The Mind Bending
“Uri Geller.” Two words which seem to invoke passion in anyone who has read about or seen this truly remarkable
person. Yet if one is lucky enough to meet or speak to the man himself, you quickly realise what a disarming and genuine person he really is.
So why all the fuss?
Some historians believe Jesus Christ was born on December 20th. Perhaps the first unusual event of Uri’s life was that he was born on the same day, although some time later, in 1946 to be exact. Coincidence? Maybe, but a portent perhaps of the shape ( or shape-shifting ) of things to come.
Uri says that he first became aware of his mindpower at the age of four. He was eating, when the fork he was using bent and snapped. His mother, a member of the Freud family, was not surprised at his ability and nurtured his childhood accordingly. It was this acceptance, rather than denial, which enabled his self belief. A belief, Uri says, is inherent in all children, it is social conditioning which creates the denial.
After getting wounded during the Six Day War, Uri left the Israeli Army, and worked as a fashion model by day, and at night started to give displays of his mind-power with the support of his brother, Shimson ( Shipi ). His extraordinary demonstrations quickly became well known and he soon developed a professional stage show. Nothing really strange about the story so far, yet word had spread. Far enough to warrant the mysterious Andrija Puharich to enter the scene ( see http://www.forteantimes.com/artic/126/nine.html ). Puharich had been working previously with the equally mysterious, Dr Vinod, drawing together ‘channelled’ information on the principles of ‘The Nine’ and was a pivotal figure in the ‘contactee’ movement. Under the wing of Puharich, Uri was flown to the USA, where he was introduced to astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and physicists Hal Puthof and Russel Targ. In December 1972 he allowed himself to become the subject of a scientific study undertaken at the prestigious Stanford Research Institute at Menlo Park, California.
I asked Russel Targ to comment on his experiences resulting from the SRI experiments:
” Uri was at our laboratory at SRI for six weeks in 1973. He showed remarkable ESP perceptual ability to describe and draw hidden pictures. He was by no means the best person to visit our lab and carry out this type of remote viewing, but he was certainly better than the average bear in this capability. He did not bend any metal under acceptably controlled conditions, but I have since that time seen and done paranormal bending under excellent conditions.”
He went on to give an account of his personal experiences of PK:
“My co-author Jane Katra, a spiritual healer with small delicate hands, rolled up the bowl of a teaspoon at a PK party with Jack Hauk last year. She was quietly meditating (waiting for the party to end, so that we could go home) when she screamed!
The bowl rolled up 180 degrees in her closed fist, and frightened her. We took a picture of the spoon and put it, with its picture into a plastic bag. By the time we arrived home, the bowl had bent an additional 90 degrees, 270 in all. I wouldn’t know how to create such a smooth roll, even if I took a spoon to the lab. At the party, I later bent the bowl of a similar spoon by brute force, damaging my hand in the process. The bowl creased sharply as I broke the back of the bowl. It looked nothing like Jane’s.
The following month we had another opportunity to go to a PK party. Northern California does have some advantages. At this party Hauk (a metallurgist from Boeing) had one-foot long, 3/8 diameter aluminum rods as objects for bending. Holding one of these rods in my two hands, I had the experience of it getting springy. As I bent it back and forth with my eyes shut, I finally had the impression that it froze in the bent position. This turned out to be about 30 degrees.
Neither I, nor my two athletic sons could bend a similar rod whatsoever, without putting it over a knee, which is again quite a painful undertaking.”
The results of the experiments and studies, which presented an ” existence of one or more perceptual modalities through which individuals obtain information about their environment ” were written up in ‘Nature’ magazine. sria.htm
Hal Puthoff says of the SRI experiments;
“Our publications make our statement, and our personal feelings are congruent with what we’ve published. And in the intervening years of listening to the criticisms of the skeptics we have yet to be shown any viable reason to reassess our position.”
This particular point in time seems to have been a key point in the ‘Geller phenomena’, as the resulting response of disbelief and claims of poor scientific method from a small group of skeptics, resulted in a rise in publicity for Uri which lead to an intrigued media clamouring for his presence. From this point on, Uri became famous for what he is perhaps best known for now, ‘spoon-bending’, although even the smallest amount of further glance reveals other phenomena displayed by Uri, including, remote-viewing (RV).
