Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 11/09/05 10:12 AM


The Illogical Double Lift has an interesting background.

Lorayne claimed that he came up with a way to switch a card, then published The Illogical Double Lift in Quantum Leaps (1979).This happens to be a technical variation of the K. M. Move previously published in Marlo's Magazine - Volume One (1976). Marlo informed Lorayne of his reinvention. He immediately wrote Marlo, arguing that his move was different (September 3, 1986):

As far as the "Latest KM Move" is concerned, I can't agree with you at all. I do not remember the conversation with Barry Price, so let's not concern ourselves with that. And, I do not have your Magazine #1, so can't check that.

But, I have read the copy of the KM Move booklet you sent pretty carefully. In every case, you are left with a card in your right hand. My Illogical Double Lift does not do that at all. Please check it out in QUANTUM LEAPS (which, incidentally, although published in 1979, I had most of it written before 1976.) That's not important. The point is that the Illogical Double Lift is different because the two cards go flush up against the deck, and the left thumb deals the rear card to the table. Nowhere is that done in the K.M. booklet. Now, if you teach it that way in your Magazine #1, I'd like to see it, and if so -- I'll be more than happy to mention it in APOCALYPSE.

I have checked Latest K.M. Move in Formula One Close-up again. I'm afraid I haven't changed my mind. Suddenly, the left thumb deals the rear card to the table after the 2 cards are placed up against the (turning face up) deck. This is exactly my Illogical Double Lift. And, frankly, even if the same move had been in print before (and if it was, I haven't seen it yet), the writer of Formula One could have mentioned QUANTUM LEAPS -- I think that would have been the normal thing to do.

Please let me see your variation in your Magazine #1. Right now, I have to stand by the statement I made -- put "Latest" alongside my "Illogical" and you would find it a chore to tell 'em apart.

Show me where I'm wrong Ed and, as usual, I will be more than happy to oblige you. As a matter of fact, if it's that important to you, I'll mention that they are slightly different, although I do not believe that. (I'm surprised that you don't see it -- that "Illogical" is different than KM, and "Latest" is exactly like "Illogical.")

Let me know -- I'm way ahead on issues, and if I do have to say something about this, I'd like to do it in the early part of next year.

I have been very busy, and it's possible that I've read things too quickly. I may be wrong -- I just don't see it at the moment. I really don't mind admitting that I'm wrong when I know that I definitely am. I don't think so in this case.

P.S. And in all cases, in K.M. Move, a card (or cards) is stolen back onto the deck with the left fingers. This is not done in the Illogical Double Lift. Honestly, I think if an apology is due it's due me! "Latest" in Formula One is really a rip-off of my "Illogical," unless you can show me another source before Illogical" appeared. If I'm wrong, I'll certainly apologize in print.

Digression: If you are unfamiliar with the K.M. Move in question, its underlying concept is to secretly turn one card as you handled another one. Its strength lies in its simultaneity. Sometimes its mechanics result in a switch. A germane example is on page 4 of Marlos original K.M. Move booklet:

While the K.M. Move has been described with the top card face down, it can be done with the top card face up. Simply turn the top card face up, do a Double Lift of the cards back to back, go into the K.M. Move with Forward Fingering Action thus ending up with the face-up card still face-up in the right hand while at the same time secretly reversing the other card on top. By using the Reverse Fingering Action with the top card face up you will appear to have taken this face up card face down into the right hand when actually you will have righted the original face up card and end up with the exchanged card face down in right hand. It is actually illogical but looks all right because of the Wrist Turn to the left hand.

Marlo replied to Lorayne's letter (September 8, 1986):


Since you have not seen Vol-I of the Magazine, I went out of my way to have pages 39 to 70 copied for you. This includes the K.M. Move in its various forms and applications. The opening method on page 39 is a description of the original handling because by this time the K.M. Move booklet was out of print. The method on pages 41 to 43 was devised in 1963 and between 1963 and 1970 was recorded by a half dozen magicians in their Notes. Over the years I came up with additional ideas and handlings and applications of this particular method. At present have more handlings and applications that have not been published.

