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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » Loosing work while defending hypnotism to laymen (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Paul Lungu
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Hello,

I am by no means a hypnotist, I have not read any books about the subject or made any attempts to perform it. I am a magician.

However I do have friends, I dabble constantly in magic, mentalist, hypnotist circles and I know enough from others to get a general idea about what it is and how it works.

One of my best friends actually had a TV show in which he did several traditional stage hypnotism acts. The thing is, nobody believed it, and I mean NOBODY. My own parents did not believe that those people were not actors, despite my countless assurances.

This is probably the reason the show was rapidly canceled, but that is not why I write.

Like I said I am no hypnotist, but I dabble and I have friends, lay friends who talk about it as if it were the biggest con ever, and anyone who buys it needs their head examined.

When trying to defend it I got in a terrible argument with a close friend of mine. He, as most everyone else who had seen my friend on TV, were convinced it was fake and only a cheap attempt to get ratings and that no actual study or skill was involved.

I explained to this person, the best way I could, what hypnotism is and what it is not. I think I can be articulate enough and I used the best examples and explanations I could devise at the time.

I told him that it is not necessarily a matter of going into a trance like state where you can not control yourself. I told him how it only works on certain people, and how on TV they only show the best of the best. I explained it is not a matter of mind control and that no one does things they do not want to do.

Every thing I said seemed absurd to this person. He simply would not accept the fact that one would act like a monkey because he has been hypnotized. He remained convinced about the fact that all individuals in all type of hypnotism shows were stooges.

I then proceed to tell him about my personal experience, letting him know about the many times I was present during demonstrations of hypnosis, both in casual settings and in live stage shows, explaining how friends of mine had been through this process, regular every day people who got up on stage and played the piano with their teeth, or other friends who forgot the number three or could not lift a cup of the table, things I had seen friends or acquaintances do live on many occasions.

Not only did this not convince him, but every new example I gave MADE HIM DOUBT MY SANITY. He now honestly thinks I am either gullible or insane and any new argument I give just enforces this opinion of his.

Leaving aside the fact that this person is one of my oldest, closest friends, he is also a valuable business connection. However he now doubts my intelligence and shrewdness because of this. He no longer trusts me because "I believe this nonsense". In this argument, we just managed to barely kept our conduct, me being as flabbergasted by his ignorance as he was by my apparent naivete.

From that time I have tried to send him as solid proof as I can as to what stage hypnotism actually is, but the harder I try, the more his image of my insanity grows stronger.

Any advice on this matter is well appreciated. Either how I can convince him, or if he can't be convinced (as I think the case is, due to his initial commitment) any way of soothing the tense atmosphere between us so we can continue hopefully as friends, and if not, as collaborators in business, although in this industry the two are very related.
123crampt
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Pick your battles
Dannydoyle
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You got into an argument about it? Why exactly?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
kevinuncanny
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All t.v. is prowrestling. Everything is slanted, reality television is scripted. Why would anyone 100% committ eo believing anything on t.v. is real?

Hypnosis will always suffer from that problem on t.v. I shot a special, I did everything possible to make it authentic and real, but I know most people who don't know me will assume it is actors.

Then again, on t.v. we have the luxury of selecring the best of the best from the group to do it, so while not actors, it is kind of staged.

In the end, why argue with them? They are committed to not believing it. Tell them to go see a live show and volunteer!
Paul Lungu
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I didn't seek out an argument, we were just talking. The topic came to my friend's show and I gave my opinion, knowing a thing or two about it. We debated the issue for a long time as we often did about many things. Mostly it was just conversation but the longer it went on and the more I tried to explain it, the more he thought of me as being loony.

After having my sanity questioned over and over again I obviously became angry. I tried to let it go several times but the damage was done. He now thinks I am untrustworthy and gullible, and I think he is ignorant and simple. Right now I just want us to be able to collaborate, I doubt any evidence will make him admit he was wrong, especially after such a heated debate.

I abandoned the issue a while ago but there is still a tension between us and he still brings it up sometimes with a very condescending tone, "Just don't hypnotize me ok?"
Dannydoyle
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I can't believe you get that vested in an opinion.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
seadog93
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My only advice is to stop trying to convince your friend, respectfully disagree and hope/expect that he respects you enough to accept that you have different thoughts.

I know how frustrating a conversation like that can be, and how easily it is to sucked deeply into defending your position and how "hoppin' mad" you can get when people just refuse to listen. The thin is that, like accepting a hypnotic suggestion, people can choose to listen to you and agree with you or not and if they've firmly decided something is true then they will not let you distract them with the facts. Better to let it go and remain friends.

Earlier on in the conversation you could have switched to a social compliance model of what was going on; or pointed out that people at parties can sometimes act like monkeys or do other silly things without hypnosis, so there is no reason to think that the same people, brought on stage and given permission wouldn't do the same thing or more.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

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quicknotist
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"It's real to them."
mindpunisher
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A waste of time arguing. I learned that the hard way. Hypnosis is just an exagerated demonstration of how the mind is conditioned in everyday life.

