Blood Suckers in Malawi Termed Mass Hysteria; Monkey Man a Similar Case

The Society of Medical Doctors in Malawi is now speaking out publicly to declare the current fear of blood suckers to be a case of “mass hysteria” also known as “shared delusion disorder.”

For background information, read:

Vampires, Blood Suckers, Witchcraft, Resurrection and more in Malawi

In a statement, society president Dr. Amos Salimanda Nyaka said: “We are disturbed by the reports of thuggery that has resulted into some health workers being attacked for carrying a stethoscope. Some have had unfortunate incidences of having their vehicles smashed, and in others having their possessions taken off them for being suspected of being blood suckers, and or in pursuit of the non-existent suckers. Some ambulances have also been attacked whilst being used to ferry patients to and or from hospital.”

The society also criticized Malawi President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi media for not fully denouncing the fear of vampires as nonsense and appealing to reason. Mutharika later came out in a more direct statement to the country addressing the rumors as both a hoax and an opportunity to enter homes and rob innocent people.

President Mutharika

Since the panic began in late summer of this year, more than nine people have been killed and more than 100 have been arrested.

THE MONKEY MAN OF NEW DEHLI, 2001

A similar mass hysteria occurred in New Dehli when, in May of 2001, police began receiving inconsistent reports of a clawed entity with glowing red eyes. Some described it as feline-like, while others felt it was a monkey-man. Sometimes it was described wearing a helmet. Folks began to report unexplained bite-like injuries, scratches and bruises, and at least two people died in falls trying to escape the creature. Early on, more than 50 attacks were reported to have occurred in a single night.

Just as in Malawi, the reports in New Dehli began to spread to more and more locations. Also, like Malawi areas affected by blood sucking vampires, most residents were illiterate, superstitious, and often isolated in rural areas with no electric lighting. Also similar to the Malawi situation, there was a belief that rumors were being deliberately created by a foreign source or for a nefarious political motivation. In both cases, the police were severely taxed, forced to patrol areas to control panic as well as make those in genuine fear feel protected.

Two official drawings of Monkey Man were released to the public based on witness accounts.

While at least nine people in Malawi have been killed by mobs on suspicion of being bloodsuckers, in New Dehli an innocent four foot tall man was beaten and delivered to the police. Later, a man driving a van was beaten and suffered multiple broken bones.

At one point, a neighboring village in India reported a wolf-like Bear Man was also attacking citizens. The Bear Man would become invisible if a light were shone upon him.

FACTITIOUS: Game helps users learn to spot fake news

Real or fake? At a time when the reading public daily grapples with the question of fake news, the American University Game Lab/JOLT has created an accessible, easy-to-play game that helps you sort fake news from real.

The brainchild of former AU JOLT Fellow Maggie Farley, she pitched the concept more than a year ago, before the 2016 presidential campaign brought the challenges of fake news to the spotlight. For purposes of the game, “fake news” is defined as stories fabricated for fun, influence or profit, as well as satire, opinion and spin.

“Fake news is impossible to stop, so we wanted to playfully teach people how to recognize it,” said Farley. “But the game is fun to play in itself.”

The game engine in the next phase should also be available to newsrooms, schools, or groups that want to adapt a version for their own use.

PS: My first crack at the game yielded 93%. Second crack, not so much. I highly recommend you try this game! It’s fun, enlightening and horrifying. I am especially excited to hear it will be available as a teaching tool. My nephew asked me this week if I had read the warning that “people are injecting the AIDS virus into bananas.”–Gretchen Mullen, Editor, Skeptic Review

Edvard Munch

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PLAY FACTITIOUS HERE:

http://factitious.augamestudio.com/

 

YouTube Channels We Love: Anthony Magnabosco

Anthony Magnabosco is a Street Epistemologist who converses with and interviews random strangers on the street to ask about their beliefs, such as faith, superstitions, and so much more.

Check out his YouTube channel at: 

https://www.youtube.com/user/magnabosco210

According to Magnabosco, “I initiate friendly conversations with people to see how they arrived at their deeply-held beliefs (e.g., Gods, karma, ghosts, politics, etc.), and then ask respectful questions to help them discover if the method(s) used are unreliable so that more reliable methods can be employed to maintain the belief and/or the level of confidence in the belief can be adjusted to be more in line with reality.”

Of particular interest are these playlists:

My Top Ten Talks

Street Epistemology Presentations

Relativism (“It’s true for me.”)

Street Epistemology Tutorials

(20,599 subscribers • 2,096,049 views  Joined Dec 25, 2011)