[SPLIT] Hypnosis

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NightSG
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[SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by NightSG » 07 Jan 2018, 16:08

(Bringing this out on its own so as to not completely hijack Beefster's thread.)
SamBee wrote:
07 Jan 2018, 10:00
NightSG wrote:
06 Jan 2018, 18:37
I sometimes wonder if the Church stance on hypnosis ("under competent, professional medical supervision for the treatment of diseases or mental disorders" and specifically not for "demonstration," which pretty much says a LDS shouldn't learn to be a hypnotist) is because people would quickly notice that the whole process of "fake it 'til you make it" and constant repetition is a common workaround for a tough induction. (i.e. silently repeating the hypnotist's instructions to yourself, and going along with them until they start to happen directly)
There are a lot of other issues with hypnosis. One is the creation of false memories - of childhood abuse, past lives, alien abduction etc.
Except that we put ourselves into trance states, intentionally or otherwise, fairly often. The same things can happen at those times, with the same results. Others also may put us into a light trance state (again, intentionally or not) through certain speech and activity patterns. The formal practice of hypnosis is less likely to cause issues than those people, since often even when they don't intend to induce trance or even know they're doing it, they generally know they're being unusually influential when they do certain things.

Then, there's the simple fact that most people aren't that suggestible, even in deep trance, or if they are, the effects are very short-lived once they start analyzing the belief. ("Gee, I can't really have been abducted by aliens Tuesday because I was at the dance all evening.") That's why the most effective suggestions are the ones that are subjective but that the patient wants to believe ("I don't like the taste of cigarettes") or the ones that are objectively true, ("Smoking makes me cough and it's bad for me") and thus able to withstand critical scrutiny.

I dated a woman who was particularly susceptible to unintentional self-induction; at times we'd be watching movies, or I'd be driving with her in the passenger seat, and I'd realize she'd gone to the thousand yard stare. If I'd been talking, I'd have to think back to make sure I hadn't said anything in the last few minutes that could have been a suggestion, and then figure out a way to clear it if I had, but watching movies could get weird; even ones she was quite familiar with would leave her thinking that certain things had really happened...but only for a few minutes until conscious thought overruled the "total immersion" level of her rather complete suspension of disbelief.
The other is the loss of a degree of free agency.
Which happens to some degree from virtually all human interaction. Persuasion of any type is coopting the subject's agency to some degree. As much as I disagree with Derren Brown on some things, (I'm well aware that he is primarily a showman, but he's also very talented in manipulating people.) his various experiments in social pressure aren't that far off the mark; you don't need hypnosis to convince a fair number of people to do something that ordinarily would be utterly abhorrent to them. In fact, I'd say from some of his notes and explanations, the "hypnotized assassin" was a lot more difficult overall than getting average people to participate in abnormal acts up to and including a (staged) murder. The only real "benefit" was that the hypnotized one had (at the time) no knowledge of the events leading up to his killing (again, staged) a stranger. Of course, he was told afterward exactly what had happened, but quite likely it would have come to conscious realization on its own fairly soon. It's also worth noting that in both cases, these people were selected from a fairly large pool (60-100 for each demonstration, IIRC) for their suggestibility. That pool in turn had self-selected as people acting on an interest in Brown's work, (though they had no idea what they would ultimately be doing at the time) so skeptics and those difficult to induce would have already been eliminated.
Some also say it is a gateway to demon possession.
Some people say playing cards are a gateway to demon possession. (Seriously; I had one of those people as a HT companion.) Some people still say the Earth is flat. Some people are just imbeciles.
Some subjects never snap out of it.
I doubt that; if left alone, the trance state will eventually devolve into normal sleep, which you'll wake up from just fine. If you're referring to suggestions never fading away, then see above. If someone never consciously examines a suggestion, then it might hold indefinitely, but the same can be said of any statement from a person of perceived authority on the subject at hand. Most people, OTOH, will consciously examine a suggestion that challenges a preexisting belief, and will do it soon after leaving trance. ("But smoking makes me feel good, and I sort of like the way Camels taste. Plus lots of things make me cough, so I don't know that's from smoking.") That's why many relatively simple behavior fixes, like smoking cessation, can require several sessions; even though the person knows smoking causes various health problems, they've formed a belief, (albeit a weak and inherently inconsistent one) and it's often necessary to continually erode the behavior and belief pattern that has been built up over years.

