ok to just email it, but i decided emailing it would be faster, but if I have to, I', also willing to mail it in.

My name is Achau Nguyen, Im an applicant for the JREF $1,000,000 Paranormal Challenge, and hoping also to be an applicant for the IIG's $10,000 Paranormal Challenge. The power I claim to have and will be demonstrating is "Remote Reading" or what I like to call as a one way telepathy, meaning that I can send my thoughts to a 2nd party but not read theirs mentally. (Telepathy is the communication of thoughts, feelings, or knowledge from one person to another without the use of the senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste or touch (from the World Book Encyclopedia) To demonstrate this, we'll have IIG make a list of words, about 20-30 or so. We'll have to make sure the list is made of simple words such as: dog, cat, house, plane, etc... so that each word won't be mistakened from each other, than the list would be placed in an sealed envelope. After we'll have to find a way to isolate myself and my reciever (put us in different rooms maybe), after being isolated and not until isolated, than will someone bring me the sealed envelope containing the list of words the IIG has made, I than will choose 10-20 of those words, and let the person handling the envelope know which words I'm choosing, he will than let everyone else know which words has been chosen. Than I would demonstrate my ability of remote reading, and send those words to my reciever, my reciever which will be isolated from me will than write down each word as its being sent to them. If the IIG would want each word to be sent in a specific order, that also would be possible. When im done sending the list, I than will some how inform one of the investigators that im done and than they can compare my list to the recievers list. If my list and the recievers list are the same, that would be an outcome of a "passing", if it's not the same that would be an outcome of a "failure". I also claim to have a 95% of accuracy, thats 19 out of 20, 14.25 out of 15, and 9.5 out of 10 words correct.

If this test won't be able to be done multiple times in one day, than we can only make it a preliminary for the JREF, but if it is acceptable to you guys for a pre/final for the IIG, I than will mail in a signed notarized application for the IIG $10,000 Paranormal Challenge. or maybe we can just do the pre's for both challenges, and when I do a final for the JREF and it also will count as a final for the IIG as well??

Im not sure if you guys knew but, I offered before to fly an investogator down here to Hawaii to test me, so I was wondering maybe I could fly like 2 of you guys from the IIG down here and have the test's done here? ( 2 coach tickets, rental car, only 1 hotel room though, with 2 beds, lets say 2 days, 2 nights maybe? )The only reason I ask this is because I get very nervous and scared i guess you can say, when traveling to new places I've never been before, guess you can say it's like paranoia side effect that comes with the powers, but if not, sticking with the original plans is ok also.

One last thing, this is also for you Kramer. I know in the JREF protocols, I stated their will be one person accompanying me (my reciever) for the trip, but here's the thing, when I had to decide who I was gonna ask to come along with me, I ended up with 2 of my friends which are sisters, who im very, very close with. I was thinking that maybe if one of them went alone with me, they mite get scared and nervous participating in the test in front of a whole bunch of strangers, so I was wondering, instead of having one reciever would it be ok to have 2 recievers? They both will enter the the isolated section at teh same time, and both will write down on the same or seperate list. Let me know on this, this is very important thats why, because if not, I myte have to find another reciever.

That's it for now, hopefully this covers up everything, If this has to be mailed in (SASE), just let me know, I'll just print it up and sign it and what so nots, like I said, just let me know. Thanks for your time and all of your help Mr. Undedown, and to hear from you soon again.

ps: if you evr want to conversate with me on a not so proffesional level, its totally ok with me, in fact, it'd make me feel a little more comfortable.

Achau Nguyen


=============================================

Achau,

So sorry for the delay.

Our group met last Saturday, and we have a few questions and comments for you before we design a test. We wanted to be sure our idea and your idea of "simple" words are the same. We will pick words that will not easily be mistaken for each other -- visually or audibly. For example, we would not use the words cart and cant together, or the words dour and door.

You and your assistant will be out of sight and sound from each other. What is the maximum distance you can be apart?

We assume you will be responsible for bringing the "receiver."
Does the sender have to actually speak the words aloud for the transmission to work?