So as you yourself pointed out, you would find it a chore to distinguish the difference between the Latest K.M. Move and the Illogical Double Lift.

After you have read the enclosed 39 to 70 pages on the K. M. Move, I will let you decide how you wish to proceed in this matter without causing yourself any undue embarrassment with your readers of APOCALYPSE.

Meantime, wishing you continued success with all your projects and the best to you--


Lorayne replied to this letter on September 11, 1986:

Hi Ed:

I was hoping that Randy Wakeman would call you before you went through the trouble of making copies, etc. I'd written to him -- because he sent me a variation of the ace-cutting routine, which I'll run in Apocalypse when I can and mentioned the Latest KM Move. In the meantime, I had someone check Magazine #1 for me.

Well, as soon as that person started to read page 41 to me, I said -- "That's it - stop; Eddie is right."

Lorayne kept his word and mentioned the confusion in Apocalypse, but printing apologies, corrections, and errata does not eliminate confusion for future readers or students. The original books and articles initially causing confusion and misunderstanding are not altered or amended. Anyone reading them receives the same misinformation.

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Postby Guest » 11/10/05 02:16 PM

Jon, Thanks for a deeply informative and eloquent answer (as usual).

Postby thumbslinger » 11/14/05 03:02 PM

Wow. Seeing the dates of the correspondance were so much later than the actual development cycles as well as publishing dates, it leads me to wonder about an opinion I heard from someone.

In fairness to him, I won't mention his name, but as he was an early member of the Magic Castle and up to a point was in the loop, I off this opinion he shared with me.

In a nutshell, when Vernon began touring and giving lectures and getting paid rather handsomly and probably more than many magicians of the day were getting for actual performances, the idea of crediting became more than polite business and became, evidently, proof of ones worth.

If Magician Joe could publish, sell and be known for the XY move, then the authority that was seemingly transferred to Magician Joe and because of that point, was yet another way to get better prices for performances, name around town etc.

Supposedly, Vernon had around $200,000 in cash when he died much of which was a result of said lectures. Adjusting for the times, well once doesn't even have to adjust to see what kind of money was possible.

Again, this isn't my outlook and perhaps someone else who hung out with Vernon, drove him here and there or whatever the latest fond memory is would have a different opinion.

I still find it amazing that crediting has become more than just a polite acknowledgment of research. It's become a way to make others wrong, sue people, get sued, be bad mouthed, make money just because of and the like.

I guess the proverbial school yard bullies and childhood games continue in all industries no matter the level of education or age.

But it sure is interesting reading!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/14/05 05:37 PM

The following is false:

"Supposedly, Vernon had around $200,000 in cash when he died much of which was a result of said lectures."

The truth is that Vernon had about $120,000 in the bank, and it came almost entirely from his social security, which had accumulated over many decades.
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Postby thumbslinger » 11/14/05 07:52 PM

Well, there you go. Thanks Richard for clarifying that aspect.
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Postby El Mystico » 11/16/05 10:37 AM

Always good to get the facts.
But then the question arises - if he wasn't spending his social security, what was he living off? Yes, in part it will have been the good will of other magicians, in part though it will have been money from lectures....

so - while technically the money will have been from social security, if he hadn't had the lecture money, would the social security money have been left?

(What a tedious question! It is only because i am facing such issues with my aged parents that the question resonates with me at all)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/16/05 10:40 AM

Vernon was a generous guy: he wrote several large checks at different times to help those folks in need.
As to who paid his expenses, once he moved to California he lived off the largese of the Larsen family. First he lived in the Magic Castle, and later Bill Larsen paid his rent at the little apartment down the street. If you went out to dinner with the Professor, you picked up the bill. It would have been absurd to expect Vernon to pay for himself--you were lucky to be in his company.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 11/16/05 01:07 PM

If you went out to dinner with the Professor, you picked up the bill. It would have been absurd to expect Vernon to pay for himself--you were lucky to be in his company.
Richard, I love that line and I can see how it would be true!!!

