Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ah tempis fugit

This blog, thingee is an unusual thing. I wrote a monthly column for nearly 25 years. And got to dread and hate deadlines. So I refuse to put myself on one now. When I have something to say I’ll write and upload. When I don’t I won’t. I know commercially this is a bad idea. But I don’t intend to make money with this blog. And won’t even use it to promote the few items I sell. I don’t really care, I think, if any one reads it. The joy is in the work, not the reward
What prompts this eruption. Is my recently being banned from the Mental Image forum. It was a forum, I had been thinking of leaving any way, but the circumstances of my leaving, appear to be cloudy. So I’ll try to clear them up
I joined the Image a few months back. Despite the fact , I’d never heard of Sebastian Black. But circumstances, beyond my control, I have an abundance of free time. It should be used on various projects I have started. But I try to avoid work. Habits of a lifetime I guess
Now I’ve been around Psychic Entertainment for half a century. I know or have known, many of it’s luminaries. I’ve also known those that don’t glow so bright. Not having heard of Black, could mean he’s young and an up and comer. However, I went to his site and saw his picture. If he’s young it’s Dorian Gray in reverse and he has a young handsome picture in his attic. Of course this is only my opinion of h is looks. I asked around about him. But the few that knew him, had nothing good to say. But again, only opinions!
As I said I had an abundance of time, so I joined. Immediately, I was badgered, by that blathering buffoon, Marc Lewis (my opinion). There are many who enjoy Lewis. I’m not among them. His only contribution to the art IMO, is destruction. People seem to enjoy his jibes. I don’t. Most afraid to get down in the mud with him. I’m not! I’ve lived my life not allowing myself to be mishandled or verbally abused. Without response. I’m unlikely to change. So the battle was on. Black, set up a special forum for us to battle. He called it Hell, a place , he may be familiar with. It is not part of my religious philosophy I attempted to participate in the meager discussions on the forum. Let me give you my opinion of the membership. For the most part, those not talented enough to get on the Magic Café. And because it’s much smaller, mostly lurkers and never was! The internet has created a whole new class of non-performer. They put up a website and immediately feel they are equal if not superior to people who’ve been performing for money for years. I call these people never was I believe Black is one. John LeBlanc also comes to mind. They confuse the right to an opinion, with the opinion being right. Not the same thing!
The majority of the members on the Image, lurk! Few contribute .at least in the Psychic entertainment forums. I didn’t contribute to the, tarot, palmistry and numerology forums. Because I don’t give that stuff away for free. Since I no longer perform, I’m a tad more liberal in that area. Just about all of Lewis’ and my fracas were in Hell or in the for sale forum. I offered a copy of the Marc Lewis tape on Chinese Numerology, for the best reasonable offer. Of course, offered his ha’penny’s worth And the war of the two of us was on. At no time, however, did it spill over into the mentalism discussions. Which were near non-existent. So any one saying it interfered with the discussion of mentalism, is full of it After our expulsion, Mark Lewis emailed me. Asking me to join him on some forum, where he is a moderator. I ignored his request. I did so for various reasons. Primarily, I’ve decided, not to participate in any Internet forum, unless I get paid. In my half century in psychic entertainment, I’ve accumulated a good deal of knowledge. I was willing to share it in return for being able to express my views without censorship. That didn’t happen, so if you want me to share, pay me! I’m in the midst of writing a few books. Perhaps, now, I’ll have time to complete them. And sell them. Perhaps not. In any case, even if they don’t sell they’ll earn as much as I was earning on Internet forums. AND I won’t gratuitously have to deal with never was and self praisers. In the short time since banned, I’ve accomplished more writing than I had all year
New topic. Recently Max Maven, one of magic and mentalism’s brighter lights. Had a book published, I believe, called Protocols of the Elders of Magic. I haven’t read it. I didn’t buy it. Because, I have minimal interest, these days in reading magic books and I found the title offensive. There have been myriad comments, that the book was worthless or a rip , from the dimmer bulbs in magic. I can’t believe anything by Max Maven could be worthless. Perhaps the readers weren’t sophisticated enough to understand it.
Now, I received a number of Marc Lewis psychic reading video tape series. It was a gift from a friend who said he purchased it directly from Marc. He gave 3 to me. The first is Volume one, Chinese Numerology. For those of you unfamiliar with it. It was introduced to the magic/mentalism community about 25 years ago. It’s a mini numerology chart , using a tic tac toe
(Noughts and crosses) matrix. In this video, Lewis attempts to explain the method to , what appears to be , magicians in a magic shop. It6's delivered in the scattered, wandering style, Lewis uses in his forum posts. The methodology may be clear to you , it wasn’t to me. I’d recommend if you want to learn Chinese Numerology, you buy Webster’s manuscript

