America is fast asleep and one man believes the key to winning the war for the soul of America lies in understanding hypnosis.
As a teenage boy in post-World War II England, Ruben Obermeister witnessed a carnival hypnotist at work and marveled at how the man made people do things out of their character. But rather than tricks, Obermeister thought that perhaps hypnosis could be used to help people better their lives instead. He moved to America in the early 1950s and became Roy Masters (The Adam and Eve Sindrome, 2001, etc.) and studied hypnosis for more than 60 years. He is still an active author and lecturer at 83, counseling people nightly on his popular national radio show Advice Line. Masters believes that through fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, resentment and addiction to drugs or pornography you are living life in a hypnotized state. Every time you make an excuse, you are denying reality and giving power over to something else, something evil. By Masters’ account, all of America is asleep, as is much of the rest of the world. Additionally, immoral societies, governments and renegade clergy leaders are hypnotizing you into a life of sin. Masters’ quasi New Age philosophy of meditation, “Be Still and Know,” preaches calm and patience through the exercises outlined in the book’s appendix. Although skeptical at first, upon practicing the exercises there was indeed proof of the value to be gleaned. On the other hand, the book is dismissive of women (emotionally weak, thus leading men to sin), rails against ambitious people and compares homosexuals to drug addicts and Nazis in one failed analogy. This casts some shade on Masters’ otherwise genuine intent to help people heal and be happy.
A solid read for devout Christians, conservatives and self-help book aficionados; skeptics and atheists may find it hard to swallow.