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Hypnosis Podcast #75: Free Hypnosis Seminar - An Interview with Dr. Damon, Pres. of the National Guild of Hypnotists

Cal: Hello everybody, this is Cal Banyan. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, whenever and wherever you are. Thanks for calling in live and thanks for listening to the recording of the Meet the Pros Program. We bring some of the biggest names in the profession, to give you free seminars of the topic hypnosis. I’m so glad to have all of you here today and especially glad to have our guest. The Meet the Pros program can be found on www.hypnosis.org where we organize hypnosis information to you.

I want to introduce one of our most special guests we’ve ever, ever had on the program, I want to introduce Dr. Dwight Damon, who is certainly one of my great heroes and mentors in the profession of hypnotism. Dr. Damon has been a powerful source of positive change, not only in the profession of hypnotism but also in his community and now around the world. He served his country as a US Coast guard, he's been a member of many humanitarian fraternal organizations, he’s been recognized by many of these organizations and the US government as a leader. I've seen his office and many, many of his awards and recognitions that he’s collected over the years.

As the founder and leader of The Nation Guild of Hypnotists, Dr. Damon has a methodically built hypnosis and hypnotism into a distinct and respectable profession. Dr. Damon has spent a half century amassing a membership of around thousand hypnotists and has being a leading force in setting meaningful and professional standards and ethics. The leading force behind providing an opportunity for professional hypnotists to affiliate with the AFLCIL the hypnotist union and he’s established two professional publications as well as a consumer magazine of hypnosis. The profession publications being The Hypno-Gram and the Journal of Hypnotism and the consumer publication is the Hypnosis Today Magazine.

As the president of the NGH he ensures the holding of the annual conference for the NGH members every year and this is but a partial list of accomplishments in Hypnotism that he has attained. He has also been a success in the entertainment industry and gosh, I could just go on and on, on the internet looking for information about Dr. Damon, he's accomplished all this and hypnotists around the world are greatly in his debt - especially and including myself. The development of hypnotism as a distinct profession did not happen on its own and the credit belongs primarily to the doc – as I call him, Dr. Dwight Damon. I've heard it said, rightly so that Dr. Dwight Damon is the founding father of hypnosis as a distinct profession.

Welcome Doc to the Meet the Pros Free Seminar Program. Thanks for taking the time for the call and be in the seminar, I bet things are really busy for you now at NGH headquarters.

Dr. Damon: They are but I'm still writing, I mean that was a good introduction, thank you. A very kind introduction Cal and I'm not the only founder - I'm one of the founders of The Guild. We were, a group of men back then, the funny thing is – way back then there weren’t any women that were interested in our profession and so really it was a bunch of men in Boston, Massachusetts that decided The Journal.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Rexford L. North. And, there are some of us that are still active in The Guild, Maurice Kershaw up in Canada; Dr. John Hughes from out in Las Vegas and Arnold Levison; come to mind the rest of our little group have sadly gone on hypnosis convention in the sky, you might say?

Cal: How did you happen to, I'm kind of a chronological systematic kind of guy and I wondered if you could give the students in here and the audience, a background on how you got into hypnotism in the first place?

Dr. Damon: Sure I’ll be glad to. Originally when I was growing up, my parents owned a theatrical agency and I got to meet all sorts of different entertainers and I was intrigued with magic, as a lot of young people are, when they get their first magic set for Christmas and so forth. But I had the privilege of meeting the professionals that were well known in the field. So I just gravitated to that and when I was 12 or 13 years old I was working professionally as a magician and doing all right and it didn’t hurt having my family booking acts at the entertainment agency, they certainly took care of things and also introduced me to a lot more agents in the Boston area and of course I still needed the education as they didn’t want me just to go into show business.

I was attending college in Boston and this was a while ago, and I was on my way to a Rush meeting for a Phi Alpha Tau fraternity and I was walking along and I saw a little poster it said ‘Learn Genuine Hypnotism, Hypnotize Yourself and Others’. I thought ‘genuine hypnotism’ and I had purchase a book a couple of years before, where I was in Christian Academy and this was Leitner’s book on Hypnotism. And I had read the book early and used the book as my guide in trying to hypnotize other students and faculty members and I was successful to a small degree.

I really did not understand that you could not learn from a book and I'm still of the opinion you can’t learn from distance learning videos and so forth. I want hands on training. But when I saw this poster it was a free lecture demonstration and it just happen to be on the way to this particular place I was going. So I went and there was a gentleman who presented a lecture demonstration actually showed us how to hypnotize other people gave a little talk and mentioned he was starting a course in Boston. Back in those days the entire course of instructions was ten lessons and the cost was $50 and $50 was a lot more money than it is now. I called home and talk to my dad and told him I wanted to take an extracurricular course and he said ‘What is it?’ and I said ‘Well it’s just one of these psychology things and he said ‘No, what is it?’ he knew me better than I thought and I said ‘It’s a course in hypnotism’ and he thought well that would go well with what I had done with the magic…

Cal: You were thinking more of the lines of doing stage hypnosis?

Dr. Damon: Yes, and he said ok and provided me with the $50.00 and I took the course. And then we came out of the 10 lessons, when you graduate you are confident and competent and that’s the line I used with our certified instructors - I want them to turn out graduates who are confident and competent. When we finish this course with Dr. North, we could hypnotize people, because we have been doing it. The head of psychiatry, at Mass General was in the course with me and there were a few other older gentlemen that were profession people of various types. They weren’t interested in the stage magic, stage hypnotism, but there were three of us that were. So it became part of my repertoire and then I don’t know I just seem to hit it off with Dr. North and I was attending college in Boston and the first thing, you know I was working at the Hypnotism Center and we had quite a large center which also included an apartment and so the next thing you know, I was working and living there and had decided that was more exciting than going to college.

