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Lwayne11

I lost my funds

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I had a bad experience in trading. I did lost $17,350 in total and i when i try to cash out one story or the other keep coming up to me at every giving point of time so i give up on them.after several weeks i came across this agency,expert recovery that help me get back about 75 percent of my lost funds. I learnt thee is a class action court proceeding to sue scam binary companies but I believe that takes more time and money paid to lawyers is way expensive. You can talk to a recovery expert.
Reach Asherellazar at protonmail dot com

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On 8/9/2019 at 8:01 AM, Lwayne11 said:

I had a bad experience in trading. I did lost $17,350 in total and i when i try to cash out one story or the other keep coming up to me at every giving point of time so i give up on them.after several weeks i came across this agency,expert recovery that help me get back about 75 percent of my lost funds. I learnt thee is a class action court proceeding to sue scam binary companies but I believe that takes more time and money paid to lawyers is way expensive. You can talk to a recovery expert.
Reach Asherellazar at protonmail dot com

I'd actually pay to watch people like you being excecuted live on youtube

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They are lots of people who have been scammed one way or the other through fake binary options sites out there that’s why i advice people to properly carry out a research about where you’re investing before putting your money cos you don’t want any stories afterwards. We’ve all been scammed one way or the other and i’ve been scammed too when i was carrying out a research on the proper place to invest. Before i found the right investment site i’ve been scammed by different fake investment sites which was totally crazy and hurtful so i started to carry out a research on how to get my money back and i noticed they are also fake sites out there who lie about helping you recover your money back only to scam you again.

In all my research i was able to find the right site that help me recover all my funds which was totally unbelievable cos they did as promise.  (REALFUNDSRECOVERY AT GMAIL DOT COM) is a tech company that uses top military grade technology to help recover funds, hack anything from social media accounts to emails and they also help track and figure out a cheating spouse. Thanks to (Realhacker)  I was able to get all my money I lost back. I was really thankful to them cos they made the impossible possible and it really got me excited.

Note: stay away from people who claim to be hackers and that they can recover your money back and they drop their emails for you to contact them. Stay away from such people giving you emails to contact them with cos they are scams.

Firstly it goes without saying, prevention is better than cure so please try not to fall for this scams out there and make proper research. I hope this helps

 

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17 hours ago, Albertson said:

They are lots of people who have been scammed one way or the other through fake binary options sites out there that’s why i advice people to properly carry out a research about where you’re investing before putting your money cos you don’t want any stories afterwards. We’ve all been scammed one way or the other and i’ve been scammed too when i was carrying out a research on the proper place to invest. Before i found the right investment site i’ve been scammed by different fake investment sites which was totally crazy and hurtful so i started to carry out a research on how to get my money back and i noticed they are also fake sites out there who lie about helping you recover your money back only to scam you again.

In all my research i was able to find the right site that help me recover all my funds which was totally unbelievable cos they did as promise.  (REALFUNDSRECOVERY AT GMAIL DOT COM) is a tech company that uses top military grade technology to help recover funds, hack anything from social media accounts to emails and they also help track and figure out a cheating spouse. Thanks to (Realhacker)  I was able to get all my money I lost back. I was really thankful to them cos they made the impossible possible and it really got me excited.

Note: stay away from people who claim to be hackers and that they can recover your money back and they drop their emails for you to contact them. Stay away from such people giving you emails to contact them with cos they are scams.

Firstly it goes without saying, prevention is better than cure so please try not to fall for this scams out there and make proper research. I hope this helps

 

 

FUCK OFF

Edited by mitsubishi

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You should read this (wikipedia)

 
Bernie Madoff

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Madoff

Educate yourself..

 

Born
Bernard Lawrence Madoff

April 29, 1938 (aghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Madoffe 81)
Alma mater Hofstra University
Occupation Stock broker, investment adviser, financier
Employer Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities
Known for Being the chairman of NASDAQ and the Madoff investment scandal
Criminal status Incarcerated at Federal Correctional Complex, Butner
FBP Register #61727-054
Pseudo-release: November 14, 2139
Spouse(s)
Ruth Madoff (m. 1959)
Children Mark Madoff (1964–2010)
Andrew Madoff (1966–2014)
 
Conviction(s) March 12, 2009 (pleaded guilty)
Criminal charge Securities fraud, investment advisor fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, false statements, perjury, making false filings with the SEC, theft from an employee benefit plan
Penalty life without parole and forfeiture of US$17.179 billion

Bernard Lawrence Madoff (/ˈmdɔːf/;[1] born April 29, 1938) is an American former market maker, investment advisor and financier who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme.[2] He is the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market,[3] the confessed operator of the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, and the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.[4] Prosecutors estimated the fraud to be worth $64.8 billion based on the amounts in the accounts of Madoff's 4,800 clients as of November 30, 2008.[5]

Madoff founded a penny stock brokerage in 1960 which eventually grew into Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. He served as its chairman until his arrest on December 11, 2008.[6][7] The firm was one of the top market maker businesses on Wall Street,[8] which bypassed "specialist" firms by directly executing orders over the counter from retail brokers.[9]

At the firm, he employed his brother Peter Madoff as senior managing director and chief compliance officer, Peter's daughter Shana Madoff as the firm's rules and compliance officer and attorney, and his now deceased sons Andrew and Mark. Peter was sentenced to 10 years in prison[10] and Mark committed suicide by hanging exactly two years after his father's arrest.[11][12][13] Andrew died of lymphoma on September 3, 2014.[14]

On December 10, 2008, Madoff's sons told authorities that their father had confessed to them that the asset management unit of his firm was a massive Ponzi scheme, and quoted him as saying that it was "one big lie".[15][16][17] The following day, FBI agents arrested Madoff and charged him with one count of securities fraud. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had previously conducted multiple investigations into his business practices but had not uncovered the massive fraud.[8] On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies and admitted to turning his wealth management business into a massive Ponzi scheme. The Madoff investment scandal defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars. Madoff said that he began the Ponzi scheme in the early 1990s, but federal investigators believe that the fraud began as early as the mid-1980s[18] and may have begun as far back as the 1970s.[19] Those charged with recovering the missing money believe that the investment operation may never have been legitimate.[20][21] The amount missing from client accounts was almost $65 billion, including fabricated gains.[22] The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) trustee estimated actual losses to investors of $18 billion.[20] On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to a de facto life in prison but officially 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed.[23][24]

 

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Early life

Madoff was born on April 29, 1938, in Queens, New York, to Jewish parents Ralph Madoff, a plumber and stockbroker, and Sylvia Muntner.[25][26][27][28] Madoff's grandparents were emigrants from Poland, Romania, and Austria.[29]

He is the second of three children; his siblings are Sondra Weiner and Peter Madoff.[30][31] Madoff graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 1956.[32]

He attended the University of Alabama for one year, where he became a brother of the Tau Chapter of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity,[33] then transferred to and graduated from Hofstra University in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science.[34][35] Madoff briefly attended Brooklyn Law School, but founded the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and remained working for his own company.[36][37]

Career

At the time of his arrest on December 11, 2008, Madoff was the chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.[38]

The firm started in 1960 as a penny stock trader with $5,000 ($43,000 today) that Madoff earned from working as a lifeguard and sprinkler installer.[39] He further secured a loan of $50,000 from his father-in-law which he also used to set up the firm. His business grew with the assistance of his father-in-law, accountant Saul Alpern, who referred a circle of friends and their families.[40] Initially, the firm made markets (quoted bid and ask prices) via the National Quotation Bureau's Pink Sheets. In order to compete with firms that were members of the New York Stock Exchange trading on the stock exchange's floor, his firm began using innovative computer information technology to disseminate its quotes.[41] After a trial run, the technology that the firm helped to develop became the NASDAQ.[42] After 41 years as a sole proprietorship, the Madoff firm incorporated in 2001 as a limited liability company with Madoff as the sole shareholder.[43]

The firm functioned as a third-market provider, bypassing exchange specialist firms by directly executing orders over the counter from retail brokers.[9] At one point, Madoff Securities was the largest market maker at the NASDAQ, and in 2008 was the sixth-largest market maker on Wall Street.[41] The firm also had an investment management and advisory division, which it did not publicize, that was the focus of the fraud investigation.[44]

Madoff was "the first prominent practitioner"[45] of payment for order flow, in which a dealer pays a broker for the right to execute a customer's order. This has been called a "legal kickback."[46] Some academics have questioned the ethics of these payments.[47][48] Madoff argued that these payments did not alter the price that the customer received.[49] He viewed the payments as a normal business practice:

If your girlfriend goes to buy stockings at a supermarket, the racks that display those stockings are usually paid for by the company that manufactured the stockings. Order flow is an issue that attracted a lot of attention but is grossly overrated.[49]

Madoff was active in the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), a self-regulatory securities-industry organization. He served as chairman of its board of directors, and was a member of its board of governors.[50]

Government access

From 1991 to 2008, Bernie and Ruth Madoff contributed about $240,000 to federal candidates, parties and committees, including $25,000 a year from 2005 through 2008 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The Committee returned $100,000 of the Madoffs' contributions to Irving Picard, the bankruptcy trustee who oversees all claims, and Senator Charles E. Schumer returned almost $30,000 received from Madoff and his relatives to the trustee. Senator Christopher J. Dodd donated $1,500 to the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, a Madoff victim.[51]

Members of the Madoff family have served as leaders of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the primary securities industry organization.[52] Bernard Madoff served on the board of directors of the Securities Industry Association, a precursor of SIFMA, and was chairman of its trading committee.[53][54] He was a founding board member of the DTCC subsidiary in London, the International Securities Clearing Corporation.[55][56]

Madoff's brother Peter served two terms as a member of SIFMA's Board of Directors. He and Andrew received awards from SIFMA in 2008 for "extraordinary leadership and service".[57] He resigned from the Board of Directors of SIFMA in December 2008, as news of the Ponzi scheme broke.[52] From 2000-08, the Madoffs brothers donated $56,000 directly to SIFMA, and paid additional money as sponsors of industry meetings.[58] Bernard Madoff's niece Shana Madoff was a member of the Executive Committee of SIFMA's Compliance & Legal Division, but resigned shortly after the arrest.[59]

Madoff's name first came up in a fraud investigation in 1992, when two people complained to the SEC about investments they made with Avellino & Bienes, the successor to his father-in-law's accounting practice. For years, Alpern and two of his colleagues, Frank Avellino and Michael Bienes, had raised money for Madoff, a practice that continued after Avellino and Bienes took over the firm in the 1970s.[60] Avellino returned the money to investors and the SEC closed the case.[61] In 2004, Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot, a lawyer in the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), informed her supervisor branch chief Mark Donohue that her review of Madoff found numerous inconsistencies, and recommended further questioning. However, she was told by Donohue and his boss Eric Swanson to stop work on the Madoff investigation, send them her work results, and instead investigate the mutual fund industry. Swanson, Assistant Director of the SEC's OCIE,[62] had met Shana Madoff in 2003 while investigating her uncle Bernie Madoff and his firm. The investigation was concluded in 2005. In 2006 Swanson left the SEC and became engaged to Shana Madoff, and in 2007 the two married.[63][64] A spokesman for Swanson said he "did not participate in any inquiry of Bernard Madoff Securities or its affiliates while involved in a relationship" with Shana Madoff.[65]

While awaiting sentencing, Madoff met with the SEC's Inspector General, H. David Kotz, who conducted an investigation into how regulators had failed to detect the fraud despite numerous red flags.[66] Madoff said he could have been caught in 2003, but that bumbling investigators had acted like "Lt. Colombo" and never asked the right questions:

I was astonished. They never even looked at my stock records. If investigators had checked with The Depository Trust Company, a central securities depository, it would've been easy for them to see. If you're looking at a Ponzi scheme, it's the first thing you do.[67]

Madoff said in the June 17, 2009, interview that SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro was a "dear friend", and SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter was a "terrific lady" whom he knew "pretty well".[68]

After Madoff's arrest, the SEC was criticized for its lack of financial expertise and lack of due diligence, despite having received complaints from Harry Markopolos and others for almost a decade. The SEC's Inspector General, Kotz, found that since 1992, there had been six investigations of Madoff by the SEC, which were botched either through incompetent staff work or by neglecting allegations of financial experts and whistle-blowers. At least some of the SEC investigators doubted whether Madoff was even trading.[69][70][71]

Due to concerns of improper conduct by Inspector General Kotz in the Madoff investigation, Inspector General David C. Williams of the United States Postal Service was brought in to conduct an independent outside review.[72]

The Williams Report questioned Kotz's work on the Madoff investigation, because Kotz was a "very good friend" with Markopolos.[73][74] Investigators were not able to determine when Kotz and Markopolos became friends. A violation of the ethics rule would have taken place if the friendship were concurrent with Kotz's investigation of Madoff.[73][75]

Investment scandal

In 1999, financial analyst Harry Markopolos had informed the SEC that he believed it was legally and mathematically impossible to achieve the gains Madoff claimed to deliver. According to Markopolos, it took him four minutes to conclude that Madoff's numbers did not add up, and another minute to suspect they were likely fraudulent.[76]

After four hours of failed attempts to replicate Madoff's numbers, Markopolos believed he had mathematically proved Madoff was a fraud.[77] He was ignored by the SEC's Boston office in 2000 and 2001, as well as by Meaghan Cheung at the SEC's New York office in 2005 and 2007 when he presented further evidence. He has since co-authored a book with Gaytri Kachroo (the leader of his legal team) titled No One Would Listen. The book details the frustrating efforts he and his legal team made over a ten-year period to alert the government, the industry, and the press about Madoff's fraud.[76]

Although Madoff's wealth management business ultimately grew into a multibillion-dollar operation, none of the major derivatives firms traded with him because they did not believe his numbers were real. None of the major Wall Street firms invested with him, and several high-ranking executives at those firms suspected his operations and claims were not legitimate.[77] Others contended it was inconceivable that the growing volume of Madoff's accounts could be competently and legitimately serviced by his documented accounting/auditing firm, a three-person firm with only one active accountant.[78]

The Central Bank of Ireland failed to spot Madoff's gigantic fraud when he started using Irish funds and had to supply large amounts of information, which would have been enough to enable Irish regulators to uncover the fraud much earlier than late 2008 when he was finally arrested in New York.[79][80][81]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation report and federal prosecutors' complaint says that during the first week of December 2008, Madoff confided to a senior employee, identified by Bloomberg News as one of his sons, that he said he was struggling to meet $7 billion in redemptions.[15] For years, Madoff had simply deposited investors' money in his business account at JPMorganChase and withdrew money from that account when they requested redemptions. He had scraped together just enough money to make a redemption payment on November 19. However, despite getting cash infusions from several longtime investors, by the week after Thanksgiving it was apparent that there was not enough money to even begin to meet the remaining requests. His Chase account had over $5.5 billion in mid-2008, but by late November was down to $234 million—not even a fraction of the outstanding redemptions. On December 3, he told longtime assistant Frank DiPascali, who had overseen the fraudulent advisory business, that he was finished. On December 9, he told his brother about the fraud.[60][21]

According to the sons, Madoff told Mark Madoff on the following day, December 9, that he planned to pay out $173 million in bonuses two months early.[82] Madoff said that "he had recently made profits through business operations, and that now was a good time to distribute it."[15] Mark told Andrew Madoff, and the next morning they went to their father's office and asked him how he could pay bonuses to his staff if he was having trouble paying clients. They then traveled to Madoff's apartment, where with Ruth Madoff nearby, Madoff told them he was "finished," that he had "absolutely nothing" left, and that his investment fund was "just one big lie" and "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme."[82][21]

According to their attorney, Madoff's sons then reported their father to federal authorities.[15] Madoff had intended to wind up his operations over the remainder of the week before having his sons turn him in; he directed DiPascali to use the remaining money in his business account to cash out the accounts of several family members and favored friends.[60] However, as soon as they left their father's apartment, Mark and Andrew immediately contacted a lawyer, who in turn got them in touch with federal prosecutors and the SEC.[21] On December 11, 2008, Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud.[17]

Madoff posted $10 million bail in December 2008 and remained under 24-hour monitoring and house arrest in his Upper East Side penthouse apartment until March 12, 2009, when Judge Denny Chin revoked his bail and remanded him to the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Chin ruled that Madoff was a flight risk because of his age, his wealth, and the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.[83] Prosecutors filed two asset forfeiture pleadings which include lists of valuable real and personal property as well as financial interests and entities owned or controlled by Madoff.[84]

Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin, filed an appeal, which prosecutors opposed.[84] On March 20, 2009, an appellate court denied Madoff's request to be released from jail and returned to home confinement until his sentencing on June 29, 2009. On June 22, 2009, Sorkin hand-delivered a customary pre-sentencing letter to the judge requesting a sentence of 12 years, because of tables from the Social Security Administration that his life span was predicted to be 13 years.[66][85]

On June 26, 2009, Chin ordered forfeiture of $170 million in Madoff's assets. Prosecutors asked Chin to sentence Madoff to 150 years in prison.[86][87][88]Bankruptcy Trustee Irving Picard indicated that "Mr. Madoff has not provided meaningful cooperation or assistance."[89]

In settlement with federal prosecutors, Madoff's wife Ruth agreed to forfeit her claim to $85 million in assets, leaving her with $2.5 million in cash.[90] The order allowed the SEC and Court appointed trustee Irving Picard to pursue Ruth Madoff's funds.[89]Massachusetts regulators also accused her of withdrawing $15 million from company-related accounts shortly before he confessed.[91]

In February 2009, Madoff reached an agreement with the SEC.[92] It was later revealed that as part of the agreement, Madoff accepted a lifetime ban from the securities industry.[93]

Picard sued Madoff's sons, Mark and Andrew, his brother Peter, and Peter's daughter, Shana, for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, for $198 million. The defendants had received over $80 million in compensation since 2001.[94][95]

Mechanics of the fraud

According to the SEC indictment against Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi, two back office workers who worked for Madoff, they created false trading reports based on the returns that Madoff ordered for each customer.[96]

For example, when Madoff determined a customer's return, one of the back office workers would enter a false trade report with a previous date and then enter a false closing trade in the amount required to produce the required profit, according to the indictment.[97] Prosecutors allege that Bongiorno used a computer program specially designed to backdate trades and manipulate account statements. They quote her as writing to a manager in the early 1990s, "I need the ability to give any settlement date I want."[96] In some cases, returns were allegedly determined before the account was even opened.[97]

On a daily basis, DiPascali and his team on the 17th floor of the Lipstick Building—where the scam was based (Madoff's brokerage was based on the 19th floor, while the main entrance and conference room were on the 18th floor)—watched the closing price of the S&P 100. They then picked the best-performing stocks and used them to create bogus "baskets" of stocks as the basis for false trading records, which Madoff claimed were generated from his supposed "split-strike conversion" strategy, in which he bought blue-chip stocks and took options contracts on them. They frequently made their "trades" at a stock's monthly high or low, resulting in the high "returns" that they touted to customers. On occasion, they slipped up and dated trades as taking place on weekends and federal holidays, though this was never caught.[21]

Over the years, Madoff admonished his investors to keep quiet about their relationship with him. This was because he was well aware of the finite limits that existed for a legitimate split-strike conversion. He knew that if the amount he "managed" became known, investors would question whether he could trade on the scale he claimed without the market reacting to his activity, or whether there were enough options to hedge his stock purchases.[60]

At least as early as 2001, Harry Markopolos discovered that for Madoff's strategy to be legitimate, he would have had to buy more options on the Chicago Board Options Exchange than actually existed.[76] Additionally, at least one hedge fund manager revealed that she balked at investing with Madoff because she did not believe there was enough volume to support his purported trading activity.[21]

Madoff admitted during his March 2009 guilty plea that the essence of his scheme was to deposit client money into a Chase account, rather than invest it and generate steady returns as clients had believed. When clients wanted their money, "I used the money in the Chase Manhattan bank account that belonged to them or other clients to pay the requested funds," he told the court.[98]

Madoff maintained that he began his fraud in the early 1990s, prosecutors believed it was underway as early as the 1980s. DiPascali, for instance, told prosecutors that he knew the investment advisory business was a sham at some point in the late 1980s or early 1990s.[60] An investigator charged with reconstructing Madoff's scheme believes that the fraud was well underway as early as 1964. Reportedly, Madoff told an acquaintance soon after his arrest that the fraud began "almost immediately" after his firm opened his doors. Bongiorno, who spent over 40 years with Madoff, told investigators that she was doing "the same things she was doing in 2008" that she did when she first joined the firm.[21]

Affinity fraud

Madoff targeted wealthy American Jewish communities, using his in-group status to obtain investments from Jewish individuals and institutions. Affected Jewish charitable organizations considered victims of this affinity fraud include Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, the Elie Wiesel Foundation and Steven Spielberg's Wunderkinder Foundation. Jewish federations and hospitals lost millions of dollars, forcing some organizations to close. The Lappin Foundation, for instance, was forced to close temporarily because it had invested its funds with Madoff.[99]

Size of loss to investors

David Sheehan, chief counsel to trustee Picard, stated on September 27, 2009, that about $36 billion was invested into the scam, returning $18 billion to investors, with $18 billion missing. About half of Madoff's investors were "net winners," earning more than their investment. The withdrawal amounts in the final six years were subject to "clawback" (return of money) lawsuits.[20]

In a May 4, 2011, statement, trustee Picard said that the total fictitious amounts owed to customers (with some adjustments) were $57 billion, of which $17.3 billion was actually invested by customers. $7.6 billion has been recovered, but pending lawsuits, only $2.6 billion is available to repay victims.[100] If all the recovered funds are returned to victims, their net loss would be under $10 billion.

The Internal Revenue Service ruled that investors' capital losses in this and other fraudulent investment schemes will be treated as business losses, thereby allowing the victims to claim them as net operating losses to reduce tax liability more easily.[101]

The size of the fraud was stated as $65 billion early in the investigation.[100] Former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt estimated the actual net fraud to be between $10 and $17 billion.[102] One difference between the estimates concerns the method of calculation. One method calculates losses as the total amount that victims thought they were owed, but will never receive. The smaller estimates use a different method, subtracting the total cash received from the scheme from the total cash paid into the scheme, after excluding from the calculation persons accused of collaborating with the scheme, persons who invested through "feeder funds," and anyone who received more cash from the scheme than they paid in. Erin Arvedlund, who publicly questioned Madoff's reported investment performance in 2001, stated that the actual amount of the fraud might never be known, but was likely between $12 and $20 billion.[103][104][105]

Jeffry Picower, rather than Madoff, appears to have been the largest beneficiary of Madoff's Ponzi scheme, and his estate settled the claims against it for $7.2 billion.[106][107]

Entities and individuals affiliated with Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz received $300 million in respect of investments in the scheme. Wilpon and Katz "categorically reject[ed]" the charge that they "ignored warning signs" about Madoff's fraud.[108]

On November 9, 2017, the U.S. government announced that it would begin paying out $772.5 million to more than 24,000 victims of the Ponzi scheme.[109]

Plea, sentencing, and prison life

On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies, including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, making false statements, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan, and making false filings with the SEC. The plea was the response to a criminal complaint filed two days earlier, which stated that over the past 20 years, Madoff had defrauded his clients of almost $65 billion in the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff insisted he was solely responsible for the fraud.[69][110] Madoff did not plea bargain with the government. Rather, he pleaded guilty to all charges. It has been speculated that Madoff pleaded guilty instead of cooperating with the authorities in order to avoid naming any associates and co-conspirators who were involved with him in the scheme.[111][112]

In November 2009, David G. Friehling, Madoff's accounting front man and auditor, pleaded guilty to securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, making false filings to the SEC, and obstructing the IRS. He admitted to merely rubber-stamping Madoff's filings rather than auditing them.[113] Friehling extensively cooperated with federal prosecutors and testified at the trials of five former Madoff employees, all of whom were convicted and sentenced to between 2 and a half and 10 years in prison. Although he could have been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison, because of his cooperation, Friehling was sentenced in May 2015 to one year of home detention and one year of supervised release.[114] His involvement made the Madoff scheme by far the largest accounting fraud in history.

Madoff's right-hand man and financial chief, Frank DiPascali, pleaded guilty to 10 federal charges in 2009 and (like Friehling) testified for the government at the trial of five former colleagues, all of whom were convicted. DiPascali faced a sentence of up to 125 years, but he died of lung cancer in May 2015, before he could be sentenced.[115][116]

In his plea allocution, Madoff stated he began his Ponzi scheme in 1991. He admitted he had never made any legitimate investments with his clients' money during this time. Instead, he said, he simply deposited the money into his personal business account at Chase Manhattan Bank. When his customers asked for withdrawals, he paid them out of the Chase account—a classic "robbing Peter to pay Paul" scenario. Chase and its successor, JPMorgan Chase, may have earned as much as $483 million from his bank account.[117][118] He was committed to satisfying his clients' expectations of high returns, despite an economic recession. He admitted to false trading activities masked by foreign transfers and false SEC filings. He stated that he always intended to resume legitimate trading activity, but it proved "difficult, and ultimately impossible" to reconcile his client accounts. In the end, Madoff said, he realized that his scam would eventually be exposed.[83][119]

On June 29, 2009, Judge Chin sentenced Madoff to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal prison.[23][120] Madoff's lawyers initially asked the judge to impose a sentence of 7 years, and later requested that the sentence be 12 years, because of Madoff's advanced age of 71 and his limited life expectancy.[121][122]

Madoff apologized to his victims, saying,

I have left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren. This is something I will live in for the rest of my life. I'm sorry.

He added, "I know that doesn't help you," after his victims recommended to the judge that he receive a life sentence. Judge Chin had not received any mitigating factor letters from friends or family testifying to Madoff's good deeds. "The absence of such support is telling," he said.[123]

Judge Chin also said that Madoff had not been forthcoming about his crimes. "I have a sense Mr. Madoff has not done all that he could do or told all that he knows," said Chin, calling the fraud "extraordinarily evil", "unprecedented", and "staggering", and that the sentence would deter others from committing similar frauds.[124] Judge Chin also agreed with prosecutors' contention that the fraud began at some point in the 1980s. He also noted that Madoff's crimes were "off the charts" since federal sentencing guidelines for fraud only go up to $400 million in losses.[125]

Ruth did not attend court but issued a statement, saying "I am breaking my silence now because my reluctance to speak has been interpreted as indifference or lack of sympathy for the victims of my husband Bernie's crime, which is exactly the opposite of the truth. I am embarrassed and ashamed. Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years."[126]

Incarceration

FCIButnerMedium.jpg
 
FCI Butner Medium, where Madoff is incarcerated
 
 
 
LOOKS LIKE A HOLIDAY CAMP TO ME
 
 
 

Madoff's attorney asked the judge to recommend that the Federal Bureau of Prisons place Madoff in the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville, which is located 70 miles (110 km) from Manhattan. The judge, however, only recommended that Madoff be sent to a facility in the Northeast United States. Madoff was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium near Butner, North Carolina, about 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Raleigh; he is Bureau of Prisons Register #61727-054.[127][128] Jeff Gammage of the Philadelphia Inquirer said "Madoff's heavy sentence likely determined his fate."[129]

Madoff's projected release date is November 14, 2139.[128][130] The release date, described as "academic" in Madoff's case because he would have to live to the age of 201, reflects a reduction for good behavior.[131] On October 13, 2009, it was reported that Madoff experienced his first prison yard fight with another inmate, also a senior citizen.[132] When he began his sentence, Madoff's stress levels were so severe that he broke out in hives and other skin maladies soon after.[133]

On December 18, 2009, Madoff was moved to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and was treated for several facial injuries. A former inmate later claimed that the injuries were received during an alleged altercation with another inmate.[134]

Other news reports described Madoff's injuries as more serious and including "facial fractures, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung".[133][135] The Federal Bureau of Prisons said Madoff signed an affidavit on December 24, 2009, which indicated that he had not been assaulted and that he had been admitted to the hospital for hypertension.[136]

In his letter to his daughter-in-law, Madoff said that he was being treated in prison like a "Mafia don".