To literally change someone's deeply held religious beliefs through hypnosis? I'd tentatively say it's possible, but definitively say it's not practical unless they're well on the road to conversion anyway. (In which case those beliefs are no longer deeply held to start with.) You'd do far better to convert them through more normal means, rather than spending months or years and hundreds of trance sessions trying to erode the literal fabric of someone's existence. (Also, given that Brown used to be an irritatingly militant atheist, and is still an atheist, though now with a realization that no one gives a crap, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he'd tried to convert staunch Christians to atheism through hypnosis, but I'd be completely shocked if he'd ever had even the slightest success in it without trumpeting it to at least the hypnosis community.)
Last edited by NightSG on 07 Jan 2018, 16:09, edited 1 time in total.

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SamBee
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by SamBee » 08 Jan 2018, 10:29

https://www.theguardian.com/science/200 ... y-syndrome
Despite the falling away of media interest, families are still being torn apart when 'recovered' memories of childhood sexual abuse are introduced into the minds of vulnerable people

I have three wonderful daughters – two teenagers and one young adult. I can hardly imagine anything more horrible than the prospect that one of them might one day enter therapy for help with some common psychological problem such as anxiety, insomnia or depression and, at the end of that process, accuse me of childhood sexual abuse on the basis of "recovered" memories. Even though I would know with absolute certainty that such allegations were untrue, the chances are that nothing I could say or do would convince my accusers of this.

A few days ago I sat in a lecture theatre mostly filled with middle-aged or elderly parents living through this exact nightmare. Typically, their adult children had started therapy with no pre-existing memories of being sexually abused, but had become convinced during the therapeutic process that they had indeed been victimised in this way. So convinced were they that the "recovered" memories were true, they more often than not accused their parents directly of this vile act and then cut off any further contact, leaving their parents devastated and confused, their lives shattered.

The occasion in question was the 15th Annual General Meeting of the British False Memory Society. The BFMS began life in 1993, the year after the formation of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in the US. Accused parents were at the forefront of founding both organisations. Both have scientific and professional advisory boards to support them in their aims, which include providing support – including legal assistance where necessary – to those affected by such accusations, providing information and advice to professionals, and improving our understanding of false memories by encouraging and supporting academic and professional research.

One serious problem appears to be that many people mistakenly believe that the false memory controversy is "yesterday's news". They are aware that there was a huge increase in such allegations back in the 1980s and 1990s. They may even be aware that many professionals and academics have reacted against such claims, most notably Elizabeth Loftus, whose pioneering work in this area has done more to increase our understanding of the true nature of false memories than any other scientist. But it is simply not the case that this is a dead issue.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by Roy » 08 Jan 2018, 11:22

I do believe that people are sometimes open to suggestion to varying degrees. I also understand that memories can be malleable and that some things can be suggested and then remembered.

I read a book by Hugh Nibley's daughter in which she made some horrifying but also strange and uncorroborated accusations against him.

I suppose it might be prudent to tread with caution before intentionally opening yourself to another's suggestion.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

NightSG
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by NightSG » 08 Jan 2018, 13:27

Roy wrote:
08 Jan 2018, 11:22
I do believe that people are sometimes open to suggestion to varying degrees. I also understand that memories can be malleable and that some things can be suggested and then remembered.
Right, but that doesn't require hypnosis; just sit down and watch a movie with your friends. After a few hours, start talking about a scene in the movie, with some modifications and see how many of them will "remember" what you're describing rather than what they actually saw.

Some things don't even have to be suggested; I worked in safety and security for a few years, and the differences in witness statements taken minutes after an incident were, to say the least, disturbing. Even when we had wide angle video of the entire area, people with no connection to the incident other than eyewitness would clearly remember large things that just weren't there. Even an 18 wheeler that wasn't involved in any way, but the witness was sure it had been right there within 20 feet of the incident, so the driver must have seen exactly what happened: only problem was we monitored that yard and there hadn't been a truck in it all morning, unless it could launch itself straight up over an 8' chain link fence to avoid the cameras and guards at both gates. (And yes, I did go check the undisturbed soft ground and the still-rusted-shut lock on the one unguarded gate.) The witness, completely unprompted, (others were specifically instructed not to ask about details of the incident other than checking for injury or immediate danger before we got our initial statements) could "remember" the color of truck and trailer, logo on the truck and a rough description of the driver of a giant vehicle that just plain didn't exist.

