Friday, 15 March 2013

Science versus Miracles: Uri Geller – The Psychic

B Premanand

Parapsychologists believed that Uri Geller was the ultimate proof of the existence of psychic powers. Much research and many books came out, explaining the investigations conducted on Uri Geller as evidence that he really did his feats using psychic powers. Uri Geller became an international hero and he was invited to every country to demonstrate his powers. He soon became a multi-billionaire.

In 1974, he landed in the United States at the invitation of Stanford Research Institute. When it was proved that the experiments conducted by Dr JB Rhine were faulty and manipulation by his co-workers especially of Dr Levy, Duke University closed down the parapsychology department.

The interest in parapsychology developed in the United States when, in Ule Second World War, a Russian spy Wolf Gang started deciphering the code words of the enigma machines of the Nazis, through his alleged psychic power. The whole world believed that Wolf Gang was a real psychic. The United States, unwilling to be left behind by Russia, started research in parapsychology at Duke University.

The first experiment was on a psychic horse who could answer questions by touching letters of the alphabet. It was John Scarne, the magician, who exposed the psychic powers of the horse. Horses cannot look straight as their eyes are on the sides of the heads. Making use of this fact, the horse had been trained to touch particular boards when the owner lady moved the whip in her hand. And these alphabets were woven into words and sentences!

The last experiment was with a psychic sitting in the United States and sending messages to the captain of a submarine under water, thousands of miles away. He was to write down the messages which he received telepathically. This experiment was published all over the world as proof of telepathy, no one cared to investigate and find out whether or not it was true.

But skeptics investigated the case. It was found that on the dates when the submarine was said to be thousands of miles away under the sea, it was in one of the docks for repairs. The captain who was supposed to be in the submarine, writing down the telepathic messages, was on holiday!

While in the United States, Uri Geller stubbornly refused to allow CSICOP to investigate his claims. He said that his psychic powers did not work when negative vibrations were present. But without this knowledge, hidden video cameras filmed his psychic feats from all sides and he was exposed.

Experiment: 104

Effect: Bending, twisting and breaking spoons by psychic power

Uri Geller would ask the audience to bring spoons and they were heaped on the table. He selected some spoons from the heap and concentrated on one spoon his eyes focused on it. Passing his fingers over the spoon he would show the spoon was bent.

Taking another spoon from the heap, he moved his finger in circles over the spoon and the spoon was twisted.

Then he took a third spoon and asked a volunteer to come forward and slowly touch the spoon, mentally ordering it to break. It bent and fell broken in two pieces.

Props: Stainless steel spoons (they should not be cast iron spoons)

Method: With a spoon in hand, talk about psychic power and how it works. Keep the attention of the audience on your talk, while gesturing with the hand suddenly press the spoon on your thighs or body and bend it. Show the ladle portion of the spoon to the audience while hiding the handle in the palm, keeping the spoon vertical.  Then slowly touch the ladle part with your finger, simultaneously raising the spoon up very slowly. The audience will find it is bending.

Twisting: Before the feat, observe the table, chair etc, and find out suitable crevices in which you can insert a spoon and twist it and palm it. Pretend to select a spoon from the heap and take out this palmed spoon, showing only the ladle part while hiding the handle in your palm, keeping it vertical and straight. Turn your finger in circles at the top of the spoon while slowly moving the spoon in circles. The spoon is seen twisted.

Breaking the Spoon: Bend the spoon both ways at the bridge of the ladle and the handle until cracks are seen. Crack it as much as possible but do not let it separate.  However, it should break in two at a mere touch. Hide the cracked part with the thumb and the index finger and show the spoon. Call a volunteer and ask him to slowly pass his finger over the ladle part and concentrate, ordering it to break. Slowly release the ladle part as if it is bending and then allow the two pieces to drop.


BS - I didn't know who Yuri Geller is - I know him now because of this silly article

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