This is my narrative and relevant references from the Books where Hypnosis is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
Hypnosis is first described in Book 35, Quarry of Gor. But it is not as simple as someone saying "Look into my eyes". The process requires preparing the subject with sensations and fumes.
The subject is clothed with a special material which is referred to as Cloth of Fire. And then special powders which, when ignited, produce what is referred to as the Fumes of Truth.
The role of chemicals and fumes is perhaps to weaken resistance or to induce a greater susceptibility to suggestion.
After the suggestion is implanted, only the person who has brought about this condition can dispel the condition.
Following now are the passages which describe the process:
Cloth of Fire and the Fumes of Truth
"We shall soon know what you know," she said. "You will be unable to help yourself. There are the sensations, the powders, the fumes."
I sensed that the Lady Dorna had risen to her feet, and was busied at the table to the side, that with the fire tray, a packet, or so, and the decanter, a rather large decanter, filled with some transparent liquid.
"Noble Addison," said the Lady Dorna. "The decanter is heavy. Perhaps you would pour?"
"Certainly," he said.
Then, to my amazement, he began, slowly and carefully, to pour a portion of the fluid in the decanter over my back. It was cold.
"Master?" I asked.
"It is water, slave," he said. "Be silent."
Very little of the fluid fell to the floor. It seemed almost as if it were sucked into the tunic.
"On your back, slave," he said.
He had not given me the "Sula" command, perhaps because the Lady Dorna was present. So I merely went to my back, my hands to the sides, palms upward. I did not spread my legs with a slave's helplessness.
My back was wet, the tunic heavy with water. Yet little, it seemed, ran off on the floor.
He then, slowly, carefully, poured water on my body, limiting his attentions to that part of my body which was covered by the tunic. I felt the water move through the tunic. Again it seemed that little of the water drained away to the floor. The material of the tunic seemed unusually absorbent. At the same time the Lady Dorna had shaken some powder from a packet into the small fire tray.
"Master?" I asked.
He returned the now-emptied decanter to the table to the side.
"Second obeisance position," he said.
Instantly I went to the second obeisance position. I did not wish to be again physically chastised for hesitation in responding to a free man's command. I now lay on my belly, prostrate before him. My hands were at the sides of my head, palms down. He did not stand close to me. If he had done so, I would have pressed my lips, reverently, to his boot or sandal.
I began to experience strange feelings in my body, where it was covered by the tunic, and then, in a bit, the feelings spread more widely, affecting my legs, arms, and neck.
"Master," I whimpered, in protest.
"I will hold her hands," said Addison Steele, crouching down, and he drew my arms forward and held my wrists. I was then stretched out before him, my ankles still bound.
I understood nothing of what was occurring.
Then I screamed, for the tunic seemed to crackle, and come alive. A myriad tiny needles seemed to penetrate my skin. It seemed I was on fire. Threads parted, and pulled away from my skin, bristling and curling, blackened, rising, twisting. The air about me shuddered, trembled, and fled, as if from flame.
I screamed again and again and struggled to escape the grasp of Addison Steele. I wanted to tear the tunic from my body.
"Mercy!" I begged, but I was held, prostrate, squirming, writhing, stretched out before him, helpless.
"Silence," he said.
"I am afire!" I cried.
"No," he said. "You are not."
It seemed to me as though I must be enveloped in a blaze of flame, but there was no flame, only, apparently, a sudden, fierce interaction of substances, freed or precipitated, I supposed, by the administration of water.
"Please!" I wept.
"In a few moments, it will pass," he said. "It will have done its work.
He had hardly said this when the pain began to diminish.
I heard the snap of a fire-maker and became aware that the Lady Dorna was igniting some of the powder she had deposited in the small fire tray.
Fumes curled up from the tray.
"Put her on her knees," said the Lady Dorna.
Addison Steele released my hands and lifted me to my knees. I was dazed, half conscious. The pain had muchly subsided.
I was aware that the Lady Dorna was approaching, holding the small fire tray by its handle. Within the fire tray there was now a small mound of powder, some of which was gray, like ash, which had apparently burned, and some of which, not yet burned, was blue. A strand of smoke rose sluggishly from the tray.
"You are on your knees," said the Lady Dorna.
"Mistress?" I said, half conscious.
"When one wishes the truth from a woman," said the Lady Dorna, "you should put her on her knees. It is hard for a woman on her knees not to tell the truth."
I was silent.
"You are going to tell us the truth," said the Lady Dorna.
"No," I said, half conscious.
I tried to lift my hands a little, but it seemed I could scarcely raise them from my thighs.
