Chapter 32

What kind of hypnosis is Stan using on Chris?

©iStock.com/sb-borg

©iStock.com/sb-borg

While Stan is quite adept at hypnotizing both individuals and groups, he isn’t using hypnosis as his primary method of control here, although he does use something along that line to limit Chris’s physical actions. But he’s primarily using a type of mind manipulation called velishde (ve-lish-de: literally, “my-thought-yours”), which Camille discovered. Through this process, Stan implants images in his subject’s mind meant to evoke an emotional response that alters the subject’s thought processes, leading her down a predetermined thought pathway. In this scene, Chris’s images of his nephews on the horse ranch, of the spider and fly, of the electric chair, and of the poison are all from Stan (the first three are part of his manipulation; the last one is just because he’s mad and being spiteful).

Velishde takes finesse to make the subject believe the thoughts are his own. It also requires a keen enough knowledge of the subject to know which images he will accept as his own and to predict how he will respond emotionally to them. However, all this work is worth the result, especially if you’re as good at it as Stan is, because a successful velishde manipulation brings the subject to the point of making the decision Stan wants him to make, while believing that he has made the decision entirely on his own. The chance of a successful outcome is increased by the effect that Chris describes: it feels easier and more natural to allow one’s thoughts to follow the mental pathway planned by the velishde practitioner, whereas it feels unnatural and difficult to think against it.

Incidentally, we have seen Stan use velishde before—on Camille. In Chapter 29, the point at which Camille’s attitude toward their argument changes is when Stan projects into her mind an image that reminds her of her kidnapping incident. The fact that he can successfully use the technique on its discoverer attests to his command of it, for even she doesn’t usually perceive when he’s using it.

There is, however, a risk one takes in choosing to establish the mental pathway for velishde, and that risk catches up to Stan in this scene. When Chris visualizes the victorious battle described in Psalm 27, he is unknowingly transmitting that image to Stan through the pathway that Stan himself opened. The image recalls Stan’s memories of being defeated by Joshua during the war, as well as his fears of being defeated in the Final Battle. The vivid portrait of himself (as Chris is visualizing him) being defeated by Josh catches the mighty warrior entirely off guard, serving only to further anger and antagonize him. It’s actually this incident that lands Chris on Stan’s List of Guerdon (more on this in the second book), although Stan claims it is because Chris disrespected him.

There are two key reasons why Stan chooses to use velishde over hypnosis on Chris. The first reason is because he’s already tried hypnosis at the gym and found that Chris’s will is too strong to allow an acceptable outcome. But the second reason, which is really the more important one here, is because when successful, velishde results in the individual truly believing that she’s made the best decision and that she’s made it because she wants to, rather than because she’s been forced into it. This is so because she goes through her usual mental processes of decision-making, just modified (unbeknownst to her) by extraneous emotions. Stan therefore prefers this technique for individuals he’s recruiting for jobs requiring long-term commitment and/or a high level of executive brain function.

One way of overcoming this technique is to cut off the velishde pathway, as Chris does when he shuts his eyes. However, this only prevents additional transmission through the pathway; the images already projected, along with the emotions they evoke, will remain. The surer method is to transfer the pathway to another practitioner of velishde, preferably one you can trust. Chris also does this—again, unknowingly—when he touches Josh and when he fixes his gaze on him. Both avenues allow Josh to not only prevent Stan from projecting more images into Chris’s mind, but to actually neutralize the images already projected, making them less vivid and divesting them of their emotional impact. This allows Chris to relax and accept the strength Josh offers him.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: