George Bien -
World's First
Recipient of the
NGH President's Award
Cover Story

George Bien conducting an hypnosis session

A highly emotionally-charged hypnosis session by George Bien

George - cover story of the American Board of Hypnotherapy

A dynamic hypnosis demonstration by George Bien

George Bien demonstrating hypnotic suggestibility testing

George Bien
featured in Gary Null's Best-Seller!

Gary Null's Encyclopedia of Natural Healing.

George Bien was
featured in Gary Null's
Encyclopedia of Natural Healing with audio excerpts from the radio show that featured the actual testimonials.

Hypnotic suggestibility testing

George Bien
featured in the "Best-Seller"
Just A Breath Away
by Rev. Ed Tabbitas.

George Bien conducting an hypnosis seminar for the Somnambulistic Sleepwalkers

Three needles inserted in hand and subject feels absolutely nothing!!

Needle Anesthesia with Hypnosis

Click here for hypnosis needle video.

Below: A modern medical miracle facilitated by hypnosis.

Lennie and George
Lennie & George

George Bien's hypnosis graduate Lennie (above), was casually sitting on one of those large exercise balls, she slipped back and hit the top of her spinal column in such a way (one shot in a million) that her head was literally disconnected from her spinal cord. If she had moved a fraction of an inch in any direction, her head would have literally disconnected completely!

Read more about this extraordinary event!

Articles by George Bien Your Educational Resource!


Links to Articles

A Whole Lot of Shaking “Goin’ On”—Just Give Them Permission!
Get Over Your Speaking Fears and Attract More Clients than You Can Handle, Even in a Struggling Economy!
Exude Entrancing Charm and Charisma in your Trainings!
Dealing with Troublesome Seminar Attendees!
"You are just fooling people to feel better", he said!
Using the MBIS(TM) Method with the Performing Artist
The Strength of Any Person is in his/her flexibility
"Hypnotherapist" or "Hypnosis Consultant"? The choice is up to you!
Using Music to Enhance Your Hypnotherapy Sessions/Presentations
When Ignorance Becomes Enlightenment!
Effective Uses of Imagery
Use Your Body to Support Your Words!
Creating a Manchurian Candidate: Truth or Fiction?

















A Whole Lot of Shaking "Goin' On"—Just Give Them Permission!
© 20011 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

I recently returned from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and as usual, it was an exciting stay. The seminar attendees were some of the most enthusiastic participants I’ve ever had. One of the programs—a one-day training, entitled, “Hypnosis Mastery”—had over 140 attendees. It was the first day of an 8-day, Hypnosis Certification Program.
So what does all this have to do with my article in this issue of “Unlimited Human”? First of all, trainers can now be less concerned about cross-cultural training, because Western jargon permeates the developed countries. Although people in Kuala Lumpur have great respect for their culture, they are influenced by Western culture, including many of America’s most popular TV shows—“Desperate Housewives”, “The Apprentice”, “Two and a Half Men”, “Dancing with the Stars”, “Iron Chef”. And these people are more aware of U.S. politics than many Americans. The West has truly infiltrated most of the world! And, as trainers, this makes our job so much easier.

Like many trainers, I often begin with having the group do a self-evaluation. Questions like the following help them clarify their precise needs and goals. “What specific skills/abilities do I need to take me where I want to go?” “What internal/external obstacles/hurdles are preventing me from achieving this right now?” “Are there any qualities that I’ve observed in others, that if I had, would enable me to more quickly attain my goal?” “What quality, skill or ability do I already have, that having more of would excite and motivate me, and make my life more compelling?” “What skill, ability or behavior do I need in my life right now that would make me feel more purpose-driven?” “How do I measure disappointment and failure, verses accomplishment, achievement and success?”
Key questions could include: 1. What do I want to feel? 2. What would make me feel that? 3. How can I work toward it?

Buckminster Fuller said, "Everyone is born a genius. Society de-geniuses them."
According to my main hypnosis mentor, Gil Boyne, readiness for change depends on three basic factors:

  1. the creative value of suffering—mental, physical, or emotional/psychic. Simply meaning that when we have suffered enough we can overcome our fear of change.
  2. Overwhelming anxiety triggering either life-affirming (reaching out for help) or life-negating (entering into addictions) activity.
  3. The realization that change is possible by mobilizing and using one‘s own inner power.
    (Our altered perception enables us to overcome a conditioned disbelief in our ability to use our inner power creatively.)

There are at least four levels that we go through in any communication. The first is the content. This is the “what”. “Do I know what to say next?” “Can I easily move from one idea to another?” Second is the process, which is the “how”. It is what the seminar participants pay attention to. Third is the “perception” and “timing”. Fourth, is the ultimate level—the “permission”! This is the level of receptivity. To what level is the person/group receptive? Using this model, your success in communicating is measured on the level of permission you are able to obtain from the person/group.

Plato said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
Personal Power Exercise
Energy = Vibration = Motion

  1. Sit in a chair, close your eyes, and imagine that your body is becoming a component (element) filled with dynamic, vibrant, universal energy, stamina and vigor, that your mind can direct.
  2. Extend your arms and shake them freely and loosely in any direction. You might have to consciously direct the action initially, but you will soon find that the shaking becomes effortless and natural, as though it were sparked and ignited, and occurring by itself naturally.
  3. Allow your mind to relax and let go. Soon it will seem as if it were not just your hands shaking, but YOU yourself shaking inside and out.
  4. Allow yourself to become the shaking. And, when doing so, feel a dynamic energy filling and enveloping you completely. Allow your hands let go and relax, and feel yourself be-coming the energy—feel the vigor and vitality.
  5. Stand up. Close your eyes, and feel yourself enveloped by the energy. As you become the energy, allow your whole body to vibrate with the energy, as though you are a spinning vortex. Do not try to do anything. Simply allow whatever movement that wants to emerge to materialize and come forward. You may twitch, shake, quiver, vibrate, or make delicate and subtle movements. Just allow your unconscious to take control.
  6. When you feel satisfied that you have tapped and experienced the vibration enough, stop, breathe slowly and deeply, and direct this vital energy into the higher aspects of your mind. Imagine your mind/brain radiating and glowing like a ball of luminescent energy. Imagine that vitality flowing through every nerve, every cell, every organ—throughout your entire body, until it saturates and permeates every fiber and crevice—your very being—and you are alive and fully replenished with vital life-energy.

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Get Over Your Speaking Fears and Attract More Clients than You Can Handle, Even in a Struggling Economy!
© 2011 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

A question I’m often asked lately is, “With our struggling economy, how can I attract more clients?” So let’s help you generate that “attraction”.

The best way I found to create a great client base is through visibility, by conducting 1½ or 2-hour, low-cost, hypnosis previews (mini seminars). “Simple”, you might say! Yet, I can’t tell you how many times I hear the following statement, “I get so nervous presenting in front of a group, and can’t seem to get over it.” According to the Virginia Education Association (Roger Seip), more than 75 percent of Americans surveyed report that they suffer from  “glossophobia”, a debilitating fear of public speaking. You would think that a professional hypnotherapist would simply hypnotize him/herself to overcome this issue. I can tell you from experience that it’s often easier to help another person, than to help oneself. But you CAN free yourself from this anxiety! So let me offer some tips to help tone down those nerves.

Trembling lips…sweaty hands…a mouth that is as dry as a bone…if this is how you feel whenever you are on a stage in front of an audience, you are not alone. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s joke is not far from the truth—"Given a choice, at a funeral most of us would rather be lying in the casket than delivering the eulogy." But does it really have to be that way? Absolutely Not! The first thing that you need to convince yourself of, is the fact that you are not the only one in the world suffering from performance fright. Many well-known and renowned orators also started off with butterflies fluttering about in their stomachs, when they first started addressing large audiences. Some of whom include—Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Sanger, and Winston Churchill. The first time Demosthenes, the renowned Greek orator, made a speech in the public assembly, it was a disaster! The famous Roman orator Cicero said, “I turn pale at the outset of a speech and quake in every limb and in my soul.”

Over time, as they found themselves more often in situations where they had to address ever-growing numbers of people in an audience, they overcame all these fears and emerged as dynamic speakers.

Can you be that champion presenter, whom you have set yourself up to emulate? Do you think you could leave audiences spellbound by your words, each time you addressed them? Of course you can! And the following tips will help you shed the performance fright you may currently be experiencing.

Simple, yet very powerful in its implication. Remember that if you are to deliver the goods effectively while addressing a public gathering, with little or no performance anxiety, you must prepare the subject matter well. This is particularly true when you expect the session to be an interactive one, with audiences likely to pose questions. If you find yourself at a loss for words on the theme of your presentation, it is very likely that other forms of stage fright will also emerge, worsening the situation. Therefore, it is imperative that you prepare very well, whenever you are scheduled to make a speech or presentation.

Well Begun is Half Done
Remember to begin your presentation on a high note. If you ooze confidence right at the outset, chances are good that you will maintain that right through and also keep your audience captivated. Beginning on a high note has numerous advantages, as it improves your own self-confidence, as well as augments the confidence that the audience perceives you have. Confidence (not arrogance) is a very attractive quality, which helps you to immediately connect with your audience.

This is an absolutely vital aspect of the entire public speaking and presenting endeavor—you must focus your attention completely on the audience, as well as the subject matter. Digressing too much on to inconsequential matters will fritter away the attention of your audience fairly quickly. The focus that we are talking about here, also holds true for the time you are preparing for your presentation. Distractions will affect the quality of your content adversely. You might even include a factually incorrect statement into your speech. So, make sure that you focus completely on the job at hand.

Eye Contact
It is important that you maintain eye contact with your audience. This will keep it engaged with all that you have to say, and will also give audience members the feeling that you really care for them, and would like them to benefit maximally from your speech.
But what if the audience number is reasonably large, to the extent that you can barely see them, let alone see their eyes? Or what if you are presenting your speech in a very dimly lit room? Obviously, eye contact would be difficult in such settings. Yet, even in such scenarios, it’s important to give the impression of maintaining eye contact with them…look in the direction of their eyes, speak with a feeling that you are speaking directly to their hearts, minds and souls, with their eyes being the windows to all of the aforementioned. You can be rest assured that not only would you have captured the attention of your audience, you would in all probability have left them spellbound, with any signs of stage fright safely tucked away into oblivion.

