Archive for the 'Psychology & The Mind' Category

The fake Nostradamus that helped foil Hitler

“The way it worked behind the facade was masterful.”

 

What a story….

 


From The Daily Beast,
Louis de Wohl: The Astrologer Who Helped Foil Hitler

 

In the run-up to WWII, British intelligence unleashed an astrologer on an unsuspecting American public to sway public opinion on the war. He was a persuasive fake.

 

by Annie Jacobsen

 

“It was the summer of 1941 and a British astrologer named Louis de Wohl was becoming wildly popular among Americans with his increasingly accurate predictions in his stargazer column, “Stars Foretell.” As de Wohl’s reader numbers escalated to meteoric heights, real world consequences ensued. In August 1941, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted its long-standing ban against astrologers and aired an exclusive interview with the man being heralded as “The Modern Nostradamus.” Just a few weeks later, for the first time in U.S. history, an astrologer was filmed for a U.S. newsreel, the TV news of the day. “Pathe? News released the newsreels’ seminal plunge into prophecy with a nation-wide audience of 39,000,000 sitting as judge jury and witness,” declared a press release issued by de Wohl’s manager. Except it was a facade; it was all fake news.

 

 

De Wohl’s newspaper column was part of an elaborate black propaganda campaign to organize American public opinion in favor of Britain, and to ultimately get the U.S. to enter the war. In reality, de Wohl worked for British Intelligence (MI5). His so-called manager was none other than the legendary spymaster Sir William Stephenson, a man whom Winston Churchill famously called Intrepid. The average American had no idea…”

 

Click here for the rest.

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“Too big a sport. Talks too much.” Chap Records – The Dating App of 1908.

Happy Valentines, lovers!

 

 

From Atlas Obscura,

 

Chap Records Were Basically Yelp for 1900s Eligible Bachelorettes
The books helped women keep track of—and review—their suitors.
by Rick Paulas

 

“After a second date in 1908 with a suitor named Ray Smith, Carol Pardee, the privileged granddaughter of Oakland mayor Enoch Pardee, took out her notebook and, with careless spelling, wrote her opinion about the boy: “To big a sport. Talks to much.”

 

Later in the year, she met Frank Haudel. Verdict: “[t]oo dirty. Teeth are green.” On January 16th, 1911, after a date with Wyman Smith from Sacramento, she wrote a one-word summary of the courter: “FOOL.”

 

These pithy reviews—others range from “dandy” to “tiresome” to the frequently used single-word dismissal of “mutt”—are still on display at The Pardee House museum in Oakland in Carol Pardee’s Chap Record, a small volume bound in green and gold with a dapper gentlemen doffing a hat on the cover.

 

The Chap Record was a mostly blank book with sections to be filled out by the “girl of the period”—things like Name, Date, Place, and Opinion. In the front was a section for the Twelve Most Notable Chaps. Published by the Frederick A. Stokes Company in 1898, it sold for a dollar…”

 

For the rest, click here.

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The ‘lunatic box’ and other bizarre artifacts from mental asylum history

This isn’t the most cheerful post we’ve ever done, we know. But imagine having lived in one of these places your whole life. If walls could talk…The Glore Psychiatric Museum is the closest thing to a voice those walls will ever have….

 

A mannequin peering out of a ‘Lunatic Box’ on display at the Glore Psychiatric Museum in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

 

From Dangerous Minds,

 

Take a chilling look inside the Glore Psychiatric Museum

 

“In 1874 the state of Missouri opened the “State Hospital for the Insane #2” more commonly referred to as the “Lunatic Asylum #2.” The asylum prided itself as the kind of institution that took on the “noble work” of “reviving hope in the human heart and dispelling the portentous clouds that penetrate the intellects of minds diseased.” While this claim does sound noble, the methods that were used to “penetrate” the minds of the patients who found themselves in one of the institution’s 25 beds were often medieval at best. At their worst the treatments administered by the staff were variations of what would be considered torture and were often experimental in nature—usually causing more harm than good.

 

The asylum would fill all of its available beds. In 1899 the institution changed its name to the far more friendly sounding St. Joseph State Hospital. Five decades later over 3,000 patients had passed through the hospital including dangerous criminals who had long taken leave of their mental faculties. These criminally insane people walked the halls alongside of residents who were struggling with depression. The hospital would continue to operate for 127 years. In 1967 a long-time employee of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, George Glore opened a museum in one of St. Joseph’s many wards. Glore’s on-site museum housed various mental health related artifacts that had been used over the centuries to treat patients with mental health problems, such as the horrific sounding “Lunatic Box” which was routinely used to treat patients that could not be easily controlled and were prone to act out, perhaps violently. The box, which strongly resembled a fucking coffin of all things, would house the patient in complete darkness in a standing position for hours. Patients were not even allowed to leave the box to go to the bathroom, leaving them to do their business in the box until a member of the staff felt that they had reached the appropriate level of zen.

 

In 1997 what is now known as the Glore Psychiatric Museum moved to a large, three-story building in order to provide enough room for its vast array of oddities…”

 

Click here to see many images from exhibits on display at the Glore including some haunting artwork done by patients who resided at St. Joseph’s during its century-plus existence.

 

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