hypnosis with a grain of salt

In 1941, 27 year old Andrew Salter was being touted as the next big thing in the field of hypnosis.


“Teaching alcoholics to cure themselves is only a small sample of the work which Salter performs with the minds of his subjects. Since starting his odd profession a couple of years ago, he has worked on upwards of 250 cases. Some two dozen of these were obese females who couldn’t stick to their diets.

image from Wellcome Collection 1887

By the time Salter got through with them they had learned to despise such things as Fudge Sundaes, Charlotte Russe, Lobster Thermidor and other flesh building dishes, and were smacking their lips at the thought of raw carrots, lettuce salad with mineral oil dressing and similar atrocities.

Charlotte Russe

Then there was the case of the melancholy magazine editor who came to Salter to ask if he “couldn’t get a little fun out of life.” Not long afterwards Salter was visited by the editor’s wife who was greatly agitated by the change in her husband. Formerly he had gloomed about the house and spent his time complaining. Now he bounded out of bed with a merry laugh, sang in the shower, chuckled as he read the paper and was turning into a practical joker. “I’m so relieved it’s only hypnotism” she told Salter. “I was afraid he’d found another woman.”

Practical Joker

Salter says “In psychology, hypnotism has a bad name. The average person seems to think that hypnotists specialise in seducing females or in making subjects sign false wills or commit murder. He believes there are few psychoneuroses that can’t be straightened out in a good subject. This excludes morons, young children and the insane, none of whom can be hypnotized.


He is convinced that the US Army should pay heed to the value of self hypnosis in war. “Soldiers could march 30 miles a day and not be fatigued. They could fall asleep in open trenches with an artillery barrage going on overhead and sleep soundly for as long as they pleased. In fact, they could learn to forget the war entirely.”


Published in: on December 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm  Comments (36)  
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  1. Damn, he could have hypnotised me into making huge amounts of money effortlessly. And making the perfect Charlotte Russe.

    • That picture is a charlotte royale, not a charlotte russe

  2. I’m relieved to see that I cannot be hypnotized…

  3. I’m not sure forgetting about the war is such a good idea.

  4. I doubt hypnosis a long term cure for alcoholism. First there is no cure. A person needs to want to stop and then embarks on a protocol to reprogram himself connected to a Higher Power and being immersed with other people in recovery. There is a particular 12-Step program that remains anonymous which has restored millions of people world wide. Inhibiting the behavior is not the same as a person metamorphosing into a new person in spirituality who learns to live life on life’s terms without the addicting poison.We address the person in a holistic manner wherein behavior modification is achieved one day at a time. Anyway, I’m clean and sober 8 1/2 years and have been reborn with a second chance at life. I wish I would have availed myself of the liberation 40 years ago.

  5. making Charlotte Russe for my next zombie gathering…

    • Can I come too daisyfae? I’m just dying to see you perform in the kitchen.

  6. If only our bodies could be hypnotised into metabolising Charlotte Russes as if they were carrots….

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by amanda hugginkiss, Learn Hypnosis. Learn Hypnosis said: He is convinced that the US Army should pay heed to the value of self hypnosis in war. “Soldiers could march 30… http://bit.ly/fL398o […]

  8. I like the idea that the soldiers could ignore the war completely, problem is of course explaining the missing limbs when they get back home…

    The King

    • They were hypnotised by an organ bank?

  9. I feel sorry for morons, who are unable to be helped by hypnotism. They are stuck eating hot fudge sundaes and thumbing their noses at raw carrots. Poor bastards.

  10. I always thought that guy in the pic was telling erin moran’s family to get a brain.

    • No no, you can tell from the background that he lives in Wyoming and he’s worried about the next town.

      • Haha…. very funny queenie

  11. Off to bake Charlotte Russe and have a glass of wine … uh oh, can’t … it’s only 6.30am. Drat!

    • Good lord… don’t let that stop you Cindy!

  12. Well there are plenty of things I’d like to forget so maybe this guy can help. Oh wait, he’s likely passed away. Or maybe not.

  13. I wonder if hypnosis could help me overcome my fear of water…

  14. I now have a strange desire to be hypnotized…

  15. How strange that we’re both hypnotised today – http://zmkc.blogspot.com/2010/12/freecycle.html

    • You find some real gems at Freecycle

  16. I have never been hypnotised so I guess that makes me a moran. And I am condemned to eating Charlotte Russe and not enjoying carrots. Not that I have anything against carrot-tops. Unfortunately.

  17. Read this and wanted to write a response. But each time I start writing, I slip into a deep tra

  18. Unfortunately some also use hypnotism to prey on innocent strangers by getting them to part with their money n valuables. Many such reported n unreported cases here.

  19. Hypnosis works wonders – sometimes.

    • Care to expand on that Marvin?

  20. If someone could be hypnotized to march 30 miles with no fatigue, can we hypnotize men to last a half hour in bed with no break? I think we could get a lot of women to take up hypnotism with that.

    • Are you running classes RF?

  21. It’s only nine am here and you already have me smacking my lips at the thought of Fudge Sundaes, Charlotte Russe and Lobster Thermidor. The only reason I’m not clinically obese is because I exercise like crazy.

    My esteemed brother in law is a hypnotist. In addition to be creative director at a large advertising firm in Bristol. He did it as a freaking hobby. He is a jealous maker.

    • Can you get Charlotte Russes and Lobster Thermidor in your part of Spain Scott?

  22. Hypnosis isn’t just for scoring women?

    Well then, I’ve wasted twenty bucks on this “How to Hypnotize Your Friends and Sexy Female Bloggers” book.

    Damn it.

    • I’ll be your guinea pig Posky

      • I would absolutely take you up on that offer.

  23. Flesh-building dishes, eh? Well, when you put it like that …

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