Uri Geller (/ˈʊəri ˈɡɛlər/ OOR-ee GHEL-ər;[1] Hebrew: אורי גלר; born 20 December 1946) is an Israeli-British illusionist, magician, television personality, and self-proclaimed psychic. He is known for his trademark television performances of spoon bending and other illusions. Geller uses conjuring tricks to simulate the effects of psychokinesis and telepathy. Geller's career as an entertainer has spanned more than four decades, with television shows and appearances in many countries. Magicians have called Geller a fraud due to his claims of possessing psychic powers.[2]

Uri Geller
Uri Geller in Russia2.jpg
Geller in 2009
Born (1946-12-20) 20 December 1946 (age 75)
OccupationPerformer, illusionist, self-proclaimed psychic
Years active1968−present
Spouse(s)
Hannah Geller
(m. 1979)
Children2
Websitewww.urigeller.com

Early lifeEdit

Geller was born on 20 December 1946 in Tel Aviv, which was then part of British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel). His mother and father were of Austrian-Jewish and Hungarian-Jewish background respectively. Geller is the son of Itzhaak Geller (Gellér Izsák), a retired army sergeant major, and Margaret "Manzy" Freud (Freud Manci). Geller claims that he is a distant relative of Sigmund Freud on his mother's side.[3]

At the age of 11, Geller's family moved to Nicosia, Cyprus, where he attended high school, the Terra Santa College, and learned English. At the age of 18,[4]: 9  he joined the Israeli Army's Paratroopers Brigade,[5] with which he served in the 1967 Six-Day War and was wounded in action.[6][7] He worked as a photographic model in 1968 and 1969; during that time, he began to perform for small audiences as a nightclub entertainer,[8] becoming well-known in Israel.[9]

Geller first started to perform in theatres, public halls, auditoriums, military bases and universities in Israel.[10] The parapsychologist Andrija Puharich met Geller in 1971 and assisted him in traveling to the United States.[11][12]

Television and film careerEdit

Geller became famous demonstrating on television what he claimed to be psychokinesis, dowsing, and telepathy.[13] His performance included spoon bending, describing hidden drawings, and making watches stop or run faster. Geller said he performs these feats through willpower and the strength of his mind.[14] His apparent ability to bend metal objects during his television appearances came to be known as the "Geller effect" and made Geller a celebrity.[11] Geller's actual methods were revealed to be stage magic tricks largely due to the work of magician and investigator James Randi.[15][16][17]

In 1973, Geller appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, an appearance recounted in the Nova documentary episode "Secrets of the Psychics" hosted by Randi on PBS.[18]: 9'30"–11'34"  In the documentary, Randi says that "Johnny had been a magician himself and was skeptical" of Geller's claimed paranormal powers, so prior to the date of taping, Randi was asked "to help prevent any trickery"; accordingly, the show prepared their own props without informing Geller, and did not let Geller or his staff "anywhere near them".[18]: 9'48"–10'10"  When Geller joined Carson on stage, he appeared surprised that he was not going to be interviewed, but instead was expected to display his abilities using the provided articles. Geller said, "This scares me", and, "As you know, I told your people what to bring", and "I'm surprised because before this program your producer came and he read me at least 40 questions you were going to ask me". Geller was unable to display any paranormal abilities, saying, "I don't feel strong", and expressed his displeasure at feeling he was being "pressed" to perform by Carson.[19] According to Adam Higginbotham:

The result was a legendary immolation, in which Geller offered up flustered excuses to his host as his abilities failed him again and again. 'I sat there for 22 minutes, humiliated,' Geller told me, when I spoke to him in September. 'I went back to my hotel, devastated. I was about to pack up the next day and go back to Tel Aviv. I thought, That's it – I'm destroyed.'[20]

This appearance on The Tonight Show, which Carson and Randi had orchestrated to debunk Geller's claimed abilities, backfired. According to Higginbotham,

To Geller's astonishment, he was immediately booked on The Merv Griffin Show. He was on his way to becoming a paranormal superstar. 'That Johnny Carson show made Uri Geller,' Geller said. To an enthusiastically trusting public, his failure only made his gifts seem more real: If he were performing magic tricks, they would surely work every time.[20]

By the mid-1980s, Geller was described as "a millionaire several times over", and claimed to be performing mineral dowsing services for mining groups at a standard fee of £1 million.[21] In June 1986, the Australian Skeptic reported that Geller had been paid AU$350,000 and granted an option of 1,250,000 Zanec shares at AU$0.20 each until 5 June 1987.[22]

Television presenter Noel Edmonds often used hidden cameras to record celebrities in Candid Camera-like situations for his television programme, Noel's House Party. In 1996, Edmonds planned a stunt in which shelves would fall from the walls of a room while Geller was in it. The cameras recorded footage of Geller from angles he was not expecting, and they showed Geller grasping a spoon firmly with both hands as he stood up to display a bend in it.[23][time needed]

