First, let me thank all of you for your thoughts. I never realized how brutal magicians were. Punched in the face, taped to the wall and hit with sharp objects, shock gags as torture, black eye from the volunteer.Wow! It really raises the question of how these nefarious tools of torture have become so successful as kid gags? Clearly if you received a painful shock that lasted for an hour, or from a 240v source we are talking about two very different things. What I liked about the shock gag is that introduced an element of reality (like Houdin releasing real ether into the air above the audience) that would sell the idea of a malfunctioning machine. The volunteers reaction would be genuine and in my mind be more likely to draw the audience in to the illusion. I use the Funkenring in another effect, and it may be a better solution here as well. The funkenring startles and may be better because the audience sees it, but the subtlety of the slight shock might create more drama with the audience being more receptive to the volunteers experience than the magicians. I am not sure. It is interesting to me that in polling acquaintances outside of magic, including school teachers, psychologists, and two priests, among others, that their take was 180 degrees from those expressed so far by my fellow magicians. Of ten people asked, eight thought the shock would be so light as to be fine and might enhance the audiences experience. Anyway, please share more of your thoughts with me as I am finding the discussion helpful in making up my mind about this.