So what about skepticism? A small group of hardened skeptics seized the opportunity of the SRI experiments in order to debunk the phenomena. However, debate still rages to this very day and even a cursory glance at skeptic newsgroups on the Internet reveal that some of the key issues and players are *still* picking over the bones. One of the key points held by some skeptics, is that the ‘Nature’ editorial is evidence that the experiments lacked sound scientific protocols. However, the editorial appears to have been based on the opinion of three ( I have been unable to identify who they actually were ) people. The fact that the CIA continued working with Targ and Puthoff for many years seems to indicate that the CIA found significant cause. ( see: www.biomindsuperpowers.com/Pages/CIA-InitiatedRV.html )
Geller, of course, has moved on. When I spoke with him he revealed that he became uneasy about the motives of some of those who pertained to ‘debunk’ him. Indeed, there appears to have been a ‘PSI war’ sparked as a result of Geller’s demonstrations. So deep and intractable became the ‘war’ that Geller felt he had no choice other than to protect himself through the Courts. Law suits were filed and won, ( see: courts.htm ) yet the campaign to ‘expose’ Uri became a quagmire of personal attacks as the ‘skeptics’ failed to provide proof of their assertion that he was somehow ‘cheating’. The resulting mess perhaps affected the both the face of ‘skepticism’ and the progress of scientific co-operation from other people who claimed ownership of similar phenomenal skills. Something quite ugly appeared to have reared its head within the guise of ‘skepticism’. Geller, perhaps wisely, walked away and chose to regain his true ‘self’ which had taken rather a pounding! ( When I spoke with Uri, he told me that he still meets with scientists and accepts the positive motive behind scientific discovery, it seems it is the adversarial ‘pseudo skeptics’ which Uri has washed his hands with, not skepticism per se. ) Indeed, one only needs to look at the highly credible witness testimony of people like Dr Werner von Braun , Dr EW Bastin and Dr Edgar Mitchell ( see: www.tcom.co.uk/uribiog3.htm ) to see that some of the most credible academics in the world have witnessed both the bending phenomena up close and first hand. Some of these people even witnessed the objects *continued* bending after Uri had touched them.
Skeptics often claim that these people are not experts at recognising the tricks and tools of deception, yet how do we explain the witness accounts of some of the worlds finest stage magicians, also seeing the first hand ‘bending’ phenomena? ( see: www.tcom.co.uk/uribiog3.htm ). The testimony of these people alone show that Uri Geller is perhaps NOT the ‘Parlour Trick’ charlatan some pseudo-skeptics claim.
The ability to ‘bend’ metals by ‘mindpower’ is known as ‘psychokenesis’ ( PK). I asked theoretical physicist, Dr. Jack Sarfatti for his experiences of PK:
” PK means action of mind on matter at a distance. The matter is “outside” the “body” in some cases as in the alleged “Geller Effect”.
This requires “signal nonlocality” that violates quantum physics.
There is a larger physics “post-quantum physics” that permits “signal nonlocality”.
Quantum physics is a limiting case of post-quantum physics in the same way that classical physics is a limiting case of quantum physics.
Consciousness generation is a post-quantum physical process in strong violation of the uncontrollable local randomness of quantum physics. Indeed one can make a sequence of limiting cases of physical theories ;
Post-quantum physics -> quantum physics -> classical physics.
Within classical physics we have:
Non-Riemannian Einstein-Cartan torsion-gravity physics (AKA Einstein’s Vision of “Unified Field Theory 1929-55) ->
Riemannian zero torsion gravity physics (AKA Einstein’s general relativity of 1915) ->
special relativity of 1905 ->
Galilean relativity of Newton’s mechanics of 17^th Century.”
Sarfatti has some intriguing insight as a witness to the ‘bending’ pheomena.
“I have seen things ( PK) in my trip to Brasil in 1985 shown to me by a General in the Brasilian Army, allegedly from a UFO that landed in the Amazon jungle, that is like what Uri did with metal but even more complex than what I saw Uri do in 1974.
It’s like the Crop Circles evolving into more and more complex forms.”
Another credible witness to the Geller ‘phenomena is Metallurgist and US Naval scientist, Eldon Byrd. Byrd has had the opportunity to observe Uri first hand.
I asked him what these observations revealed:
“I first became interested in “paranormal” (in quotes because the phenomena will be “normal” once we understand the mechanisms) phenomena in general after seeing Ted Serios on the Alan Burke TV show (many years ago). The host was a skeptic, but changed his mind after Serios imprinted images on a sealed and guarded video tape.
