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CSICOP PROPOSES "SKEPTICS RAPID DEPLOYMENT FORCE" Buffalo, NY -- The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) has been monitoring the return tour of former psychic superstar Uri Geller as he makes his way across the United States promoting his new book, "The Geller Effect," and discussing national security with members of the US Government. According to _The Washington Times_, on April 24 Geller was invited to meet with members of Congress by Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Pell stated that he has known Mr. Geller for a while and is very impressed with him. Also among the 35 persons in attendance was Rep. Dante Fascell (D-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The meeting focused upon Geller's assertions that the Soviet Union is far ahead of the United States in conducting research into "psychic warfare." Geller himself claims the ability to read minds, do remote viewing, and erase computer memory banks. CSICOP Executive Director Mark Plummer expressed amazement that members of the U. S. Government would discuss the subject with Mr. Geller and offered CSICOP's assistance in countering the perceived psychic threat. Mr. Plummer felt sure that if there was such a thing as a psychic force, it could be neutralized by the skeptics. "It's really very simple," stated Plummer, "Uri Geller has claimed in the past that skeptics, or those who disbelieve in his powers, are able to block or interfere in his ability to utilize those powers by the force of their negative thoughts. "What I propose is this| Perhaps we could place skeptics in strategic locations throughout the world all thinking negative thought about psychic projection. "Or", speaking tongue in cheek, Plummer continued, " If a particularly nasty ESP wave was detected, we could have on standby a Skeptic's Rapid Deployment Force ready to rush to the affected area and neutralize this psychic force." Geller, who rose to notoriety in the early 1970's by professing to have psychic abilities which enabled him to bend spoons and fix broken watches, now asserts that he has used his "powers of the mind" to become rich by locating gold and other mineral deposits. Geller all but disappeared from public view by the end of the 70s after he was repeatedly challenged by skeptics to a test of his abilities under controlled laboratory conditions, and his methods were exposed and duplicated by magician James "The Amazing" Randi, in his book, _The Truth About Uri Geller_. Geller left the U.S. in disgust and took up residence in England, where he said that the atmosphere was much more suitable for his acceptance. Paul Kurtz, CSICOP chairman, stated, "Uri Geller is back again making claims of psychic powers. Geller is a magician, and as far as we can tell, he has no psychic powers. His claims of psychic abilities are not unlike an unsinkable rubber duck in a bathtub." Under the direction of Plummer, CSICOP has attempted to follow Geller as he circuits the United States appearing on local radio and television programs. "In some cities Geller has been able to astonish the local host with his standard set of tricks, such as starting broken watches, moving compass needles, bending spoons, or drawing pictures hidden inside sealed envelopes," said Plummer. "What we are trying to do is provide some expertise to the local host to help them spot areas in which elements of control can be introduced to eliminate trickery. In a number of cities our advice was not utilized with the result that Geller was allowed free reign to do as he pleased. But in other places our advice has brought results." Plummer cites as an example a recent appearance of Uri Geller on a "People are Talking" program in Boston, MA. CSICOP was able to inform the producers in advance as to what feats Geller would most likely perform and ways to avoid deception. CSICOP was also pleased to provide the program with the services of professional magician Henry Gordon. Gordon was able to refute many of the claims made by Geller and generally block the attempts of Geller to showcase many of his alleged "psychic abilities." Gordon commented, "I found that he did his usual duplication of a drawing made by the host and was fairly accurate. I also found, and pointed out on the program, that he had requested that he and the host be left alone when the host made his drawing. He uses methods similar to those mentalists use to secure information. "Of all the programs that Geller has appeared on to date, this was the only one on which he was unable to make a compass needle move." Had Geller been equipped with the usual concealed magnet - which is the modus operandi of the compass trick - it would have been easy for magician Gordon to detect it by means of the compass itself. This was done in Denver, CO, when a CSICOP member intercepted Mr. Geller in the audience and by means of a hand-held compass showed that Geller did indeed have a strong magnet somewhere on the front of his body. At that point Geller backed away and refused to allow this man near him again. CSICOP has also issued a 24-page booklet featuring a number of exposes on Geller written by journalists around the world.


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