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Postby Fred Zimmerman » 11/16/05 01:58 PM

I'll probably get my ass handed to me here (because I have an inkling of the right answer), but I recall Frank Garcia detailing an "Illogical Double Lift" in one of his red pamphlet books (Incredible or Amazing, not Million Dollar, Secrets).

Does this parse anywhere near this conversation?

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Postby John Nicholls » 11/17/05 07:30 AM

Fred, are you thinking of Quick Change from Garcia's Elegant Card Magic of Father Cyprian which is the same mechanics as Al Smith's PC Change from his Cards on Demand, both of which were published in 1980? Ah.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 11/17/05 11:21 AM

For Fred and others who tolerate long posts:


The talk regarding the Illogical Double Lift and other related moves reminded me of this:

Printing apologies, corrections, and errata, unfortunately, does not eliminate confusion. The original books and articles causing confusion and misunderstanding remain uncorrected. These offenses are peccadillos to everyone but the victims. If an innocent student reads only one source, he will credit that source. Any crediting depends on a student's memory and inclination to make such citations. The average cardman rarely has a personal, vested interest in this kind of specific recognition. He may respect and thank his precursors and teachers, but doesn't care much about the history of ideas. Complicated ancestral ties and how each creator is inspired, influenced, and taught holds meager interest.

Sometimes students detect similarities, especially if they voraciously read. Al Smith, the fine English cardman, wrote Cards on Demand in 1980. Is P. C. Change (p. 24) is a card transformation. If you analyze it closely, it is a truncated version of Marlos Latest K.M. Move because the changed card is not thumbed off face down to the table. You immediately turn your left hand palm up to show the face-up (transformed) card on top. Smith also added: Card students may recognize the above to be an application of the K.M. Move (Kardyro-Marlo). Although I actually developed the P.C.C. after reading Lorayne's Illogical Double Lift in Quantum Leaps, unaware at that time that both moves were the same. Neither Marlo, nor Lorayne seems to have stumbled on the P.C.C., however. Or perhaps they did and discarded it?

Here is Smith's handling:

Suppose you are holding these four cards face down in your left hand: Joker - Joker - Joker - Ace of Spades and you have just shown these four cards as duplicate Aces of Spades via a False Count.

Place the AS face up on top of the face-down Jokers. Get a left pinky break under the top two cards. Then grasp them as one card with your right hand, pinching their right side between your thumb and first/second fingers.

Drag the card(s) to the right and across the back of the squared Jokers. Start to perform a left-hand Wrist Turn and when the card(s) reach the right side of the Jokers, flip them up and against the Joker-packet. Before the face of the Joker is flashed, your left hand will be completely palm down.
Quickly turn your left hand palm up to show a face-up Joker. The rest of the cards are face down.

Enter Daryl Martinez.

Daryl gave Paul Harris an effect sometime before 1980, which Harris published in Close-Up Fantasies-Book II (1980). The effect is called Daryl's Elevator Repair (pp. 97-108).

Guess what?

This move is a similar [but not quite] to Smith's P. C. Change.

Daryl turns the top card of the deck face up and gets a left pinky break under the top four cards. He lifts all four cards as one, holding them in a right-hand Biddle Grip, and then he flips the rest of the deck face up onto the right-hand card(s).

Next, he re-grips the entire deck by its inner right corner between his right thumb and fingers and taps the deck against the table. Then he immediately flips the deck over and face down into his left hand. The card face up on top of the deck is different, suggesting an instant transformation.

Enter Father Cyprian.

Frank Garcia published The Elegant Card Magic of Father Cyprian in 1980. On pp. 43-45 is an explanation of something called Quick Change.

Guess what?

The moves are identical to Al Smith's technique.

So, what can we conclude?

Perhaps nothing conclusive.

Nevertheless, it is interesting that these three cardmen, living in different parts of the world, apparently devised the same partial K.M. Move [used as an immediate transformation]. The fact that each method appeared in print during the same year (1980) is tantalizingly coincidental.

By the way, to his credit Al Smith alluded to Marlo, Kardyro, and Lorayne.

Finally, Daryl published the same move in Ambitious Card Omnibus (written in 1985, published in 1987) in the article titled, Tilted And Turned (pp.22-23). In this rendition, Daryl combines Tilt with the two-card handling published by Al Smith. The right-hand grip is steadfast and less clumsy than the handling in Close-Up Fantasies - Book II (1980). Note: In Marlo's personal copy of Ambitious Card Omnibus, he wrote this marginal note:

This is the K.M. Move done as a visible change. No credit to Smith (English card book) and even to Fr. Cyprian who ripped it off. Smith credits K.M. Move as inspirational.


"...that fascinating writer has been stript of many of his borrowed plumes."

The above quotation, cribbed from a longer quotation, is credited to a person identified only by the initials R. F. He was referring to the plagiarism of Laurence Sterne in the spring of 1798, thirty years after the author's death. Someone named Eboracensis, it turns out, complained about the same borrowed plumes four years earlier. Maybe they were the same person? If not, R.F. plagiarized from Eboracensis, who is guilty of his own misdemeanor. He consciously or unconsciously took borrowed plumes from The Jasy and the [censored] in Aesop's Fables.

This kind of silent plunder goes onnegligible blips in an immense grid of Text.

Now that we are immersed in tons of Text and other forms of ghostly and palpable Information, we may wonder if such replication is reprehensible. Unless there are axes to grind, scores to settle, or japes to express, the offense of borrowing plumes seems less and less offensive, less and less important. Everybody does it. Everybody did it. It's business-as-usual. Sometimes it makes the news if the players are well-knownsay, a senator (Joseph Biden), a mythic-celebrity (Martin Luther King), or a writer (Alex Haley).

The science establishment of course takes a dim view of plagiarism. Fraud and deceit in their hallowed domain are never sanctioned. Halls and laboratories are closely patrolled because the big-money stakes are high. Yet when a Plagiarism Machine was recently proposed as a possibility, the Science Establishment rejected it. In theory, considering the strides made in Information Theory and Practice, such a detection device is possible. Software wizards could invent a program to find borrowed plumes by comparing Current Data to a Data-Base based on the Complete Published Record. The new collides with the old in Cyber-Arbitration.

Imagine that!

Plagiarism began as soon as the printed word was a fait accompli. Clarke "Senator" Crandall spoke of it during a performance at the 20th Annual IBM Convention (New Orleans, Louisiana, 1948): I'm writing a book. The title: Twenty Tricks I Have Stolen. I simply take a book already written, tear out the pages, then paste them up again...and I have my book!

Walter Gibson once chided Bruce Elliott for failing to credit Burling Hull for inventing the Mene-Tekel and Svengali decks. He wrote: In reading books that teem with credits, there are always some startling omissions that to my mind nullify the whole purpose of the credit business.

So, what usually happens when a creator is ripped off?

Legal recourse is too expensive for the stakes involved. Besides, reputations in our insular magic world are more delicate than soap bubbles. Egos shrink and expand, but seem weightless on the metaphoric scale of justice. At best, if your ox is gored, you can scream within the earshot of other rebels without a clue or you can retaliate in our print media. Magicians still write letters to editors. If you have your own column or magazine, you can blast away to your spleen's content. Nevertheless, what bothers victims is the Amnesia Factor. Magicians don't remember names and dates. Credits don't mean much. If they remember anything, it's likely to be the last book or article they read.
Who really remembers?

