free will and hypnosis

Hypnosis and Will

Can a person be hypnotized against their will? Or made to do something against their will while in hypnosis? 

I did a survey about this a while back. If you haven't seen that post yet and are interested, check it out: 

Survey Results: Can You Be Hypnotized Against Your Will?

The standard answer you'll get from most hypnosis professionals is "no" to both of those questions.

But is that really the truth?

Watch these two videos and see what you think...


Derren Brown "Russian Scam" video.

I'm interested in your thoughts, not what your instructors have told you - what do YOU think?

What do you personally know? What is your experience with this, if any? After you've left a comment, go ahead and read on in the next post in this series: Hypnosis & Will: Have You Changed Your Mind? 

I think this is a discussion worth having. So leave a comment below!

About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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  1. Pingback: NLP & Hypnosis Blog » Survey Results: Can You Be Hypnotized Against Your Will?
  2. Pingback: NLP & Hypnosis Blog » Hypnosis & Will: Have You Changed Your Mind?
  3. These two video clips are a great example of how surprise and confusion can put us into a highly suggestible trance state while the unconscious mind tries to find some meaning to what we are experiencing.

    I remember almost being scammed in a similar way myself at a gas station in Mexico when the attendant tried to convince me that I had only given him a 20 peso note when I knew it was a 200. For a few moments I was totally confused and almost fell for his trick.

    That was a lesson I’ll never forget.

  4. In addition to surprise and confusion, it may be possible to change the setting of the person such as place, time, or status. Actions that would not be appropriate in the present setting may be performed as a part of an altered situation. Such as age regression, or an imaginary on stage locus. Or the maniken demonstration.

  5. Yes, a person can easily be hypnotized against their will, wishes, wants or desire by well trained NLP Trainers — nested loops. We do it all the time. btw, Keith is very good at this.

    Secondly, as far as morals and ethics go — visualize this!
    Two teens in a car at night. Male says to female “Wanna jump into the backseat”. Ohh my stars and bars — where did those morals and ethics go????

    Sean Michael Andrews is an amazing hypnotist and he greatly enjoys it. If you have not purchased his and Keith’s product on “Instants” I strongly urge you to do so IF YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL AND WANT TO INCREASE YOUR SKILLS.

    Could be a very good reason we ask: “Do I have your permission to… HYPNOTIZE YOU NNNNOW. It’s more than just an embedded command.

    1. Hi Marjorie,
      Thanks for stopping by.

      As for me, I don’t hypnotize people against their will in an NLP training. I typically say something along the lines of “Is it OK, since we’re all here to learn, if I use all the skills at my disposal to help you learn as fully, efficiently and thoroughly as possible?” I explicitly ask for permission and make sure I have it from everyone in the room. Before I formally hypnotize anyone I’ll ask “Is it OK if we do hypnosis now,” or “Would you like to enter hypnosis now?”

      Also, it’s a group of people who have come to learn NLP & hypnosis!

      As you know, it’s not only well trained NLP trainers who can hypnotize folks in a public setting. Basically, anybody that delivers a good speech does, as do religious leaders, politicians, inspirational folks and boring ones.

      In the context of this post, I was talking about a more traditional idea of hypnosis anyway. In other words, could you hypnotize someone with say, an instant induction, if they did not wish you to?

      The responses to these posts have been interesting. It highlights the fact that “hypnosis,” “will,” “consent” and many of the other words in the discussions are nominalizations. They are abstract concepts. They mean different things to different people in different contexts. Defining them is like hitting a moving target. The realization that hypnosis (for instance) is a process and not a “thing” is one of the things I hoped to accomplish with these discussions.

      BTW, thanks for the compliments on Amazing Inductions. I should point out that, even though it does contain some very rapid inductions, I don’t think of it as an instant inductions video. In fact, Sean and I put it together as a video that covers what most instant inductions videos skip! If you wanted to learn more straight-forward instants, I’d recommend his Instant & Rapid Inductions video. I learned a tremendous amount from Sean.


  6. Hi Keith, I don’t believe ordinary people can be hypnotised with out their consent, I like you would never attempt to anyway.
    However there are of course Somnambulist’s, which I believe amount to about 20% of the population, who, as you know, can not only be hypnotised at a drop of the hat, they also enjoy it.
    I do think something should be done about these unethical street hypnotists (note the unethical) as they can and do confuse people which in some situations can be dangerous and they are the ones who give hypnosis a bad name.

  7. There is a difference between giving consent to be hypnotized and not knowing that you are being hypnotized. If these people knew that they were going to be hypnotized, then they could choose to actively resist. Also, some people believe that if one even talks to a hypnotist, you lose all control. If that is their reality, then it becomes true.

  8. I’ve got to wonder if these videos were staged. Not a lot of experience here but conventional understanding is that hypnosis can not override a certain bottom line of what people are willing to do. This is a super interesting article and the comments too. Got me pondering if hypnosis can or can not get people to do things that they deep down wouldn’t really want to do. Hungry for more knowledge about this issue.

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