Last Weeks "Star" Trick. PDF Print E-mail
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Written by James Randi   

As I’ve pointed out, the “choose-an-ESP-card” trick that Geller did last week on NBC-TVs “Phenomenon” show was done by him back in the UK in 1997, and in November of 2006, in the Israeli “Successor” show. Readers have reminded me that for the Alter TV show in Greece and for “Die Uri Geller Show” for RTL in Germany – both in 2004 – he also did exactly the same trick! This year, in February, he did it for the Mooney radio show on RTE in Ireland, and again in May, for a TV show in Holland! And on every one of these, he chose the “star” as the symbol to send out by his massive mind power! Why? Because when exhibited or listed among the five choices, when the star is shown as the second from the left – which is what Geller always does – viewers tend not to select the center target, nor either of those on the ends of the line. That leaves only numbers two and four, and of the five ESP-card symbols, magicians know that the star is – by far – the one that audiences will tend to choose. It gets about 47% of the votes, as against the 20% expected if there is no bias applied.

Geller isn’t exhibiting any powers, at all; he’s simply going with the odds.

One of his latest TV interviews has him announcing that he prefers the title, “mystifier” rather than “psychic,” which shows his continuing retreat from his former “I’m real” stance…

Let’s see what this performer on Wednesday who “dies” and comes back to life, will be offering us. I’ll bet we don’t get to see what he has tucked under his arm…