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Michael Peterson
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is where I'm trapped, because of my
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How far would you go to obtain information or perhaps plant something somewhere? I'm not talking about anything illegal.

I'm asking because I was at work a while back & one of my friends who I worked with had left her purse open & I could see her I.D. through the plastic window in her wallet. I looked at her birth date & used it for some mental effects that blew her away.

I didn't rummage through her purse, I just looked down & saw it. I know everyone takes advantage of opportunities that present themselves, but how far do you go?
leondo
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Ichazod,
You need to read Dai Vernon's, "Malini and His Magic" to see how far you have to go to be GREAT magus.
Regards,
Ted(Leondo)
Allen Gittelson
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I will go as far as my ethics allow. If you want specific examples, I'll say that I certainly have overheard, overread (probably not a word, but I think it is understood in this context), peeked, and gained information in other ways that I used to great effect. And certainly have learned things that I did not use as well.

I overheard for example a conversation of people being introduced in which a woman spoke about her teaching job and some other personal specifics. I was later in the position of doing a palm reading for her and I knew some personal things about her by then due to the conversation I heard. I do not sell my abilities as supernatural, but I do tell people there is a great deal of psychology involved, which is true. If she was really perceptive, and all of us filter what comes in though our senses, then she would have noticed that she could see me when I overheard this. She was just not aware that I was standing very close to her, because she was focused on the person to whom she was talking as well as herself. A wonderful opportunity.

In thougths,
Allen
Andy Leviss
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Heck, some folks will go even further. In his latest book, Derren Brown shares some interesting applications of pickpocket techniques to mentalism and magic. Not sure I'd go that far, but it works wonders for him.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
fordkross
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Quote:
On 2002-05-30 19:26, Ichazod wrote:
How far would you go to obtain information or perhaps plant something somewhere? I'm not talking about anything illegal.

I'm asking because I was at work a while back & one of my friends who I worked with had left her purse open & I could see her I.D. through the plastic window in her wallet. I looked at her birth date & used it for some mental effects that blew her away.

I didn't rummage through her purse, I just looked down & saw it. I know everyone takes advantage of opportunities that present themselves, but how far do you go?





How is getting info by peeking at a wallet, or overhearing a conversation, going any further, than a center tear or impression device.
The ethical conflict comes not from how you get the info, but how you use it. If it's used in a entertainment context, I see no ethics conflict
from
Ford
Ford has a better idea
A l a i n B e ll o n
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Independent of ethics, I think there is a clear distinction between getting info from peeking at a wallet or overhearing a conversation and using a center tear or impression device.

The distinction?

Well in the later cases the person is willing to venture that information. A matter of participation.

Of course if the presentation is such that the person venturing the information has no idea that her information migth be "read" through whatever means then the distinction is less clear.

I agree with Ford on the ethics being mostly on how we use the information. But it may well be the case that the mere knowledge of the information can be considered innappropriate.

This one issue is something for every performer to deal with in his/her own terms.

-Alain Bellon
Bambaladam
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The problem with the things discussed by Derren Brown in Absolute Magic is if you get caught doing some of them, I think you could lose a friend. I don't know how I feel about the ethics of snooping, I agree it's how you use it that matters. But there are situations where I think you could be paying a huge emotional price for trying to amaze your friends. But maybe that's just where I live and the people I know.

/bamba
Marduke Kurios
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I haven't read Derren's new book, but from what I've read here, I don't agree with rummaging through someone's personal gear. If the opportunity for peeking into someone's already open wallet occurs, fine, use the opportunity. We have enough tools at our disposal for getting personal information without having to be a Criminal Ninja. If you get busted looking through your friends belongings, good on you. You deserve it. They deserve better friends too. What if you find something that could be damaging to your friend? What if it changes your opinion of them? How would you feel if it were your personal things?
I say, stick to impression devices, psychology and center tears. The world has enough criminals already.

IMHO. It's just a thought.
Live well,
Laugh often,
Love always.

To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

Without Prejudice, All Rights Reserved.
mastermindreader
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Quote:
The ethical conflict comes not from how you get the info, but how you use it. If it's used in a entertainment context, I see no ethics conflict
from
Ford
Ford has a better idea


A defense for burglary:

Defendant: I had no criminal intent. I just wanted to entertain them.

Judge: Not to worry. I am going to help your entertainment career. Not only will you have a captive audience, the audience will have a captive entertainer. Five years.
Mikael Eriksson
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I think Bamba and Marduke are correct in their thoughts. You could lose a friend. You could see things they don´t want you to see.

I once was searching (legally) for information about a criminal person, and accidentally found information about an aquaintance of mine. It felt a bit strange.

Mikael
E-Leoni
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When I was in high school, (Private one were we all had to wear jacket and tie) I got into pickpocketing for entertainment. I used to pick a few peoples pocket, put the wallet back and then predict what they had in their wallet. This is how I got into mentalism. I stoped pick pocketting soon after that. The adrenalin was to high. I only did that a few times.

If the opportunity arises to pick a pocket I will. I have'nt done it yet at the restaurant, but I don't see any reason not to for information. Done only when you are entertaining them that is. I do a watch steal to.



E-Leoni.
Chad Sanborn
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I once read that a certain mentalist during the show pointed to one particular person and said "you are worrying about your car" "it was stolen?" To which the person replied "YES!" The mentalist then told the person a location and low and behold the car was there!
Hmmmm...Maybe it was a lucky guess.

