U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

When I count to five you will stay safe this holiday – then dance like Elvis

By Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks | | December 07, 2007

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MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- From left to right, Sergeants Clifton Shackelford, Ian Manion and Pfc. Ethan Hoaldridge, lie unconscious on top of one another after hypnotist Ken Whitener put them under during his comedy-hypnosis show held at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7.

MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- From left to right, Sergeants Clifton Shackelford, Ian Manion and Pfc. Ethan Hoaldridge, lie unconscious on top of one another after hypnotist Ken Whitener put them under during his comedy-hypnosis show held at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7. (Photo by Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks)


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MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- Sgt. Ian Manion and Pfc. Ethan Hoaldridge take their imaginary motorcycles around a sharp turn during Ken Whitener's comedy-hypnosis show held at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7.

MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- Sgt. Ian Manion and Pfc. Ethan Hoaldridge take their imaginary motorcycles around a sharp turn during Ken Whitener's comedy-hypnosis show held at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7. (Photo by Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks)


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MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- Capt. Harold J. Everhart tries to hold in a laugh as he keeps an unconscious Staff Sgt. Ricardo Rivera from falling over during Ken Whitener's comedy-hypnosis show held at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7.

MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- Capt. Harold J. Everhart tries to hold in a laugh as he keeps an unconscious Staff Sgt. Ricardo Rivera from falling over during Ken Whitener's comedy-hypnosis show held at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7. (Photo by Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks)


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MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- Ken Whitener demonstrates the concept of mind over matter by hypnotizing Staff Sgt. Ricardo Rivera into being as stiff as steel, allowing Whitener to stand on top of him during his comedy-hypnosis show held at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7.

MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- Ken Whitener demonstrates the concept of mind over matter by hypnotizing Staff Sgt. Ricardo Rivera into being as stiff as steel, allowing Whitener to stand on top of him during his comedy-hypnosis show held at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7. (Photo by Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks)


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MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii --  Instead of a normal doom and gloom safety stand down, the leaders of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific invited Ken Whitener to perform a comedy-hypnosis show to literally instill safety into the minds of their Marines at the Sunset Lanai here Dec. 7.

 “We all have the responsibility of choice,” said Whitener who has performed more than 6,500 shows all over the world. “We want to remind people that they have the choice to do what’s right in any situation. I think we understand that on some level, but we need it reinforced from time to time.”

 Marine volunteers were pulled from the audience to become the “stars of the show.”

 “I remember dancing like Elvis and I didn’t even care,” said Sgt. Ian Manion, a training noncommissioned officer here. “Now I feel like a million bucks, completely relaxed and refreshed.”

 While Manion and the other Marine volunteers danced, sang and otherwise acted a fool, their fellow Marines laughed and gathered blackmail material.

 “It was entertaining to watch these usually serious guys make complete [fools] out of themselves,” said Sgt. Jerod Mann, the force ammunition NCO here.

 As embarrassing as some of the stunts were, it was all in good fun.

 “I knew people were laughing at me, but while I was under … I was having as much fun as they were,” Manion said.

 While it was mostly fun and games, Whitener wanted to drive home the idea that even in rough situations the individual will ultimately decide how he will think and act.

 “He showed that you have control,” said Manion. “At the very end when he told me that my hands were stuck to my leg, I couldn’t let go. Then he said ‘you have control,’ it dawned on me. I do have control, and I was able to pull my hands free.”

 Whitener said he wants people to understand that what they think they are they will become.

 “If you think negatively, you will act negatively,” he said. “It’s that simple. Some people just choose not to think.”

 According to Whitener, who studied clinical hypnosis at Bailer Medical School, military personnel make excellent candidates for hypnosis.

 “They are already conditioned to respect authority, listen and respond to commands,” he added. “It makes my job easy.”

 Whitener wants to continue performing for Marines.

 “They need a laugh,” he said. “Life for them is pretty grim and serious, but that’s why I love performing for them.”