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Unread July 8th, 2010, 07:01 PM
David Morgan David Morgan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5
Default Re: Vegas hypnotist -is this for real?

Stage hypnosis is a far cry from 'real' hypnosis. The same way that stage magicians aren't actually performing 'magic'.

From Wikipedia:
Stage hypnosis
Main article: Stage hypnosis

Stage hypnosis is a form of entertainment, traditionally employed in a club or theatre before an audience. Due to stage hypnotists' showmanship, many people believe that hypnosis is a form of mind control. Stage hypnotists typically attempt to hypnotise the entire audience and then select individuals who are "under" to come up on stage and perform embarrassing acts, while the audience watches. However, the effects of stage hypnosis are probably due to a combination of psychological factors, participant selection, suggestibility, physical manipulation, stagecraft, and trickery.[75] The desire to be the centre of attention, having an excuse to violate their own fear suppressors and the pressure to please are thought to convince subjects to 'play along'.[76][page needed] Books by stage hypnotists sometimes explicitly describe the use of deception in their acts, for example, Ormond McGill's New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnosis describes an entire "fake hypnosis" act which depends upon the use of private whispers throughout.

[The hypnotist whispers off-microphone:] “We are going to have some good laughs on the audience and fool them… so when I tell you to do some funny things, do exactly as I secretly tell you. Okay? Swell.” (Then deliberately wink at the spectator in a friendly fashion.)[77]Las Vegas Hotels

Stage hypnosis traditionally employs two fundamental strategies Las Vegas:

1. Participant selection. Preliminary suggestion tests, such as asking the audience to clasp their hands and suggesting List of Vegas Attractions they cannot be separated, are usually used to select out the most suggestible and compliant subjects from the audience. By asking for volunteers to mount the stage, the performer also tends to select the most extroverted members of the audience.Adult Vegas Shows
2. Deception of the audience. Stage hypnotists are performers who traditionally, but not always, employ a variety of "sleight of hand" strategies to mislead their audience for dramatic effect.

The strategies of deception employed in traditional stage hypnosis can be categorised as follows:

1. Off-microphone whispers. The hypnotist lowers his microphone and whispers secret instructions to the participant on stage, outside of the audience's hearing. These may involve requests to "play along" or fake hypnotic responses.
2. Failure to challenge. The stage hypnotist pretends to challenge subjects to defy a suggestion, e.g., "You cannot stand up out of your chair because your backside is stuck down with glue." However, no specific cue is given to the participants to begin their effort ("Start trying now!"). This creates the illusion that a specific challenge has been issued and effort made to defy it.
3. Fake hypnosis tricks. Stage hypnosis literature contains a large repertoire of sleight of hand tricks, of the kind used by professional illusionists. None of these tricks require any hypnosis or suggestion, depending on physical manipulation and audience deception. The most famous example of this type is the "human plank" trick, which involves making a subject's body become rigid (cataleptic) and suspending them horizontally between two chairs, at which point the hypnotist will often stand upon their chest for dramatic effect. This has nothing to do with hypnosis, but simply depends on the fact that when subjects are positioned in the correct way they can support more weight than the audience assumes.
Of course, it is possible that there are some other factors, some suggestion used. Having someone up on stage etc, even if they aren't paid by the performer, does apply a certain sort of pressure.

I think it is interesting that there doesn't seem to be a ton of documentation about people who have been 'hypnotized' admitting that they weren't in fact hypnotized.

Last edited by David Morgan; October 7th, 2010 at 11:31 PM.
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