By Gary Amirault
Hokum Hyp, short for Hokum Hypnosis, as mentioned in the previous article, is a method of planting a thought in advance which is to be acted upon later. It is a technique used by thousands of church leaders to increase offerings and maintain control of their congregations. Often they employ the technique without being aware of it themselves.
The motivating factor behind Hokum Hyp is fear. Here are some examples of how this technique is used in a typical church service.
Begin the service by taking out of context some very strong language given to Israel under the Mosaic Covenant. This covenant was a conditional covenant which provided blessings and cursings based upon Israel's obedience to the laws of that covenant. Israel was allowed to enter into this two-sided covenant so that God could make it clear to all of us, that this kind of arrangement will never work. Man can never live up to his side of the agreement.
The penalties for breaking the covenant were severe. So were the laws. A rebellious son was to be stoned to death. When certain cities were captured, Israel was to kill men, women, and children. This would be very difficult for many of us today unless your occupation is an abortionist.
The laws were rigid, and so were the consequences. This makes Scriptures quoted from this covenant so effective. Great fear can be generated from these laws. One who doesn't "tithe" (which is actually unlawful to use under the New Covenant, but used, nevertheless), is considered to break God's law and therefore subject to its curses. He who doesn't tithe under the Old Testament robs the Levitical Priesthood which is the same as robbing God. Often, the job of "planting the seed," is left to a deacon, an outsider, or someone who just had a great financial gain which they attributed to their tithing.
The "seed" or suggestion is planted: "He who doesn't give generously, or at least tithes, robs God. They are cursed. He who gives the tithe or more gets blessed. All of God's true children will be obedient to God's laws." There are thousands of different ways to express this, but the main idea is to use out of context Scriptures to make a person feel like a God-robber if they don't at least tithe.
Then the command is given to fulfill the "seed," the autosuggestion: "Bring forth the 'tithes' and offerings into the Lord's House." The more submissive a member is to the leadership, the more likely they will respond obediently to the command.
Hokum Hyp is also used to bring people into the submission of the leadership. Again, the Old Covenant, which we are not under anymore, is an excellent source for material. Use strong language with illustrations showing the severe penalties inflicted upon those who touch God's "anointed." The Old Testament is full of great illustrations: Korah (Numbers 16:1-36) and Miriam (Numbers Chapter 12) are good examples, one being swallowed up by the earth and the other being turned into a leper for not being submissive to authority.
After a good sermon on the consequences of disobedience to church leadership, then have an altar call to rededicate your life to God, to "recommit," yourself to the Lord. This is a good time to get people to sign membership cards and pledge loyalty to the denomination or leadership.
The same method can and is used to bring church members into submission of church doctrine as well. Show examples in the Scriptures of the consequence of false doctrine. Again, the Old Testament nation of Israel provides great examples of the consequences of going astray. Then quote a few New Testament Scriptures showing the importance of "testing" the spirits. Show a couple of modern examples of going astray, Jonestown or David Koresh, for example, and then give a teaching about how true to the Word our denomination or leadership is. "We are grounded in Christ and on the Word of God!" (I don't know of any church that doesn't say that. Why are they all so different in doctrine if they all are supposedly grounded on the same thing?)
At this point, the leadership can make a call to all those who wish to be properly grounded and avoid being deceived by other denominations, to make a commitment to be at Sunday School, mid-week Bible study, and/or various seminars. It is important to drill in that fact that "our" group, unlike most others, is Bible-based. We cannot be wrong because our foundation is Scripture, the Word of God.
Please understand, I am not discouraging giving, respect to leadership, or minimizing the importance of proper Bible study. The methods and motives of how one brings that about is what I am concerned about. Fear and subtly deceptive techniques are instruments which should be laid down, even as Jesus commanded Peter to put down his sword. There are much better Christian ways to get a person to hear the truth than cutting off their ears. The use of Hokum Hyp knowingly and unknowingly, may bring in the numbers in members and bucks, but it closes the heart to the Holy Spirit's inworkings.