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Same Problem with Hypnosis

Study of Mind Development Groups, Sects and Cults in Ontario

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PREFACE
INTRODUCTION
HISTORY
DEFINITIONS
THE PHENOMENON
DEPROGRAMMING
THE DEBATE
ONTARIO
RECOMMENDATIONS
CONCLUSIONS
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Forewords
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Brainwashing and Hypnosis
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Is Conversion Voluntary?
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Same Problem with Hypnotism
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Conclusion
qnote.gif (173 bytes) Health
qnote.gif (173 bytes) Threat to Society
qnote.gif (173 bytes) Threat to the Family
qnote.gif (173 bytes) Deception and Fraud
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Deprogramming
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General Conclusions
The problem is much the same involving allegations that the groups practice hypnosis. Most movements in this study do engage in the induction of altered states of mind. That is, in fact, their professed goal; that is the transcendent state. Is it, however, a hypnotic state? Is it a trance in which an individual's free will can be bypassed and he can be made to act contrary to what he would normally perceive as his best interests? Given the predisposition of members to believe and do as their leaders tell them, could it not conceivably be a matter of self-hypnosis?

An indication of the current state of professional knowledge on this matter was contained in a paper prepared in 1979 for the Ontario Psychological Association by Dr. Frank Auld. Dr. Auld says:

Leading researchers on hypnosis such as Ernest Hilgard have much to tell us about this mode of functioning. Hilgard's latest book on hypnosis...offers a theory of hypnosis -- Hilgard's neodissociation theory -- and a rich store of empirical findings. This book does not unfortunately, give us definitive criteria for judging if what the cults and mind development groups do to their members is hypnosis.

But even if we were convinced that the groups practised hypnosis -- and it is alleged that at least one mind development group has -- definition of the term for legislative purposes seems currently to be impossible. Ontario Ministry of Health officials said a sampling they took of medical opinion on a definition failed to produce a consensus. Even Dr. George Matheson's submission to the study implies a difficulty where it states that, using the "natural" approach, a hypnotist can work during a normal social contact without his subject knowing. Surely such approaches pose major problems in respect to legislative definition.

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Most movements in this study do engage in the induction of altered states of mind. That is, in fact, their professed goal; that is the transcendent state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But even if we were convinced that the groups practised hypnosis definition of the term for legislative purposes seems currently to be impossible.

 

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