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A Champion Grubby Speaks Out PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

I hardly know where to start... First, see americanchronicle.com. This account is just so packed with mis-statements, outright lies, and scientific howlers, it would take me all day to itemize them - but it can still do a lot of harm just because the ignorant reporter - Peter Fotis Kapnistos - has published the material. I suggest he may now want to return to his former calling in fashion and advertising photography, rather than continue to pose as a "journalist."

To quote him, he says, first:

...it was alleged that Uri Geller was caught cheating in an Israeli TV documentary that has lately also circulated on YouTube.

No, it was proven that Geller was doing one of the only five tricks he knows, and second, that was not any "TV documentary," at all.  It was simply a TV entertainment show. Kapnistos continues:

The accusation was that a slow motion shot revealed him producing a small magnet from behind his ear or out of his hair to influence a compass needle.

Well, anyone who might have said that, would not have been a magician, I'll tell you that. In any case, I've never seen such a statement, except from Geller himself - because he knows that it's a ridiculous scenario, as I'll show you up ahead, one that can't be supported. No "slow motion" was required to show that Geller blatantly placed a thumb-tip - a very common and often-used magician's prop - onto his thumb, which then seemed somehow magnetic, because it caused the very sensitive marine compass to turn as soon as it was brought near the instrument. Kapnistos, again:

...we see a wide overall view of the controversial Israeli TV video scene where Uri Geller's critics accuse him one way or another of allegedly plucking a slightly thick "hidden magnet" from the edge of his hairline.

No, that's not true. The magicians - particularly the Israeli magicians, who are seriously embarrassed by this crude trick from their countryman - never made any such silly statement. That's like saying that a magician produced a rabbit from a hat by having it shot there from a concealed offstage cannon. But this "journalist" really reveals his ignorance by this next statement:

...the video footage makes it readily understood that Uri could not possibly have placed pointlessly thick thumb magnets on both of his hands.

"Both his hands"? Suddenly we have two "thick thumb magnets" being wielded by the magician? Believe me, one is more than sufficient, folks, as I'll show you next week. But just how "thick" - or massive - does a magnet have to be to dramatically affect a marine compass, one of the size that Geller used on the TV show? Just 1/16" thick by 3/16" diameter - and you can easily get a number of those tiny discs into any thumb-tip! Does Mr. Kapnistos really think a responsible journalist would describe such a miniscule object as, "thick"? The fact is, that we magicians are astonished that Geller actually chose to use a plastic thumb-tip, rather than just taping a tiny disc to his finger!

As for the Swedish person Kapnistos says has so carefully researched magnets and their effects on compasses, he's an incompetent, too. His ignorance of the subject is apparent. One statement by Kapnistos says that

...a magnet small enough to hide in someone's hairline can't possibly make a compass needle shift as much as it does in the Uri Geller video.

Au contraire, both of you "experts"! A tiny neodymium magnet contained in a plugged-on thumb tip sure can! Kapnistos, not yet sure that he's made a complete fool of himself, next goes into a rant about Brian "Sapient" Cutler, who he says is

...ostensibly a young apprentice of James Randi.

Well, I'm sorry, "journalist," I'm damn sure he was never an "apprentice" of mine, though he's been a big problem to Uri Geller, in his own way. You see, Sapient sued Geller for a false copyright statement, he won, and got the spoon-bender to pay an undisclosed settlement. This "apprentice" material came right out your hopeful imagination.  But you go on, in your delusion:

Why the mainstream media should side with him and prop up a defamation video for years without first analyzing its actual focus material remains a mystery.

Well, genius, the mainstream media have analyzed the evidence, and they agree with me, as do the magicians and the scientists. And, while we're at it, why hasn't Geller chosen to make a fool of me by taking the million-dollar JREF prize? Think about that. Wouldn't you, if you could? But I have to tell you, your next stupid statement is such a howler that I can't believe you ever even made it through grade school. Folks, read this, from the fevered pen of "journalist" Peter Fotis Kapnistos, following an incoherent account of someone he says can change his body temperature:

It should therefore be evident that Uri Geller, in a similar way, can raise his core body magnetism.

No, I didn't invent that, folks, I couldn't have, because any schoolchild knows its complete nonsense. There is no such thing as a human magnetic field, and certainly no "core magnetism" to be found. Mr. Kapnistos, Uri Geller does the magnet trick in the same way that we used to do it at summer camp to confound the new kids - and the same way that kids all over the world still do it! Compasses are sensitive to any magnetic substance coming anywhere near them, and they respond dramatically to that influence. Watch here next week, and I'll have a video up that shows you just how easy the trick is!

Moving along in this juvenile drama, here's the "journalist" again:

James Randi has said he aims to ruin Uri Geller's reputation.

Sir, and I use the term loosely, Geller doesn't have any reputation to ruin. He's looked upon as a clown by any and all serious - real - journalists, and as for that statement you attribute to me, I'll send you the JREF million-dollar prize, as soon as you provide the evidence for that claim. I suppose you haven't come upon that prize in your intensive fact-gathering for this uninformed attack on me, but look it up, will you?

As for the number-manipulation that this farceur does with asteroid 3163, it's below consideration. But my attention is fully taken by what he says and implies in the matter of the attacks made on me in New Jersey years ago, when I was the victim of harassing telephone calls from teenagers in the area who called me at all hours. This was put in the hands of the local telephone authorities, we traced the calls, and arrests were made. The calls ceased. Writes Kapnistos:

Randi later said that he had been working on behalf of the telephone company in its attempt to track down a minor who had been making obscene calls. It seems that at various times Randi has said that this tape was made by his enemies to blackmail him, that he made it himself, or that the police asked him to make it in an attempt to track down a teenager making obscene calls to his home.

Yes, I did work at the instruction of the New Jersey Bell company, I made the evidential recording with equipment I borrowed from radio station WOR, where I worked a program at that time, but I never said that the tape I presented to the authorities was "made by [my] enemies." The JREF prize is yours as soon as you provide that evidence, too, Kapnistos. You continued:

On May 22nd, 1999, Randi gave a public lecture at Cal Tech, in California. At that time Randi read from a formal statement that he had apparently already sent to some people, and for which he invited others to write to him. This statement consisted of Randi´s explanation for the infamous "Blackmail Tape" and repeated his version of the events that led up to the production of the tape. Randi claimed that he made the tape under the direction of the police chief of Rumson, New Jersey, to entrap harassing obscene callers.

Yes!  You finally got something right, "journalist"! I flooded the media, law enforcement, the U.S. Postal Service, and New Jersey police, with that document, and later related the entire matter to an audience at Cal Tech. But you forgot (?) to mention that on that same occasion, as I finished reading the document, I took the opportunity of flooring a nasty chap who had made similar accusations about me, and had been boasting about it loudly. One shot, to the chops. He went down, and was carried out. VERY satisfying, I assure you. Want some, Mr. Kapnistos? I got some...

I won't do this again. I'm finished having to inform idiots of the facts about these Grubbies. If they want to listen to what my adversaries say, and choose to repeat it without checking - as any honorable "journalist" would do - they can become misinformed easily and happily. Fantasy is their territory, and I leave them to it. Geller knows full well that I'm the biggest thorn in his side he can imagine - because I know the facts, and I tell them to anyone who asks. Let him fret and screech; I'm not listening.

But my next book, "A Magician in the Laboratory," will have a short section on Geller that I'm very sure he won't care for. Stay tuned...  And don't miss the special video I'll have up, next week, showing how to do the stupid compass trick...