Category:
Frauds, Cons and Scams

Cooking with Scraps

Good idea, or a kind of "stone soup" scheme? I add stones and water, you dump in all the veggies and meat. Now it tastes great!



Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 06, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Books

When Yogi Rao walked on water

Lakshmanasandra Srikanta Rao was an Indian yogi who claimed to have such total control over his body that he could eat glass, swallow poison, eat live vipers, walk on fire, and even survive an atomic bomb. But basically he was just a stage magician who knew a few tricks and put on a good act.

He made headlines in the 1950s when he moved to America and gained heiress Doris Duke as a follower, but he returned to India after only a few months, apparently recognizing that he had gotten in over his head and promised his followers more than he could deliver.

He laid low until 1966 when he returned to headlines with his claim that he was going to publicly walk on water. Over 600 paid to see him do this, including some of the most famous people in India. But Rao took one step and plunged right to the bottom of the pool he was supposed to walk across.

What had he been thinking? Had he somehow convinced himself that he really could walk on water? Maybe. He was later quoted as expressing regret at his failure, saying, “I am so angry that I feel like drowning myself even if I have to tie a stone round my neck to do so.”

Two years later he offered to try again, to prove he was for real, but the performance never happened.

You can read more about Rao's colorful career in this interesting article by Philip Deslippe.



Tampa Tribune - June 13, 1966



La Crosse Tribune - Mar 14, 1965

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 06, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, 1960s

Bugsy Siegel and Atomite

One of the mobster's lesser-known rackets.

Source of text.

Di Frasso and Siegel pictured below the text.



Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 01, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Frauds, Cons and Scams, 1930s, Europe, Weapons

Thérèse Humbert, Con Woman



Story with pix here.

In 1902, a political and financial scandal rocked the French nation when it was discovered that Madame Thérèse Humbert (née Aurignac), daughter-in-law of the deceased Minister of Justice, had swindled nearly 100 million francs from the French government and its citizens over twenty years. How did this woman, who was not particularly beautiful, educated, or well born, manage to defraud scores of people, ranging from the brightest and sophisticated of French society to the simplest?





Contemporary article on their capture.

Read a review of the book here, which contains a good synopsis of the case.





Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 23, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Europe, Twentieth Century

Alois Swoboda



His Wikipedia page tells us:

His course did not use apparatus or exercise equipment. Claims in Swoboda's courses included the ability to regrow lost limbs and heal a heart damaged by a heart attack.


Article in POPULAR MECHANICS to be found here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 03, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Body, Bodybuilding, Diseases, Cult Figures and Artifacts, Exercise and Fitness, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Twentieth Century

Electro-Sonic Memory Trainer and Dormiphone



Source of image.



Source.

A little history of the company, from THE NEW YORK TIMES for 10/24/49.



Posted By: Paul - Mon May 28, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, Technology, 1950s, Brain

Sathya Sai Baba




"Sai Baba's materialisations of vibhuti (holy ash) and other small objects such as rings, necklaces, and watches, along with reports of miraculous healings, resurrections, clairvoyance, bilocation, and alleged omnipotence and omniscience, were a source of both fame and controversy."

Wikipedia page.


Posted By: Paul - Thu May 25, 2017 - Comments (11)
Category: Cult Figures and Artifacts, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Religion, Superstition, India

Illinois Canal Scrip

image

image

With USA paper money in the news, let's look at a wild and woolly era in the history of the USA when just about anyone could issue their own cash.

Explanation here.

And more info here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 22, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Business, Crime, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Nineteenth Century

The Kabalarian Philosophy



Their page.

Their entry at THE SKEPTIC'S DICTIONARY lets us know: "Since the death of Mr. Parker in 1964, the Kabalarians, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., have been led by Ivon Shearing who was sentenced to five years in prison in 1997 for sexually abusing several teenage girls over a twenty-five year period."

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 13, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating, Paranormal, Religion, Myths and Fairytales, 1930s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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