Puerto Rico, Now What? part 2

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For far too long, the people of Puerto Rico have chosen to accept the comfort of a familiar yet broken status quo over the uncertainty of real, revolutionary change. Indeed, many on the island and in the diaspora adhere to a colonized mentality, one that believes an independent Puerto Rico is economically unsustainable. But liberated nations across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America have demonstrated otherwise.

Singapore is a prime example. With a size 14 times smaller than Puerto Rico, less natural resources, and a significantly higher population density, Singapore has thrived socially and economically since gaining independence — even exceeding the per capita income of the United States.

Wake Up!

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7 horribles orígenes históricos de los famosos logos corporativos

Usted no tiene que saber una maldita cosa acerca de la mitología griega y romana de haber oído hablar de Pandora o los troyanos – los personajes han sido utilizados en los logotipos de la empresa y por los equipos deportivos durante tanto tiempo como cualquiera de los dos ha existido. Después de todo, nadie tiene el copyright de los mitos antiguos. Entonces, ¿por qué crear un nuevo nombre para su empresa cuando se puede llamar a Cerberus? Una palabra de consejo, sin embargo. Antes de ir pegando una figura mitológica en su logotipo, tome unos minutos para buscar su historia. De lo contrario, obtendrá algunos resultados absolutamente desagradables hilarante. Me gusta …

 

La Sirena Starbucks

El símbolo se utiliza para: Una figura de apariencia elegante para poner en el signo de la cadena del café y tazas.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Obsesión, adicción y muerte.

Si está familiarizado con el logotipo de Starbucks, es probablemente porque, estadísticamente, usted está dentro de un Starbucks ahora mismo. Si usted no está familiarizado con Starbucks, eso es porque usted es una persona hipotética creada para poder dar a este párrafo una estructura satisfactoria.

De cualquier manera, es posible que no se hayan dado cuenta de que la mujer en su etiqueta verde con los senos alegres y trato de pez espada gemelo es una sirena de la mitología griega.

Según el blog de Starbucks, fue elegida como el logotipo porque Starbucks estaba buscando un tema náutico para capturar el espíritu de Seattle. Recuerde que esto estaba detrás en 1971, cuando Seattle fue sabido para la navegación y los puertos de mar en vez de la roca del grunge, de la lluvia y de los hipsters.

En la mitología, las sirenas se ven constantemente como una personificación del océano – y eso no es una buena cosa. Son sociópatas brutales que te asesinen siendo atractivos. Según los eruditos, cantan una canción “irresistiblemente dulce” que “golpea cuerpo y alma en letargo fatal”. Los marineros que se cruzaban con una sirena llegaban a estar tan obsesionados que se estrellaban contra las rocas y morían.

Mucho de la misma manera que un sinnúmero de personas han sido seducidas por el atractivo del café caro, la compra de taza tras taza hasta que finalmente sucumbir, la compra de un ordenador portátil de Apple y pasar el resto de sus vidas en una de esas diminutas mesas, .

Medusa de Versace

El símbolo se utiliza para:

El logotipo en una etiqueta de moda italiana de gama alta.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

La vanidad y la promiscuidad te arruinarán. Lo más probable es que esté familiarizado con el nombre de Versace, aunque sea sólo como “esa palabra impresa en cosas que no puedo pagar”.

Igual de icónico es el logotipo, basado en Medusa:

Y por Medusa, nos referimos a una mujer tan horrible que mirándola convirtió a los hombres en piedra.

Para el crédito de Versace, la leyenda dice que Medusa era originalmente increíblemente hermosa, tanto que sedujo al dios del mar Poseidón. El único problema es que hicieron lo desagradable dentro del templo de Atenea, otro dios que no estaba muy contento. Así que Athena castigó a Medusa con los colmillos y las serpientes de pelo y todo eso.

El punto es, esta casa de moda internacional de alto precio basado su logotipo en un cuento cauteloso sobre los peligros de la lujuria y ser demasiado atractivo.

La historia de Medusa termina con ella finalmente ser decapitada. Su cabeza era utilizada como un arma, ya que incluso cuando fue cortada de su cuerpo todavía era fea y peligrosa.

Además, la sangre que se derramó de la cabeza se convirtió en serpientes venenosas que infestaban el mundo. Ahora ve a comprar ropa sexy, ¡maldita sea!

Preservativos troyanos

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Preservativos, presumiblemente para proyectar fuerza y ​​masculinidad.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un contenedor que se abrió y liberó un enjambre asesino de guerreros.

Podrían ser el ejemplo más famoso, pero la compañía más grande del condón en los E. es apenas el único caso de alguien que utiliza “Trojan” como su mascota. La Universidad del Sur de California lo utiliza como la mascota para sus equipos deportivos, y Googling alrededor revelará un montón de empresas que lo adoptan por su nombre y logotipo. ¿Y por qué no? Los troyanos eran guerreros malvados. Troy es, después de todo, la ciudad que resistió un asalto de la totalidad de Grecia durante 10 años consecutivos. Fuerte, resistente, todo lo que pueda desear en un equipo de fútbol y algo que abraza a su boner durante el sexo.

 

 

Pero pregunte a cualquiera lo que piensan cuando escuchan la palabra “troyano”, y le van a contar sobre el caballo de Troya. La parte más famosa de la historia de guerra de Troya. Sabes, al final, cuando Troy perdió. Conoces la historia, ¿no? Los invasores construyeron un enorme caballo de madera, sus soldados se escondieron dentro de él y los troyanos la trasladaron estúpidamente dentro de sus paredes? Entonces los soldados se escabulleron y asesinaron a todos? Después de todo, así es como conseguimos otro uso popular de la palabra “troyano”, el tipo de virus informático. No se llama eso por su capacidad de atrapar el semen. En su lugar, es una descarga de aspecto benigno que se abre y libera siete millones de gifs animados de pollas en su disco duro.

Así que lo que estamos diciendo es que “Trojan” probablemente no era la mejor elección de palabras para algo que está tratando de convencer a una mujer para poner en su cuerpo. A menos que el objetivo fuera convencerla … Ah no importa.

El Volkswagen Phaeton

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una línea de sedanes de lujo. Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un adolescente imprudente que casi destruyó el mundo con su conducción de mierda.

Las compañías de motor tienden a nombrar sus coches basándose en lo que se desprende bien de la lengua. O bien es una palabra sin sentido, simple (Ford Escort, Honda Civic) o es una que invoca pensamientos de velocidad y peligro, como “víbora” o “mustang.” Así que Volkswagen probablemente pensó que “Phaeton” era una palabra genial. Después de todo, suena como un arma de Star Trek o algo así.

Presumiblemente no sabían que la historia de Faetón de la mitología griega es la historia de un joven testarudo que, cuando llegó a la mayoría de edad, pidió prestado el carro de su padre. Cuando su padre dijo: “Claro, lo que sea”, Phaeton salió, se divirtió y casi se estrelló antes de que Zeus lo matara con un rayo. Todos tenemos una historia similar de nuestra juventud.

 

Phaeton era el hijo de Apolo, el dios que llevaba el sol a través del cielo, por lo que su “carro” que estaba pidiendo prestado también fue remolcando el sol alrededor. Así que tal vez fue la idea, que este coche es tan badass que te sientes como si estuvieras conduciendo un carro tirando el sol masivo y ardiente detrás de ti?

Pero eso sólo hace que la historia sea peor, ya que estrellar su carro significó estrellar el sol en la Tierra. Así que Volkswagen nombró a su sedán de lujo después de un incidente de conducir borracho casi apocalíptico. Uno que sólo se evitó porque alguien asesinó al conductor antes de que pudiera hacer más daño.

HTC Droid Eris

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una línea de teléfonos inteligentes.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

La diosa de la frustración. Los celulares parecen ser nombrados por las mismas personas que llaman coches.

