'Psychic' Backs Out of Randi Challenge

'Psychic' Backs Out of Randi Challenge September 15, 2011

This will likely be the least shocking news you’ll see this week. Canadian “psychic” Nikki has backed out of her agreement to take James Randi up on his million dollar paranormal challenge, saying she’s not available to take the test.

The JREF called Nikki on Sept. 2, requesting an email address to send her information about the Million Dollar Challenge. After CBC News published a followup story2 on Tuesday, Sept. 6, Nikki returned the JREF’s call, leaving a message in which she promised “I will try to contact you in the next couple of days for sure.” The JREF called her back within an hour, again offering to send information about the Challenge and answer her questions.

A full week after Nikki promised to call the JREF “in the next couple of days,” she still had not responded.

Instead, she seemed to be backing away from the Million Dollar Challenge on Friday, when she said on CFNY-FM in Toronto, “I didn’t tell CBC I would do the test for sure, I said [I would] if I was available…. I’m not available.” She went on to say, “I don’t have to take [the JREF’s] stupid test … I don’t want a million dollars.”

You don’t have to be a “psychic” to predict that one. You can listen to the audio of this interview here, it’s the Sept. 9 broadcast and it starts at about the 50 minute left mark. She says she’s been “doing her research” and she’s “found out stuff.” She has “friends who are psychologists in the states and they are experts on tests.” And she “really wanted to do the test” but she didn’t tell CBC for sure she would do the test, she only said she’d do if it she’s “available.” And she can’t do it because she “found out more about it” and she’s “not available” all of a sudden.

She said she has no time until next year. One of the hosts asked her what she did yesterday and she said she was watching movies. And when asked what she was doing that day she said, “I don’t know what I’m doing later.” That tells you exactly what’s going on. Funny thing is that she said she was waiting for a friend to email her back to do something that day. As a psychic, shouldn’t she know that already?

She did say that she would eventually take the test after the first of the year, but that’s a fairly obvious lie given everything else she said. Like this:

I’ve had emails and phone calls from people who know him and he doesn’t have the million dollars.

That’s a lie. JREF has posted the bank statement for everyone to see. She also claimed that it was “like a lie detector test” that someone could fake. In fact, it’s nothing at all like a lie detector test. Not even remotely. In fact, she has to agree in advance to specific, objective results that would prove her alleged powers to exist.

The punchline to all of this is that she said she would take it after the first of the year, then said she had a premonition about James Randi’s health. Well Randi is in his 80s, so ill health is hardly a risky prediction. But sorry Nikki, even if he died that won’t make the challenge disappear. His foundation will live on and so will the challenge — and so will your obvious dodging.

What we have here is another con (wo)man tap dancing her way out of being exposed as a fraud.


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  • Aquaria

    I knew she’d start regretting opening her fool mouth.

    No psychic ability involved, just a conclusion based on years of observation of these occult frauds. My mother surrounded herself with the likes of her–and still does.

    I know their ways like I know my name.

  • Randomfactor

    Let’s not be too hard on her. There’s no way she could have predicted her lack of availability. It would take some kind of psychic to do that.

  • Ramel

    Clearly she saw how the tests were going to end…

  • Larry

    I don’t have to take [the JREF’s] stupid test

    The news story didn’t mention she was 7 years old.

  • tbp1

    Come on now, how can anybody say “I don’t want a million dollars” and have any shred of credibility left? (Not that a psychic should be granted any credibility to start with of course.)

    Even if she doesn’t want or need the money for herself, surely there’s some worthy cause she could donate it to? It would make her look good, even if it wasn’t sincere.

  • chilidog99

    I don’t want a million dollars.

    Give it to me, then.

  • lofgren

    Does anybody else sometimes feel like Ed could just post a headline that says “It’s Thursday!” and we could fill in the stories about police corruption, civil rights erosion, weaselly frauds, and two-faced dominionists ourselves?

  • eric

    Whether she knows it or not, she did end up taking one JREF test. The one used to distinguish the misguided believers from the con artists.

  • MikeMa

    I suppose she could have expected to milk the publicity for a far longer period of time before refusing the test. JREF’s desire to get things underway quickly caught her off guard. (Giggle…)

    Not sure how tough it will be for her to spin this to the credu-folk.

  • The Lorax

    The irony here is that every skeptic predicted this would happen.

  • eric

    The irony here is that every skeptic predicted this would happen.

    Nah. I was about 50/50 in expecting her to go through with it. I really couldn’t peg from the new articles whether she was deceiving herself along with others, or not.

    Or maybe I was just really hoping for a good preliminary test to get in the news.

    Anyway…most skeptics predicted. 🙂

  • bigjohn756

    “As a psychic, shouldn’t she know that already?”

    No, Ed, it has been my observation that psychics can’t predict anything unless there is some consideration — preferably cash.

  • I don’t want a million dollars.”

    Take it, then make a bonfire out of it just to hurt Randi’s feelings even more when you win. Or give it to your favorite politician. Or charity.

    Shorter: liar.

  • I don’t want a million dollars… mostly because I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

  • cag

    What we have here is another con (wo)man tap dancing her way out of being exposed as a fraud.

    Too late. Anyone claiming to be a psychic has already been exposed as a fraud. Too bad that so many have defective fraud detectors.

  • ambulocetacean
  • ambulocetacean

    Ugh… the preview button didn’t work so I pressed submit and hoped for the best. It could have been worse…

  • Aquaria

    I don’t want a million dollars… mostly because I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

    I could spend it in five minutes at Tiffany.

    But that’s me.

  • Sastra

    eric #8 wrote:

    Whether she knows it or not, she did end up taking one JREF test. The one used to distinguish the misguided believers from the con artists.

    I think that’s a hard distinction to make — even with this piece of evidence. She could be both sincerely misguided AND practicing a deliberate con — by conning herself along with others. The paranormal is indistinguishable from the supernatural, and apologists have made a career over justifying contradictions, dodging tests, and excusing weasel-like behavior as a form of “humility.” She’s probably dancing on the edge of self-awareness and flipping back and forth between nervous anxiety and righteous indignation.

    The JREF is making her feel bad. Nobody has the right to make you feel bad. There’s obviously something fishy about this JREF test and sooner or later she’ll hit on what it is and shut everyone else up.

  • zmidponk

    Is she unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances?

  • scienceavenger

    She doesn’t want to take the test because she doesn’t want a million dollars, AND won’t take it because Randi supposedly doesn’t have it?

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