Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Magic Tricks of the C.I.A.

Well it looks as though our own United States government is aware that the παίηνια of Democritus and Anaxilaus were real.

And not only that, but our government actually advocates scientific deception.

Gizmodo: Secret CIA Manual Shows Magic Tricks Used By Spies.

Their new book, The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception, is in part a verbatim reproduction of that manual, but, thrillingly, it also shares the (declassified) history of CIA trickery from the beginning, including the formation of the double top-secret and sometimes sinister MKULTRA division. MKULTRA was supposed to have been erased from history in 1973, but—in true spy fashion—the few shreds of paperwork that remained ended up telling its whole story.

The discovered manual was penned by John Mulholland, the David Copperfield and/or Blaine of his day. Though Mulholland knew more than anybody since Houdini about pulling fast ones, his challenge was to teach people who were not necessarily pros to pull off tricks in front of an audience that didn't know it was an audience. Perform a lousy trick, and you don't get booed—you get beheaded.

Here Wallace and Melton have kindly shared some newly created illustrations of tricks from the book, CIA sleights you could employ to escape from a water-bottling plant, poison a friend, send messages with your shoelaces, steal single sheets of paper, look dumb, and of course, kill Castro. Not all of the tricks below come from Mulholland's original manual, but they were all devised at Langley, and are all lovingly described in the book—a $16 thrill of a read for anyone with even a passing interest in spyology:


Raptor Lewis said...

This is one of those political satires. If you actually believe this is real, then you are seriously defficient in the mind.

OilIsMastery said...


Fungus FitzJuggler III said...


Arie Sheyn said...

"to escape from a water-bottling plant"