There’s a place in Brooklyn, New York, called the Hypnotic Bar and Psychedelic Lounge where you can get a psychedelic high without taking a psychedelic drug …
Wait, come back! It’s not open yet!
The Hypnotic Bar and Psychedelic Lounge is actually an event hosted by Albert Nerenberg, a multidimensional documentary director, hypnotist and leading expert on the powers of laughter. In 2014, Nerenberg made a bold and controversial claim that all alcohol and drug states can be replicated with hypnosis. After demonstrating how people can act drunk under hypnosis, he turned the idea into a road show/faux tavern called the Hypnotic Bar. Neremberg states that his goal is not just entertainment but to combat the fact that that more people are currently dying of drug and alcohol overdoses than at any other time in human history.
There’s no hangover, no side effects. You come out feeling healthy and refreshed. And there’s a much broader range of experiences available.
Nerenberg is teaming up with Psymposia – an events group and digital magazine that focuses on how psychedelic science and drug reform affect society, law, and medicine – to add a hypnosis-induced psychedelic high to the Hypnotic Bar’s menu in the form of the Psychedelic Lounge. The joint events will be held at the Hell Phone lounge and cocktail bar (it also serves real alcohol) in Brooklyn on April 2nd.
I believe the states are real, produced by the natural pharmacology of the hypnotized mind. Hypnotic states can be very powerful. I think we trigger pharmacology inside the brain that is similar to the drug. The difference is the process is much leaner, and obviously entirely natural.
Nerenberg describes what will happen at the Hypnotic Bar and Psychedelic Lounge in an interview with Psymposia. He has held the Hypnotic Bar at least 12 times. The experience begins with a fake bartender serving fake shots. Nerenberg then hypnotizes a portion of the crowd (he says 20% usually enter the trance) and leads them to act drunker and drunker. Surprisingly, the person can be a tippler and still “act” drunk or, in the case of the Psychedelic Lounge, stoned.
Every drug—alcohol, cocaine, ecstasy, even LSD has an acted behavior. You can work your way back to the states, via the behavior. In hypnosis, once you have something, it’s easy to turn something up. Way up. And now you’re high.
The event on April 2nd at the Hell Phone is the first for the Psychedelic Lounge, which he will conduct with the help of Lex Pelger, host of a popular national lecture series on psychedelic science. Pelger describes it like this:
This is the Holy Grail of Altered States.
Holy grail or fakery? Nerenberg is fully aware of those who think hypnosis is fake, trickery or even sinful. He addresses those concerns in his TEDx talk.
Doubters and non-believers will not stop Albert Nerenberg from fulfilling his mission though the Hypnotic Bar and Psychedelic Lounge, his lectures and his other projects such as Laughology. As he puts it:
I’m tired of living in a world run by angry drunk men. I seriously see the Hypnotic Bar as a social step forward.
That alone is enough to give him a chance to expose the world to the Holy Grail of Altered States.