In part 4 of this six-part interview series Mark covers topics such as
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Mark Cunningham interview Part 4 of 6
Frank Kermit: You’re listening to Frank Talks Pleasures and Lifestyles, and I’m Frank because I have to be. In studio today with Mark Cunningham. How are you doing there, Mark?
Mark Cunningham: I’m doing pretty well.
Frank Kermit: All right, in the last interview segment, we were talking about some of the work that you do with your transformation work. Rather than be a seduction instructor who’s trying to create clones of themselves, you’re actually helping the men involved change or unchange certain parts of themselves to become more attractive men overall.
Mark Cunningham: That’s right.
Frank Kermit: Can you tell me a little bit about your transformation work and some of the products that you have?
Mark Cunningham: Okay, yeah. My interest to seduction community is something. I developed this approach when I was working with one of the greats in the seduction community, Ross Jeffries, and he and Russell was kind enough to invite me out to appear on his seminars for over about a 6 or 6-1/2 year span. We got a lot of fun working together.
Our approaches are different, which probably why we had so much fun working together, and I learned from talking to thousands and thousands of these seminar attendees that their struggle was not so much with understanding technique, memorizing lines, figuring out approaches, learning where to go, what to wear and things like that.
But rather they were continually struggling with the problem. They kept bringing their old self into new scenarios and expecting that just by mouthing words or using some kind of techniques that they were going to get good results, and of course, that’s not what occurs.
So I did go off and I developed my own seduction seminar, which I only gave a couple of times because my whole philosophy is give it straight, deliver it and give it on tape and then go off and do something more extreme with my life.
So we did this class called Beyond Seduction, which was the distilled essence of my techniques. It’s a conditioning seminar on how do you change yourself to become the kind of guy that women find naturally seductive. Because I have the lazy man’s approach to seduction. I think I ought to be able to walk into kind of setting, look around and not only be attractive to a broad cross section of women, but to be able to spot the ones that were attracted to me and be able to concentrate on them and kind of pick the low hanging fruit.
We do have a separate track, of course, which is my mainstream hypnosis track where we have classes like the introduction of Marknosis class. It’s a set of conditioning exercises that you can do every day to ensure that you go ahead and you clear out your emotional deadwood, you remove the trauma or limitation of your self-sabotage that came out of your past.
You get focused on what you actually want to do with the belief systems that will work for you, and we show you how that you can go through a process where you ensure that you stay on course every day, and I like it with the goals that you can dream up now, but turning into the kind of person that has an ever increasing, ever improving set of goals.
Frank Kermit: Of all the products that you have, if somebody wanted to start today and say, “Mark, I don’t know where I should start, between your products and all the other products out there, what would you recommend as a great starting place?”
Mark Cunningham: Well, people look at all the products I have available and go, “Oh my God, how am I suppose to pick something even with your own product line?”
We have this thing called Hypnotic Awakenings, which is a relatively brief CD set. I think it’s three CDs, and what it does is it’s a presentation on how to identify the imprint that you got, through no faults of your own. All the well meaning people who gave you advice or direction along your life ended up filling your head with full of crap. I’ll show you how to identify all these imprints, how to break those imprints so that you can, not only free yourself from that self-sabotage, but also take all the energy that’s freed up and start to apply it through a six-step process where you can go ahead and get your life stable, in order.
Because frankly, Frank, no one makes serious change in their life until you had a relatively stable moment.
I mean, I get these heart rending calls where people say, “Oh, my God, I’m down to like my last $10 and I’m living out of my car with one package of ramen and noodles. You know, what can you tell me to help me?” And I tell them, “You know, find a place to live. Get a job. Get your life relatively stable so you can start doing serious work on yourself.”
The work you do on your favor will pay off every day for the rest of your life, and so I steer people towards these entry level conditioning exercises so you get stable, you get wide awake and you figure out what it is you’re going to want to do and then you go out and get it.
Frank Kermit: So before somebody should be studying hypnosis or self-improvement, they should be taking care of their basic needs. Is that what I’m getting here?
