Svengali and The Manchurian Candidate

In his book of 1894 called Trilby, George du Maurier created a fictional character called Svengali.

Svengali transforms Trilby into a great singer using hypnosis, but she cannot perform without his help in entering a trance state.

The character of Svengali was painted as a person with evil intent, a person who persuaded others to do what he wanted, to be extremely domineering, to be frightened of. This stereotype character has persisted to this day in the minds of the public against stage hypnosis and hypnotists.

The book Trilby has been filmed several times, perhaps most recently in 1983, perpetuating the myth. 

Another film that set up hypnosis’s bad name and idea in the cinema and the public, is the The Manchurian Candidate filmed in 1962 staring Frank Sinatra, and in 2004 with Denzel Washington. This film brought the idea that hypnosis has power into the political arena. Filmed at the height of the Cold War between the East and West,  the film suggested that the victim had been programmed to kill a leading American politician.
 
This idea that people can be made to do things against their will have been tried by many people, organisations and governments, and all have failed as being too unreliable.

In his book Brainwashing, The Secret History of Mind Control,  Dominic Streatfeild investigates the history of now published papers of the CIA, into the authorised projects of the 1950’s, Bluebird, Artichoke  and the notorious Mkultra. All types of mind control failed, including drugs and especially hypnosis.

Brainwashing is not hypnosis, there are special skills and techniques, especially researched and used by the Communist Russia, from the work of Pavlovian Conditioning (Ivan Pavlov and his dogs).

The Moscow Show Trials (1936 -38), Sergei Mrachovsky, Lev Kamenev, Richard Pickel, Edouard Holtzman and Yuri Paitakov demanded to be found guilty of implausible crimes against Stalin. The USA Dewey Commission found these trials to be “frame-ups”.

Ten years later, a Cardinal Mindszenty was “taken apart” by Soviet interrogators, by what the Daily Mail headlined, “Mindszenty: Drug? Third Degree? Hypnosis?”. In a secret document of 10th February 1949, it was stated that Mindszenty had been probably persuaded to confess by less subtle means. One of his workers Dr. Zakar had been beaten half dead and paraded in front of Minszenty, who had immediately buckled and confessed. The Daily Mail headline was “journalistic embroidery”.

In Korea, on 13 January 1952, USA airforce pilots Enoch and Quinn were shot down over North Korea. On 16 May the two men made extraordinary confessions to Chinese interrogators that they had been deploying biological weapons, including cholera, anthrax typhus and plague over Korea. Nine months later Colonel Schwable also shoot down and captured, made similar confessions, shortly followed by confessions of another thirty-five capture pilots.

There was a problem, no bacteriological weapons were in use in Korea, the confessions were false.

This was Brainwashing.

Not only did the Russians try different techniques to alter peoples minds, but so did other nations, including the CIA, the British Intelligence Services, MI5, MI6, MI9, MI19 and A19,  under Cyril Cunningham, all investigate brainwashing, altering peoples mind.

All dismissed hypnosis as next to useless, unreliable. 

You cannot make someone do something against their will, culture, beliefs, religion unless they want to.

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