Hypnosis is classed as a psychological rather than a physiological method because it is essentially a form of highly focused mental concentration in which one person allows another to structure the object of the concentration and simultaneously suspends critical judgment and peripheral awareness. When this method is used in a cultic environment, it becomes a form of psychological manipulation and coercion because the cult leader implants suggestions aimed at his own agenda while the person is in a vulnerable state. (page 151 Cults In Our Midst by Margaret Singer)
This thread is to go back to an idea that is a fundamental to understand what Dianetics and Scientology are and how they function.This comes up in auditing and training and in many other forms and aspects of all Hubbard doctrine.
I want to go in a specific and different direction. First I want to bring up one of the most basic and to me truest ideas about hypnosis: HOW to cause it.
First I'll use a basic:
the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. Its use in therapy, typically to recover suppressed memories or to allow modification of behavior by suggestion, has been revived but is still controversial.
- the state of consciousness produced by hypnosis.
Okay, that's from Google and seems simple enough. Induction just means causes, in the case of hypnosis. It's this state and has very, very little to do with will, intention or anything like that. THOSE ideas are distractions and have so little bearing on this that you should just say they, if they exist at all, do so in other contexts of analyzing thought.
Now causing hypnotic states does not require willingness, cooperation or even any understanding of what hypnosis is. I cannot state that strongly enough. It also does not require enormous charisma or personal power or charm.
Those things can help in some situations but are not mandatory.
Altitude, or transference can help tremendously in some cases and applications but also are not always needed, at least not to be acknowledged by that name. Altitude can be called rapport or authority or prestige and is a fundamental for hypnosis to work. It has been said that hypnosis is suggestion plus imagination. But authority is the key. Lots of people suggest things to you which you imagine. But when they have authority then they can command and that makes it possible for hypnosis to occur.
Okay, now stage hypnotism, while containing some small element of the subject actually misinforms far more than it informs. As does absurd fictions about telepathy and mystics using "overpowering will", "the force of the mind" and other fictitious nonsense. They make people think they know what it is and not know that they don't know ! If they knew they were ignorant it would be easier to both teach them AND show that it is worth learning about !
Okay, now to start. The most basic methods to induce (cause) hypnosis are confusion, repetition, mimicry and fixation. Some theories see all these methods as affecting the flow of ATTENTION and it's following and being put onto or off PATTERNS of information. I tend to agree, to a certain extent with those ideas.
BUT I cannot stress strongly enough that the shutting down or off of the critical factor (which I extensively discuss in it's own thread) is paramount to understanding the EFFECT of ANY hypnosis.
- Regarding trance logic here is a quote from Psychweb on trance logic: "Words, in trance logic, are interpreted much more literally, communication being conveyed by focusing on words themselves rather than ideas. There is also an associated decrease in critical judgement of language being processed, and an increased tolerance for incongruity."
Trance logic is a state in hypnosis in which a person has their attention absorbed or focused so strongly that they don't exercise critical and independent thinking, they lose judgment regarding the information they take in and do not CONSCIOUSLY notice contradictions. They experience age regression and like a young child submit to authority and are willing to engage in magical thinking.
This has tremendous importance in Scientology regarding cognitive dissonance as noticing contradiction is a way cognitive dissonance is created, but by making cognitive dissonance serve to create confusion which he uses to create hypnotic trances, Hubbard inspires dissonance then "solves" it by negating the contradiction inspired dissonance by knocking out the critical factor (the capacity for critical and independent thinking, including noticing contradiction) !!
Now for confusion, probably Hubbard's true love in tech and his own mind:
I will start with a quote from Mark Tyrrell at the website Uncommon Knowledge:
Using confusion for hypnosis may sound like a strange idea – even a confusing one! But the notion of pur-posefully and knowingly using confu-sion as a tool to elicit hypnotic re-sponses from the unconscious mind has a good pedigree.
No less an authority then Dr Milton Erickson, perhaps the greatest hypnotist who ever lived, believed that few things could capture the attention so well as confusion. And he was right. Think about it for a moment.
