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Solve the mysteries of Mental Telepathy, Intuition, and Premonitions with Raymond W, Hafler, Lecturer of the Science of Extra Sensory Perception.

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Aside from becoming an example of good personal publicity, Ray Hafler serves to prove another point. When he gives out his leaflet it reads good; it sounds very much as though they will get someone who knows what he's talking about—and has worldly experience. Anybody who can write English can turn out the spiel—but as we said at the very beginning, you have to back it up with action and proof. Ray Hafler shouldn't be a bit worried that his leaflet oversells him 10 the bookers. If we look at his personal history in brief, we find he had 24 years in the U.S. Navy and ended up a Lieutenant Commander. During his service he performed endless varieties of Magic and Mentalism in many countries of the world. Ray tells me that whilst on the USS. Breckenridge alone, he played <o cabin and troop passengers well over a hundred shows—which adds up to two things. He has the experience and ability to back up the claims in his leaflet, and he must be capable of a good entertaining act, to be wanted for ¿over one hundred performances. We see that he has "something to sell" and now we have seen his personal publicity and know one method by which he sells it.

There's nothing special about Ray Hafler to say why he should be used as an example in the Steps; only that he is a rare example of a non-professional who takes the trouble to do it properly. Some who read this will ihink to themselves "it doesn't strike me as being very much"—and nine out of ten who think so, will be Mentalists who have nothing like it to offer themselves!

Visiting Card Gimmick

I have played with this idea for quite a while and it seems to be a good way to stop people throwing your card in their wastepaper bin as soon as they get home.

On one side of your card you have the normal name and address as on any card. On the back you have specially printed a mass of numbers in rows and columns. From one to a hundred mixed in any order will do—* using the cards all the time, you soon get to know where the numbers are roughly speaking. Now to use the visiting card gimmick. It's very simple; one side of your card says you are a mindreader and you let them see it, invariably they look at the back also and in doing so—they are curious about the numbers. You tell them they are there for a simple mindreading test you do. Take back the card and ask them to think of any number from one to a hundred. Say you will circle the one they are thinking of. . . pretend to mark one with a pencil; ask what they chose and then do the rest with a swami gimmick. This is not much to carry, a few cards and a swami gimmick (see Step One for technique) and they are sure to keep the card as a souvenir and probably it will be shown to many of their friends when they relate the experience!

The Haunted House

Once again we find Fogel tied up with something big and unusual. As a Publicity Stunt—something that is sure to make good reading in the Newspapers, you (as a Mentalist) knowing a thing or two about poltergiests, go to a house that is alleged to be haunted and "lay the ghost".

Usually this is a fixed and phoney set up. A friend lends their house for the occasion—claims they are being disturbed by strange noises, etc., over a short time they build up the plot, local spiritualist association have a go and get no results, psychical research team fail to stop the disturbance, etc. Finally they ask you if you can do something to help. You go in (with local press, police, the vicar and whosoever else you can ensnare!) and hold a seance.

The last time Fogel went through this palava, he was actually invited to try and exorcise a ghost. Surrounded by officials he held a seance and some mighty queer happenings took place. By some strange co-incidence, a spook sent the message that it was restless, but now promised to leave and would never cause trouble again! Not only did it make good reading in the press write ups, but the house owners were no longer disturbed and were indeed truly grateful to Fogel.

The Challenge Seance

There's a lot of work in this stunt—but a lot happens and I have done it several times with good results. As a Mentalist—you challenge a Medium to produce any supernatural phenomena that you yourself cannot outdo or duplicate by methods which, you claim, are natural.

To give it all a certain amount of attraction, a big money wager is offered, press, local dignitaries and officials are invited and away you go! Step Nine gives you all the information you want on what to do—all else that matters is the Medium. I am sure you will be too intelligent to be disappointed, when I tell you the best way to get a Medium for this sort of stunt, is to train one yourself! You haven't got a chance in a million of finding a physical medium who will accept a genuine challenge from you, and even if you did find one— you stand to lose your bet if the medium suddenly pulls three yards of ectoplasm from your left ear—and you don't know how!

