Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Bring Out Your Dead

A parade of sad, silly people who thought they could resurrect the dead (and/or themselves)

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Returning from the dead is a big thing right now. ABC is airing Resurrection, a series about Missourians spontaneously coming back to life (total ripoff of similar to the excellent French miniseries  Les Revenants). A film adaptation of the bestselling book Heaven is for Real, featuring the near-death experience of a 3-year-old child,  hit theatres on Easter weekend. Filmmaker  Johnny Clark recently released a documentary titled Deadraiser, which chronicles the efforts of people who believe they are capable (with God’s assistance) of bringing the dead back to life. Even as I write this, followers of Hindu guru Ashutosh Maharaj are embroiled in a legal battle with Maharaj’s family members. Maharaj died of a suspected heart attack in late January of this year, and a man claiming to be his son wishes to cremate his remains. But he can’t, because Mararaj’s followers insist he isn’t dead. They say he is actually in a state of deep meditation that has lowered his heart rate to an undetectable level, and have stashed him in a freezer at the ashram in the belief that he will come back to life any minute now. As daffy as that concept sounds, there are a surprising number of folks – past and present – who honestly thought they could trump mortality either through faith or by sheer force of will.

Margaretta Peter, the girl who crucified herself

Margaretta Peter, born into a large Swiss farming family in the late eighteenth century, was a preaching prodigy. In 1800, when Margaretta was just six years old, she enthralled relatives and other residents of a tiny hamlet near Schaffhausen (either Wildisbuch or Wildispuch) with her impromptu sermons, seeming to have a better grasp of the Bible than any minister five times her age.
This was a marvelous quality in a preschooler, but over the years, Margaret began to exert a spiritual dominance over her family that made her pastor uneasy. He noted that when Margaretta was still a teenager, her widowed father and older sisters would obey her every command as though it was the will of God.

Margaretta’s commitment to her faith deepened even more at the age of 20, when she fell in with a group of Pietists and went through a year of self-chastisement for her sins. At the end of that year, she announced she was ready to become a preacher and prophetess. She returned to her home village in the spring of 1817, and quickly established a small following that included her father, sisters, and an epileptic servant named Margaret Jäggli. Jäggli thought her seizures were caused by demons, and hoped that Margaretta could heal her.

In the spring of 1823, Margaretta began talking about the Devil, warning her followers that he was close at hand. Jäggli’s seizures increased and worsened, probably due to stress. This further reinforced the group’s notion that Satan was moving in on them. In March, Margaretta summoned her followers to her father’s house and descended into an ecstatic state, experiencing visions of Satan’s hordes overtaking the planet. She, alone, stood in their way. For days, she uttered prophecies to her breathless disciples. She declared that Napoleon’s son would reveal himself as the anti-Christ, and this cued her older sister Elizabeth and Jäggli to mimic spirit possession by Napoleon and the Duke of Reichstadt; they marched around the room like military men until Margaretta banished the spirits.

The next day, the prophetess led ten of her followers into a small attic bedroom and exhorted them to gird themselves with both prayer and any weaponry they could find, for the final battle between Christ and Satan was imminent. The group included her elderly father, two of her sisters, and a married tailor who may have been Margaretta’s lover. They obeyed Margaretta’s instructions to board up the farmhouse and arm themselves with axes, hammers, clubs – anything they could find. Napoleon’s troops were coming, she said, and the invisible minions of Satan had already besieged the house. Her followers took up their weapons and swung wildly at the air inside the attic room, trying to kill discarnate entities that only Margaretta could see. This madness went on for about three hours, drawing curious neighbours to the yard.

When the attic room was destroyed, the melee moved to a downstairs parlour. There, Margaretta began pummeling Elizabeth with her fists at Elizabeth’s urging. Somehow, the crazed group imagined that inflicting pain on each other would help repel the demonic invaders – much like the French convulsionnaires who tortured one another in the most sadistic ways imaginable in the St. Medard churchyard during the previous century.
They continued punching themselves and each other in a night-long frenzy. The ruckus finally attracted police, who found Margaretta’s followers piled in a heap on the sitting room floor while she beat them senseless. The group was ordered to disband, and local authorities issued an order that both Margaretta and Elizabeth were to be sent to an asylum.

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The disciples paid no attention to these orders. Just one day after their punching fest, a dozen people gathered around Margaretta in the little attic bedroom, prepared to carry out any instructions she issued. The prophetess announced that more blood had to be shed, and proceeded to strike her brother, Caspar, repeatedly with an iron wedge. While she bludgeoned her brother, her followers resumed beating themselves and each other.

Next, Margaretta announced that the ghost of her mother was commanding her to sacrifice herself. Elizabeth immediately offered to take her sister’s place, and Margaretta obliged by striking her with the same iron wedge she had used on Caspar (who was alive, but unconscious). The others followed suit, striking the prone woman with any tools they could find. Elizabeth was soon dead. Only one person, a young woman named Ursula, protested. Margaretta assured her that Elizabeth would be raised from the dead in three days’ time.

Then Margaretta ordered her disciples to crucify her. Reluctantly, they gathered the materials for a wooden cross and assembled it in the attic room. Her sister Susanna provided the nails. Again, Ursula protested and was told that both Margaretta and Elizabeth would rise from the dead in three days.

Margaretta’s followers nailed her hands, elbows, breasts, and feet to the cross. They later told the authorities that Margaretta remained fully conscious throughout this ordeal, coaxing them on. When she was secured to the cross, she demanded to be stabbed through the heart. Ursula attempted this, but was unsuccessful. Another woman and a young man took up a hammer and a crowbar and smashed Margaretta’s head until she fell silent.

Margaretta’s lover, the tailor Jacob Morf, was not present during the murders. He had remained at home with his wife after the beating frenzy. When he returned to the Peters farmhouse and saw the corpses of his beloved prophetess and her sister laid out in a bloodstained room, he was horrified. He reported the murders to a pastor. Meanwhile, the others sat vigil in anticipation of the resurrection. The Peters sisters died on a Saturday, so it was expected they would rise again on Monday. On Sunday night, Ursula removed the nails from Margaretta’s body so that she would not be fastened to a cross when she came back to life. Throughout the night, the group remained with the bodies and prayed.

The sisters remained dead, of course. Their father now had little choice but to report their deaths. In December 1823, eleven of Margaretta’s disciples went on trial for murder in Zürich. All were convicted, and received prison sentences ranging from 6 months to 16 years. None expressed remorse for their actions. On the contrary, they insisted that the murders had been the will of God.

The Peters affair reportedly inspired Hanns Ewers’ 1910 novel The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Source: Historic Oddities and Strange Events by Sabine Baring-Gould

Charles Freeman and the Pocasset Horror

In 1879, Charles and Harriet Freeman were good, upstanding citizens in the Cape Cod Peninsula village of Pocasset. Charles, in particular, was something of a role model in the Seventh Day Adventist church the Freemans attended. But in the spring of that year, Freeman underwent a severe religious mania. He announced to his wife that God wanted him to sacrifice a member of their family – and it couldn’t be Freeman himself. The sacrifice would have to be one of their two daughters, 6-year-old Bessie or 4-year-old Edith. On the night of April 20, in spite of Harriet’s tearful entreaties, Charles crept into the room his girls shared. He woke Bessie, ordering her out of the room. Then he stabbed sleeping Edith to death. He stayed with her corpse throughout the night.

The following day, Freeman sent word  to neighbours and fellow Adventists that he would be announcing a “great revelation” at his home. When about 25 people had gathered, Freeman launched into an hour-long sermon on Christ’s imminent return. Then he led everyone into his daughters’ room and showed them Edith’s bloodied, lifeless body. God had demanded a great sacrifice, he explained, but would offer a great miracle in return: Edith would rise from the dead in three days’ time.

Incredibly, the group seemed to accept this. They returned to their daily chores and told no one what they had seen. Word did spread, though. On April 22, both Freemans were arrested on suspicion of murder. Even in jail, Freeman continued to insist that his daughter would be resurrected.
The charges against Harriet were dropped. Freeman ended up in the State Lunatic Asylum at Danvers. It wasn’t until 1883 that he began to realize he had been insane at the time of his crime. In December 1883 he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was released from the asylum four years later. The details of his life after the asylum are unknown.

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Source: Psycho USA by Harold Schecter

Cyrus Teed, prophet of the Hollow Earth (Koresh #1)

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Cyrus Teed was a New York “eclectic physician” who monkeyed around with alchemy in his spare time. In 1869, at the age of 30, he claimed to have transformed lead into gold in his lab.  That very night, a hermaphroditic deity revealed him/herself to Teed and imparted all the secrets of the universe, the most startling one being that the surface of Earth is actually located on the inside of something like a hollow egg, with the “sky” being the empty space in the middle of the “egg”.  Teed subsequently adopted the name Koresh and introduced a new scientific religion called Koreshanity.
In the 1870s, Koresh founded the Koreshan Unity, a New York commune centred around his teachings. The commune relocated to the small Florida town of Estero in 1894. Estero became less like a commune and more like a community, with its own printing press, a general store, and a power plant. Though there were some clashes with locals, including a pistol-whipping of Koresh himself in 1906, the Koreshians thrived until 1908. That’s when Teed/Koresh died.

Teed had predicted that he and his flock would be resurrected and taken up to Heaven after they died, so his followers expectantly waited beside his body for two days. The corpse had to be confiscated by order of the county health officer after it began to putrefy.

Source: Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner

Branch Davidians: George Roden and Vernon Howell (Koresh #2)

In 1987, Lois Roden, the leader of the Branch Davidians at Mt. Carmel, died. This left her son George in charge of the compound, which was virtually empty after a rival prophet by the name of Vernon Howell declared himself the true leader of the flock.
George Roden soon realized that he was the incarnation of God, and God certainly holds rank against a mere prophet like Howell. It was time to establish his supremacy before the endtimes began. A brute show of strength wouldn’t do, God/George decided; a resurrection contest would be make much more sense. He went to the Mt. Carmel cemetery, exhumed the body of Anna Hughes (a sect member who had been dead for twenty years), and practiced a few resurrection techniques on the corpse.
Howell wisely refused to accept the resurrection challenge. Instead, he reported Roden’s corpse abuse to the Waco police. They told him they wouldn’t press charges without evidence that a body had been exhumed, so Howell and a few of his followers donned gamo gear and crept onto the compound grounds. In the ensuing gun battle, God lost. The eight intruders were acquitted of attempted murder, and Howell quickly laid claim to the compound…which wouldn’t see another gun battle for five whole years.
God/George was never charged with abuse of a corpse, as he insisted he had simply been moving the cemetery to a new location very slowly.

After the deadly conflagration at Mt. Carmel in 1993, the faithful expected all those who had died to be resurrected. They are still waiting. “We, as survivors of 1993, are looking for David and all those that died either in the shootout or in the fire. We believe that God will resurrect this special group,” survivor Clive Doyle recently told NPR.

Source: The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation by Dick Reavis

The Deadraisers of Bethel Church and Beyond

Tyler and Christine Johnson, a young couple living in Wyoming, are the ultimate pro-lifers. Tyler heads the Dead Raising Team, a volunteer group that “is available to come to your city to train you to raise the dead.” Tyler has also published a handy book, How to Raise the Dead. According to the DRT website, the Johnsons “hope to see a DRT started in every city in the world, so that nobody could die without being prayed back to life.” The Deadraisers can even cure leprosy, apparently. That’s neat.
Tyler Johnson was once a student at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, which is an actual thing. This Hogwarts for Grownups is an outgrowth of the Bethel Church, a megachurch in Redding, California. Bethel’s pastor, Bill Johnson (no relation to Tyler), has supposedly seen countless “miracles” at his church in recent years. First, feathers drifted down from the ceilings. Parishioners attributed this to birds nesting in the rafters, until feathers began to appear in Johnson’s presence in other public places. Johnson decided they were actually “angel feathers” (ornithologist David H. Ellis declared them to be ordinary bird feathers). Bethel members also say that “gold dust”, diamonds and pieces of jewelry have spontaneously appeared during church services. One video purportedly shows a “glory cloud” of gold dust manifesting in the sanctuary.

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Actual angel.

