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Hypno
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Hi All
Did any of you see "The Dark Side Of Stage Hypnosis" on Channel Four tonight. I have to say I was dreading it, however on balance I think it took a more objective look at stage hypnosis the most other shows of its kind have in the past, but I would like to know what the rest of you thought of it.
Now if only I could get one of the magicians in the Café to make Alex LeRoy (or what ever his name is this year) disappear, things may start to look up for hypnotists.
Dave
ELS
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Besides the alledged stealing and selling of others material, is there something about his performance that is negative?

Ed Smile
Were the border between the natural and the supernatural will be nothing any more but fuzzy. http://edwardshanahan.com
truthteller
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Would you care to offer a synopsis of this program for those of us without acces to Channel 4? Would be greatly appreciated.
shrink
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The show showed a balanced view from both anti and pro hypnosis. The conclusions from official channels were that stage hypnosis was harmless.

It was a well made programme that treated both sides of the argument fairly. They even included quite a considerable part of the programe to Alex Leroy. However I felt for the first time he was shown for what he is ...someone who is just stirring things to get attention(and pretty sad). They also pointed out that he does do catalepsy which is dangerous but not because of the hypnosis.

It covered Andrew Vincent and the girl who died after being on stage. Paul Mckenna's trial with the accusation of inducing Schizophrenia on a participant. Both of which were dismissed by experts.

The anti side was also treated with the same level of objectivity. I felt the opening "case" was a bit rediculous someone claiming that they have had depression unemployment for a great number of years(i can't remember how many) because of being on stage.


The only gripe was that they could've found someone who could explain how unresolved emotions can be triggered by many everyday things. This was the part where Phil Green was succesfully sued for a show which regressed someone who had been sexually abused in childhood. The point really needed to be driven home that she was damaged by her relative in her childhood and many things could have triggered the depression. It was waiting to surface.

It ended with a less than optimistic view of the future of hypnosis. If anything this programme did some good.
BonzoTheClown
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Despite starting with the audience attracting premise raised by its title 'The Dark Side of Stage Hypnotism' this show was a remarkably balanced show. The title, yes is rather unfortunate as I guess most hypnotists will probably agree, as it will be the thing that will tend to stick in the mind longest and set up a biased in the viewer's mind.

The programme debated whether stage hypnotism (it was pretty clear it was relating solely to stage hypnotism throughout as opposed to clinical hypnotherapy) was dangerous or not with arguments from both sides. Various cases were presented with allegations of harm being caused by various british stage hypnotists. This allegations ranged from mental depression, relapses, trauma, death caused by epilepsy.

All sides were heard: stage hypnotists, psychologists, doctors, and the leader of a group that devotes itself to fighting stage hypnotism who want a ban placed on it. The 'pro' stage hypnotism argument came out much more stronger. Somebody watched the program with me and remarked that the abolishonists came across as cranks and well, just a bit silly.

One part of the show focused on a case that went to court where a women claimed she was regressed and so suffered emotional trauma as a result. She won her case. The programme did take pains to clarify that the ruling in no way condemned the stage hypnotism as a whole and this a prosecution under a specific part of the 1952 Hypnotism Act.

One part of the show 'featured' Alex Smith, Alex LeRoy, Johnathon Royale. He gave stage hypnotism a very nasty stench in the show but it was clear that he was very much an outsider who went to the lengths of trying to exploit a loophole in the legal framework surrounding hypnotism (although I am sure that a sufficiently compentant lawyer can shoot holes in his pretense of carrying out a scientific study so that he conduct himself unethically). Alex came across as rather conceited, arrogant, and quite frankly rather a *********** (fill in your own expletives). If you want to be just like this foul individual who can only apparently get work in working mens clubs hypnotising women to rub up on your legs then buy his CDs. I suggest you don't.

Marc Climens
Dr Omni
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A couple of months back, Zig Zig Productions contacted me about the programme they were making. They asked me if I knew anyone in the UK who was teaching stage hypnosis. I put them in touch with Philip Holt, and he organised a two-day stage hypnosis seminar especially for the purpose of it being filmed for the programme. (This fact was, of course, not pointed out. I could be seen as a volunteer in the students' show, milking a cow and being sent to sleep.) At the time they said that the title of the programme would be simply "Stage Hypnosis". When it was annonced as "The Dark Side of Stage Hypnosis", we all had forbodings about a hatchet job, but I for one was pleasantly surprised by the result.

