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Section 2 How Cold Reading works Defining terms What is cold reading

Cold reading is a deceptive psychological strategy. Among other things, it can be used by someone who is not psychic to give what seem to be a very convincing psychic readings. Cold reading is neither one single technique, nor one single procedure. It is better to think of 'cold reading' as the collective term for a set of techniques which can be used in different contexts to achieve different goals. In the first five sections of this book, I focus on the way cold reading techniques are used to deliver a convincing psychic reading to a complete stranger.

Navelgazing Cold Reading

Well Fellow entertainer as you've probably guessed already the main secret of Navel-Gazing is Cold-Reading But look at what I said again and you'll see one of my favourite Cold reading techniques in action which is to say something which is detailed but then end it with a positive closed question which can only really be answered YES by the subject as to answer YES is in their own interest Here once again the closed question technique is used and once again it's in her interest to answer Yes - don't underestimate this cold reading technique its very useful indeed. 12) Next we'll discuss the use of Closed questions just a little bit more before explaining how I use the power of Open Ended Statements and Questions for Cold Reading Success. I hope you get the hang of it as Open statements are a very easy way of devising Cold Reading patter which will fit every person on this planet or as it is known in the Cold reading trade Boiler-Plate. 17) Two last points on Navel Cold Reading and...

The Proofs Of Mind Reading

Nearly everyone has had evidences of Mind Reading or Thought Transference in his or her own life. Nearly every one has had experiences of being in a person's company when one of the two would make a remark and the other somewhat startled, would exclaim, Why, that's just what I was going to say, or words to that effect. Nearly every one has had experiences of knowing what a second person was going to say before the person spoke. And, likewise common is the experience of thinking of a person a few moments before the person came into sight. Many of us have suddenly found ourselves thinking of a person who had been out of our minds for months or years, when all of a sudden the person himself would appear. These instances are so common as to be generally recognized without question. These occurrences have given rise to common sayings, such as, Speak of the devil, or Speak of angels and you hear the rustle of their wings. Maybe the best available evidence of the average persons ability to...

The power of cold reading

We feel that cold reading can be presented with real impact and entertainment. It can be an act unto itself, or it can radically alter the nature, power and entertainment value of effects. Consider that the most powerful word in any language is that person's name. It has the lowest auditory recognition threshold. It is a proven winner in sales as witnessed by anyone who has taken a Dale Carnegie course, and it is central in each person's interest. If we can involve each member of the audience in the presentation of our programs, we have created interest.

Mind Reading Par Excellence

Mind Reading, Crystal Gazing, etc. has become one of the most fascinating arts of recent years to mystify and amuse audiences of a mixed nature. Those who are skeptical as well as those who have true belief both find it has compelling interest. The following treatise will tell you in a concise manner just how you may prepare a nice act in mind-reading that will reach both the believer and the skeptic, and all without a great outlay of time, money or preparation. During the passing out of envelopes and cards, the time taken up in the writing of questions by audience, the seer or lecturer should arrange a spirited talk on Mental Telepathy, Crystal Gazing, Mind Reading, Thought Transference, etc. letting it be of sufficient scientific nature to not permit the audience to treat the matter too lightly, yet not of such a deep nature as to Iiore the usual mixed audiences that you find you will have to work and endeavor to entertain and mystify.

Multiple Mind Reading

A final note In Verbum Sapienti there is described an entertaining bit of by-play (p. 54) that Mr. Elmsley uses to avoid any tendency toward anticlimax as the final selections are dealt with in a series of mental divinations. This same business can be readily adapted to Multiple Mind Reading, and is worth your attention.

Business Card Mind Reading

EFFECT Three spectators each write a name, a word or even draw a picture or symbol upon identical business cards. The cards are collected by a spectator and shuffled face down so no one knows which card belonged to whom. The Magician does a brief cold reading or handwriting analysis on each face down card to divine the card's owner. When the Magician reaches the last card, he takes a pen to a pad of paper and correctly draws whatever text or symbol is on the card. An absolute killer reveal

An expanded model of cold reading

The above sources of information about the pseudopsychic technique suggest a model in which cold reading actually encompasses a number of discrete operations which appear to represent a hierarchy (see Figure 1). Strategies which appear higher in the pyramid are somewhat dependent upon the use of those lower down for success. For example, the use of information drawn by virtue of pigeon-holing the client may be needed to initiate the necessary conditions for cold reading by providing the source material for the client to react to. Similarly, Barnum statements may be used as distractor items before feeding back information unwittingly given up by the client in warm reading. However, it should be noted that although these strategies can have a particular temporal order, in that some stages tend to be passed through to generate information necessary for stages higher in the pyramid, the reading as a whole does not represent a steady progression through the hierarchy. Rather, the reading...

Cold Reading and romance

Having looked at the psychic context and the sales context, we can now look at cold reading techniques as they might apply in a romantic context. The second reason is simply that I get asked about this subject a great deal, and not just by other men. More than a few of my female friends, having perused earlier editions of this book, have shared their speculations about how cold reading techniques might play a part in relationships and relationship management. In fact three female friends have helped me to piece this short section together. If anything herein is deemed accurate and insightful, it can be credited to their assistance. So, which cold reading (CR) techniques might Fred usefully deploy in this context

Cold reading and criminal interrogation

I receive a lot of correspondence about cold reading from all over the world, and most of it is very interesting. On more than one occasion, police officers and other law enforcement officials have written to me about the possible application of cold reading techniques to the interrogation of suspects in criminal cases. I find this an intriguing idea, and during a visit to New York I had the privilege of discussing it further with Peter Kougasian, Assistant DA for the County of New York (and a fine magician too). Peter suggested I consult 'Criminal Interrogation and Confessions' by Inbau, Reid and Buckley, which is a standard textbook on the subject, and this proved to be an excellent recommendation. For one thing, it's a beautifully well-written book, and I'm a fan of good writing wherever I find it. I also found the contents absolutely fascinating. First, I will look at some striking similarities between standard interrogation practice, as described by IRB, and the cold reading...

Formula For Cold Readings

Briefly, the cold reading can be summarized as an ANALYSIS and PATTER STORY of the client's DESIRES, POSSESSIONS and FEARS. As the author deems this one of the most IMPORTANT STATEMENTS IN THIS TEXT, Here are the subjects to be considered in the composite 'cold reading' - depending on the individual client.

