Hypnotism and Zealotry

 

In the first weeks of my freshman year, my college hosted a hypnotist who gave a large demonstration. He invited volunteers to come up on stage and be hypnotized. I was curious enough that I volunteered, but when I joined the other folks on stage and the hypnotist began his work, I did not fall under his spell and I was sent back into the audience to watch. As the show unfolded, I was glad that I did not succumb, as I laughed at my classmates acting like chickens and showing us their amazing dance moves. I don’t know for certain but I strongly suspect that the fellow in this video is the same hypnotist, because his show is very similar (although instead of dance moves he’s got them showing off their kung fu prowess):

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that people who are susceptible to hypnotism are also more susceptible to mass hysteria or zealotry. In the video, the hypnotist suggests those people are more imaginative, which could just be a nice way of saying that they can be blinded to reality more easily. Zealots for “issues” such as veganism or climate change often look as silly and grounded in reality as the two individuals did in the video who were convinced they were kung fu masters with something really special and important to share with the audience.

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  1. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    You started this, Mama or Mrs. Toad or Mrs. Toder or Ms Mama. 

    • #31
  2. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    You started this, Mama or Mrs. Toad or Mrs. Toder or Ms Mama.

    Au contraire, mon frere. I clearly state in my avatar what my preferred mode of address is. 

    I never asked to get born into this world of suffering and woe and confusing modes of address.

    Just don’t call me “Yo Mama.”

    • #32
  3. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Au contraire, mon frere. I clearly state in my avatar what my preferred mode of address is. 

    It’s “Ma’am” if we ever meet face-to-face . . .

    • #33
  4. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    Stad (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Au contraire, mon frere. I clearly state in my avatar what my preferred mode of address is.

    It’s “Ma’am” if we ever meet face-to-face . . .

    If we ever meet face-to-face I will be sure to call you ma’am.

    • #34
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Au contraire, mon frere. I clearly state in my avatar what my preferred mode of address is.

    It’s “Ma’am” if we ever meet face-to-face . . .

    If we ever meet face-to-face I will be sure to call you ma’am.

    LOL . . . Mama Toad!

    • #35
  6. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Au contraire, mon frere. I clearly state in my avatar what my preferred mode of address is.

    It’s “Ma’am” if we ever meet face-to-face . . .

    If we ever meet face-to-face I will be sure to call you ma’am.

    LOL . . . Mama Toad!

    Only she gets to call you ma’am?

    • #36
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Au contraire, mon frere. I clearly state in my avatar what my preferred mode of address is.

    It’s “Ma’am” if we ever meet face-to-face . . .

    If we ever meet face-to-face I will be sure to call you ma’am.

    LOL . . . Mama Toad!

    Only she gets to call you ma’am?

    Whatever she wants . . .

    • #37
  8. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    I look forward to meeting you all someday. And I’ll call you whatever you want. 

    • #38
  9. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    I look forward to meeting you all someday. And I’ll call you whatever you want.

    They installed new HR software at work. The personal information section allowed you to fill in a preferred name.

    They vetoed ‘Tracer Bullet’.

    • #39
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    I look forward to meeting you all someday. And I’ll call you whatever you want.

    I will kneel before your Toadness and accept whatever title you bestow upon me.  Just make sure my wife can still breathe as she laughs her head off . . .

    • #40
  11. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):
    Question of etiquette; if I’m going to get that one wrong should I be failing in the direction of assuming Mrs or Miss?

    I am stumped by the question when it comes to others, too. I know what I prefer, but I also know that members of my sex are not always fair or mild and can react with shrieking harpiness if folks get it wrong.

    Try, “Yo, Baby” next time and see what happens.

    Yo, Baby! (Uh oh, perhaps I shouldn’t have capped the Baby. What to do? Mama capped the Baby, but usage demands that I uncap it, unless the person’s name is Baby. But if I uncap it, Mama might be offended.)

    Yo Mama! (Uh oh, that sounds racy and “blackish.”)

    I’m lost in this modern world.

    I’ve heard she likes to go by “Hotcha Mama!” 

    • #41
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I have been in the air most of today.

    I am saying that we all go into trances. Have you ever acted mindlessly while completing a task? Congratulations, that is a trance. As is said above, easy to do with TV.

    Some people do this easier that others, and some people are more creative than others. 

    Everyone can go into a trance. It is just a mode of operation. Some people are better at it than others. 

    • #42
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    I really can’t think of a good substitute in that situation.

    Professor.

    • #43
  14. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    I am stumped by the question when it comes to others, too. I know what I prefer, but I also know that members of my sex are not always fair or mild and can react with shrieking harpiness if folks get it wrong.

    Try, “Yo, Baby” next time and see what happens.

    Or, “Duuuude!”

    • #44
  15. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    Arahant (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    I am stumped by the question when it comes to others, too. I know what I prefer, but I also know that members of my sex are not always fair or mild and can react with shrieking harpiness if folks get it wrong.

