This is not a ”magic book”. It’s a mind control book.

Most people don’t stop to think about the many forms
of mind control, or perhaps more accurately, thought
control –
brainwashing – that influence our lives. This
sounds so exotic! Brainwashing! Surely this doesn’t go
on in our society. Oh, but it does.

TV commercials, print ads, billboards, politicians, radio
jingles….the list is virtually endless. And think of this.
Much of what we purchase is thought control too. Does
that box of cereal have ads for other kinds of cereal on
it? Does that magazine have a book excerpt in it? Does
it have book reviews? Move reviews? Those aren’t
there by chance. Those reviews are excerpts placed
there as a kind of free advertising.

Does all this hot air and hyperbole affect us? Maybe it
does. Advertisers think it does. Studies done on the
subject give mixed results.

From all of this, there is one brand of thought control that
we know does affect us:
magic.  Stage illusions. We know
magic affects us, because we are fooled by the illusions
of magic. Even when we watch a magic show carefully we
are fooled. We know we are being tricked – and yet the
deception goes on in front of our face without our ever
being aware when and where it is happening. If
and used car salesmen
could deceive as consistently as
magicians, there’d be a lot more taxes taken from our pay,
and a heck of a lot more lemons on the road.

How do magicians do it? How can they go out night
after night and deceive an entire audience of people?
Some do so for years using the same act. And
remember, many of these illusions are hundreds or
even thousands of years old.
 How can they get away
with this?

We think we know the answer. We’ve heard of
misdirection, and strings and mirrors. We know about
palming coins and we may even know how some magic
tricks are done. How then, with all that knowledge
behind us, are we deceived? That’s what this book will

This is an important question, because those principles
of deception are used by cult leaders to snare victims;
by leaders, to influence followers; sometimes by
advertisers, to help us make “informed” buying
choices. It’s easy to look at all the advertising and
politicking in the world and say, “I’m above all that. It
doesn’t influence me.” But maybe those who are
deceiving us merely want us to believe that. Maybe
even that thought of immunity has been implanted in
our minds.

Such analysis can spiral down to ridiculously recursive
levels of paranoia.

Magicians know a lot of about influencing our thought
and action. We can learn from them, and thereby get a
better idea when others are using these same tactics
for their own benefit. And perhaps we would like to use
the tactics ourselves.

Above all, this book is about magic appreciation of the
skills, sleights, and forethought that go into making a
magical effect. We will discover what goes on in a
magician’s mind during a performance, and how the
layperson can understand the principles of deception
magicians and others use
on stage and off to influence
Magicians are not just manipulating the cards and
animals – they’re manipulating YOU.

Take your seat. Enjoy the show.

Utdrag fra Henry Gordons forord i boken “Abracadabra!”
Secret Methods magicians & others use to deceive their
audience” av  Nathaniel Schiffman
(Prometheus Books, 1997)

A Magic show is a showing of impossible feats.
Magician Peter Warlock divides these impossible feats
into eleven magical forms:

1.        The production of an object.
2.        2. The evanishment of an object.
3.        3. The transposition of objects.
4.        4. The change in form, size, color,  weight, or
temperature of objects.
5.        5. The penetration of one solid object by another.
6.        Defiance of the laws of gravity.
7.        Proof of invulnerability.
8.        Making the inanimate animate.
9.        Making whole something that has been mutilated
or destroyed.
10.         Accelerating a natural process such as
inducing the rapid germination of a seed into bush.
11.        Producing pseudopsychic phenomena, such as
telepathy, precognition, or thought-tranference.

Others have used other categories, some more, some
less. But let’s use these eleven as our “magician’s

So if you’re a magician, and if you’re doing magic tricks,
any magic trick you do is going to have one of these
eleven effects.
Something will appear or disappear, or two
items will switch places
; objects may move or float in the
air, their properties may be impossibly altered, restored
from destruction, or grow unnaturally fast. Or you the
magician may appear to have knowledge that is
impossible for you to have obtained.

Utdrag fra samme bok. Noen andre nyttige utdrag
som er relevante for denne artikkelen:

”Control means everything to the magician, for without it,
he can not control your mind”

“We know that misdirection can be a powerful
force……Yeah, but our intuition is what messes us up in
the first place! The reason most illusions work is because
our intuition tells us to look where the action is, where
the climax is….”

“Please keep in mind that it’s the magician’s job to
misdirect you.”

“One of the biggest secrets of magic is another kind of
misdirection that no one talks about or thinks about. Not
spatial, but temporal misdirection.
Misdirection in time.

“I belive that out of everything, the most important
technique for deceiving an audience is – MISDIRECTION

“Yes, the answer to almost all questions in magic is quite
simple. And because of the simplicity, the answer is often

“The hand is definitely
not quicker than the eye. There is
a small element of truth to this theory, but it’s not that the
hand is quicker than the eye. The hand is not invisible
because it’s quicker  than the eye – it’s invisible because
the eye is distracted away from the hand at crucial

“You’ve got to remember – there are no rules! The game
is Trick the Audience.”

The color of an object, the size of an object, water to
wine, silver to gold. These are all examples of
property changes that,
if they were to happen to us
in everyday lives, we would think we were going

(Mine uthevinger)