Cultic Studies Journal, 1988, Volume 5, Number 1, pages 44-58.
Creating the Illusion of Mind Reading in a Self-Transformation Training
Robert C. Fellows, M. T. S.
Some self-transformation trainings have been accused of employing a wide variety of manipulative and deceptive techniques. One such program leads participants in an exercise which purports to demonstrate intuitive ability, or what it calls the "highest level of awareness.” This paper suggests that the exercise which we will can the “intuition exercise,” instead of demonstrating a high level of awareness, creates an illusion of “mind reading" and manipulates some participants into believing that they have developed extrasensory perception.
The human potential movement has generated widespread acceptance for the idea that personal growth can be achieved outside of mainstream therapy. Because this movement's methods may at first seem unusual and in some cases opposed to what is traditionally believed to be good practice, it is difficult to discriminate between groups which are creating innovative and caring approaches to personal growth and groups which are exploiting the receptive mood within the field. This difficulty has generated considerable confusion. Many persons claim to benefit from self-transformation programs; many others claim to be harmed. Those who have described harmful consequences frequently allege that some self- transformation groups employ an array of manipulative techniques of persuasion and control.
Before scholars can definitively determine the extent to which harm and manipulation occur in such groups, it is necessary that they first understand the types of manipulative techniques that can be employed and to what purpose. In this essay, I will try to shed light on this question by analyzing in detail an important exercise in a self-wansfor7national program We win call that exercise the “intuition exercise.” The program will not be named here because my focus is not on evaluating or judging this particular training, but on analyzing the dynamics of an intuition exercise illustrative of similar exercises used in other self-transformation trainings.
The Mentalist's Point of View
My perspective in analyzing the intuition exercise is that of a professional mentalism The expertise of a magician trained in the field of mentalism (magic which creates the illusion of psychic phenomena), who is also well-versed in the dynamics of social-psychological influence, can be a useful and sometimes indispensable adjunct to the skills of a psychologist, sociologist, or physician when investigating groups that make extraordinary claims in the area of self-awareness.
In April of 1985, I was asked to serve as an expert witness in two cases related to a self-transformation training.1 The cases were pending in federal courts in Washington, D.C. In order to prepare for the cases, I reviewed documents which included several legal depositions and literature published by the group. I had already attended a two-hour introductory lecture about the training as part of my personal research.
In July of 1985, 1 was a full participant in the first night of the group's basic training in Los Angeles. This was a five-hour evening of lectures and group processes with about 250 participants.
On the second night of that training, after an hour of negotiating, I was not allowed to finish the training because I would not sign a consent form, which released the training, its agents, and employees from any liability arising from my participation in the training.
In August of 1987, 1 was asked to consult in a third court case related to the group. I read further depositions, and interviewed four graduates of the group's basic training.
My analysis is based upon the preceding sources of information.
The Intuition Exercise
The basic training is a five-day course. It begins on a Wednesday night and ends on Sunday night A trainer runs the sessions, assisted by volunteer assistants, who are graduates of both basic and advanced trainings and in the third and final three-month stage of training.
Throughout the training, the trainer talks about a special kind of intuition as the “highest level of awareness.” On the last night of the basic training, the trainer leads the participants in the intuition exercise.
The participants are told to form dyads. Partner A thinks of a person who is not known by Partner B. We will call the imagined person the “object.” Partner A tells Partner B the name, age, sex, and/or address of the object Then Partner B is supposed to describe the object as well as he can, simply using his or her intuition. The participants are surprised at how accurate they can be in describing someone they have never seen.
Factors Contributing to Manipulation in the Intuition Exercise: Before the Training Begins
Many aspects of the training enhance what I believe to be a specious persuasiveness of the intuition exercise. The group's recruiters ten prospects that if they know what is going to happen, the basic training will not be effective. This can create an aura of mystery, a feeling that the group is engaged in some mission that must be kept secret and that perhaps, “special” powers will be learned.
Mystery also surrounds the supposed benefits of the auditing. These benefits are described in vague, ambiguous, and unlimited terms. For example a trainer told one recruit that “. . . it [the training] is for people who want to improve themselves, become happier, perhaps meet people, have a better career, feel more attractive, all kinds of wonderful things ... It is the best thing you will ever do.” This recruit further stated, "They told me that it was the key to life and the best thing that you'll ever do, but they don't tell you what it is. I took it because of the persuasive person and the mystery."2
This tactic invites recruits to "fill in the blanks" with the benefits that they are seeking. Also, since the benefits are described in vague and unlimited terms, this tactic can create or reinforce the feeling that the training might involve special powers.
