• Please be advised there is a potential issue with DD collections, which may result in an excessive amount being taken. Please read the stickied thread in Fortean Times Magazine > General Discussion, Subs etc

Mass Hysteria

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
49,569
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Hmmm. The other threads behave normally.
This one is 'different'.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
29,625
Location
Out of Bounds
For some reason, this thread keeps appearing at the bottom of the New Posts list even though I've looked at it and clicked the What's New > New Posts link. It should disappear from the list.
What's going on?

Hmmm. The other threads behave normally.
This one is 'different'.

I can't replicate the behavior you describe.
 

Tempest63

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
2,725
I see in FT384 that dropped through the letterbox an hour or so ago that the head teacher of a school that had a mass hysteria outbreak seemed to have organised it himself after being forced to have his children inoculated for polio. 16 people, including 7 members of staff were arrested and the locals then revolted, including setting fire to a local health facility.
 

Xanatic*

Antediluvian
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
5,204
Some of you might have heard the phenomena of refugee children in Sweden going into a bit of a catatonic state, when faced with the risk of going back.

The magazine Filter has an article about it, where they have interviewed some of the kids later on. Since that is behind a paywall, here is a second-hand source. Short version: They were pretending.

https://www.expressen.se/nyheter/apatiska-barnen-berattar-vi-tvingades-spela-sjuka/
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
35,171
Location
East of Suez

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
15,199
Location
An Eochair
Interesting stuff @Xanatic*

Can you give me some idea of the standing of the paper? I mean, is it tabloid or broadsheet in the old sense :)
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,623
As reported in the latest FT, the new website design of knitting site Ravelry is making its visitors sick:
News story

Anyone know if this is still the case, or has the hysteria died down now? The story (from a psychologist) reminds the reader of the Pokemon seizures of a few years back.
 

Monstrosa

C'thuluan Balloon Animal
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
3,003
Still the case. They've made some minor tweaks to the design. Fortunately they've allowed the old design to be continued for those who'd rather not have eyestrain, migraines, seizures or the like.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,623
Still the case. They've made some minor tweaks to the design. Fortunately they've allowed the old design to be continued for those who'd rather not have eyestrain, migraines, seizures or the like.

I mentioned this story to my mum and she had never heard of it, though she does use the site and prefers the old design.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
56,126
Location
Eblana
I think this might fit here.

What If the Stories We Tell in Order to Live Happen to Be Conspiracy Theories?

The spectacle of thousands of Trump supporters overrunning the Capitol building on January 6 jarred even the most jaded political observers. Just how could so many fellow citizens believe, against all objective evidence, in the delusion of a massive electoral conspiracy perpetrated by, among others, election officials, many of them Republican; a large swath of the judiciary; and, variously, communists, pedophiles, and the ghost of Hugh Chavez? (Or, as put by John Bolton, a plot “so vast and so successful that apparently there’s no evidence of it.”)

As famously documented by historian Richard Hofstadter in his 1964 essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” conspiracy theories are endemic to the American psyche. A broader historical lens, however, reveals that our nation is unexceptional in this regard. Mass delusions have popped up repeatedly around the world for centuries; in 1841 the Scottish journalist Charles Mackay described dozens of financial, religious, medical, and fashion mass delusions in Memoirs of Extraordinary Delusions (now most commonly titled Extraordinary Mass Delusions and the Madness of Crowds). The book has proven especially popular among both professional and amateur financial investors for its descriptions of the Dutch tulipmania (Mackay invented the word) and the twin stock bubbles in Paris and London of 1720; for this reason, it has remained continuously in print.

While Mackay adeptly described a wide spectrum of mass manias and intuited that humans were peculiarly susceptible to them, 19th-century biology and neuropsychology were not up to the task of identifying their wellsprings. ...


The Delusions of Crowds, by William J. Bernstein, is forthcoming from Grove Atlantic in February.


https://lithub.com/what-if-the-stories-we-tell-in-order-to-live-happen-to-be-conspiracy-theories/

Given the 20th-century advances in these fields, we now have a pretty good understanding of the contagion of cockamamie ideas. In a nutshell, we are condemned to navigate the Space Age world with Stone Age minds; because of this inherent biological anachronism, man is the ape that imitates, tells stories, and morally condemns others.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
56,126
Location
Eblana
Mass poisoning or mass hysteria?

At least 57 students were poisoned by an unidentified substance in a rural secondary school in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, according to local authorities.

The mass poisoning on Friday was the third at Chiapas schools reported in local media over the past two weeks, spooking students and prompting outrage from parents.

The Mexican Social Security Institute said Friday that 57 teenage students in the rural community of Bochil had arrived at a local hospital with symptoms of poisoning. One student in a "delicate" condition was transferred to a hospital in the state's capital while the rest were stable, the institute said.

Authorities did not speculate on a cause, but local news outlets said some parents believe the students were exposed to contaminated water or food. ...

The state prosecutor's office said on social media on Saturday that it had conducted 15 toxicology exams which had all come out negative for illicit drugs, after reports circulated in local media and on social media that students had tested positive for cocaine. ...

