Comedy Hypnotist Robert Mesmer

Stage Hypnotist - The Evolution of The Comedy Hypnotist

Is there a secret to stage hypnosis? Perhaps because of its physical representation on stage and its connection to the magical performer, stage hypnosis has become a mystery like that of magic. I have been asked many times as I'm sure other hypnotists have, " Are you gifted?" I wish. The hypnotist is like any other profession in that you are seeing the results of years of training in the stage hypnosis program (some more than others of course.) A good stage hypnotist program is a culmination of many variables; training, background experience, choreographed routines, tempo, choice of material, music, lighting, physical setup and of course the most important of all criteria, the volunteers themselves.

A few good volunteers can make the stage hypnotist show. Any hypnotist with some experience behind him/her can tell you of "killer" shows where the audience reaction was phenomenal and shows of where they were nursing the docile subjects to the end of the show to fill the time slot. The latter usually were pubs where nobody came to see the stage hypnosis and were to drunk to follow it if they could. Today, I think there are a few new stage hypnotists that have managed to avoid the dirty pub scenes due mainly in part to the popularity of the entertainment. They have walked right in to the universities, high schools, fairs and corporate gigs. Maybe it should be compulsory that every new stage hypnotist has to do the pub crawling across the country with their stage hypnotist presentation before they can perform in legitimate locations. Yea, thats the ticket!

Stage Hypnosis has gone through several transitions since its first form of entertainment where the volunteers were merely actors. A troup would travel from small town to small town, not associating in public with the hypnotist but always seeming to be the stars of the show. The shill or stooge was gradually removed from the stage hypnosis show as genuine stage hypnotists developed their craft. The entertainment moved through theatres and make shift theatres, practically anywhere a performance could be held. The night clubs started to become very popular as the routines could be more risque. Pubs followed and then the comedy clubs. Stage Hypnosis seemed to be popping up everywhere. Highschools utilizing the stage hypnosis show as a fundraiser then brought the hypnotist back for their graduation celebrations. Corporate banquets and conventions became popular for the stage hypnotist and usually had the biggest budget.

Today's modern audience expects a fast paced show with a very minimum induction time. In the early years it was not unheard of for the stage hypnotist show to have a 20 - 30 minute induction, quite a lengthy period of time for any audience to sit in silence. As the entertainment progressed stage hypnotists began developing shorter and shorter periods of time. Depending on the audience The Robert Mesmer Stage Hypnotist Show has AN INDUCTION OF 1-3 MINUTES

There is no doubt that hypnotism is a very old subject, as is comedy hypnosis though the name was not invented till 1850. In it was wrapped up the "mysteries of Isis" in Egypt thousands of years ago, and probably it was one of the weapons, if not the chief instrument of operation, of the magi mentioned in the Bible and of the "wise men" of Babylon and Egypt. "Laying on of hands" must have been a form of mesmerism, and Greek oracles of Delphi and other places seem to have been delivered by priests or priestesses who went into trances of self-induced hypnotism. It is suspected that the fakirs of India who make trees grow from dry twigs in a few minutes, or transform a rod into a serpent (as Aaron did in Bible history), operate by some form of hypnotism.This was not comedy hypnosis. The people of the East are much more subject to influences of this kind than Western peoples are, and there can be no question that the religious orgies of heathendom were merely a form of that hysteria which is so closely related to the modern phenomenon of hypnotism. Though various scientific men spoke of magnetism, and understood that there was a power of a peculiar kind which one man could exercise over another, it was not until Frederick Anton Mesmer (a doctor of Vienna)and the originator of this comedy hypnotist, appeared in 1775 that the general public gave any special attention to the subject. In the year mentioned, Mesmer sent out a circular letter to various scientific societies or "Academies" as they are called in Europe, stating his belief that "animal magnetism" existed, and that through it one person could influence another. People thought this was comedy hypnosis No attention was given his letter, except by the Academy of Berlin, which sent him an unfavorable reply.
In 1778 Mesmer was obliged for some unknown reason to leave Vienna, and went to Paris, where he was fortunate in converting to his ideas d'Eslon, the Comte d'Artois's physician, and one of the medical professors at the Faculty of Medicine. His was successful; everybody was anxious to be magnetized, and the lucky Viennese doctor was soon obliged to call in assistants. Deleuze, the librarian at the Jardin des Plantes, who has been called the Hippocrates of magnetism, had left the following account of Mesmer's experiments:
Comedy Hypnosis
"In the middle of a large room stood an oak tub, four or five feet in diameter and one foot deep. It was closed by a lid made in two pieces, and encased in another tub or bucket. At the bottom of the tub a number of bottles were laid in convergent rows, so that the neck of each bottle turned towards the centre. Other bottles filled with magnetized water tightly corked up were laid in divergent rows with their necks turned outwards. Several rows were thus piled up, and the apparatus was then pronounced to be at 'high pressure'. The tub was filled with water, to which were sometimes added powdered glass and iron filings. There were also some dry tubs, that is, prepared in the same manner, but without any additional water. The lid was perforated to admit of the passage of movable bent rods, which could be applied to the different parts of the patient's body. A long rope was also fastened to a ring in the lid, and this the patients placed loosely round their limbs. No disease offensive to the sight was treated, such as sores, or deformities. Was this the beginning of the comedy hypnotist?
"A large number of patients were commonly treated at one time. They drew near to each other, touching hands, arms, knees, or feet. The handsomest, youngest, and most robust magnetizers held also an iron rod with which they touched the dilatory or stubborn patients. The rods and ropes had all undergone a 'preparation' and in a very short space of time the patients felt the magnetic influence. The women, being the most easily affected, were almost at once seized with fits of yawning and stretching; their eyes closed, their legs gave way and they seemed to suffocate. In vain did musical glasses and harmonicas resound, the piano and voices re-echo; these supposed aids only seemed to increase the patients' convulsive movements. Sardonic laughter and comedy, piteous moans and torrents of tears burst forth on all sides. The bodies were thrown back in spasmodic jerks, the respirations sounded like death rattles, the most terrifying symptoms were exhibited. Then suddenly the actors of this strange scene would frantically or rapturously rush towards each other, either rejoicing and embracing or thrusting away their neighbors with every appearance of horror.This was comedy hypnosis by a comedy hypnotist.
"Another room was padded and presented another spectacle. There women beat their heads against wadded walls or rolled on the cushion-covered floor, in fits of suffocation. In the midst of this panting, quivering throng, Mesmer, dressed in a lilac coat, moved about, extending a magic wand toward the least suffering, halting in front of the most violently excited and gazing steadily into their eyes, while he held both their hands in his, bringing the middle fingers in immediate contact to establish communication. At another moment he would, by a motion of open hands and extended fingers, operate with the great current, crossing and uncrossing his arms with wonderful  comedy, rapidity to make the final passes of hypnosis."
Hysterical women and nervous young boys, many of them from the highest ranks of Society, flocked around this wonderful wizard, this comedy hypnotist, and incidentally he made a great deal of money. This was the beginning of comedy hypnosis.There is little doubt that he started out as a genuine and sincere student of the scientific character of the new power he had indeed discovered as a hypnotist; there is also no doubt that he ultimately became little more than a charlatan. There was, of course, no virtue in his "prepared" rods, nor in his magnetic tubs. At the same time the belief of the people that there was virtue in them was one of the chief means by which he was able to induce hypnotism, as we shall see later. Faith, imagination, and willingness to be hypnotized on the part of the subject are all indispensable to entire success in the practice of this strange art of comedy hypnosis.
   In 1779 Mesmer published a pamphlet entitled "Memoire sur la decouverte du magnetisme animal", of which Doctor Cocke gives the following summary (his chief claim was that he had discovered a principle which would cure every disease):
   "He sets forth his conclusions in twenty-seven propositions, of which the substance is as follows:-- There is a reciprocal action and reaction between the planets, the earth and animate nature by means of a constant universal fluid, subject to mechanical laws yet unknown. The animal body is directly affected by the insinuation of this agent into the substance of the nerves. It causes in human bodies properties analogous to those of the magnet, for which reason it is called 'Animal Magnetism'. This magnetism may be communicated to other bodies, may be increased and reflected by mirrors, communicated, propagated, and accumulated, by sound, what a comedy. It may be accumulated, concentrated, and transported. The same rules apply to the opposite virtue of hypnosis.. The magnet is susceptible of magnetism and the opposite virtue. The magnet and artificial electricity have, with respect to disease, properties common to a host of other agents presented to us by nature, and if the use of these has been attended by useful results, they are due to animal magnetism. By the aid of magnetism, then, the physician enlightened as to the use of medicine may render its action more perfect, and can provoke and direct salutary crises so as to have them completely under his hypnotic control."
  The Faculty of Medicine investigated Mesmer's claims, but reported unfavorably, and threatened d'Eslon with expulsion from the society unless he gave comedy hypnotist Mesmer up. Nevertheless the government favored the discoverer, and when the medical fraternity attacked him with such vigor that he felt obliged to leave Paris, it offered him a pension of 20,000 francs if he would remain. He went away, but later came back at the request of his pupils. In 1784 the government appointed two commissions to investigate the claims that had been made. On one of these commissions was Benjamin Franklin, then American Ambassador to France as well as the great French scientist Lavoisier. The other was drawn from the Royal Academy of Medicine, and included Laurent de Jussieu, the only man who declared in favor of the hypnotist, Mesmer.
   There is no doubt that Mesmer had returned to Paris for the purpose of making money, with comedy hypnosis, and these commissions were promoted in part by persons desirous of driving him out. "It is interesting," says a French writer, "to peruse the reports of these commissions: they read like a debate on some obscure subject of which the future has partly revealed the secret." Says another French writer (Courmelles): "They sought the fluid, not by the study of the cures affected, which was considered too complicated a task, but in the phases of mesmeric sleep. These were considered indispensable and easily regulated by the experimentalist. When submitted to close investigation, it was, however, found that they could only be induced when the subjects knew they were being hypnotized, and that they differed according as they were conducted in public or in private. In short--whether it be a coincidence or the truth--imagination was considered the sole active agent, this was a comedy hypnosis show. Whereupon d'Eslon remarked, 'If imagination is the best cure, why should we not use the imagination as a curative means?' Did he, who had so vaunted the existence of the fluid, mean by this to deny its existence, or was it rather a satirical way of saying. 'You choose to call it imagination or comedy; be it so. But after all, as it cures, let us make the most of it'?
    "The two commissions came to the conclusion that the phenomena were due to imitation, and contact, that they were dangerous and must be prohibited. Strange to relate, seventy years later, Arago pronounced the same verdict!"
   Daurent Jussieu was the only one who believed in anything more than this. He saw a new and important truth, which he set forth in a personal report upon withdrawing from the commission, which showed itself so hostile to Mesmer and his pretenscious comedy hypnosis.

  
   Time and scientific progress have largely overthrown Mesmer's theories of the fluid; yet Mesmer had made a discovery that was in the course of a hundred years to develop into an important scientific study. Says Vincent: "It seems ever the habit of the shallow hypnotist to plume himself on the more accurate theories which have been provided, by the progress of knowledge and of science, and then, having been fed with a limited historical pabulum, to turn and talk lightly, and with an air of the most superior condescension, of the weakness and follies of those but for whose patient labors our modern theories would probably be non- existent." If it had not been for Mesmer and his "Animal Magnetism", we would never have had "a comedy hypnotist show" and all our learned societies for the study of it.
   Mesmer, though his pretensions were discredited, was quickly followed by Puysegur, who drew all the world to Buzancy, near Soissons, France. "Doctor Cloquet related that he saw there, patients no longer the victims of hysterical fits, but enjoying a calm, peaceful, restorative slumber. It may be said that from this moment really efficacious and useful magnetism became known." Every one rushed once more to be hypnotized, and Puysegur had so many patients that to care for them all he was obliged to magnetize a tree (as he said) which is comedy by a hypnotist, which was touched by hundreds who came to be cured, and was long known as "Puysegur's tree". As a result of Puysegur's success, a number of societies were formed in France for the study of the new phenomena stage hypnosis.
   In the meantime, the subject had attracted considerable interest in Germany, and in 1812 Wolfart was sent to Mesmer at Frauenfeld by the Prussian government to investigate Mesmerism. He became an enthusiast, and introduced its practice into the hospital at Berlin.
   In 1814 Deleuze published a book on the subject, and Abbe Faria, who had come from India, demonstrated that there was no fluid, but that the phenomena were subjective, or within the mind of the patient. He first introduced what is now called the "method of suggestion" in producing magnetism or hypnotism. In 1815 Mesmer, the greatest of all comedy hypnotist s, died.
   Experimentation continued, and in the 20's Foissac persuaded the Academy of Medicine to appoint a commission to investigate the subject. After five years they presented a report. This report gave a good statement of the practical operation of magnetism, mentioning the phenomena of somnambulism, anesthesia, loss of memory, and the various other symptoms of the hypnotic state as we know it. It was thought that magnetism had a right to be considered as a therapeutic agent, and that it might be used by physicians, though others should not be allowed to practice it. In 1837 another commission made a decidedly unfavorable report.
   Soon after this Burdin, a member of the Academy, offered a prize of 3,000 francs to any one who would read the number of a bank-note or the like with his eyes bandaged (under certain fixed conditions), but it was never awarded, though many claimed it, and there has been considerable evidence that persons in the hypnotic state have (sometimes) remarkable clairvoyant powers.
   Soon after this, hypnosis fell into very low repute throughout France and Germany, and scientific men became loath to have their names connected with the study of it in any way. The study had not yet been seriously taken up in England, and two physicians who gave some attention to it suffered decidedly in professional reputation.
   It is to an English physician, however, that we owe the scientific character of modern hypnotism. Indeed he invented the name of hypnotism, formed from the Greek word meaning 'sleep', and designating 'artificially produced sleep'. His name is James Braid, and so important were the results of his study that hypnotism has sometimes been called "Braidism". Doctor Courmelles gives the following interesting summary of Braid's experiences:
   "November, 1841, he witnessed a public experiment made by Monsieur Lafontaine, a Swiss comedy hypnotist. He thought the whole thing a comedy; a week after, he attended a second exhibition, saw that the patient could not open his eyes, and concluded that this was ascribable to some physical cause. The fixity of gaze must, according to him, exhaust the nerve centers of the eyes and their surroundings. He made a friend look steadily at the neck of a bottle, and his own wife look at an ornamentation on the top of a china sugar bowl: sleep was the consequence. Here hypnotism had its origin, and the fact was established that sleep could be induced by comedy hypnotists.This, it must be remembered, is the essential difference between these two classes of phenomena (magnetism and hypnotism): for magnetism supposes a direct action of the magnetizer on the magnetized subject, an action which does not exist in hypnotism."
   It may be stated that most English and American operators fail to see any distinction between magnetism and hypnotism, and suppose that the effect of passes, etc., as used by Mesmer, is in its way as much physical as the method of producing hypnotism by concentrating the gaze of the subject on a bright object, or the like.
   Braid had discovered a new science--as far as the theoretical view of it was concerned--for he showed that hypnotism is largely, if not purely, mechanical and physical. He noted that during one phase of hypnosis, known as catalepsy, the arms, limbs, etc., might be placed in any position and would remain there; he also noted that a puff of breath would usually awaken a subject, and that by talking to a subject and telling him to do this or do that, even after he awakes from the sleep, he can be made to do those things. Braid thought he might affect a certain part of the brain during hypnotic sleep, and if he could find the seat of the thieving disposition, or the like, he could cure the patient of desire to commit crime, simply by suggestion, or command.
   Braid's conclusions were, in brief, that there was no fluid, or other exterior agent, but that hypnotism was due to a physiological condition of the nerves. It was his belief that hypnotic sleep was brought about by fatigue of the eyelids, or by other influences wholly within the subject. In this he was supported by Carpenter, the great physiologist; but neither Braid nor Carpenter could get the medical organizations to give the matter any attention, even to investigate it. In 1848 an American named Grimes succeeded in obtaining all the phenomena of hypnotism, and created a school of writers who made use of the word "electro-biology."
   In 1850 Braid's ideas were introduced into France, and Dr. Azam, of Bordeaux, published an account of them in the "Archives de Medicine." From this time on the hypnotist was widely studied by scientific men in France and Germany, and it was more slowly taken up in England.