I first became interested in metal bending after meeting with Uri Geller in the Washington, DC area when he came to do a demo at George Washington University. I first got involved in studying metal bending after Geller altered the memory of a new shape memory alloy of nickel and titanium called NITINOL, invented at the US Navy Government Lab I where I was working at the time.
There were analytical tests run on NITINOL that Geller had altered, including electron micrographs, density, photographic, and microscopic. Other tests on Geller material I did not conduct included electron microscope photos of broken keys, cracked gold rings, broken needles, and water imprinted with energy.
I have made many direct observations of Geller performing telepathy, mending broken watches and clocks, and sprouting seeds. Some of these I have experienced myself, as a recipient.”
Q: What is your ‘up to date’ knowledge of PK and do you have any thoughts regarding the future understanding of PK?
Byrd: “I developed several theories about how PK might work in the metal bending phenomena. As a physical scientist I have always been more interested in phenomena that produce hard analyzable data, rather than the soft statisical pablum of parapsychology.
Recently I have become acquainted with new information on how the mind can interact with biological processes; I have altered my previous theories. That is how science progresses–not with “proof”, but by coherency. We are close to understanding how intention can create action at a distance.”
During the eighties, Uri moved away from demonstration to put his skills to a more practical test. He began prospecting for minerals and was successful enough to have created the bulk of his fortune by doing so. He also became increasingly positive about his belief that ordinary people could, with personal faith, use similar skills themselves. He took an interest in writing ( see * ) and developed an interest in the medium of the 21st century, the Internet ( see www.urigeller.com )
So what can be learned from this phenomenal story?
It seems, Uri Geller is the real deal. The fact that I have been able to track down and get up to date responses from some of the key figures in this story indicates that what became known as the ‘Geller Phenomena’, is still held by many people with credible scientific backgrounds as being a very real ability of human ‘mindpower’. Indeed, Targ speaks of ‘PK Parties’ amongst the intteligentsiai, Govt sponsored physicist bending metals bars using the power of their minds.
In his book, ‘Mind Medicine’ ( Element Books, 1999) Uri sums up what this ‘mindpower’ is;
“I believe it represents a deep wisdom that we all inherit form our forebears and which, once harnessed, can effectively give every one of us much greater knowledge and insight into out lives. I believe that with such awareness comes healthier minds and bodies. Some of us learn how to tap into this energy earlier than others; some come upon it through trial and error. Others cannot explain it but trust it totally. Its power is formidable and this frightens those who have not yet reached the point of understanding the potency of such an invisible force.”
I sought out the opinion of Dr Susan Blackmore regarding Uri. She provided an interesting perception:
” Although millions of people believe in extra-sensory perception, ghosts, UFOs, crystal powers, and the tenets of astrology – the evidence for ESP is controversial (at best), and the claims of astrology demonstrably false. However, people don’t want to see endless meticulous experiments with nothing but negative results. Viewers, and the producers who are their slaves, seem to prefer conspiracy theories, beings from outer space, scientists who cover up the truth about our mental powers, and Russians with strong accents who can move trains with their teeth or bamboozle TV presenters with children’s party tricks.”
In respect of Geller, there is too much credible witness evidence to suggest that he is just employing mere trickery. Indeed, if such were the case, he would be perhaps even more of a phenomenal person, having maintained a level of deceit so powerful it has managed to fool some of the most credible academics in history, people with high level security clearances, physisists, metallurgists, astronauts, magicians, politicians and world leaders.
Such supposed ‘trickery’ to such a large and grand scale has certainly never been done before, and leads even some of the most skeptical to consider: “This can’t be possible……. can it?”
Stainless steel spoon belonging to author; found partially distorted in cutlery rack after interview with Geller.
Interview with Uri Geller, July 2000
corespondence with Dr J.Sarfatti, Dr.S.Blackmore, Edgar Mitchell, Russell Targ, Eldon Byrd.
Want to try yourself? www.fork-you.com
(c)Copyright. www. peekatyou.org – 2001
web design:www. peekatyou.org
“A split hair’s difference,
and heaven and earth are set apart!” – Sang ts’an
Subject: The Uri Geller FAQ.
Q: When did Uri first get his remarkable ability?
