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aamwood
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Hi friends,

I have some help and explanation about the below issue:

I am more into card magic. Nowadays, I would like to learn more about hypnosis, as I have read about some very bad crimes on our local newspaper.

On our local newspaper, it said that a woman was shopping and then suddenly a stranger (a man) tapped her shoulder, and then he started to ask her if she could show him the direction to a certain address.

To make the story short, the woman ended up giving her ATM card and money to the stranger. After she came home she realized that she has just been hypnotized by a stranger. She went straight to the police station to report the crime that just occurred.

A couple of days later, the same crime happened again to another woman.

My question is this: is it really hypnosis? How could that happened so fast? I am afraid that it could happen to me or my family members or friends.

Since I am always curious about anything (another reason why I learn magic tricks ), where can I learn about this stuff (I am not sure if this is hypnosis or not)? I don't want to do any crime with it. I just want to know the secret and how to avoid being victimized. Is it some kind of stage hypnosis?

Any explanation is appreciated .

Aamwood - Indonesia
alexhui
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Aamwood,

I don't think the concerned news have any direct connection with hypnosis, since hypnosis does not 'allow' to do such feats.

But I think if the news is real, one of the explanations is that the stranger can use some very good psychological technique to obtain the information. It is quite possible.

Alex Hui
The Real Way of Magic is to touch the soul of our audience, but not to touch the ego of our soul
MikeDes
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I can guarantee you there is something else going on here other than hypnosis.

I have studied hypnosis for two years and here are some plain truths:

You can't be hypnotised against your will.
The subject MUST be cooperative in the process.

The subconscious, although less inhibited, is more self-preservationist than the conscious mind.

You CAN'T hypnotise someone to do something they are against doing normally, i.e., steal, kill, jump off a building, etc.

Don't worry, be happy,

Mike
procyonrising
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Hi Mike,

Apologies, but the late Martin Orne (UPenn) did a few studies that showed people, when hypnotized, do indeed follow suggestions to harm other people. Moreover, while I agree that you can't be hypnotized against your will, you can be hypnotized without knowing it.

However, for the sake of this thread, it's most likely one of three things:

1. A hoax story, like stealing kidneys for the black market.

2. A fake story, where the victim was bilked and felt stupid about it, so they file a fictitious claim against the criminal.

3. The real thing, but it would most likely be a very persistent criminal who searches for people who are easily intimidated or are very trusting - to a fault (and there are many such people, though they comprise a very insignificant part of the population).

Best,

James.
wiseman
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discjockey
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According to Kenton, the person's morals are embedded in the brain. He knows not to touch a stove that has fire expelling from it. It seems like it would be able to happen, but I don't think it's probable. Perhaps, he hypnotized her to think she gave him the ATM card while he pick-pocketed her instead.
aamwood
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Thanks for the explanation.

Yes, I think something is missing on the news. May be the stranger did something else that we don't know.

Where should I start to learn about this knowledge? DVD is preferred.

I am working with some police officers to stop such of this crime.

Thanks.
Mezmer
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I have studied hypnosis for 10 years and worked as a professional hypnotist for many years.

A subject under trance will not break his moral code. Hypnosis is the absence of the conscious mind which acts as a filter so suggestions cannot enter our subconscious mind. The subconscious mind believes anything that gets to it. Thus the Conscious mind acts as a filter so suggestions do not enter our subconscious.

Whenever a subject is in trance and asked to do a task against their moral code (something stupid), the conscious mind will come in and break the trance. Remember hypnosis is all about trusting the hypnosis. Any break in this trust will result in a suggestion with no "anchor".
Seth speaks
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Hmm... yes, but this presupposes that the immoral act was the result of a direct hypnotic command, instead of an indirect suggestion. Most of the "studies" done on hypnosis have been on the basis of the authoritarian style, and that's where we get nonsense like "some people can't be hypnotized," and so forth. Have you ever been driving along a stretch of road, transfixed by the rhythmic lines on the asphalt, and realized you missed your exit three miles back? Did you give your "consent" to that?

Theories have been devised around the idea that while in trance a person could be convinced that the immoral act in question WAS a part of their moral code, by clever languaging. For instance, the subject might never murder someone in cold blood, but they certainly might kill if, by means of suggestion, they felt it was in self-defense or defense of their child.

When it comes to something as ephemeral as hypnosis, we should be careful about proclaiming absolutes -- "such-and-such is impossible under hypnosis" or "this-and-that only happens in hypnosis..." As a clinical hypnotherapist myself, I find it amusing that various people speak very confidently about exactly what the "subconscious" is, what it's capable of, how it differs from the "unconscious" or the metaconscious or superconscious or collective unconscious, etc.

This may or may not be true, but the fact is no one has ever demonstrated conclusively that there even IS such a thing as the "subconscious" or "unconscious" in the sense that we use them here, as distinct and separate states of consciousness. For that matter, the definition (or even existence) of hypnosis itself varies depending on who you talk to and what they believe.

I've noticed that many people into NLP like to speak of the unconscious as being a protective mechanism, with the person's best interest at heart. This is a New Agey concept, and it certainly may be true, but there is little hard evidence of it (read some books by Michael Yapko, PhD). If a person can be convinced, persuaded, manipulated or fooled while fully conscious, there is no reason to suppose that being hypnotized creates a magical barrier that prevents the same from happening while in trance.

