With very little effort, almost anyone can Google the words “politics” and “hypnosis” and find a whole host of articles, accusations and conspiracy theories regarding mass hypnosis on the political stage.
Most recently Donald Trump, is purported to have used hypnotic tactics to win over voters in the US, A term which became known as “Trumpnosis.”
Barak Obama was accused of using mass hypnosis during his campaigns and his presidency using hypnotic techniques such as “pacing and leading”, some even went as far as to suggest he used “Illuminati Mind Control”.
Here in the UK the Brexit Leave Campaign enlisted the TV hypnotist Paul McKenna to advise on some of its campaign broadcasts. A source at the campaign group told the Guardian Newspaper that McKenna “understands the psychology of the mind” and helped Leave.EU “produce social media ads that resonated with people”. But he added: “We didn’t hypnotise anyone.”In my humble opinion virtually all of these articles and accusations simply refer to the ways in which the politicians use language. And we all use language don’t we? Whether to get a point across, to express ourselves, to influence people and yes, to try to get others to agree or understand our views. This is normal human behaviour. The difference with politicians is that the language they use dictates whether they or someone else gets to run a country. To implement or change the law. To send men and women to war. To tax the people. To provide health services (or not) to provide policing, armies, security, prisons, deportation laws, anti-terrorism, education, pensions, social security the list is endless and I often wonder if the elected can ever really truly comprehend the gargantuan responsibility of the task in hand. The adage “you talked the talk now can you walk the walk?” springs to mind. And then of course there is the media. Does the media have the power to hypnotise the masses with it’s constant barrage of headlines whether fake or factual or half-truth? Who do we believe and what do we believe? Is this hypnosis or propaganda? The trust is that as humans we are much more conformist than we think we are. I once read an article which stated “Mass media and propaganda are tools used by the elite to rule the public without physical coercion.” This resonates with me. And from Edward Louis James Bernays – 1891 – 1995 Pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda said, “We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.”