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TO CLAIM OR NOT TO CLAIM

Posted in Derren's Posts

Posted by Derren Brown November 4, 2011 at 11:27 am

Every now and then I have a conversation with someone who has seen a couple of my shows, but hasn’t read my books or writings, and believes I claim to do all sorts of things that I really don’t. As I had such a discussion last night, and as I’ve been talking about the importance of testing psychic claims that could be fraudulent, I thought I would clarify a few points regarding my own work for anyone in any doubt.

Firstly, regarding the ‘tricks’ as performed in the older shows:

1. I have never used stooges. People generally imagine I must do if they can find no other explanation. But I don’t: it would be artistically repugnant, totally unnecessary, impractical, and would spell career suicide.

2. My techniques are rooted in conjuring magic and hypnosis. All else is most likely misdirection and should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt.

3. I have never claimed to use NLP to achieve my ‘tricks’. On the contrary, I have written very critically about it in Tricks of the Mind. I reserve the same scepticism for subliminal messaging, as well as a lot of body-language reading and the like.

Now, I have largely moved on from performing those sorts of tricks. So, as regards the specials, such as The Experiments and others:

1. Again, the people used are never stooges or set up in any way. They generally apply through an open audition process, whereby we meet or interview them and look at various qualities they possess which would be useful (for example their jobs, beliefs, or how suggestible they are).

2. The contributors are always psychologically screened if they are going to go through a ‘tough’ experience. Without giving away what the show is, or giving them any clue that they will be used in it, we arrange for our preferred participants to have interviews with an independent psychologist who ensures that they will be ‘robust’ enough for the show. This is an important part of our duty of care, which we take very seriously throughout the entire process of making the programmes. And the ‘heroes’ of these specials always emerge exhilarated and delighted to have been part of it.

3. If I make a statement on these shows, it will be true. Nowadays, the Channel 4 lawyers check every word to make sure there is no misleading of the viewer: this is a huge issue in the TV industry at the moment. The joke in the office is that a magician can’t even say ‘this is a normal deck of cards’ on TV nowadays if it isn’t, and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.

I know that fans will know all this already, but it’s always worth repeating. Have lovely days and enjoy tonight’s show if you’re watching.

Dx

 

COMMENTS
November 4, 2011 at 11:29 am
Jamie says:

Good post :)


November 4, 2011 at 11:32 am
Reilly Brown says:

Don’t worry D, most of us are on the same page :)
Ready for experiment number three, roll on 9pm :)


November 4, 2011 at 11:33 am

It’s strange to think after being a fan for so many years that people still think you’re using stooges, even after almost every show you tell them that you don’t

Chances are though those people won’t be reading your blog before making their mind up about you “faking it” either :(

Looking forward to tonights show very much.

Feel free to sponsor my mo if you have a moment and some spare cash (link attached)


November 4, 2011 at 11:33 am
Mark says:

Big up the D! The secret ruler of the universe. ;-)


November 4, 2011 at 11:36 am
Ilkin says:

Very true, it worth repeating.
Sorry Derren no offence, the only doubt I personally have regarding stooges is National Lotto prediction because that is the only show which is completely distinctive from all others.


November 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

Great post and keep up the great work. I willbe watching tonight. I’m a huge fan.
When you next in Newcastle? I’m always tool late in getting tickets and really want to see a live show.
My favourite was the greyhounds betting. Tried it but didn’t work for me lol

Msg from Abeo: Newcastle is 7th May: http://derrenbrown.co.uk/tour-dates/svengali/


November 4, 2011 at 11:42 am
Debbie Taylor says:

Hi Derren, I have watched most if not all shows aired in Australia. Your show hasn’t been on for a year or so and I’ve just read you’re not performing the ‘old tricks’ anymore. Why not? Most were amazing. I didn’t like the kitten one though so can understand people being upset (if they were).
Look forward to your next show. I’m coming to UK in Feb so maybe I’ll see more recent ones then.
Regards, Debbie


November 4, 2011 at 11:43 am
Scarlett says:

Thanks for the clarification, is very interesting; reminds me I must get Tricks of the Mind though, luckily it’s Christmas soon…

Can’t wait for tonight’s show, should be good. :)


November 4, 2011 at 11:46 am
Al says:

So…..the rabbit was in the hat the whole time?


