Amateur hypnotist jailed for sexual assault

The power of suggestion…

‘Sex slave’ hypnotist jailed – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.

Instead of helping his vulnerable victim with weight-loss and anxiety issues, ex-RAF man Timothy Porter took advantage of his skills to make her fondle her breasts while he committed a sex act on himself.

After a series of sessions, Porter turned up at her home on the night of December 2 last year when her husband was away.

Despite her reservations, Porter offered to hypnotise her more deeply than before and the pair sat on a sofa.

The amateur hypnotist then persuaded her to expose and touch her breasts while he performed a sex act on himself.

She was roused from the hypnosis and went to the kitchen, the court heard, and Porter tried to restart the session, without success.

Instead, his upset victim rang a friend, police were called and he was arrested.

Porter is being jailed for 18 months. He’s being listed in the sex offender registry for 10 years as well as not allowed to act as a hypnotist during those 10 years. He is also banned from contacting his victim. But this story is odd. Hypnotism is the power of suggestion, not some trance. She overcame inhibitions and maybe at a certain point, it became too much to overcome and she ran away. However, the man did apparently attempt to take advantage of her.

But, she also willingly let go for a while.

The hypnosis showroom provides a social setting where behavior that would usually be considered inappropriate is allowed. If alcohol is involved, an additional excuse for inappropriate behavior is introduced. Looked at this way, showroom hypnosis is a kind of release, a socially acceptable way to let go.

A rather bizarre practice in Malaysia and Indonesia called latah is somewhat reminiscent of what goes on in some demonstrations of showroom hypnosis.

Upon being startled, ordinarily timid, exceedingly polite women sometimes respond with vulgar obscenities and outrageous sexual gestures. Severe cases experience “automatic obedience,” doing whatever they are told, afterward claiming amnesia and thus not held responsible for their actions. (Bartholomew and Radford 2003: 93)

Latah seems to involve a tacit social agreement to act as if one has lost one’s self-control.

However, this does not excuse the therapist’s inappropriate behavior.

  9 comments for “Amateur hypnotist jailed for sexual assault

  1. September 30, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    > But this story is odd.

    It should be no surprise that she followed his suggestions at first. One-on-one sessions of any kind can be very emotionally intimate, especially when trust is given. The woman was troubled and had invested herself in the therapy; she thought he could help her be better and happier. Add a hypnotic state and that trust would likely be intensified. Fortunately, the conflict between her therapeutic needs and her disgust allowed her to break away. Some patients do not. Sadly, therapists sexually abusing patients — even where hypnosis is not a factor — is an old, old story.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-wars/201206/sex-patients-revisited

    Timothy Porter is a scumbag. This was his defence:

    “His account was that he believed she was consenting to his actions during the course of this incident. He agreed the incident had escalated and he misread the situation.”

    Not believeable in any way.

  2. LREKing
    October 1, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    How is this sexual assault? Does not “assault” require bodily harm or the genuine threat of bodily harm?

  3. October 1, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    @LREKing

    Porter coerced a person to engage in sexual activity. He did so under false pretenses.

  4. LREKing
    October 1, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    He coerced her by asking (or even telling)?

    If there had been a threat, then sure.

    And what false pretenses?

    If I lie to you to get you to do something, is that an assault?

  5. October 1, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    @LREKing

    You’re kidding, right?

    Porter did not engage her will freely. He put her in an altered state in which one is susceptible to suggestion. That is not mere “asking.”

    He did so under the pretense of helping her with weight and anxiety issues. That was a false pretense.

    > If I lie to you to get you to do something, is that an assault?

    If it’s physically invasive, of course it is.

    All that is perfectly clear.

  6. LREKing
    October 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    But there was NO contact, and therefore no assault. I have no idea what “physically invasive” means, but it sounds vague enough to be almost anything you want it to be. By the report, he never touched her or threatened her.

    As far as the existence of hypnosis and an “altered state” go, the science does not support that that it is anything more than guided relaxation. The fact that she wisely got up and walked away demonstrates that he had no control over her.

  7. October 1, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    @LREKing

    > But there was NO contact, and therefore no assault.

    Porter disagrees with you. He “pleaded guilty to causing a person to engage in sexual activity without their consent.”

    That’s the very definition of sexual assault.

    > I have no idea what “physically invasive” means

    Clearly.

    > the science does not support that that it is anything more than guided relaxation.

    What you or I think about hypnosis is irrelevant, really. Porter thought hypnosis would replace the woman’s will with his own. As the court heard, “He kept saying, ‘No mind, no will of your own.'” Intent is critical in determining culpability.

    > The fact that she wisely got up and walked away demonstrates that he had no control over her.

    You can only say that if you totally ignore the fact that at first she fondled herself at Porter’s request — and while his pants were at his ankles.

    Leery, your disingenuous skepticism is showing.

  8. LREKing
    October 2, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Sexual assault: “it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat”

    No force, no threat. There’s no way around that.

    >Leery, your disingenuous skepticism is showing.

    Personal attacks as your arguments fail? Pfui.

  9. October 9, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    @LREKing

    > No force, no threat. There’s no way around that.

    Causing someone to harm themselves involuntarily is not an exercise of force? Let’s remember these words from the playground:

    “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5cgqHP8RiU

    > Personal attacks as your arguments fail?

    Attack? But I didn’t touch you! I didn’t use force! How can that be an attack?

    (I win! I win! I win!)

Comments are closed.