Vasiliev, Professor L L - Experiments in mental suggestion – Thirteen Experiments in telepathy with ‘I M’
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Experiments in mental suggestion – Professor L L Vasiliev
Systematic experiments were carried out with the second subject, I. M. who came to the laboratory for treatment by means of hypnotherapy. The usual procedure was as follows. The subject, sitting in a comfortable chair, was put under hypnosis by means of mental suggestion. The trance was not deep, there was no exclusive rapport with the experimenter, and post-hypnotic hypnosis was only partial. After a number of verbal suggestions of a psychotherapeutic nature the experimenter (Vasiliev) moved away from the subject to a distance of 4 to 5 m, asking her to sleep quietly until he returned.
Sitting down at her side but facing her the experimenter, after a lapse of a few minutes, proceeded with the experiments of mental suggestion without giving any verbal (spoken) instructions. After completion of the experiment the subject was brought out of her hypnotic condition by means of verbal suggestion and, when awake, she was questioned. This questioning usually showed that the patient did not remember the tasks suggested mentally, although she was aware of them in the hypnotised state.
Here are the brief reports of all the experiments, without exception, carried out with the subject I. M. in the summer, in the evening.
Experiment 1.19/6/1937.Task: "Raise the left arm." After 10 to 15 seconds the subject vehemently raises the left arm above the arm of the chair on which it had previously been resting for a long time. The arm stays for some time in the raised position and is then lowered.
Experiment 2.Same date. Task "Raise your left leg." After 10 to 15 seconds the subject impetuously puts forward the left leg without taking it off the floor. No other movements were noticed.
Experiment 3. Same date. Task "Raise your right leg." The subject leans forward and tries to get up, but does not succeed in doing so. She is induced by means of verbal suggestion to resume her former quiet position.
Experiment 4. Same date. Task "Raise your right arm." After 10 to 20 seconds the subject, by a sudden jerky movement, takes her right arm off the arm of the chair and holds it up in the air for some time. Then does the same with the left arm (not suggested).
Experiment 5.26/6/1937. Task "Raise your right arm" (previously lying on her lap). After 5 to 10 seconds the subject by a jerky movement slightly raises her right arm and then makes a similar movement also with the left arm, but more weakly and slowly, as though undecidedly.
Experiment 6. Same date. Task: "Raise your left leg." The suggestion is made for several minutes but the subject does not respond. She makes no other movement either.
Experiment 7, Same date. Several minutes before the experiment the subject had spontaneously put the fingers of both hands together, folded her hands and put them in her lap. Task "separate your hands." After 10 to 12 seconds the subject, as though overcoming some resistance, carries out the instruction by separating her hands and putting them alongside her body.
Experiment 8. Same date. Task "Raise your right arm." The mental suggestion lasted several minutes but met with no response. Eventually the subject stretched out her left hand and made her hand into a fist (not suggested).
Experiment 9. Same date. Task: "Stand up." Mental suggestion lasting for 2 minutes without effect. The experimenter then approached the subject, put his hand in which there was an unlighted cigarette over her head and asked: "'What am I holding over your head?" The answer: 'A bunch of flowers.” Thereupon the subject suddenly stands up and takes a few steps. This may possibly have been a delayed compliance with the previous suggestion "stand up.”
Experiment 10. 1/8/1937. Task "Raise your left arm." Within 10 or 20 seconds the subject raises both arms and makes gestures as though chasing away some flies (none in the room).
Experiment 11. Same date. The subject is squeezing the arm of her chair with her left hand. Task "Let go the arm of the chair and raise your right arm.” The task was carried out in 5 or 6 seconds. The arm was raised, left in the air as if frozen there, and then slowly lowered again.
Experiment 12. Same date. Task "Raise your left arm." (This arm was hidden by her body from the experimenter who was sitting at the subject's other side.) The task was carried out almost instantaneously.
Experiment 13. Same date. Task "Raise your left arm" (same task). The mental suggestion was continued for 2 minutes but the subject did not comply.
Thus, out of 13 tasks, 6 may be considered to have been carried out with complete accuracy, 3 leave room for various doubts, and 4 were not carried out at all. After the summer vacation hypnotic sittings were resumed in October.