November 4, 2011 at 11:48 am
Phil Baines says:

As a loyal fan I applause you and thank you for your transparency! Enjoying The Experiments!


November 4, 2011 at 11:49 am
DB says:

Except you can’t win. I have a friend who believes is real magic, psychics, mediums etc , and she loves you and has read your Tricks of the Mind book. However, she still believes in those magical powers and additionally, that YOU possess them too. When I point her to fact that you categorically deny that you do, her response is “Oh, he just says that for the act. Of course he’s a physic and can do real magic”. I’ve given up…


November 4, 2011 at 11:50 am

I would say you’re preaching to the converted, but that’s probably the wrong expression. Just ignore the doubters and avoid the bonfires.

Best wishes,

Ryan. X


November 4, 2011 at 11:51 am
Fan says:

“3. I have never claimed to use NLP to achieve my ‘tricks’. On the contrary, I have written very critically about it in Tricks of the Mind. I reserve the same scepticism for subliminal messaging, as well as a lot of body-language reading and the like.”
Then what was this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=befugtgikMg

Msg from Abeo: DB doesn’t mention NLP here at all, which is his point. He’s talking about specific claims being made. Those have to be distinguished from the story of a trick, which will rarely make any claims as to technique and which he’s saying you should always take with a pinch of salt. What he does say is ‘The shows combine magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship. No actors or stooges are used’ at the start of each episode. That is being specific, and is true. Furthermore, he has said on numerous occasions – in an unusually open way for a magician who is under no obligation to reveal how his tricks are done – ‘They’re a mixture of magic tricks and psychological techniques and the fun hopefully lies in working out where one ends and the other starts’.


November 4, 2011 at 11:53 am
Neil says:

Derren, your work is phenomenal! Keep doing what you do, as I am sure you will! :-)


November 4, 2011 at 11:57 am
Faye says:

thanks Derren, you always cheer x


November 4, 2011 at 11:57 am
William Blackbourn says:

Couldnt agree anymore .. makes me mad when people just dismiss you lightly .. great work !!


November 4, 2011 at 11:58 am
Jon says:

Derren, what is the girl in “The Seance” who writes her own X on the paper and then proceeds to (pretend to) channel the (not) dead girl, if not a stooge? If you’re going to claim to have hypnotised her to do all of this, isn’t that a bit sneaky and misleading that it’s not even shown? You could claim that of anyone and anything, given that hypnotism is essentially just role-playing anyway. What’s the difference?

Jon – ah, you’re making too many assumptions, which was kind of what I was getting at in the article. Because you don’t know how it was done, you presume she must be a stooge. Failing that, you think she must have been set-up through hypnosis. Neither is true. There are cleverer, subtler ways of making it all happen there and then. And even if she had been set up through hypnotic instructions – which I promise she wasn’t – you’d criticise a magician doing a fake seance for being sneaky and misleading? You should see what those mediums got up to! You also make the presumption that hypnosis is just role-playing: again far too much of a leap. Did you watch the tests set up by the academics in The Assassin? – Derren x


November 4, 2011 at 11:59 am
Matthew D says:

I love you!


November 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm
justin says:

Nice bit of PR for tonight’s show :)


November 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm
Elena Smitheman says:

Some people are just negative if u don’t like it don’t watch it and stop pissing others off claiming you know how things are done so irritating ! Thanks derren x


November 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm
phantom says:

Nice clarifications, some newcomers might need them. I am definitely watching tonight. Keep it up Derren and suprise us every time! Greetings from troubled Greece. Kalimera!


November 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm
martin says:

the thing that people like about you is you let everyone know that its all tricks and the people used are not stooges you say it at the begining of every program lol anybody who doubts it must doubt must doubt the overall success of the law your truly tantalising


November 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Richard says:

Let them think what they want to think, I think Derren Brown is a national genius. Looking forward to experiment number 3, keep up the good work Derren.

All the best

Richard


November 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Carolyn Mellor says:

I gave my 14you son Tricks of The Mind when I brought him to see you aged 12. He has dipped into it and developed a healthy scepticism and lack of fairy-talery unusual in people his age. It now sits next to his GCSE Psychology textbook for research prurposes – it should definitely be Recommende Reading on the curriculum, if that isn’t too establishment!


