Contact Mind Reading Trick

Contact Mind Reading

A person’s thoughts are often given away through their body language. In this trick we are going to use muscle reading to get a person to lead us to a hidden object.

In Derren Brown Trick of The Mind 1 [DVD] [2004] Derren uses this skill to find an object hidden in the labyrinthine streets of Venice. Derren has a highly developed ability to read body language, however, it is likely he started learning by practising simple muscle reading techniques like this one.

Here is the trick as shown on hit TV show The Mentalist > a0gn6E1tCNs

The Trick

This trick is ideally performed for 1 of more people in a room at a gathering of friends or a party. You need a subject who will hide an object eg. a coin in the room and you will then use contact mind reading to determine where the object is. The subject should be responsive and willing to follow your instructions for this to work correctly :)

Step 1: Tell the subject to hide the object somewhere in the room while you step out for a minute. The object must be hidden somewhere within reach and must not be on the person.

Step 2: Leave the room while the object is hidden. Don’t peek! You might want to take someone to watch you if there are more than 2 of you present so everyone knows you haven’t looked.

Step 3: When you go back in the room take one of the subject’s hands in your hand. Tell them to relax their arm and support the weight.

Step 4: Now you must convince the person to follow your instructions. Tell them the success of the mind reading trick depends on the strength of their will power to make you go to the object. Tell them not to lead you but to repeat over and over in their mind where the object is.

Step 5: Lead the person to the middle of the room and at this point tell them to now begin repeating in their minds which direction the object is in.

Step 6: Move their hand in one direction and feel for resistance. If you feel resistance, try the other way, if not continue in the same direction. The object in in the direction where least resistance is felt.

Step 7: Once you think you know which general direction the object is in begin to pull the subject towards it, still being aware of resistance.

Step 8: When you get in the general location of the object ask the person to repeat in their mind the direction. Is it up or down? A little more to the left or right? You might feel the arm move. Move the hand, again feeling for resistance.

Step 9: You should now know where the object is. You can either reveal it or lead them to another place in the room before revealing it.

Notes

Of course you are not going to be able to perform this trick right off the bat. You need to practice with a friend before you perform for a larger group. The more practice you get with different people the better you will get.

Here are a few things to bare in mind to make the contact mind reading trick a success:

  • The subject needs to follow your instructions. The effect will not work if the subject thinks of somewhere else in the room to trip you up .
  • When practising with a friend its fine to let them know you are muscle reading. However, when performing give the impression you are mind reading and don’t let the audience know you are muscle reading instead.
  • The trick works on a principle called the ideomotor response. This is largely an unconscious response which means the person will not be aware they are leading you in any particular direction.
  • Some subjects are more suggestible than others, with some subjects you may feel their arm actually pulling you towards the object.

NLP Eye Patterns

NLP eye patterns are a useful thing to know for mentalists.

A lot of the theories of NLP have been debunked by scientists however, eye patterns are one part of NLP which has stood up to scientific analysis.

When a person is accessing information from their brain, their eyes look in different directions as they access different types of information.

For a person who is ‘normally’ oriented there are 6 directions the person will look in. This gives the observer information about the type of information the person is accessing, whether that be visual, auditory, kinesthetic or self-talk.

From Your View Point

NLP Eye Patterns
  • VC – Up and left, Visual Constructed. Person constructing a visual image.
  • VR – Up and right, Visual Remembered. Person remembering something visual.
  • AC – Sideways and left, Auditory Constructed. Person constructing a sound.
  • AR – Sideways and right, Auditory Remembered. Person remembering a sound.
  • K – Down and left, Kinesthetic. Person accessing feelings
  • AD – Down and right, Auditory Digital. Self talk

Eye patterns are useful to know. For one thing they can help you deduce if someone is telling the truth.

To do this first establish a baseline by asking a few questions (because not everyone is normally oriented). For example ask ‘what colour is your front door?’ for a visual remembered response, ‘what’s your favourite song?’ for an auditory remembered response, ‘imagine a pink elephant’ for visual constructed response.

Pay attention to where the eyes go as the person responds, some people’s eye movements are more pronounced than others.

Once you have a baseline you can tell if someone is remembering something or ‘constructing’ something on subsequent questions. This can help in lie detection.

Eye patterns aren’t always clear cut for more complicated questions. For example, to answer a question a person may access different parts of the brain involving images, sounds and feelings before they respond.

