Hypnotists (and a lot of other professions that may not own up to it) rely on the power of suggestion. There is anecdotal evidence of deadly diseases being cured by suggestion. These stories usually cause the medical establishment (especially the drug companies) to turn green, foam at the mouth, wail, and in some cases, the liver falls out. Often, they mumble something about “the placebo effect.” If you are experiencing any of these symptoms now, please stop reading this post and consult a local drug company representative–you will find them delivering food and goodies to your doctor’s office every day.
On the other hand, there is evidence that the power of suggestion can be used to harm people, even cause them to die. If doing good with the power of suggestion is a placebo, then this process is more of a “nocebo.”
None of this is rocket science. It is well known. So, how do you explain this one: The US Government sponsors a web site for people who fear that they might have Lupus. That in of itself, is probably a good thing. Lupus is a potentially deadly auto-immune disease. I have no problem with tax dollars going to help people who might be suffering from it.
My problem is with the name of the site (and its URL): WWW. CouldIHaveLupus.com. What is the problem? Take the name out of the URL: Could I Have Lupus. Obviously a question, but it is an ambiguous question: Does it mean “Do you think I might have Lupus?” or could it be interpreted as something similar to “Could I have a cup of coffee?” Truth is that both are equally plausible. The reader has to dip into his subconscious, and search through the possible meanings.
In NLP, we understand that this is pretty much the same as giving the person a hypnotic suggestion. And we know that people who are stressed are more suggestible. People who are frightened are more suggestible. People who are in pain are more suggestible. People visiting this site probably fall into at least one of these categories.
It is a stupid name. The idiots ought to fix it.