The illusion of mind reading intrigued Houdini. Both he and Zancig had little to do with each other though both belonged to the Society of American Magicians. Houdini doubted mentalist Julius Zancig's ability to self proclaimed ability. In this three piece correspondence Zancig reveals his trick. This correspondence began with Zancig's Aug. 8 TLS to Houdini on "How to Thought Picture... here is the secret Harry nd (sic) no one lese (sic) has it but you up to this time…you promise not to Devulge (sic) it to any one here…" Houdini replied first with a three page holograph letter including bold capital letters detailing what he did not understand about Zancig's trick. The letter is not in is hand but is most likely a draft of the typed letter he sent to Zancig. The typed letter included in this group varies from the hand written letter and is very likely a copy of the typed letter Houdini did send. This copy contains a hexagram drawing in ink appearing to be in Houdini's hand. He never believed the mind reading illusion had anything to do with a special mental ability.
From the Aug. 17 holograph letter "I have gone over the Thought Picture sheet very carefully but must confess that it is not clear to my mind...." The letter ends on the second page, with his name then crossed out and the letter continued onto a third page . "I really cannot put these things together and would appreciate your making it clearer--With best regards, yours, Houdini." This first closing and signature are struck out and followed on the last page with, "Do you really attempt to reproduce what is drawn by members of the audience, or confine your reproductions to your prepared list? If so what about identification by audience…." At this point it is signed on his behalf, “With best regards, Houdini.” The letter while not in Houdini's hand expresses his views about Zancig. It is possible the letter was dictated as a first draft then redrafted into the typed copy here. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle declared in 1923 that Julius Zancig and his wife were genuine telepathists, contradicting Houdini''s belief that the Zancigs’ “mind-reading performances required no supernatural powers. Houdini purchased the explanation of the act from Julius Zancig in order to demonstrate the truth of his view to posterity.” (Milbourne Christopher, Houdini, New York, 1969, p. 177)."
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