Mind games

D.C. DiaryNovember 20, 200011:32 p.m.

Since I was stuck at work during what my friends call a stellar performance by hypnotist Tom Deluca Tuesday night in Lisner Auditorium, I decided to get the experience second-hand by getting inside the hypnotized minds of a few (err, two) students.

I originally talked to sophomore Madeeha Rana, who reportedly made a hilarious on-stage hypnotized performance with some risqu? dancing. She described the experience with descriptions straight from Tom Wolfe’s psychedelic classic, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. She felt buzzed and sleepy, completely relaxed and uninhibited, she said.

Rana said she did things she would never do while she was on stage in front of hundreds of laughing audience members.

It was like those scenes in the movies, Rana claims. You’re focused on (Tom Deluca’s) words and everything else is a blur.

She said she didn’t remember anything that happened until people told her what she did. Is this some weird side-effect of hypnosis or is Rana really, really gullible? I had to dig for some answers.

To make sure Rana’s trippy experience was purely from Tom Deluca’s countdowns and intimate whisperings on stage, I decided to call sophomore Matthew Patashnick.

Matt is known around campus as the dude who did a ballet number, complete with throws from Dirty Dancing, with another dude Tuesday night. He said he feels famous when people stop him in the street to laugh with him about the performance. I guess people get their 15 minutes of fame in different ways.

Surprisingly, Matt described the hypnotic experience much like Rana: the zoning out of the audience, the relaxation and inhibition, the inability to recall what happened.

The students both argue that they weren’t hypnotized but felt they were put in an extremely comfortable atmosphere without inhibitions or worries about anyone else around. They were in control of their actions, they said, but just didn’t care what they did.

Apparently the two newest celebrities on campus made fools of themselves in front of hundreds, and they honestly believe they did it because they wanted to.

If all this is true, I conclude that Tom Deluca is the most powerful man on earth. My only question is: do they offer courses in hypnosis at GW?

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