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Friday, March 06, 2009

Break the Spell !


Hypnosis is as old as mankind. At first it was associated with mystical, magical or occult phenomena, but as time passed it became the subject of scientific investigation. At the end of the 19th century the scientific community took a more serious interest in hypnotism and much of the "Hocus Pocus" was eliminated from the equation. When we began to understand how hypnosis works, the art of hypnosis began to flourish.

Here are the fundamentals that you need to know in order to understand how mass covert hypnosis is being used against you virtually every day:
First of all hypnosis is a special, altered state of awareness in which a person becomes more suggestible. The ideas that the hypnotist gives that person bypass normal conscious thinking and influence him/her directly at the unconscious level.

When I speak about the unconscious (sometimes referred to as the "subconscious" or "non-conscious" mind - these are all really different words for the same thing), I mean that part of you that stores your memories, feelings, hopes & dreams and is responsible for automatic behaviors - it regulates everything from your heartbeat to your habits. When you have a craving for chocolate, when you find yourself doing things automatically (like driving on the freeway - can you remember what sights you passed between your entry and your exit?) or when you choose one brand of washing powder over another - even though you have NO IDEA what the difference between them really is, that is your unconscious mind in action.

The conditions for allowing the state of hypnosis to arise are simple:

1. Fixate the attention
2. Somehow bypass or shut down the normal intellect, i.e. "critical" or "rational" thinking

Once the state is induced, a hypnotist can start planting his suggestions inside the mind. Luckily your mind is not without its defenses - we will come to these, and the ways in which some people are trying to break down your defenses every day!

Let’s look a little more closely at the traditional methods people have used for inducing hypnosis.

To fixate attention means to absorb it, to concentrate, to narrow your awareness down to a single point of attention (like tunnel vision or a single idea). This can be done in many ways. Traditionally focus points have been the "ordinary" like a light or the hypnotists finger, through to the exotic, like the rhythmic chanting ofeastern mystics, the repetition of a word or phrase (like a "mantra") or focusing on the light of a candle.

To bypass rational thinking there are many methods. The simplest one is engaging in repetitive "non-intellectual" activities. Rhythmic drumming or whirling in circles, a mind-numbingly boring lecturer or the rhythmic chanting of "mantras" or other prayers can have this effect. Over time more sophisticated techniques evolved.

So this is the first crucial thing to remember: to induce a hypnotic trance (and open the mind to suggestion) the basic conditions are get attention and turn off the intellect.

The next thing that needs to happen is that the unconscious mind is influenced. But the unconscious mind has got defenses - for example hypnosis alone cannot be used to force someone to break their own moral code. No one can hypnotize you and make you murder someone else (unless you really don't mind killing them anyway). But they can make you see things in a way that makes killing OK - for example this is something that army indoctrination programs do. This last is an example of what are called hypnotic realities.

A hypnotic reality changes the way we think the world is, which then allows us to make "rational" choices that can be predicted. For example, if you are convinced that a certain washing powder has a special ingredient that cleans clothes better, it is rational to choose to buy it. Whether or not that magic ingredient actually exists or even works is irrelevant. The fact is that once your mind accepts that as a reality, your natural choices will take you down a predetermined path.

The same is true in politics: you will naturally withdraw your support from a politician that is corrupt - so smear campaigns started to evolve. It is natural to give your support to a politician who seems to have a clear solution in a time of crisis - which is why the outbreak of a war or a natural disaster has "saved" many flagging careers.

There are many devices for creating and installing these hypnotic realities: hypnotic stories, loaded hypnotic language, repetition, the voice of authority, trance logic. We will investigate these in order to familiarize you with the tricks being used on you until you can spot it happening and choose to stop it.
For now the stage is set for mass covert hypnosis. All you need to start a campaign of mass covert hypnosis is:

1. Reach enough people (there is an element of group dynamics that can be helpful to the hypnotist),
2. Rivet their attention for a period of time,
3. Switch off their intellect,
4. Hypnotically install a reality in which a normal, ethical person can only act in the way you want them to.

Mass Covert Hypnosis And The Media

It there are many different environments that will allow someone to create the 4 conditions for mass covert hypnosis to occur.

A cult may invite you to a meeting, talk or special seminar.
A lobby group may stage a mass rally with long speeches, the chanting of repetitive slogans and tiring marches.
A rock concert can be used to support a political message.

These activities may not be bad in themselves, but they have the potential to alter your state of consciousness enough to open your mind to mass suggestion. Whether this is done deliberately or accidentally is a mere historical footnote. The fact is your choice was taken away from you, the only individual entitled to determine the course of your life.

Luckily most of the example activities I have just mentioned are improperly stage managed so that the hypnotic effect is haphazard: whilst it is more likely that you will be influenced than not, it would still be difficult to tell the outcome in advance.
If you want to know the effectiveness of true covert mass hypnosis techniques in action when they are used with a purpose and properly stage managed, just look at Hitler's rallies in the 1930s and the 1940s.

Hitler's rallies were carefully crafted using every trick in the book (as they knew it then) to take a nation of decent people and make them either blind to the evil consequences of his regime (known as a negative hallucination) or embrace his twisted ideas one carefully managed step at a time.

Hitler used many people to help him in his campaign to corrupt a nation, including a drama teacher to help him deliver powerful and emotional speeches. But his most irresistible medium ever was film. Film allowed Hitler to take his message to an entire nation. If you think about it, film was ideal for a campaign of deliberate cover mass hypnosis because by its very nature it:

1. Reached millions of people at the same time
2. Forced them to sit still and pay attention for a period of time
3. Encouraged people to "Switch Off And Enjoy The Show" and
4. Bombarded them with the same (hypnotic) messages in many different ways.

The four conditions for mass covert hypnosis were satisfied. This s as true today as it was in Hitler's day. Only now we have television as well as cinemas to contend. We have seen what Hitler's messages bombarding a movie going nation once a week could do. Now think about how much more power a TV set has. It fulfils the 4 conditions just as well as film: its in your home (so your defenses are down) and you watch it every day!

In fact many children spend more time watching TV then they do going to school. Who do you think controls what they will be thinking when they grow up?

Still doubtful?

Well here are two studies that may shock you.

The first is by a researcher called Herbert Krugman. In his tests he found that the part of the brain responsible for the normal intellect, like rational thought, gets tuned down and other parts of the brain get stimulates into hyper activity. It literally numbs your ability to think rationally.

The second study is just a worrying. Thomas Mullholland put a bunch of children in front of a television set. The TV was wired so that it would automatically switch off when the children's brain state switched from a normal everyday state to a more receptive state almost comatose in nature - like hypnosis.

They tried this a bunch of ways. The children were warned to keep alert. But no matter what the children did, within 30 seconds of the TV being turned on, those children entered a trance state and the television sets automatically clicked off.
30 seconds.
That's all it takes for your mind to be switched into a hypnotically receptive mode - just 30 seconds.

How long do you watch TV?

How many messages have you let into your mind without realizing how they have shaped your thinking?

If you are feeling unsettled right now, your fears are not unfounded. Watching TV meets all the conditions for delivering a campaign of covert mass hypnosis: the studies have shown that TV focuses your attention and switches off (or at least "dumbs down") your intellect to the point where your mind becomes easy to influence with hypnotic messages.

Now that we have discovered the basic "hypnotic" medium that is being used to make your mind vulnerable, lets have a look at the techniques that advertisers, politicians and political activists use plant Hypnotic Realities inside you so that you cannot help but do what they want you to do.

Covert Mass Hypnosis Strategies

The enemy of covert mass hypnosis is rational thinking. If you could reason logically whilst the messages are being implanted in your mind, you could deliberately block the process quite easily. It is more difficult to go in and root out a Hypnotic Reality that has already grown into full bloom inside your mind. It can be done, but prevention is a much better remedy than a cure!

So of course on of the primary strategies that a gifted covert hypnotist will use is to systematically break down your ability to reason. And there are many ways to do this.

Stir Up Primitive Drives

You may have thought that you have only one brain. Well it turns out that you have at least three, and each one does a different job. These brains are divided into 3 "shells" that grow around each other.

