Please note that there is sometimes (though not usually) up to a two week to one-month wait before I can get to your order, based on my performing schedule.

RUSH ORDERS CANNOT BE DONE: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Welcome to the new and improved website of Secret STUFF

E-mail me with questions, but first check the FAQ page.

A Message from Me:

April 27th, 2015

I've been convalescing from the rotator cuff/ biceps surgery (and why didn't my doctor friends tell me that surgery HURT?) and have been slowly getting back into the manufacture of products. I'm glad to say that I just completed a magnificent run of Brown Hornets, which will be going out this week. My left arm is still in a sling (and will be for another couple of week, I'm told) so ouch. And Please be patient. Physical therapy is next, and will be going on for six months until I'm back to normal. Torn rotator cuff: I don't recommend it.

LOST ORDERS: There has been an ongoing problem over the years with orders getting lost. This irks you, of course, but me especially. What am I to do? I'm in an ethical predicament. I've discussed this with several of my peers (who sell products) and they universally advise that my responsibility ends as soon as I drop the packages off at the post office. Yet, I feel some sense of obligation. Replacing the lost item is expensive to me, in both time and materials--and money. Furthermore, the buyer seems to expect ME to be abe to do something, as if I have some inside connection with the postal service. This is especially poignant with overseas buyers. Folks, once it leaves the country, I'm completely out of the picture.

Tracking is usually only available on Priority Mail, and in the case of overseas (non-US, in my case, ) this is expensive. So these lost packages are lost. Only occasionally do I ever see them again. about twelve packages a year are lost by the post office. In the past fifteen years, only five have ever been returned to me. I'm serious.

I'm attempting a solution. I've subscribed to STAMPS.COM, and from now on I'm going to use this service for all my shipping. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to restructure my shipping policies to protect your purchases better. This is for your benefit, as well as mine. The changes are as follows: (1) you'll be charged for postage with tracking. (2) you'll be provided with a tracking number and confirmation when your order ships. I hope to do this with all orders, foreign and domestic. This is a quantum leap forward in terms of my customer service. I hope you'll like these changes. Stay tuned.

 

January 20, 2015

As the new year rolls in, I'm still trying to reduce the turn-around time on orders. Please bear with me. I perform readings on average of six hours a day, still perform four to six shows a month, and I do have a personal life and family obligations. And some health issues which arise when you reach mid-fifties. Just always know that I'm doing my very best.

The main new is that I'm switching over to Staples brand notepads for the BUTTERFLY, MASCOT MOTH and all other notepads (except the PAPILLION of course). I used to buy the Meade pads for the Butterfly from Sam's Club, but I disassociated myself from Sam's for personal, ethical reasons and no longer am a member. Furthermore, it's easier for you to obtain replacements and duplicates from Staples.

The BABY HORNET AND THE SKEETER are discontinued. I don't know when or if I'll have them again. both require that I commission someone to cut the backboards for them, which means I have to get a lot of them--several hundred--and store them. We'll see. I'll let you know.

 

THE EXTREMLY STRANGE NEWS IS:

For over a decade people have been pestering me to develop a full-sized impression board to handle a business size, 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper. Now that I have, nobody is ordering it. These are limited in availability as I only make them when I have time. See below.

THE CICADA JUMBO: I'm very pleased to announce that after years of trial and error--and I'm not exaggerating-- I'm releasing what I consider the most successful full-sized Impression Clipboard ever designed.

It's a larger (9" x 12") version of my Cicada locking clipboard, and is designed for pre-show work. It holds an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper and takes a carbon-copy. The major design problem has been finding, or developing, a surface that doesn't sag or buckle across the large area necessary to include the impression insert. Others have tried--and failed. Humidity is a killer, as is the simple fact of trying to achieve a taut surface across a 9" x12" surface. My solution for the Cicada wasn't satisfactory. What worked across a 6" surface did not perform as well across twelve inches. So I've tried different papers, fabrics, materials, processes, stains, and tested them.

The answer came serendipitously while concocting a faux finish for parchment props. I tried the mixture of waxes and stains on a paper I had experimented with before, stained it to match the clipboard, used the heat process I devised for the Cicada to seal the surface, and made a prototype. I tested it, and by God it was perfect. From now on this will be the surface for the Cicada too, as it's far superior to the older one. I want you to look at the picture. there is no clue--NONE--that the clipboard's surface isn't anything but what it's supposed to be.

Here's the drawback: it takes a long time, and a lot of effort to make the damned thing. The Cicada-like clip is a job in itself, but the surface of the clipboard--the ESSENTIAL surface--takes a couple of days to get right. The paper is treated with a dissolved wax (believe it or not, an encaustic similar to the one used to paint sarcophagi) allowed to dry for a full day, then stained with my own formula I developed for the Brown Hornet and Cicada. The clipboard itself is stained, then the unit is assembled and allowed to dry while the adhesives set. THEN, I finish them out, which involves sanding the edges and touching up the edges. THEN I make the inserts and make sure the clips fit. About four days goes into each batch of clipboards.

