By Donovan Levine
KU Residence Life hosted a seminar called “Hypnotic Intoxication” on Wednesday, March 20, to warn students about the dangers of consuming alcohol.
The event showcased volunteer students who found themselves under the mysterious hypnosis of Dr. Keith Karkut. Hypnotic Intoxication took place in the MSU’s alumni auditorium and ended up nearly filling the entire room to capacity, which is around 200 students, and was mostly comprised of Residential Life employees, CAs and their residents.
Dr. Karkut opened the presentation with a brief lecture on alcohol consumption and what it takes for your blood-alcohol level to determine you as drunk, on the verge of blacking out or even dying.
Afterward he brought up around 20 or so volunteers from the audience to be part of a series of hypnotic activities where he allowed them to close their eyes and imagine their hands were glued together, their feet glued to the ground or their eyes completely shut.
Similar instructions followed where they were asked to imagine their arms as being weights that were heavy as steel or asking them what their name was and seeing if they could remember; they could only do this whenever Dr. Karkut snapped his fingers.
Dr. Karkut also experimented with a handful of other exercises. When the students were sitting down, he asked them to close their eyes again and sleep, and he then proceeded to give each individual student a separate set of directions. His directions included “make-belief” commands like asking one of them to act as if they were a superhero, whether they had a really funny story to tell, if their butt got shocked every time he clapped his hands or if they could remember simple things like adding 2 and 2 together. Each exercise was shockingly successful and made audience members erupt in laughter.
Dr. Karkut then did the same exercise again where each of the volunteers would close their eyes, sleep and wake with a command. Only this time, each volunteer was told to imagine themselves as a pop star idol at the call of their name. He’d play the background track for songs from Pitbull, Kesha, Katy Perry, Drake, Beyonce, Bruno Mars and more, and each volunteer stood up and started dancing and lip-syncing as if they were those pop stars.
By this point, all of the volunteers were already appearing sluggish, loopy, dazed and acting as if they were slightly intoxicated. Dr. Karkut then had them all sit down, close their eyes and sleep yet again. He then placed water bottles in front of each of them without them knowing and convincing them that it was alcohol.
“That’s right. People will be getting drunk off of bottles of water.” Dr. Karkut told the audience.
He broke the hypnosis and pretended that everyone was partying on the stage, which the students began to do and started acting as if the water was actually making them drunk in real time, dancing as if they were at a party, swinging around and grabbing friends. One volunteer even fell over like he passed out.
Dr. Karkut ordered them back to sleep and ended the presentation on a final lecture to the audience, saying, “I’m not asking you not to drink, but I’m asking you to please drink responsibly. Know your limits. Be smart.”
Following that he concluded his hypnosis and the volunteers left the stage to their friends who definitely took videos of them while they were hypnotically intoxicated.