Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Two: Helena Blavatsky: the woman who inspired the Nazis, and Gwyneth Paltrow

Part Two: Helena Blavatsky: the woman who inspired the Nazis, and Gwyneth Paltrow

Thu, 25 Aug 2022 10:00

Robert is joined again by Jamie Loftus to continue to discuss Helena Blavatsky.

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So four whole months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Jamie Jamie Loftus, Queen of the podcast frontier. Jenny, how did you get what that was a reference to? Yes, Davy Crockett. Davy Crockett. I never know what you Yankees grow up with. Look, we we don't really grow up with Davy Crockett, but we we grow up with Disney movies that age poorly. So I've heard it well, if you're a Texan, that also makes you think of Rusty Wallace, who is a prominent Honda dealer in North Texas when I was a kid. And had a song about his Honda dealership that was done to the same tune. Really? Yeah. There you go. Four people who grew up in North Texas the same time that I did. Yeah, there there is nothing. Remember those ads? There are so few things in this world that can bond to people as quickly as knowing the same local ad. It is like a rare. It's the truest bond. It's the truth really is that exists. Marriage means nothing next to having both seen. Listen to Jim Adler. The Texas hammer adds before he killed himself. And no, it's a it's a bleak story, Jamie. You don't want to hear about the Texas hammer and what went down. The New England had landscape was was pretty bleak as well. I guess less cowboy hats. Not none. Probably not none. Wherever there is smoking, huh, I'm not ohh. Don't gaslight me. You just blew up. Robert that was peak *******. Peak ******* blowing smoke into the camera on your computer as Jamie asks you a question and I could and I can smell it, first of all and and another thing, it was menthols because I hate me some Joe Biden. Who else hated Joe Biden? Jamie Loftus? Who? Helena blavatsky. Ohh well, she became aware of him decades before his birth. In her perusal of the year, she was psychic. She was psychic. She read about him in in the Ethereal library system that she's exists in. Her theology. The what is one of the esoteric terms I kept coming? It was like Kaushik records the Akashic Records. Yes, yes, yeah, we'll talk about that more. Much later. She had dinner in Florida. I was trying to unpack the Akashic records for me and I was like, what are these like, can you describe? And he is like, I I don't, I don't know. I don't really know. Talking about Cairo and like Alexandria and the Library of Alexandria and like that, the records are the ethereal equivalent of the Library of Alexandria. And Helena Blavatsky invents them, so we're going to be talking about that later. Don't worry, I have. I have found that people will attribute whatever vague thing that they they'll just be like, yeah, it's in the Akashic records and like the Akashic records. Exists for it's the big projection text. Write about it in the Akashic records. There's a future book about it or something, and you're like, how many? How many topic is because everything Akashic records cause, it's all over the place based on how everything is everything that's ever been written. So it's a library outside of time. So, like, you can read about the future by just like reading some history books somebody wrote, you know, the way Lena Blavatsky was aware of the fact that Donald Trump in the future would attempt to strangle a Secret Service agent to take control of the limousine away from him? 666 yeah, because that's got to be in there somewhere. So anyway, when we left off, Helena had kayaked her way to freedom and escaped from her. I don't know. Evil husbands really the right thing to say because spoilers. He spends the rest of his life like sending her money whenever she has and she does not love definitely her husband. She does not see his as someone she wants to be around, and he did lock her in a castle, so whatever. That's reason enough to not marry someone, sure, but he does keep sending her money, so I don't know. You can think about it however you want. And Dom, yeah, definitely some findom energy going off here. I'll also throughout her entire life. So yeah, I mean, she was a scammer. She was kind of finding about 20 years. She is in the wind, right? There are stories and very detailed stories in both of our biographies about everything she was doing during this period of time. We have no way of knowing if any of them are true. We definitely know a lot of them are false. There's a bunch of wild **** in here. She's in like 2 different boat crashes that kill almost everybody. On the boat, this is the area of her life I'm more familiar with is like the wild stories that are unverifiable. Yeah, absolutely unbearable. And there's a bunch of stories. There's one when she's a little girl, there's a story that she, like, partly falls off a horse and, like, should have died, but the spirit saved her. And it's like, man, I had like, I had a horse bolt on me when I was a kid. A lot of kids have a slightly scary experience with a horse or a car or something else that moves faster than things should move. It does. It's not the ghosts, but whatever spirits save you. No, the horse got back to like, ran back to where it lived and then didn't want to run anymore. It was just scary because I wasn't in control. I don't know that I like. It's just a horse that decided to run back home. It didn't want to listen to me. It happens with horses, I assume. I never read a horse, rode a horse again. Well, fair enough. Well, not for any particular. I just it's not a lot of opportunities to ride horses. My cousin was riding a horse once at the Jesus Horse camp. We used to get scholarships to go to when we were kids and it died. While she was riding it, Jesus Christ, it just kind of it just. It just kind of sat down, he said. Just gave up. That's she sat on a horse and it decided life was done. It just never really sorry. That's that's extremely funny. The horse just committed suicide. I have secondhand trauma. Really old. It was at. It was at a camp in the middle of it. Pretty ****** ** if it was young. So wow, they definitely worked that horse to death. That's sad. That's actually very depressing. But also so formative for me, where I don't remember any of the Jesus stuff, but I do remember that when my cousin sat on the horse and it died, and I remember that for some reason they like. Because you would just be doing Jesus stuff, horse stuff, Jesus stuff, horse stuff, occasional arts and crafts dinner, no contact with the outside world, and you. But there was like one time where we had to watch a horse dental procedure and I remember being like, I don't want to can I leave? And they were like, no. Like, you need to watch. Here's how we show a horse. Or like, but like, you don't. It's a horse rider. You're never gonna need to learn how to do dentistry on your horse. That's not your job. That's that's that's why you go to horse. Christian, 9 year olds. Do you need to watch a horse get a dental procedure? They taught you more about that than they did about sex, though. Oh, for sure. When all they need. I did see a horse get a ******* all the canal to do to teach you about sex. Slam a big fat subway footlong. Down on the table and walk out of that room. Go now, kids, about sex. I know we have to talk about Helena Blavatsky, but I do. I've seen this opinion circulating more, and it really brings me pleasure to see that people are finally, you know, kind of coming around to this. The best food at Subway are the cookies. The cookies at Subway, major? Are you kidding me? White macadamia white chocolate macadamia nut hardegree? Jamie Loftus. But I do have some opinions about the life of Helena Blavatsky and over the next 20 years after escaping, she goes all over the place. She starts a spiritual society and in Cairo, which like falls apart and like 2 weeks, what? What span of years are we talking? This is like 1849 to like 1870 or like 1850, something like that to 18, like 71 or 72 prehar encountering spiritualism. Or like, you know, I mean she encounters it as a kid. According to her, right, she's talking to Prince Gallitzin. She's reading her grandpa's occult library. She hung out with those horse nomads. Right. And she's like, because American spiritualism starts in 1848. So I'm just trying to figure out when she she is and she is. She is. So when she starts a spiritual and spiritualism society in Cairo, the first time, that's right. After she starts her visit, they're doing seances, they're doing medium ****. They're very much doing America. Like, spiritualism, like, starts in America, gets over to Europe, and then eventually. Further S later. And like, they're doing that sort of **** in in in Cairo. She's doing the Fox sister ****. OK, yeah. Yeah. And again, we'll we'll talk to them. We'll talk about them a bit later, but it's it is unclear she we we're pretty it's pretty clear that she attempts and fails to start a spiritual society, mainly because the other medians start like, grifting people and turning it into a cash thing and it falls apart. That's her claim. That's the whole first wave of spiritualism. Might be more accurate to say that the grift. Just got away from her and she wasn't able to prop. But anyway, she goes to Paris, where, according to her own recollections, she astonished a group of Freemasons with her depth of occult knowledge. There's no evidence of this. We do know that in 1858, after she's been nearly ten years, like 1849, like that she she starts her journey in like 1858 after nearly ten years, because she comes back home a couple of times for like, money and stuff. She tells her sister that she'd spent the last decade as a prostitute. Now her sister is also kind of a grifter. So we don't really know. Like they have a falling out at some point. It is entirely possible that she spends as her, you know, year that that's how she finances her travel. There's out. We don't