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Topic: Hypnosis and the occult
Message: Posted by: Hawk-Eye (Aug 2, 2010 08:09AM)
Hello all,

Reading the website of a leading Australian hypnotist - who offers products, training and certification in hypnosis - recently, I was surprised to see several 'occult' products in the Shop section of the site.

One such product was an audiobook titled 'Develop your ESP', the description for which read: "Learn how to develop your Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) and paranormal abilities with this program containing a variety of helpful techniques and information. Meditation included."

As someone who is interested in hypnosis, but strongly opposed to claims of psychic abilities, ESP and related unsubstantiated rubbish, I was disgusted to see this product recommended on the site.

I feel associations like these damage the credibility of hypnosis, which, according to some, is already on shaky ground scientifically speaking.

Are you a hypnosis 'purist', or do you also subscribe to other phenomena - ESP, psychic ability, etc.?

Also, what is your position in regards to NLP and self-help/motivational programs?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.
Message: Posted by: insight (Aug 2, 2010 09:34AM)
Hypnosis is in no way related to psychic ability.

Message: Posted by: dmkraig (Aug 2, 2010 10:56AM)
Mike, to say that indicates you have little knowledge of the history, development, and evolution of hypnosis.

Hawk, if you study the history of hypnosis, you will see that they were closely linked. As hypnosis became more and more studied by "scientists," this aspect of hypnosis became increasingly ignored.

Unfortunately, many scientists have forgotten the words of Herbert Spencer: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

Your wording for your last question(s) is unclear to me. Are you asking about our positions concerning NLP and self-help/motivational programs, or our position on NLP and (separately) our positions on self-help/motivational programs?

If the former, I would say that a lot of people who are IROBs (I REad One Book and now I'm an expert) when it comes to NLP have take one or two concepts of NLP, often out of context, to create self-help programs. I say, more power to them! To the people taking such programs, I say caveat emptor. Just because someone dangles the "NLP" term doesn't mean they know anything about it or that you're getting anything of value.

If the latter, I would say that NLP is unique in that it collects a variety of techniques into a complex, comprehensive, but coherent whole. There is nothing really new in NLP--it's all modeled on earlier concepts--but it is the linking together of this wide variety of methodologies that gives it a real power. Since this forum is more related to stage work than business applications or therapeutics, I'd say that the major purpose of NLP in magic, today, is as a form of mental misdirection--tell people you're using NLP to cover the gimmicks you're using.

As to self-help/motivational programs, they range from great to awful. Some help people while some only help people out of their money. In a free market it's up to the potential consumer to determine which is which, something made easier today thanks to the internet. One thing I have seen is that some similar programs are a type of pyramid scheme. You keep having to pay more and more to learn the inner and higher techniques. Often, the people running such groups are basically in it for the money, and will advance people even if they haven't learned or cannot use what they learned in lower levels. Keep up the churn to keep people paying larger amounts for the inner "secrets." For some people, all they learn is how to walk with lighter wallets or pocketbooks. Others get a psychological lift from attending increasingly expensive programs. Is this necessarily bad? I don't think so. People pay more and more as they get involved with collecting old stamps or model railroad cars. Should we make those illegal? I don't think so. The only problem, IMO, is if someone cannot afford the tariff, and I've seen some groups use pretty heavy psychological influence to pressure people into paying more.

Most often, however, such groups are known as "churches."
Message: Posted by: Lord Of The Horses (Aug 2, 2010 11:06AM)

I FULLY agree with Dmkraig.

And I can speak with a certain authority on the matter, being someone who has collected hundreds of ancient tomes (very rare) dealing with every aspect of the Occult.

Most of these tomes, in any language I can understand, but especially the French and the Italian language tomes - ALWAYS linked the hypnotism to the Occult.

Further than that, sometimes the Hypnotism was the SOURCE or THE MEDIUM THROUGH WHICH occult phenomena happened.

Suggesting the two are in no way related, Mike, is suggesting a lie.
Message: Posted by: insight (Aug 2, 2010 11:16AM)
I stand corrected. I am not as aware about the history as I thought I was.

Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Aug 2, 2010 11:31AM)
Here in Malaysia, Hypnotism is STILL thought to be an Occult practise by a large part of the Community.

Everytime I stick someones foot to the floor I see it in the "evil eye"s around me... Seriously...

A bit sad, a bit unnerving and a whole lot of funny when I'm outta there.

Hypnotism and the Occult? They think it's the same thing here...
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Aug 2, 2010 12:16PM)
Hypnotism is still thought of as an occult practice here by many. I know someone who is a top consultant surgeon and in charge of a hospital. If you bring out a Tarot deck they will flee the room terrified.

My friend on his laptop showed them the music I am using for my current show. She wouldn't listen to it or stay in the room. She thought it was hypnotizing her.

I am not joking a top surgeon with huge responsabilities.

Most people I meet think they can be hypnotised against their will by looking into my eyes.

The general public still have these old out dated views on hypnosis.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 2, 2010 12:38PM)
In it's most basic definition the word Psychic means "of the mind", which would certainly make it related and associated to hypnosis.
Message: Posted by: Owen Mc Ginty (Aug 2, 2010 04:09PM)
ESP, The paranormal, psychic ability, the occult (in which category I include religion of all types) etc etc is all superstitious mumbo jumbo ( at least in my opinion). The power of suggestion can explain many things religion related (to a certain extent).

Hypnosis for me is something more "real" - at least I hope it is, or Im about to waste cash on training.

Whoever was advertising on that website may have merely been covering all the bases - having something to offer to as many people as possible.

