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Topic: Best cold reading book
Message: Posted by: Midnight333 (Nov 26, 2004 03:17PM)
What is the best cold reading book?
Message: Posted by: Phil Thomas (Nov 26, 2004 08:38PM)
"Igloo Building For Dummies"
"How To Catch A Polar Bear"


Sorry. Couldn't resist. :bg:

Phil
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Nov 26, 2004 09:12PM)
Hey Phil,

You really need to fight these urges. . . ;)

Mark

Midnight333, try The Dance by Brad Henderson
Message: Posted by: scolman (Nov 26, 2004 10:59PM)
I second "The Dance", even as a relative newcomer. The CD's produced by Richard Webster from New Zealand are also very good (I only have Commercial Cold Reading but he explains things very well and I read on this forum that he produces a number of other training materials that are just as strong.)
The Dance is quite hard to find but I think they still have a few copies available at Stevens Magic.
You can also make direct contact with the author, Brad Henderson who is a regular user of the Café and seems keen to help, do a search on him and you'll find his user name. (I don't know if its appropriate for me to mention it outright).
Simon
Message: Posted by: chmara (Nov 26, 2004 11:40PM)
Ian Rowlan's "Full Facts of Cold Reading," AND "The Dance." Good balance, solid technique and professional skeptical approach.

GC
Message: Posted by: mrmysticmike (Nov 27, 2004 03:41PM)
There is a lot of great material in Richard Webster's books. There are also some gems in the Herb Dewey books if you can get them.
Message: Posted by: 7th_Son (Nov 27, 2004 04:58PM)
This site reviews just about every cold reading book ever written.

http://deceptionary.oratory.com/aboutreading.html
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Nov 27, 2004 05:25PM)
The link above is great.

I second The Dance.
Message: Posted by: Osiris (Nov 29, 2004 06:03PM)
Do bear in mind that THE DANCE is not for the beginner but someone that's been studying the craft for a period of time.

The best way to learn how to be a READER is to ignore all the Magic oriented B.S. and simply buy an oracle system that you feel comfortable with and learn how to use it properly. You'll be amazed at how hard and accurate a Reading you can deliver in do such. This is something that most who work on either side of the proverbial fence testify of on a regular basis... just as Mark Strivings, Jon Riggs, or (if you need a more skeptical opinion) Rick Maue.

The "Psycho Babble" of magic is more prone to confuse you and get you pointed out as being a fraud than it is known to aid someone trying to do Readings. Most of it is "Niche" based and designed for brief retorts from the stage vs. in-depth sessions. It has many (did I say "MANY"?) holes in it. This is a fact explained in Bob Cassidy's manuscript on Cold Reading (which I highly recommend, btw).

You may want to check out the gang at Blair Robertson's Mental-List.com/Forum --- this is a group of PROFESSIONAL Readers that know their stuff. Another excellent source is Philemon Vanderbeck's OORT series (and I'm not just saying that because I'm one of the key contributors to the book...)

For quick and FREE references, check out my columns at OnLine-VISIONS or TOP HAT eZines.

CB
Message: Posted by: mota (Dec 27, 2004 11:19PM)
Look up Chinese Numerology on the internet...there are free pages. Learn this simple reading and go out and do 20 readings or so.

Then go to Doug Dyment's site for his cold reading flash cards, or get Richard Webster's Quick and Effective Cold Reading. The flash cards are Richard Webster's lines in flash card form, with his permission.

Ian Rowland seems quite pleasant from his posts but I wouldn't recommend that book. It is magician's fantasies about "tricks" you can do. I find it hard to believe that he has done much reading, just theorizing. I feel bad saying this, but the book, Full Facts, is magician's masturbation. I threw mine away and felt I wasted around 50 bucks. To be fair, I don't feel ripped off. He put a lot in this book, I just think it's fantasy.

The Dance by Henderson seems to be written by someone who has done some readings, but it is unneeded. That book actually has a card trick in the back with a readings theme. I know it is good magic, but people would rather you spent the time giving them a longer reading.

I have done literally thousands of readings since 1973. I have some idea what I am talking about. Learn the numerology readings and do them...then get the Richard Webster books or the flash cards from Doug Dyment. That will teach you palm reading, the most powerful quick reading (10-20 minutes) you can do.

To try to learn readings from magic books is a great handicap.
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Dec 28, 2004 12:06AM)
Hi mota,

I make a good portion of my living as a magician, the remainder as a speaker and mind reader. I rarely give readings professional anymore, however at one time they were an important part of my career choices.

The card trick is included for a number of reasons. One, its a good card trick. As The Dance is marketed to magicians I felt they might appreciate it. Two, people need a place to practice cold readings. Cold reading can be a scary proposition. By combining reading techniques with a guaranteed theatrically sound conclusion, one can "relax" a little during the reading, knowing the conclusion will be strong. I would NEVER recommend doing a card trick in a reading context. It is neither warranted and will not be appreciated by the sitter. The reading is about them, not what the "performer" can do. But, by testing the waters in a card trick, the student may someday trust his or her abilities and decide to read SHOULD THEY FEEL THEY CAN DO SO WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY AND SENSITIVITY IT REQUIRES.

However, using reading techniques in an entertainment context is very powerful. Of course, the reading for an individual will always be a stronger experience, however we can take advantage of these techniques in our performances - for those of us who do so.

So, I thank you for calling attention to the fact that card tricks and readings probably do not mix ( I tend to avoid dogmatic statements) however please try to understand the intent behind including the card trick. It does hurt that you think the Dance did not need to be written. I wanted to offer a text which addressed some of the issues of responsibility and ethics which I found sorely lacking from the literature. I also wanted to convey that reading is a process and not merely a set of canned lines to be pawned off to the "marks." To treat human beings as recepticles for "stock lines" I find repugnant. I'm sorry you did not think it would hold value for others.

Brad
Message: Posted by: mota (Dec 28, 2004 03:20PM)
My apologies...I didn't mean to sound like I am slamming the book, though now that I read it, it appears I put it in the same category as Full Facts. So, let me be clear...

I did not mean the book didn't need to be written, only that I prefer my own approach (big surprise).

You will get your money's worth from The Dance.

I think it will help many, but for my opinion (that and a thumb tip might be worth something) I think that learning a basic system that doesn't confuse your sitter (real astrology is way too complicated) and just doing readings will be fine.

If The Dance gets you to actually try readings it is worth every penny...for most people that applies.

So, if you want to do readings and have some reservation get The Dance, do what he says, and watch the reaction.

Again, my apologies on painting both books with the same brush.
Message: Posted by: Midnight333 (Dec 28, 2004 03:59PM)
I did a reading for a girl friend of mine, and at the end I forced the lovers card. She freaked out. she said do it again but take that card out... So I top changed it, tabled the other card and forced it again. She was floored. By the way the book I eventually got was called Tradecraft and I think it's really practical.
Message: Posted by: Ian Rowland (Jan 1, 2005 08:16PM)
[quote]Ian Rowland seems quite pleasant from his posts but I wouldn't recommend that book. It is magician's fantasies about "tricks" you can do. I find it hard to believe that he has done much reading, just theorizing. I feel bad saying this, but the book, Full Facts, is magician's masturbation. I threw mine away and felt I wasted around 50 bucks. To be fair, I don't feel ripped off. He put a lot in this book, I just think it's fantasy.[/quote]
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. There is a rich selection of opinions about my book on my website -- some of them from people with, perhaps, a little bit more practical experience than some people who post on the Magic Café. Here are a few facts.

I have made my own personal choice not to do readings for money. This is just my own personal decision, which I've made for myself, and need not affect anyone else. I have made this decision for reasons to do with my own feelings of honesty (because I know I'm not psychic), and for my feelings of respect for the people I meet. There are some things that I'm happy to be paid to do, such as entertaining people with a mentalism show or giving a corporate lecture on what I call 'real mind power'. There are other things I don't want to take people's money for, and giving seemingly psychic readings is one of them.

However, not giving readings for money is not the same as not giving readings. I must have given literally hundreds or even thousands of readings in my life, for all kinds of people, in countless different contexts. Most have been tarot readings, palm readings, astrology readings or graphology readings, but I have done other kinds of readings as well. Some were quick and simple readings, others were 45 minutes in duration. Some were for believers, some for skeptics, and some were done under 'test conditions' for media demonstration purposes. For all these readings, I used my own understanding of cold reading techniques.

The techniques I describe in my book work. I am still the only person in the world who has given 'test conditions' demonstrations for TV of four different types of readings: tarot, astrology, clairvoyant and spiritualism, relying entirely on my understanding of cold reading to do so. I was successful in every case.

I have hundreds of emails and testimonials on file from people who say they have found my cold reading book to be full of useful, practical information about how cold reading works.

