Scholars on Scientology


Silver Meritorious Patron
I realized that in the world of exes and critics there are several styles of authentification or confirmation that are pursued for a variety of reasons and with greatly varying effects.

There is the " all Hubbard quotes " style - your work is ENTIRELY quotes used to point out ideas or IMPLY contradiction OR , if you support Hubbard or his methods SHOW your side or point as " on source ".

There is the " Hubbard heavy " style which has a mix of original writing and Hubbard quotes.

Some of Jon Atack's work and even my own is this way .

It has the advantage that some indies and exes will look at it who will NEVER look at anything non- Hubbard or EVER anything " psych " based.

It has the disadvantage that it can imply Hub told the truth - even if only some of the time - and that he was an authority or to some degree made " workable " technology .

It can also trigger and act as post-hypnotic commands for Scientologists and exes .

Well , I hope that that can be minimized and they can if the lies are exposed SEE they are looking at lies and not truth .

I want to state in the absolute strongest terms possible that I fervently believe that L Ron Hubbard NEVER EVER found , stole , developed or stumbled upon beneficial technology of any kind at any time.

I also want to make it clear that he NEVER found one iota of philosophical or spiritual or any other kind of wisdom or truth in his life.

Not one word .

Additionally , I want to state he consistently in a vast overwhelming majority of his conduct showed no compassion or remorse or human decency and the closest he came to " mankind's greatest friend " was the most influential exploiter of the largest number of victims he could fool into trusting him .

These methods and even mixing Hub quotes , original writing and outside sources - like philosophers , scholars and even the " dreaded psychs " can offer more info - if you can persuade your audience to read the damn things !

Overcoming the gross prolific fallacies and loaded language and emotional conditions and trance states implanted routinely in Sciemntologists and exes can be...challenging ( a euphemism for a fucking pain in the ass ) !

Look , if you are daring to read this with an open - or even somewhat skeptical mind - you are doing very well compared to many .

I should know - for decades I would have automatically thought the author of a piece like this MUST be insane , thoroughly evil and above all WRONG and incapable of knowing truth if they rejected Hub and his vaunted " tech " .

My mind was closed and I intended for it to stay that way until death .

So , as I know it took the exact right combination of events and a lot of good fortune and help from brilliant friends who have devoted over sixty years to taking apart the con to help me get to this point , I seriously respect those who come this far for that effort .

I must ask for a further step I realize many never dare attempt or consider : reading and considering as possibly valid entirely non-Hubbard , even non-ex conventional PSYCH theories and writings on the mind , cults and the effects of Scientology.

In my initial confused , tentative considering of " looking at both sides" I at first looked at what I saw as possible NEUTRAL sources of info .

I read an old book on hypnosis that Hubbard himself recommended, and a book a survivor of the Nazis wrote on prisoners of war completely unaffiliated with the anti-cult movement .

I read about hypnosis from hypnotists and users of persuasion .

I read some of the Freedom rag's absurd smear jobs.

I read about logic and fallacies - these have been taught and used to improve .

I was then willing to read a general online article about cults that consulted MY experience and asked me to define how cult-like my own life was .

Okay , this made me VERY willing to look at the stuff Jon Atack and Operation Clambake and have that uses actual Hubbard quotes .

I initially ( truth be told ) did not accept the OT levels or Affirmations , or Hub's actual history or some of his more obscure and colorful statements as valid .

Only after seeing who he was very gradually and completely accepting the fraud and utter lack of good results did I see he must have always known it was all fake and not cared about lying to , using and enslaving people in a very evil , cruel and selfish way .

Only then could I look at the Affirmations and " skipper " letter and OT levels and SEE it was all real .

Look , it is a bit of an overstatement and oversimplification to state that the unwillingness to look at and not automatically attack anything by outsiders or psych critics is based on an appeal to emotion fallacy - it FEELS terrible to think that your entire belief system and sense of being special and knowing the truth about life may be WRONG , so many avoid it THEIR entire adult lives.

Not to pick any new fights - but some have said most people are this way about religion - whatever their parents taught them they stick with - no questions asked !

There is another factor in why Scientologists and exes will not look at critical info - the trance state makes the discomfort of dissonance exist BELOW conscious awareness and contradictory elements both are hidden by and reinforce the state .

In other words the mind control - IF defied consciously by engaging the critical factor to examine the hypnotically held portions -will release the dissonance to devastating effect on the mind of the Scientologist !

It will FEEL like the person is going from comfortable BLIND hypnotic faith " certainty " to CONFUSION , DOUBT , REELINGNESS a NOT-THERE feeling , OVERWHELM uncertainty and this can throw them off and submitting to implants in Scientology to " think " in the language and , not inspect critically but use the fallacies Hubbard did in his doctrine instead will RELAX the mind of the victim !

This is simply letting your worries go and TRUSTING COMPLETELY hypnotically in the authority ( altitude ) of Hubbard !

It is like a little kid being asked a complex perplexing question on religion and escaping dissonance and doubt by saying, " well , mommy and daddy say God works in mysterious ways , so it is up to God to know - NOT ME ! "

That is pretty good for FEELING good but in my opinion frankly fucking terrible for reasoning well !

That is a special kind of ignorance is bliss !

Hypnotic surrender and unthinking total submission in an undue influence relationship where thought , emotion and behavior are handed over to another as a SLAVE is the relationship you in fact are required to have with Hub as a Scientologist !

That is the drive to NEVER look at critical info or have doubt etc.

It feels shitty to lose faith you depended on .

A similar experience occurs when kids become teens often as they realize their parents do not know all and are not perfect .

Sometimes this is misunderstood and the kids project the new insecurity and fear and loss of idealism and blame the now human parents for letting them down.

It is a part of life and hopefully the relationships get better with time and perspective .

The more perfect and totally honest and without contradiction the parents seem the harder the fall can be .

Also if it is very late it can be shocking , but hey we try to be good parents .

So , now I come to the actual point of this thread : I have been reading actual scholars work on cults , mind control and Scientology and would like to start presenting it here for your consideration.

It hopefully will not trigger trances as much as Hub's work .

It can show that I am not in fact pulling out of my ass all my ideas.

Some are somewhat original , but the vast majority have a basis in the work of many others - both exes who are critics like Arnie Lerma and Jon Atack - AND the work of psychologists and psychiatrists and people who study cults for a living or at least degree.