Johnson claims his flock can heal the most serious ailments. In the church’s healing rooms, members blow a ram’s horn (shofar) to summon the Holy Spirit, then pray for it to heal conditions ranging from arthritis to deafness. In 2010, Johnson told  reporter Amanda Winters, “We just had another brain tumor case of cancer healed. We have a lot of that kind of stuff happen. It’s verified by doctors, they do the tests and the cancer’s gone. We have a lot of that sort of thing – miracles.”
To date, no medical professionals have come forward to confirm that anyone has been healed of anything at Bethel.

Bill Johnson was one of the ministers who “commissioned” Todd Bentley as an evangelist in June 2008, after other Charismatic leaders expressed concerns about Bentley’s methods and claims (more on that below).

Tyler Johnson isn’t the only Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry grad who thinks he might be able to raise the dead. In October 2008, Jason Carlsen tumbled over the edge of a 200-foot cliff in Redding while drinking with two BSSM students. Instead of calling 911, Sarah Koivumaki and Zachary Gudelunas attempted to reach Carlsen (who is now a paraplegic) and pray him back to life, believing he was dead. Unable to get anywhere near their comatose friend, these two compassionate souls proceeded to bicker over whether they should summon help or not. It took them about six hours to decide they were not in a Roadrunner cartoon.

Todd Bentley, Bully for the Lord

Nearly four years ago,  Pastor Stephen Strader of Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida launched an old-school  revival that was supposed to last for five days. The star attraction of what later became known as the Florida Healing Outpouring was a hip, tattooed preacher in his twenties, Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries.

Bentley, who was not an ordained minister, rapidly made a name for himself by turning the Lakeland Revival into a spectacle-laden stage show, full of faith healings and mind-boggling miracles. Every night, up to 10,000 Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Charismatics flooded the Ignited auditorium to witness Bentley’s gifts of the spirit in action. The five-day revival evolved into a six-month gig for him.

WARNING: May not be funny for all viewers.

The media became interested in Bentley after stories about his bizarre healing techniques surfaced. Bentley often “healed” the elderly by kicking, punching, headbutting, or kneeing them onstage. A Charismatic named Sheldon informed me that God commanded Bentley to smack people around just to test his faith. He believes God prevented actual physical contact from happening, but the numerous YouTube videos of Bentley using his “knee of God” indicate otherwise.
Then things got weird. By the revival’s end, Bentley was declaring that at least 31 people may have been raised from the dead. If you’re keeping count, that’s 30 more than Jesus raised, unless you count Jesus himself.

Some of the resurrected people included an infant that had been dead for 27 hours, another infant that was fished out of a pond, a schoolteacher who died of a massive heart attack, and a man who came back to life at a funeral home during his own wake.  Bentley excitedly announced these resurrections during the revival, but could not provide any details…because he didn’t have them. These were secondhand, unverified reports filtered to him via word of mouth and email. As it turned out, the schoolteacher story was a deliberate email hoax perpetrated by a British Christian who wanted to test Bentley’s honesty.
A Nightline report concluded that none of the Lakeland “miracles” could be verified. When he appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s Fox show, Bentley could not produce any evidence that anyone had been healed or resurrected as a result of the revival.

Bentley turned out to have a colourful history. His past exploits included sexually assaulting a 7-year-old boy when he was in his teens. In this regard, he was quite similar to one of his brothers in Christ, the incarcerated preacher Tony Alamo. Alamo, a businessman turned messiah figure, used his position as an evangelist to “marry” girls as young as 8. He became a preacher upon the death of his first wife, Susan, in 1982. He got off to a shaky start by proclaiming that Susan would be resurrected. Thirteen years later, her lifeless body was still enshrined in his ministry compound, and Susan’s daughter had to sue Alamo to get it back for proper burial.

Other Back From the Dead Cases

  • Two days ago, numerous media outlets reported that a 2- or 3-year-old girl named Sydney came back to life at her own funeral in the Philippines.
    Sadly, the reports were wrong. The child’s grandmother had scooped Sydney out of her coffin and carried her out of the church in the mistaken belief that had she had moved her head. Doctors declared her dead a short time later, and a second funeral has been arranged.
  • A popular video about a newborn coming back to life in his mother’s arms is actually 5 years old. In 2010, twins Jamie and Emily Ogg were born prematurely in an Australian hospital. Jamie did not survive long after birth, and mother Katie Ogg was reluctant to part with him. For two hours, she and her husband held and caressed Jamie’s lifeless body…and were stunned when he began to move and breathe.
    This really did happen. Jamie Ogg is now as healthy as his sister.
  • Cardiologist Dr. Chauncey Crandall claims that only his prayers revived clinically dead patient Jeff Markin in 2006. He gives no credit to the medical procedures that were applied to Mr. Markin. Crandall is one of the stars of Deadraiser.
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Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Detroit Bigfoot & a Possessed Mongoose

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“Your mother sucks c***s in hell!”

  • The tale of Gef, the talking mongoose, is by far one of the weirdest and stupidest incidents in the history of the paranormal. In the summer of 1931, a remote farmhouse on the Isle of Man was invaded by what initially seemed to be a pest animal. James Irving, who lived in the farmhouse with his wife and precocious 13-year-old daughter, Voirrey, took to sleeping with a shotgun in the hopes of killing the creature that wandered around in his walls and hissed at the family. But then the activity escalated to poltergeist-like incidents, and the animal in the walls began talking to James and Voirrey. It sang songs and answered questions in a high voice, speaking perfect English.
    At some point, this talking critter darted into view long enough to be identified as a mongoose. The Irvings named him “Gef”. Gef claimed he had been born in India 78 years earlier, indicating that he was some kind of spirit possessing the form of a mongoose. He could supposedly see things occurring at a distance, and knew things about people without being told. He was antagonistic much of the time, hiding in the walls of the farmhouse to taunt and threaten visitors. At other times he was almost kind, leaving dead rabbits and other tokens of affection for the Irvings.
    This ridiculous local spectacle caught the attention of the era’s most renowned ghosthunter, Harry Price, who wrote a book about Gef (The Haunting of Cashen’s Gap: A Modern “Miracle” Investigated, 1936) even though he didn’t witness any of Gef’s alleged psychic gifts.
    The solution to the mystery almost certainly lies with Voirrey. She was a bright, curious girl who just happened to be transitioning into womanhood – a common element in poltergeist cases. She enjoyed rabbit-hunting. Evidently a skilled ventriloquist, she could make people believe the insults they heard from the walls weren’t coming from her.
    The only remarkable thing about the Gef affair is how long it lasted: Over 14 years, a very long time for a poltergeist hoax. It ended abruptly in 1945, when James Irving died and Voirrey left Cashen’s Gap with her mother. Gef was never seen (or heard) again.
    Now, 83 years after his squeaky voice first issued from the walls, Gef is the focus of a symposium that will be held later this year at Senate House Library in London.
  • Is the beleaguered bitcoin a failed virtual currency…or a cult fetish? Maybe a little of both?
  • Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around Gothic children’s TV series made in Britain: The Moondial, The Haunting of Barney Palmer, Into the Labyrinth. They all had a “this room is surrounded by film” quality, but who wouldn’t be creeped out by the intro for Children of the Stones? Fangoria has a fabulous rundown of other gems of British folk horror  on TV and film.
  • A Sasquatch squatting in a house in Detroit? Seems legit.

Top 10 Stupidest/Weirdest Jack the Ripper theories

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125 years ago yesterday, the last known victim of an unknown serial killer was found stabbed and eviscerated in her dismal rented room in London’s East End Whitechapel district. Over the previous two months and ten days, this man had murdered at least four other area prostitutes, desperate and impoverished women in their forties. At 24 or 25, Mary Kelly was the youngest victim of the Whitechapel killer.

The killer had seemingly made a name for himself, quite literally, by writing letters to news agencies and professionals associated with the investigation. One of these missives was signed “Jack the Ripper”.  It is now believed, by former FBI profiler John Douglas and others, that this particular letter was a hoax sent by someone other than the killer. (Douglas and Olshaker, 2000)

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So it’s unlikely we’ll ever know what the killer really called himself, or what his name was. Nonetheless, theories about his identity continue to abound, even after countless other serial killers have come and gone. There’s something about the events of that dingy time and place that smear the public imagination like a mysterious, fascinating stain. At least once a year, some new theory about the killer finds its way into a mass market paperback or the pages of the Daily Mail. A few are worthy of consideration, but then there are the theories that are so tragicomically absurd you have to wonder if the writer is any saner than “Jack” was. Leaving out the obvious hoaxes (such as the James Maybrick and James Carnac “diaries”), here are my Top 10 Stupidest/Weirdest Jack the Ripper theories:

10. A “Satanist” named Robert Donston (or D’Onston) Stephenson

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Donston entered the Whitechapel saga by way of Aleister Crowley. In an essay penned about half a century after the murders, Crowley relates the story of lovely authoress Mabel Collins, a devotee of Theosophy who became estranged from her male lover (Donston) by a treacherous female lover (Baroness Vittoria Cremers). The Whitechapel murders had already begun by the time this domestic drama was playing out.
Crowley believed that “Jack” was a cannibal, consuming parts of his victims’ bodies right at the scenes of his crimes. So did Miss Collins and the baroness. One day, as they were discussing how it could be possible for Jack to do such a thing without getting blood on his shirtfront, Captain Donston donned his opera cape for them and showed them how easy it would be for a man to protect his shirt with the dark, heavy fabric. Cremers thought little of this until she crept into Donston’s room, hoping to retrieve a packet of Mabel’s love letters to save the woman from any blackmail or embarrassment. In a trunk beneath his bed, she discovered five dress ties stained with blood.
On December 1, 1888, the Pall Mall Gazette published an article (here) in which the anonymous author postulated that the murders were black magic ceremonies designed to imbue the killer with power, in accordance with instructions in the writings of Eliphas Levi. The locations of the murders, Anonymous explained, would form a cross (Crowley changed this to a five-pointed star). Crowley dismissed this theory, believing (as many did) that there were seven “Ripper” murders in Whitechapel, but wondered if Donston had written the article, and if the killer had been following some astrological pattern in his selection of crime scenes (an idea brought to his attention by crime reporter Bernard O’Donnell).  After conducting his own research, Crowley concluded that at the time of each murder, either Saturn of Mercury was precisely on the Eastern horizon.
The interesting story of Captain Donston is exactly that: An interesting story. Donston was known to Crowley only as “Captain Donston”, and it’s unlikely he ever met the man in person. It seems all his information about him came from old Vittoria Cremers, a member of his O.T.O. lodge. Later writers discovered that an alcoholic confabulist named Robert “Roslyn” D’Onston (or Donston) Stephenson had lived in London at the time of the murders, and he was deemed a prime suspect by some Ripperologists (notably, the late Melvin Harris).
In a 2003 book, Jack the Ripper’s Black Magic Rituals, career criminal Ivor Edwards resurrected the black magick/Donston theory, positing that the Whitechapel killer really did plot out the five murders to form a giant shape (a vesica piscis). The snag in this theory is that D’Onston Stephenson was a patient at London Hospital at the time, being treated for neurasthenia. He checked himself into the hospital in late July, one month before the first murder, and checked out on December 7, one month after the last murder. Edwards gets around this by pointing out that the hospital was in the Whitechapel area. Security was so lax, he maintains, that curiosity-seekers regularly snuck onto hospital grounds to catch glimpses of John Merrick, the Elephant Man….so isn’t it plausible that Stephenson could sneak out, slay prostitutes, then sneak back in without being observed? Four times?
The evidence here is ridiculously thin, and Edwards pushes the envelope even further by insisting that Stephenson murdered his wife, Anne Deary, in 1887 (it isn’t even known if she died at this time). The only real, discernible connection D’Onston Stephenson has to the Whitechapel killings is that he had his own suspect in mind; Dr. Morgan Davies, one of the physicians at London Hospital. He reported his suspicions to the police, and gave a statement to Inspector Thomas Roots of Scotland Yard after his release. Other than this, and the secondhand tales of an old girlfriend, there doesn’t seem to be the slightest bit of evidence against Mr. Stephenson. Note that among three people who championed the black magic theory of the crimes, there were three different designs attributed to the killer (a cross, a star, and a vesica piscis).

