Tag Archive: paranormal
Team Name: Shadowlands Paranormal
|Contact Name||Stephen Gardner|
|FBN Paranormal was founded in Omaha, NE in 2008 and began conducting investigations in 2009, primarily as a research team under the premise that helping those in need can best be accomplished by a better understanding of the phenomena that is being experienced.|
|Contact Name||Jennifer Tymkiw|
Florida and Surrounding States
|We are a group of 4 very dedicated researchers. We specialize in developing new equipment, psychic capabilities, house blessings, cleansing, as well as being able to help spirits cross over.|
|Contact Name||Terry Decker, Case Manager-Founder|
|Location||Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
All of New England
|We are a family-based New England paranormal investigation group. We have all had what we would call ghostly encounters throughout our lives. Now we are on a quest to find the answers to our questions.
Our mission is to help people have a better understanding of the paranormal world. To quote Charles Dickens, “An idea like a ghost, must be spoken to before it explains itself.”
|Contact Name||Greg Stephens|
|Research and Investigation of the Paranormal is an open- minded and sensible team of dedicated members who seek to find the scientific truth regarding the paranormal. Founding member and Team Leader, Greg
Stephens, is a retired US Army First Sergeant with 26 years of military service. He and co-founder, James Leslie, have been conducting paranormal investigations since 2006, forming their own team in 2008.
|Contact Name||Tony Godown|
Nebraska, Western Iowa, Northern Kansas
|We were founded in 2011. We have conducted over 25 cases as of March 2015. These locations include Private Homes, Bars, Motels, Cemeteries, and famous haunted spots like Villisca Ax Murder House, Squirrel Cage
Jail, Farrar Schoolhouse and Waverly Hills Sanatorium. We take a scientific approach into every case.
|Contact Name||Steve Stults|
Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado
|Old School Paranormal is a team of five friends that seek to research the unexplained. We have a true passion to find a reasonable explanation for something that may seem paranormal. During our investigations, we seek genuine and tangible evidence and are careful about the presentation of this evidence… ensuring that it is legitimate, researched and analyzed before being presented to the property owner. As a team, we review all data from the
investigation and thoroughly analyze each second of audio, video, photographic and instrument material collected. However, our innate tools are the most important pieces we use on each investigation.
Courtesy of: http://www.independent.co.uk
There is a ghost at Hampton Court Palace – or so a new photo, taken from an iPhone, would have you believe. But the spectre really lurks in the way that the mobile phone cameras takes pictures.
The new photos supposedly show a schoolgirl being followed by Hampton Court Palace by a ghostly apparition – claimed to be the Grey Lady that haunts the palace. The girl and the apparition are alone in the first picture, as it follows behind her, and in the second she is joined by someone else, shown turning around after the ghost has left.
But the two people – the apparition and the other person in the room – are likely instead to be one. And the secret that has brought them together is image aliasing and distortion.
What seems to have happened is that as people move in the image, they get pulled together as the camera attempts to take the picture. As the iPhone struggles to take the photo in the dark, the people in it distort and blend together.
What’s more, the iPhone doesn’t take photos all in one go, which means that people end up distorted and stretched.
It’s called image aliasing, and leads photos and videos taken from the iPhone’s camera to look odd. The effect is especially clear on videos taken of fast moving objects.
The cameras on iPhones and other mobile phone cameras scan slowly. Unlike a normal camera, which takes an image of all the pixels at once, it captures from one part of the sensor and then does the next.
That means that the different parts of the images are taken at different times. If something in the pictures moves while it is doing so, it can pull and stretch the images.
In the Hampton Court image, that is what seems to have happened. As the woman moves from the right to the left, she is captured at various parts of her journey – making her hair look very tall, while her body has moved away.
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Dr. John E. Mack graduated from Oberlin College and Harvard Medical School. A rather traditional practitioner in the beginning of his career, Mack was a graduate of Boston analytical society and received his certifications in psychoanalysis for adults and children. One of his main interested was how one uses cognitive skills to create their Weltanschauug. One’s worldview is a combination of ethics, beliefs and philosophies which lead to particular behaviors or actions. These orientations added to his interest in dreams and teen suicide. He was awarded a Pulitzer prize for his biography of British officer T.E. Lawrence, known commonly as Lawrence of Arabia.
His curiosity was piqued by the psychological implications of the Cold War that led him to interview a variety of politicians. He was an active member of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
While a noted and highly respected psychiatrist and writer, his work took a rather unexpected turn. Many were shocked that a renowned Harvard psychiatrist would move into alien abduction research, but he did. Most likely, John E Mack will best be remembered as a ground-breaking researcher in the field of alien abduction. His first studies centered around a theory that this phenomena may be related to mental illness. He retained an interest in people’s idea of connectedness to others, and studied visionary experiences and spiritual quests.
The interest in Mack’s theories continues to be strong. His original book on aliens, Abduction, was recently released for Kindle and in trade paperback, with a new edition and format, based on Mack’s personal preferences. The significance of this book is found in its hypothesis that both species could benefit from such interaction, and detracted from the then-more popular view of humans being victims of a more intelligent or advanced species. While Abduction is based mainly on interviews and the idea of connections between cultures, Passport to Cosmos deals more with the philosophy and psychology behind such experiences.
A film version of his life is currently being developed by Makemagic Productions with one of Robert Redford’s companies. Mack died at the age of 74 in 2004. William Shatner, in May 2014, stated to Larry King that he is writing a novel based on Dr. Mack’s work with the abduction phenomena.
The John E. Mack Institute’s (JEMI) mission is “to explore the frontiers of human experience, to serve the transformation of individual consciousness, and to further the evolution of the paradigms by which we understand human identity.” The organization, named in recognition of “John E. Mack, M.D. (1929-2004), Pulitzer prize-winning author and psychiatry professor at the Harvard Medical School, has the goal of continuing to honor his courageous examination of human experience and the ways in which perceptions and beliefs about reality shape the global condition.”
The Written Works of John E. Mack, MD
*Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters (1999)
*Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens (1994)
*A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T.E. Lawrence (1976)
*Nightmares and Human Conflict (1970)
*The Alchemy of Survival: One Woman’s Journey (1988)
*Vivienne: The Life and Suicide of an Adolescent School Girl (1977)
*Mind Before Matter: Vision of a New Science of Consciousness (2007; replaced by Paul Devereux)
*Alien Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference Held at M.I.T. Cambridge, MA (1995)
*Human Feelings: Explorations in Affect Development and Meaning (1993)
*Development and Sustenance of Self-Esteem in Childhood (1984)
*Borderline States in Psychiatry – Seminars in Psychiatry (1975)
*When Worldviews Collide: A Paradigmatic Passion Play, a manuscript about the Harvard inquiry, was largely complete at the time of his death and is in-development as a motion picture, according to The John Mack Project: A True Story”. MakeMagic Productions. 2011.
* *Elisabeth and Mark Before and After Death: The Power of a Field of Love, the story of Dr. Elisabeth Targ, outline and interview transcripts only. (Blumenthal, Ralph (May 9, 2013). “Alien Nation”. Vanity Fair.)
*Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision (1993). *The PK Man: A True Story of Mind Over Matter (2000) by Jeffrey Mishlove *Secret Life (1992) by David M. Jacobs.
*The Long Darkness: Psychological and Moral Perspectives on Nuclear Winter (1986)
*The Psychology of Terrorism Vol. 1: A Public Understanding (2002), *The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook (2005).
Sources for this article include: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_E._Mack. Retrieved February 13, 2015. John E Mack Institute, http://johnemackinstitute.org. Retrieved February 14, 2015. MakeMagic Productions, http://makemagicproductions.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015
Images from google search. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (12 January 1918 – 5 February 2008) was born Mahesh Prasad Varma and obtained the honorific Maharishi (meaning “Great Seer”)and Yogi as an adult.He developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of a worldwide organization that has been characterized in multiple ways including as a new religious movement and as non-religious.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became a disciple and assistant of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya (spiritual leader) of Jyotirmath in the IndianHimalayas. The Maharishi credits Brahmananda Saraswati with inspiring his teachings. In 1955, the Maharishi began to introduce his Transcendental Deep Meditation (later renamed Transcendental Meditation) to India and the world. His first global tour began in 1958. His devotees referred to him as His Holiness, and because he often laughed in TV interviews he was sometimes referred to as the “giggling guru”.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Maharishi achieved fame as the guru to the Beatles, The Beach Boys and other celebrities. In the late 1970s, he started the TM-Sidhi programme that claimed to offer practitioners the ability to levitate and to create world peace.The Maharishi’s Natural Law Party was founded in 1992, and ran campaigns in dozens of countries. He moved to near Vlodrop, the Netherlands, in the same year. In 2000, he created the Global Country of World Peace, a non-profit organization, and appointed its leaders. In 2008, the Maharishi announced his retirement from all administrative activities and went into silence until his death three weeks later.
The Maharishi is reported to have trained more than 40,000 TM teachers, taught the Transcendental Meditation technique to “more than five million people” and founded thousands of teaching centers and hundreds of colleges, universities and schools,while TM websites report tens of thousands learned the TM-Sidhi programme. His initiatives include schools and universities with campuses in several countries including India, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
The Maharishi, his family and close associates created charitable organization and for-profit businesses including health clinics, mail-order health supplements and organic farms. The reported value of the Maharishi’s organization has ranged from the millions to billions of U.S. dollars and in 2008, the organization placed the value of their United States assets at about $300 million.
The birth name, birth date, and caste of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are not known with certainty, in part because of the tradition of ascetics and monks to relinquish family connections. Many accounts say he was born Mahesh Prasad Varma (Hindi: महेश प्रसाद वर्मा) into a family living in the Central Provinces of British India. A different name appears in the Allahabad University list of distinguished alumni, where he is listed as M.C. Srivastava. and an obituary says his name was “Mahesh Srivastava”.
Various accounts give the year of his birth as 1911, 1917 or 1918.Authors Paul Mason and William Jefferson say that he was born 12 January 1917 in Jabalpur, Central Provinces.The place of birth given in his passport is “Pounalulla”, India and his birth date as 12 January 1918. Mahesh’s father is identified as a local tax official in the civil service though some sources say he worked in the department of forestry, and others that he was a schoolteacher. Srivastava is the name of his nephews and cousins. Mahesh came from an upper-caste family, being a member of the Kayastha caste, a high-status caste whose traditional profession is writing.
Mahesh studied physics at Allahabad University and earned a degree in 1942. While a few sources say that he worked at Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur for some time, most report that in 1941, he became an administrative secretary to the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (also known as Guru Dev) and took a new name, Bal Brahmachari Mahesh.Coplin refers to bala brahmachari as both a title and a name, and considers that it “identified him as a fully dedicated student of spiritual knowledge and life-long celibate ascetic”.The Maharishi recalls how it took about two and a half years to attune himself to the thinking of Brahmananda Saraswati and to gain “a very genuine feeling of complete oneness”.
At first Brahmachari Mahesh performed common chores but gained trust and became Guru Dev’s “personal secretary”and “favored pupil”.He was trusted to take care of the bulk of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati’s correspondence without direction, and was also sent out to give public speeches on Vedic (scriptural) themes.:22
Brahmachari Mahesh remained with Swami Brahmananda Saraswati until the latter died in 1953, when he moved to Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand in the Himalayas. Although Brahmachari Mahesh was a close disciple, he could not be the Shankaracharya’s spiritual successor because he was not of the Brahmin caste. The Shankaracharya, at the end of his life, charged him with the responsibility of travelling and teaching meditation to the masses, while he named Swami Shantananda Saraswati as his successor.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, concerned about his health, became increasingly secluded in two rooms of his residence. During this period he rarely had “face-to-face” meetings and instead communicated with his followers “almost exclusively by closed-circuit television.”
On 12 January 2008 – his ninetieth birthday – the Maharishi declared: “It has been my pleasure at the feet of Guru Dev (Brahmananda Saraswati), to take the light of Guru Dev and pass it on in my environment. Now today, I am closing my designed duty to Guru Dev. And I can only say, ‘Live long the world in peace, happiness, prosperity, and freedom from suffering.'”
A week before his death, the Maharishi said that he was “stepping down as leader of the TM movement” and “retreating into silence” and that he planned to spend his remaining time studying “the ancient Indian texts”. The Maharishi died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on 5 February 2008 at his residence in Vlodrop, Netherlands. The cremation and funeral rites were conducted at the Maharishi’s Allahabad ashram in India, overlooking the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.
The funeral, with state honours, was carried by Sadhana TV station and was presided over by one of the claimants to the seat of Shankaracharya of the North, Swami Vasudevananda Saraswati Maharaj. Indian officials who attended the funeral included central minister Subodh Kant Sahay; Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal; and former Uttar Pradesh assembly speaker and state BJP leader Keshri Nath Tripathi, as well as top local officials Also in attendance were thirty-five rajas of the Global Country of World Peace, one-time disciple Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and David Lynch.A troop of uniformed policemen lowered their arms in salute. The funeral received its status as a state funeral because the Maharishi was a recognised master in the tradition of Advaita Vedanta founded by Shankara.
The Maharishi is survived by a brother and “a number of nephews” One nephew, Girish Chandra Varma, is chairman of the Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools Group and a “senior functionary of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement in India.Other nephews include Prakash Shrivastav,[president of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools and Anand Shrivastava,chairman of the Maharishi Group.
In its obituary, BBC News reported that the Maharishi’s master had bequeathed him “the task of keeping the tradition of Transcendental Meditation alive” and that “the Maharishi’s commercial mantras drew criticism from stricter Hindus, but his promises of better health, stress relief and spiritual enlightenment drew devotees from all over the world”.Paul McCartney commented saying that “Whilst I am deeply saddened by his passing, my memories of him will only be joyful ones. He was a great man who worked tirelessly for the people of the world and the cause of unity.”
Feb. 1, 2015
Haunted Locations Submission
Nevada City, California
In the 1800’s there was a rush to the Eastern coast in hopes of finding gold in California. Some people did find their “pot of gold” and became successful business men, while others were left with nothing more than a pipe dream. It is from these brave pioneers, that towns like Nevada City, California, were born.
In 1882, George Gehrig, who was a local businessman, hired Italian stonemasons and Chinese laborers to build a new business up the street from the blacksmith’s shop, in Nevada City, California. The three story building was made from local quarried granite blocks and is 10,000 sq ft. in size.
All of the antique fixtures used in the brewery are from the home of John and Sarah Kidder located in Grass Valley, Ca. It is also believed that the carved wooden doors are from this same home.
A storage cave was also dug into the hillside and was used to age the casks of ale. There is now a patio area that covers where the storage cave was accessed. This cave had been connected to other tunnels that ran under the city. When Route 49 became a freeway about 100 years later, these tunnels were filled in.
During the time of the Stonehouse Brewery, Chinese immigrants were used to dig the tunnels. No one knows exactly what happened, but the tunnel collapsed while the Chinese workers were there. They don’t know if it merely collapsed or if the workers hit a gas pocket that exploded.
Instead of going to the expense of trying to repair the problem and try to resuce the workers and possibly save some lives, it was decided that they would blow the tunnel up, with the trapped Chinese immigrants inside.
It is reported to this day that the Chinese immigrants haunt the Stonehouse Brewery.
There are also 2 other known spirits that love to spend time at the brewery. The first spirit is known for it’s horrendous odor. He seems to emerge from a room behind the bar on street level and lets his presence be known from a garbage like odor. The 2nd spirit loves to sit at the bar. Reports say that he looks like a miner from his clothes and that he is scruffy looking. The way that those who have seen him know that he is a ghost, is because even though you can see him sitting at the bar…..he has no legs.
If you are ever in Nevada City, California and you decide to stop in for a meal or a drink, don’t be surprised if you see a gentleman sitting at the bar with no visible legs, suddenly smell a horrendous odor, or see an old Chinese immigrant, that simply wanted a better life shuffling through.
We have heard it here in this group many, many times…”It just pareidolia”, which is the tendency for the brain to perceive meaningful shapes, especially faces, in random visual or audible stimuli. The good news though is that we have the ability to override this natural instinct of ours.
If we as paranormal investigators want to actually present real proof of paranormal events to the world and further the fringe sciences, we need to remain purely objective when analyzing our evidence.
We need to detach ourselves from our evidence completely, and be willing to debunk it.
IS THE PHOTO WORTHY OF BEING CONSIDERED?
First and foremost before we even get into looking at images in a photo, we need to be sure the photo is a suitable candidate for analysis. We need to perform a quality check:
– The photo needs to be in good focus. No blurry or poor quality, badly pixelated photos.
– The exposure needs to be reasonably correct. It cannot be too dark, nor too bright. If the photo does not pass this quality check, then it cannot be offered as evidence to the world at large. It’s just not good enough to stand as any type of proof. This is because blurry or bad photos give alot of fodder for your brain to use to make all sorts of
wonderful, or horrific, images.You have to let it go! Keep it for yourself if you wish, but do not submit it as evidence to anyone else.
If the photo passes the initial quality check, we can then analyze any images it contains.
DO I SEE A FACE?
When analyzing an image we see in a photograph, we need to observe its qualities closely, without bias. We MUST be able to leave our beliefs and wishes at the door.
Study the image in question. The image should be an actual object – it should be separate and apart from anything else in the photo, with a distinct shape. It cannot be inside a bush, in tree branches, in the shadows etc. It also MUST be clear and obvious. If you have to draw circles or outlines, or zoom in to see it, it is not good enough to be considered. Zooming into a digital photo causes pixelation and digital artifacting, which can add to the pareidolia effect.
We need to set aside any impressions we get and look at it purely objectively. Look ONLY at what is ACTUALLY there. For instance, we can’t call 3 ovoid shapes and a curvy line a face. For it to be a real face, we need to see actual eyes, a nose and a mouth. If it only *seems* like a face, then we have to let it go.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF TO DETERMINE IF AN IMAGE YOU SEE IN A PHOTO MAY BE A PRODUCT OF PAREIDOLIA
Looking at the photo below, ask yourself:
Is the image made of vague shapes that only resemble a face or figure? Is the image composed of other elements in the photo, such as branches, shadows, leaves, reflections, patterns on wood or other
Does the image look like an actual object existing independently in the photo? This photo is of a brick on my fireplace. My house is not haunted. This is not a face.
WE CAN DO THIS!
If we really want to find proof of the paranormal, there is no other way – we must be objective always. We must debunk, debunk, debunk. When in doubt we must be willing to throw it out. This goes for every piece of evidence we analyze whether it be visual, audio or other, whether it be yours, mine or ours.
If we hold ourselves to these standards, and come across something we cannot debunk, that makes for strong evidence, and that is the ONLY way we will further the fringe science of paranormal investigating.
Courtesy of: http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk
With its memorable story and its cast of colorful characters, the Wizard of Oz became quickly an American classic. More than a hundred years after the release of this book, kids everywhere are still enchanted by Oz’s world of wonder. Very however recognize that, under its deceptive simplicity, the story of the Wizard of Oz conceals deep esoteric truths inspired by Theosophy. We’ll look at the Wizard of Oz’s occult meaning and its author’s background.
Although the Wizard of Oz is wildly perceived as an innocent children’s fairy tale, it is almost impossible not to attribute to Dorothy’s quest a symbolic meaning. Like all great stories, the characters and the symbols of the Wizard of Oz can be given a second layer of interpretation, which can vary depending on the reader’s perception. Many analysis appeared throughout the years describing the story as being an “atheist manifesto” while others saw in it as a promotion of populism. It is however by understanding the author’s philosophical background and beliefs that one can truly grasp the story’s true meaning.
L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz was a member of the Theosophical Society, which is an organization based on occult research and the comparative study religions. Baum had a deep understanding of Theosophy and, consciously or not, made of Wizard of Oz an allegory of Theosophic teachings
What is Theosophy
The Theosophical Society is an occult organization, mainly based on the teachings of Helena P. Blavatsky which seeks to extract the common roots of all religions in order to form a universal doctrine.
”But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion,.neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialized.”
-H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine
The three declared objects of the original Theosophical Society as established by Blavatsky, Judge and Olcott (its founders) were as follows:
“First — To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
Second — To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
Third — To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.”
-The Theosophist, vol 75, No 6
The main tenants of Theosophy are thoroughly described in Blavatsky works Isis Unveiled and . At the core of Theosophical teachings are the same tenants found in many other occult schools: the belief of the presence of a “divine spark” within every person which, with the proper discipline and training, can lead to spiritual illumination and a state of virtual godliness.
Another important principle found in Theosophy is reincarnation. It is believed that the human soul, like all other things in the universe, go through seven stages of development.
“Theosophical writings propose that human civilizations, like all other parts of the universe, develop cyclically through seven stages. Blavatsky posited that the whole humanity, and indeed every reincarnating human monad, evolves through a series of seven “Root Races”. Thus in the first age, humans were pure spirit; in the second age, they were sexless beings inhabiting the now lost continent of Hyperborea; in the third age the giant Lemurians were informed by spiritual impulses endowing them with human consciousness and sexual reproduction. Modern humans finally developed on the continent of Atlantis. Since Atlantis was the nadir of the cycle, the present fifth age is a time of reawakening humanity’s psychic gifts. The term psychic here really means the realization of the permeability of consciousness as it had not been known earlier in evolution, although sensed by some more sensitive individuals of our species.”
The ultimate goal is of course our return to the state of divinity from which we’ve emerged. The same tenants (with subtle variations) can be found in other schools such as Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry and other orders teachings the Mysteries.
L Frank Baum, a Notable Theosophist
Before writing the Wizard of Oz (and even contemplating becoming a children’s story author), Baum held many jobs – one being the editor of the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. In 1890, Baum wrote a series of articles introducing his readers to Theosophy, including his views on Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius and Christ. At that time, he wasn’t a member of the Theosophical Society but he was already displaying a deep understanding of its philosophy. Here’s an excerpt of his “Editor’s Musings”:
“Amongst various sects so numerous in America today who find their fundamental basis in occultism, the Theosophist stands pre-eminent both in intelligence and point of numbers. Theosophy is not a religion. Its followers are simply “searchers after Truth”. The Theosophists, in fact, are the dissatisfied of the world, the dissenters from all creeds. They owe their origin to the wise men of India, and are numerous, not only in the far famed mystic East, but in England, France, Germany and Russia. They admit the existence of a God – not necessarily of a personal God. To them God is Nature and Nature is God…But despite this, if Christianity is Truth, as our education has taught us to believe, there can be no menace to it in Theosophy.”
-L. Frank Baum, Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, January 25th 1890
In another of his “Editor’s Musings”, Baum discusses the use of mystic symbolism in fiction, something he accomplished ten years later with the Wizard of Oz:
“There is a strong tendency in modern novelists toward introducing some vein of mysticism or occultism into their writings. Books of this character are eagerly bought and read by the people, both in Europe and America. It shows the innate longing in our natures to unravel the mysterious: to seek some explanation, however fictitious, of the unexplainable in nature and in our daily existence. For, as we advance in education, our desire for knowledge increases, and we are less satisfied to remain in ignorance of that mysterious fountain-head from which emanates all that is sublime and grand and incomprehensible in nature.”
At the end of this article, Baum goes into an all-out plead for more occultism in literature:
“The appetite of our age for occultism demands to be satisfied, and while with the mediocrity of people will result in mere sensationalism, it will lead in many to higher and nobler and bolder thought; and who can tell what mysteries these braver and abler intellects may unravel in future ages?”
-L. Frank Baum, Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, February 22nd 1890
Two years after writing those articles, L. Frank Baum and his wife Maud Gage joined the Theosophical Society in Chicago. The archives of the Theosophical Society in the Pasadena California has recorded the start of their membership on September 4th, 1892. In 1890, the Wizard of Oz is published. When asked about how Baum got his inspiration for the story, he’re what he replied:
“It was pure inspiration…It came to me right out of the blue. I think that sometimes the Great Author has a message to get across and He has to use the instrument at hand. I happened to be that medium, and I believe the magic key was given me to open the doors to sympathy and understanding, joy, peace and happiness.”
-L. Frank Baum, cited by Hearn 73
The Wizard of Oz is very appreciated within the Theosophical Society. In 1986, The American Theosophist magazine recognized Baum to be a “notable Theosophist” whose thoroughly represented the organization’s philosophy.
“Although readers have not looked at his fairy tales for their Theosophical content, it is significant that Baum became a famous writer of children’s books after he had come into contact with Theosophy. Theosophical ideas permeate his work and provided inspiration for it. Indeed, The Wizard can be regarded as Theosophical allegory, pervaded by Theosophical ideas from beginning to end. The story came to Baum as an inspiration, and he accepted it with a certain awe as a gift from outside, or perhaps from deep within, himself.”
-American Theosophist no 74, 1986
So what is the esoteric meaning of this children’s story, which came to Baum as a “divine inspiration”?
The Occult Meaning of the Wizard of Oz
If you’ve never read or watched The Wizard of Oz or need your memory refreshed, here’s a quick sum-up of the movie:
The film follows 12-year-old farmgirl Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) who lives on a Kansas farm with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, but dreams of a better place “somewhere over the rainbow.” After being struck unconscious during a tornado by a window which has come loose from its frame, Dorothy dreams that she, her dog Toto and the farmhouse are transported to the magical Land of Oz. There, the Good Witch of the North, Glinda (Billie Burke), advises Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and meet the Wizard of Oz, who can return her to Kansas. During her journey, she meets a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a Tin Man (Jack Haley) and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), who join her, hoping to receive what they lack themselves (a brain, a heart and courage, respectively). All of this is done while also trying to avoid the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) and her attempt to get her sister’s ruby slippers from Dorothy, who received them from Glinda.
The said above, the entire story of the Wizard of Oz is an allegorical tale of the soul’s path to illumination – the Yellow Brick Road. In Buddhism (an important part of Theosophical teachings) the same concept is referred to as the “Golden Path”.
The story starts with Dorothy Gale living in Kansas, which symbolizes the material world, the physical plane where each one of us starts our spiritual journey. Dorothy feels an urge to “go over the rainbow”, to reach the ethereal world an follow the path to illumination. She has basically “passed the Nadir” by demonstrating the urge of seeking a higher truth.
Dorothy is then brought to Oz by a giant cyclone spiraling upward, representing the cycles of karma, the cycle of errors and lessons learned. It also represents the theosophical belief of reincarnation, the round of physical births and deaths of a soul until it is fit to become divine. It is also interesting to note that the Yellow Brick Road of Oz begins as an outwardly expanding spiral. In occult symbolism, this spiral represents the evolving self, the soul ascending from matter into the spirit world.
Here’s an explanation of the spiral as an occult symbol:
“Spiral: The path of a point (generally plane) which moves round an axis while continually approaching it or receding from it; also often used for a helix, which is generated by compounding a circular motion with one in a straight line. The spiral form is an apt illustration of the course of evolution, which brings motion round towards the same point, yet without repetition.
The serpent, and the figures 8 and , denoting the ogdoad and infinity, stand for spiral cyclic motion. The course of fohat in space is spiral, and spirit descends into matter in spiral courses. Repeating the process by which a helix is derived form a circle produces a vortex. The complicated spirals of cosmic evolution bring the motion back to the point from which it started at the birth of a great cosmic age.”
-The Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary
Before undertaking her journey, Dorothy is given the “silver shoes”, who represent the “silver cord” of Mystery Schools (Dorothy was wearing ruby slippers in the movie due to a last minute change by the director, who thought that the color ruby looked better against the Yellow Brick Road). In occult schools, the silver cord is considered to be the link between our material and spiritual selves.
“In Theosophy, one’s physical body and one’s Astral body are connected through a “silver cord”, a mythical link inspired by a passage in the Bible that speaks of a return from a spiritual quest. ‘Or ever the silver cord be loosed, says the book of Ecclesiastes, ‘then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it’.
In Frank Baum’s own writing, the silver cord of Astral travel would inspire the silver shoes that bestow special powers upon the one who wears them”
-Evan I. Schwartz, Finding OZ: How L.Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story
During her journey along the Yellow Brick road, Dorothy encounters Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion who are respectively searching for a brain, a heart and courage. Those odd characters embody the qualities needed by the initiates in order to complete their quest for illumination. Baum has probably been inspired by those words from Miss Blavatsky:
“There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer, there is not trial that a spotless purity cannot pass through; there is no difficulty a strong intellect cannot surmount”
– H.P. Blavatsky
After surmounting many obstacles, the party finally reaches Emerald city in order to meet The Wizard.
Surrounded by artifices and special effects, the Wizard comes across as cruel, rude and unwise. The Wizard is in fact a stand-in for the personal God of the Christians and the Jews, the oppressive figure used by conventional religions to keep the masses in spiritual darkness: Jehova or Yahwe. It is later discovered that the Wizard is a humbug, a charlatan, who scared people into worshiping his Wizard. He surely could not help the characters complete their quest. If you read literature of Mystery schools, this point of view towards Christianity is constantly expressed.
After all has been said and done, the brains, the heart and the courage needed to complete Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion’s quests were found within each one of them. Mystery Schools have always taught their students that one must rely one oneself to obtain salvation. Dorothy’s dog, Toto, represents throughout the story Dorothy’s “inside voice”, her intuition. Here’s a description of Toto taken from the Theosophical Society’s website:
“Toto represents the inner, intuitive, instinctual, most animal-like part of us. Throughout the movie, Dorothy has conversations with Toto, or her inner intuitive self. The lesson here is to listen to the Toto within. In this movie, Toto was never wrong. When he barks at the scarecrow, Dorothy tries to ignore him: “Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.” But scarecrows do talk in Oz. Toto also barks at the little man behind the curtain. It is he who realizes the Wizard is a fraud. At the Gale Farm and again at the castle, the Witch tries to put Toto into a basket. What is shadow will try to block or contain the intuitive. In both cases, Toto jumps out of the basket and escapes. Our intuitive voice can be ignored, but not contained.
In the last scene, Toto chases after a cat, causing Dorothy to chase after him and hence miss her balloon ride. This is what leads to Dorothy’s ultimate transformation, to the discovery of her inner powers. The balloon ride is representative of traditional religion, with a skinny-legged wizard promising a trip to the Divine. Toto was right to force Dorothy out of the balloon. Otherwise she might never have found her magic. This is a call for us to listen to our intuitions, our gut feelings, those momentary bits of imagination that appear seemingly out of nowhere.”
As stated above, the fake Wizard invites Dorothy into his balloon to go back to Kansas, her final destination. She however follows Toto (her intuition) out of the balloon, which represents the empty promises of organized religions. This leads to her ultimate revelation and, with the help of the Good Witch of the North (her divine guide), she finally understands: everything she ever wanted could be found “in her own backyard”.
In order to obtain illumination Dorothy had to vanquish the wicked witches of the East and the West – who were forming an evil horizontal axis: the material world. She was wise in listening to the advices of the good witches of the North and South – the vertical axis: the spiritual dimension.
At the end of the story, Dorothy wakes up in Kansas: she has successfully combined her physical and spiritual life. She is now comfortable being herself again and, despite her family not really believing the details of her quest (the ignorant profane), she can finally say “There is no place like home”.
The Wizard of Oz Used in Monarch Mind Control
Almost all documentation relating to the MK Ultra project and Mind Control mention the importance of the Wizard of Oz. In the 1940’s, the story was reportedly chosen by members of the US intelligence community to provide a thematic foundation for their trauma-based mind control program. The movie was edited and given a different meaning in order to use it as a tool to reinforce the programming on the victims. Here are some examples taken from Fritz Springmeier’s Total Mind Control Slave:
* The close relationship between Dorothy and her dog is a very subtle connection between the satanic cults use of animals (familiars). A Monarch slave as a child will be allowed to bond with a pet. The child will want to bond with a pet anyway because people are terrifying by this point. Then the pet is killed to traumatize the child.
* Monarch slaves are taught to “follow the yellow brick road.” No matter what fearful things lie ahead, the Monarch slave must follow the Yellow Brick Road which is set out before them by their master.
* Rainbow–with its seven colors have long had an occult significance of being a great spiritual hypnotic device.
* Dorothy is looking for a place where there is no trouble which is a place “over the rainbow.” To escape pain, alters go over the rainbow. (This is a.k.a. in Alice In Wonderland Programming as “going through the looking glass”).
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is probably the most dissociative song ever written and is often used in movies, playing during violent or traumatizing events (see the movie Face-Off). The strange effect produced, where the violence doesn’t seem real anymore, is exactly how dissociation works on mind-control victims. It is also speculated that the scene where Dorothy falls asleep in a poppy field is a reference to the use of heroin victims to relax and manipulated them. What about the snow falling from the sky that wakes up Dorothy from her slumber?…cocaine.
Allegorical stories transmitting spiritual truths have existed since the dawn of man. These simple yet extremely profound stories have been found in all civilizations, whether they be Celtic, Indian, Persian, Aztec, Greek, Egyptian or else. Consciously or not, Frank Baum has created a classical allegory which, in the same vein as Homer’s Odyssey, entertains the masses while containing mystical messages that can be understood by the “awakened”.
Written by APS Founder and Mid-Atlantic Director: Alex Matsuo
Probably one of the most popular emails I receive involves the client being awakened for whatever reason, they’re not able to move or speak, they feel a weight on their chest, and they may feel a dark presence in the room. The client may even see things around the room like a ghost, spirit, demon, lights, colors, just to name a few. For anyone, this is a terrifying experience no matter who you are. As someone who dealt with this myself, I know how scary it is when your eyes open and you can’t even move, let alone let out a noise.
It should come as a relief for many that there is actually a logical explanation for this phenomenon. It’s very important to know the difference between sleep paralysis and a paranormal occurrence in this area. Of course, there are always exceptions and variables to this, but generally, this frightening experience can be explained using some logic and science.
When we sleep, our body goes through a series of different stages of sleep that involve REM (rapid eye movement) and Non-rapid eye movement (NREM). Our body cycles in and out of REM and NREM and progress through about four stages of sleep, appropriately called Stage 1-5. Our bodies typically spend the most time in the state of NREM and a shorter time in REM, which is where our dreams occur. Studies have shown that the REM stage starts about 90 minutes into sleep.