No offense to the " oh , we all have a different experience and what you know is no more valid than what anyone else knows , so you should ALWAYS act like all opinions are equally true and valid " crowd but , come on at some point it is silly to say " yeah , my twenty five years in , thousands of hours in orgs , interactions with hundreds of Scientologists in person , and about ten thousand hours of using study tech AND then hundreds of hours studying cults, mind control , thought reform , hypnosis , critical thinking , undue influence , recovery , psychology , the critical factor , trance states , the history of Hubbard and Dianetics and Scientology , totalist groups , logical fallacies , ex-Scientologists AND related topics and then writing all I have on this is EQUAL to and no more informed than ANYBODY else's experience - no matter who or what effort they have or have not made to learn these things and/or recover ! "

Look , I cannot force people to have open minds and consider that I might know some thing about what I write about.

I also cannot force them to look at or be open minded about completely non-Hubbard ideas but I can and do ask that you guys - if you have not - LOOK at them and consider there may be something to them .

But if you will dare to I encourage you look at some scholarly materials I have found to support or compliment my own ideas.

I will start with a link to a short research project that very clearly states basic ideas on cults .

Next is an excellent abstract ( scholarly paper ) that I will post and then comment on :

Carol Giambalvo's Cult Information and Recovery

[h=2]The Manipulation of Spiritual Experience: Unethical Hypnosis in Destructive Cults[/h]
Linda Dubrow-Marshall, Ph.D. and
Steve K. Eichel,

The following paper was initially presented to the Association of Advance Ethical Hypnosis Twenty-Ninth Annual Convention Boston, MA October 26, 1984. It appeared in Hypnosis Reports

© 1985 Re-Entry Therapy, Information & Referral Network used with permission

  • Abstract: The process of cult and mass therapy indoctrination may involve repeated inductions of trance-like states of consciousness similar to hypnosis. Environmental (milieu) control, social manipulation, isolation and the use of prescribed consciousness-altering techniques (e.g. repetitive and/or continuous chanting, meditating, or praying) are some of the methods employed by cults to produce these altered states of awareness. Recent studies suggest that memories, emotions and even spiritual experiences can be manipulated while in hypnosis. Lack of informed consent and questionable concern for individual needs and wishes makes the use of these hypnotic techniques unethical. Being subjected to repeated and prolonged hypnotic inductions can impair the convert's ability to make decisions and evaluate new information; moreover, the convert's altered awareness can "lock in," and become a conditioned personality response pattern. One result can be periodic episodes of unwanted trance experiences ("floating") that occur for months or even years after a cultist exits his/her group.

The growth of controversial new religions and mass therapies (hereafter referred to as "cults") has generated considerable amount of concern and debate. These groups raise some important practical and ethical questions for professional hypnotists and counselors. Cults have produced drastic behavior and personality changes in a decidedly intelligent, educated and usually affluent population of converts. Typical cultists are not ignorant, weak-willed or emotionally disturbed (Clark, Langone, Schecter & Daly, 1981) this phenomenon of sudden personality change under stress, labeled "snapping" by authors Conway and Siegelman (1978) has sparked a renewed interest in methods of environmentally engineered attitude change, coercive persuasion and disguised hypnosis. A large part of the cult debate is concerned with whether or not these techniques constitute an objectively verifiable process of mind control. Behavioral scientists Clark and Langone (1983) claim they do; they have stated that "social psychology research ... demonstrates rather conclusively ... that environmental variables can influence behavior in remarkable ways ... that mind control sometimes occurs in cults (p 28). Sociologists Bromley and Shupe (1981) are among the academicians claiming that cults are not particularly dangerous. Our clinical work with the Re-entry Therapy, Information & Referral Network (of Dubrow Eichel, Dubrow Eichel, & Eisenberg), as well as our interviews with hundreds of former cultists, leads us to accept the contention that some new religions and mass therapies are destructive to many (if not most) individual cult members.

Rather than attempt to deal with an extremely complex issue in its entirety, however, this paper will concentrate on one aspect of destructive cultism the unethical use of covert communication, persuasion and behavior-influencing techniques (including hypnosis), and their role in the manipulation/indoctrination process.

Cults, Hypnosis and Thought Reform
Some theories explain sudden cult conversions in terms of the social pressures exerted when a recruit is subjected to total environmental (milieu) control, while others single out the control of information flow as being the most important factor. Psychiatrist John Clark has proposed that cult brainwashing involves repeated inductions of trance-like states of consciousness, and that these states then become prolonged well beyond what we're used to thinking of as the average length of time in trance. Clark (1979) states that all the other characteristics of cult life (milieu control, the constant demand to be perfect, the constant expectation to confess transgressions, the belief that the cult's "truth" is absolute, use of buzz words and other language-loading techniques, deception, authoritarian structure) act together and contribute to a "continued state of dissociation." This state is marked by "focused attention" in which "new information is absorbed at an accelerated rate and rapidly becomes integral ... to the mind." The convert then becomes dependent on the cult for definitions of reality (p 280).

Dr. Clark's explanation poses some interesting questions. How do cults induce and maintain such prolonged trance states? How do cults make their suggestions so compelling and relatively impervious to the effects of time and feedback (e.g.. "reality testing")?

Cult Induction Processes
Many cults seem to induce trance using disguised, non-direct methods. The pre-hypnotic strategies available to, and often utilized by, destructive cults include singling out someone and giving him/her a great deal of positive, special attention which then increases compliance to authority, and the use of group pressure and/or the demand that one "take center stage" and perform something in front of others (who are expecting a specific kind of performance). This tactic, called "love-bombing," is almost universally employed by cults. Isolating a recruit in new and unfamiliar surroundings increases hypnotic susceptibility, as has been experimentally confirmed in a study by Dr. Arreed Barabasz (1994). Continuous lectures, singing and chanting are employed by most cults, and serve to alter awareness. The use of abstract and ambiguous language, and logic that is difficult to follow or is even meaningless, can also be used to focus attention and cause dissociation (Bandler & Grinder, 1975). Information overload can occur when subjects are presented with more new data than they can process at given time, or when subjects a re asked to divide their attention between two or more sources of information input or two or more channels of sensory input; this tactic is almost identical to the distraction or confusion induction methods in hypnosis (Arons, 1981).

