Centering Your Thoughts

While on the subject of billets let me share for the first time my ^ ^ strategy for presenting the Center Tear.

Everyone knows it; few do it, and those who do it seldom do it well. Reading the stolen center has generated a sub-genre of writings all its own. For years now I've preferred the instant-

access approach originated by Al Baker and further refined through the ingenuity of Richard Osterlind and Bruce Bernstein. I highly recommend you study all the methods of the center tear to determine which handling suits your specific needs. J.G. Thompson's Centermental is a useful book and still available, I think.

But I'm not here to lecture on the history of the center-tear; my purpose is to share with you a presentation that completely justifies the procedure of the tear.


First, have a piece of paper 3" x 3" handy. These are available in quantity under the name of Memo Cubes. Fold them in fourths and have a few with you, in your wallet. When the opportunity presents itself for you to perform a little demonstration of your powers, remove one of the papers and draw arrows from each corner toward the center, leaving an open space about the size of a half-dollar. Also draw arrows from each edge toward the center. This forces the writing to be near the center without the obvious subterfuge of drawing a circle.

"This will be an experiment in visualization, " you begin. "I'm going to ask you to concentrate on a single thought, a name or a word, something that has meaning to you and you alone. Please stare at the center of this paper, allowing the arrows to guide your focus. Now imagine your thought printed in black letter in the center. That's good. It's true that when you write something down several times it becomes fixed in your brain, so please write your though three times, and

fold the paper over. " He complies.

"This assures that I cannot influence your decisions in any way. Now I need you to engage in a little mental exercise. Imagine your thought clearly. Now, picture it being broken in half. . . " -- here you make the first tear -- "And in half again. Really visualize it." Look around for something to toss the fragments in. "We're in real danger of making a mess here, " you remark. If you know either the Bernstein or Osterlind handling, you understand why the pause at this point! If you're simply stealing the center no pause is necessary.

"Please imagine your thought all scrambled, broken into pieces, the letters scattered. Now, begin to assemble them a piece at a time . . . good, I see an 'I'. . . a 'D'. . . "

And so forth. The tearing of the paper has served a psychological purpose and the pieces are discarded. If you've done the instant-access version, you can do as I do, actually have them try to piece the fragments back together while you pick up their thought -- reinforcing the idea that the thought was really destroyed!

Imagine this with a number divination. You set up the premise by writing down single digit numbers and audience members try to receive them from you. You can play this straight if you like, or swami-gimmick in the numbers to make one person especially successful. I prefer to play it for real and let the results speak for themselves. After obtaining mixed results from your audience's attempts to play psychic, suggest an alternative procedure. "Some of you are getting pretty good at reading me; let's see if I can enjoy similar success in reading you."

Hand someone a paper with the instructions to write down a number -"No, let's make it harder -- a THREE digit number. " Take the paper back and ask them to visualize the number. "Now, break off the first digit, now the second, now think of the third. . . " as you do the tear. Reveal the third digit first, the first second, and the middle one last.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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