 
Geller doing a spoon-bending trick in a mall in Switzerland, 2005

Geller starred in the horror film Sanitarium (2001), directed by Johannes Roberts and James Eaves. In May 2002, he appeared as a contestant on the first series of the reality TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, where he was the first to be eliminated and finished in last place.[24] In 2005, Geller starred in Uri's Haunted Cities: Venice, a XI Pictures/Lion TV production for Sky One, which led to a behind-the-scenes release in early 2008 called Cursed; both productions were directed by Jason Figgis. In early 2007, Geller hosted a reality show in Israel called The Successor (היורש), where the contestants supposedly displayed supernatural powers; Israeli magicians criticised the program, saying that it was all magic tricks. Geller said he welcomed the "mystical aura" that the publicity gave him.[25] In July 2007, NBC signed Geller and Criss Angel for Phenomenon, to search for the next great mentalist; contestant Mike Super won the position.[26] In January 2008, Geller began hosting the TV show The Next Uri Geller, broadcast by Pro7 in Germany.[27]

In February 2008, Geller stated in the TV show The Next Uri Geller (a German version of The Successor) that he did not have any supernatural powers, before winking to the camera.[28] He also appeared on the Dutch television program De Nieuwe Uri Geller, which shares a similar TV format to its German counterpart. The goal of the programme was to find the best mentalist in the Netherlands. In March 2008, he started the same show in Hungary (A kiválasztott in Hungarian). During the show, Geller speaks in both Hungarian and English. Geller also performs his standard routines of making stopped watches start, spoons jump from televisions, and tables move. Geller co-produced the TV show Book of Knowledge, released in April 2008.[29] In October 2009, a similar show, called The Successor of Uri Geller,[30] aired on Greek television.

In 2013, a BBC documentary, The Secret Life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?, featured Uri Geller, Benjamin Netanyahu, Christopher 'Kit' Green, Paul H. Smith, Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ. The documentary claimed Geller became a "psychic spy" for the CIA, was recruited by Mossad, and worked as an "official secret agent" in Mexico, being a frequent guest of President José López Portillo. In the film, Geller claims to have erased floppy discs carried by KGB agents by repeatedly chanting the word "erase".[31][32][33]

Paranormal claimsEdit

Geller has claimed his feats are the result of paranormal powers[13] given to him by extraterrestrials.[34][failed verification] The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) was a prominent early critic of Geller.[11] Skeptics such as James Randi have shown that Geller's tricks can be replicated with stage magic techniques.[15][16][17][35][36]

Andrija Puharich met Geller in 1971 and endorsed him as a genuine psychic. Under hypnosis, Geller claimed he was sent to Earth by extraterrestrials from a spaceship 53,000 light years away.[36][37] Geller later denied the space fantasy claims, but affirmed there "is a slight possibility that some of my energies do have extraterrestrial connection."[12] Puharich also stated that Geller teleported a dog through the walls of his house. Science writer Martin Gardner wrote that since "no expert on fraud was there as an observer," nobody should take the claim seriously.[38]

In his biography of Geller, Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller (1974) Puharich claimed that with Geller he had communicated with super-intelligent computers from outer space. According to Puharich, the computers sent messages to warn humanity that a disaster is likely to occur if humans do not change their ways.[39] The psychologist Christopher Evans, who reviewed the book in New Scientist, wrote that although Puharich believed every word he had written, the book was credulous and "those fans of Geller's who might have hoped to have used the book as ammunition to impress the sceptics [...] will be the most disappointed of all."[39] James Randi has written that the biography contained "silly theories," but was "both a boost and a millstone to Geller."[4]: 24 

In 1992, Geller was asked to investigate the kidnapping of Hungarian model Helga Farkas. He predicted she would be found in good health, but she was never found and is widely believed to have been murdered.[40] Geller was a friend of Bruce Bursford and helped him "train his mind" during some cycling speed record-breaking bids in the 1990s.[41]

In 1997, Geller was involved with Second Division football club Exeter City by placing "energy-infused" crystals behind the goals at Exeter's ground to help the club win a crucial end-of-season game (Exeter lost the game 5–1); he was appointed co-chairman of the club in 2002. The club was relegated to the Football Conference in May 2003, where it remained for five years. He has since severed ties with the club. He had also been involved with Reading F.C. and claimed in 2002 that he had helped them to avoid relegation by getting the club's supporters to look into his eyes and say "win, Reading, win". Reading manager Alan Pardew dismissed Geller's role in the club's survival – which was achieved thanks to a draw in the critical match – stating "as soon as we get a bit of joy, thanks to all the hard work and efforts of my staff and players, he suddenly comes out of the blue and tries to claim the limelight."[42]

In a 2008 interview, Geller told Telepolis, "I said to this German magazine, so what I did say, that I changed my character, to the best of my recollection, and I no longer say that I do supernatural things. It doesn't mean that I don't have powers. It means that I don't say 'it's supernatural,' I say 'I'm a mystifier!' That's what I said. And the sceptics turned it around and said, 'Uri Geller said he's a magician!' I never said that."[43] In that interview, Geller further explained that when he is asked how he does his stunts, he tells children to "forget the paranormal. Forget spoon bending! Instead of that, focus on school! Become a positive thinker! Believe in yourself and create a target! Go to university! Never smoke! And never touch drugs! And think of success!"[43]

