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Andreu - “Tribal Telepathy” in-depth review.

I will be sharing the routine here as I discuss my own methods and subtleties - I never tip Andreu’s methodology. This is an honest review.

I purchased this from Andreu a number of years ago and have only just got around to reading it. I couldn’t even tell you if it was still available but I thought I’d add my thoughts as it has been my “read of choice” for the last couple of days.


It’s one of many books that I will be reading over the coming weeks (it’s reading season). Some of the books are old, some even older and a few are modern releases, I hope people don’t mind me revisiting old waters to test the quality of the drink. I intend to add more reviews over the next few weeks.

I bought the book at the time as it had me intrigued and then life got in the way. But here we are.

Tribal Telepathy opens and right out of the gate there is one philosophy I want to highlight/ express my opinion on -

“A female, sexy spectator challenges the mind performer, to read her mind immediately...

The mentalist just smiles and tells her it doesn’t really work that way, in fact he invites her to have a tea and then he explains her more about the way in which mindreading works.”

Never put yourself on the back foot. Any mentalist worth their salt knows to maximise the impact of any blow that could occur before it ever happens. This should be dealt with in a one-step process. Not an explanation session where you’re trying to justify who you are and what you do.

In-fact, I had this situation creep up on me yesterday whilst socialising with my wife and her friends. One of the group (I hadn’t met before) said “I’ve heard you can read people, can you read me and tell me what I am thinking right now?”

Instead of explaining myself, I just said “of-course, take this and write your word down so everyone else at the table knows whether I am right or wrong”.

I just directed her to take the napkin that was on the table in front of her and write her thought. I then used traditional techniques to get the information.

If the scenario is one-on-one I’d simply say “of course I can, let’s try guess a couple of different things. Because I’m going to get you to think of a few things write down the name, word or whatever it is you’re thinking of right now. That way you won’t forget it and it ensures you can’t change your mind later on”.

After they have committed to their word move forward (use your method to get the info). You could end here if you wanted but I recommend ending on a double whammy.

“I want you now to think of a second piece of information, make this more impossible than the first. Something you didn’t even think was possible to guess”.

Wait until they have done this.

“Focus on this impossible information this is my target and we will go back to this (point to the napkin) in a moment”.

As the spectator is thinking of two words you can use a technique (I love) that I call “Cross examination”. Ive wrote extensively about this somewhere but couldn’t find my notes - anyway here’s what the principle is in short.

“The two pieces of information you are thinking of they don’t coincidentally share the same second letter do they?”

If they say “yes” you can say “I thought so!” If they say “no” then you can say “Perfect I’m just trying to hone in specifically on that one thought and I don’t want to get my wires crossed”.

(Essentially the principle allows you to use one thought of the spectator’s to find out details about another by comparing them. But more on that principle at some point in the future).

Now you can use the one-ahe*d to retrieve both thoughts, whilst simultaneously proving you can read someone and you’re not on the back foot trying to justify your actions.

Simple quick and powerful.

Moving back to the Andreu’s routine.

I believe this is such a convoluted way to arrive at a thought. You need,

2 pads
3 pieces of card (containing words)
4 marker pens

You need to make a crib, gimmick the sharpies and then have the spectators looking at a card (you’ve also had to make) to decide on a word and then see the other cards (which you’ve also had to make) to correlate colours on those cards to coloured sharpies the spectator is going to draw with.

Compare this to traditional methods to achieve the same thing -

The spectator thinks of any image, they draw it (using one pen) and put the image into their pocket.

You replicate the drawing.

This has long been the traditional type of method applied by mentalists. So I ask the glaringly obvious questions -

Firstly, why force someone to pick an image from a restricted field when they can literally think of anything?

Secondly, why have the spectator then cross examine cards?

Another quick point, even after the spectator has jumped through all those hoops you can still end up at 3 different words!

Any logically minded spectator should find the whole process convoluted and illogical. It’s not how you would naturally go about making a drawing so it makes no sense to approach things like this.

In-fact the method I offered above (in the opening of my review) is cleaner than any of the methods shared in this book.

One line that sent up red flags - “As a Software Engineer I’m obsessed with numbers and even more with these types of systems that provide a great way of presenting almost impromptu mindreading”.

The obsession over method far outweighs the cleanliness of presentation in this effect. It is NOT impromptu - You have to carry 2 pads, cards and gimmicked pens. Impromptu would be using items available in the situation that you can grab in a pinch.

It’s unclear what the narrative in this routine actually is, is this a word revelation? A drawing duplication? - The narrative is messy but that’s not to say with a good presentation (which doesn’t have to be shared by the creator) that this cant be cleaned up.

There’s also at times an element of fishing required. You come down to 3 possible outcomes sometimes and then Andreu pretty much suggests that you have to tip the object/ thing before you reveal it.

If they pick the ‘dagger’ for example here is the scripting that Andreu suggests -

“I’m sensing a sharp blade...” etc. will really help you to get the word, in case you are among 2 or 3 words”.

After saying “I’m sensing this is a sharp blade”, you then draw the dagger. In what world does this make sense?

Let’s go outside of this routine and imagine this same lineage of thinking in an “object divination”.

“Is it technological?”


“Is there a logo of an apple symbol on this?”


At this point, do you think any spectator is going to give you anything else other than a flat reaction if you drew an IPhone and tried to generate an applause cue from revealing it?

The spectator knows that you know what they’re thinking of at that point!

It’s all illogical thinking.

I’ve said it before, I wish creators would really take the time to consider what they’re suggesting when they are teaching people how to aptly fish. There are far more resourceful ways to reduce the amount of possibilities first I’ll share how Andreu suggests fishing and then a freebie for the people that have purchased this book.

Here is Andreu’s process.

(Let’s say the 3 words are -

Axe, circle and clock.)

“So let’s analyze the words... we have a circle, a clock and an axe.

Two of them have a clear circular shape, so there’s a bigger chance we may have a hit if we mention this...

This would be a good performance script idea...

“Ok... so... your object is a circular one right?”

- Yes, it’s circular... - “Yeah I thought so...
I think this is something like a really simple figure... right? - Yes...

In fact, it’s pretty similar to a triangle or a square, am I right? - Yes...

Draw a circle, tell her to hold the drawing without looking and then to reveal the word...


If she says it’s not a figure, like a triangle or square, you instantly know it’s the clock... so just say a couple more of affirmations about it and you’re ready to reveal it too!

- No, it’s not circular...

- “Oh, well but what I actually meant is... it’s like something sharp yeah? - Yes...
“So, in that sharp part, it could have a really small semi circular part, like an arc that cuts stuff, if you know what I mean...

- Oh yeah, I hadn’t seen it that way!
“Yes... you could actually chop wood with this... right?” – Sure...

Draw an axe, tell her to hold the drawing without looking and then to reveal the word... Done!”

I hope you can see some of the issues with this line of thinking. There is far too much fishing and far too much focus on the actual object or drawing.

I bet if I asked someone to look around the room we were sat in and pick an object I could (with that amount of questions) guess the thing in the room!

Here is a much simpler method, again we will use the same words -

Axe, Clock and Circle.

Address the spectator “Can you imagine the thing you’re thinking of as a physical thing or is that not possible?”

If they say “yes” quickly you know it’s the axe or the clock. Follow up by saying “There are lots and lots of different physical things that this could be, to get this I need you to visualise it and imagine touching and holding this thing”.

If the spectator looks like they are struggling with your request to physically imagine the thing they are thinking of, quickly say -

“This is going to be even more impossible as there are lots of random words you could be thinking of”.

If they do struggle to see the word they chose in physical form it’s obvious without any other questions that they’re thinking of the circle.

For the sake of the full experience let’s imagine the spectator can think of the thing in physical form, we know they are thinking of the axe or the clock. It’s better at this point to make the spectator think you’re further away from their thought than closer to it.

(To quickly go back to the “object divination” analogy earlier and give you an example of why it’s better to ask “negative questions” in this scenario instead of as Andreu suggests “positive questions” -

“This is larger than a car correct?”


“I was definitely sensing this was natural”.


“So it’s not a tree?”


“Look right at me, concentrate... Ahh I know why I was seeing that now! It’s so obvious when you look at it from that perspective”.

The performer draws an IPhone. “Is this what you thought of?”


“The reason I was seeing a connection to the tree is the Apple! It’s obvious when you look at it from that angle isn’t it?”

You’ve washed away the miss’ and arrived at the exact thought completely, seemingly out of the blue. The hit is powerful and rocks people to the core. This works because the spectator never assumes you are even close to their thought.)

We are going to be applying this logic to reduce the 2 words (clock/ axe) down to one.

“The word you’re thinking of, there’s not two letters inside that are the same?”

If they say “no”, say “Im probably going to be miles off then” - draw/ write the word Axe (again with the routining suggested in the book it’s difficult to know which is the better option.)

This leads the spectator to think you’re going to be miles out because it suggests you were seeing two letters the same and allows for a powerful revelation.

If they say “yes there are two that are the same” say “Please don’t give me any clues, keep a straight face. Usually words with repeated letters, the letters are usually the same letter, they are also usually vowels and those letters are next to each other in the word. I’m just going to go for what I feel”.

This scripting is also implicative that you’re miles away (we know it’s now the word “clock”, but the spectator thinks that we believe the word has two vowels, that those letters are the same letter and the letters are next to each other). When you reveal the word now you’ve created a powerful revelation for yourself.

However, my conclusion is that this is gilding the lily - even with these fixes.

My advice, stick to a billet and a pen. It’s quicker, cheaper and easier to learn and for the spectator to follow - It also makes it easier to perform and this allows time for you to focus on presentation.

This book is not for me, that’s not to suggest it’s not for you you might find value in this.

I put this one onto the “no good pile” with Emma Wooding’s first offering.

I also some time ago purchased “Mindsight” by Andreu and will be reviewing that - It seems to have a collection of accolades from well known mentalists.

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