Sunday, January 29, 2012

Auto-suggestion: prodromes of sleep

The Rev. Dr. Louis Albert Banks was born in Corvallis, Oregon in 1855. He was educated at Philomath College, leaving when he was sixteen as a licensed preacher of the United Brethen Church. He became a school teacher while studying for the bar. In 1877 he began the practice of law. In 1883 he was ordained an Elder.

The Rev. Dr. Louis Albert Banks offered the following ten auto-suggestions, which, regularly and heartily repeated by an intelligent majority amid the prodromes[1] of sleep, would shortly regenerate society[2]:

I. I will not permit myself to speak while angry. And I will not make a bitter retort to another person who speaks to me in anger.

II. I will neither gossip about the failings of another nor will I permit any other person to speak such gossip to me. Gossip will die when it cannot find a listener.

III. I will respect weakness and defer to it on the streetcar, in the department-store and in the home, whether it be displayed by man or woman.

IV. I will always express gratitude for any favor or service rendered to me. If prevented from doing it on the spot, then I will seek an early opportunity to give utterance to it in the most gracious way within my power.

V. I will not fail to express sympathy with another's sorrow or to give hearty utterance to my appreciation of good works by another, whether the party be friendly to me or not. One buttonhole bouquet offered amid life's stress of trial is worth a thousand wreaths of roses laid on the coffin of the man who died discouraged and broken-hearted.

VI. I will not talk about my personal ailments or misfortunes. They shall be one of the subjects on which I am silent.

VII. I will look on the bright side of the circumstances of my daily life, and I will seek to carry a cheerful face and speak hopefully to all whom I meet.

VIII. I will neither eat nor drink what I know will detract from my ability to do my best work.

IX. I will speak and act truthfully, living with sincerity toward God and man.

X. I will strive to be always prepared for the very best that can happen to me. I will seek to be ready to seize the highest opportunity, to do the noblest work, to rise to the loftiest place which God and my abilities permit.

Auto-suggestion is the great psychological miracle, and few realize the part it plays in the drama of life. It accounts for much self-deception and self-elation. It governs physiological changes; it regulates the number of births among intellectual people; it renders immune from disease or prepares the soil for the reception of bacilli; it has changed non-contagious into contagious maladies, tuberculosis being now in the act of transit; it overcomes physical defects, and perpetuates comeliness and youthful feeling. It is the medium of utterance for hereditary tendencies. It lays bare the secret of influence — the influence of what is seen and heard, of things unsaid, of things undone. It is the hidden power of the mother's kiss which so graciously dispels the woes of childhood. It explains the accomplishment of seemingly impossible feats. It is the "I won't die'' that makes a man live years of usefulness when his physicians have given him but a month of misery. It was the " I will live" that lifted John Wickliffe from the pallet of death in the presence of taunting friars, and imbued him with physical and mental energy to translate the Word of God into the majestic Anglo-Hebraic of the fourteenth century. It is the channel, as already indicated, through which genius finds expression; and we may contend with no small show of reason that the transliminal self of a Stratford butcher's apprentice, under the spell of an objective suggestion inspired in his boyhood by the Pageants of Coventry, created the deathless plays of Shakespeare.

[1] A prodrome is an early symptom (or set of symptoms) that might indicate the start of a disease before specific symptoms occur. It is derived from the Greek word prodromos or precursor. Prodromes may be non-specific symptoms or, in a few instances, may clearly indicate a particular disease, such as the prodromal migraine aura.
For example fever, malaise, headache and lack of appetite frequently occur in the prodrome of many infective disorders. A prodrome can be the precursor to the onset of a chronic neurological disorder such as migraine or epilepsy, where prodrome symptoms include euphoria, scotoma, disorientation, aphasia, or photosensitivity.
It also refers to the initial in vivo round of viral replication.
Prodromal labour, mistakenly called "false labour," refers to the early signs before labour starts.

BY John Duncan Quackenbos, A.M., M.D.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Viral Memetic Infection

A meme has been defined as an idea that replicates in the human brain and moves from brain to brain like a virus, much like a virus. The way a virus works is -- it can infect and do the most damage to someone who is emotionally vulnerable What happens is that circular logic takes over.The mind makes it true. It creates "us" and "them," "right" and "wrong," "good" and "evil." And it makes anything possible. Makes anything rationalizable.
Examples: Moonies, Jonestown, Conspiracy Theories, Cults, 2012 end times, New Age beliefs.

Anyone who uses critical thinking on a regular basis would see the situation very differently.

If you can make the reader believe anything no matter how absurd it is, he will prove it to be true by his experiments. This proves that our beliefs make us act and our acts are directed by our belief, for the wisdom or knowledge is in the belief. People are not aware of this. Quimby 1863

At 17, Diane Benscoter joined The Unification Church -- the religious cult whose members are commonly known as “Moonies.” After five long years, her distressed family arranged to have her deprogrammed. Benscoter then left The Unification Church, and was so affected by her experience that she became a deprogrammer herself. She devoted her time to extracting others from cults, until she was arrested for kidnapping. The shock of her arrest caused her to abandon her efforts for almost 20 years. Now, after decades of research and study, Diane has begun to speak about her experiences. She recently completed a memoir describing her years as a member of The Unification Church and as a deprogrammer. Furthermore, she has embarked on a new project to define “extremist viral memetic infections”. She believes that defining extremism as a memetic infection, from a cognitive neurological perspective, might allow us to develop better memes that would inoculate against the memes of extremist thought. These inoculating memes could prevent the spread of extremist viral memetic infections and their inherent dangers.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Association of ideas plays a very important part in all our sentiments and actions, and this association is certainly strengthened by hypnotism. This explains the success of the treatment in many cases of drunkenness. A good plan in these cases is to suggest dislike for alcohol, and even vomiting at the taste of it. If the patient is then made to swallow a small quantity and sickness follows, and he is told, while in the hypnotic state, that such will be the invariable consequence of indulgence, we shall have established a train of very disagreeable associations which will for a long time, and perhaps always, be connected with the first step in alcoholic indulgence. It may be objected that the association of a drunkard's ideas with alcoholism cannot naturally be pleasant, as excess is always followed by illness. But ordinarily sickness and disgust come after excess, while hypnotism causes them to precede it. We frequently see the action of association of ideas where hypnotism is not in question at all.

For instance, I know a lady to whom the taste of strawberry -jam is most disagreeable and nauseating, because, as a child, on two or three occasions evil-tasting powders were given to her disguised in it.

The same lady tells me that the sight of a bottle from which she had been dosed with castor-oil used to arouse a feeling of nausea long after she had been emancipated from such compulsory medication. But similar instances are so common that they must occur to the mind of everyone.

In the combination of moral and physical influences thus produced we possess a very powerful lever. If a man has been made a drunkard through the solicitations of fast companions, his power of resistance is reduced to nil, and the offer of a drink has so often been followed by its absorption, that the sequence of events becomes automatic, an ideo-motor reflex action ; but let such a man be hypnotized, and in this state be told that alcohol is poison, and that to offer him a drink is to grossly insult him and we form a new inhibitory tract, which by repeatedly being traversed becomes well worn and habitual in place of the other. But it is plain that we must not expect immediate cure. Old channels cannot be destroyed, any more than new ones can be formed, in the course of a few days. I always tell my patients that it takes one month to get over the crude effects of confirmed alcoholism, three months for the liver, stomach, and other organs to recover their tone, and twelve months for the brain power and morale to be re-established.

One has only to tell the patient that if he takes beer or spirits they will at once cause him to vomit, and then on waking him compel him to drink a glass of beer to produce such an attack of nausea and sickness as he will remember for many a day. Even in such a case it will, no doubt, be possible for the subject to re-educate himself to like liquor, just as a schoolboy who will go on smoking, though every pipe at first makes him sick, may at last overcome the repugnance and become a confirmed smoker.

Sexual Perversion. — If hypnotism had done nothing more for medical science than bring such melancholy cases as the above within the scope of curative treatment, it would have conferred a lasting benefit on humanity. In even worse cases of perverted sexual instinct it is frequently successful.

Modern medicine teaches us that these perverted instincts depend upon a hereditary or acquired morbid condition of the brain and spinal cord, and constitute, in fact, a psychical disease. Hypnotic suggestion seems to act by checking excessive functional irritability, and by developing and bringing into play the inhibitory action of the higher brain centres, which have either not developed or have undergone impairment.

In treating cases of sexual inversion the hypnosis should be very profound, for one has to alter by suggestion a set of very deeply ingrained instincts and emotions.

Auguste-Henri Forel

Auguste-Henri Forel (1848 –1931) was a Swiss myrmecologist, neuroanatomist and psychiatrist, notable for his investigations into the structure of the human brain and that of ants. For example, he is considered a co-founder of the neuron theory. Forel is also known for his early contributions to sexology.

From 1978 until 2000 Forel’s image appeared on the 1000 Swiss franc banknote.

Although professionally Forel was one of the important psychiatrists of the last century, he is primarily known as an ant specialist. When very young he went on a study trip to southern Switzerland; the published results of his observations at once brought him high repute as an entomologist and earned him the Schläfli Foundation Prize. As an anatomist Forel studied the internal morphology of ants carefully and thus came to propose a new taxonomy of these members of the order Hymenoptera. In addition, having become engrossed in the psychology of these insects, he contributed greatly to the study of their social instincts. Forel was the first to describe the phenomena of parabiosis (the natural or artificial joining or grafting of two organisms) and lestobiosis (the relation in which colonies of a small species nest in the walls of the nest of a larger species and enter the chambers of the larger species to prey on brood or rob the food stores) in ants. Having gathered a considerable collection of Hymenoptera he described the various species, finding more than 3.500 new ones. Thus he became a remarkable taxonomist.

Research on hypnotism also fascinated him, he wrote many papers on that subject and was considered and authority on the treatment of mental disturbances with hypnosis. Hygienist as well, Forel published the important book La question sexuelle, which was translated into nearly twenty languages.

Forel enumerates the following conditions and diseases which he finds most satisfactorily treated by hypnotic suggestion[PSYCHO-THERAPEUTICS - TREATMENT BY HYPNOTISM AND SUGGESTION-1907]:

Pains of all descriptions, especially headache, neuralgia, sciatica, toothache, which do not depend upon an abscess, etc.
Functional paralysis and contractures.
Organic paralysis and contractures (as palliative means).
Chlorosis (extremely favourable).
Disturbances of menstruation (metrorrhagia and amenorrhoea).
Loss of appetite and all nervous digestive disturbances.
Constipation and diarrhoea (provided that the latter does not depend on catarrh or fermentation).
Gastric and intestinal dyspepsia (including pseudo-dilatation).
Psychical impotence, pollutions, onanism, perverted sexual appetite, and the like.
Alcoholism and morphinism (only by the suggestion of total abstinence).
Chronic muscular and arthritic rheumatism, lumbago.
The so-called neurasthenic disturbances.
Stammering, nervous disturbances of the vision.
Blepharo spasm.
Pavor nocturnus of children.
Sickness and sea-sickness, the vomiting of pregnancy.
Enuresis nocturna (often very difficult on account of the depth of the normal sleep).
Nervous attacks of coughing (also in emphysema).
Hysterical disturbances of all kinds, including hystero-epileptic attacks, anesthesia, phobia, and the like.
Bad habits of all kinds.

Paul Charles Dubois

Paul Charles Dubois (1848 –1918) was a Swiss neuropathologist who was a native of La Chaux-de-Fonds. He studied medicine at the University of Bern, and in 1876 was a general practitioner of medicine in Bern. He was interested in psychosomatic medicine, and subsequently gained a reputation as a highly regarded psychotherapist. In 1902 he became a professor of neuropathology at Bern. He was influenced by the writings of German psychiatrist Johann Christian August Heinroth (1773–1843), and was disdainful of hypnotic therapy.
Dubois is famous for introducing "persuasion therapy", which was a rational approach for treatment of neurotic disorders. Dubois created a psychotherapeutic methodology that was a form of Socratic dialogue that used a doctor-patient relationship to persuade the patient to change his/her behavior. He believed it was necessary to appeal to a patient's intellect and reason in order to eliminate negative and self-destructive habits. He also believed it was necessary for the physician to convince the patient of the irrationality of his/her neurotic feelings and thought processes.
His best known written work was the 1904 Les psychonévroses et leur traitement moral, which was later translated into English as "Psychic Treatment of Nervous Disorders (The Psychoneuroses and Their Moral Treatment)". Another influential publication by Dubois was a "mind over matter" treatise titled De l'influence de l'esprit sur le corps.

