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Re: Uri

Posted: March 13th, 2009, 1:56 am
by Cugel
Michael Kamen wrote:Fair comment Jonathan. Trying to stay balanced in this discussion of a petty charlatan and entertainer, vs. a genocidal world leader.

LOL. Right on, Michael.

Re: Uri

Posted: March 13th, 2009, 6:20 am
by Jonathan Townsend
Diego wrote:Not MY moral ambiguity...HIS.


Perhaps some here have yet to learn how to distinguish penmanship from grammar when looking at a text?

While every mosquito wants blood, I worry about people who would keep them as pets. The mosquito is not the moral problem, folks.

Ignorance prevails. At least Uri said he was pandering to the beliefs of others - their base longings.

Perhaps Ponzi scams and MLM programs are applications of the "one ahead" principle?

Re: Uri

Posted: March 14th, 2009, 3:48 pm
by John Houdi
Hi Richard!
I'm discussing this picture right now with some paranormals in Sweden.
Since they thought I (!) had something to do with the picture I mentioned what you wrote here on this forum.

They contacted Uri:s people and they answerd like this:

"Hi, the picture is purposely done this way because its taken from my TV series about the dark side of Venice, I did not send it to Genii the editor I believe got it from some where it could be that's its on my web site.I don't really care what Houdi says its people like him that contributed to my career, I suggest you read my message on my home page thanking the sceptics for giving me free advertisement! Love Uri"

What is the truth about this?

John Houdi

Re: Uri

Posted: March 14th, 2009, 4:52 pm
by Richard Kaufman
John, when I asked Uri for photographs to accompany the article, he directed me to the section of his website devoted to hi-res photographs which can be downloaded for use by the press. I went there and found many photos, including the one I selected for the cover. I had no idea what it had originally been taken for, however it stood out among all the other photos and it seemed the perfect one for the cover of Genii precisely because it' so different and unexpected--shocking in a way.

At Uri's request, right after the issue had been mailed, we e-mailed him a copy of the cover and the text of the article. He had no complaint about the cover or the photo and informed me that the photo had been taken for some TV show (I can't remember what he wrote now, but it might have been about Venice).

It's a simple story about an interesting photograph.

Re: Uri

Posted: March 15th, 2009, 12:58 pm
by John Houdi
Thank you for the clearifications, Richard.

Re: Uri

Posted: March 15th, 2009, 3:12 pm
by El Mystico
It's interesting - although not surprising - that I've not seen one paper pick up the story that Uri never had psychic powers; none of them are saying "sorry, we got it wrong, we've learned a valuable lesson and we'll try harder in the future to properly check extreme claims and get the facts right".

Re: Uri

Posted: March 15th, 2009, 3:40 pm
by Diego
Despite Uri's now read-between-the-lines statements, he hasn't really disowned the potential of his powers, whatever he now more openly leaves people to perceive.

While his "no such thing as bad publicity may not always be true, (ask Senator John Edwards) , it has worked for him, more often than not.

Geraldo Rivera said the night he did his live TV show, "Opening Al Capone's Vault", when the ending was such a joke/dud, he went home and killed a bottle, thinking he had ended his career for good.
But when he woke/sobered up the next morning, there were 8 messages/offers on his phone: The overnight numbers for his show, were thru the roof, and there were networks, producers, who wanted his numbers.
(I have been in TV production meetings discussing the pros and cons of choosing different personalities for a show, where their names were not used, only their Q-numbers. "But if we take the 16, it's better than the 12 you wanted.")

Re: Uri

Posted: March 15th, 2009, 4:27 pm
by Richard Kaufman
I don't see a lot of reading between the lines necessary in the interview: he states that he's not a psychic and has no extraordinary powers. He states that he was poor and created "an act" bending spoons to escape poverty. That's all pretty straight forward.

Re: Uri

Posted: March 15th, 2009, 4:45 pm
by Timothy Hyde
Richard, have only just had time to read the interview. Fascinating piece, thanks for running it.

Re: Uri

Posted: March 19th, 2009, 7:27 am
by NCMarsh
Michel Asselin wrote:
Is there a real market for adult entertainment with Dragon-painted tubes? Even if one is comfortable?

I can't resist adding this, Max Howard got a standing ovation last night at Muhlenberg, closing with a piece with giant chinese checkers, in a chinese decorated tube that he bought from Tannen's in 1976.

