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ahimsa42
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I just joined this forum because the topic of hypnosis has always both fascinated and scared me. in researching it though, I have come across some fundamental conflicts regarding this subject. I did read both the ground rules and FAQ and my question is regarding the first FAQ:

"1) The hypnotist can make you do things against your will.

Absolutely False. The hypnotist has no powers over you at all, and cannot make you do things against your hard-held beliefs, ethics or morals. All Hypnosis is really self-directed and self-controlled. The hypnotist merely guides you into a hypnotic state, and feeds your mind with care­fully worded suggestions. If you feel uncomfortable with these suggestions, you may reject them at will. Hypnosis is essentially a matter of cooperation between the hypnotist and his subject, not some form of power the hypnotist possesses which will compel the subject to submit to his or her will. In a stage show, remember, people are up there to show off, so the appearance of them doing something "against their will" may seem to be the case, but, in reality, it is NOT the case at all."

i have seen this stated countless times but to me it does not seem address the core of the subject. for example, people made to forget their own name, the number 7, not be able to speak, read words, or talk, not be able to move their limbs or body, people made to not recognize their own child or spouse or people made to not be able to see someone right in front of them. it seems in all these cases that a great deal of involuntary actions are involved and that the subject has no say in the matter of their thoughts or actions. I have even read story's about people being complete skeptics who were put under and said they felt like they had lost all control and had no choice in the matter so had to comply even if they did not want to do so. they even lied to friends & family afterwards saying they were faking it the whole time and were just going along with the show because they were so disturbed & embarrassed that they were unable to resist on any level. then there are also post hypnotic suggestions where people are forced to do things without even being aware of it or why they are doing what they are doing.

to me, the answer in the FAQ does not align in any way with the descriptions in the 2nd paragraph and seem to be describing complete control over the unwilling subjects- hence my confusion. personally, as a major control freak and a very analytical person, the idea of losing one's autonomy by having someone just talk to you is extremely disturbing. I was hoping that the experts here could help shed some light for me on this seemingly contradictory of claim.

thanks in advance.
Dannydoyle
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OK here is the expatiation, and what a GREAT question!

First of all what happens in "hypnosis", to use a term we can all just agree upon, is that there is sort of an unofficial agreement. I have said "I will keep you safe, I will not cross certain lines". You have said for this I will allow you to suggest things to me and I will not resist.

Whatever those parameters are set at, and just so the hypnotist does not violate them, then all suggestions are accepted, and therefore NOT against the subjects will.

The subject at ANY time can jump out of the influence. It may not seem it, but they indeed can. The things you are describing are within the parameters the hypnotist set at the start. Different performers have different ideas of how far to go. Just so they UNDERSTAND those, and then by volunteering agree the show works.

The rest is simply window dressing so the show looks like a show.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WitchDocChris
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Yeah, that pretty much covers my understanding of it.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
ahimsa42
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Thanks for such an informative & easy to understand answer Danny. that is pretty much the way I always thought it worked but then I have read about people like the one's I described who claimed they had no choice in the matter and felt like they needed to comply even if they did not wish to. I also always wondered why people are not way more freaked out when they are unable to move or speak or remember under hypnosis as I am certain that I would be if I were unable to control my own actions. could this be because they have unconsciously agreed to accept the suggestions and are not really resisting even though they may think they are?
Dannydoyle
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Exactly. Had they been asked to violate some moral code they would simply say no.

The lack of control only exists within that framework.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
ahimsa42
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Great-thanks again. what about post hypnotic suggestions? thinking back, I recall that this is the subject which first got me interested & a bit freaked out about hypnosis. in the early 90's I was reading a book by the nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman which included a story about his experience with hypnosis & a post hypnotic suggestion which he was unable to resist. recently, in my studies I also came across the story of a lady who was given a PHS at a stage show to fall asleep whenever she heard a certain song. apparently it was never removed and weeks later she fell right asleep at her desk after one of her co-workers started whistling the tune at work. seems to me that it could have been very dangerous if she heard it on the radio while driving or was operating heavy machinery at work rather than sitting at a desk. I'm not sure how true or accurate this story is or if it's even possible.
Dannydoyle
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Urban legend. Once they leave the area of influence the suggestion quickly fades.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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...or it was done by someone who gave the suggestions poorly.
ahimsa42
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There certainly does seem to be a great deal of misinformation about this subject-which I guess is not all that surprising as since from what I have many hypnotists themselves often have trouble agreeing about certain fundamental issues.

another one I read about just recently was a math teacher who was made to forget a number at a show and then was not able to teach her class for a week until the suggestion was removed.