An Introduction To Cold Reading

WHAT IS COLD READING There have been many definitions of cold reading. Most define it as a technique or skill used to gather information about a subject who is unknown to the reader. In reality, cold reading is not a single skill or technique, but rather a series of them. Therefore, for our purposes, as magicians and mentalists, we shall define it as, A process by which the reader creates the effect that he or she has knowledge of an unknown subject's life - past, present and future. Most psychologists point to The Forer Effect and a phenomenon called subjective validation or selective memory. In general, it states that when you give people a number of both vague and specific claims about them - they tend to remember and give significance to the ones that are accurate or favorable, and dismiss as insignificant or forget, those that are not. In the case of cold reading, this selectivity of the human mind helps the subject interpret or retrofit the reader's assertions to fit his or her...

True cold reading using nonverbal feedback

The techniques described up to this point do not exploit information available through interaction with the client but depend instead on general truths and impression formation by the reader. When feedback is available during the reading, there is the opportunity to further refine these categories using what we have termed true cold reading (see Figure 5). This process has been likened by Hyman (1981) to the Clever Hans phenomenon (Sebeok & Rosenthal, 1981 see also Pfungst, 1911) because it exploits subtle behavioural cues emanating from the questioner during the course of the interaction to arrive at an appropriate reading. When successful, the true cold reading can follow a tree-like path, from broad trunk to branch to twig as the implicit choices made non-verbally by the client become more esoteric, resulting in end points which give very specific information indeed. And the client will tend to only remember this end point, not the stages which led to it.

Why are psychic or cold readings done

Generally speaking, little specific information is given, and certainly, no advice. The question and answer may be used in such a way as to include a little cold reading in the response or answer. However, it is quite possible to do an entire program based only upon cold reading. In such situations, versatility is a must. The performer must have a variety of readings or approaches, as a single reading repeated over and over will, surely lose its impact. The ability to generate different approaches, to contrast readings or people, is a basic skill, especially if the readings are heard by other people at the gathering. However, the angle-proof nature and ability to perform under almost any conditions make cold reading a skill that is perhaps unsurpassed in the entertainment field.

Pawology Cold Reading

Once again the secret of Pawology is little more than the use of effective cold reading techniques, the main obvious advantage here being that dogs cannot talk back and as such will never be The Cold Reading methods used are IDENTICAL to those explained in the Navel Reading section of this manual and are used on the dogs owner.

Cold reading strategies

How can these findings be reconciled Often, successes by psychics have been explained not as a consequence of psychic ability, but in terms of the exploitation of common (but subtle) channels of communication using what has been termed cold reading (e.g. Schwartz, 1978 Randi, 1981). The concept is not new Whaley (1989) for example describes it as Originally the argot of psychic mediums by 1924 from the fact that the customer walks in 'cold' - previously unknown to the fortune-teller (p.173), and the stratagem was probably first hinted at in the writings of Conan Doyle through the instant face-to-face deductions of Sherlock Holmes, published from 1887. A more recent definition of cold reading, taken from Ray Hyman's classic account of the effect, describes it as a procedure by which a 'reader' is able to persuade a client whom he has never met before that he knows all about the client's personality and problems (Hyman, 1977 20). Unfortunately, this does not give us much insight into...

The Nature Of Mind Reading

The general public is almost in total ignorance of the great truths of thought transference, thought projection, telepathy, or mind reading. It is true that here and there were to be found a few scientists earnestly investigating and eagerly uncovering the hidden truths concerning these subjects. But the mass of the people were either entirely ignorant of the subject or else were intensely skeptical of anything concerning the matter, laughing to scorn the daring thinker who ventured to express his interest or belief in this great scientific phenomena. We have quoted at length from this eminent authority to show once and that this great science of MIND READING is recognized, and approved of by many authorities in science, and also to give our students the benefit of the scientific theories upon the subject. In this work we have but very little to say about theory, but shall confine ourselves to facts, and actual instruction. Of additional interest may be the fact that in the past 50...

Can anyone learn cold reading

This is a common question, and the answer is the same for cold reading as for anything else. Almost anyone can try their hand at it, but there will always be some who have more natural aptitude than others. Good cold reading tends to require the gift of the gab, modest acting ability, lack of nerves, and a touch of 'stage presence'. If a person has these qualities, he or she can probably learn to be a good cold-reader. Charm and charisma obviously help, but I seem to have done okay despite a conspicuous lack of both. It is important to point out that different practitioners learn cold reading in different ways. It is a little bit like playing the piano some learn from books, some are taught, some more or less teach themselves as they go along. Some have a very analytical approach, and teach themselves by studying and practising for many years (which is what I did). Others more or less develop the knack without trying. believe she must possess a psychic gift. In time, she was able to...

Using Cold Reading

Cold reading is an extremely powerful tool for doing this. Some of you might be wondering what the hell cold reading is. Cold reading is reading people without having any prior information about them. This is what psychics and palm readers do. The nuts and bolts of cold reading Once l began to realize that women share many similarities, I realized that l could use generalizations to describe a woman's inner psyche. Now the weird thing was this Not only did women think l was accurate with my cold reading when l used these generalizations, but they rarely every pegged me as using generalizations. In fact, they labeled me as someone who had powerful psychic abilities for pointing out the unique person they thought they were. I think the reason this works is that people's vanity about being unique prevents them from realizing that you are using generalizations. Also, when you are vague, people will fill in the details on their own. Albeit, their minds will assume it was you who told them...

Mind Reading

It is unusual to get an alliance between card manipulation and mind reading. Hence the trick described below is all the more uncanny since the member of the audience who selects a card from a shuffled pack does so mentally. He is allowed to cut the cards as many times as he likes and from then he alone handles the cards. Yet the performer is able by degrees to announce first the colour, then the suit and finally the exact denomination of the card chosen.

Mind Reading In Dogs

How to Train a Dog to Pose as a Mind Reader, Magician and Mathematician The remarkable performances of the well-known trained Bozzie, have of late attracted widespread attention. Not only has she puzzled the acute observation of Chicago's keen eyed newspaper men and justices of the peace, but she has been exploited as a mind reader, and preached about as being a model for poor, unenlightened mortals to emulate. The Press Club of Chicago has pondered over her performances, and has finally come to the conclusion that she is an unsolved enigma. The supposition that a dog can be a mind reader or a mathematician no person of good sense will consider for a moment, still less would one believe that a dog is able to learn cards, letters, numbers or words, any more than one would be able to draw the moon down to the earth. And yet it seems that the great mass of people will never learn that

Mind Reading 101

I then inform the young man that he has successfully passed Mind Reading 101, which could save him much grief with the ladies in the future. My own approach to the participant's first most important choice in the equivoque process differs in mechanics and psychology to both Max Maven and David Eldridge. Psychologically, both of these mages, to one degree or another, incorporate some value or meaning of the objects to the participant in their placement of the force object for the best chance of a hit on the first choice. I found that I was unable to consistently anticipate that value or meaning. As a result, I work at making sure that all 5 objects are of an equal neutral value to the participant. This is a very important point. If we are successful in rendering all of the items to an equal, neutral value in the mind of the participant, then this force is essentially the same as using the classic force with a deck of cards. Think about it. In the classic force, the...

