Author Archives: John Griogair Bell

About John Griogair Bell

My name is John. I'm the enigmatic supervillain known only, to some, as the Librarian of Hermetic Library. These are my posts on the Hermetic Library Blog.

Conspiracy believers confidently but wrongly believe majority believe their conspiracy theories

“There is a pressing need to understand belief in false conspiracies. Past work has focused on the needs and motivations of conspiracy believers, as well as the role of overreliance on intuition. Here, we propose an alternative driver of belief in conspiracies: overconfidence. Across eight studies with 4,181 U.S. adults, conspiracy believers not only relied more intuition, but also overestimated their performance on numeracy and perception tests (i.e. were overconfident in their own abilities). This relationship with overconfidence was robust to controlling for analytic thinking, need for uniqueness, and narcissism, and was strongest for the most fringe conspiracies. We also found that conspiracy believers – particularly overconfident ones – massively overestimated (>4x) how much others agree with them: Although conspiracy beliefs were in the majority in only 12% of 150 conspiracies across three studies, conspiracy believers thought themselves to be in the majority 93% of the time.”—Abstract from “Overconfidently conspiratorial: Conspiracy believers are dispositionally overconfident and massively overestimate how much others agree with them

Hermetic Library Omnium Conspiracy Believers Confidently but Wrongly Believe Majority Believe Their Conspiracy Theories — "Scatterplots displaying, for each item, the correlation between overall believability and the correlation effect size with belief for overconfidence and performance"

The Art and Magic of the Tarot: Foundations online course

“My tarot foundations course is on sale until Feb. 14. Give the lifelong gift of tarot to someone you love! 12+ hours of video, PDF workbook, live events and meetups, and a supportive, engaged online community. This is a real deal!”—Michael M Hughes, author of Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change.

About a discount on Hughes’ The Art and Magic of the Tarot: Foundations—”Learn to read tarot with the most comprehensive online tarot course available anywhere.”

Hermetic Library Omnium Hughes the Art and Magic of Tarot Foundations Online Course - capture of the  Instagram post about course discount

Article about Lockwood and Co blathers about Aleister Crowley and then gets stupid

“[Jonathan] Stroud hasn’t confirmed whether he based the character on a real occultist, but it’s clear that he was inspired by the stories relating to the practitioners of occultism. He used that knowledge, exaggerated it a little bit, and created this character who was scary in life as well as in death. Speaking of occultists, the name that immediately comes to mind is Aleister Crowley. Arguably the most infamous occultist, Crowley was once called “the wickedest man in the world”. Born Edward Crowley, he came from a wealthy family and found himself taking a very different approach to the world in his early years. Reportedly, his thoughts and behavior led his mother to call him ‘the beast’.”—”Was Lockwood and Co’s Edmund Bickerstaff a Real Occultist?

Article about a character in the Netflix show Lockwood & Co., based on the book series by Jonathan Stroud, goes on a tangent about Aleister Crowley, and then get’s really stupid talking about some other unrelated moron’s wild brain-fever glossolalia about imagining Crowley somehow involved in the deaths surrounding the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb?! WTAF. It just starts out as a lame article but then even got worse. But, there it is.

Weirdly, there appears to be a near duplicate of this article on another site with a different by-line. IDEK which is original, if any are, and who knows? Someone using AI to write these? Plagiarism? There’s an actual story in there, if one were looking for it; because these articles are not it. Except, that I got punked into reading them, I guess. And, now I’ve shared my pain with you. ::sad trombone::

Hermetic Library Omnium Article About Lockwood and Co Blathers About Aleister Crowley - still from the Netflix show based on the book series

Jack Parsons being awful to Frank Malina

“Even Malina’s old friend and rocketry partner Jack Parsons informed on him to the FBI, gave agents a list of Unit 122 members and told them that Malina was ‘associated with groups of ‘pinks’ at Caltech.’ He even said Malina’s loyalty ‘would be questionable if [Malina] had to decide between our form of government and that of Russia.’ Roger said Parsons did this because he was upset Malina got rich from the Aerojet stock and he didn’t.”—JPL Co-Founder and Rocketry Pioneer Frank Malina Finally Gets His Due (Part 2 of 2)

Oh, no! Here’s an article, part 2 of a series, mainly about Frank Malina with mention of fellow Suicide Squad and JPL member Figure Jack Parsons being awful.