They call me either Uncle Bernie or Mr. Madoff. I can't walk anywhere without someone shouting their greetings and encouragement, to keep my spirit up. It's really quite sweet, how concerned everyone is about my well being, including the staff […] It's much safer here than walking the streets of New York.[137]

After an inmate slapped Madoff because he had changed the channel on the TV, it was reported that Madoff befriended Carmine Persico, boss of the Colombo crime family since 1973, one of New York's five American Mafia families.[138] It was believed Persico had intimidated the inmate who slapped Madoff in the face.[139]

Personal life

On November 28, 1959, Madoff married Ruth Alpern,[31][140] whom he had met while attending Far Rockaway High School. The two eventually began dating. Ruth graduated from high school in 1958, and earned her bachelor's degree at Queens College.[141][142] She was employed at the stock market[clarification needed] in Manhattan before[143] working in Madoff's firm, and she founded the Madoff Charitable Foundation.[144] Bernard and Ruth Madoff had two sons: Mark (March 11, 1964 – December 11, 2010),[145] a 1986 graduate of the University of Michigan, and Andrew (April 8, 1966 – September 3, 2014),[146][147] a 1988 graduate of University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School.[148][149] Both sons later worked in the trading section alongside paternal cousin Charles Weiner.[41][150]

Several family members worked for Madoff. His younger brother, Peter,[151] an attorney, was Senior Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer, and Peter's daughter, Shana Madoff, also an attorney, was the firm's compliance attorney. On the morning of December 11, 2010 — exactly two years after Bernard's arrest — his son Mark was found dead in his New York City apartment. The city medical examiner ruled the cause of death as suicide by hanging.[12][13][152]

Over the years, Madoff's sons had borrowed money from their parents, to purchase homes and other property. Mark Madoff owed his parents $22 million, and Andrew Madoff owed them $9.5 million. There were two loans in 2008 from Bernard Madoff to Andrew: $4.3 million on October 6, and $250,000 on September 21.[153][154] Andrew owned a Manhattan apartment and a home in Greenwich, Connecticut, as did his brother Mark [143] prior to his death.[155]

Following a divorce from his first wife in 2000, Mark withdrew money from an account. Both sons used outside investment firms to run their own private philanthropic foundations.[39][143][156] In March 2003, Andrew Madoff was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma and eventually returned to work. He was named chairman of the Lymphoma Research Foundation in January 2008, but resigned shortly after his father's arrest.[143]

Peter Madoff (and Andrew Madoff, before his death) remained the targets of a tax fraud investigation by federal prosecutors, according to The Wall Street Journal. David Friehling, Bernard Madoff's tax accountant, who pleaded guilty in a related case, is reportedly assisting in the investigation. According to a civil lawsuit filed in October 2009, trustee Irving Picard alleges that Peter Madoff deposited $32,146 into his Madoff accounts and withdrew over $16 million; Andrew deposited almost $1 million into his accounts and withdrew $17 million; Mark deposited $745,482 and withdrew $18.1 million.[157]

Bernard Madoff lived in Roslyn, New York, in a ranch house through the 1970s. After 1980, he owned an ocean-front residence in Montauk.[158] His primary residence was on Manhattan's Upper East Side,[159] and he was listed as chairman of the building's co-op board.[160] He also owned a home in France and a mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, where he was a member of the Palm Beach Country Club.[161] Madoff owned a 55-foot (17 m) sportfishing yacht named Bull.[160][162] All three homes were auctioned by the U.S. Marshals Service in September 2009.[163][164]

Sheryl Weinstein, former chief financial officer of Hadassah, disclosed in a memoir that she and Madoff had had an affair more than 20 years earlier. As of 1997, when Weinstein left, Hadassah had invested a total of $40 million. By the end of 2008, Hadassah had withdrawn more than $130 million from its Madoff accounts and contends its accounts were valued at $90 million at the time of Madoff's arrest. At the victim impact sentencing hearing, Weinstein testified, calling him a "beast".[165][166]

According to a March 13, 2009 filing by Madoff, he and his wife were worth up to $126 million, plus an estimated $700 million for the value of his business interest in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.[167] Other major assets included securities ($45 million), cash ($17 million), half-interest in BLM Air Charter ($12 million), a 2006 Leopard yacht ($7 million), jewelry ($2.6 million), Manhattan apartment ($7 million), Montauk home ($3 million), Palm Beach home ($11 million), Cap d' Antibes, France property ($1 million), and furniture, household goods, and art ($9.9 million).[citation needed]

During a 2011 interview on CBS, Ruth Madoff claimed she and her husband had attempted suicide after his fraud was exposed, both taking "a bunch of pills" in a suicide pact on Christmas Eve 2008.[4][168] In November 2011, former Madoff employee David Kugel pleaded guilty to charges that arose out of the scheme. He admitted having helped Madoff create a phony paper trail, the false account statements that were supplied to clients.[169]

Bernard Madoff suffered a heart attack in December 2013, and reportedly suffers from end-stage renal disease (ESRD).[170] According to CBS New York[171] and other news sources, Madoff claimed in an email to CNBC in January 2014 that he has kidney cancer but this is unconfirmed.

Philanthropy and other activities

Madoff was a prominent philanthropist,[17][150] who served on boards of nonprofit institutions, many of which entrusted his firm with their endowments.[17][150] The collapse and freeze of his personal assets and those of his firm affected businesses, charities, and foundations around the world, including the Chais Family Foundation,[172] the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, the Picower Foundation, and the JEHT Foundation which were forced to close.[17][173] Madoff donated approximately $6 million to lymphoma research after his son Andrew was diagnosed with the disease.[174] He and his wife gave over $230,000 to political causes since 1991, with the bulk going to the Democratic Party.[175]

Madoff served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University, and as Treasurer of its Board of Trustees.[150] He resigned his position at Yeshiva University after his arrest.[173] Madoff also served on the Board of New York City Center, a member of New York City's Cultural Institutions Group (CIG).[176] He served on the executive council of the Wall Street division of the UJA Foundation of New York which declined to invest funds with him because of the conflict of interest.[177]

Madoff undertook charity work for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation and made philanthropic gifts through the Madoff Family Foundation, a $19 million private foundation, which he managed along with his wife.[17] They donated money to hospitals and theaters.[150] The foundation has also contributed to many educational, cultural, and health charities, including those later forced to close because of Madoff's fraud.[178] After Madoff's arrest, the assets of the Madoff Family Foundation were frozen by a federal court.[17]

In the media

  • On May 12, 2009, PBS Frontline aired The Madoff Affair, and subsequently ShopPBS made DVD videos of the show and transcripts available for purchase by the public at large.
  • Imagining Madoff is a 2010 play by Deb Margolin that tells the story of an imagined encounter between Madoff and his victims. The play generated controversy when Elie Wiesel, originally portrayed as a character in the play, threatened legal action, forcing Margolin to substitute a fictional character, "Solomon Galkin". The play was nominated for a 2012 Helen Hayes Award.
  • A documentary, Chasing Madoff, describing Harry Markopolos' efforts to unmask the fraud, was released in August 2011.
  • Woody Allen's 2013 film Blue Jasmine portrays a fictional couple involved in a similar scandal. Allen said that the Madoff scandal was the inspiration for the film.[179]
  • In God We Trust (2013), a documentary about Eleanor Squillari, Madoff's secretary for 25 years and her search for the truth about the fraud (The Halcyon Company).[180]
  • Madoff is played by Robert De Niro in the May 2017 HBO film The Wizard of Lies, based on the best-selling book by Diana B. Henriques. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Ruth Madoff in the film, which was released on May 20, 2017.
  • Madoff, a miniseries by ABC starring Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner as Bernard and Ruth Madoff, aired on February 3 and 4, 2016.[181][182]
  • "Ponzi Super Nova", an episode of the podcast Radiolab released February 10, 2017, in which Madoff is interviewed over prison phone.[183]
  • Chevelle's song "Face to the Floor", as described by the band, is a "pissed off, angry" song about people who got taken by the Ponzi scheme that Bernie Madoff had for all those years."[184]
  • Randy Susan Meyers's novel, The Widow of Wall Street, published in 2017 by Atria Books is a fictionalized account of the Madoff Ponzi scheme from the wife's point of view.[18

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More education for you
 
 
 
 
Updated Nov 7, 2019

What Is Financial Fraud?

 

Financial fraud dates back to the year 300 B.C. when a Greek merchant name Hegestratos took out a large insurance policy known as bottomry. In layman's terms, the merchant borrowed money and agreed to pay it back with interest when the cargo, in this case, corn, was delivered. If the merchant refused to pay back the loan, the lender could claim the cargo and the boat used for its transportation.

 

Hegestratos planned to sink his empty boat, keep the loan, and sell the corn. The plan failed, and he drowned trying to escape his crew and passengers when they caught him in the act. This is the first recorded incident of fraud, but it's safe to assume that the practice has been around since the dawn of commerce. Instead of starting at the very beginning, we will focus on the growth of stock market fraud in the U.S.

 

Key Takeaways

  • William Duer committed an insider trading scandal in the late1700s when he relied on his information edge to keep ahead of the market.
  • Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War leader, created a financial panic in 1884 when he could not raise funds to save his son's failing business.
  • In the late 1800s, Daniel Drew used techniques known as a corner, poop and scoop, and pump and dump to defraud stock market investors.
  • After the second world war, stock pools composed of the wealthy manipulated large stocks such as Chrysler, RCA, and Standard Oil until the bubble burst in 1929.

How Fraud Perpetrators Work

There have been many instances of fraud and stock pool scams in the history of the United States, and all of them expose devious schemes based on greed and a desire for power.

 

The first documented fraud occurred in 300 B.C., and it is unlikely that it will ever by stamped out completely because it is driven by greed and the desire for power.

The First Insider Trading Scandal

 

In 1792, only a few years after America officially became independent, the nation experienced its first fraud. At this time, American bonds were similar to developing-world issues or junk bonds today—they fluctuated in value with every bit of news about the fortunes of the colonies that issued them. The trick of investing in such a volatile market was to be a step ahead of the news that would push a bond's value up or down.

 

Alexander Hamilton, secretary of the Treasury, began to restructure American finance by replacing outstanding bonds from various colonies with bonds from the new central government. Consequently, big bond investors sought out people who had access to the Treasury to find out which bond issues Hamilton was going to replace.

 

William Duer, a member of President George Washington's inner circle and assistant secretary of the Treasury, was ideally placed to profit from insider information. Duer was privy to all the Treasury's actions and would tip off his friends and trade in his own portfolio before leaking select information to the public that he knew would drive up prices. Then Duer would simply sell for an easy profit. After years of this type of manipulation, even raiding Treasury funds to make larger bets, Duer left his post but kept his inside contacts. He continued to invest his own money as well as that of other investors in both debt issues and the stocks of banks popping up nationwide.

 

With all the European and domestic money chasing bonds, however, there was a speculative glut as issuers rushed to cash in. Rather than stepping back from the overheating market, Duer was counting on his information edge to keep ahead. He piled his ill-gotten gains and that of his investors into the market. Duer also borrowed heavily to further leverage his bond bets.

 

The correction was unpredictable and sharp, leaving Duer hanging onto worthless investments and huge debts. Hamilton had to rescue the market by buying up bonds and acting as a lender of last resort. William Duer ended up in debtor's prison, where he died in 1799. The speculative bond bubble in 1792 and the large amount of bond trading was, interestingly enough, the catalyst for the Buttonwood Agreement, which was the beginnings of the Wall Street investment community.

 

Fraud Wipes Out a President

 

Ulysses S. Grant, a renowned Civil War hero and former president, only wanted to help his son succeed in business, but he ended up creating a financial panic. Grant's son, Buck, had already failed at several businesses but was determined to succeed on Wall Street. Buck formed a partnership with Ferdinand Ward, an unscrupulous man who was only interested in the legitimacy gained from the Grant name. The two opened up a firm called Grant & Ward. Ward immediately sought capital from investors, falsely claiming that the former president had agreed to help them land lucrative government contracts. Ward then used this cash to speculate on the market. Sadly, Ward was not as gifted at speculating as he was at talking, and he lost heavily.

 

Of the capital Ward squandered, $600,000 was tied to the Marine National Bank, and both the bank and Grant & Ward were on the verge of collapse. Ward convinced Buck to ask his father for more money. Grant Sr., already heavily invested in the firm, was unable to come up with enough funds and was forced to ask for a $150,000 personal loan from William Vanderbilt. Ward essentially took the money and ran, leaving the Grants, Marine National Bank, and the investors holding the bag. Marine National Bank collapsed after a bank run, and its fall helped touch off the panic of 1884.

 

Grant Sr. paid off his debt to Vanderbilt with all his personal effects including his uniforms, swords, medals, and other memorabilia from the war. Ward was eventually caught and imprisoned for six years.

 

The Pioneering Daniel Drew

 

The late 1800s saw men such as Jay Gould, James Fisk, Russell Sage, Edward Henry Harriman, and J.P. Morgan turn the fledgling stock market into their personal playground. However, Daniel Drew was a true pioneer of fraud and stock market manipulation. Drew started out in cattle, bringing the term "watered stock" to our vocabulary—watered stock are shares issued at a much greater value than its underlying assets, usually as part of a scheme to defraud investors. Drew later became a financier when the portfolio of loans he provided to fellow cattlemen gave him the capital to start buying large positions in transportation stocks.

 

Drew lived in a time before disclosure, when only the most basic regulations existed. His technique was known as a corner. He would buy up all of a company's stocks, then spread false news about the company to drive the price down. This would encourage traders to sell the stock short. Unlike today, it was possible to sell short many times the actual stock outstanding.

 

When the time came to cover their short positions, traders would find out that the only person holding stock was Daniel Drew and he expected a high premium. Drew's success with corners led to new operations. Drew often traded wholly owned stocks between himself and other manipulators at higher and higher prices. When this action caught the attention of other traders, the group would dump the stock back on the market.

 

The danger of Drew's combined poop and scoop and pump and dump schemes lay in taking the short position. In 1864, Drew was trapped in a corner of his own by Vanderbilt. Drew was trying to short a company that Vanderbilt was simultaneously trying to acquire. Drew shorted heavily, but Vanderbilt had purchased all the shares. Consequently, Drew had to cover his position at a premium paid directly to Vanderbilt.

 

Drew and Vanderbilt battled again in 1866 over a railroad, but this time Drew was much wiser, or at least much more corrupt. As Vanderbilt tried to buy up one of Drew's railroads, Drew printed more and more illegal shares. Vanderbilt followed his previous strategy and used his war chest to buy up the additional shares. This left Drew running from the law for watering stock and left Vanderbilt cash poor. The two combatants came to an uneasy truce: Drew's fellow manipulators, Fisk and Gould, were angered by the truce and conspired to ruin Drew. He died broke in 1879.

 

The Stock Pools

 

Until the 1920s, most market fraud affected only the few Americans who were investing. When it was confined largely to battles between wealthy manipulators, the government felt no need to step in. After World War I, however, average Americans discovered the stock market. To take advantage of the influx of eager new money, manipulators teamed up to create stock pools. Basically, stock pools carried out Daniel Drew-style manipulation on a larger scale. With more investors involved, the profits from manipulating stocks were enough to convince the management of the companies being targeted to participate. The stock pools became very powerful, manipulating even large cap stocks such as Chrysler, RCA, and Standard Oil.

 

When the bubble burst in 1929, both the general public and the government were staggered by the level of corruption that had contributed to the financial catastrophe. Stock pools took the lion's share of the blame, leading to the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ironically, the first head of the SEC was a speculator and former pool insider, Joseph Kennedy Sr.

 

Fast Fact

The first head of the SEC was a speculator and former pool insider, Joseph Kennedy Sr. The stock pools were held largely to blame for the bubble that burst in 1929.

The SEC Era

 

With the creation of the SEC, market rules were formalized and stock fraud was defined. Common manipulation practices were outlawed as was the large trade in insider information. Wall Street would no longer be the Wild West where gunslingers like Drew and Vanderbilt met for showdowns. That isn't to say that the pump and dump or insider trading has disappeared. In the SEC era, investors still get taken in by fraud, but legal protection do now exist giving investors some recourse.

 

 

 

 

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On 10/26/2019 at 5:44 PM, Albertson said:

Im sincere and truthful @mitsubishi, i also doubted that my funds could be retrieved but REAL FUNDS RECOVERY, cleared my doubt and im happy again.

Fiction is the least favourite part of the library for enquiring minds

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Real traders enjoy Watching paint dry

SUBSTITUTE 'PAINT' FOR THE WORD' TRADER/TRADING',,,

...............................................................................................................ETC

 

The History of Paint

Paint through the Centuries

For centuries, paint was essentially lead. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans made a sort of paint by treating lead with wine or vinegar. Later painters mixed up white-lead paste, then added linseed oil, turpentine, a drier, and colored pigments in oil. Such paint had turpentine, a drier and colored pigments in oil. Such paint had great hiding power, was easy to work with, stuck where it was applied, and weathered well. Unfortunately, it also poisoned people, by skin absorption, respiration, or ingestion (the paint chips tasted sweet). Today, paint with more than .06 percent lead by volume is banned in the U.S.

There's also been a shift away from oil as the base for paint. It began during World War II, when linseed oil and the solvents that cut it were scarce. By the mid-'5Os, synthetic replacements were outperforming natural ingredients. Today, practically all paints consist of some form of synthetic resins or polymers. Modern solvent-thinned paints still work like the old oil-base paints, only more effectively; alkyds (a hybrid word designating the combination of alcohols and acids that produces the synthetic resins) have replaced most or all of the natural oils. Alkyd formulations are comparatively low in cost and have excellent color retention, durability, and flexibility.

But the most dramatic shift has been away from solvent-thinned paints in favor of water-thinned ones. Today, latex is the consumer standard, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the paint sold.

Are today's paints better?

Experts disagree. The quality range is much wider, but the best are better and the worst much worse. Paint life span is impossible to predict; there are too many factors

specific to your situation. Be wary of guarantees in judging a brand, see if the paint levels itself
out, showing few brush or roller marks, ripples, or pockmarks. It shouldn't run or sag on the wall during application-the sign of a thin paint (or perhaps you're applying too thick a coat.)

The paint should hide what's underneath it. It should dry hard, to resist denting, scratching,
marring. Hardness correlates with resin content and gloss. Old-timers might swear by linseed oil
base paint, but tests at the USDA's Forest Products Laboratory suggest that today's best choice
for routine outdoor home use is an acrylic latex with a resin content of at least 20 percent.

Paint Gloss: what you get is what you see

Resin makes paint durable, easy to clean, and moisture resistant; the more resin, the higher the gloss. High-gloss paint reflects light, emphasizing defects in walls and ceilings as well as showing
off whatever it coats. (Textured paints and flats break up light; that's why they're used on large
walls and ceilings, particularly if those surfaces are uneven or damaged.

On labels, gloss goes by various names: luster, shine, sheen. Paint can be termed high-gloss, semi gloss, or flat (mat). Semi gloss can be called eggshell, velvet, satin, or pearl, and can range from
nearly flat to very shiny, depending on the manufacturer. There's no industry standard. With enamels, the pigments used should be top quality, with little filler.

Latex glosses may stay tacky much longer than you think. They may feel dry to the touch, but
don't stack things on the newly painted surfpadding:ace too soon, or they may bond to it. Cure can take
two weeks to a month.

Latex Paint: easy to work with, clean up

Once a name for synthetic rubber, latex is now synonymous with water-thinned paint.
The pigment-holding resin particles are held in suspension. Instead of absorbing oxygen to form
a hard coating, the particles actually coalesce into a tight film that is insoluble in water when dry.

Latex is easy to work with. It can be applied to damp surfaces. It doesn't require a wet edge; you can stop mid wall, start later, and never see where you left off. It dries fast, though a full cure can take up to four weeks. Best of all, you can clean up wet paint with soap and water.

You can tell latex quality by the type of resin used:

acrylic is best; vinyl acrylic and other blends next, all vinyl not as good. All are flexible (particularly the acrylics), stretching and shrinking with the wood or whatever they're painted on. On the down side, you can't sand latex especially gloss latex to a desirable texture; it will tear off or melt to a gummy consistency. Latex enamel doesn't level as well as alkyd enamel and won't hold as high a
gloss but a top-quality latex product will hold its gloss better and longer than its alkyd counterpart, especially in areas exposed to weather.

Alkyds:

higher gloss, harder surface Alkyd paint (often called oil-base paint) doesn't dry like latex; oxygen absorbed from the air changes the molecular structure of the solids, so you can sand an alkyd surface- a critical factor if you're using successive coats to provide high glosses. The paint will
also hang on a little harder, because the solvent will carry the paint into the substrate more than water would. On old, poorly prepped surfaces, like chalking walls, choose an alkyd. It will also hold
a higher gloss, and the paint film is more moisture resistant.

On the minus side, alkyds are harder to apply, aren't as sag resistant as latex, are harder to touch
up, and require cleanup with mineral spirits.

Home & Garden Publications

 

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This articlle will help you stay out of trouble. You have to have some intelligence though if you want trade forex.

 

The Top Things to Know About Psychology

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9-12 minutes

Psychology is a broad field that encompasses the study of human thought, behavior, development, personality, emotion, motivation, and more. Gaining a richer and deeper understanding of psychology can help people achieve insights into their own actions as well as a better understanding of others.

What Is Psychology?

Applications for psychology include mental health treatment, performance enhancement, self-help, ergonomics, and many other areas affecting health and daily life. It is difficult to capture everything that psychology encompasses in just a brief definition, but topics such as development, personality, thoughts, feelings, emotions, motivations, and social behaviors represent just a portion of what psychology seeks to understand, predict, and explain.

There's a lot of confusion out there about psychology. Unfortunately, such misconceptions about psychology abound in part thanks to stereotyped portrayals of psychologists in popular media as well as the diverse career paths of those holding psychology degrees.

According to some popular television programs and movies, psychologists are super-sleuths that can use their understanding of the human mind to solve crimes and predict a criminal's next move. Other traditional depictions present the psychologist as gray and wise, seated in a stately office lined with books, and listening to clients ramble on about their difficult childhoods.

So what is psychology really all about? The fact is that there is a little bit of truth in these stereotypical portrayals, but there is a lot more to psychology than you might initially think. There is tremendous diversity in psychology careers and it is perhaps this enormous range of career paths that contributes to some of the misconceptions about psychology and what psychologists do.

Sure, there are psychologists who help solve crimes and there are plenty of professionals who help people deal with mental health issues. However, there are also psychologists who contribute to creating healthier workplaces. There are psychologists that design and implement public health programs. Other psychologists investigate topics such as airplane safety, computer design, and military life. No matter where psychologists work, their primary goals are to help describe, explain, predict, and influence human behavior.

How Psychology Came to Be What It Is Today

Early psychology evolved out of both philosophy and biology. Discussions of these two subjects date as far back as the early Greek thinkers, including Aristotle and Socrates. The word "psychology" itself is derived from the Greek word psyche, literally meaning "life" or "breath." Derived meanings of the word include "soul" or "self."

The emergence of psychology as a separate and independent field of study truly came about when Wilhelm Wundt established the first experimental psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany in 1879.

Wundt's work was focused on describing the structures that compose the mind. This perspective relied heavily on the analysis of sensations and feelings through the use of introspection, an extremely subjective process. Wundt believed that properly trained individuals would be able to identify accurately the mental processes that accompanied feelings, sensations, and thoughts.

Throughout psychology's history, various schools of thought have formed to explain the human mind and behavior. In some cases, certain schools of thought rose to dominate the field of psychology for a period of time. While these schools of thought are sometimes perceived as competing forces, each perspective has contributed to our understanding of psychology.

The following are some of the major schools of thought in psychology.

  • Wundt and Titchener's structuralism was the earliest school of thought, but others soon began to emerge.
  • The early psychologist and philosopher William James became associated with a school of thought known as functionalism, which focused its attention on the purpose of human consciousness and behavior.
  • Soon, these initial schools of thought gave way to several dominant and influential approaches to psychology. Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis centered on how the unconscious mind impacted human behavior.
  • The behavioral school of thought turned away from looking at internal influences on behavior and sought to make psychology the study of observable behaviors.
  • Later, the humanistic approach centered on the importance of personal growth and self-actualization.
  • By the 1960s and 1970s, the cognitive revolution spurred the investigation of internal mental processes such as thinking, decision-making, language development, and memory.

Top 4 Things to Know About Psychology

Here are some important things to know about psychology.

Psychology Is Both an Applied and Theoretical Discipline

Psychology is both an applied and academic field that studies the human mind and behavior. Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain how we think, act, and feel. Research psychologists contribute to our understanding of why people behave as they do as well as different factors that can impact the human mind and behavior.

As most people already realize, a large part of psychology is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues, but that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to applications for psychology. In addition to mental health, psychology can be applied to a variety of issues that impact health and daily life including well-being, ergonomics, motivation, productivity, and much more.

There Are Many Different Specialty Areas in Psychology

Psychology is a broad and diverse field. Some different subfields and specialty areas have emerged. The following are some of the major areas of research and application within psychology:

  • Abnormal psychology is the study of abnormal behavior and psychopathology. This specialty area is focused on research and treatment of a variety of mental disorders and is linked to psychotherapy and clinical psychology.
  • Biological psychology, also known as biopsychology, studies how biological processes influence the mind and behavior. This area is closely linked to neuroscience and utilizes tools such as MRI and PET scans to look at brain injury or brain abnormalities.
  • Clinical psychology is focused on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. It is also considered the single largest area of employment within psychology.
  • Cognitive psychology is the study of human thought processes and cognitions. Cognitive psychologists study topics such as attention, memory, perception, decision-making, problem-solving, and language acquisition.
  • Comparative psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the study of animal behavior. This type of research can lead to a deeper and broader understanding of human psychology.
  • Developmental psychology is an area that looks at human growth and development over the lifespan. Theories often focus on the development of cognitive abilities, morality, social functioning, identity, and other life areas.
  • Forensic psychology is an applied field focused on using psychological research and principles in the legal and criminal justice system.
  • Industrial-organizational psychology is a field that uses psychological research to enhance work performance and select employees.
  • Personality psychology focuses on understanding how personality develops as well as the patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and characteristics that make each individual unique.
  • Social psychology focuses on understanding group behavior as well as how social influences shape individual behavior. Topics studied by social psychologists include attitudes, prejudice, conformity, and aggression.

Psychologists Utilize Scientific Methods

Psychologists use objective scientific methods to understand, explain, and predict human behavior. Psychological studies are highly structured, beginning with a hypothesis that is then empirically tested.

As psychology moved away from its philosophical roots, psychologists began to employ more and more scientific methods to study human behavior. Contemporary researchers use a variety of scientific techniques including experiments, correlational studies, and longitudinal research.

There Are Many Different Applications for Psychology

The most obvious application for psychology is in the field of mental health where psychologists use principles, research, and clinical findings to help clients manage and overcome symptoms of mental distress and psychological illness.

There are also many other ways that psychology used to help people live better, healthier lives. Psychological research can have an impact on public policy, can be used to design public health initiatives, and can guide approaches to education and child development programs.

A Word From Verywell

As you can see, while psychology may be a relatively young science it also has a tremendous amount of both depth and breadth. The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness are central interests of psychology, but psychology encompasses much more than mental health.

Today, psychologists seek to understand many different aspects of the human mind and behavior, adding new knowledge to our understanding of how people think as well as developing practical applications that have an important impact on everyday human lives.

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  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed.. Washington, DC: Author; 2013.

  • Hothersall D. History of Psychology, 4th ed. New York: Mcgraw-Hill; 2003.

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Find out if you are the type of person who gets ripped off

TAKE THE TEST

Harrower-Erickson Multiple Choice Rorschach Test

 
2-3 minutes

This is an interactive version of the Multiple Choice Rorschach (Harrower-Erickson, 1945).

Background

The Rorschach Test is a projective psychological test developed in 1921 by Hermann Rorschach to measure thought disorder for the purpose of identifying mental illness. It was inspired by the observation that schizophrenia patients often interpret the things they see in unusual ways. In the test, the participant is shown a series of ten ink blot cards and directed to respond to each with what they see in the inkblot. Because completing the Rorschach Test is time intensive and requires and psychologist trained in its usage, there have been many attempts to convert the Rorschach into an objective test for ease of use. The Harrower-Erickson Multiple Choice Rorschach Test was developed during World War II for the large scale screening of U.S. military personnel. The first work on the MCR reported impressive predictive power, however later work indicates that scores from the MCR have little value and the test does not appear to have been used for much in the last fifty years. This test is provided here just as a historical curiosity.

 

Test Instructions

This test consists of ten images. For each image you will be given some time to memorize it and then on a following page you will have to pick from a list what the best descriptions of that image is. The original instructions call for each image to be projected on a screen for thirty seconds, this test lets you go as fast as you want, however it is recommended that you not go to fast.

 

Participation

This test is provided for educational and entertainment use only. It should not be used as psychological advice of any kind and comes without any guarantee of accuracy or fitness for any particular purpose. Also, your responses may be recorded and anonymously used for research or otherwise distributed.

References:

  • Harrower-Erickson, Molly (1945). "Large scale Rorschach techniques: a manual for the group Rorschach and multiple choice test". Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas Publisher, Ltd.

