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Hypnosis: A Party Trick Becomes a Crime

Many people have been hypnotized as part of a show or party trick. Others claim that hypnosis has aided them in sleeping, dieting, and even stopping smoking. Some people don’t trust hypnosis and may not have a clear idea of what it is. No matter your personal stance on it, the modern understanding is that hypnotism is real, but isn’t a form of ultra mind control that television and films make it seem.

Ex-attorney Michael Fine apparently didn’t get that memo. Fine is facing 27 charges ranging from kidnapping to sexual battery after two female clients of his went to police with claims that they had been hypnotized by Fine, citing that they often couldn’t remember meetings and phone discussions with the attorney. One of them eventually recorded a phone call with him, capturing his sexual aggressiveness on audio then turning the recording over to police. When asked why she had not done so sooner, she stated that she had feared that law enforcement would not have taken her seriously.

One of the two women who came forward claimed that in several meetings with Fine, they had discussed meditation techniques while Fine insisted that she relax. During one of the meetings, she left with a feeling that she had “lost time”, a typical claim for someone who has been under a form of hypnosis. When Fine did not file some paperwork for her case, she went to his firm and was told that he no longer worked there, as he had just permanently surrendered his law license. It was then that another attorney at the firm suggested she contact law enforcement.

Fine’s attorney seemed shocked by at the allegations, stating that Fine had been under medical care for some time and that he believed his client would be arraigned in short order.

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