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  #151  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Geller: No, what I do is real. It's not magic and it's not trick.

Okay, so what is it that is in actual dispute here?
At one point, Geller did declare he no longer like to be billed as a 'psychic' but rather an 'entertainer'. Splitting hairs, at best, at this point in his history.
  #152  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:13 AM
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He doesn't. He has sued people for falsely calling him a convicted criminal, or faslsely claiming that he drove someone to suicide.

On one occasion he sued someone for claiming that his act includes tricks taken from the back of cereal packets. The issue there was his skill as a performer. It was not about whether his tricks are real or fake.

He has NEVER sued anyone just for saying he's a magician.
What did he sue Gerard Majax for?

How about Victor Stenger?
  #153  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
In the first clip, the one introduced by James Randi, he's in a private conversation with someone. He's not on stage. He doesn't even know he's being recorded.

In the second clip, it's on a TV show, so, yes, that might be considered a performance. But I disagree that his claim of magic powers is similar to the act that magicians might put on -- which is in a dramatic presentation. In both cases, Geller is saying in a flat, matter-of-fact voice "I am not a magician." It isn't in a performance-like dramatic mode.
Eh, probably not really worth arguing about, since we agree on the wider issue. But a "performance" can be for a single person, it doesn't need to be on stage. And I don't think the "dramatic mode" distinction is meaningful. If that was all there was to it, I wouldn't think it was immoral. But its not, so I do.
  #154  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:18 AM
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It seems what the argument really needs at this stage is some evidence that Geller has ever denied having psychic powers. Seeing as there seems to be no shortage of evidence to say they do claim such powers I don't see how it can be in any doubt that Geller makes these claims at this stage.

This is certainly a very odd read as a thread. I certainly don’t remember seeing someone provide cites before that directly disprove their own argument but this being continually ignored. Very odd. It’s like it’s all a presentation to an audience that won’t follow any of the cites and will just take a forceful argumentative style as evidence in and of itself.

Last edited by glaeken; 03-11-2013 at 11:18 AM.
  #155  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ianzin View Post
All that I was trying to do in this thread was supply some factual corrections, regarding a small number of points, where I thought such corrections might be helpful and in the spirit of the SDMB. I'm sorry if I inadvertently ruffled any feathers, which was never my intention.
You didn't ruffle any of my feathers, but your replies to my direct queries are, to put it gently, odd.

It's odd that you would take the position that Geller's posting on his own website uncontradicted endorsements of his paranormal ability does not constitute a claim of paranormal ability on his part. This position of yours makes me believe you are not dealing with this board in good faith.

It's odd that you would bring up your personal relationships with James Randi or with Uri Geller, and interactions with them or having told any one of them that X was his finest moment. This thread isn't about any of those things.

Earlier I asked you whether you believed that Geller was a fraud, and I invited you to define fraud. You didn't, and so I supplied a definition myself. Peter Morris responded to my definition, and I would ask you to respond as well, given the following definition:

A psychic fraud:

1. Makes a false
2. Claim of fact
3. That he has a paranormal power
4. Which people believe
5. And rely on
6. To their monetary detriment
7. From which the alleged psychic fraud profits
8. Through false demonstrations of such power.

Do you consider Uri Geller to be a paranormal fraud, and, if not, which of these elements are not true with respect to Geller and why?
  #156  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Miskatonic View Post
At one point, Geller did declare he no longer like to be billed as a 'psychic' but rather an 'entertainer'. Splitting hairs, at best, at this point in his history.
Much like Pro Wrestling.
  #157  
Old 03-11-2013, 01:27 PM
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Much like Pro Wrestling.
Until James Randi debunks Pro Westling I am choosing to believe it is real.
  #158  
Old 03-11-2013, 02:46 PM
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Further clarification of moderator instructions

After discussion among the staff, I am reversing my instruction that Randi may not be brought up in posts directed at Peter Morris

Here.

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Originally Posted by Colibri
After discussion among the staff, it's been decided that bringing up Randi in a pertinent thread, even in direct response to Peter Morris, does not run afoul of the "no goading" corollary to the rule. You may quote Peter's posts and refer to Randi in your discussion of them. Peter however may not in response discuss Randi, because the onus is on him to abide by the rule.

However, this should not be abused. Don't taunt Peter by saying something like "neener neener, I brought up Randi and now you can't reply." If Peter says he can't respond to a point because of the restriction on him, don't badger him about it.

We recognize that this rule puts Peter at a disadvantage in threads in which Randi may come up, but them's the breaks. We considered extending to the rule to exclude him posting in threads on the paranormal in general, but decided not to do so. It would be preferable if Peter avoided such threads, but he's free to do so as long as he abides by the restrictions.
  #159  
Old 03-11-2013, 03:54 PM
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In that case I find it worth noting (I actually thought it worth noting earlier, but the ruling was in a grey area) that even Randi didn't think his efforts to debunk Geller were having any effect at the time. If Geller's largely faded from view in recent decades, well.... that's what happens to most celebrities sooner or later.
  #160  
Old 03-11-2013, 04:20 PM
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Much like Pro Wrestling.
Professional wrestling now openly admits that it is entertainment, and not a competitive sport in the traditional sense. And Geller may do the same now, but in the past he has asserted that he performed his act using psychic ability, in a manner akin to a wrestling promotor accepting bets on the outcome of the matches.

Now as far as I know Geller may be a nice guy and good friend to some, but it's pretty obvious that pitching woo on this board is not well accepted, and that's what Geller does. He has catered to and profitted from those who believe in supernatural powers, and it is considered a distasteful practice by many.
  #161  
Old 03-11-2013, 04:50 PM
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I wanted to see if Princhester was one of those people who condemn a work without actually having seen it, as in protests against The Satanic Verses.
There's a difference between criticizing someone's act and criticizing their public stance.

We're not offering a critique on his act. Apparently, his act is pretty damn good, or at least, it was.

We're criticizing his claim that he has psychic powers, when in fact he uses magicians' tricks. One does not have to see his act to see his claims (which we can find on his own website) or read what he has written,

The only possible defense would be to say that he simply remains "in character", but IMHO that's pretty thin. Oh, wait: the other defense would be to prove that he actually does have psychic powers, but he's failed at that.
  #162  
Old 03-11-2013, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ianzin View Post
Obviously, to have this discussion we need to understand what we mean by the word 'fraud'.
If I persuade you to give me money so that I can buy a boat, then you give me the money and I do, indeed, buy a boat, then that is not fraud.

If you give me money because I've persuaded you that I'm going to use it to fight hunger in Africa, and then I instead use it to buy a boat, then that is fraud.

See the difference?

If Geller works to persuade people that he is using psychic powers to do the tricks, then that is fraud. We have seen ample evidence in this thread that Geller does indeed make these claims, and I have not seen any quote where Geller admits that he doesn't. Further, I also think that no one participating in this thread thinks he is doing the tricks with actual psychic powers.

Given that, I don't see any wiggle room: Geller is a fraud. Ample evidence presented, none at all that would refute the idea. He's a fraud.
  #163  
Old 03-11-2013, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CurtC View Post
If Geller works to persuade people that he is using psychic powers to do the tricks, then that is fraud.
Technically the fraudster needs to know they're lying. I think there are some claimed psychics that are just deluded, and thus not legally defrauding their clients.

But in any case, that's obviously not the situation with Geller. He's put a lot of work into his slight-of-hand tricks that he then presents as real, that can't really be any defence he thinks he's the real thing.
  #164  
Old 03-11-2013, 05:19 PM
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It's odd that you would take the position that Geller's posting on his own website uncontradicted endorsements of his paranormal ability does not constitute a claim of paranormal ability on his part. This position of yours makes me believe you are not dealing with this board in good faith.
The only point I was making at the time was that if you're going to attribute a quote to someone, it's a good idea to attribute it correctly. I would have thought this was a relevant point to make on the SDMB. I still think it's helpful to preserve the distinction between what Uri says about Uri and what other people say about Uri. If you think it doesn't matter, or if it all amounts to the same thing, well, we have a difference of opinion, which is fine by me and certainly isn't the end of the world. But I don't see why you feel the need to allege or suggest a lack of good faith.

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It's odd that you would bring up your personal relationships with James Randi or with Uri Geller, and interactions with them or having told any one of them that X was his finest moment. This thread isn't about any of those things.
You can find it odd if you want to. That comes down to you and your opinion. I don't think it's odd at all. If people are making points about either Randi or Geller, and I have relevant information to share, I think it's relevant to mention that I've been friends with both of them personally for many years.

I think we may be straying into 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' territory here. If I had not admitted that I know Uri personally and have been friends with him for years, and someone had then unearthed the fact (I am mentioned once or twice on his website), maybe you would have snarled and me and wondered out loud why I didn't disclose this information and come clean about my friendship with the guy. I feel fairly sure you could have shaped into some sort of suspicion of acting in bad faith. Sometimes, these things are in the eye of the beholder.

Quote:
Earlier I asked you whether you believed that Geller was a fraud, and I invited you to define fraud. You didn't, and so I supplied a definition myself. Peter Morris responded to my definition, and I would ask you to respond as well, given the following definition:

A psychic fraud:

1. Makes a false
2. Claim of fact
3. That he has a paranormal power
4. Which people believe
5. And rely on
6. To their monetary detriment
7. From which the alleged psychic fraud profits
8. Through false demonstrations of such power.