You might say relgeon isn't real but the mass mind control involved is very real.
quicknotist
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It's real to them.
Quote:
On 2013-12-08 16:05, mindpunisher wrote:
You might say relgeon isn't real but the mass mind control involved is very real.
Pakar Ilusi
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You should have proved it to him by doing some pseudo-hypnosis. Smile

Or just let it go. Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
dmkraig
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"The thing is, nobody believed it, and I mean NOBODY."

One of the things people with greater knowledge need to learn, IMO, is that other people do not like it when you show that you have greater knowledge. Note your statement above: this is not about science, logic, fact, reason, etc., it's about belief. When you bluntly tell someone "you're wrong," they will immediately get upset about it. When you show your greater knowledge (although I would debate some of that knowledge) to a person who is already upset that you said he's wrong, he'll start acting defensively and ignore what you're saying, sticking even more strongly to his previously determined beliefs. So I would suggest that although, in this approach you had good motives, your approach was doomed to failure.

Second, you didn't say WHY you felt it was necessary to defend hypnosis. If you know that hypnosis is real, like nuclear bombs are real, it shouldn't matter if someone thinks nuclear bombs--or hypnosis--aren't real. Therefore, there must be some motivation you have for trying to turn your friend into a believer. To me, this sounds more like a religious zealot than someone who knows hypnosis is real.

Third, my guess is you're correct, and that on at least this particular TV program "they only show the best of the best." I would also guess that you weren't at the tapings of the show. Therefore, it is every bit as possible that the show was a set up as much as it might have been real. So he might have actually been correct concerning this show.

Fourth, when someone says something that is completely outside of your understanding of the universe, it is natural to think that person is crazy. This is exactly what happened to you.

What to do: As I stated, your entire approach was wrong and your current approach is wrong. Sending him bits of information is not going to change his belief system. Continuing to send him bits of information will make you appear more and more like a conspiracy nut-job trying to convince him that alien intelligent lizards at Area 51 are conspiring with the world's governments to give them technology in exchange for allowing them to kidnap humans, taken them into their ships, and give them implants and an@l probes. Your approach is a LOSER. Stop it. This second. Just stop. Let it go. Don't bring it up again. Ever.

What if HE brings it up? What you've been doing is attempting to defend hypnosis. Instead, you should get him to question his beliefs. When he makes a statement such as "It's a fake," don't deny it; question him. "How do you know that?" And then, depending upon how far it seems appropriate to go, stay on it. "So you've never actually investigated it." "So you have no proof it's fake, you just believe it's fake." "What other beliefs do you have that are not based on any actual research?" etc.

This is not about hypnosis. It's about beliefs. Change your focus. Bring back the things you and your friend like to do together.

And finally, some wise advice I once heard:

If you want to be seen, stand up.
If you want to be heard, speak up.
If you want to be appreciated, shut up.
thementalcoach
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Don't discount the power of fear, as well. I've had people, when they learn I'm a hypnotist, refuse to look me in the eye, tell me to my face that I do the work of the devil, that I should be ashamed of myself for controlling people for a living, and those are the nice ones!

I just smile and say, that's OK, everyone has the right to their opinion. I don't engage because I'm not going to convince them of anything if they have a powerful mis-learned belief - that was installed by hypnosis in the first place! Smile

If someone says something like "I've heard hypnosis is...dangerous, you lose control, etc., is that true?" then I'll ask them if they've ever had an emotional reaction watching a movie (especially a scary one). When they say yes, I tell them that they hypnotized themselves, that analytically they know movies aren't real, but they are allowing themselves to PRETEND as if it's real because they want to, they are creating electro-chemical changes in their brain, making their heart beat faster, breathe faster, have a cold sweat, tears, etc., for something they logically KNOW is fake.

And I tell them, that's hypnosis. You do it yourself. I just help people shift their focus from that analytical part of their mind to their imagination, when they want to, for a purpose they want. In my office that's to overcome a mental block or improve some aspect of their life. On stage it's to have fun and do things they've always wanted to do but that normally they'd be much too shy to do. But they are always in control.

Usually people pause and say, "that makes sense to me."
David Kenward - The Mental Coach
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Sports, Business, Creative and Performing Arts
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mindpunisher
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If all of that fails stomp on his toes and twist his nose it always worked for the three stooges..
thementalcoach
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Quote:
On 2013-12-09 19:41, mindpunisher wrote:
If all of that fails stomp on his toes and twist his nose it always worked for the three stooges..


Works for me!
David Kenward - The Mental Coach
Solving problems with the Mental Game
Sports, Business, Creative and Performing Arts
Interests - Magic, Mentalism and the Bizarre
Sacramento, California
http://thementalcoach.com
Paul Lungu
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Thanks for the advice.

Neither myself or him are religious in the least and there was no particular reason for me to try and convince him. He is normally a very open minded person and a fan of magic, we had many long, philosophical, contradictory talks in the past. This one just got out of hand as I got more and more upset as my experiences and knowledge were instantly dis considered and converted into proof of my insanity.

I know for a fact that the show was not rigged in the sense he thought it was, but even that was besides the point. Working on cruise ships I have seen many stage hypnotism acts and also met and chatted with a few of these people. Telling him about this he argued that the entire hypnotism on cruise ships industry was a sham, all the participants being stooges. Not only this but also every other stage show, tv show, book or forum in existence was an elaborate rouse to convince gullible people such as myself that it is real.

This is what made me get into it, the blind ignorance in the face of overwhelming information. Plus the fact that he did not let it go either, at all. Whenever I tried to change the subject he would bring it back up saying that he still can't believe I think this way and that he completely changed his opinion of me.

I realize now that the best thing to do was some kind of early creative avoidance of the subject, at the time I had no idea where the conversation was going.

Thank you again for your advice, some of it was very useful.

As for me getting to vested in my opinions... NO I DON'T! THAT IS ABSURD, HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT!!!
insight
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There is a simple way to solve this problem. If he has 10 audience members, why not hypnotize all of them and provide them with a video? This is concrete proof...no audience member will think that they were themselves a stooge---problem solved...right?

Regards,
Mike
Owen Mc Ginty
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The last person who told me they didn´t believe in hypnosis was a lab technician. She said "you can´t expect a scientific person like me to believe all of that codswallop".

"You think it´s all made up then?" I asked.
"Yes" she said, "100%".

"Great" I said, "So you wont mind being my volunteer for a little demonstration then".

All of a sudden she was afraid of something "make-believe".
If you never fail, you're not trying hard enough.
mindpunisher
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Its a phenomena if you want to call it that that exists. Even some stage hypnotists don't believe it exists yet see and facilitate it on a regular basis. Its all down to perception. We all perceive events differently. Which is kind of ironic because that's what hypnotists do we shape and shift perception. The good ones the highly skilled ones know how to do this outwith a stage show. A stage show is just an amplified example of that process.

People come up with all kinds of rational to hold on to their beliefs or skepticism. I did a show where two guys were in their underpants and some jumped up and shouted " look they are both plants they have the same colour of underwear!"

I know how easy it is to get sucked into these arguments but have learned ( although I wish it had been quicker)to accept that this is the way things are and I have no real benefit trying to change things.

I also realized someone's current reality is just a by product of how their mind is "configured" and really there is no such thing as reality. In other words we are all in our own "trances" or configurations.

So detach and let them be who cares....

I once early on in my career did a show for an officers mess in the highlands in a famous Fort. The very posh officers treated me badly... threw food at me shoes etc etc. They ridiculed me for about five minutes before handing over the mic.Shouted out I was a charlatan that was before I even started! I was only concerned about a new radio Mic I had bought that cost £800 they were really expensive back then. Any way it got to a point where they were in their seats on stage with a glass of brandy and a cigar in the other hand. I told them to put them down they refused. I told them to go back to their seats they refused. So I one by one pulled them up by the scruff of the neck put my foot on their back sides and literally kicked them off the stage! they were flying all over the place it was like a kungfu movie. Imagine these very posh girl like men flying across the stage area like a camp dance troup that had went wrong!

I managed to get a very posh female into hypnosis and a very effeminate officer despite the shouting and constant throwing of food shoes etc. It was a miracle really. I told the officer his willy was on fire and normally they pick up a drink and try and put it out. This guy stood there and bawled like a baby. Of course I told the room in the event of a war I was going to join the other side. More food although no shoes were thrown at me because they were all ready on the stage.

I managed to get the female to do a very detailed swan lake. There was a table of about 6 officers right at the front that had chanted fake for most of the evening. So I went up to them with this posh tart probably related to Royalty wrapped around my leg trying to hump it like an enthusiastic Labrador on a very hot day and said " who is a Charlatan now?!. Two of them rushed towards me all I was concerned about was my new expensive mic so I quickly passed it on to my mate and turned back to thump them. by then a few of their friends were trying to hold them back and they all fell forward into a heap at my feet....

I was pleased for them because they would've got hurt.


That was my third or fourth show if I remember correctly and I never had stage fright after that........
dmkraig
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Quote:
On 2013-12-11 16:49, insight wrote:
There is a simple way to solve this problem. If he has 10 audience members, why not hypnotize all of them and provide them with a video? This is concrete proof...no audience member will think that they were themselves a stooge---problem solved...right?

Regards,
Mike


Unfortunately not. This is about belief, not proof. As Dunninger used to say, "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is enough."
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