Date: 06 Aug 96 18:56:30 EDT
From: Kevin Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Subscribers to the maili <TWC-L@halmarax.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Hypnotic Techniques
I'm afraid we've been rather sidetracked with recent bits of correspondence so
I'll try and get things a bit more on topic.
Not long ago someone enquired about hypnotic techniques - I forget who. I'm
aware that some of you (eg: boboroshi) may well already know various techniques
on the topic, so I'm sorry if I'm teaching my grandmother to suck eggs! The
following (an extract from the Jones Bumper Fun Book of 1001 Useful Tips) is a
fairly basic technique that works very well. There are others and a fairly good
book on hypnotherapy will provide information on them. A good knowledge of
psychology is also indispensable.
Normally the first thing to do is to find out how suggestible the person is.
Generally speaking, young people, policemen and members of the armed forces are
more suggestible than the rest of the population. They are used to being told
to do. Ignore people who say 'I can't be hypnotised!' People who say that
generally can. Two of the best subjects I've run across came up with that line.
They were halfway into trance before I had even finished a basic test! If you
know the person, you can generally get a good idea from their character. If they
are the sort of person who runs around asking their friends what they think
before they form an opinion on something, they are likely to be very
suggestible. If on the other hand you have an awkward sod, like me, who forms
his own opinions regardless of what the
rest of the world thinks, then they are not likely to be at all suggestible. It
does not mean that they cannot be hypnotised, just that you will need
considerably more co-operation from them. You will have to present it as a joint
The simplest method for testing suggestibility is to give the subject a pendulum
to hold over a piece of paper. I generally get them to sit or lie on the floor.
It is less far to fall. It also puts people at their ease, particularly if you
are sitting down there with them. You tell them quite firmly that you are going
to draw a line on this paper and the pendulum will swing to follow that line.
Then you draw the line. You let them get
fascinated by this effect. Then you tell them that you are going to draw a line
at right angles to the first, forming a cross, and that the pendulum will now
follow the second line. Then you draw the second line. If there is any delay,
just draw their attention to the fact that the pendulum is starting to veer a
bit, show them that it is gradually changing and before long it will have
settled down on its new course. Not surprisingly, that's just what it does! I
have been accused of psychokinesis at this point! This might even help the
trance induction! Finally you tell them that you are going to draw a circle
around the cross that you have drawn and that the pendulum will now follow that.
Which, since they have got to this far, it will.
Now one young lady of my acquaintance was so suggestible that she went into
trance at this point. However, most people don't although many may be part of
the way there. The best way to proceed is to draw their attention to the centre
of the cross you have drawn and which is now at the centre of the circle that
the pendulum is describing. Tell them quietly, firmly and with authority that
they feel that they are being drawn down into the centre of that cross. Each
revolution of the pendulum will take them deeper and deeper. Take your time.
Keep the tone of your voice even and gentle but firm. Keep the rhythm of your
voice in time with the oscillation of the pendulum. Never let any doubt creep
into either your voice or your thoughts. Feel certain that they are eventually
going to go under. You may note some rather
tell tale slumping or their eyes may droop. Pick up on this and tell them that
as they are being drawn down into the cross, their eyelids will begin to droop
or whatever. Sooner or later they will slump gently to the floor. The extremely
did that while leaving her arm precisely where it was, as if it had been bolted
into position. It looked most odd. I told her to put her arm down which she duly
At this point I may turn the gas fire on, depending on the weather. Someone who
has entered trance is more likely to feel cold when they are finally brought out
The next stage is to deepen trance. This is done by firmly and monotonously
repeating the message that they are going further down, deeper, until all they
an hear is your voice. Emphasise that they are feeling unconcerned and relaxed,
content to lie there drifting further and deeper while listening to your voice.
Spend maybe five or ten minutes deepening the trance. Do not be overly concerned
if they exhibit some pallor. It's just indicative of a fairly deep trance. The
trance can be
deepened to the point where the subject can open their eyes and walk about
without disturbing the trance. However, for most purposes this is not necessary.
It is accepted practice at this point to test the depth of trance. This may
involve things like telling the patient that you will gently prick their arm
with a pin but they won't feel it or getting them to follow a series of orders.
Once you have established that they are now in a suitably deep trance, make your
suggestions. These should have been carefully thought out beforehand and agreed
with the subject. They should be free of any ambiguity and should not cause the
subject any harm. If necessary, you can instruct the subject that they can now
speak without disturbing the trance and that they will repeat the instructions
to you on command. This will have the effect of further imprinting it on their
mind. The voice of
a hypnotised subject only has to be heard once to be recognised again.
Post-hypnotic instructions are the sort of thing beloved of stage hypnotists and
thriller writers. They are a suggestion that will take effect after the session
has ended, either immediately or in response to a stimulus. They may be a one
off event or they may be permanent. The commonest one is a mere convenience to
hypnotist - 'you will go into a trance immediately when I say poppodoms!' or
whatever, which always looks impressive! Again, make your suggestions firmly and
Bringing someone out of a trance is not difficult. Tell them beforehand that you
are going to count back from twenty. When you start doing so, they will start to
feel themselves rising like a bubble, faster and faster towards being awake.
counting backwards from twenty, giving them a running commentary on their
progress towards wakefulness. When you get to five, tell them that they are
getting very close to being awake and when you reach one, you will clap your
hands and they will awake. It is unlikely that they won't wake up at one,
although there may be
a little delay. If they don't, it's because they were dog-tired before you
started and have gone to sleep! Chuck a blanket over them and let them sleep it
Incidentally, let me dispense with the myth that you cannot hypnotise someone to
do something against their will. Fine as it stands - but what is their will?
Everybody has a shadow side to them. The celibate female virgin may very well
nymphomaniac shadow. If you bring the shadow side to the fore, given half a
chance she might take on the Brigade of Guards in an orgy of fornication! A
patriot may well betray his government out of patriotism. Should he come to
believe that those in government have already betrayed his country, he may well
it as his duty to betray them. From his point of view, he is keeping faith with
his country, a much higher ideal than supporting any government. Fun and games
of this order fall into the province of saiminjutsu, a subset of skills in
Incidentally, there are on or two plants which increase suggestibility, as well
as a few pharmaceuticals.