Undergroundhypnosis.com: Marketing the Unethical
Is Underground Hypnosis a scam?
Well, its questionable to say the least ...
At first glance, undergroundhypnosis.com is a simple website that promises to divulge the well-hidden secrets of underground hypnosis techniques. The design is similar to flyers found on grocery store peg boards. TS Reports, the company that owns the site, claims the customer can learn to hypnotize individuals and groups without their knowledge or consent. It urges readers to imagine being able to persuade people to sign contracts, buy products, or do anything else the hypnotizer wishes. The sentences are short, choppy, and conversational, in the fashion of late night infomercials. The fonts are easy to read and some sections are bolded for easier skimming.
The marketing team should be given credit for the simple design and the explosive terminology, which creates a sense of urgency and secrecy. However, that is all the marketing team should be given credit for. If a potential customer can get past the bad grammar, unnecessary quotes and capitalization, and the periodically changing font, he's still left with inconsistencies.
At the top of the site, a claim is made that the product is a collection of secrets from the most dangerous hypnotist in the world. This hypnotist is never mentioned again. Instead, groups called The Leaders and The Triad is discussed throughout the sales pitch. Additionally, these hypnosis methods are supposed to be confidential, and yet Taylor Starr, the sales pitch narrator, claims he was allowed to take notes and create CDs containing these secrets. Mr. Starr also claims that the underground hypnosis groups are trying to take down the site, but anyone with computer knowledge knows it isn't difficult to hack into a site and take it down.
There are many other inconsistencies. For example, Mr. Starr claims to have been hypnotized by email. He states that he also learned how to do this and is willing to teach customers. If that were the case, it seems as though he would be able to hypnotize those who read his site and persuade them to buy the underground hypnosis course for $97, an amount he claims is much less than he had to pay. Hypnotizing anyone to get them to buy a product may seem unethical to most people, but in his sales pitch, Mr. Starr states that he has used these hypnosis techniques to land other clients. Obviously, ethics are not an issue for him. He even goes as far as to say these hypnosis techniques should be illegal, and yet he doesn't have any problem using them to persuade both individuals and groups to do anything he wishes.
Mr. Starr also claims that he can only sell the underground hypnosis course for the stated price for one day—the date which appears at the top of the site and again as the sales pitch reaches its peak. However, if a potential customer were to visit the site, decide to think about it for a couple weeks, and then go back to the web page, he would find the date has changed. According to the legalese at the bottom, the date—the one and only date the site claims the product can be sold—has been in a constant state of flux since 2005.
Near the end of the sales pitch, there is a media player. The pitch says to click the play button for a sample of the audio portion of the course, but what a potential customer gets when he clicks play is not a sample. Instead, he gets Taylor Starr stating that the audio course can be downloaded and listened to on a media player just like the one on the site. The purpose of a sample is to entice a buyer into making a purchase by allowing him a glimpse of the product. The lack of an actual sample of the course as promised places the customer even further in the dark and could cost undergroundhypnosis.com some sales.
The only bit of redemption this site and its product has is the guarantee, although the conditions of that guarantee are not provided.