The Secret

Although the envelope is ordinary, it is possible to see through it and -read what is on the card. To do this you buckle the envelope slightly backwards, bringing the card and envelope surfaces close together. Then it is easy to see. On the other hand,, if there is a slight gap between the card and envelope,, the writing fades from sight. This may be of use as we can show both sides of the envelope and yet not give away the secret. To lift the envelope surface off the card, simply pinch and push fairly hard with the thumb. This causes the paper to buckle and the writing cannot be seen. However, you will remember that the spectator examines ths envelope right at the start, and you have no reason to have it examined again WHEN the card is in. The transparency should not show at a casual glance.

Now it may well occur to the spectator that you can see through the envelope and read his writing, after you have done the trick. That also occurred to us so we are ahead! Remember we picked up the envelope on the. "off beat" to sign his name on the back? Right! At that very point, you read what he wrote, since you are writing on the envelope you have a perfect right to look at it closely and then you see what is his number. But there is more to it than that. As soon as you see what he wrote, you write his name immediately over the exact spot covering his number. To do this, .you use a special pencil - it is a very soft one (BB) and writes thick and black. The tip should be rounded to make thick black lines. You deliberately scrawl and heavily underline his name. And the result of this treatment is that ycu have now completely COVERED his writing so, even though he does look, it CANNOT BE SEEN. Have a look at the sample and see what I mean. The contrasting heavy black on the white envelope and writing on the very top of his leaves no clue as to the method. What is more having written his name, ycu may casually show it to him with the remark "Is that spelled correctly?" Whereupon he sees that only his name is to be divined! Another important pcint - in the beginning you gave him a pencil. It should be an ordinary H.B - writing fine and faint - don't get the two mixed up as the heavy black would shew through clearly. Keep the point of the spectator's pencil sharp, to make it write fine, and yours round to make it write heavy. Clear?

Now for one or two important points: When working with a lot of people don't hand out the envelope at the start - just give them the cards and then tell them to reverse them. Go along and collect them one by one putting each face downwards into an envelope and sealing it there and then, when working to large audiences, open the envelope yourself and hand the card back. See that the envelope goes out of reach.

For test conditions - where you are tip against a hard bunch of critics -you go to a bit more trouble than usual. You make an envelope just the same size and color as the "Header" - but you make it of THICK paper - which you cannot see through. You screw this up (having sealed it and then ripped it open again) into a ball and drop it in your pocket. You run through the routine, omitting to have the envelope felt at the start (it might be remembered that one was thicker than the other) and at tc.e end ycu open it and hand the card forward. As you do so you screw the envelope up and drop it in your pocket - switch it for the thick one and then bring thet out and toss it on the table. They cannot tell how th«3 trick was done - it is too late!

If you asked me what was the most important point of presentation, I would say it was the way In which you treated the envelope. The success of the trick depends on the utter indifference you show for the envelope. Remember how it was tossed aside early en? You knew you can read it WHEW YOU WANT TO and don;t have to do so the very instant it lands in your hands. If you doat pay attention to It - nor will the spectator ~ if you gaze at it and handle it like nitroglycerine - they will watch you like a hawk! So»«times I go so far as to start to give the reading long before I know what they have written - it doesn't matter what you say as long as you convey the impression that you already know their question. Which brings me to anofcner important point - if you can, never say exactly what was written. With numbers you have to but with questions you make it clear you know without saying word for word their question.

If you can "Pencil Read" - stand by for the chance to see what miners are written and if you are sure what goes on the card, alter the routine. Having the paper folded and dropped in THEIR pocket without touching -then you are all set for a miracle (CORINDA'S BOOK: "STEP TWO" of THIRTEEN STEPS TO MENTALISM - deals with pencil reading among other things.)

Do not encourage long questions - the more they write, the more you have to read. Limit their choice when possible - :CHOOSE A COLOR - ANY COLOR" -. "WRITE THE SURNAME of ANY PERSON I DO NOT KNOW,, _ „^ piA(3 ^ dAte qf '

YOUR BIRTH" all of these things LIMIT their choice in a subtle manner. Moreover, you say "I WANT YOU TO PRINT THE NAME OF ANY PERSON I DO NOT KNCM"-note..."PRINT" do not say "WRITE" as block letters make it easier for you, but you must not say "Block Letters".


