Interview with Shannon
Firstly, thank you to Shannon of Indigo Mind labs for taking the time to speak with us. Shannon is the creator of highly successful Subliminal-Shop.com, along with a suite of self-help subliminals.
You are quite welcome, and thank you for the interview. Hopefully this will help get the word out about what’s what concerning subliminals in general.
This is obviously an incredibly interesting field to get involved in, and from what we can tell, you have been around longer than most:
Yes, incredibly interesting is a very good way to describe it. I am never without a sense of fascination and awe doing what I do. I think that’s half of what I love so much about it.
I’ve been making mind programming since I was 20 years old, and I’m 39 now. The first program I ever created was a program to improve my memory, and it worked well enough that the people around me sat up and took notice. After seeing my results, they began asking me how I was doing it. When I told them, they naturally wanted me to make them programs as well.
Those first programs I was making, way back in the day, weren’t true subliminals yet, but audible speech that played on repeat while you slept. I used to have an auto-reverse cassette tape player and two computer speakers positioned on either side of my pillow. It was hard to listen to myself talking all night long at first, but I got used to it after a while. Most people didn’t.
Over time I listened to people’s responses, complaints, suggestions and results, and kept refining my technique – which I am still doing to this very day. As I refined my programs and made the better, easier to use and more effective, word of mouth generated such a demand for what I was creating that eventually it became impossible for me to keep going unless I was making a living from doing it, which is a big part of why I started the business in 2005.
Sorry to throw you such a corny questions up front, but what were you studying at 20? You have plans to do something more conventional?
20 is when I was just entering college for the first time, and my original studies were in computer science. I was planning to become a computer programmer at that time. So yes, my plans were pretty conventional back then. I really didn’t know what I was doing, and my mother was trying to push me onto the get a degree, get a job, work 40 years and retire path because that’s what she did, and that’s what she knew. I went through three changes of degree in computer science before I finally decided that I didn’t want to deal with certain aspects of the field every day for years on end. At that point I turned to my strength in English for a degree instead. I thought it would be useless, but it has actually helped me a lot in what I do because I use some very advanced and specific grammar writing subliminal scripts.
You have a very distinct offering and it really doesn’t have the same feel as the other subliminal providers.
I believe that to succeed in business, you must be honest, forthright, trustworthy, and produce an exceptional product that genuinely fills the needs of the customer. My team and I strive to be and do all of this and more. You’re right; we are very unusual in this industry. We definitely do things differently, and we dare to think outside the box and question the wisdom handed down from “on high”. Some of what I am doing, in fact, is claimed as being impossible by the current standards of thought, but I am doing it, and making it work.
There is yet a great deal of research left to be done in this field, and much left to be discovered and understood. I am simply allowing my experiments, research and development efforts to lead me to where they point. I think you will find that Indigo Mind Labs is going to be making some waves in the industry in the next several years, as my research and development results begin finding more and more use, and word of mouth gets out about how effective it is. There may also be some surprises in store yet as well, presuming my experiments and tests continue to be successful in what I am currently working on.
Tell us about the forum. There’s a lot of energy there, and it’s very active. One might say you have a bit of a cult following.
What really sets us apart here is that we are not just a business. Our forum is a community, and not even just a community, but a knowledge base and library of sorts. I do my best to offer personal support whenever possible, and we have wonderful people like Andrew, Ben, Ryan, Scott, Roy and others also helping us on the back end and forum. Most of our team actually joined us after using our products for a year or two and consistently getting good results from them. You naturally tend to get a bit of a following when you lead with honesty and by example, and you have products that genuinely work. And that’s the goal.
We know we’re selling what seems like snake oil to a lot of people who have never used subliminals before, or who may have used “subliminal” products in the past that did not work. You can’t see subliminals, you can’t touch them, or taste them, and you also can’t consciously hear them. How is a person supposed to reconcile the claims made for what they can do with what they can see for themselves in that case? So we’re trying to do everything we can to make sure people can see for themselves what is really what before they spend money. That includes free full version programs we offer as samples, and of course the forum, where people can pretty much say anything they like, as long as it does not violate the common sense rules. We have tried to cultivate the forum as what one user described as “an oasis of sanity in a sea of madness” on the Internet. I also find the forum is a fantastic rapid feedback device for improving products, as well as allowing me to offer quick and direct customer support.
I’m actually quite proud of our forum, and our forum members, for observing such decorum toward one another even without being constantly reminded what the rules are. It makes our forum a place where people can feel comfortable sharing their experiences, and it fosters a sort of “we’re all in this together” feeling that helps everyone learn and grow, which is very much what I wanted.
That’s one thing that stood out in our review. The forum is so well done – but a big risk and business opportunity too.
Yes, it was definitely a big risk. My business partner Andrew and I were looking for a way to be more transparent, in order to generate trust. I wanted more feedback, and we both wanted an easy way to give customer support. The forum concept has worked well for another company we both admire, and since we knew without a doubt that my products work, we decided to go for it. That’s not to say there was no trepidation in doing so. In fact it was quite nerve wracking at first! But I figured, worst case scenario, we get horrible feedback, and then I fix things until we don’t. Happily, the vast majority of the feedback we have gotten on the forum has been very positive. Naturally it is not all positive, because there’s no such thing as a single perfect solution to every person’s challenge. But it definitely helps me improve my programs and educate people. I believe that education about the truth regarding subliminals is very important to focus on for the lay public.
