Swami Mantra

by Sam Dalal

I believe that Richard Kaufman now has the distinction of publishing the most hardbound books which bear the warning "Not to be Sold to Anyone Under 21 Years of Age" on the cover. His reprint of Sam Dalal's magazines Swami and Mantra has this warning, and for good reason. Sam published information on how to perform many of the effects of the

Hindu fakirs, and should anyone actually be dumb enough to try some of these stunts they could easily do themselves some bodily harm.

Mr. Dalal began publishing Swami in January 1972. It ran for 36 issues, ceasing publication in December of 1974. Mantra began in April of 1975 and ran for 28 issues, ending in July of 1977. I don't believe that either magazine was well known in the United States. I have a couple of copies of Mantra in my files, but I had never seen any copies of Swami.

There is some really excellent magic in these two magazines. The emphasis is on close-up and mentalism, and the contributors include people like Ed Marlo, Horace Bennett, Kirk Stiles, Peter Warlock, Martin Gardner, Milt Kort, J.K. Hartman, Tan Hock Chuan, and a kid named Goldstein. In addition, just about every issue contains the aforementioned "yogi" stunts, which are fascinating to read about.

Be aware that both magazines were published long before desktop publishing became commonplace, consequently their layouts are less than beautiful. Richard has reproduced them exactly as they appeared. However, everything is readable.

I'm glad to finally have a file of these magazines. Collectors and lovers of magical exotica will want to hop on this reprint because it is a limited edition.

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