If you are in the UK you will have had the opportunity to watch the first of Derren Brown’s The Experiments series. This first episode was called The Assassin and took the form of an intricate experiment to find out whether a regular person could be ‘hypnotically programmed’ to become assassinate a public figure.
Now I already know that many Hypnotherpists are horrified that Derren would do this (“it is going to frighten the public/give them the wrong idea”) but I really enjoyed the show and welcome the discussion it raises.
In the video I have discussed some of the key points regarding the overall concept. It is not a complete breakdown and has avoided ‘spoilers’. There is a lot more to say about Derren’s excellent show (a return to form for Derren, IMO), much of which, I’m sure, will come out int the comments section below the video (If you have anything to say or ask, please do contribute to the discussion!)
ADDENDUM (23rd October 2011):
I want to be clear that I am NOT saying that ‘what you see is what you get’ with Derren’s show. When I say that it is possible to ‘hypnotically’ influence someone to perform an assassination, I don’t necessarily mean ‘put them into trance and give them a post-hypnotic suggestion’! As most people who have followed this blog will know, I view hypnosis as something subtler than that which is presented by ‘old school’ models of hypnosis.
Derren achieved what he achieved within a particular context, much of what is presented is about PRESENTATION rather than getting results. If the CIA ever experimented with classic ‘induction based’ hypnosis to ‘programme’ assassins, I am absolutely sure they would have dropped it in favour of more effective methods that are better suited to their needs and contexts.
Remember, Derren is not just doing hypnosis, he is also presenting it… selling the hypnosis itself!
2nd ADDENDUM (24th October 2011):
To address concerns of ‘psychological manipulation’ through formal hypnosis…
It is true that people can be manipulated during a formal hypnosis ‘session’, but it is also true that they can be (and are) manipulated during any other human interaction.
The subtleties of human psychology and communication are always at play in every interaction we partake in, and in the ‘Assassin’ example it is not that Derren puts this guy into a ‘trance’ that makes him influenceable in this way.
The real ‘hypnosis’ here was the stuff going on underneath of the surface of formal hypnosis as presented.
And I want to make this absolutely clear:
The guy on the show was not ‘controlled’, he was INFLUENCED!
There is a difference. He was not a zombie, because hypnosis is NOT absolute mind control.
Real hypnosis is subtler – it is the culmination of the subtle communication and psychology stuff that lies beneath the surface and makes the ‘formal processes’ work. And, of course, you can use any amount of that subtle communication and psychology stuff outside of the context of ‘formal hypnosis’.
Anyhows… enjoy the vid!
If you would like to contribute to the discussion or comment in any way, please do so below!
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