FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (GlossyNews) — James Randi, the renown 81-year-old skeptic, has escaped from the closet after keeping his sexuality a secret for more than 70 years.
Randi, formerly known as The Amazing Randi, began his career in Canada as a professional stage magician. Today, he is more widely known as a scientific skeptic who questions and disproves paranormal claims and pseudoscience, following in the tradition of Houdini. Randi has debunked more than 100 psychics and faith healers during his career, in a quest to rid the world of “hucksters.”
Most of Randi’s work is channeled through his James Randi Education Foundation, which challenges the notion of an afterlife and those who claim legitimate proof of paranormal, occult or supernatural abilities. His foundation sponsors The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offers a prize of $1,000,000 to anyone who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event, under test conditions agreed to by both parties.
To date, the money has never been given away.
Randi himself says the revelation of his homosexuality provides the most damning proof that human beings do not possess any psychic gifts.
Randi said, “Of all the people I have investigated — people like John Edward, Sylvia Brown and Miss Cleo — not one of these self-deluded clairvoyants could figure out I was gay? Hell, Uri Geller still hasn’t figured out that Clay Aiken fancies men. You’ve got to wonder.”
Randi’s detractors, with longtime rival Geller the most vocal among them, argue that “gaydar” is not a psychic ability. Geller responded, “Randi’s conclusion is invalid and immaterial. Being able to divine a person’s sexual orientation has nothing to do with paranormal powers. The man has no conviction.”
However, fellow skeptic and illusionist Derren Brown supports Randi’s position.
“Of course he’s right,” Brown said. “It’s quite simple, really. If people can believe a so-called psychic knows where a killer has buried a body, they should be able to grasp the idea that a psychic can tell us where Randi’s been burying his salami.”