Interrogation (illustrative)
Interrogation (illustrative) iStock

On March 4-5, 1975, terrorists belonging to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) carried out a terror attack on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv.

Six Israelis were killed, as were seven of the eight terrorists.

The attack left Israel's security forces feeling helpless, and without any exact details regarding the terror cell which had infiltrated Israel, it was impossible to know whether all of the terrorists had been caught.

To solve the problem, they brought in Colonel Shimon Simon Lavi, whose job it was to investigate enemy intelligence, but who also served as a hypnotizer.

Speaking to Galgalatz Radio, Lavi said: "They weren't convinced, they didn't know, how many terrorists came down from the beach, they didn't know how many boats were on the beach, and that's where the hypnosis comes in. He didn't know he was going to be hypnotized. The word 'hypnosis' wasn't mentioned to him at all."

"I created an imaginary reality for him, I put him in a hypnotic trance, for two days."

Following the hypnosis, Lavi's conclusion was clear: All the terrorists had been captured, and there were no additional terrorists to search for.

"When you investigate it via research bodies, in a mathematical fashion, 80% of the admissions that you get from hypnosis are correct," Lavi added. "In my time, this was pretty widely used."

"There was someone who was interrogated under hypnosis, and he described, and he was sure...and his description was so exact that we were amazed at his ability to provide those details. I remember his answers. He went from room to room and there were three stairs. We didn't even know there were stairs - and there were, in fact, stairs.

"I can tell you that even today, Shabak (Israel Security Agency) doesn't love hypnosis, but it is an amazing tool, and it has proven itself, and it has proven itself in several operations, and one of the operations it proved itself in is the Savoy Hotel."

"I do everything for the sake of Israel's security - including violating the Hypnosis Law. Meaning, I continue to do some things via hypnosis, but not in Israel, so I'm allowed to do it. I have no ethical considerations when it comes to this."