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Derren Brown - Hypnosis


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#16    Fenzo

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 01:26 PM

eight bits on Sep 15 2008, 12:49 PM, said:

And the beauty of video, of course, is that you see the occasions when it works, but not the flops. Even though you know that about video, you discount it.

That is, you do part of Brown's work for him. Why?

How to say this delicately? A proverb among con men is "You cannot con an honest mark." Ziggy, part of you hopes that there is some "back door" in the psyche through which you, too, can get somebody's wallet. Ironically, there is. Ask 50 people politely, and you will get a wallet.


This reminds me of one of Derren Brown's other video's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX94fV4TWbc (pretty long video, this is just part 1)

Here he convinces someone that he knows "the system" of horse racing and that he knows the winner of every game.
He sends someone an email with the winner of each race, and after a while tells them to bet money on the horses, and on camera you see him being right every single time.

How he did this?
He emailed al lot of people sending them all different horse-race outcomes untill he covered every possiblity and thus one of these people got an email with all the winners.



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#17    Tiggs

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 06:57 PM

Ziggy Stardust on Sep 15 2008, 06:08 AM, said:

I didn't have anything to discuss in particular, just wanted to show unenlightened people who he is, and hear opinions from people who have seen him.

Also, I'd be very interested to hear from people who have actually practised his techniques? Some of his hypnosis methods, for example covert/conversational hypnosis, in which suggestions are planted in seemingly innocent language appear relatively easy to master with practise. Also his use of anchoring.

The thing about the phrase, Covert/ Conversational Hypnosis, is that it suggests that there's some sort of magic going on.

I believe that all communication works in exactly the same way.

Communication between two people, whether it be visual, auditory or kinaesthetic has a single purpose. To change the other person's informational state.

What you refer to as covert/conversational hypnosis, is simply communication targeted to change that state without the other person being concious of that change being made.

There are many techniques that will allow you to do that. Overloading, or "a distracting rivulet of words" as eightbit's says, is probably the simplest, though I've rarely seen Derren use that.

What I have seen him use is congruence, mirroring, anchoring, reframing, pre-suggestion and forcing (especially in card tricks).

The majority of the techniques - Mirroring, anchoring, reframing etc are simple to learn, as far as the basic principles go. Putting it all together effectively, however, is a different matter, altogether. As a starting point, the best advice I can give you is to get some professional tution on self-hypnosis. That way, you'll be able to verify for yourself as to whether it works or not.


#18    Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 06:58 PM

eight bits on Sep 15 2008, 11:49 AM, said:

And the beauty of video, of course, is that you see the occasions when it works, but not the flops. Even though you know that about video, you discount it.


Are you kidding? I've seen him mess up on numerous occasions. This isn't the occult we're dealing with here - he isn't trying to convince us of psychic powers. He's using psychological techniques, and if you know what to look for, you'll see exactly why he pulls it off - or fails.

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#19    eight bits

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 07:43 PM

Quote

Are you kidding? I've seen him mess up on numerous occasions.

Your're right. I ought not to have written but not the flops.

I ought instead to have written but only a minusucule portion of the flops, creating an exaggerated impression of the reliability of his approach, and of the role that his "techniques" play in his successes, while still earning him credit for his candor.

An uncharacteristic flirtation with brevity resulted in a misstatement. I shall adhere to my customary verbosity from now on original.gif .

Edited by eight bits, 15 September 2008 - 07:44 PM.

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#20    Tiggs

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:04 PM

Ummmm.

He recently did a run of 70 live shows this year in the UK. I'd imagine that's quite difficult to do if you had a constantly high flop rate.




#21    Insignia

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:16 PM

Tiggs on Sep 15 2008, 09:04 PM, said:

Ummmm.

He recently did a run of 70 live shows this year in the UK. I'd imagine that's quite difficult to do if you had a constantly high flop rate.

yeah, his live shows were incredible. He always tells you that there is nothing "magic" about what he is doing and it's all an illusion/mind tricks etc.
saying that though, i have no idea how he does some of the stuff he does. some of the things he did on his live show were amazing.


#22    eight bits

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:28 PM

It depends on the trick, Tiggs.

The stunts on youtube are different from the live content of the shows, according to the reports I received, although he uses some filmed segments within the live shows (also based on reports, see disclaimers).