Navel Mind Reading

I've taught you Navel-Reading and Navel-Healing, so now its time to reveal my secrets of Navel Mind Reading or as it is also called Belly Button Mind Reading I'm sure you can already think of numerous routines, which could be presented as demonstrations of Navel Mind Reading, but for the sake of completeness I'll explain two of my favourites.

Overview what you will find in this book

You are currently reading Section One. This introduces you to the book and to cold reading. Please read this before you read anything else - it will avoid a lot of misunderstandings. Section Two tells you how cold reading actually works. Section Three features two examples of cold reading taken from my own TV demonstrations, including the full text of a reading I gave which was deemed to be 99.9 accurate Section Four deals with Blocking, or making sure cold reading cannot be used on you. Section Six explores how cold reading techniques might apply to other, non-psychic contexts.

Are psychic readings beneficial

This is an interesting debate, but it has nothing to do with this book. I am exclusively concerned with whether someone giving a reading is using genuine psychic powers or cold reading. I hope that by reading this book you will have enough information to decide this for yourself.

Effect 2 Ill Name that Card in

All you need to do to name their card is work out the next one in the sequence. So if the bottom card was the ace of hearts, their card is the four of spades. Rather than just simply naming their card, increase the drama and effect of mind-reading by revealing it bit by bit. The color first, then whether it is a low, high or picture card. Then name the card in full. This is a terrific routine and with a little thought, the Si Stebbins stack can be used for many other mind reading effects. What's more, the stack is instantly ready to use again simply by putting the spectator's chosen card on top of the deck face down. If you're disappointed to discover you're not divining the chosen card by reading body language or subtle facial expressions, get used to it This is the way all mind reading illusions work.

Magiciansand their methods

This book is not about the methods used by magicians, mind-readers, mentalists and the rest of my kind who practise dark, With very rare exceptions, these stage tricks and mind-reading routines have little or nothing whatsoever to do with cold reading. What magicians do on stage is entertainment. This book is about deception used outside the sphere of entertainment. Please bear this distinction in mind. (See Appendix note 2 for more on this point).

How To Read Peoples Minds

Mind-reading began its career in Chicago. The sensation produced by it was astonishing, and it has not yet had its day. It has not only puzzled the minds of everyday people of the world, but has also engaged the attention of scholars, scientific men, statesmen, and even crowned heads. The first person who made any display of it was J. Randall Brown. He became a monomaniac on the subject, experimenting with all his acquaintances, and informing them of the many wonderful things he could do, till they began to think he was possessed, as some of them expressed it. Brown's first public success, and that which caused him to adopt mind-reading as a profession, was, strange to say, on a wager which he made with an old and well-known resident of Chicago. He made a bet that he could find a pin, no matter where it was concealed, stipulating only that it should be within walking distance. After considerable speculation as to where the hiding-place should be, the gentleman concealed the pin...

Terms used in this book

I will use the term 'psychic' to mean anyone providing such a reading and using cold reading to do so. This point cannot be emphasised too much. Let us imagine for a moment that there are genuine psychics, and people who pretend to be psychic but just use cold reading. This book is exclusively concerned with the activities of the second group.

How it works 37 The Elements of the Reading

For very simple readings, the psychic may rely on what is more or less a set text, or limited variations on a largely unchanging script. However, such readings are seldom very convincing, and do not constitute cold reading in the true sense. Cold reading does not involve a rehearsed script. It consists of numerous different types of statements (and questions) which can appear more significant or meaningful than they really are. I am going to call each type of statement an 'element'. The cumulative effect of these elements is to create the illusion that a reading of a psychic or mystical nature is taking place.

Preparing For Public Performances

Before taking you on with the work before an audience, we must urge upon you to prepare yourself thoroughly by means of the above mentioned exercises. The great tendency among students is to hurry through to the public work, and skipping the exercises as much as possible. This is all wrong. You will never be a thoroughly good demonstrator of anything in life, until you master the rudiments, and by practice familiarize yourself thoroughly with the details of the work. And Mind Reading is no exception. It is true that after a few exercises you may be able to give a fair demonstration before an audience, but you will never get further than fair without careful practice. And therefore we urge you to have patience and perseverance, and to stick to the exercise until you become a Master of Mind Reading, when you need fear no audience whatsoever, and will be able to give a demonstration that will be a great credit to both yourself and to us, your instructors.

Cutting by Touch Alternative Handling

Cut off the top 13 cards by finding the reversed card, count them onto the table to show there are indeed 13 cards, then place this package back on top of the deck. You've not only demonstrated cutting by touch but now have a perfect Si Stebbins deck ready to perform a mind reading effect

Four Thought Alternative Handlings

However you choose to perform this effect, the dual reality principle is at the cutting edge of modern mentalism. It can be used to give the illusion that a performer is divining complete memories of past events the sights, sounds, smells and feelings associated with a particular experience. Once again, with a little thought and imagination, the force card technique used for 'Four Thought' can be adapted into a whole range of mind reading effects. Have fun

Interlude 1 How do you explain that

So how did the psychic predict my friend's October holiday The answer is that I do not know if she did, and if she did I have no idea how. Perhaps it was an astonishing demonstration of authentic psychic precognition. Then again, maybe the psychic was as genuine as a 7 dollar bill and my friend was suckered by a piece of stylish cold reading. I was not there, and I have no way of finding out the facts which would inform my judgement either way. More to the point, I cannot get at the facts by listening to my friend's recollection of what took place. Time, I feel, to get down off my soapbox and back to the subject of cold reading.

Section Three Putting the theory to the test

This section features two examples from my own televised demonstrations of cold reading. In the first, I was asked to pose as a tarot reader, and in the second as an astrologer. Both of these demonstrations were given for British TV. I will also make passing reference to a third demonstration, for American TV, in which I posed as a clairvoyant.

Novel Idea for Ascertaining the First Question

This method follows the general procedure as given in Faked Pile of Magazines. No fake stack of books was used, and the cards and envelopes were not returned to the writers until all had been answered. The writers' names were put on the sealed envelopes as in the one ahead method just described. The opportunity to get the last name on an envelope was created through a stunt whereby some member of the audience displays his power as a mind reader. This envelope is thrown in with the other questions in the basket or bowl, the collector and performer going back to the platform. The volunteer mind reader is requested to rise, and to put his mind in a receptive mood--maybe it will help you if I hold the question (then to party holding basket) just hand me my envelope marked, so-and-so. This is really the envelope first collected, on which performer wrote his own name.

