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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Fear and Faith Derren Brown (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Slartibartfaust
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"I find it strange that because he's a magician and he's lied and tricked and is continuing to do so that somehow he can have no valid input or affect on a person's life. "


that is the point
he is NOT a therapist
he is NOT a doctor

what he does in this regard is dangerous
I feel precisely the same about Dr. Phil if that helps to explain my disdain


S
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andyfisher
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Is he claiming to be either a therapist or a doctor? Can you give one example of how what he has done has potentially harmed his participants?
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drorwis
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As a big fan of Derren, here's my two cents:
Derren has influenced me in getting into mentalism, and I really liked
his earlier style. But I think he suffers from what happens when you get
too big and too famous. He is under constant presure to do bigger and more amazing things.
eventually, this presure leads to bigger shows, with huge budgets, and ever growing need
to out do everything you did before. These acts are the mentalism equivalent of shows like
David coperfield's or Zigfried and Roy's.
Before even going into morality issues, and I find shows like "apocalypse" troubeling,
there is the issue of Derren driffting from the earlier more "pure" mentalism act, into these
huge projects that mix a lot of things that have nothing to do with mentalism.
As Craig allways says on WPR, "let's take it a step further"...
This is probably what Derren hears when he's pitching a new special for channel 4.
Now, that's his right to do so, he can do whatever he likes. But one can understand
how people that liked his earlier style, are annoyed (or dissapointed) by his newer more elaborate shows.
As for the "guru" issue,while the shows maybe under all the neccessary inspection by authorized people,
it does seem that Derren enjoys his "puppet master" persona a bit too much.
Still, I love the guy ;-) I just rather see more "enigma" than "apocalypse"...
kal
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Quote:
On 2013-04-28 04:36, Slartibartfaust wrote:
"I find it strange that because he's a magician and he's lied and tricked and is continuing to do so that somehow he can have no valid input or affect on a person's life. "


that is the point
he is NOT a therapist
he is NOT a doctor

what he does in this regard is dangerous
I feel precisely the same about Dr. Phil if that helps to explain my disdain


S


Precisely as Andy said, he is not trying to be nor is he claiming to be. His intentions are stated during the course of the show, and his goal is not to help overcome childhood trauma's or diagnose mental or physical ailments. I do not understand the default response of 'why not be a therapist if you want to help people'.

Being positive and wanting to improve people's lives appears to be his motivation (though not his only motivation of course). Just because he is doing it a certain way, with an entertaining flair for the camera's does shouldn't be justification to say he shouldn't bother or that the only proper way to help people is the 'straight' way.
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Slartibartfaust
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Very good points gentlemen

I suppose I will have to rethink my attitude a bit
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IAIN
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He IS changing someone's life...and has...

for good or worse, we don't know...

the main crux of my argument was, and is - is simply this... for years, he has jumped in with Hawkins and others and done the usual labelling of "oh well, if person A is doing B, then they are obviously frauds and vultures out to fleece people of their money...all people who do this are definitely frauds and vultures and nothing good comes of it...".

that IS the base argument...

its too broad a brushstroke... in fact, so broad he has painted himself into a corner, because that brushstroke also covers him... he is not entirely responsible for those people's lives he has caused some change to happen...so the same arguments apply to him as well as anyone else - he doesn't get excused because he's derren...so here's the questions that usually get asked of readers...

a) is he qualified to help anyone? if he isn't - he's playing with fire and being unethical...
b) he is presenting what he does under the derren brand obviously, despite any disclaimer (i don't seem to remember the self-help based shows he did having one - but could be wrong)..so regardless of magic, suggestion and so on - it appears as though he is causing change in other people via his "techniques"...and therefore are real...
c) the framing is different to readings, but the exercises (as such) are similar

the difference between what derren has presented, vs the reality of what went on behind the curtain are vastly different...and tongue in cheek, if his abilities and techniques genuinely work - why not do what he advocates? release those things to the scientific community and have them tested, and used/explored/whatever else and establish them as true... after all, he wants to help people, yes?

from Channel 4: "The Events, Derren once again creates edge-of-the-seat television as he takes 'average Joes' on an extraordinary psychological journey.

In a powerful transformation, which will include an amazing, must-watch finale, Derren releases his subjects from the restraints that they have placed on themselves and allows them the opportunity to fulfil their true potential, opening the door to a new and exciting future..."
kal
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IAIN I think you are correct, and I haven't argued that point, in the application being the same. (false powers being used to convince others of things for example), but again my main issue is the motivation. Derren is, at some level, doing it out of altruism and the will to help others. He is not benefiting from these people financially like the charlatans he has railed against. Nor is he creating a dependency loop or setting himself up as an icon. All of these shows usually end up with (trying) to instil a SELF-confidence in the participants. Derren wants them to take control and lead their own lives from here on out.