WHAT IS HYPNOTISM?
   We have seen that so far the history of hypnotism has given us two manifestations, or methods, that of passes and playing upon the imagination in various ways, used by Mesmer, and that of physical means, such as looking at a bright object, used by Braid. Both of these methods are still in use by some popular comedy hypnotists, and though hundreds of scientific men, including many physicians, have studied the subject for years, no essentially new principle has been discovered, though the details of hypnotic operation have been thoroughly classified and many minor elements of interest have been developed. All these make a body of evidence which will assist us in answering the question, What is hypnotism?
Modern scientific study has pretty conclusively established the following facts:
1. Mentally challenged, children generally under six years old, people who are intoxicated and hopelessly insane people cannot be hypnotized.
2. No one can be hypnotized unless the operator can make them concentrate his attention for a reasonable length of time. Concentration of attention, whatever the method of producing hypnotism, is absolutely necessary.
3. The persons not easily hypnotized are those that tend to analyze rather than relax with the hypnotist’s suggestions.
   On all these points practically every student of hypnosis is agreed. On the question as to whether any one can produce hypnotism by pursuing the right methods there is some disagreement. Dr. Ernest Hart in an article in the British Medical Journal makes the following very definite statement, representing the side of the case that maintains that any one can produce hypnotism. Says he:
   "It is a common delusion that the hypnotist counts for anything in the experiment. The operator, whether priest, physician, charlatan, self-deluded enthusiast, or comedy stage hypnotist, is not the source of any occult influence, does not possess any mysterious power, and plays only a very secondary part in the chain of phenomena observed. There exist at the present time many individuals who claim for themselves, and some who make a living by so doing, a peculiar property or power as potent mesmerists or hypnotists, . One even often hears it said that such a person is a clever hypnotist or has great mesmeric or healing power. I hope to be able to prove, what I firmly hold, both from my own personal experience and experiment, as I have already related, that there is no such thing as a potent mesmeric influence, no such power resides in any one person more than another; that a glass of water, a tree, a stick, a penny-post letter, or a lime-light can mesmerize as effectually as can any individual. A clever hypnotist means only a person who is acquainted with the physical or mental tricks by which the hypnotic condition is produced. There are some who suppose themselves really to possess a mysterious power which in fact, they do not possess at all.”
   Against this we may place the statement of Dr. Foveau de Courmelles, who speaks authoritatively for the whole modern French school. He says:
   "Every hypnotist is aware that certain individuals never can induce sleep even in the most easily hypnotizable subjects. They admit that the right personality is necessary, and that each person may eventually find his or her hypnotist, even when numerous attempts at inducing sleep have failed. However this may be, the impossibility some individuals find in inducing sleep in trained subjects, proves at least the existence of a negative force."
   There can be no doubt that some people will succeed as hypnotists while some will fail, just as some fail as carpenters while others succeed. This is true in every walk of life. It is also true that some people attract, others repel, the people they meet. This is not very easily explained, but we have all had opportunity to observe it. Again, since concentration is the prerequisite for producing hypnotism, one who has not the power of concentration himself, and concentration which he can perfectly control, is not likely to be able to secure it in others. Also, since faith is a strong element, a person who has not perfect self-confidence could not expect to create confidence in others. While many successful hypnotists can themselves be hypnotized, it is probable that most all who have power of this kind are themselves exempt from the exercise of it. It is certainly true that while a person easily hypnotized is by no means weak-willed, in fact, it is probable that most geniuses would be good hypnotic subjects.
   There is also another thing that must be taken into account. Science teaches that all matter is in vibration. Indeed, philosophy points to the theory that matter itself is nothing more than centers of force in vibration. The lowest vibration we know is that of sound. Then comes, at an enormously higher rate, heat, light (beginning at dark red and passing through the prismatic colors to violet which has a high vibration), to the chemical rays, and then the so-called X or unknown rays which have a much higher vibration still. This seems to relate to the comedy hypnotist.
   Electricity is a form of vibration, and according to the belief of many scientists, life is a species of vibration so high that we have no possible means of measuring it. As every student of science knows, air appears to be the chief medium for conveying vibration of sound, metal is the chief medium for conveying electric vibrations, while to account for the vibrations of heat and light we have to assume (or imagine) an invisible, imponderable ether which fills all space and has no property of matter that we can distinguish except that of conveying vibrations of light in its various forms. When we pass on to human life, we have to theorize chiefly by analogy.
  At the same time it has been demonstrated again and again that persons can and do frequently hypnotize themselves. This is what Mr. Hart means when he says that any stick or stone may produce hypnosis. If a person will gaze steadily at a bright fire, or a glass of water, for instance, he can throw himself into a hypnotic trance exactly similar to the condition produced by a professional or trained comedy hypnotist. Such people, however, must be possessed of imagination.
THEORIES OF HYPNOSIS
   We have now learned some facts in regard to hypnosis; but they leave the subject still a mystery. Other facts which will be developed in the course of this book will only deepen the mystery. We will therefore state some of the best known theories.
   Before doing so, however, it would be well to state concisely just what seems to happen in a case of hypnosis. The word hypnosis comes from the greek word for sleep,”hypnos” and the definition of hypnotism implies artificially produced sleep. Sometimes this sleep is deep and lasting, and the patient is totally insensible; but the interesting phase of the condition is that in certain stages the patient is only partially asleep, while the other part of his brain is awake and very active.
   It is well known that one part of the brain may be affected without affecting the other parts. In hemiplegia, for instance, one half of the nervous system is paralyzed, while the other half is all right. In the stages of hypnosis we will now consider, the will portion of the brain or mind seems to be put to sleep, while the other faculties are, abnormally awake. Some explain this by supposing that the blood is driven out of one portion of the brain and driven into other portions. In any case, it is as though the human engine was uncoupled, and the patient becomes an automaton. If he is told to do this, that, or the other, he does it, simply because his will is asleep and "suggestion", as it is called, from without makes him act just as he starts up unconsciously in his ordinary sleep if tickled with a straw.
   Now for the theories. There are three leading theories, known as that of 1. Animal Hypnosis; 2. Neurosis; and 3. Suggestion. I shall simply state them briefly in order without discussion.
   Animal Hypnosis. This is the theory offered by Mesmer, and those who hold it assume that "the hypnotist exercises a force, independently of suggestion, over the subject. They believe one part of the body to be charged separately, or that the whole body may be filled with magnetism. They recognize the power, of suggestion, but they do not believe it to be the principal factor in the production of the hypnotic state." Those who hold this theory today distinguish between the phenomena produced by hypnosis and those produced by physical means or simple suggestion. Some believe its merely comedy.
   The Neurosis Theory. Here is the definition given by Dr. J. R. Cooke. "A neurosis is any affection of the nervous centers occurring without any material agent producing it, without inflammation or any other constant structural change which can be detected in the nervous centers. As will be seen from the definition, any abnormal manifestation of the nervous system of whose cause we know practically nothing, is, for convenience, termed a neurosis. If a person has a certain habit or tick, it is termed a neurosis or neuropathic habit. One man of my acquaintance, who is a professor in a college, always begins his lecture by first sneezing and then pulling at his nose. Many forms of tremor are called neurosis. Now to say that hypnotism is the result of a neurosis, simply means that a person's nervous system is susceptible to this condition, which, by M. Charcot and his followers, is regarded as abnormal." In short, M. Charcot places hypnotism in the same category of nervous affections in which hysteria and finally hallucination (medically considered) are to be classed, that is to say, as a nervous weakness, not to say a disease. According to this theory, a person whose nervous system is perfectly healthy could not be hypnotized. So many people can be hypnotized because nearly all the world is more or less insane, as a certain great writer has observed.
   Suggestion. This theory is based on the power of mind over the body as we observe it in everyday life. Again let me quote from Dr. Cooke. "If we can direct the subject's whole attention to the belief that such an effect as before mentioned--that his arm will be paralyzed, for instance--will take place, that effect will gradually occur. Such a result having been once produced, the subject's will-power and power of resistance are considerably weakened, because he is much more inclined than at first to believe the hypnotist’s assertion. This is generally the first step in the process of hypnosis. The method pursued at the school of Nancy is to convince the subject that his eyes are closing by directing his attention to that effect as strongly as possible. However, it is not necessary that we begin with the eyes. According to M. Dessoir, any member of the body will answer as well." The theory of Suggestion is maintained by the medical school attached to the hospital at Nancy. The theory of Neurosis was originally put forth as the result of experiments by Dr. Charcot at the Salpetriere hospital in Paris, which is now the co-called Salpetriere school--that is the medical, school connected with the Salpetriere hospital.
   There is also another theory put forth, or rather a modification of Professor Charcot's theory, and maintained by the school of the Charity hospital in Paris, headed by Dr. Luys, to the effect that the physical magnet and electricity may affect persons in the hypnotic state, and that certain drugs in sealed tubes placed upon the patient's neck during the condition of hypnosis will produce the same effects which those drugs would produce if taken internally, or as the nature of the drugs would seem to call for if imbibed in a more complete fashion. This school, however, has been considerably discredited, and Dr. Luys' conclusions are not received by scientific students of hypnotism.
   It will be seen that these three theories stated above are greatly at variance with each other. The student of hypnosis will have to form a conclusion for himself as he investigates the facts. Hypnosis is certainly a complicated phenomena. An entire book proves a very limited space for doing it.
                                    
                                        

 

 

HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.
   Dr. Cocke's Method--Dr. Flint's Method--The French Method at Paris--at Nancy--The Hindoo Silent Method--How to Wake a Subject from Hypnotic Sleep—Modern Hypnosis Techniques
   The dictionary states the derivation of the word from the Greek word meaning sleep, and gives as synonym "Braidism". This definition follows: "An abnormal state into which some persons may be thrown, either by a voluntary act of their own, such as gazing continuously with fixed attention on some bright object held close to the eyes, or by the exercise of another person's will; characterized by suspension of the will and consequent obedience to the promptings of suggestions from without. It seems such a comedy. The activity of the organs of special sense, except the eye, may be heightened, and the power of the muscles increased. Complete insensibility to pain may be induced by hypnotism, and it has been used as an anaesthetic. It is apt to be followed by a severe headache of long continuance, and by various nervous disturbances. On emerging from the hypnotic state, the person hypnotized usually has no remembrance of what happened during its continuance, but in many persons such remembrance may be induced by 'suggestion'. About one person in three is susceptible to hypnosis, and those of the hysterical or neurotic tendency (but rarely the insane) are the most readily hypnotized."

 

Says Dr. Cocke:
   "The hypnotic state can be produced in one of the following ways: First, command the subject to close his eyes. Tell him his mind is a blank. Command him to think of nothing. Leave him a few minutes; return and tell him he cannot open his eyes. If he fails to do so, then begin to make any suggestion which may be desired. This is the so-called mental method of hypnosis.”
   "Secondly, give the subject a coin or other bright object. Tell him to look steadfastly at it and not take his eyes away from it. Suggest that his eyelids are growing heavy, that he cannot keep them open. Now close the lids. They cannot be opened. This is the usual method employed by a comedy stage hypnotist. A similar method is by looking into a mirror, or into a glass of water, or by rapidly revolving polished disks, which should be looked at steadfastly in the same way as is the coin, and I think tires the eyes less.”
   "Another method is by simply commanding the subject to close his eyes, while the operator makes passes over his head and hands without coming in contact with them. Suggestions may be made during these passes.”
   "Fascination, as it is called, is one of the hypnotic states. The operator fixes his eyes on those of the subject. Holding his attention for a few minutes, the operator begins to walk backward; the subject follows. The operator raises the arm; the subject does likewise. Briefly, the subject will imitate any movement of the hypnotist, or will obey any suggestion made by word, look or gesture, suggested by the one with whom he is en rapport.”

