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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » Research Paper: Hypnotists, help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Inner circle
Olympia, WA
4247 Posts

Profile of Blindside785
Alright I'm trying to help a college brother who is doing a paper on Hypnotism.

Need articles, sources. Where something went wrong with a hypnotism. Someone died, injured, etc and anywhere where it is brought up that Hypnotism is dangerous. Mostly about how it is said that hypnotism is dangerous.

The above sounds bad but it the paper is about the misconceptions.
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Eternal Order
19818 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Well good luck finding anything but urban legends, as what you are searching for is a White Elephant.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Anthony Jacquin
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Inner circle
2220 Posts

Profile of Anthony Jacquin
My favourite urban legend is the story of a hypnotised person being told that they were going to have their head chopped off. A wet towel was used to mimic the sword. It was whipped down on the back of the neck and the person promptly died. Like most urban myths I have no idea where I heard it or where it comes from.

Another story from the UK is about the girl who was told as the climax to the stage show that when she sat on her chair 10000 volts of electricity would shoot up her backside. She went home, had an epileptic fit in her sleep and died. Her family blamed the hypnosis although I do not think they won. However they did give a lot of energy to the False Memory Society who campaign in the UK to ban stage hypnosis.

Another famous case is the person who was told that they would go back to when they were six years old - rather than being told to behave like a six year old. Their sixth year was one that involved abuse and trauma and this regression therefore traumatised them. I believe they were one if not the only successful prosecution against a stage hypnotist.

There was a scraemongering programin the UK titled something like 'when hypnosis goes bad' a few years back.

I am not a big fan of the small but loud 'false memory brigade' who through campaigning do a great deal of harm with their misinformation. They are responsible for creating a climate of fear around a performance that has a great track record of safety. Of course false memory can be created using hypnosis but it should not invalidate the useful information that can be gleaned and the wonderful variety of things hypnosis can be used for. However well intentioned hypnotherapists with too much of an ear for Freudian style analysis can of course do more harm than good. This is the same with any analytical style of therapy.

Hypnosis can be used to produce fun, laughter and create wonderful changes in people. Using it without appropriate skill and reference to health, safety and appropriate morals and ethics can mean it goes in the other direction. That is why good training is important. Just because it is easy to learn to hypnotise does not mean it is easy to do it well and safely and competently. Many hypnotists roll out the line that the subconscious mind will protect you. This is nonsense. The subconscious often lets us down when we are not hypnotised and there is no reason why it would suddenly develop some extra protective mechanics when hypnotised.

So my advice if you want scare stories is go and contact the false memory society. I am sure they have gathered every scrap of a scare story whether it is subtantiated or not. Asking those whose livelyhood depends on actually doing hypnosis might not be so forthcoming.

Anthony Jacquin

Reality is Plastic! The Art of Impromptu Hypnosis
Updated for 2016

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