The Influence of Uri Geller

If you search online for Uri Geller you will find him described as an illusionist, an entertainer and a fraud who uses tricks to simulate PK ability.  Psi deniers still state that the late magician and fellow psi-denier “James Randi” proved Geller was a cheat.  Don’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia.

Uri Geller and his metal bending

Uri Geller and his metal bending

Geller was only four-years old when his mother says a soup spoon bent and broke in his hand in their Tel Aviv home.  At school, impatient for classes to be over, the hands of his wrist watch would speed up. In his twenties he began to demonstrate his abilities and by the 1970s he became an international sensation bending metal cutlery or keys, starting broken watches, and demonstrating telepathy.  In addition audience members would also find their own keys bending in their hands or pockets so that occasionally people couldn’t get back into their houses or cars.

As of today Geller is a wealthy man who has been using his talents to make a fortune from, among other enterprises, finding oil, gold and other valuable resources for multinational corporations.


I saw Uri Geller perform the day before my mother died, so the date is seared into my memory—June 10th, 1973.  His metal-bending feats on stage were intriguing but more interesting to me were the audience members who raised up their hands holding old “dead” watches that began to tick and one woman whose wedding ring bent on her finger so that she couldn’t get it off.  

The little skeptical voice in my head cautioned me that maybe Geller was using sleight-of hand or some such magician’s tricks, and that although I thought the woman with the ring was a member of the organization sponsoring the demonstration, she could be a plant.

 But then reports came in from around the globe that folks who saw Geller on TV were starting broken watches and bending keys and spoons.  An uncle of mine had success in doing both. 

The flood gates opened: “Mini-Gellers” of all ages and walks of life were showing up all over the world and people started having metal-bending “parties” causing all sorts of cutlery to bend, twist and break with little or no apparent physical effort.

The age of paranormal metal bending had begun.


Geller has, like anyone past or present who displays PK talent, been accused of being a fraud, using magic tricks—the usual. We do know that this kind of talent is stronger some days than others, and some days won’t work at all—even for the most powerfully gifted.  If you’ve got an eager, paying audience and you’re not “on,” you might be tempted to use tricks, so I can’t swear that Geller never cheated, although he’s strongly denied it.

But I do know of people who have been with him in their homes and have seen unusual things happening.  The publisher, Eleanor Friede told me that while Uri was sitting at her dining room table a potato that was in a bowl on a [glossary_exclude]cabinet[/glossary_exclude] behind him floated up and slowly came down near her.

The late writer Guy Lyon Playfair knew Geller and collaborated on the book The Geller Effect with him.  He was able to witness a number of “curious incidents” including seeing Uri’s small shaving mirror materialize in mid-air and fall slowly to the floor at about a 60 degree angle, “having apparently passed through two solid walls from the bathroom where it was supposed to be.”


To the end of his life, Playfair not only insisted on Geller’s genuineness but showed proof. In 1998 Uri was invited to attend the British Grand Prix where he did some spoon bending for a few of the car mechanics.  One of them handed him an 18mm chrome vanadium wrench challenging him to bend it.  It took longer than usual, but bend it he did.

Playfair bought a new wrench similar to the bent one and was able to get a testing lab to put it on a gigantic strain gauge, turning up the force until the wrench bent to a similar angle to Uri’s. He was told it took the equivalent of about three quarters of a ton of force.  

Playfair quipped that it was “more hard evidence—very hard, chrome vanadium being one of the hardest metals there is.”

If you would like to learn more, here is an excellent presentation on Uri Geller
by Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove as part of his New Thinking Allowed series.

Read about other “outside the séance” people:
Felicia PariseGilbert RollerKenneth BatcheldorNina KulaginaSir William Crookes
Ted SeriosThe Philip ExperimentUri Geller

Playfair excerpts from Men and Women of [glossary_exclude]Parapsychology[/glossary_exclude], Personal Reflections: Esprit, vol 2.  Anomalist Books.