The fire tray with its burning powder, and fumes, was held before me. With the palm of her hand the Lady Dorna gently wafted the fumes toward me.
I was aware that a large male figure had emerged from behind the screen at the side of the room.
"You are going to tell the truth, are you not?" she asked.
I felt I was slipping into unconsciousness.
"Are you not?" she said softly, soothingly.
"Yes, Mistress," I whispered, and lapsed into unconsciousness.
"You have lied long enough," he said. "Immerse her."
"No!" she screamed, but the guard who had introduced her into the chamber, in his arms, lifted her and plunged her into the pool. He even, three or four times, held her head fully, briefly, under water. Then he drew her soaked figure dripping from the pool and laid her near the fire. Oddly enough, there was no great pool of water about her soaked figure. It was as though her tight, wrapped layers of sheeting, within the ropes, sucked the water into its fibers.
"Cut the ropes!" she screamed. "Free me! Now! Now! Tear away the cloths!"
"But you are bare within the layers," said Miles.
"No, please!" she cried.
Her eyes were wild with terror. She struggled within her bonds. She tried to roll toward the feet of the officer, doubtless to press her lovely lips pleadingly upon his high, bootlike sandals, but the guard, interposing his own bootlike sandal, did not permit this. "Mercy, mercy!" she wept. "Take pity on a mere slave!"
"'A mere slave'," said Miles. "Interesting."
"It will begin soon," said the officer.
"Mercy, Masters!" begged Dorna.
Then she shrieked in horror. Even yards above the floor of the chamber, where Florian and I were at the observation panel, one could hear the crackling, the fierce whisper, of precipitating, interacting chemicals.
I was held at the observation panel, tightly, by the leash, fastened to the ring. I could not pull away. I wanted to cry out in misery and protest, but, the prisoner of a Gorean gag, could not do so. I jerked at the bracelets that held by hands pinioned behind my back. "Steady, worthless, well-formed she-tarsk," said Florian. I turned my head piteously toward him, but he thrust my head, held by the hair, back to the panel. "Doubtless you have some sense of her torment," said Florian, quietly. "Were you not yourself once clad in a tunic of fire? Fire cloth is interesting. I would not mind clothing one of your collar-sisters from the Golden Chain in such an attractive little outfit. Perhaps she might then learn to better please a paying customer. It might be pleasant to have her at my feet, weeping and begging to please me, in the way of what she is, a worthless, miserable slave."
Florian then removed his hand from my hair.
"Look well," he said.
Below, Dorna was writhing and screaming.
"After this," said Florian, "she will be well primed for the powders."
"It burns, Masters!" wept Dorna. "Have mercy! Beat me! Lash me! But free me of the ropes! Cut away the cloths! I beg it! It hurts! It hurts! It burns! It burns!"
"Perhaps you are now docile, and are prepared to be cooperative?" asked Miles.
"Yes, Master! Yes, Master!" she screamed.
"Be patient," said Miles. "In a few Ehn the reactions will subside, and then cease."
"Though the pain will linger for some time," said the officer.
Well above the floor of the chamber below I could still hear the crackling from the cloths, though now it was less fierce.
I think Dorna then fell unconscious.
"Remove her impediments," said the officer. "Put her at the pole, belly chain and high-wrist shackling."
The guard then undid the swathing of ropes which had held the treated cloth so tightly about her body, and put her, kneeling, she held by Miles, at the pole, her back to the pole. The guard then cinched the belly chain about her, pulling her back, tightly, against the pole, and then drew her wrists up, high, over her head, and shackled them to the pole.
"I think she has slept long enough," said the officer. "Awaken her."
The guard went to the pool of water, and returned with a pan of water, which he dashed over her body.
She awakened, instantly, screaming, "Not water! Not water!" Then she struggled in the belly chain and shackles. Links of metal scraped the iron pole. As she was fastened, she could not rise to her feet.
"You need fear water no longer," said the officer.
"She is a pretty little slave," said Miles.
"Please do not speak of me so demeaningly," she begged.
I recalled that she had once held a high position in Tharna, that of First, or Highest, Silver Mask, in the time of the Gynocracy.
"How is it now?" asked the officer.
"It still burns," she said.
"But not so much," he suggested.
"No," she said. "Please give me clothing."
"You are a slave, a beast, a domestic animal," said the officer. "You are not entitled to clothing. Surely you know that."
"Yes, Master," she said.
"Perhaps you would be interested to know what is going to be done with you," said the officer.
"Sell me secretly, far from Port Kar," she begged.
