A Funny Spy at Your party?
During the cold war, US soldiers were given a training manual on trickery and deception authored by magician, John Milholland, who was paid $3,000 for his work. A tidy sum for the time, and an indication of his standing as a deceiver. All copies were believed to have been destroyed in 1973. Then a surviving copy was recently discovered.
The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception, published in 2010 and authored by Bob Wallace and Keith Melton, and includes verbatim sections of Milholland's original, cold war manual. The use of those two words, CIA and Magician, in such close proximity to each other makes the notion of being a deceiver, to me at least, legal and respectful.
According to one source: “Mulholland was brought on board by the CIA’s Technical Services Staff, known today as the Office of Technical Service, a department of the CIA’s Science and Technology Division, founded in 1951 to supply the CIA with invisible inks, weapons and disguises.” Invisible ink and disguises? Anyone else find those words intriguing? This boy did, and still does.
This is not the first time a government hired a magician to help with national security. I told the story last year of Robert Houdin, hired by the French to quell a restive population in Algiers in the mid 1800's. The English, on more than one occasion, did the same; most recently during World War ll.
I can entertain at your company party, or corporate event, and only I know these things. (Yes, I'm not a spy, but close.) Other than politicians, who else gets to lie for a living? And when Joey Pipia does it, he makes you smile and laugh.
To paraphrase turn-of-the-last-century magician, Germain the Wizard: “A magician has the only honest profession, he tells you he's going t0 lie, and then he does.”