The effectiveness of covert hypnosis techniques and mind control methods depends largely on what way they're being used and on who they're being focused on. The first suspected use of mind control methods as we know of them today occurred during the Korean War in 1950, when American POW's were apparently subjected to various mind control techniques designed to indoctrinate them into adopting Communist beliefs and also - by means of post hypnotic suggestion - to act as future assassins, re The Manchurian Candidate et al.
Since then it's been quite broadly accepted that the real motives were simply to weaken the resolve of the POW's to prevent them being disruptive and trying to escape. This is given credence by the fact that it was established that the POW's who while in captivity made public statements praising Communism only did so because this would lead to an improvement in their conditions of detention, and also that on their eventual return home none of them maintained - or had ever at any point actually held - Communist beliefs.
It has to be said however that this scenario is not by any means unanimously accepted. Many people believe that some kind of mind control program was indeed being tested.
Soon after the Korean War the CIA began experimenting with various techniques of mind control - aka black ops hypnosis - most notably embodied in the MK Ultra program, which began in the 1950's and remained in place till well into the 1960's. The MK Ultra project originally evolved from Project Artichoke, which, in 1951, was set up to investigate techniques of behavioral modification and thought control, ostensibly in response to the use of mass mind control techniques by the Chinese Communists.
It's believed that the fundamental aim of MK Ultra, which had involved the experimental use of covert hypnosis techniques, LSD and other drugs and various other forms of behavioral modification techniques, often without the knowledge or consent of the subjects, was to research ways of efficiently getting reliable information out of enemy prisoners and to find ways of influencing the behavior of political dissidents and opponents with a view to getting them to publicly discredit themselves. Many of course also believe that MK Ultra actively researched methods of mass mind control.
And of course many believe that various organizations around the world are now in fact stepping up efforts to control the public mind. Do individual searches on each of the following two terms and spend an hour or two looking through the various sites, blogs and posts listed under them and draw your own conclusions.
All hypnosis involves to some degree or extent "mind control", in that the objective is to change the way that you feel and think about something, to reprogram your subconscious thought processes in such a way that you begin to feel and see yourself as being for example confident and self assured, or that you no longer have any desire to smoke or overeat, or have a fear of dogs, flying or whatever.
However it's also the case that many people have a fairly erroneous concept of what hypnosis is in the context of mind control. Ironically, the widely held perception of the mind control aspect of hypnosis, in which images of some Master Hypnotist with legions of hypnotized and controlled slaves are conjured up, is in itself something of an example of mass mind control, whereby through the media repeated suggestions and images depicting it in this way have permeated through to and become established in the collective consciousness.
That's not to say however that hypnotic techniques such as covert or subliminal suggestion and imagery have not been successfully used to influence the thinking and therefore behavior of individuals and sometimes larger groups. While most of the mind control methods used by for example cult leaders revolve around tactics like group indoctrination and identity, love bombing, making potential dissenters feel shunned, ashamed and afraid, separation from all family and outside influences and so on, certain techniques of covert hypnosis work on a somewhat different level.
Although the oft quoted remark about no one being able to be hypnotized into doing something that goes against their instinct is basically true, it's true at least partly because they've been aware of the fact that they were about to be hypnotized.
Covert hypnosis has been described as such because it has been discovered - primarily by Milton Erickson, who, by all available accounts did not work for the CIA - that suggestions can be hypnotically introduced to the subconscious without the subject's conscious knowledge or awareness, and that if this has been done correctly the subject will act in accordance with the suggestion being given while believing that they're acting on their own initiative, providing that the required action doesn't stray too far from what the subject would normally consider to be appropriate behavior.
There are increasing numbers of people who now believe that the use of mind control methods is systemic throughout the media. Indeed if you were unfortunate or misguided enough to spend any significant amount of time watching the output from some "news" broadcasting channels, then whatever remained of your ability to perceive objective truth would force you to conclude that mind control methods were undoubtedly being used. It could be argued that if a broadcaster's views conflict with your own then you should just avoid it. However that's not quite good enough because broadcasters are supposed to broadcast news and opinion impartially and without fear or favor, and not in such a way that just supports the interests of its owners or sponsors. If news and opinion is being manipulated to support these interests then it's not news, it's mind control, or at least an attempt at it.
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