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Hypnosis and "Reefer Madness"
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Reefer Madness

Hypnosis and "Reefer Madness"

From the book Mind Control in America by Steven Jacobson

Chapter 6. Hypnosis and "Reefer Madness" pp.11-14.

The power of hypnosis is the power of suggestion. The power of suggestion is the power of belief. It is an act of faith. The conscious mind cannot be controlled by the suggestions of someone else when those suggestions are contrary to what you know from your own experience. But the subconscious mind is susceptible to control by suggestion. (35) The subconscious mind has absolute control of the functions, conditions, and sensations of the body. Reefer Madness Perfect anesthesia can be produced by suggestion. Hundreds of cases are recorded where surgical operations have been performed without pain to patients under hypnosis. Symptoms of almost any disease can be induced in hypnotic subjects by suggestions. Partial or total paralysis can be produced; fever can be brought on, with all the attendant symptoms such as rapid pulse and high temperature. (36)

In 1936, a movie used hypnotic suggestion to give the audience instructions to do something. That movie was "Reefer Madness." Shown widely on college campuses and at midnight screenings across the country since 1972, "Reefer Madness" uses sophisticated hypnotic techniques to both encourage marijuana use and promote Dr. Carroll commands parents anti-marijuana use and promote anti-marijuana legislation.

Speaking to a PTA meeting, high school principal Dr. Carroll commands parents to stamp out this "assassin of our youth"--marijuana. When Dr. Carroll begins to speak, he raises a sheet of paper in front of him and reads certain "facts" from it. he raises a sheet of paper in front of him The white sheet of paper prominent in the middle of the screen is a distraction for the eyes to cause that state of mind that is just like "day dreaming" while information is programmed to the audience verbally. Dr. James Braid discovered that by placing a bright object before the eyes of the subject, and causing him to gaze upon it with persistent attention, he could be led into the hynotic state of mind. (37)

Dr. Carroll delivers his lines with a hypnotic rhythm that is punctuated by changes in pacing, volume and tone (just like a hypnotist). Dr. Carroll speaks with authority. This happens to be a technique used in hypnosis.
Dr. Carroll speaks with authority
'' What are the common mechanisms of these and dozens of other variations of hypnotising methods?
1. A prestigious (verging on authoritarian) hypnotist capable of modulating his/her voice and behaviour... ''

(Georgi Lozanov, Suggestopaedia, The Journal of the Society for Accelerative Learning and Teaching, volume 3, issue 3, Fall, 1978, p.211) [link]

Authoritarian techniques, sometimes called paternal techniques, use a strong, commanding, dominating approach. (38) Dr. Carroll looks into the camera and into the eyes of the audience--another hypnotic technique. Picture yourself in a movie theatre, now imagine a huge face on the screen staring at you.

Other hypnotic techniques used in "Reefer Madness" include
short flashes in Reefer Madness movie, 1936
A short flash found near the close of "Reefer Madness," when prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge all agree that defendant Ralph Wiley is, "hopelessly and incurably insane, a condition caused by the drug marijuana to which he is addicted." In some versions of the movie this crazy eye scene is missing. [gif animation] [video of this sequence]
(below) Reefer Madness contains one scene with a swinging hypnotic pendulum. A cord for a lamp swings as the jury deliberates Bill Harper's fate. A subsequent closeup of the pendulous cord handle fades into a swinging hangman's noose. [mpg video of this sequence, 2.7M]
scene with a swinging hypnotic pendulum
scene with a swinging hypnotic pendulum
scene with a swinging hypnotic pendulum
two-frame flashes in different places in the movie. These flash frames produce a corresponding wave in the brain. These flash frames "anchor" information from the sound track to your mind. These flash frames add emphasis to information on the sound track, making that information more important.

Dr. Carroll slams his fist on the desk frequently to emphasize a point.

This sudden burst of sound "anchors" information to your mind. The added sound cue makes the information important. There is even a scene with a swinging hypnotic pendulum!

The stated intent of Reefer Madness "was to stamp out the menace of marijuana because it leads to "acts of shocking violence, ending often in incurable insanity." In contrast, young people are shown having a good time smoking marijuana, partying, dancing, kissing and retreating to the bedroom. By showing young people having a good time smoking marijuana, Reefer Madness encourages young people to at least try it. By confusing marijuana with heroin and by telling the story of normal kids going berserk because of marijuana, "Reefer Madness" scares older young people are shown having a good time people into demanding that something be done.

Why are there conflicting messages in the movie?

Why was hypnosis used in this movie and with such a high level of sophistication? The answers are within the movie.

"You government men have got to find some way to put an end to it," demands Dr. Carroll. The government man replies: "Of course, I agree with you Dr. Carroll. But do you realize that marihuana is not like other forms of DOPE. You see, it grows wild in almost every state of the union.

Therefore, there is practically no inter-state commerce in the drug. As a result, the government's hands are tied. And frankly, the only sure cure is a wide-spread campaign in education." Some words trigger strong emotional responses in people. The word DOPE is one of them. This word is emphasized on the sound track. Though we are told that marijuana is not like other forms of "dope," the association is established.

