History

When I developed the Breakthrough Card System, I sent a deck to Jeff Busby, told him it was stacked, and challenged him to figure it out. When he couldn't, I sent him the instructions. He was so taken with the system (and perhaps afraid that someone else might publish it before him!) that he took my original manuscript and published it word for word. I had included just one effect in the instructions. It was from Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism and was in the section Some More Tricks Using the Eight Kings Stack. It was meant to be demonstrative of the types of effects possible with the BCS.

Ken Krenzel gave me a call after the book was released, praising the system and offering two other effects to use with it. The first one was called Test Conditions and the second Test Conditions II. Both are found in the 25th Anniversary edition of The Breakthrough Card System. Somehow, Test Conditions became Challenge Mind Reading on these videos! I can't even tell you how. I didn't even notice until the videos had been out for awhile! (Test Conditions II did retain its name and that can be found on Volume 7 of this series.)

When Ken first explained this effect to me, his idea was to use two decks, one for the spectator and one for the mentalist to demonstrate with. I never liked that idea and decided to use the two Jokers from the deck instead. Over the years, I dispensed with them also and just use my two hands as seen in the video.

The test conditions idea was one I devised almost immediately. I cannot remember doing it differently. Somehow my instinct told me that if I were going to require the spectator to go through all these steps, there ought to be a good reason for it. What I came up with is the best reason of all - to make sure I

don't cheat!

I love magic and I love the kind of logic that can cause the greatest amount of misthinking! (I just invented that word...) In this effect, you have a whole series of actions that are, in reality, quite demanding, and yet make the effect look like one of the purest and most direct demonstrations of mindreading imaginable!

You got to love it!

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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