Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic?

Jonathan Margolis, Author, Margolis, Author Welcome Rain Publishers $24.95 (296p) ISBN 978-1-56649-025-2
""Scoffing at the paranormal seemed perfectly normal,"" writes British journalist, biographer (Cleese Encounters, etc.) and one-time skeptic Margolis. But his own conversion experience--a private demonstration of Geller's reputed spoon-bending and mind-reading powers--assuaged his doubts about Geller's psychic abilities and the paranormal in general. After compelling opening chapters on the Geller family's departure from Europe during WWII and Geller's Israeli childhood, Margolis becomes an advocate, even for some of the stranger claims made on Geller's behalf: of a high school knack for never missing a shot in basketball, of an ability to teleport metal objects and himself, of intelligence work and undocumented high-level meetings with diplomats and even President Carter. Margolis does raise some questions, particularly about long-time Geller associate Andrija Puharich, a scientist and paranormal researcher. But even after establishing Puharich's paranoia and occasional deceptions, he refuses to dismiss his theories of alien contact. Similarly, Margolis insists that occasional ""cheating"" (use of sleight-of-hand rather than of psychic power) to get through off-days does not undermine Geller's claims to authenticity. It may take a conversion experience on the order of Margolis's for die-hard skeptics to relent, but others will find Margolis's account one of the best yet to appear on Geller. Still, it is difficult to suspend disbelief when Margolis grows as grandiose (even if his tongue is a bit in his cheek) as the flamboyant Geller himself: ""if it should turn out in the future that Uri was, indeed, a Jesus figure, I should be a little surprised, but delighted. It will have meant, for one thing, that I have accidentally written the New Testament."" (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1999
Release date: 10/01/1999
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-908556-05-9
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