Do you consider Uri Geller to be a paranormal fraud, and, if not, which of these elements are not true with respect to Geller and why?
Here's the point I was trying to make, obviously unsuccessfully. If you look at something Geller has done and want to discuss whether he did it using psychic powers or not, that's one discussion we can have. However, I think it's unhelpful and a bad idea to introduce the word 'fraud' because it is a legal term and it could get someone, somewhere into legal hot water. I'm not just making this up. I'm basing it on legal advice I received some years ago, after I'd received a letter from Uri Geller's lawyers threatening to take legal action against me concerning a magazine article.

It's also unnecessary. You can have a long, detailed chat about whether something is evidence of psychic powers or more likely to be accomplished some other way without ever once mentioning the word 'fraud'. And that's what I tend to do.

I don't know if the fact that I'm based in the UK makes a difference - is the word 'fraud' used differently in other countries? I don't know. Also, although I signed up to the SDMB using the name 'ianzin', I've never made any secret of my real name and it's really easy to find out. So, no, I'm not going to make a statement about any named individual accusing them of 'fraud', given that this is, AFAIK, legally actionable.

Do I think Uri Geller has psychic powers? I don't know. I wasn't present at each and every one of his supposed demonstrations. In my personal opinion, it's unlikely, given the state of psi research since the 70s, and I myself haven't seen or witnessed anything that makes me think the psychic hypothesis is necessary. But I know lots of people would disagree with me, and I don't have a problem with that. Maybe I could listen to them and learn a thing a two. I'm not dead yet and I haven't stopped listening and learning.
  #165  
Old 03-11-2013, 05:29 PM
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Magicians on Uri Geller.
  #166  
Old 03-11-2013, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ianzin View Post
The only point I was making at the time was that if you're going to attribute a quote to someone, it's a good idea to attribute it correctly
OK, but as many people have pointed out, Geller does in fact claim to have real magical powers (see my post #136 for one of the many examples in the thread). And not just in the context of his performances, on his website he says he has the power to douse for ley-lines, valuable minerals, etc. etc. People were quoting him correctly.

Quote:
Here's the point I was trying to make, obviously unsuccessfully. If you look at something Geller has done and want to discuss whether he did it using psychic powers or not, that's one discussion we can have. However, I think it's unhelpful and a bad idea to introduce the word 'fraud' because it is a legal term and it could get someone, somewhere into legal hot water. I'm not just making this up. I'm basing it on legal advice I received some years ago, after I'd received a letter from Uri Geller's lawyers threatening to take legal action against me concerning a magazine article.
No one is going to sue the SDMB over this thread. Public figures (and not public figures) get called fraud and much worse here every day. If it was actionable, the Board would've been sued out of existence on day one. (also, its your business, but I'd think a past threat of legal action would kinda put a dent in any friendship you have with Uri).

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It's also unnecessary. You can have a long, detailed chat about whether something is evidence of psychic powers or more likely to be accomplished some other way without ever once mentioning the word 'fraud'. And that's what I tend to do.
OK, but some people are frauds. At some point it becomes kinda silly to tiptoe around the word. It doesn't have the legal ramifications you seem to think it does, and its useful to distinguish between people that are merely wrong vs people that are actively seeking to mislead.
  #167  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ianzin View Post
Here's the point I was trying to make, obviously unsuccessfully. If you look at something Geller has done and want to discuss whether he did it using psychic powers or not, that's one discussion we can have. However, I think it's unhelpful and a bad idea to introduce the word 'fraud' because it is a legal term and it could get someone, somewhere into legal hot water. I'm not just making this up. I'm basing it on legal advice I received some years ago, after I'd received a letter from Uri Geller's lawyers threatening to take legal action against me concerning a magazine article.
As has been said here many times, anybody can get sued for anything. Lawyers write letters every day threatening dire consequences and depend on the reluctance of people to even enter the legal arena because the costs are so high. Any lawyer in his or her right mind would tell you to avoid getting into such a situation.

That being said, Uri Geller is a fraud. Fraud, fraud, fraud. A fraud among frauds. He is such an embarrassment to magicians and the field of magic that has a long history of combating fraudulent psychics that I along with everyone else here remain gobsmacked that you would spend a single electron to defend him.

And you damn well know what the meaning of fraud is. A fraud is someone who does magic tricks without the acknowledgement that he is a magician.
  #168  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
No one is going to sue the SDMB over this thread. Public figures (and not public figures) get called fraud and much worse here every day. If it was actionable, the Board would've been sued out of existence on day one. (also, its your business, but I'd think a past threat of legal action would kinda put a dent in any friendship you have with Uri).