Cal: Wow.

Dr. Damon: I was doing that and that’s when we got in doing the Journal of Hypnotism and The Guild. Back in those days there wasn’t anything of that type and Harry Arons, who was a very well known name in New Jersey, publisher and teacher in the field, said: you know, a club like that isn’t going ever go and a magazine – you're wasting postage money. But he did let us borrow his mailing list combined with ours and it was success. He stayed with us for a while as an associated editor and wrote a regular column, but just like anything else, pretty soon he was sorry he had given us the list. When he saw it was going to be a success so he spun off and he spun off and started American Association of Ethical to Advance Ethical Hypnosis (AEH). He had a very good idea; he said well I'm only going to teach licensed health professionals, he later expanded that, at the same time, there were other people doing just strictly that type of instruction. But at The Hypnotism Center in Boston, we taught anybody at all that was interested. In the early days of the Guild, 95% of us were either stage hypnotists or just people who were interested, you might want to say hobbyists, they were interested in hypnotism and maybe 5% were, or could be considered professional hypnotherapists.

Cal: Dr. Damon can you give the audience an idea of when that was?  Was it around 1950? 1951?

Dr. Damon: Exactly ’49, ’50 in that range, but staying away from that. Of course I was very young, I was about 5 years old then (laughs). But yes it was that long ago 57 years to be exact. In 1950 we started talking about forming The Guild. We didn’t know what we were going to call it but forming an organization at that time. We formally did in it the spring of 1951, and we had already been holding regular meetings in Boston and that was Chapter Number One. Chapter Number Two was in New York City and then it just grew from there. Through the years it grew and then Dr. North disappeared mysteriously and we still to this day are not sure about what happened to him, we've heard all sorts of rumors and stories and so forth and those of us, who were really active at the time - we had gone on to other things, we had families to raise and we were either in college or studying professions or businesses and The Guild just sort of putted along we stayed in touch. But we didn’t really experience any growth.

Want me to keep going?

Cal: You’ve got me hypnotized here, I'm just at Chapter two, and I’m just hanging on ever word…

Dr. Damon: Chapter two, when I went out Iowa, after being in the service and being in the service was great being a stage hypnotists because everywhere I went I didn’t need to have any props and anywhere our ship went in, I was always asked to come over to the NCO club or The Officers Clubs and do a show and I even got paid for it – which was unusual. Also did USO shows where there were centers and they knew I was around. So it was really good – I kept my hand in. In boot camp we were out in the afternoon, physically education drills were used, they think of all these things you can do to beat each other up, build team effort, that type of thing…

Cal: Yes…

Dr. Damon: Somebody came out and said the chaplain wanted to see Damon.  Usually that meant there was someone in the family that had died or something. So in went over and the chaplain said ‘I saw the show last night’, we did a talent show in the big hanger there and of course, I did hypnotism and he says ‘I saw the show last night, are you related to Dwight Damon in The National Guild and the Journal of Hypnotism? and I said ‘I am Dwight Damon’ and he said ‘you're Dwight Damon? You have edited some of my stuff’ and he told me his name and sure enough I had.

Cal: Wow.

Dr. Damon: Well I thought, this is certainly fortuitous and he said ‘I tell you what, you shouldn’t be out there getting beat up and all that and that physically education stuff. You could come here every afternoon and we could talk hypnotism’. And I thought that’s ok with me. And so then I was appointed chaplain assistant and that’s the only thing I've assisted in and then he said ‘you know if you want to work with people in the office here, you can do that in the evening, I’ll let you use my office. The only catch is, I want to be here so I can see what you do’. And ‘I said sure that’s fine too.’ So we did we had several cases, we had one of the physical education tests you have to pass – you have to climb a 50 foot rope, you know, hand over hand. If you’ve never done that before it’s kind of impossible to learn on the spot, if you didn’t pass that particular test then you went to Ex company and they give you another few weeks to try otherwise you're out…

Cal: This was some remedial training huh?

Dr. Damon: Yeah, I suppose they figured, you might have to abandon ship or something. I don’t know I've never climbed the rope after that. Our company yeoman was at a point where there were going to give him one more chance and he said ‘Why don’t you hypnotize me?’ I said ‘Sure’. So we went over to the chaplains office that evening and I used direct suggestion, you know, ‘You're going to get up in the morning and the first thing you think about is your going to down climb that rope and you're going to go right hand over, hand and you're just no problem if you go up or if you go down’ and I really built it up. 

I woke up the next morning and he wanted to go right then, so we appointed a couple of fellows to keep an eye on him because we didn’t want him just going down there when he wasn’t supposed to go. When we got down to the gym for Phys Ed, the Drill Instructor said ‘Ok fatty, you go first’ and he went out, went up the rope, came back down and went up again and the drill instructor got really angry because he thought he’d been kidding all the time he couldn’t climb the rope. Luckily the chaplain was there and he squared everything away for the past. And the Drill Instructor calmed down and the chaplain went to the Base Commander and said that he had a connection with Life Magazine and he would like them to come and do a story about that; the modern East Indian rope trick.

Cal: Wow.

