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Dr Spektor
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DIM MAK by Scott Xavier aka Dr. Zodiac

e-book 22 pages

Billed as the “Mentalist’s Ultimate Guide to Pulse Stopping” – does it live up to this claim?

Disclosure: I was sent this free and thus if I am biased in any way it is because I don’t have the feeling of paying $ for this book. I didn’t ask for it but the author noticed some posts of mine on some pulse-stopping subtleties of my own and sent it to me for my interest – no Dim Mak threats to review this – but since Dim Mak was raised in a thread and got a bit of comments – I felt like reviewing it today.

In terms of cost, comparing it to other booklets of similar length, depth and quality, I would have paid the full price (comparison examples – books by Docc Hilford, Patrick G.R, and other similar works of small books with secrets)…..

Not sure if it is the “ultimate” – but I haven’t seen anything else as great for collecting and analyzing the art of pulse stopping. In fact, it is a great guide for bizarrists as well! It covers many aspects of pulse stopping with many subtleties from many other mentalists who helped shape Scott’s thinking. It also contains many variants. It goes into greater detail than Jermay’s effect of pulse stopping but credits Jermay clearly.

Let me get this out of the way – Scott seemed to go to pains to detail all of his materials’ origins as far as I can tell… and his unique contribution is the “death touch” concept of putting a spec into a deathly state…. Of stopping and numbing the spec through “Dim Mak” and also making a revelation appear on the skin….. so, this effect is not for the weak of heart (ok, those who know me by now know I got a lousy/twisted sensa humour)… duty to the community A (I’d give an A+ if he went and tracked down the TV shows specific names he listed for some inspiration but he did attempt it as best he could as far as I can tell)….

Just to get some tech details out of the way – well laid out, clear to read, some funny bits, sources laid out. All contact info for Scott also provided so you can ask him questions directly about his materials. A+.

The collection of pulse-stopping and suggestion techniques A+. Where else are you going to find this? If you know, please e-mail me and I’ll go buy it and compare!

Magic Café controversial angles:

1) Some objected to the patter / theme included about the theory that Bruce Lee was slain by a Dim Mak master as a possible explanation for his mysterious death. This seems to have offended some people who actually were connected with Bruce Lee in some degree or way. Note: the frame for Dim Mak for the book has this as a small section only – states it as a possible theory only – and can be totally dropped. In fact, Dim Mak itself can be totally dropped and another patter constructed – for example I am not a martial artist so I would switch the entire effect to a bizarrist one…. Which I actually have but have not attempted it the Dim Mak effect as yet anyway (see below)…

But there is the question about most bizarre/mentalist effects can offend someone – as most of the luminaries in the art say (Cohen etc) you will offend someone if you are being bold and that is OK and is expected if you are doing edgy innovative stuff – and that you are NOT INTENTIONALLY trying to insult anyone…. E.g. voodoo effects, curses, gypsy patters, etc. can all be getting the hackles up on people with diversity issues etc.

Now – the IMHO unsolvable debate if adding to Bruce Lee’s myth with such an angle is good or bad (whatever that means) – I dunno. Each individual could decide. The book was written with the ultimate effect of Scott to put someone into a death-like coma using suggestion etc. and pulse stopping techniques – he chose a martial arts theme and took an iconic story…. I’m not sure if it isn’t in the same vein as The Bruce Lee Story with the cool crazy demon sequences… but then again, that film may have offended people as well…

2) Which leads to the one weakness in the book (and here you thought I was going to rave on and on – as I am still giving this book an A) – and it is only a weakness in the sense there is power in these pages like all great mentalism and magic effects that can mind-screw someone up badly….. having had some interesting e-conversations on the bizarre forum re: the respect and proper treatment of spectators (and I might digress how little most magic performers take into account the impact their magic can do to someone)…. (aside: I wish I had brought of the thread of Peter’s Iron Garotte for an example – which was hailed as a masterstroke (by me too)) but was rightly pointed out – context is key and know thine audience or beware!)))…

What the heck am I babbling about? This effect is not for everyone – the put a person into a deathly coma. Scott does point out that it is important for audience selection on this – but since this is an area I take pains to do in my own field of simulations etc. it is my humble opinion that this area in the booklet should have been a bit more fleshed out – re: how to select, proper safeguards – psychological and physical – a debrief with spec etc…. now, Scott may have assume most pro’s in the field will do this anyway and he mentioned this area to remind them to do this – but as I think some of my fellow esteemed café peers have also pointed out and I agree with (like Lee Darrow) – it is very easy for some of this stuff to cause some mental harm – especially if it is someone who doesn’t really take into account why they are doing this effect beyond “I’m gonna wow them with this!” ..versus – is there some magical moment or symbolic meaning I can pass over to my fellow human being by doing this effect for their overall good and development as a person (but maybe I’m biased – that is my approach to magic and mentalism)….and then figure out a way to do it in a professional manner.