OK, but some people are frauds. At some point it becomes kinda silly to tiptoe around the word. It doesn't have the legal ramifications you seem to think it does, and its useful to distinguish between people that are merely wrong vs people that are actively seeking to mislead.
That being said, Ianzin is less anonymous than most of us, and he's apparently been threatened by Geller's attorneys in the past. Given Geller's litigiousness, I can understand his reluctance to state publicly that Geller's a fraud.

I don't understand his defense of Geller, but I suppose that's his business.
  #169  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ianzin View Post
The only point I was making at the time was that if you're going to attribute a quote to someone, it's a good idea to attribute it correctly. I would have thought this was a relevant point to make on the SDMB. I still think it's helpful to preserve the distinction between what Uri says about Uri and what other people say about Uri. If you think it doesn't matter, or if it all amounts to the same thing, well, we have a difference of opinion, which is fine by me and certainly isn't the end of the world. But I don't see why you feel the need to allege or suggest a lack of good faith.
It is a matter of good faith. The question is whether Geller claims to have psychic powers.

(A) Stating "I have psychic powers" is a claim to having psychic powers.

(B) Putting a statement on your own website from John Doe stating "Geller has psychic powers" is also a claim to having psychic powers (unless of course, he himself adds something like "It's nice of John Doe to say so, but I don't really have psychic powers."

Let's just put this on the table, which is something that seems to be very difficult to get you to do. Do you agree with (B) or not? I'll tell you why I am asking. Because if you don't agree with (B), then your credibility is in question. If you don't agree with (B), you have what I'll gently call an unconventional view of truth, one that you will find is not look on kindly here.

Quote:
You can find it odd if you want to. That comes down to you and your opinion. I don't think it's odd at all. If people are making points about either Randi or Geller, and I have relevant information to share, I think it's relevant to mention that I've been friends with both of them personally for many years.

I think we may be straying into 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' territory here. If I had not admitted that I know Uri personally and have been friends with him for years, and someone had then unearthed the fact (I am mentioned once or twice on his website), maybe you would have snarled and me and wondered out loud why I didn't disclose this information and come clean about my friendship with the guy. I feel fairly sure you could have shaped into some sort of suspicion of acting in bad faith. Sometimes, these things are in the eye of the beholder.
You could simply have added as a disclaimer that you are friends with Geller and Randi. Instead, you couched it within your posts in such a way as if it should add to the credibility of your statements -- at least, that's what it looked like to me.

Quote:
However, I think it's unhelpful and a bad idea to introduce the word 'fraud' because it is a legal term and it could get someone, somewhere into legal hot water.
I don't believe that this is true.

Quote:
I'm not just making this up. I'm basing it on legal advice I received some years ago, after I'd received a letter from Uri Geller's lawyers threatening to take legal action against me concerning a magazine article.
Then you should have stated so in the first place. "I am not willing to express an opinion regarding whether Geller is a fraud because he has threatened legal action against me in the past based on something I had said publicly."

I know that the defamation laws in England and Wales are kind of crazy, so I'm willing to believe that you, being English, might have a legitimate concern. But I think you should be up front with that, rather than making generalized statements about what the board in general should or should not be saying with respect to fraud. Just say it -- "As a British citizen and as someone who has had dealings with Geller, I fear putting myself in jeopardy of legal action if I address that issue."

Quote:
It's also unnecessary. You can have a long, detailed chat about whether something is evidence of psychic powers or more likely to be accomplished some other way without ever once mentioning the word 'fraud'. And that's what I tend to do.
That's just peachy. But the issue of whether X is evidence of psychic powers is a separate question from whether Geller is a fraud. And both questions are ones that are legitimate topics of discussion.

Quote:
I don't know if the fact that I'm based in the UK makes a difference - is the word 'fraud' used differently in other countries?
The legal definition of "fraud" in most U.S. states is very similar to the definition I used above. But a legal charge of "fraud" by the state is not the sole legitimate use of the word "fraud." We, as individuals, may legitimately discuss whether we believe that a public figure is a fraud, regardless of whether the state has ever expressed any such opinion.

[quote] I don't know. Also, although I signed up to the SDMB using the name 'ianzin', I've never made any secret of my real name and it's really easy to find out. So, no, I'm not going to make a statement about any named individual accusing them of 'fraud', given that this is, AFAIK, legally actionable.

Quote:
Maybe I could listen to them and learn a thing a two.
Yes, you could learn a thing or two about committing fraud. IMHO.
  #170  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:17 PM
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As has been said here many times, anybody can get sued for anything. Lawyers write letters every day threatening dire consequences and depend on the reluctance of people to even enter the legal arena because the costs are so high. Any lawyer in his or her right mind would tell you to avoid getting into such a situation.

