Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Uri Geller - UFO's, metal-bending and the PSI War.

Brendan Burton

"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?

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.

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, 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 was Metallurgist and US Naval scientist, Eldon Byrd. Before his untimely death in late 2002, Byrd had 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 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, physicists, metallurgists, astronauts, magicians, politicians and world leaders, in short - the kind of people we tend to invest our trust into.

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?"

For more discussions on the inside take of some of these issues check out Open Minds

Friday, November 23, 2007

Will Uri Geller Win Criss Angel’s $1,000,000 challenge

Will Uri Geller Win Criss Angel’s $1,000,000 challenge


Dark was Criss Angel who dared Uri Geller $1,000,000 on the Phenomonon magic tricks television series . He tried and explained Criss Angel tricks but what was in a certain envelope and then rapidly cut Geller off when he appeared to intuitively Begin zoning in on it’s content. What was in the certain envelope were the Book of Numbers 911. When Criss Angel asked Geller what was in the envelope Geller for some reason began rattling of dates that unknown to Geller were zoning in on the contents. We revealed phenomenon secrets and other Criss Angel tricks but if Uri Geller said Angel was Max Born on the 19th , just 1 day prior to Geller’ s birthday and he had bent his 1st spoon when Angel was 1 years old. A nervous Angel, knowing what was in the envelope apace cut him off, and diverted attention by chop-chop gap the envelope.

On yet some other Recent show Angel challenged co - host Uri Geller as to what was in the envelope. Criss explained “I will spray on you a million dollars of my personal money right now if you can tell me particular inside information of what’ s in here right now, “Uri seemed willing to try but the show touched on . Criss Angel of mindfreak proven that he had, or brought with him his million dollars.

This is the thought of Dick Brooks , a managing director of the noted Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA is a nationally known paranormalist, psychic research worker and managing director of Scranton’ s Psychic Theater. A few phenomenon tricks will be revealed on this site but he has been called by many a “Supernormalist”. The theater is currently presenting America’ s longest running and well reviewed extrasensory show and session. In phenomenon some tricks explained here, telekinesis , unseeing vision , mentalism that ends with an attempt at recreating an old time sitting. The presentation explained the story of phenomenon and revealed tricks in the edifice going to the Houdini era that were caused by various events that included a execution , suicide , and electrocution. People at phenomenon don’t reveal nor will explain their tricks, instead they explore the pros and cons of such events.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Chat with Uri Geller, NBC’s latest “Phenomenon” - An Interview in Monsters & Critics

Israeli mentalist Uri Geller, host of The Successor, is in Cannes to promote his paranormal talent show distributed by the German Company Seven One.  EPA/ASM CORBIS OUT

Israeli mentalist Uri Geller, host of The Successor, is in Cannes to promote his paranormal talent show distributed by the German Company Seven One. EPA/ASM CORBIS OU

By April MacIntyre Oct 23, 2007, 18:18 GMT

Nurturing the power of positive intentions has created a lifetime of success and happiness for Uri Geller, the avatar for all of today’s biggest mind-over-matter gurus and spiritualists like Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, and even Marianne Williamson.

Known for his writing, peace brokering and his spoon bending events, he is first and foremost a proponent of the power each of us has within our own minds to direct our lives. Powerful thoughts add up, according to Mr. Geller.

Geller

Geller

“Negative thoughts have a biochemical property, you can actually see them on a computer, or machine that measures you brainwaves,” shared Mr. Geller. “The Universe listens to your thoughts, and visualizing them can equal materialization.”

“I am not a healer; I am not a miracle worker,” claims Mr. Geller in an interview with Monsters and Critics.

“My wife and I open our home in England to terminally ill children, and what I call the placebo effect happens during the acts of bending spoons as I draw the audience in, talking to them, it is always a positive reaction.”

NBC President Ben Silverman was “blown away” when he saw the Israeli original show “The Successor”, a runaway hit in Israel that featured the Sabra (Israeli born) mentalist and motivational icon Uri Geller, a national hero in his homeland. “He had goose bumps,” said Mr. Geller.

Angel

Angel

The show “Phenomenon” is a direct spin off and both Uri Geller and Ben Silverman used the power of positive thought to summon superstar Criss Angel to come on board for the special five live show tapings, with a bonus 2 hour special on Halloween. "I thought no way could be get Criss Angel, but Ben really pushed for it."

“I am being kept away from the contestants, and from what I know I am being freaked out by some of them,” said Mr. Geller, who promised “Phenomenon” would be a triumph of entertainment value, and pure mesmerization for the audience.

How Uri Geller and Criss Angel came together was in Geller’s words, pure positive thinking on Silverman’s part. It worked, and Geller had high praise for his partner in the live show experiment that promises to shake things up and bend some minds.

“Criss Angel got to where he is because of the power of his mind; he was driven and uses the power of his positive mind to reach his life’s dreams.”

