Lively Interview with Derren Brown

Simon Hattenstone's topsy-turvey interview with famous hypnotist and illusionist Derren Brown.

This lively interview with Derren Brown delves into topics like religion, art and mind control and of course magic tricks. Not much is mentioned about Brown's new show Apocalypse which has been attracting some media attention even though all that has been released so far is a few very brief trailers, one of which you can view below.

Lively Interview with Derren Brown

Has there ever been a performer so sure of himself on stage and so lacking in self-belief off? In front of a packed house, or presenting a TV show, Derren Brown is the commander, a man of barking certainty. But ask why he became a magician, and he ticks and twitches and starts to drown in his own diffidence. "You get into it because you don't feel impressive," he says. "It's the quickest, most fraudulent route to impressing people.

Derren Browns New Television Show "Apocalypse"

Over the years, Brown seems to have evolved from a slick trickster into a man with a genuine curiosity about what can be achieved, for good or bad, when people change the way they think. In his new television show, Apocalypse, he takes a man who admits he is complacent about life and teaches him how to appreciate the world… by convincing him it has been destroyed.

Interviewer Simon Hattenstone for The Guardian wants Brown to hypnotize him or show of his skills in some way. Derren is reluctant but eventually demonstrates a common hypnotic induction. How does he do it?...

As he talks, I'm watching closely for those little hand gestures he uses to put people to sleep on stage, or repeated word patterns that will put thoughts into my head. But he's too busy beating himself up to manipulate me. Finally, I just come out with it: "Is there no way you could make me do something stupid to show off your powers?"

But he doesn't bite. "Hypnosis is just suggestibility; you see it in certain people."

What about an imaginary punch in the stomach?

"As a journalist, you'd be a classically bad subject for it."

"Well, couldn't you just make me incapable of talking for a minute or two?"

"It won't work," he says decisively. And that seems to be final.

Only I tell him that I'm infinitely suggestible, and plead pathetically. "OK, rest your elbow on your knees. And look down at your left hand. Imagine a balloon, and the balloon is attached to the wrist of the hand. A helium balloon. And the balloon pulls at the string and the string pulls at the wrist of the hand. And as you watch the back of the hand, you can just imagine the hand getting lighter."

Some minutes later, I'm aware my arm is straight up in the air, my eyes are glued tight and I'm slumped. I feel sure I can open them easily, but something is stopping me. "And in a moment I'll count you awake backwards from 10 to zero and give you all the time you need to be fully awake and refreshed, and what you will notice when you wake up is a natural inquisitiveness to look inside your coffee cup, the sense that there might be something inside there...

That last suggestion keeps the interviewer unsettled all the way through till the end...

Read the Full Article in The Guardian

Derren has learned how to use a combination of techniques to wow and surprise his audience. Now he seems to want to apply what he knows to find out how and why all this really works. This fun filled interview with Derren Brown will certainly entertain you.


A Closer Look at Covert Hypnosis

A closer look at covert hypnosis reveals that we are often in a hypnotic state and are unaware of it.

The human mind continues to process information subconsciously and consciously twenty four hours a day seven days a week, even when we are asleep. Messages are collected from your surroundings, voices, images, facial expressions etc. and sent to the brain to be processed and interpreted and stored away for future use. With this in mind read more on covert hypnosis in this article by Geoffrey Knight and find out how covert hypnosis is being used on you.

A Closer Look at Covert Hypnosis

Without being aware of it, we slip in and out of hypnosis all day long. When we drive that car to work each day on auto-pilot without remembering the details of the journey, we do so in a light hypnotic state. We automatically stop at the traffic lights, and obey highway driving rules without having to think. When we day dream, or get absorbed in watching a movie, or reading an interesting book or in the act of sexual intercourse, we are in light hypnosis. It is similar to the light hypnotic state we experience every time we drift into or come out of sleep, or have one of those rare lucid dreams.

Not surprisingly, this fact of life is exploited by others in our daily lives. I doubt that the average American realizes just how much covert hypnosis he is subjected to daily, particularly through the medium of advertising – on Television, the newspapers, radio, and on the bill boards. Hypnotic language is used with great skill to induce us to buy all sorts of products and services at every twist and turn...

I bet you were not aware that the word BECAUSE is a power word. It's another Mom's word, and we have to obey Mom. It is a magic word, because it lends credibility to whatever goes before it, and it carries attention away from the embedded command before you consciously recognize it. "You can feel good seated in this car, because it is the only car in this price range with leather seats."

Read the conclusion of this article here...


Study on “Change Blindness” and Hypnosis

This article from the New York Times explains the research and brain testing related to Change Blindness. The way I understand it, "change blindness" just means that sometimes the mind will fill in details that arent' really there. The results of this study supports the idea that through the use of hypnosis, awareness levels can be hightened or diminished and the brain is able to make instant adjustments to compensate. By accepting the concept of change blindness and hypnosis, behavior modification can occur more easily based on the awareness or lack of awareness one is working with.  

"Change Blindness" and Hypnosis

Beyond its entertainment value, symposium participants made clear, change blindness is a salient piece in the larger puzzle of visual attentiveness. What is the difference between seeing a scene casually and automatically, as in, you’re at the window and you glance outside at the same old streetscape and nothing registers, versus the focused seeing you’d do if you glanced outside and noticed a sign in the window of your favorite restaurant, and oh no, it’s going out of business because, let’s face it, you always have that Typhoid Mary effect on things. In both cases the same sensory information, the same photonic stream from the external world, is falling on the retinal tissue of your eyes, but the information is processed very differently from one eyeful to the next. What is that difference? At what stage in the complex circuitry of sight do attentiveness and awareness arise, and what happens to other objects in the visual field once a particular object has been designated worthy of a further despairing stare?

If through our eyes, the brain truly "fills in" missing details for us then of course it makes sense that under hypnosis the mind can be encouraged through language and awareness to fill in a new behavior or belief where change is wanted. Read more on this study on Change Blindness here in the New York Times. 



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