Posted by: brian | August 10, 2007

Are you psychotic?

What the crap?

I caught this show on the Sci Fi channel (no, not their new Flash Gordon series). It’s called Mind Control with Derren Brown – he’s a British guy, looks to be about my age, and he does “psychological magic” where he gives the impression of psychic power and/or mind control, but without pretending to be psychic. He doesn’t explain all the tricks – no good magician does – but his show’s website does reveal some of the psychology behind them.

On tonight’s show, he has a psychologist do “word dissociation” with him. He says a word, and the shrink is supposed to say a word that has nothing to do with the original word. But, before he says the “source” word, he writes a different word on a piece of paper (outside the sight of the shrink, who takes residence on his own couch). They go for five rounds.

Round 1: He writes orange, he says suit, shrink says apple.
Round 2: He writes trash, he says picture, shrink says horse.
Round 3: He writes water-ski, he says eating, shrink says water-ski.
Round 4: He writes school, he says tie, shrink says school.
Round 5: He writes buffalo, he says [nothing], shrink says buffalo.

No clue how he pulled that off…. unless he really is psychic, and is just pretending to not be! That would be a brilliant scam.



  1. That show effing blows my mind. All at the same time I both want and don’t want the things he pulls off to be a scam.

    One of these days Shari & I are going to the mall to mess with people w/o them knowing it. Wanna come along? (Did you see the second ep? The one you mention is the third, I think.)

  2. I’d love to come along! It sounds just like the type of thing E&L would do. 🙂

    I caught last week’s ep, but don’t remember much of it except the dream thing and the race track trick.

  3. So you didn’t see him make people stop in their tracks from afar? And help someone else do it too? That was the one where I really nearly had a seizure of the type “This has gotta be a trick! Ohplease ohplease let this be for real!”

  4. OH that’s RIGHT!!! I’d forgotten that! Yeah, that completely freaked me out. HOW DOES HE DO THAT?!??

    Or the thing with the judo class or whatever it was.

    Or the thing with the strippers last night, where he didn’t touch them, but they thought he did! ACK!

  5. I’m trying very hard right now to refrain from snide overgeneralizations re: exotic dancers.

    Oh, and I suppose I should say we’re going to *try* to mess with people at the mall. No, wait, remember D. Brown’s exhortation to have confidence — we WILL mess with people at the mall!

  6. OT: Is it overly negative of me to suspect that the best thing about the new Flash Gordon is the Queen-originating soundtrack?

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