As for the issue of helping others, I don't see why we should (any of us) somehow argue against the intention because it may harm them. Sure it can. But if we lived in a world where people were out there doing there best, with compassionate thoughts, to try and help others I would think it far better than if we say back and said 'let someone else do it just in case it goes bad'. The fact being that we can never know what our actions will lead to ultimately and instead we have to try and be kind and good natured in all our endeavours, believing that that can only lead to god results in the long term.

This has gotten beyond Derren to a more social issue of whether we should help others or not I suppose. Apologies for that.
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MatCult
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In many ways, Derren has basically become the Gok Wan of mentalism.
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George Hunter
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What an interesting thread! With many affirming specific things said about Derren Brown. But, so far, no one has papered over Iain's main point: that Brown is now doing essentially what he long condemned.

George
Aus
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Firstly I have to say I'm late to the party on this one, Darren Brown doesn't get much air time here in Australia compared to the Dynamos and Chris Angels of the world and this program (that I’m aware of anyway) only just came up recently on our TV programming.
If like me you’re not up to speed on this program until now you can watch both episodes here:

Part 1: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xuzazz_......ortfilms

Part 2: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15miaj......ortfilms

With that out of the way and reading what has been posted so far I find it fascinating most people are talking about the morality and irony of what Darren does and not the point of why he does it. It seems to me the real focus point should be the perspectives he brings to public debate with these documentary's which seems to me the point that’s being totally lost in discussion here.

Does doing the very things he purports to highlight and educate against in his documentaries lessen his message? I don’t think so; I’m a firm believer that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette in this world if people are that self-righteous to think that doing the right thing is a straight and narrow path without deviation then I would say you’re a better person then me and a touch naive. The world runs its own set of rules no matter if we like it or not.

Now let’s talk about the topic of the show itself. I have to declare from the outset I have a big interest in the bases of belief not from a religious standpoint but from an academic one. I guess you could say I’m a skeptic at heart, after all, as magicians we do things that seem impossible with means that are possible and if I could synthesise magic into a philosophy it would be how things appear and how things actually are are two different things.

That being said I find it interesting how people can make life altering decisions based on religious belief and nothing else and yet seek out the most highly credentialed lawyers or doctors in professional occupations as if one thing matter in one case but not in another. The paradox of such things is fascinating to me and shows there is a Psychology element at play and that’s why I like Darren’s shows so much, they explore this area for me.
Getting back to the morality of it all I see the good and bad potential that these the principles of suggestion can have. I find some parallels in some respects in indoctrination; here is an interesting youtube video on mind control used by Jehovah's Witnesses:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF6EvSPm......CtbPb1JQ

The other videos in this series makes for interesting viewing if stuff like this interests you.

Magically

Aus
SimonG-97
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Derrens also just about to make a couple of million squid out of a book called "Happy", funny, because I can remember him taking the **** out of self help books and it seems he is now giving it a go?

A great man and without a doubt my biggest inspiration, but why can't he just stay being a mentalist and debunker. Fed up of psycho waffle self help this self help that. Inwosh him every success, but surely there's an appetite for just more "mind reading" shows and now all the stunts and rubbish we've had for years
IAIN
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You can do a lot of harm, or re-inforce just about any idea with either good or bad intentions, in equal measure...

Intent is important, so is believing your own press...

Remember that old saying "don't do as I do, do as I say"..


For all I know though, derren may well be a highly qualified therapist and psychologist...who knows!
WitchDocChris
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I think the new book will be more philosophy than self-help.
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IAIN
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Don't we have Richard Wiseman for the kind of thing?
WitchDocChris
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So only one person is allowed to philosophize on happiness?
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
IAIN
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It was a joke...

derren's believers (those who think he is real) will buy it, and carry out any exercises or follow what he says...meh...
WitchDocChris
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Yeah, how dare he try to make the world a happier place. What a jerk.
Christopher
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IAIN
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It sounds like you need to read it 😊
WitchDocChris
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I probably will end up reading it. I appreciate other people's perspectives and I am interested in his thoughts.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
SimonG-97
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I don't doubt it will be a good book, but Iain is right there's plenty of gullible people in the UK that believe in Derren as a legitimate psychological mastermind.

With that in mind, considering he has no real ( to our best knowledge ) qualifications / experiences in therapy and the sort is that not a little devious on his part?

If people didn't genuinely believe he was a psychological genius, which people do, the book wouldn't sell.

Therefore, people will buy it safe in the knowledge that Derren the great psychological genius can help them out whereas in reality they would be better served spending their money else where.

I'm sure the book will be cleverly marketed so as not to claim to be anything like that, and more of a "personal opinions" but people will clearly perceive it to be a book to help them out.



So basically, by doing mentalism and appearing to be a psychological guru the book will sell. I think that's. A bit dishonest and I'm sure someone in the know will commentate on that fact! I was literally 4 years old when Derren first had a tv special and I spent the next decade believing everything he said. People still do so I think it's a bit shady. The shows he has done on UK television have been more on the psychology sociology side so people now consider him like that. He is a great great , clever bloke, but not a qualified therapist or psychologist.

All of this is irrelevant though if the book turns out to be purely philosophy which I hope it is
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