I.e. the effect seems very powerful – so powerful I have not tried it out as I still haven’t thought of a way I can use it yet for what I like to accomplish with my routines.

Since the effect can also have a person “in death trance” be able to contact a person on the other side – you also need to think if you are going to do that too – with all the skill and aplomb about living/dead/séance ethics…..

Perhaps, I’d send them into “another dimension” to talk to some nether-being for knowledge and remove all the death references – but all pro’s can adapt this material very easily…..

But overall – you can gain many great pearls of wisdom in this book on the art of pulse stopping, psychological subtleties, and ideas and creative thinking of Scott Xavier aka Doctor Zodiac. But as with all magic, how you apply it will let us know if you are Dr. Strange camp or a follower of the Dread Dormammu….!!!!

Rating: A - with advisory warning beware of doing the death touch without putting in the proper pre- post – professionalism it requires on dealing with specs in an ethical and respectful manner (which again, Scott mentions but it would be great if he re-releases this book to add in a section on this in more detail)….!!!!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Markymark
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Good review.For anyone interested in Martial Arts type themes try and get a great,cheap little book called 'Secret Fighting Arts of the World' by John F. Gilbey.
''In memory of a once fluid man,crammed and distorted by the classical mess'' -Bruce Lee
Seth speaks
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Very cool, Doc. Thanks for a great review! I have had an interest in this ebook for awhile, and you've fanned the flames a bit. Personally I love the martial arts/body energy theme.

Seth
TheNightBringer89
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I thought this was a pretty good idea, the only thing I'm a bit dissapointed with is that I was told this was a limited release item (50 copies only I think), so I bought the original version thinking I would be one of the few to own it. And now its being sold again, cheaper and with more details in it. Oh well. It really is a good effect though. Great thinking Scott!
"Dreams are born of imagination, fed upon illusions, and put to death by reality."

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If you're not like the others then you don't belong.
Celloboy
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I'm sorry if this is a stupid question but is it actually dangerous? Could you hurt the spectator or yourself?
Many thanks
tropicalpenguin
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Well, I don't know about physiology, but psychologically, yes you can jack someone up with a poorly routined magic act. Mental scarring and all that. Example, if you do enough "conjuring the dead" type magic that someone thinks they saw a ghost. Or a knife through arm / neck where one acts like they are dying. Spectator thinks they have witnessed a rather gruesome death.
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Xiqual
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Quote:

1) Some objected to the patter / theme included about the theory that Bruce Lee was slain by a Dim Mak master as a possible explanation for his mysterious death. This seems to have offended some people who actually were connected with Bruce Lee in some degree or way. Note: the frame for Dim Mak for the book has this as a small section only ?states it as a possible theory only ?and can be totally dropped. In fact, Dim Mak itself can be totally dropped and another patter constructed ?for example I am not a martial artist so I would switch the entire effect to a bizarrist one? Which I actually have but have not attempted it the Dim Mak effect as yet anyway (see below)?



The problem with the stroy is that he mixes Japanese and Chinese ideas.
"Dim Mak" is Cantonese. In Mandarin, which I speak fluently it's called "Dien sui"
it simply means "spot pressing"

The characters used for the killer's name in Scott's book are Japanese.

Also, the real reason Bruce Lee died was he took an empirin [very strong aspirin]
that caused him to bleed out internally. He had taken a blow to the head that day and had a mild concussion.

He was at his girlfriends house and she didn't want to call the hospital for fear of his wife finding out. She called his manager instead.

Not a very honourable guy actually.
James
Still with the Chinese circus Smile
Celloboy
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I understand the psychological damage that can be done, but I was refurring to the physical damage. I mean I don't even use the very basic method for pule stopping (the b*ll under arm) because I have heard some bad stories about blood clots. DOes this carry a simalar danger? Even if the chances are small?
tropicalpenguin
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Only if you do it for a ridiculous amount of time. It's akin to tying a string around your finger to watch it turn blue. For the length of time of a performance, it shouldn't do anything to my knowledge. The worst I'd worry about is your arm falling asleep while doing it.
-The penguin has spoken Smile

-How could 52 pieces of cardboard ever bring so much joy?
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