Prevaricator by Patrick Redford

March 11, 2018 | Author: Ahmed Elkhawaga | Category: Lie, Attention, Truth, Psychology & Cognitive Science, Psychological Concepts
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Prevaricator by Patrick Redford...

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Prevaricator

Prevaricator+ Exploring methods in outing liars and the hands in which the lies are hidden

Written by Patrick Redford Designed by Andi Gladwin

www.vanishingincmagic.com © Vanishing Inc, December 2009 All rights Reserved. This material is protected and no portion may be reproduced without express written permission by the publishers.

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Prevaricator

Contents Introduction................................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Some Frequently Asked Questions.......................................................................................................................................... 9 Verity................................................................................................................................................................................................... 11 Fail-safes, Endings & Additions............................................................................................................................................. 18 Serial Number Divination Ending ........................................................................................................................................... 19 Imaginary Object .......................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Who Has It? . .................................................................................................................................................................................... 21 The Wallet Out . .............................................................................................................................................................................. 22 Ambigram Outcome .................................................................................................................................................................... 23 The Informal Performance ......................................................................................................................................................... 25 Sure Fire “Which Hand” Prevaricator (ROTVARI) ................................................................................................................. 26 Three Person “Which Hand” Fail Safe ..................................................................................................................................... 28 The Behind The Back Presentation Technique . .................................................................................................................. 30 Additional Tell Techniques ..................................................................................................................................................... 31 The Pocket Knows ......................................................................................................................................................................... 32 Silent Tell .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 33 Three or More ................................................................................................................................................................................. 35 Advanced Prevaricator................................................................................................................................................................. 36 Which Hand Tell Techniques .................................................................................................................................................. 38 The Nose Knows ............................................................................................................................................................................ 39 The Blau Thumb Tell ..................................................................................................................................................................... 40

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Prevaricator The Tightened Hand Tell ............................................................................................................................................................. 41 The Bulky Hand Tell ...................................................................................................................................................................... 42 The Blau Equilibrium Tell ............................................................................................................................................................ 43 The Size of Coin . ............................................................................................................................................................................ 44 Double Coin Ploy: Quarter and Dime .................................................................................................................................... 45 Two Coin Split . ............................................................................................................................................................................... 46 The Relaxation Tell ........................................................................................................................................................................ 47 Open Re-adjustment ................................................................................................................................................................... 48 Blood Signs . .................................................................................................................................................................................... 49 Additional Full Routines . ........................................................................................................................................................ 50 Crooked Politicians ....................................................................................................................................................................... 51 Puzzle Presentation ...................................................................................................................................................................... 52 Puzzle Addition .............................................................................................................................................................................. 57 Serial Prevaricator ........................................................................................................................................................................ 59 Silence is Golden ........................................................................................................................................................................... 67 Truth Teller ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 72 Addendum ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 75 Ring of Truth . .................................................................................................................................................................................. 76 ROTVARI . .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 79 BOHT . ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 82 Truth to Tell . .................................................................................................................................................................................... 88 Charts ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 92 In Closing ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 100

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Prevaricator

The One That Got Away An Introduction Thanks so much for purchasing Prevaricator+. If you haven’t already had a chance to watch the DVD, please do that first. It contains all of the basic information that you’ll need to learn the “Prevaricator” principle and basic routine. The DVD also offers a practice room where you’ll have the opportunity to practice these techniques in real time before you take it out in front of a real audience. Go watch it and then come back here; I’ll wait. Welcome back. As you can tell from the DVD, “Prevaricator” is an immense topic that can be used in many different ways. I’ve included this document in addition, because there’s just too much information for one DVD. Don’t worry, I’ll take you through every single detail step by step. You’ll learn the detailed history of how this project came together, several fail-safes and practice techniques, as well as a bunch of additional material and routines that we couldn’t fit on the DVD.

Dance Magic Dance – The Evolution of “Prevaricator”

The Basic Original “Prevaricator” Effect: Of two subjects, one secretly takes the role of a committed liar, the other a devout truth teller. The performer hands one of them a ring and turns away. The two subjects decide silently among themselves who will keep the object. The performer turns back around once the object is concealed from sight and asks each person one question: “Do you have the ring?” The liar has to lie. The truth teller has to tell the truth. Even though only one question is asked, the performer is able to correctly identify who has the ring and who was playing what role.

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Prevaricator There is something alluring about this classic plot that appeals to me. At first glance it appears to be a fifty-fifty guessing game but upon further reflection, it isn’t. There are four possible outcomes that could potentially play out, so in reality one has a 25% chance of guessing both who played what role and who has the object. If one presents such a game with confidence, even when the odds are what they are, the conviction of such a silly game becomes utterly staggering, especially when it’s done over and over again in succession. The origins of games like this (based in pure logic) date back to the 4th century BCE. The most ancient attribution is to Eubulides of Miletus who included it among a list of seven puzzles (http://www.uep.utm.edu/p/par-liar. htm). The history of such an effect in the magic community begins in 1978 when Gerald Kosky first contributed his version, “To Tell The Truth,” to the Apocalypse (Vol. 1 No. 6, June 1978, p. 61) based on an old logic problem that has reportedly found itself in print in many old books of mathematics. His version involved the use of one question as asked of only one of the two participants. In this version, there had to be a liar and a truth teller. Charles Cameron published his version in 1981 under the title, “Saint or Devil.” This is a variation similar to that of Steve Shaw’s (Banachek) “Ring of Truth” that he came up with in 1985, later republished under the name Banachek in 1998 (Psychological Subtleties, pg. 104). Both Cameron’s and Banachek’s version allow the two participants to both be liars, truth tellers or one a liar and one a truth teller. The logic puzzle that each routine follows requires that the performer ask three questions permitting for additional presentational byplay. The sequence of questions in Banachek’s version, though similar to Cameron’s, are asked in a different order, thus making Banachek’s a little more deceptive. Penn & Teller released a hilarious presentation under the name of “The Melissa Etheridge, Uma Thurman, Mel Gibson & Jaye Davidson Trick” in 1997 in their book How to Play in Traffic (1997, p 15.). In 1999, Barrie Richardson published his “Truth to Tell” (Theatre of the Mind, 1999, p. 111) which allows Kosky’s effect to be performed for just one person. Interestingly, my dear friend Rick Maue also published a variation on Kosky’s effect under the title, “Truth of the Relic” (The Book of Haunted Magick, Deceptions Unlimited, 2000, pg 68), which offers an additional touch that helps the performer to be sure that the volunteers do not make a mistake when giving their answers. In 2004, James Biss served up his version, “CrimeStopper” in his book Messing With Minds (2004, pg 133, first

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Prevaricator edition). Finally, I came up with my version (in collaboration with Ben Blau) in 2002. Originally intended to be part of a larger publication, it first saw print as “Prevaricator – The Ultimate Ring of Truth” in 2005. As I first wrote in 2005 in the introduction to “Prevaricator”: As much as I’ve enjoyed the variations that utilize logic puzzles, upon reflection, audiences see them for what they are – even if they can’t quite follow the path to the right answer. I didn’t want my presentation to be observed as such. So what better way to hide a logic puzzle than to do away with it completely? I will never consider any method 100% reliable. Any method, be it psychological, mechanical, logic based or one that uses suggestion can and will fail. Having said that, the effects that are contained both in this document and on the accompanying instructional DVD had at one time never failed me. For the first two years I was using “Prevaricator” and its other components previously guarded jealously by a select few, I didn’t fail. Any effect can fail. Though we’ve come a long way since then and have since built in aspects that will allow the performer of “Prevaricator” and its multiple variants to never fail on luck alone. One of the advantages of being in the business of magic is making various new friends. “Prevaricator” is a hybrid of ideas between one of the many sessions that my dear friend Ben Blau and I entertained. Sitting for countless hours at his kitchen table, he shared with me many of his personal techniques of how to correctly guess which hand an object is being held in and a theory that he had not yet tested. In fact, when he did finally test his theory, it didn’t work. This idea sat in the dark. It did its bidding in the back of my head and the basic concept was too interesting for my brain to let alone. Eventually I found myself successfully performing the lying and truth-telling game using this genuine psychological technique at my regular performance venue and private performances. Examining the basic concept, it should have worked as he described but didn’t. Giving it a try myself, I made every attempt to force it into working by changing the language used and setting the game up in a way that would guarantee a success. Needless to say, it works! I took the basic idea presented by Ben and plunged it into the real world, built in certain subtleties and tinkered with certain language patters that force it to work reliably. When combined with Ben’s, and others, “Which Hand?” techniques it plays with a clean and straightforward plot that’s embraced by audiences. It fools, badly. It should also be noted that Jerome Finley also published his personal take of Prevaricator under the title “Thought Channel” (2007) that combined the basic Prevaricator principle with more traditional Which-Hand tells.

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Prevaricator While the booklet that I published in 2005 offered several fail-safe ideas to help one practice “Prevaricator,” it was missing a few key components, that at the time, Ben and I thought best to leave for a larger project (like this one). In that time we have privately discussed the various techniques and pieces of business that are being taught here. These combined with newer contributions from Ryan Frame, Colin Mcleod, Paul Vigil and others that appear here that help elevate “Prevaricator” far beyond its original form. Among those missing ideas were multitudes of unpublished “Which Hand?” techniques and how to use the overall “Prevaricator” principle without having to ask questions or having subjects assume roles. I am now ecstatic to be able to include those pieces here as well as newer concepts and contributions from friends I’ve made since. Patrick G. Redford January, 2009

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Prevaricator

Some Frequently Asked Questions Many people have written me since “Prevaricator” was published offering their insights on how to use the technique and/or presentation. These questions and comments mostly boil down to the same few: 1. What else can I do to practice “Prevaricator” in front of the audience without risking a flat-out failure? There are several new fail safes presented here that make “Prevaricator” easier to learn than ever. You’ll learn the advantage of having an additional question in your back pocket that allows one to play the Liar/Truth Teller game with a combined a “Which Hand?” style effect without having to count on pure psychology. 2. Is it possible to use this technique without asking any questions? Absolutely. This is something we were asked a lot when “Prevaricator” hit the market. Ben Blau uses the technique this way and his use of this technique is explained in full later in this document. 3. Is the Truth Teller/Liar presentation really necessary? The Truth Liar presentation isn’t necessary but it makes it more interesting. When “Prevaricator” was published it was meant to come out as a technique instead of a particular routine. Of course if it had come out without a routine attached no one would have been interested in it. Between Ben and myself, we’ve come up with many different uses for the technique and some good friends have also done the same. The “Ring of Truth” style routine provides an interesting hook and opens up an opportunity to weave a story around things or a more theatrical situation if needed. In addition it creates a process that’s interesting to an audience rather than it simply being a game of hide and seek and “look at me I’m special.” 4. What about combining this with a Which Hand? Style effect? Combining this with a Which Hand style effect is not only possible but also more effective! I have said in numerous places and many times that Mr. Blau’s work on “Which Hand?” is the best of anything that’s been in print or otherwise. He was keeping it to himself but as it’s a key component in making “Prevaricator” work with two or even three or more people, it’s finally being released as part of this project.

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Prevaricator 5. Does the “Prevaricator” technique work with more than two people? Absolutely yes and you don’t even have to ask questions or set up a truth or liar plot to make it work. 6. Is a 50/50 effect like this really that impressive? “Prevaricator” is more than a 50/50 effect. Think of it this way: because the performer is divining not only who plays what role AND which person (of two) has the object he only has a 25% chance of success. In addition, when performing a “Prevaricator” style effect with more than two people, the odds of success (from a pure statistical standpoint) shrink even more. Even if it was just a 50/50 chance, it would still be impressive as when something it abundantly clear that the performers chance of failing are just as high as his chance of success and it’s 100% clear that one false move loses the game entirely.

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Prevaricator

Verity The simplicity of the basic method that lends itself to revealing who chose to play what roll/who has the object may be summed up in one sentence, but there is much more that needs to be explained so that a successful conclusion will prevail every time. This is not a routine that works on suggestion techniques but the same care and approach should be taken. Those of you who are familiar with suggestion techniques will have little trouble picking up this routine right away. The reason is simply because those who use suggestion are already trained to pick up on the subtle changes in body language one must watch for. Also, those experienced in such practice believe in what they’re doing as they do it. Belief in your own success is important. Again, please be sure to read this entire manuscript and watch the entire DVD before attempting this effect. You’ll be tempted to go out and try this as soon as you learned the basic principle, but I urge you to learn all of the subtitles that will help guarantee your success. First I’ll be detailing the basic technique through pure presentation as illustrated with the traditional truth and liar plot as exhibited with two subjects. Then I’ll further outline the workings of this technique. Later on, I’ll explain how to apply this technique with more than two people and without setting up a lying game making for a pure “find who has the object” effect.

The Presentation

I present “Prevaricator” as a demonstration on spotting lies by being attentive to subtle shifts in eye movement and body language etc. My opening script generally plays as follows: “It’s a common misconception that it’s impossible for a person to look someone directly in the eye and tell a lie. This is in fact just the opposite. The truth is, when we speak our eyes naturally shift up to the right or left as we are gathering our thoughts together to form a sentence. Our eyes physically move up and grab a hold of that information. Before a person tells a lie, the mind has already decided what lie will be told before saying it. Therefore, the eyes don’t have to gather any information. It’s very easy to look directly into the eyes of anyone and tell a flat out lie. Let me show you….” The performer looks into the eyes of an audience member and with a serious face states, “I’m really a woman! See? It’s easy to tell a lie without looking away – either that or there’s something I need to confess to everyone. I’d

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Prevaricator like to play a game experimenting with lying and truth telling. I’m going to be looking for subtle changes in body language, not just a change in facial expression. A liar may allow their body to become completely stiff rather than relaxing. Also, slight tonality change in voice may indicate a lie. The more one has experience spotting different folk’s ‘tells’ the easier this game becomes”

Deciding the Roles

At this point two volunteers are selected and each is asked to silently decide among themselves which one of them is to play the role of the devout liar and who is going to be the chronic truth teller. Personally, I make use of a brilliant thumb up/thumb down ploy thought up by Banachek that he first published alongside his version of “Ring of Truth” (1992). “In a moment I’d like the two of you to decide who is to take the role of a truth teller and who is to take the role of a liar. You both can’t be the same thing. I don’t want to know which of you is choosing what role so to communicate with each other what role you’re both choosing, give a thumbs up if you want to be the truth teller and give a thumbs down if you want to be the liar. Of course you’ll have to silently fight it out until you’ve both settled into different roles. I’ll turn my back while you do so.” If performing “Prevaricator” in a more informal setting where participants are at a table, I still turn my back. Personally it is my preference to ask the two subjects to silently signal each other below the table so no one else watching knows who has chosen to be what. In a formal stage setting, I’ll ask the participants to shield their decisions behind my back so that the audience watching has no clue who chose what. Giving the audience an opportunity to play the game along with me (silently in their own minds) draws more interest and pleasure to those watching. It should be made clear to the participants that they both CANNOT play the same roles. There must be one liar and one truth teller. If they both give a thumbs up or both give a thumbs down it’s up to them to silently battle for which one of them will make a change. Once the participants signal that they’ve both decided upon roles the performer turns back to explain the rest of the rules of the game. Finally, it has come time for the two subjects to hide the object on one of their persons.

