Uri Geller’s world of the strange

GQ Active
Winter 1999

The cutlery contorter on how he won basketball games and the Cold Wargqa

Outside, my son is slamming a ball through a basketball hoop. Inside, I’m staring at my computer screen. What’s the connection?

The answer is psychokinesis (PK): moving objects using the power of your mind. Basketballs and computers are both prone to it. Mind waves can do strange things to a PC – Princeton University in America has proved it. And you can harness this same power to improve your own sports skills – but no one has scientifically proved this claim yet. In other words, the proof is up to you.

I didn’t set out to discover how to cheat at basketball – I just wanted to win. I was in my early teens, tall for my age and living in Cyprus with my mother and her second husband. Times were tough, and not only because Greek partisans were murdering British soldiers every day. I saw a young squaddie, walking in one of Nicosia’s main streets, gunned down from behind as he carried his two-year-old daughter on his shoulders. I saw fresh bodies on the mortuary slab every day. I’m not asking for counselling – let’s face it, no one was making my friends and me climb the mortuary fences so we could get a good look at the gruesome deliveries. I just want you to understand I wasn’t in a relaxed and happy environment.

It didn’t help that I was an Israeli Jew at a Catholic school. They couldn’t manage to call me Uri – I got called George instead. Apparently it means the same in Russian (don’t ask, OK). It didn’t help either that most people thought I must be possessed by demons if I tried to bend a spoon for them. I needed a way to make friends quickly – and basketball was the answer.

It wasn’t enough to be a competent team member. I had to be the playmaker, the person who could take a lost game and win it. I got very intense about it, and when I’m intense, strange things happen. I wasn’t trying specifically to bend the ball in flight, or drag the hoop a couple of inches closer, but that’s what happened.

You find it hard to believe me, perhaps. But you don’t have to. Just listen to what my English teacher, Joy Philipou, said to my biographer, Jonathan Margolis: “Uri guided the ball. He could shoot from anywhere. It never, ever missed the basket. From one end of the court to another, over and over again. He did have a peculiar power. Suppose he would shoot and his aim wasn’t quite 100 per cent, he would definitely do something. We all saw the ball sway when there was no one near it. In truth, it was really scary”

Twenty years later, I was working for the CIA. They put me on a trans-Atlantic flight out of Washington, and told me the bald man with the shine on his suit, three seats up, was a Soviet diplomatic attaché. And in his briefcase were some computer discs.

My task was to erase them, mentally. Focus, and will them to become blank, just as I used to will the ball to drop into the net. I don’t know exactly how successful I was – the Kremlin never informed me. But the CIA put me on another Boeing 747 the next week, and the week after, with identical instructions: wipe the data.

Again, you’re dubious about believing me, and again, it doesn’t matter. Simply look at the work of Professor Robert Jahn and his team at Princeton University, where for twelve years ordinary people were invited to stare at a random number generator and psych it out. The computer displayed zeros and ones, randomly. More than 100 people, none of them claiming to be psychic, did thousands of tests. Mentally they urged the computer to display more ones than zeros. The computer obeyed. The likelihood of this result was one thousand billion to one against. Would you bet at those odds?

Professor Jahn proved two things. One, that the CIA wasn’t wasting its money. Two, ordinary people can exert a PK effect without knowing how. And that means you.

I believe we see PK at work constantly in sport. When Bernhard Langer lofts a ball off the fairway and onto the green, and it rolls to the lip, and it hovers… For Bernhard, it always drops in. How much of that is PK?

When Ronnie O’Sullivan kisses the black and it hangs just behind the last remaining red, so that his opponent cannot avoid a foul… How much of that is PK?

When Michael Schumacher touches the brakes in the wet, so that he slides into the corner a fraction of a second later than any other driver.. How much of that is PK?

No computer could calculate with such accuracy and no computer ever will. Chaos cuts in too soon. The breath of a breeze on the golf course, the fleck of dust on the cue ball, the heavy spatter of raindrops on the racetrack, these factors cannot be computed. And they cannot be consciously predicted, or logically explained. Champions cannot tell you exactly how they do it -they just do it.

Psychokinesis is a scientific fact. Believe in it, and believe in your own powers: I assure you they will help you win ■

Uri Geller’s novel Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. You can visit his website at https://www.urigeller.com and e-mail him at [email protected]

GQ Active
Spring 1999

Uri Geller’s world of the strange

The spoon supremo on how he became the James Bond of the paranormal

FEAR IS THE CORE OF COMPETITION. It’s there in sport; that is what sets sport apart from mere games. If you dogqa not feel the cold, sickening tightness in your gut in the moments before first action, then you are not competing… you are simply playing. Fear can keep you alive and it can make life worth living. And if you can’t keep facing fear as it looms larger and larger – you lose.