Albert Moll

Albert Moll (1862–1939), an active promoter of hypnotism in Germany, went to Nancy and studied with Bernheim. Bernheim also had an influence on Sigmund Freud, who had visited Bernheim in 1889, and witnessed some of his experiments, though he was known as an antagonist of Jean-Martin Charcot (Freud was a student of Charcot).
Albert Moll was one of the most prominent medical authors in late Imperial and Weimar Germany. As an author he was covering such diverse areas as hypnosis, psychology, parapsychology and occultism, sexology and medical ethics. Moll also ran a successful private practice, specializing in nervous disorders and psychotherapy and was a prominent figure in medical circles in Berlin, with a strong involvement in professional politics. As a public figure he was well known as the author of popular books and articles in magazines and newspapers as well as for his role as expert witness in several sensational court cases.

He surmised that hypnosis could be used to treat hysteria.

Hippolyte Bernheim (1840 – 1919) was a French physician and neurologist, born at Mülhausen, Alsace. He received his education in his native town and at the University of Strasbourg, where he was graduated as doctor of medicine in 1867. The same year he became a lecturer at the university and established himself as a physician in the city.
When, in 1871, after the Franco-Prussian war, Strasbourg passed to Germany, Bernheim moved to Nancy (where he met and later collaborated with Dr. Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault), in the university of which town he became clinical professor.
When the medical faculty took up hypnotism, about 1880, Bernheim was very enthusiastic, and soon became one of the leaders of the investigation. He became a well-known authority in this new field of medicine.
Bernheim believed that Charcot's provocation of hysteria during hypnosis came about from suggestions given at that time - hence the hysteria was induced via suggestion not heredity. He also took Charcot's studies forward a bit and believed that hypnosis could be used therapeutically. He even surmised that hypnosis could be used to even treat hysteria.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Alcohol, Tobacco and Suggestion.

By John D. Quackenbos, A.M., M.D., Emeritus Professor in Columbia University; Member of the London Society for Psychical Research; Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, of the New Hampshire Medical Society and the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis; Member of the New York Medical Association; Member of the American Medical Association; Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

* Delivered at Washington, December 15, 1916, before the American Society for the Study of Alcohol and Narcotic Drugs.
Bits and Bites

By way of introduction to the theme that has been assigned me, I beg your leave briefly to describe the weapon with which I strike at the physio-psychic complex involved in every case of alcoholism.

There exists in human beings a mass of latent unused power — a reserve fund of energy, or capacity for performing work, which is applicable to emergencies, to extraordinary demands on the fortitude, exalted control, innate aptitude, or regenerating faculty of the individual. It is this power that may be incited to control the psychic elements in all diseases, and so affect the cure of those that are functional and the alleviation of suffering in those that are organic. It is this power that commands the output of thought, the projection of genius, the material expression of all that is best in the man. It is this power which, dynamically directed and applied, regenerates the outcast, sobers the drunkard, rescues the drug-fiend, restores to normal thought and feeling the distraught and suicidal, the perverted and the obsessed.
. . .

There is no suggestion to the will of another in psycho-therapy. Nobody but a fool would submit to such treatment, were this possible; and nobody but an unprincipled operator would practice; even for the relief of suffering, a method that makes a fellow being his automaton. My subjects do what I urge them to do, not because I urge them, but because they are made clearly to see that the course suggested conjugates with right, truth, expediency, necessity.

One of the most important applications of psycho-dynamics is its combination with rational physical attention in the treatment of drink and drug habits. The results here obtained are without parallel, dependent as they are on the automatic operation of a super-physical control rendered active by a resistless appeal. The drink and drug cures so extensively advertised fail utterly to impart the great essential to radical regeneration and lasting abstinence — viz., spontaneous unresisting moral sway. They evoke not those forces of the soul that are a thousand times stronger than appetite or desire. Hence about 70 per cent of drinkers who seek relief at the sanatoriums are sobered only for a time and sooner or later relapse. The drink habit cannot be cured by nauseating the victim with lobelia, purging him with drastic cathartics, blinding him with belladonna, or vomiting him with apomorphia. Such treatment creates revulsion in the patient. He soon recovers from the effect of the physic used to find his craving unchanged and his powers of resistance as poisonless as ever. Drug cures leave the moral nature uninfluenced. Dr. Partridge of Clark University convincingly contends that no drug can reach the heart of the intoxication impulse.
. . .

The drink habit is growing, especially among our women, from shop maid and nymph du pave to the pampered dames of upper society. The punch bowl figures at functions, and proud-pied belles dip freely therein. Cocktails and highballs are everywhere on dress parade, and the wanton cordax[1] has been revived by dancemad, up-to-date Bacchantes [2] amid the hocktide familiarity of the roof-garden and the misnamed "the dansant." Girls representing good families, conspicuously made-up, are not missing from the throng. Debutantes, not necessarily of the fast set, unblushingly assert a right to drink wine and smoke cigarettes at luncheons and levees, at high-priced cafes and in the corridors of the hotels; and not a few of this class, as well as young married women, have been brought to the writer's office in a state of intoxication. Such has become the vogue; and, worse than this, girls in their teens see no impropriety in drinking publicly with men companions. A few years ago, a woman with a cocktail before her, amid much surroundings, the air polluted with tobacco smoke, would have been set down as a Cyprian (Licentious or Wanton). The abstinent, unobtrusive young lady of the past generation is giving place to a coarse, boisterous, immodestly attired bon-vivant, controlled by unworthy impulses, and wholly unfit to fulfill her function in the community as an inspirer to meritorious action, or her function in the home as a character-former, a wife and a mother. Verily, the beaumonde reflects a piteous state of preparedness for combat with the forces of evil that threaten to disrupt society. Verily, the national force that is wasting today in America is woman; and she who prostitutes her obligation to her sex in I, life of self-indulgence and demoralizing example should be brought to her senses by the thought that no nation can be truly great in which the rights of woman are not deservedly upheld, and her refined intellect is not respected as a directing agency and an impelling power.

What has been said is germane to the attitude of the well-do-do classes for with the great mass of working people in the cities, the habit of drink is noticeably on the wane; and the saloon-keepers who have long absorbed a generous fraction of the laborer's hard-earned wage fear for the future of their nefarious business of "swapping the souls of men" for mammon [3]. The poor or moderately salaried man is not only developing a knowledge of the perils of alcoholic indulgence through the strenuous efforts of both Catholic and Protestant educators, but he recognizes the necessity of economy, and has come to appreciate the superior attractions of the photo-drama. The moving picture-show is the great adversary of the saloon. In its comfortable parterre, a man may be entertained with his family an hour or two for less money than he would naturally spend in the card rooms that figure at the rear of every bar. These clubs of the poor, where a man of labor and the youth of the store pass their evenings in drinking and card-playing, are dehumanizing our brothers of the tenement, aiming to destroy their capacity both for conferring and enjoying domestic happiness. The moving picture-show offers a form of instructive entertainment that is cheap enough to be within the reach of all working people, and popular enough to drain the lounging-rooms of the cabarets. The saloon is out of step with the times.
. . .