Some cults use classical inductions, albeit under ambiguous labels like "meditation," "guided imagery," "awareness exercises," "processes," etc. For example, the early research suggesting that TM (transcendental meditation) is different from and superior to ordinary self-hypnosis has now been discredited; there is no discernible difference between meditative and hypnotic states (Royal College of Physicians, 1982).
Prolonged Trance States
In the office of the professional hypnotist, hypnosis occurs within a time-limited, place-limited context. In cults, the exact opposite may be true. The environment is controlled and often seems to have been engineered expressly for the purpose of maintaining and prolonging trance. The cultist is often subjected to sleep and nutrient deprivation, and he or she is taught methods of trance self-maintenance. These methods may include near-continuous praying and chanting, speaking in tongues (glossolalia), prolonged meditation, repetitious scriptural readings or recitations, and other monotonous, repetitive activities. Most published accounts of cult life indicate that cultists are admonished to continuously concentrate on the words, teachings or actual physical experience of the cult leader. Failure to maintain trance is often followed by considerable guilt and self- or cult-inflicted punishment. Cultists are usually taught that any doubt or deviation from the cult's rigid doctrine is evil or Satanic, or in some other way catastrophe-invoking. Similarly, any prolonged interest in people, activities or subject (e.g.. Music, art science) that does not involve a strong concurrent focus on the cult is belittled and/or strongly discouraged; thus the cultist's attention is always divided, and trances become reinforced and automatic, like a habit.

Trance is characterized first and foremost by heightened suggestibility followed closely by diminished critical thinking or reality testing--what Shor (l969) refers to as receding of the "generalized reality orientation." Repeated induction often result in still greater degrees of suggestibility and deeper hypnotic states (Arons, 1981). By prolonging trance states, and with the use of repeated inductions, the cultist may become more and more pliable, less critical, more dissociated from him/herself and more apt to accept spurious and even preposterous notions as "facts." For example, distorted information processing as a result of prolonged trance may be responsible for the belief among Hare Krishnas that the sun is closer to the earth than the moon and that the female brain weighs half as much as the male's. This process of reality distortion may not be very different from that use of hypnosis by surgery patients who while in trance are able to discount the rather pressing information that they are being cut with a scalpel without anesthesia and should therefore be feeling considerable pain.

Prolonged over a long enough period of time, trances tend to persist and return involuntarily even after the subject is removed from the hypnotic situation. There is a well-documented tendency for former cultists to spontaneously re-enter a trance-like state, especially when faced with a situation that would have been met with chanting praying or some other form of self-hypnosis while in the cult. This phenomenon. called "floating" can occur in almost any situation that the cult considers evil or threatening: examples include situations that call for independent decision-making, critical reasoning or the handling of everyday stresses and impulses such as anger or sexual desire. In clinical practice, former cultists have been known to enter into a trance (float) when faced with making relatively uncomplicated decisions or when faced with a need to assert themselves in everyday situations. Clark is convinced that prolonged trance states can sometimes result in long-lasting or even permanent impairment of thinking abilities, critical judgment, and/or emotional responsiveness and range. Psychologist Margaret Singer (1979) and therapists William and Lorna Goldberg (1982) have also documented long-term psychological damage caused by prolonged trance-states. Others have reported physiological changes such as a decreased facial hair growth in men and cessation of menstruation in women (Clark 1979).

Informed Consent, Manipulation, and the Validity of Spiritual Experience
When an individual signs up for an est seminar or a Unification Church leadership retreat, what does that person need, want, and expect? To what degree does that person give informed consent (i.e. permission with reasonably complete understanding of what he or she is getting into) when agreeing to attend a cult activity? The medical and psychological professions have been seriously grappling with the issue of informed consent for years now ; the result has been an evolving written set of guidelines mandating that the health professional provide the consumer with information that details both the expected advantages and the possible adverse effect of a given procedure.

What people "want" or "need" is always open to much interpretation. Needs and wants can also be influenced to a significant degree. Self-awareness and spirituality have become consumer goods on an open personal transformation marketplace complete with multimillion dollar packaging and advertising campaigns. Relatively basic needs such as the need for love and intimacy can be reinterpreted and intellectualized into abstract and metaphorical needs; the "lonely" person becomes the "spiritual seeker" in search of "true meaning in life," "self- actualization" or a "sense of oneness with the cosmos." With cults and mass therapies, the question of informed consent becomes a more difficult one to answer than it first seems. Considerable caution on the part of those groups offering "enlightenment" seems indicated.

To some degree the American public has become so enamored with quickly finding "the answer" and achieving "the goal" that the search for personal meaning has become devalued. Thus, in asking for instant awareness, we to some degree relinquish our ability to give informed consent. It does not seem possible to gain "instant awareness" or "instant spiritual experience" without being manipulated. Moreover, there seems to be a positive correlation between the amount of manipulation and covert hypnosis and the degree of perceived "satisfaction;" the more some people are pressured and influenced the "deeper" their insight or the more "intense" their spiritual experience.

The validity of spiritual experience is even more difficult to judge than the validity of psychological insights. Spiritual experiences can be secularly produced rather than divinely inspired. especially with the aid of a willing subject and a reasonably facile natural or trained "hypnotist." Former charismatic fundamentalist preacher, Marjoe Gortner demonstrated this fact quite well; he "saved" thousands using calculated and decidedly secular manipulative tactics (Kernochan & Smith, 1972). There are several well-documented instances of "UFO visits" that have been proven to be the products of hypnotically-enhanced imaginations (Klass, 1981). There is now a heated debate within experimental/forensic hypnosis as to whether or not hypnosis produces enhanced fantasizing and firmly believed but possibly distorted memories (Hilgard, 1981) Sensations, visions, memories, insights, and emotions experienced in hypnosis are typically more vivid and detailed than when experienced or thought about in the waking state and hence they are often felt by the subject to be especially valid -- independent of whether or not these experiences are indeed valid. True spiritual experiences may occur. However, since spiritual experiences cannot usually be objectively validated (we cannot ask God for His written opinion). they're especially prone to "emotional" validation (i.e. "it's true if it feels true" ). It is just this sense -- the feeling that an experience is "true" -- that can be so easily manipulated in the state of heightened suggestibility known as hypnosis. Manipulated pseudo spiritual experiences may be the rule in cults.

Years of research have given plausibility to the claim that there is a technology of systematic, rapid and radical attitude/behavior/personality change and control ( mind control ); these thought reform techniques seem to work best when the subject are either motivated to cooperate or manipulated into believing they have some degree of free choice. (Cunningham, l984) Hypnosis is a powerful tool. In thought reform it seems to be most effective when used in disguised and/or nontraditional forms.