You said earlier you do things differently. One of the things is that you’re not putting NLP style suggestions as scripts, and this diverges from the industry…
I am not producing NLP, I am producing subliminals. Some NLP scripting conventions can be used in subliminals, and I do use some of them; but there are certain scripting conventions that apply to NLP or hypnosis, for example, that do not work for one reason or another when applied to a subliminal. This is one of those “gotchas” that you encounter if you just accept what everyone else says and does, instead of questioning and testing things for yourself. This is an area where my research has definitely shown me that there is an important difference in how I should do things, versus what the status quo believes and does.
The long, complex scripting statements that I use have proven much more effective, powerful and useful than shorter statements, but they do require different build methods to work than short, simple statements would. Because the subconscious is literal, this scripting style gives me much more control of exactly what is specified and how the subconscious will respond, and allows me to much more precisely define and steer all the primary, secondary and tertiary interactions, effects and results. So what I have done over time is looked at the results of my tests, experiments, personal usage and the feedback I got from testers and users of my programs, and determined what the logical way forward was. Then I would build and test my ideas, and keep the ones that worked. The result of this cycle has quite naturally grown over time into the very intricate, complex and specific set of scripting techniques I currently use.
I am unique in many ways when it comes to scripting, not only because I have determined what needs to be different in how to word my scripts than might be used in daily speech, NLP or hypnosis, but because we use a very advanced metascript also. The metascript makes the program significantly more powerful, fast acting and effective. I don’t publish the metascripting because it is a trade secret based on more than seven years of research and development at this point, but I will say that it definitely adds to the length of each script. You can go read my forum to see how well it works, or you can try my programs for yourself if you don’t believe what you read there.
It does mean that you break with the science. Is this a problem – it sort of suggests a “proof in the pudding” approach. If it works – it works. Have you ever had to ditch a programme for not delivering?
I actually don’t break with science. The more scientific methods I have to use for testing, experimentation and development the better, but at the moment, funding the level of research I’m interested in doing is not possible. I am using science, as best I currently can, to get my results. My programs are built on consistent empirical results that have proven to be repeatable over many trials. The issue with mainstream thinking largely deals with the fact that this is an extremely difficult field in which to work because it is so easy to make your results fit your desires, whether those desires are conscious or not. There are people doing research in this field who have a vested interest in “debunking” subliminals for personal gain, and it’s not impossible to produce even a double blind study that supports your desired answer if you are subtle with how you do things incorrectly to influence the study. That’s why the scientific method says it’s important to repeat these studies a number of times with many different experimenters. That practice reveals experimenter bias.
It is also easy to make mistakes based on insufficient understanding of this very complex and sometimes very subtle and confusing subject. It is very difficult to study the subconscious mind. Many research studies are guilty of one or both of these flaws. My approach is, let the program show me what it does to me; if it does anything to me, then I allow a circle of testers to use it, who may or may not know what it is supposed to do, depending on circumstances. If that produces results, I proceed to do what blind testing I can, and then I will either release it for sale if all signs show it works, or I’ll release it as experimental, if I’m still not entirely sure it will, does, or can work.
I’m aware that my methods have flaws, but for the time being, this is what I can do. When I have a way to do well designed double blind formal studies, you bet I’m looking forward to doing exactly that.
After a program goes up, and in the rare case where it does not produce results as desired or intended, I take it down. I have had a number of programs that were selling well, but not producing results, and so I took them down. I still get regular requests for them to this day, but it’s more important to me that I be advancing the truth about subliminals in the field and selling things that work, instead of just doing what it takes to make a bigger profit. Sometimes, people will happily delude themselves into being your customer if you offer them what they want, even if both of you know it won’t actually work. I’d rather not take advantage of that fact.
There’s a huge array of characters on your forum, and they have an opportunity to suggest programmes? What’s the decision process like? Is there anything you won’t do, or is everything on the table?
Yes, we encourage our customers to give us ideas and help us design programs, where they are interested in something specific. Woman Magnet 1.0 and 2.0 are direct results of that process, for instance.
How it’s done is simple. I assess what the level of interest is, and then if it’s high enough, I put up (or have someone else put up) a thread for throwing out desires and ideas concerning that specific topic. When there are enough suggestions and ideas, I take what they suggest (what of it is actually do-able, at least) and then I fashion it into a list of goals, from which I generate a script. From the script, I build the program. Not everything that is suggested or requested makes the cut, though. The script must self-balance, and some things may conflict, not be realistically possible, or create secondary interactions or effects that would be undesirable. There are also things often suggested that would steer the program away from the intended major goal.
There are definitely things I won’t do: I won’t do anything I believe is not realistically possible, and I won’t do anything that is harmful. I avoid manipulative requests as well. We are working on a specialized aphrodisiac which skates close to the edge on that one, but I have specifically focused on making sure that the people hearing it always have the free will and choice to do whatever they consciously choose to, instead of being forced, tricked or manipulated into doing something someone else wants them to do. This of course destroys its effectiveness for underhanded usage options, such as “stealth seduction”, while maintaining the effectiveness of the program for its intended usage – helping couples spice up their sex lives, as an aphrodisiac should.
All this comes down to trust. If people trust me, they will support me. If they support me, I can eventually achieve my bigger goals. So I am careful to cultivate, appreciate and deserve their trust.
There are a number of versions of titles of the programmes on your site, what’s the thinking behind this?
I am constantly doing research, developing new concepts and ideas, and finding new and better ways to do things. This results in a phenomenon that I believe is unique to my product line, which is that we have both “versions” and “generations”. A “generation” is a specific set of scripting and build techniques that are used to make a subliminal. If a program is updated with the same generational build specifications, it is given a new version number. Every so often, once I have accumulated enough new and useful build specification improvements from my experiments and research, I rebuild the entire line of products using the new generation of build technology. That’s gotten to be a lot of work, so I am thankful that I won’t have to go beyond the 4th Generation and 5th Generation specifications we currently have in play.
