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.SamBee wrote: ↑07 Jan 2018, 10:00There are a lot of other issues with hypnosis. One is the creation of false memories - of childhood abuse, past lives, alien abduction etc.NightSG wrote: ↑06 Jan 2018, 18:37I 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)
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.
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.The other is the loss of a degree of free agency.
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 also say it is a gateway to demon possession.
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.Some subjects never snap out of it.
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.)