What these persons drink to reinforce nervous energy is itself a most dangerous compound mad of crude grain or potato spirits, or fusel oil, and various "essences" manufactured in laboratories — a compound sixteen times as deadly in its effects on the brain and other organs as is ethyl alcohol in pure whiskey. And the beer and ale of this country all contain sulphurous acid and other adulterants, much of it preservatives, rendering it antagonistic to digestion which is a form of fermentation, and, constituting it a kidney and liver irritant which has to. be reckoned with by the doctor and is taken into serious, consideration by life insurance companies.

In spite of these accepted facts, drinking goes madly on. A discussion of the psychology of the habit would, seem to imply a presentation of the various reasons advanced by intemperants for their addiction to "the juice divine" (Rubaiyat.[4])

Some drink to hide conditions that mortify, worry, depress, or agonize — business entanglements, loss of wife or fiancee, blood-guilt. Like Omar Kaiyam[4], they drink inconsolate, not for pleasure or profligacy, nor to renege religion and good morals, but solely to drown care and escape from themselves. How often it has to be demonstrated to these deluded patients that obscuring conditions does not alter them, but merely renders the dupe less capable of coping with them. "To drink my wine and take my pleasure," said the Persian poet, "that is how I live. To care no jot for heresy or orthodoxy, that is my creed." Yet heresy and orthodoxy continue to exist, and the man's responsibility is none the less. Many men drink exclusively from habit and not from desire for intoxicating effects. Many again plead business necessity; others, lowered nerve tone, and whip themselves to greater effort, forgetting that in the lash of the whip is hidden a scorpion's sting. And some fools who have been cured touch, handle and taste in cold blood to see whether they really are cured, often with disastrous consequences that are likely to follow playing with fire.

A popular fallacy with the alcoholic is the progressive conviction that, in consequence of a long period of good behavior he is entitled to a spree. This applies to patients who are willing to take a six months' voyage on a sailing vessel innocent of liquor, or be interned in a sanatorium, perfectly happy and apparently without desire, but living on the expectation of "going on another whizzer," as one patient denominated it, as soon as the ship docks or the sanatorium doors are unbarred.
. . .

It has been shown that abundant adequacy exists in the man to destroy any and all abnormal craving of his objective nature, and that this dormant power may be awakened and exploited by suggestional appeal. The suggestions given in drink habit cases must be iconoclastic and uncompromising, for radical cure depends on change in the mental state.
. . .

Your speaker has treated in this way persons who came to him unwillingly, who entered the sleep reluctantly with pronounced mental reservation, even men who defiantly sneered at his proffers of help. In many such cases, he has overridden a righteous impulse to eject them from the office, placing love for the sinner before hatred of the sin, has brought the subject into his own presence, made him aware of his obligations with his power to meet them and disclosed to him an earnestness and sincerity of purpose in the effort at reclamation. Such a patient generally emerges from the first sleep, always from the second, a changed being and happy in the change. The surly ruffian who had to be handled with the utmost finesse, is transformed into an affable and appreciative gentleman.
. . .

The rational treatment of alcoholic addicts has been characterized as physio-psychic. This means that it does not lose sight of the necessity for physical repair. It recognizes the interdependence of brain and psychic offices, for in the light of modem science, "bodily and psychic functions are only different forms of the same brain and nerve activity." The successful carriage of the suggestions offered depends then on the integrity of these organs.
. . .

The psychological cause for alcoholic excess is not infrequently emphasized by the depression and nervous irritation resulting from the abuse of tobacco.

Physicians who have had much to do with alcoholic inebriates realize that there is a direct relationship between alcohol addiction and such abuse. The first effect of tobacco smoking is stimulating, with a rise of blood pressure; a sedative effect follows, with a fall of blood pressure; and if the smoking be continued, the nerve cells are depressed. The depression is cumulative in the system of the smoker, and after a varying interval (of days, weeks or months) it creates an instinctive demand for the antidote to tobacco poisoning — and that is alcohol. The intemperate use of tobacco thus explains 75 per cent of all drink habit cases. The alcoholic thirst is engendered and inflamed by smoke.

The real danger in smoking consists largely in the habit of inhalation, whereby the volatilized poisons are brought into immediate contact with at least 1000 square feet of vascular air-sac walls in the lungs, and are thus promptly and fully absorbed, to be diffused into the blood and carried on their disastrous errand to the several organs of the body.
. . .
Inhalers of tobacco smoke are listless, forgetful, independable, backward in study, and conspicuously lacking in power of attention and application. A patient who began to smoke at seven and smoked all the time he was awake until, as he described it, he "got a jag on the smoke," at 35 could not "pin himself down to any business." As the habit is pushed, the habitué becomes excessively nervous, suffers from shortness of breath, muscular cramps and tremblings, rapid and irregular heart, nausea, giddiness, insomnia, irritable throat ("cigarette cough"), impaired digestion, and often from dimness of vision which has been known to culminate in blindness (tobacco amaurosis[is vision loss or weakness]) — all of which disappear with discontinuance of the habit.
. . .
The government has begun a most meritorious campaign against drug-taking in the enforcement of the Harrison law. But it has left unnoticed two habits that are doing infinitely more damage to the brains and physical constitutions of the people of the United States than all the drugs put many times together, viz., the drink and cigarette habits. Three times the amount of our national debt (about $3,000,000,000) is spent annually in the country on alcoholic drinks and tobacco. Twenty billion cigarettes, it is estimated, are smoked every year in the United States. Boys and girls, men and women, are permitted without protest from high quarters to destroy their mental faculties and moral propensities by this practice. Physicians have come to realize that those who abandon themselves to the double indulgence in tobacco and alcohol are practically committing suicide on the installment plan. They can never be at their best, and a cigarette smoker represents as hazardous a risk from the viewpoint of life insurance as a consumer of liquor.

