Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Bibliography of the Out-of-Body Experience



Over 2,000 bibliographic references to the out-of-body experience (OBE),
arranged by subject and author.
Includes references to the near-death experience (NDE).

Copyright © 2009 by Robert Bushman, compiler
Single copies with copyright notice are permitted for non-commercial use.


Contents

Research Interest for OBEers

Links to Internet Sites on OBE

Newsgroups Dealing with OBE

 

List of the Bibliographies

A Short, Selected Bibliography (about 30 titles)
Titles in Languages Other Than English (Arabic, Danish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Thai)
A Comprehensive Bibliography (all of the above bibliographies in one list, arranged by author.  File size:  958 KB)

Preface

The out-of-body experience is an extraordinary, mystifying, exhilarating, sometimes frightening, and often life-changing experience. It is a window of insight into our nature, our potential, and our place in the universe.  I hope this bibliography will help unfold our understanding of these timeless and fundamental matters.
The strength of the total body of evidence for OBE is overwhelming and impels us to stretch well beyond the comfort of our traditional worldview.  It calls into question the validity of ordinary perception, our belief in form, physicality, time and space, our identity, and indeed, the nature of reality.  Perhaps a more confident understanding of these matters will follow a shift in our current, materialistic worldview. Perhaps a better understanding of OBE will promote that shift. 
OBE awakens us to consciousness as the great frontier.  In that awakening, we stand at a vast horizon of discovery that comprehends virtually all human concern.

Definition

Like a dream, the "out-of-body experience" is a subjective experience in an alternate state of consciousness.  But unlike a dream, an OBE is experienced as real--often as even more real and vivid than normal waking consciousness.  An understanding of OBE is elusive, and depends on one’s metaphysical perspective. The practical definition proposed by parapsychologist, Charles Tart, is that it is simply a state in which one perceives from a point in space apart from one's physical body.
Out-of-body experiences are similar to visual, auditory, and tactile perceptions, but are not mediated by physical senses.  Moreover, the types of OBE perceptions go beyond those we associate with the senses of our physical body.  The experiencer seems to have unlimited mobility and thus may "travel" to any desired spatial location at unlimited speed, or even instantaneously.  Some experience no limits in the time dimension. Direct communication with other life forms seems possible.  Non-ordinary realities may be experienced, including locales associated with the “afterlife.”  Some report access to the thoughts of others.  In general, normal physical limitations do not apply.
Usually, an OBE occurs spontaneously and unexpectedly, though a few have been able to induce the state deliberately.  The most commonly known practitioners of deliberate OBE are shamans and mystics of virtually all cultures worldwide.  Spontaneous OBE is normal and occurs commonly in every population, but because of its extraordinary nature, it is not commonly recognized for what it is.  Experiencers usually believe it is a vivid dream.  Psychiatrists have established that is not a mental disorder, such as depersonalization, autoscopy (or phenomenon of the double or doppelganger), dissociation (multiple personality disorder), psychogenic amnesia, or psychogenic fugue.
Near-death experience (NDE) is a major type of OBE.  NDE is usually induced by serious trauma, and has a distinctive phenomenology (subjective description). Of all that has been published on OBE, the NDE literature contains some of the most personally significant and transformative experience.  Like any perceptions, NDEs are subject to various interpretations, and ordinary OBE provides a broader context for their interpretation.