When I lectured at the Magic Castle, so many people turned up and wanted to get in they had to transfer the lecture from the Parlour (the usual lecture venue) to the main theatre. This was something they've only had to do for about 4 or 5 lecturers. I demonstrated how to do a Question & Answer act using pure cold reading, nothing written down, no prep, no advance info. Greg Arce here on the Café was kind enough to say he thought it was the best demo of a Q&A act he'd ever seen.

I recently had lunch with Ron First, one of Israel's premier mentalists and certainly the one with the most TV credits to his name, when he recently visited London. He asked me to demonstrate this Q&A cold reading technique. I did so for him, right there in the pub. He said it was amazing. All I was doing was using some of the techniques described in my book. I did the same for Dimis Michaelides from Cyprus, who was also recently over here in London and wanted to meet up.

In Australia, for Sean Taylor (Syndey's biggest magic dealer) I gave a 4 hour workshop for mentalists, a substantial portion of which was devoted to cold reading. Sean wrote afterwards: "His confidence in his material comes not only from his years of honing his craft but from his superb grasp of cold reading which beautifully frames many of his performances. This understanding allows him to control and steer lay people towards buying into his effects. If you can master some of the techniques he describes and can add even a small segment of cold reading to your act it will without doubt change the way in which your audience perceives you."

So there you go. Each to their own opinion. I think I know a thing or two about cold reading, and I think what I know is based on practical, real-life, real-world experience. I stand by the material in my book.
Message: Posted by: Natural Mystic (Jan 1, 2005 09:30PM)
Ian Rowland,

"I demonstrated how to do a Question & Answer act using pure cold reading, nothing written down, no prep, no advance info."


What specific parts of your book address how to do a Cold Q&A? When are you going to put your Question & Answer lecture into a DVD format, for those across the pond?


Peace
Message: Posted by: mota (Jan 4, 2005 04:37PM)
Magicians everywhere agree that Full Facts of Cold Reading is good...too bad most magicians don't know squat about readings. The ability to be a stage psychic and ability to do one on one readings are two entirely different skill sets.

You don't have to use "tricks" to fish for information. You are only impressing yourself. It's a magician's mindset and handicaps you. At the risk of aggravating the Randi disciples I must say that when you do readings like this you are using the wrong part of your brain.

There is some very good porno in video's, but that doesn't mean there aren't real women. It can add, but if that is your life, it is lame.

The Full Facts of Cold Reading is very good "cold" reading porno...kind of like the "Debbie Does Dallas" of readings. It can help, but if after thousands of readings your are still just doing this stuff, you are short-changing yourself drastically.

I saw a site once where someone did five readings using the Full Facts techniques. He had one good reading, three just ok, and one flop. He then went on to say if he practiced he could become a "rich and famous psychic" or some crap like that. Of course he was too "moral" for such things.

One out of five is pathetic.

Psychological techniques can help flavor the frosting of a reading, but don't mistake them for the cake.
Message: Posted by: Wendy Wylde (Jan 11, 2005 02:51AM)
Hi Mota!

[quote]
On 2005-01-04 17:37, mota wrote:
Magicians everywhere agree that Full Facts of Cold Reading is good...too bad most magicians don't know squat about readings. The ability to be a stage psychic and ability to do one on one readings are two entirely different skill sets.
[/quote]

Well, to be fair, they're two entirely different professions too.

(Think as you will of me) I've been working as a professional psychic for years now (as both a shut and open eye reader)and only just started seriously doing magic as well. But I never, EVER combine the two. They don't go well together at all. If I'm working as a "psychic advisor" and I suddenly break into card tricks all of my credibility is shot. I become a magician doing tricks. If I'm doing magic tricks, even mentalism, and offer to do a private reading, I remain a magician looking to fool the sitter.

Cold reading IS a powerful technique, wherever you use it, and every mentalist should be familiar with it. But I don't see any reason for magicians/mentalists to know anything about doing one on one readings. Few of them will ever want or need to. It isn't a fault that a magician/mentalist doesn't know anything about doing private readings. They're completely different types of performance.

And as a side note, I agree with everyone that recommended "The Dance". Fantastic book. Anything by Richard Webster is good, including his books for shut eyes (there are some great divination tools in there!) I will definitely have to check out "Full Facts of Cold Reading", it sounds fascinating!

Wendy
Message: Posted by: Withnail (Jan 11, 2005 05:52AM)
Sorry for another no brainer, but what's the difference between the 'art' of cold reading and the 'craft' of cold reading?

Another question while I have your attention: I have no cold reading skills, so what would be the best book to start with? I want to convince someone that "the spirits are giving me information" - where is a good starting point, other than Absynth ;)
Message: Posted by: StrangeMagick (Jan 11, 2005 02:32PM)
[quote]
I will definitely have to check out "Full Facts of Cold Reading", it sounds fascinating!
[/quote]

CoyoteQuixote:

Beware, Ian's writing style might be fount, um, well, offensive to one who has worked as a shut-eye reader. I personally believe that the "Full Facts of Cold Reading" is over-rated for it's actual information on "real" cold reading, as it seems to oversimplify readings ... but that's just me. I also haven't read it for a few years.

Just my 2c.

Dave
Message: Posted by: Wendy Wylde (Jan 11, 2005 03:35PM)
Hi Dave!

[quote]
Beware, Ian's writing style might be fount, um, well, offensive to one who has worked as a shut-eye reader. I personally believe that the "Full Facts of Cold Reading" is over-rated for it's actual information on "real" cold reading, as it seems to oversimplify readings ... but that's just me. I also haven't read it for a few years.
[/quote]

Thank you for the heads-up about this book. I'm pretty hard to offend, though. :) I have no illusions about what I was doing when I was a shut-eye reader (though, I really did think I was psychic. I'm not proud of that. But it turns out at that time the best illusion I did was for myself.), but I think having had that experience helps me deal with shut-eyes when I run into them now.

Cold reading is easily oversimplified, and honestly, to describe it it DOES sound very simple. It's when you try it in practice that you realize that it is very much a dance, and it's something you don't fully understand until you do it.

Having read Mr. Rowland's post about his history, and cold reading "credentials", I think I'll still have to check out his book. My theory about study has always been to study EVERYTHING, and pick from it the pieces that work for you. There are very few books written on mentalism and cold reading that have NOTHING of value in them. (Off the top of my head, I can't think of one, actually.)

But thank you for the kind warning. I appreciate it. :)

Wendy

Hi Withnail,

[quote]
On 2005-01-11 06:52, Withnail wrote:
Sorry for another no brainer, but what's the difference between the 'art' of cold reading and the 'craft' of cold reading?
[/quote]

Well, it'd be the same as the "art" and the "craft" of magic. Any idiot can do "Scotch and Soda" within minutes of reading the instructions, that would be the craft of magic. But to make it a decent trick, to make it miraculous, is an art.

Cold reading is no different. Any idiot can whip out the Barnum Profile and do a reading. There are even tarot cards with the keywords for the cards right on them. And because of the way the human mind works, and the desire for you to be right (in the case of most sitters), most of the time you will succeed.

To make it seem as if the spirits are giving you messages, as you say you want, is an art.

[quote]
Another question while I have your attention: I have no cold reading skills, so what would be the best book to start with? I want to convince someone that "the spirits are giving me information" - where is a good starting point, other than Absynth ;)
[/quote]

I highly recommend the book "The Dance". Also, Richard Webster has some really good books on the subject. He uses palmistry, but you can use the techniques for whatever kind of reading you choose to do (how are the spirits going to get this information to you? Crystal ball? Scrying mirror?) Apparently he even has a couple of videos out, but I haven't seen them. I'm told they're really good, though. Anyone?

Good luck!

Wendy
Message: Posted by: krantis (Jan 11, 2005 05:55PM)
Hi there -
I would suggest the Herb Dewey Series :
RED HOT COLD READINGS
MORE - RED HOT COLD READINGS
Maybe out of print though
Cheers
Michael
Message: Posted by: mota (Jan 11, 2005 08:09PM)
If you are looking for a magician's mindset book you should get Lee Earle's, "The Classic Reading" which is his take on the classic Forer and Shekel (?) classic stock reading.

Unlike the books listed above (except for Richard Webster's books) when you finish this you will actually be able to do a reading.

As far as transfering readings from Webster's palmistry to other types, that would be a mistake...there is nothing stronger than palmistry.

I've told this story often, but once more seems needed. Many years ago I was hired by a college to do readings for five hours. They got 3-5 minute readings and I offered them a choice. They could pick numerology, palmistry, tarot, aura, handwriting analysis, runes, or tarot.

In five hours one person picked tarot, everyone else picked palm. My experiences, and the experiences of those I know who do readings (as opposed to those who "intellectualize" about them) confirm this. It is palm reading people want...nothing else is even close.

Truth be told, get Webster's "Quick and Effective Cold Reading". It is actually straight palm reading, with his lines for what the lines mean...not just cold reading lines...it takes a little work (sounds of magicians running away) but has paid off for me, both financially and in personal satisfaction and growth, more than anything I have ever done...and I've been doing this type of thing since 1963.

