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This is the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast, session number 119, Dr. Dwight Damon on hypnotism as a profession. Welcome to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast with Jason Lynette, your professional resource for hypnosis training and outstanding business success. Here’s your host, Jason Lynette. Welcome back. It’s Jason Lynette here, and if you’re an ongoing listener to this program, you’ve likely already heard the story as to where the origins of the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast came from.
Uh, the first bit of it was a, perhaps slightly negative yet inspiration positive at the end of it that I ran a very active meetup group here in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC area for a while. And as I’m looking out in front of my meetup audience one week, uh, I realize, wow. It’s the same people that we had last month, and there’s the old phrase that the amateur changes their act and the professional changes their audience.
So the goal was to build a thriving community, a thriving, uh, place for people who are really moving things in hypnosis forward, to have a voice, to have these conversations. If you know the reference to, to have more of the Charlie Rose style interview as opposed to the Tonight Show style interview where you’d go to a convention and the interactions with the people in the hallways, at the restaurants, at the bars, and the parking lots and nearby restaurants.
The outings that would occur would be just as valuable as what you would learn. And just as much as it’s a goal to highlight some really exceptional things that are moving our profession forward at the same time, there is an absolute delight of connecting with some of the pioneers. Of this profession.
And that’s where this conversation you’re about to hear really came to be that I reached out to arrange this. It took a little bit of coordination, uh, though here we are at session 119 and having one of the founding members and current president of the National Guild of Hypnotists, Dwight Damon on the program.
Dwight started back in hypnosis as early as 19 47, 19 48. Um, founding the origins of the National Guild of Hypnotists back in 1950. And one of the real legacies of that organization is the assistance of helping to establish hypnotism as its own separate and distinct profession. So inside of this conversation, yes, I wanted to hear more of Dr.
Damon’s history of beginning. Stage hypnosis, transitioning then into careers and other fields, such as being a doctor of chiropractic and then coming back to hypnotism. And really to hear that story firsthand in terms of, well, here’s this arc the chiropractor was on. Here’s this place where it was this brand new thing that people really didn’t understand, and now it’s fully established.
And the interactions with the founder of chiropractic helping to inspire this field of hypnotism. Moving forward, we’re gonna talk themes in terms of the NGH convention, the future of hypnosis, how it is the curriculum has changed over the years, what it is that we as hypnotists can continue to do, to continue our story a hundred years from now and beyond.
And really we’re gonna wrap up with advice for those people who, the, the younger generation, the the new people coming in. And what is the mindset in terms of our skills and how do we practice clean? How do we practice ethically, and how do we always work towards that theme of ongoing improvement? So with that, I’d encourage you as always to head over, first of all, to the Work Smart Hypnosis page over on iTunes and leave your feedback for this program, your ratings, your reviews, help us to grow this.
Also, I’d give a quick plug here for the upcoming National Guild of Hypnotists 2017 annual convention. Details can be found [email protected]. Again, NGH as an National Guild of hypnotist dot. That convention is always the second full weekend in August this year, again, at the uh, Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
Again, details [email protected]. I’ll be there presenting several presentations. I’ll be there in the exhibit area as well, and look forward to chatting with you. Looking forward to meeting you in person. And with that, let’s jump right into this outstanding conversation. This is session number 119, Dr. Dwight Damon on hypnotism as a profession.
Well, my parents were owned in an. Statement agency among other enterprises. And, uh, so I was, you know, interested in magic as, as a kid. I, I mean, I actually was working professionally, uh, when I was 12 or 13 years old. It has, it has an advantage when your parents are agents. Mm-hmm. , uh, they were able to give me a lot of bookings and, uh, the hypnosis just came along like everybody else back in, in the day, which is way before your time.
There used to be, uh, on most of the pulp magazines, always ads for Learn to Hypnotize yourself and others. And Con Ready Lightener had a big ad, full page ad and, um, so I bought the book and, um, it was more of a booklet. No, it was, it was pretty good book. It wasn’t bad, Not hired bound by any means, but. And, um, it was, um, based mostly on a breathing approach.
You know, you have them taking deep breaths and so forth. And at the time I was in, um, I’d say I was at Cushing Academy, um, um, and, uh, probably 1947 or so. And, um, so, you know, I was a student and I, um, practiced on fellow students and even, um, the dorm master, and I never really felt that I had anybody hypnotized.
I, I, I probably bored them more than anything, and, uh, you know, but I was getting more proficient as time went by. So that was, that was really when I began. And then when I went to, um, college in Boston, I was attending Emerson College and I was on my way to a, uh, frat rush party, and I saw a poster in a store and it said, Learn genuine hippo.
and um, you know, so I said, Well then free demonstration, free lecture, demonstration at, uh, one of the hotels. Well, I had to go that way anyway, so it wasn’t too far in my way. And so I said, Well, gee, genuine infant, maybe what I learned was a genuine . And so I went and. The, uh, demonstration and so forth had already begun.
And the person doing the demonstration certainly looked like a hypnotist. He had a goe mustache and goe and very piercing eyes and long hair, black hair combined back. And he spoke what I thought was a dialect and being in, at that time enrolled in Emerson College. One of the, um, subjects that I was taking as a minor was beach and then also speech therapy plus theater and, and things, communications, which was what I was really interested in.
And I thought, Gee, I can’t place that accent. And so he finished his demonstration and had some literature, of course, back of the room. And, um, I picked that up and headed on, out to the meeting, the, um, attorney meeting. And then when I got back to my room, I read it over and I said, Well, gee got a class right here in Boston, and it was $50.
For the CHO and it was done, um, once a week and I thought, well, you know, maybe I can talk to my dad and you know, cuz I didn’t have $50 to spare. And, uh, as a college student, I was just, just getting by. And so I did call home and said, I want to take an extra curricula course. And, uh, he said, Well, what is the extracurricular course about
I said, Oh, if fits right in with what I’m doing, feed around the bush a little while. And then finally I just blur it out. I said, Well, it’s, uh, stage he says, And he said, Well, that would work well with your magic. So yeah, go ahead. He said, I’ll send you the money. So I had to make up the first lesson, which I had missed.
