MAGIC. CASTLE. HOLLYWOOD Sunday. January 14th.


LECTURE by Al Mann


Mexico City, July 14th, 1978, in the magic den of CD'aige Snader Jr .. of "Soun.ds of Magic" fame .

.. AI, I want you to listen to this David Ber,glas tape.

It oontains an effect that will blow your mind." Craige.

I did li.sten to the tape and th.e card effect in it really puzzled me since apparently, discounting stooges and prearrangement, it had no magical solution to the lis,tening audience,. The effect is one of the top mysteries of the day. I b:ad been told about this amazing card effect. back in New York and I had heard tha.t some of the top names in Europe were doing it.

In Effect·, A deck of cards is placed Ln front of the s.pectatorand the d.eck is never touched again by the performer except for taking .i t out of the case and placing it on the . table.

Spectator is asked. to callout the name of any playing card .. Next he is told to chooae any number from 1 to 52. Lastly he is g:ivena choice of counting from theto,p d.own in the deck or from the bottom up. When the spectator. th.edeck in his O'WIl hands counts to his chosen number he finds his chosen card therel

That is the effect as seen by thespecta tor and. by many magicians. andi t iea fabulous ef.fect toeay the least ..

I asked Craige to play the tape over again. He played it

a second time and then a third time. On the third play I caugl1t something that Mr. Berglassaid that seemed to be out of context. It puzzled me but I had no solution for the mystery .. But t.hat night as I rested in bed I recalled the words that Mr Berglas

had said that'let the cat out of the bag.'

In the taped presen.tation .• the .spectator chose to count from the top down. So Mr •. Berglas told him. "Very well, please take the deck, and of course you must turn the deck over to count from the top down."

In order f'or Mr, •. Berglas to said that, he had to place the deck fa.ce-up on the table, unknown to the listening audience. Sathe spec ta tor' B choice of counting el.the.r from the top down or from the bottom up was strictly a' s choice! If the spectator had chosen to count from. the bottom up , the magician would have told him to tak.e the deck in hand face-up and deal the cards tro·mbottom up, which in essence









by Al Mann

he w,ould actually be counting from. the top down ..

So that part was solved. But what about the rest of it.

Here was indeed a taxing puzzle since the deck was apparently not handled by the maglcianexcept for taking it out of the ease to place it in front of the spectator, in a most natural way.

Back in New Jersey, John Smetana, Bobby Hughes and I

pu tour heads together andcameou t wi th a method of Qurown. Since' we do not know the method used by Mr. Berglas we can only say that our method is very close to his if not the same.


1. As suggested .by ·John Smetana, the deck placed in front of the spectator at. the beginning is just an empty card easel The spectator is cautioned not to tou6h it. The case may be placed in front of the performer for the time being. The important thing is that the deck is apparently in sight at all

times. .

2. The magician must sit across the table from the spectatar, with his hands and part of his arms under the table. This is a natural thing When the magician is entertaining casually in a relaxed fashion. Please bear in mind that some

of the greatest magic in history has been done under the table. That type of magic brought world fame to Home, Malini, Slade and Keeler just to name a few.

J. The magician has a deck of cards on his lap arranged as per Jinx #115, "The Instanto Deck" or any other arrangement so that any card called for can be brought to the top of the deck without looking at his hands, instantly.

Wi thjust a Ii ttle practice and study, the reader will discover that bringing any card to the top of the deck is quite easy.

4. After the card is named. the magician while pattering brings that card to the top of the deck.

5. Next the spec ta ter is given a choice of a-ny number from 1 to 52. When the number is called, magician simply cuts *** that many cards to the top minus one. This is, all done while pattering. Magician then places the deck on his lap and,

6. Brings his hands above the table and takes the card case (which is empty) and goes through the moves of opening the case and taking out the cards. This is done

just below the edge of the table while and looking at the s.pectator in the eye. The cards are then placed in front of the spectator fac.e-upS This move is most natural and no suspicion should be dir~cted at it. The spectator assumes

that the empty case did contain the cards and that the cards have been il1 sight at all times. However the next bit of psychological business will add the finishing touches to the mystery.

7. The spectator is given a choice of either counting from the top down in the deck or from the bottom upl

*** secretly thumb or finger countiner thE cards




by Al Mann

The rest is quit simple. The spectator is forc,ed to count from the top down in the deck no matter what his oho i c e is. If the chosen card is the five of spades and the number chosen i622, the five of spades will turn up in position 22 from the top down.

