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Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 1992 Jul;40(3):125-56.

Inadvertent hypnosis during interrogation: false confession due to dissociative state; mis-identified multiple personality and the Satanic cult hypothesis.

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Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


Induction of a dissociative state followed by suggestion during interrogation caused a suspect to develop pseudo-memories of raping his daughters and of participation in a baby-murdering Satanic cult. The pseudo-memories coupled with influence from authority figures convinced him of his guilt for 6 months. During this time, the suspect, the witnesses, and all the evidence in the case were studied. No evidence supported an inference of guilt and substantial evidence supported the conclusion that no crime had been committed. An experiment demonstrated the suspect's extreme suggestibility. The conclusion reached was that the cult did not exist and the suspect's confessions were coerced-internalized false confessions. During the investigation, 2 psychologists diagnosed the suspect as suffering from a dissociative disorder similar to multiple personality. Both psychologists were predisposed to find Satanic cult activity. Each concluded that the disorder was due to "programming" by the non-existent Satanic cult.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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