No doubt we could find a small-time mental-medium who would be pretentious enough to demonstrate clairvoyance or psychometry as a challenge, but it's not big enough for our purpose and in any case, it is almost impossible to dispute clairvoyance which offers no material evidence of trickery. In fact, less than two years ago a well-known professional medium stood on the stage at the Magic Circle in London and for two hours demonstrated clairvoyance; but for a few hecklers who were soon outwitted in cross-fir^ conversation, the medium had it all his own way! Watching this demonstration, I could not fail to acknowledge the medium as a brilliant speaker and thought what a perfect Mentalist this man would make.

However, back to training our own medium, that is the safest way and that's what I normally do. You need a man or woman who can act and you teach them a few tricks of the trade to put them in business against you!

With the right person to act as medium on your side, you can't go far wrong and it will still seem legitimate. In case you should doubt that, I have tried it out before highly critical audiences and still got away with it (i.e. Magic Circle, Society for Psychical Research, Newspaper Reporters, etc.).

There is good publicity material to be gained from stunts between Mentalists and Mediums. The market has not yet been exhausted and there remains plenty of scope today. In the past it has always been a reasonably safe bet for publicity. I have many press records of stunts in the past and some of the names, to mention a few, include Harry Houdini, Carl Hertz and his challenge to Madame Dis Debar which held a full page in the London Times to say the least, Julien Proskauwer, Harry Kellar, and of course,

Maskelyne and Devant. Needless, to say, there are many more.

Headline Predictions

Probably the most used Publicity Stunt of them all, is the prediction of the Headlines in some prominent newspaper. The reason for its popularity is that it nearly always get a story in print and this is mostly the outcome of providing press material that is personal to the newspaper itself.

On the market, magic dealers have about ten good ways of performing the feat. To mention a few, Prediction Chest, Billet Knife or Pencil, Fogel's headline Prediction which is sealed in a bottle and so on. Most of them achieve the effect by simple means.

There is barely any need for me to discuss technical details; all that is lacking, generally speaking, is good presentation. My advice to those who aim to do this type of stunt, is first get a foolproof method (like any of those mentioned) and then forget the mechanics and concentrate on building up the stunt. For example, let us suppose that we have arranged to forecast the headlines in our local paper. To create as much interest as possible, we seal the prediction in a box and then arrange to have this box prominently displayed in the window of some big store and surround it with showcards which tell the public "this box contains an Amazing Prediction made by Oscar Oswald—mindreader" and "£1,000 offered if he is wrong!" etc., etc. It doesn't take long to work out a few eye-catching slogans and it costs very little to have a few showcards done. The box displayed there for a week is seen by many before it is opened—all added material to your story, all added publicity which you don't get if the box is left in the Editor's safe for a week.

Other presentation plots on headline predictions include an idea from Punx. He has the prediction chest opened after a week or two—and out comes a roll of "ticker tape" with brief headlines for ten leading newspapers throughout the country. I have yet to hear of a better disguise for a rolled piece of paper in a box! ! Then we have the headline predictions performed from stage in the theatre. The box has been suspended from the dome of the theatre from the start of the show. Finally, I had no trouble switching a small length of recording tape which made it possible for me to perform a novel headline prediction—by tape recorder.

Glorified Muscle Reading

I rebuke myself for not using this as an example earlier when speaking on little tricks that are blown up to an enormous size to become Publicity Stunts! This little trick is a book test—and the method we claim is muscle reading—or whatever you prefer to call it.

You start off in the Editor's office. You wait there and keep a small committee amused with a few mindreading tricks—whilst they send someone to any public library in the town. That person is told to go where he likes, choose any book in the library and select any page or word—make an accurate note of all the details such as name of book and page number, etc., and then return to you. He is instructed most carefully to return the book to the exact position as where he found it.

When he gets back you have him seal the record paper in an envelope and hand this to the Editor or Sub-Editor (whoever is free!). Now you start out with a group of three of four people. For your own benefit, the group is best composed of one reporter to write up the details, one cameraman to take a few shots, the Editor to see that everything is above board and the man who picked the place and book for the test.

You call a cab and off you go to the library. You find the right floor and then tour your group around sections and divisions through thousands of books. You get warm at the right shelf, you find the book, you open it at the right page and with a sigh of exhaustion—underline with your pen the

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chosen word! You ask the Editor to open the envelope and check your findings—and if it's favourable publicity you want after that palava—the contents of the envelope had better be right!

