Ooops! Touched a nerve!

James Randi --- Wizard (
3 Jun 1997 03:14:30 -0000


Those of you who have raised your eyebrows at the incredible "Uri
Bear" material on the Geller www page
( and bbear.htm) better get a
quick look at it once more before it just might go bye-bye. Here,
Geller's flacks tell us that the divine Uri "touched and hugged" a
Teddy Bear with an "empowered stone" about its neck, and that "a
healing experience occured to the son of a world leader" as a result.

Further, descendants of the Uri Bear are being offered for sale to
those who choose to believe that when baby Geller was in his pram and
"gunshots rang out," his own Teddy Bear was found "covering [his]
face" and had "shielded [him] from harm." This event, he says,
inspired him to come up with the "Uri Bear." When we went to the
"Click for ordering information" button, we were informed that "This
item will be added in the next few days."

Well, maybe not. The "world leader" referred to is Al Gore,
Vice-President of the U.S.A. And he is not happy. Al's lawyers have
sent Mr. Geller a cease-and-desist letter which may detract from the
potential of this item as a hot seller, even though we're assured that
the Uri Bear comes with a "world wide passport of peace," and that
"each bear and talisman [stone] has been touched by Uri himself."
Sounds irresistible to me.

Oh, and I forgot to mention: the story of the bear healing young
Albert Gore, a story that is proudly displayed by Mr. Geller, comes
from the National Enquirer. hought you'd like to know. Inquiring
minds do, you know....

(Added note: I see that Mr. Geller's web page also repeats the claim
that professional magician Abb Dickson endorses the Geller effects to
be genuine. Not so, any more than Geller's claim that Stanford
Research Institute (SRI) validated his powers back in the 70's.
Neither claim is true, according to the sources. But what would they

On another subject, I've just arranged for a bond to be posted
concerning the Randi vs. Curley case. Since I'm in another country (I
brought the case against him in Canada) I'm required to post a
guarantee that I can pay any possible costs -- if I lose the case --
and I happily do so. Stay tuned for developments.

The Discover Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation took place
at Disney World last weekend, and I participated as a presenter. When
I asked for the envelope in one category, it was brought to me by the
Spiral Track Autonomous Robot. I got to meet and interact with LeVar
Burton, Marvin Minsky (an old friend) and astronaut Story Musgrave,
who let me and my colleague, Andrew Harter, in on a number of
interesting sidelights on an "astronaut" who has made pretty wild and
weird claims. Ann Druyan (Carl Sagan's widow) was also there, and we
did some hugging stuff over Carl. And -- I learned that yet another
Carl Sagan/Ann Druyan book is coming out, "Billions and Billions."
Can't wait!

Finally, the AP report that dear friend Harry Blackstone died of
cancer, was incorrect. He died of E. coli infection. It was very
sudden, and quite unexpected, since he was apparently recovering very
well. Bummer.

James Randi.

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