Interlude 2 On keeping an open mind

This does not amount to proof that psychic beliefs are bogus remnants of outmoded, irrational and superstitious models of the world we live in. But it does amount to good reason to abandon an open mind', and to say instead that if the believers want us to acknowledge the reality of psychic ability, the onus is on them to prove their case. Whatever proof they provide, it will have to consist of something that cannot equally be attributed to the effectiveness of cold reading.

Stay calm stay reasonable

If you were to adopt a hostile or confrontational stance, this would - according to psychic lore -also block a totally genuine psychic attempting to give you the benefit of authentic psychic ability and insight. This is not the aim. The aim is to block cold reading being passed off as something

Do not provide feedback

As we have already seen, cold reading relies to a great extent on feedback. Hence to block cold reading, you make sure you do not provide it. Evading questions is one way of doing this. The other is to provide feedback which is useless for cold reading purposes. For example, suppose the psychic provides a response cue such as And I believe this is making sense to you isn't it . You can say

Sabotage the elements

In Section Two of this book we saw 38 elements that can play a part in cold reading. Every single element has an underlying structure or formula. In every case, if you understand the formula, you can completely sabotage that particular element. You do this by (a) openly addressing the structure or formula involved, and then (b) subverting it.

The Technique Of The Cold Reader Applied To The Stage Mentalist

The stage performer can not only answer the question, but build a most effective thumbnail 'cold reading' around the patron - project the situation into the future, and predict the 'arrival of a letter bearing glad tidings, a new heart interest, an unexpected legacy and other pleasing expectations. ' These need not be in the realm of fancy, as careful analysis of the individual, plus the KNOWN question and a little psychology will reveal.

CR and cold calling 2 drilling for information

Our salesman's goal now is to drill for information. May I repeat for emphasis that cold reading techniques may be of no use whatsoever. On the other hand, they may work, and there's nothing to lose by trying. People find it a lot easier to agree with information than to provide it, so our salesman might try a variation on the Good Chance Guess, like this So far we have looked at 'cold calling', and seen how some cold reading techniques might help in a few special situations. Now let's consider a different context, when the salesman actually meets the prospective customer. The cold reading techniques we

Games Without A Transmitter

In order to develop the ability to produce the Higher Phenomena, the best course is for the student to frequently practice the demonstration and experiments of Contact Mind Reading, as this will develop the receptive faculties of the mind. Then the student may occasionally practice with a few sympathetic and harmonious friends, endeavoring to reproduce the games without physical contact.

The Automatic Writing Experiments

Another way of conducting experiments along the lines of the Higher Phenomena of Mind Reading, is akin to the Automatic Writing known to all students of Occultism. The Transmitter concentrates his thought and Will in the usual manner, while the Receiver places himself in the usual receptive, passive state of mind, and awaits the impressions. But instead of the Receiver merely sitting as usual, he draws his chair to a table, having a soft pencil in his hand and a pad of paper on the table before him. He holds the pencil lightly between his fingers, with its point touching the paper-and then awaits the impressions. Under good conditions, after waiting a time the pencil will begin to twitch and move feebly. The hands and fingers should allow it full and free motion. After a few moments of indecision the pencil will often begin to write out words. In many experiments the word, or object bought of by the Transmitter will be written out, or drawn in full by the hand of the Receiver acting...

Note 5 Barnum experiments

In the section devoted to 'Barnum statements' I mentioned that psychologists have studied the Barnum Effect. Summaries of at least two such studies appear in Ray Hyman's article, 'Cold Reading How to Convince Strangers that You Know All About Them' which was published in The Zetetic, Spring Summer 1977'. Among other studies, Hyman refers to

Subtle Glimpse of Folded Billet

In his vest pocket the performer has a number of soft lead pencils, and with the folded billets in his left hand, on top of a few opened billets (but with creases), he is ready to proceed. He makes the usual opening talk about mind reading, etc., and explains that he has the spectators write their questions the better to concentrate on them. He steps down in the audience, and as he passes out the billets and pencils, he calls attention to the fact that the slips are numbered--each spectator is to remember his number, then open his billet and write his name at the top, the question underneath, and finally fold the slip in the original creases. No one is to show or tell what he has written

Stupid credulous and gullible

If you have a good grasp of how cold reading works, and how to block it, then it cannot be used on you. Otherwise, it can. It makes no difference how smart, highly-qualified or intellectually brilliant you may be. None of these qualities present any difficulty to a good cold reader. What is more, deception itself is an extremely vast and complex field. It can easily occupy a lifetime of study, and embraces many specialised arenas. Experts in one area (such as card manipulation or gambling scams) may know next to nothing about other areas (such as metal-bending and cold reading).

Cagliostro Billet Reading Test

The performer during all this gathering of the messages, gives some sort of a lecture on the subject of Mental Telepathy, Mind Reading, Spirit Communication, etc., and plans to finish about time Glass Bowl is brought on stage. Reaching into Bowl he takes out one of the Sealed Envelopes, places it to his

Thanks and acknowledgements

'RM' was my first teacher in cold reading and related aspects of applied deception, and showed me the difference between theory and practice. Tony Youens is a valued ally in the deception game, and has a sense of humour perhaps even worse than my own. Chris French and Richard Wiseman, both highly-respected authorities in parapsychology, have given freely of their time and expertise over the years. Robin Allen was the first to encourage me to lecture about cold reading, and to provide me with a platform to do so.

Section 4 Blocking techniques

It can be used to deliver any kind of psychic reading. What is more, it seems to work on virtually any client, no matter how intelligent or sceptical they are. In fact, cold reading is so effective that there is literally only one way in which it can fail. If the client knows how cold reading works, and knows how to block it, then the cold reader is beaten. By reading this far, you have learned how cold reading works. Armed with this information, you can probably begin to see for yourself how to block the cold reading process. In this section, I want to present you with five golden rules for blocking any attempt to use cold reading on you. So now, with your knowledge of cold reading and your trusty tape machine whirring away, you are ready to block the cold reading process. Here are the five golden rules.

The Creery Experiments

Mind upon the hidden object, and the seeker eventually finds it by means of Mind Reading. The reverend gentleman said in his report to the Society We will close by mentioning another remarkable series of experiments conducted by the same Society. 'The Mind Reader was M. G. A Smith, of England. Among other We could proceed relating case after case, experiment after experiment, conducted by these scientific bodies of learned and careful men. But the story would be no more convincing than that related above. And, after all, there is a method of satisfying yourself that is far more conclusive than the reading of any results of experiments of others-and that is to learn to perform the feats of mind reading yourself. By means of a very little practice you will be able to reproduce many of the Games of the public performers such as the great Kreskin, as well as the experiments of the scientific societies, and then when you have realized that you can do these things you will need no further...