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Time again

Ir's been some time since I last errupted. This past week end Tony Raven , one of the 5 founders of the PEA passed from this veil of smiles and tears. To hopefully a better and pain free place. Tony , born Robert Lynn 75 years ago less than a mile from where this blog is being typed. In the late 1970's together with Bob Cassidy, Scott Gordon Mary Lynn and Dian Buehlmeier he formed the Psychic Entertainers Association. To finance the goal , he second mortgaged his home in Waldwick, NJ. It was an admirable goal . One that had been attempted by Bob Nelson and Bob Mason unsuccessfully. Strange all Roberts. But their failure perhaps augured his success Tony/Bob amd the other founders succeded in bulding an organization , originally devoted to the mental arts. It drew from among the best and the brightest of the time. The first Meeting of the Minds (named by April Becker) was like no magic convention. No formal lectures, instead seminars where all attendees participated. No dealers. Ray Piatt who showed up to flog his wares was sent home. A true meeting of the minds. Attendees left on a spiritual high. But it was not to last Internacine squabbling nearly rent the organiztion asunder. But it survived albeit not the same And Tony/Bob stepped down to an Emeritus role , never to be very active again. About 10 years ago Tony/Bob moved to rural North Carlolina and started yet another career giving lectures on Native American culture He became Bob Raven Lynn. So a few days ago, his stay in this plane ended. I recall, when he referred to magicians as conjurors. And jokingly said, in the yellow pages it indexed ..magicians see also clowns. Irony bering what it is, the Minister at his funeral, and I gather a close friend was also a clown. Not the kind that now pervade the PEA, but the ones that try to make people laugh. So Tony/Bob, your sojourn is over . Your job well done. Time for your eternal rest In my own Native tongue I wish you Shalom

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Eruptions April no fool!

Some one forwarded a post to me from the "Tragic Cafe" It was a post by a Thomas Burger. I don't know Mr Burger, however, he seems to know me. As he chides both me in one of his post as well as an organization that sounds like a bladder function
He claims , erroneously, that The MOABT is a rip from a UF Grant item some 20 years earlier.
While it's true that the Mother has antecedents, it made IMO substantial changes in all of them. In the original and I assume current instruction the Grant item is clearly credited, In addition, the effect is substantially different. The Grant Item (called True Test) was a test utilizing one paragraph in a Readers Digest magazine. The MOABT is a selection of any word in a large book
It was released over 20 years after Truetest. And Mr Grant was , I believe deceased. There were substantial changes made and it was released as an effect not a routine in a book
I feel this is a major difference. For one thing you can't perform either without buying it. While it's possible to make your own, it's unlikely
Those who have been reading my material for years, know I have given considerable thought to "who owns what" Some say my Suggestive Mentalism is a rework of Orville Meyer's Telepathy in Action" While it uses TIA as a jump off point, it adds things not mentioned in Orville's work. AND I had Orville's permission.
It's often easier to get permission than you think. Again, to SELL something based on some one else's work. You need , I feel, to make a substantive change or get the original creators permission
Till the next thing causes an Eruption

April 6th
It has come to my attention that one James Cheung has released a mental effect. Now Mr Cheung, a few months back when caught with a large file of illegally scanned copies of other people's works. Mr Cheung basically admitted to this on the Mentalist Asylum, saying he'd shared copies with a few of his many friends. And felt there was nothing wrong with this because every one does it. While I'm on the subject, the list owner of the Asylum David Lang, admitted when another thief, was caught out, and resigned from the Asylum admitting his theft. Mr Lang omitted hos admission of guilt in his posting. Mr Lang, also denies , despite evidence, that Ian Rowland is an exposer. I gather like many fools, he believes exposure if psychic entertainers methods (note entertainers) is ok because the public needs to be protected from free thought. As some of you know, I worked for a number of years with psychic readers who believed they were truly psychic. None of these people knew or used any gaffs or what magicians would call effects. I'm not saying they had "real" psychic ability. I'm not denying it either. They mainly studied for years the divination systems they espoused. And applied them sincerely
On a sad note there were two recent deaths . Terry Nosek, former President of the PEA in the '80's passed away from a stroke. Maximillian Veracity Kane, three year old son of bizzare performer Joshua Kane also passed over
My sympathies go out to their families