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   "A very effective method of hypnotizing a person is by commanding him to sleep, and having some very soft music played upon the piano, or other stringed instrument. Firm pressure over the orbits, or over the finger- ends and root of the nail for some minutes may also induce the condition of hypnosis in very sensitive persons.”
   "Also hypnosis can frequently be induced by giving the subject a glass of water, and telling him at the same time that it has been magnetized. The wearing of belts around the body, and rings round the fingers, will also, sometimes, induce a degree of hypnosis, if the subject has been told that they have previously been magnetized or are electric. The latter descriptions are the so-called physical methods described by Dr. Moll."
Dr. Herbert L. Flint, a comedy stage hypnotist, describes his methods as follows:
   "To induce hypnosis, I begin by friendly conversation to place my patient in a condition of absolute calmness and quiescence. I also try to win his confidence by appealing to his own volitional effort to aid me in obtaining the desired clad. I impress upon him that hypnosis in his condition is a beneficial, and far from subjugating his mentality, it becomes intensified to so great an extent as to act as a remedial agent.”
   "Having assured myself that he is in a passive condition, I suggest to him, either with or without passes, that after looking intently at an object for a few moments, he will experience a feeling of relaxation. I steadily gaze at his eyes, and in a monotonous tone I continue to suggest the various stages of sleep. As for instance, I say, 'Your breathing is heavy. Your whole body is relaxed.' I raise his arm, holding it in a horizontal position for a second or two, and suggest to him that it is getting heavier and heavier. I let my hand go and his arm falls to his side.”
   “Your eyes,' I continue, 'feel tired and sleepy. The phrase most often referred to with a comedy hypnotist.They are fast closing' repeating in a soothing tone the words 'sleepy, sleepy, sleep.' Then in a self-assertive tone, I emphasize the suggestion by saying in an unhesitating and positive tone, 'sleep.' “
   “I do not, however, use this method with all patients. It is an error to state, as some specialists do, that from their formula there can be no deviation; because, as no two minds are constituted alike, so they cannot be affected alike. While one will yield by intense will exerted through my eyes, another may, by the same means, become fretful, timid, nervous, and more wakeful than he was before. The same rule applies to gesture, tones of the voice, and mesmeric passes. That which has a soothing and lulling effect on one, may have an opposite effect on another. There can be no unvarying rule applicable to all patients. The means must be left to the judgment of the operator, who by a long course of psychological training should be able to judge what measures are necessary to obtain control of his subject. Just as in drugs, one person may take a dose without injury that will kill another, so in hypnosis, one person can be put into a deep sleep by means that would be totally ineffectual in another, and even then the mental states differ in each individual--that which in one induces a gentle slumber may plunge his neighbor into a deep cataleptic state." This can make for some unusual comedy initiated by the hypnotist.

   That hypnosis may be produced by purely physical or mechanical means seems to have been demonstrated by an incident which started Doctor Burq, a Frenchman, upon a scientific inquiry which lasted many years. "While practising as a young doctor, not a comedy hypnotist, he had one day been obliged to go out and had deemed it advisable to lock up a patient in his absence. Just as he was leaving the house he heard the sound as of a body suddenly falling. He hurried back into the room and found his patient in a state of catalepsy. Monsieur Burq was at that time studying hypnosis, and he at once sought for the cause of this phenomenon. He noticed that the door-handle was of copper. The next day he wrapped a glove around the handle, again shut the patient in, and this time nothing occurred. He interrogated the patient, but she could give him no explanation. He then tried the effect of copper on all the subjects at the Salpetriere and the Cochin hospitals, and found that a great number were affected by it."
   At the Charity hospital in Paris, Doctor Luys used an apparatus moved by clockwork. Doctor Foveau, one of his pupils, thus describes it:
   "The hypnotic state, generally produced by the contemplation of a bright spot, a lamp, or the human eye, is in his case induced by a peculiar kind of mirror. The mirrors are made of pieces of wood cut prismatically in which fragments of mirrors are incrusted. They are generally double and placed crosswise, and by means of clockwork revolve automatically. They are the same as sportsmen use to attract larks, the rays of the sun being caught and reflected on every side and from all points of the horizon. If the little mirrors in each branch are placed in parallel lines in front of a patient, and the rotation is rapid, the optic organ soon becomes fatigued, and a calming soothing somnolence ensues. At first it is not a deep sleep, the eye-lids are scarcely heavy, the drowsiness slight and restorative. By degrees, by a species of training, the hypnotic sleep differs more and more from natural sleep, the individual abandons himself more and more completely, and falls into one of the regular phases of hypnotic sleep. Without a word, without a suggestion or any other action, Dr. Luys has made wonderful cures. Wecker, the occulist, has by the same means entirely cured spasms of the eye-lids."
   Professor Delboeuf gives the following account of how the famous Liebault produced hypnosis at the hospital at Nancy. We would especially ask the reader to note what he says of Dr. Liebault's manner and general bearing, for without doubt much of his success was due to his own personality. Says Professor Delboeuf:
   "His technique has something ingenious and simple about it, enhanced by a tone and air of profound conviction; and his voice has such fervor and warmth that he carries away his clients with him. he was an excellent comedy stage hypnotist.
   "After having inquired of the patient what he is suffering from, without any further or closer examination, he places his hand on the patient's forehead and, scarcely looking at him, says, 'You are going to sleep.' Then, almost immediately, he closes the eyelids, telling him that he is asleep. After that he raises the patient's arm, and says, 'You cannot put your arm down.' If he does, Dr. Liebault appears hardly to notice it. He then turns the patient's arm around, confidently affirming that the movement cannot be stopped, and saying this he turns his own arms rapidly around, the patient remaining all the time with his eyes shut; then the doctor talks on without ceasing in a loud and commanding voice.
The suggestions begin:

   “You are going to be cured; your digestion will be good, your sleep quiet, your cough will stop, your circulation will become free and regular; you are going to feel very strong and well, you will be able to walk about,' etc., etc. He hardly ever varies the speech. Thus he fires away at every kind of disease at once, leaving it to the client to find out his own. No doubt he gives some special directions, according to the disease the patient is suffering from, but general instructions are the chief thing.”
   “The same suggestions are repeated a great many times to the same person, and, strange to say, notwithstanding the inevitable monotony of the speeches, and the uniformity of both style and voice, the master's tone is so ardent, so penetrating, so sympathetic, that I have never once listened to it without a feeling of intense admiration.”
   The Hindus produce sleep simply by sitting on the ground and, fixing their eyes steadily on the subject, swaying the body in a sort of writhing motion above the hips. By continuing this steadily and in perfect silence for ten or fifteen minutes before a large audience, dozens can be put to sleep at one time. In all cases, freedom from noise or distractive incidents is essential to success in hypnosis, for concentration must be produced. This is the key to all comedy stage hypnotists.
   Certain French operators maintained that hypnosis may be produced by pressure on certain hypnogenic points or regions of the body. Among these are the eye-balls, the crown of the head, the back of the neck and the upper bones of the spine between the shoulder glades. Some persons may be hypnotized by gently pressing on the skin at the base of the finger-nails, and at the root of the nose; also by gently scratching the neck over the great nerve center.
   Hypnosis can also be produced by sudden noise, as if by a Chinese gong, etc.
HOW TO WAKE A SUBJECT FROM HYPNOTIC SLEEP.
   This is comparatively easy in most cases. Most persons will awake naturally at the end of a few minutes, or will fall into a natural sleep from which in an hour or two they will awake refreshed. Usually the hypnotist simply says to the subject, "All right, wake up now," and claps his hands or makes some other decided noise. In some cases it is sufficient to say, "You will wake up in five minutes"; or tell a subject to count twelve and when he gets to ten say, "Wake up or wide awake."
   Persons in the lethargic state are not necessarily susceptible to verbal suggestions, but may be awakened by lifting both eyelids.
   It is said that pressure on certain regions will wake the subject, just as pressure in certain other places will put the subject to sleep. Among these places for awakening are the ovarian regions.
   If hypnosis was produced by passes, then wakening may be brought about by passes in the opposite direction, or with the back of the hand toward the subject.
   The only danger is likely to be found in hysterical persons. They will, if aroused, often fall off again into a helpless state, and continue to do so for some time to come. It is dangerous to hypnotize such subjects.
   Care should be taken to awaken the subject, particularly by comedy hypnotists with large groups, very thoroughly before leaving him, else headache, nausea, or the like may follow, with other unpleasant effects. In all cases subjects should be treated gently and with the utmost consideration, as if the subject and operator were the most intimate friends.
   It is better that the person who induces hypnotic sleep should awaken the subject. Others cannot do it so easily, though as we have said, subjects usually awaken themselves after a short time.
   It is proper to add that in addition to the fact that not more than one person out of three can be hypnotized at all, even by an experienced operator, to effect hypnosis except in a few cases requires a great deal of patience, both on the part of the hypnotist and of the subject. It may require half a dozen or more trials before any effect at all can be produced, although in some cases the effect will come within a minute or two. After a person has been once hypnotized, hypnosis is much easier. This one reason why the comedy hypnotist collects as many volunteers as possible.The most startling results are to be obtained only after a long process of training on the part of the subject.
   The hypnotists of today, psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnotherapists and even the comedy stage hypnotist utilize the technique of progressive relaxation and suggestion. Depending on the venue, the on stage hypnotist requires a swift induction, hence the elimination of half the volunteers, to the therapists office where the induction may occupy twenty minutes or longer. In a relaxed comfortable state, the subjects are guided through  a world of suggested imagery. The more one believes these images to be true the more they react as if they were. When a hypnotized person believes his legs are paralyzed he will react as if they were and not be able to walk.
                                  

 

                          
                         AMUSING EXPERIMENTS.
   Hypnotizing on the Stage--"You Can't Pull Your Hands Apart"--Post Hypnotic Suggestion--The News boy, the Hunter, and the Young Man with the Rag Doll--A Whip Becomes Hot Iron--Courting a Broomstick--The Side Show.
   Let us now describe some of the manifestations of hypnosis, to see just how it operates and how it exhibits itself. The following is a description of a public performance given by Dr. Herbert L. Flint, a very successful comedy stage hypnotist. It is in the language of an eye witness, a New York lawyer.
   In response to a call for volunteers, twenty young and middle-aged men came upon the stage. The entertainment commenced by Dr. Flint passing around the group, who were seated on the stage in a semicircle facing the audience, and stroking each one's head and forehead, repeating the phrases, "Close your eyes. Think of nothing but sleep. You are very tired. You are drowsy. You feel very sleepy." As he did this, several of the volunteers closed their eyes at once, and one fell asleep immediately. One or two remained awake, and these did not give themselves up to the influence, but rather resisted it.
   When the doctor had completed his round and had manipulated all the volunteers, some of those influenced were nodding, some were sound asleep, while a few were wide awake and smiling at the rest. These latter were dismissed as unlikely subjects.
   When the stage had been cleared of all those who were not responsive, the hypnotist passed around, and, snapping his finger at each individual, awoke him. One of the subjects when questioned afterward as to what sensation he experienced at the snapping of the fingers, replied that it seemed to him as if something inside of his head responded, and with this sensation he regained self-consciousness.
   The group was now apparently wide awake, and did not differ in appearance from their ordinary state. The doctor then took each one and subjected him to a separate physical test, such as sealing the eyes, fastening the hands, stiffening the fingers, arms, and legs, producing partial catalepsy and causing stuttering and inability to speak. In those possessing strong imaginations, he was able to produce hallucinations, such as feeling mosquito bites, suffering from toothache, finding the pockets filled and the hands covered with molasses, changing identity, and many similar tests.
   The doctor now asked each one to clasp his hands in front of him, and when all had complied with the request, he repeated the phrase, "Think your hands so fast that you can't pull them apart. They are fast. You cannot pull them apart. Try. You can't." The whole class made frantic efforts to unclasp their hands, but were unable to do so. The doctor's explanation of this is, that what they were really doing was to force their hands closer together, thus obeying the counter suggestion. That they thought they were trying to unclasp their hands was evident from their endeavors.
   The moment he made them desist, by snapping his fingers, the spell was broken. It was most astonishing to see that as each one awoke, he seemed to be fully cognizant of the ridiculous position in which his comrades were placed, and to enjoy their confusion and ludicrous attitudes. The moment, however, he was commanded to do things equally absurd, he obeyed. While, therefore, the class appeared to be free agents, they are under hypnotic control.
   One young fellow, aged about eighteen, said that he was addicted to the cigarette habit. The suggestion was made to him that he would not be able to smoke a cigarette for twenty-four hours. After the entertainment he was asked to smoke, as was his usual habit. He was then away from any one who could influence him. He replied that the very idea was repugnant. However, he was induced to take a cigarette in his mouth, but it made him ill and he flung it away with every expression of disgust. *This is an instance of what is called post-hypnotic suggestion. Dr. Cocke tells of suggesting to a drinker whom he was trying to cure of the habit that for the next three days anything he took would make him vomit; the result followed as suggested.
   The same phenomena that was shown in unclasping the hands, was next exhibited in commanding the subjects to rotate them. They immediately began and twirled them faster and faster, in spite of their efforts to stop. This is a favourite routine of a comedy hypnotist.One of the subjects said he thought of nothing but the strange action of his hands, and sometimes it puzzled him to know why they whirled.
   At this point Dr. Flint's daughter took charge of the group. She pointed her finger at one of them, and the subject began to look steadily before him, at which the rest of the group were highly amused. Presently the subject's head leaned forward, the pupils of his eyes dilated and assumed a peculiar glassy stare. He arose with a steady, gliding gait and walked up to the lady until his nose touched her hand. Then he stopped. Miss Flint led him to the front of the stage and left him standing in profound slumber. He stood there, stooping, eyes set, and vacant, fast asleep. In the meantime the act had caused great laughter among the rest of the class. One young fellow in particular, laughed so uproariously that tears coursed down his cheeks, and he took out his handkerchief to wipe his eyes. Just as he was returning it to his pocket, the lady suddenly pointed a finger at him. She was in the center of the stage, fully fifteen feet away from the subject, but the moment the gesture was made, his countenance fell, his mirth stopped, while that of his companions redoubled, and the change was so obvious that the audience shared in the laughter--but the subject neither saw nor heard. His eyes assumed the same expression that had been noticed in his companion's. He, too, arose in the same attitude, as if his head were pulling the body along, and following the finger in the same way as his predecessor, was conducted to the front of the stage by the side of the first subject. This was repeated on half a dozen subjects, and the manifestations were the same in each case. Those selected were now drawn up in an irregular line in front of the stage, their eyes fixed on vacancy, their heads bent forward, perfectly motionless. Each was then given a suggestion. One was to be a newsboy, and sell papers. Another was given a broomstick and told to hunt game in the woods before him. Another was given a large rag doll and told that it was an infant, and that he must look among the audience and discover the father. He was informed that he could tell who the father was by the similarity and the color of the eyes. A classic comedy hypnotist stunt.
   These suggestions were made in a loud tone, Miss Flint being no nearer one subject than another. The bare suggestion was given, as, "Now, think that you are a newsboy, and are selling papers," or, "Now think that you are hunting and are going into the woods to shoot birds."
   So the party was started at the same time into the audience. The one who was impersonating a newsboy went about crying his edition in a loud voice; while the hunter crawled along stealthily and carefully. The newsboy even adopted the well-worn device of asking those whom he solicited to buy to help him get rid of his stock. One man offered him a quarter, when the price was two dollars. The newsboy chaffed the would-be purchaser. The others did what they had been told to do in the same earnest, characteristic way.
   After this performance, the group was again seated in a semicircle, and Miss Flint selected one of them, and, taking him into the center of the stage, showed him a small riding whip. He looked at it indifferently enough. He was told it was a hot bar of iron, but he shook his head, still incredulous. The suggestion was repeated, and as the glazed look came into his eyes, the incredulous look died out. Every member of the group was following the suggestion made to the subject in hand. All of them had the same expression in their eyes. The doctor said that his daughter was hypnotizing the whole group through this one individual.
   As she spoke she lightly touched the subject with the end of the whip. The moment the subject felt the whip he jumped and shrieked as if it really were a hot iron. She touched each one of the group in succession, and every one manifested the utmost pain and fear. One subject sat down on the floor and cried in dire distress. Others, when touched, would tear off their clothing or roll up their sleeves. One young man was examined by a physician present just after the whip had been laid across his shoulders, and a long red mark was found, just such a one as would have been made by a real hot iron. The doctor said that, had the suggestion been continued, it would undoubtedly have raised a blister.
   One of the amusing experiments tried at a later time was that of a tall young man, diffident, pale and modest, being given a broom carefully wrapped in a sheet, and told that it was his sweetheart. He accepted the situation and sat down by the broom. He was a little sheepish at first, but eventually he grew bolder, and smiled upon her such a smile as Malvolio casts upon Olivia. The manner in which, little by little, he ventured upon a familiar footing, was exceedingly funny; but when, in a moment of confident response to his wooing, he clasped her round the waist and imprinted a chaste kiss upon the brushy part of the broom, disguised by the sheet, the house resounded with roars of laughter. The comedy hypnotist was creating great entertainment. The subject, however, was deaf to all of the noise. He was absorbed in his courtship, and he continued to hug the broom, and exhibit in his features that idiotic smile that one sees only upon the faces of lovers and bridegrooms.
   One of the subjects was told that the head of a man in the audience was on fire. He looked for a moment, and then dashed down the platform into the audience, and, seizing the man's head, vigorously rubbed it. As this did not extinguish the flames, he took off his coat and put the fire out. In doing this, he set his coat on fire, when he trampled it under foot. Then he calmly resumed his garment and walked back to the stage.
   The "side-show" closed the evening's entertainment. A young man was told to think of himself as managing a side-show at a circus. When his mind had absorbed this idea he was ordered to open his exhibition. He at once mounted a table, and, in the voice of the traditional side-show fakir, began to dilate upon the fat woman and the snakes, upon the wild man from Borneo, upon the learned pig, and all the other accessories of side-shows. He went over the usual characteristic "patter," getting more and more in earnest, assuring his hearers that for the small sum of two dollars they could see more wonders than ever before had been crowded under one canvas tent. He harangued the crowd as they surged about the tent door. This was true comedy!  He pointed to a suppositious canvas picture. He "chaffed" the boys. He flattered the vanity of the young fellows with their girls, telling them that they could not afford, for the small sum of two dollars, to miss this great show. He made change for his patrons. He indulged in side remarks, such as "This is hot work." He rolled up his sleeves and took off his collar and necktie, all of the time expatiating upon the merits of the stars inside of his tent. The hypnotist had succeeded with the help do audience volunteers in creating true comedy.