For a shorter version of Webster's palmistry I repeat my earlier recommendation of Doug Dyment's flash cards...these are the basic palmistry lines done on flash cards.
Message: Posted by: teejay (Jan 14, 2005 07:01PM)
Midnight
Wendy seems to have the right track
Cheers
TJ
Message: Posted by: DYL (Jan 15, 2005 05:11AM)
I would second the advice given by mota. Get Doug Dyments flash cards. These are a great reference in a very nice handy form. Also at a very good price.

They are based on Richard Websters Quick and Effective Cold Reading. I would advise you to buy both these items.
Message: Posted by: Vision (Jan 15, 2005 06:11AM)
Im putting my vote for Ian's book. Not because he's a friend, but because I've seen him do cold readings before and it's just fantastic to watch. This is where I learned my cold reading as well. If I would recommend other books than that... hmm... Richard Webster, any title will work.

The only thing me and Ian disagree upon is that he doesn't think you need a system, such as tarot- and palm-reading, as a cold reader. Im not saying you desperately need one, but I like knowing a system, it's like a cue card on someones hand, or cards.

Anyway, have a nice day!

//Daniel
Message: Posted by: Drewmcadam (Jan 15, 2005 04:52PM)
Having read all of them. And studied a few of them. I have, for he past few years, actually made money, and a reputation, from readings... So, if you want theory and discussion, fine - read what you want. If you want to blow people's socks off, then don't just read, but STUDY, and put into practice, Ian Rowland's book. Listen to those who are actually DOING it, rather than just pontificating. Me? I'm DOING it. End of story.

Drew
Message: Posted by: Withnail (Jan 21, 2005 11:03AM)
Thanks for all your help on this :)
Message: Posted by: FrOrgenLaVey (Jan 24, 2005 08:10AM)
Greetings

I dare to say that my favorite book on the matter is "IT MUST BE MIND READING" by George Anderson.
Message: Posted by: magic in mind (Jan 24, 2005 03:35PM)
Well ill say mr rowlands book is an encyclopedia on cold readings.its worth every penny.he does at the start of the book talk about using tarot and palmistry etc.and does give examples of readings using tarot.so unless eveyone else has been reading a different book? ill say trade craft has some good ideas too .like to people who havent thought of it.using the office of national statistics.mr rowlands book is very well written and full of amusing anecdotes well done sir.
Message: Posted by: mota (Jan 24, 2005 08:32PM)
OK, since you'all seem to like the "fake it" approach, here are two options.

First, the best stock reading I have ever seen is in the book, "The Mental Mysteries of William Larsen Sr" by William Larsen. I believe it is called the life span reading. There are a few stock readings in there but I thought the others were just OK. This reading, the one that goes, "so far your life has been lived in seven cycles", is truly astounding and is such a good fake it will play as powerfully as a real good geniune psychic reading. If you are going to learn the stock reading approach, find this. (I will not send copies, so please don't ask).

The second idea comes from a late friend of mine, Tony Andruzzi. He sent me this sheet, I will copy it here, misspellings are in the original. I don't know who else may have gottent this, or even if it was eventually published somewhere...so for no other reason than for the hell of it, here for posterity are...

TONY ANDRUZZI'S SHURE FIRE COLD READINGS

Tired of the same old stock cold reading lines? Try some of these on your next sitter.

As a child, you were much shorter.
You like gay colors, but you find yourself avoiding unpleasant odors.
An older person you don't know doesn't really care about you.
You dislike driving in the dark...especially nails.
You have an overweight friend who is fat.
While you may feel that you're underpaid, you're worth it.
Though you feel rejection, you merit it.
Your right leg is longer than your left arm.
Though you're old-fashioned in certain respects, you still like modern toilets.
Although you don't believe in astrology, this is characteristic of your sign.
You're not a user, but you do enjoy your Visa card.
You would not hurt any animal larger than yourself.
You would make an excellent counseler or philosopher if it weren't for your IQ.
Your lucky number is a winning one.
You are very optimistic about all the bad things that have happened to you.
You are able to give good advice to anyone who will listen.
You have recently had a severe gas problem.
You find great pleasure in joy.
Through perseverance, you'll continue to try.
You find pain hurtful.
Emotionally, you let your feelings stand in the way.
Any confusion you experience is due to not understanding the situation.
You have an excellent sense of humor if you understand the joke.
Under stress, you find yourself getting edgy.
You have an aversion to unpleasant things.
Your favorite color is the one you like best.
Your artistic potential is only hampered by your talents.
Message: Posted by: gothxman (Mar 8, 2005 03:02AM)
As a reviewer of Ian's book, I'd recommend it as an exhaustive encyclopedia of COLD READING... the FACTS... just the facts, ma'am... beginner or advanced, this book is a foundation for learning about and understanding just what cold reading is in its many devious applications (including business)...

if you want to study 'real' pychic materials, study miriam ruthchild, the writing styles of the book of isaiah in the hebrew bible/old testment, revelation in the new, nostradomas and the complete writings of the easter bunny (unabridged)...

oh... and no has mentioned the GENIOUS of Ron Martin; his tarot and palm reading books are a must...

my advice? start with ian's full facts to see/get the WHOLE picture... move on to earle's gentle art of cold reading to get you started... then martin's tarot book and webster's psychimetry a-z to read...

good luck finding dewey or larsen sr...

hope this helps...

curtis foster

ps. don't think mentalism and comedy could/should/would mix?
I didn't either until I saw ian perform in his lecture video... not only was I amazed and, more importantly, entertained, I laughed my @ss off with his self depracating charm and his very UNmagicianlike UNcondescending compassion for his audience...
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Mar 8, 2005 07:42AM)
Honestly, I believe that the main question in this topic is right, but any attempt to address it straight will be wrong. The quest for the best book on cold reading is a deceptive path. This is not boxing. There are no champions. Besides, Cold reading is a practice, not a theory. If you are interested in Cold Reading you should, first, be curious about people and start observing them everywhere. You will immediately start finding patterns. In fact, you already know some cold reading. Books are great to discover that you didn’t knew you know.

Then, there are plenty books that will help you a lot. Many of them have been mentioned in this thread. IMHO, you should, sooner or later, read them all. Choose the order you like (CR, like magic or mentalism, are mainly things you have to learn for yourself so, only you know the best pace and rhythm for you) and start studying them. Of course, very few people will have the money to get them all, but CR is not something you learn over a weekend so, don’t worry. You have all your life to read the existent, and upcoming, bibliography.

“Passion” and “great interest” are related. One book won’t suffice if you are really interested on CR, actually, not even the existent books on CR will be enough if you are interested in detect, understand, organize and predict human nature.

Doug Dyment provides a great resource to understand what is out there, from the point of view of a a trickster. I don’t mean to offend anybody with that. But there are thousands of other books about readings and readers out there, written and published by and for people who really believes their thing, that are worth reading. There are also hundreds of books on social psychology or cognitive research, that are extremely insightful.

This days I have been reading BLINK, a book by Malcolm Gladwell.

Take a look at how the author describes his book:

“It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, "Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.”

Sounds familiar? Now, how many times you think the concept of Cold Reading is mentioned? Not one. ZERO! This guy does an extensive research in the field of intuition, and how to order and rationalize your intuition to become more assertive judging people, but he doesn’t bother to mention that there is a craft called CR that applies very similar concepts and have similar goals. Why is this? because he has the same problem we have: we live inside our little box, reading only books written and endorsed for the top names in our field, without finding the connections between the kind of knowledge we pursue and the knowledge held on some other, different, and maybe apparently distant fields. DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE.

Besides that, you will like to see how a “real” psychic works. Since we are all so convinced that they all use CR, well... pay for a reading. Go and see how it works for someone who make a living using it. Watch John Edward doing his show. Many people here says he is terrible doing CR. Well, take a look at his work, see what you can learn, what you can detect. Define why is he “so bad” if that’s really the case.

And, of course, in the meantime, practice. Practice like crazy. Cold reading is a living craft and the only great “book” on the subject, is the one you will assemble for yourself in your mind, combining experience and knowledge.

This is a wonderful topic.

EE
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Mar 8, 2005 07:49AM)
Best cold reading book = any book that teaches you to touch them not to wow them.

Touch not Wow. Repeat after me: This is not a trick. Touch not wow.

/Bamba
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Mar 8, 2005 08:33AM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-08 08:49, Bambaladam wrote:

Touch not Wow. Repeat after me: This is not a trick. Touch not wow.

