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Hypnotist Robbers
Status: Scam
A New Hampshire convenience store clerk claims that he was robbed. However, the thieves didn't use any weapons or threats. Instead, they used hypnosis and mind control to make the clerk not notice that they were taking more than $1000. First coast news reports:
It started with a simple mind game. Think of a wild animal, they say, and we'll write down what's in your mind. but it escalates quickly to very personal information about a former girlfriend, and finally, says Patel, mind control. Even investigators are persuaded.
Patel says that the actual moment of hypnosis occurred when the thieves gave him a piece of paper and asked him to cut it into eleven smaller pieces. The clerk has also said that he'll pay back what was robbed.

Apparently this method of robbery has been used before in India (the thieves were Indian, as was the clerk), but I've never heard of it being used before this in America.
Categories: Con Artists, Law/Police/Crime, Psychology
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 02, 2007
Comments (11)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
Sounds to me like old-fashioned "divert his attention" rather than hypnosis: keep the attention of the victim occupied while an accomplice does the job with the cash register.
Posted by LaMa  on  Tue Oct 02, 2007  at  02:51 AM
The great Derren Brown shows us how to do it here:
Posted by Dave Rattigan  on  Tue Oct 02, 2007  at  03:09 AM
I have actually heard of this in America before, I think. I have a vague memory of this happening around the end of the 19th century, some stage magician used it (to demonstrate his powers of course, not for nefarious ends), but he didn't do it onstage, he went into shops and did it, and even did it to the police once. Unfortuntely I can't remember more than that.
Posted by Nona  on  Tue Oct 02, 2007  at  06:19 AM
The news stories about the incident don't provide too many details. At first I thought the robbers got the clerk to actually hand over $1000 to them, but the myfoxkc version of the incident made it sound like the clerk was simply standing by as the robbers took the money.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Oct 02, 2007  at  10:20 AM
If they really claim to use hypnosis, this is complete bullshit. Hypnosis doesn't work that way.
Posted by Ozymandias  on  Thu Oct 04, 2007  at  03:16 PM
Ozymandias, I agree with you. Granted I haven't studied hypnosis for over thirty years (I keep meaning to get back to it but I get sidetracked), but what I rmember is that hypnosis is a form of concentration. And it can't be done quickly except by a couple of well-known tricks. Of course, the number of quick tricks could be larger now than the early 70's but I still doubt cutting paper is one of them.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Thu Oct 04, 2007  at  09:47 PM
Obviously, then, the trick is:

Don't cut up the piece of paper.

I'd like to see them try this at a liquor store in my neighborhood.

(Shoot this paper eleven times!)
Posted by Longstreet63  on  Fri Oct 05, 2007  at  04:57 PM
Nah this stuff really happened, go to a specific website (search on google, im lazy)

and you can watch the security tape.

I've studied hypnosis, this is definetly possible.
Posted by Slin  on  Thu Oct 25, 2007  at  12:41 AM
This supposedly happened here in Greece just this week. TV reported that a Gypsy woman entered asking to break a large note, and footage showed her leaning over and just taking money from the till. The victim claimed he was hypnotised.
More likely just astounded.
Posted by Vassili  on  Thu Oct 25, 2007  at  05:01 AM
Really, this just makes hypnosis look bad. it is an obvious scam.
Posted by Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy  on  Wed Dec 10, 2008  at  11:18 AM
The media in countries around the world has sporadically reported shocking news of robberies committed using hypnosis on bank cashiers, salespeople, or passers-by. The first reported episode in Italy dates to the 1950s. Although the phenomenon has been reported in the papers more frequently in recent years, no objective analysis of it has been published in the scientific literature. This paper by Clerici CA, Veneroni L, De'Micheli A, Merzagora Betsos I, analyzes 106 episodes recorded in Italy between 1988 and 2007, identified by a systematic review of the online and printed archives of Italian national and local dailies and of the database of the country's principal press agency. When they are analyzed from a psychological and criminological standpoint, there is no evidence to support any real use of hypnotic methods in the episodes described.
Posted by Karl  on  Sat Jul 09, 2011  at  10:50 AM
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