 

THE STAGES OF HYPNOSIS

Lethargy--Catalepsy--The Somnambulistic Stage--Fascination.
   I have just given some of the amusing experiments that may be performed with subjects in one of the minor stages of hypnotism. But there are other stages which give entirely different manifestations. For a scientific classification of these we are indebted to Professor Charcot, of the Salpetriere hospital in Paris, to whom, next to Mesmer and Braid, we are indebted for the present science of hypnotism. He recognized three distinct stages--lethargy, catalepsy and somnambulism. There is also a condition of extreme lethargy, a sort of trance state, that lasts for days and even weeks, and, indeed, has been known to last for years. There is also a lighter phase than somnambulism, that is called fascination. Some doctors, however, place it between catalepsy and somnambulism. Each of these stages is marked by quite distinct phenomena. We give them as described by a pupil of Dr. Charcot.
                                     
LETHARGY.
   This is a state of absolute inert sleep. If the method of Braid is used, and a bright object is held quite near the eyes, and the eyes are fixed upon it, the subject squints, the eyes become moist and bright, the look fixed, and the pupils dilated. This is the cataleptic stage. If the object is left before the eyes, lethargy is produced. There are also many other ways of producing lethargy, as we have seen in the chapter "How to Hypnotize."
   One of the marked characteristics of this stage of hypnotism is the tendency of the muscles to contract, under the influence of the slightest touch, friction, pressure or massage, or even that of a magnet placed at a distance. The contraction disappears only by the repetition of that identical means that called it into action. Dr. Courmelles gives the following illustration:
   "If the forearm is rubbed a little above the palm of the hand, this latter yields and bends at an acute angle. The subject may be suspended by the hand, and the body will be held up without relaxation, that is, without returning to the normal condition. To return to the normal state, it suffices to rub the antagonistic muscles, or, in ordinary terms, the part diametrically opposed to that which produced the phenomenon; in this case, the forearm a little above the hands. It is the same for any other part of the body."
   The subject appears to be in a deep sleep, the eyes are either closed or half closed, and the face is without expression. The body appears to be in a state of complete collapse, the head is thrown back, and the arms and legs hang loose, dropping heavily down. In this stage insensibility is so complete that needles can be run into any part of the body without producing pain, and surgical operations may be performed without the slightest unpleasant effect.
   This stage lasts usually but a short time, and the patient, under ordinary conditions, will pass upward into the stage of catalepsy, in which he opens his eyes. If the hypnotism is spontaneous, that is, if it is due to a condition of the nervous organism which has produced it without any outside aid, we have the condition of prolonged trance, of which many cases have been reported. Until the discovery of hypnotism these strange trances were little understood, and people were even buried alive in them. A few instances reported by medical men will be interesting. There is one reported in 1889 by a noted French physician. Said he:
  “There is at this moment in the hospital at Mulhouse a most interesting case. A young girl twenty-two years of age has been asleep here for the last twelve days. Her complexion is fresh and rosy, her breathing quite normal, and her features unaltered.”
   “No organ seems attacked; all the vital functions are performed as in the waking state. She is fed with milk, broth and wine, which is given her in a spoon. Her mouth even sometimes opens of itself at the contact of the spoon, and she swallows without the slightest difficulty. At other times the gullet remains inert.”
"The whole body is insensible. The forehead alone presents, under the action of touch or of pricks, some reflex phenomena. However, by a peculiarity, which is extremely interesting, she seems, by the intense horror she shows for ether, to retain a certain amount of consciousness and sensibility. If a drop of ether is put into her mouth her face contracts and assumes an expression of disgust. At the same moment her arms and legs are violently agitated, with the kind of impatient motion that a child displays when made to swallow some hated dose of medicine.”
   “In the intellectual relations the brain is not absolutely obscure, for on her mother's coming to see her the subject's face became highly colored, and tears appeared on the tips of her eyelashes, without, however, in any other way disturbing her lethargy.”
   “Nothing has yet been able to rouse her from this torpor, which will, no doubt, naturally disappear at a given moment. She will then return to conscious life as she quitted it. It is probable that she will not retain any recollection of her present condition, that all notion of time will fail her, and that she will fancy it is only the day following her usual nightly slumber, a slumber which, in this case, has been transformed into a lethargic sleep, without any rigidity of limbs or convulsions.”
   “Physically, the sleeper is of a middle size, slender, strong and pretty, without distinctive characteristic. Mentally, she is lively, industrious, sometimes whimsical, and subject to slight nervous attacks.”
  There is a pretty well-authenticated report of a young girl who, on May 30, 1983, after an intense fright, fell into a lethargic condition which lasted for four years. Her parents were poor and ignorant, but, as the fame of the case spread abroad, some physicians went to investigate it in March, 1984. Her sleep had never been interrupted. On raising the eyelids, the doctors found the eyes turned convulsively upward, but, blowing upon them, produced no reflex movement of the lids. Her jaws were closed tightly, and the attempt to open her mouth had broken off some of the teeth level with the gums. The muscles contracted at the least breath or touch, and the arms remained in position when uplifted. The contraction of the muscles is a sign of the lethargic state, but the arm, remaining in position, indicates the cataleptic state. The girl was kept alive by liquid nourishment poured into her mouth.
   There are on record a large number of cases of persons who have slept for several months.
                                          CATALEPSY
   The next higher stage of hypnotism is that of catalepsy. Patients may be thrown into it directly, or patients in the lethargic state may be brought into it by lifting the eyelids. It seems that the light penetrating the eyes, and affecting the brain, awakens new powers, for the cataleptic state has phenomena quite peculiar to itself.
   Nearly all the means for producing hypnotism will, if carried to just the right degree, produce catalepsy. For instance, besides the fixing of the eye on a bright object, catalepsy may be produced by a sudden sound, as of a Chinese gong, a tom-tom or a whistle, the vibration of a tuning- fork, or thunder. If a solar spectrum is suddenly brought into a dark room it may produce catalepsy, which is also produced by looking at the sun, or a lime light, or an electric light.
   In this state the patient has become perfectly rigidly fixed in the position in which he happens to be when the effect is produced, whether sitting, standing, kneeling, or the like; and this face has an expression of fear. The arms or legs may be raised, but if left to themselves will not drop, as in lethargy. The eyes are wide open, but the look is fixed and impassive. The fixed position lasts only a few minutes, however, when the subject returns to a position of relaxation, or drops back into the lethargic state.
   If the muscles, nerves or tendons are rubbed or pressed, paralysis may be produced, which, however, is quickly removed by the use of electricity, when the patient awakes. By manipulating the muscles the most rigid contraction may be produced, until the entire body is in such a state of corpse-like rigidity that a most startling experiment is possible. The subject may be placed with his head upon the back of one chair and his heels on the back of another, and a heavy man may sit upon him without seemingly producing any effect, or even heavy rock may be broken on the subject's body.
   Messieurs Binet and Fere, pupils of the Salpetriere school, describe the action of magnets on cataleptic subjects, as follows:
“The patient is seated near a table, on which a magnet has been placed, the left elbow rests on the arm of the chair, the forearm and hand vertically upraised with thumb and index finger extended, while the other fingers remain half bent. On the right side the forearm and hand are stretched on the table, and the magnet is placed under a linen cloth at a distance of about two inches. After a couple of minutes the right index begins to tremble and rise up; on the left side the extended fingers bend down, and the hand remains limp for an instant. The right hand and forearm rise up and assume the primitive position of the left hand, which is now stretched out on the arm of the chair, with the waxen pliability that pertains to the cataleptic state.”
   An interesting experiment may be tried by throwing a patient into lethargy on one side and catalepsy on the other. To induce what is called hemi-lethargy and hemi-catalepsy is not difficult. First, the lethargic stage is induced, then one eyelid is raised, and that side alone becomes cataleptic, and may be operated on in various interesting ways. The arm on that side, for instance, will remain raised when lifted, while the arm on the other side will fall heavily.
   Still more interesting is the intellectual condition of the subject. Some great man has remarked that if he wished to know what a person was thinking of, he assumed the exact position and expression of that person, and soon he would begin to feel and think just as the other was thinking and feeling. Look a part and you will soon begin to feel it.
   In the cataleptic subject there is a close relation between the attitude the subject assumes and the intellectual manifestation. In the somnambulistic stage patients are manipulated by speaking to them; in the cataleptic stage they are equally under the will of the operator; but now he controls them by gesture. Says Dr. Courmelles, from his own observation: "The emotions in this stage are made at command, in the true acceptation of the word, for they are produced, not by orders verbally expressed, but by expressive movements. If the hands are opened and drawn close to the mouth, as when a kiss is wafted, the mouth smiles. If the arms are extended and half bent at the elbows, the countenance assumes an expression of astonishment. The slightest variation of movement is reflected in the emotions. If the fists are closed, the brow contracts and the face expresses anger. If a lively or sad tune is played, if amusing or depressing pictures are shown, the subject, like a faithful mirror, at once reflects these impressions. If a smile is produced it can be seen to diminish and disappear at the same time as the hand is moved away, and again to reappear and increase when it is once more brought near.
   Better still, a double expression can be imparted to the physiognomy, by approaching the left hand to the left side of the mouth, the left side of the physiognomy will smile, while at the same time, by closing the right hand, the right eyebrow will frown. The subject can be made to send kisses, or to turn his hands round each other indefinitely. If the hand is brought near the nose it will blow; if the arms are stretched out they will remain extended, while the head will be bowed with a marked expression of pain."
   Heidenhain was able to take possession of the subject's gaze and control him by sight, through producing mimicry. He looks fixedly at the patient till the patient is unable to take his eyes away. Then the patient will copy every movement he makes. If he rises and goes backward the patient will follow, and with his right hand he will imitate the movements of the operator's left, as if he were a mirror. The attitudes of prayer, melancholy, pain, disdain, anger or fear, may be produced in this manner.
   The experiments of Donato, a stage hypnotist, are thus described: “After throwing the subjects into catalepsy he causes soft music to be played, which produces a rapturous expression. If the sound is heightened or increased, the subjects seem to receive a shock and a feeling of disappointment. The artistic sense developed by hypnotism is disturbed; the faces express astonishment, stupefaction and pain. If the same soft melody be again resumed, the same expression of rapturous bliss reappears in the countenance. The faces become seraphic and celestial when the subjects are by nature handsome, and when the subjects are ordinary looking, even ugly, they are idealized as by a special kind of beauty.”
   The strange part of all this is, that on awaking, the patient has no recollection of what has taken place, and careful tests have shown that what appear to be violent emotions, such as in an ordinary state would produce a quickened pulse and heavy breathing, create no disturbance whatever in the cataleptic subject; only the outer mask is in motion.
   Sometimes the subjects lean backward with all the grace of a perfect equilibrist, freeing themselves from the ordinary mechanical laws. The curvature will, indeed, at times be so complete that the head will touch the floor and the body describe a regular arc.
   We thus see what a perfect automaton the human body may become. There appears, however, to be a sort of unconscious memory, for a familiar object will seem to suggest spontaneously its ordinary use. Thus, if a piece of soap is put into a cataleptic patient's hands; he will move it around as though he thought he were washing them, and if there is any water near he will actually wash them. The sight of an umbrella makes him shiver as if he were in a storm.
   Handing such a person a pen will not make him write, but if a letter is dictated to him out loud he will write in an irregular hand. The subject may also be made to sing, scream or speak different languages with which he is entirely unfamiliar. This is, however, a verging toward the somnambulistic stage, for in deep catalepsy the patient does not speak or hear. The state is produced by placing the hands on the head, the forehead, or nape of the neck.
                             THE SOMNAMBULISTIC STAGE.
    This is the stage or phase of hypnotism nearest the waking, and is the only one that can be produced in some subjects. Patients in the cataleptic state can be brought into the somnambulistic by rubbing the top of the head. To all appearances, the patient is fully awake, his eyes are open, and he answers when spoken to, but his voice does not have the same sound as when awake. Yet, in this state the patient is susceptible of all the hallucinations of insanity, which may be induced at the verbal command of the hypnotist.

