Are You A True Believer?

Illusionist Derren Brown has a gift for revealing people’s capacity for self-delusion.

And human vulnerability to manipulation is the central theme of two Brown specials on Netflix — Miracle and The Push.

The latest, Derren Brown: Miracle, which debuts Friday, June 22, examines evangelical faith healing.

Miracle is Brown’s stage show lampooning the concept of faith healing through “extraordinary demonstrations and exposés.” Brown uses stunts and tricks to underscore “the stories we tell ourselves and the value of the present moment.”

“I can give you a life changing experience,” Brown promises.

When Miracle aired on the UK’s Channel 4 in 2016, one demonstration apparently created a social media frenzy. The furor involved the “curing” of a 45-year-old woman’s blindness.  An audience skeptic was then summarily punished when Brown temporarily removed the doubter’s 20:20 vision.

His other special, Derren Brown: The Push, which is available now on Netflix, takes a more sinister look at human psychology, showing how “manipulation can lead an ordinary person to commit an appalling act.”

“When confronted with authority, our natural instinct is to unflinchingly obey without question – to such an extent that even the most moral people can be made to commit the most horrendous acts, simply because they are told to do so.” History has quite a bit to say about that.

For more on both shows, visit Netflix.

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About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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