Uri Geller: Psychic Military Juggernaut
The Wars of the DoD, part 4
"It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction must be credible." -Mark Twain
If you love true life stories that are so wacky as to act as a glitch in the Matrix, I've got just the tale for you. It begins with a proclaimed psychic who is a relative of Sigmund Freud, but spins into multinational work in intelligence and military communities. Find a handle, and hold on tight. This gets strange, and you may pass through a portal while trying to get a grip on what is fact and what is fiction—and even whether that process is the whole point.
The Super Duper Uri Geller
"Sometimes it's hard being superior to every single other person on the planet. It's isolating. And gods should not have to feel that kind of pain. Because that is what we are. You and me. We're gods." -Homelander, The Boys
Where to begin?
Uri Geller was born in 1946 in Tel Aviv, which was still part of the British Mandate of Palestine following World War II. His father, a retired army sergeant major, married his mother, a member of the Freud family. At the age of 18, Geller joined the Israeli Army, and in 1967, he served in the Six-Day War. He was wounded in combat, and after leaving the military, he spent two years as a photographic model while performing as a magician at Israeli nightclubs in the evenings. He keeps a bunch of those pics on his website for his many fans to peruse.
Okay, that's it—we found a beginning. Mostly ripped right off of Wikipedia. It simplifies the boring part of the exercise, and what we really want is to be entertained, clean shaven, good smelling, and eating a Wonka bar, am I right?
After some time spent making people feel like they need new clothes or another cup of alcohol, Geller began a more ambitious path: psychic…stuff, like bending metal that is in his possession (which he strenuously declares is backed by "130 years of outstanding scientific research" that is "documented that indicates the existence of psychic powers") with a combination of mental paranormal something, a warm finger, and what appears on face to be simple video editing.
These feats impressed a combination of crack addicts who wanted to know if the spoon could be replaced, as well as wealthy Western audiences eager to replace that feeling of void in the brain's Lobe of Magicalness left by Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and whichever Biblical stories they felt had no good explanation.
Geller's claims of psychic superpowers drew the attention of magicians who began complaining that he reached a level of fraud—that Geller's super talent was to dupe his audience. The Amazing Randi, a magician famous for a million dollar prize he offered for proof of paranormal powers, humiliated Geller in a trap on The Tonight Show in front of host Johnny Carson. The public demonstration of the failures of Geller's powers might have put an end to his claims. But Geller found refuge with new allies in his struggle to convince the world that he was not simply an illusionist, but actually endowed with super magical powers that are really super.
We'll talk about Geller's allies, if Randi was not indeed one. But first, let's hone in on what distinguishes a magician who specializes in illusions fool an entertained audience by bending metal, and a magician-turned-psychic-master who accomplishes the exact same feat while holding back on the illusions.
"Do not try and bend the spoon, that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth…there is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself." -Weird Kid, The Matrix
Here is an old video of Geller demonstrating his "psychic" spoon bending trick for Hungarian television.
It's amazing how this paranormal skill seems to involve obscuring sight of the spoon.
Geller's spoon bending eventually inspired this scene from the Matrix, which seems like the appropriate film for the moment.
One might think that the emergence of the young star in the film would be the end of Geller's career. Because what that kid did was way cooler. Perhaps it is Geller's other feats that now keep him on top of the Not-A-Magician heap.
As for the magician heap, here is a magician explain how he bends spoons:
He actually…just bent it! Until he explained the trick, I wondered if the mysterious sound effect was what it sounds like when a psychic does paranormally stuff. Other magicians perform the trick in different ways. This guy doesn't leave the spoon bent, but uses his hands to obscure the angle of the spoon:
This guy has a different take from the first two:
So, the spoon can come pre-bent or broken. That's…amazing. What is more amazing is that a psychic would come to prominence using a trick easily performed by so many magicians and in so many ways, rather than with a completely different feat that would be incomparable. What are the odds?!
Okay, one more video. This one involves Technology Reporter Anthony Cuthbertson, some smart phones that need advertising, and some suspicious-looking spoons.
Did you catch it? Try with a still frame, and a red arrow:
It appears to me that there is a cut or hinge on the spoon that Geller selects for the performance. The spoons do not appear to be from the same set, so I can't be sure that's not a trick of the lighting bouncing off a divot in the metal, but it's consistent with products sold as gimmicks on Ebay.