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Prevaricator “I’m going to turn away one more time. When I do so one of you is going to take my ring and place it in your pocket. I’d like you both to pretend that you are pocketing something even if you’re not. Ready, do that now!” The two subjects silently decide who hides the ring and after a suitable amount of time has passed the performer turns back. It is important that when turning away that your audience is aware of the fairness of this procedure. I reinforce this by making eye contact with someone in the audience and requesting that that person keep me honest and make sure that I’m not peeking.

The Basic Principle

The basic principle is simple. The performer is almost doing exactly what he is telling the audience: reading body language to detect a lie. The plot is that the performer isn’t watching the main subject for subtle changes in body language when asking the question asking the question, “Do you have the ring?” He actually pays more attention to the person not in the spotlight: the other participant. This routine works because a challenge is being set up. The subjects will put up all their defenses when being asked the question directly, but will let his or her guard down when the question is being asked of the other. When asking the first subject the question, you aren’t actually isn’t interested in the person’s response at all, but interested in the other participants interest level. The same occurs when asking the question of subject two. One pays more attention out of peripheral vision and a brief glance to determine the interest level subject one has in subject two’s response. The concept here is whoever is more interested in the other’s response is the truth teller. The liar will be completely detached in what the truth teller is going to say, simply because the liar already knows how the truth teller is going to answer. There is no pressure on this answer going wrong. The truth teller, on the other hand, will be VERY interested in how the person playing the role of the liar is going to answer. This is completely reliant on how the question, “Do you have the ring (object)?” is prefaced. Simply knowing this information will not allow you to have a high success rate. Not only must one watch for the cue of the other subject, but one also has to set up the premise in a way that both audience and participating subjects are forced to care curiously how the liar will give his or her answer. If the audience and participating subjects don’t care, the effect has failed before it’s begun.

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Prevaricator Helping The Audience Care

If the truth teller is going to care how the liar gives his or her answer, one has to make the truth teller care. This is done when setting up the premise of the effect to the audience after the two subjects are selected. After each person has decided what role they are to play and the object has been hidden on one of their persons, it is explained that one question is to about to be asked of each of them. It will be the same question for each person and that question is, “Do you have the Ring?” While doing this, the premise is set so that it’s understood that the Liar will naturally have the most difficulty answering smoothly without giving away his or her role. Here is an example script on how I accomplish this: “Only the two of you know who has chosen to be a liar and who has chosen to tell the truth. There is no way that anyone here could know but the two of you. I’m about to ask each of you one question; it will be the same question to both of you. That question is this: Do you have the ring? It is important that you know how you’re going to answer this question out loud. If you’re the liar, you MUST lie to me. If you’re the truth teller, you MUST tell me the truth. Believe it or not, I’ve had folks who’ve messed up their answer because they hadn’t figured out how they were going to answer the question until just before I asked them. A lot of people think this has nothing to do with detecting lies and is a simple logic puzzle. While it’s possible to play this game with pure logic, you’ll notice that because I’m asking the same question of both people there’s no way logic could solve this problem. This is the real thing. I find that more often than not the liar will mess up his or her answer. Figure out the proper answer in your head now. Ready?” It is also at this point that I like to bring some focus on how this isn’t a logic puzzle. This is important to note as some will simply write this off as a ‘trick’, which may inhibit the subject’s level of investment and prevent the subjects from exhibiting the “Prevaricator” tell. Stating that there is no logic puzzle in play and that only ONE question is being asked truly heightens the interest level of both the two subjects in direct play and the audience. Now everyone is really curious on who will answer what, making the observation described in “The Basic Principle” & quite effortless.

What Exactly to Look for

It’s fascinating how easily participants will give themselves away. Generally you’ll find that the liar will be either looking around the room when the question is asked to the truth teller, or looking like a dear caught in headlights avoiding eye contact with the performer and second subject. The truth teller will be the more

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Prevaricator attentive of the two. Their body will lean closer and their toes and nose will be pointing in the other subject’s direction. When teaching this technique to other performers, I describe this increased interest level as a blatant ‘head turn’. The liar will stay in one position while the truth teller’s head or body will turn and “point” to the liar. It’s amazingly obvious once you learn what to look for. Careful staging will help aid the success of secretly examining one subject while posing a question to the other. I always ask the question to each participant moving from the subject on my left to that of the subject on my right. This not only makes visual sense, but left to right movements creates a flow that is easiest for the audience to watch and digest. The reason here is because folks have been trained to read left to right.

A Few Words on Blocking the Routine On Stage

Turning my attention toward the first subject, my entire body faces this person. My toes point towards their toes and my head and nose are pointing in their direction. I physically ignore the other person on my right. I look the person on the left directly in the eyes, wait a beat and then ask, “Do you have the ring?” If I am performing this on stage, I position the two participants to stand about five feet away from one another. I position myself slightly downstage of the two subjects and cheat (for those who aren’t familiar with theatre parlance, cheating means to turn ones body to the left or to the right allowing an audience to see more of the front of the body and less profile. Additionally downstage refers to being closer to the audience). This gives the audience a view of both the two participants and me without having to suffer staring at my backside. Staging this piece in this way will present a framing that allows the audience to witness how each subject reacts to the question visually. The audience will also be watching attentively for the supposed subtle clues that the performer is looking for.

Informal Performance Blocking

In a more informal situation, such as a restaurant or on the street, I often find myself performing this for folks sitting down on a bench or sitting behind a table. In these conditions, when there is a physical obstruction closing the participants off, it may make it more difficult to determine who has the higher interest level in the other’s response. There is a definite advantage of having two subjects standing in open space. One may observe their entire physiological state more easily. I often perform this successfully with my subjects seated, but I would suggest performing it out in the open when first learning “Prevaricator.”

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Prevaricator When you do finally embark on a performance under these conditions, pay particular attention to both subjects’ eyebrows and nose. The excitement level of each subject will help one to gauge the level of interest that that person holds in the other’s response. The nose blatantly point towards the liar and the truth teller’s eyebrows will rise as the liar responds.

Demographics

Choosing your audience members wisely also plays a major role in bringing “Prevaricator” to a successful close. Personally, I prefer to use two men for this. The simple reason is that two men are the most likely to try to one up each other. Magicians are also astounding subjects for this – especially those who know about logic puzzles! Two people who don’t know each other at all are most curious to learn which one of them is going to give him or herself away as a liar. Equally, couples who’ve been together for some time are good candidates for “Prevaricator.” These people are always quite easy to spot. Believe it not, even two highly skeptical people are ideal participants simply because, similar to magicians, they will invest a high amount of attention making it easier for one to deduce who is who. The people you don’t want to use are the people who don’t want to play. These are the people who don’t find the plot or game intriguing. You don’t want to play this game with people you’ve forced to participate. Close friends and loved ones are not the ideal practice subjects. They know you and may well assume it’s just another trick.

Creating Instant Rapport

Rapport is the single most important factor in making “Prevaricator” work effectively. What is rapport? It’s a feeling of connection and trust that an audience should feel. They should understand and be willing to follow the performer. If you’re not already familiar with creating instant rapport with your audience, fortunately for you there is an easy way to generate such a weapon. One of the easiest ways to create rapport is by matching physiology. This is simply watching and mirroring what your subjects do. I don’t mean to mock or copycat as that would be rude. Sit like they sit, stand like they stand, breathe like they breathe, move like they move, etc. You’re not creating an exact clone of their actions; you’re matching in such a way that eventually even a person that is closed off will find himself or herself opening up.

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Prevaricator Folks simply find a comfort in similarities. The more comfort you can induce in your subjects the more rapport you’re likely to create. Remember, this is unconscious communication taking place between you and your audience. The more successfully you can utilize this, the easier it will be to read the proper responses in your subjects when it comes time to actually do so. It’s likely that you already fall into this practice automatically on a subconscious level when around your loved ones. Try observing your own interactions around those that are already comfortable around you. Study how this interaction takes place among the several different circles that a pre-established comfort level exists and take what you’ve learned and begin applying it to strangers. For more information about rapport I suggest the very interesting book that focuses on the subject. I recommend Michael Brooks’ book, Instant Rapport (Warner Books Inc, New York, NY: 1989).

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Prevaricator

Fail-safes, Endings & Additions What happens if “Prevaricator” fails? Stop worrying so much. Failing is okay! You’re a mentalist and you’re not perfect. That said, it’s good to have a safety net at one’s disposal when first learning to use this technique. Sometimes these safety nets enhance the routine. They may also be mixed and matched as well. What follows is a collection of safety nets and routine enhancing endings. The enhanced endings allow you to dismiss the “who is holding the object” premise and move onto the kicker as if it was the intention all along. The safety nets add additional rules that will allow you to successfully close the who-has-what premise. Each of these have there own advantages, experiment with them and find what fits you best.

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Prevaricator

Serial Number Divination Ending Patrick G. Redford “Prevaricator” lends itself well to using a borrowed bill. It makes perfect sense to crumple the bill into a ball or folded into quarters so that it may be easily hidden in a person’s fist. Compacting a bill to such degree of course also makes it very easy to switch for one with a known serial number. Any simple billet switch will do. I trust that if you’re reading this, you already know several. If you have a good memory, it’s possible to simply memorize the serial number on the fly before handing the bill back to the two subjects’ to begin the game. This may be done boldly or under the guise of a billet peak / memory technique. See “Divine Number” from my booklet Triangle (2007) for both a billet switch and memory technique. Colin Mcleod also has a very interesting technique to memorize a borrowed bill’s serial number that’s explained as part of a full routine later in this manuscript (“Serial Prevaricator”). The basic “Prevaricator” routine offers plenty of time misdirection that naturally helps the audience forget that the performer ever touched the bill. After discovering who has the bill, offer to take everything a step further. Keeping the bill and subject at a distance, make a big deal about not going anywhere near the bill. You could simply rattle off the bill’s serial number at this point or you could continue the lie detecting theme. Ask the subject to read the serial number out loud, but lie about one of the digits. As you listen you can easily tell them which digit the subject lied about and bring everything to an impactful close by revealing what the digit was that they lied about!

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ImaginAry Object Paul Vigil Las Vegas magician and creator, Paul Vigil came up with this clever kicker for the “Prevaricator” routine. Instead of using a ring, bill, or other borrowed item he suggests having the subjects simply imagine anything, write it down on a piece of paper keeping it secret and crumpling this into a ball. The paper ball is now what becomes the object for the “Prevaricator” effect. At the end, the performer is able to divine what the two subjects’ were simply imagining they were holding. The information is obtained by way of an impression pad (John Riggs’ Butterfly Pad works beautifully). That is the method in a nutshell, however I think the beauty of this is that there is a natural reason for the information to be written: to communicate what the imaginary object is to the second person without the performer accidentally hearing it whispered. Of all the fail safes presented here, I think this is the most naturally effective if one has the available devices / peek techniques on hand.

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Who Has It? Patrick G. Redford The innocence of a paper ball to practice a psychological color force has been used in the past by the likes of Max Maven (“Disposable Color” from Prism, Hermetic Press, 2005) and Banachek (Psychological Subtleties Houston Texas: Magical Inspirations, 1998 pg. 11) and Rick Maue. Here a paper ball is used as yet another way to practice this routine. While the audience is only aware of one paper ball, there are actually two paper balls with messages written inside them. Two paper balls are prepared, one with the message “Liar Hides Ball!” and the other that reads, “Truth Teller Hides Ball!” Both balls are crumpled so that no writing is visible on the outside. The truth ball is placed in the performer’s left trouser pocket and the liar ball is the ball that is in play. At the conclusion of the routine, the ball is unraveled to display the message if the liar was the one who chose to hide the ball. The performer shakes the hand of both participants and they head back to their seats. If the truth teller was the one who hid the ball, the performer shakes each participants hand and turns the left side of the body upstage and switches the balls in the pocket as the right hand extends to shake hands thanking each person for playing. Before sending the participants back to their seats, the performer pauses and displays the ball as an afterthought to demonstrate a correct prediction. What’s nice about this is if “Prevaricator” fails for some reason, one still has this final punch to fall back on bringing the entire effect to a close on an up beat. If everything runs smoothly, this offers a final punch that accentuates the ending and provides a natural applause cue.

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The Wallet Out Patrick G. Redford This is the original out I used when teaching myself to become confident performing “Prevaricator” and one I never actually had to rely on physically. The mental reassurance that it was there if I needed it, was enough. The premise behind this is set much like Kenton Knepper’s “Kollasal Killer.” I would bring out my wallet stating, “There isn’t much in here to bet with, but there is something of interest inside for one of you should this experiment fail.” If the effect succeeds, it simply seemed like the subjects would have won money for stumping the performer. If the effect fails, however, it still succeeds! What was in my wallet? I took an index card and wrote: “I had a feeling one of you would be more difficult to read than the other. For some reason the planets didn’t align properly, but I just knew that I’d end up second-guessing myself! The person currently to my right will actually have the ring. If that isn’t something of interest, I don’t know what is!” I’d fold this card in half and place it with the bills in my wallet. This was the only card in the wallet. The participants can check if they have any doubt, though they won’t. There is no need. Simply positioning yourself when opening the wallet will set up who is on the right and left accordingly. When facing the participants the ring may be on the right but when standing next to the two subjects facing the audience the ring may be on the left. I never had to use this out, but it was always there allowing me to perform this effect without fear as that extra crutch. Eventually, the small card vanished from my wallet. As I’ve tried to reinforce countless times in this document, I’d be much more comfortable letting this effect fail, praise the two participants and move on. There simply isn’t a reason to use an out unless it gives an extra punch at the end, but I’ve included it here for completions sake.

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Ambigram Outcome Patrick G. Redford There are several different techniques that may be used to predict the outcome. A nail writer, a multiple out, or (my favorite) making use of an Ambigram. What is an Ambigram? Ambigrams take many different forms. The basic Ambigram is a word that may be read the same even when rotate 180 degrees. What is of more interest is a sub-domain of the Ambigram called the Symbiotogram. A Symbiotogram is an Ambigram that transforms into another word when rotated 180 degrees. The following Ambigram art is of my own creation. I was inspired by an Ambigram that Scott Kim created that read “True” when read one way and “False” when rotated 180 degrees. Ambigrams always seem to use stylized handwriting. My aim has been to create natural Ambigrams that are written in normal script so they are not to give themselves away.

