I've never done a review before, but I felt Fraser Parker's latest release warranted one.
Being a virgin at this, I'm not entirely sure how to set it out, I guess most people use
categories. I'll break it down thus:
Effects (impact, practicality and difficulty [for which a lower score reflects
True Mysteries II is
the sequel to a book/DVD combo Fraser released in 2012 with The 1914 (originally released as a pdf
with WonderWizards in 2011). The first dealt with the creating hypnotic effects, such as: removing
your participants ability to speak, sapping their strength and (controversially) changing their
belief in god; without, at any stage, using hypnosis. TM1 is a wonderful collection of ideas, and I
thoroughly recommend it. TM2 takes the same way of thinking, and moves it from the creation of micro
effects (to be done as part of a routine), to the creation of macro effects - performance pieces in
their own right. Whilst there are some exceptions to this rule, it struck me as the key progression
made between the two.
TM1 is a dark, hardback A5 tome,
which screams underground. I like it for that reason. TM2 is larger, and more colourful - less
creepy, but I still think it looks lovely.
Beyond aesthetics, the book is excellently laid out.
Following the introduction, in which Fraser outlines his approach, there is a chapter dedicated to
the principles. This is something I love in the work of many of Kenton's students, which Fraser does
excellently. Methodology is broken down into its simplest components - presenting the reader with
tools through which they can create. I think this is a real plus-point of this work. You're paying
for more than the 15-odd effects taught. You're paying for the True Mysteries approach - a set of
tools. The effects are wonderful, but their real goal is as a vehicle through which Fraser
demonstrates the application of this set of principles.
Each effect is outlined and explained
in detail by Fraser, and is followed by Gavin's comments (on how it can be tied in with standard
hypnosis demos). Fraser's style of writing, as in TM1, is wonderfully concise (alas not a skill I
picked up). This really helps with the explanation of the effects, as the methods are quite subtle
(blended, as they are, with the effect itself).
"An object is shown to the spectator. This can be anything. I use a deck of
cards still in their box. The performer then gets the spectator to imagine the deck of cards is a
different object. The performer touches the helper on their forehead and they now... see their
imaginary object in place of the deck of cards." Besides being an excellent example of the concise
style Fraser has, this extract very clearly explains the effect. I love this. It uses a principle
touched upon briefly in TM1, but in my opinion this is a far superior use. It is also an excellent
example of how Fraser merges realities - making everyone's experience congruent. They can talk
freely about what happened after the fact. The method is simple and secure. For impact and
practicality, this must therefore get 10/10. As for difficulty, as with all the TM material this
will require a certain quantity of chutzpah, as you really are relying on your words for the
methods. However once an understanding of the method is gained, it need only be performed with
confidence and belief to be effective. So difficulty wise, no higher than 4/10. A lovely variation
of this effect by none other than Jerome Finley is also included.
Hypno Horror Show
Born from a request made to Fraser by Gavin. A room full of people are stuck to the floor -
via a Tannoy (public address) system. This is a publicity stunt, primarily, and if I'm honest, I
doubt I'll ever be in a situation to perform this. However this is an excellent example of what I
said in my introduction - it demonstrates how to apply these tools. This is furthered by Fraser's
decision to provide his correspondence with Gavin as they work together creating this effect. We see
how Fraser's creative process works. There's also a wonderful usage of playing various spectator's
realities against each other, which I'm certain has wider-reaching applications. Impact, would have
to be 10/10 - clearly an impressive demonstration. Practicality, I doubt I'll ever use this
personally, but the method is entirely sound: 7/10. Difficulty, lots of audacity - but as with
everything, simple in execution: 6/10.
The participant walks towards
the performer, and is made to stop suddenly, their feet welded to the floor. This then spreads up
their body until they are frozen solid, head to toe. This is similar to the last effect (the method
is entirely different) - but on a smaller scale. I'm likely to use this. Here physical methods
(although still propless) are blended with the TM approach, to create a very secure method. Clearly
this would be highly impact full, and the combination of physical convincers and verbal deception
again merge realities - so everyone leaves with an identical experience. This heightens the impact
for all concerned, 10/10. Practically, this seems very sure-fire due to the merging of methods -
however is slightly more involved than some of the other effects, thus: 9/10. Difficulty, as I say,
slightly more involved - but anyone with a solid understanding of spectator management and routining
will be fine: 5/10. Gavin also has a wonderful routine in addition to this.
A means of applying trigger words etc to the TM approach, to make the effects
seem even more direct. Not entirely necessary, as Fraser's methods are already wonderfully direct,
however it's a lovely touch - and goes even further to concealing the methodology. Impact - take the
effect you're preforming it with and add a few, it adds some serious drama. Difficulty: 4/10 - very
easily applied once the other principles are understood. Practicality: 10/10 - solid.
Hypnotic Induction at a Distance
You're performing for a group, you turn and look at
someone across the room. They fall into trance after a few seconds. The impact is clearly massive:
10/10. In some senses, this feels more in line with the material in TM1 - as it would presumably be
used as a lead into another effect, however it does encapsulate what Fraser perceives to be the main
difference between the two, the combination of the TM system with trance states etc. I think the
effect is great, and the method is direct - however I personally would be worried about performing
this outside of a certain set of circumstances. An overly busy environment, or distracted spectators
could ruin this. That said, if your selection of participant is wise - there's no reason this
shouldn't be 100% effective. Just be aware that attention must be paid. Practicality: 6/10 - this is
hypothetical, I'd need to test it, but if your environment and spectator selection is right - it
could be considerably higher. Difficulty: very direct and simple, 3/10.
