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Uri Geller: The Modern Showman

Uri GellerThe one thing you can guarantee about Uri Geller is that everyone knows of him and that before him spoon-bending was something you did in anger!

As with virtually every popular psychic you can think of, Uri Geller divides people into two camps; those who think he is genuine without a doubt and those who believe he is a fraud. There appears to be hardly anyone who takes the middle ground with him. 

Uri's television appearances, especially in the 1970's, established his claim to fame. On many of these shows, Uri Geller was seen to bend cutlery and keys, start stopped clocks and watches and demonstrated telepathy.

I can remember the excitement such shows generated and watching as spoons bent under gentlest pressure and keys warped out of shape.

I was determined I could this as well! I clearly remember one show where Uri was asking people to place watches and cutlery on their TV's and report what happened. There were many reports of bending taking place and photos of the items.

It was an exciting time! There was an air of excitement, an air of the possible around him. 

His manner was intense and his accent made him seem even more exotic.

Without a doubt, he w as a great showman. In fact, that is what he is mostly accused of, probably helped by the fact that he was originally a stage magician.

What happened?

Because what he was doing seemed so strange, so abnormal, it was natural that he was the focus of investigation. In fact, he spent a long time being put under scrutiny in various laboratories. He was tested by various important scientists. These tests satisfied the examiners that he was genuine. Commentators subsequently dismissed the investigations as shallow and non-conclusive. 

However, not only does success breed envy, but Uri Geller was also not one to let false accusations slip by. He was, and remains, ready to resort to the law to protect his name and reputation.

These two things together have mean that he is consistently debunked by many as being a fraud. When he can, he sues, with mixed success. It means that his name is still in front of people. 

Does he possess psychic powers?

Insofar as everyone possesses psychic powers, Uri Geller certainly does as well. However, if the question is, 'Does he possess psychic powers which are of a different nature or magnitude than normal?', then the answer might not be as clear cut.

For example, spoon bending can be done by a lot of people. Indeed, there are spoon-bending parties now! Just Google the phrase and you'd be surprised at how many people can bend spoons and are willing to have video and photos of them doing just that. I have seen it done myself, with spoons I provided and chose and the person didn't care whether I was trying to see if it was a fraud or not. She was just happy to bend spoons!

Other things like telepathy or seeing drawings (remote viewing) are now a commonplace. Simply look up remote viewing and find out how far the military have been involved in this.

The fact that magicians and skeptic like James Randi can duplicate pretty much everything that Uri Geller can do only proves that sleight of hand can have the same effects. It does not disprove that they can also be done in any other way as well.

So, in one way, it doesn't really matter whether Uri Geller has extraordinary psychic powers because what he did do was make people aware that there are aspects of their existence that they hadn't fully embraced before. In a sense, Geller made us realize what we could be capable of by making it into a show.

That's the real key to his importance, I suspect.

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