In closing, let me insist on one fact, viz.: The ill-success of a given suggestionist in the treatment of an alcoholic or drug addict, does not imply that such a subject is incurable through psycho-dynamic influence. The sufferer should make trial of another personality. Especially is this to be considered in the failures of Emmanuelism, so noble in its conception and so successful in the hands of its founder, where cures are attempted by unqualified clergymen who are ignorant of the mental states in which receptivity is at its height, and apply extremely crude methods with faith in their efficacy. The same criticism applies to the quixotic efforts of the therapy and the tedious procedures of psycho-analysis.
THE Alienist and Neurologist
A JOURNAL OF Scientific, Clinical and Forensic
[1] The cordax was a provocative, licentious, and often obscene mask dance of ancient Greek comedy. Modern philologists maintain that the cordax later became the fandango. This amatory dancing with undulations of the loins and buttocks was called cordax.
[2] A Bacchante in Roman mythology is a female follower of Bacchus, god of wine and intoxication.
[3] Riches, avarice, material wealth or greed from the New Testament
[4] The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (is the title that Edward FitzGerald gave to his translation of a selection of poems, originally written in Persian and of which there are about a thousand, attributed to Omar Khayyám (1048–1131), a Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer. A ruba'i is a two-line stanza with two parts (or hemistichs) per line, hence the word rubáiyát (derived from the Arabic language root for "four"), meaning "quatrains".

In 1988, for the very first time, the Rubaiyat were translated by a Persian translator. Karim Emami's [5] translation of the Rubaiyat was published under the title The Wine of Nishapour in Paris. The Wine of Nishapour is the collection of Khayyam's poetry by Shahrokh Golestan, including Golestan's pictures in front of each poem.

Illustration by Edmund Joseph Sullivan for Quatrain 11 of Fitzgerard's 1st Version.

Karim Emami(1930, Calcutta, India – 2005, Tehran, Iran) was a highly regarded Iranian translator, editor, lexicographer, and literary critic.

Prof. John D. Quackenbos, the eminent New York scientist, says:
"The time has indeed come, as Maeterlinck predicted it would, when souls may know of each other without the intermediary of the senses."
[The Science of Psychic Healing By Yogi Ramacharaka 1909]

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Philip Aylesford: Come out, come out where ever you are!

In 1972 some Canadian parapsychologists undertook an experiment. The members of the experiment attempted to create, through intense and prolonged concentration, a collective thought-form.
The group fabricated the fictitious identity, physical appearance, and personal history of theirPhilip Aylesford” who was born in England in 1624. He had an illustrious role in the Civil War, becoming a personal friend of Charles II and working for him as a secret agent. But Philip brought about his own undoing by having an affair with a Gypsy girl. When his wife found out she accused the girl of witchcraft, and she was burned at the stake. In despair Philip committed suicide in 1654 at the age of thirty.
The group began conducting sittings in September 1972 during which they meditated, visualized, and discussed the details of Philip’s life. After going for months with no communication, the group attempted table-tilting through psychokinesis.
Some weeks after changing to the séance setting the group established communication with “Philip.” He answered questions that were consistent with his fictitious history, but was unable to provide any information beyond that which the group had conceived. However, “Philip” did give other historically accurate information about real events and people. The group theorized that this latter information came from their own collective unconsciousness.
One session was held in front of a live audience of fifty people and was videotaped to be shown on television. In other sessions sounds were heard in various parts of the room and lights blinked on and off. The levitation and movement of a table were recorded on film in 1974.
As the group became more comfortable with their encounters with Philip, they began to treat him as just another member of the group. They learned his personality as if he was a good friend. And Philip would play tricks on them. At times, he would move the table around the room, especially to rush up to those arriving late as if to greet them and say “Hi”. Other times, the table would trap certain individuals in corners.
During one especially active night, one of the members jokingly admonished Philip by telling him that he could be sent away and replaced. After that, Philip’s activity began to decrease until it stopped altogether and the experiment was ceased.

The "Odic Force"

The Odic force (also called Od, Odyle, Önd, Odes, Odylic, Odyllic, or Odems) is the name given in the mid-19th century to a hypothetical vital energy or life force by Baron Carl von Reichenbach. Von Reichenbach coined the name from that of the Norse god Odin in 1845.
Baron Dr. Carl (Karl) Ludwig von Reichenbach (full name: Karl Ludwig Freiherr von Reichenbach) (1788, Stuttgart - 1869 Leipzig, Germany) was a notable chemist, geologist, metallurgist, naturalist, industrialist and philosopher, and a member of the prestigious Prussian Academy of Sciences. He is best known for his discoveries of several chemical products of economic importance, extracted from tar, such as eupione, waxy paraffin, pittacol (the first synthetic dye) and phenol (an antiseptic). He also dedicated himself in his last years to research an unproved field of energy combining electricity, magnetism and heat, emanating from all living things, which he called the Odic force.
As von Reichenbach was investigating the manner in which the human nervous system could be affected by various substances, he conceived the existence of a new force allied to electricity, magnetism, and heat, a force which he thought was radiated by most substances, and to the influence of which different persons are variously sensitive. He studied neurasthenia, somnambulism, hysteria and phobia, crediting reports that these conditions were affected by the moon. After interviewing many patients he ruled out many causes and cures, but concluded that such maladies tended to affect people whose sensory faculties were unusually vivid. He named this vitalist concept Odic force. Proponents say that Odic force permeates all plants, animals, and humans.
Believers in Odic force said that it is visible in total darkness as colored auras surrounding living things, crystals, and magnets, but that viewing it requires hours first spent in total darkness, and that not everyone has the ability to see it. They also said that it resembles the eastern concepts prana and qi. However, they regarded the Odic force, not as associated with breath (like India's prana and the qi of Eastern martial arts), but rather mainly with biological electromagnetic fields.
Von Reichenbach did not tie Odic force into other vitalist theories. Baron von Reichenbach expounded the concept of Odic force in detail in a book-length article, Researches on Magnetism, Electricity, Heat and Light in their Relations to Vital Forces, which appeared in a special issue of a respected scientific journal, Annalen der Chemie und Physik. He said that
(1) the Odic force had a positive and negative flux, and a light and dark side.
(2) Individuals could forcefully "emanate" it, particularly from the hands, mouth, and forehead.
(3) Odic force had many possible applications.

The Odic force was conjectured to explain the phenomenon of hypnotism. In Britain an impetus was given to this view of the subject, following the translation of Reichenbach's Researches, by a professor of chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. These later researches tried to show many of the Odic phenomena to be of the same nature as those described previously by Franz Mesmer, and even long before Mesmer's time by Swedenborg.

