James Randi Educational Foundation
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|Key people||James Randi, Chairman, Board of Directors
D. J. Grothe, President and CEO
Rick Adams, Secretary, Board of Directors
Daniel "Chip" Denman, Board of Directors
Barb Drescher, Educational Programs Consultant
Brian Thompson, Field Coordinator
|Mission||To promote Critical Thinking and Investigate Claims of the Paranormal|
|Revenue||US$852,445(2009) 38% on 2008. 17% on 2009.|
|Motto||An Educational resource on the paranormal, pseudoscientific, and the supernatural|
The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by magician and skeptic James Randi. The JREF's mission includes educating the public and the media on the dangers of accepting unproven claims, and to support research into paranormal claims in controlled scientific experimental conditions.
The organization administers the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offers a prize of one million U.S. dollars which it will pay out to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria. The JREF also maintains a legal defense fund to assist persons who are attacked as a result of their investigations and criticism of people who make paranormal claims.
The organization is funded through member contributions, grants, and conferences. The JREF website publishes a (nominally daily) blog at randi.org Swift, which includes the latest JREF news and information, as well as exposes of paranormal claimants.
The JREF officially came into existence on February 29, 1996, when it was registered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Delaware in the United States. On April 3, 1996 Randi formally announced the creation of the JREF through his email hotline: It is now headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
|“||THE FOUNDATION IS IN BUSINESS! It is my great pleasure to announce the creation of the James Randi Educational Foundation. This is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational foundation under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, incorporated in the State of Delaware. The Foundation is generously funded by a sponsor in Washington D.C. who wishes, at this point in time, to remain anonymous.||”|
—The Foundation, Randi Hotline, Wed, April 3, 1996
The officers of the JREF are:
- Director, Chairman: James Randi, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
- Director, Secretary, Assistant Secretary: Richard L. Adams Jr., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
- Director, Secretary: Daniel Denman, Silver Spring, Maryland.
In 2008 the astronomer Philip Plait became the new president of the JREF and Randi its board chairman. In December 2009 Plait left the JREF due to involvement in a television project, and Grothe assumed the position of president on January 1, 2010.
The San Francisco newspaper SF Weekly reported on August 24, 2009 that Randi's annual salary is about $200,000, a figure that has not changed much since the foundation's inception.
The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge
In 1964, Randi began offering a prize of $US1000 to anyone who could demonstrate a paranormal ability under agreed-upon testing conditions. This prize has since been increased to $US1 million and is now administered by the JREF as the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge. Since its inception, more than 1000 people have applied to be tested. To date no one has been able to demonstrate their claimed abilities under the testing conditions; the prize money still remains to be claimed.
The Amaz!ng Meeting
Since 2003, the JREF has annually hosted The Amaz!ng Meeting, a gathering of scientists, skeptics, and atheists. Perennial speakers include Richard Dawkins, Penn & Teller, Phil Plait, Michael Shermer and Adam Savage.
Podcasts and Videos
The foundation produces two audio podcasts, For Good Reason and Consequence. For Good Reason is an interview program hosted by D.J. Grothe, promoting critical thinking and skepticism about the central beliefs of society. Consequence is a biweekly podcast in which regular people share their personal narratives about the negative impact a belief in pseudoscience, superstition, and the paranormal has had on their lives.
The JREF also produces a regular video cast and YouTube show, The Randi Show, in which JREF outreach coordinator Brian Thompson interviews Randi on a variety of skeptical topics, often with lighthearted or comedic commentary.
The JREF is affiliated with The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast, where Randi sometimes speaks in a format reminiscent of a column, recounting adventures from his career as a debunker of psychics.
The foundation produced its own "Internet Audio Show" which ran from January–December 2002 and was broadcast via a live stream. The archive can be found as mp3 files on their website and as a podcast on iTunes.
Fellowships and Scholarships
The JREF has named a number of fellows of the organization including Senior Fellow Steven Novella and Research Fellows Karen Stollznow, Tim Farley and Ray Hall. Kyle Hill was added as a fellow November 2011, and Leo Igwe was added October 2012.
- America's Psychic Challenge
- An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural (by Randi)
- List of prizes for evidence of the paranormal
- Pigasus Award
- Rationalist Prabir Ghosh increases his challenge amount to $50,000 against any claim of paranormal, after surviving nine assassination attempts.
- Skeptic's Dictionary by Robert Todd Carroll
- Grothe, D.J. "JREF Hires New Field Coordinator". JREF. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "990 Form from 2008 for The James Randi Educational Foundation(cite line 12)". Foundation Center.
- "2009 Form 990". GuideStar. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Form 990 for 2010". GuideStar. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Department of State: Division of Corporations - Entity Details - The James Randi Educational Foundation". Retrieved 2012-03-03. Delaware Dept. of State, Division of Corporations official website, Corporation Name Search: "The James Randi Educational Foundation. Incorporation Date / Formation Date: February 29, 1996. Entity Type: NON-PROFIT OR RELIGIOUS."
-  The Randi Hotline — 1996 The Foundation.
- "JREF postal address"
- James Randi. "A Good Friend Has Left Us". JREF. "John was generous, kind, and caring. The JREF received several checks — 6-figure checks"
- "filing with Florida State Department". Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Phil Plait New JREF President". Retrieved August 8, 2008.
- James Randi. "Exciting Times at The JREF". JREF News. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
- "The Demystifying Adventures of the Amazing Randi". Retrieved September 5, 2009.SF Weekly, August 24, 2009, online version, page 2: "One of his friends, Internet pioneer Rick Adams, put up $1 million in 1996."
- "For Good Reason podcast"
- "Consequence Podcast"
- "The Randi Show"
- "Internet Audio Show". The James Randi Educational Foundation. 3 January 2002.
- The James Randi Educational Foundation (3 January 2002). "Internet Audio Show". iTunes.
- "Dr. Ray Hall Appointed as New JREF Research Fellow". JREF SWIFT blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. July 1, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- "Kyle Hill Appointed as JREF Research Fellow". JREF SWIFT blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. November 11, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
- "Leo Igwe partners with JREF to respond to witchcraft problem in Africa". Doubtful News. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- "The James Randi Educational Foundation Scholarships". Randi.org. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- "JREF Offers a Number of Scholarships and Grants for Students, Educators and Local Skeptic Groups"
- Christopher, Milbourne (1975). Mediums, Mystics, & the Occult. Thomas Y. Crowell Co. ISBN 0-690-00476-1
- Polidoro, Massimo (2003). Secrets of the Psychics: Investigating Paranormal Claims. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-086-7
- Randi, James (1982). Flim-Flam!. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-198-3
- James Randi Educational Foundation — Official website
- The Amaz!ng Meeting — Information on past and upcoming Amaz!ng Meetings and Amaz!ng Adventures
- Videos from The Amaz!ng Meeting on Youtube
- Videos from The Amaz!ng meeting on Vimeo
- The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge — Official website