In the end the magician is clean. There is only one

deck in use! .


" - David Berglas, England's prominent mental performer, wowed a BEG audience using welded steel chain (which however had been carefully inspected before) and breaking it at the specific link called for. ,.

from The Magic of Uri Geller

page 2.20 by Randi,

It has been said many times that it is not what you do tha t baffl es your audi ene e bu t wha t they think you do ,.

I say to you that if you want to become world famous, it is not what the audience in front of you think but what the world reads in the papers about you, that will give you fame!

The above statement by Randi is a good example.

After reading the effect in Randi's book or in the papers, the reader will imagine a very strong chain with thick oval links of welded steel breaking quite easily at any link chosen by the audience. Such is the power of the printed word and the enchantment of a magical e.ffect well presented.

How did magician Berglas perform this .amazingmiracle't From a magician's point of view, we know that it was done by clever trickery. We also know that some known magical principle was used that escapes us at the moment. But we look for a solution.

Aft·er much thought we come to the conclusion that only two avenues are open.

1. First, the chain although 'inspected' contained a weak link ready to break apart by·a slight pull. and the numberof the link chosen by the audience was ei.ther forced or

a stooge was used ,. A chain composed of steel welded links

which may be only 1/2 inch long or a trifle longer I can be 'inspected' and even though one of the links is gimmicked, it will not be seen even i.f given a visual inspection. The chain may contain 100 links. The spectators can examined most of them and be satisfied but missing the gimmicked since they do not know which one it Ls , The chain can even be tested by pulling it from the ungimmicked end I since the prepared link is among the first 15 links which the magician holds in his hand.

Or the chain can easily be switched after an ungimmicked one is inspected , That solution takes care of the welded-steel chai.nt




by Al Mann

The Shattered Link

........ cant.

Let's proceed a bit further and do the effect so that it can be repeated and the audience is ,give'n a fre·e choioeof any link. Sounds like a tall order but is quite easy to do.

The principle suggested here is "The Gyps,y Necklace."

This effect, using a weakened link, is quite well known .. It sells for about $).00 and is sometime"s called "The Million Dollar Necklace."

To apply the principle to a metal chain, we need a metalohain (can be soft metal) with links shaped like a figure 8. These are obtainable in any hardware store and are inexpens.ive .. About four feet of chain is sufficient.

To Preparel One of the links is weakened by bending

it back and f'or-c e wi th a pair of pliers to a near-breaking point .. To avoid marking the link with tooth marks, a cloth

is uaad. This weakened link must be the fifteenth link from one end of the cha.i,n . If the link breaks, it will be necessary to discard it and try another.

The other fourteen links at the end of the chain are next opened just enough so that the chain can be broken at any one of the links. The chain is then connected into at continuous loop or circle. The magician can tell by Look Lng or feeling just where the weak link is. What you now have is a length of chain about four feet long formed into a continuous loop with all the links tight and sound ex.cept for one weak link and 14 opened links.

- The PresentaionlThe magician passes the ungimmicked

end of the chain out to some one and the chain is tugged to test it. The spectator may be asked to examine the links, the ungimmicked ones. The gimmicked links are held in the performer's hand .. Then the performer secretly links the chain into

a loop and holds it so that the seventh opened link fro·m the weakened link is held between the tips of his first and midd.le fingers of his right hand. Now anyone is asked to callout

a number from one to fifteen, OR the magician may have someone write down a number secretly and then get knowledge of it via the center tear or any other means.

If the number called is a seven, the magician parts the chain where he held it between the finger tips,. If any other number is called themagician counts extra links to the left or right of the held link accordingly. The gimmicke.d end

of the chain is then given to. the spectator and the chain pulled until it breaks. The spectator is left holding the same number of links as the number called by the audience!

The effect is the same as the "Gypsey Necklace" but the resulting publicity should be greater.




by Al Mann

The Shattered Link •..... cont.

ADDENDA I Using a welded steel chain, the link can be broken completely and then cemented together with glue so that it will come apart when the chain is tugged. If the link is

to be minutely examined then it has to be switched for another broken link.


