Volume 74, Number 3 | June 8- 14, 2005

Villager photos

Matt Lass focuses his energy to try to spin a cupcake liner, while wearing a mask to negate any effect from his breath.

Furniture designer feels his force is growing stronger

By Lincoln Anderson

Matt Lass cannot walk into a room like Yoda, snap his fingers and send people hurtling into the walls. But he can spin a foil cupcake liner on a pin by using only his gaze — or, at least, so he claims.

For the past few years, Lass, a custom furniture designer who lives on University Pl., has been a pupil of a purported master of the paranormal in Sheepshead Bay. Lass says that through the class he has learned to harness his internal force — though not The Force, as in “Star Wars” — to the point where he can now spin the cupcake liners.

“There have been various names for it throughout history — chi, prana, later orgone energy,” Lass explained last Thursday, as he prepared to demonstrate telekinesis at The Villager’s office. “Everybody has the capacity to raise this energy. It’s a matter of learning how.” “Star Wars,” on the other hand, is just science fiction, he said.

Lass set up in the office’s conference room, which he said seemed sufficiently quiet for the feat. An air vent was closed and the space at the bottom of the door blocked to keep out air currents.

Lass flattened out a lightweight cupcake liner — made of nonmagnetic aluminum, he pointed out — and balanced it atop a pin on a plastic base. It resembled a mini-umbrella, like the types in a daiquiri or pina colada.

Then, seeming to settle into a meditative state — with one hand to the side of the aluminum disk and the other held at an angle — he appeared to focus his energies intensely, trying to make the disk spin.

But was he maybe — blowing on it? he was asked by the skeptical observers. Prepared for that challenge, Lass whipped out a filter mask, which he donned, and continued training his energy on the disk. Yet, assuming he could still direct a stream of air through the mask, what if a piece of glass or plastic — as an added breath barrier — were put between him and the disk? Glass and plastic have a static charge, he noted, saying he was uncomfortable using them. But he did happen to have handy some semicircular aluminum barriers — again nonmagnetic — that he placed around the little parasol.

The half-circles of metal would “catch the energy” and help spin the disk, he said.

He then set up a “control,” a second cupcake liner on a second pin, with another piece of curved aluminum behind it, a few feet away from the other one. He leaned to the left, focusing on the first cupcake liner’s crinkles.

“I’m aiming this energy through my eyes to the left side of the disk,” he explained. “The energy is skimming over the ridges in this aluminum disk and that’s how it’s propelled…. It requires quite a bit of energy to keep it going.”

While the disk he was aiming at spun one way, the control disk was not spinning, he pointed out. But then the control disk started spinning. Lass said his energy must have been “splaying out.”

Lass was willing to try his telekinesis wearing some filter masks The Villager had left over from 9/11, one of which had the breathing vents on the sides, as opposed to in front of the mouth.

At one point, noting he felt his energy had “charged” the metal, Lass removed one of the aluminum semicircles behind the main mini-umbrella and substituted an identical one for it.

“O.K., the control is still. Which direction would you like me to get the control going?” he asked. “Counterclockwise,” he was told, after which the disk started rapidly spinning — clockwise.

Despite the efforts to create a still atmosphere, Lass said there was “a lot of activity” in the conference room.

“I feel like I’m fighting air currents, possibly,” he said. His force was apparently not strong enough and the umbrellas drifted one way, then the other. He said he wished he could try to demonstrate it again under more controlled conditions.

Lass has lived in Greenwich Village 25 years. In the 1980s, he built a small hovercraft in his basement, which was profiled in the New Yorker’s Talk of the Town. At the moment, he’s trying to channel his newfound energy into his furniture designs, which are quite good. He looks younger than his 50 years, but denies this is from using the force.

“I take a lot of vitamins,” he noted.

He’s always been interested in the paranormal. Even as a child, he sensed there was “another dimension” and now believes there are 14. He’s a big booster of his teacher, Mark Komissarov, who he met as a passenger in Komissarov’s cab.

“I noticed he had a Russian name. I asked him what was going on in Russia with psychic work — it just came out of my mouth,” he recalled. “I have always known Russian people are much more advanced in the investigation of it.”

Komissarov claims to be able to teach children to read and see colors while blindfolded and blind children to ride bicycles on a track. However, one of his star pupils was unable to perform at an event called the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, when the contest’s host made her use a different blindfold. The host claimed the girl was peeking through a spot between her nose and the blindfold. So far, no one has won the $1 million the contest offers for demonstrating paranormal ability.

Still, Lass remains a believer in what others scoff only exists on the “Twilight Zone.”

“Mainstream science dismisses this out of hand, which I find alarming,” he said, as he gazed intently at the cupcake liner, which continued to lazily rotate one way, then the other, as did the control. “Because in this information may be valuable research to serve humankind.”

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