Thought Pictures

Robert Nelson

The ability to transmit mental sketches or pictures from the mind of one performer to the mind of another, is indeed, a remarkable demonstration. Furthermore, this type of entertainment has proven an absolute source of mystery to the scientist as we'll as the brother telepathist. The difficulty to detect the modus operandi has been quite natural, in view of the extremely clever method of coding, which under most severe tests are practically fool proof. Furthermore, it has been a source of wonderment, how any simple geometric drawing could be reproduced under the circumstances, in view of the supposedly hundreds of various figures, the student has endeavoured to investigate along these lines, and consequently, his efforts have been in vain.

Thought pictures are accomplished by most simple means. Why code this line and that line, this angle and that angle, this curve and that curve to reproduce the picture? It has been along this line of reasoning that makes the experiment so brilliantly clever to the spectator. He does not stop to think that there are only about forty simple geometric drawings and that by affixing a corresponding number, and coding the number, the operation is quite simple. For illustration: Assume that a spectator in the audience has drawn a cube, a square, triangle, sphere, cylinder, a convex pologon, a diamond, a broken line, a pyramid or any other of the few simple figures. Each figure has a corresponding number which coded instead of the figure simplifies the action, as the combination of two digits means different figures, while the combinations of two sets of digits means the combination of two sets of figures. The coding of the square and sphere would give the figure (sphere) contained within the square.

Examination of the geometric figures and other simple sketches, contained on the drawings, will give a ready and clear understanding of the drawings and their corresponding numbers as they are to be coded. The principle of coding will be considered later.

The lecture included should be rearranged to suit the performer. You will note lecturer places stress on simple geometric figures, likewise, simple drawings as the assistant passes into the audience and with the slate or pad and pencil, it is well to caution the audience if they are skeptical that they use their own pencil and paper. By carrying several slates or pads, several can be drawing at the same time which keeps the act moving and keeps people from losing interest. The first few minutes a large number of sketches will be handed up, assistant sorting them during the course of the demonstration, and when the opportune moment arrives, gestures to a spectator who submitted the drawing to stand and request medium to reproduce his mental picture. Needless to say many of the sketches will be too difficult and intricit or unintelligible and these are merely passed by and forgotten. The performer taking the more simple and those easier coded. The time is limited and it is a physical impossibility to cover the entire audience, and the old alibi can be fallen back upon in case of mistakes that the minds are not accurately attuned due to unnecessary noises. We will not take up the matter of the transmission of simple drawings again we refer you to the introductory lecture. Wherein the spectator is requested to draw only very simple objects as horse, man, boat, woman, tree, flag, star, etc. These pictures are mentally impressed upon their minds, being forced there.

To prove this statement, assume for illustration, you are a spectator in the audience and you are suddenly requested to draw some simple picture quick — what will it be? Other than the above sketches, what can you think of on the spur of the moment? Stop — take five minutes of your time now and make a list of drawings. First considered, that you must have the ability to draw the sketch in such a manner that it can easily be recognized by assistant and audience. When serious thought is given the experiment, one will readily note the spectator is handicapped. The psychology of the demonstration is par excellent from the medium's standpoint. Stop and consider just what small percentage of people possess any real ability to draw. It is a simple matter to draw such sketches as are expressed in the lecture, being unable to draw intelligibly and still wishing to present a drawing, the spectator will resort to geometric figures, which are so simple anyone can reproduce if they can draw a straight line.

No doubt the reader has seen the piano act presented by Mercedes and Mille Stantone, and a. few other performers of lesser rank. When the performer asked of you what selection you wished Madame to play, in a way you found yourself somewhat dumbfounded and noticed a lapse of memory. Naturally being interested you wished to ask a selection and for the life of you, you could only recall a very few of the most common and popular pieces. The same is evident when at the performance of a Crystal Gazer, seer or such. When they ask a question it is a simple fool thing that enters their head, and after retiring from the theatre they feel like kicking themselves for not asking such and such a question as it was very important.

Again we call your attention to the simplicity of Thought Pictures but only from the operators standpoint. It is the duty of the lecturer to impress upon the audience how difficult a demonstration is to be attempted, and as said before, make it seem difficult, as it seemed to you before the study of this manuscript. The demonstration fills the requirements — offering good sound interesting entertainment. Even though the simplicity of the drawings are figured out by a few spectators, what matters this? You can fool part of the audience all of the time, but not all of the audience all of the time. But yet, they have the most difficult part of the program yet to ascertain — the transmission of the pictures from the performer to medium. This alone will baffle the most intelligent. If the medium is blindfolded this offers an excellent excuse why the exact reproduction is not made. Furthermore it is not intended, the purpose of the demonstration is to demonstrate the possibilities of genuine mental telepathy, the thought picture being transmitted to the medium's mind, and not the actual drawing. The purpose of the spectators drawing is to offer absolute proof of the success or failure of that particular attempt. Also aids in concentration, these two points should be heavily stressed upon in lecture. The medium may possess no unusual ability as a sketch artist than the person who submits the picture, if a blindfold is used it should be faked slightly, so as to allow faint vision at least of blackboard. Personally the writer does not recommend a blindfold, it does not increase the effect unless previous mention has been made. Not being suggested the audience will naturally not conceive the idea to illustrate, what we don't know hurts no one. The question of coding does not occur to ninety percent of the audience, while the rest may from hear say or past actual experience think some form of signals are employed. After act is in operation, their opinion must change or at least be shaken.