/Bamba
[/quote]

Beautiful Bamba!
Message: Posted by: enigmatic (Mar 8, 2005 04:57PM)
In my point of view, the best Cold Reading's books are :

Red Hot Cold Reading (H. Dewey)
The king of the Cold Readers (H. Dewey)
Psycho-Babble (H. Dewey).
The Dance (Brad Henderson)
The 5 vol on the psychic reading by Bascom Jones.
All books by Myriam Ruthchild.
The mental mysteries and other writings by Larsen (really good book for the stock reading and very inspiring book).
Richard Webster' books.
Wonder Readings (Knepper and Sykes)
Tales from the Tarot (Hobrin).

But all these books are not strictly of use to anything if you do not experiment. Furthermore, everything depends which type of cold reading you looking for : one to one or cold reading for the show ? Because it's not the same thing and the same audience.

If you looking for one to one reading, I agree with Mota. Personnally, Full fact of cold reading by M. Ian Rowland doesn't work for the real work. It's just a cold reading for public demonstration writes by a magician for the magicians. For years I make readings regularly and If I had to use the techniques of Mr Rowland for one to one reading, I would fail, for sure. His techniques doesn't work for the real people who want a true psychic reading with true questioning about themselves and the mystery of the life. But I agree, that there are fun things only within the framework of the show-buisness.

Finally, there are none book better than other book. All depends of your goal and your audience. But I'm sure of an important thing : If you intellectualize the cold reading, you are nothing. The only important thing is the experience !
Message: Posted by: Mystician (Mar 8, 2005 07:48PM)
Just had to say, mota, LOL. Those are great.

So, I just won "The Dance" on eBay,(for $34 postagepaid, I had to buy it!) but I've read repeatedly here that this book is not for the beginner - so let's narrow it down a bit ..what about books specifically good for leading up to The Dance ?
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Mar 9, 2005 07:55AM)
My favourite four reading items for the craft:

Quick and Effective Cold Reading by Richard Webster (can actually be replaced by any other "beginner" book from him that includes a system, aura reading for fun and profit is good)

How To Give Fun And Amazing Psychic Readings Volume 1, DVD by Stuart Cumberland (My favourite beginner's source)

Initiations by Alexander Thomas, book plus cassette tape (this is simply awesome and covers some finer details on how to go from good to great)

Counseling techniques for the private reader by Gene Nielsen, not because it makes you a counselor (it doesn't), not because it teaches you to give advice and solve people's problems (it doesn't) but because it teaches you to help people help themselves. This book will also help you feel good about charging for your services.

Note in addition to these you will need real books on the system you intend to use. I recommend Richard Webster's books again. All his books at Llewellyn are great stuff.

Please note those recommendations are for one-on-one readings in "real life" situations, not for the stage. For stage work I recommend good acting and Richard Webster's Psychometry A-Z, Gene Anderson's Dynamite Mentalism or Gene Nielsen's Cool Readings.

I will give you a freebie here: If you want to give readings from the stage, you can still do it without "cold reading". Why not do a set of 3 card tarot spreads before you go on stage, and use them for your onstage readings? You can continue to learn your system (in this case tarot) without having to pump or guess a lot, and your time spent will be useful should you wish to give one-on-one readings later. Not to mention your readings will never be the same if someone should want to see you more than once. If you want to impress people with wonderful facts you "couldn't know" (completely irrelevant in a real reading), there are better methods than hurling letters out and trying to make people agree with you.

/Bamba
Message: Posted by: nique (Mar 9, 2005 08:09AM)
Ian Rowland's Complete Facts Book is pretty exhaustive, and gives you plenty to work with.
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Mar 9, 2005 08:15AM)
I think the full facts book is a bad choice for a beginner, but I think this is a matter of attitude that has been discussed many times previously. I also wouldn't recommend Dewey for a beginner.

I think the most important thing to think of as you start out is what the reading situation is, how you're approaching it, what you want to achieve with it and how to develope the courage to actually have serious conversations with people you've never met and to offer sincere interest in their lives. The books and other sources I mentioned above are great for this. I don't think the Full Facts book does this well, what I think it does best is offer a method explanation for a certain kind of reading. I think a beginner would be much better served by my suggestions.

They will also not try to teach you contempt for other psychic readers, a good thing if you ask me as you may need to get along with these people at some point if you want to give readings.

/Bamba

Oh and also,

The Dance is great, but it is in no way for beginners.

/Bamba
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Mar 9, 2005 09:01AM)
Great posts Bamba.

You addressed there a very important point: the contempt that mentalists doing readings feel for other readers, and the need of getting rid of it. After all, what the audience/inquirer sees is not too different.

One of the main problems of mentalism is the conceptual schizophrenia.

[quote]
On 2005-03-09 08:55, Bambaladam wrote:

I will give you a freebie here: If you want to give readings from the stage, you can still do it without "cold reading". Why not do a set of 3 card tarot spreads before you go on stage, and use them for your onstage readings?

/Bamba
[/quote]

Paolo Cavalli has a great effect at the end of his book Omicron, using Tarot Cards on stage where you can perform readings and a live/death test. Is one of my favorites in the book.
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Mar 9, 2005 09:22AM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-09 10:20, enriqueenriquez wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-03-09 08:55, Bambaladam wrote:

I will give you a freebie here: If you want to give readings from the stage, you can still do it without "cold reading". Why not do a set of 3 card tarot spreads before you go on stage, and use them for your onstage readings?

/Bamba
[/quote]

Paolo Cavalli has a great effect at the end of his book Omicron, using Tarot Cards on stage where you can perform readings and a live/death test. Is one of my favorites in the book.
[/quote]

That sounds cool! My suggestion was for psychometry readings or something like that (i.e. not using the cards openly, just doing the spreads and then using them for the readings without mentioning the cards), but I'm sure Paolo's idea is solid. As far as I know, they always are.

/Bamba
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Mar 9, 2005 09:33AM)
Yes, Paolo’s routine is great.

I have used the cards on stage, (I even did it once on TV), not with Paolo’s routine, just doing plain readings, with great success. It depends on your angle, of course.

Dr. Zodiac also has a Tarotmetry routine on his Untitled book and, a GREAT, method to learn Tarot readings.
Message: Posted by: enigmatic (Mar 9, 2005 06:33PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-09 08:55, Bambaladam wrote:

"...but because it teaches you to help people help themselves".

/Bamba
[/quote]

And


[quote]
On 2005-03-09 09:15, Bambaladam wrote:

I think the most important thing to think of as you start out is what the reading situation is, how you're approaching it, what you want to achieve with it and how to develope the courage to actually have serious conversations with people you've never met and to offer sincere interest in their lives.

They will also not try to teach you contempt for other psychic readers, a good thing if you ask me as you may need to get along with these people at some point if you want to give readings.

/Bamba
[/quote]

Wonderfull words Bamba ! I agree with you... Definitively !
Message: Posted by: Logan Five (Mar 10, 2005 07:47AM)
" what about books that are specifically good leading up to The Dance?"

New Passages by Gail Sheehy is good however, as Brad states in his book that you must be careful about sterotypes. I have the Tradecraft e-book on cold reading and use the section at the end of the book which deals with common questions that you would get from a sitter.
Message: Posted by: Ian Rowland (Mar 17, 2005 05:35PM)
[quote]
If you looking for one to one reading, I agree with Mota. Personnally, Full fact of cold reading by M. Ian Rowland doesn't work for the real work. It's just a cold reading for public demonstration writes by a magician for the magicians. For years I make readings regularly and If I had to use the techniques of Mr Rowland for one to one reading, I would fail, for sure. His techniques doesn't work for the real people[/quote]
An interesting point of view. It's a shame it just doesn't jive with the facts. A long, long time ago, I was challenged to prove on TV, under test conditions, that cold reading works. I took on the challenge, and I used pure cold reading (and nothing else) to give someone a 20 minute reading, at the end of which she was independently interviewed (with no leading questions) and admitted that she was convinced I was psychic. She was even asked point blank: "Do you think there's any chance this was some sort of trick?". She said no.

Then I was challenged to prove it again, for another TV show. I did that too. And for a newspaper article. And for a magazine article. And for more Tv shows, here in the UK and in the States. I accepted every challenge I received to show, under test conditions, that cold reading works. I was asked to use my cold reading skills in the guise of an astrologer, a tarot reader, a clairvoyant and a spiritualist medium. I accepted every one of these challenges, on the understanding that the results would be broadcast whether I was successful or not. I passed every test with flying colours.

No-one else in the world has given as many test conditions demonstrations for the media as I have. No-one else has given as many demonstrations as I have covering different disciplines (astrology, tarot, clairvoyant and spiritualist medium being just the main four).

Then I discovered that within the magical community as a whole, there's no consensus about what constitutes exposure, and so rather than risk offending anyone in the trade I stopped having anything to do with these kinds of demonstrations, and I'll never do them again. This has been the situation since 2002 (despite at least a dozen offers).

Okay, so let's discount test conditions demonstrations. A few weeks ago I was out on the town with four other UK magicians and mentalists. We hit a night club bar and, just for fun, I started giving instant 'palm' readings to some of the women we met there. All the readings were successful, and sure enough having given a reading to one women in a given group, all the others wanted a reading too.