And so Dr. Nos said, Well come to the Broadway Hotel, which was a theatrical hotel. He was staying there on such and such a day, and he would gimme that first lesson in person. And so I went and found his room. The door was open and I knocked on the edge of the door and nothing happened. And I cleared my throat and nothing happened.
He was sitting at a desk typing and I, you know, I said hello and nothing happened. And then I stepped on the threshold, which squeaked, and he turned around and he greeted me and with this strange voice. And that’s when I realized that he was deaf and he was absolutely stone deaf. He had been a psychology, uh, grad.
Before the war. And then he came down with spinal meningitis, uh, on a USO tour and lost his hearing. And so he, um, sort of had lost his nerve at the same time and sort of been, uh, down he was. Come to Boston. I, in fact, I wrote a book just about that and decided he was gonna try to make a comeback in his life and decided the way to do it would be to teach.
There were no schools around at that time that, that I knew about anyway, and he became my mentor. and they took the course and dropped out of Emerson College and went to work at the Hypnotism Center. And, uh, we also had a road show, which in those days was a spook show. The closing days of, of being able to play theaters, they were putting in all wide screens.
And, and so, you know, we, we still had some theaters, so we played the ATC circuit and others, and that was where, uh, I had a parting of the ways with the college, because I was called into the dean’s office. He wanted to know why I wasn’t attending class, just coming to take the exams. He said, You pass the exams but you don’t attend class
And I said, Well, uh, I’m on the road doing shows. And he said, Uh, I kind of shows. And I told him, and. And since Theater Arts was one of my majors and he said, Well, do you think you’re learning more by being out doing shows that you would here in the college? And I was truthful. I said, Yes, getting practical experience.
So, uh, he didn’t kick me out. I didn’t quit. I just never went back. And, um, I moved into the Hypnotism Center and, uh, uh, became North right hand man. So at what point, Yeah, at what point in that story, uh, beginning with the stage hypnosis, uh, was it perhaps a time of then working with clients? Well, I didn’t really work with clients until I moved in there.
The hypnotism Center was set up with a large lecture hall furnished, mostly with Salvation Army, uh, uh, chairs and so forth. Good wheelchairs. We bought cheap. We had a platform stage we built, and that was our lecture hall. And there were two private offices off of that, that were professionally, uh, set up with, you know, leather city and desk and chairs and so forth.
I’m sitting in my office, which has been furnished by either Craigslist or ikea, so I can definitely, Well, you know, with that Yeah, it was, uh, you know, perma but have worked and every Monday we had a free lecture demonstration and so we get a lot of passes out all over town, you know, free admission. I mean, it was only 50 cents anyway, that if you didn’t have a pass the money, you know, when you think back that long ago to people, uh, that might hear this blog through 50 cents.
Well, that was 1949. , you know, 50 cents was probably worth more than it is nowadays. 50 cents nowadays is nothing. And $50 for the course of instruction, uh, said, Oh, that’s cheap. And it was cheap. But for the day, probably $50 for the course might have been equal to $500 nowadays, 450, 500 in that range. And so that’s where I got my practical experience, both on stage hypnosis and on working with clients.
I didn’t get that many clients because they all wanted to see the big man, and, uh, but I, I got a few, I got enough. And I was able to observe enough with him that, um, I found, you know, I liked that niche also. It was interesting, um, we had several hypnotists. Warren was one of them, or, and later became big deals.
They took the course and they were both, uh, studying psychology at one of the universities and then they became big, big guns as far as being the hired guns. When there were hypnosis cases, they always were against, um, people such as ours. If you weren’t licensed, they were, would testify against you and so forth.
You know, it was a good experience and, uh, I learned a lot. Yeah. And I’m curious to ask, at what point in that journey was it before or after that, that you then became the, the doctor of chiropractic? Oh, it was way after that. I, well, I was working, having withdrawn from, uh, Emerson College. This was during the Korean conflict.
I had been exempt from the draft, but it was obvious that that was not gonna continue, that I was gonna get drafted and I decided to join up, get it over with, and put my time in. And so I did, I enlisted and, um, all my family had been seagoing. people and I was gonna join the, the Navy. Navy wasn’t taking any recruits at that time.
Coast Guard was, and their office just happened to be next door to the Navy recruitment office in Boston. So I joined the Coast Guard and became a radio operator. And that I get a lot of stage experience then, because when we were in bootcamp down at Cape May, New Jersey, anybody who in the recruits who had talent were who was in the show.
And of course I did differences. And, and the next day I got a call, I was called to the phone, the local USO and the Cape May, and they wanna know whether I would do a show. And I said, Well, how much are you paying? He said, Well, we’re not, we’re gonna pay you anything. . And so I said, Well, I get one day off from boot camp to come to town and you want me to do a free show?
I said, I don’t think so. And I said, How much did you pay? The, the champion checker player that you had there last week gave demonstrations of. Playing, you know, 10 or 20 guys at one time and winning all the time. Hmm. And he said, Well, we didn’t pay any anything because he’s professional. I said, Well, until I joined the Coast Guard, I was professional.
So they decided they would pay. And I did a demonstration show, uh, in Cape A, which really went over big, you know, as I traveled around and to various base and on various ships, word good around, oh, they gotta hit board. And we’d dock up and now and lender down in Bermuda and they’d say, Well, uh, you know, they’d call the radio chief and ask him if I could, uh, do a show.
And he’d said, Well, you gotta talk to him. And so I did a lot of shows. Various locations. Back at that time, I was really doing more shows and I was doing any type of, uh, therapeutic approach. Although a couple of my buddies on various ships, I had one who was a stutterer and he had an awful time talking to his girlfriend, Don Bar was his name, and, and Don ize me and I.
Well, Sure. And so, you know, with the help of hypnosis, he was able to conquer the stuttering problem that he had. And I saw him many, many years later, I was doing a show in, in Connecticut, uh, for Prat and Whitney. And, and, um, he brought his family, uh, to the show and he had called me and wanted to know if that was me, if I was the same white Damon that I was back in the Coast Guard.
I said, I’m the same one. So he didn’t pay to come to the show game. It is my guess. And, uh, and he still hadn’t suffered. So he, it was, you know, little memories like that, that, uh, he had mean a lot to a person. And when you think about it, Yeah. So, uh, from there then getting into chiropractic after serving well, yeah.
