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Mind Tricks

1 INTRODuCTION Welcome to this small compendium of the tools and tricks of the mind trade, a trade as old as the roots of civilization itself. What is a mind trick Well, a famous old one was King Solomons judgment on two women bringing a baby before him, both claiming it was theirs. Cut it in half he said, which prompted one of them to beg him to give the baby to the other, thus giving herself away as the true mother of the baby. Solomons shocktrick brought out the unconscious motivations of the actors. This is also a feature of tricking minds with hypnosisdistracting the conscious mind while operating on the unconscious. The Vikings were renowned for trickery in battle, their favourite being feigned flight, causing opponents to break formation and so become vulnerable to a counterattack. In ancient warfare the side that best held formation would normally win, so running away and then ambushing those chasing was a feature of many battles. Children, too, naturally discover the fun of this game. Modern mind tricks take both useful and sinister forms, whether embedded commands in advertisments, feats of mindreading, or phobia cures. In Star Wars a Jedi handgesture accompanied by these are not the droids you are looking for works its magic. Everyone, unconsciously, uses mind tricks on other people all the timepresidents, aides, shamans, seductresses and children, as well as the professional tricksters who call themselves magicians. Try out the tricks in this book on yourself and your friends. They are fun, practical and, done properly, can occasionally change someones life, as indeed they have done for centuries.
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