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pyromagician
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Do any of you know a good resource to learn hypnosis? I would like to learn it to entertain at parties and such.
Thanks,
Gary Smile
P.S. this is what part of the alphabet would look like if "Q" and "R" were eleminated
fordkross
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I have a Potential Unlimited Hypnosis Course originally sold for $300+, will sell or trade for best offer over $100
from
Ford
Thoughtreader
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First of all get the book "They call it hypnosis" by Robert Baker and study that. it will help you to understand what hypnosis really is about. Then get a hold of Ormond McGill's "New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism" and study it thoroughly. It will become somewhat of a bible for you.

Keep your eye open for all hypnotists that come through your area. Vist them, get to know them, ask questions, take notes and learn all you can.

That is at least a place for you to start.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
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Dr Omni
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As well as Ormond McGill's monumental "New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnosis", another excellent and very useful book is Jerry Valley's "Inside Secrets of Professional Stage Hypnosis". Jerry Valley and Ormond McGill teach an excellent four-day course on stage hypnosis, called "The Masters' Ultimate Stage Hypnosis Seminar", which I've attended twice, and which regularly takes place in several localities in the US as well as in London. Another excellent course - aimed more at stage hypnotists who have already done some performances - is that taught by Geoff and Wendy Ronning in Seattle. See their website
http://www.stagehypnosiscenter.com
for a lot of information, including a good on-line forum for stage hypnotists.
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swamigimmick
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Pyromagician,

another good resource is the Stage Hypnosis Webring located here: -

http://www.unknownhypnotist.com/webring/

At the bottom of the page is a link to list all sites belonging to the webring. Click and enjoy!
Corinius
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"You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him discover it within himself." - GALILEO
Darmoe
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Anything & everything by Ormond McGill, Arnold Furst and Jerry Valley... the Holy Trinity of the Hype show world.

Then study as much footage of other performers as you can, especially Pat Collins (who slayed her audiences nightly!... AWESOME entertainer!)

Jerry Valley and Richard Webster also have some fair "How To" materials but I'd recommend Jerry's live lecture on the topic over the video & books... as in, allow the latter to augment the hand's on workshop material.

Oh! Most important thing you'll need for doing a Hype act... some very big gonads! Though it's the stuff legends are made of, hypnosis & suggestion shows are also the stuff that will seperate the wannabe from the genuine article when it comes to showmanship and genuine talent.
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
swamigimmick
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Details on the "Masters Ultimate Stage Hypnosis Seminar" taught by Ormond McGill, Jerry Valley and Tommy Vee that Dr. Omni refers to, can be found at this location: -

http://www.stagehypnosis.uk.com/

Although this is aimed at UK residents, you will see that the same course in held in the US. An email to the organiser can give you the proposed dates.
Corinius
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"You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him discover it within himself." - GALILEO
Dr Omni
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Swamigimmick - Did you attend either the 2000 or 2001 Jerry Valley-Ormond McGill seminars in London? I was at both. The next one is due in October.
Unfortunately, the prospects for stage hypnotists in the UK are now extremely dismal, as no insurance company will give us public liability insurance, and that means that it's almost impossible to perform, either in public or at a private event. (See The Stage newspaper for news about this.) Which is why I'm having to go into mentalism...
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fordkross
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Hypnosis, has never been succesfully defined. Not a trance, probably not even an altered state. Probably a combination of belief system and process. Not sure what tosh is, is that some estoteric profane term.

Re the hypnosis course, if it's the one by that Marc Lewis fellow, have not heard good things about it. Though it offers money back guarantee few have been succesful in getting a refund
My experience as a reviewer for nearly a quarter century tells me to steer clear of items like that
from
Ford

Ford has a better idea
A l a i n B e ll o n
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I concurr with Ford.

The hypnotic phenomenon does exist and can be seen clearly happening in most hypnosis shows. What we don't know is if there is a trance or altered state of consciousness during hypnosis.

An altered state is one in which the brainwave patterns differ from the ones observed during consciousness. An example is deep sleep.

So hypnosis does exist, but whether it is just suggestion and agreeableness or an altered state of consciousness, is still controversial.

-Alain Bellon
Dr Omni
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The debate about whether hypnosis really exists has been going on for over 200 years. Of course, the word "hypnosis" is a nominalisation, that is, a verb or process that has been turned into a noun or an object. It is a label which covers a range of different experiences. Is it a useful label? I believe that it is, although there is no sharp divising line which divides
"hypnotic" communication from other forms of communication.
Recent research has shown that there are definite physiological features, which can now be studied, going on inside the brain during hypnotic trance. Earlier this year, at the conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Professor David Spiegel, of Stanford University Medical School, reported research which showed that under hypnosis a definite physioligcal alteration takes place. A group of subjects were hypnotised and told that a black-and-white picture was in fact in colour. Then, under that suggestion, they saw reported that they saw the picture as colour. Observation of the internal workings of the brain showed that during that experience, blood flowed to that part of the brain responsible for processing colour vision - in other words, that the subjects were indeed seeing the black-and-white picture in colour.
In short, hypnosis *is* a distinct and real phenomenon, and those psychologists, such as Theodore Barber in the US and Graham Wagstaff in the UK, who argue that hypnosis is merely "social compliance" and the like, have not come up with any challenges to Spiegel's study.

