Society for Psychical Research

Psi Researcher

FEATURE

An End to the Uri Geller vs. Randi & CSICOP Litigations?

Marcello Truzzi

Press Release from Uri Geller Enterprises, February 15, 1995:

It is reported that Mr Uri Geller and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of the Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) have now reached by mutual agreement a comprehensive settlement in relation to the last remaining lawsuits between them. This follows earlier settlement of the action against James Randi and Mr Geller's agreement not to pursue the 500,000 Yen award obtained by him against Randi in the courts of Japan.

The settlement reached includes dismissal of the case pending in the English courts against Prometheus Books, Victor Stenger, Paul Kurtz and others. This case was shortly to be set down for trial. Paul Kurtz is the Chairman of CSICOP and the manager of Prometheus Books (Defendants in the English Action). Mr Kurtz and Prometheus have agreed to send a letter confirming that they issued an "errata" in all editions of the book, Physics and Psychics since they first learned of the error in 1992, and will ensure that any future edition will not contain those erroneous statements.

In June 1992, Kurtz had issued a sworn Affidavit, stating inter alia: "Prior to publication [of the book] neither I nor anyone employed by [Prometheus Books, Inc.] were aware that there were any errors in Physics and Psychics and I never knew that it contained the words complained of until I heard from the solicitors for the Plaintiff.... I now understand that it is untrue . . . I unreservedly apologise to him both on behalf of myself and the first defendants [Prometheus Books]."

Uri Geller stated: "I welcome this global settlement of the remaining law suits which arose for the purposes of protecting my name and reputation in various countries where I am well known, against what are now accepted as unjustified attacks. I have accepted Mr Kurtz, apology, and feel that justice has been done, and my reputation vindicated. My immediate future plans include the forthcoming release of the film inspired by my life story, Mindbender directed by Ken Russell and starring Terence Stamp. I have also accepted invitations for television and 'live' appearances, and I am currently preparing a TV special with Sir David Frost."

Gordon Hausmann, Geller's principal UK solicitor says: "It is sensible for Mr Geller to settle these disputes, in spite of a strong and compelling legal case, which I believe would have been upheld by the Courts, in order to end protracted litigation in different jurisdictions, and come to an amicable settlement."

In a long commentary by Dr Marcello Truzzi, of Eastern Michigan University, he concluded:

During these litigations and since, CSICOP has repeatedly described Geller's suits as frivolous "slap suits" and has given the impression that the litigation centred on the issue of Geller's purported paranormal powers. Its supporters seem to have been kept in the dark about the actual complaints in Geller's libel suits, most of which had nothing to do with his psychic claims at all. CSICOP used Geller's suits as a rallying cry for fundraising and although Geller's suits are now closed, CSICOP still uses memory of them in its fund appeals. As for Randi, despite his catastrophic financial costs, he continues to proclaim that he has "won" every suit against him, ignoring the actual court judgments and treating any suits dropped as suits won.


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