The Conjurer’s Dilemma

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Do you protect a magic trick, or keep it a secret? You can’t have both.

BY J.J. LOY

The mystique of magic depends on hiding the secrets behind the tricks. Since the beginning of modern stage magic, organizations such as the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians have enforced codes of ethics and oaths of secrecy, to prevent the willful exposure of secrets to the public and, maybe even more importantly, to recognize and respect the ownership rights of magic effects inventors.

Unfortunately, some knaves will break these codes in order to steal a particularly astonishing effect. This ...

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