We will be checking both sender and receiver for electronic transmitters and receivers before the test.

No form of signalling outside of sending telepathically will be allowed.

We will design a test after you answer these questions.

Thank you for your patience. We are close to proposing a test.

Best regards,

James Underdown
Executive Director
Center for Inquiry-West


============================================
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Old 5th May 2005, 09:28 AM   #10
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Red Bull? Push Ups?

Mr. Undedown,
Thank you so much for replying and helping me out. I will make a list of answers to your questions.


1. We wanted to be sure our idea and your idea of "simple" words are the same. We will pick words that will not easily be mistaken for each other -- visually or audibly. For example, we would not use the words cart and cant together, or the words dour and door.

That sounds perfect to me, the only reason I asked for simple words was that because of, I didn't want a little error as missspelling to determine the outcome of the test results.

2. You and your assistant will be out of sight and sound from each other. What is the maximum distance you can be apart?

Lets say about 20-25 feet, to be on the safe side.

3. We assume you will be responsible for bringing the "receiver."

Yes, I will be bringing my own reciever. At the moment, I'm still deciding on bringing just 1 or 2. I'm also assuming that when I explained and asked you about bringing an extra reciever was ok.

4. Does the sender have to actually speak the words aloud for the transmission to work?

No, I will not be speaking the words aloud.

5. We will be checking both sender and receiver for electronic transmitters and receivers before the test.

It's fine with me for you guys to be checking myself anf my reciever for any devices, and to remind you forehand, my reciever/s myte be female, so I don't think a pat down would to appropriiate for them, so maybe you guys could get a like a metal detector?

6. No form of signalling outside of sending telepathically will be allowed.

I'm sorry but, I don't really understand this question. Could you please rephrase this for me? Sorry again.

I would also like to add that before I start sending the list of words, I will be having a "Red Bull" enerygy drink, this may sound ridicolous, but I've learned that caffiene and alot of sugar helps increases my psi powers, and I also will be doing push ups, this also helps increase my powers. I also must warn you that I do not have total control of my powers, especially when I increase them, so if my powers start affecting you or any of your staff or the observers, please do not hold me resposible. I will be trying my best to keep control of it. Also, after the testing has ended, I may not always be in eye contact with you when we're discussing the results, it's not because im tryna be rude or anything, but for a less possibility of my powers affecting anyone, its best if I don't give anyone my full attention until I get myself into a normal stage again. (this may sound weird, but you'll understand once you witness it for yourself).

I hope all of this helps, if theres anything else, just let me know, thanks again

Achau nguyen
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Old 6th May 2005, 07:09 AM   #11
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Oh yeah, what about the 6th question? I didnt understand it.
-achau


6. No form of signaling outside of sending telepathically will be allowed.

Sorry, I meant to address that.

All I'm referring to here is that you will engage in no tapping, whistling, clapping, or any other activity which could be used to send a message. As long as you are only sending messages telepathically, there will be no problem.

Best regards,
James Underdown
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Old 9th May 2005, 09:29 AM   #12
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The Protocol, Pending Randi's Final Approval

Hawaiian Remote Sender Test

1. Mr. Nguyen will be at a small table in the upstairs theater at CFI-West.

2. The receiver(s) will be at a table downstairs in the lobby, less than 25’ apart from Mr. Nguyen.

3. The IIG will make sure no transmitting apparatuses are on Mr. Nguyen’s person.

4. The receiver(s) will be provided with a sheet of paper containing blanks numbered 1 – 20.

5. After Mr. Nguyen and the receiver(s) are situated, ready, and comfortable, Mr. Nguyen will be given a sealed list of 30 words numbered 1-30. Mr. Nguyen will choose 20 of the words, and indicate his choices by circling the numbers next to the words he has chosen.

6. Mr. Nguyen will then send the words one at a time, in numerical order, lowest to highest.

7. Mr. Nguyen agrees not to make any sounds during the sending process.

8. When Mr. Nguyen is ready to send each word, an IIG representative will announce that he is beginning transmission. This information will be relayed to the receiver(s). (“Sending the first word.” e.g.)

