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DERREN DISCUSSES THE ASSASSIN

Posted in Derren Brown News

Posted by Derren Brown News October 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

If you head over to Channel 4’s website for the Experiments you will be able to see an exclusive interview in which Derren explains where the ideas behind the show came from.

Click the link below to view:
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/derren-brown/articles/derren-brown-on-channel-4

COMMENTS
October 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm
Steven M says:

Pure genius, also proves how some conspiracy theories, might just not be theories after all.


October 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Mark says:

Watched this last night directly after the show. Was cool to see myself on tv too! Really good viewing it was, interesting to see you do this one Derren. Now for the next shows 🙂


October 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm
weemcfie says:

Can anyone hypnotise people or are you just magic? 😐


October 22, 2011 at 7:02 pm
Tony Armstrong says:

After watching the show, I was completely awestruck and totally petrified at the same time. Must learn to avoid annoying ringtones as they are potentially lethal!!!!


October 22, 2011 at 7:02 pm
Daniel says:

QI was on BBC 2 straight after…. It would have been rather impressive on channel four’s part to have had this guy in the audience again!


October 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm
Vicky says:

Amazing show, one of the best. Really makes you think.


October 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I watched this yesterday evening and I really enjoyed it. An interesting and informative interview which was a great companion to the show itself.

Thank you, Derren.

LC x


October 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm
Charley says:

I think you are fantastic and last night was very impressive but you really spooked me out xx


October 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm
richard says:

of course it’s not magic , it’s showmanship – yes – anyone can learn to hypnotise people


October 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm
Annette M says:

I never thought I was a good candidate for being hypnotised, untilI did a weekend course earlier this year. i think I have a better understanding now of what it is or isn’t, but also thought that you couldn’t get someone to do something that went against their principles. Very interesting interview, thanks for the heads up Abs xx 🙂


October 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm
Tony Butcher says:

Great show and there is one thing that did occur to me.

Although great lengths were taken to ensure ‘The Assassin’ did not think he was on camera and that the surroundings were ‘natural’ I can’t help feeling that he was still a part of a Derren Brown experiment therefore something at the back of his mind would always tell him that, no matter what actions he undertook.

Would be interesting to know more


October 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm
robert says:

your show has changed my view of the potential of the human mind and how you can “switch off” the pain threshold when he sat in the ice bath without feeling a thing. plus how it can be manipulated to do prettey much anything


October 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm
SurrealistWhim says:

Really must get a poker dot hanky!


October 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm
Mark says:

Tony, you are correct but there are other actors to think about. In a situation where this can be used there is a different connection for the person than that of Derren or the knowing it’s only for show. What Derren proved is that a person CAN be influenced to kill and also influenced to maintain they forgot they even did it.


October 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm
Michael Baker says:

Turely amazing Derren, I eagerly awaiting the next experiment you never cease to amaze me!


October 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm
marie says:

What i would give to be 1/4 as good as u. i too am a hypnotherapist (new) show was awe inspiring. very good. look forward to next weeks


October 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm
Leigh Andrews says:

So can this expermiment now be used as precedence or evidence in cases like the one referred to by Derren in the show? I love Derren and think he is an amazing genius but if this was real, would it really be allowed to be aired? It has too many implications for serious, real life incidents surely?


October 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm
Jacqueline says:

Informative interview, although I’m inclined to agree with Tony. It’s difficult to know whether his response was, at the time of the shooting, a result of the pressure to perform, having the triggers and the case in front of him, or whether he was genuinely so tanked with suggestion that his actions were genuine, how do you separate the two knowing you are on a DB show. Also, when DB and SF were sat with him, watching the footage, his lack of emotional response puzzled me. Detached, maybe, having no apparent memory of it, but if I had just seen footage of myself shooting someone that was sat there in front of me, I would be in tears, extremely apologetic, and confused to say the least, especially if it was against my moral code, as DB has now stated is possible, but hey ho 🙂


October 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm
Jessika says:

Just watched the show on C4 Catch Up, and was completely amazed!!! We were all saying to each other all the way through, “There’s no way he’ll do it, he won’t respond…” And then he SHOT STEPHEN FRY! :O However, even though Chris probably didn’t remember shooting poor Stephen, I think it’s a safe bet that the CIA still can’t just grab anybody off the street and condition them in to killing someone. Chris associated polka dots and the ringtone not just with forgetting and with firing a gun, but also with Derren, and it would have been safe to assume that Derren wouldn’t have had him hurt anybody. If you were going to be trained like that by the CIA to become the perfect assassin, you would have had to have been willing to kill in the first place. They couldn’t force you against your nature


October 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm
Jessika says:

P.s. Loved the graphics at the beginning of the show, and am really looking forward to the next Experiment…..Okay, I’m done! 😉


October 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm
matthew says:

what is the name of the ringtone used?


October 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm
Aron says:

Great show and really excellent and unique approach to this topic!!

