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This Psychology related article has been assessed as SIGNIFICANTLY PROBLEMATIC in one or more ways. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

This article requires attention for the following reason(s):

It contains unsourced statements Tagged since 2 April 2017

Derren Brown no longer believes in hypnosis or trances, he regards them as states of heightened susceptibility to suggestion. Weaseloid, if you are interested in this stuff get his book, I paid £3.99 for it on Amazon. Jollyfish.gifGenghisYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 08:52, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

Which book? I think he's published a few. How hypnosis is defined is certainly a moot point. I've done by best here from my own knowledge. If you wanta add some content about different theories, go right ahead. Incidentally, the Derren Brown article on RW says he started out as a preacher, which I find a bit unlikely & I can't find anything about this on WP. I haven't read his autobiography or anything. Do you know if this is true? Weaseloid 08:57, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
He has published several books on magic but the one I was referring to is Tricks of the Mind. Also our article on him doesn't say he was a preacher it says he was a pentecostal evangelist. Jollyfish.gifGenghisYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 09:27, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Sorry. I think I've usually encountered the world "evangelist" in the sense of 'preacher' (e.g. televangelist). But you're right, it doesn't necessarily mean that. Weaseloid 09:44, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

Crimes Carried Out Via Hypnotism[edit]

If hypnotism allowed people to force others to do with bidding everyone from the CIA to your local police department would be employing these techniques during interviews and espionage missions. A lot of woo here where we are uncritically accepting scare stories as if they were well documented case studies. Get ready, it's... (talk) 21:37, 17 February 2021 (UTC)


OK, so I edited this article and it got deleted. The article states that there are "serious" risks involved in hypnosis but there is no evidence to back this up. One of the references talks about "giving up totally to your self control in the hands of the person who hypnotizes you" (as you can see it's not very well written) which again is wrong and the evidence is that this is not at all the case. I really didn't think this wiki was about perpetuating myths. I thought it was about it being rational. What's going on? Perhaps I've completely misunderstood things. — Unsigned, by: Sitdownandrelax / talk / contribs

This is a wiki so it is the product of multiple authors but sometimes edits by anonymous authors can be misconstrued as POV pushing. Your edit was reinstated by Armondikov and I agree that the previous wording was poor. Now that you have registered I hope you will stick around. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 10:12, 18 January 2011 (UTC)


Holy Fuck this article is embarrassingly bad. If I get time I am going to try and improve it. Anyone else feel fee to pitch in.Tielec01 (talk) 13:07, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

A world of yes. Please improve it. I've tried to correct some of the more glaring errors but this article's like a bomb site - where do you start? TQM (talk) 07:29, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Some remarkably precise observations and criticisms there. I should have no trouble figuring out exactly what parts of the article need adjusting and how... Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 08:21, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Couldn't have said it better myself. If anyone can think of a way to start, I'll be in the coffee lounge. :P TQM (talk) 17:46, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
I would respectfully suggest that you start by removing the Pseudoscience categorization. I wonder how many professional clinical hypnotists land here and just give up all hope of ever being taken seriously. Perhaps some people still think of their dentist as an overqualified hairdresser. There are so few citations; much of the article seems to be written from the standpoint of popular misconceptions and TV junk. I know something of the subject matter but still feel it is out of place next to homeopathy etc. I'll drop back when I can and see if we can plan it out. Mesmer (talk) 21:29, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Hasn't "repressed memories" been shown to be full of shit, its more like guided suggestion and framing...Having that listed as a danger presupposes that it works, check out how many people have fucked other peoples lives cos of thinking they had repressed memories when they didn't: Skinnytony1 (talk) 10:40, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Please note that the previous post was made more than six months ago, and this was the one and only edit of that user on this wiki, so they are unlikely to be still here and see your reply. RW gets a lot of "drive-by" posts. Unless someone is trying to edit the article, it is not necessary to engage them.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:53, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Holy shit the citation notes on this article are amazing, that's certainly one way to deal with a terrible page without starting an edit war (talk) 14:17, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

h3h3 debunks CNN hypnotist[edit]