If someone whose opinion you respect usually makes sense when they’re talking, then you’ll pay attention to them. When on occasion they seem to be saying something important to you, but the meaning isn’t immediately clear, you’ll assume you need to pay more attention in order to grasp what they are saying.
And if a point is not logically clear, you’ll focus more and more of your at-tention in the hope of understanding it eventually. And remember, focusing the attention is a key component of hypnosis. We are all dependent on our ability to decipher meaning from what happens to us and from what people say. When people are confused, their awareness turns inwards in a search for understanding – or escape.
It’s ironic in a way that so many people work on their communication in an attempt to make it more clear, yet the best hypnotists work on making (at least some of) their communication more confusing.If you look at people when they are confused, you’ll see they are highly focused. And strong focus is akin to hypnotic trance. When you can’t quite figure something out, but it seems really important that you do figure it out, you have an activated expectation.
Focus and expectation are at the heart of the confusional technique. But why should being confused make you more suggestible?Being confused is like drowning in a sea of communication. You will grab onto anything that will keep you afloat. Any words or phrases that you can make sense of in the maelstrom are likely to affect you more strongly than usual – so if these words can be inter-preted as suggestions, this is probably how you will respond to them.
This is a rule of human nature. If something is scarce we value it more highly and when we get it, we grab hold of it and we use it. When water is scarce it becomes more valuable to us and we don’t waste a drop when we get it. It’s the same with clear meaning if it sud-denly becomes scarce. Consider the confusion elicited when a stage show hypnotist tips back a subject unexpectedly.Confusion is followed by clarity when the unequivocal command to ‘sleep’ is uttered.We like puzzles and riddles because we expect clarity to eventually emerge from the confusion. People watch and read mystery thrillers for the same reason. This confusion as entertainment is an excellent tool for locking people’s attention.
Okay, That is from a regular old hypnotist; who does not have my experiences as a Scientologist OR my status as a critic.
Simple enough right ? Things that confuse CAN cause hypnosis, vague statements, unclear commands and many other things we'll go into soon.
Next up is repetition, probably Hubbard's OTHER great love in both tech and his own mind: I will once again quote a plain old hypnotist : this time Adam Easton from the online article entitled - Using repetition in Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy : If you look back through history, you will see that repetition has been associated with hypnosis. You are sure to have seen those swinging pendulums and rotating wheels that get used, not to mention the enjoyable repetitive quality of the ocean waves coming in to shore.I love to hear that sound, it is one of the reasons I love to live beside the sea.Some of the more classical hypnotists use expressions such as “you are going deeper, deeper and deeper into hypnosis” when taking people into hypnosis. This is repetitive, though can sometimes be a bit boring.
The good hypnotist can use words repetitively to induce a relaxed and focused hypnotic state, though ideally giving the same message in a variety of ways is the way to make this principle most effective.You see, when you use certain words in a repetitive fashion, they can have the same effects as that pendulum swinging in front of the eyes or the rotating wheel. The repetition tends to hypnotically focus the prospect on your communication. It holds their attention very effectively.
Okay, this is a very, very basic definition that I hope everyone can accept.
Hubbard used repetition SO much and SO often in Scientology some would say IT is the basis of the technology ! I will not go QUITE that far, but they are not all wrong either, he has you re-re-re-redo and study the same things OVER and over and over for decades thousands and thousands of times ! I consider a huge clue now to look at as - what he has you do over and over, what you are doing and the effects that it causes ! He does not WASTE his SLAVES' time ! It is HIS and too valuable to spend doing ANYTHING that does not benefit him, EVER !