Anna Eva Fay Message Test

Wherever possible, try when getting into a town to gather all information possible about prominent citizens and if they are in audience, and they probably will be, go the limit with them, which always will make a big hit and strengthen the belief that you are a real mind reader and can read their thoughts with ease.

CR and staging the sales meeting

The next Set Up technique we looked at was 'Establishing an intimate atmosphere'. In the context of an initial sales meeting, this translates as 'Establishing an atmosphere conducive to selling'. If the salesman is visiting the customer, which is usually the case, then he obviously has limited control over 'atmosphere'. Even so, his cold reading sensibilities can come in handy. Some people, when they attend meetings, immediately plonk their briefcase down on the desk directly between themselves and the other person, and then proceed to lay out a notebook, laptop, pack of sales literature and so on. This creates a needless physical barrier, a 'psychological wall', between themselves and the person they are meeting. This inhibits rapport.

CR and building rapport

We have already seen that cold reading techniques can help to establish rapport. In any conversation, if the other person feels that you understand them, and that there is plenty of room for agreement, they gain a sense of convergence and bonding. In other words, good rapport. If the other person feels that you do not understand them, and every conversational thread seems to fragment into disagreement, they gain no sense of convergence and bonding, and are unlikely to enjoy the encounter. Judicious use of some cold reading techniques might therefore help Fred to enhance his rapport with Ginger. A few examples should illustrate the point. This concludes our brief look at the potential application of cold reading techniques to a romantic context. There is probably a great deal more that could be said, but it would fall beyond the scope of this book. I feel I should add that while cold reading techniques may well have a 'romantic' role, I am wary of exaggerating their significance. When...

Elements about extracting information

This may seem far too facile to play any part in cold reading process, but this is not necessarily the case. It all depends on the nature of the reading and the client's attitude. Many of those who pay for psychic readings are pre-committed. They trust the psychic and the belief system, and neither seek nor require any proof of the psychic's gifts. As far as they are concerned, they want help, the psychic is there to give it, and the sooner they can get down to details the better. In cold reading terms, the actual significance each card is deemed to have is irrelevant. A serious book on interpreting tarot cards may tell you that 'The Tower' signifies change in existing relationships. However, the cold reader can attribute whatever significance she wants to any card, whether or not it accords with conventional tarot lore. All that matters is that it sounds convincing, and that it leads up to that all-important prompt for feedback. Some cold readers may choose to actually learn about...

Effect 10 Tarot Reading

Tarot Reading relies on a technique known as cold reading. It's a technique used by clairvoyants, psychics and mentalists to make a person believe you can read their innermost thoughts. The statements used are specially designed to sound specific to one person and yet they are so general, they actually apply to a large percentage of the population. Now all you need to perform some cold reading is a pack of Tarot cards and to memorize the above statements. Get your spectator to shuffle the Tarot deck and then ask them to deal six cards face down on the table.

The Greatest Scam In History

Because I gave the reading, and there was nothing psychic about it. Instead, I used 'cold reading' - the psychologically deceptive technique which is the subject of this book. The great thing about cold reading, as far as its practitioners are concerned, is that hardly anyone knows about it. In an age when consumers are more cautious and informed than ever before, none of them know the first thing about cold reading. No public book store in the world contains a single work on the subject. I cannot prove that psychics use cold reading. But I can give you all the information you need to decide for yourself. Welcome to the full facts about cold reading.

Performance Tips

1 - Most people do not believe in mind-reading as fact but they are more likely to believe you can read body language or influence behavior. To assist with this, set a mood and enhance your tricks by dressing them up as psychological illusions. deliberated over to maintain the illusion of mind-reading and to build suspense.

Long Distance Experiments

Experiments of wireless Mind Reading or Telepathy may be tried between friends at long distances, space apparently presenting no obstacle to the passage of the thought waves. Pick out some friend with whom you have established a strong rapport condition by means of his having acted as your Transmitter in your Contact Mind Reading experiments, and by having practiced Rhythmic Breathing, as heretofore described. Have the Transmitter sit in his room at the appointed time, gazing intently at some small simple object, such as a knife, a glass, a cup, a book, etc., and endeavoring to make a clear mental picture of it, which picture he should also Will to be reproduced in your mind. Remember he should think of the looks or appearance of the object not merely of its name he should think of the shape, etc., of the book, instead of thinking the word book. At the same time you should sit quietly in your room, placing yourself in the same passive, receptive mental attitude that you have acquired...

CR and the illusion of knowledge

So far, we have seen a few possible parallels between the psychic context and the sales context. It is fair to say these are quite limited in scope. We have yet to see how cold reading techniques could make a significant difference to our salesman's daily activity. I believe there is one area where can cold reading techniques can make a huge difference helping the salesman to appear more well-informed than he really is. Let me explain what I mean. The salesman's other option is to use cold reading techniques to convey the impression, or let the impression be formed, that he knows more than he really does. Whatever the ethics involved, let us look at how cold reading techniques can help. Here's our new context summary It should come as no surprise that many 'character' elements apply to companies as well as they do to people. After all, you can discuss a company's birth and history, profile and reputation, triumphs and failures, hopes and ambitions, health and relationships (with its...

Elements about the future

Psychics are well-known for their ability to peer into the future on behalf of their clients, and few psychic readings would be complete without at least a little glimpse into tomorrow and beyond. This is a very important aspect of cold reading, and one which is so easy it is laughable (except to believers). I have already clarified the fact that this book is about cold reading, and not magic tricks. Let me stress this point one more time, since I have often come across confusion on the issue. This is just one example of the startling and ingenious prediction routines featured by many of today's magicians and mind readers. I have even performed a few of them myself over the years. I once posted a sealed prediction to Britain's most popular daytime TV show two days before I was due to appear on it (This Morning' with Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan). The envelope was signed on air by the show's presenters, and then kept somewhere safe by the producer. Two days later, when I appeared...

Elements about facts and events

I have dwelt at length on the Fuzzy Fact because it is a very common element, with applications to many different kinds of cold reading. It can be used to generate statements about relationships, family, career, names of people or places or events, sets of initials, numbers, trips, holidays and celebrations. It is the widespread use of the Fuzzy Fact which has probably given rise to the notion that cold reading consists of vague statements (see 'Vagueness and generalisation'). It bears repeating that it is not just vagueness that makes this element work - it is the high likelihood of being right in some way, and the scope it offers for refinement into something more precise.

Development Exercises

Notes of the musical scale will illustrate the principle thoroughly. When two persons are in rapport with each other, there is a mental and psychic harmony between them, which is productive of the best possible mental cooperative work. You often get this kind of rapport naturally with those in love or those who are working on a common problem or best friends. Hence the necessity of good rapport conditions in Mind Reading. Begin all your practicing with this rapport breathing, and start each demonstration with it, also. You will find that it will have a very soothing, calming, quieting effect upon both persons, and will produce in each a mental earnestness and concentration that will help along the demonstration of Mind Reading.