Mark Cunningham: Pretty much, and one of the basic needs you have is to identify the things that are holding you back, identify the people, the situations that are holding you back and learn how to overcome those, get rid of yourself limiting belief and then out of all the things that you can imagine, and one of the exercises that I teach is how to knowing you’re bullshitting yourself about your goals. In a very simple, verifiable technique where you’re just fantasizing or when you’re thinking about something that your subconscious will actually help you get.
Frank Kermit: Now, let’s go to the idea of bettering yourself through hypnosis, and I’m going to be asking this as a novice here, are we talking about self-inductions, putting yourself into trance? Does a change will actually happen while in trance? Is it an instantaneous change that occurs? What’s the best method to use hypnosis for change?
Mark Cunningham: Yeah, it’s definitely involve trance work. All trance means is a state of unnatural fascination, and so you make the things that you are thinking about so compelling and so clean that is you don’t build in distractions. You don’t build in a supplementation. You just build a very powerful and resource rich experience and then you allow yourself to have that experience. That’s what we call trance work, and by rehearsing change in trance work, well, two things occur. One is you bypass all your previous self-limitation, but the second thing is you can experiment in an error-free environment, so you can go ahead and try out alternate paths.
Let the movie run and find out just how it comes out, this way, that way, how do you feel about that? And while you do that, two things, change is as difficult as you want to make it. If you believe change, it takes a long time and it’s extraordinary difficult, well, that is the hypnosis that you’re working on yourself, and by golly, that’s exactly how the change will occur. If you believe that you can walk away from your past as easily as you might put down a suitcase and walk away from that, well, then you can experience a very powerful, very profound change and happening in an instant.
Frank Kermit: One last question before we go to our next commercial break, Mark. Is there anything that hypnosis cannot solve or actually fix?
Mark Cunningham: Organic physical problems, like there is a client out in California who was one of the last polio patients and he wanted me to help him become a championship runner. I can’t do that. And hypnosis probably should not be used on diagnosable mental illness, both for practicality’s sake and because of the legal challenges.
Frank Kermit: Thank you, Mark. We are going to be going to commercial. When we come back, more with Mark Cunningham here on Frank Talks Pleasures and Lifestyles.
[Commercial Break from 00:08:10 to end of audio]
End Of Part 4
First Principle Of Personal Power
There is no true source of power outside yourself.
That doesn’t mean personal power is limited in any way — there will always be all you need and more. It just means that all the rituals, exercises, and “blah blah blah” you encounter are mechanisms to convince your subconscious to change and act/react.
Your subconscious seems to be connected to the universe anyway, and it has what you need. If you seek power, look within yourself.
Second Principle Of Personal Power
Power is neutral.
It doesn’t care how it’s expressed, or what the outcomes are. Sort of like a happily amoral angel.
Personal power may be used to lift yourself (and others) into the light, it can be used to destroy. But it can be measured — the unit of measure is influence.
It’s like pinball — if you score, you get to play again. You can concentrate on influencing yourself in the beginning (that’s a good place to begin!) and move on to others later.
Today internal state control, tomorrow the world. That’s why I tell everyone to learn hypnosis, and begin a program of training rigorous enough to become conditioning.
Third Principle Of Personal Power
If you bring a weak or flawed self to the expression of influence, you will inevitably destroy your “self”. It’s like passing a current through a crystal — a clean crystal will channel the current, a flawed sample will shatter.
Look at the people we know in other forums who’ve blown themselves up once they get a wee bit more power than they’re ready to handle.
Fourth Principle Of Personal Power
You can learn the byways of power through exerting influence within a context.
I’ve been touting stage hypnosis for years as an ideal way to learn and master EXPRESSING influence. Hey — play with their minds, appear mysterious and godlike, get applause and a paycheck… it’s a Good Thing!
But you’d probably be surprised how many well-trained and well-motivated students still balk at the DOING of it.
Powerful influence, shown in daylight for all to see, seems to some to be more daunting in reality than in one’s private dreams. I must admit — it IS a bit unnerving when people first begin to do exactly what you want them to do, thinking it’s their own idea.
If you have no interest in stage, then seek leadership positions in any activity.
Fifth Principle Of Personal Power
Direct, powerful influence over people and things is absurdly easy to obtain.
