Last night, Michael and I watched a movie. THE HYPNOTIC EYE. 1960 hypno-horror ridiculousness. On the one hand, it is (unintentionally) hilarious–beyond ridiculous, to anyone who understands what hypnosis is and how it works. On the other hand, it is quite disturbing that this movie helped shape beliefs about hypnosis to minds of the 60’s and beyond!
This movie features sadistic, evil, murdering hypnotists! Not just one, but TWO evil hypnotists. Stage hypnotists. Working together on the unsuspecting public to torture and maim. Nice! (NOT!) The male hypnotist also had his hypno-seduction thing going on, too.
Visually, the movie was stunning, and evocative. Black and white. And not just black in color, I think they call it “film noir.” Nice spooky soundtrack.
Hollywood and popular culture sure like to malign hypnosis and hypnotists. It’s not just movies of the 60’s, swirling with hypnowheels and blinking electronics, men with dark, evil eyes and even evil-er intent, and swooning, helpless women. That mystique continues today in popular culture, movies, television. A mystique of fear, and darkness, mind control, and nasty intent. A recent episode of “The Mentalist” (massively popular US television show) featured an evil, murdering hypnotist as well. Also, thieving!
Of course, people who truly feel that hypnosis is dark and dangerous don’t come into my world. They aren’t coming to me for help. So, I really don’t know how prevalent this myth-bound attitude is. When I teach my courses at Bellevue College and with my own school, Mindworks NLP, and even one on one with clients, I ferret out these fear beliefs and counter with what I know is true. And clients and students experience that truth!
Hypnosis is a healing art. It’s natural, and positive. It’s one of the most natural and positive forces in the universe, and it’s not something “being done” to someone else. It’s what we can do inside ourselves and for ourselves. It’s a GOOD thing. Powerful, positive, healing, expanding, beautiful. Natural. We all go in and out of hypnosis every day. Reading, daydreaming, playing on the computer, writing, watching TV, just THINKING, it’s all hypnosis. I’ve always been a thinker, one prone to daytime dreaming, so I’ve always been a hypnotist. You are one, too. I have a hypnosis friend named Skip. He says we’re in a hypnotic state 24/7, only trading one trance for another. I like that idea, too!
So, while these movies and shows are surely entertaining, and might be “fun,” please take it with a grain or two or thousand grains of skepticism when you see, hear, or read in popular culture about all the evil hypnotists and their evil mind control power. Maybe it helps sell movies, but it ain’t reality.