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Hubbard the Stage Hypnotist Series

Hubbard, the Master Stage Hypnotist! Index

The Anderson Report
on Hypnotism
in Scientology

Use of the "Confusion Technique" in scientology

Hypnosis in scientology - The Gradation Chart Revealed - LINK

Hypnosis Is
What Works in scientology by
Don Carlo

Hubbard Denounced by Inventor of the E-Meter

Hypnosis Demonstration and Collective on Hubbard's Use of Covert Hypnosis - Exposed

Dianetics in the 1952 Journal of Hypnosis and Instantaneous Hypnosis" by Harry Arons

scientology's Source of the "E-Meter
Stress Test"
("psycho-galvanic reflex.") and More From 1943 - George Estabrooks

A Comparison of Hypnosis and Auditing from Ex-Member who Became a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

Hubbard's own statements about Hypnosis from his books and Scientology official publications.

The Rape of the Mind by Joost Meerloo 1957 - LINK

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charles manson thumbnail link to

Charles Manson had a scientology e-meter at Spahn ranch"

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Books Are Weapons In The War of Ideas

HYPNOSIS by G.A. Estabrooks

Chapter 2

WE DEVOTED our first chapter to the induction of hypnosis, pointing out that only about one in five of the general population will go into the deepest stage o( hypnotism; namely, somnambulism. We wish to deal here with the more common phenomena which we find in hypnotism once the trance has been induced. The reader must bear in mind that, while the more striking things which happen are found only in the deepest stage, nevertheless there are many conditions in lighter states which are well worth our attention. We generally accept amnesia or lack 4 memory as the chief characteristic of somnambulism. The subject has no memory at all when he awakens as to what has occurred in the trance. Yet a great many things may occur with the subject wide awake.

For example, the writer had occasion to use hypnotism with a friend, a good pianist. He did not lose consciousness but it was quite possible to paralyze large groups of muscles, so much so that he was unable to arise from his chair. The operator asked him to open his eyes, moved the chair close to the piano and made a bet with him that he could not leave it for the next half hour. He played as well as ever, but every time he tried to stand up the operator simply said, "Sorry, it can't be done." That simple suggestion was quite enough to keep him glued in his chair.

This interference with use of the muscles is very easy, even in the light stages. Professor W. R. Wells of Syracuse University has made very extensive experiments with "waking hypnotism." This is a very interesting point since many of the older investigators thought hypnotism merely a special variety of sleep, a theory which is now generally rejected.

The writer recalls one of his very earliest contacts with hypnotism. A stage operator was demonstrating in the local theater. One of the audience, a dignified member of the community and a deacon in his church, turned out to be a very good subject. The hypnotist had him stand on his head, bark around the stage on all fours, take off a goodly portion of his clothes and give, in general, a very humiliating exhibition. He then awakened his subject who just as promptly knocked him down. The subject had been quite conscious throughout the whole performance but had been unable to resist the suggestions of the hypnotist. He remembered everything that had occurred and was very naturally indignant.

Wells produces his results in "waking" hypnotism with much the same attack as does the professional. A high pressure volley of suggestions is used without giving the subject time to recover his balance. With this particular technique he does not mention "sleep" and finds that the subject very often remembers everything when he comes out of the trance.

We also know that any good subject can recall consciously everything that has happened when hypnotized, if we assure him in the hypnotic trance that he will do so. As a matter of fact it is often quite enough for the hypnotist to say, in the waking state, "You will remember everything that occurred in the last trance. Think. It is all coming back quite clearly." The entire series of incidents will then return to consciousness.

But while unconsciousness may not be necessary to produce all the phenomena of hypnotism, the fact remains that the somnambulist generally remembers nothing unless we take some special steps to get recall. So we will describe the trance state from now on, using the typical somnambulist as an example. The key to hypnotism is suggestion. The subject, left to himself, does nothing. The hypnotic state may then change to normal sleep and he will awaken in ordinary fashion, or he may just remain quiet, always open to suggestions from the operator but quite incapable of acting on his own accord.

This suggestion, by the way, need not be verbal, although that is the usual type. Any form of suggestion is quite satisfactory provided the subject understands what is desired. For example, if when the hypnotic trance is under way we take the subject's arm or hand and mold it into any gesture, then hold it there for a second or two the subject will conclude that we wish this sort of thing. No word need be spoken. With a little practice we will get "waxy plasticity" wherein the subject's limbs can be molded like wax into any position, no matter how uncomfortable, and will remain in the shape we have given them.

Moreover, the subject is very quick to co-operate with the operator and at times almost uncanny in his ability to figure out what the operator wishes. He seems to read his mind and this trait undoubtedly led many of the older hypnotists into wild conclusions as to the ability of the hypnotic subject as a "mind reader."


It is a very curious thing that the subject will only listen to the operator; he will receive suggestions from him alone. Others present may talk to him, shout orders and give suggestions, but he ignores them as completely as if they were on the planet Mars. This curious condition we refer to as "rapport." The subject, we say, is in rapport only with the hypnotist.

Here, we see one of those strange contradictions which are so characteristic of the hypnotized person for actually, he hears everything which is taking place, but for some curious reason he chooses to do a little acting. He behaves as if there were no others present in the room.

For example, we take a good subject and proceed to show how mind reading occurs. The operator conceals his handkerchief, tells the subject to concentrate and get the object in question. Others are present. They make suggestions and give him orders but he ignores them completely and is at a total loss to find the handkerchief.

Then, one of those present whispers to another, but quite loud enough for the subject to hear, "The handkerchief is in the brief case in the study." Apparently the subject has heard nothing but a minute later he goes to the study, opens the brief case and returns with the handkerchief. It can be shown by such experiments that rapport is not real. The subject always has his ears open to pick up any cue, yet in almost every case the new subject will immediately start on this little piece of fraud.