 

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https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/HEMCR/

Edited by mitsubishi

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FROM WIKIPEDIEA

The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly.[4] The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach. In the 1960s, the Rorschach was the most widely used projective test.[5]

Although the Exner Scoring System (developed since the 1960s) claims to have addressed and often refuted many criticisms of the original testing system with an extensive body of research,[6] some researchers continue to raise questions. The areas of dispute include the objectivity of testers, inter-rater reliability, the verifiability and general validity of the test, bias of the test's pathology scales towards greater numbers of responses, the limited number of psychological conditions which it accurately diagnoses, the inability to replicate the test's norms, its use in court-ordered evaluations, and the proliferation of the ten inkblot images, potentially invalidating the test for those who have been exposed to them.[7]

History

170px-Hermann_Rorschach_c.1910.JPG

Using interpretation of "ambiguous designs" to assess an individual's personality is an idea that goes back to Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Interpretation of inkblots was central to a game, Gobolinks,[8] from the late 19th century. Rorschach's, however, was the first systematic approach of this kind.[9] The ink blots were hand drawn by Rorschach.[10]

It has been suggested that Rorschach's use of inkblots may have been inspired by German doctor Justinus Kerner who, in 1857, had published a popular book of poems, each of which was inspired by an accidental inkblot.[11] French psychologist Alfred Binet had also experimented with inkblots as a creativity test,[12] and, after the turn of the century, psychological experiments where inkblots were utilized multiplied, with aims such as studying imagination and consciousness.[13]

After studying 300 mental patients and 100 control subjects, in 1921 Rorschach wrote his book Psychodiagnostik, which was to form the basis of the inkblot test (after experimenting with several hundred inkblots, he selected a set of ten for their diagnostic value),[14] but he died the following year. Although he had served as Vice President of the Swiss Psychoanalytic Society, Rorschach had difficulty in publishing the book and it attracted little attention when it first appeared.[15]

In 1927, the newly founded Hans Huber publishing house purchased Rorschach's book Psychodiagnostik from the inventory of Ernst Bircher.[16] Huber has remained the publisher of the test and related book, with Rorschach a registered trademark of Swiss publisher Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG.[17] The work has been described as "a densely written piece couched in dry, scientific terminology".[18]

After Rorschach's death, the original test scoring system was improved by Samuel Beck, Bruno Klopfer and others.[19]John E. Exner summarized some of these later developments in the comprehensive system, at the same time trying to make the scoring more statistically rigorous. Some systems are based on the psychoanalytic concept of object relations. The Exner system remains very popular in the United States, while in Europe other methods sometimes dominate,[20][21] such as that described in the textbook by Evald Bohm, which is closer to the original Rorschach system and rooted more deeply in the original psychoanalysis principles.[citation needed]

Rorschach never intended the inkblots to be used as a general personality test, but developed them as a tool for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. It was not until 1939 that the test was used as a projective test of personality, a use of which Rorschach had always been skeptical.[22] Interviewed in 2012 for a BBC Radio 4 documentary, Rita Signer, curator of the Rorschach Archives in Bern, Switzerland, suggested that far from being random or chance designs, each of the blots selected by Rorschach for his test had been meticulously designed to be as ambiguous and "conflicted" as possible.[23]

Method

The Rorschach test is appropriate for subjects from the age of five to adulthood. The administrator and subject typically sit next to each other at a table, with the administrator slightly behind the subject. Side-by-side seating of the examiner and the subject is used to reduce any effects of inadvertent cues from the examiner to the subject. In other words, side-by-side seating mitigates the possibility that the examiner will accidentally influence the subject's responses.[24] This is to facilitate a "relaxed but controlled atmosphere". There are ten official inkblots, each printed on a separate white card, approximately 18 by 24 cm in size.[25] Each of the blots has near perfect bilateral symmetry. Five inkblots are of black ink, two are of black and red ink and three are multicolored, on a white background.[26][27][28] After the test subject has seen and responded to all of the inkblots (free association phase), the tester then presents them again one at a time in a set sequence for the subject to study: the subject is asked to note where they see what they originally saw and what makes it look like that (inquiry phase). The subject is usually asked to hold the cards and may rotate them. Whether the cards are rotated, and other related factors such as whether permission to rotate them is asked, may expose personality traits and normally contributes to the assessment.[29] As the subject is examining the inkblots, the psychologist writes down everything the subject says or does, no matter how trivial. Analysis of responses is recorded by the test administrator using a tabulation and scoring sheet and, if required, a separate location chart.[24]

The general goal of the test is to provide data about cognition and personality variables such as motivations, response tendencies, cognitive operations, affectivity, and personal/interpersonal perceptions. The underlying assumption is that an individual will class external stimuli based on person-specific perceptual sets, and including needs, base motives, conflicts, and that this clustering process is representative of the process used in real-life situations.[30] Methods of interpretation differ. Rorschach scoring systems have been described as a system of pegs on which to hang one's knowledge of personality.[31] The most widely used method in the United States is based on the work of Exner.

Administration of the test to a group of subjects, by means of projected images, has also occasionally been performed, but mainly for research rather than diagnostic purposes.[24]

Test administration is not to be confused with test interpretation:

The interpretation of a Rorschach record is a complex process. It requires a wealth of knowledge concerning personality dynamics generally as well as considerable experience with the Rorschach method specifically. Proficiency as a Rorschach administrator can be gained within a few months. However, even those who are able and qualified to become Rorschach interpreters usually remain in a "learning stage" for a number of years.[24]

Features or categories

The interpretation of the Rorschach test is not based primarily on the contents of the response, i.e., what the individual sees in the inkblot (the content). In fact, the contents of the response are only a comparatively small portion of a broader cluster of variables that are used to interpret the Rorschach data: for instance, information is provided by the time taken before providing a response for a card can be significant (taking a long time can indicate "shock" on the card).[32] as well as by any comments the subject may make in addition to providing a direct response.[33]

In particular, information about determinants (the aspects of the inkblots that triggered the response, such as form and color) and location (which details of the inkblots triggered the response) is often considered more important than content, although there is contrasting evidence.[34][35] "Popularity" and "originality" of responses[36] can also be considered as basic dimensions in the analysis.[37]

Content

The goal in coding content of the Rorschach is to categorize the objects that the subject describes in response to the inkblot. There are 27 established codes for identifying the name of the descriptive object. The codes are classified and include terms such as "human", "nature", "animal", "abstract", "clothing", "fire", and "x-ray", to name a few. Content described that does not have a code already established should be coded using the code "idiographic contents" with the shorthand code being "Idio." [38] Items are also coded for statistical popularity (or, conversely, originality).[39]

More than any other feature in the test, content response can be controlled consciously by the subject, and may be elicited by very disparate factors, which makes it difficult to use content alone to draw any conclusions about the subject's personality; with certain individuals, content responses may potentially be interpreted directly, and some information can at times be obtained by analyzing thematic trends in the whole set of content responses (which is only feasible when several responses are available), but in general content cannot be analyzed outside of the context of the entire test record.[40]

Location

Identifying the location of the subject's response is another element scored in the Rorschach system. Location refers to how much of the inkblot was used to answer the question. Administrators score the response "W" if the whole inkblot was used to answer the question, "D" if a commonly described part of the blot was used, "Dd" if an uncommonly described or unusual detail was used, or "S" if the white space in the background was used. A score of W is typically associated with the subject's motivation to interact with his or her surrounding environment. D is interpreted as one having efficient or adequate functioning. A high frequency of responses coded Dd indicate some maladjustment within the individual. Responses coded S indicate an oppositional or uncooperative test subject.[25][38]

Determinants

Systems for Rorschach scoring generally include a concept of "determinants": These are the factors that contribute to establishing the similarity between the inkblot and the subject's content response about it. They can also represent certain basic experiential-perceptual attitudes, showing aspects of the way a subject perceives the world. Rorschach's original work used only form, color and movement as determinants. However currently, another major determinant considered is shading,[41] which was inadvertently introduced by poor printing quality of the inkblots. Rorschach initially disregarded shading,[42] since the inkblots originally featured uniform saturation, but later recognized it as a significant factor.[43][44][45]

Form is the most common determinant, and is related to intellectual processes. Color responses often provide direct insight into one's emotional life. Movement and shading have been considered more ambiguously, both in definition and interpretation. Rorschach considered movement only as the experiencing of actual motion, while others have widened the scope of this determinant, taking it to mean that the subject sees something "going on".[46]

More than one determinant can contribute to the formation of the subject's perception. Fusion of two determinants is taken into account, while also assessing which of the two constituted the primary contributor. For example, "form-color" implies a more refined control of impulse than "color-form". It is, indeed, from the relation and balance among determinants that personality can be most readily inferred.[46]

Symmetry of the test items

A striking characteristic of the Rorschach inkblots is their symmetry. Many unquestionably accept this aspect of the nature of the images but Rorschach, as well as other researchers, certainly did not. Rorschach experimented with both asymmetric and symmetric images before finally opting for the latter.[47]

He gives this explanation for the decision:

Asymmetric figures are rejected by many subjects; symmetry supplied part of the necessary artistic composition. It has a disadvantage in that it tends to make answers somewhat stereotyped. On the other hand, symmetry makes conditions the same for right and left handed subjects; furthermore, it facilitates interpretation for certain blocked subjects. Finally, symmetry makes possible the interpretation of whole scenes.[48]

The impact of symmetry in the Rorschach inkblot's has also been investigated further by other researchers.[47]

Exner scoring system

The Exner scoring system, also known as the Rorschach Comprehensive System (RCS),[49] is the standard method for interpreting the Rorschach test. It was developed in the 1960s by Dr. John E. Exner, as a more rigorous system of analysis. It has been extensively validated and shows high inter-rater reliability.[6][50] In 1969, Exner published The Rorschach Systems, a concise description of what would be later called "the Exner system". He later published a study in multiple volumes called The Rorschach: A Comprehensive system, the most accepted full description of his system.

Creation of the new system was prompted by the realization that at least five related, but ultimately different methods were in common use at the time, with a sizeable minority of examiners not employing any recognized method at all, basing instead their judgment on subjective assessment, or arbitrarily mixing characteristics of the various standardized systems.[51]

The key components of the Exner system are the clusterization of Rorschach variables and a sequential search strategy to determine the order in which to analyze them,[52] framed in the context of standardized administration, objective, reliable coding and a representative normative database.[53] The system places a lot of emphasis on a cognitive triad of information processing, related to how the subject processes input data, cognitive mediation, referring to the way information is transformed and identified, and ideation.[54]

In the system, responses are scored with reference to their level of vagueness or synthesis of multiple images in the blot, the location of the response, which of a variety of determinants is used to produce the response (i.e., what makes the inkblot look like what it is said to resemble), the form quality of the response (to what extent a response is faithful to how the actual inkblot looks), the contents of the response (what the respondent actually sees in the blot), the degree of mental organizing activity that is involved in producing the response, and any illogical, incongruous, or incoherent aspects of responses. It has been reported that popular responses on the first card include bat, badge and coat of arms.[31]

Using the scores for these categories, the examiner then performs a series of calculations producing a structural summary of the test data. The results of the structural summary are interpreted using existing research data on personality characteristics that have been demonstrated to be associated with different kinds of responses.

With the Rorschach plates (the ten inkblots), the area of each blot which is distinguished by the client is noted and coded—typically as "commonly selected" or "uncommonly selected". There were many different methods for coding the areas of the blots. Exner settled upon the area coding system promoted by S. J. Beck (1944 and 1961). This system was in turn based upon Klopfer's (1942) work.

As pertains to response form, a concept of "form quality" was present from the earliest of Rorschach's works, as a subjective judgment of how well the form of the subject's response matched the inkblots (Rorschach would give a higher form score to more "original" yet good form responses), and this concept was followed by other methods, especially in Europe; in contrast, the Exner system solely defines "good form" as a matter of word occurrence frequency, reducing it to a measure of the subject's distance to the population average.[55]

Performance assessment system

Rorschach performance assessment system (R-PAS) is a scoring method created by several members of the Rorschach Research Council. They believed that the Exner scoring system was in need of an update, but after Exner's death, the Exner family forbade any changes to be made to the Comprehensive System.[56] Therefore, they established a new system: the R-PAS. It is an attempt at creating a current, empirically based, and internationally focused scoring system that is easier to use than Exner's Comprehensive System.[57] The R-PAS manual is intended to be a comprehensive tool for administering, scoring, and interpreting the Rorschach. The manual consists of two chapters that are basics of scoring and interpretation, aimed for use for novice Rorschach users, followed by numerous chapters containing more detailed and technical information.[58]

In terms of updated scoring, the authors only selected variables that have been empirically supported in the literature. To note, the authors did not create new variables or indices to be coded, but systematically reviewed variables that had been used in past systems.[59] While all of these codes have been used in the past, many have been renamed to be more face valid and readily understood. Scoring of the indices has been updated (e.g. utilizing percentiles and standard scores) to make the Rorschach more in line with other popular personality measures.

In addition to providing coding guidelines to score examinee responses, the R-PAS provides a system to code an examinee's behavior during Rorschach administration. These behavioral codes are included as it is believed that the behaviors exhibited during testing are a reflection of someone's task performance and supplements the actual responses given. This allows generalizations to be made between someone's responses to the cards and their actual behavior.

The R-PAS also recognized that scoring on many of the Rorschach variables differed across countries.[59] Therefore, starting in 1997, Rorschach protocols from researchers around the world were compiled.[60] After compiling protocols for over a decade, a total of 15 adult samples were used to provide a normative basis for the R-PAS. The protocols represent data gathered in the United States, Europe, Israel, Argentina and Brazil.

Cultural differences

Comparing North American Exner normative data with data from European and South American subjects showed marked differences in some features, some of which impact important variables, while others (such as the average number of responses) coincide.[61] For instance, texture response is typically zero in European subjects (if interpreted as a need for closeness, in accordance with the system, a European would seem to express it only when it reaches the level of a craving for closeness),[62] and there are fewer "good form" responses, to the point where schizophrenia may be suspected if data were correlated to the North American norms.[63] Form is also often the only determinant expressed by European subjects;[64] while color is less frequent than in American subjects, color-form responses are comparatively frequent in opposition to form-color responses; since the latter tend to be interpreted as indicators of a defensive attitude in processing affect, this difference could stem from a higher value attributed to spontaneous expression of emotions.[62]

The differences in form quality are attributable to purely cultural aspects: different cultures will exhibit different "common" objects (French subjects often identify a chameleon in card VIII, which is normally classed as an "unusual" response, as opposed to other animals like cats and dogs; in Scandinavia, "Christmas elves" (nisser) is a popular response for card II, and "musical instrument" on card VI is popular for Japanese people),[65] and different languages will exhibit semantic differences in naming the same object (the figure of card IV is often called a troll by Scandinavians and an ogre by French people).[66] Many of Exner's "popular" responses (those given by at least one third of the North American sample used) seem to be universally popular, as shown by samples in Europe, Japan and South America, while specifically card IX's "human" response, the crab or spider in card X and one of either the butterfly or the bat in card I appear to be characteristic of North America.[66][67]

Form quality, popular content responses and locations are the only coded variables in the Exner systems that are based on frequency of occurrence, and thus immediately subject to cultural influences; therefore, cultural-dependent interpretation of test data may not necessarily need to extend beyond these components.[68]

The cited language differences mean that it's imperative for the test to be administered in the subject's native language or a very well mastered second language, and, conversely, the examiner should master the language used in the test. Test responses should also not be translated into another language prior to analysis except possibly by a clinician mastering both languages. For example, a bow tie is a frequent response for the center detail of card III, but since the equivalent term in French translates to "butterfly tie", an examiner not appreciating this language nuance may code the response differently from what is expected.[69]

Inkblots

Below are the ten inkblots of the Rorschach test printed in Rorschach's Rorschach Test – Psychodiagnostic Plates,[70] together with the most frequent responses for either the whole image or the most prominent details according to various authors.

Card Popular responses[71][72][73] Comments[74][75]
Rorschach blot 01.jpg
Beck: bat, butterfly, moth
Piotrowski: bat (53%), butterfly (29%)
Dana (France): butterfly (39%)
When seeing card I, subjects often inquire on how they should proceed, and questions on what they are allowed to do with the card (e.g. turning it) are not very significant. Being the first card, it can provide clues about how subjects tackle a new and stressful task. It is not, however, a card that is usually difficult for the subject to handle, having readily available popular responses.
Rorschach blot 02.jpg
Beck: two humans
Piotrowski: four-legged animal (34%, gray parts)
Dana (France): animal: dog, elephant, bear (50%, gray)
The red details of card II are often seen as blood, and are the most distinctive features. Responses to them can provide indications about how a subject is likely to manage feelings of anger or physical harm. This card can induce a variety of sexual responses.
Rorschach blot 03.jpg
Beck: two humans (gray)
Piotrowski: human figures (72%, gray)
Dana (France): human (76%, gray)
Card III is typically perceived to contain two humans involved in some interaction, and may provide information about how the subject relates with other people (specifically, response latency may reveal struggling social interactions).
Rorschach blot 04.jpg
Beck: animal hide, skin, rug
Piotrowski: animal skin, skin rug (41%)
Dana (France): animal skin (46%)
Card IV is notable for its dark color and its shading (posing difficulties for depressed subjects), and is generally perceived as a big and sometimes threatening figure; compounded with the common impression of the subject being in an inferior position ("looking up") to it, this serves to elicit a sense of authority. The human or animal content seen in the card is almost invariably classified as male rather than female, and the qualities expressed by the subject may indicate attitudes toward men and authority. Because of this Card IV is often called "The Father Card".[76]
Rorschach blot 05.jpg
Beck: bat, butterfly, moth
Piotrowski: butterfly (48%), bat (40%)
Dana (France): butterfly (48%), bat (46%)
Card V is an easily elaborated card that is not usually perceived as threatening, and typically instigates a "change of pace" in the test, after the previous more challenging cards. Containing few features that generate concerns or complicate the elaboration, it is the easiest blot to generate a good quality response about.
Rorschach blot 06.jpg
Beck: animal hide, skin, rug
Piotrowski: animal skin, skin rug (41%)
Dana (France): animal skin (46%)
Texture is the dominant characteristic of card VI, which often elicits association related to interpersonal closeness; it is specifically a "sex card", its likely sexual percepts being reported more frequently than in any other card, even though other cards have a greater variety of commonly seen sexual contents.
Rorschach blot 07.jpg
Beck: human heads or faces (top)
Piotrowski: heads of women or children (27%, top)
Dana (France): human head (46%, top)
Card VII can be associated with femininity (the human figures commonly seen in it being described as women or children), and function as a "mother card", where difficulties in responding may be related to concerns with the female figures in the subject's life. The center detail is relatively often (though not popularly) identified as a vagina, which makes this card also relate to feminine sexuality in particular.
Rorschach blot 08.jpg
Beck: animal: not cat or dog (pink)
Piotrowski: four-legged animal (94%, pink)
Dana (France): four-legged animal (93%, pink)
People often express relief about card VIII, which lets them relax and respond effectively. Similar to card V, it represents a "change of pace"; however, the card introduces new elaboration difficulties, being complex and the first multi-colored card in the set. Therefore, people who find processing complex situations or emotional stimuli distressing or difficult may be uncomfortable with this card.
Rorschach blot 09.jpg
Beck: human (orange)
Piotrowski: none
Dana (France): none
Characteristic of card IX is indistinct form and diffuse, muted chromatic features, creating a general vagueness. There is only one popular response, and it is the least frequent of all cards. Having difficulty with processing this card may indicate trouble dealing with unstructured data, but aside from this there are few particular "pulls" typical of this card.
Rorschach blot 10.jpg
Beck: crab, lobster, spider (blue)
Piotrowski: crab, spider (37%, blue),
rabbit head (31%, light green),
caterpillars, worms, snakes (28%, deep green)
Dana (France): none
Card X is structurally similar to card VIII, but its uncertainty and complexity are reminiscent of card IX: people who find it difficult to deal with many concurrent stimuli may not particularly like this otherwise pleasant card. Being the last card, it may provide an opportunity for the subject to "sign out" by indicating what they feel their situation is like, or what they desire to know.

Usage

United States

The Rorschach test is used almost exclusively by psychologists. Forensic psychologists use the Rorschach 36% of the time.[77] In custody cases, 23% of psychologists use the Rorschach to examine a child.[78] Another survey found that 124 out of 161 (77%) of clinical psychologists engaging in assessment services utilize the Rorschach,[79] and 80% of psychology graduate programs teach its use.[80] Another study found that its use by clinical psychologists was only 43%, while it was used less than 24% of the time by school psychologists.[77]

During World War II, United States Army Medical Corps chief psychiatrist Dr. Douglas Kelley and psychologist Gustave Gilbert administered the Rorschach test to the 22 defendants in the Nazi leadership group prior to the first Nuremberg trials.[81]

United Kingdom

Many psychologists in the United Kingdom do not trust its efficacy and it is rarely used.[82] Although skeptical about its scientific validity, some psychologists use it in therapy and coaching "as a way of encouraging self-reflection and starting a conversation about the person's internal world."[22] It is still used, however, by some mental health organisations such as the Tavistock Clinic.[83] In a survey done in the year 2000, 20% of psychologists in correctional facilities used the Rorschach while 80% used the MMPI.[84]

Japan

Shortly after publication of Rorschach's book, a copy found its way to Japan where it was discovered by one of the country's leading psychiatrists in a second-hand book store. He was so impressed that he started a craze for the test that has never diminished.[85] The Japanese Rorschach Society is by far the largest in the world and the test is "routinely put to a wide range of purposes".[23] In 2012 the test was described, by presenter Jo Fidgen, for BBC Radio 4's programme Dr Inkblot, as "more popular than ever" in Japan.[83]

Controversy

Some skeptics consider the Rorschach inkblot test pseudoscience,[7][86] as several studies suggested that conclusions reached by test administrators since the 1950s were akin to cold reading.[87] In the 1959 edition of Mental Measurement Yearbook, Lee Cronbach (former President of the Psychometric Society and American Psychological Association)[88] is quoted in a review: "The test has repeatedly failed as a prediction of practical criteria. There is nothing in the literature to encourage reliance on Rorschach interpretations." In addition, major reviewer Raymond J. McCall writes (p. 154): "Though tens of thousands of Rorschach tests have been administered by hundreds of trained professionals since that time (of a previous review), and while many relationships to personality dynamics and behavior have been hypothesized, the vast majority of these relationships have never been validated empirically, despite the appearance of more than 2,000 publications about the test."[89] A moratorium on its use was called for in 1999.[90]

A 2003 report by Wood and colleagues had more mixed views: "More than 50 years of research have confirmed Lee J. Cronbach's (1970) final verdict: that some Rorschach scores, though falling woefully short of the claims made by proponents, nevertheless possess 'validity greater than chance' (p. 636). [...] Its value as a measure of thought disorder in schizophrenia research is well accepted. It is also used regularly in research on dependency, and, less often, in studies on hostility and anxiety. Furthermore, substantial evidence justifies the use of the Rorschach as a clinical measure of intelligence and thought disorder."[91]

Test materials

The basic premise of the test is that objective meaning can be extracted from responses to blots of ink which are supposedly meaningless. Supporters of the Rorschach inkblot test believe that the subject's response to an ambiguous and meaningless stimulus can provide insight into their thought processes, but it is not clear how this occurs. Also, recent research shows that the blots are not entirely meaningless, and that a patient typically responds to meaningful as well as ambiguous aspects of the blots.[6]Reber (1985) describes the blots as merely ".. the vehicle for the interaction .." between client and therapist, concluding: ".. the usefulness of the Rorschach will depend upon the sensitivity, empathy and insightfulness of the tester totally independently of the Rorschach itself. An intense dialogue about the wallpaper or the rug would do as well provided that both parties believe."[92]

Illusory and invisible correlations

In the 1960s, research by psychologists Loren and Jean Chapman showed that at least some of the apparent validity of the Rorschach was due to an illusion.[93][94] At that time, the five signs most often interpreted as diagnostic of homosexuality were 1) buttocks and anuses; 2) feminine clothing; 3) male or female sex organs; 4) human figures without male or female features; and 5) human figures with both male and female features.[94][95] The Chapmans surveyed 32 experienced testers about their use of the Rorschach to diagnose homosexuality. At this time homosexuality was regarded as a psychopathology, and the Rorschach was the most popular projective test.[5] The testers reported that homosexual men had shown the five signs more frequently than heterosexual men.[94][96] Despite these beliefs, analysis of the results showed that heterosexual men were just as likely to report these signs, which were therefore totally ineffective for determining homosexuality.[93][95][96] The five signs did, however, match the guesses students made about which imagery would be associated with homosexuality.[95]

The Chapmans investigated the source of the testers' false confidence. In one experiment, students read through a stack of cards, each with a Rorschach blot, a sign and a pair of "conditions" (which might include homosexuality). The information on the cards was fictional, although subjects were told it came from case studies of real patients.[93] The students reported that the five invalid signs were associated with homosexuality, even though the cards had been constructed so there was no association at all.[95][96] The Chapmans repeated this experiment with another set of cards, in which the association was negative; the five signs were never reported by homosexuals. The students still reported seeing a strong positive correlation.[5][96] These experiments showed that the testers' prejudices could result in them "seeing" non-existent relationships in the data. The Chapmans called this phenomenon "illusory correlation" and it has since been demonstrated in many other contexts.[93][94]

A related phenomenon called "invisible correlation" applies when people fail to see a strong association between two events because it does not match their expectations.[94] This was also found in clinicians' interpretations of the Rorschach. Homosexual men are more likely to see a monster on Card IV or a part-animal, part-human figure in Card V.[5][95] Almost all of the experienced clinicians in the Chapmans' survey missed these valid signs.[5][93] The Chapmans ran an experiment with fake Rorschach responses in which these valid signs were always associated with homosexuality. The subjects missed these perfect associations and instead reported that invalid signs, such as buttocks or feminine clothing, were better indicators.[93]

In 1992, the psychologist Stuart Sutherland argued that these artificial experiments are easier than the real-world use of the Rorschach, and hence they probably underestimated the errors that testers were susceptible to. He described the continuing popularity of the Rorschach after the Chapmans' research as a "glaring example of irrationality among psychologists".[93]

Tester projection

Some critics argue that the testing psychologist must also project onto the patterns. A possible example sometimes attributed to the psychologist's subjective judgement is that responses are coded (among many other things), for "Form Quality": in essence, whether the subject's response fits with how the blot actually looks. Superficially this might be considered a subjective judgment, depending on how the examiner has internalized the categories involved. But with the Exner system of scoring, much of the subjectivity is eliminated or reduced by use of frequency tables that indicate how often a particular response is given by the population in general.[6] Another example is that the response "bra" was considered a "sex" response by male psychologists, but a "clothing" response by females.[97] In Exner's system, however, such a response is always coded as "clothing" unless there is a clear sexual reference in the response.[6]

Third parties could be used to avoid this problem, but the Rorschach's inter-rater reliability has been questioned. That is, in some studies the scores obtained by two independent scorers do not match with great consistency.[98] This conclusion was challenged in studies using large samples reported in 2002.[99]

Validity

When interpreted as a projective test, results are poorly verifiable. The Exner system of scoring (also known as the "Comprehensive System") is meant to address this, and has all but displaced many earlier (and less consistent) scoring systems. It makes heavy use of what factor (shading, color, outline, etc.) of the inkblot leads to each of the tested person's comments. Disagreements about test validity remain: while the Exner proposed a rigorous scoring system, latitude remained in the actual interpretation, and the clinician's write-up of the test record is still partly subjective.[100] Reber (1985) comments ".. there is essentially no evidence whatsoever that the test has even a shred of validity."[92]

Nevertheless, there is substantial research indicating the utility of the measure for a few scores. Several scores correlate well with general intelligence. One such scale is R, the total number of responses; this reveals the questionable side-effect that more intelligent people tend to be elevated on many pathology scales, since many scales do not correct for high R: if a subject gives twice as many responses overall, it is more likely that some of these will seem "pathological". Also correlated with intelligence are the scales for Organizational Activity, Complexity, Form Quality, and Human Figure responses.[101] The same source reports that validity has also been shown for detecting such conditions as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders; thought disorders; and personality disorders (including borderline personality disorder). There is some evidence that the Deviant Verbalizations scale relates to bipolar disorder. The authors conclude that "Otherwise, the Comprehensive System doesn't appear to bear a consistent relationship to psychological disorders or symptoms, personality characteristics, potential for violence, or such health problems as cancer".[102] (Cancer is mentioned because a small minority of Rorschach enthusiasts have claimed the test can predict cancer.)[103]

Reliability

It is also thought that the test's reliability can depend substantially on details of the testing procedure, such as where the tester and subject are seated, any introductory words, verbal and nonverbal responses to subjects' questions or comments, and how responses are recorded. Exner has published detailed instructions, but Wood et al.[97] cites many court cases where these had not been followed. Similarly, the procedures for coding responses are fairly well specified but extremely time-consuming leaving them very subject to the author's style and the publisher to the quality of the instructions (such as was noted with one of Bohm's textbooks in the 1950s[104]) as well as clinic workers (which would include examiners) being encouraged to cut corners.[105][106]

United States courts have challenged the Rorschach as well. Jones v Apfel (1997) stated (quoting from Attorney's Textbook of Medicine) that Rorschach "results do not meet the requirements of standardization, reliability, or validity of clinical diagnostic tests, and interpretation thus is often controversial".[107] In State ex rel H.H. (1999) where under cross-examination Dr. Bogacki stated under oath "many psychologists do not believe much in the validity or effectiveness of the Rorschach test"[107] and US v Battle (2001) ruled that the Rorschach "does not have an objective scoring system."[107]

Population norms

Another controversial aspect of the test is its statistical norms. Exner's system was thought to possess normative scores for various populations. But, beginning in the mid-1990s others began to try to replicate or update these norms and failed. In particular, discrepancies seemed to focus on indices measuring narcissism, disordered thinking, and discomfort in close relationships.[108] Lilienfeld and colleagues, who are critical of the Rorschach, have stated that this proves that the Rorschach tends to "overpathologise normals".[108] Although Rorschach proponents, such as Hibbard,[109] suggest that high rates of pathology detected by the Rorschach accurately reflect increasing psychopathology in society, the Rorschach also identifies half of all test-takers as possessing "distorted thinking",[110] a false positive rate unexplained by current research.

The accusation of "over-pathologising" has also been considered by Meyer et al. (2007). They presented an international collaborative study of 4704 Rorschach protocols, obtained in 21 different samples, across 17 different countries, with only 2% showing significant elevations on the index of perceptual and thinking disorder, 12% elevated on indices of depression and hyper-vigilance and 13% elevated on persistent stress overload—all in line with expected frequencies among non-patient populations.[111]

Applications

The test is also controversial because of its common use in court-ordered evaluations.[citation needed] This controversy stems, in part, from the limitations of the Rorschach, with no additional data, in making official diagnoses from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).[112]Irving B. Weiner (co-developer with John Exner of the Comprehensive system) has stated that the Rorschach "is a measure of personality functioning, and it provides information concerning aspects of personality structure and dynamics that make people the kind of people they are. Sometimes such information about personality characteristics is helpful in arriving at a differential diagnosis, if the alternative diagnoses being considered have been well conceptualized with respect to specific or defining personality characteristics".[113] In the vast majority of cases, anyway, the Rorschach test wasn't singled out but used as one of several in a battery of tests,[114] and despite the criticism of usage of the Rorschach in the courts, out of 8,000 cases in which forensic psychologists used Rorschach-based testimony, the appropriateness of the instrument was challenged only six times, and the testimony was ruled inadmissible in only one of those cases.[80] One study has found that use of the test in courts has increased by three times in the decade between 1996 and 2005, compared to the previous fifty years.[114] Others however have found that its usage by forensic psychologists has decreased.[115]

Exner and others have claimed that the Rorschach test is capable of detecting suicidality.[116][117][118]

Protection of test items and ethics

Psychologists object to the publication of psychological test material out of concerns that a patient's test responses will be influenced ("primed") by previous exposure. The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that, "Publishing the questions and answers to any psychological test compromises its usefulness" and calls for "keeping psychological tests out of the public domain."[119] The same statement quotes their president as saying, "The CPA's concern is not with the publication of the cards and responses to the Rorschach test per se, for which there is some controversy in the psychological literature and disagreement among experts, but with the larger issue of the publication and dissemination of psychological test content".

