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Topic: So what exactly do you need in the UK to perform hypnosis legally?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (May 13, 2010 06:32PM)
I was very interested in hypnosis for a while - but found I could do what I wanted via suggestion instead, and..basically...lying and acting to make it look like hypnosis...

but if I did want to train properly, and use it during a parlour setting (say downstairs in a bar where they'd hold comedy nights as an example) - what would I legally need to do?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (May 14, 2010 06:09AM)
Does anyone know?!
Message: Posted by: bobser (May 14, 2010 08:41AM)
Temper temper!
Although some angry hypnotist will arrive soon and tell you this advice is nonsense, For the purpose you require you need no legal requirement. Unless of course you were ding an actual performance, which would take you from a corner of the room where you're having some fun into the commercial world where you would need insurance. UNLESS you don't mention the word hypnosis, other than to deny its usage.
As to learning the stuff, I've never read a book yet that DIDN'T explain it well enough. It's ALL about doing it and being it.
Having sadi that Iain do feel free to ring my bell and I'll help where I can.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (May 14, 2010 08:58AM)
Sorry - should explain further really, for a proper, paid mentalism show...parlour style (no more than 60 people)...what are my legal obligations? cheers...
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 14, 2010 09:05AM)
A very relaxed hypnotist will tell you that you need a license for any public "demonstration" of hypnosis which will also require public liability insurance. These are your legal obligations. You might get away with it without its a risk you have to take.

Only today I turned down a gig because it wasn't worth going through all the application for a license and I didn't want to risk causing problems with my license for the festival.

THESE ARE YOUR LEGAL OBLIGATIONS. Just ask the local council and you will find out. Denying usage is ok until something happens.


What is not commonly know by venues is that by not having a license they too can be liable to fines and losing their own license.

Sure you might go down the road of taking the risk you might get away with it. But above are your LEGAL OBLIGATIONS.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (May 14, 2010 09:14AM)
Blimey...i think I've gone deaf...

cheers MP...thats all I needed to know...

I only ask cos I'm working on a presentation based on the film Scanners...
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 14, 2010 09:20AM)
Sorry for the shouting Iain some are tone deaf on here.

I think making peoples heads explode might be ilegal too.

You would probably get away with it esp if you don't say anything on your poster about it. But there is no guarantee and there is 1000 fine which some councils down south have vowed to enforce. So where you are may be contributing factor to the risk involved.

Then again if something was to go wrong...And believe me it does from time to time.
Message: Posted by: Nongard1 (May 27, 2010 11:29PM)
Had ANYONE actually been fined for NOT having a permit or violating the 1952 hypnotism act in the UK?
Who and When?
Message: Posted by: Hypno (May 28, 2010 02:39AM)

I do not know of anyone who has been successfully prosecuted under the Hypnotism Act 1952, however the law is the law and just because you may get away with breaking it is hardly a reason to go around wilfully breaking the law.

Kind Regards.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 28, 2010 09:44AM)
If you do small venues then chances are you would be ok. Larger or more prominent venues you must have a license and you must have insurance. I have heard of numerous people who have had shows stopped because they had no license. In fact speaking to an agent in glasgow recently he said he hasn't booked a hypnotist in over 10 years because Glasgow council actively stopped all the performances without licenses.

There are some councils in the UK recently that have said they will be taking action and enforcing the 1000 fine.

However I think the biggest danger now adays is that our culture has changed. With no win no fee injury lawyers advertising all the time the chances of someone claiming against you are much higher these days.

If you don't have a license or the insurance it won't look to good. Plus the venue is also liable. As in the Robert Halpern case where someone broke their hip after jumping off stage. He was sued for 10k and the venue 90k.

Should the popularity of hypnosis rise again (and I think it will and already is)it would only take a claim or two to make the media headlines and I think we will see some clamping down once again of hypnosis.

To disregard the law and perform with no insurance or license is irresponsable and if the numbers increase so do the chances of it hurting the "industry" before it can grow again.

So to answer Richard's question. They usually get stopped before rather than prosecuted. Which means if you want ignore the law you have to do small dodgy venues and you cannot advertise your event widely.

