Hypnotic States of Americans is an appropriate title for a book that can be as hypnotic as its subject matter. In fact, author Roy Masters cautions his readers not to get too caught up in his text or any other text—including the Bible, a main source for his teachings. He writes, “If you are forced or coerced to study or concentrate too hard, too long, on anything, good or bad, your attention becomes so involved, so lost, so hypnotized, that it can’t get back to where it was…concentration is not a way of improving yourself; it is a way of giving up your soul to attain some imagined ego-objective.”
A controversial figure, Masters is a former hypnotherapist. He has given help and advice to people for more than sixty years with his books, lectures, and radio program. In 1961, he created the Foundation of Human Understanding, an organization that continues to give spiritual aid and advice mainly based on Masters’ teachings.
The initial appeal of Masters’ book is that it promises to reveal how American society is being hypnotized by various manipulators, including leaders of government, experts, educators, and sometimes, unknowingly, family members and friends. American citizens have known for years that they have been conned by Madison Avenue advertisements, government, academe, and the media. He writes, “The first core discovery was that the root of the human problems is that we are already hypnotized…converting someone hypnotically to a better set of beliefs…was not enough, because so long as people remained hypnotized, they would also remain hypnotizable.”
Through his observations and analysis, he found that human beings are made up of two personalities or sin natures, psychopaths and psychotics, which he describes as, “dominators and the dominated.” The author wants the reader to know that, “… this sin nature…is not the real you, but rather an implanted identity that has taken root in you through early trauma. If you recognize it calmly, and quietly repent of it, then you’re well on your way to becoming a free and whole human being.” He believes that all our trouble began with the biblical “original sin.” Masters writes: “Without consciousness there can be no sin; the entire process of natural life would simply be unrolling from its beginning in God” and “Amongst God’s creatures, consciousness exists in man alone. Only through him can life become reversed; only man can live backwards. (‘Evil’ is ‘live’ spelled backwards.) Through choice comes failing and through failing comes…death.”
Hypnotic States of Americans may provide great spiritual comfort and guidance for many readers. Other readers might become infuriated with some of the ideas addressed in the the book, specifically, certain thoughts about women and the origination of disease and illness. Whether or not the book speaks to the hearts or minds of readers will depend strongly upon their personal beliefs.