Pre-training activities and statements can also lower prospects' critical alertness. Because, for example, many participants have had little or no experience with self-improvement programs or therapy, they may not question or analyze seemingly “psychic” occurrences in the training in the same way that that they would if they recognized differences between " group's methods and traditional therapy, or if they suspected that they were taking part in entertainment, theater, or manipulation.
Contributing Factors Within the Training Leading Up to the Intuition Exercise
In the session I attended, participants were confronted with robot-like behavior, jargon, a uniform look in the trainers and volunteer assistants, formality, and a crowd control system similar to herding. All this can contribute to the futuristic aura of a special mission and people with special powers. For example, no matter what question we asked the volunteer assistants on the first night of the training, the response was a stiff "Purses and coats to the side-fill the front rows first.” The assistants stood in strategic positions throughout the room and did not move as we walked past them to our seats.
Participants are given name tags, which, according to one of the ground rules, must be worn at all times during the training. The participants’ name tags are a different color from the assistants' name tags, thereby setting up an implicit hierarchy which can create the feeling that the assistants have developed a special status.
On the participants' name tags, the first name is very large so that it can be read at a long distance. The trainer uses the first names of the participants during his lectures, and in confrontations. This catches the participants off guard, for they may forget for an instant that they are wearing name tags. The participant can thus have a fleeting feeling that the trainer has some “psychic” ability because he knows the participant's name without having met him. Even though reason later invalidates this conclusion, the feeling of awe can linger. Moreover, even when participants remember that they are wearing name tags, they may feel flattered that the trainer was “interested” enough in them to use their names. A feeling of “specialness” and rapport between trainer and participant can result
The trainer magnifies his impact on participants by making many specific observations as to what they may be thinking at the time. During my first night of the basic training, the trainer suggested reasons why people might have come to the training. For example, he said that perhaps some participants came because their daughter or some other relative wanted them to come. As the trainer suggested possibilities, I looked around the room and saw people registering positive responses to the various reasons that were given. They miss the fact that the trainer suggests so many reasons, which he has encountered in his experience, that he is likely to hit on nearly every reason which anyone would have for coming to the training. The feeling of surprise and recognition engendered by being told something true about oneself can take precedence over or even block the rational thought process of figuring out that the trainer has covered so many possibilities that of course he would make a hit.
Also, in the opening lecture on my first night of the basic training, the trainer pointed out many general qualities of human nature. Although there was nothing particularly striking in his insights, the fact that he was able to discern so much of what goes on in a person's mind and emotions in different situations could create the feeling that the trainer might in some way be able to "read minds."
I do the same sort of thing in my stage performance of ESP illusions. At the beginning I say “Many of us have had an experience that seems to be more than a coincidence. For example, part of a dream will come true. Or we'll be humming a song, turn on the radio, and the same song is playing. Or maybe we'll go to call someone on the phone, and that person is already on the line.” A number of people will have had one of those experiences or a similar one. I already seem to be “reading people's minds,” and I am creating an aura of acceptability for psychic phenomena.
Once again, the feeling that the trainer is right and seems to understand how people think outweighs the process of figuring out that he is speaking in generalities and simply hitting on common human experiences in the same manner as a good professional comedian. The comedian makes observations of human nature to elicit the emotional response of laughter. While the trainer gets quite a few laughs, he also creates the impression that, because he is always talking about human psychology, he has special insight into the human psyche.
Some of the observations made by the trainer are “charming.” For example, on my first night, the trainer told a story about a child playing in a puddle. The point of the story was that we should be “childlike.” This can create a feeling of commonality in the group, and make the trainer seem to be “humane,” even trustworthy, further setting the stage for manipulation in the intuition exercise. The story can also create the feeling that the participants will learn something .natural” - something that they have "forgotten.”
Another manipulative technique is to present accepted science as unreliable. My trainer, for example, told a story about a mouse in a maze looking for cheese. When the mouse has always found cheese in one of a number of tunnels, but discovers it is not there one day, it will look in the other tunnels. The human being, however, looking for love and finding it in the same place for a long period of time, will keep looking in the place where he found it previously, rather than check the other “tunnels.”
