THE OUIJA BOARD - DEMYSTIFIED
In contemporary times, the Ouija board has seen a resurrection of sorts. The world finds itself in yet another
cycle of turmoil and uncertainty and interest in the paranormal has reemerged again in popular culture.
Both network and cable television as well as movie studios feed it to a public with a voracious appetite for all
things supernatural. News programs and even normally haute magazines and newspapers will run the
occasional semi-evenhanded feature on some paranormal sighting or strange experience that formerly was
relegated to the Halloween editions or the office shredder. In the business of giving the masses what they want,
the sheer number of TV shows dealing with the "reality" of the paranormal and those who pursue it was
astounding as even educationally-based networks tapped into "The Next Big Thing". The Ouija board - used
often as a plot device - made regular appearances as a co-star or in cameo roles. Never one to be left behind,
even the personal communications industry developed a Ouija board app for smart phones for people seeking a
direct line to the afterlife.
The Ouija board exerts an odd hold on the emotions and beliefs of many Americans and people all over the
world. It also creates a sort of "home version" of what people otherwise pay goodly sums of money to divine with
the assistance of spirit mediums. Family and friends can sit around the board and ask it typical questions one
would in a desire to foresee the future or gain insight into a particularly vexing problem. (Ed: It should come as
no surprise that in the beginning, those most conflicted by this cultural phenomenon were the spirit mediums
themselves, who foresaw their roles in this passion play greatly diminished.) There is also a certain element of
peril involved when people venture into the Great Unknown. This provides the type of adrenaline rush or "cheap
thrill" that so many people crave and - like the stylized horror movies that one can find on any number of cable
channels, DVDs or pay-per-view outlets - it can take place in the comfort and privacy of one's own home. It also
speaks to a large extent of the desire to believe in some higher power, something greater than us that controls
our fates and offers up some type of solace in knowing there may be more to life beyond this mortal coil. A place
where those who pass over can still stop by to send their regards and respond to our inquiries.
It's interesting to note that wide-spread interest in the paranormal is very much a cyclical thing and this has
been borne out through history. In times of great political, financial or social upheaval, people have trended
toward the spiritual. This is especially true in times of military conflict. The Civil War, the World Wars, the
Vietnam War and the current threat of international and domestic terrorism all coincide with spikes in a renewed
interest in the spiritual and supernatural. In 1944, a single New York department store sold over 50,000 boards
at a time when disposable income was scarce. The Great Depression saw new factories opened to meet the
burgeoning demand for the Ouija. In 1967, one year after Parker Brothers purchased the rights to the game,
sales exceeded 2 million, outselling the preeminent board game of our time - Monopoly. Was it sheer
coincidence that this was the year that saw the first movements of a burgeoning counter-culture, the escalation
of troops in Vietnam and violence resulting from the boiling-over of racial tensions? Perhaps the senseless and
heartbreaking loss of lives, financial distress and the plight of the disenfranchised and socially disconnected are
the most prominent factors that contribute to the turn toward the otherworldly.
HOW DOES IT WORK….AND WHY?
We are about to delve into a very polarized topic here. In dealing with the mystical and the supernatural there
is an age-old saying that, "For some, no proof is necessary and for others no proof will ever be enough". That
axiom seems to sum up the conflicting points of view about the Ouija board as well as any.
In one corner is the logically-thinking community, where empirical data must accompany any assertion which
lies outside the realm of accepted and known scientific constants, the Ouija board remains a fanciful pastime,
much as it was designed to be in the late 1800s. They are not controlled by spirits, demons or any denizen of
the psychic ether. Psychologists embrace the conclusions put forth in 1852 by physician and physiologist
William Benjamin Carpenter who asserted that human beings are subject to involuntary movements and
reactions that occur without any type of conscious will or effort. In effect, a dissociative state where
consciousness is separated from normal cognitive or motor functions. This became known as the "Ideomotor
Effect". Even those who declare their innocence and put forth their best effort not to initiate any physical action
to cause an equal reaction can be victims of their own subconscious.