Keep it Light-Hearted
However technical or complex the subject matter of your speech may be, keep the proceedings light-hearted. An occasional joke or wisecrack (in good taste) will certainly not do anyone any harm, and will in fact boost your own confidence considerably. Also keep in mind the fact that, the more complex the subject matter on which you are speaking, the lesser will be the attention span of your audience, unless you are addressing a very elite group of people who have a very close association with what you are talking about.

Honesty is the Best Policy
Do you believe in what you are presenting? Are you honest? Sincere? Genuine? Unpretentious? Humble? Modest? Down-to-Earth? Unaffected? Natural? I recently worked with two politicians who wanted to appear more genuine in their interviews. My initial questions to them were, “Do you truly believe in your message? Is it truly part of your makeup? Is it truly who you are?

Some More Hints
The more important one thinks the consequences of a performance are, the more performance fright he/she could experience. Think about speaking to a group a people who are listening to music with earphones, about a topic that you don't care about, in a situation that has little or no importance to you. Could you possibly be frightened in that setting? Of course not!
Remember also, that performance fright is an extension of the fight-flight response. It is normal, natural and even helpful, when used positively. It can add tremendous power and impact to what might otherwise be a boring presentation. By definition, nervousness is actually an "excitation of the nervous system." That means it’s excitement! Almost all of the great speakers get this excitation.

More Tips
Questions that you might ask yourself include: What is the worst thing that could happen during my presentation? What is the worst possible consequence if that happened? If the worst happened, how would I handle it? How likely is it that the worst will happen?
In your mind's eye, see the audience smiling. Imagine them panting with excitement to hear you present. Imagine the feeling of your hand stroking the people, as you would a pet. This will help create an non-threatening connection between you and your audience. Just remember, they are NOT dogs, cats or pet canaries!
Keep in mind that audiences generally want you to succeed. If someone is there excitedly waiting for you to mess up, he/she needs some serious psychological help! You can refer them to me. Just kidding!
And if you’re still hesitant about presenting, keep in mind what Thomas Edison said, "If we did all we were capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." You know that the more you do something, the easier it gets. So start astonishing yourself!

Some Exercises that Can Help
Here is one of many exercises I have participants do in my "X-Treme Speaking" Boot Camp. You will need to find someone to do this exercise with you (ask one of your closer friends). If you truly cannot find another person with whom to do the exercise, do it by yourself facing a wall. Find a place where you can shout without getting arrested, or being a nuisance to others. If you are doing it with someone make sure that you explain the exercise to him/her before proceeding or you might end up with an ex-friend. The two of you are to stand, facing each other (if you're alone, face a wall). Set a timer for one minute, and begin shouting at each other (if you're alone, shout at the wall).
Here are the rules:

  1. Shout anything that comes to mind, as loudly as possible (without straining).
  2. Continue looking at the other person's face (or wall, if alone) while shouting.
  3. Use as many hand and facial gestures as possible.
  4. Continue shouting and using hand and facial gestures non-stop for the full minute.
  5. You can use some strong words, but avoid profanity—you have too much class for that.

Some people find this exercise extremely difficult to do at first. Then there are those who say, “But I'm not angry.” Hey, we've all been hurt, rejected, manipulated, insulted, ridiculed (shall I go on?) at some time in our lives. It may be very spiritual to just say, “These are lessons I needed to learn, and I'll just flow with the spiritual waters of the universe.” And this may well be true, but there's an old saying in the field of hypnotherapeutics—“What is not expressed, finds expression!” This exercise not only helps people overcome shyness and bring more emotion into their facial expressions and voices, but also helps non-reactive people purge years of suppressed emotions. And once they get into the spirit of the exercise, people often report that they feel lighter, more liberated and much more positive. In class the exercise usually begins with tremendous shouting and ends with uncontrollable laughter. Now, that's worth experiencing!
Work towards internalizing the given suggestions. Also make sure that you practice speaking in public as often as possible. Start with smaller groups and then move on to bigger ones. Martina Navratilova said, "Just go out there and do what you've got to do." More simply stated by Nike, “Just do it!” You will soon find yourself completely rid of performance fright, and you’ll conduct hypnosis previews that will attract more clients than you can handle.

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Exude Entrancing Charm and Charisma in your Trainings!
© 2009 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

There's a Spanish proverb that says, " Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence." But improving on the silence is more than just opening your mouth and letting your lips, tongue and breath, form words. While presenting has a lot to do with the ability to speak correctly, and refer to the appropriate subject matter and content, it also has a lot to do with exuding a certain charm and charisma, which is truly entrancing, magnetic, compelling, captivating and persuasive. Some presenters stand out from the rest, and command and grasp our attention, while others, even though they seemingly remain correct on all basic dimensions, fail to make that one big impression that would make all the difference—speaking straight to the hearts of the group.

It reminds me of what Nelson Mandela once said, "If you talk to a man in your language, you speak to his mind. But if you talk to him in his language, you speak to his heart." Charismatic speakers always speak to the hearts and captivate the very being of their listeners. They have an intuitively, active pulse and rhythm in their words and inflections, tuned into on what moves their audience, creating and feeding off an entrainment, that enables participants to feel—"he/she is talking to me!" Which goes well with what William Butler Yeats said, "Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

This is particularly true of many self-help and business coaches, as well as spiritual gurus. Keep in mind the fact that these people cannot even hope to progress in their profession, without the aforementioned charisma, charm and magnetism. Their emotionally-charged words have to have the power to sway their audience in the direction in which they would like them to move. As Pearl Strachan said, "Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs."

So, does it imply that these individuals are "con men"? Are they out to fool us? Yes, some of them are. We can also answer, "No", at least not necessarily. Just as there are good and bad apples, there are always the wily and deceptive lot, who are out to fool people and make unscrupulous gains by manipulating their emotions. Yet, there's a lot to learn from both. And I would hope that there are many— and a lot more— good apples, good people, than the bad ones—good people who are genuinely out to help others attain the goals, hopes, desires and dreams, they have sought out for themselves. These people legitimately need the assistance of the above mentioned coaches and gurus, and us, the trainers.

Charisma helps magnify, expand, and bring to the fore, the support that we were talking about. Without this charisma, even the most honest, direct, sincere and genuine of attempts to lend a hand to those in need of assistance, often fail to make the desired impression.
In a business context, you can compare charisma to marketing. Can you equate marketing to cheating? In some cases yes, but in most, probability not. Marketing is simply about highlighting the benefits of various products, and also making sure that there is the much needed visibility and awareness around, and understanding of that product. It is this top-of-the-mind recall that can determine frequent purchases by potential customers, of the product in question. In the same way, a charismatic trainer manages to enthuse, stir up, stimulate and motivate his or her audience to such an extent and frenzy that it simply cannot have enough of him/her. Things get to a stage where the audience equates charismatic presenting with the imagery of the presenter. Attempts are often made to even emulate the person, as he or she manages to attain a levitated state of existence, being and reality, seemingly on a higher pedestal from the norm.

So, if being charismatic can be such a coveted, desirable state of existence, especially for presenters and trainers operating in the field of hypnosis, why is it that only a handful manage to attain this heightened state of charisma in their talks and seminars while the majority somehow fall behind? What is it that these individuals possess?
Number one is Originality. Originality, uniqueness and freshness, are some of the primary characteristics that charismatic speakers and trainers possess. They may have  role models, but do not become carbon copies of them. They have their own unique, intuitive style of speaking and approaching the whole process of addressing public gatherings and seminars. They are the "real deal!" It is this very originality that manages to ingrain and ensconce the personalities of these individuals into the minds of their seminar/workshop participants, deeply. If it weren’t for their originality, they would be just like all other people, and have nothing special for which they would be admired, respected and revered. Therefore, if you are looking to display an image of a charismatic trainer, make sure that you are original in your style and approach. And remember that original does not have to mean weird or bizarre, unless that's the uniqueness for which you're striving.

Next, you need conviction. Charismatic speakers always have conviction, certainty and assurance, and exude unbridled confidence in what they say, and how they go about conducting their presentations and trainings. Their tone of voice and it's inflections, their content and knowledge of the material, their mannerisms, their body language— all evoke conviction, i.e. there is a very strong element of believability and trust in all that they do.

They don’t need to say things like, “You must believe me…”, “I am being honest when I say…” etc., because their audience already believes and connects to what they are saying. Without that conviction, fervor and certainty, they would probably not have that audience in the very first place—people come to hear them speak, simply because they have been pre-tuned to believe and accept that all that they would hear would be true. These presenters are also careful with what you say. They don't profess to know what their group is thinking, and are aware that there are some very sensitive people out there who could easily be offended by a simple "off-the-cuff" comment. So they have created a "real-time" editing ability. As Earl Wilson said, " If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it."
Dynamic presenters focus on their listeners' dissatisfaction with the status quo. They create feelings of dissatisfaction or make the listeners aware of pre-existing feelings of dissatisfaction. They get their listeners to use their imagination, then move and take action. Geothe said, “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”

Next, your body language must be congruent with the works that you speak. Never underestimate your audience, and neither doubt their intelligence. Always remember that every move, every little gesture that you make, is being noticed by them. Hence, make sure that your body language and your speech are in perfect sync. If the twain happen to tell two completely different stories, then it is quite likely that you will not have the charismatic appeal that you so passionately desire.

As important as all the above is, the number "one" rule in presentations is, "Never be boring!" I don't care how informed you are; how well you know your subject; how many facts you've put together; how large your staff is; how magnificent the accommodations are; or how expensive the clothes are that you are wearing. Hmmmmmmm. Nice cufflinks! Are you getting my drift? All that doesn't matter if you come across like someone whom they just "dug up for the event," literally and figuratively.

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Dealing with Troublesome Seminar Attendees!
© 2009 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

I'm often asked the following questions: "Do I ever get hecklers or trouble-makers in my talks or seminars? And if so, how do I handle them?"

I feel blessed that I haven’t had a real trouble-maker or major problem person in my seminars for longer than I can remember. I’ve happily been attracting people of great quality and character. Occasionally, there are a few who really need more therapy than training, but a display of compassion and a little "tough love" usually takes care of any issues. Yet something happened a few years ago at a Conference that was quite the contrary.

