by H. R. R. Gorman
A modification and application of variola major to impart limited precognition within individuals
S. Monroe and B. Van Buren
Submitted to the American Chemical Society, 01 Nov 1911.
Since time immemorial, mankind has imagined a power beyond himself and believed thaumaturgical abilities were within his grasp. It has recently become evident there may be scientific, not magical, sources of enhanced abilities. The enclosed findings prove the potential use of modified variola major to produce limited precognition within select individuals.
Beginning with the works of Lister1, Pasteur2, Koch3, and others, germ theory has become a cornerstone of medicinal research. Ivanovsky discovered the tobacco mosaic virus in 1892, and several viruses have been filtered and identified.4 Paschen identified varicella and vaccinia, two diseases thought highly similar to variola, in smears from pustules of sick patients.5 It is thus conjectured that variola major and variola minor are caused by viruses rather than bacteria. This assumption was used in the preparation and study of materials.
In addition to these theories, traditional American herbalism inspired our research. Plants native to North America with traditional herbal uses were selected as part of the modification process. As shown in the results section, it is statistically likely that the sodium perborate and ilex vomitoria incubation contributed to the psychological and physicochemical effects of the virus.
- Methods and Materials.
1.1 Modification of variola viruses.
Pustules of 146 variola major patients and 113 variola minor patients were lanced in Baltimore sick wards. These samples were pooled until >0.5 pounds of secretions of each virus were obtained. The secretions were then ultrafiltered in the same manner as Negri.6 These isolated particles then underwent overnight incubations as noted in Table 1. They were then transferred back into a normal saline solution.
|Solution #||Component 1||Component 2||Component 3|
|1||Sodium Perborate||Osmunda cinnamonea|
|3||Sodium Perborate||Osmunda cinnamonea||Aralia quinquefolia|
|4||Lye||Osmunda cinnamonea||Aralia quinquefolia|
|5||Sodium Perborate||Ilex vomitoria|
|6||Dilute Hydrochloric Acid||Ilex vomitoria|
|7||Sodium Perborate||Ilex vomitoria||Aralia quinquefolia|
|8||Dilute Hydrochloric Acid||Ilex vomitoria||Aralia quinquefolia|
1.2. Dosing and Application
Ads published in local newspapers invited qualified doctors to apply for participation. Qualification was determined for this study based on ability to maintain accurate records in a scientific fashion, ability to administer treatments subcutaneously, and an immune status to variola. Forty doctors were selected for participation.
Doctors loaded a bifurcated needle with around 0.02 ounces of fluid. Each doctor was supplied with at least two control doses (containing no virus) and two active doses (containing virus). On average, each doctor applied 6 total doses. One outlier physician treated 71 patients (35 control, 35 with virus, and 1 accidental exposure event). Doctors monitored subjects over the course of the next month or until any disease had run its course.
Recipients of the treatment were selected by sheriffs at local jails or prisons. One deputy was exposed during the course of the study. 257 individuals participated. 128 subjects received placebo, 64 subjects received a variola minor inoculation, and 65 subjects received variola major inoculation. Each modification condition was tested on 8 patients. The accidental exposure case was a ninth study of solution 5 on variola major. All subjects who expired during this study were cremated and their remains safely disposed of.
A second study was conducted with thirty patients, ten inoculated with control solution and twenty inoculated with solution 5 modified variola major. This was conducted at the Baltimore facility in an isolated ward by the authors. Patients for the smaller study were offered $100 to anyone willing to participate and be hospitalized.
2.1 Rate of infection and fatality in solution screen.
100% of the subjects infected with solutions 1-5 and 7 exhibited symptoms of variola major or variola minor. Viruses treated with solutions 6 and 8, containing hydrochloric acid, showed reduced infectivity.
The first Variola symptoms appeared on day 11. The first death occurred on day 25 and the last on day 37 with a random distribution of fatalities between (Figure 1). Discounting subjects that had been treated with solutions 6 and 8, which did not seem to contain active virus, 68% of the subjects survived. These numbers are in line with prior experiences with smallpox outbreaks.
1 of the 64 variola minor subjects fell to the disease. This is within the 1-2% fatality expectation of this lesser form of smallpox.