That being said, Uri Geller is a fraud. Fraud, fraud, fraud. A fraud among frauds. He is such an embarrassment to magicians and the field of magic that has a long history of combating fraudulent psychics that I along with everyone else here remain gobsmacked that you would spend a single electron to defend him.

And you damn well know what the meaning of fraud is. A fraud is someone who does magic tricks without the acknowledgement that he is a magician.
A fraud takes money from companies knowing that he cannot deliver what he has promised.
A fraud makes false claims about helping police departments.
A fraud lies about working with the government.
A fraud presents lawsuits instead of evidence.

Last edited by Czarcasm; 03-11-2013 at 06:20 PM. Reason: edited to add last line.
  #171  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Enginerd View Post
That being said, Ianzin is less anonymous than most of us, and he's apparently been threatened by Geller's attorneys in the past. Given Geller's litigiousness, I can understand his reluctance to state publicly that Geller's a fraud.

I don't understand his defense of Geller, but I suppose that's his business.
I don't disagree with that (though it seems a weird friendship where you have to worry about the other guy suing you all the time), but Ian seemed to believe TPTB would prefer the Board in general didn't use the word. This is obviously not the case. Ian can of course use it or not as he sees fit.

In anycase, "Uri isn't a fraud because he'll sue me if I say he is" seems kind of a weak defence of Uri. Sort of like when POWs are forced by their captors to make videos telling their home-countries how well they're being treated.

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Originally Posted by ianzin View Post
Do I think Uri Geller has psychic powers? I don't know. I wasn't present at each and every one of his supposed demonstrations. In my personal opinion, it's unlikely, given the state of psi research since the 70s, and I myself haven't seen or witnessed anything that makes me think the psychic hypothesis is necessary. But I know lots of people would disagree with me, and I don't have a problem with that. Maybe I could listen to them and learn a thing a two. I'm not dead yet and I haven't stopped listening and learning.
But you've certainly seem some of his acts where he claims to have psychic powers. From your post I assume that you've concluded that for the demonstrations you've seen, those tricks were in fact just slight-of-hand, not real magical powers. You say you weren't there at every one of his demonstrations, but what are the odds that he uses slight of hand when your watching, but real psychic powers when you aren't? You say its "unlikely", but I think that gives it too much credit.

In any case, suppose that your personal opinion is correct, and that psychic powers don't exist. What does that mean regarding Uri?
  #172  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:43 PM
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Good heavens, Peter Duffie is one of the entries? That take me back. I wonder if he still claims that Randi put a wart on Geller's nose on a book cover.
  #173  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:57 PM
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Earlier in the thread (or perhaps in one of the videos or links) Geller was alleged to claim he received Mexican citizenship. Can this be confirmed? Does or did he have Mexican citizenship?

Last edited by FuzzyOgre; 03-11-2013 at 06:57 PM. Reason: waffles.
  #174  
Old 03-11-2013, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
Oh, just checking.


I wanted to see if Princhester was one of those people who condemn a work without actually having seen it, as in protests against The Satanic Verses.

Or razncain earlier in the thread.


So, Princhester has actually seen the thing he condemns, unlike some people. Good for him.

Nearly ten minutes of a magic video doesnít erase Gellerís fraudulent past so itís not going to change my opinion of him. You claimed Geller is a magician. Ten seconds into the video recommendation, Geller stated he is not a magician, never has been. So basically you give me your loaded gun, and told me to shoot you with it. I donít know what point youíre trying to make by having someone watch this crazy thing, and you havenít been forthcoming with it. It seems like you got more time to waste than I.

I did scan through to the end, and sure enough, itís the same ole Geller doing the same damn psychic shtick. I donít care if he added to his repertoire with some other trick he seems to be doing in the middle, how does that change things? You think I give a deuce that he on rare occasion does other magic? Or did you find the act so clever, it just kept you at the edge of your chair, and you just had to share it with others. Spare me in the future of what you think I like for entertainment.
  #175  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:00 PM
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Do I think Uri Geller has psychic powers? I don't know. I wasn't present at each and every one of his supposed demonstrations. In my personal opinion, it's unlikely, given the state of psi research since the 70s, and I myself haven't seen or witnessed anything that makes me think the psychic hypothesis is necessary. But I know lots of people would disagree with me, and I don't have a problem with that. Maybe I could listen to them and learn a thing a two. I'm not dead yet and I haven't stopped listening and learning.
Also unlikely considering how well established conservation laws are. Those same conservation laws are the reason the US Patent Office doesn’t take perpetual claims seriously. They can also be applied to psychic phenomenon. Any strict adherence to such laws and the way they are understood make psychic phenomena impossible. Einstein didn’t believe in psychics for that reason, and how it also was applied to the inverse square law. For psychics to be legit, there has to be an energy source. Transmission of information through space such as telepathy requires energy going from one mind to another. All psychic phenomena are violations of conservation of energy in various forms.