What I still don´t get, why Chris could remember the shooting after the assoult….therefore one could think, he was still” playing along” or a part of him was “playing along” as he used “Derren´s gun” etc.

is there any explanation for that ?? – nevertheless still impressiv.


October 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Julie Goodman says:

Amazing show, interesting perspective that someone can be hypnotised to kill someone and forget it after, plus the ice bath was good, shows what the mind is capable of. Makes you wonder doesnt it. I now want to see a live show.


October 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm
Floribunda says:

Brilliant! Interesting as ever, and a relief for me, as I’m writing a sci-fi story at the moment with this kind of thing in the plot! Was worried you definitively wouldn’t be able to program someone, or that they’d remember it. Spooky that he passed the lie detector!


October 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Derren, once again you have blown away my mind in your thrilling and extremely interesting performance with your newest show.

When you met me at the YMC (junior magic circle), you were amazing and you are brilliant in your field of work.
(and a role model to me).


October 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm
Rob says:

Derren, pure class mate. Very well done on a great show !


October 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm
Judith says:

As I have said previously Derren always makes shows that make me think, shock me and amaze me. I did have my hands and jumper over my face for most of it though hahaha. Brilliant and I did shed a tear at the end, confused as to why but I did, anyone else? I think it was a mixture of the music, slick filming, it was like watching a film. Looking forward to next week’s like you wouldn’t believe. Well done to all involved Xx


October 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm
Hoop says:

Great show but as always, showmanship rather than science. Has no bearing on the ‘reality’ of brainwashing someone to kill as per conspiracy theories. See http://skeptoid.com/ for a recent critique of the actual evidence for this. Chris always knew it was a show – who gives someone a ‘real gun in a theatre just to hold for a bit?!?


October 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm
jay says:

Anyone know the name of the song played at the end?
It was pretty epic


October 22, 2011 at 10:48 pm
Jeannie Harris says:

Derren is just employing what many stage hypnotists have been doing for years. Making people become Elvis or strippers etc. They choose the people who they know will play along and it doesn’t require stooges. When they say they can’t remember it is usually just to cover themselves from embarrassment or to give them an excuse for making a fool of themselves. I’ve working in this business and I know for sure that people do remember. Having said this I am still a bit fan of Derren who is a GREAT showman but I think this stunt is a bit shoddy for him. Proper illusions such as the Russian Roulette and spirit mediums exposé are where he excels so I look forward to the rest of the series.


October 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm
Hayley says:

Derren, as we all know – you are a complete genius! As a fan of the conspiracy theory I loved this more than some of your other shows (although, which ones I am really not sure!). Can’t wait to see you in Svengali in April in Blackpool. Fab as always x


October 22, 2011 at 11:36 pm
Thistooshallpass says:

Thanks for posting that…very interesting.

Brilliant show last night and I kind of felt like I had just been to see one of Derren’s live performances because I got the same “what the **** just happened there” feeling which always stays with me long after the show has finished. I’m guessing a lot of people felt that way too.
Kudos to Derren and team Derren for conveying that wonderful emotional reaction from stage to screen.


October 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm
Liz says:

Me and my friends agreed after watching this is that every time we hear the iphone ringtone is to touch our foreheads to freak out anybody who had seen this.


October 22, 2011 at 11:56 pm
Elise says:

Yeah, already watched it…duh. When they said after The Assassin I was straight on the internet, LOL! Of course. xxx


October 23, 2011 at 12:04 am
Simon Mawdsley says:

To those who think this was faked…well, of course it could gave been but, why? If what DB did was possible but too sensitive to show, and therefore suppressed as a result, then the latter argument says much more about the likelihood of conspiracy theories than airing the show would. Excellent show. Yes, I believed it…..no, I don’t believe it would or could happen to me (cause I’m an awkward bugger!)


October 23, 2011 at 12:08 am
Ben says:

Amazing show but I wonder how easy it would be to replicate if the subject didn’t want to take part nor have the expectation of the hypnotist, like the guy in the show had. But none the less, it certainly challenges the official JFK story.


October 23, 2011 at 12:45 am
nick says:

I think the bath was not freezing or as cold as suggested. The thermal image had no reading to show how cold it truly was. It was just a way of making chris believe he was hypnotised. The lie detector was possible fake too. If anything though this could be proof that people will do anything if they are to be featured on TV ! I enjoyed the show 🙂


October 23, 2011 at 2:12 am

Mind over matter. False reality over reality. You have to cross over the bridge to see the light.


October 23, 2011 at 2:59 am
Stacy says:

Once again, I disliked Derren’s show. Call me morbid but couldn’t this trigger people to do stupid things like harm people? I don’t mean because they’ve been hypnotized but just because people have an inclination to be stupid and copy what their “heroes” do/say?

To those who wonder why I watched it… I like to think one day I’ll enjoy something Derren does.