Geller

Geller

The live show is based on a successful Israeli version judged and monitored by Geller, which achieved a historical record-breaking viewing audience. The show, similar to “American Idol” is being produced next in Germany, then Holland and then perhaps Australia, according to Mr. Geller, when I asked about his follow up to filming more for a season two here in the United States.

“The Universe answered my request,” shared Mr. Geller.

The series showcases 10 carefully selected mentalists who will compete live against one another each week by demonstrating a wide spectrum of mystifying talents on a panel of celebrity guests who experience the illusions along with the studio audience.

“There will be friction with him (Angel) if there are competitors who claim paranomality and then he tries to debunk them on the spot, as he has suggested,” said Mr. Geller.

Geller and Angel will assess the contestant's talents each week and offer their uncensored opinions. Ultimately, the fate of the winner is in the hands of the viewers at home, who will vote to determine which competing mentalist will receive the grand prize of $250,000 and become the next great mentalist.

Mr. Geller freely admitted he has his share of skeptics and detractors.

“Years ago, Johnny Carson invited me on his show, that was when you knew you had made it big, in the United States, to appear on his show.

What I didn’t know was he was an amateur magician, and Johnny set me up, he made a joke of it, and I sat there on his show for 20 minutes, being made a fool of.”
“But I learned from it, that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

The next morning I woke up, slightly depressed, when I got a call from Merv Griffin, who said, ‘Uri, I want you on my show.’ Then Mike Douglas called,” added Mr. Geller, who shared his favorite quote from Oscar Wilde with me: “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

“I can sum up my approach to in two words: Be Positive. That means a positive approach to good ideas from every source and every age in history. Forget about fashion, switch off the cynics. Say ‘Yes’ aloud.”

“The skeptics and the cynics failed miserably,” finished Mr. Geller.

LINK-TO-NBC-PHENOMENON-GAME

###

"Phenomenon" - Wednesdays (8-9 p.m. ET) on NBC - Premiere date: October 24, 2007

Two-hour Special on Halloween night, October 31 (8-10 p.m. ET)

The series is, based on a successful Israeli version judged and monitored by Geller, which achieved a historical record-breaking viewing audience, is a Granada America/Keshet Broadcasting/Kuperman Productions co-production in association with SevenOne International. SevenOne International controls the worldwide rights to the program.

Experts: Uri Geller & Criss Angel
Host: Tim Vincent
Executive producers: Suzy Lamb, Michael Agbabian and Dwight Smith
Creator: Format devised by Keshet Broadcasting Limited, Kuperman Productions Limited, Explorologist Limited
Director: Alan Carter
Supervising producer: Melanie Balac
Executive in charge of production: Mark Johnson
Line Producer: Tim Gaydos
Set designer: Anton Goss
Lighting designer: John Morgan
Wardrobe designer: Carrie Cramer
Graphics: SG Arts
Origination: Los Angeles

Monday, October 22, 2007

Phenomenon Billboard at NBC Studios in LA


Phenomenon - Premiers Oct 24 8PM on NBC

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lara Lewington Interview

12/10/2007 By Lara Lewington

The celebrated cutlery-bender is taking his hit Israeli television series global. He talks to Lara Lewington

Uri geller divides opinions. People look at his “magic” skills and either agree that he is a psychic, or accuse him of being a trickster. He prefers the term “mystifier”.

Now the 60-year-old Israeli is out to mystify a whole new audience. Geller is moving from bending spoons to breaking America as the Simon Cowell of an X-Factor for illusionists.

How he plans to do this is not actually mystifying at all. Geller is relying on a good old-fashioned reality-TV show to win over American hearts and minds.

In The Successor, Geller passes judgment on young magicians who hope to take up his spoon-bending mantle. The show was such a hit on Israeli TV that NBC has bought it for the US market.

Yet it will not follow the Israeli format exactly. Instead, NBC is sexing it up.

“They wanted to make it more mystifying and mysterious, so they came up with the name Phenomenon, which sounds much more powerful,” says an excited Geller.

Along with American magician Criss Angel, he will be an expert panellist on the programme, which will be screened weekly from October 24. Viewers will phone in to vote for the act that has most impressed them, but Geller and Angel retain the power of veto.

“We have the power, the expertise and the know-how to judge” which competitor has “the power, the charisma and the act”, says Geller.

He may be on to something. Industry insiders are predicting that this could be the latest reality format to spread around the world. After its run in America, it is heading for Europe, starting with a series in Germany.

“People think because of what I do I’m looking for an individual with powers, and I’m not, because The Successor is really about many things,” explains Geller.

“It’s about the performance, talent, personality and character of the competitor. It’s about the way you deliver your act, and most importantly it’s about the astonishment factor.”

Geller has received strong support from the chairman of NBC, Ben Silverman. He is the man taking his chances on Phenomenon being a hit Stateside, and has a reputation for recognising a good format.