From a legal standpoint, the Rorschach test images have been in the public domain for many years in most countries, particularly those with a copyright term of up to 70 years post mortem auctoris. They have been in the public domain in Hermann Rorschach's native Switzerland since 1992 (70 years after the author's death, or 50 years after the cut-off date of 1942), according to Swiss copyright law.[120][121] They are also in the public domain under United States copyright law[122][123] where all works published before 1923 are considered to be in the public domain.[124] This means that the Rorschach images may be used by anyone for any purpose. William Poundstone was, perhaps, first to make them public in his 1983 book Big Secrets, where he also described the method of administering the test.[citation needed]

The American Psychological Association (APA) has a code of ethics that supports "freedom of inquiry and expression" and helping "the public in developing informed judgments".[125] It claims that its goals include "the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom psychologists work", and it requires that psychologists "make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and security of test materials". The APA has also raised concerns that the dissemination of test materials might impose "very concrete harm to the general public". It has not taken a position on publication of the Rorschach plates but noted "there are a limited number of standardized psychological tests considered appropriate for a given purpose".[126] A public statement by the British Psychological Society expresses similar concerns about psychological tests (without mentioning any test by name) and considers the "release of [test] materials to unqualified individuals" to be misuse if it is against the wishes of the test publisher.[127] In his 1998 book Ethics in Psychology, Gerald Koocher notes that some believe "reprinting copies of the Rorschach plates ... and listing common responses represents a serious unethical act" for psychologists and is indicative of "questionable professional judgment".[128] Other professional associations, such as the Italian Association of Strategic Psychotherapy, recommend that even information about the purpose of the test or any detail of its administration should be kept from the public, even though "cheating" the test is held to be practically impossible.[129]

On September 9, 2008, Hogrefe attempted to claim copyright over the Rorschach ink blots during filings of a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization against the Brazilian psychologist Ney Limonge. These complaints were denied.[130] Further complaints were sent to two other websites that contained information similar to the Rorschach test in May 2009 by legal firm Schluep and Degen of Switzerland.[131][132]

Psychologists have sometimes refused to disclose tests and test data to courts when asked to do so by the parties citing ethical reasons; it is argued that such refusals may hinder full understanding of the process by the attorneys, and impede cross-examination of the experts. APA ethical standard 1.23(b) states that the psychologist has a responsibility to document processes in detail and of adequate quality to allow reasonable scrutiny by the court.[133]

Controversy ensued in the psychological community in 2009 when the original Rorschach plates and research results on interpretations were published in the "Rorschach test" article on Wikipedia.[134] Hogrefe & Huber Publishing, a German company that sells editions of the plates, called the publication "unbelievably reckless and even cynical of Wikipedia" and said it was investigating the possibility of legal action.[134] Due to this controversy an edit filter was temporarily established on Wikipedia to prevent the removal of the plates.[135]

James Heilman, an emergency room physician involved in the debate, compared it to the publication of the eye test chart: though people are likewise free to memorize the eye chart before an eye test, its general usefulness as a diagnostic tool for eyesight has not diminished.[134] For those opposed to exposure, publication of the inkblots is described as a "particularly painful development", given the tens of thousands of research papers which have, over many years, "tried to link a patient’s responses to certain psychological conditions."[134] Controversy over Wikipedia's publication of the inkblots has resulted in the blots being published in other locations, such as The Guardian[136] and The Globe and Mail.[137] Later that year[when?] two psychologists filed a complaint against Heilman with the Saskatchewan medical licensing board, arguing that his uploading of the images constituted unprofessional behavior.[138] In 2012 two articles were published showing consequences of the publication of the images in Wikipedia. The first one studied negative attitudes towards the test generated during the Wikipedia-Rorschach debate,[139] while the second suggested that reading the Wikipedia article could help to fake "good" results in the test.[140]

Publication of the Rorschach images is also welcomed by critics who consider the test to be pseudoscience. Benjamin Radford, editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, stated that the Rorschach "has remained in use more out of tradition than good evidence" and was hopeful that publication of the test might finally hasten its demise.[141]

See also

Notes

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  2. ^ Fátima Miralles Sangro (1996). Rorschach : tablas de localización y calidad formal en una muestra española de 470 sujetos. Madrid: Universidad Pontifícia Comillas. p. 71. ISBN 978-84-87840-92-0.
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  123. ^ Noam Cohen (28 July 2009). "Has Wikipedia Created a Rorschach Cheat Sheet? Analyze That". New York Times. Because the Rorschach plates were created nearly 90 years ago, they have lost their copyright protection in the United States.
  124. ^ "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States". Cornell Copyright Information Center. 1 January 2009.
  125. ^ "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct". American Psychological Association. 2003-06-01. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
  126. ^ "Statement on the Disclosure of Test Data". American Psychological Association. February 1996. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  127. ^ "Statement on the Conduct of Psychologists providing Expert Psychometric Evidence to Courts and Lawyers". The British Psychological Society. 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
  128. ^ Koocher, Gerald P.; Keith-Spielgel, Patricia (1998). Ethics in psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 159–160. ISBN 978-0-19-509201-1.
  129. ^ "Rorschach Test". Associazione Italiana di Psicoterapia Strategica Integrata. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-29. Infatti il Rorschach porta con sé (dovrebbe portare) il riserbo assoluto su come si somministra, sul suo significato generale e su quello delle tavole in particolare. [...] Tuttavia, al contrario di quanto si possa credere, "mentire" al Rorschach è praticamente impossibile [...]
  130. ^ "WIPO Domain Name Decision: D2008-1206". Retrieved Oct 15, 2009.
  131. ^ "extra.listverse.com" (PDF).
  132. ^ "Online Rorschach Test: Legal Threats".
  133. ^ Paul R. Lees-Haley; John C. Courtney (2000). "Are Psychologists Hiding Evidence? – A Need for Reform". Claims Magazine.
  134. ^ Jump up to: a b c d A Rorschach Cheat Sheet on Wikipedia?, The New York Times, July 28, 2009
  135. ^ Heilman JM, Kemmann E, Bonert M, et al. (2011). "Wikipedia: a key tool for global public health promotion". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 13 (1): e14. doi:10.2196/jmir.1589. PMC 3221335. PMID 21282098.
  136. ^ Ian Simple (29 July 2009). "Testing times for Wikipedia after doctor posts secrets of the Rorschach inkblots". The Guardian.
  137. ^ Patrick White (31 July 2009). "Rorschach and Wikipedia: The battle of the inkblots". The Globe and Mail.(registration required)
  138. ^ Noam Cohen (August 23, 2009). "Complaint Over Doctor Who Posted Inkblot Test". New York Times. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  139. ^ Schultz, Douglas S.; Loving, James L. (1 January 2012). "Challenges Since Wikipedia: The Availability of Rorschach Information Online and Internet Users' Reactions to Online Media Coverage of the Rorschach–Wikipedia Debate". Journal of Personality Assessment. 94 (1): 73–81. doi:10.1080/00223891.2011.627963. PMID 22176268.
  140. ^ Schultz, DS; Brabender, VM (Oct 2, 2012). "More Challenges Since Wikipedia: The Effects of Exposure to Internet Information About the Rorschach on Selected Comprehensive System Variables". Journal of Personality Assessment. 95 (2): 149–58. doi:10.1080/00223891.2012.725438. PMID 23030722.
  141. ^ Radford, Benjamin (2009-07-31). "Rorschach Test: Discredited But Still Controversial". Live Science. Imaginova Corp. Retrieved 2009-09-01.

References

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This is written by a student- you are all students here, so I think its appropriate

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reflect the views of UK Essays.

The Rorschach Ink Blot

In 1921, Herman Rorschach published Psychodiagnostik. The Rorschach test was included as a monograph. Herman Rorschach received his inspiration for the ink blot test by J. Kerner. Kerner believed that responses to interpretation of ink blots could reveal important individual meanings. Rorschach applied this theory to diagnose psychological disorders. David Levy brought the Rorschach test to the United States. The test originally was received with skepticism and criticism from the European and American psychological community. The community found it useless due to the lack of scientific evidence.

The cost, according to Psychological Assessment Resources, is around a hundred dollars. There are also many supplemental workbooks to aid in the administration and scoring. These workbooks run from around sixty to a hundred dollars.

Herman Rorschach designed the ink blot test to measure individual’s responses and identify psychological disorders. The Rorschach has 10 separate cards. Five of the cards are black and gray. Two of the cards are black, gray, and red. Three of the cards are a mixture of pastel colors. Rorschach can be used for many ages. Only Professionals can administer the test due to the intense administration and scoring. Rorschach is most often used in clinical settings.

The administration for the Rorschach is an extensive process. The examiner must make sure that the test is administered as ambiguously as possible. Subjects may ask many questions to get a basic structure. The examiner must only give away basic instructions, such as “what might this be?” Examiners must not respond to the subjects responses verbally or nonverbally. This might led to the subjects attempting to please the examiner’s expectations. Also Exner recommended that the examiner sat next to the subject instead of the traditional position of face-to-face. This was to reduce the non-verbal cues from the examiner.

There are two parts of the test. The first part is the free-association phase. The examiner may ask the subject what he/she might see in the first card. Each card is administered individually. The subject then tells what he/she sees on the inkblot card. If his/her answer is insufficient the examiner makes a remark for the subject to attempt to look for more on the card. It is important that the examiner write down everything the subject says and every noise the subject makes. Also the examiner must record the subject’s reaction time. The position that the card is in while the subject is examining it must be recording precisely. For example, the examiner would have to report that for card 3 the subject’s reaction time was 2 minutes and the card was sideways.

The second part of the test is the inquiry phase. The cards are shown again individually to the respondent. There are five dimensions on which the subject’s response is scored on. The dimensions are location, form quality, content, and frequency of occurrence.

The first dimension, location, is where on the inkblot the subject saw his/her perception. The scores for location are W, D, Dd, or DW. A score of W means the subject saw his/her perception using the whole blot. A score of D means the subject saw his/her perception using a common detail. A score of Dd means the subject saw his/her perception using an unusual detail. A score of DW means that the subject gave a confabulatory or over generalized response. For a normal subject there is usually a balance between W, D, and Dd responses. By calculating frequencies of these responses, quantitative data is available to work with. Location alone is not enough to determine a specific mental problem.

The second dimension is determinant, which is what determined response. There are four properties that can make up a response, form or shape, perceived movement, color, and shading. The score is determined off of which property the subject utilizes to develop a response. For example if the subject’s response was just based of the perceived form it would be a pure form response. There are also subdivisions within the properties. Perceived movement can be further divided into human (M), animal (FM), or inanimate (m) movements. The determinant is the most difficult to score because administration instructions are so vague. Also a major part of scoring determinant is the examiner’s interpretation of the inkblot. It would be best if the examiner had intense experience, but this is not very likely.

Determinant scoring stirs up controversy. Many experts believe that scoring perceived movement does not measure psychological issues. Perceived movement may measure motor activity and impulses in the brain. It was believed that subjects that gave two cooperative movement responses were easy to interact with. Research studies illustrates that this theory wrong.

The third property, form quality, is the measure of how well the subject’s response equates with the stimulus properties of the inkblot. If the examiner is able to see the subject’s perception then there is adequate form quality. If the examiner is unable to see the subject’s perception then there is poor form quality. This is not a reliable measure due to the dependence on the state of the examiner. Exner designed a comprehensive system to increase reliability of scoring.

The fourth property, content, is what the perception was. This is simple to score. The perception must fall into three categories: human (H), animal (A), or nature (N).

The final property, frequency of occurrence, is how popular the response is. This is a quantitative measure, therefore easy to score.

Despite the fact that the Rorschach test is widely used, it has never been adequately normed. Exner attempted to norm the Rorschach in 1986. It was based off of the average adult American. Exner then used his findings to apply to the scoring of each variable. This proved to be helpful to the examiners of the Rorschach. Exner had to renorm the Rorschach due to faulty norm samples in his first attempt. With his new sample, it was found that his original system overpathologized subjects.

The consequences from overpathologizing are immense. If the Rorschach is utilized to diagnose one with a psychological disorder, there is a good chance it over-diagnosed the subject. The Rorschach has been known to be used in forensics. If someone wishes to use the insanity plea, the Rorschach could benefit the perpetrator.

The Rorschach’s reliability is even controversial. There are many studies arguing for and against its reliability. A meta-analysis was conducted of all past research done on Rorschach’s reliability. Exner argued that the test-retest coefficients are in the .70’s and that is acceptable. The odd-even technique results were in that range. Exner’s Comprehensive system produced adequate reliability, .61 to .74. The environment in which the test is administered profoundly affects the reliability. It can be found that the reliability in forensic and clinical settings is .80 to .90.

Rorschach main component is relating to psychological disorders. Although when studies were conducted to prove Rorschach as a sufficient diagnostic tool, the results were not in favor of Rorschach. Even with the revised Comprehensive System by Exner, the test fails to relate to diagnoses. Major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorder and antisocial disorders are just a few disorders that do not link to Rorschach’s test.

The incremental validity of Rorschach with MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) have been proved and disproved by studies. This is another example of the controversy surrounding the Rorschach impact on the psychological community.

LA Times writer, Rosie Mestel reveals interesting background information about how Rorschach developed this theory. As a boy, Rorschach enjoyed a game in which players made ink blots then described what they say. Then as a psychiatrist he noticed that schizophrenic patients saw unusual things in ink blots. He then studied the responses of ordinary people and his schizophrenic patients.

He then published his book with less than an enthusiastic response from the Swiss psychological community. Less than a year later the original publishing company went bankrupt and Rorschach died from a ruptured appendix. It wasn’t until the test reached the United States that it became famous. With all the controversy surrounding the test, it almost died out in the United States. John Exner saved the Rorschach from dying out. Yet, even today Exner’s version is under heat for unreliability and invalidity.

Studies have been done to identify if the Rorschach could aid in differentiating psychological disorders from each other. A study was done in 2001 to determine the Rorschach’s ability to distinguish boys with Asperger’s Disorder from other psychological disorders. According to the results those boys who “underreport[ed] human content (H) or human movement (M), and cooperative movement (COP) in humans or animals” were more likely to have Asperger’s Disorder (Holaday, Moak, & Shipley, 2001). Although the Rorschach doesn’t coincide with DSM-IV criteria, it provides psychologists to differentiate those boys with Asperger’s Disorder.

A major disorder that the Rorschach has evidence to identify is Narcissism. It is reiterated that the Rorschach was not derived from DSM-IV criteria, but it relates well in the area of narcissism. Those who are more apt to narcissism relate ink blots on a personal level (Hilsenroth, M. J., Fowler, J.C., Padawer, J.R., & Handler, L., 1997). The two variables in the Rorschach that predicted narcissism are reflection and idealization (Hilsenroth et al.).

These studies illustrate that Rorschach might not be perfect in diagnosing and identifying psychological disorders, but it is still helpful. The Rorschach can be used as a supplemental tool to further discriminate a subject from multiple disorders.

Regardless of the Rorschach’s reliability or unreliability, it is a widely used test in the world of psychology. When people think of psychological testing, a vision of inkblots comes to mind. The media has hyped the Rorschach to be a magnificent tool to diagnose “crazy” people. This accounts for the common view of the Rorschach being an accurate measure of psychological health. According to the studies done on the Rorschach’s reliability, it is not a safe measure. The United State’s Law system utilizes the test as a measure of criminal’s sanity. This is not safe for the general public. There is too much evidence to disclaim the test’s ability.

The test also leaves too much room for error on the part of the examiner. If the examiner had malicious intentions, he/she could detrimental effect the subject. This is why the Rorschach should only be used as a supplemental tool.

The Rorschach can be extremely beneficial to clinicians. Only so much information can be obtained from a personal interview and questionnaire. The Rorschach could reveal interesting parts of a person’s psyche. The information obtained from the test could be used in counseling that works on unresolved issues buried in one’s psyche. These issues could have been buried until many years of counseling forced them out. Under these circumstances the Rorschach is beneficial to both the subject and to the participating clinician. Time, money, and work could be saved by utilizing the Rorschach as a supplemental tool.

It is also very important that only professionals administer the Rorschach. Many psychological programs spend a few weeks teaching the Rorschach, but if one wishes to administer the Rorschach regularly it must be mastered. As stated before there is an enormous amount of room open for error on the examiner’s part. Scoring and administration must be practiced numerous before results are taken seriously. This is for the benefit of the clinician and to the subject. Slightly biased results are just detrimental as incorrect results.

In conclusion, the Rorschach remains a ground-breaking, controversial, and fascinating psychological test. One should not trust the results completely. Like any test there is always room for error, either on the examiner or subject’s part. It is extremely difficult to administer, score, and even take it. The Rorschach test should be respected for its ability to differentiate disorders and use as a supplemental tool in therapy. Unfortunately, the Rorschach’s reliability and validity prevent it from use as a sufficient diagnostic tool in the psychological community.

References

Hilsenroth, M.J., Fowler, J.C., & Padawer, J.R. (1997). Narcissism in the Rorschach revisited: Some reflections on empirical data. Psychological Assessment, 9, 113-121.

Holaday, M.E., Moak, J., & Shipley, M.A. (2001). Rorschach protocols from children and adolescents with Asperger’s disorder. Journal of Personal Assessment, 76, 482-495.

Mestel, R. (2003). Rorschach lore and the test’s legacy. LA Times, f5.

Kaplan, R. M. & Saccuzzo, D. P. (2005). Psychological Testing: Principles, Applications, and Issues. United States: Thomson Wadsworth.

 

 

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If you voted for clinton you're probably a losing trader- losers average losers

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On November 8, 2016, American voters took to the polls to elect our next commander in chief with a general consensus having pervaded public discourse that, love her or hate her, Hillary Clinton would become president. Her erstwhile opponent, Donald Trump, a reality television star viewed as crass and inept, having boasted about possibly sexually assaulting women in a now-infamous Access Hollywood tape, had all but forfeited the race.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Clinton exhibited dominance over her Republican challenger that lead some to speculate that she was running up the score as her campaign expanded into typically red states like Texas and Arizona. Following resounding victories in the election season’s presidential debates, Vox Editor-in-Chief Ezra Klein proclaimed to the world that “Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins.” Her polling numbers indicated a landslide was imminent. Pundits speculated that Donald Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes was slim to non-existent.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump vote at PS 59 in New York, New York, U.S. November 8,

On Election Day, news outlets blasted footage of Donald Trump, morose, defeated, slumping across the finish line in his hometown of New York, knowingly awaiting his fate. The night before, Clinton seemed to shake the earth with massive, unified rallies in Philadelphia and North Carolina, first with the Obamas and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and the second with Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, and massive crowds of college students chanting “I believe that she will win!” well into the early hours of the morning. At 3:40 a.m., Clinton landed back home in Westchester, New York, where hordes of fans were lined up yet to wish her well and show their support.

The mood was electric.

On the eve of the 2016 presidential election, an exuberant group of Democratic power players celebrates following a massive r

 

On the eve of the 2016 presidential election, an exuberant group of Democratic power players celebrates following a massive rally in Philadelphia. From left to right: Michelle and Barack Obama; Hillary, Chelsea, and Bill Clinton

 

Fast forward twenty-four hours. Stunned supporters, myself included, trickled out from the official Hillary for America election night party at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, where Clinton did not make an appearance, leaving many to wonder if she planned to wait out the counts. It wasn’t until around 3:00 a.m., as my Bros4Hillary colleagues Rance Collins, Jason Murray, and I sat silently in the cab ride back to our apartment in Brooklyn, that the news alert flashed across my iPhone.

“Fuck,” I muttered. “She conceded.”

As the three of us burst into tears of grief and rage, our bewildered cab driver, quiet and stone-faced till that moment, shook his head and pondered just under his breath, “how could this happen?”

 

The Vultures Circled

 

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears on CBS This Morning and offers his prescriptions for what went wrong for Democrats in t

 

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears on CBS This Morning and offers his prescriptions for what went wrong for Democrats in the 2016 presidential race.

 

Just hours after the stunning upset that proclaimed Donald Trump president-elect, the vultures began to circle around the scene of Secretary Clinton’s political death, the body, so to speak, not even cold yet. Senator Bernie Sanders, her democratic rival in the primary, who spent the tail-end of that campaign impugning Clinton’s integrity and questioning her qualifications to lead, hit the talk show circuit immediately. Despite having begrudgingly supported Clinton following his primary defeat, he gloated now with a “told-ya-so” self-righteousness, openly implying that he should have been the nominee and offering prescriptions to the Democratic party.

“I’m deeply humiliated that the Democratic party cannot talk to [white working class people],” Sanders professed dramatically on CBS This Morning. “I think that there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite.”

Sanders, a lifelong Independent who changed his registration status to Democrat in order to run for the party’s nomination, reverted his status back to Independent only days after the Democratic National Convention in July.

His online supporters reveled. “I think the DNC made a fatal mistake ganging up on him and being biased towards Hillary,” said one Facebook user. “Even now, after the Dems lost the election, he is still more popular in the news than Hillary is. As much as I’m nervous about Trump being president…I’m glad Hillary didn’t win only because her supporters made me want her to lose.”

The morbid pile-on continued for weeks: “She didn’t campaign hard enough in swing states,” “the DNC rigged the primary against Bernie Sanders,” “she lost the white working class,” ”she just wasn’t likable enough,” “she had no plan for the economy,” “voters just didn’t want her,” or my personal favorite, “she was a flawed candidate.”

The problem with these analyses is that they are painfully reductive, overly-narrow crimes of revisionist history. In fact, most of these arguments are just plain wrong. Entertaining them without looking at the broader systemic failure at play is contributing to a pattern of failure by the media to fulfill their journalistic responsibility as editorial gatekeepers and is an historic injustice against one of the most qualified and winningest candidates to run for the presidency ever. Most importantly, they allow a problematic narrative shift that holds us back from looking at, or solving, the real problem.

Hillary Clinton did not lose the 2016 presidential election.

 

Hillary Clinton Won More Votes. A Lot More.

 

Any discussion seeking to analyze the outcome of the election MUST begin and end with the following as its central premise: “Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million.” Or, put in another way, “Hillary Clinton won more votes than any other presidential candidate in history, second only to Obama.” (Note: Final tallies reported by Cook Political Report show Clinton virtually tied with President Obama’s 2012 total, for good measure.)

Final Score: @HillaryClinton beat Trump by nearly 3 MILLION (2.1%) & won more votes than any other candidate in history, 2nd only to Obama. pic.twitter.com/13S5Dy87cv

— Alex Mohajer (@AlexMohajer) December 18, 2016

Hillary Clinton, the first female major-party nominee for president in American history, won more votes than any white male to ever run for that office, ever, including her opponent, the man who would go on to become the president-elect, Donald Trump.

 

The Sanders Effect

 

For posterity, while Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump by nearly 3 million votes in an election where 136 million ballots were counted, she defeated Bernie Sanders in the 2016 democratic primary with an even broader margin of nearly 4 million votes (and about 1,000 delegates) in a primary where only about 30 million ballots were counted. The Sanders tribe who now insist he would have fared better than Secretary Clinton in the general election still ignore the fact that Bernie Sanders was never even close to overcoming her in the primary, where she won by a veritable landslide.

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via Wikipedia

As early as March, Clinton pulled ahead with such a commanding lead that political insiders knew he had virtually no chance of winning. She quietly began implementing a general election strategy while publicly supporting the process, never once speaking ill of her opponent for wanting to see the primary through to completion, something she herself had done in the 2008 Democratic primary against then-Senator Barack Obama.

When she did it, however, she was at times within 100 delegates of overtaking Obama, and by some measures went on to win the popular vote. Even then, pundits said Clinton would never overcome Obama, despite a much smaller gap in delegates separating the two candidates.

Sanders knew this too, to be sure, but he let his frustration, ambition, and contempt for his rival in the final months of the campaign get the better of him, lodging all-too-familiar allegations against the Democratic National Committee of “rigging” and incessantly bashing Clinton, even calling her “unqualified.” He knew the harm that he could do to her with his impressionable and generally politically-inexperienced base, who didn’t realize that the primary was over. Democrats watched in horror as their presumptive nominee was attacked relentlessly for months by the Sanders campaign, who knowingly peddled the fiction that he could still win the primary to a fan base that simply didn’t know any better.

By May, an understandably annoyed Clinton told Chris Cuomo in an interview with CNN that she was going to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, prompting Sanders to call her “arrogant” on national television. Whether Bernie Sanders believed he could make a legitimate play for super-delegates (a system he spent months bashing until it became clear it was the only mechanism by which he could win), or wishful thinking that Clinton would be indicted for the fictitious criminal conduct he knew did not exist, he knew she had won the primary. But he fed his base the red meat. And they ate it up.

Soon enough the liberal progressive voter base supporting Sanders began to regurgitate the same right wing talking points and lies used to impugn Clinton’s integrity for decades. Once maligned for being a liberal harpy and socialist, Clinton was now subjected to the cruel injustice of having fellow progressives label her “too conservative,” a “war hawk,” a “criminal,” an “imperialist.”

This of course was the same lot who believed it an omen of their candidate’s rightful claim to the presidency when a bird landed on his podium at a campaign event in Portland.

 

Fun Facts, or Lack Thereof

 

Birdie Sanders! A cogent and even-tempered Bernie Sanders gesturing towards a bird at a campaign rally in Portland, Oregon on

 

Birdie Sanders! A cogent and even-tempered Bernie Sanders gesturing towards a bird at a campaign rally in Portland, Oregon on March 25, 2016.

 

The Birdie Sanders phenomenon was unsurprising in an election season that seemed to view facts as a nuisance, as merely an inconvenient afterthought. When Clinton supporters grimaced at the Birdie Sanders memes, the Sanders faithful were outraged.

“Paid shill!” they cried. “Hillbot!”

I myself was accused numerous times across social media of being a paid subsidiary of the Clinton campaign or David Brock’s Correct the Record, something that is categorically false and easily discoverable in a 10-second Google search.

A week before the election, I was caught completely off-guard by a close friend and fellow liberal who revealed that she refused to vote for Clinton. “She’s just corrupt. There’s too much evidence if you look out for it,” she stated, sending me this photograph to support her reasoning:

Circa 2004, Senator Hillary Clinton from New York sharing an embrace with the late Robert Byrd, the renowned Senator and parl

 

Circa 2004, Senator Hillary Clinton from New York sharing an embrace with the late Robert Byrd, the renowned Senator and parliamentarian from West Virginia. Byrd passed away in 2010.

 

This photograph was shared extensively in the dark corners of the fake internet and by the Republican nominee himself to support claims that Clinton had ties to the KKK. To hear this propaganda from an educated, liberal-minded, millennial-aged woman who lives in California, however, was nothing short of problematic.

The photo depicts then-Senator Hillary Clinton of New York sharing an embrace with her colleague Robert Byrd in 2004. Byrd, a Democratic Senator from West Virginia, passed away in 2010 as the longest serving Congressman in history. Senator Byrd was well-respected and a master parliamentarian. He did join the KKK in the 1940s, but then proceeded to quit in 1952, spending the rest of his life repenting for his brief involvement and acknowledging it was wrong. The NAACP even mourned Byrd after his passing. He had been out of the KKK for more than fifty years when this photograph was taken.

This is just one of literally hundreds of examples of lies that have been propagated about Clinton over the years that have been packaged as news, or that legitimate news sources will falsely equivocate with the truth. These items spread like wildfire through fake news channels. The time required to engage with and disprove each accusation point by point with each person who consumed it would be impossible.

“Fake news” is a major problem that has had an out-sized impact on our politics and our presidential election. It is not a new phenomenon, but it has reached fever pitch. Until legislation is passed that addresses the problem and/or the heads of various social media companies implement policies to forbid them, the proliferation of fake news will continue to meddle with our elections.

 

MAN, I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN

 

Democratic faithful thought by November that the damage done by Sanders’ hail-Mary strategy would soften and fade. A week before the election, “Benghazi” and “Hillary Clinton’s e-mails” were still ridiculous fodder being churned out by the mainstream media and consumed ravenously by the electorate. The media failed time and time again to call these stories for what they were: Outright lies.

The media failed to distinguish between false equivalencies, and Clinton’s adversaries subsequently were able to malign and abuse her unchecked and ad nauseam, for one obvious reason. No one wants to admit it, her adversaries scoff at it, and even women seem to downplay it’s significance in the election: misogyny. The 2016 presidential election, much like in 2008, revealed staggering gender biases, mostly in the constant and baseless scrutiny of Clinton’s character.

This now-infamous photograph spurred the “Texts from Hillary” internet meme and demarcates a time when Clinton was beloved as

 

This now-infamous photograph spurred the “Texts from Hillary” internet meme and demarcates a time when Clinton was beloved as Secretary of State, receiving high marks from the media and the public alike. In 2012 her approval ratings soared to 69%.

 

Women, after all, cannot seek power without being innately bad, evil, or corrupt. Gender studies experts have talked about this phenomenon at length, and yet we failed to highlight the way it was taking shape in the campaign before our eyes. Sanders and Trump both made habits out of interrupting Clinton during their respective debates, wagging their fingers at her, criticizing her voice, accusing her of “shouting,” of not “smiling enough.” Trump famously called Clinton a “nasty woman” when she got under his skin at the third presidential debate, and vowed to put her “in jail,” one of may campaign promises on which the president-elect has already reneged.

