In psychology, narcosynthesis refers to a group of techniques which has its origins in the practice of "narco-hypnosis." Narco-hypnosis, as its name implies, is the use of various narcotics to induce various types of hypnotic states. In conjunction with traditional hypnosis techniques, it was thought that the desired psychological effects might be facilitated faster or with more "psychic depth" than hypnosis alone. If hypnosis remains a mysterious science, then narcosynthesis and narcohypnosis are all the more mysterious simply because of misunderstanding and ideas popularized by films such as Conspiracy Theory where the main character is pursued by the "mad scientist" type whom, in the instance of this film, is asscociated with the CIA (although it is common in cinema to find these characters associated with any number of governmental intelligence agencies).
The efficacy of such techniques remains a source of debate among medical professionals. It is however the ethical aspects of this area of psychology which provide the greatest challenge to society, as the malleability of the human psyche is well documented throughout history.