Then I, when I got discharged, I had a brief spell where my parents had never taken a vacation from their various businesses and asked me if I would. Helped my brother in the real estate office while I had grown up in the office downtown, you know, and as I was growing up, downtown was my playground. You know, we wandered around and I get to know the storekeepers and so forth in N New Hampshire.
And so I was, you know, certainly aware of how the office was run, and I was pretty well aware of what you’re doing in the real estate business. So I said yes, and I said, so I worked there with my brother and when my parents came back, I stayed on another year or so and we were doing shows and all, but I said I, uh, wasn’t really satisfied with being in the real estate business.
So just before the big boom where I could have become very rich, I decided to go back to college and use the GI bill. And we went out to Iowa and, uh, one of the ways that I paid my way through college besides the GI Bill, which they don’t give you an awful lot of money to, to survive on. And, uh, if you have a family, and I had a family.
Uh, so I, um, started teaching, uh, out there cuz I worked with North and we got his permission to use his printed materials. And, um, I, I ran courses there and did shows and that was the way I paid my way through, through chiropractic college. And, and then when I came back to New Hampshire, well I came back to a town that I, my family had moved to.
Or operating an n. And uh, I had lived there just briefly before I went to college. And, uh, so now it was a little tough starting a chiropractic practice and being a hypnotist because it was a very small town, about 800,000 people in that range. And I think they were all waiting to see if who went to the chiropractor hypnotist first, and if he killed them or something, you know,
So, which is not good for business it turns out. No, no. And wow. So I could see the, from the handwriting of the wall’s, Yeah, I was very confident that people would come to my chiropractic clinic and I had a, a large setup because they had, uh, retired from the hotel business doing back to their real estate business and so forth.
And so they had the inn, which had a large dining room. I said, Well, you’re not using the dining room. Can I divide that up into office space? So I had a really nice clinic. About six rooms. And, um, again, I, it, I didn’t really have a lot of clients coming in, so I fell back on show business again, dropped into the TV station in Manchester and I’d been on TV out in Iowa and I dropped in and made a deal with them to do a children’s show on, on Saturday mornings.
And, um, that lasted almost 20 years. And, uh, at the end, the chiropractic practice built up unfortunately. So I really was hard pressed for time. I mean, doing shows, doing the TV and maintaining my practice. And then thankfully, uh, about 17 and a half years, they said, Well, we’d like to tape your show, uh, Wednesday evenings.
I said, Well, I have office hours and Wednesday. And I decided that, uh, it was time to get off television, which was a very good thing for me. And so I did, I retired from the, uh, the Saturday shows because first of all, I couldn’t get kids in at nine o’clock at night and a Wednesday , and I liked having kids in, in the show with me, you know?
So when that happened, um, of course they changed their mind. Oh, well, well, no, we’ll, we’ll still tape it. I, Well, when you make a decision, you make a. And so that was it. And I concentrated then on, on the chiropractic and hypnosis. And it was really at the point of people coming just for hypnosis. I finally said, No, if you are a chiropractic patient, then I will use hypnosis with you.
But I’m, I wasn’t soliciting outside clients. I would refer them to the hypnotist. So that, uh, that went on and on. And, uh, you know, one thing led to another. I had other business enterprises and, uh, I’ve had many, many lives like a, you know, like a cat, I guess , but show business was always there and always, uh,
Yeah. We have a tendency to bounce around, uh, throughout this series here, what would you say it is about, as, as I interact with a lot of other hypnotists, there’s a through line of very often the background in magic or even the background in theater that draws people into hypnosis. What do you think it is about those two fields that brings them into this one?
Well, I think the fact is that if you’re going to go on a stage diagnosis, you should be an entertainer first. Mm-hmm. . And I think the entertainers, they feel, Oh, I can do that. You know, If I can do a magic show, if I can do. Some other type of show. I certainly can do a hypnosis show. And I think many people who think, Whoa, well I’m gonna learn from stage eism and, and, uh, I’ll make a lot of money that way they don’t always succeed because they had no idea about showmanship, which is really very important in being a stage hypnotist.
And, you know, it is funny, when I first met Dr. North, he said, Well, I hope, because he knew I was also a magician. And, and he said, I hope you don’t get the, uh, disease that hip and mentalists get. And I thought, disease, Holy mulley. Nobody told me about that. And I said, Well, what, what disease? He said they began to believe their own public.
And if you stop and think about that and you stop and think about, uh, many of the hypnotists that, that we both know, they got the disease, you know, they believe their own publicity, the world’s greatest. If we had all the world’s greatest hypnotists at, uh, our convention, you know, we’d have a packed room
So it’s a career that correct me on the timing, uh, started back in 1947 with hypnosis. More like 1949 when I, when I went to Boston to college. So in, in these years of being involved with hypnosis, I’d be curious to ask, how has your perception of hypnosis changed from where it was perhaps when you started to where it is now?
In 2017, everything evolves and we certainly have changed. However, I do sometimes stop and think, you know, somebody, they’ll say, I have a new method. Uh, to hepatitis and they tell me what it is. And I’m thinking, that’s not new. , . You know, that that goes way, way, way back. And we had one fellow who boast as being one, I don’t know if he’s the fastest or the, the smartest or whatever, iist in the business.
And he, um, we had an email blast going out to our members in which different people contributed different scripts. And we had put a script in there. And then he called and wow, he was gonna sue us. Well, he stole one of his scripts. And I said, Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Yeah, I’ll get back to you in about an hour.
So I went back and found that same script for many, many, many years ago in one of the books. We have a very extensive library here, so I said, Let’s photocopy this and, and then we’ll send it to him. Back then it was, we faxed it to him and, uh, he, he was nice enough to call back and apologize. He said, Oh, I, I thought I, I thought I originated that.
And I said, Well, in this era, maybe in your mind you did, but it was done before you ever thought of it, and before you probably ever in the. There really is nothing new, I don’t think. There’s an amazing interaction I had at the NGAs Convention a few years back where I’m listening to these two people talk about this outstanding workshop that Don Mountain did, where he made the person’s hand feel numb and then he pinched it and they didn’t feel pain.
