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Published on Jan 26, 2013
"Derren Brown: Fear and Faith" is the second of Brown's two-part specials which first aired on Friday 9 November 2012, with the second part airing the following week on Friday 16 November 2012. It focuses on the placebo effect. In the first programme, Brown sets up a fake pharmaceutical company, 'Cicero Pharmaceutical Solutions', which claims to have developed a drug named 'Rumyodin', with the ability to inhibit fear. In actual fact the pill is a placebo that is merely sugar. The placebo effect, amplified by the convincing façade of Cicero, helps most of the subjects of the fake clinical trial of Rumyodin overcome their fears. It is shown that Brown repeated the experiment with separate groups, to each of whom it was claimed Rumyodin had different beneficial effects, such as smoking cessation and allergy relief, again with positive results. By the end of the programme Brown reveals that 'Rumyodin' is an anagram of 'your mind'. In the second programme, Brown demonstrates how he can induce a "religious experience" in a self-styled Atheist (and stem-cell scientist). He reproduces a number of well known psychology experiments which show how even non-believers are "hard-wired" to be susceptible to suggestions of super-natural (and religious) presences.