Such a story implicitly brings into question the reliability of science, because it implies (even though it may be a scientifically false story) that experimentation with animals in the science of psychology really doesn't tell us how the mind operates. If the trainer can get people to question the authorities on which they base their view of the world, he is more likely to get them to throw out their .old ideas" and replace them with a completely new model for analyzing experience.
The trainer I observed used another manipulative technique. Human behavior which was previously acceptable to participants was put into question much in the same way that science was questioned. The trainer asked participants to help him make a list of “ways to avoid” and “ways to create value.” However, the .ways to avoid” encompassed a very large set of human activities, for example, sleeping, eating, watching TV, working, drinking, and talking. When previously acceptable behavior is termed “avoidance,” acceptance for new, strange behavior can be strengthened. Further, as Haaken and Adams state in an article about a prominent self-transformation training, "By the device of identifying resistances as “ways of avoiding, "participants" questions, doubts, and concerns were labeled as obstacles to personal growth.” 3
My subjects reported and I observed that throughout the training participants who raise objections or are unsuccessful with an exercise are often intimidated and ridiculed. Eventually, the trainer seems to break down the participants' ability to analyze and seems to discourage their interest in raising objections. Later, the participants may try harder to make the exercises “work” for them, so as not to be intimidated or ridiculed. This behavior may reflect what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, the tendency to alter discrepancies between attitudes and behavior. Cognitive dissonance, by the way, will also incline participants to feel positively about the trainer in order to justify to themselves their considerable investment of money, time, and emotion in the program.
This intimidation is similar to, though sometimes more assaultive than, a technique I might use in my performance of mentalism, when I encounter someone who is not going along with the ESP illusions. I might kid him in a friendly way to quiet him down and continue with the performance. The trainer whom I observed on my first night of the basic training was masterful at intimidating those who raised objections, without the friendliness.
In addition, the training isolates participants from their normal environments for three long evenings and two full days on the weekend. They are even given homework. If the participants also have nine to five jobs, it makes it difficult for them to have time to themselves, or to get adequate sleep. This may lead to a state of increased suggestibility in the participants, which would make it easier to convince them that they were having an extraordinary experience of mind reading in the intuition exercise.
Finally, in the session I attended, the trainer asks for commitment, likening it to a bar over your lap on a roller coaster ride. This analogy implies that while the training might be fun at times, it might also seem dangerous, but like a roller coaster ride, it will not really be dangerous. The only possible danger is not putting on your seat belt, or in the case of the training, making a full commitment. Later, this concept can help to make the intuition exercise work. Stopping to analyze what is really going on may be seen as not making the full commitment. Analysis is thus discouraged and even seen as potentially dangerous.
The Illusion of ESP
Intuition is a normal unconscious reasoning ability. If a person is intuitive, he or she has the ability to draw conclusions from normal sensory information that is apparently inferred without the use of normal conscious mason.
Extra-sensory perception, on the other hand, is the paranormal ability to bypass the use of the senses. It is “perception that seems to occur apart from or in addition to, the normal function of the usual senses.14
In the intuition exercise, the trainer lays the groundwork for creating an illusion of ESP by using language that weakens the resistance of skeptics and reinforces the faith of believers. The trainer uses the term “natural knowing” instead of “intuition” or “ESP.” The term “natural knowing,” the cultivation of which is the goal of the intuition exercise, is sufficiently vacuous (what would be an example of “unnatural knowing”?) yet evocative (“natural” implies effortless, authentic, “better”) to create an expectation that the group will learn something powerful and special. This special ability is likened to “intuition but is presented as something more profound - otherwise why not say “intuition”?
On the first night of the basic training which I attended, the trainer said "We will be calling a “rock” a “rock.” This was communicated in a way that would incline participants to believe that the special language of the training is somehow deeper and more accurate than normal language.
The use of a special term for intuition or ESP reduces the resistance of those participants who are not inclined to believe in ESP without at the same time alienating those who are prone to believe in ESP and welcome the chance to learn it. Indeed, participants who are inclined to believe in ESP and the paranormal think only that a special language is being used to teach it. In either case, "natural knowing” becomes synonymous with ESP in the group's jargon and in the perceptions of many participants.
The identification of "natural knowing" with paranormal perceptions can be seen most conspicuously in the group's theoretical explanation of that ability, which is provided on the first night of the basic training. The trainer discusses levels of awareness. At the bottom levels are mystery, belief, and analysis. At the mid- point are action and experiment. Above the mid-point we find experience and observation, and finally, “natural knowing,” at the top. This highest ability is defined as that which we just know “with nothing to substantiate it" 5 If that is what it means, then with very few exceptions,6 this constitutes the same thing as information gained without the use of the senses, which would be paranormal. Therefore, the group's special language, or jargon, suggests that the training can make one “psychic.”
