Lior Suchard well known globally for his mind reading, telepathy and telekinesis abilities will perform in Chennai

Meet the Mentalist. Sceptical? Of course you are. Yet, Lior Suchard’s steadily gaining admirers with his mind reading, telepathy and telekinesis. This young Israeli — named Uri Geller’s successor — has been on Larry King Live, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and The Joan Rivers Show.

Today, Suchard travels the world performing for audiences that include celebrities and CEOs. For this interview, we grappled incessantly with time zones and schedules as he zipped between Tel Aviv and New York. One dozen emails, messages and many smileys later (he’s unexpectedly charming), here it is:

You define yourself as an entertainer, rather than a magician. Is it easier to deal with sceptics this way?

I never market myself as a magician because I’m not one, nor do I have supernatural powers. I prefer to call them abilities because I believe that everyone has hidden abilities, they just need to believe and think positive to find them. At age six, I discovered I could use my mind differently. I started to show it at birthdays, parties, school… everywhere. That’s how I became an entertainer. But I’m not only an entertainer. I also work and motivate some of the biggest companies in the world, and advise celebrities, politicians, and businessmen. It’s not about the sceptic. My job is not to make sceptics believers.

Contemporary culture embraces magic — from Twilight to Criss Angel. Are people now more willing to believe ?

Pure wonder: That’s what I deliver. Everyone is the same, whether they’re fruit-sellers or rocket scientists. It’s like being children again. This combined with my message of positive thinking and believing creates powerful, unforgettable moments… Everyone is fascinated by the unexplained.

Do you believe in magic?

There are two ways to live life. To believe that everything is a miracle. Or that nothing is a miracle. If you want to be a sceptic, it’s your choice, but I think you’re closing many doors for yourself. Of course, magic exists in all of us.

How do you explain your abilities? You’ve described it as a heightened intuition but you bend physical objects like spoons...

I combine several abilities in what I do. I use very sensitive intuition, NLP, body language reading, influencing, non verbal communication and I have also mastered the use of energy. It’s called CHI which means LIFE and I use it to demonstrate how I can move objects, bend them, and change them with the power of the mind.

Did having these abilities make growing up any easier — or was being different difficult?

It was a long process of learning, experimenting, making mistakes, learning from them, and then making completely new mistakes and learning from them too. I started with basic intuitive acts, but as I grow older, I’m reading about psychology, and underground suggestion techniques. I teach myself as I experiment. In that process I’ve discovered many new ideas, and acts that I can do. And also what I can’t do.

As a child you say you had an attention deficit disorder. Do you think your heightened intuition was a way of compensating for it?

Attention deficit? Me? Can you repeat the question? :)

I always say that anyone can play the piano, but not everyone will be Beethoven. Some of my attention deficits had made me focus on other stuff, and concentrate more on specific things. When I’m in a room I scan the entire place, look at people and form a first impression about them, which is usually right.

Is India, with it’s tradition of astrologers, more open to accepting the unexplained? Ever had your palm read? Are there things you’re cynical about — or does your line of work make you a believer?

I’ve had my palm read, and some of it came true, some of it didn’t. I’m open to everything that the world has to offer. I think that Indians are more open, which is a very good thing. That’s why I plan to come back again... And again... And again... I love India! Namaste.

(Lior Suchard is in Chennai to perform at the Park Sheraton on August 19 at an event organised by The Hindu, and sponsored by VGN.)