The Origins of Wonder
Bill Simon's original Business Card Prophesy Move was first published in Scarne on Card Tricks, 1950, p. 105, under the title “Double Prediction.” The well-known variation of this was published in Simon's Effective Card Magic, 1952, p. 32.
Dr. Sawa published a variation that is very similar to Simon's original handling in “Double Prediction.” This appears in a trick titled “Moses” in Sawa's Library of Magic, Volume 1, 1988, p. 46. Two years later, Simon Aronson published a variant in “Mark-a-Place Mates” in his The Aronson Approach, 1990, p. 10. Aronson's handling is again similar to Simon's in “Double Prediction” and consequently to Sawa's. Aronson states he came up with this variant in 1960.
Building on the work of Sawa and Aronson, Jim Patton and Bruce Cervon published two more handlings in Genii, Vol. 54 No. 11, Sep. 1991, p. 746. In their handlings, the major point of divergence is that the deck is ribbon spread rather than held spread in the hands.
The spread technique used by Sawa and Aronson is much older, but it was created for a different purpose. Clayton W. Rosencrance used the move to reverse a selection secretly in the center of the deck in his “Reversed Card” from The Sphinx, Vol. 21 No. 3, May 1922, p. 103. A secret shift still happened as part of the manipulation, but that feature wasn't exploited by Rosencrance.