Last night (21/10/11) Derren Brown showed how he took an average guy off the street and through hypnosis ALONE was able to turn him into an emotionless assassin, capable of murdering a person (Steven Fry) and to then have no knowledge of the incident.
It made for fascinating viewing and having a professional interest in the programme on top of my usual curiosity I was particularly enthralled by what I saw.
Hypnosis Can't Control Your Mind...Can It?
The conventional viewpoint of hypnosis and what it is capable of says that it can influence those willing to be influenced and that there is a limit to what can be done. The experts claim that a hypnotic subject cannot be made to do anything that goes against their own pre-existing morals and ethics.
This means that someone already capable of a murder could, through hypnosis, be programmed to murder someone else. Someone who is not that way inclined would stop themselves before doing anything that contravenes their morals and ethics.
I have reassured clients in the past of this "fact" to reassure them about the process of hypnotherapy and how it has no possibility of harming them or others.
Time To Revisit Your Preconceptions
Thanks to Derren Brown I have some amazing things to consider but I can no longer assure my clients that hypnosis is "perfectly safe". In the hands of a reputable and ethical practitioner, it is and I can publically state here and now and forevermore that I promise I will not turn any of my clients into Steven Fry killers but this programme does raise some very interesting questions.
For decades there has been talk and suggestion (pardon the pun) that the CIA, among others, have been investigating the potential of mind control. The first suggestions of this go back to the 1950's and over the years have been written off as 'conspiracy theories'.
I will admit that I have an open mind about possible explanations for all sorts of things. As Sherlock Holmes says "Eliminate the impossible and whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is the truth". Now that Derren Brown has shown that it is possible to control someone's mind to a point where they have the ability to murder someone and then have no memory of it raises serious questions about various things we have been assured are or are not possible.
Were JFK and RFK killed through mind-controlled subjects? When Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald was he hypnotised? Some already believe that the Virginia Tech and Columbine school shootings were done through mind control.
I believe we must all look again at what we consider probable in light of what has been shown is possible and whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is the truth.