MELVIN POWERS ALIVE AND WELL

In March, I had a request for the date of Melvin Powers' death.   To my embarrassment and joy, I received an email from Karrie Starrett, Dr. William S. Kroger's Secretary for many years, telling me that Melvin Powers was alive and well.  With his permission, she sent me his email address. The message which is printed here with his reply. I told him that "The reports of your death have been greatly exaggerated.  (Mark Twain one said, "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

1. CHAPLAIN DURBIN’S EMAIL TO MELVIN POWER AND HIS RESPONSE

2. WAKING HYPNOSIS: MELVIN POWERS: HYPNOSIS 1955:

3.  NOTES FROM SELF HYPNOSIS

4. NOTES FROM ADVANCED TECHNIQUES OF HYPNOSIS

5. MELVIN POWERS: THE MAN WITH THE MIDAS TOUCH

6. THE DIVERSE WORLD OF MELVIN POWERS: MICHAEL FOLEY

1. Chaplain Durbin (3/20/02) wrote:

Karrie Starrett was so kind to give me your email address and I understand that she got permission to do so. I am Director of Clinical Hypnotherapy at Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital in New Orleans, La. I was Director of Pastoral Care and Clinical Hypnotherapy at PMMH for many years. After 24 years of full time service at PMMH, I retired but remained on a three day a week schedule with Clinical Hypnotherapy. I have now been with the hospital for over 25 year. I want to thank you for your contributions to the widening acceptance of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. I have read several of the books which you wrote, plus many others that you published. I just wanted to share that with you. I invite you to check out my website which has over 50 articles on hypnosis and related subjects. If you would ever want to write an article on some aspect of hypnosis or hypnotherapy, I would be honored to add it to my website. Thanks for you all you have done for hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Paul

Melvin Powers’ Reply: (March 25, 2002) Dear Paul, It was good hearing from you and congratulations to you in furthering the progress of hypnosis. I've known Karnie Starrett for many years and as you know she was Dr. William S. Kroger's secretary for a long time. Dr. Kroger held open house every Saturday afternoon at his home for those interested in hypnosis. He lived in Beverly Hills in a large home with a magnificent backyard that we all enjoyed. I knew most of the individuals interested in the Los Angeles area. Sorry to say many have died.

One of the first books that I published in paperback was his book called Psycho-somatic Gynecology. I recently purchased the outstanding book The Practice of Hypnotism by Andre M. Weitzenhoffer, Ph.D. for my own pleasure and highly recommend it to you. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York. I enjoyed one of his previous books called Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses. It's out of print. Both are extremely worthwhile reading.(Order Walmart & $73.50)

I no longer practice hypnosis but continue to sell books related to hypnotism. You can see my list of books by going to www.mpowers.com  and clicking Hypnotism under Wilshire Self-Improvement Library on the home page.

The main focus of my publishing is in the field of motivation. You'll note that I first published Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz in paperback and books by Dr. Albert Ellis such as Guide to Rational Living.

Right now I'm very interested in finding authors who can write adult allegories that teach principles of psychological growth such as The Princess Who Believed in Fairy Tales and The Knight in Rusty Armor. On my home page click on Recovery and read about the two books. Go now to www.amazon.com  and see what readers have said about the books. Thank you for your interest in yours truly. Outside of some medical problems that come with age, I'm feeling good, playing tennis every week, working out at the gym twice a week, riding my horse, and watching my diet. Best wishes for your continued success. Melvin

Melvin Powers, Publisher Wilshire Book Company

12015 Sherman Road

North Hollywood, California 91605-3781

Web site: www.mpowers.com 

E-mail: mpowers@mpowers.com 

Tel: (818) 765-8579

Fax: (818) 765-2922

Melvin Powers’ first venture into publishing was a book called Hypnotism Revealed, which he wrote himself. "There's no money in having someone else publish your book," Powers explains. "I was a budding entrepreneur, so instead of getting a small percentage as a royalty from another publisher, I decided I might as well publish the book and sell it myself."

It was a good decision. Now, 40 years after moving to Southern California, where he started Wilshire Book Company, Powers publishes all of the books he sells. Wilshire Book Company, which began on Wilshire Boulevard near downtown Los Angeles (hence the name), is privately held by Powers. The company employs 21 people and sells about a million books a year.

As president of the Wilshire Book Company, Powers specializes in self-help and inspirational books, helping millions of readers seek the best in life. A native of Boston, he moved to Los Angeles and has since sold thousands of books through the mail, becoming one of the country's leading mail-order experts. Powers was first to publish Dr. Maxwell Maltz's Psycho-Cybernetics, a volume that has sold more than five million copies. Melvin Powers’ website is http://www.mpowers.com/   mpowers@mpowers.com

2. WAKING HYPNOSIS: MELVIN POWERS: HYPNOSIS 1955:

We are all affected by the influence of suggestion. We merely vary in the degree to which we respond to it. By systematic suggestions, multitudes can be made through propaganda to act as a unit, even though there had been no previous attachment to the ideas communicated. Under the stress of emotional stimuli, we are led to commit acts that we normally would never dream of perpetrating. The protagonists of propaganda know this well, and thereby exercise their power to create conditions that will make their assault on the public mind more successful. Political agitators, also aware of mass susceptibilities, work on this disposition for their own purposes, thus demonstrating that individuals, groups, and nations can all be made to act in a manner that suggests the influence of hypnosis.

Our common predisposition to suggestion is also manipulated by the hypnotist, who first prepares the subject, but under totally different conditions from those of the propagandist or agitator. The hypnotist invites feelings of calm, while the former flourish on rank emotionalism. All distracting emotional stimuli and ideas are cast aside by the hypnotist while the subject listens to his placid. soothing suggestions, which soon cast a spell of peace over him. In this situation all external stimuli, such as light and sound are minimized to the greatest possible degree so that the peace of relaxation and sleep can be attained more quickly. The suggestions of the hypnotist bring passivity and the hypnotic state; the thermal stimuli of the war propagandist or political agitator bring rancor and frenzy. The instrumentality is the same, but the goals are as widely diverse as hysteria and slumber, and are, of course, intended to be so.

People are affected by many kinds of stimuli. Examples of this are numerous in our everyday activities. A mother puts her child to sleep by singing and repeating the lulling words; "Sleep my child, sleep my child"; a man sitting in the barber's chair listens to the sound of the vibrator and as he concentrates up on its humming monotone falls asleep; others fall asleep listening to the soft tones of music coming from the radio; while many, who search for physical beauty, find themselves asleep under the relaxing balm of the beautician's touch. In each of these circumstances sleep had come only because all other distractions had been so effectively eliminated from the consciousness of these persons that the one dominant stimulus in the environment was bound to effect the passive listener This information should serve to give us a better understanding of the conditions favorable to "Waking Hypnosis," which we are about. to discuss. Let us first proceed with some particularly fine examples of "Waking Hypnosis."

A nurse recently told me of a patient who came to the office in which she was employed, for the purpose of getting an electric diathermy treatment for an ailing shoulder. The patient was directed to lie down; the diathermy unit was applied; and the nurse left him to attend her other duties. She returned after a time, turned off the machine, and asked the patient how he felt. "I feel so much better," he said. He dressed and soon departed. When the nurse later prepared to go home, she made the usual check of the office to make certain that everything was in good order, and much to her surprise and amusement, noticed that the diathermy plug was not in the socket. In fact, she now reflected she had failed to insert it back into the socket after sweeping the floor that morning.

"The heat had helped my shoulder so much," he had declared and the unit hadn't even been on, she chuckled. This is an extremely good example of "Waking Hypnosis" with all the elements present to make it a classic illustration.

A friend of mine, an eminent physician, told me that out of sheer curiosity he, sometimes, when applying an antiseptic solution which never burns, tells the patient that it is going to sting momentarily, and surely enough, he responds as though it has! He also at times says he gives his more hypochondriacal patients a bitter, harmless medicine, telling them that it is an extremely sweet and pleasant one to take. Frequently, he insists, some of them will actually smack their lips with pleasure after swallowing the bitter stuff, sometimes even sighing with regret that the dosage was so small.

This is an extreme case, of course, but it has happened, he insist. The human mind accepts what it is prepared to accept, and even when that doesn't materialize, behaves as though it has, merely because it has been conditioned through suggestion to anticipate it.

The techniques of hypnosis have gained greater popularity than ever in the field of business and advertising. Recently, the head of one of the nation's largest breweries took a course in hypnosis with me. He was interested primarily, he said, in the use of suggestion. He learned of its potency through my instruction, and later put it to expert use, both in his private life, and his business advertising. He wrote the advertisements himself, using the principles of suggestion in such an efficient manner as to increase the sale of his product volurlinously. That suggestion has been used in advertising is an old story, but that hypnotic techniques have been added to it, is new and sensational news! It has now become commonplace to see these techniques used in television advertising. I suggest you observe some of the television advertising this evening. Notice how closely they apply the methods of hypnosis, and note how effective the advertising is as a result. I have been asked on several occasions by members of advertising agencies what they could do to incorporate the principles of hypnosis into their client's advertising copy. I invited them to take my course. They did, and were well rewarded for it. Their business improved, due to their greater insight into the mass mind, and their greater understanding of the techniques of suggestion.

I, myself, bought a new hair preparation recently that had been advertised on a television program. I was not at all impressed with it when I saw it at first. But, after being constantly exposed to its view for a protracted period, I finally succumbed to the suggestions of its efficiency, and so sauntered down to the corner drug store to purchase a bottle of it. I actually was not in need of a new hair tonic at all, for I was moderately pleased with the brand that I had been using, but the repeated suggestions that this new brand was much better than the others made such an impression on me, and, no doubt, on the others in the television audience, that I, like the others, succumbed to the repetitious insistence that there had never been a hair tonic like this made before. It turned out to be an excellent hair tonic, indeed, but that is hardly the point with which I am concerned here; since my primary reason for citing this experience was to indicate how the power of suggestion control us wherever we may turn, and to point out that the average person predisposed toward suggestion can be channeled to the purposes of "Waking Hypnosis"

Here is a variation of the "Swallowing Test" that can be used in "Waking Hypnosis": Suggest that the subject think of the act of swallowing. Tell him that if he does so, he will find it impossible not to go through with it even though he may try to resist it. Tell him that should he try to resist it, he will feel a great sense of unease. To avoid this sense of anxiety, the subject will invariably respond as directed, since he desires to maintain his sense of well-being. This is another graphic example of the force of "Waking Hypnosis."

"Waking Hypnosis" has been used for many years by doctor! who utilize hypnosis. We find reference to this interesting technique in the book, "Suggestion" by George C. Pitzer, M.D., who published his book in the year 1898. He cites the use of this technique under the section heading: "Suggestion for Cure in the Waking State" and has much to say on this vital technique that is of the utmost interest and importance to those who are interested in this area of hypnosis. He writes: " A lady came to me suffering from a severe neuralgia of the face. She told me that she had heard of the wonderful healing power of animal magnetism (hypnosis) and wanted to be exposed to it. She described her ailment in detail, was in great earnest, and confidently expected relief. I listened very attentively to all she said. I felt at once that I could cure her; I had no doubts at all about a cure. In fact, I felt that I knew I could cure her. While she remained seated, I arose and approached her with a firm and earnest expression on my face, and with an air of confidence, I took her right hand in mine, and placed my left hand upon the painful part of her face. I then requested her to close her eyes, and to keep them closed while I spoke to her. I addressed her in this fashion: 'Madam, the position of our hands, one of mine holding one of yours, while the other is fixed upon the painful part of your face, will immediately change the nerve current in your body. You will soon feel this influence all over you.'

You are beginning to feel it already. The nervous forces in your body are seeking, and will soon reach, conditions of equilibrium. It is already coming. An easy, quiet feeling it coming all over you. Your whole nervous system is easy and quiet. You feel easy and quiet all over. The pain will soon leave your face and it will feel perfectly easy. A proper distribution of the nervous forces will completely relieve all of the pain in your face. It is already coming, coming and your face is feeling better. Your face feels warm now, and the pain is rapidly disappearing; It is going away, going away, your face feels only warm now, and the pain is going away, going away; gone, all gone, all gone, and your face feels warm and conformable. Your face feels warm and comfortable; the pain is all gone. You feel quiet and easy allover, and your face feels perfectly easy, and you feel well all over your body - perfectly well. I then repeated the above formula, with slight variations, several times, still keeping my hands in place. This patient, from the start had believed in the efficacy of the treatment, I felt that she had confidence in it, and she obtained complete relief at once. She had heard of the wonderful power of animal magnetism (hypnosis) this had served as a forcible suggestion, and she was already, therefore, prepared for good results. I had observed that her desires and expectations were positive. This had put both of us at our ease, and by both our outward expressions our mutual feelings were realized by one another, both objectively and subjectively. We fixed her attention, and then simply suggested, by our behavior, gestures and spoken words together the changes and conditions we wished for. Her subjective mind took cognizance of the suggestions without any questions, and the desired results were fully realized. The time occupied was about fifteen minutes. I instructed her to frequently repeat to herself the suggestions I had made to her those being: 'The pain is all gone, all gone. My face feels comfortable and warm, etc.' I call this friendly autosuggestion. It prevents relapses. I also requested her to say nothing about the treatment to anybody for a week or two, but to say to people, who might inquire about her health that she is well and happy ."

This is a marvelous example of the most spectacular activation of the dynamics of "Waking Hypnosis" and illustrates how effective its power can be when the proper conditions prevail for its successful application.

A well known dentist, who took my course in hypnotism, told me of the very interesting use he had made of the "Waking Hypnosis" procedure on one occasion. Instead, he said, of giving one of his patients a shot of novocaine as a local unaesthetic, he showed him a wad of cotton, saying that he was going to saturate it with novocaine, and apply it to the area from which the tooth was to be extracted. He made a great display of placing the cotton into the solution that the patient thought was novocaine, but which was, in reality, just plain water, and then placed the cotton into his mouth, with the reassuring words that the patient's gum would soon be numb. The patient was invited to inform the doctor whenever he felt his gum sufficiently frozen to permit the extraction of the tooth. The patient surprisingly enough responded as though he actually was under the effects of novocaine, and the doctor proceeded to extract the tooth without the slightest discomfort to the patient.

Another one of my students, also a dentist, told one of my classes in hypnosis about a fascinating experience he had had with one of his patients. The patient was to have a tooth extracted, and being very fearful of the experience, requested an anesthetic. The doctor asked him whether he would accept nitrous oxide gas. The patient said that he would, and that he, in fact, preferred that anesthetic to all others. The nasal mask was placed over his face, and he was instructed to breathe deeply. He was very soon in a deep state of unconsciousness. His tooth was extracted. He was brought back to the normal state and shown the tooth that had been extracted. He was then told by the dentist that although the process of placing the mask on his face had been executed, no gas had been permitted to run through the tubes. He had thus had the operation performed without an anesthetic. The patient was surprised, then embarrassed and broke into a sheepish smile, as he realized that he had been a guinea pig in an interesting psychological experiment. The doctor added with a twinkle in his eye that the patient had been his own son. He stated, however, that he had since tried it on others, and that it had worked just as well. "Waking Hypnosis"' is an extremely effective technique as the two previous dramatic experiments have 80 amply demonstrated. It is the task of the hypnotist to use it whenever the occasion warrants it.  Melvin Powers’ website is http://www.mpowers.com/   mpowers@mpowers.com

