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Wednesday, July 15, 1998 Published at 20:26 GMT 21:26 UK


Man 'heard voices' after hypnotist's show

A man who claims the television hypnotist Paul McKenna turned him into a schizophrenic has told the High Court he was still hearing voices more than four years after taking part in one of the star's stage shows.

Christopher Gates, 30, is suing Paul McKenna for 200,000 damages over psychiatric injuries he claims to have suffered after being hypnotised.

Mr Gates, of High Wycombe, Bucks, said he went to the stage show in his home town in a sceptical mood, but that shortly after arriving he was gripped by a strange feeling.

Lucy Atherton reports from the High Court
He said he heard the phrase "Command now" in his head, and that he remembered little after that.

The court heard that Mr Gates was said to have been the star of the show.

Volunteers were hypnotised and then asked to dance like the Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger. At one stage they were also convinced they were wearing glasses that allowed them to see the audience naked.

The court was told that nine days after taking part in the show he had severe headaches and was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed as schizophrenic.

The court also heard evidence from Beverly Gibbs who told how her boyfriend, Mr Gates, volunteered to be put into a trance by McKenna.

She said she had a "gut feeling" that her partner should not be on stage.

The case continues.

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