For that matter, I have occasionally had memories I now know to have been false, including some that were inherently obvious even at the time. On the other hand, they're not memories anyone would have any reason to have "planted" through hypnosis or any other method, and in one case that comes to mind, no one alive would have known any of the other details of the context in which that memory exists. It's closely emotionally connected (to me) to a very traumatic event, (my father was murdered when I was 10) and the memory is of a brief conversation we had several months before that. No one else, including my mother (they divorced when I was 7) would have known the details of that evening, but I have a clear yet false memory of us talking about events that I now realize hadn't yet happened. Given the content, the false memory must have formed sometime after I was 12-13. However, after examining the false memory, I have been able to recall enough of the actual conversation that even though I can still remember the nonexistent parts, they're clearly marked in my mind as imagined rather than real. How and why does it exist? I can't say for sure, though in truth, it is a conversation I would have wanted to have with him, had he still been alive. Most likely, I imagined or even dreamt a conversation I wished I could have with him, and for whatever reason, my brain edited it into one that did happen, as a coping mechanism. As I said, no one else would have the reason or the knowledge to create it, and no one but early-teen me would ever have seen even a small benefit from its creation.
I read a book by Hugh Nibley's daughter in which she made some horrifying but also strange and uncorroborated accusations against him.
I see plenty of articles here where people are doing the same thing to various Church and political leaders.
I suppose it might be prudent to tread with caution before intentionally opening yourself to another's suggestion.
Yes, but we do exactly that any time we fail to apply substantial critical thinking to everything we're told.

Roy
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by Roy » 08 Jan 2018, 13:37

NightSG wrote:
08 Jan 2018, 13:27
I suppose it might be prudent to tread with caution before intentionally opening yourself to another's suggestion.
Yes, but we do exactly that any time we fail to apply substantial critical thinking to everything we're told.
Fair enough. I recognize that memory malleability occurs naturally. I do not suggest that anything nefarious is going on in the majority of professional hypnosis sessions nor that it invalidates free will. I have also known people that swear that it helped them quit smoking when nothing else seemed to.

Certainly might be a useful tool to be used judiciously under competent medical supervision.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Jan 2018, 15:29

Hypnosis can help with things that require focused effort and dedication. It can help someone act in a positive way when they feel like acting in a negative way (like when dealing with addictions). It can be a valuable part of therapeutic counseling. It also can be damaging if not done properly, even by professional therapists.

Memory recovery is far trickier, much more susceptible to manipulation, and very difficult to do objectively.

Finally, Nibley's daughter had lots of issues, and her claims have huge problems, with or without hypnosis, but especially given her overall beliefs and those of her hypnotist. That case appears to be a textbook example of hypnosis intended to find something specific, not to uncover objective truth.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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NightSG
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by NightSG » 08 Jan 2018, 22:25

Curt Sunshine wrote:
08 Jan 2018, 15:29
Memory recovery is far trickier, much more susceptible to manipulation, and very difficult to do objectively.
Right, and IMO, shouldn't be done directly in any case where the memory can't be directly verified and/or there are consequences to it being unintentionally altered. (i.e. it would be acceptable as an attempt to find a forgotten password or lock combination, but not to gather information for an accusation) Even if it's necessary to pull out such information for the therapist to address it as part of a treatment, I'd much prefer to see it done in such a way that the client has no conscious recall of anything gained during the session.

Intentionally attempting to alter a memory - even to fix a provably incorrect one - is well into extremely unethical territory. I could see it as an acceptable emergency tactic for a truly suicidal client if nothing else was working, but that's about it.

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dande48
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by dande48 » 08 Jan 2018, 22:49

I took courses in and studied hypnosis in depth for several years. My aunt was the one who got me into it. My TMB parents were none too pleased.

Here's my few cents on the subject:
1. Hypnosis can never cause someone to do something they don't want to do. The mind would reject it and fight back. If a hypnosis were to suggest handing over a wallet, personal information (passwords, SSN), or solicit sex, the subject would break from it. That being said, there are many things a person could want that could be exploited.