The Ideomotor Effect also extends to human emotions as certain images or interactions can trigger emotional
responses of anger, sadness or joy. One year after Carpenter's conclusions were published, a physicist named
Michael Faraday applied this theory to the theme of spiritualism. Among the objects of interest - like crystal balls
- was "table tipping". This is accomplished when a group sits in a circle around a table (usually, but not always
three-legged) and with the fingers of both hands placed on it in plain sight, palms down, calls upon the spirits
present to rock and even levitate the table from its normal stationary position using the collective energy of the
participants to do so. This was once considered to be state-of-the-art spirit communication. Through a series of
experiments, Faraday concluded that the movement of the table were not caused by spirit interaction but by the
Having witnessed this type of spectacle myself, I offer another variation. One that acknowledges Faraday's
conclusion with an observation of my own. In watching people take a stab at table-tipping, there is usually one
individual - let's call them the "facilitator" - who runs the show. They will initiate the requests for the spirits to
come forward and strut their stuff. What I always became aware of were the introduction of strong suggestions
that were disseminated to those around the table, ones that could easily influence their mind-set and potentially
affect motor behavior. Easily and based solely on expectation, one person could subconsciously begin to apply
pressure through their fingers to the table initiating a movement. The equal reaction would be an almost
involuntary response from the others to make a physical "correction" by pushing back on the table in the
opposite direction from where it came. Once momentum is gained and all are involved, the table will begin to
rock to the extent of a ship being tossed in a storm. Sometimes there is an element of "quackery" involved with
the facilitator intentionally making the first move to get the ball rolling. Even sincere and honest efforts on the
participant's parts to remain perfectly still can still result in a false positive response.
The use of the planchette on a Ouija board really is not much different in terms of involuntary movement. It
can be touched by one or more people and when a question is asked, it can easily trigger that combination of
expectation and subconscious movement to achieve a desired result (yes/no, a proper name, word, etc.). The
outcome of these instinctive movements can be quite convincing to both participants and observers of the
session. If those involved already have a pre-occupation with or at the least a strong enough belief in the
powers of the paranormal and a person's capacity to contact the spirit world, those results can, through
emotional and psychological means, overpower objective reasoning and it becomes more than just a game or a
harmless way to pass the time. This is also when perceptions and manufactured images from popular culture in
relation to the Ouija begin to emerge and result in a readiness to believe that something astounding is going to
happen. Maybe even something fiendish and malevolent.
There are a host of apparatus used for spiritual divination that can be manipulated quite easily by slight,
unconscious movements like dowsing rods, pendulums and the aforementioned small, three-legged tables, but
of all of them the planchette is easily the most well-suited for the task. They are light and normally have casters
or felt legs on the bottom to allow superior ease of movement. Muddying the waters further are those instances
when a group of people are utilizing the board with each individual having the potential to influence the
movement of the planchette so it becomes very difficult to isolate and identify any one individual who might bear
responsibility. This only adds to the conjecture that something "unearthly" is controlling the apparatus.
While researchers generally dismiss any form of otherworldly intervention in the use of the Oulija, they do
recognize it is an interesting tool in which to examine brain processing functions and the levels they work on.
Particularly the distinction between conscious and non-conscious mind. Let's say for example you sit a group of
people down who have never heard of, let alone ever seen a Ouija board. Once explaining how it works, you
leave them to their own devices and return some time later only to discover they are astonished at the results
they have achieved and the accuracy, ease and consistency in which they were attained. Is this an endorsement
of the mystical qualities of the board, or have they tapped into their own non-conscious knowledge bases?
In an experiment conducted by Dr. Ron Rensink, a professor of psychology and computer science at British
Columbia University; Hélène Gauchou, a psychology postdoctoral researcher and Dr. Sidney Fels, a professor
of electrical and computer engineering, indications are that people's non-conscious minds are a startling
reservoir of knowledge. Here's how they arrived at this:
An individual was placed in a room and seated at a Ouija board. Across from them was a robot "partner". The
player was told they would be playing via teleconference with another participant seated in a different room and
that the robot would be mimicking that individual's movements. This was actually an intentionally false premise.
The person in the other room was simply a subterfuge and the robot was actually programmed to magnify its
"partner's" movements. The participant was asked a series of yes/no questions and instructed to answer them
verbally. They were essentially of the general knowledge type concerning things like capitals of countries and
current events. When they responded to these verbally, their success rate was around 50% which is considered
a normal outcome. When they were instructed to use the board to answer them, their success rate shot to 65%.
To sum it up, when they were under the impression that the answers originated from someplace else, they were
correct 15% more often than they were when responding to the the best of their own ability.
