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Dr Martin T. Orne - The Potential Uses of Hypnosis in Interrogation



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

From Psychic Warfare (Threat or Illusion) By Martin Ebon

The crucial question is whether hypnosis/telepathy can influence men or women who are unaware of being targets. Many cases have been reported, similar to Platonov's mental influence on the subject M., which seem to prove that the subject can be hypnotized while unaware of the experiment.

On the other hand, a U.S. authority on hypnosis, Martin T. Orne, M.D., Director of the Philadelphia Hospital's Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, maintains that the subject must have a conscious or unconscious desire to participate in the hypnosis session if results are to be satisfactory.

In a paper on "The Potential Uses of Hypnosis in Interrogation," Orne noted that hypnosis has gained the reputation of an "almost magical means of influencing others, curative, mystical, bordering on the supernatural." He addressed himself specifically to the problem of using hypnosis in interrogation - which could include use by the police, on captured espionage agents, on soldiers captured in warfare - and noted that "the initial problem in utilizing hypnosis for interrogation is to induce trance." Dr. Orne added:

"It is to be expected that if the subject wishes to withhold information, he will not wish to enter hypnosis. Therefore, hypnosis must either be induced against the subject's will or without his awareness. A common conception of hypnosis holds that it may be induced without any prior relationship between subject and hypnotist and regardless of the subject's need in the situation, with only the hypnotist suddenly gazing at his victim and commanding him to fall asleep. A motivational view of hypnosis would hold that trance induction depends upon the subject's needs of the moment and his expectation that the hypnotic relationship is to fulfill them. "

Basing his views on personal experiences as a hypnotist, and drawing on the fairly extensive literature on the subject, Dr. Orne concluded that, "despite many apparent indications that hypnosis can be induced without the subject's knowledge or consent, all these situations seem to depend upon a positive relationship between subject and hypnotist."

 That conclusion contrasts with Platonov's observation that he was able to induce hypnotic sleep while his subject was quite unaware of his attempt.

The source of the experience

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