This illustrates a point we will mention frequently. The subject when hypnotized may be quite a different person from the same individual if awake. He is so anxious to co-operate, to show his abilities, that he may try almost any trick in order to do what the operator demands. This requires that in many tests we keep the subject under the very closest observation.

For example, the older hypnotists claimed many remarkable things about hypnotism. One of these was the ability of the subject to raise blisters under suggestion. The standard practice was to put a bandage on the subject's wrist and suggest to him very strongly that the bandage was a mustard plaster which would shortly produce a blister and strange to say, in many cases the suggestion was successful. An actual blister might not always appear but the skin under the bandage would become very inflamed and red, blood appearing in many cases. Then some experimenters became suspicious. They left the subject in the room by himself but kept him under close scrutiny through a peep-hole. It was then found that the subject, in his great desire to co-operate, was playing tricks on the hypnotist. He would deliberately rub the bandage with all his strength so as to irritate the skin beneath. Worse still, some subjects were seen to take a needle, thrust it in under the bandage, and break the skin in this manner.` Yet, when awake, these same subjects were models of honesty and even when questioned in hypnotism they would deny all knowledge of trickery. So we have to watch the subject very closely in many experiments. The mere fact that he claims to be in rapport only with the operator means nothing. It is just a little pose which, for some reason or other, he feels bound to maintain.

Another curious thing is that we can shift the rapport very easily. The operator merely says to the subject, "Listen carefully. Mr. Smith is here in the room with us. I am going to shift the control to Mr. Smith. He is standing in front of you. I will repeat the first five letters of the alphabet, a to e. When I get to e, Mr. Smith will be in charge. You will listen only to him and accept only his suggestions." Under these conditions Smith now becomes the operator and the subject will treat him as such until he chooses to hand back control to the original hypnotist.

So easy is this trick that we can even shift control from a victrola record to any operator who happens to be present. We simply work the suggestion into the victrola record, using exactly the same formula as given above. The operator then takes over control from the record, treats the subject as he would any somnambulist and awakens him whenever he chooses.

The mesmerist or magnetist of one hundred fifty years ago did even better. He would magnetize a tree. In future, the subject had only to touch the tree and he would go into the mesmeric trance, receiving all the beneficial effects of the magnetic fluid from the tree in question. Many of these old practices seem pretty weird but we must remember that science was then in its infancy. Perhaps the best known of all hypnotic phenomena are the so-called hallucinations. The reader will be familiar with these if he has ever seen a stage demonstration of hypnotism. He will recall that the subject, following a suggestion by the hypnotist, will see an elephant or a tiger on the stage and will hunt it with a broom for a gun. The operator will put a goldfish bowl in front of him, tell him it is the Atlantic Ocean, equip him with a fishing line, and tell him to fish for whales. Actually this would be more in the nature of an illusion but they are so close to hallucinations that we will treat all under the same head. These hallucinations of sight or visions are very easy to get in any good subject and like everything else in hypnotism they depend on suggestion. The hypnotist simply tells the subject to open his eyes. Then he says, "Look. The door is opening and a black dog is coming into the room. His name is Rover. Go over and pet him." This he does. The hypnotist adds, "He's probably hungry. Better give him something to eat." The subject glances around, takes a plate from the table, puts a stick on it for a bone and proceeds to feed the dog. All this is done in a perfectly normal fashion which leaves very little doubt in the spectator's mind that the subject thinks he is dealing with a real dog.

The hypnotized person will treat every hallucination with great reality. Tell him the dog is friendly and he will pet it, but say the dog has bitten him and he may retreat in fear. Or he may seize the dog by the neck and throw it out the door; the type of reaction depends on how the subject would normally behave. Suggest to the subject that he is watching a football game and he will cheer on his favorite team in very convincing fashion. Tell him he is in a cathedral and he may kneel, that the police are coming in the front door to arrest him and he will try to leave by the back.

What we obtain depends largely on the type of individual. The writer has a favorite trick of telling the subject there is a "galywampus" in the room. Of course, neither the subject nor the operator has ever seen such an animal, so it is very interesting to note what will happen. Some subjects will simply look puzzled and refuse to answer. Others, realizing the joke, will grin and say, "There ain't no such animal" or pass it off with some such remark. But others will rise to the occasion in noble fashion. Recently one subject described it as "a pink elephant with wings, a trunk on both ends and bowlegged." Asked what noise it made, he replied, "That depends. When you mention Roosevelt's name he laughs like a human but if it's Willkie he just looks sad and sighs." Needless to say the subject was a good Democrat, had a vivid imagination, and was using it.

The reaction to these hallucinations brings out a very important point which the reader must always bear in mind. The hypnotized person is still an individual, not a tool, and behaves according to his own background. Place a glass of water in front of the ardent prohibitionist, tell him it is whisky and he must drink it. Generally he will refuse. Insist and he may become very angry, even awaken from the trance. Place that same glass before another subject who has no such scruples and he will drink the liquor with great relish.

Tell a communist he is talking to a political meeting and that he is to defend capitalism. He will probably do just the opposite, criticizing his audience and their views in no uncertain fashion. The subject is always willing to play a part, provided it does not go against any deep-seated convictions. But when we suggest an act which is in conflict with any of these, he may become very obstinate. We will discuss this in a later chapter devoted to hypnotism and crime.