Therefore, these will not be a regular item. I'm going to make them FIVE at a time. The kit will come with one clipboard, instructions, three inserts, and information where you can obtain this really good carbon paper I use. I'll announce here when I have a new batch of five ready. E-mail me if you want one and I'll invoice you. The price will be $225 and well worth it.

There's no ordering button for these because these aren't regular items. EMAIL ME if you want one. I'm listening.

 

-- REALITY SUCKS:

I know when you order stuff you want it NOW. I understand. I, too, order from Amazon and wait with bated breath until gratification is sated. I understand your urgency. This last two months have seen a deluge of orders, and it's taken me as long as six weeks to clean up my backlog, which I sincerely regret. However, there are circumstances of which many of you seem to be unaware.

So I must reiterate what most of you long-timers already know: I'm not a magic shop. I don't have items in stock, on the shelf, or ready to go out the door. I make every item by hand, and a lot of work goes into each item. Some of them, such as the clipboards, take days to make because of the staining and adhesive processes. Nothing is factory made, farmed out, assembly-lined. Everything is made to order. I move all incoming orders to a folder, open the folder, make every order as I get to it. Which means if there's twelve guys in front of you, I'll get to you when I complete those guys' orders. This is only fair. I set aside two days a week to work on fulfilling orders. This is all the time I can spare. I receive a lot of orders. I get to them when I can. Most of this is explained in the FAQ page, which for some reason very few people seem to read.

Other factors include that I actually perform for a living, unlike many manufacturers of magician's props. I designed these things for my own professional use, not to make a quick buck. That's why they work, why so many pros use them, and why people keep returning to them after abandoning the latest toy-of-the-month. As some of you long-time friends know, I almost killed myself by 2010 performing and traveling way too much. I was doing between 100-125 shows a year, on the road constantly, and trying to keep up with the increasing demand for my products. In the winter of 2010 I collapsed with pneumonia. In fact, I recorded the Brown Hornet Tutorial about five days before I collapsed on my way home from a show in Indianapolis (which is why I look like crap on that video). I spent 2011 recuperating, writing a couple of books, going back to college, getting a divorce (the bad marriage was one reason I stayed on the road so much) and finally returning to my home town of Knoxville.

The bottom line is that I've cut back on traveling, stopped doing mentalism altogether, travel seldom, and have concentrated mainly on cultivating my private reading/spiritual counseling practice. And in terms of defining myself professionally, this is my first priority.

Since returning to my homeland, my spiritual counseling practice has taken off with a vengeance. Not surprising, as I'm really good at what I do. I find myself occupied with reading appointments, on average, six hours a day. Some in person, many by telephone, Skype, chat. Since I still perform three or four shows (or to be specific, speaking engagements) a month, and some performances involve travel, manufacturing products is shoehorned when I can do it. As I said before, I devote two days a week to handling orders, or more if I can find the time. I appreciate everyone's patience.

JUNE 01, 2014:

READY TO SHIP!

VERY LIMITED HAPPY TIME OFFER FOR YOUR FUN JOY--THE SHAMAN STARTER SET. This is a very nice BONE ORACLE READING SET I assembled for those of you who have my ANOMALOUS ORACLE DVD. For those of you who don't, I've written some basic instructions to get you started.

ONLY TWO LEFT and I can't say when I'll have more. The set consists of six bones, four cowrie shells, a coffin nail, a cat's eye shell (torn snail shell), a scrabble tile, a die, a small child's alphabet block, a king-cake baby, a colored stone with an emotion engraved upon it, a white skull bead, a black skull bead, a nutmeg, a traditional linen draw-string bag in which to carry the oracles, and one of my hand-made parchment astrological throwing surfaces on which to toss them (I'll have these for sale at some point as a separate item). I include instructions, but if you have Anomalous Oracles, reading this set will be child's play.

The price for this set is $100 via priority mail and when they're gone, they're gone. I may have more later, but it takes time to collect, clean, and bleach those bones, and to collect the curios I put with them. The next set may have a completely different set depending on what I have left over from my own uses. Please e-mail me if interested and I'll send you an invoice. AS OF TODAY (JUNE 27) I HAVE THREE LEFT. Price: $100

 

RUSH ORDERS: AGAIN, seldom possible. But if you live overseas, (or even in the US) and you need an order within a couple of weeks, I'll try to accommodate. However, I strongly advise you contact me about paying extra for expedited delivery, such as overseas priority or even express mail. I usually ship First Class Mail, which the post office assures me is 5-7 days. Sometimes, I'm told, in certain parts of the world, this has been more like 3-5 weeks. So if you truly need the stuff in a hurry, and if I have agreed to get it to you in a hurry, do yourself a favor and pay for expedited delivery. Yes, it's expensive, but you will get it in plenty of time.

John Riggs

A NOTE CONCERNING MY PRODUCTS:

Imp devices are subtle tools which require experience in audience management and psychological touches to use effectively. This is true of any Imp device, not just mine. If you're a beginner or have little performing experience, my tools may not be for you at this time. In the hands of an experienced performer they are foolproof and undetectable, but these are not for beginners.