We may know him for spoon bending antics and for his lengthy friendship with pop star Michael Jackson but showbiz psychic Uri Geller has seemingly had a lengthy second career as a secret agent for Mossad and the CIA, albeit one that was more Austin Powers than James Bond.
Geller was at the Sheffield Doc Fest this week for the premiere of Vikram Jayanti’s The Secret Life Of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?, a new film that offers compelling evidence of his involvement in the shadowy world of espionage.
“Uri has a controversial reputation. A lot of people think he is a fraud, a lot of people think he is a trickster and makes things up but at the same time he has a huge following and a history of doing things that nobody can explain,” Jayanti says of his Zelig-like subject.
Speaking to The Independent, Geller acknowledged alarm when he first saw Jayanti’s documentary.
“I was worried and I am still concerned,” Geller said of the way the documentary outs him as a spy. “I didn’t realise that Vikram was going to do such a thorough job of tying all the loose ends…making that the little hints I dropped throughout my career were real.”
When he signed up for the doc, the psychic didn’t realise quite how diligently Jayanti would track down his old spy masters. Nonetheless, he is happy that the doc is showing “a serious side” to him. “Some countries think I am a freak, bizarre, an eccentric,” he sighs.
On camera and in interview, Geller still remains coy about his espionage activities. Nonetheless, the psychic acknowledges that his handlers once asked him to use telepathy to stop a pig’s heart. He refused, knowing that if he had succeeded, the next target would almost certainly have been a human.
“I tried to execute missions that were positive,” Geller claims. “I said ‘no’ to dark things.”
Jayanti didn’t rely on Geller’s own cryptic testimony. Instead, he spoke to the high-level officials involved in recruiting and using him. These include scientists from The Stanford Research Institute as well as senior CIA operatives. Among the interviewees with first hand knowledge of Geller’s psychic spying activities are former CIA officer Kit Green, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell (the sixth man to walk on the moon), physicists Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff, and retired US army colonel John Alexander (of The Men Who Stared At Goats fame). A Brit, Nick Pope, once the British Government’s UFO boffin, also puts in an appearance. We also learn about Geller's stint as a psychic bodyguard for Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo.
The doc leaves a question mark in its title but provides so much background evidence that we are left in little doubt that even its most outlandish assertions are rooted in truth. Whether or not Geller had psychic powers, US security forces were certainly prepared to take a very hefty wager on him ( via goo.gl ).