Sometimes it seems to me the the entire universe is begging me to just tell it what to do. The original impetus of what is now Marknosis was to harvest the natural somnambulists, get them off the streets and doing something useful. But, you’ve got to change what you regard as “right or wrong”.
Example: I taught a class last year on the process of conditioning a human for maximum emotional and sexual response — Build A Better Lover. As part of the class materials, I distributed a couple of conditioning scripts I’ve used in the past. And in retrospect it’s pretty funny — I lost about half the room when they realized that my first step is to demand, and condition for, obedience.
And it was because they were afraid of the WORD. In Marknosis obedience is important because… until you shut the fuck up and HAVE THE EXPERIENCE IN THE FIRST PLACE, you can’t possibly make an informed choice.
Obedience = following instructions, having a new experience, and THEN making up your mind. But for many attendees, their associations with the word outweighed the opportunity I was offering them.
The really hilarious part was that I’ve never had a subject complain about the process and their results. The only objections have come from the ones who have (only) read the scripts and projected all the “bad” things than can come from trust and open-minded obedience.
Makes you wonder what they’re projecting, what their subconscious assumes would be the result. Because that’s what THEY would do if they had the chance! The ones who have USED the scripts think I’m… an OK guy.
If I ever release that class with the scripts, I’ll either get crucified or sanctified. Or both. Good thing I didn’t release the other 10 scripts in the series!
Sixth Principle Of Personal Power
Power isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The more I gain, the less I use. Where once I would have wielded direct, intrusive influence, I now am happy giving a precisely placed nudge. I imagine that pretty soon now I’ll be content to control things with no effort whatsoever.
People who lust for power are weak, people who HAVE power are strong. I think you should desire power for the experience it offers, not in and of itself.
It turns out that power in this context is just a tool, no more malignant or useful than a socket wrench. But you won’t really understand or believe that until you get some for yourself.
— Mark Cunningham
In part 3 of this six-part interview series Mark Cunningham covers topics such as
You can either listen using the player or read the transcript below.
Mark Cunningham interview Part 3 of 6
Mark Cunningham: It’s also true that… well, it’s my truth that modern man don’t have much of a clue about just sucking it up, growing on your own resources, stepping out of that resource poor state, and just getting the job done.
In the military, we have this thing called maintaining the mission, which is no matter what happens, or no matter how much crap is raining down from heaven above, you still must get the job done. They’d also beaten into our head which is something which I still live by, which is there may be reasons, but there are never excuses.
There is always some reason why you are not moving as fast or getting as far or achieving as much as you wanted to, but there is never an excuse, you just pick yourself up and find another way to actually get the job done. So those two questions are really pointed as exactly at the same guys.
Frank: Now, you talk about what it is you do to make yourself that guy, that kind of guy that women will open up with, that kind of guy that women will talk to as if you are just one of the girls, never forgetting however that you are a man.
Mark Cunningham: Oh yeah.
Frank: Can you give me some specifics, something specific that a man can model, something that he can emulate to become that guy that women will open up to on that level?
Mark Cunningham: Well, actually, if you want the quick and dirty rule, what you need to do is go down to your neighborhood bookstore, talk to the clerks and say, “What’s your top selling romance title?” Take it home and try to figure out what the hell they are talking about. The first time you read through it, it’s like a thin code, but as you just go through there and soak it up and try to understand from a woman’s point of view, you’ll find that they are all about men that they consider a great challenge.
He’s someone who is very masculine, someone who is on their way, has their own life, who doesn’t really need a woman, holding them at arm length, but also takes them very seriously and pays a lot of attention.
He’s someone who the woman can pour their heart out to and know that they are going to be treated fairly and openly. It’s not someone who is going to be catering to women. I mean, as soon as they’ve set conditions like one of the girls I’ve talked, “Oh, boy, the boys are going to understand or not going to understand that one.”
But the thing is women love to talk. They love to talk emotions. So they love to talk about themselves, and when they find a man who’s willing to listen, who remembers what it is they just said and feeds it back to them, they just go nuts. It’s like throwing raw meat in front of a Doberman.
Frank: Okay. So basically, read the romance novels and model the main top male characters there.
