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The Power of Perception by Arthur Setterington

The Power of Perception by Arthur Setterington

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Arthur Setterington was one of magic’s most innovative creators. Perhaps not as well known outside the UK as he should be, as he didn’t do international lecture tours, you will at least be familiar with one of his inventions, the penetrating rubber bands, generally known as Crazy Man’s Handcuffs. He also invented Cube in a Tube which was one of Supreme Magic’s bestsellers for many years.

Arthur had an amazing ability to devise new tricks and his contributions to magic literature are an incredible achievement. He was a member of The Inner Magic Circle and recipient of The Magic Circle’s Maskelyne Literary Award.

"PERCEPTIONISM: The recognition of audible or visible signals, transmitted voluntarily, or involuntarily, which reveal personal traits and idiosyncrasies. The interpretation of these signals may be used in a variety of ways by the receiver."

The Power of Perception is a lecture-demonstration, similar to Power of Persuasion, but based on a different aspect of psychology. The majority of the effects described, are mental items, but the ‘psychic' approach has been eliminated in favour of the psychological, and the demonstrations appear to be based on natural, rather than supernatural happenings.

The person presenting this routine, is a demonstrator, not a magician. The articles used should suit the style of the demonstration; chromium plated tubes and glitter finish boxes are out! The items required are readily available at low cost. Or similar effects, already in the reader's possession, may be used in the place of those described in the routine.

The spectators, witnessing the demonstrations, are under the impression that they know how the results are obtained, but they still give credit to the demonstrator for his apparent skill, and interpretation, in the field of Perceptionism.

The routine is concerned with people, rather than things, and the items have been adapted to the personal angle, As one famous magical writer explained: "People are far more interested in your revelation of their grandmother's birthdate, than in the naming of a selected playing card."

The book is divided into two sections. The first part describes the routine as it appears to a lay audience, which will help the reader to see it, so far as presentation is concerned. The second part lists the requirements, and describes the methods used in the demonstrations.

The Power of Perception should be in every mentalist's library. In addition to containing routines that are compelling and entertaining to audiences, the effect construction should be studied in depth. Methods are layered in way that backtracking becomes impossible.

"Difficult to find but a paragon of proper effect construction and strong mentalism."


Part One: A Lecture Demonstration
Demonstration Number One
Demonstration Number Two
Demonstration Number Three
Demonstration Number Four
Demonstration Number Five
Demonstration Number Six
Demonstration Number Seven
Demonstration Number Eight
Part Two: Methods Used in the Demonstration
Introduction to the Methods Used in The Power of Perception
Requirements: A Check List

1st edition 1976, 35 pages, wire-stitched paperback. Long out of print, very limited quantities available.
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