Mark Patrick Seminars: The Hype-nosis
January 13th, 2015
Over the next two months, the Mark Patrick Seminars are scheduled to hit more than 100 towns and cities across the country, with stops where the tour will offer up $50 seminars that promise to disclose “the truth” about losing weight and “stoping (sic) smoking.” The seminars are expected to draw hundreds — if not thousands — of attendees, according to company estimates.
If you live in one of the 26 states that the tour plans to visit, you may soon hear an ad on the radio for the seminars (that’s how TINA.org found out about them). Or you may see an ad in your local paper or online inviting you to come on down.
Here’s the argument for staying home.
For starters, consider the premise of the program: Losing weight or stopping (our spelling) smoking through hypnosis. Sounds a little iffy, but hey, maybe we should give Mark Patrick the benefit of the doubt as he knows more about this stuff than we do, being a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) and all.
Only that’s not true. Though he touts NGH membership on his website, a spokesman for the organization told TINA.org that Patrick’s membership expired at the end of 2013. “Mark Patrick is not currently an active member of the NGH,” the spokesperson said.
OK, but we can trust that the testimonials are typical of what most attendees will get from the program, right? Nope. Cases like Ted Ranson from Charleston, West Virginia — who claims in a testimonial to have lost 48 pounds in less than five months and says the program works so well he didn’t even have a piece of cake on his birthday — are the exception rather than the rule.
Reads part of a disclaimer at the bottom of markpatrickseminars.com: “Testimonial results from programs are based on individual effort and other factors (TINA.org: How long you can remain hypnotized?). Such results are exceptional or atypical and are not to be expected by the average person using these programs or methods.”
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines hypnosis as “the induction into a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction.” Sounds like the effect of some advertising.
UPDATE 11/16/15: After posting this ad alert, Mark Patrick renewed his expired membership with the National Guild of Hypnotists, a spokesman for the organization told TINA.org.
For more of our coverage on weight loss products, click here.
This article was updated 11/16/15.