9. Mr. Nguyen has up to 2 minutes to send each word.

10. When the receiver(s) has written a response after each transmission, that information will be relayed back upstairs to Mr. Nguyen. (“First word received”, e.g.)

11. After the twenty words have been transmitted and received, the “received” list will be brought back upstairs to be compared with the “send” list. To be counted as a “hit”, a word on the “received” sheet must be spelled correctly, and in the same sequence as the word on the “send” sheet. In accordance with Mr. Nguyen’s claim, a score of 19 out of 20, or 20 out of 20 will be considered a success in this preliminary test.

12. Mr. Nguyen and all who participate agree to being photographed and videotaped during this process.


IIG notes…

1. Word list envelope will be sealed, and contents wrapped in tin foil.

2. No talking (or signaling!) during the test

3. Mix the alphabet around with the word order.

4. Photocopy Mr. Nguyen’s “pick list”, and the “receiver’s sheet.”

5. Ask “Are your ready and is there anything here that would prevent you from being able to perform successfully?”

6. Only the SC and JU will know the list of 30. Only JU and one other SC member will see the final list after Mr. Nguyen has chosen his list.

7. Any IIG member or SC member may raise his or her hand during the demonstration to inform the others of suspicious behavior on the part of Mr. Nguyen.

To Do:

Choose words

Create received sheet

Get walkie-talkies together (batteries)

Invite membership

Invite press

Secure cameras and operators

Set up locations
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Old 9th May 2005, 01:00 PM   #13
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A Caveat

The protocol has now been approved by Randi, but with the following caveat:

===========================================

I suggest they get a simple “field strength meter” for RF radiation detection.

James Randi.
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Old 13th May 2005, 09:04 AM   #14
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The Applicant Approves, Almost

This applicant has been amazingly cool, and patient beyond words. It seems there is but one hurdle left in the protocol, and considering how cool Achau has been, I'd be shocked if it became a real problem.

It looks as though we really have a test forthcoming.

And I really think the RedBull and the push-ups are a non-issue.

==============================================

I think everything is perfectly fine, one question though, for number 11. and 14., will you guys be announcing for every word I send or only the first word? Everything else I agree and accept. For the exact date, im sorry but Imma need a couple of more days to figure this out, sorry again. I'm also assuming you guys have no problems with me doing push ups and drinking the redbull?? i know this may seem alot but I was also wondering if you guys could help me get like a bowl with alot of ice and water inside, don't worry I won't be interacting with this item til the test is considered finished, it's just to help me cool down, with a cold towel, I can bring my own towel though, Im also willing to pay for these items if nesscesary, other than that, thats it, hopefully I'll be getting back to you on the exact date in a couple of days, just curious, what would be better for you guys, a weekday or weekend? Thanks for all of your guys help.

Achau Nguyen
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Old 17th May 2005, 07:35 AM   #15
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Weekends are a GO !!!

Achau,

Regarding numbers 11 and 14, we'll announce that each word is about to be sent, or has been received and written down. This way, you can begin sending the next word after the receiver has written down the last one. It will save time, and it will let the receiver know when to expect the next word.

The push-ups and the Red Bull are no problem, and we'll provide ice water and a towel to keep you cool. I hope you don't mind people observing.

The best days are weekends -- preferably June 4, 18, or 25, or July 16, 23, or 30.

Let us know.

Best regards,

James Underdown
Executive Director
Center for Inquiry-West
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Old 1st June 2005, 08:51 AM   #16
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To Mr. Undedown,

Im so sorry I havent been contact with you for awhile, theres been some issues and it looks like im gonna have to postpone the testing to one of the July dates, Im not exactly sure on which July date, but as soon as I know, I'll letchu know. I'll try to give you atleast a month's notice ahead. Im not backing out, or tryna delay anything, but If no test is taken by the July date, you may close my application. Im so sorry for all the mishaps and hassles if any was caused. Thanks again for all your time and help, hopefully you'll be hearing from me soon again.