Dr. Damon: Which would have been a great break and the coastguard commander said now, that would be too carnival -istic for the service. So we didn’t get that break. A lot of interesting things happened you make contacts and they are amazing that one person who had sent in articles for The Journal and yes I had edited them, and knew my name and it just worked together. That was the early days for me.

Cal: See I thought I had heard all of your stories. That’s a new one on me. That’s great.

Dr. Damon: That’s a C story.

Cal: Good, that’s a really cool history. I really want to get to asking you about the big idea. I hear you talking about that and I really want to help get the word out on that. What exactly do you mean when you talk about the big idea?

Dr. Damon: Well for years I've been saying we have to have a big idea of it, establishing a separate and distinct profession. I had gone after being in the service; I had gone back to college, gone out to Davenport, Iowa, to Chiropractic College to get my doctorate and went into practice. In those days  we I graduated, there were still unlicensed states for chiropractors, maybe 3 or 4 – Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York maybe one other one.

But it was a very tough time even though chiropractic had being very prominently accepted for many, many years it still was a turf war. The physicians did not want us practicing. So I got involved again in publishing just in our state newsletter for our Chiropractic Association. But it gave me a chance to see what was going on in trying to establish the profession. 

So, when we decided to bring back The Guild and build it just from a small group of people who were just keeping in touch and not really growing, and we’re now in the age of computers and Elsom Eldridge. He had The Achievement Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. Elsen had been a boyhood friend who learned a lot about magic and hypnotism from me as we were growing up. He took me up to see his Achievement Centre and showed me their computer room and even though I’d been on radio, I didn’t know anything about computers, but we could see the potential. We had lunch and we were talking about, we said ‘Wow’, The Guild could use this to get out to people and so that’s what we did.

The idea was need to establish this as a profession. We don’t just want to be stage hypnotists; we have something to offer the public. I was using hypnosis in my practice as a licensed chiropractor. I wasn’t accepting anybody outside because I had a busy practice but for my regular chiropractic patients, yes fine. ‘Oh you have Agoraphobia? Oh we’ll take care of that while you're here’.

So it was really kind of fun to be able to use the two. People in town, I was in, saw that neither one I was in tried to kill anybody, so I did get a lot of patients coming in. But they all waited at first. ‘Wow he’s a chiropractor now and a hypnotist and remember, he used to be a magician, so they’re a little bit odd by that.

Our goal is to establish a distinct and separate profession and all of a sudden, I think you were there Cal, in Las Vegas and it dawned on me – we were already there, we had already established this profession, we finally have made it were not just admitting it – just not sure of it.  So that’s when I said: We are now are a profession…

Cal: Right…

Dr. Damon:  Now we have to build on it. Now we have to be professional in what we do and how we dress and how we speak and we have to try as many of our people, who are practicing to practice professionally and build the profession. We are recognized now. I will give you an example of why we can say this. There was a convention of psychologists, and a Head of Division Thirty, which is a committee or group that deals with hypnotherapy; Cal, you know about it?

Cal:  Yes…

Dr. Damon: The head of that group, well I won’t mention his name, since this is going on the Internet. Well he got up, in New Orleans in their meeting and outlined what we called The Master Plan, to wipe out what they called “Lay Hypnotists”. And believe me it was a master plan.

Unbenounced to him, quite a few people who were attending that meeting- licensed psychologists and psychiatrists and so forth, who were also members of The Guild. It didn’t take me very long to have a recording and a transcript of exactly what he had in mind for us in his master plan.

So we tried to enlist the aid of other groups to help us combating this. I remember calling AEH, the president at that time, Harry Arons, (he is no longer president) and he said ‘Gee, I’d like to help you Dr. Damon, but you know the thing is, I’d have to hold a committee meeting and I’ve got members from all over the country and the good thing about The Guild is I belong to that too, he said, You can make a  decision and you can go for it and by the time you go for it, you’ll probably have everything done. So we said, we’ll do it ourselves and we did. Recently I saw a correspondent to the ad on the Internet; someone sent it to me, in which there is no use trying to get rid of them anymore because they have money, they have power they have the union and they’re pretty well established…

Cal: Oh…

Dr. Damon: So we’re not going to get rid of them, what we need to do is control them though -control them by getting the demands for the types of education. So you see they know, that we are here to stay – they're recognizing us as a professional entity.

Cal: You know, I have written articles and done talks on completely rejecting the label of “Lay Hypnotists”. If you go into the dictionary, any dictionary you want ‘Lay’ means untrained. And a National Guild of Hypnotists, Certified Hypnotists or Consulting Hypnotists or Hypnotherapists, whatever label they are using has got as much or more training than your average ‘Professional’, Doctor or Psychologists out there, that are practicing hypnosis.

Dr. Damon: There's nothing that uniquely qualifies any other health professional then being a hypnotists…

Cal: That’s right…

Dr. Damon: I mean they may get a day and then they get a couple of days of discussion of hypnotism and that’s it.

Cal: That’s right.

Dr. Damon: Maurice Kershaw was teaching pre med and pre dental students up in Canada for many, many years. An effective course I believe, An Introduction into Hypnotism, but I don’t know of any place else that do get any type of training. So no, to call us Lay Hypnotists that’s a misnomer. In your dreams, that’s what I say, as far as they're concerned.

Cal: That’s really the hobby hypnotists…

Dr. Damon: Yes, …

Cal: I think of them as Lay Hypnotists.

Dr. Damon: And we don’t have as many hobbyists anymore, for some reason, I don’t know, I guess…

Cal: Not in The Guild anyway…

Dr. Damon: No and the other great thing is that mentioned before, it was all men and the really great thing is the influx of women into the field. This is wonderful because women seem to take to being professional hypnotists and consulting hypnotists. Most women have a really good talent for it and I don’t know what the exact percentages of membership in The Guild, but I would say its maybe 50% of more. Probably more…

Cal: Yes probably. You know in most of the helping professions like a few years ago it was documented that in psychology, the shift is really gone to more women in graduated schools for psychology, counseling, social work, then men. So that’s just a natural thing we would see in The Guild.

Dr. Damon: Well it probably sounds sexist just to say they're better equipped for this, but I think by nature a woman is perhaps, has a unique talent- a naturally born talent. God said Whoa, you're out there to nurture people and help people and that goes along with what we do.

Cal: Beautiful. Hey let me ask you something Doc. As we are becoming more and more accepted, the chiropractors they start off and over time they establish themselves as a profession and other professionals started referring them. Do you really believe that our profession can become as accepted as other health professions?

Dr. Damon: Yes I do. We have look back and say ‘Hey wait a minute, there wasn’t too many, many years ago that the dentist were cutting hair and pulling teeth in the same chair’. That’s why the barber poles are red and white - signifying the blood for pulling teeth. I don’t know if it was the grandfather or the great-grandfather, probably the great-grandfather in the present Mayo brothers, who was a doctor simply by the fact that he rode around curing people and taking care of people when they were sick, so he began to be called, “Doc Mayo”. If somebody else wanted to learn how to be a doctor in those days, he would ride around with the doc and so they learned how to deliver babies, how to set bones and so forth – and they became a doctor. Then, it was right into the mid 1900’s, early 1900’s; probably 1918 I think it was around that time, when you still could go to night school to be an MD. That wasn’t too long ago and all of them have had to grow as professionals. That’s the same thing we’re doing, were growing and so our educational requirements will grow along with us.

Cal: So what kind of strategies do we have to put in place?  I know we have The Code of Ethics and Standard of…Take it from there…

Dr. Damon: Well we have The Code of Ethics and The Standards of Practice. We have our own professional language which is very necessary. For example, now chiropractors we at a certain period of time we weren’t diagnosing, and we didn’t use that term and what we gave it wasn’t a treatment – we were adjusting the patient. So we have our own language as consulting hypnotists that we want to use. This is manly to keep us out, of … getting into problems with health professional and using terms that could be construed as medical terms that are in the DSM and so we want to be careful not to be using, for psychological language,  for example ‘phobias’.  And, we have all of our new graduates receive this information and Scott Giles has worked very hard to present the different terms that could be used and we are anxious for people to do that. It means the same thing, if a patient comes in to us it’s actually a client, and we don’t necessarily diagnose them, we help them to goal set their problems or their challenges.

We suggest ways to do that, we don’t treat them, we don’t prescribe solutions, we suggest ways for them, because you know we’re very fond of saying: Well all hypnosis is self hypnosis. Well if that’s the case we’re acting as guides to help that person, to help achieve the self hypnotic state to change whatever they want to change. This is what we have to be careful of, staying within the line, coloring within the lines. And they say why should so be afraid of the other? I know there are some people out there say ‘Oh yeah I should be able to do what I want, we’re constricting ourselves by not doing what we want’. Well I don’t agree with that…

Cal: You know…

Dr. Damon: That’s my opinion…

Cal: Since we’re not diagnosing, we’re not saying, see a diagnose has only one purpose and that is to determine treatment and in order to do that, they have to say ‘Hey here’s something that wrong with you medically’ and since we’re not saying there’s something wrong with you medically then, I’ve been persuaded over the years to move away from the term therapists. Because this term therapists means there's something wrong with you and you need therapy. Really we’re more of an Educator or a Consultant is that right?

Dr. Damon: That’s really why I like the term Consulting Hypnotists and I know at first, it’s very hard for people to accept this line when I introduced it to the convention a couple of years ago. But Consulting Hypnotists, it’s not infringing on anybody, there’s nobody out there that can say ‘Oh you shouldn’t be using that’ and just last year up in Ontario, Canada the psychotherapist to pass legislation from people from being hypnotherapists. And the hypnotherapists didn’t want to give up the right to be a hypnotherapists but, it looked like there were going to be laws passed, so we had to ask the union and Scot Giles jumped on his white horse to go to battle again and we had a lot of help from the OPEIU, which is the mother union we belong to and The Nation Federation of Hypnotists, which is our union, and the only union is chartered to cover the entire country and Canada. They were able to put a damper on all of this by getting lobbyist to work on it for us.

Cal: Just for a second, how can hypnotist learn more, I'm a member of the union, how can hypnotists learn more about the union? Is there a website? Is there a link on The Guild’s website?

Dr. Damon: Yes, well the best way is, you see now you're getting into the internet stuff and you know me. I told you I was a radio operator and you said I was a radio operator, well that was back in the days of Marconi, we didn’t have all the Internet and so forth. We were just discovering how to send messages by wireless, but we do have, and while we’re talking I'm just going to look for union address. They can contact the union and the union secretary will be glad to do it.

Cal: Yes, yes.

Dr. Damon: I have it right here now. Her email address – and this is Sharon Morris, who is our secretary treasurer, is hypnounionsec@aol.com and she is secretary treasurer for National Federation of Hypnotists, Local 104 OPEIU AFL CIL CLC –how’s that for a mouthful?

Cal: That’s like alphabet soup there!