9. Crowley

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before his Telly Savalis phase

Aleister Crowley was not known to be a violent man, despite rumours that he sexually tortured at least one of his wives. Yet the notion persists in some quarters that if you’re an occultist, you probably kill people. Crowley was portrayed as a pedophile serial killer in the web series lonelygirl15, and more recently has been called out as a Jack the Ripper copycat by historian Mark Beynon and blamed for six of the deaths linked to the bogus Curse of King Tut.
And, since he lived in London during the 1880s, why not make him Jack the Ripper as well? After all, he expressed interest in the murders, and had a theory about the killer. Good enough.
Crowley has never become a mainstream suspect (that is, no Ripperologists have written books about him), but he has been mentioned by fringe conspiranoids who dabble in true crime.

8. Lewis Carroll

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In 1996, an elusive character named Richard Wallace published Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend. It consisted almost entirely of anagrams formed from passages of a preschool version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Sylvie and Bruno. These scrambled, barely coherent verses were supposed to prove that Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) was one sick bastard, and probably slaughtered prostitutes alongside his friend Thomas Vere Bayne when he wasn’t doing math. This makes for some pretty hilarious reading, as this review shows. Of course, if you rearrange words in Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend, you can probably prove that Richard Wallace is actually Donald Trump.
Sadly, this hot mess was taken halfway-seriously at the time of publication. Harper’s excerpted it, Ripperologists and anagram enthusiasts went out of their way to refute it, and Lewis Carroll fans facepalmed themselves into concussions.
This was not Wallace’s first book about Carroll. In The Agony of Lewis Carroll (1990), he exposed “hidden smut” in Carroll’s books in an attempt to prove that Carroll was gay, which rather works against the idea that he murdered female prostitutes. 

Another writer, Thomas Toughill, sussed out clues to the Ripper’s identity in Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray, concluding that portraitist Frank Miles was the killer. He published his findings as The Ripper Code in 2008 (remember, kids, adding the word “code” to your title adds credibility).
Even if the passages Toughill highlights pointed unambiguously to Miles, though, wouldn’t this merely show that Wilde thought Miles was a good suspect? He was a playwright, not freaking Inspector Maigret.

7. The Demon of the Belfry

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In April 1895, nearly seven years after the Whitechapel murders ended, two young women in San Francisco were raped and strangled inside  Emanuel Baptist Church. Blanche Lamont, 20, disappeared first. Nine days later, 21-year-old Minnie Williams vanished. On Easter Sunday, one of the church ladies opened a cabinet where teacups were usually stored and discovered Minnie’s body. Blanche’s body was soon found in the church belfry.
Because he was seen with both young women shortly before they went missing, a 23-year-old medical student named Theo Durrant was charged with the murders. He was the assistant superintendent of the church Sunday school.
At trial, Durrant’s defense attorney argued that the real killer could have been the church minister, John George Gibson. Gibson had been a pastor in Scotland until resigning from his post in 1887. Between that time and his arrival in the U.S. in December 1888, Gibson’s whereabouts are unknown.
Durrant went to the gallows in 1898, and few doubt that he was the “demon of the belfry”, as reporters dubbed him. But Robert Graysmith, author of Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked, took note of that gap in John Gibson’s resumé. It matches up perfectly with the dates of the Whitechapel murders; Gibson left his post at least 8 months before they began, and arrived in America one month after they stopped. Coincidence?
Well, yeah, probably. First of all, the Emanuel Church murders – while certainly gruesome – were considerably less vicious than the Whitechapel murders. It would be essentially unheard-of for a serial killer to de-escalate in such dramatic fashion. Secondly, Durrant’s behaviour before and after the murders was peculiar. He offered outlandish theories about white slave trafficking to the aunt of Blanche Lamont, and was seen arguing with Minnie Williams the day she vanished. Gibson, on the other hand, isn’t known to have said or done anything unusual at the time of the murders. (McConnell, 2005)
An intriguing footnote to all this is the sensational Salome trial that occurred in London twenty years after Durrant’s execution. In the wake of the murders, Durrant’s sister, Maud, had turned to dance. Though she had no professional training, she was able to establish herself as a performer in England, specializing in “Salome dances”. In 1918, she staged Oscar Wilde’s Salome in London, and came under attack from a right-wing publication. The editor accused her of being a lesbian “honey trap” and a German spy, sent to undermine the morals of British patriots. Maud Allan sued for libel, but the unfortunate fact that her brother had raped and killed two women worked against her. She lost the suit.

6. A mad doctor

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Doctors came under heavy suspicion in the Whitechapel case because it was assumed, at the time, that anyone who could mutilate a body and remove organs in a short amount of time must have some degree of surgical skill. This is not the case, but that hasn’t stopped Ripperologists from implicating physicians and surgeons by the dozen. A few of the most notable:

Dr. Stanley
In the 1920s, Australian journalist and MP Leonard Matters introduced a bizarre theory: That a late physician he identified only as “Dr. Stanley” had gone on a prostitute-killing rampage because a prostitute had given his son an STD. He was searching for one prostitute (out of roughly 800 in the district), so he simply murdered each one he questioned until he found his real target – Mary Kelly. Supposedly, Matters had read the doctor’s deathbed confession in a South American newspaper, but he never produced the article.
Sadly, this lame theory was the subject of the first full-length treatment of the case, Matters’ The Mystery of Jack the Ripper (1929), and became the basis for the 1959 film Jack the Ripper.

Sir William Gull, Royal physician
Though he was elderly and partially disabled by a stroke at the time of the murders, Stephen Knight selected Dr. Gull as the central figure in his Freemason theory (see #3).

Sir John Williams, Royal gynecologist
In what has to be one of the weirdest Ripper theories of all time, Tony Williams implicated his own ancestor in his 2005 book Uncle Jack, proposing that the royal OB-GYN killed prostitutes and harvested their uteri as part of a research project aimed at curing his wife’s infertility. This had something to do with being a Freemason.
This September, an equally ridiculous book was put out by a woman who claims to be Mary Kelly’s great-great-granddaughter. Antonia Alexander claims Mary Kelly had an affair with Williams. He then killed her for some reason or other. The proof? His blurry photo is in a locket that supposedly belonged to Kelly.
You can find details of the Williams allegations in this Daily Mail article. 

Dr. Thomas Barnardo
Dr. Barnardo was not actually a doctor, but he identified himself as one throughout his life. He established a string of children’s charity homes between 1870 and his death in 1905.
Aside from pretending to be a doctor, Barnardo had a more-or-less unblemished reputation as a philanthropist right into the 1970s, when the late historian Donald McCormick suddenly decided he would make a decent Ripper suspect for his book The Identity of Jack the Ripper (though his suspect of choice remained the cross-dressing Russian assassin Pedachenko – one of the silliest Ripper hoaxes ever). Gary Rowlands, in his chapter of The Mammoth Book Of Jack The Ripper, expands on McCormick’s theoryBarnardo’s lonely childhood in Ireland, combined with religious zealotry, caused him to go on an anti-prostitute murder crusade. He only stopped killing because a swimming accident deafened him.
I don’t know about Rowlands, but McCormick was a notoriously shoddy historian; one of my favourite bloggers, Dr. Beachcombing, calls him Baron Munchausen, and accuses him of fabricating a creepy poem that “Jack” supposedly wrote.
It’s true that Barnardo worked in the slums, and claimed to have met victim Elizabeth Stride shortly before her murder. Other than this, how much evidence links Barnardo to the Whitechapel murders? None. Seriously. None.

Dr. Morgan Davies
Robert D’Onston Stephenson suspected Dr. Davies merely because Davies routinely discussed the murders with another patient at London Hospital, acting them out in some detail and opining that the killer was a sexual sadist. As a man familiar with mental illness, it wouldn’t surprise me if Davies had a better grasp of criminal behaviour than the people around him.

Francis Tumblety
Tumblety was not a real medical doctor, and in my opinion could still be a viable suspect. He also had an odd connection to the assassination of Lincoln.

5. Famous painters.

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Walter Sickert.

Sickert, like Crowley, is another person who apparently came under suspicion because of his interest in the case. Most people know of this from Patricia Cornwell’s 2002 book Portrait of a Killer, but Cornwell was not actually the first to suggest Sickert’s involvement. That dubious honour would go to Donald McCormick, who mentioned Sickert in his 1970 book The Identity of Jack the Ripper. Also in the 1970s, a man claiming to be Sickert’s son (Sickert had no known children) declared his dad had been chummy with the heir to the throne, Prince Alfred Victor (the Duke of Clarence, himself a Ripper suspect). According to Joseph Gorman, AKA “Hobo” Sickert, the duke knocked up a poor Catholic girl named Annie Crook around 1885. When the Queen and the Prime Minister discovered this, they were horrified, and arranged for Miss Crook to be abducted and “lobotomized” by the royal physician, Sir William Gull. Someone connected to the royal family then murdered the illegitimate child’s nanny, Mary Kelly. The illegitimate daughter of Annie and the duke, Alice, later became one of Sickert’s mistresses….and Hobo Sickert’s mother. Therefore, he could be considered an heir to the throne. All of these details proved to be false, and Joseph Gorman/Hobo Sickert admitted as such to the Sunday Times (June 18, 1978), though he continued to insist he was Sickert’s son.
The late Stephen Knight, whom we’ll meet shortly, incorporated the Annie Crooks story into his conspiracy theory about Freemasons and royals, asserting that Sickert had been part of a plot to murder prostitutes on behalf of the royal family.
In 1990, Jean Overton Fuller published Sickert and the Ripper Crimes, in which she laid out a theory that Sickert was the one and only Jack (incidentally, she was friends with Crowley associate Victor Neuberg, and was quite familiar with the D’Onston Stephenson story).
Then Patricia Cornwell took on the case. Thanks to her popularity as a crime novelist, Portrait of a Killer became a bestseller and unleashed a fresh flood of interest in Sickert-as-Ripper. In 2012, the Royal Opera House even parlayed Sickert’s fascination with Jack into a moody ballet, Sweet Violets
Cornwell’s theory rests heavily on Sickert’s supposedly deformed genitalia, alleged DNA matches between genetic material found on “Ripper” envelopes and on envelopes mailed by Sickert, and what she considers telling imagery in some of Sickert’s portraits. She points to the blurred or distorted faces of women, arguing that they represent the mutilation of the Ripper’s victims. Sickert was, unquestionably, inspired or intrigued by infamous London crimes involving prostitutes, though he didn’t begin to express this until nearly 30 years after the Whitechapel murders. In 1907 he painted Jack the Ripper’s Bedroom (below), and the following year he did a series on the Camden Town murder.

Walter Sickert Jack the Ripper's Bedroom

While it’s true that some of Sickert’s paintings are murky and vaguely disturbing, he also painted delightful street scenes and whimsical caricatures of ballet-goers. Furthermore, his Camden Town series was meant to be enigmatic, even baffling, in the style of Victorian problem pictures. And while the DNA evidence seems compelling, it should be noted that the envelopes and stamps from which DNA was extracted belonged to letters widely believed to be hoaxes (e.g., the “Openshaw letter“). There’s a good discussion of this evidence at the Casebook: Jack the Ripper site.
There is nothing in Sickert’s background to suggest that he was prone to violence. At the time of the murders, he may have been living and painting in France.

And speaking of painting in France…

Vincent Van Gogh

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Van Gogh is a recent addition to the suspect pool. Painter and writer David Larner spent five years (2006 – 2011) compiling research for his unpublished manuscript, Vincent Alias Jack.
Larner first suspected Van Gogh while trying to recreate Irises; the face of Mary Kelly simply jumped out at him from within the folds of a flower. You can see Larner’s side-by-side comparison of the Kelly crime scene photo and the painting here (WARNING: graphic imagery). Hello, pareidolia.

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“When you see it, you’ll shit bricks,”

But the painting isn’t the only “proof”. Apparently, Van Gogh is a good Ripper candidate because he consorted with prostitutes, hacked off part of his own ear (Catherine Eddowes’ ear was hacked off), and might have been in London at the right time. Larner also believes – with no solid evidence to back him up – that Van Gogh was responsible for the 1887-’88 Thames torso murders, which are only seldom linked to the Ripper. That’s about it.

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Besides, serial killers can’t paint.

4. Jill

A surprisingly popular theory at the time of the murders was that “Jack” was actually a woman, possibly a midwife who worked in the area, or a wife so enraged by her husband’s fondness for prostitutes that she decided to slaughter as many of them as she could. Possible “Jills” include murderess Mary Pearcy, who killed her lover’s wife and child in 1890 (the only female Ripper suspect to be named close to the time of the murders), and Lizzie Williams, wife of suspect Sir John Williams (according to this theory, she was driven insane by her infertility and began ripping the uteri out of prostitutes). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle favoured the theory that “Jack” was a lady, and his fans continue to put forward female suspects. For example, Constance Kent, who admitted (perhaps falsely) to killing her 4-year-old half-brother in 1865, has been named by E.J. Wagner in The Science of Sherlock Holmes.

