France

From mistaking a husband as the devil to jumping out of the second floor with a baby in their arms, everything about this story seems unbelievable. The Belfast Telegraph reports:

A baby died when a family of 12 leapt from their second floor balcony in Paris claiming they were fleeing the devil.

Eight more were injured, some seriously, in the tragedy when they jumped 20 ft into a car park in Paris suburb of La Verriere.

The baffling incident occurred when a wife woke to see her husband moving about naked in the room, police said.

She began screaming ‘it’s the devil! it’s the devil!’, and the man ran into the other room where 11 others adults and children were watching television. One woman grabbed a knife and stabbed the man before others pushed him out through the front door.





I suppose it’s somewhat comforting to know that the United States is not the only country with xenophobic pastors and politicians who want to burn Korans, or in the case of France, ban women from wearing burqas (those head-veils) in public — but it’s not exactly going to make life any easier for the French, who have already seen a threat to the Eiffel Tower as a result!






From Fortean Times: Dominating the Freemasons’ Hall’s new exhibition, Freemasonry and the French Revolution, a giant chair, all puffed up with majesty and pomp, looms over the display cases — an effect…


Cursed French Bread?Ted Goodman on PhyOrg recounts the strange events of August 16, 1951, when dozens of villagers in the French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit were struck with unexplainable and horrifying hallucinations of fire and snakes and beasts of all kinds, from, what was described as by villagers, eating le pain maudit (“cursed bread”).

Recently on Russia Today, Hank Albarelli, author of A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, suggests this incident was part of a CIA-funded experiment on foreign soil with LSD. According to Albarelli, five hundred people were affected by the “experiment” — resulting in forty people being taken to a nearby psychiatric institute and at least three suicides.

Albarelli specifically discusses this incident at around 5:10 into this video, and relates it to the work of Frank Olson, the subject of his book.


From Yahoo News:

Is a crusading French documentary maker striking a blow at the abusive powers of television — or simply taking reality TV to a new low of cynicism and bad taste? That’s the question viewers across France are asking in light of Christophe Nick’s new film Game of Death, which aired on French television Wednesday night. The documentary has generated a massive amount of attention — and naturally, courted controversy — because of the dilemma that faced contestants on a fake game show in the film: Would they allow themselves to be cajoled into delivering near-lethal electrical charges to fellow players, or rather follow their better instincts and refuse?

Game of Death is an adaptation of an infamous experiment conducted by a team led by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. In order to test people’s obedience to authority figures, the scientists demanded that subjects administer increasingly strong electric shocks to other participants if they answered questions incorrectly. The people delivering the shocks, however, didn’t know that the charges were fake — the volunteers on the other end of the room were actors pretending to suffer agonizing pain. The point was to see how many people would continue following orders to mete out torture.