While it might sound like this is a project worth pursuing, the scientific community is hindered by the stigma
that has been placed on the Ouija board. The same stigma being perpetuated by many of its users in terms of
their preconceived ideas about the dangerous and mystical elements associated with its use. No one wants to
risk ridicule or loss of credibility by utilizing anything considered so farcical.
In the other camp are those who could be referred to as the "Spiritual Theorists". One can say with some
degree of certainty that messages gleaned from the board indeed come from forces beyond our control. But
while the rational-minded point to Ideomotor Effects and subconscious navigation, those who believe the board
has a certain mystical connotation are equally convinced that entities are being "channeled" and inter-
dimensional doors are being opened in order to gain unworldly insights. Like the Spiritualists who preceded
them, there is a feeling that there is a greater purpose being served by reaching out to disincarnate beings just
dying (sic) to communicate with us. For many who advocate its use, it is felt that spirits are for the most part
benevolent and accommodating beings ready to lend a hand and share important information with us. Some of
these Ouija advocates will go to great lengths in performing protection and cleansing rituals to guard against
connecting with more ill-intentioned spirits who have taken advantage of the opportunity to wander in and wreak
havoc upon the lives of the participants. It is here that we encounter a "fact vs. fiction" dilemma.
Often, when people talk about ghosts and the paranormal in general they postulate about the "x" factor. That
certain "something" we are missing from the equation that we profess we cannot comprehend. Is it that hard to
reason then that perhaps we are the "x" factor? Devotees, followers and so-called "experts" have taken a simple
board game designed for entertainment purposes and inserted their personal beliefs into the equation such as
seeking out creepy and even macabre locations to perform sessions. They introduce symbolic objects, light
candles to signify "illumination" and perform rituals to supplement the basic session. These are done out of
personal choices that most certainly are not detailed in the instructions that accompany the board. They too
often border on superstition and self-delusion as illustrated by the legend that a planchette making figure eights
symbolizes a spirit has taken over the board. That myth exists only because 8 is considered unlucky as a poker
hand of eights and aces is deemed the "death hand" Most likely this originated because "Wild Bill" Hickok was
holding that hand when he was shot and killed in...wait for it...Deadwood, S.D. While it is archaic and folkloric,
such superstitions have a knack of perpetuating themselves and becoming part of the cultural fabric. Much like
the first European settlers brought their own superstitions about vampires and witches to the New World (along
with diseases that decimated a great deal of the Native American population).
Taking this one step further, at a later date the experimenters replaced the robot with two living persons
sitting across from each other. They then blindfolded each participant (more on this technique later) and
again asked a series of general knowledge questions. Once again the rate of success was around the
typical 50% mark. Now they were instructed to place their fingers on the planchete and employ the board
to answer the next set of questions. One partner, being a "plant", would then stealthily remove their
fingers from the planchette, leaving the remaining and unwitting participant to have unaided power over its
Certain religious fundamentalists will decry the use of the board based on two assumptions: The first
being that the spirit world is not to be negotiated with or disturbed as it is not our place to do so and
religious doctrine forbids it. The other is that malicious forces lurk within that realm and may even disguise
themselves as kindly or unfortunate souls reaching out for our aid and understanding. When encountered,
they may cause emotional, physical and psychological damage (or even death) to those who have
unwittingly summoned them.
The basis for these types of assertions usually are the result of anecdotal evidence concerning some
form of negative fallout they or someone they heard of or read about endured after using the boards. Even
those with no particular devotion to rigid religious principles will caution against and discourage use of the
board based on some personal experience, the advice of "authorities" with backgrounds in occult or
spiritual practices and vague convictions that have been influenced by misinformation and in many cases,
pure urban legend. In many of these instances, certain beliefs come directly from theatrical portrayals that
have been burned into our social consciousness.
Some of the mystery surrounding the board comes directly from its originator's brilliant marketing
strategy. In order to create a certain sense of apprehension when using it, the designers would print
instructions that included:
"Have no one at the table who will not sit seriously and respectfully. If you use it in a frivolous spirit, asking
ridiculous questions, laughing over it, you naturally get undeveloped influences around you."
