Thursday

HYPNOTISM USED IN CHURCH SERVICES

From "The Hypnotic World of Paul Kenna" (Faber & Faber; London: 1993) *[...] my additional comments.

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The key to identifying trance states is in the fixation of attention, either internally or externally. p. 13

Here are some of the most popular misconceptions ... 'Hypnosis is in some way anti-Christian or the work of the devil.' -According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, the Catholic church (the largest Christian organisation in the world) feels that "Hypnotism is licit if used for licit purposes.' pp 22-23

Visually I make my first inductions rapid, asking subjects to fall ... backwards (see photograph) *[Looks like "being slain in the spirit"] p.75

An altered state can be induced through the repetition of a word - a popular practice in many of the eastern religions *[and charismatic / pentecostal churches] The word for this is mantra, meaning 'thought' in Sanskrit. The repetition can be of any sound, movement or picture. When something is done or said for the first time it, the conscious mind processes and reality-tests it, but if it is repeated the reality-testing become unnecessary and the stimulus moves out of your conscious awareness and is monitored by the unconscious. ... After initial repetition the mantra is monitored by, and implanted into, the unconscious through the bombardment of repetition. Remember the golden rule, 'You always get more out what you focus on.' That focus can be conscious or unconscious. So by continually focusing upon the mantra you get whatever the mantra means to you. p. 131

Another very hypnotic experience is going to church. There is the cross to fixate upon, and then the repetition of prayers and closing your eyes *[and singing Jesus Jingles over and over again ... and repetitive praise slogans like "Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Bless the Lord! Amen! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!"], and in some cases the personal magnetism of the priest or vicar can carry you away. Many of the American TV evangelists are really effective hypnotists. Listen to the content of what they are saying. 'Close your eyes and let the Lord come into your life' is very similar in structure as my telling hypnotic subjects on the stage to close their eyes and let relaxation come into their bodies. pp 204-205

... today's spiritual groups and cults. During a meditation session *[aka church service], which is a consciousness-altering process, a cult member may receive suggestions that mould him or her to the cult's doctrine. Disruption of eating and sleeping patterns, restricted contact with the outside world, repetition, forced attention and hyperventilation are disorientation tactics which alter awareness and reduce a person's critical faculties. Then irrational beliefs can be implanted, such as 'The outside world is the area of falsehoods' or, 'The cult is made of chosen people who have to save the world.' many of today's cults practise mind control in a social context. Individuals are immersed in a social environment where they must let go of their old identity and assume the new one of the group. The process can take place within a few hours and then a few days later will be established. The fundamental essence of mind control is to encourage dependence, conformity and devotion and discourage individuality and personal freedom *[IOW what church is all about] p.209