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The Forerunner

Playboy Clubs Close Down

By Editorial Staff
Published September 1, 1988

CHICAGO, IL (FR) – The last Playboy Club in the U.S. closed its doors on July 31st of this year, marking the end of a chapter in America’s moral history. Judging from the dramatic decrease in sales of Playboy in recent years, it appears that publisher Hugh Hefner’s company is in trouble.

During the heyday of Playboy magazine in the 1970s, 22 Playboy Clubs flourished around the country, offering dining and “male entertainment” for its clientele. But changes in the business world and in standards of morality began to take their toll on the establishments before 1980. Hefner turned over the leadership of Playboy Enterprises to his daughter Christie, who tried to revive the Playboy Club division by starting five new franchises in the Midwest in the early 1980s.

Hugh Hefner presided over the closing of three of the company-operated clubs in 1986, and the Des Moines and Omaha establishments were shut down in May of this year. The last of the clubs, located in the Hilton Inn in Lansing, Michigan, once employed 45 “bunnies.” According to Time magazine (July 25, 1988), the scanty outfits and cottontails donned by the last remaining 12 bunnies were packed away for good after their last day of work in July.

But the closing of the last of the clubs is being downplayed by Playboy executives, who say that they are emphasizing other aspects of their multi-faceted business. Corporate Communications Administrator Terry Thomcison, speaking from Playboy’s corporate offices in Chicago, did admit that total sales of the magazine have dropped considerably since their peak year of 1972. In that year, total monthly sales hit 6.8 million copies; that number today has been cut to 3.7 million.

Thomcison also stated that the decision by the Southland Corporation to pull pornography from the shelves of its 7-Eleven convenience stores did have negative repercussions on Playboy. “Newsstand sales plummeted in 1986,” she related, adding that a lawsuit was filed by Playboy Enterprises against the federal government because of former Attorney General Ed Meese’s involvement in encouraging the Southland decision. Playboy won the case, but their attempt to win damage claims is still tied up in a tough court battle.

Thomcison emphasized that Playboy Enterprises is now focusing more attention on its video department, citing that America has now become a more “broadcast-oriented” society. This is the major reason given to explain the decrease in sales of the magazine since 1972.


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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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