at is known today as the Clip Line effect is actually of
;cent origin. Invented by British mentalist Albert Spackman, it was first published in the October 1964 issue of Gen magazine, under the prosaic title of Newspaper Test. Since then, many magicians and mentalists like U.F. Grant and Syd Bergson, have rung the changes on Spackman's method, with and without credit. During the 1970s, my friend, the late Al Mann, published a quartet of clever versions in his SUPER CLIP LINE PLUS book.
Spackman's basic method has been published in books for the public like Harry Lorayne's THE MAGIC BOOK in 1977, Karl Fulves's SELF-WORKING MENTAL MAGIC in 1979, and myriad others. However, it is still a very powerful effect, even in its most elementary form.
If you don't know the effect, it is this: A newspaper column, a sealed envelope, and a pair of scissors are exhibited. The envelope is placed aside as a prediction. While the performer runs the blades of the scissors down the column, a spectator is invited to call out stop at any point. The paper is cut at the point indicated. The piece flutters to the floor. The spectator picks up the paper and reads the top line. The performer now opens the envelope, showing a prediction accurately forecasting the presumably freely chosen line!
The explanation is simple: You hold the column of paper upside-down during the cut. The audience is too far away to see this — newsprint looks the same, either upside-down or right-side-up, from a few feet away. When the spectator picks up the cut off piece, he'll naturally hold it right-side-up. The line he reads was, in fact, at the bottom of the inverted column.
Thus, it will always be the same, no matter where he indicates you should stop and cut.
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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.