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Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Kevin Kane » 13 Feb 2010, 01:21

ProfWag wrote:
Kevin Kane wrote:Again, the important thing is that people are aware that psychics/astrologers may not have any validity to them. I've read of people spending their life savings because psychics/astrologers tell them this or that when, in reality, they could probably have better spent their money on food and shelter. (I can easily provide references if requested...)


Let me put it this way. I'm as sure that the paranormal exists as I am sure that consciousness exists. If you want to put your faith into science, just remember, science can't prove people have minds.
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby ProfWag » 13 Feb 2010, 03:17

Kevin Kane wrote:
ProfWag wrote:
Kevin Kane wrote:Again, the important thing is that people are aware that psychics/astrologers may not have any validity to them. I've read of people spending their life savings because psychics/astrologers tell them this or that when, in reality, they could probably have better spent their money on food and shelter. (I can easily provide references if requested...)


Let me put it this way. I'm as sure that the paranormal exists as I am sure that consciousness exists. If you want to put your faith into science, just remember, science can't prove people have minds.

Science may not be able to prove people have minds, but this forum sure seems to prove that some people don't have minds.
(kidding)
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Kevin Kane » 13 Feb 2010, 04:31

I find it interesting that the legal problems between Uri Geller and James Randi are a result of Randi's attempt to ruin Uri. Randi never sued Uri for fraudulent claims. But Uri sued Randi for defamation two times, winning one, and overruled on another.

In 1990, Geller sued Randi for "Libel". The japanese court ruled "Insult". True .. Randi is an insulting person.

In 1991, Geller sued Randi for "defamation, false light, invasion of privacy, and tortious interference with prospective advantage"

Sounds like a stalker charge, for sure.


To date, Uri Geller has never been sued for fraud.
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby ciscop » 13 Feb 2010, 05:07

Thats false
Uri Goldstein went to one of Geller shows and sued him for breach of contract
he only won 27.5 Lira, which was the cost of the ticket

Do your homework URIboy :-)
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Kevin Kane » 13 Feb 2010, 14:15

Breach of contract is not fraud. It's a business dispute, and a minor one in this case. Fraud is the pattern and practice of deliberate deception. Calling Uri Geller a fraud is not supported by the legal or scientific evidence.

But James Randi does have a history of libel and defamation of character. Calling James Randi a shit-tossing slander monkey IS supported by the evidence.

Uri + Fraud = Slander = False.
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby ProfWag » 13 Feb 2010, 19:23

Kevin Kane wrote:Breach of contract is not fraud. It's a business dispute, and a minor one in this case. Fraud is the pattern and practice of deliberate deception. Calling Uri Geller a fraud is not supported by the legal or scientific evidence.

But James Randi does have a history of libel and defamation of character. Calling James Randi a shit-tossing slander monkey IS supported by the evidence.

Uri + Fraud = Slander = False.

Calling Sylvia Browne or John Edward a fraud is not supported by legal or scientific evidence either, but...
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Scepcop » 10 Jun 2010, 17:11

Here is the new link to the Uri Geller SRI experiments under controlled conditions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_I3vs539So
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Craig Browning » 10 Jun 2010, 21:45

I've not taken time to wade through this rather extensive topic but I wanted to toss a few coins into the pond around this subject...

Fact #1-- when Uri first hit the scene it was still very much common practice within the Mentalism world to claim genuine abilities. It's what is now referred to as "Old School" thinking; how things were prior to the imposition of the Dunninger Mold and of course the expose' silliness that dear old Harry turned into a vocation... sadly, few magic-based skeptics actually adhere to Harry's views and have taken things well beyond the limits he's applied. In short, it was quite common for the old timers to give the public credit for having a brain and understand that the claim was part of the marketing hype just like Rock bands being tied to the occult back in the 70s... BS for the sake of PR. The belief being that most people were smart enough to recognize the fact that a "Show" in a club or theater is just that, a show!

Sure, you will have those that buy into the "Illusion" a bit more than not. But we have people in today's world that believe David Copperfield can really fly (because he is a master of the Kabala... similar to the Henning legends around TM). But there is the other side to what unfolded here, as people like Dunninger and later, Kreskin came into the public spot light and with "Scientific" themes created the exact same fervor of belief. Even now, with all of his disclaimers Banachek and even Derren Brown are seen by many as being "Real" by a minority... folks unwilling to see or accept things for what they really are... a show!

Fact #2 -- the show "Phenomenon" though a huge flop in the U.S., was quite successful in establishing one key fact; Uri was indirectly admitting to being a show man... a Mentalist. I'm certain that if his hands weren't so tied and he didn't have to deal with the middle-aged wannabe punk-rocker we'd seen much more in way of his demonstrating this very fact but he was put against a very solid wall that prevented him form exploiting the same psychological claims he's used for decades... and yet we all ignore those that LIE about using NLP, Suggestion, Body Language, etc. to accomplish the very same things without any kind of disclaimer to be found... I just love double-standards :geek:

The Urban Legend around Geller v. Randi is that Randi offered to manage Uri and help him get gigs when he came to the U.S. and Canada. Geller declined and thus, a war was born. The irony being that Randi's tirade ended up making Uri even more famous and considerably more wealthy.

Yes, Uri still holds very close ties to the New Age sub-culture and still promotes materials associated with divination, psychic development, etc. Anyone that's actually looked at the show biz world for more than a second understands that professionals depend on BOR (back of room sales) which includes books, CD/DVD and tapes tied to their specialty be it hypnosis or talking to dead people. We have a plethora of items known as "Pitch Books" that are very generic, written by someone else but we are allowed to put our name on it and sell it as our own. Many such tomes have been penned by some of the biggest names of the Mentalism industry. But, BOR includes Readings for the majority of old school workers... call it the Robert Nelson course to success... but it works!