   One of the most curious features of this stage of hypnotism is the effect on the memory. Says Monsieur Richet: “I send V------ to sleep. I recite some verses to her, and then I awake her. She remembers nothing. I again send her to sleep, and she remembers perfectly the verses I recited. I awake her, and she has again forgotten everything.”
   It appears, however, that if commanded to remember on awaking, a subject may remember.
   The active sense, and the memory as well, appears to be in an exalted state of activity during this phase of hypnotism. Says M. Richet: “M---- -, who will sing the air of the second act of the Africaine in her sleep, is incapable of remembering a single note of it when awake.” Another patient, while under this hypnotic influence, could remember all he had eaten for several days past, but when awake could remember very little. Binet and Fere caused one of their subjects to remember the whole of his activities for eight days past, though when awake he could remember nothing beyond two or three days. A patient of Dr. Charcot, who when she was two years old had seen Dr. Parrot in the children's hospital, but had not seen him since, and when awake could not remember him, named him at once when he entered during her hypnotic sleep. M. Delboeuf tells of an experiment he tried, in which the subject did remember what had taken place during the hypnotic condition, when he suddenly awakened her in the midst of the hallucination; as, for instance, he told her the ashes from the cigar he was smoking had fallen on her handkerchief and had set it on fire. She at once rose and threw the handkerchief into the water. Then, suddenly awakened, she remembered the whole performance.
   In the somnambulistic stage the subject is no longer an automaton merely, but a real personality, “an individual with their own character, likes and dislikes.” The tone of the voice of the hypnotist seems to have quite as much effect as his words. If he speaks in a grave and solemn tone, for instance, even if what he utters is nonsense, the effect is that of a deeply tragic story.
   The will of another is not so easily implanted as has been claimed. While a subject will follow almost any suggestion that may be offered, they readily obey only commands which are in keeping with their character. If they are commanded to do something they dislike or which in the waking state would be very repugnant to them, they hesitate, do it very reluctantly, and in extreme cases refuse altogether, often going into hysterics. It was found at the Charity hospital that one patient absolutely refused to accept a cassock and become a priest. One of Monsieur Richet's patients screamed with pain the moment an amputation was suggested, but almost immediately recognized that it was only a suggestion, and laughed in the midst of her tears. Probably, however, this patient was not completely hypnotized.
   Dr. Dumontpallier was able to produce a very curious phenomenon. He suggested to a female patient that with the right eye she could see a picture on a blank card. On awakening she could, indeed, see the picture with the right eye, but the left eye told her the card was blank. While she was in the somnambulistic state he told her in her right ear that the weather was very fine, and at the same time another person whispered in her left ear that it was raining. On the right side of her face she had a smile, while the left angle of her lip dropped as if she were depressed by the thought of the rain. Again, he describes a dance and great party in one ear, and another person mimics the barking of a dog in the other. One side of her face in that case wears an amused expression, while the other shows signs of alarm.
   Dr. Charcot thus describes a curious experiment: “A portrait is suggested to a subject as existing on a blank card, which is then mixed with a dozen others; to all appearance they are similar cards. The subject, being awakened, is requested to look over the packet, and does so without knowing the reason of the request, but when he perceives the card on which the portrait was suggested, he at once recognizes the imaginary portrait. It is probable that some insignificant mark has, owing to his visual hyperacuity, fixed the image in the subject's brain.”
                                          FASCINATION.
   Says a recent French writer: “Dr. Bremand, a naval doctor, has obtained in men supposed to be perfectly healthy a new condition, which he calls fascination. The inventor considers that this is hypnotism in its mildest form, which, after repeated experiments, might become catalepsy. The subject fascinated by Dr. Bremaud--fascination being induced by the contemplation of a bright spot--falls into a state of stupor. He follows the operator and servilely imitates his movements, gestures and words; he obeys suggestions, and a stimulation of the nerves induces contraction, but the cataleptic pliability does not exist.”
A noted stage hypnotist in Paris some years ago produced fascination in the following manner: He would cause the subject to lean on his hands, thus fatiguing the muscles. The excitement produced by the concentrated gaze of a large audience also assisted in weakening the nervous resistance. At last the hypnotist would suddenly call out: "Look at me!" The subject would look up and gaze steadily into the operator's eyes, who would stare steadily back with round, glaring eyes, and in most cases subdue his victim.

                                   
How the Subject Feels Under Hypnosis - Dr. Cooper's Experience - Effect of Music - Dr. Alfred Marthieu's Experiments.
   The sensations produced during a state of hypnosis are very interesting. As may be supposed, they differ greatly in different persons. One of the most interesting accounts ever given is that of Dr. James R. Cocke, a hypnotist himself, who submitted to being operated upon by a professional hypnotist. He was at that time a firm believer in the theory of personal magnetism (a delusion from which he afterward escaped).
   On the occasion which he describes, the hypnotist commanded him to close his eyes and told him he could not open them, but he did open them at once. Again he told him to close the eyes, and at the same time he gently stroked his head and face and eyelids with his hand. Dr. Cocke fancied he felt a tingling sensation in his forehead and eyes, which he supposed came from the hand of the hypnotist. (Afterward he came to believe that this sensation was purely imaginary on his part.)
   Then he says: “A sensation akin to fear came over me. The hypnotist said: 'You are going to sleep, you are getting sleepy. You cannot open your eyes.' I was conscious that my heart was beating rapidly, and I felt a sensation of terror. He continued to tell me I was going to sleep, and could not open my eyes. He then made passes over my head, down over my hands and body, but did not touch me. He then said to me, 'You cannot open your eyes.' The motor apparatus of my lids would not seemingly respond to my will, yet I was conscious that while one part of my mind wanted to open my eyes, another part did not want to, so I was in a paradoxical state. I believed that I could open my eyes, and yet could not. The feeling of not wishing to open my eyes was not based upon any desire to please the hypnotist. I had no personal interest in him in any way, but, be it understood, I firmly believed in his power to control me. He continued to suggest to me that I was going to sleep, and the suggestion of terror previously mentioned continued to increase."
   The next step was to put the doctor's hand over his head, and tell him he could not put it down. Then he stroked the arm and said it was growing numb. He said: "You have no feeling in it, have you?" Dr. Cocke goes on: "I said 'No,' and I knew that I said 'No,' yet I knew that I had a feeling in it." The operator went on, pricking the arm with a pin, and though Dr. Cocke felt the pain he said he did not feel it, and at the same time the sensation of terror increased. "I was not conscious of my body at all," he says further on, "but I was painfully conscious of the two contradictory elements within me. I knew that my body existed, but could not prove it to myself. I knew that the statements made by the hypnotist were in a measure untrue. I obeyed them voluntarily and involuntarily. This is the last remembrance that I have of that hypnotic experience."
   After this, however, the operator caused the doctor to do a number of things which he learned of from his friends after the performance was over. "It seemed to me that the hypnotist commanded me to awake as soon as I dropped my arm," and yet ten minutes of unconsciousness had passed.
   On a subsequent occasion Dr. Cocke, who was blind, was put into a deep hypnotic sleep by fixing his mind on the number 26 and holding up his hand. This time he experienced a still greater degree of terror, and incidentally learned that he could hypnotize himself. The matter of self-hypnosis we shall consider in another chapter.
   In this connection we find great interest in an article in the Medical News, July 28, 1894, by Dr. Alfred Warthin, of Ann Arbor, Mich., in which he describes the effects of music upon hypnotic subjects. While in Vienna he took occasion to observe closely the enthusiastic musical devotees as they sat in the audience at the performance of one of Wagner's operas. He believed they were in a condition of self-induced hypnosis, in which their subjective faculties were so exalted as to supersede their objective perceptions. Music was no longer to them a succession of pleasing sounds, but the embodiment of a drama in which they became so wrapped up that they forgot all about the mechanical and external features of the music and lived completely in a fairy world of dream.
   This observation suggested to him an interesting series of experiments. His first subject was easily hypnotized, and of an emotional nature. Wagner's "Ride of Walkure" was played from the piano score. The pulse of the subject became more rapid and at first of higher tension, increasing from a normal rate of 60 beats a minute to 120. Then, as the music progressed, the tension diminished. The respiration increased from 18 to 30 per minute. Great excitement in the subject was evident. His whole body was thrown into motion, his legs were drawn up, his arms tossed into the air, and a profuse sweat appeared. When the subject had been awakened, he said that he did not remember the music as music, but had an impression of intense, excitement, brought on by "riding furiously through the air." The state of mind brought up before him in the most realistic and vivid manner possible the picture of the ride of Tam O'Shanter, which he had seen years before. The picture soon became real to him, and he found himself taking part in a wild chase, not as witch, devil, or Tam even; but in some way his consciousness was spread through every part of the scene, being of it, and yet playing the part of spectator, as is often the case in dreams.
   Dr. Warthin tried the same experiment again, this time on a young man who was not so emotional, and was hypnotized with much more difficulty. This subject did not pass into such a deep state of hypnosis, but the result was practically the same. The pulse rate rose from 70 to 120. The sensation remembered was that of riding furiously through the air.
   The experiment was repeated on other subjects, in all cases with the same result. Only one knew that the music was the "Ride of Walkure." "To him it always expressed the pictured wild ride of the daughters of Wotan, the subject taking part in the ride." It was noticeable in each case that the same music played to them in the waking state produced no special impression. Here is incontestable evidence that in the hypnotic state, the perception of the special senses is enormously heightened.
   A slow movement was tried (the Valhalla motif). At first it seemed to produce the opposite effect, for the pulse was lowered. Later it rose to a rate double the normal, and the tension was diminished. The impression described by the subject afterward was a feeling of "lofty grandeur and calmness." A mountain climbing experience of years before was recalled, and the subject seemed to contemplate a landscape of "lofty grandeur." A different sort of music was played (the intense and ghastly scene in which Brunhilde appears to summon Sigmund to Valhalla). Immediately a marked change took place in the pulse. It became slow and irregular, and very small. The respiration decreased almost to gasping, the face grew pale, and a cold perspiration broke out.
   Readers who are especially interested in this subject will find descriptions of many other interesting experiments in the same article.
    Dr. Cocke describes a peculiar trick he played upon the sight of a subject. He said: "I once hypnotized a man and made him read all of his a's as w's, his u's as v's, and his b's as x's. I added suggestion after suggestion so rapidly that it would have been impossible for him to have remembered simply what I said and call the letters as I directed. Stimulation was, in this case impossible, as I made him read fifteen or twenty pages, he calling the letters as suggested each time they occurred."
   The extraordinary heightening of the sense perceptions has an important bearing on the question of spiritualism and clairvoyance. If the powers of the mind are so enormously increased, all that is required of a very sensitive and easily hypnotized person is to hypnotize him or herself, when he will be able to read thoughts and remember or perceive facts hidden to the ordinary perception. In this connection the reader is referred to the confession of Mrs. Piper, the famous medium of the American branch of the Psychical Research Society. The confession will be found printed in full at the close of this book.
                                     

Self-Hypnosis - How It may Be Done - An Experience - Accountable for Children's Crusade - Oriental Prophets Self-       Hypnosis
   If self-hypnosis is possible (and it is true that a person can deliberately hypnotize them self when they wish to),                                   it does away at a stroke with the claims of all professional hypnotists and magnetic healers that they have any peculiar power in themselves which they exert over their fellows. One of these professionals gives an account in his book of what he calls "The Wonderful Lock Method." He says that though he is locked up in a separate room he can make the psychic power work through the walls. All that he does is to put his subjects in the way of hypnotizing themselves. He shows his inconsistency when he states that under certain circumstances the hypnotist is in danger of becoming hypnotized himself. In this he makes no claim that the subject is using any psychic power; but, of course, if the hypnotist looks steadily into the eyes of his subject, and the subject looks into his eyes, the steady gaze on a bright object will produce hypnotism in one quite as readily as in the other.
   Hypnotism is an established scientific fact; but the claim that the hypnotist has any mysterious psychic power is the invariable mark of the charlatan. Probably no scientific phenomenon was ever so grossly prostituted to base ends as that of hypnotism. Later we shall see some of the outrageous forms this charlatanism assumes, and how it extends to the professional subjects as well as to the professional hypnotists, till those subjects even impose upon scientific men who ought to be proof against such deception.   

   Moreover, the possibility of self-hypnosis, carefully concealed and called by another name, opens another great field of humbug and charlatanism, of which the advertising columns of the newspapers are constantly filled - namely, that of the clairvoyant and medium. We may conceive how such a profession might become perfectly legitimate and highly useful; but at present it seems as if any person who went into it, however honest he might be at the start, soon began to deceive himself as well as others, until he lost his power entirely to distinguish between fact and imagination.