The techniques I use are the ones in my book, and the techniques in my book work in real life, test conditions or not. If someone wants to believe otherwise, that's fine. No loss to me.
Message: Posted by: Gede Nibo (Mar 17, 2005 06:50PM)
Ian
your book is a GEM for sure...I use it longside my own techniques, and its like the icing on the cake...thanx for you contributions to this dynamic field...

and Mota, great cold reading additions...
Message: Posted by: Osiris (Mar 18, 2005 10:00AM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-17 18:35, Ian Rowland wrote:
[quote]
If you looking for one to one reading, I agree with Mota. Personnally, Full fact of cold reading by M. Ian Rowland doesn't work for the real work. It's just a cold reading for public demonstration writes by a magician for the magicians. For years I make readings regularly and If I had to use the techniques of Mr Rowland for one to one reading, I would fail, for sure. His techniques doesn't work for the real people[/quote]
An interesting point of view. It's a shame it just doesn't jive with the facts. A long, long time ago, I was challenged to prove on TV, under test conditions, that cold reading works. I took on the challenge, and I used pure cold reading (and nothing else) to give someone a 20 minute reading, at the end of which she was independently interviewed (with no leading questions) and admitted that she was convinced I was psychic. She was even asked point blank: "Do you think there's any chance this was some sort of trick?". She said no.

Then I was challenged to prove it again, for another TV show. I did that too. And for a newspaper article. And for a magazine article. And for more Tv shows, here in the UK and in the States. I accepted every challenge I received to show, under test conditions, that cold reading works. I was asked to use my cold reading skills in the guise of an astrologer, a tarot reader, a clairvoyant and a spiritualist medium. I accepted every one of these challenges, on the understanding that the results would be broadcast whether I was successful or not. I passed every test with flying colours.

No-one else in the world has given as many test conditions demonstrations for the media as I have. No-one else has given as many demonstrations as I have covering different disciplines (astrology, tarot, clairvoyant and spiritualist medium being just the main four).

Then I discovered that within the magical community as a whole, there's no consensus about what constitutes exposure, and so rather than risk offending anyone in the trade I stopped having anything to do with these kinds of demonstrations, and I'll never do them again. This has been the situation since 2002 (despite at least a dozen offers).

Okay, so let's discount test conditions demonstrations. A few weeks ago I was out on the town with four other UK magicians and mentalists. We hit a night club bar and, just for fun, I started giving instant 'palm' readings to some of the women we met there. All the readings were successful, and sure enough having given a reading to one women in a given group, all the others wanted a reading too.

The techniques I use are the ones in my book, and the techniques in my book work in real life, test conditions or not. If someone wants to believe otherwise, that's fine. No loss to me.
[/quote]

But as I understand things (from a "insider") YOU got to pick the people used in the experiment.. .kind of like Lawyers when they stack a jury here in the states. You choose individuals that would more or less comply to your goals. I find it hilarious how so many "skeptics" find it perfectly fine to "cheat" on their side of the issue but slander anyone that would even think of such antics when the shoe is on the other foot.

It is well known Ian that I both, respect your contributions and loathe them... at least, a small segment of what you produced in the book. I refer of course to the Psychic Baiting and Bashing encouragement. Outside of this, the book is an excellent treatment that all should read and study. That said, I'll bring up two other sources yet mentioned (from what I've seen) in this list.

Bob Cassidy's Treatise on Cold Reading is, in my opinion, a MUST READ in that it takes a very hard look at the whole Forer Principle (Cold Reading) and rips it into little tiny shreads whilst extending positive merit where it is due. This kind of contrast is something rare in our industry and much needed in my opinon.

The other source is Philmone Vanderbeck's OORT publications -- get them all! If you want to know the legit systems as well as the con, this is the source!

Finally, Blair Robertson's form (www.mental-list.com/forum) is an excellent place to be introduced to tons of solid technique presented by individuals who do Reading work on a full time basis.

Let's put it this way... would you go to your Dentist to learn how build your new home?

Of course not!

So why are you asking MAGICIANS how to do Readings? Go to the people that actually do such things as their trade vs persons that attempt to mimic and assume what it's all about.

OH! One last thing and this is what 99% of any legit Reader is going to tell you (along side a few dozen Magicians/Mentalists I can think of off hand). Find a divination system that appeals to you and LEARN IT! Ignore all the psycho-mumbo-jumbo you've read here, in the magic books, etc. JUST LEARN A SYSTEM and use nothing but that "science" and your gut feelings. I can almost promise you a 90% + accuracy factor and a far more personable (vs. mechanical) rapport with your patrons.

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Mar 18, 2005 06:53PM)
But what if you don't want to do readings in the 'normal' sence, i.e. 'sitter' sits down and you tell them all about them self, but what if you want to use cold (hot, warm, slightly fuzzy) reading to 'flesh out' a bit of mind reading.

Telling someone what letter they are thinking of in a word is all well and good but, if there thinking of a name of someone, you want to tell them about that person, there personality, how they relate, what there relationship is with them, what they look like.

What (cold reading) books would you recomend for this?
Message: Posted by: mota (Mar 18, 2005 09:16PM)
I understand why you are confused. The magician's mindset is "cold reading" is how it is all done, and any regular reading can be improved with these "tricks".

Just lay out the tarot and really read them...don't worry about getting it "right"...just describe what and who comes through on the cards (this is more problematic with palm readings).

It's been said here many times but I'll say it again...it is more trouble and less effective to fake a reading than it is to actually learn a system and do it.
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Mar 19, 2005 07:11AM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-18 22:16, mota wrote:
It's been said here many times but I'll say it again...it is more trouble and less effective to fake a reading than it is to actually learn a system and do it.
[/quote]

I 100% agree...
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Mar 19, 2005 08:24AM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-18 19:53, PsychoMagi wrote:
But what if you don't want to do readings in the 'normal' sence, i.e. 'sitter' sits down and you tell them all about them self, but what if you want to use cold (hot, warm, slightly fuzzy) reading to 'flesh out' a bit of mind reading.

Telling someone what letter they are thinking of in a word is all well and good but, if there thinking of a name of someone, you want to tell them about that person, there personality, how they relate, what there relationship is with them, what they look like.

What (cold reading) books would you recomend for this?
[/quote]

First read everything by CL.Boardé except Mainly Mental 2, then read the Q&A step in 13 steps, then the Full Facts book can be useful for this sort of thing.

BUT, a better way to learn to do this is to first do lots of readings using any of the sources I offered earlier. Alexander Thomas, Gene Anderson and Gene Nielsen have good ideas for these kinds of things.

/Bamba

/Bamba
Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Mar 19, 2005 11:58AM)
Thanks Bamba, I have only dribs and drabs of info. about how to expand on a small iece of infomation. But Im looking to increse my knowledge, I shall look up your recomendations.

Thanks again,
Alex.
Message: Posted by: Osiris (Mar 24, 2005 12:06PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-18 19:53, PsychoMagi wrote:
But what if you don't want to do readings in the 'normal' sense, i.e. 'sitter' sits down and you tell them all about them self, but what if you want to use cold (hot, warm, slightly fuzzy) reading to 'flesh out' a bit of mind reading.

[/quote]

Actually you've just hit the proverbial nail upon the head... Fleshing Out an effect is what COLD READING is all about. Take a look at Cassidy's treatise on the Simplified Baker Billet Switch and you will see an entirely new way of using the techniques you are already familiar with, so as to transform a simple billet switch/CT into a "Miracle".

If I'm understanding you correctly, your interest lay more with performance vs. being a Reader and for this reason I will suggest a visit to Hades Publishing (on line) and getting EVERYTHING Rober Nelson put out but most especially his Answers to Questions series. Though dated, memorization of these retorts will arm you will material that can be quickly and easily woven into any spiel you find yourself addressing. Combine this with some of Herb Dewey's perspectives found in both Psycho-Babble and Red Hot Cold Readings and you will be more than armed... the only other resource I'd suggest you paruse would be the TRADECRAFT manuscript in that it lends to you some very interesting perspectives on statistics and how to use them as well as the Forer principle itself.

There is a MAJOR difference between being a "Reader" and being able to create the illusion of being an sensitive... the latter is a trick based on commonalities and rudimentary psychology. Do know that if you feature this kind of "insight" on stage, you will be asked time and again "if you do private Readings"... the lay audience, no matter how much you tell them you're a magician doing tricks, won't believe you (ask Banachek, he can tell you how often people come to him seeking his services as an obviously "gifted" guru.) There are ways to side-step this situation but on the other hand, most of those founding forefathers of Mentalism simply exploited them so as to bring more cash into the coffers... Nelson was one of the more ruthless when it came to such tactics. The short story being, you will eventually want to learn how to do legit Readings. Contrary to the horse pucky put forth by skeptics and magic buffs alike, THERE'S A DIFFERENCE between the two actions.

