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Home Kent News Article
by Rebecca Hughes
Students were shocked when a fun hypnosis show included members of the audience performing erotic dances and being tricked into thinking they'd been indecently touched.
The show, at the Universities at Medway's Coopers bar, was part of Freshers' Week activities for new students.
It was advertised as the chance to "watch your new friends transformed into aliens and superheroes. One to remember!"
But it ended up being remembered for the wrong reasons after hypnotist Colin Adamson, pictured left, caused controversy with a show featuring sexual acts.
Participants were made to perform tasks including lap dances, ogling the opposite sex and imagining others naked.
Adamson told two women, hypnotised into performing a lap dance, "When you wake up, you will think he touched you up just now".
After doing so, one girl was said to be too upset to speak while the other said she would castrate the audience member with a spoon.
University of Kent feminist society president Natasha Sadaeva said she was "shocked and disgusted" that the event was allowed to go on.
"he shows a lack of empathy towards rape victims and all women, and a lack of basic human decency – he has no place at a student union…” – feminist natasha sadaeva
She said: "He shows a lack of empathy towards rape victims and all women, and a lack of basic human decency – he has no place at a student union."
But Mr Adamson said the show was intended to be humorous. "It wasn't a sex show by any means," he said. "That was just one routine out of a lot of routines, which included people riding horses and making all kinds of funny noises.
"This is the first time I have had this reaction to the show, which I've been performing for 10 years and when I was performing in Coopers the laughter was very loud. The majority of the audience got what it was intended to be – comedy."
Participants were also not informed in advance that the show was being recorded and that DVDs would be available at the end of the performance.
Mr Adamson said: "I didn't say it was going to be filmed, no. Why would I need to? They aren't children."
He later added: "It is possible I did mention it would be filmed before, but I can't say for sure."
One audience member, who did not want to be named, said: "We had no idea it was going to be filmed and ironically when the show started he said participants wouldn't have to do anything they weren't comfortable with.
"Some were so disgusted by it they walked out and one participant cursed at the hypnotist for some of the things he made people do.
"Some girls were clearly upset by what happened, but no one put a stop to it and just let it carry on."
A Kent Union spokesman said: "Following the hypnotist event we investigated it thoroughly and have since reviewed our due diligence procedures for booking of acts.
"As a result of this event, we will not be booking this particular act again and we have tightened up our procedures.
"Colin Adamson has previously been booked by a number of other student unions across the UK, as well as other national companies.
"To date we have yet to receive a complaint regarding the event and on the evening, no one left or walked out."
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