Manipulation in the Intuition Exercise
There is a great deal of manipulation within the intuition exercise which can make it seem more effective and dramatic. The exercise begins with the selection of a volunteer “believer” for an introductory demonstration by the trainer. According to my subjects, the trainer asks for a volunteer who has taken the basic training before, and sometimes for someone who has taken the training and "believes that the exercise can work.” In this way, the trainer can manipulate the situation in order to demonstrate “intuition” with someone who is inclined to believe in psychic abilities. Since the evidence for success in these matters is subjective, ESP illusions work best with such persons because they will help the demonstration along.
In an objective inquiry into the possibility of psychic phenomena, the selection of the subject would be random or comparisons would be made between experiments performed with “believers” and with non-believers. The intuition exercise systematically avoids this random selection or careful comparison.
Ambiguity in the Exercise
In the demonstration, the trainer may also tend to use ambiguous metaphorical images and many possible interpretations of what they might mean, which can lead the participants to mimic the trainer's model. The process leads to “hits,” such as the following actual case: One participant was thinking of a friend when her partner said, “I'm getting an impression of the Pillsbury Dough Boy.”7 This was taken to be a psychic hit because the object was slightly overweight and soft. However, the attempt could also have been seen to be accurate if the person was any kind of boy, a baker, liked bread, lived on Pillsbury Street, worked for Pillsbury, or came from Minneapolis (the home of Pillsbury).
Giving the name, sex, age, city and/or state of residence of the person being described in the exercise can lead to many inferences and thereby contribute to the illusion of ESP. One participant told her partner that the person in question lived in Florida, and was then impressed with the accuracy of her partner's statement that he lived in a one-story house (a typical Florida residence).S
Based on my interviews, by the fifth day of the training, the level of acceptance regarding the exercise can be so high that even the smallest coincidental detail that is accurate in the intuition exercise can serve to validate the vague or ambiguous guesses, and can further convince the participants that they are experiencing ESP.
Distributing “Belier” Throughout the Group
In the forming of dyads, the second stage in the exercise, the trainer first tells participants to stand up if they do not believe that “this [the intuition exercise) can work.” Then they are told to look around and not pair off with any of these other people. This has two effects. First, through cognitive dissonance, it reinforces the belief of those who remain sitting, because they have taken a physical action which is associated with believing, namely remaining seated. The tendency to remain seated is further reinforced because previously many participants who had not conformed were intimidated and ridiculed. Second, this method of forming dyads helps to ensure that each dyad win include at least one person who has a propensity toward interpreting ambiguous images as hits.
The participants I interviewed reported that the trainer tells the participants, “If you don't believe it [the intuition exercise] can work. . . guess what?” This is an effective indirect suggestion that if the exercise doesn't work for a participant, it is in some way his fault In hypnotherapy, indirect suggestion is thought to be a more effective way to influence some patients than direct statements. “Indirect suggestions are not commands, they are suggestions that cry out for unconscious inferences to be drawn by the patienL”9
If the exercise doesn't work for the participant, there is a further implication that it is the participant's fault because the trainer has already demonstrated that he (the trainer) has this ability, and has said that others who have taken the training also have shown " ability.
My subjects reported that during the exercise, the volunteer assistants are instructed to mingle and pair themselves off with those partners having the most difficulty. In a manipulative way, this distributes the level of belief as evenly as possible throughout the room, and further ensures that there will be a high number of hits.
Guidance and Reinforcement Through Feedback
My subjects stated that the trainer told them they must give feedback during the intuition exercise. This guides the partner, narrowing down the focus of the "reading" until there is some degree of accuracy. One participant stated that when she was doing the intuition exercise, she considered the early misses to be .warming up.”10 Another participant said "Eventually I would work my way over to seeming to have ESP. I had the impression that I was reading their mind.- I I
Actually, the “warming up" was the beginning of a narrowing down process. The early misses are simply discounted as insignificant This technique is classic in faulty psychic investigation. Large amounts of data are simply ignorant. It is sometimes said that entire experiments "didn't work out.”