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: Ian Rowland (Apr 3, 2005 09:21PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-18 11:00, Osiris wrote:
But as I understand things (from a "insider") YOU got to pick the people used in the experiment.. .kind of like Lawyers when they stack a jury here in the states. You choose individuals that would more or less comply to your goals. / and loathe them... at least, a small segment of what you produced in the book. I refer of course to the Psychic Baiting and Bashing encouragement. [/quote]

Osiris, you are incorrect and misinformed regarding the test conditions demonstrations of cold reading I have given for the media. Please don't libel me or mis-state things about me.

I state categorically and for the record that I didn't choose any of the people to whom I gave readings for these demonstrations, and that I never knew anything about these people in advance. In fact I have never had any influence on the choice of subjects at all. The only exception to this is that for some of the media demonstrations I was allowed to suggest that the subjects should be female aged between 18 and 60, simply because these are the commonest clients that psychics get, so if the aim is to do a like-for-like test then it's a sensible suggestion.

You say you have an 'insider source' with information to the contrary? Well, this source is either honestly mistaken, or just wrong, or spreading falsehoods. And in any case which of the demonstrations I've given does this 'insider' claim to know about? The ones I did for TV, or the press, in the UK or in the US, one of them or a few...?

I'm happy to state what I know to be true here on this public forum under my real name. Let your 'insider' source do the same. Anyone can take snide shots from the shadows, afraid to show their face because they can't back up what their inaccurate claims. I suggest you either produce some evidence or offer me a public apology. My guess is that you'll do neither. Just another drive-by insult, not based on any facts at all.

As for the 'psychic baiting' section in the book, let me explain. The way to read that section is, "If you are going to give readings, here's the one technique in the world that can derail you and ANY psychic reading, no matter how good you are at giving readings, so you need to know about it in advance to make sure you don't get caught". That's what it's about, and that's why I describe it the way I do. I figured anyone who wanted to know how cold readig works should know about the technique I describe in that sectio.

I took a chance that most of my readers, at least the ones who are switched on to my style and the way I sometmes write, would understand it that way. When I wrote in the book that "here's a great new sport (called 'psychic baiting') that the whole world should take up"... I figured people would be smart enough to realise that this was a humorous touch, not a serious intention or hope. I didn't REALLY think people around the world were going to take up 'psychic baiting' as a sport. It seems that perhaps I should have spelled this out.
Message: Posted by: RonL (Apr 12, 2005 12:42PM)
Please don't laugh, but I have been trying to get the knack of Cold Reading for a long time, and have read every one of these posts with great interest.
Could anyone assist me in obtaining a few of the resources discussed here? Where could Doug Dyment's Cold Reading Flashcards be found? Where could one find Herb Dewey's "Psychobabble"? Any advice or assistance would be sincerely appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Midnight333 (Apr 12, 2005 11:41PM)
Man, I started this topic like a billion years ago. I win! It just keeps popping up.
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Apr 13, 2005 09:27AM)
Doug's Cold Front cards (which I whole-heartedly recommend) are available from him at http://www.deceptionary.com

/Bamba
Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (Apr 16, 2005 12:29PM)
I think WONDER READINGS FROM Kenton Knepper is good. It comes with cassetes.
Message: Posted by: kamus (Apr 16, 2005 05:34PM)
Ian's book gets a very high recommendation from Derren Brown in the back of "Pure Effect". I think that Derren's opinion is hardly ill informed.

Some of the commentary here seems a little along the lines of "I'm a real cold reader and you're not". Cold reading is a technique-one peculiarly fused to the personality of the reader (and the client of course). It's impossible to judge from a book how well a person would do readings in a real world situation so lets sling arrows unless you've had or witnessed a reading from the object of your derision. Perhaps Ian's techniques may not jibe with performer X but that's not reason enough to claim they have no validity for others or are not potent techniques in Ian's hands. I haven't seen Ian read, but I have no doubt that they're very effective based on the dedication and professionalism he brings to all his work. Let's be clear- in Cold Reading, there are many styles and techniques- let's not get hung up on who has the "best" techniques. Each reader must discover what works for their personality/style/approach.

I also don't appreciate people here disparaging magicians as living in a fantasy world vis a vis readings. Perhaps some are, but lets not get involved in class warfare-that's petty. I am a close up magician who also does readings-I keep them separate, but I think that my background in magic informs my reading and vice versa. Mota's comments smack of arrogance and he offers little specific as to why Ian's book is of little value. I think it is wothwhile to read everything on the subject if you're serious about being good at this-it's not like there is an infinite number of resources. Read them all, including Ian's book- there's no way you won't learn from all of them

Just my .02

David Kane
Message: Posted by: mota (Apr 19, 2005 10:33AM)
There is a significant difference between arrogance and fact...specifically, Ian "the exposer" Rowland's book is a very well done rehash of the fantasy of cold reading that magician's wrongfully think is how good readings are done. In an earlier post I mention how one performer, using these techniques, claimed about a fifty percent hit rate and thought that was great...I think that's tossing a coin. It's also a fact that someone using his techniques only claimed fifty percent success.

I seem to be about the only one still here that think it is fifty bucks trashed and the thin-skinned can't seem to accept that there isn't universal worship. If you are in the "it's a trick" mindset, then Rowland's book is quite good. You can bet he loves this ongoing discussion...I've probably sold many books for him by keeping this post active.

Amazingly, there are a few people actually doing readings who agree with me, but by some amazing coincidence, they have been banned from this forum...oh, well. (To be fair, at least one British ex-patriot, living in Canada, gave them good reason, but there are others...this place doesn't seem real open to disagreement).

Read everything? Nice truism... Still, look at the recommendations and notice they are all magicians, with a magicians mindset. I'm going to listen to what Derren Brown says about stage performing and making a successful mentalism show...but other than being a guru for magicians to worship, I'm not sure he has any credentials for readings...oh, my bad, he is a successful mentalist which makes him an expert in everything related...not.

It's a mind trap...buried within the credits you would find my name on a few of Herb Dewey's books, as well as publications from Lee Earle. But the years have taught me that "cold reading" is a poor substitute for actually reading and learning a system. Lee Earle's inexpensive cold reading tapes (that dates me, I guess those are on CD now) will teach you a stock reading that works well initially, and if you never have to do more then you would be fine. Once they start asking for more, you quickly find out the severe limitations of cold reading.

I'd give you specifics, but I would get censored...not kissing up is frowned upon here. Suffice to say Rowland's book is a good cold reading book, probably as good as any cold reading book and more organized and better thought out than most I've seen...but that's as far as it goes. It is still a book on a magician's fantasy.

Waiting patiently to be edited and censored, I remain yours truly...

One person in a message asked me am I on Rowland's side and secretly keeping this thread going to sell more books...nope. But that's probably what's happening...oh, well.
Message: Posted by: kamus (Apr 19, 2005 07:45PM)
Mota,
Are you seriously suggesting that people who don't agree with the status quo opinions are edited and banned from here? That's a pretty serious charge- will the moderator comment on this? I'm relatively new to the forum but I have actually seen quite a bit of disagreement, most of it healthy in these pages so your statement was something of a surprise.

Mota, again you do not offer any specific reasons as to why you think Ian's book is not good.

<snip>specifically, Ian "the exposer" Rowland's book is a very well done rehash of the fantasy of cold reading that magician's wrongfully think is how good readings are done. In an earlier post I mention how one performer, using these techniques, claimed about a fifty percent hit rate and thought that was great...I think that's tossing a coin. It's also a fact that someone using his techniques only claimed fifty percent success. <snip>

So one (or two?) reader(s) get(s) a 50 percent hit rate. Could it be he's not good at readings, didn't properly learn the techniques, doesn't have a good grasp of the concept? has a repellent personality? I don't think that statement alone is proof of your thesis. Again you mention magician's fantasy vis-a vis cold readings but you offer no real specifics. Why is it fantasy? How does it compare to what you know about readings?

You sound like a knowledgeable fellow, and I'm sure we could all learn from your considered opinions on this matter, but to just leave it as "magician's fantasy" strikes one more as unexplained bitterness than QED to your assertions.

Respectfully,
David Kane
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Apr 19, 2005 09:04PM)
David,

I think the problem with Ian’s great book, and with the classical conjurer approach to readings, is to assume that when you do readings:

a) You are a real psychic (but they haven’t meet you yet, therefore you probably don’t exist)

or

B) You are tricking people

They consider only these two scenarios, and in both cases, the value of any oracle or divinatory system is reduced to bogus.

The other assumption the conjurer’s approach to reading usually makes is: people who consult readers deserve all kind of disrespect, because they should know better.

The world of the cynical magician is clear and comfortable. Black and white.