Indeed, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders made campaign tactics out of implying or expressly stating that she was corrupt, she was bought out by the banks, she was a criminal, or she was under indictment, allegations that have never been substantiated by fact.

By campaign’s end, people genuinely believed some of the propaganda leveraged against her, even having never seen a piece of factual evidence to support it.

Studies show that then a woman excels in a job we praise her, but when she seeks to gain more power, whether through a promotion, a raise, or even running to be President of the United States, we punish her and criticize her character. We simply cannot get comfortable with the idea of a woman calling the shots. The electorate seemed to forget that when Clinton left the State Department in 2013 she was widely adored, celebrated as being the most traveled Secretary of State in American history, with soaring approval ratings well above normal for American politicians. In 2012, an unsurprisingly prescient Nate Silver opined that she would make a formidable candidate for president and enjoyed inordinately high approval ratings, but noted a puzzling historical trend in which said approval ratings inexplicably suffered whenever she was seeking office.

Indeed, Hillary Clinton has been named the most admired woman in the world by Gallup a record-breaking twenty times. And yet, Clinton’s likability and trustworthiness were constantly called into question throughout both the 2008 and 2016 campaigns to the point of being farcical.

The abuse culminated in a truly heart-breaking moment when Clinton became the first candidate in history to say “I’m sorry” during a concession speech.

Still, despite centuries of patriarchal gender norms at play, she won the democratic primary. She won by a landslide. And in the general election, she won nationally by around 2.1%. One can only imagine what these figures might look like had she been born with the benefit of being a man.

So if she won nationally, why didn’t she win the presidency? What happened? Of course, the popular vote doesn’t pick the president. So what does?

 

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE DEMANDS REFORM

 

Clinton’s massive popular vote victory is important in that not only does it dispel shameful myths that this superb, historic candidate FAILED us in some way, but serves to highlight one of the real problems: the electoral college system of apportioning votes is no longer fair or representative. This is not to say that the electoral college must necessarily be abolished. But at the very least, it must see reforms that address the country’s vastly shifting demographics.

Donald Trump won the electoral college with 306 votes. 270 are needed to win the presidency.  The states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, with their 10, 16, and 20 respective electoral votes, all went for Trump and gave him the edge he needed.

The chilling truth: Donald Trump won those three states with a total of 79,646 votes in an election where more than 136 million people cast their ballots. That’s less than a fraction of a percentage point.

584dfd2b1800002500e42149.jpg?ops=scalefi

An honest assessment of this presidential election must look at the disproportionate power the Electoral College currently allocates to rural areas. Indeed, a vote in Wyoming has four times the power of a vote from New York, thanks to the way electoral college votes are apportioned in each state.

When the Constitution was written in 1787, the drafters conceived of it in an America that was 95 percent rural. Today, less than 20 percent of America is rural. Yet in the hundreds of years since the Constitution was ratified, or since the 12th Amendment was passed defining the application of electoral college votes, there has been no reform to reflect the massive population and demographic shifts in America.

Urban and Rural Classification from the 2010 United States Census.

Moreover, the winner-takes-all formula of allocating electoral votes in each state is a practice that Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig says is violative of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protections Clause, and a system of statewide proportional allocation of Electors would have rendered Hillary Clinton the victor in 2016.

 

HILLARY CLINTON WON THE WORKING CLASS

 

Exit polls from Michigan in the 2016 general election.Exit polls from Pennsylvania in the 2016 general election.Exit polls from Wisconsin in the 2016 general election.

Hillary Clinton, accused of having lost the 2016 presidential election because she neglected to address the needs of the white working class, did in fact WIN the white working class. CNN exit polls out of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania showed that she fared better than her opponent on the economy throughout the rust belt and nationwide.

The truth is Hillary Clinton made the working class and middle class jobs a central tenet of her campaign. She talked about these issues, and she talked about them a lot. To claim otherwise is a troubling revision in history that overlooks 16 months of campaigning on this issue. From Derek Thompson’s piece in the Atlantic:

She detailed plans to help coal miners and steel workers. She had decades of ideas to help parents, particularly working moms, and their children. She had plans to help young men who were getting out of prison and old men who were getting into new careers. She talked about the dignity of manufacturing jobs, the promise of clean-energy jobs, and the Obama administration’s record of creating private-sector jobs for a record-breaking number of consecutive months. She said the word “job” more in the Democratic National Convention speech than Trump did in the RNC acceptance speech; she mentioned the word  “jobs” more during the first presidential debate than Trump did. She offered the most comprehensively progressive economic platform of any presidential candidate in history—one specifically tailored to an economy powered by an educated workforce.

The truth is that white working-class voters did favor Clinton on the economy, but on issues of terrorism or immigration, defected to Donald Trump, indicating that his often-times xenophobic, anti-immigration, and racially charged message resonated with a certain portion of the electorate. Indeed, no one has been able to answer to which era Trump was referring when he campaigned on the slogan “Make America Great Again,” but it is clear that this was merely pretext for a message of white nativist protectionism.

These are the same voters who crave social democracy, just so long as it isn’t called socialism, a dirty word amongst the majority of the American populace, and a flaw that Sanders, untested on the national stage, would have seen exposed in a general election match up.

Moreover, the cumulative total of 79,646 votes by which she lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania cannot in good faith be conflated to represent the white working class as a whole, especially when she won a historic number of votes and virtually tied 2012 Obama. With a margin so narrow, isn’t it possible a variety of factors were at a play, any one of which might have shifted the outcome?

 

THE REST OF IT

 

There has been a real and demonstrable systemic failure to protect the integrity of our elections that Americans must wholly reject. This isn’t conspiracy theory. This isn’t conjecture. This isn’t poor sportsmanship. This isn’t even about Hillary Clinton anymore. This is about protecting our democracy. Free and fair elections are one of the cornerstones of American democracy and we have now seen credible reports that our rights thereto have been impeded upon by:

1) Voter suppression in North Carolina and Wisconsin*;

2) Russian hacking*;

3) FBI Director Comey’s willful and intentional release of documents meant to suggest criminal wrongdoing by the Democratic nominee a week before the presidential election;

4) The use of Wikileaks as an agent for a hostile foreign power to meddle with our election;

5) A systemic failure by the news media to serve as editorial gatekeepers, differentiate false equivalencies, or to report on falsehoods propagated about the Democratic nominee.*

6) A voter-cross check system that allowed millions of valid absentee, provisional, and machine-error ballots to be wrongfully disqualified.

Is it possible that any one of these may have contributed to the 79,646 votes across Michigan, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania that contributed to Donald Trump’s victory?

Is it possible that FBI Director Comey’s letter to Congress affected the election?

There’s more evidence, too: Late-deciding voters broke strongly against Clinton in swing states, enough to cost her MI/WI/PA. pic.twitter.com/8r801ahDQO

— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 11, 2016

Is it possible that third party votes spoiled the election?

Jill Stein is now officially the Ralph Nader of 2016.

Stein votes/Trump margin:
MI: 51,463/10,704
PA: 49,678/46,765
WI: 31,006/22,177

— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 1, 2016

Is it possible that any number of these issues, none of which are the fault of the superb candidate who won record-breaking votes, lead to Donald Trump skipping past her with 79,646 votes?

And what of exit polls conducted by Edison Research, which show that “Clinton won four key battleground states (NC, PA, WI, and FL) in the 2016 Presidential Election that she went on to lose in the computerized vote counts.”*

Why does exit polling data show HRC won NC, PA, WI, & FL, states she lost in computerized vote counts? DEMAND AUDIT. https://t.co/6vCJgXoS5O pic.twitter.com/NOlRvowbGg

— Alex Mohajer (@AlexMohajer) November 16, 2016

“Trump voters lied in the exit polls!” say Trump’s acolytes, the same core of online miscreants who are just now decrying fake news in opposition to very real reports of Russian hacking, but did not care to make the differentiation when lobbing accusations of being foreign-born against Barack Obama or murder and corruption against Hillary Clinton.

It’s true that exit polls are not necessarily reliable historically. But with the totality of the circumstances being as they are, and with some of these findings existing outside the margin of statistical error, enough doubt has been cast on the validity of the 2016 presidential election to keep at least 66 million American voters up at night.

Allowing revisionists to shape the narrative and lay fault at the feet of Hillary Clinton for losing, whether expressly or impliedly, is a historic injustice that, if allowed to continue, only hurts us as a nation and as a democracy. It allows a shift in conversation away from crucial global and sociopolitical issues facing our society, and towards petty partisan squabbles and the unproductive blame game. If we do not respond to threats to our democracy, the epidemic of fake news, the various interventionist forces in our election, and demand action be taken, we are more culpable than either of the candidates in this election. Indeed, we are complicit in the downfall of democracy itself.

The truth? Hillary Clinton did not lose the 2016 presidential election. We did.

Alex Mohajer is a contributing political writer and commentator for the Huffington Post. In 2016, he served as Political Director of Bros4Hillary, a political advocacy organization, and is the Co-Founder of Bros4America. Named to LGBTQ Nation’s Top 8 Organizations Working to Elect Hillary Clinton. Follow him on Twitter @alexmohajer.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-hillary-lost-the-great-american-

 

Edited by mitsubishi

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On 10/18/2019 at 9:36 PM, Albertson said:

They are lots of people who have been scammed one way or the other through fake binary options sites out there that’s why i advice people to properly carry out a research about where you’re investing before putting your money cos you don’t want any stories afterwards. We’ve all been scammed one way or the other and i’ve been scammed too when i was carrying out a research on the proper place to invest. Before i found the right investment site i’ve been scammed by different fake investment sites which was totally crazy and hurtful so i started to carry out a research on how to get my money back and i noticed they are also fake sites out there who lie about helping you recover your money back only to scam you again.

In all my research i was able to find the right site that help me recover all my funds which was totally unbelievable cos they did as promise.  (REALFUNDSRECOVERY AT GMAIL DOT COM) is a tech company that uses top military grade technology to help recover funds, hack anything from social media accounts to emails and they also help track and figure out a cheating spouse. Thanks to (Realhacker)  I was able to get all my money I lost back. I was really thankful to them cos they made the impossible possible and it really got me excited.

Note: stay away from people who claim to be hackers and that they can recover your money back and they drop their emails for you to contact them. Stay away from such people giving you emails to contact them with cos they are scams.

Firstly it goes without saying, prevention is better than cure so please try not to fall for this scams out there and make proper research. I hope this helps

 

WHATEVER

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=SNAKES&t=ffnt&atb=v1-1&ia=web

 

 

Edited by mitsubishi

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On 1/11/2020 at 12:42 PM, mitsubishi said:

You should read this (wikipedia)

 
Bernie Madoff

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Madoff

Educate yourself..

 

Born
Bernard Lawrence Madoff

April 29, 1938 (aghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Madoffe 81)
Alma mater Hofstra University
Occupation Stock broker, investment adviser, financier
Employer Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities
Known for Being the chairman of NASDAQ and the Madoff investment scandal
Criminal status Incarcerated at Federal Correctional Complex, Butner
FBP Register #61727-054
Pseudo-release: November 14, 2139
Spouse(s)
Ruth Madoff (m. 1959)
Children Mark Madoff (1964–2010)
Andrew Madoff (1966–2014)
 
Conviction(s) March 12, 2009 (pleaded guilty)
Criminal charge Securities fraud, investment advisor fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, false statements, perjury, making false filings with the SEC, theft from an employee benefit plan
Penalty life without parole and forfeiture of US$17.179 billion

Bernard Lawrence Madoff (/ˈmdɔːf/;[1] born April 29, 1938) is an American former market maker, investment advisor and financier who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme.[2] He is the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market,[3] the confessed operator of the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, and the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.[4] Prosecutors estimated the fraud to be worth $64.8 billion based on the amounts in the accounts of Madoff's 4,800 clients as of November 30, 2008.[5]

Madoff founded a penny stock brokerage in 1960 which eventually grew into Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. He served as its chairman until his arrest on December 11, 2008.[6][7] The firm was one of the top market maker businesses on Wall Street,[8] which bypassed "specialist" firms by directly executing orders over the counter from retail brokers.[9]

At the firm, he employed his brother Peter Madoff as senior managing director and chief compliance officer, Peter's daughter Shana Madoff as the firm's rules and compliance officer and attorney, and his now deceased sons Andrew and Mark. Peter was sentenced to 10 years in prison[10] and Mark committed suicide by hanging exactly two years after his father's arrest.[11][12][13] Andrew died of lymphoma on September 3, 2014.[14]

On December 10, 2008, Madoff's sons told authorities that their father had confessed to them that the asset management unit of his firm was a massive Ponzi scheme, and quoted him as saying that it was "one big lie".[15][16][17] The following day, FBI agents arrested Madoff and charged him with one count of securities fraud. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had previously conducted multiple investigations into his business practices but had not uncovered the massive fraud.[8] On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies and admitted to turning his wealth management business into a massive Ponzi scheme. The Madoff investment scandal defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars. Madoff said that he began the Ponzi scheme in the early 1990s, but federal investigators believe that the fraud began as early as the mid-1980s[18] and may have begun as far back as the 1970s.[19] Those charged with recovering the missing money believe that the investment operation may never have been legitimate.[20][21] The amount missing from client accounts was almost $65 billion, including fabricated gains.[22] The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) trustee estimated actual losses to investors of $18 billion.[20] On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to a de facto life in prison but officially 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed.[23][24]

 

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Early life

Madoff was born on April 29, 1938, in Queens, New York, to Jewish parents Ralph Madoff, a plumber and stockbroker, and Sylvia Muntner.[25][26][27][28] Madoff's grandparents were emigrants from Poland, Romania, and Austria.[29]

He is the second of three children; his siblings are Sondra Weiner and Peter Madoff.[30][31] Madoff graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 1956.[32]

He attended the University of Alabama for one year, where he became a brother of the Tau Chapter of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity,[33] then transferred to and graduated from Hofstra University in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science.[34][35] Madoff briefly attended Brooklyn Law School, but founded the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and remained working for his own company.[36][37]

Career

At the time of his arrest on December 11, 2008, Madoff was the chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.[38]

The firm started in 1960 as a penny stock trader with $5,000 ($43,000 today) that Madoff earned from working as a lifeguard and sprinkler installer.[39] He further secured a loan of $50,000 from his father-in-law which he also used to set up the firm. His business grew with the assistance of his father-in-law, accountant Saul Alpern, who referred a circle of friends and their families.[40] Initially, the firm made markets (quoted bid and ask prices) via the National Quotation Bureau's Pink Sheets. In order to compete with firms that were members of the New York Stock Exchange trading on the stock exchange's floor, his firm began using innovative computer information technology to disseminate its quotes.[41] After a trial run, the technology that the firm helped to develop became the NASDAQ.[42] After 41 years as a sole proprietorship, the Madoff firm incorporated in 2001 as a limited liability company with Madoff as the sole shareholder.[43]

The firm functioned as a third-market provider, bypassing exchange specialist firms by directly executing orders over the counter from retail brokers.[9] At one point, Madoff Securities was the largest market maker at the NASDAQ, and in 2008 was the sixth-largest market maker on Wall Street.[41] The firm also had an investment management and advisory division, which it did not publicize, that was the focus of the fraud investigation.[44]

Madoff was "the first prominent practitioner"[45] of payment for order flow, in which a dealer pays a broker for the right to execute a customer's order. This has been called a "legal kickback."[46] Some academics have questioned the ethics of these payments.[47][48] Madoff argued that these payments did not alter the price that the customer received.[49] He viewed the payments as a normal business practice:

If your girlfriend goes to buy stockings at a supermarket, the racks that display those stockings are usually paid for by the company that manufactured the stockings. Order flow is an issue that attracted a lot of attention but is grossly overrated.[49]

Madoff was active in the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), a self-regulatory securities-industry organization. He served as chairman of its board of directors, and was a member of its board of governors.[50]

Government access

From 1991 to 2008, Bernie and Ruth Madoff contributed about $240,000 to federal candidates, parties and committees, including $25,000 a year from 2005 through 2008 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The Committee returned $100,000 of the Madoffs' contributions to Irving Picard, the bankruptcy trustee who oversees all claims, and Senator Charles E. Schumer returned almost $30,000 received from Madoff and his relatives to the trustee. Senator Christopher J. Dodd donated $1,500 to the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, a Madoff victim.[51]

Members of the Madoff family have served as leaders of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the primary securities industry organization.[52] Bernard Madoff served on the board of directors of the Securities Industry Association, a precursor of SIFMA, and was chairman of its trading committee.[53][54] He was a founding board member of the DTCC subsidiary in London, the International Securities Clearing Corporation.[55][56]

Madoff's brother Peter served two terms as a member of SIFMA's Board of Directors. He and Andrew received awards from SIFMA in 2008 for "extraordinary leadership and service".[57] He resigned from the Board of Directors of SIFMA in December 2008, as news of the Ponzi scheme broke.[52] From 2000-08, the Madoffs brothers donated $56,000 directly to SIFMA, and paid additional money as sponsors of industry meetings.[58] Bernard Madoff's niece Shana Madoff was a member of the Executive Committee of SIFMA's Compliance & Legal Division, but resigned shortly after the arrest.[59]

Madoff's name first came up in a fraud investigation in 1992, when two people complained to the SEC about investments they made with Avellino & Bienes, the successor to his father-in-law's accounting practice. For years, Alpern and two of his colleagues, Frank Avellino and Michael Bienes, had raised money for Madoff, a practice that continued after Avellino and Bienes took over the firm in the 1970s.[60] Avellino returned the money to investors and the SEC closed the case.[61] In 2004, Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot, a lawyer in the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), informed her supervisor branch chief Mark Donohue that her review of Madoff found numerous inconsistencies, and recommended further questioning. However, she was told by Donohue and his boss Eric Swanson to stop work on the Madoff investigation, send them her work results, and instead investigate the mutual fund industry. Swanson, Assistant Director of the SEC's OCIE,[62] had met Shana Madoff in 2003 while investigating her uncle Bernie Madoff and his firm. The investigation was concluded in 2005. In 2006 Swanson left the SEC and became engaged to Shana Madoff, and in 2007 the two married.[63][64] A spokesman for Swanson said he "did not participate in any inquiry of Bernard Madoff Securities or its affiliates while involved in a relationship" with Shana Madoff.[65]

While awaiting sentencing, Madoff met with the SEC's Inspector General, H. David Kotz, who conducted an investigation into how regulators had failed to detect the fraud despite numerous red flags.[66] Madoff said he could have been caught in 2003, but that bumbling investigators had acted like "Lt. Colombo" and never asked the right questions:

I was astonished. They never even looked at my stock records. If investigators had checked with The Depository Trust Company, a central securities depository, it would've been easy for them to see. If you're looking at a Ponzi scheme, it's the first thing you do.[67]

Madoff said in the June 17, 2009, interview that SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro was a "dear friend", and SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter was a "terrific lady" whom he knew "pretty well".[68]

After Madoff's arrest, the SEC was criticized for its lack of financial expertise and lack of due diligence, despite having received complaints from Harry Markopolos and others for almost a decade. The SEC's Inspector General, Kotz, found that since 1992, there had been six investigations of Madoff by the SEC, which were botched either through incompetent staff work or by neglecting allegations of financial experts and whistle-blowers. At least some of the SEC investigators doubted whether Madoff was even trading.[69][70][71]

Due to concerns of improper conduct by Inspector General Kotz in the Madoff investigation, Inspector General David C. Williams of the United States Postal Service was brought in to conduct an independent outside review.[72]

The Williams Report questioned Kotz's work on the Madoff investigation, because Kotz was a "very good friend" with Markopolos.[73][74] Investigators were not able to determine when Kotz and Markopolos became friends. A violation of the ethics rule would have taken place if the friendship were concurrent with Kotz's investigation of Madoff.[73][75]

Investment scandal

In 1999, financial analyst Harry Markopolos had informed the SEC that he believed it was legally and mathematically impossible to achieve the gains Madoff claimed to deliver. According to Markopolos, it took him four minutes to conclude that Madoff's numbers did not add up, and another minute to suspect they were likely fraudulent.[76]

After four hours of failed attempts to replicate Madoff's numbers, Markopolos believed he had mathematically proved Madoff was a fraud.[77] He was ignored by the SEC's Boston office in 2000 and 2001, as well as by Meaghan Cheung at the SEC's New York office in 2005 and 2007 when he presented further evidence. He has since co-authored a book with Gaytri Kachroo (the leader of his legal team) titled No One Would Listen. The book details the frustrating efforts he and his legal team made over a ten-year period to alert the government, the industry, and the press about Madoff's fraud.[76]

Although Madoff's wealth management business ultimately grew into a multibillion-dollar operation, none of the major derivatives firms traded with him because they did not believe his numbers were real. None of the major Wall Street firms invested with him, and several high-ranking executives at those firms suspected his operations and claims were not legitimate.[77] Others contended it was inconceivable that the growing volume of Madoff's accounts could be competently and legitimately serviced by his documented accounting/auditing firm, a three-person firm with only one active accountant.[78]

The Central Bank of Ireland failed to spot Madoff's gigantic fraud when he started using Irish funds and had to supply large amounts of information, which would have been enough to enable Irish regulators to uncover the fraud much earlier than late 2008 when he was finally arrested in New York.[79][80][81]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation report and federal prosecutors' complaint says that during the first week of December 2008, Madoff confided to a senior employee, identified by Bloomberg News as one of his sons, that he said he was struggling to meet $7 billion in redemptions.[15] For years, Madoff had simply deposited investors' money in his business account at JPMorganChase and withdrew money from that account when they requested redemptions. He had scraped together just enough money to make a redemption payment on November 19. However, despite getting cash infusions from several longtime investors, by the week after Thanksgiving it was apparent that there was not enough money to even begin to meet the remaining requests. His Chase account had over $5.5 billion in mid-2008, but by late November was down to $234 million—not even a fraction of the outstanding redemptions. On December 3, he told longtime assistant Frank DiPascali, who had overseen the fraudulent advisory business, that he was finished. On December 9, he told his brother about the fraud.[60][21]

According to the sons, Madoff told Mark Madoff on the following day, December 9, that he planned to pay out $173 million in bonuses two months early.[82] Madoff said that "he had recently made profits through business operations, and that now was a good time to distribute it."[15] Mark told Andrew Madoff, and the next morning they went to their father's office and asked him how he could pay bonuses to his staff if he was having trouble paying clients. They then traveled to Madoff's apartment, where with Ruth Madoff nearby, Madoff told them he was "finished," that he had "absolutely nothing" left, and that his investment fund was "just one big lie" and "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme."[82][21]

According to their attorney, Madoff's sons then reported their father to federal authorities.[15] Madoff had intended to wind up his operations over the remainder of the week before having his sons turn him in; he directed DiPascali to use the remaining money in his business account to cash out the accounts of several family members and favored friends.[60] However, as soon as they left their father's apartment, Mark and Andrew immediately contacted a lawyer, who in turn got them in touch with federal prosecutors and the SEC.[21] On December 11, 2008, Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud.[17]

Madoff posted $10 million bail in December 2008 and remained under 24-hour monitoring and house arrest in his Upper East Side penthouse apartment until March 12, 2009, when Judge Denny Chin revoked his bail and remanded him to the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Chin ruled that Madoff was a flight risk because of his age, his wealth, and the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.[83] Prosecutors filed two asset forfeiture pleadings which include lists of valuable real and personal property as well as financial interests and entities owned or controlled by Madoff.[84]

Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin, filed an appeal, which prosecutors opposed.[84] On March 20, 2009, an appellate court denied Madoff's request to be released from jail and returned to home confinement until his sentencing on June 29, 2009. On June 22, 2009, Sorkin hand-delivered a customary pre-sentencing letter to the judge requesting a sentence of 12 years, because of tables from the Social Security Administration that his life span was predicted to be 13 years.[66][85]

On June 26, 2009, Chin ordered forfeiture of $170 million in Madoff's assets. Prosecutors asked Chin to sentence Madoff to 150 years in prison.[86][87][88]Bankruptcy Trustee Irving Picard indicated that "Mr. Madoff has not provided meaningful cooperation or assistance."[89]

In settlement with federal prosecutors, Madoff's wife Ruth agreed to forfeit her claim to $85 million in assets, leaving her with $2.5 million in cash.[90] The order allowed the SEC and Court appointed trustee Irving Picard to pursue Ruth Madoff's funds.[89]Massachusetts regulators also accused her of withdrawing $15 million from company-related accounts shortly before he confessed.[91]

In February 2009, Madoff reached an agreement with the SEC.[92] It was later revealed that as part of the agreement, Madoff accepted a lifetime ban from the securities industry.[93]

Picard sued Madoff's sons, Mark and Andrew, his brother Peter, and Peter's daughter, Shana, for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, for $198 million. The defendants had received over $80 million in compensation since 2001.[94][95]

Mechanics of the fraud

According to the SEC indictment against Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi, two back office workers who worked for Madoff, they created false trading reports based on the returns that Madoff ordered for each customer.[96]

For example, when Madoff determined a customer's return, one of the back office workers would enter a false trade report with a previous date and then enter a false closing trade in the amount required to produce the required profit, according to the indictment.[97] Prosecutors allege that Bongiorno used a computer program specially designed to backdate trades and manipulate account statements. They quote her as writing to a manager in the early 1990s, "I need the ability to give any settlement date I want."[96] In some cases, returns were allegedly determined before the account was even opened.[97]

On a daily basis, DiPascali and his team on the 17th floor of the Lipstick Building—where the scam was based (Madoff's brokerage was based on the 19th floor, while the main entrance and conference room were on the 18th floor)—watched the closing price of the S&P 100. They then picked the best-performing stocks and used them to create bogus "baskets" of stocks as the basis for false trading records, which Madoff claimed were generated from his supposed "split-strike conversion" strategy, in which he bought blue-chip stocks and took options contracts on them. They frequently made their "trades" at a stock's monthly high or low, resulting in the high "returns" that they touted to customers. On occasion, they slipped up and dated trades as taking place on weekends and federal holidays, though this was never caught.[21]

Over the years, Madoff admonished his investors to keep quiet about their relationship with him. This was because he was well aware of the finite limits that existed for a legitimate split-strike conversion. He knew that if the amount he "managed" became known, investors would question whether he could trade on the scale he claimed without the market reacting to his activity, or whether there were enough options to hedge his stock purchases.[60]

At least as early as 2001, Harry Markopolos discovered that for Madoff's strategy to be legitimate, he would have had to buy more options on the Chicago Board Options Exchange than actually existed.[76] Additionally, at least one hedge fund manager revealed that she balked at investing with Madoff because she did not believe there was enough volume to support his purported trading activity.[21]

Madoff admitted during his March 2009 guilty plea that the essence of his scheme was to deposit client money into a Chase account, rather than invest it and generate steady returns as clients had believed. When clients wanted their money, "I used the money in the Chase Manhattan bank account that belonged to them or other clients to pay the requested funds," he told the court.[98]

Madoff maintained that he began his fraud in the early 1990s, prosecutors believed it was underway as early as the 1980s. DiPascali, for instance, told prosecutors that he knew the investment advisory business was a sham at some point in the late 1980s or early 1990s.[60] An investigator charged with reconstructing Madoff's scheme believes that the fraud was well underway as early as 1964. Reportedly, Madoff told an acquaintance soon after his arrest that the fraud began "almost immediately" after his firm opened his doors. Bongiorno, who spent over 40 years with Madoff, told investigators that she was doing "the same things she was doing in 2008" that she did when she first joined the firm.[21]

Affinity fraud

Madoff targeted wealthy American Jewish communities, using his in-group status to obtain investments from Jewish individuals and institutions. Affected Jewish charitable organizations considered victims of this affinity fraud include Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, the Elie Wiesel Foundation and Steven Spielberg's Wunderkinder Foundation. Jewish federations and hospitals lost millions of dollars, forcing some organizations to close. The Lappin Foundation, for instance, was forced to close temporarily because it had invested its funds with Madoff.[99]

Size of loss to investors

David Sheehan, chief counsel to trustee Picard, stated on September 27, 2009, that about $36 billion was invested into the scam, returning $18 billion to investors, with $18 billion missing. About half of Madoff's investors were "net winners," earning more than their investment. The withdrawal amounts in the final six years were subject to "clawback" (return of money) lawsuits.[20]

In a May 4, 2011, statement, trustee Picard said that the total fictitious amounts owed to customers (with some adjustments) were $57 billion, of which $17.3 billion was actually invested by customers. $7.6 billion has been recovered, but pending lawsuits, only $2.6 billion is available to repay victims.[100] If all the recovered funds are returned to victims, their net loss would be under $10 billion.

