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Real-life magician: The student of a legendary Soviet hypnotist Wolf Messing talks about predicting the future and curing illnesses

In January 2020, a Russian TV network broadcast the series Messing’s Apprentice, about hypnotherapist and psychic Olga Migunova. She was the only student of legendary mentalist Wolf Messing, who was believed to a trusted adviser to Stalin. Olga Migunova spoke to RT Documentary about her work as the founder and president of the International Academy of Hypnosis, as the only woman hypnotist performing on stage in the world, her time with Messing and mysterious coincidences in her life, not to mention her claims of curing COVID-19 with hypnotherapy.

Is everything shown in the series Messing’s Apprentice true?

Yes! Initially, I was writing a book that was supposed to give an account of my life and come out by my 70th birthday. I never thought there would be a series about me, but my daughter is a producer. She said at work that her mother, the hypnotherapist, was writing a book about her life. Directors got interested in my biography and decided to shoot a 12 episode series, which in the process was extended to 16 episodes. Before filming, they attended my shows and came to my treatment centre to watch how I work. I was on tour during the filming, so I didn’t get a chance to be on set very often. If I’d been there more, the movie would’ve turned out even better!

Did anything mystical occur during filming?

Before the shooting of episode 13, I warned Tatiana (the actress who played me) that a car accident would happen, I saw it. She did not believe me, but it did happen. Due to the actress’ injuries the release of the film was postponed for three months.

How did Messing come into your life?

I never thought I would be a student of the great Messing and would help people. Although, ever since my childhood, I’ve been interested in traditional medicine, just like my grandmother, and she lived until she was 103 years old.

performing hypnosis on stage
On stage in 1983/Courtesy Olga Migunova

I was fond of drawing, even entered the art faculty. Once our dad took us to Gelendzhik, a seaside resort. The whole time before we arrived there, I felt something extraordinary was going to happen to me. I could’ve assumed that I’d get married, but I was only 16 at the time, so I ruled that out. When we were there, everyone was talking about Messing. Finally, my father was lucky enough to find tickets — they were hard to get — and took me to a Messing’s show. Suddenly, Messing said to the entire audience: “Take Olga out of the venue, she disturbs me, but not too far.” When I was shown out of the auditorium, I sat down on the bench and started crying. After the show, Messing approached me and said, “The girl is unique; she should be on stage!” My sceptical mom snarkily commented that she had a full classroom of such unique individuals (she was a teacher).

Wolf Messing

Wolf Messing was one of the most famous Soviet psychics who was known to read minds and foresee the future. Among his most outstanding revelations was the prediction of WWII to date. Also, according to many sources, Messing had a very trusting relationship with Stalin and could enter the Kremlin without a pass. A legend has it that, in 1950 Messing predicted the plane carrying the hockey team that included Stalin’s son Vassily, would crash on its route to Sverdlovsk. Messing called the Generalissimo and demanded the flight be cancelled. As a result, the plane took off without Vasily and crashed.


By the way, after the performance, Messing mesmerised me as he presented me with a sea shell exactly like the one I’d been meaning to get my dad as a gift. I never did it, because I spent all my money on the tickets for the show.

During his shows, Messing usually asked people from the audience to give him “assignments” and riddles he would publicly solve. After a while, dad again bought tickets for another Messing show. At that performance, my father wanted to call Messing’s bluff, so he came up with this riddle. The magician had to find a boy in the audience who had a geography magazine on him, name the first three letters of cities mentioned in the magazine and make up a girl’s name from them. And Messing did it. The cities were Omsk, Leningrad, and Yalta, and the name — Olya, my name. Since then, we were inseparable. After a while, he invited me to his place in Moscow — originally, I am from the Far East, and asked to become his student.

Can you foresee the future?

messing student hypnotist
"Wolf Messing's magic ball is my talisman"/Courtesy Olga Migunova

Yes, but after my mother died, I swore that I would never tell the future anymore. The fact is that Messing told me to be afraid of the number 6. As a result, my brother died at 26, dad — at 46, sister — at 56, and mom at 86. When my mother turned 86, I awaited her death with horror. Six weeks before she turned 87, I was told she had a massive heart attack. Can you imagine how awful it was? And then at my mother’s grave, I swore that I would never predict the future and people live in peace!

And about hypnosis. Can anyone be hypnotised? Or become a hypnotist?

Absolutely anyone can be hypnotised, even schizophrenics. But to become a hypnotist yourself, you have to be born with this gift. There are many psychotherapists, but there are practically no hypnotists. My daughter and my granddaughter inherited these abilities, just as Messing had predicted. But I blocked this flow for my daughter because they could harm her.

It is also important to understand that medical training is required for hypnosis treatment, and — and I have one. Messing taught me a lot, but I improved many techniques myself. Now there are many signature techniques.

I myself was hypnotised by Messing, at his performances, when he did his famous cataleptic dream. I put myself into hypnosis to reveal my abilities and treat diseases. I think I would not have recovered from the coronavirus without it. Please do not forget that all thoughts are material, help yourself with a positive attitude!

For what purposes do you normally use hypnosis?

patient under hypnosis
Patient under hypnosis.The second stage of catalepsy./Courtesy Olga Migunova

Mostly I use it to treat the diseases of the central nervous system: headaches, blood pressure, neurosis, insomnia, panic attacks. Also, hypnosis is used to treat alcoholism, smoking, skin diseases. Almost all conditions come from resentment and anger; we should learn to let go of resentment. To cure a disease you would need four sessions and a diagnostic examination. However, if you want to cure drug addiction, you have to be dure that the person himself wants it. Otherwise, it is useless. I also do not take up people with diabetes mellitus on insulin. Another doctor should definitely deal with this because there is an insulin dependence.

Can hypnosis treat coronavirus?

I haven’t taken in such patients yet, but I’ll probably start soon, because this disease causes a lot of fears, first of all, we need to work with them.

What other functions does hypnosis have besides medical treatment?

During hypnosis, I can help people discover their hidden talents. Maybe they are meant to be a trumpet player, a dancer, a musician and easily play piano improvisations. Once I had a boy at my show, who sang with Robertino Loretti’s voice. Hypnosis reveals a person’s concealed abilities. Also, a speech-impaired girl learned to speak on stage once. I made her imagine that she was drowning and she shouted: “Mom, I want to live!”

What about performing hypnosis remotely? Is it energy-consuming in general?

Yes, it works, too. For example, I have so-called audio sessions; my voice is recorded over the music; it is a 45-minute recording. I also work via Skype. They are no difference from face-to-face sessions.

As far as energy is concerned, no, it's not. I am charged with happy people who come to me, their laughter and admiration. And from a medical point of view, yes, I give all of myself.

Were there situations when you could not wake the person up?

performing hypnosis
Patient under hypnosis/Courtesy Olga Migunova

No, hypnosis is 100% safe. Under hypnosis, the brain continues to work. If you give the person under hypnosis a wooden and real knife, he will use a wooden one to protect himself. There is deep and superficial hypnosis; it depends on the patient. I can make out that a person does not remember at all that he was under hypnosis.

Do you believe in God?

I’m a believer. Consciously baptised at 35 years old. I fast, I go to confessions. I believe a person should believe in something. It is not necessary to worship icons and go to church every week, but a person must have faith! He must believe and understand that ultimately we will not take any money with us. Perhaps the pandemic is a shake-up from the Almighty so that we value more what we have: teachers, doctors, relatives.

Do you consider hypnosis to be a science?

Yes, the science of the future! Moreover, science, which almost everyone needs!