    Try, “Yo, Baby” next time and see what happens.

    Or, “Duuuude!”

    I tend to limit myself to a respectful ‘hubba hubba!’

    • #45
  16. Matt Balzer, Straw Bootlegger Member
    Matt Balzer, Straw Bootlegger
    @MattBalzer

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Au contraire, mon frere. I clearly state in my avatar what my preferred mode of address is. 

    Which is good, because that’s how I tend to think of people on Ricochet anyway.

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    I look forward to meeting you all someday. And I’ll call you whatever you want.

    I don’t much care how you address me, as long as I know I’m the one being addressed.

    • #46
  17. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    As my dad always says, “Just don’t call me late for supper.”

    • #47
  18. Matt Balzer, Straw Bootlegger Member
    Matt Balzer, Straw Bootlegger
    @MattBalzer

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    As my dad always says, “Just don’t call me late for supper.”

    That too.

    • #48
  19. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Au contraire, mon frere. I clearly state in my avatar what my preferred mode of address is.

    It’s “Ma’am” if we ever meet face-to-face . . .

    If we ever meet face-to-face I will be sure to call you ma’am.

    LOL . . . Mama Toad!

    Well you do kinda look like one of my high school gym teachers.

    • #49
  20. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I have been in the air most of today.

    They legalized pot in Atlanta?  Hehe . . .

    • #50
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I have been in the air most of today.

    They legalized pot in Atlanta? Hehe . . .

    More litteral than that. In LA for a conference.

    • #51
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I have been in the air most of today.

    They legalized pot in Atlanta? Hehe . . .

    More litteral than that. In LA for a conference.

    Shoulda had a Meetup while you were there . . .

    • #52
  23. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I have been in the air most of today.

    They legalized pot in Atlanta? Hehe . . .

    More litteral than that. In LA for a conference.

    Shoulda had a Meetup while you were there . . .

    nobody wants to meetup with me unless I hypnotyize them heh

    • #53
  24. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I have been in the air most of today.

    They legalized pot in Atlanta? Hehe . . .

    More litteral than that. In LA for a conference.

    Shoulda had a Meetup while you were there . . .

    nobody wants to meetup with me unless I hypnotyize them heh

    For the record I’d like to state that I’m vulnerable to the hypnosis method known as buying the drinks.

    • #54
  25. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):
    Question of etiquette; if I’m going to get that one wrong should I be failing in the direction of assuming Mrs or Miss?

    I am stumped by the question when it comes to others, too. I know what I prefer, but I also know that members of my sex are not always fair or mild and can react with shrieking harpiness if folks get it wrong.

    Try, “Yo, Baby” next time and see what happens.

    Yo, Baby! (Uh oh, perhaps I shouldn’t have capped the Baby. What to do? Mama capped the Baby, but usage demands that I uncap it, unless the person’s name is Baby. But if I uncap it, Mama might be offended.)

    Yo Mama! (Uh oh, that sounds racy and “blackish.”)

    I’m lost in this modern world.

    I thought we were all supposed to be on a first-name basis these days?  That pretty much renders the whole issue obsolete.

    • #55
  26. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    I had the same experience as you my freshman year in college 55 years ago.

    I too attended a hypnosis demonstration in my dorm, freshman year of college, 1994.

    I had no idea until now this was a standard feature of the college experience.

    • #56
  27. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    I once read a very odd book called The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes, and I couldn’t figure out if the author was a quack or a genius (or possibly both).  He posits a very elaborate theory that visual and auditory hallucinations, of the kind experienced today by people we would call crazy, were quite common, everyday occurances for people in the distant past.  Thus, when we read in ancient literature from around the globe accounts of gods, spirits, and ancestors appearing and speaking to people, this was neither myth nor metaphor but simply a literal account of what those people had experienced, namely hallucinations appearing and telling them what to do, and they obeyed.

    I was reminded of this because he had a chapter on hypnosis, which he theorizes is a remnant from this prior stage in the development of consciousness, allowing people to re-enter the state where they blindly obey the voice of authority.

    • #57
  28. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I have been in the air most of today.

    They legalized pot in Atlanta? Hehe . . .

    More litteral than that. In LA for a conference.

    Shoulda had a Meetup while you were there . . .

    nobody wants to meetup with me unless I hypnotyize them heh

    Shoulda hypnotized me to pay your bill in Atlanta.  Hehe . . .

    • #58
  29. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I have been in the air most of today.

    They legalized pot in Atlanta? Hehe . . .

    More litteral than that. In LA for a conference.

    Shoulda had a Meetup while you were there . . .

    nobody wants to meetup with me unless I hypnotyize them heh

    For the record I’d like to state that I’m vulnerable to the hypnosis method known as buying the drinks.

    You are cordially invited to the next Meetup . . .

    • #59
  30. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    where they blindly obey the voice of authority.

    Sounds like marriage.

    Oh, hi Honey!  No, just making a comment on- [smack]

    • #60
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