Having said the above, certainly from my experience in perfoming stage hypnosis, it's likely that in a stage hypnosis situation, many of the volunteers are largely playing along with the situation and are only in a very light trance, if any. One could argue that the very fact of having volunteered to come up and sit on stage in front of the audience, combined with the expectations of what a stage hypnosis show is like, is a strong pre-conditioning to obey the hypnotist. So what? Stage hypnotism is all about entertainment, not science
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swamigimmick
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Dr. Omni,

I did my hypnosis course in 2001.

I am thinking of attending the next Ormond McGill course in October. I'll just have to convince my wife it's worth the money!

For what it's worth, Kreskin in his "Secrets of" book doubts that there is such a thing as a hypnotic trance and is willing to bet $100,000 with anyone who can prove it.
Corinius
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"You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him discover it within himself." - GALILEO
Dr Omni
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If you mean the 2001 Valley-McGill course in London, then we must have met at it (there were only about 22 students in it, as I recall). Just a tip: given that you attended the 2001 course, you should get a mailing a couple of months before the October course offering you the course at half-price (I took up the offer last year, having attended the 2000 course.) Please don't tell the organizers I said that!
With regard to Kreskin's wager, I think that his "Secrets" book was published in the 1970s. Since that time there have been enormous advances in our knowledge of the brain and our ability to photograph it's activities. As a result of those advances, it *is* now possible to observe definite differences in brain activity in hypnotic trance, which means - I would argue - that the term "hypnosis" *does* have meaning and value, even though there may be several possible definitions of it.

Wonder if Kreskin's offer still stands. I could definitely use the hundred grand....
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swamigimmick
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Dr. Omni,

thanks I'll look out for my half-price mailer. That'll please the wife.

Have you discovered if ANY insurance companies will now cover stage hypnosis for public liability? I know I had had a difficult time finding one. The only cover I can see on offer is for Clinical Hypnosis when used in therapy.

I agree with you on Kreskin. I checked the first publication date - 1984 - and I also agree that much more is known about this phenomenon now.

A good book to buy is the "Handbook of Hypnotic Inductions" by George Gafner and Sonja Benson (ISBN 0-393-70324-X). This is aimed at the novice and gives you over two dozen detailed scripts for inducing trance, deepening, realerting and debriefing.

It covers beginning to advanced hypnotic induction in four main categories:

1. conversational inductions
2. embedded meaning inductions
3. confusional inductions
4. directive inductions

It doesn't digress from it's title. This book is just about different methods of hypnotic induction. It doesn't cover hypnosis techniques for therapy (e.g. stopping smoking etc.)
Corinius
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"You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him discover it within himself." - GALILEO
Dr Omni
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Swamigimmick - Unfortuantely, there is not a single insurance company in the UK which is willing to offer public liability insurance to stage hypnotists. Until late last year, it *was* the case that Equity (the actors' and entertainers' trade union for those outside the UK), which I am a member of, did offer such insurance to all its members (including stage hypnotists).
Unfortunately, last year a stage hypnotist, Phil Damon, was successfully sued by a woman who had been a volunteer in one of his shows. She claimed that when he "age regressed" her back to being a child, this brought back horrific memories of abuse by her uncle and ruined her life.

Damon was a declared bankrupt, so obviously couldn't afford a decent lawyer to refute this brazen nonsense. The plaintiff had a better lawyer, and the jury, as often happens, ruled for the party with the most convincing lawyer and held Damon liable for £6,000 in damages. This case set a precedent which means that no insurance company in Britain is prepared to offer public liability insurance for stage hypnotists. Also, Independent Insurance, the company Equity obtained its insurance from, went bankrupt, and the new company it signed a contract with specifically excluded stage hypnotists and pyrotechnicians (fire-eaters etc) from their cover. (See the current issue of "The Stage" newspaper for news about this.)

So that's probably the end of stage hypnotism as a form of entertainment in the UK. (Insurance for clinical hypnotherapy, however, is still available.)

Haven't heard of the Gafner and Benson book. The number of books on hypnosis is staggering: for the world's most comprehensive collection of hypnosis books in print, see Anglo-American Books in Wales, who are publishers of Ormond McGill's masterpiece.
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Dennis Loomis
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"So that's probably the end of stage hypnotism as a form of entertainment in the UK."

