Hypnotism - is it bunk or is it real?

Comet

Forum Staff
Aug 2006
8,688
IA
#51
Has anyone on Historum ever been hypnotised or hypnotised anyone else? Does anyone know if it's definitely real and how easy is it to do?

If it was real then surely it could be used against terrorists or criminals?

I'm quite interested in learning hypnotism, there's so many things I could do! :cool:
My mom was hypnotized to help her quit smoking. She hasn't touched a cigarette in nearly 30 years. It was instantaneous too. I would say that it works well given the person is willing to open their mind to its use.
 
Feb 2011
13,472
Perambulating in St James' Park
#52
I've been reading a bit more about Psychology and apparently this guy called Pavlov used conditioner on his dog or something. Anyway, it made me think of hypnotism again. Surely, if it were real, then hypnotists and psychiatrists across the world could use their powers for nefarious means? If they took a fancy to one of their clients and they weren't too particular about their Hippocratic oath then they could use them for unspeakable acts. Alternately, they could hypnotise them to pay £400 quid into their account every month or just give them the money in cash.

Has there ever been any criminal acts carried out via hypnosis? I understand it was quite a big deal in the Cold War to try and brainwash people to Communism. Was there ever anything like the Manchurian candidate?

Knowing mankind for what it is, I find it hard to believe that people don't exploit this power. It is, after all, the ultimate power to get someone else to do whatever you want.
 
Feb 2011
13,472
Perambulating in St James' Park
#53
Everyone is not equally suggestible.
And any one of us is not equally suggestible at all times.

The stage trick works because in a large group of people out to be entertained, there always will be highly suggestible people, and even the less suggestible are open to being swayed by performance.
Placing them on stage adds additional pressure to conform- as part of the entertainment.

But people really do tend to mystify hypnotism with no valid evidence in support.

A study was done in which 3 groups of people were treated in 3 different ways-
In one group- they were hypnotized, traditionally- and told they could feel no pain when they stuck a pin into their thigh.

The second group were asked just to stick pins into their thighs.

The third group was simply sat down, and asked if they had ever considered what it would be like if they could not feel any pain... and then asked to imagine they couldn't feel pain when they stuck a pin into their thigh.

Their facial and biometric responses were recorded to determine how much pain they actually were in.


The strange thing is that the group that was ONLY asked to imagine what it would be like to feel no pain, actually performed significantly better than did the group who had been hypnotized traditionally.
This study proved that there is no facility accessed via hypnotism that can not be just as easily or even more easily accessed by mere willing participation.


In recovered memory therapies- the reason so many practitioners got sued is because hypnotism is literally nothing more than getting a person to agree to go along with suggestion.
Putting someone in that mindset is perfect for Planting false memories by therapists who do not even realize they are steering the 'recovery' process thru their own bias and assumptions.

People who are fatigued- tired of making decisions - show a marked increase in suggestibility....
That is why the candy bars, and tabloid rags are sold at the checkout counter in grocery stores- because the shopper has just made 120 purchasing decisions in filling their cart, and is fatigued and more susceptible to impulse.
The store is not laid out this way by accident- the study I was involved in in the mid 70's was commissioned by advertising and marketing consultant groups who were specifically trying to ascertain how they could manipulate suggestibility to sales advantage.

That's manipulating people to do stuff with smooth talk. I think genuine hypnotism is something else. There's a guy called Paul McKenna who used to be on tv here years ago, he would touch people on the shoulder and get them to 'sleep' and then tell them to do something ridiculous. When they woke up they would do the most absurd things. Normally people wouldn't do such outrageous acts in public because most people have some sense of decorum and dignity.

Check this out:


Is it fake or real?
 

Vladd

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
5,561
England
#54
Someone I worked said he was selected by a stage hypnotist whilst on holiday in Spain. He said he knew exactly what he was doing and just went along with what the guy said.
 
Likes: bboomer
#55
I've been reading a bit more about Psychology and apparently this guy called Pavlov used conditioner on his dog or something. Anyway, it made me think of hypnotism again. Surely, if it were real, then hypnotists and psychiatrists across the world could use their powers for nefarious means? If they took a fancy to one of their clients and they weren't too particular about their Hippocratic oath then they could use them for unspeakable acts. Alternately, they could hypnotise them to pay £400 quid into their account every month or just give them the money in cash.

