Mind Control is the term coined by the British magician Derren Brown, and describes a form of magic that includes the apparent control, manipulation, and prediction of human behaviour. This is supposedly achieved using only a blend of psychology, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), & subliminal commands, though it does in fact also rely to some degree upon hypnosis and a substantial dose (c.80%+) of traditional magical trickery.
Although many of the effects use traditional conjuring methods, most include a very clever use of the above techniques to support the illusion, and to create a very powerful impression that the effect is achieved using only psychological manipulation - For more details and the secrets to many of these tricks, see my book "The Ultimate Revelation."
On page 34 is a transcript, breakdown, and explanation of just such a performance by Derren Brown called the "Hand Stuck To Desk" (there is also an outline of a very impressive display of creating temporary amnesia using NLP and anchoring called "Subway Amnesia" on page 41. Both appeared on his first TV series "Mind Control," and if you haven't seen it I suggest that you obtain a copy, particularly if you are interested in developing this use of hypnosis as part of a routine, or you want to create the persona of a "mind control expert". His performances are very impressive indeed and should give you a whole host of ideas of how to use hypnosis in new and unusual ways.
Before beginning I'd like to quickly cover 3 principles that will help to better understand the way that the following effects are achieved. At least one is used, but it is possible that all 3 are called into play in these kinds of effects.
Dual Reality: This is a technique used in magic that can also be used very well in hypnosis, especially with stage hypnosis. Basically it describes a scenario where the performer presents his material in such a way that both the subject and the audience experience different things.
For example, suppose a volunteer is invited onto the stage to help with a trick / an experiment / hypnosis. The performer meets the volunteer at the edge of the stage and, quietly so that the audience don't hear, says:
"What's your name?" "Jim" Replies the volunteer. "Okay Jim, don't worry everything will be fine." The performer now addresses the audience:
"Now ladies and Gentlemen, I have never met this person before. Isn't that right."
The volunteer agrees before the performer continues. ".erm.Jim, isn't it?"
The volunteer has to agree again. The audience think that the performer has just somehow guessed the volunteers name, and the volunteer thinks that he has just momentarily forgotten it before recovering. If the audience applaud this mind reading feat, the performer puts up his hand and shakes his head as if to say "no, really, there's no need," and the audience perceive it as modesty, the volunteer perceives it as an acknowledgement that the performer already knew his name.
Obviously the performer uses his body language and performing skills to non verbally suggest to the audience that he has just read Jims mind - the better the performance the better the effect.
Basically it describes a result that has been arrived at utilising some event that has occurred that you, the observers, don't know about.
Invisible Compromise: This is another magic technique that can be adapted to suit pseudo hypnotic or mind control performances. This is quite similar to dual reality, except that the volunteer actually knowingly helps to perform the trick - he isn't a stooge in that he isn't pre coached on how to react, he is skilfully used by the magician to actively participate, controlled by clever verbal commands that mean one thing to the audience, and something completely different to the volunteer.
I won't go into this in more detail here. It was devised by Derren Brown and is used in his magic to great effect - it is also a very closely guarded secret in magic circles. It was used by Derren Brown in an effect where a dinner party guest is hypnotised, and is then able to synchronously raise, and drink from his glass, in time with any of the other dinner guests. If you'd like to find out more, then please consider buying a copy of my Derren Brown Style magic book - "the Ultimate Revelation" - it is fully described along with many other tricks performed by Derren.
Pattern Interrupts: This is a hypnotic / NLP term used to describe a way in which a persons thought processes can be momentarily interrupted during which time they can be induced into a trance very rapidly. It is a technique devised by Milton Erickson, which involves interrupting the normal, expected patterns of behaviour that the subject expects to experience. At this point their brain pauses briefly to try to understand the unexpected activity that the subject has just experienced, and a command to "sleep," etc is quickly given during this pause in the brains activity. The command slips right past the critical censor and into the subconscious where it is acted upon immediately (assuming that the technique is carried out correctly, the subject is suitably receptive, and the performer is confident enough in his / her abilities).
