Автор: Н.И. Козлов

Battles with psychics: the Harry Houdini Award

The finalist of the Battles of psychics Bakhyt Zhumatova believes in her gift without a shadow of doubt and categorically declares that always blindly distinguishes an envelope with money from an envelope with simple pieces of paper, that is, a hundred times from one hundred attempts. How to verify this is true?

Her colleague, the medium Zlata Dmitruk does not make loud statements, but she is sincerely convinced that she sees the souls of the dead and communicates freely with them. This is not when the spirits will deign to meet her, but always when she wants it herself. What will you think about, looking at Zlata Valeryevna’s calm eyes?

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I think that Russia needs the Randy Foundation.

The Randy Foundation has been known in the US for more than 20 years. The foundation, founded by th​​​​​​​e illusionist, TV presenter and popularizer of science James Randy, promises a million dollars to anyone who presents his supernatural abilities not in words but in deeds. Psychics, parapsychologists, mediums, sorcerers - everything is invited, the only condition: the demonstration of one’s gift in the conditions of strict scientific experiment. About 50 people fill out applications to the Foundation every year, but for the time being, no one has earned a million dollars in twenty years. Apparently, the negative energy of the scientific experiment is stronger than the will of the most powerful psychic.

However, how can the feeble American wizards compare with the mighty Russians? "Battles of psychics", broadcast on the central television, collect a huge audience, and the winners of these battles get huge fees. By the way, in Russia, the average income level increases in the professions in the following way: the cheapest services are psychologists and psychotherapists, working at least nominally in the scientific tradition. More expensive take palmists and astrologers (they still also consider themselves to be unrecognized, but science). The most expensive services are for sorcerers and fortune-tellers.

On 13 July , a press conference on the establishment of the Harry Houdini Prize was held at the Mir News press center. The purpose of the Prize is to draw attention to the problem of uncritical public perception of statements about the existence of so-called paranormal phenomena and super-abilities.

It is clear that only a long trip to the United States and poor knowledge of English prevented our witches from receiving millions of dollars in the Randy Foundation, but now these obstacles are eliminated: in July 2015, the Harry Houdini Award was established in Russia, which solves absolutely the same tasks. The prize of million rubles is given to anyone who first demonstrates extrasensory, supernatural or paranormal abilities in the course of a strictly controlled scientific experiment. The vision of the aura, communication with spirits, clairvoyance, telepathy, dowsing and other extrasensory abilities, as well as telekinesis, levitation and all other miracles that contradict the scientific picture of the world - all can be demonstrated to the Expert Council and get for it well-deserved money, an honest million rubles, and even greater glory. The Expert Council has the most authoritative specialists:

• Gelfand Mikhail Sergeevich, Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor, member of the European Academy.

• Alexander Sergeev, creator of the Club of Scientific Journalists, member of the RAS Commission on Combating Pseudoscience, translator of popular scientific books by Karl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind.

• Alexander Panchin, Candidate of Biological Sciences, Senior Researcher, Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, scientific journalist.

• Vlasov Denis Vladimirovich, professional illusionist-magician, member of the Russian Association of Illusionists.

• Asya Kazantseva, scientific journalist, laureate of the "Enlightenment" award for the book "How the brain makes us do stupid things."

• Nikolai Fomushin, an illusionist and a mentalist.

• Alferov Kirill Andreevich, founder of the Society of Skeptics.

• Vodovozov Alexey Valerievich, scientific journalist, doctor specialization: "Therapy", "Toxicology", medical blogger.

• Sachkov Ilya, the founder of the international agency for the prevention and investigation of cybercrime and fraud - Group-IB.

Come, wonderful people! Welcome!

But seriously, the Harry Houdini Award has the mission to restore respect for science and help ensure that good people are not clogged with tales of miraculous miracles that alone will solve all their problems. What is good for children is no longer for adults. In my experience, the most difficult clients, the most stupid clients - just those who believe in sorcerers and are ready to address fortunetellers. By the way, according to statistics for 2015, 67% of women applied to extrasenses.

Good? Do we want more?

Men still hold on: men who addressed wizards and psychics, only 4%. But you understand, dashing trouble is the beginning.

Total: when next time you hear fascinating stories about spirits, evil eyes, spells and lapels, crown of celibacy and levitation, send everyone for money here. And sincere thanks to Stanislav Nikolsky: a graduate of Sinton and my friend: he is the wizard who became the motor of this project, so necessary for us all.

May Russia benefit the Harry Houdini Award!

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