Poke’Pon (Pocket Ponderings) – noun. a thought so small you can keep it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you.
Just because I don’t believe doesn’t mean I can’t be convinced to believe. One simply has to – as the popular saying “to see is to believe” implies – offer proof. But the reality is all supernatural claims I have heard, read about, and examined (such as claims about the existence of ghosts, the aswang, angels, and demons) are based either on poor evidence or no evidence at all. At the end of the day, belief boils down one’s standards of truth. If a present left by the chimney in the middle of the night is proof enough for a child, then to that child Santa Claus is real.
But, as all children figure out eventually, Santa Claus isn’t real. And Santa Claus gets relegated from reality to childish fantasy. There are, however, other myths that plant themselves so firmly in some people’s minds; sadly, these myths never experience the perfectly rational relegation to the league they belong.
I’m sure you’ve met them – people who claim to be clairvoyant, people who claim to have a “fully awakened third eye,” people who claim to have access to a world beyond. If you know anyone who makes any of these claims or any similar claim, or if you are one of these people, I have great news for you.
James Randi, founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), is offering one million dollars (Yes! 44.4 million pesos) to “anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event.” This is not a contest; you won’t be competing with other participants. All you need to do is submit your application, prove your claim, and claim your prize – one million dollars and the highly likely perks that come with proving the supernatural: book deals, media exposure, etc. If you’re as skeptical about the million dollars as I am about the supernatural, here’s JREF’s most recent bank statement.
The challenge started in 1964 with a thousand dollar prize. Forty years, over a thousand applicants, and zero winners later, the challenge still stands. James Randi posed this challenge primarily for two reasons: he doesn’t believe in the supernatural, and he desperately wants to be proven wrong.
James Randi has asked several famous psychics to take on the challenge. Most of them refused; some of them did, and failed.
If your priest or pastor is a faith healer, he deserves to know about this offer. I’m sure he won’t say no to a million dollars in exchange for a simple demonstration of the very god-given gift that attracts people to your church. If he refuses, are his reasons worth more than one million dollars?