Category Archives: Stage Hypnosis

Hypnosis – Peter Pan and Never, Never Land

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“When I close my eyes, I will go to sleep, and when I wake up, I will not know what has happened”.

I call this statement, going to “Never, Never Land“, just like Wendy and her brothers in Peter Pan.

Peter Pan in Never Never Land is not HypnosisV,A,K,O,G, vision, auditory, kinesthetic (feeling), olfactory (smell), and gustatory (taste), – so that the subject can focus on the voice of the hypnotist to the exclusion of all others.

They will hear more, they will feel more, and with their eyes open they will see more. Why yes, you can be in a hypnotic trance with eyes open. You have seen people and done it yourself, staring at one spot or item, or no particular thing.

“You cannot hypnotise me.”

“I have been told not everyone can be hypnotised”.

It is true. No one can hypnotise you unless you are willing to be. But, every person can be hypnotised to enter some state of relaxation or trance. Where people fail to enter into a trance is not that they cannot be hypnotised, but they were unwilling to be hypnotised, or that the hypnotist was not flexible or adaptable enough to help the subject enter a state of relaxation and trance.

Trance or hypnosis is a state. It is just like the state you enter into just prior going into sleep.

We, as humans, go through many states during our day. These are normally broken down into Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta states. Beta, is where we are totally awake being fully absorbed, active, running, jumping. Alpha is where we are more concentrating, absorbed, studying. Theta is where we are perhaps daydreaming, totally relaxed, entering into a sleep like mode. Delta, is deep sleep, a sleep where we dream, where you will notice eye movements below the eyelids called REM (Rapid Eye Movements). All these states can be measured by the changes in the brain waves.

We all drift in and out of these states all day, and others influence us to go into these states by their talking, their communications with us.

Can you remember being at school listening to the teacher in that boring subject? For me it was history. My eyes would get heavy, I would yawn, the second hand on the clock would begin to slow down, my mind would wonder off, thinking about other things. Why? The teacher’s method of imparting information sent me into an altered state.

I remember as a small boy, my mother calling me in a soft singing voice, “Phillip”. I knew that she was baking a cake, and that she was calling me to lick the bowl of the cake mix, I became relaxed, skipping into the kitchen, with a big smile on my face. Yet she would call me another time in a low loud voice, “Phillip John“. I knew I was in trouble, I entered a fear state, and it was time to hide, not to get a smack, to be told off, as I must have done something wrong.

Have you ever read a story to a small child at bedtime, or remember the time when you were a small child and had a story read to you? What happened? Sleep was induced; the child went into a deep relaxed state of sleep. Was the story read in a provocative manor, in an aggressive way? No it was read in a soothing, quiet, soft voice.

We all influence others states in what we do, what we say, as they do with us. So congratulations, you yourself are a hypnotist. You did not know?

Have you ever thought who else may be a hypnotist? What about, film producers? You have watched firms where you laughed so hard, your sides ached, you have watched films where you were frightened, and I know you have watched films where tears have come to your eyes. What about actors on stage? I am totally absorbed by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on stage in the London Palladium theatre, or The Phantom of the Opera. My state changes as scene by scene is enacted.

If you wish to experience a deep trance, Download my CD or MP3, visit the blog The Castle, or click on the left hand side panel link.

Hypnosis – A Natural State

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It is been said that hypnosis can be described as:-

the loss of the multiplicity of the foci of attention

In other words, in hypnosis we focus on one particular thing, for example the hypnotists voice to the exclusion of all other distractions, the swinging of a watch, the flames of a fire, or counting sheep.

Counting Sheep to relax or sleepWhen in a trance, say looking or watching a film on the television, our focus of attention is locked into the TV screen. Have you ever been watching and being totally absorbed in a film, then someone has spoken to you, and you never heard them? They had to speak to you twice or more to get your attention.

Have you ever been or seen someone daydreaming? Your mind is somewhere else, perhaps thinking about a forthcoming holiday, or fanaticising about something, making castles in the air. In that state you have missed something happening around you.

Have you ever been watching television, and the program has been boring, you had no interest in the subject, and your mind wondered off, and you missed a section of the program.

Then you have been in a trance.

Trance is a naturally occurring state of mind that we all go into many times a day. And yet, you are in control at all times. Should anything happen, you can deal with it.