Mindpro-i am curious as to why would a poorly worded suggestion could cause something like what was described. if it were able to do so, would not that make hypnosis a potentially very dangerous thing in the hands of unethical or incompetent practitioners?
Dannydoyle
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No.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 10, 2019, ahimsa42 wrote:
There certainly does seem to be a great deal of misinformation about this subject-which I guess is not all that surprising as since from what I have many hypnotists themselves often have trouble agreeing about certain fundamental issues.


Mindpro-i am curious as to why would a poorly worded suggestion could cause something like what was described. if it were able to do so, would not that make hypnosis a potentially very dangerous thing in the hands of unethical or incompetent practitioners?



First, I am curious to know what you mean by "in my studies..." What type of studies have you done?

The problem I often see (as someone who has trained many over the years in stage hypnosis) is many today feel reading information online or watching youtube videos is studying or research. Most are just uneducated and informed opinions, or information by someone who is promoting their perspectives to sell a product, technique or method,(as we often see here).

You must understand the last 15-20 years has created a ton of wannabe "hypnotists" who aren't truly in anyway hypnotists or qualified to offer advice, yet they do all over the internet. They simply offer opinion or agenda-based information.

With that said, to address your question, these many poor or wannabe hypnotists I speak of often do not know what they are doing and are doing things for the wrong reason (many to chose from), not to be serious, legitimate hypnotists.

For example, a poor hypnotist may give a suggestion of "when I count to three you will__________." Leaving it open-ended or non-concluding. I see hypnotists all the time that do not even attempt to bring their subjects out or fail to conclude properly or terminate suggestion. because there is no such thing as remaining stuck in hypnosis, if they forget, they feel its no big deal. Same for the guys that promote no-trance hypnosis or other trendy things, this leads to many other misbeliefs and mishaps fro the uneducated or misinformed.

This, of course, is how a lot of these crazy stories, misinformation, and even lawsuits begin, which usually have no merit or basis because they are occurring from an uneducated, uninformed point of view, or they are based on misinformation given by the "hypnotist."

This is why I always say get the proper training, education and proper skills as your foundation before ever trying to get to the execution or performance aspects. Stay away from youtube and online reading until after your foundational knowledge is firmly established, understood and in place. Then you will be better equipped to evaluate and see the junk that is being perpetuated and peddled out there.
ahimsa42
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Mindpro,

i did start my investigation of this subject on youtube but ended up reading dozens of research papers which I found online. I started to look into it for reasons of therapy and quickly got disturbed & confused about what I saw & read so decided to check out what the science said about it. everyone seems to have a different take on hypnosis and I basically want to find out how susceptible I may be to for therapeutic reasons. as someone who is extremely analytical, it is my understanding that this attribute can often hamper the process & results. I did read an interesting research paper which found a correlation between one's ability to roll their eyes back in their head with their hypnotic susceptibility. the findings concluded that the more one can roll their eyes with little or no color showing, the more hypnotizable they were found to be, trying it on myself, I found I am only able to roll my eyes very little if at all.

also, as I said in my first post, I am a total control freak so was disturbed to consider putting myself in a position of not being able to think or act of my own conscious volition. I have tried many of the self hypnosis video's on youtube such as hands sticking, eyes not being able to open & hands moving up & down by imagining a balloon and a weight in each of them but they have had zero effect.
Dannydoyle
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Where are these "research papers" from?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 10, 2019, ahimsa42 wrote:
Mindpro,

I did read an interesting research paper which found a correlation between one's ability to roll their eyes back in their head with their hypnotic susceptibility. the findings concluded that the more one can roll their eyes with little or no color showing, the more hypnotizable they were found to be, trying it on myself, I found I am only able to roll my eyes very little if at all.

I have tried many of the self hypnosis video's on youtube such as hands sticking, eyes not being able to open & hands moving up & down by imagining a balloon and a weight in each of them but they have had zero effect.


Exactly my point. None of these (rarely) are anything to do with hypnosis. So much of the stuff you are reading are distorted and taken out of context perspectives, often based on nothing more than basic susceptibility tests that many of today's uninformed and uneducated (and magicians) believe to be hypnosis.

The more of this stuff you read the more damage you will be doing to your learning, the more confusing you will become and the more conflicting information you will discover.

