Friday, 27 January 2012

Stage Hypnosis Explained

I often get asked questions about hypnosis based on what people have seen in stage hypnosis shows, namely comedy stage hypnosis. Stage hypnosis is an art form quite different to what hypnotherapists do and the misconceptions that come through it are quite staggering. 'Can you make me cluck like a chicken?' Stage hypnosis is a mystery for many people that they cannot quite get their heads around, how is this person controlling these people in such a way? Could I be made to do something like that? The below article was written by Jonathan Groves and explains why stage hypnosis is not such a mystery to those in the know. (More about the misconception surrounding hypnosis here)

When a stage hypnotist does a stage hypnosis show, one of the first things the stage hypnotist will do is ask for volunteers to come on stage.Now, notice how the stage hypnotist is asking for volunteers. If the stage hypnotist had so many secretive powers to control people, then why is he asking for volunteers? Authentic covert hypnosis secrets do not require volunteers or the cooperation of other people, so this is the first warning that stage hypnosis is a joke. 

The next indication that stage hypnosis is fake is that during a stage show, a stage hypnotist continues to reject volunteers who had come up on stage to be hypnotized. The stage hypnotist will tell the volunteers to return to their seats and to enjoy the show. The question we must ask ourselves is why does the stage hypnotist do this? Why is the stage hypnotist disqualifying his own volunteers? The reason why people are banned is because the stage hypnotist closely monitors his volunteers to determine if they are doing everything he says in the correct way he wants the volunteers to do it. When a volunteer is not doing just what the stage hypnotist says, what the stage hypnotist will do is get rid of the volunteer. This proves stage hypnosis is false, because if stage hypnosis was some dark art with gobs of hypnosis secrets, then how can people resist what the stage hypnotist says to the point where the stage hypnotist needs to disqualify them? 

As the show continues, more and more volunteers are disqualified. During the final phases of the show, there will only be a few volunteers left. These are the volunteers who end up clucking like chickens and doing awkward things so that the stage hypnosis looks to have some unexplained powers at work. But these volunteers are simply volunteering to do exactly as the stage hypnotist says. The stage hypnotist will even go so far as to tell the people that they will not recall anything that they did on stage, and when the people appear to come out of trance, they do as the stage hypnotist told them and act as though they are not able to remember anything that happened. 

A stage hypnotist is a entertainer and not a real hypnotist. All he does is collect a bunch of volunteers who want to be hypnotized and then he sorts out the volunteers who will not voluntarily do everything the stage hypnotist tells them to do. So, people are not in reality hypnotized during a stage hypnosis show, they are volunteering to act as though that they were hypnotized. 

There isn't much of a distinction between a Hollywood movie and a stage hypnosis show. This means stage hypnosis is a form of entertainment and not a form of persuasion.

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