So Uri has kind of/sort of suggested that he might not be everything claimed. He's aligned himself exceptionally closer to the magic world in the pat decade than ever before and from what I know first hand, has actually come to Randi's defense a few times including the act of asking people to stop giving the old guy a hard time. I know this because of conversations I've had with Uri and some of the people we both have interaction with (which includes some rather well known members of the skeptic's culture).

Magicians (in particular) loathe those of us that work from this Old School mode because very few of them can pull it off. Most all of them look at it all as being "tricks" and not understanding the miracle potential when handled properly. Their goal is to show off, not to come off as credible. They do not study the "real" psychics out there so they aren't aware of how you can build an amazing career doing little more than a six key bits of business (look at Geller's history or Kreskin for that matter). Magicians loathe this approach because they claim it is unethical and immoral while not being able to show where or why other than pointing to the various exceptions vs. the rule; they deliberately impose the idea that any and all people that make such claims are con artists out to rip off the public and yet, they can't prove this to be the case 99% of the time... they thus, misdirect by creating a different point of view and psychologically planting their ideas into the minds of any that would listen. In other words, they poison the well. You don't find the Psychics... those evil manipulators that take advantage of the ignorant... doing anything remotely similar. You'd be hard pressed to prove such antics around Uri, John Edward or most of the better known stage psychics out there in that they are honest business people selling a product to people that want the product. Just like TV Wrestling shows or FOX "News", if you don't like it, don't watch it! Don't make a big deal out of it.

I could really go off on the WWE shows and how close to soft porn they are, asking why all those moralists out there don't scream over such sexually explicit displays. But it would fall on deaf ears I fear... but then it is a "legit" issue to my mind, especially given how it and even legit sports, promote a heterosexual mode of promiscuous thinking that young people are exposed to and as an end result, we are bringing up another generation of red necks that have low views on women and are driven by machismo vs. honesty and integrity.

I've strayed from the path but I hope I've brought out a few things for folks to contemplate. ;)
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Indigo Child » 17 Jun 2010, 12:12

Not sure where you are getting this from Crag, but Uri has not directly
or directly admitted to being a mentalist or magician. He still maintains
he is a psychic.

Uri filed a law suit against Randi. That sounds like he was giving him a hard
time ;)
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Scepcop » 05 Jul 2010, 04:00

Here is a video I just hacked together about how Randi was wrong about no magicians believing in Uri Geller.

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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Js1981 » 06 Jul 2011, 03:41

No disrespect but Uri has been uncovered many times, many times but himself lowering the standards.

While one show he supposly read and drew a sofa as the host mean to think about it and he of course had a duplicated image. When host asked:
- have you talked to anyone- the host just indeed bought or sold a sofa.
Urin burned himself by saying:
- no I have never talked to your assistant-

How stupid is that?

Spoon bending was also proved just a trick many times before.
The thing he does often is that he moves around.
Every flop he moves his performance somwhere else:
US, Israel, Germany, UK.
He just had a fantastic tabloid documentary he sold in UK where he presented his private footage with Michael Jackson.
He is a very old school performer only. David Blaine comes from similar school I have seen his performance and his usual tricks are on the level of school tricks.
So seeing those 2 talking about genuine magic is very funny actually. It is a trick the magic happens only cos you don't know how it is done. They aren't psychics or have a any knowledge of it at all.
Randi was actually right about Uri knowing only basic tricks.
He doesn't even hide it tho.
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Craig Browning » 07 Jul 2011, 00:59

Spoon Bending first appeared in a Magic Book that was printed in the 1930's if I recall correctly, but it wasn't until the 1960s and Geller hitting the scene that the stunt became a sensation and suddenly, every magician in the world was an "expert" on the topic.

I'm in a kind of odd position on this issue in that I know Uri and have spoken with him several times over the years; he knows of my background as an entertainer as well as my background in the legitimate side of Metaphysics/New Age & Psychic type work. On many levels I can't help but believe Uri wears similar shows for reasons I mention above. . . it's how things were done for decades when it came to the whole Mind-Reading game (until Dunninger "poisoned the well", so to speak). You'll find that Jeff & Tesla Evanson likewise work from the angle of being "real" and refusing the use of any kind of disclaimer and yet, they have won major awards as a Mentalism/Magic act. Glenn Falkenstein & Francis Willard, one of the legendary teams in this particular world, presented their programs as legit (no disclaimers) suggesting that Glenn's "X-Ray Vision" stems from Eastern Occult Teachings with Kudha Bux who was likewise known to both worlds, but in the public eye, he was a genuine Hindu Mystic.

My point is, what Uri has done is very much a part of show biz tradition; he's a showman.

Uri has been back & forth with Randi and others of his ilk for years, mainly because it makes for good press and either side has literally profited from it via speaking engagements, product sales, and more. But yes, Uri not only sued Randi I believe it was the Swiss courts that ordered Randi to pay Uri some form of reparation sum and a public apology which of course, will never happen (Randi is like a penis, he only gets firm and hard when he knows he can screw someone, otherwise he just lays about and shrivels up, throwing out waste here and there).

I won't say who it was, but a very major VIP tied to the JREF found himself stranded in England last year during that big Volcano. He decided to take a "dear friend of his" up on the offer of crashing in his spare room. The dear friend was Uri Geller. . . :o
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Re: Was Randi Wrong about Uri Geller?

Postby Jayhawker30 » 14 Aug 2011, 13:20

Craig Browning wrote:(Randi is like a penis, he only gets firm and hard when he knows he can screw someone, otherwise he just lays about and shrivels up, throwing out waste here and there).


I don't have anything against the guy, but that's a hilarious metaphor.
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