Messiah was a Derren Brown special shown on Channel 4 on 7 January 2005 at 21:00. Brown traveled to the United States to try to convince five leading figures that he had powers in their particular field of expertise: Christian evangelism, alien abduction, psychic powers, New Age theories and contacting the dead.
Using a false name each time, he succeeded in convincing all "experts" that he had powers, and four openly endorsed him as a true practitioner. The fifth expert, the Christian evangelist Curt Nordheilm, whilst impressed by Brown's performance, asked to meet him again before giving a public endorsement. The concept of the show was to highlight the power of suggestion with regard to beliefs and people's abilities, and failure to question them. Brown made it quite clear with each experiment that if any of the subjects accused him of trickery he would immediately come clean about the whole thing, a rule similar to one of the self-imposed rules of the perpetrators of the Project Alpha hoax. His conclusion was that people tend to hear only things that support their own ideas and ignore contradictory evidence; this is known in psychology as confirmation bias.
Messiah Article on Wikipedia
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