Archive for the 'Psychology & The Mind' Category

John Titor: Time Traveler or Hoaxster Extraordinaire?

If there’s one urban legend we love, it’s the mystery of John Titor. The thing about time travel is that those who claim to have experienced it have a built in device that ensures they cannot be proven wrong — that is, they often claim that there are many future realities and their’s may not line up with ours. So, when John Titor made his claims, most of the Internet took them with a grain of salt — but the thing is, some of those claims have turned out to be close to the truth (some not so much), and the most fearsome claim of all, a devastating WWIII scenario, is yet to unfold — the events were said to occur in 2015.


The question remains, who is John Titor? The perpetrator of a clever internet hoax, or a man from the future with a message and a mission to save our world? Whoever he was, in the year 2000 he signed on to the net and described in various detail a dystopian future that grabbed our imagination and still has not let go…



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The Mystery of John Titor: Hoax or Time Traveler?


By Rick Paulas (PSMag)


“A person named “John Titor” started posting on the Internet one day, claiming to be from the future and predicting the end of the world. Then he suddenly disappeared, never to be heard from again.


This is our planet’s bleak future: a second Civil War splinters America into five factions, leaving the new capital based in Omaha. World War III breaks out in 2015, starting with Russia and the U.S. trading nukes and ending with three billion dead. Then, to top it all off, a computer bug delivers where Y2K sputtered, destroying our world as we know it. That is, unless an audacious time traveler successfully traverses the space-time continuum to change the course of future history.


In late 2000, that person signed onto the Internet…”


For the complete piece click here. For more on Titor click the links below.


All things John Titor discussed on Art Bell, here.


List of his predictions about 2015, here.


John Titor’s actual posts archived here, and here at the John Titor Foundation website.


Much more here.


An interview with the man who claims to be John Titor’s present-time mother’s attorney here.



Re-examining “the Elephant Man”…


There is another account of Joseph Merrick’s life that suggests he may have been better off if he had stayed in the freakshow, living out his days as one of the most respected showmen of his day. The memoirs of Tom Norman, Merrick’s London manager are most certainly biased, but his version presents a compelling challenge to the more widely-known claim that Merrick was better off in the hospital.


Was the exploitation of Merrick by the well-heeled society folks of his day just another type of freakshow? Possibly one in which Merrick was debased even more than he was in his former life as a respected sideshow entertainer? It’s an interesting question, and one that we here at the Museum find incredibly fascinating. I think that many of us probably share a deep sympathy for Joseph Merrick — a man with what seemed like an artist’s sensitivity and a beautiful heart and mind.



Image of Joseph Merrick published in the British Medical Journal in 1886.



Re-examining ‘the Elephant Man’ (The Public Domain Review)


Nadja Durbach questions the extent to which Joseph Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, was exploited during his time in a Victorian ‘freakshow’, and asks if it wasn’t perhaps the medical establishment, often seen as his saviour, who really took advantage of Merrick and his condition.


“The scenes are among the most heartless in cinema history: a drunken, abusive showman exhibiting the severely deformed Joseph Merrick to horrified punters. David Lynch’s The Elephant Man begins with its lead character being treated little better than an animal in a cage. But it soon finds a clean-cut hero in the ambitious young surgeon Frederick Treves, who rescues the hapless Merrick from his keeper and gives him permanent shelter at the London Hospital. Supported by charitable donations, the victim recovers his humanity: he learns to speak again (in a decidedly middle-class accent), to entertain society guests and to dress and behave like a well-heeled young dandy. Merrick, no more the degraded show freak, reveals his inner goodness and spirituality and dies happy.


Lynch’s movie is based largely on Treves’ sentimental chronicle. But that narrative is merely one version of events – and one that in the end tells us more about middle-class morality than it does about Merrick. There is another story that casts a different light on what happened. The memoirs of Tom Norman, Merrick’s London manager, are surely as biased as Treves’. But as one of the most respected showmen of his day, Norman’s account challenges head on Treves’ claim that Merrick was ultimately better off in the hospital than at the freakshow…”


See the rest here.


Pack Your Ouija Boards, We’re Going to Lily Dale.

Have you heard of Lily Dale, New York? The spiritualist community of the Modern Spiritualist movement? If séances, crystal balls, mediumship demonstrations, lectures, and private appointments with mediums sounds like a dream come true to you, search no more – you have found your ideal vacation spot…


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Here’s a HuffPost piece about Lily Dale…


Lily Dale: Where Mediums, Healers And Spiritualists Summer


By Kathleen Poliquin


“The lobby and the wide front porch of the Lily Dale’s Maplewood Hotel are typical of a place built in 1888, except for the sign that reads “No readings, healing circles or seances in this area please.”


The sign’s not out of place here. It’s posted among the hotel’s vintage furnishings as well as its paintings and tapestries, said to have been created with help from the spirit world. The Maplewood, with about 40 guest rooms but no air conditioning, televisions, telephones or elevators, is the social hub of Lily Dale, a gated community of about 500 Spiritualists in southwest New York, on the east shore of Upper Cassadaga Lake.


For 133 years, Lily Dale has been home to the Lily Dale Assembly, a religious organization of mediums and healers who claim to communicate messages from those who have passed on to those still living on the Earthly plane…


For the rest, click here.


More about Lily Dale here and here.


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