What was in Criss Angel’s envelope?

I watched the season finale of phenomenon – the show in which mentalists compete to see who is the next “phenomenon” – and Criss Angel did skeptics everywhere proud with the contents of the envelope.


You may remember his fight with the paranormal fraud we talked about last time. It started when Angel offered 1 million dollars of his own money to who could tell him what was in an envelope, thus demonstrating their psychic power. The psychic fraud, Jim Callahan, and Uri Geller got all upset and called him closed-minded, yada yada. Good times were had by all.

Luckily Callahan got kicked after this, because really, his act stank like a frat house on Sunday. But he returned briefly during the final episode to show how he wasn’t a magician but a “paranormalist”. His proof? A cheesy rope trick. He’s such a hack, it really is sad. I mean, really? A rope trick? That’s how you’re going to show your paranormal abilities?

Back to the envelope. Angel gives Geller one last shot, and of course, the tool hemmed and hawed, and said nothing. But the ultimate screw you to the psychic pretenders was what was in it. A simple piece of paper with the numbers 911. It made a beautiful and simple point. If these people had abilities that let them see the future, why can’t they ever do anything useful with it? If they really are such magical wonders, why do they spend their time working audiences with gimmicks mainstream mentalists can perform?

I thought it was a great point. Angel, despite his hair cut, kicks ass.

Comments

  1. #1 Graculus
    November 22, 2007

    Hey, what’s wrong with Angel’s haircut?

    Be careful, your pictures are in the sidebar… 😉

  2. #2 Caledonian
    November 22, 2007

    I wonder if it’s also a subtle reference to the September 11th, 2001 attacks – which no one predicted, despite the massive public awareness which was created.

  3. #3 Ex-drone
    November 22, 2007

    I got it exactly right. When Criss held up the envelope, I wrote down:

    “It’s a small item or piece of paper. It has meaning to Criss or one of his friend or a relative or co-worker. There are letters or numbers or a sketch, maybe a circle or a square. Water. Something that looks like a tree or a pole. The colour red. I feel a pressure or tightness in my chest.”

    You see — “numbers”. I nailed it. Okay, Randi, where’s my million dollars.

  4. #4 Infophile
    November 22, 2007

    I wonder if it’s also a subtle reference to the September 11th, 2001 attacks – which no one predicted, despite the massive public awareness which was created.

    I don’t think it’s that subtle. Nowadays, when someone talks about those numbers in American with reference to preventing tragedy, the attacks come to mind before the more general concept of calling 911.

  5. #5 IanR
    November 22, 2007

    This really goes to the core of why I like Criss Angel. He isn’t pretending to have magic powers which makes what he does even better. It isn’t a “gift”, it’s all skill.

  6. #6 Dude
    November 22, 2007

    Chris Angel is great. I’ve been a fan of his for a good while because he has never (to my knowledge) claimed any “paranormal” (such a stupid, self contradictory word) ability. I have heard him state clearly that what he does is ALL trickery and skill, and he does it well!

    The Gellers, Browns, Callahans, and Edwards of the world suck so many people in with their scam, they prey on emotionally vulnerable individuals.

    I’m always glad there are a few like Randi, P&T, and Angel around (and Houdini before them) to illustrate the lies of the predators.

  7. #7 MarkH
    November 22, 2007

    Caledonian
    That was exactly his point. That all the psychics on the world didn’t have a thing to say that would have saved the lives of all those people.

    Geller was pissed.

  8. #8 Caledonian
    November 22, 2007

    Leaving aside the lives involved for a moment, a psychic who predicted 9/11 could have instantly earned themselves instant fame. What better demonstration of psychic abilities could there be?

    And yet none of them managed it. No one even predicted, say, “a serious tragedy in the third quarter of 2001 that would change our society forever”. Despite all of the psychological consequences of the attack, and the massive amounts of attention given to it, it someone failed to trigger the psychics’ “special gift”.

    They’re special, all right.

  9. #9 Dr. Oscar
    November 22, 2007

    Another amusing illustration: not long ago Geller attempted to buy the “Elvis house” on ebay, boasting that Elvis himself told him how much to bid and that he was sure to win. When he won the auction but didn’t get the house (seems he failed to close the deal in time) he acted geniunely surprised! Was it because he didn’t get the house? Or because it proved he’s a charlatan once again? Or that Elvis isn’t speaking to him anymore? So many possibilities…

  10. #10 Wes
    November 23, 2007

    Gotta love it how Callahan’s immediate response is to call Angel an “ideological bigot”. When the supernatural charlatan is cornered he’s guaranteed to lay the cliches on thick. What a joke. I generally feel the same way about people who immediately start spewing “militant fundamentalist atheist” whenever Richard Dawkins opens his mouth.

  11. #11 Loyal
    November 24, 2007

    There was two envelopes he only revealed one, the other would revealed on his show on the Season 4 premiere.

  12. #12 kitabug
    December 29, 2007

    I think Criss would have knocked Callahan out big time I mean I have seen him work-out on my movie that I have of Season 1 and from what I know of he is 164 lbs. and he can push a tree so far that someone can run up it and then run back down it. He is amazing and from what I have seen on this show that everyone that was a contestant has basically done all the easy tricks that have to with hands and contacting the dead he has done it all before I have even watched this show he did the cup with the knife in season 1 or season 2 I am not sure but I know he has done it and he has contacted a little girl named Mary at the Amagosa Hotel and I am not sure where that is at but he contacted her there and he contacted her in a different hotel that I don’t remember where that one is at either. He has done so many things that just blow peoples minds that is why they call him the MASTER of minds Criss Angel Mindfreak.

  13. #13 heather s
    February 28, 2008

    hey! whats wrong with criss’ hair?! it is so kick ass!!
    anyways… yeah i totally loved that fight and i was so glad when he was kicked off! and all the guy would say to criss is that he was a bigot! pathetic! i love you criss!

  14. #14 Andrew
    July 27, 2008

    But where is it? It’s past the day it was supposed to be shown on Mindfreak, and no news.

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