Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Covert hypnosis? How do you protect yourself from it?

  1. Feb 11, 2010 #1
    Hi guys,

    I have heard of cases of crime using covert hypnosis. They control your body to make you do things of in their interest. If someone is trying to hypnotize you without knowledge, what can you do exactly to not get hypnotized.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2010 #2
    It's too late. You've already been conned.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2010 #3
    For starters, watch every Derren Brown Youtube you can find, identify and analyze all the techniques he uses to render people suggestible, and then be aware when people seem to be doing the same things to you.

    Another thing to read up on is the NLP concept of "anchors".

    As Tony Robbins says in the movie Shallow Hal, "Everyone's already hypnotized anyway". To the extent you can observe that going on all around you, you can pull back from it and increase your immunity.

    It's highly doubtful anyone's ever going to try and hypnotize you to commit a crime but they absolutely WILL try and hypnotize you to part with your money for things that don't work as described, or that you really don't need, or particularly want. Being sales-pitch, and scam resistant is a good quality to have.
     
  5. Feb 11, 2010 #4
    Ya I know they use conversational hypnosis everywhere in ads, sales, ect. Hence only option I think is to be aware(know) of whats happening.

    Very informative reply. Thanks for the reference, I ll check them out.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2010 #5
    One of the top computer hackers Kevin Mitnic said that it's much easier to get passwords and information from people than actually go through all the trouble and hack into computers.

    check out the "Art of Deception"

    https://www.amazon.com/Art-Deceptio...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265931616&sr=8-2


    The keyword is social engineering which basically refines what con artists have been doing.

    It's pretty ridiculous and scary. There were cases of hackers walking into company building by pretending being someone else, and get employees to reveal crucial information, and get them to give access to computer terminals where the hacker installs key-loggers and other malicious software.

    Here is a list of cognitive biases that con artists can exploit:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Feb 12, 2010 #6
    I'd like to add a less cerebral list of qualities that can make a person both highly suggestible to hypnosis and render them good prey for scam artists:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_manipulation
     
  8. Feb 12, 2010 #7
    This is interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con_artist

    Derren Brown recreates this very trick in one of his episodes. After politely asking a stranger for directions, and seeking assurances that he's not bothering them, he has quickly put them in a position where they like him, and want nothing more than to help him. Then he politely asks if he can see their wallet. They take it out and show it to him. He reaches for it, so apparently innocently, that they hand it to him. Then he walks away, with an air of purpose, as if they'll soon see what he's up to, but that it's all good. The thing seems to work by getting them to like him, then simply acting like it's all on the up and up: the request for the wallet is not betrayed to be any different than the request for directions. They're confused, to be sure, but since he's established himself as likable and polite, it's very hard for them to recast him in their mind as a thief. By the time they do, he's gone.
     
  9. Feb 12, 2010 #8
    The wallet trick is flawless:




    There is so much going on here. Derren mirrors the victim's body posture to establish rapport. He then walks away from the victim to get him approach. Once the victim approached, Derren makes the killer move. He Holds the victim's hand, and hands him his bottled water. This is a very strong message. It quickly induces a sense of "I like you," and "you can trust me." It causes one to forget that you are interacting with a complete stranger.

    The rest is easy: "Can I see your wallet please? ... Oh and your house keys too"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  10. Feb 12, 2010 #9
    This is weird: I see he never even takes the man's wallet. He takes his watch, his keys, then his phone. The title leaves you remembering him having taken the guy's wallet.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  11. Feb 12, 2010 #10

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Bull. That is staged. You are the ones being duped, not the guy with the watch.

    And I know exactly how he did it. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  12. Feb 12, 2010 #11

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Realize that Derren Brown is an entertainer and that he uses 'any means necessary' to achieve his goal--including standard magic gimmicks and plain old lying and cheating. Not just his powers of suggestion. :wink:
     
  13. Feb 12, 2010 #12
    That's right. He's an entertainer. One of the arguments is that his tricks make people believe that a phenomena is purely psychological in nature. When in fact he just did a clever trick and wants us to believe that human mind is prone to deception. So I understand that Derren cannot be trusted. However, there are genuine cases where people are exploited similarly how Derren exploits subjects on his show.

    There was a famous case of a psycho calling restaurants and getting employees strip themselves just by talking on the phone:




    if people can do this with the power of words what else can people do?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  14. Feb 12, 2010 #13

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There is a little trick that I pull every now and then just to see if I get a bite. While at the checkstand at a store, I will pull out a five dollar bill and quickly ask the cashier if I can get two tens for a five. A few people have actually handed me the money before the problem occurred to them.
     
  15. Feb 12, 2010 #14
    How did he do it? How do real pick pocketers steal watches?
     
  16. Feb 12, 2010 #15

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Waht, we need a published paper in order to support a claim like this. Youtube is not a source.
     
  17. Feb 12, 2010 #16
    The imperius curse :eek:
     
  18. Feb 12, 2010 #17

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It was staged. The victim is in on the prank being played on you.

    That is a different matter. Pockets are picked through a combination of skilled removal, and a distraction, like bumping into the pigeon. It has nothing to do with hypnosis.
     
  19. Feb 12, 2010 #18
    Which are you asserting about the video? That Brown pulled a version of the old change trick or that the whole thing was "staged": the man he got the watch from was an actor paid to follow a script?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  20. Feb 13, 2010 #19
    True, but I'm not sure what your point is. Standard magic gimmicks and plain old lying and cheating are among the tools he uses to render people suggestible. He claims: "I mix magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship".
     
  21. Feb 13, 2010 #20

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The guy with the watch was in on it.

    Nonetheless, the claim that so-called covert hypnosis is possible, must be supported with scientific references. This is a claim that can be tested so there is no need for debate.

    The thread can be reopened if valid references are provided.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook