Love and Passion Under Hypnosis
Are Helpless Girls Betrayed by Hypnotists?
Playgirl Presents — A Shocking Special Edition
Stranger Than Bridey Murphy
Baring Fantastic Facts About Sex Under Hypnotic Suggestion
Profusely Illustrated with Uncensorsed Candid Photos
Description: After that come-on, especially with the lurid image on the cover, it really should be no surprise that this publication falls very short of its goals.
The magazine composed of several articles, all apparently written by Walter Hale (the copyright notice states it was copyright by him but after the first are all without credit or attribution, so I have to assume they are also written by Hale although it is possible they were written by staff or simply appopriated from other sources) and published by Playgirl Publishing in 1956.
The magazine starts with this:
Joe Doakes is one of the most unfortunate husbands with a frigid wife to contend with. … But, what is poor Joe to do? He has the natural desires of an entirely normal man. He desires and requires a normal sex life but he is tied to a dame who would freeze the interior of an igloo. … Obviously, in the tragic situation, Joe's only hope for a natural and satisfying home life lies in the possibility that something can be done to increase Mrs. Joe's interest in basic love making. Can anything be done to create that certain itch, that mama loves papa feeling?
There is hope — hope in hypnotism!
If Joe can find an accredited Operator … said practitioner might very possibly instill in his Mrs. that longing which is both the root of all evil and the only way to increase the population.1
What can the hypnotist do about it? Well, with the co-operation of Mrs. Doakes, he can turn her into a veritable Cleopatra with desires reminiscent of Venus or even a glamorous movie Queen with burning britches! In the event Mrs. Doakes wishes to remain aloof and a bedroom bore, then a shrewd Operator can "switch" Mrs. Doakes into the desired state by clever mis-direction which is explained as you read on.
Its pretty obvious that is being sold here, the purported power of hypnosis to get sex. Unfortunately for anyone thinking that, the magazine does not deliver.
The first half of the magazine, including the part quoted above, begins with the article by Walter Hale entitled 'Love and Passion Under Hypnosis' which is mostly a retelling of the sexual stereotypes of hypnosis, told in a rather breathless manner. It also includes the following:
Today, every practitioner tells his subject or subjects "You will be unable to perform any act, under hypnosis, which is against your moral principles, regardless of what I tell you. It will be impossible for you to commit any act that is contrary to your better nature."
This is unadulterated BUNK!
Nailed down, a prominent San Francisco hypnotist and consultant admitted a subject could be prepared or "conditioned" to the point where said subject would do anything suggested by the operator up to and including MURDER.
This section is probably referring to George Estabrook's famous statement, which he never did prove, and which Milton Erickson debunked several years later.
The next article is entitled 'Daring to Expose Modern Svengalis' is not so much an exposé as it is a come-on about the 'dirty' things a reader is told can be done using hypnosis, with the implication that they, too, could do them. (Interestingly enough, this article has the only mention of Morey Bernstein and Bridey Murphy, and only in reference to the fact that he used a candle as an induction focus.)
The following article, 'You Can Become a Hypnotist' is a short, step-by-step explanation of how to set up an induction without actually explaining how to perform an induction. Instead, it leads back to the overall theme of hypnotizing women into sex bu segueing to pseudonymous hypnotist Duncan ("frankly a rogue and a lecher") explaining how he is able to get women to undress under hypnosis. Its the same song in a first person key. Then is goes on to how to
The last article of this section is entitled ''Will Hypnotism Cure Homosexuals?' which is a one-page article more about the power of hypnosis and post-hypnotic suggestion than any substantial information about actually 'curing' homosexuality.
Following that is a three-page reprinted newspaper story about stage hypnotist Franquin and a show he performed in Sydney complete with several pictures: in fact, aside from a couple of paragraphs, all three pages are photographs from the show. The article does not include any attribution but it is pretty obvious that it was lifted, probably from an Australian newspaper, which would have made any legal action difficult to pursue.
The second half of the magazine starts off with a totally unrelated 3-page piece by "a fearless sophomore" entitled 'I Was a Hot Pantie Snatcher', trying to tie it back to the overall theme with the subtitle 'Mass Hypnosis in Daring Raid' without any kind of justification for the connection. This was followed by a 6-page article entitled 'Secrets of Staring Men' (with the subtitle 'Hypnosis Craze: How Much Humbug?') which is actually a simple description of hypnosis: the article is illustrated with several clip-part photographs of women's faces or artwork of naked women, including one of a woman's face, lit from below, that invokes a stereotypical image of someone entranced.
After that, there are 3 ½ pages of nude or semi-nude photographs or art, followed by 8 ½ pages of advertisements typical for the back of men's magazines of the day, including many, many ads for racy 8 mm movies, books on sex knowledge and photo sets. The back cover shows a full-page picture of a brunette in a bikini on a zebra-skin background, with the phrase "Profusely Illustrated with Uncensored Photos".
Commentary: Overall, there is a lot of titillation and very little practical information to be found here. At no time is any kind of induction actually shown or described, or any other information about hypnosis. There isn't even a list of reference books for further information. However, the sexism (almost requisite given the society at that time) throughout the magazine is pretty open, which should come as no surprise at all. Also, the hypnotist is always referred to as "he" which also reinforces the sexism.
As for the artwork, it is questionable whether the model on the cover or anywhere else is actually hypnotized: there are no images of the induction itself, nor any information about who did the induction. The only possibly recognizable image of someone hypnotized shows the model passively standing erect, eyes closed and her arm outstretched as if performing an arm-rigidity test. Much of the other accompanying artwork is simply generic photography or clip art.
I was just surprised at how amateur the layout was and how shoddy the photos and artwork accompanying it were. The magazine is printed on three different types of paper, one of which is a pale blue in color. The whole magazine looks like it was pieced together from material from other sources combined with at least one unattributed newspaper article. The biggest giveaway is the copyright statement. That was definitely and clumsily typed on a typewriter, with capitalization and spacing errors, substituting a capital "I" for a "1", etc. The most amusing part is the final line: "The motion picture of the same titme is now in preparation." And this from the author, who I must assume is Walter Hale, saying they are the publisher of two magazines, "Hollywood Confidential" and "Playgirl".
And I should note that the writer uses the term "Operator" (capitalized) instead of "hypnotist" in various places, which suggests that Hale was the author of the articles in question. The term "Operator" here has certain shady connotations and is obviously used to engender the idea of subtle or covert hypnosis to bypass any expected resistance.
Recommendation: Only for the serious collector of hypnosis ephemera, right along with "How to Pick Up Girls With Hypnosis".
Trivia: This publication contains over eight pages of ads in the back, the same as would be found in any men's magazine of the time period (1956). However, what is interesting is that ads for books on hypnosis were rare but still included in these magazines, no such ads were in this publication. And also, judging from that lack and the corresponding lack of any substantial mention of Bridey Murphy in the text is that this was written before the Bridey Murphy phenomenon gained prominence but rushed into publication at that time.
Apparently, the magazine (even though it is quite tame by even most standards) was found obscene although it appears from the listing here that decision was reversed upon appeal.
California v. Steinberg. (Los Angeles Co., App. Dept., Cr. A 3793.) Facts and issues similar to Smith, 52.15, relating to magazine "Love and Passion under Hypnosis". Trial Ct. held magazine obscene. App. Dept. reversed, held trial ct. used proper standard re "obscenity", but reached wrong result, following Harlan, J. thinking that each obscenity case involves delicate questions of constitutional judgment.
Stanley Fleishman, Esq., 1741 Ivar Ave., Hollywood.
1: And I thought money (or, more accurately, the love of money) was the root of all evil?