As Geller says: “Ben Silverman had the vision to take The Office, to take Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? to the United States. When they asked him why he commissioned the show — after all, they said, Uri is controversial — he answered: ‘Because when we watched The Successor, my hair stood on end’.”

Viewers may be forgiven if they detect a hint of ego in all this, but Geller is having to share his show with a man who is an even bigger name in magic than he is.

Criss Angel, who has a large US fan base, specialises in illusions, “mentalism” and escapology. He is one of the rare few to have converted a hit Broadway magic show into a success on the small screen, with Criss Angel: Mindfreak.

Geller says that Angel is reportedly being paid £100m to perform at the Las Vegas hotel The Luxor — “but I can only quote you what I’ve read in the gossip columns”, he says, adding: “When I drove down LA’s Wilshire Boulevard, there was a billboard of Criss as big as the Hilton Hotel.”

Geller can comfort himself that Angel is little known in the UK, beyond a few tabloids briefly linking him to the troubled pop star Britney Spears.

Geller himself has been a controversial character over the years, with some people mesmerised by his abilities and others cynical.

“For many years lots of things have been attached to my name. People have called me anything from a magician, to a mentalist, to a psychic, to a ‘mystifier’, to a miracle worker. Yes, everything. I mean, I’ve even been called a trickster. You name it, I have been called nearly everything. I love to be called a ‘mystifier’. After all, I have amazed and mystified millions of people in the world.”

Whereas many young boys dream of being a fireman or astronaut, the young Geller spent his formative years in Tel Aviv with other ambitions in mind. “I was three years old, when I was eating soup, and suddenly the spoon bent in my hand. That was the first time my association with an energy, a power or a talent came.”

More intriguingly, he believes the source of his abilities may be inherited. “It comes from my mother’s side, because she’s related directly to Sigmund Freud. Very few people know this, but my name in my passport is actually Uri Geller Freud.”

No stranger to reality TV, in 2002 Geller appeared on ITV1’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here. Even though it was well publicised that he was a vegetarian, he proudly admits: “I was the first person on the history of I’m a Celebrity… to eat living bugs.”

Does he feel these programmes can keep working? “Some reality shows are better than others. I think that reality television is still going to flourish. People think it’s peaked, but no way. It’s exactly like the magazines such as the National Enquirer, OK! or Hello!. People are interested in celebrities, people are interested in gossip. People are interested in the lives of others; people are interested in the mysterious things. The universe and beyond. Shows like ours, like Phenomenon, will always be intriguing.”

So back to the question of who is right about Geller — the fans who believe in his talents, or the doubters who do not.

For what it is worth, I can add a personal experience to the debate. A few years back, I interviewed Geller about his well-publicised friendship with pop star Michael Jackson.

During our conversation, he asked me to take off my necklace — a choker with a curved metal pendant hanging from it.

He rubbed his fingers over the metal pendant and, as I watched, it bent. Simple as that — he was not even touching the part that contorted.

I could not find any logical explanation for what happened right before my eyes. Later, I asked if he would tell me how he did it.

He replied: “If I am asked, ‘Uri, tell me how do you do it,’ I simply answer that I’d rather it be a mystery.”

Mystifying indeed.

Born: Tel Aviv in December 1946. His original name was Geller Gyorgy

Family: Geller was born to Hungarian- and Austrian-Jewish immigrants to Palestine. He claims to be distantly related to Sigmund Freud on his mother’s side

Early life: Geller says he first became aware of his paranormal powers when he was three, after a light from the sky knocked him to the ground. He served as a paratrooper in the Israeli army and was wounded in action during the 1967 Six-Day War. His early career was as a nightclub entertainer in Israel. He moved to America in the early 1970s

Geller trivia: He speaks four languages — Hebrew, English, Hungarian and German. He has been chairman of English football club Exeter City. He owns a 1976 Cadillac adorned with thousands of pieces of bent cutlery, given to him by, among others, John Lennon and the Spice Girls. He says he has been anorexic for many years

Jewish identity: Geller is the president of the International Friends of Magen David Adom. He also says he that his friendship with Michael Jackson — Jackson was best man when Geller renewed his wedding vows — ended over antisemitic comments the star allegedly made.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Uri Geller And Criss Angel Present : Phenomenon

Uri Geller and Criss Angel Present Phenomenon. The New ground breaking reality show on NBC.

Beginning Oct 24th, Wednesday, 8pm EST on NBC. Don't forget to watch Phenomenon


Check out the trailer below running currently on NBC!


video

Friday, October 05, 2007

Los Angeles

What I love most about Los Angeles is the sense of being inside a movie. Anything is possible, the more dramatic the better. All you have to do is dream.

At dinner last night with my TV producer, Suzy Lamb, I heard a wonderful story about Jim Carrey, the comic star of The Truman Show and Bruce Almighty. In 1987, a 25-year-old unknown, Jim drove his old Toyota into the Hollywood Hills and parked on Mulholland Drive.

