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Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

Join us as we explore the murky crossroads where magic and espionage meet. From vaudeville tricksters deployed to the battlefields of World War II to the wizards of Langley, forget whatever you think you know about the business of espionage. Because the truth is a wilderness of Smoke and Mirrors. Produced by Adam Kirszner.
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Official Trailer - Season 1
Official trailer for the first season of Smoke and Mirrors. True stories of magic from the front lines of the secret war. Forget everything you think you know about espionage, because the truth is a wilderness of Smoke and Mirrors.
February 25, 2021
Mysticism and Murder
In our final episode of the season, we take a trip around the world and through time as we examine how zealotry and mysticism combined to lay the foundation for the modern relationship between magic and spycraft.
February 05, 2021
American Tricksters
In CIA culture, reverence for magicians and respect for "the magician's code" runs deep. And for good reason: From disguise to sleight of hand, secrets of the illusionist's stagecraft are also secrets of the spy's tradecraft.
January 29, 2021
Movie Magic
From Bond to Bourne, Hollywood’s obsession with spies is well known. But the reverse is also true: Intelligence agencies have long looked to the silver screen as inspiration for the development of next-generation gadgets, technology and disguises.
January 22, 2021
Mesmerism, Mind Control and MKULTRA
Rising paranoia, increasing opacity, and loosening ethical standards among intelligence services combined to make a perfectly fertile environment for some of history's most outrageous spy initiatives, including the notorious MKULTRA.
January 15, 2021
The Wizard of Langley
One of the most influential figures in the Cold War-era CIA wasn't a spy, soldier, or scientist. He was a magician. Get to know John Mulholland – the enigmatic figure at the center of some of the Agency's most controversial initiatives.
January 08, 2021
Project Stargate
In the paranoid, hyper-competitive context of the Cold War, no tactic was off the table for American or Russian spy services – not even the use of "psychics." Most efforts were dubious at best, but a few raised the eyebrows of even the most hardened skeptics.
January 01, 2021
The Wartime Magicians
From hiding the Suez Canal from the Luftwaffe to fabricating entire ghost armies to divert the enemy on D-Day, the front line Allied magicians of World War II made a historic impact.
December 25, 2020