Re: Uri

Posted: April 13th, 2009, 1:39 pm
by David
Geller is the highest, best known, psychic entertainer of all times. He invented a new class of magic effect, metal bending. Richard is absolutely right to have him on the cover.
David Sweeney
Memphis, Tn.

Re: Uri

Posted: April 13th, 2009, 3:27 pm
by Jonathan Townsend
Geller is the highest, best known, psychic entertainer of all times. He invented a new class of magic effect, metal bending. Richard is absolutely right to have...

"absolutely right"?

Geller invented a class of magic effect?

Ah well - these days those who don't read our history are doomed to troll the rest of us with rabid fervor.

hey look ePenguinist are offering a new color bee deck...

Re: Uri

Posted: April 13th, 2009, 3:40 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Jon, spoon bending is a new class of mental magic. Was anyone bending spoons before Uri?

Re: Uri

Posted: April 13th, 2009, 4:09 pm
by Jonathan Townsend
When did the bit where you prebend a rod and hold it at your fingertips and rotate it to make it appear to bend hit print?

Also - when did the bit where you stick a key into the slot of another key to give leverage to bend it hit print. This stuff was "old" when I got into magic back in 73 or so.

Re: Uri

Posted: April 13th, 2009, 6:24 pm
by Curtis Kam
Question 1 is generally answered by a reference to The Jinx, Annemann's application of the idea to a glass swizzle stick. (and, of course, a "mental" presentation)

Re: Uri

Posted: April 13th, 2009, 8:01 pm
by David Alexander
Richard Kaufman wrote:Jon, spoon bending is a new class of mental magic. Was anyone bending spoons before Uri?

In the Blue Book of Mentalism, 1976, Phil Goldstein defined the four basic effects of mentalism: Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Precognition, and Psychokinesis.

The bending of cutlery is an example of Psychokinesis. Geller may have been the first to use cutlery to demonstrate Psychokinesis, but thats not necessarily clear. He certainly popularized the use of spoons and such. He also demonstrated the same faculty by starting stopped watches.

Re: Uri

Posted: April 13th, 2009, 9:49 pm
by David Britland
I think it's fair to credit Uri Geller with the effect of metal bending as we now know it. I've never found anything comparable to spoon bending before Uri came along. And I've really searched!

The nearest thing I've found is the bending of cutlery as it flew through the air during so called poltergeist or haunting episodes. Not really the same thing. Besides which finding a precedent that is obscure doesn't take away from the fact that it was Uri Geller who gave rise to the popularity of metal bending among mentalists and magicians.

The bending of a metal rod, as mentioned by Jonathan, was a speciality of French psychic Jean-Pierre Girard. But I think Girard's metal bending powers only made themselves known following Uri Geller's rise to fame.

You can see some of it here: ... annel_page

I think Uri was also the first to feature the psychokinetic starting of broken watches.

And while there were many drawing duplication effects before Uri Geller, Uri certainly made it his own and got more out of it than anyone else.

I've always been fascinated with the way psychics create unique and offbeat mentalism effects. They work with interested people, not audiences, and this might aid the evolution and development of effects that fulfil some expectations on the part of the viewers. They feel real. Psychics do very simple things that make tangible a belief or inspire hope.

Then, as magicians, we take them, routine them, add some colourful props and finish on a kicker!

Re: Uri

Posted: April 13th, 2009, 9:54 pm
by Jonathan Townsend
The guy's a totally charismatic performer but let's not burn the books to build him a bonfire or get all stupid just because some are in denial of their envy, okay?

There's been charlatans at court before and maybe someday he'll show you his quatrains or share the ones he keeps in a box on the mantle.

Re: Uri

Posted: April 14th, 2009, 7:17 am
by David Britland
Or maybe we'll see a credit line in a magic book that says, 'This is based on an unpublished routine of Uri Geller'

Re the key bending effect you mentioned earlier, this also appears to be originated by Uri Geller. He performed it in the UK in 1973. Magicians devised key bending devices and the slot-bend shortly after as practical solutions to Uri Geller's effect.

There's an excellent chronological listing of newspaper articles dealing with Uri Geller at the following site:

The site also contains material about magicians and their reactions to Uri Geller.

Re: Uri

Posted: April 14th, 2009, 9:43 am
by Jonathan Townsend
Or maybe we'll see a credit line in a magic book that says, 'This is based on an unpublished routine of Uri Geller'

That's a joke, right? Use without permission and all that...

If/When ever Uri wishes to treat tricks as tricks in this community - hurray and we have lots to learn from him.