November 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm
DaveP says:

@DB Yup, I’ve got friends who believe in god too :D

Well said Mr. Brown. I am still somewhat surprised at the results of The Assassin. From what I saw, you seemed surprised as well.


November 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I have to thank Derren for his show hero at 30,000 feet, that show helped me turn my life around. Last year I tried to kill myself 2 times. Through that show I found myself questioning exactly what was stopping me achieving my goals. My own fears and anxieties were destroying me and that fear of failure was enough to grind me into the ground. The show inspired me to the point I started going out of my way to help people, made me feel human again. My goal was always to be a musician to be onstage and now I’m chasing that dream with utter tenacity. And telling my story to people seems to inspire them. I ask them ‘what do you want to do in life’ I await their answer and the response I give them is ‘what’s stopping you’, the funny thing is nobody has an answer for this. Thank you Derren


November 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm
steve says:

Your pushing the frontiers, dont be angry at sceptics just keep pushing forward and they will have no choice but to understand if you know what im saying ;) x


November 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm
Steve says:

I don’t see how you (or anybody) can reliably screen someone to see if they are ‘robust’ enough for tough experiences. And surely people who come to see you know what you do so I find it difficult to understand how many of them seem to be easily manipulated. I wouldn’t believe a word you said given that you are using misdirection etc. Regarding the S Fry assassination show (given you say you do not use stooges or set ups etc.) & your statements about tricky legal stuff. I thought the crowd did not behave as I would have imagined they would have done if they really thought Fry had been shot. A gun shot is very loud & shocking when you are not expecting it and they just sat there meekly no one seemed to look towards the shooter no one panicked or tried to leave. I suspect they were primed?

Derren – The psych screening we carry out for the specials is very reliable, and is reflected in the fact that the participants have always been very happy. And we use an independent psychologist, I obviously don’t do it myself, which would be pointless.

As for ‘they know what you do so I find it difficult to understand how many of them seem to be easily manipulated’: this make no difference if they don’t know they’re taking part in my show. Generally though it helps or sometimes make no difference at all. It would be pointless to design something where it would get in the way of it working.

As for ‘I wouldn’t believe a word you said given that you are using misdirection etc’, you’re welcome to believe as you like, but I’m always honest when I make these sorts of statements. The ‘misdirection’ is reserved for the patter/narrative/shtick of the sorts of tricks I used to perform. All statements about no stooges/set-ups and ‘tricky legal stuff’ are absolutely true.

The audience didn’t react quite as we imagined they might, but such perhaps is the nature of a British audience in real life versus an audience in a movie. There was plenty of concern but no panic. We had, however, a number of controls in place – crowd control experts, psychiatrists and security – to deal with any panic if it did happen. And the audience got an extended briefing when I came out and explained what was going on. There were a few hundred people in the audience, so if they’d been secretly primed to expect anything along the lines of what happened (can’t imagine what that would achieve) I’m sure we’d be hearing about it. And again, I couldn’t (from a legal standpoint) say in the show that they would have no idea what was going to happen if that wasn’t true. By all means contact C4 about it if you desire.


November 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm
Nick says:

Has it gotten to the point where people cannot just be entertained anymore?
You will always have negative people in this world, doubters, people who say you use stooges.
On the upside you will always have the supporters and fans of your work.

The show must go on as we love to be entertained and amazed :-)


November 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm
Zozie says:

Hi Derren, I love all our work. I have to say that you are very much in a league of your own, when I see adverts for Dynamo, David Blaine, Penn and Teller and others, all I can think is “…They’re not exactly Derren Brown!.”


November 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm
Mark Boyd says:

He’s got a twin brother!
That’s how he does it!
I think, or maybe it’s a robot……


November 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm
RachelG says:

It is the displays of your hypnotic ability and mind coercion that I find most astounding and interesting. I’ve always hated the traditional ‘saw the assistant in half’ kind of magic that is full of gadgets and gizmos that make the trick doable. I love how you show us what our own mind is capable of and in such a dramatic way! Before I ‘discovered’ you I was open minded towards all things paranormal and spooky but leaning more towards believer. I’m proud to say I’m now a complete sceptic in this respect and that’s thanks to you.!
Can’t wait for the new episode tonight! XX


November 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm
Bozley says:

Derren,

Long time fan here, and I appreciate what you are trying to say here and you are of course unfortunately preaching to the converted.

In reference to the ‘tricks’ you speak of in the early shows – I attended Svengali this year and it was constructed pretty much entirely of tricks as far as I could see (minus the excellent hypnotism routine).

You say you have moved away from these ‘tricks’, so will this make for very different live shows in future?

Bozley


November 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm
Lulu says:

What a shame that people feel the need to question Derren’s work. Tut tut, shame on them. I think his recent programmes have helped people to question the nature of so called ‘healers’ and ‘mediums’. These practices have almost become a tradition in modern society and generally accepted on faith. Derren’s approach is a refreshing and healthy change to the usual documentary style programming on these subjects. Great work Derren, keep up the good work.


November 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Berber Anna says:

Zozie: To be fair, Derren isn’t exactly Penn & Teller, either. I love both Derren and P&T (in a strictly nonsexual fannish sort of way, mind :P), but they perform very different kinds of magic. They’re not really comparable.

And yeah, I’ve had a laugh before at people telling me this or that trick in Derren’s stage show MUST be done with stooges, when either myself or one of my friends has been the participating audience member in that very trick. Yes, the quick induction hypnosis is real, he did that with me in EoW (and played a brilliant trick on me to boot). Yes, the spirit cabinet in Enigma is… well, not real, but not faked with stooges. My friend was in it. Yes, the engraved coin in Enigma is really engraved. My other friend got that one. Etcetera. Tricks? Yes. Stooges? Nope.


November 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Dave Payne says:

Love watching your shows, have done for many years.
But one thing i can’t quite fathom ….. Why when Steven Fry was gunned down in front of a live audience, why did no one scream, panic or run from the building ????


November 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm
Rachael says:

Great post Derren!

It’s annoying that people are so closed-minded that the only explanation to the things you do are that you use stooges, and don’t consider the time and effort that goes in to make it all so impressive!

Some people hate to admit that they can’t explain how something is done. I remember once speaking about how amazing the Svengali show was to somebody, and how I was lucky enough to be picked out for a part of it, and couldn’t explain how any of it was done. The person replied “It’s all done by using stooges!” How on earth they could justify that when I (definitely not a stooge!!) was chosen randomly out of the audience is beyond me!!

Loving The Experiments so far! :)


November 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Wacharin says:

Greetings from Thailand!

I’ve followed your show from youtube from quite a long time yet never had a chance to read any of your books so I’m sorry I thought you used NLP all along. Any way I’m hoping you would promote yourself to Thailand soon because they rarely know you. I REALLY adore your work and your cuteness (I’m homosexual haha).

P.S. I wanna know a secret of your MISDIRECTION trick! That thing always blow my mind whenever I watch the show LOL


November 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm
Deb says:

Having been the vinegar drinking girl in Enigma, i can confirm, no stooges are used lol. one minute im sat in the audience listening to derrens lovely voice…the next im on stage in a smock with 2000 pairs of eyeballs staring at me….very bizarre, yet amazing experience!


November 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm
JIM SLOAN says:

Thanks for those comments. A measure of your success is the high level of debate / discussion that there is among everyone. The fact that Hypnotists such as myself continue to speculate as to “how did he do that?” , was it REALLY ice ? Was he hypnotised? etc etc: shows the success of your work.


November 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm
Stephen says:

It is a fascinating world in which we live, full of amazing natural phenomena and artefacts of previous civilisations – with many of the beliefs held by the latter due to their inability to fully explain their observations of the former in a consistent and rigorous way. The sad thing is that even here in the 21st century, where technology enables seamless communication across the globe and cheap mass transportation brings people, goods and services intercontinentally to us; where the scientific method continually falsifies and improves upon the ideas and advances made by the previous generation – that we have people who claim to speak to the dead, claim communion with spirits and to possess powers that cannot be repeatedly tested in order to advance man’s understanding of the universe.


November 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Gwen says:

Derren I think you must be a highly intelligent person, it must have taken you years of psychological assessments
‘people watching’ & body language to name just a few qualities you must have to be able to entertain in the way you do & it really is so very entertaining. I look forward as always to tonight’s ‘performance’.


