Silent Running 3

Ben Harris

The last chapter of the SIlent Running Trilogy.


The eBook Silent Running 3 picks up where the second volume, Run Silent, Run Deep, left off: That is, it is brimming full of novel applications of both the CrossRoads and Silent Running principles. You need to be familiar with these procedures (as taught fully in the first two volumes of the trilogy).

Part One of this finale jumps in at the deep end with some stunning and clever contributions. Novel ideas including making an “X” appear on the back of any “thought-of card” (a card generated by having the spectator create a card in his head via the SR process) or applying the SR principle to gospel magic or Ten Pin Bowling. OR: How about making the name of a “thought-of” card appear in the steam from a spectator’s breath, or mind-reading a word written on the back of a card! This first section of the book also addresses new ways of both selecting a number and a suit during the Silent Running procedure. Lots of food for thought – great ideas and tweaks that you will apply.

Part Two is a full and in-depth essay on the CrossRoads/Silent Running principles from a thoughtful and deep-thinking friend, Mark Trudinger. Mark approaches SR from a disciplined “Marshall arts” background and explores previously unseen nuances. His quest is to give full control to the spectator, and that includes exactly what will happen with the “thought-of card”. Prepare for a roller coaster ride and to learn several wonderful handlings/effects along the way.

Part Three presents a new force application (IONIC) based on Ray Hyman’s original finger force from 1953. This quirky little adjustment has made the approach fit CrossRoads/Silent Running like a glove. Some hard-hitting applications are taught including “SILENT WITNESS” which is a solution to the “Golden Moment” as originally proposed in the CrossRoads book. (In effect, a card is placed face down upon the table. A spectator creates a card in his mind. No one else knows what it is. This card matches the card placed on the table at the beginning of the effect). No card switches. It’s a clever and very fair solution that we’re sure will become one of your most requested pieces. Ideal for close-up, stage or anywhere. Special template to print out the “secret something” is supplied.

“RAZOR” is another standout in this suite of stunning effects. Imagine a spectator “thinking-of” a card and then having him cut to his “thought-of” card without ever touching the deck! You don’t even need to know what card he “thought-of” – it’s automatic. This will go into your “A” List!

Contributors include:

  • Greg Arce
  • Steve Shufton
  • Paul Smith
  • Andrew Brown
  • Kyle MacNeill
  • Michael Daniels
  • Josh Zandman
  • Ben Harris

A more detailed look at the contents:

  • Foreword by Steve Shufton
  • IntroductionPART ONE: NOVELTY
  • SRX by Greg Arce: This is a direct and instant revelation of a large “X” (in permanent marker) on the surface of the merely “thought-of” card. A deck is tabled, the spectator creates a playing card in her head, and then whammo–you spread the deck showing the hit. The card can be removed and examined. What I really love about this is it’s instantaneous nature. The deck is just spread in one smooth action and you have a moment of amazement. Pretty much self-working.
  • Silently Visual by Josh Zandman: My good friend Josh Zandman has extended the Silent Running procedure into the realms of a drawing duplication or word divination. You can use this as an additional climax (once you’ve divined the “thought-of” card), or you can use it stand alone–allowing the cards to fall into background memory–as you highlight the drawing duplication/word divination.
  • Dummy-Spit by Greg Arce: Greg Arce’s funny and mysterious routine with “word cards” and a vent dummy. Funny and powerful. Basically, a “thought-of” card leads the word “dummy” on the back of playing card. This then leads to the big box that’s been on show the whole performance. Inside is a vent dummy. In it’s pocket is the “thought-of” card!
  • Silent Steam by Paul Smith: Paul has realized a super-clever way of making the name of the “thought-of card” appear in the most mysterious of places. Like on wine glasses, for instance. You’ll be freaking people out with this.
  • Commandment by Kyle MacNeill: Never in a thousand years would I have thought of this. But young Kyle MacNeill has combined the Silent Running principle with the Bible and created a lovely divination of one of the “Ten Commandments” and also a correct revelation of a chosen “Gospel”. (With printable artwork).
  • The Silent Bowler by Kyle MacNeill: Here Kyle applies the ideas set forth above and applies them to sports. The sport in this instance is Ten Pin Bowling with a reveal correctly predicting one of the ten bowling pins and the type of ball used to hit it. A twin prediction that is applicable to other sports too. Can you apply this to your sport of choice? (With printable artwork).
  • Blind Silent Running by Michael Daniels: Michael was not happy with the suit selection process in the original Silent Running and has developed a simple way to prove that the suits are random. A great tool to add to your knowledge base for those occasions when you really want to appear fair and above board.
  • The One by Ben Harris: This is a way of allowing a choice of number (apparently FROM 1 – 10) without calling any attention to the “1” or “10” limit. Again, this is another tool to add to your SR Toolbox.PART TWO: IONIC
  • Ionic – The Force: Placing certain rules in play with Ray Hyman’s Finger Force from 1953 has resulted in a procedure that compresses the CrossRoads Set (eight cards) down to just three outs. This opens up all sorts of amazing possibilities. You can now place a single envelope on the table before beginning. A spectator “thinks” of a card (via the SR/IONIC procedure) and then you reveal a hit by tipping one card from the envelope. It matches the “though-of” card. No more multiple envelopes required.
  • Ionic – Tangent: This expands on the above and allows a free choice of suit. The correct card is still tipped from the envelope at the end! In this instance the SR/IONIC procedure being used for the “random selection” of a number only. Combining this with a free choice of suit adds a dimension of looseness.
  • BukJuk by Ben Harris: This is worth it’s weight in gold. It’s a stand up solution to the “Golden Moment” problem posed in CrossRoads. A spectator is invited to assist an a playing card is tucked back out into his belt. Now he creates a card in his head, changing his mind as often as he likes. He then announces his “thought-of” card and the card tucked in his belt is shown to be an exact match. This uses the SR/IONIC procedure along with the clever BukJuk card. This card shows a back and any of the three faces required to bring the effect to a smashing conclusion. Easy to make, allow about 5 minutes! Ideal for the “street” theatre, stage and T.V. Not for close up.
  • The Invisible Card by Andrew Brown: Andrew has created a stunner here. He has designed a “no questions asked” procedure and wrapped it within an “Invisible Deck” plot. No cards are actually used, and you identify the “thought-of” card without asking a single question. This is a real worker!
  • Silent Witness by Ben Harris: This is a close up version of the “Golden Moment” that can also play on the largest stage. One face down card is placed on the table. A spectator creates a playing card in her head. A second spectator is invited to adjudicate, making sure there is no sleight of hand or trickery. He writes the identity of the tabled card on a piece of paper before the first spectator reveals what card she has created in her head. “I do not want you thinking that I used some sneaky magician’s trick to switch my prediction card after you name it…So, I will have you write down it’s identity before the card is named… please do so now… and sign it too, please.” Under these fairest of conditions, the card that the spectator wrote down (and certified with his signature) matches the yet to be revealed “thought of” card! (Printable gimmick included).
  • Razor by Ben Harris: For the card workers. This gets away from the mentalism approaches and finds a spectator locating her “thought-of” card by cutting an indifferent card into the deck. This “magnetic card” is then found directly beside the card she is thinking of. Yet, she had a genuinely free choice of where she cut it into the deck. The deck can even be shuffled, yet the “magnetic card” still attracts the unknown “thought-of” card. With this clever effect you do not even need to know the identity of the card the spectator is “thinking of.” It’s a self-worker you can perform with any deck at any time!
  • The WTF Exercise by Ben Harris: One of the outside influences that lead to IONIC was an attempt to make some sense out of an ACAAN routine called WTF. This used a hodge-podge of ideas in a not so nicely constructed handling. Here’s my attempt at removing some kinks by applying IONIC across the range of choices in the effect. (Number selection, suit selection, position in deck, etc). The result is wound up tight, but we then loosen it by freeing up some choices, like FREE CHOICE of number in the deck. It’s interesting to see how IONIC “fits” over the ACAAN plot. I’m sure this will inspire you to explore.ESSAY: SILENT DESTINATIONThis 21 page essay by marshall arts master Mark Trudinger will have you thinking about the “classic” elements of CrossRoads and Silent Running in ways you’ve not considered before. Mark’s goal is to create a total experience for the spectator by having her decide everything throughout the effect. This means that she not only “creates” a card in her head, she then tells you want she wants to do with her imagined card. Finally, the card appears at a position once again designated by the spectator. Includes handling, psychological constructs, discussion and scripted effects.

What the professionals had to say about Silent Running:

“This is so much more than just an effect. It is a powerful subtlety that is a must have for your mentalist toolbox.” – Banachek (USA)
“Crystal clear and absolutely mindblowing!” – Martin Adams (UK)

“If you are seeking the holy grail of truly prop-less mentalism then you NEED to get this routine. Ben’s thinking has always been unique and here he excels himself!” – Marc Paul (UK)

“Silent Running describes a very clever principle that enables the performer to almost instantly ascertain the identity of a card merely thought of. The Card Stabbing routine made possible by the principle is the most powerful I have ever seen. I highly recommend Silent Running to serious students of the art as well as to professional workers.” – Bob Cassidy (USA)

“F*#%ing Brilliant!” – Nathan Kranzo (USA)

“The Silent Running approach takes things into the realms of real mind reading. I love the newspaper card stab as it has the perfect combination of drama and impossibilty. Great stuff.” – Peter Duffie (Scotland)

“This is going to become the best effect of 2010 and possibly of the decade…The genius magic engineer Ben Harris has done it again.” – Chris Wasshuber (

“The perfect effect for those times when someone says,’Do Something,’ and you have nothing with you. With this effect, you need only your mind.” – Devin Knight (USA)

“I’ll definitely be working this, Amazing stuff.” – Dee Christopher (UK)

“Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!” – Marc Spelmann


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