February 25, 1970, New York City, New York, United States
Beware Familiar Spirits, Mulholland's Book of Magic
Mentalism from john mulholland truth and magic
Life and work
Mulholland learned the art of magic as a teenager with John William Sargent, President of the Society of American Magicians. Mulholland was a professional magician for two decades, working in small companies and large stage shows. He ran one of the first magic workshops and was from 1930 the editor of the magical trade magazine The Sphinx. He published many books on magic and its history.
During World War II, he wrote a spellbook for soldiers. His impressive collection is now owned by David Copperfield. He left The Sphinx in 1953, officially due to health problems but actually to work for the CIA.
During the Cold War, Mulholland was paid by the CIA to write a manual on deception and misdirection. Copies of the document were believed to have been destroyed in 1973, however, copies later resurfaced and were published as "The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception".
In 2008, magician Ben Robinson authored The Magician: John Mulholland's Secret Life which documented his work with the CIA.
A review which highly praised the book, stated that Mulholland had "been sworn at, threatened, and even shot at while acquiring the information".