Hypnosis in The News: “Hypnotherapist sexually assaulted client” as Hypnotherapist Ian Roper sentenced for 29 months.
I will always be honest about the profession I am in, and unfortunately hypnosis, or more specific, hypnotherapy hits the news once again.
Hypnotherapist Ian Roper, 58, ‘commanded’ the victim who’s name will remain anonymous, “to remove her clothing while making her think she was sitting on a hot sun bed and rubbing sun cream on her body. He then caused the woman to engage in sexual activity without her consent.”
The first point I am going to make is an obvious one, that anything in life, and in this case hypnotherapy, is as only as good or bad as the person using it. Whilst I have been skeptical in the past about the ‘motivations’ of some claimants towards hypnotherapists, and a number of them are very questionable, especially when monies are awarded to the ‘victim’. Please note that this is obviously not the case all of the time and is just an opinion. And more importantly with this case, he pleaded guilty. This naturally does not fall into the ‘questionable’ category.
The second point I am about to make is not a popular one, as it goes against the conventional way of thinking towards how hypnosis works and the boundaries and extremities it has. More precisely, can you make someone do something against their will? The story linked in this post (below) suggests you can and was the courts conclusion, that you can, hence the guilty verdict of the now jailed ‘qualified’ hypnotherapist.
So I will say it and I am not swayed by the news of the horrid act this man did against a woman that was seeking help, you can make someone do something against their will!! As you read this, whether you are just interested in this topic or are someone that works as a hypnotherapist or stage hypnotist, this may get your blood boiling as it may go against your view and belief of hypnosis, but sorry, yes you can. I have done this on stage, yes, just a couple of times and baring in mind the thousands I have hypnotised in the twenty years of working with hypnosis, it is something I would not do again.
Without going into the fine details of how and why, and yes, bold statements do need explaining, so with that in mind I will at a later date write a full blog post on this topic as it is something in which I say is true (and witnessed by the many watching the particular shows in question). I would like to add that never would this obviously be done in a consulting therapeutic situation or a one-to-one situation in any form. I was purely ‘testing the boundaries’ of hypnosis and as said prior, was witnessed by many. Proof also that this line of thinking is true is simply read the article in which the aforementioned and now disgraced hypnotherapist was convicted in a court and has been sentenced accordingly. I will add that when I delve deeper into the topic at a later date, false memory syndrome will be addressed. Regardless, he pleaded guilty so shows that you unfortunately can make someone do something against their will.
I do believe that when a stage hypnotist is performing, they are possibly unaware that what is being asked may actually be against the subjects morals, values and beliefs….the hypnotist just may not know it! Just because he (or she) doesn’t think what is being suggested to the subject would collide with their core set of internal ‘rules’, how do they know? The whole set-up with stage hypnosis is to get someone to do something they (hopefully) do not do in an everyday situation. The level of suggestion and what the stage hypnotist believes is ‘extreme’ or not, is personal and different with everyone.
It is a rabbit hole of a topic that I am briefly touching on in this post, but the point I am trying to put over to you is that don’t just take at face value that hypnotherapists cannot abuse the set up of being one on one using a skill that is of influence that is used around the world for good cause, or in rare instances as per the article, horrid acts. Fully check any accreditation, that the therapist is full time with good feedback etc. From a brief check online, Roper worked in vehicle recovery, his main work, with therapy ‘on the side’. Word of mouth is a strong advert for good practice.
More to follow…
Hypnotherapist Ian Roper sentenced for 29 months (article below)