I realized the answer to the question in the title rather dramatically in a hypnotherapy class that I was teaching some years ago.
I was demonstrating a way of using an indirect suggestion to have someone who was hypnotized go back into hypnosis quickly at a later time. That kind of rapid trance induction anchor can be a real time saver for a hypnotherapist.
To demonstrate, I led one of my students into a nice, comfortable state of hypnosis. And then I said, “In a moment I am going to touch your right hand, and that will be the signal for you to open your eyes and rouse your self up completely.” Then I said, “And, you know what that means about your left hand.”
And, what did “that mean about his left hand”? It was an indirect way of suggesting to him that he would back into hypnosis every time I touched his left hand.
So the two posthypnotic suggestions were:
“When I touch your right hand, come out of hypnosis.”
“When I touch your left hand, go back into hypnosis.”
I demonstrated with one of the students. I touched his right hand he came out of trance. I touched his left hand and he went back into trance.
When I had my students practice the technique with each other, I got the answer to the question, “Will someone in trance take suggestions from anyone?”
I went over to a young woman whose eyes were closed, her breathing was slow and even, and her face had that distinctive relaxed look. In other words, she was in a medium state of hypnosis. Out of curiosity, I touched her left hand. She slowly opened her eyes, slowly lifted her head and slowly looked at me for a moment, and never having left hypnosis, she closed her eyes again, let her head relax towards her chest and went back into her deep relaxation.
When she realized that the touch on her hand did not come from her partner, who had hypnotized her, she rejected the suggestion to come out of trance. Even though I was the teacher, I was not in rapport with her inside of her trance.
I could have gotten in rapport with her while she was in trance if her hypnotist had introduced me into her trance indirectly, or through direct suggestion. There are other ways for me to have gotten in rapport with her inside of her trance, although that information is best saved for a future post.
So the short answer to the question in the title is: no. A hypnotized person is not open to just anyone’s suggestions.