And I’m sitting there and I chime in. Yeah, that’s glove at anesthesia. And they’re going, No, no, it wasn’t. This was something different. He made their hand feel numb as if there was like anesthetic at it, like a glove. They’re using the exact language, . Yeah. The metaphor that I often come back to is that there’s of course, new deliveries, new twist, and new ways of combining some of the themes, but Right.
So often, here’s someone who would boast. I have 30 individual hypnotic conductions I’ve invented, and my metaphor is it’s the birthday party clown who can make mobile balloons. Because you know what? Dwi, I can make you any animal you want as long as it looks like a dog or a snake. Well, you see, the thing is when you mention that I wrote the first book that was ever published on balloon, um, uh, twisting they call it now.
I called it balloon sculpting. That was back in, I don’t know, 1950 something. And, uh, so, uh, I very well, you know, that analogy, , It’s true. And, and they, they get very intricate now in balloon sculpting. It’s amazing what they do. But I found that making a dog for a kid was just as, just as much fun for them as the ones who spend 20 minutes now making, uh, an Easter egg basket with Easter eggs and a bunny in it or something.
What’s the correlation to the magic world? You could have the most incredible slide of hand, yet the sponge bu. We’ll always win. Yep. Yes, . Absolutely. As we’ve just now spoken to about maybe 5% of the audience, so to rewind the story back once again, where did the origins come in? I know the part of the history is ongoing cycle of mergers and co-productions and associations.
At what point in this history did the National Guild of Hypnotist first appear? Well, uh, the first, uh, inkling we had was four went the service and we had a Boston Chapter, chapter number. and then quickly we had, oh, I don’t know about eight other chapters across the country. Oh, way out to California. It started out more like a social thing, you know, in those days, I’m talking 19 49, 50, We didn’t have any women hypnotist Shortly thereafter.
There were stages just, but at that time there were no women in any of the chapters and uh, they just didn’t come and take courses. I, it was just a, a guy think you wanna be aist? Yeah. Okay. Women just didn’t seem to be interested. Of course, that all changed and everything evolves. And, uh, the Guild started out, I think our first president was George Rogers.
He’s deceased. Arnold Levison was our first treasurer and well, he showed up about 10 years ago, out of the blue, called up and said, Hi Dwight, and this is Arnold Levison. I hadn’t talked to him for a long, long time. But it was like, I talked to him yesterday. I said, Well, hi Annie. Listen, how are you? And he said, Well, I see, you know, NG is having a convention down here in Massachusetts.
And I said, Yep. So he came back into the guild and came to the convention and he’s passed. Now. There’s only two of us that are still original charter members of the Guild, and that’s myself and Maurice Kershaw from up in Canada. And I hadn’t seen Maurice for something like 40 years. And our first convention of the, the Guild was in, um, Danvers, Massachusetts.
And I, I was manning the front desk and he had been at an aa h convention because he joined that since the Guild was inactive. Uh, and I’ll get to why it became an active in a minute. And he walked in, I said, Gee, you’re a little bit late, Maurice. We, you started about three hours ago. And then he says, I haven’t seen you for 40 years.
And, and you tell me I’m late . And it was like coming home. And the reason that the Gill was inactive for a number of years was Dr. North, who was stone deaf. And I mean, no hearing at all disappeared all of a sudden. And that was in the days when we didn’t have, uh, email, we didn’t have fax machines. And I was in Iowa in college.
and the only way I corresponded was by mail. And you know, I didn’t, all of a sudden he didn’t answer any letters. And when I got back to, uh, came back to New England and when I graduated, who called some of the, the locals and he said, Oh, didn’t you know, he disappeared all of a sudden he wasn’t here. He, you know, was like, Well, what do you do?
Go a puff, a smoke? No, he just, he was there on a, on a weekend and then he wasn’t there on Monday. . And so all of the goods in the, in the office and so forth, all were went into storage, landlord storage and were later auctioned off. And I didn’t hear about the auction until afterwards because I think I would’ve had clues as to what happened to him.
There are various stories that he went up to do a show in Maine and um, got hit by a bus. And then another one was he was, went to Chicago and he got mud, you know, And I’ve had people, members of the guild, one fellow was very nice guy and he said, Listen, my sideline now, now that I’m a hypnotist, is going back to what I used to do.
I can trace lost person. I will find him. And I said, Oh’s for luck, . And he, he never found him. So when that happened, it just fell apart. So there were quite a few years that nobody was doing anything with it. And, uh, Elm, Eldridge, I, you know who else is, Yes. Elem had been a boyhood chum, and he, I was, I’m older than he is, although he looks heck, a lot older than I do.
just in case he’s listening to that, we’ll send him the first link to this one. . Yeah. And, uh, he had gone onto other things. I hadn’t seen him for years. And, and, uh, but he learned magic from me and learned, uh, hypnosis from me. And, uh, as I say, we hadn’t been in touch. And, uh, I got a call from him. He was moving, he’d been out in California, had moved back to New Hampshire locally, and, uh, we got together at post call the, uh, achievement.
and he had seminars that he had in different subjects going all over the country. He had people on, um, on taking SATs. You, you take this one day seminar and they guarantee that you would get 95% or better on your test, on the SATs, SAT college exams. He had one for postal employees to get work. He had, um, oh, I don’t know, all sorts of things.
And so he said, Come on up and see what I, what I’ve done at what I’ve achieved, I guess at the achievement center. So I went up and, uh, he said, I’ll show you what the, what really keeps this operation parking. And so he opened a door and there’s in the air conditioned room, young man sitting in there with computers and screens and all that.
And I didn’t even have a computer. And he said, uh, how are we doing in Salt Lake City for this, uh, for tomorrow night? And he told him, and there was the, and he said, Okay, Dave, well, how are we doing? And, uh, such and such. And then he knew exactly how did we do yesterday and, and he could give them all these facts and figures, he said.
And I said, That’s getting all that from this guy sitting in this room at a computer. He said, Yep. So it was the ger of an idea that maybe we could revitalize the guilt and use, uh, the technology that he had. And I said, You know, you willing to help me with this? And he said, Sure. And so that’s what we did.
