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NabsS
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Just a note about exposures,
I guess that an exposure is only bad if OTHER PEOPLE also do this trick, as in cups and balls, as it may ruin their reputation. It would be acceptable if we were the ONLY PERSON to know and do the trick, but it would not be wise (as Bill Palmer said on his website).
I also think that to deal with (public) exposures there are two solutions. 1)Try by all means to stop it. 2)Be innovative and keep inventing new secrets(I think that's what you called methods) #2 is hard, but #1 is harder

What do you think?
Payne
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So who here is to blame? The instructor who exposed the Cups and Balls, the store owner who sold it to him or the owner of the factory who churned out the set by the tens of thousands?

Was this fellow a magician or simply someone who purchased a trick at a toy store because he thought it was interesting? It seems to me that we are trying to enforce the rules of a game on someone who doesn’t even know he’s playing.

Someone said earlier in this thread that Scientists seen to think they have a monopoly on knowledge.
This is not at all true. Science is not served by monopolizing knowledge. Instead it is furthered and enriched by the sharing of it.
This is how Science works. Unlike magic Science does not treat Knowledge as a commodity to be hoarded and suppressed. The Sciences are propelled forward by the free and unrestricted sharing of thoughts and ideas.

This teacher was only doing what he was trained to do.
He is not a magician and therefor is not restrained by our “Code”.
From his relative position he is not exposing he is passing his knowledge on.

But the bigger picture here is how we, the magicians of the world are going to respond to exposure from this point forward.
Like it or not the world has changed and the Genie has forever been released from the bottle. We are living in the information age and our precious secrets are secrets no more.

A Google search on Secrets of Magic nets nearly two million hits. Television shows and Museums expose our craft and all we can do is sit on the sidelines and watch as our actions bring even more attention to the exposure we’re trying to stop

And who really is to blame? We are of course. In our attempt to broaden the art of magic we have taken it into the mainstream. Magic is no longer for the elite few but a fun pastime that can be shared by all.

Anyone with a credit card and internet access can obtain any secret they wish to possess.
Magic and its secrets have become a commodity and a cheap one at that.

In the golden age of magic secrets were of great value because they were hard to come by. You often had to prove yourself before a fellow magus or magic shop owner would grudgingly pass one along. Secrets had value because they were earned. Something of value is seldom treated lightly.

How much value do you think a person places on a trick he bought in a toy store for five bucks? What does it cost him to expose it? Nothing at all.

Like it or not exposure is here to stay and the our battle is not how we are going to stop it but how we are going to deal with it.

We can look like a bunch of geeky losers and wring our hands while we whine and complain that no one treats our art with the respect it deserves. Or we can meet it head on and let the world know that the secrets aren’t what magic really is about.

I agree that exposure is a thing to be avoided yet too many times in the past when we have tried to stop it we have actually ended up promulgating the very secrets we were trying to protect.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Bill Palmer
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I think I said part of that in a previous post. There is a faction in science that thinks that all knowledge should be shared, without consequence to the people down the line. Others think that knowledge should be shared responsibly.

Responsibility implies a certain amount of knowledge of the consequences for those who might be damaged in some way by the revelation of knowledge.

For example, we can, with a certain amount of accuracy, predict a large percentage of the populace who will be prone to having heart attacks, simply by looking at their DNA. That's pure science. The question of responsibility comes in play when we ask whether insurance companies should be allowed to use this research to deny coverage or to adjust rates.

The insurance company says, "It is our responsibility to our investors to have this information."

The consumer says, "Insurance companies are a crapshoot. They should not be able to have information that could cost me money."

Before commenting, remember when the same argument was applied to revealing the results of AIDS tests.

None of these are simple questions. And none have simple answers.

I still like the idea of the Ricin, though. It might teach responsibility.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Payne
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I don't think you can seriously compare the teaching how to manufacture Ricin to the tipping of the methodology of the cups and balls.
Though I'm sure there are many a cup and ball performance that have been much more painful to witness than a slow death from Ricin poisoning no one has ever been killed by the trick. Their souls may be forever wounded but their still alive.
Again I think it's unreasonable to expect someone who bought a trick in a toy store to play by our rules.
Are we going to place round the clock guards at every Fantasma Magic display in every toyshop across the land and make sure that everyone buys a trick understands the "Magicians Code" that supposedly rules us all?
Don't forget to teach them the secret handshake while your at it.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
chrisrkline
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We don't know what level of the cups and balls he taught. If it was that simplest of all simple routines taught in beginner magic sets, it is not as big of a deal. I hope that if the gentleman wishes to get further into magic, he picks up some ethics.
But this is not really a question of a genie let out of a bottle, the internet, mass media, or anything related. The members in the scientist' audience did not seek out this knowledge. Like the vast majority of people on this planet, they have never and will never seek out a magic secret on the internet.