November 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm
Longpig says:

Great post Derren! Hopefully you won’t be put off doing these kinds of shows by the minority of people who can’t enjoy anything or believe that anyone doesn’t have an agenda or is it out to get them. Loved your work for years, and it keeps getting better!


November 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Yup – we knew. Loved the books, love your take on hypnotism (very insightful!), and also love how honest you are whilst also being very crafty – it encourages critical thought and a good kind of skepticism, without extinguishing the wonder.

I also love the way that in the TV shows we are given information we need to work out where the trick might be, rather than being encouraged to think it’s really magic – upfront clarity gives the illusion that you aren’t up to any funny business at all so we trust you and are caught off guard by the misdirection!


November 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

…One of my favourite examples of this is the “person” vs “person with cheerleading troupe” coin-flipping contest, I think it was in the lottery show. You said what each one had to get – 3 heads in a row, or heads then two tails, say – and it wouldn’t have been enough to leave it there because if they each flipped 3 coins in turn then stopped it would still be 50:50, e.g.:
HTT (yay team 1!) HHT (aww) HTH (aww) TTT (aww) HHH (yay team 2!)

Instead you showed us the blackboard and the fact that they were flipping their coins over and over and then stopping once the sequence they were after came up, e.g.:
HTT (yay team 1!) HHTHTT (yay team 1!) THHH (yay team 2!)

Awesome. Also I am a massive geek so stats magic makes me very happy :-D


November 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Oh yeah and the best example – TRICK or TREAT! :-D Although you told people that one in the end but I like that it was there under our noses for a while :-)

OK must stop spamming Derren and get back to work :-S


November 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm
Graham says:

Hi Derren,
I have to admit that for the first time I have doubts about your ‘no stooges’ claim after watching the last episode. The unfortunate fellow at the centre of the audience’s whims, his ‘friends, and particularly his ‘work mate’ all stank of stage school acting and didn’t react remotely naturally to the situations presented to them. At no point did the main protagonist seem at all phased by encountering a series of increasingly outrageous events that wouldn’t happen to most people in the course of a lifetime let alone an hour.
I’d hazard a guess that most people would be swearing and holding their heads in disbelief at least once after each of those events but he took it all very calmly indeed and showed an admirable restraint regarding Channel 4′s restrictions on language.


November 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm
Jen says:

I was at Svengali in Oxford, and my friend Frank was brought up on stage to take part in the main part of the Svengali trick. It was utterly fantastic to see what Derren managed to do with him, especially knowing that Frank couldn’t be further away from being a stooge – like me he’s skeptical and always tries to work out how the acts are done. We’ve talked endlessly about this one and still can’t figure it all out… although we think we have a few ideas. But most of it, we just can’t explain.

Dave Payne – I would guess it was due to the bystander effect. If one person had screamed, panicked and run from the building, others would have followed. http://psychology.about.com/od/socialpsychology/a/bystandereffect.htm


November 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm
lou mills watts says:

Hi Derren, Your work is pure genius. Saw your show Svengali in Plymouth and managed to get a piccy of you….made my year…Lou.


November 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm

A very nice post. Derren. As someone who has had small parts in some of your stage shows. I know you don’t use stooges (even though some people I know still struggle to believe that….blimey, you are just too good, Derren! ;-))
Most clever people know there’s usually always a rational explanation for everything you do, I just think some would rather take the ‘easy’ way out and call you psychic, etc……

I shall keep this post to hand from now on and and thrust it forward to anyone who believes too literally some of things you do….

LC x


November 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Mel says:

To all those commenting and wondering why no one reacted or panicked when Stephen Fry was shot I presumed it was for a couple of reasons.

Combining the fact that the actors in the balcony didn’t react at all and the fact that most people didn’t know where the gunman was, most would have suspected that it was an ‘act’ on the part of Stephen, and were waiting for it to play out. Throw in the Bystander Effect and then you get the result which was what we all saw.

I reckon if the actors on the balcony shouted out and fought with the gunman in full view of the audience before and after Fry was shot, mayhem may have ensued…


November 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm
Ming says:

Your lies are obvious and transparent to Ming.

Your lips aren’t even moving as you make this statement, betraying the falsehood of every word.