3. Freemasons

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This theory was the brainchild of a young British writer named Stephen Knight, published in 1976 as Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, but the elements of it were culled from a variety of sources:

  • Retired doctor Thomas E.A. Stowell‘s article “Jack the Ripper – A Solution?”. This piece, published in the November 1970 issue of The Criminologist, proposed that the Ripper was an aristocrat who stalked, killed and eviscerated Whitechapel prostitutes in much the same way the aristocracy stalked, killed, and gutted deer. This young man was suffering insanity from the latter stages of syphilis, so he might have harboured great resentment against prostitutes for giving him the disease, which ultimately killed him. Stowell  hinted that this aristocrat was none other than an heir to the throne, Prince Albert Victor (the Duke of Clarence).  Stowell claimed this information came from personal notes of Dr. Gull (Stowell knew Gull’s daughter) – but Gull died two years before the duke.
  • The tales of Joseph Gorman Sickert
  • Conspiracy theories about English Freemasons
duke

The Duke of Clarence

Knight somewhat elegantly stitched together these loose threads to create the mother of all weird Jack the Ripper narratives: The Duke of Clarence impregnated a poor Catholic girl, Annie Crooks, and entrusted the care of his illegitimate child to Mary Kelly. Kelly and four of her friends unwisely decided to blackmail the royal family, and in retaliation Queen Victoria dispatched Dr. Gull and a gang of other prominent Freemasons to silence the women. One by one, they were lured to their deaths. The men kept their pact of silence for the rest of their lives because…well, because they were Freemasons. Bros before hos, yo.
As it turned out, this was all a complete waste of everyone’s time. The duke died of influenza just four years later.
The idea that a stroke-paralyzed physician would drag himself around the East End just to shut up a handful of prostitutes who wouldn’t be believed, anyway, makes for a good comic book and very little else. Over the years, however, people have grafted more Freemasonic suspects onto the theory, including Churchill’s dad.
Walter Sickert, incidentally, gave painting lessons to Winston Churchill.

2. The author of My Secret Life

This theory is weak for several reasons, but the first and foremost one is that we don’t know who wrote the book. My Secret Life was an erotic novel released in serialized form, beginning around the same time as the Whitechapel murders (the exact date of publication isn’t known). The author was listed simply as “Walter”. Hey, maybe it was Walter Sickert!

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In their 2010 book Jack the Ripper’s Secret Confession, David Monaghan and Nigel Cawthorne propose that “Walter” left clues about his identity as the Whitechapel killer throughout his book. Monaghan came up with this theory after noting the resemblance between passages of My Secret Life and the 1894 confession of Chicago serial killer Herman Mudgett (“H. H. Holmes”), particularly Walter’s description of a corpse floating in the Thames. Never mind that all of the Whitechapel victims were found on dry land.
Even if “Walter” truly had violent tendencies, there just isn’t enough here to draw a link between him and the murders. Weirdly enough, though, Holmes himself was named as a suspect by one of his descendants.

1. Hitler

I used to think this was a theory of my own invention, but it turns out some other lunatic already put the pieces together.
Bear with me, here. This is bulletproof. All you have to do is take the Stowell/Sickert/Knight theory that the Duke of Clarence had a role in the Whitechapel murders, and combine it with a fringe theory that the duke faked his death to begin a new life in Germany as one Adolph Hitler. Sure, the duke would have been considerably older than the man we know as Hitler, but didn’t Eva Braun describe Adolph as an “elderly gentleman” when she first met him?

But seriously, folks, any theory of the Whitechapel killings should take into account John Douglas’s profile of the killer. Based on victimology, the locations of the crime scenes, and especially the manner of the murders and mutilations, Douglas concludes the sole perpetrator was an asocial malcontent who might have worked for a butcher or a mortician, if he was able to hold a job at all. He lived or worked in the area. (Douglas and Olshaker, 2000, pp. 67-70)

In 2006, police affirmed that if they were looking for the suspect today, they would be knocking on doors in and around Whitechapel, rather than searching far afield for artists, dilettantes and Freemasons. They even issued a composite sketch of the Whitechapel killer.

Police_composite_of_Jack_the_Ripper

It was Freddy Mercury all along.

Sources:

Douglas, J. and Olshaker, M. The cases that haunt us. (2000). New York, NY: Scribner.

McConnell, V.A. (2005). Sympathy for the devil: The emmanuel baptist murders of old san francisco. Lincoln, NE: Bison Books.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: The Bogus Christian Memoir Hall of Shame

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Literary fraud is an important topic at Swallowing the Camel. Whether it’s middle-aged women pretending to be teen boys afflicted with HIV/AIDS (here and here), or James Cameron’s BFF letting himself be snowjobbed by a lying WWII vet, or fake Holocaust memoirists, no one gets a free pass when it comes to literary misdeeds. So why should Christians be any different? This week’s Weirdness Roundup covers some of the most egregious frauds involving inspirational Christian nonfiction, starting with the most recent case:

  • A year after diligent readers expressed their concerns, UK Christian publishing house Authentic Media has withdrawn a popular preacher’s autobiography from the market. Tony Anthony’s Taming the Tiger (2004) told the awesome story of how Jesus transformed him from an angry young criminal to the person he is today (I’ll let you decide if that was an improvement or not).
    Taming the Tiger describes how 4-year-old Tony learned Kung Fu from his grandfather. As the book’s cover reminds us, he ultimately became a “3 times Kung Fu World Champion”. His professional debut was in 1984. The following year, he went to work as a bodyguard for international VIPs, including the Saudi ambassador to the UK, Italy, and Cyprus. In 1988 or ’89, his world fell apart when his girlfriend of three years, Aiya, was killed in a car accident. He turned his back on everything good in his life and become an enforcer for his boss, threatening and beating and even killing people who posed the slightest danger to the ambassador. He then became a burglar to raise money for an expensive medical procedure his father needed, and started getting into confrontations with police in Cyprus, where he was then living. He landed himself in jail in Christmas 1989, and it was there that an Irish missionary introduced him to Jesus Christ.
    Upon release in 1992, Anthony returned to the UK and settled down to have a family. He considered himself a good Christian, but after he was arrested for killing a woman in a hit and run (and lying to police about it) in 2001, he realized he still needed a lot of work. His second awakening as a Christian spurred him to write the memoir, which has sold more than a million copies in 25 languages. Its success gave him the opportunity to preach all over the world, and he established an Essex-based international evangelism organization called Avanti Ministries.
    The whole thing imploded when skeptical readers decided to look into Anthony’s actual background. One of the first things they discovered was that he was born in 1971…meaning he would have been just 13 years old when he became a Kung Fu grand master, and 14 when he was supposedly protecting an ambassador. He would still have been a teenager when he ended up in Nicosia prison. Also, the Saudi ambassador to the UK from 1980-1992, Nasser Almanqour, was never sent to Italy or Cyprus.
    It wasn’t just readers who were skeptical. One director of Avanti Ministries, Mike Hancock, resigned because Anthony seemed reluctant to verify the stories in his book. Hancock joined forces with another former Avanti director and a few concerned Christian ministers to investigate Anthony’s claims. Last year, they submitted a summary of their findings to the board of Avanti, the UK’s Evangelical Alliance, and Authentic Media, resulting in Authentic’s decision to pull the book.
    Tony Anthony has issued a statement saying he “wholeheartedly” defends everything he wrote in Taming the Tiger, with the exception of some details that he claims he wasn’t aware of at the time he wrote it. He admits that some names, places, etc., were altered to protect the privacy of certain people. He also claims he recently tried to publish an updated autobiography, but was blocked from doing so by unnamed persons “intent on discrediting” his ministry. Hilariously, he seems astonished that anyone would be interested in the historical veracity of his work (which is categorized as a nonfiction martial arts book in libraries and bookstores).
    Anthony’s statement includes the announcement that Avanti Ministries will no longer be in charge of its outreach programs.
  • The story of “Lauren Stratford” is by far the weirdest, most convoluted bogus Christian memoir tale of the past several decades. In 1988, her book Satan’s Underground was published by one of the top Christian publishers in America, Harvest House. In it, Stratford described a nightmarish existence as an abused child prostitute, handed over to child pornographers and pedophile rapists by her own mother (a schoolteacher). As a teen, she became a virtual sex slave to a Satan-worshiping porno kingpin known only as “Victor”. Victor’s cult engaged in everything from infanticide to cannibalism, and Lauren was forced to participate in their hellish rites. She was the first former Satanist to claim status as a “breeder”, a woman forced to bear children for ritual sacrifice, and I doubt it’s a coincidence that within months of the release of Satan’s Underground, breeders were popping out of the woodwork to appear on Geraldo and Sally Jesse Raphael. Stratford herself was invited to appear on Oprah and Geraldo as a victim of Satanic ritual abuse. Her book became very popular with recovered memory advocates and Christian therapists, and other ritual abuse survivors credited Stratford’s book with helping them retrieve their own “repressed memories”.
    Then, in 1991, the Christian magazine Cornerstone investigated Stratford’s background. The reporters couldn’t find a shred of evidence that Laurel Wilson had ever been abused by Satanists or anyone else, but they did uncover evidence indicating that Wilson/Stratford suffered a factitious disorder.
    Toward the end of her life, Stratford re-emerged as a Holocaust survivor named “Laura Grabowski”. She said she had been one of Josef Mengele’s victims, and even had a touching reunion with a fellow child survivor of Auschwitz, Binjamin Wilkomirski. The problem was, Wilkomirski had never been in Auschwitz, either.
    You can read more about the peculiar Wilson/Stratford/Grabowski saga in Part IX of my series The Prodigal Witch.
  • In 1986, Christian pamphleteer Jack Chick published a bizarre book titled He Came to Set the Captives Free, by one “Rebecca Brown, M.D.” It told the story of a crusading Christian doctor (Brown herself) who was engaged in a life-or-death struggle against evil forces in Indiana. Satanists were dogging her every step because she had rescued a young woman named Elaine from their clutches. Elaine had been brainwashed by the Satanists from childhood, and as an adult was forced to literally marry Satan in his human form.
    Having divorced Satan and her second husband too, Elaine helped Dr. Brown foil Satanic assassins and rescue other cult victims. The duo claimed to have saved about 1000 witches from dangerous covens in the first half of the ’80s alone. Brown published a second book about her battles with darkness, Prepare for War, in 1987. That same year, she and Elaine appeared on one of Geraldo Rivera’s shows about Satanism.
    In 1989, writers G. Richard Risher, Paul R. Blizard, and M. Kurt Goedelman delved into the backgrounds of Rebecca Brown and Elaine for the Personal Freedom Outreach Newsletter. What they found was deeply disturbing. Brown was really Ruth Bailey, and she had been stripped of her medical license five years earlier, after colleagues discovered she had been giving massive (potentially fatal) doses of prescription painkillers to one of her patients, Edna Moses. Edna Moses was “Elaine”. The two women had been living together in a filthy house for years, telling neighbours they were sisters. Bailey was known for her violent, unstable, paranoid behaviour. Edna/Elaine died in 2005.
    Bailey/Brown left Edna in 1989 to marry an ex-con who claimed he was tortured by Swiss rabbis as a boy, and the couple now runs a small ministry called Harvest Warriors.
    Though many Christians recognize Brown’s books for what they are (pure batshit insanity), they remain in print and continue to captivate the more gullible members of the Christian community.  In 2010, a sixth-grade science teacher in Brooklyn was mildly reprimanded for distributing and selling copies of They Came to Set the Captives Free to some of his students.
    The full story of Ruth Bailey and Edna Moses can be read in Part VIII of my Prodigal Witch series.
  • In the early ’70s, a roly-poly young Californian named Mike Warnke took the evangelical world by storm. He was loved for his Christian stand-up comedy (yes, that’s a thing, I guess), but it was his truly sinister background that drew the most attention to him. As he detailed in his 1973 memoir The Satan Seller, Warnke had dropped out of college to lead one branch of a nationwide Satanic cult that practiced blasphemous rites, lured teenagers into their ranks with the promise of sex and drugs, and occasionally raped and dismembered innocents in the name of the Devil. You know, typical frat stuff.
    Just like Tony Anthony, Warnke founded a successful ministry on the strength of his testimony. It wasn’t until 1992, nearly 20 years after The Satan Seller was printed, that a group of Christians published an exhaustive refutation of Warnke’s claims in a Cornerstone magazine article. As writers Jon Trott and Mike Hertenstein revealed, Warnke hadn’t been a Devil-worshiping drug addict in college; he had already become a Christian by that time, and spent most of his time doing ridiculously wholesome things that other square kids did in the late ’60s: Bowling, going out for ice cream, double-dating with his devoutly Catholic girlfriend, etc.
    Confronted with his make-believe past, Warnke weakly explained that his Satanic following may have been a bit smaller than he originally stated (around a dozen people, rather than 1500). He would not back down from anything else in his book. A few years ago, though, he admitted to Jim Bakker that he had felt compelled to present a dramatic conversion testimony to impress the evangelical community, and made a joke about “evangelasticity”.
    You can read more about Warnke in
    Part II of the Prodigal Witch series.
  • The same year The Satan Seller was published, Doreen Irvine’s autobiography From Witchcraft to Christ was released in the UK. A prim-looking older lady, Irvine claimed to have been a teen prostitute who was inducted into Satanism in London around 1950. Over the next 12 years, she developed the abilities to levitate several feet off the ground, read minds, render herself invisible, manifest apports, and kill birds in midflight just by looking at them. She was crowned Queen of the Black Witches of Europe. Then she walked into a church on a whim and was instantly converted to Christianity. After a grueling exorcism removed 47 demons from her body, she traveled to churches all over the world, sharing her story of redemption.
    No one has ever extensively refuted the claims in From Witchcraft to Christ, probably because they are too absurd to take seriously in the first place. But the book, and Doreen’s preaching, had a profound and lasting impact that has left at least one young woman dead. You can read more about her influence in Part I of The Prodigal Witch.

