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Psychic magazine - September 1973 - Vol.4  No.5

Also published as "Uri Geller on Uri Geller" in   The Amazing Uri Geller

Interview: Uri Geller

PSYCHIC:   When did you first become aware of your paranormal abilities, particularly your ability to crack and bend metallic objects?

GELLER:   Actually, the first observable thing that ever happened to me wasn't cracking or bending an object, it was moving the hands of a wristwatch. This happened by coincidence in school, when I was about Seven years old. In class so I noticed that my watch would show a different hour than what it really was, which began to happen fairly frequently. I complained to my mother about the wristwatch being broken; she examined it and said that it kept good time for her. But it continued to happen, so one day in class I took it off and held in my hands, watching it very closely. I began to notice that the hands would change their positions almost instantaneously very fast like dematerialzing from one hour to another. When I tried the same thing alone, outside of class, it wouldn't happen; so I realized I had to be in class around people for it to happen. Not long after that, the wristband bent and broke. That was actually the first time I became aware of something bending and breaking near me.

PSYCHIC:   Did you connect it to your self?

GELLER:   I wasn't clever enough at that time to start thinking that it was some power in me or coming through me. And although I thought it was something unusual, I also thought that maybe everybody had it at that age. Connecting this to myself I think happened around my mid teens when I realized it was very unusual; this was when I lived in Cyprus for eight years.

PSYCHIC:   Did this disturb you?

GELLER:   No, because it seems to be natural for me. Besides it's been with me for many years and I've grown accustomed and comfortable with it.

PSYCHIC:   then the wrist watches the first unusual thing you remember that occurred around you?

GELLER:   Yes, as far as the movement and bending of things go, but not other things, such as telepathy. I've had telepathy since I was very small. I can remember when I was about four my mother would come home from playing cards with friends and I would always tell her exactly how much she won or lost.

PSYCHIC:   What was her reaction to that?

GELLER:   She just felt it was something I was able to do and didn't make a big deal out of it. Besides, I really didn't talk about it much with her or discuss other things that were happening, all my father either, and they never asked. After I began my shows in Israel, about three and a half years ago, it finally got my mother to see one, and my father saw a couple. They had red about me in the papers, but they never asked about it because they were excited for me and felt that I could do better without them around. I know my mother went through great strain during that show, because she didn't want me to fail. It turned out well, but I think it was much of harder on her than it was on me, and I can understand why she bought my father felt it was better to stay away and just read about me.

PSYCHIC:   Then it wasn't until were a little over three years ago that you began to publicly demonstrate your abilities?

GELLER:   That's right. But I have been aware of all this since I was three, which goes back to an experience I had at that time. Opposite our house in Tel Aviv there was a huge garden where I used to play. It was surrounded by a fence which I would climb over. Many people were scared to go in there, but I had fun playing inside and once found an old rusty rifle from the wars. The police saw me playing with it and took it away from me, so I went looking for another one in the same place. This was in the afternoon when I can remember experiencing this flash inside my head as well as outside of it which was very vivid and real to me and which seem to come from up above. I ran to tell my mother about it, but she said it was nothing. There were no clouds in the sky and it wasn't a rainy day or no lightning. I didn't think much about it until much later, when things began to happen. I connect the flash with my ability.

PSYCHIC:   Why did you choose to demonstrate your abilities on stage?

GELLER:   Let me start from the first. After the Six Day War, in which I was wounded and was sent to a rehabilitation centre, I was given a three month holiday and went to work in a summer camp for kids as an instructor. I met a girl and her brother there and we became good friends. That was in 1968. I would demonstrate things to them, and discovered when her brother was around I could do unbelievable things, like reading his mind and passing thoughts to him. One day he came to me and asked if I'd perform at his school, which would pay me ten dollars for my time. I agreed and appeared for nearly four hours; the students wouldn't let me stop and the teachers were really impressed. That was the beginning. Word got around them I was invited to perform at other schools. Then an article about me he appeared in the paper, and the whole thing just grew very rapidly and large. Agents began contacting me; I let one start handling the requests from large theatres. It was unbelievable for me, and caused a complete change in my lifestyle. I was not making that much money and my mother worked, too. Suddenly my agent tells me you're going to earn one thousand pounds a night just to appear for two hours. In only three months I had become quite popular.

PSYCHIC:   How were you billed there, as a mentalist or a magician?

GELLER:   The papers described me as a mind reader, and that I was able to do psychokinesis moved and bend objects.

PSYCHIC:   Is that what you're performances in Israel and here consist of?

GELLER:   Yes, telepathy and psychokinesis. And I would always break a ring or a chain or anything that people brought to me.

