Kudos to Edwards and Genii

Discuss the latest feature articles in Genii.

Postby Guest » 03/12/02 01:19 AM

With all the talk on the Heinstein Shuffle on a separate thread I realized I overlooked Michael Edwards' article on John Mulholland titled "The Sphinx and The Spy" (Genii Vol. 64 #4, April 2001).

Drugs, poisons, clandestine operations, secret manuals, spys, IRS loopholes, death, codes, and (real real world!) sleight of hand. Wow!!! Now, is it just me or did anyone else get a creepy feeling reading Mr. Edwards' most excellent investigative article? Sure, John Mulholland was a magician's magician, but quitting the Sphinx (under the quise of failing health) to go undercover for the CIA and produce THE spy's working manual (with the ambiguous working title of: Operational Applications of the Art of Deception) is very heavy indeed! I know it was a very different world back then, but to drop everything and do this kind of work... and continue in it even after the known death of poor scientist Frank Olson... is a bit much! Talk about a DARK side to magic, Whew! (I wonder what kind of operations magicians are or will be involved in on today's world scene?)

I don't know about you, but I would have a hard time justifying my motivations rubbing shoulders with people like this. What was Mr. Mulholland thinking? Social Elite? Duty to your country? It sounds like there's a story underneath the story which most likely went to the grave and will forever remain speculation.

Kudos to Mr. Edwards and Genii for publishing this fascinating account of John Mulholland's secret underworld. Who knew?

I look forward to Genii telling it like it is (or was) in the future.
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/12/02 09:32 PM

I think that at that time it was a case of Mulholland doing what he felt was an important duty for his country--that's my guess.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20011
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Michael Edwards » 03/13/02 06:56 AM

Steve:

Thank you for your very gracious comments. I can only come to the same conclusion that Richard does. Mulholland was asked by his government to assist in what was then thought to be a necessary -- albiet clandestine -- war against a dangerous and aggressive enemy. The stakes were seen as very high. And Mulholland -- as others before and since -- agreed to help. He was not the first magician to do so...nor the last. I must confess my own perspective has broadened a bit over these past six months. I wrote the article a little over a year ago. At the time, the country was at peace and seemed very secure. The kind of threats that we thought we faced during the height of the Cold War appeared very remote indeed. Then came September. Perhaps in its aftermath one can get a better feel for the kind of fear and uncertainty that pervaded much of American culture in the early 1950's. If you were asked today to help your country by sharing the tools and techniques of the magician's craft with special forces or clandestine agents combatting terrorism would you do so? The answer for John Mulholland -- fifty years ago -- was "yes."

Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards
 
Posts: 516
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Guest » 03/14/02 05:29 PM

Fascinating... So, when's the movie coming out?
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/23/02 09:55 AM

I think Racherbaumer's always wanted to write a screenplay!
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20011
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC


Return to Feature Articles