THE METHOD of this forecast was worked out on the 4th of November, 1952, the day
Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected President of the United States. And as a trick—soiry, a mental effect—must have a name, I called it the " Ike Newspaper Prediction."
The effect does not differ from other predictions, but the method is extremely clean and easy. No difficult switches are involved and the preparations are nil.
Before I tell you all about it I want to thank Peter Warlock from whom I borrowed the idea of sealing the envelope between sheets of glass, which makes a nice showy display in any shop window.
Let me finally tell you, that this prediction is no pipe dream, but that I (successfully) performed it here in Rhodesia last year.
First stage of the prediction (the writing and closing of the forecast).
Requirements: Some 10 or 12 of your business cards, a matching envelope. (Most business card envelopes have ,no gummed flaps, which saves time in opening the forecast and speeds up presentation when the climax comes.)
A normal sized envelope, some sealing wax, a couple of gummed stickers, 2 sheets of glass 7 x 10 inches and a reel of transparent Scotch tape.
Preparations: Lay the business cards all facing the same way and take them into your left hand printed sides up. Reverse the second card from the top and you are set.
The position of the stack of cards is as follows: Top card printed side up, 2nd card printed side down, the remaining cards printed sides up.
Performance: Step into a newspaper office and have about four people handy to sign and seal the envelopes as witnesses.
Show the stack of business cards after you have decorated a table with all the paraphernalia described in the preceding paragraph.
Ask one of your witnesses to write his signature right across the top card (that is the printed side of the business card.) Let him use his own pen and if he uses some fancy coloured ink so much the better.
Now ask everybody to stay away from your table a bit and tell them what you are going to do. That you are going to predict the headline of a certain day, the outcome of a lottery (as I did it), the weather, the stock exchange or whatever you want.
In the meantime bring your little finger of the left hand between the 3rd and 4th card from top, preparing for a triple lift.
After looking at the signature on the top card and making sure the ink has dried you simply turn the card over (actually three cards as one) and sit down to write your prediction on the back of the signed (?) card.
What have you got to write? Well, that is something novel in prediction, because the copy you put down is some kind of life insurance for you in case somebody would be so cheeky as to open the prediction before the fixed date.
Here is the copy I wrote (while shielding the writing with the free left hand, so nobody could peek at the prediction):
"I, Hans E. Trixer, predict today, the ...th day of 1956, that this prediction will be opened by a person who is not entitled to do so, before the ...th day of 195 ., the day, officially fixed for the opening of this forecast.
Therefore I deposited to-day a sealed letter containing the REAL prediction at the post office. The letter is for the disposition of the Editor of this newspaper.
signed: Hans E. Trixer."
As soon as you are ready, you slip off the card containing your forecast and slip it into the business card envelope with the prediction side towards the flap, i.e., the side, seemingly signed is towards the address side of the envelope.
Tuck in the flap and give the envelope to one of the witnesses to write his signature on the address side.
Hand another witness the normal sized envelope and let him put the small envelope into the bigger one. Let him seal the envelope and sign it across the flap. Ask a third person to sign the front side of this envelope and give a fourth witness the sealing wax to seal the flap of this envelope.
Now let somebody place the sealed envelope between the sheets of glass and stick on four gummed stickers, which you have signed once more. Wind lots of scotch tape around the sheets and over the signed stickers and everything is o.k.
See that a civic dignatory is one of the witnesses and hand him the glasses asking him to arrange for their safe deposit.
I told you that this is sure fire in every respect. Write something on another business card, put it into a small envelope and this one into a big one. Address the big one to yourself but forget to put on the sender. Now send this letter per registered mail. When the postman comes to you, you do not accept the letter and force the post office to keep it for one year. (They can't send it back, because there is no sender.)
In case the prediction is really opened beforehand, they will find your prediction was correct. You may go to the post office then with one of the witnesses and claim the letter which is opened as described below and contains your real forecast.
This may seem driving things too far, and possibly it is in a civilized country, but in this hinterland of Africa, where the people are a bit wild, it may be all right.—(Whether postal conditions are the same in this country I am not sure P.W.)
Now we come to the second stage of the prediction (the opening and checking).