Sometimes, the usage requirements of a new generation of programs conflicts with how people may want to use them, so I will occasionally offer two different generations of the same title. A good example of this is the “Ultra Success” program, which we have available as both a 3rd Generation and 4th Generation build format because the earlier version is what I call a “Type B”, which means it works by changing your beliefs only, and the newer version is a “Type B/D Hybrid”, which means it works by changing your beliefs (Type B) and using manifestation methods based on the Law of Attraction (Type D).
To the best of my knowledge, by the way, I’m the only producer to categorize programs this way, and I do that because my research has shown that some program components may conflict with other programs using the same components. For instance, a successful manifestation cannot be achieved if you are dividing your focus on what is being manifested, because there’s usually not enough energy being put to each goal to make it manifest in a sane amount of time, so we recommend that nobody ever use two Type D programs at the same time.
Likewise, the same is true of a physical change, so we also recommend that people not use Type C programs (which are designed to cause physical changes to the user’s body) together. It’s all about knowing which programs are compatible so you get the best results. Of course we could just say use one at a time, and I’d love it if people did that, but that’s not a very popular option.
I don’t think anyone else attempts to categorize their products like this, which results in a rather hit or miss affair when people get excited and try to use several programs at once. It adds a layer of complexity to classify them this way, but in exchange, you get a much better result from your investment of time and money in using my subliminals.
I’m currently working on phasing out the 3rd Generation of programs and replacing them with 4th generation versions of those titles. Part of the reason for this, as you might have guessed, is that not all of the programs (such as the one you originally tested) work as well as I would like them to. It’s not that they don’t work, but that I want them to work better and of course I would also like to have a uniform offering. However, even 3rd Gen technology is very powerful compared to a lot of what is out there.
Okay, one last time – What’s the difference between generations? Is it very different?
Generations are the scripting methods, build techniques, and enhancement technologies used to build each program within that generation. Versions are updates, error fixes and/or improvements within a generation that do not require a whole new build method in order to implement.
Generation 3 is about seven to fourteen times more powerful than the typical subliminal offering you’ll find out there. Gen 4 is about twice as powerful as Gen 3, and twice as complex to build. Gen 5 by itself is about 9.2 times more powerful and complex to build than Gen 4 is, and when you add on all the enhancements I have made to it since creating the 5th Generation build specifications, such as HyperSpeed Technology, Self Optimizing Scripting and the new Optimus Engine, it goes off the charts.
HyperSpeed Technology (HST) allows me to tune the program to the specific processing speed of the individual using it, which results in maximizing the speed of results and the magnitude of impact. Self Optimizing Scripting (SOS) allows me to create programs that incorporate HST which automatically and constantly adjust to the optimal “settings” for each user. That’s pretty amazing, if you think about it. And the newest addition I am working on is what I call the “Optimus Engine”, which will create a n almost irresistible focus on the goal that I have found has an amazing impact on both speed and power of the program. In my initial tests it’s had more impact on me in that time than some of my previous efforts have had in years of use! Among other things, I have also created an experimental pain relief subliminal based on the Optimus Engine that is getting rave reviews, and consistently produces real results in as little as one hour of use. This technology (the Optimus Engine) isn’t universally applicable, but I am going to be using it where possible.
Add these to a 5th Generation program and it’s power compared to the run of the mill offerings you find online is just not even reasonably calculable any more. So yes, generations are a big deal, and they’re very different between themselves. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother rebuilding everything. It’s a lot of work and time and energy spent that could be going to other things, like R&D or developing advertising.
What’s your big take out/learning experience in setting this sort of operation up?
Believe in yourself. Have a well developed plan. Know and understand your subject. Work your plan. Treat customers well. Acknowledge and fix your mistakes. Persist. Never stop learning. Keep an open mind. Listen to your customers. It’s pretty much common sense for any business, really.
There’s been some talk about the role of expectations and visualisation, in overcoming obstacles or “manifesting” things in your life. The old school says; imagine it and your mind will create it. New school says, imagine it, and your mind will think you have it already and reduce your motivation. Where do you sit on this argument?
By your description, I am closer to old school. However, just imagining something does not make it so. You must do more than imagine a thing to bring it into physical manifestation. It also requires sufficient clarity of desire or intent, focus, and energy. Once you have those, and the subconscious has understood what you want and accepted it, the subconscious cannot differentiate between what you see with your eyes (outward reality) and what you see with your mind’s eye (imagined inward reality), and it will do what is necessary in whatever way necessary to make that new belief your outward reality. So “new school” has it partly right, the way you describe it, but there must be sufficient persistence and energy to make it happen.
A reduction in motivation is actually, according to my research, an expression of subconscious resistance to change. So if you’re trying to use expectations and visualizations to achieve a goal that subconsciously scares you, without clearing that fear and the resulting resistance, your subconscious will kill your motivation to proceed as a defence mechanism.
How do you decide when you’ve got something ready to distribute?
I distribute when I am satisfied with the program. By that I mean, I have done what it takes to silence that inner perfectionist, and I know that the program is based on principles that work. In cases where it is possible, and I am unsure about something, I test it on myself, and a circle of testers first. Things still sometimes get through that aren’t quite perfect, but we have a safety net in place for that which rewards forum members for reporting anything imperfect that they find. When something is reported, I make sure the error was in the build itself, and if so, I correct, rebuild and re-release the program. That’s one of the reasons why some programs have a version number. Usually improvements based on additions are given a major version increment, and improvements based on minor errors being fixed are given a minor version increment. So you might see a program at Version 8.1, which means it’s had eight major additions or changes to improve it, and one error correction in this version. If I’m not satisfied, though, a program isn’t going to be released. When I’m not sure it can, will or does work, it will be released as experimental.
Do you have favourites? I’m interested in what other programmes you’ve followed yourself?
Sure. They include my all time favorite, the Alpha Male Subliminal Training Set, which has made a huge difference in improving my life, as well as the lives of a lot of other men, and the people who rely on them. The second program I ever created, Ultra Success is also a long time favorite. I also love my Become A Successful Entrepreneur program, which helped me find my absolutely invaluable business partner and get this business off the ground. Our Absolute Self Confidence title made a major improvement and impact on my life as well – it’s also the program I used to prove to myself that subliminals I was building actually work. Cancer Healing Aid is near and dear, because I used the original version to help me overcome my own bout with cancer back in 1997. And I am really looking forward to using the next versions of Become A Successful Entrepreneur, Become A Multi-Millionaire, Ultra Success, and a few programs based on new technologies I’m working on.
What in your mind, what sets a great subliminal programme apart?
To be truly great, a subliminal has to have it all. It’s got to follow my core creed: it must be safe, effective, and useful; I don’t need to explain why it needs to be safe or effective, but useful means to me that you can use it as freely as you want to. I try to design my programs to be used in as many ways as possible, such as while you drive, sleep, watch TV or do homework, but of course there is reality to deal with. So while you may be able to use my subliminal programs no matter what you happen to be doing, there are limits on which ones can be used together if you want to actually get the results.
A great subliminal is also life-changing. It doesn’t just do what it says it will do; it makes a positive impact in your whole life. It makes you come away saying, “Wow, that was awesome, I have genuinely achieved something important, or become a significantly better, stronger, more successful person!” It makes you, and your life, genuinely better. And it’s designed so that you can benefit from using it again later, and get even more benefit out of it, regardless of how many times you use it. These are the qualities that make such programs as Alpha Male and Alpha Female truly great subliminal programs.
It must feel great to be making such a difference, judging by the feedback you have on your site. Do you tell people what you do at dinner parties? How do you explain what you do?
It does feel great. That’s a lot of what keeps me going. The way I do things is a lot more work than you might think. It would be easy to just build 500 or 1000 titles without really putting much effort into it, and sit back and watch the money come in. That doesn’t work when you have people telling you, “Hey, this didn’t work for me.” And every subliminals producer hears that one. So I keep going and trying to make everything work for everybody. Maybe that’s not possible, but it’s definitely a worthy goal.
As for dinner parties, it is inevitable that someone will ask what I do, and when I mention I own my own business, they of course want to know what my business is. It is always a challenge to explain what I do. This isn’t the sort of thing that the average person has heard of, and even trying to explain it as a “sort of cousin to hypnosis” is challenging. I usually give them my card, which helps explain it, and I also say that I am a subliminal audio engineer, and that instead of programming computers, I program people. That usually gets an interesting response, and if they’re interested, I will try to answer their questions from there. It always gets a lot of interest, though, because so few people do what I do, and even fewer do it well. Once people begin to understand, they’re almost always fascinated.
What’s it is like getting feedback from the forum? You’re dealing quite directly with people’s deep issues?
It’s a definite blessing, but sometimes it wears a disguise. Getting direct feedback allows me to understand the effects my programs have on people and adjust my methods to improve at a much faster rate than if I did not have the forum. Without the forum, feedback was sporadic, and almost always positive. I do love positive feedback, but it’s not necessarily very useful for finding areas where I can improve.
I do try to help people deal with a lot of issues, too, by offering my point of view and making suggestions. Sometimes I can educate them, or clarify something. It’s not always easy, and there are times when it can be frustrating. My frustration in such situation comes from people who don’t want to hear what I have to say, and that can be important when what I have to say is something like, “Hey, you should consider seeing a therapist for help with that issue.” I’m not qualified to do or help with some things, and using subliminals to try to fix them isn’t always the best course of action.
But overall, I love the forum. The rapid, honest feedback has made my programs vastly better, and it allows me to educate the public concerning the truth about subliminals much more easily than I could otherwise, which is an important step towards making them more mainstream.
Are you really competing with the hypnotists? You share a common space and customer base?
I don’t compete with anyone, really. I do my thing, and they do theirs. If I was worried about competing, I couldn’t focus on discovering, experimenting and making a better product. Hypnosis can offer many of the same things subliminals can, but my experience has been that hypnosis tends to produce much faster and more obvious results, which don’t usually last as long without multiple sessions. Subliminals offer a slower approach that then tends to have a longer term impact and result. I am a certified hypnotist, too, but I prefer to sell subliminals for the time being, partly because hypnosis is so intrusive and restrictive in how it must be applied. You can’t use hypnosis while you’re driving or doing homework, for example. It’s relatively inconvenient.
In the end, it all depends on what the customer finds works best for them. I would rather a person buy something they get the desired benefit from, whether it came from me or not, because that is in a small way improving the world. Naturally, I strive to be that better choice, but it’s not realistic to think it will always be my product, or subliminals in general, that is the better choice.
Subliminals still have a bit of stigma attached to them, which hypnosis seems not to suffer from. Less and less so – do you see the role of subliminals being main stream in the future?
There is a stigma that people associate with subliminals, which is worse than the one that hypnosis has, and that’s because the general public can’t see subliminals, smell them, taste them, touch them, or even consciously hear them. They read a lot of the program titles and in disbelief, conclude that it can’t possibly work. That’s understandable – and regrettably, there are people out there who produce “subliminals” which are either so poorly made that they don’t work, or they have unintended or negative effects or side effects. I have also encountered scammers a time or two in the past who use what would be just a base-masking recording to a genuine subliminals producer, and sell it as a subliminal, because it’s an easy way to make money. They figure the placebo effect will make it possible to make money for a while, without having to do anything but rename different files. This is very damaging to the public perception of what subliminals are and what they can do, and it’s why genuine producers need to try so hard to prove to potential customers that they’re not selling snake oil or a placebo effect.