A: Uri thinks it was when he was a young child. He was with his mother ( a member of the Freud family ) when some cutlery he was eating with bent. He also remembers being hit by light from the sky.
Q: Was this from a higher intelligence?
A: Andrija Puharich suggested that Uri’s subsequent ‘powers’ came from an extraterrestrial source.
Q: Does Uri believe this?
A: Uri is quoted as stating ” 90% probably not.”, but retains an open mind.
Q: Who brought Uri to the attention of ‘The West’?
A: Andrija Puhariach introduced Uri to astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Hal Puthof and Russel Targ at the Stanford Research Institute. Uri was tested and validated by the SRI and the results were written up in ‘Nature’ magazine.
Q: Then what?
A: Uri became a media celebrity, and toured the world giving demonstrations of his abilities.
Q: Why did Uri drop out of the ‘lime-light’?
A: Uri claims to be misrepresented by a group of sceptics which lead him to defend himself in Court. In one case, a Tokyo Court ruled that Geller had been insulted and awarded a judgement against one sceptic for 500,000 Yen. In another case, a Hungarian Court ruled against another newspaper over a different matter in favour of Uri, making the newspaper print a retraction. Yet another case resulted in Geller obtaining a written apology and acknowledgement of error from Prometheus Books.
Q: Then what?
A: Uri decided to work for oil companies, using his ability to prospect for minerals. He says he gained his wealth and independence from this work. He also went to ‘spiritually recharge’ himself at a location under Mount Fuji, Japan and decided to “take a break.”
Q: So, did Uri ‘give it up’?
A: Not at all. He met with Nobel prize-winner, Brian Josephson and decided to undertake ” confidential, but positive, work for scientists.”
“IN AN OFFICE at King’s College I had set up several experiments designed to measure the pressure applied by Geller during metal bending.The two main ones were very simple. The essential apparatus for one of them was a balance of the type used to weigh letters and parcels; it was sensitive enough to measure weights to a quarter of an ounce. A brass strip about 20 cm long was taped horizontally to the platform of the balance.
The major portion of the strip extended out from the platform, and Geller stroked the top surface of it while I measured, directly, by reading the scale, and by using an automatic recording device, the pressure he was applying.
At the end of the test the strip had acquired a bend of ten degrees although Geller had at no time applied more than half an ounce (20 gm) of pressure. It was out of the question that such a small pressure could have produced that deflection.
What is more, the actual bending occurred upward- against the pressure of the finger. Earlier, another subject gave a similar result, producing, with less than an ounce of downward pressure, a smaller upward deflection (two degrees) on a strip of copper. “
Hasted was elected Chair of Experimental Physics, London University.
“A BRIEF PSYCHOKINETIC INVESTIGATION OF MR. URI GELLER
J.B. Hasted, D.J. Bohm, E.W. Bastin, and D.O’Regan
Birkbeck College (University of London)
We possess four numbered and weighed brass Yale keys which were bent through angles of between 10 and 40 degrees under light stroking action by Mr. Geller. If, under symmetrical four point loading, force pulses of the order of 500 N (Say 50 kg weight) had been applied to the keys, similar bends would have been produced. No loss of surface brightness or change of weight, within the experimental error of 1 mg was observed. Mr. Geller applied a light stroking action between forefinger and thumb, or by forefinger with key placed on the table. In all cases several witnesses watched the entire operation intently from within 1m. In one case the key was not stroked but was simply, held under a cold water tap. In all cases the bending took a time of the order of minutes to complete, and it usually appeared to continue slowly for a short while after the stroking had, been terminated. No physical or chemical explanation of these Phenomena is readily apparent. The mean grain size at the bent surfaces has been compared with that in unbent and mechanically bent specimens by X-ray reflection and electron micrograph. No significant change in grain orientation or size was noted. “
“Based on preliminary investigations of Uri Geller,I cannot establish fraud .The powers of this man are a phenomenon which theoretical physics cannot yet explain.” Dr Friedbert Karger (Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Munich, Germany)
“Geller asked me to put my hand over a spoon supplied by me, we could all see the spoon clearly. Geller then put his own hand over mine and began concentrating. It was just ashe stopped that we all saw the handle of the spoon begin to distort.” Dr Edward W Bastin (Holds doctorate degrees in both physics and mathematics. He won an Isaac Newton studentship to Cambridge University, and for a time was visiting fellow at Stanford University, California)
“The apparatus for the other test was a small cylinder imbedded in a strip of aluminum in such a way that one end of the cylinder, covered by a pressure-sensitive diaphragm, was flush with the surface of the strip. When pressure was applied to the diaphragm by a person’s rubbing the strip gently with a finger, an electric current proportional to this pressure was generated by a device installed inside the cylinder. This pressure-measuring device had been used with various subjects, but no bending was achieved. In Geller’s case the consequences were drastic.
