Tag Archives | France

Freemasonry and the French Revolution

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 rather undermined by its resemblance to an oversized, over-pimped prop in a novelty Hip Hop video, and its having been designed to be disassembled and moved around like eighteenth-century flat pack.

Still, it’s clear what it’s trying to say: built for the Prince of Wales (later George IV), who was elected Grand Master in 1790, it reflects the extraordinary prestige and respectability accorded to English Freemasonry by the late eighteenth century. Meanwhile, over in France, Freemasonry was about to be plunged into a terrible whirl of suspicion, accusations and fear.

Many, both contemporaries and later historians, have suggested Freemasonry bears some responsibility for the French Revolution. Elements of French Freemasonry can be traced through to the Jacobin clubs — the language, the emphasis on fraternity, the constitutional and governmental organisation rare in France at that time – and there were Freemasons among the early revolutionaries, yet there is nothing to suggest that the lodges came up with any kind of coordinated plan to challenge the established order.

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The Mystery Of Cursed French Bread (A Secret CIA Experiment?)

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.
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Game of Death: France’s Shocking TV Experiment (Video)

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.
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