Dream Decks

many years ago, as a subscriber to Harry Stanley's wonderful magazine, The Gen, that I first read of a special pack of cards, which has since become known as the A1 Koran Force Deck. While A1 Koran did use this style of force deck, it was not his invention. Edward Bagshawe, the English magic dealer, seems to have been the first to suggest a force pack that used duplicate banks of cards arranged in rotation.3 Fourteen years later Audley Walsh reinvented the concept and added a pumping sequence to determine which card had been selected. He called this "The Magician's Dream"4. Then, in the mid-1950s Gene Grant (Phantini), taking his inspiration from

3See "A Spirit Divination Mystery" in his book Exclusive Problems in Magic (1924), p. 42.

'Vie Jinx, No. 43, April 1938, pp. 298 and 297; also Hilliard's Greater Magic (1938), pp. 346-347.

Walsh's work, marketed "The Mental Deck", which reduced the number of force cards required from twelve to ten.5 In 1959, Corinda released A1 Koran's revision of Walsh's "Magician's Dream" deck, calling it "The Koran Deck", and from this sprang the misunderstanding over the origin of this force pack.6 Let me explain the principle behind Koran's version on the Bagshawe force deck, and its basic function; then I'll give you several new ideas using it.

The concept is simple. The deck consists of six different cards that are repeated nine times to make a pack of fifty-four. (Some previous versions of the Bagshawe deck, such as the Walsh's "Magician's Dream", contained forty-eight cards, but as Stanton Carlisle once pointed out to me, a good card player, handling a deck of forty-eight cards, will often notice that the deck is short. Yet, that same experienced player will not notice two extra cards in the pack, the discrepancy being smaller and cards having different manufactured thicknesses. Consequently, I recommend you use a fifty-four-card force deck. If you are concerned about the extra thickness, mention that the deck contains two jokers.)

Numerous six-card combinations can be used for this trick. The sample set shown on the facing page leads to a reasonably succinct pumping scheme.

To use such a deck, begin by casually fanning it and turn the face of the fan toward the audience. Keep it in unhurried but continual motion as you make a sweeping display from one side to the other. This may seem bold with so many duplicates in the pack, but when the deck is kept in gentle motion as described, all one can perceive is a somewhat blurred impression of mixed cards.

5See Phantini's Incredible Mental Secrets, pp. 36-38, for full details.

'Several years later Harry Stanley released a streamlined version of Koran's deck, which contained six force cards, in a routine sold as A1 Koran's "Direct Mind Control"

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Close the fan and hand the deck face down to someone to shuffle. When he has done this, you ask him to look at the random card that has been shuffled to the top, remember it and place the deck into its case. Although you are standing quite a distance from the spectator, with your back turned, you can nevertheless reveal the card that has just been thought of, thanks to a structured system of pumping! I strongly recommend that before you consider using a Bagshawe deck you read, first, Gene Grant's "Psychorama" pumping system in Phantini's Mental Key7, then carefully study T.A. Waters' insightful comments on pumping in his Trionic monograph8.1 will illustrate the basic concept of the Waters

'Pp. 8-11. This can also be found in his book Mind, Myth if Magick, pp. 76-80.

approach in the explanation of my Symbolico deck, which immediately follows this article.

Experience has shown me how little known this type of forcing deck is, even among well-versed magicians. I have had the great pleasure of fooling a number of professional and technically accomplished conjurers with my routines using the Bagshawe Deck. This is one further reason, added to their other natural advantages, why I urge you to adopt these wonderful forcing decks in your own work.

I'd now like to mention a wonderful discovery I made one day, at a souvenir stand in London's famous Harrods department store. At this stand they offered personalized decks of playing cards, on the backs of which they imprinted the initials of the purchaser, while you waited! There were several letter styles available, so I had decks imprinted with six different monograms. When I got them home I assembled my Bagshawe deck from them. I can now stand far away from the spectator with the deck, yet I immediately know which card of the six he is thinking of. The different monogram styles stand out like neon signs to me, but go unnoticed by the audience! I always use a spectator seated in the first row and ask him to hold up the top card of the deck, after he has cut the pack, so that the rest of the audience can follow the proceedings. During this time I stand with my back to the audience, but I use Annemann's glance-back subterfuge (page 44) at just the right moment, to read the back of the selected card. All that's left is the showmanship.

Understanding Mind Control

Understanding Mind Control

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