In March 2019, The Guardian reported that Geller wrote an open letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May, stating that he would telepathically prevent her from leading Britain out of the European Union. In Geller's words, "As much as I admire you, I will stop you telepathically from doing this – and believe me I am capable of executing it."[44] Despite this, the United Kingdom left the European Union on 23 January 2021 under the leadership of May's successor Boris Johnson.[45]

Stage magic parallelsEdit

Many scientists, magicians, and skeptics have suggested possible ways in which Geller could have tricked his audience by using misdirection while bending objects such as keys and spoons manually.[35][46][36][47] There are many ways in which a bent spoon can be presented to an audience so as to give the appearance it was manipulated using supernatural powers. One way is through brief moments of distraction in which a magician can physically bend a spoon or other object unseen by the audience, before gradually revealing the bend to create the illusion that the spoon is bending before the viewers' eyes. Another way is to pre-bend the spoon, reducing the amount of force that needs to be applied to bend it.[17][35][18]: 7'34"–9'30"  Critics have accused Geller of using his demonstrations fraudulently outside the entertainment business.[48][page needed] Randi, one of Geller's most prominent critics, wrote The Truth About Uri Geller explaining how Geller's spoon bending can be easily reproduced by any magician using sleight of hand.

In the early 1970s, an article in The Jerusalem Post reported that a court had ordered Geller to refund a customer's ticket price and pay court costs after finding that he had committed fraud by claiming that his feats were telepathic.[9] A 1974 article in Haolam Hazeh alleged that Geller's manager Shipi Shtrang and Shipi's sister Hannah Shtrang secretly helped in Geller's performances.[49][50] In Geller's first autobiography, My Story, he acknowledged that, in his early career, his manager talked him into adding a magic trick to make his performances last longer.[51] This trick involved Geller appearing to guess audience members' car registration numbers, when his manager had given them to him ahead of time. Yasha Katz, who had been Geller's manager in Britain, said in 1978 that all performances by Geller were simply stage tricks and he explained how they were really done.[52][53]

Geller's spoon-bending feats are discussed in The Geller Papers (1976), edited by Charles Panati. There was controversy when it was published. Several prominent magicians came forward to demonstrate that Geller's psychic feats could be duplicated by stage magic. Martin Gardner wrote that Panati had been fooled by Geller's trickery and The Geller Papers were an "embarrassing anthology".[54]

During telepathic drawing demonstrations, Geller claimed the ability to read the minds of subjects as they drew a picture. Although in these demonstrations he cannot see the picture being drawn, he is sometimes present in the room, and on these occasions can see the subjects as they draw. Critics argue this may allow Geller to infer common shapes from pencil movement and sound, with the power of suggestion doing the rest.[47]

Geller admits, "Sure, there are magicians who can duplicate [my performances] through trickery."[55] He has claimed that even though his spoon bending can be repeated using trickery, he uses psychic powers to achieve his results.[55] Physicist Richard Feynman, who was an amateur magician, wrote in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (1985) that Geller was unable to bend a key for him and his son.[56] James Randi has stated that if Geller is truly using his mind to perform these feats, "He is doing it the hard way."[18][verification needed]

In November 2008, Geller accepted an award during a convention of magicians, the Services to Promotion of Magic Award from the Berglas Foundation. In his acceptance speech, Geller said that if he had not had psychic powers then he "must be the greatest" to have been able to fool journalists, scientists and Berglas himself.[57] In October 2012, Geller gave a lecture for magicians in the United States at the Genii Magazine 75th Birthday Bash.[58]

Scientific testingEdit

This clip, created by the Stanford Research Institute, shows Uri Geller performing drawing experiments for researchers.

Geller's performances of drawing duplication and cutlery bending usually take place under informal conditions such as television interviews. During his early career, he allowed some scientists to investigate his claims. When Geller's supposed abilities were tested by the US Central Intelligence Agency in 1973, the experimenters concluded that Geller had "demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner".[59][60][61]

A study was commissioned by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency as part of the Stargate Project and conducted during August 1973 at Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International) by parapsychologists Harold E. Puthoff and Russell Targ. Geller was isolated and asked to reproduce simple drawings prepared in another room. Writing about the same study in a 1974 article published in the journal Nature, they concluded that he had performed successfully enough to warrant further serious study.[62]

In An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural, Randi wrote, "Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ, who studied Mr. Geller at the Stanford Research Institute, were aware, in one instance at least, that they were being shown a magician's trick by Geller [...] Their protocols for this 'serious' investigation of the powers claimed by Geller were described by Ray Hyman, who investigated the project on behalf of the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency, as 'sloppy and inadequate.'"[63][page needed] Critics have pointed out that both Puthoff and Targ were already believers in paranormal powers and Geller was not adequately searched before the experiments.[64] The psychologist C. E. M. Hansel and sceptic Paul Kurtz have noted that the experiments were poorly designed and open to trickery.[65][66]