Okay, now to mimicry (I NEVER recommend covert hypnosis and consider it immoral and a violation of human rights: This info is ONLY for educational purposes): From Orik and the site Hypnosis Black Secrets:
Covert Hypnosis Mimicry
One of the building blocks of successful covert or conversational hypnosis is mimicry. However, this term can create a lot of confusion.Are you supposed to completely mirror your subject, copying their every move? Of course not. On the other hand, how do you determine which actions to mimic and which to ignore? While nothing about conversational hypnosis( note : conversational means covert as in without the subject's knowledge or consent ) is an exact science, there are some general guidelines you can follow in order to properly use mimicry. Here, we’ll give you a review of what and how often to mimic, and when to back off. Mimicry is important to conversational hypnosis because it is a subconscious rapport-builder. While our conscious minds don’t pick up on these subtle movements, our subconscious minds do.
Since we are ‘wired’ to automatically trust and like people who are like ourselves, we begin to like people who mimic our actions without ever knowing why. Obviously, there is a very fine line between masterful mimicry and playing a creepy version of the mirror game we all enjoyed as kids.Nobody wants to be copied – the overall impression is strange, vaguely threatening and the precise opposite of what you’re trying to attain through conversational hypnosis. You can slip in a simple mimicry anytime during your conversational hypnosis attempts, whether your subject is across the room or sitting right next to you. For example, if you’re trying to catch the eye of an attractive girl on the other side of the dance floor, pay attention to how she’s standing.
Is her arm resting on a table? Are her legs crossed? This would be a great time to begin sending her subconscious some cues. Subtly arrange your limbs into a pose that mimics hers, and her subconscious mind will register the similarity next time she glances your way. If your ‘target’ is already close to you, you’re in a much more convenient position for mimicry. With a close eye on subtly, pay attention to how she holds her body and what she’s doing with her hands. Try to mimic one out of every five movements at the very most any more than this will appear obvious and strange.
The most successful mimicry occurs with motions that are universal. In other words, don’t try to copy your dream girl’s dance moves copy her unconscious, common motions instead. Sipping a drink is a wonderful and time-honored occasion for mimicry. When she takes a sip, take on of your own. You can also cross or uncross your legs at the same time, lean an elbow on the bar when she does so, or run your fingers back through your hair a few seconds after she makes this movement (use caution if your hair is rock-hard with gel!)
As you can see, the subtle art of mimicry is just that an art. Don’t be surprised if you’re not a natural at this. Most people require plenty of practice before they go out into the real world and have success. If you can, find a willing friend or family member and have them help you. Without telling them, try to follow the guidelines you just learned through a full conversation. At the end, ask them if they were aware of your mimicry, and adjust your art based on their observations. Don’t worry if it takes you a while to become proficient even the most accomplished masters had to start somewhere!
Well, aside from the impression that Orik is a sleazeball, I want you to get a basic idea of what mimicry is. So far so good; next up is fixation. Next I have a quote from an article by the late Jolly West.
Now, admittedly he IS seen as an opponent of Scientology, BUT his article states what is needed briefly and clearly: It is from the Encyclopedia Brittanica article Hallucination.
Prolonged monotony or fixation of attention may lead to diminished responsiveness to the environment with a general effect similar to that of absolute reduction of stimulation or of hypnotic trance. Under these conditions such dissociative phenomena as highway hypnosis among drivers of motor vehicles may occur. Similar phenomena that occur among aviators have been called fascination or fixation.
During prolonged, monotonous flight, pilots may experience visual, auditory, and bodily (kinesthetic) hallucinations; for example, a pilot may suddenly feel that the plane is in a spin or a dive or that it is upside down, even though it is flying level.
A kinesthetic hallucination such as this can be so vivid that the pilot will attempt “corrective” maneuvering of the aircraft, with potentially tragic results.
See, the basic idea is that somehow one's attention is fixed monotonously on something, or intensely concentrated in some cases and methods. I hope that is all simple and easy to understand. If it is not you can get LOTS of examples by Googling the methods or look up tons of videos on Youtube.
Obviously the accuracy and quality of the videos will vary greatly.
Okay, when you have those ideas firmly in your grasp we can move onto VARIATIONS. ALL these methods have many different forms and you should learn a lot about ALL of them to understand Hubbard tech.