While others may judge Geller on how convinced they are that he isn't using any of the illusionist skills he practiced prior to coming out as a psychic with super duper powers, I prefer to judge him on the excellence of his spoon collection. Truly, I've never seen its equal.
Are you entertained, yet?
More Important Magic
"Good questions outrank easy answers." -Paul Samuelson
Nightclub faux-magic and very real spoon bending were just warmups for Geller who claims that he helped discover Mexican oil deposits in the late 70s.
Uri has been invited by several leading multi-national organisations, successfully applying his special abilities to corporate endeavours combining his abilities to investigate, explore and locate oil fields, mineral deposits, precious stones and diamonds throughout the world. His success in locating a mammoth offshore oil field for Mexico’s national oil company PEMEX resulted in Uri getting a Mexican nationality as a token of appreciation and honor by Mexico’s President Jose Lopez Portillo.
Though Geller described that as his most lucrative work, and the world seems to need more oil, Geller was not part of any of the numerous large oil discoveries of the past 40+ years. That's probably because making the job too easy would take all the fun out of it for everyone else. Or is there a better explanation?
Since Geller runs a charitable foundation for underprivileged children and animals, wouldn't he want to get richer by locating bottleneck resources like much-needed phosphates, rare earth metals, and all points on the Earth's surface with untapped geothermal potential? Maybe he could have solved the Epstein case years in advance?
But I get it: psychic power takes a lot of energy. Perhaps this is why Geller failed to telepathically stop Brexit. Heck, I get tired just writing this article, even after taking breaks for chores and exercise. And to be fair, Geller might have used up a lot of chi maybe making a difference in nuclear and space arms negotiations that could even have saved the universe once or twice since:
On an International level, Uri has successfully demonstrated his skills to the heads of the United States and Soviet Union’s delegations on nuclear and space arms talks at the US Mission in Geneva. Attending these negotiations were Vice President Al Gore; Senator Claiborne Pell, Chairman of the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Anthony Lake, past head of the CIA; Yuli M. Vorontsov, First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union and the chief Soviet arms negotiator; Ambassador Max M. Kampelman, head of the United States Delegation on Nuclear and Space Arms. Uri also briefed US government officials in the high-security Shielded Room in the Capitol Building, Washington, DC: his audience included Capitol Hill staff, Senators, and Pentagon and Defence Department executives.
While these seem like important tasks, Geller has taken time out of performing supposedly real magical and psychic feats to author at least thirteen books. Perhaps it requires so many books to reveal the true man of mystery that got blurred over at least a dozen other books written about Geller and his feats? Maybe eight books would have been too few to inspire the next Yoda.
Geller, the Mossad, Military Intelligence, and the CIA
"As a result of Geller's success in this experimental period, we consider that he has demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner." -The CIA
At Geller's personal website, he lists a myriad of stories about how he predicted stuff that isn't really important.
Okay, so did he predict the Plandemonium, or the Russian invasions of Crimea or Ukraine? Why is he holding back about what's going to happen to Pelosi in Taiwan? I'd at least like to know if it's something funny. Am I alone?!
Never mind. It doesn't matter of Geller's priorities match my own whimsies. You see, in 1973, Geller was invited to the Standford Research Institute (SRI) to do super duper stuff.
That is precisely what they did when rumors began to emanate from Menlo Park last December. Two men, it seems, had been demonstrating strange and wondrous powers for SRI researchers. One of the men, a 25-year-old Israeli named Uri Geller, was apparently able to communicate by telepathy, detect and describe objects completely hidden from view, and distort metal implements with his psychic energy. The word among staff members was that SRI President Charles Anderson, who at first had opposed the project, changed his mind after witnessing demonstrations by Geller.
Later in December, an SRI physicist, Russell Targ, sent a letter to one of the foremost U.S. scientific journals proposing an article on the work of an SRI team engaged in psychic research. Targ said that the subjects with whom he had been working had effected physical changes in laboratory instruments without touching them. Presumably, Targ was referring to such changes as increases in magnetometer readings and the disturbance of electronic systems—all reported to TIME by a team member. The research subjects had also demonstrated remarkable perceptual skills, including telepathy. Working further with these men, Targ suggested, would enable SRI to understand psychical phenomena. Written on SRI stationery, the letter also bore the names of the other members of the investigating team: SRI Physicist Harold Puthoff, Kent State University Physics Professor William Franklin and former Astronaut Edgar Mitchell.
