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December 20: The Spoon-Bender

December 20, 2016

Uri Geller, a sleight-of-hand and mentalist performer who has passed himself off for decades as possessing paranormal powers, was born in Tel Aviv on this date in 1946. Geller became one of Israel’s first international celebrities in the 1970s by bending spoons, stopping clocks, and performing other tricks that he attributed to actual telekinetic powers (granted him, he has claimed, by extraterrestrial aliens) -- to the distaste of such magicians and skeptics as the Amazing Randi (James Randi), who more than once caught Geller cheating and has also reproduced his famous stunts in public. Geller is president of International Friends of Magen David Adom, a group that successfully lobbied the Red Cross to recognize Israel’s Magen David Adom (“Red Star of David”) as a constituent relief organization In 2007, Geller told a German magazine that “I’ll no longer say that I have supernatural powers. I am an entertainer. I want to do a good show. My entire character has changed.” He has hardly been true to this pledge, however, and remains a leading cultivator of psychic bullshit. To learn how to bend spoons and see the master at work, look below.

“I was sued by a woman who claimed that she became pregnant because she watched me on television and I bent her contraceptive coil.” --Uri Geller