Ellos obtienen palabras totalmente compuestas (Razr) o vagamente sci-fi sonando (Galaxy) o, en este caso, los nombres que suenan como personajes de videojuegos (Eris).

El Droid Eris fue el primer smartphone que llevaba Verizon Wireless y, al igual que muchos smartphones modernos, se jactaba de un montón de sonidos como “sense” y “multi-touch”, ninguno de los cuales importa más que el importante ” tener algún maldito servicio “característica que, por desgracia, no tenía.

Y es por eso que el nombre es tan involuntariamente apropiado – Eris era en realidad la diosa griega de la discordia, la frustración, la rivalidad y la contienda. Ella es conocida por follar las bodas y comenzar la guerra de Troya lanzando una manzana con las palabras “A la más justa” sobre una mesa llena de dioses griegos y diciendo “Ustedes probablemente pueden arreglar eso”.

Así que ella es básicamente el símbolo griego de los inconvenientes masivos, lo que tiene sentido cuando estás fumbling con sus dedos demasiado grasa sobre una pantalla táctil smudgy que grietas si tanto como proyectar una sombra en él. Aunque originalmente el teléfono fue llamado HTC Hero, Verizon cambió el nombre cuando accedieron a darle soporte. Parece como si alguien estuviera tratando de advertirnos.

 El símbolo de la medicina, el caduceo

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Instituciones médicas de todo el mundo.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Engaño y ganancia.

Es probable que por lo menos conscientes del símbolo universal de los médicos y la medicina, pero cuando lo vio en la parte trasera de una ambulancia, es probable que no sabía lo que el infierno dos serpientes y un par de alas tenía que ver con cualquiera :

La respuesta no es mucho. Sin embargo, el símbolo, que se llama un caduceo, tiene fuertes connotaciones que implican el engaño, el engaño y la codicia corporativa. En realidad es el personal de Mercurio, dios romano de mentirosos y ladrones. Para ser justos, parecería ser más apropiadamente el símbolo de las compañías de seguro médicos más bien que de doctores.

El uso del caduceo como un símbolo de la medicina entró en boga en la década de 1850, muy probablemente debido a un malentendido hilarante – otra imagen, la vara de Asclepius, es en realidad el antiguo símbolo para el dios de la medicina y la curación, pero sólo tiene una serpiente y sin alas. Así que, sí, se alegra de que todavía no están viviendo en una época en la que el tratamiento médico involucrado obtener golpeado con una vara de serpiente.

Cuando estaban buscando un logotipo apropiado para los médicos y médicos, que simplemente tiene los dos símbolos confundidos. Resulta que palos con serpientes envueltos alrededor de ellos son más comunes en la mitología de lo que nadie se dio cuenta.

Cerberus Capital Management

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una de las mayores firmas de capital privado de Estados Unidos.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un perro vicioso que te esquiva y te devora vivo.

Una empresa de gestión de capital trabaja encontrando empresas que deberían estar haciendo muy bien pero no lo son y luego inyectándoles dinero en efectivo para que realmente puedan disparar por las estrellas. En el mejor de los casos, son como la gigantesca versión corporativa del Sr. Miyagi, enseñándole algunas técnicas de “cera de automóviles” y “movimientos de pelea” (estabilidad financiera e inteligencia de inversión, respectivamente) bully local “(clima económico tumultuoso). En el peor de los casos, son como un gigantesco perro de tres cabezas que te atrapa a un lado de un río y amenaza con comerte vivo si alguna vez intentas escapar.

Cerberus Capital eligió su nombre porque el fundador quería invocar la imagen de custodiar los fondos de sus clientes. Pero el perro mitológico es definitivamente mejor conocido por comer a la gente viva y atraparlos en un lugar que no quieren ser (Hades) – exactamente lo contrario de lo que una empresa floreciente quiere que su nuevo socio a hacer, a menos que de alguna manera su modelo de negocio .

Hicimos una broma acerca de Cerberus ser una malvado cabal de sombra, pero el fundador Steve Feinberg ya nos golpeó al golpe con este comentario:

“Tratamos de ocultar … Si alguien en Cerberus tiene su foto en el papel y una foto de su apartamento, haremos más que disparar a esa persona. Lo mataremos. La sentencia en la cárcel valdrá la pena.

Sí. Vamos a dejar eso por ahí solo.

 

7 Horrifying Historical Origins of Famous Corporate Logos

 

 

You don’t have to know a damned thing about Greek and Roman mythology to have heard of Pandora or the Trojans — those characters have been used on company logos and by sports teams for as long as either has existed. After all, nobody holds the copyright on ancient myths. So why make up a new name for your company when you can just call it Cerberus?

A word of advice, though. Before you go sticking a mythological figure on your logo, take a few minutes to look up its story. Otherwise you get some downright hilarious unintentional results. Like …

 

The Starbucks Siren

The Symbol Is Used For:

A classy-looking figure to put on the coffee chain’s sign and cups.

Via Beerstreetjournal.comWe always thought it was Heather Graham holding up two striped bass.

But the Symbol Actually Means:

Obsession, addiction and death.

If you’re familiar with the Starbucks logo, it’s probably because, statistically, you are inside a Starbucks right now. If you’re not familiar with Starbucks, that’s because you’re a hypothetical person created just so we could give this paragraph a satisfying structure.

Either way, you may not have realized that the woman in their green label with the perky breasts and weird twin-fishtail deal going on is a siren from Greek mythology.

Via Wikimedia CommonsHer crotch has three handlebar mustaches, which means she may have Roosevelt blood.

According to the Starbucks blog, she was chosen as the logo because Starbucks was looking for a nautical theme to capture the spirit of Seattle. Remember that this was back in 1971, when Seattle was known for sailing and seaports instead of grunge rock, rain and hipsters.

In mythology, sirens are consistently seen as a personification of the ocean — and that’s not a good thing. They’re brutal sociopaths who murder you by being attractive. According to scholars, they would sing an “irresistibly sweet” song that “lapped both body and soul in[to] a fatal lethargy.” Sailors who crossed paths with a siren would become so obsessed that they would crash into the rocks and die.

Via WikipediaThough we like to think they were actually trying to run them over because the sirens played nothing but old Zeppelin covers.

Much in the same way that countless people have been seduced by the lure of overpriced coffee, buying cup after cup until they finally succumb, buying an Apple laptop and spending the rest of their lives at one of those tiny tables, joining the other broken victims.

 

Versace’s Medusa

The Symbol Is Used For:

The logo on a high-end Italian fashion label.

GettyMan, we remember when the “I’ve fallen into a lake with my leather clothes on” look was huge.

But the Symbol Actually Means:

Vanity and promiscuity will ruin you.

Chances are you’re familiar with the name Versace, even if it’s only as “that word printed on things I can’t afford.” Just as iconic is the logo, based on Medusa:

Via Guijarrodesign.comYou should probably avoid trying their clothing on in front of a mirror.

And by Medusa, we mean a woman so hideous that looking upon her turned men into stone.

To Versace’s credit, legend has it that Medusa was originally incredibly beautiful, so much so that she seduced the sea god Poseidon. The only problem is that they did the nasty thing inside the temple of Athena, another god who wasn’t too happy about it. So Athena punished Medusa with the fangs and the hair-snakes and all that. The point is, this high-priced international fashion house based their logo on a cautionary tale about the dangers of lust and being too attractive.

Photos.comHonestly, though? We’d still hit that.

Medusa’s tale ends with her finally being beheaded. Her head was used as a weapon, since even when severed from her body it was still ugly and dangerous. Also, the blood that spilled from the head turned into poisonous snakes that infested the world. Now go buy some sexy-ass clothes, damn you!

 

Trojan Condoms

 

The Symbol Is Used For:

Condoms, presumably to project strength and masculinity.

Via Yourlogoresources.comDon’t forget head. It definitely projects head.

But the Symbol Actually Means:

A container that broke open and released a murderous swarm of warriors.