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The only point I was making at the time was that if you're going to attribute a quote to someone, it's a good idea to attribute it correctly. I would have thought this was a relevant point to make on the SDMB. I still think it's helpful to preserve the distinction between what Uri says about Uri and what other people say about Uri.
That doesn’t help his case at all, go to his cite. Some of it is written by him, and other parts are others writing some glowing accounts of him, which surely if the cite is his, he has to approve of it. Do you want me to quote from there? If he wants to say he is not a magician while performing, fine, but what about when he isn’t? Or is he on 24/7/365, and he can use deceit any way he sees fit to bilk others out of their money, and I don’t think we’ve heard any disproval from you thus far, have we?

While you seem like a nice of enough guy to me, and seem to be respectful and all, this is why I kind of feel uncomfortable about you, is that pretty much everything mentioned about Geller thus far, has been you and PM coming to his defense, saying well, he is a magician, he’s been awarded such and such; he’s a really nice guy; other magicians respect him; other magicians do this; and you add he is a friend of yours. A friend that threatened to sue you, so is that why you’re so skittish to say anything about him in a negative way?

I realize everything Geller says about himself and other things he has on his cite has to be taken with a grain of salt, but if you want us to go by what is said there, he has taken millions from investors by using his psychic abilities and dowsing to look for minerals just from that alone. I’m sure he exaggerates, many of these places remain unnamed, and details are sketchy, and getting outside corroboration on just about the majority of it is difficult. But why is he building up his reputation to be able to do this unless it is to get his hooks into another big investor or use his supposed psychic powers for other ventures as well?

Randi, Penn & Teller, the late Houdini, and many, many others realize there is a time to be on, and a time to be off, and most importantly have the ethics not to swindle or use their talents and skills in such a way to defraud others, and will also go to great lengths to expose others for the fraud and con-artists they are. So why is it with you, which I assume you’re familiar with such things, it’s basically just a shrug of the shoulders with you?

Last edited by Razncain; 03-11-2013 at 11:03 PM.
  #176  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:19 PM
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^^^Too late for edit window, but meant to say "perpetual motion machine claims."

Last edited by Razncain; 03-11-2013 at 11:19 PM.
  #177  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:28 PM
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Nearly ten minutes of a magic video doesnít erase Gellerís fraudulent past so itís not going to change my opinion of him. You claimed Geller is a magician. Ten seconds into the video recommendation, Geller stated he is not a magician, never has been. So basically you give me your loaded gun, and told me to shoot you with it. I donít know what point youíre trying to make by having someone watch this crazy thing, and you havenít been forthcoming with it. It seems like you got more time to waste than I.
It's taking longer than we thought.
  #178  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:35 PM
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It's taking longer than we thought.
Youíre forgetting, Iím not Geller claiming psychic abilities, I canít read your mind. I tried, but drew a blank.
  #179  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:41 PM
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That being said, Ianzin is less anonymous than most of us, and he's apparently been threatened by Geller's attorneys in the past. Given Geller's litigiousness, I can understand his reluctance to state publicly that Geller's a fraud.
Which ironically enough, given his personal knowledge of the topic and people involved, makes his contributions to the discussion no more informative than anyone else's, and, arguably, less informative. I mean, what do his assertions amount to?

1. I know Geller and he's a nice guy and a lot of people like him.

2. I know Randi and his book about Geller was his finest moment and I told him that personally.

3. I've never seen Geller demonstrate genuine psychic powers, but who knows?

4. Some of the statements about Geller's supposed paranormal powers are by people other than he himself (ignoring citations to his own direct claims).

1 and 2 are substanceless and 3 and 4 could have been said by anyone.

And now having been tipped to that 2004 thread on which he claimed that linking to a website explaining a trick was done kind of intellectual property violation makes me suspect his motives entirely on these kinds of topics -- that he's really only interested in toeing some kind of thin blue magic wand. James Randi has always said upfront that he's a trickster. Penn and Teller never claim any paranormal powers and they and Houdini expended significant effort in denouncing or exposing frauds. They don't seem to feel the need to toe that line.
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  #180  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:44 PM
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It's taking longer than we thought.
Are we talking about that video in which Geller does a "time machine" trick for a TV show? I watched the whole thing. What about it so profoundly enlightening?
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:51 PM
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Are we talking about that video in which Geller does a "time machine" trick for a TV show? I watched the whole thing. What about it so profoundly enlightening?
Do you think that Uri Geller was trying to:

1) Entertain people with a conjuring trick
2) Make them think he really has invented a time machine.
  #182  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:55 PM
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Do you think that Uri Geller was trying to:

1) Entertain people with a conjuring trick
2) Make them think he really has invented a time machine.
In that particular video? I don't think he was asserting the invention of a real time machine.