I was excited about giving my talk on “Celebrating Opportunity”, yet the equipment problems and a disruptive table in the back of the room were enough to dampen any speaker’s sparkle. The wireless microphone had a popping and buzzing sound, so I had to use a hand-held, wired one, with a short cord no less. To top things off, a table in the back of the room was getting more attention than my speech, due to the loud conversation of one of the attendees. Normally, I would have simply walked up to the table and do my best to win over the talker by engaging in the conversion, but the short mike cable didn’t allow for much mobility. I tried a “dramatic momentary silence”, but that only opened the door for the person’s even louder conversation. In hopes of disarming the talker, I was about to bring the obviously needed attention to the table by acknowledging its “wonderful celebrity”, when a sudden hush took over the room and the attention was back on my talk. It was smooth sailing from that moment on, and I enjoyed delivering the message in a passionate and fun way. I found out the next day that a conference attendee actually walked up to the table (out of my view) and scolded the loud-mouth perpetrator. She said to the loud-talking woman, “We paid to come here and hear George speak. You are a presenter at this conference. You should know better!” Pretty strong words, don’t you agree? There’s no need to tell you who the “attention-seeking-talker” was. I’ll just say this, “She must have needed more attention than she was getting!” How sad.

In this case, I don’t deserve the credit for defusing the disruptive individual. The talker was put in her place by a conference attendee - an even better scenario.
There are basically four types of people that you will have in an audience. The concept of four temperaments is centuries old, and can be traced back over 5,000 years to the traditions of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. Dr. Carl Jung described four behavioral styles-the Intuitor, Thinker, Feeler, and Sensor.

In their book, "The Platinum Rule: Discover the Four Basic Business Personalities and How They Can Lead You to Success", Dr. Tony Alessandra and Dr. Michael J. O'Connor, discuss four basic business personalities, the "Dominant Director", the "Interacting Socializer", the "Steady Relater" and the "Cautious Thinker".
Another popular business model is that of the "Emotive", the "Director", the "Reflective" and the "Supportive". More proof that there's really "nothing new under the sun". Let's use this model for its simplicity.

“Emotives”, as the name implies, are people who are emotionally-driven. They are "people-people", who are usually well-liked and are fun to be around. They don’t like details, and can see the "big picture". They are process-oriented and enjoy interaction. They are extroverts who smile and gesture enthusiastically, and like getting attention.

“Directors” deal specifically with facts. These people are process-oriented, and are very good at separating business from personal relationships. Their gestures are forceful. They take command, and often come across as being aggressive, insistent and pushy. They might say something like, "We'll do it with you, without you, or through you, but we'll get it done"!

“Reflectives” are precise, calculating, exact, methodical and scientific. They do a lot of study and research and are very detail oriented. They often get bogged down with specifics. If they have a weak point, it would be “Analysis-Paralysis.” Their work often defines who they are. Be careful with "Reflectives". If you tactlessly insult their work, it’s like killing their children!

Finally, “Supportives” are light-hearted, well-liked, laid back, and may not speak a lot in seminars, workshops, meetings or gatherings. They are superb listeners, and like to know the ground rules and policies, and take great pleasure in having things spelled out.

As long as your seminar, workshop or talk reaches each of the above personalities, you’ll most likely do a great job. For example, to reach all four of these types in your program, you could say something like, “This is what we are going to cover in the next two hours . . . . . . . . . . I know that it’s important to have the facts, so here are the important points . . . . . . . . . . Now let’s look at the big picture, so I can fine tune each segment in detail . . . . . . . . . . I will then put its usage in your hands with a few exercises . . . . . . . . . . ", etc.

Let me now address problem attendees. As I mentioned above, it’s been years since I had a really challenging situation in a workshop or talk (I was once actually physically attacked by a seminar attendee) but as the old saying goes, “Never say never!” And sure enough, that Conference I mentioned is a reminder that helps keep me on my toes.

First of all, understand that attacks are opportunities to see what heights our development, as speakers/presenters, has reached. The personification of presenting is when we are able to turn the repartee into a win-win situation. When you are doing your welcome and introductory portion of your presentation, consider creating a specific spot (area of the room) for answering questions. This will help you to more easily maintain control if an attack comes. If you are faced with an attack, the first thing is to try to preserve the presentation location. So if you see an attack coming, do your best to move away from the presentation location. A good idea would be to tell your group, in the beginning of your seminar, to raise their hands when they want to ask a question or make a statement. This way you can see the question coming and, if necessary, move away from the presentation location. If the attack happens when you are in the presentation location and you cannot get out of the area, then stay there. Just remember that the negativity was anchored to that location, so when the exchange is over, consider moving to a fresh, new location for the continuation of your delivery.
It’s difficult not to take an attack personally, so do your best to mentally distance yourself, dissociate (go into third person/position), to decrease the intensity of your internal feelings. If you haven’t attained enough flexibility to switch back and forth between the five basic perceptual positions, practice the skill of dissociating ahead of time. When the aggressor is talking do your best to be still and tranquil, look intelligent, and breathe deeply. If the group senses that you, as the presenter, are calm and in control, they are more apt to also be calm and in control. Remember: It’s typically not the content of the attack that is disturbing but the delivery of the attack, and especially the group’s reaction to the delivery. Does the group perceive the attacker as inappropriate and different from them or are they siding with him/her? Your job is to protect the group and yourself. Remember, it's YOUR room!

There are a number of basic things that you can do with the irritants. The “Excessive Talker” is a common one. He/she talks nonstop to you or someone else and ignores what you’re saying while talking with you. Get this kind of person involved a quickly as possible. You can occasionally ask for his/her view about the topic, and quickly move on. Ask for opinion occasionally and never prolong it. You can also cut them off in the interest of time, and suggest that they follow up with you during a break. If all else fails, stop talking and stare at them. As I said above, it's YOUR room!
The “Co-dependent”, is very needy and dependent, does not participate and displays low self-confidence and self-esteem. Do what you can to help open this person up. Occasionally, ask him/her easy questions (which you are certain that they can answer without difficulty). Repeat the questioning every so often to keep them involved.
Then there's the “Egomaniac”, one of the most annoying in any group. This is a wretched, pathetic individual who constantly challenges and contradicts what you are saying and offers opinions that differ from yours every opportunity he/she gets. Call on this dismal individual early in your seminar/workshop. They desperately, and frantically, need the attention. Acknowledge that they made a good point yet make it clear that others may differ. One more time, “It’s YOUR room!!!” If they continue to be disruptive you might need to have them escorted out!

Then you have the arrogant, self-important, “Pretentious Irritant” who arrives late, appears restless and irritated, looks busy, enjoys interruptions and often tunes out. Wow! Don't you wish that these types would just stay home? Tactfully talk to him/her during a break and ask for their help. Do your best to involve this "joker" in a task that requires their help and their follow-up as soon as they come back in the room after lunch, dinner and breaks.
Then there’s the “Unvarying Complainer” or “Grouch” who focuses on the negative, complains repeatedly and habitually, and expresses displeasure about everything. Remain patient and tactful with this nuisance. Take the initiative first. If feasible, recognize, address and handle possible problems such as, room temperature, breaks, lunch, etc., before they get a chance to find them.

And here’s one of my favorites, NOT! Mr./Ms. “Know-It-All”. This person emphasizes his/her position of power, authority and influence, by telling everyone how significant he/she is. “Know-It-Alls” need to have the last word on every matter, and may even confront you. Use care with this pathetic, feeble soul. He/she evidently has extremely low self-esteem, so acknowledge his/her status and position, and express gratitude to them for attending. Find opportunities to ask them to share their opinions and/or experiences.

The above will give you a jump-start on dealing with situations that all speakers/presenters dread, but may experience some time in their careers. I've personally survived some scary moments, and close calls, during my first years of presenting. So according to Friedrich Nietzsche's famous quote, since they didn't kill me, I've certainly become stronger. And so can YOU!

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"You are just fooling people to feel better", he said!
© 2006 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

Here’s an experience that I want to share with you.  About two weeks ago I was conducting a seminar on Stress Management for a company.  During one of the breaks, I was approached by a very well-dressed, articulate man, with an extremely determined look on his face.  He told me that he was a corporate trainer and stated that what I was teaching was not “reality”.  I asked what he meant by that statement.  And he responded, “You know as well as I do that all the people here are really being fooled into feeling better”.  The statement took me aback momentarily.  I was so tempted to say, “I’m sure that you don’t mean ‘all’ the people because you are leaving the two of us out of the scenario”.  “George, hold your tongue”, I thought.   This would have sounded like a “smart alec” response, and I was certainly not about to share my “Blink”.  How do I get myself in these situations anyway?  It’s been said that, “We attract what we project”.  So maybe it’s because I absolutely “love” a good debate.

I’ve mentioned in previous ezines, that when dealing with a perceived verbal attack by someone, I instinctively step into “second person” as quickly as possible.  This enables me to better understand a person’s motive.  Naturally, it’s just my perception of their motive, but it helps soften any of my potential defense mechanisms.  The corporate trainer said, “Fooled”.  By definition “to fool” means to “deceive, trick, or dupe”.  Was I really fooling these people?  And what if I were?  They were learning a lot of useful techniques, feeling good and having fun.  Shouldn’t that be what’s important?  I asked “Mr. Corporate Trainer” whom I’ll call “Joe”, what his specialty was, and not surprisingly he said, “Stress Management”.  Gee, I just love having a learned critic in my class – NOT!   This man did appear to be very articulate, and seemed to have a great deal of knowledge and experience, so I decided to have a good, healthy interaction.

“Joe”, I said, “This is a program in stress management, something in which you are an obvious expert.  What would you say stress actually is?”  Joe said, “Stress in something unresolved.  That’s the professional definition”.  I just loved Joe’s added “stamp of authority”.  It almost seemed a bit condescending.  I answered, “With all due respect Joe, something unresolved can be stressful, but it’s not stress.  According to Dr. Hans Selye, considered by many to have been the world’s leading expert on stress, stress is “response to change”.  And since the only thing that is constant is the “certainty of change”, we’re always experiencing some sort of stress, be it eustress (good stress) or distress (bad stress).  Dr. Selye also said, “The only time we’re not responding to stress is when we are dead”.  I guess that makes sense.  Dying is “a change” but “dead” is “dead”!  Joe began listening.

“I’ve been telling the people in the class that there are two types of people: ‘racehorses’ and ‘turtles’.  If you're a racehorse, please realize that you have to run.  If you're a turtle, make sure to stay out of their way.  Where is the fooling in that?”  I continued, “And Joe, there were some statistics gathered by life insurance companies to help discover the main causes of cardiovascular problems and heart failure.  It was an eye-opener for me when the research showed that 40% percent of people worry about things that never happen; 30% percent worry about things they cannot change; 12% worry needlessly about their health; 10% worry about petty and unimportant things; and only 8% actually worry about real problems.  Joe, you mentioned the word, 'fooling'.  What do you think is causing 92% of people to worry and stress out so much?  They are being 'fooled' by themselves”.

