By hypnosis the hypnotist induces in a human being or an animal a special mental condition, the hypnotic state. In that condition the hypnotist can control and manipulate the thoughts, behavior and mental condition of the hypnotized individual. The hypnotist will then use his control for specific purposes to the good of the individual under hypnosis, for own good, for the good of some part he is cooperating with, or possible also just to do harm. Hypnotic techniques are much used by authorities as social tools to control individuals or greater audiences but most often without being called hypnosis.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A HYPNOTIC STATE
A hypnotic state can be strong or weak, both as a whole and regarding specific properties. A classical and strong hypnotic mental state has the following properties:
– All the attention of a person is directed in one specific direction, and at an object, person or voice situated in that direction.
– The individual is able to concentrate intensely upon the object of attention, because all his mental capacity is directed that way.
– The things that the person sees or hears in that specific direction engages the mind of the person so that his attention persists.
– Censorial information about other objects around or things going on in the surroundings is greatly reduced or totally blocked.
– A person in a hypnotic state is physically relaxed and also feels mentally relaxed in many ways.
– Information sent out from the point of attention is easily perceived by the hypnotized receiver and is easily recorded in memory, including anything told or any type of order given.
– Critical thinking and logical testing of information is shut off, so that anything passed into memory is held as true, and any orders given tend to be obeyed automatically.
HOW A HYPNOTIC STATE IS INDUCED
Methods for hypnotic induction are many, but they all contain elements occurring in a specific sequence. Generally the hypnotic state is induced in the following way:
– The surroundings are arranged so that they are comfortable and there are few elements around that pass complicated or disturbing information.
– The hypnotist will as a preliminary step make the person relaxed mentally and physically and gently attract his attention. He does so with a monotone talk, by soft, pleasant and monotone music, or other artistic methods.
– The hypnotist shows some object that is easily perceived and seen sharply distinguished from the surroundings. The classical example is a watch hanging in a chain, but it can also be the hand of the hypnotist or a technical device like a TV screen.
– The hypnotist does some simple repetitive action with the object while speaking to the person in a structured way.
– In either case will the hypnotist be acting and behaving such that the person gets a mental reward for keeping his attention towards his actions and thus fixes the attention. The hypnotist try to use his knowledge about the receiver to achieve that effect.
– After some while the person gets into a state with the whole of his attention directed towards the object and the voice of the hypnotist.
– Then the hypnotist ceases his action with the object, but keeps speaking in a structured and predetermined way. Now the voice of the hypnotist is the main point of attention.
– The hypnotist will often pass commands to relax, feeling warm, imagine some pleasant image or other pleasant imaginations. Such commands can be given at several times during the induction process.
– Eventually the recipient is in a hypnotic state. The hypnotist will then use this state to lead the attention of the person to specific objects or thoughts with the purpose of performing mental manipulations.
PRACTICAL PURPOSES OF HYPNOSIS
While the person is in a hypnotic state the hypnotist can use the specific properties of this state for several purposes, both good and mean:
– He can make the recipient feel, taste or hear things, and possibly also see things that are not real and even contrary to what his senses basically register.
– He can make the person even more relaxed than he already is in the basic hypnotic state.
– he can instruct the person to do any task. If the task is contrary to the recipients most basic moral codex or his most basic principles, it will however often be difficult to make the person obey.
– He can pass true knowledge, or at least knowledge that the hypnotist regard as true, to ease the process of learning for the recipient.
– He can deceive the recipient with false information to gain undue profit, gain power or simply to do harm.
– He can alleviate symptoms of diseases to make the life of a patient easier, especially symptoms that are heavily connected to mental processes.
– He can enhance the motivation for some task in the recipient, for example the motivation for training, lifestyle changes or cessation of smoking or drinking.
– He can possibly stimulate the immune system and healing processes in a patient and thereby contribute to the treatment of a disease.
– He can enforce own leadership of a person or the leadership of someone he cooperates with, both leadership in business or political leadership.
After having done the planned manipulations of the recipient, the hypnotist will break the hypnotic state. He does so by distinctly breaking his behavior and rearranging the surroundings. He can give a command that the hypnosis will be broken and the recipient shall wake up upon a specific signal and then distinctly give that signal. Before breaking the hypnosis there can however be instructions that some effects of the hypnosis will persist.
THE USE OF HYPNOSIS IN THE SOCIETY
Hypnosis has a long history as a therapeutic tool used by psychologists and psychiatrists. The popularity has varied from time to time. It is often used to achieve temporary relaxation, pain relief and modifications of feelings. This effect can then be used to ease other types of psychological and physical treatment. Another popular application is motivation for lifestyle changes, especially cessation of drug use, excessive drinking or smoking. Athletic clubs of various sort frequently engage professional therapists to enhance motivation and take away psychological blockings that hinder results.
Professional use of hypnosis is regulated by law in many societies, and people performing hypnosis are generally required to have an education within healthcare and in addition have attained special education regarding use of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is no seldom event, it happens all the day in all areas of the society. But most often the person performing hypnosis do not know what he actually does and the recipient do not know that he is being hypnotized. Teachers, coaches and leaders known for good results usually obtain the result by a behavior that induces a hypnotic state in his audience and uses that state to pass information and motivation in an effective manner.
Successful political leaders or political deceivers tend to use hypnotic techniques to manipulate an audience in ways purposeful for themselves and their movements, with persons like Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, but also Churchill and Roosevelt as remarkable historical examples. Religious mass movements on a national or international scale are most often orchestrated by religious preachers using hypnosis in a systematic way.
The hypnotic techniques used by successful leaders of authoritarian political and religious mass movements have often been under development inside their organization or an associated one for a long time. The techniques have then become standard tools inside these societies. The techniques are systematically passed to new leaders during their education, and often in secrecy for common members of the organization.
At some point in time an especially talented leader decides to gain total control over the religious or political society he belongs to, make his society into a mass movement and thereby also gain control over whole nations and internationally. The leaders of such mass movements are probably well aware that they actually are performing hypnosis with great masses of people as the audience, even though they seldom use the same vocabulary about their techniques as professional psychologists.