We worked out of his office and, you know, tried to line up old time members that had been previously in the guild. We found a few but not many. And, and so we got bit by bit. We built a new organization. . And, uh, the rest they say is history. Yeah. And one of the real legacies that comes from the National Guild of Hypnotists is the, the work in terms of really defining hypnotism as its own separate and distinct profession.
What would you say, was there a specific turning point where that really took shape in this history? There was, and that was my goal because I figured I don’t want just a social organization. Mm-hmm. being a chiropractor. I had seen, when I graduated from chiropractic college, there were still some unlicensed states, Not many, I think there were three, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and so forth, and many chiropractors, uh, who graduated, uh, in those days, uh, who were from Massachusetts.
Opened offices just over the border in Nashua, which was where we held our first conventions. And so along coming into Nashua there, one sign after another of chiropractors. What I envisioned from that is people would say that chiropractic must be pretty good. Look how many chiropractors there are in town.
You know, because why would new chiropractors open up offices if there was any business? and I thought, well, BJ Palmer built the, the profession of chiropractic and BJ when I was in college because he, he had a background in show business, love show business, and it had become a hobby and so forth. But he liked me and he, uh, saw to it that I had a place at, on his TV station, W C tv, which was just across the street from the college.
And he tried to make sure that the manager over there gave me little paid gigs as well as some free bs. And I got on onto a show over there, and I was a regular. And that, that began my TV career. And, but I had really become, I used to take a daily morning walk with, uh, DJ because I dropped my wife at the hospital where she worked and I would go and sit down, uh, in my little Henry J car and review for the day’s lessons.
And I saw this little man walking by and I thought, That guy looks a lot. BJ’s Thomas picture. Well, it was bj. Mm-hmm. . So the next day when he came by, I got out of the car. I was waiting outside the car, and when he came by I said, Excuse me, are you BJ Palm? He said, Of course. Look at, look at the monogram of my shirt.
And I said, Well, I’d like to talk. I introduced myself. He said, You wanna talk? You have to walk. So every time I would get out to, to walk with him, I mean, we had to walk around a huge city block. He owned most of the buildings there in that particular location. He bought up the land behind him. It was a girl’s school and, and then he had a mansion that he bought next door.
And, and so it was really, uh, it was a good workout and, and find chance to talk to somebody who had the same interest I did as show business. And of course was, you know, the spark plug of building the chiropractic profession. And so much of what I, uh, foresaw as building our profession. , it was based upon what BJ Palmer had done.
And so that was it. And his the favorite, the motto I liked most of all, that he had, he had a lot of mottos on the walls and in the college. And, uh, it’s like, uh, early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise . And, uh, so, uh, I said, Well, you know, and, and it just recently, Elridge said to me, he said, I, somebody sent me some tapes of BJ Palmer.
He said, And you’re, you’re patterning of the guild of what we’ve been doing after the development of chiropractic. I said, Right. And, um, and so our goal was to become a separate, distinct profession. And, uh, you know, it, it wasn’t easy. We went through a lot of period of time where, uh, You know, there was a lot of bad stuff, um, expo type articles, you know?
Mm-hmm. and, and sensationalism and so forth. And, you know, so there were years that we were really trying to fight that, and, and we did. And we stuck to our guns and we, we, um, try and BJ was one of those people, he stuck to his guns. If he made a decision, that was it. It didn’t work out later. Well, and you can always readjust, but, so, and there’s a beautiful pun inside of that I just heard.
Yes. Yes. . So from that, from that interaction with BJ Palmer and then the development of the NG and the growing of that separate and distinct profession, was there a specific point in time where there was a, the ability to step back and say, Okay, now we’ve got it. Now we just gotta keep it going. Uh, so the, the formative years of perhaps here’s the foundation, but then if there was a specific moment where there was the actual proof there in front of you, Okay, we’ve done this, there’s more work to be done, but now we’ve actually got something we can keep going here.
There was, and I don’t remember what year it was, and I remember where it was because we were, um, we were doing solid gold out at West. That’s a short, um, weekend that we do. And, uh, it could have been in Vegas because that’s mainly where we did, we did in California a couple times in the Florida once. And as I was speaking to the group, I realized that the group had changed.
I mean, I didn’t have somebody there sitting there with cowboy boots and cowboy hat, or somebody with clown shoes or, you know, weird stuff. And, and I looked at it and I said, Man, these people look like professionals. Maybe they finally got the idea. It’s a profession. It’s not a, it’s not a game, it’s not a hobby.
It’s a profession. And, and I said, This is it. And somewhere in, in our literature, I, I’m sure I mentioned the date more or less a year. And, uh, and because we persevered and we didn’t let people with, uh, you know, who wanted to put us down, um, overcome us, uh, we’ve been very, very strong in what we did. Um, we had, we had become, uh, a profession and I mean, we were recognized in, in Library of Congress.
Citation, uh, you know, congressional, um, citations and things like that, states, cities. And so I said, Well, you know, we, and, and I’ve, and you probably, you’ve been in this quite a while, and you probably have noticed that, uh, we’ve gone away from, from the fun games and, and we have people who are serious and, and wanna help people and realize that, you know, we work with ordinary everyday people and ordinary everyday problems and, um, using hypnosis.
So there’s a balance, an organization that, as you mentioned, started off a little bit more on the social side than over time morphing into what it is now. What, what would you say is the greatest strength of hypnotist gathering together? It is sticking with our professionalism. I, I believe that that’s the most important thing because we have to, we have to maintain that.
And, uh, you know, it’s socializing is great, but, um, you don’t wanna do things that can be misinterpreted with, with the internet. Something can go up on the internet now and in a matter of seconds it goes around the world. And it stays up there forever, you know, and we’ve, we’ve had occasions where, for example, um, a psychologist, Iel was his name, thought he would, uh, put us down and also another psychology organization he belonged to.
And so he had a cat and gave the cat a social security number, credit card number, and so forth on, and then signed him up with the psychology, uh, group. Then he signed him up with the West Coast Hypnosis Group, and then one in the Midwest. And then the Guild, Well, when it came in, we have a committee that looks at all of, uh, applications for membership and we consider them.