I learnt this throwing myself out of an aircraft. It was in Israel in 1965 and, like every eighteen-year-old kid, I was facing military induction. My father, who made his career as a sergeant major, wanted me to be an officer. But I wanted to go one further. I wanted to be a spy.

Mossad is the Israeli secret service and I believe their agents to be among the best in the world. In my biography, Jonathan Margolis spoke to Eldon Byrd, a strategic weapons expert with links to the CIA, who claims that I have been involved with Mossad throughout my life. In particular, Byrd makes reference to two flights over Iraq in June 1981 in which I was supposed to have located a particular installation of a nuclear reactor that was bombed two days later. I, however, entirely deny this and any connection with the organisation … at least after 1968 anyway.

I did do some legwork as a teenager for a Mossad agent in Cyprus known to me as Yoav Shacham. My talent for mind-reading impressed him – he was the first intelligence officer to start wondering what mind-power could mean to Special Operations. At the time I wasn’t so interested in breaking new ground in espionage, but I did want to infiltrate terror groups, decode international ciphers and possess a licence to kill. Also, I wanted to sleep with as many beautiful foreign agentettes as possible.

Yoav told me there was no easy way into Mossad. But there were hard ways, and the hardest was through the paratroops.

I confronted fear for the first time at a boot camp close to Tel Aviv. As I queued to be assigned my service number, 971171, I stared at a recruiting poster. A helmeted para was poised in the doorway of a plane about to jump. My legs trembled. I was signing up to throw myself into empty space in return for a red beret, para’s wings and lots of pride. If I felt this scared looking at a picture, how would I feel when I looked out at the ground two miles below?

Para training was harder than I could have imagined. For three months we ran everywhere, loaded with pack. From the dorms to the parade ground, from the canteen to the khazi, from one end of a 50-mile route march to the other – we ran. And if we staggered or slacked or slowed, we were kicked. Kicked and abused. When we reached the stage of jumping off buildings on steel bungees that barely broke our fall, there was no energy to worry about things.

And even at the first jump, there was no fear. Maybe it was an absence of imagination, but mostly it was the frenzy of activity. It took eight minutes for the plane to reach the jump zone from the airstrip, but those minutes passed like seconds. This was the first time I truly understood that time was meaningless. In states of tension and thrill, time flickers past like random frames snipped from a long reel. The opposite can happen in moments of deep meditation, or when rapid reactions are vital to avoid disaster – time freezes over, and every second stands still.

The first time I jumped, I was focused on the routines, safety checks and the importance of not being the one to foul up. I was not alone – there were twenty or so of my comrades in the hull of that plane too. But the second time I jumped, I knew enough of what I was doing to have energy to spare.

I hung back as I jumped, and my body failed to clear the updraught. I slammed back into the fuselage, just behind the wing, and slid down into the air. As my parachute opened I was twisting and spiralling, and the chute twisted too, into a “candle”. I fell through the drifting mushrooms that were the other paras and fumbled for my reserve chute. It flapped up and back, enveloping my head, and though my descent slowed enough to let the main chute untangle, my sight was smothered. I curled into a ball and prepared for a night landing in broad daylight, without knowing when I would hit the ground or what would be waiting for me. The impact almost wrenched my back in half, and, though I was able to walk away, almost three decades on I still suffer pain.

Two days later, I jumped again. After all my comrades had jumped, I was frozen in the doorway, gripping the frame so hard the instructor could not prise my fingers away. He was kicking at my legs and I would not jump. The plane made a second circuit and the instructor screamed at me, “Do you want to go back and tell everyone you didn’t have the guts? Or do you want to jump?”

And I jumped. Because there is one kind of fear that is worst of all. Worse than the fear of dying, fear of the unknown or fear of pain. And that is fear of being a coward

Uri Geller’s novel Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. You can visit his website at https://www.urigeller.com and e-mail him at [email protected]

GQ Active
Summer 1999

Uri Geller’s world of the strange

Our psychic heavyweight goes head-to-head with Muhammad Ali

MUHAMMAD ALI WAS MY IDOL. An American who converted to Islam was not an obvious hero for a young man gqagrowing up in Israel. But I knew something that no one else could see. He floated like a butterfly, he stung like a bee… he thought like a shaman. Ali was psychic.