PSYCHIC:   What about the article in Time magazine charging that you're just a magician?

GELLER:   That story really began shortly after my five weeks of intense work at Stanford in Menlo Park, California, where I did a lot of experiments. After I'd finished my work there, I returned to New York to wait for SRI to give out there press release about my work with them.
  well, things began to drag, letters were coming out of the Defence Department about me. A film that SRI took my work with them was supposed to be released and an early copy sent to me, but plans weren't clear about its arrival. Our motivation was not to be interviewed by any publications, until SRI released their information. When it looked like nothing was going to happen, as I had been told it would, we decided to go ahead with any interviews with the press, and felt that the largest and most influential would be the best to talk to first. Time magazine sent a reporter, I think his name was John Wilhelm, from California to see me. I demonstrated for him and he was greatly impressed, wrote a favourable story, and tried to get material about me from SRI. All that SRI would say was that I had been there. So when Time couldn't get any information from SRI, arrangements were made for me to demonstrate at their New York editorial offices. There were a lot of people there, as well as some magicians.
  I bent a fork slightly, but it was a very bad day for me. I even saw one of the magician's take the bent a fork out of a desk drawer where it had been placed and bend it back, which later made people wonder if it had really bent.
  The biggest thing I did was bend a thick key which they brought me. It was taken away quickly and that's the last I saw of it. But a lady phoned me from Time and said that the key continued to bend a after it left. I was excited to learn that, but they never mentioned it in the article.
  As far as my performances in Israel are concerned, I did six hundred shows and got nearly all positive reaction from the press, although I was never checked in the laboratories or by scientists. Israel is a small place and by that time nearly everyone had seen me. But then a very negative article came out accusing me of using laser beams to bend and break things; that I had pliers, mirrors, and springs hidden on me. That started the whole thing going again, and people started coming to see me. So the first lesson I learned from the media is that it doesn't hurt when negative things are written about me. And I did not leave Israel in disgrace, as the article said. Actually, I left with half of the people believing and the other half divided into those not quite sure I'm real and the rest not believing at all.

PSYCHIC:   Dr. H. C. Berendt, of the Israeli Parapsychology Society in Israel, writing in the " Parapsychology Review" (July-August 1972), said his group send you a had personal invitations to demonstrate your abilities before them and that you postponed appointments and later refused to attend a meeting. Why?

GELLER:   Listen, I don't remember receiving any invitations from this group and don't even know who they are. They might have thought they got invitations to me, but I didn't receive any. It's too bad this thing happened, since I'm not opposed to demonstrating for scientists. I certainly done a lot of in this country. So something is wrong somewhere.

PSYCHIC:   Is there a great deal of interest in psychic phenomena in Israel?

GELLER:   Not really, but being a new country where open to these things, particularly the new generation.
  While I was doing shows there the interest seem to be higher than is now, though. Apparently the time was ripe for it then.

PSYCHIC:   Getting back to "Time," what's your feeling of what was written about you?

GELLER:   I have thought of all possibilities, and I don't know why such a responsible magazine would do what they did. There must be some reason behind it. It could be just the opinions of the editors or it could be the influence of some outside source. Things like this happen, but I still don't understand how they could write the things they did.
  Looking back, I think I was setup. I think if I had levitated in the air for five minutes in front of them, the magician's would have said it was a trick and that they didn't know how I did it.

PSYCHIC:   Have the controlled tests at Stanford Research Institute substantiated your abilities?

GELLER:   I don't think that's for me to answer. The scientists who were around me and saw me do things, who controlled me, know I'm real; they know that there data is real. So it's up to them to substantiate it and what they see from it.
  At this point I suspect they know it's really happening, but not how it works.
  for example, they know I can read the dice better in a metal box than in a plastic one, or that I can find a ball bearing better than I can a cube of sugar. These things will probably lead them to ideas and theories, but maybe that's all.
  personally, I don't think they will know how these things work for a hundred years. But I do think that the first step will be made when somebody invents a device to actually measure what this is, like waves of energy or whatever is taking place. For instance, I did an experiment from coast to coast with numbers and letters and got three out of four correct. But each time I did it, it came to me differently: once he came in what I feel was broad waves, another time in curvy waves. So even with a measuring device it'll be a big problem, because maybe my mood changes this and not where I am.

PSYCHIC:   what else did you do at Stanford Research Institute?