Give it another name, meditation, mesmerism, daydreaming, yoga. They are all the same, perhaps at differening levels of relaxation.

Hypnosis – What is it?

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Phillip Holts eyes“What do you understand hypnosis to be?”

The answers I get vary every time, from, “I do not know“, to many weird, wild and wonderful explanations.

I also get many emails, requesting information, a typical one for example being: –

“I have been interested in hypnosis for a long time, but not really stage hypnosis, just hypnosis where I can control people and tell them what to do. I’ve looked through many books but they haven’t helped. All that they are, are Self Hypnosis and I want to hypnotize people. Please help me.”

Probably the first thing I say to people is that there is no such thing as hypnosis, it does not exist, it is just a name given to a natural occurring state in which we all go into many time a day.

You have probably traveled on a train or, on a regular journey, going to work or school, or just going about your business. You have seen the same trees pass you by, the same buildings many times. Have you ever traveled on the Underground, the Metro? Through the darken tunnels, where everything looks the same?

And, as you travel along you start to think about what you are going to eat, what you are going to wear that night, for a party, or that holiday you are going to take. Then, you look around and wonder what station you are at, or what junction you have just past.

Yes, of course you have.

You have been in a trance. Yet, you were in full control. If you were driving and an emergency had arisen, for example a child had walked out in front of you, or a car had pulled out without seeing you coming, you would have taken the appropriate action, you would have been in control.

So you would be in a hypnotic state.

I ask the questioner, if I requested you to go outside into the street now, a shout at the top of your voice a quotation from The Bard, William Shakespeare’s Richard III,

“A horse, a horse, my Kingdom for a horse”.

Would you do it?

No I doubt it.

And if I asked you at the same time, to stand in the middle of the street and take all your clothes off, would you do it?

No, you would not. It would probably be too cold for you.

So, in a hypnotic trance it is the same, you would not do anything, that is against your beliefs, your culture, your religion, you are in complete control.

It is a myth that you are under the control of the hypnotist, perpetuated by movies, for example The Manchurian Candidate, where the spy master telephones the normally placid clerk in an office, and says the magic words, “the clock strikes three“, and the clerk’s eyes mist over, he stares out into deep space, opens his briefcase, takes out a Colt 45 gun, walks out of the office into the street, and shoots the victim dead, then the clerk awakens, and stands there wondering what he has done.

Many Government agencies have tried to achieve such states, but they have failed with hypnosis. What they have achieved, is to get people to do things through brain washing, a (technique, which is outside the scope of this work), has been used in the past, and even today, by some countries to control their populations and individuals, by organisations and by religion. We only have to look at certain organisations today, where individuals blow themselves up for their beliefs, killing others for no other reason but the belief that they will enter the gates of heaven. Was those beliefs placed inside their heads by hypnosis? No, simply by brain washing them to believe over a period of time.

Brain washing? That is another subject I have researched and maybe write about some other time. Read article.

Two versions of film have been made of The Manchurian Candidate, the first in 1962 with Frank Sinatra, the send in 2004 with Denzel Washington and based on the 1959 book of the same name by Richard Condon.


Hypnosis – Expectations

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Richard Bandler and John Grinder modeled people of excellence creating NLP. One of these people was the hypnotist, Milton Erickson.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnotic ImageThe greatest aid to a hypnotist is expectation.

If a client believes that hypnotist he/she is to see, will be a qualified hypnotist, then there will be an expectation that they can and will be hypnotised. This is especially true in the stage hypnotism area, as the audience attending the show, expect to see people on stage perform funny acts, and those that go up onto the stage to be part of the show, expect to be hypnotized. The main problem here is what does the client expect?

It is the hypnotist’s function to place the client in the correct frame of expectation and understanding of what will be happening. Often the client comes with misconceptions that he/she will go into a sleep like state in which they will have no knowledge, or memory of their session under hypnosis.

Read on (click).

The Castle by Phillip Holt, a hypnotic Journey

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My interest in hypnosis started many years ago, and has taken me on a fantastic journey of discovery of the human mind, and has enabled me to help myself and others to change for the better, to do what we are entitled to do, anything. OK, within the law, our culture, religion, our social setting.

I have worked and studied with the best, Ormond McGill, Jerry Valley, Gill Boyne, Paul McKenna, Richard Bandler, Michael Breen. I am eternally indebted to their help and teachings.

