Hypnotism Innocuous This fact understood, away goes the . fear of hypnotism and all belief that one person can hypnotize another to commit crime. This is a groundless fear, a fear that arises in ignorance. The editor of the Suggester and Thinker in an editorial in his magazine, says of this belief in the evil of hypnotism: "It originated in fancy alone and belongs to the age of superstition, darkness and witchcraft and cannot exist today upon any legitimate grounds." Every Suggestion that is repugnant to a person is by him rejected.
H. L. Flint, as well known upon the hypnotic stage as any person in the Mississippi Valley, in a late interview reported in the press, said, in reply to the question as to whether or not a man can be hypnotized to commit crime, "I should say unconditionally, 'No! When under hypnotic influence, the subject's moral sensibilities are more acute than in the normal state and often, when in hypnosis, he cannot be made to do those little peccadillos that he will do when normal. It is correct to say that he will never do anything that he will not do at any other time, as far as his moral nature is concerned.' "
The name is a misnomer. It comes from "hypnosis” meaning sleep. Sleep is not necessary to the phenomena nor to receive benefits from the use. In but few experiments is sleep necessary. Besides, the word carries with it the misconceptions of a false theory. There is no such thing as "hypnotic power" or "hypnotic phenomena." The phenomena occur, but they are not hypnotic. They are not the effect of a power that the operator possesses, but are the effect of the subject's own mind. All the phenomena produced by an "hypnotic" subject are as honest as those produced by him in school, home or workshop and are as natural and normal as those are really identical in origin. The phenomena exist as a part of the daily life of all persons. In a subject, they are artificially reproduced and exaggerated.
Never has a criminal been condemned, or a person acquitted, in this country upon the plea of hypnotism. Never has any judge considered such a plea. I will only cite one typical case. It goes its rounds in the press several times a year. Concerning it, I give as high an authority as exists upon the matter. Chief Justice Albert H. Horton, of the Kansas Supreme Court, in an address reported in the State Journal (Topeka) , for April the 6th, 1895, says: "In affirming the conviction of Gray, no new doctrine was announced, no new rule of evidence established. Hypnotism was not considered nor ruled upon in any way. The reports are therefore wholly unfounded." But Judge Horton's statement is ignored, …
"That hypnotism and its chief handmaiden, Suggestion, have been proven to be an unalloyed blessing to millions of the human race, cannot be successfully controverted." ~ T. J. Hudson