If I show you a video of me eating breakfast, does that prove that I have never eaten lunch?
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:10 AM
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On Geller’s site:

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In 1983 Geller was given a contract to find gold in Brazil, by a Japanese corporation which he has agreed not to name. The contract that was eventually arranged was for a six-year period with an immediate down-payment of $1 million and another $1 million on completion.

Geller explains how he goes about such a task. Remote sensing, as I practise it, involves very intense concentration over a long period. Before I visit a prospecting area, I study the maps I have been given for at least two hours a day, sometimes more.

In 1985 Geller was contacted by Peter Stirling, chairman of Zanex Ltd., who had some interesting gold mining leases in the Solomon Islands. In October 1985, Zanex, in a statement issued to stockholders, reported that as a result of advice given by one of Uri Geller's companies, the exploration thrust was being expanded to include a search for diamonds on a previously unexplored island.

Geller: The other part of what we do is saving companies' money, by advising them where they would be wasting exploration money. I once told a company three places not to drill, and they drilled, and they lost $50 million.
Do you think Geller was trying to:

A. Bilk investors out of their money.
B. Entertain them.
C. Make horseshit.
D. All of the above.

Last edited by Razncain; 03-12-2013 at 12:12 AM.
  #184  
Old 03-12-2013, 01:22 AM
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That being said, Ianzin is less anonymous than most of us, and he's apparently been threatened by Geller's attorneys in the past. Given Geller's litigiousness, I can understand his reluctance to state publicly that Geller's a fraud.
I am not anonymous here at all, and I will cheerfully state publicly that (in my personal opinion, not speaking on behalf of the Straight Dope in any way) Uri Geller is a fraud. I have read and watched quite a bit of him and about him, and I have not seen any evidence to indicate that he's anything other than a skilled con artist.
  #185  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razncain View Post
On Gellerís site:



Do you think Geller was trying to:

A. Bilk investors out of their money.
B. Entertain them.
C. Make horseshit.
D. All of the above.

I suspect that he told the story as a publicity stunt, and that it didn't actually happen.
  #186  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:41 AM
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I suspect that he told the story as a publicity stunt, and that it didn't actually happen.
Cute dance you've got there-does it have a name?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:17 AM
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I suspect that he told the story as a publicity stunt, and that it didn't actually happen.
I agree. Telling lies about one's abilities to get people to buy your stuff is called what?
  #188  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:19 AM
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Publicity
  #189  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
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Publicity
m-w seems to miss out on the lying aspect for "publicity".
1: the quality or state of being public
2a : an act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically : information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support b : the dissemination of information or promotional material c : paid advertising d : public attention or acclaim

Let's see if a different word would sum up what he did:
Fraud
1a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick
2a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat

Hmm, I think we're honing in on the problem here.

Last edited by stpauler; 03-12-2013 at 08:28 AM.
  #190  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:51 AM
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So, a celebrity autobiography that contains a few anecdotes that are not actually true somehow turns him into an evil person?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:53 AM
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So, a celebrity autobiography that contains a few anecdotes that are not actually true somehow turns him into an evil person?
Fraud and evil aren't synonymous, but there could be overlapping.
  #192  
Old 03-12-2013, 09:02 AM
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... If I had not admitted that I know Uri personally and have been friends with him for years, ...my friendship with the guy.
...

However, I think it's unhelpful and a bad idea to introduce the word 'fraud' because it is a legal term and it could get someone, somewhere into legal hot water. I'm not just making this up. I'm basing it on legal advice I received some years ago, after I'd received a letter from Uri Geller's lawyers threatening to take legal action against me concerning a magazine article....
Enough of the definition of fraud (i.e. Uri).
What's the definition of "friend" in this thread?

