Rules for applicants to ASKE

The Sisyphus prize of 1,000,000 euros will be awarded by the Belgian Skeptical society SKEPP vzw to any person who can demonstrate to them, under scientifically controlled conditions, the ability to accomplish feats that are paranormal or impossible according to present scientific knowledge (see the SKEPP website at or, for an English translation, contact ASKE).
In order to enter for the 1,000,000 euro prize, applicants must undertake a preliminary test (the ‘pre-test’) overseen by a skeptical society in their own country authorised by SKEPP. In the case of the UK this is ASKE, the Association for Skeptical Enquiry. Should an applicant pass this pre-test, they will receive a prize from the national society (in the case of ASKE this will be £400) and then be eligible to enter for the 1,000,000 euro prize in Belgium.
The rules for entering the Sisyphus Prize are specified by SKEPP and available in English from ASKE. Applicants are required to sign these, stating that they have read and understood them. The national society is permitted to modify certain of these and may also specify in more detail the requirements for conducting the pre-test.
Please note that it may take time to put a properly thought-out test into place. The Sisyphus Prize is scheduled to run until September 30
th 2013, so there has to be enough time available for the pre-test to be completed.
The basic conditions of the pre-test undertaken by ASKE are set out below.
These are the general rules covering the offer concerning psychic, supernatural or paranormal claims. As claims will vary greatly in character and scope, specific rules must be formulated for each applicant. However, all applicants must agree to the rules set forth here before any formal agreement is entered into. An applicant will declare agreement by signing this form where indicated.
The eventual test procedure must be agreed upon by both parties before any testing takes place. All correspondence must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
The underwriters will pay £400 to any person or persons who demonstrate the specified psychic, supernatural or paranormal ability under satisfactory observing conditions. Such demonstrations must take place under these rules and limitations:
1. The applicant must state clearly in advance, and the applicant and ASKE will agree upon, what powers or abilities will be demonstrated, the limits of the proposed demonstration (so far as time, location and other variables are concerned) and what will constitute both a positive and a negative result. This is the primary and most important of these rules. In accordance with the rules outlined by SKEPP for the pre-test, the applicant must submit a one-page description of his or her claim, along with a concise test protocol proposal that describes how the claim will be demonstrated, the circumstances under which the demonstration will take place, and the degree of accuracy the applicant claims to achieve (i.e.; what results will constitute a successful demonstration). Every applicant must agree upon what will constitute a conclusion that, on the occasion of the formal test, he or she did or did not demonstrate the claimed ability or power. According to the SKEPP rules, a successful performance for the pre-test is one that would only have a probability of occurring 1 in 1,000 times or less by chance (e.g. guesswork) alone.
[Note on rule 1] In other words the applicant must make a clear unequivocal statement about their powers. Full details need to be given. For example, can you bend metal using only the power of the mind or do you need to touch the metal in question? Does your gift work every time? Is it affected by skeptics watching? Please give full and accurate details. If you have some idea as to what sort of test might validate your powers please include a brief description. However we must point out that this method may not be the one finally agreed upon.
2. The applicant will pay a fee to ASKE of £40, as stipulated by SKEPP. The purpose of this is to discourage applications that are not seriously made. This fee is returned to any applicant who successfully passes the pre-test.

3. In all cases, applicants will be required to perform a preliminary test. This preliminary test is to determine if the applicant is likely to perform as promised during a formal test.
[Note on rule 3] This is to avoid the unnecessary expense of putting together elaborate controls which may not be required. Once the preliminary test has been passed we will design the protocol for a full test. If at all possible we will do this on the spot to save applicants time and money but in these general application rules we cannot guarantee this.
4. Prior to preliminary testing, an applicant may be required to provide two signed letters from persons who have witnessed the claimed paranormal phenomenon. These witnesses must be educated, working professionals such as doctors, nurses, therapists, researchers, psychologists, solicitors, educators, etc. This rule may be waived or required at the sole discretion of the ASKE challengers.
5. During the pre-test, only an actual performance of the stated nature and scope, within the agreed-upon limits, will be accepted. We consult competent statisticians when an evaluation of the results, or experiment design, is required.
6. The applicant agrees that all data (such as photographic, recorded, written) of any sort gathered as a result of the testing may be used freely by either party. The applicant/claimant agrees not to resort to legal action in order to suppress such publication.
[Note on rule 6] All such tests will be video recorded and this material will remain the property of the underwriters. However if the claimant wishes to bring their own recorder they are welcome to do so providing it does not interfere with the test.
The agreement not to seek legal redress does not mean that we intend to misrepresent any facts or give a false impression of what occurred, neither would we resort to personal attacks on a claimant’s character. What we are trying to prevent is the suppression of the results by harassment of the underwriters via the courts. Please do not take up this challenge if you are considering obtaining the reward by trickery. If we discover a claimant is using deception in order to succeed then we will certainly make this knowledge public.
7. No part of the agreed testing procedure may be changed in any way without the express agreement of all parties concerned.
8. All of the claimants expenses such as transportation, accommodation, materials, assistants, and/or all other costs for any persons or procedures incurred in pursuit of the reward, are the sole responsibility of the applicant. ASKE will not bear any of the costs.
9. The applicant must agree to the presence of independent witnesses, including the media that may wish to witness the test. The claimant may also bring (at their own expense) a witness but they must co-operate and not take part in the test. Any such witness must be named prior to the design of the test.
10. At the formal test, in advance, an independent person will be placed in charge of a cheque for total pre-test award (£400). In the event that the claimant is successful under the agreed terms and conditions, that cheque shall be immediately surrendered to him or her.
11. This offer is open to any and all persons, in the United Kingdom, regardless of gender, race, educational background, etc., The exception to this, as specified by SKEPP is that “Stage magicians and illusionists are excluded from this challenge”
NOTE: No special rules, exceptions, conditions, standards, or favours will be accepted, without the mutual agreement of those concerned in advance and any applicant who refuses to agree to meet the rules (1 – 11) as outlined here, will not be considered to have ever been a claimant. Only complete agreement with these rules will constitute the applicant being considered a “claimant.” Applicant, by signing, and returning this form, signifies agreement with all of the above rules.

I agree to the above terms and conditions.

Signed: _____________________________________
Print name: __________________________________
Address: _____________________________________
Other contact details (email, phone, fax, etc.)

Please include with this application form;
A description of what you claim you can do, under what conditions and to what degree of accuracy (see rule 1).
If this is not included ASKE will not reply.

Please send your application to:
10 Woodholm Road
S11 9HT