I remember watching footage of the Floyd Patterson fight in a girlfriend’s flat in Tel Aviv in 1965. The bout was taking place in Las Vegas and I desperately wanted to be ringside. I wouldn’t have gambled; I simply burned to be in a city with that much energy, watching a fighter with that much power. Eighteen months later, Ali was banned for his refusal to fight the Vietnam War. He said, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong,” so the US Army took his world title, his boxing licence and his liberty instead. A few weeks later, I was embroiled in the Six Days War. I didn’t have no personal quarrel with them Jordan troops neither, but I was already a conscript – refusing the draft was not an option.

When Ali finally got to hit back, KO-ing a boxer named Jerry Quarry in three rounds in Atlanta, it was late 1970. I wasn’t the only person who could take inspiration from that. Here was a man with the courage to stand by his moral and religious principles, even to the point of ruin. And then here was a man with the toughness to fight all his enemies, and show he could not be beaten. Beyond that, he looked like a screen idol, he moved like a dancer, and he talked like a street poet.

And I had that one extra reason for worshipping him: he was a natural psychic and knew how to use his powers.

In all his fights, through all the punches he soaked up, Ali never seemed to be hurt. His face was not marked, his bones were not broken. He was living proof of my belief in a Protective aura – an energy field generated by the body that repels harm. Anybody in good health is exuding this field. Ali did more than exude it – he blasted it out like a 120-decibel vibration. Ali loved to drop his guard and dodge the punches, taunting his opponents. But they had to do more than find the relentlessly weaving target. They had to punch through his invisible barrier.

In 1977, I got the chance to test out these paranormal theories. A journalist friend was interviewing Ali at his New Jersey training camp. Ali, it transpired, was an amateur magician, and a skilful one. When he heard I was living an hour away in Manhattan, I was invited to spend a day at the camp.

I bent a spoon, and he was incredulous. Then Ali did a drawing and I read his mind. It wasn’t hard – he had eyes that could penetrate sheet metal. You just had to stand in front of him and his thoughts hit you like 30-foot waves. But when I reproduced a mirror image of Ali’s sketch, accurate to one-eighth of an inch, he was stunned. He grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the group. The people knew automatically not to follow. As he pushed me around the side of the training ring, the world heavyweight champion’s intensity, and his size, were frightening. Sometimes my powers freak people out. Surely Ali could handle it?

He could handle it, and more – he wanted to know how to use this power. He knew he possessed it himself. What he was demanding to know was how to access it. “I just looked in your eyes and wham, I put a picture in your mind,” he said. “Can I look in a fighter’s eyes and wham, I put defeat in there? Can I make him see how hard he’s gonna get hit? Can I knock him out before I ever lay a glove on him?”

We talked for twenty minutes. I told him he was already using his mind-power; when he turned that laser gaze and gqa1the brilliance of his charisma on a fighter, the opponent felt weak, like a 40-watt bulb beside a floodlight. Ali did this instinctively. I also believed he was predicting his opponent’s moves even before a muscle twitched. This wasn’t body-reading – Ali was registering the thoughts in the other guy’s mind while he was still thinking them. Ali nodded, and began to turn the idea over.

Muhammad Ali is ripped up by disease today. Most men with his crippling condition would have died years earlier, but the core of that remarkable energy still burns inside him. I believe the disease was already taking its toll in 1978, when he lost to Leon Spinks in the fifteenth. His psychic strength helped him claim the title back for an unprecedented third time but it could no longer protect him against every blow. After that fight we knew Ali was not immortal.

Not immortal. Only superhuman

Uri Geller’s novels Dead Cold (£9.99) and Ella (£5.99) are published by Headline Feature, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. You can visit his website at https://www.urigeller.com and e-mail him at [email protected]

GQ Active
Autumn 1999

Uri Geller’s world of the strange

Why a healthy mind really does mean a healthy body

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR COUCH potatoes – new research shows you can think yourself fit, and think yourself gqapsychic. Psychology professor Ian Robertson of Trinity College, Dublin, reports that just thinking about strenuous physical activity can hone the body as well as the mind.

In his book, Mind Sculpture, he describes how volunteers were asked to imagine they were constantly flexing and tensing one finger of their left hand. After four weeks of daily training the finger strength of the virtual muscle builders increased by an average of 22 per cent. Professor Robertson remarks: “This is good news for the sluggards among us, who would prefer to do our training on the couch than on the track or in the gym.”