So we turned down. So they looked at this and they figured, well, geez, already this, um, I was trying to think what, what the name of the cat, like, I can’t remember. But, uh, it sounded like a real name. Oh, I. Zoe, Z Oe Middle Initial D Cats, K a T Z, Zoe De Cats, you know, play on words. Mm-hmm. and, but already was a member of psychology association.
Had the credentials, was a member of a West coast hypnosis organization, a Midwest, uh, organization. And so why would we suspect that it was somebody that was being devious? . And so we accepted the cat as a, as a member. And the thing that gets me is that nowadays, because it stays up there, it’s up in, you know, another, another, uh, yeah.
It pops up every now and then conversation. Yeah. Yeah. And people will, will contact us and say, you know, how could you do this? How could, you know? What they don’t get is we were the victim. You know, I, I mean, we didn’t do anything wrong. We, and once we found out, of course, right away, the CA membership was not renewed , but it was, is still up there.
Well, there’s two anecdotes to share that, you know, there’s so many different organizations that, you know, even this is not just within the hypnosis profession, that if you’re a member of this one and you can show these specific credentials, you are not to use the simplest language, but basically paying your way into the other organization.
Uh, what’s always left out of that anecdote is that the cat was actually a damn good hypnotist. It turns out. , Well, it could be . And, and you know, and people say, Well, if you were really victims, why didn’t you pursue and sue him? And there, there was a, a way we could sue that, that that person. And I said, No, it’s just gonna make it newsworthy again.
Mm-hmm. . And, and he had his fun. And, uh, you know, it didn’t hurt us and I don’t care. I mean, but I just wish people who who question us about it would not assume that we did something wrong. They would be smart enough to know that when somebody pulls a con on you like that, you’re a victim. You know? And we corrected as soon as we found out.
Of course. And, you know, we went through that era when all the tabloids, you know, anything bad about Hippo Tube, they love stories like that. And we had one, um, um, so-called TV journalist who wanted to come to the convention. . And then, so one of the people called from the station in New York Station and was a network station and, and said, Well, I’m a producer.
Well listen, I was in television for 20 years. She, that person called, was a gopher, you know, trying to line up stuff for the show. And I realized, you know, the producer title doesn’t mean it’s not like a Hollywood producer. And I said, Well, it’s fine. I said, But who’s a female? I said, Does she plan to do a positive report on our convention?
She said, Well, we don’t promise you anything. And I said, Well, I can promise you that you can’t come. How’s that? And she said, Well, it’s a public place. And I said, Not when we are there in our contract, we have the run of the entire hotel, the grounds, the parking lot, all of it. And I said that somebody else already has the exclusive to.
Do a, do a tv, uh, um, reportage and, uh, which they did. So, and it was a friend, you know, who was gonna do good stuff. So, you know, we never, we never gave into that type of thing and, you know, if they wanted to dig up garbage. Oh, dig somewhere else. . So the couple of points I’d love to, to hit on before we wrap up here for this morning, um, there, there’s a ongoing evolution of everything and, uh, chat with me for a few moments about why it’s important for us to update that term of hypnotherapist, in your opinion.
Well, the reason we got away from hypnotherapist is quite simple. We were getting a lot of flack from people in the, in the world of psychology and, and psychotherapy. They have publications that end in. Hypnotherapy and, uh, you know, the review of hypnotherapy and things like that. I don’t know all of the titles, and we didn’t, we felt that, why did we have to, First of all, a lot of people layman say, Well, I don’t need therapy.
I’m not sick. . Uh, so why would I go to a hypnotherapist? Um, we just felt it was better that to, to change what we call ourselves and we felt Consulting Hypnotist was a good title. We went through a lot of titles. We did a lot of surveys, and, uh, that’s the one we chose and seems to worked out well. And in recent publications.
And I put this in my, my editorial, uh, in the journal at times, uh, the psychology magazines, uh, that they published for their own members. . There was one issue and, and I don’t, I can’t cite the exact one, I don’t keep that in my mind, said that there’s no use fighting with a national deal of D anymore because they have become too powerful.
They have the AFL CIO behind them and you know, they, they, uh, are, are here to stay what we need. And they said, I’ll paraphrase what they said next cuz I can’t, I don’t have it in front of me. But it was to the effect of what we need to do is find out how we can get a piece of that pie and maybe control the training of all hypnotists.
Well, that’s not gonna happen. So. Well, speaking of which, how has this, uh, there’s a history of at one point, uh, weekend courses and then expanding outwards. How has the training curriculum evolved over the years? We have constantly been, been working on improving it, and in fact we’re having a, um, you’re a ci.
Yeah. Well, have you signed up to come to the CI meeting on uh, at the convention? Yes, I have. Okay. Well, we’ll be discussing a lot of things they’re gonna be doing then and, uh, well, I don’t know. We’ve got I, something like 150 that folks that have said they’re gonna be at that meeting. and, um, so we, we constantly wanna keep upgrading, but we feel we have a good basic course and we don’t sell, uh, what the course is.
We don’t say the course is something that’s going to make you a super psychologist, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist. It’s a basic introductory course and it’s a good basic introductory course and we’ve got people that are, are working with us to keep updating it day by day. And as a trainer you’ll be getting the upgrades as we, you know, we have some already.
Ron Eslinger helped a great deal. Carol Danica helped a great deal. As we get things that we feel are, will be upgrading what we’re doing, we’re putting them into the course. And, you know, it’s something you can’t just do overnight. It has to be, has to be an ongoing project. And yeah, and especially being that, uh, that relationship of multiple professionals and, uh, different opinions, different styles coming into it as well to provide that.
Well rounded training. You know, it’s that phrase that I’d often come across that not everybody takes a hypnosis training with the goal of saying, sit down, close your eyes, let’s do hypnosis. Uh, so to have that flexibility inside of it where people can come in where, you know, we don’t grow up necessarily going, I wanna be a hypnotist.
And to have that experience of let me get in and learn it and see where it takes me. You mean you weren’t born coming out of the womb saying, Oh, I’m gonna be a hypnotist? No, that came two weeks later. Yeah. instead of Bob. You said H no. Yeah. Or we, we’ll go with 18. So, um, what this, to keep this arc continuing, what would you say either needs to happen or is already happening to keep hypnosis thriving over the next hundred years?