3. NOTES FROM SELF-HYPNOSIS: (By Melvin Powers (1956) Wilshire Book Company, No. Hollywood, CA.): 

Cover

Anesthesia is total or partial loss of sensitivity. The hypnotist suggests that certain real sensations are to be abolished, and they are. "Legs and breasts may be amputated, children born, teeth extracted, in short the most painful experiences undergone, with no other anesthetic than the hypnotizer's assurance that no pain will be felt. Similarly, morbid pains may be annihilated, neuralgias, toothaches, rheumatism cured." (Principles Of Psychology," by Wm. James) (p. 95)

Still in the second stage of our history occurs James Braid (ca 1795-1860), called the discoverer of hypnotism, Why? Because he described the mesmeric trance as a "nervous sleep," coined the term "neurypnology" for it, leading to the word we now use. But above all, because he placed the proper emphasis not on the practitioner, who simply releases the hypnotic powers, but on the subject, who has them within himself. No more stars and magnets: just "nervous sleep."

Braid, a Manchester physician, had been skeptical at first. But he forced a pin under the fingernail of hypnotized the subject, and found her insensitive to pain. Braid began experimenting; became convinced. He hypnotized members of his own family. At first he thought the trance depended upon "paralyzing the levator muscles of the eyelids." called the "fascination method." Then he saw that not visual fixation but fixation of attention is the key. He used the word mono-ideism to describe the hypnotic state, stressed the factor of suggestion, and shifted emphasis more and more from the physiology to the psychological aspect. Braid helped create the modern view of hypnotism. (p. 111)

IMAGINATION: The beginner in self-hypnosis is surprised to find that leading writers on it stress the imagination rather than the will. Says Coue`, "above all, and this is an essential point, the will must not be brought into play in practicing auto-suggestion." Results are "unsatisfactory when in treating moral ailment, one strives to re-educate the will. It is the training of the imagination which is necessary." Baudoin helps to give us the reason for this: "The work of suggestion goes on in the subconscious, and has nothing to do with the conscious effort which presides over the will. We may say that suggestion is a form of will, but of subconscious will" (p. 114)

A bipolar process goes on in each of us. 1. The realistic pole is that which is determined by external conditions, being characterized by perception of real objects, by reasoning and by problem solving. 2. The imaginative pole is determined by our inner needs, and is characterized by imagery, many kinds of play, fantasy, dreams, and wishful thinking. This is the realm where self-hypnosis can operate. As our thinking shifts toward this real, our mental images become stronger and more numerous. They are very responsive to our needs. We can order them up, control them, use them. Since they are the raw material of self-hypnosis, we must cultivate the habit of so doing. One is amazed and gratified at the progress he can make a habit. And all the senses can be used for this. "Because visual images are usually the strongest and most frequent, it is easy to overlook other kinds. Nevertheless, if attention is given to them, auditory, tactual, thermal, olfactory, kinaesthetic, (from muscles, joints and tendons), gustatory, and other sensory images are readily reported." (p.117)

Now how do success-ideas select for us what we may call "success-parts" of our environment? Well, imagine five men looking at the same plot of ground. One is a farmer - and he is wondering what the soil can be made to produce. A second is an artist, who sees the colors and contours of the scene, and wants to paint it. The third is a realtor, who considers how the ground would subdivide, and what bulldozing and pipe-laying are necessary. The fourth is a city assessor who is "using" the land only to figure a basis for taxation. The fifth man members he played baseball on this same soil as a boy; and he is filled with tender and haunting memories.

What differences in the attitudes of these five! Each selects from the outer environment what his inner attitude directs him to. And each gets from the same outer environment what he wants to get!

In precisely the same way, when each of us looks at the difficult life-road ahead, he sees it interns of his life-attitudes. Let us now use this imagination we have been talking about. Imagine two men, pilgrims and wayfarers, looking ahead at a long, tortuous, stony road, winding through many passes and rising gradually to a far distant summit. One man concentrates on the dark mountain shadows, the dangerous ravines, the dizzying heights, the distance of the goal and depth of the sere, deadly drops. And he says, "I can't make it." With that attitude, even if he tries, his chances of success are slim. But he probably never even starts the trip. (p. 118-119)

The other man concentrates on the road itself, keeping his studious eye on it steadily as the narrow ribbon leads him slowly up, in imagination, to the summit. He avoids the scare-sights that the other man is focusing on, and finally brings his gage back down and centers it on the very next step ahead. Here all is visible and clear before him. And this brings him the happy thought that, "Every next step of the way will show up just as clearly when I actually get to it." Probably it will. This man will start the trip, and eventually reach his goal. He is no fool because he knows there are risks but never tells himself as he takes the first step, "I may not succeed," He refuses to think about not succeeding. Instead, he deliberately starts the journey with all his capacities exerted toward reading the summit.