In the other hand, if you do a search on the web, you will find hundreds of forums like this, where people who study tarot, runes, scrying or any other system, using them with great accuracy, exchanges comments, opinions and experiences. They use the system without a deceptive attitude nor believing they are psychic. They are honest, interesting people, many of them very smart.

That’s option “c”. Generally overlooked by the “know it all” who, again, will declare on the spot that all these people are gullible self deluded idiots.

Conjuring books on Cold Reading are amazing resources If you are planing to go on-stage and read minds. Nothing will be more powerful, if you have the guts to pull it off. If you understand the principles at work and work on this, you won’t need to buy any other sharpie, nor index cards, in your life. Theatrical Cold reading is mind reading as real as you can get it. Besides, the techniques and tools revealed in these books are delightful to study if you are interested in human behavior.

Ian’s book is probably the best, because is the one who better systematizes the elements, strategies and tools of cold reading, making you capable to really create the impression that you know about the volunteer, and providing the illusion of a personalized reading, instead of recurring to plain memorized lines.

But you are going to sit one by one with someone, who isn’t interested in how cool you are, but in get some clarity over some concerns, you will find that paying back the confidence they are putting in you with some stock phrases will fall short.

If you want to be on-stage, start practicing Cold Reading. If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system. If you learn a system (this has been said in this and other threads a million times) you will be able to do readings in a fraction of the time that will take you to grasp all the subtleties of CR. In the other hand, by offering to read the cards, runes, etc, to someone, you aren’t trespassing any ethical or legal boundary. You don’t need to lie. But in order to do that you have to learn to accept that not everything in mystery performance is fake, nor need it to be fake in order to be impressive and meaningful. In other words, you will need to stop thinking as a magician.
Message: Posted by: kamus (Apr 20, 2005 09:29AM)
Excellent response, EE. Thanks!

I must say that although I understand what you're saying vis a vis Magicians and cold reading I don't feel that everyone falls into that trap. At least, I feel that I don't. I consider the two as different as dance and architecture. Although I consider myself primarily a magician (Really I'm an amateur/student of magic) when it comes to readings, then I am a just a reader. I make no claims, accept no money, and act out of a genuine desire to help people without being the least bit messianic about it (I hope). I am also deeply aware of the responsibility of it all. Sometimes people just need a little reassurance, even if artifically rendered, to make posiitive choices in their lives and that's the small goal I hope to achieve. Other clients, I suppose, would be happy acceping advice from a shrink/counselor but for those others out there who look to alternative sources for advice, I figure it's better that I read for them than some real charlatan they may seek out. It's a tricky business to say the least. I find that people already innately know what are positive choices for them and I endeavor to help them achieve this self realisation. I use a few CR techniques and stock phrases to gain their attention but after that it's more about being a sensitive human being. Also the main message I try to leave them with is an idea of their own self sufficiency and that they knew what was right for them all along because frankly, I don't belive that people should be turning to psychics/readers etc to help them live their lives. It puts me in an interesting ethical connundrum but I've made peace with it.

My point was, that just being a magician does not in itself blind one to option (c) as you stated above.

David Kane
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Apr 20, 2005 09:47AM)
David,

You are absolutely right. I was talking about the cynic magician, not magicians in general. I completely agree with your post.

EE
Message: Posted by: mota (Apr 21, 2005 12:26AM)
I've been commenting on this too much, for previous observations search my handle...at this point I'll just be repeating myself.

Besides, though Rowland may have taken a small hit in the ego department, the increased sales from this thread staying active should buy lots of meds, with a tidy profit left over.

EE, I follow your posts with interest...and respect...for some reason I like what I hear you say, and Kamus, you seem to have a great mind set when it comes to readings. You will become a very, very good reader I predict. You think real good.

So, bottom line, if you subscribe to the cold reading concept you would very probably enjoy Rowland's book...much work went into it and he seems quite sincere. For your fifty bucks you will get a real book (not a pamphlet), with little fluff. It just isn't how I see things. Many people disagree and state they have had good results, so read the various threads (search under Rowland's name and you will find his book addressed in other threads).

I have nothing against Rowland, except for the exposing thing, but I hear he got over that so maybe I should too...just not yet. I can only state my opinion on his readings book...his other stuff I know nothing about and could well be very good, so please don't apply my observations to everything he wrote.

For some reason I am feeling agreeable tonight, so if you get Rowland's book I wish you well...may you receive the positive results others have with it.
Message: Posted by: kamus (Apr 21, 2005 08:22AM)
Thanks Mota, I'll check out your other posts. Sorry I'm late to the party :)
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Apr 22, 2005 05:40AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-16 18:34, kamus wrote:
Ian's book gets a very high recommendation from Derren Brown in the back of "Pure Effect". I think that Derren's opinion is hardly ill informed.
[/quote]

Could be, could be not. I never saw Derren give a reading.

/Bamba

[quote]
On 2005-04-16 18:34, kamus wrote:
I haven't seen Ian read, but I have no doubt that they're very effective based on the dedication and professionalism he brings to all his work.
[/quote]

I have and I do doubt. However, the rest of his video was very good.

/Bamba

[quote]
On 2005-04-19 20:45, kamus wrote:
So one (or two?) reader(s) get(s) a 50 percent hit rate. Could it be he's not good at readings, didn't properly learn the techniques, doesn't have a good grasp of the concept? has a repellent personality? I don't think that statement alone is proof of your thesis. Again you mention magician's fantasy vis-a vis cold readings but you offer no real specifics. Why is it fantasy? How does it compare to what you know about readings?[/quote]

The magician's fantasy is that reading is about "hits". It most definitely isn't. "Hits" are the result of using clever "tricks". If you want to do that, there are so many ways of doing it that are a lot more effective than scattershot vagaries.

/Bamba

[quote]
If you want to be on-stage, start practicing Cold Reading. If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system.[/quote]

I have a similar, yet slightly different take:

If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system. Once you've learned a system, use it for on-stage readings and leave Cold Reading behind. Using a system on-stage is a great way of avoiding problems with repeat audiences as well.

No one needs to actually see you use a system after all.

/Bamba

[quote]Also the main message I try to leave them with is an idea of their own self sufficiency and that they knew what was right for them all along because frankly, I don't belive that people should be turning to psychics/readers etc to help them live their lives. It puts me in an interesting ethical connundrum but I've made peace with it.[/quote]

Who do you suggest people turn to?

I think visiting psychics (especially me) is a viable option for people who need a little encouragement. So do they apparently.

Where's the ethical conundrum?

/Bamba
Message: Posted by: kamus (Apr 22, 2005 10:52AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 06:41, Bambaladam wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-04-16 18:34, kamus wrote:
I haven't seen Ian read, but I have no doubt that they're very effective based on the dedication and professionalism he brings to all his work.
[/quote]

I have and I do doubt. However, the rest of his video was very good.

/Bamba
[/quote]
Well. if you're referring to the Mind Power Video, that was for a group of US skeptics- not your typical type of client. Ian may not be a good reader (I simply don't know), but on this basis of that tape, we should still give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps there is another tape that you're referring to?

[quote]
On 2005-04-22 06:40, Bambaladam wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-04-16 18:34, kamus wrote:
Ian's book gets a very high recommendation from Derren Brown in the back of "Pure Effect". I think that Derren's opinion is hardly ill informed.
[/quote]

Could be, could be not. I never saw Derren give a reading.

/Bamba
[/quote]
well, good reader or not, he certainly knows something about psychology and interacting with spectators- two qualities fundamental to CR. I'm a musician and one of my finest teachers was a guy who could barely play himself but he had a long waiting list of students because of what he knew and how he well he taught. Just because one doesn't practice a technique does not necessarily disqualify one from having an informed opinion on a given subject.
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Apr 22, 2005 11:01AM)
[quote]
I have a similar, yet slightly different take:

If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system. Once you've learned a system, use it for on-stage readings and leave Cold Reading behind. Using a system on-stage is a great way of avoiding problems with repeat audiences as well.

Noone needs to actually see you use a system after all.

/Bamba
[/quote]

Yes, I agree. That’s very useful.

Dewey has some useful thoughts on that in his Red Hot Cold Reading.
Message: Posted by: kamus (Apr 22, 2005 11:07AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 06:45, Bambaladam wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-04-19 20:45, kamus wrote:
So one (or two?) reader(s) get(s) a 50 percent hit rate. Could it be he's not good at readings, didn't properly learn the techniques, doesn't have a good grasp of the concept? has a repellent personality? I don't think that statement alone is proof of your thesis. Again you mention magician's fantasy vis-a vis cold readings but you offer no real specifics. Why is it fantasy? How does it compare to what you know about readings?[/quote]

The magician's fantasy is that reading is about "hits". It most definitely isn't. "Hits" are the result of using clever "tricks". If you want to do that, there are so many ways of doing it that are a lot more effective than scattershot vagaries.