Well, I think we have to keep, um, building the professionalism of what we do. Uh, we, we’ve, we’ve created the fact that okay, it’s a professional and, uh, so that’s taken care of one element that there’s really against the center psychologist and, and the, you know, medical hypno therapists and so forth. They pretty well have accepted our training.
We had, uh, one of the presidents of, uh, one of the organizations who actually came and attended the convention incognito, of course. And, uh, he said he, his report on it was, it was really a good convention. They had a lot of workshops and seminars that were better than some we have and some that were just as bad.
And he said, The only thing I didn’t like about it was a Friday night entertainment. And I mean, this is from president of, of, you know, a medical, um, hypnosis organization. Past president now. Yeah. So, So inside of that, what would you say the future of the GH is as a part of that over the next a hundred?
Well, I would hope that the GH is gonna keep on keeping on and do what they, what we’ve done, uh, you know, we established it as a nonprofit. Right now we’re in the, in the midst of making it a trust. So it’ll be protected. Cuz I’m not, I’m 85 years old, I’m not gonna be here forever. And, um, you know, but I’ve got good people that, that will be here and we’re bringing up the younger generations and we we’re, we’re interested.
We want people, uh, younger people, uh, well, anybody’s younger than I am, but , we want younger people to, uh, To contribute articles to become writers for the Journal of the Hemogram. People have ideas that they think should be added to our training. We, we can’t do everything immediately, but we certainly take all of these things into consideration and we’re open to suggestions and there’s something that can be worked out with our board.
Then we, yeah, we’ll, we’ll do it and, uh, you know, but change, it does not come overnight. So we’ve been working very hard on, uh, upgrading our, as I say, our teaching materials and, and we have more changes that are, that are ready to go. I think the Guild is going to just be here forever. I hope so. And we’ve got the, uh, convention coming up in Marro, Massachusetts, which this year’s always the second full weekend in August, Friday, August 11th through Sunday, August 13th.
What are, what are you looking forward to at this year’s convention? . Well, we have one new, new thing. I, we were at the Tara for 15 years in Nashua, uh, the Tara Hotel. And, uh, I don’t know if you remember back in those days, but I came in room after, I believe, after the, Yeah, it was looked like a castle and they had knight armor, uh, you know, all through the halls and lots of places to sit down and chat.
And one thing that we, that I have felt for quite a while, that we don’t have enough place places to, to sit and chat with people, uh, for people chat among themselves. Uh, last year I have a, I have a little table up near the historical exhibit was chairs where I can, you know, interview people and chat with him.
Maurice Koff a year, she used to chat with people and, and develop his, uh, columns from that. Uh, he doesn’t write the columns anymore, so, Well, we, in fact, we just had a meeting with the hotel yesterday and we have, uh, the new thing who is UAS Cafe. We’ve taken one of the, uh, function rooms way down at the end of the, Well, they change depending what floor you’re on in the hotel.
You’re either in the West wing of the South Wing . I don’t know how they do that. But anyway, it’s down past the, uh, the bookstore. The, the demonstrators. Yes, the bookstore. And, uh, we’re, I was talking. Type of furniture I want put in there, I want it fixed up so people can go in and sit down from seven o’clock in the morning, um, until they run out.
We have pastries, we have free, I’m not talking to you, gonna buy ’em. We have pastries and, and things like that and fruit and so forth. And then during the day, we will have, the hotel is going to actually have, uh, a food service there, sandwiches and Pru, deton, things like that. And, um, people can go in, grab a cup of coffee or cold drink, sit and chat, have a good time.
And, uh, we’ve got, um, all sorts of things, uh, honoring, um, uh, ku. So they mail kuy. And I think that will, because there really isn’t, there’s a very small area in the lobby. You know, you, I think. Two couches and one chair or something, you know, and no place to sit and really chat. And I think that’s very important.
And that’s one thing that we are trying to figure out how to do it halfway down as you go down past the, uh, all of the ballroom, uh, area, down to go to Kua Cafe. We have an area where they turn in the slips from the, from the. Presentations a little alcove on the right and we are moving that, that’s going in where the gift shop used to be.
So, uh, all of our ticket takers, uh, uh, and the different workshops will take those down to the, um, group that’s handling the, uh, compiling all that information in what was formally the gift shop, the alcove area. Again, I’ve asked them to put, like I said, tea, a couple of chairs, you know, little tables, something so people can sit there and chat.
Yeah. Which again, I think that’s the important thing. Back to the origins, the opportunity just to have that conversation. It’s where the, the origin of this program is that you’d go to a convention and just these interactions of you’re sitting at the tables, you’re at the bar, you’re at the restaurant, you’re in the hallways.
Um, yeah. And the workshops would be great. Seminars would be great, but to have the opportunity actually just to sit down and talk to somebody, that’s a great opportunity. Well, I, I hope it works out. I hope people accept their, those changes. I think they will. Um, I try to talk to as many people as I can. I had a couple of chairs, right?
Oh, opposite the elevators over to the right as you come off the elevators. And, uh, one of our long time members has taken one of them for his , . And I said, Listen, you got that little go car you ride around on. Why are you taking that chair where people can sit and talk to me? He said, Oh, cuz I want ’em . So I said okay.
I said, Okay, Bob. It’s okay. Yeah. And uh, that’s when I moved up to, you know, the historical exhibit. Dr. Damon, it’s been excellent having you on here. I wanted to wrap up with, uh, one question though, something that you brought up a little while ago of talking about the younger generations as there’s, uh, constant flow of people coming into this profession.
And this could either be answered in one of two ways. One could be. Uh, the game of, if I knew then what I know now, advice that you’d give yourself if you had to start all over again, or perhaps more, uh, empowering would be for that, someone getting brand new in all of this. What would be that advice you’d give them as they embark upon their career in hypnosis?
All right. If they take our certification quiz, the one thing I want them to do is to be competent and competent when they graduate. And if they don’t feel competent and competent, they need to tell the instructor. And, and I want the instructors to understand that should be their goal. Above all else is that everybody that takes the course feels competent and competent.
