The Power of Belief: A History of Spiritualism (Part I)

  How Two Young Girls Started a New Religion Without Even Trying Spiritualism was an accident, and it was an accident of humble and disturbing origin. It began in a rented two-story cottage in rural Hydesville, New York, in the spring of 1848. The Fox family had just moved to the area in December of... Continue Reading →

Jim Bakker’s Endtimes Buckets o’ Stuff and Coronavirus Cure

Hoarding food and supplies for the apocalypse could be a psychological artifact of the Cold War, consumerism gone haywire or some form of collective insanity. But whatever the root cause of this squirrel-like behaviour, there's no denying it has become a great American pasttime. For thousands of Americans, there is nothing quite so satisfying as... Continue Reading →

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Hoaxes of Space, Air and Land

The 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission is a good time to review the factoids and conspiracy theories that have been junking up the cultural atmosphere since 1969. The Daily Banter has a list of the top 11 Apollo conspiracy theories, but if you're looking for a classic examination of moonbattery, check out... Continue Reading →

Somaly Mam and the Dark Side of Charity

Since 1996, a non-governmental organization known as AFESIP (from the French, Acting for Women in Distressing Situations) has been working to rescue and aid young female victims of human trafficking, operating three centres in Cambodia where the young women are housed and educated. The guiding light of this effort is co-founder Somaly Mam, a Cambodian-born... Continue Reading →

2013: A Very Bad Year for Psychics

A landmark year for extrasensory fail.  Don't Help Me, Rhonda On June 6, 2011, an unassuming ranch near the town of Hardin, Texas (about an hour outside Houston) was swarmed by Liberty County sheriff's deputies, FBI agents, Texas Rangers, and officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety. News choppers buzzed overheard as law enforcement... Continue Reading →

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: The Bogus Christian Memoir Hall of Shame

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... Continue Reading →

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Extra-Stoopid Edition

It's good to be back. My ThinkPad finally succumbed to a series of long-term ailments two weeks ago (Hans has a computer, but can't type with cloven hoofs. I think he just uses it for porn). I've now replaced it. So. On with the weirdness. Folks love a good feral child story. Probably because feral... Continue Reading →

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Steven Greer’s alien + lots of other fake dead aliens

On April 22, Amardeep Kaleka's documentary Sirius will premiere in L.A. Though the film is mostly about magical alien energy sources, like Thrive, the highlight will undoubtedly be the tiny alien body that Dr. Steven Greer has been studying for more than a year. (Update: You can read more about that here. ) Greer's alien... Continue Reading →

The Prodigal Witch X: Derry Mainwaring Knight

God's 007 In the spring of 1983, an unassuming, middle-aged fellow by the lofty name of Derry Mainwaring Knight appeared in Newick, East Sussex, and began attending the local Anglican church, St. Mary's. He became a regular at Bible studies and prayer meetings. He offered to hand out Christian tracts. He told the late vicar,... Continue Reading →

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