The Robert E. Sylvestre Catalogue for spirtualists and mediums had this to say in a printed ad for the
"What is it? "Ouija" prophesies, forewarns and advises, as well as prefigures one's destiny. "Ouija's"
revelation of what was, what is, and what is to come, rival the Delphic Oracles. The curtain is lifted,
revealing the secrets of that debatable land between matter and spirit, and nature's laws have no control
over this marvelous instrument. The Unknown Land seems almost within our grasp, and the scientific
mind strives to comprehend just where this borderland lies. The "Ouija" is without a doubt the most
interesting, remarkable and mysterious production of the 20th century. Its operations are always
interesting and frequently invaluable, answering, as it does, questions concerning the past, present and
future with marvelous accuracy. The English Journal, "Light," says: "It certainly seems a readier method of
communication than the planchette."
Price . . . . .$1.50
This is where the rubber meets the road. What is left unsaid is the suggestion that one has to place
oneself in a certain state of mind to achieve the desired results. Attitude is crucially important as the
board's responses will reflect the mental state of the user. The choice of location is also paramount to a
successful sitting. It's recommended that one go to a quiet place where outside noises are limited if not
completely eliminated. Choices range from dark attics to closets to graveyards to lonely beaches at night.
Ceremonies of protection and cleansing have become vital to the session. Above all, the user is urged not
to give up if nothing out of the ordinary presents itself. To keep trying in case all the lines are busy at the
It is clear then that expectation, suggestion, atmosphere and frame of mind are all pertinent to a
successful experience. It is equally clear that putting yourself in this position would certainly elevate one's
sense of anticipation and increase the potential of a false positive occurrence. If you want something to
happen and display a strong determination to achieve it, a great deal of the time you will be rewarded.
While most of the time this form of wishful thinking is a very positive influence in people's lives, it can also
lead to unrealistic expectations and a delusion of sorts when it comes to bearing witness to unusual
phenomena. People who want to see ghosts will see them, people who want to contact the spirit world will
be convinced they have achieved that. The potential problems arise when objectivity and neutrality are
absent in the effort.
So what do we make of the instances where for all intents and purposes the indications are a Ouija
board appeared to bear some responsibility for life-altering events? People will state with some degree of
certainty the spirit world has guided or obstructed or brought great joy or interminable suffering, into their
lives. From the files of "The Museum of Talking Boards" website, here are some of the strangest stories,
presented only for us to decide whether extreme coincidence or spirit intervention served as their catalyst.
A Cottage City, Maryland boy who came to known as "Rob Doe" began displaying unusual symptoms
after his family experimented with a Ouija board. Odd manifestations occurred in his presence: the
shaking of his bed and the sudden movement of room furnishings from their usual positions. The
Washington Post first reported the incident on August 10th, 1949. Several articles followed, each more
sensational than the last. They told of the boy's tribulations, the failure of medical science to treat his
maladies, and his cure by a Catholic priest. Except for a 1951 Fate Magazine follow up, the whole matter
might have been a forgotten curiosity. It was not to be. In 1971, William Peter Blatty's heavily altered novel
about the incident hit the bookstands. It quickly became a best seller and a movie blockbuster followed. Its
name? The Exorcist.
While writing one day, poet Jane Roberts experienced a paranormal revelation when she "felt her
consciousness leave her body." Flooded with new ideas, she and her husband experimented with a Ouija
board and contacted an "energy essence personality entity" named Seth. The results were several
popular books by Roberts and a few dictated by the entity Seth himself. Roberts is directly responsible for
starting the "channeling" craze in 1972 with her book, Seth Speaks. The writings of Roberts and Seth are
still popular among New Agers and there are many websites devoted to their works
Iris Maloney won 1.4 million dollars in the California lottery after picking the winning numbers through
her Ouija board. "Hank isn't laughing at me anymore," chortled Iris, referring to her husband who had
counseled her to throw the "damn thing" away. Waving a facsimile of the check in one hand and her Ouija
board in the other, Iris posed for the obligatory photo session before a small group of photographers. "I
don't know if I will continue to use the Ouija," Iris commented. "I'll probably hang it next to my needlepoint
collection in our new home." Hank was still in the hospital recovering from the heart attack he suffered
after hearing the news of his wife's success and was unavailable for comment.
Six United States Army soldiers known as "The Gulf Breeze Six" (Spc. Kenneth Beason, Spc. Vance
Davis, Sgt. Annette Eccleston, Pfc. Michael Hueckstaedt, Pfc. Kris Perlock and Pfc. William Setterberg)
went AWOL when a Ouija board put the six soldiers in touch with an entity that named herself Safire, and
others, including those presenting themselves as the Old Testament prophet Zechariah, Mark and Timothy
of New Testament, and the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. They warned them of a coming global cataclysm.
