I was giving a lecture at the conference. The title of my talk was
"Ethics and Covert Inductions. You did very well, now time to wake up!"
I thought the title of my lecture was appropriately funny. Standing at the lectern, I looked out over the room. There were maybe 100 people in attendance. I motioned for the lights to be turned down and the murmuring in the audience began to subside. "Greetings everyone. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Lydia Salia. I'm 25 and am considered a master hypnotist by friends and colleagues. I only recently began to take a more professional interest in hypnosis. Before now I used hypnosis for my own personal fun, pleasure, and glory. Yes, glory. Hypnotic subjugation of others. I was addicted to this control for a time. I was, if not a succubus in name, a succubus by my actions. I still dabble, but I have released all my previous thralls. Now does that mean I won’t take on some new ones? That is for me to know and you never to find out.”
I was invited here to speak and share some rather unique perspective on techniques to magnify the power of hypnosis. Most of you are clinical hypnotherapists. That is all fine and well, but you probably are just touching the surface of what can really be accomplished with deep trance. I could tell you some stories… but then I’d probably be arrested, so those can be for some other time. I have been encouraged to write and speak about hypnosis, so here goes. I am not a certified hypnotherapist like most of you in the room. I'm more of a scrapper... a street-smart hypnotist trained by way of the school of hard knocks. I think I can impart some of this 'street wisdom' to you. I will begin my talk with a story. Last year I attended a seminar by world class hypnotist Mike Mandell. He was 'droning on' in a monotone voice about the 'Mandell triangle'. I could barely keep my eyes open. He suddenly got everyone's attention with the command 'Wake up'. It was a joke. But he wasn't completely kidding. Some people including myself, had been induced into a light trance as he was talking. Covert inductions are not so different from what happens to us all throughout a day. Becoming lost in a good book or crying during a very sad movie or even driving for 30 minutes and realizing you don't remember the drive. Those are covert trances that all we slip into. I find covert inductions fascinating, especially since I have fallen victim to them on more than one occasion. The problem with me and covert inductions is I can go very deep. Like somnambulist or Esdaile level deep. To say I have been compromised would be an understatement. Now before any of you Casanova hypnotists think you will get the drop on me, I have learned how to erect very effective countermeasures. Hypnotize me at your own peril."
I paused to survey the room. Everyone was riveted on me. I spotted Kendall and her boyfriend. She had a knowing, smug look on her face. I waved 'hi' and she smiled back. I wonder if she had ulterior motives for being here. I hoped not... for her sake.
I resumed, "I am a hypnodomme. I gave that all up for a while, but the temptation is too great and I started dabbling in the dark arts again. So, Succubus might be more apt. You see, I took male drones to serve me. And some females as well. It was consensual, although there is a fine line between consensual and coerced. I used hypnosis and subliminal suggestion on my subjects and had them eating out of my hand... or a dog bowl depending on what stage of training they were in.”
There was some uneasy laughter. I resumed my lecture, “So, where do you draw the line between consensual and non-consensual? Is hypnotizing someone to believe that you are the best thing since sliced bread ethical? Probably not. If they fall in love with you, was it the hypnosis or your natural charm? Although my thralls were instructed that they could leave at any time, could they really? I had so conditioned them to love and worship me that they would be lost without me. It is a form of mental slavery. It's just that the shackles are invisible. So, are covert inductions ethical? I contend that they are not. If consent is not obtained first, then you are taking advantage of an unsuspecting person. Now, is it illegal? No, it's perfectly legal. The gray area is when you start making people do things that might be harmful in some way. For example, harmful to their reputation... things they would otherwise never do that are terribly embarrassing. Next question, stage hypnotists make people do embarrassing things they would never do. Is that ethical? Answer, yes and no. Persons who have agreed to go up on stage to be hypnotized have done so of their own volition. But what about the person in the audience watching the show who succumbs to hypnosis and is ushered onto the stage. They didn't consent to be hypnotized."
I paused for this to sink in.
"So, if you can set ethical considerations aside, then the world of covert hypnosis becomes quite a bit of fun. I'm not here to teach a course in ethics. How far you take hypnosis is for each of you to decide. Just be careful not to get yourself sued. In this day and age, you can be none too careful."
"Now, before I continue, I want to remind everyone that before you came in, you were required to sign a release. You can't hold me accountable for anything I might make you do today. Are you sure you want to stick around for the end of the show?"
That drew a few uneasy laughs. This simple statement had set the stage. Audience members were now alerted that I might hypnotize them, that I had the confidence and authority (audacity) to suggest that I might hypnotize them and that by staying to the end of my lecture they were consenting to be hypnotized. I was quite proud of myself. I had 'covertly' established the conditions to hypnotize people during my talk. Trust was what I had sacrificed with my admonition, but that was easy to re-establish.
