Thursday, January 21, 2010

Project 365 (21/365): Muscle Reading

.:21/365: Muscle Reading:.

Banachek does it, too.

While most people who know Kreskin nowadays would recognize him mainly for his annual predictions, there was something he was far more popular for.

Muscle reading is that often-discarded facet of mentalism that requires an immense amount of trial and error, coupled with practice and recognition of subtleties. Essentially, the mentalist, in being in proximity of a person, can determine something like where that person hid something simply through “reading” the person’s muscles, which allows him to discover the location of the hidden object.

It’s a very powerful way to impress your audience, and something that Kreskin has mastered. He always made it the highlight of his show. In his long career, he often challenged the person who booked him to hide the check somewhere in the building, and through muscle reading, he has managed to find it with a great deal of consistency.

In fact, he missed finding the check less than ten times throughout his career. That says quite a lot about his prowess when it comes to muscle reading, although plenty of naysayers still believe he used a different method to find the checks rather than muscle reading.

Banachek also earned a reputation for doing muscle reading, and in his video series, the PSI series, one entire volume was devoted to the workings of muscle reading, teaching the budding mentalist the rudiments and the necessary steps to properly pull it off.

The allure of muscle reading should be obvious to anyone who is reading right now: if close contact with a person allows you to discover something they hid using subtle physiological cues they cannot suppress, then this becomes an amazing form of accurate mind-reading. Imagine interviewing someone and being able to know unequivocally if they’re bluffing or speaking the truth. Imagine feeling if Manny Villar or Noynoy Aquino or Dick Gordon were sincere with their intentions for the government. The possibilities are endless, and the best muscle readers are practically walking polygraph tests, with even less odds of being beaten than the real ones.

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