Broken taillights on their Volkswagen van gave them away and police arrested them. The six, all with top
security clearance, were headed west to live "like a survivalist group." An FBI investigation uncovered
their Ouija board manifesto complete with accurate prophesies of the Gulf War and the earthquake in Iran.
New York City's destruction by a gas leak and the second coming of Christ have yet to occur. The Army -
at the consternation of Joint Chief of Staff Colin Powell) was understanding of the situation and gave the
men honorable discharges but reduced them in rank and docked them a half month's pay. The group's
leader, Davis, currently tours and gives lectures on "self-sustaining" lifestyles.
Concerned English villagers held a Ouija séance to see if the board could provide any information
about three local murders. Bludgeoned as they walked to school, were a mother, her daughter, and the
family dog. A second daughter survived the attack but with serious injuries. Investigators counted the
number of blows to the victims as sixteen. The Ouija board suggested that the police re-examine an area
where they found a bag of clothes from the victims, and indeed, a hammer was lying there in plain sight.
Villagers were understandably upset at the police for missing so vital a clue. Embarrassed officials later
issued a report stating they could not link the hammer to the killings and denied the Ouija board figured in
the discovery. The search continues for the real murder weapon.
An English court of appeals ordered a retrial after the discovery that jurors used a Ouija board while
sequestered in a hotel room. The Ouija board told them to "vote guilty tomorrow," and they did, convicting
the defendant of the murders of two people. Adding new meaning to "consulting the spirits," the jurors
admitted to drinking excessively also and they were properly remorseful about it all. Although a majority
rule is necessary for conviction, and only four people had used the Ouija board, their Lordships decided
that they could not dismiss the entire matter as "merely a drunken game." The defendant was found guilty
at his Ouija-free retrial.
While these are some of the more well-publicized and notorious encounters with Ouija boards, there
are literally thousands of other tales of people who have reported nocturnal sexual violations, direct
communication with the demonic (the most reported), disturbing dreams, physical attacks, deceased
unknowns sending messages to the living, the "obligation" to perform odd or even destructive acts,
pronouncements made in mysterious languages and so forth.
The debate over the validity of any transmissions received via the Ouija board will continue despite
strong evidence to the contrary. I've often suggested - as others have - that the participants be blindfolded
in a controlled environment so as not to be able to see the letters on the board. Barring a user memorizing
the exact position of the letters, any word, proper name or phrase spelled out correctly and within the
context of the question posed would be extremely compelling. (Flipping the position of the board would
also be a good control tool.) This is rarely done but when it has been, the results normally result in
complete gibberish. Even so, Spiritualists, New Agers and believers will counter that impairing the user is
disturbing their ability to channel the spirits effectively with their eyes and hands being needed as a
vehicle to dispatch the message. It seems a convenient and frivolous argument at best, but one that true
advocates will uphold with great fervor.
SO IS THIS THING DANGEROUS??
In a word, yes, but probably not in the manner one might believe it is. For one thing, people displaying
psychological or emotional instability probably should not delve into it because any perceived responses
might just be the thing to send someone over the edge based on a false or unsupported premise.
Likewise, those whose use of the board is intended to summon negative entities to catch an adrenaline
rush or tempt fate will often fall psychological prey to their own morbid approach and dark expectations.
These are the folks, among them teenagers and adolescents, who report having the most "terrifying"
experiences and the majority of those are the product of a self-inflicted state of anxiety and heightened
anticipation. Just reading some of the stories being circulated not only tests one's view on common sense,
but patience as well. We will always urge young people to refrain from using a Ouija board not because
they run the risk of encountering unclean spirits but that they just propagate superstitious beliefs and run
the risk of scaring themselves silly.
Habitual users can also develop an unhealthy sense of dependency on the board at the expense of
focusing on the more important and positive aspects of their lives. Like an addiction, simply putting the
board aside gets harder and harder and some individuals rely so heavily on the messages they receive
that they acknowledge them as a guidance system for their actions, relationships and many of their
important choices in life. It can be that invasive if one allows it to be and sadly, many have and still do.