   It will be remembered that a professional hypnotist had hypnotized Dr. Cocke by telling him to fix his mind on the number twenty-six and holding up his hand.
Says the doctor:
    “In my room that evening it occurred to me to try the same experiment. I did so. I kept the number twenty-six in my mind. In a few minutes I felt the sensation of terror, but in a different way. I was intensely cold. My heart seemed to stand still. I had ringing in my ears. My hair seemed to rise upon my scalp. I persisted in the effort, and the previously mentioned noise in my ears grew louder and louder. The roar became deafening. It crackled like a mighty fire. I was fearfully conscious of myself. Having read vivid accounts of dreams, visions, etc., it occurred to me that I would experience them. I felt in a vague way that there were beings all about me but could not hear their voices. I felt as though every muscle in my body was fixed and rigid. The roar in my ears grew louder still, and I heard, above the roar, reports which sounded like artillery and musketry. Then above the din of the noise a musical chord. I seemed to be absorbed in this chord. I knew nothing else. The world existed for me only in the tones of the mighty chord. Then I had a sensation as though I were expanding. The sound in my ears died away, and yet I was not conscious of silence. Then all consciousness was lost. The next thing I experienced was a sensation of intense cold, and of someone roughly shaking me. Then I heard the voice of my jolly landlord calling me by name.”
   The landlord had found the doctor "as white as a ghost and as limp as a rag," and thought he was dead. He says it took him ten minutes to arouse the sleeper. During the time a physician had been summoned.
   As to the causes of this condition as produced, Dr. Cocke says: "I firmly believed that something would happen when the attempt was made to hypnotize me. Secondly, I wished to be hypnotized. These, together with a vivid imagination and strained attention, brought on the states which occurred."
   It is interesting to compare the effects of hypnosis with those of opium or other narcotic. Dr. Cocke asserts that there is a difference. His descriptions of dreams bear a wonderful likeness to De Quincey's dreams, such as those described in "The English Mail-Coach," "De Profundis," and "The Confessions of an English Opium Eater," all of which were presumably due to opium.
   The causes which Dr. Cocke thinks produced the hypnotic condition in his case, namely, belief, desire to be hypnotized, and strained attention, united with a vivid imagination, are causes which are often found in conjunction and produce effects which we may reasonably explain on the theory of self-hypnosis.
   For instance, the effects of an exciting religious revival are very like those produced by Mesmer's operations in Paris. The subjects become hysterical, and are ready to believe anything or do anything. By prolonging the operation, a whole community becomes more or less hypnotized. In all such cases, however, unusual excitement is commonly followed by unusual lethargy. It is much like a wild spree of intoxication--in fact, it is a sort of intoxication.
   The same phenomena are probably accountable for many of the strange records of history. The wonderful cures at Lourdes (of which we have read in Zola's novel of that name) are no doubt the effect of hypnosis by the priests. Some of the strange movements of whole communities during the Crusades are to be explained either on the theory of hypnosis or of contagion, and possibly these two things will turn out to be much the same in fact. On no other ground can we explain the so-called "Children's Crusade," in which over thirty thousand children from Germany, from all classes of the community, tried to cross the Alps in winter, and in their struggles were all lost or sold into slavery without even reaching the Holy Land.
   Again, hypnotism is accountable for many of the poet's dreams. Gazing steadily at a bed of bright coals or a stream of running water will invariably throw a sensitive subject into a hypnotic sleep that will last sometimes for several hours. Dr. Cocke says that he has experimented in this direction with patients of his. He says: "They have the ability to resist the state or to bring it at will. Many of them describe beautiful scenes from nature, or some mighty cathedral with its lofty dome, or the faces of imaginary beings, beautiful or demoniacal, according to the will and temper of the subject."
   Perhaps the most wonderful example of self-hypnotism which we have in history is that of the mystic Swedenborg, who saw, such strange things in his visions, and at last came to believe in them as real.
   The same explanation may be given of the manifestations of Oriental prophets--for in the Orient hypnosis is much easier and more systematically developed than with us of the West. The performances of the dervishes, and also of the fakirs, who wound themselves and perform many wonderful feats which would be difficult for an ordinary person, are no doubt in part feats of hypnosis.
While in a condition of auto-hypnosis a person may imagine that he is some other personality. Says Dr. Cocke: "A curious thing about those self-hypnotized subjects is that they carry out perfectly their own ideals of the personality with whom they believe themselves to be possessed. If their own ideals of the part they are playing are imperfect, their impersonations are ridiculous in the extreme. One man I remember believed himself to be controlled by the spirit of Charles Sumner. Being uneducated, he used the most wretched English, and his language was utterly devoid of sense. While, on the other hand, a very intelligent lady who believed herself to be controlled by the spirit of Charlotte Cushman personated the part very well."
   Dr. Cocke says of himself: "I can hypnotize myself to such an extent that I will become wholly unconscious of events taking place around me, and a long interval of time, say from one-half to two hours, will be a complete blank. During this condition of auto-hypnotization I will obey suggestions made to me by another, talking rationally, and not knowing any event that has occurred after the condition has passed off."

 

Simulation - Deception in Hypnotism - Examples of Neuropathic Deceit - Detecting Simulation - Professional Subjects - How Dr. Luys of the Charity Hospital at Paris Was Deceived - Impossibility of Detecting Deception in All Cases - Confessions of a Professional Hypnotic Subject.
   It has already been remarked that hypnotism and hysteria are conditions very nearly allied, and that hysterical neuropathic individuals make the best hypnotic subjects. Now persons of this character are in most cases morally as well as physically degenerate, and it is a curious fact that deception seems to be an inherent element in nearly all such characters. Expert doctors have been thoroughly deceived. And again, persons who have been trying to expose frauds have also been deceived by the positive statements of such persons that they were deceiving the doctors when they were not. A diseased vanity seems to operate in such cases and the subjects take any method which promises for the time being to bring them into prominence. Merely to attract attention is a mania with some people.
   There is also something about the study of hypnotism, and similar subjects in which delusions constitute half the existence, that seems to destroy the faculty for distinguishing between truth and delusion. Undoubtedly we must look on such manifestations as a species of insanity.
   There is also a point at which the unconscious deceiver, for the sake of gain, passes into the conscious deceiver. At the close of this chapter we will give some cases illustrating the fact that persons may learn by practice to do seemingly impossible things, such as holding themselves perfectly rigid (as in the cataleptic state) while their head rests on one chair and their heels on another, and a heavy person sits upon them.
   First, lets look at a few cases of what may be called neuropathic deceit, a kind of insanity which shows itself in deceiving. The newspapers record similar cases from time to time. The first two of the following are quoted by Dr. Courmelles from the French courts.
1. The Comtesse de W accused her maid of having attempted to poison her. The case was a celebrated one, and the court-room was thronged with women who sympathized with the supposed victim. The maid was condemned to death; but a second trial was granted, at which it was conclusively proved that the Comtesse had herself bound herself on her bed, and had herself poured out the poison which was found still blackening her breast and lips.
2. In 1886 a man called Ulysse broke into the shop of a second-hand dealer, facing his own house in Paris, and there began deliberately to take away the goods, just as if he were removing his own furniture. This he did without hurrying himself in any way, and transported the property to his own premises. Being caught in the very act of the theft, he seemed at first to be flurried and bewildered. When arrested and taken to the lock-up, he seemed to be in a state of abstraction; when spoken to he made no reply, seemed ready to fall asleep, and when brought before the examining magistrate actually fell asleep. Dr. Garnier, attached to the infirmary of the police establishment, had no doubt of his irresponsibility and he was released from custody.
3. There has been a number of strange cases of the same kind. One was that of a quiet, refined, well educated lady, who was brought in for shop-lifting. Though her husband was well to do, and she did not sell or even use the things she took, she had made a regular business of stealing whenever she could. She had begun it about seven months before by taking a lace handkerchief, which she slipped under her sweater. Soon after she accomplished another theft. "I felt so encouraged," she said, "that I got a large bag, which I fastened under my dress, and into this I slipped whatever I could take when the clerks were not looking. I do not know what made me do it. My success seemed to lead me on."
Other cases of kleptomania could easily be cited.
    "Simulation," say Messieurs Binet and Fere, "which is already a stumbling block in the study of hysterical cases, becomes far more formidable in such studies as we are now occupied with. It is only when he has to deal with physical phenomena that the operator feels himself on firm ground."
   Yet even here we can by no means feel certain. Physicians have invented various ingenious pieces of apparatus for testing the circulation and other physiological conditions; but even these things are not sure tests. There is a case of a man who has such control over his heart and lungs that he can actually throw himself into a profound sleep in which the breathing is so absolutely stopped for an hour that a mirror is not moistened in the least by the breath, nor can the pulses be felt. To all intents and purposes the man appears to be dead; but in due time he comes to life again, apparently no whit the worse for his experiment.
   If an ordinary person were asked to hold out his arms at full length for five minutes he would soon become exhausted, his breathing would quicken, his pulse-rate increase. It might be supposed that if these conditions did not follow the subject was in a hypnotic trance; but it is well known that persons may easily train themselves to hold out the arms for any length of time without increasing the respiration by one breath or raising the pulse rate at all.
   In the Paris hospitals, where the greater number of regular scientific experiments have been conducted, it is found that "trained subjects" are required for all of the more difficult demonstrations. That some of these famous scientists have been deceived, there is no doubt. They know it themselves. A case which will serve as an illustration is that of Dr. Luys, some of whose operations were "exposed" by Dr. Ernest Hart, an English student of hypnosis of a skeptical turn of mind. One of Dr. Luys's pupils in a book he has published makes the following statement, which helps to explain the circumstances which we will give a little later. He says:
   "We know that many hospital patients who are subjected to the higher or greater treatment of hypnotism are of very doubtful reputations; we know also the effects of a temperament which in them is peculiarly addicted to simulation, and which is exaggerated by the vicinity of maladies similar to their own.
   To judge of this, it is necessary to have seen them encourage each other in simulation, rehearsing among themselves, or even before the medical students of the establishment, the experiments to which they have been subjected; and going through their different contortions and attitudes to exercise themselves in them.
   And then, again, in the present day, has not the designation of an 'hypnotical subject' become almost a social position? To be fed, to be paid, admired, exhibited in public, run after, and all the rest of it--all this is enough to make the most impartial looker-on skeptical. But is it enough to enable us to produce an a priori negation? Certainly not; but it is sufficient to justify legitimate doubt.
Mr. Hart's investigations…..
   Dr. Luys is an often quoted authority on hypnotism in Paris, and is at the head of what is called the Charity Hospital school of hypnosis experiments. In 1892 he announced some startling results, in which some people still have faith (more or less). What he was supposed to accomplish was stated thus in the London Pall Mall Gazette, issue of December 2: “Dr. Luys then showed us how a similar artificial state of suffering could be created without suggestion, in fact, by the mere proximity of certain substances. A pinch of coal dust, for example, corked and sealed in a small phial and placed by the side of the neck of a hypnotized person, produces symptoms of suffocation by smoke; a tube of distilled water, similarly placed, provokes signs of incipient hydrophobia; while another very simple concoction put in contact with the flesh brings on symptoms of suffocation by drowning.”

   Signs of drunkenness were said to be caused by a small corked bottle of brandy, and the nature of a cat by a corked bottle of valerian. Patients also saw beautiful blue flames about the north pole of a magnet and distasteful red flames about the south pole.
   While by means of a magnet it was said that the symptoms of illness of a sick patient might be transferred to a well person also in the hypnotic state, but of course on awaking the well person at once threw off sickness that had been transferred, but the sick person was permanently relieved. These experiments are cited in some recent books on hypnotism, apparently with faith. The following counter experiments will therefore be read with interest.
   Dr. Luys gave Dr. Hart some demonstrations, which the latter describes as follows: “A tube containing ten drachms of cognac were placed at a certain point on the subject's neck, which Dr. Luys said was the seat of the great nerve plexuses. The effect on Marguerite was very rapid and marked; she began to move her lips and to swallow; the expression of her face changed, and she asked, 'What have you been giving me to drink? I am quite giddy.' At first she had a stupid and troubled look; then she began to get happy. 'I am ashamed of myself,' she said; 'I feel quite tipsy,' and after passing through some of the phases of lively inebriety she began to fall from the chair, and was with difficulty prevented from sprawling on the floor. She was uncomfortable, and seemed on the point of vomiting, but this was stopped, and she was calmed."
   Another patient gave all the signs of imagining himself transformed into a cat when a small corked bottle of valerian was placed on his neck.
   In the presence of a number of distinguished doctors in Paris, Dr. Hart tried a series of experiments in which by his conversation he gave the patient no clue to exactly what drug he was using, in order that if the patient was simulating he would not know what to simulate. Marguerite was the subject of several of these experiments, one of which is described as follows:
   “I took a tube which was supposed to contain alcohol, but which did contain cherry laurel water. Marguerite immediately began, to use the words of M. Sajous's note, to smile agreeably and then to laugh; she became happy. 'It makes me laugh,' she said, and then, 'I'm not tipsy, I want to sing. We stopped at that stage, for I was loth to have the degrading performance of drunkenness carried to the extreme I had seen her go through at the Charite. I now applied a tube of alcohol, asking the assistant, however, to give me valerian, which no doubt this profoundly hypnotized subject perfectly well heard. She immediately went through the whole cat performance. She spat, she scratched, she mewed, she leapt about on all fours, and she was as thoroughly cat-like as had been Dr. Luys's subjects.”
   Similar experiments as to the effect of magnets and electric currents were tried. A note taken by Dr. Sajous runs thus: “She found the north pole, notwithstanding there was no current, very pretty; she was as if she were fascinated by it; she caressed the blue flames, and showed every sign of delight. Then came the phenomena of attraction. She followed the magnet with delight across the room, as though fascinated by it; the bar was turned so as to present the other end or what would be called, in the language of La Charite, the south pole. Then she fell into an attitude, of repulsion and horror, with clenched fists, and as it approached her she fell backward into the arms of M. Cremiere, and was carried, still showing all the signs of terror and repulsion, back to her chair. The bar was again turned until what should have been the north pole was presented to her. She again resumed the same attitudes of attraction, and tears bedewed her cheeks. 'Ah,' she said, 'it is blue, the flame mounts,' and she rose from her seat, following the magnet around the room. Similar but false phenomena were obtained in succession with all the different forms of magnet and non-magnet. Marguerite was never once right, but throughout her acting was perfect; she was utterly unable at any time really to distinguish between a plain bar of iron, demagnetized magnet or a horseshoe magnet carrying a full current and one from which the current was wholly cut off."
   Five different patients were tested in the same way, through a long series of experiments, with the same results, a practical proof that Dr. Luys had been totally deceived and his new and wonderful discoveries amounted to nothing.
   There is, however, another possible explanation, namely, telepathy, in a real hypnotic condition. Even if Dr. Luys's experiments were genuine this would be the rational explanation. They were a case of suggestion of some sort, without doubt.
   Nearly every book on hypnotism gives various rules for detecting simulation of the hypnotic state. One of the commonest tests is that of anaesthesia. A pin or pen-knife is stuck into a subject to see if he is insensible to pain; but as we shall see in a latter chapter, this insensibility also may be simulated, for by long training some persons learn to control their facial expressions perfectly. We have already seen that the pulse and respiration tests are not sufficient. Hypnotic persons often flush slightly in the face; but it is true that there are persons who can flush on any part of the body at will.
   Mr. Ernest Hart had an article in the Century Magazine on "The Eternal Gullible," in which he gives the confessions of a professional hypnotic subject. This person, whom he calls L., he brought to his house, where some experiments were tried in the presence of a number of doctors, whose names are quoted. The quotation of a paragraph or two from Mr. Hart's article will be of interest. He says:

