Benjamin Garth/Poker Without Cards

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Benjamin Garth/Poker Without Cards

Postby Guest » October 5th, 2005, 12:33 pm

I applied what I learned about perception from magic and applied this to consumer research and advertising. Without an MBA or any advanced degree, nor family in business, I became a Senior Vice President for two major U.S. ad agencies.

My stage name in magic was Benjamin Garth. Twice there were articles in Genii on me. Plus, it was in Genii that I sold the first book that I wrote, How To Eat Fire With Little Or No Pain. Guess what, under a new name that book is still in print 14 years later. I'm telling you about this because I don't want you to think some stranger is asking a favor of you...And, yes, I am going to ask you for something extremely valuable--not money, but your time.

When I was 14, I was the youngest performer to work The Castle with a talk act--This was 1982. A record broken many-many times with the introduction of The Future Stars of Magic week at the Castle.

I am a Magic Castle Award Winner...okay, it was the award of merit and this was back in 1988. Then, I was the youngest recipient of an award of merit. That record has been broken several times.

To the best of my knowledge, I am still the only performer, who while a junior was kicked out AND had his membership reinstated.

Some people never change. Most recently, I've been kicked out of advertising. How can a person get kicked out of advertising? Well, not entirely out, but I was fired from my $180,000/year job. Why? Because of the secrets of the media industry that I give away in my novel, Poker Without Cards.

You can download my book for free at just go to the download area and look for the 323 version, that's free.

Poker Without Cards

I'd like some quotes of endorsement from magicians. Italy's Ferdinando Buscema gave me a gushing review. Most magicians that I've sent a copy to have never resonded. I don't blame them. This is a difficult, controvertial book.

But, Kurt Vonnegut gave me a comment! Never does that. But he gave me one. By the way, my real name is Ben Mack. If you need a recent bio on me, here\'s a recent online bio/interview

If you want quotes on the book, here you go:

"Poker Without Cards pulls the circus tent back on persuasion and marketing. If you ever wanted to meet The Great Oz, read this book.
Mark Joyner
Mind Control Marketing

Readers beware! Your perceptions will be changed and the adjustment period may be disorienting, but it is well worth the read. Poker Without Cards depicts Bennington College while I was there. Poker Without Cards evokes the magic we called college, the homes we called dorms and the tensions we called life. If you read one difficult book this year, make your way through this one--The journey is worth the effort.
Justin Theroux, actor
Mulholland Drive/American Psycho/Charlies Angels

Ben Mack, Since you don't have the guts to be a homosexual, I'm glad that you are pissing off your parents by writing.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Cats Cradle/Slaughter House 5

Poker Without Cards is a consciousness thriller, combining natural philosophy with storytellingthe effect is like taking acid, only you never come down.
Robert Anton Wilson
The Illuminatus! Trilogy/TSOG/Prometheus Rising

May this clever virus infect the mediaspace before it's too late.
Douglas Rushkoff
Coercion/Cyberia/Media Virus

There are ideas in Poker Without Cards corporations don't want you to readRead this book!
Michael Bonanno
The Yes Men

Poker without Cards reveals the hard-to-swallow truth that one cannot know reality until one understands memetics and poker. Is the world ready for such a revelation?
Richard Brodie
Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme
Computer programmer who wrote original MS Word

Reads like a modern-day 1984I think the world has found a new OrwellI am certain it will be a big hit.
Kirk Packwood
Memetic Magic

If you want to see somebody jabbing their fork in my literary side, go here:


Re: Benjamin Garth/Poker Without Cards

Postby Guest » October 6th, 2005, 9:12 am

Jeffrey W. Cowan emailed me as a reply to this post. After 10 years, it was great to reconnect.

This element of the fraternity of magicians is comforting and warming.

If it weren't for Jeffrey, I never would have published the book on fire eating. His name was next to mine on the original book cover. He patiently edited my original text and oversaw the business, a skill I really didn't have.

I remember being pissed at him for including in his expenses a $.69 roll of tape. I countered with my gas mileage. He explained that he would be happy to compensate me for my mileage, but that he wanted compensation for the tape. Fair. I never submitted expenses for the mileage. It was that kind of lack of follow-through that would have prevented me from publishing that book.

I know Jeffrey has never been a judge. However, I would endorse him 100% for any court. So, now I can thank him, (Thank you Jeffrey) for helping me understand Bush just a smidge better.

Jeffrey, thank you for all that help back then. You are a good man. I'm thrilled to see you building a full life with kids and all.

The friends I met as a young magician are some of the best friendships I have known.

I love you all. I was a troublemaker. I still am. Some people never change.

I blogged on Penn & Teller's board about how my upbringing in magic has helped me see media in a more fair and balanced way. If this intrigues you, please check this out:
Fox News: Magic by Misdirection; A Fair & Balanced Look At Media

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