Performer writes a prediction on a large card and sealed it in an envelope. It is then held in full view of the audience by e spectator. Any volunteer then stands and thinks of any number, Important year in history, etc. The spectator then removes the card and reads the prediction» showing it to the audience. It is the volunteer's thought.

Secrets With the «sauccript comes a black wax marking pencil and the "Ultra" gimmick. .The ''Ultra" gimmick is a secret writer designed to clip cm top of the thumb nail (See figure 1). It can be shaped to fit rather snugly on the nail. This writer is made of thin steel and is nicro-welded for extra strength. Tha load is a black wax sarking lead known commercially as "Listo Lead" and refills can be had at any stationery or office supply store for fifteen or twenty cents.

Any size card can""be--used_for ■writing the prediction. ~It_has been found by experience that the 3h by 5 inch office file card is best for all-around use as it is easily seen and is not so large as to be awkward in handling. Your envelope should be slightly larger than the card. The envelopes are prepared as follows: From the back of the envelope (opposite side from the flap) cut out a window measuring about 1% inches by 2 inches. The window should be located so that it reveals the bottom of the card to be inserted into the envelope. It should be to the right as illustrated in Fig. 2.

Preparation: The envelope is placed flap side up on your table with the card beside it. The marking pencil supplied should be on the table also. The "Ultra" gimmick should be in the right hand coat pocket with a small pair of scissors and you are ready to present Thornton's "Ultra" Prediction.

Presentation and Patter: "Ladies and Gentlemen: P.ecent developments in the field of Parapsychology have attracted much attention among Scientists and laymen. And for good reason! No longer is Precognition and Extrasensory-perception just theory, for there is strong evidence that there are certain individuals with powers of concentration which border on the supernatural; enabling them to see ahead into the future and to relate details of events happening great distances away... Though we do not fully understand the means by which it is accomplished, we do know some of the basic principles.

"The mind is a complex organ with unique abilities. Scientists have discovered that all motion and all activity of the body is controlled by electrically stimulated energy waves originating in the brain, and directed to the part of the bod}7 which the mind desires motivated...In thinking, however, there is another important factor involved which is neither electrical nor mechanical and its onset, and yet a bit of both. Thought is different from all other activity of the mind in that it is net initiated by any definite external stimulus, as in movement, or recognition of pain or hunger. It is believed that the mind possesses a quality known as Radiative Sensitivity -the ability to perceive an object or event without the use of the known senses.

"A simple illustration of this Radiative Sensitivity is the awareness one has when being watched or concentrated on, even though there has been no forewarning of its occurrence. Almost everyone has this sensitivity to some degree and you can demonstrate it for yourself by concentrating on someone who is unaware of your presence Look directly at the back of his head and concentrate on the thought that you want him to turn around. Don't let your thoughts waver. In a few moments you will notice him becoming uneasy, then begin to fidget and move around. He may even rub the spot that you are looking at. After a few moments he will become definitely uncomfortable and may suddenly turn around and look straight at you.

"Another illustration of Radiative Sensitivity is the ability that some individuals have of being aware of something for seconds to a few hours in the future...When related to an unpleasant event we call this awareness "Premonition"; when related to a pleasant event we call it "Pre-cognition".

"Recently in my studies of mental phenomena I discovered that within certain limits almost anyone could accomplish some of the apparently supernatural effects of Parapsychology...Let me demonstrate this for you." (Pick up marking pencil and card from table.) "I'm going to write a prediction on this card." And so saying you write, ,;I PREDICT THAT YOU WILL NAME THE YEAR

---", and leave the space at the bottom of the space blank where the year will later be written (See Figure 2.). (Notice that you do not tell the audience exactly what the prediction is about)... There is no need to conceal your writing until you get near the bottom of the card as your audience doesn't know the nature of your prediction and all you want to convey is that you are really writing something.

Return the marking pencil to the table, and keeping the writing side pf the card away from the audience, pick up the envelope (flap side toward audience) and state: "Now I shall place my prediction in this envelope and seal it so that it cannot be tampered with until we are ready for it"... Insert the card into the envelope with writing side on the window side of the envelope, with the space for the year (at bottom of card) shewing through window.

