“Fate Magazine” — ‘Special Hypnotism Issue’ — July, 1954

The ven­er­a­ble “Fate Mag­a­zine”, first pub­lished in 1948, has been in almost con­stant pub­li­ca­tion ever since. Self-described as “the world’s lead­ing mag­a­zine of the para­nor­mal” it com­bines non­fic­tion vary­ing from per­son­al anec­dotes on the para­nor­mal to stud­ies and research on the var­i­ous sub­jects under the col­lec­tive descrip­tion of “para­nor­mal” to fic­tion, let­ters, reg­u­lar columns and advertisements.

His­to­ry: “Fate Mag­a­zine” was found­ed by Ray Palmer (edi­tor of the SF mag­a­zine “Amaz­ing Sto­ries” and one of the pro­mot­ers of the “Shaver Mys­ter­ies”) and Cur­tis Fuller, anoth­er edi­tor. The first issue includ­ed an arti­cle recount­ing an encounter with a UFO and is con­sid­ered one of the major ele­ments in start­ing the UFO craze at the time.

Con­tents: The July, 1954, issue was a spe­cial issue devot­ed to hypnotism.

From the editorial:

This is our hyp­no­sis issue. There was a time when hyp­no­tism was looked upon much as psy­chi­cal phe­nom­e­na are today. The major­i­ty of the peo­ple did­n’t believe in it. Prac­ti­tion­ers were hound­ed. Sci­en­tists would­n’t admit it exist­ed. And meth­ods of induc­ing hyp­no­sis were prim­i­tive and often ineffectual.

There were also all man­ner of the­o­ries on the nature of hyp­no­tism. some peo­ple believed it was due to the ether that sur­rounds us. Oth­ers ascribed it to ani­mal magnetism.

This should­n’t dis­cour­age us. Doc­tors today know how to treat many dis­eases. They can describe their effects upon the body or help the body com­bat, how the blood builds up anti­bod­ies or what an anti­body is — they’re still pret­ty much in the dark.

Maybe this is why the field of mind research and psy­chi­cal research is so often frus­trat­ing. We are seek­ing to find out not only what works but why. And we aren’t com­ing up with many answers to the lat­ter questions.

So it is with hyp­no­tism. There aren’t many per­sons today who doubt that it exists. … But when we think about it care­ful­ly, we must admit that we don’t under­stand this won­der­ful, mar­velous facil­i­ty of the mind much bet­ter than Mes­mer did.

The edi­to­r­i­al is fol­lowed by sev­er­al arti­cles on hyp­no­sis, form­ing the main part of the digest-sized magazine.

  • ‘FATE Reports on Hypnosis’
  • ‘Psy­chi­a­try Looks At Hyp­no­sis’ by John C Ross.
  • ‘Dan­gers of Hyp­no­tism’ by Vir­ginia Stumbaugh
  • ‘Sex and Hyp­no­sis’ by Ormond McGill
  • ‘How Hyp­nother­a­py Helps in Sex Prob­lems’ by Guy Archette
  • ‘View­ing Anoth­er Life Through Hyp­no­sis’ by Vaughn Shelton
  • ‘How to Hyp­no­tize’ by Dr. Her­bert Charles
  • ‘Hyp­no­tism in Med­i­cine’ by Dr. Her­bert Charles
  • ‘Hyp­no­tism Comes Out of Moth-Balls’ by Alion J Smith

All in all, these arti­cles com­prise about 60 pages of the total 128 pages.

The infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed is about what would be expect­ed from the time peri­od nd is a good indi­ca­tion of exact­ly what was the con­sen­sus of hyp­no­sis knowl­edge by the experts at the time.

I should also include a sam­pling of the art­work includ­ed as part of the chap­ter head­ings, as they do indulge in some stereo­typ­i­cal imagery. Giv­en as they were all sim­ple line art from a mag­a­zine print­ed on cheap paper over 50 years ago, I was able to scan only a few of them.

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Adden­da: The very evoca­tive (and very stereo­typ­i­cal) issue cov­er was by Vir­gil Find­lay, a pro­lif­ic (but large­ly for­got­ten, if only for the fact that he has no Wikipedia page) artist of the pulp era and beyond. He pos­sessed a remark­able style and made con­sid­er­able use of the stip­pling tech­nique. The mag­a­zine cov­er was one of the very few pieces he pro­duced in full col­or. (I know the per­son who at one point owned the orig­i­nal art­work. I would love to get my hands on it but I’m afraid that if it ever went up to auc­tion it would eas­i­ly cost in five fig­ures US.)

It should be not­ed that one of the adver­tise­ments near the back of the mag­a­zine include one for Melvin Pow­ers’ Wilshire Books and his “Hyp­no­tism Revealed” (his first pub­lished book) and “Advanced Tech­niques of Hyp­no­tism” and one for Ormond McGill’s “A Bet­ter Life Through Con­scious Self-Hyp­no­sis”.

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