October 23, 2011 at 8:30 am
Bin says:

I too really enjoyed the show but was surprised at the the level of compliance shown by the main audience. I think it’s fair to say that they would all have danced like chickens and jumped through hoops without a thought…forget about any ‘hypnosis’… the DB buy-in was total and complete before the start.

It would have been good to see it done on a bunch of random people from the street but that would have meant handing over all the control…a tougher proposition.


October 23, 2011 at 10:18 am
Aidan says:

I was surprised by the lack of reaction from the audience. It could have been the whole kind of “oh my God, this can’t be real”, but I expected there to be more than a few screams.
Also, maybe his whole detached manner when he found out he had “killed” Stephen was a product of shock and internal horror. Soldiers often do that after they kill one of the enemy, they don’t usually break down in tears.


October 23, 2011 at 11:12 am
Bill H says:

Yeah but after all that, is is Polka dot or Poker dot. I vote polka.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Interchangeable/Funniest_Reference_Desk_Question_Ever


October 23, 2011 at 11:56 am
Lucian says:

Loved the show, ONE thing bothers me, The audience’s reaction as Stephen Fry got shot, don’t know why but I think people would had reacted diffrently to see a “national treasure” shot before their very eyes … considering that on the show a claim was made that they were not informed that anything was going to possibly happen


October 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm
Clare Ledger says:

Absolutely fantastic as always. Derren is a truly remarkable person whom I admire. After reading Derren’s Tricks of the Mind book (in a day) it really changed my thinking and understanding of how powerful our subconcious brain is and how subliminal messaging works. It totally blows all the “spooky fate” stuff out of the water, with proven scientific reasons.


October 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm
Sophie says:

So why didn’t the camera men become hypnotised when he made the audience sleepy? I would love to meet him as I am a tad sceptical over some of the things that he does.


October 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm
Fearglic says:

There wasn’t a great reaction from the Fry audience. I don’t mean the few in the know just the ones who werent in the know. And I suspect the bangs of the shots were added later as there was no reflex action from the sounds. I’ve heard live shooting myself( I m from Belfast) and believe me there’s always a reaction to loud bangs.


October 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm
Claire says:

As always Derren did it again! A fantastic bit of entertainment ………. this man is brilliant at what he does!
I was shocked at the audiences reaction when Stephen Fry got shot. :0)


October 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm
Claire says:

REALLY CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE X


October 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm
David Dickson says:

A few years ago, at university, I attended a gig by a hypnotist. He spent the opening section weeding out the non-suggestible (myself included) before reaching the few he would get onstage for the second-half. At the interval I turned to my neighbours and said: “He’ll come back on and say that no hypnotist can make anyone do anything against their will. This is a lie!” He duly returned to the stage to announce: “Now, no hypnotist can make anyone do anything . . . ” The girl next to me looked astounded and whispered: “Have you seen this before?” I hadn’t but all hypnotists tell the same lie. Under the right circumstances we can all do anything, including kill, as ‘The Assassin’ proved.

And no one has ever explained to me how Sirhan Sirhan managed to fire 13 shots from his 8-shot revolver.


October 24, 2011 at 12:02 am
Sam says:

Just saw “the assasin” for the second time..very interesting, really makes you think! Can’t imagine what this man will pull out of the bag next! Love the mystery about all the shows and getting frustrated at not knowing how things are done..great fun! Derren Brown has the best job in the world!!!!


October 24, 2011 at 8:34 am
Alan says:

Hi Derren,
I asked you some time ago if the Norweigen shooter Anders Behring Breivik could have been
programed to carry out the killings.
I guess you answered my question


October 24, 2011 at 11:26 am
Mark says:

The pic used here is the one part of the show that really caught my eye! I could see right into your mind here Derren! Not sure what I saw but I got a glimpse of your overall perception of what you were creating and how it was working.


October 24, 2011 at 11:53 am
Me says:

The non-reaction of the Stephen Fry audience to the firing of a gun in the relative confines of a theatre and his ‘assassination’ is , in my opinion, the key moment in the programme and may hint in some way at how the entire illusion of an ‘experiment on hypnosis’ was achieved.

The non-reacting of the audience is definitely a ‘tell’, to use conjuring parlance, but a ‘tell’ of what remains to be seen. I do not believe for one moment, however, that the subject in question was ever actually hypnotised.

Towards the end of the programme, during the debriefing with Derren Brown and Stephen Fry, Derren asks the subject where he thought he was when he fired the gun at Stephen Fry. Now, the expected answer, based on how the programme had progressed up to that point, would have been “on the firing range”, but instead the subject replied “nowhere”, to which he quickly added (or it was edited in) something along the lines of “also back on the firing range”, or words to that effect. Again, another ‘tell’ regarding the actual level of hypnosis the subject was under when he carried out the “assassination”.

These two ‘tells’ taken together hint somewhat at how this illusions masquerading as an experiment was achieved.