The scientist, I assume, purchased the cups and balls. I assume he is not a thief looking up Tommy Wonder's or Gazzo's routines on the web. Heck, he may never have bought a magic effect on the web in his life. It was either the local Toys R Us, or his local shop. In fact, think about your own local shop, or the most ethical shop in the world, and ask yourself: If someone walks in off the street and wants to buy Ammar's C&Bs, will the owner of that shop stop him?

Besides, the genie was let out years ago when magic ceased exclusively being a mentor/apprentice relationship and started becoming a mass product. Maybe we should blame the catalogs of eighty years ago.

My biggest concern on C&Bs exposure is what to do at this carnival I am going to work. I wonder whether people on the other side of the church parking lot will see my performance for some audience and will see the loads before they are actually part of the audience. Whether they google Gazzo, looking for secrets, is not at the top of my worries.

But the level of damage is not really the issue, I suppose. If it were possible, the scientist needs to learn a lesson. Sometimes all we can do is work on one person at a time.
Chris
Bill Palmer
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The real question is "What was the point of the exposure?"

While I don't seriously expect a person who purchases a set of cups and balls at a toy store to be bound by any code of ethics, I'm still ticked off at the guy, because he just blithely went into the exposure.

Going by the "all knowledge is fair game" mentality that this kind of scientist has, the shock of threatening to teach Ricin manufacture to his students might set him straight. Remember, I'm not advocating actually teaching them how to do it, just threatening to teach them how to do it. They aren't the same thing. In fact, I would leak a rumor to the press that I was going to do that.

Think back to the 1960's and early 1970's to the incredible work that the late Saul Alinsky did. He always attacked his enemies at their point of pride and their weakest points. Usually the two were one and the same. When Eastman Kodak refused to put any African Americans into upper management positions, Alinsky had the local AA community purchase a block of 100 tickets to an Eastman symphony concert. They then leaked a rumor to the press that they were going to have a huge bean supper and then hold a drawing for those tickets. Can you imagine what would happen during the quieter parts of the concert when the beans began their inevitable trip through the collective digestive tracts of these people? It worked.

So you hit people like this at their point of personal pride. In the case of science teachers, it is probably their ability to convey knowledge freely. I seriously doubt that you would even have to purchase the castor beans.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Laird
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A Question for Bill.
Sir, I'm sure you are familiar with the works of James Randi, and his methods of "debunking". Houdini also did the same when it came to issues of parlour mediumship and clairvoyancy. So much so he made enemies.
Also, today there is an active Skeptical movement, though some wouldn't know it at times. All to often in order to achieve the goal of protecting consumers from fraudulent claims, one must expose the modus operandi.
Other than the obvious differences of entertainment versus "belief structure", in order to expose a fraud one must, at times, also expose some type of magical effect. I believe the first example of this was by Reginald Scot in "The Discoverie of Witchcraft". Among the expose's was Cups and Balls.
At the risk of making to long an issue, I think my question would be, Where might the line be drawn? Or is that the right question to ask?
As you may well know magic does have a somewhat neffarious past, including gambling, theft, connery, malignment, etc. Shell Game, Monte, etc. We all know where a topit came from.
Please understand I value the secrets as much as anyone, and in no way endorse adverse behavior. Though I continue to get giddy as a schoolboy upon learning a new trick.
Sir, Thank you for your attention.
It's never to late to have a happy childhold!
chrisrkline
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I am also interested in Bill's thoughts. I will say that is is possible to "expose" a charlatan without revealing the specific sleight. You can educate people on how street monte players scam their audience without exposing the specific sleight of hand used. Same thing with many other magical effects that are also used by these people.