The peak of popularity of the board has been demonstrated to occur at times when those who have
lost loved ones yearn for a method of staying connected to them. In those times, people will embrace
anything that provides hope and comfort. Sadly, there will always be the more unscrupulous that will take
full advantage of their grief for personal gain. The most glaring example of that are fraudulent psychics
who will pass along faux messages from the deceased, often for a handsome price. The Ouija board can
be a self-medicating version of that for those in despair.
It's also interesting to note that people who otherwise display rationality and objectivity can also be
quite influenced by the results of a Ouija board session. Interestingly, this often comes on occasions when
the responses to them are distasteful and unpleasant or speak to their deepest fears. Could this be
because it is easier and more comforting to shift the blame for such messages to unseen spirits than to
acknowledge harboring these kinds of thoughts in the conscious or subconscious mind? We see this quite
often in the paranormal field when it becomes easier to blame a demon or ghost on the negative
conditions in one's life than to self-assess and take accountability for their lot in life.
Testimony to the contrary remains wide and passionate. The following statement posted on
Amazon.com from a "Naiche" of Brooklyn, NY has been chosen because it seems to sum up he dominant
argument in favor of the Ouija as a tool for ill-intending spirits to pervade our world and one that should
not be taken lightly at any cost.
"First off, a Ouija board is not a toy! I have not really used one seriously since around 1989. I can tell you
that several absolutely unexplainable things happened of which I will not go into too much detail in this
particular forum. While all of the things that happened were freaky, one in particular involved driving to a
location that the board spelled out for myself and my girlfriend (at the time). We didn't know if the address
actually existed but thought we'd go there since it wasn't too far away if it really did exist (this was before
the days of the Internet when I could have looked it up on Yahoo or Mapquest). When we got there, we
could not believe that the address was real, but neither of us was willing to get out of the car and knock on
the door (looking back, I almost wish we had). When we got back to her place, the first thing the board
spelled out was, "I saw you outside my window." This is not a joke. This happened and it is one of several
incidents. My girlfriend got scared and didn't want to play anymore and I've not really touched the board
since. I can't explain the things that happened. I only know that several unexplainable things occurred and
that I am telling the truth. The unknown is fun and exciting, but it can also be scary and dangerous! Play at
your own risk!"
The paranormal landscape is dotted with testimonials of this nature and all indications are that
disputes over the validity of the Ouija board as a tool of divination won't be ending anytime soon. People
are always going to believe what they choose to believe. Take for example the introduction of a device
called the "KII Meter" into the paranormal investigator's arsenal. The apparatus made its public debut via
spirit medium Chris Fleming on an episode of the SyFy network's "Ghost Hunters" back in 2007. The key
premise is that the single-axis EMF meter's series of LED lights will illuminate in direct response to
questions posed to the spirit, who can be taught to interact with it by coming in close proximity to it.
(Sample: "If you can touch this device, it will light up, once for "yes" and twice for "no", please". Fox
sisters, eat your hearts out.)
When it did so on camera, the rush to purchase them was on and it became, for all intents and
purposes, the "Ouija Board of the New Millennium". The fact that it was particularly sensitive to man-made
fields and prone to false positives did not deter anyone (including ourselves) from placing their orders,
proving that instant gratification in the pursuit of spirit communication is still very much alive and well even
if the "tools" have crossed the threshold into the age of technology and circuitry. We've even had clients
purchase them for their personal use and the results mirror that of the board insomuch as for some it
becomes an object of fixation. We always caution the public against purchasing "ghost hunting" gear for
the purpose of self-investigation not for fear of opening a portal to the spirit realm or infringing on our
territory as much as leaning too heavily on them to the point of obsession. Taking a walk outside or
spending more time with one's family is the healthier option - both physically and psychologically.
In the end, the Ouija board seems to have been given a bad rap based on its history and development
as nothing more than a benign recreational diversion. There remains the intriguing prospect of a few
compelling incidents that appear to defy logic and reason inserting an undeniably mysterious element into
the more practically explained majority, but most experiences seem to be driven by need, expectation and
vivid imagination. One can certainly then make an argument that the conviction and faith in it as an
instrument of spirit communication is extremely predictive in so far as assigning meaning and value to
essentially incomplete data. This has encouraged - along with media, theatrical and superstitious
manipulation - a form of mass delusion in which the whimsical combination of mythology and imagination
tread directly on our reality.