   “The 'catalepsy business' had more artistic merit. So rigid did L. make his muscles that he could be lifted in one piece like an Egyptian mummy. He lay with his head on the back of one chair, and his heels on another, and allowed a fairly heavy man to sit on his stomach; it seemed to me, however, that he was here within a 'straw' or two of the limit of his endurance. The 'blister trick,' spoken of by Truth as having deceived some medical men, was done by rapidly biting and sucking the skin of the wrist. L. did manage with some difficulty to raise a slight swelling, but the marks of the teeth were plainly visible." (Possibly L. had made his skin so tough by repeated biting that he could no longer raise the blister!)”
  “One point in L.'s exhibition which was undoubtedly genuine was his remarkable and stoical endurance of pain. He stood before us smiling and open-eyed while he ran long needles into the fleshy part of his arms and legs without flinching, and he allowed one of the gentlemen present to pinch his skin in different parts with strong crenated pincers in a manner which bruised it, and which to most people would have caused intense pain. L. allowed no sign of suffering or discomfort to appear; he did not set his teeth or wince; his pulse was not quickened, and the pupil of his eye did not dilate as physiologists tell us it does when pain passes a certain limit. It may be said that this merely shows that in L. the limit of endurance was beyond the normal standard; or, in other words, that his sensitiveness was less than that of the average man. At any rate his performance in this respect was so remarkable that some of the gentlemen present were fain to explain it by supposed 'post- hypnotic suggestion,' the theory apparently being that L. and his comrades hypnotized one another, and thus made themselves insensible to pain.”
   “As surgeons have reason to know, persons vary widely in their sensitiveness to pain. I have seen a man chat quietly with bystanders while his carotid artery was being tied without the use of chloroform. During the Russo-Turkish war wounded Turks often astonished English doctors by undergoing the most formidable amputations with no other anaesthetic than a cigarette. The fakirs who allow themselves to be hung up by hooks beneath their shoulder-blades seem to think little of it and, as a matter of fact, I believe are not much inconvenienced by the process.”
   The fact is, the amateur can always be deceived, and there are no special tests that can be relied on. If a person is well accustomed to hypnotic manifestations, and also a good judge of human nature, and will keep constantly on guard, using every precaution to avoid deception, it is altogether likely that it can be entirely obviated. But one must use his good judgment in every possible way. In the case of fresh subjects, or persons well known, of course there is little possibility of deception. The fact that deception exists does not in any way invalidate the truth of hypnotism as a scientific phenomenon. We cite it merely as one of the physiological peculiarities connected with the mental condition of which it is a manifestation. The fact that a tendency to deception exists is interesting in itself, and may have an influence upon our judgment of our fellow beings.

Criminal Suggestion - Laboratory Crimes - Dr. Cocke's Experiments Showing Criminal Suggestion Is not Possible - Dr. William James' Theory - A Bad Man Cannot Be Made Good, Why Expect to Make a Good Man Bad?
   One of the most interesting phases of hypnotism is that of post-hypnotic suggestion, to which reference has already been made. It is true that a suggestion made during the hypnotic condition as to what a person will do after coming out of the hypnotic sleep may be carried out. A certain professional hypnotist claims that once he has hypnotized a person he can keep that person forever after under his influence by means of post- hypnotic suggestion. He says to him while in the hypnotic sleep: “Whenever I look at you, or point at you, you will fall asleep. No one can hypnotize you but me. Whenever I try to hypnotize you, you will fall asleep” He says further: “Suggest to a subject while he is sound asleep that in eight weeks he will mail you a letter with a blank piece of note paper inside, and during the intervening period you may yourself forget the occurrence, but in exactly eight weeks he will carry out the suggestion. Suggestions of this nature are always carried out, especially when the suggestion is to take effect on some certain day or date named. Suggest to a subject that in ninety days from a given date he will come to your house with his coat on inside out, and he will most certainly do so.”
   The same writer also definitely claims that he can hypnotize people against their will. If this were true, what a terrible power would a shrewd, evil-minded criminal have to compel the execution of any of his plans! We hope to show that it is not true; but we must admit that many scientific people have tried experiments which they believe demonstrate beyond a doubt that criminal use can be and is made of hypnotic influence. If it were possible to make a person follow out any line of conduct while actually under hypnotic influence it would be bad enough; but the use of posthypnotic suggestion opens a yet more far-reaching and dangerous avenue.
   Among the most definite claims of the evil deeds that may be compelled during hypnotic sleep is that of Dr. Luys, whom we have already seen as being himself deceived by professional hypnotic subjects. He says: “You cannot only oblige this defenseless being, who is incapable of opposing the slightest resistance, to give from hand to hand anything you may choose, but you can also make him sign a promise, draw up a bill of exchange, or any other kind of agreement. You may make him write a holographic will (which according to French law would be valid), which he will hand over to you, and of which he will never know the existence. He is ready to fulfill the minutest legal formalities, and will do so with a calm, serene and natural manner calculated to deceive the most expert law officers. These somnambulists will not hesitate either, you may be sure, to make a denunciation, or to bear false witness; they are, I repeat, the passive instruments of your will.
   For instance, take E. She will at my bidding write out and sign a donation of forty pounds in my favor. In a criminal point of view the subject under certain suggestions will make false denunciations, accuse this or that person, and maintain with the greatest assurance that he has assisted at an imaginary crime. I will recall to your mind those scenes of fictitious assassination, which have exhibited before you. I was careful to place in the subject's hands a piece of paper instead of a dagger or a revolver; but it is evident, that if they had held veritable murderous instruments, the scene might have had a tragic ending.”
   Many experiments along this line have been tried, such as suggesting the theft of a watch or a spoon, which afterward was actually carried out.
   It may be said at once that “these laboratory crimes” are in most cases successful: A person who has nothing will give away any amount if told to do so; but quite different is the case of a wealthy merchant who really has money to sign away.
   Dr. Cocke describes one or two experiments of his own which have an important bearing on the question of criminal suggestion. Says he: “A girl who was hypnotized deeply was given a glass of water and was told that it was a lighted lamp. A broomstick was placed across the room and she was told that it was a man who intended to injure her. I suggested to her that she throw the glass of water (she supposing it was a lighted lamp) at the broomstick, her enemy, and she immediately threw it with much violence.   
    Then a man was placed across the room, and she was given instead of a glass of water a lighted lamp. I told her that the lamp was a glass of water, and that the man across the room was her brother. It was suggested to her that his clothing was on fire and she was commanded to extinguish the fire by throwing the lighted lamp at the individual, she having been told, as was previously mentioned, that it was a glass of water. Without her knowledge a person was placed behind her for the purpose of quickly checking her movements, if desired. I then commanded her to throw the lamp at the man. She raised the lamp, hesitated, wavered, and then became very hysterical, laughing and crying alternately. This condition was so profound that she came very near dropping the lamp. Immediately after she was quieted I made a number of tests to prove that she was deeply hypnotized. Standing in front of her I gave her a piece of card-board, telling her that it was a dagger, and commanded her to stab me. She immediately struck at me with the piece of card-board. I then gave her an open pocketknife and commanded her to strike at me with it. Again she raised it to execute my command, again hesitated, and had another hysterical attack. I have tried similar experiments with thirty or forty people with similar results. Some of them would have injured themselves severely, I am convinced, at command, but to what extent I of course cannot say. That they could have been induced to harm others, or to set fire to houses, etc., I do not believe. I say this after very careful reading and a large amount of experimentation.”
  

   Dr. Cocke also declares his belief that no person can be hypnotized against his will by a person who is repugnant to him.
   The facts in the case are probably those that might be indicated by a common-sense consideration of the conditions. If a person is weak-minded and susceptible to temptation, to theft, for instance, no doubt a familiar acquaintance of a similar character might hypnotize that person and cause him to commit the crime to which his moral nature is by no means averse. If, on the other hand, the personality of the hypnotist and the crime itself are repugnant to the hypnotic subject, he will absolutely refuse to do as he is bidden, even while in the deepest hypnotic sleep. On this point nearly all authorities agree.
   Again, there is absolutely no well authenticated case of crime committed by a person under hypnotic influence. There have been several cases reported, and one woman in Paris who aided in a murder was released on her plea of irresponsibility because she had been hypnotized. In none of these cases, however, was there any really satisfactory evidence that hypnotism existed. In all the cases reported there seemed to be no doubt of the weak character and predisposition to crime. In another class of cases, namely those of criminal assault upon girls and women, the only evidence ever adduced that the injured person was hypnotized was the statement of that person, which cannot really be called evidence at all.
   The fact is, a weak character can be tempted and brought under virtual control much more easily by ordinary means than by hypnotism. The man who “over persuades” a business man to endorse a note uses no hypnotic influence. He is merely making a clever play upon the man's vanity, egotism, or good nature.
    A profound study of the hypnotic state, was made by Prof. William James, of Harvard College. He was the great authority on psychic phenomena and president of the Psychic Research Society. His study lead to the conviction that in the hypnotic sleep the will is only in abeyance, as it is in natural slumber or in sleepwalking, and any unusual or especially exciting occurrence, especially anything that runs against the grain of the nature, reawakens that will, and it soon becomes as active as ever. This is more profound in the matter of post- hypnotic suggestion, which is very much weaker than suggestion that takes effect during the actual hypnotic experience. In addition, that while acting under a delusion at the suggestion of the hypnotist, the patient is really conscious all the time of the real facts in the case, much more keenly so, oftentimes, than the hypnotist himself. For instance, if a line is drawn on a sheet of paper and the subject is told there is no line, he will maintain there is no line; but he has to see it in order to ignore it. Moreover, persons trained to obey, instinctively do obey even in their waking state. It requires a special faculty to resist obedience, even during our ordinary waking condition. It is certain that we are naturally inclined to obey, conflicts and resistance are the characteristics of some rare individuals; but between admitting this and saying that we are doomed to obey creates a conflict. Hypnotic suggestion is an order given for a few seconds, at most a few minutes, to an individual in a state of induced relaxation. The suggestion may be repeated; but it is absolutely powerless to transform a criminal into an honest man, or vice versa.

   Here is an excellent argument. If it is possible to make criminals it should be quite as easy to make honest men. It is true that the weak are sometimes helped for good; but there is no case on record in which a person who really wished to be bad was ever made good; and the history of hypnotism is full of attempts in that direction.
   A good illustration is an experiment tried by Colonel de Rochas:
  “An excellent subject, Chuck, had been left alone for a few minutes in an apartment, and had stolen a valuable article. After he had left, the theft was discovered. A few days after it was suggested to the subject, while asleep, that he should restore the stolen object. The command was energetically and imperatively reiterated, but in vain. The theft had been committed by the subject, who had sold the article to an old curiosity dealer, as it was eventually found on information received from a third party. Yet this subject would execute all the imaginary crimes he was ordered.”
   As to the value of the so-called “laboratory crimes”, the statement of Dr. Courmelles is of interest: “I have heard a subject say,” he states, “If I were ordered to throw myself out of the window I should do it, so certain am I either that there would be somebody under the window to catch me or that I should be stopped in time.”
                                  

 

 