As I became a hypnotherapist, a trainer of the NGH (National Guild of Hypnotists), a trainer of NLP, giving and training Stage Hypnosis, I too gained a good reputation, but the one thing that was missing was my voice that participants and clients could take away.

A good friend and colleague Lex McKee (Lex Studios) and I got together in his recording studio and produced the CD The Castle MP3. (Download by clicking here.)

The Castle a hypnotic journey of change by Phillip Holthere or visiting the web site .

The Castle MP3  The Castle a hypnotic journey of change by Phillip Holt

Svengali and The Manchurian Candidate

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In his book of 1894 called Trilby, George du Maurier created a fictional character called Svengali.

Svengali transforms Trilby into a great singer using hypnosis, but she cannot perform without his help in entering a trance state.

The character of Svengali was painted as a person with evil intent, a person who persuaded others to do what he wanted, to be extremely domineering, to be frightened of. This stereotype character has persisted to this day in the minds of the public against stage hypnosis and hypnotists.

The book Trilby has been filmed several times, perhaps most recently in 1983, perpetuating the myth. 

Another film that set up hypnosis’s bad name and idea in the cinema and the public, is the The Manchurian Candidate filmed in 1962 staring Frank Sinatra, and in 2004 with Denzel Washington. This film brought the idea that hypnosis has power into the political arena. Filmed at the height of the Cold War between the East and West,  the film suggested that the victim had been programmed to kill a leading American politician.
This idea that people can be made to do things against their will have been tried by many people, organisations and governments, and all have failed as being too unreliable.

In his book Brainwashing, The Secret History of Mind Control,  Dominic Streatfeild investigates the history of now published papers of the CIA, into the authorised projects of the 1950’s, Bluebird, Artichoke  and the notorious Mkultra. All types of mind control failed, including drugs and especially hypnosis.

Brainwashing is not hypnosis, there are special skills and techniques, especially researched and used by the Communist Russia, from the work of Pavlovian Conditioning (Ivan Pavlov and his dogs).

The Moscow Show Trials (1936 -38), Sergei Mrachovsky, Lev Kamenev, Richard Pickel, Edouard Holtzman and Yuri Paitakov demanded to be found guilty of implausible crimes against Stalin. The USA Dewey Commission found these trials to be “frame-ups”.

Ten years later, a Cardinal Mindszenty was “taken apart” by Soviet interrogators, by what the Daily Mail headlined, “Mindszenty: Drug? Third Degree? Hypnosis?”. In a secret document of 10th February 1949, it was stated that Mindszenty had been probably persuaded to confess by less subtle means. One of his workers Dr. Zakar had been beaten half dead and paraded in front of Minszenty, who had immediately buckled and confessed. The Daily Mail headline was “journalistic embroidery”.

In Korea, on 13 January 1952, USA airforce pilots Enoch and Quinn were shot down over North Korea. On 16 May the two men made extraordinary confessions to Chinese interrogators that they had been deploying biological weapons, including cholera, anthrax typhus and plague over Korea. Nine months later Colonel Schwable also shoot down and captured, made similar confessions, shortly followed by confessions of another thirty-five capture pilots.

There was a problem, no bacteriological weapons were in use in Korea, the confessions were false.

This was Brainwashing.

Not only did the Russians try different techniques to alter peoples minds, but so did other nations, including the CIA, the British Intelligence Services, MI5, MI6, MI9, MI19 and A19,  under Cyril Cunningham, all investigate brainwashing, altering peoples mind.

All dismissed hypnosis as next to useless, unreliable. 

You cannot make someone do something against their will, culture, beliefs, religion unless they want to.

NLP Now – My Journey 3, Stage Hypnosis

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My life in computers continued, moving from one manufacturer to another, NCR, Sperry Univac, to end users, as new ideas were being created, I was often “head hunted” to move and work on them. My mother certainly did not like the number of employments, jobs I had had, she had been brought-up in the days when you had a job for life.

It is now said with todays technology, the way we are creating new systems, strategies, ideas, that if we do not retrain, re-educate, update our knowledge every six months, we will become unemployable. The package of courses I offer redress this issue with Accelerated Learning Skills. See

I moved o the wonderful town of Peterborough, to work for a toy manufacturer Peter Pan Playthings, creating a new computer system to integrate all aspects of the company’s business. It was a good time and a bad time. I lost my daughter Vanessa through divorce, but doors opened for me with many ideas, possibilities, chances, adventures.

After a grueling day in the office I would immerse myself as a Member of Rotary International, or go to The Key Theatre in Peterborough. The Key Theatre is a delightful small theatre offering a variety of stage acts, sitting by the side of the quiet river Nene in a lovely green park, one can switch off, relax.

One day, a Paul Goldin, was doing a one man show, and his poster showed him in a pose of Du Maurier’s character, Svengali a fictional stage hypnotist. I went to see him each night of his five day run.

At the outset I was disgusted, seeing people doing things on stage “against their will”. But, as the nights progress, my inquiring mind wanted to find out more, how did this work, why?

On the last night, I went up on stage to experience the procedure myself.

It was here that I learned that you cannot make anyone do something against their beliefs, culture, religion unless they are willing to.

I need to find out more, but it would be another ten years belore I had the chance.

I am 95

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I am 95 years old.

Yes, that is what age I am.

I love the Turkish people, they are kind, considerate, passionate about their culture, and their state founder Ataturk. I have done a little research on Ataturk which I have added to this blog as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, please add and correct any mistakes I have made.

It seems that the Turkish people love to know each others ages.

In my courses I get people to introduce each other, and they will say:-

This is Murat, he is a teacher, and he is 45 years old.”

Why? I as a foriegner find this very strange, but that is one reason I love travelling to different culture, we are all the same, but different.

So, I am asked my age. It is not in British culture, well not mine, and, well, I do not want to look and feel my age. Deep down I feel 18 years old, OK, 21, after my heart proceedure.

Last week on the 13th of March was my birthday, and the NLPGRup staff gave me a chocolate cake, so now I am 95 years old.

Next year I will be 94,

NLP, PhotoReading, Mind Maps, Hypnosis, Memory, Coaching and Learning English

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NLPNOW for training

My day was taken up by planning course for the future year here in Turkey, so that there will be no clashes with courses in other countries, such as Sri Lanka, India, Italy, UK etc.

Over the last number of years I have been traveling regularly to Turkey amongst other countries to give training to companies, individuals and to public classes in NLP, Hypnosis, Mind Maps, PhotoReading, Memory Techniques, Coaching etc. and enjoying every moment. Why did I waste 35 years working in the computer industry?

It was said once that I could not be good because I do so much. Well I made a strategic decision to go to the founders of any technologies the originators, to learn from them, and get their aurthortity to teach their work.

For a number of years I was an assistant on Richard Bandler’s courses, I watched I learned from the co-founder of NLP, and got his approval as a trainer of the Society of NLP, I worked and learned hypnosis from Paul McKenna and the Dean of Stage Hypnosis, Ormond McGill, I went to Paul Schelle to learn PhotoReading, I went to Tony Buzan to learn Mind Maps, Dr Win Wenger of Image Streaming, Joe McMoneagle of the Stargate project, the man with the biggest memory Gianni Golfera. I have not learned from someone who learns from someone else who learns from someone else. And, I certainly have not plagiarized others work and called it my own by changing a few words but keeping the content and structure exactly the same.

So the question was put, why should our clients come to NLPGrup, why should they get a certificate or license.

I put it to the sales team that perhaps it is like going to buy a car.

You have two outlets next to each other one with the sign Toyota and the other Toy Ota.

The first outlet has brand new cars with warranty, straight from the factory, shinning paintwork, all the extras.

When you look in at the second outlet, you see there is a sign on the from of the car that looks like Toyota, but when you look at the wheels they are from a babies pram, the bodywork is made from a cardboard box that once held a refrigerator, the seats are cushions, and there is no engine but a hole in the floor where your legs fit to propel you along the road.

With NLPGrup they are getting the real Toyota.

The English courses are extremely interesting. A friend and my translator in Italy, Elena Martelli, teaches Italian in Bologna to mature foreign students, when not in class they stay with Italian families, and become totally immersed in the language. Total immersion is the best way to learn a language not two hours a week, I know I have tried and failed.

We have the students 12 hours a day for 9 days, 9am till 9pm, and I sometimes have them for three sessions, 9am, 1:30 pm and 6:30pm, to teach them accelerated learning techniques, relaxation and some NLP.

It is a joy to see and hear the change made in the participants language, although they may not notice themselves.

Perhaps I need the magic switch I use on my Stage Hypnosis to get them to speak Martian.

Have a good day.