For one thing, since the hypnotic state tends to be one of focus and imagination, it is astoundingly easy to create the seeds of false memories. Unskilled therapists do it all the time, even without a formal trance, as do other authority figures such as law enforcement officials. Suggestion is extremely powerful, and hypnosis, whatever it may be altogether, is only one method of planting it.

As to whether there is actually some brainy thug going around hypnotizing people so he can commit theft while they're in trance... well, that is highly unlikely. But many people can be persuaded by some kind of suggestion, even their own. Crime victims can, newspaper journalists can -- even hypnotists and magicians can...

Seth
aamwood
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Hi Seth, you made a good point. I agree that someone still have a great chance to be fooled, manipulated or persuaded while fully conscious. This is a good argument. I think at some level hypnosis can also do the same thing.
shrink
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There is now thinking along the lines that states of hypnosis can be used conversationally. That language structured in certain ways can bypass the critical faculty and activate parts of the mind in the same way as overt trance inductions.

I suppose it is possible that trance like states could induced out of confusion or fear. Even if the thief wasn't skilled in hypnosis.

I would imagine that most of us have had experiences where we have done something or fufilled someones request and didn't want to. Only to wonder why we did later..
Seth speaks
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Yes, conversational hypnosis and "zero trance" hypnosis seem to be the newest paradigms, and they are really fascinating. Of course, Erickson is usually referenced as the father of the conversational style -- he would often induce trance and engage in other changework by simply telling involved stories full of metaphors. (Detractors say he was just utilizing boredom as an induction, but either way, it worked!)

Metaphor and clever language can be very effective in inducing trance, especially if we just drop the outdated views of trance as zombie-like catatonia, and simply look at it as focused imagination.

And now that you mention it, fear certainly could be a strong trance inducer. Have you ever been sitting alone in your home watching TV late at night, when suddenly you hear a sound from elsewhere in the house -- a small creak or knock that shouldn't be there? Suddenly your body freezes in place, your eyes widen, your pounding heart blocks out the TV noise, every sensory input you have is focused into a tight point -- that small sound. That's trance if there ever was one.

If this thug was stepping in and scaring these people while they were doing something else, then politely asking for their money while they're still in a state of shock, then disappearing, that might qualify as classic pattern interrupt to induce a quick trance, followed by suggestion. IF so, I think it's doubtful the thug was conscious of doing it, but he could certainly be construed as a hypnotist after the fact... kind of interesting to consider.

Seth
shrink
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Fear or any heightened emotional state will render you more suggestable. Stage hypnotists uses this all the time.
Seth speaks
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Very interesting. I've never done stage hypnosis, but I've had many clients tell me not to make them cluck like a chicken.

I remember in the book "Monsters and Magical Sticks" that Steven Heller talks about a man with chronic pain from metastasized cancer whom nothing had helped. When they first met, Heller used terror to induce trance by smacking him in the head, ordering him to shut up, and telling him he was going to stomp on his foot and break all the bones.

The man was cowering, terrified. Then he told him to close his eyes and relax, because he couldn't hurt someone with their eyes closed. The man did, and dropped into deep trance like a stone, to escape the fear, and Heller was able to do some impressive pain control work.
majhra
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Anything can be used to direct your attention (be more suggestible). Just reading this sentence directs your attention to your big left toe.

Now, using strong emotions like fear, anger and especially confusion assists in that process by enabling the 'hypnotist' to make larger jumps in attention.So not just from not being aware to being aware of your big left toe, but from being comfortable to hand over your wallet.

;-)

Enjoy,

M.
Zanther
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I haven't been able to figure this one out. Most people who study hypnosis are told "all hypnosis is self-hypnosis" and you can't make someone do something they don't want to do.

Perhaps those are just limiting beliefs, though.

I doubt the story is a hoax, as this happened to an aunt of mine. She came out of the bank, guy asked her an unrelated question. She came to in a daze and realized she had just handed over her purse to him.
shrink
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Some stage hypnotists know that certain things can be done with certain individuals that go beyond what they claim. Otherwise no one would volunteer.

There are a percentage of people out there who are so suggestable they would do almost anything. Not everyone but a small percentage.
KJ
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While I don't know much about hypnosis I can add this:

It sounds like you are talking about the body going into "shock" like when you get hit by a car. Your mind locks up thinking only of what just happened, you lose some motor skills, feel dizzy, and would probably do anything someone asked you to do.

What makes this interesting, is you are implying that someone could be put in shock by one quesion. So I am going to guess that whatever it is these people are asking must be pretty cool. It also sounds like this would be a bad thing to do with people with high blood pressure....
Gary D
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This is a very interesting post.
I'm very interested in all this stuff about pattern interrupts and trance induction.
Nickelsun
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I am also very interested in this issue of pattern interupts.

Does anybody have a view of how effective they are when addressing soemeone in other than their native language?

Having spent some time learning foreign languages I know from experience that I'm struggling to follow the content of any conversation without even noticing many subtleties. I would have thought that you need to be tuned into these in oredr for pattern interupts to be effective.

Perhaps some of our excellent non-native speakers of English could comment.

Cheers
Nickelsun
Creativity is THINKING up new things, innovation is DOING new things
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