A Dangerous Form of Spiritualism


Hypnotism - Catholic Reviews

Every day thousands of Catholics search the Internet looking for spiritual answers to solve personal problems. One alternative that seems to be highly acclaimed by medical practitioners and psychologists alike is hypnotism. According to these medical professionals, "hypnotism has the ability to help people quit smoking, lose weight, manage anxiety, improve sexual drive, and even overcome gambling addictions."

Hypnotism works by placing a patient in a deep state of relaxation so that the "conscious mind takes a less active role, thus allowing the hypnotist to work directly with the subconscious mind." This condition is commonly referred to as the "trance," which is characterized by a state of heightened imagination and extreme suggestibility. For example, if the hypnotist makes a suggestion like, "Your tongue is now swollen," the patient may actually feel a sensation in his or her mouth, and may even have a hard time talking.

Other forms of hypnotism occur in the entertainment industry. In these situations, the hypnotist will ask for a volunteer from the audience. Once that person has been placed in a trance, the hypnotist can suggest things that a person wouldn't ordinarily do, like walk around the stage as a chicken. Although many hypnotists claim they would never make a person do anything against his or her will, this type of evidence would suggest otherwise.

Another form of hypnotism is called past life regression. In this type of treatment the hypnotist takes the patient back in time to experience life before being "reincarnated" in his or her present-day body. According to one New Age practitioner, "Past life regression hypnosis is excellent for accessing the Akashic Records. Accessing this information enhances the individual to understand how we became as we are."1

Even though many practitioners claim to place clients in a "light or medium trance," the hypnotherapist cannot prevent a patient from spontaneously plunging into a "danger zone," which can include hallucinations where the patient starts making claims about being contacted by UFOs, abducted by space aliens, or reporting memories from past lives while living on different planets.

Perhaps the most dangerous form of hypnosis comes from a technique called "spirit guide contact." In this process the practitioner helps patients establish and maintain regular dialog with spirit guides. After placing clients in a trance, one New Age practitioner describes the process by saying, "I describe precisely who these highly evolved beings are, where they live and provide dozens of exercises to communicate with them safely and effectively."2

For those clients who may feel a little nervous about allowing a New Age practitioner to impart suggestions into their subconscious, or inviting spirit guides into their lives, there's also a technique called self-hypnosis. In the self-hypnosis kits, tapes and CDs clients are provided with instructions to help people "leave their bodies and then go back to explore various elements about themselves."

If that doesn't work, there are also a number of books to create hypnotic trances in everyday conversations. By using these techniques, practitioners can get complete strangers to do anything they want. According to one man's testimony, he was able to walk into a bank, and after captivating a teller with a trance, she handed over a large sum of money without knowing what she was doing.3

Since many doctors and psychologists are advertising their services under the guise of "medical treatment," it makes unsuspecting Catholics think that hypnosis is safe to use. Unfortunately, what most people fail to realize is that once a person is placed in a hypnotic state, it is very easy for spirit guides, also known as fallen angels or demons, to enter into that person's life, and hinder that person's relationship with God.

Although some practitioners may argue that the Holy Spirit can also enter a person during a hypnotic state and help that person overcome addictions and other problems, it's important to understand that God will never violate our free will. The Holy Spirit wants to enter everybody's life to help us work through our problems, but this process needs to occur when we are fully conscious.

Another problem with hypnosis is that it transfers control away from the individual and puts it into the hands of the therapist or other spiritual entities. God requires that we place our trust in him alone. This response to God is known as faith, and it is described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in section 143 that states, "By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, the obedience of faith."4

God wants all of his beloved children to open up their hearts to him so that he can help us work through any underlying issues that may be causing eating disorders, gambling addictions, or any other problems in life. When a man or woman is held in bondage to a gambling addiction, there may be an underlying sin of greed that Jesus wants to resolve. In the case of an eating disorder, there may be unresolved childhood wounds that Jesus wants to bring to the surface and heal. If the underlying issues are not properly addressed in a way that requires a person to grow in holiness, then it would not be spiritually beneficial for that person to cover them over with New Age hypnotic advice.

In the worst-case scenario, hypnotism opens a door to demonic influence. In the best-case scenario, hypnotism is a quick-fix attempt to cover over problems that prevents a person from growing in holiness.


Scripture Passages to Set the Captives Free


"For this is the will of God, your sanctification." — 1 Thessalonians 4:3

"Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God." — Romans 6:12–13

"It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to believe absolutely what he says. It would be futile and false to place such faith in a creature."5Catechism of the Catholic Church: 150


Hypnotherapy - Spirit Guide Contact

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The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition copyright © 1993 and 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Excerpts from the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for use in the United States of America, © 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.—Libreria Editrice Vaticana. English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifications from the Editio Typica copyright © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.—Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission.

  1. "Reiki–Spiritual Healing with Dana: Past Life Regression (PLR) Using Hypnosis": http://reikispiritualhealing.homeste ad.co m/hypnosispastliferegression.html
  2. Dr. Bruce Goldberg, "Spirit Guide Contact Through Hypnosis": http://www.drbrucegoldberg.c om/spirit_guide.htm
  3. Conversational Hypnosis website: http://www.conversation al-hypnosis.com/?hop=adi85
  4. Catechism of the Catholic Church: 143; Cf. DV 5; Cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26.
  5. Catechism of the Catholic Church: 150; Cf. Jer 17:5–6; PS 40:5; 146:3–4.
  6. Dr. Bruce Goldberg, "Spirit Guide Contact Through Hypnosis": http://www.drbrucegoldberg.com/spirit_guide.htm