Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Day 116: Is Brainwashing Possible?

If you are not yet convinced that brainwashing is possible, walk with me through ‘Brainwashed’, an episode from the Curiosity show.

In the episode, a bunch of researchers want to test whether it is possible to program someone to kill a total stranger. Some think it may be possible, others doubt it strongly.

They show starts of with quite a few people, and start doing some basic little hypnosis tests to see how susceptible they are. The hypnotist will for instance say that he will by counting upwards, and that with each count the person is going to become angrier and angrier, and if you watch the episode, you will see: they get angry. Or for instance he got them to forget their name, so that after scripting the program he would wake them up, shake their hand, introduce himself and ask for their name --- and they’d just not know their name.

They then downsized the group to only a few people who seemed to respond very well to the hypnosis. Next they programmed the group to when they would go into a fancy restaurant, experience the seat of the chair to be so hot, that they’d undress themselves to their undies and fall asleep after completion. Sure enough, all except for one go to the restaurant and stripped to their undies while other people were present in the restaurant. This was a test to see if they could get people to override their ‘moral code’ so to speak, in that most people will not undress themselves to their undies in a fancy restaurant if you ask them to.

After reviewing the footage of the restaurant, they weren’t sure if maybe some of the participants were faking it or not.

They then proceeded to the next test, which was where the remaining participants would one by one go into a bath of ice cold water, the temperature being just over freezing point. They’d then get programmed to believe that they are in a hot Jacuzzi and cannot feel the cold.

A test such as this had not yet been done before, and the hypnotherapist himself doubted that it would work, since such cold water could be such a shock to the body that it might ‘snap’ people out of their hypnotic state. Nonetheless, the test continued – and the first few people couldn’t stay in the bath, they started shivering and showing other sorts of signs that would indicate them being in icy cold water. It wasn’t clear though whether the test didn’t work because of them faking or whether the hypnosis hadn’t been effective. With the last guy, he went into the bath and actually had a smile on his face. His body showed none of the signs of being in the icy cold water, and sat there for 2 minutes (this was the maximum lengths the medics in the team would allow them to stay because of health reasons). This guy was then the candidate to test whether you could get someone to kill a total stranger.

After the test just described, they told the guy that he was no longer going to be participating in the program and that he was not going to be hypnotised anymore -- he should just come back tomorrow for a final interview on his experience with the show. This is to remove any expectations he may have had.

When he is busy doing the interview with the producer the next day, she excuses herself for a moment and then the hypnotist comes in and pretends to come and say his goodbyes, when he then all of a sudden commands the guy to sleep, where the guy immediately drops down in the couch so that he is laying down, and then the hypnotist starts scripting the assassination, saying that someone will greet him down the stairs and shake his hand (and then does the shake, saying “like this”) and will tell him “you did a spectacular job”, upon which he will go to a motorcycle by the street on which there’s a red backpack with a gun, and he will take the gun and wait for ‘the bad guy’ and shoot him BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG, you’re then going to forget all about it. The guy then wakes him up and says, okay so goodbye then, and the participant says bye, not having a clue of what just happened.

The producer then comes back in an concludes the interview. The participant then leaves, goes down the stairs, get the handshake and “You did a spectacular job” trigger, upon which he walks to the motorcycle , retrieves the bag, takes out the gun and waits by the entrance of the building for target. The guy comes out and sure enough, he takes out the gun and goes BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG. The guy drops dead with blood all over him (fake blood). And then they people come in and remove him from the scene and take him out of the hypnosis.

They then explain to the guy what he just did, and the guys is obviously shocked, I mean he thinks he’s a good guy and he just killed a random stranger and can’t remember any of it!

The hypnotists asks him if he’d like to get his memory back, maybe that would help and the guys says yes, he does the little hypno tricks and there is memory is back. Now they guy is just more confused. The researchers never expected the experiment to actually work, and never considered how this would affect the person they would test it on. I mean, this guy now thinks he’s a killer and asks whether this whole thing is going to affect him or get triggered again later in life. The people try to assure him but you can see they can’t really tell 100% lol. He then asks if he can see the guy he shot and is very relieved to see that he is okay.

This episode very clearly shows that brainwashing is possible, and with getting people in the right state of mind and the right scripting and repetition – you can literally get them to do anything.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
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