Stage hypnotists have a low flop rate, too. Even audience participation shows that do not claim that "psychological" methods are at work have low flop rates, as did vaudeville shows in their time, and medieval street theater in its time. I conjecture that the presence of a sympathetic audience influences human behavior towards cooperation in some mysterious way. Go figure.

Disclaimers I do not watch UK television, and do not know his television work of my own knowledge. I have read excerpts of his books, and read some of his internet-hosted promtional material.

All of my comments in this thread have been responsive to the OP, which concerns the filmed material. That was also the context where the "rivulet of words" was used -  in the example chosen in the OP. No claim is made that he relies on that technique in all of his exploits, but he does use in it in the blank paper money gag.

Also, I do not dispute that this is entertaining. I am not against the guy. But I do distinguish between science and show business. So shoot me.

Edited by eight bits, 15 September 2008 - 09:31 PM.

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#23    darkbreed

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:54 PM

Well around 10 years ago I used to work with telemarketing (glad I don't do that anymore btw) and we used a lot of similar techniques there, and it was actually around that time I got interested in the topic myself and yes I did have a use for it in my job and made a lot of money doing that and it made me a really great seller and I quickly got promoted to a higher position in the company I was working for.

Since then many things have changed in my life and career-wise, and I would not use the same methods today to make money as I did then (well not as much anyway! wink2.gif ) - as I find it a bit immoral and unethical to do so. Now I'd rather use such methods of, well "communication" as Tiggs call it, to help people with various problems rather than only use it to gain money alone.

Of all these techniques/methods, whatever you want to call it, what I personally find most interesting is so called instant or rapid inductions which can put a person, even a stranger, into a deep hypnotic (somnambulistic) state in a couple of seconds. The reason I find this one so interesting is because I know HOW it works, but not WHY. The most famous variant of this is probably the handshake method by Milton Erickson. On the majority of people it works very well and is often used by many hypnotherapists (and stage hypnotists for that matter) as their favorite approach due to being so easy to perform and effective in use. I've read a lot on it, seen many explanations, heard many theories, talked with many hypnotherapists, but none have really explained why it works just how it works. Even my own hypnotherapist instructor, who is very well-known in this field of study and highly credited, simply says "It doesn't matter so much why it works, as long we know how it works so we can use it" =)

Maybe someone else here got some ideas or insights on this? I'm aware of the shock/confusion part being a main element of how it works, but not why that works.

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#24    Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:04 AM

darkbreed on Sep 16 2008, 12:54 AM, said:

Well around 10 years ago I used to work with telemarketing (glad I don't do that anymore btw) and we used a lot of similar techniques there, and it was actually around that time I got interested in the topic myself and yes I did have a use for it in my job and made a lot of money doing that and it made me a really great seller and I quickly got promoted to a higher position in the company I was working for.

Since then many things have changed in my life and career-wise, and I would not use the same methods today to make money as I did then (well not as much anyway! wink2.gif ) - as I find it a bit immoral and unethical to do so. Now I'd rather use such methods of, well "communication" as Tiggs call it, to help people with various problems rather than only use it to gain money alone.

Of all these techniques/methods, whatever you want to call it, what I personally find most interesting is so called instant or rapid inductions which can put a person, even a stranger, into a deep hypnotic (somnambulistic) state in a couple of seconds. The reason I find this one so interesting is because I know HOW it works, but not WHY. The most famous variant of this is probably the handshake method by Milton Erickson. On the majority of people it works very well and is often used by many hypnotherapists (and stage hypnotists for that matter) as their favorite approach due to being so easy to perform and effective in use. I've read a lot on it, seen many explanations, heard many theories, talked with many hypnotherapists, but none have really explained why it works just how it works. Even my own hypnotherapist instructor, who is very well-known in this field of study and highly credited, simply says "It doesn't matter so much why it works, as long we know how it works so we can use it" =)

Maybe someone else here got some ideas or insights on this? I'm aware of the shock/confusion part being a main element of how it works, but not why that works.