Critics of the experiments include psychologists David Marks and Richard Kammann, who published a description of how Geller could have cheated in an informal test of his so-called psychic powers in 1977.[67] Their 1978 article in Nature[68] and 1980 book The Psychology of the Psychic (2nd ed. 2000) described how a normal explanation was possible for Geller's alleged psychic powers.[69] Marks and Kammann found evidence that while at SRI, Geller was allowed to peek through a hole in the laboratory wall separating him from the drawings he was being invited to reproduce. These drawings were placed on a wall opposite the peephole which the investigators Targ and Puthoff had stuffed with cotton gauze. In addition to this error, the investigators had also allowed Geller access to a two-way intercom, enabling him to listen to the investigators' conversation during the times when they were choosing and/or displaying the target drawings. These basic errors indicate the great importance of ensuring that psychologists, magicians, or other people with an in-depth knowledge of perception, who are trained in methods for blocking sensory cues, be present during the testing of psychics.[69] Marks, after evaluating the experiments, wrote that none of Geller's paranormal claims had been demonstrated in scientifically controlled conditions, concluding that "Geller has no psychic ability whatsoever. However, I believe him to be a very clever, well-practiced magician."[69] Marks and Kammann tested Geller's ability to mentally repair watches and found that "many supposedly broken watches had merely been stopped by gummy oil and simply holding them in the hand would warm the oil enough to soften it and allow watches to resume ticking."[70]

LitigationEdit

Geller has litigated or threatened legal action against some of his critics with mixed results.[16][71] These included libel allegations against James Randi and illusionist Gérard Majax.

In 1971, a mechanical engineering student called Uri Goldstein attended one of Geller's shows, and subsequently sued the show's promoters for breach of contract. He complained that Geller had promised a demonstration of several psychic powers but had delivered only sleight-of-hand and stage tricks. The case came before the civil court in Beersheba.[72] Geller was not present as the summons had been sent to the office of the promoter Miki Peled, who had ignored it as being trivial. Goldstein was awarded 27.5 (around $5) for breach of contract. Later, Goldstein admitted that he went to the show specifically with the intention of suing to get his money back, and he had already found a lawyer to represent him prior to attending the performance.[73]

In a 1989 interview with a Japanese newspaper, James Randi was quoted as saying that Geller had driven a scientist to "shoot himself in the head" after finding out that Geller had fooled him. Randi afterwards claimed it was a metaphor lost in translation.[74] The story was also repeated in a Canadian newspaper, which quoted Randi as saying essentially the same thing: "One scientist, a metallurgist, wrote a paper backing Geller's claims that he could bend metal. The scientist shot himself after I showed him how the key bending trick was done."[75] In 1990, Geller sued Randi in a Japanese court over the statements published in the Japanese newspaper. Randi claims that he could not afford to defend himself, therefore he lost the case by default. The court declared Randi's statement an "insult" as opposed to libel, and awarded a token judgement against him, paying Geller only "one-third of one-percent of what he'd demanded".[76] Since the charge of "insult" is only recognized in Chinese and Japanese law, Randi was not required to pay.[76][77][78] Later in 1995, Geller agreed not to pursue payment of the Japanese fine.[71] Randi maintained that he had never paid anything to Geller.[78]

In 1992, Geller filed a $15 million suit against Randi and CSICOP for statements made in an International Herald Tribune interview on 9 April 1991,[71][74] but he was unsuccessful because the statute of limitations had expired.[71] In 1994, Geller asked to dismiss without prejudice, and he was ordered to pay $50,000 for the publisher's attorney fees. After not paying in time, Geller was sanctioned with an additional $20,000. Due to the sanction, the suit was dismissed with prejudice, which, according to Randi's attorneys, means that Geller cannot pursue the same suit in any other jurisdiction.[71][79][80] In 1995, Geller and Randi announced that this settled "the last remaining suits" between him and the CSICOP.[77] As part of the settlement, Geller agreed not to pursue the payment of the 1990 Japanese ruling, in exchange for Prometheus Books inserting an errata on all future editions of Physics and Psychics, correcting erroneous statements made about him.[77]

In 1991, Geller sued Timex Corporation and the advertising firm Fallon McElligott for millions in Geller v. Fallon McElligott[81] over an ad showing a person bending forks and other items, but failing to stop a Timex watch. Geller was sanctioned $149,000 for filing a frivolous lawsuit.[76]

In 1998, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) in the United Kingdom rejected a complaint made by Geller, saying that it "wasn't unfair to have magicians showing how they duplicate those 'psychic feats'" on the UK Equinox episode "Secrets of the Super Psychics".[82][83][84]

In 1999, Geller considered a suit against IKEA over a furniture line featuring bent legs that was called the "Uri" line.[85]

Copyright claimsEdit

In November 2000, Geller sued video game company Nintendo for £60 million over the Pokémon species "Yungerer", localized in English as "Kadabra", which he claimed was an unauthorized appropriation of his identity.[86][87] The Pokémon in question has psychic abilities and carries a spoon. Geller also claimed that the star on Kadabra's forehead and the lightning patterns on its abdomen are symbolisms popular with the Waffen SS of Nazi Germany.[87] The katakana for the character's name, ユンゲラー, is visually similar to the transliteration of Geller's own name into Japanese (ユリゲラー). He is quoted as saying: "Nintendo turned me into an evil, occult Pokémon character. Nintendo stole my identity by using my name and my signature image."[87] Pokémon anime director and storyboard artist Masamitsu Hidaka confirmed in an interview that Kadabra would not be used on a Pokémon Trading Card until an agreement was reached on the case. In November 2020, Geller issued an apology and agreed to allow cards depicting Kadabra to be printed,[88][89] though the last Kadabra card released was in the Skyridge e-Reader set (2002/2003).[90]

In 2007, Geller issued a DMCA notice to YouTube to remove a video uploaded by Brian Sapient of the "Rational Response Squad" which was excerpted from an episode of the Nova television series titled "Secrets of the Psychics". The video included footage of Geller failing to perform. In response, Sapient contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation, issued a DMCA counter-notice, and sued Geller for misuse of the DMCA. Geller's company, Explorologist, filed a counter-suit. Both cases were settled out of court; a monetary settlement was paid (but it is not clear whether Sapient paid Geller or vice versa) and the eight seconds of footage owned by Explorologist were licensed under a noncommercial Creative Commons license.[91]

Personal lifeEdit

Michael Jackson was best man when Geller renewed his wedding vows in 2001.[92] Geller also negotiated the TV interview between Jackson with the journalist Martin Bashir, Living with Michael Jackson.[93] Later, however, Jackson, who an advisor said could be a bit paranoid, reportedly kept an “enemy list” on which Geller appeared, along with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, attorney Gloria Allred, music executive Tommy Mottola, DA Tom Sneddon, and Janet Arvizo, mother of a Jackson accuser.[94] Following Jackson's death, ITV broadcast an interview with Geller about his association with Jackson, titled My Friend Michael Jackson: Uri's Story, in July 2009.[95]

On 11 February 2009, Geller purchased the uninhabited 100-metre-by-50-metre Lamb Island off the eastern coast of Scotland, previously known for its witch trials, and beaches that Robert Louis Stevenson is said to have described in his novel Treasure Island. Geller claims that buried on the island is Egyptian treasure, brought there by Scota, the mythological half-sister of Tutankhamen in Irish mythology, 3,500 years ago. He claimed that he will find the treasure through dowsing. Geller also claimed to have strengthened the mystical powers of the island by burying there a crystal orb once belonging to Albert Einstein.[96][97]

In 2014, a 12-foot-tall statue of a gorilla made from approximately 40,000 metal spoons was unveiled in Geller's Berkshire garden by the Duke of Kent, with the intention of possibly relocating it to Great Ormond Street Hospital.[98] The statue was welded by sculptor Alfie Bradley, and funded by the British Ironworks Centre of Oswestry. According to Bradley, many of the spoons were donated by schoolchildren from around the world. Speaking at the unveiling, Geller said "This will not raise money for charity. It will do something better. It will amaze sick children."[99]

Geller has lived in Tel Aviv in Israel since 2015.[100] He previously lived in the village of Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire, in England.[101][102] He is trilingual, speaking fluent Hebrew, Hungarian and English.[103] In an appearance on Esther Rantzen's 1996 television talk show Esther, Geller declared that he had suffered from anorexia nervosa and bulimia[104] for several years.[105] He has written 16 fiction and non-fiction books.

Geller is president of International Friends of Magen David Adom, a group that lobbied the International Committee of the Red Cross to recognise Magen David Adom ("Red Star of David") as a humanitarian relief organisation.[106]

In 2021 Geller opened the Uri Geller Museum located at 7 Mazal Arieh Street in Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv. The museum exhibits the personal collection of art and objects that Geller has collected throughout his career. It also features an archaeological display of the ancient soap factory that was discovered during the museum’s renovation.[107]

PublicationsEdit

FictionEdit

  • Ella. Martinez Roca, 1999. ISBN 0-7472-5920-8
  • Shawn. Goodyer Associates Ltd. ISBN 1-871406-09-9
  • Pampini. World Authors, 1980. ISBN 0-89975-000-1
  • Dead Cold. ISBN 0-7472-5921-6

NonfictionEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Uri Geller". Paranormalist. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  2. ^ Rensberger, Boyce (13 December 1975). "Magicians Term Israeli 'Psychic' a Fraud". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  3. ^ Margolis, Jonathan (1998). Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic. London: Orion Publishing Group. p. 13. ISBN 0-7528-1006-5.
  4. ^ a b Randi, James (1982). The Truth About Uri Geller. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-199-1.
  5. ^ Margolis, Jonathan (29 December 1999). "Nintendo faces £60m writ from Uri Geller". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 9 December 2006. [T]he 53-year-old former Israeli paratrooper has always guarded unlicensed use of his name.
  6. ^ Friedman, Matti (28 December 2006). "Bend it like Geller". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Associated Press. Retrieved 15 February 2011. He served in the Israeli paratroops, was wounded in 1967's Six-Day War (also in MSNBC [1] and possibly other sites)
  7. ^ Gellar, Uri; Playfair, Guy Lyon. "Uri Geller, The Geller Effect": 6, 27, 79, 133. (p. 6) He served as a paratrooper during his military service in the Israeli Army and fought in the Six Day war of 1967, during which he was wounded in action. (p. 27) I am not particularly found of guns as weapons, having been wounded by one (...) (p. 79) In 1979 I finally married Hanna, whom I had known for more than ten years since we first met while I was convalescing from the wounds I received during the Six Day War of 1967. (p. 133) He showed me the large scar where he had been operated on after being wounded in the Six Day War. It was close to his left elbow joint, and the stitch marks were easily visible. 'I'm not strong in this arm at all,' he added. 'I can't even lift a heavy suitcase with it' {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "The Magician And the Think Tank". Time. New York. 12 March 1973. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007.
  9. ^ a b "Telepathist Geller Termed a Fraud". The Jerusalem Post. 5 October 1970. ISSN 0021-597X.
  10. ^ Margolis, pp. 92, 103, 107, 112, 118
  11. ^ a b c Melton, J. Gordon (2008). "Geller, Uri (b. 1946)". The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena. Detroit, Mich.: Visible Ink Press. pp. 118–119. ISBN 978-1-57859-230-2.
  12. ^ a b Shepard, Leslie (1991). "Geller, Uri (1946–)". Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology (3rd ed.). Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research. p. 655. ISBN 0-8103-4915-9 – via Encyclopedia.com. Geller writes: 'Although much of his [Puharich's] book was accurate factual reporting, many people were put off by the space-fantasy passages, and I admit that they caused me some embarrassment.… You must remember that all of this fantasy material was obtained while I was under hypnosis. One reason I wrote My Story was to give my own version of events, though I must emphasize that there is a slight possibility that some of my energies do have extraterrestrial connection.'
  13. ^ a b Geller, Uri (8 November 2000). "Geller: I can bend metal". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
  14. ^ "Cyberspace Psychic". Totally Jewish. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 5 October 2007.
  15. ^ a b Alcock, James (1981). Parapsychology-Science Or Magic?: A Psychological Perspective. Oxford: Pergamon Press. pp. 139–140. ISBN 978-0-08-025773-0. It was through the diligent efforts of conjurer James ('The Amazing') Randi that Geller was finally, at least in most people's eyes, exposed. Randi demonstrated that he could by ordinary conjuring means duplicate Geller's feats.
  16. ^ a b c Regal, Brian (2009). "Spoon Bending". Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 153–154. ISBN 978-0-313-35508-0. Despite his protestations that he had genuine paranormal abilities, his nemesis, James Randi, along with others, has shown that Geller's powers are just a stage act.
  17. ^ a b c Hurley, Patrick J. (2010). A Concise Introduction to Logic (12th ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning. p. 626. ISBN 978-1-285-19654-1. Geller's trickery was exposed in large measure by the magician James Randi. After watching videotapes of Geller's performances, Randi discovered how Geller performed his tricks, and in no time he was able to perform every one of them himself. Sometimes Geller would prepare a spoon or key beforehand by bending it back and forth several times to the point where it was nearly ready to break. Later, by merely stroking it gently, he could cause it to double over. On other occasions Geller, or his accomplices, would use sleight-of-hand maneuvers to substitute bent objects in the place of straight ones.
  18. ^ a b c d Randi, James (19 October 1993). "Secrets of the Psychics". NOVA (Documentary). Boston, Mass.: WGBH Educational Foundation. OCLC 965134014.
  19. ^ "Unforgettable Uri Geller Appearance on Carson Tonight Show – 08/01/1973". YouTube. Official Johnny Carson YouTube channel. 19 March 2021. Archived from the original on 22 March 2021.
  20. ^ a b Higginbotham, Adam (7 November 2014). "The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi". The New York Times Magazine.
  21. ^ van Hattam, Margaret (18 January 1986). "A cost-effective account of the spoons". The Financial Times. London: Nikkei Inc. In 1974 the late Sir Val Duncan set a young Israeli the task of finding some bottles of olive oil he had buried in the garden of his Majorca home, assuring him that it would be his first step towards untold wealth. He was right. Today Uri Geller is a millionaire several times over. This is how it happened.
  22. ^ Couttie, Bob (1988). Forbidden Knowledge: The Paranormal Paradox. Cambridge, England: Lutterworth Press.
  23. ^ James Randi's Solved Mysteries Workshop (DVD video). Altadena, Calif.: The Skeptics Society. 1998. OCLC 71299799.
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  35. ^ a b c Jones, Simon (2002). "Geller, Uri". In Shermer, Michael (ed.). The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. pp. 113–115. ISBN 1-57607-654-7. Geller maintains that he has never used trickery to achieve his effects. However, conjurors have produced similar feats using sleight-of-hand and misdirection techniques [...] some observers claim to have caught Geller in the act of bending cutlery with his hands
  36. ^ a b c Samuel, Lawrence (2011). Supernatural America: A Cultural History. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger Publishing. pp. 100–102. ISBN 978-0-313-39899-5. After meeting Geller in Israel in 1971, Puharich was so taken with the twenty-three-year-old and his powers that he would describe the man in Messianic terms. More than just a particularly gifted psychic, Geller was an ambassador sent by extraterrestrials (from a spaceship called Spectra located some fifty-three thousands light years away) to prepare Earthlings for the conquest of their planet.
  37. ^ Kurtz, Paul. (1985). A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. p. 211. ISBN 0-87975-300-5 "Hypnotized by Puharich, Geller identified himself as "Spectra," a computer aboard a spaceship from a distant galaxy. Under the control of "Hoova," he was sent to intervene on earth and Puharich was to assist Geller. How much of this was due to Puharich's or Geller's fantasies and how much was a result of pure fabrication on the part of both is difficult to say. The "intelligences" that Uri drew upon were from outer space. For many, UFOlogy has become a new religion, replete with science-fiction imagery of the post-modern world. And Uri, like countless others, has embellished his mission with fanciful space-age symbols."
