Subject:         Re: Your participation
   Date:         Mon, 09 Aug 1999 21:45:10 +0200
   From:        "Alain Jean-Mairet" <>
     To:         James <>
    CC:         Syd Baumel <> , John Benneth <>


> Alain:  I'd like to have an explanation for the lead-shielded envelopes.
> Why?


Well it has been repeatedly seen that people sensitive to homoepathics
don't need to take them to have an effect, as if the remedies would be able to
act without a firm contact. I've seen myself such effect, for example in a
local containing several people having 'proved' (tested) the same potentised
stuff. Someone was there (who had not taken it) who started to complain of
strong malaise. Someone else told then that she had a terrible pain in her
shoulder and had to leave the room. The remedy was present in the local,
just behind the two women who had strong (enough for announcing them
spontaneously) symptoms. The malaise disappeared when the remedy had been
put away. This was explained by the fact that only one remedy was present
alone in the local and that many people had taken it, giving some more
'strength' to it.
     The 'problem' is not very serious as such, of course, the 'effect'
vanishes easily and it seems that when several remedies are kept together, for
example, this kind of effect disappears rapidly. But it becomes acute
during the blinded tests, where some inert substance is being kept a long time
together with just one sort of potentised substance.
     There are many other hints in the literature, which of course are
anecdotal and could be pure coincidences. The point here is to avoid any
interference in the possible effect of the potentised substance. If we suppose that the
latter can 'imprint' somewhat its characteristics on the controls, then we
have to take some precautions.
     The lead envelopes is not my idea, it is a fairly common system used for
this purpose.

> And, since I will no longer accept anything from Benneth -- for reasons
> I've given -- would you serve to relay to me anything I should know
> direct and pertinent comments on the protocol, and convey my comments as
> well?  Syd has -- understandably -- grown tired of the burden.

     As I said, the next step in my view is a complete protocol, which will be
presented to the different concerned parties (you, the homeopath, your
expert, your cameramen, etc.). On this basis, we will be able to say which
differences exactly will appear between the real thing and the
preliminary, if any. When this paper will be ready, it will be published on the lists,
and if you wish I'll inform you directly too. I cannot prevent John to
address you, and I don't intend to 'translate' everything: I'll do at
least as possible.

> I've no idea of what the present status is, since Benneth has rambled on
> with misinformation and lies.  Can you summarize just what is going on, and
> explain to me about these "shielded" envelopes?  Also, where are such
> envelopes available?

     I don't know. We will provide them of course. Maybe a point of the
protocol should be that you want to get some samples before the test?

> Frankly, with new objections and loopholes being brought up so regularly, I
> fear we may never get to actually do a test.  That would please Benneth,
> but not me.  In my opinion, he needs to have the plans collapse, and is
> doing everything he can to see that they do just that.

I don't see any objections or added difficulties, apart maybe from John's
mighty verve.
He wants to have it easier of course. It is a heavy load to have to make
this intricate test twice. He would prefer just to show the yeast test as a
preliminary. You know the story. My opinion is that you will play down any
non blinded test anyway, whoever has attended to it, and that he has no
other choice than to present a detailed protocol based on the last

But if John does present a protocol, I think you will have to sign a paper
telling that you agree with the whole thing as it will be presented then.
Please don't send me back to your rules. This here is a specific agreement
on a specific affair -- a one million dollars contract -- and we know that
no one here does trust anyone else. For some reasons. In my opinion, John
would be a fool to do all this work without a solid warranty that he does
have a chance.


>                                 Randi
> James Randi Educational Foundation
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