Subliminal Hacking
The Art and Science of Social Engineering


March 14, 2010

Hypnosis… Mumbo Jumbo or the Real Thing

Next lets look at Hypnosis. I am sure everyone is familiar with the term hypnosis, and we all have our own conception of what hypnosis is. Of course we are all entitled to our own opinions and views, and many will simply dismiss hypnosis as mumbo jumbo, and that’s fine, in fact that was also my opinion before I learnt more about hypnosis and became a hypnotist myself.

Wikipedia Definition – Hypnosis is a mental state (state theory) or set of attitudes and beliefs (non-state theory) usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a series of preliminary instructions and suggestions.

I find it interesting when I speak to people about hypnosis, but that believe it to be a load of nonsense and those who believe. The interesting this is, even if you don’t believe, most people don’t want to try it, even though they are sure nothing will happen. Like myself in the past, its cant be real, but what if……

When you do speak to someone who has not been hypnotised but wants to be, and you ask them most people believe they will experience something like the following:

I will fall asleep, into a blank state of nothingness, I wont be able to feel anything, hear anything, see anything. I will no longer be in control.

Its an interesting view, and I think its due to what we see on TV and in movies. Everyone’s hypnotic experience is different, but you can be assured of a few things. You will feel completely normal, everything is the same, you can hear everything, you can feel, see, talk. This may sound odd to some, but lets really understand what’s happening.

Everyone in my opinion has experienced hypnosis in a way. If you have had a day dream, found yourself staring out of the window, concentrating and thinking about something, and then suddenly becoming aware of what’s going on. This in my experience is just like a typical hypnotic experience. You are fully aware, you know what’s happening, reality is still constant, but if suggested, altered for a period of time.

Hypnosis is often considered to be a form of trance, and I guess in a way that is true, but then you would assume that you would need to be put into this trance, however many skilled hypnotist work through conversational hypnosis that does not involve any closing of the eyes and sleep commands. Everyone has an opinion, and I don’t believe there is any right or wrong. Hypnosis to me is a state where you are highly concentrated, using the power of your unconscious mind (like when you dream), and imagining and experiencing real or imagined suggestions.

Many believe that even when someone is hypnotised, that they are actually just playing along. I am sure this is true, and I think this is because especially in a group setting, there is a desire to be compliant, and this can be advantageous. However those who have been hypnotised, and those who are a hypnotist know that the suggestions are very real, and if you test your work, you can verify this to be true.

Scientists and those in the medical profession have also carried out testings on various levels and have confirmed hypnosis to be true. Below is a simple image that represents a brain scan, that showed the reactions of someone hypnotised, and someone playing along. The scans clearly show they hypnotised subject to be using different parts of the brain. Its a simple, but interesting image.


Many people will ask can everyone be hypnotised. I think yes to some extent. I am not sure how accurately the figure of 90% is, but apparently 90% of the worlds population can be hypnotised. Being hypnotised does require skill of being a subject, as well as the skill of the hypnotist. If someone is unable to concentrate, use their imagination, or grasp the concepts will have great difficulty. Now the 90% of people may not experience a deep state of hypnosis, that would allow for amnesia, hallucinations, analgesia, but most will experience a relaxed therapeutic state, and experience sensations and catalepsy. Some people are considered to be a somnambulist (sleep walker), and these make for people who are very receptive to hypnosis, and make great subjects. Something linked with this is permanosis. This is where an individual can be receptive to the hypnotist without re-induction, I can only attempt to define it as a subconscious bonding, that may last for a variable length of time.

Like all things, hypnosis takes practice, and requires various skills, and we will go into these in later posts. I will close of with a few comments for thought and consideration.

If you are a hypnotist, remember to test your work, remember both ethical and moral boundaries for the subject, and remember to bring your subject out of hypnosis fully, reassure and verify before moving on.

If you have not been hypnotised, and believe it to be real or not, do your homework, and make an informed education decision. We are all entitled to our own opinions and believes, just challenge them from time to time.

* I should point out the hypnosis I carry out is impromptu (rapid induction) hypnosis. I am now a hypnotherapist, but not stage hypnotist.

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    About the Author

    Dale Pearson
    has worked in IT since 1998, Infosec since 2004, and studied and performed hypnosis, mentalism etc since 2009. Dale is a full time Red Teamer with a love of social engineering and qualified hypnotherapist. He spends a great deal of time researching the various skills and techniques that make up the art and science of Social Engineering.

    One Comment

    1. […] need an induction, you can also just give suggestions to the subject, what is called permanosis. [ […]

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