They might be the most famous example, but the biggest condom company in the U.S. is hardly the only instance of somebody using “Trojan” as their mascot. The University of Southern California uses it as the mascot for their sports teams, and Googling around will reveal lots of companies adopting it for their name and logo. And why not? Trojans were badass warriors. Troy is, after all, the city that withstood an assault from the entirety of Greece for 10 straight years. Strong, resilient, everything you could want in both a football team and something that hugs your boner during sex.

Via WikipediaMakes you want to drag dead bodies behind your chariot like wedding cans.

But ask anyone what they think of when they hear the word “Trojan,” and they’re going to tell you about the Trojan horse. The most famous part of the Trojan war story. You know, at the end, when Troy lost. You know the story, right? The invaders built a huge wooden horse, their soldiers hid inside of it and the Trojans stupidly wheeled it inside their walls? Then the soldiers sneaked out and murdered everyone?

After all, that’s how we get another popular usage of the word “Trojan,” the kind of computer virus. It’s not called that for its ability to trap semen. Instead, it’s a benign-looking download that opens up and releases seven billion animated gifs of dicks onto your hard drive.

Photos.com“His tail is raising! Unplug the tower!”

So what we’re saying is that “Trojan” was probably not the best choice of words for something you’re trying to convince a woman to put inside her body. Unless the goal was to convince her it was safe, before …

Ah, never mind.

 

The Volkswagen Phaeton

The Symbol Is Used For:

A line of luxury sedans.

But the Symbol Actually Means:

A reckless teen who almost destroyed the world with his shitty driving.

Motor companies tend to name their cars based on what rolls nicely off the tongue. Either it’s a meaningless, simple word (Ford Escort, Honda Civic) or it’s one that invokes thoughts of speed and danger, like “viper” or “mustang.” So Volkswagen probably just thought “Phaeton” was a cool word. After all, it sounds like a weapon out of Star Trek or something.

GettyOr every dance crew ever formed.

They presumably did not know that the story of Phaeton from Greek mythology is the tale of a headstrong young man who, when he came of age, asked to borrow his father’s chariot. When his father said, “Sure, whatever,” Phaeton went out, had some fun and almost crashed it before Zeus killed him with a lightning bolt. We all have a similar story from our youth.

Phaeton was the son of Apollo, the god who carried the sun across the sky, so his “chariot” he was borrowing was also towing the sun around. So maybe that was the idea, that this car is so badass that you’ll feel like you’re driving a chariot hauling the massive, burning sun behind you?

GettyOr Matthew Perry, which is pretty much the same load.

But that just makes the story worse, since crashing his chariot meant crashing the sun into the Earth. So Volkswagen named their luxury sedan after a near-apocalyptic drunk driving incident. One that was only avoided because someone murdered the driver before he could do any further damage.

 

HTC Droid Eris

Via Letsgomobile.org

The Symbol Is Used For:

A line of smartphones.

A line that was evidently extremely proud of its clock feature.

But the Symbol Actually Means:

The goddess of frustration.

Cellphones seem to be named by the same people who name cars. They either get totally made-up words (Razr) or vaguely sci-fi sounding ones (Galaxy) or, in this case, names that sound like video game characters (Eris).

“Introducing the Verizon Sonic. Because video games are things.”

The Droid Eris was the first smartphone that Verizon Wireless carried, and like a lot of modern smartphones, it boasted a lot of cool sounding features like “sense” and “multi-touch,” none of which matter more than the all-important “having some goddamn service” feature which, unfortunately, it didn’t have.

And that’s why the name is so unintentionally fitting — Eris was actually the Greek goddess of discord, frustration, rivalry and strife. She’s known for fucking up weddings and starting the Trojan War by throwing an apple inscribed with the words “To the fairest” onto a table full of Greek gods and saying “You guys can probably sort that out.”

Via WikipediaWe hear Lowell McAdam has hooked feet.

So she’s basically the Greek symbol for massive inconvenience, which makes sense when you’re fumbling with your too-fat fingers over a smudgy touch screen that cracks if you so much as cast a shadow on it. Though originally the phone was called the HTC Hero, Verizon changed the name when they agreed to provide support for it. It seems almost like someone was trying to warn us.

 

The Symbol of Medicine, Caduceus

 

The Symbol Is Used For:

Medical institutions the world over.

Photos.com“Well, four breast exams in one day seems a little excessive, but you’re the doctor.”

But the Symbol Actually Means:

Deceit and profit.

You’re probably at least passingly aware of the universal symbol of doctors and medicine, but when you saw it on the back of an ambulance, you likely didn’t know what the hell two snakes and a pair of wings had to do with either:

Photos.comBut you were pretty sure that if you rolled at least a 12, you’d resist its poison.

The answer is not a lot. However, the symbol, which is called a caduceus, does have strong connotations involving deceit, trickery and corporate greed. It’s actually the staff of Mercury, Roman god of liars and thieves. To be fair, it would seem to be more fittingly the symbol of medical insurance companies rather than doctors.

The use of the caduceus as a symbol of medicine came into vogue in the 1850s, most likely due to a hilarious misunderstanding — another image, the rod of Asclepius, is actually the ancient symbol for the god of medicine and healing, but it only has one snake and no wings. So, yeah, be glad you’re not still living in an era when medical treatment involved getting smacked with a snake rod.

Via Medgadget.comAnd don’t dwell too hard on this article during your next root canal.

 When they were looking for an appropriate logo for doctors and medics, they simply got the two symbols confused. It turns out sticks with snakes wrapped around them are more common in mythology than anyone realized.

Cerberus Capital Management

The Symbol Is Used For:

One of the USA’s largest private equity firms.

GettyThey’ve been known to buy a small company or two.

But the Symbol Actually Means:

A vicious dog that corners you and devours you alive.

A capital management firm works by finding companies that should be doing really well but aren’t and then injecting them with some cash so that they can really shoot for the stars. At their best, they’re like the gigantic corporate version of Mr. Miyagi, teaching you some “car-wax techniques” and “badass fight moves” (financial stability and investment smarts, respectively) so you can hold your own against the “local bully” (tumultuous economic climate). At their worst, they’re like a gigantic three-headed dog that traps you on one side of a river and threatens to eat you alive if you ever try to escape.

Via WikipediaAnd then it pees on the carpet and swats your nose with a newspaper.

Cerberus Capital chose its name because the founder wanted to invoke the image of guarding his clients’ funds. But the mythological dog is definitely best known for eating people alive and trapping them in a place they don’t want to be (Hades) — exactly the opposite of what a burgeoning company wants their new partner to do, unless that’s somehow their business model.

We’d make a joke about Cerberus being an evil shadowy cabal, but founder Steve Feinberg already beat us to the punch with this comment:

“We try to hide … If anyone at Cerberus has his picture in the paper and a picture of his apartment, we will do more than fire that person. We will kill him. The jail sentence will be worth it.”

Via WikipediaHe then drank the blood of an orphan and molested Hitler’s corpse back to life before disappearing in a ball of flame.

Yeah. We’ll just leave that up there all by itself.

J.F. Sargent TumblesTweets and is the managing editor of Pculpa.com.

For more ridiculous backstories you need to know, check out The 7 Most WTF Origins of Iconic Pop Culture Franchises. Or check out why Hollywood knows better, but still doesn’t give a shit in 5 Old-Timey Prejudices That Still Show Up in Every Movie.

And stop by LinkSTORM to learn what SWAIM really stands for.

 

Why Puerto Rico Don’t Get A Major Hurricane since 1998

8ae72-arecibo-radio-telescope-puerto-rico

I remember every year growing up in the Island the hurricane season, a time for stress seen that Puerto Rico it’s in the path of most hurricanes coming in from Cabo Verde Africa.

The Island has seen a lot of devastating hurricanes  for example:

4311626_sanfelipe

San Felipe II

September 13, 1928 (Category 5) It crossed the island from southeast to northwest with winds of 160 miles per hour. It caused 312 deaths and $ 50 million in estimated damages.