The city which was spread out before him, like angel dust on the hillside, had never heard of him, but he was going to make sure it did — and the rest of the world with it. Taking a scrap of paper and a pen, he wrote himself a cheque, “for acting services rendered,” and dated it Thanksgiving Day 1995... eight years in the future.

The cheque was for ten million dollars.

Jim Carrey believed in his own talent so vividly, and was so unswervably committed to turning his dream into reality, that he easily outstripped his goal. By 1995, he’d broken box office records with The Mask and Dumb And Dumber, his worldwide grosses were estimated at more than half a billion dollars, and he commanded a cool $20m a picture.

Throughout my career, I’ve been urging people, “Believe in yourself and anything is possible.” But if your self-belief needs a boost, jump on a plane and come to Los Angeles.

And bring some sun-cream... it was 110 degrees in the city yesterday, and out in the California desert today, on a dry lake bed at El Mirage, the thermometer is bursting out through the glass. It’s hard to believe California is on the same planet as England — we had more rain last month than this desert has had in a century.

I’m here with a crew of around 80 technicians to shoot a promo for my show Phenomenon with Criss Angel. He’s internationally famous, but in the US there’s no one bigger — more members of the public would recognise his face than could name even the President.

I was introduced to Criss about an hour ago, and he struck me as a charming, thoughtful guy. Shooting an entire series with him promises to be a fascinating experience.

We have to survive this promo first, of course. Unbelievably, as well as contending with the naked sun and 115 degree sands, there are billion-watt lamps over our heads. I’m wearing a special jacket designed to absorb or deflect all the heat — otherwise, I’d look like I’d just stepped fully clothed out of a swimming bath.

And of course we have an air-conditioned trailer. That’s not a Hollywood luxury... it’s a life-support system.

I can’t wait to see the finished promo footage. There will be amazing, stunning special effects. And I have no lines... it’s all about the way I stare into the lens. The location was chosen for its eerie open spaces and the other-worldly glow of its cracked, white sands. For me it’s a unique experience — I’ve never shot anything like it.

Yesterday we were at the NBC studios, with Jay Leno’s Tonight Show shooting next-door. I was astonished to see a team of 18 people for an ordinary photoshoot, taking publicity stills for newspapers and magazines in the run-up to the show’s launch. It really drove home to me what a massive business NBC is — one of the big three television channels, in the country that produces most of the world’s biggest TV shows.

The Tonight Show, when it was compered by the late Johnny Carson, was the scene of my greatest professional humiliation, in 1974. My detractors have never let me forget that night: my dowsing and mind-reading abilities deserted me, in front of an audience of countless millions.

Johnny, who was an amateur conjuror and a sceptic about the power of the mind, thought he’d caught me out. I knew I was simply having the worst off-night imaginable, like a tennis star who freezes on match point. But it was a turning point for me, and I learned more from that disaster than I could have possibly discovered by any easy route.

Yesterday I was interviewed by NBC’s publicity team, who wanted to know what will make Phenomenon a show unlike any other. The answer lies with the character and charisma of the contestants. It’s about natural-born showmanship, creating acts that make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

And it’s about the audience too. I’ll be urging viewers to video any phenomena that erupt spontaneously in their homes while they are watching — they can email the clips to us and we’ll be able to screen them live on air. That’s a genuinely thrilling prospect.









Shipi and I were amazed to find ourselves standing under a mural depicting NBC’s logos down the decades. The rainbow swatches started out in 1956 as a peacock... with eleven feathers. Regular readers will know I regard eleven as much more than a lucky number: it signifies a connection to the cosmic consciousness, a gateway to infinite possibilities. It’s no coincidence that this peacock has eleven brilliant feathers.

My daughter Nat, who lives and works out here in the movie industry, has been driving me and Shipi round in her Mini Cooper. It’s the quintessentially British car for a very English young lady! But we’re off to Germany in the morning, and it’s a sure bet that my next despatch won’t be coming from a 115 degree desert. Fortunately, we’re booked on an airline where the seats recline fully, into beds. I’m going to need mine!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

NBC Phenomenon Preview

Premieres Wednesday, October 24 8/7c

New LIVE competition that will blow your mind!

PHENOMENON on NBC

Mystifier/artist Criss Angel ("Criss Angel MINDFREAK") and famed mentalist Uri Geller will host this mysterious live competition series in which they will conduct an intensive search for the next great mentalist. The series tests 10 hopeful mentalists who must compete each week to demonstrate a wide spectrum of mystifying talents for a panel of weekly celebrity guests and a studio audience. Geller and Angel will assess the contestants but ultimately the winner's fate will be determined by the viewers at home. In addition to voting, each episode will also contain an interactive component to engage the at home audience. WATCH PREVIEW NOW

Thursday, September 27, 2007

X-teacher, Prince Naz

Prince Naseem Hamed, the former world champion boxer, was famed for his flamboyant ringside entrances, and I was secretly hoping that when he visited my home this week he'd arrive on the back of a gold-plated elephant, draped in a cloak of peacock feathers. For Naz, even that might have been low-key — he once had an elevator built at the Manchester Arena, to convey him to the ring, and for the demolition of another opponent he strutted up a catwalk runway.