To make matters even worse, there is confusion among even honest subliminals producers as to what techniques and technologies actually work, and which ones do not.
I believe that subliminals – properly built and used subliminals, at least – are going to become much more common and much more commonly used as time goes by. I believe we’re only touching on the tip of the iceberg in understanding what can be accomplished using subliminals, and that as time goes by and more things about our subconscious are discovered and understood, we will begin using them more and more. There will be resistance to some of these uses from the established Powers That Be, simply because they will stand to lose a lot of money if subliminals actually do what they claim to do. I would say that if that happens, you can expect to see a lot more negativity and misinformation start flowing about them. But the fact is, properly made and used, subliminals do work, and I’m sure I’m not the only producer in the industry who makes an effort to keep improving their product through experimentation, research and development.
People are more open to subliminals these days, right?
Yes, people are slowly but surely coming to understand that there is something valid and worthwhile to subliminals. There’s an uphill battle to be fought because there is such a lot of misunderstanding, misinformation and questionable material out there. Some of this misinformation is actually being perpetrated by the producers themselves, because they don’t take the time to question the status quo or test the validity of what they are being taught or creating. There are truths that may apply to hypnosis or NLP, for instance, that do not apply when you get into the subject of subliminals, and very few people have figured this out yet. There is also a lot of misinformation being perpetrated by people trying to make money putting the tools to make subliminals into the hands of the lay public. Without an in-depth understanding of several different areas of study, or access to an expert in subliminal scripting specifically, it is just plain dangerous to try to write and use your own scripts. That’s why people like me spend years learning how to do this properly and safely. But to hear the hucksters, you’d think it only takes a few minutes, so drop your money and click here! There’s a good reason why educated customers pay well for professionally produced subliminal audio programs like mine instead.
The few us who really know what we are doing, and are working to make these programs that actually work, are turning the tide. It doesn’t help when you have “science” claiming that it does work, no it doesn’t, yes it does, no it doesn’t, depending on which research study you read. The media loves to get in on the act looking for a sensationalist fear-based story, and of course there’s just mass confusion on the Internet. Slowly but surely, though, what works is being recognized, and the rest will fall away.
What do you think is driving this? *This is a follow question to the above question
I believe that word of mouth is going to be the main thing that moves this along. Since you can basically find equal “scientific” evidence for both sides of the argument at the moment, it’s going to come down to… do people actually get results? And they will, because again, properly made, produced and used subliminals work properly.
I think there’s a strange area between professional help and self-help. Self-help has become so popular and I wonder if this is entirely a good thing?
I agree on both points. I find myself in the middle of that strange area. I always try to make it clear when I am no longer qualified to offer my assistance and point people to professionals who can do what I am not qualified for. Self help is very popular, and I think it is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it is very empowering and it helps a lot with saving money and perhaps achieving your goal in a way that differs from what a more mainstream approach might have used. On the other hand, there are times when self help can potentially make things worse, because the “self” in question may not be qualified to determine what help is necessary, or would be useful or helpful in dealing with it.
It is for this reason that I focus so much on safety when I build my programs. I try to figure out all the possible ways it could be used and mis-used, and take them into account to prevent any possible harm before it becomes even a possibility. Subliminals are an amazing technology, and they represent a huge amount of potential for self-improvement and growth. But even then, there are going to be times when it is necessary to rely on a qualified professional in the field of psychology or medicine to help you through something.
(This article is currently featured on the site – it’s only my personal opinion, but you can bounce off it with your own views) You need not agree.
I really want to know this. What do you say to all the naysayers, out there who say you’re selling snake oil?
There are always going to be people who will say that, no matter what evidence you offer or what options you give them for proving it to themselves. Some of them are just dyed-in-the-wool sceptics who are so focused on proving it doesn’t work that they rely upon that reality for their sense of security in understanding the world, and create that reality through their very insistence on it, in the fashion of self hypnosis. There are also people who are so afraid of the potential for what they think of as “losing control of themselves”, and the potential threat to their free will that they think would be the natural conclusion if subliminals do work, that they simply cannot bring themselves to accept that possibility.
But if I was selling snake oil, how could I do so while having an open public forum, with such a generous refund policy, and why would I have people coming back to buy from me again and again? How would I end up with all these people deciding on their own that they are “customers for life”? How would I have impressed so many people so much that they decide they want to be part of our team without being asked? After some point, you can’t say it’s all placebo effect without needing to get your head checked. Especially when you consider that it works on many of the same principles as hypnosis, without some of the drawbacks that hypnosis has. Hypnosis has been in use successfully even by medical doctors for more than 80 years now.
And then there’s always – try it yourself. We have free full version programs for you to try. Read the forums. See what others have said.
If all that’s not enough to convince you that at least some of us who publish subliminals are doing it right, nothing will. To those people, there is nothing to say. It’s useless to try to convince them. So I don’t. Not everybody is going to want to improve their lives, and it’s not my place to force them to if they don’t.
The biggest criticism is the placebo effect. People think it works – so it does. You haven’t actually produced value – or have you? How do you deal with this?
The placebo effect is a real phenomenon, as has been scientifically proven. Placebo works temporarily because you consciously accept that something is true, and you then direct your conscious and subconscious self to act on that belief to make it true. So the placebo effect is based on conscious beliefs and expectations.
Those expectations usually fade over time, because the conscious mind is very limited. It can’t focus on many things at once, or for very long. It has poor memory recall. It is easily confused. It’s job is to notice that lion stalking you so you can run away. It’s good at what it was designed for, but it has many weaknesses compared to the subconscious mind.
