Our Fake History

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The 1683 Siege of Vienna often gets described in apocalyptic terms. It has been characterized as the ultimate showdown between Christianity and Islam. There is no doubt that it was a dramatic and significant moment in European history, but should it be mythologized as the ultimate battle for the fate of European civilization? Tune in an find out how the Riders of Rohan, mole wars, and knights with freakin' wings on their backs all play a role in the story.    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The are few 20th century figures as perplexing as Josef Stalin. Historians widely agree that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of some 20 million human beings. Despite that his legacy has remained the topic of serious debate. This is because the history of his regime was actively distorted by both Stalin himself and his many enemies. Stalin tried to make himself myth. His enemies tried to show that he was monster. Who was he really? Tune in and find out how pools of urine, webbed toes, and unpaid library fines all play a role in the story.      See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In the final chapter of our series on the occult guru Helena Petrovna Blavatsky we look at her surprising move to India and the scandal that ultimately destroyed her reputation. After being publicly called out as a fraud Blavatsky's Theosophical Society never really regained it's prestige. But how legitimate were the accusations that were leveled against the so-called "mother of the occult"? Tune in and find out how Thomas Edison, a mysterious hole in a wall, and Ghandi all play a role in the story.      See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Piracy on the high seas has existed for as long as human beings have had boats. For most of history these maritime marauders were almost exclusively men. However, there have also been a handful of notable women who lived the pirate life. Their stories can often blur the line between myth and history. Tune in and find out how severed ears, guardian lizards, and the real life Captain Jack Sparrow all play a role in the story.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
There are few moments in Joseph Stalin's life that are not the subject of historical controversy. These controversies inevitably become more heated when we start discussing the deaths that occurred during Stalin's reign. Perhaps the most destructive myths about Stalin are those that deny his involvement in the mass famines and political purges of the 1930's. How do you stay objective when the facts are so upsetting? Tune-in and find out how dead hockey teams, secret poisonings, and anti-communists sunspots play a role in the story.       See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Stalin's biography may be one of the most contested in modern times. As early as the 1930's his life story was being written by friends and foes alike. The competing versions of Stalin's past has made finding the truth particularly difficult. How important was Stalin in the early days of the Bolshevik Party? Was he a shadowy political nobody or one of the impetuous leaders of the revolution? Tune in and find out how clever pigs, Big Brother, and Michael Corleone all play a role in the story.      See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
When I was researching Helena Blavatsky I was often amazed at how someone so weird, with such an outrageous life story, could inspire so much dull writing. That was until I discovered Gary Lachman's 2012 biography Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality. Gary graciously agreed to join me on the podcast to discuss Blavatsky, the challenges that come with writing about the occult, and even David Bowie. Tune in and find out how cats named Khoot Hoomi, female body guards, and rock n' roll occultists all get mentioned in the interview.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In July of 1683 the Ottoman Turks were closing in on the city of Vienna. The outnumbered Austrians frantically prepared their defenses and did their best to manage the panic that was gripping the city. The battle that was about to begin would be so dramatic that it would give birth to countless myths and legends. Just how important was the 1683 Siege of Vienna? Did civilization really hang in the balance? Tune in and find out how rotten wigs, bands of brothers, and Austrian pee pee baths all play a role in the story.    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The 1683 Siege of Vienna has been remembered as one of the most dramatic moments in European history. The Ottoman Turks threw the might of their empire against the walls Vienna in an attempt to capture a prize they called the "Golden Apple". This event would give birth to countless myths, both big and small. Tune in and find out how J.R.R Tolkien, a seven headed dragon, and 280 terrifying burlap bags all play a role in the story!   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
There are few stranger figures from the 19th century than Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Her absolutely unbelievable life story has puzzled biographers since the 1800s. Nevertheless, her occult spiritual philosophy would end up being remarkably influential. Was Helena Blavatsky truly a modern sage gifted with improbable spiritual powers? Or, was she just another 19th century huckster duping the naive? Tune in and find out how Tartar Shamans, ghost boxes, and a magician who pretends to be Chinese all play a role in the story.        See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Throw the name Elizabeth Bathory into your favourite search engine and you will quickly find superlatives like “history’s most prolific female serial killer” and leading questions like “Was Dracula Woman?” She is a figure with a reputation so terrifying that her name has been endorsed by Black Metal bands as a suitably evil band name. In 1611 the Hungarian Countess was imprisoned for allegedly torturing and killing as many as 600 young maidservants. It was not long before a vampire-like legend grew up around Bathory. But did she really bathe in the blood of virgins to remain forever young? Tune-in and find out how medieval dragon slayers, the elixir of life, and a whole lot of inbreeding play into the story.