April 10th 2005
It seems Cheung has objected to my comments. Resorting to denials and ad hominem attacks. Calling me among other things a bigot. Bwa ha ha ha ha
He admitted on a private forum to swapping with friends. As he said here big f... ing deal. Now as a member of a private forum. I'm bound to keep it's contents confidential. But if you're a member, check the archives. It's all there in black and white and I've made copies
I do agree with him that this copying and trading is pervasive but it is a big f 'ing deal
I'm not going to stoop to his level and pass on the rumors I've heard about Mr Cheung from his supposed friends.
If you trade copies of other people creations. You are IMO a thief. My opinion of Cheung is derived primarily from his own admissions. And his answering with ad hominem attacks. Rather than logic

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Mar 25th

Well here we are again. A number of you have PM'd me about adding reviews to this blogProblem is there is public access. And what I discuss can be accessed by anyoneLatest eruption, there is a mentally disturbed pirate out there. SELLING scanned works of others that he's scanned. On the Genii forum, he says high prices, "force" (his term) people to scan. The truth is , scanning and piracy drive prices up. In an attempt to profit from their intellectual property. Creators raise prices to compensate for theft. Some, I'm told, like Steve Duschek, have stopped marketing.A few years back I spoke to a store that many other things sold sheet music. I said, to the proprietor, my musician friends tell me the price of sheet music has sky rocketed. Why? His answer "photo copying " (this was before scanning was common) He said local groups, especially churches, buy one or two copies and make photo copies for every one else.Now I have to give this thief, grudging credit. Though he's advertising sale of stolen material, he doesn't sell it directly. You buy a book from a sell on demand publisher, he's written under a pen name. You describe specific contents. He sends you CD. Clever but still theftIn the monthly journal of an organization to which I subscribe. A well known amateur magician, discusses performers who do readings and senses. He suggests we're all thieves and simply doing magic tricks and should be jailed. IMO, nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the readers I know are most sincere. They follow ancient divination methods, and sincerely try to help people. Whether the methods are valid, is a matter of opinion. Just like your local church or political belief. But questionable validity isn't dishonestyPiss some one off todayfromKross
posted by Kross 7:36 PM

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Friday, March 18, 2005

March 18th

A long time ago and far away. Actually, the 1950’s in Newark, NJ, I was a student at Weequahic High School. Having a premonition that typing would be a useful skill, I signed up for they typing class in high school. My attendance, however was brief. Miss Cook ,the instructor, felt my , male prescience would distract “her girls” and I was banned from learning how to type in Weequahic High School. All this is to explain I suck at typing. And I’m sitting here hunting and pecking with one hand. Hopefully it doesn’t come out too badly
The subject today is who owns what? A small number of people are responsible for most innovation in magic and mentalism. A lot more benefit from their creativity. But how much need I change an effect or method, before it becomes mine. Does forcing the seven of spades, comprise a different effect than the nine of hearts.
In this country, Frank Garcia was given credit for inventing wild card. Yet historians tell me it was Peter Kane. And I’m guessing during the height of it’s popularity, I’m guess most shops made up their own. I know Mecca Magic did. Was Hyram the Haunted Hank a rip of Glorpy? How many others were there? About 20 years ago Collector’s Workshop came out with Perfect Time. A few years later, Bazar di Magia, came out with Watch and Wear. Same basic effect but different method and less than half price. Few more years, Magic Makers releases Time Machine, IMO a knock off of Watch and Wear. But cheaper still. Who deserves your money and protection?A recent thread on the Genii forum, says the Linking Ring is refusing ads from knock offs. Admirable, but what’s a knock off? Richard Kaufman has said previously, that magicians shouldn’t expect magic magazines to be police. Their profit margin won’t allow it. Guess publishing isn’t a labor of love.
I have been accused of seeing things in black and white. In some areas that’s true. There are certain things that are just wrong. Theft of intellectual property is just as wrong as theft of real property. I’m told, that the late Ken Brooke was broken hearted at the many who ripped him off. They say it contributed to his death. I’m told he was very fair with both his creators and customers. I remember asking Irv Tannen, why he ripped off Ken’s material. His answer. “My customers want his stuff and he doesn’t wholesale. I have no choice!
Just today, a magician friend (yes I have some) said every body, including big names, photocopy stuff and trade. Is he right? Isn’t it sad?
My kid brother, who’s home recuperating. Is fond of saying. There are three kinds of people. People who make things happen. People who watch things happen and people who say “What Happened?” Be one of those who make things happen. Stand up for right!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


