Magic, Deception & The Abuses of Enchantment
The London Fortean Society
Thursday 29 May 2014
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
8pm (doors 7.30pm)
£3 / £2 concessions
In an epilogue of sorts to Mirage Men, Mark looks at two formerly secret documents, published six decades apart, that reveal the methodologies of psychological manipulation and deception practised by American and British intelligence services. The Art of Deception, Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations, an internal presentation for the UK’s GCHQ, was leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this year, while The Exploitation of Superstitions for Purposes of Psychological Warfare was published by USAF’s RAND Corporation in 1950.
The similarities between the two papers demonstrate that while the world we live in has changed dramatically in the intervening years, the human mind, and the techniques for manipulating it, have remained very much the same; both papers discuss the exploitation of belief systems and fortean phenomena.
After Life, After Death, After All
With Sally Golding, Edward Colless, Mark Pilkington
Part of the Australia and NZ Festival of Literature and The Arts.
Australian visual artist Sally Golding and Australian writer Edward Colless stage a collaborative exploration of the culture of the ‘afterlife’ in some of its manifestations: as ghosting, as the undead, as doppelgänger and as spectral horror. Golding presents live mixes of cinema combined with live performance in a twenty-minute work involving audience interaction and two-way mirrors. Colless presents a theoretical fiction as a dramatic monologue, as if delivered from the afterlife. The two works will be followed by a dialogue about the collaboration.
Saturday 31 May, 4-5pm
Kings College , Strand Campus
London, WC2R 2LS
More info here
A GOODLY COMPANY
ETHEL LE ROSSIGNOL
A SERIES OF PSYCHIC DRAWINGS GIVEN THROUGH HER
HAND AS AN ASSURANCE OF SURVIVAL AFTER DEATH
The Horse Hospital, 1 Colonnade, WC1N 1JD
PRIVATE VIEW: Friday 21st February 2014
EXHIBITION: Sat 22nd Feb – Sat 22nd Mar, Mon – Sat, 12 – 6pm
Presented by The College of Psychic Studies & Strange Attractor
“This sequence of designs is shown to open the eyes of all men to the glorious world of spiritual power which lies about them.”
Between 1920 and 1933 spirit medium Ethel Le Rossignol created a series of 44 paintings, 21 of which belong to The College of Psychic studies and will be on display with accompanying texts describing what she refers to as the Sphere of Spirit.
Radiant, psychedelic and ecstatic, her vision of the spirit world is consistent, coherent and stunningly beautiful, depicting a luminous realm of kaleidoscopic colour, inhabited by elegant sylphs, bejewelled apes and astral tigers.
Ethel’s channelled paintings reveal a world of pure light, colour and energy. Incorporating aspects of Art Deco, popular playbills, Eastern mysticism, mandalas and miniatures, they radiate an ecstatic joy, and are prescient of the psychedelic art that would emerge several decades later.
As a medium Ethel took no credit for the actual work, identifying a spirit known only as J.P.F. as the real artist. J.P.F himself claimed to be channelling another group of spirits, who wanted to impart the secrets of the soul to those of us still on the physical plane.
At present very little is known about Ethel le Rossignol’s life, though we hope that this exhibition might prompt new discoveries. There are clues in her writing that she lost a friend, perhaps relatives, in World War One, and that this encouraged her interests in afterlife communications, which boomed in the inter-war years. Certainly she had a great interest in mediumistic spiritualism, attending lectures and demonstrations on the subject in London.
Ethel died in 1970 and her paintings, and copies of her privately printed book, A Goodly Company, were donated to the College of Psychic Studies in South Kensington. The paintings have been on display in rooms at the College for many years but, as far as we know, this is both the first time that they have ever been exhibited outside the College, and the first time that they have all been seen together in one space.
Encountering the whole Goodly Company assembled in one gallery promises to be a powerful exposure to the astral light and the love that she and her spirit friends so wanted to convey.
There’s a fantastic line-up of speakers for the first Altered Consciousness Conference, taking place 16-17 November at Queen Mary’s University, London.
I’m honoured to be talking about Antonio Vilas Boas, aka Abductee Zero. Amongst the other presenters are Jeffrey Kripal from the USA, Mike Jay, Christina Harrington and Gary Lachman.
The full programme can be found here: Altered Consciousness Conference