Where I am these types of hypno shows have more or less disappeared due to the recession since pubs are closing down all over the place.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 29, 2010 03:52AM)
Another unfortunate thing is that councils now see issuing a license as a revenue stream. When I first started it was free. In Edinburgh it now costs 106 per venue/event

I believe other councils can be more expensive. On top of that I have to pay 850 for insurance. (for a year)

Plus there are new rules as to how many stewards you need etc.

Its much tougher these days to make the kind of real money you used to make in the old days.
Message: Posted by: Hypno (May 29, 2010 06:03PM)
Hi Mindpunisher,

It is worth noting that Hypnotism Act 1952 (as amended) only provides for a London Borough to set a fee and therefore there is no power for any other borough council to charge an application fee for a license.
I hope this may help.

Kind Regards.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 29, 2010 07:00PM)
That's not true all councils can set a fee. I just paid 106?
Message: Posted by: Hypno (May 30, 2010 01:17AM)
Hi MP,

Have a look here http://www.wyrebc.gov.uk/Page.aspx?DocID=14785&PgeID=70439 or http://www.northdevon.gov.uk/licensing_committee_report.pdf or http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/cairo/docs/doc20026.htm .
I am not trying to start a disagreement only hoping I can make life a little easier for a fellow stage hypnotist.

All the best.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 30, 2010 09:21AM)
Edinburgh council seems to charge for everything these days. I will asl equity about this. It used to be free. If I can get it for free I will let you know.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 30, 2010 10:54AM)
I know Scotland is slightly different to England so they may be able to charge an "admin fee".

I will look into it

Message: Posted by: Hypno (May 30, 2010 12:55PM)
Hi MP,

Please let me know how it works out as I have no experience of requesting licenses in Scotland.

All the best.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 30, 2010 04:08PM)
I do know they are asking for 106. But they have option to offer permission as a sort of extension to the entertainment license which English and Welsh councils don't have. Which might mean they can charge for it? Either way they do charge which makes it very difficult for smaller venues to get permission and do it legit since it will dog well into the hypnotists fees.
Message: Posted by: pape (May 30, 2010 09:05PM)
I understand this licensing thing applies only to public exhibitions. No license is required for most venues such as clubs, colleges or corporate bookings because these events are held on private property and as such are not under the jurisdictions of councils etc;
Message: Posted by: Hypno (May 31, 2010 12:55AM)
Hi MP,

I think that might explain the difference as the 2003 licencing Act ended the possibility of permission for a hypnosis show to be granted as an extension of the entertainment license in England and Wales.
If you find out any further information I would be very interested to hear it.

Kind Regards.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (May 31, 2010 04:24AM)
That would also explain why there are some hypnosis shows down south in pubs in clubs and even weddings. There seems to be very little activity up here.

The license fees are probably making it not profitable...
Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 3, 2010 10:16AM)
Hey everyone.. I'm glad this debate has been started. Anyone who knows me well will know that this is something that I'm really passionate about.

MP has pretty much given the best advice possible. To legally perform a hypnosis show, or a show featuring hypnosis, you'll require the aforementioned license. This license must be sought from the local council licensing department. Remember that the license is PER SHOW and NOT per person or per venue. Even if you want to do 5 nights at the same venue, you'll still be required to seek out a license for each of the shows.

The license is pretty easy to get hold of as long as you have the relevant insurance (which I pay 812 per year for). Just fill in a form and Bobs your uncle. (That's Bob, not Bobser :P). HOWEVER... you MUST be insured.

The insurance is not actually a legal requirement of the 1952 hypnosis act, BUT... EVERY council in the country make it a requirement of the license. Plus, performing without it would fall as an offence under various negligence laws too.

MP, Edinburgh council shouldn't have charged you for the license by the way, so I'd take them up with them - but WAIT until your shows are out of the way. No point in ****ing them off unnecessarily, right? They (unfortunately) are pretty powerful in terms of your career!

If you are caught without the license then you are liable to 1,000 fine personally and the venue owner can face a 6-month prison sentence and loss of their license. Trust me, it's a BIG deal.

Oh, and you can't get away with including a contact clause to put the responsibility on your clients, either. By law you're supposed to ask to see the license before you go on stage. It would cause you all kinds of legal 'schtick'. That would also cause you problems under the Unfair Contracts Act too.

