Thursday, 29 May 2014

Mark Pilkington: Magic, Deception and the Abuses of Enchantment


8pm (doors 7.30pm) Thursday 29 May 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR


Cyber-Mage
Mark Pilkington 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.

Mark Pilkington is the author of Mirage Men (2010, now a feature documentary) and runs Strange Attractor Press
Sightings


We begin each evening with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month. 
8pm Thursday 29 May 2014
£3 / £2 concessions



The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Nearest station is Liverpool Street.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Poltergeist Prince of London



8pm (doors 7.30pm) Thursday 24 April 2014
£3 / £2 concessions




New bigger venue: The Vaults Basement Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Battersea, 1956: A poltergeist outbreak is fantastical enough, but a poltergeist that learns
to communicate details of an apparent previous life? And a life that begins to sound like that of the Lost Dauphin of Revolutionary France? Studying the poltergeist’s claims researcher Harold Chibbett was forced to wonder: could ‘Donald’ really be the spirit of the Louis-Charles, tragic son of Marie Antoinette?

Shirley Hitchings, the centre of these events and co-author of ‘The Poltergeist Prince of London’ with James Clark, discusses her experiences with Alan Murdie, Chairman of the Ghost Club and regular Fortean Times contributor on ghosts.


8pm Thursday 24 April 2014
£3 / £2 concessions




The Vaults Basement Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Nearest station is Liverpool Street. 


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Electronic Ghost Voices

8pm Thursday 27 March 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Can we hear the voices of the dead via electronic devices? Psychologist Cal Cooper, author of Telephone Calls from the Dead, and Prof Chris French of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths College, London offer very different views of Electronic Voice Phenomena
All are welcome.




Each LFS evening begins with the Fortmanteau: our monthly summary of strange news stories.

More details:

Many people, when asked, will say that at some point in their lives that they have experienced what they believe to be a ghost, or have had a psychic experience. However, will many people openly admit that they have experienced what they believe to be a 'phone call from the dead'? This question has been asked before, and was investigated back in 1979, in a book entitled ''Phone Calls from the Dead'', written by D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless. For many years, this subject has remained dormant, until now, thirty years on.  New cases of anomalous telephone communication have been researched, new history has been considered, new findings are presented and alternative theories for how such events take place are discussed.''

Cal Cooper is a psychologist and a doctoral candidate based at the University of Northampton (UK), within the psychology division’s Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes. He is a member of the Society for Psychical Research, the Parapsychological Association, and a Hope Studies Graduate Researcher (Hope Studies Central, University of Alberta). He is the author of Telephone Calls from the Dead and co-author of Conversations with Ghosts (with Dr Alex Tanous).


There are good reasons to believe that EVP is best explained in psychological rather than parapsychological terms. Whatever the truth of the matter, it is most certainly the case that the human tendency to see and hear meaningful stimuli in randomness accounts for the vast majority of cases of EVP. This point will be illustrated with visual and auditory examples of various kinds. And, yes, I will be playing Led Zep backwards again...

Professor Chris French is the Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, as well as being a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and a member of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society. He has published over 100 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims, as well as writing for the Guardian and The Skeptic magazine. His most recent books are Why Statues Weep: The Best of The Skeptic and Anomalistic Psychology. Follow him on Twitter: @chriscfrench


8pm Thursday 27 March 2014
£3/£2 concessions
London Fortean Society meets upstairs at the fantastic
Bell pub, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

British Israelism and it's Continuing Influence

Y'see? All makes sense now.
8pm  Thursday 27 February 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.

Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Popular in the 19th century, British Israelism claimed that the British people (and by extension the Americans) are the physical descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, and that biblical prophecies about Israel apply to Britain today.

Author and London Fortean Society co-founder Dr David V Barrett explores how in the 21st century this peculiar belief has a very real and disturbing influence on religion, race, politics, nationalism, conspiracy theory and more.


8pm Thursday 27 February 2014£3/£2 concessions
London Fortean Society meets upstairs at the fantastic
Bell pub, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Religion and the Evolving Vampire Myth


8pm Thursday 30 January 2014
£3 / £2 concessions The Bell,
50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East B

Bram Stoker injected religion into the modern vampire myth; his vampire hunters fought the evil Dracula with crosses, holy water and Eucharistic wafers. Do such Christian tools still work in our secularised and multi-religious world?

Prof J Gordon Melton, Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, explores religion's continuing relevance in today’s vampire novels and films.

He’s the real-life Dr. Van Helsing
Matt Cardin

All are welcome. Each LFS evening begins with the Fortmanteau: our monthly summary of strange news stories

8pm Thursday 30 January 2014
£3/£2 concessions
London Fortean Society meets upstairs at the fantastic
Bell pub, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Urban Legends of the London Underground

 8pm Thursday 28 November 2013
£3 / £2 concessions

The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East (two of which are quite near plague pits.)

As seen on the Time Out London blog
Urban Legends of the London Underground
 
Just as fairy tales warn of the dangers of going in to the woods alone London’s urban legends are often horror stories about going alone down in to the London underground.
Plague pits seethe beneath your feet in the most unlikely places, corpses ride on the tube and news of enemy bomb attacks are never further than a trip to the shops away. Some of these urban legends are older than they appear; others are new stories posing as history. Scott will tell these contemporary folk-stories, map them across London and then take them pieces of apart to show you what they’re really made of.
Scott is the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube, the author of the (occasional) Fortean London column for Londonist and co-organiser & host of the London Fortean Society.

All are welcome. Each LFS evening begins with the Fortmanteau: our monthly summary of strange news stories. This month our Fortmanteau-ist will be the returning Jude Cowan Montague.

7.45pm for 8pm start. Thursday 28 November 2013
£3/£2 concessions

London Fortean Society meets upstairs at the fantastic Bell pub, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.


Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East.


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Unbelievers Ghost Walk (London EC1)

Wednesday 30 October 2013
6.30pm
£5 Book online (50p admin fee per ticket)
Meet outside Farringdon station on Cowcross Street, EC1






 
The Smithfield Ghost
(may not actually be a ghost.)

Why should people who believe in ghosts have all the fun? Come walk the atmospheric and ancient streets of Smithfield and Farringdon hearing of the stories of screaming Anne, ghosts of inconveniently alive judges, carpet lifting pub ghosts, wizards reincarnated as slavering black dogs and the ghost of Scratching Fanny on Cock Lane (to name but a few).

This walk will be funny, irreverent, and informative and will wonder what ghosts are what ghost stories say about who we are and how we think about the world.
 No ghosts were harmed in the making of this walk; This is a walk for anyone interested in ghost stories and London be they sceptical or otherwise. All are welcome.
Your guide is London Fortean Society host Scott Wood. Scott is the irregular writer of Fortean London for Londonist and the author of the forthcoming London Urban Legends: The Corpse of the Tube.

 D
on't forget our 31 October Halloween Ghost Night in the pub.