Harry Anslinger was the first U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics, a position he held for 32 years; and was U.S. Representative on the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. In his book "The Murderers," reefer madnes: murder! he wrote about his campaign against marijuana: "By 1937, under my direction, the bureau launched two important steps: first, a legislative plan to seek from Congress a new law that would place marihuana and its distribution directly under federal control. Secondly, on radio and at major forums...I told of this evil weed of the fields and riverbeds and roadsides. I wrote articles for magazines; our agents gave hundreds of lectures to parents, educators, social and civic leaders. In network broadcasts I reported on the growing list of crime, including murder and rape."

One of the articles Harry Anslinger wrote appeared in the July 1937 issue of "The American Magazine" titled "Marihuana--Assassin of Youth." There are striking similarities between the content of this article and the content of the movie Reefer Madness. For example, from the article: "In 1931, the marijuana file of the United States Narcotic Bureau was less than two inches thick, while today the records on marijuana the reports crowd many large cabinets." Now compare this to what appeared in the movie. Dr. Carroll is with the government man who says: "Let me show you something. In 1930, the records on marijuana in the Washington office of the Narcotics Division scarcely filled a small folder like this (less than two inches thick). Today, they fill cabinets." The camera shows us a wall lined with file cabinets. the records on marijuana

In the book "Outsiders," Howard S. Becker describes how the Federal Bureau of Narcotics under Harry Anslinger created the marijuana problem to cause the public to demand legislation. (39)

A bill giving the federal government control over marijuana was introduced in Congress by representative Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. (40) On August 2, 1937, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Marijuana Tax Act, which became effective on October 1, 1937. (41)

The purpose of propaganda is to direct public attention to certain "facts."

Hitler. The Big Lie of propaganda "The whole art consists in doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real," writes Adolf Hitler in "Mein Kampf." He describes the principles of effective propaganda: it must repeat those points over and over again until the public believes it. To be effective, propaganda must constantly short-circuit all thought and decision. It must operate on the individual subconsciously. (42) The principles behind "The Big Lie" of propaganda are the same principles of mind control, hypnotic suggestion, mental programming: distraction and repetition. With propaganda, distraction draws attention away from information that is true and directs attention to information that is false. Repetition of the false information imbeds it in your subconscious mind so that your acceptance of its truth becomes a conditioned response. You accept this information as true without thinking whenever it is presented to you again.

Reefer Madness: misinformation about marijuana There is a vast amount of misinformation about marijuana, much of it originating in the 1930's with the so-called "educational campaign," of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Propaganda is not only meant to influence opinions and attitudes but also to cause action. Government propaganda 'suggests' that public opinion demands what the government has already decided to do. (43) The official reasons given by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics for its opposition to the use of marijuana shifted completely during 1949-1950 from the claim that use of marijuana led to crime and violence to the claim that marijuana use led to heroin use. (44) When questioned by Congressman John Dingell of Michigan during testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee whether "the marijuana addict graduates into a heroin, an opium, or a cocaine user," Commissioner Anslinger replied: "No, Sir; I have not heard of a case of that kind." (45)

However, in 1955, Anslinger appeared before a Senate subcommittee investigating the traffic in illicit drugs and testified that marijuana leads to heroin addiction. (46) reefer madnes: murder!

During Congressional hearings in 1937, Dr. C. W. Woodward, Legislative Counsel for the American Medical Association, pointed out that there was no competent primary evidence to support the claims against marijuana, only newspaper accounts about growing marijuana addiction and that marijuana causes crime. (47).

misinformation about marijuana These "news" accounts were "planted" by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Of seventeen articles condemning marijuana that appeared in popular magazines from July 1937 to June 1939, ten either acknowledged the help of the Bureau in furnishing facts and figures or gave evidence of having received help by using facts and figures that had appeared in Bureau publications or in testimony given during Congressional hearings. An indication of the the term 'Drug War' in Reefer Madness, 1936 people into demanding that something be done.

Bureau's influence in these articles is found in repeated "atrocity" stories that were first reported by the Bureau. (48) These same stories appeared in "Reefer Madness."

Footnotes
35. Thomsom Jay Hudson, Ph.D., LL.D., "The Law of Psychic Phenomena, (New York: Samuel Weiser, 1968), p.30.
36. Ibid., pp. 151-152.
37. Ibid., p. 87.
38. Harry Arons, "The New Master Course In Hypnotism," (Irvington, New Jersey: Powers Publishers, 1961), p.31.
39. Howard S. Becker, "Outsiders," (New York: The Free Press, 1963), pp. 135-146.
40. "Marihuana: New Federal Tax Hits Dealings in Potent Weed," Newsweek, August 14, 1937, Science Section.
41. Lester Grinspoon, M.D., "Marihuana Reconsidered," (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), p. 26.
42. Jacques Ellul, "Propaganda: the Formation of Men's Attitudes," Translated by Konrad Kellen and Jean Lerner, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965), p. 27.
43. Ibid., p. 132.
44. Grinspoon, "Marihuana Reconsidered," p. 301.
45. Ibid., p. 236.
46. Ibid., p. 241.
47. Ibid., p. 24.
48. Becker, "Outsiders," pp. 141-142.


[this file was copied from: http://www.marijuananews.com/news.php3?sid=113]

From the book Mind Control in America

1985 Critique Publishing,
P.O. Box 11451,
Santa Rosa, California, 95406

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