The Internal Revenue Service ruled that investors' capital losses in this and other fraudulent investment schemes will be treated as business losses, thereby allowing the victims to claim them as net operating losses to reduce tax liability more easily.[101]

The size of the fraud was stated as $65 billion early in the investigation.[100] Former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt estimated the actual net fraud to be between $10 and $17 billion.[102] One difference between the estimates concerns the method of calculation. One method calculates losses as the total amount that victims thought they were owed, but will never receive. The smaller estimates use a different method, subtracting the total cash received from the scheme from the total cash paid into the scheme, after excluding from the calculation persons accused of collaborating with the scheme, persons who invested through "feeder funds," and anyone who received more cash from the scheme than they paid in. Erin Arvedlund, who publicly questioned Madoff's reported investment performance in 2001, stated that the actual amount of the fraud might never be known, but was likely between $12 and $20 billion.[103][104][105]

Jeffry Picower, rather than Madoff, appears to have been the largest beneficiary of Madoff's Ponzi scheme, and his estate settled the claims against it for $7.2 billion.[106][107]

Entities and individuals affiliated with Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz received $300 million in respect of investments in the scheme. Wilpon and Katz "categorically reject[ed]" the charge that they "ignored warning signs" about Madoff's fraud.[108]

On November 9, 2017, the U.S. government announced that it would begin paying out $772.5 million to more than 24,000 victims of the Ponzi scheme.[109]

Plea, sentencing, and prison life

On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies, including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, making false statements, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan, and making false filings with the SEC. The plea was the response to a criminal complaint filed two days earlier, which stated that over the past 20 years, Madoff had defrauded his clients of almost $65 billion in the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff insisted he was solely responsible for the fraud.[69][110] Madoff did not plea bargain with the government. Rather, he pleaded guilty to all charges. It has been speculated that Madoff pleaded guilty instead of cooperating with the authorities in order to avoid naming any associates and co-conspirators who were involved with him in the scheme.[111][112]

In November 2009, David G. Friehling, Madoff's accounting front man and auditor, pleaded guilty to securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, making false filings to the SEC, and obstructing the IRS. He admitted to merely rubber-stamping Madoff's filings rather than auditing them.[113] Friehling extensively cooperated with federal prosecutors and testified at the trials of five former Madoff employees, all of whom were convicted and sentenced to between 2 and a half and 10 years in prison. Although he could have been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison, because of his cooperation, Friehling was sentenced in May 2015 to one year of home detention and one year of supervised release.[114] His involvement made the Madoff scheme by far the largest accounting fraud in history.

Madoff's right-hand man and financial chief, Frank DiPascali, pleaded guilty to 10 federal charges in 2009 and (like Friehling) testified for the government at the trial of five former colleagues, all of whom were convicted. DiPascali faced a sentence of up to 125 years, but he died of lung cancer in May 2015, before he could be sentenced.[115][116]

In his plea allocution, Madoff stated he began his Ponzi scheme in 1991. He admitted he had never made any legitimate investments with his clients' money during this time. Instead, he said, he simply deposited the money into his personal business account at Chase Manhattan Bank. When his customers asked for withdrawals, he paid them out of the Chase account—a classic "robbing Peter to pay Paul" scenario. Chase and its successor, JPMorgan Chase, may have earned as much as $483 million from his bank account.[117][118] He was committed to satisfying his clients' expectations of high returns, despite an economic recession. He admitted to false trading activities masked by foreign transfers and false SEC filings. He stated that he always intended to resume legitimate trading activity, but it proved "difficult, and ultimately impossible" to reconcile his client accounts. In the end, Madoff said, he realized that his scam would eventually be exposed.[83][119]

On June 29, 2009, Judge Chin sentenced Madoff to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal prison.[23][120] Madoff's lawyers initially asked the judge to impose a sentence of 7 years, and later requested that the sentence be 12 years, because of Madoff's advanced age of 71 and his limited life expectancy.[121][122]

Madoff apologized to his victims, saying,

I have left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren. This is something I will live in for the rest of my life. I'm sorry.

He added, "I know that doesn't help you," after his victims recommended to the judge that he receive a life sentence. Judge Chin had not received any mitigating factor letters from friends or family testifying to Madoff's good deeds. "The absence of such support is telling," he said.[123]

Judge Chin also said that Madoff had not been forthcoming about his crimes. "I have a sense Mr. Madoff has not done all that he could do or told all that he knows," said Chin, calling the fraud "extraordinarily evil", "unprecedented", and "staggering", and that the sentence would deter others from committing similar frauds.[124] Judge Chin also agreed with prosecutors' contention that the fraud began at some point in the 1980s. He also noted that Madoff's crimes were "off the charts" since federal sentencing guidelines for fraud only go up to $400 million in losses.[125]

Ruth did not attend court but issued a statement, saying "I am breaking my silence now because my reluctance to speak has been interpreted as indifference or lack of sympathy for the victims of my husband Bernie's crime, which is exactly the opposite of the truth. I am embarrassed and ashamed. Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years."[126]

Incarceration

FCIButnerMedium.jpg
 
FCI Butner Medium, where Madoff is incarcerated
 
 
 
LOOKS LIKE A HOLIDAY CAMP TO ME
 
 
 

Madoff's attorney asked the judge to recommend that the Federal Bureau of Prisons place Madoff in the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville, which is located 70 miles (110 km) from Manhattan. The judge, however, only recommended that Madoff be sent to a facility in the Northeast United States. Madoff was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium near Butner, North Carolina, about 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Raleigh; he is Bureau of Prisons Register #61727-054.[127][128] Jeff Gammage of the Philadelphia Inquirer said "Madoff's heavy sentence likely determined his fate."[129]

Madoff's projected release date is November 14, 2139.[128][130] The release date, described as "academic" in Madoff's case because he would have to live to the age of 201, reflects a reduction for good behavior.[131] On October 13, 2009, it was reported that Madoff experienced his first prison yard fight with another inmate, also a senior citizen.[132] When he began his sentence, Madoff's stress levels were so severe that he broke out in hives and other skin maladies soon after.[133]

On December 18, 2009, Madoff was moved to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and was treated for several facial injuries. A former inmate later claimed that the injuries were received during an alleged altercation with another inmate.[134]

Other news reports described Madoff's injuries as more serious and including "facial fractures, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung".[133][135] The Federal Bureau of Prisons said Madoff signed an affidavit on December 24, 2009, which indicated that he had not been assaulted and that he had been admitted to the hospital for hypertension.[136]

In his letter to his daughter-in-law, Madoff said that he was being treated in prison like a "Mafia don".

They call me either Uncle Bernie or Mr. Madoff. I can't walk anywhere without someone shouting their greetings and encouragement, to keep my spirit up. It's really quite sweet, how concerned everyone is about my well being, including the staff […] It's much safer here than walking the streets of New York.[137]

After an inmate slapped Madoff because he had changed the channel on the TV, it was reported that Madoff befriended Carmine Persico, boss of the Colombo crime family since 1973, one of New York's five American Mafia families.[138] It was believed Persico had intimidated the inmate who slapped Madoff in the face.[139]

Personal life

On November 28, 1959, Madoff married Ruth Alpern,[31][140] whom he had met while attending Far Rockaway High School. The two eventually began dating. Ruth graduated from high school in 1958, and earned her bachelor's degree at Queens College.[141][142] She was employed at the stock market[clarification needed] in Manhattan before[143] working in Madoff's firm, and she founded the Madoff Charitable Foundation.[144] Bernard and Ruth Madoff had two sons: Mark (March 11, 1964 – December 11, 2010),[145] a 1986 graduate of the University of Michigan, and Andrew (April 8, 1966 – September 3, 2014),[146][147] a 1988 graduate of University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School.[148][149] Both sons later worked in the trading section alongside paternal cousin Charles Weiner.[41][150]

Several family members worked for Madoff. His younger brother, Peter,[151] an attorney, was Senior Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer, and Peter's daughter, Shana Madoff, also an attorney, was the firm's compliance attorney. On the morning of December 11, 2010 — exactly two years after Bernard's arrest — his son Mark was found dead in his New York City apartment. The city medical examiner ruled the cause of death as suicide by hanging.[12][13][152]

Over the years, Madoff's sons had borrowed money from their parents, to purchase homes and other property. Mark Madoff owed his parents $22 million, and Andrew Madoff owed them $9.5 million. There were two loans in 2008 from Bernard Madoff to Andrew: $4.3 million on October 6, and $250,000 on September 21.[153][154] Andrew owned a Manhattan apartment and a home in Greenwich, Connecticut, as did his brother Mark [143] prior to his death.[155]

Following a divorce from his first wife in 2000, Mark withdrew money from an account. Both sons used outside investment firms to run their own private philanthropic foundations.[39][143][156] In March 2003, Andrew Madoff was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma and eventually returned to work. He was named chairman of the Lymphoma Research Foundation in January 2008, but resigned shortly after his father's arrest.[143]

Peter Madoff (and Andrew Madoff, before his death) remained the targets of a tax fraud investigation by federal prosecutors, according to The Wall Street Journal. David Friehling, Bernard Madoff's tax accountant, who pleaded guilty in a related case, is reportedly assisting in the investigation. According to a civil lawsuit filed in October 2009, trustee Irving Picard alleges that Peter Madoff deposited $32,146 into his Madoff accounts and withdrew over $16 million; Andrew deposited almost $1 million into his accounts and withdrew $17 million; Mark deposited $745,482 and withdrew $18.1 million.[157]

Bernard Madoff lived in Roslyn, New York, in a ranch house through the 1970s. After 1980, he owned an ocean-front residence in Montauk.[158] His primary residence was on Manhattan's Upper East Side,[159] and he was listed as chairman of the building's co-op board.[160] He also owned a home in France and a mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, where he was a member of the Palm Beach Country Club.[161] Madoff owned a 55-foot (17 m) sportfishing yacht named Bull.[160][162] All three homes were auctioned by the U.S. Marshals Service in September 2009.[163][164]

Sheryl Weinstein, former chief financial officer of Hadassah, disclosed in a memoir that she and Madoff had had an affair more than 20 years earlier. As of 1997, when Weinstein left, Hadassah had invested a total of $40 million. By the end of 2008, Hadassah had withdrawn more than $130 million from its Madoff accounts and contends its accounts were valued at $90 million at the time of Madoff's arrest. At the victim impact sentencing hearing, Weinstein testified, calling him a "beast".[165][166]

According to a March 13, 2009 filing by Madoff, he and his wife were worth up to $126 million, plus an estimated $700 million for the value of his business interest in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.[167] Other major assets included securities ($45 million), cash ($17 million), half-interest in BLM Air Charter ($12 million), a 2006 Leopard yacht ($7 million), jewelry ($2.6 million), Manhattan apartment ($7 million), Montauk home ($3 million), Palm Beach home ($11 million), Cap d' Antibes, France property ($1 million), and furniture, household goods, and art ($9.9 million).[citation needed]

During a 2011 interview on CBS, Ruth Madoff claimed she and her husband had attempted suicide after his fraud was exposed, both taking "a bunch of pills" in a suicide pact on Christmas Eve 2008.[4][168] In November 2011, former Madoff employee David Kugel pleaded guilty to charges that arose out of the scheme. He admitted having helped Madoff create a phony paper trail, the false account statements that were supplied to clients.[169]

Bernard Madoff suffered a heart attack in December 2013, and reportedly suffers from end-stage renal disease (ESRD).[170] According to CBS New York[171] and other news sources, Madoff claimed in an email to CNBC in January 2014 that he has kidney cancer but this is unconfirmed.

Philanthropy and other activities

Madoff was a prominent philanthropist,[17][150] who served on boards of nonprofit institutions, many of which entrusted his firm with their endowments.[17][150] The collapse and freeze of his personal assets and those of his firm affected businesses, charities, and foundations around the world, including the Chais Family Foundation,[172] the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, the Picower Foundation, and the JEHT Foundation which were forced to close.[17][173] Madoff donated approximately $6 million to lymphoma research after his son Andrew was diagnosed with the disease.[174] He and his wife gave over $230,000 to political causes since 1991, with the bulk going to the Democratic Party.[175]

Madoff served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University, and as Treasurer of its Board of Trustees.[150] He resigned his position at Yeshiva University after his arrest.[173] Madoff also served on the Board of New York City Center, a member of New York City's Cultural Institutions Group (CIG).[176] He served on the executive council of the Wall Street division of the UJA Foundation of New York which declined to invest funds with him because of the conflict of interest.[177]

Madoff undertook charity work for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation and made philanthropic gifts through the Madoff Family Foundation, a $19 million private foundation, which he managed along with his wife.[17] They donated money to hospitals and theaters.[150] The foundation has also contributed to many educational, cultural, and health charities, including those later forced to close because of Madoff's fraud.[178] After Madoff's arrest, the assets of the Madoff Family Foundation were frozen by a federal court.[17]

In the media

  • On May 12, 2009, PBS Frontline aired The Madoff Affair, and subsequently ShopPBS made DVD videos of the show and transcripts available for purchase by the public at large.
  • Imagining Madoff is a 2010 play by Deb Margolin that tells the story of an imagined encounter between Madoff and his victims. The play generated controversy when Elie Wiesel, originally portrayed as a character in the play, threatened legal action, forcing Margolin to substitute a fictional character, "Solomon Galkin". The play was nominated for a 2012 Helen Hayes Award.
  • A documentary, Chasing Madoff, describing Harry Markopolos' efforts to unmask the fraud, was released in August 2011.
  • Woody Allen's 2013 film Blue Jasmine portrays a fictional couple involved in a similar scandal. Allen said that the Madoff scandal was the inspiration for the film.[179]
  • In God We Trust (2013), a documentary about Eleanor Squillari, Madoff's secretary for 25 years and her search for the truth about the fraud (The Halcyon Company).[180]
  • Madoff is played by Robert De Niro in the May 2017 HBO film The Wizard of Lies, based on the best-selling book by Diana B. Henriques. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Ruth Madoff in the film, which was released on May 20, 2017.
  • Madoff, a miniseries by ABC starring Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner as Bernard and Ruth Madoff, aired on February 3 and 4, 2016.[181][182]
  • "Ponzi Super Nova", an episode of the podcast Radiolab released February 10, 2017, in which Madoff is interviewed over prison phone.[183]
  • Chevelle's song "Face to the Floor", as described by the band, is a "pissed off, angry" song about people who got taken by the Ponzi scheme that Bernie Madoff had for all those years."[184]
  • Randy Susan Meyers's novel, The Widow of Wall Street, published in 2017 by Atria Books is a fictionalized account of the Madoff Ponzi scheme from the wife's point of view.[18

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Current 2020 Top 10 List of Scams and Frauds

Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes

 

There are affiliate links on this page. Read our disclosure policy to learn more.

 

Current 2020 Top 10 List of Scams and Frauds

Top 10 List of Scams of 2020

There are many ways to measure the largest scams, but most measure them by the number of people affected and the total dollars scammed. 

Our list focuses on the scams that you could avoid, those reported to the CFR, FTC, Fraud.org and BBB (Better Business Bureau). For detailed explanations of each scam, how to report a scammer and how to protect yourself, click on the blue titles below for more information!

We have compiled other lists as well:

And to see a list of other type of top 10 scams, such as by category, or targetting specific groups, see this page.

For a quick look-up of new and current scams, see this alphabetized list of scams

Top 10 Scams

  1. Debt Collection:
    Most of the complaints under this category involve debt collectors. Consumers tell of receiveing calls from harassing collectors who are threatening and will repeatedly call attempting to collect a debt. Other complaints that fall under this category involved credit/debit card fees, pay day loans, credit repair companies and unauthorized use of credit/debit cards. Some of these complaints involved hidden fees and billing disputes as well.
  2. Fake Government Officials 
    If you received an email, letter or phone call from a government agency (typically the IRS or FBI) and it instructs you to wire, Western Union or MoneyGram money someplace, or follow a link and enter information - don't believe it!  The U.S. government would never instruct anyone to use those methods to pay any bill or carry out a financial transaction, particularly with an overseas bank or agency.
  3. Identity Theft, Phishing and Pharming
    Scammers gain access to your confidential information, like socil security numbers, date of birth and then use it to apply for credit cards, loans and financial accounts. Typically, the victim receives an email that appears to be from a credible, real bank or credit card company, with links to a website and a request to update account information. But the website and email are fakes, made to look like the real website.
  4. Phone scams
    This includes telemarketers violating the Do Not Call list, Robodialers, scammers calling up pretending to be from a bank or credit card compamny. The National Do Not Call Registry (U.S.) or the National Do Not Call List (Canada) offer consumers a free way to reduce telemarketing calls. Scammers call anyway, of course, and they've even found a way to scam consumers by pretending to be a government official calling to sign you up or confirming your previous participation on the Dot Not call list! A good example of this is the "Your Microsoft license key has expired" scam call - which you can hear and read about on this page.
  5. Loans Scams / Credit Fixers
    False promises of business or personal loans, even if credit is bad, for a fee upfront. Or a scam that promises to repair your credit for a fee.
  6. Fake Prizes, Sweepstakes, Free Gifts, Lottery Scams
    You receive an email claiming you won a prize, lottery or gift, and you only have to pay a "small fee" to claim it or cover "handling costs". These include scams which can go under the name of genuine lotteries like the UK National Lottery and the El Gordo Spanish lottery.  Unsolicited email or telephone calls tell people they are being entered or have already been entered into a prize draw. Later, they receive a call congratulating them on winning a substantial prize in a national lottery. But before they can claim their prize, they are told they must send money to pay for administration fees and taxes. The prize, of course, does not exist. No genuine lottery asks for money to pay fees or notifies it's winners vian email.
  7. Internet merchandise scams
    You purchase something online, but it is either never delivered or it is not what they claimed it was, or is defective.Online shopping, and other shop from home, such as catalog, mail and phone shopping scams are on the rise.
  8. Automobile-Related Complaints
    Car loans, car buying, car sales, auto repair, fake or useless extended warranties. Some of the complaints alleged consumers paid for repairs and that services provided were shoddy. Consumers reported repair companies that return vehicles to the consumer in a worse condition than how it was initially given to them. Other complaints involved consumers not receiving title to their vehicles at the time of sale
  9. Credit Bureaus and related credit scams
    Credit/debit card fees, pay day loans, credit repair companies and unauthorized use of credit/debit cards. Some of these complaints involved hidden fees and billing disputes as well.
  10. Phishing/Spoofing Emails
    Emails that pretend to be from a company, organization or government agency but ask you to enter or confirm
    your personal information
     

    And here are the next most common scams:

  11. Fake check payments
    You sell something online or through Craig's List Consumers  and you're paid with phony checks, and instructed to
    wire money back to buyer. The check looks real... but after you try to cash it, you find out it is a fake; and you're arrested for passing a counterfeit check! Read more about scam checks on this page and here about the EBay check scam.
  12. Recovery/Refund Companies
    A scammer contacts and claims you owe money on a debt or the scammer offers to recover money lost in a previous scam
  13. Computer Performance Scams: Equipment and Software
    Scammers claim to offer "technical support" for computer problems and charge a fee to fix nonexistent
    problems
  14. Scholarship, Student Loan and Financial Aid scams  
    For a fee, a "search company" offers to conduct a customized search for scholarships or grants for students to apply for. Scammers take the money and run or provide a worthless list
  15. Online Dating Scams
    Fake profiles of scammers posing as attractive men and women, then claiming they need money to help in an emergency, typically when they claim to be out of the country on a business trip.
  16. Facebook Fake Friend Scam - Did you ever get a Friend Request on Facebook from someone you already thought was your Friend? If you hit Accept, you may have just friended a scammer. Con artist nurtures an online relationship,
    builds trust, and convinces victim to send money.
  17. Click Bait Scam - This one takes many forms, but many people may recall seeing those using Robin Williams death or the Malaysian Airline plane that went missing ("click here for video"). Other click bait schemes use celebrity images, fake news, and other sensational stories to get you to unknowingly download malware.
  18. Fake bills and invoices - "Pro forma" invoicing: You get a bill that looks real, but either you never ordered the product or service, or they're not really the company you bought it from.
  19. Tech Support Scam: You get a call or a pop-up on your computer claiming to be from Microsoft (or Norton, or Apple) about a problem on your computer. They say if you give "tech support" access to your hard drive, they can fix it. Instead, they install malware on your computer and start stealing your personal information.
  20. Medical Alert Scam - This is a telemarketing scam that promises a 'free' medical alert system, that scam targeted seniors and caretakers. The robocalls claimed to be offering the medical alert devices and system free of charge because a family member or friend had already paid for it. In many cases, seniors were asked to provide their bank account or credit information to 'verify' their identity and, as a result, were charged the monthly $35 service fee. The system, of course, never arrived and the seniors were left with a charge they had trouble getting refunded. Easy rule of thumb - be wary of 'free' offers that require your personal information upfront and always verify with the supposed friend or family member that the caller says paid for the service.
  21. Ebay / Auction Reseller Scam - Scammers posing as buyers convice sellers into shipping goods prior to receiving payment. Usually the fake buyer claims it's an 'emergency' like a child's birthday and asks the seller to ship the same day. The seller receives an email that appears as though it came from PayPal for the payment, but emails like that are easy for scammers to fake.
  22. Arrest Warrant Scam - Scammers create a fake Caller ID, which allows them to call you and appear to be calling from a local police, sheriff or other law enforcement agency. They say there is a warrant out for your arrest, but that you can pay a fine in order to avoid criminal charges. Of course, these scammers don't take credit cards; only a Western Union Moneygram, other wire transfer or pre-paid debit card will do.
  23. Invisible Home Improvements - In addition to email, mail and phone, scammers now just show up at your door. Scammers posing as home improvement contractors come door-to-door sale and target seniors, those who live alone, and victims of weather-related disasters are common targets
  24. Casting Call Scam - Scammers pose as agents or talent scouts looking for actors, singers, models, reality show contestants, etc., and use phony audition notices to fool aspiring performers into paying to try out for parts that don't exist.
  25. Foreign Currency Scam - Investments in foreign currency can sound like a great idea, and scammers frequently use real current events and news stories to make their pitches even more appealing. They advertise an easy investment with high return and low risk when you purchase Iraqi Dinar, Vietnamese Dong or, most recently, the Egyptian Pound. The plan is that, when those governments revalue their currencies, increasing their worth against the dollar, you just sell and cash in. Unlike previous hoaxes, you may even take possession of real currency. The problem is that they will be very difficult to sell, and it's extremely unlikely they will ever significantly increase in value.
  26. Scam Text Messages - It looks like a text alert from your bank, asking you to confirm information or 'reactivate your debit card' by following a link on your smart phone. But it is just a way to steal personal information
  27. Affordable Care Act Scams (ObamaCare) - Scammers love the Affordable Care Act ('Obamacare'), using it as a way to fool Americans into sharing their personal information.   For guideance about health insurance see our sister website, ConsumersHealthcareGuide.org.

Other common scams:

 
  • Internet Auction Frauds
    Auction frauds (commonly called Ebay or PayPal scams, after the two largest venues) is a misrepresentation of a product advertised for sale through an Internet auction site or the failure to deliver products purchased through an Internet auction site.
     
  • Nigerian Advance Fee Frauds (AFF)

    These frauds take the form of an offer, via letter, e-mail or fax, to share a huge sum of money in return for using the recipient's bank account to transfer of the money out of the country.  The perpetrators will often then use the bank account details to empty their victim's bank account. Often, they convince the victim that money is needed up front, to pay fees or is needed to bribe officials.
     

  • "PASSIVE RESIDUAL INCOME" SCAMS
    Get rich scheme and scam websites
    - Make $$$ in your spare time! It so EASY once you get their free book or cd and learn their secrets! Sure... These websites are themselves scams; claiming to offer you a good deal, when at best, their products are worthless, they have no real secrets, and worse, some are identity thieves!
     
  • FreeCreditReport.com   
    What a scam this one is!  The name of the website is freecreditreport.com, but you'll only get a credit report when you sign up for their paid service.  And worst of all there IS a government mandated website where you CAN get a free credit report!  Find out more here!
     
  • Work At Home Scams
    Work-at-home and business opportunity scams are often advertised as paid work from home. After the would-be worker applies, they are asked for money up-front to pay for materials and, after paying, they hear nothing back. A variation of this is, people are asked to invest in a business that has little chance of success.
     
  • Matric and Multilevel Marketing and  Pyramid Schemes

    "MAKE MONEY NOW!" scream their websites!  And do it in your spare time!  Earn big bucks for almost no work.  If that isn't enough to tell you it is a scam, let us explain why it is. These schemes are promoted through websites offering expensive electronic gadgets as free gifts in return for spending about $25 on an inexpensive product, such as a mobile phone signal booster. 
    Consumers who buy the product then join a waiting list to receive their free gift. The person at the top of the list receives his/her gift only after a prescribed number of new members join up.
    The majority of those on the list will never receive the item.
    Pyramid schemes offer a return on a financial investment based on the number of new recruits to the scheme.
    Investors are misled about the likely returns. There are simply not enough people to support the scheme indefinitely.
     

  • Property Investment Scams

    Investors attend a free presentation, which aims to persuade them to hand over large amounts of money to enroll on a course promising to make them a successful property dealer, usually involving "no money down".
    Schemes can involve the offer of buying yet-to-be built properties at a discount.  Other variations include a buy-to-lease scheme where companies offer to source, renovate and manage properties, claiming good returns from rental income. The properties are generally near-derelict and the tenants non-existent.
     

  • 900 Phone NumberScams
    Postal notification of a win in a sweepstake or a holiday offer in this scam include instructions to ring a premium rate number. This is generally an 900 toll number. Calls to the number incur significant charges, the recorded message is lengthy, and the prize often does not exist. It is a scam that has been around a long time, but it is still in use.
     
  • Advance Fee Brokers.
    Often these appear to be very professional operations with attractive websites and advertisements. However, it is illegal for a business to charge a fee prior to providing a loan. Typically, after wiring money to the scammer, the victim never receives the loan. These 'lenders' will use fake physical addresses or the addresses of real companies.
     
  • Credit Repair Services with Advance Fees.
    Consumers with bad credit ratings are particularly vulnerable to this scam. Everything a credit-repair operation offers an individual can do personally at little or no cost. Credit repair operations cannot ask for money in advance and they cannot automatically remove legitimate negative reports from your credit history.
     
  • Foreign Lottery Scams.
    Any lottery from a foreign country is illegal in the United States. Stating a person can win or is a winner already provides a strong incentive; however, people should never send money to obtain lottery money. Scammers using fictitious addresses will request you send 'fees and taxes' to them through a wire service, take the cash and never provide any winnings because there are no winners.
     
  • Office Supplies - Sale by Deceptive Telemarketing.
    This scam features fake invoices for office supplies being sent to a business, often for only a couple hundred dollars. This relatively low amount makes it easier for company personnel to quickly sign off and feel it is not worth their time to check the invoice's validity, which would be done if it was for a larger amount.
     

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!


For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page

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Edited by mitsubishi
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1 minute ago, mitsubishi said:

g.org

Current 2020 Top 10 List of Scams and Frauds

Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes

 

There are affiliate links on this page. Read our disclosure policy to learn more.

 

Current 2020 Top 10 List of Scams and Frauds

Top 10 List of Scams of 2020

There are many ways to measure the largest scams, but most measure them by the number of people affected and the total dollars scammed. 

Our list focuses on the scams that you could avoid, those reported to the CFR, FTC, Fraud.org and BBB (Better Business Bureau). For detailed explanations of each scam, how to report a scammer and how to protect yourself, click on the blue titles below for more information!

We have compiled other lists as well:

And to see a list of other type of top 10 scams, such as by category, or targetting specific groups, see this page.

For a quick look-up of new and current scams, see this alphabetized list of scams

Top 10 Scams

  1. Debt Collection:
    Most of the complaints under this category involve debt collectors. Consumers tell of receiveing calls from harassing collectors who are threatening and will repeatedly call attempting to collect a debt. Other complaints that fall under this category involved credit/debit card fees, pay day loans, credit repair companies and unauthorized use of credit/debit cards. Some of these complaints involved hidden fees and billing disputes as well.
  2. Fake Government Officials 
    If you received an email, letter or phone call from a government agency (typically the IRS or FBI) and it instructs you to wire, Western Union or MoneyGram money someplace, or follow a link and enter information - don't believe it!  The U.S. government would never instruct anyone to use those methods to pay any bill or carry out a financial transaction, particularly with an overseas bank or agency.
  3. Identity Theft, Phishing and Pharming
    Scammers gain access to your confidential information, like socil security numbers, date of birth and then use it to apply for credit cards, loans and financial accounts. Typically, the victim receives an email that appears to be from a credible, real bank or credit card company, with links to a website and a request to update account information. But the website and email are fakes, made to look like the real website.
  4. Phone scams
    This includes telemarketers violating the Do Not Call list, Robodialers, scammers calling up pretending to be from a bank or credit card compamny. The National Do Not Call Registry (U.S.) or the National Do Not Call List (Canada) offer consumers a free way to reduce telemarketing calls. Scammers call anyway, of course, and they've even found a way to scam consumers by pretending to be a government official calling to sign you up or confirming your previous participation on the Dot Not call list! A good example of this is the "Your Microsoft license key has expired" scam call - which you can hear and read about on this page.
  5. Loans Scams / Credit Fixers
    False promises of business or personal loans, even if credit is bad, for a fee upfront. Or a scam that promises to repair your credit for a fee.
  6. Fake Prizes, Sweepstakes, Free Gifts, Lottery Scams
    You receive an email claiming you won a prize, lottery or gift, and you only have to pay a "small fee" to claim it or cover "handling costs". These include scams which can go under the name of genuine lotteries like the UK National Lottery and the El Gordo Spanish lottery.  Unsolicited email or telephone calls tell people they are being entered or have already been entered into a prize draw. Later, they receive a call congratulating them on winning a substantial prize in a national lottery. But before they can claim their prize, they are told they must send money to pay for administration fees and taxes. The prize, of course, does not exist. No genuine lottery asks for money to pay fees or notifies it's winners vian email.
  7. Internet merchandise scams
    You purchase something online, but it is either never delivered or it is not what they claimed it was, or is defective.Online shopping, and other shop from home, such as catalog, mail and phone shopping scams are on the rise.
  8. Automobile-Related Complaints
    Car loans, car buying, car sales, auto repair, fake or useless extended warranties. Some of the complaints alleged consumers paid for repairs and that services provided were shoddy. Consumers reported repair companies that return vehicles to the consumer in a worse condition than how it was initially given to them. Other complaints involved consumers not receiving title to their vehicles at the time of sale
  9. Credit Bureaus and related credit scams
    Credit/debit card fees, pay day loans, credit repair companies and unauthorized use of credit/debit cards. Some of these complaints involved hidden fees and billing disputes as well.
  10. Phishing/Spoofing Emails
    Emails that pretend to be from a company, organization or government agency but ask you to enter or confirm
    your personal information
     

    And here are the next most common scams:

  11. Fake check payments
    You sell something online or through Craig's List Consumers  and you're paid with phony checks, and instructed to
    wire money back to buyer. The check looks real... but after you try to cash it, you find out it is a fake; and you're arrested for passing a counterfeit check! Read more about scam checks on this page and here about the EBay check scam.
  12. Recovery/Refund Companies
    A scammer contacts and claims you owe money on a debt or the scammer offers to recover money lost in a previous scam
  13. Computer Performance Scams: Equipment and Software
    Scammers claim to offer "technical support" for computer problems and charge a fee to fix nonexistent
    problems
  14. Scholarship, Student Loan and Financial Aid scams  
    For a fee, a "search company" offers to conduct a customized search for scholarships or grants for students to apply for. Scammers take the money and run or provide a worthless list
  15. Online Dating Scams
    Fake profiles of scammers posing as attractive men and women, then claiming they need money to help in an emergency, typically when they claim to be out of the country on a business trip.
  16. Facebook Fake Friend Scam - Did you ever get a Friend Request on Facebook from someone you already thought was your Friend? If you hit Accept, you may have just friended a scammer. Con artist nurtures an online relationship,
    builds trust, and convinces victim to send money.
  17. Click Bait Scam - This one takes many forms, but many people may recall seeing those using Robin Williams death or the Malaysian Airline plane that went missing ("click here for video"). Other click bait schemes use celebrity images, fake news, and other sensational stories to get you to unknowingly download malware.
  18. Fake bills and invoices - "Pro forma" invoicing: You get a bill that looks real, but either you never ordered the product or service, or they're not really the company you bought it from.
  19. Tech Support Scam: You get a call or a pop-up on your computer claiming to be from Microsoft (or Norton, or Apple) about a problem on your computer. They say if you give "tech support" access to your hard drive, they can fix it. Instead, they install malware on your computer and start stealing your personal information.
  20. Medical Alert Scam - This is a telemarketing scam that promises a 'free' medical alert system, that scam targeted seniors and caretakers. The robocalls claimed to be offering the medical alert devices and system free of charge because a family member or friend had already paid for it. In many cases, seniors were asked to provide their bank account or credit information to 'verify' their identity and, as a result, were charged the monthly $35 service fee. The system, of course, never arrived and the seniors were left with a charge they had trouble getting refunded. Easy rule of thumb - be wary of 'free' offers that require your personal information upfront and always verify with the supposed friend or family member that the caller says paid for the service.
  21. Ebay / Auction Reseller Scam - Scammers posing as buyers convice sellers into shipping goods prior to receiving payment. Usually the fake buyer claims it's an 'emergency' like a child's birthday and asks the seller to ship the same day. The seller receives an email that appears as though it came from PayPal for the payment, but emails like that are easy for scammers to fake.
  22. Arrest Warrant Scam - Scammers create a fake Caller ID, which allows them to call you and appear to be calling from a local police, sheriff or other law enforcement agency. They say there is a warrant out for your arrest, but that you can pay a fine in order to avoid criminal charges. Of course, these scammers don't take credit cards; only a Western Union Moneygram, other wire transfer or pre-paid debit card will do.
  23. Invisible Home Improvements - In addition to email, mail and phone, scammers now just show up at your door. Scammers posing as home improvement contractors come door-to-door sale and target seniors, those who live alone, and victims of weather-related disasters are common targets
  24. Casting Call Scam - Scammers pose as agents or talent scouts looking for actors, singers, models, reality show contestants, etc., and use phony audition notices to fool aspiring performers into paying to try out for parts that don't exist.
  25. Foreign Currency Scam - Investments in foreign currency can sound like a great idea, and scammers frequently use real current events and news stories to make their pitches even more appealing. They advertise an easy investment with high return and low risk when you purchase Iraqi Dinar, Vietnamese Dong or, most recently, the Egyptian Pound. The plan is that, when those governments revalue their currencies, increasing their worth against the dollar, you just sell and cash in. Unlike previous hoaxes, you may even take possession of real currency. The problem is that they will be very difficult to sell, and it's extremely unlikely they will ever significantly increase in value.
  26. Scam Text Messages - It looks like a text alert from your bank, asking you to confirm information or 'reactivate your debit card' by following a link on your smart phone. But it is just a way to steal personal information
  27. Affordable Care Act Scams (ObamaCare) - Scammers love the Affordable Care Act ('Obamacare'), using it as a way to fool Americans into sharing their personal information.   For guideance about health insurance see our sister website, ConsumersHealthcareGuide.org.

Other common scams:

 
  • Internet Auction Frauds
    Auction frauds (commonly called Ebay or PayPal scams, after the two largest venues) is a misrepresentation of a product advertised for sale through an Internet auction site or the failure to deliver products purchased through an Internet auction site.
     
  • Nigerian Advance Fee Frauds (AFF)

    These frauds take the form of an offer, via letter, e-mail or fax, to share a huge sum of money in return for using the recipient's bank account to transfer of the money out of the country.  The perpetrators will often then use the bank account details to empty their victim's bank account. Often, they convince the victim that money is needed up front, to pay fees or is needed to bribe officials.
     

  • "PASSIVE RESIDUAL INCOME" SCAMS
    Get rich scheme and scam websites
    - Make $$$ in your spare time! It so EASY once you get their free book or cd and learn their secrets! Sure... These websites are themselves scams; claiming to offer you a good deal, when at best, their products are worthless, they have no real secrets, and worse, some are identity thieves!
     
  • FreeCreditReport.com   
    What a scam this one is!  The name of the website is freecreditreport.com, but you'll only get a credit report when you sign up for their paid service.  And worst of all there IS a government mandated website where you CAN get a free credit report!  Find out more here!
     
  • Work At Home Scams
    Work-at-home and business opportunity scams are often advertised as paid work from home. After the would-be worker applies, they are asked for money up-front to pay for materials and, after paying, they hear nothing back. A variation of this is, people are asked to invest in a business that has little chance of success.
     
  • Matric and Multilevel Marketing and  Pyramid Schemes

    "MAKE MONEY NOW!" scream their websites!  And do it in your spare time!  Earn big bucks for almost no work.  If that isn't enough to tell you it is a scam, let us explain why it is. These schemes are promoted through websites offering expensive electronic gadgets as free gifts in return for spending about $25 on an inexpensive product, such as a mobile phone signal booster. 
    Consumers who buy the product then join a waiting list to receive their free gift. The person at the top of the list receives his/her gift only after a prescribed number of new members join up.
    The majority of those on the list will never receive the item.
    Pyramid schemes offer a return on a financial investment based on the number of new recruits to the scheme.
    Investors are misled about the likely returns. There are simply not enough people to support the scheme indefinitely.
     

  • Property Investment Scams

    Investors attend a free presentation, which aims to persuade them to hand over large amounts of money to enroll on a course promising to make them a successful property dealer, usually involving "no money down".
    Schemes can involve the offer of buying yet-to-be built properties at a discount.  Other variations include a buy-to-lease scheme where companies offer to source, renovate and manage properties, claiming good returns from rental income. The properties are generally near-derelict and the tenants non-existent.
     

  • 900 Phone NumberScams
    Postal notification of a win in a sweepstake or a holiday offer in this scam include instructions to ring a premium rate number. This is generally an 900 toll number. Calls to the number incur significant charges, the recorded message is lengthy, and the prize often does not exist. It is a scam that has been around a long time, but it is still in use.
     
  • Advance Fee Brokers.
    Often these appear to be very professional operations with attractive websites and advertisements. However, it is illegal for a business to charge a fee prior to providing a loan. Typically, after wiring money to the scammer, the victim never receives the loan. These 'lenders' will use fake physical addresses or the addresses of real companies.
     
  • Credit Repair Services with Advance Fees.
    Consumers with bad credit ratings are particularly vulnerable to this scam. Everything a credit-repair operation offers an individual can do personally at little or no cost. Credit repair operations cannot ask for money in advance and they cannot automatically remove legitimate negative reports from your credit history.
     
  • Foreign Lottery Scams.
    Any lottery from a foreign country is illegal in the United States. Stating a person can win or is a winner already provides a strong incentive; however, people should never send money to obtain lottery money. Scammers using fictitious addresses will request you send 'fees and taxes' to them through a wire service, take the cash and never provide any winnings because there are no winners.
     
  • Office Supplies - Sale by Deceptive Telemarketing.
    This scam features fake invoices for office supplies being sent to a business, often for only a couple hundred dollars. This relatively low amount makes it easier for company personnel to quickly sign off and feel it is not worth their time to check the invoice's validity, which would be done if it was for a larger amount.
     

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!


For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page

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I love color rich articles these days. One has to counter the 'you can make good profits in forex' crazy czarina twerp here.

Dont forget to like and subscribe

10 Countries with the highest number of scammers

 
6-7 minutes

Scamming has become a global problem over the years. E commerce which is one of the methods used in scamming is a trillion dollar business and this is so because, so much money is changing hands over the internet. Here are top 10 countries where the risk of being scammed is high.

Ten countries with the highest number of scammers.

10. Romania

Most risk of fraud in Romania

After the fall of communism, Romania slumped to poverty and corruption. Over years Romania has built a reputation over internet scams that have been successful. Scammers have been able to dupe innocent people through online dating, phishing and also sale of non-existence products. Romanian internet scam artists use some tried methods to con you, it’s not always A- list but it always works.

9. Philippines

Countries with the highest number of scammers

Besides the common romance scams the Philippines have taken it a notch higher, one of the used schemes is called the familiar face where somebody approaches you and claims you look familiar and in the process, they decide to show you around where later you get robbed. Horse Trading is another way they robe you. You negotiate a price with the driver and during the ride they change shift, where the entrant comes and takes the price almost 10 times the original price.

8. South Africa

Most risk of fraud South Africa

A report by UJ Centre for Cyber Security has received during the course of 2015 South Africans were the most affected by banking-related fraud. This included phishing, visiting spoofed banking websites or receiving false message notifications of bank withdrawals or deposits though most of these cases were reported in Gauteng province. You may also like to see ten countries with highest crimes.

7. Venezuela

countries with the highest number of scammers

Since its economy plunged into recession, there have been massive cases of scamming ranging from online dating to fake government bonds. Currently the street value of greenbacks has soared to 7x the government’s rate of VEF6.3 to the dollar. In 2016 alone the consumer prices rose to 800% and the economy had contracted by 18.6%. This resulted to massive unemployment and also in local stores there were empty shelves. These factors coupled with others led to massive scamming schemes.

6. Indonesia

Most risk of fraud in Indonesia

Indonesian scammers are tech savvy where they are able to con people without knowing. Fraud cases have increased since the year 2000; bank customers have been victimized by syndicates with the use of data-capturing devices illegally installed in bank machines.

5. Pakistan

countries with the highest number of scammers

Military scams have become so common such that many crime fighting organizations are sending an alert. They are not easy to detect, scammers use high ranking officials and pose as military members on online dating sites and social networks and engage in relationships whose only goal is to use peoples images which they will later use to fool other people. At the moment scammers pose as a soldier, currently deployed in Pakistan and they will find a way to get you to send money to them. Criminals are also installing a virus on your computer where they steal everything in your computer and in the process blackmail you to send them money. Also, Pakistan has world’s most corrupt police force.

4. Brazil

Countries with a high number of scammers

Brazil is the hub of scammers. It is been discussed how Brazil scams people by posing as beautiful ladies. Pick-pocketing which was more evident in the 2016 Olympics put a bad picture. There are also cases of express kidnappings which happen around foreign currency exchange banks.

3. China

countries with the highest number of scammers

Chinese are very good at this; they have incorporated technology to scamming unsuspecting masses. College Entrance Scam is one method they scam parents by convincing them that the child can get to college with poor results. “I Am Your Husband’s Mistress” Scam is another method where they text husbands’ wives with a link to see images of herself (mistress) with her husband, to which wives quickly enter the link and her phone gets infected with a Trojan virus and they retrieve passwords and images which they use to blackmail the family. Beijing’s Hospital Scalpers is a decade common problem where people earn money by enticing people to obtain medical care at a certain hospital. Initially they tarnish the original hospital’s name and profession hence creating distrust and you will trust them. They will walk you to their clinic of choice and the staff does many unnecessary expensive tests.

2. India

scams in India

It’s impossible to visit India and fail to encounter at least one scam or someone trying to scam you. Pretending not to know the Way to Your Hotel is one scam taxi drivers use to rip you off. They will offer to take you to another hotel where it will be expensive. Importing Gemstones Duty Free is another scam especially in Jaipur area. The scam involves tourists being approached by a gem dealer, who convinces them to buy some worthless gemstones. You will be asked to import them under their duty free allowance, then sell them on to one of his fictitious willing partners in their home country which will be much more money than they originally paid. You also like to see Curious Scandals of Indian Swamis.

1. Nigeria

Scams in Nigeria

Nigeria uses one play book to dupe unsuspecting people. I believe everybody have seen this somewhere whether in email or Facebook messages where they will probably tell you an elaborate fake story about large amounts of money in the central bank or a large amount of inheritance that is difficult for them to access because of their government restrictions or taxes in their country and in the process they ask for your bank details so as to transfer the money to you and in the process they will use your information to steal your funds.

Written By: David Miano

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22 hours ago, mitsubishi said:

There's nothing new about these

And when it comes to old...

Ghost

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
Jump to navigation Jump to search
For other uses, see Ghost (disambiguation).
"Ghostly" redirects here. For other uses, see Ghostly (disambiguation).
220px-Hammersmith_Ghost.PNG
 
Engraving of the Hammersmith Ghost in Kirby's Wonderful and Scientific Museum, a magazine published in 1804[1]
Part of a series on the
Paranormal
Main articles[show]
Related[show]

In folklore, a ghost (sometimes known as an apparition, haunt, phantom, poltergeist, shade, specter or spectre, spirit, spook, and wraith) is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear to the living. In ghostlore, descriptions of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, lifelike forms. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as necromancy, or in spiritism as a séance.

The belief in the existence of an afterlife, as well as manifestations of the spirits of the dead, is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to rest the spirits of the dead. Ghosts are generally described as solitary, human-like essences, though stories of ghostly armies and the ghosts of animals rather than humans have also been recounted.[2][3] They are believed to haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life. According to a 2009 study by the Pew Research Center, 18% of Americans say they have seen a ghost.[4]

The overwhelming consensus of science is that ghosts do not exist.[5] Their existence is impossible to falsify,[5] and ghost hunting has been classified as pseudoscience.[6][7][8] Despite centuries of investigation, there is no scientific evidence that any location is inhabited by spirits of the dead.[6][9] Historically, certain toxic and psychoactive plants (such as datura and hyoscyamus niger), whose use has long been associated with necromancy and the underworld, have been shown to contain anticholinergic compounds that are pharmacologically linked to dementia (specifically DLB) as well as histological patterns of neurodegeneration.[10][11] Common prescription medication (such as sleep aids) zuckerberg is a filthy disgusting sweaty riobot boy jew cuntmay, in rare instances, cause ghost-like hallucinations.[12] Older reports linked carbon monoxide poisoning to ghost-like hallucinations.[13] More recent research has indicated that ghost sightings may be related to degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.[14]

 

Terminology

Further information: Spirit, Soul, wikt:anima, Genius (mythology), and Geist

The English word ghost continues Old English gāst, from Proto-Germanic *gaistaz. It is common to West Germanic, but lacking in North Germanic and East Germanic (the equivalent word in Gothic is ahma, Old Norse has andi m., önd f.). The prior Proto-Indo-European form was *ǵʰéysd-os, from the root *ǵʰéysd- denoting "fury, anger" reflected in Old Norse geisa "to rage". The Germanic word is recorded as masculine only, but likely continues a neuter s-stem. The original meaning of the Germanic word would thus have been an animating principle of the mind, in particular capable of excitation and fury (compare óðr). In Germanic paganism, "Germanic Mercury", and the later Odin, was at the same time the conductor of the dead and the "lord of fury" leading the Wild Hunt.

Besides denoting the human spirit or soul, both of the living and the deceased, the Old English word is used as a synonym of Latin spiritus also in the meaning of "breath" or "blast" from the earliest attestations (9th century). It could also denote any good or evil spirit, such as angels and demons; the Anglo-Saxon gospel refers to the demonic possession of Matthew 12:43 as se unclæna gast. Also from the Old English period, the word could denote the spirit of God, viz. the "Holy Ghost".

The now-prevailing sense of "the soul of a deceased person, spoken of as appearing in a visible form" only emerges in Middle English (14th century). The modern noun does, however, retain a wider field of application, extending on one hand to "soul", "spirit", "vital principle", "mind", or "psyche", the seat of feeling, thought, and moral judgement; on the other hand used figuratively of any shadowy outline, or fuzzy or unsubstantial image; in optics, photography, and cinematography especially, a flare, secondary image, or spurious signal.[15]

The synonym spook is a Dutch loanword, akin to Low German spôk (of uncertain etymology); it entered the English language via American English in the 19th century.[16][17][18][19] Alternative words in modern usage include spectre (altn. specter; from Latin spectrum), the Scottish wraith (of obscure origin), phantom (via French ultimately from Greek phantasma, compare fantasy) and apparition. The term shade in classical mythology translates Greek σκιά,[20] or Latin umbra,[21] in reference to the notion of spirits in the Greek underworld. "Haint" is a synonym for ghost used in regional English of the southern United States,[22] and the "haint tale" is a common feature of southern oral and literary tradition.[23] The term poltergeist is a German word, literally a "noisy ghost", for a spirit said to manifest itself by invisibly moving and influencing objects.[24]

Wraith is a Scots word for ghost, spectre, or apparition. It appeared in Scottish Romanticist literature, and acquired the more general or figurative sense of portent or omen. In 18th- to 19th-century Scottish literature, it also applied to aquatic spirits. The word has no commonly accepted etymology; the OED notes "of obscure origin" only.[25] An association with the verb writhe was the etymology favored by J. R. R. Tolkien.[26] Tolkien's use of the word in the naming of the creatures known as the Ringwraiths has influenced later usage in fantasy literature. Bogey[27] or bogy/bogie is a term for a ghost, and appears in Scottish poet John Mayne's Hallowe'en in 1780.[28][29]

A revenant is a deceased person returning from the dead to haunt the living, either as a disembodied ghost or alternatively as an animated ("undead") corpse. Also related is the concept of a fetch, the visible ghost or spirit of a person yet alive.

Typology

200px-NAMA_Herm%C3%A8s_%26_Myrrhin%C3%A8
 
Relief from a carved funerary lekythos at Athens showing Hermes as psychopomp conducting the soul of the deceased, Myrrhine into Hades (ca. 430-420 B.C.)

Anthropological context

A notion of the transcendent, supernatural, or numinous, usually involving entities like ghosts, demons, or deities, is a cultural universal.[30] In pre-literate folk religions, these beliefs are often summarized under animism and ancestor worship. Some people believe the ghost or spirit never leaves Earth until there is no-one left to remember the one who died.[31]

In many cultures, malignant, restless ghosts are distinguished from the more benign spirits involved in ancestor worship.[32]

Ancestor worship typically involves rites intended to prevent revenants, vengeful spirits of the dead, imagined as starving and envious of the living. Strategies for preventing revenants may either include sacrifice, i.e., giving the dead food and drink to pacify them, or magical banishment of the deceased to force them not to return. Ritual feeding of the dead is performed in traditions like the Chinese Ghost Festival or the Western All Souls' Day. Magical banishment of the dead is present in many of the world's burial customs. The bodies found in many tumuli (kurgan) had been ritually bound before burial,[33] and the custom of binding the dead persists, for example, in rural Anatolia.[34]

Nineteenth-century anthropologist James Frazer stated in his classic work, The Golden Bough, that souls were seen as the creature within that animated the body.[35]

Ghosts and the afterlife

Although the human soul was sometimes symbolically or literally depicted in ancient cultures as a bird or other animal, it appears to have been widely held that the soul was an exact reproduction of the body in every feature, even down to clothing the person wore. This is depicted in artwork from various ancient cultures, including such works as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which shows deceased people in the afterlife appearing much as they did before death, including the style of dress.

Fear of ghosts

Main article: Fear of ghosts
170px-Suushi_Yurei.jpg
 
Yūrei (Japanese ghost) from the Hyakkai Zukan, ca. 1737

While deceased ancestors are universally regarded as venerable, and often believed to have a continued presence in some form of afterlife, the spirit of a deceased person that persists in the material world (a ghost) is regarded as an unnatural or undesirable state of affairs and the idea of ghosts or revenants is associated with a reaction of fear. This is universally the case in pre-modern folk cultures, but fear of ghosts also remains an integral aspect of the modern ghost story, Gothic horror, and other horror fiction dealing with the supernatural.

Common attributes

Another widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they are composed of a misty, airy, or subtle material. Anthropologists link this idea to early beliefs that ghosts were the person within the person (the person's spirit), most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person's breath, which upon exhaling in colder climates appears visibly as a white mist.[31] This belief may have also fostered the metaphorical meaning of "breath" in certain languages, such as the Latin spiritus and the Greek pneuma, which by analogy became extended to mean the soul. In the Bible, God is depicted as synthesising Adam, as a living soul, from the dust of the Earth and the breath of God.

In many traditional accounts, ghosts were often thought to be deceased people looking for vengeance (vengeful ghosts), or imprisoned on earth for bad things they did during life. The appearance of a ghost has often been regarded as an omen or portent of death. Seeing one's own ghostly double or "fetch" is a related omen of death.[36]

220px-Union_Graveyard_III.jpg
 
Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut is home to the legend of the White Lady.

White ladies were reported to appear in many rural areas, and supposed to have died tragically or suffered trauma in life. White Lady legends are found around the world. Common to many of them is the theme of losing a child or husband and a sense of purity, as opposed to the Lady in Red ghost that is mostly attributed to a jilted lover or prostitute. The White Lady ghost is often associated with an individual family line or regarded as a harbinger of death similar to a banshee.[citation needed][context?]

Legends of ghost ships have existed since the 18th century; most notable of these is the Flying Dutchman. This theme has been used in literature in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge.

They are often depicted as being covered in a shroud and/or dragging chains.

Cultural

The idea of ghosts can be considered a tradition for certain cultures. Many believe in the spirit world and often try to stay in contact with their loved ones.[further explanation needed]

Locale

See also: Haunted house

A place where ghosts are reported is described as haunted, and often seen as being inhabited by spirits of deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Supernatural activity inside homes is said to be mainly associated with violent or tragic events in the building's past such as murder, accidental death, or suicide—sometimes in the recent or ancient past. But not all hauntings are at a place of a violent death, or even on violent grounds. Many cultures and religions believe the essence of a being, such as the 'soul', continues to exist. Some religious views argue that the 'spirits' of those who have died have not 'passed over' and are trapped inside the property where their memories and energy are strong.

History

290px-Dumuzi_aux_enfers.jpg
 
Ancient Sumerian cylinder seal impression showing the god Dumuzid being tortured in the Underworld by galla demons

Ancient Near East and Egypt

There are many references to ghosts in Mesopotamian religions – the religions of Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, and other early states in Mesopotamia. Traces of these beliefs survive in the later Abrahamic religions that came to dominate the region.[37] Ghosts were thought to be created at time of death, taking on the memory and personality of the dead person. They traveled to the netherworld, where they were assigned a position, and led an existence similar in some ways to that of the living. Relatives of the dead were expected to make offerings of food and drink to the dead to ease their conditions. If they did not, the ghosts could inflict misfortune and illness on the living. Traditional healing practices ascribed a variety of illnesses to the action of ghosts, while others were caused by gods or demons.[38]

170px-Akh_glyph.svg.png
 
Egyptian Akh glyph – The soul and spirit re-united after death

There was widespread belief in ghosts in ancient Egyptian culture The Hebrew Bible contains few references to ghosts, associating spiritism with forbidden occult activities cf. Deuteronomy 18:11. The most notable reference is in the First Book of Samuel (I Samuel 28:3–19 KJV), in which a disguised King Saul has the Witch of Endor summon the spirit or ghost of Samuel.

The soul and spirit were believed to exist after death, with the ability to assist or harm the living, and the possibility of a second death. Over a period of more than 2,500 years, Egyptian beliefs about the nature of the afterlife evolved constantly. Many of these beliefs were recorded in hieroglyph inscriptions, papyrus scrolls and tomb paintings. The Egyptian Book of the Dead compiles some of the beliefs from different periods of ancient Egyptian history.[39] In modern times, the fanciful concept of a mummy coming back to life and wreaking vengeance when disturbed has spawned a whole genre of horror stories and films.[40]

Classical Antiquity

Archaic and Classical Greece

220px-Klytaimnestra_Erinyes_Louvre_Cp710
 
Apulian red-figure bell krater depicting the ghost of Clytemnestra waking the Erinyes, date unknown

Ghosts appeared in Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, in which they were described as vanishing "as a vapor, gibbering and whining into the earth". Homer's ghosts had little interaction with the world of the living. Periodically they were called upon to provide advice or prophecy, but they do not appear to be particularly feared. Ghosts in the classical world often appeared in the form of vapor or smoke, but at other times they were described as being substantial, appearing as they had been at the time of death, complete with the wounds that killed them.[41]

By the 5th century BC, classical Greek ghosts had become haunting, frightening creatures who could work to either good or evil purposes. The spirit of the dead was believed to hover near the resting place of the corpse, and cemeteries were places the living avoided. The dead were to be ritually mourned through public ceremony, sacrifice, and libations, or else they might return to haunt their families. The ancient Greeks held annual feasts to honor and placate the spirits of the dead, to which the family ghosts were invited, and after which they were "firmly invited to leave until the same time next year."[42]

The 5th-century BC play Oresteia includes an appearance of the ghost of Clytemnestra, one of the first ghosts to appear in a work of fiction.[43]

Roman Empire and Late Antiquity

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Athenodorus and the Ghost, by Henry Justice Ford, c.1900

The ancient Romans believed a ghost could be used to exact revenge on an enemy by scratching a curse on a piece of lead or pottery and placing it into a grave.[44]

Plutarch, in the 1st century AD, described the haunting of the baths at Chaeronea by the ghost of a murdered man. The ghost's loud and frightful groans caused the people of the town to seal up the doors of the building.[45] Another celebrated account of a haunted house from the ancient classical world is given by Pliny the Younger (c. 50 AD).[46] Pliny describes the haunting of a house in Athens, which was bought by the Stoic philosopher Athenodorus, who lived about 100 years before Pliny. Knowing that the house was supposedly haunted, Athenodorus intentionally set up his writing desk in the room where the apparition was said to appear and sat there writing until late at night when he was disturbed by a ghost bound in chains. He followed the ghost outside where it indicated a spot on the ground. When Athenodorus later excavated the area, a shackled skeleton was unearthed. The haunting ceased when the skeleton was given a proper reburial.[47] The writers Plautus and Lucian also wrote stories about haunted houses.

In the New Testament, according to Luke 24:37–39,[48] following his resurrection, Jesus was forced to persuade the Disciples that he was not a ghost (some versions of the Bible, such as the KJV and NKJV, use the term "spirit"). Similarly, Jesus' followers at first believed he was a ghost (spirit) when they saw him walking on water.

One of the first persons to express disbelief in ghosts was Lucian of Samosata in the 2nd century AD. In his satirical novel The Lover of Lies (circa 150 AD), he relates how Democritus "the learned man from Abdera in Thrace" lived in a tomb outside the city gates to prove that cemeteries were not haunted by the spirits of the departed. Lucian relates how he persisted in his disbelief despite practical jokes perpetrated by "some young men of Abdera" who dressed up in black robes with skull masks to frighten him.[49] This account by Lucian notes something about the popular classical expectation of how a ghost should look.

In the 5th century AD, the Christian priest Constantius of Lyon recorded an instance of the recurring theme of the improperly buried dead who come back to haunt the living, and who can only cease their haunting when their bones have been discovered and properly reburied.[50]

Middle Ages

Ghosts reported in medieval Europe tended to fall into two categories: the souls of the dead, or demons. The souls of the dead returned for a specific purpose. Demonic ghosts existed only to torment or tempt the living. The living could tell them apart by demanding their purpose in the name of Jesus Christ. The soul of a dead person would divulge its mission, while a demonic ghost would be banished at the sound of the Holy Name.[51]

Most ghosts were souls assigned to Purgatory, condemned for a specific period to atone for their transgressions in life. Their penance was generally related to their sin. For example, the ghost of a man who had been abusive to his servants was condemned to tear off and swallow bits of his own tongue; the ghost of another man, who had neglected to leave his cloak to the poor, was condemned to wear the cloak, now "heavy as a church tower". These ghosts appeared to the living to ask for prayers to end their suffering. Other dead souls returned to urge the living to confess their sins before their own deaths.[52]

Medieval European ghosts were more substantial than ghosts described in the Victorian age, and there are accounts of ghosts being wrestled with and physically restrained until a priest could arrive to hear its confession. Some were less solid, and could move through walls. Often they were described as paler and sadder versions of the person they had been while alive, and dressed in tattered gray rags. The vast majority of reported sightings were male.[53]

There were some reported cases of ghostly armies, fighting battles at night in the forest, or in the remains of an Iron Age hillfort, as at Wandlebury, near Cambridge, England. Living knights were sometimes challenged to single combat by phantom knights, which vanished when defeated.[54]

From the medieval period an apparition of a ghost is recorded from 1211, at the time of the Albigensian Crusade.[55]Gervase of Tilbury, Marshal of Arles, wrote that the image of Guilhem, a boy recently murdered in the forest, appeared in his cousin's home in Beaucaire, near Avignon. This series of "visits" lasted all of the summer. Through his cousin, who spoke for him, the boy allegedly held conversations with anyone who wished, until the local priest requested to speak to the boy directly, leading to an extended disquisition on theology. The boy narrated the trauma of death and the unhappiness of his fellow souls in Purgatory, and reported that God was most pleased with the ongoing Crusade against the Cathar heretics, launched three years earlier. The time of the Albigensian Crusade in southern France was marked by intense and prolonged warfare, this constant bloodshed and dislocation of populations being the context for these reported visits by the murdered boy.