His smile was so broad, as he stepped from their car with his family on our driveway, I couldn't be disappointed. Naz is such an infectiously charismatic character, with a charming wife and three delightful children, that he doesn't need the razzle-dazzle — it's all in his personality.

We first met more than a decade ago, at a TV studio, and I was so impressed by his star quality that I picked our photo together to be the icon for my website's gallery of celebrity photographs. Throughout my career, I've always kept a camera close at hand, and it could have been a rock star, from Elton John to Alice Cooper, or a movie hero, a political leader or even a great artist such as Dali who symbolised the cavalcade of famous names.

I chose Prince Naseem, I think, because his pose radiated confidence and positive energy. One flash of that thousand-watt smile was like being hit by a bolt of inspiration. He wasn't simply the world champ — he believed he was the very best that ever had been or could be.

His left-hand punch was so powerful, it frequently knocked out opponents with a single blow. But that was only half the story — he was credited with the fastest reflexes that had ever been seen in the ring. Naz dodged punches the way Superman dodged bullets.

I told him of my training sessions with Muhammad Ali in the late Seventies, when we worked on visualisation techniques which the three-times world heavyweight champion had evolved instinctively. "Ali saw punches coming in slow motion," I told Naz, "because he believed he could literally slow down time. It was the power of his mind, not his fists, which defeated opponents."

"That's exactly what I do," Naz replied, his brilliant smile giving way to a moment's seriousness. "That's why I'm the Greatest too."

I'd love to take the confidence that bubbles out of Naseem Hamed and bottle it. We'd be trillionaires, because he'll never run dry. At its source is an unshakeable faith that he can be the very best at whatever he devotes his life to being, whether it's a boxer or a father — he's a dedicated family man.

It can't be bottled, of course, but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to go without. Every human being is born with a well of self-confidence. Believe in yourself, and it starts to flow. The more it flows, the more you believe, until you're standing in a deluge, a cloud-burst of super-confidence. To start it gushing, all you have to do is create that first drop, with the magic words: "I believe in myself!"


My former teacher Joy Philippou, who taught at my school in Cyprus back in the Fifties, celebrated her 80th birthday with a party at Los Toreros, a fabulous Spanish restaurant in London. She had a great deal to celebrate, because as well as clocking up eight decades (she makes me feel so young!) Joy was also basking in the afterglow of a brush with fame... on the X Factor.

Dr Philippou, to give Joy her proper title, is a multi-talented woman: president of the Body, Mind and Soul International society which promotes holistic health, and the author of more than a dozen books. But as she demonstrated to the TV judges, she can also play the violin, the mandolin and the Hawaiian guitar — without instruments. Joy is a musical mimic, and like the best ventriloquists she doesn't even move her lips: the sounds come through her nose.

She was one of a record 150,000 applicants to try out for the show, and she made it through the first rounds to the X-Factor 'Boot Camp', at Haythrop Park Hotel, Enstone in Oxfordshire. That wasn't a happy experience, though — the organisers admit this part of the show is "an endurance test," and Joy felt that she and other older contestants should have been warned how tough the conditions would be.

With 200 other hopefuls, she spent four hours waiting in line on a Sunday night, and three-and-a-half hours more under a hot sun the next day, without so much as a toilet break. "There was no talking allowed," Joy said — "it really was scary."

I know from my experience presenting Successor in Israel, and from my intense discussions with the producers of the forthcoming US version, Phenomenon, that it's essential to generate levels of tension and rivalry between performers on talent quests. That's what helps to make them such compelling viewing. But I believe it's going way too far when elderly ladies are subjected to hours of physical discomfort.

Luckily, Joy is well able to stick up for herself. She concluded her performance by asking the judges if they thought they were running a concentration camp, and then told reporters that Simon Cowell was a "sadistic psychopath".

Good for you, Joy! Any teacher who could keep me in line during my teens has got nothing to fear from television tyrants.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Arts & Cushions

Sometimes I sit down to write this column and an idea hits me for something completely different - a song, a piece of jewellery, an unbreakable umbrella. Or, in today’s case, a book.

It’s a detective thriller about an Elvis impersonator who doubles as a serial killer. Every victim is murdered in a homage to one of the King’s hits - trampled to death with Blue Suede Shoes, garotted with a Good Luck Charm, or All Shook Up in a concrete mixer.

Unless the editor gives me another 100 pages or so, I don’t think I’ll have room for a whole book today. If you can find a copy of my novel, Dead Cold, in a second-hand shop, you’ll get a taste of something similar, though - the psychic detective is a Sinatra fanatic and the blowtorch-wielding villain is Too Close For Comfort!