October 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm
Shaun Banks says:

I think all of your show are excellent and brilliantly executed but I would like to know what care or treatment your guinea pigs, particularly in The Assassin, receive after the show to ensure that there are no long term lasting effects. If they do indeed receive care or treatment is this kind of showmanship appropriate and safe?

I don’t want to be amazed at the expense of someones well being.


October 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm
the one says:

Great demonstration as always 😉
99.9% of so called hypnotists deny that one can be hypnotized against one’s will. Again Derren proves them wrong. Though, the similar techniques are used both by former KGB and their counterparts 🙁
Got a suggestion for new series: how about hypnotizing some “gang boys” from Peckham estate to be an example to society.

P.S. Does self hypnosys really exist? If I hypnotise me, then there must be 2 of me conscious and 1 subconsious


October 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Berber Anna says:

the one: Yes, self hypnosis exists, at least to some extent. A game I’ve been playing since childhood that’s actually (as I found out much later) a form of self hypnosis is to pretend my one hand isn’t mine. I convince myself I can’t move it, at least not normally, and I really can’t as long as I keep up the pretense (if I try moving it, it doesn’t respond). However, in this ‘game’, I can move it by waving my other hand above it (puppeteer style). And when I move it that way, I genuinely have no sense of moving the ‘puppet’ hand, just the other one, but it does move.
I can stop this whenever I want by allowing my hand to become part of me again, though. I’m aware of what I’m doing, and I can stop doing it.
I actually can (and do) ‘paralyse’ other body parts the same way. Feels interesting,


October 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm
Stewart says:

An amazing watch. I think the power and susceptibility of the mind was once again highlighted by Derren. I felt the show was presented in a way to make us, the audience believe it was possible for this kind of mind control and to have sympathy for Sirhan Sirhan. Creating a sense of us wanting, and being willing, to believe what we were watching. My take is that whilst all “real” it was all staged for dramatic effect. Whilst he pulled the trigger I think somewhere in his sub-conscious he had calculated it was all part of his Derren Brown experience. As for the audience reaction to Fry’s assassination, see the tragic Tommy Coopers demise, they think its all part of what they are there to see.

Thank you Derren and your production team for more marvelous entertainment


October 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm
Shaun Banks says:

the one: When I had hypnosis to stop smoking the hypnotist made the mistake of explaining his technique before we started which left him powerless as far as I was concerned & all that remained was someone who I would allow to guide me into my own hypnosis. Having experienced hypnosis before I was familiar with the processes involved and where to go mentally & with a little initial help with this hypnotist I took myself to a very very deep level of hypnosis. During the hypnosis I used the hypnotist only as a safety line back to my normal conscious state, while I in the meantime got to explore my subconscious.When I left his office I lit up a cigerette and went back to my car and noticed in the mirror that my pupils were the size of a pin head.

Day dreaming is pretty much self hypnosis


October 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm
jonthed says:

A lot of people here’s reasons for doubt seem unfounded, many comments seem dismissive without fully grasping what has been claimed to have been achieved.

Anyway, I too thought the audience’s reaction to the shooting was surprising, but on thinking about it, such an event is so unheard of in the UK, that being in a theatre, at a show, the first reaction would be to assume it was part of the show. you might be a bit unsure, but you wouldn’t want to be the one to run up on stage to check if he was really shot if you thought it could be part of the show; you wouldn’t want to ruin the show and make a numpty of yourself. I think a minute or so more would have had to pass with nothing happening before people would start to get concerned and stir from their seats. the reaction is believable.


October 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm
MARTIN COLBOURNE says:

Derren, I am a huge admirer of the coupling of intellectual curiosity with the delivery of extremely entertaining tv. I was wondering why you relied on the polygraph as a measure of the efficacy of the hypnotic state when as you know it is generally regarded as unscientific and unreliable, beloved by daytime tv reality shows of the Jeremy Kyle ilk.


October 25, 2011 at 1:47 am
Ian says:

I suppose it would be impossible to know whether Sirhan was influenced by a rogue CIA agent because if you were to take him back with hypnosis you might not get the truth. Under hypnosis people can lie and make things up such as past life regressions etc.

Looking at the case on wiki, Sirhan had motive and he did actually do it. Thus I guess under law he would still be guilty possibly with “diminished responcibility”. Very difficult to prove either way.

Im also not sure as to how true the experiment was or whether a degree of showmanship was used to increase the viewers belief in the power of hypnosis.


October 25, 2011 at 10:23 am
Jon says:

Derren, you have been really naughty this time in linking your entertainment piece to something serious like the actual murder of a man (Kennedy). How can you read the comments on this page and allow people to believe this? I see a clear parallel with mediumship claims, which supposedly you’re against. PEOPLE – this was an entertainment show, please don’t confuse it with a documentary. Derren has misled and tricked you, as he always does. It ISN’T possible to dupe somebody into murder in this way (sure you can make people do extreme things, but usually you’d have to kind of take over their life, kidnap their relatives etc. Not wave a hanky and play a ringtone. I mean, if you could – don’t you think the easiest thing to do would be to make the assassin turn the gun on himself after?)