In episode #125 a historical myth about the origins of karate snuck past Sebastian! In this bonus episode the host does his darndest to set the record straight. Many thanks to listener Philipp Surkov for pointing out the error and recommending sources.
Martial arts myths are have been described as "savvy marketing". But, the most enduring bits of of fake martial arts history also combine Zen tradition, a Confucian veneration of the past, and a healthy dose of nationalism. Schools of martial arts will sometimes bend of backwards to prove that their form is a "pure" expression of their particular national culture. Sebastian is joined by history podcaster, and martial artist, Daniele Bolelli, to help separate the fact from the fiction. Tune-in and find out how Flower Knights, mysterious Buddhist monks, and a violent white crane all play a role in the story.
Asian martial arts are often coated in a thick layer of of legend. Many fighting styles have elaborate origin stories and mystical founding fathers. These stories often help enhance the prestige of a particular school and inspire new students. However, the "histories" of many of these martial arts disciplines are completely made up. The granddaddy of all of these martial arts myths is the tale of the Zen mystic, Bodhidharma, teaching the monks of the Shaolin Temple Kung Fu. Is any of it true? Tune in and find out how Buddhist philosophy, eyelid tea, and the "Crown Prince of Death" all play a role in the story.
For this Bonus Episode Sebastian is sharing something he recorded earlier this year for a project curated by Daniele Bolelli, host of History on Fire. Sometime last year Daniele got the idea to pull together a rogues gallery of history podcasters including Sam Davis (Inward Empire), CJ Killmer (Dangerous History), Alexander Rader von Sternberg (History Impossible), Darryl Cooper (Martyrmade), and Sebastian. The idea was that each of these podcasters would explore historical event, or figure, that had a surprising or unexpected historical impact. Daniele dubbed this project Ripples of History. In this bonus you will hear Sebastian laying out his take on the surprising impact of the Trojan War on history. Tune-in and find out how history's greatest scallywag, fake Trojan ancestors, and a giant named Gogmagog all play a role in the story.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
For this Bonus Episode Sebastian is sharing something he recorded earlier this year for a project curated by Daniele Bolelli, host of History on Fire. Sometime last year Daniele got the idea to pull together a rogues gallery of history podcasters including Sam Davis (Inward Empire), CJ Killmer (Dangerous History), Alexander Rader von Sternberg (History Impossible), Darryl Cooper (Martyrmade), and Sebastian. The idea was that each of these podcasters would explore historical event, or figure, that had a surprising or unexpected historical impact. Daniele dubbed this project Ripples of History. In this bonus you will hear Sebastian laying out his take on the surprising impact of the Trojan War on history. Tune-in and find out how history's greatest scallywag, fake Trojan ancestors, and a giant named Gogmagog all play a role in the story.
These days Nostradamus is best known for the predictions found in his book The Prophecies. But, surprisingly, that book only became popular after the French seers' death. During his lifetime Nostradamus was better known for his yearly almanacs. Still, there is something about the poetic style of The Prophecies that has kept it evergreen, where his almanacs have faded into obscurity. What is it about The Prophecies that has kept people engaged over the centuries? Is there anything in this book we should take seriously? Tune-in and find out how splinters in the eye, astronomical assurances, and a gouty foot bench all play a role in the story.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
These days Nostradamus is best known for the predictions found in his book The Prophecies. But, surprisingly, that book only became popular after the French seers' death. During his lifetime Nostradamus was better known for his yearly almanacs. Still, there is something about the poetic style of The Prophecies that has kept it evergreen, where his almanacs have faded into obscurity. What is it about The Prophecies that has kept people engaged over the centuries? Is there anything in this book we should take seriously? Tune-in and find out how splinters in the eye, astronomical assurances, and a gouty foot bench all play a role in the story. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The 16th century French prophet, Nostradamus, has a way of rearing his head anytime humanity finds itself in the midst of a crisis. Anytime there's a collective tragedy, the world is plunged into conflict, or society finds itself on the cusp of painful transition, you will find someone waving a copy of Nostradamus' Prophecies. But how accurate were Nostradamus' predictions? Was a random French pharmacist really able to accurately describe five centuries of history? Tune-in and find out how Nostradamus' jam recipe, apothecary prejudices, and my Dad's last minute Y2K plan all play a role in the story.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The 16th century French prophet, Nostradamus, has a way of rearing his head anytime humanity finds itself in the midst of a crisis. Anytime there's a collective tragedy, the world is plunged into conflict, or society finds itself on the cusp of painful transition, you will find someone waving a copy of Nostradamus' Prophecies. But how accurate were Nostradamus' predictions? Was a random French pharmacist really able to accurately describe five centuries of history? Tune-in and find out how Nostradamus' jam recipe, apothecary prejudices, and my Dad's last minute Y2K plan all play a role in the story. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In 1763 twenty indigenous people in the colony of Pennsylvania were murdered by an armed gang. The victims had been a peaceful group of Conestogas, who had been wrongfully accused of aiding in violent raids against the settlers. The infamous attack would go down in history as the Conestoga massacre. However, almost immediately after the murders the meaning of the event became the source of a fierce war in the press. The so-called "pamphlet war" saw two competing groups trying to sell contrasting interpretations of the attack. The perspective that was inevitably left out of these pamphlets, and the "official" historical record, was the indigenous perspective. The new graphic novel Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of Conestoga seeks to remedy that by telling the story with the focus squarely on the Conestoga people. In this episode Sebastian is joined by the creative team behind Ghost River, Weshoyot Alvitre, Lee Francis IV, and Will Fenton, to discuss the graphic novel and how fake news can become fake history. Tune in and find out how hand ground paints, blood memory, and Ben Franklin's biggest political defeat all play a role in the story.Read Ghost River for FREE here: https://read.ghostriver.org/Thank you to our guests!Lee Francis 4 (Author): https://redplanetbooksncomics.com/Weshoyot Alvitre (Illustrator): https://www.weshoyot.com/Will Fenton (Editor): https://www.willfenton.com/Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga is part of Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America, a project of the Library Company of Philadelphia supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In 1763 twenty indigenous people in the colony of Pennsylvania were murdered by an armed gang. The victims had been a peaceful group of Conestogas, who had been wrongfully accused of aiding in violent raids against the settlers. The infamous attack would go down in history as the Conestoga massacre. However, almost immediately after the murders the meaning of the event became the source of a fierce war in the press. The so-called "pamphlet war" saw two competing groups trying to sell contrasting interpretations of the attack. The perspective that was inevitably left out of these pamphlets, and the "official" historical record, was the indigenous perspective. The new graphic novel Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of Conestoga seeks to remedy that by telling the story with the focus squarely on the Conestoga people. In this episode Sebastian is joined by the creative team behind Ghost River, Weshoyot Alvitre, Lee Francis IV, and Will Fenton, to discuss the graphic novel and how fake news can become fake history. Tune in and find out how hand ground paints, blood memory, and Ben Franklin's biggest political defeat all play a role in the story.Read Ghost River for FREE here: https://read.ghostriver.org/Thank you to our guests!Lee Francis 4 (Author): https://redplanetbooksncomics.com/Weshoyot Alvitre (Illustrator): https://www.weshoyot.com/Will Fenton (Editor): https://www.willfenton.com/Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga is part of Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America, a project of the Library Company of Philadelphia supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
What does a Voodoo Queen even do? It turns out that much of it had to do with a ceremony in New Orleans known as St. John's Eve. Much of Marie Laveau's legend is deeply tied to that yearly voodoo ritual. Marie Laveau was said to lead the wild bacchanalian rite, however, there are some who think that the most famous description of Marie Laveau's St. John's Eve misidentified the voodoo priestess. Perhaps Marie Laveau hadn't been there at all. Maybe an imposter had been in her place. Could this have been the mysterious Maria Laveau II? Tune in and find our how out of touch music critics, voodoo purists, and a weird-ass wishing ritual all play a role in the story.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
What does a Voodoo Queen even do? It turns out that much of it had to do with a ceremony in New Orleans known as St. John's Eve. Much of Marie Laveau's legend is deeply tied to that yearly voodoo ritual. Marie Laveau was said to lead the wild bacchanalian rite, however, there are some who think that the most famous description of Marie Laveau's St. John's Eve misidentified the voodoo priestess. Perhaps Marie Laveau hadn't been there at all. Maybe an imposter had been in her place. Could this have been the mysterious Maria Laveau II? Tune in and find our how out of touch music critics, voodoo purists, and a weird-ass wishing ritual all play a role in the story. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Voodoo might be one of the most misunderstood religious traditions in the world. This unique combination of traditional West African spirituality and Roman Catholicism has been slandered for centuries as an evil form of black magic. This dark reputation was reinforced by pulpy articles written by white authors in the 19th century, sensationalizing voodoo rituals. These unflattering depictions of voodoo have coloured the way many have perceived the life and legacy of New Orleans' most famous voodoo practitioner, the Voodoo Queen, Marie Lavaeu. But what did a Laveau voodoo ritual actually look like? Tune-in and find out how snake whispering, a cursed wedding, and "frightful orgies" play a role in the story.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Podcast Details

Created by
PodcastOne
Podcast Status
Potentially Inactive
Started
Jul 21st, 2015
Latest Episode
Feb 10th, 2021
Release Period
2 per month
Episodes
269
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English
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