The Dangers of Hypnosis
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D. A publication of Logos Communication Consortium, Inc.
P.O. BOX 173 - Oak Creek, WI 53154
1994, David L. Brown -- Must be reproduced in its entirety. May not be reproduced for resale.
"At the heart of every problem is a problem of the heart." I still remember
that phrase. It came from a sermon that I heard Dr. Warren Wiersbe preach many years ago
when he pastored a Baptist Church in Covington Kentucky. I believe that he was right
because the Bible says in
You do not have to be a theologian to see that your heart is important according to this verse, so let's examine the verse closely.
We are told to "keep" our heart.
The word translated "keep" is the Hebrew word that means to guard, to protect or preserve.
We are told to diligently keep our heart.
The word "diligence" is actually another word that means to guard or protect. It means to hedge about, to pay close attention to or watch carefully. In other words protect your heart doubly. Make it your priority to protect your heart.
The heart is the control center of your being.
The Hebrew word for heart is "LEB" (pronounced labe). The Strongs number is
3820. The Greek counterpart is "KARDIA" (2588). When we think of the heart, we
think of the internal organ that pumps blood through our bodies. But that is not the
primary way the word is used in the Bible. Zodhiates says in his Hebrew Lexicon, that the
main use of the word heart refers to "the totality of man's inner or immaterial
mature." I venture to speculate that this explanation is not a lot of help. So let me
try a different angle. The heart is the seat of your intellect, feelings and will. It is
"almost a synonym for mind."
With this in view, back to
Don't allow anything or anyone to control your mind except the Lord through His Holy Spirit and the Bible.
The Word of God is to control your mind. We can see that from
The word of God is to be used to bring our thinking under God's control. Look at
Further, The Holy Spirit is to be allowed to control our minds.
Satan has a counterfeit spirituality that he is offering as a substitute for Biblical
spirituality. Just as a Christian must open up his or her heart (mind) to the control of
the Holy Spirit in order to be Biblically Spiritual, so a person must open up their heart
(mind) to the control of the unholy spirits if they are to be "spiritual."
Spiritual in this sense means devoted to and controlled by a higher power other the the
Lord God Almighty. Ananias is an illustration of being controlled by unholy spirits.
Ananias did what
Nobel scientist Sir John Eccles said of the human mind that it was "a machine that a ghost can operate."1 Millions of people are opening up their minds to "ghosts" (unholy spirits) through altered states of consciousness. So what is an altered state of consciousness? According to John Ankerberg and John Weldon, it is "the deliberate cultivation of abnormal states of consciousness (states not normally experienced apart from a specific technique or program to develop them). In fact, "altered states may involve a large variety of subjects -- everything from hypnosis and other trance states to possession states (as mediumism and shaminism) to altered states that are characteristically pathological (as in kundalini arousal and shaminism), to direct visualization and imagery, lucid dreaming, drug-induced states of consciousness, meditation and bio-feedback-induced consciousness, and many others."2
So what's wrong with that? First, "as a person enters or is in an Altered State of Consciousness, he often experiences fear of losing his grip on reality and losing his self-control."3 Why, because he does. Many bizarre things can and do happen when a person is in an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC). That's why the Bible warns that we are not to be under the power of anyone except Him.
To be sure, millions laud the benefits of ASC. Many "proponents claim that altered states allegedly produce a 'higher' state of consciousness or 'being' including dramatic spiritualistic (occultic) revelations, psychic powers, personality alterations, and a 'positive' reconstructing of the participant's worldview along Eastern/occultic lines."4 But, ASC's are not all they are cracked up to be. In fact, "many cases of temporary and permanent insanity, spirit contact, occult transformation and spirit possession have resulted."5 In fact, ASC's can and often do open a person to contact with demon entities.
So why, when I am talking with handling the past biblically, do I bring up the issue of Altered States of Consciousness? Probably the most common means counselors use in uncovering the past apart from psychoanalysis is hypnotism. Hypnotism brings a person into an ASC. Let's take a closer look at hypnotism.
"Hypnosis, mental state of heightened suggestibility, characterized by trance-like sleep. The basis of hypnosis is the fixation of the subjects attention upon a gradually narrowing source of stimulation, until he is attendant upon only the directions of the hypnotist. This is variously achieved by repetition of instructions in a low, level voice, or having the subject fix his gaze upon a light in an otherwise dark room. The subject remembers nothing of what he did during the hypnotic period. Certain effects may be suggested to continue after the subject returns to consciousness; these are called post-hypnotic suggestions."6
You do not have to go very far back in researching hypnotism to see that it is associated with the occult. According to Dr. Cathy Burns, Ph.D. hypnotists themselves referred to hypnotism as seances as recently as 24 years ago.7 In fact, historically hypnosis has been viewed as part of the occult. Prevention magazine carried an article by Kerry Pechter that made that very clear. The article said, "like alchemy and astrology, the practice of hypnosis once belonged to the world of the occult."8 Another author went on to say, "Witchdoctors, Sufi practitioners, shamans, Hindus, Buddhists, and yogis have practiced hypnosis..."9 In India, Hindu conjurers call it Jar-phook according to an old book I have. It says, "The Jar-phook of Upper India [is] a system of treatment practiced by the Indian conjurors, or Jadoo-walla, by stroking and breathing on the limbs or body."10 But you don't have to go across the ocean to find hypnosis associated with the occult. In fact, "ritual hypnosis and dance were integral elements of shaman's communication with the spirits..."11 among the American Indians. A shaman is a medicine man. Both Sitting Bull (Tatankaya Iyotake) and Big Foot of the Sioux used hypnotism.