And the that is the beginning. The rest, they have to do what Patricia Mcic has been 28, 28 years in practice. She started out, single woman, um, knew nothing about business and she went to rent office space. And the landlord said, Well, how long a lease do you want? She said, A month. . . Cause she, she said, I don’t know.
I’ve never been in business before. I don’t know if, if. See I’m going, Well, she’s lasted 28 years. She’s one of our top instructors, and the one thing she tells her grads is, Whatever you do, do it. You know, have that confidence and do it. And I think that’s the main thing is people procrastinate and they need to.
Jump in and do it. And we try to supply them with all sorts of little things that they can use to, to get people interested. And, and they, and I think, and I don’t know if you’ll agree with me on this, but when people ask about, you know, you just graduated, you just became a, a real hypnotist, you know, uh, Consulting Iist.
And some of them act as if they try to keep it a secret because I think subconsciously they’re afraid somebody’s gonna ask them a question that they can’t answer. There’s no, there’s no, nothing bad is gonna happen if you can’t answer. You can always, I have to get back to you, Anna, if it’s somebody you’re just in passing conversation.
I, I, you know, there’s ways to, to answer a question without really answering it. If you know what I. Well, I’m trying to think back. It was either 2011 or 2012 that your keynote of the convention, um, one of the themes was, I’m a hypnotist and I’m damn proud of it. Well, and that’s the thing, tell people you’re hypnotist, don’t hide it.
I know you tell people. I put it out there. The name of the business is Virginia Hypnosis cuz I’m in Virginia and I do hypnosis, . Well, and back to the hypnotherapy conversation, the, the wonders of looking at analytics on Google to find out three times as many people are looking for a hypnotist and they are a hypnotherapist, so, Well, yes, I am a hypnotist.
Yeah. And we didn’t, I mean, when we made the change, uh, it wasn’t done like, Oh, today I think we’ll change the name, but we’re not gonna be a therapist. It was done with a great deal of deliberation, of thought, of research, and of talking to people. And, you know, one thing that we do, and just end with this is that when we’re out, uh, if Don Martin and I are together, or one time Don and Pat and I were together and you know, the waitress will see that we’re having a good time, we’re having lunch or whatever.
And so if they don’t ask us, we’ll ask them, What do you think we do for a living? Well, I was with Don Madden and this is our classic story, and the waitress says, Oh, I don’t know you guys couple used car . She said, No real estate, no. You know, she took a few guesses, Vacuum and cleaner salesman. No, and we said, We’re hypnotist.
Really? Do you stop people from smoking? And, you know, then it went from there. We were in a Denny’s down in Florida, and, and they, we were the only customers there. And pretty soon the other waitress came over, joined in the conversation. Then, uh, the manager came over. We even had the guy come out from the kitchen.
I don’t know if he was the chef or just one of the, one of the cooks. And they were all standing and we’re talking. We talk it up. We tell people what we do, we ask. And if they don’t ask us, we ask ’em to ask us, What do you think we do for a living? And I was surprised because Pat had been with us enough that all of a sudden we were out someplace and, and she said, What do you think we do for a living?
And a wait that says, I know what you do for a living because this guy you with has been in here before. You must be a hypnotist. . And, and if you don’t tell people, you have to tell. Yeah. I tell the story of my first Chamber of Commerce meeting. It’s a round table speed networking, and it goes around the table.
I’m a banker, I’m a realtor, I’m a banker, I’m a realtor, I’m a banker, I’m a hypnotist in the conversation, Stop there. And that’s all we talked about. And I’m, I’m trying to find out about the other professionals. They’re going, No, no, no. We wanna talk about you . So it’s advice that you get, You get to walk into the room knowing you have one of the most interesting jobs of anybody out there.
People are fascinated by it. And it’s very, And if you’re on a plane, I mean, I’ve had it happen where, you know, I say I’m a heist and you could tell the person next to me didn’t give a damn, or he didn’t wanna talk about it, you know, And he wanna talk about what he did, and that’s good. I talked about what he did.
But in the end, he went back to, you know, in his mind, must said, Well, I told him all about me. And he said, Well, you know, just what is it you do as a heist? You know? So we got back to it. I didn’t force it. And because you never wanna force it on people. Mm-hmm. . And we’ve come up with little things like the little handouts, you know, the little, uh, cartoon brochures and, and a lot of things just to get people talking about you and get interest and, um, you know, so that’s, that’s the best thing we can do, is to encourage, uh, all our people to let it be known.
Because the more people that they say wows a lot of professional heists around, that must really work. You know? Then they’re going to, they’re gonna have to come somewhere and they may come to your office. So, outstanding. Jason, Lynette here once again, and as always, thank you so much for interacting with this program, sharing it on Facebook, leaving your feedback over on iTunes, and the theme that Dr.
Damon wrapped up on there in terms of. Getting out into your community and talking about hypnosis, one of the best things we can do in this profession is to be out there successfully helping our clients, putting on good presentations, and really being that ambassador for what we do. And that’s the reason that I built hypnotic business systems because these skills that we would learn from our trainings are good.
Yet how good are they if we’re not putting them into use? So too many people that I interact with are procrastinating playing the game of, yes, ongoing training is important, yet playing that game of, I need that one more certificate. I need that one more piece of paper, then I’ll be ready. There’s a great quote from General George S.
Patton Jr. Which would simply say, A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week. So with hypnotic business systems, you get the all access pass to the things that I’ve done to grow my six figure hypnosis business. Everything from the ground up. So if you’re brand new to this and you need to find office space, you need to figure out your pricing structure that’s covered in hypnotic business systems if you’re already working at this, and yet you need to take that business to the next level.
We get into concepts such as product creation, talking about topics such as doing webinars, doing podcasting, talking about some next level stuff, such as Facebook marketing in such a way that actually can make you money rather than as massively expensive as most people are doing that quite badly. So it’s anything and everything.
It’s Netflix for your hypnosis business, and I’ve priced it in such a way that you’re able to jump right in. Put the content to use. There’s even some done for you marketing campaigns inside of it. So head over to hypnotic business systems.com. Get started the day for just $47. You get an all access pass to everything.
Stream it, download it, interact with it. We’ve got a thriving online community, hypnotic business systems.com. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. Thanks for listening to the Work Smart Hypnosis podcast and work smart hypnosis.com.