Saturday, September 11, 2010

AUSTRALIA - Leading hypnotist warns 'backyard' practitioners may exploit patients through mind control and power of suggestion

Original Article

Really? You folks need to lay off the drugs!

09/11/2010

By Michael Westlake

ONE of Australia's leading hypnotists has warned that a rise of "backyard" hypnotherapists is putting patients in danger of sexual and financial exploitation.

Mark Anthony, a qualified hypnotherapist as well as stage hypnotist, said the relative ease of training to be a hypnotherapist was putting "dangerous" powers of suggestion and mind control into the wrong hands.

"There are backyard hypnotists out there working from home who don't worry about the ethics," Mr Anthony said.

"The only ones in the room are the hypnotist and the patient, and if the patient goes into deep trance, there is nothing to stop the therapist from doing whatever he or she likes, and then wiping the patient's memory so they have no recollection of it."
- Are you speaking from experience?

"Alternatively, they may change their perception to make them think what they are doing is the right thing - like giving them access to their bank account."

"Now, no normal person would give that away, but the patient could be told to think that everything is above board, and that any missing money is perfectly alright."

"I had a client come to see me who told me she had seen another hypnotist a couple of years ago, trying to get rid of her fear of meeting people and confidence."

"She went to that hypnotist three times. On the third time, he told her under hypnosis that as part of her new confidence she would sit on his lap and take her shirt off. She wasn't in deep hypnosis thankfully, she opened her eyes and said `no'."
- Hopefully she reported the idiot to the police?

Mr Anthony said tighter regulations and controls on the hypnotherapy industry were needed as a safeguard for patients and practitioners.

"I am not saying that everybody that works from home is a backyard hypnotist and shouldn't be trusted," he said. "But the problem is that anybody can take a weekend course and become a hypnotist."

"This instructor is then teaching these skills to someone they don't know, or how the person will use what he has learnt."

"After one weekend, someone with a criminal record for rape, robbery or child molestation could have the skills to hypnotise someone, and literally make them do whatever they want, and there is no way to stop them."

Mr Anthony said he was aware of certified hypnotherapists who are on the registered sex offenders' list, and said one stage hypnotist was back doing shows only a couple of months after being release from jail.

"That sort of thing to me is appalling," he said. "I know how phenomenal the power of the mind is, and it concerns me greatly that there are unethical elements of the community using that power for illegal or immoral activities."

Mr Anthony has been asked many times to train people to become hypnotists after a show and on one occasion the men said that it would make it "easier to rape the girls".

He said it was a "misconception" that people under hypnosis could not be made to do things against their will.

"That's rubbish. You can make anyone do anything when they're deeply hypnotised," he said.

"I could make many of my deeply hypnotised volunteers rob a bank if I wanted to - it is just a matter of suggesting to them that what they are doing is right, they are doing it for the right reasons."

"You can simply alter the words you use to make them do whatever you want."

"People think hypnosis is all about shows and comedy, and it can be a good thing."

"But people need to be aware that if it is not used properly, it can also be a very dangerous thing."

Many cults, religions and even politicians use "hypnotic language" and trance states for their benefit, he said.



TX - How the label of “sex offender” brands for life

Original Article

09/10/2010

By SATARA WILLIAMS

With the click of a button on the Texas Department of Public Safety website, individuals can investigate the 500 registered sex offenders in Harris County. Many are living in northwest Houston, dining at our favorite eateries, shopping at the local centers and even holding positions within our neighborhoods.

Since 1984, Dr. Jerome Brown has treated nearly 400 sex offenders in Harris County, with many trickling in from all areas of the community.

Some believe offenders can never be cured of their sexual urges and that they’re either in between crimes or haven’t been caught in their act with a child.

However, Brown said that’s a myth, based on the ideal of a classic pedophile, that is widely held but simply isn’t true.

Most sex offenders are not pedophiles; probably 80 percent are opportunist that are at the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. “Many don’t do it because they’re drawn to children sexually. They just use bad judgment about their sexual impulses.”

Many offenders are court-ordered to register as a sex offender once a year and enlist in a treatment program. The span in the treatment groups depends on the offender, with some staying indefinitely and others spending a few years.

It depends on the individual’s progress,” Darla Temple, supervisor of the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, said. “We’ve seen people in treatment for ten years and then we’ve seen people in it for three to four years. Their sign of progress is up to the treatment provider.”

In the center where Brown works, individuals most show the ability to empathize with their victims, plan and manage their lives without the abuse of drugs and alcohol and avoid certain sexual activities that would impede them from self-control.

Labeling someone as a sex offender for life is problematic, according to Brown. Studies on the topic have only been released in recent years, however, the research does not indicate that tagging individuals as sex offenders is effective, he said.

It’s actually more detrimental because they have trouble living a normal life. They’re permanently on the outside,” Brown said. “This can often be destructive because he’ll give up and won’t try to do or make his life better.”
- It's not just men who commit sex crimes, women do as well.

He said there’s no indication that having offenders live further from certain areas or withstanding 500 feet from children reduces sexual offenses. In fact, he has met many offenders that have never performed a second offense, he said.

However, several in the community have a peace of mind knowing that they can always view those on the sex offender registry. Some attackers don’t have to annually register; however, the title of sex offender is never swept away from their criminal records.

We have 23 officers who have case loads of sex offenders. Certain offenses are life-term registration some, after 10 years, don’t have to register,” Temple said.

Brand said there needs to be a change in the risk assessment of sex offenders, with those on the highest level being monitored extensively and those on the lower end not being monitored at all.

A 16-year-old who’s had sex with a 13-year-old is treated and often regarded as the same fixated pedophile that’s attracted to children, but they are different as night and day,” Brown said. “One is a kid that made a dumb mistake and the other is a very dangerous predator. Should they be treated the same?