Secret History

Black Magic

The ancient belief in ghosts, malevolent phantoms, corpse brides, and ancestor spirits

© Glass_House/CC BY-ND 2.0
A misty phantom.
Ghosts and malevolent spirits haunted the ancients, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay.

The concept of a spiritual afterlife connects cultures across time and around the world. The idea of a ghost—the spirit or soul of a dead person that returns from the grave and connects the living—has been part of human belief systems from the beginning. Ancient writings told of ghosts, ranging from deceased and beloved family members, to ominous harbingers, and the evil specters who terrorized or killed.

Known by countless names such as: phantom, wraith, spook, shade, and poltergeist, ghosts are thought to stem from the beliefs of animism (that all things possess a spirit) and ancestor worship in the earliest cultures. The idea that the spirit survived death and the veneration of the dead, was a central part of ancient religions, no matter the society. Reasons why a soul or corpse would wander depended upon the 'rules' of death and the afterlife as established by a culture.

Headache? Blindness? Mental Disorder? You've Seen a Mesopotamian Ghost

In the ancient religions of Sumer, Babylon and Assyria, ghost of the deceased were called gidim or etemmu. At death, the ghosts would retain their personality and memories of their lives, and travel to a netherword ruled over by the dark queen Ereshkigal. Mesopotamian gods, the Anunnaki, would decide the fate of the soul. While it was believed there were dangerous beasts and demons in the netherworld, ghosts could live peacefully in afterlife houses, greeting old friends and family. They would be allowed to return to the living if they needed to complete a mission or right a wrong.


Is this $2 photograph junk-shop find a $5 million treasure of Billy the Kid?

© Kagin's
He may have been a legendary outlaw in the Old West, but Billy the Kid apparently enjoyed playing croquet.

A newly uncovered photo bought for $2 by collector Randy Guijarro at a secondhand store in Fresno, California, could be worth millions as authenticators believe it is only the second confirmed image of the famed outlaw.

"It's the holy grail of not just western photography. It's the holy grail of photography," Jeff Aiello, executive director of the documentary Billy the Kid: New Evidence, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It is the rarest photograph in the world and it was found in a Fresno junk shop."

The image appears to show The Kid and his gang, The Regulators, playing croquet at a wedding in Lincoln County, New Mexico, late in the summer of 1878, according to Kagin's, the numismatic company that authenticated it.

Bad Guys

You won't believe how recently Africans and Native Americans were caged exhibits in zoos

Throughout the late 19th century, and well into the 1950's, Africans and in some cases Native Americans, were kept as exhibits in zoos. Far from a relic from an unenlightened past, remnants of such exhibits have continued in Europe as late as the 2000's.

Throughout the early 20th century, Germany held what was termed a, "Peoples Show," or Völkerschau. Africans were brought in as carnival or zoo exhibits for passers-by to gawk at.

Only decades before, in the late 1800's, Europe had been filled with, "human zoos," in cities like Paris, Hamburg, Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Milan, and Warsaw. New York too saw these popular exhibits continue into the 20th century. There was an average of 200,000 to 300,000 visitors who attended each exhibition in each city.

Carl Hagenbeck of Germany ran exhibits of what he called, "purely natural," populations, usually East Asian Islanders, but in 1876, he also sent a collaborator to the Sudan to bring back, "wild beasts and Nubians." The traveling Nubian exhibit was a huge success in cities like Paris, London, and Berlin.

Comment: Sickening. It's mind-boggling to think that millions of people in Europe and the U.S. would visit, much less support, these human zoos.

Of course, in a world primarily ruled by pathological individuals, inhuman treatment of humans by other humans can become 'normal'.

As Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Łobaczewski wrote in Political Ponerology, p. 119:
Any human group affected by the process described herein is characterized by its increasing regression from natural common sense and the ability to perceive psychological reality. Someone considering this in terms of traditional categories might consider it an instance of "turning into half-wits" or the development of intellectual deficiencies and moral failings. A ponerological analysis of this process, however, indicates that pressure is being applied to the more normal part of the association by pathological factors present in certain individuals who have been allowed to participate in the group because the lack of good psychological knowledge has not mandated their exclusion.

Thus whenever we observe some group member being treated with no critical distance, although he betrays one of the psychological anomalies familiar to us, and his opinions being treated as at least equal to those of normal people, although they are based on characteristically different view of human matters, we must derive the conclusion that this human group is affected by a ponerogenic process and if measures are not taken the process shall continue to its logical conclusion.