Chad

ps...can you name the performer?
fordkross
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Quote:
On 2002-05-31 04:15, mastermindreader wrote:
Quote:
The ethical conflict comes not from how you get the info, but how you use it. If it's used in a entertainment context, I see no ethics conflict
from
Ford
Ford has a better idea


A defense for burglary:

Defendant: I had no criminal intent. I just wanted to entertain them.

Judge: Not to worry. I am going to help your entertainment career. Not only will you have a captive audience, the audience will have a captive entertainer. Five years.





Not sure about burglary, but I know it worked in a sexual assault case. Think it'd work for missappropriation of funds?
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Ford
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E-Leoni
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That would be you Chad!


E-Leoni
Martin Joseph
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I wondered about the motivation for the inclusion of the pickpocketing chapter in "Absolute Magic" and think that it's intended more as illustration of creativity, opportunism and flexibility within performance as opposed to an effect as such.

However, to effectively use this idea is something which I lingered on for a while and came to a few conclusions. Firstly it's very uncommon in my experience to come across a gentleman carrying his wallet in his outside pocket. Therefore it must be recognised that this isn't a sure fire worker. Secondly, I don't like a performance to be structured where I'd have to leave a group, do the dirty work and return to perform some more. This could be between courses but I also don't want to leave a group even for a moment if I have an item of their property on my person for whatever reason. Thirdly, I plainly cant justify recording the specific details as suggested in the chapter, you'd also have to do some fast talking if you were caught in the act. What I'm prepared to do instead should the situation arise is switch banknotes between my wallet and the audience member. This can be done more covertly and swifter than other alternatives, maybe even still whilst in the company of the group. I obviously know the serial codes already for specific notes in my wallet. Of course though, the original idea is just Mr Brown's style. You only need to look at the titles of his works to understand perhaps where he's coming from - "Pure Effect", "Absolute Magic" - the intended final product is everything to him. Everything else is just a means to an end.

As an aside it is apparently easier to have a background check ran in America than in Britain as you have access to facilities such as Information America.

Martin.
Jonathan
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The main thing is privacy. Everyone has a right to privacy and if you invade their privacy without their permission that's wrong.

Goodness! Can you IMAGINE what Mr. Moody would say if he where still here? The guy thought asking someone's first name was an invasion of privacy!!!

Jonathan Grant
saglaser
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Along with privacy, there's a question of consent. Audience members consent to being entertained. Those who put information on forms and billets consent to that information being part of the performance. None of that necessary includes consent to have private information rummaged through.

Even those who come onstage for a pickpocket act consent to having their pockets picked, but there is a reasonable expectation that their wallets will be returned without personal information being taken.
Ray Haddad
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What about pre-show work? I've gathered information about a client using completely legal means and blown them away by revealing partial information about them.

For example: I did a show for a large corporation's Christmas party one year. From the company prospectus, I learned about a few key executives in the company. I found a name, called the booking person and asked if that person would be at the Christmas party. When I was given the nod, I began looking in the phone book. I found Mr. Jonas Jones (the executive I had enquired about and vice president of the company who hired me - not his real name) listed with an address of 123456 Easy Street (again, not real information). I drove by and saw a beautiful brick home with the shutters painted Hunter Green and a wonderful tulip and daffodil garden out front. In the driveway, undercover of a tarp, was a Harley quite obviously being restored.

I did all this from the seat of my car in 15 seconds or less.

During the show, I asked if there was someone here named Jones. He was a popular person in the company and many people pointed towards him as he acknowledged who he was. You can imagine how the rest of the "not so cold" reading went. I didn't reveal anything like his address or personal details but I did describe his house in great detail. My glimpse into his life gave me that advantage I needed to create a miracle which he retold many times that evening.

I've used this before. If anyone wants to discuss my not so cold reading techniques, I will be glad to begin a new topic for that purpose.

Best Always,
Ray
Greg Arce
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I'm going to be roasted for this so pull out the marshmellows and weenies. When I was in college I really got into presenting myself as the real thing. I did anything I could to get the proper information. I always came early to classes and never went out for the breaks. Why? Because students would leave their pads, books, bags, purses, etc... Yes, I rummaged through all of them and took copious notes. Did I amaze the hell out of them? You bet I did! I still recall devastating a pretty blonde who I had done some dirty spying on when she left the room once. In her notebook she had a picture of her and her dog. I used the information about a month later when I had her think of her favorite pet. I started to get an image. I said, "It's a little white dog, but I'm getting a very strange thought. The dog has a name that means something, but I'm not getting all the proper letters." She was stunned. I continued, "It's Hapi. Correct? With an "I" and only one "P"." Did I have a follower? Yes.
Presently, I've used some information I've located on Google. My rule: Use whatever works, but don't hurt anyone while doing it.
Was I wrong? Probably. Do I have people that still talk about me even after twenty years? YES!!!
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Jonathan
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I'm not too proud of this but during my freshman year I was sitting behind a girl in chapel who was reading a 7-page life-story kind of letter her best friend wrote to give to a guy she was in love with but had broken up with. I read the whole thing (14 pages if you count front and back) during chapel and took notes.

That same semester I was dating a girl and during open dorm I went to see her only they were out but left their room unlocked. I rummaged through everything I could find trying to get good material to amaze them. I found a note that was a list of goals for that semester and 90% of them involved dating guys. Due to what was on the list I dumped her, she wasn't anything like I thought she was. Goodness!!! Of course I told her I didn't think she was good for me but I never told her exactly what I knew.

I don't think that was okay, but it's an interesting story I guess. ha ha ha

Jonathan Grant
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