Now holding the envelope with both hands and being sure that the fingers of the right hand conceal the window in the envelope (see figure 3) turn the flap side of the envelope toward you (window side of envelope toward audience), moisten the flap and seal the envelope. As soon as you have done this turn the envelope around so that the flap side is again toward the audience and point to someone in the front row (preferably a woman) and say, "Madam, would you please assist me?" and have her stand to your right. Have her extend her left hand and place the envelope on it, window side down, saying, "I want you to hold this envelope securely - (as you say this take her right hand and place it on top of the envelope so that it is sandwiched between the two hands.) "so that everyone can watch it."

Then tell your volunteer assistant, "I want you to choose any volunteer from the audience." As volunteers raise hands "Choose just any one."

Then as the volunteer stands you address him and say, "What is your name, please?" "We have not pre-arranged anything, have we?...And I had no way of knowing you would be the one to volunteer, did I?" As you ask this question walk deliberately over to the assistant and take the envelope from her and hold it in your left hand, flap side to audience, indicating to the assistant that you want her tc remain on stage to help you further. And as you are moving back to your position, place your right hand casually in the right hand coat pocket and secure your "Ultra"gimmick. You can probably mount the gimmick on the thumb nail with the hand in the pocket. If not, use the envelope as a shield and as you are talking mount the gimmick on the thumbnail with the fingers of the left hand. The gimmick should be mounted and worn as in Figure 1: (Don't worry about the audience watching your hands. As far as they are concerned all the work has already been done.) Now while you are doing this, direct attention to the volunteer in the audience again by saying, "Now will you think of a year that is of particular significance to you." ..."What is that year?"...As you request this, hold the envelope with both hands, window end down and facing you just above waist level. Immediately on his naming the year write that number on the bottom of the card through the window with your "Ultra" gimmick, and without a pause continue with, "Why did you name that particular year? Why is it of significance to you?"

As he is answering, reach into the pocket with the right hand, picking up the scissors and leaving the. gimmick. While he is still explaining the significance of the year he thought of and mentioned, you trim off the end of the envelope with the scissors (opposite end from the window) and dump the card into the hands of the assistant standing to your right. (Get rid of the ewelope by simply sticking it into your pocket.) Immediately as the volunteer finishes his explanation you state: "Though I did not even •know ahead of time who would volunteer for this experiment I had a definite awareness that whoever volunteered would say exactly what you have said I Will you please read my prediction and show it to the audience?"

"She reads: "I PREDICT THAT YOU WILL NAME THE YEAR 1945" (or whatever it is) and turns the card around showing the boldly written prediction to the audience as you take. your bow'.

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Effect: Performer states he will make a prediction concerning his next volunteer. He writes his prediction on a small pad. Anyone then volunteers*. The performer asks him his age, then the prediction is read. It i<5.±hti volunteer's exact age!

Secret: Performer has the "Ultra" gimmick mounted on the right thumbnail and the marking pencil held in the right hand concealing the writer. A small pad (preferably 3 by 5 inchss for ease'of handling) is held in the left hand. Announce :"J- am going to write a prediction whic^ has to do with my next volunteer."

As you notice, there is no real need to try to cover the gimmick with anything for if you check in a mirror you will find that if the front of ;the thumb is facing the audience the gimmick cannot be seen at all. Always be at ease in using it as the audience has no reason to be looking for it.


(leaving the age space blank). It should be positioned as in Figure A, with the blank space for writing in the age located on the right side just below the middle of the page.

Then hold the pad in your right hand, thumb in position to write in age, as you ask for a volunteer - "Any volunteer." When he volunteers you first ask: "Will you tell us your name sir"?,,,,"And how old are you sir?" Immediately as he states his age, write this on the pad with your "Ultra" gimmick but allow no pause in your conversation with the volunteer as you next ask: "Sir, have we prearranged anything?" As he answers to the audience that nothing has been prearranged, hand the pad to a spectator in the front row and continue speaking (as you remove the gimmick and retain it in the right palm) , ,!And I had no way of knowing who out of this great audience would volunteer, did I? ...Sir, you just stated that you were how old?" Repeat age. Then address spectator with pad, "Would you please read my prediction?" And as attention is directed toward spectator you rest hand in right pocket, dropping off gimmick. Then take your bow as your prediction is read!

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