I continued, “The subconscious mind doesn’t differentiate between reality and fantasy.  This is easily seen when someone is terrified while reading a horror novel, or watching a horror film.  I’ve had many a sleepless night because of a movie I watched.

“While on the subject, let’s discuss dreaming a bit.  The main functions of dreaming are learning, memory enhancement and coping with traumatic experiences.  Freud said dreams were wish fulfillments. Jung believed that dreams restored psychic equilibrium.  They made up for the deficiencies we had in our life.  In the Gestalt view dreams showed us in a concise way where we were in relation to ourselves, to society.  Every image in a dream is an alienated part of yourself that you projected on to that image, therefore the goal is to reclaim all those parts and to synthesize them into the whole.

“A nightmare occurs during REM sleep.  And what happens when a person has a nightmare?  They usually ‘freak out’.  Yet, they’re completely safe, but their mind didn’t know that.  It was ‘fooled’!  By the way Joe, only humans, mammals and birds have REM sleep.”

Joe looked at me and said, “You’ve obviously done your homework George, and you seem to be OK with fooling people to make them feel better”.  “Joe”, I answered, “A day represents 24 hours, or 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds.  How much of that time do we actually spend in true reality?  There are always four realities, your reality, my reality, the social reality, which is the fusion of all the you's and me's on the planet, and the reality of the basic nature of the universe.  All realities change, except the basic reality.  The idea of successful living is having a personal reality that is in agreement with the basic nature of the universe.  Have you noticed that when you are on a path, be it spiritual or practical, which is in keeping with universal harmony, life seems to be easier and much more enjoyable?  The 'Law of Belief' tells us that whatever one believes with feeling or emotion becomes their reality.  The 'Law of Expectation' tells us that whatever one expects with confidence becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The 'Law of Attraction' teaches us that we inevitably attract into our lives people and situations in harmony with our dominant thoughts. Hence everything that is in our lives we have attracted because of who and what we are.  Nobody likes to be fooled, but if someone is fooled into believing that they can change their lives for the better and that they deserve more than a humdrum existence, don’t you think that they’d enhance their ability to attract more wonderful things into their lives?  You call it ‘fooling’.  I call it ‘perceptual shifting’.”  Joe and I have since become friends.

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Using the MBIS(TM) Method with the Performing Artist
© 1997 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

Some of you know that I was a fulltime professional musician and taught music at Five Towns College and York College of the City University of New York, before I delved into a fulltime hypnosis career. So this stuff is very close to my heart. The market has never been greater for work in this field. This includes working with actors, dancers, vocalists, instrumentalists, comedians, the list is endless. Virtually everyone in one of these fields eventually falls into a slump, and you as a hypnotist, are there to help. The MBIS ™ Process is actually a hypnotic ritual that I developed about 18 years ago.

Performers have often spoken of “a sense of power,” occurring at the apex of the peak performance experience that transcends their ordinary levels of ability and that seems to come from outside them. They have often described how at moments of peak performance, they felt consumed by the momentum of the performance itself, as though they were acting automatically, their minds and bodies like instruments perfectly tuned to the moment. They describe how the actual performance itself took over, and how they became perfectly and totally synchronized within it.

A well-know British surgeon of the last century, Sir James Paget, once timed a piano performance of a “Presto” (a very fast musical composition) by Mendelssohn. The pianist played 5,995 notes in four minutes and three seconds, or more than 24 notes per second. No that’s pretty fast! But there’s much more. Each note required at least two voluntary movements - lifting and pressing - as well as the side-to-side movements required for change of direction. Dr. Paget estimated that no fewer than 72 distinct actions per second were required. Wow!

Another researcher reported that a five-note trill or tremolo can be played at a rate close to 80 notes per second. He calculated that a musical rendition requiring the playing of 20 to 30 notes per second may involve 400 to 600 separate motor actions. What’s even more extraordinary is that all this can be done while the performer considers the overall expressive musical quality of his/her playing. Are you impressed yet?

Unfortunately, for most performers, “peak performance” is a relatively rare occurrence. Even the best musicians, dancers and actors sometimes fall into what is called “a rut.” Mind/Body Integration Systems ™, or MBIS ™, helps artists create a better representation of their mental processes, hence unleashing a more consistent creative energy flow.

When a performing artist (vocalist, instrumentalist, dancer, actor, etc.) comes to me for help, they’re usually not looking for heavy therapy. They just want to perform better. They want to gain a better sense of focus and be totally in the moment when performing. They want their bodies to respond perfectly. They want to enhance their technique, be more expressive and more creative. Their problem might be buried in their past experiences, and they might benefit from various regression and uncovering techniques, but MBIS ™, is not an overt from of therapy. Its effects however, can be very therapeutic.

When utilizing the MBIS ™ process with an artist, I usually do not mention the word “hypnosis” unless they bring it up. I tell them that I’m going to help them create a closer union between their minds and bodies. I say, “Technique is simply a series of brain-inflected movements - the mind directs and the body obeys. It would be wonderful if these systems worked in perfect harmony and one could complement the other. If you want to increase your technical facility, you have to effectively integrate the two systems. Now I will show you how this process works.” I then instruct them to close their eyes and focus on the feeling of their hands, and ask them to tell me when one hand begins to feel different from the other. I don’t share the following with the performer/client, but anytime anyone focuses on their hands, one hand has to feel different from the other because they are two different hands. At this point I’m just trying to get them to concentrate and develop a little more sensory acuity. When they begin sensing that one had does indeed feel different from the other, they become aware that some process is beginning to take place. The mental expectancy factor has now been created.

When they begin sensing that one hand is indeed feel different than the other, they become aware that some process is beginning to take place. The mental expectancy factor has now been created.

I then asked them to open their eyes and tell them that we are now going to begin the actual mind/body integration. At this point I use a modified version of a finger-spreading hypnotic induction. Without any mention of the word "hypnosis," I say, "I would like you to set up straight in the chair, feet on the floor. Now, take your right hand and holding out about 10 to 12 inches, even with your nose. Look at the middle finger and concentrate on your fingers spreading and jerking and pulling further and further apart. Spinning and jerking and pulling further apart. Further apart, just as though there are little wedges being placed between your fingers. Fingers spreading and jerking and pulling further and further apart." I tell them that they can try to stop the spreading physically, but their minds are so powerful that any physical effort to try to stop the spreading would only cause the fingers to spread even more. I remind them that the power of their own mind is creating this effect and that it's part of the integration process. I then tell them that the power of their imagination will cause their hand to begin to move involuntarily towards their head. I tell them to focus on their breeding and to nod their heads when they feel expand. "With each and every breath that you inhale, your hand has a tendency to move closer and closer toward your head. The magnetic attraction is getting stronger and stronger with each and every breath that you inhale." I progressively expand their experience by utilizing their own spontaneous behaviors, and associating behaviors with the development of their experience. I tie in their ideo sensory responses and ratify each segment of the process. I then tell them that when they ask you to contact (their hand finally touching their head), the initial stage of the integration process has been completed. What I am doing is teaching them to follow directions and helping them become more receptive to suggestions for creative technical and artistic enhancement.

The dynamics of the MBIS ™ process include:

  1. Restricting the client's field of conscious involvement by keeping that part of the mind occupied.
  2. Developing a set of expectations by utilizing an MBIS phenomena.
  3. Reinforcing the set of expectations through an enhancement of that phenomenon.
  4. Setting specific behavioral artistic goals.
  5. Establishing specific and MBIS cues for their elicitation.
  6. Overcoming negative thoughts and feelings.
  7. Redefining who the artist is and how he or she sees him/herself.
  8. Applying specific strategies which lets the full magnitude of their available resources color their performances.

Obviously, this is a form of disguised hypnosis. Whether or not to share that information with them that day is a decision I made near the end of the session. Hypnosis is openly discussed during successive sessions.

In the reported study, actors who used hypnosis and those who did not appeared in character before a group of judges. Judges gave consistently better ratings and higher transformation scores to those who used hypnotic enhancement techniques.
Source: “Hypnotic transformation: Three studies of theatrical role playing.” The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1988, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 249-255. Read the article:

A great example of how hypnosis helped skyrocket an actor's success was the case of Sylvester Stalone, and the success of his blockbuster movie, "Rocky". My hypnosis mentor, the ledgenday Gil Boyne, helped Stalone gain and maintain the confidence to follow-through on selling, and acting in his world-famous movie. Gil also helped Dolly Parton, the Number 1 country singer of all time, famed actress Lily Tomlin, and many other stars.

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The strength of any person is in his/her flexibility.
© 2004 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

I know that in last month's issue, I said that the February ezine would feature "Repressed Memories" and "Past-Life Therapy". There are times however, when things happen that spark a need to be addressed, and to forgo what was planned. Such is the case in this issue. So I will leave the discussion of "Repressed Memories" and "Past-Life Therapy" for a future issue.

I experienced something during the end of January that I feel needs attention for the benefit of all people involved in the Healing Arts - the aspect of "Synergy". I had a heated discussion with an NLP Trainer. Perhaps, it was actually a debate. He claimed that NLP was much more effective than “simple hypnosis” (his words), and said that he used NLP exclusively! “How can you compare Mapping Across with Submodalities to giving basic suggestions to a hypnotized subject?” he asked. “Then there’s the aspect of Anchoring – Chaining and Stacking. And what about the Visual Squash and the Fast Phobia Cure?” he continued. “In typical 18 or more-day NLP trainings, only 2 days are usually devoted to hypnosis. Obviously, NLP is much more important and involved,” he demanded.

I did everything I could to control myself from grabbing this guy by the neck and screeming, "Wake up!" I usually do my best to go into “second person” when discussing (debating) something with someone. What could this person be thinking, feeling, seeing, and what could be his/her motivation, outcome, self-talk? This NLPer was obviously very adamant about his convictions, and didn’t show any signs of flexibility. He must have been suffering from amnesia, because he seemed to have forgotten the NLP Presupposition, “The element in any system with the most flexibility will be the controlling element and have the greatest influence” - the Law of Requisite Variety. He was so rigid that our more than two-hour debate didn't even make a dent in expanding his thinking. He would say things like, "I've seen so many so-called 'trained hypnotists' work who couldn't even utilize effective hypnotic language," and "Give me a person with a problem, and I'll solve it without even knowing what the problem is. What hypnotist could do that?" This guy was so wrapped up in himself, that when I sarcastically said, "I really admire your humility," he answered, "Thank you, I'm not the bragging type." This guy was completely clueless, and didn't realize that "all communication is hypnotic", thererfore hypnosis permeates all the healing modalities! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get him to change his mind, and it's sad that he embarced his limitations displaying perfectly what the Father of American Psychology, Abraham Maslow said: "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail."

