FOREWORD - MAX MAVEN
I like the way Luke Jermay thinks. He’s one of the few relatively young practitioners of mentalism who understands the value of studying and absorbing the past, and using that knowledge as a foundation on which to build new ideas for the future. This manuscript is a fine example.
Back around 1885, a London-based medium and publisher named James Burns performed an engaging demonstration that involved using his apparent psychic skill to return personal objects to their owners. Unfortunately, we don’t know the full details of this performance, but it surely made an impression.
In December 1894, A. E. Waite’s periodical The Unknown World ran an obituary that described Burns as “a prominent and peculiar personality from the front rank on Spiritualism [who] exercised a very great and earnest influence….” Burns himself would undoubtedly have been astonished had he guessed the range of that influence—that today, some 130 years after his performance was noted, that routine is still being performed.
Of course, now we know it under the title supplied by Theodore Annemann when he put the plot on the mentalism map, with a cunning method that he published in The Jinx in June 1935: “Pseudo-Psychometry.”
Over time, it has become one of the fundamental effects in the field. Probably most of the notable mentalists of the past eighty years have explored it, and many have published their own versions and spin-offs. Some of these have added new elements; the majority have simply affixed minor cosmetic embellishments. What you’re about to read offers far more than that.
Luke says that his goal was to develop a version to work in “theatrical spaces.” At this, he has truly succeeded. Unlike most, this routine has a solid structure: a compelling (and pleasingly concise) beginning, a thorough (and multi-phased) middle, and a coherent (and dramatically satisfying) ending.
He has accomplished this by radically rethinking “Pseudo-Psychometry”. There are vestiges of the original composition, but the presentation and method have been transformed, into something new and practical.
In teaching this, he provides full details, including his own script. I urge you to study that carefully. Then discard it. It’s not your voice; it’s his. Figure out why this presentation works, and then go somewhere.
If we’re both lucky, some day I’ll have the chance to experience where these ideas have taken you, and where you in turn have taken them. I look forward to meeting you there.