really know how she pays for it. OK, because I was kind of what I was like is, is she using sex work as a metaphor there or is she, does she mean it in the literal sense? It might be. It might be literal. She may have just gotten the money from her husband, who she also visits occasionally during this. And who's apparently sends her money. She comes from a rich family. She probably gets some money there, but. What what is certain is that she travels widely throughout Europe, throughout the Middle East and throughout Southeast Asia, and that she semi regularly receives money from someone. And there's a couple of it's probably a couple of different people like her family and her dad patrons. She gets some amount of money. And yeah, she's she's in her. Her claim is that she's having, like, a series of wide-ranging, like mystical adventures, that kind of the inciting incident for her spiritual journey. And like, this. According to her claim of things, is that in 1851 she meets a teleporting Hindu Mystic named Master Morya in London. Now she claims she recognizes this guy when she sees him in London because she'd seen him in her dreams and visions, which she had been having again, as a little girl. She's talking about these dreams and visions. Claims she's been seeing this guy for decades in her dreams and visions, and then she meets him at a hotel lobby in London and I'm going to quote from Stawinski again, the man told Blavatsky had been waiting for her. It was planned long ago, he explained. They kept talking master morya, for that was how he introduced himself to Helena, explained he had a special mission for her. Madame Blavatsky had to go to a secret school in Tibet that Myranda together with his friend Master Kuthumi. After he said that, he literally vanished into thin air. Now Blavatsky later claimed that this inspired a series of attempts to try and make her way to the isolated Kingdom of Tibet. At this point Tibet was independent of China and anyone else, and in the West it was basically mythic as almost no westerners had ever been there. The Kingdom was geographically isolated and bandits and border guards would either kill or turn back people who tried to enter. The first European woman on record to see Tibet was Alexandra David Neel in 1932. Blavatsky claimed that in the 1860s she made her way. Into the country and lived there for several years, studying with Kuthumi and Moriya. Now this did not happen again. Tibet is a closed society to the West at this point. It is occasionally like European diplomatic officials and stuff will go to Tibet, but you really don't get in easily and it's very dangerous to do so. There is, however, like weirdly enticing evidence that she might have gotten close to Tibet a couple of times. She claims she tried and failed to get in twice. Lachman traces a couple of enticing leads of like. There's a couple of European officials in India who later will say that they met a woman matching her description near Kashmir and, like satin, had like tea with her and hung out for a while and like, hosted her for a while. And we know those those Buddhist tribesmen that she met as a girl she meets again in this. In the Gobi desert, not wildly far from the Tibetan border. So again, this definitely didn't happen. But like any good lifter. She gets close enough. There's a like, and because of her back story, it's like, it's not impossible of the women in this. She's maybe one of the only ones who realistically might have been able to get to Tibet, could have some reactions, right? Yeah, that's so, but it's. But so much of her philosophy depends on this lie being true. Yes, all of that, 100% of it. She claims that during her years in Tibet, she learned she stays with her kuthumi and master Maria in this. And they're like. A cult compound, and she learns all these ancient Mystic secrets and the secret history of the world. And yeah, so this is a very important period of journey for her, that she's like, she's getting this occult schooling and like, and it's also like in the real Hinduism and Buddhism, right, like this stuff that that is not actually like she's inventing when she later brings knowledge of like Eastern religions to a lot of Americans. A lot of it **** she invented, but she'll claim we'll talk about this more later that like, well, no, they just the the Hindus and India don't know the truth, but I got it directly from Master Moria or from Kuthumi who like. Though the real **** with stuff like this, it's just like, I mean, it's there's certainly another big name that comes to mind with this **** but you're just like, just, like, be a novelist like your mom. Like what? Why exactly? Right. Cool novel about this ****. It's fine. Probably would been a little racist, but it was the 18 for sure. No one's gonna do but much better than you. It's like L Ron Hubbard ****. You're like, just stick to that. Come on. Yeah. No, it doesn't have to be a religion. She does not. So, you know, this is a big part of her. Story during that like 20 years. She also will claim frequently later that she fights alongside Italian revolutionary, I think Giuseppe Garibaldi and gets like shot several times. She has some scars on her body that she'll show people the rest of her life and be like this is where I got shot fighting you know with Garibaldi in this in this failed revolution against like the Catholics and the king or the Catholics and like, yeah, basically was like revolution to try to gain in Italy some independence from *******. Catholicism or whatever. She yeah, claims that she learned secrets from Mystics all over the world, in the Middle East and in in Tibet. She goes to the United States. Obviously she hangs out with indigenous people and learns their mystical traditions and stuff, right. And rebrands and has her own. I'm sure that we don't like, who knows the degree to which all of this is true? I I tend to think it's about 15%. Yeah, most likely ********. And that like yeah, she probably like went to a ******* the equivalent of a truck. Stop. And, like, was briefly, like, Shook hands with a Navajo person and then wrote lurid stories about how, like, she was instructed in their traditions and whatnot. Like, that's the kind of person she is. You know, it's like if that, I mean, if she did, she is very possible. If it wasn't just someone in ******* a San Francisco bar who had been to Arizona, told her a story and like, yeah, well, it's like, also if she was like, yeah, she was fraternizing with, like, white spiritualists in the 19th century. They. We're just making **** up about indigenous people while they were massacring them. Yes. And so this is possible that she, like, talked to them and was like, OK, let's just take this at face value, even though there's like, almost everything. Yeah. Spiritualist said at that time was like, totally wrong. Yes. And one. So one of the very few solid things we can kind of grasp on during this. Is that she takes, she moves to Cairo a second time, she attempts to create this is years later, a second spiritual society, and this is again. An attempt. This is when the spiritualist craze is kind of at its height. So she's she's continually trying to cash in on the spiritualist craze in Cairo. Because there's a lot of, like, rich dilettante white people in living in Cairo, right. Because it's, you know, colonizer types. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And she basically seems to have put together a group of mediums and set them to the task of bilking rubes for cash. Blavatsky was said to have used a long glove stuffed with cotton as a spirit hand, basically puppeting it to, like, do things and trick people into thinking. Some of the ghost that was like, I mean that was some of the best objects. That's some of the best of of like both of the waves of spiritualism. That's like some of the greatest stuff because it's like, well, yeah, it can be a terrific grift. The the physical mediumship phase is it's just you can wild she all she loves. She was big into having a physical dimension. We're gonna talk about this a lot over the course of these episodes. Yeah, that is no longer the case because it was proven false, like just so many times that most people don't bother. And at this point I have to note the Long Glove stopped with cut stuff with cotton as it ghost hand was not a good grift trick. It does not seem to have worked on many people now. Lochman claims the woman who like says this of Blavatsky, that she tried to con people with a big fake cotton hand was a liar herself. And again, everyone who was arguing on the negative side of Blavatsky's life is also a con artist, spiritual grifter. So it is it is everyone is questionable who says anything about this woman. Most physical mediums artists have been disproved but the OK the best of of what I know because there were there's like all this I don't know like there's all this lore of like there were a few spiritual like physical mediums who were never disproven and then you can like sort of find examples to the case that like they may have been disproven and then paid someone off or like the situations like that. But the most convincing spirit hands which is covered in I think we talked about it in your the episode of Ghost. And if you're using like animal guts, people will start there. You can't just be a cotton hand. It's gotta be goopy and wet. And because first, for whatever reason, I people were more likely to believe that physical mediumship was real. If it was wet. And there was like this common belief that like if you went beyond the veil and reached through to like, our dimension, you'd be goopy. And so women would. Would. Yeah. Oh, there was a lot to do with like, yeah. As you talk about in your show, like vaginal discharge and like ectoplasm and all this stuff. Like, it's a whole history. Yeah. And it became this, like this. I I'm curious of like, what Blavatsky did specifically, but if she's using a bone dry cotton hand, people don't. That's not a show people are interested in going to. And that's