When the thought occurred to the author during the
winter of 1898-99 to test the availability of hypnotic suggestion as a means of
removing criminal impulses and substituting conscience-sensitiveness for moral anesthesia
among young criminals and castaways, he was convinced that the results of his investigations
would possess deep interest for the men and women of his profession, and he
purposed publishing them, together with his conclusions, in the form of a
medical monograph. But he was wholly unprepared for the sensation that has been
excited throughout this country and in Europe by the premature birth of his
report in the columns of the daily press. The demand for full and authentic
information regarding hypnotic suggestion, which has suddenly become
appreciated as a great moralizing power at its true worth and with an
intelligent reference to the wide range of its applications, explains the
appearance of the present volume.
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