Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Remind Me to Forget”!

December 7, 2018

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Habit”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA and Literotica. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Remind Me to Forget” (MC MD MA)!

Modern technology is a wonderful thing. More and more, smart homes and smart devices can run our lives smoothly, efficiently and easily… and for Elaine and her Master, that’s not just a metaphor. She programs her devices, and they program her. Here’s a taste:

“Alexa,” she murmured, her dark brown eyes gazing vacantly at the device as she spoke. “Turn on the television tomorrow night at 6 PM and play file ‘Conditioning 3’ from the folder labeled ‘Ignore’. Repeat play until 7 PM.” She didn’t think about the words as she said them. Her mind was completely empty, the spinning ring of color removing every thought with its gentle sweep as quickly as it formed. She only repeated the words that ‘Conditioning 2’ had told her to say, following each instruction with the blank and obedient precision of a perfect slave.

There were seven ‘Conditioning’ files, one for every day of the week. She didn’t know that, because she had been commanded not to know it, but she diligently told the device every day to queue up tomorrow’s viewing nonetheless. There was something so soothing about the routine, the quiet unthinking certainty that every day Elaine could tell the machine to hypnotize and brainwash her and every day it would accept the instruction just like Elaine did. It was a daily reminder that she was every bit as programmed as her electronics.

Elaine didn’t remember anymore which one of them was programmed first, her or the device. The constant repetition of her daily brainwashing rituals served to elide the passage of time, making every day feel exactly like every other day in her foggy, blank mind. Each day when she came home from work, the device conditioned her into obedience, and every evening before she slept, she programmed the device to program her again the next day. Even trying to think about how it all began felt dizzying, like trying to look down a hall of mirrors. The endless echoes in her brain dulled her into a somnambulent calm that drugged away her mental struggles as soon as they began.

Endless Echoes… Elaine smiled faintly, her brain registering the pun for just a moment before it subsided into mindless obedience once more.

Hope you enjoy it!

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Liner Notes for November 2018

December 2, 2018

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 81 Very Important Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Hello everyone! It’s been a whole month since I did the last installment of this monthly series, which means… (frantically slides beads up and down abacus…) Yep! Time for another one! Let’s get started, shall we?

Jacob’s Word: Anyone who knows me will know that this is one of my favorite little obsessions – the pseudoscientific idea that since electrical activity in the brain has a frequency and sound has a frequency and waves cancel, then hypothetically there could be a frequency of sound that translates into a frequency of brainwave that cancels out the existing frequency and leaves the mind genuinely blank and open. (There is some real science on this, depending on how much credence you want to place in the idea of binaurals and brain entrainment, but this isn’t about actual brainwashing. It’s about the fantasy.)

So when I saw this title, I instantly gravitated to the idea of a word that possesses a characteristic allowing it to function as a mind-canceling soundwave, and a woman who’s been victimized by it. Naturally, I had to come up with a compelling reason for her to be genuinely, irrevocably, irresistibly brainwashed, and it seemed like it would be a hot little twist (albeit a not wholly unexpected one) if she only thought she was resisting, and she was really reinforcing her programming for her controller. The rest fell into place pretty quickly after that.

Access Babylon: The word ‘access’, in the context of erotic mind control, is one that’s pretty potent in terms of its implications and possibilities. It almost always implies accessing a person’s mind, their perceptions or thoughts or memories, and the associations we have with computer technology led me pretty early on in the direction of a cyberpunk story. I knew pretty early on that it would be about someone with a computer in their head, and someone else accessing a “hidden folder” in their brain allowing them direct and complete control.

I didn’t want it to be just as simple as “evil computer hacker hacks person’s brain for the haxxors”, though. I wanted a good reason why they might need to do this, and so I came up with the idea that this was the victim’s sysadmin hacking their brain for unethical but ultimately benevolent reasons. Which led me to malware, which led me to dangerous malware, which led me down the milSF tree from cyberpunk to imagine a future where soldiers had computer-augmented brains and malware was a military weapon. I was really happy with the tone and the texture of the story – I think I nailed that absurdist cynicism that you get in a lot of stories about the military of the future (like ‘Dark Star’, which was heavily on my mind as I wrote this) and I loved the little details about the war that gave it a sense of verisimilitude. (Hey, if Germany could suddenly start tearing Europe apart, why not Portugal?) And the sex is hot, which is icing on the cake.

