Compiled by John Henry
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." (Mark 12:30)
Mesmerism was an 18th century movement begun in France by the Austrian doctor Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), who believed that astrological influence on humans was conveyed through a force or substance similar to magnetism. He first began treating patients with magnets or charged fluids but quickly modified his position, theorizing that cures were actually coming from an energy or mysterious “magnetic fluid” coming from the hands, voice, or nervous system of the practitioner. This invisible substance or magnetism was thought to be similar to electro-magnetism and was dubbed “Animal Magnetism.” Mesmer’s pupils were later able to induce a “magnetic sleep” (trance state or hypnotic condition) in their patients. The term Mesmerism eventually became analogous with hypnosis and was linked with both Spiritualism and Mind Science religions.
Hypnosis has long been linked to ancient religious practices and eastern mystical experiences involving similar trance states or altered states of consciousness. Such altered states are essential to such practices as out-of-body experiences, astral projection, and Yoga. William Kroger, M.D. and William Fezler Ph.D. maintain that, "hypnosis has been practiced in one form or another in the civilized and uncivilized world under many different labels since the dawn of history." They further note that historically elements of hypnosis have been an integral part of pagan religious practices and world religions including Assyro-Babylonian exorcism, Egyptian soothsaying, Jewish mysticism, Byzantine Catholicism, Chinese Taoism, Sufism, Hinduism, Shintoism, forms of Buddhism (Tibetan and Zen), and Yoga (Hypnosis and Behavior Modification, pp. 6-8).
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D. gives us this advice in his article entitled, The Dangers of Hypnosis : "Hypnotism ... opens the mind to believe almost anything. As one researcher put it, 'hypnotic induction ... consists of a system of verbal and nonverbal manipulation to lead a person into a heightened state of suggestibility -- more simply, a condition in which one will believe almost anything.' [Hypnosis And The Christian; by Martin & Deidre Bogan; Bethany House; p17] That statement should alarm you because in essence it is saying that a person who is hypnotized can be told a lie and believe it. But does this really happen? The answer is yes. Bernard Diamond, a professor of law and clinical professor of psychiatry wrote in an article for the California Law Review that people who underwent hypnotism would 'graft onto their memories fantasies or suggestions deliberately or unwittingly communicated by the hypnotist and that after hypnosis the subject cannot differentiate between a true recollection and a fantasy or a suggested detail.' [California Law Review, March 1980; Article: Inherent Problems in the Use of Pretrial Hypnosis on a Prospective Witness; by Bernard L. Diamond; p 314] ... Hypnosis is dangerous because the mind loses its ability to distinguish between fact and fantasy (truth and error). ... Satan can and does take advantage of the opportunity. Let me give you one example. Over a five year period, in the late 70's and early 80's, a massive study was done of more than 6,000 people who had undergone hypnosis. It was discovered that one-fifth of those people who had been hypnotized said that they had lived previous lives on other planets! That is bizarre to say the least! But let me tell you about some other experiments. According to one of Peter Francuch experiments 'The person [who was hypnotized] was able very precisely to describe in minute detail what was happening in another friend's house 300 miles away. At the same time, the person was able to describe exactly what was happening a month ago, a year ago, and ten years ago in the same place ...' [Principles of Spiritual Hypnosis; by Peter Francuch; Spiritual Advisor Press, 1981; 924] One might ask, 'How is that possible?' My answer is by demonic contact! One New Age author puts it this way -- 'Hypnosis can be an open door to psychic experiences of many kinds, and in an emotionally unstable, insecure, or neurotic person the possibility of obsession or psychic invasion of one kind or another is always present...' [Many Lives, Many Loves by Gina Cerminara; Wm Morrow and Company, 1963; p. 83] It only takes a brief look at Acts 16:16-18 to discover the source of psychic powers. Hypnosis is dangerous. At the least, it hinders one's ability to discern the difference between real memories and suggested/engrafted memories. Even more dangerous is the fact that hypnosis opens the 'heart's door' (mind) to demonic invasion. If you have not been hypnotized, don't be. If you have been hypnotized I suggest that you renounce your association with the practice by praying -- Dear Lord, I come to you in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. I confess that I have participated in Hypnotism. I ask your forgiveness and renounce hypnotism as contrary to the Bible which warns me not to be brought under any power other than yours (I Corinthians 6:12). I identify myself as a child of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who has been redeemed by His (Christ's) precious blood. Amen."
