Thursday, July 26, 2007

An open letter to Uri Geller...

A few years ago, I was in Thailand doing all of the stupid things that young men do (riding motor scooters on heavily potholed roads wearing no helmet, no shirt and no shoes in a country that has a mediaeval health system, drinking too much beer and lying in the sun). The place I was staying had a small library of books. Inexplicably I was drawn to one of them even though it had lost its dust jacket and was unlabelled. When I opened it, the book was Jonathan Margolis' classic biogography of Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic.

I started reading for a lark, only vaguely recalling the spoonbender of yore from images I'd seen on telly in my childhood. Very quickly I was obsessed by the Geller story and the man himself. When we departed for a remote Thai island the next day I had no alternative but to steal the book, thus guaranteeing myself some bad karma (but more on that later).

Fascinating facts about Uri include:

  • He received his powers from a UFO during a close encounter when he was young.
  • He claims to have worked for years for Mossad and for American intelligence agencies during the 1970s, using his mind-control talents to work for the annihilation of the Warsaw Pact dictatorships.
  • Uri makes most of his money as a consultant to mining companies (many in Australia). He is paid millions to fly over the earth in a light plane using his mind powers. Interestingly he doesn't identify areas where there are resources and instruct them to dig, he looks at areas where they believe resources may exist and tells them not to bother. He uses his powers to detect that nothing is there, saving them the cost of exploration. If Uri's track record wasn't so strong this would seem like the greatest scam in the history of grifting.
  • His nemesis is the magician and skeptic James Randi, aka The Amazing Randi, who believes Geller is a fraud. The pair have been locked in bitter conflict for decades. Randi is able to mimic many of Geller's feats using conjurer's tricks.
Here's the letter, which I have sent this day. I shall keep you posted as to a response.

Dear Uri,
Hi! My name is Silky-D, I am a long time fan of yours from Melbourne Australia. I am writing to you after recently seeing a profile of you on cable television's biography channel. In the program you were shown answering fan mail while riding on an exercise bike in your delightful and impressively large home. It was suggested that you take pride in answering all of your fan mail. The thought of getting a message and maybe some advice from you is very exciting!

I first got to know you through the Jonathon Margolis Biography. I found it at a backpacker hostel in Thailand and got so hooked by your story that when I left the next day I stole the book in order to keep reading it. I was troubled by the obviously immoral nature of my action but felt compelled to keep the book.

Funny thing is… A week later I had just finished the book and was in Kuala Lumpur when a thief broke into my room, stealing my backpack and taking the book as well. An accident? Somehow I think not. I am convinced the universe wanted me to read the book. When I had finished, the book was ready to move on. I hope the Malaysian thief who claimed it got more joy from your story than he did from my tatty Lonely Planet guide and counterfeit Seiko watch.

I play in a rock band called Squid Ink. We are just starting out at the moment and are about to record our debut album. We have a blog at www.squidinkrock.blogspot.com Here is my question. I would like to write some songs for the band but feel artistically inhibited. Do you have any advice as to how I might unlock my inner creativity? Could you please use your powers to visualise success for my bandmates and me?

Also, I'd like to do some spoonbending as part of our stageshow. I've seen other people doing it on television, can the skill be taught? Or are they just charlatans who are performing a pale imitation of your all-too-real powers?

your in anticipation,
Silky-D