The Brotherhood of the Flesh (Part 3)
Hugh Hefner (1926-2017)

The Brotherhood of the Flesh (Part 3)

Hugh Marston Hefner is the third member of this sexual brotherhood. Born in Chicago in 1926, Hef, as his intimates call him, is considered the patriarch of the sexual revolution of the sixties. His father was a Methodist and a direct descendant of Puritan patriarchs. Like a figure in a Hegelian textbook with strong Freudian overtones, Hefner emerged as the self-absorbed son of a repressive family. His was a typical dysfunctional household that was marked by an emotionally stunting lack of physical affection.  

Hefner grew to believe that sexual prudery was the root of all social evil. He dedicated his life to dispelling the social norms that he believed had created such an uptight situation. He was an underachiever in high school, despite an I.Q. of 152. Doctors advised his parents to show him more physical affection. His mother’s response was to allow him to post sexy pinups of Vargas girls on his bedroom wall.

It was during college that Hef discovered Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey was a revelation for me, he said in 1999. It was Kinsey’s sex survey that inspired Hefner to shed the moral shackles of a repressive Puritanism and experience his sexuality to the fullest. It confirmed the hypocrisy for me, the gap between what we said and what we actually do. As he put it, The sexual revolution began with the Kinsey Report. I have said it many times that Kinsey was the researcher and I was the pamphleteer.

After a stormy courtship, marked by her infidelity, Hefner married Millie Williams, his college sweetheart in 1949. She had been the only girl he had ever been intimate with at this point in his life. After two children, Hefner’s uneasiness with domestic life and monogamy wore him down, so he left Millie. They divorced in 1959. Hef had always wanted to be a cartoonist. He went to work for Esquire Magazine, the closest to an acceptable men’s magazine around in the early fifties. When they refused to give him a five dollar a week raise, Hefner left and went in search of fulfilling his dreams and fantasies. With just $600 of his own money and over $7000 from friends and investors, he launched what later became a quarter billion-dollar industry.  

When the cultural Marxists, such as Herbert Marcuse and Wilhelm Reich, were dreaming up ways to subvert the West they must have had someone like Hef in mind. In his relentless search for pleasure, Hefner unleashed the uncontrollable beast that lay within the heart of every red-blooded male in America. He founded Playboy in 1953 and scored a real coup in publishing original calendar photos of a very nude Marilyn Monroe that he had purchased years before from her photographer. It was an instant hit and when the first issue sold over 50,000 copies straight from the newsstand, Hefner knew he had hit the jackpot. 

The magazine did not publish the hard-core pornography that had been relegated to the back rooms and lavatories of seedy bars and bordellos. Hef gave respectability to female nudity. He brought women’s bodies out in the open in a soft-core setting that excited and titillated but did not disgust or repel normal men. His models were clean, almost pure in their nudity.  

Playboy went a long way in legitimizing the once sleazy profession of nudie magazines by displaying idealized nude photos of girls who seem to project the innocence of the girl next door. Hef provided another justification by surrounding his women with articles with a modicum of intellectual content—the so-called magazine within the magazine. Hef parlayed this new freedom and openness about one’s body, especially the female body, into a veritable empire that  revolutionized the sexual mores of the country.  

Unlike the common pornographer, Hefner had more than a hunger for financial gain. He wanted to change America’s repressive sexual code. He presented himself as a publisher in the liberal humanist tradition of the French Enlightenment. He was a rebel with a cause. Ending society’s sexual hypocrisy became the mission for the rest of Hefner’s life. Playboy served as his bloody pulpit. Hefner was a moral and social iconoclast who attacked Puritanism, which was his code word for Christianity with its outdated concepts of modesty and marital fidelity.

There was much more to the Playboy Empire than nude pictures. Hefner not only fulfilled male fantasies but he also offered intellectual justifications for his revolutionary style of photojournalism. He developed the Playboy Philosophy, which was not much more than a reflection of his solipsistic need to change the religious and moral values that pained his own conscience. To him naked women were not pornography but sensuous displays of beauty. Hef believed that polygamist bachelorhood is the ideal for every male. Many men bought the myth of his philosophy and the American family has paid dearly for this revolution that was started by one man’s obsession with sexual pleasures. 

The Playboy philosophy is not new. It dates back to the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, who enunciated the ethical philosophy called hedonism, the Greek word for pleasure. Hedonism ranked it as the sole good. Today, the unadulterated pursuit of pleasure is the guiding star for millions of young people in the West today. The underlying principle to this philosophy is that pleasure is alone the only good in life and should be pursued at all costs. 

Hefner has succeeded in creating a new American male, one who had put off or disavowed the accepted standards of wife and family. Society now had millions of single men who enjoyed dozens of new naked women each month. Generations later, it is easy to understand that Playboy acted as an entry drug, which led to a society inundated with Internet pornography of the sleeziest kind.

Hefner was another example of E. Michael Jones’ Degenerate Moderns, He quickly became the de facto Playboy of the Western world. He personified his philosophy as an urbane sophisticate, who read intellectual books, discussed Nietzsche and Picasso, liked jazz and usually smoked a pipe. Hef also had a penchant for fine wines, and always wore silk pajamas. He was liberal on issues, such as abortion, gun control, and the death penalty. To him, organized religion was a dinosaur that had outlived its usefulness.  

Hef loved women, all kinds of women. He was free and easy with his own body and expected his ladies to be the same. Marital fidelity was limiting. It cramped his style of freedom and serenity. Hefner felt that if he gave American men a break from the pressures of the business world and their family lives and even the atomic age and all of its concomitant fears and anxieties, he had provided a great service to society.  