The Handshake Induction is a very well known example of this technique (see page 44 in this section), but it can also be achieved by the use of unexpected language.
This is because people understand language in terms of the context in which it is presented. A person will therefore understand a statement by comparing and evaluating the words spoken before it, the intonation of the voice, and any nonverbal (body language) signals that accompany it.
The deliberate use of a statement that is at odds with the conversational context, will confuse & disorientate the listener, interrupting their chain of thought momentarily whilst they "look inwards" to analyse and attempt to decipher what the speaker actually meant.
If the statement is delivered meaningfully, and in a manner implying a perfectly sensible, and rather important statement, the listener will typically continue to search for the "real" meaning of what he has just heard. The longer that a person analyses a statement in order to derive some contextual meaning from it, the more uncertain he or she will become of the purpose of the statement. This response can then be utilized within a couple of seconds by softly but firmly commanding "you can now ... go into a deep trance," or similar.
This has the greatest hypnotic impact when delivered confidently & meaningfully by a speaker assumed and expected to speak rationally, and relevantly in a context where trust has been initiated.
As an example of verbal interrupts, if you were making a telesales call to a prospective customer, you might say something like:
"Hello, Mr Bloggs?"
"Hello, my name is Xxxx Xxxxxxxx perhaps your colleague mentioned you me?"
At this point the person receiving the call is a little disorientated, it sounds like a slip of the tongue, but takes a brief moment to sort it out in their mind and understand, and you'll probably notice a brief pause. Quickly continuing you might say:
"I'm sure we'll work well together [stressed].. [this is the command/suggestion slipped in during the confusion] My company makes etc."
This is a simple example of slipping an embedded subliminal command into a sentence after a pattern interrupt, but you can make them much more complex.
It is also possible to interrupt memory accessing cues to cause temporary amnesia, or in other words to cause a person to temporarily forget something that they should know or be able to recall.
There are a number of ways in which accessing cues can be interrupted: touching a person, causing a diversion, such as knocking or dropping something, or making a sudden and unexpected noise or movement. Even clearing the throat, coughing, or saying something unexpected can create a mild state of uncertainty.
Obviously timing is critical in such a scenario, the interrupt must be timed to coincide exactly with the person focussing inwards to access the information, and at this time the interrupt causes the momentary loss of the train of thought that the subject was following. A suggestion or command that all is now forgotten will usually remove the ability to recall the memory, particularly if the person is busy at the time trying to think about other things.
It is also possible to have the subject relive times when something important has been forgotten (a spouses birthday always works well with men!), and to use the NLP technique of anchoring to associate a movement, action, or sound with this relived amnesia. In effect, the subject is remembering how to forget, and the trigger of the anchored behaviour, used at the exact moment that the subject is trying to access something at the present moment, helps them to "remember to forget" it, and the amnesia is initiated.
This is why the performance of the "Subway Amnesia" effect described on page 41 is so successful.
Obviously if you could convincingly use any of the 3 techniques above, you could give a hypnosis or mind control performance that was absolutely mindblowing. If you've hypnotised someone prior to the performance [invisible compromise - no one else, including the subject, know that they've already been hypnotised], you could then make them react to very obvious embedded commands to make your mind control skills look even better than they really are.
Consider this with the full transcript on the next page. It appears that the person is being controlled just with some seemingly innocuous patter, but you don't really know if the person was hypnotised prior to the recording. Accept it as though it is achieved through just the words spoken, but also consider how easily it could be achieved if the subject had been hypnotised prior to the effect (Perhaps using the Instant Handshake Induction on page 44).
We'll examine it in more detail afterwards.
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These techniques will work for stage hypnosis or hypnotherapy, however, they are taught here for information purposes only. After reading this book you will have the knowledge and ability necessary to hypnotise people, but please do not practice hypnosis without first undergoing more intensive study.