freaked out

Postby ahimsa42 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:45 am

i have been interested in hypnosis for a long time and have even experienced it a few times myself on the therapeutic level but in researching it i have been very disturbed by some of the aspects as i perceive them. the idea that people can be so manipulated and confused that they forget their own name, how to count or are unable to move is extremely upsetting to me.

i have seen countless video's of what appears to be control of someone else's mind and body. as a control freak myself, i don't see how this would be an interesting or entertaining state to be in at all. in fact, if i were to allow myself to be so easily controlled, i would be extremely disappointed and angry at my weakness. i have seen video's of people who could not read a clock or words in a book. to me, losing this basic functioning due to mere words would be a nightmare. should they not be very embarrassed and ashamed at how they were made to act & not be able to think or reason?

i have heard people say that the subjects are totally under their own control at all times but then i read things like this which would seem to strongly contradict this statement:

"When we had our eyes closed, my mind was alert, I could hear everything, but I was very focused on the hypnotists suggestions. The first suggestion was we were to act as if we were holding a lottery ticket, and every number he would read out, it would be our winning numbers, but we would not be able to leave our seats, because we were stuck to them.

Hearing this suggestion while my eyes were closed, my ‘alert’ mind or consciousness found this absurd, why would I be stuck to the chair? It’s silly, I can get up if I wanted to.

Then, as soon as he told us to open our eyes and ‘wake up’, he immediately went into the act, pretending to be a lotto announcer and reading out the winning numbers. My alert mind had disappeared somewhere, and I found myself really excited hearing my winning numbers one by one. When the final number was announced, I wanted to get up and claim my millions of dollars, but I could not, I was stuck to the chair! I was so mad and desperate for that money, I started bunny hopping in the chair, my bum stuck to it, just to claim my winnings.

Before I reached him, he made us go back to ‘sleep’, my ‘alert mind’ came back, and I thought to myself, wtf was that? And told myself the hypnotist is at fault, this is all his doing."

i also saw a video of a girl at a party who in a matter of seconds was made to stick to a wall and then had her limbs moved by the person controlling her while not being able to move them herself. she also was made to forger her name and then was told the hypnotist was invisible at which point she became very upset and scared that objects were flying around on their own. she ran off and had to be chased down to be woken up. this does not sound like she was enjoying it or that it was in any way voluntary.

anyway, i doubt i will have any closure on this unless i am able to experience it myself and resist the suggestions i am given. personally, i can think of few things that would be worse than losing my autonomy so any comments or insights would be greatly appreciated.
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#1

Postby cathB » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:47 pm

Hi, The people who go up on stage are volunteers. They want to be hypnotised and become "Stars" Most of what you see up on stage is showmanship and performance. It's very little to do with hypnosis and more to do with compliance. I was very concerned about this 10 years ago. when I had experienced hypnosis in a different context. studying it helped me come to understanding. it's not about "Control" but influence and persuasion. I hope this gives you some Solace.
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#2

Postby ahimsa42 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:36 am

thanks for your reply-it's good to know that there are other with similar concerns. i am aware of the openly acknowledged showmanship in regards to stage hypnosis. the fact that so much attention is spent on choosing the right kind of people who are willing to play along regardless and rejecting those with even an inkling of hesitation tells you much about the authenticity of these shows.

what i am referring to is more the typical street hypnosis where random people are used either in a public context such a walking down the street or at a beach. the example of the fake lottery & girl at a party do not seem to be the same as stage type hypnosis. in both cases, the subjects appear to decide to resist and that there is no way they will follow the suggestions yet neither are able to do so and are helpless to do anything but what is suggested to them. they also were upset once they come out of the trance and realized how they were manipulated into acting ridiculously without their consent.

another example would be when strangers are hypnotized into giving up their possessions such as cell phone, wallet or purse without a second thought. the hypnotist could quite easily walk away with their stuff and get away before the victim realizes what happened. to me, this indicates that the subjects are being controlled in such a way that they have no choice in the matter and are mindless virtual slaves as opposed to them just willingly playing along.

i have heard that some people say that when they are hypnotized whatever is suggested to them seems like the best idea ever and they never even consider questioning if they should do so or not. to me, this would make them very weak minded and gullible as i cannot even imagine being forced into such a helpless state to be so easily taken advantage of. it would be terrifying to be so vulnerable and i don't understand at all why people would ever want to experience it, even if it is as benign as forgetting your own name or the number 7.
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#3

