not read this if you don’t want to know the secret of stage
hypnosis. You will never see it in the same way again!)
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has given us an image of the spiral eyed zombie held at the
mercy of the great hypnotist who wields supreme hypnotic power
to command the subject to any act he should choose. Whilst
this obviously makes for a great Hammer House of Horror
storyline, some people may be disappointed to learn that it is
in fact, pure fiction. The hypnotist does not hold any power
over another. The hypnotist merely facilitates a process, with
which the client willingly participates. The client moves into
hypnosis with the aid and encouragement of the hypnotist. It
is a recognised truth therefore that "All hypnosis is
self-hypnosis", and that the hypnotist is a facilitator,
not a magician!
of the stage hypnotist then? Don’t they make people do
things they don’t want to do?”
You’d be forgiven for wondering why an elderly man might decide he is the baddest gangster rapper in town, or why someone might want to be amorous with a mop on stage, or why indeed somebody would continuously offer to buy drinks for 250 people?! You might also ask...."How is it then that these people sleep when the hypnotist asks them to?" The answer is amazingly simple. Because he asks them to! In other words. The instruction is "When I say "Sleep", you will let your head drop and to all intents and purposes look asleep". Since they are willing participants, they follow the instructions.
an illusionist, the stage hypnotist makes things appear to be
a certain way whilst in fact they are not what they
seem……..and people are his/her willing props. The
assumption that these people could not possibly want to do the
things they do on stage ensures that the hypnotists’ powers
appear to be complete. What is not commonly understood is that
the participants are willing volunteers who are committed to
co-operating and participating. The simple fact is that a
stage hypnosis show provides the perfect setting for an
outrageous 15 minutes of fame. Closet exhibitionists and
general “good sports” are given permission to behave
outrageously in public in a manner not offered by any other
situation, right down to the post performance interview where
they can claim they knew nothing about what they were doing!
These claims stretch the truth a little…but it is true that
they will be surprised by their experience.
is a little more to the story than just an opportunity for
fun, fame, and denial of all knowledge. Usually, candidates
are screened for suitability and willingness prior to
selection. Stage hypnotists do not select people who are out
to prove that no-one can hypnotise them, because they’d be
right! Hypnosis requires willing participation. Before the
show, the stage hypnotist will ensure that there is conscious
agreement on the part of the participants that they are
willing to carry out the tasks set. Any disagreement
will simply render suggestions as useless, so it is essential
that this is in place. When agreement is obtained, there is no
conscious objection, and it is then possible to use hypnosis
and suggestion in much the same way that it is used in
therapy…..to suggest to the subconscious that any blocks (in
this case inhibitions) to participation may be temporarily
removed. This is made easy by the fact that the participant
WANTS to participate and is therefore obliging in accepting
suggestion. Other suggestions will ensure that participants
are nicely temporarily predisposed to really let their hair
down and get into their role as fully as possible. Suggestion
can be surprisingly powerful, but it is the degree of
willingness on the part of the participant to fully engage
with their part which will dictate the depth of their
experience. In the hypnotised state it is much easier to
bypass the critical part of the mind and it’s the experience
of this which leaves the participants’ looking genuinely
surprised in their post performance interviews. They will
surprise even themselves with the completeness of their
immersion in the act.
you are in any doubt as to the truth of this, watch again! You
will note that when people are “playing” angry parts
…..the anger is not real anger, it is play anger. When you
watch with this understanding, you will see people
“playing” their parts. You will see the willing suspension
of disbelief, but not the complete suspension of reality which
appears to be the case. You will also notice that some people
will not engage as fully as others in certain tasks whilst
doing so much more fully in others. Usually, this will be
because there is some level of disagreement (for reasons best
known only to themselves) with what they are being asked to
stage hypnosis is good clean fun. Many stage hypnotists will
also be therapists. The