So what should we take away from what just happened there?
“To be part of that fiction… if it is fiction” – his final quote, second video.
I do agree, that people can be very easily made to agree or disagree with something.
I recently attended a new tele-marketing meeting… I had no idea what this was about… and I honestly found it hard to focus on positives and negatives to come to a decision because so many in the crowd were in “RA-RA-RA”/”This is awesome/the best/can’t fail” mode.
After leaving and talking about the experience, I did realize that coming to an opinion that wasn’t biased by “the presentation” of the meeting and it’s facilitator was nearly impossible.
They almost sold it to me. And the “it” was something that I don’t need and would have no confidence in selling myself…. kind of like a “return to AMWAY”….
Interesting video Brian!! Derren Brown’s quite the interesting personality! It is interesting to note the guy is a hypnotist (note the one girl at the back that doesn’t fall down – apparently she didn’t “get saved”), so he is well aware of how to control and suggest action and thoughts to the human mind – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyQjr1YL0zg
Fascinating to watch, but I sat there wondering how he got so many atheists/agnostics in a room to discuss “spirituality” to tell you the truth and made me question the “integrity” of the piece. All that aside, it does call me again as a Christian to be Christ centered instead of “experienced” centered and to make sure I am a thinking follower, instead of mindless drone who accept everyone and everything I read and see as “truth”. It’s a blatant call in my opinion to return to the center of my faith which is Jesus. After all, what does having a “heart hug” or falling down have to do with Salvation? What does such a trite and temporal experience have to do with the Amazing Grace of the Gospel? It calls me to a return to the central theme of redemptive hope and knowing Jesus (a relationship), not just relying on an “experience”. It convicted me of my own laziness and my ineptness to search for the TRUE Jesus among my shoddy “religiosity”.
Thanks for the piece Brian – got me thinking today!
Yves – I’ve been in those meetings and I’ve even signed up – in days past. I’ve also been in ‘church’ meetings where someone prayed for a bunch of us and, I’m sorry to say, when he pushed my forehead I fell back, not because I felt God but because everyone else was falling down. But then I’ve also been so aware of the imminent presence of God I couldn’t get up, no shoving involved. Group dynamics are powerful and I think more powerful than we in the Church are comfortable admitting.
Michelle – I feel the same way about the authenticity of the crowd. But I do know a little about the ministry he went to and it wouldn’t have been a big stretch for them to attract some university age people. In that series he also did a meeting with a room full of people anxious to talk with loved ones who had died. He does amazing cold readings with specific messages from the “other side” then explains it’s a con. He also demonstrated ‘psychic’ powers with another group and then exposed his fraud.
And I couldn’t agree more that it must come back to Jesus and what he’s done for me/us cause somedays I’m and and somedays I’m down and somedays I’m neither up nor down.
Sorry, maybe I’m stupid here so I’m looking for clarification. Is the implication here that some practioners of religion are hypnotizing and using suggestion to direct/control their followers? I remember hearing talk of how certain religious leaders had a cadence to their sermons that was almost “hypnotizing”, and that this was a trait of all the big TV evangelists. No offense to anyone, but this would certainly explain a lot of what Ive seen from TV evangelists.
Hey Brad, I don’t think you’re stupid. I think the implication is DEFINITELY that all of us are susceptible to suggestion and dominant personality types. Whether it’s business or a sports team or a religion we can find ourselves feeling, going along with and participating in things that in other circumstances we would smell a con or at least be uncomfortable and not be able to explain exactly why. The implication is also that an experience is no standard by which to judge what is true or who is genuine. And yes, it does explain a lot.
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