The Lowdown: “An American Tragedy: Rape Under Hypnosis”

The Jan­u­ary, 1960 (Vol­ume 5, Num­ber 4) issue of The Low­down mag­a­zine includes a three-page (just under one page of text and backed by a lurid dou­ble-page spread image of star­ing eyes) relat­ing the “per­son­al” expe­ri­ence of “a young and pret­ty for­mer pros­ti­tute who was hired by THE LOWDOWN to track rumors that doc­tors were hyp­no­tiz­ing house­wives and seduc­ing them.”

The text does not offer any proof that there were even such rumors, only men­tion­ing a doc­tor in New Mex­i­co who alleged­ly hyp­no­tized sev­er­al women, includ­ing get­ting one of them preg­nant: no oth­er details were includ­ed. Instead the sto­ry reads like a “true con­fes­sions” per­son­al sto­ry about two dif­fer­ent encoun­ters that are light on speci­fici­ties that could have been pieced togeth­er from any num­ber of peri­od resources about hypnosis.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing “The Low­down: “An Amer­i­can Tragedy: Rape Under Hypnosis””

“Bachelor Goes to a Hypnotism Party”

The Decem­ber, 1964 (Vol­ume 5, num­ber 6) issue of Bach­e­lor mag­a­zine pub­lished a five page pho­to spread of a “hyp­no­tism par­ty”. The pho­tographs include female nudity.

“What will they think of next? Among the arty set, the old par­ty pick­ups like alco­hol and mar­i­jua­na just can’t hold a can­dle to the kicks one can get from a can­dle-wav­ing hypnotist.”

“Dur­ing soiree at sculp­tor Ed Lass’ apart­ment in N.Y.‘s Low­er East Side, dull moments were end­ed when hyp­no­tism began.”

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““Bach­e­lor Goes to a Hyp­no­tism Party””

The Hypnotism Museum — A Dream

I’ve looked, and there is no muse­um devot­ed to hyp­no­sis any­where in the world, at least noth­ing with any kind of web pre­sense or news sto­ries about it. The best I found through a web search was a short-lived expo­si­tion almost 20 years ago.

This is dis­ap­point­ing, since there are plen­ty of muse­ums to even the most triv­ial of sub­jects, so why not hyp­no­tism? Plus, I’ve spent the past *mum­ble mum­ble* decades col­lect­ing The Hyp­no­sis in Media Col­lec­tion, and I’ve invest­ed a lot of time, mon­ey, emo­tion and devo­tion to it and I want to see it in the hands of peo­ple who would be as com­mit­ted to it as me: I want it to be con­tin­ued, main­tained and used. I just don’t have the time, the ener­gy, the con­tacts, the funds or the exper­tise to do it.

So what would the Hyp­no­tism Muse­um look like? Pos­si­bly a loca­tion like a movie mem­o­ra­bil­ia store I found in Los Ange­les over a decade ago, when I was look­ing for hyp­no­sis-relat­ed movie mem­o­ra­bil­ia, pub­lic­i­ty pho­tographs, posters, etc. It was lit­er­al­ly on the bot­tom floor of a two-sto­ry urban mall, with eth­nic stores around it and a Japan­ese restau­rant / bar on the upper floor that over­looked the hall on the low­er floor. Only in Los Angeles …

Any­way, I can dream, though, and I can imag­ine, and I can con­vert those dreams and imag­in­ings into words. (And maybe, one day, into reality.)

Here they are:

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing “The Hyp­no­tism Muse­um — A Dream”

“The Lust Sleepers”

“The Lust Sleep­ers” (1964) by J X Williams

A clas­sic exam­ple of the 1960’s hyp­no-porn. John Thurs­day, the pro­tag­o­nist, makes a liv­ing pro­vid­ing hyp­not­ic ser­vices for voy­ers and sub­jects. When one of his sub­jects com­mits sui­cide, he flees to New York where he gets black­mailed to assist Reich, who runs BDSM par­ties at his remote manor with a heavy empha­sis on B and S.

The inside cov­er text reads:


John Thurs­day has a spe­cial trick. His sin­cere looks mask the abil­i­ty to hyp­no­tize any unwill­ing wan­ton until she casts aside all her inhi­bi­tions to per­form any shame­ful set Thurs­day can think to com­mand. Like Gre­ta, on the office couch, who goes through such throes of ecsta­sy there is noth­ing left for her … but the long fall out­side the office win­dow. Like Rita, the red­head on the plane, who shows Thurs­day what love / hate real­ly means. Like Mae, whose trance revealed a degra­da­tion that was alarm­ing in its inten­si­ty. Or like Reich, the twist­ed degen­er­ate who used extor­tion to per­suade Thurs­day to do his evil bidding.

The back text reads:

TORTURE CELLAR… That’s where the sadis­tic Reich kept all his lit­tle impli­ments [sic] of plea­sure. The shack­les, the cells, the whips. Right there beneath his pala­tial coun­try estate. And it is so easy for him to find guests to peo­ple his week­end orgies. Each of them going through their shame­less paces at Reich’s bid­ding, nev­er know­ing what exquis­ite plea­sures wait­ed below… plea­sures for Reich, that is… as the whip tens­es in his hand. Into this hell-hole he black­mails John Thurs­day… to per­form Thurs­day’s spe­cial degrad­ing trick on Mae Davis… while all the oth­er chang­ing part­ners watched in delight…

GoodReads has a very good descrip­tion of it here.

I believe J X Williams is a house name, because there are far too many books with that name list­ed from this and allied publishers.

“The Shadow” — The Origin

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”
“The Shad­ow knows”

With that, one of the most suc­cess­ful pulp char­ac­ters was intro­duced to the radio and mag­a­zine audi­ence. Even today, that phrase is rec­og­nized and the char­ac­ter remem­bered: the Shad­ow, who pos­sessed the hyp­not­ic pow­er to “cloud men­s’ minds”.

But The Shad­ow had a con­vo­lut­ed his­to­ry: he didn’t always have that pow­er; in fact, he wasn’t a pulp char­ac­ter in the first place!

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““The Shad­ow” — The Origin”

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