It is quite easy to hallucinate any of the senses, but not always quite as spectacular as in the case of vision. Hearing, for example, lends itself very easily to this attack. We can have the subject listen in rapt attention to a supposed symphony concert, describing every number and criticizing the way in which each is played. It is possible to have him listen to a political talk and then describe it afterward, for example one by Mr. Roosevelt. The experience will be very real and he will stoutly defend his views at a later period; this in spite of the fact that the President was on the air at exactly the time when he was supposed to be listening and gave quite a different address. After all, the subject contends he heard it and certainly believes his own ears! In some of the senses we can obtain a curious mixture of hallucination, illusion, and anaesthesia. For example, take the following cases. It is quite possible to give the subject a glass of kerosene, tell him it is very fine wine, and have him drink it. He does so with great satisfaction. Or we can reverse the process. We can give him a glass of whisky, tell him it tastes vile and that he will be very sick to his stomach once he drinks it. That probably will also work.

Such a technique was once in great favor for treating alcoholics. If the subject proved to be a somnambulist, he was assured in hypnotism that every time he took a drink in future he would be violently sick. If it worked, and it generally would, the cure became an endurance contest with everything in favor of the hypnotist. After all, drinking is not much of a pleasure if every drink is only the prelude to a vomiting fit. G. B. Cutten in his Psychology o f Alcoholism deals in detail with this matter of treating the drunkard.

Similarly it was once common practice to handle smoking by the same method. The subject was assured that tobacco smoke would in future taste very bad and a cigarette would be followed by an upset stomach. This was really hallucinating the senses of smell and taste. A friend of the writer in a near-by city tried this on a young man at the request of his parents but unfortunately he did not ask the consent of the subject beforehand. Once his victim heard of the plan he was very indignant over the whole thing, swore he would smoke in spite of any hypnotist and went at it again. In six months time he was smoking with reasonable comfort, but he almost ruined his digestion in the process. Smell lends itself very nicely to hallucinations, one of our best tests of hypnotism coming in this field. If we have any doubt as to whether the subject is deeply hypnotized, we tell him he is about to smell some very fine perfume. We then hold a bottle of strong ammonia under his nose and tell him to sniff; if he is in deep hypnotism he seems to enjoy the perfume, but if not, or if he should be bluffing he will come out of the trance in very short order. We also have some very curious cases wherein we can deceive the skin senses. For example, we can take a pencil, hold it near the subject's hand, and tell him it is a red hot poker. If we touch the hand, he will draw it away, sometimes shrieking with pain. Actually, we have never been able to prove that the skin is really "burned" by this technique, although some of the older authorities did report just this. Proof in science, as we will later see, is no simple matter.

Since we are on the skin, let us report a very interesting experiment by Liebeault, the real father of modern hypnotism. He had one exceptionally good subject on whom he reported the following. He was able to trace letters on this man's forearm with the blunt end of a pencil. Later these letters would appear as letters in blood! Not only that, but with this one subject he carried the experiment even farther. The subject was able to do it himself, suggesting to himself-autosuggestionthat the blood letters would appear! Liebeault stresses the fact that such remarkable phenomena could only be obtained with the very best of subjects.

Liebeault did his work around the 1870's and no other operator since has been able to get these results. This tends to cast a doubt on the experiment since Liebeault may not have been careful enough with his subject. It is quite possible that, if left alone, he could have scratched his arm with a needle along the lines of the letters and yet, strange as it may sound, there is no reason why these results could not have been obtained. They would depend on the action of the autonomic nervous system and we do know quite definitely that we can influence this by means of hypnotism.

We really have two nervous systems in our bodies. All our voluntary muscles are controlled by the central nervous system, composed of the brain and spinal cord, but our internal organs also do their work by muscular action, in many cases. The lungs, heart, stomach, even the arteries and veins could never function if it were not for the activity of muscles and these "involuntary" muscles are under control of the autonomic nervous system. This system lies outside the spine and, although joined to it, acts in general quite independently of the other system.

For example, try and influence your heart beat as you read this book. It is almost impossible. Yet strange to say, we can influence the heart through hypnotism. We can make it beat faster by mere suggestion, especially if we tell the subject he has, say, just escaped from a bear and is very much excited. Excitement, as we all know, tends to make the heart beat faster and the scene we suggest to the subject is so real to him that he behaves as if it were a real bear. Yet very few of the readers could imagine such a scene vividly enough to get any real reaction. The writer once saw a stage hypnotist suggest to a subject that he was falling over a cliff. He was actually falling from a table onto a pile of cushions. The subject gave a wild shriek of fear as he fell and collapsed. That was genuine. A doctor and heart stimulants were necessary to save his life.

Nor could any of my readers by imagining that they were eating some very disgusting dish, make themselves vomit. Here again the hypnotist can influence the autonomic nervous system, as seen in the action of the stomach. As we mentioned before, we have only to suggest to the somnambulist that liquor tastes bad, that it is disgusting and in future he may find that even the smell of liquor will turn him sick to his stomach. Not only that, but we can influence the subject's stomach in much more subtle fashion. We can, for example, suggest to him that he is eating a beef steak. Not only will his mouth water but we will find that his stomach secretes the proper juices to handle the meal in question. For a very sane and critical discussion of all these rather unusual phenomena we refer the reader to the work by Clark L. Hull of Yale University, Hypnosis and Suggestibility.

A Russian psychologist recently reported an even more interesting stomach experiment. He claims that in hypnosis he was able to give his subjects large quantities of alcohol, with the suggestion that they would not get drunk. And they did not either in hypnosis or after the trance! We may add that before such claims could be accepted they would have to be checked on by many other operators.

At this point a very natural question will occur to the reader. Why all this doubt and uncertainty? If we are in doubt, then why not clear the matter up at once and in short order. Unfortunately hypnotism of all subjects does not lend itself to this offhand treatment. For example, let us take the question of muscular strength in hypnosis. N. C. Nicholson investigated this using the ergograph, an instrument designed to measure the amount of work a subject can perform with one of his fingers. It is easy to measure the work of a finger and what applies to the finger should, in theory, apply to any other group of muscles. Nicholson conducted a series of experiments and concluded that "during the hypnotic sleep the capacity for work seemed practically endless."