Mark Cunningham: That would certainly be a good start. You also want to get yourself a woman who is a friend, not someone who you are trying to drag off into bed, not someone you’re trying to scam, but someone who is actually going to talk to you, and she will tell you about clothes.
She will talk to you about how to talk to women, what’s important. She will tell you which women are good for you, which aren’t, which ones are really available as opposed to the ones who say they are available or say they are not available. I mean, once a guy gets at least one good female friend, he’s definitely on his way.
Frank: Female friends, a real point of tension here for a number of men because they have lots of female friends who they end up falling in love with, who just keeps saying, “No, I just want to be your friend,” or getting rejected.
Some seduction gurus have certain attitudes that there is no such thing as a female friend. Other seduction gurus talk about how a female friend is one who helps you meet other women, otherwise, she’s not your friend. The word “female friend,” when I say that though, that combination of words to you, what do you think about?
Mark Cunningham: I’m thinking about buddies. I mean, I have female friends who like to watch football with me. I have female friends who like to hang out and run errands with me on Saturday. I have female friends who like to have me come over and we will both cook dinner together. I mean, there are all kinds of things that I do with these girls, and there is a certain, what, what’s the word, a persona, a little zing of excitement, because there is always that possibility. But I’m not pursuing them and I don’t know a lot of them to pursue me.
Well, I can just enjoy being a man around them. They could enjoy being a woman around me, and it’s just understood the don’t poach on those friendships. I mean, you basically don’t want to screw up a friendship with one of your guy friends, why would you want to screw up a friendship with one of your girl friends?
Instead maybe you should listen to what she says and look around and realize that there are untold billions other women walking around, many of them will probably be interested in you if you just got out of your own way.
Frank: I got an open ended question for you here, Mark.
Mark Cunningham: Yeah.
Frank: No holds barred, without having to mention any specific names, what is your opinion of the modern seduction community?
Mark Cunningham: Well, it’s amazingly lucrative, isn’t it? I mean, it appears to be huge. It appears to be an unceasing demand for advice to guys on how to handle this whole seduction thing.
I find it kind of surprising. I find many of the approaches that I’ve seen out there are very mechanistic. They seemed to be not only techniques that you do to women. The more advanced ones are things that you do with women or they are phrased as you do these things with women.
But for the most part, they appear to be designed to recreate in you the kind of person that the instructor is, to recreate within your current life the life experience of the seduction instructor. It’s like they are out there trying to clone themselves and say, “If you do these things, well, then you will experience my level of success.”
Well, it’s kind of like watching these late night real estate seminars on TV, “If you just follow my magical plan, you too can live on a beach in Maui.” Well, maybe you can, but there is a very low probability of desirable outcome. I don’t see enough of what I think actually works which is help on changing yourself to be the kind of guy that women find attractive.
Frank: You talk a lot about this in your work, and we are going to get back to this. Sorry, I’m getting the signal we got to go to commercial.
Mark Cunningham: Okay.
Frank: When we come back, I would like you to talk about some of your transformation work.
Mark Cunningham: Oh, sure.
Frank: All right, you’re listening to Frank Talks Pleasures and Lifestyles.
[Commercial Break from 00:07:08 to end of audio]
End Of Part 3
In part 2 of this six-part interview series Mark Cunningham covers
You can either listen using the player or read the transcript below.
Mark Cunningham interview Part 2 of 6
Frank: So here is a question, if somebody, let’s say, in a cult environment has been so thoroughly hypnotized that they are committing acts of violence, to use one specific example, do you as a professional hypnotist believe that that person is ultimately responsible for his own actions if he was hypnotized into behaving violently?
Mark Cunningham: The compassionate answer would be no, but someone has been messing with their mind. On the other hand, you have people who are not in cults who are wandering around the street unsupervised. We call them citizens and they have been exposed to conditioning that has hypnotic elements in it from birth and yet we claim that they are fully responsible for their actions.
So in modern life, that’s what we call a normal or sane behavior is that which at least 50% of your social group who believes them, and that’s really the only foundation we have for what it’s considered as sane or normal. This is what the majority view on these things.