GELLER:   I tried to levitate a little weight on a balance scale for over four hours and nothing happened. Edgar Mitchell, who was there, suggested that we put a cover over the weight a little can so nobody could observe it, since these things seem to happen when you can't see them. After about an hour it levitated or lost weight, because the scales tipped, something happened. So there must be some kind of rule or law that operates about the observation of these things.
  When I bend a fork, if you're watching immediately after I've ended, it will continue to bend. But if you tried to observe the actual bending to record it, nothing happens. Also, it seems when you don't care if it will bend or what happens, it bends.

PSYCHIC:   Edgar Mitchell has reported that a ring you broke for him continued to bend over a period of time and after you left the room. Is that standard?

GELLER:   No, and it's unusual that it bent that much. But often things that happen like this have a sense of humour about them, too, and we laugh about it. If it wasn't funny, I think there would be kind of hard for me to take it. Like once when I was eating a pineapple my fork broke off inside of it that's crazy, it's funny. Things that can be funny never hurt anybody; they are nice things so I'm not afraid of them or what goes on with me. It doesn't make me uncomfortable.

PSYCHIC:   What about the phenomenon of and materialization and dematerialization which it is reported you do?

GELLER:   I have to feel to do it. I don't know what happens. But I'm working on bringing back Edgar Mitchell's camera that he left on the Moon; I know I'll be able to do it.
  What I do is put it in my mind and mostly forget it, but it's still in my mind someplace. Now I don't know when you will come back, but when the time is right it will. And he will have to be under the right circumstances and with the right witnesses said the people can't say it was a big hoax.
  I'm told that since there are already pictures of it on the Moon, no one can say the astronauts smuggled it back and then we were able to fake it. Besides, a physicist told me that it would be radioactive by this time and that this is something that can definitely measured as well as the word of the astronauts, NASA, and the pictures. Then people will have to believe me, it seems, although I'm sure many still will not.

PSYCHIC:   That should be one of the top stories of the century, if you can do it.

GELLER:   I'll do it and then people will have to believe this is real. I hope there a couple of magician's around at the time, too.

PSYCHIC:   It's been reported that Stanford Research Institute materialization wasn't able to be recorded on film. Why?

GELLER:   I don't know, but we tried. It's something that takes more time and the right conditions, though.

PSYCHIC:   we also received reports that cameras often broke down or something happened during your breaking or bending attempts, as well as demterialization experiments, and that none of this was recorded on movie film. There is speculation that you caused it. Did you? GELLER:   I don't know; I wasn't uncomfortable around the cameras and really wanted something to be filmed. Remember, though, that the experiments were conducted under conditions I wasn't accustomed to and it was a totally different situation for me.
  my normal way is to walk up to a person, hold the thing, and put my hand over it to make something happen. Under the scientist conditions it was very difficult; I wasn't allowed to touch objects or anything. But even though things did break and bend there, and they saw it, I wasn't able to do it in front of the camera, so they weren't able to get it on film. But they were able to get other things on film, such as telepathy experiments.
  I ask myself, why does it happened in unimportant places, in front of just anybody, but when it's important for me to prove it to people at SRI, then it doesn't happen under the conditions they must record it happening? Maybe it's not supposed to happen for them yet, I don't know. Maybe it's not supposed to happen for them yet, I don't know. But I do know is really frustrating and depressing for me.

PSYCHIC:   Do you think that the laboratory conditions are a psychological barrier for you?

GELLER:   I don't know. But in big audiences, say more than 300 people, I can demonstrate almost all of my abilities. Nobody's telling me what to do on stage, like I'm told in the laboratory experiments. I just go on and do I feel like doing because I know people have come to see something, which is positive for me.
  Also, half of the audiences are usually women, which is important to me because I like to have them around; they're always somehow good, they're seldom negative.

PSYCHIC:   You tell your audience's that you need people around for these things to happen. Why?

GELLER:   Because I've never broken a spoon or fork alone, there's always one or two or more people around. It might be the I'm taking energy from them some way. I also must feel that the people are right positive, and wanting happen then it happens. But even when condition seem to be right sometimes I can't do anything.
  and I don't mind sceptics, either, except when people are outright negative; that somehow kills my confidence. But I don't understand why these powers work sometimes and other times they don't, although positive people and grounds are very encouraging for me and more than likely something will happen.

PSYCHIC:   have you developed your ability over a period of time or has it remained the same from the outset?