4311626_capture_13

 San Ciprián 

September 26, 1932 (Category 3). It wrapped us from east to west with estimated winds at about 120 miles per hour. It caused 225 deaths and $ 1,500,000 in estimated damages.

4311626_santaclara

Santa Clara

August 11, 1956 (Category 1). He is also known as Betsy. He entered through Patillas and left for Arecibo. It caused 16 deaths and $ 40 million in estimated damages.

4311626_e5a0f30a-98af-4108-a6b7-5a03f806484c

Hugo

18 September 1989 (Category 4). It greatly affects Vieques and Culebra and the eastern half of Puerto Rico. It caused two deaths and one trillion in estimated damages

4311626_6bb3c18b-91ad-46ff-a657-b8cf7c03d084

Georges

21 September 1998 (Category 3). It crossed the island from east to west, affecting all Puerto Rico with winds of 115 miles per hour. No deaths were reported from the phenomenon. The estimated damages exceeded 1 billion.

4311626_f1b06e35-a8e1-4ac7-a57b-1ce9f9dba543

Irene

August 21-22, 2011. The radar estimates, the major blast was in the mountainous zone and its winds reached 111 miles per hour. It caused damages estimated at $ 500 million. although she didn’t touch ground.

The HAARP Station started operating in 1993. The current IRI has been operating since 2007 and its main contractor was BAE Advanced Technologies

“It is basically the same as HAARP for the science, except that HAARP was in the Auroral Region, where the physics of the ionosphere is quite different with all the energetic particles and magnetic fields,” Penn State Electrical Engineering Professor Jim Breakall, WA3FET, told ARRL. “HAARP also had 3 gigawatts of effective radiated power, where Arecibo will only be about 200 megawatts.”

The Arecibo Observatory Amateur Radio Club, KP4AO, is headquartered at the research facility, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last fall.

The National Science Foundation and Cornell University, which previously operated Arecibo Observatory, contracted with Penn State’s Electrical Engineering Department to construct the “new and enhanced” HF ionospheric instrument. It will be used to study the interaction between HF radio energy and ionospheric plasma.

The new facility will replace an earlier ionospheric heater in Islote, Puerto Rico, that was destroyed by Hurricane Georges in 1998. Rather than rebuild that installation, the new instrument will use the observatory’s 1000 foot dish for its antenna. This will keep all research activities involving ionospheric modification at the observatory proper.

Plans call for a design based on a Cassegrain screen concept of phased array at the bottom of the dish feeding a sub-reflector mesh that hangs above the dish from three support towers. Breakall and his team of graduate students at Penn State have done all of the electrical design and modeling of this new antenna system.

“There are three crossed-dipoles for 5.1 MHz and another three for 8.175 MHz, forming an array that will beam energy up to a net mesh reflector that will hang from the three big towers,” Breakall explained. “This Cassegrain screen will then reflect energy back down to the 1000 foot dish and beam an effective radiated power of hundreds of megawatts up to the ionosphere to modify it.” Each dipole is fed from a 100 kW transmitter, yielding a total transmitted power of 600 kW.

An even earlier HF heating antenna system also was suspended from the platform above the dish and driven by a single 100 kW transmitter over a frequency range of 3 to 10 MHz. That design suffered from arcing problems and was taken out of service in the 1970s.

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HAARP is the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. Various individuals have speculated about hidden motives and capabilities of the project. For example, Rosalie Bertell warned in 1996 about the deployment of HAARP as a military weapon.[31] Michel Chossudovsky stated in a book published by the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform that “recent scientific evidence suggests that HAARP is fully operational and has the capability of triggering floodshurricanesdroughts and earthquakes.”[32] Over time, HAARP has been blamed for generating such catastrophes, as well as thunderstorms, in IranPakistanHaitiTurkeyGreece and the Philippines, and even major power outages, the downing of TWA Flight 800Gulf War syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome.[6][33][34]

Potential as a weapon

The HAARP program was controversial in the mid-1990s, due to the assumption that Station antennas could be used as weapons. In August 2002, HAARP technology was mentioned as a critical issue in the Russian Duma (parliament). The Duma produced a press release on the HAARP program, written by the defense and international affairs committees, signed by 90 representatives and presented to then-President Vladimir Putin. The press release indicated the following: “The United States is creating new comprehensive geophysical weapons that can influence the troposphere with low-frequency radio waves … The importance of this qualitative leap is comparable to the transition from white weapons to firearms, or conventional weapons to nuclear weapons. This new type of weapon differs from any other known type in which the troposphere and its components become objects on which to influence. ”

The European Parliament, for its part, in a resolution of 28 January 1999 on the environment, security and foreign policy (A4-0005 / 1999), pointed out that the HAARP station manipulated the environment for military purposes and requested that, which raised a worldwide problem (paragraph 24), was the subject of an evaluation by STOA concerning its impact on the local and global environment and on public health in general. In that same resolution of the European Parliament, it called for an international convention for the global prohibition of any type of development and deployment of weapons that could allow any form of manipulation of human beings.

Allegations include the following:

  • Nick Begich Jr., the son of the late U.S. Representative Nick Begich and brother of former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, is the author of Angels Don’t Play This HAARP. He has claimed that HAARP could trigger earthquakes and turn the upper atmosphere into a giant lens so that “the sky would literally appear to burn.” He maintains a website that claims HAARP is a mind control device.[35][36]
  • A Russian military journal wrote that ionospheric testing would “trigger a cascade of electrons that could flip Earth’s magnetic poles”.[35]
  • The Alaska state legislature and the European Parliament held hearings about HAARP, the latter citing environmental concerns.[37]
  • Former Governor of Minnesota, ex-professional wrestler, and conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura questioned whether the government is using the site to manipulate the weather or to bombard people with mind-controlling radio waves. An Air Force spokeswoman said Ventura made an official request to visit the research station but was rejected. “He and his crew showed up at HAARP anyway and were denied access.”[38]
  • Physicist Bernard Eastlund claimed that HAARP includes technology based on his own patents that has the capability to modify weather and neutralize satellites.[5]
  • It has been proposed as a cause of low frequency background hums said to be heard in various locales.[39] 
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Two Georgia men arrested on drug charges in November 2016 were reportedly plotting domestic terrorism based on conspiracy theories about HAARP. The Coffee County Sheriff’s Office say the men possessed a “massive arsenal” that included AR-15 rifles, Glock handguns, a Remington rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition. According to police, the men wanted to destroy HAARP because they believed the facility manipulates the weather, controls minds and even traps the souls of people. Police say the men confessed that “God told them to go and blow this machine up that kept souls, so souls could be released.”[40][41]

Stanford University professor Umran Inan told Popular Science that weather-control conspiracy theories were “completely uninformed,” explaining that “there’s absolutely nothing we can do to disturb the Earth’s [weather] systems. Even though the power HAARP radiates is very large, it’s minuscule compared with the power of a lightning flash—and there are 50 to 100 lightning flashes every second. HAARP’s intensity is very small.”[5] Computer scientist David Naiditch characterizes HAARP as “a magnet for conspiracy theorists”, saying that HAARP attracts their attention because, “its purpose seems deeply mysterious to the scientifically uninformed.”[6] Journalist Sharon Weinberger called HAARP “the Moby Dick of conspiracy theories,” and said the popularity of conspiracy theories often overshadows the benefits HAARP may provide to the scientific community.[42][43] Austin Baird writing in the Alaska Dispatch said, “What makes HAARP susceptible to conspiracy criticism is simple. The facility doesn’t open its doors in the same way as other federally-funded research facilities around the country, and it doesn’t go to great efforts to explain the importance of its research to the public.”[33] In August 2016, in response to these claims, the facility announced it would have an open day, allowing visitors to tour the complex.[44]

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Important to note is that Hurricane George was the last one to actually impact Puerto Rico directly and this was back in 1998.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Frequency_Active_Auroral_Research_Program

 

What Really Lies Hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives?

Vatican-Secret-Archives

 

Mystery and intrigue are inherent to the Holy See. People will always wonder what religious authorities are conspiring to behind closed doors, what treasures lie within the vaults of the Vatican. Despite claims that the Pope has evidence of extraterrestrials and demons tucked away in his catacombs, the truth of the secret archives is much more realistic. Because of this, it is also much more interesting. From handwritten letters of historic personages such as Mary Queen of Scotts and Abraham Lincoln to papal bulls excommunicating Martin Luther, the contents of the archives are enough to make any scholar’s eyes go wide. Yet, the high-level nature that makes the contents so fascinating is also what makes them so closely guarded. For in truth, it is not evidence of aliens that the Vatican is hiding from the public eye but rather documents that may show the Church was complicit in Mussolini’s state-sponsored terror and, possibly, even in Hitler’s anti-Semitic pogroms.

 

Archivum Secretum

The truth behind the secret archives stems from a mistranslation of Latin. The actual name of the Vatican archives is Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum. ‘Secretum’ in Latin does not mean ‘secret’ as some may suppose. It is more accurately translated to mean ‘personal’ or ‘private’. The archives are in fact made up of the private letters and historic records of past popes over the past four centuries. The archives were established by Pope Paul V. The Pope clearly had a sense of the historic importance of papal correspondence and knew that such documents should be preserved. However, the 17th century was firmly of the mentality that common people should not be privy to words exchanged by kings and popes. So the archives were kept under lock and key.

Accessing the Private Archives

It was not until 1881 that Pope Leo XIII allowed researchers to view some of the archive’s contents. However, it was no simple matter for one to view the documents and the procedure has not changed much over the last 200 years. First of all, journalists, students, and amateur historians are not given access. Once an interested party has proven that he or she is a serious enough scholar, credentials are granted that must be renewed every six months. To enter the archives, a “scholars enter through the Porta Sant’Anna, pass Swiss Guards, walk through the Cortile del Belvedere, and present credentials” (O’Loughlin, 2014).

Porta-Sant-Anna

 

The Porta Sant Anna, where visitors must pass through to reach the archives (Wikimedia Commons)

Once admitted, scholars must request which specific documents they wish to review. They are only allowed to request three per day. So instead of being able to browse the contents of the archive, they must select articles from catalogs in which items are handwritten in Italian or Latin. These catalogs are quite imposing considering that the archives contain “50 miles [80km] of shelving and documents dating back to the eighth century” (Keyser, 2015). “If in just a few minutes they realize that what they’re seeking isn’t in the requested folders, they’re forced to pack up for the day – a challenge for scholars on a deadline or those who have traveled long distances” (O’Loughlin, 2014). Computers are allowed but not photography so scholars spend most of the sessions in reading rooms typing up notes.

 

Historical Gems

If a person is fortunate enough to gain access to the Vatican Archives, he or she would be able to pursue such historical gems as:

  • The 197-foot-long (60 meters) scroll containing the minutes of the trials of the Knights Templar, which lasted for several years starting in 1307.
  • The Inter caetera, the papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1493 that split the world between the Spanish and the Portuguese
  • A letter from Michelangelo to Pope Julius II
  • The 1521 papal bull of Pope Leo X excommunicating Martin Luther
  • The 1530 petition Henry VIII sent to Pope Clement VII in order to request an annulment of the king’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which includes the signatures and seals of over 80 English lords and clergymen (the Pope refused)
  • A letter to Pope Sixtus V from Mary, Queen of Scots begging the Church to intervene shortly before her execution
  • Notes relating to the 1633 trial against Galileo
  • A letter to Pope Innocent X from Grand Empress Dowager Helena Wang of China
  • A letter from Pope Clement XII to the Seventh Dalai Lama requesting protection for Franciscan missionaries in Tibet.
  • Letters from both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis (both written in 1863, neither man Catholic) in efforts to have Pope Pius IX come down in favor of the Union or the Confederacy
  • King-Henry-VIII-to-Anne-Boleyn

 

A letter from King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, held in the Vatican archive (public domain)

Pope Pius XII in League with the Nazis?

David Kertzer, a historian from Brown University, was able to examine documents from the reign of Pope Pius XI (1922 – 1939). He concluded that the pope “made deals with Mussolini to protect the Church’s interest in exchange for silence on state-sponsored anti-Semitism, a conclusion at odds with the Church’s account” (O’Loughlin, 2014). Groups are pressuring Pope Francis to make fully available the contents relating to Pope Pius XII (1939 – 1958) in order that the world may finally know for certain the man’s involvement with the Nazis. Some say that he supported Hitler, either in a manner similar to the Church’s support of Mussolini or perhaps even more substantially. Others say that the Pope worked against the Nazis and helped to hide Jews and other targets of Nazi aggression.

“People talk, scholars talk. Are there things that aren’t being made available because they’re seen as unflattering from a Church point of view?” said Kertzer. Still, Kertzer admits, the Secret Archives are staffed by professionals, and “there’s an appreciation of serious historical scholarship.” (O’Loughlin, 2014)

In 2012, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the archives, 100 documents were made available for the public to see in an exhibit called Lux in Arcana.

Lux-in-Arcana

Lux in Arcana – The Vatican Secret Archives Reveals Itself. Credit: The Vatican

Top image: Some of the 50 miles of bookshelves in the Vatican secret archive Photo: The Vatican

By Kerry Sullivan

Sources:

The Guardian. “In Pictures: Secrets of the Vatican Archives.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 16 Sept. 2010. Web. https://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2010/sep/08/vatican-secret-archives-pope.

Keyser, Hannah. “15 Historic Wonders Housed in the Vatican’s Secret Archives. “Mental Floss. Mental Floss, Inc., 15 May 2015. Web. http://mentalfloss.com/article/63850/15-historic-wonders-housed-vaticans-secret-archives.

O’Loughlin, Michael. “What’s Hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives?” Crux. Crux Catholic Media Inc., 01 Sept. 2014. Web. https://cruxnow.com/church/2014/09/01/whats-hidden-in-the-vatican-archives/.

Sinister Sites: The Sansevero Chapel

kapella-san-severo-e1495738835602

Local legends about the Sansevero Chapel of Naples claim that the astonishing works of art it contains are the result of sorcery and black magic. The sculptures appear impossible to create by hand, while a macabre display featuring two actual human bodies is said to be the result of ritual killings. Also, adding to the occult aura surrounding the chapel, it is filled with Masonic symbolism.

At first glance, Capella Sansevero is your typical Italian chapel from the 17th century, tastefully filled with paintings and sculptures of a religious nature. However, a closer look at the various items in the chapel reveals that something is “off” about this place. Some sculptures are so “organic-looking” that they lead many to believe they were the result of a supernatural process. Furthermore, the enigmatic symbolism found around the chapel heavily hints to an allegorical esoteric message.

And, when visitors climb down a few stairs, they see this:

What the?

The chapel has on display two actual human remains with their entire nervous system on display. Creepily dubbed “Adam and Eve” – and even more creepily referred to as “anatomical machines” – this bizarre display has been the subject of all kinds of occult rumors.

To fully understand what is going on with the chapel, one must understand its creator: Raimondo di Sangro, the Prince of Sansevero. While he was considered a brilliant inventor and philosopher by many, others believed that he was a cruel black magician who killed people to conduct bizarre experiments.

A visit to his Sansevero Chapel gives credence to both points of view as it puts on display all of di Sangro’s alchemical genius … and madness. Before looking at the bizarre works of art on display at the chapel, let’s first look at the man behind it all.

