Franz Bardon (December 1, 1909 – July 10, 1958), was a Czech stage magician and student and teacher of Hermetics. He was born in Opava, Austrian Silesia. During World War II Bardon was held in a concentration camp for refusing to participate in Nazi mysticism. Bardon was rescued by Russian soldiers who raided the camp. Bardon continued his work in the fields of Hermetics until 1958 when he was arrested and imprisoned in Brno Czechoslovakia. Bardon died on July 10, 1958 while in the custody of police
An additional fourth work attributed to him by the title of Frabato the Magician, supposed by many of his students to be a disguised autobiography. Though the book lists its author as Bardon, it was actually written by his secretary, Otti Votavova. While some elements of the story are based on Bardon's real life experience, most of the book was written as an occult novel with much embellishment on the part of Votavova.
Bardon's works are most notable for their simplicity, their relatively small theoretical sections, and heavy emphasis on practice with many exercises. Students of his, such as William Mistele and Rawn Clark consider him to have written the best training programs of any magician of the 20th century. They were written with the intention of allowing students who wished to practice magic the means to do so if they could not study under a teacher
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