The genuine result from hypnosis or subliminals, on the other hand, works by changing the subconscious core programming. This does not fade because it is what we “run on” all day every day, and it becomes self sustaining. Once you change it, it becomes your new automatic program, and when you “run” that programming, it becomes your inward and outward reality. It becomes part of you, and you no longer have to “believe” or “have faith” or expect it to work. It just happens, because it’s the standard “program” you’re running on at the subconscious level.
You could compare the conscious mind to the “user space” in computer terminology, where programs that the user interacts with are run. They produce results, but only run temporarily. That’s like the placebo effect. The real deal isn’t a user space program, though. It’s part of the operating system itself, which is what allows those user land programs to run, and keeps the entire system functional. The results of a genuine subliminal or hypnosis done right is to change that deep programming, which is where the genuine changes take place.
When a concept is accepted by the conscious mind, and executed as true, but the subconscious mind has not accepted and acted on it as true, you get what we call placebo effect. But when the subconscious has accepted it as true, and it is integrated into the core of the system itself, it is now a part of you, and therefore has become real because the program continues to be relied upon and executed all the time, and in this, the reality of the results are perpetuated.
Placebo is conscious attempting to influence subconscious, which can only work temporarily unless the subconscious programming also changes to conform. Genuine change comes from the subconscious affecting itself, the conscious and everything else. In both cases you have accepted that X is so, and by accepting it as true and acting on it as true, it becomes so. But subliminals and hypnosis work on the “operating system”, not in the user land, so they affect and become the core of the system, which is you, and they therefore persist. This starts getting into metaphysics, but this seems to be true because everything around us is created by our minds according to what we have accepted as true at a deep level. Whether it comes from science, religion, or just experiences we have had.
The value I produce is to create these changes in a person without them having to make an effort, and creating changes that are big enough in impact and staying power to become self-regenerating. In other words, take the pretty girl who is constantly told she is pretty. Whether or not she is pretty is for the viewer to decide, not her. But for her, it becomes her reality once she has heard it enough times and accepts it as true. When that happens, she begins to act as if it is true, and then others around her take the cue that she would not act that way if it were not true, so they in turn conclude that it must be true, and accept that it is true and also act as if it is true. At that point, her being pretty is a function of her belief as much as of how symmetrical her face and body actually are; it becomes self regenerating. What I aim for is creating these self regenerating truths within someone so that they create outwardly what I am changing their inward programming to, and then the inward program starts being regenerated by the outward reality it has created. At that point, it becomes just as “real” as anything else around you.
Placebo effect, in my experience, fades within a few days to about two weeks. People sometimes arrive at our store or forum with a lot of expectations based on what they have read or been told, or they’ve worked themselves up and gotten excited. With my stuff, they’ll usually either never know they had a placebo effect because I have managed to make my stuff work so fast and obviously, or they’ll subconsciously resist it and then the placebo effect fades before the new programming can overcome the resistance, and they see that they had a placebo effect.
Not everyone has a placebo response. A lot of people, like me, take the point of view of “I’ll use it and see what happens, without expectations.” Drop the expectations, both for (placebo) and against (scepticism) and you get the truth.
A few years back, all the providers were selling CDs, suddenly not. There’s obviously been a shift in demand.
I had to move away from eBay in 2008 because I was getting too many orders to fill there unless they were being delivered as digital downloads, and eBay at that time stopped allowing sales of digital downloads just as I was becoming too swamped to keep producing CDs all by myself. Outsourcing CD production proved to be a disaster, as customers were not reliably getting their product. So we created this store, and started selling digital downloads exclusively. I imagine factors such as these were true for other producers as well.
Publishing a digital product is vastly easier and less resource intensive than publishing a physical product. It’s also vastly less energy and time consuming, as well as less expensive. In this day and age, it just makes more sense to go all digital. It allows for instant delivery and use, and if you as a consumer want to make a CD from your downloads, you can do that too.
You mentioned e-bay. There is so much self-help junk out there. Seems like every second person is a self-help guru these days – a lot of them selling subliminal stuff, I’ve always been worried about this. It’s why I set up selfhelpable. I hope this isn’t a leading question but – is this something that should be taken more seriously?
Most definitely. This is an area that really concerns me as well. Not only has our capitalist society with virtually unrestricted business and advertising practices created a culture in which everyone thinks they’re an expert, but a lot of people think subliminals are easy to create and easy money to sell.
While it may be relatively simple to create crude and basic audio that has a subliminal (or paraliminal, or backmasked) component, there are two important factors to consider. First, was it created correctly? And second, did the creator understand the specifics necessary to write a safe and effective script?
In the vast majority of cases I have seen, the answers are no, and no. Take vocoding. Vocoding is the process of matching the volumes of the cover sound and the sound being made subliminal so that they are always the same distance apart in volume. If you don’t use things like vocoding in your masked subliminal production, you won’t have a quality subliminal. You’ll either have something that is subliminal only when the volumes are balanced right by accident, and otherwise consciously audible, or something that is subliminal sometimes and sometimes too faint for even the subconscious to make out what’s being said otherwise. These result in potentially dangerous programming because the subconscious may be only hearing parts of the intended statement, which can be interpreted in any number of ways you didn’t intend. Remember, the subconscious is absolutely literal, and does not have the capacity to determine whether a specific idea is safe to execute as true or not. Vocoding is very important for this reason. But it requires specific software or hardware to do.