  #193  
Old 03-12-2013, 09:31 AM
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So, a celebrity autobiography that contains a few anecdotes that are not actually true somehow turns him into an evil person?
It's a subjective judgment call. But when the anecdotes are total fabrications designed sell the idea that the celebrity has special powers that they don't have but know the gullible may believe and when the idea is used to fleece those gullible people then yeah in my book that's getting up into the evil range. A key difference between what I see Geller doing here and what the average celebrity does is this: the average celebrity says or does things that merely attract attention. Geller's schtick does that plus something more. He is actually misleading people about the thing he is selling.
  #194  
Old 03-12-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
I am not anonymous here at all, and I will cheerfully state publicly that (in my personal opinion, not speaking on behalf of the Straight Dope in any way) Uri Geller is a fraud. I have read and watched quite a bit of him and about him, and I have not seen any evidence to indicate that he's anything other than a skilled con artist.
I unanonymously concur, though I'd like to add that I expect Geller does possess one unusual trait - particularly strong hands allowing him to bend spoons and keys with complete nonchalance as he does his patter.
  #195  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:08 AM
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He is actually misleading people about the thing he is selling.

The thing he is selling is entertainment. Claiming it as something real is just part of the show.


Look, just consider Houdini. He sold the public on the idea that he could escape from handcuffs and various traps through having extraordinary skills at causing locks to open, and so on.

In reality, he was a magician performing tricks. He couldn't really open handcuffs.

Some of his escapes would be paranormal if they were real, and he sold the audience the notion that they were real.

Does that make Houdini a fraud?

Uri Geller's act is no more fraudulent than Houdini's, and most magicians like him.

Last edited by Peter Morris; 03-12-2013 at 10:09 AM.
  #196  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
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The thing he is selling is entertainment. Claiming it as something real is just part of the show.


Look, just consider Houdini. He sold the public on the idea that he could escape from handcuffs and various traps through having extraordinary skills at causing locks to open, and so on.

In reality, he was a magician performing tricks. He couldn't really open handcuffs.

Some of his escapes would be paranormal if they were real, and he sold the audience the notion that they were real.

Does that make Houdini a fraud?

Uri Geller's act is no more fraudulent than Houdini's, and most magicians like him.
Been there, done that, saw the movie, bought the t-shirt, ate the breakfast cereal. Geller himself says that he is not a magician and that he doesn't do magic tricks.. In fact, those are the very first words out of his mouth in the the video you linked to that you falsely claimed I didn't view. Comparing him to Harry Houdini is especially offensive-Houdini spent a good part of his life exposing frauds like Geller.
  #197  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razncain View Post
It seems like you got more time to waste than I.

...

Spare me in the future of what you think I like for entertainment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
It's taking longer than we thought.
Quote:
Originally Posted by razncain View Post
Youíre forgetting, Iím not Geller claiming psychic abilities, I canít read your mind. I tried, but drew a blank.
Moderator Note

razncain and Peter Morris, drop the snarky remarks. No warning issued, but dial it back.

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  #198  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:31 AM
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As it seems I'm allowed to bring this up again.

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Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
On one occasion he sued someone for claiming that his act includes tricks taken from the back of cereal packets. The issue there was his skill as a performer. It was not about whether his tricks are real or fake.
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Originally Posted by x-ray vision View Post
The quote you provided does not back up your claim that Randi was sued for claiming his tricks were taken from the back of a cereal packet. As a matter of fact, Randi never claimed that. He said his tricks "are the kind that used to be on the back of cereal boxes when I was a kid." I doubt that statement could have a suit get as far as it did.

Anyway, these are statements that do not show what was alleged in the lawsuit. Got any real facts?
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Originally Posted by x-ray vision View Post
What Geller is inferring is that the case was in regard to a paranormal issue, and that aside from that Geller was defamed with a comment about the kind of tricks that used to be found on the back of cereal boxes. Whether or not defamation for the cereal boxes part of the comment was part of the suit is unknown, since you have presented zero facts of the case to back up your statement.
This is straight from the horses mouth (and passed through my memory): What Randi said is that he had learnt how to bend spoons(? might have been some other trick, though) from the back of a cereal packet when he was a child in Toronto. Geller promptly wanted him to produce one such box and sued him when he couldn't. At least this is what Randi has said in my presence.
  #199  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:56 AM
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So, a celebrity autobiography that contains a few anecdotes that are not actually true somehow turns him into an evil person?
You know that's not what we're talking about here, Peter.

If someone charges money for telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, dowsing, casting horoscopes, telling fortunes with tarot cards, casting curses, or reading tea leaves they are committing fraud. They are accepting money for something they cannot deliver, and their income depends on fooling people into thinking that they have delivered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
Look, just consider Houdini. He sold the public on the idea that he could escape from handcuffs and various traps through having extraordinary skills at causing locks to open, and so on.

In reality, he was a magician performing tricks. He couldn't really open handcuffs.
In reality, Harry Houdini was quite skilled at picking locks.
  #200  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:59 AM
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I think that "puffery" is a word that people are looking for here, and an agreement as to where advertising and promotional puffery becomes fraud.
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