|Written by Susan Lillard|
|Tuesday, 02 August 2011 16:31|
What do the Mad Hatter and the Salem Witch Trials Have in Common?
All were created by toxins/molds
1. "Mad as a Hatter" refers to someone who is behaving in an irrational way.
The origins of the term come from 19th Century England. Hat makers used felt and the skins of beavers who were sent over from the United States, especially the Pacific Northwest, the skinners who sent the beaver pelts over treated them in the U.S. using toxic chemicals and when they arrived in England the hatters would lick the skins to soften them as they were making the hats, therefore they consumed the toxic chemicals such as arsenic, lead, and mercury. The symptoms often made them delusional which also included confused speech patterns, personality changes and tremors. Therefore, they were termed as the "Mad hatters".
2. There is known, proven evidence of not only stachybotrys but other molds such as Aspergillus, and other mold and fungi that infiltrate our homes and other dwellings as the term originated as "Stachy Wacky" pronounced, "stacky wacky." There is a long known tradition of people known to be exposed to stachybotrys or many other molds such as mind affected by such toxins as mold and fungi. See Mycotoxins
Stachybotrys is known to make mentally ill for up to 2 years since the first time of contamination. People are often called crazy by others who are exposed by stachybotrys before they are educated by this horrible mind destroyer and hallucinogen. Therefore the phrase, "Stachy wacky" has been coined.
3. What about the Salem Witch Trials?
Today we ask: Is it from God? Is it from the Devil? Or is it from the bread we eat? The University of Houston's College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.
In 1976 Linnda Caporael offered the first evidence that the Salem witch trials followed an outbreak of rye ergot. Ergot is a fungus blight that forms hallucinogenic drugs in bread. Its victims can appear bewitched when they're actually stoned. Were we growing the first forms of L.S.D.?
Ergot thrives in a cold winter followed by what was an unusually wet spring that year. The victims of ergot might suffer paranoia and hallucinations, twitches and spasms, cardiovascular trouble, and stillborn children. Ergot also seriously weakens the immune system.
Now Mary Matossian tells a story about rye ergot that reaches far beyond Salem. She studies seven centuries of demographics, weather, literature, and crop records from Europe and America.
Down through history, Matossian argues, drops in population have followed diets heavy in rye bread and weather that favors ergot. During the huge depopulation in the early years of the Black Death, right after 1347, conditions were ideal for ergot.
Many symptoms of ergot poisoning and the plague are similar. They probably coexisted. The worst plague damage occurred where ergot suppressed the human immune system and made people vulnerable. Records of plague deaths show huge regional variations. The plague probably followed pockets of rye ergot.
And what about witch hunts? The symptoms of bewitchment are consistent, but the way those symptoms were received was not. Crazy behavior was commonplace in the medieval plague years. The mad "Dance of Death" is a theme shot through medieval iconography. The spasms suffered by ergot victims were called St. Vitus Dance. Do you remember Ingmar Bergman's wonderful movie about the plague, The Seventh Seal? It began and ended with the figure of death leading the doomed in an eerie dance across a hilltop.
Then, in the 1500s and 1600s, the symptoms of ergot were blamed on witches -- all over Europe, and finally in Massachusetts. Witch hunts hardly occurred where people didn't eat rye.
In the 1740s, the so called Age of Rationalism, ergot symptoms became a mark of holy, not demonic, possession. Visions, trances, and spasms were read as religious ecstasy. It was a period of religious revival that historians call the Great Awakening.
And we're left to wonder just how we cope with diseases we don't understand, today. I read our kinship with those old ergot sufferers in something Kipling wrote:
I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
The deaths ye died I have watched beside
And the lives ye led -- were mine.