First you need the five word cards. The 100 words with their corresponding numbers are typed on a 5" by 8" piece of paper (horizontal format) which is then glued to a somewhat darker, opaque piece of cardboard about 9" by 12". These are numbered from 1 to 5 on the front side with small transfer numerals. They are also numbered on the back with large numerals.

Here are the key words with their corresponding numbers and their categories.

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3




123 gold

213 group

312 money

124 signet

214 team

314 banknotes

125 pendant

215 friends

315 stocks

132 brooch

231 club

321 checks

134 gem

234 delegation

324 wealth

135 bracelet

235 platoon

325 investment

142 diamond

241 squad

341 dividend

143 necklace

243 guild

342 premium

145 tiara

245 sect

345 strongbox

152 diadem

251 cult

351 safe

153 crown

253 demonstrators

352 vault

154 treasure

254 gang

354 usury

Group 4 Umbrella

412 tent

Group 5

413 camper 415 roof 421 shelter 423 bunker 425 house

431 inn

432 dormitory 435 hotel 451 bungalow

452 villa

453 castle


512 sorrow

513 hardship

514 suffering 521 poverty

523 stress

524 oppression

531 affliction

532 distress 534 plague 441 misfortune

542 illness

543 curse

If you have to repeat the routine for the same group of people, you will need to have more than five cards. It is quite possible that the same card might be selected when you repeat the effect for a group of people. Then even the least intelligent person there will notice that you are working with the same words as in the previous performance. If you have extra cards, you can substitute a card with the same numbers, but different words, for the one that was used in the first performance.

In addition to the word cards, you will need a slate, or even better, a piece of white poster board, which the spectator can Write upon with a felt tip marker when he shows his word to the audience i will also need a large envelope for the slate ar... word cards, a trick blindfold, and a slate or mair. : board for yourself. I use a cardboard marker board with a wooden border which Jochen Zmeck built for me. On one side, there is a flap which covers the entire surface. This flap falls out of the way when the board is held horizontally. Underneath it you attach the typed word lists.5 (This board is described in Jochen Zmeck's Das große Buch der Magie).6 in the routine "Das wunderbare Gedächtnis."7

You could also use an ordinary slate which you have written the words upon in pencil - if you hold it at the correct angle you can see the words without straining.

Finally, you will need a bell - if possible, an elegant glass bell with a handle.

I have changed the course of the routine by using a principle based on psychology that I have never seen used before - all of the spectators are participants. The performer actually discovers the word because the audience "sends" it to him.

The second subtlety is that the words have been selected in such a way that you can name all of them inconspicuously during the patter. During the speech, the spectator rings the bell when the performer finally names the selected word.

The performer first learns that he has named the correct word when he hears the bell ring.

I hope you have noticed that this buildup produces tension and drama. However, I openly admit that without acting ability, you will not be able to make anything out of it.

5 This is a very simple item to build. It is simply a large slate with a flap that Is hinged across the center. The flap covers the typewritten information that you attach to the surface underneath it. If necessary, you can put information on the back of the flap, also. When you are using the flap as a writing surface, your thumb holds the flap in position. When you want to read the hidden information, lift your thumb, and allow the flap to fall down. The Dobrin slate on pp. 228 - 229 of My Best is the same basic idea, just smaller, and the flap on the Zmeck slate runs lengthwise. You could also use a regular flap type slate for the same purpose, but you would have to be careful to get the flap back onto the slate before allowing the audience to see it. BP

6 The Big Book of Magic - this is an East German magic book. BP

7 "The Miraculous Thought"

You begin the presentation with the following introduction:

"These days, even the scientists who were previously the most skeptical admit that thought transference is possible. Telepathy has been demonstrated. This transference is often spontaneous because we cannot turn our thoughts off and on.

"If you have ever tried to- take aim at a target using a rifle with the old fashioned 'iron sights', you will have noticed that your point of aim wanders all over the target. Similarly, our thoughts are in constant motion. They also wander. We use a shotgun to cover a greater area. We must also do the same thing with thoughts. However, then we won't hit the bull's eye, that is, an individual word. Instead, we will hit the whole target, and perhaps then, also the bull's eye. We experience the whole 'thought field'.

"For example, if I asked you to tell me a word you have chosen, you might choose the word 'clifF. In certain circumstances, this might cause you to think of 'a cliff by the sea'. The mind reader 'sees' this picture -because we send and receive in pictures - and then he adds his own experiences, fantasies, and associated thoughts to it and comes up with 'water', 'a ship', or something similar.

