In Jules Verne, Mathias Sandorf part 4, chapter 1, Dr. Antekirtt (Antékirtt) finds that the prisoner Carpena is very susceptible to hypnosis. Dr. Antekritt hypnotizes him with a silent glance, and retains complete control over his personality. He explains this to Pierre Bathory, and the narration confirms that the doctor was telling the truth:

Le docteur Antékirtt n’exagérait en rien.

The doctor also tells Pierre that he will use this control to free Carpena from captivity, and even gives exact hours.

In the next chapter, Dr. Antekirtt talks to the governor about the dangers of hypnosis. He gives the example that if one of the guards happened to be easy to hypnotize, then a prisoner could control them by hypnosis and give them a direct command that allows the prisoner's escape. At this point, the doctor talks about the prisoner giving a command in advance that the guard is to follow at a particular time.

The doctor then offers a demonstration to the governor, claiming that since he has put Carpena under his hypnotic control, he can still give commands to Carpena even from far away.

– Eh bien, cela a suffi à créer […] entre moi et ce Carpena un lien de suggestion qui le met sous ma domination absolue.

– Quand il est en votre présence ?…

– Même lorsque nous sommes séparés l’un de l’autre !

The doctor then demonstrates this remote psychic link by ordering Carpena to come to the governor's residence.

Was Dr. Antekirtt telling the truth about controlling Carpena from afar? Or was he lying, and he had merely given all the necessary commands in advance when he had met Carpena?

It becomes clear later in the chapter that Dr. Antekirrt was lying to the governor about at least some matters, namely about why Carpena jumps into the sea. However, as is usual in Jules Verne's writings, Dr. Antekirrt does later reveal that was only a lie. In contrast, Dr. Antekirrt or the narration never clearly tells us that the doctor was lying to the governor about the remote psychic link, and if he was lying, I would expect Jules Verne to explicitly explain this deception.

  • 1
    In the 19th century, the powers of hypnotism were far greater than they are today, at least in scifi! One story by Edgar Allen Poe has a man who dies while under hypnosis, but he can still keep answering questions.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 18:41
  • For long-distance mental control in different universes, see also scifi.stackexchange.com/q/51574/4918 In the Foundation universe, what is the longest distance mentalists can touch minds? and scifi.stackexchange.com/q/51883/4918 Long-distance Mind Trick (Star Wars)
    – b_jonas
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 14:30


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