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Chris
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Harry, it surprises me that you claim to be the ultimate expert on this subject, but you have not provided one factual or substantive argument in favor of the system you are teaching. By that I don't mean your list of politicians who are using it etc. I mean a substantive argument, some feature or aspect of the system itself that is superior to anything else, and why it is superior. As the expert you shouldn't babble, or drop names, or blow smoke, you should be talking about the details of what makes the system you are teaching so much better than all the others. I am all ears.
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FlightRisk
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Harry was Trumpian before Trump. Sometimes a classy move is to say nothing or respond professionally with class and without insults, arrogance, braggadocio and counter-attacks. That goes for all parties. That said, I give Harry leeway and also my respect because despite his sometimes grating demeanor, he is a world-famous expert in at least two subjects, magic and memory. Is it his facts you disagree with or just his delivery? I can't say anything he says isn't demonstrably true! He truly is a legend and a prolific writer and contributor. I have noticed like many others that the infighting between magicians is even worse than with comedians. Both "borrow" material from each other and get in arguments over who came up with something first, etc. It is a bit sad, really, but something that probably isn't going to change. At least most of the people I have met here or in person are helpful and respectful. I wish we all could re-read before posting and monitor our tone.

And before I forget, I had already hit the submit button when I thought, "wait a minute, that was dumb, I'm sure everyone has heard that about memory books before!". But oh well, it wasn't meant to be an insult or flippant, It has been years since I read the memory books, the first one probably 40 years ago. So that actually came out of my fingers because it was funny to me Smile At my age, I need to re-study Harry's material!
Mindpro
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Although not from any of the guys in this thread, I too have had the exact same thing happen to me here at the Café as well. I have spent my life's work accomplishing what most here have never achieved THEN come here and am willing to share my decades of knowledge, experience, and insights - FOR FREE, only to have some here question this, and worse yet want proof so THEY feel better. I know, standing back and looking/thinking about it is CRAZY!

For several years I simply couldn't understand it. They come up with every excuse or reason to justify their opinions, behaviors, and inaccuracies. They even scour the internet for any kind of false information to validate their false beliefs and opinions (whether legitimate, true or not), and then would rather listen to, believe and align themselves with others that share their same ignorance (being incorrectly informed or uninformed) than learning from the longtime experienced professional offering the real, correct information.

This exact type of behavior is EXACTLY what has driven so many of the longtime working professionals way from the Café - some of the biggest names in the business were once here and driven away by these exact behaviors, trolls, and agendas. It is now a problem both here as well as within the industry. This is a far cry from how the industry and community used to be for generations before the internet when younger or newer level guys would realize the best way to learn was from the pros - the opportunities to learn from these longtime top professionals and would spend hundreds of dollars and drive hundreds of miles just to spend 5 minutes with one of these guys and when they did, they listened, learned and absorbed every morsel of it like a sponge without ever thinking about talking, let alone challenging, arguing, or insulting them.

What's even crazier is today, many would rather listen to and believe a punk on youtube giving away longtime industry secrets and breaking oaths for self-fulfillment and personal ego gratification than listen to the pros that actually know the real information, and in some cases were the creators of it! Again, crazy, I know!

The thing I realized is while this is really a small handful of guys that attempt to do this that at the same time many others see and find the value of what it truly is, and recognize the real message, valued information and our experience being shared, and do respect us and the industry the way they should based on the level of knowledge, experience and success achieved. Unfortunately, these guys aren't as loud or vocal as the few that seem attached to the trolling, flaming and agendas.

