Was Czolgosz Hypnotized?
This query has been propounded mentally
by hundreds and perhaps thousands of students of occultism and psychology
throughout the land since the horrible tragedy at Buffalo that so
startled the whole civilized world.
In attempting to answer this momentous
question we must first disclaim any belief in the idea that some
anarchistic Svengali may have fastened his piercing eyes upon the
young Pole and instilled into his mind the awful suggestion of murder.
We do not for a moment entertain such an idea. We must consider
the subject from the broader and more tenable standpoint, always
bearing in mind the receptivity of humanity at large.
First, the accepted definition of
hypnotism is as follows: “A peculiar psychical state, in which the
subject is highly amenable to suggestion.”
Second. A fruitful cause of strange
crimes and actions originate with what we term egoism.
Third. At least one half of all humanity
are constantly in the proper psychical state to receive suggestions
from the other half.
When an individual has pondered over
any given subject for a long time, has argued the matter pro and
con in his own mind, and yet is unable to arrive at a decision,
he is ready to be influenced by the first positive advisor who comes
There is yet another class of individuals
who do but little thinking for themselves. In politics, for example,
he will be either a democrat or republican according to the last
political speech he has heard. When such men are placed upon a jury
they are very apt to favor the case of the last attorney who speaks,
We must next consider another class
who are irresistibly fascinated by horrors of any kind. Such persons
dare not look over a high precipice, as a strange and strong impulse
to hurl themselves to the bottom takes possession of many otherwise
sane persons. The same impulse may appear in the presence of any
of nature’s great and awful manifestations.
An old sea captain once stated that
many passengers could hardly be restrained from jumping overboard
during a heavy storm at sea.
The awful grandeur of nature’s forces
in action seem to offend the subject’s egoism; to demonstrate to
him, as it were, his own insignificance. Whereupon he seeks oblivion
in her bosom!
Thus we find wandering through the
kaleidoscopic maze of humanity, individuals like a ship without
the man at the helm.
This being an unmistakable fact, should
not the horrible details of brutal murders and sensational suicides
be suppressed? Would not the aim of the news gatherer be as well
attained if plain and unvarnished statements, without the glamour
of romance, replaced the revolting details so minutely dwelt upon?
The answer to all this should be “yes.”
But the business management of the great dailies answer most emphatically
Such a course would, according to
their ideas, be lacking in the interest which now makes the sale
of “Extras” so profitable. There is no doubt but newspapers mold
public opinion. If so, why cannot they unite to cure the public
of its unhealthy desire for sensationalism?
Neither must we overlook the cartoon
as a strong and concise argument for the primitive mind. If they
are a necessity during the political struggle for election, well
and good. When, however, a man has been chosen by the will of the
people, as our chief executive, decency should forbid the continuance
of such pictures as will cause even the most vicious citizen to
look with contempt upon the chief magistrate of our nation.
If small, scattering bands of anarchists,
composed of obscure individuals with mediocre intellects, can by
propagating unstable and delusive dogmas, psychologize an occasional
individual to a state of murderous frenzy, the daily papers, upon
which so many depend for ideas, must, unconsciously perhaps, impress
Take, for instance, the daily record
of suicides. We find therein that a large number have destroyed
themselves with carbolic acid, one of the crudest methods of self
destruction. The intended suicide uses it because he has read of
some one using it before him with success.
Aside from this, many persons, through
vain egotism, have an almost insane desire to see their names in
print, or to hold the attention of the public, if only for a moment.
Now, with this brief consideration
of humanity in general, we will attempt to discuss the probable
causes which led Czolgosz to sacrifice the idol of the American
The assassin is not a degenerate in
the ordinary conception of the term. Neither can he be said to be
insane, unless we accept the hypothesis that all criminal acts are
the result of temporary insanity.
The misguided murderer in this case
has an ill-formed or, at least, an improperly developed body, resulting
from a lack of nourishing food and other hygienic precautions. Added
to this, his mind is unduly active, and his brain is disproportionate
to his body. 
The large blue eyes and light-colored
hair would stamp him at once as a good subject for hypnotic experiment.
As further proof that this type of
person is exceedingly impressionable, a young man who greatly resembled
Czolgosz was arrested in St. Louis a few weeks ago for some trivial
offense, and, according to the chief of police, immediately confessed
to having been an accessory of Czolgosz. This bogus confession was,
no doubt, the outcome of an unhealthy egoism that sought notoriety
at any cost.