An honest researcher cannot deny the occult connection of hypnotism. Since that is
true, Christians should not have anything to do with the practice. And upon what basis do
I say this?
Note the two emphasized words, "enchanter" and "charmer". According to cult/occult researcher Dave Hunt the ancient practice of enchanting and charming involved "exactly what has recently become acceptable in medicine and psychiatry [known] as hypnosis. I believe this both from the ancient usage of this word and from occult traditions.12 In light of this, hypnotism is unacceptable for believers to participate in.
Hypnotism is dangerous for a number of reasons not the least being that it opens the mind to believe almost anything. As one researcher put it,
That statement should alarm you because in essence it is saying that a person who is hypnotized can be told a lie and believe it. But does this really happen? The answer is yes. Bernard Diamond, a professor of law and clinical professor of psychiatry wrote in an article for the California Law Review that people who underwent hypnotism would
The second reason that hypnosis is dangerous because the mind loses its ability to distinguish between fact and fantasy (truth and error). That can be dangerous because if you can be easily deceived, Satan can and does take advantage of the opportunity. Let me give you one example. Over a five year period, in the late 70's and early 80's, a massive study was done of more than 6,000 people who had undergone hypnosis. It was discovered that one-fifth of those people who had been hypnotized said that they had lived previous lives on other planets! That is bizarre to say the least! But let me tell you about some other experiments. According to one of Peter Francuch experiments "The person [who was hypnotized] was able very precisely to describe in minute detail what was happening in another friend's house 300 miles away. At the same time, the person was able to describe exactly what was happening a month ago, a year ago, and ten years ago in the same place..."15
One might ask, "How is that possible?" My answer is by demonic contact! One
New Age author puts it this way -- "Hypnosis can be an open door to psychic
experiences of many kinds, and in an emotionally unstable, insecure, or neurotic person
the possibility of obsession or psychic invasion of one kind or another is always
present..."16 It only takes a brief look at
Hypnosis is dangerous. At the least, it hinders one's ability to discern the difference between real memories and suggested/engrafted memories. Even more dangerous is the fact that hypnosis opens the "heart's door" (mind) to demonic invasion. If you have not been hypnotized, don't be. If you have been hypnotized I suggest that you renounce your association with the practice by praying --
Frederick Mesmer (c. 1733-1815), a German physician. One of the earliest exponents of hypnotism, his treatments by hypnotism known as mesmerism and popularly believed to be based upon electricity and magnetism, attracted a cultish and fashionable clientele in Paris. His practice was denounced by a royal commission. Hypnotism was used by Charcot, Janet, and Freud in the study and treatment of hysteria. It proved impractical because not everyone is capable of hypnosis and effects are frequently temporary. Hypnotism has found its greatest use as an adjunct to medicine in relieving or diminishing pain as in childbirth or dentistry, especially when use of an anesthetic is dangerous or impractical. Hypnosis in medicine was approved by the American Medical Association in 1958. (The University One-Volume Encyclopedia; 1967; Franklin Dunham; p.391)
Jean Martin Charcot, 1825-93, French neurologist. He was a pioneer in the use of hypnotic methods of treating hysteria, and influenced Freud with his belief that some diseases have their origin in the emotions. (The University One-Volume Encyclopedia;1967; Franklin Dunham; p.158)
Pierre Janet, 1859-1947, French neurologist and psychologist. Working independently of Freud and using hypnosis, he made important studies of the origins of hysteria.(The University One-Volume Encyclopedia;1967; Franklin Dunham; p.421)
Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939, Austrian psychologist, b. Marovia. Formulating his early theories from observation of hysterics under hypnosis, he developed the science and method of treatment of neurosis known as psychoanalysis.(The University One-Volume Encyclopedia;1967; Franklin Dunham; p.310)
Braidism -- The theories concerning the phenomena attending artificial induced sleep set forth by Dr. James Braid (1842) (A Scottish surgeon, 1795-1860, noted for research in mesmerism, which he named hypnotism), developed by him from mesmerism. (Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary; Copyright 1913; p.324)
Electrobiology -- Mesmerism
Mesmerism -- Originally, the doctrine or theory, as propounded and exemplified by Franz Mesmer (1733-1815), that one person can produce in another an abnormal condition resembling sleep, with or without somnambulism, during which the mind of the subject remains passively subject to the will of the operator. (Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary; Copyright 1913; p.1557)
Artificial Somnambulism --Artificial somnambulism an old name used for hypnotism. This is not to be confused with natural or spontaneous somnambulism which is "the act of walking and performing other positive actions during sleep" (Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary; Copyright 1913; p.2319). In simple terms, sleep walking.
Neurohypnotism -- Nervous sleep induced by hypnotic action (Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary; Copyright 1913; p.1669).
Hypnosis, Electrobiology, Mesmerism, Braidism, Somnambulism, Jar-phook, Neurohypnotism are all names that are related to hypnotism.