Of course, Brown demonstrates that you can convince someone of anything with the proper set up and act, but one of the two is a preacher's
kid, and she never mentioned her father having special training in duping his flock.
Lol. How much "special training" do you think it takes
Brown's performance is based on managing several "little things" to accomplish an effect that he can pass off as a "big thing." That's not a
criticism of him, it's his job, and he does it well.
(In fact, Brown's signature is the true simplicity of his tricks, much as Penn & Teller's signature is that they tell you how the trick works, and
it still works anyway. Brown's "explanations" alternate between his basking in that true simplicity and, especially in his elaborate
pseudo-psychology monologues, simply being patter that is "part of the act.")
There is probably not one of those "little things" that you don't know, it's just that maybe you don't know you know it, or you don't notice it
being used, or don't recognize its importance to the overall effect when you see it being used.
For example, and I am working from the Youtube version, we can probably agree that the first subject, the woman, is a paid confederate. If you have
had any experience in the theater at all, then you recognize their little set-piece as the sort of thing that is done by actors in workshops and
classes all the time. OK, so the audience who is on to it leaves (which Brown will announce as being because of their discomfort with that happened...
yeah, discomfort is one word for having any background at all in theater).
So what did Brown pay her for? To influence the other subjects? Yes, everyone is on notice what is expected of them. But she is also there for our
benefit, isn't she? Brown doesn't tell us that he paid her, so she's a "hit." More important for the overall effect, I think, she has provided
the ingredient that is missing from the rest of the performance: some connection, any explicit connection at all, to religious belief and belief
OK, of the "genuine" subjects, the ones who stay after the intermission, what is the single most important thing Brown says to them, to all of them?
You know the answer, but I'll bet you don't know you know.
Stand up and put your feet together.
We need hardly invoke either woo-woo psychology or charisms of the Holy Spirit to predict that people typically will, when asked, stand up and put
their feet together. And they will keep standing with their feet together indefinitely. And from that fact alone, their eventual falling over is
Brown need only communicate to them that he prefers them to fall backward rather than forward. Having a chair behind them, or standing behind the
first subject after a quick word about what a good falling-person-catcher Brown is, suffices.
That's it. That's the "trick." Everything else is stagey window dressing.
Well, one of the "else's" is something that you might pick up in law school, instead of the theater:
Brown: What are you feeling now? Be honest.
Subject (having just toppled onto the floor): Wow, I feel so weird, so different inside....
Brown: You felt God, then? I'm not trying to put words into your mouth... but you're trying to say it was like some, as if something religious...
Subject: Maybe it was something like that, like what the girl said, I....
Brown: Thank you very much.
Give me a break.
So, on to what I quoted of yours. Your friend's father could do this and not know he is doing it. That's how simple it is. He could blunder into
Intentional deception is not the issue. Unintentional deception is easy, reliable, and even more likely to avoid detection indefinitely than the
intentional variety. I mean a preacher's kid, talking about her dad? It's the Protestant equivalent of a car full of nuns. Of course they are being
truthful. These are women of God!