To: Subject: The TV speech. Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 04:26:4

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From: James Randi --- Wizard To: Subject: The TV speech. Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 04:26:49 -0500 [The speech I delivered to the TV audience in Japan. "Mr. Maric" is a Japanese magician who does mentalism, and is well-known in Japan.] Ladies & gentlemen, I have been involved in testing claims of psychics for more than 50 years now, and I've never had a more frustrating experience than TRYING to test Mai Takahashi. What you see on this program is not a challenge. It is not a scientific test, either. It IS test of this Japanese audience and a test of Japanese television, a test conducted by Mai Takahashi's father, who has been dictating all the rules. You should know that in November of last year, when I had scientists and skeptics with me, we DID TEST MISS TAKAHASHI SCIENTIFICALLY -- AND SHE FAILED. It appears that her father does not want that to happen again. For today's encounter, I was first given two different sets of rules for my participation when I met the producers in the USA. Then when I arrived in Japan I was given two more different sets of rules. And now, just last night, I was given a fifth different set of rules, and just an hour ago, yet another. All of these capricious rules were dictated by Mai Takahashi's father. I have now been told that I am not allowed to have any participation in the audience demonstration that none of my controls will be used that I cannot closely observe the procedure that I may make no comments about what happens that I may ask no questions, and that no skeptics and no scientists are allowed to participate or to be in the audience! I had just three simple questions I wanted to ask Mai Takahashi. Any one of these questions would have exposed her trick. She was informed of these questions, and her father said that I was forbidden to ask any of these questions. In preparation for today, I have viewed a two-hour videotape of Mai Takahashi doing her tricks for parapsychologists in Taiwan. In that videotape her trickery is very evident; obviously, the parapsychologists were very easy to fool. But you will never see that videotape. And I'm sure that you will never see Mai Takahashi being properly tested. Her father will not permit it. What you see today being performed by Mai Takahashi is a trick performance very similar to those which Mr. Maric and I have shown you. It's a trick, a very simple trick, not any sort of supernatural power. I believe that the people of Japan have been deceived and that such deception can lead to an irrational view of the real world, the kind of irrationality that promotes belief in deadly religious cults, in pseudoscience, and in other forms of insanity. I urge you to reject belief in this nonsense. Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely regret to address you in this fashion, and I apologize for my intemperate language, but I believe that you will appreciate knowing the truth. Thank you.


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