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The persona of Mystery was created by Erik von Markovik in the late 1990's for his mentalist act, entitled "Natural Magic". He has performed magic shows in many locations, including Toronto, Las Vegas, and Hollywood. The name Mystery was also used by von Markovik as his internet nickname and nom de plume. He is the author of The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women Into Bed, published by St. Martin's Press. His book is ranked as the number one book on sex at amazon.com. Mystery exploded onto the underground pickup and seduction scene in the late 1990s with his groundbreaking contributions to the art, and he was the first pickup instructor to offer live, in-field training. Mystery has trained thousands of students all over the world, including a who’s who of the most respected pickup artists teaching today. A self-proclaimed "late bloomer", Mystery admits that he spent the early years of his life playing Dungeons and Dragons and having limited to no success with women until his early twenties. But his desire to love and be loved by women drove him to go out to nightclubs night after night, practicing and experimenting various ways to engage people in social interactions. Over a ten year period of trial and error, and many, MANY rejections, Mystery create the Venusian Arts Handbook – an ebook which later became the hardcover book The Mystery Method: How To Get Beautiful Women Into Bed. By closely examining how people engage each other during the "courtship" phase of a relationship and combining these observations with various theories from evolutionary psychology, he created a system of techniques and strategies developed to help men become better at engaging women in various social situations such as bars, clubs, coffee shops, and pretty much anywhere else. He shared his theories on an internet newsgroup, alt.seduction.fast, and became famous for his analytical approach to the field of seduction, as well as his in-depth "field reports". Mystery is credited with coining a number of terms and concepts in the seduction community. These concepts are borrowed from evolutionary psychology and theatrical showmanship, and his experience as a magician. Some terms Mystery is credited for include:
Set- A group of two or more people comprised of both men and women that a man would have to approach and befriend in order to be able to woo his "target" girl.
Peacocking – Dressing to stand out, or to have an item of clothing or an accessory that looks interesting, allowing the girl to comment on it if she is interested in starting a conversation with you.
The 3-second Rule - If you see a girl you are interested in, you must approach her within three seconds or you will over-think things and create too much approach anxiety, and you will risk her seeing you staring at her.
Neg - A backhanded compliment intended to snub a potential mate ("target"), telegraph a lack of interest ("false disqualification"), and encourage the target to prove her worth ("qualify").
Though seminars and workshops on seduction technique preceded his involvement, Mystery is credited with introducing "in-field" workshops, in which small groups of students were appraised on their technique as they approached unaffiliated women in bars and nightclubs. Mystery himself has trained many of the most notable and most respected instructors from the world's top dating companies, many of which still teach his methods with their own personal "twist". Mystery instructed and then befriended author Neil Strauss (AKA Style), who went on to become Mystery's 'wingman', and ultimately a mentor in the seduction community himself. Together with a number of other former students, Mystery and Strauss shared a large residence in Hollywood ('Project Hollywood'), which soon became a central point for aspiring students. Mystery gained international prominence when his exploits were documented in Strauss' 2005 bestseller The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. On April 11, 2007, Mystery appeared on the television show Late Night with Conan O'Brien to promote his book The Mystery Method: How to get Beautiful Women into Bed. He has since been invited back for a second guest spot. Mystery has also been featured in a number of magazines, newspapers, and interviews and held his first college seminar on May 4, 2006 at MIT. On August 6, 2007, the series premiere of Mystery's television show The Pick-up Artist aired on VH1, transforming him almost overnight into a pop icon in the United States. So much so that the “Brian Williams/Feist” episode of Saturday Night Live on November 3, 2007 started with a sketch in which Darrell Hammond played Bill Clinton at a Halloween party, dressed up as Mystery. In the series, Mystery and his wingmen trained eight "lonely, socially inept" men in an eight week bootcamp in Austin, Texas to compete for the title of "Master Pick-Up Artist". The show was successful enough to warrant a second season, which premiered on October 12, 2008. Mystery is the author of the book The Mystery Method: How To Get Beautiful Women Into Bed. Mystery currently owns the company The Venusian Arts. He has received several notable awards within the seduction community. Mystery has been ranked as one of the Top 10 Pick-up Artists Of The Year for the last seven years, even reaching the top spot in 2007 (it should also be noted that many of his former students, including Neil Strauss (AKA Style) are regularly included in these top 10 lists as well). He was also awarded "Best PUA In the World" at the 2008 PUA Summit. Media Attention Mystery and his seduction techniques have drawn the attention of the media on a number of occasions, including television appearances, magazine articles, and newspapers.
Interviews and Spots
- Jimmy Kimmel Live, Posted on November 20, 2008.
· YoungHollywood.com, October 27, 2008.
· CNN, Posted on February 14, 2008.
· Fox & Friends, Posted on September 26, 2007.
· Conan O'Brian Show, September 20, 2007.
· Chelsea Lately Show, Posted on August 26, 2007.
· YoungHollywood.com, Posted on June 28, 2007.
· Conan O'Brian Show, April 11, 2007.
· ABC Prime Time Special, Posted on August 2, 2006.
· 12 News, Posted on April 29, 2006.
· NBC, Posted on April 29, 2006.
Newspaper and Magazine articles
· Star Magazine, October 27, 2008.
· People Magazine, June 30, 2008.
· AskMen.com, September 5, 2007.
· New York Times, August 13, 2007.
· Salon.com, August, 6, 2007.
· New York Post, August 5, 2007.
· Playboy Magazine, Posted on February 24, 2007.
· USA Today, August 15, 2006.
· Rockstar Magazine, August 2006.
· Toronto Sun, June 18, 2006.
· London Times, September 3, 2005.
· Macleans Magazine, September 1, 2005.
· The Observer, September, 2005.
· LA Times, August 31, 2005.
· Marie Claire Magazine, August 2005.