The Power of Suggestion

I was told this story over 50 years ago. Here’s the gist of it:

On a tea plantation in Ceylon, one of the plantation workers committed a crime, and hid up a tree. The plantation manager tried to persuade him to come down, but he would not. Eventually, in exasperation, the manager told him that it didn’t really matter whether he came down or not, because he was going to be dead anyway in a couple of days time. Later that day the worker climbed down from the tree, and went home. And two days later he died.

Just an anecdote, except that it was the retired plantation manager himself who was telling the story, complete with all sorts of details that I’ve long since forgotten. The message was not forgotten: if you can convince someone that they’re going to die, they will die.

And today I connected that story with all the death sentences printed on cigarette packets these days – the ones that say the Smoking Kills. Smokers are being told that they’re going to die. And perhaps that’s why they die. Once embedded in their minds, the thought that they’re going to die works slowly to kill them. And it may well even kill them many years after they stopped smoking, because the conviction that they were going to die never left them. Once they’d read the death sentence on the cigarette packet, they were always waiting for death.

Of course, it only ever works if smokers actually believe what they’re told. Those smokers who never read or never believed the death sentence were immune, because the suggestion was never firmly implanted in their minds, and thus was never able to be realised.

And why shouldn’t suggestions of this sort become actualised as cancers and heart diseases? Body is always affecting mind, so why shouldn’t mind affect body? When I go shopping, I first have the idea of going shopping, and then some while later I actually go shopping with wallet and bag. First there is the thought; then follows the action.

Hypochondriacs – who are perpetually anxious about their health – would seem to be particularly likely to be affected in this way – if only because they are always finding signs of one malady or other in themselves, and in this manner make themselves unwell, perhaps by using unnecessary medicines.

I’ve never been worried about my health. My father never worried about his, and neither did my mother. And I don’t remember my grandfather being much of a worrier either. I come from a non-worrying family.

And how many surgeons, before operating on patients, first blithely tell them: “This is very likely to kill you”? Very few, I imagine. They don’t wish to plant such suggestions in their patients’ minds. It might kill them.

So why are so many very senior doctors busy telling smokers that they are killing themselves? Why are they planting these suggestions in their minds? Surely they must know that it could in many cases be a self-fulfilling prophecy? The answer must surely be that they want to kill them. They are eugenicists who have a profound hatred of smoking, and therefore of smokers. They wish to construct a world that is both smoke-free and smoker-free. Their hatred can be found spewed over Michael McFadden’s Wall of Hate. But instead of killing smokers with lethal injections, the eugenicists have set out to kill them by planting the suggestion in their minds that Smoking Kills, because they knew that once that idea has been fully absorbed, the smokers would die as certainly as the tea plantation worker whose story I have just recounted.

Yet, after first planting the suggestion that Smoking Kills, the eugenicist-doctors have since gone on to plant the further suggestion that even Ambient Tobacco Smoke Kills. Smokers now not only kill themselves, but everyone around them. And since that suggestion has been planted in non-smokers’ minds, isn’t it likely that they’ll start dying too?

Furthermore these senior eugenicist-doctors have started telling drinkers and fat people that they are killing themselves with alcohol and food. Isn’t that likely to be another self-fulfilling prophecy?

We are going to have to rid ourselves of all the eugenicists in the medical profession. There ought to be no place in it for people who who plant murder in people’s minds. They have no business anyway to be trying to construct some smoke-free, alcohol-free, sugar-free utopia. They should go back to curing and caring for the sick.

Another powerful piece of suggestion, which has been introduced into the minds of the inhabitants of the continent of Europe, is that their true identity lies not in being French or German or Spanish or whatever, but instead lies in being European.

And the catastrophe (as some people see it) of Brexit is that the British never fully came to identify themselves as European. The British people live on an island offshore from the continent, and are thus in a very profound sense separate.  Most of them carried on being British, and carried on wishing to govern themselves rather than being governed from Brussels or Strasbourg. And as soon as they got the chance, they voted to leave Europe. The suggestion hadn’t worked: the British didn’t become what it had been suggested to them that they should become.