"As everyone knows, hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility and disinhibition. People often believe they are not hypnotized, that they are simply going along with the hypnotist's instructions in order to be good sports... Or is it they are compelled to obey the orders and their subconscious is justifying their behavior to their conscious mind? Let that sink in. We are all biological computers. Very complex, sophisticated computers, but computers, nonetheless. If I can get past the firewall... past the analytical, skeptical, distrustful conscious mind and gain access to the subconscious, then you are mine. Some firewalls are better than others. That is where covert inductions come in handy. If the conscious mind is not expecting to be 'bypassed' and hypnotized, then you have eliminated one obstacle."
"So, we are going to do a little visualization exercise. You don't have to participate; it is totally up to you. For those who wish to proceed, please place both feet on the floor and both hands in your lap. Phones need to be on silent. Everyone in this room is familiar with the balloon levitation suggestibility test. It is one of my favorite covert inductions. How many of you realize that a positive test actually means you have hypnotized your subject? Let me see a show of hands."
About half the hands in the room went up.
"For those who did not raise their hands, think about this. If the subject's arm floats up in the air, they are either doing it without realizing it 'subconsciously' or they are aware they are doing it but are doing it anyway. The latter subjects are compelled to raise their arm. Both groups have entered trance although depth of trance is going to be deeper in the first group. For subjects who do not raise their arms, generally one of two or three things is going on. One, they do not trust you. If you have a reputation for being a practical joker or if they think you might use this to embarrass them somehow, they will resist. It is important to set expectations properly before beginning the test to hopefully allay those fears. Two, the person may have erroneous preconceptions about hypnosis. Perhaps they believe only the weak-minded or stupid people can be hypnotized or will respond to suggestions. They believe if I respond then I am confirming that I have a weak mind...
Now I know everyone here understands it is the intelligent mind that responds best, but the lay population often thinks that it is a sign of weakness or stupidity if you respond to hypnotic suggestions. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have actually heard hypnotists, who should know better, say this before. It is the highly intelligent, strong minded or willed person who I prefer to hypnotize. I just convince their ‘will’ that they can trust me and the hypnosis will benefit them in some profound way.
Three, if the subject fails to raise their arm, they may just have a poor imagination or poor concentration. They may just be stupid. Yes, stupid people are harder to hypnotize than smart people."
"So, before I begin, does anyone have any questions?"
Kendall's hand went up. Uh oh. She thinks I am still under her control. I don't want to embarrass her. Well, maybe a little.
"Yes Kendall. By the way, I know Kendall. We met yesterday." The proctor handed her a microphone.
"Hi Lydia. I understand you are an extremely accomplished hypnotist and I'm a relative nobody. Would it be a covert induction if I could drop you right now, in front of everybody?"
"Probably more of a shock induction, but that would be some trick. You should be careful. These sorts of things have a way of coming around and biting you in the ass."
Kendall looked very smug as she commanded, "SLEEP for me Lydia."
Actually, because I am so goddamn suggestible, just the mention of this trigger caused me to waver on my feet momentarily. I shook my head to regain my composure… because it did affect me ever so briefly.
Back to reality, I looked out in the audience to find Kendall suddenly looking rather confused. She was the one that wavered, her trigger boomeranging back to affect her as I had instructed it would during the prior day’s 'massage' induction.
"Good try." I smiled.
Kendall's eyes grew wide. "DEEP SLEEP NOW Kendall!"
Her eyes fluttered closed. "Kendall, you are deep asleep. Very deep asleep. You know how good I can make you feel. You want to have that special feeling again. You are all alone in your room. You hear only my voice. Nothing else matters but my voice. You are becoming aroused Kendall. So aroused, so excited. Your perfect lover is caressing you and kissing you in all the right places."
Kendall's hands began to roam over her breasts and to her nether regions. The audience was observing this spellbound.
"It feels so good Kendall. You are so horny. Describe how you feel."
Kendall began speaking, but I couldn't hear her. I nodded as a fellow attendee retrieved the mic from the floor and held it up to her mouth.
"I'm so hornnny." She was squirming in her seat.
"Feel your lover fingering you now as he tenderly kisses and licks your breast. You are going to have a wonderful, powerful orgasm. It feels so good. You can't have your orgasm until you ask me very nicely."
"Please let me orgasm. Please. I need it so bad. Please. I need to come so bad. I can't stand it."
"Are you ready Kendall?"
Kendall put on quite a show. She was frigging herself through her jeans and she was quite expressive and loud.
“So good. Cumming so hard. Thrusting... it feels so good. Wrapping your legs around your lover as you both cum.”
This continued for about 30 seconds before she let out the final whimpers of satisfaction.
"I will wake you soon. You will remember the orgasm and you will feel no embarrassment. You will simply have a warm glow of satisfaction and you will thank me. Wake up now Kendall."
Kendall blinked her eyes open and sat up in the chair. She looked around at everyone staring. She probably felt a little self-conscious, but she was ok. She grabbed the mic and said, "Thank you Lydia."
