We are going to look at if mind control can make people do things against their will. Let’s get down to it

The audience has filled the seats. As the lights go down out steps the gentleman in a tuxedo who invites people to a row of chairs and proceeds to hypnotize them. Because the audience is all over twenty-one the hypnotist goes wild and has his subjects doing the most hilarious and unimaginable things. They seem to be stripped of all inhibitions and common sense. When the show ends people forget the hypnotist’s first few words about hypnosis and ask themselves, “can people be made to do things in hypnosis against their will?”

You will not be the first person to ponder that question nor will you be the last.

If you want a short and simple answer to that question the answer is “no,” but looking at the question in greater detail can be very interesting and sometimes uncomfortable.

This myth is the reason that people occasionally have an unreasonable fear of hypnosis and hypnotists.

It should be noted that while hypnotists have commonly been feared for willfully controlling their subjects and doing bad things with that control, that fear has not been passed so easily to priests, clergy, doctors and counselors. All of these professions possess an equal power to exploit and abuse their clients, and yet people still fear hypnosis. Strange!

The Myth of The Will

The myth of the Will is that when we focus our intention to make something happen we are exercising our Will.

What one can be capable of by using their Will can inspire awe and wonder. It is by means of Will that nations have been built, buildings raised and fortunes earned … all by shear acts of Will.

The problem with the myth of Will is that, while it can be assumed to exist, very few people use their Will for anything more than getting out of bed and pouring a bowl of cereal.

To really use the Will all one has to do is set an outcome and work to achieve it. The strength of a person’s WilL or Will Power, can be measured by how well they accomplish it. Most people will make some effort toward their outcome, but sustaining that effort is where most people fall short. They have a Will to stop smoking, to exercise, to lose weight or end an unhealthy habit, but their Will is weak. On the other side of this dynamic think of athletes who want to be Olympic gold medalists. Their Will is set towards one end: being the best they can be in their sport. Every waking moment is spent training and focusing on that goal.

Another example of real Will can be found amid those business people who see a business empire in their future but seem to have few immediate resources. With their Will set they go about doing whatever needs to be done to work toward the future that they foresee. They plan diligently, learn new skills, create alliances, conserve what they have earned and make necessary sacrifices. If there is a challenge or obstacle they adapt but always with their goal in mind.

So now I ask you, how many people have this later type of Will?

The answer is very, very few.

Most people crumble at their first or second effort. A person wanting to quit smoking lives a week without the habit but upon smoking one cigarette at a bar with friends they deem themselves a failure and give up. They could have taken the event as a lesson and simply recommitted themselves to now lasting even longer, but they do not. They make no effort to see their Will as a muscle to be exercised and strengthened and thus they give up.

Returning now to the question, II can hypnosis make people do things against their will?” the answer is still no, but few people have a Will that is strong enough. If they had enough strength of Will there would be no reason to see a hypnotist.

For a person to prevent herself from being manipulated using hypnosis, or any other modalities of influence, she must have a clear understanding of what she is willing and unwilling to do. In spite of beliefs to the contrary, very few people have that clarity of Will.

Please note that in that previous paragraph the phrase other modalities of influence” was used. These modalities include religion, psychiatry and social pressure to name a few. While people may shy away from hypnosis as a tool of change they are more than willing to put themselves into situations where there are well documented records of abuse and exploitation. In these other modalities many people have been influenced to do things that they would never have believed they would willingly do. If one is to ask can hypnosis be used to abuse and injure” they must also be willing to ask if that is true of counseling, psychology and religion.

The problem with entering into any of these modalities on guard and fearful is to limit their effectiveness. There is a certain degree of trust and surrender that is needed to benefit from any modality of influence.

The best advice to give to a person entering into hypnosis is to be very clear on your outcome and be completely willing to follow the suggestions exactly. Trust yourself and the hypnosis process. After alt the best way to judge your success is not during the hypnosis process but upon its completion.