March 15 2005
A large number of people have suggested I start a blog of my own. Where I could erupt and spew anger ,bile and occasional love Well love, not so much. Without any censorship. Notice I'm signing my name. I ignore anything by that Greek guy Anonymous. And also by that Latin woman Pseudonym
This is a stressful . Time My baby brother age 60, just had his second surgery for lung cancer yesterday. They removed a lobe of his right lung. They removed considerably more of his left lung five years ago. Please say a prayer for him, he's the nice one in the family
And if you're a smoker, consider giving it up. I smoked cigarettes for 40 years.
It might amuse you to tell you how I stopped. Go back 15 years. I'm sitting at my desk , smoking a Marlboro. The phone rings. It's my bud Harriet. She says "Stop smoking" I squnch my cigarette. Why? I ask They found a tumor in my chest. Shit, what's next, she explains she's going for surgery. That was the last cigarette I smoked. I plan on postponing until I'm 80 when I'll take it up in earnest. Post script, in surgery, the tumor Harriet had was benign. She recovered and resumed smoking
Now to magic/mentalism/psychic entertainment. I understand a disciple of that buffoon Marc Lewis (my personal opinion, which may be substantiated by reading his nonsense) James Bliss has released a book available to the general public. Sharing ideas that don't belong to him. He has "exposed" ideas of the Evasons, Ted Karmilovich, Chris Carter and others. I haven't mention the title because I don't believe in giving him free publicity. I haven't read the "plagarism" (my opinion) However if some one sends me an e copy, I'll review in more depth
This seems to be a trend in mentalism. Releasing ideas that aren't yours. Banachek's Psycvhological Subtleties was a compilation of ideas compiled on the PEA Network. No one has objected, so I guess it's ok. Richard Osterlind has, I'm told, done similar. Permission? Questionable
The problem, as I see it. Desk Top publishing has made every one with a computer an "auteur"
Years back, a half dozen or so people released just about all magic books. They had a back ground and separated the wheat from the chaff. Today, with a word processor , on demand publishers and other vanity press, every yutz whose nephew is amazed with his miracles. Wants to share with us all, for a fee of course
Well thats my first eruption
Nevel let a day go by without offendng some one

March 16 2005

Thanks to those of you that sent good wishes for my brother. They removed a lobe of his lung. And he appears to be recovering nicely. We appear to be cancer prone. This is his second bout. And some of you know, I had surgery and radiation for thyroid cancer and radiation for prostate cancer

A few people have posted comments, for which I'm grateful. First, I will aslways ignore anonymous posts. If you are afraid to say who you are, who cares! I want to clarify one point. There's a comment by FER. That comment is from one of the more4 creative minds in mentalism Paolo Calvelli. Being a computer illiterate like myself, he screwed up log on.

A lot of people out there are under the mistaken impression I dislike magicians. Nothing further from truth, I love magic, good magic. Not presentation of puzzles. I have close friends that are magicians. But I am not a magician, psychic entertainment is not magic. We occasionally use the same methodology. But psychic entertainment and mentalism owes it's roots more to fake psychics and mediums, IMO, than magic. While I have never performed magic professionally. But did work behind counter at Mecca Magic and performed for my son's birthday parties, when he was growing up

My professional performing career began as a stage hypnotist while I was a senior in high school

I was partnerred with my buddy Al Jason. We studied together at the Ethical Hypnosis Training Center under Harry Arons. And performed at local groups, sweet sixteen parties and swim clubs. To give you an idea of our maturity level . We had business cards printed. His said Jason and Kross, mine Kross and Jason. However the money we earned helped finance our education

Now some comments on my previous blog. A few people said "How dare I review a book I haven't read" Wasn't a review. I don't have to have sex with a pedarast to condemn pedophelia.
The title was a lift from a professional performer. He gave away ideas that weren't his to give. If it were the best memtalism book ever. I would condemn it for that reason. I understand a few members of the cafe have condemned me. I must be doing something right. One member , whose name I didn't recognize (people send me copies) referred to me as a has been. He may be right. But better a "has been" than a never was
Never let a day go by without offending some one