Nomenclature

"Astral projection" was the earlier common term for OBE. More recently, "out-of-body experience," was suggested by parapsychologist Charles Tart and has become the standard term. Other terms include:
  • altered mind-body perception
  • astral elevation
  • astral excursion
  • astral travel
  • autoscopic hallucination
  • bilocation
  • coat travel
  • consciousness localized in space outside the body
  • depersonalization
  • disembodiment
  • dissociation between body and mind
  • dormiens vigila
  • dream time
  • dream travel
  • dream walking
  • eckstacy
  • ecsomatic experience
  • ecsomaticity
  • ecstasys
  • eidolon
  • ESP projection
  • etheric projection
  • ex-corporeal consciousness
  • exteriorization
  • externalisation
  • extrasensory travel
  • extrasomatic localization
  • false sight
  • flight of the soul
  • interdimensional traveling
  • kosha-state
  • leaving the body
  • little death
  • mental projection
  • mind projection
  • mind traveling
  • mystic death
  • night travel
  • projection of consciousness
  • projection of the etheric body
  • pseudopia
  • psi-projection
  • psychic navigation
  • psychic travel
  • psychological death
  • psychonavigation
  • sacred silence
  • scrying in the spirit vision
  • self-projection
  • separation
  • shamanic journey
  • shamanic ecstasy
  • slipping out
  • soul travel
  • spirit travel
  • statuvolism
  • trance journey
  • traveling clairvoyance
  • traveling ESP
  • traveling telepathy
  • traveling spiritually

Contents of the Bibliographies

This bibliography includes titles of books; booklets; articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals; self-published works; audio and video tapes; and files from the Internet that deal with OBE.  It includes any material dealing with the phenomenon, from subjective to objective, skeptical to speculative, and scientific to popular.  Included are personal experiences, collections of case histories, phenomenologies (subjective descriptions), induction techniques, anthropological descriptions, psychological descriptions, population surveys, historical surveys, cross-cultural surveys, theoretical explorations, research methodologies, research reports, biography, popularizations, counter-hypotheses, and fiction.  Most of the titles deal exclusively with OBE phenomena while many others are more general in scope and touch only lightly upon OBE. 
There are several other subject areas, such as death survival, lucid dreaming (LD), spiritualism, shamanism, and mediumship, that are related to OBE for which titles are not included except as they touch on OBE.
I have made no attempt to evaluate or restrict titles, and the inclusion of a title does not reflect a position I hold about its content nor its reliability.
Please submit other titles for this bibliography, corrections of errors, and annotations.  You can reach me by sending email to RobertBushman at comcast dot net.  (I have written my address in this way to elude spammers.  To use it, adjust it to the standard format.)

Arrangement of the OBE Bibliographies

Because it may be difficult to find the titles you want from the comprehensive list, which is quite long, I have classified the titles into shorter lists by subject.  I have also included a short, selected list that contains what I hope are the best, frequently cited titles, classic first-hand experiences, and other quality titles offering good overview treatments by the major writers.
The major works have, of course, been reviewed in other publications.  Those reviews are listed along with other titles, and are also listed under the titles reviewed on the comprehensive list.
The subject lists are arranged by publication date.  The Selected and Comprehensive lists are arranged by author.

Notation Convention Used in the OBE Bibliographies

In my format of bibliographic citation, the name of the publisher is followed by the place of publication.  Articles appearing in serial publications are shown with volume, issue number (if any), and page number(s).  For example, “15(3):121-128” means that the article cited appears in volume 15, issue number 3, on pages 121 through 128. When works are published by more than one publisher, the original publisher is usually shown first, as are first edition dates, as many titles have been republished and show later publication dates.

Abbreviations Used in the OBE Bibliographies

bibl       includes a bibliography
ca         approximately
cf         see, in particular
ff          and those related pages which follow
illus       includes illustration(s)
index    includes an index
nd        no date
p          length of work in pages
pp        located at the following page numbers
pseud   pseudonym
refs       includes references to sources

Availability of OBE Titles

Only a few items of this bibliography are now in print.  The classics get reprinted, like those by Monroe, Fox, and Muldoon, but most others fade quickly into the vast ephemera.  It is difficult to find many titles even in large research libraries.  Interlibrary loan is helpful.  The best libraries to search are those that specialize in the paranormal, like the libraries of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) atVirginia BeachVirginia; the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR), and the Parapsychology Foundation in New York City.  Currently, the publishers of the most in-print OBE titles are Hampton Roads in CharlottesvilleVirginia and Llewellyn Publications in St. PaulMinnesota.
Used book dealers can frequently find out-of-print OBE titles, and there are excellent resources for searching for them on the web, such as Abebooks and Bookfinder.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to those who have contributed items to this bibliography:  Carlos Alvarado of the Parapsychology Foundation, Bruce Greyson of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Melissa Jager, Fowler Jones, Andy Kolovos of the ASPR Library, Joanne McMahon of the Parapsychology Foundation's library, Bob Peterson, Angela Thompson Smith, Rhea White of the Exceptional Human Experience Network, Giulia De Vivo (Italian titles), and Ruth White of the ARE Library. Special thanks to Linda Henkel for her editing. I alone am responsible for the errors, omissions, and mis-classifications.