Here are the different stages of sleep
- Stage 1: Starts about 5-10 minutes into sleep, and the eyes are closed. It’s not hard to wake up from this stage, however, you won’t feel like you got any rest. Have you ever had a dream early on in your sleeping time where you trip and fall and your body jolts you awake? That’s called hypnic myoclonia. Also at this stage, the brain begins to produce theta waves, which are slow brain waves.
- Stage 2: This is a period of light sleep while the muscles relax that help you transition into a deeper sleep. This lasts about 20 minutes.
- Stage 3: This is officially the stage between light sleep and deep sleep and deeper, slow brain waves occur.
- Stage 4: This is a deep sleep that lasts about 30 minutes, and also known as delta sleep due to the delta brain waves that are occurring.
- Stage 5: The body enters into REM sleep and this is where dreaming occurs.
Now, keep in mind that the body cycles through stages of sleep, and sometimes it is out-of-order. This is all fine and dandy, but what does this have to do with sleep paralysis?
Well, when we enter the stage of REM sleep, our brain emit a chemical that paralyzes our body. This is so that we don’t physically act out our dreams. During the REM stage, our minds are very vivid with intense dreams, and it can be dangerous for our bodies to physically act out what’s going on in our minds. This chemical paralyzes everything from legs to arms, to fingers and toes.
When our body is awakened, for whatever reason, sometimes our body is still under this paralyzing chemical. Our eyes are open and we’re awake, but our body is still asleep, which can bring on the effect of feeling like you’re being pinned down. In some cases, our brains are still dreaming, which can cause hallucinations or literally seeing our dreams before our eyes.
Of course, there are always variables and exceptions. But knowing the possible explanations for this scary occurrence is very important before immediately resorting to a paranormal explanation. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis regularly, you may want to see your doctor and look into possible being tested for a sleep disorder. For me personally, I was able to stop my own sleep paralysis incidents by stopping my consumption of caffeine by noon and not watching TV immediately before bed.
But if you’re experiencing the effect of being pinned down, and seeing things before you’re even asleep, then perhaps there’s something more going on, and it would be worth it to contact a local paranormal team to ask some questions. Most importantly, rule out logical explanation before moving on to the next step. Below are some reference links with much more in-depth information, and I encourage you all to read them with a fine-toothed comb and look into more books and websites with information if this interests you.
(You can visit the most impressive blog of Alex Matsuo here: Association of Paranormal Study)
With the bazillion discussions we have about Orbs…. I think it is prudent that we have a basic understanding of Aerodynamics. The reason I am bringing this to the table is so that we can collectively explore the possible flight pattern of environmental contaminants. Many people start off saying, my home is not dusty or dirty. Fair enough. But, unless you have magically or medically managed to hermetically seal your home… Stuff is floating through the air.
So, lets focus on the flight patterns of this ‘stuff’.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Imagine yourself running your finger through a sill body of water. Even the slightest touch creates visible results. Not, just imagine the results that are not visible to the naked eye; undercurrents from the bottom of the water, vibrations originating from the Earth itself, and countless other factors that cause even the most minute disturbances.
Lets apply this to air. Air is much like water in the fact that it moves around fixed objects. If you think about it, air is invisible dry water in a sense. Ebbing and flowing from the atmosphere, the lowest valleys, in hospitals and yes… In our own homes, in constant and never ending motion.
How can we come together to learn to create a distinction between debris and possible orbs?
If you ever find yourself driving down Archer AVE in Chicago ,Illinois be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a female hitchhiker. She is said to be a very good looking woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, wearing a white party dress. I know this doesn’t sound too odd in this and time, but wait it gets better. The lady is said to seem 100% solid one second, and then vanish in the blink of an eye. She was first documented being seen around Resurrection Cemetery in the middle to late 1930’s. Since this is where she was mostly seen at this time she came to be known as “Resurrection Mary.”
When the stories of Mary first started, passersby claimed that she they would first see the a few feet up the road. When they got up beside her she would attempt to jump onto the running boards of their automobiles and vanish. All of this seemed to happen right as they got to the cemetery.
Years after the first accounts new ones started to pop up. These seemed to be more interesting. They didn’t seem to center around the cemetery now. The stories now tend to begin either in or around the old O Henry Ballroom. Some accounts have her walking down the road near the ballroom and then get picked up, and some actually have her in the ballroom itself dancing with guests before being given a ride. Most of the ones that gave them rides were given bad directions by Mary that usually ended up with them driving by the cemetery and her disappearing right before their eyes at the gates. Descriptions of woman always seemed to match exactly. The other sightings weren’t as pleasant. Drivers would be startled when a blonde woman in a white dress would dart across the road. Usually the cars would drive right through her. When they stopped to see what happened they would see her turn and cross through the gates, never to be seen again.
There is one account that is different than all the rest. This account supposedly has evidence of its happening. Now wether this is 100% true story or not I’m not sure but it’s still pretty neat. Here is the story according to prairieghost.com:
“The strangest account of Mary was the one that occurred on the night of August 10, 1976. This event has remained so bizarre after all this time because on this occasion, Mary did not just appear as a passing spirit. It was on this night that she left evidence behind!
A driver was passing by the cemetery around 10:30 that night when he happened to see a girl standing on the other side of the gates. He said that when he saw her, she was wearing a white dress and grasping the iron bars of the gate. The driver was considerate enough to stop down the street at the Justice police station and alert them to the fact that someone had been accidentally locked in the cemetery at closing time. An officer responded to the call but when he arrived there was no one there. The graveyard was dark and deserted and there was no sign of any girl.
But his inspection of the gates, where the girl had been seen standing, did reveal something. The revelation chilled him to the bone! He found that two of the bars in the gate had been pulled apart and bent at sharp angles. To make things worse, at the points on the green-colored bronze where they had been pried apart were blackened scorch marks. Within these marks was what looked to be skin texture and handprints that had been seared into the metal with incredible heat.
The marks of the small hands made big news and curiosity-seekers came from all over the area to see them. In an effort to discourage the crowds, cemetery officials attempted to remove the marks with a blowtorch, making them look even worse. Finally, they cut the bars off and installed a wire fence until the two bars could be straightened or replaced.
The cemetery emphatically denied the supernatural version of what happened to the bars. They claimed that a truck backed into the gates while doing sewer work at the cemetery and that grounds workers tried to fix the bars by heating them with a blowtorch and bending them. The imprint in the metal, they said, was from a workman trying to push them together again. While this explanation was quite convenient, it did not explain why the marks of small fingers were clearly visible in the metal.
The bars were removed to discourage onlookers, but taking them out had the opposite effect and soon, people began asking what the cemetery had to hide. The events allegedly embarrassed local officials, so they demanded that the bars be put back into place. Once they were returned to the gate, they were straightened and painted over with green paint so that the blackened area would match the other bars. Unfortunately though, the scorched areas continued to defy all attempts to cover them and the twisted spots where the handprints had been impressed remained obvious until just recently, when the bars were removed for good.”
One question that many have tried to find the answer of is who was Mary and did she actually exist? I found this answer on prairieghost.com as well, and it seems plausible:
“Most researchers agree that the most accurate version of the story concerns a young girl who was killed while hitchhiking down Archer Avenue in the early 1930’s. Apparently, she had spent the evening dancing with a boyfriend at the O Henry Ballroom. At some point, they got into an argument and Mary (as she has come to be called) stormed out of the place. Even though it was a cold winter’s night, she thought, she would rather face a cold walk home than another minute with her boorish lover.
She left the ballroom and started walking up Archer Avenue. She had not gotten very far when she was struck and killed by a passing automobile. The driver fled the scene and Mary was left there to die.
Her grieving parents buried her in Resurrection Cemetery, wearing a white dress and her dancing shoes. “
Who Resurrection Mary really was will more than likely never be known. For all we know it could be a compilation of stories. However I will say that if it is, it’s a very good story. I hope that this has intrigued you enough to go out and do some research on who Mary could have been. Maybe, if you’re brave enough you’ll venture out to Chicago and take a drive down Archer AVE and experience Mary for yourself………
Stories and Accounts used from www.prairieghosts.com
For nearly 30 years, I have dedicated myself to finding these answers by using a scientific approach to fully understand and bring explanations to those who seek help and who are experiencing themselves the same things I experienced some 30 years ago. I can say that out of all of the cases I have investigated over the years as a paranormal investigator, 99% can be explained as a product of environment. There is, however, that 1% that can only be considered Beyond The Grave.
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In December 1970 Roger and Carolyn Perron purchased a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. Following events at their previous address, Carolyn decided she did not want to rear her children there and felt a house in the country would be a more suitable location for her 5 young girls to grow up. What Carolyn thought would be her dream home turned into a living nightmare.
Seeking to move the children to a quieter home life in the country, Roger and Carolyn Perron purchased their dream home in the winter of 1970. The Old Arnold Estate was 200 acres in size and one of the original plantations in the area surveyed by colonist John Smith in 1680 and deeded to Roger Williams for the formation of the state of Rhode Island. Located on Round Top Road in Harrisville, Rhode Island, the 10-room “lovely, charming” country home was built in 1736 on a beautiful plot of land with plenty of room for their five children, all girls, to roam about and play. Nancy and Christine Perron shared one room, Cindy and April another, and Andrea had a room all to herself – except on nights when, as Andrea put it, the sisters “came crawling into bed with her, trembling and crying in terror”.
The Perron family began to notice something was amiss from the first day they stepped into their lovely new home. Later it would be learned that eight generations of families had lived, and died, in the Old Arnold Estate including Mrs. John Arnold who at the age of 93, hung herself from the rafters of the barn. Other unfortunate losses of life on the estate included several suicides (hangings, poisonings), the rape and unsolved murder of eleven-year-old girl Prudence Arnold (later presumed to have been murdered by a farm hand), two sudden drownings in the creek located near the house, and four men who mysteriously froze to death on the land. It did not take long before the Perrons’ understood why the previous seller advised them on the day that they moved into the house, “leave the lights on at night.”
The house they purchased was the old Arnold farm which was over two centuries old. Eight generations of families had lived and died in that house and some of these spirits never left. Previous residents of the farmhouse included Mrs John Arnold who at the age of 93 hung herself in the barn and Bathsheba Sherman who had an extremely hard life. She lost all of her children before the age of four. When she was a young woman, Bathsheba had a young child in her care (it is uncertain if this was her child or if she was caring for the child for a friend) that died. Upon examination of the baby’s body it was found that a needle had been impaled into its skull and the baby had died from convulsions. Bathsheba was charged with manslaughter but due to lack of evidence the case was dropped. However, in the court of public opinion she was found guilty. She was a very beautiful woman whom men loved and women envied. Following the death of the baby rumours began to swirl that Bathsheba had sacrificed this baby as an offering to the devil for eternal beauty. Due to the belief of the locals that she was a witch she lived a life of solitude. Eventually she married and it is unsure if she lived all her days at the Arnold farm or the adjacent Sherman farm. She died in 1885 and the coroner made a note in his report stating that he had never seen anything like it that it was like her body had turned to stone. The Perron family spoke to a man who knew Bathsheba and he said she was a very angry and bitter woman who would beat and starve her farmhands.
From the very first day the Perron family moved into the farmhouse the paranormal activity began. When the family first arrived at the house the old tenants were packing up the last of their things. As they did so a man stood in the corner watching them. Three of the five girls seen this man but the parents did not. It was an apparition. The family continued to see spirits some of which did not even notice the family were there, they were the quiet ones who lived peacefully at the farmhouse and did not bother the family. One of the girls made friends with a spirit whom she called Manny. He was a sympathetic soul whom the Perrons believed was the spirit of Johnny Arnold who had committed suicide in the house in the 1700’s. He would watch over the family. He would appear to the children but as soon as they made eye contact he would disappear. Many peaceful souls resided at the farmhouse but there was also dark forces. Every time the father was home machinery in the house began to breakdown that he would have to go and fix. All of this machinery was located in the cellar for example the boiler and the heating. When he would go to the cellar he would be approached by a spirit who seemed very attracted to him. She would touch him on the back of the neck and run her hands across his back. Over time he developed a kinship with this spirit and this was the spirit who caused most of the problems in the house. It is believed this was Bathsheba (although it is possible it could have been one of the many other spirits) and that she seen herself as the mistress of the house and Roger and the kids were hers which led her to put Carolyn Perron through what her daughter Andrea describes as ‘Something no human being should endure’. She wanted to drive Carolyn from the house and when this did not work she tried to claim her from within and this is when the true terror of Harrisville began. One of the children, Cindy, one day decided with her friend that they would try to drive the spirits from the house which resulted in a brutal attack on the two children and then Cindy began to suffer at the hands of the evil spirits also.
At first the ghosts, or demon spirits were harmless. Described variously as opaque or somewhat solid in appearance, there were many spirits present in the old homestead. One ghost smelled of flowers while another would gently kiss the girls goodnight in their beds every night. Another appeared to be a small, young male that the girls would watch, mesmerized, push toy cars about the room propelled by an invisible hand.
One apparition, presumably a female ghost, was a welcome presence in the home. The Perron’s would often hear sweeping noises coming from the kitchen. When they entered the room, they would find the broom had been moved to a different spot in the room with a neat pile of newly swept dirt sitting in the middle of the floor, waiting to be deposited in the trashcan.
“Manny” was another spirit that the young Perron children loved. Manny was believed to be the spirit of Johnny Arnold, who had committed suicide by hanging himself in the attic of the house in the 1700’s. Manny would appear before the children, often standing nearby quietly watching the children going about their daily activities, a crooked smile on his face, amused at the children’s’ play. If eye contact was made with Manny, he would withdraw from sight just as suddenly as he had appeared.
In addition to ghostly entities, the Perrons’ witnessed many other odd and unexplained phenomena. Beds would levitate several inches off of the floor, telephone handsets would hover in the air and slam down onto the phone base when someone entered the room, and various household objects would glide about the house on their own. Often chairs would be pulled suddenly from beneath an unsuspecting guest and pictures would tumble from the walls. The Perrons’ once reported seeing an orange ooze blood and a wall dissolve into nothingness.
Not all the ghosts at Harrisville were welcome visitors. Some would yank the girls’ legs and hair during the middle of the night. Others would loudly bang the front door of the home with such force that the entire house would shake. Doors would slam shut on their own while others would stay frozen in place, unable to be shut no matter how much force was applied to them. One entity in the home routinely kept the family awake as it continually cried out in the night, “Mama! Maaaama!” while another apparition tortured 8-year-old Cindy telling her over and over, “there are seven dead soldiers buried in the wall”. One of the Perron’s recalled a small, delicate spirit, appearing to be about 4 years old, roaming the house crying, calling for her mother.
The most horrid ghost in the home targeted Mrs. Perron specifically. Known as Bathsheba, the entity was thought to have been the ghost of Bathsheba Sherman, a practicing Satanist and witch who had lived in the home in the early 19th century and died there after hanging herself from a tree behind the barn. The Perrons’ were not a religious family. Weak in faith, it was theorized to be a primary factor for the particularly violent and active nature of Bathsheba’s treatment of the Perron family.
Bathsheba was a vile, hideous creature described as having a face “similar to a desiccated bee hive” covered in cobwebs with no real human features other than vermin crawling from crevices etched into the wrinkled skin of her face. Her head, round and gray, sat “leaning off to one side” as if her neck had been broken and an evil stench permeated the room when she was present.
Bathsheba Thayer was born in 1812 in Rhode Island and married fellow Rhode Islander Judson Sherman on March 10, 1844. When alive Bathsheba had lived a life of solitude, an outcast of the community she lived in after being accused of killing her young baby as a sacrifice to Satan. The baby’s body was found to have been impaled in the head with a sharp object. Lacking evidence, the case was eventually dropped. Bathsheba was believed to have had three other children, none of whom survived past the age of four. Her children may not have been her only victims. Bathsheba was also known to have brutalized the staff often starving and beating them for minor infractions. When Bathsheba died on May 25, 1885, the coroner wrote that he had never seen anything like it – her emaciated body had eerily solidified, seemingly turned to stone.
It was easily recognized that Bathsheba had her favorites in the household. She tortured Carolyn Perron (one of the daughters, Cindy, was often a frequent target) while lusting after Mr. Perron. During their stay, equipment in the home frequently broke. Roger Perron would take the broken machinery down to the cellar to repair. While working, he often felt Bathsheba touching him, gently caressing his neck or running her hands down his back. But while longing for Mr. Perron, Bathsheba abhorred Carolyn. It was clear that Bathsheba wanted Carolyn out of the house.
In the beginning, Bathsheba’s treatment of Carolyn was merely “cruel”. Carolyn would be pinched, slapped, or have objects thrown about her. Her greatest fear, fire, was soon discovered by the entity and used repeatedly to strike terror in her as Bathsheba banged torches against her bed while demanding that she leave the home immediately.
As time progressed, the attacks grew harsher. In one instance, Carolyn was lying on the couch when she felt a sharp pain in the calf of her leg. She examined her leg and found a large, bleeding puncture wound that looked “as if a large sewing needle had impaled her skin”. Later, after threats failed to motivate Carolyn to leave, Bathsheba took a different tack and attempted to invade Carolyn from within.
The Perrons’ soon learned that every occupant (with the exception of a local minister and his family) of the old Arnold Estate had reported supernatural phenomena on the homestead. In fact, the owner just prior to the Perrons’ had hired a contractor to renovate the house. The contractor had been busily renovating the home when he suddenly stopped work and fled. It was reported that he had left the home screaming leaving behind his tools and his car. The owners never moved in and the home sat vacant for several years before the Perrons’ discovered it was on the market.
Despite their unfortunate circumstances, financial constraints kept the Perrons’ rooted in place for 10 long years. Unable to flee, they endured the inconvenience of the “friendly” spirits and the torture the malevolent ghosts bestowed upon them. Finally, in 1980, at the insistence of Carolyn, the Perrons’ were financially able to vacate the home. They moved to Georgia.
Andrea Perron wrote a trilogy of books entitled ‘House of Darkness, House of Light’ volumes 1, 2 and 3 of their experiences in the home, She tours the country giving lectures and recollections of her time in the haunted home.
According to Andrea Perron, the current owner, Norma Sutcliffe, who purchased the home in 1983, stated that she, her husband Gerry, and various visitors to the home have had paranormal experiences in the farmhouse, including the door banging in the front hall, sounds of people talking in another room, the sounds of footsteps scurrying around the house, and one odd instance when her husband’s chair began vibrating in the study room. They claim to have also witnessed a glowing blue light “shoot across the bedroom”, “fog” floating through the rooms of the home, and vibrations in the walls so intense they felt the house was going to come apart. Several visitors to their home have independently reported seeing an elderly woman, hair in a bun, moving silently throughout the house. the current residents claim there is always activity in the house but not to the extent the Perrons endured.
Carolyn Perron – born on 8/1939
Roger Perron – born on 8/27/1935 in Providence, Rhode Island
Andrea Perron – born on 10/10/1958 in Rhode Island
Nancy Perron – born on 2/8/1960 in Willimantic, Connecticut
Christine Perron – born on 1/30/1961 in Willimantic, Connecticut
Cindy Perron – born in Willimantic, Connecticut
April Perron – born in Willimantic, Connecticut
Courtesy of: http://nationalparanormalassociation.blogspot.com/
“In 1986 Carmen and Al Snedeker moved to the small town of Southington, Connecticut, with the purpose of being closer to the hospital at which their oldest son was being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Having fallen on hard financial times, the family jumped at the chance to rent what appeared to be the perfect house. It was large enough for their family, which included three children and a cousin, and the rent was in their affordable price range.
It was while they were moving in that Al made a startling discovery: In the basement was a peculiar room that was complete with embalming tables and tools. The house, it turned out, used to be a funeral home. Moreover, the basement, which was sectioned into several rooms, was the only room deemed large enough to serve as the two boys’ bedroom.
Not long after, Carmen says she began experiencing strange phenomena, like items disappearing and her children reporting seeing strange people in the house, as well as hearing voices and the sounds of hundreds of birds taking flight. Her oldest, who was at the time in the middle of radiation treatment, began to exhibit radical personality shifts, becoming withdrawn and angry. He brooded and began writing poetry with necrophiliac themes. During one intense episode he attacked his cousin with the intent to rape her. His family had him arrested and taken for an evaluation, where he was pronounced schizophrenic. He was removed from the house and seemed to get better until returning.
Other phenomena that were reported by the Snedekers included the repeated and brutal rape of both Carmen and her niece, as well as acts of sodomy being performed on her husband, by unseen entities. Mop water was reported to turn blood red, and the scents of rotting flesh and decay were reported throughout the house. She was also frightened of apparitions that she saw, one with long black hair and black eyes, the other with white hair and eyes and wearing a pinstriped tuxedo. It was then that Carmen decided to contact controversial paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Along with John Zaffis and a few investigators, the Warrens moved into the house for several weeks until they’d experienced everything the Snedekers claimed. During their time in the house, they claim to have seen first-hand the damage the “demons” in the home could inflict, with many members being slapped and beaten, pushed, and slammed to the floor. Investigation into the history of the house supposedly revealed that one of the undertakers at the funeral home was found guilty of necrophilia, which fed fuel to the fire. It got to the point that the Warrens deemed it necessary for a full-scale exorcism of the property, after which the house was judged “cleared” by the Warrens. With the evil banished from the house, that should have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t.
Like another Warren investigation, the infamous Lutz house in Amityville, there have been numerous claims by people who lived in the house, both before and after the Snedeker
family, that there have never been any “evil entities” in the house. In fact, the family’s claim to have no knowledge that the home was once a funeral parlor was refuted by the house’s owner. Perhaps the most damning evidence that the whole event was a hoax came from horror novelist Ray Garton, who was contracted to write the book In a Dark Place with the Warrens and the Snedekers. According to Garton it was difficult to write the “true” story because none of the involved parties could keep their stories straight. It seemed everyone was contradicting everyone else.
When he went to Ed Warren with the problem, Garton wrote in a post dated April 27, 1999:
“He told me not to worry, that the family was ‘crazy.’ I was shocked. He said, ‘All the people who come to us are crazy. You think *sane* people would come to us?’ He knew I’d written a lot of horror novels prior to that, so he told me to just make the story up using whatever details I could incorporate into the book, and make it scary.”
Furthermore, others who lived in the house during, and prior to, the same time have similar stories to tell. Sure, they say, there were a few odd occurrences, but nothing near the scale the Snedekers claimed. Many point to the Warrens as instigators and others as enablers.
Whether true or not, it sure makes for one helluva story. The house surely seems like one that would be ripe for a haunting, and whatever did go on in the house, the effects of it are being felt now by the current owners, but not in the form of supernatural boogeymen. Today hoards of photographers, curious gawkers, and paranormal enthusiasts flock to the home with hopes of getting a glimpse of the famous house from hell. Much like the Lutz house in Amityville, the current owners report no paranormal activity and would really just like to be left in peace.
In an Associated Press article dated March 22, 2009, current owner Susan Trotta-Smith had this to say:
“Most people are respectful. They stay on the road. They might take a picture,” Trotta-Smith said. “But we have had a few problems with people kind of rudely coming up to the door and scaring our kids, telling them the house is haunted.”
The Snedeker family lived in the house for two years after it was exorcised, then moved to Tennessee. The children are grown now with children of their own, and Carmen Reed (nee Snedeker) is now a “spiritual advisor.” She also has plans of writing another book based on the experience with John Zaffis.
Psychic Chip Coffey was once slated to co-author the book but has since distanced himself from the project.
While the statements of Carmen and her family are refuted by numerous people, no one knows for certain what, if anything, happened in the house in Connecticut. The events have spawned a book, a Discovery Channel special, and now another book and the major Hollywood film. Doubtless this story will become as famous as The Amityville Horror, and for much the same reason. Did the family make it up, or did the walls bleed? Was the boy hallucinating from his chemotherapy, or did the dead really torment the owners of the house? Did it really happen, or was it a hoax? We may never know the truth.
Also for the reality of the stories:
The home was indeed once a funeral parlor and it is true that in the 1980’s a family lived there who reported having various ghostly experiences, but there is little evidence to back these claims. There are still a few residents in the neighborhood who lived there at the time of the reputed haunting.
Those who remember the events write off the claims of a haunting, and cite the fact that the electrical service was prone to interruptions, many caused by an old tree whose branches had grown long enough to occasionally brush against the uninsulated power lines. One account of the haunting involves a story of a tree branch catching fire and falling during an exorcism ritual – a story that seems less demonic in view of the dangerously close power lines.
Another aspect of the movie and the stories which preceded it had to do with the funeral home that had previously occupied the house in question. The Hallahan Funeral Home was run by the Hallahan family. Members of the family still live in the community and many residents have relatives whose wakes and burrials were handled by the Hallahan Funeral Home. There have been accusations of rumors surrounding the owners of the funeral home. These rumors, not surprisingly, include fantastic claims of satanic worship and even necorphilia. A few who live in the community have investigated these claims, looking through old newspapers and asking some of the long time residents if they had ever heard such claims at the time.
All indications are that these stories were entirely made up, and those who knew and worked with the operators of the funeral service remember the operators as being honest, respectable and ordinary.”
Courtesy of: http://decodedpast.com/
“Strange things happened in the West Pittston, Pennsylvania, duplex where the Smurls lived. Janet and her husband Jack, along with children Heather, Dawn, Carin, and Shannon, and their German Shepherd named Simon, lived in the duplex next to Jack’s parents, John and Mary Smurl. According to the Smurls, the phenomena began in 1974.
This case involves demonologists, a skeptic, a “priest,” and an exorcist who was an expert in the paranormal – what happened to the Smurls in the 1970s?
Alleged Paranormal Phenomena
The family claimed that a TV burst into flames, water pipes leaked, scratches appeared on walls, and toilets flushed by themselves. They also heard footsteps and music from unplugged radios while empty rocking chairs swayed, and experienced foul odors permeating the place, and drawers opening and closing by themselves. The Smurls also claimed the house had a paranormal macro menagerie: an incubus and a ghostly pig-like creature.
The Smurls stated that they tried to get help from the Scranton Roman Catholic Diocese, which said it would consult experts. Janet alleged she thought a Father O’Leary was helping, but she came to believe he was a demon in the disguise of a priest!
In 1986, the Smurls finally heard about and contacted self-proclaimed demonologists Lorraine and the now-late Ed Warren.
Warren Investigation and Exorcisms
The Warrens’ claim to fame stems from their involvement with The Amityville Horror which they proclaimed was real. The American Society for Psychical Research and other prestigious parapsychological organizations debunked this; one of the fraud’s perpetrators, George Weber, even confessed to the media that it was a hoax.
In West Pittston, the Warrens conducted no scientific investigation and didn’t question the Smurls about their feelings regarding the alleged phenomena; however, they announced that three spirits and a demon haunted the house. They asked a Father Robert F. McKenna (later a bishop, who was a member of an order of Catholicism that the Vatican does not recognize) to perform an exorcism. Two unsuccessful exorcisms ensued; the third one appeared to work, but the family later determined that it had failed.
It was around this time that the Smurls contacted the media and a book publisher.
CSICOP Investigation of Paranormal Activity
CSICOP is an acronym that stands for the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. The organization investigates alleged paranormal phenomena. (The organization has since abbreviated their acronym to CSI.)
CSIOP Chairman Paul Kurtz offered to investigate the Smurl Haunting because of the attention the case garnered, and because of the Warrens’ involvement, and wrote a report about the results, “A Haunting in West Pittston? Not a Ghost of a Chance,” that appeared in the Winter 1986/87 issue of The Skeptical Inquirer.
Kurtz sent two teams of investigators to West Pittston. When they arrived, the Warrens denied them access to the house, although the Smurls gave one of the teams permission to investigate the Haunting claims. CSI members extensively phone interviewed the Smurls, neighbors and reporters working on the case.
What Caused the Smurl Haunting Reports?
Kurtz believed the hauntings were a hoax for a few reasons, including conflicting report from teenaged Dawn, and Jack’s health – he had brain surgery three years before the incidents to relieve water on the brain, which might contribute to delusions.
Allentown psychologist Robert Gordon thought that the family possibly suffered from mass hysteria similar that which happened during the Salem witch hunts and trials. He said shared tension might cause this, and common symptoms could involve delusions or hallucinations. When Kurtz asked the Smurls to undergo comprehensive psychological and physiological exams, they refused.
Neighbors had complained to town officials for years about foul stenches originating from a sewer pipe near the Smurl’s home as well, this could be the source of the odors the Smurls reported. In addition, There was intermittent settling of homes in the area due to layers of underground mine veins, which could have caused rocking chairs and other disturbances.
Kurtz noted the possibility that financial gain could have caused the hoax as well. Within days of the story about the alleged haunting making national news, a witness allegedly saw Jack negotiating with Scranton businessman Ralph Loma, head of the Star Group, a Hollywood production company. Jack initially denied this, but Loma confirmed he tried to get exclusive rights to the story about the case. In November, St. Martin’s Press proclaimed that it signed a book contract with the Smurls.
Ed Warren, in attempting to defend his refusal to allow the CSI team to investigate the Smurl’s home, called a press conference. He claimed he had tapes of terrifying sounds and a videotape of the dark form in the duplex. When someone asked for them, he couldn’t remember the name of the TV company to which he gave the tapes. He also said the Catholic Church had the “evidence.” The Catholic Church says that they don’t.
Scranton Diocese Investigation
The Scranton Diocese asked Father Alphonsus Trabold, exorcist, professor and paranormal expert from St. Bonaventure University, in New York, to investigate. When bishops feel that they don’t have a qualified exorcist in their diocese, they’re allowed to find one in another district. In 1998, I spoke with Father Trabold to find more information about the incredible phenomena in The Haunted, a book co-authored by the Warrens and the Smurls with Robert Curran.
Father Trabold told me at that time that he had previously worked with the Warrens until he discovered they weren’t sincere, were not what they purported to be, and were given to sensationalizing. He chuckled when explaining that when he went to one of their lectures, they saw him and toned down their act, so he wore disguises when he went to their future talks.
Father Trabold was very kind when he talked about the Smurl case and his investigation. He believed the family was sincere and that something happened, but he couldn’t say it was demonic.
Smurl Haunting Unproven
While the Smurls possibly experienced strange occurrences in their home, the facts don’t support proof of a demonic presence. Was their experience the result of mass hysteria, local conditions, greed, or some combination of the above? We may never know.”
Youree Dell Harris (born August 12, 1962), better known as Miss Cleo, is an American psychic and alleged shaman who achieved fame as a spokeswoman for a psychic pay-per-call service from 1997 to 2003.
Harris has used aliases throughout her career, including Cleomili Harris and Youree Perris.
Early life and career
In 1996, in Seattle, Washington, Harris and her partner opened a production company which produced several of her plays. She acted in her first project, an autobiographical play entitled Women Only: A Celebration of Love, Life and Healing.
Her last project, Supper Club Cafe, was not successful, and she “left town with a trail of debts and broken promises”. Some of the cast of her productions claimed that they were never paid, and that Harris “told her cast members she had bone cancer” and “her medical costs would prevent her from paying people immediately”, but she wrote each actor and crew member a letter telling him or her how much money she owed them.
Psychic Readers Network
In the late 1990s, Harris began to work for the Psychic Readers Network under the name Cleo. She appeared as a television infomercial psychic in which she claimed she was from Jamaica.
The Psychic Readers Network is said to have coined the title “Miss Cleo” and sent unsolicited emails, some of which stated, “[Miss Cleo has] been authorized to issue you a Special Tarot Reading!… it is vital that you call immediately!” Charges of deceptive advertising and of fraud on the part of the Psychic Readers Network began to surface around this time.
In 2001, Access Resource Services doing business as Psychic Readers Network was sued in various lawsuits brought by (among others) Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida, and the Federal Communications Commission, although reports later said that “many customers were satisfied with the service”.
In 2002, the FTC charged the company’s owners and Harris’ promoters, Steven Feder and Peter Stotz, with deceptive advertising, billing and collection practices; Harris was not indicted. Her promoters agreed to settle for a fraction of the amount they took in. It emerged that Harris was actually born in Los Angeles, and that her parents were U.S. citizens.
Harris voiced the character Auntie Poulet in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
In 2003, the New York Daily News reported that TV music network Fuse had signed Harris as a spokeswoman. In early 2005, Harris was reportedly appearing on television as Miss Cleo in advertisements for a used car dealership in Florida, according to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Cleo
Scott Douglas Cunningham (June 27, 1956 – March 28, 1993) was a U.S. writer. Cunningham is the author of several books on Wicca and various other alternative religious subjects.
His work Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, is one of the most successful books on Wicca ever published; he was a friend of notable occultists and Wiccans such as Raymond Buckland, and was a member of the Serpent Stone Family, and received his Third Degree Initiation as a member of that coven.
Scott Cunningham was born at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, the second son of Chester Grant Cunningham and Rose Marie Wilhoit Cunningham. The family moved to San Diego, California in the fall of 1959 due to Rose Marie’s health problems. The doctors in Royal Oak declared the mild climate in San Diego ideal for her. Outside of many trips to Hawaii, Cunningham lived in San Diego all his life.
Cunningham had one older brother, Greg, and a younger sister, Christine.
When he was in high school he became associated with a girl whom he knew to deal in the occult and covens. This classmate introduced him to Wicca and trained him in Wiccan spirituality. He studied creative writing at San Diego State University, where he enrolled in 1978. After two years in the program, however, he had more published works than several of his professors, and dropped out of the university to write full-time. During this period he had as a roommate, magical author Donald Michael Kraig and often socialized with witchcraft author Raymond Buckland, who was also living in San Diego at the time.
In 1980 Cunningham began initiate training under Raven Grimassi and remained as a first-degree initiate until 1982 when he left the tradition to pursue a solo practice of witchcraft.
Cunningham practiced a fairly basic interpretation of Wicca, often worshipping alone, though his book series for solitaries describes several instances in which he worshipped with friends and teachers.
He also believed that Wicca, which had been a closed tradition since the 1950s, should become more open to newcomers.