October 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

Of course Derren Brown did not hypnotise someone and make them kill someone or rather succeeed in showing it’s possible- he is a showman, an illusionist. Like the lottery show and his others, it’s all just a show. If you read his books and his views you realise that like Barnum he is all about getting to believe in his tricks.


October 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Berber Anna says:

Jon and Mark: I know a large part of Derren’s acts is trickery, he’s quite open about it and as someone who does a bit of amateur dabbling in magic and mentalism myself, I can usually spot what’s genuine (and there is genuine stuff in almost every show) and what’s a trick. This doesn’t strike me as set-up, as that would require Chris to be an actor, and frankly I don’t think Derren would be interested in something as easy as using an actor. Where’s the point in that?

On the other hand, I don’t think it’s comparable to the Sirhan Sirhan situation either. Chris knew he was taking part in the show, and when things started happening, that subconsciously may have convinced him that he could safely go through with it.

Jon: As for suicide, self-preservation is a BIG instinct. Hard to override.


October 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm
Berber Anna says:

Oh, and I really don’t get why everyone is talking about a non-reactive audience. I didn’t pick up on that at all. Lots of people covered their ears or eyes, some were hugging themselves, one was even rocking back and forth. These seem logical reactions to something as scary and baffling as your idol being shot. Very few people are heroes irl, and rushing to someone’s aid when the shooter may still be present is just counterintuitive. Several people were also looking around, seeing what the others would do. Again, normal human response. It took less than a minute for Derren to appear on stage after the ‘shooting’ — had it lasted any longer, someone would probably have started to panic, and then the herd would have followed. Seriously, where is everyone getting the unresponsive thing from?


October 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm
Jon says:

Berber Anna, Chris doesn’t need to be an “actor” by profession. Derren’s selection process ensures he will get somebody that plays along exactly as he is meant to. As for self-preservation, hell I’d probably rather shoot myself than a completely innocent stranger.

I think you’re way off with your perception of a lot of things. I’d like to be able to do your stranger’s hand thing though, would be awesome for masturbation.


October 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm

This looks like it’ll be the best one of the series so far, I can’t wait. The show’s been brilliant so far, Derrens really stepped it up this series.


October 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm
Berber Anna says:

Jon: How is playing along as you’re meant to NOT hypnosis? As long as you’re convinced that you’re compelled by hypnosis to do so (ie you’re not play-acting), that’s exactly what hypnosis is. The times I’ve been hypnotised, it felt like when you’re really into a book or a film and ‘become’ the character you’re watching, or even more accurately, like how it feels when I’m larping and I get into character. If my character is trapped in a burning building, I’m not physically in a fire or feeling pain, but at the same time I do feel the panic and the pain and I’m genuinely shaken up by it. It’s like there’s two parts of you. I don’t know what your definition of ‘playing along’ is — if you mean fully conscious, just doing what he should for the heck of it, then I disagree. (cont.)


October 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm
Berber Anna says:

If you mean he’s doing what he’s supposed to do because he believes he’s been hypnotised, then yes, that’s what I believe, too. But that’s no trickery, that’s the entire premise of the show.

I’d like to know how you’d know that I’m apparently ‘way off with [my] perception of a lot of things’, seeing as I never got into detail about my perception of a lot of things. I think you’re way off with your perception of me, and a bit insulting to boot.

And you can masturbate however you want, but I’d rather be spared that information, thank you.


October 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm
Shaun Banks says:

What concerns me most about the use of hypnosis is that it works better with some people than with others and therefore when the hypnotist requires a desired affect he also requires a specific type of person. I would imagine, having experienced hypnosis, that the qualities required for dramatic affect fall within the spectrum between gullibility and naivety and therefore the question of ethics is asked the moment any hypnotist selects and hypnotises any person for entertainment. Selecting a person for The Assassin experiment must have been extremely difficult as you would need someone who meets the aforementioned criteria to achieve the end result and also someone who was also strong enough to be able to deal with what had happened. Is that possible. That really is a social experiment.


October 26, 2011 at 12:08 am
Rebel Saint says:

Utterly implausible.

(1) The guy comes out of trance state to find he’s in a freezing bath but does noting more than gasp and then still stands in it. (Have you ever heard the reaction of someone who’s suddenly had their shower go cold).

(2) The emotional reaction (or rather, lack of) of the “acid throwers” upon their discovery of what they had been willing to do.

(3) The gullibility of the guy: being taken to shooting ranges, asked about shooting people in a restaurant, then given a gun at a theatre?

(3) The utterly unbelievable reaction of the theatre audience upon the assassination : no screams, no ducking for cover, not even turning around trying to determine what was going on.

(4) The guys complete lack of emotional detachment at witnessing what he had just done

Not buying it.


October 26, 2011 at 1:43 am
Ben says:

Great show.

I do wonder why a polygraph test was used. Scientific study after scientific study has shown they are no better than flipping a coin. This is why polygraph results are not admissible in UK courts. On this point alone I am disappointed.

One other question. Did the fact that Derren was his hypnotist, with Derren’s fame, void the proof of these techniques? Perhaps like with the acid he knew subconsciously that none of this was real because it was all the things Derren had told him under hypnosis.


October 26, 2011 at 10:57 am

What derren brown has done- like most ‘show’ hypnotist, is find the person most susceptible to hypnotism- which is the person that will find themselves with the sudden confidence to go along with what the hypnotist wants you to. I’ve spoken to a lot of ‘hypnotised’ people and one hypnotist and they admitted to playing along- but just feeling super confident.
Derren Brown is great at what he does- he’s brilliant at cold reading- great at disproving psychics- and great at fooling people. All he did was fool the viewers and the guy that he successfully turned a man into a hypnotised assassin.
Obviously, once Derren Brown is involved, the subject knows he’s in a ‘safe’ environment- he plays along knowing there are no serious consequences.


October 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Shaun Banks says:

Berber Anna: Your views and opinions are just fine. We all see the world differently and not everyone is going to agree with everything that each of us has to say, it would be a very boring world indeed did all agree. It is better to have your own views and opinions that to just share those of others. As for Jon, he is clearly just a dick who spends most of his time playing with it.


October 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm
Joe says:

Rebel Saint says: (3) The utterly unbelievable reaction of the theatre audience upon the assassination : no screams, no ducking for cover, not even turning around trying to determine what was going on.

There must have been some sort of statement before the talk to let the audience know, if not the full details, at least that some sort of harmless stunt was planned. No way do I believe Derren’s team would be allowed to pull something like that on an unsuspecting theatre. Like shouting fire in a theatre, if people really thought there was a gunman, there could be mass panic and people could be hurt. That’s my threory on their reaction.

I agree with your other points.


October 26, 2011 at 10:37 pm
Joe says:

Mark Yarwood says: …is find the person most susceptible to hypnotism…

Which apparently means being bemused by the fact the sun rises every morning. I’m sure the subject in this show is a lovely guy but, like even Derren alludes to in the after show discussion, he’s not exacltly mensa material. That’s my main disappointment in Derren’s more recent shows, the lack of any emotional payoff in the subject’s reactions. I shouldn’t really complain, I’d probably glaze over too with a camera in my face and DB messing with my head, but I miss the real emotional connection I felt watching stuff like the seance, or the zombie shooter game.


October 27, 2011 at 5:37 am
wayne says:

Suicide bomber.

There is a belief they are manipulated into thinking where by they will strap a bomb to themselves and go into a public place and kill themselves and many public.

They don’t do it in a fit of anger they do it when and when instructed.

Getting somebody to kill in hypnosis isn’t that hard if the context is set up and the imagination engaged. What if Derren had the subject believe they were in a game of paint balling and he had to hit Steven to win £1000 but the gun was real and loaded. Having them forget what they did is also a pretty standard hypnotic command.

If you remember from the chat they all had at the end when the lad was reminded of what happened his memory of the event came back even if it was a bit foggy.


October 27, 2011 at 5:38 am
wayne says:

continued from previous post:

This is what makes the RK assassination case questionable because to this day he says he cant remember anything at all even after all the evidence of what he did. I would have thought he would have some vague recollection of the day after all this time.


October 27, 2011 at 10:29 am
Berber Anna says:

Shaun: Thanks! While I don’t fully agree with your opinion on hypnosis (I’m very susceptible to it myself if I trust the person hypnotising me, but as an atheist and a skeptic, I wouldn’t really call myself gullible or naive in daily life), I agree that there’s nothing wrong with polite disagreement and discussion.

Mark: I agree that the safe environment, and the knowledge that he was participating in a show, played a large part in what happened. I don’t fully agree with the ‘playing along’ thing — to some extent it is, but to some extent it’s more like being immersed in a fantasy. Wilfull suspension of disbelief taken to the extreme, in a way.


October 27, 2011 at 10:56 am
Shaun Banks says:

Mark Yarwood : “Obviously, once Derren Brown is involved, the subject knows he’s in a ‘safe’ environment- he plays along knowing there are no serious consequences.”

Other than the subject and his firends and family amd the general public thinking he is possibly capable of murdering someone.

I appreciate that the subject may have played along yet he had no recollection of doing so and again this lack of recollection was probably also hypnotically induced, yet he did it on TV infront of an audience of millions and although Derren and his team may be able to manage any physcologial fall out from their subject they cannot manage the response of the public to the subject when he carries on is normal daily life. Lets hope people don’t start treating him any differently.