Research Interest for OBEers

I would like to hear from those who can have OBEs deliberately and who may be interested using that ability in cooperation with others to develop useful information and technologies.  To contact me, send an email to RobertBushman at comcast dot net.  (I have written my address in this way to elude spammers.  To use it, adjust it to the standard format.)

Links to Internet Sites on OBE



Newsgroups Dealing with OBE


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Audinometry

Interview

The following is an interview with founder, Bruce K. Avenell
INT: Mr Avenell, could you tell us a little but about Audinometry?  Where did this system come from?
BKA: Audinometry is a progressive, advanced system of sound current meditation.  A lot of the background techniques came from two Sikh gurus, Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind and Kirpal Singh, both of whom I studied Surat Shabda Yoga under.  From this my long memory opened up, and I remembered teaching spiritual systems in ancient Eqypt.  We’ve revamped the system many times, because of new things which are continually being discovered.  So, this system is based on my own experiences, as well as my students’ experiences.
INT: What is your relationship to your students?  Are you a guru or master of some sort?
BKA: No, I’m not into devotion.  We don’t tie you to a spiritual master, nor do we teach a religion or philosophy.  Previously, I’ve always offered to be a student’s friend and confidant, and to help them understand what is happening to them.  I’m very informal, because the thing these students are looking for is in themselves, not in me.  I have tried to show them enough of my life so they can see I’m just a regular person.  I guess I don’t like titles.  You can call me a coach, if you like.
INT: So there is no initiation?
BKA: That’s correct.  In ancient times there would be ceremonies and secret rites to impress on your being the importance of such a decision.  We see the need for that, but we feel not even all this ceremonial stuff can establish in your being the proper spiritual attitude needed.  That has to be built into you.  We try to help you do this in early techniques.
INT: You mentioned remembering a past life in Egypt.  Then you do believe in reincarnation?
BKA: Yes, I remember several lives in Egypt.
INT: So, these techniques enable people to remember past lives?
BKA: Yes, but it doesn’t come as predictably as we would like. Many students of our system have remembered past lives, and it’s helped them work out things in their present incarnation.
INT: What do people experience doing Audinometry?
BKA: All sorts of things.  These techniques enable you to have a lot more energy in your being, which can cause several things to happen.  Greater mental capacity, ability to relax more, control of spiritual vision and comprehension of spiritual experience are a few.
INT: Or the ability to see a wider reality than the ordinary conscious person does?
BKA: Yes, the ability to be aware or travel on the inner planes.  It’s not really limited.  Some students say, when they come to Audinometry, that they want to be free.  We give you all the freedom you can handle.
INT: Where does all this lead?  I mean, what’s the goal your students are seeking?
BKA: That really depends on the person.  There are many reasons for doing Audinometry.  They should all come from a real desire to grow.  Our system is not tied to yesterday.  It is constantly growing, being revised and renewed.  If there is any technique which speeds things up and allows a student to be strong and keep their identity, we will be very happy to put it within our structure.  We’ve done it many times already.  Where Audinometry leads is up to the student.  Many people come in just to learn to relax, and they learn more.  And that’s fine.  They may see a little farther down the road and have another goal.  We are inclined to believe we are all divine beings.  The universe is a womb and we are the embryos of divine beings.  The progression of life takes us nearer and nearer, through countless lives, to that realization.  Doing Audinometry simply accelerates the process.  I’ve done a great deal of exploring inside over the years.  A lot of it was guided and later on when I knew my way around, I started out on my own.  Eventually I was given a job to do, and I realized for me life has to be an adventure.  I guess realizing one’s divine heritage could be considered an ultimate goal.  It’s quite an adventure discovering that.
INT: Then you consider Audinometry an adventure.  What kind of adventures are you talking about?  Spiritual experiences?
BKA: In the beginning the adventure is discovering yourself, discovering who you are, what you are, why you are here doing this and what your background is.  After that, all kinds of doors and avenues open up to you.  As you get closer to the Divine Being, you are actually getting closer to your own true self.  This involves taking on more obligations and doing your part in creation.  With inner strength, inner awareness and inner power, comes added responsibility.  From here, there seems to be no limitations to life.
INT: You mentioned this technique allows you more energy in your being.  This question may be naive, but why would anyone want more energy in your being?
BKA: Would you like to have more money in your bank account?  And why?
INT: Of course.  For lots of reasons.