So somewhere in there, you can say that if someone has been deliberately conditioned to do specific things, well, then you can say their free will has been interfered with, but it’s also true that all hypnosis begins with acquiescence. If there is not that first moment of going along with the suggestion, then you can’t talk anybody into anything.
Frank: I want to get back to your military career.
Mark Cunningham: Sure.
Frank: I know you can’t talk about some of those elements. I do have a specific question.
Mark Cunningham: Yes.
Frank: Did you see any combat? Were you actually firing a rifle?
Mark Cunningham: Yes.
Frank: Do you know if you’ve ever killed anybody as part of your military experience?
Mark Cunningham: Yes, I know for certain that, yes, there is a number whom I had killed in combat.
Frank: I find it very interesting that in the current model of your life right now, you’re using hypnosis to help the people live better lives to help them clear up some of the challenges they may have inside. I am curious, do you think that your experience in the military is a fuel, a motivation for the type of lifestyle you live now as a hypnotist helping people.
Mark Cunningham: Yes, yes, in two ways. The first is I do feel that I’ve got some karma that I’ve got to work off and if spending the rest of my life helping people is the way it has to be, then that does certainly what’s going to happen.
The second is I learned a great deal of skills about controlling myself and influencing others when I was in my military career, and I have learned to recycle, retask, apply differently those skill set and those personal resources in order to address the challenge of knocking people out of their existing mindsets and teaching them a whole, new and better ways of living through life.
Frank: Mark, we are going to take a break. When we come back, we’ll talk with Major Mark Cunningham here on Frank Talks Pleasures and Lifestyles.
Commercial Break from 3:22 to 4:51
Frank: You’re listening to Frank Talks Pleasures and Lifestyles, and I’m Frank because I have to be. In studio today with Mark Cunningham. How are you doing there, Mark?
Mark Cunningham: I’m doing really well, Frank.
Frank: Well, I want to change the direction of this interview slightly and bring up the topic of the seduction community. One of the things that I remember when I studied your products is that you always came across as a man who loves women. I don’t sense anything from you or any sort of misogyny or any anger towards women. You’ve even said it on a number of occasions, you love women. You can’t get enough of them. You think they’re like a wonderful thing.
Mark Cunningham: I think they are a damn fine idea, that’s true. Yeah, in my professional work, especially in the hypnosis work, I deal primarily with women.
I’ve done over 18,000 session hours and out of that, at least 55% has been with women. So you can say that for the past ten to twelve years I’ve spent my days talking to women about how do they move through their lives, what are their concerns, what are their opportunities, what are their challenges, what do they need in order to become fully human, what is the life for them to feel feminine and sexy, and what do they look for in a man.
Frankly, I prefer the company of women. I mean, as I go to these suburban parties and whenever, all the men are out front talking about lawn care, I’m out in the kitchen with their wives because I just prefer to spend my time with women.
Frank: I got two questions for you.
Mark Cunningham: Sure.
Frank: The first question, when you say that the majority of your clientele are women, is that a conscious choice on your part or it’s just because in terms of the clientele you’re servicing, you just happen to be servicing a large clientele of women, and the second questions I have, with the amount of time that you are spending with all these women, you must have a unique perspective on the way women think on their belief systems and generally you have a grasp for the female mind. Now, what are your comments for those questions?
Mark Cunningham: Well, the first part is that in general, women are far more likely to reach out for professional help than men are. The women are stoics. They are talkers and so if they’ve got a problem in their life, if they think someone can solve it, they are going to reach out for it. So you’re therapy clients, in general, tend to be women.
And beyond that, I prefer to work with women, and frankly, men will come in and start going on about their neurotic half-ass, ridiculous suburban lives, and where I’m willing to talk to women about it, but basically I just want to slap the men and say, “Grow a pair!” Which is not something you can actually charge for. So yeah, I do tend to seek them out.
Frank: In terms of…
Mark Cunningham: In terms of my unique understanding, I’ve learned to handle myself around women in ways that they open up. They tell me the truth. They’ll sit down and dish with me like I’m one of the girls, but never forgetting that I’m also a man.
