Posts Tagged ‘hypnosis’

Slightly Shady”, “Don’t Look Back” and “Late for the Wedding” by Amanda Quick

As if a head for business and a nose for trouble aren’t enough to distinguish fiercely independent Lavinia Lake from the other women of London’s fashionable Claremont Lane, there is one more feature to set her apart. Lavinia is also well versed in the practice of mesmerism, an extraordinary gift that far surpasses mere charm and physical appeal. Nobody knows this better than the usually coolheaded Tobias March, who seems to have fallen hopelessly under her spell. Fortunately for all, however, Lavinia uses her powers for good. And ever since a tragedy involving one of her subjects, she has even retired them in favor of her work with Lake and March, a joint venture providing “discreet private inquiries for individuals of quality.”

Mrs. Lake and Mr. March have a rocky first encounter: he is systematically rampaging through the tiny shop Mrs. Lake and her niece operate, all in an attempt to force them to leave and thus remove them from impending danger. Nevertheless, they find reasons to continue their relationship, despite the friction of their equally strong personalities. As these are romance novels, their relationship also continues to be fraught with unresolved passion.

Part of that passion and that friction is due to the fact that Mrs. Lake is a talented mesmerist, although Mr. March is quite hesitant to allow himself to be placed under her magnetic influence for medicinal purposes, even though he is quickly falling under her captivating spell as much as she is falling under his. However, in her new occupation performing private inquiries, Mrs. Lake finds his company and her mesmeric powers advantageous, and not always in the expected manner.

Slightly Shady”

Mrs. Lake does not want to return to her mesmerism practice upon returning to London after her encounter with Mr. March, after a tragedy involving a former patient and the repercussions from the patient’s husband. Instead, she is drawn into Mr. March’s inquiry into the existence and location of a diary that relates the doings of one of the principal leaders of an international criminal organization, a part of the impending danger that threatened Mrs. Lake earlier. That leads to a complicated investigation also involving a death threat against a prominent lady of society, missing prostitutes and murder. Only upon the final confrontation with the murderer does she resort to her talent for mesmerism, using her pendant as a focus to entrance the murderer to induce them to gloat about their past crimes, as well as distract them from killing Mrs. Lake.

Don’t Look Back”

Mrs. Lake encounters Doctor Howard Hudson, an old friend of her parents, both of whom were experienced mesmerists, himself a professional mesmerist as well. He is in London to further his research into mesmerism, specifically, in search of the fabled Blue Medusa, an amulet legendarily reputed to give the wearer powerful mesmeric abilities. With him is his new wife Celeste, who has her own interests and her own plans involving the Blue Medusa. However, when Celeste is found murdered and the Blue Medusa is discovered missing, Mrs. Lake and Mr. March are charged with investigating both crimes, only to find a web of murder and mesmerism behind the theft and the crimes that follow. Complicating matters is the presence of Lord Pelling, the man whose wife committed suicide under Mrs. Lake’s care, in London unexpectedly.

Mesmerism is a central element of the novel here. Without giving too much away, it appears throughout the novel in a multitude of circumstances and by a number of individuals including Mrs Hudson, including, as it does in all of these novels, with Mrs. Lake using her mesmeric talents in confronting the murder.

Notes

Mrs. Lake investigates a mesmerist undercover by complaining of “feminine discomforts”. The device the mesmerist tries to employ in relief while she is ostensibly mesmerized is essentially a mechanical dildo: whether this device as described was authentic is not known but it certainly would be typical of the period.

Late for the Wedding”

Mrs. Lake and Mr. March are by now well known by certain very prominent individuals and are significantly an item such that they are invited to a weekend outing at a noble’s estate. However, the appearance of the wife of an old friend turned enemy seeking the aid of Mr. March and an “accident” at the outing involve them both in a murder mystery involving the infamous Memento-Mori Man, a famous killer for hire thought retired long ago, or, possibly, someone emulating his work. As in the first novel of the series, the story underplays Mrs. Lake’s mesmeric talents until the very end where she employs them to distract the murder until aid arrives.


Notes

  • Amanda Quick is the pseudonym of Jayne Ann Krentz, a popular New York Times bestselling author of period, paranormal and period paranormal romances.

Miss Pat Collins” — The Documentary

She was the most famous female hypnotist ever. She appeared in four cable network specials, numerous talk shows and game shows, at least four different TV programs as her self, and one movie appearance. She had her own club on the famed Sunset Strip in Hollywood and was friends with numerous Hollywood personalities. In between that, she also had a successful hypnotherapy practice and instructed other professional hypnotists. Very few, if any, did more to dispel the fallacies about hypnosis during her life.