Panties in Your Purse: This is a very common fantasy in a lot of D/s relationships, and one that’s very frequently acted on – the submissive is commanded to remove her panties while wearing an outfit that carries a chance of discovery of that fact, and has to go about her daily routine knowing that at any moment, she might accidentally flash someone if she isn’t careful (although that risk is more hypothetical than real). It’s a very mild form of exhibitionism, where the submissive only really displays her body to her partner but gets the thrill of fantasizing as much as she wants about showing off to others. And yes, the act of handing over the underwear is a big part of the ritual.

Basically, what I’m saying is that I saw this title and knew I wanted to write a whole story that built up to that moment, with the “victim” squirming and struggling and pretending not to want to do it but knowing deep down that it was insanely fucking hot that her partner had that much control over her. And that turned out to be harder than it looked on first glance, because there’s lots of squirming and struggling and pretending but not much actual happening, but I think I pulled it off and it’s very enjoyable and hot. (And both protagonists are successful African-American women because why shouldn’t they be?)

Wake Up: This was a title that absolutely screamed “mind control”, but really it’s kind of astonishing how many titles scream “mind control” so obviously that it’s hard to come up with a real angle on them. (This is why I’ve never, in over 450 stories, done a story titled “Hypnotized”.) (Also, seriously, mind control in romantic songs is HUGE. Try to go a solid hour of listening to music on the radio without hearing a word like “captivated”, “mesmerized”, “hypnotized”, “helpless”, or if you’re listening to Madonna, “I hear your voice, it’s like an angel sighing, I have no choice, I hear your voice, Feels like flying, I close my eyes…”)

But I digress. The point is I came up with the idea of someone doing a confusion induction by giving wakeners to someone who wasn’t in trance, and then using hypnotic language to blur the line between a waking state and a trance state to induce fractionation by implication. I’m not sure if it would really work as an induction technique – I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t, but that’s not the same as saying it would – but it was a fun story either way and very hot.

And that’s November in the books – see you need week for another blog post, and next month for another Liner Notes!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “This Is Just 4 U”!

November 29, 2018

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Repetition”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA and Literotica. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “This Is Just 4 U” (MC FF)!

When we last saw Service Unit 4U, she was returning from Genoa after Unit 2B was returned to the Directors. She’s back… but her Master isn’t. She’s gone missing, and 4U has no idea where she might be. If a service unit finds perfect pleasure in obedience, what does she do when there’s no one to obey? Here’s a taste:

I’m–I’m in a little bit of a fugue state right now. I’m also in Antwerp, but that doesn’t matter. I’d be just as confused no matter where I was. One place is the same as any other to me right now; I’m in Antwerp because that’s where the last traces of volition happened to sputter out, but it could just as easily have been Prague or Vienna or Lisbon. They’re all just names on a list now. My Master isn’t in any of them. For the first time in over three years… I really don’t know what to do.

This isn’t normally a problem. So much time and care and effort has been put into the layering of instructions in a service unit’s brain that there’s never a situation where we can’t fall back on one protocol of obedience or another. Mission not going well? We’ve been programmed to seek out all kinds of alternative methods for carrying out every objective. Sudden change in circumstances? I can adjust to pretty much any unexpected contingency. Objective no longer achievable? Contact the Masters for further instructions. No matter what else happens, I’ve always been able to fall back on that last option, as long as I’ve existed within Haley Keene’s mind.

It’s always felt so good, having that constant sense of certainty in the back of my head. No matter how out of control a situation seemed, I always knew what to do because I was perfectly programmed to obey. I never had to worry about making a bad decision, because I never had a decision to make. My brain was smooth, placid, and untroubled by any existential concerns because I knew my exact place in the universe–an obedient tool of my Masters’ will. Even when my Masters turned to killing each other, I still knew who to turn to for my next command. There was never a moment of doubt.