There are a number of other Christian memoirs that definitely set off my BS alarm, but the claims made in these books are so unverifiable that there is really no way to refute them. These include:

  • A Divine Revelation of Hell (1997) and A Divine Revelation of Heaven (1998) by Mary K. Baxter. Baxter, a Pentacostal preacher from Michigan, claims she was given walking tours of both Heaven and Hell by Jesus himself, so that she could bear witness to their physical reality. She says Hell is located near the planet’s core, is shaped like a human body, and contains many homosexuals. In Heaven, angels collect the tears of everyone on Earth and store them away in jars.
  • Blood Secrets by Isaiah Oke, as told to Joe Wright (1989). Oke is a Nigerian Christian who claims he was once a ju-ju shaman, and that he witnessed a brutal human sacrifice carried out by his mentor. The person who commissioned this sacrifice is described as a powerful colonel, and it’s quite obvious that Oke wants us to think he was Idi Amin.
    Oke became a Christian while studying accounting at college. As he and Wright tell it, a young American co-ed had annoyed him one day, but Oke was unable to “hex” her even after numerous attempts. Finally, he asked her why she was resistant to his magical powers, and she told him she was a Christian. He promptly converted, and continues to talk smack about Nigerian spirituality to the present day.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Satan, Satan Everywhere

Think Satanic panic disappeared along with Geraldo and acid-washed jeans? Well, not quite. Welcome to the world of Jordanian Satanists conducting ceremonies in college bathrooms, panty-stealing gremlins, demonic mermaids – and the deeply misguided authorities who persecute them. 

Satan Is Real

 

  • We’ll get to Satan, but first: Yet another alien body has surfaced, this time in China. In what appears to be the Eastern version of the Dr. Reed Microwave Burrito Alien hoax, a man identified only as Li claims he witnessed a UFO crash near his home on the Yellow River in Binzhou, Shangdong province, on a night in March. The next day, checking his electric rabbit traps, he found the remains of a lightly fried entity roughly four feet tall, with pebbly white skin, a bulbous head, and what appears to be female genitalia. Li took the alien lady home and stowed her in his freezer, where local police officers made a landmark scientific discovery: Somewhere in the cosmos, there exists an alien race made entirely out of rubber.
  • Since 2011, four women have filed lawsuits against Mark Schwartz, founder of the Castlewood Treatment Center for eating disorders in Ballwood, Missouri. The former patients allege that in the course of treatment Schwartz and his partner, Lori Galperin, persuaded them to “recover” (false) memories of Satanic ritual abuse, cannibalism, and even murder. Schwartz has stepped down as the director of Castlewood.
    This is practically an instant replay of a case that erupted over 15 years ago in Chicago. In the mid-’90s, Dr. Bennett Braun was sued by several former patients after he and members of his staff at the Dissociative Disorders Unit of Rush Presbyterian Hospital convinced the women they were recovering repressed memories of belonging to abusive, powerful Satanic cults. Though Braun and his colleagues were trained and licensed medical professionals, their methods weren’t much better than those of the bizarre faux-psychotherapy cult of Okie pastor Doug Riggs, and the outcomes were identical: Dozens of people came to believe their loved ones were actually demented Devil worshipers who had enslaved them through a combination of ritualistic abuse and sophisticated mind control programming.
    I’ll be posting about the Schwartz and Braun cases at Speak of the Devil in the near future, because there’s far too much weirdness there for a mere roundup.
  • Also in the ritual abuse category, a Dutch woman named Toos Nijenhuis has declared that child sacrifices are taking place in Holland. She recently told a group of independent researchers that a sinister international cabal, which includes such prominent members as Prince Bernhard of Holland and British royals, has been ritualistically abusing and experimenting upon children for some arcane purpose. Nijenhuis led the researchers to a rural forest near Zwolle where she claims ritual child sacrifices have been committed as recently as November of 2010. Her claims are virtually identical to those made by some of the former witches and Satanists I wrote about in the Prodigal Witch series, particularly Arizona Wilder (who has retracted her claims about a clan of Satanic lizard-people ruling the planet) and alleged Illuminati slave Cisco Wheeler. The Canadian-based citizens’ group called the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) and allied organizations plan to investigate Ms. Nijenhuis’ allegations and possibly issue  “court summonses” to the royals and high-level clerics she has named.
  • In Etwatwa, South Africa, a 14-year-old boy stands accused of murdering four members of his family with an ax. Police have reportedly called in an occult expert to determine if the boy was connected to Satanism or Satanists, but no link has been discovered so far. That hasn’t stopped neighbours and South Africans in general from declaring the murders a Satanic ritual sacrifice, as shown in the video report below and in this tabloid article, which cites a detailed confession allegedly given by the boy. The boy’s family, on the other hand, seems to think drugs were involved.
  • Many reports out of Africa draw parallels between the Etwatwa ax murders and the “Satanic” stabbing murder of schoolgirl Keamogetswe Sefularo in March, which brought up memories of the “Satanic burning” of teenager Kirsty Theologo two years ago. Two 18-year-old boys were convicted of Kirsty’s murder last March, sentenced to 17 years each.
  • Also in Africa, a 2-year-old Northern Cape girl drowned in late May after she was allegedly pushed into a dam by a female 12-year-old cousin who reportedly had a history of doing the same thing to other young children. Family members promptly blamed Satanism, telling the press the girl was possessed and “doing the Devil’s work”. Before they start shopping for an exorcist, they should perhaps ptry adopting some appropriate water safety and child supervision practices.
  • Parts of Zimbabwe have been aflame with Satanic panic in the past year. In Bulawayo’s suburban Cowdray Park last October, a teen girl confessed to participating in 16 murders committed by a neighbourhood cult of Satanists, causing deep rifts and panic in the community. Around the same time, at least three schools in the country were closed after students were stricken with bizarre symptoms they attributed to Satanic spells. Then there are the evil mermaids. Last March, Zimbabwe Water Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo told a senate oversight committee that mermaids had been terrifying workers at reservoirs in Mutare, Gokwe, and Manicaland, causing them to flee their work and refuse to return. Many Zimbabweans consider mermaids to be demonic creatures, and a man named Justice Manyonga even claims to have been held captive by them for two years. To remedy the mermaid infestation, Nkomo summoned traditional chiefs to perform exorcisms at the Gokwe and Mutare dams.
    In Gokwe, Underpants Gnomes made an appearance around the same time. A 62-year-old man declared that a rash of missing ladies’ undergarments in his neighbourhood was caused by a panty-stealing goblin he had somehow acquired years earlier. Incredibly, this is not the most bizarre goblin story to come out of Zimbabwe in the past year. In January of this year, an explosion in Chitungwiza, Zumbabwe, killed 5 people in a single house. The home was owned by a traditional healer, and he claimed the explosion occurred because he was attempting to behead a goblin on behalf of a client. Just like the owner of the Underpants Gnome, this guy says he bought a goblin to help bring himself good luck and prosperity, but it ended up being a major PITA. So if you buy a goblin through Kijiji or Craigslist, make sure you get a warranty on that sucker.
  • In March, five students at Al al-Bayt university in Mafraq, Jordan, were accused of burning pages from the Koran as part of a supposed Devil-worship ritual conducted in a campus bathroom. They were promptly arrested for desecrating the Koran, but no charges were filed against them, prompting Human Rights Watch to call for their release. This resulted in immediate charges against  the students. They were tried before a military tribunal in May and acquitted of all charges, but the incident caused tremendous strife and distress throughout Jordan, with extremists demanding the students be lynched and others bewailing the lack of freedom of religious expression in a country that has been presented to the world as relatively open and progressive.

merman

Media Lookalikes: Enough Already

The media lookalikes conspiracy meme started by Ed Chiarini of WellAware1, which I’ve covered here and here, is getting out of control. I thought it was restricted to the fringiest fringe of conspiranoid kooksters, but the picture below has gone viral in a minor way among conspiracy folks, even ending up on Snopes along with other Sandy Hook-related weirdness. On one Facebook page alone, it has received well over 1500 likes, and roughly half the commenters seem to think the whole media lookalikes theory could have some validity (the other half are dumbfounded that anyone would fall for it).

actors

Yes, Nick and Laura Phelps are real people. Obviously. They live in Newtown, Connecticut. They have two children enrolled at Sandy Hook Elementary, and in news reports they have mentioned that they don’t know how to explain the shooting to them.
Seriously, people, why would the media need fake parents when there are dozens of real grieving parents in Connecticut right now? Who would risk putting fake parents on TV, knowing that teachers and other parents and neighbours will immediately blow the whistle on a pair of shameless hoaxers?
Ed Chiarini (AKA “Dallasgoldbug”) is suffering from the Fregoli delusion, or something very much like it. He thinks Winston Churchill and Lionel Barrymore were the same man, that Walt Disney was literally Hitler, that Freddy Mercury became John Stossel, and that Steve Carell is also Alice Cooper.
This is just absurd. It is the stupidest and least credible conspiracy meme I have ever encountered. Satanic bloodsucking lizardpeople from Mars make more sense than this.

No “Leap of Faith”

didnotjump

Peter Gersten, the UFO disclosure activist who pledged to pitch himself from the top of Bell Rock in Sedona yesterday, confident that an interdimensional portal would open up and swallow him before he hit the ground, apparently didn’t jump. He showed up at Bell Rock on schedule, but told authorities and reporters he would jump only if the portal appeared. Since I haven’t seen any “ZOMG GIANT PORTAL” stories online today, I’m going to assume Mr. Gersten simply went home to wait for the next hippie doomsday.

“Have you ever seen a portal?”

Have the happiest holidays ever, and we’ll see you in the new year, if Hans can avoid getting baked for someone’s Christmas dinner.

The Prodigal Witch Part XVI: Illuminati Slaves (Part II)

Arizona Wilder

For a few years, an American woman known as Arizona Wilder straddled the wavy line between Satanic/Illuminati high priestess and Satanic ritual abuse survivor, giving the impression that if Josef Mengele had not screwed with her head, she would never have presided over hideous blood rituals for the lizard people who govern our planet.

Arizona Wilder (Jennifer Kealey) as she appeared in 1999.

Arizona Wilder’s story appeals to a certain strain of New Age folks who no longer subscribe to the notion that Satan and God are locked in battle for our souls, but still want to believe there’s a Really Really Bad Guy (someone else) and a Really Really Good Guy (themselves) locked in battle for cosmic order. In the case of Ms. Wilder, the Really Really Bad Guys were holographic, interdimensional lizardpeople from Mars and their half-human spawn.

