“A magician never reveals his secrets,” is a common explanation of the magician’s code, but it simply is not the code. Magicians do reveal their secrets all the time.
The Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians have adopted the following code of ethics:
- Oppose the willful exposure to the public of any principles of the Art of Magic, or the methods employed in any magic effect or illusion.
- Display ethical behavior in the presentation of magic to the public and in our conduct as magicians, including not interfering with or jeopardizing the performance of another magician either through personal intervention or the unauthorized use of another’s creation.
- Recognize and respect for rights of the creators, inventors, authors, and owners of magic concepts, presentations, effects and literature, and their rights to have exclusive use of, or to grant permission for the use by others of such creations.
- Discourage false or misleading statements in the advertising of effects, and literature, merchandise or actions pertaining to the magical arts.
- Discourage advertisement in magic publications for any magical apparatus, effect, literature or other materials for which the advertiser does not have commercial rights.
- Promote the humane treatment and care of livestock used in magical performances.
We respect this code of ethics, but have added a few caveats of our own:
- Always support a fellow magician.
- Do not give or sell a trick to someone that will not be able to perform it.
- Praise each child who performs a trick, no matter how simple the trick or how poorly it was performed.
- Never do or promote a trick that endangers other performers, audience members, or those who may attempt to imitate the trick.
- Do not reveal a trick unless it is your own, is of ancient origin, or has been published for general use.