Monday, March 17, 2014

123. Hypnotists

Brunton was well versed with hypnotism, as the following incident illustrates. During his journalistic investigations on cults, he became aware of an ex-clergyman, who had a forceful personality and possessed strong hypnotic powers. He was using his powers for nefarious ends. One evening, by chance, he met a woman on the street, who was a friend’s wife. She told him that she was on her way to the hypnotist’s house, to spend a night with him. Brunton examined her and found that she was completely under strong hypnotic influence. Brunton felt it was his duty to de-hypnotize her and send her home, which he did.
He consulted an Indian friend. He told him the incident, as well as, his investigations about the ex-clergyman’s activities.
The Indian was outraged, and said that he would put a heavy curse on the man. Brunton did not want to go that far, and asked to first give an ultimatum to the man to leave the area immediately. The Indian said that the ultimatum was fine, but he would also lay a curse on him. Which he did.
At the conclusion of the rite (for curse) Brunton left and went to the pseudo-prophet’s house.
He found him in a small hall, with a large body of his disciples.
There was a scene of indescribable confusion.
The hall was plunged in complete darkness. All the bulbs in the house had suddenly exploded with the force of bombs. This occurred at precisely the same time, when my Indian friend’s rite of cursing reached its end point!
People were rushing to get out. Above all the din, harsh voice of their master could be heard, a voice laden with fear and despair.
“The devil is here. This is the devil’s work”
He was lying prone on the platform floor. His followers had heard him fall heavily on the platform.
Brunton gave him the ultimatum.
The man left. He died within one year in an obscure country village.

In Cairo, there lived a French couple, Monsieur Ades and his wife Madame Margueritte. He was gifted with hypnotic power. His wife was a good hypnotic subject. Brunton investigated them and could find no trickery. Here is a narration by Brunton about the demonstration. As a precaution Brunton had also invited a British officer’s wife. All four sat around a table. There were certain preliminary feats. Then came the final experiment. She was put in second degree of hypnotic trance by her husband.
Madame Margueritte eyes were closely taped. The tape also included eyebrows, eyelids and cheeks. As a further safeguard a thick red velvet bandage was tied around her face and head. She could not see through the eyes.
Ades asked us to select at random any passage from any book.
We marked a paragraph from a French book and laid the book open for her.
Ades said in a firm voice:
“Now find the paragraph. Read it, and transcribe what you read on a paper beside you”
Madame Margueritte started writing the passage, word for word. She would write few words, and then turn her gaze at the book. She kept on going alternately from the book to the page. It was clear that she could read the page despite the heavy bandages! Brunton asked her husband to command her to underline the second word of the second line and the third word of the third line. She underlined both words correctly.
She was commanded to write with her left hand. Although not ambidextrous, she performed the task with ease.
The visitor took the hand of the Madame Margueritte in her hand and concentrated strongly upon the mental image of her husband. After a short time Madame Margueritte described the character, capacities, temperament, and even the physical appearance of the visitor’s husband! Most extraordinary was her statement that he was a Government official.
Ades stuck a needle in her hand. The other end of the needle was visible on the other side. Madame Margueritte did not feel any pain.
When the needle was withdrawn there was not a single drop of blood visible on the skin or the needle.

Brunton requested Monsieur Ades to explain the strange feats of hypnotism. He replied that our brain has enormous unharnessed potential. There is a subconscious aspect of our mind. If one puts the conscious state in suspension, by hypnotism, in certain subjects, the subconscious state takes over. It can see or hear, without the aid of normal eyes or ears. He (Ades) had put his wife in deep hypnotic trance, so her conscious mind was suspended. One needs somebody with hypnotic power to put a suggestible subject into a trance. Monsieur Ades had trained his magnetic influence after several years of practice. In a similar vein, one needs a subject who is naturally receptive to this magnetic force. One cannot hypnotize a person who does not want to be hypnotized.

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