by Dr. Joe Vitale

In my e-book, Hypnotic Selling Stories, I tried to explain how the messages you send out have a double meaning. There’s the meaning you intend, and then there’s the meaning your readers conclude. There’s often a major difference. This is hard to explain, but let’s try, anyway.

Nerissa and I watched a wonderful movie a few days ago called Cider House Rules. It stars Michael Caine and Toby MaGuire. It takes place in Maine, in the 1940s, in and around a home for orphans. The film is beautiful to watch, slow and moving, like a great coloful painting come to life.

The essence of the story is this: Toby is an orphan who learned to deliver babies from his mentor, the doctor played by Caine. While Caine would perform abortions as needed, Toby would never do them, saying they were illegal. They were against the rules.

As the story moves on, Toby decided to leave the orphanage and see the world. He does, at least the world of Maine. While working as an apple picker, he befriends the fellow workers. One of them gets pregnant by her own father, and needs an abortion. Toby, backed into a corner and realizing the necessity of the situation, performs it. Now the rules don’t matter.

I’ve over simplified the movie’s story to make my point obvious. So let’s see if my plan worked.

Okay. On the first level of communication, the movie is about people growing up in the 40s and dealing with their personal problems, with a focus on orphans in Maine. The characters are deep and the plot is engaging. You can watch it and say, “I enjoyed that one.”

But on another level, there are messages in the movie designed to sink into your mind without doing so with a hammer.

For example, what does the title — “Cider House Rules” — mean?

In the house Toby and the apple pickers lived in, there was a set of rules posted inside. No one could read them because no one could read. When Toby appeared, he read the rules. The first was no smoking.
Well, the pickers laughed, as they were smoking as they heard about the rule. So, “Cider House Rules” referred to the rules posted in the house where the apple pickers lived.

But what does it mean on a deeper level?

The movie was about abortion. It showed that rules made by people who don’t live in the situation the rules affect, were rules worth nothing. That when reality set in, the rules would be ignored. When push came to shove, so to speak, a person would get an abortion if their situation called for it.

But the movie never came out and said that!

And that’s the point. Hypnotic Writing is often subtle. It sneaks in a message under your mental radar. It tells you a story that entertains you, while the message slides into your consciousness. The next time you think of abortion, you’ll unconsciously remember the lessons from “Cider House Rules.”
You may even make a different decision because of it, and you may never even know it.

Hypnotic writing is more than clever phrases and a knowledge of language. It’s also remembering that people make unconscious conclusions about your messages. Be careful what you say, yes. But also be careful to what people may conclude.

Take this brief article. On an apparent level I am telling you to be aware of your communication. But on a secondary level, I am communicating my own knowledge of hypnotic language. Somewhere in you is the thought, “Wow, Joe sure knows a lot about hypnotic writing.”
This may even get you to sign up for my upcoming private seminar on hypnotic writing.

You might also note that I plugged one of my e-books in the first paragraph of this article, which seeded the idea that you should go buy it right now. This whole article, in a way, is a hypnotic story designed to sell you on my work.

Again, there are at least two messages in every communication — the obvious and the concluded.

Take a look at your own writing. What are you trying to communicate — and what are people concluding?

You may be surprised by what you find.

Related Portfolio Items