-EA



I too was intrigued by the handshake method. The interrupting of a handshake is extremely powerful because a handshake is a somewhat unconscious action - we don't think about doing it, we've all done it countless times - it's simply a reflex - and interrupting this pattern provides a gateway into the subconscious mind. Thus, when the handshake is interrupted, what the hypnotist says next will go straight through to the sub. I've seen how effective the method is and never tried it myself... I'd be too afraid of the look I'd get if I failed... or flopped. grin2.gif

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#25    eight bits

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 10:29 AM

Quote

I've seen how effective the method is and never tried it myself... I'd be too afraid of the look I'd get if I failed... or flopped.

Ah, but Ziggy, that's the beauty part - you can't fail. Much of the point of the framing "handshake" is to provide social cover.

The main effective part, as you say, is to interrupt the spontaneous flow of the mind-stuff, if only mometarily (in a non-threatening way, if your goal is to continue the "communication" from there). But yes, we are mammals, so touch contributes to interaction.

If you find grossly interrupting the handshake too risky socially, then do the opposite: prolong it by a beat or two "too long " I know one person who exploits the social convention that the handshake can politely continue so long as phatic conversation continues, too.

So just ask a slightly unusual, but undemanding, question. "Have you ever been to a Yankees game?" will do nicely in the United States.

The best "story value" version I encountered was discovered by a guy by accident -  literally by accident, he injured his right wrist. He had to wear a sling, so, he had "social cover" to offer his left hand. Just that much, and the magic was afoot. (So, invest a few bucks in a sling, and rule the world.)

Don't expect too much from a momentary interruption. Truly relaxed states take several minutes to kick in. You are up against physiology here, circulating regulatory chemicals and such. There is no shortcut, no "instant trances," sorry.

But it is fairly straightforward to convey the impression that you are the cause of the person's momentary confusion, and, crucially, the impression that you do not share in their confusion. This furnishes a reason for them to pay attention to you... and you're in.

Breaking through the "social armor" and routine "automaticity" is a genuine achievement. It is not, however, in any sense a substitution of your will for theirs. I am unsure, then, why Edward Alexander expresses remorse for doing that much, but I do think better of him for being concerned about such things.

And you do realize that there are schoolchildren who can do all of this, right? And that it was old news in the Third Millennium BCE?

What takes stones, imo, is not to do it, but to package it up in cutesy pseudo-scientific language that hints at more being there than really is. Neuro-linguistic programming? Puh-leeze.

Then again, the people who do that are richer than I am, so maybe I shouldn't kvetch.

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#26    SystemOfADown

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 06:57 PM

I think he's amazing, i used to love watching his shows, always really interesting xD I have no idea if it was fake, but once i saw him make a group of people lift a child's toy from a table apparently by making them use their collective mind power?

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#27    darkbreed

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:46 PM

On the subject of instant and rapid inductions, check out this guy

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_quer..._type=&aq=f

"Three Monkies" is my favorite of the ones I checked so far =)

Regarding the explanations above on how it works, this is pretty much the way I see it myself, but I still think that more explains the "how" it works, than the "why" it works. And yes deepening techniques are usually needed to get the person into a more relaxed and tranceful state once you "got him" to put it like that, but this can also be achieved relatively quickly, even 10 seconds can be enough but then again some people are more open for suggestions than others, and what kind of "work" you're going to do with the person is also a factor.

And yes I'm also pretty sure people have done things like this as long as people have existed to one degree or another, both on purpose and not.

In either case it certainly is useful to master good communication skills.

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#28    Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 06:55 AM

eight bits on Sep 16 2008, 10:29 AM, said:

What takes stones, imo, is not to do it, but to package it up in cutesy pseudo-scientific language that hints at more being there than really is. Neuro-linguistic programming? Puh-leeze.


Hmm, I agree to an extent. There is a lot of controversey surrounding whether or not NLP has any scientific validity at all. It's certainly not a science. Out of curiosity, if it weren't called NLP, what would you call it?

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#29    Tiggs

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 07:33 AM

Ziggy Stardust on Sep 17 2008, 07:55 AM, said:

Out of curiosity, if it weren't called NLP, what would you call it?

Communication.

* Winks *


#30    darkbreed

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:16 AM

Some of Derren Brown's stuff is pretty obvious when it comes to how he does it, some of it is not quite so obvious.

Here's one example that got me puzzled, anyone can explain this for me?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Di8uiVK-VQ...feature=related

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