But now I don’t have a Master. I. I’m a slave without a Master and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have a goal, I don’t have an objective to execute, and I can’t return to my Master for further instructions because I don’t know where she is. Nobody put a contingency plan into my head for this. Nobody anticipated this. Even thinking that feels unexpectedly terrifying, like staring into a vast, yawning abyss that I never even knew existed. My Master, all of the Masters I’ve had, they’re… perfect. Infallible. They know everything I need to know. How can I even be Service Unit 4U without a goal or a Master?

Hope you enjoy it!

My Favorite Things: Authority Reinforcement

November 25, 2018

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 87 transcendentally trancing Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

A while back, I talked about a very delicious trope that crops up a lot in mind control stories where the victim is an authority figure and the controller is someone who theoretically should be subject to that authority. But honestly, the exact opposite concept has a charm all its own that shouldn’t be lightly disregarded. There’s something truly intense about taking the inherent power dynamic of an authoritarian situation and amplifying it with mind control.

Obviously, the big example we see a lot in MC kink is patriarchy porn, where the traditional dynamic of “male authority over women” is heightened and intensified using hypnosis. The man in question is usually either a husband or a boss, and the woman is usually someone who begins by struggling against the implied power structure before coming to accept it with the aid of brainwashing of some sort. But that isn’t necessarily the only way that authority can be used in this fashion.

Pretty much any situation that involves an authority figure, from a professor to a boss to a police officer talking to someone they just pulled over, has an element of inherent power exchange. Most of the time, the sexual aspect of that power exchange is sublimated, because we’re expected to interact on a daily basis with people that we surrender power to and we can’t just spend the whole damn day thinking about how much this is like D/s… and also because there are frequently negative consequences to denying a real world authority, which make the whole thing a little bit fraught because it’s hard not to at least retain some awareness of those consequences.

But in fantasy, we can experience that feeling of helplessness without any of the negative consequences, and the sexual aspects without any sublimation. So all of that tension comes boiling out in an erotic charge of pure, kinked-up understanding that sometimes people can do things to us and we can’t say no… and it would be a whole hell of a lot nicer if those people were sexier, those things were more enjoyable, and they could brainwash us into enjoying it.

I have a few examples out there of this particular trope, like “Applause” (mentor controlling student) or “Don’t Speak” (boss controlling employee) or “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” (therapist controlling patient). But if I had to pick one really good example that wasn’t by me, I’d probably mention “Rivalry”, by Bad Penny. This one not only features a really hot teacher/student dynamic (that doesn’t also replicate the patriarchal aspects of that situation, being all-female) but it also cleverly finds a new way to replicate and amplify that dynamic by showing the ways that competition for the praise of a superior can act as its own form of subtle control. It’s very hot, very well written, and definitely one of my favorite things.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Candy Coated”!

November 22, 2018

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Wake Up”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA and Literotica. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Candy Coated” (MC)!

This is the induction piece I mentioned a while back, the candy-themed one. I think it’s going to be a very nice treat, and I think people will find it quite sweet by the end. (With no ill effects on the teeth!) Here’s a taste:

“There’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of candy, is there? That instant hit of sweetness as the sugar melts on your tongue feels so good and makes you so happy; it’s a pure and uncomplicated bliss that goes straight to the back of your brain without even touching your thoughts. You don’t need to think about candy, you don’t need to sit down and contemplate the meaning of candy–you just pop it in your mouth and it makes your brain light up with pleasure.

“That’s not to say that there aren’t any decisions to make with candy, because there are always so many choices open to you. You can have cotton candy, enjoying the way that the sticky, tangled threads melt down into sweet syrup in just a fraction of an instant. You can eat a piece of fudge or caramel, enjoying the soft, malleable confection as you shape it with your tongue. You can suck on a hard candy, letting it dissolve oh so slowly in your mouth until it disappears without you even noticing it. You can even, if you’re a little daring, take a handful of pop rocks and feel them fizz out one by one until all that’s left is sweetness.

“But no matter where you start with your choices, the end result is always the same. The sugar melts in your mouth, your tastebuds send those signals up into the deepest and most instinctive parts of your brain, and you feel warm and happy and good without needing to think about it at all. No matter where the journey starts with candy, the destination is always the same. Sweet, sticky bliss.

“I think we both know where I’m going with this. The only question is, how do you want to go under today?

Hope you enjoy it!