“Truth-Liar”

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“Liar-Truth”

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The Informal Performance Patrick G. Redford Until you become proficient at scribbling out the “Truth/Liar” Ambigram at a moments notice, I suggest preparing three business cards ahead of time with the three graphics above. Practice hand writing them yourself. When you have a business card that reads convincingly both directions, place it aside with the rest of your business cards. The first is the Symbiotogram that will read as either “Truth” or “Liar” depending on the orientation that it’s flipped into. The second reads legitimately as “Liar” in similar scripting as the Symbiotogram and the third reads legitimately as “Truth”. If for some reason the “Prevaricator” tell hasn’t exhibited itself, I’ll go to my wallet, remove the pre-written Symbiotogram (being careful not to flash the face), pretend to write something down and place this card face down in front of one of the two subjects. I openly state that I think that person is the liar (a slightly different effect, I admit). If I’m wrong, it doesn’t matter because I can display that what I wrote was correct depending how I flip the card over. Once I know the truth of who’s who, I know who has what. The effect still comes to a successful close. Equally, one can choose to go for the reveal first and then double back on knowing who was who although this isn’t quite as strong. If I want to hand the business card out at the end, I simply return it to my wallet and remove the legitimate counterpart. There’s no need to make a move out of this. Just do it: no one will question it.

Remember How to Flip

It’s a simple matter to remember which way to flip the card(s) using a memory aid. The card is turned over end for end (left to right) while one “turns over the truth”. This will reveal the word “Truth” to the audience. Turning it over top to bottom, when one “lays down the lies”, will help you remember how to reveal the word “Liar”. Also, if flipping the card to reveal the word, “Liar” my left thumb makes a point to slightly cover up the hump of the upside down “h”. This further silently reinforces the illusion that the word isn’t doesn’t transform when flipped.

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Sure Fire, "Which Hand," Prevaricator (ROTVARI) Ryan Frame The one element that I’ve always felt was missing from the published and unpublished ideas involving “Prevaricator” was a sort of fail-safe additional question that could be asked in the case that the two or three subjects didn’t exhibit the traditional “Prevaricator” tell. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to fall back on a more traditional “Ring of Truth” logic puzzle by asking one more question and have all the information needed for a successful close? Further, wouldn’t it be great if it was possible to do this and still claim, honestly, that what was being presented isn’t possible with logic alone? Ryan Frame found the solution that uses just two questions when using two people. In the addendum you can find his original write up of ROTVARI as he uses it. Here you’ll find how it applies to “Prevaricator” and multiple people with a few additional details that I’ve ironed out so that the two operate together smoothly. The first question that Ryan uses just happens to be the same question that “Prevaricator” uses: “Do you have the object?” The second question assumes that the two subjects have, instead of simply pocketed the object, are holding it in their one of two outstretched fists. This question begs, “Is it in your left hand?” After setting up “Prevaricator” in the traditional way, you may either have the two subjects hide the object in oneof their two outstretched fists (as discussed later legitimately divining the hand and person) or simply ask the two subjects to hold the object behind their back and not mention anything about the “Which Hand” plot unless oneneeds to fall back on this fail-safe. After asking the first question, “Do you have the object?” and yielding no obvious information that the “Prevaricator” ploy should give, ask the two subjects: “Let’s step this up a notch. One of you has the object behind your back. If you have it decide on one of your two hands and make a fist around the object in that hand and come forward with both fists. If you don’t have the object I’d like you to also come forward but with two empty fists. Now not only do I have to identify who’s lying to me but also what hand the object is in.”

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Prevaricator You want to manage your two subjects in a way so that both bring their fist forward at the same time. Continue asking the additional question of the first subject, followed by the same additional question to the second subject: “Is it in your left hand?” After asking two questions, one of two things is possible: either it will be known exactly which person has the object and what hand that object is in or it will be known that the object is in the left hand of someone: 1) 50% of the time you will get the exact same two responses as you got with the first question (resulting in all four yes’s or four no’s). In this case, the object is in the LEFT HAND of one of the participants but we don’t know who.    The other 50% of the time, one of the participants will answer differently the second time around (resulting in three no’s and one yes, or three yes’s and one no). In other words, one of the two will have given a different response from one question to the next (a yes to the first and no to the second or vice-versa). If this happens, that participant has the object in the right hand. In regards to case #1, it may seem as if you are no further than before asking this second question, however not knowing who has it but knowing what hand the object is allows a first guess that 50% of the time will reveal the hand with the object in. The other 50% of the time it will be an empty hand. When revealing an empty hand, this instantly reveals (to the performer) where the other two empty hands are. Without skipping a beat the performer goes on to eliminate the other two empty hands successfully closing in on the hand containing the object. It is important that the performer states that the next two hands are empty before asking them to be opened. This idea is credited to Max Maven. Please see “Kurotsuke” from Volume 1. of Max Maven’s VideoMind (1998) or Verbal Control, written by Phil Goldstein (1976, 1996).

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Three Person "Which Hand" Fail Safe Redford / Frame This technique also works equally well with three people, all holding two fists out in front of their bodies. In the case of working with three people, the role assignment rules are changed slightly. The person holding the object takes the role of the assumed liar. The others must tell the truth. This is taken care of via presentation where instead of folks deciding on personal roles they’re simply asked to hide the object among them as follows: “I’m going to turn my back. When I do so I’d like one of you to pick up the object and place it in one of your two hands. Close both hands into fists and hold both hands out in front of you. Actually, I’d like all three of you to do this, but only one of you will actually have the object. I’m going to ask each of you a single question, that question is ‘Do you have the object?’ I’d like each of you to answer by saying ‘No.’ Depending how well the three of you play, one of you is going to give yourself away. I’m telling you the question, and giving you the answer now so that you can be ready for it when it’s your turn to respond. Remember, the answer is ‘no!’” Each person responds to the question and the performer watches for the two people to ‘point’ to the person with the object. If no tell is exhibited, the performer follows with the second question, “Is it in your left hand” to each of the three subjects. Similar to asking these two questions just of two people - one of two outcomes are possible: Either it will be known exactly which person has the object and what hand that object is in OR that it is in the left hand of one of the three subjects. 1) 50% of the time you will get the exact same three responses as you got with the first question (resulting in all six yes’s or six no’s). In this case, the object is in the left hand of one of the participants. I’ll address what happens in this scenario in a moment.  

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Prevaricator 2) The other 50% of the time, one of the participants will answer differently the second time around (resulting in five no’s and one yes, or five yes’s and one no). In other words, one of the two will have given a different response from one question to the next (a yes to the first and no to the second or vice-versa). If this happens, that participant has the object in the right hand. In regards to case #1, it may seem even more as if one is no further than before asking this second question than it did when tackling this with just two people. Not knowing who has the object but knowing what hand the object is in still allows a first guess that 33% of the time will reveal the hand with the object in it or an empty hand. When revealing an empty hand, this instantly reveals (to the performer) where the other two empty hands are. Without skipping a beat, the performer goes on to eliminate all of the empty hands with the exception of the two known possibly full left hands. Similar to executing my friend Rick Maue’s “Terasabos” (The Book of Haunted Magic, Pittsburgh, PA: Deceptions Unlimited, 2000 pg. 87) this is all about attitude and seeming confident in each action taken. If the first hand is empty one proceeds to announce that hand will be empty BEFORE they’re opened until the last two possibilities remain. At this point, simply breaking the rhythm of finding empty hands is enough to provide a space for the rules to change. Here we combine a technique that’s credited to Bryn Renolds called BOHT from his book The Safwan Papers (fully reprinted and explained in the appendix). Turning towards the audience to comment, “Two left. We’ve now narrowed this down from a one in six chance to what’s comparable to a coin flip. The difference is, I know where the object is.” The performer walks toward one of the two subjects and grabs their left fist between his two hands, begins to lift it in the air, hesitates and quickly turns to the other subject demanding, “Open your hand!” Either this hand will have the object or it will be the last empty hand. 1) If the subject opens his hand and it is found empty the end image is of the performer successfully eliminating five fists and is now holding the final fist that contains the object. 2) If the subject opens his hand and the object is there, the performer lowers the first fist that was just grabbed and it appears as if the performer changed his mind at the last minute to successfully find the object.

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The Behind the Back PResentation Technique Garrett Thomas When Garrett Thomas performs Prevaricator with three people in combination with the which-hand techniques, he prefers to face the audience and have the three subjects face him. This way the audience may clearly see where each person places the object. He also uses this as an insurance card so that the audience will be on his side if the three subjects decide to try to switch the object to another person behind their back in secret.

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Additional Tell TEchniques I always try not to second guess myself and recommend that you do the same. As soon as I start to second-guess myself, I know I’m going to do myself in. Go with your first instinct. If you’re ever completely unsure and the “Prevaricator” tell doesn’t seem to be exhibiting itself you can always fall back on Ryan Frame’s “Which Hand Ploy” or one of the other outs described above. Here are a few more techniques that may help boost your success.

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The Pocket Knows Gregory Wilson This is a reliable tell that was observed by magician Gregory Wilson and discovered after playing with “Prevaricator.” If the subjects are standing and asked to pocket the object instead of simply holding the object in his or her hand, the subject who has it is likely to keep the hand in the same pocket that the object is hidden in. In my own observations, I found that this tell is most likely to occur when the subjects are wearing jeans. The object itself must be small enough to comfortably hide in a front pants pocket (Such as a coin or crumpled bill). In addition, the exact language used to set-up “Prevaricator” becomes important. This is what I have found to be the most effective: Ask the subject’s to decide who is to take the object and pocket it while miming the action of placing the object in the front pocket. This is enough to communicate where the object should go and leaving your hand in your pocket as you speak subtly reinforces that they’ll do the same.

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Silent Tell Ben Blau Basic Effect

While the performer turns his back, three people silently decided which among them is to take and hide a coin in one of his two outstretched fists. The other two pretend to take the coin and hold out their two empty fists. The performer turns back, and not only divines who has the object but which fist they’re hiding it in!

Verity

Ben’s ideal version of “Prevaricator” was to perform a “Kurotsuke” (Videomind Vol. 1, Max Maven 1998) style effect that was purely psychological that not only let one tell who has the object but also what hand that object was in. This was his starting point before hitting upon the idea explained in the original “Prevaricator” booklet. Of course, this presentation is a perfect match-up for our “Prevaricator” methodology because it literally came from taking everything one step further. In doing so it was discovered that assigning the role of truth teller and liar is completely unnecessary for the “Prevaricator” tell to function. Asking, “Do you have the object” and asking each person to answer “No” automatically makes one of the three a liar. Interestingly, as it also turns out, the asking of any question or answers is unnecessary as the same basic tell is created as those who don’t have the object are interested in what the subject who does is going to do to give himself away. Instead of setting up the premise of finding a liar, one simply has to set up the premise that one is looking for the object holder to hive himself away. In essence that person is silently lying even though no question or answer is ever given. If you’ve read the rest of this booklet and/or watched the DVD, you know that traditionally the truth teller is most interested in what the liar is doing. With this, that same moment is created simply by stopping and shifting the focus of the audience and those involved to each person and pretending to personally focus on each as if looking for each individual to give something away about themselves. In reality, one is paying attention to the

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Prevaricator other people while pretending to focus on one individual subject. This is incredibly strong and effective. Often I’ll use this as part of a three phase “Prevaricator” routine, performing the first two rounds as per the normal “Prevaricator” routine and closing with a third round without assigning a role or asking any questions. Some of you may have seen me perform this effect this way at Mindvention in previous years or in my live performances.

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Three or More Redford / Blau Using three or more people actually makes finding the “Prevaricator” tell even easier than simply working with two people. This is one of the original uses that Ben Blau and I came up with when first working with the “Prevaricator” concept. The more people you have ‘pointing’ at the odd person out, the easier that person is to find. Ben discovered this prior to “Prevaricator” hitting print and has shared his thoughts amongst close friends. Playing this game with three people is a good stopping point. Any more than that and the situation borders on being too chaotic to pay attention to. Combining the Truth Teller/Liar game and the “Prevaricator” ploy with the game “Which hand is the object in?” adds an additional moment to potentially tell, via pure psychological methods, who has the object and where it is (see Ben Blau’s “Silence is Golden” in this book).

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Advanced Prevaricator Once you’ve mastered “Prevaricator” and you find yourself competently bored and exasperated in successful completions, try allowing the two participants to both become liars, both truth tellers or one a liar and one a truth teller.  After walking through “The Basic Principle”, if  both subjects seem equally interested in what the other has to say, they have both chosen to play the role of a liar.  If both subjects seem confident in each other, they’re both playing the role of a truth teller.  Remember, they may both choose to play separate roles, and in these cases you’ll proceed as originally noted elsewhere.  You’ll know when both subject’s have chosen to be the same role because they both will give different answers rather than answering with both ‘yes’ or both ‘no’:

They’re both liars:

Subject one answers “Yes” and subject two answers “no”  Subject two has the object. Subject one answers “no” and subject two answers “yes” subject one has the object.

They’re both truth tellers:

Subject one answers “no” and subject two answers “yes” Subject two has the object. Subject one answers “yes” and subject two answers “no” Subject one has the object. While this may seem more difficult and more confusing than simply not giving the subjects the option to play whatever role they wish, it really isn’t any more difficult.  When combining this with a logic puzzle. Surprisingly, even when allowing the subjects to choose to be the same roles, the “Sure Fire” ploy (page 26) still works in to

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Prevaricator identify  the exact location of the object and who played what role 100% of the time if you find reading for tells impossible. 1. 50% of the time you will get the exact same two responses as you got with the first question.  In this case, the object is in the LEFT HAND of one of the participants but we don’t know who. 2. The other 50% of the time, one of the two participants will have give a different response from one question to the next (a yes to the first and no to the second or vice-versa). If this happens, that participant has the object in the right hand. In regards to case #1, it may seem as if you are no further than before asking this second question, however not knowing who has it but knowing what hand the object is allows a first guess that 50% of the time will reveal the hand with the object in. The other 50% of the time it will be an empty hand. When revealing an empty hand, this instantly reveals (to the performer) where the other two empty hands are. Without skipping a beat the performer goes on to eliminate the other two empty hands successfully closing in on the hand containing the object. It is important that the performer states that the next two hands are empty before asking them to be opened. This idea is credited to Max Maven. Please see “Kurotsuke” from Volume 1. of Max Maven’s VideoMind (1998) or Verbal Control, written by Phil Goldstein (1976, 1996).

