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America's Hypnotist Paul McKenna once sued for causing schizophrenia

Screen Shot From PaulMcKenna.com
Screen Shot From PaulMcKenna.com
Allen Bethea Screen Shot

America's hypnotist, Paul McKenna promises to help you lose weight, conquer phobias, increase your confidence, and get a good night sleep. The former DJ, British TV presenter, and stage hypnotist attempted mass trance hypnotism on the Dr. Oz show (seen on Charlotte's WBTV). The purpose of the performance was to help the thousands - potentially millions - of viewers lose weight.

We have all seen the stunts that stage hypnotists do. Some of it is quite entertaining. But is there a dark side to this "parlor trick?" Are there any dangers to being placed in trance states? Is there any harm done when the hypnotist - regardless of his training - places a client "under" without knowing their medical or psychological history? Should Charlotteans be concerned about possibly injurious effects to their spiritual and mental health as a result of mass trance hypnotism done over televison?

In March 1994, Christopher Gates and his girlfriend, Beverly Gibbs, attended a televised hypnotism performance by Paul McKenna in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire England. Gates volunteered to come up on stage. Under hypnosis, Gates danced like a ballerina, like Mick Jagger, acted like a school boy, and became an interpreter for aliens from outer space. (Source, the Free Library)

Great fun was had by all that night, but in the days ahead, Christopher Gates' life became a living hell. According to a BBC report, 9 days after the stunts, Gates began having severe headaches. After a hospital visit, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Mr Gates told the court that following McKenna's hypnotism performance

  • he suffered severe headaches and was unable to sleep that evening.
  • the next day he began giggling and crying at a redundancy meeting at work.
  • he later lost his job.
  • he heard "mumbling voices" which he believed belonged to Jesus or Moses.
  • he was 'Afraid to have a shower'

According to his girlfriend, Beverly,

  • he became convinced he was going to die and that God was watching him.
  • he became too scared to go to the toilet or have a shower because he believed Paul McKenna was lying in wait for him
  • He also believed someone from the TV show Coronation Street was sending him subliminal messages from the fictional pub the Rovers' Return, telling him to stop drinking.
  • on another occasion he started laughing uncontrollably at a Freddie Starr show

(Source BBC News World Edition Friday, 14 August, 1998, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK)

Gates eventually brought the matter to court, suing Paul McKenna for 200,000 British pounds damages. Gates charged McKenna with turning him into an "aggressive schizophrenic." The Court, however, ruled in favor of McKenna and against Gates. According to a judge, Gates' schizophrenia was of natural origin and that its manifestation after being hypnotized by McKenna was tragically coincidental.

Again, a court ruled that in this instance, Paul McKenna did not cause Christopher Gates to become schizophrenic. But there is still cause for alarm. Dr Oz's show is seen by millions. Thousands of men, women, teens, and children may have participated in the trance hypnotism session led by McKenna. (I would advise against it, but Dr Oz http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/monday-dr-oz-show) and McKenna's site http://www.paulmckenna.com/free-download.aspx still offer video and audio of a trance hypnotic session)

How many viewers at home were suffering from diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness? Should there not be a requirement that a hypnotist must know their client physical and mental health history before hand?

From a spiritual perspective, it is not a hidden fact among those who practice deep meditation that there can be unpleasant psychic incidents. Malevolent entities can attempt to make contact. There are spirits who are not interested in the welfare of humans and they can gain entrance through trance states.

Deep meditation can sometimes lead to a frightening, "Kundalina Awakening."

Symptoms of Kundalini Psychosis

According to kundalini expert Kurt Kreutzer, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, "awakening" is a sensation so powerful that it is often compared to a "freight train" or an "erupting volcano." Symptoms, usually temporary but sometimes long-term, may include blissful or terrifying visions, trembling, shaking, assuming unfamiliar yoga postures, singing, reciting mantras, speaking in tongues and making animal sounds. These reactions are caused when the contents of the unconscious mind "spill over into consciousness," he says, and constitute a "spiritual emergency." Read more: Kundalini Problems.

At the very least, caution is advised. Beware. Your spiritual life and your mental health should not be put at risk in the hands of someone who you don't know. Someone who's credentials are questionable. Someone who is not a licensed mental health professional or spiritual counselor in North Carolina. Someone who for entertainment, practices a technique which has the potential to cause spiritual and psychological harm -- ask Christopher Gates.

Comments

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    This is so funny. Just another prime example of someone trying to get something for nothing. It is the Ol' Finger in the Chili scenario. For those of you who don't know what that is, Google "Wendy's Finger Chili" and read about how this couple stuck a friend's severed finger in their chili in order to establish rights for a lawsuit with the fast food chain. This fits right in line with it....

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Should there not be a requirement that a hypnotist must know their client physical and mental health history before hand?

    Then what....next we should make repeat marketing like Geico and Progressive commercials against the law because that too can program you subconsciously into buying their insurance.

    It is autosuggestion people....even at the beginning of the hypnotherapy session on the Dr. Oz show, he exclaimed that you will have full control to wake should you feel a sense of being uncomfortable or had a sense of emergency. nobody was in such a deep trance that they could not wake from it. You have a factor of someone that has studied the way the mind works and someone that doesn't know how the mind works in this case resulting in someone thinking that they were hypnotized into being a schizophrenic. It was worth a shot I guess though it does not appear it worked out in his favor.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    yes of course bad hypnotism (open eyes hypnotism) that have migraine almost cause schizophrenia

    '

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    i am a avictim of hypnotism some other ones are
    john nash
    enstein
    william james sidis
    mohamad tavakoli

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    open eyes hypnotism that cause schizophrenia if guy dont use respridone and Li result instrange geniuse people

  • Cures Riches 3 years ago

    Hypnotists do mess with a persons regular coping styles. We live in a very tragic world of spirit channel denial where the efforts of Slivio Berlusconi and the system of which he is the center piece are dementedly psychopath to maintain their secret of spirit channel CANNIBALISM ! ! ! A large part of their effort is a system of evil for diversifying guilt and culpability so that Berlusconi can be as close to omnipotent as he can get. In my spiritual experience, with honesty and an effort for pertinence.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    Your text makes me laugh. You talk about the possible dangers of hypnosis, when you clearly don't understand what hypnosis is. But at the same time you use hypnosis yourself!

    To quote "From a spiritual perspective, it is not a hidden fact among those who practice deep meditation that there can be unpleasant psychic incidents. Malevolent entities can attempt to make contact. There are spirits who are not interested in the welfare of humans and they can gain entrance through trance states."

    You state this as though it is fact. Yes it's been documented that people sometimes experience strange mental and physical symptoms from frequent meditation, but the cause of those experiences are purely subjective. To state that these are spirits who enter a person through trance, makes it sound like a fact. This can potentially induce fear in those who want to try meditation for their well-being. Is your statement not a form of hypnosis?

  • Anonymous 1 year ago