Realtor used ‘hypnosis’ for cheating”

Another one of these news articles about the crimes committed allegedly using hypnosis.

Indian Express

Cheating senior citizens by pretending to be an acquaintance and resorting to hypnotism before making off with their money was his signature style of operation for six-seven years. Luck, however, ran out for Sonu Malik when he was finally arrested by a Delhi Police team, formed especially to track him down, on Wednesday.

Beginning every conversation with “Tauji Ram Ram”, he would engage them in banter, seek their blessings and gift them electronic equipment to distract them. Soon the victim would begin to feel drowsy and lose consciousness, waking up later to find his cash and/or jewellery missing, the police said.

The Tribune

Rakesh Johri, an insurance official, told The Tribune that Rahul approached him in December last year and claimed he knew him. “He was aware about my background and said he had become rich due to my blessings. He said he had brought me a gift and I don’t know what happened after I opened it. I removed my gold rings and gave to him. I was hypnotised. I learnt I was cheated only after 20 to 25 minutes,” he said.

Commentary: Judging from the actual operation described here, I agree with Brian David Phillips in that it appears that some type of drug was used as opposed to an actual induction. The story doesn’t mention anything in the line of sharing drinks but it seems likely given the society; a suggested alternative was some type of aerosol spray. Still, the media, especially in non-Western societies, seem to have a fascination with crimes utilizing hypnosis.

The criminal was apparently very good at his crimes: he was active for at least 6 years and amassed quite a fortune doing so, and it took a specially-formed police unit to track him down and capture him. His crimes were deemed so heinous that he is being charged under a special law designed to prosecute dangerous criminals.

Addenda: I have not been able to discover what “Tauji Ram Ram” translates to but from the context I believe it is a respectful greeting or blessing. It is apparently not some kind of mystical chant or spell, however.

2 Responses to “Realtor used ‘hypnosis’ for cheating””

  • Liu SI Guang says:

    With all respect for Occam’s Razor, I find it likely that a more mundane approach was used.
    Given the commonalities in the reports:
    1. Gifts were given — and presumably handled.
    2. The target was engaged in conversation for a period of time.
    a possible scenario that meets both points might be  that a sedative or mild narcotic was mixed with a solution that will pass through the skin (DMSO, for example). 
    At the point where the drug engaged, the perpetrator would ask for jewelry and the target would comply.
    Several years ago there was a somewhat similar set of events which might be related to hypnosis that took place in Moscow. There, gypsies would engage someone in conversation. At some point they would ask for money…and often people would comply — and were not sure why they did when questioned later. In some cases, if they did not have enough money, they would take the gypsy to an ATM and make a withdrawal.

  • Jeff says:

    It’s certainly possible that hypnosis was used, and certainly some persuasion skills to establish rapport, but there are also plenty of drugs in the Ayurvedic paramacopia (Datura immeidately comes to mind) that are supposed have the effect of disorienting and gaining compliance of the victims. Datura was used to shanghai civilians into naval service in India, as well as for robbery. I’m not sure how it’s administered, probably in drinks, but I’ve also read about a South American variant that is made into a powder and blown into the victim’s face. I read an interview with a victim who said they were conscious, but felt compelled to comply with thier robbers anyway.

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