One man is setting up failure-symbols while the other is setting up success symbols. Both types of symbols are there, such as the shadow and the sun, the depth and the heights, so failure and success are also scattered along everyone's road of life. It is clear, then, that the inner attitudes with which we face the road ahead, determine largely what we see on it and along it. If we look at the yawning gulf below the connecting plank, we fall off. If we look at the plank, we get across. The later is the only course of success. Why not follow this course? (p. 119-120)

SELF-HYPNOSIS IS THEREFORE TO BE ALLIED AS FOLLOWS: (1) "Soul-searching." Formation of goals, ideals. (2) A pre-hypnotic talk with oneself. Relaxation; getting into the mood. (3) Imagining. Here we use hypnosis proper; a stage that is capable of great development in each of us. (4) Action according to the post-hypnotic suggestions already formed. Melvin Powers’ website is http://www.mpowers.com/   mpowers@mpowers.com

4. NOTES FROM ADVANCED TECHNIQUES OF HYPNOSIS: (By Melvin Powers (1953) Wilshire Book Company. No. Hollywood, CA.): 

In my opinion, the hypnotist must firstly be a person of the highest integrity, who is ever aware of his responsibilities to his clients. He must be firmly grounded in the study and understanding of psychology and its techniques; of affable address; of sympathetic attitude; of pleasant and reassuring manner; of calm understanding and patience; so that the total impression of his personality, inevitably creates the favorable rapport that is so essential to the success of the able hypnotist. The hypnotist must above all have complete confidence in himself and his technical efficiency, since to be effective, it is necessary that he speak with the surest authority, so that he can control the subject completely.

Even if you chance to be a beginner in this field, you must still proceed in a manner that will instill complete confidence in your subject, since it is not likely that you will be successful if the subject becomes aware that you are a novice in the field of hypnosis, for no one is inclined to be the first subject of an amateur hypnotist, no matter how enthusiastic he may be. You must never fumble in your procedure, and if questioned, you must have a confident and ready answer for whatever (p 15) question that may arise in the subject's mind. To say, "I do not know" to a question is to destroy whatever confidence the subject may have in you, thus eliminating any possibility of achieving the harmony so necessary to successful hypnosis. In the event that the correct answer is not known, it is still necessary to offer a convincing explanation, so that no loss of prestige would affect the successful conclusion of hypnosis.

It is further always important to remember that mistakes will be made, no matter how many books have been read on the subject of hypnosis. It is the purpose of this book to make the hypnotic procedures so clear that errors in methodology will never occur at all, or, at least, very seldom, if the book's principles are conscientiously applied by the reader. It is, above all, the actual practice that creates the skill and proficiency of the successful hypnotist. It is, therefore, advisable that the budding hypnotist find as many subjects as he can, so that he can most quickly arrive at that stage of proficiency which will mark him as an efficient technician. It is my suggestion, if you are a novice, that your first subject be someone who is not too well known to you. In fact, a total stranger would be best, since not being aware of your apprenticeship in hypnosis, he would respond with more alacrity than your friends, or members of your family. You would thus be given a greater opportunity to become familiar with the hypnotic techniques and to develop your skill to the fullest possible degree of virtuosity. (p 16)

Once your reputation as a hypnotist is assured, the prestige which redounds from this distinction will predispose others to seek you out. In my experience, as a professional hypnotist, I have observed that it was particularly those persons who had been referred to me by my former patients, that made the most excellent subjects for hypnosis, since they have been pre-conditioned, as it were, by the enthusiasm of those beneficiaries, who had come under my influence in the past. These new subjects, therefore, having become favorably disposed toward my person and reputation, very quickly fell under the control of my hypnotic suggestions. Since they had already been "sold" on my competence as a hypnotist, it was only necessary to maintain their lively confidence in my reputation, and to proceed quickly to the conclusion of the hypnotic state with them. With such subjects, it was not necessary to spend either time or energy on the pre-hypnotic talk, since these were not required, due to the favorable condition that had been created in advance through fore-knowledge of my reputation. I, therefore, immediately proceeded to the actual hypnosis; working as rapidly as I could to induce the deep hypnotic state, which is the goal of every hypnotist.

This procedure had obviously been made much easier for me, due to the advanced state of suggestibility with which these subjects came to me, as a result of their having been referred to me by those former subjects, with whom I had already consummated successful hypnosis. It, merely, remained for me to take the fullest advantage of this heightened susceptibility to hypnosis that has already been created in these persons by my former subjects. This I did, and always with the greatest success. (p 17)

ENTRANCED SKIN: (TIME, September 1, 1952): When he was born in London, even his mother thought that he seemed to have a thick skin. As the baby grew, his skin darkened and hardened to a black, rough casing over his whole body except the chest, neck and face. It was covered with close-set black bumps; between them and the skin was as hard as a fingernail, and if it was bent it cracked and oozed blood-stained serum. Someone cruelly dubbed him "the elephant boy." Doctors said he had been born with ichthyosis (fish-scale disease). Nobody knew its cause or cure.

Treatment at some of London's best hospitals did no good. A trial operation to graft normal skin from his chest to his horny palms proved worse than useless: the grafted skin blackened like the rest, then shrank and stiffened his fingers. The boy went to school, but his teachers and other pupils objected to him. Though he was quick to respond to affection, he got so little that be became shy and lonely.

Then Dr. Albert Abraham Mason heard of the case. In his studies of psychosomatic condition, he had taken an interest in hypnosis. Eighteen months ago, in a white-painted hospital room in East Grinstead, Sussex, a dozen skeptical doctors watched as Dr. Mason talked the boy into a hypnotic trance. It took ten minutes. Then hypnotherapist Mason said again and again, "Your left arm will clear." (He had begun with a particular part of the body to make the test more precise.)

About five days later, the coarse outer layer on the boy's left arm became soft and crumbly. and feel off. The skin underneath was reddened but soon became pink and soft. In ten days the arm was clear from shoulder to wrist.