2. It actually began my faith crisis, many years ago. This is because I discovered that hypnosis occurs regularly, without anyone being aware of it, many times a day. It just happens on a much more subtle, lighter level (although often not less intentional). I've spotted it heavily in politics, business, and especially religion. There are certain words they use, certain patterns of speak, subject preparation, and alteration of perception that runs heavily though it all in much the same way. Priesthood blessings are a strong example, but prayer is general often fits in the same category. What shocked me most, was when I saw how much it was used, in missionary tactics. That's not to say, it's used for "evil". Convincing, helping and encouraging someone to do "good" is a "good" thing, right? What's more, most people who practice hypnosis on others, usually don't realize it. What's more, they're probably self-hypnotizing themselves at the same time. It happens more often than you think.

3. Humans are not rational. We like to think we are... but the truth is, our reality is largely our perception, which is colored with all sorts of things which are illogical and sometimes blatantly false. Which is why you'll NEVER be able to change someone's mind on religion or politics through reason. Take a look at every presidental election ever. You've almost always got a rough 50-50 split of Americans with such an obscenely different view of reality, they are revolted by the immorality and gross stupidity of the other group. Is one of the groups smarter, more informed, more rational than the other? Religion takes it even a step farther. What are the chance you are one of the lucky few, brilliant and noble enough to belong to the "One True Religion", when most everyone else is wrong? What evidence do you have for the correctness of your beliefs that could not just as equally apply to the religious beliefs of others? We shape can alter and shape our own reality. Hypnosis is a tool to facilitate and control that process. False memories are to be expected.

Just to clarify, I don't believe that being rational is always good, that most religious leaders exploit or knowingly lie to their follows (politics and business are another story), or that it is often immoral to persuade someone to act differently than they might've otherwise. Hypnosis is a very enlightening subject, and a powerful tool. Religion is also a very enlightening subject and power tool.
"Sir, it's quite possible this asteroid is not entirely stable." - C-3PO

NightSG
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by NightSG » 08 Jan 2018, 23:56

dande48 wrote:
08 Jan 2018, 22:49
Here's my few cents on the subject:
1. Hypnosis can never cause someone to do something they don't want to do. The mind would reject it and fight back. If a hypnosis were to suggest handing over a wallet, personal information (passwords, SSN), or solicit sex, the subject would break from it. That being said, there are many things a person could want that could be exploited.
Not easily, at least directly. OTOH, altering perception could achieve most of these; handing over a wallet or personal information could be achieved by creating the perception that the recipient is someone with the authority to demand it, or simply someone otherwise entitled to it, for example. (Loan officer at the bank needs your SSN to process your application, etc.)

The direct approach would be changing what the person actually wants, which could vary from quite simple ("Well, I guess I don't want tacos for dinner, then.") to an in-depth process taking months of repetitions. Then there's the consideration of what the actual want is; does the person actually not want to have sex, or do they want it but suppress that desire due to their perception of the consequences? Again, we're way out of any ethical use of hypnosis or persuasion in general, but it's important to understand the difference between "I don't want to" and "I don't want the consequences I perceive to be likely or inescapable."

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SamBee
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Re: [SPLIT] Hypnosis

Post by SamBee » 10 Jan 2018, 06:28

1. Hypnosis can never cause someone to do something they don't want to do. The mind would reject it and fight back. If a hypnosis were to suggest handing over a wallet, personal information (passwords, SSN), or solicit sex, the subject would break from it. That being said, there are many things a person could want that could be exploited.
There are ways and means to get past that. For example, I have heard the story of a young therapist in pre-WWI Vienna who tried to get a woman to undress. He had tried it the simple way and it never worked... but instead he made her think she was in a different situation and made it work.

So you couldn't say "get your clothes off", but you could say "you are going to take a shower, you go to the bathroom, you turn on the water. It's warm and you are relaxed. You fetch the towel, you take off your clothes and get in..." etc etc. The hypnotist has to lead as well as order.

If you implant memories, you have to lead them there. You wouldn't just say "you've been abducted by aliens", you'd have to tell them they'd just gone to bed, and that they had to describe what was going on that night. And then you'd lead them on a few points intentionally or unintentionally.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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