Cunningham was also drawn to Huna and a range of new age movements and concepts that influenced and coloured his spirituality.
In 1983, Scott Cunningham was diagnosed with lymphoma, which he successfully overcame. In 1990, while on a speaking tour in Massachusetts, he suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with AIDS-related cryptococcal meningitis. He suffered from several infections and died in March 1993. He was 36.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Cunningham
Maya Deren (April 29, 1917 – October 13, 1961), born Eleanora Derenkowskaia (Russian: Элеоно́ра Деренко́вская), was one of the most important American experimental filmmakers and entrepreneurial promoters of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer and photographer.
The function of film, Deren believed, like most art forms, was to create an experience; each one of her films would evoke new conclusions, lending her focus to be dynamic and always-evolving. She combined her interests in dance, voodoo and subjective psychology in a series of surreal, perceptual, black and white short films. Using editing, multiple exposures, jump cutting, superimposition, slow-motion and other camera techniques to her fullest advantage, Deren creates continued motion through discontinued space, while abandoning the established notions of physical space and time, with the ability to turn her vision into a stream of consciousness.
Perhaps one of the most influential experimental films in American cinema was her collaboration with Alexander Hammid on Meshes of the Afternoon (1943). She continued to make several more films of her own, including At Land (1944), A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945), and Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946) – writing, producing, directing, editing, and photographing them with help from only one other person, Hella Heyman, as camerawoman. She also appeared in a few of her films but never credited herself as an actress, downplaying her roles as anonymous figures rather than iconic deities.
Deren was born in Kiev, Ukraine, into a Jewish family, to psychologist Solomon Derenkowsky and Marie Fiedler, who supposedly named her after Italian actress Eleonora Duse.
In 1922, the family fled the country because of anti-Semitic pogroms and moved to Syracuse, New York. Her father shortened the family name to “Deren” shortly after they arrived in New York. He became the staff psychiatrist at the State Institute for the Feeble-Minded in Syracuse.
In 1928, she became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Her mother moved to Paris, France to be with her daughter while she attended the League of Nations International School of Geneva in Switzerland from 1930 to 1933.
Deren began college at Syracuse University, where she studied journalism and also became active in the Trotskyist Young People’s Socialist League. Through the YPSL she met Gregory Bardacke, whom she married at the age of 18. After his graduation in 1935, she moved to New York City. She and her husband became active in various socialist causes in New York City. She graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in literature and separated from Bardacke. The divorce was finalized in 1939. She attended the New School for Social Research and received a master’s degree in English literature at Smith College. Her master’s thesis was titled The Influence of the French Symbolist School on Anglo-American Poetry (1939).
After graduation from Smith, Deren returned to New York’s Greenwich Village, where she joined the European émigré art scene, and worked as an editorial assistant and free-lance photographer. She became known for her European-style handmade clothes, wild, curly hair, and fierce convictions. In 1941, Deren wrote and suggested a children’s book on dance to African American dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham and later became her personal secretary. At the end of a tour, the Dunham dance company stopped in Los Angeles for several months to work in Hollywood. It was there that Deren met Alexandr Hackenschmied (later Hammid), a celebrated Czech-born photographer and cameraman who would become her second husband in 1942. Hackenschmied had fled from Czechoslovakia in 1938 after Hitler’s advance. They lived together in Laurel Canyon where he helped her with her still photography. After living in New York, “California presented rich sights in the Forties – urban Hollywood in its archetypal, image-ridden ‘glory,’ and lovely desert countryside;” her photographs focused on local fruit pickers and the surrealism of Los Angeles.
Ritual in Transfigured Time
By her fourth film, Deren discussed in An Anagram that she felt special attention should be given to unique possibilities of time and that the form should be ritualistic as a whole. Ritual in Transfigured Time began in August and was completed in 1946. It explored the fear of rejection and the freedom of expression in abandoning ritual, looking at the details as well as the bigger ideas of the nature and process of change.
Meditation on Violence
Deren’s Meditation on Violence was made in 1948. Chao-Li Chi’s performance obscures the distinction between violence and beauty. It was an attempt to “abstract the principle of ongoing metamorphosis,” found in Ritual in Transfigured Time, though Deren felt it was not as successful in the clarity of that idea, brought down by its philosophical weight.Halfway through the film, the sequence is rewound, producing a film loop.
In 1943, she moved to a bungalow on Kings Road in Hollywood and adopted the name Maya. Maya is the name of the mother of the historical Buddha as well as the dharmic concept of the illusory nature of reality. In Greek myth, Maia is the mother of Hermes and a goddess of mountains and fields. Also in 1943, Deren began making a film with Marcel Duchamp, The Witches’ Cradle, which was never completed.
In 1944, back in New York City, her social circle included Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, John Cage, and Anaïs Nin.
Many friends described her look as that of an exotic Russian Jew, contributing a part of her attractiveness to her bohemian, Greenwich Village lifestyle. In the December 1946 issue of Esquire magazine, a caption for her photograph teased that she “experiments with motion pictures of the subconscious, but here is finite evidence that the lady herself is infinitely photogenic.” Her third husband, Teiji Ito said “Maya was always a Russian. In Haiti she was a Russian. She was always dressed up, talking, speaking many languages and being a Russian.”
Deren died in 1961, at the age of 44, from a brain hemorrhage brought on by extreme malnutrition. Her condition may have also been weakened by her long term dependence on amphetamines and sleeping pills prescribed by Dr. Max Jacobson, an arts scene doctor notorious for his liberal prescription of drugs who later became famous as one of President Kennedy’s physicians. Her father suffered from high blood pressure, which she may have had as well.
Her ashes were scattered in Japan at Mount Fuji.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Deren
Elizabeth Clare Prophet (née: Wulf) (April 8, 1939 – October 15, 2009) was an American New Age minister and religious figure, self-proclaimed prophet, author, orator, and writer. In 1963 she married Mark L. Prophet, who five years earlier, in 1958, had founded The Summit Lighthouse. Mark and Elizabeth had four children. In their nine years of marriage, they embarked on spiritual pilgrimages to Europe, Ghana and India, where they met Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama. Elizabeth, just 33 years of age at the time of husband Mark’s death on February 26, 1973, assumed control of The Summit Lighthouse at that time.
In 1975, Prophet founded Church Universal and Triumphant, which became the umbrella organization for the movement, and which she expanded worldwide. Prophet controversially called on her members in the late 1980s to prepare for the possibility of nuclear war at the turn of the decade, encouraging them to construct fallout shelters. In 1996, Prophet handed day-to-day operational control of her organization to a president and board of directors, maintaining her role as spiritual leader until her retirement due to health reasons in 1999.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Prophet appeared on Larry King Live, Donahue and Nightline, among other television programs. Earlier media appearances included a feature in 1977 in “The Man Who Would Not Die,” an episode of NBC’s In Search Of… series. She was also featured in 1994 on NBC’s Ancient Prophecies.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet was born Elizabeth Clare Wulf at Monmouth Memorial Hospital in Long Branch, New Jersey on April 8th, 1939, to Hans and Fridy Wulf. She grew up with her family in Red Bank, New Jersey during the Second World War.Her earliest memories of her childhood she describes as idyllic, however problems arose such as the detention of her father as a suspected German spy in 1942. Upon his release he conveyed the need of her to help others who may also suffer because of their nationality, their race or religion. After seeing the horrors of the Holocaust in media and print, she became convinced of the reality of absolute evil in the world which contributed to her decision to major in political science in her studies.
One of the major difficulties in her early life was her father’s addiction to alcohol. He verbally abused her mother and had a violent temper which he directed towards them and the destruction of his beloved fish tanks. After witnessing this for many years Elizabeth became convinced that when the blood alcohol content creates a chemical imbalance in the body possessing demons take over the mind and the emotions.
In Prophet’s early life she periodically blacked out. This happened in the third grade when she was about to say her lines in a Christmas play, and continued after that throughout her life. Her condition was first diagnosed as petit mal epilepsy, know more commonly today as absence seizures. She did not find medication helpful, and discontinued using it. Her mother later confessed that in 1937 she took some pills in an unsuccessful attempt to abort her pregnancy when she was carrying Elizabeth. Prophet thought that her mother was implying that the medication may have contributed to her childhood blackouts. Prophet herself did some research and found out that the use of quinine sulfate could have damaged the developing nervous system and the brain.
Elizabeth Wulf claimed mystical experiences while growing up. When she was about 4, she claims that she had a vision of herself playing on the sands of the Nile river in Egypt (her mother told her it was a past life). As a child, she claimed to feel God’s light around her naturally, and to hear a sound in her inner ear like that of an ocean wave or the roar of Niagara Falls. Another experience she had while water-skiing was that of being suspended in a place where other spiritual beings existed who were joyous in the light, radiating love. This motivated her to find out more who these “saints robed in white” (Rev. 7:9-17) were for she had always believed in the “universality of all true religion”.
Betty Clare grew up in a home that was mainly non-religious except for major holidays. Her father was Lutheran, her mother Catholic. Yet it was her mother’s interests in Theosophy, the I AM Activity, and Christian Science that had the most influence on Elizabeth. In Theosophy and the I AM Activity she heard about the Ascended Masters, Karma, and Reincarnation; in Christian Science she was told that matter was not the only reality and that the spirit part of us made in the image of God was our true nature. Prophet stayed with Christian Science until she met Mark Prophet at the age of 22.
Elizabeth Clare Wulf spent her junior year studying French in Switzerland in 1956 and a year later graduated from Red Bank Regional High School second in her class. She attended Antioch College in Ohio from September 1957 to March 1959 majoring in political science and economics. She transferred to Boston University in September 1959, from where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in political science in August 1961.
In summer 1958, Prophet took a co-op job as a camp counselor in a French immersion school in Vermont. She was in charge of a number of high school girls between 15 and 16 years old and her role was to discipline them. She described the experience as frustrating and said she ended up praying to God that she never be put in a position of authority over others.
In fall 1958 she served an internship at the United Nations as secretary for Leo Rosenthal, a UN photographer. Her experience at the UN showed her that many of the ambassadors were not there to solve the world’s problems but rather were engaged in power politics and manipulation of the world’s economies. Leaving after three months made her depressed, with the opinion that to solve the world’s problems people would need to change their concept of themselves and of God.
After moving to Boston in 1959, she worked as a secretary for the Christian Science church and the Christian Science Monitor. According to Prophet, that is where she learned much about the publishing operations, organization, and administration of a church on a worldwide scale which was to help her later in running her own church.
Prophet claimed that she realized that she was intended to be a messenger while meditating with Mark L. Prophet at a public meeting in Boston on April 22, 1961. He had come to teach about what he called “the Ascended Masters”. She later claimed to have received a vision while meditating with him that her role in life was to pass on a higher teaching to further humanity’s spiritual evolution. She confided to Mark the next day that like him, she was also to be a messenger; he accepted her as a student at his mystical school, The Summit Lighthouse. She said she received another vision in June of that year in the way of a visitation by the Ascended Master El Morya who told her to go to Washington, D.C. to be trained as messenger. attending her first conference in Washington in July, Mark Prophet returned to Boston in August to help her move to Washington to begin her training under him. They married in 1963, and upon his death on February 26, 1973, Elizabeth Clare Prophet assumed leadership of the organization.
Ministry and expansion
In 1965 the Prophet family relocated to Fairfax, Virginia, and in 1966 to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In 1970, the Prophet family founded Montessori International, a school based on the principles of educator Maria Montessori. Classes were offered for students ranging from preschool age to high school. Montessori information courses were also offered to parents and students. Staff were trained at Montessori organizations such as the Association Montessori Internationale and the Pan-American Montessori Society,
In 1970 the Prophets went to India with their family and several dozen church members. (Elizabeth traveled again in the early 1980s and established the ASHRAM OF THE WORLD MOTHER in New Delhi, India.) They toured the country, meeting with Indira Gandhi as well as with the Dalai Lama. They also met with Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
In 1974 the headquarters of the Church were moved to Santa Barbara, California, where Elizabeth Prophet founded Summit University, a 12 week program of instruction in her teachings. In 1975, she founded Summit University Press.
The church eventually became the umbrella organization for Prophet’s work, with The Summit Lighthouse becoming the publishing arm of the church.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet in front of the chapel at the summit of Croagh Patrick, Ireland, 1980
In the summer of 1976, the church’s headquarters were again relocated to the campus of Pasadena College, in Pasadena. Summit University, Montessori International, and quarterly church conferences were held there. About 300 staff members were then in residence.
In 1977 the church purchased a former Claretian seminary in Calabasas, a 218-acre (0.88 km2) campus near Los Angeles, and moved its operations there in 1978.
In 1981 the Church Universal and Triumphant purchased the 12,000-acre (49 km2) Forbes Ranch, just outside of Yellowstone Park, near Gardiner, Montana.
Final years in the ministry
In 1986, Prophet relocated her headquarters to Montana near the Yellowstone National Park. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in November 1998.
Retirement and death
She retired in 1999 and died on October 15, 2009. Prophet was survived by her five children
The dogma of The Summit Lighthouse included a doctrine called the Path of Personal Christhood, or the way of the soul’s one-on-one relationship with God through Christ consciousness. Elizabeth Clare Prophet believed that she shared the gift of the word, both written and spoken. She claimed to be in constant communion with God.
The Science of the Spoken word, as Elizabeth and Mark taught it, was thought to be a gift of sound combined with meditation, prayer and visualization. They believed that a Divine Gift (The Ascension) of union with God was possible.
Courtesy of: https://en.wikipedia.org
Psychic surgery is a means of committing a pseudoscientific medical fraud using a conjuring trick, involving the pretense of creating an incision using only the bare hands, the removal of pathological matter, and finally the spontaneous healing of the incision.
It has been denounced by the US Federal Trade Commission as a “total hoax”, and the American Cancer Society maintains that psychic surgery may cause needless death by keeping the ill away from life-saving medical care. Medical professionals and skeptics classify it as sleight of hand and any positive results as a placebo effect. It first appeared in the Spiritualist communities of the Philippines and Brazil in the middle of the 20th century, and it has taken different paths in those two countries.
Although psychic surgery varies by region and practitioner, it usually follows some common lines. Without the use of a surgical instrument, a practitioner will press the tips of his/her fingers against the patient’s skin in the area to be treated. The practitioner’s hands appear to penetrate into the patient’s body painlessly and blood seems to flow. The practitioner will then show organic matter or foreign objects apparently removed from the patient’s body, clean the area, and then end the procedure with the patient’s skin showing no wounds or scars.
Most cases do not involve actual surgery although some practitioners make real incisions. In regions of the world where belief in evil spirits is prevalent, practitioners will sometimes exhibit objects, such as glass, explaining that the foreign bodies were placed in the patient’s body by evil spirits.
Accounts of psychic surgery started to appear in the Spiritualist communities of the Philippines and Brazil in the mid-1900s.
In the Philippines, the procedure was first noticed in the 1940s, when performed routinely by Eleuterio Terte. Terte and his pupil Tony Agpaoa, who was apparently associated with the Union Espiritista Christiana de Filipinas (The Christian Spiritist Union of the Philippines), trained others in this procedure.
In 1959, the procedure came to the attention of the U. S. public after the publication of Into the Strange Unknown by Ron Ormond and Ormond McGill. The authors called the practice “fourth dimensional surgery,” and wrote “[we] still don’t know what to think; but we have motion pictures to show it wasn’t the work of any normal magician, and could very well be just what the Filipinos said it was — a miracle of God performed by a fourth dimensional surgeon.”
Alex Orbito, who became well known in the U. S. through his association with actress Shirley MacLaine was one said practitioner of the procedure. On June 14, 2005, Orbito was arrested by Canadian authorities and indicted for fraud. On Jan 20, 2006, the charges were dropped as it then seemed unlikely that Orbito would be convicted.
Psychic surgery made U.S. tabloid headlines in March 1984 when entertainer Andy Kaufman, diagnosed with large cell carcinoma (a rare lung cancer), traveled to the Philippines for a six-week course of psychic surgery. Practitioner Jun Labo claimed to have removed large cancerous tumors and Kaufman declared he believed this cancer had been removed.[ Kaufman died from renal failure as consequence of a metastatic lung cancer, on May 16, 1984.
The origins of the practice in Brazil are obscure; but by the late 1950s “spiritual healers” were practicing in the country. Many of them were associated with Spiritism, a major spiritualistic movement in Brazil and claimed to be performing their operations merely as channels for spirits of deceased medical doctors. Others were following practices and rituals known as “Umbanda”, a shamanic ritualistic religion with mediumistic overtones inherited from the African slaves brought to the country in colonial times.
A known Brazilian psychic healer who routinely practiced psychic surgery was Zé Arigó, who claimed to be channeling for a deceased medical doctor of name Dr. Fritz. Unlike most other psychic healers, who work bare-handed, Arigó used a non-surgical blade. Other psychic healers who claimed to channel for Dr. Fritz were Edson Queiroz and Rubens Farias Jr.. Popular today (especially abroad) is João de Faria, also known as João de Deus, a quack operating in Abadiânia, state of Goiás.
According to the descriptions of Yoshiaki Omura, Brazilian psychic surgery appears to be different from that practiced in the Philippines. Omura calls attention to the fact that practitioners in Brazil use techniques resembling Qigong, Shiatsu massage, and chiropractic manipulation. Some patients are also injected with a brown liquid, and alleged minor surgery was performed in about 20% of the cases observed. While Arigó performed his procedures using kitchen knives in improvised settings, Omura reports that the clamping of blood vessels and the closing of the surgical wounds are now performed by licensed surgeons or licensed nurses.
Medical and legal criticism
In 1975, the Federal Trade Commission declared that “‘psychic surgery’ “is nothing but a total hoax”.” Judge Daniel H. Hanscom, when granting the FTC an injunction against travel agencies promoting psychic surgery tours, declared: “Psychic surgery is pure and unmitigated fakery. The ‘surgical operations’ of psychic surgeons … with their bare hands are simply phony.”
In 1976 the FTC stated:
It has been found that “psychic surgery” is pure fakery. The body is not opened, no “surgery” is performed with the bare hands or with anything else, and nothing is removed from the body. The entire “operation” is an egregious fraud perpetrated by sleight-of-hand and similar tricks and devices.
In 1990, the American Cancer Society stated that it “found no evidence that “psychic surgery” results in objective benefit in the treatment of any medical condition,” and strongly urged individuals who are ill not to seek treatment by psychic surgery.
The British Columbia Cancer Agency “strongly urges individuals who are ill not to seek treatment by psychic surgeon.”
While not directly hazardous to the patient, the belief in the alleged benefits of psychic surgery may carry considerable risk for individuals with diagnosed medical conditions, as they may delay or forgo conventional medical help, sometimes with fatal consequences.
Accusations of fraud
The physician William Nolen investigated psychic surgery and his book Healing: A Doctor in Search of a Miracle (1974) uncovered many cases of fraud. Tony Agpaoa a famous psychic surgeon was several times detected in trickery.Stage magician James Randi says psychic surgery is a sleight of hand confidence trick. He has said that in personal observations of the procedure, and in movies showing the procedures, he can spot sleight-of-hand moves that are evident to experienced stage magicians, but might deceive a casual observer. Randi has replicated the appearance of psychic surgery himself through the use of sleight-of-hand. Professional magician Milbourne Christopher also investigated psychic surgeons at work, and observed sleight of hand. On his A&E show Mindfreak in the episode “Sucker,” illusionist Criss Angel performed “Psychic Surgery,” showing first-hand how it may be done (fake blood, plastic bags and chicken livers were used).
Randi says the healer would slightly roll or pinch the skin over the area to be treated. When his flattened hand reaches under the roll of skin, it looks and feels as if the practitioner is actually entering into the patient’s body. The healer would have prepared in advance small pellets or bags of animal entrails which would be palmed in his hand or hidden beneath the table within easy reach. This organic matter would simulate the “diseased” tissue that the healer would claim to be removing. If the healer wants to simulate bleeding, he might squeeze a bladder of animal blood or an impregnated sponge. If done properly, this procedure may deceive patients and observers. However, some “psychic surgery” procedures do not rely solely on the “sleight of hand” described, as at least one Brazilian “surgeon” also cuts his victims’ skin with an unsterilized scalpel to heighten the illusion.
John Taylor has written there is no real case for psychic surgery as the explanation of fraud is highly likely in all the operations. The practitioners use sleight of hand techniques to produce blood or blood-like fluids, animal tissue or substitutes, and/or various foreign objects from folds of skin of the patient as part of a confidence trick for financial benefit.
Science writer Terence Hines has written:
The “operation” starts as the hand appears to enter the patient’s belly. This is accomplished by creating an impression in the belly by pushing down and flexing the fingers slowly into a fist—the fingers thus appear to be moving into the belly, but are really simply hidden behind the hand. The blood that further disguises the true movement of the fingers and adds drama to the proceedings can come from two sources. One is a fake thumb, worn over the real thumb and filled with a red liquid. Such a fake thumb is a common magician’s implement. Blood can also be passed to the surgeon in red balloons hidden in cotton the psychic surgeon is using, the cotton and its hidden contents being passed to him by an “assistant.” The bits of “tumor” can also be passed to the psychic surgeon this way, or hidden in the false thumb… the “tumor” material turns out to be chicken intestines or similar animal remains. The blood is either animal blood or red dye.
Two “psychic surgeons” provided testimony in a Federal Trade Commission trial that, to their knowledge, the organic matter supposedly removed from the patients usually consists of animal tissue and clotted blood.
Anna Riva (1922–2005)was the pen name of Dorothy Spencer, who was a well-known American occult author and manufacturer of hoodoo spiritual supplies. According to Catherine Yronwode, “Anna Riva” was a nom de plume that this author used only in her writing and business; Anna was her mother’s name and Riva was her daughter’s name.
According to Craft Magick, Dorothy Spencer was born in 1923 and began writing as Anna Riva in the 1960s.
In Spiritual Merchants, Carolyn Morrow Long described how the “1970s and 1980s saw the publication of a new crop of spell books” for products available from the same companies selling the books. “The best-known of these writers is the extremely prolific Dorothy Spencer, who writes under the name ‘Anna Riva.'” Spencer’s books contained collected spells from many traditions, including Neopagan sources, European occultism, and the Judeo-Chrisiatian grimoire tradition, and they often included mention of African American folk magic as well as Haitian Voodoo.
In addition to writing books on magic, Spencer produced an extensive line of magical oils, incenses and powders which were sold by numerous occult suppliers. When Spencer retired in the late 1990s, her company, International Imports of Los Angeles, was purchased by Indio Products, which continued to manufacture spiritul supplies bearing the Anna Riva name, as well as keeping her books in print.
In 2000, the owner of Indio Products, Marty Mayer, stated that the woman known as Anna Riva was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. In Spiritual Merchants (2001), Carolyn Long wrote “Dorothy Spencer is now quite elderly and, unfortunately, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, so I was unable to interview her.” She died in 2005.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Riva
Carlos Castaneda (birthdate unclear – died April 27, 1998), was an American author with a Ph.D. in anthropology.
Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly a group that he called the Toltecs. The books, narrated in the first person, relate his experiences under the tutelage of a Yaqui “Man of Knowledge” named Don Juan Matus. His 12 books have sold more than 28 million copies in 17 languages. Critics have suggested that they are works of fiction; supporters claim the books are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy and descriptions of practices which enable an increased awareness.
Castaneda withdrew from public view in 1973 to work further on his inner development, living in a large house with three women who he called “Fellow Travellers of Awareness”, and who were ready to cut their ties to family and changed their names. He founded Cleargreen, an organization that promoted tensegrity, purportedly a traditional Toltec regimen of spiritually powerful exercises.
He moved to the United States in the early 1950s and became a naturalized citizen in 1957. Castaneda was educated at UCLA (B.A. 1962; Ph.D. 1973).Carlos married Margaret Runyan in 1960 and lived with her for half a year.On August 12 1961 CJ Castaneda, AKA Adrian Vashon, was born. Even though another man impregnated Margaret, Carlos insisted that CJ was his son. Carlos is listed on one of CJ’s birth Certificates as the Biological Father. It’s unclear whether Carlos and Margaret were divorced in 1960, 1973, or not at all.
Castaneda’s first three books – The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge; A Separate Reality; and Journey to Ixtlan – were written while he was an anthropology student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He wrote these books as his research log describing his apprenticeship with a traditional “Man of Knowledge” identified as don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian from northern Mexico. Castaneda was awarded his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees based on the work described in these books.
In 1974 his fourth book, Tales of Power, was published and chronicled the end of his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Matus. Castaneda continued to be popular with the reading public with subsequent publications.
In his books, Castaneda narrates in first person the events leading to and following after his meeting Matus, a half-Yaqui “Man of Knowledge”, in 1960. Castaneda’s experiences with Matus inspired the works for which he is known. He also says the sorcerer bequeathed him the position of nagual, or leader of a party of seers. He also used the term “nagual” to signify that part of perception which is in the realm of the unknown yet still reachable by man, implying that, for his party of seers, Don Juan was a connection in some way to that unknown. Castaneda often referred to this unknown realm as nonordinary reality.
The term “nagual” has been used by anthropologists to mean a shaman or sorcerer who claims to be able to change into an animal form, or to metaphorically “shift” into another form through magic rituals, shamanism and experiences with psychoactive drugs (e.g., peyote and jimson weed – Datura stramonium).
In all,12 books by Castaneda were published, two posthumously.
Castaneda was the subject of a cover article in the March 5, 1973 issue of Time.The article described him as “an enigma wrapped in a mystery”. When confronted by correspondent Sandra Burton about discrepancies in his personal history, Castaneda responded by saying:
“To ask me to verify my life by giving you my statistics… is like using science to validate sorcery. It robs the world of its magic and makes milestones out of us all.”
The interviewer wrote:
“Castaneda makes the reader experience the pressure of mysterious winds and the shiver of leaves at twilight, the hunter’s peculiar alertness to sound and smell, the rock-bottom scrubbiness of Indian life, the raw fragrance of tequila and the vile, fibrous taste of peyote, the dust in the car, and the loft of a crow’s flight. It is a superbly concrete setting, dense with animistic meaning. This is just as well, in view of the utter weirdness of the events that happen in it.”
Following that interview, Castaneda retired from public view.
In the 1990s, Castaneda once again began appearing in public to promote Tensegrity, a group of movements that he claimed had been passed down by 25 generations of Toltec shamans. On 16 June 1995, articles of incorporation executed by George Short were filed to create Cleargreen Incorporated. The Cleargreen statement of purpose says in part:
“Cleargreen is a corporation that has a twofold purpose. First, it sponsors and organizes seminars and workshops on Carlos Castaneda’s Tensegrity, and second, it is a publishing house.”
Cleargreen published three videos of Tensegrity movements while Castaneda was alive. Castaneda himself did not appear in these videos.
Castaneda died on April 27, 1998 in Los Angeles due to complications from hepatocellular cancer. There was no public service; Castaneda was cremated and the ashes were sent to Mexico. His death was unknown to the outside world until nearly two months later, on 19 June 1998, when an obituary entitled “A Hushed Death for Mystic Author Carlos Castaneda” by staff writer J. R. Moehringer appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
Four months after Castaneda’s death, C. J. Castaneda, also known as Adrian Vashon, whose birth certificate shows Carlos Castaneda as his father, challenged Castaneda’s will in probate court. Carlos’ death certificate states metabolic encephalopathy for 72 hours prior to his death, yet the will was supposedly signed 48 hours before Castaneda’s death.[not in citation given] CJ challenged its authenticity. The challenge was ultimately unsuccessful.
The New York Times, upon his death, said of “his dubious biography and shaman like tales” that “[f]ew academics regard them as serious scholarship.”
After Castaneda stepped away from public view in 1973, he bought a large house in Los Angeles which he shared with some of his female companions. The women broke off relationships with friends and family when they joined Castaneda’s group. They also refused to be photographed and took new names: Regina Thal became Florinda Donner-Grau, Maryann Simko became Taisha Abelar and Kathleen Pohlman became Carol Tiggs. Patricia Partin was another disciple. She was renamed Blue Scout by Castaneda.
Shortly after Castaneda died in April of 1998, his companions Donner-Grau, Abelar and Patricia Partin disappeared. Amalia Marquez (also known as Talia Bey) and Tensegrity instructor Kylie Lundahl had their phones disconnected and also disappeared. Weeks, later, Partin’s red Ford Escort was found abandoned in Death Valley. Her sun-bleached skeleton was discovered five years later by a pair of hikers in the Panamint Dunes area of the desert. On August 2, 1998, Carol Tiggs spoke at a workshop in Ontario, Canada. Since that time, she also has disappeared.
Because the women in question had cut all ties with family and friends, it was some time before people noticed they were missing. There has been no official investigation into the disappearances of Donner-Grau, Simko and Lundahl. Luis Marquez, the brother of Talia Bey, went to police in 1999 over his sister’s disappearance, but was unable to convince them that her disappearance merited investigation. In 2006, Partin’s remains discovered in the desert were identified by DNA. The investigating authorities have ruled her death as undetermined.
Despite the widespread popularity of his works, some critics questioned the validity of Castaneda’s books as early as 1969. In a series of articles, international banker and amateur mycologist R. Gordon Wasson, who had originally praised Castaneda’s work, questioned the accuracies of Castaneda’s botanical claims.
In 1976, author and Scientologist Richard de Mille published Castaneda’s Journey: The Power and the Allegory, in which he argued, “Logical or chronological errors in the narrative constitute the best evidence that Castaneda’s books are works of fiction. If no one has discovered these errors before, the reason must be that no one has listed the events of the first three books in sequence. Once that has been done, the errors are unmistakable.”On these showings de Mille asserts, The Teachings of Don Juan and Journey to Ixtlan (his third book) cannot both be factual reports.
For his part, Castaneda in the introduction to A Separate Reality, his second book, addressed the incomprehensible nature of his experiences as only being able to be understood in the context of the alien system of perception from which they arose, suggesting that his books are by their very nature contradictory and incomprehensible (as to time and place especially) to academic and critical inquiry.
In a 1968 radio interview with Theodore Roszak, Castaneda, while confirming that his mystical experiences were absolutely true to life, did explain that he took some chronological license in his writing about actual events: “The way the books present it seems to heighten some dramatic sequences, which is, I’m afraid, not true to real life. There are enormous gaps in between in which ordinary things took place, that are not included. I didn’t include in the book because they did not pertain to the system I wanted to portray, so I just simply took them away, you see. And that means that the gaps between those very heightened states, you know, whatever, says that I remove things that are continuous crescendos, in kind of sequence leading to a very dramatic solution. But in real life it was a very simple matter because it took years between, months pass in between them, and in the meantime we did all kinds of things. We even went hunting. He (Don Juan) told me how to trap things, set traps, very old, old ways of setting a trap, and how to catch rattlesnakes. He told me how to prepare rattlesnakes, in fact. And so that eases up, you see, the distrust or the fear.”
At first, and with the backing of academic qualifications and the UCLA anthropological department, Castaneda’s work was critically acclaimed. Notable anthropologists like Edward Spicer (1969) and Edmund Leach (1969) praised Castaneda, alongside more alternative and young anthropologists.
The authenticity of Don Juan was accepted for six years, until Richard de Mille and Daniel Noel both published their critiques of the Don Juan books in 1976. Later anthropologists specializing in Yaqui Indian culture (William Curry Holden, Jane Holden Kelley and Edward H. Spicer), who originally supported Castaneda’s account as true, questioned the accuracies of Castaneda’s work.
Others[who?] (including Dr. Clement Meighan) point out that the books largely, and for the most part, do not pretend to describe Yaqui culture at all with its emphasis on Catholic upbringing and conflict with the Federal State of Mexico, but rather focus on the international movements and life of Don Juan who was described in the books as traveling and having many connections, and abodes, in the Southwestern United States (Arizona), Northern Mexico, and Oaxaca. Don Juan was described in the books as a shaman steeped in a mostly lost Toltec philosophy and decidedly anti-Catholic. Dr. Clement Meighan, one of Castaneda’s professors at UCLA, and an acknowledged expert on Indian culture in the U.S., Mexico, and other areas in North America, up to his death, never doubted that Castaneda’s work was based upon authentic contact with and observations of Indians. Later, Miguel Ruiz also verified the existence of Indian “Brujos” in Mexico with native teachings much like Don Juan’s.
A March 5, 1973 Time article by Sandra Burton, looking at both sides of the controversy, stated:
…the more worldly claim to importance of Castaneda’s books: to wit, that they are anthropology, a specific and truthful account of an aspect of Mexican Indian culture as shown by the speech and actions of one person, a shaman named Juan Matus. That proof hinges on the credibility of Don Juan as a being and Carlos Castaneda as a witness. Yet there is no corroboration beyond Castaneda’s writings that Don Juan did what he is said to have done, and very little that he exists at all.
A strong case can be made that the Don Juan books are of a different order of truthfulness from Castaneda’s pre-Don Juan past. Where, for example, was the motive for an elaborate scholarly put-on? The Teachings were submitted to a university press, an unlikely prospect for best-sellerdom. Besides, getting an anthropology degree from U.C.L.A. is not so difficult that a candidate would employ so vast a confabulation just to avoid research. A little fudging perhaps, but not a whole system in the manner of The Teachings, written by an unknown student with, at the outset, no hope of commercial success.
David Silverman sees value in the work even while considering it fictional. In Reading Castaneda he describes the apparent deception as a critique of anthropology field work in general – a field that relies heavily on personal experience, and necessarily views other cultures through a lens. According to Silverman, not only the descriptions of peyote trips but also the fictional nature of the work are meant to place doubt on other works of anthropology.
Donald Wieve cites Castaneda to explain the insider/outsider problem as it relates to mystical experiences, while acknowledging the fictional nature of his work.
Two other authors, Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner-Grau, wrote books in which they claimed to be from Matus’ party of Toltec warriors. Both Abelar and Donner-Grau were endorsed by Castaneda as being legitimate students of Matus, whereas he dismissed all other writers as pretenders. The two women were part of Castaneda’s inner circle, which he referred to as “The Brujas,” and both assumed different names as part of their dedication to their new beliefs. They were originally both graduate students in anthropology at UCLA.