Von Reichenbach hoped to develop a scientific proof for a universal life force, however his experiments relied on perceptions reported by individuals claimed to be psychically sensitive or psycho-kinetically adept. The "sensitives," young women recruited from the poorer social classes, worked in total or near-total darkness, and were forerunners of the Spirit Mediums who appeared all over Europe 10 years later, in the 1850s.

Reichenbach stated that through experimentation possibly 1/3 of the population could view the phenomenon, but far less otherwise. Author Sydney Billing claimed to have witnessed it, as well as colleagues who were medical doctors in England who viewed it through experimentation, and discussion on the subject matter continues into the present-day, with some claiming to be able to see it on sunny days with clear skies naturally.

Scientists have abandoned concepts such as Odic force. In western popular culture, the name is used similarly to qi or prana in reference to spiritual energies or vital force associated with living things. In Europe, Odic force has been mentioned in books on dowsing, for example.

One of the earliest to advocate the use of the stethoscope.

John Elliotson (1791 –1868) was an English physician.

Elliotson was one of the first teachers in London to appreciate the value of clinical lecturing, and one of the earliest among British physicians to advocate the employment of the stethoscope.

John Elliotson established a reputatiion early in his career as open to innovative ideas, insistent on empirical methods of research, and ready to experiment with new medical procedures that promised to benefit patients' health. In 1831, he was elected Professor of Physic in the new, secular London University, and helped transform it into the institution that continues to be known even now as University College London. An advocate of close ties between academic and clinical work, he became physician to University College Hospital in 1834.

He was a student of phrenology and mesmerism, but at the time both fields were vying for scientific authority. Elliotson hoped his development of mesmerism would lead to new therapeutic applications for medical science (and so also help score 'social reform' points against UCL's 'Tory' Rival, Kings). Elliotson tended to use working class, female subjects for mesmeric research and demonstration, often from Irish immigrant communities. This was not unusual, but was perhaps his downfall. Because the effects of mesmerism took place in the subjects mind, the scientific community had to believe their testimony. Elliotson tried using middle-class peers as subjects, but felt they brought with them an undesirable obtrusion of their own sense of identity and their expectations of the experiment would led them to censor their reports. In comparison, Elliotson, rather patronisingly to contemporary eyes, felt the poorer subjects were closer to the mechanical instruments or animals of physical or physiological experimental traditions. He famously claimed he could play the brain of his subjects as he would a piano. The same prejudices, however, made it easier to discount his work, especially as Elliotson's subjects proved to be slightly less passive than he had hoped.

His interest in mesmerism eventually brought him into collision with the materialist biases of the medical committee of the hospital, a circumstance which led him, in December 1838, to resign the offices held by him there and at the university.

Table Turning

Table Turning or "Table Tipping" is a type of séance in which participants sit around a table, place their hands on it, and wait for rotations. The table was purportedly made to serve as a means of communicating with the spirits; the alphabet would be slowly called over and the table would tilt at the appropriate letter, thus spelling out words and sentences.

When the movement of Modern Spiritualism first reached Europe from America in the winter of 1852–1853, the most popular method of consulting the spirits was for several persons to sit round a table, with their hands resting on it, and wait for the table to move. If the experiment was successful the table would rotate with considerable rapidity, and would occasionally rise in the air, or perform other movements.

In England table-turning became a fashionable diversion and was practised all over the country in the year 1853. Dr. John Elliotson and his followers attributed the phenomena to mesmerism.

The general public were content to find the explanation of the movements in spirits, animal magnetism, odic force, galvanism, electricity, or even the rotation of the earth.

William B. Carpenter, in 1852, wanted to show that a variety of currently popular phenomena had conventional scientific explanations rather than the widely believed supernatural ones. The phenomena he tackled included dowsing ("water witching"), the magic pendulum, certain aspects of mesmerism, spiritualists' "table turning," and Reichenbach's "Odylic force." Carpenter did not question the reality of the phenomena, nor the honesty of the people who were involved. He only disputed the explanation, arguing that, "All the phenomena of the 'biologized' state, when attentively examined, will be found to consist in the occupation of the mind by the ideas which have been suggested to it, and in the influence which these ideas exert upon the actions of the body." Thus Carpenter invoked ideomotor action as a nonparanormal explanation for various phenomena that were being credited to new physical forces, spiritual intervention, or other supernatural causes.

William James elaborated upon Carpenter's ideas, asserting that ideomotor activity was the basic process underlying all volitional behavior:
"Wherever a movement unhesitatingly and immediately follows upon the idea of it, we have ideomotor action. We are then aware of nothing between the conception and the execution. All sorts of neuromuscular responses come between, of course, but we know absolutely nothing of them. We think the act, and it is done; and that is all that introspection tells us of the matter."

Probably the first major scientist to become concerned about the mischief being created by ideomotor action, although he did not know the concept by this name, was the French chemist Michel Chevreul. Chevreul, who lived for one hundred three years, became interested in the experiments of some of his fellow chemists around the beginning of the nineteenth century. These colleagues were using what was known as "the exploring pendulum" to analyze chemical compounds.

As a budding scientist, Chevreul was intrigued, but he remained skeptical. He was surprised, however, to find that the pendulum worked as advertised when he tried it over a dish of mercury. He carried out more tests, however. To see if a physical force was responsible for the movement of the pendulum, he placed a glass plate between the iron ring and the mercury. To his surprise, the oscillations diminished and then stopped. When he removed the glass plate, the pendulum movements resumed. He next suspected that the pendulum moved because it was difficult to hold his arm steady. When he rested his arm on a support, the movements diminished but did not stop altogether.

Finally, Chevreul did what none of his predecessors had thought of doing. He conducted the equivalent of what we would call a double-blind trial. He blindfolded himself and then he had an assistant interpose or remove the glass plate between the pendulum and the mercury without his knowledge. Under these conditions, nothing happened. Chevreul concluded, "So long as I believed the movement possible, it took place; but after discovering the cause I could not reproduce it." His experiments with the pendulum show how easy it is "to mistake illusions for realities, whenever we are confronted by phenomena in which the human sense-organs are involved under conditions imperfectly analyzed." Chevreul used this principle of expectant attention to account for the phenomena of dowsing, movements of the exploring pendulum, and the then current fad among spiritualists, table-turning.

Chevreul was one of France's most prestigious scientists by the time he conducted these investigations.

The most publicized and carefully controlled study of table-turning was reported by Michael Faraday in 1853. Faraday obtained the cooperation of participants who he knew to be "very honorable" and who were also "successful table-movers." He found that the table would move in the expected direction, even when just one subject was seated at the table. Faraday first looked into the possibility that the movements were due to known forces such as electricity or magnetism. He showed that sandpaper, millboard, glue, glass, moist clay, tinfoil, cardboard, vulcanized rubber, and wood did not interfere with the table's movements. From these initial tests, he concluded that,
"No form of experiment or mode of observation that I could devise gave me the slightest indication of any peculiar force. No attraction, or repulsion . . . nor anything which could be referred to other than mere mechanical pressure exerted inadvertently by the turner."

By then, Faraday suspected that his sitters were unconsciously pushing the table in the desired direction. However, his sitters firmly maintained that they were not the source of the table movements. And, as already mentioned, Faraday was satisfied that his sitters were "very honorable." So he devised an ingenious arrangement to pin down the cause of the movement. He placed four or five pieces of slippery cardboard, one on top of the other, upon the table. The sheets were attached to one another by little pellets of a soft cement. The bottommost sheet was attached to a piece of sandpaper that rested against the table top. This stack of cardboard sheets was approximately the size of the table top with the topmost layer being slightly larger than the table top. The edge of each layer in this cardboard sandwich slightly overlapped the one below. To mark their original positions, Faraday drew a pencil line across these exposed concentric borders of the cardboard sheets, on their under surface. The stack of cardboard sheets was secured to the table top by large rubber bands which insured that when the table moved, the sheets would move with it. However, the bands allowed sufficient play to permit the individual sheets of cardboard to move somewhat independently of one another. The sitter then placed his hands upon the surface of the top cardboard layer and waited for the table to move in the direction previously agreed upon. Faraday reasoned that if the table moved to the left, and the source of the movement was the table and not the sitter, the table would move first and drag the successive layers of cardboard along with it, sequentially, from bottom to top, but with a slight lag. If this were the case, the displaced pencil marks would reveal a staggered line sloping outwards from the left to the right. On the other hand, if the sitter was unwittingly moving the table, then his hands would push the top cardboard to the left and the remaining cardboards and the table would be dragged along successively, from top to bottom. This would result in displacement of the pencil marks in a staggered line sloping from right to left. Faraday observed that,
"It was easy to see by displacement of the parts of the line that the hand had moved further from the table, and that the latter had lagged behind -- that the hand, in fact, had pushed the upper card to the left and that the under cards and the table had followed and been dragged by it."

Faraday's report was sufficient to convince most scientists that table-turning and related phenomena did not stem from new physical forces or occult powers. Unfortunately, it inadvertently had the opposite effect upon a few prominent scientists such as Alfred Russel Wallace, the cofounder with Darwin of the theory of evolution by natural selection. He seized upon the differences between the table's behavior in Faraday's experiment and what he had witnessed to assert that what Faraday had explained and what Wallace had experienced were not the same thing.

The most striking, and saddest, example of loopholism is the story of the eminent American chemist, Robert Hare. Hare was professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania when he became involved with table-turning in 1853, at age 72. Hare firmly rejected the possibility that some exotic force could produce movement of wooden tables. He wrote,
"I recommend to your attention, and that of others interested in this hallucination, Faraday's observations and experiments, recently published in some of our respectable newspapers. I entirely concur in the conclusions of that distinguished expounder of Nature's riddles."

Invited to attend a table-turning session, Hare went. Hare attended a "circle" at a private house. He wrote of the experience and became interested in spirit communication.

Hare created a device "which, if spirits were actually concerned in the phenomena, would enable them to manifest their physical and intellectual power independently of control by any medium." The Spiritscope, as he called it, consisted of a pasteboard disk slightly larger than a foot in diameter. Around its circumference he attached the letters of the alphabet in a haphazard order. An arrow that swivelled at the center of the disk was used to select letters one at a time by pointing toward them.

Hare carried out several experiments. Apparently he never fully understood the key aspect of Faraday's results -- that honest, intelligent people can unconsciously engage in muscular activity that is consistent with their expectations. Although the medium sitting opposite him could not see the letters or the index on the disk, she was looking directly at Hare as he was observing the behavior of the index. We now know from many other investigations of ideomotor action -- such as Oskar Pfungst's classic investigation of the allegedly intelligent horse, Clever Hans [] -- that people frequently give clues about what they are thinking or observing without realizing it. These subtle clues can guide the behavior of other individuals -- or even animals. Sometimes these individuals consciously detect these clues and use them to deceive, but frequently the person being guided by the clues is just as unconscious of them as is the individual providing them.

Hare eventually found he could work alone, without the help of mediums, and still get meaningful communications from his Spiritscope. He had no inkling that he could be source of the messages being spelled out on his Spiritscope. Hare's example shows again that intelligence, professional accomplishment, and personal integrity offer no automatic protection against wishful thinking and self-delusion. Hare's Spiritscope served as the model for the later commercial development of the Ouija board -- another striking example of the power of ideomotor action.

Table tilting - a practical guide.

Clever Hans effect

Oskar Pfungst (1874-1933) was a German comparative biologist and psychologist. While working as a volunteer assistant in the laboratory of Carl Stumpf in Berlin, Pfungst was asked to investigate the horse known as Clever Hans, who could apparently solved a wide array of arithmetic problems set to it by its owner.
After formal investigation in 1907, Pfungst demonstrated that the horse was not actually performing intellectual tasks, but was watching the reaction of his human observers. Pfungst discovered this artifact in the research methodology, wherein the horse was responding directly to involuntary clues in the body language of the human trainer, who had the faculties to solve each problem. The trainer was entirely unaware that he was providing such cues.
In honour of Pfungst's study, the anomalous artifact has since been referred to as the Clever Hans effect and has continued to be important knowledge in the observer effect and later studies in animal cognition.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Hypnotism, It's History, Practice and Theory,"

John Milne Bramwell (1852 – 1925) was a Scottish physician and author, born at Perth, and educated at the University of Edinburgh.
He collected the works of James Braid the founder of hypnotism and helped to revive and maintain Braid's legacy in Great Britain. He studied hypnotism thoroughly, including that employed in France at Paris and Nancy. He was himself renowned a practitioner of hypnotherapy.
Bramwell is best remembered for his classic text, "Hypnotism, It's History, Practice and Theory," which even to the present day remains one of the finest books ever written on hypnotism.
“Although Braid believed that hypnotic suggestion was a valuable remedy in functional nervous disorders, he did not regard it as a rival to other forms of treatment, nor wish in any way to separate its practice from that of medicine in general. He held that whoever talked of a "universal remedy" was either a fool or a knave: similar diseases often arose from opposite pathological conditions, and the treatment ought to be varied accordingly. He objected being called a hypnotist; he was, he said, no more a "hypnotic" than a "castor-oil" doctor.” — John Milne Bramwell