If a participant, the receiver, is inaccurate in a reading, his partner, the sender, is instructed to say, “That's not my experience of this person,” rather than "You're wrong.” The former is a manipulative phrase that greatly increases the possibility that the sender will question his own knowledge of the person being described, and give credibility to the receiver's “experience” of that person.
The intuition exercise goes on for 40 - 60 minutes, which is plenty of time to have a high number of hits in each dyad. Participants may tend to remember the hits and forget the misses, or to see them as “warming up.” The intuition exercise is immediately followed by a break in which participants are allowed to talk among themselves. Here they are given an opportunity to share their surprising experiences. It does not seem unreasonable to expect them to exaggerate their stories in order to demonstrate their "high level of awareness.” In my own performance of ESP illusions, I have seen that one seemingly impossible effect in the course of a long performance will dominate conversation after the performance, and misses will be forgotten.
It does not take many accurate hits to impress an inexperienced participant with this type of exercise. One of the participants estimated the “readings” in the intuition exercise to be about '75% accurate.'12 Since the participants lack experience in “psychic” investigation, and do not realize how much can be attributed to manipulation, that might seem impressive. However, participants tend to exaggerate the percentage of accuracy in such a reading due to selective memory, so that a subjective impression of 75% accuracy is in fact not very impressive.
Other Principles of Mentalism
The intuition exercise draws on several other fundamental principles of mentalism. The trainer, for example, may tell participants that they will be right 80% of the time. This is a standard line used by mentalists to make the demonstration seem more genuine. One hundred percent accuracy would seem impossible and the audience would suspect trickery. It also explains why there are some inaccuracies.
Since the exercise is one of making statements about a person, another principle of mentalism applies: there are many more statements that people will agree are true about themselves, or about another person, than one would think- This knowledge accounts for the mentalist's ability to do “cold reading," or to seemingly tell someone a lot about himself with absolutely no information about that person.
Psychologist Ray Hyman describes how cold reading works so effectively.
We have to bring our knowledge and expectations to bear in order to comprehend anything in our world. In most ordinary situations this use of context and memory enables us to correctly interpret statements and supply the necessary inferences to do this. But this powerful mechanism can go astray in situations where there is no actual message being conveyed. Instead of picking up random noise we still manage to find meaning in the situation. So the same system that enables us to creatively find meanings and to make new discoveries also makes us extremely vulnerable to exploitation by all sorts of manipulators.13
Another principle of mentalism known as the “individuation effect, 14 comes into play in the intuition exercise. If a person volunteers some information about himself (or another person), he or she will have a stronger tendency to believe “psychic” information that seems to be based on these facts about the object- For example, a believer will tend to accept a “psychic" reading more readily if he has given his birth date and is told that the reader is an “astrologer,” than if the reading is done with no information volunteered. In the intuition exercise, the name, sex, age, and/or address of the subject is volunteered. This creates an individuation effect and also ensures that there won't be an embarrassing miss on those specific points.
Since the partner who is thinking of another person must give feedback, another Cold reading technique is available to the partner doing the reading. The receiver may be consciously or unconsciously sensing the reactions of the sender, and may give impressions that seem to get a verbal or non-verbal positive response. In mentalism this technique is called “fishing.” As participants practice this, they might get better at reading the reactions of their partners, and since both partners have a large investment in making the exercise work, they will unwittingly help each other. In a sense, the exercise provides rewards for developing cold reading skills even if these skills are developed unintentionally.
As an example of how this works, one participant told me that the woman doing the intuition exercise with him described his object "pretty accurately,” and when the exercise was over said, “It seems like she could be your mother.”15 - That remark was quite surprising to him, since he cannot recall revealing that fact to his partner. However, the description could easily have been obtained by the techniques of fishing and unconscious cold reading, and the participant told me that he looks a lot like his mother. The coincidence of his partner's remark was no longer surprising to him after I explained how the exercise might work.
Pseudo Explanations for Heightened Intuition
The training implicitly supplies three types of explanation for the occurrence of .psychic phenomena during the course: the pseudo-scientific, the pseudo- psychological and what I call the “honesty” explanation, the latter referring to the notion that we don't see this occurrence more often because we are not honest enough.
According to my subjects, the trainers generally say that “we use only 10% of our mental capacity.” This implied rationale for how we might be able to develop “psychic” ability is more acceptable to the public today than religious, spiritual, or fantasy explanations such as, “this power comes from aliens," or “there are ghosts in the room who speak to us.” It is a pseudo-scientific explanation of how we might be able to develop mental abilities that are usually thought to be impossible. Participants are free to imagine that if by the end of five days they would be able to use just II% of their mental capacity, they could become in some sense “super people.”
