Talk:Stage hypnosis

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all improvements welcome

The Article seems kind of slanted twords a skyptical veiw of stage hypnosis. I am not sure what to change so could some one else try to make the article more nutural.Applepi2342 (talk) 06:58, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

But, isn't the skeptical view, precisely, the more neutral one? An skeptical view is not bluntly affirming or denying anything. It is just submitting the topic to scrutiny with the aim of acquiring certainty. Calin99 (talk) 18:46, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
No indeed it is not so. Skepticism is not equal to neutrality. Neutrality requires an attitude of "nobody is completely certain" or at least "it has never been proved to be real" (while giving both sides of the argument equal weight). It is probably acceptable to make a suggestion that many experts declare it not to be real, but to imply that you agree with them (which this article certainly does), takes it from the realm of an impartial encylopedic article to a highly personal level, wherein the author seems to say "God, I hope nobody thinks I believe in this stuff I'm writing about, so I'd better make sure to discredit it, just in case".
I felt it was heavily biased towards a skeptical view, and is quite patronizing towards anyone holding an alternative view. It discredits the hundreds of years of scientific observation of persons in a trancelike state (excluding where such states are induced through the use of drugs) in many different cultures throughout the world, and where people have achieved extraordinary and seemingly impossible feats. That they can achieve such things in the absence of a trancelike state is irrelevant except to mention that possibility.
Meditation, self-hypnosis, or any other form of extreme focus, is capable of allowing people to access powers within themselves that they may not consciously realize they possess until such time as they have already achieved the feat. Indeed most who achieve greatness in anything are able to do so as a result of dedicated focus to the exclusion of other things, which is pretty much what hypnosis is, regardless of what other descriptions we might want to use.
We see examples of this in survival stories, in rescue attempts, and in seemingly miraculous sporting achievements. We may also see it in the case of a pilot preventing a plane crash or a military commander preventing a disaster. The people involved in these situations frequently describe a "moment of clarity" in which they are able to find the resources within themselves to cope with an extraordinary situation requiring extraordinary effort. These descriptions also talk of their extreme focus upon the goal and their ability to tune out the world around them to the exclusion of that which they are focusing on, and this is at least akin to hypnosis.
Now by no means am I suggesting with the above comments that all stage hypnosis is real or credbile, but what I am saying is that you can't dramatically imply that all stage hypnotists are frauds without also surrendering any claim to neutrality. You must present views on both sides for it to be neutral. You could say that nobody has provided any proof that it's not a fraud, and you could say that many people have claimed that it is a fraud, but you can't state (or imply) that it's "probably a fraud". That's not your role as an author in this type of article.
The article also contains blatant lies. For example it claims that hypnotists seek out "open minded people", when in fact prominent stage hypnotist Martin St James claimed and maintained throughout his extensive career that it was most easy to hypnotize those with closed minds, skeptics, and people who believed that there was no way they could be hypnotized.
On another point, some faith healers have been caught using stooges, but it would be very wrong to say that all faith healers use stooges, and that therefore faith healing is a load of hooey, even if that is your personal belief! Because an encyclopedia is no place to express your personal belief. Nobody actually cares what you believe. They want to know what are the facts about this topic, what has been said, what has been shown, what has been witnessed.
To my mind, this article was not written from a neutral point of view and actually set out to discredit the profession of stage hypnotists without offering any proof beyond anecdotal quotes from people who didn't actually provide any tangible proof to back up their claims, apart from one guy who conducted an imperfect physical demonstration which differed in significant ways from eye-witness accounts of the feats they had seen performed. หมีขั้วโลก (talk) 13:01, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Rewrite anyone?[edit]

This article is more than kind of slanted towards a skeptical view. In fact the primary topic of every section is an argument against hypnotism, and most of it either expresses an opinion of the author or quotes the opinions of others who don't offer much in the way of quantifiable data. The authenticity of hypnosis (be it valid or not) should not be the focus of this article, either way, yet it is the only topic covered. Things such as the training involved, the place in entertainment, the typical parts of a show, what an audience member could expect (or someone booking a show can expect), common skits incorporated in stage hypnosis shows, and other informational aspects valuable to those (like me) who come to this article hoping to learn more about stage hypnosis.

I would suggest that this article be moved to a new article about skepticism of hypnosis and a new article specifically about stage hypnosis be written from the ground up. 65.128.202.129 (talk) 01:28, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

This article STILL needs MAJOR clean up[edit]

The stage hypnotism article is written from a completely skeptic point of view. The author uses one example from one source to say that all stage hypnotism is false, while there are plenty of manuals availible to stage performers about genuine group hypnotism. This article needs severe help. It is not entirely factual and certainly doesn't meet Wikipedia's standards. Sevey13 (talk) 05:39, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

IT has been a while since I have been here but it still seems to be slanted to a skeptical view. If there is anyone with knowledge on this could they make it more balanced.Applepi2342 (talk) 03:51, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

