The Salem Witch Trials are recorded in history as a travesty of justice. Crimes against humanity committed by ignorant people and religious fanatics who simply did not understand the nature of a fungal disease and attributed the toxic health effects to some supernatural cause.
Madness was the end result of what can be called a plague that had ravaged Old World America and Europe with a “strange epidemic” for two centuries starting back in the 17th Century. Hundreds of thousands of people were infected with a mysterious disease and just as many lost their lives.
The symptoms were described as people going mad, strange visions, nightmares, and they also complained of bodily pain, choking sensations, crawly sensations on their skin, and the wasting away of appendages (fingers, feet, toes) and limbs (hands, arms, legs) which dried up and fell away’ (necrotic gangrene).
Their desperate families looked for help from the local doctors to make a diagnosis, but they could find nothing physically wrong with them. They then made an incorrect diagnosis attributing the mysterious disease to the devil and demon possession.
Is this story starting to sound familiar to those of you who have been exposed to toxic mold and have searched for help from alleged medical professionals who could not diagnose you and or thought you were crazy and lying?
The misdiagnosis had spread to the religious zealots of Salem who also attributed the disease to the supernatural. They said that these people were possessed by demons as co-horts of the devil. In the end, the religionists concluded that these poor sick people were infected from the evil spells of witches.
As a result of this misdiagnosis, ignorance, and false accusations, the infamous Salem Witch Trials had falsely convicted twenty people, fourteen of them women who were executed, and all but one by hanging. Five others (including two infant children) died in prison.
Fast forward a couple hundred years to the modern era and a smart lady with psychology major at U.C. Santa Barbara named Linnda Caporael comes along and blows the lid of the supernatural theory and places the blame on a fungus called Ergot.
The same fungus that is used to make Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known as acid. It commonly grows on the grain rye and was used in past centuries to bake bread. Ergot poisoning is also known as St. Anthony’s Fire and many experts have stated that ergot was behind several plagues that caused mass insanity in medieval Europe.
Ergot produces a byproduct called ergotamine, which toxicologists have known for years causes convulsions, delusions, creepy-crawly sensations of the skin, vomiting, and hallucinations. The disease is called ergotism. It constricts the blood vessels and causes gangrene which your flesh starts dying which would explain why the infected people of Salem had reported wasting away of appendages (fingers, feet, toes) and limbs (hands, arms, legs) which dried up and fell away’ (necrotic gangrene).
The same EXACT symptoms that the infected people of Salem had complained of.
The symptoms match up perfectly!
Caporeal had found that this poison fungus like all other fungi love warm and damp conditions. She studied the diaries that were left behind by the people of Salem to find that those exact same conditions had been present during the disease outbreaks. Last but not least, Caporeal discovered that they were in fact, eating rye bread at the time because rye was the staple grain of Salem.
Caporael published her findings in 1976 in the journal Science, which brought her support from the scientific community and attention from the news media. It even garnished a front-page story in the New York Times. Caporeal is now a behavioral scientist and full professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
The NY Times reported, “A historian, Mary K. Matossian, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, concludes that the original proposal was probably correct. Dr. Matossian, who has been studying the effects of mold poisoning on social behavior, based her report on an analysis of court transcripts, climate indicators, diaries and other records of the 1692 witchcraft episodes in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
“A historian, Mary K. Matossian, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, concludes that the original proposal was probably correct. Dr. Matossian, who has been studying the effects of mold poisoning on social behavior, based her report on an analysis of court transcripts, climate indicators, diaries and other records of the 1692 witchcraft episodes in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Dr. Matossian writes that the trials of 1692 were ”the worst outbreak of witch persecution in American history.” When Governor Phips of Massachusetts ordered a general reprieve the following spring, about 150 accused witches were released.”
There have been outbreaks of ergotism in the last hundred years in countries such as France in 1957, Russia in the 20th Century, and more recently as 2001 there was an outbreak in Ethiopia.
When we look back at this unfortunate incident, we can track the cause of the outbreak in Salem to a fungus we know as Ergot. Looking to the cause of 20 people being accused sorcery and demonic possession who were then sentenced to death, we can track the cause of this injustice to two things.
One would be the original medical misdiagnosis by ignorant physicians and then the second would be the subsequent infection of madness from ignorant religionists.
This should not be surprising to you given the fact that in our modern era, over 12 million people a year (1 out of 20 adult patients) are misdiagnosed by physicians. Next, we have medical errors that were projected in 2013 to account for 210,000 to 440,000 US deaths annually! (2013 study in the Journal of Patient Safety)
I don’t know about you, but it looks to me that many people in the medical profession today are committing acts of sorcery and they make the falsely accused witches of Salem look like harmless little trick or treaters.