CR and cold calling 1 accessing the prospect

A lot of business-to-business selling starts with a salesman telephoning companies to see if they're in the market for whatever he's selling. Some call this 'telesales', some call it 'cold calling', and some call it 'hell on Earth'. So how can cold reading techniques help in this situation To see how, let us briefly reconsider what's happening in the context of a typical psychic reading. Specifically, let's focus on the main goal of whoever is giving the reading. We can summarise the psychic context like If the salesman comes up against a 'blocker', cold reading techniques may be no use whatsoever. Then again, our salesman has nothing to lose by trying. So he waits a while, then calls the main switchboard and tries a Fuzzy Fact This scenario of the unhelpful person trying to 'block' the sales call is relatively rare, and the suggestions made above might prove futile. Nonetheless, this first example serves to illustrate the general theme of this section. First, we analyse the context...

The Great Mental Photograph Test

Randall Brown, with his baggage well pasted over with foreign hotel and railway labels, reached Chicago the other day on a trip around the world. Away back in 1873 Brown, then a pale-faced stripling, was a reporter on a local paper. Without his ever dreaming of it Reporter Brown was, perhaps, one of the most remarkable men who ever ornamented the profession. The idea of adding to the news-gathering faculty as it commonly exists the gift of mind-reading is a distinct advance in newspaper work. Such an equipment as would be at the service of a young newspaper man who had the faculty of reading minds is beyond anything the big metropolitan dailies have been able to make practicable, and they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on news every year. It was a clairvoyant,' said Mr. Brown, 'that first sent me into the mind-reading business. I was a Chicago reporter at the time. One day a young fellow of the name of Curtis, a reporter on the same paper, got an assignment to...

The Cold Reader

The client's sex, probable age, dress and physical appearance and condition, actions, facial indications, jewelry such as wedding rings (or, by close observation of the fingers the previous removal of a ring) , condition of the hands, finger nails, hair and shoes. Neatness or lack of it will be evident. The client's grammar, nervous mannerisms, manner of sitting are important indicators. All these factors and many other details tell a definite story of the events that have proceeded this visit. The trained observer - with nothing more to go on than these INDICATIONS - would have little trouble in giving a good 'cold reading.'

Fishing for clues

Another popular theory holds that cold reading is all about 'fishing' for clues, which is to say trying to elucidate information from the client without this being obvious. There is an element of truth to this. Cold reading can involve subtle ruses to obtain information (as well as some which are as subtle as a dropped piano).

General Directions

The prime requisite for a successful demonstration of Mind Reading is the acquirement, or possession, by the Transmitter, of a clear idea of direction in his mind. The associated requisite is that the Transmitter be able to concentrate his will upon the mind of the Receiver, impressing upon him the Source of Direction so strongly that he will move in accordance with the Will of the Transmitter. Remember the two points to be observed by the Transmitter.

Barnum Statements

I have seen more than one article in sceptical literature suggesting that cold reading consists largely of Barnum Statements. This is highly misleading. Barnum Statements may be useful as a way to establish some initial rapport between the psychic and the client, but they are too generalised to sustain a reading of any depth and detail.

Opening Talk

Ladies and Gentlemen, with your assistance I shall endeavor to give you a demonstration of practical Mind Reading, beginning with some simple feats and then proceeding gradually to more complicated games. In these games, I must have your cooperation, for the success of the experiments depends as much upon you as upon myself. In the first place, I must ask that you refrain from conversation, laughter, etc., while I am demonstrating, for these things distract the mind of the Transmitter and prevent him from concentrating his Mind and Will upon mine and also prevent me from maintaining that Passive Mental State which is essential to the success of the experiments. I trust that you will help me in this way.

Readings

Cold reading is the description of the personality, characteristics, features, past experiences, and sometimes the future of a person without the use of standard psychological or other formal diagnostic procedures. It is presented as coming from psychic channels, auras, astrological sources, tea leaves, lines in the palm, or almost anything else ranging from soup to nuts.

Presentation

The use of different approaches to cold reading call for or permit the use of different strategies. The twenty question through affirmations will not work for everyone, or in every situation. However, where the reading starts off in a very general fashion, and hones down to deal with specifics, it is a very strong technique. It can create a tremendous sense of involvement or closeness, a type of intimacy. It bears an acknowledged similarity to the procedures of Milton Erickson, the noted-hypnotist in creating a mental set. With very little attention, you will be able to monitor changes in the skin color and temperature of the other person. Of course, muscle reading or contact mind reading or Hellstromism depend upon aspects of this. Holding the person's hand is an excellent way to sense this, as in palm reading. But holding the hand is also permissible or can be used under other formats as well. When the person relaxes, or feels open and close, the blood comes to the surface, warming...

The cream principle

When you are adding cream to coffee, it is wise to start with just a little, and then add more if you want. If you put too much in to begin with, you cannot get it out again. It is the same with cold reading. Psychics generally offer weak statements to begin with, rather than strong ones, because it is by far the safest strategy. For example, rather than saying this

Method

I then allow the two dolls to fall directly onto the spectators palm, and close her fist around them. This is much like the actions commonly used in a sponge ball routine. I then move away slightly and ask the spectator to think deeply about a problem she faces. I then offer some standard cold reading lines that appear to relate to her question. I then gently blow toward her palm and gesture with my empty hand for her to open her own hand. She will find two and not three dolls on her palm. This will be a wonderful moment for her. She has never held such dolls before and is not sure how they would feel. She has no idea how many are in her hand. Given the correct staging a detail solution to her problem. I spend a good amount of time on this a simple cold reading (see end) sequence. Finally you wave your left hand above the doll, due to the magnetic properties of the doll and the magnet you fixed to your left arm, the doll will stick to the inside of your left arm. I then under the...

The Client

One of the best ways to LEARN to be a good cold reader is to practice giving cold readings. This is a mental procedure which can be carried on many hours of the day, and without disturbing your normal routine. While you may not be able to check the results of this diagnosis, this will prove valuable training. Mentally, you give various people a 'cold reading' . You can practice then on your friends and acquaintances, and to a certain degree, check the results of your studies. This can be done when first making acquaintances - later association will bear out or refute your mental search.

Word Of Warning

The above feats or demonstrations are all performed along the same general lines as indicated a little further back, and all are capable of being accomplished by anyone of ordinary intelligence, with a little study, care and practice. Practice makes perfect, in Mind Reading as in everything else, remember, so keep at it until you have worn off the rough edges, and have polished up the details of the work. You may vary, improve, add to, the above feats, and may also insert many new ones for yourself as you proceed with your work. Use your creative faculties.