where she is. She's a dry *** medium at this point, right. I mean, she hasn't. She's not goofing it up. The way they're gonna figure out how to get America very wet. But she doesn't know yet. Also, she's in Cairo. So here's here's lochman writing about the kind of the claims of blavatsky's time in her second Spiritualist Society quote. Blavatsky's own account has it that although she was against the idea of contacting the dead, she would allow mediums to perform. Emma Colomb was apparently one of these, and then explained to the audience the truth behind the phenomena. What Bolotsky wanted to show was the difference between a passive medium, that is, someone who is merely the means by which phenomena could occur, and what she called an active doer, someone who could produce and control the phenomena and not. As with mediums, be controlled by them. In other words, a magician. That is in essence what she learned in Tibet or wherever she was. Yet Helena Blavatsky claimed to be a poor judge of character, at least at this time. Or perhaps her generous nature was taken advantage of something that will prove to be the case down the line. In any case, while she was away, the mediums amateurs according to her account, decided to try to fleece the members of the society by staging fake seances. They also drank a great deal, something Helena was decidedly against when she returned. Discovered what had happened. She closed the society down. Not, however, before a Greek madman who had been present at the only two public seances we held, she wrote, tried to shoot her. She thought he must have been possessed by some vile spook. Although the society out lasted only two weeks, the attempt on her life, if it was not an exaggeration, weeks and, Oh yeah, two weeks. She goes from starting a spiritual society to a guy trying to assassinate her in a bunch of mediums, like creating a con artist ring. Two weeks. It's amazing. Yes. I mean this does all kind of track that she I mean and not to say that the Spiritualist mediums were like actually pulling **** off statistically they were not. But there was like I I it felt to me when I was doing and again I didn't get really far in Theosophy research but that it was so because there was like such a huge controversy around spiritualism and people like it was just it's like the easiest thing to use as like. Well, this is fake. What I'm doing is real because it just had such a bad reputation. And that's what this that's what we're building towards here. Because, like she will later claim that this experience and Lachman, one of her biographers will claim that, like, this experience is what helps her to realize that spiritualism is wrong. Specifically like this assassination attempt, which she believes is, like, caused by this guy being possessed by a vile spook. Is there proof that the assassination attempt happened? Absolutely not. OK, I was just like, OK, just checking, but this is what Lochman says proves her point. Quote. What her mediums were contacting were not the souls of the dear departed, but a species of astral hobo psychic tramps with nothing better to do than hover near the borderland between the living and the dead looking for some mischief. It was the insight that would lead to a lifelong feud between Helena Blavatsky and the major spiritualists of her time. And I gotta say, Astral Hobo. ******* good band name, right? That huge. In the 90s. Huge. In the 90s. Mostly forgotten now, but really only because of that island punk scene at one time. They had that concert where 14 people burned to death. But yes, really good band. OK, let's let's ease off Rhode Island for a second, OK? Because some people were really sad when they learned about that, when they were 10 or whatever. I don't know. It was sad anyway. But I yeah, it makes it there. Especially at this time. Getting as far away from spiritualism as popular was how a lot of movements started. Yes, exactly. And and that's that is how Blavatsky claims it happens. And she went on to make something way worse. So then she does a bunch of other **** like, again, this. There's this whole period you can read, both in Lachman's and Meads biographies. You can read many pages about what she's supposedly did in this. I'm not gonna get into detail on it because it's almost certainly mostly nonsense, although she definitely went places and did stuff, and it was probably pretty interesting. I'm going to guess the actual biography of Helena Blavatsky is also quite interesting, just not very flattering. So she, you know, we know she like bums around Europe. About her precise moments are unclear, but when she comes up on the historic next definitive of the historic record next definitively, it's in the United States. So we we're pretty sure because there's, you know, government docs and **** that Helena Blavatsky lands in New York on July 7th, 1873. I've definitely heard some people say it was 1872. I assume lachman's not wrong here because it's such a documented, basic fact. She's 42. Years old now. This is not her first time in the United States, according to her. I don't actually know that there's documentation that she visited before, but it wouldn't have been weird if she had gone through the US on her way to India because of how travel worked at the time, right? Yeah, she claims that she was supposed to ride there on a first class ticket, but gave it up to help a poor family afford the journey. There is no evidence this is true. Meade seems to say. This is clearly a lie. Lackman takes it because, again, he's he's very invested in her being. A hero to the poor. UM, so she says. She arrives with only a few dollars to her name, plus a massive fortune in cash that Master Moria gave her, but that she wasn't allowed to spend right. She couldn't use it at all. She had to give it to a random guy in Buffalo. There's cod. Cool. Because again she's getting messages these spiritual they told her to go to Tibet. Now they're they keep giving her commands all through her life. So she she gets like told where to find this package of money and she has to take it to Buffalo. Again. Zero. And again again it's like that's there's like huge spiritualists like overlap there because it was all like almost exclusively in upstate New York was like where it was popular. Yes. Yeah. Now, next, Lockman claims that she basically lives the life of like a stereotypical immigrant to the United States. Quote her adventures. In the next few years are a kind of American success story in which a penniless foreigner arrives in the New World and through courage, persistence, and determination, makes good. Now, this is nonsense, in part because she gets a bunch of family money at some point, but she is she doesn't see the entire time. Well, no, she seems to have been poor for a while. There were like issues with her getting her money, and like, if you have like an issue getting money mailed to you, that could be years. So she is like living in a working class house, both meat and lackman. Then she becomes like the Den Mother for this, like bunch of immigrants making a hard Scrabble living in the late 1800s in New York City. Now Mead notes that and and one of the ways in which her story differs from differs from lachman's. Mead notes that Blavatsky got the idea to go to the United States during while she was in Paris in the spring of 1873, and someone tells her about spiritualism and that it's taken over the United States. This is probably not true, because she would have been doing like, it's weird. I don't know, it's a weird. Time to make. But she promised to be something she'd be 25 years late, too. I I think maybe the the germ of truth in there is that she probably goes there because somebody in ******* Paris is like, you know, where people are making a **** load of money, pulling off the gifts that you failed to pull off, and Kirk City is ******* New York City. That's where that vital work. So we should probably talk about Spiritualism. There's some stuff you've been alluding to, Jamie, that maybe our listeners who haven't listened to Ghost Church because they're cooks, don't know cooks. Legally they are, yes. Sophie what? It's time for an ad break. But you were on a roll. Ohh, thank you. You know who's not cooked? Wow. OK, you cannot verify that. Wow, you're right. You're right. Hard to prove. Honestly. Fine either way. It's all good. It's all good in this discriminate here. Yeah, get cucked get not cucked be the cuckold. B. And the magpie fetishism? I'm not sure what that is. But figure out a way to get into whatever the **** yeah. Yeah. Surgically implant an egg into another person. Actually, now that you say that that definitely exists in court, that's gotta be a fetish, right? That it has to be a fetish. Absolutely has to be a fetish. Ohh God, yeah. I mean, there are there, there is specifically a sex toy that, like, you can pump eggs into somebody with. They're made out of like a gelatin. That's nasty. I don't. Well, that's a thing that people can do if they want to. Do an ad break. My God, man. Yeah, here's some ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying. Or for a family. And it meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. 