When James Randi met Uncle Chuckie

It was a Mu’a dib moment.

I was brought to the 1987 American Booksellers’ Convention by Llewellyn to promote my Psionics 101.  In retrospect I have to feel sorry for poor Carl Weschke, he had no idea what he was getting when he got me.  And before it was over I had scared him half to death.

It seems, as ill-fortune for him had had it, James Randi, notorious fraud and probably pedophile, was there doing his skeptic shtick.  So of course he came up to our table.  He was doing his thing and I asked him to prove something himself.  Everyone sort of gasped and I said, “Just sign this piece of paper.”

He signed it and I looked at it and said, “A very good forgery.”

He sputtered and I said, “You will admit that your signature can be forged?”

He said, “Yes, of course it can.”

I responded, “Well, according your reasoning, if a signature can be forged, all signatures, are forged, are they not?”

He stood open mouthed, bug eyed over his ridiculous beard and I went on, “That is the flaw of your reasoning.  You say something is not true because it can be produced by other means.  That is nonsense.  All that proves is that it can be produced by other means.  It says nothing about the phenomena itself.  Nothing at all.”

He walked away defeated and I grabbed the piece of paper, put it on the radionic box we had, plugged in a helmet quickly, took a fast rate, put on the helmet and thought.  In a matter of seconds he was on the floor of the convention hall gasping for breath.  I went over to him, bent over as people ran to get help and whispered, “I’m not Uri Geller.  Next time I will kill you.”

I went back to the booth and said, “He’ll recover–this time.”

Poor Carl nearly had a heart attack himself.  He had never seen anything like that, none of the people in the booth had.  One of the witnesses was the then Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinburger (I think I have it spelled right) who was manning the booth of his wife’s small publishing house and we had exchanged a joke earlier in the day.  He came over to the Llewellyn booth, more shock for poor Carl and company, and said, “Chuck, I heard you could do that but I never thought I would ever see it.”

That was probably the most fun demonstration I ever did, with the possible exception of one time at a BDSM club giving a sub an orgasm from across the dungeon.

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