One of the escape artists who have been in touch with me through the Magic Cafe has given me some idea of how David Thompson's escape could be pulled off:
It has ALL to do with technique. He does not even need to shim the cable ties open as they will remain as full loops on his arm. How you position your hands and flex your muscles in your palm give you the WORLD of play. It the cable ties are half way up the arm, even BETTER. This gives you so much play that you will have a quick escape as well as a release.
The same escape artist also suggests an improved way of binding David Thompson to his chair. Here is what he wrote in a private message:
As to binding a bit better to stop the person from getting out: Have a chair which has an extra hole at the elbow (bottom of the upper arm). Bind this part of his arm tightly to that hole so that he cannot get his elbow out of that restraint. He has no way of bringing his arm back to release from the arm of the chair. Also for added protection, bind his shoulders DOWN to the chair so that he cannot lift himself to try release from the elbow gripping cable ties.
This alone will bind him enough (IMHO) to not be able to do his work so easily. It can STILL be escaped from but is MUCH more difficult. And to get back in will give him HELL.
This sounds simple enough. There is no reason in the world why the Circle of the Silver Cord cannot try this minor modification. Surely Mr. Thompson will have no objections. Right?
I'm betting they won't try it, though. Or if they suggest it, the "spirits" will object.