NLP experts claim to be able to view such sequences and make meaningful conclusions about them. They use the information for therapeutic work.

Magic And Mentalism Festival King’s Arms Salford

Eggs Sausage Peas (ESP)

I arrived at the King’s Arms to be welcomed by a silver faced man organising the Ghost tour!

It was a 1 hr show based on the Egg Sausage Peas show which is 2 hrs.

I have checked the web for Jonathan Royle and some of the comments on forums are less than complimentary but I hadn’t checked before and this hadn’t coloured my view of the show.

I thought the show was great. The audience was not that large but was attentive and enthusiastic.

The Show

Got started with some comedy warm up tricks eg. ‘can you guess what word I am going to predict?’ No – pulls out card with No on. A lady picked a celebrity which was Simon Cowell and Jonathan Royle pulls out 3 cards with pictures of babies on then picture of Simon Cowell, which was an impressive prediction.

A guy was asked up on stage for a card prediction. A deck of cards tied by an elastic band were thrown out and 3 members of the audience including me looked at a card each. I had 10 of clubs.

Jonathan chose 1 card to write down and the audience member rang a friend who chose the other 2.

Jonathan wrote 3 numbers on a card and read them out then asked us each to sit down individually if our card had been read out. One by one we all sat down.

5 stars: 5 members of the audience were chosen to get up on stage and they had to choose masks with celebrity faces on. The faces were then matched up with favourite colours but in the reveal we saw the trick had gone wrong.

Next was a trick on the power of positive thinking. Quite a big guy was selected to sit on a chair and the other 4 members of the audience tried to lift him with 2 fingers put together. They tried with signs around their necks on which was written at first negative emotions then positive emotions, and with the positive signs the man was lifted off his chair.

This was followed by a trick where one of the audience selects a number 1-6, a spike is placed on that number under a cup and a dice is rolled to decide which cups were to be smashed using only bare hands. After one of the earlier tricks had gone wrong this one was a bit nerve wracking!

There were a few more tricks which went well including predicting a cartoon character from a book and predicting a date written on the bottom of a tray.

Luca Volpe

The Show

  • A member of the audience had to choose between 2 cards, one with a 50 euro note in. The one with no money in was chosen
  • The assistant guessed the amount of money I had in my pockets
  • He predicted who had drawn which picture out of 4 volunteers
  • He revealed some writing and numbers on a scroll at the end of the show which matched a newspaper cutting a lady made on stage

 

Mentalist Profile: Derren Brown

Derren Brown is the best mentalist of his generation.

He is constantly advancing his skills, innovating with his performances and calling out fake psychics and other frauds too.

Seeing Derren Brown perform it can be hard not to believe he possesses psychic abilities.

This guy knows what is going on in your mind, often because he has created the thoughts himself!

Early Career and TV

Brown started out at university as a hypnotist then started learning and performing close up magic in the cafe’s of Bristol.

Developing his skills over the next 7 years in Bristol Brown hit television in 1999 with 3 specials which later became the ground breaking series Mind Control. >>Derren Brown – Inside Your Mind [DVD]

Derren Brown Trick of The Mind 1 [DVD] [2004] followed on from Mind Control and the 3 series were very much a natural progression.

Trick or Treat (2007 – 2008) surprised applicants with Derren appearing out of the blue to give people a trick or treat. He hypnotised one guy and dropped him of in Marrakesh and dropped one girl, tied up, in a sack into a lake!

In The Events (2009) Brown stuck people watching at home to their seats using sublimnal messaging and bet £5,000 of a viewers money on the spin of a roulette wheel, and lost :(

Also on TV we had Derren Brown Investigates (2010) and The Experiments in 2011. In one episode of In The Experiments Derren got someone to ‘assassinate’ Stephen Fry and in another got someone to admit to a murder they didn’t commit.

TV Specials: Russian Roulette, Seance, Messiah, The Gathering, The Heist, The System, Hero at 30,000 ft, Miracles for Sale.

Live Shows

Watch some of Derren’s live shows and see his masterful control of the audience. 2011-12 he is touring Svengali.

Some of his other live shows include: Derren Brown Live (2003-04), Something Wicked This Way Comes (2005-06), Mind Reader – An Evening of Wonders (2007-08), Enigma (2009-10)

Skills

Derren Brown uses “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship”

He is a master reader of people’s body language, he uses NLP to put thoughts in peoples minds, he uses lots of psychological tricks like perception without awareness and his memory techniques are something to behold!