Here you need again about twelve business cards, plus one extra card of the same size but blank on both sides (stick two of your cards together with some glue). Besides this you need the card with the first witness's signature and a pocket knife.
Preparations: Write all the information you remember about the closing of the prediction on the double blank card. When, where the prediction was made. Who was present and who signed which envelope. Where the prediction was kept during the interval between closing and opening. In fact write down all you want to say about the prediction. If you have filled the one side of the double blank card repeat the copy on the other side, so you get a card with the same information on both sides. (You may—for misdirection—use a different kind of ink as you used for the prediction.)
Now write the actual text of the prediction on the signed card, which you have kept all the time, see to it that the writing ressembles as much as possible the fake prediction, so when one of your witnesses happens to get a glimpse of one of the cards he will not notice a switch, because the cards look alike. Your opening line should read in any case: " I, Hans E. Trixer, predict to-day, the ...th day of 195 ., that: "
This time you hold the stack of cards with the blank sides up. On top of the stack you place your " note-card " and second card from the top is the real prediction with the signature side downward. Let's repeat for good measure. Top card (double blank with notes on both sides), second from top: actual prediction with signed side DOWN, third till last card blank sides up. Put this stack with a rubber band around it into your coat pocket and see that four chairs are on the stage, but NO table.
Performance: After the curtain rises you enter with your nicest smile. Start your patter and suddenly interrupt yourself as if looking for words. Extract the stack of cards from your pocket and from now on refer to your notes as often as possible so that your audience gets used to the cards. This has got nothing to do with bad showmanship. A prediction is not your every-day business and this cannot be a rehearsed act. The more it looks like an impromptu stunt the better. Anyway get your customers used to referring to your notes, because that is immensely important (for you.)
Get the four witnesses on the stage and put them on the chairs comfortably. (The most dangerous persons far from you!)
See that one of the newspaper people has the edition of the headline with him for checking.
Now give one of the people (sitting on one of the outer chairs) the sheets of glass. Let him check his signature. Take the sheets from him and show them to the other three people. (Seemingly you do that so that nobody is forced to rise and run around.) Give the sheets back to the first person and give him your pocket knife also.
Let him open the Scotch tape and take the sealed envelope from him. Refer to the notes to see who signed the envelope and let the people check the signatures. Let them check the seal and give the envelope once more to the first person. (Always refer to your notes!) He is a bit helpless already with the two sheets of glass on his lap, but as there is no table on the stage, he MUST keep them. (Actually you omitted the table so there is no possibility for you to put the stack of cards down when the climax comes, and you just forget about putting the stack back into your pocket.) Now let him open the big envelope. In the meantime you get your little finger under the second card from the top of the stack. Take the small envelope from him and tell the people that this contains the prediction.
" Before we open it however, I want to have the signature checked."
Refer to your notes to see who signed this envelope and let the person tell everybody his signature was not forged.
Now take the envelope into your right hand on top of the stack of cards, so that the flap side is uppermost and will open towards your left hand.
Flip open the flap with the right thumb and draw out the business card with your left thumb and forefinger. The card will go right away on top of the stack.
" My prediction reads but no
this card was signed as well." Turn the (now) three cards over as one and turn to the person who signed this card. Push it a bit off the stack and have him check his signature. As soon as he has said " yes " move your hand towards him and he will seize the card. Let him read the prediction and check it with the actual newspaper.
Keep the stack of cards in your hand until the curtain goes down.
That's it. It reads a bit complicated, I am afraid, but actually there is nothing to it.
If you handle the opening of the prediction as described you may be sure nobody will ever say you had the card touched—as I can prove by a newspaper clip. Because one of the witnesses opened all the cellophane tape and envelopes, everybody will be convinced the last envelope .was opened by him as well (so don't worry to tell them the truth.)
In case somebody should have opened the prediction beforehand the opening of your registered letters is handled as described above.
And please don't forget to fetch the registered letter the next day, you will save the Postmaster General a lot of trouble.
COMRIE MACKIE who has had such a yen for mental magic during the past few years showed me a lovely little two person item in between tricks at one of Harry Stanley's sessions. This is how it goes.
The medium is escorted from the room and the performer tells how a person's thoughts are tied up with his own personal vibrations. He offers to illustrate this fact and asks that a gentleman present having a visiting card with him shall be ready to help. This person is asked to think of any card in the pack, and as a check take it from a pack which the performer offers him. The card is dropped into another person's pocket without anyone, apart from the chooser, seeing its face.
The spectator is then asked to take his visiting card outside to the medium, who takes it from him and holding it between her hands attempts to pick up the vibration of its owner. The card is handed back to its owner and the medium writes something on a pad which she hands to the spectator, then returning to the room with him.
The performer stresses the conditions of the feat and then he asks the gentleman with the card in his pocket to remove it and show it to the company. We'll suppose that it is the ' ten of clubs.' " The ten of clubs ... is that the same card that you thought of and removed from the pack?" The spectator replies in the affirmative.
Will you please read out what the medium has written on the paper." The spectator reads aloud, " From the vibration that I receive I would say that you would think of the ten of clubs?"
I feel certain that any mentalist will like this feat which can be performed quite impromptu for there are no gimmicks involved. All the conjurer wants is a pack of cards, an assistant who can write and a spectator with a visiting card.
The only preparation needed beforehand is the stacking of a pack of cards in your favourite order. With the cards thus arranged in the case and the assistant at your side you are ready for the: —
Presentation: First of all the conjurer, telling his audience that he wishes to show them a strange feat of mental magic, asks a member of his audience to escort his assistant into another room.
With this done, a spectator close by is asked whether he has a visiting card handy. This is a very personal kind of trick, the performer tells the spectator, and there is nothing more personal than a visiting card. By this time, if the spectator has one on him he will have produced the card and the performer takes it and places it on the table.
The spectator is then asked to think of any playing card he wishes, and so that there cannot be any doubt in anyone's mind at a later stage in the experiment, the conjurer takes the pack from its case and asks the spectator to remove his thought of card as the faces are shown to him.
Passing the cards one at a time from left hand to right the conjurer keeps a break at the point where the spectator abstracts his card. In one way or another, the card above the abstracted card is glimpsed, and knowledge of the thought of card is obtained. The easiest means is of course by a direct cut and a sight of the bottom card. Alternative and more subtle ways can easily be found.
With a knowledge of the card, the pack is placed aside and the spectator is asked to drop the card he holds into another spectator's side pocket, without anyone glimpsing the face of it.
As this is being done the conjurer idly picks up the visiting card which as you remember has been lying on the table since the spectator handed it over. At this point the conjurer thinks of the face of the card as a clock face, only on this clock face there are thirteen and not twelve hours, as shown in the illustration.
With this thought in his mind the performer prepares to nail nick the card. If the thought of card is a ten then the nail nick goes at ten-o-clock. There is an added proviso, for not only the value of the card must be given but also its suit. One nick at the value position will mean either spades or hearts, these being the most common selection, whilst two nicks mean clubs or diamonds. The difference between red and black is that with a spade the nicking is done from the front of the card whilst the red is done from the rear. One nick goes against the number, the second one, if necessary going in the centre of the card.
Now the selected card in this case is the ten of clubs which means that as the conjurer picks up the visiting card and handles it in a casual fashion, he makes one nick from the front at ten-o-clock and another in the centre of the card. The result will be two quite easily determined raised ridges on the back of the card. The visiting card is then replaced on the table.
The card having been dropped into the spectator's pocket the spectator who loaned the visiting card is asked to take it to the medium. When the latter receives it, she has no need to do more than glance at it and see that it is the right way up. From that point she can, without looking at it, determine by tactual means the card indicated. She should capitalise on this to the greatest degree by looking at the spectator whilst she appears to fathom his thoughts. When she has found the necessary nail nicks and knows the name of the card, she smoothes the raised surface down in handing the card back to the lender. She then takes her pad and pencil and writes, " From the vibration that I received I would say that your card is the ten of clubs." She folds the paper hands it to him and asks him to escort her back into the room.
The conjurer, stressing the conditions, asks the spectator holding the thought of card to remove it from his pocket. The ' Visiting Card * spectator is asked whether that was the card he thought of and withdrew from the pack. The answer is in the affirmative. The pay-off comes when the spectator holding the paper is requested to read out what the medium has written down.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.