As I was writing the book, Sinatra’s greatest albums were blasting from my stereo, providing the soundtrack. And that fabulous music came rushing back in my head when I saw Ol’ Blue Eyes staring at me from a window in London’s Wigmore Street.

The shop specialises in art fabrics, with cloth painted in the style of geniuses like Dali and Warhol, or embossed with images of screen icons such as Marilyn Monroe. As soon as I saw the cushion decorated with a stark, black-and-white portrait of Sinatra, I had to have it.

“That’s why they called him the Chairman of the Board,” joked Shipi, testing the cushion for softness.

He started us all off. “Sinatra was the godfather of Lounge music,” Dan declared. “You Make Me Feel Sofa,” I said.

Hanna trumped us all, though. As I settled onto my new cushion, she nudged me and said, “It Was A Very Good Rear.”


There’s a marvellous restaurant, the French Horn, close to my home, with a reputation for extraordinary cuisine which brings visitors from all over Europe. I was introduced there to a energetic and visionary man, Richard Tibber, who told me over dinner that he was managing director of Zeon watches.

“I’ve been in the watches business my whole career,” I exclaimed - “stopping them, starting them and making them spin. I’ve even halted Big Ben twice. Maybe I should be designing watches for you.”

Richard loved the idea, and now the Uri Geller Positive Energy range is about to go into production. These are exceptional timepieces, powered by the kinetic energy of the owner’s body, with a piece of crystal embedded in the back which will be in constant contact with the skin.

I have decorated the faces of the watches with symbols that focus on time’s infinite, unending power - the infinity sign, the 11-11 pairing and Einstein’s formula e=mc2 which defines all matter as energy.

Even the glass cover of the watch is unique: some are encased in transparent pyramids. I chose that design for two reasons, the power of pyramids and the resonance of ancient Egyptian motifs.

No one knows how a pyramid of the correct proportions, such as the Great Pyramid of Cheops, on the Giza Plateau outside Cairo, focuses energy, but there is no doubt of its extraordinary effects. The pyramid of glass and steel in my garden is constructed to exactly the same ratios, and everyone who steps inside it is struck by the sense of serenity and rejuvenation which floods through them.

The potency of Egyptian symbolism has been at the front of my mind this week as I work on my latest line of jewellery. It’s going to feature brooches, earrings, necklace pendants and bracelets modelled on hieroglyphics.


One of the most sacred symbols of orthodox Jewish worship are the tefillim or phylactery, boxes containing holy Hebrew scripture which are worn bound to the head and arm, especially at prayer time. I was delighted to meet a shy young Jewish man, Solly, who visited my home with a gift of the tefillim from Rabbi Elvaz in Jerusalem.

The rabbi was a fan of my show, Successor, earlier this year, and wanted to send me a thank you gift. It’s a good thing he sent Solly along too, to help me tie it properly.


Annie Kevans is one of the most prominent portrait artists in Britain, whose career took a leap up when the noted collector Sir Charles Saatchi bought out her last exhibition, lock stock and barrel. Saatchi, who is married to the domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson, has often been criticised for his policy of buying art with a JCB digger, but there’s no doubt he can make a young artist’s reputation with one flash of his chequebook.

The dynamic Flora Fairbairn, founder of the Collect Contemporary consultancy, contacted me to say Annie had completed a portrait of me. I explained that I have a policy of rarely buying art (I didn’t mention the Sinatra cushion) but I was always happy to exchange pieces.

Annie and Flora were intrigued, and when they brought the portrait over I fell in love with it. They selected a piece of hand-decorated Poole pottery in return. The painting went straight on my wall, and it’s causing fewer problems than the sculpture by Gavin Turk which was delivered this week - it’s the rear bumper of a car, and at the moment it’s in our garage. I’m having some trouble persuading

Friday, September 14, 2007

Weekly News : Auras

The secret of success is energy. When you focus your mental energy into your actions, you can achieve anything — whatever your mind can imagine. And the more focused your energy becomes, the more visible it is.

I call this visible energy an ‘aura’. If that word sounds too fanciful, call it a ‘glow’. Think of a bride on her wedding day: the words that spring to mind are radiant, glowing, luminous. The joy and excitement literally shine out of her. That is her aura, a psychic energy so obvious that no one could deny it.

With a little practice, it’s possible to see the auras around many people. At first, you will probably be able to detect the faintest shimmer, like a colourless heat haze, along the contours of the head and hands. As your ability develops, the haze will be more sharply defined, and you’ll start to pick out colours within the patterns.

Seeing auras is a skill. Like any skill, it’s available to anyone. Some find it easier than others, but no one can achieve it without trying. And like any skill, practice makes perfect.

Find a quiet, well-lit room – and make sure the light source is above or behind you, not shining in your face. Lay out some brightly coloured objects on a neutral background, such as a pink sheet of newspaper from the business section.