Haunted houses are featured in the 9th-century Arabian Nights (such as the tale of Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad).[56]

European Renaissance to Romanticism

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"Hamlet and his father's ghost" by Henry Fuseli (1796 drawing). The ghost is wearing stylized plate armor in 17th-century style, including a morion type helmet and tassets. Depicting ghosts as wearing armor, to suggest a sense of antiquity, was common in Elizabethan theater.

Renaissance magic took a revived interest in the occult, including necromancy. In the era of the Reformation and Counter Reformation, there was frequently a backlash against unwholesome interest in the dark arts, typified by writers such as Thomas Erastus.[57] The Swiss Reformed pastor Ludwig Lavater supplied one of the most frequently reprinted books of the period with his Of Ghosts and Spirits Walking By Night.[58]

The Child Ballad "Sweet William's Ghost" (1868) recounts the story of a ghost returning to his fiancée begging her to free him from his promise to marry her. He cannot marry her because he is dead but her refusal would mean his damnation. This reflects a popular British belief that the dead haunted their lovers if they took up with a new love without some formal release.[59] "The Unquiet Grave" expresses a belief even more widespread, found in various locations over Europe: ghosts can stem from the excessive grief of the living, whose mourning interferes with the dead's peaceful rest.[60] In many folktales from around the world, the hero arranges for the burial of a dead man. Soon after, he gains a companion who aids him and, in the end, the hero's companion reveals that he is in fact the dead man.[61] Instances of this include the Italian fairy tale "Fair Brow" and the Swedish "The Bird 'Grip'".

Modern period of western culture

Spiritualist movement

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By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was an object of intense curiosity.
Main article: Spiritualism

Spiritualism is a monotheistic belief system or religion, postulating a belief in God, but with a distinguishing feature of belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world can be contacted by "mediums", who can then provide information about the afterlife.[62]

Spiritualism developed in the United States and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-language countries.[63][64] By 1897, it was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe,[65] mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes, while the corresponding movement in continental Europe and Latin America is known as Spiritism.

The religion flourished for a half century without canonical texts or formal organization, attaining cohesion by periodicals, tours by trance lecturers, camp meetings, and the missionary activities of accomplished mediums.[66] Many prominent Spiritualists were women. Most followers supported causes such as the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage.[63] By the late 1880s, credibility of the informal movement weakened, due to accusations of fraud among mediums, and formal Spiritualist organizations began to appear.[63] Spiritualism is currently practiced primarily through various denominational Spiritualist Churches in the United States and United Kingdom.

Spiritism

Main article: Spiritism

Spiritism, or French spiritualism, is based on the five books of the Spiritist Codification written by French educator Hypolite Léon Denizard Rivail under the pseudonym Allan Kardec reporting séances in which he observed a series of phenomena that he attributed to incorporeal intelligence (spirits). His assumption of spirit communication was validated by many contemporaries, among them many scientists and philosophers who attended séances and studied the phenomena. His work was later extended by writers like Leon Denis, Arthur Conan Doyle, Camille Flammarion, Ernesto Bozzano, Chico Xavier, Divaldo Pereira Franco, Waldo Vieira, Johannes Greber,[67] and others.

Spiritism has adherents in many countries throughout the world, including Spain, United States, Canada,[68] Japan, Germany, France, England, Argentina, Portugal, and especially Brazil, which has the largest proportion and greatest number of followers.[69]

Scientific view

See also: Paranormal

The physician John Ferriar wrote "An Essay Towards a Theory of Apparitions" in 1813 in which he argued that sightings of ghosts were the result of optical illusions. Later the French physician Alexandre Jacques François Brière de Boismont published On Hallucinations: Or, the Rational History of Apparitions, Dreams, Ecstasy, Magnetism, and Somnambulism in 1845 in which he claimed sightings of ghosts were the result of hallucinations.[70][71]

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A 1901 depiction of ball lightning

David Turner, a retired physical chemist, suggested that ball lightning could cause inanimate objects to move erratically.[72]

Joe Nickell of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry wrote that there was no credible scientific evidence that any location was inhabited by spirits of the dead.[73] Limitations of human perception and ordinary physical explanations can account for ghost sightings; for example, air pressure changes in a home causing doors to slam, humidity changes causing boards to creak, condensation in electrical connections causing intermittent behavior, or lights from a passing car reflected through a window at night. Pareidolia, an innate tendency to recognize patterns in random perceptions, is what some skeptics believe causes people to believe that they have 'seen ghosts'.[74] Reports of ghosts "seen out of the corner of the eye" may be accounted for by the sensitivity of human peripheral vision. According to Nickell, peripheral vision can easily mislead, especially late at night when the brain is tired and more likely to misinterpret sights and sounds.[75] Nickell further states, "science cannot substantiate the existence of a 'life energy' that could survive death without dissipating or function at all without a brain... why would... clothes survive?'" He asks, if ghosts glide, then why do people claim to hear them with "heavy footfalls"? Nickell says that ghosts act the same way as "dreams, memories, and imaginings, because they too are mental creations. They are evidence - not of another world, but of this real and natural one."[76]

Benjamin Radford from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and author of the 2017 book Investigating Ghosts: The Scientific Search for Spirits writes that "ghost hunting is the world's most popular paranormal pursuit" yet, to date ghost hunters can't agree on what a ghost is, or offer proof that they exist "it's all speculation and guesswork". He writes that it would be "useful and important to distinguish between types of spirits and apparitions. Until then it's merely a parlor game distracting amateur ghost hunters from the task at hand."[77]

According to research in anomalistic psychology visions of ghosts may arise from hypnagogic hallucinations ("waking dreams" experienced in the transitional states to and from sleep).[78] In a study of two experiments into alleged hauntings (Wiseman et al. 2003) came to the conclusion "that people consistently report unusual experiences in 'haunted' areas because of environmental factors, which may differ across locations." Some of these factors included "the variance of local magnetic fields, size of location and lighting level stimuli of which witnesses may not be consciously aware".[79]

Some researchers, such as Michael Persinger of Laurentian University, Canada, have speculated that changes in geomagnetic fields (created, e.g., by tectonic stresses in the Earth's crust or solar activity) could stimulate the brain's temporal lobes and produce many of the experiences associated with hauntings.[80] Sound is thought to be another cause of supposed sightings. Richard Lord and Richard Wiseman have concluded that infrasound can cause humans to experience bizarre feelings in a room, such as anxiety, extreme sorrow, a feeling of being watched, or even the chills.[81]Carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause changes in perception of the visual and auditory systems,[82] was speculated upon as a possible explanation for haunted houses as early as 1921.

People who experience sleep paralysis often report seeing ghosts during their experiences. Neuroscientists Baland Jalal and V.S. Ramachandran have recently proposed neurological theories for why people hallucinate ghosts during sleep paralysis. Their theories emphasize the role of the parietal lobe and mirror neurons in triggering such ghostly hallucinations.[83]

By religion

Judaism and Christianity

Further information: Allhallowtide
290px-Witch_of_Endor_%28Nikolay_Ge%29.jp
 
Witch of Endor by Nikolai Ge, depicting King Saul encountering the ghost of Samuel (1857)

The Hebrew Bible contains several references to owb (Hebrew: אוֹב‎), which are in a few places akin to shades of classical mythology but mostly describing mediums in connection with necromancy and spirit-consulting, which are grouped with witchcraft and other forms of divination under the category of forbidden occult activities.[84] The most notable reference to a shade is in the First Book of Samuel,[85] in which a disguised King Saul has the Witch of Endor conduct a seance to summon the dead prophet Samuel. A similar term appearing throughout the scriptures is repha'(im) (Hebrew: רְפָאִים‎), which while describing the race of "giants" formerly inhabiting Canaan in many verses, also refer to (the spirits of) dead ancestors of Sheol (like shades) in many others such as in the Book of Isaiah.[86]

In the New Testament, Jesus has to persuade the Disciples that he is not a ghost following the resurrection, Luke 24:37–39 (some versions of the Bible, such as the KJV and NKJV, use the term "spirit"). Similarly, Jesus' followers at first believe he is a ghost (spirit) when they see him walking on water.[87]

Some Christian denominations[which?] consider ghosts as beings who while tied to earth, no longer live on the material plane and linger in an intermediate state before continuing their journey to heaven.[88][89][90][91] On occasion, God would allow the souls in this state to return to earth to warn the living of the need for repentance.[92]Christians are taught that it is sinful to attempt to conjure or control spirits in accordance with Deuteronomy XVIII: 9–12.[93][94]

Some ghosts are actually said to be demons in disguise, who the Church teaches, in accordance with I Timothy 4:1, that they "come to deceive people and draw them away from God and into bondage."[95] As a result, attempts to contact the dead may lead to unwanted contact with a demon or an unclean spirit, as was said to occur in the case of Robbie Mannheim, a fourteen-year-old Maryland youth.[96] The Seventh-Day Adventist view is that a "soul" is not equivalent to "spirit" or "ghost" (depending on the Bible version), and that save for the Holy Spirit, all spirits or ghosts are demons in disguise. Furthermore, they teach that in accordance with (Genesis 2:7, Ecclesiastes 12:7), there are only two components to a "soul", neither of which survives death, with each returning to its respective source.

Christadelphians and Jehovah's Witnesses reject the view of a living, conscious soul after death.[97]

Jewish mythology and folkloric traditions describe dybbuks, malicious possessing spirits believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person. However, the term does not appear in the Kabbalah or talmudic literature, where it is rather called an "evil spirit" or ru'aḥ tezazit ("unclean spirit" in the New Testament). It supposedly leaves the host body once it has accomplished its goal, sometimes after being helped.[98][99][100]

Islam

According to Islam, the souls of the deceased dwell in Barzakh and while it is only a barrier in Quran, in Islamic tradition the world, especially cemeteries, are perforated with several gateways to the otherworld.[101] In rare occasions, the dead can appear to the living.[102] Pure souls, such as the souls of saints, are commonly addressed as Rūḥ, while impure souls seeking for revenge, are often addressed as Afarit.[103] An inappropriate burial can also cause a soul to stay in this world, whereupon roaming the earth as a ghost. Since the just souls remain close to their tomb, some people try to communicate with them in order to gain hidden knowledge. Contact with the dead is not the same as contact with jinn, who alike could provide knowledge concealed from living human.[104] Many encounters with ghosts are related to dreams supposed to occur in the realm of symbols.

In contrast to traditional Islamic thought, Salafi scholars state that spirits of the dead are unable to return to or make any contact with the world of the living,[105] and ghost sightings are attributed to the Salafi concept of jinn.

Buddhism

In Buddhism, there are a number of planes of existence into which a person can be reborn, one of which is the realm of hungry ghosts.[106] Buddhist celebrate the Ghost Festival[107] as an expression of compassion, one of Buddhist virtues. If the hungry ghosts are fed by non-relatives, they would not bother the community.

By culture

African folklore

For the Igbo people, a man is simultaneously a physical and spiritual entity. However, it is his spirited dimension that is eternal.[108] In the Akan conception, we witness five parts of the human personality. We have the Nipadua (body), the Okra (soul), Sunsum (spirit), Ntoro (character from father), Mogya (character from mother).[108] The Humr people of southwestern Kordofan, Sudan consume the drink Umm Nyolokh, which is prepared from the liver and bone marrow of giraffes. Richard Rudgley [109] hypothesises that Umm Nyolokh may contain DMT and certain online websites further theorise that giraffe liver might owe its putative psychoactivity to substances derived from psychoactive plants, such as Acacia spp. consumed by the animal. The drink is said to cause hallucinations of giraffes, believed by the Humr to be the ghosts of giraffes.[110][111]

European folklore

Further information: Revenant, Necromancy, and Samhain
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Macbeth Seeing the Ghost of Banquo by Théodore Chassériau

Belief in ghosts in European folklore is characterized by the recurring fear of "returning" or revenant deceased who may harm the living. This includes the Scandinavian gjenganger, the Romanian strigoi, the Serbian vampir, the Greek vrykolakas, etc. In Scandinavian and Finnish tradition, ghosts appear in corporeal form, and their supernatural nature is given away by behavior rather than appearance. In fact, in many stories they are first mistaken for the living. They may be mute, appear and disappear suddenly, or leave no footprints or other traces.

English folklore is particularly notable for its numerous haunted locations.

Belief in the soul and an afterlife remained near universal until the emergence of atheism in the 18th century.[citation needed] In the 19th century, spiritism resurrected "belief in ghosts" as the object of systematic inquiry, and popular opinion in Western culture remains divided.[112]

South and Southeast Asia

Indian subcontinent

A bhoot or bhut (Hindi: भूत, Gujarati: ભૂત, Urdu: بهوت‎, Bengali: ভূত, Odia: ଭୂତ) is a supernatural creature, usually the ghost of a deceased person, in the popular culture, literature and some ancient texts of the Indian subcontinent.

North India

Interpretations of how bhoots come into existence vary by region and community, but they are usually considered to be perturbed and restless due to some factor that prevents them from moving on (to transmigration, non-being, nirvana, or heaven or hell, depending on tradition). This could be a violent death, unsettled matters in their lives, or simply the failure of their survivors to perform proper funerals.[113]

In Central and Northern India, ojha or spirit guides play a central role.[citation needed] It duly happens when in the night someone sleeps and decorates something on the wall, and they say that if one sees the spirit the next thing in the morning he will become a spirit too, and that to a headless spirit and the soul of the body will remain the dark with the dark lord from the spirits who reside in the body of every human in Central and Northern India. It is also believed that if someone calls one from behind, never turn back and see because the spirit may catch the human to make it a spirit. Other types of spirits in Hindu mythology include Baital, an evil spirit who haunts cemeteries and takes demonic possession of corpses, and Pishacha, a type of flesh-eating demon.

Bengal and East India

There are many kinds of ghosts and similar supernatural entities that frequently come up in Bengali culture, its folklores and form an important part in Bengali peoples' socio-cultural beliefs and superstitions. It is believed that the spirits of those who cannot find peace in the afterlife or die unnatural deaths remain on Earth. The word Pret (from Sanskrit) is also used in Bengali to mean ghost. In Bengal, ghosts are believed to be the spirit after death of an unsatisfied human being or a soul of a person who dies in unnatural or abnormal circumstances (like murder, suicide or accident). Even it is believed that other animals and creatures can also be turned into ghost after their death.

Thailand

Main article: Ghosts in Thai culture
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Krasue, a Thai female ghost known as Ap in Khmer

Ghosts in Thailand are part of local folklore and have now become part of the popular culture of the country. Phraya Anuman Rajadhon was the first Thai scholar who seriously studied Thai folk beliefs and took notes on the nocturnal village spirits of Thailand. He established that, since such spirits were not represented in paintings or drawings, they were purely based on descriptions of popular orally transmitted traditional stories. Therefore, most of the contemporary iconography of ghosts such as Nang Tani, Nang Takian,[114]Krasue, Krahang,[115]Phi Hua Kat, Phi Pop, Phi Phong, Phi Phraya, and Mae Nak has its origins in Thai films that have now become classics.[116][117] The most feared spirit in Thailand is Phi Tai Hong, the ghost of a person who has died suddenly of a violent death.[118] The folklore of Thailand also includes the belief that sleep paralysis is caused by a ghost, Phi Am.

Tibet

There is widespread belief in ghosts in Tibetan culture. Ghosts are explicitly recognized in the Tibetan Buddhist religion as they were in Indian Buddhism,[119] occupying a distinct but overlapping world to the human one, and feature in many traditional legends. When a human dies, after a period of uncertainty they may enter the ghost world. A hungry ghost (Tibetan: yidag, yi-dvags; Sanskrit: प्रेत) has a tiny throat and huge stomach, and so can never be satisfied. Ghosts may be killed with a ritual dagger or caught in a spirit trap and burnt, thus releasing them to be reborn. Ghosts may also be exorcised, and an annual festival is held throughout Tibet for this purpose. Some say that Dorje Shugden, the ghost of a powerful 17th-century monk, is a deity, but the Dalai Lama asserts that he is an evil spirit, which has caused a split in the Tibetan exile community.

Austronesia

220px-Paul_Gauguin-_Manao_tupapau_%28The
 

There are many Malay ghost myths, remnants of old animist beliefs that have been shaped by later Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim influences in the modern states of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Some ghost concepts such as the female vampires Pontianak and Penanggalan are shared throughout the region. Ghosts are a popular theme in modern Malaysian and Indonesian films. There are also many references to ghosts in Filipino culture, ranging from ancient legendary creatures such as the Manananggal and Tiyanak to more modern urban legends and horror films. The beliefs, legends and stories are as diverse as the people of the Philippines.

There was widespread belief in ghosts in Polynesian culture, some of which persists today. After death, a person's ghost normally traveled to the sky world or the underworld, but some could stay on earth. In many Polynesian legends, ghosts were often actively involved in the affairs of the living. Ghosts might also cause sickness or even invade the body of ordinary people, to be driven out through strong medicines.[120]

East and Central Asia

Further information: Preta

China

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An image of Zhong Kui, the vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings, painted sometime before 1304 A.D. by Gong Kai

There are many references to ghosts in Chinese culture. Even Confucius said, "Respect ghosts and gods, but keep away from them."[121]

The ghosts take many forms, depending on how the person died, and are often harmful. Many Chinese ghost beliefs have been accepted by neighboring cultures, notably Japan and southeast Asia. Ghost beliefs are closely associated with traditional Chinese religion based on ancestor worship, many of which were incorporated in Taoism. Later beliefs were influenced by Buddhism, and in turn influenced and created uniquely Chinese Buddhist beliefs.

Many Chinese today believe it possible to contact the spirits of their ancestors through a medium, and that ancestors can help descendants if properly respected and rewarded. The annual ghost festival is celebrated by Chinese around the world. On this day, ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Ghosts are described in classical Chinese texts as well as modern literature and films.

A recent article in the China Post stated that nearly eighty-seven percent of Chinese office workers believe in ghosts, and some fifty-two percent of workers will wear hand art, necklaces, crosses, or even place a crystal ball on their desks to keep ghosts at bay, according to the poll.

Japan

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Ghosts, c. 1850
Main articles: Yūrei, Onryō, and Japanese ghost story

Yūrei (幽霊) are figures in Japanese folklore, analogous to Western legends of ghosts. The name consists of two kanji, (), meaning "faint" or "dim", and (rei), meaning "soul" or "spirit". Alternative names include 亡霊 (Bōrei) meaning ruined or departed spirit, 死霊 (Shiryō) meaning dead spirit, or the more encompassing 妖怪 (Yōkai) or お化け (Obake).

Like their Chinese and Western counterparts, they are thought to be spirits kept from a peaceful afterlife.

Americas

Mexico

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Catrinas, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico

There is extensive and varied belief in ghosts in Mexican culture. The modern state of Mexico before the Spanish conquest was inhabited by diverse peoples such as the Maya and Aztec, and their beliefs have survived and evolved, combined with the beliefs of the Spanish colonists. The Day of the Dead incorporates pre-Columbian beliefs with Christian elements. Mexican literature and films include many stories of ghosts interacting with the living.

United States

According to the Gallup Poll News Service, belief in haunted houses, ghosts, communication with the dead, and witches had an especially steep increase over the 1990s.[122] A 2005 Gallup poll found that about 32 percent of Americans believe in ghosts.[123]

Depiction in the arts

Main articles: Ghost story and List of ghost films
192px-Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix._The_Phantom
The Phantom on the Terrace from Shakespeare's Hamlet (engraving by Eugène Delacroix, 1843)
200px-A_Magician_by_Edward_Kelly.jpg
John Dee and Edward Kelley invoking the spirit of a deceased person (engraving from the Astrology by Ebenezer Sibly, 1806)

Ghosts are prominent in story-telling of various nations. The ghost story is ubiquitous across all cultures from oral folktales to works of literature. While ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales. Ghosts often appear in the narrative as sentinels or prophets of things to come. Belief in ghosts is found in all cultures around the world, and thus ghost stories may be passed down orally or in written form.[124]

Spirits of the dead appear in literature as early as Homer's Odyssey, which features a journey to the underworld and the hero encountering the ghosts of the dead,[124] and the Old Testament, in which the Witch of Endor summons the spirit of the prophet Samuel.[124]

Renaissance to Romanticism (1500 to 1840)

One of the more recognizable ghosts in English literature is the shade of Hamlet's murdered father in Shakespeare's The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. In Hamlet, it is the ghost who demands that Prince Hamlet investigate his "murder most foul" and seek revenge upon his usurping uncle, King Claudius.

In English Renaissance theater, ghosts were often depicted in the garb of the living and even in armor, as with the ghost of Hamlet's father. Armor, being out-of-date by the time of the Renaissance, gave the stage ghost a sense of antiquity.[125] But the sheeted ghost began to gain ground on stage in the 19th century because an armored ghost could not satisfactorily convey the requisite spookiness: it clanked and creaked, and had to be moved about by complicated pulley systems or elevators. These clanking ghosts being hoisted about the stage became objects of ridicule as they became clichéd stage elements. Ann Jones and Peter Stallybrass, in Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory, point out, "In fact, it is as laughter increasingly threatens the Ghost that he starts to be staged not in armor but in some form of 'spirit drapery'."[126]

Victorian/Edwardian (1840 to 1920)

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The ghost of a pirate, from Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1903)

The "classic" ghost story arose during the Victorian period, and included authors such as M. R. James, Sheridan Le Fanu, Violet Hunt, and Henry James. Classic ghost stories were influenced by the gothic fiction tradition, and contain elements of folklore and psychology. M. R. James summed up the essential elements of a ghost story as, "Malevolence and terror, the glare of evil faces, ‘the stony grin of unearthly malice', pursuing forms in darkness, and 'long-drawn, distant screams', are all in place, and so is a modicum of blood, shed with deliberation and carefully husbanded...".[127] One of the key early appearances by ghosts was The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole in 1764, considered to be the first gothic novel.[124][128][129]

Famous literary apparitions from this period are the ghosts of A Christmas Carol, in which Ebenezer Scrooge is helped to see the error of his ways by the ghost of his former colleague Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come.

Modern era (1920 to 1970)

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Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, a claimed ghost photograph by Captain Hubert C. Provand. First published in Country Life magazine, 1936

Professional parapsychologists and "ghosts hunters", such as Harry Price, active in the 1920s and 1930s, and Peter Underwood, active in the 1940s and 1950s, published accounts of their experiences with ostensibly true ghost stories such as Price's The Most Haunted House in England, and Underwood's Ghosts of Borley (both recounting experiences at Borley Rectory). The writer Frank Edwards delved into ghost stories in his books of his, like "Stranger than Science."

Children's benevolent ghost stories became popular, such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, created in the 1930s and appearing in comics, animated cartoons, and eventually a 1995 feature film.

With the advent of motion pictures and television, screen depictions of ghosts became common, and spanned a variety of genres; the works of Shakespeare, Dickens and Wilde have all been made into cinematic versions. Novel-length tales have been difficult to adapt to cinema, although that of The Haunting of Hill House to The Haunting in 1963 is an exception.[129]

Sentimental depictions during this period were more popular in cinema than horror, and include the 1947 film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which was later adapted to television with a successful 1968–70 TV series.[129] Genuine psychological horror films from this period include 1944's The Uninvited, and 1945's Dead of Night.

Post-modern (1970–present)

The 1970s saw screen depictions of ghosts diverge into distinct genres of the romantic and horror. A common theme in the romantic genre from this period is the ghost as a benign guide or messenger, often with unfinished business, such as 1989's Field of Dreams, the 1990 film Ghost, and the 1993 comedy Heart and Souls.[130] In the horror genre, 1980's The Fog, and the A Nightmare on Elm Street series of films from the 1980s and 1990s are notable examples of the trend for the merging of ghost stories with scenes of physical violence.[129]

Popularised in such films as the 1984 comedy Ghostbusters, ghost hunting became a hobby for many who formed ghost hunting societies to explore reportedly haunted places. The ghost hunting theme has been featured in reality television series, such as Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, Most Haunted, and A Haunting. It is also represented in children's television by such programs as The Ghost Hunter and Ghost Trackers. Ghost hunting also gave rise to multiple guidebooks to haunted locations, and ghost hunting "how-to" manuals.

The 1990s saw a return to classic "gothic" ghosts, whose dangers were more psychological than physical. Examples of films from this period include 1999's The Sixth Sense and The Others.

Asian cinema has also produced horror films about ghosts, such as the 1998 Japanese film Ringu (remade in the US as The Ring in 2002), and the Pang brothers' 2002 film The Eye.[131]Indian ghost movies are popular not just in India, but in the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, and other parts of the world. Some Indian ghost movies such as the comedy / horror film Chandramukhi have been commercial successes, dubbed into several languages.[132]

In fictional television programming, ghosts have been explored in series such as Supernatural, Ghost Whisperer, and Medium.

In animated fictional television programming, ghosts have served as the central element in series such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Danny Phantom, and Scooby-Doo. Various other television shows have depicted ghosts as well.

Metaphorical usages

Nietzsche argued that people generally wear prudent masks in company, but that an alternative strategy for social interaction is to present oneself as an absence, as a social ghost – "One reaches out for us but gets no hold of us"[133] – a sentiment later echoed (if in a less positive way) by Carl Jung.[134]

Nick Harkaway has considered that all people carry a host of ghosts in their heads in the form of impressions of past acquaintances – ghosts who represent mental maps of other people in the world and serve as philosophical reference points.[135]

Object relations theory sees human personalities as formed by splitting off aspects of the person that he or she deems incompatible, whereupon the person may be haunted in later life by such ghosts of his or her alternate selves.[136]

See also

30px-Commons-logo.svg.png Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ghosts.

References

  1.  
  1. Michael Parsons, The Dove that Returns, the Dove that Vanishes (2000) p. 83-4

Bibliography

  • Finucane, R. C., Appearances of the Dead: A Cultural History of Ghosts, Prometheus Books, 1984, ISBN 0879752386.
  • Hervey, Sheila, Some Canadian Ghosts, in series, Original Canadian Pocket Book, Richmond Hill, Ont.: Pocket Books, 1973, SBN 671-78629-6
Hole, Christina, Haunted England, Batsford: London, 1950.

Further reading

  • Fairly, John & Welfare, Simon, Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers, Putnam: New York, 1985.
Felton, D., Haunted Greece and Rome: Ghost Stories From Classical Antiquity, University of Texas Press, 1999. Johnston, Sarah Iles, Restless Dead: Encounters Between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece, University of California Press, 1999. MacKenzie, Andrew, Apparitions and Ghosts, Arthur Barker, 1971. Moreman, Christopher, Beyond the Threshold: Afterlife Beliefs and Experiences in World Religions, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

External links

  • 12px-Commons-logo.svg.png Media related to Ghosts at Wikimedia Commons
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Look up ghost in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Historical Ghost Stories

 

 

 

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Your claim about refunds is about as real as-

UFO conspiracy theories argue that various governments, and politicians globally, most especially the officials of Washington, D.C., are suppressing evidence of extraterrestrial unidentified flying objects and alien visitors. Such conspiracy theories commonly argue that Earth governments, especially the Government of the United States, are in communication or cooperation with extraterrestrials despite public claims to the contrary, and further that some of these theories claim that the governments are explicitly allowing alien abduction.[1]

Various UFO conspiracy ideas have flourished on the internet and were frequently featured on Art Bell's program, Coast to Coast AM.[2] According to MUFON, the National Enquirer reported that a survey found 76% of participants felt the government was not revealing all it knew about UFOs, 54.5% thought UFOs definitely or probably existed, and 33% thought UFOs came from outer space.[3]

Individuals who have publicly stated that UFO evidence is being suppressed include Senator Barry Goldwater, British Admiral Lord Hill-Norton (former NATO head and chief of the British Defence Staff), Brigadier General Arthur Exon (former commanding officer of Wright-Patterson AFB), Vice Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter (first CIA director), astronauts Gordon Cooper[4][5] and Edgar Mitchell,[6] and former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer. Beyond their testimonies and reports they have presented no evidence to substantiate their statements and claims. According to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry little or no evidence exists to support them despite significant research on the subject by non-governmental scientific agencies.[7][8][9][10]

Chronology

1930s

On the night before Halloween in 1938, Orson Welles directed The Mercury Theatre on the Air live radio adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel, The War of the Worlds (serialized in 1897). By mimicking a news broadcast, the show was quite realistic sounding for its time, and some listeners were fooled into thinking that a Martian invasion was underway in the United States. Widespread confusion was followed by outrage and controversy. Some later studies[citation needed] have argued that the contemporary press exaggerated the extent of the panic, but it remains clear that many people were caught up, to some degree, in the confusion.

In other countries, reactions were similar. In 1949, part of the script for The War of the Worlds was read out over the radio in Quito, Ecuador without announcement, as if it were a major piece of breaking news. Huge crowds of people emerged onto the streets and sought refuge inside churches with their families. When the radio station was informed of this, its announcers broadcast the fact that no invasion was happening. An angry mob formed and burned the station to the ground, causing between six and twenty deaths. Many other countries also experienced problems when broadcasting The War of the Worlds.

According to U.S. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt,[11] the Air Force's files often mentioned the panicked aftermath of the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast as a possible reaction of the public to confirmed evidence of UFOs; however, the files have not been made available to corroborate his assertions.

1940s

Donald Keyhoe later began investigating flying saucers for True magazine. Keyhoe was on