The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception

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Overview

Magic or spycraft? In 1953, against the backdrop of the Cold War, the CIA initiated a top-secret program, code-named MKULTRA, to counter Soviet mind-control and interrogation techniques. Realizing that clandestine officers might need to covertly deploy newly developed pills, potions, and powders against the adversary, the CIA hired America's most famous magician, John Mulholland, to write two manuals on sleight of hand and covert communication techniques.

In 1973, virtually all ...

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The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception

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Overview

Magic or spycraft? In 1953, against the backdrop of the Cold War, the CIA initiated a top-secret program, code-named MKULTRA, to counter Soviet mind-control and interrogation techniques. Realizing that clandestine officers might need to covertly deploy newly developed pills, potions, and powders against the adversary, the CIA hired America's most famous magician, John Mulholland, to write two manuals on sleight of hand and covert communication techniques.

In 1973, virtually all documents related to MKULTRA were destroyed. Mulholland's manuals were thought to be among them—until a single surviving copy of each, complete with illustrations, was recently discovered in the agency's archives.

The manuals reprinted in this work represent the only known complete copy of Mulholland's instructions for CIA officers on the magician's art of deception and secret communications.

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Editorial Reviews

Peter Earnest
“An enchanting account of espionage and wizardry at their blackest.”
Tony and Jonna Mendez
“Melton and Wallace have achieved the ultimate mastery of the shadow world where CIA’s smoke and mirrors meet Hollywood’s art of magic, deception and illusion. Like any good stage show, the never-before-disclosed techniques are spellbinding. The history of espionage is expanded by this factual, fascinating account.”
Lance Burton
“A legendary ‘lost’ piece of magic history…It’s James Bond meets Harry Houdini!”
Jeff McBride
“Entrancing! I was amazed to see how the magician’s trade can be twisted to aid in the dark arts of espionage.”
Danny Biederman
“Espionage and magic! A special thrill to read the once-classified CIA magician’s manual.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061725906
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/2/2010
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 253,650
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

H. Keith Melton, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is an intelligence historian and a specialist in clandestine technology and espionage "tradecraft." He is the author of several books, including CIA Special Weapons and Equipment, Clandestine Warfare, and The Ultimate Spy Book.

Robert Wallace retired from the CIA in 2003 with thirty-two years of service as an operations officer and senior executive, including an assignment as director of the Office of Technical Services. Wallace is coauthor, with H. Keith Melton, of Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda.

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