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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » Mass Hypnosis (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gmeister
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Hi:

Wondering if anyone has some tips on good works dealing with techniques of mass hypnosis. I'm aware of certain of the academic papers that deal with such instances as revival meetings, but would welcome any and all other suggestions (including, of course, works within academia). Especially interested in mass hypnosis from the performers perspective.

Thanks!
JonChase
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Stop thinking of it as "mass" hypnosis and approach it from the point of view that is is individual hypnosis done on a group all at the same time. As with many interweb discussions this bloke comes in sooner or later. “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few” which is probably the best discription of mass hypnosis ever written.
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Jon Chase



http://jonathanchase.com
gmeister
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First, John, I love the quote. Is it yours or, if not, do you know where it comes from.

As for viewing mass hypnosis as individual hypnosis done on a group all at the same time, do you see any variables i9n techniques or approaches that are in any way significant, either for better (ease) or worse (difficulty) such as presuggestibility of setting?

Thanks!
mastermindreader
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It was the infamous mass hypnotist himself who said that - Adolph Hitler
gmeister
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Duh . . .

That is to say--DUH . . .

You're right, as always, Bob. Of course it was Hitler. I totally blanked on that. And there wasn't anything in my coffee but grinds. Too quick a response without a second thought. Very embarrassing. A lapse into stupidity--a sleight of mind I pride myself on having perfected.

And I do love the quote since it nails ONE FORM of mass hypnosis UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, although obviously my view does not extend to its creator or its consequences. Of course Hitler only employed half of the quote: there is little evidence that he employed what most would regard as "reason" in other settings. Fear and intimidation, yes, reason, no.

I also love the quote since because its seeming validity also negates its own universality, as I briefly note below.

Hitler not only believed, but proved that, in his own words, its possible "to make people believe that heaven is hell and hell, heaven." However, as Martin Luther King has noted, the truth of these statements, and of the above quote, derive from the malleability of "softminded" individuals and that those who are tough-minded are "immune" from such emotional appeal (the German Resisters, as an example). While many "tough-minded" individuals also followed Hitler, for various reasons. Some even appeared to be "hypnotized" at/by rallies, they were merely feigning their state.

Given this, and John's answer above, does mass hypnosis (or, indeed, any form of hypnosis) only work on the softminded? Is mass hypnosis much more constrained than individual hypnosis? Or further, can a heterogeneous group with respect to being emotionally prone or predisposed to a message be hypnotized?
dmkraig
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See if you can find a copy of "How to Be a Megalomaniac" by Phil Farber. It reveals a lot of amazing techniques. I've used more than a few with intriguing results. Take that any way you wish.
gmeister
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Thanks!

Will search for it.
gmeister
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I'd like to elaborate on my comments above regarding Hitler and mass hypnosis since I believe there are some interesting points for discussion that stem from using him as an oft-cited example. I've been wrestling with some of these as I write my next novel.

Yes, Hitler did sway followers through emotion--there's no denying that. However, the Nazi party's success at the polls wasn't consistent. Hitler lost to Hindenburg in the runoff president election of 1932 and his party's percentage of the vote in the election that precipitated the runoff actually decline over the previous election. The conservatives in Hindenburg's government brought Hitler in and made him Chancellor on the mistaken notion that, by so doing, they could contain him. What they actually did was open the door for him, through his minions, to stage events such as the Reichstag Fire that would lead to the enabling laws, which,, in turn, started the Nazi reign of terror. When Hindenburg died in 1934, Hitler was in a position to succeed him.

The speeches of Hitler that we remember so vividly occurred at Nuremberg rallies that were staged after he became president. And while these speeches were certainly emotionally powerful, the remembrance of them has been enhanced in large part by Leni Reifenstahl's brilliant propagandist filmmaking in "Triumph of the Will." By this time, Hitler was able to start providing some of the self-respect and prosperity that the German people had been craving (gearing up for a war economy didn't hurt matters). By supporting Hitler, the country/people were thereby rewarded (one could put a Pavlovian spin on this quie easily). However, Hitler was also in a position to use drastic repressive tactics againbst those who didn't support him, and he did so without a second thought. So from 1934 on, at least, one has to temper the degree that emotion played in the overt manifestations of his hypnotic grip on Germany with the role fear and terror played. The constant reinforcement through Goebbels's propaganda routine also needs to be factored in.

Now compare and contrast this with the "mass hypnosis" one might encounter at a revival meeting, my more immediate interest. John Chase's well-cited quote “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few” could also be restated after 1934 to "I use fear for the many and reserve greater5 fear for the few." In truth it probably would be best restated "I use emotion AND fear for the many and reserve elimination for the few."

Compare and contrast this to a religious revival meeting--my more immediate interest--where mass hypnosis can also be said to be seen. Hitler "hypnotized" to varying degrees but then reinforced this with "immediate" gratification--prosperity and respect on the positive side for the "believers," punishment in the perverse sense for the "disbelievers" (non-hypnotized). The true sacrifices were to come later--the privations of the war and especially the conditions on the Eastern Front plunged Germany back into economic instability. And while Hitler was still supported, a growing number of people had become dissatisfied but dared not express this. The ideology may still have held, but not the returns it produced.

At a revival meeting, the "hypnotized" immediately part with/sacrifice money for miracles even though many of them have discovered through past experience that the promised returns are nonexistent. Indeed Elmer Gantry might be an even better example than Hitler of mass hypnosis with fewer extraneous factors (although the pre-work of belief exists in both religion and ideology).

I bring these matters up because I'm trying to any "pure" techniques that can be associated mass hypnosis and, if these exist,how they differs from individual hypnosis, if it does. Among the questions I'm grappling with: Is there a typology or taxonomy of mass hypnosis? If you deconstruct mass hypnosis, are you left with techniques or with nothing whatsoever?

Any help on the journey would be greatly appreciated.
Anthony Jacquin
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Battle for the Mind by W. Sargent might be of interest.

Beyond the role of emotion to move the masses it digs deep into Pavlov. I always wondered how they measured the dog saliva. Seems he would sew a little metal and leather basket into the dogs cheek. He did it to kids too.

Anthony
Anthony Jacquin

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

Now on Kindle and Audible!
gmeister
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Thanks, ANT--an excellent suggestion. Will do!
dmkraig
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Also: Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich.
gmeister
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Quote:
On 2011-07-25 16:08, dmkraig wrote:
Also: Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich.


Another excellent suggestion: have read this but it was a while ago. Time for a re-read.
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