Attacked By Clowns, Zombies & Trolls–You’re Next

If you’re in the field of hypnosis or NLP, this will happen to you…

Attacked By Clowns, Zombies & Trolls

Recently, in a hypnosis related forum, there was a debate about whether suggestions should be stated in the positive or not. And it brought to mind a drawback of being in this industry.

The NLP/Hypnosis Field Has Been In Disarray

Let’s face it, even in the 2020s, there are still few standards in hypnosis and NLP training and practitioners are all over the map. There are fanatical people, obnoxious people and people that just don’t know what they’re doing.

I know it’s true in all professions but both hypnosis and NLP attract more than our fair share.

One way of looking at it is that there’s a tremendous opportunity to stand out above the crowd, if you make sense and conduct yourself well. But for the bad news…

There are lots of negative elements in the system. I mentally divide them up in to three categories; clowns, zombies and trolls.


There are a lot of folks in the field who simply don’t know what they’re doing. But that doesn’t stop them from being extremely visible and loud and attention-getting. I call them clowns. If you express an opinion that’s different that theirs, they will shout you down. They seem to be trying to get to the top of the heap by being the loudest.


The field is full of zombies. These are people that simply parrot what their instructors told them. If you ask them a questions about a controversial subject, you can almost hear the words of their instructors coming out of their mouths. They sound a bit like a tape recording. They’ve swallowed the cool-aid.


There are trolls everywhere in the Internet, of course. They are people that spend their time looking for a fight.

What I’m Going To Do

This site is one of the things I’m doing to try and counteract the effect of all of the unreliable or flat out OUT there stuff on the internet and even in some hypnosis groups.

Think for a moment about the quality of information you find “out there”. I’ve found it lacking. I’m going to get ideas and inspiration in other ways. Now, I don’t have all the answers. But I’d like to make this site more of a community. A place to go where there’s good, solid hypnosis & NLP information available. A place where you can go without being attacked by clowns, zombies or trolls.

What You Can Do

Think about it. Where have you gotten really good quality information, inspiration and ideas? Where have you wasted you time? You can prune, you know. And you can get ideas about hypnosis & NLP from outside the field! And if this site has been helpful to you, get more involved. Post a comment, write an article, share, sign up for my newsletter. If I haven’t been helpful unsubscribe (I’m not for everyone)!

Here’s to the future.


PS: You might think I’m for more regulation in the industry but I’m not. Standardized education might mean everyone learning the same nonsense rather than people learning different nonsense. There certainly isn’t anyone in the field that I’d want deciding what should be taught and what should be left out. Even me!

About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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  1. Not complex devices; they suck at driving and shooting, nearly as I can tell, and can’t even manage doorknobs. I think we can rule out danger from device-wielding zombies for the most part.

  2. But zombies are famous for their strength and inability to feel pain. Don’t forget Rule #2: Double-tap 🙂

  3. Hi Keith, just a short note to say that I agree with your sentiments about the negative positive debate when dealing with others not just clients coming for hypnotherapy.
    I believe that the most important thing to consider is to gain rapport with your client and this comes about by being yourself, not being the clone of the person who taught you.
    Keith stay on the board of the various instutions etc because that the way to have an influence on just what is acceptable and hopefully taught to the next generation of therapist so that they dont get caught in the easy parrot fashion type of therapy which dosen’t truly help the client or the profession.
    Colin P Clinical Hypnotherapist Sydney AUSTRALIA

  4. I really agree with your article. The amount of zombies and trolls I have encountered on the subject of hypnosis or NLP has been astronomical.
    I begin to wonder if more regulation would help the profession.
    Either way, please keep on doing your thing- your materials were the most helpful to me.


  5. Always enjoy hearing what you have to say. Thanks as always for your generosity in sharing your ideas and resources. Much food for thought!

  6. Bravo Keith!
    I’m just a tinkerer of the trade and have seen much of which I do not want to take part in.
    Thanks for your consistent integrity.
    I hope this means we’ll see more of your awesome newsletters and postings, since you’ll have much more time on your hands!

  7. We have a famous clown/zombie in Brazil. Unfortunately most people have heard of NLP through his books, and think it’s all a scam because of him. Classic case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater… I almost got into an argument with my heart doctor once when I told him I study NLP, and he said “That’s all a bunch of bullshit! Don’t tell me you read Dr. So-and-So’s books…?” Geesh. 🙂

  8. I have mixed feelings about your departure from the organizations you have been a part of. It can be frustrating to be associated with the clowns, zombies, and trolls that make up some of these groups, especially when you are all about learning and experimenting with new ways of helping others. I am a relative newcomer to the profession, properly trained in many facets of hypnotherapy by respected educators, and continue my education by exploring NLP techniques. Having said that, I must admit that I am regularly surprised when discussing our craft with my “peers” at the various meetings. Their lack of real training, whether standardized or not, comes through in most of these discussions. Now I am not one for unnecessary regulations, and I certainly don’t want the state to dictate what I must learn to be successful in helping others, but I fear for the image of our profession at times when I listen to “experienced” practitioners hold court on their methods.
    Which brings me back to your position…having met and spoken with you, as well as having purchased some of your training materials, I feel that you are a valuable influence upon those you come in contact with. It would be a shame to allow the C’s, Z’s, and T’s to spout off, unchecked by anyone, merely because they are “established”….some of us need a person like you to keep it real. I respect your decision but worry that you and others like you will continue to withdraw, weakening the knowledge pool as it were. Naturally, I will continue to follow your site and activities, but I wonder what the people after me will do if they can’t meet people like you at the meetings…?

  9. Keith,
    I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I am not sure what precipitated this (your) post, BUT, as always 🙂 … that won’t stop me from weighing in… Please do continue to keep your voice and your wisdom out there for the majority of us who value it immensely. Ever since I trained in hypnotherapy I have found and used many different sources to grow my knowledge and my practice. Your materials, your trainings, your information, (and your humor) top them all. Thanks for all you do and offer. AND I agree with your thoughts re: more regulation; it doesn’t help.

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