In 2014, the following segment — Hypnosis: Real or wack? — was shown on CNN. At just 3 minutes long, it still manages to make me cringe:
Being the journalistic watchdog that he is, however, ya boi EK from h3 got a hold of one of the two "hypnotised people" in the above clip, and — like always in cases like this — the inside perspective reveals complete collusion and fraud. Here's the interview with Ethan & Hila:
Kind of an old clip, I know, but I figure it's still worth a peek. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:11, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

[citation needed][edit]

On one hand, I agree that this article needs more sources. There are an awful lot of unsourced statements. But at the same time, it needs fewer [citation needed] tags—and not just in the "they need to be replaced with citations" sense. Now, sometimes [citation needed] is used correctly...but often it's not, and sometimes it's used several times in quick succession when any one of those would be sufficient. Particularly amusing to me is the last sentence of the "The problems with hypnotism" section, which implies that we need to cite a source for saying that we'll get to something later.

I'd argue that this many [citation needed] tags impedes attempts to actually get those citations. Say some helpful hypnotherapy scholar comes by, looking at the banner at the top, and thinks "I know some good sources on hypnotism, maybe I can help." Which seems more likely to get him to actually do something—several scattered [citation needed] tags, placed where citation is definitely needed, or dozens seeding the entire page? If I were that hypnotist, seeing [citation needed] after [citation needed] might make me think that this website's community just hates hypnotism, and that anything I fixed would just get more [citation needed] tags. Alternatively, I might look at the sheer number of citations requested and give up due to the apparent enormity of the task.

This page is a mess[citation needed], and the attempts at cleaning it up are also a mess[citation needed]. Let's hope that efforts to clean up the clean-up efforts don't also turn into a mess, or else this page will be doomed to an eternity of being an enormous mess.[citation needed] GreatWyrmGold (talk) 01:47, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

@GreatWyrmGold I concur, this article is in need of a major cleanup effort, with one of the first priorities sorting through the citation needed tags to determine which should go and which should stay. In addition we should also endeavor to actually source the article, or else delete it for poor quality. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 12:05, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Mmmm. Yes. I suspect that a bit of woo might have crept into the end of the article and that the multiple "citation needed" flags are a sign of this.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:20, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

New defintion and skepticism[edit]

There is scholary debate on whether hypnosis is a state or not.[1] I think that we therefore should say that there isn't any scientific consensus, yet and give examples of other theories. This whole page seems to lack general skepticism of the hypnotic phenomena, considering how many people think it is fake. I found an answer on Quora that had a few good links skeptical of hypnosis, which maybe we could use?[2] I also found this book that described the different theories of hypnosis and some skepticism against it.[3] P.S. The chapters about dramaturgical, nonstate and sociocognitive models are skeptical of the phenomena. SassLass (talk) 08:00, 7 June 2019 (UTC)


I think this article needs a complete makeover to fix the problems with it. I'm thinking of starting with restructuring the whole page and remove some things which aren't necessary. I will structure it with these sections: Definition (altough I'm unsure myself if this will be very interesting)

Alternative medicine (I will leave it as is in it's current state, will probably edit and add in this section when I have the time, as it is quite a gold mine of woo (for instance: quantum healing hypnosis technique, don't think there is enough material for it's own page))

Other claims (pseudoscientific ones which aren't necessarly clinical)

I'll leave this post here mostly for context for edits I'm planning to do so I don't have to be long winded in my explaination for my edits.

SassLass (talk) 14:06, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Alien abduction and John Mack[edit]

This article only has a brief mention of alien abduction and would benefit from expanding upon it, especially as it pertains to John Mack's work and Whitley Strieber's "experiences". (talk) 15:38, 17 October 2022 (UTC)