I mean, it’s really kind of funny. It’s virtually all of the clients will hit on me, all the women I run across that tend to think I’m a fascinating guy, and I’m not saying this just because I want to just blow my horn somehow. It’s just that I’ve learned to position myself as that guy and I’ve learned that once I get them to open up about themselves, well, the only kind of guy that they would actually open up and be honest and genuine and forthcoming with is somebody that they can care deeply about, and bing, there I am.
Frank: Okay, two more questions for you. The first one is about your male clients.
Mark Cunningham: Sure.
Frank: How much, in terms of a percentile, would you say that when it comes to your male clients, how many are we talking that actually seriously have a real problem that would require a hypnotherapist or some therapy? And how many of them just don’t seem to grasp what it is to be a man and to tough it out?
Mark Cunningham: Boy, you’re basically describing the same guys in both groups. I mean, anyone who is stuck, anyone who has a problem with their beliefs, their behaviors, their emotions probably ought to go and find a good hypnotist and have a little chat about what’s possible because it makes perfect sense to seek out help. Now.
End of Part 2
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— Mark Cunningham
Interview with Mark Cunningham on Frank Talks Radio.
In part 1 of this six-part interview series Mark covers topics such as
You can either listen using the player or read the transcript below.
Mark Cunningham interview Part 1 of 6
Introduction: This program does not represent the views of this station, and may be considered offensive to some listeners. This program may contain mature subject matter including frank discussions of controversial topics. It is intended for mature, open-minded audiences. Discretion is highly advised.
Frank: You’re listening to Frank Talks Pleasures and Lifestyles, and I’m Frank because I have to be. On today’s show we have the man known as Mark Cunningham, Renegade Hypnotist. One of the people who helped establish fundamentals in the seduction community, and today he’s on Frank Talks Pleasure and Lifestyles. Welcome to the studio, Mark.
Mark Cunningham: Hi Frank, how are you doing?
Frank: All right, and I’m going to start off with my first question, Mark. Where were you born, and tell me a few things about your upbringing, your time in the military that eventually led you to being a hypnotist.
Mark Cunningham: Well, Frank, actually, I’m a Midwestern American boy. I was born in Adrian, Michigan, which is not all that far from you, and I spent my formative years there up through high school.
Basically, I’m a shy, self-effacing, way too smart, physically underdeveloped, geeky and gawky kind of American upbringing. I did do a lengthy hitch in the military. That’s certainly true. Many people heard the stories that came out of that period, and after I rotated out of the military, then I did the multiple college degrees in Michigan State University up to the Masters level and moved on into the corporate world where I became a software architect. I eventually rotated out of that in order to become a full time professional hypnotist.
Frank: What was your first exposure to hypnosis, like when did you first see it in action and then start thinking, “Oh, this might be something I want to get into.”
Mark Cunningham: That’s kind of a trick question because once I found out what hypnosis actually was, it turned out I encountered it basically at my mother’s knee.
My first formal exposure to it was at the university where I had a full ride scholarship so I was rotating to all the academic majors and I’m very careful not to complete one so I could continue the scholarships.
As I was working through ‘Ps’, I was in Psychology, and I did an internship with the psychiatrist who was on the faculty, and he was working within large VA hospital. The Veterans Administration Hospitals in the States are the government hospitals that are meant solely for the veterans of the armed forces, and we were working with quite a few Vietnam era veterans. We were working with Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, and the things he was doing with hypnosis in terms of regressing back to traumatic episodes and losing emotional charge so they could go on and lead their useful lives, as well as he did this one fascinating project on time dilation.
It was with the Detroit Police Force, so that basically all these policemen who are all staff, running around sitting on their butts, drinking coffee, eating doughnuts and then suddenly thrust into a life or death situation. They would literally say “Shazzam” to themselves and the entire world would slow down as thought the entire world moved into slow motion. And the police themselves would be unaffected and they could just function normally. So of course they are moving in super-speed in real life.
When I saw this in action, I thought, “Oh my God, I’ve got to learn how to do this stuff.”
Frank: Now, let’s get some of the basics down here. When we are talking about hypnosis, what are we talking about specifically? Do you have a Major Mark definition of what is hypnosis?