Raimondo di Sangro, the “Sorcerer Prince”

From the age of 10, di Sangro was educated at the Jesuit College of Rome. In 1730, at age 20, he came back to Naples using the title “Prince of Sansevero”. He soon joined the ranks of occult secret societies.

“In spite of the religious training that he had received with the Jesuits, the young man soon joined the secret brotherhood of the Rosicrucians, where he was initiated into ancient alchemic rituals, the so called “sacred art” or “king’s art” which had been handed down through the centuries from Egyptian priest to their disciples. Don Raimondo had found his life calling. While maintaining the outmost silence about “his brothers” and the teachings he was receiving (he left no documents whatsoever on the activities of the mysterious sect) the Prince radically changed his life and devoted all his time to alchemy. Vials, ovens and alembics filled the cellar of his palace and at nighttime it was not rare to see strange, colored vapors and disgusting smells coming out of the barred windows of his cellar. It was at that time that Neapolitans started labeling him a sorcerer.”
– Rino Di Stefano, Raimondo de Sangro,
the “Sorcerer” Prince

Di Sangro introduced Freemasonry to his city as he became the head of the Neapolitan Masonic Lodge. This fact, combined with his knack for presenting peculiar inventions, such as an “eternal flame” made from a chemical compound of his creation and human skull bones, only grew the legend surrounding Di Sangro.

“Prince Raimondo di Sangro was known as an eccentric, enigmatic, and mystical man. He was the head of the Neapolitan Masonic lodge, the symbols of which are interspersed throughout the chapel, and was a student of numerous areas of the sciences, as well as alchemy and other mystical disciplines. He also spoke several exotic languages such as Hebrew and Arabic and was an inventor, some of his inventions of which were rather bizarre, such as a mechanized carriage with wooden horses that was said to be able to travel over both land and water. These eccentricities led to the Prince garnering a reputation as a practitioner of wizardry and black magic, and rumors abounded that he performed sinister magical rituals, human sacrifices, and curses. It was also said that he could perform great feats of alchemy, such as creating blood out of water or even thin air, and that he used the various body parts of his sacrificed victims in his odious spells and potions. The Prince was said to lock himself away for days on end and perform demented experiments on human beings, such as reanimating the dead. These dark rumors and legends that swirled around the Prince made him into a man to be feared and avoided; a larger than life black sorcerer who could bend magical and natural forces to his will. The Prince did little to deny these rumors and it is thought that he even encouraged them.”
– Brent Swancer, The Bizarre Anatomical Machines of Italy

One of di Sangro’s many “hobbies” was Bel Canto, which means “beautiful singing”. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t appreciate beautiful singing?

However, for di Sangro, “Bel Canto” means buying little boys from impoverished parents, castrating them and forcing them to sing.

“In spite of his being acquainted with the pleasures of family life and having children (…), the Prince enjoyed going around his many estates looking for young boys with beautiful voices. Usually he would find them in the church choir. Then he would “buy” them from their parents (usually poor, illiterate peasants who had many children) and had his personal physician, don Giuseppe Salerno, castrate them. He would then lock them up in the Conservatory of Jesus Christ’s Poor in Naples, where these young castrated boys started their careers as “sopranist”.
(…)

He saw in the castrati a search for perfection, which according to the Rosicrucians resulted from “annulling the dualism that comes from separation, a return to the primordial androgynous being”.
– Ibid.

As di Sangro’s reputation grew, and his writings gained publicity, he made powerful friends and powerful enemies. His involvement with Freemasonry lead to his writings being banned and for him to be ex-communicated by the Catholic Church.

He spent the later days of his life decorating the Sansevero Chapel, turning this small place into a grandiose representation of the “alchemical and Masonic path to illumination”.

A Mysterious Occult Temple

Before it was transformed by Raimondo di Sangro, the Sansevero Chapel was already the subject of bizarre rumors. It was said to have been constructed on an old temple of Isis and, to prove this fact, locals point to a massive Statue of the God of the Nile, located just around the corner from his home.

The Statue of the God of the Nile in Naples.

Adding to the sinister factor, the Palazzo Sansevero was the scene of a brutal murder at the end of the 16th century, when the composer Carlo Gesualdo caught his wife and her lover together and hacked them to death in their bed. Up until 1888, a passageway connected Palazzo Sansevero to the Sansevero chapel.

However, it is when Raimondo di Sangro turned this chapel into an alchemical project that the site became an attraction, especially in occult circles. Other than the enigmatic “hidden message” of the chapel, it is the works of art that mystify visitors. They appear to daringly declare: “I was an occultist and this is what I could do”.

The works of art in the Sansevero Chapel are indeed unique, powerful and unsettling, forcing visitors to ask: “How did he do that”? And, when one knows the esoteric and alchemical background of the Prince, observing them leads to the question: “Was this done through an occult process?”

The most compelling example of this is The Veiled Christ. Set in the middle of the chapel, this sculpture of Christ covered by a thin veiled has an unnerving quality: How was this marble sculpture made using a block of stone and a chisel? The veil is too … real.

“Veiled Christ”
A closeup of the face.

“Completed in 1753 by Giuseppe Sanmartino and commissioned by Raimondo di Sangro, it portrays Christ deposed after crucifixion, covered by a transparent veil. This veil is rendered with such subtlety as to be almost deceiving to the eye, and the effect seen in person is really striking: one gets the impression that the “real” sculpture is lying underneath, and that the shroud could be easily grabbed and lifted.

It’s precisely because of Sanmartino’s extraordinary virtuosity in sculpting the veil that a legend surrounding this Christ dies hard – fooling from time to time even specialized magazines and otherwise irreproachable art websites.

Legend has it that prince Raimondo di Sangro, who commissioned the work, actually fabricated the veil himself, laying it down over Sanmartino’s sculpture and petrifying it with an alchemic method of his own invention; hence the phenomenal liquidness of the drapery, and the “transparence” of the tissue.”
– Bizarrobazar, The Mystery of Chapel Sansevero

For centuries, a “black legend” surrounded this sculpture and others in the chapel that held that the Prince used a mysterious alchemical process to “marbelize” a fine cloth placed over the sculpture.

Veiled Christ from above.

Some observers noticed a troubling detail about that sculpture: Christ appears to still be breathing.

“There may be another small “anomaly” in this Veiled Christ, as there is a slight indentation over the nostril, as if the shroud is being sucked in by breath – is this “dead Jesus” alive? Did di Sangro believe that Jesus had not died on the Cross? If so, perhaps he was not only a Mason, but a member of another, even more mysterious, order?

Jesus disappeared from his tomb – but he is not alone. The Prince’s tombstone can still be seen in the chapel. He died on March 22, 1771, “from a sudden illness caused by his mechanic experiments”. During the long nights he spent in his laboratory he had probably inhaled or ingested some toxic substance, which this time had indeed become lethal. His sarcophagus, however, does not contain his body; someone stole it. When or why is not known.

Raimondo had a plaque placed in the chapel, stating that the person who commissioned those works (i.e. himself) was moved by a desire “to astonish, discover and teach”.
– Phillip Coppens, The Alchemical Chapel

On the left of Veiled Christ is The Chastity, a sculpture modeled after di Sangro’s mother Cecilia Caetani d’Aragona. The naked woman is covered from head to toe by a thin veil which reveals her forms in every detail. This work of art is, once again, another “supernatural” feat of sculpture. How can this effect be achieved using marble?

The Chastity.
A close-up shot.

“The Chastity (La Pudicizia) by Corradini, with its drapery veiling the female character as if it was transparent, is another “mystery” of sculpting technique, where the stone seems to have lost its weight, becoming ethereal and almost floating. Imagine how the artist started his work from a squared block of marble, how his mind’s eye “saw” this figure inside of it, how he patiently removed all which didn’t belong, freeing the figure from the stone little by little, smoothing the surface, refining, chiselling every wrinkle of her veil.”
– Op. Cit, Bizarrobazar.

