(Source: Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs)
“Hypnosis is a deliberate-induced condition of deep mental relaxation, passivity, or trance in which a person becomes highly suggestible with a state of consciousness capable of dramatic manipulation. In various forms, hypnotism can be found in every culture in every age. Hypnosis has historically been considered an altered state of consciousness, often called ‘trance.’ The term itself comes from Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. The world cannot say with certainty what hypnosis is nor exactly how it works, but somehow it does. Hypnosis in therapy seeks to deal with current problems by employing hypnotic states to change behavior. In New Age & occult applications, hypnosis is used for a wide variety of psychic purposes, including developing ‘human potential’ and uncovering ‘past lives’ for ‘therapeutic’ and occult purposes. A wide variety of self, or personal growth seminars instruct people in the techniques of self-hypnosis to achieve their desired goals. It has claimed to develop psychic abilities, calm hyperactive children, lose weight, be better at sports, to stop smoking etc. Historically, it is typically associated with the occultists or psychics, the one who exercises power over things or persons, such as the shaman, magician, witch doctor, medium or guru. Hypnosis has been known to produce a variety of occult phenomena. For examples, ‘past-life’ experiences, multiple personalities, speaking in unknown languages, automatic writing, seizures, spirit possession, astral projection etc. The (demonic) spirits themselves endorse the use of hypnosis because it frequently serves their purposes to possess or influence the individuals. Cases of spirit possession resulting from hypnosis has occurred. Many of the best known mediums of the 19th century first started their careers as hypnotic subjects. The various hypnotic methods lie within the biblically prohibited practices of ‘charming,’ ‘enchanting,’ and general magic.”
“The late Dave Hunt author of The Cult Explosion and researcher in the area of the occult as well as the cults, says:
“From the Biblical standpoint, I believe that in such places as Deuteronomy 18, when it speaks of ‘charmers and ‘enchanters,’ the practice involved anciently was exactly what has recently become acceptable in medicine and psychiatry as hypnosis. I believe this both from the ancient usage of this word and from occult traditions.”
“Just because hypnosis has surfaced in medicine does not mean that it is different from the ancient practices of charmers and enchanters or from those which have been used more recently by witchdoctors and occult hypnotists.”
The following is quoted from Occult ABC by Kurt Koch:
The word hypnosis is derived from the Greek word hypnos, meaning sleep. In laymen’s language, one could say that hypnotism is a means of bringing on an artificial state of sleep. It would be more accurate to speak of a state of reduced consciousness.
Opinions on hypnosis differ widely even among experts. The well known Genevan specialist, Dr. Paul Tournier, is opposed to hypnotism because it is an attack on the human psyche. Other specialists, like Dr. Lechler, say that they are prepared to use hypnosis for diagnosis but not for therapy. I have also met a number of specialists who use hypnosis both for diagnosis and therapy. In Winnipeg, Canada, I debated a Baptist missionary doctor who said he would be prepared to use all forms of hypnosis. In the course of the heated discussion, I noticed that this missionary was under bondage. I f asked for my opinion, I would have to admit that I have heard so many ill effects of hypnotism that I am opposed to it .
My chief area of experience with hypnotism has been East Asia. In the Western world, hypnotism was first developed in the time of Anton Mesmer (1778), together with mesmerism and animal magnetism. Hypnotism has been practiced in East Asia for thousands of years. My friends in East Asia have told me of examples of hypnosis and hypnotism of others which would be described in the West as improbable or as untrue.
I have observed examples of self-hypnosis. I have seen pilgrims in religious processions who, by means of self-hypnosis, which is similar to a trance, have made themselves insensitive to pain. I have seen them stick knives or bamboo sticks through their arms or parts of their faces without feeling pain. I have said something about this in another chapter, and also in other books.
The strongest form of self-hypnotism is the reduction of heart activity as practiced by yogis and fakirs. They have themselves put into a coffin and incarcerated in a stone vault for three to ten weeks. Their friends are told exactly when they must take them out again. Then the heart will resume its normal activity. There are examples of this in nature. In Switzerland, I read an article about the hibernation of marmots. The article said that marmots are able to reduce their pulse rate to one pulse per minute. This is similar to the auto-hypnosis of the yogis and fakirs of the Far East.
In the East, hypnosis is always associated with magic, spiritism, and similar twilight activities. This fact has strengthened my attitude of opposition to hypnotism. I have often had discussions with Christian doctors, mainly in the Western world, about the value of hynosis.
Ex 94: One doctor in West Germany, for instance, maintains that he can sometimes cure migraine in one day by means of hypnotic treatment. I had a very useful conversation about hypnosis with the chief consultant at the Sanatorio Cruz Blanca, Esquel, in Southern Argentina.
Ex 95: Now I want to recount an experience which the above-mentioned doctor had with hypnosis. A woman was brought to him suffering from a spider complex. Day and night, the woman was tormented by seeing spiders all over the house: on the floor, on the walls, on the ceiling. She suffered terribly.