Mark Cunningham: Yes, there is a thing that we call hypnosis, and what that is, it comes in two parts. The first is you induce a mental state to where you are no longer making critical decisions. That is you’re not making judgments. You’re not saying good or bad, this is me or not me, this is true or false. You’re simply in a realm of experiencing everything equally.
Now, the second part of the classic definition is establishment of acceptable selective focus. What that basically means is they are not being distracted by anything, they just zoom in on whatever is inducing that trance. But the reason this works is there is a principle of the mind called disassociation, and all that is, is our ability to use this mega powered human brain to do multiple trains of thought.
Now, some of these are directly related to the things that we are observing in real life that are concrete, that we can agree on, consensual reality. Most of them are not and so what we do with any hypnotic induction is basically bump the subject off the track of the consensual reality and move them into one of these disassociated streams of thought so that all of a sudden they are off on something that seems compellingly real, just as real as anything else, but it is not actually real in the sense that anyone else may see it, hear it or experience it.
Frank: I’ve got a question for you now.
Mark Cunningham: Sure.
Frank: One of the biggest criticisms about hypnosis is that it doesn’t actually work. It doesn’t really exist. But because the person believes that they are hypnotized, that’s what causes the effects to take place. What are your comments to those types of statements.
Mark Cunningham: Well, I’ll give you a two-part answer. The first is we aren’t really operating on things that are real anyway. I mean, think about everybody you know, your friends, your co-workers, they are all moving through the world with their own personal blend of reality that is not shared by anyone else, and yet there is sufficient overlap that we can go, “Okay, there is a span that we call consensual reality.”
But all of it are operating on our own little version of reality, and all hypnosis is, it is guiding someone into a new version of that totally made-up reality that serves the purpose of the hypnotist.
Now, the second thing is that this thing we call hypnosis has been verified. There are a lot of medical studies that are coming out now. They are showing how the brain functions under hypnosis, and they are going, “Oh, look, when someone is “hypnotized,” you see that part of the brain that’s involved in processing thought logically just lights up dramatically because that part has to work so much harder when a person is hypnotized.
Well, the hypnotist could tell you through experience that, yeah, that logical part is suspended and you move it into something called trance-logic which is why you can talk to someone who is hypnotized into virtually anything.
The idea that someone believes in it in the first place and so therefore hypnosis doesn’t really exist, it’s just someone who is just kind of going along with your suggestion. Well, if you think about that, that fits the description of hypnosis.
Frank: Okay, now we come to some of the scary elements of hypnosis.
Mark Cunningham: Oh good.
Mark Cunningham: A hypnotist talking on the radio about scary elements of hypnosis, I love this.
Frank: All right. Well, let’s see if we can get something to spark our listeners. If I’m in the process of trying to hypnotize somebody and I get them to strictly consider things they wouldn’t normally have considered, where are the concepts of free will and responsibility for one’s own actions coming in if people are so susceptible to hypnosis that they would end up doing things they wouldn’t normally be or have the capacity to do?
Mark Cunningham: We tell with all the beginning students that no one who is hypnotized will do something that violates their ethics or beliefs. In other words, you cannot make someone do something that they are not willing to do, even though they are hypnotized.
Now, that is a belief system that is appropriate for beginners, because after all, we don’t want beginners to get wildly adventurous with this stuff. So we tell them that, they go off and they are confident they can’t possibly mess anybody up and everything is fine.
Now, in the advanced classes, we tell people that, yes, the first law which is you cannot make anyone do anything against their belief systems or their ethics, that is true. But there is a catch, which is hypnosis has a very powerful effect on belief systems, and if you know this technology very, very well and you are sufficiently adept with it, comfortable with it, you can in fact change people’s belief systems powerfully. Thus you get them to do virtually anything that you might dream up talking them into.
It’s not something that is normally done. It’s certainly not done widely in a therapy situation, although you do work with belief systems, so when you get them to believe they are non-smoker, or that they can lose weight, or that they can accept themselves for who they are. It’s something like turning them into criminals, changing their base level sexuality, changing their ethics or morals, that’s something that’s typically done either over time or done when you have someone in physical isolation. There is an awful lot of studies in the use of hypnosis within cults, for example, to point out exactly how you can do this.
End Part 1