We shall treat this in accordance with the above described first criterion of ponerology, which retains its validity regardless of the qualitative and quantitative features of such a union: the atrophy of natural critical facilities with respect to pathological individuals becomes an opening to their activities, and, at the same time, a criterion for recognizing the association in concern as ponerogenic.

Such a state of affairs simultaneously consists as a liminal (watershed) situation, whereupon further damage to people's healthy common sense and critical moral faculties becomes even easier. Once a group has inhaled a sufficient dose of pathological material to give birth to the conviction that these not-quite-normal people are unique geniuses, it starts subjecting its more normal members to pressure characterized by corresponding paralogical and paramoral elements.

Snakes in Suits

How America's modern shadow government can be traced back to one single psychopath - Allen Dulles

Many of you will be intimately familiar with the name Allen Dulles. Younger readers, of my generation or below, will be far less so. It is precisely because the youth of this nation remain so ignorant of the nefarious characters in America's past, that David Talbot's recently published book, The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government, is so incredibly important.

Mr. Talbot has been recently conducting invaluable interviews about the book with various media organizations. One of the best I've seen is with Mother Jones. Here's some of what he had to say about America's longest serving CIA director:

Comment: As far as psychopaths in positions of power of the last hundred years or so go, Allen Dulles deserves special recognition. It seems he not only shaped, built, and gave the CIA its pathological identity - but left a legacy that few of his ilk can surpass in the sheer depth and breadth of the Evil he was able to execute. Interesting that Dulles and FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover both headed their respective agencies for very long terms, roughly during the same periods, and were both individuals exceedingly bereft of conscience.

See also: Allen Dulles and the Ukrainian fascists: Did the CIA/MI6 use of Nazis in Ukraine during the Cold War ever stop?


Researchers discover rare 125-million-year-old mammalian fossil in Spain

Researchers have found 125-million year old mammalian fossil at a site in central Spain. The fossil belongs to a species called Spinolestes xenarthrosus which looks like an African rodent. The discovery is rare and marks the oldest known mammalian fossil till date, found at Las Hoyas Quarry in central Spain.

The fossil is well-preserved and the research team was able to even ascertain the hair structures and inner organs. The discovery of a 125-million-year-old fossil has revealed a furry chipmunk-sized mammal which probably went extinct around 66 million years back, said the research team. Researchers estimate that the small mammal could have weighed around 50-70 grams. The mammal was thriving on the planet during the age of dinosaurs and went extinct nearly 66 million years ago.

The rare fossil was discovered by a team led by Angela Buscalioni from the Autonomous University of Madrid, in Spain.


The history of the clothes-hanger

Clothes hangers are a simple object that many of us interact with on a daily basis: They hold our sweaters, they become hopelessly tangled with one another as we put away clean laundry, and they create obnoxious ripples in the shoulders of our t-shirts. It's hard to think of a more banal household item, but even the hanger has its secrets. The item itself has changed hardly at all since its invention, but the way our culture relates to the hanger certainly has; in many ways, the humble clothing hanger illustrates the extents of our ambition, creative imagination, and ingenuity.

In The Beginning

Some historians have contended that the very first clothes-hanger-type-object should be credited to one of our founding fathers, in this case, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson supposedly created a "space-saving" device for a closet in his home in Monticello, which might have been a precursor to the hanger we know and use today. However, the general consensus is that the modern clothing hanger that we use today was first invented in 1860 by O.A. North, who fashioned a space-saving clothing hook (god bless him). The original hanger that North created consisted of a piece of wire that had two narrow ovals joined together in the middle with a twist, and a hook for the rack above it. Basically picture a standard wire hanger, but with two conjoined ovals where we'd now see a triangle shape.


Ancient teeth point to earliest modern humans in southern China

© S. Xing X-J Wu
47 human teeth found in the Fuyan Cave in Daoxian in China are between 80,000 - 120,000 years old.
Modern humans may have occupied southern China at least 30,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Archaeologists have found 47 Homo sapiens teeth closely resembling our own, dated from 80,000-120,000 years old, in a cave in Hunan province, according to a letter published today in Nature.

The discovery adds a new chapter to the story of modern human migration, suggesting that our genetic ancestors were not the first H. sapiens to populate east Asia.

Until now, the earliest fossil evidence of H. sapiens further east than the Arabian Peninsula was been dated at 40,000-50,000 years ago, from Northern China, Borneo, and Lake Mungo in southwest New South Wales.