One man in the video said his daughter had been poisoned and tested positive for cocaine at a private laboratory, along with other students. ...

https://www.irishtimes.com/world/am...ens-of-mexico-students-mysteriously-poisoned/
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
56,126
Location
Eblana
Another case?

Nine students have been taken to hospital after emergency services were called to the Armagh campus of the Southern Regional College (SRC).

Police and several ambulance crews were sent to the building after a 999 call at 12:42 GMT on Friday.

Brian Doran, chief executive of the college, said all those affected were students at Markethill High School.

"They were taken to hospital as a result of staff acting when one or more students fell ill," he said. "The college liaised with the school. The school had staff on premises. We worked with the school staff to inform parents, and the emergency services were on hand fairly quickly. The concern was to get the students medical treatment as quickly as possibly, which thankfully they did."

He added: "We'll carry on our own investigations with the school early next week to try and ascertain what was the nature of the incident."

Mr Doran said he had been told all the students had since recovered. They attend the college one day per week for vocational programmes.

A police spokesman said officers received a report that "a number of pupils required medical attention. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish the cause".

The incident was first reported by the Armaghi news site.

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said: "NIAS despatched two emergency crews, an intermediate care crew and two ambulance officers to the incident.

"Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, nine patients were taken by ambulance to Craigavon Area Hospital."

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-63680171
 

staticgirl

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Oct 12, 2003
Messages
928
Are Iranian schoolgirls being poisoned by toxic gas?

"More than 1,000 Iranian students - mostly schoolgirls - have fallen ill over the past three months in what has been reported to be a wave of poisonings, possibly with toxic gas. What is making people sick?

Dozens of girls in at least 26 schools across the country reportedly fell ill on Wednesday - a clear escalation in cases.

Many patients have reported similar symptoms: respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

So what could be behind all these reports - and how have they spread across the country? ...."

more here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-64829798
 
Last edited:

blessmycottonsocks

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
8,331
Location
Wessex and Mercia
The historical case of the meowing nuns probably merits a mention here.

"I have read in a good medical work that a nun, in a very large convent in France, began to mew like a cat; shortly afterwards other nuns also mewed. At last all the nuns mewed together every day at a certain time for several hours together. The whole surrounding Christian neighbourhood heard, with equal chagrin and astonishment, this daily cat-concert…”

https://hystoriah.com/2021/05/18/the-case-of-the-meowing-nuns/
 

Ascalon

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
1,040
Are Iranian schoolgirls being poisoned by toxic gas?

More than 1,000 Iranian students - mostly schoolgirls - have fallen ill over the past three months in what has been reported to be a wave of poisonings, possibly with toxic gas. What is making people sick?

Dozens of girls in at least 26 schools across the country reportedly fell ill on Wednesday - a clear escalation in cases.

Many patients have reported similar symptoms: respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

So what could be behind all these reports - and how have they spread across the country? ....

more here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-64829798
Eh, yes, seems to be the logical answer.
 

uair01

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
4,828
Location
Rotterdam
Eh, yes, seems to be the logical answer.
Yes, all the symptoms fit with mass hysterical contagion. But I would have to dig for the book reference.

Also:
We’re here in East Africa on the trail of the so-called 1962 Tanganyika laughter epidemic. As the story goes, in 1962 in the northwest corner of Tanganyika (a country now known as Tanzania), hundreds of people began laughing uncontrollably. The affliction, if you could call it that, spread from one person to the next, and nothing seemed to stop it. Schools shut down. Entire villages were caught in its throes. When the laughing stopped months later, a thousand people had come down with the “disease.”
Since then, the Tanganyika laughter epidemic has captured imaginations the world over. Newspaper articles have been written about it, radio shows have explored it, and documentaries have dramatized it. But many of these accounts detailed the incident from afar, relying on secondhand sources, scraps of information, and rumors. Few people have investigated the event themselves, tracking the laughter all the way to its source. That’s why we’re here.

The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny​

Peter McGraw, Joel Warner

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18144085-the-humor-code?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=U5xxF8L8Oa&rank=2
 
Last edited:

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
56,126
Location
Eblana
The historical case of the meowing nuns probably merits a mention here.

"I have read in a good medical work that a nun, in a very large convent in France, began to mew like a cat; shortly afterwards other nuns also mewed. At last all the nuns mewed together every day at a certain time for several hours together. The whole surrounding Christian neighbourhood heard, with equal chagrin and astonishment, this daily cat-concert…”

https://hystoriah.com/2021/05/18/the-case-of-the-meowing-nuns/

Definitely Catholics.
 

blessmycottonsocks

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
8,331
Location
Wessex and Mercia
Definitely Catholics.
..... or Catolics...

nuns.png
 

Ascalon

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
1,040
Yes, all the symptoms fit with mass hysterical contagion. But I would have to dig for the book reference.

Also:
We’re here in East Africa on the trail of the so-called 1962 Tanganyika laughter epidemic. As the story goes, in 1962 in the northwest corner of Tanganyika (a country now known as Tanzania), hundreds of people began laughing uncontrollably. The affliction, if you could call it that, spread from one person to the next, and nothing seemed to stop it. Schools shut down. Entire villages were caught in its throes. When the laughing stopped months later, a thousand people had come down with the “disease.”
Since then, the Tanganyika laughter epidemic has captured imaginations the world over. Newspaper articles have been written about it, radio shows have explored it, and documentaries have dramatized it. But many of these accounts detailed the incident from afar, relying on secondhand sources, scraps of information, and rumors. Few people have investigated the event themselves, tracking the laughter all the way to its source. That’s why we’re here.

The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny​

Peter McGraw, Joel Warner

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18144085-the-humor-code?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=U5xxF8L8Oa&rank=2
I get what you are saying, but in this case it just seems to be yet another hideous abuse of power from a muderous and tyranical religous regime.
 

Cochise

Priest of the cult of the Dog with the Broken Paw
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
8,163
I get what you are saying, but in this case it just seems to be yet another hideous abuse of power from a muderous and tyranical religous regime.
I'm not sure you need the word 'religious' in there. Murderous and tyrannical secular regimes are also distressingly common in human history

Indeed the ability of any powerful leader or governing body to be truly honest, good and kind is vanishingly rare.
 

taras

Least Haunted
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,592
Location
Edinburgh
New report on Iran

Iran: Suspected school poisonings unforgivable crime, Khamenei says

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called the wave of suspected poisonings of schoolgirls in recent months an "unforgivable crime"."If there are any people involved in the matter, and there certainly are... the perpetrators must be given the most severe of punishments," he warned.

More than 1,000 girls at dozens of schools have been affected by unexplained illnesses since November.
Incidents were reported in at least 15 cities and towns on Sunday alone.

Authorities have released very little information about their investigations and announced no arrests, but they have accused Iran's "enemies" of using the suspected poisonings to undermine the clerical establishment.

Some Iranians believe the girls' schools are being targeted by hard-line elements to stop them receiving an education.
Others suggest the authorities may be punishing girls for their leading role in the nationwide anti-government protests that erupted in September.

The first known case was reported at a school in the Shia holy city of Qom on 30 November, when 18 schoolgirls fell ill and were taken to hospital. Since then, a total of 127 schools in 25 of Iran's 31 provinces have been affected, according to a tally by the reformist news outlet Etemad Online. Students have said they smelled tangerine or rotten fish before falling ill. Many have suffered respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.


In his first public comments on the matter Ayatollah Khamenei called on law enforcement and intelligence agencies to "seriously pursue the issue". "The poisonings are a grave and unforgivable crime," he declared during a speech at a tree planting event in Tehran, adding that there would be "no pardons" if anyone was identified as a perpetrator and convicted.

Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei meanwhile warned that they could face the charge of "corruption on earth", which is punishable by death. He also said special courts would be set up in each province to summon "lie-spreaders and disrupters of public opinion in the case of the poisonings".

Their remarks came a day after a series of suspected poisonings was reported in at least 15 cities and towns, with the south-western city of Ahvaz and the central city of Yazd said to have been worst affected.
Opposition activist collective 1500 Tasvir posted footage that it said showed girls at Fatemieh Art School in the western city of Hamadan shouting: "We don't want to die." In another video, a woman in the northern city of Rasht said security forces had fired tear-gas at concerned mothers protesting outside the local education department.

On Saturday, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said that investigators had gathered "suspicious samples" at affected schools, but provided no details.
Health Minister Bahram Eynollahi meanwhile told a conference last Tuesday that research indicated that "a kind of mild poison caused the intoxication".

1500 Tasvir tweeted on Sunday that it had "received the results of 25 blood tests from poisoned students in different cities" and that the "MCV number in all of them is lower than normal".

The MCV, or "Mean Corpuscular Volume" count, measures the average size of red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.

 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
56,126
Location
Eblana

An article by Iranian dissident Yassamine Mather. The rest of the article concerns enriched uranium.

Meanwhile, inside Iran, following the mysterious poisoning of schoolgirls, and in some cases university students, in various places across the country, there are reports that “tear gas was fired” in the city of Rasht on March 5 at parents who had gathered in front of the local education department in protest at the risks faced by their children.

Iran’s ministry of health published a report from its scientific committee confirming that “some of the students were exposed to an irritant substance that is mainly inhaled”. At the same time, Mohammed Hassan Asefari, introduced as a member of the Parliamentary Fact-Finding Committee to Investigate the Cause of Student Poisoning, said that approximately 23 schools, have been affected.2 According to the semi-official new agency, ISNA, it is 50 schools.

Sections of the state media are blaming unnamed “foreign-based opposition groups” for the poisoning, but this seems unlikely, given the number of towns and provinces involved. In my view it is more likely that hard-line groups on the outer fringes of the regime are responsible - but, of course, given the number of Israeli infiltrators operating inside the Islamic Republic, one cannot rule out agent provocateurs.

On March 6 supreme leader Ali Khamenei called on the authorities to impose the most severe punishment on anyone found to be responsible for the poisoning. The Iranian chief justice then declared that perpetrators will face the Islamist charge of “corrupt on earth” - which often leads to a death sentence!

https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1433/weapon-grade-talks/
 
Top