If you don’t know how to create a safe and effective script, your best case scenario is to accidentally get a useful result, and at worst, you can do yourself or someone else potentially serious harm. I learned that the hard way when I was testing the second version of the self confidence program on myself, and managed to turn myself into a raging, unconscionable jerk for several months. I destroyed my relationship with my long time girlfriend and alienated my mother as a result. It took months to repair my relationship with my mother, but my ex won’t talk to me to this day, even years later. I was actually very lucky that that was all I managed to do wrong before I “got it” about how to create scripts safely.
A lot of the scripts I see published with these “do it yourself” subliminal kits are just downright frighteningly bad. Unfortunately, they are bad for reasons most people don’t understand, and therefore cannot see. It really is worth patronizing a professional specialist to create these things for you, and do it safely, effectively and properly.
So you have a few words of advice for someone who is looking for a subliminal? How should you go about it? The big thing for selfhelpable.com is that we want to point people towards providers they can trust.
If you are looking for a subliminal, you need to look past “testimonials”, because they are often fake. You can tell if they’re fake if they all have consistent capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammatical usage, word choices, and so on. When people send me testimonials, they are all over the map with these things because they all have different levels of education, speaking styles, ages, mannerisms, etc. Some people never finished high school and can’t spell to save their lives. Some people are holding a well deserved Ph.D. in English. Genuine testimonials reflect these subtle things. But even they are just cherry-picked snippets of what was said, which is why on my forum, I include a link to the forum post with every testimonial on the testimonial thread, so you can see the rest of the conversation for yourself. That’s why we have a forum. You can see everything that is said, good and bad, and you can see the whole truth.
You want to try it for yourself first before buying, so look for someone who has free full version samples. Don’t blindly believe the advertising. Some producers are exceptionally good at advertising that looks and sounds amazing, but they might produce a questionable or even inferior product. Brilliant advertising does not make the product any better.
Look for someone who really knows and understands the subject. Advanced degrees or training, oddly enough, are not necessarily a reliable predictor of this in the field of subliminals. I have seen people with Ph.D. Degrees making shockingly basic mistakes in their research efforts. While I respect experience and formal education, a degree, advanced or not, and training, do not always mean a person has what it takes. Don’t decide what you think based solely on the creators level of formal education or training.
Likewise, don’t automatically write off producers who are not holding advanced degrees in psychology, or any subject at all. There are a few in that category that produce some really exceptional stuff – myself included. My education in this field is not formal, but it is extensive in my niche, and I am one of the best there is at what I do. My collegiate studies were in English and photography, and I have a degree in English.
Look for honesty, openness, transparency, and repeat customers. There are cases where transparency is difficult to achieve because theft of ideas is rampant in this field. The eBay group happily copied every innovation I came up with, for instance. So have many of my competitors not on eBay. So I stopped making everything public, because if I continued to, they’d be using it, and in many cases, not understanding it or using it properly – and thus safely. I also don’t care to do all this work, research and development, and then just have everyone else steal it and use it to make themselves money at my expense. But transparency where it is possible is important.
Consider the FAQ and information section. Consider support after the sale. Consider the refund policy. Is it reasonable? Is it too good to be true? Is it gimmicky? Or does it make sense for both you and the provider? Are you really going to come back in 5, 10 or 30 years and actually get your money back? I don’t think so.
Also consider whether the programs are made to be useful or are restrictive in when, where and how they can be used. Are they including technologies like brainwave entrainment when they don’t actually make sense to include, and make the program less likely to be used until the result is achieved? Are they designed to really deal with the issue, or just provide a temporary band-aid?
Consider the price. Generally, the more expensive the product is, the better the quality will be. This is true because the producer won’t be able to sustain a business with high prices that do not match the quality and results the program in question is returning. Additionally, those producers with higher prices will usually have them because they put more time, effort, research and development in to making the best they can, and are unwilling to sell their expertise and time for less.
Sure you can find stuff out there for $0.99, but do you really think that’s going to work, or was it just a way for the producer to entice a million people to impulse buy a $0.99 product which nobody cares about actually working because it was only $0.99? Price will reveal the confidence the producer has in the product, and the quality of the product, to a large degree.
And finally, if you can, talk to some people who have used the producer’s programs. What did they think? If they give you a negative report, did they actually use the program according to the instructions? What is the ratio of negative reports to positive ones?
If they were dissatisfied with the product performance, how were they treated by the producer? Did they get a refund? Did the producer try to make it right for them, or help them? Are they holding a grudge that is colouring their thinking for some reason? Is their complaint reasonable?
How active is the producer in building new titles? Or helping with customer service? Or answering questions? How much does the producer listen to customer feedback? Or requests?
How innovative are they? Do they have up-to-date offerings? Do they continue to research, experiment, develop new ideas? Or did they produce a line of subliminals five, ten or twenty years ago and then sit back and just rake in the money and answer e-mails?
All of these are common sense things to consider.
What are you working on at the moment?
I work round robin style, so I can always be productive without burning out. So I usually have several pots boiling at once, so to speak. At the moment I am working on developing the Optimus Engine, building Become A Multi-Millionaire, Stop Smoking Forever V. 7.0, Achieve Your Ideal Weight 7.0 and Ultra Success 5G.
The Optimus Engine is a complex project that is basically the result of a couple of years contemplating how to make my manifestation programs better, faster, more effective and more obvious. The result actually surprises me because when all the ideas I came up with are taken together, it’s not exactly a “manifestation” program any more, but something far more powerful. I have been testing it for several months now, and the results have been nothing short of astonishing in nearly every test. I’m still working on tweaks, but to say that it is a powerful way to achieve a goal is an understatement.