A Sense of
Being Stared At
I love this. Especially the impromptu version (two methods are described).
Essentially you demonstrate to the group you're with that you can get people to turn around by
staring at them. I think this is a premise we've all played with before outside of performance, so
much like "rock, paper, scissors" or "which hand", I think this resonates with people. It's a fun
demonstration of how we can apply these things day-to-day. Impact: it's a micro effect, but I think
one with power: 9/10. Practicality: the impromptu variation may miss occasionally, but not enough to
be significant - the formal version is very solid: 9/10. Difficulty: one of the easiest, 3/10.
Again, slightly more in line with TM1.
HOLY ****. This
is amazing. A spectator is told to close their eyes (or, as mentioned in the Additional Thoughts,
put into a trance). You claim you are going to send them a thought, and write down "place your hand
on your head" (for example) - this is shown to the audience. On your command, they perform the
action you wrote down. When questioned about it, they swear blind that they actually felt that
thought enter their head, and responded accordingly. Probably my favourite effect in the book. This
is a wonderful combination of principles, to create a sure-fire, prop-less and highly impactful
demonstration of telepathy. 10/10 on all counts. In the additional thoughts is also included an
apparently instant induction with so much scope I can't possibly describe - it takes Fraser's
Memoria to another level, and adds justifications and presentations to all sorts of work. Excellent
Stuck in Time
Gavin's take on Fraser's "Stuck for the Moment" in TM1
- which bears presentational resemblance to Jermay's "Stuck for a Moment" in Building Blocks
(confusing, I know) - a spectator is told to stare at a watch, and appear to become frozen in time.
The method, however, is entirely different. I like this. The presentation is not a widely-used one,
and the method is very direct. The effect is intriguing, so impact: 8/10. Practicality, I see no
reasons why this could fail if delivered correctly to a well-selected participant: 10/10.
Difficulty, requires a certain level of command and authority; one must be absolutely sure when
providing directions: 6/10. In my mind this is perhaps the best demonstration in the book of the
fusion between the TM approach and classical suggestion.
variation, again by Gavin, on the previous effect. Essentially the routine is tied in with a
prediction, as to what time the spectator will set the watch to. A nice demonstration of how these
ideas can be planted amongst larger routines.
Loss of Memory
This is a
really interesting take on the amnesia plot - and is unlike anything I've ever seen in this area. It
combines mind-reading with amnesia, to create a blended effect, not dissimilar to Fraser's method of
revealing thought of cards in TM1. I really like this, however I feel that one's credibility would
have to be very firmly established in order for it to prove effective. For this reason, I'd place
practicality at 6/10. I think the method is sound - but this is very much dependant on the quality
of the performer. Impact, if done well, astonishing: 10/10. Difficulty, 7/10 - probably the hardest
item in the book to pull off, however the method is simple in theory.
A spectator is given a free choice of objects, then told to jump to another. A
prediction is opened to reveal the object they landed on. Similar in part to Fraser's Memoria - I
think this is an excellent principle. Practicality: 10/10, I can't see how this could go wrong.
Difficulty: 2/10, very simple to perform. Impact: dependant on what you're predicting, but I can
certainly see it would add to the impact of an effect. Could also be used in combination with
Michael Murray's Springboard to have a spectator name a card placed on the table at the start. A
principle with far-reaching uses.
Changing the Weather
Very different from
the other stuff in the book, Fraser includes his take on element manipulation. The performer makes
an incantation, and gestures with his hand or staff - and the wind is seen to obey, blowing in the
direction of his movement. Clearly the impact of this effect is huge (anyone who's ever attempted
cloud-bursting etc will understand), as it implies an incomprehensible level of power. The method is
very simple, however will take some performing chops to pull off convincingly. Practicality: 10/10
Impact: 10/10. Difficulty: 5/10. An excellent demonstration of Fraser's understanding of perception.
Gavin follows this with a Voodoo demonstration utilising the same principle; this I also like very
Naked Publicity Stunts
Not what you think. This is a brief essay by
Gavin on the application of micro principles to macro effects; in my mind, this is the premise of
the whole book. Interesting stuff, to be taken on board. I think those who adopt this approach will
be well set to create anytime, anyplace miracles.
There, that's the book. Sorry
if I've been at all long-winded in places, as I said I'm new to this. I'd thoroughly recommend this
book to owners of TM1 - it takes the principles in entirely different directions, and demonstrates
the scope of effects that can be created with the TM approach. I believe those without TM1 would
struggle to grasp this second instalment. As Fraser rightly says, it's much more subtle. Instead I
suggest they purchase TM1, digest it and use it. Then, once they're happy with the principles
therein - *** well get this book. There are pieces in here I will definitely use.
Furthermore, anyone wishing to get into hypnosis would be seriously missing out if they ignored
these texts - as they contain sure-fire and stunning demonstrations of influence, which will lay the
foundation of belief upon which hypnosis will become so much easier.
I hope this has been
helpful for you, and I hope you enjoy the book.
Stay well, all of you.
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