Dr. Damon: But hypnounionsec@aol.com or they can call her on 603-424-2136 and Sharon will be glad to send information out about the union. The more people we can get in the union the better, because the union and believe me I have to give credit where credit is due, and they have come through. I think up in Canada probably $15,000 dollars or more, we had to spend for a lobbyist up there, a professional lobbyist up there and they had come through for us and backing us up financially and so they do stick with us. And being a union member is really good, because you can use the union the union bug or little logo they have you're a union member and union people like to trade with the union members, and we have some of our consulting hypnotists who have set up workshops, group seminars, for stress/smoking/weight through union health plans. Union health plans pay for it. So you can get your money back easily by just using a little imagination.

Cal: Beautiful and by the way, I'm working with Scot Giles to do a talk just like this on Meet the Pros. He’s going to be talking about Christianity and Hypnosis, and he’s a Reverend and real Reverend.

Dr. Damon: A real one?

Cal: A real one. Not of them Postcard, Mail Order Reverends’.

Dr. Damon: he doesn’t have to do all of this because he is a licensed counselor as well as a Real Minister. He doesn’t have to do all the things he does for our profession, he can practice anyway, he’s licensed and Lord doesn’t pertain to him as he pertains to other hypnotists. So the thing is that he does this, he doesn’t get paid for doing it.

He does it because he believes in what we’re doing and he certainly deserves a lot of credit and when I call him the Killer or the Avenging Angel, is only because he just gets up and really gets his hackles up when somebody tries to do us harm. That’s the kind of people you need. We are very fortunate that I have people such as yourself, Cal. I mean I can go through a list and all they have to do is go through our advisory board list and they can see people who are there to work without compensation. I mean they're all volunteers; and the President’s Cabinet, I have people I can count on to give me good backup and good information and good feedback –that’s very important.

Cal: You know that’s something I think is so powerful in what you’ve done in putting together. The National Guild of Hypnotists is putting a team of leaders together and I'm honored to serve on the Advisory Board and also the Ethics Committee and just to be a part of this big dream that is un-folding before us.

Dr. Damon: Well and that’s it, we have people on the industry, people on The Board Certification Committee, we’re doing that because we believe in what we’re doing. At the same time I know there is sometimes the feeling of the Good Ole Boys running everything. If it weren’t the Good Ole Boys, as they refer to us, maybe not you Cal, but to me. If it wasn’t for the Good Ole Boys, we wouldn’t be where we are today because we didn’t give up, we kept going and we believe that.

At the same time we have a lot of people coming up in the field, we have a younger generation, and I don’t want to mention names, because I might miss people, but I will give you one example. John Weiry down in Pittsburg, he has a good friend down there, I can’t remember his name, so I shouldn’t have mentioned John. But anyway these young fellows and they're young by comparison, are eager and they're out working for the profession and these are people that we need, that we need, especially the younger ones coming in, because we’re not all going to be here forever. And we want to see the drive that we’ve established continue and I'm looking on my staff here and The Guild to have younger generations coming up. For example: my executive director and people say: well you believe in nepotism, yes I do. My daughter is executive director of The Guild, Melody and she grew up in the field of Hypnotism. She grew up knowing what we could do with it, how it could be used as a powerful tool for your family and as well as helping other people - So somebody who has that much knowledge and experience, why not?

So I'm very, very fortunate that I have staff that’s young and interested in the internet and they can come and fix my computer when it doesn’t work right and tell me what I'm doing wrong; to get on the internet to see Cal Banyan’s websites and so forth and that’s what we need and on the other hand we do need the people that had the years of experience because they are the ones that are still steering us in the right direction.

Cal: I've always been happy to working with the office there at The Guild. Melody’s always been really, really helpful for us and just really part of the team. Let me ask something, how about as we reach out to all hypnotists everywhere, how can all hypnotists help to build this profession?

Dr. Damon: By being professional…

Cal: There you go…

Dr. Damon: I mean it’s very, very simple. Get away from the things that are going to, I mean, you’re talking to a fellow who was a show man all his life and so when I say, get away from the showmanship it’s kind of hard for me to say that. But if we’re going to be professional and recognize that then we've got to get away from the image we have, I think we mentioned that on my next editorial on The Journal of Hypnotism, and we got to get away from that brand, of the pendulum of the –I always get this wrong and don’t mean to when I say the barking dog and sometimes I say clicking chicken but it’s supposed to be clacking duck syndrome. You know that image, I never can remove. I tell you the truth, I don’t know if it’s a duck or a chicken because I have never in all my years experience, ever seen anybody do this on stage or show or anything.

Cal:  Now are saying we should put an end to stage hypnotism here or what?

Dr. Damon: That we should what? Cal: That we should put an end to all stage hypnotism or what?

Dr. Damon: No we can’t do that. I mean let’s face it, The Guild was formed by stage hypnotists and it would never happen anyway, you won’t get rid of it. It’s fun for people and if it’s done right. There are people doing X-rated and R-rated shows, we should get rid of them because those shows are an embarrassment. But on the other hand, I recall a client coming in to me one time, when I was still seeing clients and he was a young man, college age and one of my standards questions that I fear most on the intake: ‘Have you ever been hypnotized before?’ No, ‘have you ever seen anyone hypnotized before?’ ‘Oh yea, I've seen so and so at the nightclub last week’ and he says that’s what made me think about coming to you because he was going to take the Bar Exam and he wife has taken it and passed and he had failed and he was going to take it again and so he was a little worried about it, he needed some help. He thought well hypnotism could help. And I said well, I knew the hypnotist he had seen, I said ‘What did you think of the show?’ He said ‘Well it was disgusting, yeah it was funny, but he did he have to be that disgusting...

