James Randi (Randal Zwinge) is a magician; a self-professed conjuror and a funded dispeller of psychic fraud. His 1980’s book ‘Flim-Flam!’ delivers what the title promises. Unfortunately it’s Randy who’s performing flim-flam on his readership. That will be easily verified here:
Mr. Randi writes, of Edgar Cayce, in this book, “Cayce was fond of expressions like ‘I feel that’ and ‘perhaps‘–qualifying words used to avoid positive declarations. It is a common tool in the psychic trade.”
Everything that Edgar Cayce stated during his trance state was meticulously transcribed by a stenographer. Today this resource is available on DVD-ROM which is easily searchable for keywords like ‘feel’ and ‘perhaps’.
In more than 14300 readings Edgar Cayce never once states ‘I feel that’ or anything similar to it. All of his readings, rather, which contain the root word ‘feel’ describe, with precision, the way the subject feels. In fact even the word ‘I’ in the readings is exceedingly scarce with almost all of the readings being given from the collective perspective of; “We have the body”.
A complete compilation of all of Edgar Cayce’s readings is available for purchase ($120) on DVD-ROM (or free for use online to A.R.E. members). They are presented therein complete with background, correspondence, questions, reports, and footnotes proffered by Mr. Cayce’s subjects, their relatives, and his colleagues. These non-Cayce components of the readings present an excellent, lateral, control comparison of the frequency of the written word ‘perhaps’ by Mr. Cayce’s contemporaries relative to how often Mr. Cayce used the spoken word himself. The word appears hundreds of times in the accompanying documents in normal written use by his contemporaries. By contrast, in more than 14,000 readings, Mr. Cayce used the word ‘perhaps’ in only 6 readings. These are as follows:
14 (Q) Is it correct for me to believe as true, that information regarding my Palestine reincarnation which came as a dream in form and appearance as a reading in the very early morning of January 5th?
(A) If this reoccurs to the body, in perhaps some changed form, then consider it – as an experience in turning back in time and space . READING 2072-12
14. (Q) What phase of painting should I specialize in so that I may present those things most worthwhile?
(A) As has been indicated, these should come as it were as MOODS for the entity. At times those that express nature, as from the fields themselves; at times those that express the necessity for that held as a thought to be wielded into justice, yet mercy with same – those that would measure or judge between the fellowman when both perhaps are somewhat selfish and self-centered in their demands one upon another. Again there is the mood when those things which would represent the altars even of Life itself, may be depicted; not so much sacrifice as of duty, as of love, as of the expressions that find themselves from nature’s influences but fill their place in the lives of individuals that may be assembled for such an activity. These then, as we find. While this may be somewhat broad, yet it is very, very definite – when it’s once begun. READING 338-4
11. Liver below normal in functioning. Excessive in excretory forces. Secretions as for digestion below normal. Excessive in excretory forces. Hence the condition as exists in the digestive system, the tendency for the body to be excessive either in laxativeness through the intestines, or just the opposite, constipation for time. The functioning then of the lower portion of the digestive system shows how these excesses produce these effects in the system, through the changes that often take place, in how digestion acts and react in the system. That is, at one time properties taken in the system digest easily, while with the next perhaps that these are taken, the same conditions will produce indigestion for the body. Excess then in kidneys, and the pains as produced in bladder at times, is a reflex nerve condition of the body. READING 4409-1
5. (Q) As given in reading of December 27, 1924, on horoscope, [900-14] body will be connected to business of aerial nature in June. Will it be wise for the body to enter into this business connection, judging by people he is to associate with and also profits that may be derived from such a connection?
(A) These must be adjudged by the individuals themselves. As has been given, “no man can serve two masters,” depending then, as has been outlined for the body. There will be, there are, many smaller concerns, connections, businesses, business relations, that will be brought to the body,  and the body will be able to see how such conditions may be made profitable in financial way to self and to others. Act according to the dictates of the individual’s conscience and will force in such relations. As to aerial connections, conditions, under certain conditions, as has been outlined, well. Under that as will be approached in next conference, no. As might be in a second, or third, or fourth, perhaps consider. READING 900-33
4. The health of  would be better here. The associations, the surroundings, for THAT BODY would be better here, see? Those of some of the others, individually, perhaps, not so good – perhaps – for the environs are different, see? The general condition, all concerned, WELL. Ready for question. READING 288-13 (re. moving to a new address)
23. Do these things for at least ten weeks; that is, including the weeks of the hydrotherapy treatments and the weeks of taking the Atomidine, and also one – perhaps two – colonic irrigations during that period. READING 2988-1
James Randi doesn’t specify precisely what frequency of use of the word ‘perhaps’ constitutes Mr. Cayce’s ‘fondness’ for it but evidently this is about 6 occurrences spanning a period of more than four decades. How often does the average person normally use the word? Perhaps Mr. Randi is psychic regarding Mr. Cayce’s fondness? Contrary to Mr. Randi’s statement of prolific use of this word to avoid positive declarations, as evidenced by even (all of) the ‘perhaps’ qualified statements by Edgar Cayce above, they are invariably decisive and specific.
Mr. Randi would have been well-advised to not contrive fabrications about the most thoroughly documented psychic in history. Evidently he thought that no one would ever check. His book was released in 1982 – over 30 years ago. Cayce enthusiasts evidently don’t spend much time in Mr. Randi’s dark corners.
Based on the foregoing I couldn’t recommend anyone purchasing Mr. Randi’s book. Not finding it available for free at the library I’ve garnered the above from a skeptic site called Straightdope.com. Therein they also write: “One example discussed in detail by Randi is Cayce’s extraordinary failure in divining information about the Lindbergh kidnapping case.”
Edgar Cayce’s reading regarding the Lindburgh Baby
- GC: You will have before you the information which has been given through these sources regarding Charles Augustes Lindbergh, Jr., and the individuals who have sought to carry out this information in locating the body. You will please locate the body at this time, March 17, 1932, and answer the questions as I ask them regarding same.
- EC: Yes, we have the information as has been given regarding Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. Now, as we find, changes have been made in the location of the body. The body now, as we find, is in Jersey City, taken this morning – early – car – New York – license 2M 217.
- In locating the PRESENT location, we would find from the terminal, or broad street, we would turn at the bank – which turns directly to the right. This bitulithic or hard surface street, down three – four – blocks. Turn right, down hill, see? to a gravel or rough street. Turn right again. Unpainted house, yet VERY well located for the section. Some peoples surrounding same have changed. Madge no longer with the body. The body not so well.
- There is, as we find, an attempt to communicate with some of those that are in authority, concerning the whereabouts. Not of the police, not of the higher gangster, but rather to the direct is there being sought. This, as we find, should be reached, or would reach the communicating lines, by early afternoon; as to where from, through whom, not yet fully determined. We would look there. Ready for questions.
- (Q) What is the name of the street on which you turn from Broad?
(A) Seems to be more numbered than named. There are many streets, but this turns at the bank – as there’s only one bank with sign on same.
- (Q) What is the sign on the bank?
(A) Clock. Jersey City Trust – guaranty Trust – 10:58, by the clock.
- (Q) You turn right off of Broad, at the corner of this bank?
(A) Turn right; that is, coming from – towards – the viaduct way, turn right.
- (Q) Is there any number on the house where the body is?
(A) Sixty-three (63).
- (Q) What is the name or number of the street that you turn off of the macadam street?
(A) It’s three streets up from this bus terminal – goes down a hill – one little alley way, and then to this dirt street.
- We are through for the present. READING 2988-1
What happened, if anything, after Edgar Cayce gave this information is unknown. If anyone similar to James Randi was in authority in the investigation then it died on the vine.
The Straightdope website further writes: As James Randi notes in his classic book, Flim Flam, “It is no secret that his cures were quite similar to the ‘home remedies’ described in the handy medical encyclopedias that were bedside reading in many rural homes in the late 1800s.”
Edgar Cayce prescribed cures that were easily at hand for the subject, often in rural areas, or otherwise obtainable, during that era. How similar any were to other remedies available at the time requires a greater degree of specificity and investigation. But, if any were what was best suited to the subject’s medical needs, and they were on hand, then why wouldn’t they be recommended? Most likely James Randi has never even seen one of these alleged handy medical encyclopedias.
In truth Mr. Cayce prescribed a GREAT deal of treatments previously unheard of. On one famous occasion he prescribed curare (poison) to a dying baby with seizures. The infant then fell asleep, woke up well, and grew up to become a medical doctor who worked with the Association.
Edgar Cayce also foretold that medical diagnostics would one day be performed via analyzing a drop of blood. A common procedure today it must have seemed like science fiction at the time.
There are also many Cayce prescribed treatments that modern medical practice has yet to explore; The Cause of, and Treatment for, Psoriasis is one such insight:
Mr. Randi must be racking up the karmic bonus points in discrediting those who would defraud others particularly in God’s (a spiritual context) name. According to Edgar Cayce, however, our individual roles on Earth are to render the Infinite, finite and Mr. Randi, in his zeal to expose fraud, has also been discrediting a genuine path to psychic awareness – an infraction that must be, at least, equal in scope to those of his targets. I’m not optimistic that, when it comes to Mr. Randi’s life review, however entertaining, his righteousness will turn up on the desired side of the ledger. Randy’s getting up there in age so there’s not much time left for redemption during this sojourn. Is it possible that his karma will be to have his own psychic ability retarded via ridicule for a great many lifetimes? Intent is everything, according to Cayce.
The Cayce teachings often repeat the biblical message “…[love] thy brother as thyself”. This is part of the most important lesson, the Whole Law, according to Cayce. Under the circumstances the best light in which to regard James Randi might be with patience, as a parent might an impish little liar. The scamp knows the difference between right and wrong and we all hope that he comes around sooner rather than later for everyone’s benefit.
7. …Ridicule of such (psychic) forces rather than being condemned, those are to be pitied, for they must eventually reach that condition where the soul awakens to the elements that are necessary for the developing,… READING 3744-2 (This reading is Q&A re. psychic phenomena)
If Mr. Randi would prefer not to give the A.R.E. his $1,000,000 prize for providing prolific proof of genuine psychic ability then perhaps he could donate it instead to the Monroe Institute which routinely qualitatively verifies Remote Viewing in a (former military) manner that appears to be palatable to the general public. There has been, and continues to be, no shortage of rigorous quality ESP research conducted worldwide the results of which aren’t the same as Mr. Randi’s performances. He can, at any time, take his pick and endow any worthy accredited institution.
In the meantime, if I happen to come across Mr. Randi’s book at a garage sale, I’ll likely disclose any other determinable falsehoods about Edgar Cayce that Mr. Randi has chosen to contrive.