Exploitation of Hypnotism
MANY who dabble in hypnotism consider it a harmless toy. And there are a number among those who take hypnotism seriously, teaching or using it in their profession, that insist that hypnotism cannot be used for criminal purposes. However, in one of the latest works on the subject the author, A. Salter, states: “I find myself in agreement with Rowland, Wells, and Brennan that appropriate procedures, which need not necessarily be subtle, can make hypnotized persons perform antisocial acts, even to the extent of criminally harming themselves or others.”—What Is Hypnosis?
Pertinent in this connection is the item that appeared in the New York Daily News, June 5, 1955, headed “Grand Jury to Probe Hypnotic Rape Rap.” It told how “Jesse Overton, Jr., 25, a scholarly-looking TV repairman was held for grand jury action today, charged with having used occult powers to hypnotize and rape the pregnant 17-year-old wife of a friend. Bail was set at $300. The alleged victim, mother of a 4-month-old baby, told police she remembered nothing of the purported rape until the day after it happened. She recalled the incident, she said, only after her husband, who had learned how from Overton, hypnotized her and broke her ‘mental block.’” Overton admitted to the police having had relations but claimed that it was not the first intimacy. The girl denied this.
Truly hypnotism does represent a menace when it can be used by a man to ravish a woman and she never know about it, and it is a twofold snare in that it places an innocent person in a position to be thus harmed and it places the temptation in the path of the one possessing such power. Fitting here are the words of the disciple James: “This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is the earthly, animal, demonic. But the wisdom from above is first of all chaste, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, not making partial distinctions, not hypocritical.”—Jas. 3:15, 17, NW.