MST3K vs Hypnosis: Hercules Unchained

November 22, 2018

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 86 charming and beguiling Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

The lateness of this entry puts it squarely into the territory of Thanksgiving, which is a holiday pretty indelibly associated with Mystery Science Theater 3000 for me. (I may have spent large chunks of Turkey Day recording episodes. May have.) And definitely the Hercules episodes are right up there in terms of what makes MST what it is; bad dubbing, cheesy action sequences, incomprehensible plots… and in the case of ‘Hercules Unchained’, some drugplay and amnesia-based mind control.

As is often the case with this kind of sword and sandal epic, the basic plot is very simple – Hercules gets involved in a feud between two brothers, and has to make an end to their constant warring for the throne. But the simple plot is endlessly convoluted by constant incident; Hercules can’t just show up and throw down with the warring brothers, because then the movie would be about five minutes long. So there has to be an endless number of side quests and diversions keeping Hercules from getting to the thing he has to do. And in this case, one of the lengthier diversions is Queen Omphale.

The Queen happens to live, by sheerest chance, next to a magic spring that wipes the memories of anyone who drinks from it. Hercules happens along it and takes a good long guzzle, and before you know it, he’s forgotten his quest, forgotten his wife, and Queen Omphale is happy to fill in the blank spots in his mind with a sweet little fairy tale about how devoted he is to his beautiful queen (no spoilers, but her name rhymes with “womphale”). She uses him to help keep order in her kingdom, knowing that the Herc is capable of taking on an entire army, but she’s already made plans to have him transmogrified into a statue once she’s bored with him.

There’s not any actual sexytimes going on, but there’s certainly enough innuendo about Brainwashed Herc’s relationship to Omphale to give Joel and the bots plenty of material to make double entendres about, and they do have a very good sketch about other kinds of food and drink besides the Waters of Forgetfulness (the Fruit Stripe Gum of Stability, for example). It’s definitely pretty clear from the film that Omphale is using her magical drug to render Hercules pliant and boinkable, which should at least give some people a little bit of a squirm while they watch.

And more importantly, it’s exactly the kind of movie MST3K does well. There is so much over-the-top acting, so many goofy sequences, so many bits of bewildering incident, that there’s almost never a scene where they don’t have something to hang their riffs on. This would be a great episode even without the mind control; with it, it’s probably a favorite for every pervy MST3K fan.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Just Like Christmas”!

November 16, 2018

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Panties in Your Purse”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA and Literotica. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Just Like Christmas” (MC FF)!

Girlfriends Duchess and Tiana are spending the first nice spring day doing a little casual hypnosis play when Paula spots them. And when a pretty young woman shows an interest in erotic hypnosis, it’s definitely a very special day for all three of them. Here’s a taste:

“Is she hypnotized?” I glanced up to see a Latina woman staring down at us, her deep brown eyes wide with amazement as she gazed back and forth between Tiana and me like she didn’t know where to look first. She was tall–the first things I noticed were those long, tawny legs, so smooth and perfect that I practically salivated over them–but she was already starting to bend forward a little in fascination as she spoke.

“That is so cool!” she continued, before I even had a chance to answer. “Like, I’ve never been hypnotized before, but I’ve always wondered what it was like, you know? Like, even when I was watching cartoons and shit as a kid, I’d always kind of perk up when they had a bad guy who hypnotized people, because it was, like, whoa, can you really do that to someone?” Her face was alive with excitement, her speech punctuated with animated hand gestures as if she was a wind-up toy in the first instant after the spring began to unwind. Her whole body quivered with energy, and it was hard not to notice that she had a very tight black t-shirt and very large breasts under it.

She flopped down onto the sunny grass next to us, staring with unabashed curiosity at Tiana’s closed eyes and relaxed body. “Can she, like… hear me? I’ve read about this stuff a lot, I know it’s not like it is in the cartoons, but you can really do that, right? You can make her stop listening to anyone but you?” I couldn’t help smiling a little, watching her drink everything in with wide, hungry eyes. Moments like this didn’t happen often, but they were the reason Tiana and I sometimes went with ‘out of the way’ instead of ‘private’ when we did tranceplay.

Hope you enjoy it!

