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morgan Posted - 12/23/2008 : 1:58:59 PM

I am new to this forum and certainly not a professional. I have another question on possible cult hypnosis. I have read the other threads here and realize that this is not the place to ask about interventions and such, and I'm not in a position to intervene anyway. My question is simply the feasibilty of hypnosis being a factor in the following situation. Every year, I go to Burning Man. As some of you may know, that is a huge festival out in the NV desert and typically, being a function that attracts artists and counter culture types, there is some drug use and there are a lot of "cults" represented. One of these cults tends to pick up a lot of stray unhappy young girls. One of these girls who I talked to at a recent BM event seemed perfectly sober, but had trouble remembering her parents, her career, or her life before entering this cult. I believe these women are subjected to abuse, but I cannot account for the fact that they (more than one) seem to have a problem processing information that does not relate to the present tense. They all have nick names and it would seem to me that they are encouraged to not remember anything about their real lives, but is it actually possible to make them forget it?
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patrickg Posted - 12/24/2008 : 12:54:36 AM
Sorry I was MIA during the convo. Winter storms here and keep losing electricity.

I do not know first-hand, but I imagine it would be similar to working with someone on a repressed type of memory. The person would, first, WANT to address it. Then some work would begin on reintegrating their past experience. I do not see any reason it would be traumatic if done professionally.

IMHO brainwashing would be different than hypnosis in that in hypnosis, the hypnotee is a active participant in the process with the intention that the process is in their best interest. In brainwashing, little to no regard is given to the person's personal best interest. And, as mentioned, the most prolific users of 'brainwashing' are religions and the military.
HypnoDoc Posted - 12/23/2008 : 3:56:37 PM
It is my understanding that the professionals who pull these types of victims out of cults and attempt to rejoin them with their past lives use the same type of brainwashing to reverse the effects. This would be better discussed in a brainwashing / intervention forum somewhere.

My experience has been that the most successful Hypnosis sessions are the ones that reach some emotional peak (to the point of crying and tears) prior to the suggestions portion of the session. I believe most all brainwashing techniques are rooted in bringing the subject into a highly emotion state as well. That may be the only similarity - but here again this is a Hypnosis forum and unless someone here has studied brainwashing I don't know that we are going to be of much more help.
morgan Posted - 12/23/2008 : 3:29:11 PM
i think i understand the difference between that and a clinical environment. still, the question remains, how would someone versed in hypnosis, go about helping someone with this kind of trauma remember their past?
morgan Posted - 12/23/2008 : 3:24:43 PM
nevermind, i looked it up in wikopedia. brainwashing involves:
dehumanizing of individuals
sleep deprivation
partial sensory deprivation
psychological harassment
inculcation of guilt
group social pressure
morgan Posted - 12/23/2008 : 3:18:51 PM
if you're going to convince someone to forget their past, in other words, are the techniques of brainwashing any different than those of hypnosis, other than to say that one is used for manipulation and the other for healing and health?
morgan Posted - 12/23/2008 : 3:16:35 PM
Apologies. How, specifically, do the two things differ? I mean no insult by this -- remember that I am a complete layman. I'm just confused. Granted that brainwashing is something that is harmful, rather than helpful, but do the people who brainwash other people use the same techniques? Does it deal with a different state of the brain? How, clinically (not morally) are the two things different?
HypnoDoc Posted - 12/23/2008 : 3:07:32 PM
this woman was somehow hypnotized into not remembering

Brainwashing is a tool used by many cults for years. This type of "training" is also used in the military, religion and even some corporate workplaces. This is not Hypnosis. If you are looking for a label to put on this unfortunate situation then use brainwashing - not hypnosis.
morgan Posted - 12/23/2008 : 3:01:12 PM
Again, I'm not going to confront anyone or intervene in any way, as all of these people are over age and I am not any kind of professional. My questions are purely for knowledge
morgan Posted - 12/23/2008 : 2:55:13 PM
Thank You Patrick,

So, if I understand correctly, these women (or this particular one) may (hypothetically) have memories dimmed by the cult placing an emphasis on dissolving the emotional importance they might have had and the amount of time spent thinking about them. That seems logical, although I must say, the memories seemed more than just dim. She could not remember her mother's name. Seems odd, yes? Again, she seemed sober in all other respects. She could speak coherently about what she'd done over the past few days and drivel on about the cult of this that blah blah blah.

I have seen before that you have posted that, in order to make someone more receptive to suggestion (forgive me if I summarize this poorly) that 3 things are required 1)Authority Figure -- which this cult has, 2) Repetion -- which is probably what happens when they're all together somewhere 3)Emotion -- which I believe is fueled by a sexual abuse/competitive environment between the women.

If we were to assume (and keep in mind that I don't actually know) that this woman was somehow hypnotized into not remembering her family, friends, or career, do you think it would be traumatic for someone to confront her and force her to remember?
patrickg Posted - 12/23/2008 : 2:09:42 PM

Memories become more dim a few ways...
Less emotional association
Less visiting (repetition) of the memory
Less authority figure presence of the memory (sort of a blend with emotional association)

If a person is influenced in such a way that addresses their past memories with the things listed above, the memories can become more a more dim. Drug use can also intentionally affect and "help" this process.

people you knew in grade school - some faces you'll remember more clearly than others. The more emotional connection and repetition of exposure, the more vivid the memory. The opposite is also true.

Now, if you have a vivid memory and work repetitively and work to reduce the emotional connection, you can potentially 'undo' previous memories.

This is not a consistent or reliable process. But the people that it did work on would be the ones you would be meeting. If it didn't work, they would leave the cult.

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