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The Church and Hypnotism


Being an Episcopal Priest and a hypnotist is a difficult position to maintain without adverse criticism. Recently, I have come out of the closet and openly admitted that I employ hypnotherapy. There has been and continues to be much misunderstanding of what hypnosis is all about. With stage and television theatrics, misconception is rampant in the minds of most people. Hypnosis is sometimes viewed as “mind control and demonic” by many uninformed Christians. Perhaps through patient education, the public will recognize its value. Hypnosis, “an induced state which resembles sleep and in which the subject is responsive to suggestions of

The Rabbi as a Hypnotist

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When I was the rabbi of a congregation, people used to ask me, “What kind of job is that for a nice Jewish boy?” Now I’ve left the active rabbinate and I am a hypnotherapist. Using hypnosis, I help people to quit smoking, lose weight, diminish pain, heal ailments, reduce their stress level, remember things they’ve long ago forgotten, and sometimes even discover the meaning of life. And sometimes people ask me, “What kind of job is that for a nice Jewish boy?” My past and present occupations have more in common than that particular question. In the first place,

Pastoral Hypnotherapy


After much research into what constitutes the hypnotic state, and why it happens, no single factor can explain all of the phenomenon one may encounter. Actually, “many psychological and physical factors, acting reciprocally through the image-producing faculties of the mind, induce the perceptual response called hypnosis. Hypnosis is not a sharply delineated state, but rather a mental process along the broad, fluctuating continuum of what is loosely referred to as awareness, depending upon the degree of perceptivity.”(1) The capacity to enter into hypnosis is as natural a phenomenon as sleep, but it is distinctly different from sleep. Hypnosis has been

Is Hypnosis of the Devil or of the Spirit?


“A Christian friend of mine once told me: ‘If I was the Devil and I wanted to keep you away from something that could bring you closer to God, I would make you irrationally afraid of it. And I’m afraid that’s what happened to hypnosis because, when you think about what it really is, it is a powerful expression of free will given to us by God and yet we are frightened into not using it. What a tragedy.’” (Devin Hastings, Hypnosis: The Dangers and the Lies Revealed) Feelings run strong within the Christian community concerning the use of hypnosis.

“Hypnos” in the Bible


I have been interested in hypnosis for a number of years. After having done a great deal of academic study on the subject, since I had already read a number of books and articles on hypnosis, I chose to look at another book with which I have some familiarity and, to my amazement, I found a firm biblical basis for the use of hypnosis. It is described five times in the New Testament (Mt. 1:24; Lk. 9:32; Jn. 11:13; Acts 20:9; Rm. 13:11). A. THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF HYPNOSIS 1) The hypnotic experience of Joseph The first of the synoptic

Religious Hypnotherapist Draws on God and Mind


Some professionals provide religious counseling, and others use hypnosis to treat patients, but Dr. W. Leo Peacock has combined the two and dubbed himself a religious hypnotherapist. He is, he says, one of a kind. Dr. Peacock explains how he uses “creative imagination” and “conscious dreaming” to allow his “students” to see themselves as something they aren’t but want to become. As he opens the door to his cozy office in the Bon Air on Walton Way, Dr. Peacock’s enthusiasm for life is immediately apparent. His face brightens and his greeting is warm. He gestures with his hands and face

Clergy Using Hypnosis as Counseling Tool


Hypnosis, a word that evokes skepticism and even fear, is actually no different from Madison Avenue advertising or the prayers one hears in church, according to a counselor with 20 years of experience in hypnosis. “An advertising jingle or a prayer, heard over and over again, has the same effect as hypnosis, and that power of suggestion can change a person’s behavior,” said the Rev. George C. Anderheggen, a member of the National Association of Clergy Hypnotherapists and director of the Newtown Counseling Center. About 70 members of the clergy from across the country belong to the organization. “The elements

Hypnosis in Religion


The basic urge in every human personality, the one deep, sincere longing of every soul is to find God, or the Unknown Creative Spirit that created, rules, sustains, and orders the universe – whatever be the name assigned to this Power. Since every man is seeking this Power and since he can be put into direct touch with that Power that is within him in a process which is absolutely the same in every way as the principle of hypnosis, then it seems high time that man were made aware of this deep seated principle within his own being. The

A Christian Understanding of Hypnosis


I am an Ordained Minister of Religion and a Christian by confession. I served as Christ’s ambassador (or some may say, ‘servant’ which is what I embrace joyfully) as a pastor in Perth, Western Australia. I was also an adjunct bible school/seminary professor in theology, psychology and counseling for many years. After my stint as a pastor, and since I was already trained in psychology (and corollary to that training, I was also trained in hypnotherapy), I decided to return to my first love to augment my financial support in the ministry. By doing this, I could use the practice

Hypnosis and Religion Misconceptions


“I don’t want you to mess with my head.” were the words of a lady with a weight problem who needed help but had mistaken ideas about hypnosis. Another one said, “I do not want you to have control over me.” Some religious people say that hypnosis is non-Christian. They frown upon such a treatment and call it evil. By seeing what transpires on the stage, when hypnosis is used for entertainment, it is easy to understand how people could arrive at the conclusion that the hypnotist had the hypnotized under his/her control. Surely, to the uninformed viewer, such control

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