Postby ahimsa42 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:31 am

lots of views to this thread but only one reply. i would have thought that such a critical subject would have garnered more input and discussion by the experts on this board. i kind of wonder if the reason why it has not is because my fears hit too close to home and are contrary to the usual industry rhetoric that hypnosis is not a form of mind control and that the subject is in complete control of themselves at all time.

could it be that those who are in the profession are worried about losing both current and potential customers if word gets out that they are being put into a state in which they can be forced to do just about anything? perhaps it is an industry secret that they don't wish to become well known?
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#4

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:20 am

ahimsa42 wrote:what i am referring to is more the typical street hypnosis where random people are used either in a public context such a walking down the street or at a beach.

another example would be when strangers are hypnotized into giving up their possessions such as cell phone, wallet or purse without a second thought. the hypnotist could quite easily walk away with their stuff and get away before the victim realizes what happened.


ahimsa42 wrote: i would have thought that such a critical subject would have garnered more input and discussion


It doesn’t garner much discussion, because what you described doesn’t happen. As the one reply already stated, it is staged. The videos you are watching are actors, volunteers, etc. To get clicks, to get people to believe the video, the actors rehearse, the street hypnotist use the same people, they use multiple takes, they cut, they edit the videos, and they only publish the best ones. That’s the big industry secret.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:00 pm

Here is a link to multiple expert practitioners of hypnosis answering the extent to which hypnosis can be used as you describe.

https://qr.ae/TW8kQa

NOTE: many refer to the use of shills, otherwise known as plants. Others refer to “social compliance” where a person acts hypnotized, but actually is not.

And a decent article in Psychology today.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... t-hypnosis
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#6

Postby ahimsa42 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:29 pm

thanks for the resources Richard as they were very informative. this was my first reaction when i started investing hypnosis but the more video's i watched the less sure i was that i was not wrong. i guess i fell for the scam which is what they were after in the first place but am still unsure about certain aspects.

for example, i watched a video where 3 people were hypnotized so that they could simulate being disabled so one was told they could not read, one was told they could nit write & one that they could not read a clock. they all appeared to try desperately to do so but were unable to. as i said previously, there are also many video's of people made to forget their own name or forget a number so are not able to count to 10 correctly. i am unsure how these can be explained as the subjects seem to want to do these things but are unable to until they are woken up out of trance. is this just a small subset of people who are very easily suggestible or if not, how can they be considered to be in control when they are unable to perform such simple tasks because it was suggested that they could not? just curious about your thoughts on this too.
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#7

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:23 am

I’m going to quote directly from the article I posted by Dr. Lazarus,

“Contrary to popular belief, people under hypnosis are in total control of themselves and would never do anything they would normally find highly objectionable.”

The concept of “suggestibility” is not just about the individual person and some static trait. If a person, let’s call him Richard, is in the right frame of mind as he walks to work and has some spare time on his hands, maybe he is more “suggestible” in that moment. He is willing to volunteer and in some cases play along. Richard can be “hypnotized” but this is not going to allow anyone to hand Richard a pistol and tell him to go rob a bank or to shoot himself. To pretend to be blind or act disabled? Apparently Richard doesn’t find that suggestion objectionable. Richard hears the suggestion and allows himself to mentally go there.

Now it is the same Richard, but his mind is on a negative phone call that he just received about work. Clients are unhappy and he needs to figure out how to fix the problem. He walks to work, still can spare a few moments, but is not in the right frame of mind. He is not suggestible in that moment. He finds any suggestion objectionable, because his mind is elsewhere. At best you get social compliance, faking he is blind or that he can’t read as part of what he thinks the crowd wants to see.

The street hypnotist doesn’t know which Richard he is getting. He has no way to know precisely if Richard is in the right frame of mind or not. He has to gauge the mood, the body language, and quickly.assess “suggestibility”.

Do you believe in magic? Does street or stage magic freak you out? Do watching videos of magic scare you? I hope not. It’s for entertainment. You are suppose to not be able to figure out the trick. You are suppose to be amazed and curious about how the magic is done. But, you can relax the woman is not actually being sawed in half.

Street or stage hypnosis is for entertainment as well. The videos you are watching are edited to look amazing, to make you curious, to hide the tricks.

Unfortunately hypnosis for entertainment is often intermingled with hypnosis that can be therapeutic. Clinical hypnosis gets a bad rap, because it is lumped in with street hypnosis.

My advice, stop believing what you see in videos.
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#8

Postby jimmyh » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:40 am

Hi Ahimsa. Welcome to the forum. Unfortunately it’s not super active these days, and responses don’t always come quickly. You ask a very good question though.