Pape, in answer to your comment, unfortunately private parties in venues such as pubs, clubs, night clubs... and anywhere with a bar... will also now require a license thanks to the Licensing Act 2003.

Councils are allowed to ask for up to 28 days to process the license request, but they are encouraged to do it as fast as possible. I've had licenses put through in as little as 4 hours before.. but don't push it! lol.

All in all, just be nice to the councils and be helpful and friendly. They're only doing their job and following the law at the end of the day.

Quite frankly, I'll be enforcing the law as much as possible. I'm on VERY good terms with my local council (Sunderland City Council) and I put a LOT of license applications through them every year... so I'll be keeping an eye out for unlicensed shows in my area. Not being childish, but if I can be a*sed to do this business properly then so should everyone else... LOL!

MP is also bang on about something else... it's only going to take one little problem, mishap, or legal issue to hurl everything into the ground for the rest of us. I earn my full-time living as a busy stage hypnotist, and I'm not prepared to let that happen!

Hope that helps in some way :)
RT - http://www.ComedyHypnosis.co.uk
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 4, 2010 05:07AM)
Rob I think there's also many people parking illegally in your area. I think the council would be delighted if you sneakily shopped them as well as your brother hypnotists. Keep up
the good work!
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 4, 2010 05:33AM)
Especially if they are hypnotists illegally doing a gig...

quite right double whammy....bet they don't have a current driving license too.

Get the scum off the streets.

Lets clean up society...

On a serious note Boser hypnosis is on the way back. But its like a little baby it needs to be looked after. If you are charging the right money for a gig you should be able to afford the insurance. Which I agree is a pain but is worth getting to make sure hypnosis is protected.

I don't see those that endanger the come back of hypnosis by being irresponsable as part of any brotherhood.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 4, 2010 06:13AM)
Councils clamping down on illegal operators can only be a good thing for the industry. It means only the serious ones will overcome the hurdles and the crappy ones will find something else to do with their time.
Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 4, 2010 07:08AM)
Absolutely MP.

It's easy for folks like Bobser to look at me as a 'grass' but at the end of the day, I'm just protecting my industry. If 'the others' can't be arsed (or more to the point don't have enough work to afford it) to get insurance then in my honest opinion they shouldn't be doing it.

So that's why I'd happily 'grass them up'... until they go off and do the *** job properly.

Why don't we all go off and start:

a) teaching people to drive, illegally
b) fixing people's household electrics, illegally
c) running hospitals, illegally

Doing all of those things would be illegal and dangerous for us to do, because we don't have the right training or insurance.... so the same applies to these prats who are off out there doing illegal gigs. Its just that too many people look at hypnosis as 'just another entertainment'.

Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 7, 2010 09:02AM)
On 2010-06-04 08:08, RobertTemple wrote:
It's easy for folks like Bobser to look at me as a 'grass' but at the end of the day, I'm just protecting my industry.

I do believe that was last said by The Sherriff of Nottingham circa the Middle Ages.
Also quoted in the book: 'Grass Justification' by Alexander Smith (another grass).
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 8, 2010 09:06AM)

Don't you think its not a great idea to leave yourself opened to being "grassed?" If someone can grass on you your doing something wrong. Don't you think your clients at least should know what they are buying? So that they can make a true decision about whether they should hire you or not?

Surely this is simple ethics?

Irrespective of what your personal opinion might be. Another reason I wouldn't do shows illegally is because I feel responsability to those that hire me. A few weeks ago I got an insurance policy which probably could've got me the license. But on closer examination it dodn't offer me the right protection. So I returned it and got one that did which was three times the cost.

My clients deserve the right protection it is their livelyhood too. And no can ever grass me that's the important part.

Is it worth doing low paid gigs and constantly looking over your shoulder?
Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 8, 2010 09:58AM)
Absolutely MP, remember that if we, as hypnotists, perform an unlicensed show, the venue owners (license holder) who face the highest penalty.. not the hypnotist if the council decided to prosecute

I'm personally too ethical to put my clients in the position of facing potential prosecution. That's what you do everytime you perform unlicensed or uninsured.

Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 9, 2010 05:19AM)
I went out today and got myself the proper insurance and full licensing. It simply makes sense and I now feel much better.
Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 9, 2010 05:34AM)
You went out and got 'full licensing'? Remember that the licenses are on a per-show basis.. you can't just get a full license.