My understanding is that hypnotism is or was banned in Canada as a form of entertainment. However, both Kreskin and Reveen continued to do shows. They simply did not use the word hypnosis, refering to what they did as "suggestion." You might look into seeing if this is feasible in the U.K.
Itinerant Montebank
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Thoughtreader
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Kreskin's money/challenge is about as sound as Randi's is for someone proving psychic ability. The challenge states that someone has to successfuly prove to "them" that the phenomenon really exists which allows a lot of latitude for them to state that their conditions have not been met.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
A l a i n B e ll o n
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A change in brainwaves does not mean that you enter another state of consciousness.

States of consciousness are differentiated psychometrically by the distinct brainwave patterns. It's just an operant definition. Each brainwave pattern set is independent of each other and therefore considered a
"state" on it's own. Of course empirically we can observe differences in behavior at these different states.

The issue at hand is not whether or not the phenomenon of hypnosis exists but whether it is a "trance/altered state" or not. The phenomenon exists, people seem to agree to do things and comply with suggestions, etc. But this syndrome could just be an excitement of the imagination plus an enhanced agreeableness. I think it probably is, but that's an opinion, not a scientific argument.

-Alain Bellon
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I have had a reasonable amount of experience performing hypnotic shows of all sizes in the UK mostly Scotland.

My experience leads me to believe hypnosis does exist without any doubt. You don’t need science to “prove” it. Yes there are shows where volunteers do go along with the hypnotist but they are usually weak shows with the hypnotist failing to get good subjects.

Not everyone is suitable for stage hypnosis, finding, inducing and selecting the best subjects, and getting the best out of their exaggerated personalities rather than just getting them to do silly things, is the mark of a good hypnotist.

The majority of volunteers with whom I have discussed their experience have no recall after the show. Some have complete recall but feel they had no choice in having to carry out the suggestions. And then there are the ones who claim they went along with it however, when you ask them about what they did they have no recall for certain parts of the show.

A good hypnotist will spot anyone who is faking it and use good subjects as they are the most entertaining. Keeping the “socially compliant kind” only if they are struggling to get good subjects. Many hypnotists will keep the latter type on stage to give the impression of having a lot of subjects while getting the most mileage from a few good ones.

I agree that age regression is not a good idea for the stage. However there is a way around that, if you want to do those, teacher, naughty school kids type routines. (I personally don’t like them). The way around it is to phrase the suggestion “I want you to imagine you are” …. whatever age. As opposed to “you are”… whatever age.

When performing at the bigger venues quite often members of the audience will slip into trance and start carrying out suggestions, for example, being a ballet dancer. They end up on the stage whether they want to be there or not. Usually a friend approaches the stage to inform me that someone they have come with has slipped into trance.

It's interesting that Kreskin said he didn’t believe that hypnosis existed especially when he was earning a living from it in a part of the world that made it illegal!
Bandler and Grinder were, basically, hypnotists.

NLP was largely developed through modeling Milton Erickson the famous Hypnotherapist.
A part of the reason NLP was coined was because hypnosis was also illegal where they were practicing at the time..
Dr Omni
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When I decided to pursue a career as a therapist, I read a great deal of the literature on psychology, psychotherapy, hypnosis and related topics, and chose to train as a hypnotherapist rather than a psychotherapist. I make a living (such as it is) from clinical hypnotherapy, so I'm doing it day in, day out.

The debate about whether hypnosis really exists and, if it does, what precisely it is and is not, will probably never be finished because there are too many variables. I do think that hypnosis is a useful term, describing certain states that we go into and out of every day. For example, every night just before we go to sleep, and just before we wake up in the morning, there are a few moments known as the hypnagogic state, neither fully awake nor fully asleep, which is the equivalent state, neurologically, as people experience in a hypnotic trance. But there is no clearly-defined borderline between "hypnotic" and other forms of communication and awareness.

With regard to the experience of volunteers in a stage hypnosis show, I think that it is similar to what people experience when they go to see a film or play ad get heavily involved in it. For instance, when the film
"Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) was first shown, cinemas reported a huge increase in sales of cold drinks - people saw the heat of the desert on the screen, and responded physiologically with a feeling of thirst (even though they knew at one level that they were sitting in a cinema in a country with a temperate climate). Shakespeare's play "Othello" has a long history of audience intervention. In the scene where Iago is subtly trying to convince Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, there have been many occasions where members of the audience have shouted out warnings to Othello that Iago is deceiving him (even though they know at some level that they are simply watching actors in a theater and the script is unlikely to change as a result of their intervention!). I think that what such individuals are experiencing is essentially the same as what volunteers in a stage hypnosis show typically experience.

Another point: stage hypnotism has not actually been banned by law in the UK. The problem is that no insurance company will give us public liability insurance, and therefore it's potentially extremely risky for any venue, organisation, agent, etc, to book a stage hypnosis act - they could find themselves with a lawsuit for £10 million some years down the line. Unfortunately, I can't see how calling the act a display of
"suggestion", "Mesmerism" or some other label will convince an insurance company to provide public liability insurance at any price.
Hypnotist and mentalist.
Websites: www.corporatemedservices.co.uk
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