Erik von Markovik

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Erik von Markovik
Erik von Markovik ("Mystery")
Erik James Horvat-Marković[1]

(1971-09-24) September 24, 1971 (age 50)[2]
Other namesMystery
OccupationPick-up artist, writer, TV personality, illusionist
Known forMystery Method, VH1's The Pickup Artist

Erik von Markovik (born September 24, 1971), more popularly known by his stage name, Mystery, is a Canadian pickup artist who developed a system of attracting women called The Mystery Method which gained him attention in the PUA community.[3][4][5][6][7] This in turn led to him getting a VH1 show called The Pickup Artist.[2][8]


The character Mystery was created by Erik von Markovic in the late 1990s for his performances as a mentalist, titled Natural Magic. He has done magic performances in many places, including Toronto, Las Vegas and Hollywood. The name Mystery was also used by von Markovik as an internet username.[9] He is the author of The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women Into Bed.

Mystery describes himself as a "late bloomer" and acknowledges that he spent his early life playing Dungeons & Dragons and he had little or no success with women. However, his desire to love and be loved by women prompted him to go clubbing every night, practicing and testing various ways to implement social interactions with people. Over a period of trial and error of more than ten years, "and many, many mistakes," Mystery created what is now known as the 'Mystery Method' or the 'Venusian Arts'.

He closely observed how people act with each other during the "courtship" of a relationship, and combining these observations with various theories of evolutionary psychology, he created a system of techniques and strategies designed to help men succeed with women in different social situations such as bars, clubs, cafes and similar places. He shared his theories in a discussion group on Usenet,, and became famous for his analytical approach in the field of seduction and the "reports" he detailed.

Mystery taught and then befriended the writer Neil Strauss, who became Mystery's wingman and eventually a mentor in the seduction community. Along with a group of other former students, Mystery and Strauss shared a mansion in Hollywood ("Project Hollywood"), which soon became a focal point for potential students. Their friendship is told in the book of Strauss's method, The Game.

In 2004, Mystery formed the Mystery Method Corporation, and at the end of 2006, Mystery left to found a new company, called Venusian Arts. (The Mystery Method Corporation continued without him, and has since changed its name to Love Systems).[1] Mystery's current venture is a company called "3 Second Rule", named after a Mystery Method rule whereby the student pickup artist must approach a set of people within 3 seconds of first noticing them.[citation needed]


  • The Venusian Arts Handbook, Mystery Method Corp., 2005 (E-Book)
  • Revelation (2008). Mystery, Chris Odom, James Matador. Venusian Arts. ISBN 978-0-9818733-0-5
  • Nathan Oesch; Igor Miklousic (Aug 10, 2012). "The Dating Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Emerging Science of Human Courtship". Evolutionary Psychology. 10 (5): 899–909. doi:10.1177/147470491201000511. PMID 23253794. S2CID 43261121. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.


  1. ^ a b "Mystery Method Corporation v. Erik von Markovik" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2008-09-21. Retrieved October 3, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b Getlen, Larry (August 5, 2007). "Hot Seat". New York Post. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  3. ^ Steadman, Ian (June 4, 2014). "The sexist pseudoscience of pick-up artists: the dangers of "alpha male" thinking". New Statesman. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "A Portrait of the Pickup Artist as a Young Man". Boston. May 16, 2007. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  5. ^ "Attraction is Not a Choice". Urban Times. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  6. ^ Clark-Flory, Tracy (August 6, 2007). "The artful seducer". Salon. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  7. ^ "He Aims! He Shoots! Yes!". The New York Times. January 25, 2004. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  8. ^ "The Hot Seat: Mystery". Time Out. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "Instagram profile". 2019. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.

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