Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hypnosis in the Mind Control Process

Coffee is on and I am still blurry eyed, but pretending to be ready to go.

So, here we are. We have discussed using self-hypnosis with the Silva Method (or in general) for gaining control over one's own mind and how a hypnotist does not control another's mind. Thanks Michael, for pointing out how Mythbusters did use unethical means in their hypnosis portion of the show (see his comment on yesterday's post). But let us move on to a bit of a darker horse, so we know it if we see it.

What is mind control exactly? According to Inc. (Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network) the world of academia definition of mind control:

refers to all coercive psychological systems, such as brainwashing, thought reform, and coercive persuasion.
This definition is based on Dr. Margaret Singer's definition of coercion:

Coercion is defined as, "to restrain or constrain by force..." Legally it often implies the use of PHYSICAL FORCE or physical or legal threat. This traditional concept of coercion is far better understood than the technological concepts of "coercive persuasion" which are effective restraining, impairing, or compelling through the gradual application of PSYCHOLOGICAL FORCES.
It is in the later interpretation that hypnosis begins to play a roll in all this, but it is just a tiny part of a larger system. It alone is again nothing more than giving a suggestion. It is the factor in the mind control process that I believe may be the weak link. One always has free will, so the hypnotic process may or may not work for various individuals based on the wording, etc. (one suggestion may work for one person, it may not for another).

But, we cannot let it off here, though. Those who are engaged in mind control know this about hypnosis. So the odds are stacked to make "the suggestion" take. This is through means of psychical and psychological manipulation. These are described as tactics. Dr. Singer list these as follows.

  • TACTIC 1. The individual is prepared for thought reform through increased suggestibility and/or "softening up," specifically through hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as: A. Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills; B. Excessive exact repetition of routine activities; C. Decreased sleep; D. Nutritional restriction.
  • TACTIC 2. Using rewards and punishments, efforts are made to establish considerable control over a person's social environment, time, and sources of social support.
  • TACTIC 3. Disconfirming information and nonsupporting opinions are prohibited in group communication.
  • TACTIC 4. Frequent and intense attempts are made to cause a person to re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways.
  • TACTIC 5. Intense and frequent attempts are made to undermine a person's confidence in himself and his judgment, creating a sense of powerlessness.
  • TACTIC 6. Nonphysical punishments are used such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques for creating strong aversive emotional arousals, etc.
  • TACTIC 7. Certain secular psychological threats [force] are used or are present
So, we cannot completely exonerate hypnosis techniques in the process of mind control, but it is not the major player. It alone, especially used in a clinical setting, is not one and the same. Mind control is a long-term process using manipulative devises - coercion. It breaks down a person. Hypnosis builds up a person, empowers one to make the changes one seeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"refers to all coercive psychological systems, such as brainwashing, thought reform, and coercive persuasion."

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