Ha HAAAAAAA ha-ha-ha-heeeeeeuh.


November 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm
Jojoe6969 says:

Don’t believe a word of it… And you’ve used a stooge to write this blog post!
yours Faithfully, or should that be Sincerely,
ABCDEFGHI…KLMN… :P x


November 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm
Nathan says:

Just tell the truth already, it’s clearly black magic!


November 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm
Dan says:

To back up what Mel stated…
As a psychologist I find crowd behaviour fascinating! (Though my background is in Neuropsychology). What we saw in the audience at The Assasin experiment was a brilliant example of the Bystander Effect and Diffusion of Responsibility – ‘Google’ it, I’m sure you’ll be impressed if this is something you have not come across before; you should also be able to find plenty of video examples – Best of which may be ‘The Smoke Filled Room experiment (Darley and Latané 1960).

In any case though, brilliant work, have not seen a show I didn’t enjoy!


November 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm
Judith says:

I can vouch for Derren when he says he doesn’t use stooges or actors as I was in the audience for ‘The Gameshow’ and believe me everything was real. (Well apart from the end,but I thought it was real at the time) We were there for a good 3 and a half hours and what you saw was only an edited 1 hour show. Some things didn’t go to plan so we had to wait till Kris e.g left the bar and go to the shop. I am beginning to think it was an amazing experience, it didn’t feel like it this week with certain comments I have read which the whole point of the programme was based on…To read all the audience are c_nts wasn’t nice.I Will always admire Derren and love what he does as it is so different and fresh. We also got to hear Derren’s Stewie impression again so it was all worth the nasty comments X


November 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm
Jake says:

I guess the only way to prove that you don’t use stooges to the haters is to use everyone in a 1 on 1 trick..

Start with me though.. :L


November 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm
Agnes says:

i can’t wait for tonight’s show!!!


November 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm
Siobhan says:

Yeah, Yeah – we know you’re really just a Warlock. ;)


November 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm
Charlie says:

Love all the shows and programmes you have done. You picked my bf out of the audience in Svengali (6th May,Stoke on Trent) to participate in the main trick which made the show even more amazing and just proved to us you don’t use stooges! Keep up the amazing work (did like the old tricks too tho! Don’t give them up completely) :op X


November 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Lisa says:

I often quote a line you used in one of your shows and say – ‘In the words of Derren Brown, ‘I’m not a f***ing mind reader”.
The mind tricks ‘n’ shiz you use are just superb and we are all enjoying your latest offerings. Now we’re just waiting to see if you will come back to our local theatre. Fingers crossed (and everything else). Maybe I should send a (not so) subliminal message – ‘come to Crawley, come to Crawley, come to Crawley’.


November 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm
lorna says:

What a nice post. Being a fan of your work, it has opened my mind and I don’t always go for the easy answer now I look to research and discover new things. Everything has an explanation. :D I have tried to get some of my friends who are into these kinds of things you do and watch. I have converted some successfully lol. Unfortunately they still believe you use stooges and I know you don’t as i’ve been to some of your live shows and every time we discuss your work it leads to the very subject and i have to say every time, he doesn’t use stooges!
Anyway, we’ll be watching tonight. Sorry for the long post and keep up the good work guys! x


November 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm
Simon Liversidge says:

I think that should answer most skeptics but then again there will always be doubters etc I am sure this won’t deter you from carrying on you’re excellent shows all the best


November 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm
Simon says:

How embarrassing for the person who engaged in conversation without first understanding all the facts. We know the facts Derren, you don’t need to keep telling your real fans!

Will be watching tonight


November 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm
Lolò says:

How about “The Lottery”?

Do you really want us to believe that the explanation you gave to your audience during the show was reliable?

Msg from Derren: If you watch the end of that show, I completely undercut and throw away that rather fishy explanation at the end and say it was just a trick. (But I know what you’re getting at. That show is something I’ve never been happy with – there was a big ‘twist’ extra section at the end offering a completely different explanation, which we had to drop at the last minute. It would have balanced it out a bit into something more playful.)


November 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm
Kebab muncher says:

Lies I tell thee all lies, you possess super natural powers. Look at you, you have horns!! Burn the witch!!