  38. ^ Kurtz, Paul. (1985). A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. p. 356. ISBN 0-87975-300-5
  39. ^ a b Evans, Christopher (25 April 1974). "Integral fruitage". New Scientist. Vol. 63, no. 895. p. 191.
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  46. ^ Nickell, Joe (2005). Camera Clues: A Handbook for Photographic Investigation. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. pp. 198–200. ISBN 0-8131-1894-8. Skeptics point out that Geller is a former magician, that magicians can duplicate his effects by clever tricks, and that he refuses to perform when magicians are observing-apparently afraid they might discover his trickery. In fact Geller has actually been caught cheating. In one instance, although he pretended to cover his eyes while a secretary made a simple drawing, Geller actually peeked, thus enabling him to appear to read her mind and produce the drawing. Again, instead of bending a key "by concentration" as he pretended, Geller bent the key against a table when he thought no one was looking.
  47. ^ a b Harris, Ben. "Confronting Uri Geller". In Williams, Barry (ed.). The Second Coming: All the Best from The Skeptic, 1986–1990: Psychics (PDF). p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2006 – via Skeptics.com.au.
  48. ^ Gardner, Martin (1989) [1981]. Science: Good, Bad & Bogus. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-573-3.
  49. ^ Booth, John (1986). Psychic Paradoxes. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books. p. 55. ISBN 0-87975-358-7. The secret of [Geller']s ability to ascertain "psychically" what audience members were writing on a blackboard behind his back was exposed by his former girl friend, Hannah Shtrang. In the Israeli weekly paper, Ha'Olam Hazeh, 20 February 1974 she disclosed how Geller had taught her brother Shipi (who generally travelled with the magician) and herself how, while seated quietly in the hall at every show, to convey the writing information to him with surreptitious signals.
  50. ^ "Uri Geller Twirls the Entire World on His Little Finger; Only His Closest Acquaintances Know His Methods," Haolam Hazeh, 20 February 1974.
  51. ^ "13". Uri-geller.com. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  52. ^ Randi, James (6 April 1978). "Geller a fake says ex-manager". New Scientist. Vol. 78, no. 1097. p. 11.
  53. ^ Gray, William Douglas (1991). Thinking Critically About New Age Ideas. Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth Publishing Company. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-534-14394-7. Skilled magicians can duplicate all of [Geller’s] illusions and his manager has testified that Geller uses an accomplice in trickery. Geller is probably the most thoroughly exposed charlatan of all time, but he is still hailed by many believers as a genuine psychic.
  54. ^ Gardner, Martin (2003). Are Universes Thicker Than Blackberries?. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 244–245. ISBN 978-0-393-05742-3.
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  56. ^ Feynman, Richard (1985). Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, p. 339
  57. ^ "Service To Magic Award". Retrieved 3 December 2008. Lets say I wasn't real, lets say for the last years I’ve fooled the journalists, the scientists, my family, my friends [...] You [...] If I managed to fool them, I must be the greatest [...] I cannot bend spoons like some of the magicians, you, can, it blows my mind when I see that, I have no idea. I had the idea and cheekiness to call it psychic, in fact, all I wanted was to be rich and famous.
  58. ^ Linking Ring Magazine. August 2012, p. 9
  59. ^ Larimer, Sarah (19 January 2017). "That time the CIA was convinced a self-proclaimed psychic had paranormal abilities". Post Nation. The Washington Post.
  60. ^ "Experiments – Uri Geller at SRI, August 4–11, 1973" (PDF). Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  61. ^ "CIA releases 13m pages of declassified documents online". BBC News. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  62. ^ Targ, R.; Puthoff, H. (1974). "Information transmission under conditions of sensory shielding". Nature. 251 (5476): 602–607. Bibcode:1974Natur.251..602T. doi:10.1038/251602a0. PMID 4423858. S2CID 4152651.
  63. ^ Randi, James (1995). An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural (1st ed.). St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-3121-3066-4.
  64. ^ Samuel, Lawrence R. (2011). Supernatural America: A Cultural History. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-313-39899-5. The observers were more appalled, however, than impressed. The SRI staffers (physicists Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff, who specialized in lasers) 'already believed in E.S.P., and therefore their goal was to make Geller as comfortable as possible in order to make him produce it', said one of the independent experts, Ray Hyman. Hyman, a University of Oregon psychologist (and amateur magician), added that the think tank's work was 'incredibly sloppy'. He concluded that Geller was not psychic but a very gifted conjurer, employing classic mentalist’s tricks that would and should have been exposed by more objective methods. Over the course of his six-week stint at SRI (for which he was paid $100 a day and all expenses), Geller had not even been searched for magnets, something that any good researcher would have known to do to instantly identify a fake. A magnet taped to one’s leg could make a Geiger counter click wildly, which was a feat Geller had performed before researchers at the University of London who had been hoodwinked by the man.
  65. ^ Hansel, C.E.M. (1989). The Search for Psychic Power. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. pp. 257–260. ISBN 0-87975-516-4.
  66. ^ Kurtz, Paul (1985). A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p. 213. ISBN 0-87975-300-5. Skeptics have criticized the test for lacking stringent controls. They have pointed out that the pictures drawn by Geller did not match what they were supposed to correspond to but appeared, rather, to be responses to verbal cues. What constituted a "hit" is open to dispute. The conditions under which the experiments were conducted were extremely loose, even chaotic at times. The sealed room in which Uri was placed had an aperture from which he could have peeked out, and his confederate Shipi was in and about the laboratory and could have conveyed signals to him. The same was true in another test of clairvoyance, where Geller passed twice but surprisingly guessed eight out of ten times the top face of a die that was placed in a closed metal box. The probability of this happening by chance alone was, we are told, one in a million. Critics maintained that the protocol of this experiment was, again, poorly designed, that Geller could have peeked into the box, and that dozens of other tests from which there were no positive results were not reported.
  67. ^ Marks, David and Kammann, Richard (Summer 1977) "The Non-Psychic Powers of Uri Geller". Skeptical Inquirer, 1(2): 9–17.
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  73. ^ Margolis, Jonathan. (1998). Uri Geller Magician or Mystic. Orion Publishing Group. p. 113. ISBN 0-7528-1006-5
  74. ^ a b Cuckoos and Cocoa Puffs by Carol Krol Archived 14 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine Skeptical Eye – Vol. 8, No. 3, 1995, a newsletter published by the National Capital Area Skeptics (NCAS)
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    It will probably be one of the rarest cards now! Much energy and love to all!
    urigellermuseum.com"
    (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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Further readingEdit