While the researchers did not find any other human bones or stone tools at the Hunan province site, they did uncover a large number of teeth from other animals, including five extinct large mammals such as an ancient elephant and an ancestor of the giant panda.

Researchers said the discovery also showed modern humans were living in southern China 30,000-70,000 years earlier than they were found in Europe.

They suggested the slower migration of H. sapiens into Europe may have been the result of competition with Neanderthals, which ultimately led to extinction of Neanderthals and the dominance of modern humans.

Lead researcher, Dr Wu Liu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing said the team was planning to undertake a genetic analysis on the teeth in the hope that this would answer questions about possible genetic links between these ancient H. sapiens and us.


Electro-shock therapy: 1950s time capsule unearthed at old mental hospital in Indiana

© Warped Reel/YouTube
A rare time capsule has been unearthed on the grounds of an old hospital in Indianapolis nearly six decades after it was buried. The artifact contains a six-minute black-and-white movie with a message about electroshock therapy and the "problems of the future."

The capsule also contained news coverage and speeches given when the capsule was place into the ground on July 23, 1958.

Although much of the audio from the film has been lost, one unnamed man in his fifties wearing a beige suite can be heard talking to the camera near the end of the film: "When the psychiatrists of the future open this time capsule, only they will be able to tell how well we've solved our treatment problems."

Another man sitting next to him is also audible and is apparently talking of a new hospital building.

"...Electric shock treatment, as it is today. And it also will serve as a rest area in the day clinic period. Now, because of the space, the way it's laid out, this will be able to function under any circumstances that you might develop for treatment or program. For instance, we may someday, and only the people who open this time capsule will be able to say... we may go back to insulin shock or the development of some other drug techniques and so forth," he said.

Insulin shock therapy was introduced in 1927 and used in the 1940s and 1950s mainly for schizophrenia. Patients were injected with large doses of insulin to produce daily comas over several weeks. A number of psychiatrists (including the Austrian-American author of the technique, Manfred Sakel) claimed success rates for insulin coma therapy of over 80 percent in the treatment of schizophrenia. Others argued it only boosted remission in those patients who would undergo remission in any case.

Comment: See also: The death of Sue Clark-Wittenberg: What do we owe when a shock survivor dies?


Early New Stone Age burial mound unearthed in Siberia

© Kemerovo State University
Vladimir Bobrov (R) at the archaeological site.
A burial mound of the New Stone Age people has been unearthed by archaeologists in Siberia. The unique discovery could reshape ideas about early humans. It was previously thought that such burial sites emerged much later.

The discovery is said to be a testimony to the fundamental change in the consciousness of early humans and their perception of the world, Professor Vladimir Bobrov told TASS.
© Kemerovo State University
"It means there had been major changes in the socio-economic structure of the society. It is safe to assume that the process of destruction of collectivism, on which early tribal societies were based, began in Neolithic times. For the most part, the events that took place in the area that we now call Western Siberia were much more interesting and thought-provoking than previously thought," he stated.

Bobrov noted that the discovery is "the first of its kind."

Comment: Our ancient ancestors were far more intelligent and advanced than they are given credit for.


Genocidal history lesson: Christopher Columbus' invasion of America

"In 1492, the natives discovered they were Indians, discovered they lived in America, discovered they were naked, discovered that the Sin existed, discovered they owed allegiance to a King and Kingdom from another world and a God from another sky, and that this God had invented the guilty and the dress, and had sent to be burnt alive who worships the Sun the Moon the Earth and the Rain that wets it." ~ Eduardo Galeano

A good friend of mine, a member of the Republic of Lakotah, had a meeting with her first grade son's elementary school principal. Apparently, her six-year-old was being defiant in classroom. What were these defiant actions? Well, upon his teacher explaining Columbus Day and honoring the courageous and brave sailor who discovered this land in 1492, he had a couple of questions for the teacher. He wanted to know how it was possible that Christopher Columbus discovered a land in which his ancestors had lived for over 30,000 years, he wanted to know what happened to all the people who lived here in 1491, and he wanted to know why the man responsible for invading his native land and slaughtering his ancestors was being honored.

I would love to just be a fly on the wall of that meeting with the elementary school principal.

Comment: If the information in the article above was not enough to depict the true genocidal nature of Columbus read the following articles for more on this vindictive tyrant: