In addition to yesterdays blog entry, I read with some curiosity and fascination, that the Russian law enforcement services have been using hypnosis and other people they consider to be ‘paranormal’ to help in solving crimes… Again, being lumped in with the ‘paranormal’ is not my complaint today… Let me explain…

This hypnosis article at the Moscow Times states:

A police investigation into a burgled office safe was compounded by the lack of evidence.

The company’s owner had locked her staff’s salaries in the safe and gone home. The next morning, a secretary opened the office to discover that it had been ransacked, the safe opened and the money missing.

Suspicion fell on an elderly employee, but he denied wrongdoing. The owner decided to consult a psychic. Under hypnosis, the elderly employee admitted that he was the thief. His confession was recorded and used by police as evidence.

The incident, as told by Moscow psychic and hypnotist Darya Mironova, is not unique. Law enforcement officials are actively working with paranormal experts to solve crimes, a little-discussed practice that goes back decades.

Law enforcement agencies, perhaps understandably, are reluctant to talk about the use of paranormal experts. But in a rare revelation, Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin said earlier this year that investigators had used hypnotists in several recent cases, including the bombing of a Moscow-St. Petersburg train.

In fact, law enforcement agencies are so keen to find people with paranormal powers that they have employed Mikhail Vinogradov, a prominent forensic psychiatrist, to watch “Bitva Ekstrasensov,” or “Psychics Competition,” on TNT television for possible recruits, Vinogradov said.

It is not so much the psychic employment that I am interested in… More that they used hypnotists to elicit confessions… I suppose this is a better technique than a hammer across the thumbs, electrodes on the nipples or dunking the head in water… Hahaha…

So continuing on from yesterday, I wanted to offer up another 4 language sets that are from the field of cold reading… And how to use them elegantly in communication to seem like you know what is going on in that persons mind… Please do read yesterdays blog to make more sense of todays:

1. Sweeteners  

Sweetener statements offer the individual you are communicating with a pleasant emotional reward in return for believing in the information on offer. In general, the sweetener relates to the individuals willingness to embrace the ‘discipline’ involved in the communication. For example someone giving a tarot reading may say:

“Your heart is good, and you relate to people in a very warm and loving way. The tarot often relates more to feelings and intuition than to cold facts, and your own very strong intuitive sense could be one reason why the tarot seems to work especially well for you. The impressions I get are much stronger with you than with many of my clients.”

It is more or less mandatory to praise the client for being “receptive to many different kinds of wisdom” or being “a natural with this kind of thing”.

Sweeteners can also be used to weaken resistance to psychic phenomena, new phenomena or to soften sceptical attitudes (especially to you or your service or product). In these cases, the sweetener is modified to point out what a nice, loveable person the client could be, if only she would be less sceptical. It might go something like this:

“I feel in some ways that you have become very defensive, almost as if you’re locked up in your own secure little castle. This is a shame, because you’re blocking yourself off from a lot of light, and love, that could be yours. There are indications here of a need to learn to take a broader look at life, and to be more open to new ideas — even if they may seem strange at first. You know, you won’t come to any harm if you lower your defences a little, and take a peek at the insights on offer. Who knows, you might find a few of the answers you’ve been looking for!”

This is no more than an emotional slap on the head (albeit very sweetly delivered), exploiting the natural human desire to be accepted and loved. This important to look out for when others communicate with you. This is certainly NOT something to be used in a therapeutic environment. The example I have given can be re-worded to be more appropriate for the sales environment or if you are looking to appear more attractive etc.

2. The Jacques Statement

I think the best book you can buy on cold reading is ‘Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading’ By Ian Rowland and it is from that book that I got this notion of the Jacques Statement.

This element consists of a character statement based on the different phases of life which we all pass through. It is named after Jacques in Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, who gives the famous ‘Seven ages of man’ speech.
Jacques Statements are derived from common rites of passage, widely-recognised life patterns, and typical problems which we all encounter on the road to mature adulthood.

Here is an example of a Jacques Statement, taken from Ian Rowland’s own tarot, astrological and clairvoyant readings. It is most appropriate for someone in their mid- to late thirties or early forties:

“If you are honest about it, you often get to wondering what happened to all those dreams you had when you were younger; all those wonderful ambitions you held dear, and plans which once mattered to you. I suspect that deep down, there is a part of you that sometimes wants to just scrap everything, get out of the rut, and start over again — this time doing things your way.”

Like many of the elements listed here, the Jacques Statement may seem rather lame on the printed page. However, in the context of a supposedly psychic reading, with the correct presentation and vocal delivery, it can be highly effective. Many clients on the receiving end respond with open-mouthed amazement that the cards (or stars, or handwriting, or even body language etc.) can so accurately reflect their life and pre-occupations.

Here is another Jacques Statement told by Ian Rowland which is suitable for a younger adult, say in her early twenties, who is probably still developing her career:

“If you are honest about it, you often feel a sense of frustration that your own ideas and talents and abilities aren’t given their full recognition. There have been more than one or two occasions when you had to struggle to get people to let you show what you can do. While you are mature enough to recognise that you have plenty to learn, and are willing to put the time in to learn new skills, you often find other people too set in their ways, and unable to appreciate the contribution you could make — if only they would let you”.

3. Greener On The Other Side

The Greener grass-type of element is based on the fact that we all retain some fascination with the options in life that we did not take. These are in a similar vein to the Jacques Statements.

We have all had big decisions to make in life that sent us off in certain directions. There are many examples of these fundamental life choices. People who have always lived in congested, cities or busy towns may have longed for what they perceive as the peace and quiet of the country life. Very few individuals go through life without considering that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
The office denizen, locked into a fixed and rather dull routine, often develops a craving for more variety, and a heightened pace of change. I have many friends that tell me they would love to be self-employed and choose their own hours. Yet I also know many elf-employed people who would love to have a guaranteed pay-check ach month and paid sick leave.

As you know, life involves making finite choices from infinite options, and all of us are prone to wondering what would have happened if we had chosen differently. For example, suppose an individual appears to have all the trappings of a successful executive career. The intuitive, insightful person, or psychic might say something along these lines:
“I see indications of material success and professional advancement which are a credit to you, and which reflect your own drive and ability to get things done. You are the sort of person who delivers results, and this characteristic has brought its rewards.

However, it has also brought its penalties. Although you would not necessarily advertise them too openly, I sense some feelings here of a potential desire for more domestic security, and a more stable home life. I would not go so far as to say this has been a serious problem for you, but I believe your loyalty
to your career has not always delivered the returns you expected.”
Now imagine a person who comes across as a contented housewife, whose every waking hour revolves around her home and family. Here is the same Greener Grass-type of statement as before, turned on its head:

“I see indications of strong domestic instincts which have been allowed to flourish, and which have brought you a sense of security and stability which is a source of great strength to you, and also very much to your credit. Not everyone can be a good home-maker, but you can, and you are.

However, the stability and the stimulation of family life has also brought its penalties. Although you would not necessarily advertise them too openly, I sense some feelings here of a potential desire for more career progress, or at least being able to find expression and fulfilment beyond the four walls of your home. I would not go so far as to say this has been a serious problem for you, but I believe your loyalty to your home and family has not always delivered the returns you expected.”

You can read that this is precisely the same patter as before, but redirected to flow in the right direction. Although trite in the extreme, it smacks of genuine psychic insight and intuition.

4. Generalisations

These are artfully generalised character statements which a majority of people, if asked, will consider to be a reasonably accurate description of themselves. Here is a selection:

“You have a strong need for people to like and respect you.” “You tend to feel you have a lot of unused capacity, and that people don’t always give you full credit for your abilities.” “Some of your hopes and goals tend to be pretty unrealistic.” “You are an independent and original thinker; you don’t just accept what people tell you to believe.”

General statements have been the subject of a number of studies conducted by psychologists. In one study, students were given what they were told were individual astrological readings, based on their birth dates and star signs. They were then asked to rate the accuracy of the readings. The great majority of the students rated their readings as highly accurate. Only then was it revealed that in fact the ‘readings’ were all identical. The all-purpose reading merely consisted of several generalisation Statements strung together. I saw Derren Brown do this on a recent TV show too.  

Obviously, a communication made up entirely in this way would be rather limited in scope. However, it would be perfectly adequate for some situations.

I would hasten to add that these are not really for use in a therapeutic setting. What I have wanted to do today and yesterday is to give you a tiny slice of the world of cold reading and you can begin to notice that kinds of communication used by others and use it to benefit your own communication and enhance how others feel when they communicate with you.

We’ll stray from the paranormal world tomorrow… I am off to London to speak at a conference today…