Sorry, it can seem like a huge pain in the ass but it is hundreds of times quicker and easier to "learn" than Scientology ! I can bet you that all day every day ! AND it is actually TRUE info about you and your mind !
First up confusion: this has as many variations as there are ways to confuse or become confused ! That is a lot, but we can break it up into BROAD categories that pertain to Scientology, and hopefully chop this monster down to size.
Now it is also known as paradox or contradiction for good reason: if something seems paradoxical or to contradict itself in a way you can not quite figure out or get right then that is CONFUSION. I once read an interview with a class XII auditor who remarked that Hubbard's writings can appear "paradoxical and contrary" to people !
See, she studied IT ALL and bought into the idea that buried in that HYPNOTIC, ATTENTION HOLDING mess was some DEEP profound wisdom - just UNDER the surface needing an insightful mind to plumb the depths !
I will let you in on a little secret...confidentially...HE FOOLED HER !!
Yeah, I am sure, yeah sucks to be her and waste fifteen or so years studying and slaving for him, BUT that does not change the FACTS as I see them in the slightest. See, data or info comes in PATTERNS and when it comes from a trusted source we expect it to align or agree, far more often than not with old or similar patterns or ESPECIALLY data from the exact same source !
When it does not agree we can be confused, and try to grab onto data to REALIGN our confused mind. WE want uncertainty and doubt to go away, by our nature.
It is a weakness that Hubbard was only too happy to magnify and exploit MERCILESSLY. He gave patterns that very frequently contradicted one another BUT - BRILLIANTLY had many of the contradictions SPREAD OUT to not make it too obvious, Scientology is often spread out over decades, so you don't easily see that terms and concepts get redefined to be quite different and in fact at times the exact OPPOSITE ! He claimed this was due to high level research and other BS, but it was INTENTIONAL from the start !
Alright, another variation on the confusion method that Hubbard had so deeply ingrained as to be first nature was the offensive defensive technique. I have covered it in other threads but cannot overstate that to understand Hubbard or his tech you must understand that he was COMPELLED by his nature as a megalomaniacal, narcissistic pathological liar to think, write and speak in this technique WHENEVER possible. PERIOD. case closed.
Of course he pioneered confusion in indoctrination as he has a student CONFUSE their own mind with contradictory info, as they can understand what they read - BUT convince THEMSELF they must have "MUs", as he taught them the "phenomena ALWAYS show" ! When really they are the symptoms of hypnosis and the STRESS of forced covert cognitive restructuring !
Plainly it screws up your mind to have it broken down and rebuilt without your knowledge or consent ! So, when you sense or display signs from a subconscious level - he had to come up with excuses - and so the barriers to study were born !
The names are just anything YOU could believe sounded studious, the PHENOMENA and more importantly YOUR new beliefs and behavior when encountering them are the key to understanding Scientology "Study Technology" ! YOU become a self-hypnotizer ! Doing HIS work for him, like a good slave.
He divides your mind against itself by misinforming you about its nature AND how to "help", er CONFUSE it.
He started this pattern with Dianetics where he divided your conscious and subconscious, which should be allies and work together into the fictitious analytical and horrifying reactive minds which are locked in a death match ! In Scientology the match is extended over eternity for the entire universe and EVERY one of countless beings everlasting salvation or damnation quite literally ! Nice guy, huh ?
Okay, now repetition in Scientology takes many forms and is almost constant once you walk in the door. From the loaded language that is bolstered by repetition in indoctrination, BUT far more importantly the very thoughts of a Scientologist. This is one of the most important points in cult recovery: Thinking in the cult jargon and the redefined earlier terms and concepts in cult terms is one of the VERY STRONGEST and longest lasting methods of holding the person's mind captive. You MUST, MUST, MUST by any ethical, honest, lawful means possible get youself or any other cult member to STOP thinking in and using the doctrine or you will most likely be severely limited in the progress you make, if you can make any at all. There may appear to be a very rare exception BUT this pattern is one of the truest possible in my estimation.