Although the statue was modeled after di Sangro’s mother, it is clearly a tribute to the most important figure in Freemasonry: Veiled Isis.

“The veiled woman can be interpreted as an allegory of Wisdom, and the reference to the veiled Isis, special divinity of the science of initiation.”
– Made in South Italy, The Alchemist Chapel

Indeed, in occult symbolism, Veiled Isis is the ultimate representation of occult mysteries where the truth is veiled to the profane until true esoteric initiation.

“The mysteries of Hermeticism, the great spiritual truths hidden from the world by the ignorance of the world, and the keys of the secret doctrines of the ancient philosophers, are all symbolized by the Virgin Isis. Veiled from head to foot, she reveals her wisdom only to the tried and initiated few who have earned the right to enter her sacred presence, tear from the veiled of Nature its shroud of obscurity, and stand face to face with the Divine Reality. (…)

To the modern seeker she is the epitome of the Great Unknown, and only those who unveil her will be able to solve the mysteries of life, death, generation, and regeneration.”
– Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Locals claim that The Chastity is placed exactly where a statue of Isis stood, back when the chapel was a temple of Isis.

On the opposite side of The Chastity is Disillusionment, another perplexing sculpture infused with profound symbolism. Modeled after the Prince’s father Antonio di Sangro, it depicts a man struggling to free himself from a net as he is being helped by a winged youth.

Disullisionnement by Francesco Queirolo.
A close-up shot.

Once again, a mystery surrounds this sculpture: How can a net be sculpted over a body that appears to have been already sculpted underneath? Was an alchemical process used to achieve this astonishing result?

Not unlike The Chasity, this sculpture is an allegory for a fundamental Masonic concept: The freeing of Man using the intellect.

“Its allegorical meaning is that man is intent on freeing himself from false beliefs (the net) with the aid of the intellect (the young man).”
– Rino Di Stefano, “San Severo”

Although there are several other sculptures in the chapel, the three above clearly stand out and are connected with their mysterious organic qualities. Furthermore, these three sculptures constitute an “esoteric triangle”. With The Chastity on the left (representing the female principle), Disillusionment on the right (representing the male principle) and Veiled Christ in the middle (representing the “perfected man”), the sculptures esoterically represent the most fundamental hermetic principle: Duality merging to create a perfected being.

In occult circles, this concept is personified by Isis and Osiris uniting to create Horus – the perfect being.

In my article about Sirius, I write:

“To achieve perfection, the initiate must successfully understand and internalize the dual nature of the world (good and evil; masculine and feminine; black and white, etc.) through alchemical metamorphosis. This concept is symbolically represented by the union of Osiris and Isis (the male and female principles) to give birth to Horus, the star-child, the Christ-like figure, the perfected man of Freemasonry – who is equated with the Blazing Star.”

The original floor of the chapel also heavily plays on the concept of duality and esoteric initiation.

The original floor of the chapel before it was changed in 1909.

The original floor was in black and white – meant to represent duality and the unification of opposing forces – not unlike the checkerboard floor found in all Masonic lodges. The intricate, tri-dimensional design depicts a labyrinth – a masonic symbol for initiation.

“Labyrinths and mazes were favored places of initiation among many ancient cults. Remains of these mystic mazes have been found among the American Indians, Hindus, Persians, Egyptians, and Greeks. (…) The famous labyrinth of Crete, in which roamed the bull-headed Minotaur, was unquestionably a place of initiation into the Cretan Mysteries.

Labyrinths were symbolic of the involvements and illusions of the lower world through which wanders the soul of man in its search for truth.”
– Hall, op. cit.

Just like duality opposes black and white, the sublime works of art described above are opposed to a morbid and sinister display: The Anatomical Machines.

Adam and Eve

The two “anatomical machines” on display at Capella Sansevero.

What the heck are those things might you ask? Well, they’re exactly what you’re hoping they are not. And maybe worse.

This exhibit consists of two actual skeletons of a mature male and a pregnant woman. Their entire nervous system is exposed, where the arteries are colored red and the veins are colored blue.

A closeup of the woman’s head.

The fetus of the pregnant woman was on also originally on display but the specimen mysteriously disappeared.

The macabre display.

How did Raimondo di Sangro preserve the nervous system of these human remains? Well, that’s a mystery that keeps on being mysterious. And, once again, a “dark legend” surrounds these “anatomical machines”.

It was indeed rumored that “Adam and Eve” were two servants of di Sangro who were injected with a substance that crystallized their nervous system – killing them in the process. Here’s a dramatic account of the legend:

“The Prince, just like a sorcerer, is stirring the preparation in a big cauldron. Eventually, the long-awaited reaction takes place: a mysterious liquid is ready. On the other side of the room, the two bound and gagged servants can’t even scream anymore. The man is sobbing, while the woman, even immobilized, stays vigilant and alert — perhaps the new life she carries in her womb prevents her from giving in to fear, commanding an already impossible defense. The Prince hasn’t got much time, he has to act quickly. He pours the liquid down a strange pump, then he gets close to his victims: in their eyes he sees an unnameable terror. He starts with the man, puncturing the jugular vein and injecting the liquid right into his bloodstream with a syringe. The heart will pump the preparation throughout the body, and the Prince watches the agonizing man’s face as the dense poison begins to circulate. There, it’s all done: the servant is dead. It will take two to three hours for the mixture to solidify, and surely more than a month for the putrified flesh to fall off the skeleton and the network of veins, arteries and capillaries the process turned into marble. Now it’s the woman’s turn.”
– bizzarrobazar, The mysteries of Sansevero Chapel

While recent “studies” claim that di Sangro artificially recreated the nervous systems of these bodies using wire and beeswax, I find this difficult to believe. I mean, just look at the closeup pictures above. How can a man create that complex system manually?

“These two skeletons are overlaid with a complex, twisting network of metal tendrils and hardened arteries and veins which represent the arterial system, viscera and musculature of human beings with amazing, meticulous accuracy. The skulls of the two figures are hinged, and can be opened to reveal an incredibly detailed spiderweb of blood vessels within. Upon their unveiling, the disturbing models were so mystifying and grotesque that it was believed that the dark Prince had actually used his black magic and alchemy on some of his unwilling servants to morph them into these abominations.

Regardless of whether they are the result of black magic or not, Adam and Eve present a number of very real mysteries, not the least of which is how they were made in the first place. For years the method of construction was the source of bafflement among scientists and doctors. Were the intricate hardened circulatory systems real, and if so how did they remain so remarkably well preserved for over 200 years? Were they artificial? If so, how could they be reproduced so faithfully? Since there was little to no documentation as to the original creation of the anatomical machines, these were questions for which the answers long remained elusive. The main theory was that the two anatomical machines were created through a process known as plasticization, or “human metallization,” which involves injecting substances directly into the circulatory systems of subjects while they were still living, after which these materials would travel along the veins and harden, painfully killing the unfortunate victim in the process. However, no one really knew for sure.”
– Op Cit. Swancer

No matter what the case may be, these anatomical machines aren’t simply there to freak out visitors. They are also said to serve a symbolic purpose in the alchemical “great work” that is the chapel.

Through various clues, it is believed that the anatomical machines represent the last stage of the alchemical process called Rubedo – the reddening – symbolized by a red phoenix rising from its ashes. Interesting fact: The “machines” were originally on display in a room called The Phoenix.

“the originary placement of the “anatomical machines”, inside the Phoenix Apartment on a revolving platform, looks like a symbolic choice: maybe Raimondo di Sangro thought of them as a depiction of the rubedo, a stage in the search for the philosopher’s stone in which matter recomposes itself, granting immortality.”
– Op. Cit., bizzarrobazar

The least one can say is that the chapel is surrounded by mystery. This is only amplified by the fact that di Sangro destroyed his own scientific archive before he died. Then, after his death, under threat of excommunication by the Church due to di Sangro’s involvement with Freemasonry and alchemy, his descendants destroyed what was left of his writings, formulae, laboratory equipment and results of experiments. All that is left is thinly veiled symbolism.

In Conclusion

In the image of its creator, the Chapel of Sansevero is brash and unapologetic. It is a celebration of the esoteric path and a showcase of the alchemical know-how of an enthusiastic occultist. While “occult” literally means “hidden from the public”, Raimondo di Sangro spent his life publicizing his interests and discoveries, barely “placing a veil” on the true nature of his experiments.

The Chapel is, therefore, one of those rare instances where “magic” can be seen in plain sight. While the sublime works of art of the chapel are a celebration of life, beauty, and spirituality, the morbid manipulation of cadavers below celebrate death, decay and the gruesome. In short, not unlike the black and white floors that used to cover this occult temple, the Chapel of Sansevero visually represents the dualistic nature of the universe and, by correspondence, the dualistic nature of man. Once these opposing forces are united, and the duality is resolved, esoteric perfection is said to be attained. To achieve this, one must not be afraid to look towards the heavens … and stare into the depth of hell.

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

Heretic-Pharaoh-Akhenaton

                                               How plentiful it is, what you have made,

Although they are hidden from view,

Sole god, without another beside you;

You created the earth as you wished,

When you were by yourself,

Mankind, all cattle and kine,

All beings on land, who fare upon their feet,

And all beings in the air who fly with their wings.

This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.

Just how did this Pharaoh start to form the practice of worshiping a single god?

Religion in Egypt Before the Sun God Aten

Religion seemed to dominate every aspect of ancient Egyptian culture.  Before pharaonic times, there were a variety of deities worshiped in various districts throughout Egypt.  It wasn’t until the First Dynastic Period under King Narmer that the country was unified.  Religion too was unified, but there wasn’t an official canonization of gods that minimized or eliminated the importance of lesser gods.   Instead, deities were cosmopolitan – all of the gods of Egypt were recognized as an important part of the pantheon.  This created some confusion and some overlap in beliefs but still no hegemony of deities seemed to exist in ancient Egypt.

Representations-of-six-gods

 

Representations of six gods from the Ancient Egyptian Pantheon (Public Domain)

This codification of religion brought a substantial change in kingship.  The birth of the concept of a Pharaoh emerged in which the king was no longer just a civil ruler but a part of the divinity – the godhead to be precise.  The new god-king ruled in conjunction with Ra, or Amen-Ra, and he was often depicted as a powerful man with a falcon head nested upon his head with cobra surrounding the sun.

 

Imentet and Ra from the tomb of Nefertari, 13th century BC (Public Domain)

With this uncontested rule of the god-king came another important change.  The role of the priests became much stronger and more dominant.  Unlike today’s priests, they weren’t charged with guiding the masses.  Instead, they were the keepers of tradition and played an integral part in appeasing the gods and goddesses through rituals and sacrifice.   During the 18th dynasty, there was a temple created in Amen-Ra’s honor and Thebes became the city representing a unified Egypt, after a brief takeover by the Hyksos.  The Pharaohs of this era paid homage to this god by incorporating the name Amen in their names, hence Amenhotep.

The Sun-Disk Pharaoh Emerges

By the time Amenhotep IV took the throne, pharaonic Egypt was in full swing.  Rituals and traditions of the priests had been set in stone for many generations.  Pharaohs simply assumed authority and let the priests do all the work while they enjoyed the finer things.  This didn’t sit well with Amenhotep IV, however.  Unlike his predecessors or even his successors, he was unhappy with tradition and was especially disgusted with the power of the priesthood.  Whether Amenhotep IV unhappiness was due to him being fed up with Egyptian decadence or him being tired of the priests control over the Pharaohs is uncertain.  But one thing for sure is that after five years of his reign he set out to turn Egyptian religious practices upside down and because of his divine authority, no one could stop

Statue-of-Akhenaten_0

 

Statue of Akhenaten – Father of Tutankhamun (CC BY-SA 2.0)

One of the first things he did was abandon the name Amen-, a name associated with a god he now despised – and changed his name to Akhenaten.  Aten was the name of the sun disk god he now embraced as the only god.  He then moved the capital from Thebes to Amarna.  Most likely this move represented a break from the old and freedom from the authority of the priesthood.  He then employed agents who outlawed the worship of other deities and forced the people to recognize only one god.  To ensure that the people would follow his orders, he closed the Temple of Amun and defaced all of the deities in the temple.

 

Statue of Amun (Public Domain)

Life After Aten

Akhenaten’s religious fervor was undoubtedly strong during his lifetime and his cronies supported his desire to spread the power and influence of the Aten religion.  Unfortunately, upon his death, the religion of Aten faded as swiftly as it had come.  Akhenaten’s reign became a historical mockery.  Even depictions of him seemed to mock his figure – oval eyes, high cheekbones, pot belly, frail build.  Artisans and historians alike worked to minimize Akhenaten’s significance, not by writing him out of history or art; but making him look like a madman with unusual laws and an unusual appearance.  The power of Egypt was restored to Thebes, the priesthood was reestablished, and even Akhenaten’s son defied his father’s teachings and reembraced the religion of Amun.

exaggerated-features-of-Akhenaton

The exaggerated features of Akhenaton (CC BY-NC-NA 2.0)

Could Akhenaton be Moses?

Akhenaten certainly seemed like a religious zealot devoted to a single god.  Perhaps his passions were divinely inspired or maybe they centered on a more worldly aim of absolute power and control free of the priesthood’s influence.  One man seems to imply that Akhenaten’s motives stemmed from the fact that he was Moses himself – the man depicted in the old testament of the Bible.  Ahmed Osman – author of Moses and Akhenaton: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus – is convinced that archaeological and Biblical evidence prove that Akhenaten and Moses were the same man.

Moses-with-the-Tables

Ahmed-Osman

 

Ahmed Osman – author of Moses and Akhenaton: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus

Interview with Expert Ahmed Osman on the Moses–Akhenaton Debate

Mel Childs: Why do you think that Akhenaton was Moses?

Ahmed Osman: The reason for me to conclude that King Akhenaten of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty

was the same person as Biblical Moses, as well as both of them have introduced the

first monotheistic belief, they lived in Egypt at the very same time.

MC:  It is implied that Moses of the Bible had a conflict with Pharaoh Ramses; however, history doesn’t account for Akhenaton having any issues with any other Pharaohs.  How do you explain this?

AO: The Pharaoh at the time of Moses is not mentioned by name in the Bible.

However, the name Ramses is mentioned as the city the Israelites had to build

for Pharaoh.

I believe that Akhenaten was forced to abdicate his throne for his son, Tutankhamun,

and live in Sinai in exile. When all the kings of the 18th Dynasty died, General Ramses,

who established the 19th Dynasty, was challenged by Akhenaten, who came back from exile,

demanding his throne.

When he lost his throne, Akhenaten also lost his name and became known as Moses.

This indicates in Egyptian the son or heir.

MC:  Do you think that Akhenaton’s monotheism influenced later forms of monotheism that emerged?

AO:  Akhenaten’s monotheism, not only influenced other religious beliefs, but also philosophy.

As ancient Egyptians believed that humans have physical and spiritual dimensions,

Akhenaten was the first person to recognize the cosmos also has a spiritual dimension.

Is Akhenaten the father of monotheism as it is known today?  Share your opinions below.

Top image: A house altar showing Akhenaten, Nefertiti and three of their daughters. 18th dynasty, reign of Akhenaten (Public Domain)

By Melisha Childs

Resources

Nardo, D. Life in Ancient Egypt. San Diego:  Referencepoint Press, 2014.

Aldred, C. Akhenaten:  King of Egypt. NY: Thames & Hudson. 1988

Dersin, D. What Life was Like on the Banks of the Nile: Egypt 3050 – 30 BC. Fairfax: Time-Life Books. 1997.

Religious Literature. Hymn to Aten.