Furthermore, while much of western Europe has had nearly 70 years to become “European”, Britain has had only 40 years. And perhaps that wasn’t enough. And the same may well be true of other countries that were also late in joining the European community – such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, and all the countries of Scandinavia and eastern Europe.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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30 Responses to The Power of Suggestion

  1. Roobeedoo2 says:

    What a shame for her if Hillary if she does in fact have Parkinson’s disc-ease…

    *Yeah, Clicky…*

  2. smokervoter says:

    Frank, I’ve composed a piece on Prop 56 which includes a graphic of the smoker behind the tree picture with updated text. Please check your email. I hope I’ve sent it to the right address.

  3. smokervoter says:

    You might want to spellcheck it. I used the word “breath” where I should have spelt “breathe” in the very last paragraph.

  4. smokervoter says:

    Perhaps googlemail should read gmail instead.

  5. Tony says:

    I agree with you about the auto-suggestion and add that telling people they are addicted works with many of them too. So these vile ‘doctors’ are persuading people that they are helplessly addicted to something that will kill them and their friends and families. And that it all their fault because they are bad people. And the best they can hope for is a delayed sentence if they buy some highly profitable drugs from the doctor’s pharmaceutical sponsors.

    All a pack of lies.
    What lovely people.

  6. smokervoter says:

    As feeble as it might be, it’s what I came up with. How I wish I could write like you or Leg-iron. The image is important, as an undecided voter who might read it will have a limited attention span and that should grab them first. I purposely kept the text short, sweet and to the point for the same reason.

    Here’s some more grist for the mill I considered. Short, sweet and to the point:

    If cigarette taxes are so effective in curbing demand, why has California’s relatively low tobacco tax resulted in one of the lowest prevalence of usage rates (11.9%) in the nation?

    • Frank Davis says:

      Have you seen this?

      California Secessionists To Meet At Capitol Day After Presidential Election

      An organization which has the aims out separating the state of California from the Union of the United States is set to hold a meeting at the state capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, the day after the presidential election.

      “In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children,” reads Yes California’s official website.

      • smokervoter says:

        Wow, that’s interesting. I prefer my solution and I think it’s more doable.

        Here, thanks to the Wayback Machine is my solution

        You know, in retrospect my old site wasn’t really as bad as I think sometimes. The graphics were the best part.

        • smokervoter says:

          Like it says Scroll Down…The article is titled “Divvying Up California’s 55 Electoral College Votes” and it ain’t half bad if I don’t say so myself. Even the writing is fairly good. When you think about it, this simple change would undo the lock on the Electoral College the Democrats have by way of California’s huge political mass.

          And it’s not pie-in-the-sky. It’s based on my mathematical analysis of the Prop 29 vote.

  7. smokervoter says:

    Question. Should “Dishonorably as it may be,” read “Dishonorable as it may be,” instead? Your English is impeccable. If you find any more awkward phrasing, correct away.

  8. garyk30 says:

    You are talking about the ‘Nocebo Effect’ and it is a fact that has been proven by science.

    Both placebo and nocebo effects are presumably psychogenic but also produce measurable physiological changes as well as changes in the brain, the body and behaviour.[1][2] For example, when a patient anticipates a side effect of a treatment, he/she can suffer them even if the medication provided is an inert substance.[1]
    One article that reviewed 31 studies on nocebo effects reported a wide range of symptoms that could manifest as nocebo effects including nausea, stomach pains, itching, bloating, depression, sleep problems, loss of appetite, sexual dysfunction and severe hypotension

  9. smokingscot says:

    Be interesting to see what happens should Haiti legislate to put the medical propaganda on their packs.

    Mass extinction

  10. waltc says:

    Yes, that’s the principle behind Obeiah and all those Voodoo religions, and somewhere on fb I just read a study to the effect that hypochondria kills because of stress– that worrying that you might have a serious disease can, thereby, cause the disease. Tho I recognize the mind-body link and believe that anxiety can cause physical symptoms (-as Gary has it–and add the entirely psychosomatic effects from secondhand smoke now that it’s an officially designated bogeyman) and may even distract the body from fighting germs, I doubt that it can cause actual disease.

    I also think the British are more or less immune from Europeanization because of WW2, when only England stood up to the axis and the rest of Europe went neutral, fascist, collaborationist or else was just easily conquered.

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