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It's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time when you want to be a better problem solver therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better Better help calm behind this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? That's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Religious history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back, and we're talking about the sex toy that lets you squirt eggs up in your partner. It's called the ovipositor. You make the eggs at us some gelatin thing. It's a whole. It's a thing. You can look it up, then you can find it the name. Like, makes up for how horrible this entire thing is. It's good ****. Really, it's good ****. Like, I can't even be mad. I am jacked. I have changed. But like, I'm not mad. That I had a physical response to Jamie. Jamie literally backed off. Wow. Over. That's that's a gnarly name. OK, well, that's good to know. With this script, let's move on. So what's, what's going on, Robert? OK, so after she invents the overpass, no. OK. Like most great movements in American intellectual history, spiritualism started with the lies of a child. Two children, actually, 15 years. I'm looking at the picture of this, of the ovipositor. I don't like it. Well, Jamie. Thank you will make it. You're not. The names are kind of funny. You're also not the Hive Queen, Dragon ovipositor, ice serpent Aquarius, the kelpie, the tentacle ovipositor the Dragon *****. The sea beast. Come back. Come back. He's about to talk about my girl. Your girl stuff you like. Yeah, yeah, my, my, my foxy lady. So these two liars who start spiritualism are OK. Relax that down real quick. 15 year old Maggie Fox and her 11 year old sister Katie the Fox family lived outside of Newark and that blighted hellscape some fools call New York State. Ohh, Rochester adjacent. Yeah, they're Rochester adjacent, 11 assumes like most children, they were little ***** and they decided they wanted to scare their mom by creating weird sounds that would echo in their drafty farmhouse. They started by tying strings to apples and then dropping them on the stairs repeatedly to simulate the footsteps of a sort of ghost, which is pretty creative. You got to give them credit for sure. Maggie and Katie graduated to popping and thumping sounds, often by popping their knuckles or snapping their toes together. They could snap their loading their knees. Yeah, it's like. ****** ** ****. And they would do it with like even their shoes and socks on and it was still loud enough that it would like wake their parents up and they could do it. Barely moving. Which is bucking overfilled over time. Again, I have a feeling I'm going to object to a few of your your broader characterizations of the foxes, but I'm saying this of the foxes. If systematic massive discrimination of women didn't exist, they would have been huge in early Hollywood. We'll see. I totally agree with you. And in the radio maybe because it's more sound based but whatever. Yeah, there's what? There's. One Fox sister that I think is primarily at fault here. We'll get there. Yeah, I think the only fox that I would not blame for this is Fox Mulder. He's just trying to find the truth. Anyway, I'm gonna quote now from a write up on history net. Maggie later claimed that she and Katie planned a final performance for their mother in which they would talk to the ghost. After the wrapping sounds had begun in the evening of March 31st, 1848, Miss Fox rose lit a candle and began searching the house. When she reached her daughter's bed, Katie peered into the darkness and boldly addressed the ghost. Mr Split foot. Do as I do, she said, snapping her fingers in the cadence of the earlier. Noises. The appropriate wraps followed. Maggie then clapped her hands four times and commanded the ghost to wrap back for an ox followed as if on cue, Katie responded by making soundless finger snapping gestures that in turn were answered with wraps. Taking pity upon her terrified mother, Katie then offered a hint of explanation for the sounds. Oh mother, I know what it is. Tomorrow is April Fool Day and it's somebody trying to fool us, she began. But Miss Fox apparently can refused to consider the suggestion of a prank. The ghost, she believed, was real and terrified though she was. If you decided to test it herself initially, she asked the ghost to count to 10. After it responded appropriately, she asked other questions, among them the number of children she had borne. 7 Raps came back. How many were still living? 6 raps? Their ages? Each was wrapped out correctly as Miss Fox later recalled that she then demanded if it was an injured spirit make 2 wraps. Promptly 2 knocks were returned. Missus Fox then wanted to know who the ghost was in life. Maggie and Katie quickly concocted an answer. The spirit they claimed was a 31 year old married man. Head for two years and the father of five. Will you continue to wrap if I call in the neighbors? Their mother asked that they may hear it too. So that's the start of all this is right. Like, that is the start. Yeah. And then the whole neighborhood gets in on it and it very quickly gets out of the control of these two kids. Yeah. Very immediately. And again, like their kids trying to **** with an adult. And then the adult just doesn't seem to get it even when they pull the April fools thing. And it it very quickly becomes something that like, well, if you tell the truth now, like, right. Well, it is Oh yeah, it it got out of their hands really quickly. And it's also like. At this time in this area, there were a lot of like, this was like, I mean, this specific thing happening was unique, but there were a lot of similar cases reported. So it was like, I feel like it's really often characterized like they were just ******* idiots. But it was like, this had been reported as news before, so there was some precedent for it. And then it's when their older sister becomes involved that it really becomes an issue because I always, I don't know, I feel bad because, like, they were *******. Heads, they're ******* kids. Like, I call them liars jokingly. Like they're children who had like were ******* around and the adults around them, like all adults, are like idiots who are easily LED in fanatic directions and and very, really gonna do. Yeah, exactly. They're religious. They're it's like, it's like the kind of the opposite of a satanic panic because I guess people weren't. Well, I mean, that does happen too. That does happen too. There's like a backlash from the church in their town as well. It's a fascinating. Story their children. Obviously it's not their fault that they when they're it's almost. I don't I haven't watched South Park in a long time. But you know a lot of old South Park episodes like the plot would basically be all of the adults get it into some like it, like it, it do something like get onto some insane bandwagon and it causes problems and like the kids are just kind of caught in the middle of it. It's kind of like that story. Like all of the adults in this town are just like immediately lose their minds and the girls just have to keep going along with it. It's very funny. Yeah. And then when their sister gets involved, because they have a sister who's in her, like, 30s who comes over, she's a single mom who's like, kind of barely making ends meet and, like, basically sees an opportunity with what they're doing and, like, realizes that this is something that she can monetize. So there's like, so many different, I don't know, like, the story as it's later told was that, like, the older sister was able to convince the girls that what they were doing was real and like. But to establish like, Oh well, this, it's not morally wrong what we're doing. You're just, you're just passing along messages. And then the sister, the older sister would mostly profit from it and was always in control of the money and the tour schedule and all this stuff. So my actually, there's a place I might suggest our listeners go if they want to know more about this. You actually might really benefit from listening to this podcast. It's called ghost church Oht. And it it really has a lot of fascinating stuff about American spiritualism in it. A friend of mine made it you you. You wouldn't know her. I don't like podcasts, so they're hard for me to listen to, especially if it's a woman talking. It really bothers me. Voices are so hard just grading. Get one of those like Mafia voice changers so that it goes like it makes her sound like a man. I just hope it doesn't get political because I just don't like when podcasts get political. Jamie, you may be a great candidate for my new device, the Jocko Willink Podcast Voice Changer. If you want to listen to a podcast by a woman but you don't want it to be woke, you just turn this on and it sounds like that Navy SEAL guy who started the grift of Navy seals. Getting books and making millions of dollars. And now it's a podcast every like, look, you want whoever you want. The lady from serial. One of the NPR ladies. You you can make any lady sound like Jocko Willick. And thus not woke. Wow. OK, cool. I'm in. We also have a reverse device that makes Doctor Jordan B Peterson sound like Kamala Harris. So, like, whatever you like, what? Sorry, I'm just. I am trying to imagine Sir Jordan Peterson aphorisms smoking in her voice. It's pretty funny. Funny? Yeah, exactly. Boy making it, making it good. For now, whether you're an intern, liberal mommies everywhere, or an insufferable left winger if you want to listen to podcasts that you shouldn't be listening to based on the things you say on Facebook by our voice changing devices. God, what a long, pointless bit. I'm so sorry you got there. Right. We got there. So yeah, it's it's the Fox sisters, you know, get themselves in a little bit of trouble. The neighbors come over and one of the visitors suggests, like, trying to create a code for the ghost that can wrap all the letters of the alphabet. And this really expands the number of things you can do in a seance. There's a funny moment where, like, the girls are pretending to be a murdered peddler buried in the basement. So the adults try to excavate the basement, but then it rains just in time to, like, flood the basement. So they can't. Send you the excavation. So, like, the rumors keep spreading and soon the Fox Girls are traveling all around. I say the United States, like the east, but that was most of the United States at this point. It's why. I mean, like, it does get them access to, like, all these, like educational, like **** never would have gotten access to. There's Katie fox. If you're a girl in 1848, like, this is your best bet. Katie Fox lived with Horace Greeley for a while. Like, it's like all this ******* wild stuff. Like they. Yeah, they're they're. Older sister gets involved