The main quibbles I had with it was that in discussing the court cases against stage hypnotists is that it did not make clear that they were *civil* lawsuits taken by individuals, not criminal prosecutions initiated by the police or government. Talk about "charges" and being "found not guilty" are terms from criminal, not civil law. Under British law, anyone can sue anyone else in the civil courts for any reason whatsoever, however poorly foundeed their case may be. The programme would have been that bit better by clarifying that the cases were civil ones, not criminal.

Also, it would have been useful to have interviewed Professor Michael Heap, who teaches psychology at Sheffield University, who carried out the study which led to the government's conclusion in 1996 that stage hypnosis had no significant risks. It would have been a highly authoritative refutation of the rubbish spread by th anti-hypnotists. Instead, lengthy airtime was given to a completely unsubstantiated account by a man who said he had been a volunteer in a show in 1983, had then taken his young son away for 24 hours, then become depressed and was off work for 14 years, and his wife, who said she had "lost her husband". All supposedly as a result of participating in one show 20 years ago. No critical view of this nonsensical claim was put forward to balance it.

But the programme could have been a lot worse.
Hypnotist and mentalist.
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shrink
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I think that the evidence put forward to support the claim that hypnosis is harmless really lets that opening case speak for itself.

Hypnosis is an easy scapegoat for avoiding responsability for the situation this guy finds himself in. Its this very belief that will keep him in it. I thought it was so rediculous that it actually helped the stage hypnosis cause. (it was almost amusing)

The last hypnotist working in Spain painted a rather sad and pathetic picture of the stage hypnotist of today.

Was facinated to see the old clips. Now that would make a good programme the history of stage hypnosis right up to the present day. With as many archived clips as possible.
flourish dude
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Alex Smith, Alex LeRoy, Johnathon Royale are these all the same person?
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
truthteller
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Thanks so much for the synopsis!

Great food for thought.
hkwiles
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Didn't mention, if I am correct, anything about not being able to get Insurance as has been discussed on here many times.
I notice in our local paper that Paul McKenna is embarking on a set of gigs soon so he must have found an insurer(or can afford the astronomical premium!!)

Howard
mike stevenson
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Flourish dude, yep, they're all the same person. I didn't realise the extent of the reputation this Royle guy has until last night! This guy is very very bad!
shrink
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I tell you none of the hypnotists on the programme would win any beauty contests they were a strange bunch.

The recent trend of churning out stage hypnotists at these two - three day seminars won't help the situation either. If it were to come back the market would be flooded with people willing to work for next to nothing and do bad shows. That was the real problem back in the mid 90s.

I get the feeling that its not just insurance that is the problem...
carldourish
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I am a clinical hypnotherapist, and started to watch the programme in question with green eyes. Just the title put fear into me. Yet the outcome was not that bad at all. The only problem I could forsee was the two day training to be a stage hypnotist.

Other then that anyone doing stage hypnosis, keep it going, and let the trance be with you.

carl
Lee Darrow
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Well, being on the other side of the pond in the USA, I have to say that the title of the show did put me off. I'm glad to see that it wasn't a total hatchet job as the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis would like to have.

Even in the American Psychological Association, those guys are viewed with a cocked eyebrow and rolling eyes. They are still viewing hypnosis with the blinders given them by their founder, Milton Erickson, who was a product of the 1940's belief that if something has therapeutic value, then ONLY physicians should have access to it.

Flawed argument, frankly. Especially as over 80% of all psychotherapy these days is being done by MSW/ACSW professionals - and they have only recently been allowed to certify under ASCH auspices.

ASCH also bases its arguments against "lay" hypnotists largely on anecdotal and mostly unverified information. Not very scientific, IMPO, frankly.

Can you tell I'm a stage hypnotist? Smile

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
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<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
BonzoTheClown
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FlourishDude,

Yes, all the same person.

Incidentally he has a criminal record. For what I don't know.

Marc Climens
shrink
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Doctors and medical practitioners would the last people I would visit for therapy. They are the worst communicators on earth and are limited by their medical training. Hypnosis even in a therapy context is as much an art as anything else.
Mark Hogan
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Dear All

Dear All

Perhaps I can share some of my experiances as a "stage Hypnotist"

Firstly I am an amateur Mentalist - my main interest is in NLP and using this in aspects of persuasion...

I actually became interested in hypnotism after seeing this on the stage show at the age of 18.

I then proceeded to read every book I could find and my young friends allowed me to practice.

I used to hypnotise people at private parties, and never had any problems.

All the participants said it was a very relaxing experience and enjoyed it immensely.

I always worked with small groups I would never hypnotise less than two people at a party.