Mitchell, who has retired from the astronaut corps and set up his own foundation to investigate psychic phenomena, eagerly confirmed some of the rumors during an interview last month with TIME. "I can assure you," he said, "that from [Charles] Anderson down, SRI views Uri Geller as legitimate. They find the results valid and are ready to stand on them." Said President Anderson last week: "Mr. Mitchell does not speak for SRI, and indeed the statement is misleading. Mr. Geller was provided to us as a subject for experimentation. Measurements were made in our laboratories, and the work will stand on its merits."
What could possibly be more convincing than paid scientists at a think tank that draws millions of dollars from the military coffers calling you "legitimate"? I only aspire to such greatness.
Note the opening lines in the video from late 1972, which include this nugget:
Substantiation of such claims by accepted scientific methodology has been slow in coming. But recent laboratory experiments—especially in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, and more recently in our own laboratory—have indicated that sufficient evidence does exist to warrant serious scientific investigation.
This is one of those I recommend watching on half speed, and comparing it to what you hear from the stoner who lives a block over from your home and is certain that aliens beamed Tesla's inventions into his head, too. More importantly, the researchers note with certainty that experiments into paranormal phenomena were taking place successfully behind the Iron Curtain. Now, I'm not calling anyone a fraud, but when I listen to that part, for some reason I smell grant money. I hope that's not a COVID symptom. But for what it's worth, these sorts of experiments are the sorts that were imported directly into the U.S. military, funded by hundreds of millions of dollars, and personally directed and managed by the general who reorganized the U.S. military intelligence community starting in 1980.
Understand that SRI directly promoted itself as something like fascist science.
Of course, given that all we see in the SRI video above is cut scenes, we are not actually viewing any experiments at all—just claims of outcomes. It was one of these experiments (at around 9:00) that Johnny Carson repeated with Geller on the Tonight Show when Geller's body language looked entirely different.
But maybe I'm wrong, and U.S. intelligence, having funded and confirmed Geller's talents, and employed him on missions, was perfectly fine sharing him with the Mossad. But an aviation historian has this to say about the claim that Geller's powers were behind success in the Entebbe battle:
John Correll, an American aviation historian who has studied Entebbe, said: “There is no mystery about how the C-130s avoided radar detection, and my bet is Uri Geller had nothing to do with it. The Israelis did not jam or ‘block’ the radar. They evaded it.
“The Israelis were pretty good at this sort of thing. The C-130s flew at low level down the Red Sea, staying away from coverage Egyptian radars. They crossed Ethiopia, which had no radar that could track them at night and approached Entebbe. Even if the airport defenders had been alert and competent, they would have only a few minutes’ warning ...”
Another Entebbe expert said that Mossad, with British help, had gained details of the specifications of the radar system at Entebbe and therefore knew the precise approach to “blind” its air traffic control. A source said: “The notion that someone could have any effect on radar systems is risible, even by Mossad disinformation standards.”
It sounds like people who follow military events, and have a working knowledge of disinformation campaigns, feel that such claims fit a historical pattern.
Regardless, Geller seems to have gone on to work with military intelligence, the CIA, and the Mossad. Not a bad upgrade from performing magic tricks in nightclubs, and selling deodorant. One of Geller's stories is how he exonerated the CIA and FBI of JFK's assassination while on a mission to Mexico. Such claims of paranormal spying are the reason spies began to be termed "spooks".
One other hypothesis about Geller's work with these agencies is that he is an exceptional liar and performance artist, which makes him a naturally good spy, and with the automatic cover of seeming like just another minor celebrity while on a job. Personally, having participated in some of the same experiments developed around Geller and others in the SRI, Remote Viewing, First Earth Battalion, and Stargate programs (which I'll write more about another time), I prefer this hypothesis. Strongly. Everyone I encountered with any connection with the program struck me as anything from dishonest to brainwashed to psychopathic. Personally, I think that these programs were not really about ESP, telekinesis, but about propaganda, but I'll also push that theory back to a future article. But briefly, I'll point out the interview at 15:18 on this video:
Dr. Kit Green tells us that the Soviets believed that U.S. military, intelligence officers, and scientists would be ripe to be turned as spies if they were interested in psychic research, remote viewing, and parapsychology. Perhaps the simplest explanation is that these are the people in positions of responsibility who might want an easy way out.