BKA: As you do our system, you become aware of a phenomenon going on inside of you which is similar to walking into a dark house and turning on the lights.  As the lights come on, a lot of your whole nature comes into your conscious awareness.  These lights require a certain amount of energy to run them.  Basically, we turn you on to the energy which allows this to happen in your being.  What happens is that as you get the ability to handle more conscious energy, you have access to higher and higher levels of life.  The human vehicle is capable of handling a great range of energy.  When you have access to more energy, you begin to learn how to manage your own energy structure.
INT: What exactly do you mean by learning to manage your own energy structure?
BKA: This is the process you go through when you begin getting more conscious energy in your being.  There are several steps to this, but basically you learn how to balance this energy, store it and use it when needed.  When you start controlling this process, spiritual lessons come faster.  And you also have much more ability to comprehend these lessons.  You start living more in your eternal being than in your temporal.  In order to exist as a functioning divine being, you must learn how to manage the energies that a divine being lives on.
INT: My impression is this is a very mechanical approach to a spiritual life.  Am I reading that right?
BKA: Yes, that’s right.  I’m a mechanic, in a manner of speaking.  We don’t teach second-hand philosophy.  We teach something which is provable by experience.  Something that works.  A mechanic has to prove he can make something work.  A philosopher can philosophize all day, and not have to prove any of it.
INT: Can anyone do this?  Or do you need to be specially gifted?
BKA: If you’ve got a warm body, it can work.  Seriously, we can guarantee this will work for you to the extent that you follow instructions.  The thing I look for most in a student is persistence.  Persistence is most important.  This path is extremely difficult and is not for everybody.  It takes a high degree of personal commitment and discipline to climb a path so steep.  All life has the potential to reach a divine state, and in this potential all life is equal.  However, we must all choose when to make this commitment to life.
INT: How involved in the physical world are your students?  Are they recluses?
BKA: Life does exist in a much greater spectrum than this physical world.  However, part of our system teaches you to tune yourself to the different spectrums and still maintain your physical existence.  To live within this continuity of life.  I think being a recluse is a copout.  If you’re a recluse there is no reason for having a physical body.  This physical world is like a read-out on a computer.  It tells you what is going on in your life.  A student can’t come to me and say, “My spiritual life is going great, but my physical life is going down the tubes.”  The physical world is a read-out.  On the other hand, if a student comes to me and says, “Boy, my physical is purring right along, but I’m having these problems spiritually”, they have small problems.  If you don’t have that interplay with life, you don’t have a report card.  Life gives you a report card every day of what is going on with you spiritually.
INT: So, what about people who seem to be doing well physically?  Like some wealthy people who seem to have everything they need in the physical, but don’t seem to have any real spiritual lives?
BKA: Are they happy?
INT: I’m not sure.  Is that the criteria?  Is happiness the true wealth?
BKA: A sense of having a purpose, an adventure where you are doing things which are rewarding to you.  A life in which you are learning things in the progression through life, when things are a lot better this year than last.  Being excited about living.  Having good friends.  All these contribute to happiness.  And happiness carries great spiritual wealth.
INT: Can you tell me more about the actual instructions and what is required if I was interested in starting?
BKA: We have several lessons which we teach in a step by step program.  We give you spiritual exercises to do, and ask that you keep a diary.  As you begin to master the techniques, we give you supplementary material.
INT: How long does it take someone to get through this program?
BKA: Well, that’s up to the individual.  Both according to his own goals and how well he sticks with it.  Many systems say it takes several lifetimes to be free of this place.  In this system you can learn what you need to know in one lifetime.
INT: What about monetary arrangements?
BKA: There’s a lot of spiritual merchandise being offered these days.  Some are trying to sell something which people already possess.  Life is eternal.  Don’t let anyone try to sell it to you.  They can’t take it away.  We’re not trying to sell you something you already have.  We are willing to teach you how to use your being to a much greater personal profit.  It’s hard to put a price on that.  We do charge an initial fee and regular payments as long as you do the formal program and are receiving regular information.  We’ve learned that there is no free lunch in this universe.  And we feel this covers that obligation.
INT: Have you written any books or articles about your system?
BKA: I have several books and booklets out, all of which are available on this web site.  And several more are in the works.  (See the Publications section)
INT: Any parting words?
BKA: The Audinometry system of meditation is an investment in your eternal self.  Just remember, life is a do-it-yourself adventure, but it’s also a school, a very vast one.  Be a worthy student of the school and creation will create an amazing place for you, way beyond anything you could ever imagine.  Good luck with your endeavors!
. . . There is a Way . . .



