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"Mass hysteria" is alive and well, researchers say: news story

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  • euclidean253@yahoo.com
    In medieval times, when whole groups of people started acting oddly, someone would end up at the stake. Today the phenomenon meets with more compassion, but
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 27, 2004
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      In medieval times, when whole groups of people started acting oddly, someone would end up at the stake. Today the phenomenon meets with more compassion, but the same befuddlement.


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    • Tom Saunders
      Sorry, I could not bring up the article with the address you listed. Tom Saunders ... From: euclidean253@yahoo.com To: psyched_about_psychology@yahoogroups.com
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 27, 2004
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        Sorry,
         
        I could not bring up the article with the address you listed.
         
        Tom Saunders
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 7:34 AM
        Subject: [Evolutionary_Psychology] "Mass hysteria" is alive and well, researchers say: news story

        In medieval times, when whole groups of people started acting oddly, someone would end up at the stake. Today the phenomenon meets with more compassion, but the same befuddlement.


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      • Carmi Turchick
        There was a recent PBS show about this which I found pretty convincing; the answer to this phenomenon in many or most cases seems to be ergot poisoning. This
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 27, 2004
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          There was a recent PBS show about this which I found pretty
          convincing; the answer to this phenomenon in many or most cases
          seems to be ergot poisoning. This is the same stuff that they make
          LSD out of and it can infect rye plants in certain conditions and
          then be consumed by humans. It causes the veins to constrict,
          lowering the amount of blood getting to the brain, and also has
          psychedelic effects.
          The researchers found a strong correlation between witch burnings
          and areas of Europe that ate a lot of rye. They also found accounts
          from an episode in Europe in modern times, around WWII, where a dog
          exhibited behaviors exactly like those of a dog described in the
          accounts from Salem. They did trace the outbreak in that town to
          ergot from one bakery, but they still had the priest exorcise it.
          This episode in the article sounds very like ergot poisoning to me,
          both in observed symptoms and because the symptoms go away when the
          people leave that area. Perhaps these are the people who get the rye
          bread sandwiches.

          Carmi



          --- In Evolutionary_Psychology@yahoogroups.com, "euclidean253@y..."
          <euclidean253@y...> wrote:
          > In medieval times, when whole groups of people started acting
          oddly, someone would end up at the stake. Today the phenomenon meets
          with more compassion, but the same befuddlement.
          >
          > http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/040907_hysteriafrm.htm
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
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          > vote.yahoo.com - Register online to vote today!
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