Many cults appear to systematically and unethically employ consciousness-altering techniques and rituals in their efforts to manufacture spiritual experiences, increase suggestibility, maintain long-term dissociative states and reinforce mystical thinking. In cults, "trance can become a conditioned [behavior/personality] pattern ... a way of calming disturbing thoughts and censoring the mind ... trance cuts off the input of sensory information." (Appel, 1983. p. 133) Clark (1979) summarizes the power of prolonged use of cult-induced hypnosis and self-hypnosis: "It becomes an independent structure ... [the] basic controls of the central nervous system seem to have been altered (p. 210).

Any organized attempt to influence human behavior and experience should follow basic guidelines designed to protect the worth and dignity of the individual; the needs wishes and interests of the client should always be the primary focus of these relationships. These concepts are central to ethics codes in the social services and sciences (cf. American Psychological Association, 1983; American Association for Counseling and Development, 1982). Hypnotists are also reminded that "the desires of the subject shall always be respected" and that suggestions should only be employed to meet the needs of subjects and maintain their right to make their own decisions (Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis, 1978). The question, of course, is who defines what is in an individuals interest or "welfare." When a person is bleeding profusely from a deep cut, it is easy to see what is in the person's best interest; it becomes considerably more difficult to decide such matters when dealing with something as nebulous as person's "soul" or "spirituality." When someone other than a client him/herself makes that judgment, that person should be very hesitant to act on that judgment, especially without obtaining informed consent. This caution should be taken even more seriously when considering the use of very powerful techniques for altering awareness. We need to remember who pays the price when judgments, no matter how well-intentioned turn out to be wrong. Physicians, psychotherapists and hypnotists are or should be held responsible when theymisuse hypnosis. One wonders if cult and mass therapies should be any less accountable.


[SIZE=-1]American Association for Counseling and Development (1982) Code of ethics. Board for Certified Counselors.

[SIZE=-1]American Psychological Association (1983). Ethical principles of psychologists in Pennsylvania Psychological Association 1983-84. Directory and handbook. Pittsburgh, PA: Horizon Press, 34-44[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Appel, W. (1983). Cults in America: Programmed for paradise. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Arons, H. (1981) New master course in hypnotism. S. Orange, NJ: Power Publishers[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis (1978) Code of ethics and standards of the Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis. Constitution and by-laws [as amended 0ctober 1978], 10-14[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Bandler, R. & Grinder, J. (1975) Patterns of the hypnotic techniques of Milton Erickson, M..D. (Volume 1). Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Barabasz, A. (1984, January 4). Enhancing hypnotic response with isolation. Harvard Medical Area Focus.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Bromley, D. & Shupe, A.. (198l) Strange gods: The great American cult scare. Boston: Beacon.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Clark, J. Cults (1979) Journal of the American Medical Association, 242, 279-281.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Clark, J. & Langone, M. (1983) New religions and public policy: Research Implications for social and behavioral scientists. Bonita Springs, FL: American Family Foundation.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Clark, J. & Langone, M., Schecter, R. & Daly, R. (1981). Destructive cult conversion: Theory, research and treatment. Bonita Springs, FL: American Family Foundation.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Conway, F. & Siegelman, J. (1978). Snapping: America's epidemic of sudden personality change. New York: Lippincott.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Cunningham, S. (1984, October). Zimbardo: Coming close to 1984. APA Monitor, [Interview with Dr. Philip Zimbardo], p.16.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Dubrow Eichel, S., Dubrow Eichel, L., & Eisenberg, R. Mental health interventions in cult-related cases: A preliminary investigation of outcomes. Cultic Studies Journal.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Goldberg, L. & Goldberg, W. (1982. Group work with former cultists. Social Work, 27, 165-170.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Hilgard, E. (1981). Hypnosis gives rise to fantasy and is not a truth serum. Skeptical Inquirer, 5, 25-33[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Kernochan, S. & Smith, H. (Directors). (1972. Marjoe [film][/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Klass, P. (1981). Hypnosis and UFO abductions. Skeptical Inquirer 5, 16-24[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Lifton, R. (1961). Thoughtreform and the psychology of totalism. New York: Norton.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Royal College of Surgeons. (1982). In J. Randi, Flim Flam! Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Rudin, A. & Rudin, M. (1982) Prison or paradise? The new religious cults. Philadelphia: Fortress[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Shor, R. (1969). Hypnosis and the concept of the generalized reality-orientation. In C. Tart (Ed.), Altered states of consciousness. New York: Wiley.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Singer, M. (1979, January). Coming out of the cults. Psychology Today, 72-82.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Wallis, R. (1976). "Poor man's psychoanalysis?": Observations on dianetics. The Zeletic, 1. 9-24[/SIZE]

Used by permission of Steve Eichel and Linda Dubrow-Marshall.

I think this brief paper shows agreement by several scholars with my own ideas and conclusions in several key areas.

In particular trance states , the diminishment of the critical factor , that trances can be achieved by information overload - which routinely occurs in a Scientology courseroom , and the dissociation and increasing of the trance and automatic triggering that occurs.

I hope this opens people's minds to look outside the cult and exes for legitimate info to at least weigh when deciding what is genuine or not .

I will also include another abstract that I find very infomative , short and easy to understand .