Dangers in Being Hypnotized – The Stage Hypnotist-  A. Common Sense View - Evidence Furnished by Lafontaine - By Dr. Courmelles - By. Dr. Hart - By Dr. Cocke - No Danger in Hypnotism if  Used Correctly
   Having considered the dangers to society through criminal hypnotic suggestion, let us now consider what dangers there may be to the individual who is hypnotized.
   Before citing evidence, let us consider the subject from a rational point of view. Several things have already been established. Really good hypnotic subjects are able to visualize with a good imagination. We have also seen that repetition of the process increases the susceptibility, and in some cases persons frequently hypnotized are thrown into the hypnotic state by very slight physical agencies, such as looking at a bright doorknob. Furthermore, we know that the hypnotic volunteer is in a very sensitive condition, easily impressed.
   From these facts any reasonable person may make a few clear deductions. First, repeated strain of excitement in hypnotic seances will wear out the constitution just as certainly as repeated strain of excitement in social life, or the like, which, as we know, frequently produces nervous exhaustion. Second, it is always dangerous to submit oneself to the influence of an inferior or untrustworthy person. This is just as true in hypnotism as it is in the moral realm. Bad companions corrupt. Since the hypnotic subject is in a condition especially susceptible, a little association of this kind, a little submission to the inferior or immoral, will produce correspondingly more detrimental consequences. It takes little reflection to convince any one that hypnosis for amusement, either on the public stage or in the home, is safe in the hands of a qualified hypnotist. If the hypnotist is an honest person, and a person of character, the experience will be pleasing and beneficial to the volunteer. At the same time, there is nothing wiser that a person can do than to submit themself fully to a stronger and wiser nature than their own. A physician in whom you have confidence may do a thousand times more for you by hypnotism than by the use of drugs. It is a safe rule to place hypnotism in exactly the same category as drugs. Rightly used, drugs are invaluable, but abused, as they are today creates constant conflict. At all times they should be used with great caution. The same is true of hypnotism.
   A waiter at Nantes, who was hypnotized by a commercial traveler, remained for two days in a state of lethargy, and for three hours Dr. Foure and numerous spectators were able to verify that “the extremities were icy cold, the pulse no longer throbbed, the heart had no pulsations, respiration had ceased, and there was not sufficient breath to dim a glass held before the mouth. Moreover, the patient was stiff, his eyes were dull and glassy.” Nevertheless, Lafontaine, a professional hypnotist, was able to recall this man to life.
   Dr. Courmelles says: “Temporary paralysis of one or more limbs, or of the tongue, may follow the awakening. These are the effects of the contractions of the internal muscles, due often to almost imperceptible touches. The diaphragm, and therefore the respiration, may be stopped in the same manner. Catalepsy and more especially lethargy, produce these phenomena.”
   Dr. Ernest Hart gives an experience of his own which carries with it its own warning. He says:
   “Staying at the well known country house in Kent of a distinguished London banker, formerly member of Parliament for Greenwich, I had been called upon to treat a continuous barking cough from which a young lady who was staying in the house was suffering, and who, consequently, was a torment to herself and her friends. I thought this a good opportunity for a control experiment, and I sat her down in front of a lighted candle. Presently her cough ceased and she fell into a profound sleep, which lasted until twelve o'clock the next day. I was informed that she was still asleep and could not be awoke, and I had great difficulty in awaking her. That night there was a large dinner party, and, unluckily, I sat opposite to her. Presently she again became drowsy, and had to be led from the table, alleging, to my confusion, that I was again hypnotizing her.
   So susceptible did she become to my supposed mesmeric influence, that I was very far from exercising or attempting to exercise, that it was found wise to take her up to London. I was out riding in the afternoon that she left, and as we passed the railway station, my host, who was riding with me, suggested that, as his friends were just leaving by that train, he would like to say good bye to them. I dismounted with him and went on to the platform, but unfortunately in walking up and down it seems that I twice passed the window of the young lady's carriage. She was again self-mesmerized, and fell into a sleep which lasted throughout the journey, and recurred at intervals for some days afterward.”
   In commenting on this, Dr. Hart notes that in reality hypnosis is self- produced. He says: “So long as the person operated on believed that my will was that she should sleep, sleep followed. The most energetic willing in my internal consciousness that there should be no sleep, failed to prevent it, where the usual physical methods of hypnosis, stillness, repose, a fixed gaze, or the verbal expression of an order to sleep, were used.”
   Dr. Cocke says: “I have occasionally seen subjects who complained of headache, vertigo, nausea, and other similar symptoms after having been hypnotized, but these conditions were at a future hypnotic sitting easily remedied by suggestion.” Speaking of the use of hypnotism by doctors under conditions of reasonable care, Dr. Cocke says further:
   “There is one contradiction greater than all the rest. It applies more to the physician than to the patient, more to the masses than to any single individual. It is not confined to hypnotism alone; it has blocked the wheels of human progress through the ages which have gone. It is undue enthusiasm. It is the danger that certain individuals will become so enamored with its charms that other equally valuable means of cure will be ignored.”
   The whole field is fascinating and alluring. It promises so much that it is in danger of being missed by the ignorant to such an extent that great harm may result. This is true, not only of mental therapeutics and hypnotism, but of every other blessing we possess. Hypnotism has nothing to fear from the senseless skepticism and contempt of those who have no knowledge of the subject. He adds pertinently enough: “While hypnotism can be used in a greater or less degree by every one, it can only be used intelligently by those who understand, hypnotism itself.”
Dr. Cocke is a firm believer that the right use of hypnotism by intelligent persons does not weaken the will. He says: “I do not believe there is any danger whatever in this. I have no evidence (and I have studied a large number of hypnotized subjects) that hypnotism will render a subject less capable of exercising his will when he is relieved from the hypnotic trance. I do not believe that it increases in any way his susceptibility to ordinary suggestion.”
"Then, for the sake of clearness, let me state in closing that hypnotism is dangerous only when it is misused.”
Hypnotism in Medicine -  Anesthesia - Restoring the Use of Muscles – Hallucination - Bad Habits.
Anaesthesia--It is well known that hypnosis may be used to render subjects insensible to pain. Thus numerous startling experiments are performed in public, such as running hatpins through the cheeks or arms, sewing the tongue to the ear, etc. The curious part of it is that the insensibility may be confined to one spot only. Even persons who are not wholly under hypnotic influence may have an arm or a leg, or any smaller part rendered insensible by suggestion, so that no pain will be felt.
   About the year 1860 some of the medical profession hoped that hypnotism might come into general use for producing insensibility during surgical operations. Dr. Guerineau in Paris reported the following successful operation: The thigh of a patient was amputated. “After the operation,” says the doctor, “I spoke to the patient and asked him how he felt. He replied that he felt as if he were in heaven, and he seized hold of my hand and kissed it. Turning to a medical student, he added: 'I was aware of all that was being done to me, and the proof is that I knew my thigh was cut off at the moment when you asked me if I felt any pain.”
   The writer who recorded this case continues: “This, however, was but a transitory stage. It was soon recognized that a considerable time and a good deal of preparation were necessary to induce the patients to sleep, and medical men had recourse to a more rapid and certain method; that is, chloroform. Thus the year 1860 saw the rise and fall of Braidism as a means of surgical anaesthesia.”
   One of the most detailed cases of successful use of hypnotism as an anaesthetic was presented to the Hypnotic Congress which met in 1889, by Dr. Fort, professor of anatomy:
   “On the 21st of October, 1887, a young Italian tradesman, aged twenty, Jean M--. came to me and asked me to take off a tumor he had on his forehead, a little above the right eyebrow. The tumor was about the size of a walnut.”
   “I was reluctant to make use of chloroform, although the patient wished it, and I tried a short hypnotic experiment. Finding that my patient was easily hypnotizable, I promised to extract the tumor in a painless manner and without the use of chloroform.”
   “The next day I placed him in a chair and induced sleep, by a fixed gaze, in less than a minute. Two Italian physicians, Drs. Triani and Colombo who were present during the operation, declared that the subject lost all sensibility and that his muscles retained all the different positions in which they were put exactly as in the cataleptic state. The patient saw nothing, felt nothing, and heard nothing, his brain remaining in communication only with me.”
   “As soon as we had ascertained that the patient was completely under the influence of the hypnosis, I said to him: 'You will sleep for a quarter of an hour,' knowing that the operation would not last longer than that; and he remained seated and perfectly motionless.”
   “I made a transversal incision two and a half inches long and removed the tumor, which I took out whole. I then pinched the blood vessels with a pair of Dr. Pean's hemostatic pincers, washed the wound and applied a dressing, without making a single ligature. The patient was still sleeping. To maintain the dressing in proper position, I fastened a bandage around his head. While going through the operation I said to the patient, 'Lower your head, raise your head, turn to the right, to the left,' etc., and he obeyed like an automaton. When everything was finished, I said to him, 'Now, wake up.'”
   He then awoke, declared that he had felt nothing and did not suffer, and he went away on foot, as if nothing had been done to him. Five days after the dressing was removed and the cicatrix was found completely healed.
   Hypnosis has been tried extensively for painless dentistry, but with many cases of failure, which got into the courts and thoroughly discredited the attempt except in very special cases.
   Restoring the Use of Muscles. There is no doubt that hypnosis may be extremely useful in curing many disorders that are essentially nervous, especially such cases as those in which a patient has a fixed idea that something is the matter with him when he is not really affected.
   Cases of that description are often extremely obstinate, and entirely unaffected by the ordinary therapeutic means. Ordinary doctors abandon the cases in despair, but some person who understands "mental suggestion" can easily effect a cure. If the regular physician were a student of hypnosis he would know how to manage cases like that.

   The following is from a report by one of the physicians of the Charity hospital in Paris:
   “Gabrielle C------ became a patient of mine toward the end of 1886. She entered the Charity hospital to be under treatment for some accident arising from pulmonary congestion, and while there was suddenly seized with violent attacks of hystero-epilepsy, which first contracted both legs, and finally reduced them to complete immobility.”
   “She had been in this state of absolute immobility for seven months and I had vainly tried every therapeutic remedy usual in such cases. My intention was first to restore the general constitution of the subject, who was greatly weakened by her protracted stay in bed, and then, at the end of a certain time, to have recourse to hypnotism, and at the opportune moment suggest to her the idea of walking.”
   “The patient was hypnotized every morning, and the first degree (that of lethargy), then the cataleptic, and finally the somnambulistic states were produced. After a certain period of somnambulism she began to move, and unconsciously took a few steps across the ward. This she was able to do, and in some weeks the cure was complete. In this case, however, we had the ingenious idea of changing her personality at the moment when we induced her to walk. The patient fancied she was somebody else, and as such, and in this roundabout manner, we satisfactorily attained the object proposed.”
   The following is Professor Delboeuf's account of Dr. Bernheim's mode of suggestion at the hospital at Nancy. A robust old man of about seventy- five years of age, paralyzed by sciatica, which caused him intense pain, was brought in. "He could not put a foot to the ground without screaming with pain. 'Lie down, my poor friend; I will soon relieve you.' Dr. Bernheim says. 'That is impossible, doctor.' 'You will see.' 'Yes, we shall see, but I tell you, we shall see nothing!' On hearing this answer I thought suggestion will be of no use in this case. The old man looked sullen and stubborn. Strangely enough, he soon went off to sleep, fell into a state of catalepsy, and was insensible when pricked. But when Monsieur Bernheim said to him, 'Now you can walk, he replied, 'No, I cannot; you are telling me to do an impossible thing.' Although Monsieur Bernheim failed in this instance, I could not but admire his skill. After using every means of persuasion, insinuation and coaxing, he suddenly took up an imperative tone, and in a sharp, abrupt voice that did not admit a refusal, said: 'I tell you you can walk; get up.' 'Very well,' replied the old follow; 'I must if you insist upon it.' And he got out of bed. No sooner, however, had his foot touched the floor than he screamed even louder than before. Monsieur Bernheim ordered him to step out. 'You tell me to do what is impossible,' he again replied, and he did not move. He had to be allowed to go to bed again, and the whole time the experiment lasted he maintained an obstinate and ill-tempered air."

 

 

               The Stage Hypnotist vs. the Hypnotherapist
   In order to present the relationship between the stage hypnotist and the hypnotherapist as accurately as possible it is best to understand how each is involved in the science.
   The stage hypnotist is a travelling individual who has adapted the phenomena to a performance level. The entertainment is observing the reaction of volunteers from the audience to different situations while under hypnosis. The stage hypnotist is usually working with several people at a time. The hypnotist has usually, but not always been certified as a qualified hypnotherapist. The successful stage hypnotist must have stage presence, be fast and understand a multitude of personalities. His prime objective is not eliminating a phobia or an addiction but entertainment for the audience.
   The hypnotherapist is using hypnosis as a tool for therapy in solving a problem of an individual. The atmosphere is a quiet comfortable office with much more time given to the induction. There is a one to one relationship here, with repeated follow-up sessions.
   Some hypnotherapists resent the fact that stage hypnotists come into their town and make an entertainment out of a science they feel quite serious about. Other therapists feel there is nothing wrong with it as long as the hypnotist is educated and ethical in the handling of their volunteers. Unfortunately there are some that take unnecessary risks with the volunteers by making some careless suggestions.
   The modern day stage hypnotist does not use stooges or plants to assure a good show as they did in earlier years. The audiences today are aware of the phenomena. As a result the stage hypnotist must be alert to different personalities on stage. The volunteer that has a phobia towards water may become quite nervous or agitated on stage when involved in any routine involving water. The qualified hypnotist will be watching for this.
   The hypnotherapist does not have the luxury of selecting from a group of who is most suggestible or who is very animated. They have to deal with whoever has come to them whether they require extra work with induction, imagination and relaxing techniques.

 

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Hypnosis

  1. 1)       What actually is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a relaxed, focused  state of mind whereby suggestion, by the hypnotist or the person themselves (self-hypnosis) is accepted by the subconscious as a real situation.

  1. 2)       Can anyone be hypnotized?

The majority of the population (there is no exact percentage) can be hypnotized, unless the person is too intoxicated, too young or mentally deficient.

  1. 3)       Can you be hypnotized against your will?

There are many very persuasive individuals with some very cunning approaches. Generally speaking, you can’t be hypnotized against your will. If you don’t want to, then you won’t.

  1. 4)       How young or how old do you need to be?

The age range for hypnosis can be anywhere from 6 to 106. It depends on the individual of course. The youngest I have worked with was 10 years old and the oldest was 94.

  1. 5)       What happens if I don’t wake up?

There has never been a case in the history of hypnosis nor will there ever be of someone not waking up. The alertness upon waking up may vary according to the wakeup suggestions by the hypnotist or again depending on the individual’s own personality.

  1. 6)       What happens if while I am hypnotized the hypnotist drops dead?

The subject would wake up in a few seconds or a few minutes depending on how relaxed and how physically tired they were.

  1. 7)       What happens if while under hypnosis there was an emergency such as window breaking or something falling over in the room?

The subjects focused state of mind would be interrupted, they would awake and be able to react. The subject may be a little nervous (which would pass) due to being awoken suddenly, but no damage would be done.

  1. 8)       Can the hypnotist make me do something I don’t want to do?

We all have our own moral standard within us. When a hypnotist wants you to go against your moral convictions, the trust is broken and the established rapport is lost. That said, always be aware of the person who is the hypnotist.

  1. 9)       What is post-hypnotic suggestion?

After the hypnotic session a desired behavior can be accomplished by a physical, verbal or visual cue. For instance to create immediate relaxation to deal with a stressful situation the subject might pull on their ear to initiate the suggestion to relax.

  1. 10)    Can you have superhuman strength under hypnosis?

What hypnosis can do is help you maximize your full potential. It will not make your muscles stronger or more elastic.

  1. 11)    Can I use hypnosis to enhance my sports ability?

You can definitely use hypnosis to reach your peak peformance. Too many athletes over look this important fact. The use of imagination, seeing your self succeed at each skill and the entire sport performance, combined with physical training will greatly enhance skill level.

  1. 12)    I suffer with arthritic pain. Can hypnosis help?

Hypnosis has proven to be a very effective treatment in the alleviation of pain. Check out Robert Mesmer’s hypnotic mp3 library on his website.

  1. 13)    I have been trying to quit smoking but find it very difficult. Can hypnosis help me?

When quitting smoking, hypnosis is a great aid and should be combined in treatment with the other habits, physical and chemical. Read the information regarding smoking at Robert Mesmer’s hypnotic mp3 library.

  1. 14)    I have tried all sorts of diets but can’t seem to keep the weight off. I have heard hypnosis can be effective. Is this true?

Hypnosis will help you change your life style, which is what is required to lose weight and not gain it back. Refer to Robert Mesmer’s hypnotic mp3 library.

  1. 15)    Can anyone learn to be a hypnotist or is it a gift?

Anyone can learn to be a hypnotist just like any other profession. With some dedication and education usually as a certified hypnotherapist anyone can have success in this profession. A college degree or higher in psychology is desirable.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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