At the centre we have what is called the "R-complex". The R-complex is made up of the brain stem and the cerebellum. Now the closest thing that resembles this brain in nature is the brains of reptiles. Both a reptile’s brain and the R-complex have the same function: survival instincts. The basics are eat, sleep, mate, fight and run away.

The next "brain" is a layer called the limbic system. Sometimes its referred to as the "mammalian brain" because it looks and acts a lot like the kinds of brains we find in lower mammals (like cats and dogs.) It basically regulates your emotions, some aspects of your personal identity and some aspects of your memory.
The topmost layer is the most complex. It is called the "neo-cortex" or sometimes the "cerebral cortex". We share this structure with our primate cousins, though our version of it is ridiculously large in comparison. This is where our "higher" functions come from. We can socialize, reason, plan and speak thanks to this part of our brain.

Now normally the three brains work in balance. But as soon as the basic function of one of the lower brains is threatened, it short circuits the functions of the higher ones. So the first thing to go in stressful situations is our reason, our ability to speak coherently and plan ahead.

When your safety is threatened, the R-complex kicks in and makes you run on autopilot to keep you safe (by running away or fighting). When your emotions are stimulated to a high degree (e.g. when you're in love or when you're angry) again you loose the ability to reason or plan ahead properly.

Enter the mass manipulators. Did you ever hear a politician paint you a grim picture about rising crime rates (lack of safety) or rising unemployment (lack of food and shelter)? If their words hit home, then chances are pretty good that your ability to reason afterwards was impaired. All you know is that you want the problem to go away. You stop thinking the issues through clearly and the politician gets away with making bold claims without any real logic behind them.

This is a trick that Hitler had perfected. As a mass manipulator, he was lucky to live at a time when unemployment and food shortages swept through Germany. People where desperate and reason was in short supply. Hitler's speeches hit the R-complex square in its needs, and the rest (as they say) is history.

The same is true of political activists. Look at the scare surrounding the climate change problem. How many of the messages you are being pumped full of are actual reasoned arguments? How much of it is designed to just make you feel afraid?

Whilst their cause might be a decent one, to keep our planet from harm, their methods are at times as sinister as Hitler or Stalin's propaganda machine.
The news and politicians tend to thrive on the attention that they get from stimulating the R-complex. War, death, disaster, disease, corruption, evil, atrocities... these things sell papers or make you tune in to CNN. We think that the world is a terrible and evil place because that is the message that is being pumped at us - either to get us to look (e.g. the news) or to make us desperate for a political change.

Of course the general sense of unease that we are left with (in some cases it develops into a full blown paranoia) is the price we pay for their successful campaign to dominate our thinking.

Advertisers are also no strangers to manipulating our R-complex. We all know that sex sells.

Why do we see a sexually alluring woman draping herself across the bonnet (hood for our American friends) of a car?
Because men are aroused by the sight at some level. The R-complex kicks in and wants to mate. Whilst we may mask the desire from ourselves or under a social veneer, we still buy the message: car means sex. Buy car have sex.

The logic of the idea is atrocious. But we're not thinking logically any more. Advertisers may (for the most part) be using more pleasant images, but they are still controlling your impulses to limit your choices down to one: do as we say!

The price we pay for this kind of associational logic that we have been exposed pretty much since birth is that we have a pretty warped sense of what we want from the world.

There was a time when our basic needs (eat, sleep, procreate) could be satisfied by living on a small farm in the middle of nowhere. It could be satisfied living in a city or town. There were more ways to find happiness because our choices where not narrowed down.

Ironically with the birth of industry we have more choice than ever in terms of what products we can use. The problem is that as our choice of things increase, our choices of lifestyles decrease. Men desire women with movie star looks and women need cosmetic surgery to feel desirable.

There must be something wrong with this?

The problem is whilst our thinking is restricted to the R-complex, so cleverly stimulated by the media industry as a whole, we don't have a chance to think for ourselves.

The Mood Manipulators
There is another consequence of the Triune Brain model we just discussed. Apart from using fear to cripple our ability to think for ourselves, we can be swayed by any strong emotional response.

Again we turn to advertising. You're watching TV (good boy, keep watching the hypnosis box), you're receptive, an advert comes up with alluring images (R-complex starts overriding things) cue music and emotionally laden images.
Just as stimulating the need for sex, food or safety, so developing a strong emotional response in someone will short circuit their ability to think straight.

Cue nostalgic music. A handsome grandfather plays with his adorable granddaughter. They have a fun day, the little girl shows an expression of pure love for grandfather. He gives her a little treat, sweets from an old candy jar. Impossibly the little girls expression lights up even more. We are filled with happiness and delight with the privilege of witnessing this scene. Cue the cheap plastic bag of candy you can get for 99 cents in any drug store.

We unconsciously accept the message: to feel loved eat this candy.
Or: buy the pure love of children, bribe them with these sweets.

Consciously it doesn't make sense. But when do you find yourself in the drugstore searching out the brand of "happy candy"?

When you've had a bad day and need some love and affection.
Ask any therapist and you will hear that the most common underlying problem driving obesity is unhappiness. A feeling of loneliness, or that you are not loveable. When we are down and out we grasp at the magic pill to make us happy again. Logically we know it won't make us happy - just fat. But who is capable of logic anymore?

The hypnotic principle being employed here is "to change someone's mind change their mood."

Next time you watch TV just notice how much of what you are seeing and hearing is designed to manipulate your mood so that your unconscious makes similar mistakes in their favour!

Hypnotic Language Patterns

Consider this little item that could come from any political rally:

"We deserve to live happily, we have the right to be free from fear, we need to ensure that our children are safe in our homes and on our streets and we will do whatever it takes to make sure that happens"

Rousing stuff? Maybe.

But have a look at what is actually being said. Do you have any idea what this politician is on about?

The truth is if you ask 10 different people, you'll get 10 different answers. The politician in question has made a statement that is a piece of hypnotic genius: we find our own meanings in it. Because we find our own meanings, we think that he's speaking to us about our own needs

This is the power of hypnotic language. Hypnotic language can turn off your reasoning process, it can make you identify with the speakers message as though it were your own and accept his conclusions despite the lack of evidence (or even evidence to the contrary).

You're watching a political broadcast. The guest speaker starts with a grim piece of news:

"Yesterday Mary X was walking with her children in the park. A gang of thugs raped and killed her whilst the children watched and cried..."

My apologies for this grim piece of language. If you are feeling disturbed just reading this, then you have just felt your R-complex being activated. The politician telling this grim story has just switched off your ability to reason. If he is good, he can convince you of anything now - the death penalty, more taxes (for a bigger police force or more prisons), even changes in the law that end up infringing your own civil liberties.

He doesn't have to prove a thing. He has caught your mind so firmly with his hypnotic language that he can make you believe almost anything now. All he has to do is follow the hypnotic principles one step at a time and you'll be caught - unless you can see what he's doing and refuse to let him lead you around by the nose!

Now the topic of hypnotic language is vast. These examples were just the tip of a very large iceberg. And politicians and other cult leaders are particularly good at using it to subtly control what you think and don't even consider.

The Law Of Repetition
This one is a hypnosis classic. The more often you say something the more you'll believe it. The more a message is repeated to you, the more real it seems to become. This is partly because your memory finds more examples of it, and partly because of the way that your mind tries to reconstruct reality.
Repeat a message often enough and in different guises, and it is accepted as truth. At one stage in our history we all believed that the world was flat. Then came Galileo and was almost burned at the stake for suggesting it was round.

Now we all know it is round.

Or do we?

Ask yourself this: how do you KNOW that the world is round?

Now I am not from the Flat Earth Society. I have no wish to convince you that the world is flat. I just want you to think for a moment: how do you know what you know?

Chances are that unless you are a doctor of mathematics, an astrophysicist or an actual astronaut you have never worked this fact out for yourself through personal observation or mathematical measurements.
You believed other people. Enough people told you it was so and you believed them.