[/SIZE]Building Resistance: Tactics for Counteracting Manipulation and Unethical Hypnosis in Totalistic Groups
Steve K. D. Eichel, Ph.D.
The need to develop the ability to resist influence is examined in light of the existence of totalistic groups and individuals that employ a variety of unethical manipulative techniques, including hypnosis. Relevant research in social psychology and experimental clinical hypnosis suggests that three factors may be important in developing resistance. First, becoming acquainted with the social psychology of manipulation and attitude change will be an asset to understanding mind control. Second, having a specific knowledge of experimental and theoretical as well as practical hypnosis is also important to resistance. Third, one's fund of general information can be vital in resisting manipulation. An awareness of the limits of one's knowledge base, and a willingness to add knowledge when one is unsure of the validity of what is being said is important. Finally, specific techniques for resisting influence as it occurs are discussed.
Most hypnotists and therapists are concerned with finding ways to overcome resistance, not with ways of building it up. Yet the ability to resist influence may be an important skill to develop, especially in view of the many groups and individuals seeking to covertly modify behaviors, thoughts and feelings.
Destructive religious cults, certain "mass therapy" groups, many individuals claiming to be "psychics" and/or "spiritualists," and a wide assortment of political extremists on both the Radical Left and the Radical Right all seem to be vying for our attention, if not our hearts and minds. The equating of hypnosis with "mind control" or "thought reform" has been a misconception professional hypnosis organizations have been combating for years; ethical practitioners do not employ hypnosis as a means of influencing people against their own self-interest. Yet the technique of using a surgeon's scalpel can be employed for harm as well as for healing. There is ample evidence that covert hypnotic techniques can and are being used (unethically) to manipulate feelings, thoughts and perceptions—typically without the "subjects" even being aware that they are being manipulated or influenced against their "free will" (Dubrow Eichel, 1984; Dubrow Eichel & Dubrow Eichel, 1985).
It is a misconception that brainwashing always involves thugs who torture or threaten their victims, or connect them to bizarre-looking electronic equipment in order to force a marked personality change. The Central Intelligence Agency's MK-ULTRA program, which sought to discover overt methods of mind control (including the use of electroshock, sensory deprivation and psychedelic drugs), is a case in point. The MK-ULTRA program was ultimately deemed a failure, yet it nonetheless did much to foster the "torture, technology and drugs" myth of brainwashing. Ironically, the fact that the U.S. government could not produce a reliable technology of thought reform using these blatant methods may have created a false sense of security among the general public. After all, if the CIA experts failed to brainwash their subjects, then surely nobody else could, and the average citizen had no reason to fear being "brainwashed."
Dr. Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford University psychology professor who is perhaps the foremost American expert on the topic of social manipulation and mind control, is not so optimistic; the CIA failed to brainwash people, he claims, not because their methods were too "soft," but because they were overt, blatant, and obvious. If force is used, people may surrender temporarily but they will often fail to "internalize" their newly acquired opinions and feelings; when no longer held captive, these subjects no longer do what they have been told. It is more effective to be subtle and covert: "you need at least an illusion of choice," according to Zimbardo, and the expert manipulator leaves people "unaware of [the manipulator's] influence" (Cunningham, 1984). In order to influence or brainwash people, the following methods work best:
isolate them in new surroundings apart from old friends or reference-points,
provide them with instant acceptance from a seemingly loving group,
keep them away from competing or critical ideas,
provide an authority figure that everyone seems to acknowledge as having some special skill or awareness,
provide a philosophy that seems logical and appears to answer all or the most important questions in life,
structure all or most activities so that there is little time for privacy or independent action or thought,
provide a sense of "us" versus "them,"
promise instant or imminent solutions to deep or long-term problems, and
employ covert or disguised hypnotic techniques.
Motivation is an important issue. A subject's motivation can range from loneliness and mild depression to being at a point of transition in life; from searching for spirituality, altruistic relationships or deeper meaning to impatience with or resistance to "conventional" religious or psychotherapeutic routes of discovery (Clark, Langone, Schecter, & Daly, 1981; Cunningham, 1984; Schwartz & Kaslow, 1982). Contrary to the beliefs of many, vulnerability to mind control techniques is not a sign of psychological or intellectual weakness; there is a vast body of research that clearly demonstrates that "average" or "normal" individuals can be highly susceptible to covert attempts to influence them, and that most people are, in general, not particularly good at recognizing when their behavior has been externally manipulated (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1968; Freedman, Carlsmith, & Sears, 1974, pp. 341-375). Given enough time and the proper environment, the motivated subject is highly vulnerable to brainwashing.
What can be done to safeguard against covert manipulations, and how does one resist covert, unethical forms of hypnosis? The literature suggests that three factors may be important in developing resistance:
fund of general information, and
specific knowledge about the psychology of manipulation.
First, becoming acquainted with the social psychology of manipulation and attitude change will be an asset to understanding mind control. A brief summary of selected research findings in this area suggests the following:
Manipulators often start with making minor requests. Getting people to perform small and relatively unrisky acts now will make it more likely that they will perform larger, more difficult and riskier tasks later. Corollary: giving in now to "minor" requests that are mildly uncomfortable makes it difficult to refuse more difficult and unsettling requests in the future (Freedman, Carlsmith, & Sears, 1974, pp. 395-397).
Manipulators often seem unusually friendly, concerned and sincere. When people perceive that someone likes them or cares about them, they listen less critically to what is told to them and are also less apt to think negatively about the communicator (Zajonc, 1968). Corollary: "love bombing" (being made the center of attention and the target of an unusual amount of praise, affection, etc.) makes it hard to disagree or resist.
Manipulators do not immediately ask for agreement, they ask people to "try it" with an "open mind." Getting people to behave in a manner that is somewhat contrary to their current belief system will often result in changed attitudes (Deutsch & Krauss, 1965; Festinger & Carlsmith, 1968). That is, acting on requests to "try it before you reject it" and assurances that "you can disagree with what you are doing even as you do it" often leads to changes in belief systems, especially if the subject is not overtly rewarded (e.g., by being paid) for performing the new behavior.
Manipulators use group pressure. It is difficult, especially over long periods of time, to be the only one in a group to disagree (Jones & Gerard, 1967, pp. 331-386). It can be painful to feel rejected or different, and sometimes even more painful to think of oneself as someone who has trouble tolerating rejection. Hence, people conform but are not always willing to admit to themselves that they are conforming (i.e., responding to group pressure). People rationalize instead, and claim it was their "free choice" to change.
Manipulators do not make things easy. People actually place more value on their actions if the task to be performed is somewhat unpleasant or difficult, even if it did not need to be unpleasant or difficult (Festinger, 1957). Corollary: making a task artificially "tough" typically makes it appear more meaningful and important than it may in fact be.
Having a specific knowledge of experimental/theoretical as well as practical hypnosis is also important to resistance. What are the implications of role taking in hypnosis, for example? This theory suggests that, by "pretending" to be in hypnosis, people can in fact become more suggestible and open to influence. Research on classical and "nonclassical" (e.g., Ericksonian) forms of hypnosis suggests the following:
It is possible to be hypnotized without being aware of the induction process. Most hypnotic phenomena, including carrying out posthypnotic suggestions, have been produced in subjects who were not aware of being in hypnosis (Erickson, Rossi, & Rossi, 1976).
Hypnosis begins with a shift in attention (Hilgard, 1968). Attention is normally motile. That is, it is dynamic and is relatively freely focused on a variety of events within a large perceptual field; it moves back and forth between the external (e.g., actions and events "outside" the self) and the internal (e.g., thoughts and feelings). Trance is a state that involves relatively focused, fixed or immotile attention. Corollary: anyone or anything that results in decreased motility of attention is highly likely to induce an altered state of consciousness ("trance") whether or not it is labeled "hypnosis."
The language of hypnosis is marked by vagueness, overgeneralizations, metaphors and abstractions. Classical inductions are not the only way to "talk hypnosis" (although they can be found in many "meditation" techniques not overtly labeled as hypnosis). Nonclassical inductions use "normal" conversation and storytelling, often directed at more than one representational system (e.g., sight, sound and touch) to shift attention, in part by activating the subject's tendency to search within him— or herself in order to find ways of relating what is being said now to experiences in the past (Bandler & Grinder, 1975). Corollary: words that sound "deep" or meaningful but feel confusing (and/or strangely calming) can induce trance outside the subject's awareness.
In trance, memories, fantasies, feelings and thoughts are often experienced more vividly and intensely than they are in the normal "waking" state (Hilgard, 1981). If a person is unaware of being in trance, or is unfamiliar or unconvinced of the phenomenon of hypnotic enhancement of perception, fantasy and suggestibility, then that person is likely to attribute the vividness and intensity of the trance experience to some special characteristic of the message and/or communicator. That is, the person links his/her feelings of intensity with what has been said or who has said it, not with how (i.e., hypnotically) it was said. The message is therefore experienced as "more real" or "more true" than other messages, and the communicator of the message is endowed with extraordinary (or even supernatural) characteristics or skills.
Hypnosis involves powerful transference. The induction process involves establishing and utilizing rapport, and hypnosis is perhaps first and foremost an interpersonal process (Fromm, 1979). Most subjects, after being hypnotized, feel closer, more trusting, and more positively about their operator than before. It is always more difficult to objectively assess someone (or what that someone says) after a powerful transference relationship has developed.
Hypnosis involves the suspension of "normal" logic. Trance logic is characterized by, among other things, lack of criticalness and the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs as true without one canceling out the other (Orne, 1959). Thus, in trance one can have the sensation of cold and still be aware of being seated in a warm, heated room. Corollary: in trance, people can accept notions or ideas that they would otherwise reject because they contradict other beliefs known to be based in reality. For example, the members of one Hindu-based cult believe that the space program is a hoax and yet may listen to and accept weather reports based on satellite pictures.

One's fund of general information (e.g., philosophy, comparative religion and history) can be vital in resisting manipulation. Perhaps more important, however, is an awareness of the limits of one's knowledge base, and a willingness to add knowledge when one is unsure of the validity of what is being said. For example, a new form of so-called psychotherapy might claim to be "the modern science of mental health." What makes a discipline a "science?" In part, it is the acceptance and utilization of a very specific method of inquiry that has uniform steps for positing hypotheses and validating them. What are these steps? When these steps are not followed, what risks to validity are usually encountered? What is the "scientific method?" If uncertain, one should seek the answers to these questions before accepting any claim as being "scientific." Similarly, groups or individuals may claim that their beliefs and/or practices are based on scriptural passages, history, research or other literature with which one is unfamiliar; before accepting anything else said, it is wise to check these references for their accuracy. In addition, the following steps might be helpful:

"Paraphrase other peoples' thoughts both aloud and to yourself to see if you're understanding clearly." Dr. Zimbardo and his associate, Susan Andersen, recommend that if a message, book or lecture is difficult to understand, repeating the central points in one's own words might help (Andersen & Zimbardo, 1980). Ask questions. If the answer is equally or more puzzling, a mental "beware" alarm should sound. The same alarm should go off if the answer is something like "well, you will understand more later" or "of course you can't understand now, you're too [nonspiritual, unenlightened, intellectual, ignorant, materialistic, rigid, unaware, unconnected with your feelings, etc.]."
Do not relate personal experiences, thoughts or feelings, or make any kind of confession that may be harmful should the information be released, Anderson and Zimbardo (1980) warn. Confidentiality is not automatic: nonlicensed/noncredentialed therapists and their clients may not come under the protection of state doctor-patient confidentiality laws. Groups or individuals that pressure people to reveal personal information may be acting unethically.
Put off any and all decisions until after the group experience is over, and then decide only after obtaining other information or consulting with trusted confidants.
Outside interests and social contacts are vital, state Zimbardo and Anderson, and any group that makes an overt or subtle appeal to sever these bonds should be rejected. These outside sources are usually instrumental in providing reality-oriented feedback, and in helping to maintain a sense of personal continuity (i.e., a sense of knowing "where I came from").
Any group or individual that arouses guilt to an uncomfortable level should be carefully checked out and probably avoided.
Have at least one good friend who is a "natural born" skeptic or critic. Or, if in a possible mind control situation already, seek out known "doubters" within that group. Put off feeling guilty about doubts for a day or two; discuss doubts now.
Seek outside information before joining or making a commitment to a group. This may be the single most important guideline to follow. Read or listen to critical arguments. If the group claims to be a religion, speak to nonmember clergy or contact the local university's theology department or divinity school and ask about it; if it claims to be a therapy or self-awareness group, contact the local or state Psychiatric or Psychological Association and ask for information, references and research on the group and/or the methods it uses. If the group seems like it might be cultic, contact the American Family Foundation <> (phone: 941-514-3081).
These organizations are responsible and can act as guides to information that may be difficult to locate on one's own. They can also usually find former members of the group in question for in-person or telephone consultation. Become familiar with the literature on deception (some of which makes for highly entertaining reading!). The field of spiritualism and paranormal/parapsychological research has been so riddled with deception and fraud that the Parapsychological Association itself has formerly admitted to the need for "fraud checks." A number of professional magicians, most notably James Randi ("The Amazing Randi") have made careers out of debunking fraudulent and shoddy research on the paranormal, and have exposed the deceptive tactics employed by scores of well-known "psychics." The Parapsychological Association now recommends that scientists consult magicians when designing experiments to test for psychic and spiritualistic abilities, in large part because scientists are not particularly better than the average person at seeing through deceptions.
Finally, self-knowledge—the ability to (with some objectivity) observe and reflect on one's own behavior—and a sense of humor about oneself and others allows for greater independence in general, and increased freedom of thought in particular. Most cults discourage self-reflective thought (it is too "intellectual," "egotistical," "nonspiritual," "negative," and/or "selfish") in favor of "feeling" or "listening to the heart." In contrast, nontotalitarian groups are characterized by open questioning of authority and leadership.
Think back to situations in which you have felt pressured or covertly influenced. How did it feel? In retrospect, what were some possible warning signals:
Think back to situations in which you have felt pressured or covertly influenced. How did it feel? In retrospect, what were some possible warning signs (e.g., disorientation, confusion, anxiety, guilt, sadness, embarrassment) that a deception was about to occur? These signs can be "warning bells" to protect against future deceptions.
What is intimacy? What does it mean to be a friend? Do true and lasting friendships come instantly, or are they built, sometimes in struggle and/or pain? What is love? When is love unconditional? Is it possible to be completely open, or to love instantly, or completely, or equally? Think back to the past in order to begin to answer these questions.
Be familiar with trance experience; know what hypnosis feels like and experience a variety of inductions. Again, these feelings can serve as an "early warning system," as clues that one has been in hypnosis. Hypnosis can then serve as an alternative explanation for "mystical" or "psychic" experiences that may have been manipulated. No two people feel exactly the same under hypnosis; everyone has a unique response.