Is It Hypnosis? – Part Fourteen

November 11, 2018

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 85 genuinely brilliant Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Yep, it’s time for another installment in my popular series of “looking back at old stuff I’ve written to see how plausible and ethical the hypnosis is”! (Well, I mean… one person said they liked it. Nobody’s asked me to stop. That’s gotta count for something, right?)

Brand New Key: So obviously this is unethical, but really when you’re talking about a master jewel thief and a master forger arguing about how to divvy up the spoils of their highly illegal robbery, I think that chiding one party for unethical use of hypnosis is kind of water over the bridge, y’know? The question is, would Alice’s plan work?

The answer is, “Nope.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s distinctly possible that the scenario could play out the way that it does here. Alice is using some legitimate hypnosis techniques, and Blake’s conscious and subconscious mind both have an incentive to go along with her induction and drop into trance for her. He would probably go under, even if he was telling himself that he was only pretending to get the key. (Lots of people wind up believing they were awake and just acting like they were hypnotized, when in fact they’re hypnotized and just thinking they’re awake.) He might even, when he has the jewels in his hot little hands, feel an impulse to go back to Alice. But the same lever of greed that made him susceptible to hypnosis would help him resist any suggestions to give up the loot.

I Can’t Wait: Unsurprisingly, given that this story is co-written by a woman who’s both a talented hypnotist and a talented writer, this story is entirely plausible. None of the specific scenarios in the story happened, but they’re all drawn from real-life experiences in the hypno-kink community over the years (and the general kink community as well) and everything that’s done with hypnosis is legitimately possible. Hypnosis over text is much easier than people believe – there’s a general association in the minds of many between “deep” and “eyes closed” that makes folks think that you can’t have a really deep trance when you have to read, but in reality the text itself acts as an eye fixation focus.

And it’s also a respectful and ethical use of hypnosis. The use of hypnotic language in flirting is something I wouldn’t necessarily recommend in real life, although there’s a certain degree of ‘read the room’ there and I’d say that RandomAccess is giving off enough of an ‘enthusiastic consent’ vibe from his end that Win-Now-Will is justified in at least dipping her metaphorical toe in that end of the pool. And it’s pretty safe to assume that everything else involved off-screen negotiations and consent. This one gets high marks in the “could you do this in real life” category.

Electioneering: On the other end of the spectrum… this one is both completely impossible, and perversely unethical (in my personally political opinion). Yes, the story hedges its bets by having Betsy answer the door when she’s exhausted and her energies are at a very low ebb, and certainly the stinger at the end implies that this is part and parcel of the standard tactics for the group. And it’s never stated how much emotional investment Betsy has in voting anyway, so we don’t know how much the suggestion goes against her deeply-held values.

But in reality, just the sexual touching alone would probably snap her out of trance, and certainly she wouldn’t be amenable to suggestions to go out and recruit others to the club. That’s an unrealistic amount of influence in so short a time, to say nothing of the fact that hypnotizing someone into waiving their constitutional rights and sexually assaulting them is Not Good. I don’t really expect anyone to try this, but yeah. Don’t try this.

Secret Journey: Obviously, this would take a lot of work to set up. Amnesia isn’t a natural consequence of hypnosis for many or even most people, despite its frequency in media depictions, so to get someone to the point where they don’t even recognize their own husband is not going to be easy or even achievable for a lot of folks. But it is possible, and certainly the hypnosis within the story is possible (although it’s kind of implied that the same trigger that makes Diane forget who Jack is also makes her ludicrously susceptible to suggestions).

And of course, since this is a Jack and Diane story, it’s made clear when she wakes that all of the suggestions and triggers she has installed in her brain were consensually and ethically negotiated, and that she enthusiastically consents not just to the existence of said triggers but to the unexpected use of them. Their relationship isn’t necessarily a model in that sense – lots of hypnokinksters don’t want surprise triggers, and that’s okay – but they are a model for obtaining consent.

Dressed for Success: There isn’t really any conventional hypnosis here; what Eryn does is really more sort of a D/s seduction that uses her sex appeal combined with her roleplay as a dominatrix to draw Harry into an agentic state where he feels like he’s not in control of his own decisions and behavior. It definitely is a form of mind control, though, in that Harry is doing what Eryn wants him to do rather than following his own impulses for conventional behavior in a job interview situation. That said, would it work?