October 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm
Joe W says:

I was thinking about how the CIA or whatever probably couldn’t have used this to get someone to kill because deep down the subject probably STILL knew it was just a show (I suspect this is how Derren got the trick to work and probably left clues it was fake that we didn’t see)
But then thinking about it even more, couldn’t the CIA just make the person think it was a TV show or training exercise as well?


October 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm
Joe W says:

Sorry to double post but if my above post is true that means the real trick you’d have to pull wouldn’t be to hypnotize someone to kill, but to convince them it’s fake. Without trying to get too tinfoil hat, it surely wouldn’t be that hard?


October 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Stefan says:

Dear Mr. Brown

Do you realize that, to tens of millions of believers, your show will “prove” beyond any shadow of a doubt that every single murder of any more or less famous person, and furthermore, every single accident that has happened to any more or less famous person, was planned and carried out exactly – exactly – as planned by “THEM”!?!


October 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm
Berber Anna says:

Stefan: Do you really suppose so? I mean, the people who believe in conspiracy theories will believe in them regardless, I’d say. And everyone else will probably have the common sense to look up the backstory to this one and see that Sirhan Sirhan had ample motive without being hypnotised, and that his amnesia is more likely to stem from his excessive consumption of alcohol on the night of the murder. The fact that this experiment worked says little about other cases, as by its nature, a televised experiment must be very different to actual murder cases.
I do agree that this point wasn’t adequately made in the program (which disappointed me a bit), but I don’t think it will have the consequences you fear.


October 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm
Dave says:

to Ben,
nothing to do with JFK Ben.
RFK, Bobby his brother


October 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm
Dan says:

Awesome show! However, did anyone else notice the possible subliminal image used when Stephen was first hinted at? An image of person flashed on screen for a slipt second, which i could not still with my BT Vision. This had me confused, then later in the episode, upon coming back from a commercial break the ringtome was played over the title – possible something else connected (although the possibility of it being just part of the music is always viable). Then at the end, the title featured the polkadot pattern. Anybody else notice this, and think anything of it? If so, what is he upto!?


October 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm
Stefan says:

Berber Anna: I would be surprised if this show will not – for a long time to come – be referred to by conspiracy theorists as proving they’re right. However, I think you have a major point when you say this is not crucial to their beliefs. Like you say; they will believe regardless. In CTs perception of reality, supposedly brainwashed manchurian candidates are always executing every startling event that happens where ever in the world. For example we can see in a comment above, this show may be interpreted as confirmatory evidence that the Norwegian terrorist A.B.Breivik was a manchurian candidate, who was mind controlled by “them”. Btw if anyone wants to read about a real murder that most likely was committed through sophisticated manipulation, you can look up the Knutby murder.


October 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm
Shaun Banks says:

Berber Anna” With regards to conspiracy theories, is it not highly likely that with the many conspiracy theories that exist that some most be real. In fact the more conspiracy theories are developed and ridiculed the more simple it is to construct a real one.


October 28, 2011 at 8:54 am
Stefan says:

Shaun Banks: Do you mean that if I tell you one thousand bedtime stories, one or more of them must be true? What is that logic known as? And I promise you that you will not be ridiculed if you present peer reviewed research made according to scientific method.

Back to the show; I’m most curious to what has been cut out. Omissions are able to create severely false impressions.


October 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm
Steve JJ says:

The assassin was quite impressive, but I would have been up for eliminating Fry without hypnosis.
That said, it struck me that the perpetrator was pretty much a blank slate even in his fully conscious state.


October 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm
Shaun Banks says:

Stefan: Bedtime stories are not quite the same as conspiracy theories. You should watch the Nixon and David Frost Interviews and read about the Kennedy family history and you will realise what a bunch of corrupt individuals they were and what lengths they were prepared to go to to hold onto to power. Look at political history and you will realise it is all a world of smoke and mirrors and you would have to be completely mad to think that the behaviour of any political party and associated governmental departments is all completely above board. Most conspiracy theories about political assassins pale into insignificance compared to the activities of governments.


October 29, 2011 at 10:15 am
Stefan says:

Conspiracy theories are just theories. All theories are false until proven otherwise. What most, but not all, conspiracy theories have in common is that there is no evidence of probative value to support them. When a theory can be proven it is no longer a theory and hence not as tickling anymore.
I have studied political history – and other subjects – for all my life. We all reach different conclusions.
For the last year I’ve been studying neuroscience, psychology, psychology of religion – and conspiracy theories.

I know we won’t get anywhere in this discussion since it is not possible to prove a negative. Hint: read “The Believing Brain”.

Mr. Brown really doesn’t make it any clearer when he brings wind in the sail to conspiracy theorists with his trickery and pseudo-psychology.


October 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm
Wolf says:

Has been said before, but you used a polygraph. Completely unscientific and unreliable. Disappointing…


October 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Andie says:

(1) The guy comes out of trance state to find he’s in a freezing bath but does nothing more than gasp and then still stands in it. (Have you ever heard the reaction of someone who’s suddenly had their shower go cold).

This is believable – I have personal experience as a hypnotist and one can use it to dissociate from painful stimuli VERY effectively. Once the person associated back to “embodied awareness” then they will experience the pain/cold/stimuli. The degree and speed different people can associate/dissociate does vary and hypnosis influences this.


October 29, 2011 at 8:01 pm
Andie says:

replies to rebel Saint part 2

(2) The emotional reaction (or rather, lack of) of the “acid throwers” upon their discovery of what they had been willing to do.

See my comments to # 4

(3) The gullibility of the guy: being taken to shooting ranges, asked about shooting people in a restaurant, then given a gun at a theatre?

THAT’S THE POINT !!!! That’s why this guy is chosen for “the experiment !!!” Hypnosis is all about suggestion and Derren is an expert in acuity and spotting a good candidate


October 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm
Andie says:

replies to rebel saint part 3

(3) The utterly unbelievable reaction of the theatre audience upon the assassination : no screams, no ducking for cover, not even turning around trying to determine what was going on.

AGREE !!!! Seen some responses on the blog trying to justify this – such as the audience being made aware for safety reasons – Derren did not mention the audience were to be made aware of the event. This needs discussing further


October 29, 2011 at 8:10 pm
Andie says:

replies to rebel saint part 4

(4) The guys complete lack of emotional detachment at witnessing what he had just done

This is a critical point – for rebel saints objection (2)&(4) These people chosen have a very quick capacity to dissociate – and this is CRITICAL for hypnosis – it even defines hypnosis as an ability to associate and dissociate upon suggestion !!!! (self or external suggentions) *IF* these guys had very strong associative reactions to “throwing the acid” then THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN “CHOSEN” this is a very important point. One would expect universal associative experiences – and one should expect throwing acid on faces should be one of them !!!! Think now of a juicy lemon, its smell & taste as the lemon drips on your tongue, its zest, its aroma…and saliva flows !


October 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm
Andie says:

Final comment: My comment that people CAN dissociate from throwing acid on someones face is what makes this whole “experiment” so disturbing. How can people act by doing unspeakable, horrific crimes such as in the gulags, holocaust. concentration camps, Mao’s or Polpots militia……etc…etc…etc – the answer is simple but disturbing. The butcherers,sadists,torturers are able to easily dissociate from their victims emotional agony and pain – and therefore have little emotional compassion for their victims. What D.Brown shows is in the right context/frame someone who dissociates/has emotional detatchment can do the horrific. On a positive side – we need to be emotionally detatched/dissociated in some cases – eg a surgeon cannot operate if they are going to become an emotional reck !


October 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm
MikeD says:

Can you PLEASE post a link to the interview about the first episode?

The one you posted takes you to the interview about the second episode, not first – the Assassin. Please update it, I really want to see it!

Msg from Abeo: Just hit the right arrow button next to the video title and it scrolls back to through to the older ones.


October 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm
MikeD says:

@Abeo: Thank you very much!


November 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm
Chris Heath says:

Hi all, I think Derren Brown is a Genius on a whole new level, the concept of what he does is unique and clever… Draws you in.. Scary.. Puts your mind in to Submission.. I fully believe in Hipnotism, to be able to shape someones mind…

But.. what happened on episode 1, could have been staged (easily) for the first 20 mins where it has live audience, he gets four people to their own recolection throw acid into an innocent persons face :/
Like it says in the episode, this could have been down the compfortt levels of their subconcience knowing they’re in a T.V studio. So the people who attended think its possable that “Chris” did all of this without knowing a thing… Where as actually after all this it was all an act… Has it been proven to be a fake in the end?? Anyone?? Thanks All


November 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm
Franz says:

Hypnotists always claim that you can’t make people do things they object to morally… But then, what’s morally objectionable about shooting at somebody if you think they’re just a neutral “target”? The whole essence of hypnotic suggestion is making people do things “without really knowing why”.

Re. the poster who argues that the subject saying one moment he felt he was “nowhere” and the next “on the firing range” is evidence of a fix… It’s not. Hypnosis can induce very strange mental states where you really can’t say exactly what is what at all… Things can seem very vague, or “hyperreal”… or both at the same time. It’s quite strange and difficult to describe if you haven’t experienced it.


November 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm
Beverley says:

I think the audience at the talk may have initially been in disbelief, automatically thinking it must be part of the talk as no one wants to believe that someone would just shoot Stephen Fry! Just a thought.


December 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm
Kermit says:

Near the start of the program, two university experts said that there was no evidence that someone could be programmed to do something against their will. They are presumably well read about this subject. It is therefore unbelievable that in all the years since the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, Derren Brown is the first to conduct an experiment to test the theory.


January 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Love the show, really makes you think!


July 23, 2012 at 10:55 am
Andy Hughes says:

Jacqueline, why would you be in “floods of tears” after watching a fake murder? That seems an odder reaction than the one of the participant.