You might ask yourself why a man like Geller with psychic powers special enough to be useful for CIA and Mossad operations, that could completely turn tides of world power while possibly even preventing the use of nuclear weapons, would not be fabulously wealthy (not "big friggin spoon in my yard" wealthy, but more like Putin-level "my palace is a billion dollar seaside fortress" level wealthy). If you've ever been around self-proclaimed psychics as I have, you already know the stock answer, which is that these powers somehow seem to be unavailable for "impure" use, or that any test under only your control gets confronted with, "I'm feeling tired this time."
Feeding the Image
"But Dumbledore says he doesn't care what they do as long as they don't take him off the Chocolate Frog cards." -J.K. Rowling
After elevating himself from underwear model to local nightclub act to Spoonbender Extraordinaire, and then to Western Military Intelligence Asset, Geller continued his climb up the corporate ladder of success. At one point, apparently to satisfy an increasingly demanding global audience, he turned Michael Jackson into a white woman.
Just kidding. I think.
Geller must have had an amazing publicist because he was able to glom off the tremendous global fame of people who were largely honest about their talents like Jackson, Muhammed Ali, Walter Cronkite, John Lennon, the Pokémon community, and "a few who worked with Albert Einstein."
You don't need your third eye to see this as an exciting lifestyle. And if Geller spied for multiple intelligence agencies for multiple nations, this lifestyle gave him both a substantial income and quality access to powerful people.
Are you entertained, yet?
Saving the World From Putin
"There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out." -James Randi
Every nightclub magician turned actual psychic spy master must cap their career off with a grand finale!
Maybe Geller has one last trick in him.
Maybe his reason for not partnering as a predictions analyst on Wall Street's $4.5 trillion Plandemonium bonanza was to gather mana for something more important. Maybe he's Putin on the show of a lifetime.
So…what is he waiting for?
Perhaps this is Geller's opportunity to play Game of Spoons on a global stage.
A Final Challenge
"What would become of history, had we not a dependence on the veracity of the historian, according to the experience, what we have had of mankind." -David Hume
I've been warned that Uri Geller is a spiteful and litigious man, but I believe I've been clear in distinguishing facts from my personal beliefs, so I'm not worried about it. On the other hand, I do think it would be beneficial to the world for open experiments to be performed by anyone who claims successful experiments were performed in private or semi-private that provide scientific evidence of extraordinary claims.
Since James Randi passed away in 2020 at the ripe old age of 92, I'd like to take up his challenge and offer Uri Geller the chance at some money for demonstrable exercise of psychic ability in a domain in which I am familiar. I think that anyone with remote viewing skills and the ability to bend metal while he handles it should be able to do something like defeat me in a trading challenge. I propose that we each trade from a financial account that starts with a million dollars, and see how much we can make from it in one year. At the end of each day, we can post the trades we've made during the prior 24 hours, or a running list of all trades.
Personally, I think that anyone armed with remote viewing powers should be able to outperform any and every hedge fund on the planet. I cannot imagine that my own trading skills could surpass the performance of somebody who can read yet-nonpublic corporate documents from the privacy of their comfortable home. On the other hand, I already outperform all hedge funds I've seen publicly report, so if he beats me, I will publicly declare that I have little doubt about his psychic powers.
The catch is that we put up our own money, and the winner takes all.
Uri, please contact me so that we can work out the details.
I love when you do the fun stuff sometimes. Your sarcastic voice is such an enjoyable departure from the hard stuff.
Uri Geller is someone I've been fascinated by since adolescence as I find the longevity of his hustle absolutely unprecedented. As a psychologist, I've pondered his trajectory for years.
What I've ultimately come up with is simply that Geller is one of a tiny population of superpersuaders I call "superliars"- simply put, he's someone able to always respond SUCCESSFULLY (as a numbers game, persuading more people than turning off) by always, always doubling down when confronted, challenged, or debunked.
To be clear, I don't think superliars are extremely convincing in and of themselves. They're simply people who are conditioned (or born) to a superhuman degree to feel no shame, hesitation, anxiety, or high arousal at having obvious lies challenged. When I observe Geller's conduct, what I mainly see is incredibly high self-monitoring and never ever "turning off."
To a certain subset of the population, this level of confidence in stating the absurd, in the face of overwhelming challenge, is incredibly persuasive- far more than what Cialdini refers to as the "rational channel."
Thank you. I have been entertained. Glad to know the 70's spoonbender is keeping Putin at bay with his mind molecules!