I can always tell the guys (and gals) that read a lot of books and online materials that think they have a clue as when it comes to actual training they find everything is completely different from what they have allowed themselves to believe, and usually become more difficult to train because of the junk they have in their heads and the false information and belief they have accepted as real or credible. Again, that's why I say stay off of youtube and away from Google and online "research papaers."
ahimsa42
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Here are examples few of the many which I have read:

Hypnosis and the relationship between trance, suggestion,
expectancy and depth: Some semantic and conceptual issues
Graham F. Wagstaff
American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 53:1, July 2010

The Role of Expectancy, Amnesia, and Hypnotic
Induction in the Performance of Posthypnotic Behavior.
Ronald Lawrence Gandolfo

The Domain of Hypnosis:
A Multifactorial Model
Frederick J. Evans
American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 43:1, July 2000


CHAPTER 17
Consciousness in Hypnosis
John F. Kihlstrom
THE CAMBRIDGE HANDBOOK OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Making the Distinction Between the “Hypnotic” and “Non-Hypnotic”
Author's Response to Commentaries
Graham F. Wagstaff, PhD
The Journal of Mind Body Regulation March, 2014
Mindpro
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Thanks for sharing. Now it gets to be about the time we must ask what does this have to do with entertainment hypnosis? This forum isn't to discuss the reality of hypnosis, theory, or hypnotherapy, but rather entertainment hypnosis.

Seems the material you are reading is just I as stated earlier. We were happy to give you our initial thoughts but do not want to lead this into directions against the real purpose of the forum.
ahimsa42
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This is just a subject I am both interested in and confused about so was trying to educate myself further. it was my lack of understanding when it came to control/voluntary actions under hypnosis which first led me to post here. the seeming contradictions in regards to the subjects supposedly always being in control while at the same time hearing about people "made" to do things at stage shows which they were later embarrassed about seemed vexing to me. needless to say, with all of the myths & misinformation it is difficult to find a coherent and accurate picture of it-which I guess is not all that surprising seeing as how it is almost entirely subjective in nature.

also, perhaps I am mistaken, but are not all forms of hypnosis related in many ways-aside from perhaps the desired outcome? I understand that many therapists are very much against stage hypnosis & the myths that it helps to propagate but to me this seems strange since most people would have never even have heard of it without the entertainment industry factor from movies, stage shows & street demo's.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 11, 2019, ahimsa42 wrote:
the seeming contradictions in regards to the subjects supposedly always being in control while at the same time hearing about people "made" to do things at stage shows which they were later embarrassed about seemed vexing to me.

also, perhaps I am mistaken, but are not all forms of hypnosis related in many ways-aside from perhaps the desired outcome? I understand that many therapists are very much against stage hypnosis & the myths that it helps to propagate but to me this seems strange since most people would have never even have heard of it without the entertainment industry factor from movies, stage shows & street demo's.


I completely understand your point and confusion. So much of the information offered against stage or performance hypnosis are by the therapists as you say they are against stage hypnosis. These people love to create stories that can be used against (or to damage) stage performers. Most of them are just that, made up stories, or jaded perspectives used to support their jaded opinions.

There are some jealousies there for sure. A hypnotherapist may earn $120 for a session with a patient, a stage performer may earn $1,500 for a show. Do you see where such conflicting perspectives can begin?

I agree with you completely and have letters from many local hypnotherapists in cities where I have performed both thanking me for my great performance and showcase of hypnosis performed in a skilled, safe and professional manner and how in the days following my performance they received much interest and inquiries in their practice because of it. To me, this is how it should be but it is the hypnotherapists that seem to perpetuate the problem. When I had my practice I used the stage shows to generate clinical customers. It was my #1 way of markering and offered so many benefits to both them and my business.

Now don't get me wrong, I also understand why so many clinical, therapeutic and Hypnotherapists feel this way, which is because many of today's "stage hypnotists or entertainment hypnotists are poorly trained( often reading only books on theory/history or taking a weekend course), attempt to hypnotize unsuspecting subjects (street or ambush hypnosis) or simply do not have the proper education, skills and professional protocol to execute their hypnosis properly. This gives us all a bad name, image, and reputation, not just the Hypnotherapy community. So the real issue is becoming properly skilled and educated in the proper training to gain the respect of the community. Most stage hypnotists operate, like magicians, from a me-perspective based on what they think, want and believe. In reality, they should be operating from an industry perspective to gain the full education, support and of the entire hypnosis industry and community.