But later P. C. Young repeated Nicholson's experiments and found, at least to his satisfaction, that muscular strength in hypnotism was no greater than in the normal waking state. The results would have been far less disturbing had either of these men been poorly trained and incompetent. Unfortunately, Nicholson did his work at Johns Hopkins and Young did his at Harvard. Both were very careful experimenters. The sharp contradiction is hard to explain but, in the writer's opinion, was undoubtedly due to the attitude of the hypnotists. The good subject co-operates in wonderful fashion. Nicholson's subjects realized they were supposed to show an increase in muscular strength and did so. The opposite applied to Young's experiments.

A great deal of our work in hypnotism must always be carried out with this fact in mind for the subject tends to give what is expected. Returning to this matter of physical strength, we are all familiar, at least have read about, the uncanny ability of most subjects to rest with the head on one chair and feet on another. Then to have someone sit on their chest while they recite poetry. This muscular rigidity can be obtained in most good subjects, provided the hypnotist makes it quite clear that he expects it.

But if the subject suspects that the hypnotist does not want this result, he will not stiffen up his muscles. For example, we take a very good subject and tell him that we are now going to give him a very severe physical test, we are going to put his feet on one chair, his head on another, and sit on his chest. Then we say to someone present, "Of course, it's impossible. All this talk about seeing it done on the stage is nonsense. They use fake subjects and magician's tricks with which to do it."

Now we try to stiffen out our subject, but he knows we do not expect results. So we get none. He makes no effort and sags down in discouraging fashion whenever we try to stretch him between the two chairs. Yet we must bear in mind that there is no reason why we could not get this exceptional increase in strength. Few readers realize the tremendous strength of the human muscles, when we can really make them exert themselves. We use a drug named metrazol to treat a form of insanity, dementia praecox. This throws the patient into violent convulsions, so violent, in fact that he often breaks his own bones by the sheer force of muscular contraction. This is no wild myth but a grim fact of which every psychiatrist is very conscious.

A recent survey has shown with the aid of X-ray pictures that twenty-five per cent of all patients undergoing metrazol treatment actually crack some bones of the spinal column in these savage convulsions. The psychiatrist now uses another drug, curare, to offset this. Curare paralyzes the muscles, so they hope that the patient can now get the mental shock without the body strain. At the present writing we have not enough material to say that this treatment is as good as straight metrazol, which gives excellent results in many cases. But these examples, and we could give many more, will show the reader the tremendous power of the human muscles under certain conditions. So there is no reason why we might not get a great increase in strength with hypnosis.

Then there is another possible explanation. Fatigue is a defense to the body. When we feel tired it is a sign that we have worked hard enough and should stop until the body gets the waste cleared away from the muscles. There seems to be a fatigue center in the brain. If we can paralyze this, the individual will not feel tired, no matter how fatigued. We will see later that with hypnotism we can get anaesthesia or lack of feeling in many parts of the body. It may be that this great muscular strength in many cases is due to the inability to feel fatigue once the operator assures the subject that he can do great feats of strength without being tired.

This is one reason why no sane hypnotist would dare suggest to a football player before a game that he was to play the game of his life and would be able to put forth his very best without feeling in any way tired. Perhaps he would, but in so doing he might easily exert himself so much that he would die of a heart attack.

Returning now to this matter of producing blisters in hypnotism. Even if they were produced, it would illustrate nothing supernatural. The walls of the blood vessels are under control of the autonomic nervous system. We can definitely influence this system in hypnotism, but not in the waking state. Granted a person with a very sensitive skin there is no reason why these vessels could not break and let out blood or blood plasma under the bandage, so creating a blister or actual bleeding. Normally it will not occur so we tend to think of it as impossible just as we tend to feel that the subject cannot really increase his muscular strength. But, in the opinion of the writer, there is strong probability that blisters can be produced. He also feels certain that muscular strength can be greatly increased by means of suggestion.

We must again remind the reader that proof in science is often difficult to obtain, and in hypnotism this is notoriously so. There can be no doubt as to hallucinations and no doubt that we can influence the activity of most body organs. But we must suspend judgment on bodily strength and such curios as raising blisters; yet there are many other things claimed of hypnotism, some accepted and some in doubt.

Accepted, for example, is the fact that we can produce anaesthesia, loss of sensation in almost every sense organ. This is most easily seen in the loss of pain, technically known as analgesia. As a matter of fact, this was one chief use of hypnotism in the early days. An English doctor in India by the name of Esdaile performed the first such operation of which we have record in 1845. During the course of his long practice in that country he did thousands of operations, about three hundred of these being of a major character. Unfortunately or fortunately as the case may be, the use of chloroform was discovered about this time and ether shortly afterward. These drugs are far more certain in their effects and much easier to use than hypnotism, which rapidly vanished from use as an anaesthetic.

We do still hear of cases wherein it is used, in which the condition of the patient is such as to make the use of drugs inadvisable. There has also been some use of hypnotism in both Germany and Austria of late years, especially at childbirth. But the interesting fact is that hypnotism does banish pain. In fact, this absence of pain supplies us with our very best test of hypnotism in those situations wherein it is absolutely necessary to be sure that the subject is not bluffing.

The writer uses a little device known as a variac. This plugs into an ordinary light socket and delivers the exact voltage required. The contacts are placed on the palm and back of the left hand, blotting paper soaked in a saturated salt solution being used to insure the very best form of contact. Under these circumstances the reader would find fifteen volts very painful, twenty unbearable. But a subject in somnambulism can take sixty, even one hundred twenty volts without flinching.

Here we get into the usual argument so dear to the hearts of all psychologists. Is it anaesthesia or amnesia? Perhaps the subject actually felt the pain, but merely forgot about it on awakening, just as he tends to forget everything else which happens in somnambulism. The question is mostly of theoretical interest, but it serves to illustrate the difficulty of answering many a query in hypnotism. Considerable work has been done on this problem but up to the present the question remains unanswered. The anaesthesia may or may not be real but the subject acts as if it were, insisting after the trance that he felt no pain. Yet, whether real or genuine, it does not have nearly as much importance as the average reader may think. Pain is the doctor's friend, although we as sufferers may not always see this point. It is nature's great alarm signal. Without doubt hypnotism could completely remove the pain in many a case of acute appendicitis, but that would not prevent the appendix from rupturing. It might only serve to lull us into a false sense of security. Similarly pain may mean many things. Gastric ulcer, kidney disease, rheumatism or an ulcerated tooth. The doctor's problem is not to remove the pain but the cause of the pain.

For example, two of the worst "killers" in the whole disease world are tuberculosis and cancer, mainly because they give us the warning after it is too late. Tuberculosis can be quite easily cured in its early stages, but unfortunately it is a painless disease. We can easily be suffering from an advanced case of tuberculosis and yet be fairly comfortable, beyond a very troublesome cough and a feeling of continual fatigue.

Likewise most cases of cancer could be cured in the early stages, if only medicine could locate them. But cancer also uses a painless attack until the disease is well advanced. When we finally go to our doctor with severe abdominal pains and he diagnoses it as cancer, we might as well call the undertaker the next day and get our earthly affairs in order. The reader is very liable to become much too enthusiastic over the possible uses of hypnotism. It undoubtedly has it uses, and we will deal with these in future pages, but the obvious use is often more apparent than real.

We can render any of the sense organs anaesthetic. Pain gives us our most graphic results but vision is just as easily influenced. We can suggest to the subject in hypnotism that he is blind and to all outward appearance he becomes so. With his eyes wide open he will walk into a chair or make no movement at all when someone pretends to strike him in the face.

Is this blindness genuine or is the subject again staging a little act for the benefit of those present? Very probably it is a bona fide performance. The subject is really blind, but only in a functional sense. It might be well to explain what we mean by this statement, by way of helping us to understand the problem.

We divide human ailments into two broad groups, the functional and the structural or organic. For example, our hospitals for mental disease always contain a large group of insane suffering from dementia praecox, or schizophrenia. This is a functional insanity as there seems to be nothing wrong with the brain. If we examine it after death we find it is just as good as our own. On the other hand, we could also find in any such place a number of cases with general paresis, generalized syphilis of the brain. These people are also "crazy." Very much so in fact, and here we would find that the brain had been severely damaged by the syphilis germ.

Thus with insanity, for instance, we have both the functional and structural cases, both equally insane but in the former the brain is uninjured, in the structural cases the brain has been harmed by something, be it syphilis, sleeping sickness, tumor, stroke, or what not.

The blindness we get in hypnotism is of the functional type. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with the eyes, yet it is very real for all that. This sounds hazy and mysterious so let us see how a man could be stone blind with eyes and brain just as good as our own. In order to see, hear, feel pain, or experience any sensation at all the action of nervous tissue must be involved. I 1 ere the unit is the neuron, the separate tiny telegraph line which nature binds together in the bundles we call nerves.

But these neurons have some very interesting qualities which make them much better than our own human made wires. The most interesting point about the neuron, from our point of view, is its ability to break contact. Nervous tissue is, of course, all over the body but the brain and spinal cord are the chief centers of concentration. Especially in the brain do we have a tremendously complex telegraph exchange.

Literally billions of these tiny wires connect with each other. We call the point of contact a synapse, and here very fine brush-like structures from one neuron come very close to those from another so that the "spark" can easily jump the gap. As we learn anything, from running a typewriter to Chinese, pathways are worn through the "grey matter," so that the passage of the nerve current over certain synapses becomes much more easy.

But the reverse of this can also happen. When we "forget" it is a sign that for some reason or other the pathway we wish to use has become blocked, probably because the little brushes which make contact at the synapses have drawn so far apart that the current cannot pass. It seems probable that in sleep all intercommunication in the grey matter is cut off in this way. Similarly when a person gets "drunk" or is knocked unconscious by a blow on the head. We could also quote experiments from various drugs, such as arsenic, to uphold this view. Now let us suppose that the operator suggests to his subject in hypnotism that his whole right arm is senseless, has no feeling in it. If the synapses open in those parts of the brain where we feel pain from that arm, then the nerve currents simply cannot register. We have cut off communication just as effectively as if we cut the nerve leading from the arm, yet there is nothing wrong with the brain. Structurally, it is perfect, all the parts are there and capable of working. But they are not working or "functioning" because of this break at the synapses, so we say that we have a "functional" anaesthesia in the arm. And this "opening" of the synapses is probably due here to suggestion. This anaesthesia is very real, for all that. No amount of play acting would enable any subject to lie quietly on the operating table and have his arm amputated. Yet this can be done in deep hypnotism. Similarly we can get the functional blindness we have been discussing. In this case it is very difficult to prove that the subject is not bluffing. We have no easy, positive tests, but we can argue from the analogy of anaesthesia in the arm. This is very real, so anaesthesia in vision is probably just as real. And, of course, there is no "structural" injury to the brain.

The trouble with this very neat synaptic theory is that it is almost impossible of proof, though it seems highly probable. We can see the synapse under the microscope, but we cannot see its movement because this only takes place in living tissue and would be difficult to get under the very best conditions. We cannot turn a microscope on the brain of a living animal.

Yet some day we may be able to actually observe these movements in the synapses. Several years ago Spidell of the University of Virginia won the highest award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science by demonstrating a very beautiful technique. He was actually able to see the growth of nerves in the tail of a living tadpole! That may strike the reader as very unimportant but science values curious things. A year or two previous to this another man got this award by showing that protozoa in the intestines of the termite digested his wood diet for him and so allowed him to live on pure wood! That solved many a problem that had puzzled the zoologist. Only a year or two ago a psychologist, Maier, won the coveted award by demonstrating that he could drive rats insane by frustration, by continually puzzling them over the location of their food. Silly? That experiment means a great deal to the psychiatrist, the "nerve specialist," who treats the human insane.

So with luck in the near future we may actually be able to see the movement at the synapses through the microscope. At present it is a very neat theory, probably true but incapable of being proven. Yet it shows us how all these curious things may happen in hypnotism and be very real, yet involve no change or injury to the brain. When the psychologist or doctor mentions that word "functional" he is not merely throwing up a smoke screen to hide his ignorance. Functional blindness is a very real thing as thousands of "shell shock" cases from the war can testify.

Similarly by means of hypnotism we can obtain functional deafness or anaesthesia of the ear, the organ of hearing. It seems to be very real for the subject is quite unconcerned with even the loudest of noises. He simply ignores them. A little more spectacular is anaesthesia of smell. We have already mentioned the fact that in deep hypnosis the subject can inhale strong ammonia without a quiver. If we suggest it is perfume, he even enjoys the process and that involves hallucination.

Taste is equally easy to reach, for the subject will chew up and swallow the vilest tasting dishes we can give him if we assure him that he tastes nothing, or even better, if we tell him he is eating a beef steak. All these weird things have a sound physiological basis. If the reader would really understand hypnotism he must banish from his mind all trash about the mystic and the supernatural. Everything is to be explained and can be explained by the activity of a very complex nervous system. With hypnotism we can cut out entire memories for certain events which have taken place in past years. The surgeon can do the same up to certain limits, but he must injure the nerve centers permanently. We can make the shift with no injury and at far greater speed than any telephone exchange.

We have considered the matter of anaesthesia of the various senses. How about hyperesthesia? We heard a great deal about this in days past, about the ability of the subject to develop great keenness of vision, to smell the very faintest odors or heal the very smallest sounds. Let us take a typical experiment as reported by Bergson, a French philosopher much interested in hypnotism. He had one very excellent subject, a boy, with whom he could get the most unusual phenomena. Bergson was very much interested in the matter of telepathy or thought transference, and with this boy he proved it to his satisfaction. The subject would stand up facing the hypnotist who would then hold an open book behind the subject's head. The operator would thus be able to see what was on the pages but the subject, of course, could not, unless he had eyes in the back of his head.

Bergson was then delighted to find that the hypnotized boy could read the printed pages which only the operator could see. He had proved telepathy, which was a great achievement. Or had he? Bergson was a very careful investigator. He became suspicious, for the thing worked too well. Then he made an astonishing discovery. The boy was not reading his mind at all but the reflection of the book in the hypnotist's eyes! The letters on the reflected page would have been about 1/256 of an inch high; in other words, microscopic. Moreover, having once discovered the trick, Bergson had this subject demonstrate with other things, such as photographs reduced to very tiny dimensions. There was no doubt about it. This particular subject in hypnotism had a keenness of vision which was equal to that of a microscope.

Unfortunately, as so often happens when we consider the work of these older authorities, there is the usual joker. No one has been able to repeat Bergson's experiment, and proof in science is essentially a matter of repetition. It is very difficult to say why this experiment cannot be repeated. Certainly no one would wish to accuse Bergson of deliberate fraud. Very probably he was not careful enough with his controls; he did not watch his subject closely. At any rate, all that modern science can do is reserve judgment and hope that some operator will be able to duplicate his results under proper conditions. Those of us who are familiar with the older type of hypnotism know of another experiment which bears on this subject of visual acuity. The operator would take, say, twenty perfectly blank white calling cards and tell the subject that he was about to show him some photographs. Then, as he placed these blank curds before the subject he would stop at one and say, "Look. There is a photograph of your mother. Do you recognize it?" "Certainly."

"Will you recognize it again?" "Of course."

The operator made a slight mark on the back of this card W that he would be able to pick it out again. Then he continued to show the rest of the pack. Next he shuffled the cards, handed them to the subject and said, "Now pick me out your mother's photograph." Strange to say, the subject could do so! The writer has been able to demonstrate this himself and has seen it done by others. Apparently what actually happens is something like this. The subject realizes that he is supposed to remember that particular card so he looks at the face very carefully and remembers some very trifling difference in the edge of the card, picks out some (law in its surface or some trifling difference in texture. When next he looks over the cards he choses his mother's "photograph" by the card which he thus remembers.

This would not, perhaps, be so much due to greater intensity of vision as intense concentration and an ability to remember some very tiny detail. This is not as farfetched as it may sound. Those of the readers who have had the pleasure ( ?) of knowing the professional gambler and the opportunity of studying his cards realize with what speed and accuracy he can spot his "marked" cards while dealing hands to four or five at once. There is at least one concern in the United States which specializes in the manufacture of such marked decks, the "marking" consisting of some very slight variation in the pattern on the backs of certain key cards. If the average human in his normal state can arrive at such perfection through practice, there is no reason why the hypnotic subject, with his great powers of concentration could not do the same. We have another very interesting type of experiment quoted by the older writers. This involved the sense of smell. They would take the handkerchiefs of a dozen people, allow the subject to smell each one, then mix them up in one mass and ask the subject to return them to their owner's. And the subject would oblige! But unfortunately there was far too great a chance of the subject picking out the handkerchief by other cues, as the make of the article, or expression on the owner's face to allow us to accept these old experiments at their face value. At present the verdict of psychology on hyperesthesia is "unproved." As a matter of fact very little careful work has been done on this subject in the laboratory. Almost the only good piece of investigation here was by P. C. Young at Harvard and he says that the senses of the subject in hypnotism are no more acute than they are in the normal state. We must simply wait for more work. The writer feels that hyperesthesia probably does exist, that Young's negative results were due to the attitude of the operator, so very important in all this work. But neither can the writer prove his point.

