Hypnotists frequently employ their craft to help resolve patients' deeper psychological problems -- addictions, depression, etc. But critics are accusing Colin Adamson, a hypnotist in the UK, of doing the exact opposite after he hypnotized college freshman and convinced them they had been groped.
Adamson had been invited to the University of Kent at Medway in England to perform for students. As part of the routine, he instructed those on stage that they were "lapdancers," who would think someone in the audience had "touched them up," reports The Telegraph.
At least two women involved in the stunt awoke shocked and horrified, believing they'd actually been molested by a man in the crowd.
"Some people still thought it was a laugh, but to be honest the girls were both in shock – they thought they had been sexually assaulted," an unnamed student told the Telegraph.
According to Jezebel, Adamson defended his actions as humor that most of the crowd readily understood, but officials at the school aren't laughing. They've pledged never to book Adamson again and are reviewing their procedures.
"This is the first time I have had this reaction to the show, which I've been performing for 10 years and when I was performing in Coopers the laughter was very loud," Adamson explained to Kent Online. "The majority of the audience got what it was intended to be – comedy."
The hypnotist's website promises spectators "a range of entertaining Psychological Illusions and Tricks of the Mind."
Emails to the University of Kent's Medway Student Activities club and Colin Adamson were not immediately returned.