Since the late 1800s, hypnotism has fascinated the general public. People from all over the world either experimented with it or experienced it. In fact, it was a common subject covered in newspapers worldwide on an almost daily basis.
Professional hypnotists would travel the continents and perform astounding acts by hypnotizing entire groups of people to perform silly feats. Doctors experimented with hypnosis and used it to lessen the pain of childbirth while dentists used hypnosis during tooth extractions.
It even reached the criminal classes. People started to come forward claiming that they were hypnotized to do bad things or that robbers had hypnotized them while forcing their way into the victims’ homes.
Many of the stories printed about hypnotism were incredible, but there were quite a few that seemed almost unbelievable.
10Experimented On His Students
Before you decide to experiment with hypnotism on a large group of people, it is important to realize that not everyone is able to fall under hypnotic suggestion. One Berlin schoolteacher learned this lesson the hard way back in 1912.
The teacher, Boennecker, had the daunting task of educating the children of the “lower working classes.” He considered them loud, rude, and unruly and was apparently at wits’ end with his class.
Having an interest in hypnotism, the teacher decided to use it on his students. When he believed that they were all under his influence, he told his students not to mention the hypnotism to anyone. Then he told them that they must always tell him the truth and be polite.
After he woke his class from the trance, the hypnosis appeared to have worked on a number of students. But there were others who did not go into the hypnotic state. These very aware children went home and immediately told their parents what the teacher had done.
An investigation was launched, and the teacher was arrested. In court, it was determined that the hypnosis was unhealthy for the students and Boennecker was sent to prison for 10 days for his poor judgment.