Dr. Mason tried again and again, cutting his hypnosis time to three seconds. After he said the right arm would clear, it did. The boy's thighs and legs, which had been most heavily covered, cleared partially. His back was 90% cleared. The boy, now 18 and happier than he had ever expected to be, has learned to hypnotize himself to maintain the improvement. He is working as an electrician's helper.

Skin specialist who read of the case last week in the staid, British Medical Journal snorted, he did not see how hypnosis could ease a condition which began in the womb. Neither could young (26) Dr. Mason, but he had witnesses to the treatment and the boy's improvement. (p. 121)

HYPNOSIS CAN BE GREAT AID TO MEDICINE: LONDON -- Make no mistake about it hypnotism is a matter of vital importance, affecting nearly everyone. Statistics show that 80 to 90 per cent of people can be hypnotized, and can derive benefit from its use for a wide variety of ailments.

Hypnotism can help in cases of asthma, migraine, duodenal ulcers, blood pressure, skin diseases, allergies, hysteria neurasthenia and insomnia. By the use of hypnosis more and more women are bearing children without feel the slightest pain, and there even is a case on record of a woman being cued of warts by hypnotic suggestion after months of medical and X-ray treatments had failed.

When we consider that a wart, which is only a growth, can be made to disappear by suggestion, we are entitled to ask: May we be able to influence other growths? It is only a possibility, and only years of painstaking work, experiments and research can supply the answer.

Let me hasten to explain that hypnotism is not a cure-all for human ills. It can be used in widely varying conditions, and nobody, no matter how fanatically opposed to hypnotism, can deny that in this science we have the most powerful and effective methods of controlling the mind and, through he mind, the whole body.

When a few words, suggesting paralysis, can make a hypnotized person powerless to move, through fully conscious and able to reason, who can doubt the power of hypnotism. When hypnotic suggestion can cause the mouth to water, change the heart rate, or cause sweat glands to function, who can fail to be impressed with its possibilities in medicine?

Hypnosis may be regarded as the key to mind of man. Neuroses, illusions, delusions, and hallucinations can be induced experimentally under hypnosis, and as quickly remove. Surely such a powerful weapon must be the utmost importance in investigating the cause of mental disorder.

Fortunately there are signs that the medical world is beginning to realize the immense potentialities of the science which, stripped of all its nonsensical and mysterious trappings, can be presented as a simple, serious and straightforward method of medical treatment. Hypnosis, after all, is proving to be of immense value in the treatment of many diseases.

Ulcers, goiter and high blood pressure are known as "stress diseases," unfortunate, but growing, products of the stresses and strains of modern civilization. When life was calmer and more leisure, such disease were very rare. With the rush and hurry of today, they are becoming more prevalent. Unfortunately, they attack the most useful members of society. They are common among the more intelligent, ambitious and hard working. Those who are lazy, placid, and without ambitions seldom suffer. Hypnotism is helping, on an ever-growing scale, large numbers of sufferers from this group of diseases.

The hypnotist need possess no "mysterious gift" or "hypnotic power" whatever. Such a power, if it can be called that, lies within the subject or patient -- the hypnotist merely has the technical knowledge of how to manipulate it. (p. 122-123)

HYPNOSIS WIDENED IN THERAPEUTIC USE: Experts in Field Stress Value in Diagnosis of Cases for Psychiatric Treatment: NEW YORK -- Hypnotism promises to serve as an important adjunct in the therapy for certain ills largely emotional in origin, according to reports presented at the second annual scientific meeting of the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. The program at the New York Academy of Sciences included paper by specialists from John Hopkins University School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the State University of New York College of Medicine and other leading institutions on the effects of hypnosis on body processes, the use of hypnotherapy in cases of depression and apparent focal epilepsy and in a child guidance clinic.

Dr. Jerome M. Schneck of the department of psychiatry, State University of New York College of Medicine, president of the society, who presided, observed that while most of the work with hypnotherapy in medical areas had been achieved in the field of psychiatry, "interesting explorations have been advanced in obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, anesthesiology, dentistry, internal medicine and in some aspects of surgery."

In Psychiatry For Children: A report prepared by Dr. Gordon Ambrose of London, which was read at the meeting, dealt with the use of hypnosis in psychiatric treatment of children. Affliction included nervousness, bed wetting, headaches, tics, vomiting and poor appetite. Such treatment, Dr. Schneck wrote, was often combined with counseling of the parents "in keeping with the more advanced type of psychiatric practice in child guidance clinics."

It was emphasize that hypnotism in itself did not serve as therapy, its potential usefulness being in conjunction with standard medical producers, psychotherapeutic or otherwise, just an anesthesia served to enable the qualified surgeon to operate.

One of its promising uses, it was noted, is an diagnostic tool to help distinguish between ills off physical origin, requiring surgical or medical treatment, and those of purely emotional background that required psychiatric treatment. Scientific hypnosis, said Dr. Schneck, "has weathered alternating periods of marked interest and relative neglect for very many years."

