Psychological Subtleties - Banachek

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Psychological Subtleties - Banachek

Postby Lyndon Webb » Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:59 pm



The Effect "Think of a number between 1 and 10.

You probably thought of the number 7!"

Psychology: The scientific study of mental processes and behavior
Subtlety: A subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude

"Impressed? Well, this is what is known as a psychological force, one, which works 90% of the time.

This book is all about using these forces, plus elements of body language, certain linguistic strategies, boldness and psychology to create the illusion of genuine mindreading and psychic phenomena. As Teller (from Penn & Teller) says in the introduction, this is a dangerous book. A charismatic performer could convince people he was a genuine psychic with these methods!"

Cost: Currently Out of Print - Seen one on ebay for £200
Will be Re-Released in Autumn 2008

Difficulty :
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

1, 2 and 5

Review:
I got this book by accident - From a charity Shop.
This is one of those books that i would never part with. On first Glance (Like a lot of Mentalism books) you will think these are just ramblings, but for the Working Performer - it is invaluable, full of useful little gems that you can add to your own Effects to make the impact stronger, or in some cases use them on there own.
The Chapters (Whilst Small) are all split down into indvidual Subtleties covering subjects such as Letters, Voice Forcing, Drawings etc....
The Classic Number Reversal is explained fully, and as Banachek says he has received press from that, well that is one of the things i have used over the Phone to get bookings!

They say
13 Steps is the bible of Mentalism,
Mynd,Myth & Magick is the New Testament
Well
Psychological Subtleties is the Ten Commandments

Overall:
i have to give this a 10/10 - However if you are looking for a quick Fix guide (iMagician - LoL) Look elsewhere.
If you are a Working Mental Performer You should already have this, if not and you want your performances to have an Edge then this books for You!

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Postby smordant » Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:07 am

Great review and I look forward for this book to be re released, I have the PS 2 book which I should probably do a review for after I have read it a few more times.

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Postby magicofthemind » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:35 am

The headache cure works well too.

Barry

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Postby AndyRegs » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:43 am

And I've freaked people out with the hiccups cure too. I stop my own this way too now. I've been thinking that it would be quite fun, to instead of stopping someones hiccups, have them send their hiccups over to you to take them away, if that makes sense. Just have to wait until someone starts hicupping now!

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Postby Dominic Rougier » Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:59 am

This little blue book changed my life.

Well, sort of.

I bought Psychological Subtleties (PS) some years ago, and far, far too early. I was, in all honesty, expecting this book to give me some insight into the kinds of things that Derren Brown was starting to show on television. I was pretty sure that this wouldn't be the full story, that the actual methods would be partly based on "genuine" principles (and what a tricky phrase that is) and also a lot of magic to spice things up.

I thought that PS would contain some pointers, possibly including the eye-accessing cues from NLP, and similar minor things, which could be worked into something major and impressive.

It didn't, obviously, and I actually felt a little disgusted at myself for getting overexcited at something that was so slim, and so useless.

"How does knowing what people generally say, a bit, mostly, have to with mind reading?"

So I put it aside, but kept flicking through it idly on occasion, just on the off-chance that I found something that was worth whatever exorbitant price I paid for it.

I found some of the effects, which I used. "Ring of Truth" was interesting, even if it tended to either be a little transparent or complex. "Reversal" I love and still love, especially over the phone or the internet, but it's still basically a mathematical trick, with some clever wordplay.

Where it clicked was the "Ashes on a palm" subtlety.

I'd been doing the effect for some time, post-Street Magic and all that. (Hey, I said this was a while ago, I was young and naive, dammit.) but I suddenly realised that if you could perform the effect, and actually give them a free choice of hand to transpose the ash on to, then you've actually created a miracle.

Simply - the effect itself was (and is) extremely powerful, but after the fact there is a logical chain of events they could follow, which might lead them to only one source - the secret of the effect. If you throw in the absolute impossibility that you could know which hand they could choose, there's a disconnection of thought process there, and the mind is left reeling.

That psychological force by itself, in the cold light of day is nothing. You can predict (control) which hand of two a spectator will choose.

Even if you wrote this information down beforehand, and projected it on the side of Canary Wharf with elephant-riding midgets and Catherine wheels in your hat... you're still not going to get a huge reaction. Combine it seamlessly with a powerful illusion, and you've created something that pushes past the boundaries of the unknown.


I think it's safe to say that by now I've used almost everything in this little book at one time or another, over and over again. I have never since then sat down to create an effect or routine without a copy of this book to hand, or more recently memory-hardwired into my skull. It's the kind of book I could probably re-write in full with my eyes closed, like the rebel community at the end of Farenheit 451.


Psychological forces, along with Muscle reading, Misdirection and Presentation, are arguably the closest we can come to working genuine magic, and genuinely reading minds.

Nothing in this book comes easily or cheaply, nothing is that simple. At heart, this book is basically just a reference of likely outcomes, and some ways to make them a bit more likely.

But they can be used to work wonders.

This is a ridiculously powerful little book, but only if you put the time in to work out how you are going to use it.

Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash, and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
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Postby Craig Browning » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:06 pm

DominicRougier you seem to have learned a very valuable lesson, one that I keep trying to encourage young people (those new to mentalism in particularly) about when it comes to learning the basics and growing into things, especially the more advanced aspects of the craft such as PS lends to us; PS 1 & 2 are "musts" when it comes to my list of things that should be on the shelves of every mentalist.

Given you're discoveries however, I'll suggest strongly that you look into three other chief bits of foundation material; Wonder Words & Mind Reading from Kenton Knepper and Paul Brook's ALCHEMICAL TOOLS. I can assure you that these three resources won't only enhance the potency of your presentation beyond what you've already discovered through Steve's books, but they will open a door into an aspect of mystery entertainment few weigh in on (mainly due to the fact that it's time consuming when it comes to learning and developing said skills vs. instant gratification.)

One very important thing to bear in mind when it comes to Psychological forces; not only do they not always work but the items named can change from one region to the next. For an example; if you were to be working the American south the most commonly named flower will be Magnolias whereas in parts of the western U.S. and Florida, you'll get Orange Blossoms and the American Mid-west will typically give you daisies or Mums. Similarly, you will find differences based on the social-economic levels of audience classification; the more refined and "ivory league" the higher your chances at getting the Red Rose. Yet, you will also find this common with "maidens" that are in love with the idea of being in love.

Steve and I have spoken on this point a few times and he's lent suggestion as to how to "encourage" the flower of particular focus, such as saying "Name the first long-stemmed flower that comes to mind..." though Tulips and Lilly's can fit this category the Rose will be the first one to pop into the minds of most.

Bear in mind that what I've brought out is just background data that one may need to consider if they find themselves traveling about. It's always good to do some test runs off stage and on the streets just to get a "pulse" on things, to see if the mind-set is different and leaning towards a different kind of flower, fruit, veggie, etc. :wink:

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Postby Duplicity » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:11 pm

I do not like the term psychological forces, it suggests that you are...well..forcing them to answer a certain way due to inherent psychology.

When you are not.

I believe the correct term is - cultural stereotypes (CS). As in, things we are all prone to say, with no psychological prompting whatsoever. Yet we make it appear as if we are doing so.

I never liked the rose "force" either. Always seems too obvious. Anyway, these CSs, its a shame not many (if any) books tell you about miming these objects very subtley at the same time to help ramp up the jolly old hit rates.

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Postby Tomo » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:33 pm

DominicRougier wrote:"How does knowing what people generally say, a bit, mostly, have to with mind reading?"

When Naked Mentalism I and II flop on your mat next week, you'll hopefully discover not only how, but how to get the best results from the underlying principles, in depth and in detail :D

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Postby resindrummer » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:25 pm

Hiya. im writing an essay on the possibility of artificial consciousness and basically i wanted to use the fact that when you ask someone to pick a number between 1 - 10 most people say 7 (though i heard it was 3 or 7). anyways, i was wonderin if the book had a reference for who conducted the research and found this out? or what this effect is called? and whether you could send me it. would be greatly appreciated
cheers

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Postby Tomo » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:11 pm

resindrummer wrote:Hiya. im writing an essay on the possibility of artificial consciousness and basically i wanted to use the fact that when you ask someone to pick a number between 1 - 10 most people say 7 (though i heard it was 3 or 7). anyways, i was wonderin if the book had a reference for who conducted the research and found this out? or what this effect is called? and whether you could send me it. would be greatly appreciated
cheers

Do you know, I have no idea if anyone has ever formally investigated that. If you discover a reference, will you let us know?

By the way: Libra. Right?

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Postby Dominic Rougier » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:45 pm

You know Tomo, sarcasm doesn't come across too well in text ;)

Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash, and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
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Postby Replicant » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:15 pm

resindrummer wrote:Hiya. im writing an essay on the possibility of artificial consciousness and basically i wanted to use the fact that when you ask someone to pick a number between 1 - 10 most people say 7 (though i heard it was 3 or 7). anyways, i was wonderin if the book had a reference for who conducted the research and found this out? or what this effect is called? and whether you could send me it. would be greatly appreciated
cheers


Incidentally, I tried this at work recently and the first five people I asked all answered "seven". :shock:

EDIT: Actually, it was four people, but still impressive I think.

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Postby Harry Guinness » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:43 pm

I loved this book, to me it has been one of the mist useful resources on my shelf. It is very handy when someone asks you to 'do a trick' when finding out you're a magician. I find Ring of Truth and a couple of the subtleties is a nice little impromptu demonstration of what I do when I'm not arsed to do a big effect.

Teller's foreword is a highlight of the book! I recently used a variation of his disclaimer on a TV show, hopefully it'll survive the edit!!! I'm currently saving for Teller's books just on the strength of this foreword as it was so damn thought provoking!!!

Another little snippet that you'd simply glance over without absorbing it is the one where you create a dual reality and to the audience appear to know a spectators name without talking to them and to the spectator it appears nothing happened!!!

All in all an awesome book, and one of the best purchases I ever made! Worth it just for Tellers foreword.

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Postby Dominic Rougier » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:00 pm

Incidentally, I tried this at work recently and the first five people I asked all answered "seven". :shock:

EDIT: Actually, it was four people, but still impressive I think.


I actually find this reliable enough to do this with a Stigmata-like effect, and no out. Living dangerously! :)

Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash, and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
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Postby sleightlycrazy » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:49 pm

??? wrote:I loved this book, to me it has been one of the mist useful resources on my shelf. It is very handy when someone asks you to 'do a trick' when finding out you're a magician. I find Ring of Truth and a couple of the subtleties is a nice little impromptu demonstration of what I do when I'm not arsed to do a big effect.

Teller's foreword is a highlight of the book! I recently used a variation of his disclaimer on a TV show, hopefully it'll survive the edit!!! I'm currently saving for Teller's books just on the strength of this foreword as it was so damn thought provoking!!!

Another little snippet that you'd simply glance over without absorbing it is the one where you create a dual reality and to the audience appear to know a spectators name without talking to them and to the spectator it appears nothing happened!!!

All in all an awesome book, and one of the best purchases I ever made! Worth it just for Tellers foreword.


Just out of curiosity, which book by Teller are you planning on getting?


And why do you guys have to suddenly give a book that I can't get my hands on such glowing reviews...?! :(

Currently Reading "House of Mystery" (Abbott, Teller), Tarbell, Everything I can on busking
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