Message: Posted by: Anthony Jacquin (Jun 9, 2010 06:24AM)
Nice one Bob, I am glad to hear you feel better. Where did you go for insurance?

Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 9, 2010 06:43AM)
Bobser your car insurance doesn't cover it.

Ant who designed your site? I love the graphics.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 9, 2010 10:14AM)
Actually Rob I did just go out and get one. I got a FULL license, forever. It's 'not given to just anyone' they said.
Hi Anthony. I got the insurance from that place you told me about. Cracking good deal, thanks (Phoned you today, you didn't answer).
MP I don't have car insurance as you well know. It's just an old thing and not really worth bothering about.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 9, 2010 11:54AM)
Im so pleased that our Bob is no longer an outlaw and has seen the light.
Well done Bob I feel safe to call you my friend now...(but only on here please refrain from telling everybody)
Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 10, 2010 10:45AM)
I hate to throw another spanner in the works, but how exactly have you achieved this. Remember licenses are council-based. You couldn't possibly get a license which is across all councils :)
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 10, 2010 11:29AM)
He forged it on his inkjet.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 10, 2010 01:14PM)
They told me it depends on how experienced you are. I simply told them who I was (backed up by my Tai Chi Instructors license and photograph). They went into their files and confirmed that for me personally there would be no problems. Before I left I hypnotised three of the girls in the licensing office. The first a nail biter, the second possessed a fear of anal gerbils and the last was a fan of Cliff Richards who has simply had enough of his continual religious recruiting. All were cured within 15 minutes yet the one in the middle (fear of anal gerbils)is still in love with Richard Gere. Make of it what you will.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 10, 2010 05:36PM)
Did you have to give the gerbil mouth to mouth?
Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 11, 2010 02:45AM)
Nice try.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 11, 2010 06:49AM)
How eruditely put Robert.
Having said that we musn't get up our own arses here. I haven't met a UK stage hypnotist yet who manages to earn half of what my local plumber picks up. And anyone who earns that much has to leave the country and zap drunken teenagers on beach holidays around Europe. I'd rather be with the gerbil.
Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 11, 2010 07:23AM)
Although on the upside we don't have to plunge our hands into the amount of sh*t that plumbers do :) :-p
Message: Posted by: Muzz (Jun 12, 2010 03:52AM)
So where do you actually go to pick up one of these licenses? I'm not a hypnotist but am interested to know. Do you just go to the local council and say who you are and they give/sell you one?
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 13, 2010 09:19AM)
Yes, but don't ASK for a license, rather enquire as to whether or not you need one for such and such a particular place. Most of the time you'll be told you don't. That's simply a fact.
But, if you host a 'non-hypnosis' hypnosis show a license is NOT required. You will however still need public liability insurance. That's also if you're only doing close-up magic or a mentalist act (for a fee).
I'm doing a show this evening at seven thirty. I have public liability and the council have already informed me that no license willo be required.
Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 13, 2010 04:39PM)
Yeah Muzz, literally just ring the licensing dept of the local council in the area of the venue and tell them you're a hypnotist and wanting to perform a hypnosis show.

They'll send you the relevant application form etc. Just fill it in and send it off with 28 days notice.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 29, 2010 07:12PM)
If you want in depth knowledge on whats legal etc you might find it here? I haven't seen the dvds so I can't say one way or another..

Message: Posted by: RobertTemple (Jun 30, 2010 08:38AM)
I'll second MP's mention of those DVD's. I should point out that I gain in NO WAY financially from the sale of them...

...BUT I was a guest speaker at the event and it was a truly fantastic weekend. So much content covered over the two days along with guest presentations from myself, Chris Lee, Harrizon The Homosexual Hypnotist and Nick Davies.

The weekend covered everything from hypnosis itself, to the worldwide laws and health and safety/risk analysis.

I genuinely believe this to be the most comprehensive hypnosis training material on the planet today.

...but I repeat that I am not being compensated in anyway for plugging them or selling them.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 30, 2010 12:06PM)
"I was a guest speaker.... along with Harrizon the homosexual hypnotist"
Now THAT made me smile!!!