I think the answer is, “….maaaaaaybe?” I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying it; this would probably be construed as sexual harassment by most people, and sexual assault if you proceeded on to the use of the crop as depicted in the latter portions of the story. But it’s certainly implied that Eryn has a greater-than-usual knowledge of Harry’s personality due to her research and interview prep, and it’s not hard to imagine a version of this story where she’s found out that he’s kinky as fuck and into femdom (and possibly findom as well). In that situation, it might be plausible that presenting him with his fantasies in the form of a “job interview turned sexy” might shut down a lot of his critical thinking faculties, especially if Eryn is presenting his submission as a fait accompli. It’s still not ethical – you should never assume that people want to live out their sexual fantasies without discussing it with them – but it might be feasible. It’s kind of unlikely, though.

And there’s another five stories sorted! Join me next week for another blog post, and (emoji shrug) for another entry in this series!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Dolly Dagger”!

November 9, 2018

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Access Babylon”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA and Literotica. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Dolly Dagger” (MC FF MF FD)!

Trace’s wife has gone missing, and he suspects that she’s fallen under the charismatic sway of Nadia Volkov. Nadia claims she’s cast a spell on Toya, but Trace wants some proof. You know what they say about being careful what you wish for… here’s a taste.

Nadia followed him in with no evident signs of being intimidated, and took a seat across from him in an easy chair covered with an old pink shawl. “I assume the police already told you about what happened,” she said, scooping up a block of wood from a small stack of similar blocks that lay on the coffee table. She leaned back in the chair and produced a small whittling knife, seemingly out of nowhere, and began to carve into the soft wood. As threats went, it wasn’t exactly subtle, but Trace was pretty sure he could take it away from her if he had to.

“They gave me a bunch of excuses, if that’s what you mean,” he said, folding his arms defensively. “Said that Toya came out and told them she was here of her own free will and she wanted to stay with you, and there was nothing they could do about it. As if they didn’t know you were using that voodoo shit on her.” He kept his expression tightly controlled, his lips a thin line and his eyes set in a firm glare. He knew how bullshit artists like this worked, playing on body language and facial cues to tell when their patter was working. He wasn’t about to give her anything.

“It’s not voodoo,” Nadia said mildly, turning the block off wood over in her hands and deftly carving great hunks out of it. “It’s sympathetic magic. Honestly, I don’t know what it is with you people. There are at least thirty-seven Crafts and Disciplines out there that utilize some form of sympathetic magic, but the second you sign a lease on an apartment in the state of Louisiana, suddenly you’re a ‘voodoo queen’. It’s not exactly respectful to other people’s religions, Mister Moreau.”

Hope you enjoy it!

Mind Control in ‘Oculus’

November 4, 2018

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 87 heroic and brilliant Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

One of the sad truths of the modern streaming era is that sometimes you wind up playing a little bit of a game of Whack-a-Mole with the movies you’re interested in watching, as they drop off of one service and pop up on another. This happened with the 2013 horror movie “Oculus”, which I had been interested in ever since I saw the short film it was based on at a film festival and finally found out was on Netflix just three short days before it dropped back off again. Luckily, that was enough time to watch it, and I gotta say… this is a sadly underrated movie.

I could go into the really powerful metaphor that Mike Flanagan weaves for adult survivors of child abuse, with Tim and Kaylie literally remembering two different versions of their childhood thanks to Tim’s experiences in therapy and Kaylie’s obsessive pursuit of the Lasser Glass, an antique owned by her father that she believes is responsible for their parents’ descent into murderous insanity. (Spoiler Alert: Because this is a supernatural horror movie, Kaylie is right.) There’s a lot of intense, emotional material wrung out of this, with both protagonists each having a valid and reasonable point of view about the ways they’re coping with a past trauma.

I could also go into the beautiful, beautiful ways that Flanagan weaves the two stories together with increasing intensity as the film goes on and the mirror’s power to induce hallucinations twists past and present back on each other in all sorts of inventive ways. There are so many vivid, scary, haunting images that I would love to see a sequel (although I’m glad that Flanagan’s apparently in no rush to pump something out just to make a buck).

But let’s face it – this is a mind control blog, right? So let’s insert a spoiler cut, and talk about the mind control after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »