Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The following is a book review I recently wrote and posted on Amazon. Click HERE to learn more about the book. I highly recommend reading it:

BY LOVE RECLAIMED: JEAN HARLOW RETURNS TO CLEAR HER HUSBAND'S NAME is a book that provides in-depth insight into the possibility of reincarnation and past-lives, but this is also a book that provides perhaps one of the most accurate accounts of the "Golden Age" of Hollywood ever recorded. Why is it so accurate? Because the story is told by people who not only WERE there (Jean Harlow and Paul Bern) but - with the help of past-life regression - by people who actually ARE there. Yes, the experience of past-life regression is like going into a time machine and studying events played out in real-time, which is something that a historian has never quite been able to do (how else can you write about events without looking at them in retrospect?) In this sense, BY LOVE RECLAIMED is arguably one of the most truthful memoirs about Hollywood ever written! It doesn't capture reality as it was remembered; it captures reality as it actually happened.

But before I get ahead of myself here, let me just provide a quick synopsis of the book:

Through the process of deep hypnosis performed by Dr. Adrian Finkelstein MD., Valerie Franich M.Ed. (a behavioral health specialist living in Washington State) is regressed to her recent past life in Hollywood as Jean Harlow. Through the regression process, Harlow deconstructs the absurd unreality of Hollywood history as we know it. She gives readers the skinny on what REALLY went on during the Golden Age of Hollywood (which, as it turns out, wasn't so 'Golden'), specifically focusing on the mysterious death of her husband: MGM studio executive/producer/director Paul Bern (whom we find out - halfway through the story - is serendipitously incarnated in the person of Franich's therapist Dr. Finkelstein).

On the morning of September 5, 1932, Bern was discovered dead from a gunshot wound in his Benedict Canyon home (9820 Easton Drive, which would later become the location for the Manson murders). Fearing that a scandal could break out that would damage Jean Harlow's image, Louis B. Mayer - head of MGM - covered up the murder, manipulating the evidence so that it would look like a suicide. Mayer then contrived a fictitious narrative about how Paul Bern was a wife-beater who suffered from impotence and was so ashamed of himself that he ended his life. This story was a complete fabrication, although it was written into the Hollywood history books as fact. And now Jean Harlow - presently incarnated in the person of Valerie Franich - has come back to set the record straight. This is what BY LOVE RECLAIMED is mainly about: clearing Bern's name.

Of course, it's easy for the reader to walk away from this story casting harsh judgment on Mayer and the other key players at MGM who were involved in the cover-up (including one of Bern's good friends Irving Thalberg). But Dr. Finkelstein - while speaking as Paul Bern under hypnosis - makes a point to say that he now FORGIVES everybody who was involved in covering up his death. He knows that Mayer was looking out for the interests of his studio, because in Hollywood it was all about making money and beating out the competition. Harlow, after all, was MGM's biggest moneymaker at the time of Bern's death and a scandal involving her could have meant MGM's financial ruin. Of course, this doesn't excuse Mayer's actions in the least but it merely attempts to empathize with them. As we learn in the book, part of the reason why Bern decided to incarnate as a psychologist in his next life (as Finkelstein) was to try and understand why people do what they could good people be coerced into doing things so ugly and awful? There are many reasons: concern about money/power, fear etc., and WE ALL have these types of concerns to at least some degree. Yes, we are all potentially subject to being ruled by these concerns, and we're all potentially capable of committing unsavory acts when these concerns get the better of us.

In fact, one of the main themes of the book (as stated by Finkelstein towards the end) is that acknowledging reincarnation and studying past-lives may be integral to bringing more love, forgiveness, understanding, respect and tolerance into the world. Once we realize that we have all been in a dichotomy of life situations - playing the role of the abuser and the abused, the victim and the victimizer, manipulated by or have overcome fear/concern for money - it's all the easier to FORGIVE others because we understand where people are coming from and realize we could have easily done the same ourselves. It's more difficult to look down on a person's actions and say "how stupid" or "how mean" or "how evil" when we understand that they may be at a certain level of soul development that we could have also been at a few incarnations ago. In other words, judging a person harshly according to their actions would be hypocritical since we were probably in the same underdeveloped spiritual state - if not in our current life - then maybe several lives ago.

Maybe it's this understanding of soul development - a spiritual growth that occurs over a period of several human incarnations - that will (at least partially) become what the future of the human race depends on for its survival. There will be less hatred towards others. More forgiveness. Less judgment...more understanding...and tolerance. In a world where wars break out as frequently as cold viruses, maybe past-life exploration has the potential to heal the human race for the long term. You never know...

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