Two points about me

My involvement with cold reading sometimes gives rise to two unhelpful misunderstandings. This seems like a good opportunity to clear them up. Sometimes, media people ask me to demonstrate that cold reading really works. They find someone willing to have a reading, and I strut my stuff. Afterwards, the person to whom I have given the reading is told the truth as tactfully and sensitively as possible. I also make it clear to the subject that having being taken in by cold reading does not mean she is gullible or lacking in intelligence.

Afterword

This demonstration was one of the first I ever gave for TV. I do not regard it as a particularly strong example of cold reading in action. It is clear that I made a number of significant mistakes, such as ignoring what I earlier called the Cream Principle, i.e. make weak statements first, and strengthen them if appropriate. There were too many occasions when I offered a strong statement first, and then had to try and dilute it to fit.

The Simpler Method

You should at least familiarize yourself with this method, so as to be able to use it in emergencies, or in the case of a poor Transmitter, or else in the case of the more delicate and complex tests. If you neglect this method, you will have failed to acquaint yourself with one of the most amazing features of Contact Mind Reading, which so far touches the higher phenomena that it is similiar to what is known as Automatic Writing. In fact, if you are disposed, and are naturally receptive and sensitive to impressions, you may even write a letter through the Will of a good Transmitter, by this method By all means make yourself acquainted with its possibilities, and phenomena.

Higher Phenomena

In the games described and explained in the previous parts of this work, the mental impressions travel from one mind to another over the channels of the telegraphic wires of the nervous system of the Transmitter and Receiver. In other words the Mind Reading that is employed in the feats and games given, is akin to the ordinary telegraphic current traveling over the telephone wires from sending station to receiving station-the nervous system of the two persons furnishing a very close counterpart to the telegraphic wire, etc. But there is a step beyond this- many steps in fact. While the Contact Mind Reading which we have described and explained is surely wonderful enough to attract the attention of all thinking minds, still when the advanced student passes on to the field of the Higher Phenomena he is destined to meet with marvelous results which in some cases almost surpass belief. This Higher Phenomena of Mind Reading, or Telepathic Mind Reading, when compared to the Contact Mind...

Instant readings

The cold reading methods I have described in this book are quite elaborate, and can furnish detailed readings of almost any duration, with 25-30 minutes being typical. However, some psychics specialise in rapid-fire 'instant' readings, such as quick readings given during radio broadcasts.

Caseing

Let it be distinctly understood here and now, that the author of this text, does not favor or condone this type of skullduggery. However, the moral or legal aspect of 'caseing', will not be considered in this text. This and the following information is given specifically with the one thought in mind to show how some of the professional readers work and to cover the subject of 'cold reading' as completely as possible. So much for the moral side of the argument, and to make your information on 'cold readings' as complete as possible, here is how the professional reader'cases his clients'.

Retail Selling

This concludes our look at the possible application of cold reading techniques to a sales context. There is no shortage of sales gurus hyping their own blend of top tips and winning ways. Much of it is snake-oil, and I have no desire to add to the scrap-heap of fads and mythologies concerning sales technique. My only aim has been to offer some ideas, and highlight some possibilities. Some sales professionals may feel there is very little mileage in any of the suggestions made in this section. Others may feel differently, and might even feel inclined to pursue these ideas in greater depth.

The Willing Game

The well-known Willing Game will afford you an opportunity to develop this faculty of wireless Mind Reading. Your audience is seated in the room, and you enter blindfolded. An object has been previously selected. You stand in the center of the room, and the audience wills to the right then forward then a little lower down, etc., etc., etc., until the object is found just as was the case when the Transmitter sends the impressions. The audience should Will only one step at a time, and you should take that one step without thought of the succeeding ones. The mind should be held as receptive as possible, that is, open to vibrations. Take your time, and do not let hurry or anxiety enter your mind. It will be well to practice this experiment with members of your family, or with harmonious and sympathetic friends.

Supplement

If you are interested in further pursuing your studies of human behavior (and cold reading), these books offer a veritable gold mine of scientifically gathered statistics. And after digesting the antics of your fellow men and women, you may feel like divorcing youself from the human race. You'll have a better understanding of your fellow partner, but that's what makes the world around us. Another thing, in this enlightened age, I believe people more readily will accept the efforts of the successful cold reader, and 'things mystical'. There has been so much in print about prophecy, ESP and the ability of some humans to divine the future. Under some circumstances, I believe it possible for the 'cold reader' to give a successful brief 'cold reading' and having established his ability, then deliberately inform the sitter that they may verbally ask several questions. This makes the reader's work much easier and establishes an en rapport between the two parties. Actually, the sitter merely...

Rapport Conditions

We will not burden the student with recitals of experiments to perform in this Higher Phenomena demonstration. He may readily devise experiments for himself, from the examples given in connection with the Contact Mind Reading. The Transmitter may think of a card an object a name a place a scene a thought a feeling, etc., etc., without limit. And it makes no difference in the nature of the experiment or test, whether it be tried at long-range, or in the same room, without contact. The feat is the same the

The Lucky Guess

Although there is nothing subtle about this element, it needs mentioning since it is so useful in cold reading terms. It is also worth emphasising that many clients apply great latitude when interpreting the psychic's offerings. The same sort of ambiguity which helps Fuzzy Facts to become specific hits also helps Lucky Guesses. Take an example like this For completeness, I ought to add that the magic fraternity has developed several ways to guess (or appear to guess) a stranger's star sign with perfect accuracy and without using the Lucky Guess. However, such techniques fall outside the realm of cold reading.

Mindreading Supreme

The following tests give the impression of skilled and genuine mind-reading of the contact and ncm-contact kind. Yet no knowledge or study of contact mindreading is required, the routine is entirely impromptu, and there are no gimmicks. The effect is equally suitable for groups from six to six thousand.

Perfectcop mom

How Lateral Palm Card

My ambiguous relationship with the idea of mentalism stems most probably from the fact that I am not trying to perform mentalism, per se, most of the time, but rather am aiming to push magic into a more interesting area for my audiences. This area is where conjuring and hypnotic skills meet and intermingle. In 'Transformation' the point of the effect is well beyond the adventures of the cards - it is built around a numerological character reading, which is then turned on its head. It allows me to play with some cold reading, but then to provide a more worthwhile message for the spectator and to present her with something rather intimate. For this reason, 'Transformation' has no place in a series of card tricks, and neither is it a piece of mentalism. Rather it is a delicate and, I hope, enchanting piece of magic, which should be quietly performed for an individual once your magical credentials have been established. I will outline the effect and handling with some brevity, for the...

Part Three

Rather organic in nature working in tandem with the effect rather than secretly running along beneath it. By 'organic' I mean that I am using psychological principles that are as ethereal as the mind reading I claim to demonstrate, or am perhaps merely stacking the odds secretly in my favour, and improvising from then on. By favouring these techniques (while punctuating them with solid, reliable conjuring principles), the presentation becomes plausible and convincing. I found that I came to enjoy exploring the use of suggestion and such subtleties, and by working from a new starting-point I began to see some excellent new opportunities for extremely convincing deception. The mixture of sure-fire mechanics and sheer showmanship to create the effects is immensely enjoyable to perform. I try and achieve very direct, hands-free methods so that I can concentrate upon presentation and engage myself in the effect. In performance, I believe that the greatest asset to a mind reader is to be...

Psychic baiting

Psychic baiting is a great new fun way to pass your leisure hours. My hope is that it will become a popular new pastime all over the world. In essence, psychic baiting is the only sure way to demonstrate that someone giving readings is using cold reading, not genuine psychic ability. It involves going for a reading and allowing the psychic - which I stress means 'cold reader' in this case - to get snared by her own methods. Psychic-baiting is versatile. It is equally damaging to any form of cold reading. If the astrologer sees that you have had some romantic distress, look sad and own up to your recent commencement of (imaginary) divorce proceedings. Get the psychic to develop this theme further, before confessing that you have never been married, and are not having a divorce. In Section Four we have looked at ways of stopping cold reading from being used on you. We have also looked at 'Psychic Baiting', which is even more fun when you try it out than it looks on paper.

Script

This is something that would take a book 1000 times larger than this manuscript to explain. I basically apply some well aimed cold reading statements in to the audience. Here is an opportunity to practice your cold reading skills. None is aware exactly what the problem is, you will know if you offered a good reading or not from the spectators reaction. However no one else will. This is due tot he fact that they can to check the details of your reading. No matter the outcome in the eyes of the audience at large you appear to have succeeded. Here are some titles I refer the reader to that focus upon cold reading and will arm the performer with more material than he will ever need Quick and Effective Cold Reading by Richard Webster Full Facts Book of Cold Reading by Ian Rowland

Presentation Script

Obviously the spectator holding your wrist adds nothing tot he method. It does however in my mind add so much tot he over all impact. It serves several purposes. Those spectators whom do not wish to believe in the power of Psychics can imagine you are sing some form of muscle reading or another psychological approach. Allowing the spectator to come to their own decision that you were in fact employing psychology is in my mind much more impressive than ramming the idea down there throat. If they feel they have discovered your secret they will feel good about themselves, then actually start to think how by simply holding your hand, you were able to be so accurate. This is where the impact lies for those people. They come to realise that what your doing is impossible and they have no idea how it is being done. They have now totally bought into your performance, in the same way as those who willingly believe in the power of mind reading do. It also provides a visual element to the mind...

Fine Flattery

This is certainly flattering, and it may even be true, but it is a very poor piece of cold reading. The first problem is that it looks and A cute touch is to flatter the client in ways which ease the cold reading process itself. For example, if the psychic flatters the client as being very open-minded, this increases the chances that the client will accept the reality of psychic ability in general.

CR and interrogation

So far I have cited some standard criminal interrogation techniques, as described by Inbaue, Reid & Buckley (IRB), which echo some aspects of psychic cold reading practice. I now want to suggest some other ways - not yet standard - in which cold reading techniques might be applied to criminal interrogation. Specifically, ways in which the interrogator can seem to know more than he really does, which just might help his interrogation. These are hypothetical possibilities only, and some may strike you Some cold reading techniques might help the interrogator imply he knows more about the crime than he really does. Consider the Fuzzy Fact, for example, in relation to a burglary

The Seasonal Touch

More often than not, the client will be able to identify someone who matches the description, and whom she dislikes to some extent. This element is clearly less than sure-fire, and it is one which I have very little experience of using. Nonetheless, it is mentioned by more than one source on cold reading, and is probably successful often enough to be worth trying. I was once demonstrating cold reading in a TV production meeting. In the course of a reading for one of the production assistants, I used 'the shoe and the party' and added the name 'Charles'. She was unable to find any match. This concludes the second group of elements, which concerned facts and events. The first two groups we have looked at involve giving the client information, or at least appearing to do so. However, a large part of cold reading is concerned with extracting information, rather than supplying it. This is the theme of the next group of elements.

Body language

Body language may play a part in cold reading, as we will see later, but it usually plays only a minor role. It plainly cannot help with remote readings (e.g. readings by phone or by post). Moreover, the body language theory cannot account for psychics coming up with names, dates, or details about the past.

The Stat Fact

This kind of information can play its part in the cold reading process. For example, imagine that the psychic is giving readings in a region where, statistically, most of the women who have parttime jobs work either in the health services or the textile industry. If the psychic has reason to think her client is in part-time work, then she knows which two areas are most likely to be worth exploring. As with many aspects of cold reading, there are good and bad ways of using this information. It will be obvious that worthwhile Trivia Stats vary according to culture, region and content. The psychic who wants to use this element has to acquire examples appropriate for her region and clientele. The same is true for many other cold reading elements. Personally, I have used the Trivia Stat very little. Other cold readers seem to set great store by their collection of such statements. As with so many other aspects of cold reading, it is purely a matter of personal style, preference and...

The Childhood Memory

In case the Childhood Memory seems too simple to be effective, let me mention another aspect of cold reading psychology. In the course of a successful reading, the psychic may provide most of the words, but it is the client that provides most of the meaning and all of the significance. Clients tend to graft their own specific experiences on to the more generalised words and themes provided by the psychic. We will return to this point later when we look at Presentational Points. This is an important psychological factor in cold reading. It applies to the majority of elements listed in this section, but it is especially relevant to the Childhood Memory. The psychic's simple reference to a talent or ability can evoke a highly detailed and vivid set of memories in the client's mind, full of very specific recollections and feelings - striving to master the piano, producing a first oil painting, winning an athletics prize or

Talk Of The Town

Washington Irving Bishop is in town, said a gentleman with an intellectual countenance the other day. You don't know him Well, you will before long. Bishop is at present the greatest apostle of the mind-reading fake in existence. He claims to be able to read the mind of a college professor like an open book. He says he can tell the denomination of a bank-note in your pocket, if you have any left after paying to see his performance. He is a great man with a great head. He cannot explain the power that causes him to probe into people's thoughts. He says it's something mysterious and intangible, like the chills and fever. He proposes to get all the reporters in his room at the Palmer House, borrow a diamond pin from one of them, have the others hide it, and then go galloping around the town and discover the hiding place. A crowd will follow him, all the papers except the Daily News will write it up, and Mr. Bishop, having received all the free advertising he wants, will be prepared to...

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