Cal: Right…

Dr. Damon: That particular hypnotist, I have to admit he gets the laughs, he gets the jobs, but it’s really degrading to the people who participate in the show.

Cal: You can be a performer and still be very professional and represent the field well, isn’t that right?

Dr. Damon: Oh absolutely, We have a lot of hypnotists, like Jerry Valley he does a very good show, Tommy Vee, Ormond McGill did a very good professional show. We have so many of them and that’s the type we still honor the stage hypnotists in our convention. We have three performances on Friday night and it’s a chance for people to have some fun and some laughs and we look for the one, and we would never has someone who would embarrass the profession and we just had people we know or top professionals.

Cal: You know what; this is a good time to kind of segue into what is next. You know I have been a member of The NGH since 1996 and I have never ever missed a convention. When I was new, I was going just to gobble up the information I can and now I'm privileged to teach there and give workshops and why don’t you tell everyone about the convention and why this year it’s so special? Its 21! It’s grown up, right? Every year is special right?

Dr. Damon: Yes. Its 21 years and the convention is the world’s largest and friendliest and there's no getting around it, somebody who had not been to our convention - it is really the world largest. We have anywhere between 1500 – 1700 people attending and it is the friendliest. Everybody is friendly. You can go and approach anybody and even the big names like Cal Banyan…

Cal: Oh…

Dr. Damon: And he’ll stop and talk with you. I like to talk to people and lately I have found people don’t come up to talk to me as much, I don’t know, maybe I don’t look that friendly or something. This year at the convention I'm going to see how many people I shake hands with and get to know. When we had fewer than a thousand members and just myself here in the office and Melody working in my chiropractic office also, and so I answered the phone not only for my chiropractic patients, but also member of The Guild and we had a few hundred numbers, so I get to know everybody. This year we are going to honor any of our members who have been members for 20 years or more. It’s close to a hundred members…

Cal:  Wow…

Dr. Damon: So that’s a long time to be a member of The Guild. We have something like 200 workshops and seminars and we have a wonderful member faculty, maybe its 200 member faculty, I don’t know. All of our convention work is done out of fine Florida office, Elsen Eldridge and Jean are down there, do all of the work. They know all of the figures, so I just sit here, and keep them going. With 200 seminars and 170 different speakers, that’s the thing. I will get the numbers right after a while. Now you see why I wasn’t a CCA.

Cal: I was just reading the other day and there is 181 workshops included in the price of a convention and you guys have just released a downloadable version of the convention catalogue and I've got it on www.calbanyan.com  if anyone wants to download and look at all that’s going on…

Dr. Damon: Well that’s great and if they're not a member of The Guild, and they don’t go o the internet to www.calbanyan.com and they want a hard copy of this beautiful catalogue, they can contact us and we’ll send them one. They’ve just come off the press and they’ll be in the mail either today or Monday…

Cal: Hard copy? That’s so last century…

Dr. Damon: Oh no, no, no. Now you sound like some of my staff. They say why don’t you just put it on the internet. Cal, I do not like to read a book on my computer; I do not like to print out a lot of loose sheets to print out a catalogue; I like to hold it in my hand to take it with me, if I go down to the coffee shop I want to take it with me; If I'm on a plane, I want it with me and we had this discussion today, about how much money it costs to put on The Journal and The Hypno-Gram and our video, DVD library catalogue and our resource guide. We have this all on the internet too, but it is nice to have it with you and so you know you're of the generation, we just look at it on the computer…

Cal: You know what; I want to have it both ways. I want to have it on the computer and I want to have it because I still have every Journal I've ever received in the mail and every Hypno-Gram and I collect them and they become resource I can grab and take with me. I'm not one way or the other I think that’s it’s great that you involved in this century and providing the internet and still giving out hard copies.

Dr. Damon: We trying to do both. We’re trying to keep up with technology at the same time we’re trying to keep up with the segment of the population and would like to have the hard copy as well. The Guild has accomplished a lot of firsts; I mean there's no getting around it. I mean we established the profession. We are the first ones that really had size of require continuing education because we figure eventually when we’re recognized as a profession and licensed they’re going to say: oh you got to have continuing education, every profession has to. We are the first to really establishing a quo curriculum certified instructors, we’re the first to have a video rent library, I don’t think anybody else has that; I think somebody else has it by now.

We print two magazines, we have the consumer magazine, I think we were the first to get profession liability insurance – maybe not but I know it took me 3 or 4 years to find a company who would insure everybody. We are the only union, the hypnotist union that is chartered for all states.  We have just done some many things that we just been so fortunate. We have people work and do all this and believe in the fact we can really be a recognized profession and I hope this is going to happen, well I know it will happen, in my lifetime. I want to see it happen, where we’re really when accepted and all these things people say ‘we need more education, we need college education’ those things will come along later. Right now we have what we have and we can build on what we have and some day they’ll say ‘I want to be a consulting hypnotist – well I think I'm going to go to Perdu and get my degree there. So people don’t need to go out and buy a college degree so they have a title and I don’t think that’s necessary, what you need to do be good what you do and people aren’t that much impressed a doctor a professor or whatever you do or all the initials behind your name. That doesn’t matter, the results are what matter.

Cal: The best credential you can have, is having helped the mother, father, sister, brother, cousin or friend.

Dr. Damon: That’s right…

Cal: That’s right…

Dr. Damon. Helping ordinary everyday people with ordinary everyday problems, is what I like to say.

Cal: That’s right. That’s right.

Dr. Damon: I mean we don’t have to have miracles. That’s miracle enough. When you go to hospital, and I've had this before, and you have someone who is dying of cancer and they have them on the direct drip -I.V, just to sedate them and try to keep them comfortable and you have them conditioned so you can use hypnosis with them and get them out of the pain for a while and the morphine is touching it, I mean that is an accomplishment and I know that this can be done. Because I've been there and done it and I've done it with love ones…

Cal: And it really adds to quality of life in those last months or weeks, because you can really reduce the amount of medication necessary to control the pain. Is that right?

Dr. Damon: Yes that’s right and it doesn’t have to be, it’s not going to cure the cancer, but if you can help alleviate the side effects of chemo and radiation therapy, what a wonderful thing you can do. That’s why we had some many nurses getting into the field. We have an awful lot of nurses…

Cal: In the field of Psychology, which is my background, there is a thing called Diathesis Stress Hypothesis and that says stress of different forms can contribute to many illnesses, so it’s not out of the question at all that doing hypnosis work to remove stress, can help the other things the doctor is doing and help the body heal itself. Is that right?

Dr. Damon: Absolutely. I recall going into the hospital, my first wife was dying of cancer and I was there. I used to come home for maybe four hours of sleep after midnight and I remember going back in, one morning and the Chargers, came and said, I'm so glad you're back Doctor. I don’t know what it is you do, because we need to do whatever the thing you do, because the morphine isn’t doing Lois any good and she said We’re so glad you're back. I'm sure they understand eventually, what we are doing and this is it. They say wow this is good.

We had Maggie, we had a sign in her room, Everyday and in every way, and I’m getting better and better Hurray! And I got a kick out of it because she had a little Dominican and she had relax and redactors come in and as sick as she was, she’d say as everyday and in every way, I'm getting better and better and they’d smile and one of the nurses on the oncology floor said ‘Can we use that?’ I said ‘Oh yeah, of course you can, I didn’t come up with this saying’. I said ‘Want me to run off some on the computer bring them to you? She said ‘I wish you would.’ So you know…

Cal: There's a story like that or more with every hypnotists that’s out there working and helping people. That’s really what it’s all about.

Dr. Damon: What a wonderful tool we have. Not just helping other people but our families. I've tried out personal experiences for Hypnosis Today, which is a good magazine. I hope you agree with me on that, I think It’s a good magazine for the general public because it covers, because it has a story of a hospital in  Florida; It has famous child birth in Iran, all sorts of wonderful stories. Hypnosis in Iraq, Hypnosis in Botswana, you know any person can read this and say there's something to this. Not just getting people and making them bark like dogs…

Cal: Yes it’s also a great little door opener when you go see your doctor, leave it. Other professionals…

Dr. Damon: I'm sure you know who Johnny Appleseed’s is, he went around the country planting apple trees around the country, it started here in New England by the way. We do that constantly, if we’re going to hospital for anything, we go drop them off in every waiting room. The doctors’ offices, the dentist offices and libraries love to have a supply. I go to a drycleaner, who I gave one to each one of the girls working there and they said can you leave a few for other customers. I said absolutely.

When we went to do Solid Gold this year at the Tuscany in Las Vegas, to the clerk checking us in, and one of the other ones looked at us said ‘Can I have one too?’ Well after I get through all six people across the front of the counter all had them, I said don’t read them now – they're all reading – I don’t want you all to get fired you know and they did they enjoyed it. They asked for more for so and so, they enjoyed the stories and they enjoy what we do.

Cal: How can people get a copy of it?

Dr. Damon: Contact The Guild, we happen to have a few thousand, no they can purchase some, they are very reasonably priced and we've left a nice space on the outside back cover.  Where you can take a video label, that’s the size and print it up on your computer and you can get a free ad, so when you pass it out, the people inside who paid for their ad, get exposure from all over the world and you get exposure for purchasing them in bulk and its $4.95 a magazine and you can buy a quality for a dollar a piece. That’s pretty cheap advertising really.

Cal: Hey, if I could just change the topic a little bit  if I can because I’d like to offer the chance for some questions and answers would that be ok for you?

Dr. Damon: Well yeah, you’ve already gone over your 45minutes, is that ok with you?

Cal: You know what? I tend to go over an hour anyway.

Dr. Damon: Good I'm having fun.

Cal: Let’s see I have an email sent in, from Linda and she’s from one of our Yahoo! Groups and she says: Thank you Cal, for offering to do this, I'm not available for the call. My question for Dr. Damon is, all of us actually she says, is about the impact the ailing economy may have on our profession, perhaps the larger more economically sound areas won’t feel it but I have to believe that the more rural areas will feel it. I live in Maine, which is really ailing. Not only do I live in Maine I live in a really rural area. What are your feelings around how to deal with doctor?

