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What is mentalism

Have you ever wondered what is mentalism? That elusive thing that just keeps to amaze us.

Today we will look more closely about its origins, uses trough centuries and it`s applications in our fast rough modern 21st century.

So, what is mentalism?

In its strict definition, mentalism is a performing act, in which the mentalist shows highly developed mental or intuitive abilities.

The earliest mention, of mentalists, dates back to 16st century. It is belived that Italian Girolamo Scotto was the first that practiced this art. He operated mainly in Venice. He was also known as a printer, composer, bookseller and businessman.

In the 19th century, there was a boom of mentalists. It was a rather a confusing era of time, where all kind of technological achievements were made. The people were hungry for magic and illusions. So, people who knew what is mentalism became an equivalent of a rock star of the 20th and 21st century.

The most famous mentalists from an earlier era are Dunninger and Annemann.

Joseph Dunniger

Joseph Dunninger. foto: Wikipedia

Joseph Dunninger was a true pioneer in this area. He was born on 28 April, 1892 and died on 9 March, 1975.

He was a lot respected and among many of his friends was none other than Harry Houdini. Joseph was also known for debunking a lot of fake magicians that practiced their art in a sole purpose to rip off their customers.

Theodore Annemann

Theodore Annemann. foto: Wikipedia

Theodore Annemann was a mentalism specialist and very talented magician. The standards that he set are still unreachable in the modern day. He was born on 22 February 1907 and died at 12 January 1942 aged only 34.

The interesting thing about mentalists, is that every style of the performers is different.

Some of the performers claim their skill set is made of psychic or supernatural power. There are others, like Derren Brown, who are body language readers, make a psychological suggestion to the subject in order to manipulate them.

Do magicians know what is mentalism?

This is a tough one. Although there are some magicians that do know how mentalism works, most of them are just well-trained tricksters. Some say that you can get the power of mentalism only trough your birth. But this is up for debate.

What is for sure is that magicians and mentalists are two very different categories.

Before we wrap it down, I want to tell you something about this great guy, that really knows what is mentalism. His name is Derren Brown.

Derren Brown

Derren Brown. foto Wikipedia

He is born 27 February 1971 in England. He is a famous mentalist and an all loved celebrity. His TV show Derren Brown: Mind Control, Something Wicked This Way Comes and Svengali won him tons of awards and world-wide fame.

Derren Brown doesn`t use superpowers. He said that in an interview.

“It`s all about misdirection and psychology. to expose those faith healers and psychics that rob people`s money.”

Derren Brown also claimed that he is a walking lie detector. In an interview for New Scientist in 2005,  he said that his mentalist skill comes as a result of hypnosis. He also said that he can tell If someone was lying, with the observation of his body language and mini muscle movement.

Experts say that 50 to 80 percent of people’s communication takes place in a nonverbal way.
We often judge people, not because of what they say, but because of their appearance, behavior, attitude, or the energy they radiate.
Often we like or dislike someone immediately without him saying any word, and this is because we have “scanned” this individual, and that is enough for us in terms of information.

Feel free to check this links:

What is Clairsentience, Indigo children, Clairvoyance, and how does Mentalism works.

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