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Houston Breakthrough, November 1979
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Houston Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 27. November 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 26, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1654.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(November 1979). Houston Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 27. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1654

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 27, November 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 26, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1654.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, November 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date November 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 27
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File Name femin_201109_555az.jpg
Transcript An interview with author Gladys M. Heldman by H. Kathleen Gresham I Eternal youth. Perpetual beauty. Everlasting love. In Gladys M. Heldman's suspenseful novel, The Harmonetics Investigation, Josiah Minden, the hypnotic leader of the Harmo- netics Society, offers all this and more. Seduced by the mysterious, charismatic and eternally youthful Minden, wealthy women and powerful men fill the cult's treasury with billions of dollars. From the highest levels of government and finance they come, lured by glittering tales of dramatic "rejuvenation "and hungry for Josiah Minden s mesmerizing promises of spiritual and physical redemption: Old age need not be. Beauty need not wither. Love need not turn cold. Or are there darker, more sinister motives at work? Where does the money go and what is behind it all? National News magazine sends its top investigative team to find out. Five reporters risk their lives to infiltrate Minden's bizarre empire, determined to unearth the truth, whatever the cost. Their investigation probes beneath the Society's slick, compelling appeal, and discovers a corruption so deep and so pervasive that it threatens to destroy the very roots of American society. Penetrating a network of ruthless terror, coming face to face with perverted science, sadistic sex, mind control and murder, the National News team uncovers an organization that will stop at nothing. H. Kathleen Gresham: When you set out to write The Harmonetics Investigation did you think, 'All right, I've been successful in so many things: a Phi Beta Kappa at Stanford, a ranked tennis player, founder of World Tennis magazine, and the Virginia Slims Women's Tennis Circuit, and I've helped get women on the boards of the Fortune 500.' Did you think, 'Well, let's see if I can write a best seller'? Gladys Heldman: (laughing) No, I've always wanted to write a book. When I was seven years old I used to think as follows: 'One day I will swim the Atlantic Ocean.' That was part one. The second one was T will be Tarzan's mate.' And the third fantasy was, 'One day I will write a novel.' It was just a fantasy, (laughing) Anyway, I never thought I could sit down and write a book—plot it and write dialogue, describe costumes and have people come in and out of rooms. I just thought, 'Well, I've tried so often, and I've never got past page 2. I'll just give it another try.' But I didn't think 'Will it sell?', 'Can I get published,' or 'Will they make a movie out of it.' First, I wondered if I could finish it. Then I wondered if it would be so terrible that nobody would want to publish it. HKG: So you had been writing all along. GH: I never got very far-page 2 or page 5 because I never really had the germ of an idea. Once I had the theme I thought, 'Well, let me give it a chance this time. Maybe I can do it.' HKG: How did you develop the theme for your novel? GH: Well, I guess all of us know hundreds of people who are into cults or into read" ing booKs which give instant answers— How to Be a Millionaire in Six Weeks, How to Be Beautiful, How to Appeal to Your Husband, How to Live as a Single, How to Live as a Married, How to Live as a Divorcee. If you write a book that gives the answers, you'll get on three talk shows immediately and your book will sell millions. So it doesn't matter what [it is about] as long as it provides answers. People pay $350 to give up smoking. And [they pay money] to psychiatrists, 'tell me about myself. I, I, I, me, me, me.' There are not only the books [and the therapists] with the answers, but there are the metaphysical and religious cults, such as est, which not only attract people who have great emotional needs, but . . . also . . . people who seem remarkably strong and quite intelligent. People that I know have dabbled in Scientology, Psychocybernetics, Trancen- dental Meditation. I know young people who've gone into Moonies or Hari Krishna. I must know at least a dozen people who are born-again Christians and who speak in tongues. All of these people are believers; all, looking for answers. What I tried to do in my book was to give the Harmonetics Society some of the qualities that would attract people. Americans idealize youth and at the same time fear death and disease, so the Har monetics Society provides a corps of doctors and nurses to postpone disease and death and to bring back beauty and youth. There's the hint of rejuvenation, but just as important is the ritual, which offers affection and love. You join and immediately you have hundreds of friends. The Society of course, appeals to people of every age, but more so to older women and particularly to rich women, so the ones that I have doing part of the investigation (into the Society's activities) are the ones most easily able to enter the Society: older, rich women in New York. As one sees just reading the book, these women are considered past the age of creative thinking. [As though] because they're female and because they're old they couldn't possibly be of help. Jade (the main character) has more respect [from] people because she's got youth. Although I don't hammer it at the reader, it's a book about older people and about our strange [values] : plastic surgery to make ourselves look younger and younger and younger and the degradation of anyone over 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 ... A woman of 40 or 50 has had it if she suddenly enters the economic market. If she's 30 or 35, she still has a chance. At 40 or 45 she's too old. We call 65 elderly now, we give the elderly basket-weaving and ceramics. Instead of saying would you like to learn to play the piano, practice five hours a day, and perhaps be able to do something with the piano in two years? We think no, they don't [have time; let them] do basket-weaving. So this [idea] is not hammered; it's only implied in the book. I didn't write a book to lecture! I wrote a book to entertain, but somehow my ideas kind of creep in. (Laughter.) HKG: I wondered if this story had been in the back of your mind for a while or . . . GH: Yes, for at least four years. HKG: Did you hope to put across some feminist points? GH: Well, I'd rather have you say [so]. I tried not to lecture, and yet my own thoughts are there. I would call it a feminist book, very, very much. I think that every woman who reads Breakthrough has known a Dr. Franzhold, the arrogant German doctor in the book who treats 'the little woman' as the little child. Another element in the book was that, in looking for answers, people turn unques- tioningly to doctors. If they questioned a little bit, they might stay a little healthier. continued on next page BOOKSHOP GRAND OPENING Specializing in English and Foreign Books & Magazines MONDAY-SATURDAY 10-6 2272 W. Holcombe (Corner of Greenbriar) (713)668-0075 NOVEMBER 1979 27 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH