by Dr. Lee Pulos and Gary Richman

Paulo felt confident that Thomaz could replicate all of Geller’s feats, and more. Excited, he gave Thomaz a detailed account of Geller’s exhibition. “Thomaz, why can’t you bend metal?” Paulo challenged. Thomaz replied that he neither knew how, nor had it ever occurred to him to even attempt such a thing. Four beers later, Thomaz decided to respond to his friend’s invitation. He asked the waiter to bring him a soup spoon. He took the spoon and calmly raised it above his head. Closing his eyes, Thomaz concentrated intensely. In his own words, “I felt a streak of energy beginning at the base of my spine; it went all the way up to the top of my head ¼ I heard the sound of this energy—it was like a million bees all buzzing at the same time ¼ I had to open my eyes ¼ I could see it ¼ the energy was like sparks or rays of light coming out of my hands and fingertips ¼ I then held the handle of the spoon in both of my hands¼.” To the amazement of both Thomaz and Paulo, the spoon fractured into two pieces! Just like that! Gone forever was another member of Thomaz’s shrinking family of limitations.

Thomaz was excited by his success but also annoyed with his failure to bend the metal for that had been his intention. He possesses a childlike streak of stubbornness when he does not achieve what he has set out to do. For example, Thomaz became a psychic wild man in his solitary enthusiasm for making compass needles spin, particularly when told about Nina Kulagina, the noted Russian paranormal who could spin a compass arrow by psychic force alone. Thomaz became obsessed to the point of perversity. He would remove his shirt, sit hunched over a table, close his eyes, and begin to concentrate. After a few moments, he would extend his arms straight out over a large compass, and then his entire body would join the rhythmic back-and-forth movement of his hands. The hissing noise of his hyperventilation would usually be the signal for the compass needle to begin spinning, as if it were being twirled by an invisible hand. At such times, Thomaz seems to enter into a seamless unity in which his mind, body, and spirit fuse into a total synchrony with the compass. The needle often spins so fast that observers can only see a blurry whirl. But this never seems to satisfy Thomaz. His childlike temperament usually surfaces at this point and he stubbornly proclaims, “I am going to make this compass explode!” With continued hyperventilation, tensing of his muscles, and an increasing feverish crimson spreading over his body, Thomaz continues to push himself, sometimes losing consciousness and requiring resuscitation with lime juice and salt. He has been able to create total magnetic disarray, but he had not yet shattered a compass. Consequently, his physician has prohibited Thomaz from working with compasses again because he never knows when to stop.

So, on that lazy day in the bus station in 1976, Thomaz began to feel that same kind of nagging obstinacy as he had with compasses. He was haunted by questions. “Why did the spoon break instead of bending? Why can’t I do it?” He later theorized to the authors that he could not bend metal because he was simply “green”—he could mobilize the right kind of energy but did not know how to control its intensity.

That night, he began to practice his newly discovered faculty. With great intensity, he worked alone at his new mind-emancipating task. One piece of silverware followed another, but without success. Thomaz managed to fracture every single fork, spoon, and knife in the kitchen but was unable to bend them. At the end of the session he had an orange crate full of fractured cutlery that had been “psychically unglued.”

Paulo, visiting Thomaz at his apartment the next day, suggested a practical alternative. “Try bending coins,” he suggested. “They are smaller and perhaps easier to manage in directing energy.” Taking Paulo’s suggestion, Thomaz held a coin in his outstretched hand, closed his eyes, concentrated intensely, and “forced energy” into the palm of his hand. Opening his eyes, he saw that the coin was curved, almost at a ninety-degree angle. Success! Needless to say, Thomaz spent much of his spare time over the following days psychically bending coins until he got bored with it all.

Several days later, Paulo suggested that Thomaz had too much money invested in silverware to leave it laying about in an old orange crate. “Why don’t you try to mend those pieces together?”

In Thomaz’s words, “the hairs on my arms stood on end” when Paulo made his provocative suggestion. “The hairs on my arm act like an antenna,” Thomaz explained. “When they go erect, I know that something is happening or will happen shortly—the hairs on my arms are like my personal public address system for anything out of the ordinary.”

Picking up two pieces of broken spoon, Thomaz held them together, edge to edge. Focusing his consciousness, he saw a “flowing connectedness” and visualized the spoon in its original state. He could also see a very thin energy shower of “sparks” emanating from his thumbs and fingers and enveloping most of the spoon. The subtle energy cloud could not be seen by Paulo, but both men saw the spoon “restore itself” and shrieked at the same time—another triumph. Thomaz spent the next several days psychokinetically mending his silverware collection. At times, like an exacting artisan, he would physically fracture the spoon again and mend it with the welding arc of his consciousness. Thomaz was feeling good about what was happening. Inspired, he continued his pyschic flexing and apprenticeship in working with metal. It was only a matter of time before he would add to his control, increasing editions of reality.

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