May 2008

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Be simple. So it's hard (I won't say impossible) to make someone violate ethical/self-protective boundaries? No problem! Use that tendency!

You simply hypnotise the guy into thinking either:

*This poor bloke really needs money. The boss would agree if he could see him.*

Or, more sinisterly,

*This fellow is dangerous. I'd better do what he says or else he's going to kill me. And I really need to ensure that I don't let on that I know - to anyone!*

Mind you, he'd have to be good.


A lot of people here mentioned Derren Brown. I'd like to add that Derren Brown is a illusionist and uses many of the same tricks that magicians use. He doesn't actually use hypnosis to pull off all his feats and almost anything can be explained by using standard magician tricks.


Hypnotism, huh? I can't wait to see when you roll out the astrology page.

Kevin Kunreuther

If you ever got bored or fed up with your day job (it could happen), you could probably pull this caper off as you describe it.
1.)You, Scott Adams, strikes me as having the patience to weed out the applicants and find the perfect "accomplices".
2.)The thrill of getting away with such a caper would be far more gratifying than any perceived financial windfall.
3.)If you could somehow have the CCTVs turned off on the appointed visits, 'twould be a perfect crime. Wearing a disguise would not work.
4.)In the end you would have to kill your subjects on the off chance they "recall" you in any way that would lead the police inspectors to your door. Oh well, you could always go into the beef jerky business or add special exotic variety meats to the menu at your two restaurants. Wait, there's that pesky health inspector ... well, I'm sure you can work something out from there!


Wow, I have to learn how to do this, I mean what a career!

I bet he doesn't just limit it to stealing from tills.

"One minute I was on the train, next I was laid on a bed legs akimbo!"

"My burger just disappeared"

"I'm sure I parked my car here"

My Travelling Blog.

Darth Geoff

The article quoted one job as being worth 800 euros - seems like a huge amount of work to go for such a piddling amount. He'd be better off actually hypnotising people to give up smoking or lose weight for real.


I don't know y i keep returning to this site. But i do, without fail.


I'm afraid it's an hoax, scott.
I'm writing from Italy, and nobody here knows anything about it.


That's a plausible explanation, Scott. I find it more likely that this is a hoax, though.


Currently, banks here in Italy are considered thieves by themselves, so the "safety mechanism" is rather weakened. ;)

David MacMillan

So this doesn't have to do with the hypnotist thief (and idiotic clerk) - but I wonder what percentage of readers actually figured out the punchline to today's comic?

After all, "Not fast enough" has three possible meanings in that context:

"[Dogbert, you are]n't fast enough."
"[He was]n't fast enough."
"[He didn't use tools] fast enough."


It would be great to see more posts like this, less posts revolving around misapprehensions and flawed logic.


Hypnotism is a load of crap invented by charlatans.


Someone that smart is aware that camera surveillance is a given. If he knows he is being watched and can be identified all the brain work and skill required for hypnotizing the subject adds little to the deceptiveness of the crime.

A blued steel, snub-nosed 45 stuck in the clerks face would have the same effect in getting the cash. Bonnie and Clyde were pretty good at it. In the end the crook would probably be caught as he became bolder and could meet the same end as the infamous couple. It is hard to hypnotize a speeding bullet.


I would like to think that the stores are at least giving something back to the community. What with all their hypnotic brain-washing they do on TV.

Also, here's a good idea!


I want to learn to hypnotize. "Your breasts are suffocating. Set them free!" I'd be a tough act to follow.


This not new. We had several cases here happening in Malaysia. The culprits that were involved tend to be from the Middle East (Turkish, Iranians, etc). They would just approach the cashier, cast a spell (hypnotize?) on her, walk over to the till and empty it, and then just walk out. The cashier claims that she could see what's going on, but had no way to do anything except watch.


I can't help but think all your blog entries contain subliminal messages, a sort of hypnosis pre-training if you will, geared towards something big and sinister....


Your idea sounds like a lot of work for a measly $1000. I am sure it is something much simpler. It is like watching a magician do a trick and you conjure up all sorts of ways it could be done. When you find out how it was done it is much simpler than you had thought.

Your knowledge of hypnosis is probably harming you on guessing how this was done.

who cares

Well maybe the cashiers did not care. Would you care to protect an employer who paid you poorly?


I'm not sure you have this correct. How fast can you, personally, hypnotize someone? Is there anyone who is faster than you? If you said yes, and you probably did, then there is a good probability that, when you find someone faster at hypnotizing than you, there will be someone faster than that person. Following that to its logical (if completely flawed) conclusion, the fastest hypnotizer in the world can hypnotize pretty damn quickly. Perhaps the bank robber in question is THE FASTEST hypnotizer in the world.


A case of life imitating art?

This sounds a bit like Woody Allen's "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion".

Two people are "pre-hypnotized" at a night club, as part of the entertainment, and then made to commit thefts later.

Mark Thorson

This would be an opportunity
for supermarket checkers and
bank tellers to claim the
hypnotist is responsible for
otherwise unexplained losses
from their till.

The scheme would work better
if a confederate would be
recruited who looks something
like the hypnotist. He'd walk
through the line and be caught
on camera, but since he would
not actually be taking any
money, he'd have no reason to
fear arrest. He'd simply
provide back-up for the story.


Is there any possibility that the clerks were in on the whole plan from the beginning? That seems like the most likely explanation to me...

Bryan P

I just realized why I keep reading this blog. Scott has Hypnotized me. But I would rather be Hypnotized by Scott than do useful work so keep it up.

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