The short answer is that you’re right. Hypnosis can be used to control people, and it can be genuinely very scary to realize that you are not in control of your own actions. Fortunately, it isn’t as bad as it seems. I’ll give an example which I think does a good job conveying how it actually happens.

Back when I was first getting into hypnosis, I was playing around with hypnotic suggestions with my girlfriend (now wife). I suggested that she would be unable to speak, and she basically laughed and did not accept the suggestion. This shows that (in the state she was in, at least) it was possible for her to “resist” and not accept suggestions that seemed too outlandish to her.

However, I then asked “do you think it would be possible if, when I snap my fingers, you become unable to talk *for two seconds?*”. For whatever reason, that did not seem to be such a difficult suggestion to accept, so she said “sure”, and accepted the suggestion when I gave it.

The interesting thing about this situation is that, without realizing the implications of what she just agreed to, she had accepted the suggestion that she would be completely and utterly unable to speak so long as I kept snapping my fingers every two seconds. I kept it up for about 30 seconds or so, until she was freaked out enough that I felt bad and gave her control back.

The way that (and hypnosis against peoples best wishes/etc in general) worked is that she willingly agreed to my suggestion without having the broader implications in mind. Since I did have that in mind, I was able to take her places she hadn’t anticipated possible. Depending on the situation, you generally want to file evil hypnosis under either “tricking them into agreeing to things that they do not understand the implications of” or “abuse of trust”.



In stage hypnosis, people are generally aware of what will be going on and agree to it because they figure it’ll be fun/interesting and not go anywhere too scary. Generally, they’re even right. However sometimes people end up with mismatched expectations and aren’t as happy with their temporary loss of control as they thought (or it’s more complete than they expected it to be) and get freaked out by it.

Here’s an excerpt of one of Richard Feynman’s books, relating his experience as a hypnotic subject on stage (and off). It’s an interesting one because Richard Feynman was a brilliant and extremely competent physicist, not some “mental weakling”, and still he found himself complying with suggestions he explicitly determined to resist. However, there is a limit to this sort of simple control. If the hypnotist had told him to murder his mother, Mr.Feynman would not have done it.

to me, losing this basic functioning due to mere words would be a nightmare.


Since you are so opposed to losing control, odds are high that you would be a very difficult person to hypnotize in this way. In order to do it the hypnotist would basically have to trick you into believing that you can’t resist. The good news is that this “you cannot resist” idea is factually untrue. What is true is that hypnotists sometimes convince people that they cannot resist (including some times when the person does not realize that they’ve been convinced of this), and when people become convinced than action is impossible they obviously can’t intend to do it.

When hypnotists succeed in getting people to focus on this possibility, the “subject” often will often get tricked into accepting the suggestion, but it’s just that: trickery.

Just say “no” to people who aim to manipulate you. Don’t even consider the things they say, and you can’t be tricked into handing over any control. That’s one of the big reasons why hypnosis is only fairly rarely used for crime.

should they not be very embarrassed and ashamed at how they were made to act & not be able to think or reason?


I don’t think so, no. It’s a free choice in a safe environment. Besides, it’s not their responsibility to anyone else to be able to remember their own name at every waking moment of every day.

It’s scary, of course, and I personally wouldn’t volunteer either, but I can’t really blame them or think less of them for having that ability to trust and let go in order to have a little fun. Richard Feynman, for example, would not have been an easy mark for some evil street hypnotist to take advantage of. He was just intellectually open enough and curious enough to give it a try, and had a really interesting experience because of it.


could it be that those who are in the profession are worried about losing both current and potential customers if word gets out that they are being put into a state in which they can be forced to do just about anything? perhaps it is an industry secret that they don't wish to become well known?


Yes and no.

Some people really don’t know what can be done with hypnosis, and have been taught that such things are impossible. Others kinda do know, but they don’t know how to square things so they’ll do mental gymnastics to continue deluding themselves. Others know exactly what’s going on, but prefer to phrase things in dishonest and misleading ways to try to make it look like hypnosis is safer than it is. Others will outright lie, explaining it to the “adults” in the room as “lies to children” (this last two categories includes a lot of the people who train the first couple groups). These are all quite common among the “hypnosis for therapy” crowd, as well as anyone who really wants what they do to be socially acceptable.

