Derren Brown  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Derren Brown (born February 27 1971) is an English psychological illusionist and skeptic of paranormal phenomena.

Popular culture and media

In 2003 English psychological illusionist Derren Brown performed a stunt on national TV where he played Russian Roulette with 5 other players. Some suggested the stunt's success was due to Brown using NLP techniques in order manipulate the outcome. Derren Brown (2000) says "Having trained with the highly likeable founder of NLP, I find it a mixture of sensible and appealing methods for dealing with low-level pathologies such as phobias and fears on the one hand, and sheer daft nonsense and massive rhetoric on the other... There is no doubt that, to a point, much of this is well observed... But the idea triggered in me an interest in exploring these kinds of signals, and now I am pushing my performance closer into these areas."

Russian Roulette

On October 5, 2003, Brown performed Russian roulette live on Channel 4 (though with a slight delay in case of accidents). The stunt was ostensibly performed at an undisclosed location outside Britain, supposedly because of British laws banning the possession of handguns. A volunteer, chosen from 12,000 who applied for the task, and whittled down to five by the day of the stunt, loaded a single shot into a revolver with six numbered chambers, then counted from one to six. Attempting to predict the location of the bullet, Brown pulled the trigger on chambers 3 and 4 with the gun aimed at his head, before appearing to decide on chamber 5 and firing the gun away from him. When that chamber proved to be empty, he paused for over one minute before aiming at his head again for chamber 6, then immediately firing the round in chamber 1 away from him, striking a sandbag.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Derren Brown" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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