While we shouldn't have to defend ourselves, you must stand up to the bullies or it only perpetuates more of this type of behavior. Again, it is an unfortunate effect of the times. It would be nice if the bully police could intervene in a perfect world. If they were sitting across from us toe to toe, they would never speak this way or tone to our faces, and they would instantly lose credibility to all others in the room or nearby.
Chris
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Mindpro, you are completely off base. Your comparison to random youtube kiddies is laughable. I don't hide behind some anonymous handle like others. Why is it bullying to ask Harry what in particular he thinks is better with the memory system he is teaching versus for example the Maigret System, or some of the Dominic O'Brien variations? As an expert I would expect from him a clear answer. Yet, all he can do is tell us about sales and all the politicians who use his teachings. Sad.
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Mindpro
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I was speaking of my own experiences as comparing it to Harry's. I even said it was not referring to any of the guys on this thread. I also was referring to learning and how many these days choose to listen to advice from online wannabes (hence the youtube comment, again not pertaining to you at all). I said "it's even crazier today, many would rather listen to and believe a punk on youtube giving away longtime industry secrets and breaking oaths for self-fulfillment and personal ego gratification than listen to the pros that actually know the real information, and in some cases were the creators of it!", speaking as to learning today with the world of the internet. Again an overview, not specifically talking to you.

I do however feel you and others have shown a lack of respect in your approach to the situation (Harry) and the unnecessary challenging of information offered. Harry was simply stating his background and well-established and recognized credentials - no need to attack him or it. I have often done this myself understanding that younger or newer guys today may not be fully aware of who they are talking to and the experience and credibility that may be unaware of. It isn't bragging or boasting but part of informing and educating so others have a clearer understanding of the information being offered and where it is coming from.

To get answers one "expects" it often is determined by how it is asked or presented. Tone, respect, and intent is often a determination of whether I am willing to share or who I am willing to share with. I am sure it is the same with Harry as well.
Harry Lorayne
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Just one of thousands:

"Dear Mr. Lorayne,
I have been wanting to write you a thank you note for 35 years. Born
with a faulty memory, thus a midnight oil learner, academics was
always a problem. However, once I do remember, I do quite well. I
obtained a liberal arts degree at age 22 with a C+ average, got
married and had children. In 1965, when I was 36, I began my master's
degree in speech/language therapy, so as to help my four children
obtain college educations. I was told I needed a 50 hour master's
degree since I had no undergraduate courses in that field. This news
overwhelmed me when thinking about the difficulty I experienced
gaining my bachelor's degree. Soon after I began the master's program
with fear and trepidation, I came across one of your books, and a
'Eureka!' hit me. I knew I had found my path to memory and was able
to maintain an A average over the 5 years it took me to finish the
master's degree. A job was waiting for me even before I graduated.

Over the years, I have enthusiastically relayed to my friends and
relatives that Harry Lorayne was responsible for my being a successful
speech/language therapist and eventually supervisor. Mr. Lorayne, as
a speech/language therapist, I have passed your ideas on to many of my
learning disabled students, with great success. Several parents told
me that I helped their child focus on school work and achieve passing
grades. I give you credit every time.

I just had to write and thank you for my professional success. At age 79, I am still working
as a part-time speech/language therapist in the public schools.....and
still sharing your wonderful memory techniques. The world would be
sorely lacking without a person of your imagination and creativity.

Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!

I hope this finds you well and are able to continue your remarkable
work for many years to come.

Gratefully yours,

Mary Rogers"
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Harry Lorayne
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Dear Mr. Lorayne,

It's been 30 years now since I first stumbled on your book, "The Memory
Book" in a used bookstore. I was in high school. Now, I have been tutoring
organic chemistry for about 25 years and I am ready to do my own e-book and
youtube video series. Throughout my career I have been telling students it
was all thanks to you. You! Who I call "THE GODFATHER OR ALL MEMORY
SYSTEMS." I will be telling everyone on my videos to see your website
www.harrylorayne.com if they want to learn your techniques from the source.
I use them and variations in my tutoring.