No amount of soothing words was of any use. The doctor hypnotized her. While she was in hypnosis he said to her: “When you awake, you will see no more spiders.” The treatment was successful. When the woman awoke, she breathed a sigh of relief. All the spiders had gone. So far so good. But there was another side to the story. The doctor told me that from that day onwards the woman had become an extreme alcoholic. She was free from the spiders, but totally enslaved to alcohol. This experience and another similar one made the doctor resolve never to use hypnosis again. He said that in both cases it was a case of altered symptoms but not of deliverance.
Decisively to be rejected are all shows featuring magic tricks coupled with attempts at hypnotism. Even the experts in the field of hypnosis call such displays a nuisance, which ought to be prohibited. And yet many headmasters or principals allow such shows to take place in their schools, and so cause great harm to their children.
Ex 96: A girl in Tokyo was hypnotized at a school festival by a charlatan. He was not able to wake her from the hypnotic state. The girl emitted animal noises, developed a high temperature, and was only brought back to consciousness by medical specialists several days later.
Ex 97: A woman came to me for counseling and told me the following story. The head of the school had organized an evening entertainment. Various conjuring tricks were performed. The entertainer also made some experiments with hypnosis. In the case of this woman’s thirteen-year-old son, the hypnotism was successful. From that day on, however, the boy had serious nightmares. In his sleep he would often cry out “The black man is coming, the black man is coming. Take the black man away from my throat.” The boy’s nightmares lasted for years. The mother was furious with this conjurer.
The head of the school shares the blame for this unfortunate state of affairs.
Entertainers who practice hypnotism ought never to be invited to take part in an entertainment.
Ex 98: My next example shows even more clearly the connection between hypnosis and occult powers. I was asked to speak at several meetings in a Baptist church in the state of Maine. The pastor of the church told me the story of his son while I was there.
His son had been converted to Christ at the age of sixteen. He was baptized and became a member of his father’s church. He went to college about sixty miles away from his hometown. At the end of the college year, an entertainment was held for the students and teachers. The president invited a certain entertainer, who performed all kinds of tricks and illusions. One thing he did was to pick out twenty-five students and bring them up to the platform to be hypnotized.
One of them was given a big red potato, and it was suggested to him that it was a wonderful apple which he was now allowed to eat. The boy ate the red potato with great delight. To another boy, the entertainer suggested: “You are a baby, and here is your bottle of milk which you must drink.” The boy drank the bottle of milk to the last drop. To a third, he said that it was very hot, that he was by a lake and could now bathe. The boy undressed and put on a pair of bathing trunks. All these tricks were greeted by laughter and applause from the audience. To the pastor’s son he said, “You are in a horse race, and your horse has a chance of winning.” The boy began to ride on a chair placed back to front as if he were sitting on a horse.
When the entertainment was over, the entertainer released them from the hypnosis: all except the pastor’s son, whom he could not restore to consciousness.
The president became angry. But try as he might, the man was unable to bring him back from this hypnotic state. There was nothing to do but to call the hospital. An ambulance took the boy to the hospital, where five specialists tried to deal with the hypnotized boy. They were unable to. The father was not informed until six days later. He drove straight to the hospital by car and took his son home. Then he telephoned his local doctor who came immediately.
The doctor was angry and said, “If he were my son, I would take the principal and the entertainer to court.” The pastor and his wife prayed for the boy, who was still in a hypnotic state. They prayed for days, but nothing happened. Suddenly, the pastor came upon the idea of commanding in the name of Jesus. He looked in spirit to the cross of Christ on Calvary, and cried:
“In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I command you dark powers to withdraw.” At once the hypnotic spell was broken. The boy regained consciousness.
At last the horse race ended. This incident shows that the entertainer was a dabbler in the occult. His hypnosis was based upon magic. Such activity is criminal.
Of course I know that specialists totally reject this kind of hypnosis. I have already said so much. Thus we must distinguish between the hypnosis used by doctors for diagnosis and treatment and magically based hypnosis, which is clearly occult in character. But I must not neglect to add, that I reject even the kind of hypnosis used by doctors.
Ex 99: The following incident occurred in Eastern Switzerland some years ago. I was told about it by a Christian doctor. A demonstration of hypnotism was given by a healer in Appenzell. He was able to hypnotize certain people, especially those who were strongly psychic, in such a way that they became as stiff as a board. The doctor, who told me the story, heard about this and took three believers with him to the meeting. They agreed to pray during the demonstration, in order to discover the nature of this hypnosis. The hypnotist began, as usual, by choosing some suitable people from the audience. Then he began his experiment. That evening he was unsuccessful. Finally he said,
“There are opposing forces present. We will stop the demonstration. Ask for your money back at the door.”
The doctor and his friends knew then what kind of hypnosis this notorious healer had been using.
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If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can receive Him into your heart and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere, you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”