So far I’m as impressed as I am surprised. The specifics of what I am doing that makes up the Optimus Engine will allow me to use it in places manifestation programs would not work, such as in Stop Smoking and Weight Loss. It’s called the “Optimus Engine” because it very sharply optimizes the goal focus for whatever program it’s added to, and becomes very dominant in getting that goal achieved quickly and successfully. From experience, I would say it’s a little like trying to hold on to a tank round that’s just been fired at a target. You will get to the target, very quickly, and go right through anything and everything in your way to do so. In the tests I did with the first experimental program, it generated changes in my life at which I am still genuinely astonished, even a month after the end of the tests. I am highly and repeatedly impressed with this technology.
The program to help people become a multi-millionaire is based on six years of research into how people become self made millionaires, and the program will be a 12 stage set, built using the most advanced techniques I know, and the script is built on a list of over 208 specific sub-goals. It’s based on common sense and what actually works, along with the inclusion of some very advanced research I have done in terms of reality creation. It’s not a “get rich quick” scheme, and it’s not a short term program. It’s designed to be a tool to help people develop all the characteristics of self made millionaires that actually and naturally get them to achieve that goal. Probably the most complex and difficult to build program I will ever create.
Between the business growing pretty rapidly right now, and the research and development results, plus trying to upgrade all the 3rd Generation stuff to 4th Generation and build new and requested programs, we’re having some struggle to keep up, but we’re doing what we can. I’m swamped all the time, and my work queue is about a year and a half deep at this point. But it’s definitely an exciting and fascinating ride.
Subliminal shop is beginning to make serious waves now – what are your ideas for the future?
It’s about more than making money here. We are genuinely trying to make a positive difference and in fact one of my specific goals is to change the world and make it a better place through my work. We understand that when you offer a product that works, you will have people willing to pay a premium for it, because it’s worth it. We also understand that if you treat your customer’s right, and your employees, they stick around. So what I’m actually doing is trying to fund my grander visions of how I want to make the world a better place, basically by doing that same thing on a smaller scale at the moment.
In the future, we’re going to expand our offerings, our affiliate program, and our market. There’s a lot of growth planned, which is only awaiting my ability to finish what I am working on and get to it.
I’m looking forward to implementing my latest discoveries into my programs, as well as finding ways to overcome the persistent challenges my programs have faced in the past, such as the “brick wall” effect some people have with regards to weight loss. I believe I have found the solution for that, and that solution is currently in testing.
If you have any unusual anecdotes (more than one if possible!) bash away…. *I noticed you have a few
Well there has been a lot of stuff that has happened over the years regarding subliminals. One story you might find interesting was when I started making the silent ultrasonic subliminals. Of course I had to test the technology for myself to see if it worked, so I built the self confidence subliminal in the “silent” format and started using it. This was back when my programs were still in 1st Generation format, mind you, and took quite a bit longer to see results from. I started using the program on loop mode every night, and completely forgot about it after about a week. And come the two week mark, I suddenly became very, VERY self confident. I decided to go to the beach that weekend and see what there was to do for photography, and if nothing, just get some exercise. (I’m also a trained photographer.)
As I was walking onto the beach, I saw to my left a young guy and to my right two good looking girls wearing bikinis that left little to the imagination. The guy, seeing my camera, called me over and after talking a moment about my camera, and doubtless in hopes of getting himself some pictures of the nearly-naked girls, said, “I bet you won’t go talk to them.” Normally, he would have been right. I’d normally have been petrified! But that morning, I got up, walked right over to them, introduced myself and asked if either of them was interested in modelling for me while I was at the beach.
As it turns out, one of them was a professional swimsuit model, and she decided that for whatever reason, she was up for some un-paid camera time. So we ended up doing an impromptu photoshoot that turned out to be one of the sexiest and most productive shoots I had ever done to that point. I was absolutely floored, and the images we created during that shoot ended up becoming advertising for the aphrodisiac subliminals while I was selling through eBay. Those images made me quite a few sales. I ended up doing a repeat performance the next day with a friend of mine, different women, and my friend looked at me quite seriously after this and said, “Who are you, and what have you done with my friend Shannon?” The difference was like night and day from what I’d been like before.
Let’s see, what else is there. Ah, the story of how Alpha Male came to be. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my girlfriend while visiting with my mother one day, and my girlfriend made an incredibly sexist comment about how men are dogs and they need to be on a leash – which I naturally took quite a bit of offence to. When my mother agreed with her statement, I realized that I had been raised by a woman who didn’t like men, and I had been taught to pick the women who didn’t like men, and then let them walk all over me. So I started modifying the self confidence program into what would become the alpha male program. When I used that first version of the Alpha Male training program, I ended up leaving my girlfriend and having one of my very beautiful photographic models ask quite directly to take her place. As it turns out, that model had been watching me for two years, and never asked before because I was “too nice”. But after I had used the first version of the Alpha Male program, she saw me stand up for myself and leave my girlfriend, and decided she was now too interested not to be with me. We ended up in a multi-year relationship, and it was very nice to walk into a room and know that I was 99% likely to have the most beautiful woman in the room on my arm. That was hardly the only way it changed my life, but that was one of the most dramatic.
There are others, of course, but in the interest of space for the interview, I’ll stop there. If you want to see more, there are others to be found on the forum.
Finally, before you go – What’s the butterfly all about? Deeper connotations?
The butterfly is a symbol of the mind and awareness. Indigo is a colour often associated with depth, skill, wisdom and mastery; it made sense to me to combine the two when we came up with our business name (Indigo Mind Labs), and the indigo butterfly representing the mind seemed like a natural extension of that concept. So our indigo butterfly represents the awakened mind, and the successful mind, and a mind wise with self mastery. The results of what we’re trying to do with these programs, basically.
Again, thank you. We will be following you with great interest.
And thank you for the opportunity.