GELLER:   It has developed a lot since the beginning, especially over the past few years. Eight years ago it would take me maybe half an hour to do something that it now takes about fifteen minutes to do. I'm particularly aware of this when I'm trying something telepathically.
  But the greatest thing I've learned and which I now understand is that to succeed I must feel when to do whatever I'm going to do. When I get the right feeling, then I know I will happen. If I don't feel right, then I'll Pass; I went attempt to do it because I know it will be wrong or it won't happen. That's why I don't fail, because when I jump up and want to do something, I know it will happen.
  the experiments at Stanford Research Institute had a full set of controlled conditions, which is the first time I have had to operate under those kinds of conditions. Someone would come into the room, when they were ready, and tell me to do something. If I didn't feel I could do it or feel like doing it, then nothing would happen. why under those conditions it takes a lot of time.
  on the stage I feel everyone is with me and I can relax and things start to happen. But even under favourable conditions I never promise people I can do anything at a moment's notice or whenever I would like to do it for them. I have to feel it. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't, well, there's always next time.

PSYCHIC:   What sort of feelings do you get when you know it will happen?

GELLER:   I just feel it and I want to do it; something grabs me. And I know that if I don't do it at that time, then I'll miss it and those who want to see it will miss it too.
  At Stanford Research Institute sometimes we sat for three or four hours talking, waiting, and then I'd jump up and say, "okay, I feel like doing the thing." And I would do it.

PSYCHIC:   Does this happen with all of your abilities, say telepathy?

GELLER:   Yes, the same way.

PSYCHIC:   Do you get any sensations when you bend or break objects?

GELLER:   There's no sensation, although i feel a little heat sometimes or a few prickles, like a very low electric shock. And I can get very tired from doing it. It can be physically exhausting.

PSYCHIC:   What about any sensations in your brain?

GELLER:   Nothing, except for after I've done something I feel exhilarated, I'm thrilled about it because it's never the same. I'm quite happy that it happens, but I don't understand why.

PSYCHIC:   How do you get your telepathic images? Do you hear things, see pictures, or just get impressions?

GELLER:   I put this screen in my mind; I have in front of my eyes. I can still talk or listen, screen remains there all the time.
  receiving something, I get it as a picture on my screen. I see it. If I'm telepathically passing something to someone else the say like a number or a geometric figure I first put it on to my screen and then try to pass it to the other person. When it disappears from the screen, then I know it has been passed to the other person. That's how I do it telepathically.
  so I don't hear it or feel it, I actually see it. That's why when I don't see something on my screen I won't attempt telepathy I'll pass because I know I didn't receive it. I don't receive things as ideas, although I do see colours. But if you pass me the word "green" then I see the word.

PSYCHIC:   When you say" see" do you mean as we are accustomed to normally seeing?

GELLER:   yes, as I'm looking at you, seeing you or other things. If you close your eyes and try to imagine something, but that's the way I see it, but much stronger than that.

PSYCHIC:   What about precognition, seeing into the future?

GELLER:   I don't do that; I don't believe I can do it well. I tried it many times and I was wrong many times. I'm very sensitive to being right or wrong, so I stopped doing it.

PSYCHIC:   What about out of the body experiences?

GELLER:   I can do that, though no scientific experiments have been conducted with me on this yet.
  what I do is lie down, close my eyes, will it, and I'm out of my body. The first time I tried it, I didn't think anything was happening then suddenly I was there.
  for my impressions are like I'm going into something fast and with a lot of impact. It's not like I'm flying, but like a above everything momentarily and then I'm where I want to be. My body remains in the place where I am, and I can still talk to whoever is there, yet I'm someplace else.
  One experiment I did with Andrija (Andrija Puharich, M. D.) Was when he asked me to go to Brazil out of the body. I got to the city and asked a person where I was and he told me it was Rio De Janeiro. Then someone came up to me and pressed a brand new one thousand cruzeiro note in my hand and it appeared in my hand on the couch by Andrija to prove I was there.

PSYCHIC:   That's pretty far out...

GELLER:   Yes, but it mostly happens in other ways.
  For instance we were in Philadelphia visiting Arthur young, as well as Ted bastin from England. (Mr. Young is a noted inventor scientist and Mr. Bastin is a physicist and mathematician.) We were sitting in Mr. Young study, on the second floor, which has a little statue in it. Later when We were in the room below the study, the statue appeared as though falling through the ceiling and landed on my shoulder. Things like that happen spontaneously. I didn't think of doing it.
  Ted Bastin had a blue plastic box with eight screwdrivers of different sizes in it. He asked me to draw one and I thought of it and I drew it for him. He later put the box of screwdrivers back in his bag, while Mr. Young and I went downstairs. Then the box appeared in front of us. Mr. Young picked it up and ran to show Mr. Bastin, who opened the box up and all the screwdrivers inside were broken in half.

PSYCHIC:   Do you think this power comes from you or from some outside source?