Achau Nguyen
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Old 1st July 2005, 10:58 AM   #17
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To Kramer and Mr. Underdown,

Im so sorry for all the delays, first I had problems with who was suppose to come with me, and than I had a little financial problems, but all has been dealth with and solved. Im booked for a flight on July 22, departuring at 2:55 pm, and arriving at LAX at 11:00 PM. Im not exactly sure where im gonna be staying at, a friend myte have a place to stay for the night, if not hopefully you can direct to a motel/hotel near the facility.

Some concerns has popped up though, first off the test procedure, I know you guys stated that spelling has to be correct, but my reciever im bringing is very bad with his writing grahmar and so am I. I will be tryna spell out the word for him as best as I can, but lets say the wird is "believe" and he spells it out "beleive" or "beleeve", would it be possible to let go by as a pass?? I really dont want a small problem as this to figure the outcome of the results. I mean lets say if the word is "believe" and he writes out "smell", than that is obviously wrong.

Second I know you wanted to get the testing done in the morning, but would it be ok if we did around early afternoonish, lets say around 11:00 pm maybe?? Im a very long sleeper thats why, and I wouldnt want a problem as myself over sleeping and missing the test time, to cause my results as a no show/failure.

I really hope that we can resolve this as soon as possible, and my deepest apologies again for all the hassles and delays, thanks again.

Achau Nguyen


==============================================

Mr. Nguyen,

Have you confirmed with Mr. Underdown that it is possible to test you during the time you desire? It seems that booking your flight prior to having confirmed that the time is available may be somewhat premature.

I await your reply and Mr. Underdown's comments.

p.s. we have no problem with the receiver spelling the words incorrectly, so long as it cannot possibly be confused with any other word. This is why we chose the sender's words very carefully, so that no such confusions might arise.
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Old 5th July 2005, 12:49 PM   #18
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Hey Kramer,

Yes that date is available, he told me I could pick from June 4, 18, 25, or July 16, 23, 30. Hopefully it'll be enough time to set everything up though. Thanks again for everything Kramer, wish me luck.

Achau Nguyen


===========================================

GOOD LUCK, ACHAU!!!
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Old 13th July 2005, 09:27 AM   #19
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The word list must be comprised of words than can in no way be mistaken for any other words on the list, as I have stated previously. Thusly, spelling should not be an issue. We will accept BELEEV if the actual word is BELIEVE.

Yes, I submitted a list to Nguyen (and to Jim Underdown, too, I believe) long, long ago, which was given to me by Randi as a model for such tests. No two words sound alike, or can any word on the list in any way be confused with another word on the list.

Comb. Fork. Hat. Hammer. House. Dog. Hamburger. Teapot. Bird. Credit Card. Triangle. Handgun. Book. Clock. Banana. Glove. Glasses. Telephone. Shoe. Boat. Motorcycle. Automobile. Church. Fist.

I would see no problem with having the recipient SAY the word instead of (or in addition to) writing it down, so long as the test was videotaped.

If this is agreeable to Randi, it would eliminate this particular point of concern entirely for the applicant.
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Old 14th July 2005, 07:02 AM   #20
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A TEST IS FORTHCOMING !!!

Achau,

Sorry for the delay in replying -- I was out of state.

We can test you on the 23rd of July at 11:00 a.m. at CFI-West.

There is a Travelodge (Vermont/Sunset Travelodge) within walking distance of the Center for Inquiry.

Let's be in touch next week.

Please keep us posted about your plans.

Best regards,

James Underdown, CFI-WEST
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Old 21st July 2005, 10:48 AM   #21
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From JIM UNDERDOWN @ CFI-West

Achau,

I got your phone message.

We are ready and expecting you at the Center for Inquiry-West at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday morning.

We are located at 4773 Hollywood Blvd., just west of Vermont Ave., in Hollywood.

There is a Travelodge on Vermont (1401 N. Vermont) 2 blocks south of Hollywood Blvd. It's relatively inexpensive, and conveniently located near the Center.

