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.

The photograph on the first page is not referenced in the article.

Pretty 19-year-old Patricia Morris submitted to a hypnotist willingly as a stunt. However, many other women have been hypnotized against their wills.

The rest of the article is littered with generalities and suppositions which make it easy to accept but hard to believe or confirm.

The whole article is suggestive, lurid and titilating without being explicit. That seems to be the case with everything else being published. “The Lowdown” reads like the illegitimate child of a cheap tabloid newspaper and a scurrilous men’s magazine, with all the sex, hype and tabloid sensationalism of the parents, crossed with the truthiness of a true confessions magazine and served with a dollop of racism on top. The latter is especially obvious, with the articles “Why White Women Love Paul Robeson” and “Sammy Davis: Big Shot?” (part of the “A National Disgrace: How Big-Shots Beat the Law”).

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2010-2021 Terry O'Brien / Arisian Enterprises All Rights Reserved

Skip to toolbar