"After we are done here," said the officer, you will be sedated, and will sleep for several hours. "You will awaken in a disreputable part of the city. You will learn, presumably shortly thereafter, that the collar of a well-known, popular tavern, the Golden Chain, was put on your neck and that of Pa-Kur removed. You will also discover that you are clad in a tunic of the Golden Chain. You will be taken as a runaway slave and will be returned to the Golden Chain for punishment, and service."
"'Service'?" she said.
"That of a common paga girl."
"No!" she cried.
"There you will better learn you are a slave," he said, "waiting on masters, bringing them food and drink, and pleasing them, should they find you of interest, in the alcoves."
I had little doubt that many would find her of interest.
"No, no!" she said. "I would be seen, tunicked and unveiled. Sooner or later, I would be recognized. My life would be forfeit. I have been in the power of enemies of Pa-Kur. He would find me and kill me!"
"We trust he will try," said the officer.
"You are bait," said Miles.
"Following your capture," said the officer, "we anticipated that Pa-Kur and his cohorts would vanish, and it has proved so."
"He has done you no harm," said Dorna. "It would be unlawful to seize him."
"He might be legitimately seized for the attempted destruction of property," said the officer.
"Or its destruction," said Miles.
"The destruction of what property?" said Dorna.
"You," said Miles.
"Now, my dear," said the officer, going to the box on which reposed some envelopes or packets, "it is time for you to tell us all about the secret plans of Pa-Kur."
"You cannot make me speak," she said.
"Of course not," said the officer, "but the powders in these packets, suitably mixed and administered, will do so, easily."
"Never!" said Dorna.
The officer shook powders from certain of the packets unto a piece of paper, creased the paper, and then went to the metal fire basket, where he deposited the contents of the creased paper unto the fire basket's wooden-handled heating tray. Shortly thereafter tiny curls and wisps of smoke began to rise from the heating tray.
"I will never speak!" cried Dorna.
An Ehn or two later the officer held the heating tray close to the prisoner. He wafted the fumes toward her. "Never!" she said. But she had to breathe.
She has been interrogated by means of the cloth of fire and the fumes of truth."
"The subject of such an interrogation is not to be envied," said Astron. "Their consciousness is numbed and their will is seized. Chemically subdued and docile, they are helpless to resist, whatever might once have been their most earnest intents and harrowing fears. They answer questions clearly; they speak fully and honestly; they cannot help themselves. Their cooperation is assured. These things are as inevitable as the heat of fire and the cold of ice."
"And they will have no recollection of what they have said and done," said Florian. "Commonly they believe themselves to have successfully resisted the interrogation, and are confident that they have revealed nothing."
The tunic of fire and the fumes of truth could not be resisted.
"I was present," he said, "when silence was imposed upon you. You were unconscious, and yet, in a way, conscious. You seemed to understand, in some vacant, abstract way. I have some sense as to how it was done, and yet have little understanding of the mechanics involved. Others, doubtless, would know more. I do have some sense as to how speech could be restored to you, that is, under what conditions it could be restored to you, but, again, I understand very little of the mechanics involved."
I understood very little of what he was saying.
Yet I was profoundly excited to hear that I might once again be able to speak. I recalled the powders and fumes of the apartment of Dorna of Tharna. Perhaps there were other powders and fumes, a vial of chemicals, a restorative drug, or such?
"Bruno of Torcadino is an extremely intelligent and dangerous man," continued Addison Steele. "He realizes from the unusual affliction dealt to you that others, significant and informed others, other than Decius of Venna, who would presumably not have the resources to bring about such a result,
Do you understand why you could not speak?" he asked.
"No, Master," I said.
"I do not understand the mechanism fully," said Ho-Tosk, "but it is done through the mind. One is told one cannot speak, one is convinced that one cannot speak, and then one cannot speak. Then, normally, it is included in the matter that only he who has brought about this condition can dispel the condition. This is useful, as one might wish the subject to be able to speak again, later, perhaps to answer questions, or such."
"But the chemicals, the fumes," I said.
"Doubtless they have their role," said Ho-Tosk, "perhaps to weaken resistance, to induce a greater susceptibility to suggestion, or such."
"But, noble jurors, esteemed colleague, Decius Albus, and revered fellow citizens of Ar, all," said Hemartius, "this merely informs us that a darker explanation for the conduct of my client must be sought. Well do we know of the effect of chemicals on the human body and mind, how the will can be paralyzed and the body subdued, and we know, as well, the power some men have over the behavior of others, by means of suggestion or soothing speech. Have we not witnessed performers inducing strange effects in others, convincing one fellow he is a tarn and another that he is a tarsk?"