I’ve always believed that to do good change work, you need both hypnosis and NLP. After all, it’s common knowledge in the field that NLP is a “synthesis” of modalities that include the brilliant work of master hypnotherapist, Milton Erickson. And the key word here is “synthesis”, a combination of separate elements to form a cohesive whole. So for that matter, why not add EFT, Reiki, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Massage, Shiatsu, Music Therapy, and even Pet Therapy, etc. Synergy or synergism has to do with the phenomenon in which two or more discrete influences or agents acting together create an effect greater than that of the separate effects of the individual agents. You’ve heard the expression, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” For example, if each of two politicians is able to gather one million votes on their own, but together they were able to get 2.7 million votes, their synergy would have produced 700,000 more votes than their individual, independent pull. In the world of busness, a financial benefit that a corporation expects to realize when it merges with or acquires another corporation refers to a corporate synergy.

This also holds true for any therapeutic change work. You can never have enough tools in your pocket. The above NLPer I spoke with is limiting his choices, hence limiting his effectiveness. Why fight over whether NLP is better than hypnosis, or visa versa, or for that matter any of the healing modalities. They complement each other, strengthen the effectiveness of each other, and frankly, help keep you from getting bored.

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"Hypnotherapist" or "Hypnosis Consultant"? The choice is up to you!
© 2006 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

I am often asked about the uses of hypnosis in the corporate sector. So let me tell you what I've experienced. Hypnotherapists who are so attached to the word "hypnotherapist" could find that it may not open too many doors in the corporate arena. There’s been a “buzzword” in the field of hypnosis for a number of years, and that word is “hypnosis consultant”. It might have stemmed from the New Jersey law that required hypnotherapists who were not licensed as mental health practitioners to change their title to “hypno-technician” and/or “consultant in hypnosis”. What term you use depends on the laws in your state, and specifically how you want to want represent yourself. I like terms like “peak performance consultant”, “hypnotic sales consultant” and the above “buzzword”, “hypnosis consultant”. In my experience, many business people are not looking for actual therapy (they often already have personal shrinks), but rather simply want to gain a winning-edge in the careers. This is not to say that they don’t need therapy, but if I approached them as a hypnotherapist, they would have looked elsewhere. The other fringe benefit is that doing hypnotherapy can at times be extremely draining, while hypnotically educating, motivating and programming an individual is often extremely uplifting. Personally, after doing one of these sessions, I feel like I’m ready to take on the world!

Consulting is not a recently-developed profession. It most likely began as a needed support service to tribal chiefs and others of the earliest societies. We can imagine the first primitive human who learned how to sharpen a point on a wooden stick and make an early spear soon being besieged by others to learn how to do the same.

Individuals in all walks of life find a greater than ever difficulty to deal with modern complexities without the help of experts. Companies hire consultants to train their staffs. Executives hire consultants to help with countless tasks, including dealing with the overwhelming issues of stress. Since hypnosis has proven to be the most powerful modality for human change, the need for hypnosis specialists grows daily. I’m presently a hypnosis consultant to three CEOs and numerous executives.

So what does it take to be a good hypnosis consultant?

First and foremost, you must be a good listener. This is a “no-brainer”. When I do a hypnosis session with someone, they’re usually surprised that in my programming I summarize, chronologically and in detail, virtually everything that was uncovered during the session. “You much have an incredible memory George.” “No! I listen!” But I listen in pictures. It actually becomes a movie for me.

This reminds me of a story former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt enjoyed telling. This story demonstrated how little most people listen. He said he tried sitting in his wheelchair at White House receptions and greeting each visitor or pair of visitors with his typically brilliant smile, a warm handshake, and a murmured, "How do you do. I've just murdered my grandmother." Not a single visitor or guest ever turned a hair, because no one really listened. They simply did not hear what he had said. They heard only what they assumed he had said or should have said.

The “hypnosis consultant” pays attention to what people are saying. I mean really pays attention!

The hypnosis consultant is able to analyze signs, indications, and /or symptoms of a problem. I just love it (Not!) when business executives say things like, “I don’t really have much time, so let’s skip all the small-talk and get right to the issue”. “Hey Mr. / Ms. Executive, do you expect me to be a mind-reader?” Or they might say something like, “You don’t need to analyze what I’m doing or not doing. I just need you to motivate me”. “Yeah, let’s ‘Rah Rah’ for the next twenty or so minutes. That’ll do it!” If I say things like that, I always say them in a joking manner, and do my best to turn the discussion into a short informal conversation. This is my opportunity to get a better perspective on what’s really going on in their lives. How they manage and/or juggle family, work, leisure, hobbies (if any), and any possible spiritual affiliations, gives me possible “red flags” that could contribute to their difficulties.

The hypnosis consultant identifies the problem.

Discussing the executive’s priorities and potential set-backs, gives me clearer indicators of what the actual problem is, and what needs to be adjusted, modified and/or changed. I keep asking myself, “What’s the bigger issue here?”

The hypnosis consultant synthesizes a solution or an approach to a solution.

One of the “buzz words” in the business world of problem-solving has been “appreciative inquiry”. This approach emphasizes that problems are often the consequence of our own outlook on a situation. That is, if we look at something as a problem, then it becomes one. Using “Appreciative Inquiry”, we identify our best times about the situation, or similar situation, in the past, thinking about what worked best then, and in our mind’s eye, visioning what we want in the future. We then build from our available resources to work toward our vision. Gee, isn’t that what the “not-so-secret”, “The SECRET” that has millions of people so excited, is all about? Plato said it best when he said, “We become what we contemplate”. This echoes what IACT-IMDHA’s CEO, Robert Otto often says, “We move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts”!

Effective hypnosis consulting also requires one to express an image of expertise, competence and authority. In addition, one should have competence to make effective presentations, in person and in writing. And one should have an ability to interact productively with a client, gaining the client's respect, and creating a relationship of mutual likeability.

I talked about some of the ground-breaking corporate work I was involved in using hypnosis in the July 2006 issue of “The Hypnotic Edge” ezine. This was in the early 1990s.

Today, the opportunities are 100-fold.

Here are some keys:

  1. Assess the image you must project and project that image.
  2. Gauge your prospective clients’ needs, including how they perceive their needs and problems.
  3. Convince the prospective clients that you are exactly what they are looking for.
  4. Make as many prospective clients aware of you and your availability to help them overcome their problems and expand their opportunities.

In keeping with the above, another area that you might consider exploring is that of Focus Groups. Focus Groups are used in many marketing arenas. Product manufacturers use them to help develop and assess new products, or brand extensions. Businesses of all types use focus groups to help them understand and evaluate how satisfied their customers are with the products and services they receive.

“A paradigm is a set of rules that establishes or defines boundaries and tells you how to behave inside the boundaries in order to be successful.”

"A paradigm shift is a change to a new set of rules."

In the study of paradigms, several things will be learned. First, people’s perceptions are influenced by the paradigms within which they operate and people resist change because they are so good at their existing paradigms.

As a hypnosis consultant you are expected to be well equipped to be a “paradigm shifter”.

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Using Music to Enhance Your Hypnotherapy Sessions/Presentations
© 2006 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

The great psychic and healer, Edgar Cayce, stated that "sound" would be "the medicine of the future." In order to see the future, we sometimes have to look to the past. Music, for the ancients, served to create balance, harmony and health, and to alter moods and behavior patterns. Our ancestors knew that everything in the universe is in a state of vibration, and metaphysics teaches us that we are a microcosm of the universe - that we have all energies within us. Every cell in our bodies resonates sound and can respond to any other sounds outside our bodies. Over the years, there has been a continual rise of programs on the market that are going back to the roots, utilizing so-called "primordial sounds," such as heartbeats, water, dolphin clicks and sacred instruments from Tibet and Japan. Also used are the resonances of the electromagnetic vibrational patterns recorded by NASA Voyager I and II space probes as they passed the outer planets of our solar system. When played through loudspeakers, these form haunting three dimensional "soundscapes," resembling our basic primordial sounds. Perhaps there is a basic "Dial Tone of the Universe" in which these sounds play a major role. The ancient Hindus said, "Nada Brahma" - "the fundamental reality is sound."

Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher and teacher, conceived of the universe as a vast musical instrument and advanced the theory that all things - animate and inanimate - were constructed upon harmonic patterns. He further showed that it was possible to translate these patterns into groups of notes called "chords," and that specific sequences of sound can actually accelerate our healing energies. In Don Campbell's book, “Music and Miracles," Dr. Donald Epstein, D.C., reminds us that "the origins of chiropractic are tone and vibratory waves in the body. Listening to the breath and voice as spinal adjustments are made gives us insight into the emerging awareness that the body itself is tone." Yes, sound does vibrate in everything, hence it affects everything. You may use music to help your clients to relax, and create positive affirmation-accepting states. With music playing in the background, you might say to your client, "Take a deep breath and close your eyelids down....allow my voice to take you on a journey of relaxation and I continue speaking, allow yourself to turn further and further inward...taking that special journey of new realities...bringing together your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energies...allow the things that I say to help create the necessary balance within your inner creative mind allows specific changes to take place... simply because you allow these special changes to take place..... changes that bring you closer to that special magnificence that you know you truly are....etc.

For many therapists, music serves simply as background or undercurrent to create a specific mood, on top of which they add their spoken words. "It's good as long as it doesn't get in the way of what is being said," is a common attitude. Pythagoras himself, recognized the considerable therapeutic power of human speech and showed how a well-modulated voice with a pleasant timbre, beautiful words and effective meter, could restore balance to the body and soul. Yet, music and sound as a tool for therapeutic intervention can be as powerful (sometimes even more powerful) than the spoken words. A survey published in "Psychology Today Magazine", found that 96% of the people who responded said that musical passages gave them more thrills and special moments when included with sporting events, scenes from a movie, success in competition, parades, or a variety of other activities, including "sex." Hmmmmmmm.