Has there ever been any criminal acts carried out via hypnosis? I understand it was quite a big deal in the Cold War to try and brainwash people to Communism. Was there ever anything like the Manchurian candidate?

Knowing mankind for what it is, I find it hard to believe that people don't exploit this power. It is, after all, the ultimate power to get someone else to do whatever you want.
10 Criminal Hypnotists - Listverse Looks like it mainly works in one-on-one situations, to evade the law you'd have to do it in areas without any witnesses or CCTV cameras (good luck in this country with that last one). Might be a starting point for hypnotist criminals before moving onto bigger crimes.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#56
Hypnotism is not a mystical or even vey mysterious power. It simply a slightly different state of consciousness in which a person becomes more suggestible. There are many people who simply cannot be hypnotised, just as there are many people who will accept the suggestion that they behave like a chicken

The person who popularised hypnotism was Anton Mesmer, in the nineteenth century. At that time. hypnotism was called 'Mesmerism'

Hypnotist claim a subject cannot will not do anything under hypnosis he would not usually do. Eg hurt another , or steal. I'm not convinced, if a person was conditioned with long, intense sessions over a longish period (,say months)


I did some experiments in Self Hypnosis in the early 1970's. Found it very useful in achieving a deeply relaxed state, which in turn helped relieve migraine headaches.

Also experienced hypnotism with a hypnotherapist in the early 2000's a s part of my recovery from alcoholism. I found it of minimal help.
 
Oct 2009
3,384
San Diego
#57
That's manipulating people to do stuff with smooth talk. I think genuine hypnotism is something else. There's a guy called Paul McKenna who used to be on tv here years ago, he would touch people on the shoulder and get them to 'sleep' and then tell them to do something ridiculous. When they woke up they would do the most absurd things. Normally people wouldn't do such outrageous acts in public because most people have some sense of decorum and dignity.

Check this out:


Is it fake or real?

That is the same old act. He's not DOING anything. THEY are choosing to do what they are told to do.
They "sleep" when he says sleep- or does the thing he tells them will make them sleep- but they do not qualify as sleeping, actually. They do not go into REM, they do not snore, they do not suffer muscle paralysis.
They are closing their eyes and pretending to be asleep-

As the stage hypnotist said when asked if it was a trick..." All i know is that if I start with ENOUGH people in the beginning... I will always end up with a 6 or 8 who will do everything I tell them to do. So you tell me, are They hypnotized or not?"

The only definition of being hypnotized is responding to suggestion.
 
Feb 2011
13,472
Perambulating in St James' Park
#58
That is the same old act. He's not DOING anything. THEY are choosing to do what they are told to do.
They "sleep" when he says sleep- or does the thing he tells them will make them sleep- but they do not qualify as sleeping, actually. They do not go into REM, they do not snore, they do not suffer muscle paralysis.
They are closing their eyes and pretending to be asleep-

As the stage hypnotist said when asked if it was a trick..." All i know is that if I start with ENOUGH people in the beginning... I will always end up with a 6 or 8 who will do everything I tell them to do. So you tell me, are They hypnotized or not?"

The only definition of being hypnotized is responding to suggestion.
This is my point though, why would people willingly make prats of themselves just because someone asked them to? How far could you go? Whenever I try suggesting things to people I usually get a slap and a letter from their lawyer.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
31,336
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#59
Stage hypnosis and deep hypnosis are not the same thing. Stage hypnosis essentially relies on a state of euphoia, whereas deep hypnosis relies on a higly relaxed state of mind. Superficially, they might seem the same, but they aren't.

That stuff you see with evangelical Christian "healers" is a form of stage hypnosis.
 
Oct 2018
52
Bangalore,India
#60
Hypnosis has many definitions. Being Hypnotized actually means a higher state of suggestibility and openness. I am sceptical if it can change personalities or traits to good or bad in one session. It would take multiple of them for that to happen. Even then,not like some magic or something but rather in form of subtle personality changes. So the answer is both yes and no.
 

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