"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD ..." (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
In their book The Bible and Hypnosis Martin and Deidre Bobgan write: "Because of the apparent occult nature of hypnosis (which is more obvious in the deeper stages) and because hypnosis is practiced by many who involve themselves in other areas of the occult, Christians would be wise to avoid hypnosis even for medical purposes. The words from the Old Testament which are translated charmers and enchanters seem to indicate the same kinds of persons whom we now call hypnotherapists. Dave Hunt, author ... and researcher in the area of the occult as well as the cults, says: 'From the Biblical standpoint, I believe that in such places as Deuteronomy 18, when it speaks of "charmers” and “enchanters,” the practice involved anciently was exactly what has recently become acceptable in medicine and psychiatry as hypnosis. I believe this both from the ancient usage of this word and from occult traditions.' [Dave Hunt, personal letter to Walter Martin, January 13, 1982, p. 5.] ... There is general agreement that hypnotized individuals are somewhat vulnerable to uncritically accepting as true any suggestion given by the hypnotist. This factor alone creates the potential for misuse and deception. Some Christian researchers go a step further warning that it is possible for hypnotized subjects to be influenced by voices other than that of the hypnotist. They believe that in a trance state one is more susceptible to demonic oppression or even possession especially if the subject has a history of occult experimentation . Hypnosis can be indirectly linked to biblical admonitions against 'charming.' It is historically linked to pagan and occult practices. ... Just because hypnosis has surfaced in medicine does not mean that it is different from the ancient practices of charmers and enchanters or from those which have been used more recently by witchdoctors and occult hypnotists. John Weldon and Zola Levitt say that even “a strictly scientific approach toward occult phenomena is insufficient protection against demonism. The judgment of God does not distinguish between scientific and nonscientific involvement with powers alien to Him. [John Weldon and Zola Levitt, Psychic Healing, Chicago: Moody Press, 1982, p. 10.] In various sections of Scripture, occult practices are listed side by side, because although one activity may differ from the next, the power source and the revealer of 'hidden knowledge' is the same: Satan. Enchanters, sorcerers, wizards, charmers, consulters of familiar spirits, necromancers, soothsayers, and observers of times (astrologers) are grouped together as those to avoid. See Lev. 19:26, 31, and 20:6, 27; Deut. 18:9-14; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chron. 33:6; Isa. 47:9-13; Jer. 27:9. A singular word for those practicing the occult is used in the New Testament: sorcerer."
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many ..." (Hebrews 9:27-28)
"Another form of Hypnotherapy involves the discovery of forgotten or repressed memories. Just as a hypnotist can effectively suggest that the subject "forget" events that take place during the trance, he can also elicit memories or details of events long forgotten by the conscious mind. Critics warn that these "recovered memories" may not correspond with reality. The phenomenon is too similar to the testimonies of those who are able to "remember" through hypnosis being abducted by aliens on a UFO or to those who recount vivid memories of reincarnation after being regressed back to some alleged previous lifetime (John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, pp. 334-335). Many of the early myths of hypnosis have been disproved and the medical and mental healthcare communities have generally accepted the practice. Many Christians, however, remain troubled by its occult history, the lack of a scientific consensus on how or why hypnosis works, the potential of unethical influence, and its possible link to biblical prohibitions against "charming" or "enchanting" (Ibid., pp. 309-310)." (From Watchman Fellowship Profile on Hypnosis by James K. Walker)
The following concerning hypnosis and reincarnation is from Dave Hunt's book Occult Invasion : "There are the studies of clinical psychologist Helen Wambach. She hypnotically regressed hundreds of subjects into "past lives" and found them to be more than 99 percent accurate in descriptions of life and surroundings. Hypnosis, however, involves a highly suggestible state in which one is controlled by the hypnotist. It is entirely reasonable to believe that a demon would take advantage of this passive state to interject its influence as well. Hypnosis is one of the oldest occult practices. No one should ever submit to hypnosis."
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." (1 Timothy 4:1)
Hypnosis is an occult practice and is condemned strongly in Scripture. No person, let alone a born again believer, should relinquish the soul liberty that God gave them to anyone except their Creator. Doing so opens one up not only to the hypnotist, but to devils. Dave Hunt has pointed out that Nobel prize winning neurophysiologist Sir John Eccles described the human brain as "a machine that a ghost can operate."
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)