Johnson Eyeroor , the enigmatic name is synonymous with hypnosis and hypnotherapy for those who live in Kerala for last four decades. His incredible and eventful life is presented here in a lucid manner.
Johnson Eyeroor was born on 4 th December 1946 at Cheruvakkal , Kollam, Kerala. He was born in a Syrian Christian family as the first child to his parents Pastor J Varghese and Rachel Varghese . Influenced by Pentecostal belief Eyeroor’s father and mother decided to dedicate their life for missionary work in Eyeroor’s childhood. His parents knowingly embraced poverty by abandoning their agricultural land and plenty of live stocks they posses. They migrated to Thrissur for missionary work with little Eyeroor and his younger siblings. Eyeroor was nine years old when all these happened.
The sudden switching to extreme evangelism traumatized Eyeroor’s mind. All avenues for his childhood entertainment were permanently closed in the hard decision took by his parents. His parents turned back to all entertainment in their life. Eyeroor was also forced to become a missionary in the childhood. Rigorous religious indoctrination and poverty, which he had not experienced earlier, landed him in agony. So many questions sprouted in his mind. He has been taught that, the path to heaven is only open for those who practice Pentecostal belief. Doubting Eyeroor, once asked his father, “Appacha, will Mahathma Gandhi go to heaven when he die”? Being a Gandhian and congress fellow traveller, his father could not give a satisfactory answer to Eyeroor. This question added fuel to his thought.
His turbulent mind becomes sceptic about religious scriptures and teachings. His only avenue to read and realize was his school mate Sunny, who gave him books and magazines to read. During this period they happened to meet A.V Jose ( Yukthivicharam Josettan) a veteran atheist in Trissur. A.V Jose could impress the duo with his knowledge in world religions and materialistic thought. He is the person who planted the first seeds of atheism in Eyeroor's mind . During these turbulent days once, Eyeroor got severe punishment from his school for his academic negligence. The teacher who punished him was his family friend. Terror of further punishment from his father, worried him. He didn’t return home after school. Fear of punishment forced him to run-off from Thrissur leaving his kith and kin. As a voracious reader, the characters in the novels he read on those days influenced him a lot .As an ardent Vaikkom Muhammed Basheer enthusiast , it was Majeed the protagonist in the novel Balyakala Sakhi gave him motivation for this escapade . In the novel, Majeed ran away from his home fearing punishment from his father. Eyeroor’s aimless journey ended in Bombay . Life in the mega city with colossal buildings and notorious underworld taught him several lessons at the age of 15. He did several odd jobs for his survival. However, the struggles he underwent were not harsh enough to douse his craving for knowledge. He struggled a lot to get malayalam books and magazines which were rare stuff in those days in Bombay. He starved and collected money to purchase books and magazines. After a year of struggling in Bombay, he realized the fruitlessness of his existence in the large city. He packed his bag of retire and returned to Trissur where his friends and parents were living.
His passion for books helped him to get a job as a sales man in Current books, Trissur. The life in-between books was a dream comes true for him. Books he read from current books shaped his vision about life . He read the novel “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky on those days . The analysis of complex human mind in the novel amazed him. Some of the books which Eyeroor keeps close to his heart are “Les Miserables by Victor Hugo” , “Mahabharatha” and “Bible” . The knowledge and rationale he gained from his early reading equipped him to help thousands of clients who approached him in their life crisis. His voracious reading habit and acumen helped him to become a front runner in the book shop . He could impress the socio-cultural personalities who visited current books with his outstanding knowledge in language and literature. Eyeroor gradually build deep relations with renowned cultural icons who paid visit to current books frequently. The life in between the books at the cultural capital of Kerala helped him to get a large spectrum of friends in cultural and literary circle of Kerala . He could keep a hearty relation with the legends of the era like M.C Joseph, V.T Bhattathiripad, P.J Antony, Kuttippuzha Krishna Pillai....etc in those days.
Johnson Eyeroor restarted his studies at workers college in Thrissur and passed matriculation with flying colors . Without much delay, Eyeroor got Central Government Employment in Post and Telegraph Department. Very soon, his leadership skill and commanding power took him to trade union activism. He becomes RMS Class-III Union State Vice President. His radical mind and deeds show his way out of central government service during the period of emergency imposed by then prime minister Indira Gandhi .
In 1974 a group of youth following Dialectical materialism in the rationalist movement formed an organization named Rationalist Youth Forum ( RYF) . Eyeroor assigned as the first president of RYF. Keeping away from religious rituals from personal life was a strict agenda of RYF. As a role model, the President himself practiced what he preached by choosing Ms.Komalam , daughter of an inter-caste Hindu couple Kollamparambil Raman and Akkunnan Ammu from Nilambur as his life partner . V.K Pavithran a long time mentor of Johnson Eyeroor and the leading light of Kerala Mishra Vivaha Sangham become instrumental for this marriage . Eyeroor and Komalam wed-locked under the special marriage act. The venue of the event-filled inter-religious marriage was Thrissur Town Hall in 1974. The only relative attended the marriage from Eyeroor's part was his maternal uncle a communist activist. Father Vadakkan the revolutionary priest coordinated the marriage. First time in the history of church, a catholic priest conducted an inter-religious marriage. It was a marriage attended by several socio cultural icons and progressive thinkers in Kerala. All national and regional dailies covered the marriage with much importance.
As part of spreading scientific temper and spirity of enquiry in common man , Eyeroor used to translate and compile rationalist literature by the veterans in the field like M.C Joseph and A.T Kovoor. The clarity and brevity Eyeroor retained in the tranlsations of his works impressed Prof. A.T Kovoor and as a result Eyeroor has been offered a chance to accompany Kovoor as his Press Secretary in the all India miracle exposure campaign headed by Prof. A.T Kovoor . It became a golden chance for Eyeroor to pursue his interest in the psychobiological process of Human mind. Apart from that Eyeroor got opportunity to assist Dr. P.K Narayanan, the veteran hypnotist who performed stage hypnotic programme in connection with the miracle exposure campaign. Eyeroor become very close associate of Prof A.T Kovoor during this period and he could clear all his doubts regarding hypnosis and hypnotherapy with him . After completing Prof. A.T Kovoor's miracle exposure campaign, Eyeroor experimented the skills he gained from the trip with the people who approached him for solutions for their mental health issues. The enormous success he got from the cases he handled gave him confidence to chase his dream as a hypnotherapist. In late eighties, he took Hypnotherapy as profession. During this period, in the cross roads of life the renowned magician Prof. R. K Malayath and Johnson Eyeroor met and the communion become begining of a lifelong camaraderie. They jointly organised a stage hypnotic programme, named Mentarama. Mentarama, the stage hypnotic programme successfully staged all over Kerala and acclaimed widely.
After got removed from the central government service due to his opposition to the emergency rule of 1975-77 , Eyeroor earn his daily bread as a Medical Representative for a short term. His voracious reading habit and strong desire to write , again brought him back to the field of letters. Kambisseeri Karunakaran the editor of Janyaugam Magazine was the the person who identified the writng potential in Johnson Eyeroor. Kambisseri instructed Eyeroor to translate the works of Prof. A.T Kovoor to publish in Janayaugam. Gradually Eyeroor become a regular writer in Janayaugam Weekly . During similar period he associated with Krishna Swami Reddiar of Kerala Sabdam Weekly. The chemistry between Reddiar and Eyeroor was exceptional. Eyeroor become a regular columnist in Keralasabdam weekly also. “Bhaktiyum Kamavaum” the masterpiece work of Johnson Eyeroor , serialized first in Keralasabdam weekly . The myths and truths in the human mind where piety and erotism are inextricably intertwined are critically examined and analysed in this work. This is the first book in Indian language attempted to evaluate piety and erotism through the tradition and philosophy of India. Anyone who has gone through the work “Bhakthiyum Kamavum” will unquestionably agree that the book will remain as a memorial of Johnson Eyeroor forever. During eighties and early nineties Eyeroor proved his mettle as a columnist in top rated Malayalam periodicals. When he focussed his attention to Hypnotherapy practice gradually he kept back from writing columns.
In 1990's Mangalam weekly under the ownership of the great visionary and philanthropist MC Vargheese , serialized Johnson Eyeroor's case diary . Popularity of Johnson Eyeroor as a hypnotist reached zenith in those days. Eyeroor become the authoritative voice of hypnotherapy in Kerala. Mangalam was printing around 14 lakh copies per week in those days. The incidents in the case diary of Eyeroor , was widely discussed by common who were the lion share of “Mangalam” readers in those days. Misunderstanding, hypnotherapy as a universal panacea for all mental disorders people thronged in his clinic from dawn to dusk. It was a Himalayan task for him to pacify and convince the relatives and friends of psychiatric patients that hypnotherapy is not the treatment method for psychiatric disorders. He never exploited ignorance of the gullible minds and he make use of every chance to unveil the shroud of mysticism around hypnosis. He knowingly avoided the gimmicks like “hypno-pendulum” , “hypno-disc”, “dim-light hypnosis chamber” and “western attire” during his entire career as Therapeutic hypnotist . In every sense, Eyeroor was the first open-handed hypnotist of Kerala.