November 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!! Trying to explain anything to someone that has not seen or heard all the facts is pointless. You should not have to explain yourself Derren. Too many people love and respect what you do to require this. I am a magician and people often ask ‘who is your favourite magician?’ When I say ‘Derren Brown’ they invariably say ‘well, he isn’t a magician!’ This, I assume, is the response you have built a career aiming for. You have worked hard to establish yourself as NOT being a magician, in the classic sense, and do not need to explain yourself. You have done and are doing a fantastic job for the magic community! And watching to evolution of your character is very rewarding and exciting. You are touching nerves and they are trying to discredit you…impossible to do!


November 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm
Keyo says:

Hi Derren. Just wanted to say that you’re amazing and really talented. I really respect your work and I have just bought a copy of your ‘Tricks of the mind’ book. I’ve only read a few pages, but I’m really enjoying the read. Sadly I can’t afford a T.V license, but I’m watching all your shows once they’re up on 4od.com. Keep up the great work that you’re doing!


November 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Sarah Lou says:

Sounds like a VERY Awkward convo…

You are such a gentleman at the end! =P


November 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Sharon says:

OK Show’s just finished and all’s well that ends well and Jody seems ok so I forgive you but found it very difficult to watch what you put that poor boy through. I hope you did wipe out all the guilt triggers/anchors and return him to his lovely normal self. I do wonder about the ethics of messing with someone’s mind just for popular entertainment but I am still a fan Mr Brown and look forward to next week’s experiment.


November 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm
Yvonne liu says:

It would a dream come true if I was picked as a contestant as one of Derrens experiment.
The chances are as little as winning the lottery :(


November 5, 2011 at 12:50 am
Lynda says:

Hawt as ever!


November 5, 2011 at 1:41 am
David says:

Derren,

There is something about The Experiments that bother me. In the one where Stephen Fry was ‘shot’ I felt that this could have been far too shocking for some people in the audience. Do you psychologically screen your audience? Even someone with a heart condition could have suffered a heart attack watching Stephen Fry get shot, not to mention the fear of getting shot themselves.
Then in the experiment where the audience found themselves coercing. In the reveal, this again could have been too much for some people to digest. Some people may need to have a lot of support as it dawns on them that they were capable of losing their better judgement and becoming part of a vicious mob.
This strikes me as unethical. Please comment on this.


November 5, 2011 at 4:06 am
Darren says:

What i love most about all this is the fact Derren says what he’s gonna do – how he’s gonna do it (effectivlly giving the secret away)

Then it STILL blows your mind!

who else could do that – give the secret away first – then does it – and you are still like – what the hell just happend?

Total genuis – seriouslly


November 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm
Elise says:

Yeah, people have made comments about you and that the whole thing is a setup and the person who has taken part in the show is also an actor…..Plus other things about your shows….so now I can just direct them here. Love you! I hate when people say negative things about you. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Loving the shows.


November 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm
Leon says:

@David, did you even read his post?


November 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm
barb says:

You’re such a sweetie! How could anyone not love you? I’m perplexed as to how you do a lot of what you do, but I believe what you say about how/what you do/don’t do it. Anyway, I think you totally rock!! xoxo


November 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm
G says:

It’s always enjoyable watching you derren. I’m going to ask my psychic if your’e telling the truth lol x


November 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm
George says:

Bought my five year old daughter a magic set recently. She was kinda sad that it wasnt the full on Harry potter magic she expected. Something changed in her when she realised that the three cups didnt really make the cotton wool ball disappear. People want to believe, no matter how much you might admit it to the contrary. Love the shows. Geo


November 6, 2011 at 4:32 am
Melissa P says:

You are a genious SERIOUSLY to be in your mind to be as creative with what you do ..i .i .i just cant believe how you come up with it your a genious ha gotta laugh at the lil twinkle you have in your eye when your plan all comes together hahaa ..looking forward to seeing you in the olympia theatre in dublin in march ..i hope to be front and centre in all the madness wooo wooooo xx


November 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm
MooseCracker says:

Nice post. i have had to explain those points to people even way over here in Canada.