It appears in many, many other ways as slogans and key policies are quoted and re-quoted as thought stopping cliches (as beautifully defined by the brilliant Robert J Lifton) and in KSW, which, like any "good Scientologist" I learned VERBATIM, many years ago as well as virtually the whole Intro to Scientology Ethics and probably nearly as well another few dozen key references that are force fed down Scientologists' throats, over and over. Key ones are fed to different posts, reinforcing Hubbard's mad dystopian caste system of slaves COVERTLY.
But, I could literally go on for hours with examples of repetition in Scientology: if you have spent more than a little time in YOU can think of and write a list of HUNDREDS of applications. You might do so just as a way to examine what was done to you; and what it resulted in. Don't go too far as it could upset you if you focus on it too much. The point is to EDUCATE - NOT be a substitute for any needed help of another kind.
Okay, ALMOST DONE. Next is mimicry, mimicry is almost omnipresent, in Scientology BUT is very subtle as you must understand the new body language (or lack thereof) of many Scientologists is mimicked by each other putting on subtle SOCIAL pressure to conform and be like the people around you. This also makes it HARDER to fit in regular wog society as you don't have normal physical cues to communicate important subtle hints and meanings and often don't properly interpret them any more over time.
That is great news for Hubbard; it helps him isolate and control you more and more and you don't even see it ! There is mimicry in the course room as students do what the others do, to fit in - at first unsure why they do and say these things but knowing they will be accepted and approved IF they do ! And soon their thoughts and feelings work to line up with the new behavior ! Further helping the cult indoctrination ! The auditor shows the "pc" mimicry in many processes and the students use it in TRs, if you think about it you can probably think of many other places and situations you just COOPERATED.
This helps train you to control bodies and be controlled - like a good obedient slave. Now for the last and some schools define as ONLY method of hypnosis with all others being methods of causing it. Attention fixation can include putting it on something or an idea or thought INTENSELY, like in auditing with dozens, if not HUNDREDS of ways of focusing attention on all kinds of incidents and objects and the room etc. etc.
Your attention is also fixed or DIVIDED many times in study, as you focus on so many barriers and phenomena to spot and coordinate AND you are trying to NEVER fail a spot check and retain enough to pass a drill or exam or internship.
Your attention is SO spread out you can take a simple shotcut to enhance FOCUS: just shut off the critical factor and hypnotically intake what you study.
What could be the harm; by this point a student "knows" Hubbard would not steer them wrong and figured it all out for them.
No need for that pesky doubt, wondering, examining and independent thought. No real Scientologist has room or time for that garbage anyway. OOPS ! See, he figured out that misdirection and information overload and many other treats he gave you as a student, pc, etc. etc. make you suggestible, gullible and control-able.
Really these appear in virtually ALL the cult environment, including away from the org when around other cult members virtually constantly once you've been thoroughly indoctrinated. Your attention, and thereby your mind is controlled - often constantly or nearly so - until death. This is the most extreme and worst case scenario, but I do not believe it is rare for long, long term Scientologists.
Statistically as you are in more deeply for more years and decades your chance of this grows exponentially - from quite small in the first weeks to higher in months and much higher as years stretch into a lifetime. I wish it was not this way for all those still trapped and yet to be trapped BUT I see no other way it even could be. I hope this is informative on hypnosis at a very low level, and that it sheds light on how it is used in Scientology.
I will close with another quote with several informative definitions of hypnosis from the online artic; Hypnotic Advancements by Dr Frank Valente:
In Krasner’s “The Wizard Within”, pg. 2, 1999, he states:
“I believe hypnosis to be a process which produces relaxation, distraction of the conscious mind, heightened suggestibility, and increased awareness, allowing access to the subconscious mind through the imagination. It also produces the ability to experience thoughts and images as real.”
In Ormond McGill’s, “The New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism”, pg. 12, 1996, one finds:
“Basically, hypnosis can be regarded as a state of mind produced by the transference from one level of consciousness to another; a state with capacities for mental activities distinctly its own directly keyed to the automatic nervous system rather than the sympathetic (central nervous system) productive of the state of mind of somnambulism, i.e. subconscious behavior.”
