James Randi's Carlos Hoax

Magician James Randi perpetrated this notable media hoax in 1988. It was carried out in Australia to embarrass TV people who were completely taken by the latest fad of "Channeling." A channeler claims to be a link between a long-dead individual and the modern world. This past personage speaks and hears through the channeler. If this sounds ridiculous, that's because it is.

Randi engaged a performance artist, Jose Alvarez, to "channel" a 2,000 year-old spirit named Carlos. The TV people swallowed it whole. Carlos became famous very quickly. Alvarez performed in multiple venues, channeling the ancient wisdom of Carlos.

The embarrassmnent of the media when Randi and Alvarez exposed their hoax cannot be exaggerated. Check out the links below.