That way when one of the persons was doing something the other person could watch and have a laugh as well, before they performed something.

Before I hypnotised anybody, I always made it clear that they were free to wake up any time and feel really good.

I always made it clear that the process is meant to be fun for both groups, and I wouldn't do anything against their moral wishes

I never regressed anybody, and I never performed any pain experiments.

My favourite one was to make people pretend they were the world’s greatest liar, or make them fall in love with inanimate objects! Another one was to get my subjects to pretend they were aliens and the other subject was their interpreter. This was always a giggle.

Everyone always said they really enjoyed the experience and I’m still on speaking terms are everyone I hypnotised

The other thing I always made sure was that they were not too drunk because you wouldn't want them to collapse and fall over as drunken people do!

You could always spot the best subjects as they would be the most extrovert ones at the party normally!

So if I could get two extrovert people at a small party, imagine how easy it is for Paul McKenna to get 10 -- 15 people out of a couple of hundred.

I still perform occasionally at private parties, but I do not perform publicly as it is nearly impossible to get public liability insurance in Britain because of the court cases mentioned on the programme.

When I spoke to Paul McKenna he said his insurance cost him £20,000 a year. Now you know why no ones performing at the moment.

This is why I prefer NLP and performing mentalism and magic as you can put people in mildly hypnotic states and never have to mention the word hypnotism.

Why do you think that Derren Brown never uses the word Hypnosis and describes it as a state of synchronicity!!!

That way he doesn't need to have public liability insurance for hypnotism!

I now get much more satisfaction from training people about communication and of course mystifying them with a little magic!!

All the best

Marc
September edition of persuasion skills newsletter now available-"Telling Tales".
Dr Omni
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Mr Hypno makes a good point. The capacity to go into a trance or hypnotic state and benefit from it is an innnate faculty of human beings, like for instance, the language faculty or the ability to walk. As Brian Inglis describes in his excellent history entitled "Trance", it goes back thousands of years and is common to all cultures. When doctors like Mesmer and Braid got involved with using it for medical purposes in the 18th and 19th centuries, in many cases they faced a great deal of obstruction and opposition from their medical colleagues and to some extent from government. Hypnosis went into decline at the end of the 19th century,largely because of Freud's rejection of it.

In the early-to-mid 20th century, it was mainly stage hypnotists who kept hypnosis going. Some of them - like Dave Elman (a layman) in the US - taught it to medical doctors. Then the doctors turned round and said that doctors were the only proper people to use it! Unfortunately, Erickson - for all his exceptional distinction - also held this view, which was (and still largely is) held by many physicians. This has also been the case in Britain.

This view has no support in real-world evidence, as there is no scientific or medical evidence to suggest that hypnosis as such has ever harmed anyone, whether in a therapeutical, research or entertainment context.

(We will avoid here going into details about any harmful effects caused by doctors practising medicine, but suffice it to say that if you train to be a doctor in Britain, two of your textbooks are massive volumes on iatrogenic medcine - i.e. the study of illness caused by medical treatment. One assumes that the situation is similar in other western countries.)
Hypnotist and mentalist.
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www.doctoromni.com
Stuart Cumberland
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I don't know the legal situation in GB.

However, here in Ontario Canada, stage hypnosis was illegal for many years. The law was passed in the early 1970's.

During this time, many of us still did shows. How? Well, arguments abound as to who gave it the label, but we all worked as "mentalists".

In Ontario, a mentalist was a hypnotist, without saying the "h" word.

For me, I just used suggestion on stage. I never used hypnosis... no, no, no! That would be illegal. I just use suggestion.

Kreskin filmed his shows here during this time. He actually bent over backwards to say hypnosis wasn't real.

Since then, the law in Ontario was repealed, and it is now legal.

As far as insurance goes, I believe that will always be a nightmare. Everywhere. Canada isn't a sue-happy as the U.S., but we are in a heated race to catch up! Over the past 10 years, the amount of lawsuits has skyrocketed.

It's a crazy world.

My point for you folks in GB is that "stage hypnosis" may be dead, but suggestion might be a possible way to go. As Winston Churchill said in giving advice to students about success in 7 words: "never give up, never, never give up".

Blair

Stage Hypnosis Secrets Revealed:www.Mental-List.com/masterhypnosis.htm
Stuart Cumberland
sludge
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For those that didn't see the program and are intrigued by the comments regarding Royle, one example of his alleged behavior was sending a video of himself having sex with a girl to a national newspaper along with a letter stating that he had hypnotised her into going to bed with him.
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