Felix Wolf, one of Carlos Castaneda’s apprentices and translators, wrote The Art of Navigation: Travels with Carlos Castaneda and Beyond. In his book Wolf details how his life had been transformed by his association with Castaneda. While touching on all aspects of the teachings, Wolf highlights what he perceives to be the overriding and essential transmission that came through Castaneda’s work: The Art of Navigation.
Amy Wallace wrote Sorcerer’s Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda, an account of her personal experiences with Castaneda and his followers.
In Carlos Castaneda e a Fenda entre os Mundos – Vislumbres da Filosofia Ānahuacah no Século XXI Brazilian writer Luis Carlos de Morais analyzes the work of Carlos Castaneda, its cultural implications, and its continuation in other authors.
Sanchez’s first book, The Teachings of Don Carlos: Practical Applications of the Works of Carlos Castaneda (1995), provides in-depth techniques and commentary on a path of “self-growth” based on the wisdom of the Toltec descendants. His approach in this book is bringing the proposals of Castaneda down to the earth focusing on those parts of Castaneda’s book that can be applied in everyday life and used for personal development. Sanchez has published three further books: Toltecs of the New Millennium (1996), providing an overview of and background on the author’s experiences with the Wirrarika; The Toltec Path of Recapitulation: Healing Your Past to Free Your Soul (2001); and The Toltec Oracle (2004). Sanchez’s recapitulation technique bears some resemblance to Sandra Ingerman’s soul retrieval technique, but is probably the most comprehensive approach to the subject that has been published so far. Other shamanic teachers using similar techniques include Michael Harner, PhD founder of “core shamanism”, and Ken Page, founder of Heart and Soul Healing. Some have associated Sanchez’s work with Toltec author Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Castaneda
Herman Slater (1935 – July 9, 1992) was an American Wiccan high priest and occult-bookstore proprietor as well as an editor, publisher, and author. He died of AIDS in 1992.
Slater was born in 1938 in a lower-middle-class Jewish neighborhood of New York. At a very early age, he became aware of anti-Semitism which was encouraged by the Catholic Church. This became one of the influences that led him to witchcraft. Slater studied business administration at New York University, liberal arts at Hunter College and traffic management at the Traffic Management Institute in New York. He also completed a full course at the United States Navy Personnel School in Bainbridge, Maryland. During 1958 through 1969, Slater had several business jobs in management, traffic expediting, and insurance claims investigation. 1969 marked the beginning of significant health-related issues for him. He was later forced to quit work due to bone tuberculosis, which cost him a hip bone and three years of recuperation.
Transition to witchcraft
During his recuperation process, Slater began experiencing and reading about paranormal phenomena, including divination (tarot cards), clairvoyance, and levitation. He spent an entire year lying in bed in a body cast that weighed 300 pounds. Then one morning, he awoke to find himself stretched across a chair on the opposite side of the room while still in his body cast. These experiences led him to witchcraft, and in 1972, he was initiated into the New York Coven of Welsh Traditional Witches. It was there he met Eddie Buczynski (Lord Gywddion), who was a high priest of the coven. Slater took the craft name Lord Govannon and the two became lovers.
Bucznski and Slater opened the The Warlock Shoppe, the oldest witchcraft bookshop in Brooklyn, New York. Buczynski was the more magical and spiritual of the two and left the business side to Slater, who helped the shop grow in profit. Most importantly, the shop established itself as the central information hub for local witches and the newly emerging neopagan communities. The two also published a periodical called Earth Religion News. It was extremely successful but also caused controversy due to its explicit contents and cover designs. In 1974, Slater was initiated into the Gardnerian tradition and assumed leadership of the coven in the late 1970s. The Warlock Shoppe later moved to West 19th Street in Manhattan (the borough of New York City) and operated under the name Magickal Childe. The Magickal Childe functioned as a major focal point for the neopagan community in the 1970s and well into the 1990s. In the later 1980s it gained something of a mercenary reputation being willing to put ‘curses’ on people for a price. with Slater’s death they started having trouble making ends meet and several significant new age publishers stopped providing them with books. The brick and mortar store finally closed in 1999.
In 1972, Slater presented the Inquisitional Bigot of the Year award to NBC during a guest appearance on the Today show, for an episode of Macmillan and Wife that had taken witchcraft and corrupted it into devil-worship rituals for the plot. The crew of Today had Slater physically removed from the set. More controversy surrounding Slater’s actual proficiency in the types of magick he claimed to practice, accusations that he plagiarized material, yelling out at irritable customers in his Magickal Childe store, “Get out of my store…”, as well as outrage over other behaviors he exhibited earned him the nickname “Horrible Herman”.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Slater
Dorothy Jane Roberts (May 8, 1929 – September 5, 1984) was an American author, poet, self-proclaimed psychic and spirit medium, who claimed to channel an energy personality who called himself “Seth”. Her publication of the Seth texts, known as the “Seth Material”, established her as one of the preeminent figures in the world of paranormal phenomena. The Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives maintains a collection entitled Jane Roberts Papers (MS 1090), which documents the career and personal life of Jane Roberts, including journals, poetry, correspondence, audio and video recordings and other materials donated after her death by Roberts’ husband and other individuals and organizations.
Early life and career
Roberts was born in a hospital in Albany, New York and grew up in nearby Saratoga Springs, New York. Her parents, Delmer Hubbell Roberts and Marie Burdo, divorced when she was two years old. With her only child, the young Marie then returned to her own parents, and the home that the family had rented for a number of years: half of a double dwelling in a poor neighborhood in Saratoga Springs. Marie had begun experiencing the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis by 1932, but worked as much as possible. Eventually Roberts’ grandfather, Joseph Burdo, with whom she shared a deep mystical identification, was unable to support two extra people, and the family had to rely upon public assistance. Roberts’ grandmother was killed in an automobile accident in 1936.
The next year, her grandfather moved out of the house. By then Marie was partially incapacitated, and the Welfare Department began to furnish mother and daughter with occasional (and often unreliable) domestic help. When Marie became a bedridden invalid, it was Jane’s responsibility to take care of her. This included cooking, cleaning, bringing her the bedpan, and getting up in the middle of the night to refuel the stove. Her embittered mother used to tell Jane that she was going to turn on the gas jets in the middle of the night and kill them both. “My mother was a real bitch,” Jane said, “but she was an energetic bitch. When my mother attempted suicide for about the fifth time, she took a whole mess of sleeping pills and was in the hospital. I went to the welfare lady and said, ‘I can’t take it anymore. I’ve just got to leave.'” Over and over Marie told Jane that she was no good, that the daughter’s birth had caused the mother’s illness, that she was disowned and considered no longer her daughter.
The persistent psychological abuse and mistreatment by her mother resulted in the young girl’s deep fear of abandonment. Such situations increased Jane’s sense of not being safe, yet also reinforced feelings of independence, for she did not have to feel as dependent upon Marie as she might otherwise. Well before she was 10 years old Jane had developed persistent symptoms of colitis. By her early teens she had an overactive thyroid gland. Her vision was poor; she required very strong glasses (which she seldom wore).
For most of 1940 and half of 1941 Jane was in a strictly-run Catholic orphanage in Troy, NY while her mother was hospitalized in another city for treatment of her arthritis. Priests came to the house regularly and support was offered to the fatherless family. Jane’s initial bonding to the cultural beliefs of religion was very strong to make up for the lack of a loving, nurturing family. However, some of Jane’s very early poetry using ideas akin to reincarnation offended one priest, who burned her books on the Fall of Rome.
The ‘troublesome’ material remained relatively inactive until her curiosity and ability led her to actively challenge those ideas while she was also in a situation where the natural fear of abandonment might be suggested. For a time she was left between belief systems. Jane began working at a variety store in the summer of 1945, when she was 16 years old. It was her first job. That fall she continued on the job after school hours, and on an occasional Saturday. After attending public schools, she attended Skidmore College from 1947 to 1950 on a poetry scholarship. Roberts’ grandfather died when she was age 19. It was a time of severe shock for her. She was beginning to substitute scientific belief for religious belief.
Jane had been going with a fellow named Walt Zeh at the time, and they decided to go to the west coast by motorcycle to see Jane’s father (who had also come from a broken home). Jane then married Walt, a long-time Saratoga Springs friend, and continued to write while taking a variety of other jobs, including society editor for the Saratoga newspaper and as a supervisor in a radio factory. They lived together for three years. She “then found out — [while she] was working in a radio factory putting lover-boy Walt through school what everybody else in town knew – [that] he isn’t going through school.” It was then in February 1954 while “cutting up, dancing, and raisin’ hell at a party,” that Jane first met the former commercial artist Robert Fabian Butts, Jr. (June 20, 1919 – May 26, 2008). The bachelor had shown up at the shindig on a last-minute impulse. The fourth time they met, at another party and never having dated, Jane “just looked at him and said, ‘Look, I’m leaving Walt, and I’m going to live by myself or I’m going to live with you, so just let me know.”
Eventually the two left town together and Jane filed for divorce. Jane and Rob married on December 27, 1954 at the home of his parents in Sayre, PA.
Roberts wrote in a variety of genres: poetry, short stories, children’s literature, nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy and novels. She was the only woman invited to the first science-fiction writer’s conference in 1956 in Milford, PA. The couple moved to Elmira, NY, in 1960, to find steady part-time work – Rob in the local greeting card company, Jane in an art gallery. Their lives seemed set, their art defined. Now in her 30s, she and her husband began to record what she said were messages from a personality named “Seth”, and she wrote several books about the experience.
On a September evening in 1963, their everyday worldview changed. Roberts sat down at her table to work on poetry; Butts’ was in his back-room studio, painting. “It was very domestic, very normal, very unpsychedelic,” she would later remember. And then “Between one normal minute and the next, a fantastic avalanche of radical, new ideas burst into my head with tremendous force … It was as if the physical world were really tissue-paper-thin, hiding infinite dimensions of reality, and I was flung through the tissue paper with a huge ripping sound.” When she “came to,” Roberts found herself scrawling the title of this odd batch of notes: The Physical Universe as Idea Construction. Before this, she had never had any interest in psychic phenomena, and though her fiction typically dealt with such themes as clairvoyance and reincarnation, intellectually neither she nor Butts believed in extrasensory abilities or that anyone survived death once, let alone many times. Yet soon after this episode, Roberts suddenly began recalling her dreams, including two that were inarguably precognitive, the first, as far as she knew, that she’d ever had. Their curiosity piqued, the couple decided to investigate further, and she managed to land a contract with a New York publisher for a do-it-yourself book on extra-sensory perception.
In late 1963, Roberts and Butts started experimenting with a Ouija board as part of Roberts’ research for the book. According to Roberts and Butts, on December 2, 1963 they began to receive coherent messages from a male personality who eventually identified himself as Seth. Soon after, Roberts reported that she was hearing the messages in her head. The first seven sessions were entirely with the Ouija board. The three-hour session on the evening of Jan. 2, 1964 was the first where she began to dictate the messages instead of using the Ouija board. For a while she still opened her sessions with the board, but finally was able to abandon it after the 27th session on Feb. 19, 1964. She began to dictate the messages instead of using the Ouija board, and she eventually abandoned the board.
Roberts described the process of writing the Seth books as entering a trance state. She said Seth would assume control of her body and speak through her, while her husband wrote down the words she spoke. They referred to such episodes as “readings” or “sessions”. The 26th session on Feb. 18, 1964 was the first held in the presence of another person, a friend.
On Jan. 17, 1964 Roberts channeled an allegedly recently deceased woman who told Butts that he and his wife’s work with Seth was a life-time project, that they would publish his manuscripts, and help spread his ideas.At the 27th session Seth also told the couple how to rearrange the furniture in their apartment which would better suit their energies. Despite feelings of disbelief toward both messages, the couple somewhat reluctantly agreed. Two days afterwards they heard from a psychologist interested in reincarnation to whom they had written three weeks earlier with some session copies enclosed. The psychologist told them that the very fluency of the material suggested that it might come from Roberts’ subconscious, though it was impossible to tell. He also cautioned that in some circumstances, amateur mediumship could lead to mental problems.
The letter upset me considerably, yet it also objectified some of my own doubts. They were out in the air where I could at least deal with them. As far as the we could tell, for all of my stewing and hemming and hawing, there were no alarming changes in my personality. I was doing twice the creative work I had done earlier. I was satisfied with the quality of the Seth Material; it was far superior to anything I could do on my own. If nothing else, I thought the sessions presented a way of making deeply unconscious knowledge available on a consistent basis.
Because we were so innocent about psychic literature, we weren’t hampered by superstitious fears about such [psychic] phenomena. I didn’t believe in gods or demons, so I didn’t fear them. I wanted to learn. Rob and I had discovered a whole new world together, and we were going to explore it.
There was a constant battle, though, as some of our results ran full tilt into my intellectual ideas. In the beginning, I took it for granted that Seth was a subconscious fantasy, personified, because I simply couldn’t accept the possibility of spirits or, for that matter, life after death. Then, after it became obvious that the Seth sessions were going to continue, we kept constant check on my personality characteristics and went to a psychologist – as any sane, red-blooded American would do under such circumstances in those days. Seth seemed far more mature and well-balanced than the psychologist, so finally I stopped worrying. Besides, my personality showed no adverse signs of instability. If anything, I was more competent in handling physical affairs. This is not to say the experience did not cause certain strains and stresses that could accompany any worthwhile venture in an entirely new field.
Roberts also purportedly channeled the world views of several other people, including the philosopher William James,Rembrandt, and the Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, through a process she described as using a typewriter to write “automatically.”
For 21 years until Roberts’ death in 1984 (with a one-year hiatus due to her final illness), Roberts held more than 1500 regular, private or deleted and “ESP class” trance sessions in which she spoke on behalf of Seth.Butts served as stenographer, taking the messages down in home-made shorthand, and having others on occasion make recording of some sessions. The messages from Seth channeled through Roberts consisted mostly of monologues on a wide variety of topics. They were published by Prentice-Hall under the collective title Seth Material.
Over the years, hundreds of people witnessed Seth speaking. Some went to the ESP classes Roberts held (Tuesday and some Thursday nights, Sept. 1967 – Feb. 1975)for an evening, others attended for longer periods. (By this time Jane had given up her gallery work, and was teaching nursery school during part of this time.) Outside of the ESP class structure, Roberts gave many personal Seth sessions to various individuals who had written her, asking for help. She never charged for those sessions; however, at some point she did charge $2.50 to $3.50 per ESP class of 5 to 40 people. When the books began to sell in sufficient numbers, she dropped that fee.Book sessions were almost always private, held on Monday and Wednesday evenings without witnesses from 1967 through 1982 (except for Tues and Thurs from Aug. to Nov. 1981).
The material through 1969 was published in summary form in The Seth Material, written by Roberts from the output of the channeling sessions. Beginning in January 1970, Roberts wrote books which she described as dictated by Seth. Roberts claimed no authorship of these books beyond her role as medium. This series of “Seth books” totaled ten volumes. The last two books appear to be incomplete due to Roberts’ illness. Butts contributed extensive footnotes, appendices, and other comments to all the Seth books, and thus was a co-author on all of them. These additions describe what was going on in Roberts’ and his life at the time of the various sessions, annotated some of Seth’s comments in light of contemporary beliefs and materials that Roberts and Butts were reading, described excerpts from some fan mail and letters from professionals commenting on Seth’s material about their fields, and especially later, provided insight as to the many steps of production of multiple books with the publisher. By February 1982 they were still receiving “from 30 to 50 letters and packages a week” from readers of their various books. Some of Roberts’ earlier and later poetry was occasionally included to show how she had touched upon some of Seth’s concepts.Roberts also wrote The Oversoul Seven trilogy to explore via fiction some of Seth’s teachings on the concepts of reincarnation and oversouls.
According to Roberts, Seth described himself as an “energy personality essence no longer focused in physical matter”, and was independent of Roberts’ subconscious. Roberts initially expressed skepticism as to Seth’s origins, wondering if he was a part of her own personality. As Seth, Roberts at times appeared stern, jovial or professorial. “His” voice was deeper and more masculine sounding than Jane’s and was possessed of a distinct, although not identifiable, accent. Unlike the psychic Edgar Cayce, whose syntax when speaking in trance was antiquated and convoluted, Roberts’ syntax and sentence structures were modern and clear when speaking as Seth. Later books continued to develop but did not contradict the material introduced in earlier works. Some Practice Elements were even given so that the readers could see how a few of the concepts could be practically experienced.
A few contemporary world events were commented upon by Seth, such as the Jonestown Guyana deaths and the Three Mile Island accident. Seth also provided an alternative creation myth to that of either the Big Bang or Intelligent Design.
Roberts’ father died in November 1971 at the age of 68; her mother died six months later at the same age. In early 1982 Roberts spent a month in the hospital for severely underactive thyroid gland, protruding eyes and double vision, an almost total hearing loss, a slight anemia, budding bedsores—and a hospital-caused staph infection She recovered to an extent, but died two and a half years later in 1984, having been bedridden with severe arthritis—like her mother—for the final year and a half of her life. Roberts had spent 504 consecutive days in a hospital in Elmira, N.Y. The immediate causes of her death were a combination of protein depletion, osteomyelitis, and soft-tissue infections. These conditions arose out of her long-standing rheumatoid arthritis. (Butts believed for some 15 years that in Roberts’ case, at least, the young girl’s psychological conditioning was far more important—far more damaging, in those terms—than any physical tendency to inherit the disease.) Roberts was cremated the next day, in a process she and Butts had agreed upon several years earlier. After Roberts’ death, lovingly recorded in The Way Toward Health (1997), Butts continued his work as a guardian of the Seth texts and continued to supervise the publication of some of the remaining material, including The Early Sessions, and making sure that all of the recordings, manuscripts, notes and drawings related to the extraordinary encounters with Seth would be given to the Yale Library. Butts remarried, and his second wife, Laurel Lee Davies, supported his work during the more than twenty years that they were together. (Davies had moved to Elmira from California in 1985 at Butts’ request to help answer mail and proofread manuscripts. They did not actually marry until 1999.) Butts died of cancer on May 26, 2008. Jane Roberts Butts and Robert F. Butts Jr. are interred together in the Wayne County, NY, Furnaceville cemetery; however, there is another gravestone with their names on it in the Sunnyside cemetery in Tunkhannock, PA. The vitality of the teachings they helped to bring to the world continues A number of groups have compiled anthologies of quotes from Seth, summarized sections of his teachings, issued copies of Seth sessions on audio tape, and further relayed the material via classes and conventions.
Reception and influence
Seth’s effect upon New Age thinkers has been profound. The title jacket of “The Nature of Personal Reality, A Seth Book” published in 1994 (Amber-Allen/New World Library) contains testimonials from some of the most notable thinkers and writers within the movement. Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Shakti Gawain, Dan Millman, Louise Hay, Richard Bach, and others express the effect the Seth Material had upon their own awakening. In words similar to Williamson’s they state: “Seth was one of my first metaphysical teachers. He remains a constant source of knowledge and inspiration in my life.” Catherine L. Albanese, professor of religious history at the University of Chicago, stated that in the 1970s the Seth Material “launched an era of nationwide awareness” of the channeling trend. She believes it contributed to the “self-identity of an emergent New Age movement and also augment[ed] its ranks.”
John P. Newport, in his study of the impact of New Age beliefs on contemporary culture, described the central focus of the Seth material as the idea that, for each individual: “you create your own reality”. (Briefly summarized, our beliefs generate emotions which trigger our memories and organize our associations. Eventually those beliefs become manifested in our physical lives and health.) Newport wrote that this foundational concept of the New Age movement was first developed in the “Seth Material”. Historian Robert C. Fuller, a professor of religious studies at Bradley University, wrote that Seth filled the role of guide for what Fuller called “unchurched American spirituality”, related to concepts of reincarnation, karma, free will, ancient metaphysical wisdom, and “Christ consciousness”.
Some writers noted, “Husband Robert Butts stated that similarities exist between Seth’s ideas and those of various religious, philosophical, and mystical doctrines from the Near, Middle, or Far East…. and we’ve done a little reading on Buddhism, Hinduism, Zen, and Taoism, for example, not to mention subjects like shamanism, voodooism, and obeah.”
The late amateur physicist Michael Talbot wrote, “To my great surprise—and slight annoyance—I found that Seth eloquently and lucidly articulated a view of reality that I had arrived at only after great effort and an extensive study of both paranormal phenomena and quantum physics.”
Roberts and the Seth Material have attracted critiques from outside the paranormal community. The poet Charles Upton, in his collection of essays titled The System of Antichrist, posited that Roberts multiplied the self due to a fear of death. His opinion was that the Seth texts are based on a misunderstanding of both Christianity and of Eastern religions.
Professor of psychology and noted critic of parapsychology James E. Alcock opined, “In light of all this, the Seth materials must surely be viewed as less than ordinary. There certainly was the time and talent for fraud to play a role, but we cannot discriminate between that possibility and the possibility of unconscious production— At any rate, given these circumstances, there seems little need to consider the involvement of any supernatural agency.”
Seth’s teaching of a philosophy far more detailed than and not in keeping with traditional Church-authority, God-separate-from Creation, one-mortal-life, Jesus-centered messages has also received its share of criticism from some Christian believers. Various ministries have warned their members about the dangers and deceptions of reading channeled messages from Roberts and others. The Seth Material has been considered in certain circles to be “a book entirely written by a demon. A woman simply wrote it down as it was dictated to her by the demon; and, of course, it just destroys everything that is true in terms of God’s revelation” and as evidence for “Devil possession.” Videos such as Jane Roberts’ Seth Speaks is Anti-Catholic Hate Books – Allowed By The Media protested that Seth was “a demon from hell contacted through a ouija board.”
Since Roberts’ death, others have claimed to channel Seth. In the introduction to Seth’s first dictated book, Seth Speaks, “he” says, “communications will come exclusively through Ruburt [Seth’s name for Jane] at all times, to protect the integrity of the material”. In The Seth Material, Jane Roberts wrote: “Several people have told me that Seth communicated with them through automatic writing, but Seth denies any such contacts.” At least one person has claimed more recently to channel Roberts.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Roberts
Hurkos, Peter (1911-1988)
Prominent psychic born on May 21, 1911, as Peter Van der Hurk in Dordrecht, Holland. He worked as a merchant seaman before becoming a member of the Dutch underground movement in occupied Holland during World War II. He claimed that as a result of a fall from a ladder in 1941 he discovered a psychic faculty.
Hurkos was not able to make use of the new ability immediately, because he was arrested and imprisoned in Buchenwald, Germany, for the duration of World War II. Upon his return to Holland he found his psychic abilities too distracting for him to follow a normal occupation, and he began to appear on stage and television shows, demonstrating feats of ESP. In 1947 he began work as a psychic detective, his fame being derived from his abilities in tracing missing persons and objects and identifying criminals. While having some success, he also had his notable failures. For example, when he was brought in to assist the police in tracing the Boston Strangler, his psychic description had no relevance to Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to the crimes. Hurkos cooperated with police departments throughout Europe and the United States.
Hurkos was a controversial psychic. He promoted himself and his successes. He was brought to the United States in 1965 by Andrija Puharich, who tested his abilities over a two-and-a-half-year period. He was praised by police in New Jersey for his assistance in solving a murder case. However, various parapsychologists had different experiences with him. Tests by Charles T. Tart were negative, and Hurkos refused the invitations of J. B. Rhine to be tested at Duke University.
Hurkos died in Los Angeles, California, on May 25, 1988.
Lobsang Rampa is the pen name of an author who wrote books with paranormal and occult themes. His best known work is The Third Eye, published in Britain in 1956.
Following the publication of the book, newspapers reported that Rampa was Cyril Henry Hoskin (8 April 1910 – 25 January 1981), a plumber from Plympton in Devon who claimed that his body hosted the spirit of a Tibetan lama going by the name of Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, who is purported to have authored the books. The name Tuesday relates to a claim in The Third Eye that Tibetans are named after the day of the week on which they were born.
The Third Eye
In November 1956 a book called The Third Eye was published in the United Kingdom. It was written by a man named as Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, and it purported to relate his experiences while growing up in Chakpori Lamasery Chokpori, Tibet after being sent there at the age of seven. The title of the book is derived from an operation, similar to trepanation, that Rampa claimed he had undergone, in which a small hole was drilled into his forehead to arouse the third eye and enhance powers of clairvoyance. The book describes the operation as follows:
The instrument penetrated the bone. A very hard, clean sliver of wood had been treated by fire and herbs and was slid down so that it just entered the hole in my head. I felt a stinging, tickling sensation apparently in the bridge of my nose. It subsided and I became aware of subtle scents which I could not identify. Suddenly there was a blinding flash. For a moment the pain was intense. It diminished, died and was replaced by spirals of colour. As the projecting sliver was being bound into place so that it could not move, the Lama Mingyar Dondup turned to me and said: “You are now one of us, Lobsang. For the rest of your life you will see people as they are and not as they pretend to be.”
During the story, Rampa sees yetis and eventually encounters a mummified body of himself from an earlier incarnation. He also takes part in an initiation ceremony in which he learns that during its early history the Earth was struck by another planet, causing Tibet to become the mountain kingdom that it is today.
The manuscript of The Third Eye had been turned down by several leading British publishers before being accepted by Secker and Warburg for an advance of £800 (£17,000 today). Fredric Warburg of Secker and Warburg had met the book’s author, who at the time appeared in the guise of “Doctor Carl Kuon Suo”.
Intrigued by the writer’s personality, Warburg sent the manuscript to a number of scholars, several of whom expressed doubts about its authenticity. Nevertheless, the book was published in November 1956 and soon became a global bestseller. The Times Literary Supplement said of the book: “It came near to being a work of art.”
Controversy over authorship
Explorer and Tibetologist Heinrich Harrer was unconvinced about the book’s origins and hired a private detective from Liverpool named Clifford Burgess to investigate Rampa. The findings of Burgess’ investigation were published in the Daily Mail in February 1958. It was reported that the author of the book was a man named Cyril Henry Hoskin, who had been born in Plympton, Devon, in 1910 and was the son of a plumber. Hoskin had never been to Tibet and spoke no Tibetan. In 1948, he had legally changed his name to Carl Kuon Suo before adopting the name Lobsang Rampa. An obituary of Fra Andrew Bertie, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, claims that he was involved in unmasking Lobsang Rampa as a West Country plumber.
Rampa was tracked by the British press to Howth, Ireland, and confronted with these allegations. He did not deny that he had been born as Cyril Hoskin, but claimed that his body was now occupied by the spirit of Lobsang Rampa.According to the account given in his third book, The Rampa Story, he had fallen out of a fir tree in his garden in Thames Ditton, Surrey, while attempting to photograph an owl. He was concussed and, on regaining his senses, had seen a Buddhist monk in saffron robes walking towards him. The monk spoke to him about Rampa taking over his body and Hoskin agreed, saying that he was dissatisfied with his current life. When Rampa’s original body became too worn out to continue, he took over Hoskin’s body in a process of transmigration of the soul.
Rampa maintained for the rest of his life that The Third Eye was a true story. In the foreword to the 1964 edition of the book, he wrote:
I am Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, that is my only name, now my legal name, and I answer to no other.
To Donald S. Lopez, Jr., an American Tibetologist, the books of Lobsang Rampa are “the works of an unemployed surgical fitter, the son of a plumber, seeking to support himself as a ghostwriter.”
Influence on Tibetologists’ callings
Donald S. Lopez, Jr., in Prisoners of Shangri-La (1998), points out that when discussing Rampa with other tibetologists and buddhologists in Europe, he found that The Third Eye was the first book many of them had read about Tibet; “For some it was a fascination with the world Rampa described that had led them to become professional scholars of Tibet.”
Lopez adds that when he gave The Third Eye to a class of his at the University of Michigan without telling them about its history, the “students were unanimous in their praise of the book, and despite six prior weeks of lectures and readings on Tibetan history and religion, […] they found it entirely credible and compelling, judging it more realistic than anything they had previously read about Tibet.”
Role in the Tibetan cause
Lobsang Rampa was a supporter of the Tibetan cause despite criticism of his books. In 1972, Rampa’s French language agent Alain Stanké wrote to the Dalai Lama and asked for his opinion about Rampa’s identity. He received a reply from the Dalai Lama’s deputy secretary stating “I wish to inform you that we do not place credence in the books written by the so-called Dr. T. Lobsang Rampa. His works are highly imaginative and fictional in nature.” The Dalai Lama had previously admitted that although the books were fictitious, they had created good publicity for Tibet.
Lobsang Rampa went on to write another 18 books containing a mixture of religious and occult material. One of the books, Living with the Lama, was described as being dictated to Rampa by his pet Siamese cat, Mrs Fifi Greywhiskers. Faced with repeated accusations from the British press that he was a charlatan and a con artist, Rampa went to live in Canada in the 1960s. He and his wife, San Ra’ab, became Canadian citizens in 1973, along with Sheelagh Rouse (Buttercup) who was his secretary and regarded by Rampa as his adopted daughter.
Lobsang Rampa died in Calgary on 25 January 1981, at the age of 70.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobsang_Rampa
KIRBY HENSLEY (1911-1999)
Included here on this list, mostly because so many occultists buy fake degrees and church charters from his “church”. This nutty little preacher from North Carolina started a bogus church that made him thousands (The Universal Life Church in 1962) , because he would ordain anyone for money. He also started a bogus law school that was shut down, and even ran for President as all crackpots seem to do. The ULC even ordains atheists, Satanists, and even animals and inanimate objects! My pet Cocker Spaniel Oscar is a ULC “minister”, complete with certificate of ordination! Some people have even got their potted plants ordained! One man had an old tennis shoe ordained. Think about it, would you want to be part of a church that ordains not only anyone…but anything???
The Universal Life Church is a diploma mill as well as an ordination mill. Hensley himself received a Doctor of Divinity degree from another diploma mill, as well as a bogus degree in metallurgy, which he mistakenly bought thinking it was a degree in metaphysics! The ULC offers Doctor of Divinity degrees without any tests, previous education, or studying, for a “donation” of about $29.95. There’s also a PhD in religion offered for around $100. If you see an occultist with “D.D.” after their name, chances are they got it from the ULC or a similar mill. The ULC also sales a variety of titles from Imam, Arch-Cardinal, Rabbi, Deacon, Bishop and even (no kidding) Jedi Knight.
Hensley himself claimed he didn’t believe in a god, but claimed the sky was “our father” and the earth was “our mother”. He believed in reincarnation, claiming to be a reincarnated vaudeville comedian. Borrowing from Christian Science (to which he belonged to briefly), he claimed Jesus and Christ were to separate beings, and that Jesus of Nazareth was really the anti-Christ. Some people he ordained included New Age minister Rev. Terry Cole Whittaker, atheist Madeleine O’Hair, Fr. Alberto Rivera the fake ex-Jesuit of Jack Chick comic book fame, and the mass murderer “Reverend” Jim Jones (who was also an atheist). Hensley’s fake church is worthless spiritually. It only served to make him money. Yet many occultists seek ordination from his church. Aren’t you better than, a dog, a potted plant, or a mass murderer??? Then why be in the same league they are???
Hubbard, L(afayette) Ron(ald) (1911-1986)
Founder of the Church of Scientology. Hubbard was born in Tilden, Nebraska, on March 13, 1911. He spent much of his childhood in Montana on his grandfather’s ranch. His father was a naval officer, and as Hubbard matured, he traveled through the Pacific and to Asia. In 1930 he enrolled in the Engineering School of George Washington University, Washington, D.C., where he studied for the next two years. During the remainder of the decade he roamed the world as a participant in various explorations and wrote over 150 articles and short stories. His first book, Buckskin Brigades, appeared in 1937. In 1940 he was elected a member of the Explorers Club in New York. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy with the rank of lieutenant. He also worked briefly in naval intelligence.
After the war, he returned to writing as a career. As a writer, Hubbard had a prodigious output and was remembered for the amazing speed at which he could produce copy. Often several stories would be published in the same issue of a magazine and thus many appeared under pseudonyms. No one systematically recorded his output, and reassembling a bibliography was a tedious process, carried out through the 1980s. In the 1930s he turned out Westerns for pulp magazines under the pseudonym “Winchester Remington Colt.” His early science-fiction pulp stories were under the pseudonyms “Kurt von Rachen” and “René Lafayette.” He wrote for Columbia Pictures in Hollywood in 1935.
Through the 1940s, partly based upon his experiences in the war, Hubbard began to develop a new philosophy of human nature and a new approach to dealing with basic human ills. The first public notice of his thinking appeared in an article in Astounding Science Fiction (May 1950), later to prove an unfortunate debut. As Dianetics, the name he gave his new approach, developed into the Church of Scientology and proved both controversial and successful, it would be demeaned as a “science fiction” religion and Hubbard dismissed as just a hack science fiction writer.
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health appeared a few weeks after the Astounding Science Fiction article. The book created a sensation and launched a vast new industry of do-it-yourself psychotherapy. Hubbard created the Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation and local Dianetics centers began to emerge based upon Hubbard’s technique for ridding individuals of the causes of aberrant behavior patterns and leading them to a state of “clear.”
As Hubbard continued to expand his thought and work out the implications of his theories, Dianetics grew into a comprehensive philosophical-religious system, Scientology. In 1954 the first Church of Scientology was opened in Los Angeles. The rest of Hubbard’s life would be spent in developing and perfecting Scientology. In 1966 he resigned from any official position in the church, but he continued his research and writing for a number of years. He developed guidelines for the church and left behind writing that focused on the implications of his thought for education and business.
During the last years of his life he dropped out of public sight and remained in contact with only a few church leaders. In the years prior to his death on January 24, 1986, he returned to his love for storytelling and wrote one major novel, Battlefield Earth, and a ten-volume science fiction series, Mission Earth.
As his church became a prosperous international movement, it and Hubbard became the center of controversies involving people who left the movement to found competing organizations, former members who turned upon the church for real or imagined grievances, and the anti-cult movement, which branded the church a cult. In retrospect, early controversy with the American Medical Association, which disapproved of Dianetics, seems to have spilled over into federal government departments and covert actions against the church were instigated. Rumors of illicit actions by the church, many of which led to problems with different governments, began to emerge around the world. Legal actions, most of which were eventually resolved, became the justification for action against the church in additional countries. Some high church officials authorized the infiltration of several government agencies, and this became a major source of embarrassment for the church when the people responsible were arrested and convicted for theft of government documents.
For the Church of Scientology, the years since 1985 have been marked by intense polemics and court action between members of the church and the Cult Awareness Network, which emerged in the mid-1980s as the chief organizational expression of the anti-cult movement. These legal battles continue. However, a several-decades-old controversy with the Internal Revenue Service came to an end.
Hubbard and the OTO
During the 1940s, Hubbard became involved in one of the more bizarre happenings in the world of the occult. In the 1930s, a lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis, the magical group headed by magician Aleister Crowley, had opened in Pasadena, California. Among its members was John W. “Jack” Parsons, a research scientist at the California Institute of Technology. At some point in 1945, Parsons decided to try a magical experiment to produce a magical child. At this point Hubbard showed up at Parson’s house and was eventually invited by Parsons to become the necessary third person in the magical experiment.
The experiment consisted of Parsons and his female partner engaging in sexual intercourse while a third person, a clairvoyant, would tell them what was occurring in the invisible astral realm. The ritual would climax at what the clairvoyant seer suggested was the proper moment. Hopefully the act would result in the pregnancy of the woman and the induction of a spirit in the resulting child.
While Parsons and Hubbard seemed to have developed a strong friendship, early in 1946 they parted ways and Hubbard moved to Miami. Parsons claimed that Hubbard had skipped town with OTO funds and went to Miami to confront him. The present Church of Scientology claims that Hubbard had no attachment to either Parsons or the OTO, and that in spite of Hubbard’s work with Parsons, Hubbard was never initiated into the organization. Rather, they suggest that he was acting as an undercover agent to investigate Parsons and other people associated with Cal Tech who were living in Parsons’s house and working on sensitive government projects. Several of these physicists were later dismissed from government service as security risks. Hubbard did work for a period after the war as an undercover agent for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Hubbard died January 24, 1986
Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈnwel noˈɾjega]; born February 11, 1934) is a former Panamanian politician and soldier. He was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989. In the 1989 invasion of Panama by the United States he was removed from power, captured, detained as a prisoner of war, and flown to the United States. Noriega was tried on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering in April 1992.
Noriega’s U.S. prison sentence ended in September 2007; pending the outcome of extradition requests by both Panama and France, for convictions in absentia for murder in 1995 and money laundering in 1999. France was granted its extradition request in April 2010. He arrived in Paris on April 27, 2010, and after a re-trial as a condition of the extradition, he was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in jail in July 2010. A conditional release was granted on September 23, 2011, for Noriega to be extradited to serve 20 years in Panama. He arrived in Panama on December 11, 2011.
Born in Panama City, Noriega was a career soldier, receiving much of his education at the Military School of Chorrillos in Lima, Peru. He also received intelligence and counterintelligence training at the School of the Americas at the U.S. Army’s Fort Gulick in the Panama Canal Zone in 1967, as well as a course in psychological operations (psyops) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was commissioned in the Panama National Guard in 1967 and promoted to lieutenant in 1968. In the power struggle that followed, including a failed coup attempt in 1969, Noriega supported Omar Torrijos. He received a promotion to lieutenant colonel and was appointed chief of military intelligence by Torrijos. Noriega claims that, following Torrijos’ instructions, he negotiated an amnesty for about 400 defeated guerrilla fighters, enabling them to return from exile in Honduras and Costa Rica.
Torrijos died in a plane accident on July 31, 1981. Colonel Roberto Díaz Herrera, a former associate of Noriega, claimed that the actual cause for the accident was a bomb and that Noriega was behind the incident.
Omar Torrijos was succeeded as Commander of the Panamanian National Guard by Colonel Florencio Flores Aguilar. One year later, Flores was succeeded by Rubén Darío Paredes, and Noriega became chief of staff. The guard was renamed the Panamanian Defense Forces. Paredes resigned as commander to run for the presidency, ceding his post as commander of the forces to Noriega.
Involvement with CIA
Although the relationship did not become contractual until 1967, Noriega worked with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from the late 1950s until the 1980s. In 1988 grand juries in Tampa and Miami indicted him on U.S. federal drug charges.
The 1988 Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations concluded: “The saga of Panama’s General Manuel Antonio Noriega represents one of the most serious foreign policy failures for the United States. Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, Noriega was able to manipulate U.S. policy toward his country, while skillfully accumulating near-absolute power in Panama. It is clear that each U.S. government agency which had a relationship with Noriega turned a blind eye to his corruption and drug dealing, even as he was emerging as a key player on behalf of the Medellín Cartel (a member of which was notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar).” Noriega was allowed to establish “the hemisphere’s first ‘narcokleptocracy'” One of the large financial institutions that he was able to use to launder money was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which was shut down at the end of the Cold War by the FBI. Noriega shared his cell with ex-BCCI executives in the facility known as “Club Fed”.
In the 1988 U.S. presidential election, Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis highlighted this history in a campaign commercial attacking his opponent, Vice President (and former CIA Director) George H. W. Bush, for his close relationship with “Panamanian drug lord Noriega.”
De facto rule of Panama
Noriega strengthened his position as de facto ruler in August 1983 by promoting himself to full general. Noriega, being paid by the CIA, extended new rights to the United States, and, despite the canal treaties, allowed the U.S. to set up listening posts in Panama. He aided the American-backed guerrillas in Nicaragua by acting as a conduit for U.S. money and, according to some accounts, weapons. However, Noriega insists that his policy during this period was essentially neutral, allowing partisans on both sides of the various conflicts free movement in Panama, as long as they did not attempt to use Panama as a base of military operations. He rebuffed requests by Salvadoran rightist Roberto D’Aubuisson to restrict the movements of leaders of the leftist Salvadoran insurgent Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front in Panama, and likewise rebuffed demands by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the United States Marine Corps that he provide military assistance to the Nicaraguan Contras. Noriega insists that his refusal to meet North’s demands was the actual basis for the U.S. campaign to oust him.
In October 1984, Noriega allowed the first presidential elections in 16 years. When the initial results showed former president Arnulfo Arias on his way to a landslide victory, Noriega halted the count. After brazenly manipulating the results, the government announced that the PRD’s candidate, Nicolás Ardito Barletta Vallarino, had won by a slim margin of 1,713 votes. Independent estimates suggested that Arias would have won by as many as 50,000 votes had the election been conducted fairly.
About this time, Hugo Spadafora, a vocal critic of Noriega who had been living abroad, accused Noriega of having connections to drug trafficking and announced his intent to return to Panama to oppose him. He was seized from a bus by a death squad at the Costa Rican border. Later, his decapitated body was found, showing signs of extreme torture, wrapped in a United States Postal Service mailing bag. His family and other groups called for an investigation into his murder, but Noriega stonewalled any attempts at an investigation. Noriega was in Paris at the time of the murder, which was alleged by some to have been at the direction of his Chiriquí Province commander, Luis Córdoba. A conversation captured on wiretap between Noriega (in Paris) and Córdoba included the exchange:
Córdoba: “We have the rabid dog.”
Noriega: “And what does one do with a dog that has rabies?”
President Barletta was visiting New York City at the time. A reporter asked him about the Spadafora matter, and he promised an investigation. Upon his return to Panama, he was summoned to FDP headquarters and told to resign. He was replaced by First Vice President Eric Arturo Delvalle. As a friend and former student of George Shultz, Barletta had been considered “sacrosanct” by the United States, and his dismissal signaled a marked downturn in the relations between the U.S. and Noriega. Herrera, a former member of Noriega’s inner circle, told Panama’s main opposition newspaper, La Prensa, that Noriega was behind Spadafora’s murder, and many other killings and disappearances as well. This resulted in an immediate outcry from the public.
The Civic Crusade, which opposed Noriega, was formed in 1981. Supporters of Noriega referred to the Civic Crusade as a creature of the rabiblancos or “white-tails”, the wealthy elite of European descent that dominated Panamanian commerce and had dominated Panamanian politics before the advent of Torrijos. Noriega, like Torrijos, was dark-skinned and claimed to represent the majority population, who were poor and of Zambo heritage (mixed African and Amerindian ancestry). Noriega supporters mocked the demonstrations of the Civic Crusade as “the protest of the Mercedes-Benz”, deriding the wealthy ladies for banging on Teflon-coated pots and pans rather than the cruder and louder pots and pans traditionally banged by the poor in South American protests, or for sending their maids to protest for them. Many rallies were held, with white cloths used as the symbol of the opposition. Noriega was always one step ahead of them, however, having informants within their groups notify his police in advance and routinely rounding up leaders and organizers the night before rallies. All of the peaceful rallies were brutally dispersed by Noriega’s army and paramilitary forces, known as the Dignity Battalions. Many people were beaten severely, incarcerated, and killed during the protests. Meanwhile he arranged rallies of his own, often under threat (for example, taxi drivers were told they had to attend a rally in support of Noriega or lose their licenses). Noriega claims that the Civic Crusade was the handiwork of U.S. Embassy chargé d’affaires John Maisto, who had arranged for Civic Crusade leaders to travel to the Philippines to learn the tactics of the U.S.-supported movement to overthrow Ferdinand Marcos.
The elections of May 1989 were surrounded by controversy. A PRD-led coalition nominated Carlos Duque, publisher of the country’s oldest newspaper, La Estrella de Panamá. Most of the other political parties banded behind a unified ticket of Guillermo Endara, a member of Arias’ Authentic Panameñista Party, along with vice-presidential candidates Ricardo Arias Calderón (no relation to Arnulfo Arias) and Guillermo Ford.
According to Guillermo Sanchez, the opposition alliance knew that Noriega planned to rig the count, but had no way of proving it. They found a way through a loophole in Panamanian election law. The alliance, with the support of the Roman Catholic Church, set up a count based directly on results at the country’s 4,000 election precincts before the results were sent to district centers. Noriega’s lackeys swapped fake tally sheets for the real ones and took those to the district centers, but by this time the opposition’s more accurate count was already out. It showed Endara winning in a landslide even more massive than in 1984, beating Duque by a 3-to-1 margin. Noriega had every intention of declaring Duque the winner regardless of the actual results. However, Duque knew he had been badly defeated and refused to go along.
Rather than publish the results, Noriega voided the election, claiming “foreign (i.e., American) interference” had tainted the results. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, there as an observer, denounced Noriega, saying the election had been “stolen”, as did Bishop Marcos G. McGrath.
The next day, Endara, Arias Calderón, and Ford rolled through the old part of the capital in a triumphant motorcade, only to be intercepted by a detachment of Noriega’s paramilitary Dignity Battalions. Arias Calderón was protected by a couple of troops, but Endara and Ford were badly beaten. Images of Ford running to safety with his guayabera shirt covered in blood were broadcast around the world. When the 1984–89 presidential term expired, Noriega named a longtime associate, Francisco Rodríguez, as acting president. The United States, however, recognized Endara as the new president.
United States invasion of Panama
The U.S. imposed economic sanctions, and in the months that followed, a tense standoff occurred between the U.S. military forces (stationed in the canal area) and Noriega’s troops. On December 15, 1989, the PRD-dominated legislature spoke of “a state of war” between the United States and Panama. It also declared Noriega “chief executive officer” of the government, formalizing a state of affairs that had existed for six years. Noriega subsequently claimed that this statement referred to U.S. actions against Panama, and did not represent a declaration of hostilities by Panama. The U.S. forces conducted regular “freedom of movement” maneuvers and operations, such as Operation Sand Flea and Operation Purple Storm. Serving in part as military drills, but also as psychological warfare designed to harass the future enemy, the U.S. military contended that the exercises were justified by the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 (the Torrijos-Carter Treaties), which guaranteed U.S. forces freedom of movement in the country in defense of the canal. Panama considered the exercises a violation of the treaties, and Noriega called them acts of war.
On the other hand, Noriega’s forces are said to have engaged in routine harassment of U.S. troops and civilians. Three incidents in particular occurred very near the time of the invasion, and were mentioned by U.S. President George H. W. Bush as a reason for invasion. In a December 16 incident, four U.S. personnel were stopped at a roadblock outside PDF headquarters in the El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City. The United States Department of Defense said that the servicemen were unarmed and in a private vehicle and that they attempted to flee the scene only after their vehicle was surrounded by a crowd of civilians and PDF troops. Second Lieutenant Robert Paz of the United States Marine Corps was shot and killed in the incident. The Los Angeles Times claimed that sources stated Paz was a member of the Hard Chargers, a group not sanctioned by the military whose goal was to agitate members of the PDF.The PDF claimed that the Americans were armed and on a reconnaissance mission. Major General Marc A. Cisneros, deputy commander of the Southern Command at the time of the invasion, said in a recent interview, “The story you’ve got from somebody that these guys were a vigilante group trying to provoke an incident—that is absolutely false”. According to an official U.S. military report, a U.S. naval officer and his wife who were witnesses to the incident were assaulted by Panamanian Defense Force soldiers while in police custody.A week before the U.S. invasion, a cable from an American diplomat to Washington described Noriega as a “master of survival” and, according to The New York Times, the diplomat did not have an inkling of the coming invasion one week later.
The U.S. invasion of Panama was launched on December 20, 1989. Losses on the U.S. side were 23 troops and 3 civilian casualties, while Panamanian losses were 150 troops and 500 civilian casualties.On December 29, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted 75–20 with 40 abstentions to condemn the invasion as a flagrant violation of international law. According to a CBS poll, 92% of Panamanian adults supported the U.S. incursion, and 76% wished that U.S. forces had invaded in October during the coup. However, left-wing activist Barbara Trent disputed this finding, claiming in a 1992 documentary that the Panamanian surveys were completed in wealthy, English-speaking neighborhoods in Panama City, among Panamanians most likely to support U.S. actions.
On the fifth day of the invasion, Noriega and four others took sanctuary in the Apostolic Nunciature, the Holy See’s embassy in Panama.Having threatened to flee to the countryside and lead guerrilla warfare if not given refuge, he instead turned over the majority of his weapons, and requested sanctuary from Monsignor Laboa. He spent his time in a “stark” room with no air conditioning or television, reading the Bible for the duration of his stay.
Prevented by treaty from invading the embassy of the Holy See, U.S. soldiers erected a perimeter around the Nunciature. Psychological warfare was used in an attempt to dislodge him, including blaring rock music, and turning a nearby field into a helicopter landing zone. After ten days of Operation Nifty Package, Noriega surrendered on January 3, 1990. He was detained as a prisoner of war, and later taken to the United States.
Criminal prosecution in the United States
In April 1992 a trial was held in Miami, Florida, at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in which Noriega was tried and convicted on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering.
At his trial, Noriega intended to defend himself by presenting his alleged crimes within the framework of his work for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The government objected to any disclosure of the purposes for which the United States had paid Noriega because this information was classified and its disclosure went against the interests of the United States. In pre-trial proceedings, the government offered to stipulate that Noriega had received approximately $220,000 from the United States Army and the Central Intelligence Agency. Noriega insisted that “the actual figure approached $10,000,000, and that he should be allowed to disclose the tasks he had performed for the United States”. The district court held that the “information about the content of the discrete operations in which Noriega had engaged in exchange for the alleged payments was irrelevant to his defense”. It ruled that the introduction of evidence about Noriega’s role in the CIA would “confuse the jury”.
After the trial, Noriega appealed this exclusionary ruling by the judge to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the government, despite disagreeing with the lower court. It said: “Our review leads us to conclude that information regarding the purposes for which the United States previously paid Noriega potentially had some probative value … Thus, the district court may have overstated the case when it declared evidence of the purposes for which the United States allegedly paid Noriega wholly irrelevant to his defense”. However, the Court of Appeals refused to set aside the verdict because it felt that “the potential probative value of this material, however, was relatively marginal”.
On September 16, 1992, Noriega was sentenced to 40 years in prison, later reduced to 30 years.
Before receiving his permanent prison assignment, Noriega was placed in the Federal Detention Center, Miami, facility. Noriega resided in the Federal Correctional Institution, Miami, in an unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, Florida, and had the Federal Bureau of Prisons ID number 38699-079.
Under Article 85 of the Third Geneva Convention,Noriega was considered a prisoner of war, despite his conviction for acts committed prior to his capture by the “detaining power” (the United States). This status meant that in Florida he had his own prison cell, furnished with electronics and exercise equipment. His cell had been nicknamed “the presidential suite”.
It was reported that Noriega had been visited by evangelical Christians, who claimed that he had become a born-again Christian. On May 15 and 16, 1990, while Noriega still awaited trial, Clift Brannon, a former attorney turned preacher, and a Spanish interpreter, Rudy Hernandez, were allowed to visit Noriega for a total of six hours at the Metropolitan Correctional Center of Dade County, Florida. Following the visit, Noriega wrote Brannon a letter stating:
On completing the spiritual sessions that you as a messenger of the Word of God brought to my heart, even to my area of confinement as Prisoner of War of the United States, I feel the necessity of adding something more to what I was able to say to you as we parted. The evening sessions of May 15 and 16 with you and Rudy Hernandez along with the Christian explanation and guidance were for me the first day of a dream, a revelation. I can tell you with great strength and inspiration that receiving our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior guided by you, was an emotional event. The hours flew by without my being aware. I could have desired that they continue forever, but there was no time nor space. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your human warmth, for your constant and permanent spiritual strength brought to bear on my mind and soul. – With great affection, Manuel A. Noriega.
Noriega’s prison sentence was reduced from 30 years to 17 years for good behavior. After serving 17 years in detention and imprisonment, his sentence ended on September 9, 2007.
Criminal prosecution in France
The French government requested Noriega’s extradition after he was convicted of money laundering in 1999. The French claimed that Noriega had laundered $3 million in drug proceeds by purchasing luxury apartments in Paris. Noriega was convicted in absentia, but France agreed to give him a new trial if he were extradited. He faced up to 10 years in French prison if convicted.
In August 2007, a U.S. federal judge approved a request from the French government to extradite Noriega from the United States to France after his release. Noriega has also received a long jail term in absentia in Panama for murder and human rights abuses. Noriega appealed his extradition to France because he claimed that country would not honor his legal status as a prisoner of war.In 1999, the Panamanian government sought the extradition of Noriega to face murder charges in Panama because he had been found guilty in absentia in 1995 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
On February 20, 2010, Noriega’s lawyers filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States to block his extradition to France, after the court refused to hear his appeal the previous month. Noriega’s attorneys had hoped the dissenting opinion in that ruling, written by Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, would convince the full court to take up his case, but on March 22, 2010, the Supreme Court refused to hear the petition. Two days after the refusal, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami lifted the stay that was blocking Noriega’s extradition. Later that month, after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signed the surrender warrant Noriega’s attorney stated that he would travel to France and try to arrange a deal with the French government.
On April 26, 2010, Noriega was extradited to France. Noriega’s lawyers claimed the La Santé Prison, at which he was held, was unfit for a man of his age and rank; the French government refused to grant him prisoner of war status, as he had in the United States.
On July 7, 2010, Noriega was convicted by the 11th chamber of the Tribunal Correctionnel de Paris and sentenced to seven years in jail.The prosecutor in the case had sought a ten-year prison term. In addition, €2.3 million (approximately US$3.6 million) that had long been frozen in Noriega’s French bank accounts was ordered to be seized.
Return to Panama
Panama asked France to extradite Noriega so he could face trial for human rights violations there. The French government had previously stated that extradition would not happen before the case in France had run its course. However, on September 23, 2011 a French court ordered a conditional release for Noriega to be extradited to Panama on October 1, 2011. He was extradited on December 11 and incarcerated at El Renacer prison to serve time for crimes committed during his rule. On February 5, 2012, Noriega was moved from the El Renacer prison to the Hospital Santo Tomas because of high blood pressure and a brain hemorrhage, where he remained for four days before being returned to prison.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Noriega
François Duvalier (French pronunciation: [fʁɑ̃swa dyvalje]; 14 April 1907 – 21 April 1971), also known as ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, was the President of Haiti from 1957 to 1971. He opposed a military coup d’état in 1950 and was elected as President in 1957 on a populist and black nationalist platform. His rule, based on a purged military, a rural militia known as the Tonton Macoute, and the use of a personality cult and voodoo, resulted in the murder of an estimated 30,000 Haitians and the exile of many more.
Prior to his rule, Duvalier, who was a physician by profession, was known for successfully fighting diseases and acquired the nickname ‘Papa Doc’ (“Daddy Doctor” in French). He took the title of President for Life in 1964 and remained in power until he died in 1971. He was succeeded by his son, Jean-Claude, who was nicknamed “Baby Doc”.
Early life and career
Duvalier was born in Port-au-Prince, the son of Duval Duvalier, a justice of the peace, and Ulyssia Abraham, a baker. He was largely raised by an aunt. He completed a degree in medicine from the University of Haiti in 1934. He served as staff physician at several local hospitals. He spent a year at the University of Michigan studying public health. In 1943, he became active in a United States-sponsored campaign to control the spread of contagious tropical diseases, helping the poor to fight typhus, yaws, malaria and other tropical diseases that ravaged Haiti for years.His patients affectionately called him “Papa Doc”, a moniker that he used throughout his life.Lucky enough to be schooled and literate in a country where few were educated, Duvalier witnessed the political turmoil of his country. The United States occupation of Haiti which began in 1915, left a powerful impression on the young Duvalier. He was also aware of the latent political power of the poor black majority and their resentment against the tiny mulatto elite. Duvalier became involved in the négritude movement of Haitian author Dr. Jean Price-Mars. He began an ethnological study of Vodou that later paid enormous political dividend. In 1938, Duvalier co-founded the journal Les Griots. In 1939, Duvalier married Simone Ovide, with whom he had four children: Marie Denise, Nicole, Simone and Jean-Claude.
In 1946, Duvalier aligned himself with President Dumarsais Estimé and was appointed Director General of the National Public Health Service. In 1949, Duvalier served as Minister of Health and Labour; but, when General Paul Magloire ousted President Estimé in a coup d’état, Duvalier left the government and was forced into hiding until 1956, when an amnesty was declared.
In December 1956, Magloire resigned and left Haiti to the rule of a succession of provisional governments. On 22 September 1957, presidential elections pitted Louis Déjoie, a mulatto land-owner and industrialist from the north of Haiti, against Duvalier, who was backed by the military. Duvalier campaigned as a populist, using a noiriste strategy of challenging the mulatto elite and appealing to the Afro-Haitian majority. He described his opponent as part of the ruling mulatto class that was making life difficult for the country’s rural black majority. The election resulted in Duvalier defeating Déjoie with 678,860 votes. Déjoie polled 264,830 votes and independent candidate Jumelle a mere percentage of the electorate. Duvalier’s only opponent among the black proletarians, Daniel Fignolé, had been forced into exile before the election, conveniently leaving Duvalier a path for a landslide.
Consolidation of power
After being sworn in on 22 October, Duvalier exiled most of the major supporters of Déjoie and had a new constitution adopted in 1957 .
President Duvalier promoted and patronised members of the black majority in the civil service and the army. In mid-1958, the army, which had supported Duvalier earlier, tried to oust him in another coup, but failed. In response, Duvalier replaced the chief-of-staff with a more reliable officer and then proceeded to create his
own power base within the army by turning the army’s Presidential Guard into an elite corps aimed at maintaining Duvalier’s power. After this, Duvalier dismissed the entire general staff and replaced it with officers owing their positions and their loyalty to him. In 1958 three exiled Haitians and five Americans landed in Haiti and tried to overthrow Duvalier; all of them were killed.
In 1959, Duvalier created a rural militia, the Milice Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (MVSN, English: National Security Volunteer Militia), commonly referred to as the Tonton Macoute after a Creole term for the bogeyman, to extend and bolster support for the regime in the countryside. The Macoute, which by 1961 had twice the numbers of the regular army, never developed into a real military force but still was more than a mere secret police.
In the early years of his rule, Duvalier was able to take advantage of strategic weaknesses of his powerful opponents, mostly from the Mulâtre elite. These weaknesses included the opponents’ inability to coordinate their actions against the government, that grew increasingly stronger.
In the name of nationalism, Duvalier expelled almost all of Haiti’s foreign-born bishops, an act that earned him excommunication from the Catholic Church. In 1966, Duvalier managed to persuade the Holy See to allow him one-time permission to nominate the Catholic hierarchy for Haiti. This action solidified the change to the status quo: no longer was Haiti under the grip of the minority rich mulattoes, protected by the military, and supported by the church. Duvalier now exercised even more power in Haiti.
Heart attack and Barbot affair
On 24 May 1959, Duvalier suffered a massive heart attack, possibly due to an insulin overdose; he had been a diabetic since early adulthood and also suffered from heart disease and associated circulatory problems. During this heart attack he was unconscious for nine hours; many associates believed that he suffered neurological damage during these events that affected his mental health and made him paranoid.
While recovering, Duvalier left power in the hands of Clément Barbot, leader of the Tonton Macoutes. Upon his return, Duvalier accused Barbot of trying to supplant him as president and had him imprisoned. In April 1963, Barbot was released and began plotting to remove Duvalier from office by kidnapping his children. The plot failed and Duvalier subsequently ordered a massive search for Barbot and his fellow conspirators. When during the search Duvalier was told that Barbot had transformed himself into a black dog, Duvalier ordered that all black dogs in Haiti be put to death. Barbot was later captured and shot by the Tonton Macoutes in July 1963. In other incidents, Duvalier ordered the head of an executed rebel packed in ice and brought to him so he could commune with the dead man’s spirit. Peep holes were carved into the walls of the interrogation chambers, through which Duvalier personally observed Haitian detainees being tortured and submerged in baths of sulfuric acid; sometimes, he was directly in the room during the tortures.
In 1961, he began violating the provisions of the 1957 constitution: first he replaced the bicameral legislature with a unicameral body. Then he called a new presidential election in which he was the sole candidate, though his term was to expire in 1963 and the constitution prohibited re-election. The election was flagrantly rigged; the official tally showed 1,320,748 voted yes to another term for Duvalier, with none opposed.Upon hearing the results, Duvalier proclaimed: “I accept the people’s will. As a revolutionary, I have no right to disregard the will of the people.” The New York Times commented: “Latin America has witnessed many fraudulent elections throughout its history but none has been more outrageous than the one which has just taken place in Haiti.” On 14 June 1964, a constitutional referendum made Duvalier “President for Life”, a title previously held by seven Haitian presidents. This referendum was also blatantly rigged; an implausible 99.9 percent voted in favour, and all ballots were premarked “yes.” The new document granted Duvalier—or “Le Souverain,” as he was called—absolute powers as well as the right to name his successor.
His relationship with the United States proved difficult. In his early years, Duvalier often rebuked the United States for its friendly relations with the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (killed in 1961), while ignoring Haiti. The Kennedy administration (1961–63) was particularly disturbed by Duvalier’s repressive and authoritarian rule and allegations that he misappropriated aid money, then a substantial part of the Haitian budget, and a Marine mission to train the Tonton Macoute. Acting on the charges, Washington cut off most of its economic assistance in mid-1962, pending stricter accounting procedures, which Duvalier refused. Duvalier publicly renounced all aid from Washington on nationalist grounds, portraying himself as a “…principled and lonely opponent of domination by a great power.
Duvalier misappropriated millions of US dollars of international aid, including 15 million US dollars annually from the United States.He transferred this money to personal accounts. Another of Duvalier’s methods to obtain foreign money was to gain foreign loans, including 4 million USD from Cuban president Fulgencio Batista.
After the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963—which Duvalier later claimed resulted from a curse that he had placed on him—the U.S. eased its pressure on Duvalier, grudgingly accepting him as a bulwark against Communism. Duvalier attempted to exploit tensions between the United States and Cuba, emphasizing his anti-Communist credentials and Haiti’s strategic location as a means of winning U.S. support:
Communism has established centres of infection…No area in the world is as vital to American security as the Caribbean… We need a massive injection of money to reset the country on its feet, and this injection can come only from our great, capable friend and neighbor the United States.
After President Fulgencio Batista (a personal friend of Duvalier) was overthrown in the Cuban Revolution, Duvalier, worried that Fidel Castro would provide a safe haven for Haitian dissidents, attempted to win Castro over by recognizing his government, sending medicine, and pardoning several political prisoners, but to no avail; from the very start of his regime, Castro gave anti-Duvalier dissidents his full support.
Duvalier enraged Castro by voting against the country in an OAS meeting and subsequently at the UN where a trade embargo was imposed on Cuba. Cuba answered by breaking off diplomatic relations and Duvalier subsequently instituted a campaign to rid Haiti of communists.
Duvalier’s relationship with the neighbouring Dominican Republic was always tense: in his early years, Duvalier emphasised the differences between the two countries. In April 1963, relations were brought to the edge of war by the political enmity between Duvalier and the Dominican president Juan Bosch. Bosch, a left-leaning democrat, provided asylum and support to Haitian exiles who plotted against the Duvalier regime. Duvalier ordered his Presidential Guard to occupy the Dominican Embassy in Pétionville, aiming at apprehending an army officer believed to have been involved in Barbot’s plot to kidnap Duvalier’s children. The Dominican president reacted with outrage, publicly threatened to invade Haiti, and ordered army units to the frontier. However, as Dominican military commanders expressed little support for an invasion of Haiti, Bosch refrained from the invasion and settled for a mediation by the OAS.
Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia briefly visited Haiti in 1966 (he was the only head of state to visit the country during Duvalier’s presidency); during his visit, Duvalier awarded him the Necklace of the Order of Jean-Jacques Dessalines the Great, and Selassie, in turn, bestowed upon Duvalier the Great Necklace of the Order of the Queen of Saba. Duvalier also supported Pan-African ideals.
Duvalier’s government was soon accused of being one of the most repressive in the hemisphere. Within the country, Duvalier used both political murder and expulsion to suppress his opponents; estimates of those killed are as high as 30,000. Attacks on Duvalier from within the military were treated as especially serious. When bombs were detonated near the Presidential Palace in 1967, Duvalier had nineteen Presidential Guard officers shot in Fort Dimanche. A few days later Duvalier had a public speech during which he read the “attendance sheet” with names of all 19 officers killed. After each name he said “absent”. After reading the whole list, Duvalier remarked, “All were shot.”
Haitian communists and suspected communists, in particular, bore the brunt of the government’s repression. Duvalier targeted them both as a means to secure U.S. support as a bulwark against Communist Cuba (see below) and on principle: Duvalier had personally been exposed to communist and left-wing ideas early in his life and rejected them. On 28 April 1969, Duvalier instituted a campaign to rid Haiti of all communists, promulgating a law stipulating that “Communist activities, no matter what their form, are hereby declared crimes against the security of the State,” and prescribing the death penalty for individuals prosecuted under this law.
Social and economic policies
Duvalier employed intimidation, repression and patronage to supplant the old mulatto elites with a new elite of his own making. Corruption — in the form of government rake-offs of industries, bribery, extortion of domestic businesses, and stolen government funds — enriched the dictator’s closest supporters. Most of these supporters held sufficient power to enable them to intimidate the members of the old elite who were gradually co-opted or eliminated.
Many educated professionals fled Haiti for New York City, Miami, French-speaking Montreal, Paris, and several French-speaking African countries, exacerbating an already serious lack of doctors and teachers. Some of the highly skilled professionals joined the ranks of several UN agencies to work in development in newly independent nations such as Ivory Coast, and Congo.
The government confiscated peasant land holdings and allotted them to members of the militia who had no official salary and made their living through crime and extortion. The dispossessed swelled the slums by fleeing to the capital to seek meager incomes to feed themselves. Malnutrition and famine became endemic.
Nonetheless, Duvalier enjoyed significant support among Haiti’s majority black rural population, who saw in him a champion of their claims against the historically dominant mulatto élite. During his fourteen years in power, he created a substantial black middle class, chiefly through government patronage. Duvalier also initiated the development of Mais Gate Airport, now known as Toussaint Louverture International Airport.
Personality cult and voodoo
Duvalier fostered a personality cult around himself, and claimed he was the physical embodiment of the island nation. He also started to revive the traditions of vodou, later on using them to consolidate his power as he claimed to be a houngan, or vodou priest himself. In an effort to make himself even more imposing, Duvalier deliberately modeled his image on that of Baron Samedi. He often donned sunglasses to hide his eyes and talked with the strong nasal tone associated with the loa. The Duvalier regime propaganda even stated that “Papa Doc: was one with the loas, Jesus Christ, and God himself”. The most celebrated image from the time shows a standing Jesus Christ with hand on a seated Papa Doc’s shoulder with the caption “I have chosen him”. There was even a Duvalierist variant of the Lord’s Prayer. Duvalier also held in his closet the head of his former opponent Blucher Philogenes, who tried to overthrow him in 1963.
Death and succession
Duvalier held Haiti in his grip until his death in early 1971. His 19-year-old son Jean-Claude Duvalier, nicknamed “Baby Doc”, succeeded him as president.
The folklore of The Weeping Arch of New Bern
By Kathy Snow
The history of Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Bern, NC goes back to the early years of the 1800’s. During the yellow fever epidemic that ravaged this small town, the cemetery for The Christ Church could no longer hold all the bodies of the deceased, so a new cemetery was built on Queen Street. Then, in 1854 an arch was erected along with a wall encircling the graveyard. That’s when the creepy stuff is said to have begun.
What makes the arch unique is that it’s made from a locally quarried stone called ‘shell stone’ which is made up of sea shells and the fossilized remains of sea creatures kind of like a fossil if you may. What makes it different is that it is said that weeps on people in blood droplets or some would have it it bleeds. The blood tinged liquid ranges from a icky clear water tainted with a rust color to a deep red sticky substance.