And we couldn’t possibly leave out Dave Elman’s, “Hypnotherapy”, pg. 26, 1964:
“Hypnosis is a state of mind in which the critical faculty of the human is bypassed, and selective thinking established.” Continuing that, “the critical faculty of your mind is that part which passes judgment.”
Personally I must add that I far prefer Topher Morrison’s (Instructor for the Accelerated Hypnotherapy Certification Weekend Seminar put on by APU) interpretation of the critical faculty as “the part of you that cares to distinguish between reality and fantasy.”
In Stephen Gilligan’s “Therapeutic Trances” he states:And finally from our dearly beloved Dr. Milton H. Erickson
“Hypnosis is conceptualized as an experientially absorbing interactional sequence that produces an altered state of consciousness wherein self-expressions begin to happen automatically, without conscious mediation." (Gilligan, Stephen, G., 1987)
In “The Collected Papers of Milton H. Erickson, Volume I" page 113, Dr. Erickson is quoted as stating:
“The hypnotic state is an experience that belongs to the subject, derives from the subject’s own accumulated learning's and memories, not necessarily consciously recognized, but possible of manifestations in a special state of non waking awareness”. And one of my favorite explanations can be found within The Collected Papers of Milton H. Erickson, Volume IV of the same series, page 224, “It is a state of consciousness – not unconsciousness or sleep – a state of consciousness or awareness in which there is a marked receptiveness to ideas and understandings and an increased willingness to respond either positively or negatively to those ideas. It derives from processes and functioning within the subject. And is not some mystical procedure, but rather a systematic utilization of experiential learning's– that is, the extensive learning's acquired through the process of living itself.”
Mockingbird's Greatest Hits
I have reached nearly two hundred posts online and thousands of comments as well. In looking back at all that I realized a very small number of posts have been consistently the most viewed and likely most helpful for people seeking to understand Scientology.
I certainly hope they are helping people. Here I will try to present the short list of the posts that best explain my ideas and can introduce you to information that I hope will help begin beneficial examination of Scientology.
1)Insidious Enslavement: Study Technology
2)Basic Introduction To Hypnosis in Scientology
3)Pissed It's Not Your Fault !!!
4)The Secret Of Scientology Part 1 Control Via Contradiction
5)Burning Down Hell - How Commands Are Hidden, Varied And Repeated To Control You As Hypnotic Implants
6)Why Hubbard Never Claimed OT Feats And The Rock Bottom Basis Of Scientology
7)A Million Years In Hell
8-10)OT III And Beyond: Sources Plagiarized From Part 1, 2 and 3
11)Propaganda By Reversal Of Meaning In Scientology
12)Scientology's Parallel In Nature - Malignant Narcissism
13)OT VIII Delusion Fulfilled
14)There Is No Irony In Scientology
15 - 16)Why Lying And Murder Are Justified In Scientology part 1 and 2
17)Unraveling Scientology - A Missing Vital Ingredient
18)Loving A Lie
20)Orders Of Magnitude Part 1
These twenty posts have been both popular and give a very good grounding in many of my ideas on Scientology.
Obviously series on particular issues like the Building The Prison Of The Mind series as an example address specific topics in depth. That serves to equal a book in length over several posts. That example takes on Leon Festinger's essential book A Theory Of Cognitive Dissonance and takes on Scientology in reference to that book. Another series as an example is Pulling Back The Curtain which took on the excellent social psychology text Age Of Propaganda and Scientology.
For fans of social psychology and cognitive dissonance theory I sincerely hope those series are helpful and do justice to the books I consulted. I really recommend those books for education on Scientology and cults.
But this top twenty is meant to give the most essential posts to know what I have to say and who I am. It has my past, detailed information on my observations and hypotheses regarding Scientology and what it is, attempts to dissect it and identify the methods Ron Hubbard used, and ideas on recovery from Scientology.