Recall previous experiences with deception (e.g., magic shows). Be aware that people are in general easily fooled, and that most if not all "supernatural powers" are easily reproduced by magicians/illusionists. The world is full of mysteries, but what seems to be impossible to explain does not necessarily mean it cannot be explained by conventional logic or "mundane" science. Remember how impossible many magic tricks appear to be! What if the magician claimed to be a prophet, and that his "powers" were in fact "gifts from God" and thus proof of divine status? Absurd, perhaps, but it is the rare mystic or cult leader who can perform more than the most basic "mind reading" tricks, yet they continue to attract followers who are convinced of their guru's "divine nature."
With the advent of electronic mass media and telecommunications, we are experiencing an explosive escalation in the amount of information that is available at any given moment. Moreover, this information is available instantaneously at the turn of a dial or the flick of a switch, and it is typically available in great amounts. In communications, we know that with every increase in the volume and flow of information, there is a subsequent increase in the transmission of "noise" ("information" that is erroneous, irrelevant or simply invalid). As consumers of ever-increasing amounts of information, we will be hard-pressed to tune out the "noise" in order to receive and integrate that information that is in fact "meaningful."
While the systematic use of manipulative communication and social coercion ("brainwashing") has existed for thousands of years, a number of factors have in the past few decades converged to forge, for the first time ever, mass-marketed, readily-available and, in many cases, highly lucrative technologies of conversion. If, as many researchers now suggest, we consider heightened suggestibility to be the central phenomenon underlying the construct "hypnosis," then any technique or tool that, as a direct or indirect result of its employment, results in increased suggestibility can be thought of as "hypnotic." As our understanding of hypnotic communication and our ability to subtly influence behavior increases, it may become the obligation of the professional persuader (the hypnotist, the psychotherapist) to assist clients to develop their resistance to manipulative groups and individuals.
Anderson, S., & Zimbardo, P. (1980, November). Resisting mind control. USA Today reprint.
Bandler, R., & Grinder, J. (1975). Patterns of the hypnotic techniques of Milton Erickson, M.D. (Volume 1). Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications, 1975.
Clark, J., Langone, M., Schecter, R., & Daly, R. (1981). Destructive cult conversions: Theory, research and treatment. Weston, MA: American Family Foundation.
Cunningham, S. (1984, October). Zimbardo: Coming close to 1984 [report on lecture by Philip Zimbardo]. APA Monitor, p. 16.
Deutsch, M. & Krauss, R. (1965). Theories in social psychology. New York: Basic Books.
Dubrow Eichel, L. (1984, October). The manipulation of spiritual experience: Unethical hypnosis in destructive cults. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis, Boston, MA.
Dubrow Eichel, L. & Dubrow Eichel, S. (1985). The manipulation of spiritual experience: Unethical hypnosis in destructive cults. Philadelphia: Re-Entry Therapy, Information & Referral Network.
Erickson, M., Rossi, E., & Rossi, S. (1976). Hypnotic realities: The induction of clinical hypnosis and forms of indirect suggestion. New York: Irvington Publishers.
Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Festinger, L. & Carlsmith, J. (1968). Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. In L. Wrightsman (Ed.), Contemporary issues in social psychology (pp. 205-212). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Freedman, J., Carlsmith, J., & Sears, D. (1974). Social psychology (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Fromm, E. (1979). The nature of hypnosis and other altered states of consciousness: An ego-psychological theory. In E. Fromm & R. Shor (Eds.), Hypnosis: Developments in research and new perspectives (2nd ed.). New York: Aldine.
Hilgard, E. (1968). The experience of hypnosis. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Hilgard, E. (1981). Hypnosis gives rise to fantasy and is not a truth serum. Skeptical Inquirer, 5, 16-24.
Jones, E. & Gerard, H. (1967). Foundations of social psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Orne, M. (1959). The nature of hypnosis: Artifact and essence. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58, 277-299.
Schwartz, L. & Kaslow, F. (1981). The cult phenomenon: Historical, sociological, and familial factors contributing to their development and appeal. Marriage & Family Review, 4, 3-30.
Zajonc, R. (1968). The concepts of balance, congruity, and dissonance. In L. Wrightsman (Ed.), Contemporary issues in social psychology. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, pp. 205-212.
This article first appeared in Suggestion: The Journal of Professional & Ethical Hypnosis, 1, (Summer 1985), pp. 34-44.

In particular I wanted to point out a quote that I feel strongly agrees with my own ideas and is a cornerstone of the foundation of my work :
Hypnosis involves the suspension of "normal" logic. Trance logic is characterized by, among other things, lack of criticalness and the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs as true without one canceling out the other (Orne, 1959). Thus, in trance one can have the sensation of cold and still be aware of being seated in a warm, heated room. Corollary: in trance, people can accept notions or ideas that they would otherwise reject because they contradict other beliefs known to be based in reality. For example, the members of one Hindu-based cult believe that the space program is a hoax and yet may listen to and accept weather reports based on satellite pictures.

This is VITAL to me to understand the difference between cultists and why we could not see the HUNDREDS of contradictions in Scientology and Dianetics .

I list some of these in the Secret of Scientology Part 1 :

I know there is a tremendous resource in the outside never in world : I hope you guys will have the courage to explore it and strongly commend those of you who already have : I know it is a lot to ask and goes against everything you have been taught is right and proper.



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Mimi Jaffee - of the long gone, Citizens Freedom Foundation

"I believe it is very possible you were somehow tricked into this whole situation. Scientology preaches one thing but teaches another, including "moral relativism" [ which is the ] same as Marxism" - the ends justify the means, so anything goes so long as it benefits Scientology . It just seems people never learn by tragic experiences like Peoples temple. Scientology is probably worse in many respects." -

Carl Jung on $cientology:

"Man positively needs general ideas and convictions that will give a meaning to his life and enable him to find his place in the universe. He can stand the most incredible hardships when he is convinced that they make sense but he is crushed when, on top of all his misfortunes, he has to admit that he is taking part in a 'tale told by an idiot.". Carl Jung


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Arnie , I tried to PM you but something went wrong .