Today, Wilder goes by her married name, Jennifer Kealey, and contends that the same people who subjected her to mind control programming and ritualistic abuse in her childhood manipulated her into telling stories about lizardpeople. In short, she has retracted just about everything you’re about to read.

Wilder was introduced to the world in 1999 by David Icke, the world’s foremost expert on holographic interdimensional lizardpeople from Mars (or Reptilians, as he calls them), via a video interview titled Revelations of a Mother Goddess.
Icke has never actually met a Reptilian, but in the ’90s, strangers began to approach him with terrifying stories of Reptilian encounters. One woman even watched her boyfriend morph into a lizardman mid-coitus. (1) Though not one authentic photograph or video of a Reptilian has surfaced in the nearly 20 years since Icke first started hearing about them, this hasn’t stopped him from turning the Reptilian overlords into the foundation stone of his Temple of Crazy. He has mentioned them at great length in every book he has written since 1998’s The Biggest Secret (the big secret, of course, being that we are controlled by lizard-human hybrids who worship Satan, drink human blood, and walk among us as ordinary-looking bank managers).

Icke has never adequately explained the need for all this subterfuge. If these lizards are so badass, I say they should openly declare their ownership of the planet and be done with it.

At the time Icke conducted his videotaped interview with Arizona Wilder, she was a fortyish American woman who claimed to have been a high priestess of the Satanic Illuminati Lizardpeople cult for much of her life. With all the emotion of a cashier repeating your order through a fast-food intercom, Wilder explained to us how she was raised up and mentally scrambled by the most evil bastards you can possibly imagine, including Dr. Josef Mengele (déjà vu and déjà vu again, right?).

How to Become a Satanic Illuminati Priestess Without Really Trying

Arizona, born Jennifer Ann Nagel, told Icke she was prenatally selected to become an Illuminati priestess, also known as a Mother Goddess or Starfire. The Illuminati is obsessed with bloodlines, and Jennifer apparently had all the markers of a perfect specimen. In addition to her genetic profile, the Illuminati was impressed with her psychic abilities. She doesn’t explain how these were detected in utero.
Some online articles on Wilder mention that she has sisters. Wilder herself didn’t talk about them at that time.
She said she didn’t know who her real father was; she only knew he couldn’t be the man who called himself her father, because he came from an “impure bloodline”. Arizona hasn’t divulged her precise heritage, but she identifies herself as Aryan and says she dies her fair hair to keep the Illuminati away from her. Paradoxically, she also hints that her maternal ancestry involves the Rothschilds. You’ll be seeing many such contradictions in her story.

Jennifer had a seemingly normal upbringing in California, raised by her birth mother and a man she identified as her stepfather. Both of the Nagels were elementary school teachers.
Her memories of Satanic Reptilians were “recovered” during adult psychotherapy, like Lauren Stratford’s “memories”. In 1989, she realized her past contained large amounts of missing time. Gradually, over the course of a decade (1989-’99), she “recovered” memories of sexual abuse by her stepfather, mind control programming, and ritual abuse. She realized that her parents had been forced to move to California in her infancy so she could begin training as a high priestess in the Illuminati, which practices “Satanism” (basically Druidic Paganism with human sacrifice). California, she explained to Icke, is the international headquarters of the High Council. So far, her story jives fairly well with those of Mike Warnke and John Todd, who also identified California as the hub of a national Satanic network.
Trauma-based mind control was used to “compartmentalize” young Jennifer with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (the notion of “implanted” DID is discussed in the previous post about Illuminati slave Cisco Wheeler). She was subjected to electroshock, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, and more sophisticated forms of mind control, including tri-tonal frequencies somewhat resembling Robert Monroe’s patented Hemi-Sync process. The programming was sometimes combined with elements of ancient Druidic rituals. Most of it was conducted on military bases, primarily China Lake Naval Base in the California desert. This particular locale was probably not a random choice on Wilder’s part; as mentioned in the Mengele section of the last post, in 1995 a woman named Chris Denicola told the Presidential Commission on Radiation that she had been subjected to torture and mind control programming by a Dr. Greene at China Lake in the ’60s and ’70s.

Wilder’s primary programmer was Josef Mengele, whom she (and numerous other government mind control victims) claim was brought into the U.S. under Project Paperclip to conduct horrific psychological experiments on children. “Former Illuminati Satanist” Bill Schnoebelen mentioned this in his Prophecy Club lecture “Exposing the Illuminati from Within” (c. 1996).
Mengele made little effort to disguise his physical appearance or his thick German accent, but called himself “Dr. Green” (the Green/Mengele meme is also explored at some length in the previous post).
Dr. Green introduced Jennifer to Illuminati Satanism, taking her to rituals in the U.S., France, and Britain. Her parents didn’t interfere, being Illuminati zombies with Dissociative Identity Disorder themselves. Just in case they did object to her training, though, the Nagels were told their daughter had an IQ of 70 and required special attention. In elementary school, she was repeatedly transferred to different classrooms and seemed to have learning difficulties.

Wilder doesn’t speak much about her alter personalities, and she hasn’t made it clear if she is now integrated, or still suffers DID. In a 2001 presentation, she described one alter named “Alice in the Gray Place”, an artefact of Alice in Wonderland programming (according to Fritz Springmeier and Cisco Wheeler, many levels of government mind control are based on popular children’s books and movies, The Wizard of Oz being particularly favoured by the Illuminati).

Various groups within the Illuminati system schooled Jennifer in history, the paranormal arts, and ritual magic. She was taken to an underground military installation beneath Area 51 to meet cloned cyborg dolphin-alien hybrids known as cybers, as well as real aliens. At another military base, she was taught to communicate with dolphins, for some reason. At UCLA she was part of the parapsychological research conducted by Dr. Thelma Moss (in which Dr. Louis Jolyon West participated, she said). The Janus Group taught her how to psychically murder. When she was five years old, she was taken to Leningrad for psychic experiments jointly conducted by Soviet scientists and the KGB. The Soviets subjected young Jennifer to near-drowning in icewater on three separate occasions to induce Near Death Experiences, as part of their research. The Mothers of Darkness (a fictional witch coven described in Fritz Springmeier’s books) taught her that the Aryans came to Earth from Mars about 6000 years ago, after Mars was invaded by Reptilian aliens. The Reptilians followed them 2000 years later, masquerading as gods to fool humans into obeying them. By interbreeding with select Aryans, the Reptilians created an elite bloodline that persists to this day. Though they appear wholly human, they’re actually holographic projections surrounding 7′-12′ tall, bipedal lizards who can bip in and out of other dimensions at will. These alien-human hybrids maintain their human shape most of the time, but when exposed to human blood they go crazy and begin to lose control over their holographic projections, morphing into their lizard manifestations. Wilder and Icke referred to this as “shapeshifting”.

Never trust a lizard, folks.

Everything you always wanted to know about holographic interdimensional lizard sex

According to Icke and other researchers, the Reptilians don’t possess many human emotions, but they do have an innate urge to worship Satan (this is more than a bit odd, if they’re the ones who invented all the pre-Judaic religions in the first place). Furthermore, they need humans to conduct their Satanic rituals, because they do not possess psychic abilities. And apparently you have to be psychic to worship the Devil in the appropriate manner. This is where Jennifer and her fellow “Mothers of Darkness” come in. It was Jennifer’s job, as an Illuminati high priestess, to stand within a hexagram, a pentagram, and a triangle drawn on the ground and summon the evil “Old Ones”, ancient Reptilians from another dimension. As Wilder describes it, this Reptilian religion is something like ancestor worship crossed with Paganism crossed with a B movie.

Hers was an exalted position within the Illuminati. At any given time, there are only three Mother Goddesses in the entire world, which brings to mind Cisco Wheeler‘s bizarre rant about three “Mothers of Darknesswho will someday “rule and reign with the antichrist as his queen when he takes his throne”. But Mother Goddesses, for some reason, have a limited shelf life. By tradition, they are slaughtered and replaced by their own daughters when they reach the age of 52. Wilder escaped this fate only because she began to recover her repressed memories in her forties. She doesn’t mention offing her own mother, so I guess we can assume that Mrs. Nagel simply wasn’t Mother Goddess material.
The alternate title for Mother Goddesses, “Starfire”, is a reference to menstrual blood. In The Biggest Secret, Icke calls it the “female lunar essence”, treasured by the ancients. Virgin priestesses offered it up to the elite as a life-prolonging “nectar of the gods” (ew, right?). He tells us the word “ritual” derives from this practice, as ritu means “red” in some ancient language or other. To the Reptilians, however, this is more than just a ritual practice. Icke tells us, Drinking menstrual blood has always been a feature of the reptilian bloodlines because they need blood to live in this dimension.” Without it, they cannot hold their human shape. (1, 295)
This starfire gibberish came from the late Laurence Gardner, who first wrote about it in a series of Nexus magazine articles in 1998. I tried to find out if there was one iota of truth to it. In short: No, menstrual blood was not revered by our ancestors. In fact, people throughout the ages have found it pretty icky, even ritually unclean, and have done their best to avoid contact with it by any means necessary.

Reptilians sacrifice all their firstborn children as well as many other victims. Among these are children bred specifically for sacrifice. This “breeder” meme began with the very first account of Satanic ritual abuse, Michelle Remembers, in 1980. In 1988, Lauren Stratford became the first former Satanist to claim status as a “breeder” when she wrote about her recovered memories of bearing three children by her Devil-worshiping controller, Victor, between the ages of nineteen and twenty (yes, you read that correctly). Two of the infants were killed in snuff films, and the third (as she emotionally told Geraldo) was sacrificed on a Satanic altar.
Jennifer presided over many hideous blood rituals that turned the lizard men and women into ravenous, blood-swilling beasts. The faintest whiff of blood excites them tremendously. They’re addicted to it. After drinking their victims’ blood, they eviscerate the bodies and consume choice parts of their flesh. These lizard bacchanalias are usually held on Druidic holidays.
Because these atrocities were committed by her alters, Jennifer had no conscious recollection of them until entering therapy in 1989. As early as 1990, however, she began speaking out against the New World Order. She attracted the attention of Brian Desborough, a conspiranoid who claims to assist survivors of mind control. It may have been Desborough who brought Wilder to the attention of David Icke.

Unlike fellow Illuminati escapee Doc Marquis, Wilder doesn’t shy away from naming names. In her interview with Icke, she outed numerous people as Reptilian hybrids, including Mengele, Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II and her mother, Jay Rockefeller, Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Prince Phillip, “Baron Gita Rothschild” (more on him later), Tony Blair, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Bill and Hillary Clinton (though she did not see Hillary shapeshift), George Bush Sr. and Jr., Jeb Bush, Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Newt Gingrich, and Bob Hope. If that last name seems a little out of place, check out the memoirs of Monarch Project survivor Brice Taylor, published the same year Wilder was interviewed by Icke. In fact, all the names on Wilder’s Reptilian list had already been dropped by alleged mind controlled sex slaves.
Weirdly, Wilder also implicated in the Reptilian conspiracy Zecharia Sitchin and Laurance Gardner – the very same man who came up with the starfire silliness. Between 1996 and his death in 2010, Gardner wrote several books detailing a hypothetical “dragon bloodline” (the Holy Grail) that began in ancient Sumer when Reptilian aliens called the Anunnaki genetically engineered a hybrid race. The late Sitchin wrote a long string of “nonfiction” books about a race of humanoid aliens who visited Earth from a tenth planet in our solar system, Nibiru, and masqueraded as the gods of ancient Sumer.
At rituals, Wilder said, Sitchin boasted about “getting rid” of people who interfered with his work. At this point in the interview, Icke revealed that Sitchin once warned him away from investigating the Reptilian presence on Earth. It’s entirely possible that Sitchin did do this, as he does not subscribe to the Reptilian theories of the Annunaki/Nephilim aliens. In fact, he describes those aliens as essentially human in appearance. We could view this as a friendly warning from one crackpot to another, but Icke apparently views it as part of the lizard conspiracy. Just how much he and/or Brian Desborough influenced Arizona Wilder is open to question. At the time of the Icke interview, Wilder was also being accompanied and supported by a mysterious woman known only as “Miss Pinky”. Just what role she played in the whole thing is unclear.

Wilder went on to explain that the Reptilians had been pursuing the Aryan peoples around the universe for millennia in order to harvest their blood. The blood of the white race was particularly important to them for some reason (though blood is basically blood, no matter which race it is drawn from), and the blond-haired, blue-eyed variety was the one they wanted more than any other. How is it, then, that almost none of the individuals she saw at rituals fit into this genetic category? Do Reptilians just really, really suck at eugenics?

Wilder knew the Illuminati worked in concert with Reptilians and their hybrid offspring to dominate the world, but she was only sometimes privy to Illuminati plots. Her job was simply to summon the Old Ones and preside over rituals. But on one occasion, at Balmoral Castle, she overheard the Queen of England talking to an Arab-looking man she knew only as Fayed. They were discussing a marriage between Princess Diana – who was still married to Prince Charles at the time – and Fayed’s son, Dodi.
This fits in perfectly with David Icke’s theory of Diana’s death. He believes she was groomed even before her birth to be a Dianic sacrifice. Everything, from the timing of her birth to the site of her “car accident”, was painstakingly arranged by the Illuminati in accordance with ancient ritual protocol. Nothing could be left to chance.

Wilder said that the present head of the Illuminati is not a Rothschild, as former members John Todd, Bill Schnoebelen and Doc Marquis told us. It is actually a Reptilian-human hybrid known as Pindar, or the Marquis de Libeaux (this has been disputed by Illuminati-watchers like Stewart Swerdlow of Montauk Experiment fame, who insist a Rothschild is still top dog).
According to Wilder, Pindar in his Reptilian form is so terrifying that even the Queen Mum quailed before him. His name means “Penis of the Dragon”, and his personal totem is a golden phallus.
Pindar runs a sort of one-man Lebensborn, impregnating as many Aryan women as possible to perpetuate his glorious bloodline. He is the real father of Prince Charles, and perhaps William as well. You might remember him from my post on Dr. Bill Deagle (he thrice offered to make Dr. D. his second-in-command as Ruler of the World).
Not much else is known about this guy. Icke, in The Biggest Secret, says he lives in a chateau somewhere in the Alsace-Lorraine region.
Pindar may be The Man right now, but conspiracy researcher Don Croft assures us that a team of psychics and telepathic dolphins are deploying thought waves against him. So stay tuned.

Update (July 10/12): The origins of this “Pindar” fellow have long eluded me. The Greek poet of that name doesn’t appear to have had the lizardy characteristics of a “hybrid”, so the adoption of his name by the Illuminati’s Grand Poobah didn’t make much sense. “Pindar” had to possess some other significance, because everything has significance in Illuminati conspiracy tales.  

Today, quite by accident, I found what I believe to be the inspiration for the “Marquis” described by Wilder and the “ruler of the world” who tried to entice Dr. Deagle into becoming his Igor. And just as Icke ominously intones in the opening scene of Revelations of a Mother Goddess, the City of London really is the centre of Pindar’s domain.
 
It’s a freaking underground bunker. 
In 1984, the Ministry of Defence at Whitehall began constructing an underground “citadel” (the MoD’s fancy word for bunker) to serve as a crisis management and communications centre between MoD headquarters and the centre of military operations, the Permanent Joint Headquarters (the citadel’s tunnel system is also reportedly connected to Downing Street) .The Whitehall citadel wasn’t fully completed until 1994.  
And guess what the MoD named it? PINDAR. Not after a French lizardman, but after the story of Pindar the Poet’s house being the only one intact after Alexander’s forces ravaged Thebes in 335 BC.  
Note the dates. PINDAR was completed in 1994, and there was much grumbling and moaning about the expense of the thing throughout London (the tunnels themselves may be “secret”, but the project was not). Five years later, a mysterious reptile man with the name “Pindar” pops up in testimony provided to David Icke – a guy who already believed London to be the hub of the NWO conspiracy.  
“But they clearly named their bunker after Pindar!”, you might say. Well, that seems a day late and a dollar short, don’t you think? The guy had already been the ruler of the world for years by the time they got around to naming something after him… and they chose a bunker
It’s the other way around, of course. Icke and/or Wilder were suspicious of the PINDAR bunker/tunnel system, and decided it must be named for someone very important to the lizardpeople. Like, maybe a shadowy Frenchman who doesn’t use his real name and can’t be tracked down?

Wilder perhaps had several children by Pindar (the lizard, not the bunker). She says a “Dr. Barrington” (“Baron Gita Rothschild” in disguise) harvested her eggs several times and fertilized them with Pindar’s sperm. It should be noted that none of the Barons Rothschild has had the name or nickname Gita. The only Gita Rothschild is an American attorney. She is not, and has never been, a physician. Also, she is not actually a Rothschild. She was once married to a Rothschild.
This problem of imaginary Rothschilds is not unique to Arizona Wilder. As noted in the previous post, at least one of Doug Riggs’s parishioners believes he is the illegitimate spawn of a European Rothschild who doesn’t seem to exist.

Though in vitro fertilization is sometimes used to create hybrids, Reptilians are perfectly capable of procreating with humans in the conventional manner. For instance, Camilla Parker-Bowles bore a child by Prince Charles in the late ’70s. It was ritually sacrificed.
Reptilian females menstruate normally, sometimes even during pregnancy. They must have to fight the urge to shapeshift continuously.

In 1989, Wilder was married to a man named Greene and had two children by him, a son and a daughter. This was when her recurrent bouts of depression and flashbacks of incestuous abuse began to trouble her, and she announced to her parents that she was entering therapy. She says they strongly discouraged her from doing so, telling her that nothing could be gained from digging into her past.
She has not divulged the name of her first therapist. She identifies him/her as a psychiatrist who ran a program for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She chose this psychiatrist because she had heard him/her on a radio program, discussing his/her use of sodium amytal to assist his/her patients in the recovery of repressed memories. All sessions were video and audio taped. Later, she concluded that the Illuminati somehow manipulated her into consulting this particular doctor so that he/she could help the mind controllers gain further access to her brain.
She maintains that she was not led, influenced, or coerced during these interviews. She believes the information obtained was accurate. In a 2001 presentation, she also mentioned being in therapy with an internationally recognized therapist who specialized in treating victims of ritual abuse and mind control. (2) Whether this is the same man who administered the sodium amytal or not, we simply don’t know. It’s interesting that one well-known psychiatrist of the early ’90s, Dr. Bennett Braun, used sodium amytal, specialized in MPD/DID treatment, and helped patients “recover” repressed memories of Satanic ritual abuse.
When Jennifer’s parents learned from their son-in-law that Jennifer was describing ritualistic abuse during her therapy sessions, they relocated to another state and joined the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

The Greenes divorced sometime in the early ’90s. Jennifer claims her ex-husband had become physically and emotionally abusive, yet was granted full custody of both children. As documented in an article by Desborough, Wilder spun a whole web of conspiracies around the custody battle – murder, intimidation, you name it.
By this time, she was convinced that her children were also being subjected to ritual abuse.
Sometime during her lizard years, Wilder found the time to earn a nursing degree, and has worked as a nurse, on and off, since that time. In 1991, at her own request, she was placed on federal disability due to the effects of Satanic harassment, namely Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. The harassment included not only menacing phone calls, but multiple instances of abduction, drugging, and electroconvulsive shock. She was often followed by strangers in Naval Intelligence vehicles. Wilder was also impregnated on three occasions by “unknown means”.

In her 2001 presentation, Wilder explained that she used journaling and artwork as part of her therapy and “memory retrieval” process. This is commonly heard from SRA survivors.
She appears much more animated and expressive in this presentation than in the Icke interview. She doesn’t hesitate as frequently. And most significantly, none of her graphic artwork (all done prior to 1995) features any hint of lizards, lizardmen, or anything vaguely reptilian. It does feature Soviet scientists, ghoulish-looking occultists, dolphins, and lots of other non-lizardy things. She pointed out that a woman depicted in one drawing had “slit pupils”, and explained that there was blood dripping from her hands and face because she had just consumed human blood.
Gradually, she got into the Reptilian material. She described seeing small, pet dragons in the dungeon of Pindar’s home in Alsace-Lorraine, and mentioned that she had shared this information with Icke. We can only assume that even Icke didn’t find this credible enough to include in Revelations of a Mother Goddess, because there’s absolutely nothing about tiny pet dragons in there. (2)

Some of Arizona’s weirder claims

Let’s be honest, here: This is all batshit insane. But a few things Arizona told Icke are just a shade battier than the rest of it.

  • She was introduced to Hitler in 1960. She gives few details of this encounter, and Icke is curiously uninterested. I guess once you meet Mengele and conduct Satanic rituals for lizardpeople from Mars, running into Hitler 15 years after his death isn’t really a big thing.
  • People with DID are “drug-resistant”; drugs have no effect on certain alters. Never mind that they share the same bloodstream, and an overdose would kill them all.
  • Like all DID slaves, she has a photographic memory. This is the same claim made by the first Monarch Project survivor, Cathy O’Brien, in 1995. Wilder’s eidetic memory is not at all evident in the Icke interview. At one point, she can’t recall the name of the French president who succeeded Charles de Gaulle, even though she supposedly saw him at Satanic rituals. And one of the most famous galleries on the planet is named after him. Desborough explains this: “The reason for her memory lapses is that mind-controlled victims who are programmed to serve as intelligence couriers are subjected to a surgical procedure known as “brain-stem scarring”, which permits certain alter-personalities to receive a photographic memory. For obvious reasons, the front alter is never programmed to have such a photographic memory. Since Ms. Wilder’s alters which possess such a memory capability were never accessed during the interview, (which would have required knowledge of the appropriate access code) she was unable to recall certain topics.”
  • The royal lizards revert to their Reptilian shapes when they fall asleep. As pointed out in a Trash City.org article on Wilder, this probably would have caught the attention of Prince Charles’s bunkmates at boarding school and in the military.
  • The Ark of the Covenant is under the control of the Illuminati, secreted in Egypt. Ark mock-ups are used in a certain Illuminati ritual. (2)

In the four years after Revelevations of a Mother Goddess was released, Wilder gave a few presentations at New Age/conspiracy gatherings and was interviewed by conspiranoid radio hosts on several occasions. She is one of the very few people in this series who has not wholly embraced fundamentalist Christianity, but her anti-Pagan stance sets her far apart from the average New Age believer.

Brian Desborough, for one, was disappointed by the public reaction. In a weird and rambling essay about various conspiracies, he wrote that it had been his hope that the “public revelations concerning Illuminati matters provided by former Mother Goddess Arizona Wilder, would have prompted other Illuminati bloodline mind-controlled survivors to go public with their exposes. With one exception, this has not occurred. This is because other survivors who could verify the authenticity of Ms. Wilder’s claims have been deterred by the vile invective directed toward Ms. Wilder on this website [forum] by incredibly ill-informed individuals, who hypocritically end their vitriolic and racist E-Mail messages with the word ‘love’.”
It’s true that not everyone in the lizardpeople-from-Mars conspiracy subculture accepted Wilder’s stories. Some noted she had a hypnotized or drugged look about her in the video, while others simply didn’t find her Satanic blood-orgy tales convincing. One of Icke’s close associates at the time, Ivan Fraser, was openly skeptical about nearly everything she had to say, and felt that Icke had been set up by Illuminati-linked conspirators eager to discredit him. For the most part, however, Icke fans accepted Wilder’s account at face value.

Arizona Today: No More Lizards

In an open letter posted to the blog Silence is Betrayal last June, Jennifer Kealey lays out what she now believes really happened to her. And it does not involve lizards. If Jennifer Nagel wasn’t abused by Mengele, lizards and witches, then what did happen to her?

In her current version of her life story, Jennifer was genetically engineered and assigned to the Nagel family by Dr. Wilder Penfield, the famous neurosurgeon then based at Montreal’s McGill University. Penfield was involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program, according to Mrs. Kealey.

As part of Penfield’s memory research, he induced multiple personalities in young Jennifer via ritualistic trauma. This trauma included Satanism and alleged sexual abuse by her own father (who, in this version, appears to be her biological dad), and was continued into her adulthood by military officials and a group of Benedictine monks (Catholics play a big role in Satanic conspiracies, as we had already seen in the stories of John Todd and Bill Schnoebelen).
In 1998, she was abducted and subjected to “huge amounts of electric shock by unknown perpetrators (which resulted in a hospitalization)”. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, she was being mentally manipulated in advance of her interview with David Icke, who is part of the Satanic conspiracy network Kealey calls The System. It is now her belief that the unknown perpetrators programmed her with false Reptilian stories and guided her in Icke’s direction, in order to shield The System behind a smokescreen of bizarre disinformation. She doesn’t explain precisely how Icke and the other conspirators got her to regurgitate their Reptilian disinfo, or why she gave a 2001 lecture on the topic outside Icke’s presence. Was she hypnotized, or drugged, or was an alter brought forward?
At any rate, she was at least partly conscious of what occurred during the filming of Revelations of a Mother Goddess, because she explains that prior to the interview, she was instructed by Icke not to gesture with her hands, which seems to account for her wooden demeanor in the video. She was also forced to remove her glasses, so she was not able to see very well.

Kealey maintains that she was being prepared for her lizardpeople disinformation role as early as 1996, and was even programmed to change her name to “Arizona Wilder”, “Wilder” being Dr. Penfield’s first name and Arizona State University being one of the institutions that supposedly carried on his diabolical mind-tampering research.

Earlier this year, I wrote to the administrator of the Silence is Betrayal blog with two questions for Mrs. Kealey:
1. Mrs. Kealey’s letter indicates that she currently believes The System operates openly, not covertly. Does this mean the Reptilians she spoke about are not part of The System, as they are said to operate in secrecy?
2. Do you have any information about the psychiatrist who administered sodium amytal to Mrs. Kealey in the ’90s? Is this person still in practice?
Mrs. Kealey responded in an email sent to me on March 20. The body of her message was simply a copy of the open letter itself, with certain passages highlighted. But she had inserted bold, underlined vermilion type into my first question, right after the word “Reptilian”:

“They do not exist.”

After her days on the conspiracy lecture circuit, Wilder had continued to work in the nursing field in spite of continuous harassment and threats on her life. Gradually, she realized that the whole lizard thing was just a cover story fed to her by mind manipulators, and distanced herself from that particular branch of the conspiranoid community. In 2006, she legally changed her name back to Jennifer Nagel.

She now believes that the controlling elite operate openly, without subterfuge, and are planning to stage disasters they will pass off as “acts of God”, killing millions of people in the Northern Hemisphere. 

These days, Mrs. Kealey is engaged in a pitched battle with Immigration Canada over her request to immigrate. She wed Canadian conspiracist Glen Kealey in 2008, and wants to join him at his farm in Oxford Mills, Ontario, known to the Kealeys as “Gimle“. They evidently believe Gimle is one of the few places that will survive the destruction of the world.  

Kealey is, if possible, an even stranger character than his wife. He promotes something called the “PREMISE” and heads the Canadian Institute for Political Integrity (CIPI). On his website (wordsculptor.net), Kealey is described as an activist, but his stock in trade is conspiracy theories and alternative history. He has some peculiar ideas about how modern man developed, which are more or less in keeping with his wife’s version of history. In a largely incoherent writing titled “Lostory“, Kealey attempts to explain how a “sub-species” (whatever that is) of Neanderthal idiot savants rebelled against the matriarchal clan system of their forebears, migrating from the Horn of Africa to mountainous regions in what is now Kenya and Tanzania.
“There, the Neanderthalers SAVANT parts of their brains were connected to-get-her (war on women) in what would form the world’s first human-Artificial Intelligence military computer.” (emphasis in original)

This Neanderthal “computer” mastered alchemy, astronomy, genetic engineering, artificial insemination and cloning.
“With this new found knowledge the Neanderthalers fabricated a new Genetically Engineered race of humans they styled Cro-Magnon…”

Genetically engineering a new species: So easy, cavemen already did it.

This is actually one of the more comprehensible things Mr. Kealey has written, because most of his online communications are written in code, for some reason.

Kealey and Wilder may have been introduced by Joseph Duggan. Duggan is the owner of Strong Eagles Productions, the company that organized David Icke’s Vancouver speaking engagement. According to Public Eye.org, Duggan makes his living in part from organizing B.C. speaking engagements for conspiracy theorists and far-right figures, including Glen Kealey. Kealey and Icke are reportedly on the outs, so it’s likely we won’t be seeing any more Wilder-Icke collaborations for a while. I don’t think I have to point out that this estrangement could explain why Mrs. Kealey has changed her story, do I?

Denied entrance to Canada, Mrs. Kealey relocated to New York, just across the international border from the hobby farm/gate to paradise known as Gimle. She claims she has been denied work since obtaining her New York state nurse’s license in 2010.

Why We Should Probably Not Take Arizona Wilder’s Story at Face Value

If you have to think about that for more than two seconds, please reread the post.

Where’s the Harm?

Sure, it’s silly and clearly a waste of time, but is there any moral hazard in promoting stories about interdimensional Reptilian overlords?

On February 27, 17-year-old Thomas “T.J.” Lane allegedly walked into his high school cafeteria in Chardon, Ohio, and randomly opened fire on other students, killing three and wounding three others. The motivations for this crime are doubtlessly manifold – among other things, Lane comes from a family with a history of violence – but commentators on the case noted that the troubled young man was fond of David Icke’s work.
While Icke is in no way culpable for this young man’s actions, we must examine the implications of classifying people as human and not-quite-human. Icke has stated that not all Reptilians in the universe are necessarily evil, yet makes it very plain that the ones in charge of Earth are truly awful, remorseless bastards. His personal solution to the situation is “infinite love”. But preaching infinite love isn’t going to stop some lunatic from taking out a person he believes could be a Reptilian child rapist, is it?
And the belief in body-snatching aliens is only growing. After his death in 2009, Anomalist Books published Mac Tonnies’s influential book on the subject, The Cryptoterrestrials. Jay Weidner has since taken up his mantle, warning us about evil-minded Archons. Historian David Jacobs got himself into a hell of a mess with his fear of alien-human hybrids. Diazien Hossencofft is in federal prison for persuading his gullible girlfriend that his ex-wife, an unassuming bank teller named Girly Chew, was a Reptilian priestess who had to be slaughtered. Chew vanished in 1999, the same year Revelations of a Mother Goddess was released.

Then there is the problem of mental health. It should be obvious by this point that the woman formerly known as Arizona Wilder is not all there. I’m not a mental health professional and I certainly don’t know what her specific condition is, but I have little doubt that she could benefit from psychiatric treatment. Instead, she warns other “ritual abuse victims” to stay away from the medical and mental health professionals who could help them, because they are all part of The System. In her open letter of June 2011, she had this to say about her fellow SRA victims: “I knew others who had been ritually abused from birth; brought into this world for a purpose not of their own choosing. They struggled too, and many of them have not been able to mentally and emotionally overcome their past. Some of those that I knew were permanently physically affected. A few took their own life because they could not see forward to their healing. Many were simply labeled as ‘mentally ill’. Again, ‘The System’ is there to receive them and swallow them up, and make them ‘comfortably numb’ and convince them that they did not see, hear, or experience what they in fact, did. Further, they have perpetuated the false idea that one can overcome the situation they are in simply by turning to the very system responsible for the abuse, and as long as the victim assumes the responsibility for their situation, be accepted back into the fold and rebury the perpetrations [sic] and abuse.”

Postscript: Canada’s Response to the Lizards

A peculiar footnote to all this occurred in 2000, when the Jewish Canadian Congress and human rights attorney Richard Warman decided that “holographic, interdimensional lizardpeople from Mars” is probably conspiranoid slang for “Jews”. This is clearly not the case, as Icke always separates his anti-Zionist nonsense from his Reptilian nonsense and honestly believes that lizardpeople run the planet. He has made it plain, many times over, that he despises all religions with equal vitriol. He has even been quoted as explicitly stating the New World Order is not a Jewish plot. (1) (Arizona Wilder, for her part, named WASPs, Jews, Muslims and Catholics as Reptilians, implying that any religion can serve as a cover for Satanism.)
But Warman embarked on a largely successful campaign to bar Icke from speaking engagements in Canada, as chronicled in part two of Jon Ronson’s Channel 4 documentary The Secret Rulers of the World (“David Icke, the Lizards and the Jews”) and in Icke’s book Children of the Matrix. Warman was so outraged by Icke’s portrayal of him that he sued Icke, the publishers, and even a few distributors. He also demanded that the British Columbia Libraries Association remove Children of the Matrix from B.C. libraries (the Association complied at the time to avoid being sued, but 2004 legislation now protects libraries from libel suits related to their collections).
Icke has since gone on speaking tours in Canada, and the whole affair was basically a waste of everyone’s time and attention.

This may or may not have something to do with Jennifer Kealey’s present immigration troubles. Regardless, it doesn’t help that she has publicly admitted to slaughtering dozens of people at the behest of holographic interdimensional lizardpeople from Mars.

Sources:

1. The Biggest Secret by David Icke (David Icke Books, 2nd edition, 1999)
2. “Bizarre Experiences of a Mind Control Slave”, Arizona Wilder’s presentation at the 2001 Global Sciences Congress in Denver

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Maybe some people should stick with kitten calendars

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  • According to Swedish toxicologist Carl Johan Calleman, the Mayan Long Count calendar ended on October 28, 2011. This date was based on his own calculations, and doesn’t seem to have been accepted by any other Mayanists; they’re sticking with the December 21, 2012 end date. Calleman tells us the end of the calendar has resulted in a profound shift in consciousness for a number of people, several of whom now experience a “flattening of time, an end to time acceleration.” I have no idea what that’s all about, but if it means they don’t have to adhere to Daylight Savings, then it’s pretty damned cool.
  • Anyway, this is some very bad news if you’ve been following the story of attorney/UFO disclosure activist Peter Gersten. He plans to pitch himself off the top of Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona, on December 21, 2012 at 11:11 UT (4:11 AM in Arizona), in the hope an interdimensional portal will open up and catch him before he hits the ground. Gersten fondly calls this plan his “leap of faith”. Other people call it “OMG WHY”. Gersten explains it all in this 2007 interview with ufologist/filmmaker Paul Kimball, who stays a little too calm throughout. (Kimball, on his blog, opines that the leap of faith is “perfectly logical…within the context of Gerston’s stated beliefs”, and that if Gerston jumps, he will “applaud him for having the courage of his convictions.” Whatta pal.)

I doubt that anyone will be able to talk Mr. Gersten out of this, but I’m calling upon anyone who knows him or can get in touch with him to at least try. Failing that, perhaps we can prevail upon the women of Arizona to start knitting the world’s largest net.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: More media lookalikes

Sadly, Ed Chiarini’s bizarre “media lookalikes” theory appears to be part of a larger trend in conspiranoia. I wouldn’t call it a meme, exactly. It’s really more of a method. A very weird, stupid and useless method. Or perhaps, as my anonymous commenter helpfully pointed out, it’s the Fregoli delusion.

It seems that a dedicated corps of stay-at-home conspiracy researchers is scouring the Internets for evidence that the people they see on TV are…well…other people they see on TV. Aaron Fleszar, on his blog Exposing the Coup, explains that most of the get-rich-now scamsters you see online or on late-night infomercials are actually infamous terror suspects who are being sought by the FBI. Of course, this doesn’t mean the dudes have been successfully evading the FBI on national television. It means the FBI is in on it. And it all has something to do with Castro and Sarah Palin.

Examples:

  • The guy in the Rich Jerk videos is actually Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Fleszar writes, “Sarah Palin claims to be a maverick and a mama grizzly. Mark Cuban came under investigation by the SEC for insider trading of a search engine company named Mamma.” Oh, and both Obama and Sarah Palin claimed to have played basketball in their youth…”this isn’t a coincidence.” And to add some extra weirdness: Robert Johnson, a YouTuber who did parodies of the Rich Jerk videos, is actually Chicago fraudster Tony Rezko.
  • Mark Joyner, star of the 2007 online reality show The Next Internet Millionaire, could be Egyptian-born terror suspect Saif al-Adel.
  • Ted Cuiba (that’s Cuba with an “i”), author of How to Get Rich on the Internet, is probably Abdul Rahman Yassin, an alleged accomplice in the ’93 bombing of the World Trade Center.



I think it goes without saying that if you select the photos carefully, you can make two different people look like the same person.

Another lookalike has been found by a collector of Victorian photos. For a mere $1 million, you could have bought a portrait of Nicholas Cage (c. 1870) on eBay. The seller said Cage is probably one of the undead, reinventing himself in each century, but I think a likelier explanation is time travel. If Travis Bickle can do it, anybody can.