It might be well here to explain just why we have all this trouble about proving a point. Proof in science, especially in psychology, is no easy matter. First, the individual case may mean very little, although even one subject who could demonstrate his ability consistently could do a lot. But in general we must have a group of subjects and this group must be "statistically significant," so that the results cannot be charged to chance. Such a group, to be above criticism should number at least seventy!

Then we must have a control group, who have not been hypnotized with which to compare the experimental group.

This should be just as large, same sex, and as near as possible the same age, education, and economic status. This control group in a subject like hypnotism is very important because even if we could show that a group in the trance did have very great keenness of the senses, we leave ourselves wide open to criticism. How do we know they could not do the same in the waking state? Try and find out? Not at all, because we might he running into the results of posthypnotic suggestions given without intention on the part of the operator, something we will discuss in the next chapter. All these precautions may appear nonsense to the average reader but science is a very stern taskmaster. Any psychologist who runs experiments on too small a group, or on a group which is not checked against a properly selected control group may prepare for some very rough sledding. Needless to say, the task of preparing seventy somnambulists is a very difficult one. Then we have all the problems of keeping strict observation during the experiment. So the reader must remember that we do not settle these problems overnight with a couple of subjects or by the comfortable "arm chair philosopher" method. There is probably no more difficult branch of research in all science, so please be lenient when we continually say that such and such results are still in doubt.

There can be no doubt, however, about delusions, or false beliefs. Do not confuse these with illusions or false sense impressions, so closely related to hallucinations. For example, if we place a black hat on the table, and say to the subject, "Look. There is a black cat," he will pick up the hat and caress it as he would a cat. It is a false sense impression. But if we say to him, "You are now a dog. Get down on all fours and bark. There is another dog there in the corner. Chase him from the room," he will give a ludicrous imitation of a dog. This is a false belief, although seeing the other dog was an hallucinationneat little points about which it is very easy to become tangled. These delusions, as we will see later, may be of the very greatest importance, especially when we consider the possible tie up between hypnotism and crime in a later chapter. For example, suppose we say to the subject in hypnotism, "You are Mayor La Guardia of New York City. I want you to give a political speech." He will do his best to imitate the fiery Mayor and may give an astonishingly good speech. He believes himself to be the Mayor, a delusion or false belief.

Now we go a step further and say, "You were in Utica this afternoon between four and six o'clock. You visited the station and while there you saw Mayor La Guardia pass through the station on his way to the Hotel Utica. You will maintain this when you wake up." When he awakens, he will stoutly insist against all argument that he was in Utica and did see the Mayor, telling how he got there, how he got back and weaving a story which at least sounds convincing. Suppose we go a step further. "You saw the Mayor pass through the station. Then you went into the taproom. There you overheard two men at the next table discussing a plot to assassinate the mayor this evening as he boarded the train for New York City. Here are the pictures of the two men. Be sure you remember them for you will see them again tonight at the Utica station." Once again a delusion, mixed with hallucinations and the posthypnotic suggestion, but primarly a delusion, a false belief, yet one which might make things very bad for two innocent men in Utica.

These delusions can be extremely real and the subject will defend them even when they are quite impossible. We say to a subject, "You were in the first World War with the Americans. You then went under the name of Captain G. N. Smith. Remember this when you wake up." When he awakens we bring up the subject of the last World War. He volunteers the information that he served in it under the name of Captain G. N. Smith. You point out that he is only twenty five. He would have to be at least forty five if his story were true. He maintains he really is forty five and then the battle is on. We attack him on all sides, pointing out how ridiculous his claim is. He defends himself with a beautiful series of lies and finally becomes quite indignant when we continue to doubt his word. Of course, here again we run into the problem of whether he is just bluffing, playing a part to please the hypnotist or really does believe he was Captain Smith in the last war-a very difficult point to decide.

So also are those curious cases which we call "regression" and which we can get in hypnosis. For example, we take a subject of forty years old and say to him, "You are now a boy of five. You will behave and think exactly as you did at the age of five." He gives a very convincing demonstration. We then say, "Now you are ten. Grow up to that age." He does so. Next we have him progress to fifteen. Is it genuine? It certainly looks like a good case of faking. But strange to say, if we try him out with the intelligence test we find that he hits the proper mental age and intelligence quotient with very considerable accuracy. Of course, he could also fake this but it is very doubtful if any of the readers, unfamiliar with intelligence tests, could give the proper answers for a child of five, ten, or fifteen. It really looks like genuine regression which we know does take place in actual life. Much more work must be done on this subject, most up to the present being in Russia and perhaps not too carefully supervised. We hear much in some literature about the ability which subjects have to reckon time in hypnosis. We can tell them that they will be able to tell exactly when 4453 minutes have passed and they will call the time exactly. Once again, not proved to the satisfaction of science. For example, one of the older experimenters, Bramwell, working around 1895 found that one particular subject could actually call the time to the exact minute.

But unfortunately he had no control subjects. What guarantee do we have that this subject or any of the readers could not do the same thing in the normal waking state? Ridiculous! Not at all! Try it on yourself. When you are lying quiet and relaxed, note how very steady is the heart beat. If it is sixty eight to the minute it will not vary more than one or two strokes in an hour. It is a simple matter of counting. If the subject is allowed to awaken, the very strictest watch would have to be kept that he was not counting the ticks on a clock, listening to the town clock or actually consulting his own watch. In the psychological laboratory, at least up to the present time, we find no evidence of such capacity. Stalnaker and Richardson have done the best work here and their results show no increase in ability along these lines. Another example of why we must be very critical of the work by the older authorities. The writer always suspects that in these laboratory experiments the operator has the wrong attitude. He is out to "debunk" hypnotism, the subject realizes this, and helps in the de-bunking process with all his ability. We have considerable evidence for this in some experiments but only time and much work will tell how important operator-attitude may be.