Certain famous magicians and mentalists in the US have said, unprofessionally, a lot of those things about Derren to my friends in certain skeptic communities. They claim that he let’s people believe that it isn’t a trick, ie. the lottery event and spirit cabinet tricks and so he is unprofessional and harmful to rational skepticism. The ridiculous thing is that i have seen those same people doing exactly what they are complaining about. It’s entertainment… Finally i say, ‘look you’ve never complained that your favourite movie didn’t have a disclaimer that the events and spaceships aren’t real… and you are watching a mentalist show, the performer says, not to just believe in stuff/ be skeptical.


November 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm
Andrew says:

@Leon:

I assume you’re talking about point #2? He says the contributors are screened, not everyone watching. Contributors are people who contribute, not mere bystanders – ie: Stephen Fry, the gun instructor, etc. Not the audience. In fact, as Derren said in the show (and must be true, according to point #3) no-one else in the audience knew what was about to happen.

Therefore, someone could very well have had a heart attack or traumatic flashback, since they DIDN’T have prior knowledge as to that a shooting was about to take place, making David’s point very valid. I think it was you that didn’t read the post/see the show.

But I’d like to think there were some measures (if not actual prior screening itself) to ensure any bad reactions would be dealt with in kind, helpful hands.


November 7, 2011 at 12:17 am
Sarah says:

WHAT THE *****!? That is the most impressive thing I have ever seen!

After seeing the Assassin episode, I’ve decided that Amnesia must have been induced in the entire audience, then they told him all their personal details and then *snap* back in the room lol. Aww…wish there was an answer!

Will he one day reveal?? I kinda don’t want to know, but I do!

By the way, watching the guy in the assassin episode take his shoes off was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in ages!


November 7, 2011 at 12:20 am
Sarah says:

My previous post was regarding Oracle Act by the way. Deleted it by accident. I know it’s been like three years but yes, I’m still on it. It just…it just doesn’t make any sense….


November 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm
Shaun Banks says:

“or how suggestible they are” Please elaborate because to me that sounds like naivety or gullibility which also sounds like manipulation.

With regards to psychologically screening you can only ever reduce the odds of something going wrong and never be certain that it will not.

From a legal point of view you are professionally protected by implementing these measures but which ever way you shake it you are still playing dice.

Academically speaking constructs can be created and explored with a morally acceptable infrastructure which is risk assessed by professionals in the required fields, but when that risk assessment relates to the workings of the mind then risk always remains because no professional fully understands the workings of every mind.

Psychologists play dice too.


November 7, 2011 at 7:56 pm
Aoife says:

You have to be the biggest legend ever! My boyfriend and I are huge fans, especially him, he’s now going to study psychology in university because of you! You must come to Belfast on your next tour, would make his year to see you live. Oh and your art is unbelievable, remember watching a show about you and you were in your house and as casual as anything you showed some of you portraits, they amazed me so much! You really are a genius please come to Belfast! :)


November 8, 2011 at 8:42 am
Shaun Banks says:

Derren: My previous comment is probably a bit harsh as I believe most of your shows and experiments will have little impact on the people involved, although I do still have concerns about the person involved in The Assassin.

I also forgot to say that you do come across as a really nice chap who is a brave enough to be very open about many aspects of your personality which is a quality I have always admired and try to practice myself.

Obviously I know this is just one of millions of comments you receive and is probably as significant as a rain drop in a storm, but I thought I would just make the effort to explain my previous comment a bit more.


November 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm
Debbie Kerr says:

Great post ! – Loved the show this week also.

Derren, I always wonder if I am responsive to hypnosis? I have been to your shows and think I am always aware of what may happen to me if I am put under so cannot drift off ?? :0). I’m such a huge fan of your work. Lovely man too, so so friendly ! – And, by the way, I was part of The Gameshow and can confirm that I was not a stooge. (I love and still have my mask and nearly scared the sh*t out of my husband after my long journey home after the show) :0) x


November 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm
JENNIEBOBS says:

You can’t get away from it there’ll always be ignorant gits out there! I love what you do Derren, for me it serves to enlighten and entertain. Your ideas are intelligent and really are addressing some very important truths within our everyday lives. You have enriched my life and fired up my quest to have a truly open mind.. x


November 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm
Abeo says:

Sorry – this has opened the floodgates and we’re getting a huge deluge of people asking for methods for tricks, so we’re sorry but we’ll have to end comments now! Thank you so much for all your comments and questions.


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