The founding of the "Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis," he said, "has served to centralize interchange of experiences concerning scientific hypnosis and to promote further investigations in this area of research." (p. 124-125) Melvin Powers’ website is http://www.mpowers.com/   mpowers@mpowers.com

5. MELVIN POWERS: THE MAN WITH THE MIDAS TOUCH:

Interview in Los Angeles Valley Magazine:

Melvin Powers publishes books. Not just any kind of books, but special interest books. Books about bridge, chess, pets, sports and hobbies. But his Wilshire Book Company is best known for its line of self-help and inspirational books. The world headquarters for Wilshire Book Company is located not in a fancy New York City high-rise, but in an attractive office/warehouse building in North Hollywood.

In an age of million-dollar advances and lavish book tours for superstar authors, Melvin Powers's Wilshire Book Company inauspiciously sells more than half of its books by mail. Mail order selling is Powers' first love, and it's how his multi-million dollar publishing empire began.

As a teenager in Boston, Powers subscribed to "Popular Science" magazine and occasionally read the classified ads in the back. An avid chess player, he noticed an ad for a chess book and sent away for it. When it arrived, he decided he should sell books by mail, too.

"I started in the mail-order business when I was 16 years old," says Powers. "It was my hobby, running classified ads in the same magazines that I was reading, 'Popular Science' and 'Popular Mechanics'. I began selling books on chess and then, one-by-one, added new titles and new subjects." At first, he bought books from publishers at wholesale and sold them for retail. As he got each order he sent it out with a flyer advertising the other books that he had. And he's still basically doing the same thing, running almost the same ad. "The formula is still working after all these years," he says with a chuckle.

His first venture into publishing was a book called Hypnotism Revealed, which he wrote himself. "There's no money in having someone else publish your book," Powers explains. "I was a budding entrepreneur, so instead of getting a small percentage as a royalty from another publisher, I decided I might as well publish the book and sell it myself."

It was a good decision. Now, 40 years after moving to Southern California, where he started Wilshire Book Company, Powers publishes all of the books he sells. Wilshire Book Company, which began on Wilshire Boulevard near downtown Los Angeles (hence the name), is privately held by Powers. The company employs 21 people and sells about a million books a year.

Powers' first big publishing success came in the early 1960s with Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Even though it had been published in hardcover years before, it was Powers who first asked the question, "Why isn't this book available in paperback?" He bought the paperback rights and has since sold millions of copies of the book. He published it in a trade paperback format, a larger size than the mass market paperbacks that fit into racks in supermarkets and drugstores, the format that accounts for virtually all of Wilshire Book's sales.

His biggest coup, however, was snatching up the trade paperback rights to Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. Psycho-Cybernetics wasn't doing anything in hardcover," says Powers. "Zero." But I read a couple pages of the book while standing in a bookstore and said to myself, "This is a multi-million bestseller."

He was right. The Wilshire Book trade paperback edition of Psycho-Cybernetics, jumped onto the bestseller lists, and to date has sold more than 5 million copies. It's still one of the company's steady sellers. And ever since the mega-successes of Think and Grow Rich and Psycho-Cybernetics, self-help and inspirational books have been the company's primary editorial focus and biggest selling line of books.

Powers still goes to bookstores every week or two looking for his next big find. He knows that the big New York publishers, with hundreds of books on their lists, sometimes let a good one slip through the cracks without being properly promoted. But bookstores aren't the only places he finds new books to publish. Twenty years ago, when a friend asked him to buy an Arabian horse, Powers went to a riding goods store and asked to see the horse books. He was shown a section of hardcover books.

"Where are your paperback books?" he asked.

"There aren't any," said the salesperson.

"There aren't any?" he asked, incredulously. "How come?"

"Everybody who has horses has money," said the salesperson. "They can afford to buy hardcover books."

When Powers heard that, he knew he had found another gold mine. He quickly wrote to the publishers of the hardcover books, negotiated the paperback rights, and brought out a line of 70 horse-related books as fast as he could. He sold them by mail, in bookstores, in the 17,000 riding goods stores across America and Canada, and got sales reps to sell them at the major riding goods trade shows. Mr. Midas had struck again.

Powers has also demonstrated his golden touch in the music business. When songwriter Tommy Boyce came into his office 15 years ago with a manuscript called "How to Write a Hit Song and Sell It." Powers not only published the book but decided to try his hand at songwriting. With personal coaching from Boyce, and classes in composition and lyrics at UCLA, Powers co-wrote some songs with Boyce that made it onto the country and western charts. Teresa Brewer recorded his "Willie Burgundy," and he was invited to Nashville to accept an award for his song "Who Wants a Slightly Used Woman."

He also used his songwriting experience to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the world's smallest royalty check. It was for a song called "San Antonio, Texas." "I got a check for four cents," says Powers. "Other people might have hidden it, but I got a big kick out of it. So I called the Guinness people and made it into the 1980 edition of the book." The four-cent check is still proudly displayed on his office wall. As you might expect from someone who has made millions of dollars by selling books by mail, Powers is now a renowned expert in mail-order sales. The book he wrote and published, How to Get Rich in Mail Order, is the all-time bestseller on the subject and is considered the bible of the mail-order industry. He has taught seminars on mail-order techniques at community colleges throughout the Los Angeles area. Despite his understated approach and low-key personal style, he is truly a super salesman.

So, it isn't surprising that his newest endeavor is called "Powers Television Marketing," which sells products on TV. For many years he has been sought out as a consultant, working behind-the-scenes to help the companies that offer such items as Ginsu knives, exercise equipment, vegetable slicers, and other hard-to-resist goodies on TV. Now he's actively seeking products that his new company can sell on cable TV.

