Perhaps one of the most asked questions that I get as a hypnotist is “can you hypnotize someone to so something against their own will?”
It’s a good question, an important question, but a very poorly worded question.
Here’s why. Hypnotists are very good with words, frames, and manipulating your perception of reality. And so once you ask a question that leaves certain abstract concepts like ‘hypnosis’ ‘will’ ‘against’ and ‘do’ open, that leaves space for the hypnotist to manipulate the answer to imply what he wants you to believe and still say ‘the truth’.
And so here is the question reworded. Without any wiggle room. If you want to know the answer to that big question, here is how you ask it…
-Say it’s 1980 and the USA and the USSR and at war. You live in Moscow. You are Russian, but you love the good ‘ol USA. You have just secretly found out that Colonel Alex (a committed Russian patriot who believe the USA is the root of all evil and must be destroyed) has punched in the launch codes to nuke the USA. The nukes will launch tomorrow at 12PM unless you get the redirect codes out of him. If you do punch in the redirect codes, the nukes will be rerouted to Colonel Alex’s home town and will kill his family. It’s your only option.
Here are 3 scenarios.
1. Colonel Alex has come to you the hypnotist for nail biting. You have just tested for name amnesia and it has worked as far as you can tell.
2. Colonel Alex has come to you the hypnotist for nail biting. It’s the beginning of the session, and you have no idea as to his level of commitment, his capability as a subject, or his ability to follow instructions.
3. You meet Colonel Alex in a bar. You can’t mention hypnosis, mentalism, or magic, as Alex has been warned to never speak to a hypnotist, mentalist, or magician.
In each scenario, out of 10 random times, in how many would you be able to get the launch codes out of Alex? You have no knives or guns with which to threaten him. You also are a lot weaker then him physically. He also knows that you aren’t authorized to get the codes no matter what you tell him.
Here are my answers.
Scenario 1 9/10
Scenario 2 6/10
Scenario 3 2/10
What are yours?
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