Hermetic Library Omnium Jack Parsons Being Awful to Frank Malina - Crop of the Suicide Squad at a test, L-R: Jack Parsons, Ed Forman, Frank Malina

A Princess of Mars

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter: A Princess of Mars [Amazon, Abebooks, Local Library]  by Roger Langridge, Filipe Andrade, &al.

Langridge Andrade John Carter a Princess of Mars

This book collects the Marvel Comics title (issues 1-5) released to capitalize on the Disney John Carter film. It is more an adaptation of the original Burroughs story, although the final issue includes an epilogue that draws on the frame story established in the film. 

The writing is reasonably capable, although I was a little put off by the implicit comparisons of Than Kosis to Saddam Hussein. Carter refers to deposing him as “regime change,” and there is a panel of the Zodangan people pulling down the statue of Than Kosis with his right arm outstretched just like this.

The art by Filipe Andrade was deeply unsatisfying to me. As in the Disney movie, Dejah Thoris wears entirely too much clothing. All of the human and Red Martian physiques are impressionistically ropy, and the faces are distorted in stylized ways that make them look as alien as the Tharks. 

Overall, I found this version inferior to the bulk of the current Barsoom comics from Dynamite.

ETA: The “John Carter (TM)” super-title creates the odd effect of suggesting that Captain Carter is himself “a princess of Mars”!

Pope thinks gay sex is goatse

“Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as ‘unjust,’ saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. ‘Being homosexual isn’t a crime,’ Francis said … Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against LGBTQ people, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of ‘sin.'”—”The AP Interview: Pope says homosexuality not a crime.”

Hermetic Library Omnium Pope Thinks Gay Sex Is Goatse 29jan2023

Not a crime, but a sin. And a sin is a gap. A gap is a gape. And that’s a goatse! (Sung to the tune of Ya Got Trouble from The Music Man.)

Francis goes on to say bishops should should apply “tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us.” Yikes! I’m calling HR! Also, a gape is agapé? Catholic gay sex cult, confirmed.

Hercules’ labor in the toilet finally over

“The Appia Antica Park announced on Facebook that the area ‘has reserved a great surprise for us: a life-size marble statue which, due to the presence of the club and the lion’s coat covering its head, we can certainly identify as a figure representing Hercules’. The discovery was made during repair work on some sewer pipes that had collapsed, causing chasms and landslides.”—”Ancient statue of Hercules emerges from Rome sewer repairs. Work depicting mythological hero and apparently dating back to Roman imperial period found near Appian Way.”

Hermetic Library Omnium Hercules Labor in the Toilet Finally Over 29jan2023

I mean … I would expect nothing less than collapsed sewer pipes and landslides from a truly Herculean squat. That’s how you know it’s authentic. But, really, if it took that long, he should eat more fibre.

For those in whom the truth has not yet become a living power, fictitious forms are necessary to show them the way, but the majority of the ignorant see only the fiction; there being no truth within themselves, there is nothing to perceive the truth in the form.

Franz Hartmann, In The Pronaos of The Temple of Wisdom

Hermetic quote Hartmann In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom truth living power fictitious forms necessary show the way majority ignorant see only fiction

Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Vril RPG

Heh. They’re making an RPG class, as a stretch goal for their game supplement, inspired by Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Vril.

“We’ve received a lot of questions on the $220K Stretch Goal – Vril Tradition Wizard, so we thought we’d educate you!”—Kobold Press

The “Wizard Subclass: Vril Tradition” is a stretch goal for the Deep Magic 2 crowdfunding effort by Kobold Press.

Hermetic Library Omnium Kobold Press Vril 29jan2023

If the actual text of the subclass in the book doesn’t start with “It was a dark and stormy night” imma riot. But, also, maybe time to dig out those D&D Hollow World supplements!