Classic video: James Randi exposes psychic fraudster

I watched An Honest Liar this weekend on Netflix. It's a Kickstarter funded documentary about James "The Amazing" Randi, the accomplished magician who became famous for exposing charlatans. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Before watching this I didn't appreciate Randi because he seemed crabby, but this documentary cleared up that dumb false impression I had.

The documentary included a bit about the time Randi debunked James Hydrick, a guy who claimed to have the power of telekinesis. This happened on a 1981 episode of That's My Line, hosted by Bob Barker. Here's a longer segment from the show.

According to Wikipedia, "in 1981, Hydrick's psychic powers were conclusively exposed as frauds by investigative journalist and professional magician Dan Korem. Hydrick confessed to Korem that he had developed his trick in prison, and that he had not learned it from a Chinese master as he originally claimed. Hydrick confessed, 'My whole idea behind this in the first place was to see how dumb America was. How dumb the world is.'"

(Icky side note, also from Wikipedia: "In 1989, Hydrick was sentenced to 17 years for molesting five boys in Huntington Beach, California. After serving his sentence, he was remanded to Atascadero State Hospital for treatment under the state's sexually violent predator law. He now resides at the Coalinga State Hospital. Hydrick petitioned for release in May 2013, but a trial resulted in a hung jury.")

Ew.

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