Relax. Breathe steadily and rhythmically. Let your mind drift – don’t focus on your desire to see an aura. Daydream. Meditate if you wish. Let your eyes rest unfocused on one of the objects.

Don’t stare directly at the edges, though this is where the aura will be – like the faint light of a star, the effect is brighter in your peripheral vision, so let your eyes wander. After a few seconds, you’ll see a band of coloured light around the object. This is a simple aura, an emanation not of the object but of its colour.

Practice. When your mind is relaxed and you feel day-dreamy, let your eye seek out auras around animals, trees, furniture – anything. Once you start seeing auras, they will begin to appear more easily. It’s a knack – and it only seems difficult until you’ve mastered it! Look for the etheric aura, a gaseous, colourless glow like heat haze. The etheric aura is not generated by colour energy – it reflects the energy in the object itself.

The most dramatic auras surround living creatures, especially people. Learn to look with a partner — it is a deeply bonding experience, to see each other’s aura.

A good time to view your own aura is in the bath. Lie back and daydream. When you are relaxed, rest your feet on the rim and gaze towards them. The first sign of your aura will be a shimmering around the outline, like rippling heat. Colour will build up around this – probably green or blue, because you will be physically and mentally at ease.

A century ago, one brilliant and unorthodox scientist produced research that proved the aura was a biological fact. Dr Walter J Kilner invented a device for viewing ultra-violet light through eye-pieces dyed with dicyanin which made the human aura hazily visible. The electrotherapist at St Thomas Hospital, London, published a book in 1911 expounding his theories: healthy males had similar auric patterns, but women varied and children’s auras lacked refinement.

Kilner identified three aura bands: the etheric, the inner and the outer. The inner aura displayed the densest, most consistent colours, while the outer flared and shimmered. Other experimenters found his eye-pieces caused inflammation and were uncomfortable, and after his death in 1923 Kilner’s work on medical diagnosis using the aura was largely forgotten.

To keep your energy levels topped up to the max, you need to be surrounded by bright, vibrant eye-catchers. Colours are created when light vibrates on different wavelengths, and our minds respond vigorously its energy.

Dynamic reds and yellows are great motivators, filling the mind with the impulse to act. White can be energising if it’s clean and shining — think how your heart lifts at the sight of fluffy white clouds on a blue background (but not at grubby grey clouds!)

My favourite is orange, a fiercely active colour that supercharges the psychic senses. I have orange circles, some as big as bicycle wheels and others the size of satsumas, hung around my home to inspire me.

One of our hidden human abilities is to see colour shimmering in the energy that radiates from every living thing — the aura bands of shining light that glow around the body. Some people even see numbers as shapes, melodies as rainbows or taste music on their tongues.

A team from University College London, led by the eminent neuropsychologist Dr Jamie Ward, believes at least one per cent of humans do this instinctively — and many more of us could learn. In one experiment, Dr Ward asked a 70-year-old schools inspector named Dorothy Latham, who sees colours when she hears music, to describe the hues of a series of notes, starting with deep bass tones and ending with tinkling high ones.

Dorothy saw rippling, dark colours at the low end of the scale, and shimmering light ones at the top. Next, Dr Ward asked his research group, who didn’t consciously associate colours with music, to imagine they could “see” the notes — and they too matched dark hues to low sounds, light colours to high.

“We all seem to do this, even though most of us are completely unaware if it,” Dr Ward said.

Dorothy thinks many people repress the ability. “I imagined everyone would be exactly the same as me, until I spoke to schoolfriends and they said, ‘You’re a weirdo!’ So I shut up about it and kept quiet.”

Panel:

Everyone sees auras diffently, but there are some meanings in the colours which are common to many observers. How do yours compare?

• Red: Indicates physical energy, capacity to work hard, sexual appetite, generosity, vitality.

• Pink: Selflessness, compassion, capacity for loving, attention to family.

• Orange: Emotional power, inspiration, leadership. Becomes yellow as spiritual nature develops.

• Yellow: Joy, childlike enthusiasm, intellectual power, spiritual energy and freedom, focused and positive emotion.

• Gold: Very deep spirituality, enlightenment, inspired teaching gift, psychic.

• Green: love of nature, healing energy, restful mind, methodical.

• Turquoise: Dynamic personality, psychic power, restless mind, wide interests, easily bored, keen to delegate.

• Blue: Highly spiritual, infused with life energies, at one, self-disciplined, healing ability.

• Violet: Clairvoyant, inward-looking, visionary, changeable.

Captions:

Rod Stewart was wearing a vivid, purple-striped jacket when I met him at David Frost’s garden party. His energy is electric, just like the colours of his favourite clothes

Chris Tarrant chose a vibrant red shirt to the garden party. His energy is practical, earthy and forceful, and he radiates colours which express that.

