Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bad Hypnotist

No, not bad as in "naughty" or "evil," bad as in "inept." An inexperienced hypnotist conducting a demonstration of mass hypnosis at a Quebec school somehow managed to leave a group of students in a trance after concluding the demonstration. In order to undo the effect, a more experienced hypnotist finally had to be called in after one of the students remained under for five hours.

Maxime Nadeau was forced to call on his mentor for assistance after the hypnotist could not reverse the condition of several 12 and 13-year-old girls at the Collège du Sacré-Coeur private school in Quebec. One of the girls was reportedly left in a trance for five hours. "Being in a trance is a state of well-being," Nadeau told the CBC's French-language service. "I wasn't stressed. I knew they would get out of it." Still, Nadeau eventually called in his mentor and trainer Richard Whitbread to reverse the effects.

"There were a couple of students who had their heads lying on the table and there were [others] who, you could tell, were in trance," Whitbread said. "The eyes were open and there was nobody home." In order to reverse the effect, Whitbread says he convinced the girls he was "re-hypnotizing" them and them brought them out of the trance "using a stern voice."

Now, one reason I classify this as inept is that I learned to hypnotize people while I was still in high school, and bringing people out of a trance is easy. I've never had any problem with it. The fact that Nadeau couldn't do it says volumes about his lack of skill, and it seems to me that somebody like him should not be demonstrating hypnosis to a bunch of kids. I'm sure that girls who remained under were good subjects, but that should cut both ways - a good hypnotic subject is more suggestible than a normal person, which means that they go both into and out of trances more readily.

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