Dr. Damon: Well I live in New Hampshire and we are neighbors with Maine. See I believe the media are driving this thing, I believe they are giving negative suggestions to the public; they are creating this economic problem. They would lay off if they started giving positive suggestions, I think we could turn it around. The government would say: Hey things are getting better, so then they would help out but I mentioned in one of my columns, it may be one upcoming or one already ran, in the Hypno-Gram about different people I've spoken to that said they noticed that things, for example like Jacobs ______ , specialized in smoking sensation, I think it was in the last Hypno-Gram. He told me he was down in Brooklyn, New York. He does his own advertising, and he works right out of his apartment and he has a fantastic clientele because he's built a wonderful reputation not because he just for smoking, but for everything, but he's best known for smoking. He says a lot of times now he getting people coming in, they says You know well I like to smoke and I don’t want to give it up, but I can’t afford it anymore , so they’d rather pay this onetime fee to stop smoking and save the money of buying a packet a day. I don’t know how much cigarettes cost but, I imagine it’s plenty by now. You know I found John Dubesky down in Florida and again he's been seeing people who want to get a better positive attitude; you know he's down there with a lot of retirees. And he's says they are getting worried and have started coming to him - a lot of people. Mc Issics said people you know are concerned and getting mental stress about their bills and mortgages and so forth and they just want some stress reduction, so you know, there is some work there. Being in the wilds of Maine, you might have to adjust your prices a little bit, but why not, and don’t forget – Maine you can always barter. That’s the way to keep things going. And get the family haircuts done because the barber wants to stop smoking and he’ll tell other people ‘Yes I went to Linda’, was it Linda…

Cal: Yes that’ll be Linda…

Dr. Damon: ...’and she went to Linda and she stopped me from smoking. Wow, she could help you George’ and bartering is a good system and when times are tough, when people think times are tough then they really are…

Cal: That’s right. What we remember is people buy solutions, and listen to what the people are complaining about and then hypnosis could be a viable alternative. For example, I was in an establishment the other day, and they said so Cal what do you do? I'm a hypnotist and that’s all you got to do and they’ll start asking you can you help me with this? Can you help me with that? and this fellow happens to be a sale manager for a car dealership, and he asks can you help my people sell more, Sure that’s easy it happens all the time and I gave him some stories about what I’d done with clients and he's excited…

Dr. Damon: That’s good. I did the same thing I went out and bought a new car….

Cal: Good for you…

Dr. Damon: I went out and made one salesman very happy…

Cal: Good. What I’d like to do now is open the line up and see if anyone else has a question. In order to do you just have to hit *6, you can un-mute yourself and you can ask a question to Dr. Damon.

Maybe everyone left, because we talked too long…

Dr. Damon: They all went home, that’s it. That’s alright, we had a good time. They can tune in later. Well do you have any other questions?

Cal: Well yes I just have one that came in on a SMS type thing here and they want to know…

Dr. Damon: A SMS type…

Cal: One of these things, like a little message come up on my computer and stuff, and the listener wants to know: where is the convention at?

Dr. Damon: I'm glad that person asked because it’s no secret at all, its Marlborough, Massachusetts. It’s The Royal Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, and right now we have sold out all the rooms, however, just at the end of the driveway, probably just a short walk down at the trade building, its just a little further, there is a hotel, we have shuttle service to 4 or 5 other hotels right nearby. When I mean shuttle service, this is a professional shuttle service that runs regularly all day and right up to the last things that are going up on to the evening, so people are at other motels nearby, who are by the way, giving the same rate for hotel rooms, that we have for hotel rooms, I'm not going to quote a price because I'm unsure on those things, they let me know but I forget. I think it’s under $100, maybe $90-something, maybe its $103, buy anyways they are very reasonable, the hotels are respecting that same rate, because we have a large crowd coming from Marlborough, Massachusetts. If they are coming from any distance, they can fly in through Boston and take a shuttle from Boston and fly into Providence, rent a car, take a shuttle; they can come into Hartford and rent a car or take a shuttle. So it’s easy to get to and there are plenty of motels and plenty of places to eat. Just off ground, sometimes people want to get away from the hotel for a little while, you don’t need a car because there an adjacent shopping centre with 3-4 restaurants, I think you’ve been over there for meetings or stuff…

Cal: Yes…

Dr. Damon: A Steakhouse or whatever it is and so it’s just a wonderful facility.

Cal: It’s worked out really good for us and I want to remind the 5-Pathers out there and all the Banyan Grads, that on Thursday night before the convention we have annual reunion and awards ceremony that we recognize 5-Pathers that are contributing to the profession and to the growth of 5-Path and 7-Path. So make sure you get in there a day early.

To everybody else listening I want to tell them about the workshops I will be doing. There’s going to be an advanced hypnosis for weight loss workshop, go beyond the script for maximum results and also I'm doing insider secrets to a thriving practice where I talk about the star model and getting multiple streams of income so that if you're not making as much money as you want, you can make more money and if you want to go from part time to full time – I'm going to show you how to do that. Dr. Damon, why don’t you wrap it up?

Dr. Damon: Ok well I will and by the way thank you for your contribution to our student kits, of your information about the star method and it’s a valuable addition to our training materials. I just want to tell people, I hope they will, what they should do is use their ESP incentive plan, you see the government is giving them and use that and split with your husband or your wife and use your half to come to the convention…

Cal: Great idea…

Dr. Damon: You’d be real glad that you did and I would like to have as many people as possible come to the convention. Come over and introduce themselves - I’d like to meet people, I like to know who they are and where they're from and you know we can just say hello, if they have questions they can ask me, I'm there and I'm available. I want to thank you Cal, for having me on your show on your program and it’s been really fun and I hope we've given a lot of information to folks out there.

Cal: I think we really did. Thank you Dr. Damon. Thank you for your leadership in the profession. Thank you for being on the show, thanks everybody for coming in who’s listening live right now and also to everyone who’s downloading this on www.hypnosis.org or www.calbanyan.com. I’d like to invite all our listeners to visit all of my main websites: www.hypnosis.org ; www.calbanyan.com and www.hypnosiscenter.com.

That’s it this is Cal Banyan, signing off!

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