The Code System

Needless to say, there are many ways of coding, and the fact that there is always the best in everything is to be taken into consideration. It is our opinion, taken from actual experience, that the method herein explained is the best — without question. That this method requires more practice in learning, more concentrated effort is not questioned, the result is the thing. The keynote of success in this system is harmony, the principle of this code is the ability of the medium and assistant to count mentally and together. It is a known fact that the beats for common time are always the same in music, therefore with a little practice it is easy for two persons starting at a given signal to count at an even rate, and when given another signal to stop, and of course both medium and assistant have arrived at the same number. They must continually practice together until sure they can count mentally and in exactly the same time, then the most difficult part of the system has been learned. This is illustrated by two piano players playing a duet, both having to start at a given signal and keep exact time together throughout the piece, both ending at the same time also. A speed of from 60 to 75 counts per minute should be adhered to and a metronome would come in valuable here.

The Signals

These are the most natural type of signals obtainable, they do not indicate any particular cue, what is done or said, does not influence the various cues but when this action takes place indicates the code number, the code number is designated by the number of counts that takes place between the start and stop signal. The signals used in this system make Thought Pictures a thing indetectable, to the casual observer nothing unusual is noticeable as nothing out of the ordinary takes place. All movements are natural and absolute necessary to carry on the demonstration. Furthermore, it is not necessary for the assistant to employ the same signal, this is a tremendous advantage with this system. Such signals as are made by motions and positions of hands and body are seen by those anxious to detect while with practice this way is absolutely foolproof. Before the demonstration can be started, a picture must first be transmitted to assistant. Consequently he always knows one or two in advance that he is planning on coding. The medium faces the audience with fake blindfold made of thin material, or not blindfolded, placing the back of her hand against her eyes, and in such a position that she can peek through her fingers and ascertain the assistant's movements in audience. When the medium places her hand over eyes that is the signal for both to start counting. The assistant knowing the number of course to be reached. Assuming the number to be 14 as the medium started to count, the assistant lets same run until fourteen has been reached, and then stops the count. This is accomplished in any number of ways. While the counting is in progress, assistant should not move, to stop count, he merely turns slightly, walks away, hand drawing back, turn slightly, motion spectator to be seated, or have spectator repeat request, and the natural movement is sufficient to denote stop counting.

Having received the correct number, the medium does not move immediately unless the count was a long one consuming considerable time. Then it should be hurried. Slowly she withdraws hand and in a vague way starts to draw the figure, first hesitating, then with rapid strokes, all of this for effect. This is showmanship, something that must be acquired from actual experience and observation. Having drawn the correct figure the spectator should be asked to acknowledge the correctness of same, the assistant may remark CORRECT. Now with this remark, the count may be started and stopped by assistant motioning to next spectator to stand and repeat request for next drawing. If the figures corresponding number is not a straight count, say 65 and of two digits, the first digit is coded in this manner and the last word of the spectator's speech acting as the start signal for the second digit of that number. When it is stopped by assistant walking away from immediate scene, or any natural movement. For instance, assume a star has been drawn by a person, medium raises hand to forehead and starts to count 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 and on last count assistant motions to person to stand and make a request. Now with the last word (picture) the count is automatically started 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8- and at the last count the assistant turns, walks away and motions for person to be seated. Any natural movement. To those who wish to carry the drawing arrangement out to more complicated drawings, the numbers may run to 999 the coding arrangement being the same, only three figures are coded, the first 18 should be straight count. Otherwise the rest is the same. Thus .far the author has taken up stage performing and while on the subject would suggest a direct contact one way telephone set. Receiver being concealed in the medium's hair and the microphone backstage. Operated by third party who with powerful field glasses to aid him, and a peep hole, reads the signals and phones the number to medium. For club work, private affairs, performer must work in same manner. There are hundreds of various signals and moves that may be used for starting and stopping the counting and these will suggest themselves to you as time goes along.

Properly presented, detection is impossible and plants are very useful. At every public performance, at least one plant should be used to get sensational results. The party of course submitting a very complicated yet simple drawing and medium knows whether picture shall be presented fourth, fifth, etc. , and after bawling out plant for trying to stump you, medium remarks upon hardness to get concentrated right, she draws the picture. Properly handled, an applause is certain, for additional effect, the medium should draw a figure other than coded, and just before finished, shake her head, erase it and draw correct figure.

Geometric Figures

Careful analysis will reveal only forty working designs, any two can be combined to produce the more complicated drawing which will faithfully cover all designs presented, if a square is drawn within a circle the larger or outside figure is drawn first and the figure inside last, if a circle is drawn inside a square the order is vice versa. When a bisected triangle is drawn, the triangle is first drawn then the bisecting line is coded, likewise with parallel and perpendicular lines. It will be noticed the most important geometric drawings and simple sketches will have low corresponding numbers, as they are the ones that will be most and more often under observation. A straight line is assumed to run parallel with the floor, likewise on the blackboard, if spectator places line paralle on slate and line is drawn perpendicular on board, spectator says it is not right, medium turns board in vertical position. There may be other simple figures not contained in the list that performer may wish to add, and remember to have the sketches of articles made as plain and simple as possible to illustrate only the Thought Picture and not the object.

C omment

Repetition will be found in several places in this manuscript, but with a purpose of making the methods easier to understand, this system at first reading may seem complicated and difficult, this is not the case. A telegraph operator does not have to figure out the words by letters as he hears them tick off but reads them by ear as if he were in actual conversation, and that is the way the assistant and medium should receive and send signals. When it is noted it takes the average student six months to learn shorthand, and all the code method can be learned in less than one tenth of that time and the remuneration for an act of this kind is ten times that of the shorthand writer it should naturally interest the reader enough for them to concentrate their efforts in continual practice.

Remember, practice makes perfect.

1. perpendicular

2. parallel lines

3. bisect at right angles

4. a bisecting line from lower left corner to right

5. bisecting line from lower right corner to left

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