Bending My First Spoon
Comments by Natural-Born Skeptic and Research Scientist
by Lou Marincovich, PhD
I'm a natural-born skeptic, since I've spent my life as a research scientist, so it was with a disbeliever's attitude that I went to my first spoon-bending/Halloween party, put on by FMBR at Unity Church in Palo Alto on October 30. About 30 people were there, including several children and teens. FMBR board member, Dr. Tlffany Schneider, gave each of us a pendulum that we individually calibrated to swing in a Yes or No direction. We then picked one spoon from a table covered with them and "tested" it by holding the pendulum above it. If you got a Yes answer, then the spoon was theoretically bendable by you.
Unless your name is Uri Geller, bending spoons requires a group of people who are energetically excited. The group's energy is transmitted to each person's hands by means of guided imagery: Tiffany had us gather up the group energy in a mental room-size net, then concentrate the energy in front of us before having it enter our bodies and moving to our hands. While standing in a circle we then all shouted "Bend!, Bend!, Bend!" while holding the spoon, fork or 1/4 metal rod between our two hands.
There were shouts of surprise as the first metal objects bent in the hands of surprised Halloween revelers! Pretty soon most of us had bent our spoon in at least a simple way: I bent a stainless steel spoon into a U shape, but was wondering if I had somehow done that with mere physical force. At that point I showed the spoon to Bill Gough, co-founder of FMBR; when he touched my spoon he said something like, "This spoon still wants to bend more," and began to twist it like a licorice stick, along its axis. He handed it back to me and I finished up with 2.5 full twists of the handle.
The most amazing part of the evening was when three children, one only 5 years old, bent 1/4-inch metal rods anywhere up to 90 degrees. Bill Gough also did this. I had tried for half an hour to bend one of those metal rods and got exactly nowhere, then handed it to the 5 year old, who promptly bent it about 30 degrees.
As a research scientist I always thought bending spoons was a stage stunt, some kind of fakery such as magicians routinely use. Having done it myself, and seen little kids do it even more convincingly, I can assure you that bending spoons is not only possible but fun! For more about this topic, go to: www.jackhouck.com.