"Left me demonstrate this for you." Now you bring the spectator up to the stage, and have him blindfold you. As in Becker's original version, you turn your back to the spectator, have the word selected, and steal a furtive glance at the number on the card to determine which group of words you are working with. The volunteer writes the chosen word on the piece of poster board, shows it to the audience and returns it and the word cards to the envelope or portfolio. Now, for the first time, since there is nothing to be seen, remove the blindfold and return to the stage. Send the volunteer back to his seat along with the bell. In the section which follows, we will assume that the spectator has chosen a word on card '1'.

Pick up your marker board, and after a bit of hesitation, write the name of the group that the word belongs to- in this case, "jewelry."

Show it to the audience and say. "My first impression was a very blurred image of something concerning jewels or jewelry."

(Now the flap is opened on the marker board!)

"Now, all of you picture the chosen word in your mind, not as a group of letters, but as a sound or an image. Picture the appearance or the use of the object or the place where it belorigs. For example, you could picture a parrot in its cage, that is, in the area in which you are accustomed to seeing it. I will attempt to receive your fantasies and your thoughts and to reveal them. Each time that I seem to have gotten close to the essence of the word you are thinking of, ring the bell.8 If I am very close, ring louder, if I am farther from your word, softer4. If I am very lucky, I may even guess the chosen word correctly - that would be pure luck. So, you would 'ring up a storm', and you -applaud up a 'hurricane'! But have no fear - no matter what has happened so far,.^e are not in for any rough weather tonight!

8 When I discussed this with Punx, he suggested that the performer actually demonstrate the different "degrees of loudness" on the bell. You might wish to delay sending the spectator back to the audience until you have had a chance to demonstrate this with the bell. Or you might wish to have two bells. Of course, the remark which follows concerning the applause is directed to the audience as a whole. BP

"Please bear In mind that I can only pick up pictures and feelings, if I can pick up anything at all. We are definitely walking on shaky ground. And now, we must work together if we are to bring about this magic - otherwise it will not work."

After a short time, reach into your pocket, and take out a gold coin, as if to play with it The first ringing of the bell should take place now. I look around in confusion. "I haven't said anything at all. Can you read my thoughts?' In the case, however, that "gold' was the word, then there would be very loud ringing. However, that will seldom happen - the odds are 1 in 60, but when it does happen, that is very nice! Now you begn to speak, as you secretly read the following from your slate or marker board. If you are using the Zmeck trick marker board, you will have the flap open so you can read the text.

Group 1 - Jewelry

"There is something shiny, perhaps made of gold. I can almost make out a sigpet ring, perhaps a pendant or a brooch. Wait, it's a gem or a bracelet covered with diamonds. It seems to be some kind of necklace or maybe a tiara, no a diadem. No, it is something much larger and more valuable, a king's crown or is it an even more massive horde of treasure!" All you have done is to name all the words that come into play on that card, and sooner or later, the bell will ring furiously. Immediately write the word that causes the extended ringing on the trick side of the board.

If you are using the Zmeck trick board, underline the word to disguise the hinge.

The same thing happens with the other word groups. Each of you must work this out according to your own taste, in whatever way fits your style the best. The words should be presented in each case using the principle "from gentle to brutal."

For the sake of completeness, here is the patter for groups 2-5.

Group 2=Men

"I see a group of men who are working together toward a common goal. It appears to be a team. They feel that they are close friends. It could be a club or a delegation, perhaps a platoon or a squad of soldiers. Perhaps it is even a guild. No, the bonding is even closer - a spiritual feeling such as a sect or even a cult. But there is less discipline and organization. It is a group of noisier people - a group of demonstrators or even wilder, a motorcycle gang."

Group 3= Worth

"This word gives the impression of money or something with a monetary value. It could be banknotes or even stocks or checks. In any case it has to do with wealth, perhaps with investments, dividends, or some other kind of premiums. There could be also a strongbox, a safe or even a vault to hold all of this money - a shameless amount of money - the kind of money that is the result of usury

Group 4 = Umbrella

"My first impression is an umbrella as protection. But no, it is more than that; it could be a tent or a camper. In any case, it is a roof, a shelter. We can seek protection beneath it, such as - as if it were...a bunker. No, it is more than just a roof, it is a house, an inn, a dormitory or even a hotel. A very cosy house, even a bungalow. Perhaps even a villa or -even more pretentious - a castle!"

Group 5=Fate

"I see people, perhaps a large family, but they have sorrow written all over their faces. I see hardship and even suffering. Is it perhaps poverty that is causing their trouble? In any case, they are under stress. Perhaps oppression ? Are they suffering from some kind of affliction. They seem to be in great distress. Is it a strange plague that is causing their misfortune ? Or are they simply suffering some general illness. No, it is much worse than that, they are under an evil curse!"

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