Imagine what would happen if all the papers tomorrow said "Scientific Scam - The World Is Not Round" and told you that rebel scientists have decided to break the great secret on pain of death. At first you wouldn't be sure whether to believe the story. But it gets run again on the news. They interview some of these rebel scientists. They show photos that demonstrate how the curvature of the earth is an optical illusion. The evidence seems to pile up. How long would you hold out before you started to doubt what you now consider to be a cast-iron fact?

Politicians know this. They know that they can insinuate an idea in your mind. Come back to it time and time again. Build you up until you're ready to accept it as the truth just on their say so - with absolutely no reasonable evidence to back it up.

Just think of the "Weapons of mass destruction" debacle that both the UK Prime Minister and the US President found themselves in. We believed them without a shred of evidence.

Why did we do it?

Because they kept telling us the same thing, over and over again, on TV when our mental defenses were down.

Did we really have a chance?


Specialist Techniques

There are many more techniques from the field of hypnosis and covert hypnosis that are being used more and more each day to influence you. Hypnotic stories (yes they exist!), shock & confusion, core drives and needs...

Sadly I do not have the time or the space to break each one of these specialist techniques down for you here. However there is one technique that is so subtle, so undetectable and so powerful that I feel obliged to make sure you know about it.

It is known as the "interspersal technique" or more commonly as "embedded commands"

An embedded command is a hypnotic command hidden inside of a normal, innocent sounding comment. Consider this:

"I need to tell you that ACME Product has just hit the shelves. By now you'll have heard that there was a small delay to get it in shops, but we're pleased to announce that we can get it there NOW without any problems. We feel proud to have done so at last."

This sounds like an innocent announcement you could hear on the radio or in a TV slot somewhere right?
Now take another look at the statement with the message I have italicized for you:

"I need to tell you that ACME Product has just hit the shelves. By [buy] now you'll have heard that there was a small delay to get it in shops, but we're pleased to announce that we can get it there NOW without any problems. We feel proud to have done so at last."

This gives you the following set of instructions:

"Need ACME Product , [buy] now, get it in shops, get it there NOW , feel proud to have done so at last."

An embedded command allows you to use a special gesture, change of tone or other hypnotic trick to alert the unconscious mind to the secret message hidden inside the ordinary comment. Consciously we hear the normal comment and don't think too much of it. Unconsciously we here the true message, and if the conditions were set up correctly, we get the "spontaneous" feeling that we really need another ACME product.

This is a powerful hypnotic technique that politicians and advertisement executives are learning all over the world now. It is almost impossible to spot, unless you know what to look for. And it is devastatingly effective.

Break The Trance

I hope that I have given you a solid foundation for understanding how covert mass hypnosis is being used against you. With all the conflicting hypnotic messages we are bombarded with every day, it is no wonder that more and more people are confused about what they want out of life.

We are being manipulated into believing things, wanting things and feeling bad about things that we otherwise would not care about in the least. When we leave our minds open to anyone, we cannot be surprised if we end up getting something that isn't really any good for us.

We have a responsibility to choose our own way. We can take all these messages and examine them with our full reasoning abilities. Some of them will actually be worthwhile. You can the chose to let these in. Others will be unmasked for the destructive and manipulative things that they are. We can chose to expel those.

To prevent a negative suggestion taking hold in your mind is easy. As you hear it, consider what it really means. When the politician tells you that crime is out of control, what are his sources? Are things really any worse in your neighbourhood? Have things, in your own experience, been getting better over the years?

If the politician's or the adverts message doesn't match your experience then they had better have a damned good argument - with real facts to back it up. Not some emotional jujitsu, and not some random statistic thrown in without any explanation of how it was arrived at. Remember 80% of statistics are made up - including that one :-)

Be careful what you watch on TV. If you watch the news, then take at least an equal measure of time to think about all the things that are NOT going wrong in the world.

My personal preference is to simply avoid the news altogether (actually I don't watch any TV at all - apart from having a clearer sense of what my life is about, I have so many more hours to enjoy it in!) If anything really important happens - like the outbreak of war or the change in oil prices - I am sure to find that out from other people. In the last 7 years I have not missed one major event. But I have saved myself countless hours of needless anxiety.

And my mind is my own!

Published by Clifford Mee & Igor Ledochowski