No offense intended to anyone who is religious, I respect peoples choices. I simply do not subscribe to any religion. :)
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Aug 2, 2010 05:24PM)
One thing you have to realize. As a hypnotist especally a stage hypnotists or even street hypnotist - you are a symbol a focus for all the real and false beliefs surrounding hypnosis. All the culture the movies the urban stories etc etc etc.

When you step on stage you activate all these deep cultural expectations and conditioning. It is actually useful and has value.

The real art of hypnosis IMHO is working with what is. Don't knock or undervalue the false beliefs of the masses. Use it to your advantage its just one mass trance that you can hijack and lead.
Message: Posted by: Shane Masters (Aug 2, 2010 06:41PM)
I completely agree mindpunisher. That is why my web site is "dark looking" and has a blend of old style with new. When you are on stage, you are a showman. The hardest part to master is to know when to push it and when to pull back.

I use my moniker to my advantage. I then use my soft voice tone to really throw people off and get them into a calming state. Its not deep....its soft. I wish I had a deeper voice. -Shane
Message: Posted by: Hawk-Eye (Aug 2, 2010 06:52PM)
Interesting thoughts.

I was aware that hypnosis was traditionally linked to the occult. However, it seems, in our increasingly scientific society, the 'occult' is largely discredited, while hypnosis has some support in the scientific community.

Does this mean, though, that hypnotists must subscribe to or even acknowledge occult phenomena, purely because it forms part of hypnosis' history?
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Aug 2, 2010 07:02PM)
No you don't have to subscribe to anything. But a good hypnotist will use whatever is already there in the minds of his subjects.

99.9% of the lay public are NOT scientific and still think hypnotists have special powers.

Message: Posted by: Shane Masters (Aug 2, 2010 07:07PM)
I think the occult angle plays well due to 2 reasons:

1: People have been brainwashed since they were a small child, to believe there is some sort of phenomena associated with hypnosis and powers of the mind, body and spirit. This seems to be more true with people in to the 30-ish range and older. Probably due to the movies we grew up watching and religious upbringings.

2: People want to believe. People want to feel they have dealt with something that is taboo. Something that is unexplainable in their realm of understanding. Basically, people want "magic".

Everyone knows that magicians have no powers other than slight of hand and misdirection ,but, they still watch adamantly with glazed over eyes. They allow themselves to be sucked into "it" with the same anticipation of a child waiting to sit on Santa's lap. -Shane
Message: Posted by: Hawk-Eye (Aug 2, 2010 07:09PM)
To what extent do you advocate making use of this occult association, mindpunisher?

Do you use it to add to your character - ie. to increase the public belief that you have power over them - or do you go further, and encourage belief in unproven psychic phenomena?
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Aug 2, 2010 07:39PM)
I don't encourage anything I just use what people already believe. If they think I can hyonotize them just by looking at them then I don't tell them anything different. I just have fun with it.

Its not so much that I use the occult association its more that I use and encourage the emotional response. You have to realise many people won't know why they have a strong emotional response to the very idea of hypnosis. Its conditioned into them from all the folklore and cultural conditioning.

Emotions are what make people suggestable.
Message: Posted by: Shane Masters (Aug 2, 2010 07:47PM)
On 2010-08-02 20:39, mindpunisher wrote:
Its not so much that I use the occult association its more that I use and encourage the emotional response.

Emotions are what make people suggestable.

Spoken by man who's head can turn 360 degrees, can projectile vomit over 15 feet and sacrifices a goat every week.

Truthfully, some fantastic advice in those 2 sentences alone.-Shane
Message: Posted by: Nongard1 (Aug 3, 2010 12:38AM)
I think, to this point in history "occult" phenomena (really just another religious explaination of the world), has been used to exlain the unexplainable. ALL religions have attempted to explain the unexplainable. Hypnotic phenomena clearly APPEAR supernatural (especially when you look at the research on healing of physical disease). As such, people through time have attached "occult" explainations to hypnosis.
Now that we are in 2010 a lot of what we used to explain with religion (including Christianity) is now explained with science. This includes hypnosis.
In fact ESP is even getting redefined. Science has uncovered REASONS for the ESP phenomena (in some cases) and the occult defination is giving way to a more reasoned scientific rational for "intuition".
Many people, especially those from rlegiious backgrounds, do not like the mix of ESP (and similar phenomena) to hypnosis, but really all inquiry, hypnotic, extra sensory, or even tranditional religious inquiry, is about explaining the unexplainable and the more we know the less unesxplainable it is.
And of course there are people who are interested in one aspect of life that is very rational (like hypnosis) and also interested in those aspects of life that have yeat to be explained. No big deal, buy the courses you are interested in, recognizing others are interested in other courses and don't worry about it.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Aug 3, 2010 08:41AM)
On 2010-08-02 13:38, Mindpro wrote:
In it's most basic definition the word Psychic means "of the mind".

Quite correct. And in its most basic form 'The Occult' simply means: "That which is hidden".
I do believe that it's a crock of sh-t. But no doubt someone, from somewhere, will tell me I'm wrong, but won't be able to explain why... because it's 'hidden'. ... remember?..... ssssshhhhh!!!!!
Message: Posted by: insight (Aug 3, 2010 08:44AM)
Thanks guys, I'm learning a lot from this discussion.

Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Aug 3, 2010 11:33AM)
The connection between hypnosis/trance work with religious belief goes much much deeper than I am comfortable to discuss here in an open forum.

Suffice to say, it is our greatest strength and it is our greatest weakness imho...
Message: Posted by: Nongard1 (Aug 3, 2010 12:00PM)

Here is a controverisal video related to this discussion....
Message: Posted by: Shane Masters (Aug 3, 2010 10:25PM)
I like the video Richard. I wish I had seen this years ago. It would have saved my grandfather tons of money that he just gave away to these clowns. -Shane