Last week, my teacher brought in a special guest to my summer festival class to talk about his upcoming documentary titled “Altered States” as well as to talk about other uncanny subject matters. His name is Albert Nerenberg and he’s a renowned laughogolist, documentary film maker and a “hypnotist“. Basically, he’s the jack of all trades and has the charisma and public speaking skills to detract you from checking facebook or instagram.
He first delved into talking about his former documentary of “Boredom” explaining how boredom is manifested through remaining docile for long periods of time. He condemned the education system for its teaching methods of having us poor students sit for long periods of time which is an ineffective way of learning since it turns off our cerebellum (aka our cognitive thinking hats) which leaves us feeling bored and restless.
He then moved on talking about his other vocation as a hypnotist . This tied in with his upcoming documentary of “Altered States”, which is about how hypnotism can alter your conscious state and make you feel “high” or “hung over” without actually being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Pretty interesting stuff huh?
He followed by showing us a clip of a woman being abruptly hypnotized by a man who passes by her in the street. He leaves her paralyzed in thought just by touching her forehead. She’s unable to move or acknowledge her whereabouts of standing in the middle of a busy street. After seeing this clip, he asked us about our take on hypnotism and if we truly believed in it. A grand majority, including myself were skeptical and said NO .
Here’s where the interesting part came into play : he wanted to hypnotize us
The chicken shit that I was, I refused to get hypnotized. The thought of someone potentially being able to control my thoughts, isn’t something I was down for. I averted my eyes, and noticed everyone staring at a trippy projection. They were being instructed to exhale deeply and enacted some weird hand gestures that looked similar to ones from the zombies on the show The Walking Dead.(see photo below )
Surprisingly, after all that hype, nothing much happened. That is, until he asked for some volunteers to come on down so he can personally hypnotize them. After a series of reciting some soft spoken words to them and instructing them to follow his lead, one guy just full on crashed . By crashed I’m talking abrupt descending of the head and with his long hair he resembled the girl from the movie The Ring. This creeped the shit out of me and amazed others. People gasped, others stood up and the craziness ensued. He continued his ritualistic hypnotist act and like a domino effect , another girl ‘s head descended, followed by someone else’s. It was true insanity at its finest.
Afterwards he jokingly toyed with one guy’s mind by making him have fondness for a girl. He told the student : “When you’ll wake up , you’ll look at the girl from across the room in the third row and have a growing attraction to her”. The next thing you know, he claps his hand and the student looks as confused as ever and tells the girl in the third row that she has “a nice smile and likes the way her hair looks”. Laughter resonated through the room, while awkwardness filled the poor student’s face.
He then made a guy think he was ridiculously stoned by stating how when he would wake he would “feel that he smoked a massive joint “ and that he had “a bag of joints hidden in his backpocket”. Clapping his hands, the student woke up looking insanely out of it. He rubbed his eyes and if he just woke up from a long nap. The hypnotist asked him if he’s been smoking, and the student as puzzled as ever, replied with a “No”. He then asked him if he has a bag of joints in his pocket and in the most hesitant manner possible , the students replies No?
He followed by hypnotizing another student making her say “cheese” everytime he asked what her name is. Just like the other students, as soon as he clapped his hands and she woke, he asked what her name is, and she replied in a very awkward manner “cheese”.
I don’t whether I was more amused than amazed but either way this was a spectacle on its own. I still remain a tad skeptical as to whether it was a hoax or not, but just like the old saying goes ,“you need to see it to believe it”. I’ll be damned if I don’t!