To all my dear friends:
At 86 years of age, I feel that it’s now well time to officially retire, so I’m stepping down from my position with the JREF – the James Randi Educational Foundation.
This doesn’t mean that I’m retiring from my battle against the so-called psychics, faith healers, paranormalists, and the assorted frauds I’ve encountered in my worldwide wanderings. I’ll in no way relax the critical attention I’ve given to them over the last busy 73 years, I promise you. I’ll still lecture and write, here and abroad – but now on my own time – not on the exhausting schedule that I’ve had these past few years.
I can celebrate the fact that there now exist so many very active, eager, and competent skeptical organizations – on an international scale – some of which may very well have come into being because of the example provided to them by the JREF. I can’t count the really good, valuable friends I’ve gathered from all over the globe, people who have enlarged my life in so many ways. Two years ago, I visited India – my very first visit to that fantastic country, though I’d visited my friend Arthur C. Clark in Sri Lanka, just a few miles offshore, a few times. This year I again toured Australia, the vast continent that I’ve been to perhaps six times now, and where I’m rather well known. That was hectic, but very productive for all concerned.
I’ve also been touring with the documentary film An Honest Liar, which deals with my life both as a performer and a writer, often in the company of my spouse, Deyvi Peña. We’ve had universally excellent reviews of the film, with stimulating – and equally valuable – Q&A sessions following most showings. It has received several prizes and awards, and just may be elected to a number of winning positions. Please watch for local screenings before it goes nationwide on March 6th of this year.
During my tenure with the JREF, I’ve had the great satisfaction of observing a decided increase in the percentage of both younger folks and women who have joined our ranks. This has become evident both at TAMs and in the correspondence with which I deal daily.
And, I cannot express my delight in making so many friends of all colors, tongues, sizes, and philosophies, much of which I’ve worked into my books and my lectures. I’ve been so very stimulated and inspired by all of you. I can only hope that I may have brought about what my late great friend Martin Gardner referred to as an “Aha!” on occasion, suggesting to you something that might not have arisen in the course of regular communication. Martin had me doing “Aha!” regularly, and I’m somewhat the better for his periodic interference, I assure you.
To sum up, this has been a wonderful, exciting, enjoyable adventure for me, and I trust that I’ve given my friends some laughs, perhaps a few tears, and hopefully some valuable thoughts to carry away from my writings and from past TAMs. Let’s get together just once more at TAM13 – with joy and enthusiasm – to celebrate those good times.
No, I’ll not yet hang up my cape nor sheathe my wand, be assured. I’ve still a few “tricks up my sleeve,” as they say, so stand back!
I very much hope to see you all this summer...
We regretfully accept James Randi’s decision to retire from the foundation that bears his name. We will be good stewards as we make plans for the JREF’s future.
Randi has our thanks and gratitude for inspiring us and countless others to think more clearly, not just about the paranormal but about all matters of the universe we live in. May his ferocity, his wit, and his relentless demand for good evidence continue to make our world a better place!
This July 16-19, The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM) will celebrate Randi’s long and productive career. Randi has enthusiastically agreed to be our featured guest. We hope you will join him and friends from around the world. The full schedule and the registration website are under development. In the meantime, please save those dates.