  • Jonathan Margolis "Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic?" (Apostrophe Books 2013)
  • Bob Couttie, Forbidden Knowledge: The Paranormal Paradox, Chapter 1, "A Meeting with Uri Geller" (Lutterworth Press, Cambridge, 1988)
  • Jim Collins The Strange Story of Uri Geller. Raintree, 1975 ISBN 0-8172-1037-7 (48 pages)
  • Ebon, Martin. The Amazing Uri Geller. Signet 1975. ISBN 0-451-06475-5
  • Ben Harris Gellerism Revealed. Micky Hades International 1985 ISBN 0-919230-92-X
  • Gardner, Martin. Confessions of a Psychic. (under the pseudonym "Uriah Fuller" (an allusion to Geller) that purport to explain "how fake psychics perform seemingly incredible paranormal feats.") Karl Fulves, 1975.
  • Gardner, Martin. Further Confessions of a Psychic. (under the pseudonym "Uriah Fuller") 1980.
  • Geller, Uri (1 June 1978). "Geller replies". New Scientist. 78 (1105): 614. Reply to Randi's article of 6 April 1978.
  • Panati, Charles. The Geller Papers. Houghton Mifflin.
  • Puharich, Andrija, Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller. Anchor Press / Doubleday
  • Randi, James, The Truth About Uri Geller. Prometheus Books, 1982. ISBN 0-87975-199-1
  • Taylor, John G. Superminds. Macmillan/Picador
  • Wilhelm, John. In Search of Superman. Pocket Books, 1976. ISBN 0-671-80590-8
  • Wilson, Colin. The Geller Phenomenon. Aldus Books, 1976. ISBN 0-7172-8105-1
Comics

External linksEdit

MediaEdit

Archival materialsEdit

  • Colin Wilson Papers (2 document boxes) housed at the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy of the University of California, Riverside Libraries. This collection Includes original manuscripts and other materials written and collected by Wilson regarding Uri Geller.