This effect appeared in Bascom Jane's magazine M.agick under the title "Test Condi tions .. "

Mentalist Jerry Fulton from, Canada wrote in to say tha,t the effect was superb and that he, had immediately inc orpara ted it Lrrto his pro:gram as the clos ing item. Jerry sent in his own improvements which ¥ill 1 be dealt with later.

In Effectl. A spectator is given a paper-back book and told to tear it down. the spine at about the center of the book. He is then g'_ven a free choice as to what hal,f to throwaway!

He is next told to open the remaining half at about the middle again and tear that section ofrand discard it. The same thing is repeated with the remaining quarter of the book and finally all the pages are thrown away-except one. Magician then divines or has predicted the chosen pagel

That is the effect on the audience. It is strong. The audlence assumes that there is no way in which the mentalist can control the actions of the spectator when in reality the opposi.te i~s true. The mentalist is in complete control of the situation although the ;spectator s eems to have a free chei ce of what pages to discard!

Even more amazing is the fact tha.t no matter how sloppily the spectator tears the book. the force page will be the same one,

PREPARATIONI Get a paper-back novel that has about 200 pages or a little less anda

1. tear off the front and back covers and discard them

2. tear off all pages in the .front of the book up to but not including page 1.

J. tear off all pages i~ the back of the book back to page 190.

You now have a book without covers showing page 1 in front and page 190 at the back.

4. Next make a prompter list for the first r.w words of pages 15 and 16 and also pages 175 and 176.




by Al Mann

BOOK-TEAR , ..... , cant.

Jerry Fulton writes his prompter list on the 5th page down on his scratch pad. Then he uses the top 4 pages to demonstrate to the spectator how to hold the book and open it and tear it. The top four pages of the scratch pad are discarded thereby exposing the prompter list to the mentalist!

THE PRESENTATION, Ask a muscle bound young man up on stage to assist and give him the book. Then tell him to open it ata.bout the center and to tear the book down the apd ne and then to discard e1 ther half .. Performer should emphasize the fact that the spectator has a free choice as to what half to throwaway. A waste paper basket should be handy.

That is the last free choice that the spectator has presentation can be varied in ,a num.ber of ways so appears that the spectator has a free choice every tears the book as to what part to throwaway.

The following routine is recommendedl

Let us assume that the spectator is right handed and that he threw away the last half of the book .• keeping the first half with page 1 showing. The performer must pretend that he does not know and does not care what pages remain! But in fact he must know what half was retained. In this case the force page will be 15 and 16, due to the fact that the first half

of the book was retain.ed by the spectator .. The spectator is

now holding in his hands about 96 numbered pages or about

48 sheets numbered on both sides.

The reader should foll·ow these instructions wi th a book in hand.

Next, spectator is told to part the remaining pages at about the middle again and to tear them down the spine as before. Performer then asks the spectator to hand one section to him, in which case the performer tears up the pages given to him IF spectator handed him the right hand pages. IF the spectator handed him the left hand pages then performer tells spectator to please tear up the pages he is holding and throw them away.

In any case the spectator is left holdi,ng about 46 -~or48nurnbered pages from 1 to 48 forexarople, This makes a package of 24 sheets numbered on both sides.

The same proce-edure is r-epea ted a. thir.d time leaving the spectator holding sheets from page 1 to 24 or less .. The spectator is holding about 12 sheets or less.

Next he is told to eliminate pages by throwing 1-2 and placing page 3-4 on the table. Next he is page 5-6 and place page 7'-8 on the table in front is repeated until a.ll the pages are dealt.

The pages on the table must now be turned over so that page 4 is showing uppermos t ,

but the that it time he

page away This


to throw of him.




by Al Mann

BOOK-TEAR .... , .,' e orrt ,

The same proceedure_ is repe.ated. The top page is crum pled and thrown away. That was page )-4. Page '7 --8 which is the next page is placed on the table. Same is repeated 'Until all pages are dealt. Remaining in front of spectator should he about J sheets approx ,. These sheets must be .turned

over again so that page? is showing uppermost. _

After the next e.limination the speeta.tor will be left with either one or two sheets, whatever. But the final sheet 1 e.ft in hi s hands will be page 5 15-16, the fore e pages!

It is very important that the pages placed. on the table must be turned over every tirn.e before continuing the elimination process.


Now let's assume that at the beginning the spectator threw a.way the front half of the book and kept the last half Which contains page 190. The performer must make sure that the spectator keeps the highes.t numbered pages to the last 60 that at the end the spectator will be holding about 10

or 12 sheets the last being pages 189-190 with page 190 showing uppermost ...

For the elimination process, page 190 must be at the top of the heap and it is the first page that is discarded While the next page 187-188 is placed on the table. When all the pages are dealt in the first dealing, the pages must be turned over so that page 187 is uppermost.

Th.B spectator in this case must deal the pages from the highest numbered page to the lowest. in reverse of the first example above when working with the front half of the book.

In the end the spectator will be holding the force

page 175-1761

Amazingly enough, it matters little how many sheets the spectator is holding before the elimination is

__ started I the spectator could be ho·lding as little as 8 sheets (numbered on both sides, 16 pages) or as many as 15 (30 pages) provided the force page is among the sheets and provid.ed there are no more than 15 sheets in the bunch.

However the best presentation is one where the spectator only has to eliminate from the fewest pages, say about

10 sheets or 20 numbered pages. .

It is very important that the book used has only 190 numbered pages or a bit less, If the test is done with a book of many pages then the final page will be one of two possibili tie.s. Tha.t will lengthen the presentation and will bore your audience.




by Al Mann

Book-Tear ..... ,'. cant.

Jerry Fulton IsPresenta t.Lorn Jerry uses thre.e d.iffernt books and prepares three prompter lists on three separate scratch pads and simply picks up the correct pad from his table after the book is chosen by the audiencel

Jerry writes out his prompter list in light pencil on the fifth page from top of scratch pad, Then in demonstrating what lsto be done the top four blank sheets are crumpled and discarded exposing the 5th sheet with the prompter list. Jerry then uses this she e t to make notes wi th bold ink pen and then tears that sheet up and throws it away. The divined words are then written on a clean sheet!

TIPS, As stated before, the presentation has room for many variations. PLEASE NOTE that after the spectator starts

the elimination process of throwing .away the top sheet and placing the next on the table, the fourth.sheet placed. an the table will be the force sheet! That means that you can just tell the spectator to throw the rest away after tearing them to

bits, This will shorten the spectator's task and ~eep the effect from becoming boring.

'The elimination process should be disguised as much

as possible. That can be done by telling the spectator to silently read the page number but to not tell you what it Ls. He just concentrates cn it, Then you say, "No that page is no good. Plea;se tearit up and discard it." For the next page say,

"That one is alright.,· Please place it on the table:," .

After the fourth page is dealt on the table ask the spectator if he wishes to stop there or go on. No matter what his answer is, tell him to tear the remaining pages up and throw them away. The force page is now facing him on top cf the pages on the table, So the performer can proceed as he wishes. If the spectator stated that he wishes to continue,. then the elimination process is continued with "the four pages. If" not then tell the spectator to concerrtr-a be on the t,op page of the pile! It is page 15! And there is no need to turn the pages overl

If you are partial to self flagelation, you can use -the other three pages also to do some mindrea .. ding simply by preparing a prompter list for pages 3/4, 7/8 and 11/12


NOTE. The force page for the last half of the book will be 175-176 if the book has 190 pages. For any other

of pages. you must subtract 15 from the last page to

at the force page,

The force page for the front half of the book will be 15-16 when the book has 200 pages or a bit less.

always number arrive




by Al Mann


HERE AGAIN IS A MOST UNIQUE. BOOK TEST. This book test was touched on lightly in my book "or Wo,rds and Wizards." It is offered here .in a truly dynamic dress.

Here are the conditionsl

1. Three ungimmicked books are used.

2. T'he audien.ce has a free and secret choice of page number unknown to the performer!

J. Specta.tors choose any line on the page and any word on the line.

4 .. Yet, the performer can divine the three words chosen and even predict the words bef'ore the page is chosen!

Read the above again and you will see what a profound mystery it is to anyone in the audience.

THE SECRETa This uncanny dlsplay of ESP is accomplIshed by a combination of principles.

First, the three books used are totally ungimmicked and are different in size and color BUT have the same contentsl

Shopping around the second-hand book stores, your authorlocated a book that fitted the requirements. The book is, "The Broken Wings," by Kahill Gibran. This book was published in four different .sizesand colors ... Three of the sizes were hardbound, 4. by 7i. 5i by 8iand 6 by 9i. The fourth book was a pocket edition in soft covers ..The books look radi_cally different from just a f·ew feet away. Books by Gibran are very popular today and can be found in almost .any 'Poetry' or Re~igious sections of stores.

These books were printed with the same plates, but just reduced to the requiered size. Each page is the exact duplicate of its counterpart in each bookS


Eff·ec:t and Presentation. Performer displ:ays the three hardbound books in his hand ina fan~ He .states that for this test he will us-e three books. He then passes out one book to' anyone on the right side of the audience, a second book to anyone in the center of the audience and the third book to someone on the left. Specta tors are told to hold on to the books.

Another per-son is given a pad o:f paper and pencil and is told

to secretly write down a page number, 1 to 100 and then to show it to the three persons holding the books, but to no one else. Persons holding the books are asked to please turn to that page, If the page is blank. they are told to go ta-the next one, etc.

Another person is told to please call out a line, say 1 to 10 and some one else to call out the number for a word on the line, say 1 to 8. (Unknown to the audience all three persons are looking a t

I •





by Al Mann

.. • ,. II •• " " III ••

cant .

the same word.) Each person is now told to wri.te down their word on a piece of paper ~d to fold it twice.

Performer next approaches anyone of the three persons and takes the folded billet from him and tears it up and throws the pieces into the air and tells the other two persons to do likewise.

Performer has of course stolen the center piece with the one word on it.

Performer then reveals any two words plus the chosen word.

All three persons concede that their word has indeed been divinedl


In this pred.i.ction effect, we will use the three books mentioned above (or any three books all alike but under different dust j'ackets) plus three slates (or art boards) and just about the same working.

Most experts on cryptography (see the Gold-Bug by Poe) agree that the following words appear most frequently in any English textl the, and, of. to, in and that in that order.

For our purpose we will use the words II the," .. that" and ot there. ,We do not know ahead of time what word will be chosen but if any one of the three words is chosen you will have a miraclel

The reader can use any three words he wishes as it makes little difference. The words "the," Oland" and "of" are just as good.

Effect and Presentation. Performer passes out three books and cautions the spectators not to open the books yet as he is going to attempt a prediction.

Performer takes up the three slates and writes on the top half of the slates, one word on each. The slates are then placed on display writing side down.

Since the performer has already committed himself by making predictions, it matters not if he knows what page has been chosen. So anyone in the audience is asked to callout a page number, 1 to 100. The three persons holding the books are then told to turn to that page. Two mare persons are aSked to callout a line number,

1- to 10 and a word number. 1 to 8. All three spectators holding the books now concentrate on the chosen ward.

Performer must now get the chosen word either by the use of the center-tear or the use of a prompter.

Performer next picks up the thre.e slates together and secretly draws a line through one of the wards and writes in the correct word in the act of talking making believe tha.t he is just tracing the word I The three slates are then displayed and all three spectators see their chasen word chalked an theml

If. by chance, any of the three words chalked on the slate are chosen then you indeed have a miracle and make the most of i tl

..... _, ..




by Al Mann

.. ,. III iii

Getting the Wordl While hunting for the books to be used with this effect care should be taken toch.oose boo.ks that are small and with about 100 pages. More than three books should be bought. One of the books can be used to cut out the first 1.0 lines from each page and paste them on a paper back book to be used in the act of how to get to the chosen word. The performer then gets. the one w,ord instantly while the spectators are still for their word,

In writing the warde on. the slates at the beginning, the performer can make believe that he changed his mind on one word, wrote a line through it and then wri.teanother word. That way

when thesl.a tee are showntheywlll look normal. .

Instead of using th.e center-tear with these ef.fects, a billet swltoh may be used (see Acidus) and the billet (i) is given back to the spectator and. all three are asked to tear up their papers and tltrow them away.

If the three Gibran books mentioned before are used, then the pa.per-back edi.tion can be used as the prompter after removing its cover and replacing it with the oover from another paper-back. of the same size.

At this writing efforts, are in motion to hunt down some of these books and make thelD readily available to the professio,n ...

Best Wishes,

p-. tnl tm/k.f

NOTEI The: method used in. Chain-of-Thought Readingandth.e Gold-Bug Predictions is known as "Impact,." A11 three spectators have chosen the same word but do not know it. Since all three persons see their word revealed all three acknowledge that thier word has been d.ivined.

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