It is very easy to make serious mistakes in hypnotism. The writer has made at least one he knew of, possibly many more. We use in psychology a very neat little piece of apparatus to measure the "psycho-galvanic reflex." This measures the resistence of the body to a very small current of electricity, the resistance generally being taken through the hand. It is a very curious thing that this resistance changes under any emotional strain. Suppose it is normally 5,000 ohms. The experimenter pricks the subject with a pin. Immediately the resistance drops to 4,000 ohms, swinging back again to 5,000 after about half a minute.

Equally interesting is the curious behavior of skin resistance in sleep. It will normally go to 40,000 or 50,000 ohms. The writer found in a series of experiments that the skin resistance of a subject when hypnotized also soared to 50,000 ohms. This proved conclusively that hypnotism and sleep were closely associated. The writer publishes his results-and they were found to be completely misleading. They were good as far as they went, only they did not go far enough. Other experimenters demonstrated that while this was true for hypnotism induced by the "sleeping" method, it was true only for this method and only as long as the subject remained quiet. The moment he got up and walked around his resistance became that of the normal waking subject.

Now, of course, the writer should have taken all this into consideration before publishing results, but man is just mere man. Science progresses by such mistakes. One research worker finds the subject will commit a crime in hypnosis. Another goes out to prove him wrong-and does so to his satisfaction. Then the fat is in the fire until one backs down or the consensus of scientific opinion proves him wrong. The writer has backed down at least once, may do so many more times, so it ill becomes him to criticize others too severely. The reader must realize that his opinions on some points as expressed in later chapters of this book are only his opinions. He is convinced that the weight of scientific evidence is on his side, but hypnotism, of all subjects, does not lend itself to dogmatism. We must await very extensive research before we have the final answer to many problems.

Clairvoyance, the ability to see distant scenes, is one such example. Many of the older authorities were quite positive that their subjects could describe events hundreds of miles away, say in the old home town. The writer has often met amateur operators who would proudly show how a subject could tell just what was taking place in some town of Tennessee or Kansas. But they never took the trouble to check up! F. W. H. Myers in his Human Personality and its Survival o f Bodily Death seems to have felt that in hypnotism the psychic or supernatural powers of some subjects could be increased.

But modern psychology brings in another verdict of "unproved," in this case very highly improbable that it ever can be proved. The reader should get a clear distinction in his mind.

For example, there is not a reputable psychologist in the United States who would dare write an article questioning the existence of hypnotism and certain phenomena in hypnotism. His reputation would be ruined.

With reference to spiritism, and psychic research, the exact opposite is true. No one would dare say that clairvoyance or mind reading, as two examples of such phenomena, were proved. Some, such as J. B. Rhine at Duke University might say they believed in the existence of telepathy, even had a certain amount of evidence in its favor, but proof ? That is something quite different again. A blunt assertion that the matter was settled to the satisfaction of psychology would find ninetynine per cent of the psychologists registering an emphatic "no." This applies to all so-called spiritistic phenomena.

We further note that recent work by the group at Duke University interested in extra-sensory perception shows that hypnotism has nothing whatsoever to do with the abilities of people along these super-normal lines. So the reader will realize that hypnotism has no relation to spiritism or the supernatural. In later pages we will use hypnotism as a means by which to explain the trance state of the medium. Also such phenomena as automatic writing, crystal gazing, automatic speech, even talking with the dead. But even so we shall see that the things we find are quite normal, quite within the limits of what might be expected in the teachings of psychology.

The reader who is familiar with hypnotism cannot have failed to note that we have not mentioned several of the more interesting phenomena. For example, the famous posthypnotic suggestion and also autosuggestion. These are so very important that we cannot treat them in this short space, so we devote the next chapter to their consideration.

Then there is that very interesting question of dissociation, considered by some the key phenomenon of hypnotism. We prefer to deal with this problem in our chapter, The Nature of Hypnotism, since it is so closely linked with the entire theory of hypnosis.

Also we have avoided mentioning one of the most useful of all hypnotic phenomena, at least from the viewpoint of medicine. This is that curious ability which the somnambulist has to recall long forgotten childhood memories. This is the keynote of "hypno-analysis," a branch of psychotherapy which is destined to assume more and more importance as the prejudice to hypnotism in this country diminishes.

Associated with this is hypermnesia, wherein the subject in hypnotism or as a result of posthypnotic suggestion is supposed to develop a much better memory for things which have occurred in the immediate past, such as the learning of poetry or of history. This we postpone until we consider the possible uses of hypnotism in education.

Then we might mention other curiosities of the trance which we leave to later chapters, such as the ability to form conditioned reflexes and persistence of normal reflexes, all important but best reserved to our chapter on theory. Will the subject in hypnotism commit a criminal act? Even more interesting, will he confess to crime in the trance state? Obviously these questions involve some very important phenomena of hypnotism. Just as obviously these questions cannot be answered in a few pages so we devote a later chapter to this whole question of the connection between hypnotism and crime.

Here we have only presented the more spectacular side of hypnotism, things which can-or cannot-be demonstrated in five minutes with any good subject. Far more important to psychology are the questions of hypnotism in education, in crime, even its possible uses in war. These, we will see, can only be investigated by very long and careful work. Some, indeed, cannot even be studied properly in our present day society. The solution must wait for the future. But the past few pages cover most of those things which the lawman associates with the word hypnotism. We now pass on to the more unusual phenomena concerning which the average reader probably knows very little.


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