126 THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
notist may select for slaughter." If the conclusions were correct, the power would be indeed formidable, and, in the hands of unscrupulous men, dangerous. Much has been written on the subject of the possibility of sexual outrage by means of hypnotism, and a few cases are reported in the books. None of them, however, bear the unmistakable stamp of genuineness, and most of them bear internal evidence of fraud. The best authorities on the subject are now free to confess to very grave doubts, at least, of the possibility of crime being instigated by this means. Thus, Moll,1 one of the latest and certainly one of the ablest writers on the subject, has the following :
" There are important differences of opinion about the offences which hypnotic subjects may be caused to commit. Li6geois, who has discussed the legal side of the question of hypnotism in a scientific manner, thinks this danger very great, while Gilles de la Tourette, Pierre Janet, Benedikt, and others, deny it altogether.
" There is no doubt that subjects may be induced to commit all sorts of imaginary crimes in one's study. I have made hardly any such suggestions, and have small experience on the point. In any case, a repetition of them is superfluous. If the conditions of the experiment are not changed, it is useless to repeat it merely to confirm what we already know. And these criminal suggestions are not altogether pleasant. I certainly do not believe that they injure the moral state of the subject, for the suggestion may be negatived and forgotten. But these laboratory experiments prove nothing, because some trace of consciousness always remains to tell the subject he is playing a comedy (Franck Delboeuf), consequently he will offer a slighter resistance. He will more readily try to commit a murder with a piece of paper than with a real dagger, because, as we have seen, he almost always dimly realizes his real situation. These experiments, carried out by Lie'geois, Foreaux, and others in their studies do not, therefore, prove danger."
Such experiments prove nothing, simply because they are experiments. The subject knows that he is among his friends. He has confidence in the integrity of the hypno-
1 Hypnotism, p, 337.