Perhaps the more damning question is:
Who really cares?
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Postby Ryan Matney » 11/17/05 11:35 AM

Didn't Paul Harris also publish this as 'The Flip Flop change"?
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Postby Fred Zimmerman » 11/17/05 12:56 PM

Thank you, Jon and John. Yes, it was the Fr. Cyprian book I'm remembering. (At least I remembered the color).

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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/17/05 06:21 PM

Hey Guys: I'm pleased that I gave you all a "thread." But you've all overlooked what I said at the top, to Ed Marlo. At least, I assume that's what I said! I don't keep those kinds of records. I was a bit confused when I read that - which is hard to do because I START confused! It's not clear, at least to me, who is writing what in that opening post.
Anyway, interesting isn't it, that all talk about "similar" moves in 1980 or later, when I released The Illogical Double Lift in QUANTUM LEAPS in 1979? And used it for years prior to that? I don't want to be redundant - all this is mentioned in that first long post. (Interesting that those "similar users" aren't accused of "ripping off."
Honestly, when I wrote QUANTUM LEAPSE, up to that time, I'd never used the KM Move, nor did I know about it - not that I remember.
I'd also suggest than anyone interested check out some of the effects utilizing the lift in Quantum Leaps. And, I'm not trying to sell you anything because I have none to sell you; they're out of print.
Many, many, magicians have told me through the years that they use my Illogical Double Lift all the time, etc. (Ask Bob Farmer).
Fred Z. asks about an item in someone's book, etc. I don't want to get into that. (He says that he thinks he knows the answer.) Jon R. will know what I'm talking about. Oh, and what Jon didn't mention in his long post, because I'm sure he didn't know about it, because Ed never told him - is that in one of our telephone conversations, Marlo admitted that my move was DIFFERENT. It's as someone in one of the above posts mentioned - turning the hand palm down and dealing off the displayed card had NOT BEEN DONE BEFORE. And, in my humble opinion, that's what "makes" the move, makes all the difference.
I've been talked into doing BEST OF FRIENDS, VOLUME III (after 20 years) and I may include a couple of effects that utilize my Illogical Double Lift. Not sure. Don't know if I want to repeat the teaching of it.
Which reminds me, if anyone reading this would like to be included in BOF, III, contact me at: and I'll tell you how to go about it. Okay? Gotta stop here; don't want my post to be longer than Jon's! HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 11/17/05 07:56 PM

not that I remember.
. . .in a post by Harry Lorayne! Now I don't feel so bad for losing my keys . . . .
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/17/05 10:18 PM

Bill (Mullins): It was a joke, son! So, sorry, you can still feel bad about losing your keys!! (Another joke, Bill. Geez!!) HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby El Mystico » 11/28/05 01:08 PM

Illogically, this topic interests me.I had assumed that Jon's article was the last word - but now Harry comes in with an Afterthought. Sadly I don't have Marlo's magazine 1, and no copies seem to be available.Is there anyone with Marlo's Magazine 1 willing to scan in the relevant page, or retype it? Or sell me their copy? Thank you.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/29/05 03:53 PM

I think we've kind of beaten the subject to death, but I thought I'd mention that I've received numerous private calls and emails from magicians who've seen this "thread," telling me that they use my Illogical Double Lift all the time, and THAT IT IS NOT THE SAME AS THE KM MOVE. Of course, I know that. People have said that the Illogical Double Lift is a wonderful utility, "universal" move. The KM Move is not. Of course, I know that. Anyway... HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Denis Behr » 11/30/05 02:01 AM

Originally posted by Harry Lorayne:
...the Illogical Double Lift is a wonderful utility, "universal" move. The KM Move is not. Of course, I know that.
You learn some new things every day...
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Postby Temperance » 11/30/05 02:07 AM

It lets you switch one card for another, it's hardly "universal".

Why doesn't someone reprint Marlo's Magazines so that this kind of thing doesn't happen in the future? Share the knowledge and all that...

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