What's the alternative viewpoint? I think you'll find there's a consensus that the way stage hypnotists present their art is partly for dramatic effect. It's a bit like asking for a less skeptical account of stage magic. Magicians might claim on stage, for the audience, that they can actually saw a lady in half somehow by "magic", but in reality they all agree that it's really "illusion." There aren't many stage hypnotists who would sincerely argue that formal hypnotic inductions are necessary or that a certain amount of fakery and sleight of hand never occurs in stage hypnosis shows. Of course, that doesn't exclude the possibility that many shows make extensive use of genuine phenomena of hypnotic "waking" suggestion, etc. HypnoSynthesis (talk) 18:52, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, this article is way too skeptical. I don't have any sources, but I just went to a hypnosis show. I knew all the people on stage. Some people were faking, but about half of those on stage were definitely hypnotized and did not realize what they were doing. Gms13 (talk) 03:32, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I've been a participant of a stage hypnosis show. The only way to describe the feeling was, it was weird. I do think they article is being a little too skeptical, but I can understand why. Anyone who thinks stage hypnosis is a fraud would never allow themselves to be "hypnotized". You have to WANT the hypnosis to work, and you have to allow yourself to believe that the hypnotist is 100% correct in what their saying. If they tell you to put your hands together, and then they tell you “you’re going to try to pull your hands apart, but the more you pull, the tighter they become”. You have to WANT to believe this is true. When I wasn’t thinking, I honestly could not pull my hands apart, then I stopped for a second, and was like, ‘duh’, apart they come. Some of the more crazy suggestions, telling someone they’re a seatbelt for these other 5 people, and when they hear the word ‘crash’ they have to throw themselves along these people’s laps, I have more trouble believing these aren’t just people who crave being the center of attention. I walked off stage shortly after the clasped hand trick, the next thing was we were all on a island and had to ‘swim’ to the end of the stage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.238.49.65 (talk) 20:38, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

I am a stage hypnotist and this article is aggressively over-skeptical and misinformed - more than half of it is devoted to skeptical response and alleged fraud. I will honestly say that I've heard stories of stooges and plants, but one of the first things I learned was that it is easier and cheaper to actually hypnotize the subjects than it is to pay them. While there may be stage hypnotists who use these techniques, this article makes it sound like we all do, which is patently untrue. If only ten percent of hypnotists use these methods, should well over half the article decry them? Also, Kreskin is a notoriously biased critic of stage hypnotism, perhaps because he sees it as a threat or competition to his own livelihood as a mentalist. He's not a hypnotist himself and I'd venture to say he's hardly an authority on the subject. Note, however, that some criticism of stage hypnotism being faked may stem from the practice of mentalism (an offshoot of stage magic that involves supposed mind-reading, but which actually relies on conventional illusion practices). Many professional stage hypnotists do incorporate mentalism in their acts, and this blurs the line between genuine hypnotism and deceptive artifice. Many aspect of recent stage hypnotism, such as culling the subjects precisely to remove fakers and those who are non-responsive, are totally missing from this article, which seems to have a strong bias against the subject. The omission of common hypnosis terms and concepts leads me to believe this article was written by someone only acquainted with hypnotism and not someone who has really studied the subject. It is a disservice to Wikipedia readers.

This article has a skeptical bias because reality has a skeptical bias. The burden of proof for supernatural phenomena such as the "hypnotic trance" is on those who profess it to be real. And proof requires substantially more than the simple belief, regardless of whether that belief is held by mere subjects or experienced practitioners. Psychics may truly believe that they can speak with dead people. It doesn't prove anything, though. If you wish to add scholarly evidence of the existence of hypnotic trances, please find it. 205.127.162.136 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:45, 29 April 2011 (UTC).

Many of the "tricks" and illusions mentioned are actually part of the real hypnotism. If a stooge is among the hypnotized his job would be to "pace and lead" the others. Saying "you are glued to your chair" while the person is already sitting is also a common hypnotic tactic in other branches of hypnotism. Tactics are used because stage hypnosis is tough cookies. Hypnosis is a real phenomenon, arguments over the existence of trance or sleep like states, and arguments about separation of conscious / subconscious mind are legitimate unanswered questions but do not disprove the phenomenon of hypnotic suggestion causing an intended reaction. --Jargoman (talk) 16:55, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

contradictory skeptical claims[edit]

This article seems to be written from a skeptic's POV, and also exposes some contradictions.

If suggestion of this sort is largely due to conscious playing along and social compliance, how does this fit with skeptics' use of suggestion to explain away paranormal phenomena? It seems overly convenient to claim that these effects are the result of conscious compliance in one context, and then to tell people in other circumstances that the psychic phenomena they experienced - which they are convinced was real - was in fact the result of suggestion or hypnotic effects.

So which is which? You can't have your cake and eat it too. 121.73.7.84 (talk) 13:59, 1 May 2009 (UTC)


I don't think this article does claim that all stage hypnosis is due to conscious compliance. Surely it clearly states the opposite. I therefore don't see the contradiction you think exists. I think, perhaps, with respect, you haven't read the whole article and are misinterpreting what it says. The opening paragraph clearly says,
Expert opinion is divided over whether participants' responses are best explained as being due to an altered state of consciousness (hypnotic trance) or by a combination of deliberate deception and ordinary social psychological factors such as disorientation, compliance, peer pressure, and ordinary suggestion.

--HypnoSynthesis (talk) 19:37, 4 May 2009 (UTC)