Gillian Anderson, star of TV’s X-Files, has a natural innocence. Her open mind and trusting nature are the keynotes of her energy, and she chooses white clothes which complement her aura.

Vanessa Feltz has a vivid nature with rapidly changing moods. Her aura energy is turbulent and powerful — the colours change rapidly, just as they do in her multi-hued clothes.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Weekly News: Tokyo, Sony, David Berglas, Shinzo Abe, Bao Xishun

Tokyo looks like no other city on earth — but when I flew in on a lightning business trip recently I decided to put some of my other senses to work. Instead of seeing the city, this time I wanted to experience it through my ears, my nose, my palate and my skin.

I stood with my eyes closed for 20 minutes outside my hotel — with Shipi at my side, in case any passing thief decided I looked like a man who needed his wallet removed!

The sensations were phenomenal. The noise of feet slapping on the sidewalk sounded like waves. The melee of voices — and I speak a little Japanese — was a babble washing over me. The whole experience was like being immersed in a human sea.

Later I ate with my eyes shut, which left my companions helpless with laughter — chopsticks are hard to handle at the best of times! The crisp distinction between dry and oily foods was like bright colours on my tongue.

I explored my hotel room in the dark, fingering the delicate paper wall dividers and the light silks of the cushions. The mental images I brought home of Japan are far more vivid than anything I have known before, even though I lived in the country for two years.

We neglect all our senses in favour of our sight. For many people, taste and smell almost dry up. But our intuitive sense is worst neglected of all. Most adults simply ignore it.

The Japanese are more open to mind energy than most Westerners. I will never forget an encounter I had with Masaru Ibuka, founder of the Sony Corporation, two decades ago. He looked like an ancient master of martial arts as he stared into my eyes for fully two minutes — leaning forward, with his knuckles resting on an immense mahogany table, gazing silently at me. As though he could read my soul.

I felt my collar clinging to my neck, and a pulse trembling in my forehead. I dared not avert my eyes or break the silence.

At last he straightened, and spoke: “I believe, Geller-San, that truly you possess the abilities which you claim. But what I am asking is this – what use are they?”

This was a question I had heard many times before. “Spoonbending and telepathy have made me world famous,” I smiled.

“But.” Mr Ibuka repeated, speaking very slowly, as though to a stupid child. “What Use Are They?”

The same question was torturing Sony researchers. Japan’s foremost electronics company, which pioneered miniaturisation and invented the Walkman, had set up a psi research unit of five scientists to test the reality of extra-sensory perception.

They carried out tests with psychics to find hidden objects, to see colours blindfolded and to sense which glass of water among a tray of ten had been infused with healing energy. After thousands of experiments, the psychics were scoring impossibly better than mere guesswork could ever do, with a 70 per cent success rate.

And the scientists were in despair. What use was this power? They couldn’t distill it into batteries (though how they had tried!). They couldn’t use it in market research or recording studios. Sony were stumped.

When Mr Ibuka died in 1998, the corporation was quick to shut down the psi unit. Company spokesman Masanobu Sakaguchi announced: “We have found out experimentally that yes, ESP exists, but that any practical application of this knowledge is not likely in the foreseeable future.”

Many people possess powerful mental talents without knowing it. That can cause chaos, because the energy needs to be channelled if it is to be kept in check.

Maybe your computer crashes when you’re under stress — journalist friends tell me that often Fleet Street newsrooms are bedlam as deadlines approach, with PCs which have behaved perfectly all day suddenly developing mysterious glitches.

Or maybe street lamps flicker on and off as you walk down the road — this is such a common phenomenon that Dr Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire ran a research project to discover what is happening.

Parapsychologists call it the SLIde effect — Street Light Interference. The energy isn’t always human, as a family in London, Ontario, discovered not long ago. All the children’s toys sparked into life, buzzing about the bedrooms and chattering at full volume, after lightning struck the house.

There was so much electrical energy in the air that fires started spontaneously, and neighbours had to use garden hoses to prevent a full-scale blaze.

I’m glad my own energy focuses on metal objects and not soft furnishings!


It was a joy this week to have dinner with our old friends, the magician David Berglas and his wife Ruth. Incredibly, David had his 81st birthday this year, though he looks 20 years younger. He and Ruth celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year — David tells me their best man was his beloved dog, Tricky, who carried the ring on a ribbon around his neck.


I first met Shinzo Abe, a brilliant man from one of Japan’s leading families, in 1973, when he was 19 years old. His father was then leader of the Liberal party. Now Shinzo is Japan’s youngest ever Prime Minister. He is also a best-selling author, and I’m enjoying the copy of his chart-topping book Towards A Beautiful Nation... though it’s hard work for me to read Japanese.


Bao Xishun, the world’s tallest man, has featured in news stories around the world after he was photographed with He Pingping, the smallest man on the planet. Incredibly, they were both born in Mongolia. I met Bao in Tokyo, but I don’t think his friend was there... unless, of course, I simply didn’t notice him.

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