He is a master of conjuring and hypnosis and teaches some of his tricks in his books.

Derren Brown emphasises the importance of showmanship and involving the audience.

 

 

What Every Body Is Saying, Joe Navarro – Review

What Every Body is Saying is a detailed book on body language by one of the world’s leading experts.

Joe Navarro has dedicated his life to studying body language, a passion which began aged 8 and led him to a 25 year career in the FBI.

A mix of theory, scientific facts and careful observations fill the book with revealing insights.

Chapter 1: Mastering the Secrets of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication constitutes 65% of all interpersonal communication and if your not already you should start paying attention because our body language tells the truth!

Joe has 10 commandments of body language which include conscious and continuous observation, establishing baselines, looking out for changes, discomfort and not staring at people 😉

Chapter 2: Living Our Limbic Legacy

Think you’re clever – well you should be, you have 3 brains!

Your mammalian ‘limbic’ brain controls your body language and works on a freeze, fight then flight basis.

This survival mechanism evolved millenia ago and is still useful in our survival today. When we are comfortable we demonstrate high confidence and when not comfortable we show low confidence behaviours.

If we are uncomfortable we use pacifying behaviours to stimulate our brains into feeling better. There are differences between men and women but in general these behaviours take the form of  touching our necks, our faces, whistling, yawning, touching our legs and hugging ourselves.

Chapter 3: Getting a Leg Up on Body Language

Forget eye contact and hugs, if you want to know what someone is feeling take a closer look at their legs!

Peoples’ legs give away uncensored information about their inner most thoughts.

Look out for happy feet, which way feet are pointing, the knee clasp and leg splay to gauge what someone is thinking.

If we are comfortable we will cross our legs, and lovers will mirror each others legs. Significant changes in leg movement, foot freeze and the foot lock and leave indicate a lack of comfort.

If you want to know if someone likes you when you meet them when you have shaken their hand see if they stay still or move towards or away from you.

People walk in 40 different ways!

Chapter 4: Torso Tips

People turn towards things they like and away from things they don’t. If we can’t turn away from something we dislike we use our arms as a shield.

When trying to assert dominance people may puff up their chests or splay their torso.

Like the legs, the torso is honest, partly because it contains all our organs!

Chapter 5: Knowledge Within Reach

Arms are used to display dominance for example arms akimbo and the hooding effect, we throw our arms in the air when we are happy and hug people we like. Touching someone’s arm is one of the best ways to instantly gain rapport.

We also put jewellery on our arms to demonstrate wealth.

Chapter 6: Getting a Grip

Our human hands are unique amongst the animals and by using them correctly we can become more persuasive, likeable and credible :)

You can offend people with your hands by pointing, snapping your fingers or flipping the ‘bird’.

Look out for steepling, thumb displays, genital framing, frozen hands, hand wringing, neck touching, microexpressions as all give away our subconscious thouhts.

When shaking hands, don’t try to assert dominance it doesn’t work, giving a good firm handshake is the best bet!

Chapter 7: The Minds’s Canvas

Our facial expressions are a universal language. Humans are capable of more than 10,000 different facial expressions.

Because we can control our facial expressions we can mask emotions but faces are still useful for gauging emotion.

Look out for eye blocking behaviours like squinting and pupil constriction. People do this when they don’t like what they see. Likewise, if what they say is agreeable we see pupil dilation, eyebrow arching and flashbulb eyes.

Contempt is shown by the rolling of the eyes and sneering. The lips, nose, forehead, cheeks all give information away and If the face is sending mixed signals, the negative emotion is more honest.

Interestingly eye contact does not indicate honesty and is often used by psychopaths!

Chapter 8: Detecting Deception

Despite the inherent honesty of our body language, when the body lies, its still hard to tell. Even the most gifted body language readers can only detect deception 60% of the time. Polygraphs are only 60-80% accurate. That’s because lying is a survival tool.

When trying to detect deception make sure you know the base level of body language when comfortable. Look out for blocking using objects, pacifying behaviour, clusters of behaviours, synchrony and emphasis.

Pay attention and get a good view!

Chapter 9: Final Thouhts

We are taught to listen to what people say, see what peoples bodies are telling you and a whole new world of communication will open up!

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A Mind Of It’s Own, Cordelia Fine – Review

What goes on up there?

A pregnant Cordelia Fine went to great lengths to find out.

She bring scientific research to life with personal anecdotes, humour and a passion for psychology. Read on…

Chapter 1: The Vain Brain

The vain brain has a lot to answer for. It makes people think they are more ethical, better employees and better drivers than average and that’s just the start.

We give ourselves all sorts of credit for our successes and let ourselves off the hook for our failures to protect our egos.

If we think we are going to do badly we don’t try to give ourselves an excuse for failure.

We spend time with those who think we are great and have a massively optimistic view of our future health, wealth and happiness.

The vain brain is needed though – those with a more accurate view of reality are often clinically depressed and optimistic people live longer!

Chapter 2: The Emotional Brain

Whether you like it or not your emotions play a big part in the workings of your mind. Take this interesting nugget – your emotions are often aware of things BEFORE you are consciously aware of them.

Happy and sad films alter our perceptions, emotions affect how much pain we feel and emotions even affect what we actually see!

People with damage to the emotional parts of their brains can find it near impossible to make decisions, some feel permanently detached from reality, some even think they are dead :(

Chapter 3: The Immoral Brain

Our judgements which we think are based on logic are often based on gut reactions or moral intuitions. Our need to believe in a just world means that we often believe people have brought misfortune upon themselves.

We hold others up to judgement for things whilst letting ourselves off for the same thing. We are basically illogical and mean people!

We judge ourselves morally superior, and think if our intentions were good that’s the main thing, even if the result is catastrophic failure.

Our morality can easily be altered by circumstances too. In an experiment 2/3 of people administered a highly dangerous voltage to fellow human beings.

Authority was a big factor here and has been shown to play a big part in immorality, as a cursory glance at the history books will confirm.

Chapter 4: The Deluded Brain

150 million Americans believe its possible for someone to be physically possessed by the Devil and 25 million Britons believe its possible to communicate with the dead.

In short many of us are deluded. There is a fine line between regular day to day delusion and being banged up in the funny farm too. People can quite easily be turned temporarily insane.

Our minds are shown to be illogical again – beware asking your loved one ‘don’t you love me any more?’ and if there is no correlation between things your brain will help out by making one up.

Some of the truly deluded think their family has been replaced by aliens or that others are controlling their actions… and then there is religion.

Chapter 5: The Pigheaded Brain

Beliefs are a funny thing. We quickly form beliefs based on the evidence, (even if that evidence is telling us the exact opposite?) and won’t let go of those beliefs, even if they are completely discredited later.

Other people’s beliefs have a huge impact over us too so lets hope mummy really believes her little angel is a genius!

Chapter 6: The Secretive Brain

The unconscious mind, one of my favourite subjects.

The big take-away from this chapter is this:

Areas of the brain are dedicated to specific subjects, they are called schemas. If a schema is activated, it will affect your behaviours. Schemas can be activated through environmental factors without your knowledge. Think about that one for a second.

The unconscious walks us places and drives our cars too – but we knew that already.

Chapter 7: The Weak Willed Brain

Face it – your will is weak. Use it up during the day and spend the evening sprawled in front of the TV watching East Enders.

Our willpower is undermined by a bad mood, rejection and distress.

However, keep working that willpower and it will eventually grow strong.

You need your unconscious mind onside for success. Help it out by writing detailed plans of what you intend to do :)

Chapter 8: The Bigoted Brain

Stereotypes, there must be more to life!

Beware stereotypes. They affect you whether you like it or not. We need to do away with them because people which suffer from negative stereotypes are at a disadvantage – and what’s fair about that?!

It’s those blasted schemas at work again… however all is not lost. Become aware of how blatantly bigoted you are being and do away with it now! (apparently its not that hard).

Epilogue: The Vulnerable Brain

Your brain is with you 24/7 so you better get used to it.

We are at the mercy of our emotions and the environment.

Our brain is constantly doing stuff and not even doing us the courtesy of letting us know.

Fortunatel, if you have read this book you might be able to work yours a bit better :)

Take- Aways:

Our motives are often hidden, even from ourselves.

Beware your schemas (and be aware of other peoples), they are critical in the way we behave and can be easily triggered.

Expectations of yourself and others play no small part in behaviour and performance.

Beliefs – easily formed and hard to shift.

Take control of your brain by writing out a plan!

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