This is a photo of Albert Einstein, his wife and Gene Dennis – a well known American psychic. The photo was taken in 1932. Einstein told the New Republic that:
[Dennis] told me things no one possibly could know, things on which I have been working, and she demonstrated to me that she has a power to do things I cannot at this time explain. Now, I must tell some of my colleagues about this. It was miraculous indeed.
Maybe you’re right Andin. The world’s not a perfect place.
So… Rex Tillerson has been fired just as Trump prepares to meet Kim Jong-un to discuss the future of the Korean peninsula… I call on Trump to resign the presidency and to thereby end this humiliating farce.
The Arab Weekly has an interesting article on witchcraft in Iraq:
The phenomena of magic, superstition and belief in supernatural creatures — jinns — have become widespread and popular amid the lawlessness of post-2003 Iraq. The practitioners of the dark arts prey on people who have family, social or financial troubles with the promise of quick solutions.
“Oum Aya” claims to be a certified astrologist from a specialised Egyptian institute. She does not hide her activities, practising them at her luxurious home in Baghdad’s posh al-Waziriya neighbourhood. Her clients are from all different socio-economic backgrounds and include politicians and government officials.
“They (politicians) are mostly interested in preserving their posts and seek (magic) assistance to stay in their (lucrative) functions as much as possible,” she said, noting that she was most solicited during election time with candidates visiting her to increase their chances to win parliamentary seats.
This is an interesting article about Ne Win, the Burmese dictator who deposed Prime Minister U Nu in 1962 by coup d’etat having decided that “parliamentary democracy was not suitable for Burma”:
Devoted to numerology, astrology and yadaya – a form of Burmese ritual magic that draws heavily on those two disciplines – Ne Win’s decisions were guided not only by politicians, generals and civil servants, but by soothsayers. […]
Writing in Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s Prisoner of Conscience, Justin Wintle recalls that when a soothsayer warned the dictator that he risked assassination, Ne Win would stand in front of a mirror and shoot his image with the revolver he kept at his side. When warned of a bloodbath, he was advised stand in front of the mirror and trample on dog entrails or in a bowl of pig’s blood to simulate the carnage.
The use of dog entrails was no coincidence either, whenever he travelled the country (whether in a fleet of helicopter or vast armoured motorcade of jeeps and limos) he would have all the stray dogs in the location slaughtered by his men prior to his arrival. His soothsayer had told him to steer clear of dogs, especially ones with crooked tails.
Other stories recounted by visitors to the country include Ne Win ordering a pilot to circle around his birthplace while he sat in the plane on a wooden horse, stepping backwards onto bridges or walking around the streets of Burma’s capital Rangoon at night dressed as a king.
Perhaps the most bizarre, evocative and downright ghoulish story surrounding the dictator is that he bathed in the blood of dolphins which he believed would keep him young, like some surreal Burmese answer to Countess Bathory.
Witchcraft is more prevalent and more dangerous than you think it is. Don’t get involved in the occult.
This is a clip from When We Were Kings, a film that recounts the story of The Rumble in the Jungle – the fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman held in Kinshasa in 1974.
I was very interested in people called “féticheurs”. They are witches, soothsayers, and in Western Africa almost everybody has one. It’s like a witch doctor and you go to a witch doctor the way we would go to a dentist. Muhammad Ali had been to Mobutu Sese Seko’s féticheur.
And he had said that the féticheur had said that a woman with trembling hands would somehow get to [the heavily favoured] Foreman. A succubus. And that impressed me enormously.
Ali came off the ropes and hit [Foreman] with a right and you can see the sweat pour off like a fountain from Foreman’s face and you suddenly realised there was design in this madness.
So I turned to Norman, I remember – he must have been somewhat puzzled, but I said, “The succubus has got him!”, referring to this woman with the trembling hands that the witch doctors had said would touch Foreman and destroy him.
It’s worth watching the whole film if you haven’t already seen it.
