Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pentecostal Hypnosis

Disclaimer: I AM NOT A HYPNOTIST. This post is based on research into hypnotism and the way the conscious and subconscious minds relate to each other. This phenomenon is well documented through observation, although not completely understood in process. We know what happens and what causes it, we just don't know exactly why. If you wish to attempt the hypnotism of someone or a group of someones, please consult a treatise on the topic as you will be better served.

A great deal of what goes on in modern-day "Pentecost" (an oxymoron if there ever was one: Pentecost refers to a day 2000 years ago, not a movement in this day and age) can be, and has been (by reputable researchers here's a link for you: attributed to hypnosis. I speak specifically of the uncontrollable laughter, speaking in tongues, barking, uncontrolled dancing, etc that you can witness at pretty much any camp meeting or conference held by a "Oneness" or "Jesus-only" group. The roots of these organizations are very easily traced back to early 20th century experiences in California that match commonly known and used crowd/mass hypnotic techniques. The most simple way to describe the process is that a person (or group of persons) create an atmosphere where people are happy, peaceful, and focused on what is happening in front of them. The most common way to do this is to entertain them and get them involved in what is going on. An example is a movie theater. Have you ever gone to a movie theater, watched a 2 hour movie, then been slightly disoriented when it ended? During the movie, you jump when things happen, you laugh when there's laughter, etc. When it is over, you feel like time has passed but you're not sure where, and it takes a few minutes for you to feel like you have woken up. Those are the same feelings you go through when you are hypnotised. Contrary to common misconception, a hypnotic trance is NOT a sleep...quite the opposite: it is a HYPER ATTENTIVE state. The reason this is important is that the reason many Pentecostals state they are not hypnotised is that they are awake. They are absolutely correct in that, except that is the whole point. Hypnotism is more a very vivid daydream than it is a sleep. People that are hypnotised are totally focused on something and very susceptive to whatever suggestion may take place. The difference between a true hypnotic state and what most people believe is that people that are hypnotised will not do something they would normally consider dangerous or immoral. These things are governed by the SUBCONSCIOUS mind and therefore cannot be easily corrupted. For example, a person that is naturally shy about their body for moral reasons will not abandon those beliefs no matter how much suggestion is given.

In a so-called "Pentecostal" meeting, all the fundamentals of group hypnosis are there: entertainment to focus the people, music to create peaceful and soothing feelings (which is funny in light of the fact that the UPCI teaches against rock and roll based on the fact that it affects the minds rhythms), and repeated "suggestions" of group involvement. After the typical 1/2 hour meditation (yes, prayer IS a form of meditation and chanting), 30-40 minutes of "worship" (focusing) and entreaties to be involved, the group is perfectly primed and ready for suggestion. Then they spend 20-60 minutes listening to suggestions and being "prepped" for the Altar Call, where they will do all sorts of crazy nutso stuff that most sane people would discipline their children for (It's worth noting that shorter but more impassioned "sermons" are more effective than long ones as the people are alert through it). During the "Altar Call", there will generally be a guy (or gal for that matter) up on stage giving suggestions about running, talking in tongues, dancing in "the Spirit", etc. There's one experience that really comes to mind that I witnessed when I was 15. The church I was raised in had an "Evangelist" come through, and the first night he got everyone all pumped up. During the "Altar Call", everyone was singing and jumping etc, typical Pentecostal stuff, and the dude said (I quote): "I am going to come around to each of you and put my hands on your head. When I do, I want you to state the date you were filled with the Holy Ghost. When you do, you will begin to speak in tongues and dance in the Spirit until I take my hands off your head." (Where do these people get this crap?) Now if THAT isn't a perfect to the letter example of hypnotic suggestion, then the experts are all wrong. Like clockwork, he went around, and whaddaya know? It worked.

One of the biggest tools used by Pentecostals in their focusing of crowds is the loud music. I like loud music. It's fun. I used to play piano in a UPCI church (quite well too, although, apparently, the person that replaced me has a "special anointing" lol...I have yet to see anointing listed as one of the qualifications for music ministry in the Bible...hopefully, the "anointing" makes up for the lack of skill...) and, believe me, there's lots of volume. Volume is what creates the atmosphere where people get all focused on the stage and totally block out the rest of life. Next time you are at an event where an hypnotist is doing his/her thing, make sudden, loud, distracting noises that interrupt rather than complement the routine. The hypnotist will either ask you to stop (they generally ask for quiet and for cell phones to be turned off...kinda like a pentecostal church) or have you removed. The reason why is not that you are keeping the people awake, but rather that you are distracting them and preventing them from becoming hyper attentive to what they are being told. To prove this, take an air horn to a Pentecostal service, and set it off at random and see what happens. First, they will try to get you to stop, then, if you don't, it will be the deadest, most uninspired service ever. The reason why? You kept the mass hypnosis from setting in.

So, you say "But I spoke in tongues, I felt everything I was told I would, I danced, I ran, I laughed, I felt elated and joyous and peaceful!!!" You certainly did. There is no doubt at all. I do not deny it as I have been there myself. I know how you felt and what you experienced. Now, look back over the times you tried to "pray through" and all the things you were told by people praying with you, over the pulpit, things you witnessed, and tell me that you did something unique that you weren't told about. I mentioned in a previous post that I had witnessed a woman being told she should say whatever babble popped in her head and that would be the evidence of the Holy Ghost. That again is a hypnotic suggestion. It's the way it is. Impossible to deny.

Now we move on to the continued manifestations that people experience. After the initial experience people have, they are told that they must continue to seek that manifestation so that they will "know" they still are saved. What happens is that these people then practice meditation and chanting (called prayer) in an attempt to re-experience the same effects. Over time, they begin to learn how to get to that point of "enlightenment" easier and more often, and eventually need very little time at all. So then you have what are called "Adepts" in most Eastern Religions, and they continue to propagate what they have been taught.

I was in this religion, I know what happens. I was raised in it. I experienced it. I lived it, breathed it, taught it. And then I realised it was false. There have been many people that have stated most of what I have stated here, and that are more knowledgeable than I. The difference is that I DID it. I can talk from experience. The movement that teaches, preaches, and believes the necessity of tongues for Salvation is simply re-experiencing the mass hypnotism that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century.

On a side note: something that has been a bee in my bonnet for some time is that I was accused of being prone to false teachings due to being taught Preterism as a young child. Of course, it was taught by the Pastor that the UPCI licensed to be over the congregation I was in. So I believed it. Now, I have left the UPCI and all the false doctrines they hold so dearly (as well as the Preterist doctrine they refuse to eject), and I would simply like to point out that, according to the accusation made against me, ANYONE THAT BELIEVES A FALSE DOCTRINE THEY ARE TAUGHT AS A CHILD IS PRONE TO FALSE DOCTRINE FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE. Therefore, if you are under a Pastor that holds the above accusation against me to be true, you'd better consider whether or not he believed the UPCI "gospel" all his life, or if HE ALSO BELIEVED A FALSE DOCTRINE HE WAS TAUGHT AS A CHILD UNTIL HIS CONVERSION AS AN ADULT. If it's good for the goose, it's really good for the gander, and if that's what he holds to be true, then he isn't qualified to be a Pastor as he must be prone to false doctrine. However, if he wishes to retract the accusation, I would like to know if he made that statement in error, and, if he did, how he justifies counseling ANYONE.

God Bless you

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