During this period Eyeroor stepped in to the arena of forensic hypnosis. He studied about the possibility of hypnosis as a tool in crime detection. He collected books and scientific articles from all over the world to gain mastery in the area. He communicated and exchanged ideas with forensic Hypnotists around the world. He helped police and investigation departments in numerous cases. News media celebrated several success stories of Eyeroor in those days.
Irrespective of Eyeroor's academic qualification, the space Eyeroor built in the arena of mental health in Kerala garnered jealousy from some corners in those days. Some green-eyed persons tried to sideline him as a quack , projecting his lack of academic qualification in psychology. As an established atheist he couldn't get help from any religious or political organizations during the turbulent times. Eyeroor overcame all such difficulties himself with his prowess and righteousness. Eyeroor thrived in the field as the celebrity Hypnotherapist of Kerala until he concluded hypnotherapy practice in 2016.
Eyeroor's charismatic power to make and retain good relations is amazing. He had hearty relationship with distinguished personalities in all spheres of life. Former Kerala Chief minister C.Achuthamanon, former agricultural minister V.V Raghavan , Legendary writer Vaikkam Muhammad Basheer, Bishop Poulose Mar Poulose, Ramadas Vaidyar- Kozhikode, theater activist Surasu, Krishna Swami Reddyar-Kerala Sambdam, Ambattu Sukumarana Nair, veteran Dramatist K.T Muhammad, wrtier Perumbadavam Sreedharan, Kakkanadan Brothers , writer Kovilan , critic Dr. V Rajakrishnan, poet Sachidanandan, psychotherapist Dr. K.S David, activist Civic Chandran, Prerana Muhammad Trissur , T.Parameshvaran - rationalist Ernakulam, notable atheist Sreeni Pattathanam, writer P.R Nathan, writer Vaisakhan , veteran rationalist Pavanan , P.V Abdul Vahab M.P and Nalakath Veeran Haji-Nilambur were some of his friends and mentors Eyeroor keep very close to his heart . It is amazing to note that , the legendary writer Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer had referred Eyeroor in his two books “ Shinkidi Munkan” and “ Ya-Ilahi” . The letters Vaikkam Muhammad basher wrote to Eyeroor and his wife Komalam are included in the “collected letters of Vaikkam Muhammad Basheer” published by Priyadarshini books.
Eyeroor’s outstanding skill and depth knowledge in Hypnoanalysis brought several hypnotherapy enthusiasits around the globe came to Nilambur . Prof Lee Seigal professor of religious studies at the University of Hawaii was one among them . He is the author of many books including “Net of Magic: Wonders and Deceptions in India” a book about tradition of magic and allied mysticism in India published by the University of Chicago Press. After spending some days with Eyeroor , Lee Siegel returned to his native place. Lee Siegel amazingly recollected his close association with Johnson Eyeroor in his last book “Trance-Migrations: Stories of India, Tales of Hypnosis” published by Chicago Press. Lee Siegel wholeheartedly accept in his aforementioned book that, Eyeroor is the one and only hypnotherapist who could hypnotize him in his lifetime. Details of the book is available in the website of Chicago Press.
Johnson Eyeroor penned more than 12 books including Oru Hypnotistinte Anubhavangal , Bhakthiyum Kamavum, Hypnotisam Oru Padanam, Balalkkaram Cheyyappedunna Manassu, Anusaranakkeeditne suvisesham, Swayamvara Kanyakkakal , Arabikalayanavm Rashitirya Shandanmarym, Guruvayooril Oru Divasam..etc.
Eyeroor's scripted history by hypnotizing more than10,000 clients in his eventful life as a trance therapist . His success rate in therapeutic hypnosis is in par with world standards. He believes that his masterful implementation of time distortion technique and autosuggestion training helped him to remain as the authoritarian figure in the field of Hypnotherapy throughout his life. Eyeroor is peacefully leading his retired life with his family at Nilambur now . His wife Komalam , daughter Tanuja, grand-daughter Dileena and grand-son Dwijith is with him. His son Nikhil Eyeroor is settled in Thiruvananthapuram with his wife Misha and daughter Anova. Eventful life of Johnson Eyeroor has been published by DC books in the title “ Oru Hypnotistitne Anubhavangal”. Hypnotherapy, the method once categorized as black magic has gained recognition in Kerala as a scientific treatment technique now. Once Eyeroor stepped in to this field, laymen were not aware about this treatment method. It took decades to change the attitude of psychologists and psychiatrists to accept this drugless therapy . Any way now Eyeroor is happy to see that , some Indian Universities have taken initiatives to include Hypnotherapy as an area of study for undergraduate and postgraduate psychology courses . In the evening of his life this hypno-guru is contented to see the results of his four-decade long hard work has been finally paid off.