Only someone with no background or training in hypnosis would accept as original, new, or somehow
"cutting edge" the explanations being given by this so-called authority, who actually has simply
copied completely the ideas of others, and presented them poorly. James Brown has simply borrowed
every single idea presented in this lecture from other English hypnotists (for the most part),
including hypnosis without trance, the automatic imagination model, body magic tricks, and the idea
that hypnosis is suggestion.
Every so often he quickly dropped the name of someone who
actually thought of these concepts, but only in a way that he could later claim he gave credit, when
in fact he should have clearly stated when others discovered years before this copy-cat lecture. He
gave the lecture as if the ideas presented were his concepts, which is utter rubbish. And he
presented them extraordinarily poorly and superficially, which I suspect was to get people to sign
up for his "academy".
The idea that the standard hypnosis induction is only a ritual that
excites the imagination of those being hypnotized has been discussed since the 1950s. That's not a
James Brown discovery. The idea that hypnosis is suggestion has been repeatedly stated since the
1800's, as evidenced by Hippolyte Bernheim's book, published in 1880, entitled "Suggestive
Therapeutics". The showman Kreskin built his reputation on the idea that hypnosis is only
suggestion, beginning in the 1960's. And he clearly has no concept that many other approaches to
hypnosis exist, not the least of which is that of Ericsson.
James Brown is trying to
portray himself as some type of pioneer in hypnosis, when in fact he is simply taking the ideas of
others (mainly in England), and presenting them poorly to magicians who are unaware of what's
already been presented to the hypnosis community in far greater detail. He presentation was poor, he
presented no evidence to back up anything he said from actual textbooks of hypnosis (and there are
many great ones from the UK), or publications, and he basically wasted 170 minutes to say what he
could have said in 30 minutes at most.
I gave him 2 stars because he did give a good
explanation of a body magic trick involving a foot stuck to the floor because of a shift in the
center of gravity. That explanation he did well.
I really have to comment on your review, I totally disagree. I think you've misunderstood the point of what James Brown is trying to say and who he is. You are right that he is borrowing the concepts of other hypnotists, namely Anthony Jacquin and James Tripp but he adds his unique flavour to them. Hardly any hypnotist can claim that he has invented anything. Hypnosis is pure suggestion. Clark Hull (1884-1952) demonstrated that everything that could be done with hypnosis can be done without hypnosis. So every hypnotist that claims that he does something out of the ordinary is wrong. Hypnosis is pure suggestion and that is what James Brown is trying to get across. I don't know of any other hypnotist that demonstrates that fact as well as JB and that is what makes him unique. No funny language, no talk of trance, no hypnosis but still all the hypnotic phenomena. Both Anthony Jacquin and James Tripp (and most others) holds on to the hypnotic frame, JB escapes it, and does it brilliantly.