Holding the strip in one hand, he made it bend in the appropriate region so that the pressure could be measured. But as the bending occurred the mechanism in the cylinder suddenly stopped functioning. I took the apparatus from Geller and observed, to my horror, the pressure sensitive diaphragm begin to crumble. A small hole appeared in its center and spread across its whole surface till the diaphragm had completely disintegrated, the entire process taking about ten seconds. After another three minutes the strip in which the cylinder was imbedded had bent a further thirty degrees.
Attempts to influence objects without contact yielded more information. Geller held his hands over a plastic container in which had been placed a small crystal of lithium fluoride; within ten seconds the crystal broke into a number of pieces.
There was absolutely no chance of Geller’s having touched the crystal. Throughout the experiment I could see a gap between his hands and the container holding the crystal. He also buckled a small disc of aluminum, which again was inside a plastic container. I held my hands between Geller’s and the container in order to prevent any possibility of his directly manipulating the disc. – Taylor
Q: OK, but what about the magicians who have seen Uri?
“As a magician, I believe that the tests we did (with Geller) could not be duplicated in any way by a magician’s methods.”
Abb Dickson (Professional magician – U.S.A. and President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians 1997-98) Abb Dickson has been named as a new director of the World Alliance of Magicians (WAM).
“Uri bent a spoon for me, the first time he did it, I thought there must be a trick. The second time I was stunned, completely, completely stunned and amazed. It just bent in my hand.
I’ve never seen anything like it. It takes a lot to impress me.
Uri Geller is for real and anyone who doesn’t recognise that is either deluding himself, or is a very sad person.”
David Blain, (American Magician. Star of ABC’s Television Specials.)
Q: So, what’s the secret to Uri’s success?
A: Positive thinking. Uri thinks that a collective energy of certain ‘beliefs has the ability to make positive transformations.
Q: But is it true?
A: Attorney at Law, Ruth M.Liebesman states:
“We are happy to let people believe or disbelieve as their conscience dictates. Unfortunately, a few people are very threatened by what Uri can do, and do not want people to believe what we know; that what Uri does is real. As a result, some of the lies have been beyond reprehensible, many of them have been without any factual basis. But that’s where I come in. I protect Uri from the lies.”
Sources and links:
Uri Geller Magician or Mystic by J Margolis : UK – Orion / USA – Welcome Rain (2000).
Clarification of Legal Issues.
Scientists and Uri Geller.
Professor Hasted, Chair of Experimental Physiscs, Birbeck, London.
Article on Uri and Meta Analysis.
Magicians and Uri Geller.
Fortean Times ‘The Nine’ (article).
Motivational Inspirational Speaker
Motivational, inspirational, empowering compelling 'infotainment' which leaves the audience amazed, mesmerized, motivated, enthusiastic, revitalised and with a much improved positive mental attitude, state of mind & self-belief.
“There is no spoon!”
“The world needs your amazing talents. I need them”
“Uri Geller gave an absolutely resonating talk on his life and career. He had every single magician in the room on the edge of their seats trying to digest as much information as they could. Uri emphasized that the path to frame is through uniqueness and charisma and that professional entertainers must be creative in their pursuits of success and never shy away from publicity.”
Tannens Magic Blog
“The man is a natural magician. He does everything with great care, meticulous misdirection and flawless instinct. The nails are real, the keys are really borrowed, the envelopes are actually sealed, there are no stooges, there are no secret radio devices and there are no props from the magic catalogues.”
James Randi (In an open letter to Abracadabra Magazine)
Sir Elton John
“Eternity is down the hall And you sit there bending spoons In your mind, in your mind”
“I Have watched Uri Geller… I have seen that so I am a believer. It was my house key and the only way I would be able to use it is get a hammer and beat it out back flat again.”
“Better than watching Geller bending silver spoons, better than witnessing new born nebulae’s in bloom”