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What is the Center for Inquiry Investigations Group?

Originally called the Independent Investigations Group (IIG), the CFIIG was founded in 2000 as the brainchild of CFI-Los Angeles Executive Director James Underdown. Underdown’s goal is to “spread a plague of skepticism across the world” by pooling the talents of inquiring minds to investigate wild claims and test those who made them.  The CFIIG headquarters are located at the Center for Inquiry West in Los Angeles.

A skeptic, in this context, is someone who uses science and evidence to address extraordinary claims. A skeptic is distinguished from a “denier” in that a skeptic must change his mind if the evidence is contrary to his or her belief. A denier remains entrenched in a position despite the weight of evidence.

The CFIIG is the largest paranormal investigation group in the world, with allied groups and Field Investigators in the United States, Canada, the UK, Italy, Australia, South Africa, and Germany. We’ve conducted many dozens of investigations and tested numerous paranormal claimants for the CFIIG Challenge.

Our volunteers represent a wide range of education levels, professional and life experience. These diverse perspectives add both depth and breadth to our mystery-solving abilities. The CFIIG welcomes anyone who is inquisitive and science oriented.

Our main thrust is to investigate paranormal and extraordinary claims and  disseminate our findings to the general public. The CFIIG offers a $250,000 prize for anyone able to prove paranormal ability under mutually agreed upon test conditions. The $250,000 Challenge is underwritten by the Center for Inquiry, an international non-profit that strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

Our findings can be found on this website as well as other media.