We're working day and night to get together the first issue of +quot;Swift,+quot; the news

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Skeptic Tank!

We're working day and night to get together the first issue of "Swift," the newsletter of the JREF. I've been given permission to print a translation of the account appearing in the January 1991 issue of "Skeptiker," the journal of the GWUP (Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften), the very strong and active German skeptics' group. It is the account of the most complete, definitive, testing of the dowsing claim, ever carried out. A classic. Swift will be going through growing pains, so please be patient. I've been offered all sorts of technical and design assistance, and part of that talent will be directed into creating a Virtual Reality tour of the JREF head office. All in the works. Some of you may have noticed the chortling going on in the "psychics" camp, concerning my dreadful "criminal record." 'Way back when, in Middletown, New Jersey, I was involved in demonstrating against the Middletown cops, who were conducting car searches without "probable cause." I had extensive support, particularly from the young people of the area. Quite a few parents, whose kids had been harrassed and abused by the cops, were angry enough to hold meetings at my house and at a local Unitarian Church, whereupon the cops showed up in force to write down license numbers of those who attended. It got me in the papers, including the New York Times, where the writer referred to the M'town police as "Keystone Cops." That did not please the cops at all. During all this, I had the opportunity of stopping at the scene of a roadside cop-stop, to advise the kids of their rights. The cop present ordered me away, and I complied. The next day, I was arrested at my home and charged with "interfering with a polioce officer in the performance of his duties. I was convicted (a surprise!) and fined $100. Years after that, Carl Sagan and I had the opportunity of reminiscing over our respective "criminal records," both earned while defending free speech and constitutional rights. We were both proud of our civil disobedience. Very proud. I still am. The additional satisfaction is that, in both cases, the causes were rewarded with victory. The Middletown cops got theirs, and Star Wars went bye-bye. Like they say, "Hodie tibi, cras mihi." Well, they used to say. James Randi.

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