Other than Randi and his attorneys, Penn, Teller and I were the only
ones who were around for the depositions. Unfortunately, none of us
were permitted by Mr. Geller to sit in on the actual proceedings.
When Mr. Geller arrived on our first morning, he dashed out of the
elevator, grabbed my hand and introduced himself warmly. "Hi, I'm
Uri!" Of course, he recognized Penn and gave him a hearty handshake
and a big smile. The fellow could have had a great career in retail
Once the depositions began, there was little to do. Mr. Geller seemed
to have trouble sitting still; even the receptionists were commenting
on his constant flitting in and out of the closed conference room.
Other folks associated with the law firm where this was taking place
would drop by just to catch the latest tidbits. Clearly this case is
not exactly the norm for Washington. On the rare breaks, Randi seemed
alternately disgusted by the various insinuations and renewed with
determination to see this mess through to its proper conclusion.
Of course, I wasn't inside to actually see it, but I understand that
things were livened up a bit when Randi, in making a point about the
simple nature of certain tricks, vanished a pen or pencil from the
table. That story even got a small mention in the Washington Post.
The next and final morning, Randi & I were there alone. Once again,
Randi's attorney asked permission for me to sit in; again it was
denied. But just before things got underway, Mr. Geller came out and
apologized to me up, down, and sideways for having to exclude me.
I mostly sat out of sight--but within earshot--of the reception area.
(I took advantange of the forced confinement to write a talk that I
was to give at Johns Hopkins on Spiritualism and psychical research.
There are some interesting parallels here to the 19th century.) I
could hear Mr. Geller coming and going, looking for his lunch, etc. I
wondered what would happen if I made myself more visable, so I took my
computer and moved to the outer area. Sure enough, on his next trip
through Mr. Geller sat down on the sofa beside me to chat. He wanted
to know ALL about me. Where did I live? Did I use computers in my
work? Do I ever do outside consulting? I had the distinct impression
that he REALLY wanted to know who the hell I was and whether I was
perhaps an expert digging up useful bits o' information. I suppose
the vibes just weren't clear that day.
As Randi has already said, the 1 1/2 days turned into 3 of Randi being
deposed. There was no time left to turn the tables. As things wound
down on the last day, Paul Kurtz and Barry Karr were there, getting
ready for their turn the next day. We stepped into a side room to
chat about the whole affair. What a surprise to find Mr. Geller,
literally ear to the door, every time we looked into the hallway!
President, National Capital Area Skeptics
for whom I'm not speaking.
NCAS >encourages critical and scientific thinking
>serves as an information resource on extraordinary claims
>provides extraordinary evidence that skeptics are cool