It's important to realize that we hear not just with the ears, but with the whole body. Everyone has a specific harmonic that is his/her own personal vibratory rate. Every cell within us is a sound resonator. Primitive drum rhythms have been known to create hypnotic effects. It is claimed that participants in various ceremonial rituals are unified with a pulsing of endless sounds, sensing that the very atoms in their-bodies vibrate perfectly with the drums. Rhythm can stimulate our basic primal energies and drumming can be used to increase blood flow throughout the body. Rhythms can quicken or slow the heartbeat and all organs associated with it. We all have specific natural rhythms. In India the human pulse beat is called the "Drum of Shiva," and certain Yogic exercises are used to change the rhythm of the pulse in order to change bodily functions. It's been shown that our bodies can discriminate between beneficial and harmful sounds. If the rhythms of our surroundings are unnatural and we're exposed to them for long periods of time, there is a possibility of muscle weakness, learning disabilities, fatigue, etc.

Helen Bonny, the founder of a music-centered psychotherapeutic process she calls "guided imagery and music" (GIM), and co-author of "Music & Your Mind", states that music is among the safest and most effective door-openers of the psyche. "GIM" involves listening to music in a relaxed state to elicit imagery, symbols, and/or feelings for the purposes of creativity, therapeutic intervention, self understanding, and spiritual experiences.

Music is finding its way into numerous hospitals and clinics as an aid in healing. It is in the offices of many therapists as an adjunct to their change-work. More and more composers are exploring rhythms and sounds that induce relaxation, euphoria and other high-level conscious states. It is a gift to us - to hear, to feel, to create, to use.

Dr. Jean Houston said, "I think music actually raises the very molecular structure of body and brain bringing to these, larger dimensions. With music you gain coherence or bridging of one reality with another... I think there are chords that create a re-balancing or extension of the mind. With the advancement of this acoustical science, there will be an extraordinary new use put to musical sounds harvested from the many fields of world music.... I think that in the future sound will be used for its evocative potential. It will serve to call forth health, feelings, ideas, as well as other potentials and levels of the self that usually remain dormant." Now that's powerful!

If you are not already doing so, begin adding music to your hypnotherapy sessions and/or presentations. For relaxation, make sure that it's within the range of 60 MM (60 beats per minute as measured by a metronome, which is a device used to mark time by means of regularly recurring ticks or flashes at adjustable intervals. It was invented by Johann Nepomuk Maelzel in 1816).

For motivational purposes you would probably want to push that speed up to about 160 MM.

Here's a good, relevant article by Stephanie Davies, "Selecting Music for Healing and Wellness.

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When Ignorance Becomes Enlightenment
© 2006 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

I didn't expect to have a debate right after Halloween, but I'm always open to an interaction, even when it's with a person of staunch rigidity!

It’s been said that Halloween originated as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain. Immigrants brought it to North America in the 19th Century.

To this day in much of the Western World, children dress up as ghosts, ghouls, witches, warlocks, vampires, goblins, and more. Why would I bring this up? Well, I do have my reasons, and for some of you, the following might be a bit controversial. It is, however, important that you have a good argument for the use of hypnosis if it's ever attacked by uninformed religious zealots.

Some of you may know that I’m a student of world religions, and I do my best to understand, explore and experience their teachings. During my many trips abroad, I’ve had the privilege and honor of visiting numerous Churches, Mosques, Hindu Temples, Buddhist Temples, etc. And I’ve met so many open-minded people who were actually intrigued by hypnosis and its uses. Well, just the other day I had a debate with a Deacon from a Baptist Church in New York, about the integrity of hypnosis. He claimed that hypnosis was anti-Christian, and the work of the Devil. I said that it was not anti-any religion, not the work of the Devil, and in fact could actually help enhance a person’s connectivity with a Divine Presence. It was all about a person’s “intention”. The Deacon vehemently denied this possibility. Below are a few highlights from what I had said in defense of hypnosis:

. . . . . Deacon, in no way do I mean to be insulting. You are a man of conviction, and I have great respect for you. I asked you what your children did on Halloween, and you said that you took them “Trick-or-Treating”. You then told me that they dressed up in Halloween costumes, one dressed as a ghost, the other a witch. Is not dressing up as a ghost making a mockery of the dead? And let me ask you sir, doesn’t Exodus 22:18 in the Bible say, “Thou shall not suffer a witch to live?” The New International Version translates that verse as, “Do not allow a sorceress to live.”

You say that I shouldn’t speak this way of your children because their intention was not to make a mockery of the dead, nor to be an actual witch. Their intention was to simply enjoy a tradition. Deacon, your children are precious and I know that God smiles on them daily, and I’m certain that He smiled on them during Halloween. And sir, you said the magic word, if I may use the word “magic”. And that word is “intention”.

Deacon, please understand that hypnosis, in no way, contradicts Christian teachings. There is so much misunderstanding about it. Some unscrupulous hypnosis stage shows and old Bela Lugosi-type movies gave, what is an incredible healing modality, a bad name. Yet, the hypnotic state is as natural a state as that time frame just before you go to sleep when you are aware of what is going on, but feel so relaxed and comfortable. Brain wave activity is exactly the same. And it, like anything else, is governed by “intention.”

You are never under the control of a hypnotist. Hypnosis is a catalyst, a facilitator. It helps intensify a process. Hence, if your intention is to be a better person, it will help intensify that intention. If your intention is to get closer to God, it will help intensify that intention. The control is always with God. Even the Roman Catholic Church issued statements approving the use of hypnosis. In 1847, a decree from the Sacred Congregation of The Holy Office stated, "Having removed all misconceptions, foretelling of the future, explicit or implicit invocation of the devil, the use of hypnosis is indeed merely an act of making use of physical media that are otherwise licit and hence it is not morally forbidden provided it does not tend toward an illicit end or toward anything depraved." Here again, you can see that it’s about the “intention.”

Also, the Book "Alternative Medicine, the Christian Handbook," by Donald O'Mathuna, Ph.D., and Walt Larimore, M.D., is considered medically reliable and Biblically sound, and is endorsed by the Christian Medical Association. Quote from the book, "Most Christians will acknowledge that they have less control than they wish over some areas of their lives - habits, addiction, fears, sins - and are seeking to enhance control. Hypnosis is a way to help Christians develop self-control." Galations 5:23 says, "gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (NIV)

Deacon, if we look at church history, we see that it's filled with numerous atrocities. Even during the birth of this country, Christians conquered all of the Americas and the Pacific Islands in the name of Christianity, and killed and enslaved the natives that did not conform. Does one then say that the church, itself, is bad. Of course not! It's the people who make up a church - a denomination, or a religion, that make it good or bad. The world today is filled with televangelists and "super-pastors" who are using the Word of God for their own financial gain, with little regard for the souls of their listeners. I’m not making a judgment on Super Pastor Benny Hinn, but if you watch him perform, he uses many of the dynamics that a stage hypnotist uses. There was an article about Benny entitled: “Benny Hinn,” Healer or Hypnotist? . . . . .

. . . . . Again, it's about intention. If one's soul is dark, so is one's intention. If the soul is pure and submissive to God, so is the intention.

The Apostal Paul speaks of going into a trance while praying in the Temple (Acts 22:17) - “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance.” (NIV)

Jesus called the Pharisees “hypocrites,” yet look at the continued hypocrisy among some of today’s Christians. Don't some of them say, "Harry Potter is evil. It’s magic and sorcery.” Yet, these same people will go to a birthday party or a county fair and watch magicians. Gee, weren’t the Magi magicians?

Arthur Shapiro has said, "One man's religion is another man's superstition, and one man's magic is another man's science." Of course hypnosis can be dangerous if used for evil purposes, but so can a car, a knife, or even oxygen and religion for that matter.

There are many wonderful Christians, and people of all faiths, who are using hypnotherapy/hypnosis for the good of humankind. It is only a tool, and a very effective one. The list of therapeutic uses for hypnosis includes: weight loss and other eating disorders, nail biting, bed wetting, smoking, chewing tobacco, anger management, pain management, sexual disorders, ability to focus and ADD, obsessive-compulsive disorders, most phobias, stage fright, and on and on.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (KJV) Until there is an image in the mind there can be no reality. All great inventions began with a thought in the mind. The inventor was able to visualize or image the invention before he could bring it to reality. The same is true of great music, great writing and great living. Hypnosis helps intensity a vision . . . . .

The debate lasted almost 3 hours. I’m happy to announce that the Deacon enrolled in both my NLP and Hypnosis Certification Seminars.

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Effective Uses of Imagery
© 1996 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to

I cannot overstate the importance of training your clients to better utilize imagery, especially if you're focusing on sports hypnosis. Although my primary focus is sports in this issue, the techniques can be adapted to virtually any client. Like the question above from Lawrence, I often hear the following questions from participants in my seminars: How can I get my clients involved in imagery itself? What do I do with clients who say that they can’t visualize?

The brain and nervous system deal in mental images. It was Aristotle who said, “The soul . . . never thinks without a picture.” Since we all dream, and in dreams the predominant sense modality is visual, we all are capable and do, in fact, experience visual imagery. It is rare to find a person without this ability. However, as we grow older and rely less and less on fantasy, this ability begins to dissipate. Many people end up having a very limited ability in the visual mode and, hence, feel that they are unable to image.

It should be pointed out to these people that imagery involves all of the sense modalities, and an athlete, who perhaps has trouble seeing an image, may feel it very strongly. The more senses you involve, the greater the impact of the imagery. It is important, however, to understand that the success of imagery procedures is determined not only by the ability to form vivid images but also by the ability to control these images. If the individual can produce vivid images but is unable to control them, he/she cannot fully utilize their effectiveness.

I use the following four basic steps when using visualization and guided imagery exercises with a client:

  1. Hypnotic relaxation exercises, since a relaxed mind can produce clearer images;
  2. Imagining exercises, letting the images come to the client rather than forcing them to appear;
  3. Focusing exercises to help the client sharpen his/her inner vision and awareness and to control these images. These exercises become mental visual ''workouts'' that tune up the mind, clear up inner vision, and help the clients gain mastery and control over their inner images;
  4. Body/Sensory awareness exercises, suggestions that the clients see, hear, smell, touch/feel and taste their images. Basically, the client uses all five sense modalities.

If a client claims that he/she doesn't see anything, I explain that there are basically three types of imagery: Visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Taste and smell relate to kinesthetic processing of information. I then lead clients through the following exercise: I have them close their eyes and listen as I say certain words. I tell them to notice if they actually see the picture in their mind's eye; hear a sound or sounds associated with the words; feel the words in their body; smell or taste the words; or think about the words but do not actually see, hear, feel or smell them. You can use almost any descriptive words like ''sky, lion, egg, staircase, snow, classical music, lemon, car, walking," etc. After this part of the exercise, I have the client utilize a multi-sensory experience of each word. For example: If I were to say the word ''lemon,'' I would continue saying something like this: ''Imagine a lemon in front of you. Picture the color and texture. Now imagine holding the lemon in your hand and feeling the texture. What does it feel like? Imagine cutting the lemon with a knife and squeezing it. What does it sound like as you imagine cutting the lemon and then squeezing it? Can you smell the juice inside that lemon as you're cutting and squeezing it? What does it smell like? What does it feel like? Are there any other sounds? Is anyone watching you? Now imagine the juice flowing out of the lemon. What does it look like? Can you feel it dripping? Is it making any sound? Can you almost taste that juice? Imagine sucking on that juicy, bitter, yellow lemon. How does it taste?'' Once you have introduced your subject to multi-sensory experiencing, the process becomes more natural for them whenever they work with visualization and guided imagery.

Other good experiences to work with are to have your subjects imagine someone scratching a blackboard with a long fingernail. Just the thought of that creates responses in me immediately. Or have them imagine that they are standing on the roof of a forty story building, leaning over a rail watching cars and people below, and someone comes up from behind and gives them a gentle shove. Ask them what they are sensing. This may seem a little drastic, but it does create some dramatic results with someone who does not seem to experience the basic suggestions.

Although imagining ability is probably universal, some athletes still claim that they lack this ability. With these clients I use a simple yet effective procedure that I learned from Errol R. Kom. The client is directed to imagine that the therapist is a window washer contracting to clean the windows of the person's residence. In order to quote a price, the window washer must know how many windows are involved. The client is asked to furnish this information. In response to this request, the client's eyes will usually turn to the side opposite the non-dominate hemisphere, which may indicate stimulation of the non-dominate hemisphere, and if the client is questioned at this point, he/she will reveal that he/she was actually counting the windows. How can one count the windows without visualizing them, even if the image is not clear and tends to be a mind's eye image? Another effective method of demonstrating to clients that they are capable of producing imagery is one I learned from Shoor. He stated, ''When people tell me they never see images, I ask them to imagine sexual scenes ... So far, this has resulted in no failures.'' Thanks to Dr. Shoor, I too, have had 100 percent results.

King Solomon, the richest person who every lived, said, "Without a vision, the people perish". Alexander the Great had a vision to conquer the world. He ruled all of Asia. Thomas Edison had a vision for the light bulb. He invented that and so much more. Walt Disney had a vision for a massive theme park. This was realized in Disneyland. John F. Kennedy had a vision for a space program. Astronauts landed on the moon. Martin Luther King had a vision for a land where all people could be free. America thrives on its freedom. In our profession, Gil Boyne had a vision for creating the profession of hypnotherapy. It has become an independent profession, listed in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. All these visions became realities. Obviously, it would behoove us to have clear visions of what we stive for, by imaging more effectively, so let me continue . . . . .

I tell clients that, although not all people can become phenomenal imagers, we all have an innate potential for imagery ability. It is not unlike an ability to draw or communicate, but not everyone can become a Picasso or a Winston Churchill. As with anything else, the proven ingredient in improving Imagery is practice.

On the other hand, neglect will eventually lead to an inability to create mental images. In his book, Visualization: The Uses of Imagery in the Health Professions, Korn states: "Any system of ability that is not nurtured tends to atrophy. When we do not utilize the birthright of imagery experience, we eventually 'forget' the experience entirely."

Methods for improving vividness in imagery should include relaxed concentration, multi-modal sensory training and practice in deliberate, determined imagery. Relaxation should become common to everyone who utilizes hypnosis, and the ability to concentrate can be increased by various yoga exercises. Samuels and Samuels offer the following suggestions to help develop powers of concentration and suggest that regular practice will enable a person to hold an image for longer periods of time:

  1. Have the person concentrate on a small object, and every time a different thought comes into mind, have him/her push that thought aside and return to the object.
  2. Have the person count breaths and think only of the count, and if any other thoughts come in, have the person cut them off as quickly as possible before they get a chance to unfold. Or simply allow the undesired thoughts to pass though unheeded, just as though they belonged to someone else.

I cannot overstate that imagery training should always be multi-sensory (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Gustatory, and Olfactory - VAKGO). Have the subject make an attempt to actually experience the object. The greatest effect is created when vividness is achieved in all the sense modalities. If, for example, the object to be imaged is an airplane, rather than simply focusing on the visual aspects, have the subject focus on the sound of the plane, the feeling of the seat belt, the smell of the cabin, the taste in the mouth, the feeling of the lift-off, including the increased heart rate, feelings of anxiety or exhilaration, etc.

Here's another wonderful exercise that I learned from Samuels and Samuels. With their eyes closed, have the subjects image a two-dimensional object, such as a geometrical shape. Then have them repeat this process with a three-dimensional object. Next, have them visualize their childhood room, after which they are to imagine that they are doing several things in it, such as picking up items, switching the lights on and off, etc. Then have them visualize a person. Lastly, they imagine themselves as if they are looking in a mirror.

A wonderful technique that was created by Lazarus is the "blackboard technique". Have the subject image a blackboard, writing the letter "A" on it, followed by the letter "B", then "C", and so forth. The subject is to try to retain a clear image of all the letters on the board throughout the entire process, until the reach the letter "Z". Try it, it's not easy!

Still another technique is to have the client/subject close his/her eyes and imagine a dim light bulb suspended in front of him/her. While focusing on the light, the subject is to attempt to make the light get brighter and brighter until it illuminates everything, then dimmer and dimmer, followed again by brighter and brighter, etc.

One of my favorite techniques was developed by McKim. Have a person close his/her eyes and visualize a wooden cube whose sides are painted red. Then image two parallel vertical cuts through the cube, dividing it into thirds, and two more vertical cuts perpendicular to the first ones, dividing it into ninths. Next, have the person visualize two parallel, horizontal cuts through the cube, dividing it into twenty-seven cubes. Then have the person try to imagine how many cubes are red on three sides, on two sides, on one side, and how many cubes are unpainted on all sides. I don't know about you, but just thinking about this puts me into hypnosis.

Obviously, the hypnotic process will enhance any of these techniques, and often the techniques themselves will create the hypnosis since imaginative involvement is a primary ingredient.

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Use Your Body to Support Your Words!
© 2010 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include George Bien's full name and link to

In this article, we remind you about the absolute importance of syncing your body language and movements, with your speech.

A lot of people simply fail to understand and appreciate the fact that when they speak, their audience is not only listening to them intently (assuming of course that the speakers are captivating enough to command such attention!), but is in fact making a note of each and every move that they make.

Does it require a scientific background and theoretical knowledge of body language and its nuances? No, it does not. Over time, most of us develop the uncanny knack of gauging what the other person is really trying to say or imply, simply from the body language that the person in question is conveying. It does not require deep or intense understanding of the principle of body language. That said, it would do you as a public speaker, a great deal of good, if you did know about the finer nuances of body language. Just as body language can be gauged by the audience, it can also be manipulated by the speaker. Do not assume that we are alluring towards faking or cheating the audience. Instead, what we are hinting at, is to understand the finer gradations of body language so that you can use it appropriately and effectively towards making maximum impact with your audience.

Make A Note Of Mannerisms That You May Have
When it comes to body language, a lot of us are not even aware of the signals that we give out, or the gesticulations that we make. This is particularly relevant to some of us who have been noted to have some peculiar and rather queer mechanisms. For instance, a lot of people have the rather annoying habit of twiddling with their pens while speaking. Some might constantly play with their hair, while others repeatedly take their glasses on and off.

So are these mannerisms best avoided altogether? Well, not necessarily. If your speech has the intense riveting power that you think (or hope!) it really does, there is every chance that your audience might not even notice these oddities that you sub-consciously allow yourself to indulge in. At the same time, while reminding ourselves of the rather short span of attention that most individuals in contemporary times seem to have, you can be assured that these mannerisms of yours serve as catalysts for the audience’s distraction. For instance, if your speech is getting way too long and the audience is actually getting bored, then there is every chance that it would be on the lookout for faults in your speech delivery; towards this end, your queer mechanisms end up getting noticed and you might just end up being labeled as a poor public speaker.

Hand Movements Can Actually Work Towards Your Advantage
Hand movements, while speaking are invariably involuntary and often out of our complete control. They just come naturally to us and we simply cannot do anything about them. Do not consider hand movements to be something negative; instead capitalize on these movements to sway your audience the way you would like it to.

Take the case of making a presentation to an audience whereby you have a PowerPoint file running in the background, being projected through an overhead projector. Fundamental principles of such presentations demand that you do not specifically read out from them, and instead have all the aspects that you need to speak about, clear in your mind. In such a scenario, as you move from one slide to another, it is perfectly alright to gesticulate towards the screen regarding a particular point that you are talking about. The audience only becomes that much certain that you are very well familiar with the PowerPoint file that you have prepared, and therefore, even without looking towards it, you know when there is what – corresponding to the information that you are verbally presenting.

That said, it is advisable not to make too many hand gestures. As one moves through the corporate ranks, a commonly witnessed observation is that words alone are pretty much sufficient. And this holds true for a lot of professions and situations. Take the case of banging the fist against the podium that you are speaking on, to denote emphasis and definitiveness. While in some cases that might warrant justification on the grounds that you are very firm on the subject that you are speaking about, in a lot of cases that is truly unnecessary and uncalled for. Your words alone would be sufficient to convey the stress on the particular point in question, that you are trying to get across to the audience. Remember that the more professional (and less emotional) the setting, the more should be your attempt to avoid making too many gestures and hand movements.

This point will be amply clear to you with an example. Take the case of Hitler, who all said and done, was a highly effective public speaker, however wrong his ends were. He often gesticulated heavily, simply because his speeches were full of emotions, where he expected the German public to sway in the directions he wanted them to. Through his speeches, Hitler fervently called out to the common German people to idolize with his convoluted ideology. Now, in such a scenario, his intense hand movements and body language were completely justified, considering the ends he was hoping to achieve.

On the other hand, when you are in a corporate setting, your speeches are (at least ideally) not driven by emotions. Therefore, your stance is expected to be very matter-of-fact, and your gait is expected to be staid and calm. Too many hand and body movements will only go against you, and also possibly tarnish the image of the company that you represent.

In summation, you can clearly see how hand movements and body gestures can affect (both positively or negatively) the impact of your speech, while speaking in public.

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Creating a Manchurian Candidate: Fact or Fiction?
© 2012 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include George Bien's full name and link to

This may well be the most controversial article I have written for Unlimited Human Magazine. However, as professionals, we should not “tip-toe” around controversy.