at one point and like, well, that's what I'm saying. The older sister is the one that's running the business. Yeah, she turns it into like a a solid grift. And she becomes a medium as well. And, like, now it's a whole production. Yeah. And and it's a the claim that Leia makes who is their older sister, like in her version of events, which is her, like, claiming that this is all legitimate. Is that more as wild? Yeah. Seeing what her sisters were doing made her think about the work of a guy named Andrew Jackson Davis, who was a best selling author at the time. And Andrew Jackson Davis wrote the divine principles of nature. His work itself was based on the writings of an 18th century European Mystic, theologian, and scientist named Emanuel Swedenborg, who again that Prince, that Blotsky was hanging his big Swedenborg guy too. Now Swedenborg wrote that all human experience was a fraction of a spirit larger spiritual universe. In 1847 David Davis had, like written his book which kind of made Swedenborg's theories popular, and this is the first time we get this. It's kind of like the early version of the the the world is a simulation. Thing like his eyes. Swedenborg's idea is that the material world is like a shadow of the spiritual universe, and this is how the dead are able to be in regular contact with the living. Like, the dead are constantly interacting with us, even if we don't realize it, because we can't see the larger spiritual universe. And he had, Davis had predicted that the truth was eventually going to, like, become present in the form of a living demonstration, right? Eventually there's going to be physical proof of the spiritual world, and of the communication that happens between those two worlds. So that's what Davis writes in this book that becomes very popular. And it's worth noting, Davis himself is a pretty good grifter. He claims to have psychic powers that make him a human X-ray machine. So he would have he this was I mean yeah it's like Davis Swedenborg and like Anton Mesmer like all their stuff into mesmer enough. But yeah, he's a big part of this too. He those are like the the guys and they're they're still. I mean Davis in particular is still like hugely like mentioned in spirit. Like the yeah. Place that I took a table tipping like a spiritualist like demonstration. It's like the Andrew Jackson Davis building. Like it's still super, super present and their stuff was like he could see through your body and tell which organs were sick and could diagnose health problems. And he would also he would have seance conversations with dead medical experts. This is exactly the grift that John of God executes in Brazil's Direct Line of descendant ideologically between Andrew Davis and John of God. Who's this? Brazilian Grifter who is having seances with dead doctors who give him advice on how to cure people and then he does like psychic surgeries on them, right? Everyone after these guys is just taking apart pieces of the **** they say and making new grifts out of them up to the present moment, right? Very little has been invented in like spiritualism and this like kind of wooley side of it that is new in the last 150 years. It's just different mixups. It's kind of like. I don't know. If I knew more about hip-hop, I'd probably be able to make a good hip hop joke here, but I'm not. It is a lot of like, recycled ideas or or repackaged ideas as new technologies become available, because there's very few, like, practicing spiritualists now, but it's more migrated to the new movement. Yeah, exactly. New age is modern spiritualism. In a way, yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's there. Yeah. It's it's like, it's like, I don't know, it's like the Protestantism of spiritualism or something, whatever. And I'm into a lot of it. Philosophy, probably more like the Catholicism of, I don't know, it's useless to try to make these comparisons, but whatever. Everything that, like, we're dealing with today and like the weird New Age woo movement, the pieces of it are being invented by these guys now. And so Lea, you know, decides. And I think again as a grifter. Say it's like, OK, this book is a bestseller. That's what we need to like, angle this as. It's like we're the physical manifestation of of the spiritual reality of the universe that Davis predicted was coming. And the fact that all of this starts to go viral in local news stories just sort of causes an eruption of this very shallowly buried desire for supernatural communication. And again, people always wish that they could talk with their dead loved ones, right? That's probably. As long as there have been humans, there has been a desire to, like, communicate with people who are gone. Yeah. Versions of seances had been happening for like thousands of years. Yeah. Yeah, this. And so once this people very quickly and obviously there is a kind of conservative religious backlash against this. We're not going to get into that a lot because that's not the story we're telling today. But most regular people are pretty happy to, like, buy into this, at least for a little while, and the idea takes off, like ******* gang. Clusters Maggie and her sisters visit New York City in 1850 and in short order they were feted and appeared in front of some of the most prominent people of the city doing their medium stick, including James Fenimore Cooper. They raised his sister for a post mortem conversation and Cooper walks away. Very impressed. So suddenly spiritualism is everywhere. Magazines and newspapers launched the medium setup or mediums set up shop in every state. People immediately start copying the Fox sisters. And most of them are teenage girls and young women. UM, yeah. Yeah. Which is, which is like a cool as part of, like. And and that happens in the second revival of spiritualism, too, is like, it's a way for, like, one of the only ways in America for, like, a woman to be a spiritual leader. And I think the the Shakers were kind of one of the only other movements where that was possible, that it was like a woman. Like in this. There's a degree to which the Southern Baptists are doing some of that. But, but, you know, we, we we talked about that this week. Like that was one of the things that had made them controversial more in like the 1600s. But yeah, like, and so this is there's a there's an ability to like, gain social mobility as a young woman by doing this, some control over your own life, some money. And also it's justified in like their quote UN quote theology. The idea is that young women and girls have pure souls if they're virgins, which you have to assume like you're always going to claim you are. And that makes them easy conduits for the spirit world is that they're they're which also like it, like, you know, blows back in the expected way. Where it's like as spiritualism goes on, women are mediums, but like men write the theory and the history and all this stuff, so they're they're it's they're still disenfranchised and that's more franchise be different. But yes, exactly. She controlled the narrative. Yeah. Now by 1854, spiritualists claimed there were between one and 2,000,000 spiritualists in the United States. So obviously that's fake. That's that's for sure. But a lot, certainly hundreds of thousands a lot. It depends on how you like, not necessarily spiritualist. That this was the center of their theology because most people don't become spiritualists and that they discard everything else. But it's like, no, well, it's layered onto your current Catholic. But I also believe this person can talk to the dead, you know? Yeah, that fits in with my Catholicism or whatever. Yeah. Which is still kind of how it functions today. Like, it's it cost. Religion is layers. Well, for most people. Mom, I don't think ever knew a *** **** thing about Hinduism and was just kind of more or less Christian all her life but believed very strongly in reincarnation. Just like people do this, right? This is just how human beings are. You take bits and pieces of what other people tell you and you incorporate it into your and that's fine. There's a lot of spiritualism stuff that I'm like, yeah, sure, yeah, sure, whatever. Yeah, yeah, it's whatever. I don't care. But yeah, a lot of people are into spiritual. And again, it's probably useless to say they're spiritualist, but I'm. I wouldn't be surprised if one to two million Americans. Became convinced that, like, you could talk to ghosts through mediums, right? And a lot of this also had to do with the fact that it's like. I don't know. It's like that also gets like lots of the discussion sometimes of like, this was a science or the OR, sorry, this was a religion that was presented itself and still presents itself as like, well, we're backed by science and like, this was a time where like, it was. Yeah. Which I know Blavatsky, you know, goes nuts on as well. Like, Oh yes, yeah. Yeah, they uh, which I think is why so many people are willing to buy into. It was because there was so much science **** they never would have believed it was possible being proven. So they're like, well, why not this? Yeah, we'll be getting to that. But that that is a huge like the fact that this is a time in which for the first time in history, people are like starting to invent things that, like, you can't imagine some guy zapping into the world out of like a lightning bolt, like a sword or whatever. Like you can imagine some sort of, but like, once you have. Like automotives and electric lights. It does seem a bit different, right? You're like, OK, yeah, sure, we can talk to ghosts. Why ******* not. Yeah, I can imagine some ******* ancient giant building this big statue or whatever, but like, yeah, now, now things are going anyway. Whatever. So. Yeah, by the time Blavatsky makes it to the United States in 1873, Spiritualism has passed its first great wave, and a lot of folks probably figured it was dying out. Helena Blavatsky, maybe because of the Civil War. That was why a lot of stuff like peaked in the Civil War and then declined. Yeah, and so it's declined. It's it's well past its height at this. And this probably is probably why for the first year or so, she's in the United States. Blavatsky doesn't really make any effort to establish herself as a guru. Uh, legitimately destitute who for her first move in the city. Now she is still a grifter, so she moves there and she immediately tries to like notifies the New York Sun that she has arrived in the city because she's a noble woman, right? And there is a lot less happening back then. So the sun sensor sends a reporter, Anna Ballard, to interview Blavatsky at the house where she lived with several working class immigrant families. Blavatsky claims that she and a number of other aristocratic Russian women had been studying medicine in Zurich to become actual. Doctors, which is not a thing that a lot of women can do in this time when suddenly the Emperor of Russia changed his mind and forbade women from learning men's trades. And she was like, and so all of these women who had learned science, we all had to flee to the four corners of the world to not go back to Russia. So that's like, that's the first. Like, I don't know what her grift plan for this was. There must have been one. She wouldn't reach out to the sun for nothing, right? This isn't going nowhere, but where is this going? It doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't work. The sun runs this as front page News on July 28th. But they don't mention her name. Uh, they ended the story with the words, quote. These accomplished women, polyglots, travelers, scientists, nearly moneyless are able to do much and want something to do, but like, it's just a human interest story and they don't name her so she doesn't. Actually, there's no oh, interesting, she doesn't get **** from this. So she had been hoping this would kind of work as a want ad, and like, she would be able to get some sort of a job or some sort of attention she could turn into money from it. But it doesn't. So she languishes for a while. She uses her mystique as a Russian Countess. That, like, she's able to convince people she is a Russian Countess and she's able to convince people to like, she gets a job writing advertising cards and stuff. Like, she gets a couple of weird gigs because people are impressed by her background, but she can't really hack it with any more substantial work. She, like, tries to be a leather worker at one point and just is no good at it. So frustrated, she lapses into her girlhood habit of telling stories about the supernatural, her biographer Mead writes. Quote, apart from spooky stories, Helena amiably dispensed information about people's pasts. Anyone who asked Miss Parker for one was greatly startled to hear about incidents in her own life that where she thought only known to herself. When she asked to be put in touch with her dead mother, Helena refused. Her mother progressed beyond reach, involved herself in higher matters. Now, since Madame continually claimed to be under the authority of unseen powers, Elizabeth and the others at 222 Madison, assumed she must be Speaking of her spirit guides, and naturally concluded that she was a spiritualist. So she's doing cold reading on these people, right? Like whenever someone's like, oh, they knew things about me, it's probably goes, OK. Did they start? By asking a series of questions that they then turn into, like, a revelation, you know? Right, like leading questions. And then if they start to ask for things that are too specific and you don't know anything about the advance, then you say, oh, there, you redirect, or you're concerned with higher matters. Yeah, right. Yeah. So that sounds like a classic. Like, I didn't know anything about you before you entered the room kind of thing. Now they assume she's a spiritualist because of what she's doing. And again, cold reading this is like the period in which it's invented. She's one of the first people doing this at. Eastern in a in an organized way. And, well, yeah. I mean, spirit spiritualists, if you were, if you were a medium that didn't get busted, you were really good at doing that. No, the voices that she claimed to hear were not in her mind, the dead or spirits of any kind. She insisted that they were real, living men. her Master, Morya and Kuthumi, who's I guess also her Master, but he's always called kuthumi and the other ones usually just called the master. Now she insisted again that these are real *** dudes who live in Tibet. That she had like met and stuff. They just are keeping up the conversation via psychic phone calls. O Blavatsky again, it's she's assumed to be a spiritualist by the first people who like meet her doing Mystic stuff, but that's not really what she's doing right. And for more than a year she just kind of runs through friends, fails at a couple of businesses. She nearly burns down her apartment building because she smokes a pound a day of tobacco. Like that's that's probably true. Like literally a pound a day of tobacco. It's ******* dope. That's rad as hell. That's just cool. That's just hot girl ****. That's just a hot girl ****. Brothers Hot girl ****. Jamie, we need to go back to the drawing. We need to go back to the drawing board on what hot girl **** is and is not. Now you know what? I'll make you a hot girl. I'm so disappointed. Please, if you enjoy, if you start huffing jewel flavored vaporizer pods. Juul pods. They're like cigarettes, but more convenient. You can smoke them anywhere in an airplane bathroom in your cousins basement. On the top of a mountain, jewels catch the addiction. You're you're you're you're fire. Sorry. I'm sorry. You're fired. I'm sorry. Do you not like the delicious taste of jewel tobacco? Everything. The delicious illegal taste a pound of jewels. OK. We can go pound of jewel pods, just that would be pretty House of little plastics, rectangles underneath their feet a lot. I don't know why that's a more pleasurable image, just ******* burning through them. Like like like ******* influence him do not OK, but if someone wants to do. They smoking John Wick with his guns. Like, always like like like that's Helena Blavatsky. But just with like jewels switching out, doing like cool moves to pop out the cartridges and put a new one. We unfired Robert. That's funny. I mean temporarily, but I can't say it won't stick. Well, here's here's some more ads for our primary sponsor, the tobacco industry. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family. And it meant. Families start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind now a word from our sponsor better help. If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy, and better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit today to get 10% off your first month. That's better This fall on revisionist history, is there anything that we haven't talked about, or I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. Ah, we're back. You know, Jamie, what I like most about tobacco and tobacco products is they're absolute lack of any health consequences. Tobacco, it's like medicine. Anyway, back to Labosky as that hunk of my dad's lung that's no longer there about that. Well, maybe he didn't need that long. Maybe it was slowing him down. You think about that, Jamie. Think about how much he's so much stronger now, just like Helena Blavatsky was, actually. She's in terrible. Well, her entire life, yeah. Yeah. That is one of the wildest guys about because she does so many. Like, a lot of it is lies. But she does genuinely go a lot of places and do a lot of things. And I'm like, but she was like in pain the whole, she's like nearly losing a limb from gang green. And she. Yeah, she smokes a pound of tobacco a day. So her legs are just whole. Just be a just stay home and be a novelist. My God, what she's gonna do. No, she's gonna be a anyway. She's, she gets an inheritance from her family at one point. Some sources say she spends a bunch of time living in like a hotel, a fancy hotel. Todd ********. Other time, others as she apparently like, wastes a lot of it on a farm scam. She gets like conned into investing into a farm that can't make money. Well, that's fun. Whatever she does a bunch of ****. Obviously there's different stories about, like, her habits, Lochman says. She was a teetotaler, obviously she smoked a lot of cigarettes, but she didn't. She wouldn't drink, didn't do anything else. That's another spiritualist thing. She's like, they don't drink because they are always accused of being Alcoholics, and that's why they have visions. So they're like, no, we're sober. No. So I will say. Probably true that she didn't drink, but Mead claimed she was heavily addicted to both hashish and opium during this. And it's one of those things, actually. She becomes in like the 70s and stuff like kind of a pot icon like 100 years, like after her death. But like because she's supposedly smoking hash during this, like, Madame Blavatsky is like, gets involved in, like, she doesn't get involved, but like her image gets involved in kind of the early marijuana. And now as of today, she's a, she's a jewel icon as well. She's a jewel like, that's right. She would have loved Jews because everyone does agree she was a chain smoker. With the kind of dedication that today you only see in Serbia. Now, in 1874, she was interviewed by another journalist, and it's noted by me that she was scantily clad on the floor of an apartment when this reporter, Hannah Wolfe, starts to talk to her. The wolf I think right, works for the post and gets like fascinated by her, follows her around. She she like Blavatsky tells her about fighting with Garibaldi and like shows her her scars. Uh. Wolf claims that Blavatsky tells her about the benefits of opium and hash for inciting the imagination. Not inaccurate, yeah. She she charms this reporter who's a reasonably well connected person. Through this reporter she meets a friend of Hannahs named Mr W Uh, who? The two get in the subject of Spiritualism and Mr W is into seances and Blavatsky claims. I don't know anything about. What does the W stand for? We don't know. In her biographies there's a **** load of like Mr X&Y in random letters, like it's very frustrating, X, why she is one of the most annoying people to read about. Because, like every third page is A5 page digression about people from 150 years ago and unverifiable person. Yeah, having unfair and having unverifiable arguments that are central to the point being made by the biographer, but also completely impossible to back up if you don't raise eyebrows. Don't name people Mr W like, what the hell, I think. Don't think that's his Christian name. So Mr W is a fan of Spiritualism and Blavatsky? Probably. She must be lying. Because even if even though she's certainly full of **** about a bunch of stuff, she's very well educated on the occult and on religion. There is no way that in 1874, she didn't know what spiritualism is. But she claims, like, oh, I've never heard of spiritualism. Yes. What do you call it? A A seance? Yes. Let's go to this seance. And that sounds very exciting. Well, that just sounds like she's gonna go and then all of a sudden perform very well there. Oh, really interesting, Jamie. Yeah. So is that exactly what happens? Yeah, I'm gonna quote. Meet again here soon after that, she met Hannah and MW on the street and animatedly informed them that as a result of the medium's lecture, she had began to develop a cult powers. Having placed some photographs in Abiru, she found, to her astonishment, that spirits had tinted them like watercolor paintings. She invited Hannah and Mr W back to the cheap apartment she shared with three journalists. Her roommates were two men and a woman, a decidedly bohemian arrangement for the 1870s. But at least she had a small bedroom of her own off the dining room when Hannah and Mr W stopped in to see the spirit art. Helena LED them to a sideboard in the dining room, pulled out some colored pictures, and explained that the coloring seemed chiefly to be done in the night and when nature was in her negative mood. Hannah did not believe this for a minute. Speaking privately to the other residents of the apartment, she learned that they too had been skeptical of Madame's occult powers and had laid weight for the spirit who worked in the night watches and had discovered it materialized in the form of Milam Levitsky dressed. So, yeah. Like they had. Yeah. So she was like, yes, yes. Yeah. So at this stage, again, she's not good enough to, like, trick her friends. And she probably lives with journalists, in part because journalists are, like, Bohemian weirdos and more into the living in that kind of an arrangement. But also, she's desperately trying to get attention for something, right. That's what all of the first people she starts talking to in the US or press, she, like, really wants to get her name out there, right? She gets that, you know, no press is bad press. So Hannah Wolfe, kind of quickly. Well, not all that quickly, but eventually it does realize, well, this lady's may be full of **** and I don't need to be hanging out with her too much, but Blavatsky sends her a manuscript which she claims is a satire of American politics. The way she Blavatsky describes it, she's basically written confederacy of like, Dunces. And Hannah Wolf starts reading. It is like, this is #1. This is very bad. But #2 like this seems really weird, like none of it reads properly. And she's like hanging out with some mutual friends who, like, are also friends of Blavatsky and shows it to them. And they're like. So like a couple of weeks ago we gave this lady a Russian book and she just translated it into English and replaced ZAR with president, and that's what she's claiming is a satire of American politics. That's a good one. She got their *****. That is got their *****. So weird. Yeah, it's it's it's funny because it's like there's a lot of the way you're describing a lot of her behavior. It's like, OK, what's the end game like? It sounds like she's trying to, like, piggyback onto the adjacent movements to what she was trying to do in other locations, but like. What's the end game? What is the end game? We know what the end game for us is, Jamie. What? When the FDA comes after us for the vast racketeering scheme that I've, I've put together, look. Oh, I didn't think of racketeering. Talk about that on Mike. We are we are allowed to talk to that Uncle Roberts Ghost potion makes you a nose. Feeling I'm selling ectoplasm that stores well in your crevices and releases on demand. So by our ghost potions and crevice goo. I don't know. Taking this **** on the road. Time for an ad, you know? Anyway, so she moves after this, you know, things with Hannah fall apart and with those friends. This happens a couple of times early on is like she's moving around New York City or an artist. Yeah, she's moving around New York City because she's a con artist. She does, at this point grow her hair out into what Mead describes as a blonde Afro, which I desperately want to see a picture of. There do not appear to be extant ones, but that sounds incredibly based on how she looked. As in, I can't imagine it. Neither can I. I don't know what the **** that doesn't seem like 1 sensible with her hair texture? No? OK, no. If you look up pictures of Helena Blavatsky and try to imagine her in a blonde Afro, someone will get one of those API's on it. It's very funny to think about Umm and yeah, so this is again summer of 1874. She sets a new motto for herself. Try right. Don't. It doesn't matter what you're trying, just try quote to be sure. She had been trying all along, but efforts had been confined to the realm of the impractical. Perhaps it was time to attempt something different. Laying aside her gimmicks, she found a way of meeting the much advice admired Andrew Jackson Davis, the first important figure in American spiritualism and a man whose writings were respected. Throughout the world, even through though the Poughkeepsie Seer knew nothing about Helena, he accurately gauged her true worth and extended a generous welcome. So she's somehow managed to like, manages to like, kind of get this guy on her side, right? Like and and she's something that she's she's a very charismatic person. She's good at reading people and manipulating them. Mediums are charismatic. Yeah, for a while that she's gonna plagiarize the hell out of him later, but for a while, the two are friends. She visits him daily, he takes pity on him, her money troubles, and he gets her a job writing articles for a magazine called Psychic Studies. Blavatsky's articles were interesting because she seems to view she she views very much the seance and medium stuff as not important. And is it primarily writing about it to make the case for a larger occult worldview where like speaking to the dead is more more like a piece of a mosaic? That's. She's kind of cribbed together from bits of half remembered, heavily manipulated Buddhist and Hindu mythology. And it was around this time running out of money, and people who listened to her just say, **** that Helena Blavatsky came across an article in the Sun by a fellow named Colonel Henry Steele Olcott. Oh. Hmm. Oh, sorry. I didn't have any other. I that was the end of my reaction. That was that was that was just that. Yeah, that was a Dun, Dun Dun moment. Anyway, so Olcott is an interesting guy. He was a Colonel because he had, like done some **** during the Civil War, mainly like organizational ****. He was like a legitimately, like, really talented organizer. He's a lawyer, but he's also this guy. He, like, abandons his wife after he gets bored. He's like he's searching for something in his life beyond, like being an upper middle class Victorian. Gentlemen, which is why he abandons his wife and family and he cons a newspaper into paying for him to visit a farmhouse in Chittenden, Vermont, where a spiritual manifestation had reportedly occurred. Now he writes about this. These guys, the Eddie brothers, who claim their Scottish great great great grandmother had been a witch and like their family, had the ability to summon phantoms. So they would like claim they would do seances where they would claim to to to raise the ghosts of dead indigenous people and talk to them. And like one of the most sinister, ****** ******* things of that spiritualists do is. Live on indigenous land, know nothing about it and then claim to be it's just and then literally steal their ghosts, Steeler goes and make up history that serves their narrative, just and it's also they're kind of doing their contribution to the grift is they're kind of doing a puppet show, like a shadow puppet thing is what it sounds like because they have this like closed cabinet that's like their altar and they're like some of these spirits and you can watch them like fight duels with swords and stuff. Like again, I think they're basically doing shadow puppets and claiming that they're like summoning. Here it's yeah, the Spirit cabinet became like a really popular manifestation thing because it's easy to do kind of like magic tricks because there was a or those early spiritualists, the Davenport brothers, that would do a similar thing. And then Houdini, like, talked to one of them towards the end of his life. And he was like, yeah, it was a really good magic trick that we figured out how to *******. We realized we were good at puppets and decided to make some money, right? Yeah, so Olcott, he's just seems to be one of these guys. He's modest, moderately successful, and is very talented on like, an organizational level, but I think is also bored of like, again, it's pretty boring to just, like, be a dude who works as a lawyer in the 1870s. So he's searching for something else, and it kind of seems like he finds it in the old cuts. Like he's a little he's a pretty credulous guy, so he buys this. He gets very much on board. And he writes these incredibly enthusiastic articles for a couple of different moderately large newspapers about this puppet show out in ******* Crittenden. And Helena Blavatsky sees these articles and she decides like, well and I think what her decision, I think her thinking on the matter is OK, this is the first spiritualism related thing that's gone viral in a while. This is the first thing that's getting some real attention in the media. So if I get down there and I can get in, if I can get face to face with this. Journalist who, for whatever reason, has gotten people to care about spiritualism again. I can. There's probably some way for me to make this work out for Helena, you know, and then he becomes her Mr. President down there. Does he? Sure does. That is absolutely the way this story goes. So she travels to Chittenden. She shows up dressed like absolutely no one else on Earth. As Lochman describes. Quote, the first thing he noticed was her red Garibaldi shirt, a military tunic, and blazing scarlet. That had been the height of haute couture for a season or two and was not yet. Out of fashion, amid the sober dress of Vermont farmers, it must have been a sight, as must have been the Mongolian features that may have helped her in her Tibetan forays. Lachman's a little racist after the shirt. Olcott next noticed her hair, a thick blonde mop that stood out from her head, silken, soft and crinkled to the roots, like the fleece of a cotswald. You then the massive cowok face full of power culture imperiousness that contrasted sharply with the dower looks of the other guests. This caught his eye, as must the fur tobacco pouch, the many rings that adorned her delicate. Fingers. So old timey writing is so goofy. Oh my God, sake, get less. It does say a lot about Blavatsky that Lachman this guy writing about her much later is like clearly taken in by her spell. But that's how a lot of like women were written about who were a part of like women who had magic attributed to them. Which is kind of wild, because it's like at this time there were still witch laws, but this was like a unique moment in history where people were like willing to. Kind of forgot. The witch laws for certain women. Lochman writes this in 2012 and like one of his, the reason he talks about her Mongolian features there is he. That's one of the reasons he tries to convince us he probably she she would have made it to Tibet. Is that well, she looked Mongolian. No one would have noticed. Like, that's pretty ******* racist, dude. Yeah, like, that's what a what a crock. He also says that her face has like, cow muck features because she spent so much time with them, which is also like, anyway, those are like, the spiritualist **** is like, oh. Yes, a person imprinted on me. So now, yeah, exactly, yes, something else. Simply not how that works, but clearly, like Blavatsky has been all over the place. And her her dress is very eclectic. She's got stuff on her from all around the no, you're not going to run into anyone else who looks like Helena Blavatsky and like 1874. And that's for damn sure. Yeah. So this journalist guy old called Olcott, who started to get kind of piled on Spiritism and stuff is like sees her and is like, well, there's probably something going on there. Being the guy I am, I'm gonna hang around this lady and Blavatsky she knows. She basically sees through the core of this man immediately and just takes him apart as a human being and and like weaves herself into every aspect of his being, Henry himself later recalled. Her manner was gracious and captivating, her criticisms upon men and things original and witty. She was particularly interested in drawing me out as to my own ideas about spiritual things and expressed pleasure in finding that I had instinctively thought. Along the occult lines which she herself had pursued, it was not as an eastern Mystic, but rather as refined spiritualist that she talked. For my part, I knew nothing then or next to nothing about Eastern philosophy, and at first, she kept silent on the subject. So she lets him. What do you believe about Spiritualism now? What are you thinking? What does this make? Yeah, she's she's called rating him. She's living like Mystic ideas, too. And what you're thinking is based upon these things that I read in my grandfathers and yadda yadda yadda. You know, she makes him feel like he's somehow tapped into some secret. Like, oh, I know you're just getting into this, but you're really advanced in your understanding of the spiritual world, right, right. Because she needs something from him and he needs something from her. It's yeah. It's so wild. Like how? Yeah, I mean her story and and a lot of people, it's like she, I feel like specifically just really took advantage of how little people knew about anywhere that was not the West and just sort of invented **** and and and the fact that, like, new age leaders still do that. To this day, yeah. It's pretty fun. Information is now accessible, like, it's just wild now. And it's it's interesting when you look at like, what Henry started writing about her in his articles about her. One of the compliments he pays her is like the highest compliment a man could give a woman in the 19th century, which is that he considered her androgynous rather than female. Oh, so these. That's his way of saying I and I take what she says seriously. It's also there's more than that because there's also because these two become business partners. There's this, like, series of rumors. That they're ******* for years. And so part of it. He emphasizes that, like, I don't even see her as a woman, you know? So there's a lot wrapped in there. So that first night when they. So by the time she gets to the Eddie Brothers House and Crittenden, you know, olcott's been there a while and it's the medium stick they're doing. Has started to wear a little thin for him, but it changes significantly once she arrives. This night, for the first time, they've been summoning different spirits. For the first time, they've channeled the spirit of a Georgian. Musician and Blavatsky excitingly, is like, I knew the man back in Europe when he was alive, and she has him sing some songs for her and he answers questions and stuff about the afterlife and Olcott finds this. This is the first time that someone has come from far away and been like, no, they're channeling someone I know. I've never met these people before. This must be real, because I've never met them before. Now, obviously Blavatsky sat down with these dudes and was like, hey, you want to really get this mark roped in? Like, let me tell you what to do. Like, you just say these things, sing this song and like. We'll tell them it's this, yeah, anyway. But Alcott falls for it entirely. He becomes convinced it must be real, because Helena is, quote, a lady of such social position as to be incapable of entering into a vulgar conspiracy with any pair of tricksters. Yeah, that that logic has never gone. Gone left. Geez. Now, this was all incredibly staged, and the piece to resistance was when the spirit or spirits managed to summon a metal into Helena's hand, which she claimed had been a military medal that had been buried with her dead father that, like the spirits had brought back for her and stuff. The reality was that again. It's just a simple sleight of hand trick in a dark room, but Olcott, being the most credulous man in history, bought it all writing. Was there ever a manifestation? More wonderful than this, a token drug by unknown means from a father's grave and laid in his daughter's hand 5000 miles away across an ocean. A jewel from the breast of a warrior sleeping his last sleep in Russian ground, sparkling in the candlelight, in a gloomy apartment of a Vermont farmhouse. A precious pet present from the tomb of her nearest and best beloved of kin, to be kept as a perpetual proof that death can neither extinguish the ties of blood nor long divide those who were once united and desire reunion with one another. Woohoo. Love that for them. Perfect Mark, Perfect Mark and Jamie, yes, you know who else is a perfect mark who our listeners for your content. Wow. Oh, that's where we're leaving today. You wanna plug it? Yeah. Ohh we are alright, we're done. So I would plug especially for this episode, if you want to know more about the Fox Sisters and the history of American Spiritualism in the 19th century. That is contained in my new podcast, Ghost Church. It's nine episodes. We just finished it, Roberts in it. Sophie produced it. And there's I I have a, I have a very I have a soft spot for a lot of spiritualists, especially women, improving their social station through through, through tricks and goofs. And there's a lot of talk about modern spiritualists as well. It's sort of what they're up to now, so check that. Out. Yeah. Check it out. Check out spiritualism. Go find a ghost. You know what? Find a ghost. I truly am. Like, if you wanna talk to ghosts, like, that's your business. Just don't hurt other people with it, you know? I don't know. You know what? It's 2022. Just hurt the right people with it, you know? There you go. Yes. Yes. Like if you if if you've got a a good mark, then go ******* nuts. I'm just. I don't know. People get so. Add about stuff like this some and and sometimes it's good we're going and other times with like, there are there, there are Theosophists. Like foaming at the mouth right now about about this takedown of Helena Blavatsky. I don't know enough about the House of you to have an opinion on it. I'm learning in real time from you spiritualists. I, you know, live your life. I don't know. Yeah. Go live your life. Talk to ghosts. Go create ghosts. Commit murder in a field. You know, I will literally pay you to watch. And I have, and I probably will again. Wow. Wow. Jamie just offered to pay for you to murder someone while she watches. So yeah, that's exactly what he said. Yeah, become a murderer. That's the message of this episode of behind the ******** and the message of Ghost Church. And the message of Ghost Church. Sure. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break our handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's SPREAK. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.