To recapitulate, we find that a large
percentage of our citizens live constantly in that “peculiar psychical
state” which renders them highly amenable to suggestion. It is our
duty, then, to guard those avenues through which dangerous suggestions
The anarchists should be crushed or
controlled. They are rabidly opposed to all government, and by their
public declarations are in sympathy with all perverted enthusiasts
who strike a murderous blow at the head of any government, whether
represented by king, czar or president.
These vicious parasites are, through
their literature and blatant utterances, constantly throwing out
suggestions that may become effective at any time.
Had Czolgosz been industrious and
sincere in his desire to lead an honorable career, and to become
a good citizen, our late President would, no doubt, have been alive
But the assassin was inclined to idleness,
to ruminate upon his consequent deplorable condition which his egotism
would not allow him to see was the logical effect of his own waywardness.
He was blind to his own short-comings through his excessive love
of self, and, thus self-blinded, he laid all his misery and wretchedness,
and the misery and wretchedness of others, at the doors of the thrifty
and diligent. In this egotistic condition he was ready to absorb
and feed upon the many evil suggestions born of anarchist speeches
and injudicious literature of all kinds, not excepting the vile
and diabolical political cartoons and slanderous utterances of certain
representatives of the daily press. With the full effect of these
things implanted within him, seeing only a hideous cartoon of fair-visaged
Truth and stung to an overwhelming thirst for self-glorification,
is it any wonder he wrought his fiendish deed?
So, when we really comprehend the
full meaning of the term hypnotism, we must admit that Czolgosz
The occultist may find other and deeper
reasons, also, that resulted in this crime.
Other plots had been formed against
the life of the President; strange and occult deeds had been done
to effect his demise, before Czolgosz fired the fatal shot.
These plots and acts gave birth
to the vibrations of assassination. To us there is no doubt
but what the weak and cowardly Czolgosz was nerved to his desperate
deed through their occult influence. He was a proper subject for
their reception; he indulged in the mental state that would most
surely attract them. They centered upon him and inspired their end.
Bulwer Lytton’s “Strange Story” gives a striking illustration, romantic
though it may be, of the operation of this occult law of the sub-astral
One occult act that found its way
into print was that of an Italian who was detected, some time ago,
in burning a waxen image of McKinley upon the steps of the Capitol
building at Washington. He gave as an excuse for his act the fact
that his brother had been lynched in some parish of Louisiana, and
he desired to “put a spell” on the President because the murder
of his brother was unavenged. As a nation we are too practical to
give credence to such acts of sorcery or black magic, yet, in Europe,
it is a crime, punishable with death, to make a waxen image of any
king, queen, prince or scion of of [sic] a royal house. We
will not go into the reasons why such an image may be truly regarded
as dangerous to the person it is modeled after; the severe European
laws are ample proof that the Italian’s image may have exercised
some baleful influence on the President. It was a significant omen,
at least, and we now come to its logical and undeniable lesson.
The cause of the omen was lawless
violence, the same kind of violence that deprived us
of our beloved chief magistrate. This kind of violence has been
rampant in many sections of our land. Almost daily whole communities
have ignored the law and put some unfortunate to a horrible death
by the rope, the shotgun, or by fire. The violent vibrations thus
set in motion, must, according to their inexorable and occult law,
return from whence they spring—vibration being “a motion to and
fro in a medium, proceeding from a cause.” All vibrations, whether
good or bad, ultimately seek their source. When these deplorable
exhibitions of passion occur all over the country, and our government
fails to cope with the evil, the earnest student of the occult side
of nature cannot fail to see that the home-coming of these vibrations
may strike in places that make the nation sad. These things are
too true to dwell upon. It only remains now for us to draw the clear
and distinct conclusions that occult science here affords:
A wrong cannot be cured by committing
Lawlessness must be put down by law.
There is no anarchy in nature, there
must be no anarchy in society.
That which suggests violence is itself
Lawlessness is incompatible with liberty,
the law cannot safely countenance its mental infraction any more
than its physical violation.
The law is the will of the people
for the people make and can change the law.
He who opposes the law is unlawful
and a criminal before the law.
He who holds in contempt the servants
of the law is in contempt of the law and opposed to the law.
Lastly, and I say it without fear,
he who cartoons the instruments of the law cartoons the law, and
is thus in contempt of the law and a criminal before it; as such
he should be suppressed in his criminal course and corrected by
When these vital truths are recognized,
when the life of the criminal is held sacred to the mandate of the
law, when brotherly love is taught and practiced, then, and not
until then, will another Czolgosz be impossible.