Thank you again,

Robb Gott
www.conquerorganicchemistry.com
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Vlad_77
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I have not posted in a long while here in the Café due to serious ongoing personal life issues as well as working hard to get most of my library back here to America. I saw this thread however and I felt I had to respond. I find the argument of "dated" in this context to be rather problematic. In fact, how does one define the term? Let's assume that that the argument is that "better" methods exist. How does one gauge that? Professor Howard Gardner who has postulated the theory of multiple intelligences has worked diligently to disprove the "fact" that conventional measurements of intelligence are woefully inaccurate with respect to a person's capability to assimilate and synthesize information. In other words, IQ tests are horse hockey. In education, we seek to engage the learner in multiple methods of interactive instruction; learner and teacher become a synergistic community in which it is more accurate to describe the community as consisting of mentors, for indeed the learner "mentors" the the teacher by her ability to learn based upon the teacher's methods.Thus, to assert that Lorayne's method is "dated" is a slippery slope as one would have to provide substantive proof that another method more completely addresses the needs of any given learner. We know of course that's not the case or else Aronson, Joyal, Tamariz, and others would not have developed THEIR systems.

Has the human mind changed since Harry Lorayne's memory courses were published? No. We still learn, we still think as we always have; neurochemistry is a wonderful constant. It's pretty obvious that the way human beings process information has not changed because if it did, all the magic we do would instantly become obsolete!

What of the intrinsic value of knowledge? Have we succumbed to a new paradigm which dictates that only the "newest" is somehow the most valid and therefore all other knowledge is irrelevant? Should I cease reading Plato because Husserl is less "dated?" In a magic context, are Erdnase, Hugard, Ganson, and Tarbell to be thought of as mere curiosities and relegated to dusty shelves because Jay Sankey and John Guastaferro are less dated? If anyone thinks that, then she/he is a fool.

I have never ever heard Harry Lorayne state that he is the progenitor of memory systems so I find the statement that "memory systems "didn't start with Harry, nor will it end with him" a moot point. So someone called Harry Lorayne the "Godfather of all Memeory Systems." In that person's OPINION, Harry Lorayne IS because Harry Lorayne's methodology worked for HIM. Obviously that person must know SOMETHING about memory systems because he mastered one, that being Harry Lorayne's! Come on, the person who made the statement is an organic chemist. They know a hell of a lot more about the human brain than ANY of us will ever understand. That being said, mentors like Lorayne, Tamariz, and Aronson to name a few do possess an understanding that many of us do nit possess else their memory systems would be useless.

Of COURSE memory systems won't end with Harry Lorayne just as we didn't stop exploring the Big Bang Theory after Fr. Georges Lemaitre postulated it. Yet, Lorayne's system DOES work and there is ample proof that you can view. Just catch some Johnny Carson videos and watch Lorayne memorize the names of every audience member. The ability to do THAT, and that knowledge is NEVER dated until the day we evolve and then, well, I guess we'll all be tying balloon doggies or rather having AI balloon doggy constructs create them.

To the OP, it's great that you are asking questions to assist in making an informed decision.
Chris
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The question was not if Harry's system works. The question was if it is better suited to memorize a stack of 52 cards for magic use than some other system. In my opinion there are better systems for that task than what Harry teaches.

In my experience the biggest problem for the average magician learning a stacked deck is not the initial memorizing of the cards and their positions, but to retain that information for a long time without ongoing and frequent practice. That means a system that is better in anchoring the information in the long term memory will be better suited for that task. System Maigret is in that respect the best and most advanced system I am aware of. It is tailored to the task of memorizing 52 cards and their positions for as long as possible with as little as possible repetition and practice necessary. It is therefore better than the classic systems taught by Roth, Lorayne, etc. That is all I am pointing out. It is a special system for a special use, and for that use it is better.
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Ravenspur
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Jeeze, I don't know whether I should apologize for starting this thread.

After doing some research on Amazon and elsewhere, I plan to buy Harry's classic The Memory Book. I can use it aside from magic. I guess I have enough on my plate that I can put off learning a stack. I bought one of John Bannon's videos of self-working card tricks, which will give me something to perform. The fact is, my performing abilities--independent of magic--are more developed than my meager magic skills. I talked to the guy who runs a local magic store. He gives lessons, and it will be worth the money to see where my independent practice has got me. There are about 15 people in the local S.A.M. chapter, and my next step is attending a meeting and a magic show by the chapter. I'm on the fence about NEMCON, which is relatively close to me.
The Burnaby Kid
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Since we're on the subject of memory systems, here's Roth's Memory Course...

https://archive.org/details/rothmemorycourse1918roth/page/n7

The public domain makes my pants fit funny.
A screed for scams, sorcery, and other shenanigans... Nu Way Magick Blogge

JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Harry Lorayne
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Such great advice. And - I may be wrong - I knew David Roth, we spoke on the phone often - he was a fan --- I don't think he ever touched on memorizing playing cards. Again - such great advice. (Please explain the "public domain/pants" thing - I'm too stupid to get it.)
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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The Burnaby Kid
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Oh, and Ravenspur, there's a section within Roth's memory course that covers full-deck memorization. If you can't find it, send me a PM and I'll get it to you.
A screed for scams, sorcery, and other shenanigans... Nu Way Magick Blogge

JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Vlad_77
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Quote:
On Jan 19, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
Jeeze, I don't know whether I should apologize for starting this thread.

After doing some research on Amazon and elsewhere, I plan to buy Harry's classic The Memory Book. I can use it aside from magic. I guess I have enough on my plate that I can put off learning a stack. I bought one of John Bannon's videos of self-working card tricks, which will give me something to perform. The fact is, my performing abilities--independent of magic--are more developed than my meager magic skills. I talked to the guy who runs a local magic store. He gives lessons, and it will be worth the money to see where my independent practice has got me. There are about 15 people in the local S.A.M. chapter, and my next step is attending a meeting and a magic show by the chapter. I'm on the fence about NEMCON, which is relatively close to me.



Dear Ravenspur,

No need for apologies as you have done nothing wrong. This community can at times be contentious and you'll learn to navigate the occasional minefield. That said, there are MANY wonderful people in the community that give unstintingly of their knowledge.

Never underestimate your chops as a performer. After all, magic is first and foremost a performing art. Believe it or not, I have gotten flack for that statement. C'est la vie. I respect the magicians who just want to learn methods and tricks/routines for the sake of it. What I do not stomach are "magicians" who think they are performers yet have no clue even about basic concepts such as blocking. If I may offer an additional bit of advice, don't get locked into one approach to magic. There is a woeful misconception which thank Heaven seems to be fading but still tenaciously clinging that in close up magic, sleight of hand is the end all, be all. That sort of narrow thinking blinds one to other equally powerful methodologies. Even the great Vernon created effects that required little to no sleight of hand. He remarked that when he was developing tricks and routines that he would work to eliminate sleights. Was Vernon implying that sleight of hand is a bad thing? Far from it! What Vernon objected to was unnecessary sleights. He talked about simplification. Harry Lorayne echoes that when he instructs students to not "make a move out of something." I would strongly urge you to pick up two amazing books by Darwin Ortiz, namely, Strong Magic and Designing Miracles. I think you'll love Mr. Ortiz's in depth discussion detailing the difference between "simple" and "easy." They are not synonymous.

I am glad that you are going for Mr. Lorayne's classic. The argument that other methods are "better" for memorizing a deck of cards makes no sense. If Harry Lorayne can memorize the first and last names of an audience of 1500 using his method, then 52 cards is a doddle. That said, I'm not knocking the Aronson, Tamariz, or Joyal methods. They are superb and in fact, absent Harry Lorayne's work, I would favor Juan Tamariz's work because it incorporates additional factors such as muscle memory and musicality. (I'm also a musician and music is an important part of the Tamariz method). And here's the best part: with Harry Lorayne's method, when you DO have time to memorize the Aronson, Joyal, or Tamariz stacks, you'll already be light years ahead! The focus is memory, not that which is being memorized and IMHO THAT is what has been largely ignored in this discussion.

I wish you much joy as you begin your journey into this beautiful and rare performing art. Welcome as well to The Magic Café! You will find so many wonderful folks here and you will forge some amazing friendships.

Best,
"Vlad"
TeddyBoy
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Vlad, these are excellent points. I also do not believe it is a hard fact that a memory method coming later in time than a previous method necessarily makes it better or more effective. If this concept were stated regarding a technology-based subject I would much more likely agree since technology provides objective physical devices that can be much more reasonably and objectively compared and improved upon. When the subject is based on human behavior, e.g., a person's recall abilities, schools of psychological therapy or evolving concepts in society's system of laws, the relationship between "coming later" and "better than before" is much more tenuous. I hope it is understood that I say this while meaning no disrespect to Chris's obvious passion and knowledge in the area of memory systems, as this is not my motive. It just seems plausible that Harry's memory system can still be the most effective for some people, while others, such as Dominic O'Brien, provide alternatives that are as effective or perhaps more effective for others.

As an aside, I hope all is going well with you.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
Ravenspur
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Vlad,

Thanks for the encouragement.
Chris
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It is surprising that folks who do not know the System Maigret offer an opinion about how good or bad it supposedly is. I have studied and used Roth, Lorayne, O'Brien, Maigret and several others and have come to the conclusion that for memorizing a deck for the long term the System Maigret is superior to all others I know. While it is certainly possible that other people come to other conclusions than I have, not knowing it does not qualify you to render an informed opinion.
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Mr. Woolery
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I've gotta say, Chris, you come across as one of the most level-headed, unflappable, decent, yet determined folks I've ever encountered online. And you remain polite throughout. Thank you for setting that excellent example.

-Patrick
Mr. Woolery
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Ravenspur, I have the Memory Book. It has a lot of material written as dialogue between Harry and his coauthor. This can be a very effective way to communicate a concept for some people. If you are someone who learns well from that format, by all means get this book. Otherwise, you might be better off with a book that is formatted for direct instructions to the reader (that's how I learn best, so another book might serve me better). Harry has several other memory books that present largely the same material. It is to his credit that he offers his material in different presentations for different styles of learning.

Harry, that was a compliment. Really.

All that said, a Model T will still get you from place to place. Hand signals will still alert other drivers to your intentions. Wooden spoked wheels are still adequate for a basic tire on a car. There are plenty of people who still drive Model T autos. Arguably, that means that the Model T never become truly obsolete. But not one of them will say that there was no reason to develop automotive engineering beyond that point. Not one. We now have cars that deliver performance Henry Ford the First could only dream of.

There are ancient memory systems that still work very well, but are perhaps not as efficient or effective as what has been developed since. Why assume that advances cannot or will not be made in this area as they have been in just about every other area of human understanding?

And, this isn't meant to be argumentative, but when someone calls himself "the Yoda" of something, he is referring to a fictional character. He is calling himself a fictional personage. Harry, I acknowledge your contributions to memory skills are significant. If nothing else, you have spread the word that memory can be trained far beyond what many people are born with. That is truly laudable. But even Yoda would not likely claim that he had the last word in Jedi training. Yoda (in his fictional universe) shows respect for others who are on the path of the Jedi, acknowledging the mastery of others the same exact field he studies. If you want to be the Yoda of memory training, perhaps it is worth realizing that there will be others who advance some parts of the knowledge and skill, rather than insisting that it remain static because of what some politicians may have written in praise of your works years ago.

Someone who has never seen an automobile would find a Model T truly amazing. But if you offer him a choice between that and a brand new Toyota, I think it would take a very special kind of obstinance to expect him to say that the antique Ford is the better car just because it works.

I'm not even saying that O'Brien's material or the Maigret material is better than Roth's or Harry's. I haven't spent the money and time to compare. But the one person in this conversation who has actually made the direct comparison is the one person here who is qualified to comment intelligently on the differences.

I have not taken the plunge and purchase Maigret yet, but I do intend to do so once I have both the spare money and the spare time.

-Patrick
Bobby Forbes
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Quote:
On Jan 22, 2019, Mr. Woolery wrote:
I've gotta say, Chris, you come across as one of the most level-headed, unflappable, decent, yet determined folks I've ever encountered online. And you remain polite throughout. Thank you for setting that excellent example.

-Patrick


Agree 100%
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