Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In the News

Good morning! No green tea today, back to black. And as I sit contemplating the first (and maybe only, we will see) post of the day, I think I will start a segment to the blog called In the News.

When I first saw the headline, I clicked on it. I believe I saw it sometime during the weekend, but the link had an error and I could not find the story. It surfaced today. From The Desert Morning News in Utah comes "Hypnotist's show in Logan sends girl to the hospital." It is by a young man names Ben Winslow. He presents the facts:

  • There was a hypnotism show at a high school
  • A local policeman was at the school for another event.
  • He saw a 17 year-old girl being taken out of the school on a gurney.
  • He said she was hyperventilating and very panicky.
  • He also said the hypnotist was in the audience trying to get other people out of a state of hypnosis.
  • Police said other young women had difficulty coming out of hypnosis.

For those who have any notion of the hypnotic process, you are probably thinking something along the lines of "eeek" and maybe even feeling a slightly acidic sensation in the stomach region. For those not experience or with little knowledge of hypnosis, you are probably thinking that this article may have some credibility. Don't.

If you actually click on the link to the story and read it, be sure to read all the comments as well. They are infinitely more interesting. Though I will come to the writer's defense. Yes, the article lacks a lot of information, the name of the hypnotist, what suggestion he/she had given to cause the girl to hyperventilate and be panicky (for if she was still in hypnosis, she would still be acting on that suggestion), and what happened to the girl. But, this story, like so many, is a quick once over of a situation. I suspect that the writer had little knowledge of hypnosis or was doing the journalistic thing of just providing the facts that he was able to gather quickly. So, as for the article being a hoax. I doubt that.

So then what is it? This is one of my greatest fears about doing stage hypnosis, especially in regards to a high school-aged crowd - the fear of having a participant who wants extra attention and feigns not being about to come out of the hypnotic state. Notice the word 'feigns.' She could have done so for the attention alone, not realizing that what she did had no creditability, could ruin the poor hypnotist (my heart goes out to that person), and set the hypnosis profession back a bit in the eyes of certain public. Or worse, maybe she did know all this, maybe it was a plot, but for now I am taking off my conspiracy theory hat.

And here is another thought, maybe it was not that she was stuck in a state of hypnosis, but had problems with how she acted during the show. Perhaps she was embarrassed, or had some odd revelation that distressed her, or anything of that nature. The all knowing "THEY" say that hypnotists should not work with people who have certain mental issues, like schizophrenia, unless the hypnotist has a background (and often licence in psychology). How is a stage hypnotist to know who or what he or she is dealing with in choosing volunteers from an unknown crowd?

Any thoughts?

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