Using a disk to rivet the attention.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Prof. John D. Quackenbos Would Regenerate the Human Race
Crime and Disease Succumb to the Treatment – Working of the Cure – Illegitimate Hypnosis
Hypnotism as a means of reforming criminals and of removing crime and moral obliquity from this terraqueous sphere is the latest theory which advanced science has to offer. The originator of this idea for applying hypnotism for the wholesale regeneration of the human race is Prof. John D. Quackenbos of Columbia University, who for the past year has been conducting experiments. Prof. Quackenbos says he has cured by this means stammering, drug and alcoholic addictions, moral perversions, and excessive cigarette smoking.
“My claim in this matter", said Dr Quackenbos yesterday, “is that this cure by hypnosis can be carried into prisons and other such institutions, and even into the slums. For a year I have been experimenting along this line of hypnotic cure at the Newsboys’ Home and elsewhere, and it is a fact that of the fifteen or more cases which I have treated I have found them all to be entirely successful. In fact, I have not once failed.

“My idea now is to get some induction to see how far it can be demonstrated that one can apply hypnotism to the treatment of all crime. In other words I want to ascertain for a certainty whether it is feasible to apply the treatment to inmates of institutions and prisons. Nobody who is at all familiar, with the subject doubts that it can be done in special cases, but my idea is to see how far it is practicable in all cases.

“I first saw a practical application of hypnotism as a cure in the Academy of Medicine about six years ago, but it was only for a limited purpose. Later the matter was further brought to my attention-in fact, certain physicians in this city have for some time used hypnosis, especially in the treatment of nervous diseases. Then I discovered that I possessed the power to hypnotize, and I decided to try it. The most satisfactory results are obtained where the patient is old enough to realize, not only the significance and purpose of the treatment, but also is possessed of the desire to be made better.
“My chief difficulty thus far has been in getting a sufficient number of cases due to all kinds of opposition, including ecclesiastical. In one case I was told by a matron who was in charge of about 100 or 200 patients that my suggested hypnotic cure was not for an instant to be thought of. Yet in the very next breath she admitted that several of the cases were being treated by Christian Scientists.
“Not only is hypnotism, properly used, a great force for moral reform, but it will also elevate the intelligence. When the hypnotist-physician gets a patient under his control the patient is for the time being part of himself. He has, in short, lost his own will, and has to act and think as the hypnotist suggests and the result is that if elevated ideals and thoughts are presented to the subject he will be elevated accordingly; while if low and debased thoughts are suggested the patient will in proportion be lowered and debased.
“Here I want to speak of legitimate and, If I may use the word, illegitimate hypnotic treatment. I actually believe that a great deal of this illegitimate hypnotic treatment is resorted to in this city, with the result that to me, it seems that people so influenced are induced to leave their money and property in fact just as the hypnotist desires and influences. I believe that persons have been hypnotized and made to steal; indeed, one of our Police Captains told me some time ago that he had such a case.
“Then, too, take the case of those who are hypnotized for purposes of exhibition. A person so repeatedly hypnotized is very seriously injured mentally. That, of course, I consider criminal. But no possible harm can come to a mind put under the influence of a reputable physician, say four or five times. I would suggest therefore, in view of this illegitimate hypnotism, that the power to hypnotize be placed only in the hands of reputable physicians.
“Reputable physicians in Europe as well as in America are reporting cases by the thousands in which hypnotism has acted as a palliative or cure. These cases include not only functional nervous diseases, but also diseases in which the pain is a prominent symptom. The nervous symptoms are controlled, cured by the establishment of functional harmony through the power of suggestion.
“Let me explain to you from the medical standpoint, the working of the hypnotic cure. The phenomena of hypnotism are scientifically explicable on the supposition of a double ego, a duplex personality, implying two distinct states of consciousness – one called the primary consciousness, involving the mind’s recognition of its own acts; the other, called the secondary consciousness, holding those mental processes and procedures of which we have no knowledge. (Note: Thomas Troward and others used the term Subjective and Objective minds) That is, each human being is one individual with two distinct phases of existence. Now, it is this secondary consciousness that is amenable to in hypnosis to what is called suggestion or the insinuation of a belief, impulse, or image into the mind of the subject by emphatic declaration.
“Both a Christian Science healer and a hypnotist seek to alleviate pain by arousing in the subject the idea that it does not exist, and each obtains control of the secondary consciousness to effect his purpose. In ordinary hypnosis there are two distinct conditions: lethargy, or the inactive stage, and somnambulism, or the alert stage. The first is a condition of deep sleep, the second one of exalted mind power and increased physical activity, in which the subject lives an unreal live that he remembers nothing after awaking. But his subliminal self unhesitatingly accepts, in either of these stages, every emphatic statement or direction of the hypnotist, no matter how it may conflict with stereotyped convictions and every-day experience. Suggestions for post-hypnotic fulfillment are even carried out to the letter, sometimes for months after the treatment.
“ I keep my patients under hypnotic control for about fifteen or twenty minutes each time, and I have found that if the treatment is repeated three times in most cases, at intervals of four days to week, the required results are produced – certainly after a fourth time. I once cured a thief eighteen years old. When I first put him under my influence I gave him the suggestion that he should steal no more and that he lived in a country where honesty not only prevailed, but was rewarded by promotion. In short, I put a promising future before his mind, basing that future on hos honesty. I not only cured him as a thief, but when he came to see me, saying that he no longer had any temptation to steal, he had an open, frank countenance.
“Another case I cured by hypnotism was that of a confirmed cigarette smoker twenty years old, whose heart was pitching around in an awful way and who was generally a wreck. In a very short time I had him entirely cured, the first week reducing him from twenty cigarettes a day to four a day for the whole week. Another case I cured was that of a young fellow who stammered. I simply put him under my influence, told him that his stammering was hurting him in his business, and that I wanted him to stop.
“I am now trying to make arrangements with the management of the New York Juvenile Asylum to get some boys and girls with whom to experiment. As fear may be expressed by some people that these experiments may do the subject harm, I may say that they certainly will not do them any mental harm, and, as for harm otherwise, you can’t make them any worse than they are. In all my experiments I never try to get my subjects into a somnambulistic state, for the reason that it is not necessary for the accomplishment of my purpose, and is verging on dangerous ground.”
Originally published April 30 1899