GELLER:   First, but I'm not a psychic, because I think psychics use their own forces. So I don't think that this power is coming from me but that it's being channeled through me. I believe this force is an intelligence that causes things to happen through me; that it operates through me for some reason.
  Until about one and a half years ago I didn't even consider the possibility of an outside force it wasn't until I met Andrija Puharich in Israel about two years ago that I began to think more about an outside force.
  I also believe we are somehow being prepared for some other work, perhaps in some other place for not necessarily on this earth. What I am able to do is maybe part of a much greater plan that concerns more than the earth and mankind, like the universe. And when I say being prepared, I don't believe we ever die, I believe that the body dies but that we continue as energy and as ourselves.

PSYCHIC:   Are you talking about some cosmic a plan and God?

GELLER:   I believe in God and I believe that God is the plan.

PSYCHIC:   That takes in a vast area.

GELLER:   Sure it does. And I do not exclude spirits or other existences in our universe.
  I'm just following my pattern of life: when things happen I let them happen. If it does not hurt me or anybody else, then I don't think there's anything wrong with it no evil in it. In fact, I don't think there is evil, no Hell and no devil, just perhaps people doing evil with their powers by inventing and creating bad things.
  Now I believe this whole thing that is happening what I am able to show people is part of a complicated plan to give all of us proof of what can be done, preparing us for a greater thing in our development. They are just signs that more things are going to happen, that we are capable of greater things.
  My feelings and theories of this thing concern a super civilisation that learned how to understand and control time the past, present, and future and that evolved beyond our comprehension. They could have left a control unit like computers which have a mission and help direct people to accomplish it. And I think this mission concerns us for sure, as well as a lot of other people.
  But let me emphasise that I don't think this is God, since I believe God is way beyond that. Also, things are so programmed that they can't change them, only work within the structured program.

PSYCHIC:   what is your concept of God?

GELLER:   Right now I would have to say that I see God as a person, something living, and not an idea. As a living thing which is the whole idea of creation and of being, of space and infinity. I believe that there is a greater power above everything and that is God.

PSYCHIC:   Has all this affected your religious outlook?

GELLER:   I was not brought up in very religious surroundings, and I've never gone to a synagogue, but I've always known that God exists. Today, from my experiences and from am able to do, it's even greater.
  To me it's similar to what happened to some of the astronauts who landed on the moon or travelled in outer space. It seems their trips caused experiences that made them more aware of God and the universe. My own experiences have been extended over a longer period time, that's all.

PSYCHIC:   Does this include the theory of reincarnation you implied earlier?

GELLER:   Yes. And I believe that if you don't finish your work on earth in this lifetime, then you're going to have to come back in another one and finish it.
  a I also believe that there is no going backwards from what you have accomplished, you go only forwards. You might stay one place for a long time, but you never go backwards. I believe you're given all the chances you need until you accomplish what it is you set out to do. When you leave your body on earth, if you finished your job, you don't have to come back, and you enter a different dimension and do other work there.

PSYCHIC:   Why did you come to this country?

GELLER:   Dr. Puharich brought me over late last year to meet scientists and to do experiments. He had come to Israel to see me, watched many of my shows, followed me around for a long time, and then we became friends. Through his extensive experience in this field, he gave me a lot of information about my abilities and answered a great many questions about them there were troubling me. I will continue to work with him for a long time.

PSYCHIC:   What do you hope to accomplish here?

GELLER:   I personally don't hope to accomplish anything. But I feel my life is planned looked over although not controlled.

PSYCHIC:   Do you see any pattern emerging, anything in the future that what you're doing involves?

GELLER:   I think that in three years something enormous is going to happen, something very big; it will involve something outside of our planet, but still connected with it.

PSYCHIC:   Are you alluding to extraterrestrial contact?

GELLER:   Yes, but very heavily this time. However, it will depend on whether we mankind are prepared for it. If we are not, then it won't happen. I will be able to say more about this later, the right now I'm afraid I don't have all the information about it to answer any further questions.

PSYCHIC:   What are your future plans; your goals for yourself and your abilities?

GELLER:   I'm going to stay in America for as long as I'm welcome. And since I'm young and identify with the younger generation which is far more open and receptive to new things than the older one I'll be giving presentations at universities across the country, like the University of California at Berkeley, and at Yale, Harvard, and so on.
  The main thing I want to do is work with the people around me, doing the best I can with the powers controlling me like exploring more and try to understand more that will perhaps open up new horizons for me and for other people.
  as for definite future plants, I honestly don't have any. I believe things will happen when they're supposed to. And I hope I'll be happy in this country and be able to do the things I enjoy doing.

© 1973 Psychic Magazine / © 1986 James Bolen.   All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission

Uri Geller - a bibliography - homepage