The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bragalia on James Randi -- the skeptical side of sleaze

James Randi, the man who bills himself as the "Amazing Randi," is one nasty little piece of work.  Randi was investigated by law enforcement for harboring an illegal alien in his FL mansion. Randi, allegedly a homosexual, was playing “Daddy” to a teenager of Latin descent who was using a stolen identity.

On September 8th, 2011, Federal Agents working for the US State Department, knocked on James Randi's door, not particularly looking for Randi, but for Randi's live-in-lover, a  person who calls himself "Jose Luis Alvarez," a name stolen years ago, say the Feds, from a New York man.  In their newspaper article, "Celebrated South Florida artist Jose Alvarez accused of identity theft" the Broward County Sun Sentinel says:

"Celebrated Plantation artist Jose Luis Alvarez has earned an international reputation with colorful, modernist paintings that have been showcased in South Florida museums and galleries.

He's always dabbled in abstract concepts involving personal and artistic identity, an exploration that began as a young man when he teamed with famed magician James "The Amazing" Randi on the world stage.

Now, there are deeper questions surrounding Alvarez and who he actually is — a mystery about the man himself, beyond his creative persona.

To federal authorities the 43-year-old Alvarez is a cipher, a man truly without any identity. They refer to him as "FNU LNU" — law enforcement acronyms for first and last names unknown.

Alvarez is now in federal custody, accused of stealing the identity of a New York man and misusing it for more than 20 years. Goateed and scholarly looking in hip eyeglasses, Alvarez — if that indeed is his name — had his first appearance Friday morning in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

"We don't know who this person is," Assistant U.S. Attorney Bertha Mitrani told a magistrate, while explaining that authorities would seek to hold Alvarez without bail at a hearing next week.

Alvarez first began performing to international audiences in the late 1980s as "Carlos," channeling the spirit of an ancient seer in contact with other worlds.
It was an elaborate hoax carried out as performance art.

Alvarez's transformation into "Carlos" was part of Randi's crusade to expose mystics and psychics around the world as frauds. The two men, who live together in Randi's Plantation home, met when Alvarez was ateen, and they put on the "Carlos" performances for 15 years.

More recently, the artist's paintings were featured this spring at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, and have graced Art Basel in Miami and galleries in New York and San Francisco.

Alvarez's alleged alternate reality came apart Thursday morning, with the arrival at his door of an investigator from the U.S. State Department who specializes in fraudulent passports, visas and other travel documents. Alvarez initially said he was born in Venezuela, then said New York, according to court records. He was arrested on a charge of supplying false information to obtain a passport, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The charge filed against Alvarez alleges he stole a New York man's date of birth and Social Security number, which he used to obtain a U.S. passport in 1987. He has since renewed the passport twice."

But the Sun Sentinel also says in another article titled 'The Amazing' Randi, renowned supernatural investigator, immersed in mystery about partner's alleged ID theft."  

The writers say:

"Alvarez is not just an artist, but an ardent backer of Randi's philosophy of using science to debunk the assertions of people who fraudulently claim to possess paranormal abilities, Dmitrovsky said...

...A lecture he gave at the University of California in Berkeley earlier this year about his artistic pursuits was described thus: "Jose Alvarez will guide us through his own personal journey of investigation into the realms of consciousness, mysticism, spirituality, magic, shamanism, space exploration, and paranormal phenomena. Utilizing the concept in theoretical astrophysics of parallel universes and space as a continuum membrane with no beginning or end, Alvarez will place his cast of characters as a stand-in for the strong human desire for knowledge and transformation and his continued visual inquiry into the realms of the fantastic and the philosophical."

State Department investigators got onto his trail last August, when a New Yorker named Jose Luis Alvarez applied for a passport to attend his sister's wedding in Jamaica. His application was flagged as potentially fraudulent, because a passport had already been issued in his name.

"He's had my identity for 20 years," the New York Alvarez said Friday, when reached by telephone by the Sun Sentinel. "Why is he stealing my identity? Is he illegal?”


AJB

7 Comments:

  • Well done again, Anthony!

    Randi is a reprobate! Even just watching him on tv (often on Larry King) he oozed something bad from his character. It was palpable for me.

    I do wish that debunkers and skeptics would clean their house of swine like Randi. But, instead, there seems to be the continuation of the 'cult' of Randi with randibots prostrating to the old buggerer on his website.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Saturday, March 15, 2014  

  • .....doesn't he bill himself as 'The Amazingly Randy'?....

    By Blogger Chuck Finley, at Sunday, March 16, 2014  

  • I recall that Randi was/is magician Penn Jillette's mentor...

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Sunday, March 16, 2014  

  • Please leave me out of this, OK AJB?

    By Blogger Fnu Lnu, at Sunday, March 16, 2014  

  • he's done amazing work with fighting people like Poppoff that have basically ripped people off. his appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson resulted in Carson leaving a large sum of money to the JREF to help fight charlatans that take advantage of the sick. The case has been settled, and Randi was charged with nothing and is now married to the man in question (who is not a teenager, but a truly gifted artist). Never an arrest in all his time in the US. If you want to read the many letters about how wonderful this man is, they are available online (they were given to the judge, who refused to put this person in jail after reading the testimonials about his community work and his good character). so, while we can read newspaper articles, let's remember all the bad things newspapers write about UFOs. They never do follow up stories do they, that often would explain the truth and real story behind a sighting or abduction. Same here.

    By Blogger Kitty, at Sunday, March 16, 2014  

  • "If you want to read the many letters about how wonderful this man is, they are available online.." How about how wonderful he is in his own words?

    "I think that people with mental aberrations who have family histories of inherited diseases and such, that something should be done seriously to educate them to prevent them from procreating. I think they should be gathered together in a suitable place and have it demonstrated for them what their procreation would mean for the human race."

    "These are stupid people. And if they can't survive, they don't have the IQ, don't have the thinking power to be able to survive, it's unfortunate; I would hate to see it happen, but at the same time, it would clear the air."

    We're supposed to believe that a Social Darwinist like Randi is motivated by compassion for the victims of charlatans?

    By Blogger Tristan Eldritch, at Monday, March 17, 2014  

  • ...I trust that the Queen of Skeptics is not amused by our mocking

    By Blogger Unknown, at Monday, March 17, 2014  

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