She was Pat Collins.

No other hypnotist had such an impact on the popular culture, yet few people now remember her. Well, now that should change.

Now a documentary on the life of Pat Collins is available for viewing. It includes material from her movie and TV appearances in a documentary about her life. Enclosed here is the trailer for the documentary:

To purchase a copy of the documentary, go to the Miss Pat Collins website. I know I will.

This Week in Comics — 2013/01/23

The Avengers” #4

I know that the Avengers TV series occasionally had episodes with mind control themes, but the comic, on the other hand, is really going overboard with them.

In the first three issues, the continued story line had a group of senior British ministers and ranking military officers all believing they were the survivors of a nuclear war and Britain was now under the control of the Hellfire Club. What gave the plot away was the fact that they all remembered having the same breakfast, a result of a hurried brainwashing effort during the set up of the plot. That wasn’t the only brainwashing that occurred: the whole purpose of the effort was to further brainwash the officials and return them to Britain. Thanks to the efforts of Steed and Mrs. Peel, they were thwarted, although not before we get to see Mrs. Peel in her leather and spiked collar from the television episode. Plus a demonstration of how Steed and Mrs. Peel arranged their own system of breaking mind control with each other.

But apparently that wasn’t all the brainwashing the Hellfire Club was up to. In issue #4, the plot continues, this time at a very fancy masque ball with the theme of black and white. One guest arrives wearing black, accompanied by two figures dressed in painted in white. Said figures were performers of an art form called butoh-fu, a Japanese form of dance epitomized by a Zen-like formless and gracefulness. The dancers were said to place themselves in a hypnotic state for their performance, a dead giveaway that hypnotic hijinks are upcoming.

Investigating a murder separates Steed and Mrs. Peel from the rest of the guests at a most propitious time. When they return to the dance floor, its almost empty except the man in black and the orchestra. It turns out that the dancers in white have the guests in a trance, blankly dancing away into the night, following the dancers like mute Pied Pipers, only to be rescued by Steed.

How perceptive. Their every move, every position, was an acted spatial engram directly affecting the neural pathways of anyone who witnessed it.”

In other words, mind control through sight and movement. As for the man in black, he’s conducing the orchestra, themselves entranced by the music they’re playing.

Its a downward spiral. Every note they play further ensures they must play the notes that follow. Aural hypnosis.”

Mrs. Peel, however, has some musical talents of her own, breaking their trance with a well-blown tuba blast. Then she confronts the conductor, whom she discovers was the person who performed the brainwashing in the previous issues, and he is still wielding some hypnotic tricks up his sleeve (or under his shirt, in this case, a set of speakers, not to mention spirals on the backs of his white gloves.)

The high sound is your nervous system. The low sound your circulation. I’ve learned to manipulate that high sound, and thus the nervous system and thus the brain.”

Fortunately Mrs. Peel is able to resist long enough to put a bullet through the speakers and through him, as well.

In the end, the question remains of what was the overall goal of the kidnapping attempt and therefore the question of whether or not it was successful is still unanswered. But the last scene shows a satellite overlooking Britain bearing the arms of the Hellfire Club. More mind control via satellite? Maybe next month will say.

Universo — “The Legion of Super-Heroes” Part 2

After his defeat at the hands of the Legion, Universo was (apparently) imprisoned but he (also apparently escaped) and commenced one of his campaigns to control the Earth. Being the master plotter that he is, he waited for or manufactured reasons for the Legion to be away from the Earth before beginning his plan for world domination. When the Legionnaires returned, they found that they were not only disbanded, they were hunted and outlawed!

⇒ Continue reading “Universo — “The Legion of Super-Heroes” Part 2”

Dial H for Hero!”

A mysterious telephone dial-like device that is capable of transforming whomever dials the letters H-E-R-O on in into a superhero, or, rather, a series of different superheroes. (Of course, its a little hard to so describe the H-Dial now, as telephones don’t have dials, they have keypads.) Boy scientist Robby Reed first discovered the H-dial in a cave in Colorado and used it to protect the town of Littleville. Several years later, teenagers Chris King and Vicki Grant would discover a different pair of dials marked similarly, which they used to become superheroes. Later, others, too, possessed one of the H-Dials. Currently, the power of the H-Dial is passing among ordinary people in the New 52 DC era.

As might be expected, a few of the heroes these people transformed into had hypnotic powers.

⇒ Continue reading “Dial H for Hero!””

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