Apple & Google Play Mind Games—Here’s Why They Want You to “Use Your Phone Less”…

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The Naked Brain

This week Apple follows Google by announcing features to help people cut back on their tech use. Why would the companies that make your phone want you to use it less? If tech is “hijacking your brain” with their “irresistible” products, as some tech critics claim, why are these companies now acting against their own interests? Perhaps the tech giants have had a change of heart or have been persuaded by public pressure to change their ways? Hardly.I studied the sophisticated psychology these companies deploy to keep people hooked and wrote a book about how they do it. At first glance, it appears their business model would benefit from addiction. The more you use your phone, the more money they make through the apps you buy and the ads you view.

However, the addiction story falls short when considering the long-term interests of these companies. Apple and Google are making…

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The Accursed Treasure (“Le Trésor Maudit”) of Rennes-le-Château trans. from the French by Sanguine Woods—Part 1…


View from the hilltop village of Rennes-le-Chateau I’m the Aude region of southern France Photographer unknown (Wikipedia).

The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Château

Translated by Sanguine Woods from the 1967 French study by Gérard de Sède

The following text is a translation from the 1967 French study of the Rennes-le-Château mystery by Gérard de Sède. I have translated as close to the French as possible, adding or retracting, minimally, only where clarity was the desired outcome, and/or the avoidance of a misinterpretation or misunderstanding the goal. (Italicized parentheticals are mine.)


Rennes-le-Château—a historic hilltop village in the Aude region of France (named after the Aude River)—would it turn out to be the location, at the end of the nineteenth century, of one of the most fabulous discoveries ever dreamed of? What was the secret of the Abbe Bérenger Saunière? And why, between 1891 and 1917, did he spend more than a billion-and-a-half in old francs? How does one explain that all who come close to the truth today (as was the case in bygone days) do so at the risk of their lives?

In the following study, author Gérard de Sède strives to provide answers to these questions, and more, with precision and objectivity. A study of the enigma of Rennes-le-Château—and the violent deaths surrounding it—is not without risk; but this is a courageous, important book, one that seeks to clarify and document history for posterity, and one that offers an exciting look at an ancient and “accursed treasure” long hidden beneath a veil of secrecy.


“Reality or Delusion?”–A Victorian Ghost Story by “Johnny Ludlow” (Mrs. Henry Wood), 1868


Art by Fred LeBlanc (Pinterest).

Reality or Delusion?

“Johnny Ludlow”, 1868*

Edited by Sanguine Woods, 2018
First appeared in The Argosy (UK) in December 1868**


People like ghost stories at Christmas, so I’ll tell one. It is every word true. And I don’t mind confessing that for ages afterwards some of us did not care to pass the place alone at night.

We were staying at Crabb Cot. Lena had been ailing during the Autumn, and in October Mrs. Todhetley proposed to the Squire that they should remove her there for a change. Which was done.

The Worcestershire people call North Crabb a village; but one might count the houses in it, little and great, and not find four-and-twenty. South Crabb, half a mile off, is larger; but the church and school are at North Crabb. And I need not have mentioned South Crabb at all, for what there is to tell has nothing to do with it.

John Ferrar had been employed by Squire Todhetley as a kind of over-looker of the estate, or working bailiff. He had died the previous winter; leaving nothing behind him except some debts, for he was not provident, and his handsome son Daniel. Daniel Ferrar disliked work: he used to make a show of helping his father, but it came to little. Old Ferrar had not put him to any trade or particular occupation; and Daniel, who was as proud as Lucifer, would not turn to it himself. He liked to be a gentleman. All he did now was to work in his garden, and feed his fowls, ducks, rabbits, and pigeons, of which he kept a great quantity, selling them to the good houses and sending them to market.

But, as everybody said, poultry would not maintain him. Mrs. Lease, in the pretty cottage hard by, grew tired of saying it. He used to run in and out of there at will since he was a boy, and was now engaged to be married to Maria. She would have a little money, and the Leases were respected in North Crabb. People began to whisper a query as to how Ferrar got his corn for the poultry; he was not known to buy much; and he would have to go out of his house at Christmas, for the owner of it, Mr. Coney, had given him notice. Mrs. Lease, anxious about Maria’s prospects, asked him what he intended to do then, and he answered, “Make his fortune: he should begin to do it as soon as he could turn himself round.” But the time had gone on, and the turning round seemed to be as far off as ever.

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The Witch of Endor—King James Even Believed in Her! What do you think?



“The Shade of Samuel Invoked by Saul” (

Oh the road to En-dor is the oldest road
And the craziest road of all!
Straight it runs to the Witch’s abode,
As it did in the days of Saul,
And nothing has changed of the sorrow in store
For such as go down on the road to En-dor!

– Rudyard Kipling (written a year after the death of his son)

Witchcraft and the Bible. Interesting to consider the existence of the former in the ancient texts of the other. Reading The Witchraft Cult in Western Europe (Margaret Murray, 1921) today, I came across some text on the witch of Endor, a story mentioned in the Old Testament books of the Christian Bible (and the Jewish Torah). I thought I’d share some of this interesting information…

In the Hebrew Bible, the witch of Endor was a woman who, in the First Book of Samuel, summoned the spirit of the prophet, Samuel, at the demand of King Saul. Samuel was a little pissed off at having been “disturbed”from his eternal rest, and was also shocked at Saul’s going behind Gods back and seeking out a “witch” to comfort him in his anxiety about fighting the Philistines. Samuel chastised Saul—“you’re gonna lose everything and die tomorrow by the end of the day” Samuel told Saul…and he was right—

BUT that’s not what we want to focus on here.

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