You may call my office (# below) or my cell phone if you have any questions.

Please call when you arrive to let us know that you are in town. We have several people involved in the test.

I look forward to meeting you and the person who will receive your messages. (What is that person's name, incidentally?)

Best regards,

James Underdown
Executive Director
Center for Inquiry-West
www.cfiwest.org
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Old 25th July 2005, 10:44 AM   #22
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The TEST RESULTS

On Saturday July 16th, ACHAU NGUYEN, the most courteous Challenge applicant I have had the pleasure of dealing with since my work here began, was tested by Jim Underdown and colleagues at CFI-West in Los Angeles. Mr. Nguyen flew from Hawaii to be tested, following a period of over one year in which we worked together to secure a qualified team to test him in Hawaii. His patience and courtesy throughout the entire process was extraordinary and wholly unmatched in the annals of the JREF Challenge.

Hats off to Achau Nguyen, who, despite his courage and passion, failed to demonstrate his claim. In 20 attempts to send a word via telepathy to his "receiver", he did not succeed once.

The full details of the test (as told by the test coordinator Jim Underdown) is forthcoming.

In nearly 18 months here, 3 preliminary tests have taken place. Achau's test was one of those three. He is a rare breed.

It would have been a distinct pleasure to have met him. My respect for him remains unbroken, and frankly, I wish the test results were different. I would have liked to see Achau become the first person to pass the preliminary phase of the Challenge and proceed to the final test.

Three cheers for Achau!!!
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Old 1st August 2005, 11:51 AM   #23
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From Jim Underdown, CFI-West

Achau Nguyen Test
July 23, 2005
Center for Inquiry-West, Hollywood, CA
By James Underdown



On July 23, 2005, The Independent Investigations Group (IIG), in conjunction with the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), conducted a test of alleged telepathic ability. This test was held at the Center for Inquiry-West (CFIW) in Hollywood, CA.

Achau Nguyen of Oahu, Hawaii, flew to Los Angeles for a preliminary test of the JREF $1 Million Paranormal Challenge, and for the demonstration phase of the IIG’s $10,000 Challenge. Achau claimed to be able to mentally send words to a person who would accurately receive them and write them down. During the period when the test protocol was being designed, Achau said he could successfully send 19 or 20 out of 20 words to a receiver.

Achau, his friend E., and E.’s girlfriend J., arrived at CFI-West at a few minutes before 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2005. Jim Underdown showed them both the upstairs and downstairs tables they would be seated at during the test to make sure all was in order and in harmony with what they thought the test would look like.

The three were then led to an office where Achau signed statements saying that he understood this was only a preliminary test, that he would not employ any means of deception, that he knew he would be photographed and taped during the test, and that he expected to be successful.

Achau and E. were then separated, and each was scanned with a metal detector. Both were asked to remove their shoes during this check for transmitting equipment, and both allowed us to examine their ears and the inside of their mouths. Mercifully, the body cavity search ended there.

Achau was escorted to a table in a small theater upstairs, while E. and J. were taken downstairs to the lobby of the Steve Allen Theater where another table awaited, directly below Achau upstairs. The upstairs theater had no windows to the outside, or open doors to the level below. The table downstairs faced a wall that contained a small, high window facing a hill across the street.

The audience present was warned – per Achau – that they might experience some of the powerful energy being emitted from Achau during the test, and that they remain at their own risk. All chose to stay.

IIG members filled the following positions: Jim U. conducting, Bernie E. on upstairs radio, Eric E. on upstairs video camera (#1), Brian H. on upstairs video camera (#2), Dave R. and Jerry B. on upstairs close observation, Dennis H. on stairs/entry monitor & radio, Sherri A. on downstairs camera, Matt C. on downstairs radio, Derek B., Myriah D., John S., and Owen H. on downstairs close observation.

Achau was then shown two sealed envelopes, each containing 30 index cards with a word (computer) printed on each card. He chose one envelope, which Jim U. opened, and gave to Achau to choose twenty cards from. He chose twenty without looking at them.