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"Which Hand" Tell Techniques

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The Nose Knows After a subject has secretly chosen a hand to place the object in and brought both hands forward, all you do is look at which direction the subject’s nose is pointing. The direction will be very subtle but there, more times than not, will be a noticeable direction. When this tell works with a subject, it tends to work consistently. In my own personal experience, it is the least reliable of those explained here. “The Nose Knows” is an old technique that has appeared in many publications, one of the more notable being my friend Banchek’s Psychological Subtleties (1992).

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The Blau Thumb Tell After a subject has secretly chosen a hand to place the object in and brought both hands forward, all you do is look at the thumbs of the subject. The tip of one of them will be curved under the fist slightly. This will be the hand with the object in it. The reason this is very reliable is because the hand that holds something naturally tightens around the object causing the thumb to curve. If the hand is empty, there is no need for this to physiologically occur. If you’ve had a chance to experience this performed on you without first knowing what the tell is, its frustrating trying to figure out what exactly you’re doing that’s giving the game away. This is one of Ben Blau’s pet techniques. After using this for many years along side “Prevaricator” and on its own, I noticed one extra addition that tends to happen with some people. I noticed that with some subjects, the thumb wouldn’t always curl under the fist but instead simply bend out while the thumb of the other hand remains flat against the rest of its fist. Equally, some people exhibit this tell consistently in the opposite manner, though this is more rare. Guessing once and getting it wrong allows one to calibrate this technique in the right way working in reverse to what one normally would guess.

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The Tightened Hand Tell This is really simply an extension of “The Blau Thumb Tell”. Carefully observe the knuckles of both of the subject’s hands. No matter the color of the skin, one will appear lighter than the other due to the stress on the skin that naturally occurs when one is trying to hide an object.

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The Bulky Hand Tell This is really simply an extension of the “Tightened Hand Tell” (an extension of an extension?), though not as commonly exhibited. I occasionally find subjects who exhibit this behavior consistently. Examining the two hands you’ll notice that the first and middle fingers are more forward than the rest. One might conclude that this is because the object being held is too large for the subject’s hands to comfortably hide; this isn’t the case. Subject’s whom exhibit this tell do so consistently no matter the size of the object being played with.

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The Blau Equilibrium Tell Go to your kitchen; fill a glass with water all the way to the very rim of the glass. Pick up the glass with one hand and carefully walk across the room. If you try to steady yourself as you walk, while watching the top ofthe glass, you’ll more than likely spill. Here’s the interesting part: instead of looking at the glass, simply walk as you would normally and ignoring the brimming glass in hand. Your body’s equilibrium naturally compensates andsubconsciously prevents the water from spilling. Try it. It really works. What does water and natural equilibrium have to do with playing the “Which Hand?” game? It turns out, Ben discovered, that the body doesn’t discriminate between trying to prevent a glass from spilling and a closed fist hiding a coin. The body naturally and subconsciously steadies both. This is used to the advantage by asking a subject to take a few steps to the left, right, or to simply stand up if seated. If you imagine both of the subject’s fists with a line connecting between them, the empty fist will shift above or below this line where as the fist hiding the coin will remain stagnant along this line. The difference is very obvious when you know what to look for.

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The Size of Coin The rule follows naturally that the larger the coin, the more obvious the tell. While it might seem unnatural for some to use an American half dollar to play this game, it’s the best size coin to practice with. The larger coin is harder for a subject to simply keep out of the mind. It forces them to constantly be aware of the coin and its location.

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Double Coin Ploy: Quarter and Dime This is another interesting ploy to help increase the exhibition of the various tells without resorting to an unnatural coin (such as an American half dollar) by using two coins (such as a quarter and a dime). The subject is instructed to place both coins into one hand as if playing the game with one. This double coin forces a subject to keep the hand clenched tighter around the coins so they don’t make noise, and also makes the body more conscious of the fact that there’s something in that hand as it now has bulk to it.

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Two Coin Split After a few successful rounds of “Which Hand?” with a quarter and nickel, ask the subject to take both behind his/her back again. This time, instead of placing both coins in one fist place the quarter in one hand and the dime in the other. To the subject, it now seems more impossible to tell which hand contains what coin as both hands contain a coin. The truth is that the first few rounds conditioned the subject to follow the hand with the larger bulk. When it comes time to split the two coins apart, one in each hand, the subject’s subconsciously still point towards the larger bulk (in this case the quarter). This makes a fantastic close to a series of “Which Hand?” trials. While Ben Blau has no recollection of coming up with the “Double Coin Ploy” or the “Two Coin Split” and credits it to me, he deserves the credit.

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The Relaxation Tell This isn’t so much a tell as it is a way to draw out other tells that aren’t being exhibited outright. Occasionally there will be a subject that seems to not exhibit any of the above tells. When this happens, take a moment to simply chat with the subject re-explaining the game. The goal is to get the subject to relax and let his or her guard down. Often, I’ll actually ask the subject to relax. This takes the challenge edge off a bit and will make the tensest subject’s drop guard. This is particularly true when looking for the thumb tell. The empty hand tends to relax over a period of time, whereas the hand with the object remains tightly closed.

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Open Re-Adjustment Ben Blau This technique is more of a fail safe. It is similar to Bryn Renolds BOHT (The Safwan Papers ebook, 2008 pg. 37) technique (see appendix) though stands apart. This allows for a sure-fire guess when playing which hand. If a subject is holding an object in a closed fist, that person naturally holds their fist with the fingers down and the back of the hand up. To open that hand, the subject has to turn their wrist 180 degrees then open the hand; otherwise the object contained within would fall to the floor. If the subject is asked to open the empty hand the fingers begin to open just before the wrist begins to turn. When Ben is unsure of which hand contains the object he simply guesses pointing to either hand stating, “Open that hand…” and carefully watches the fingers of the subject. If they begin to open before the wrist turns he adds, “…it should be empty.” If the hand turns over and no pre-opening action is exhibited, he says nothing and treats it as a successful finding of “Which Hand?” I compare this ploy very much to the final two cups in a game of my friend Rick Maue’s “Terasabos” (Book of Haunted Magic, Pittsburgh: Deceptions Unlimited, 2000 pg 87. or Banachek’s Psychological Subtleties Vol. 2. Houston Texas: Magical Inspirations 2006 pg. 25). The pacing and rhythm are similar.

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Blood Signs This tell is not psychological in nature but does play off of the color of the subject’s fist. While one generally doesn’t have to resort to this kind of ploy, it is a sure fire method. While your back is turned ask the subject to place the fist with the object against his or her forehead and concentrate on it. After a few seconds the subject is asked to place the hand back next to the other closed fist. Because the fist with the object was held up, the blood form that fist has drained partially making that fist slightly lighter in color than the empty fist. All one must do is look for the fist that’s lighter in color and one will find the object. While this old technique has appeared in various sources over the years my favorite place is Banachek’s Psychological Subtleties (1998, Pg. 77).

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Additional Full Routines

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Crooked Politicians Joshua Quinn Charles Cameron gave us angels and demons as a plotline, Banachek presented a Sherlock Holmes plot, and I compare the game to the first time I ever attempted to lie to my parents alongside an interesting puzzle box. My friend Joshua Quinn suggests this interesting angle: the two participants take on the role of a crooked politician and an honest politician. He follows this routine by explaining that politicians aren’t always that cut and dried. In real life, politicians aren’t always honest or dishonest; they can be some or both. The best we can do is attempt to determine how any one of them is acting at any given moment. He then follows with a brilliant bit of thinking using my Truth/Liar Symbiotogram to predict random actions of participants (see Paralies, New Orleans: Mentally Impossible Publications 2008).

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Puzzle Presentation Patrick Redford While I’ve certainly performed the above variants to great success, at the moment I’ve fallen for a particular puzzle-esque presentation using a Mexican puzzle box that is similar to the Mexican Bill Box made by Viking Manufacturing. The only difference is that the box I have is completely opaque. Here’s how the routine plays: Holding up a small wooden box that has no apparent lid and turning it in his hands, the performer begins: “I absolutely love puzzles. There’s something really satisfying about being able solve the simple solution to what always seems that it has to be quite complex. This particular puzzle I obtained in one of those stores where everything is fifteen dollars or less. This particular store is packed with imported items from exotic locations. A lot of wooden paperweights and hemp-sewn clothing line the shelves and racks. One particular section I always find of interest is their puzzle shelf. In the back of the store, there is one single shelf with a collection of traditional puzzles made of wood. This small box, stood out from the group. It was the only one of its kind on the shelf of repeated puzzles so for all I knew, someone had miss-shelved it. I picked it up and brought it to a sales person. I asked two questions: First, ‘Is this a puzzle?’ and second, ‘If it is a puzzle, how much?’ She looked at the box for a moment, then back at me, and cautiously responded, ‘I’m not sure, let me ask someone who’ll better be able to answer.’ So she went and got the attention of another sales person working the floor that day. Her answer was that it was in fact a puzzle but she has no idea how to work it, though, a small boy was in the store recently and effortlessly opened and closed the box while she looked on. For five dollars, they sold me the box and I went home to discover its secret.” The performer passes the box out to a few audience members while continuing, “It’s a really convincing illusion, isn’t it? It really doesn’t seem like there’s a way in. The issue, though, is that we approach the problem with a traditional paradigm of a normal box. We assume that it has a lid. It doesn’t, at least not in the traditional sense. In a moment I’m going to open the box. If you’d like to know the secret, keep your eyes open, if you don’t want to spoil it for yourself, go ahead and close your eyes for a moment.”

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Prevaricator The performer slides the box open effortlessly showing the box empty and silently slides it shut once more. “Simple. There is a small something inside the box – we’ll come back to that in a moment, I promise. It’s safe to open your eyes if you haven’t already. There is something that fascinates me more than physical puzzles and that’s logic puzzles. These get the mind going in some fantastic ways. What’s most fascinating is a logic puzzle like this…” the performer holds up the puzzle box, “…that has been glued shut. That’s what I’d like to share with you now. A puzzle that has no logical solution.” Gesturing to two men that had the opportunity to examine the box moments before, they’re invited to the platform. They’re positioned so that one gentleman is on the right of the performer and the other is on the left. A small table is situated just in front of the performer between the two gentlemen. The small box is placed on this table. “The two of you have already had a good look at the box, would you join me? Give them a big round of applause as they make their way up here. Here’s how we play the game. In a moment one of you is going to take on the role of a devote truth teller, the other the role of a devote liar. I’d like both of you to choose, secretly, which role you’d like to become. To do that, I’m going to turn away and if you’d like to play the role of the liar, give a thumb up. If you’d like to be the truth teller, give a thumb down. Remember you both can’t be the same thing so if you come at each other with thumbs up or both thumbs down, silently fight it out. If anyone in the audience wants to play along, close your eyes during these next few moments so you leave yourself in the same position as I’m in. Ready? Do that now.” The two men choose their roles and the performer turns back towards them to explain the rest of the game. “In a moment, I’m going to turn my back again. When I do so, I’d like one of you to reach over and take the puzzle box off my table and hold it behind your back. If you’re not taking the box, I’d like you to also hold your hands behind your back as if you’re holding something. That way, when I turn to face you, I’ll have no way of knowing who has what. Do that now” The performer turns away and the gentleman on the left, from the audience’s perspective, takes the box. Upon getting clearance, the performer turns to face the two gentleman and studies them. “Here’s comes the glued logic: I’m going to ask each of you one question: “Do you have the box?” If you’re the liar, you have to lie. If you’re the truth teller, you must tell the truth. It’s a simple yes or no question. I’m giving you the question now so you can think in your head exactly how you’re going to answer when it comes time to. I find that the liar tends to be most likely to muck up his answer by hesitating or simply giving the wrong one. Don’t be the guy! It’s no pressure, just think about what the answer is given your current role.”

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Prevaricator “It’s a common misconception that someone may look you directly in the eye and lie. It’s not true. It’s quite easy, I’ll prove it….” Looking someone directly in the eyes in the front row the performer bolding announces: “I’m really a woman!” Turning back to the audience, “See? It’s easy. Either that or I’m going to be swarmed with questions after the show.” Shifting attention to the gentleman on the audience’s left the performer states, “I’ll ask you first. Do you have the box, yes or no?” The gentleman, slightly tense, responds, “No.” and relaxes again. Attention is then shifted to the second gentleman and asked, “Do you have the box?” This gentleman responds, “No.” “Interesting.” The performer quips, “One more time while I look away, I simply want to listen to your responses and take away the visual.” The performer turns and points to the gentleman now to his right, “Do you have the box?” He responds again, “No.” “And do you have the box?” the performer asks the second gentleman. “No.” The performer turns back, pauses, and concludes, “Logically, and mathematically we’re dealing with an impossible problem when receiving the same answer like this. It’s no fault of those playing; I’ve engineered the game that way. If you’re playing along make your decisions silently to yourself now. By the way, you both were very good; you both stood your ground and gave little away. However, I believe that you chose to be the truth teller…” the performer gestures towards the second gentleman, “… and you chose to be the liar, which can only mean that you’re holding the box. Cough it up!” He does. “What’s interesting is that I had a feeling that whoever chose the role of the liar would also choose to hide the box. Remember that small something inside the box? Do you remember how the box opens? Go ahead and open it up. And read what you find on the paper inside.” The subject opens the box and removes a small piece of folded paper. Once Upon unfolding it reads: “Liar Hides Box”

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Prevaricator The performer shakes hands with both and either concludes the presentation and sends the two back to their seats or allows them each to play another round or two. “Thank you for playing. If you’re still stuck on the logic of the problem, you’re simply going to stick yourself in a situation where there is no solution except that what was done, was done for real. Thank you both again.” The performer leads the crowd in applause for the two players.

Verity

What you’ve just read is my current and formal presentation for the basic “Prevaricator” effect. This routine has the advantage of being free of obfuscation making it easy for the audience to follow while utilizing the theatrically interesting liar/truth teller plot. Additionally, it has a built in fail-safe that not only protects the overall integrity of the routine if something should go wrong but also provides a closing punch that defines the end of the routine. It should be clear to the reader by now, no doubt, how to identify, which person is the liar and which is the truth teller thus, allowing one to determine who holds the object. What is new here is the prediction ending found inside the box. This is accomplished with a two-way out by use of a traditional billet switch.

