“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men…”
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.
Heavenly Father, I know that there are enough negative influences in the world without exposing myself to more dangers. I pray that You would help me to be more discerning of the influences around me and better able to wisely evaluate them in light of Your Word. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
“Memories are made of this.” Science News, Vol. 124, p. 248. Photo: Professor Charcot of Paris demonstrates hypnosis on a patient.