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James Randi --- WIzard writes: When Erich von Daniken (author of "Chariots of the Gods?" and other such trashy but highly successful stuff) visited Australia a few years ago, his promoter rented out a huge hall, advertised his appearance there, then suddenly announced that illness in von Daniken's family had called him back home, and the appearance was cancelled. Very few tickets had been sold, and the theory was offered that when certain artists showed up in Australia, someone in their family would fall ill just before the show. Just this last week, the Curse of Down Under seemed to have taken effect once more. Uri Geller showed up prepared to display his wonders in Melbourne. A sizeable hall was rented, and while Mr. Geller ranted to the press about how he was going to sue (again?!) someone in Melbourne who had made unsatisfactory remarks about him, the Saturday and Sunday show tickets went on sale. Lo! The producer of the show regretfully announced that Mr. Geller's party (including a rough-looking biker named "Riley") had to rush back home without making the appearance -- due to a sudden illness in the family. ======================================================================== From: Damien Pope To: All Msg #222, Oct-25-93 02:37AM Subject: Re: Geller in Australia Organization: Monash University, Melb., Australia. From: quantum@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Damien Pope) Message-ID: <1993Oct25.103700.16160@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au> Newsgroups: sci.skeptic In reply to Jim wondering why hardly any tickets were sold for Uri Geller's recent show in Melbourne, Australia I have a few ideas: As someone who lives "down under" in Melbourne, Australia I think I have a fair idea about how skeptical people in Australia are. I don't think that they are any more skeptical, going on what I know of people in the rest of the world, than other people. I think one of the reasons why not many tickets were sold for Uri's show in Melbourne was that there was not much publicity for it. He had been in Australia for three weeks before the Melbourne show was due to be on and the only times I ever saw the show being publicized were at the end of the two TV appearances he made. During his time here Uri was hardly ever on TV or on radio shows. I think another reason might have been the fact that Uri has been around for awhile and thus isn't someone new that people haven't heard of before and don't know anything about. A lot of people in Melbourne are not at all skeptical, so there is a demand for paranormal stuff. Two weeks I went along to a lecture put on by a guy who claimed that he was channelling the Arch angel Michael ( he is mentioned in the bible ) and about 200 people turned up. I heard a radio interview with the promoter of Uri's tour and he said, I think, that ticket sales for the Melbourne show were about half of what they had been for the other shows. I know someone who went to the Sydney show and apparently there were about 250 people there. So that would make it about 125 people that would have turned up to the Melbourne show. About the show itself from what I have heard of the Sydney show it seems that Uri is to get away from performing psychic feats and concentrate more on helping people to think positive and to empower themselves and that sort of stuff. Bye - Damian.

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