Preface

I delayed writing this book for some time. Five years to be exact. However an unforeseen series of events suddenly made it my number one priority. Three years ago I was diagnosed as having colon cancer. Fortunately, it was in the early stages and a quick operation apparently nipped it in the bud, so to speak. However, in June 1991, my close friend and neighbor, Dr. Gabby Ruffino, probably saved my life by insisting that I have a complete physical. The subsequent examination revealed that I had Prostate Cancer. Another six months and I might have been swapping tricks with Ted Annemann and Company. I was operated on at the Mayo Clinic on July 9th, 1991.

After three months of recuperation, I honored a few commitments. I journeyed to England and appeared at the I.B.M. Convention in Great Yarmouth. Returning home, totally exhausted, I lectured and performed at Bob Weill's "Inn Event" in Canada. Following that engagement, I decided to end fifteen years of lecturing and performing for magicians. I still hadn't returned to the often started, often abandoned task of completing my fourth book. It was early December 1991. I was scheduled for a quarterly P.S.A. blood test at the Mayo Clinic.

Two days after the test I received a call from Mayo. My P.S.A. level had begun to rise again. It was not a good sign. For three weeks I endured a battery of tests. Everything from bone and cat scans to a repeat of the P.S.A. test. April and I were disconsolate. I was sure I would shortly have to sell the farm. Just before Christmas as April and I sat in a hospital cubicle, my surgeon came charging through the door, waving a slip of paper. "We goofed," he laughingly screamed. "We don't do it often, but the great Mayo Clinic goofed." The lab had incorrectly read the results of the blood test. I had a reprieve.

After that, I began to rearrange my priorities. The book went to the top of the list. I wanted to leave behind a legacy for my children, grandchildren and peers that would cap a fifty year love affair with magic and mentalism. I especially wanted to ensure that my grandchildren would have some idea as to what their grandfather was all about. Fortunately, good friend, Lee Earle offered to help me with the book. Today, July 9th, 1992, the book is well on its way to completion. With any luck, it should go to the printer in August. (Layout Editor's note: Would you believe September?)

I'm proud of the material in this book. It represents a decade of work. The effects you're about to delve into have been honed to as near perfection as I can bring them. I honestly believe it is a virtual treasure of mind bending mentalism. But, you my readers will have to be the final judge. I sincerely hope you get as much enjoyment from performing my brainstorms as I have. They're not only baffling to the uninitiated, they're first and foremost, entertaining. I repeat, entertaining.

I've spent half a lifetime concentrating on that one word. Entertaining. The effects in this book constitute the quintessence of our art. I only wish I had access to material like this when I was struggling to get off the ground. There's no fluff. No filler. No pipe dreams. Just the best I have to offer. Enjoy.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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