There are two main types of criticisms of witchcraft and the occult: those associated with the view that it’s a kind of fantasy or fraud (it often is) and those associated with the view that it’s capable of generating real effects.
Staying safe means considering the possible downsides of using magic before getting involved. It’s important to bear in mind that simply taking what you want by force can adversely affect other people in ways that violate their basic human rights.
To use a familiar example, using a love spell to cause a person to have romantic feelings without their consent is a particularly revolting form of abuse. There are good reasons to doubt the validity of consent to sexual contact obtained by such means, a fact that could have ongoing relevance in the #MeToo era. If you were to ever get caught really doing that, you could rightly expect a lengthy prison sentence.
If you’re going to get involved – or are already involved – be careful about what you wish for and who you collaborate with. You may wish to familiarise yourselves with the rules of party liability and attempts codified into s.66 and s.72 of the Crimes Act 1961. Don’t dial up random spirits with a ouija board hoping to find a nice one.
Lastly, in the spirit of staying safe, remember that a force that carries out instructions that disregard other people’s rights can’t possibly respect your own. Others will have their own enduringly negative opinions about attempts to bring about hardship and suffering.
Don’t get involved in the occult. It’s neither harmless experimentation nor the kind of artistic novelty you should prostitute for fame. It’s incredibly dangerous and more common than you might think.
It's an attack on the left
then a drive through the right
The political movement originally established to end slavery in the United States is dying. US Christians - who make up a substantial fraction of US conservatives - should reject the increasingly stark corruption of the modern Republican Party.
Trump's presidency could scarcely have been scripted to be more corrosive and inane.
Russia Today has noted that the curse of the Seventh Fleet has been implicated in three further naval incidents:
- the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold was participating in a scheduled towing exercise on November 18 when a Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the ship;
- a C-2A Greyhound transport plane was carrying eleven people to an aircraft carrier when it crashed into the Philippine Sea on November 22, resulting in three deaths;
- the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald was damaged for a second time as she was being loaded onto a transport ship on November 26.
The Russian term soroka-veschchitsa means magpie witch and pertains to some of the more extraordinary powers claimed by the dark arts.
Don’t get involved in the occult.
As you’ve probably heard by now, this handsome fellow has just been voted Australian Bird of the Year. Congratulations to magpies everywhere!
We recently lost one of our local magpies. It had lived in the trees in the school across the road. We’ve since seen the surviving member of the pair scouring the neighbourhood, calling for its mate to no avail.
I like to imagine that it was a good bird that kept a good nest and that it had raised a family of which it was rightly proud.
It’s actually a very sad story. If circumstances allow, I'll tell you the rest some day.
The Bohemian Club
Every year, some of the most prominent men in the world gather in California to pay homage to a giant owl. Despite the uneasy fit with the Christian/conservative prohibition against such practices, it’s mainly a Republican thing. The photo shows Nixon and Reagan in attendance circa 1955.
The Bohemian Club was founded in 1872. It’s Californian sister – the summer solstice celebration Burning Man – was formally inaugurated in 1988.
1964: Johnson v Goldwater
Goldwater’s radical 1964 candidacy shunted Republican politics away from the moderate conservatism of Hoover, Dewey and Eisenhower and put the United States on a course that ultimately led to the Reagan Revolution of 1980.
Was the unlikely pairing a cosmic joke? You decide.
Wiener’s career as a US Congressman was cut short by his compulsive tendency to share intimate pictures of himself on an unsolicited basis. His flaws played an important part in the 2016 Presidential election: FBI Director Comey’s infamous letter to Congress – made public just days before the ballot – pertained to emails placed on Weiner’s laptop by his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The Tromp family
During the 2016 Presidential Election, an entire family – the Tromp family – went missing after experiencing a shared delusion that they had been placed under surveillance. The family fled their home in distress and was ultimately found strewn across southeast Australia.
The case is not readily explained. The investigating officer, Sergeant Mark Knight, called the tale the most bizarre thing he’d seen in 30 years of policing.