Dissolving the Magic of Hypnosis
At Creation Moments, we are often asked about the safety of hypnosis. Some law enforcement agencies regularly make use of hypnosis. It has been widely believed that hypnosis helps people remember details about an incident that they don’t naturally remember. Some judges even accept memories said to be enhanced by hypnosis as evidence in court. However, the claims made for the powers of hypnosis have seldom been tested scientifically. This led researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario to test whether hypnosis enhances memories or actually creates memories.
The researchers showed test subjects sixty drawings of common objects and then asked them to remember as many as possible. Those who were hypnotized remembered only slightly more of the pictures. At the same time, they made three times as many mistakes as the unhypnotized subjects in “remembering” pictures they never saw. Scientists also found that people most susceptible to hypnosis were most likely to report false memories. They concluded that hypnosis appears to trick the mind into recognizing unreal “realities.”
Christians are wise to avoid hypnosis. Its dubious claims of benefits are not supported by science. Worse, hypnosis appears to leave the mind open to influences that can be harmful.