The folklore goes that during a funeral procession into Cedar Grove cemetery, if one of the pallbearers is hit with a drop of liquid from this arch, they will be the next of the group to die and be carried in. What is really strange is the old timers who can give examples of this occurring including all the names and dates.
It seems that the arch doesn’t just bleed on people during funerals. At almost anytime, whether it has rained recently or not, the drips can be seen hitting the ground, or felt when the hit the body. What ever the color, it it said that the liquid never stains clothes and washes right out.
One of the origins of the weeping comes from the history of New Bern, where a governor named Spaight was killed in a duel with a man named Stanly. While killed according to the rules of the duel, it is said that the arch drips to the rhythm of “Avenge Spaight’s blood” dripping three drops and then a pause before dripping three more drops. Of course we know this is just legend…but is it? Why do the old timers have records of the happenings there and the deceased in which this occurred. It gives on something to think upon … Doesn’t it?
In the past couple of months we have discussed environmental hazards paranormal investigators should be aware of such as black mold and allergens. Today, I’d like to touch upon Radon.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found at different levels in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air and into ground water and surface water. It is present outdoors, as well as indoors. It is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from river and lakes. It can be found at higher levels in the air in houses and other buildings, as well as in water from underground sources, such as well water.
How Are People Exposed To Radon?
For both adults and children, most exposure comes from being indoors in homes, commercial buildings, schools and other places. The levels of radon in homes and other buildings depend on the characteristics of the rock and soil in the area. As a result, radon levels vary greatly in different parts of the United States, even within neighborhoods. Elevated radon levels have been found in every state.
Radon gas, given off by rock or soil, can enter buildings through cracks in floors or walls; construction joints; or gaps in foundations around pipes, wires or pumps. Levels are usually highest in the basement or crawl space due to these areas being closest to the soil or the rock that is the source of the radon. Therefore, people who spend much of their time in basement rooms have a greater risk for being exposed. Small amounts of radon can also be released from the water supply into the air, especially if the water source is underground. As the radon moves from the water to the air, it can be inhaled. Water that comes from deep, underground wells in rock may have higher levels, whereas, surface water (drawn from rivers or lakes) usually has very low levels of radon. For the most part, water does not contribute much to the overall exposure. Exposure can also occur from building materials if they are made from radon-containing substances. Almost any building material made from natural substances, including concrete and wallboard, may give off some level of radon. In most cases, these level are very low, but in a few instances these materials may contribute significantly to radon exposure.
Some granite countertops may expose people to different levels of radon. Most health and radiation experts agree that while a small portion of granite countertops may give off increased level of radon, most countertops give off extremely low levels.
Symptoms Of Radon Poisoning
You cannot see or smell radon gas, making it very difficult for people to even know they’ve been exposed. This radioactive gas causes damage to our cells deep within the lungs. Radon gas exposure has no early discernible symptoms. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer, especially in smokers.
How To Avoid Radon Exposure
Radon is in the air we breath, both indoors and out, so it is not possible to avoid it completely. But there may be things you can do to lower your exposure.
For most people, the largest potential source of radon is in the home. You can check radon levels in your home to determine if steps are needed to lower them. Do-it-yourself radon kits can be ordered through the mail or bought in hardware or home supply stores. The kits are placed in the home for a period of time then mailed to a lab for analysis. The EPA recommends testing all homes below the 3rd floor, even new homes that were built “radon-resistant”. Another way is to hire a professional. Qualified contractors can be found on the EPA website.
It is very important for paranormal investigators to be aware of all environmental hazards when investigating. Happy, safe investigating!
William John Warner, known as Cheiro, (November 1, 1866 – October 8, 1936) was an Irish astrologer and colorful occult figure of the early 20th century. His sobriquet, Cheiro, derives from the word cheiromancy, meaning palmistry. He was a self-described clairvoyant who taught palmistry, astrology, and Chaldean numerology. During his career, he was celebrated for using these forms of divination to make personal predictions for famous clients and to foresee world events.
Personal life and background
Cheiro was born in a village outside Dublin, Ireland. He took the name Count Louis Hamon (or Count Leigh de Hamong).
As mentioned in his memoirs, Cheiro acquired his expertise in India. As a teenager, he traveled to the Bombay port of Apollo Bunder. There, he met his Guru, an Indian Brahmin, who took him to his village in the valley of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Later Cheiro was permitted by Brahmans to study an ancient book that has many studies on hands; the pages of the book were made of human skin and written with gold and it is still guarded and protected with great care. After studying thoroughly for two years, he returned to London and started his career as a palmist.
Cheiro was reluctant to marry but was aware that he was destined to marry late in life. This did happen after a woman took care of him during a serious illness. A separate chapter is devoted to this matter in his memoirs.
Cheiro had a wide following of famous European and American clients during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He read palms and told the fortunes of famous celebrities like Mark Twain, W. T. Stead, Sarah Bernhardt, Mata Hari, Oscar Wilde, Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, the Prince of Wales, General Kitchener, William Ewart Gladstone, and Joseph Chamberlain. He documented his sittings with these clients by asking them to sign a guest book he kept for the purpose, in which he encouraged them to comment on their experiences as subjects of his character analyses and predictions. Of the Prince of Wales, he wrote that “I would not be surprised if he did not give up everything, including his right to be crowned, for the woman he loved.” Cheiro also predicted that the Jews would return to Palestine and the country would again be called Israel.
In his own autobiographical book, Cheiro’s Memoirs: The Reminiscences of a Society Palmist, he included accounts of his interviews with King Edward VII, William Gladstone, Charles Stewart Parnell, Henry Morton Stanley, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Professor Max Muller, Blanche Roosevelt, the Comte de Paris, Joseph Chamberlain, Lord Russell of Killowen, Robert Ingersoll, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Lillie Langtry, W. T. Stead, Richard Croker, Natalia Janotha, and other prominent people of his era.
The book Titanic’s Last Secrets includes a detailed account of one of Cheiro’s palm readings with William Pirrie, chairman of Harland and Wolf, builders of the Titanic. Cheiro predicted that he would soon be in a fight for his life, talking about the battle surrounding the Titanic sinking.
“ It becomes a study not contrary to the dictates of reason, but in accordance with those natural laws that we observe in the shaping of the even inanimate objects, which, by demonstrating the effect of a heretofore cause, are in themselves the cause of a hereafter effect. – Cheiro on Astrology
So popular was Cheiro as a “Society Palmist” that even those who were not believers in the occult had their hands read by him. The skeptical Mark Twain wrote in Cheiro’s visitor’s book:
“ Cheiro has exposed my character to me with humiliating accuracy. I ought not to confess this accuracy, still I am moved to do so. – Mark Twain. ”
Other mentions in the visitors book include:
“The study of people gifted with occult powers has interested me for several years. I have met and consulted scores.In almost ever respect I consider Cheiro the most highly gifted of all. He helps as well as astonishes.”- Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
“You are wonderful. What more can I say”- Madame Nellie Melba.
After some years in London, and many world travels, Cheiro moved to America. He spent his final years in Hollywood, seeing as many as twenty clients a day and doing some screenwriting before his death there in 1936 following a heart attack. His widow, the Countess Lena Hamon, said her 70-year-old husband, who had been a friend and adviser to film actors late in life, and to European aristocracy and royalty in his early career, had predicted his own death to the hour the day before he died.
From Time Magazine of October 19, 1936:
Died. Count Louis Hamon (“Cheiro”), 69, celebrated oldtime palmist; after long illness; in Hollywood. Author of a book on palmistry at 13, he amassed $250,000 from rich female clients, owned an English-language newspaper in Paris, The American Register. On the night he died, said his nurse, the clock outside his room struck the hour of one thrice.
Cheiro claimed that he never understood his unique gifts, and he is believed to have lost those in 1906. One charge of mis-handling of a client’s money resulted in his being imprisoned. Some accounts of his later life say that after his release from prison, he retained neither his money nor his friends, with his once rich and powerful acquaintances ceasing to want anything to do with him.
The occult books Cheiro wrote centered on fortune telling. Many of Cheiro’s books on occultism and fortune telling are still in print today and are available in both English and foreign language editions.
In 2006, the University of Tampa Press issued a critical new edition of his fictional work, A Study of Destiny, as the second volume of the series Insistent Visions – a series dedicated to reprinting little-known or neglected works of supernatural fiction, science fiction, mysteries, or adventure stories from the 19th century. The new edition is edited with an introduction, afterword, and notes by Sean Donnelly.
Imagine walking through the woods, when you happen upon a tree…a tree that looks like no other tree you’ve ever seen. You go to touch it, because it’s unique, perhaps even beuatiful…drawing you in…then suddenly, it grabs and devours you! Does such a tree or plants exist? Although there are tales dating back to the 1880’s of carnivorous trees…the first carnivorous plant to be identified by botanists, was the Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula) in the 1760’s. It was unbelievable that a plant could capture and consume living specimens!
A century later…other reports started rolling in about carnivorous plants and even trees that could ensare and devour creatures as large as birds, dogs, and monkeys…and even humans! Dr. Karl Shuker, a well known, British Cryptozoologist states that “the most incredible case on file is one that first came to Western attention via an extraordinary letter allegedly received during the early 1870s (differing accounts give different dates) by Polish biologist Dr Omelius Fredlowski (sometimes spelt ‘Friedlowsky’). According to the letter’s contents, at least one Western explorer claimed to have witnessed an all-too-real, fatal encounter with a rapacious botanical monster (as portrayed vividly in the illustration opening this present ShukerNature article of mine) that would put even the worst excesses of Audrey II to shame!
The letter Dr. Shuker is referring to is from Carl Liche (a.k.a. ‘Karl’ and as ‘Leche’ or in other various combinations). Carl Liche was a German explorer in the 1880’s and had been visiting a primitive tribe called the Mkodos on the island of Madagascar with a Westerner named Hendrick. It is said that Liche and Hendrick were shown a mishapen, grotesque tree, which the Mkodos referred to as the tepe, and to which humans were sacrificed:
“If you can imagine a pineapple eight feet high and thick in proportion resting upon its base and denuded of leaves, you will have a good idea of the trunk of the tree, a dark dingy brown, and apparently as hard as iron. From the apex of this truncated cone eight leaves hung sheer to the ground. These leaves were about 11 or 12 ft long, tapering to a sharp point that looked like a cow’s horn, and with a concave face thickly set with strong thorny hooks. The apex of the cone was a round white concave figure like a smaller plate set within a larger one. This was not a flower but a receptacle, and there exuded into it a clear treacly liquid, honey sweet, and possessed of violent intoxicating and soporific properties. From underneath the rim of the undermost plate a series of long hairy green tendrils stretched out in every direction. These were 7 or 8 ft long. Above these, six white almost transparent palpi [tentacles] reared themselves toward the sky, twirling and twisting with a marvellous incessant motion. Thin as reeds, apparently they were yet 5 or 6 ft tall.”
Suddenly, after a shrieking session of prayers to this sinister tree, the natives encircled one of the women in their tribe, and forced her with their spears to climb its trunk, until at last she stood at its summit, surrounded by its tentacle-like palpi dancing like snakes on all sides. The natives told the doomed woman to drink, so she bent down and drank the treacle-like fluid filling the tree’s uppermost plate, and became wild with hysterical frenzy:
“But she did not jump down, as she seemed to intend to do. Oh no! The atrocious cannibal tree that had been so inert and dead came to sudden savage life. The slender delicate palpi, with the fury of starved serpents, quivered a moment over her head, then fastened upon her in sudden coils round and round her neck and arms; then while her awful screams and yet more awful laughter rose wildly to be instantly strangled down again into a gurgling moan, the tendrils one after another, like green serpents, with brutal energy and infernal rapidity, rose, retracted themselves, and wrapped her about in fold after fold, ever tightening with cruel swiftness and the savage tenacity of anacondas fastening upon their prey. And now the great leaves slowly rose and stiffly erected themselves in the air, approached one another and closed about the dead and hampered victim with the silent force of a hydraulic press and the ruthless purpose of a thumb screw.
“While I could see the bases of these great levers pressing more tightly towards each other, from their interstices there trickled down the stalk of the tree great streams of the viscid honeylike fluid mingled horribly with the blood and oozing viscera of the victim. At the sight of this the savage hordes around me, yelling madly, bounded forward, crowded to the tree, clasped it, and with cups, leaves, hands and tongues each obtained enough of the liquor to send him mad and frantic. Then ensued a grotesque and indescribably hideous orgy. May I never see such a sight again.
“The retracted leaves of the great tree kept their upright position during ten days, then when I came one morning they were prone again, the tendrils stretched, the palpi floating, and nothing but a white skull at the foot of the tree to remind me of the sacrifice that had taken place there.”
Liche subsequently dubbed the tepe Crinoida dajeeana (after a fancied resemblance to the starfish-related crinoids or sea-lilies, and in honour of a noted Bombay physician, Dr Bhawoo Dajee).
Carl Liche was not the only visitor to Madagascar to learn of this nightmarish species. Chase Salmon Osborn, Governor of Michigan from 1911-13, traveled to Madagascar during the early 1920s in the hopes of witnessing the carnivorous tree. Unfortunately however, but perhaps lucky for him, he was unsuccessful in locating one, though it was apparently well-known to natives all over the island, and even some of the Western missionaries working there. Mr. Liche also claimed that from the very earliest times, Madagascar had been known as ‘the land of the man-eating tree’, which he used as the title of a book that he later wrote about his sojourn in Madagascar (though the tepe itself scarcely featured in it).
According to Wikipedia…in his 1955 book, Salamanders and other Wonders, science author Willy Ley determined that the Mkodo tribe, Carl Liche, and the Madagascar man-eating tree itself all appeared to be fabrications.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of explorers searched for the man-eating tree in Madagascar, not realizing that the story was a NY World hoax.
In 1888 the story was fully exposed for what it was, and its author identified. Frederick Maxwell Somers had launched a new magazine, Current Literature, and in the second issue he reprinted the story of the man-eating tree and provided information about its origin: It was written years ago by Mr. Edmund Spencer for the N.Y. World. While Mr. Spencer was connected with that paper he wrote a number of stories, all being remarkable for their appearance of truth, the extraordinary imagination displayed, and for their somber tone. Mr. Spencer was a master of the horrible, some of his stories approaching closely to those of Poe in this regard. Like many clever men his best work is hidden in the files of the daily press. This particular story of the Crinoida Dajeeana, the Devil Tree of Madagascar, was copied far and wide, and caused many a hunt for the words of Dr. Friedlowsky. It was written as the result of a talk with some friends, during which Mr. Spencer maintained that all that was necessary to produce a sensation of horror in the reader was to greatly exaggerate some well-known and perhaps beautiful thing. He then stated that he would show what could be done with the sensitive plant when this method of treatment was applied to it. The devil-tree is, after all, only a monstrous variety of the ‘Venus fly trap’ so common in North Carolina. Mr. Spencer died about two years ago in Baltimore, Md. Frank Vincent: The first man-eating-tree searcher was the American travel writer Frank Vincent, author of Actual Africa. He traveled throughout Madagascar during the early 1890s, and while he wasn’t there specifically to search for the man-eating tree, he later told reporters that he did ask around about it “for his own personal satisfaction”. However, he couldn’t find it and concluded that accounts of it were “the purest Munchausenism”.
It seems that almost every detail in the story was fictitious. None of the individuals mentioned in it existed…not Karl Leche, Dr. Omelius Friedlowsky, or Dr. Bhawoo Dajee. The Mkodos were apparently not a real tribe, and the tree itself, was pure fantasy…a gothic horror of the colonial era. However, the source to which the story was credited, “Graefe and Walther’s Magazine, published at Carlsruhe”, was a real publication. Or, at least, there was a scientific journal founded by two prestigious German surgeons, Karl Ferdinand von Graefe and Philipp Franz von Walther, titled Journal der Chirurgie und Augenheilkunde (The Surgical and Ophthalmic Journal). This journal interestingly enough was published in Berlin, not Carlsruhe. Also, it began publication in 1820 and ended in 1850, following the death of Walther. So by 1874, there hadn’t been a new issue of the journal for 24 years. Therefor, this journal was NOT the original source of the man-eating tree story.
The idea that a carnivorous tree existed, was not to be tamed however…for after The Tree of Madagascar tale…in central America, in the late 1880’s, reports were made of a tree called the Ya-Te-Veo.
And in Sea and Land (1887), J.W. Buel included a description and image of a Ya-Te-Veo tree,
that was said to grow in South America. It supposedly caught and consumed humans by means of its long tendrils:
It is said to grow in parts of Central and South America with cousins in Africa and on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Though there are many different descriptions of the plant, most reports say it has a short, thick trunk, and long, tendril like appendages which are used to catch prey. Some have even claimed that it has an eye to locate it’s prey with.
Over the years, the media has taken off with these tales of horror as the tree and other carnivorous plants are repeatedly utilized in movies throughout the 20th century. Ron Sullivan and Jon Eaton, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007, noted that the man-eating tree of Madagascar served as the “progenitor of a whole literary dynasty of sinister plants.” These included: “H.G. Wells’ Strange Orchid (it stupefied its victims with perfume and sucked their blood with its tendrils); John Wyndham’s peripatetic Triffids; the Widow’s Weed in Gus Arriola’s ‘Gordo’ comic strip; and, not least, Audrey II of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.'”
Carl Liche, it seems, is not who he claimed to be. Researchers who investigated this case in the 20th century found no evidence to prove Liche’s story, or even his existence for that matter. Those who investigate unknown animals are called cryptozoologists (or perhaps in this case, cryptobotanists). As they’re known for being somewhat credulous, you can probably take the sceptics’ word for it when they say that this crypto-veggie doesn’t exist. Or does it?
Since the story of The Madagascar Tree, and the Ya-Te-Veo Tree, other reports continue rolling in about various man-eating trees…The Nubian Tree for example, found in Nubia, and The Vampire Vine in Nicaragua, called “The Devil’s Snare” by the local natives.
The Tree of Madagascar appears to have been debunked…however can we prove unequivically that there are no carnivorous plants or trees like that of the Ya-Te-Veo existing that can capture and consume a human? So far it seems not…however we cannot also claim for a fact, that it does exists. What we do know, is that there are in fact various carniorous plants aside from the common Venus Fly Trap. The carnivorous plant with the largest known traps is probably Nepenthes rajah, which produces pitchers up to 38 cm (15 in) tall with a volume of up to 3.5 litres (0.77 imp gal; 0.92 US gal). This species may rarely trap small mammals.
The 1952 Washington, D.C. UFO incident, also known as the Washington flap or the Washington National Airport Sightings, was a series of unidentified flying object reports from July 12 to July 29, 1952, over Washington, D.C. The most publicized sightings took place on consecutive weekends, July 19–20 and July 26–27.
Events of July 19–20
At 11:40 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, 1952, Edward Nugent, an air traffic controller at Washington National Airport (today Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport), spotted seven objects on his radar. The objects were located 15 miles (24 km) south-southwest of the city; no known aircraft were in the area and the objects were not following any established flight paths. Nugent’s superior, Harry Barnes, a senior air-traffic controller at the airport, watched the objects on Nugent’s radarscope. He later wrote: “We knew immediately that a very strange situation existed . . . their movements were completely radical compared to those of ordinary aircraft.” Barnes had two controllers check Nugent’s radar; they found that it was working normally. Barnes then called National Airport’s other radar center; the controller there, Howard Cocklin, told Barnes that he also had the objects on his radarscope.
Furthermore, Cocklin said that by looking out of the control tower window he could see one of the objects:
“a bright orange light. I can’t tell what’s behind it.”
At this point, other objects appeared in all sectors of the radarscope; when they moved over the White House and the United States Capitol, Barnes called Andrews Air Force Base, located 10 miles from National Airport. Although Andrews reported that they had no unusual objects on their radar, an airman soon called the base’s control tower to report the sighting of a strange object. Airman William Brady, who was in the tower, then saw an “object which appeared to be like an orange ball of fire, trailing a tail . . . [it was] unlike anything I had ever seen before.” As Brady tried to alert the other personnel in the tower, the strange object “took off at an unbelievable speed.” Meanwhile, another person in the National Airport control tower reported seeing “an orange disk about 3,000 feet altitude.” On one of the airport’s runways, S.C. Pierman, a Capital Airlines pilot, was waiting in the cockpit of his DC-4 for permission to take off. After spotting what he believed to be a meteor, he was told that the control tower’s radar had picked up unknown objects closing in on his position. Pierman observed six objects — “white, tailless, fast-moving lights” — over a 14-minute period. Pierman was in radio contact with Barnes during his sighting, and Barnes later related that “each sighting coincided with a pip we could see near his plane. When he reported that the light streaked off at a high speed, it disappeared on our scope.” At Andrews AFB, meanwhile, the control tower personnel were tracking on radar what some thought to be unknown objects, but others suspected, and in one instance were able to prove, were simply stars and meteors. However, Staff Sgt. Charles Davenport observed an orange-red light to the south; the light “would appear to stand still, then make an abrupt change in direction and altitude . . . this happened several times.” At one point both radar centers at National Airport and the radar at Andrews AFB were tracking an object hovering over a radio beacon. The object vanished in all three radar centers at the same time. nAt 3 a.m., shortly before two jet fighters from Newcastle AFB in Delaware arrived over Washington, all of the objects vanished from the radar at National Airport. However, when the jets ran low on fuel and left, the objects returned, which convinced Barnes that “the UFOs were monitoring radio traffic and behaving accordingly.” The objects were last detected by radar at 5:30 a.m. Around sunrise, E.W. Chambers, a civilian radio engineer in Washington’s suburbs, observed “five huge disks circling in a loose formation. They tilted upward and left on a steep ascent.” Publicity and Air Force reaction.
The sightings of July 19–20, 1952, made front-page headlines in newspapers around the nation. A typical example was the headline from the Cedar Rapids Gazette in Iowa. It read “SAUCERS SWARM OVER CAPITAL” in large black type. By coincidence, USAF Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, the supervisor of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book investigation into the UFO mystery, was in Washington at the time. However, he did not learn about the sightings until Monday, July 21, when he read the headlines in a Washington-area newspaper. After talking with intelligence officers at the Pentagon about the sightings, Ruppelt spent several hours trying to obtain a staff car to investigate the sightings, but was refused as only generals and senior colonels could use staff cars. He was told that he could rent a taxicab with his own money; by this point Ruppelt was so frustrated that he left Washington and flew back to Blue Book’s headquarters at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. Before leaving Washington, Ruppelt did speak with an Air Force radar specialist, Captain Roy James, who felt that unusual weather conditions could have caused the unknown radar targets.
Events of July 26–27
At 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, 1952, a pilot and stewardess on a National Airlines flight into Washington observed some strange objects above their plane. Within minutes, both radar centers at National Airport, and the radar at Andrews AFB, were tracking more unknown objects. A master sergeant at Andrews visually observed the objects; he later said that “these lights did not have the characteristics of shooting stars. There was [sic] no trails . . . they traveled faster than any shooting star I have ever seen.”
Meanwhile, Albert M. Chop, the press spokesman for Project Blue Book, arrived at National Airport and refused several reporters’ requests to photograph the radar screens. He then joined the radar center personnel. By this time (9:30 p.m.) the radar center was picking up unknown objects in every sector. At times the objects traveled slowly; at other times they reversed direction and moved across the radarscope at speeds calculated at 7,000 mph. At 11:30 p.m., two jet fighters from Newcastle AFB in Delaware arrived over Washington. Capt. John McHugo, the flight leader, was vectored towards the radar blips but saw nothing, despite repeated attempts. However, his wingman, Lt. William Patterson, did see four white “glows” and chased them. Suddenly, the “glows” turned and surrounded his fighter. Patterson asked the control tower at National Airport what he should do; according to Chop, the tower’s answer was “stunned silence”. The four objects then sped away from Patterson’s jet and disappeared.
After midnight on July 27, Major Dewey Fournet, Project Blue Book’s liaison at the Pentagon, and Lt. John Holcomb, a US Navy radar specialist, arrived at the radar center at National Airport. During the night, Lt. Holcomb received a call from the Washington National Weather Station. They told him that a slight temperature inversion was present over the city, but Holcomb felt that the inversion was not “nearly strong enough to explain the ‘good and solid’ returns” on the radarscopes. Fournet relayed that all those present in the radar room were convinced that the targets were most likely caused by solid metallic objects. There had been weather targets on the scope too, he said, but this was a common occurrence and the controllers “were paying no attention to them.” Two more jets from Newcastle AFB were scrambled during the night. One pilot saw nothing unusual; the other pilot moved towards a white light which “vanished” when he closed in. A Capital Airlines flight leaving Washington spotted “odd lights” which remained visible for about twelve minutes. As on July 20, the sightings and unknown radar returns ended at sunrise.
White House concern and the “shoot-down” order
The sightings of July 26–27 also made front-page headlines, and even led President Harry Truman to personally call Capt. Ruppelt and ask for an explanation of the sightings. Ruppelt, remembering the conversation he had with Capt. James, told the President that the sightings might have been caused by temperature inversion, in which a layer of warm, moist air covers a layer of cool, dry air closer to the ground. This condition can cause radar signals to bend and give false returns. However, Ruppelt had not yet interviewed any of the witnesses or conducted a formal investigation.
CIA historian Gerald Haines, in his 1997 history of the CIA’s involvement with UFOs, also mentions Truman’s concern. “A massive buildup of sightings over the United States in 1952, especially in July, alarmed the Truman administration. On 19 and 20 July, radar scopes at Washington National Airport and Andrews Air Force Base tracked mysterious blips. On 27 July, the blips reappeared.” White House concern may possibly have resulted in an order to shoot down the UFOs, reported in various International News Service (INS) stories on July 29, 1952. E.g., one such story reported that “jet pilots have been placed on a 24-hour nationwide ‘alert against the flying saucers’ with orders to ‘shoot them down’ if they ignore orders to land.” An Air Force public information officer, Lt. Col. Moncel Monte, confirmed the directive stating,
“The jet pilots are, and have been, under orders to investigate unidentified objects and to shoot them down if they can’t talk them down.”
It was further stated that no pilot had been able to get close enough to take a shot at a “flying saucer”, as the objects would disappear or speed away as soon as an interceptor approached, sometimes outflying their pilots by “as much as a thousand miles an hour.” However, in seeming contradiction to the admitted “shoot-down” order, Air Force headquarters also put out statements that the unidentified flying objects were no threat to the United States and not controlled by “a reasoning body.” Some public protests resulted, including telegrams and letters to the White House stating that the policy was dangerous if the UFOs were controlled by extraterrestrial beings, who would obviously be much more technologically advanced than humans.
The July 29 Air Force press conference and Air Force’s explanation
In response to the INS “shoot-down” stories, to calm rising public anxiety and answer the news media’s questions about the sightings — and, hopefully, to slow down the numbers of UFO reports being sent to Blue Book, which were clogging normal intelligence channels — Air Force Major Generals John Samford, USAF Director of Intelligence, and Roger Ramey, USAF Director of Operations, held a well-attended press conference at the Pentagon on July 29, 1952. It was the largest Pentagon press conference since World War II. Press stories called Samford and Ramey the Air Force’s two top UFO experts.
Samford was heavily influenced by Capt. Roy James, who had discussed the sightings with him earlier in the day and who also spoke at the conference. Samford declared that the visual sightings over Washington could be explained as misidentified aerial phenomena (such as stars or meteors). Samford also stated that the unknown radar targets could be explained by temperature inversion, which was present in the air over Washington on both nights the radar returns were reported.
In addition, Samford argued that the radar contacts were not caused by solid material targets, and therefore posed no threat to national security. In response to a question as to whether the Air Force had recorded similar UFO radar contacts prior to the Washington incident, Samford admitted that there had been “hundreds” of such contacts where Air Force fighter interceptions had taken place, but stated they were all “fruitless.” The conference proved to be successful “in getting the press off our backs”, Ruppelt later wrote.
Among the witnesses who supported Samford’s explanation was the crew of a B-25 bomber, which had been flying over Washington during the sightings of July 26–27. The bomber was vectored several times by National Airport over unknown targets on the airport’s radarscopes, yet the crew could see nothing unusual. Finally, as a crew member related, “the radar had a target which turned out to be the Wilson Lines steamboat trip to Mount Vernon…the radar was sure as hell picking up the steamboat.” Air Force Captain Harold May was in the radar center at Andrews AFB during the sightings of July 19–20. Upon hearing that National Airport’s radar had picked up an unknown object heading in his direction, May stepped outside and saw “a light that was changing from red to orange to green to red again…at times it dipped suddenly and appeared to lose altitude.” However, May eventually concluded that he was simply seeing a star that was distorted by the atmosphere, and that its “movement” was an illusion. At 3 a.m. on July 27, an Eastern Airlines flight over Washington was told that an unknown object was in its vicinity; the crew could see nothing unusual. When they were told that the object had moved directly behind their plane, they began a sharp turn to try to see the object, but were told by National Airport’s radar center that the object had “disappeared” when they began their turn. At the request of the Air Force, the CAA’s Technical Development and Evaluation Center did an analysis of the radar sightings. Their conclusion was that “a temperature inversion had been indicated in almost every instance when the unidentified radar targets or visual objects had been reported.” Project Blue Book would eventually label the Washington radar objects as “mirage effects caused by double inversion” and the visual sightings as “meteors coupled with the normal excitement of witnesses.” In later years two prominent UFO skeptics, Dr. Donald Menzel, an astronomer at Harvard University, and Philip Klass, a senior editor for Aviation Week magazine, would also argue in favor of the temperature inversion/mirage hypothesis.
Criticisms of the Air Force explanation
Almost from the moment of General Samford’s press conference, eyewitnesses, UFO researchers, and Air Force personnel came forward to criticize the temperature inversion/mirage explanation. Captain Ruppelt noted that Major Fournet and Lt. Holcomb, who disagreed with the Air Force’s explanation, were not in attendance at Samford’s press conference. Ruppelt himself discovered that “hardly a night passed in June, July, and August in 1952 that there wasn’t a [temperature] inversion in Washington, yet the slow-moving, solid radar targets appeared on only a few nights.”
According to a story printed by INS, the United States Weather Bureau also disagreed with the temperature inversion hypothesis, one official stating that “such an inversion ordinarily would appear on a radar screen as a steady line, rather than as single objects as were sighted on the airport radarscope.”
Also, according to Ruppelt, when he was able to interview the radar and control tower personnel at Washington National Airport, not a single person agreed with the Air Force explanation. Michael Wertheimer, a researcher for the government-funded Condon Report, investigated the case in 1966. He found that the radar witnesses still disputed the Air Force explanation, but that did not stop the report from agreeing with the temperature inversion/mirage explanation. Ruppelt related that on July 27 the control tower at Washington National had called the control tower at Andrews AFB and notified them that their radar had an unknown object just south of the Andrews control tower, directly over the Andrews AFB radio range station. According to Ruppelt, when the Andrews control tower personnel looked they all saw “a huge fiery-orange sphere” hovering over the range station. When Ruppelt interviewed the tower personnel several days later, they insisted that they had been mistaken and had merely seen a bright star. However, when Ruppelt checked an astronomical chart he found that there were no bright stars over the station that night, and that he had “heard from a good source that the tower men had been ‘persuaded’ a bit” by superior officers to claim that their sighting was merely a star.
There were also witnesses who claimed to see structured craft and not merely “glows” or bright lights. On July 19 an Army artillery officer, Joseph Gigandet, was sitting on the front porch of his home in Alexandria, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington. At 9:30 p.m. he claimed to see “a red cigar-shaped object” which sailed slowly over his house. Gigandet estimated the object’s size as comparable to a DC-7 airplane at about 10,000 feet altitude; he also claimed that the object had a “series of lights very closely set together” on its sides. The object eventually flew back over his house a second time, which led Gigandet to assume that it was circling the area. When the object flew away a second time, it turned a deeper red color and moved over the city of Washington itself; this occurred less than two hours before Edward Nugent first spotted the unknown objects on his radar at Washington National. Gigandet claimed that his neighbor, an FBI agent, also saw the object. Dr. James E. McDonald, a physicist at the University of Arizona and a prominent ufologist in the 1960s, did his own analysis of the Washington sightings. After interviewing four pilot eyewitnesses and five radar personnel, McDonald argued that the Air Force explanation was “physically impossible.” Harry Barnes told McDonald that the radar targets “were not shapeless blobs such as one gets from ground returns under anomalous propagation”, and that he was certain the unknown radar blips were solid targets; Howard Cocklin agreed with Barnes.
Aftermath – The Robertson Panel
The extremely high numbers of UFO reports in 1952 disturbed both the Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Both groups felt that an enemy nation could deliberately flood the U.S. with false UFO reports, causing mass panic and allowing them to launch a sneak attack. On September 24, 1952, the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) sent a memorandum to Walter B. Smith, the CIA’s Director.
The memo stated that “the flying saucer situation . . . have national security implications . . . [in] the public concern with the phenomena … lies the potential for the touching-off of mass hysteria and panic.”
The result of this memorandum was the creation in January 1953 of the Robertson Panel. Physicist Howard Percy Robertson chaired the panel, which consisted of prominent scientists and which spent four days examining the “best” UFO cases collected by Project Blue Book. The panel dismissed nearly all of the UFO cases it examined as not representing anything unusual or threatening to national security. In the panel’s controversial estimate, the Air Force and Project Blue Book needed to spend less time analyzing and studying UFO reports and more time publicly debunking them. The panel recommended that the Air Force and Project Blue Book should take steps to “strip the Unidentified Flying Objects of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired.” Following the Panel’s report, Project Blue Book would rarely publicize any UFO case that it had not labeled as “solved”; unsolved cases were rarely mentioned by the Air Force.
Rose Hall Estate
Montego Bay, Jamaica
This month, we are going visit beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica. Our final destination will be the Rose Hall Estate, which sits high on a hill with a panoramic view of the vivid blues of the ocean. We will be stepping back in time to a location where sugar was king of the island and she was still a jewel in the British Crown.
