The most powerful “hypnotist” ever was Adolph Hitler. Hitler’s verbal pacing was almost an endless style of Hanussen. It wasn’t the rant that mesmerized the mob. Instead, he had gestures. It was his cadence. He had charisma. He captured the mob and did immeasurable evil. You cannot imitate it. There was something extra in Hitler that cannot be imitated.
Notice how other people have helped create or destroy governments. They are able to enchant, and in the end, the dictators tap into the imagination on a subconscious level of the subject. It has to do with a harmony that somehow transfers itself to the individual in the audience with terrible results.
PJ Media: How important is the crowd? Do crowds act in immoral ways they wouldn’t individually?
Kreskin: Remember, people are far more suggestible in groups. Do an experiment. Watch a comedy by yourself. Then watch it with other people. People laugh more in groups. As the group becomes larger, it becomes easier to do things irresponsibly. You are in a setting where there are fewer moral restraints when you are in groups.
PJ Media: Do you think Americans have any cultural traits that protect against this tendency toward immoral action in large groups or mobs, something uniquely American?
Kreskin: For the first time in my life, I have a great concern about the future of this country. My fear is that some of the founding traits, some of the reasons that this country came together, are being threatened. I love history. And if you read the writings of the founders, something has gone wrong in our culture that is making us vulnerable to this phenomena.
For example, so many have a sense of entitlement now that something is due you. My dad didn’t earn lots of money. He worked hard for himself. We didn’t expect the government to take care of us. But I see in colleges today they expect their college to be paid for. One of the messages I tell at universities is that we learn far more from failure than we do successes. Failure should be good and we should not try to eliminate the possibility. Anytime someone interviewing me for a job asks “what are the hours?” they don’t’ get the job.
People who expect entitlements are more open to manipulation. Those who expect guidance and help are more susceptible to suggestion. God forbid they might start to think in terms of leader, whomever that person might be. I’m afraid these days it wouldn’t be hard to create a riot. I’m not a doomsday person, but my great fear is that something could happen in a major city. My fear is the city could go out of control. It is because they have not had the discipline of – one word – neighborhood. There was a time when your kid would walk around and even be disciplined by neighbors. That’s gone, there is no correcting bad behavior.