I suppose someone like Randi or Houdini might argue that one should not reveal a magicians sleight of hand or stage illusion unless that method is used primarily to scam people out of money--and there is no other way to convince a person that the scam is occurring. In street monte, you can reveal the use of confederates, without explaining the steal of the pea. However, there are areas where it is not clear that there is a scam going on until you reveal some of the secret. For example, some magicians will do fake séances, where it is clear to the participants that it is not real. But the majority of séances are done to scam people. It may not be enough to say to lay audiences, "Don't believe these people--they are trying to fake you out." When you try to educate people, sometimes you have to be more specific. Sometimes you have to reveal the method. You may have to show them what is really behind the curtain.
Chris
Julie
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Don't you think the "exposure" exists only for a moment on the cosmic clock and as we sit here today virtually no one in the room that fateful day even remembers the c&b's?
TheAmbitiousCard
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Probably.
Most people's attention span is so limited from watching tv that they probably remember very little if anything.

A lot of people have been exposed to the TT for instance. Any good magician can use it right under their nose and they'd never know the difference.

I've seen it happen at a magic convention to a whole room of magicinas by Paul Wilson.

It still sux but I think we're safe!!!

Frank
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Bill Palmer
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First of all, I'm not a big supporter of the Amazing Randi. The reason for it is quite simple. He exposes things that do not need to be exposed. I'll give you an example. I was doing a promo for the March of Dimes Haunted House, back in 1973, as a representative of the local SAM assembly. I was going to do a drawing duplication routine on one of the local TV talk shows, and the host was one of those guys who couldn't simply promote something and be done with it. He always had to get the upper hand. I brought in a clipboard (not your usual type, mind you) and asked him to draw a simple geometric pattern on the piece of paper on the board. I turned my back, and in a few seconds, he said, "I'm done," and I had him put the piece of paper in an envelope for later verification -- a bit of pre-show work. As I took the clipboard back, I could see that he had somehow circumvented what was supposed to happen, so I didn't have what I needed to complete the duplication. No problem for me -- I had a backup plan.

During the promotion, I did a completely different thing, and he said something about, "Weren't you going to tell me what I had drawn on a piece of paper?" I said that the "vibes" weren't right and dismissed the subject.

After the show, he explained that Randi had told him all about clipboards, so he had put a piece of cardboard under the piece of paper. Randi had no business telling the guy about this. On another TV show, the host (who was on the board of directors of the March of Dimes) went along with it, and I divined the item he drew without any trouble at all.

The information in Discoverie of Witchcraft concerning the cups and balls is very sketchy. You probably would not be able to construct any kind of a routine from it. And the intent of this book was completely different, anyway. It is not a treatise on conjuring. It is a "let's not burn and/or hang any more witches" book.

I have no problem at all with Randi when he exposes bogus faith healers. He saves lives when he does that. But when he exposes items that are of no use to the frauds, but are used by honest entertainers, then he has crossed over the line. He spends most of his time on the wrong side of the line these days.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Laird
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Granted, I would most agree Randi is not a better example. When I was in Europe in the redlight districts of Amsterdamn, Frankfurt, and other cities, the shell game was rampant. Really out of control, the tourist boards of those municipalities handed out leaflets warning tourists of the scams, explaining how they worked. And rightfully so!!!
What I witnessed as being a "Psychic" during the New Age movement during the 70's and 80's, would be today referred to as mentalist. And as they were routinely exposed as Psychics, by today's standards they be exposed as mentalists.
We've all seen the footage of Johnny Carson exposing Uri Geller, or at least making him vulnerable by switching his spoons. Uri then declines his ability. Though Johnny doesn't immediately state what he has done, he admits later.
I know of a police officer who routinely carries a TT and silk with him. He uses it pacify kids, and win their confidence. That's the only trick he knows.
I guess it would have to be a case by case exposure.
I know people, who you may as well, whom if you were to doubt UFO's, they would turn red in the face, veins would pop out, and act as if you insulted God and country.
Granted the obvious diffences. And I thoroughly support Magic (having just spent over $200 last week) as an art and industry.
I would have to agree what is the motivation for the exposure. Thanks for letting me share.
It's never to late to have a happy childhold!
Werner G. Seitz
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Bill Palmer

I second your thoughts on Randi..

I've not probs with him in any way, but sometimes I'm just a bit annoyed re his overexposure of himself..

He most certainly does a good job re escapes and whatever is his kind of making a living otherwise, and I love him picking on Uri Geller and that kind of PLAIN frauds!!!, but he's far too busy in exposing HIMSELF..

Yes..I know..., he has to make a living..and that's OK, as long as he doesn't ruin it for fellow workers!

