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The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception

£9.83

It is unlikely that the senior CIA officials who authorised the creation of ‘Some Operational Applications of the Art of Deception’ and ‘Recognition Signals’ ever anticipated their manuals would become available to anyone without security clearance. The author John Mulholland provided accompanying illustrations, drawings and photographs and was himself a world renowned magician. A copy of his two original manuals were overlooked during the destruction of MKULTRA files in 1973 and were discovered by the authors in 2007. The principles of magic learned from Mulholland and his fellow conjurers like Houdini combined with 21st century technology will continue to influence espionage ‘tricks’. Electronic cloaks for invisibility, ‘dope’ coins, pickpocketing, simple tricks, facial expressions, the art of handling tablets, powders, liquids, the surreptitious removal of objects, special aspects of deception for women, and working as a team, practising actions so as to do them naturally and remain unnoticed are the art of the spy. Magic or spy craft? In 1953, against the backdrop of the Cold War, the CIA initiated a top secret programme codenamed MKULTRA to counter Soviet mind-control and interrogation techniques. They realised that clandestine officers might need to covertly deploy newly developed pills, potions and powders against the adversary and the CIA hired America’s most famous magician John Mulholland to write two manuals on sleight of hand and undercover communication techniques. Nearly destroyed in 1973, only a single copy survived, complete with illustrations. Here they are for a modern audience. 250pp with line art and photos. Hardback.

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It is unlikely that the senior CIA officials who authorised the creation of ‘Some Operational Applications of the Art of Deception’ and ‘Recognition Signals’ ever anticipated their manuals would become available to anyone without security clearance. The author John Mulholland provided accompanying illustrations, drawings and photographs and was himself a world renowned magician. A copy of his two original manuals were overlooked during the destruction of MKULTRA files in 1973 and were discovered by the authors in 2007. The principles of magic learned from Mulholland and his fellow conjurers like Houdini combined with 21st century technology will continue to influence espionage ‘tricks’. Electronic cloaks for invisibility, ‘dope’ coins, pickpocketing, simple tricks, facial expressions, the art of handling tablets, powders, liquids, the surreptitious removal of objects, special aspects of deception for women, and working as a team, practising actions so as to do them naturally and remain unnoticed are the art of the spy. Magic or spy craft? In 1953, against the backdrop of the Cold War, the CIA initiated a top secret programme codenamed MKULTRA to counter Soviet mind-control and interrogation techniques. They realised that clandestine officers might need to covertly deploy newly developed pills, potions and powders against the adversary and the CIA hired America’s most famous magician John Mulholland to write two manuals on sleight of hand and undercover communication techniques. Nearly destroyed in 1973, only a single copy survived, complete with illustrations. Here they are for a modern audience. 250pp with line art and photos. Hardback.

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