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Science Supports Hypnotherapy for Cancer Use Faith Groups Deny

By Carol Forsloff     Feb 10, 2009 in World
While certain religious groups assail hypnosis as mind control, therapists find it useful. In fact in some new research studies it has been shown beneficial for cancer patents.
In a study of cancer patients alternative therapies were investigated for their usefulness in treatment. Hypnotherapy was shown to be useful for patients in after care, helping them to deal with the trauma of undergoing chemotherapy.
Some fundamentalist groups oppose hypnosis, even when used for medical purposes. One of them that calls itself Bible Discernment Ministries goes through stories and claims about hypnosis and refutes them using Biblical references.
This is one of the statements and evidence the Ministries uses:
Hypnosis began as part of the occult and false religion. The Bible speaks out strongly against all practices of false religion and the occult. God desires His people to turn to Him in need, not to those who practice sorcery, divination, or enchantment. He warns His people about following after mediums, wizards, enchanters, charmers, and those who have a familiar spirit (Deut. 18:9-14). Hypnosis, as it is practiced today, may very well be the same as what is identified as "enchantment" in the Bible (Lev. 19:26 KJV).
Some writers parallel hypnosis and scientology techniques, both of which are discussed as using elements of mind control. In a report prepared for the Victorian government, the author relates hypnotic processing and scientology auditing. The presentation mentions concerns that the hallucinations that can result from both techniques can be injurious to individuals in much the same way.
Considerable uproar occurred in Germany when Gunther Beckstein, Secretary of the Interior, accused Scientologists of using involuntary hypnosis techniques. Beckstein contended that Scientology used what Beckensten called Secret Police (Stasi) Methods and a form of hypnosis without the individual’s actual knowledge or consent. So there are those who have accused Scientologists of using techniques the religious group attacks in psychiatry.
Some who have studied Scientology and its methods maintain that Scientologist’s opposition of psychiatry and its techniques is competition. Chris Owen, one writer, relates Scientology using forms of hypnosis as well and its own therapy, which they call auditing, and therefore oppose those who do not use their techniques. A quotation from Ron Hubbard, Scientology’s founder, was used to examine the Scientology position on psychiatry. “The only place we would limit a medical doctor is in the field of treatment of psychosomatic medicine, where he has admittedly and continuously failed, and the only thing we would ask a medical doctor to change about his practice is to stop taking money for things he knows he cannot cure, i.e., spiritual, mental, psychosomatic, and social ills”
After looking at Hubbard’s position and the medical community’s attack of Scientology and its methods, Owens discusses Hubbard’s opinion increasing in stridency against psychiatry over time with this quotation which is considered to be its present position:
Nea[r]ly all the backlash in society against Dianetics and Scientology has a common source — the psychiatrist-psychologist-psychoanalyst clique … I could tell you about three actual murders. I could tell you about long strings of psychotics run in on the Foundation and the Association, sent in to us by psychiatrists who then, using LSD and pain-drug-hypnosis, spun them and told everyone Dianetics and Scientology drove people insane … The public utterly LOATHES psychiatry. You waste time if you try to defame psychiatry to the public … Psychiatry stands in the public mind for ineffectiveness, lies and inhuman brutality.
Chaplain Paul G. Durbin, Diretor of Pastoral Care. Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital. New Orleans, La., decided to write a rebuttal to Christian objections to the use of hypnosis for medical care, which he relates should be done carefully by trained people. He mentioned that most Christians believe it is a reasonable alternative to help in the care of patients, but to those who resist it using Biblical material, he has some answers. Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism and many of the Eastern religions do not oppose it. Durbin synthesizes his argument by saying, “For those who oppose hypnosis on religious ground, I remind them of the words of Jon Baptist Van Helmont, "Hypnosis is a universal agent...and is a paradox only to those who are disposed to ridicule everything, who ascribe to the influence of Satan all phemanema which they cannot explain."
The debates about hypnosis and its use in medicine, called hypnotherapy, continues in the exchanges of different groups like Christian fundamentalists and Scientologists, but the recent research on its use for cancer may give additional support to Durbin's argument and undermine the opposition's declarations against it that are likely to continue based as they are on religious belief.
More about Scientology, Mind control, Hypnosis
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