The Final Prediction

The final predictions are written on two pieces of paper measuring 8-½” X 5 ½” (half of a standard sheet of paper). On the inside surface of one the message: “Liar Hides Box” is written as large as possible in a black chisel tip Sharpie. On the inside surface of the other paper the message: “Truth Hides Box” is written as large as possible in the same manner. Both papers are folded up identically into sixteenths. The “Liar Hides Box” message is placed inside the puzzle box and the “Truth” message waits dormant in the performer’s right trouser pocket if needed. Once each subject has admitted their roles and the object placement has been revealed to the audience one of two scenarios will have taken place:

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Prevaricator Outcome #1

The liar had the box on his/her person and has physically shown us such. In this case the Liar may now open the box and the performer may cleanly remove the paper and open it to display the message, “Liar Hides Box!” It is tempting to have the subject remove the message and unfold it himself. While it is possible, it’s far better to do so as it has more impact when the performer opens the paper as it may be insured that it unfolds with the writing right-side-up and displayed so that the audience may immediately see what it says.

Outcome #2

The truth teller had the box on his/her person and has physically shown as such. In this case the truth teller is asked to carefully open the box. As this is done, the performer takes the “truth message” into right finger palm. The left hand reaches into the box and removes the folded slip of paper. A simple billet switch is performed while unfolding the paper to display the message, “Truth Hides Box!”

Final Thoughts

Unlike other routines that use a prediction to follow a divination, the final prediction doesn’t cancel out the divination. The divination is identifying roles and thus who has the object, whereas the final prediction foresees which character would end up hiding the object. In addition, this final prediction allows the routine to end with a strong successful closure even if on the off chance the performer is unable to correctly identify which person chose what role and who held the object.

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Prevaricator

Puzzle Addition Joshua Jay Over an early morning breakfast in my travels I met up with creative magician and author Joshua Jay who shared this idea with me after we discussed my handling with the puzzle box. While this does turn the effect into having a more ‘magic’ closing, I feel that in the right setting it adds to the dramatic appeal of the overall effect and a nice visual conclusion and call back. The above puzzle presentation plays out as above with this addition when setting up the game: “I’ve played this game for a long time with, what could be deemed a bit of, a rabbits foot for me. While it wasn’t a rabbit’s foot, it was an old coin given to me by my grandfather before he passed away a few years ago. I don’t play this way anymore, simply because I realized the power was in me, and not the object. I’d like to play today, with this puzzle box.” At the conclusion of the routine, after the two gentleman have returned to their seats the performer closes: “Thank you for playing. If you’re still stuck on the logic of the problem, you’re simply going to stick yourself in a situation where there is no solution except that what was done, was done for real. If you found the liar successfully, congratulations on a job well done. I owe my success not only to practicing but in part to my grandfather.” The box is slowly opened and turned over to reveal an old coin inside. “Old habits are hard to walk away from. Thank you both again, and thank you grandpa.” The performer leads the crowed in applause for the two players. The appearance of the object inside the box brings the whole routine to a close. It has a natural applause cue and offers a small emotional hook. Method wise, this could be accomplished in a number of ways. A switch of the box for another with the object already inside is one way to accomplish this, and perhaps the easiest. Those who are apt at sleight of hand may opt to finger palm the object and sneak it in the box when re-closing the

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Prevaricator box after revealing its secret workings. If you’re not comfortable with either, here’s a sleight-free idea that I’d like to offer you: When it comes time to ask one of the two gentleman to place the box behind his back, step between them and demonstrate exactly how it should be done by physically taking the box and placing it behind your back. In doing so, you have enough time to open the box and slip an object inside it and close the box again. This would also be an easy enough moment to switch the entire box. Two advantages of a full box switch: 1. The box may be filled with sand or any other permeable substance 2. Avoids the chance of the object inside “talking” upon entry

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Prevaricator

Serial Prevaricator / Guaranteed, Which Hand? Colin Mcleod These are some great touches from Scottish mentalist, Colin Mcleod. He has come up with a guaranteed system that not only always allows the performer to identify which hand a bill of any dimension is being held in, but allows the performer to end with a serial number divination without a bill switch. The principle that guarantees knowing which hand the object is in is something Colin shared with me shortly after “Prevaricator” was first released. Since this, Colin has created a full blown three phase routine that’s very logical and builds in additional fail safes to guarantee a success, every time. I’ve watched Colin kill with this routine. It is very strong. I’ll let Colin tell you about this in his own words: Since first learning the original “Prevaricator” many years ago, I have taken great pride in adapting it to fit many situations and routines where it has proved extremely successful. What follows is a completely impromptu routine, which was one of the original structures I played with, however kept going back to due to its simplicity. I cant recommend enough using this routine to master “Prevaricator,” or at the very least, using it to build your confidence to allow you to learn what to look for in your subjects as you explore the routine. Performance You have someone remove a bank note of any value. You never touch the note, however you ask them to fold it up into a small packet. You continue to explain the rules of the game: “In a moment one of you will have to decide who is going to tell the truth during this game and who is going to lie. This will make complete sense in a moment, however it quite simply ensures you both give the same answer. You see, in a moment, one of you will be holding the note. It’s my job to work out who has it!” I now request one spectator to hold the note in his outstretched hand and the other spectator to hold his hand over the note. “In a moment you will choose to either take the note, or leave it right there where it is. But once you

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Prevaricator decide, make two fists right away before I turn back around.” I now turn back around and move to the other side of the room. I ask both spectators in turn whether they have the note. They must answer in character thus giving the same answer both times. Reveal One- I now correctly state who is holding the note. Reveal Two- I have the person just THINK the true answers when I ask out loud “Is the note in this hand”. After they only think the answers, I correctly find which hand it’s being held in. Reveal Three- I now correctly reveal the serial number one digit at a time from the note.

Comments

As previously mentioned, I designed this routine as a way to learn “Prevaricator,” however the more I did it, the more I realized that it had a natural structure to the performance. The entire routine builds on the previous phases ending in the impossible climax. First of all you are apparently reading verbal cues, next you are reading non-verbal cues, finally you apparently know how this person thinks so you can now work out what they are thinking.

Method

This method is in three very different parts, one of which is obviously “Prevaricator.” However the interesting thing is that you actually set up reveal 3 first, then you set up reveal 2, and then you begin the routine with part 1. So you are actually incredibly far ahead. That means the full structure for the routine is as follows: 1. Set up for reveal 3 (The serial number). 2. Set up for reveal 2 (Which hand the note is in). 3. Set up for reveal 1 (Knowing who is holding the note).

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Prevaricator 4. Reveal first piece of information. 5. Reveal second piece of information. 6. Reveal third piece of information. As this is the structure for the routine, it makes sense to break it down into those categories to explain it.

Set up for reveal 3

To begin the routine, you must request that someone brings out a note of any value from his or her wallet. It’s in the following 5 to 20 seconds you will peek the serial number through a few ways. First of all, if you are standing beside a person and you ask them if they have any notes, as they are looking through their wallet and you see one note, quite simply look at the number on it and remember it as you ask if they have any othes. At this point, step away and state that in fact the first note they had was fine. If you don’t get a chance to see the note before it is brought out of their wallet or if they change to another note, simply ask them to remove it and hold it flat in their palm. You are then going to stand beside them and mime exactly how to fold up the bill into a small packet. Now you have the perfect opportunity to look down at the bill as you explain what they are to do. Practicing this a few times, you will learn exactly where to look on the bill for the number. Should you not feel confident remember the whole number, simply remember the last two or three digits. If, at this point, you still haven’t seen the serial number, you have two options. The one I would use which is to say “actually lets make it really small and tight”, take the note off them and fold it while looking at the number. Or let them fold it and then use Millard Longman’s “Acidus Novus.” It’s at this point I will step away from them and make it very clear I don’t want to touch the note at all! Plenty of time misdirection is to follow whereby they will forget about you being to close to them as they were removing and folding the note.

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Prevaricator Set up for reveal 2

Knowing which hand the spectator is holding the note in doubles the strength of the original effect for knowing who is holding the note. This sure fire method allows you to have a guaranteed hit to fall back on in case the first reveal doesn’t work. After explaining to both spectators that one will be a liar and one a truth teller, you ask the owner of the note to hold it in their hand while the other spectator holds their hand above the note. It’s up to the person holding their hand above it as to whether or not they take it. Regardless of whether they take it, it’s at this exact point in the routine you know which hand the note will be in when you know who is holding it. Confused? Let me explain. If the owner of the note is standing to your right and the other subject is on your left, for the owner of the bill to hold their hand out with the note in it, chances are they will hold it in their left hand stretched out. It also makes sense for the other subject to use their right hand to hold above the note, as it is naturally closer. This means that when I look away and someone takes/keeps the note, if the person on the right has it they will have it in their left fist and if the person on my left has it, they will be holding it in their right fist. The reason this is guaranteed is that first of all, you’ve only said you are going to be working out who is holding the note, so they think nothing of where it is being held. Secondly you ask them to quickly take the note or leave it and then say, “I’m going to turn around now, so hold both fists out in front of you and make sure the note is hidden!” This quite simply doesn’t give either of them time to even think before they raise both fists up. It really doesn’t matter which hand the note is held in or above by both subjects, it’s only important that you remember which hand both used (although from my experience, it will be the same layout as described above). This part of the routine is the easiest, so to make it more exciting for you, in the reveal section you will read a little update I have been using to add to the perception of the routine.

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Prevaricator Reveal 1

This part of the routine is the original “Prevaricator” technique; you will simply be watching both subjects for their reaction to the question “do you have the note?” Having studied what Patrick has told you to look for this will already be the portion you are most familiar with. As I’ve mentioned already, should this first part of the routine not go as planned, you still have two more surefire reveals to fall back on to solidify the routine in the minds of your audience. Simply asking each person “do you have the note” and watching for the interest levels, you will now know who has the note. So you now want to play up the fact that you are reading each person as you interact with him or her. I also recommend involving the rest of the audience as much as possible so that they ALL feel a part of the effect. Simply saying “Did you notice that?” when they say yes you can then decide what they are saying yes to. Let me explain. If you ask, “Did you notice that?” and they respond positively, you can then continue to say, “You actually nodded slightly when I asked if you had the note.” You then turn back to the audience member you are speaking to and state, “It was really noticeable wasn’t it?” At this point they are in a bind and have to agree with you as they have already partially agreed with you. Most of the time though, the subject holding the note will do something slight, and all you will have to do is pick up on it and use that as the reason for working out it was them holding it! Get confirmation that they are the subject holding the note, but quickly stop them revealing where the note is.

Reveal 2

You now want to establish where the note is being held. Obviously you know which hand it is in, so again you want to present this portion as you are trying to figure out where it is, while at the same time, allowing the routine to build in impossibility. Say, “This time, I don’t want you to even answer out loud, I simply want you to think the answers, but for this to work you’ve got to be honest both times. There’s no need to lie now! This time I will ask you if you are holding the note in your right hand, then I will ask if you are holding it in your left hand. Simply think the honest answers.”

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Prevaricator Again, you will ask both questions out loud and pause for the subject to think the answers. Similar to the first time, you will now apparently be looking for some subconscious cue as to where the note is being held. Again you can play up the fact that you have spotted a non-verbal clue that allowed you to work out which hand the note was in. After a few practices you will now get to this point in the routine with absolute accuracy. So to make it more exciting for you, I have a little gambit you can add which, while still keeps the routine sure fire, does require strong audience management. As you know which hand the note is in (let’s say it’s being held in their left hand) you can ask for them to put their hands behind their back and allow them to switch the note around. You are still able to state with accuracy where the note is being held. This is because you don’t actually say to mix the note around, the exact phrase you will say is “Put your hands behind your back and switch the note to the other hand... or leave it where it is and bring your hands back out now.” The timing here is important. When you say, “Switch the note to the other hand,” watch their shoulders so you know if they’ve done it (the motion is very noticeable and is something you can practice in the mirror to distinguish). Continue saying (at the same pace), “Or leave it where it is and bring your hands back out now.” So they don’t have a chance to switch back. Even if they do switch it back, you know what to look for and you’re keeping track of it, so you know where it will be. Again this is just something you can add to spice up your performances and with the right people in the right groups it just adds that extra layer of impossibility to the routine.

Reveal 3

By this point in the routine, people will be convinced you know how to read people, which is certainly how I like to play it, however I explain that now I know how they are thinking I can work out what they are thinking. This whole game is almost as if I have calibrated to their thinking. So I now ask them to unfold the bill and look at the serial number of the note. The inspiration for this portion of the routine comes from a photograph of Alain Nu that I saw on his website with both his hands at either side of his head. This image really does convey that he is deep in thought about something nd gives the impression of him concentrating to reveal a piece of information. This was the impression I wanted to give for the final part of the routine. I wanted to imply that given everything I have already learned about the subject, this now allows me to work out exactly what they are thinking.

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Prevaricator I have them stare at the serial number and then count out loud from zero to ten. I then state that I think I know a few of the digits in the serial number, however as some were said a little deeper than others, I think they may be repeated a few times (as will be the case with most serial numbers). Lets imagine the serial number was 876398. I would say that I thought there was a 3, a 6, a 7, a few 8s and a 9 in the number. After asking if this was correct, I would then go on and get the correct sequence. This does two things; firstly it provides a double whammy for what should be one reveal. Secondly it seems more plausible that, like in the first few phases, you are piecing the information together as you go.

Final Thoughts

Once you have played with the routine a number of times and become confident with “Prevaricator,” you no longer need to add the process of asking each person to choose who is going to play which role. You simply need to explain that you are going to ask both people if they have the note, the person who has the note MUST tell the truth; the person without the note MUST lie. In theory, this means both people will say the word “yes”, however I don’t spell that out for them, otherwise I’m giving them the answer all they have to do is repeat it. The psychology therefore remains the same. The person with the note will still look at the liar to check that they do indeed answer correctly. Should the liar get confused and say “No”, you still know who has it at this point. However instead of this ruining the effect, I use it to my advantage and say “Ah, you’re both trying to catch me out, this does make it more exciting. I’m going to have to do this for real... just THINK the answers.” This not only saves the effect, it also makes it stronger. One of the earliest memories I have of performing this routine was on my very first trip to London. There I am standing in a theatre with Ian Rowland, Marc Paul, Joe Atmore and Drew Mcadam. This was my first meeting with Ian and Joe, so obviously I’m doing my best to make a good first impression. The conversation turned to the recent release of “Prevaricator” to which I expressed my positive opinion of the routine, so Ian asked for a demonstration. I went straight into the routine as described above and it worked perfectly. I asked Marc to remove a note from his wallet and fold it up. Joe was to hold his hand over it and either take it or leave it. After correctly stating who had the note, I then revealed which hand it was in and finally the exact serial

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Prevaricator number. Two pieces of feedback came from it though, which I will pass on to you for your benefit. The only phase they felt uneasy with was the second phase where you reveal what hand it’s in, as they felt it was very bold. Now that’s from two performers who obviously knew the original routine so knew where I was going with it, most audiences will not. However it does highlight the point I’ve been making that the presentation of any routine you will do is what sells it. Since then I came up with the piece of switching hands again to make it seem even more impossible. The second piece of feedback was when Marc asked if I wanted to switch our bills back, until I reminded him I hadn’t touched it, which I think goes a long way to demonstrating how powerful the time misdirection is between the start of the effect and the conclusion and how spectators remember what actually happened!

Closing Thoughts – Patrick G. Redford

You really need to see Colin perform this to get a sense of how strong it really is. This is very smart routine! Some may be more comfortable performing a bill switch instead of memorizing but it’s certainly a delightful bit of byplay with an audience formal, informal or otherwise. There really is no need to try to memorize the entire serial number as simply revealing three or four of the last few digits is still very strong and easier on the brain.

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Prevaricator

Silence Is Golden Ben Blau Effect

While the performer is out of the room, three gentlemen silently decide which one of them is going to hold an object in one of their two closed fists in front of him. The other two subjects also hold their two closed empty fists in front of themselves. The performer is fetched and returns to identify not only who is holding the object but which hand it is in – without asking a single question.

Verity

This is Ben’s pet routine that I’ve been trying to get him to publish since before “Prevaricator” was first published. The combination of the “Prevaricator” ploy combined with Ben’s ground breaking “tell” work when playing “Which Hand?” makes this among the strongest, legitimate, find the object routines I’ve ever seen. He’s finally allowing it to be revealed here for the first time in complete form. As a professor of sound engineering at School Craft Community College alongside running his own recording studio, Ben primarily performs in social settings only. In these settings he knows how to command a room. This routine has been constructed primarily for the social environment instead of within a full formal show. It is my opinion that this is when “Prevaricator” plays most powerfully. Ben begins by choosing three subjects. He displays a quarter and hands it off to one of the three subjects. He explains that he is going to leave the room. When he does the three are instructed to decide among themselves, which will hold the coin in one of their firsts. All three subjects are instructed to hold both closed fists in front of their body and call Ben back into the room. Without asking any questions, Ben examines each subject one at a time placing focus on each giving him a chance to utilize the “Silent Prevaricator Ploy” .

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Prevaricator If he observes two of the subjects ‘pointing’ towards the odd person out, it becomes obvious who has the coin. If these pointers don’t exhibit themselves, he has various “which hand?” techniques (“The Thumb Tell,” “Equilibrium Tell” etc.) to fall back on in observing each person individually to determine which one holds the coin. If the “Silent Prevaricator Ploy” does succeed, he proceeds into the various “Which Hand” techniques on one person heightening the success rate of the entire game. If he is ever unsure about which hand of the six the coin is in, he may always get the possibilities down to two or three of those six hands. In these cases he either takes a guess of one, or if he’s wrong continues to eliminate hands that he is sure are empty. What follows is a series of actions Ben took while I observed him performing these techniques with three people at my home. Ben left the room and three of my friends Brian, Missy, and George were very careful to communicate with each other through hand gestures who would take the coin. Missy refused to pick up the coin and George seemed to insist that Brian take it. Brian is one of those people who is fairly difficult to read. I know; I practiced the “Which Hand” game with him on and off consistently for our entire ten (plus) year friendship! Until Ben shared with me some of his personal techniques, Brian tended to stump me the majority of the time. Each person assumed their positions, seated on the one side of the three-piece corner couch with their hands held closed in front of their bodies. Missy and Brian had their usual smugly-stunted expressions when put on the spot to participate in games like these. It had been about a year and a half since I last was able to spend time with Ben. We used to session and exchange ideas regularly until life got in the way. I was sat at the opposite end as I called Ben back into the room. I was eager to watch him work. The first thing Ben did was to casually look at each person’s closed fist. Afterwards he told me he was looking for the thumb tell. He still ran through the other tells for reinforcement. He asked George to, “Keep your hands in front of you, but would you mind standing and moving over to here?” Ben was gesturing to a spot on the floor about three feet in front of the couch around the other side of my coffee table. It seemed as though George had barely gotten readjusted when Ben asked the same of Missy and Brian.

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Prevaricator As each person moved he watched carefully to see if he could spot any of the three people exhibiting the “Equilibrium Tell” as they moved. Having one person move followed by the other two together, makes watching for this tell easy enough. Watching three people at once is almost overwhelming. Once everyone settled into their new spots Ben spoke to the three asking each, “While I want you to keep your arms out in front of you, I’d like you to each relax and try not to think about where the coin is. Whoever has that coin is going to give him or herself away. It may be in the face, it may be a sudden intake of breath, I’m not sure what it will be until it happens.” He stepped in front of George, locked eye contact and said, “Look at me.” Pausing for a moment, until moving to the next person and doing the same. I smiled from the couch as he was obviouslybeginning to employ the “Silent Prevaricator Ploy” paying attention to the other two persons’ level of interest when directly engaging the third with, “Look at me.” In this case, while George and Missy both looked at Brian eagerly while he answered, Brian also intently focused on George as he gave his answer giving a possible false reading. It didn’t matter as it seemed from Ben’s perspective that it could be in one of two places: George or Brian. Brian’s left thumb was tucked under slightly (see “Thumb Tell”) and the entire hand was a bit more tense and white than it’s opposite. Both of George’s thumbs were tucked under. “Open this hand…” Ben suddenly taps the back of George’s left hand whose fingers begin to open as it turns palm up, “…it should be empty.” Without missing a beat, he continued onto Missy’s right hand, “this should also be empty.” He was right. “Brian, your right hand is empty, open it. Missy you don’t have the coin at all, you may sit back down with Patrick.” Ben was down to two people and two hands. The first fist was obviously a guess hoping he’d hit it out right. He didn’t find it in the first try so he quickly readjusted the game flawlessly to finding empty hands. As soon as George began to open his hand before starting to turn it over (see “Open Re-adjustment”), Ben knew it couldn’t be in that hand and adjusted his script appropriately. I could tell Ben wasn’t completely sure whether Brian had it or George had it, though he had been confident it was in one of these two gentleman’s hands due to the “Silent Prevaricator Ploy.” Brian seemed to be the more likely target due to the “Thumb Tell.” This was the final moment.

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Prevaricator Ben looked at Brian and George. Then finally looked back at Missy and me on the couch and smiled. “I got it!” he said. Taking Brian’s final outstretched hand between his he suddenly switched his attention to George proclaiming, “Open your hand.” It seemed as though it hadn’t even fully opened that Ben was saying, “That’s the final empty hand…. it’s here.” Ben raised Brian’s fist a little before letting go to have it opened retrieving his coin. My friends were very impressed.

Possible Fail-safes

Don’t be afraid to practice this full routine. There are several fail-safes you may fall back on because the rules of this game aren’t spelled out at any point. It’s possible to fall back on asking questions utilizing the more traditional logic methods. For instance, Ben could have simply asked Missy to sit without eliminating any hands after observing the “Silent Prevaricator Ploy” at work. Then, he could have turned to George and Brian and stated, “I’m going to ask you each two questions. If you have the object you have to lie. If you don’t you must tell the truth. Ready? First question: Do you have the coin?” After getting both answers the second question would be, “Is it in your left hand?” (See Ryan Frame’s “ROTVARI”). This would have guaranteed a successful close with little room having to use pure psychological guesswork. Equally, if the “Silent Prevaricator Ploy” completely failed, he could have resorted to the same series of questions with the three people resulting in knowing which one of three hands the object was in. Once armed with this knowledge he could have taken his first guess of those three hands hoping to hit it. If he didn’t he would have gone forward having three more empty hands opened leaving two people left with one closed fists each. Finally, using Bryn Renolds “BOHT” technique or a “Tarasabos” like technique (Maue, Rick 2000) guarantees a successful close. If going the more pure psychological route, Ben would have gone through the list starting with the “Equilibrium Tell” and moving to the “Thumb Tell” and then possibly falling back on the less reliable “Nose Knows” to narrow down his options. The “Thumb Tell” is particularly interesting when using multiple people as, almost always, the one person hiding the object exhibits two different looking hands (squeezing one tighter, tucking one thumb under but not the

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Prevaricator other, holding one hand lose and the other naturally etc.) while the two people who don’t have the object exhibit two similar looking hands. I’ve also found that folks commonly tuck their thumbs into their hand when holding nothing at all. When this happens, the effect is as easy as gravity. In such a case, it doesn’t matter if the performer has had a chance to calibrate to each person’s “Which Hand?” tell as the odd person out has the object. Guessing at one of the known object holder’s hands outright gives the opportunity to either find it first or to invisibly change the rules and find the remaining empty fists.

Final Thoughts

I’ve performed this routine many times myself and it really does work. It feels like the real thing because it practically is the real thing. It’s only been recently that I’ve had the pleasure to have Ryan Frame’s technique from “ROTVARI” as a logical fail-safe in my mental back pocket. Personally, I save this for the casual social situations that it was developed in rather than throwing this into my main show. While it could certainly fit and work quite well in a main stage performance, the length of time it takes to carry through may vary and generally I like to know exactly how long my show and each routine will take. The final piece of advice I can offer is that maintaining confidence throughout – even if you’re not sure – helps the three subjects exhibit the proper tell responses. There’s something about folks believing the performer is going to succeed no matter how good they are at the game that helps them let their guard down without knowing it. While others have published work using “Prevaricator” in a similar way, it is my feeling that Ben got there first many years ago. It’s these techniques that we’ve worked on combining together that really make tackling such a routine very easy.

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Truth Teller Patrick G. Redford Basic Effect

A psychological version of Barrie Richardson’s classic Truth to Tell routine/Which Hand?

Verity

Barrie Richardson came-up with a brilliant application of Kosky’s original logic puzzle application to play a “which hand?” style effect with one person. The subject’s fists each take on the role of a truth teller or or liar. The subject chooses which hand to secretly hide an object in. In Barrie’s version, by asking one question to one of the two fists: “Does the liar fist have the object?” you know instantly which fist plays what role and which has the object. It can be pretty amazing. By doing away with the logic puzzle entirely, you can achieve the same effect for “real” using the techniques you’ve already learned both on the DVD and in this booklet along side some classic NLP eye-accessing cue techniques credited to Richard Bandler and John Grinder (The founders of NLP). You’ll have two different opportunities to determine which hand has the object. The first opportunity is using the various “which hand?” techniques that you’ve already read about elsewhere in this text. The other will be by watching for a tell that the subject may exhibit in what ‘NLPers’ lovingly refer to as eye accessing cues. If you’re new to the world of eye-accessing cues, they’re subtle, unconscious movements on the part of the subjects that reveal information that the subjects are not aware they’re giving up. It’s generally broken into five different eye movements that reveal five different ways a subject may think (Visual constructed, Visual remembered, Auditory, Kinesthetic Thought, and Internal Auditory Thought). The issue with this sort of technique is that one must calibrate to each subject, as the cues locations are not consistent from subject to subject.

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Prevaricator When working cold with a subject, it’s easy to calibrate within an effect by having a subject carry out a certain set of tasks and then watching the subject response. Then, taking these responses and comparing them to how the subject responds when answering later to gauge whether or not the subject is lying or telling the truth. I’m not going to bother explaining the classic eye positions because, honestly, it will confuse you and make this less reliable. It’s easier to look for the odd response out than have to worry about what each response means.

Presentation and Method

“I’d like you to take this coin behind your back, decide on a hand to hide it in and bring both closed fists out in front of you.” The subject secretly decides which hand to hide a coin in and brings both fists out accordingly. “Each of your hands are going to take on its own role with its own thought process. One of your hands is going to be completely truthful, the other is going to take on the role of a total liar. If I asked the liar hand, ‘Are you the liar’ the liar hand would have to say…?” The subject has to form a thought and figure out what how the liar would answer this question. Watch the subject eyes and remember the movement their eyes made. “You’re right, it would have to answer ‘no’ because it always has to lie. Equally if I asked the hand that tells the truth the same question, ‘are you the liar’ it would have to answer, in this particular case, the same way with a ‘no’. Does this make sense? Good. I’d like you decide which hand is going to take on the role of the liar and which hand is going to take on the role of the truth teller. Once you’ve decided, stick with that decision and remember which hand is playing which role.” The subject decides which hand plays which role and indicates being ready. “I’m going to ask each of your hands one question. Based on each hands simple yes or no response, I’m going to hopefully be able to tell you not only which hand is playing which roles, but also which hand holds the coin. I’ll ask your left hand first… Do you have the coin? Remember if this is the liar fist it has to lie. If this is the truth telling fist it has to tell me the truth.”

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Prevaricator When the subject gives his or her answer, look for the way that person responds. You’re looking for a response that matches the eye motion that the subject exhibited when asked how the liar would respond. Whether or not if you think you’ve spotted a lie, ask the other hand the same question as follows: “Now it’s the other fists turn. Yes or no, do you have the coin?” Once you’ve gotten a response from each question, you should now be able to determine which fist is the liar and find the coin accordingly based on the given verbal and physical responses. If you find that you still can’t determine based on this, move on to the “which hand?” tells explained both on the DVD and in this text for an additional chance to find the proper hand. The best tell to go for cold in this situation is the Equilibrium Tell. Finally if you find yourself lost, you may always fall back on Richardson/Kosky’s question, “Does the liar have the object?” which will reveal exactly where the object is no matter which hand is asked (See addendum for details).

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Addendum

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Ring of Truth Banachek [The following is reprinted with encouragement and permission from Banachek’s Psychological Subtleties, Houston, Texas: Magical Inspirations,1992, pg. 105] Someone approaches me and asks me how I do what I do. “Nothing supernatural, I simply use my five senses to create the illusion of a sixth, kind of like when Sherlock Holmes was able to tell whether someone had recently come from Africa, left the Army, had sausages for breakfast, or was a recovering alcoholic. Had Arthur Conan Doyle not explained the methods in his writings, you would have been left believing Holmes was psychic. He wasn’t. It was deductive reasoning plus the fact Holmes was a master at Psychology. That is what I do. I can psychologically direct someone (much better than saying manipulate) to do what I want, and I can read people like a book. “If someone comes up to me and asks me to read their mind, I can’t. However, if I take control of the situation, ask them a few questions, maybe have them write down their thoughts, I can tell them what they are thinking. That’s right, I read thoughts, not minds. As a very famous thought-reader once said, ‘if someone asks me to read their mind, I can’t, but if someone punches me in the face, I know what they are thinking.’ Actions speak louder than words. Let me show you what I mean. I will take control of the situation. You must listen to me carefully and do exactly what I ask, and then I will be able to read your thoughts and tell you if you are lying to me or telling the truth. “I will need the help of yourself and someone else.” Two people are used for this effect. Remove your ring or charm and hand it to one of them. “I will turn my back and one of you two are to put it in your back pocket so I don’t know who has it and I can’t see it/” Performer turns around as they do this, then turns to face them after being assured they are done. “Now, there are three types of people in this world: those who tell the truth all the time no matter what; those who lie all the time no matter what; and, those who do both. For this experiment we will deal only with the two extremes. Those who lie all the time, and those who always tell the truth! I want you both to decide in your own mind as to

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Prevaricator whether you want to always tell the truth all the time or lie all the time. Please keep in mind that this is only a game, whatever you decide to do does not in anyway reflect upon your own true character. Do you have it in your mind? Please don’t answer because if you have chosen to be a liar you would have to say no! “Now, for this experiment to work it is imperative that you both know what the other has chosen to be, a liar or an honest person. This is the only time the liar will be allowed, and has to tell the truth. I will turn my back and you will let the other person know what you have decided to be. So that I will not hear, you are to simply use a hand gesture. Thumbs up to the angels if you decided to be honest, thumbs down to hell if you are a liar. I will turn my back.” Performer turns around then back to face them again. “Now let’s recap. One of you has the ring in your pocket . . . no way I could know who has it. On top of that, you both freely chose whether you would be a liar or always tell the truth. No way for me to know what you chose. Only you two know what you chose to be and only you two know what the other person chose to be. “There are numerous choices you could have made. You could have chosen to tell the truth and you could have chosen to be a liar, or it could be the other way around. Then again, you could have both chosen to be the same thing, either liars or both honest people. Asking what you are would not tell me anything because if I ask whether you are telling the truth and you are, you will say yes, if you’re not, you will also say yes. There is no way for me to know who is telling me the truth or not. Yet, I can tell, by your body, by your eyes by the way you move or speak, if you are lying to me.” Turn to the first person and say, “Remember, if you chose to be honest, tell the truth, if a liar you have to lie to me. Only answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no!’ Do you have the ring?” Then turn to the second person and ask the same question using the same lines. Continue with, “Great, now I know who has the ring! But I want to ask one more question.” Turn to the first person and say, “Remember, if you chose to be honest, tell the truth, liar you have to lie. Again, only answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no!’ Did you both decide to be the same type of person?” Turn to the second person and ask the same question. “I know who has the ring and I know exactly what type of person you decided to be. You see the lady moved her left forefinger slightly when she told me she did not have the ring. She does have it, she was lying to me. She did the exact

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Prevaricator same thing when I asked her if they both decided to be the same kind of person. She said ‘yes.’ That in turn told me that the gentleman was telling the truth when he said he did not have the ring and when he said they were not the same kind of person. But I wanted to check it. So I asked the gentleman the same question, he blinked each time and looked straight into my eyes. I knew he was telling the truth. Madam, did you choose to be a liar? Please tell the truth now as the experiment is over.” She replies, “yes.” “And sir, did you choose to take the path of an honest person?” He replies, “yes.” You turn to the lady and say “May I have the ring please?” The lady removes it from her pocket proving you were indeed correct. How? When you ask the first question, you remember the first reply. It will not tell you who has the ring until you get the answer to the second question. When you ask the second question, “did you both choose to be the same type of person?” the answer tells you what the other person is. If they say “no,” the other person is a liar and if they reply “yes,” the other person is telling the truth. That’s why you need to ask both people the same question. You now know if the first person has the ring or not and what they both decided to be. It sounds impossible but work it out on paper, you will find out that “no” means the other person is a liar and “yes” means that the other person is honest. The rest is showmanship.

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ROTVARI Ryan Frame [The following was contributed by Ryan Frame and is explained in his own words]   “ROTVARI” means Ring Of Truth Variation. It by and large follows the original presentation of “Ring of Truth,” but with some twists. It is still totally impromptu.   Two volunteers agree to participate in a lie detector test and agree to secretly choose to be opposite characters (one a liar and one a truth teller). They turn around and huddle to accomplish this secretly. They also take a ring or other object, hiding it IN ANY ONE of their hands. They are then to pretend to be holding something in the other three hands as well. The performer turns his as they do this and so there is no way to know who is lying or telling the truth and no way to know which of the four hands holds the ring. The volunteers turn around and hold up all four fists. The performer now proposes to find the ring based their answers to two questions where they are to lie or tell the truth according to their secretly chosen characters, and he will read their body language and find the ring. The performer asks each, “Do you have the ring?” Both answer ‘in character.’ He continues, “I am pretty sure I know who has it but I’m not positive and I still need to know which hand.” He then asks each, “Do you have the ring in your left hand?” They again answer according to their chosen character. The performer then finds the ring.  

Explanation

“ROTVARI” is close to the original “Ring of Truth” in presentation, but both questions are reasonable ones that one WOULD ask in demonstration of this sort, and the ring could be in any of four places instead of just two; a more difficult test. Like the original “Ring of Truth,” the performer must listen to their answers to solve the logic puzzle. In this case, the logic tells you exactly where the ring is ½ of the time and the other half of the time, the logic reduces the ring location to only two possibilities and a double out finishes the task.

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Prevaricator Both participants will answer the first question exactly the same (yes/yes or no/no) and you will note the response. With the second question, “Is the ring in your left hand?” either of two outcomes might be forthcoming:   1. 50% of the time you will get the exact same two responses as you got with the first question (resulting in all four yes’s or four no’s). In this case, the ring is in the left hand of one or the other of the participants. A ‘double out’ such as the “BOHT” double out from The Safwan Papers will get you the rest of the way home.   2. The other 50% of the time, one of the participants will answer differently the second time around, resulting in three no’s and one yes, or three yes’s and one no. In other words, one of the two will have given a different response from one question to the next (a yes to the first and no to the second or vice-versa). If this happens, that participant has the ring in the right hand.

Final Thoughts

Some may still prefer the original “Ring of Truth” because it does not require any outs and allows for free choice of character. I believe that mixing techniques makes it harder to reconstruct and it removes the effect from the realm of the straight logic puzzle which some feel are a bit suspicious for modern audiences. “ROTVARI,” like the original, asks two questions to each participant, but there are four possibilities of where the ring might be instead of two and the second question, “Do you have it in your left hand?” is a much more logical question to be asking than the second one in the original “Ring of Truth.” Another personal problem with “Ring of Truth” is that, after a few weeks of not performing it, I forget the formula! In this variation, the two questions, “Do you have it?” and “Is it in the left hand?” are easy to remember, and the solution “All four of the SAME answers = the SAME hand that was asked about…” And, “Anyone who answers differently has it right…” is also easy on the memory banks. But if you like the original you have lost nothing by being exposed to this one. By combining this with Patrick’s “Prevaricator,” this routine gives you a fail safe way to practice it or to be used as a backup that can bring the routine to a successful conclusion if “Prevaricator” does not work. In “Prevaricator,” Patrick uses a clever psychological technique that is not 100% and a bit difficult to get you mind around when you are just starting to do it. The set up for both is the same and the first question is also the same for both. When you ask, “Do you have the ring?” if you are comfortable that “Prevaricator” has worked, you know who is lying and who is telling the truth and so can figure out which hand the ring is in after the second question and

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Prevaricator can go right to it without any ambiguity. If you are not sure after the first question whether “Prevaricator” has worked, with “ROTVARI,” the demonstration still finishes with the performer finding the hand with the ring. “Prevaricator” is certainly cleaner and more direct, but the above routine makes it 100%.

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BOHT Bryn Renolds [Reprinted from Bryn Renolds The Safwan Papers e-book 2008, pg. 37 – with permission] The “which hand” effect is only a 50/50 proposition, but for some reason it plays extremely well., especially if performed multiple times…and perhaps ending with a prediction of what had just occurred. What follows is not a complete effect. It is a method, that when performed with complete confidence, enables the performer to appear to be able to divine in which hand a spectator has hidden an object. I will tell you up front that BOHT requires the performer to appear that he has complete confidence in what he just accomplished. When first reading this you may think that it is just a scam and that it will never work. I assure you it does work, (and magnificently) and at the conclusion I am going to point out how a very famous mentalist uses a similar technique in a routine that most of you have at least seen, if not perform a variation of yourself. I have been performing BOHT long before I ever saw that said famous routine, and it was nice to see someone of such high regard using a similar principle. Many will say “It is too bold!” Those that will try it out, with the confident air required, will drop the “too” from their description. This will not work perfectly for some of you the first few times you try it; for others it will work right away. I mean no disrespect to those whom I mention that it will not work well the first couple of tries. The only reason that it may not play as strongly as you may like is that you will be giving off an air of feeling guilty that may be picked up by the spectator. Let you inner, emotionless, psychopath out to play for a minute and this will be an out that will serve you well. Before we begin, I am going to take a couple of pages to describe the genesis of this and describe one of my best performances of mentalism…and I wasn’t even aware of what I had just done! The reason I succeeded in the final phase of BOHT, described below, was due to me not KNOWING what I was doing so therefore had no guilt at all to telegraph.

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Prevaricator I will try to be brief, but this is a great example of how other cultures view magic and those that perform it. I was also deployed with the Army to the Middle East during Operations Desert Shield & Storm in 1990/1. After the short ground war was over, we had taken literally tens of thousands of Iraqi prisoners. We set up prison camps in the middle of the desert by making “compounds” in the sand with several rolls of razor wire forming squares that would each contain several hundred prisoners. We divided our unit into shifts, and then spent the next few months simply sitting at the entrance to each compound to “guard” them. (Where were they going to go in the middle of the Arabian Desert?) Most simply surrendered upon seeing us. While some were hardcore Republican Guard soldiers, the vast majority were just regular citizens that were given a rifle and sent to the front lines. Many would come up to the wire and want to talk to us. Of course, most did not speak good English, but there is one universal language that everyone seems to understand: making a coin completely vanish before their eyes. They would tell their fellow captives of what I could do, who would in turn come up and hand me a coin to vanish. (I had a whole bag of coins to bring home that were either sleeved, pocketed, or simply dropped into the sand!) I had some of the best reactions to a simple coin vanish that I had ever seen. I came to find out why the reactions were so strong: they thought what I was doing was real. I truly believe that from their frame of reference regarding cultures, that they thought I would not pull an AliBaba and set up what I was doing as a trick. I told them I would make their coin vanish; it did indeed vanish according to their eyes, so therefore I used what inner-magic I had to accomplish this. Once one of our interpreters informed me of this I was dumbfounded. He also told me that many now referred to me with an Arabic word that loosely translated into “MagicMan.” Being a 20 year old kid, the Gulf War taught me a lot of life’s lessons. This was a big one. My experience with what I refer to as BHAT (and no, not Khat, that leaf you chew that gets you high!) taught me even more. This beautiful experience I am about to describe truly left an indelible mark on my mind every bit as potent as some of the terrible things I had seen and done. It was what probably got me more into mentalism and further away from magic.

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Prevaricator I worked the 6pm to 6am shift. Usually the prisoners were in their tents and sleeping around midnight, but during one of their holiday periods I recall them being up all night. I was asked by one of the English-speaking prisoners if I would come into the compound to watch some sort of ceremony. Grabbing “a ‘terp” (one of our interpreters,) we went inside. There were about 60 prisoners sitting cross-legged on the ground. There were two rows of about 30 each, facing each other and creating an isle about three feet wide which one could walk down. The generator-powered floodlights lit up the place. I watched as one of the prisoners I recognized as being more “senior in social stature” walked up and down the isle, stopping at each sitting person randomly and showing those he stopped at something wrapped in cloth. Each would reach in and come out with a closed fist. Keeping security in mind, I asked my terp what was happening. He told me it was a “game” and explained the significance of it. He also described it as being called, what sounded like to me, to the best of my recollection now: BOHT. If I had known what was about to transpire, I would have written it down! The guy that had the cloth said something to the interpreter. “He wants you to try,” he told me. Try what? Apparently, this game entailed him presenting a single stone from the cloth to quite a few of the people that were sitting. One would actually take it, but all had to pretend they did by coming out with closed fists. Apparently the job to discern who actually had it was now mine, and since I was “The MagicMan” they wanted to see me do it. And I did…and how. I didn’t want to spend all night guessing sixty guys, and I certainly did not want to get caught playing a game with the prisoners by someone higher ranking then me. This was well before Abu Ghraib, but we still had our concerns. Declining wasn’t an option from the uproar, so I decided to take a quick guess, apologize, and get back to my post. I simply walked up to one of the guys sitting and pointed at him. I looked at the “terp” with a “can we go now?” look, and his look back to me is one I will not forget. Ever. That guy stood up, and the cloth holding “elder” and he started dancing! Uh-oh...what just happened?

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Prevaricator Yep. I got it right. He had the damn stone. I next heard sixty guys causing an uproar. This was one of the luckiest guesses of my life. I had to get out of there. Apparently there is a “Part II” to BOHT, though. “YEA! Now try the HAND!” is as close as I recall to what was said next. I didn’t have anywhere the experience in body language “tells” that I have now. Hell, I hadn’t even started my career in law enforcement yet, let alone have attended The Reid School of Interview and Interrogation. From the result, it is probably better that I hadn’t. I didn’t overthink anything. The stone-holder held out both hands. I simply grabbed one and covered his fist with my fingers. I cannot remember if this was his left or his right. I simply thought that was the hand with the stone. Honestly, I didn’t care…this was getting surreal, and I didn’t want to get in trouble. With me holding his one fist closed, he had no choice but to open the other hand. It contained the stone. Two for two. I had to get out NOW. Terp and I left, I recall more dancing and hollering, and my fondest memory from that episode is remembering my superior officers thinking “why does Reynolds never seem to have any discipline problems in his compound?” This was my once-in-a-lifetime version of walking on water. For obvious sentimental reason, I am a huge fan of the impromptu “which hand” type of effects. Through various courses in psychology, gambling, and Jack Bauer-like interrogation over the last 15 years I am in a better place research-wise to make an informed decision as to which hand presented to me holds a hidden object. (However, I will never be more lucky than I was in 1991 – and to be lucky is better than to be good!) While most of the time I can control a performance setting while setting up this “which hand” premise, and have time to get my much cherished and needed “tells,” there are others where honestly I cannot. It may be a very crowded bar where I cannot devote my full attention to the participant. Or, quite honestly, it may be a participant that I simply cannot read. Those that claim definite, 100%, accuracy rates with their purely psychological methods are lying to you…Humans are very individual creatures, and unless you have spent a lot of intimate time with a particular one, there will be times when your purely psychological tells are off, as much as I love these methods. BOHT resurrects my lucky, ancient, Arabic method of old, and can pull your a** out of the gutter when one of the “pure” psychological methods fail…and they will (BOHT is a “pure” technique also: pure B.S.) A simple reread, above, of how I pulled this off accidentally will tell you what I base my “hand grab” technique on.

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Prevaricator When presented both closed hands by the prisoner, I grabbed the one that I thought had the coin and thought that by grabbing his hand I was indicating such. However, to his mind, apparently, I was eliminating that hand,: since he could not open it he had no choice but to open the one I was not holding. He brought the whole thing to a successful conclusion in his mind. WOW! I could either be indicating the closed fist I grabbed as being indicative of where I thought the coin was, or I could be eliminating it by not allowing it to open. Thinking about this later opened up a whole new way of thinking and structuring of effects for me. Again, as mentioned elsewhere in this book, we have two different paths to lead us to the same desired result. To the spectator, either path we take looks like it was the only logical choice. The routine and famous mentalist I refer to at the beginning of this is Max Maven and his excellent Kurotsuke routine. He has a clever handling that allows him to narrow down who is holding the stone to two final spectators. From there it is all audacity and bluff, similar to how I am going to describe my BOHT handling. I am certainly not going to tip it here, but most of you have seen the clever way in which he manages the ending. I was SO happy when I saw him perform this routine. To see a well-known mentalist perform something very similar to what I had been performing for quite some time made it feel “justified” in my mind. In the above paragraphs I have sprinkled how I employ my BOHT handling. I am going to put it all together here now. We will assume that the spectator is holding an object in one of two closed outstretched fists. You simply are not confident that you got your tell(s) correctly and want to appear to bring this to a successful conclusion. While I am all for the occasional miss in mentalism, this is a technique to employ when you simply have to appear to get it right. I simply look back and forth at each hand while softly, but loud enough for the participant to hear, mutter to myself: “If I am going to figure out which hand the ****** is in I need to eliminate the one that it isn’t in….” I say this almost as if I am talking to myself and am giving myself direction and guidance on what I need to do to be successful. I try to conjure up a look like a light just went on inside my mind & I immediately do two things simultaneously: I grab hold of one of their fists with my hand, holding it shut, and with my other hand I point to their other fist and command “Open that hand!” No matter what I see I loudly give a self-congratulatory “YES!!”

Page 86

Prevaricator OUTCOME #1

If the hand they open contains the object I immediately let go of their closed fist, gently pushing it down to their side, and take hold of their open hand, with the object on it, with one of my hands. I raise it up a little into the air, almost as if I am displaying the object on their open hand and using that hand as a “display tray” to proudly display my prize. I told them to open their hand, they did, and there is the object for all to see. Arguably the most desirable of the two possible outcomes, but here is how we still bring this to a very successful conclusion when the object is not there.

OUTCOME #2

If the hand they open does not contain the object I still give the “YES!” verbally and do two things: I nonchalantly, softly, brush their open hand down to their side while at the same time my fist that is holding their closed hand raises both of our hands high into the air, much like a referee does for a winning boxer after he has delivered the knockout punch! The combination of this gesture that symbolizes winning and success in our culture, coupled with a confident “YES!” on your part will ensure that in the mind of the participant that you succeeded what you were trying to accomplish. They don’t even need to open their hand to show the object to confirm this success! This works because we implanted the suggestion of an elimination process, by seeding the idea of elimination in our mutterings to our self. We successfully eliminated the hand NOT containing the object, just as we muttered to ourselves that we HAD to do that in order to locate the hand that DID have the object. We have primed the participant to accept either outcome as logical by our verbal utterances and, just as importantly, how we then react to the situation. Any reaction other than an air of complete success on your part, for either outcome, will result in less than stellar reactions. Please give BOHT a few trial runs in real-world settings. I hope it is an effective “out” for you as it has been for me. We, as performers, define what success is…I hope you go forth and always find the correctly colored stone in all aspects of your life.

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Prevaricator

Truth To TEll Barrie Richardson Barrie Richardson is someone I like to lovingly refer to as the Mr. Rogers of Mentalism. He’s one of the nicest folks I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I shared prevaricator with Barrie when we first met back in 2005 in Las Vegas. Upon putting this latest project together I got in touch with Barrie and asked if I could include his original handling of Kosky’s logic conundrum. He responded almost immediately with a very enthusiastic yes. I’d like to extend my many thanks to Barrie for its inclusion here. This is a wonderful routine that allows you to play the Liar/Truth teller game with one person. What’s very cool is that it can even be done over the phone! You may read my non-logic puzzle handling with one person elsewhere in this booklet. [The following is reprinted with encouragement and permission from Barrie Richardson’s Theater of the Mind Houston, Seattle: Hermetic Press, Inc., 1992, pg. 111] During a trip to England some years ago, I met with the late Gerald Kosky who was also on a visit form the United States. At an informal session he showed me a perplexing mystery, based on an old logic problem that has appeared in many recreational mathematics books. Kosky had taken the idea and dressed it up in a new suit, turning it into a full-fledged performance piece. He later contributed it to Apocalypse (Vol. 1, No. 6, June 1978, p. 61). The performer invited two people to decide secretly which of them would pocket a small object, such as a coin, key or pencil. Then one of the two would elect to be a total Liar and the other completely truthful. The performer and the rest of the audience had no clue as to which of the two would elect to be a total Liar and the other completely truthful. The performer and the rest of the audience had no clue as to which of the two had the object or which would lie. The performer addressed to one of them a single question: “Does the Liar have the object?” That person, in his or her role as Liar or Truth-teller, would answer yes or no. From this response and nothing more he could instantly identify the genuine custodian.

Page 88

Prevaricator Many readers are probably familiar with similar types of logic puzzles, but even so, try working out how the performer knows. When you have either solved the problem or given up, here is a brief explanation of the logic: a) If the question is addressed to the Liar and he has the object, he answers, “No,” because he must lie. b)If the Liar does not have the object, he answers, “Yes,” for the same reason. c) If the same question is addressed to the Truth-teller and he has the object, he must answer, “No.” d) Likewise, if the Truth-teller does not have the object, his answer is “Yes.” So in either instance the person with the object always answers, “No,” and the person without always says, “Yes,” regardless of whether they are lying or telling the truth. Such being the case, it doesn’t matter whether you address the question to the Liar or to the Truth-teller. If the answer is yes, that person does not have the object; and if the answer is no, they do. It sounds simple when someone explains it, but believe me, it can be thoroughly confounding to most people, if they don’t already know the answer.

Effect

So much for fundamentals. What I have done is to build on Kosky’s idea in several ways. First, instead of using two people, I use a single spectator and have her mentally nominate one of her hands to be the Liar and the other to be the Truth-teller. She then takes a coin and holds it behind her back and brings out both tightly clasped, so that no one knows the location. I then ask her to raise one hand and, if it is the “Liar hand,” to lie; and if not, to be truthful. I then inquire if the coin is in the “Liar hand.” And the answer identifies its real location. Sometimes, to make the thing more impressive, I use three volunteers and repeat the divination with each in turn. Here is how I build the drama.

Page 89

Prevaricator Method and Presentation

Three women (I always use women for this) are invited to join you in front of the group, and are shown a cookie can filled with quarters. “Will each of you please take one coin from the container.” When this has been done you continue, “We are going to do an experiment that will require your total attention. First, let’s assume that each of your hands is a person in its own right. One is completely truthful; the other is a total liar who never tells the truth. If I said to that hand, ‘Are you a liar?’ the hand would answer, ‘No.’ because it always lies. Now, will each of you decide in your mind which hand you want to be which. Don’t tell anyone else, not even one another. Just keep the secret to yourself. “When you have reached your decision, fix it firmly in your mind. Then place your hands behind your backs and move the coin to either hand. When you have done so, make both hands into fists, so that no one can tell which holds the coin, and bring them out.” The situation at this point is that the three women are standing in a row, holding both hands clenched in front of them. “Next I want each of you to decide which of your two hands is going to be the ‘spokesperson.’ Slightly raise that hand.” Approach the first woman. “Only you know whether the hand you are holding up is the Liar or the Truth-teller. Also, only you can know which hand holds the coin. I’m going to ask you one simple question, which I want you to answer according to which hand you are holding up. If it is the Liar, I want you to lie; and if it is the Truth-teller, you must tell the truth. But only you will know which of those things you are doing. Think carefully for a few seconds before you respond. “Here is the question: ‘Does the Liar hand have the coin?’ Think carefully before you answer.” If she answers, “No,” tap the raised hand. If she answers, “Yes,” touch the other one. Then have her open her fingers and show that you are correct. Move to the second woman and this time alter the question slightly by saying, “Does the Truth-teller have the coin?”

Page 90

Prevaricator This reverses the procedure and, if the answer is yes, the coin is in which-ever hand is raised; if no, it is in the hand not raised. Many people will not notice the different wording and will be thoroughly perplexed by your different responses. They will wonder if it has something to do with your helpers being right or left handed. Now move on to the third person. “This time, just in case you think the hand you pick to be the spokesperson tells me something, I’ll pick the hand.” Touch her left hand and tell her to hold it up. “Only you know whether or not this hand is the Liar or Truth-teller, right? Does the Liar have the coin?” Depending on the answer, reveal the location of the coin. As you thank your helpers and send them back to their seats, insist that each person keeps their quarters as souvenirs. I have used this trick a lot and it plays very well, but it does require very careful explanation about how to behave as a total liar or a teller of the absolute truth. Often I will follow this trick with one of my favorites, “The Trick That Fooled Einstein.” However, I alter the presentation so that I can use the three women who have just helped me and the same cookie can of quarters.

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Prevaricator

CHARTS

Prevaricator Page 92

Prevaricator

KEY KEY: *

=

CONTAINS OBJECT

=

TRUTH TELLER

=

LIAR

Page 93

Prevaricator

Both Liars: Set one Both Liars(1):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT*

RIGHT

LEFT

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

NO

YES

Is it in your left hand?

NO

YES

Both Liars(2):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT*

LEFT

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

NO

YES

Is it in your left hand?

YES

YES

Both Liars(2):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT

LEFT*

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

YES

NO

Is it in your left hand?

YES

NO

Both Liars(2):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT

LEFT

RIGHT*

Do you have the object?

YES

NO

Is it in your left hand?

YES

YES

Page 94

Prevaricator

Both Liars: Set two Both Truth Tellers(1):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT*

RIGHT

LEFT

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

YES

NO

Is it in your left hand?

YES

NO

Both Truth Tellers(2):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT Do you have the object? Is it in your left hand? Both Truth Tellers(3):

RIGHT*

LEFT

RIGHT

YES

NO

NO

NO

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT

LEFT*

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

NO

YES

Is it in your left hand?

NO

YES

Both Truth Tellers(4):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT

LEFT

RIGHT*

Do you have the object?

NO

YES

Is it in your left hand?

NO

NO

Page 95

Prevaricator

Truth Teller & Liars: Set ONE Truth Teller & Liar(1):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT*

RIGHT

LEFT

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

NO

NO

Is it in your left hand?

NO

NO

Truth Teller & Liar(2):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT Do you have the object? Is it in your left hand? Truth Teller & Liar(3):

RIGHT*

LEFT

RIGHT

NO

NO

YES

NO

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT

LEFT*

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

YES

YES

Is it in your left hand?

YES

YES

Truth Teller & Liar(4):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT

LEFT

RIGHT*

Do you have the object?

YES

YES

Is it in your left hand?

YES

NO

Page 96

Prevaricator

Truth Teller & Liars: Set TWO Truth Teller & Liar(1):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT*

RIGHT

LEFT

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

YES

YES

Is it in your left hand?

YES

YES

Truth Teller & Liar(2):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT Do you have the object? Is it in your left hand? Truth Teller & Liar(3):

RIGHT*

LEFT

RIGHT

YES

YES

NO

YES

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT

LEFT*

RIGHT

Do you have the object?

NO

NO

Is it in your left hand?

NO

NO

Truth Teller & Liar(4):

SUBJECT ONE

SUBJECT TWO

LEFT

RIGHT

LEFT

RIGHT*

Do you have the object?

NO

NO

Is it in your left hand?

NO

YES

IT

Page 97

Have the object?

Prevaricator

In your left hand?

SUBJECT ONE(L)*

NO

NO

SUBJECT TWO

NO

NO

SUBJECT THREE

NO

NO

SUBJECT ONE(R)*

NO

YES

SUBJECT TWO

NO

NO

Three Person Ob SUBJECT THREE

NO Have the object?

In your leftNO hand?

SUBJECT ONE(L)*

NO

NO

SUBJECT TWO ONE SUBJECT

NO NO

NO NO

SUBJECT THREE TWO(L)* SUBJECT

NO NO

NO NO

SUBJECT THREE

NO

NO

SUBJECT ONE(R)* ONE SUBJECT

NO NO

NO YES

SUBJECT TWO TWO(R)* SUBJECT

NO NO

YES NO

SUBJECT THREE THREE SUBJECT

NO NO

NO NO

SUBJECT ONE

NO

NO

SUBJECT TWO(L)* ONE SUBJECT

NO NO

NO NO

SUBJECT THREE TWO SUBJECT

NO NO

NO NO

SUBJECT THREE(L)*

NO

NO

SUBJECT ONE

NO

NO

SUBJECT TWO(R)* ONE SUBJECT

NO NO

NO YES

SUBJECT THREE TWO SUBJECT

NO NO

NO NO

NO

YES

IT

IT SUBJECT THREE(R)* SUBJECT ONE SUBJECT TWO

NO Continued on Next Page

NO

NO

NO

SUBJECT THREE(L)*

NO

NO

SUBJECT ONE

NO

NO

Page 98

Prevaricator

IT

SUBJECT SUBJECT SUBJECT SUBJECT SUBJECT SUBJECT

ONE ONE TWO(R)* TWO THREE THREE(R)*

NO NO NO NO NO NO

NO NO YES NO NO YES

SUBJECT ONE

NO

NO

SUBJECT TWO

NO

NO

SUBJECT THREE(L)*

NO

NO

SUBJECT ONE

NO

NO

SUBJECT TWO

NO

NO

SUBJECT THREE(R)*

NO

YES

Page 99

Prevaricator

In Closing

Prevaricator Page 100

Prevaricator

In Closing There have been so many people that have had a hand in making this project possible. My many thanks go out to those who have supported this project and contributed their hearts and souls into its final form. Finally many thanks to you for purchasing the “Prevaricator+.” I hope you have as much fun with the material as I have had performing it. I’d like to use this remaining space to thank everyone who’s been involved in getting this project up and running and showing such enthusiasm towards the original product produced in 2005. So many thanks to: Dan Huffman, Ben Blau, Gregory Wilson, Banachek, Joshua Jay, Andi Gladwin, Marc Salem, Derren Brown, Marc Kendall, Colin Mcleod, Rick Maue, Joshua Kane, Paul Vigil, Brandon Bell, and anyone else that I’ve managed not to mention. Until our paths cross again, Patrick G. Redford (2009)

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