If Bill Cosby Were An Incredibly Unethical Lawyer…

"Hypnotism 101" isn't required in law school, but it's recommended...

“Hypnotism 101” isn’t required in law school, but it’s recommended…

…he might be Michael Fine, 57, a Sheffield, Ohio attorney who has an even more effective method for raping women that the Cos’s drug-and-drink trick.  Police say that Fine convinced female clients to let him hypnotize them, and then had sex with them while instructing them to forget everything but their legal discussions. He  agreed to have his law license suspended temporarily while the Lorain County Bar Association and  the Ohio Supreme Court deal with the results of the police investigation, or perhaps until he can hypnotize all of them and make them forget the whole thing. Or believe they are chickens or something.

Fine allegedly told the women that his hypnotic machinations were a meditation and relaxation technique that he used to help his clients. Bear with me: I don’t want to make light of rape, but this whole story sounds like a really silly Charlie Chan movie. Unfortunately, it appears to be true.

The police reported that one female client recorded two telephone conversations with Fine, her lawyer, after experiencing “strange memories and feelings” after her meetings with him. She would be unable to recall substantial portions of the meetings, noticing that her clothes and bra were out of place “and her vagina was wet.” In the recorded calls, Fine first determined that she was alone, then placed her in a trance to “induce  multiple orgasms.” He used code words, and told her that she was “being made love to by the world’s greatest lover.” Then Fine told her to forget everything but their case discussion.

After recording two such  conversations—I wonder how  he billed for them: the entire time, or just the parts she remembered?— the police asked the client to wear a wire. She went to the Fine’s office—he told her to bring a sex toy. (Incidentally, if your lawyer tells you to bring a sex toy to your appointment, there is probably an ethics problem. You’re welcome.)  When Fine hypnotized the woman  and began touching her, the police burst in.

A second female client has reported similar treatment.

Imagine, a hypnotist-lawyer! If he could just keep his hands off his clients, think how persuasive he would be in front of a jury.

Of course, that would be unethical…


Pointer: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Facts: Northcoast Now1 , 2

11 thoughts on “If Bill Cosby Were An Incredibly Unethical Lawyer…

      • Ridiculous indeed, but I can appreciate how ridiculous the truth can be. I’ll accept the story as fact, to the extent that the incident happened between real people who have made real accusations.

        Now let me be skeptical about the effectiveness of the hypnotism itself. This sounds exactly as absurd as a lawyer who is secretly a psychic medium, causing his female clients to be possessed by lusty ghosts. Normally, one might rule psychics unethical on account of being frauds, but if one is secretly a psychic, using non-existent supernatural powers to rape clients… then what?

        I see three possibilities.

        One, this started as sexual harassment, and the victims were too shocked and intimidated to resist the escalation to sexual assault and rape. Disgusting, yes, but not outlandishly sensational. However, if this were the case, no one would be claiming to have been legitimately hypnotized.

        Two, this was willing sexual role play until someone changed their mind out of guilt or embarrassment. There may or may not have been serious consent issues depending on who said what during the “sessions”, but I would not expect to find out due to the motivations of the alleged victims. Naturally, the lawyer in this version of events remains an unethical creep, but not necessarily a rapist.

        Three, he just slipped something into their drink, and the whole hypnosis thing is irrelevant.

          • The term covers several, probably unrelated phenomenon, some of which I don’t question. These accusations, however, require the validity of mind control on unwitting subjects in a private setting, something for which I would need to see more evidence.

  1. He was recorded doing this during a telephone call? Is it possible to hypnotize someone over the telephone, or was some kind of post-hypnotic suggestion involved, like ‘The Manchurian Candidate’? That’s scarier, and even more of an intimate violation, than the rapes themselves.

  2. Wild ass guess on my part…did you engage in hypnotherapy as an aid to quit smoking? Reason I ask is that seems to be the most effective use of hypnotherapy (hypnosis) and the most successful. However, hypnosis is limited in it effectiveness, and as a general rule, will not work to accomplish what this lawyer supposedly did. Stage hypnotists, for instance, do not actually hypnotize their victims, but do employ strong suggestion (among other things). And the “code-word” is a post-hypnotic suggestion, which is used by hypnotherapists to facilitate placement in the “hypnotic state” in follow-up sessions. In most cases, a subject cannot be made to do something in a “trance” that they would not have done otherwise, but they can be told not to remember specific things while under…and sometimes that even works. As an aside, hypnosis is not a good way to enhance memories, for instance, because some of the wildest lies have come from people in a “trance”. Being hypnotized does NOT guarantee compliance.

    • Being hypnotized may not guarantee compliance, but it’s a heck of a way to lower a person’s resistance. If deliberately inducing a woman to get drunk so that she’ll consent to sex she wouldn’t otherwise is considered rape, hypnosis would certainly fall into a similar category – and unless she consented to be hypnotized in the first place, it’s actually closer to the equivalent of slipping her an intoxicating drug without her knowledge.

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