Do you know if that therapy you mentioned helps explain or break down the con ?


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Oh here is another interesting short article I found and will give a quote from and then a link :

The quote : Raz et al (2005) illustrated that hypnosis could reduce cognitive conflict in highly hypnotizable individuals. The researchers used Functional MRI and readings from scalp electrodes to monitor brain activity while 16 subjects completed the Stroop Test, after hypnosis. The imaging data indicated that hypnotizable subjects showed reduced brain activity in both visual areas and the ACC, which is involved in conflict monitoring. The researchers concluded that "[hypnotic] suggestion affects cognitive control by modulating [brain] activity." Such findings could mean that, at least for people who are highly hypnotizable, hypnotic trance can temporarily change brain activity to enhance the ability to accept suggestions without resistance or internal conflict.End quote .

Now to me the significance of this info is that it possibly supports my idea that the Scientology trance uses the hidden contradiction AND suppression of cognitive dissonance TOGETHER simultaneously to keep the victim from perceiving the confusion AND to escape internal conflict ( which is quite unpleasant ) the victim ACCEPTS suggestions without resistance !

For anyone who forgot... two quotes I found at :
Quotes from L Ron Hubbard on the Confusion Technique:

Now, if it comes to a pass where it's very important whether or not this person acts or inacts as you wish, in interpersonal relations one of the dirtier tricks is to hang the person up on a maybe and create a confusion. And then create the confusion to the degree that your decision actually is implanted hypnotically.
The way you do this is very simple. When the person advances an argument against your decision, you never confront his argument but confront the premise on which his argument is based. That is the rule. He says, "But my professor always said that water boiled at 212 degrees."
You say, "Your professor of what?"
"My professor of physics."
"What school? How did he know?" Completely off track! You're no longer arguing about whether or not water boils at 212 degrees, but you're arguing about professors. And he will become very annoyed, but he won't know quite what he is annoyed about. You can do this so adroitly and so artfully that you can actually produce a confusion of the depth of hypnosis. The person simply goes down tone scale to a point where they're not sure of their own name.
And at that point you say, "Now, you do agree to go out and draw the water out of the well, don't you?"
"Yes-anything!" And he'll go out and draw the water out of the well.
[End Quote]
L. Ron Hubbard Lecture, 20 May 1952 "Decision."

Also, even earlier, in 1950:
One error, however, must be remarked upon. The examination system employed is not much different from a certain hypnotic technique. One induces a state of confusion in the subject by raising his anxieties of what may happen if he does not pass. One then "teaches" at a mind which is anxious and confused. That mind does not then rationalize, it merely records and makes a pattern. If the pattern is sufficiently strong to be regurgitated verbatim on an examination paper, the student is then given a good grade and passed.
[End Quote]
L. Ron Hubbard lecture 29 August 1950, "Educational Dianetics." found at :


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Also...I found a gem on hypnosis and while I disagree with some of the authors ideas I found one quote promising and will share it :

But after hypnotic reversal, she glided through the colour naming, reacting as quickly as people without synaesthesia, and showing none of the tell-tale neurological signs of trying to resolve competing mental demands. Hypnosis had not only altered her experience but had modified the workings of specific brain pathways in ways that we cannot usually manage through conscious will alone. End quote .

Now , the findings the author reported are not claimed as metaphor ( which virtually everything guys like me use to describe thought , the mind etc . ) but instead is claimed to be supported by neuroimaging !

So , it is not opinion but reproducible - you know like real science !

He has another article with another relevant quote on hypnosis :

Due to their ability to have their mental processes temporarily altered in ways previously not thought possible, highly hypnotisable people have become key in scientific studies. Amir Raz and colleagues at McGill University in Montreal reported that it was possible to "switch off" automatic word reading and abolish the Stroop effect – a psychological phenomenon that demonstrates a conflict between meanings, such as where we are much slower to identify the ink colour of a word when the word itself describes a different hue. Furthermore, when this experiment was run in a brain scanner, participants showed much lower activation in both the anterior cingulate cortex, an area known to be particularly involved in resolving conflict between competing demands, and the visual cortex, which is crucial for recognising words. Although this may seem like a technicality, to the scientific world it was a strikingly persuasive demonstration that hypnosis could apparently disassemble an automatic and well-established psychological effect in a manner consistent with the brain processes that support it.

Neuroimaging has also proved key in answering the question of whether hypnotised people are pretending to experience the effects. When people are asked to fake hypnosis, to the point where observers cannot tell the difference between them and the genuinely hypnotised people, the two groups are clearly distinguishable by their brain activity.

Now , as with the earlier article I am not in complete agreement with Mr. Bell on every aspect of hypnotism and really find this to be the norm for this subject : different people with experience or knowledge develop their own ideas and conclusions inevitably.

BUT , I am very excited that neuroimaging gives confirmation to very long believed ideas that hypnotism is not " an act " and regions in the brains of hypnotized people react DEMONSTRABLY differently than those of other people !

Shutting off the Stroop Effect has been seen as very strong scientific proof that hypnotism IS not make believe and merits further consideration.

See , a long held prejudice has been used to push for studies and findings to debunk hypnotism but it keeps on stubbornly refusing to die !

The fact that more sophisticated ways prove it is real every time someone tries to stack the deck to " prove " it is false , along with my own rersearch and experiences makes me very , very happy !


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Additionally here is just one of several more articles that are claiming more scientific study and validation of hypnosis as real :

See , I suspect Hubbard went away from studying structure for several reasons : direct observation is the opposite of the " proof " he wanted in the con !

Also , there is a likely point where structure will SHOW the states in Scientology are hypnotic and undeniably so if you accept certain ideas about brain regions and activity then observe the brain in certain situations .

Some cult apologists have hidden behind the unwillingness of scientists to accept hypnosis and their prejudiced extreme bias and unwillingness to be neutral or even try to find objective ways to study it .

Well , neuroscience has several pieces of proof that hypnosis is very real and when you have several independently found and tested proofs of something that are reproducible with scientific methods you now have a body and - in addition to me liking this body ! - scientists are willing to put their name against something verifiable and come out of the closet if they formally secretly believed but were afraid to support an unproven claim before and so would not even study the subject at all .

SO , tick tock .Time is running out for some folks and some cons .