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XXX hypnotist takes over the Ob by spreading laughter, messages about consent

The Observatory was filled with laughter, rowdiness and students taking pictures of their hypnotized friends behaving contrary to their normal behaviour as Tony Lee, better known as the XXX hypnotist, tapped into their subconscious minds Oct. 12.

With his relaxing, husky voice and ability to vocalize realistic sound effects, Lee hypnotized student volunteers to act out several different scenarios. These ranged from mild acts like convincing students the Ob was so cold they had to hug each other to stay warm, to more raunchy acts like having the group simulate masturbation while Lee convinced them they were starring in porn.

In the middle of the show Lee had three students come onstage individually to act as Jedi who controlled the group with the force. Under Lee’s instructions, each Jedi gave a bizarre command. One had male volunteers stick an imaginary football up their behinds and move it in and out, while another named “Darth Killer” convinced the group that their chairs were attractive sexual partners who they could have any kind of sex they wanted with. You can imagine how this played out.

“It’s kind of weird — you’re conscious the entire time but you sort of don’t really have control of what’s going on,” said Jake Devine, a second-year music industry arts student who was hypnotized during the show.

“You kind of get it stuck in your head that that’s what you’re supposed to do and you just go with it,” said first-year pre-health sciences student Tyler Astles about the hypnotism process and scenes he was told to do. “It was so much fun, just being in the audience at first it was hilarious and then actually doing it and then my friends telling me about it was really funny and very enjoyable.”

Lee first got into hypnotism after accidentally hypnotizing his girlfriend of the time as a joke.

“I sat her down and I was just relaxing her and it appeared to me she fell asleep; she just slumped over,” said Lee. “The reality is that hypnotism is a self-induced state of mind. People actually put themselves in it and the hypnotist is just a guide.”

Although the show’s title contains “XXX” Lee says that the branding is just a marketing tactic. He and his management company are actually in the process of re-branding the title since the shows are getting a misinterpretation of actually being pornographic.

“We’re trying to work out the new titling of it now so that we can let people know that it does contain mature subject matter but they don’t have to be worried about being naked or anything like that,” said Lee.

Besides being careful about avoiding nudity and acts that degrade women, a key component of these shows is and always has been consent and educating the audience about its importance, which Lee frequently emphasized amid his antics.

In all the years Lee has been doing these shows, one thing he enjoys most about them is that they provide an opportunity for people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual preferences to come together and connect over the show’s sense of humour.

“I can look at an audience that may not even be able to communicate with each other but visually, for a brief 90 minutes everybody forgets everything that’s going on in the world and they just laugh and they have a great experience onstage and a great bonding experience,” said Lee.

“I take a look around and I think, how many other types or forms of entertainment can you say are completely inclusive of everybody appreciating and having a great time all at once?”

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