Review Of The Holosync Demo Raises Ethics Questions
*Important: Please note this is a review of the Holosync DEMO, not the program itself*
Since the Holosync program is pretty pricey, a free sample CD (advertised as a 29.95 value) seemed like a good idea. I sent off for the demo, read over the email info they sent along, and waited. It arrived quickly enough, and I eagerly popped it into my sound system, plonked on the headphones, and prepared to be entrained and entranced.
I was severely disappointed.
Rather than the sort of full-featured demos we’ve gotten used to from software and hypnosis vendors these days, the Holosync demo amounts to a 48 minute advertisement.
If they value *this* at $29.95, I’m have to question the actual value of their $160 intro level program.
I’m also left questioning their ethics; more on that later.
Here’s what’s on the CD: _____________________________________
“Praise for Holosync”
The CD starts out well enough… nice sound quality, soothing tones of rain, chimes and Tibetan bowls, pleasing tones.
But within 15 seconds, the voice of Centerpointe’s director is overlaid on the rain sound, with soothing explanations of what the Holosync technology is, how it works, and what it is supposed to do. It’s a full fledged sales pitch, right down to discussion of the money back guarantee and contact/order information.
13.5 minutes into the track, he finally hushes, and you’re left with 6.5 minutes of actual entrainment. Personally speaking, I didn’t find particularly remarkable – I usually respond well to entrainment and suggestion, but this did little more than vaguely relax me.
The six minutes or so of relaxation fades smoothly into the second track — No rains or chimes here, just 28 minutes of testimonials from various users with an underlying white noise.
Not an exciting or useful demo. It does demonstrate a high sound quality, and it shows that at least the rain/chime combination on the demo wasn’t annoying, though there’s no mention of whether or not it is typical, and no mention of what level of entrainment it is supposed to be producing.
I’d much prefer a separate entrainment track of 20 minutes or so that I could play a few times, to judge its effectiveness… maybe more sound samples of the other tracks that the program offers, and an idea of what levels the entrainment is supposed to produce. The demo is clearly marketed towards people who don’t know much about entrainment, brainwaves, or hypnosis.
Ok, so I was annoyed that the “demo” is an extended advertisement. That’s not really a big issue, just an annoyance that I wasted my time on it.
What troubles me is that they seem to be use their entrainment sample *underneath* their advertisement.
I don’t have the know-how to dissect the CD, so I can’t tell you for certain that the binaural beats are embedded during director Bill Harris’s informational talk. I can’t tell you if it is embedded in the white noise under the testimonials of track two, either, though in both cases I did notice a clear difference in the left and right channels.
And even if the entrainment IS there, I can’t tell you with any certainty about the effects. I can tell you that listening to the CD is unlikely to turn you into a mesmerized zombie, mindlessly turning over your credit card number to Centerpointe.
But one of the core concepts behind Holosync and related programs is that entrainment relaxes you, creates a hypnotic state, and opens you to suggestion. Binaural beats and other entrainment techniques are often used in combination with hypnotic suggestions, for that reason, and personally, I’ve had some good success with it. To use that same technology in an advertisement for these products raises some serious questions in my mind.
If the entrainment/suggestion combo doesn’t work, then no harm done, but the product itself is useless.
If the entrainment/hypnotic suggestion combo does work, then isn’t it unethical to use it in advertising the product? Granted, there is no blatant hypnotic suggestion that you should buy the system, but it does seem designed to make you less questioning, more trusting, more likely to believe the claims offered…
Anyone else have similar concerns?
Am I paranoid?
Has everyone else already become one with the Borg?
Since publishing this post, it’s gotten a surprising amount of attention, most of it focused on Bill Harris’s marketing than with concerns about the potential of entrainment in advertising.
But with all of the interest in Bill Harris himself, some of you might find this more recent post relevant:
How To Trash Your PR At The Touch Of A Button: Of Holosync, Bill Harris, and Silencing Critics
Please note that none of this has to do with the actual effects and/or usefulness of the Holosync system itself. I’ll leave that up to you to decide, should you pony up the money to test it!
2010/10/5 An alert reader today pointed out to me a concern about this post and my current affiliate partnership with Transparent Corp, which sells a sort of DIY brainwave software and can conceivably be seen as competing with Holosync. They’d wondered if I’d written it to intentionally divert search engine traffic to try and sell the competing products. It wasn’t - and I would, in fact, consider that unethical, making it all rather ironic.
When I wrote this post, I wasn’t an affiliate for competing products (If I recall correctly) and the ongoing response here has truly surprised and discomfited me – as I’m neither a fan, nor a foe of Holosync, and honestly think the Google Ranking Gods are crazy. Still, in the interest of transparency, I’ve gone through the comments and made notations about the partnership, and think I caught them all, but it’s a LOT of comments, so I may have missed one or two!
MindTWEAK: What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself
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- Review Of The Holosync Demo Raises Ethics Questions