James Randi's Challenge

This statement outlines the general rules covering my offer concerning psychic, supernatural or paranormal claims. Since claims will vary greatly in character and scope, specific rules must be formulated for each claimant. However, all claimants must agree to the rules set forth here before any formal agreement is entered into. A claimant will declare agreement by signing this form where indicated before a notary public and returning the form to me. The eventual test procedure must be agreed upon by both parties before any testing procedures will take place. I do not act as a judge. I do not design the protocol independently of the claimant. All claimants must identify themselves properly before any discussion takes place. Due to the large amount of correspondence exchanged on this subject, all correspondence must include a stamped, self- addressed envelope or an addressed envelope with an International Reply Coupon.
I, James Randi, will pay the sum of US$10,000 to any person or persons who will demonstrate any psychic, supernatural or paranormal ability of any kind under satisfactory observing conditions. Such demonstration must take place under these rules and limitations:
  1. Claimant must state clearly in advance, and claimant and Mr. Randi will agree upon, just what powers or abilities will be demonstrated, the limits of the proposed demonstration (so far as time, location and other variables are concerned) and what will constitute both a positive and a negative result.
  2. Only an actual performance of the stated nature & scope within the agreed-upon limits, is acceptable.
  3. Claimant agrees that all data (such as photographic, recorded, written) of any sort gathered as a result of the testing may be used freely by me in any way I choose.
  4. Tests will be designed in such a way that no judging procedure is required. Results will be self-evident to any observer, in accordance with the rules which will be agreed upon by all parties in advance of any formal testing procedure taking place. No part of the testing procedure may be changed in any way without the express agreement of all parties concerned.
  5. I may ask the claimant to perform informally before an appointed representative, if distance and time dictate that need, for purposes of determining if the claimant is likely to perform as promised.
  6. I will not pay for expenses incurred by the claimant, such as transportation, accommodation or other costs.
  7. When entering into this challenge, claimant surrenders any & all rights to legal action against me, as far as this may be done by established statutes. This applies to injury, accident or any other damage of a physical or emotional nature and/or financial or professional loss of any kind.
  8. Prior to the commencement of the formal testing procedure, I will give my check for the full reward amount into the keeping of an independent person chosen by the claimant. In the event that the claimant is successful under the agreed terms and conditions, that check for US$10,000 shall be immediately surrendered to the claimant by the person holding that check, in full settlement.
  9. Copies of this document are available free of charge to any person who sends the required stamped, self-addressed envelope or reply coupon to me, requesting it.
  10. This offer is made by me personally, and not on behalf of any other person, agency or organization, though others may become involved in the examination of claims, and others may add their reward money to mine in certain circumstances.
  11. This offer is open to any and all persons, in any part of the world, regardless of sex, race, educational background, etc., and will continue in effect until the prize is awarded, or until my death. My legal will states that, upon my death, the reward amount will be held in escrow and in charge of the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, in Buffalo, New York, who are then empowered to continue the offer for a period of ten years after my demise, after which the reward amount can be used by them for whatever purpose they desire.
[Due to financial limitations brought about as a result of recent lawsuits, the $10,000 -- if won -- will for a short period of time, be paid by promissory note. It is expected that by the beginning of 1996, this provision will be removed.]

(signed) James Randi
12000 NW 8th Street
Plantation, FL 33325
Claimant, by signing, notarizing and returning this form, signifies agreement with the above rules.

Please be advised that several claimants have suffered great personal embarrassment after failing these tests. I strongly advise you to conduct proper double-blind tests of any ability you believe you can demonstrate, before attempting to undergo a testing for this prize. This has saved me and many claimants much time and work, by showing that the powers were quite imaginary on the part of the would-be claimant. Please do this, and do not choose to ignore the need for such a precaution.

Due to the generosity of supporters who share my view of "psychic" claims, I have received (as of this date, 12/20/95) pledges from 209 persons amounting to $473,000 -- which sum includes my own $10,000 pledge. Presently, I am having this matter examined by lawyers to be sure that the augmented prize may be legally offered to claimants. I expect that by the end of this year I will be able to change the challenge award, and I will at that time change this entry to announce the availability of the new prize.
-- James Randi