Bert Reese

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Suggested methods for Bert Reese's billet reading.

Bert Reese (1851–1926) was an American-Polish medium.

Reese was an expert billet reader. He was a spiritualist and a friend of Aleister Crowley.[1]

The psychical researcher Eric Dingwall observed Reese in New York and claimed to have discovered his cheating methods; according to Dingwall the exploits of Reese were "not worth any serious scientific consideration" and that Reese came into contact with the sealed notes.[2] Martin Gardner wrote that Reese was an expert mentalist no different from stage magicians of the period such as Joseph Dunninger but managed to fool a number of people into believing he was a genuine psychic.[3] Thomas Edison was duped by the billet reading tricks of Reese and claimed him to be a real psychic. This led The New York Times journalist Edward Marshall to write two articles in November, 1910 exposing with illustrations how Reese performed his tricks.[4]

The magician Joseph Rinn revealed the billet reading tricks of Reese.[5] The most detailed account at exposing his tricks (with diagrams) was by the magician Theodore Annemann.[6]


  1. ^ Richard Kaczynski. (2010). Perdurabo, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Life of Aleister Crowley. North Atlantic Books. pp. 232-325. ISBN 978-1556438998
  2. ^ Eric Dingwall. (1927). How to Go to a Medium. K. Paul, Trench, Trübner. pp. 31-32. Also see Eric Dingwall. (1968). Abnormal Hypnotic Phenomena: France. Barnes & Noble. p. 272
  3. ^ Martin Gardner. (1957). Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. Dover Publications. p. 311. ISBN 978-0486203942
  4. ^ Karen Kelly. (2011). The Secret of "The Secret". Sidgwick & Jackson. p. 167. ISBN 978-0283070617
  5. ^ The Skeptical Inquirer. (1996). Volume 20. Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. p. 12
  6. ^ Theodore Annemann. (1983). Practical Mental Magic. Dover Publications. pp. 7-11

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