After the twenty cards were chosen and counted, Jim U. removed the discards, and shuffled the twenty cards with his back to Achau. The cards were then placed word-down in a pile on the table in view of a group of ten or twelve guest observers, none of whom would see any of the words until the conclusion of the test.

The items on the upstairs table before Achau included a bowl of ice water, a towel, the twenty word cards, a can of Red Bull™, and a tabletop lectern facing away from the audience. On the downstairs table, E. had a pen and two sheets of paper in front of him, with ten blanks each on them, and a cup of water.

As a precaution, IIG member Jerry B. was allowed to see and record the first 3 cards on the pile to be sent. No other IIG member or observer had any way of knowing which words were selected, what order they were in, or what card was currently being transmitted. Only one person – Brian H. -- knew what cards were in the pool of sixty potential cards. Brian H. was behind a camera during the test, and was out of Achau’s range of vision during the entire test.

Achau was asked if all conditions were ok and if there was anything present that would prevent him from succeeding. He said everything was all right and said he would be ready to begin after drinking some Red Bull™ and doing some push-ups. After a couple of rounds of push-ups and Red Bull™, we began. Achau’s face was flush, but he seemed upbeat.

When Achau signaled his readiness, Jim U. said, “Sending the first word.” Jim then placed the 1st card (out of the audience’s sight) on the lectern facing Achau for him to see. Bernie radioed to Matt downstairs that Achau was sending.

After E. wrote a word, Matt radioed back upstairs “Word received.” The test followed this sequence throughout with a minor adjustment after the first word or two.

After the first three words had been sent, we requested a brief pause so Jerry could bring them to Dennis on the stairs. Matt C. brought Dennis the first 3 words received by E. Dennis examined both short lists, and sent word upstairs with Jerry that we should proceed. This was our early warning system to alert us in case we were being deceived. None of the first three words matched, so we suspected no cheating at that point, and continued until all twenty words had been transmitted.

Achau paused a number of times during the test in order to do more push-ups. He said the push-ups helped him “feel it” and allowed him to transmit more effectively. About halfway into the test, Achau requested and was given some Coca-Cola ™ to give him more energy and caffeine.

After sending the 20th word, the downstairs crew came upstairs with the results. We asked Achau if everything went well, and he said yes. We asked if he thought he had been successful, and he said yes. E. signed the “received” sheets verifying that they were written by him and accurately received by him.

While the group was making its way upstairs, Achau said he wanted to show Jim U. something. He arranged some of the word cards into a sort of a “Z” shape and said he could put that image into Jim U’s mind. Jim U. didn’t really feel the shape in his mind beyond the fact that he had just seen it on the table. This was unrelated to the test.

To tabulate the results, we brought out a white scoreboard which displayed columns for “Word Sent,” “Word Received,” and “Running Score”. The sequence “sent,” “received,” “score” was read for all 20 words. No “Sent” words were even close to the “Received” words. (e.g. The first word he sent was “ovary”, though E. received “shopping mall.”) The running score became a column of zeros.

Achau seemed initially surprised, then a bit angry, then disappointed, and a bit humiliated. We tried to soften the blow by explaining that people make these mistakes and that he should use the test he just took to check himself in the future.

He e-mailed us the next day with the following:

Hello Jim and the rest of the IIGWest staff,

I just wanted to thank you guys for everything again, I also wanted to apologize for the way I was after the test. I must admit I was really upset, not of any of you guys though, but at my recipient, (E.) I know he didnt even try to put an effort to help me out, everything he wrote was straight out of his ass, Im sorry to say. I guess you can say that's sorta my exscuse for failing, but whatevers, I did wanted to mention it when Jim invited us into his office after the test and was asking us if we had any ideas or reasons of the failure, but I didnt wanna make a scene.

