The Fuss Over Netflix New Hypnotic Suspense Thriller
Here is What Was Right and What Was Wrong About the Movie, Op-Ed, 111521

The subject of hypnosis abuse is certainly not new to the movies. The fact is, there have been a lot of Tinsel-Town takes on hypnosis over the decades, with too many hypnotherapists and psychologists often deriding Hollywood for its unfair portrayal of hypnosis on the big screen, claiming that they are presenting it all wrong, when in fact the movies have actually done a much better job of accurately depicting trance than the academicians and hypnotherapists.

With this said, the glaring issue with most hypnosis movies is not with the depiction of hypnosis per se, as much as it is with the elements of a convoluted film plot and poor story line. A good example of a movie like this would be the horror thriller Get Out. While the hypnosis elements were actually spot on the money, the sci-fi/horror twist of a mind and soul body transference is where the movie departed from reality, not because of its depiction of hypnosis. It was the combination of reality and fantasy which left audiences unable to focus on the true nature of hypnosis in Get Out because it was mixed with such a heavy dose of non-reality sci-fi.

On the other hand, there are many movies which accurately depict the true nature of the medium, ranging from intense dramas to light-hearted comedies. Movies such as The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, which played heavily on the use of post-hypnotic triggers and embedded commands. The movie Office Space accurately showed that implicit behavior could be changed in one hypnosis session, with the right subject. The film Trance followed that theme up by showing how criminal behavior can also be accomplished with a somnambulistic subject. Early films such as Svengali showed how hypnosis can be administered via covert means. Even the movie Shallow Hal was accurate in its depiction of brainwashing by getting a patient to romantically accept someone they would not normally be attracted to. All of these movies were accurately true to the hypnosis aspect they were presenting.

While each of the aforementioned movies has presented an honest premise of hypnosis, Netflix has recently added its own modest contribution to hypnosis film portrayal, but so far it has been widely criticized by uneducated and/or ignorant hypnotherapists for its presentation, which is once again, far more real in its depiction than what the naysayers are falsely claiming.

We applaud the directors for showing the manipulative side of the dark hypnotist. The fact of the matter is, has uncovered over 170 cases of historically documented hypnosis abuse cases. We understand implicitly the dark side that exists for some hypnotherapists and hypnotists. They are after all, merely men. The fact that they are hypnotherapists does not separate them from criminal or carnal desires. Morality is not beholden to a profession. It is governed by the individual.

The point is, there are far more bad hypnotherapists in this world than most people have any clue of. Again, it needs to be noted and recognized that there have been over 170 of them caught to date. This begs the next obvious question, which is... how many deviant hypnotists haven't been caught, but have gotten away with this crime instead?

For this article we won't rehash the numerous reasons why hypnosis abuse is a proven threat to women and society because much has already been written about the subject on this website. In the interest of brevity, rather than repeat the myriad reasons over again here and now, please note that all previous hypnosis articles germane to this topic can be found linked above on the far right.

Jenn visits with Dr. Meade, who later turns out to be Dr. Sullivan.

The gist of this current piece is simply to take a look at what the movie Hypnotic got right and what it got wrong.

Here's what they got right...

  • Hypnotic amnesia is totally possible. It is typically part of every hypnosis assault.

  • The post-hypnotic cueing of a subject for manipulative control is indeed possible.

  • Hypnosis can alter a person's normal perceptions and make them perceive things differently.

  • Hypnosis can be used to coerce a person to kill. (When their moral perceptions are altered.)

  • The good hypnotherapist's idea to plant a post hypnotic suggestion to overcome Meade's.

  • The use of a hypnotic seal, to prevent re-hypnosis to uncover previous hypnosis sessions.

Now, here's what they got wrong in the film... (At least could have been presented much better.)

  • The opening elevator scene was a stretch. A more plausible death was needed for that scene.

  • Dr. Meade did not take Jenn's tape recorder, or make her forget that she was taping him.

  • Jenn's friend Gina sped up her car instead of stopping it to get the imagined spider off of her.

  • Jenn grabbed the gun after she was told to sleep. She should not have been able to do that.

A much cleaner way to address the spider scene in the movie would have been to directly cue Jenn's friend Gina to deliberately drive her car into a fatal accident, rather than being questionably scared into it. This would have perhaps been far more believable to the novice viewer and thus much more credible to the overall script, rather than someone deciding to panic and put their foot on the accelerator. (It is true that Dr. Meade could have indeed hypnotically programmed the victim to step on the gas pedal, however, the movie never went so far as to show a direct connection to such a devious tactic. Had they done so, it would have added considerably to that particular scene.)

As for the movie's opening murder-death scene in the elevator, the premise of dying from the thought of something bad happening to the victim, as in imagining that the elevator walls were closing together to crush her (even though they were not), could have been made much more believable by just simply programming the victim to walk in front of a moving bus, or jump from a high place. That would have opened the movie with a bit more believability, again, instead of confusing the novice hypnosis viewer. 

Lastly, per the final fight scene at the end of the movie where Jenn is still able to grab the gun after being told to sleep - this should have been impossible. A post-hypnotic command is an already embedded command that would have made her stop instantly. It would have been much more believable for Meade to yell "sleep" just as Jenn was pulling the trigger, which would then provide a much better account for why she accidentally shot the detective instead of Dr. Meade.

The biggest positive going for this movie is its honest and accurate reflection of a much larger problem within the hypnosis community at large - the deviant hypnotist. First and foremost, the unscrupulous hypnotist does exist. As this website has already proven numerous times over, again and again, hypnosis can be used to abuse and exploit unsuspecting people, most especially those who are somnambulistic. This much is given fact for those hypnotists who are educated enough to know the real truth, such as Dr. David Speigel from Stanford, Dr. Daniel Brown of Harvard, Dr. Alan Scheflin from Santa Clara University, Jonathan Royal from the UK and Mark Anthony from Australia, all who state that hypnosis abuse is indeed very possible.

In 2020 alone there were six hypnotherapists arrested for criminal sexual assault while their patients were under deep hypnotic trance. A seventh hypnotist was also caught for attempting to sexually assault a woman under hypnosis and lost his college professorship. All of these hypnosis assaults happened in just one year, which speaks to the fact of how prevalent this crime truly is.

So to say that hypnosis assault is not possible is precisely what is wrong with the uneducated, ignorant side of today's hypnosis profession. This does nothing but create a false sense of security for female clients and patients, thus fostering an environment that is conducive to the deviant hypnotist. Sticking your head in the sand to avoid facing reality does not make the problem nonexistent. The hypnosis community needs to do much more collectively as a profession to help inform and educate the public about this dire problem. Few people have any real clue about it.

More perversely, some hypnotherapists are actually aware of the dangers of hypnosis abuse, but they don't want to let the cat out of the bag for fear of losing clients and their own financial payday, or perhaps on the darker side, their own deviant ability to actually abuse clients while under trance.

This is clearly a long debated and much maligned topic, one that this website is dedicated to exposing - the immoral hypnotists of this world. As such, we at are delighted that the Netflix movie Hypnotic has presented this important topic for others to consider.

We give the movie a thumbs up for its honest presentation of a very dire problem, one that very few people are even aware of in this world. Kudos to Netflix for daring to make such a revealing film.

Watch the full movie here with a Netflix account...


Hypnosis Article Links

Hypnosis Abuse Does Exist

Can Hypnosis Be Used to Abuse? Unfortunately, yes.

A note to the Hypnosis Profression: It's Time to Wake Up!

Don't Be Misled or Fooled by Others About the Power of Hypnosis

Tom Silver: Brainwashing Someone to Kill

Darren Brown: Creating the Assassin

Quit Blaming the Victims