Did Derren Brown Control The Nation?

He certainly didn’t control me last night!

Last night was the second of a series of programmes Derren Brown is doing titled “The Events”. Last week on the Wednesday night (9th September), he had a little ten minute programme on claiming he could and WILL predict the lottery numbers as they went out live. I didn’t watch the show, but many people did and were discussing it on Clive Bull’s show on radio LBC. He had the country talking of nothing else for the following 48 hours. He had predicted all six numbers! Everyone was talking about how he did it. There were so many theories being thrown about.

Last Friday, he told us in a programme sub-titled “How To Win The Lottery”. To keep it short it was to do with some thing called the “Crowd Influence” or something to that effect – can’t remember it verbatim. It was to do with a collective of people having better odds at predicting things and influencing results, than individuals or a small number of people (say, less than 10). He got together 24 people. They looked at all the lottery draws for the previous 12 months, then did some “automatic writing” technique to come up with sets of numbers that subconsciously they would think would be drawn next. Then used averages to come up with the final six numbers. Anyway, to cut it short again – after three attempts (September 9th being the third), they predicted all six numbers.

But right at the end of the programme he went on to say (at the beginning he outlined three plausible ways to win – randomness and luck IE: his numbers just happen to come up, the technique with the 24 people – whatever he called it again, or, cheating!) that he did NOT cheat. Then proceeded to say stuff like…for instance I would have to know someone working at Camelot (the lottery organisers), which I do not, and I’d have to get that person from Camelot to sneak in weighted balls into the draw machines, which I did not (blah de blah)…and so on until you found yourself thinking in a reverse psychology way, “is he admitting to cheating?”.

So this week it was going to be him having us quite literally GLUED to our chairs! There was about 45 minutes of waffle, with him doing all his usual little mentalist things. Just before he was about to “glue” us all to our chairs, they went for an ad break, but just before that, a subliminal image flashed on the screen.

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After they came back from the break, and just before he finished explaining what was going to happen and play the film that would have us “all glued to our chairs”, the image flashed up again. When the show was over, I rewound and grabbed a shot of the image.

The first time I saw it, I got a little disturbed, I must admit. It was a split second, but I could see it was someone sitting on a chair. It looked more like a sort of fractal crash test dummy image when I saw it for that split second. It’s even MORE disturbing now I can clearly see what it is! It played on my mind all through the break, but my mind got used to it and less and less disturbed by it. Then when it flashed again, I was ready for it.

By the time the film played, I had a little heightened sense of fear, but I was sort of assuring myself that I would NOT get stuck. As the film played, I found the music sort of soothing and wasn’t disturbed by the image at all. After the minute was up, I jumped out of the lounge saying “I’m not stuck. I’m SSSOOO not stuck!!” I was thinking “take that Derren Brown! Your mentalism didn’t work on ME. I’m no pushover!!” Then I was feeling slightly left out a few minutes later when loads of people were stuck to their chairs. Damn!

I was SO pleased with myself for not being open and susceptible to this kind of stuff. I’ve always wondered whether I could be hypnotised. Now I’m even more curious after that. But I have no plans of going to a hypnotist to find out!!

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