I suppose there must be a good ten ways of doing this stunt—but for those who can't think out a method, I suggest you work alone. Send the scout out to choose his word, etc., telling him to remember exactly the facts. When he gets back—find some excuse to get him to write the facts down—44I want the Editor to have a copy in his possession all the time—before we leave" . . . a sheet of carbon paper stuck inside a newspaper will then get you a copy. Another method, with help this time—is simply to have the scout followed by a friend. By this you will be able to find the book and maybe the page— and proper muscle reading will find you the word. (See Step Two). The best way for your friend to signal you is to have him waiting outside for you to come on to the street with your party. He then calls a cab and you do the same. You guide your cab driver in the same direction as the friend drives. The chances are you will know the library as soon as the cab starts as there are not that many to choose from if you consider how long it took the scout to go and come back! At the library you again "pick up" your friend and he goes to the shelf and selects a book from there—but not the chosen- one. Browsing through the book he keeps it open at a page number which tells you how many books along the row is the chosen book. Then he turns his pages to give you the number of your page, etc., as long as you keep an eye on your assistant, there is no need to stand beside him. He can leave the book open on a table and then walk away—you spot the page number as you pass by.

Publicity Pencils

It is not commonly known that for very little outlay, you can have your name and a few words inscribed on ordinary lead pencils. It is economical to have about one thousand done at once and the cost of this number is somewhere in the region of fourpence each.

I have some which bear my name and also the inscription—"The Pencil Made for Mindreading". As you may guess, give one of these to anybody and the first thing they want to know is "why is it made for mindreading?" . . . . which immediately provides the excuse to get them to write something down ready for one to do the Centre Tear (see Step Six). When they have written a word, their name or telephone number, I go through the usual procedure and destroy the billet. Now I take back the pencil and on another piece of paper, slowly reproduce what they wrote! This ability I attribute to the pencil—explaining in brief the principles of automatic writing and give a good example by describing a planchette. By the time it's done— not only do they keep my pencil as a souvenir, but also, they remember every time they use it and frequently tell the story to other people. Every time you give away a fourpenny pencil, you get a pound of publicity!

In a small way, the Publicity Pencil serves to illustrate that anything which arouses curiosity—is good for publicity. The more interest it creates, the better the gimmick. To arouse the inquisitive instinct is one of the few ways to get people to ask you to show them your ability—a better thing than you trying to force them to pay attention!

Blindfold Drives and Walks

Not to be forgotten whilst on the topic of Publicity plots—we have Blindfold Drives and Walks. We have already discussed the point that anything which breeds danger attracts attention and is good for publicity, and this is in that class. So much so in fact, that today in many big cities of the world—Blindfold driving of cars or bicycles is forbidden and the necessary permission from the Police is unobtainable. This is rather unfortunate because it stands to reason that when you drive blindfolded, the more the traffic on the road and the larger the city, the more impressive the stunt becomes. To see the local Vicar peddle around the village green on a penny farthing 1s Jess dramatic than watching our budding mentalist shoot up busy Oxford Street in a steamroller. So the first thing you do before you even bother to think about blindfold drives, is to find out if they will allow it where you want to do it. If they will, Step Five tells you everything you need 10 know about blindfolds to make it possible.

Blindfold walks on their own—don't mean a thing. You need a plot and to give you some ideas—a good stunt at Hampton Court; find the middle of the maze whilst blindfolded—a thing which most people cannot do under normal conditions! Or try and bring in the danger element—if you care to, walk a plank which crosses two buildings pretty high in the air. At the zoo, lead a committee to the cage of any animal they care to nominate, in a museum, lead the group to any object they name. It would be unworthy of me to pass the subject of Blindfold walks without mention of Pierre Dufont. This gentleman led six officers of the British Army for two miles across a field whilst blindfolded. The only extraordinary thing about the episode was that it was an enemy minefield in France during the war. When asked why he did it and if he was scared his reply was very simple. He said , that if he had remained behind, the chances were he would have been caught and shot—which was a good excuse for going forward. He later confessed that before the war he had been a showman, and he decided on the occasion to die a showman if fate would have it—so he wore a blindfold! There seems to be little doubt, according to the report in "The Soldier" that if Dufont had followed the usual paths across the fields (which he would have done without the blindfold) they would all have been blown to bits.

Understanding Mind Control

Understanding Mind Control

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