However, Hef was old-fashioned, in that he expected his dates, to be faithful to him but he was free to sample all the fruit of the yum-yum tree. He would project women as a thing of beauty when the real lure for his readers was pure unadulterated naked flesh. Hefner prided himself on being an early advocate for women’s rights, especially abortion, which in reality favored the swinging bachelors who impregnated their girlfriends.   

Hefner became almost bigger than life. He was living, at least in his own mind, every man’s fantasy. To concretize this he established, the Playboy mansion, first in Chicago with a later satellite in Los Angeles. His mansions were replete with swimming pools, waterfalls, spas, naked and semi-naked vixens that fawned and hung all over him and his guests, like a pulchritudinous security blanket. He threw lavish parties that attracted Hollywood stars, such as Tony Curtis, Peter Lawford, James Colburn, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Caan, and many others.  

The pajama-clad Hefner worked from his round bed, on which he had sex with countless women, sequentially or sometimes in small groups. He also used his bed to carefully scrutinize every photo that would appear in his magazine. Women did everything imaginable to become a Playmate. He effectively resurrected the careers of aging starlets, such as Joan Collins, Farrah Fawcett and even Patricia Reagan, who did artistic spreads for his magazine.    

An integral part of the philosophy was the Playboy Bunny, a cocktail waitress in an undersized costume with a cute little cotton puff attached to her derriere. Hundreds of them worked in Hefner’s once ubiquitous Playboy Clubs. The bunnies instantly became an international symbol of the free-loving woman of the post 1950s generation. Bunnies were a combination courtesan and Geisha girl that served as not only candy for the eyes but also gave the impression of being there, primarily for a man’s pleasure and sexual gratification. The Playboy attitude permeated American society to the extent that Hefner’s idea of sexual liberation became acceptable within the mainstream culture.  

In treating women as sex objects, Hefner degraded them. The sexual act was reduced to just another hedonistic pleasure that can as easily be satisfied by another man. His idea of sexual relations was the pursuit of pleasure without children. For a woman to be acceptable, she must be always available and must remain childless. Abortion was a necessary bedfellow for the playboy. 

It is not surprising that one of Hefner’s goals, through his Playboy Foundation, has been maintaining the easy access to free and easy abortions. The soft porn culture of the Playboy Philosophy provides women who are unrealistic expectations of the normal culture. To the playboy, women must have thin bodies, huge, augmented breasts, and sterile wombs. It is then ironic that the international symbol of Playboy is a sterile bunny.

Hefner suffered from what is sometimes called, the Casanova Syndrome, an over-compensation for an early deficit of love. In reality the Playboy is really living in an unreal world, an alternate universe that underscores his inability to grow up. Hef is the prototype of the heterosexual version of arrested development, a modern Peter Pan who never got over his fascination with women’s bodies. As he has grown older, only the names have changed from Barbie and Christie to Mandy, Sandy, and Brandy.

After a stroke fell him in 1985, Hefner made several modifications in his life style at least for the moment. His daughter from his first marriage took over the management of the company in 1988. Hefner tried domesticity twice again as he married one of his Playmates of the Year, Kimberly Conrad. This fling with marriage lasted nine years and produced two sons. Two years later he wed another Playmate, Crystal Harris. But the domestic life could not prevent the call of the wild and his chemically aided libido from seducing him again. One woman would never been enough for Hefner.  

The Playboy founder credited much of his former and present successes on two pills, the birth control pill, developed by Dr. John Rock and the Viagra pill. The one nearly eliminated the fear of pregnancy, for him at least and the other gave new and restored vigor to his waning sex life. At that time, Hefner was simultaneously dating seven blonde vixens. He admitted that blonde was his favorite color. He once said that Picasso had his blue periodWell I am going through my blonde period. His motto was To thine own self be true. Despite his objectification of women, feminists of all stripes, such as Betty Friedan, joined Hefner in attacking the traditional American family and suburban life. Without even knowing it, Hef had been a very successful Cultural Marxist.  

Masturbation seems to be a habit that dominated the lives of Crowley, Kinsey, and Hefner. They were all united in a perverted brotherhood of the flesh, a proverbial axis of sexual deviancy. It not surprising that Hefner should resort to this type of sexual gratification, since his magazine was often called the dean of the one-handed genre.  

There is also a Satanist connection to the Playboy philosophy. To the Satan worshipper, its promotion was critical to numbing the conscience of society to the evils of pornography by advocating a Crowleyesque, Do What Thou Will mindset. In his article on Jayne Mansfield, who appeared like clockwork as Hef’s Valentine Playmate every February from 1957 through 1964, Jason Kovar details her Satanic convictions that eventually led to her own decapitation in an auto accident outside of New Orleans in 1967.  

Eyewitnesses spoke of her full compliance with evil. She would stretch out nude upon the altar of the Black Mass, and then she would open herself up to the devil. As a disciple of Anton LaVey, who founded the Church of Satan, Mansfield believed in the destruction of Christianity and its influence in society. As a Satanist, her desire was, like Mae West’s before her, to emancipate mankind from the biblical concept that sex outside of marriage was sinful.   

Hefner has had many rivals and imitators that displayed so much raw sexuality that Hefner was caught off guard. Panderers, like Bob Guccione of Penthouse Magazine, and the thoroughly despicable Larry Flynt of Hustler fame took the loss of safeguards to their greatest depths. Hefner had opened the doors and chased out the Puritan gatekeepers but by his own admission he had opened a Pandora’s box that let so many low lives in that it degraded the pristine beauty of what he thought he was doing. Hef died in 2017 at the age of 91.

All this is not a big surprise. Hefner, Crowley and Kinsey have all been doing the work of the Devil. While not in the circle of a Hitler, Stalin or Mao, their many consistencies over more than a century have resulted in a dulling of the moral conscience in millions of human beings and a bloody trail that has been littered with the aborted bodies of millions of others.     

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Written by
William Borst