/Bamba
[/quote]

I think if you are doing a reading and the client doesn't feel that you're a making any 'hits", then that's not going to be an effective reading regardless of whether you are using CR or a system. Hits count for something and do not lie solely in the realm of magician's fantasy.

Boy, some of you guys around here are pretty snotty about magicians aren't you? It's as if there weren't magicians who understand very well the difference between magic, mentalism and reading. You condemn magicians with a broad brush, my friend, not that some magicians don't deserve it but it seems a little "racist" to be attacking a whole group like that.

[quote]
On 2005-04-22 06:51, Bambaladam wrote:
[quote]Also the main message I try to leave them with is an idea of their own self sufficiency and that they knew what was right for them all along because frankly, I don't belive that people should be turning to psychics/readers etc to help them live their lives. It puts me in an interesting ethical connundrum but I've made peace with it.[/quote]

Who do you suggest people turn to?

I think visiting psychics (especially me) is a viable option for people who need a little encouragement. So do they apparently.

Where's the ethical conundrum?

/Bamba
[/quote]

well I suggest that they turn to no one. IMO a big part of the problem of living that many people have is that they feel that have to turn to something- God, religion, nationalism, shrinks, psychics, self help books etc. to help them live their lives. They blindly accept the authority of another and undermine their own self reliance, short circuit the quest for deep self knowledge and self observation and in essence trade one psychological dependency for another. This is not healthy. I do my tiny part to encourage them to free themselves from this dependency. The ethical connundrum comes from the dissonance between me giving them advice while at the same time urging them to eschew the seeking out of advice. As I stated before, I've made peace with it by rationalising that if they didn't go to me, they might end up seeing a less ethical person who could exploit them financially or otherwise.

[quote]
On 2005-04-22 06:47, Bambaladam wrote:
[quote]
If you want to be on-stage, start practicing Cold Reading. If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system.[/quote]

I have a similar, yet slightly different take:

If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system. Once you've learned a system, use it for on-stage readings and leave Cold Reading behind. Using a system on-stage is a great way of avoiding problems with repeat audiences as well.

Noone needs to actually see you use a system after all.

/Bamba
[/quote]

Good advice!
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Apr 22, 2005 12:52PM)
[quote]

The magician's fantasy is that reading is about "hits". It most definitely isn't. "Hits" are the result of using clever "tricks". If you want to do that, there are so many ways of doing it that are a lot more effective than scattershot vagaries.

/Bamba
[/quote]

I think if you are doing a reading and the client doesn't feel that you're a making any 'hits", then that's not going to be an effective reading regardless of whether you are using CR or a system. Hits count for something and do not lie solely in the realm of magician's fantasy.

[/quote]

There is a difference between what you are thinking and what you have in mind. An specific word, number, detail or “playing card”, that you hold in your mind for a minute or two, has no relevance for me, nor for you. You may feel a big rush if I retrieve it from your mind, but that rush evaporates almost immediately, and in general, it won’t make you feel better.

The problems, concerns and expectations that you carry within you, are the relevant material to work with, in a reading.

For the sake of entertainment you could describe to someone the color of the shoes she had when she was nine years old, or the name of her neighbor’s dog. That would be impressive. But revealing to the same person that you understand how lonely she felt when she was nine, and how these feelings sometimes come back, unexpectedly, will be more powerful. And it will be even more powerful if you tell her that that’s natural, but you know she has the capacity to overcome these feelings.

I have nothing against magicians. I like very much magic and respect its good exponents. But if you notice, this second scenario has nothing to do with the narrative structure of a magic performance. There is no desire of impress, we are not looking for a WOW! nor a scream, nor applause. We are facilitating a process where a person see hers own life and problems from a different perspective.

Many people would call this therapy. I won’t. I call it storytelling. The effect you produce is the same any sitter will have listening, reading or watching a story, if she is attentive, responsive, and if she understand how the story touch the boundaries of her concerns. The main difference is that in a reading she will be listening a story about herself, therefore it will be easier to make the connections that allow metaphors to be interpreted in an useful way that may be applicable in the literal world.

When you do a reading you are talking in metaphorical terms. It’s the sitter’s job to transform these metaphors into literal information. Maybe the greatest example is in Earle’s book:, when he says: “I see the wicked witch being killed by a house falling over her”, as a way to describe, maybe, the burden of a mortgage.

That has nothing to do with the way magicians work. I don’t say this in a contemptuous way. But is important to understand what do you want to achieve, for your own good. Try to play the “Since you believe in psychics and I’m going to fool you doing a center tear” rol, and you are going to have a very bad time. Believe me. I have been there. It’s not a matter of being caught, BTW, but a matter of seeing on the other person’s eyes the feeling of “I came to you trusting you, and you are fooling around...”

Just my two cents.
Message: Posted by: Lord Of The Horses (Apr 22, 2005 01:13PM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 12:07, kamus wrote:

Boy, some of you guys around here are pretty snotty about magicians aren't you? It's as if there weren't magicians who understand very well the difference between magic, mentalism and reading. [/quote]Kamus you are right on the generalization. :)

However, by knowing Bamba and by knowing *some* magicians I can assure you that they DON'T know the difference between magic and Mentalism, let alone the difference of those two things with readings...

As a matter of fact some/most/few magicians get snotty themselves if you point this out to them.

Many of them are always quick to point out that magic and Mentalism are one and the same thing; moreover, than Mentalism has "stolen" techniques from magic while, usually, were magicians of the past which did steal techniques like center tear or book tests from famous mediums and psychics (who portrayed themselves as the real thing).

So, yes, not every magician is to be placed in a broad category as maybe Bamba did, but a percentage of magicians can still be put there.

Bamba and Enrique, I always read your posts with interest ... :)
Message: Posted by: Midnight333 (Apr 22, 2005 04:43PM)
I've created a monster!... cool.
Message: Posted by: Nikodini (Apr 22, 2005 08:59PM)
Ian's book on cold reading is one of the top two books on cold reading! I've been studying from it for about 13 months (off and on) and I've performed cold reading since then many, many times with absolutely amazing results. Before Ian's book, I tried several other resources including Knepper's tapes. I won't rate it but let me just say that that was the the second and last Knepper purchase I've made.

I mentioned there are two top books... other one is by a famous Italian cold reader. PM me if you know what I have in mind ;). Combine that book with Ian's and you will amaze everyone.

The DANCE? Feh, I hope it doesn't include 40 pages about ethics or some nonsense like that.
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Apr 23, 2005 02:22PM)
BTW, and regarding the initial subject of the thread, I’m on my third reading of “Inner Secrets of Cold Reading Experts”, by Fred Croutier.

I find the material in it very useful and a great complement to a reader’s repertory. Croutier focuses on body types to give a first layer of information to the reader, right before the sitter takes her sit in front of him.

The material in the e-book (26 pages) is different from the regular cold reading books and, as I say, it will be a great complement if you already have some knowledge on Cold Reading. But even if you don’t, the data contained in the book is easy to approach, understandable and usable.

Additionally to the explanation of the different body types and its combinations, and sample readings for each of them, the e-book contains a nice application for a Center Tear using color interpretation, for those who like to add a little classic trickery.

Overall I feel it was a great investment and I’m already enjoying and using the tools the e-book provides.

This e-book, along wit a second manuscript titled “Advanced Psychic readings” is available from Croutier’s web page: http://www.fcrouter.com/cold

I have no financial interest on this, but I’m commenting it because I didn’t find any reference to this material in the Café. Maybe some of you would find it useful.
Message: Posted by: truthteller (May 2, 2005 11:26PM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 21:59, Nikodini wrote:

The DANCE? Feh, I hope it doesn't include 40 pages about ethics or some nonsense like that.
[/quote]

Nikodini is just mad at me because he and I had a disagreement about the role of disclaimers in mentalism. But if you are going to perform readings, then you MUST consider the ethical ramifications thereof.

I would think somone as concerned about the welfare of the public, as Nikodini must be to demand all mentalists use a disclaimer, would have to agree.
Message: Posted by: Gede Nibo (May 3, 2005 12:50AM)
Disclaimers suck. charlatans rule.
Message: Posted by: nirve (Jun 26, 2005 04:05PM)
Instead of making a new unneeded thread, I'll just query this here. I am quickly learning more and more about mentalism, and would love to use Cold Reading to supplement my effects. I'd prefer to stay away from psychic-style readings (which most of Cold Reading seems to be). Where would you guys recommend me to go to start learning more about Cold Reading (complete beginner, basicly)? Would Ian's book be beneficial?
Message: Posted by: Traveler (Jun 27, 2005 08:17AM)
Yes. Ian's book focuses on psychic readings, but it teaches the basic techniques of cold reading and those can be adapted anywhere. In fact he gives examples from other aspects of life : sales, romance, criminal interrogation... Adaption to make mentalism stronger will be peanuts once you have the techniques down, believe me...