My wife Elena and I recently interviewed 24 of the top hypnotherapists in the world. My only regret is that, between time constrictions and scheduling issues, we were unable to interview more of the “Giants” in the field. We will be interviewing another 10 or so in New York in the near future. All this for a documentary film on hypnosis, scheduled for release some time in 2013. From what I heard, a number of the interviewees felt that some of the questions were a bit provocative. Perhaps they felt that hypnosis should only be shown in a positive light, as some of the questions were a bit controversial, and involved certain fears or myths about this modality. Hey, one has to make an interviewee think, and this was an opportunity to allay, or at least clarify, some of these concerns. Here is one of them:

“Concerning Sirhan Sirhan, and the Robert F. Kennedy assassination—although, no credible evidence has ever been discovered that would indicate Sirhan’s actions were the product of a hypnotized mind, there are people who believe that there were questions left unanswered. In fact, RFK assassination conspiracy writers are actually supported by two hypnosis experts, Dr. Milton Kline and Dr. Herbert Spiegal. Both agreed that Sirhan was hypnotized. Dr. Kline said, ‘hypno-programming assassins cannot be done consistently, but it CAN be done.’ Dr. Spiegal believed, ‘It is by no means simple, but under the right circumstances it is definitely attainable…….Sirhan, being an outstanding hypnotic subject, was probably programmed through hypnosis to shoot Senator Kennedy and to experience a genuine amnesia of the shooting.’ What is your take on this?” From the expressions on the faces of some of the interviewees, I could tell that they were “caught off guard” by this question.

The interviewees were told that, if they felt uncomfortable with a question, we would simply move on to the next one, and a few displayed an obvious discomfort, and asked that we move on. The answers that we did get indicated that the interviewees felt it was possible only if Sirhan Sirhan already had an innate, inherent capacity to perform such a heinous act. I agree completely. However, let us delve a bit into just how much a person can be influenced. In addition, can in fact, a “Manchurian Candidate” be created, and to what degree?

Some years ago, I was asked for my personal definition of hypnosis, and I came up with this one: “Hypnosis is an escape mechanism, caused by focus or distraction, interest or boredom, joy or sadness. It is this escape into inner self that can create power or debility.” Let’s see to what degree we can capitalize on this.

Let me ask you a question. Would you be willing to walk naked in the streets of New York City, during “rush hour”? Probably not! But, let’s “up the ante”! What if you were offered $1,000? Still, no? How about $10,000? $100,000? What if it meant the life of a loved one? For many people, each offer would probably bring them closer to a willingness of performing that “au natural” display, wouldn’t it? If the “stakes” are high enough, there are very few things people wouldn’t do. Some years ago, my wife and I were watching “Medium”, a popular TV show that ran from 2005 - 2011, about a woman, Alison Dubois (an actual person), who attempts to solve mysteries using her special gift—the dead send her visions of their deaths or other crimes while she sleeps. The show usually begins with one of these dreams, and the dream in this show was about a motivational speaker, so you know that it caught my attention. The speaker was offering money to audience members for their willingness to “make good” on his requests. He would say things like, “$50 to the first person who will show me an American Express Card!” And he would give the money to the first person who responded. “$100 to the first person who gives me $2 in quarters!” he yelled. He kept “upping” the stakes! He then looks at a woman in the audience, and says, “$10,000 if you take off all your clothes!” She says, “No way!” So, he continues to “up the ante”, “$50,000!” She still doesn’t do it! “$100,000, in cash, and you know I’m good for the money!” he yells. At this point, her husband says to her, “Honey, we really need the money!” Yet, she still says, “No!” The speaker then screams out, “One million dollars in cash!” At which point her husband jumps on her and begins ripping off her clothes, and screams, “$1,000 to anyone who helps me!” This got me thinking about six interesting words, “What are you willing to do?”, if the stakes are high enough? For some people it’s money. For others, it’s safety and security. Then, there are some people would do almost anything for “fame”.

There is a show on “Crackle TV” called, “Who Wants to be on a Reality Show”? It highlights some of the most ridiculous, humiliating, and degrading behavior some people will engage in for their 15-minutes of fame. And this degrading behavior is for the world to see, and will haunt them for years! Now, you might be thinking that these people would probably do the same thing after a few drinks. Well, maybe. Then again, maybe not! And there are those people who would “pull all the stops” for an “ideal”—family, “love of country”, etc., and truly, put their very lives on the line!

So, here is our first premise: People will do things, often way out of their comfort zones, if the stakes are high enough.
Clinical psychologist, the late Margaret Singer (not to be confused with birth control activist, Margaret Sanger), conducted extensive research on indoctrination and coercive persuasion. She was one of the world's leading authorities on cults and brainwashing, and served as an expert witness in numerous high-profile court cases. Drs. Margaret Singer and Janja Lalich, wrote, “Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives” (Jossey-Bass, 2003). In it, they list six pre-conditions for “Thought Reform”. Let me paraphrase them below:

  1. Keep the person oblivious to what is going on and how attempts to psychologically condition him or her are directed in a systematic manner.
  2. Control the person's social and/or physical environment, especially their time.
  3. Methodically create a sense of powerlessness and ineffectiveness in the individual.
  4. Deploy a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences in such a way as to inhibit behavior that reflects the person's former social identity.
  5. Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences in order to promote learning your ideology or belief system and approved behaviors.
  6. Suggest a closed system of reasoning and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback and refuses to be modified except by your approval or executive order.

In his book, "Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes" (Vintage Books, 1973), Jacques Ellul maintains that the "principal aims of these psychological methods is to destroy a man's habitual patterns, space, hours, the totality of one's surroundings, and so on." He also says that “…techniques have advanced so much faster than the reasoning capacity of the average man that to close this gap and shape this man intellectually outside the framework of propaganda is almost impossible." Ellul further states, "...the educated man shrugs and is convinced that propaganda has no effect on him. This is, in fact, one of his great weaknesses, and propagandists are well aware that in order to reach someone, one must first convince him that propaganda is ineffectual and not very clever. Because he is convinced of his own superiority, the intellectual is much more vulnerable than anybody else to this maneuver."

Aristotle said, “All communication must lead to change”. Governments, politicians, charismatic leaders, etc., are known for their clandestine methods of influence. They must believe that we are just not smart enough to weigh the situations for ourselves, so we should let them make the important decisions for us. In a world where so many people spend more time watching “Jersey Shore”, the “Kardashians”, or “Real Housewives of New York City”, than running their own lives, perhaps these so-called “leaders and elites”, are right. Which also extends to the feature of controlling the social environment and temporal aspects of an individual. This, in turn, can create a sense of “powerlessness and ineffectiveness”, and help strip an often “clueless” individual of his/her individuality—people will do almost anything to belong. Being rewarded for specific behavior that enhances the very foundation of the manipulator, with little or no allowable feedback, often finalizes the desired outcome.

While, we are all influenced and persuaded daily in many ways, our vulnerability to influence varies. We are more defenseless when we are rushed, anxious, worried, uncertain, isolated, lonely, desolate, apathetic, lethargic, unaware, preoccupied, or tired. On the other hand, a person with a sense of precision and assurance about his own philosophies and ethics, with a feeling of being rooted in meaningful relationships with others, and with a sense of having a mission in life that gives him support is less likely to be predisposed. The status and power of the persuader can affect one’s vulnerability. Further, certain people and groups—often called, "compliance experts"— high pressure salespeople, con artists, promoters, fund raisers, and other people who have become skillful and clever at employing fundamental psychological principles that underlie the influence process—can also bypass the filters of an individual.
Social psychologist, Dr. Robert Cialdini, in his book, “Influence, Science and Practice” (Pearson Education, 2009), argues that mind control is possible through the covert exploitation of the unconscious rules that underlie and facilitate healthy human social interactions. He states that common social rules can be used to prey upon the unwary, and cites six principles— reciprocity, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. If you have not examined his book, I urge you to do so.

Now, let us get back to the question that started this discussion—Can we create a Manchurian Candidate? One would think that a “true” Manchurian Candidate would honestly have no memory of anything one of his “alter egos” has done when interrogated in court or put under a lie detector. We know that a pathological liar can often beat a “lie detector” test. In addition, a well-trained person who has learned to control his/her mind and heart rate can also beat it. It would be naïve of us not to consider that the Military has experimented with training to beat any method of obtaining information.

There are methods of interrogation that are taught by “SERE”— a U.S. military training program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape), that many people say are essentially methods of torture and are illegal under the Geneva Convention. Based on the “Kubark Counter-Intelligence Interrogation Manual (July 1963), released by the Freedom of Information Act, under the title, “The CIA Document of Human Manipulation: Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual “(CreateSpace, December 27, 2008)—a thorough description of how the CIA recommends interrogating a subject. Just think about what some, or a combination, of “all” of these techniques can do to the mind/body of an individual.

  1. Isolation
  2. Sleep deprivation
  3. Sensory deprivation
  4. Stress positions
  5. Sensory bombardment
  6. Forced nudity
  7. Sexual humiliation
  8. Cultural humiliation
  9. Extreme cold
  10. Phobias
  11. Water boarding

And, if the person already had an innate, inherent, inborn, predisposition to do physical harm to another, with a narcissistic/sociopathic makeup, the possibilities can be downright frightening! A Manchurian Candidate would only be doing what he/she is already predisposed to do. And, simply do it better! I will leave that up to you to ponder! It is no wonder that some hypnosis practitioners do not want to touch the subject.

In exploring a possible manipulation by hypnosis, it is paramount that practitioners adhere to a very strict code of ethics, and that people seeing a hypnotist ensure that the practitioner is certified by a professional and ethical organization such as IACT or IMDHA.

Links to Articles

A Whole Lot of Shaking “Goin’ On”—Just Give Them Permission!
Get Over Your Speaking Fears and Attract More Clients than You Can Handle, Even in a Struggling Economy!
Exude Entrancing Charm and Charisma in your Trainings!
Dealing with Troublesome Seminar Attendees!
"You are just fooling people to feel better", he said!
Using the MBIS(TM) Method with the Performing Artist
The Strength of Any Person is in his/her flexibility
"Hypnotherapist" or "Hypnosis Consultant"? The choice is up to you!
Using Music to Enhance Your Hypnotherapy Sessions/Presentations
When Ignorance Becomes Enlightenment!
Effective Uses of Imagery
Use Your Body to Support Your Words!
Creating a Manchurian Candidate: Truth or Fiction?















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