Annie Mae Patterson was born to an Irish father and an English mother, who moved her to Haiti when she was around 10 years old. It was here that she met her nanny, who would also become her teacher in the practice of Voodoo. Annie parents died when she was young, and the nanny continued to raise her and teach her Voodoo until her death when Annie was 18 years old. After the death of her nanny, Annie moved to the Island of Jamaica to seek her fame and fortune, in the manner of a rich husband. She is reputed to have been beautiful and petite, standing only 4′ 11″ tall.
It was in Montego Bay, Jamaica, that Annie met and married John Palmer. John owned Rose Hall Estate, which consisted of 7,000 acres of sugar and 2,000 slaves, in addition to his large and ornate home. Annie had found her fame and fortune. However, happiness in her marriage to John was short lived.
Annie began to take slaves as lovers and John found out about it. One day he found her with one of her lovers and proceeded to beat her with a crop. Outraged over what had happened, Annie poisoned his coffee and John died, leaving her the sole heir of his vast estate and holdings.
After the death of her husband, Annie became a tyrant. She could often be heard shouting at the slaves from her balcony. She often had slaves tortured and killed for displeasing her, or simply to use them as an example to the others.
She took a string of slaves as her lovers, none of which lasted long. When she would tire of them, she would murder them. In addition to her lovers, she also took two other men as her husband, supposedly killing them also and inheriting their wealth, to add to her own. She had each of her husband’s buried by the slaves and then killed them before they could return to the estate. Her terrible treatment of the slaves, along with the rumors of her Voodoo rituals earned her the name, the White Witch of Rose Hall.
Annie finally made a fatal mistake that would ultimately cost her her own life. She set her sights on Robert Rutherford, a bookkeeper. However, much to her displeasure, Robert was totally in love with another. Annie placed a Voodoo curse on the woman in question which is called “Old Hige”. This curse will cause a ghost to visit the victim of the ritual whose very presence will cause the victim to slowly wither away and die. Annie’s mistake came in casting this spell on the granddaughter of the local obeah man, Takoo. Her name was Millicent and when she died, Takoo became so outraged over her death, that he rounded up an army of slaves and they strangled Annie Palmer to death.
The White Witch of Rose Hall was immediately buried in a deep hole on the estate. The slaves also gathered all of her personal belongings and burned them, fearful that her spirit had somehow tainted them. A Voodoo ritual was also carried out when Annie was buried. However, it is said that the ritual was not performed correctly and that her spirit still haunts Rose Hall to this very day.
In 1977, a former Miss USA, Michele Rollins and her husband, John, bought Rose Hall Estate and went to great personal expense to refurbish it. They allow tours to be carried out on the property which includes the dungeon where bloodstains can still be seen on the walls.
Night time tours are also available for those who are not weak of heart and spirit. If you ever get the chance to visit Montego Bay, Jamaica, and you go to Rose Hall, maybe you will be the one to catch the spirit of Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall in a photo. Just be wary and don’t let the banging on the walls or the footsteps of an unseen visitor frighten you too much.
I have been a Photographer for over 35 years. I have used Polaroid’s, Early Point and Shoot Film and Single Lens Reflex, Digital Point and Shoots, Cell Phones and now Full Frame DSLR’s. I have taken classes, researched, read books, and most of all, experimented and taken millions of photos. I have taken really crappy photos and some amazing photos and I have learned from each of them, and I am still learning.
So now it seems like everyone is using camera’s in the paranormal for either pre investigation or during the actual investigations. There are also those that take random pictures and see things in them that they cannot explain. Getting to know your camera, a Cell Camera, Point and Shoot or DSLR is an important part of determining what is going on with your pictures. It’s good to start with basic operation so that your photos will come out less blurry, with more vivid colors and little to no artifacting. I know I like my pictures to be as perfect as possible, under any condition, but remember, it’s not always possible for every picture to be perfect. Many natural things around you affect your shots, but you do have control over them to a certain extent.
The majority of people tend to use the Automatic setting on their camera, which is great for most shooting conditions, but will not always provide the best picture from your camera. It can be fooled, so sometimes it’s better to delve into the manual settings to get the best possible shot.
Just remember, on Auto Mode, these can all change from shot to shot, depending on what your camera senses when it tries to focus. Not all cameras are created equal; you may have more control of each of these from camera to camera in the Manual Mode. There are many other settings so I would suggest reading your owner’s manual or just researching on the internet or investing in a good book on photography. The big three in camera settings and the ones you’ll hear referred to the most are as follows.
ISO: What is ISO, in film photography is how sensitive film is to light. It is measured in numbers such as 100, 200, 400, 800 etc. The lower the number, the lower the sensitivity of the film to the light and the finer the grain in the shots you’re taking. In Digital Photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor to the surrounding light. The same idea as in film photography, the lower the number, the less sensitive the senor is to light, but you will get a much clearer picture as a result (Less Noise), especially when enlarged. So shooting at ISO 100 will give a much crisper image when enlarged than say ISO 400.
The ISO is also referred to as the film speed, the higher the ISO, the easier it is to capture moving objects, so an ISO of 800 would be used when photographing fast moving sporting events for instance, to get a nice stop action shot with little motion blur.
Again, this is something your camera will adjust for when in Auto Mode, so depending on the amount of light, this could change drastically, created blurred shots in very low light perhaps if it does not adjust with a higher ISO.
When shooting in low light, and on manual, the higher the ISO and the higher the Aperture and longer shutter speed, the better the shot will be. It’s possible you may not need a tripod (Although I would always recommend one unless you have Anti-Shake technology and a very high ISO capability). This does not mean you can take a shot with no light, handheld, but you can with a tripod and a very long shutter speed.
Aperture/F Stop: This is the opening in the lens. When you press your shutter release, a hole opens up in the lens, the wider the hole; the more light is let in. This hole is measured in F-Stops, for example f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 etc. These numbers may be a bit confusing though, since the smaller the number, the wider the aperture, or more light is let in.
The biggest result of changes in aperture is Depth of Field (DOF). What this means is that with a larger aperture, say f/22, more of the shot will be in focus, both objects up close and objects in the distance. Small Depth of Field means that only part of the image will be in focus, as in a flower shot, where most of the flower will be in focus (depending on how close the flower is) and the rest of the shot will be out of focus. When thinking about this in the paranormal world, and when shooting in Auto Mode, this could mean only certain objects will be in focus.
Shutter Speed: Shutter speed is the amount of time that the shutter is open, thereby letting in more light. It is measured in seconds, such as 1/100, 1/1000, 1 etc. This is one of the main items we talk about when looking at paranormal photo’s, as normally most shots will be in low light and the camera will be on Auto Mode. Under these circumstances, the camera will try to leave the shutter open longer, to let in more light. Unfortunately, what this will create is a blurry photo when not using a tripod. Even if the “Click” seems fast to you, the shutter is open long enough to feel the effects of hand movement, wind etc, which will cause a slight movement of the image on the sensor, thereby blurring the picture. It could be anything from a slight blur to a blur so bad as to cause the shot to be unrecognizable.
Manual Settings: So, with all that said, Auto Mode is great for shooting outdoors, in high light situations with most cell phones and point and shoots as well as Standard DSLR’s. But when it comes to low light, even with a flash, Auto can create many issues, due to the setting the camera decides to use. The best way to decide what manual settings to use is to experiment. Know your camera; know what settings work best under what conditions.
My personal preference is to only shoot pre investigation shots, to document the location and hopefully get some cool artsy shots as well. Due to all the issues explained above, I won’t shoot anything during the investigation, as it is usually in low light to no light. If you insist on doing so, always use a flash and a tripod at a minimum.
Inventor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Journalist
B: July 26, 1875– Switzerland
D: June 6, 1961 – Switzerland
Carl Gustav Jung developed a personality typology, based on the archetypes of introversion and extraversion, widely recognized in psychology to this day. Carl intended this typology as more of an internal view of how our ego deals with the world. Today we use it as more of an external view of how different typologies interact with one another. Most of Carl’s career was focused on understanding aspects of consciousness and dreams.
Though he initially studied medicine, Carl’s passion soon gained focus on spirituality and psychiatry.
He earned his medical degree in 1902; with the completion of his doctoral dissertation titled “On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena”. He practiced psychiatry for several years at the University of Zurich. In 1906 he sent a compilation of some of his work to the highly respected Sigmund Freud. The two met in 1907 and began a close professional friendship. Though, after only 2 years, Carl became somewhat disillusioned with Sigmund’s focus on sex and pursued his own focus on the spiritual nature of dreams, philosophy, mythology and art. Carl’s approach being an analytical psychology rather than the psychodynamic approach of Sigmund and his followers.
This separation from Sigmund’s theories initially cost Carl a significant amount of credibility and professional relationships. Beginning in 1909, Carl pursued his own theories with intense focus on analysis of his personal experiences. He found parallels between the metaphors of his dreams and real world events; including World War I. He assigned and developed personalities for aspects of his dreams. These personalities are primary elements of theories he would eventually publish.
Carl’s theories are centered on the human psyche having three parts; the ego / personal consciousness, personal unconsciousness, and a collective unconsciousness. The ego being the present time consciousness and awareness. The personal unconsciousness being personal memories we are easily aware of as well as those that are suppressed. The collective unconsciousness being a collection of all human species knowledge that can come into play to guide us.
Though there are many archetypes within Carl’s theories, they are generally simplified into that of introversion and extraversion. Carl’s main goal seems to be personal realization in an effort to get a level of synchronicity between the three parts of the psyche. Modern psychology has made an effort to evolve this personal realization into a means for us to not only understand ourselves but, also to help us know how to interact with other people and our perception of the world around us.
Carl Jung. (2006). Shippensburg University website. Retrieved Dec 07, 2014 from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/jung.html
Carl Jung Biography. (2014). About.com website. Retrieved Dec 07, 2014 from http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/jungprofile.htm
Millions of people suffer each year with airborne allergies. Airborne allergens include, dust, pet dander, pollen and mold. Did you know that the most common culprit, worldwide, is dust? I’m sure many a Paranormal Investigator has dealt with these varying allergens, at one time or another, on an investigation.
SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIES TO AIRBORNE SUBSTANCES
1. Sneezing often accompanied by a runny or clogged nose
2. Coughing and post nasal drip
3. Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
4. Allergic shiners (dark circles under the eyes caused by increased blood flow near the sinuses)
5. The “allergic salute” (in a child, persistent upward rubbing of the nose causing a crease mark on the nose)
6. Watery eyes
So how to you protect yourself on an investigation?
If you have known allergies, you should always take precautions! Masks are very important along with any prescribed allergy medications to keep yourself healthy!
For more information, please click the link below
Francis Barrett (born probably in London around 1770-1780) was an English occultist.
Barrett, an Englishman, claimed himself to be a student of chemistry, metaphysics, and natural occult philosophy. He was known to be an extreme eccentric who gave lessons in the magical arts in his apartment and fastidiously translated Kabbalistic and other ancient texts into English.
He was very enthusiastic about reviving interest in the occult arts, and published a magical textbook called The Magus. Few people, even today, know that The Magus was a compilation, almost entirely consisting of selections from Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy attributed to Agrippa and the Robert Turner’s 1655 translation of the Heptameron of Peter of Abano. Barrett made a few modifications and modernized the spelling and syntax of these selections. Apart from possibly influencing the English occult novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the book gained little notice until it influenced Eliphas Levi.
The Magus dealt with the natural magic of herbs and stones, magnetism, talismanic magic, alchemy, numerology, the elements, and biographies of famous adepts from history.
The Magus also served as an advertising tool. In it Barrett sought interested people wanting to help form his magic circle.
An advertisement in The Magus (Vol. 2, p. 140) refers to an otherwise unknown school founded by Barrett. According to the advertisement :
The Author of this Work respectfully informs those that are curious in the studies of Art and Nature, especially of Natural and Occult Philosophy, Chemistry, Astrology, etc., etc., that, having been indefatigable in his researches in those sublime Sciences; of which he has treated at large in this book, that he gives private instructions and lectures upon any of the above-mentioned Sciences; in the course of which he will discover many curious and rare experiments.
Those who become Students will be initiated into the choicest operations of Natural Philosophy, Natural Magic, the Cabbala, Chemistry, the Talismanic Arts, Hermetic Philosophy, Astrology, Physiognomy, etc., etc. Likewise they will acquire the knowledge of the Rites, Mysteries, Ceremonies and Principles of the ancient Philosophers, Magi, Cabbalists, and Adepts, etc.
The Purpose of this school (which will consist of no greater number than Twelve Students) being to investigate the hidden treasures of Nature; to bring the Mind to a contemplation of the Eternal Wisdom; to promote the discovery of whatever may conduce to the perfection of Man; the alleviating the miseries and calamities of this life, both in respect of ourselves and others; the study of morality and religion here, in order to secure to ourselves felicity hereafter; and, finally, the promulgation of whatever may conduce to the general happiness and welfare of mankind.
When writing about witches Barrett stated that he did not believe that their power to torment or kill by enchantment, touch or by using a wax effigy came from Satan. He claimed if the Devil wanted to kill a man guilty of deadly sin, he did not need a witch as an intermediary.
Barrett’s belief in magical power might be summed up this way:
The magical power is in the inward or inner man. A certain proportion of the inner man longs for the external in all things. When the person is in the appropriate disposition an appropriate connection between man and object can be attained.
Our story begins sometime in the 1800’s on a plantation near St. Francisville, Louisiana. Like many southern plantations of this time, slaves took on many of the duties on the farm and in the home. This plantation was no different than any of the others. The owner at the time, Judge Clark Woodruffe, had chosen a slave girl by the name of Chloe to serve as the governess for his two girls.
Chloe tended to the day to day activities of what ever the Judge’s daughters needed. After some time the Judge became very fond of Chloe. He began to make sexual advances towards the governess. Chloe did not really want to go along with his advances, but you have to remember at this time pretty much anything was better than being sent back to fields to hard labor and discipline, so she complied. This went on for some time and she began to get the feeling that he may have began to get tired of her. She feared that he would find someone new and she would be stripped of her “freedoms” and be sent back to the fields.
Her fears got the best of her, so she decided to see what she could find out by eaves dropping on the day to day activities in the house.
Story has it that she would sneak up to the doors and listen through the key hole. Its unsure of how long this went on, but one day the Judge caught her. After talking with Chloe he was so furious that he chopped off her ear. From that day forward she wore what has become her recognizable green turban. Sadly enough her fears of being sent back to hard labor didn’t cease.
Chloe began to thinking of ways that she could make herself seen as an asset and was needed in the house. She devised a plan to take oleander, a poisonous plant that grows in the south, and bake it into a birthday cake. She figured that that the family would get sick and she would be there to nurse them back to health. She felt that this plan would make her valuable again.
Chloe decided to go through with her plan so she gathered just enough oleander leaves to make the family sick and baked the cake. After dinner she brought out the cake for everyone to “enjoy”. It’s unclear if the Judge had any of the cake, but the rest of family definitely partook in it. Immediately after eating the cake the judges wife and two daughters fell to ground in agony. She helped the family to the beds and began to take care of the family. Despite all her efforts the daughters and mother (who was also pregnant) died.
It didn’t take long for the news of what happened to spread between the other slaves. Now it’s know if Chloe told someone, or they put two and two together and figured out that it was her that made them sick, but they decide to take care of the problem before the Judge took it out on all of them. Story has it that late one night they got together and captured Chloe as she slept. They proceeded to hang her from one of the oak trees on the property till she was dead. Supposedly they then they cut her down, weighted her body down with rocks and threw her into the Mississippi River.
Guests have stated that they have woke up in the middle of the night by what seems to be a slave girl with a green turban on her head. She has also been seen in numerous places on the grounds. Something is definitely going on there, but it’s not known if it is Chloe. To be honest, they are not sure that Chloe ever existed. From what I can tell there is no record of anything going on at the Myrtle’s Plantation involving this girl. I’ll leave the mystery for you to find out.
Now it time to talk about the biggest tool everyone needs and owns. Pen/pencil paper and your eyes and ears is the biggest tool you need. These are the most important tool of all and taking good notes about what going on where it happen and when. And debunking techniques used now without this information what you see or what you here is pointless now there is no right or wrong way to do this accepts not to do it. Now I have built some spread sheets that can help with some of it the first one is to keep track of all the equipment used on the investigations and it cover the who what where and when also there a chart on the bottom to keep track of batteries used during the investigation. Whit a lot of us being non-profit it help with taxes. They are a wright off so the better you keep track the better the refund for the team. And the second is to keep track of time, weather and team plus activity know it can be populated hourly to 15 min intervals and give you a spot and areas there might be activity and different times. Now you don’t have to use these exact sheets but hopefully it gives you a good start. So in conclusion make sure you are keeping track of as much as you can when you can to help back up your evidence.
This village/museum sits on 90 acres just North of Phoenix, Arizona and contains approximately 30 buildings on the site. It was officially opened in 1969 and gives the visitor the opportunity to step back in time from 1863-1912. These buildings were rescued from decay and destruction and placed at the museum in an effort to show how life was during that time in our history.
Just a few of the original buildings include the Ashurst Cabin, boyhood home of Arizona’s first Senator, Henry Fountain Ashurst. The original Phoenix Bakery from 1881 is here, also. The Opera House started out as a general store in 1876, and was turned into a theater in 1882, after it was sold. The Flying V Cabin is also located here. It was built circa 1880 and even has notched gun ports for protection against Indian attacks. It was raided during the July 17, 1882 Battle of Big Dry Wash, the last Apache war in the area. In moving these buildings to the museum area, it appears that the spirits have moved with them.
[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]There have been several paranormal groups to investigate this location, with each of them reporting strange noises, happenings and recorded EVP’s.[/pullquote] Even though the caretaker of the village swears that he doesn’t believe in ghosts, he has also heard and experienced some strange things that he just cannot explain.
The museum also offers Ghost Tours, with “ghouls” as your guides. They take you to each of the buildings in an effort for you to have your very own unique experience with their resident spirits.
If you are ever in Arizona and want to step back in time to see what a pioneer’s life was like during the day, and what spirits still reside here at night, this is the place for you.
Paracelsus (/ˌpærəˈsɛlsəs/; born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 11 November or 17 December 1493 – 24 September 1541) was a Swiss German Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist. He founded the discipline of Toxicology. He is also known as a revolutionary for insisting upon using observations of nature, rather than looking to ancient texts, in open and radical defiance of medical practice of his day. He is also credited for giving zinc its name, calling it zincum. Modern psychology often also credits him for being the first to note that some diseases are rooted in psychological illness.
His personality was stubborn and independent. He grew progressively more frustrated and bitter as he became more embattled as a reformer.
“Paracelsus”, meaning “next (in his status as physician) to Celsus” or “beyond Celsus”, refers to the Roman encyclopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus from the 1st century, known for his tract on medicine.
Paracelsus’ most important legacy is likely his critique of the scholastic methods in medicine, science and theology. Although these faculties did not exist separate from each other during his time, his attitudes towards the uncritical copy of the teachings of the old Fathers of Medicine, such as Avicenna and Averroes, without categorically denying their obvious merits, was his first and foremost achievement for independent and empirical approaches to research and teaching. Much of his theoretical work does not withstand modern scientific thought, but his insights laid the foundation for a more dynamic approach in the medical sciences.
Monument to Paracelsus in Beratzhausen, Bavaria
Memorial in Einsiedeln, Switzerland
Paracelsus was born and raised in the village of Einsiedeln in Switzerland. His father, Wilhelm Bombast von Hohenheim, was a Swabian (German) chemist and physician. His mother was Swiss; she presumably died in his childhood. In 1502 the family moved to Villach, Carinthia where Paracelsus’ father worked as a physician, attending to the medical needs of the pilgrims and inhabitants of the cloister. He received a profound humanistic and theological education by his father, local clerics and the convent school of St. Paul’s Abbey in the Lavanttal. At the age of 16 he started studying medicine at the University of Basel, later moving to Vienna. He gained his doctorate degree from the University of Ferrara in 1515 or 1516.
His wanderings as an itinerant physician and sometime journeyman miner took him through Germany, France, Spain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Russia.
As a physician of the early 16th century, Paracelsus held a natural affinity with the Hermetic, Neoplatonic, and Pythagorean philosophies central to the Renaissance, a world-view exemplified by Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola. Paracelsus rejected the magic theories of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Nicolas Flamel in his Archidoxes of Magic. Astrology was a very important part of Paracelsus’ medicine, and he was a practicing astrologer — as were many of the university-trained physicians working at this time in Europe. Paracelsus devoted several sections in his writings to the construction of astrological talismans for curing disease, providing talismans for various maladies as well as talismans for each sign of the Zodiac. He also invented an alphabet called the Alphabet of the Magi, for engraving angelic names upon talismans.
Paracelsus pioneered the use of chemicals and minerals in medicine. He used the name “zink” for the element zinc in about 1526, based on the sharp pointed appearance of its crystals after smelting and the old German word “zinke” for pointed. He used experimentation in learning about the human body. It is said that Paracelsus was also responsible for the creation of laudanum, an opium tincture very common until the 19th century. As a physician and medical chemist at the time, he also sharply criticised apothecary practices that were often not applied in a dosage correct manner. From the study of his texts, he was an advocate and critic of the common use of guaiac wood and hellebore.
Paracelsus gained a reputation for being arrogant, and soon garnered the anger of other physicians in Europe. Some even claim he was a habitual drinker. He held the chair of medicine at the University of Basel and city physician for less than a year. He angered his colleagues by lecturing in German instead of Latin in order to make medical knowledge more accessible to the common people. He attacked conventional academic teachings and publicly burned medical textbooks, denouncing some of his predecessors as quacks and liars. After slandering his opponents with vicious epithets due to a dispute over a physician’s fee, he had to leave Basel secretly fearing punishment by the court. He became a tramp, wandering through Central Europe again. In 1530, at the instigation of the medical faculty at the University of Leipzig, the city council of Nürnberg prohibited the printing of Paracelsus’ works.
His travelings to Africa and Asia Minor in the pursuit of hidden knowledge are speculative. He revised old manuscripts and wrote new ones but had trouble finding publishers. In 1536, his Die grosse Wundartznei (“The Great Surgery Book”) was published and enabled him to regain fame.
Paracelsus’ contributions to medicine can be seen in the context of the birth of Lutheranism, although he remained a Catholic and never officially assigned to the reformatory changes taking place during his time. He was a contemporary of Copernicus, Leonardo da Vinci and Martin Luther. During his life he was compared with Luther partly because his ideas were different from the mainstream and partly because of openly defiant acts against the existing authorities in medicine, such as his public burning of ancient books. This act struck people as similar to Luther’s defiance against the Church. Paracelsus rejected that comparison.Famously Paracelsus said, “I leave it to Luther to defend what he says and I will be responsible for what I say. That which you wish to Luther, you wish also to me: You wish us both in the fire.”
In 1526 he bought the rights of citizenship in Strasbourg to establish his own practice. But soon after he was called to Basel to the sickbed of Johann Froben or Frobenius, a successful printer and publisher. Based on historical accounts, Paracelsus cured Frobenius.
Paracelsus was one of the first medical professors to recognize that physicians required a solid academic knowledge in the natural sciences, especially chemistry. Furthermore, he allowed for the access of medical academic work to learned people. Surgeons for example often were not academically trained and ranked with the barbers and butchers in the same guild.
Paracelsus is also a folk legend, and bizarre tales about his life circulated Central Europe for centuries. In the minds of many, he became a wonder-healer and spiritual protector of health. His aid to villages during the plague in the 16th century was for many an act of heroism, his works and achievements therefore often abused and falsely copied.
While attending the sick bed of Frobenius (see above), Erasmus of Rotterdam witnessed the curative powers of Paracelsus’ therapy. Deeply impressed by his skills, he must have recommended him to his humanist friends at the University of Basel, one of the most progressive schools at that time. Paracelsus’ contact with Erasmus also initiated a letter dialogue between them.
He died at the age of 47 in Salzburg, and his remains were buried according to his wishes in the cemetery at the church of St. Sebastian in Salzburg. His remains are now located in a tomb in the porch of that church.After his death, the movement of Paracelsianism was seized upon by many wishing to subvert the traditional Galenic physics, and his therapies became more widely known and used.His motto was “Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest” which means “Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself.”
Paracelsus largely rejected the philosophies of Aristotle and Galen, as well as the theory of humors. Although he did accept the concept of the four elements as water, air, fire, and earth, he saw them merely as a foundation for other properties on which to build. From his study of the elements, Paracelsus adopted the idea of triparite alternatives to explain the nature of medicine, taking the place of a combustable element (sulphur) a fluid and changeable element (mercury) and a solid, permanent element (salt.) The first mention of the mercury, sulphur, salt model was in the Opus paramirum dating to about 1530 Paracelsus believed that the principles sulphur, mercury, and salt contained the poisons contributing to all diseases. He saw each disease as having three separate cures depending on how it was afflicted, either being caused by the poisoning of sulphur, mercury, or salt. Paracelsus drew the importance of sulphur, salt and mercury from medieval alchemy, where they all occupied a prominent place. He demonstrated his theory by burning a piece of wood. the fire was the work of sulphur, the smoke was mercury, and the residual ash was salt. Paracelsus also believed that mercury, sulphur, and salt provided a good explanation for the nature of medicine because each of these properties existed in many physical forms. With every disease, the symptoms depended on which of the three principal caused the ailment.Paracelsus theorized that materials that are poisonous in large doses may be positive in small doses, he demonstrated this with the examples of magnetism and static electricity, where a small magnet can attract much larger metals.
The tria prima also defined the human identity. Sulfur embodied the soul, (the emotions and desires); salt represented the body; mercury epitomised the spirit (imagination, moral judgment, and the higher mental faculties). By understanding the chemical nature of the tria prima, a physician could discover the means of curing disease.
Contributions to medicine
Sun Gold Heart
Paracelsus pioneered the use of chemicals and minerals in medicine. His hermetical views were that sickness and health in the body relied on the harmony of man (microcosm) and Nature (macrocosm). He took an approach different from those before him, using this analogy not in the manner of soul-purification but in the manner that humans must have certain balances of minerals in their bodies, and that certain illnesses of the body had chemical remedies that could cure them.
As a result of this hermetical idea of harmony, the universe’s macrocosm was represented in every person as a microcosm. According to the insights at the time, there were Seven planets in the sky, Seven metals on Earth and Seven centers (or major organs) in Man — seven was a special number. Everything was heavenly and closely interrelated (see table below). Paracelsus mobilized the microcosm-macrocosm theory to demonstrate the analogy between the aspirations to salvation and health. As humans must ward off the influence of evil spirits with morality, they also must ward off diseases with good health.
Diseases were caused by poisons brought here from the stars. But ‘poisons’ were not necessarily something negative, in part because related substances interacted, in part because only the dose determined if a substance was poisonous or not. Evil could expel evil. Therefore, poisons could have beneficial medical effects. Because everything in the universe was interrelated, beneficial medical substances could be found in herbs, minerals and various chemical combinations thereof. Paracelsus viewed the universe as one coherent organism pervaded by a uniting lifegiving spirit, and this in its entirety, Man included, was ‘God’. His views put him at odds with the Church, for which there necessarily had to be a difference between the Creator and the created.
His work Die große Wundarzney is a forerunner of antisepsis. This specific empirical knowledge originated from his personal experiences as an army physician in the Venetian wars.
It is not historically proven that he was the first to apply Laudanum, an analgesic opium preparation. He first encountered this drug on an also speculative visit to Constantinople. If this speculation held true, he would have been the first doctor to apply an effective pharmacological agent against pain, especially in case of wounds caused by military confrontations at the time.
One of his most overlooked achievements was the systematic study of minerals and the curative powers of alpine mineral springs. His countless wanderings also brought him deep into many areas of the Alps, where such therapies were already practised on a less common scale than today.
He summarised his own views:
Many have said of Alchemy, that it is for the making of gold and silver. For me such is not the aim, but to consider only what virtue and power may lie in medicines.
Hippocrates put forward the theory that illness was caused by an imbalance of the four humors: blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile. These ideas were further developed by Galen into an extremely influential and highly persistent set of medical beliefs that were to last until the mid-1850s. The dominant medical treatments in Paracelsus’ time were specific diets to help in the “cleansing of the putrefied juices” combined with purging and bloodletting to restore the balance of the four humors. Paracelsus supplemented and challenged this view with his beliefs that illness was the result of the body being attacked by outside agents. He objected to excessive bloodletting, saying that the process disturbed the harmony of the system, and that blood could not be purifed by lessening it’s quantity. During his time as a military surgeon, Paracelsus was exposed to the crudity of medical knowledge at the time, when doctors believed that infection was a natural part of the healing process. He advocated for cleanliness and protection of wounds, as well as the regulation of diet. Popular ideas of the time opposed these theories and suggested sewing or plastering wounds Historians of syphilitic disease credit Paracelsus with the recognition of the inherited character of syphilis. In his first medical publication, a short pamphlet of syphilis treatment, he wrote a clinical description of syphilis in which he maintained that it could be treated by carefully measured doses of mercury.
Paracelsus’ major work On the Miners’ Sickness and Other Diseases of Miners documented the occupational hazards of metalworking including treatment and prevention strategies. He also wrote a book on the human body contradicting Galen’s ideas.
Contributions to toxicology
Paracelsus, sometimes called the father of toxicology, wrote:
Dosis facit venenum.
(deutsch: “Die Dosis macht das Gift.”) – or The dose makes the poison.
That is to say, substances considered toxic are harmless in small doses, and conversely an ordinarily harmless substance can be deadly if over-consumed.
Contributions to psychotherapy
Paracelsus is credited as providing the first clinical/scientific mention of the unconscious. In his work Von den Krankeiten he writes: “Thus, the cause of the disease chorea lasciva is a mere opinion and idea, assumed by imagination, affecting those who believe in such a thing. This opinion and idea are the origin of the disease both in children and adults. In children the case is also imagination, based not on thinking but on perceiving, because they have heard or seen something. The reason is this: their sight and hearing are so strong that unconsciously they have fantasies about what they have seen or heard.”
Carl Gustav Jung studied Paracelsus intensively. His work Mysterium Conjunctionis further drew from alchemical symbolism as a tool in psychotherapy. Following Paracelsus’ path, it was Jung who first theorized that the symbolic language of alchemy was an expression of innate but unconscious psychological processes.
Findings of Hydrogen
Paracelsus in the beginning of the sixteenth century had unknowingly observed hydrogen, because he noted that in reaction when acids attack metals, gas was a by-product. Later, Théodore de Mayerne repeated Paracelsus’s experiment in 1650 and found that the gas was flammable. However neither Paracelsus nor de Mayerne proposed that hydrogen could be a new element.
Legend and rumor
Many books mentioning Paracelsus also cite him as the origin of the word “bombastic” to describe his often arrogant speaking style, which the following passage illustrates:
I am Theophrastus, and greater than those to whom you liken me; I am Theophrastus, and in addition I am monarcha medicorum and I can prove to you what you cannot prove…I need not don a coat of mail or a buckler against you, for you are not learned or experienced enough to refute even a word of mine…As for you, you can defend your kingdom with belly-crawling and flattery. How long do you think this will last?…Let me tell you this: every little hair on my neck knows more than you and all your scribes, and my shoe buckles are more learned than your Galen and Avicenna, and my beard has more experience than all your high colleges.
—Paracelsus, Selected Writings
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the word “bombastic” is “bombast”, an old term for cotton stuffing, rather than a play on Paracelsus’s middle name, Bombastus.
History was made in 1888 at Whitechapel, England when one of the first recorded serial killers stalked an impoverished neighborhood. Between August 31st, 1888 and November 9th, 1888, five women were brutally murdered and butchered in the streets. But the details of the murders are nothing compared to greatest question that has plagued history since: who was Jack the Ripper?
While also named the “Whitechapel Murderer” and “Leather Apron” at the time of the crimes, very little is known about the actual person. There have been theories that went from the practical to the ridiculous. Others that went from gang killings to cult followings. It seemed nobody could agree on the profession or profile of the person the police and Scotland Yard were pursuing, let alone the identity.
The East End of London was so densely populated and crime ridden, that gang activity and murders were just a passing thought in the life of the people who lived there. The labyrinth-like layout of the area may have hindered the process, as there were many ways in and out of the areas where the murders were committed. Lighting was dim in the streets. In some alleys there was no lighting at all, making the crimes that were committed easier to accomplish while remaining unseen.
There are five generally accepted victims of Jack the Ripper (also referred as the Canonical Victims). Many of the woman had similar lifestyles. This creates various theories about the suspect and his (or her) victimology.
Mary Ann Nichols was nearly 44 years old when her body was found. She was the wife of William Nichols with whom she had separated with several years earlier, and was the mother of five children, four of which lived with her at the time of her death. It is commonly thought that she was an alcoholic, and this is what led to her life of prostitution. Her body was found at Buck’s Row on August 31st, 1888 by a Car-man named Charles Cross, who signaled a friend, Robert Paul for assistance. While Cross believed the woman to be dead, Paul thought he could still feel a faint heartbeat. According to reports, both men had agreed that they didn’t want to be late for work, and alerted police after rearranging her skirts to provide her some decency. Her autopsy shows that she had her throat slit twice with a rather large knife and several incisions were made into her abdomen. Investigators believed that she had been killed elsewhere, as there was a lack of blood to indicate that she bled out where she was found.
Annie Chapman was 47 years old at the time of death. She was also married and separated from her husband, John Chapman, with whom she had three children. It was commonly thought that she was an alcoholic as well, since she had been arrested several times for her intoxication. Annie turned to prostitution after the death of her husband. Her body was found on September 8th, 1888 by another Car-man by the name of John Davis. The medical report shows extensive damage to her body. As with the last victim, her throat had be cut, but only once. However, her abdomen had been disemboweled and her intestines was removed and thrown over her shoulders. Upon further examination, it was discovered that her uterus had been removed.
On September 30th, 1888 the body of Elizabeth Stride was discovered. She was 45 years old. She was married to John Stride, and she did have a stillborn baby girl, but no other children of record. It is believed that her husband and she had separated prior to his death in 1884. Elizabeth was also known to be an alcoholic and was arrested for being drunk and disorderly on many occasions. She did make money through legitimate means, but occasionally prostituted herself on the side for extra income. Her body was discovered by Louis Diemschutz, a jewelry salesman, in the early hours of the morning. While her throat had also been cut, it is believed that Louis had scared off her murderer before he could finish with the mutilation of her body.
Catherine Eddowes was also found on September 30, 1888. While there was no evidence she was married, she did live with Thomas Conway for some time, and had three children with him. They did separate and she took her daughter, while Conway took her one of her sons (it is unclear what became of her third child). Only 45 minutes after Elizabeth Stride’s body had been found, Catherine Eddowes’ still warm corpse was discovered. Catherine’s skirts had been pulled up past her abdomen. She had been disemboweled as well, and her intestines had been pulled up past her right shoulder, and smeared with fecal matter. A piece of the intestine had been detached and placed between her body and her left arm, in a sort of design. Her throat had also been cut. As with Mary Ann Nichols, the crime scene showed little blood from the murder and disembowelment.
Mary Jane Kelley was only 25 years old when she was murdered. She lived with a man named Joseph Burnett and a Mrs. Carthy who seemed to only know things about her through her stories of her family, as no one claimed her body. Mary Jane was from Ireland, and traveled with her family to Wales. She had been married at the age of 16 to a man name Davies, and her husband had died two or three years later in an explosion. There had been a suggestion that a child came of this marriage, but she did not have one residing with her during her time in London. When she arrives in London, Mary Jane claims to have landed a job at a high end Brothel on the West End. Accounts found that she was belligerent when she was drinking, but overall a very sweet person. Mary Jane Kelley was found by a landlord after he went to collect past-due rent. When knocking did not get an answer for him, he went to the window where he found her body lying on her bed. The medical examination found that her whole abdomen and thighs were disemboweled. . Unlike the other victims, it seemed the Ripper did not worry about being caught, as he or she took the time to cut up her face. All her organs from her abdomen were emptied from her body, and her breasts had been removed. These were placed systematically in various stages around her body.
There is a theory that the Ripper had thirteen other victims alongside the Canonical Five, ranging from the years 1887-1891. While many of them shared the same attributes of alcoholism and prostitution, two stood out that were able to give a description of their assailant. Annie Millwood was admitted to the Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary on February 25th, 1888 with several stab wounds to her body. The exact number is unclear, and she would die less than a month later of “natural causes”. She described the man that attacked her as a stranger, but no one else had seen the attack itself.
Ada Wilson was attacked on March 28th, 1888 at her home. She claims that a man in his 30’s knocked on her door, and when she answered, the man forced his way into her home and demanded money. After refusing him, he stabbed her twice in the throat and ran, leaving Ada Wilson for dead. She, however, survived and was able to recount her tale to the authorities.
It is very possible that these two women may have been the first attempts at murder by the Ripper. As the body count increased, so did his methods. Using only a knife, as some may claim, he went from attacking women to evolving into a serial killer that not only mutilated the bodies of the women he killed, but managed terrify and panic a whole city.
The Ripper Letters are in no way, an indication of who the murderer was. Upon simple examination, it is fairly easy to determine that the “Dear Boss” letter was written by someone completely different than the author of the “From Hell” and “Saucy Jack” letters. While the “From Hell” letter did have what seemed to be a human kidney, the recipient of the letter, George Lusk, was unable to determine if it belonged to Catherine Eddowes (the Ripper’s 4th victim).
The suspect list continues to grow even today. More than 500 people have been identified as Jack the Ripper, including those of the noble class. One of which was Prince Albert Victor. Although there was no solid evidence, he became a suspect well after all the main players were dead. It was thought that he was mentally unstable (or in our day, he might have been mildly autistic). But that theory has been shot down by several experts as the Prince has been accounted for in other places, with several witnesses and royal documents and records back up his innocence.
Quite a few have been dubbed “Jill the Ripper”, as experts in the field believed that the famous serial killer may have been a woman. This theory grew credence as the community at large were looking for a man, thus making it easier for a woman to go about her business without harassment, or a second thought. Add in the theory that this woman may have been a midwife, or an abortionist, walking around with blood on their clothing would have the people around her not batting an eye. As experts would theorize on this, they thought “who else would know the human anatomy so well besides a physician?”
There is a theory that H.H. Holmes, the famous doctor turned serial killer in Chicago may have been the infamous killer of Whitechapel. In 1893, a few short years after the last document murder in London, made his 60 room boarding house into a “murder trap”. It is believed he had killed over 200 people, mostly women, although he only admitted to 27 murders. He was tried and convicted of those killings in Chicago, and was hanged in May 1896.
Forensics back in the 19th century were shoddy at best, considering forensics was in its infancy. Many of the scenes were contaminated by the civilians, police force and the coroner. This makes identity harder to reveal even today, as the contamination could be from anyone. Most of the evidence had been handled by many people, even experts without the use of gloves or masks, making anyone who had come into contact with them a suspect using today’s technology. One touch, one sneeze, made any evidence unusable by today’s standards.
From August through September of 1951 the US Air Force investigated one of the first great UFO cases in the United States. At 9pm on August 25th three Professors from what is now known as Texas Tech University were relaxing at one of the professors homes when a series of lights flew above them. Moving N to S at a very high rate of speed and the brightness of a star only larger in diameter they flew in a perfect almost semi circle pattern which contained approx 20 – 30 lights. Over a three week period these lights were observed by these men over 12 times. Over the course of two months over 100 people all around the Lubbock area observed and also reported seeing these strange lights.
On the evening of 31 August 1951 at about 11:30PM, a college freshman named Carl Hart observed a flight pass over his home. It is said two more flights of objects allegedly also occurred in which he photographed. These are now known as the famous Carl Hart Photographs.
It was observed that there was no sound that could be attributed to the objects and the color of the lights was bluish green in tone. It was also stated the first two flights observed were a semi-circle of lights but in the subsequent flight there was no orderly arrangement. The objects did not gradually come into view as would an aircraft that was upon approach, and neither did it gradually disappear. It was also noted there was no apparent change in size as any of the objects passed overhead.
Carl started watching the skies when word was spread about the college professors sightings in the local Lubbock Newspaper “The Avalanche”. After capturing his series of photos Carl, he took the film to a friend at a photo lab so that he could develop it. The Avalanche learned of the pictures when a photographer who did some work for the newspaper called to say that Hart had just been there developing some film. He thought Harris might be interested, and Harris suggested that Hart bring the negatives to the office. This was indeed the turning point in bringing these sightings to the forefront.
Carl Hart never copyrighted his photographs in fear some may think they were a fake and the reporter at the Avalanche had accused him of hoaxing the whole incident and proceeded to tell Carl the consequences of fraud. A short time later Carl decide to send the photos out over the wire. Though many have tried to duplicate the photos at that time no one could ever debunk them.
Upon learning of the photographs, the US military spent a great deal of time trying to come up with some kind of explanation. Officers came in from Reese Air Force Base as well as Wright-Patterson located in Dayton, Ohio. Lt. Edward J. Ruppelt even made a personal trip to Lubbock to investigate these lights and to interview Carl Hart as well as some of the others who had claimed the sightings.
Ruppelt’s was not the last and only interview by the US military. On December 2 Hart was questioned again. According to the OSI report, He was interviewed in private and asked for a written statement. Evidently the military hoped to break his story, which was a continuing obstacle to a bird explanation that they had come up with, but if a professional photographer could not get a picture of birds at night (which they had tried), how had an amateur done it? The obvious answer was that Hart had not photographed birds. If so, could that mean the objects he had photographed be unidentified flying objects.
The US Military’s report concludes that: birds, with street lights reflecting from them, were the probable cause of these sightings. The angular velocity of 30 degrees per second seems rather high for birds during migratory flights. It is probable that the angular velocity was less. In all instances the witnesses were located in an area where their eyes were dark-adapted, thus making the objects appear brighter. The kind of birds responsible for this sighting is not known, but it is highly probable that they were ducks or plover. Since plovers do not usually fly in formations of more than six or seven, ducks seem more probable.
There are, however, no migratory birds in the Lubbock area at that time of year. According to Loren Smith of Texas Tech, ducks do fly in V -formations in the area in late August. The glossy ibis, for example, visits the area, but it has no white with which to reflect the streetlights. Therefore the bird explanation does not work. In fact, the photographs taken by Hart refute this theory, but that seemed to made no difference. And it also made no difference that a professional photographer, when he attempted to photograph a flight of ducks at night, could not do so. Project Blue Book lists the case as solved by the birds.
Hart continues to deny that the pictures were faked. No one has ever presented any evidence to support this accusation, nor has anyone explained how they could have been faked. Hart himself has no explanation. When asked if he himself believes in flying saucers, he response was:
“I don’t particularly disbelieve. I think I’m kind of open-minded on that. If one would show up some place else here, I think I’d accept it.” When asked if he knew what the lights were, he simply stated “I really don’t.”…
Project Blue Book
Alexander Graham Bell
Educator, Linguist, Inventor, Scientist
B: March 3, 1847 – Scotland
D: August 2, 1922 – Canada
Alexander Graham Bell is mostly known for the invention of the telephone. Though this gained him fame and considerable wealth, it was not from the efforts of his passion. There are some urban legend stories regarding Bell personally experiencing “disembodied voices” from his invention but, the limited research for this article found nothing verifiable. These stories likely originate from early voice transmissions often being difficult to discern and understand.
Alexander’s passion was helping and teaching the deaf community. This was the family business and in spite his other ventures, Alexander always considered himself to be a teacher of the deaf. He was mostly home schooled by his mother who was deaf and also an accomplished musician. She had significant influence on his life by inspiring his curiosity.
At the age of 12, while playing at a grain mill, Alexander conceived his first invention in a faster method to remove wheat husks.
At age 16 he took a position teaching elocution (speaking in a manner that allowed the deaf to more easily read lips) and music at an academy in Scotland. After one term, he returned to the family business to help teach his father’s methods of “lip reading” to the deaf community. After several more years alternating between teaching on his own and helping his father, the family moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1871.
In 1872 Alexander, now in his mid-20s, ventured out on his own tutoring deaf children in Boston. Gardiner Hubbard, the father of one of his students had been seeking to improve telegraph technology. Alexander, shared his ideas with Gardiner. Intrigued by Alexander’s ideas, Gardiner convinced another student’s father to help finance development of the technology. As Alexander worked on telegraph improvements, he became distracted by the idea of transmitting voice by wire. Gardiner hired Thomas Watson in an effort to help focus Alexander on the telegraph. Thomas also became distracted with the idea of voice transmission. In March of 1876, legend suggests Alexander was speaking to Thomas when, due to circumstance and without direct intent, Thomas heard Alexander’s voice from the wired device.
The Bell Telephone Company came into existence in 1877. Alexander assigned others to run the company and continued his efforts to develop his ideas and to work with the deaf community. Alexander is credited with involvement in the invention of many things including the iron lung, metal detector, the audiometer (for testing hearing), and Thomas Edison’s phonograph.
Alexander Graham Bell. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved Nov 29, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/alexander-graham-bell-9205497.
I figured I would post some links where you can find training and equipment that can help keep you safe on paranormal investigations. This is just a short list and definitely not the only places to find these products and training. Feel free to post more below, especially if you have interacted and had good experiences with them.
CPR & FIRST AID:
We are a non-profit organization specializing in helping those in need
of paranormal investigating assistance. We are seekers of true
evidence and validations of the afterlife as well as finding evidence
in all aspects of unknown phenomenon.
Website – http://www.meetup.com/MIST/
Email – B109z@verizon.net
Phone – (941)266-2137
Michael A. Aquino (1946-), U.S. Army officer and founder of the Temple of Set, is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., 1968; Ph.D., 1980). In 1968 he joined the army as a specialist in psychological warfare. The next year he joined the Church of Satan. His career in the church was put on hold while he served a tour of duty in Vietnam, but shortly after his return to the United States in 1971, he was ordained as a Satanic priest and organized a group (termed a grotto) that met at his home.
Aquino rose to a position of prominence in the Church of Satan, but became dissatisfied with the leadership of church founder Anton LaVey. He opposed LaVey’s arbitrary leadership and atheistic approach to religion. LaVey actually denied the existence of Satan. In 1972 Aquino resigned and was joined in his revolt by Lilith Sinclair, another prominent leader on the East Coast. In 1975 he sought a new mandate to operate by invoking the devil. Satan responded by appearing as Set, the ancient Egyptian deity, and gave Aquino a document, The Book of Coming Forth by Night. He authorized Aquino to found the Temple of Set to supersede the Church of Satan. Aquino created a new religious society built around the worship of Set, of whom Satan is one derivation.
During the 1980s Aquino gained some degree of fame when the media became aware that an army officer led a Satanic group. The temple became the subject of criticism, and Aquino was charged with fabricated tales of Satanic child abuse. Aquino, an officer who has an exemplary record, was investigated and found innocent of any wrongdoing. The molestations he was accused of perpetrating were traced to a fellow officer. Meanwhile, he continues his professional career and his leadership in the temple.
Born in Ohio in 1934, Charles Manson is notoriously connected to the brutal slayings of actress Sharon Tate and other Hollywood residents, but he was never actually found guilty of committing the murders himself. However, the famous ‘Tate-La Bianca’ killings have immortalized him as a living embodiment of evil. Images of his staring ‘mad eyes’ are still used today to illustrate countless serial-murder news stories. The Manson Family—including Charles Manson and his young, loyal dropout disciples of murder—is thought to have carried out some 35 killings. Most were never tried, either for lack of evidence or because the perpetrators were already sentenced to life for the Tate/La Bianca killings. In 2012, Manson was denied parole for the 12th time.
Charles Manson was born Charles Milles Maddox on November 12, 1934, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Kathleen Maddox, a 16-year-old girl who was both an alcoholic and prostitute. Kathleen later married William Manson, but the marriage ended quickly and Charles was placed in a boys school. Although the boy ran back to his mother, she didn’t want anything to do with him. Charles was soon living on the streets and getting by through petty crime.
By 1951, Manson began spending time in prison, and early on, before he discovered the benefits of being a “model prisoner,” he was considered dangerous. He would eventually spend half of the first 32 years of his life behind bars.
A new chapter in his life began in 1955 when he married a 17-year-old girl and moved with her to California. She became pregnant, but Manson resumed a life of crime again, once again stealing cars. It wasn’t long before he was back behind bars, and by 1956 his estranged wife had left with their child and her new lover. Manson later had another child with a different woman while out on probation.
He was described by probation reports as suffering from a “marked degree of rejection, instability and psychic trauma” and “constantly striving for status and securing some kind of love.” Other descriptions included “unpredictable” and “safe only under supervision.”
From 1958, Manson was in and out of jail for a variety of offenses, including “pimping” and passing stolen checks, and he was sent to McNeil Island prison in Washington State for 10 years. During this time he had also raped a fellow male prisoner while brandishing a razor. Paradoxically, it was while he was incarcerated that he tapped into his creative talents and learned how to read music and play the guitar.
Manson was released on March 21, 1967, and the following year he would spearhead a murderous campaign that would make him one of the most infamous figures in criminal history.
In many ways, Manson reflects personality traits and obsessions that are associated with gurus of cult-quasi-religious groups that began to emerge in the 1960s and are still with us today. He was pathologically deluded into believing that he was harbinger of doom regarding the planet’s future, in much the same way that cult and evangelist figures today claim prophetic knowledge of the world’s end.
Manson was also influenced not only by drugs such as LSD but by art works and music of the time such as the Beatles song “Helter Skelter” from their White Album. He had a strong belief and interest in the notion of Armageddon from the Book of Revelations, and Scientology and more obscure cult churches such as Church of the Final Judgment were also fleeting interests.
After 1967, Manson gathered a group of followers who shared his passion for an unconventional lifestyle and habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD and magic mushrooms. “The Family,” as they became known, moved to San Francisco and later to a deserted ranch in the San Fernando Valley. His followers, numbering around 100, also included a small hard-core unit of impressionable young girls. They began to believe, without question, Manson’s claims that he was Jesus and his prophecies of a race war.
In August 1969, a series of Hollywood murders were to shock the world and tarnish the 1960’s free love and peace legacy, when Manson gathered a group of his most loyal Family followers to carry out a massacre among Tinseltown’s elite and “beautiful people.” The act would shock the nation and effectively bring the era to an end.
The first victims fell on August 9, 1969, at Roman Polanski’s Beverley Hills home at 10050 Cielo Drive. Manson chose four of his most obedient comrades—Charles “Tex” Watson, Susan Watkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian—to carry out these heinous crimes. Kasabian acted as the getaway driver and was to become the star witness during the trial.
The victims inside the house, actress Sharon Tate; writer Wojciech Frykowski and his partner, the coffee bean heiress Abigail Folger; and celerity hairstylist Jay Sebring, had returned to the Polanski residence after dining out. Polanksi himself was away in London shooting a film.
The first victim of the night was 18-year-old Steven Parent, a friend of Tate’s gardener. He was shot as he drove up to the house and was spotted by the intruders. Linda Kasabian was horrified by the shooting of the boy, and she remained outside to keep watch. When the other three broke into the house, they herded the occupants into the living room and tied them up. Manson himself took no part in the actual killings but directed his murderous disciples to the address and instructed them to kill everyone.
According to one of the Family member’s statements, the Polanksi household had been targeted because it represented Manson’s rejection by the showbiz world and society.
Jay Sebring was shot and brutally kicked as he tried to defend Ms. Tate. During the terrifying fracas, both Frykowski and Folger managed to escape from the house but were chased and stabbed to death. At the trial, Kasabian described how she saw Frykowski staggering out of the house covered in blood and was horrified at the sight. She told him she was “sorry,” but despite her pleas to his attacker to stop, the victim was bludgeoned repeatedly. Folger escaped from the house with terrible injuries but was caught on the front lawn and stabbed 28 times.
The most inhumane killing is arguably that of Sharon Tate, who despite pleading for the life of her unborn child was mercilessly stabbed in the stomach by Susan Atkins. Kasabian told of Atkins’ chilling words to Tate before she stabbed her: “Look, bitch, I have no mercy for you. You’re going to die, and you’d better get used to it.” Atkins then used Tate’s blood to write the word “pig” on the front door. Instead of this brutal massacre sating the pathological Manson, he instead criticized the murderers for being sloppy.
The following night, on the August 10, 1969, Manson took Family members Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten to the Los Feliz address of wealthy supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, and the couple was murdered in a similarly horrifying fashion.
Arrest and Trial
Ironically, Manson and his Family were arrested not on suspicion of the murders but simply on the belief that they had vandalized a portion of the Death Valley National Park while they were hiding out in the Mojave Desert. In 1969, the county sheriff had them in custody, not realizing that he had murder suspects on his hands. But it was the confessions of Susan Atkins, while held in detention on suspicion of murdering Gary Hinman during an unrelated incident, that led detectives to realize that Manson and his followers were involved in the Tate/LaBianca killings.
Various motivations were examined during the course of the trial. The most feasible being that Manson’s pathological ego, insanity and belief in Armageddon were influences that led him to leave behind a trail of destruction.
Manson believed that he was the new Messiah and that after a “nuclear attack” he and his followers would be saved by hiding in a secret world under the desert. His prophetic visions included a belief that the race war would result in a black victory, and Manson along with his Family members would have to mentor the black community, as they would lack experience to run the planet.
As Manson and the Family were to be the beneficiaries of the race war, he told his followers that they had to help initiate it. According to defense witness and killer Van Houten, this was the primary reason why they murdered the LaBiancas. Manson had taken the wallet of murdered Rosemary Bianca with the intention that he would deposit it in a section of L.A. where an African American might find it, use it and then possibly have the murders pinned on them.
Later in court, Van Houten, who was just 19 when she took part in the LaBianca killings, alleged that Manson had taken advantage of her vulnerability and dislike for her mother. Although she believed, like the other members, that he was a man of vision.
Thirty years later, during a parole board hearing, she said she was horrified by what she had done that night and desperately wanted to redeem herself. Van Houten was denied parole in 2006 and again in 2010.
Susan Atkins, possibly the most disturbed of all the killers, admitted in initial confessions to fellow prisoners that she had wanted to cut out Tate’s unborn baby but didn’t have the time. She also revealed that other grisly and macabre acts were to be perpetrated against the victims and that a list of other high-profile Hollywood stars were on a list to be killed and mutilated. These included Elizabeth Taylor and husband Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Tom Jones. When asked why they wanted to kill such people, Atkins replied that they (Manson and Family) wanted to commit murders that would shock the world and make people take notice.
The trial began on the November 18, 1969. Ronald Hughes was a young lawyer with experience and knowledge of 1960s counter culture. He was assigned as Manson and Van Houten’s attorney but decided to drop Manson in favor of defending Van Houten, who he thought could convince the jury that she was under the influence of Manson. The move may have cost him his life, as in 1970, Hughes went camping and disappeared. His decomposed body was found several months later, and it is thought he was the victim of retaliation killing by members of Manson’s Family for, in their eyes, betraying their leader.
During the trial, Manson released an album titled Lie in an effort to raise money for his defense. Manson reveled in media attention and during court proceedings turned up with an X carved into his forehead. Some of his female followers copied the act and shaved their heads, sometimes sitting outside the court house. The X was gradually modified until it turned into a swastika.
Throughout the trial, the killers often giggled and exchanged grimaces with Manson, showing no remorse for their crimes.
On January 25, 1971, Manson was convicted of first-degree murder for directing the deaths of the Tate/LaBianca victims. He was sentenced to death, but this was automatically commuted to life in prison after Californian’s Supreme Court invalidated all death sentences prior to 1972.
Kasabian was granted immunity for her part in acting as star witness. Susan Atkins was sentenced to death, but her sentence was later commuted to life in prison. She was incarcerated from 1969 until her death in 2009.
Beach Boys Connection
One interesting aspect to this disturbing saga was the emergence of record producer Terry Melcher, son of Doris Day and friend/producer of popular 1960s band the Beach Boys. Before the Manson Family’s murderous spree, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys had allowed Manson and several members of his Family to stay at his home after picking up two female members of the Family who’d been hitchhiking. It was through this association that Manson got the opportunity to audition for Melcher, who was living at Polanski’s house at the time. Melcher wasn’t interested in signing a contract with Manson. However, Manson allegedly did record some music at Dennis’s brother, Brian Wilson’s home studio, and the Beach Boys released a song written by Manson entitled “Cease to Exist” (renamed “Never Learn Not to Love”) on their 1969 album, 20/20, as a single B-side.
Life in Prison
Manson is serving his time in Corcoran State Prison in California. Even behind bars, he has still managed to attract followers. A woman named Afton Burton, who calls herself Star, claimed that she and Manson are in a relationship. In an 2013 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she said that “I’ll tell you straight up, Charlie and I are going to get married. When that will be, we don’t know. But I take it very seriously. Charlie is my husband. Charlie told me to tell you this.”
At the age of 19, Star moved from Illinois to Corcoran, California, to be near the prison where Manson is incarcerated. In November 2014, 26-year-old Star and 80-year-old Manson got a marriage license. Star also runs several websites aimed at getting Manson released from prison.
Anton Szandor LaVey (born Howard Stanton Levey; April 11, 1930 – October 29, 1997) was an American author, occultist, and musician. He was the founder of the Church of Satan as well as the author of The Satanic Bible and the founder of LaVeyan Satanism, a synthesized system of his understanding of human nature and the insights of philosophers who advocated materialism and individualism, for which he claimed no supernatural or theistic inspiration.
Ancestry and early life
LaVey was born as Howard Stanton Levey in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Michael Joseph Levey (1903–1992), from Chicago, Illinois married Lavey’s mother, the former Gertrude Augusta Coultron who was born to a Russian father and Ukrainian mother who had emigrated to Ohio in 1893; both became naturalized American citizens in 1900. LaVey’s family moved to California, where he spent his early life in the San Francisco Bay Area. His parents supported his musical interests, as he tried a number of instruments; his favorites were keyboards such as the pipe organ and the calliope. He did covers of instrumentals like Harlem Nocturne by Earle Hagen.
He attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California, until the age of 16.According to his biography, he left high school to join a circus and later carnivals, first as a roustabout and cage boy in an act with the big cats, then as a musician playing the calliope. LaVey later claimed to have seen that many of the same men attended both the bawdy Saturday night shows and the tent revival meetings on Sunday mornings, which reinforced his increasingly cynical view of religion. He would later work as an organist in bars, lounges and nightclubs. In the foreword to the German version of The Satanic Bible, he cites this as the impetus to defy Christian religion as he knew it. He accused church-goers of employing double moral standards. While playing organ in Los Angeles burlesque houses, he allegedly had a brief affair with then-unknown Marilyn Monroe when she was a dancer at the Mayan Theater. This is challenged by those who then knew Monroe, as well as the manager of the Mayan, Paul Valentine, who said she had never been one of his dancers, nor had the theater ever been used as a burlesque house.
According to his biography, LaVey moved back to San Francisco, where he worked for three years as a photographer for the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). He dabbled as a psychic investigator, looking into “800 calls” referred to him by the police department. Later biographers questioned whether LaVey ever worked with the SFPD, as there are no records substantiating the claim. During this period, LaVey was friends with a number of writers associated with Weird Tales magazine; a picture of him with George Haas, Robert Barbour Johnson (whom he had met in the circus as an animal trainer and painter of carnival scenes) and Clark Ashton Smith appears in Blanche Barton’s biography The Secret Life of a Satanist.
In 1950, LaVey met Carole Lansing and they married the following year. Lansing gave birth to LaVey’s first daughter, Karla LaVey, born in 1952. They divorced in 1960 after LaVey became entranced by Diane Hegarty. Hegarty and LaVey never married; however, she was his companion for many years and mothered his second daughter, Zeena Galatea Schreck (née LaVey), in 1963. At the end of their relationship, Hegarty sued for palimony.
Beginnings as a Satanist
Becoming a local celebrity through his paranormal research and live performances as an organist, including playing the Wurlitzer at the Lost Weekend cocktail lounge, he attracted many San Francisco notables to his parties. Guests included Carin de Plessin, Michael Harner, Chester A. Arthur III, Forrest J. Ackerman, Fritz Leiber, Cecil E. Nixon and Kenneth Anger. LaVey formed a group called the Order of the Trapezoid, which later evolved into the governing body of the Church of Satan.
Church of Satan
LaVey began presenting Friday night lectures on the occult and rituals. A member of this circle suggested that he had the basis for a new religion. On Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966, he ritualistically shaved his head, allegedly “in the tradition of ancient executioners”, declared the founding of the Church of Satan and proclaimed 1966 as “the Year One”, Anno Satanas—the first year of the Age of Satan. Media attention followed the subsequent Satanic wedding ceremony of Radical journalist John Raymond to New York City socialite Judith Case on February 1, 1967. The Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle were among the newspapers that printed articles dubbing him “The Black Pope”. LaVey performed Satanic baptisms (including the first Satanic baptism in history for his three-year-old daughter Zeena, dedicating her to the Devil, which garnered world-wide publicity and was originally recorded on The Satanic Mass LP) and Satanic funerals (including one for naval machinist-repairman third-class Edward Olsen, complete with a chrome-helmeted honor guard), and released a record album entitled The Satanic Mass.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, LaVey melded ideological influences from Friedrich Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, H.L. Mencken, and Jack London with the ideology and ritual practices of the Church of Satan. He wrote essays introduced with reworked excerpts from Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right and concluded with “Satanized” versions of John Dee’s Enochian Keys to create books such as The Complete Witch (re-released in 1989 as The Satanic Witch), and The Satanic Rituals. The latter book also included rituals drawing on the work of H.P. Lovecraft which were actually penned by Michael A. Aquino, who would later found the Temple of Set.
Due to increasing visibility through his books, LaVey was the subject of numerous articles in the news media throughout the world, including popular magazines such as Look, McCall’s, Newsweek, and TIME, and men’s magazines. He also appeared on talk shows such as The Joe Pyne Show, Donahue, and The Tonight Show, and in a feature length documentary called Satanis: The Devil’s Mass in 1970. He would be credited for the mainstreaming of Satanism and witchcraft in the U.S. during the 1960s, 1970s and after. In 1972 the public work at La Vey’s Black House in San Francisco was curtailed and work was continued via ‘grottoes’ or subsidiary branches of the Church of Satan located throughout the USA and some in other countries.
LaVey’s third and final companion was Blanche Barton. Barton and LaVey are the parents of Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey, born November 1, 1993. Barton succeeded him as the head of the Church after his death, and has since stepped down from that role and handed it to Magus Peter H. Gilmore.
Anton LaVey died on October 29, 1997, in St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco of pulmonary edema. He was taken to St. Mary’s, a Catholic hospital, because it was the closest available. A secret Satanic funeral, attended by invitation only, was held in Colma after which LaVey’s body was cremated.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_LaVey
Silver RavenWolf (born September 11, 1956), born Jenine E. Trayer, is an American New Age, Magic and Witchcraft author and lecturer who focuses on Neo-Wicca.
RavenWolf was a member of the Serpent Stone Family, and received her Third Degree Initiation as a member of that coven. She is the leader of the Black Forest Circle and Seminary, an organization containing several covens spanning the United States and Canada.
She has appeared as a lecturer and workshop facilitator at events in the Neo-Pagan community. She has been active in Wiccan anti-discrimination issues. She is also a Powwower, having adopted the Pennsylvania Dutch practice in a neo-Pagan context.
RavenWolf is the author of 17 books on Wicca and Paganism in general. She has also written several novels. Currently, her books have been translated into Czech, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Hungarian, Dutch and Portuguese. She is the director of the Wiccan/Pagan Press Alliance Midnight Drive.
She is married and has four children. She currently resides in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_RavenWolf
Benjamin Creme (born 5 December 1922) is a Scottish artist, author, esotericist and editor of Share International magazine.
He asserts that the second coming prophesied by many religions will come in the form of Maitreya the World Teacher. Maitreya is the name Buddhists use for the future Buddha, but Creme claims that Maitreya is the teacher that all religions point towards and hope for. Other names for him, according to Creme, are the Christ, the Imam Mahdi, Krishna, and the Messiah. Creme says Maitreya is the “Avatar for the Aquarian Age” and has lived in London since 19 July 1977.
At the age of fourteen, Creme says he became interested in the occult, when he read With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel. From 1957 to 1959, Creme was the Vice-President of the Aetherius Society, a UFO religion based largely on Theosophy.In 1958 he personally met George Adamski and Creme says he can personally vouch for the authenticity of Adamski’s UFO contacts.
Assigned mission by his Master
Creme says he was first contacted telepathically by his Master in January 1959, who asked him to make tape recordings of his messages to Creme. He first began to speak publicly of his mission on 30 May 1975, at the Friends Meeting House on Euston Road in London, England. His central message announced the emergence of a group of enlightened spiritual teachers who could guide humanity forward into the new Aquarian Age of peace and brotherhood based on the principles of love and sharing. At the head of this group was would be a great Avatar, Maitreya, the World Teacher, expected by all the major religions at this time as their “Awaited One”—the Christ to the Christians, the Imam Mahdi to the Muslims, the Messiah for Jews, and the 5th Buddha (Maitreya) for Buddhists.
Claims regarding Maitreya
Creme is a follower of Alice A. Bailey. He claims that, beginning in 1959, he has been contacted telepathically by one of the Masters. He claims to have received messages from Maitreya from 1975 onwards.
In the spring of 1982, Creme placed advertisements in newspapers around the world saying, “The Christ is now here”. According to Creme, the “Christ”, whom he also called “Maitreya”, would announce his existence on world wide television broadcasts. Creme stated in these newspaper advertisements that the Second Coming of Christ would occur on Monday, 21 June 1982 (the summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere). On 14 May 1982, Creme held a press conference in Los Angeles, USA. Over 90 members of the media attended and heard Creme announce that Maitreya was living within the Asian community, in the Brick Lane area of East London. Creme stated in this press conference when asked “what if someone tried to kill him?” that Maitreya could not be killed because he is invulnerable. He presented the journalists with a challenge: if media made a serious attempt to seek Maitreya in London, he would reveal himself to them.
Creme has stated that when the “Day of Declaration” occurs, “The Christ will come on the world’s television channels, linked together by satellite. All those with access to television will see… [His face]. He will establish a telepathic rapport with all humanity simultaneously”. While the Christ is speaking… [everyone will feel far more love than they’ve ever felt before, that massive outpouring of love will cause] hundreds of thousands of ‘miracle’ cures [to] take place simultaneously.”
Since Maitreya’s plan to appear in 1982 was postponed to a more optimal time, Creme has made a number of additional predictions and announcement of the imminent appearance of Maitreya based on his claims of receiving telepathic messages from a Master of Wisdom.
In 1997 Creme made similar predictions that Maitreya would appear on television and be interviewed around the world. This time there was far less media interest.
On 14 January 2010 Benjamin Creme announced that Maitreya had given his first television interview on US television. Soon afterwards several people in the USA, working from Creme’s predictions, concluded that British-American journalist and author Raj Patel was Maitreya. After newspaper articles around the world wrote about this story, Benjamin Creme responded that Raj Patel was not the coming World Teacher in an article in The Guardian newspaper called “Raj Patel is not Maitreya, but the World Teacher is here—and needed.”
Creme, who claims that time is now very near for Maitreya’s emergence, does not receive any money for this work or royalties from his 14 books, and has for over 30 years given lectures around the world by invitation only. A worldwide network of volunteers works with Benjamin Creme to give his views out to the public.
Crop circles and UFOs
During an interview in 2006, Creme confirmed his views on the importance of crop circles: “The UFOs have an enormous part to play in the security of this planet at the ecological level. [The crop circles are part of] a new science that will give us energy directly from the sun. Oil will become a thing of the past. No one will be able to sell energy in the future.”
Creme has explained how crop circles are made by UFOs in his magazine: “The crop circles are there to draw attention to the fact that the Space Brothers are there. They are amazing constructions. They are made in seconds by the ‘ships’ of the Space Brothers. They are complex and beautiful constructions which cannot b