Mentalists have talked about the fact that we use 10% of our brains for many years without even knowing if it's a true statement Mentalists often discuss the "frontier" and "vast untapped potential" of the mind when they are trying to create the impression that something supernatural or supernormal is going to happen. IM pseudo-scientific explanation lends credibility to the performance.
Printed on a banner at the front of the room during the training is the question, “What are You Pretending Not to Know?” This question provides a pseudo- psychological rather than a pseudo-scientific explanation. It suggests that we don't display “psychic” ability all of the time because we tend not to recognize truths that we do not have evidence to support that we cannot “substantiate.” If only we could free ourselves from this inhibition, according to this line of thinking, we would be able to realize our natural ability to be “psychic.”
The trainer, according to my subjects, places a high value on what he calls “real” honesty. This provides another pseudo-explanation for why we do not have .psychic" experiences all the time. We don't say some things because we are not really being honest with other people.
The trainer seems to be asking, however, for an unusual kind of honesty. It seems that we are only being honest if we say exactly what is on our minds all the time. Since he sets absolute honesty as the standard, most people can agree that they are not completely honest, and therefore might be hiding some kind of .psychic” abilities even from themselves.
The Selling of the Illusion
AR of the graduates interviewed said that after the intuition exercise, and after a short break, the trainer discussed the advanced training, in the course of which he stated that the ability of heightened intuition which the participants had developed would continue to mature even if they did not take the advanced training. This notion serves to reinforce the value of the basic training.
Then, according to the graduates, the trainer stated that this ability would develop even more quickly if participants took the advanced training. Thus, the trainer uses the intuition exercise as part of the 'sales pitch” for the advanced training.
One participant said that the person recruiting him for the advanced training asked him to think back to the basic training and think of the exercise that happened at the end, telling him that what he would experience in the advanced training would be a hundred times greater. He stated that what he thought at that moment was that if he were able to “read somebody's mind” at the end of basic training, then if something was a hundred times greater, he would like to experience that at any cost.
The same graduate also said in an interview that “had it not been for the [intuition] exercise,” he would not have signed up for the advanced training. 16
The convincing effect of the intuition exercise remembered by participants seems to be the result of increased suggestibility, cold reading, fishing, the use of vague and ambiguous images, selective memory, and information unwittingly volunteered by the participants. The exercise, combined with the manipulation leading up to it, and the statement that the heightened awareness will continue to develop, can lead some participants to believe that they have experienced ESP and that they will have further psychic experiences outside of the training. These experiences may seem to be the direct result of the training, and may thereby heighten its appeal, falsely validate the value of the training, and make the participant more likely to sign up for advanced courses.
1. I was asked to serve in these cases by three clients of attorney Peter N. Georgiades, who has extensive experience in cult-related litigation and who was looking for someone to explain "confidence games” to a jury.
2. Interview with basic training graduate #1.
3. Haaken, Janice and Adams, Richard. “Pathology as “Personal Growth”: A Participant-Observation Study of Lifespring,” Psychiatry, 46, 274.
4. Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition. (Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1982), 740.
5. A statement made by the trainer in Los Angeles on July 10, 1985.
6. The exceptions to the statement that knowledge without substantiation is paranormal are not statements describing sensory information. They are statements of "truths that we hold to be self-evident” such as “AR people are created equal." This is a small set of statements, and not the kind of information that the training implies participants will receive in the intuition exercise.
7. Interview with basic training graduate # 2.
8. Interview with basic training graduate # 3.
9. Barber, Joseph, Ph.D. “Maximizing the Effectiveness of Hypnosis Through Indirect Suggestion.” Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Ontario, August 31, 1978.
10. Interview with basic training graduate #1,
I 1. Interview with basic training graduate #4.
12. Interview with basic training graduate #4.
13. Hyman, Ray, Ph.D. "Cold Reading”: How to Convince Strangers that You Know All about Them.” The Skeptical Inquirer (Spring/Summer, 1977).
14. Saville, Thomas K. Ph.D. and Dewey, Herb. “Red Hot Cold Reading: The Professional Pseudo Psychic." In Visible Print (Denver, 1984), 20.
15. Interview with basic training graduate #4.
16. Interview with basic training graduate #4.
Robert C. Fellows is a professional mentalist who holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard University and lectures on mind control and related topics.