He's allover the place..even in Hyla M. Clarks *The Worlds Greatest Magic*, where I can't se there is a place for him!!, but what he explains and does there, is rather nice and acceptable.. Smile

Reminds me of Houdini and similar *workers*, they are good at what they do -apart from what they do at their sidejobs, in this case cardhandling and similar-, but they are TOO good re promoting themselves, sometimes on costs of others, fellow workers..

Really great *workers* never did that, and never had to ..just look at Fred Kaps and his promotions..and look at Frank Garcia -who otherwise did well- but he shouldn't have stolen Freds promotions..his moral re that kind was VERY low..

I did meet Frank Garcia in person, in 1976, and he was a rather nice person, still...
PS.:
Hyla M. Clarks *The Worlds Greatest Magic* appeared in 1976..and I love it..
BUT, there is one missing, also his name is mentioned in the Richard Ross article..

FRED KAPS

is missing..and I never understood, WHY this could happen!

He was alive and still working allover the world at that time..what the heck happend re NOT mentioning him there???..

He was one of the very few that HAD to be inside there!!!
Maybe Randi didn't like him ??
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
Bill Palmer
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The World's Greatest Magic was a promotion that Gary Ouelette did of his friends in Las Vegas. If you weren't in Vegas, you weren't on the show.

That's the whole thing.

Valentino went to Gary and asked him to put him on the show, and Gary told him that he wasn't good enough. Val was better than a couple of the magicians he had there, although not much better. So he told Gary that he was going to get even.

Boy, did he!

That's part of the Masked Magician saga.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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gdw
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I believe that the real problem with exposure is that even if the people who have been "exposed' to the secrets completely forget the 'secret' or really didn't comprehend it at all, they will still dismiss the effect the next time they see it.

In turn by the simple act of stating "Oh, I know how that's done" the others around them also dismiss the effect.

Quite simply, the people in the afforementioned lecture will no doubt have forgottne how what they saw was a accomplished, but the next time they see ANY effect with a cup(s) and ball(s) they will just remeber that they 'know' how it's done and dismis it.

Ironicaly it is only the effect that they will dismis and not the method. If they were to see the exact 'method' or secret that they were shown used to acomplish a different 'effect' they would have no idea and would accept the effect.

Just look at the key card example used earlier. Many use this to great effect in their magic. However I can not count the times that I was simply having a card selected and the audience member told me 'what I was doing', refering to the key card method. Meanwhile I had actually just forced the card.

As you can see it is not so much the fact that that one method is exposed, but that the person(s) to whom it was exposed will now forever be dismising and ruining any magic that they 'assume' is acomplished by said method forevermore. Even if they actually don't remeber what the 'secret' is. All they need to know is that they were shown it at one point.

This was the major flaw in Valentino's 'reasoning' behind his exposure. He claimed he wanted to encourage magicians to come up with new and better methods to accomplish the effects. But that didn't matter as the effect would be dismissed no matter what.

Just try this once or twice. When some one 'claims' that they know aht you are doing, test them. I did this when some friends of mine were watching a magic special with me. They saw a levitation and dismised it after seeing 'The Masked Magician.' When I asked them how it was done then, they froze and had no idea.

Unfortunatly, even after they realized that they realy didn't know how it was done they still dismissed it, because' it WAS showen to them once' and that seem good enough to take away the mystery.

Truely sad and unfortunate, for both our sake, and our art, and theirs for having a simple pleasure taken away from them by their curiousit and another mans' selfishness.

It is a horrible thing to distroy a child like inoccence like that.
Glenn
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"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

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Tilman
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Gdw, I think what you say is completely right. Very perceptive. The exposure of a method, whether remembered or not, can serve as an all-purpose tool against any magic that from the perspective of a layman could be accomplished by the same or a similar method.

A related but somewhat different issue: Has anyone ever thought about creating a database which provides information about when and where which methods have been exposed by who. And do you think this would be of any use to working magicians? Perhaps I should start a new thread on that issue...
Bill Palmer
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I'm sure someone, probably someone from Germany has thought about that. Smile

Actually, I don't know how you could even begin to keep track of this kind of thing. You would have to list all of the common exposures, such as the Masked Magician as well as the first Masked Magician videotape, plus all of the ones on the Discovery channel, etc.

It's hard to say how much this would help. Good project for a junior magicians club.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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kihei kid
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Quote:
On 2004-09-07 19:05, rikbrooks wrote:
That guy probably doesn't have a clue

Absolutely correct, there’s the problem, I can only hope he doesn’t vote.
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
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