When it comes to people who use/experiment with hypnosis in the context of “finding out what’s possible” or street/magic/erotic contexts, you’ll basically get wide agreement that hypnosis can be a very powerful tool to trick people into things they don’t want. The erotic communities in particular have to address this, as it is a very real problem in their communities.
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#9

Postby ahimsa42 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:20 am

thanks to both of you for your thoughts-they seem to be 2 different takes on the subject.

it seems like jimmy is suggesting that it is basically a case of the subject "tricking" themselves instead of being controlled without their consent. this is where i find it confusing as it seems like a very fine line. with the example of your wife or Feynman (of whom i am quite familiar having studied advance physics myself and also having read the book you mentioned) it seems that once they accepted the suggestion they then had no control over themselves and were unable to resist (themselves?). why does simply accepting a suggestion cause them to lose the ability to function and reason? does this mean that they were basically lying to themselves about not being able to talk or walk straight back to their seat? i guess i don't get the idea that someone is able to do/not do something because they "chose"? to accept a suggestion as it seems then that they were not in fact actually trying at all.

i guess i am just very curious as to what they would be experiencing and why they are actually not able to function in a manner which they know they can and have many times before. would they not question what was happening and don't understand why once they "hand over control" they are unable to resist.

jimmyh wrote: Others know exactly what’s going on, but prefer to phrase things in dishonest and misleading ways to try to make it look like hypnosis is safer than it is. Others will outright lie, explaining it to the “adults” in the room as “lies to children” (this last two categories includes a lot of the people who train the first couple groups). These are all quite common among the “hypnosis for therapy” crowd, as well as anyone who really wants what they do to be socially acceptable.

When it comes to people who use/experiment with hypnosis in the context of “finding out what’s possible” or street/magic/erotic contexts, you’ll basically get wide agreement that hypnosis can be a very powerful tool to trick people into things they don’t want. The erotic communities in particular have to address this, as it is a very real problem in their communities.


would you be willing to expound on these as i don't really understand what you are saying here. what is a first couples group and are you saying that hypnotherapists know that they are easily able to manipulate people under trance and that subjects are not under their own control at all times as the articles that Richard posted stated but instead as i previous asked do not want this to be wildly know in order to protect their businesses? tricking people into what they don't want is another idea that i don't get and goes along with the question of how simply accepting a suggestion relinquishes control of one's thoughts & actions without their ability to take it back. also, what exactly is erotic hypnosis -is this hypnotizing people to force them to unwillingly perform sexual acts? if so, it sounds like it would be quite illegal.
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#10

Postby ahimsa42 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:19 am

so on youtube there is an example of a short 2 minute video that i think Richard & jimmy would have very different takes on called:

"Street Hypnosis - Handshake Girl Take Off Clothes"

i tried to post a link but was not able to because my account is too new so i would ask that you watch it if possible to get your opinions on it.

is this girl a shill/actor or was it that simple to get her to respond this way and remove all her logic & reason? either she is a great actor or she was truly embarrassed about how she was confused & manipulated into doing what she never would have done otherwise in a matter of seconds.

thanks to both of you again for such an enlightening discussion.
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#11

Postby cathB » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:27 pm

Ok, Ahimsa42
In brief to your point about Youtube videos. They are not the best source of Good examples. there are a lot of "Bad would be hypnotists" out there and you really need to be able to discern from the good to the bad to the misleading. The video in question was not a good example. As I said in my previous post. Subjects, volunteers etc It is a choice they go on stage or volunteer by choice. Plain and simple. No one is "Controlling anyone" it's just perception.
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#12

Postby ahimsa42 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:09 pm

that is good advice cathB as i do seem to have become somewhat obsessed with them. it would also likely reduce my anxiety regarding this subject.
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#13

Postby cathB » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:10 pm

I understand how you feel. I've been where you are. You obviously have some hurt and someone has taken advantage of you perhaps. Or you feel vulnerable? I don't know exactly. A journey of self discovery and dealing with your emotions and confusion. "Personal development" etc might be the best route? It worked for me. Once you let go. You can embrace The comments made by other users in these posts. They give good advice. Good luck. :)
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#14

Postby ahimsa42 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:14 am

thanks again cathB. i think that even the temporary loss of control as described by jimmy makes me question my whole world view when it comes to personal autonomy. i can't even fathom trying to do something i know i can do but not being able to or being told to do something but not being able to resist doing it-even something as harmless as walking directly back to my seat in the Feynman example. as i stated previously, i would be quite upset at myself for allowing me to be so influenced by someone that i could not remember my own name or count correctly to 10.

this conversation has greatly helped to enlighten me on this subject but i guess i will never truly understand until i experience it myself -which according to jimmy's post may be very difficult in my case.
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