The audience turned their direction to me. "That is how it is done. This was not orchestrated. She is not a paid actress who did this on cue. I covertly hypnotized Kendall yesterday and embedded a sleep trigger. I did this while giving her a massage. Massages are a great way to perform a covert induction. Why did I hypnotize her covertly? This is what I call tit for tat. Kendall offered to use hypnosis on me. She said she could cure my long-standing issues with depression, that she could raise serotonin levels in my brain, and I trusted her. My depression does seem better, but she took advantage of me while I was hypnotized. That is why I warn hypnotists, you may hypnotize me, but you had better play nice or I will extract a pound of flesh."
Now we shall do the balloon levitation test. Everyone here will learn something. These are instructions that should always precede a balloon levitation test.
Start with, "Please pay close attention. I am going to give you some very important instructions that you must follow. If you cannot or will not follow my instructions, then you do not need to participate in this test. Don't waste my time and patience, or yours.
Establish authority and compliance.
One, I am going to ask you to reach deep into your mind and exercise your imagination with all your might. If you concentrate hard enough on my suggestions, if you can try to see, try to feel, try to experience what I am describing… as if it is really happening, then you will be amazed at how well you respond. Imagine as hard as you possibly can, seeing in your mind’s eye what I describe.
Two, you must trust me. I promise I only want the best for you and I will not do anything to embarrass or hurt you. 'I trust Lydia to give me a wonderful experience.' Say this to yourself now.
Three, at the conclusion of this test, for those of you who do respond, you will be hypnotized. Some of you will be deeper than others. I will reward you by giving you positive motivation suggestions that will help you in your daily lives.
I had established the pre-requisites to a successful trance.
Trust, authority, confidence, concentration, and imagination. By dropping Kendall, my authority, skill, and confidence were self-evident. My only concern was giving her an orgasm in front of everyone might undermine trust. Well, time to see.
I began by having everyone close their eyes and take a deep, cleansing breath.
"Good, take another deep breath and feel all the stress leave your body as you breath out. Now take two more relaxing, cleansing breaths. Now I want you to extend both arms straight out in front of you. In the left hand you are holding a bucket. It is a large yellow bucket, and I am scooping wet sand into it. It is maybe a quarter full. On the right wrist I am tying helium balloons. A big red one. Then a large pink helium balloon and now a big pale blue one. Three large helium balloons – almost enough to lift your arm up into the air. I will need to add more balloons before your arm floats up. You can feel how light your right arm feels. See this, feel this in your mind's eye. Imagine as hard as you can. Now I am tying a fourth very large yellow helium balloon to your wrist. Your right arm is so light now, it is just floating right up. Up, up, up, higher and higher. There it goes!”
Probably half the audience arms were floating up.
“Imagine that I just added several more scoops of wet sand into the bucket you are holding in your left hand. It is so very heavy. It would feel so good if you could just relax your left arm and let it drop." Hypnotists tend to be very hypnotizable, and this crowd was no different.
"Now open your eyes and look where your arms are." Several people in the audience let out audible gasps.
Despite the fact that these hypnotists had used this suggestibility test before, few had had such dramatic responses in their clients. That was largely in part to my setting the proper conditions and expectations beforehand. I estimated that half the audience had a dramatic response and a quarter had partial to good responses.
"Those of you who have had dramatic responses. You are in a waking trance. Your arms are frozen where they are. You cannot lower your right arm nor raise your left arm. You may try, but it is futile. Of the 50 or so people whose arms were widely split, perhaps 5 were able to resist my instructions.
"Good, now those of you in waking trance. Listen to me very closely. Are you ready?...
“DEEP SLEEP NOW!”
I watched as heads dropped to chests. Half the crowd out. I methodically deepened them, while leaving their arms frozen in place. It was quite a spectacle.
I addressed the hypnotists who were still awake, although I could tell some of them were teetering. "This was a covert induction. It reminds me a little bit of the gravity induction I did at a pool party once. Who among you imagined this might happen to you at my lecture? Probably no one. I promised that I would not embarrass anyone. How can I keep my promise? Listen carefully. Everyone whose arms are spread widely apart, you are deeply hypnotized by me. You love this feeling. You are not embarrassed. Rather, you are grateful. I have demonstrated to your subconscious mind the power of your imagination. You will never again doubt yourself, or suffer anxiety, or procrastinate on tasks that you know you have or want to finish. Wonderful opportunities will manifest, and you will succeed at any task you set your mind to. In a moment I will awaken you. You will have no idea you were hypnotized and will argue with anyone who says otherwise. As you leave the room you will proclaim loudly, "Thank you Lydia. You’re the greatest!" You will hear others say this, but you will not realize it when you do. Again, you will believe I have hypnotized others to say this, but you will not believe you are under any hypnotic compulsion. Now your arms are unfrozen. Bring them to rest in your lap. On the count of 5 fully awake, one feeling good, two feeling wonderful, 3 starting to wake up, four almost awake, five fully awake."
I could hear people laughing and trying to convince their friend or spouse that they had been hypnotized. My subjects were not buying it. As they filed out of the room, the hypnotized crowd yelled out "Thank you Lydia. You’re the greatest!" as instructed while laughing at others who said the same. They had complete amnesia of their actions. I think I had just cemented my reputation as a very powerful hypnotist. Now to deal with Kendall. We were not even.