Now with that said, the other side of the coin is stage hypnotists that have committed to the proper knowledge, education, training, and skills to perform a great and professional stage show are often disgruntled with the local hypnotherapist that attempts to do a stage show when he gets an inquiry just because he knows or is trained in hypnosis. This is no way makes them a skilled or professional performer. They are not used to working with large groups of subjects, they are not used to getting the comedic and animated elements out of subjects, and almost always have no control over such a large group. Simply put, they may know hypnosis, but they are not performers or entertainers or have any of the skills required to be a quality, headlining performer. They are not performers at all. Yet when they get such a call, they immediately think "wow" I could do this for $700, which may be more than I make in a week of clients", so they accept the gig based on the money. However, in reality, they are hurting the professional market by undercutting the skilled professional stage performers, and leading the false belief (something not good for a hypnotherapist) that they can somehow be a stage entertainer and operate the two shows at once that occurs with every stage hypnosis performance - the one the crowd experiences, and the one the on-stage participants are experiencing. Two hugely different things. So you can see where the pro stage hypnotists also have a very legitimate case. Of course, the Hypnotherapists get all defensive and angry when this argument comes up against them.

Also, most volunteers or subjects that are in a stage show often only repeat what others told them about their participation in the stage show. Most would never think or say they did things against their will or anything about loss of control. Hypnosis is a heightened state of awareness, so if anything they usually feel they are more in control, so these stories again are either made up or are almost always agenda-based, often for someone opportunists seeking a lawsuit or some believed settlement.

No insurance company has ever paid out for anyone stuck in hypnosis or their own actions in hypnosis. Sure on the surface it seems like a great cover for the premise but is very flimsy in reality.

All of this reality is rarely discussed or offered in the proper context in books or research papers. This, of course, is the real issue - all of these students that research and read these articles and papers are dealing in opinion and theory, where those of us skilled and properly trained that are working professionally deal in the facts, truths, and realities every day.
ahimsa42
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Sounds like we are on the same page in many ways when it comes to the relationship between stage & therapy so thanks for your thoughts. can I ask what kind of ranges of reactions you & anyone else have had from subjects after shows? have people ever been angry or upset at their actions? have they ever blamed you for "making" them do things? I have also heard people say that whatever they were asked to do just seemed like the greatest idea ever so they did not even consider questioning them. some also said that when they saw the video, it did not play out at all like they felt when it was happening so that is why I would question the idea of a heighten state of awareness. of course, perhaps the things that I read are also made up.

btw, I assume you have been hypnotized yourself? have you experienced any of the things personally which the people in your shows do-even just forgetting your name, not being able to recognize a friend or family member, forgetting a number or not being able to move? I kind of wonder if being in the field would add or take anything away from being hypnotized.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 12, 2019, ahimsa42 wrote:
can I ask what kind of ranges of reactions you & anyone else have had from subjects after shows? have people ever been angry or upset at their actions? have they ever blamed you for "making" them do things? I have also heard people say that whatever they were asked to do just seemed like the greatest idea ever so they did not even consider questioning them.



I get fantastic reactions and no, I have never encountered even a single person that was angry or upset? Why would they be? No one ever "blamed" me for anything. It is usually just the opposite, they are thanking me for their experience and great feelings.

The things you're asking about are not really encountered with a good, professional hypnotist. Any misconceptions or anything that could possibly lead to anything like this (I still don't think it ever would) are clearly covered, explained and established in a good Pretalk. By the time I get volunteers on stage they have been properly informed and educated, misconceptions removed and dealt with, and have already shown signs of being a god subject through conditioning and Pretesting, so all of that is prevented if it ever would exist. People that I finally select for my show are up there because they truly want to experience hypnosis.

I am probably one of the largest shows in America as I regularly have between 45 and 75 volunteers on my stage each show deppending on the size of the audience and the size of the stage. If I see someone not responding, I get rid of them, period. I eliminate most potential for anything problematic. Once you've done this for a while you can almost immediately identify anyone that could even POSSIBLY be not serious or problematic, and you eliminate them immediately. This is my show and I have no room for anything but those serious with the best intentions of wanting to experience hypnosis.

The comments and discussions I get after each and every show is how great they feel, that they really don't remember much of what they did and what they do remember is usually because someone (friends with them) just told them and they then are recalling it, but even then they don't remember too many specifics. They use words like "that was amazing" or "that was the coolest sh*t I've ever seen" or "man, that felt so fantastic" and so on. Never do I get negatives like you are mentioning. Nor do I see it when I attend other hypnotist's shows.

I think a lot of what you are reading is not coming from truly experienced performers or subjects that were truly hypnotized. Again, there is a lot of crap and wannabees out there that have no idea what they're doing and it leaves a bad impression with both the audience and the subjects, and as you can see, does damage the industry and our credibility.

You must remember if they are doing that much conscious thinking during a show, are they really allowing themselves to be hypnotized?

Many hypnotists have never been hypnotized themselves. They want to be too in control. I have and enjoyed it. I've found most hypnotists want to remain conscious to watch and see others executions, methods, and techniques.
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