It’s an important piece of research for athletes too, because the mental gym never closes. If you’re injured, stuck on a sixteen-hour flight, suffering from ‘flu or simply unable to afford the swimming pool ticket, take some exercise in your head instead. The British javelin thrower Steve Backley described how he coped after twisting his ankle four weeks before the competitive season began: unable to walk without pain, he sat down and imagined throwing the javelin thousands of times in each of the world’s major stadiums.

At first, even to think of physical exertion caused his ankle to scream in pain but, by transferring his thoughts to the uninjured side of his body, Steve quickly generated a smooth rhythm in his mind. Two weeks later he was able to restart his physical programme, and found his loss of strength and fluency was negligible – even though he should have been hopelessly out of practice.

You can turn that equation around: how does the brain benefit when the body gets busy? Professor Robertson argues that you make yourself more intelligent by using your body. One clear-cut example comes when children learn a musical instrument. “We now know,” says Professor Robertson, “that a part of the left half of the brain known as the ‘planum temporale’ is bigger in musicians than in non-musicians.” Because the planum temporale is also a vital part of the brain that processes words and verbal memory, young musicians literally have a head start over their unmusical friends. Brain scans show that the students with the best developed minds were not necessarily the best musicians but the ones who began to learn earliest.

Andrew Weil, an American natural health guru, believes that the simplest exercise can heal our brains. His own teacher, Dr Fulford, often instructs patients to stimulate their natural healing powers by crawling like babies. Crawling sends simultaneous signals to both sides of the brain – first the right hand and left knee move, then the right knee and left hand. “This cross-patterned type of movement,” says Dr Weil, in his book Spontaneous Healing, “generates electrical activity in the brain that has a harmonising influence on the central nervous system.”

Since its difficult in most social situations for an adult to crawl without embarrassing explanations and crushed fingers, Dr Weil recommends a less eccentric form of cross-patterned exercise – walking. When you walk swing your left arm as your right leg steps out, then mirror the movement.

Other researchers are coming to the same conclusions as Robertson and Weil. Dr Rune Timerdal of the University of Malmo in Sweden put 909 people into three different exercise programs. One group of 303 adults did aerobic work-outs, the next 303 did weights and muscle-building, and the last 303 did nothing. Brain scans, which tested sixteen types of mental function, were done before and after the six-month programmes.

The results were mind-blowing – different exercises boosted different brain skills. Jogging, bicycling, skipping and aerobics had a substantial impact on left-brain activity, such as ability in mathematics logic and language. Weight training, push-ups and body building activated the right side of the brain, associated with more intuitive, abstract and even psychic skills.

A psychic work-out:

You are stepping out onto a diving board. Imagine raising your arms above your head, pressing the palms together. Feel the tendons stretch warmly. Bounce on the balls of your feet, feeling the springy board whip beneath your feet. Dive down into the water. It is cold, and thickly heavy. This is not ordinary water. It moves as slowly as mercury.

As your head emerges into the air, droplets roll slowly over your face and hair. You kick your legs hard against the dense water. You thrust your arms forwards and drag them around in a breaststroke. The water resists every movement. You persevere, and the solidity of the water becomes a joy – totally safe and buoyant, resistant but not impossibly draining. Your muscles pull hard, and your body is generating heat that makes the chill of the water a blessing.

At the pool side, you grip the tiles and launch yourself up into the light air. Every movement seems suddenly unfettered and easy as thought, without the slow drag of the thick, cold water. You run lightly up the steps of another diving board, facing the first, and step out. The fantasy begins again.

Imagine ten lengths of the pool this way. After three weeks of virtual exercise, you may notice a corresponding strength in all your body. You may also experience better brain-power in both hemispheres, with quicker reasoning skills and even, possibly, enhanced psychic powers.

 Uri Geller’s novels Dead Cold (£9.99) and Ella (£5.99) are published by Headline Feature, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. You can visit his website at https://www.urigeller.com and e-mail him at [email protected]



Follow Uri

Scan to Follow Uri on Twitter

Latest Articles

Read All Latest Articles
Amazing Lectures! uri lectures
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 Matrix

“The world needs your amazing talents. I need them”

Michael Jackson

“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)

“Absolutely amazing”

Mick Jagger

“Truly incredible”

Sir Elton John

“Eternity is down the hall And you sit there bending spoons In your mind, in your mind”

Johnny Cash

“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.”

Clint Eastwood

“Better than watching Geller bending silver spoons, better than witnessing new born nebulae’s in bloom”


Urigeller_facebookDo you have a question? Contact Uri!