I know since it was a failure in the testing, that pretty much says, that I do not possess these powers I claim to have, but within all honesty Jim, Derek, Sherri, Brian, Bernie, and Owen if you guys all can actually look me straight in my face and tell me im just halluscinating about everything, and misbelieved about these powers I possess, I totally respect that, but if you can somehow acknowledge and say that I do possess these powers, (that needs alotta tweaking) even though the test was a failure, that would mean the world to me, I guess what im trying to say is I need your guys stamp of approval, so that maybe I could go to soemone (sic) or they could come to me that'd be willing to help me out, and we could like learn and understand to control these powers together, you knows?

I mean winning the million and shutting down Randi would be great, but what I really need rite now is people who know actually know about these things, and can help me out. I know it was my fault for bringing the wrong recipient, and not actually trying these tests more and what so nots, but i beg you guys PLEASE and try to help me out somehow, like I've mentioned when I first came to Randi, I was asking him to help me out, and all he told me was, something like im not here to back up the paranormal, im here to debunk it, or something in that matter, so I beg you guys PLEASE dont do the same to me. I really do believe I possess alot of potential in this field, and even though I failed the test, I hope atleast finally I got somebody, or a group who are very respected and looked up upon in this field, like you guys to acknowledge that the powers are real, I'll be more than happy. But if you honestly can say, im delusional and just straight tripping and need to go get some help, I totally respect that, and will take up your guys advice on that.

In closing, thanks again for everyhting, especially sherri, she was like a maid for me, (LOL), and thanks EVERYBODY for all of the help and time you guys tooked out today on helping me out with the testing, especially when all I could produce for you guys was nothing at all, a 0 out of 20 score, and my deepest apologies again for my behavior after the testing, usually I do get like, where I cant breathe and start stuttering and what so nots, its the side affects, but mostly it was because that I was mad at (E.), it was like he just stabbed straight in my back, and apologies again if I took out that anger on you guys. I just hope though, some how you guys can help me out, you guys are pretty much my only hope. Thanks again.


Achau Nguyen


At a post-test discussion, we concluded that Achau had made no effort to deceive us, and was sincere in his belief that he possessed the power of telepathy. We all felt a little bad for him, as his expectations of success were clearly not met.

We all made a concerted effort to be kind to him throughout the testing process, but felt no regret that the test had been conducted. We think the reaffirmation of the laws of physics and the methods of science is more important than the comfort of one individual.
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Old 1st August 2005, 12:41 PM   #24
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Randi's Letter to Everyone at CFI-West

I’m a little spooked by the fact that this test worked out quite this way and this well.

The protocol was excellent, the implementation 100%, the co-operation and agreement of everyone was obtained, and the subject was satisfied that the procedure was fair and proper!

This is how these things can be and should be done.

I want to sincerely thank all involved, including Mr. Achau, for seeing this through to its proper conclusion. It will stand as a good example for others to emulate.

Congratulations, all.

Let us remember not to damage this work by claiming that Achau was shown not to have the power he claimed to have; it was only shown that on this occasion, under the given circumstances, he was not able to perform as he had expected to.

After 12 months has passed, he is of course free to re-apply for the JREF million-dollar prize, and may even wish to be re-tested by CFI-West or any other group, if they are able to accommodate him.

James Randi.
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Old 1st August 2005, 12:47 PM   #25
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A Letter from Jim Underdown to Achau Nguyen

Achau,

On behalf of the Independent Investigations Group, I just wanted to thank you for your cooperation and participation in the test last week. You conducted yourself in a civil and amiable manner, and were easy to work with.

I know the test didn't turn out the way you had hoped, but I think it was conducted fairly and accurately.

If you still believe you possess these powers, I strongly urge you to try testing yourself in a similar way we used here. Feelings and intuition will never be enough evidence for science-minded people. We and Randi will continue to demand compelling evidence that specific paranormal tasks are being accurately executed.

We all wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Best regards,

James Underdown
Executive Director
Center for Inquiry-West
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Old 16th September 2005, 08:58 AM   #26
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The Official Story

Here is the link to the CFI-West detailing of the Achau Nguyen test. It repeats verbatim what I posted in this thread, but includes photos taken at the test.

http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/nguyen.html
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