"That means traveling to housewares and food shows, trying to find a product with the potential for mass appeal," says Powers. "It might be a new kitchen gadget or small appliance, or even an automotive product or a course of instruction in a book or on tape. Believe it or not, sometimes television exposure generates so many orders that the manufacturers can't keep up." In other words, Melvin Powers may be about to open up another gold mine. Not that he's giving up the publishing business. Far from it. Last year Wilshire Book Company published 12 new books to add to its total list of about 450. This year, if he can find another dozen good books, he'll publish them too. But he's not on any quota system, so he'll only publish the books that he cares about. Of all the books he's published, he's proudest of How to Get Rich in Mail Order. "It's helped a lot of people leave their jobs and start a business for themselves and become financially independent," he says. He also mentions A Guide to Rational Living by Drs. Albert Ellis and Robert Harper, and of course, Psycho-Cybernetics. "I'm happy with the books I've published because every week people tell me how their lives have been changed by them," says Powers. "It's a nice feeling." Melvin Powers’ website is http://www.mpowers.com/   mpowers@mpowers.com

6. THE DIVERSE WORLD OF MELVIN POWERS: MICHAEL FOLEY:

Interview in The Dream Merchant

Few things are better than talking to a successful inventor or business person. Enthusiastic and often provocative, such folks show us the very best of America and, indeed, the best of the human being. The ability to focus on a task, manage time, and concentrate on long term goals are the very strengths that lead them to success. And that success is genuinely inspiring.

But once in a while, you come across someone who seems to take it all one step further, who seems to broaden the entire definition of success. It is one thing to be prosperous in one business and quite another to triumph in several areas. But that's just what Melvin Powers has done.

A prominent book publisher for more than 40 years, Powers has also found the time to produce television infomercials, pen successful books, teach business classes, breed champion Arabian horses, and write hit songs. What's more, he approaches this active life with an attitude that stresses challenge and fun. "Work just isn't work for me," he says, laughing. "I'm basically having a good time and feeling good about things nearly every day."

As president of the Wilshire Book Company, Powers specializes in self-help and inspirational books, helping millions of readers seek the best in life. A native of Boston, he moved to Los Angeles and has since sold thousands of books through the mail, becoming one of the country's leading mail-order experts. Powers was first to publish Dr. Maxwell Maltz's Psycho-Cybernetics, a volume that has sold more than five million copies.

In addition to the self-help category, the company also publishes books in a wide variety of other areas, from cooking and health to games and sports. Powers is the only publisher listed in the Writer's Market who invites writers to call him directly with book ideas.

"I've had a lot of success doing that," he explains. "Even if I am not interested in the writer's idea, I can get to know him and explain exactly what I do want. It can lead to something later on."

Success in the mail-order business eventually led Powers to share his expertise with students in the Los Angeles area. For years he has taught at community and state colleges in Southern California. At a trade show sponsored by Entrepreneur Magazine at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 1980 he developed the idea of a book detailing the mail-order business.

"Many people came up to me after I spoke and asked whether I had a book available," he says, laughing. "I realized then that there were a couple hundred enthusiastic people in that room who might have purchased a book if I had had one. That's when I decided to write one."

The result was How to Get Rich in Mail Order, a comprehensive volume that has sold more than 500,000 copies to date. Using his extensive marketing background, Powers sold the book through full-page newspaper and magazine ads, classified ads, radio and television commercials.

"People in general aren't willing to do what it takes to be successful today, so that leaves big opportunities for those who are willing to work." "I use every means possible for selling a book," he says. "People have called to say the book actually changed their lives. That's very gratifying." Although Powers has often approached business ventures as "hobbies," he has also been successful with those ventures, breeding champion Arabian horses, and writing popular songs with songwriter Tommy Boyce (who wrote "Last Train to Clarksville" for the Monkees). Such achievements have elicited praise from the public.

"It has nothing to do with a Midas touch," he says. "It's the willingness to work and become knowledgeable in a given field. I never look for the pie-in-the sky. I go one step at a time and do my homework. That way, when I finally start something, it usually goes well."

The type of work ethic Powers describes is a trait he sees lacking among many Americans and one that he hopes can be addressed nationally. "We need a national campaign for pride and excellence in this country," he explains. "We need to stop bashing the Japanese and concentrate on making good products ourselves. There's no reason we can't turn this thing around." Despite America's problems, Powers feels today's entrepreneurs have the same chances for success he had when he started.

"People in general aren't willing to do what it takes to be successful today," he maintains. "So that leaves big opportunities for those who are willing to work. I think any field today is wide open."

Powers counsels entrepreneurs to provide good value in a product or service and listen to the customers who may have legitimate complaints. He also advises business people to continue their education on an on-going basis through trade shows, trade publications, seminars, books, magazines, and other materials available free at most public and college libraries. Powers himself often spends daily driving time listening to inspirational cassette tapes. "Things like that can really help you," he says. "By filling your mind with positive thoughts, you won't be so discouraged if there are temporary setbacks in business. You have to listen to the winners, not the losers in life, and then think like a winner yourself." Melvin Powers’ website is http://www.mpowers.com/  You may contact Mr. Powers at: Phone: 818-765-8579 Fax: 818-765-2922 mpowers@mpowers.com