        Ref the Eureka Society  

Friday, 26 July 2013

Psychic Being (Chaitya Purusha)


psychic being
Image : Loci Lenar, via Flickr (Creative Commons.  Click on the image to go to the source.
The inner Self, no larger than the size of a man’s thumb…
(Katha Upanishad 2.3.17, Svetasvatara Upanishad 3.13)
Others see in the meditation upon Him within their own body the Personality of Godhead residing in the region of the heart measuring eight inches, having four arms, carrying the lotus, the wheel of the chariot, the conchshell and the club.
In the space lying inside the heart, the Purusha assumes the form of manas which is immortal and golden in look.  The flesh hanging like a teat from above the cavity of the throat is the abode of Indra.
(Taittiriya Upanishad I.6)
The psychic being is the evolving soul within us, which sits behind our heart, which develops life after life through life experiences. It is the portion of the Divine which holds together our mental, vital and physical sheaths. At the time of death, it decides the circumstances of our next birth and then withdraws into the psychic world for a period of rest.
 

Psychic Being same as the Vedic Agni

Purani: You have said that the psychic being is also a personality.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes, there is the psychic Purusha.
Purani: Does the psychic being develop from birth to birth?
Sri Aurobindo : It is not the psychic being itself that develops, but it guides the evolution of the individual being by increasing the psychic element in the nature of the individual. It is these personalities in nature that are bound.
PuraniThen it seems that the function of the psychic being is the same as that of Vedic Agni who is the God of Fire, who is the leader of the journey.
Sri Aurobindo : Yes. Agni is the God of the psychic and, among other things that it does, it also leads the upward journey.
(Nirodbaran, Talks with Sri Aurobindo, 23 Jan 1939)
Disciple: Has the psychic flame any correspondence to the Vedic Agni? They seem to have more or less the same chief/qualities.
Mother: Yes, these are two names for the same thing.
(CWMCE, vol. 16, p 208)

The Mother on the psychic being

Question : Is the psychic being in the heart?
Answer : Not in the physical heart, not in the organ. It is in a fourth dimension, an inner dimension. But it is in that region, the region somewhat behind the solar plexus, it is there that one finds it most easily. The psychic being is in the fourth dimension as related to our physical being
Question : Mother, why is it better to concentrate in the heart?
Answer : He says here that it is easier. For some people it is more difficult, it depends on one’s nature. But it is better because if you concentrate there, deeply enough, it is there that you enter into contact with the psychic for the first time; while if you concentrate in the head you have to pass later from the head to the heart to be able to identify yourself with the psychic being. And if you concentrate by gathering the energies, it is better to gather them here, because it is in this centre, in this region of the being that you find the will to progress, the force of purification, and the most intense and effective aspiration. The aspiration that comes from the heart is much more effective than that from the head.
(Questions and Answers, Vol 6, 3 November 1954)

Discussion on nomenclature

Sri Aurobindo : Did you refer to the dictionary to find out whether “Chaitya Purusha” can mean “the Psychic being”, “the Soul”?
Disciple (1) I did, but the word is not given there in that sense; it only carries the sense of Chaitya of the Buddhas and the Jainas.
Sri Aurobindo : That is quite another meaning. But what about this one?
Disciple : But you have yourself used it in the Arya at two places.
Sri Aurobindo : How is that? Where?
Disciple : In the Synthesis of Yoga, in the fourth chapter about the “Four Aids” you have mentioned there “Chai­tya Guru”, the inner guide.
Disciple (1) : In Vaishnavite literature it means the portion, – Amsha – of the Divine which guides a man. It is called Chaitya Guru.
Sri Aurobindo : I wanted to know if the word has a fixed connotation. If it has not, then one can use the word “Chaitya Purusha” for the “Psychic being”. It has the advantage of carrying both the functions of the Psychic being : it is the direct portion of the Divine in the human and it is also the being that is behind the Chitta.
(A.B. Purani, Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, first series, p 259, dated 28th jan, 1926)

A disciple’s experience

Satyendra Thakore: I saw a small bright/flame as big as a man’s thumb in the region of the heart. What is it?
Sri Aurobindo: It is the psychic fire kindled in the heart. The psychic being is described by the Upanishads as of the size of a thumb angushthamatrah purusho’ntaratma — it may manifest first as this psychic flame.
(Satyendra Thakore. Their Deep Compassion, 8th April, 1938)

Sri Aurobindo on the psychic being

The psychic being is in the heart centre in the middle of the chest (not in the physical heart, for all the centres are in the middle of the body), but it is deep behind. When one is going away from the vital into the psychic, it is felt as if one is going deep deep down till one reaches that central place of the psychic. The surface of the heart centre is the place of the emotional being; from there one goes deep to find the psychic. The more one goes, the more intense becomes the psychic happiness which you describe.
(Letters on Yoga, Triple transformation)

The psychic being in Savitri

The first line of this verse describes the psychic being as being “no bigger than the thumb of man”.  This is an allusion to verse 2.1.12 of the Katha Upanishad which says “The Purusha, of the size of a thumb, dwells in the body.  (Realizing Him as) the Lord of the past and the future, one does not (henceforward) want to protect oneself. This verily is that (thou seekest).
She puts forth a small portion of herself,
A being no bigger than the thumb of man
Into a hidden region of the heart
To face the pang and to forget the bliss,
To share the suffering and endure earth’s wounds
And labour mid the labour of the stars.
This in us laughs and weeps, suffers the stroke,
Exults in victory, struggles for the crown;
Identified with the mind and body and life,
It takes on itself their anguish and defeat,
Bleeds with Fate’s whips and hangs upon the cross,
Yet is the unwounded and immortal self
Supporting the actor in the human scene.
Through this she sends us her glory and her powers,
Pushes to wisdom’s heights, through misery’s gulfs;
She gives us strength to do our daily task
And sympathy that partakes of others’ grief
And the little strength we have to help our race,
We who must fill the role of the universe
Acting itself out in a slight human shape
And on our shoulders carry the struggling world.
This is in us the godhead small and marred;
In this human portion of divinity
She seats the greatness of the Soul in Time
To uplift from light to light, from power to power,
Till on a heavenly peak it stands, a king.
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book VII, Canto V)

See also

  1. Psychic Transformation
  2. The elusive touch of the psychic being
  3. The psychic joy derived from a selfless act
  4. The Nachiketa fire sacrifice
  5. How to awaken the soul (psychic being)?
  6. Wikipedia entry on Psychic Being

Books

Click on the pictures to go to the SABDA catalogSABDA ships internationally.
psychic_being
and

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Was Uri Geller a Cia Spy?

According to a new BBC documentary, he used his psychic powers in an attempt to wipe secret Soviet computer records.
It is alleged he also tried to disable military radar and influence the mind of a Russian negotiator during Cold War arms talks in Geneva by beaming peace messages at his head.
Psychic spy? Israeli-born Uri Geller became world famous with his spoon bending act
Psychic spy? Israeli-born Uri Geller became world famous with his spoon bending act
The Israeli-born showman’s life has been littered with outrageous claims. Over the years, his tricks have baffled scientists and enraged his rivals.
Now, the BBC film, to be broadcast later this year, claims Geller was recruited to help Western intelligence services as they battled to stay ahead of their Communist enemies in the Seventies and Eighties.

In The Secret Life Of Uri Geller — Psychic Spy?, film-maker Vikram Jayanti spoke to a host of scientists, intelligence agents and Washington and Pentagon insiders. Several confirmed that the U.S. authorities used — and still may be using — 66-year-old Geller in what surely must be some of the most outrageous schemes ever dreamt up.
‘I tried to execute missions that were positive. I said “No” to dark things,’ says Geller of his alleged second career as a spy.
So what did he do? And how did the man who many believe can’t even bend a fork without hiding a magnet in his hand come to captivate America’s spy chiefs?
Accusations: Uri Geller, pictured in 2008, used his psychic powers in an attempt to wipe secret Soviet computer records, a BBC documentary claims
Accusations: Uri Geller, pictured in 2008, used his psychic powers in an attempt to wipe secret Soviet computer records, a BBC documentary claims
It all started in Israel, where Geller was raised. As a young man with a popular nightclub mind-reading act, he came to the attention of the secret service, Mossad, as they sought to outwit their Arab neighbours.
At the same time, his potential was spotted in America, and it was U.S. scientists who researched his paranormal skills.
The Stanford Research Institute in California, often a front for secret CIA research, had been commissioned during the early Seventies by the U.S. government to look into whether psychic powers could be harnessed by the military — Washington believed the Kremlin was already investigating the same area.
The research with Uri went into a high gear after a phone conversation with his secret CIA contact 3,000 miles away, in which Uri correctly described a detailed anatomical illustration the agent was looking at on his desk.
With his seemingly incredible skills in telepathy, Geller became the poster boy for the paranormal. He spent months wired up in lab tests and — according to the documentary — the results convinced scientists that he really did have special skills.
For example, he was allegedly able to guess letters of the alphabet that other people were thinking about. But before the Americans could decide what to do with him, he was pressed into service by Israel.
 So far, he had done only mundane work such as helping Israeli defence minister Moshe Dayan find hidden archaeological artefacts buried in his garden.
But then, having proved himself, he was later recruited to do clandestine work for Mossad.
According to his biographer Jonathan Margolis, in 1976 an Israeli agent told Geller a set of numbers and a certain time the next day when he had to concentrate on the numbers and think ‘Break, break, break’.
Unknown to Geller, he was being asked to play a key role in an audacious and secret operation by Israeli commandos to rescue 102 hostages who had been seized on a plane by Palestinian terrorists and who were at Entebbe airport in Uganda.
The crisis began when an Air France flight flying from Israel to Paris with 250 people on board was hijacked. The raid by 200 elite, Israel-led troops was a success.
Geller’s role? The numbers he had been given, he said later, related to a radar station the commandos needed to put out of action to take the terrorists by surprise.
Mind boggled: Spoon-bending Uri is believed to have first come to the attention of the CIA while working for the Israeli military
In control: The BBC documentary also claims Uri Geller tried to influence the mind of a Russian negotiator during Cold War arms talks in Geneva by beaming peace messages at his head

Margolis says weapons scientist Eldon Byrd claimed Mossad also secretly put Geller on passenger planes flying over Syria. They wanted him to locate a suspected nuclear power plant by using his ‘psychic impressions’. Sure enough, says Byrd, he located it and Mossad duly bombed it not long after.
By now the Americans wanted Uri Geller back to work for them.
It was a CIA agent in Mexico City, known simply as Mike, who had spotted Geller’s potential, especially in Mexico which at the time was heaving with KGB agents and where Geller had become a huge star.
Mike also knew the incoming President, Jimmy Carter, was interested in the paranormal. Here was an ideal opportunity for the CIA.
‘I was used to erase floppy disks on Aeroflot flights when KGB agents were flying with diplomatic pouches to the West,’ claims Geller. ‘I would sit there and concentrate on these pouches.
‘I must have been successful, I guess, because the CIA guys kept asking me for more and more.’ Margolis says the CIA also took Geller to the desert to see if he could move a model spy plane with the power of his mind.
Uri said: ‘I managed to do that, too. I just loved it . . . it was so James Bondy.’
Unlike 007, however, agent Uri was not willing to kill, he says.
Thus he refused a CIA request to use his psychic powers to stop a pig’s heart. Geller says it was clear that the heart they ultimately had in mind belonged to Yuri Andropov, then the head of the KGB.
According to Margolis, the CIA even asked Geller to beam a psychic message into President Carter’s brain to persuade him to provide funding for a new CIA paranormal programme.
In control: The BBC documentary also claims Uri Geller tried to influence the mind of a Russian negotiator during Cold War arms talks in Geneva by beaming peace messages at his head
Mind boggled: Spoon-bending Uri is believed to have first come to the attention of the CIA while working for the Israeli military
Too ridiculous for words? Maybe. But this was when Cold War tensions were at their height and an anxious White House, and its intelligence services, were ready to fund techniques of fighting Russia that — in retrospect — seem more than faintly crack-headed.
Certainly, it is beyond dispute that Geller was a White House guest at Carter’s 1977 inauguration. The New York Times has also reported that, shortly after coming into office, Carter ordered a high-level report into the Soviets’ involvement in psychic research.
A decade later, according to the new film, Geller was still considered an asset, with America’s top nuclear arms treaty negotiator, Ambassador Max Kampelman,  flying him to Geneva for arms reduction talks. At a dinner the night before, Geller beamed ‘positive thoughts’ into the mind of the top Soviet negotiator.
The following day, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev announced a plan to rid Europe of medium-range nuclear missiles. The power of positive thinking — or coincidence?
After 23 years, and an estimated $20 million, spent looking into the potential of psychic spies, President Bill Clinton officially dismantled the paranormal research project in 1995 and declassified much of the paperwork two years later.
But BBC film-maker Vikram Jayanti says there are people who are convinced the CIA continued its covert, psychic work.
He says: ‘A former U.S. Senate aide active in foreign intelligence told me that rather than being shut down, America’s use of psychic spies merely went what he called “deeper black” — or further into the shadows.’
Geller, who continued his parallel showbiz career and was Michael Jackson’s best man, lives in a mansion in Berkshire. He has a 1976 Cadillac adorned with thousands of pieces of bent cutlery. He has always proved adept at financially exploiting his powers.
His dousing skills were admired by by Sir Val Duncan, boss of the British mining company Rio Tinto Zinc and the president of Mexico, Jose Lopez Portillo, invited him to to work his wonders on the struggling country’s oil industry.
As with the Syrian nuclear plant, Geller was flown over the Gulf of Mexico in a helicopter, pointing out places below where he thought they should drill for oil. His reward was to be made honorary citizen and given a gold and silver-plated handgun by Portillo.
Perhaps realising it’s the best way to tantalise the public, he refuses to elaborate on his secret government roles or whether, as he says, he was ‘re-activated’ after 9/11.
Asked about the BBC film’s claims, he remains coy. All he will say is: ‘I tried to execute missions that were positive.’
Jayanti’s film suggests Geller may have been one of nearly 50 psychics used by Western powers to try to locate the fugitive Osama Bin Laden. None of this will surprise military experts. For U.S. spy chiefs have been known to try anything to outfox their enemies.
Intelligence officers have even trained men to kill goats just by staring at them. This was part of a psychic tool known as ‘remote viewing’ in which people were meant to be taught to see things thousands of miles away.
Perhaps the last word should go to Jayanti, who has spoken to many senior CIA operatives. He says: ‘A lot of people think Uri Geller is a fraud, a lot of people think he is a trickster but at the same time he has a history of doing things that nobody can explain.’