One control patient died on day 34. No examination of the corpse was allowed prior to disposal, but the doctor’s notes assure us the subject had no fever, lesions, or other symptoms of smallpox prior to his death and disappearance. As this death occurred after the maximum incubation period for variola, the the overall findings are unaltered by this data point.
2.2 Instances of precognition.
Only subjects injected with solution 5 modified variola showed precognitive abilities. Consequently, results shared in this section will consist solely of information gleaned from those subjects.
One individual was exposed accidentally to variola major. Upon this accidental exposure, the subject was isolated in his Mississippi jail. The doctor noted that the accidentally exposed man made two predictions while in pain from the disease. One, the doctor’s wife would leave him by the end of the day, and two, the doctor’s pastor would be gored by a bull the next morning. Both occurred as the sick man predicted.
The doctor then brought the subject a list of horses set to race that Saturday at the local track. The subject described the horses’ finish orders. To prove his hypothesis, the doctor bet $301.20 and won $5,203.41 after all races. The subject died the following day. The doctor subsequently innoculated 70 additional patients.
The second precognitive subject received treatment from a doctor in Alabama. The pox-blinded subject predicted that a local man would commit a murder-suicide that night. Newspaper clippings collected by the doctor indicate this occurred as predicted. He predicted the sheriff’s daughter would be caught in the act with a male of low standing, and that the man would be hung for it. The doctor went to the sheriff’s house to warn him, but the deeds had already been done. The patient predicted two more things. One prediction was, quote, “Woodrow Wilson will be elected president,” and the other was not recorded. Instead, the doctor alluded to it within a thirteen-page-long diatribe against temptations of Satan. At the time the data were recorded in 1909, it would have been impossible for an Alabama prisoner to know that a man named Woodrow Wilson would be elected governor of New Jersey. We believe the mistaken use of “president” may have been an effect of the patient’s ignorance rather than sign of imperfect precognitive abilities.
The subject died mysteriously on day 45, and the doctor was arrested for unknown reasons. He was released after two weeks’ holding time.
No other instances of precognition were noted during this initial solution screen. Both instances were caused by solution 5 on variola major.
2.3 Additional study using solution 5 modified variola major to confirm instances of precognition.
The large-scale screen indicated solution 5 modified variola major to be of continued interest. A second batch of modified virus was generated as described earlier. Volunteers were collected and treated as described in the methods section.
Zero of ten control subjects fell ill or exhibited precognitive abilities. Data from health screens indicated no changes throughout. It was concluded that the control solution was not the cause of this psychological effect.
Of those treated with the experimental solution, 30% succumbed to the disease. Three of these six fatally infected patients exhibited precognitive abilities. Another patient was blinded but survived and maintained precognitive abilities. On day 109, the door to his isolation ward was left unlocked, and he wandered out. He has not been recovered.
Secretaries recorded everything spoken by the subjects in order to maintain a record of any prediction. All predictions made by the patients were proven true with the exception of those predicted to occur in the far future. Table 3 summarizes the predictions.
|Day||Patient||Prediction||Potential Prediction-reality discrepancies|
|17||2||Author would break a finger||Author heard prediction prior to occurrence; author may have influenced outcome|
|20||11||Three birds would become trapped in the hospital within a day|
|21||2||Horse race prediction|
|23||11||A woman in room 103 would die in childbirth||Death occurred a few minutes following childbirth|
|23||2||“Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be destroyed in 1945.”||Exact quote; far future|
|24||17||“Edward VII will die on May 6th, 1910 at 11:45 pm London time.”||Exact quote; prediction made February 3rd 1910|
|25||8||“Slavery will be outlawed in China.”||Prediction made January 3rd 1910; slavery outlawed in China on March 10, 1910.|
|25||17||Horse race prediction|
|26||8||Female nurse’s husband would cheat on her|
|28||8||“A German scientist obsessed with space will invent a machine that will take an American to the moon in 1969.”||Exact quote; far future|
|31||17||Horse race prediction|
|39||17||Detailed description of secretary’s sexual deviancy||Had occurred in the past as well|
|47||17||Mid-term election results|
|60||17||Florence Nightingale’s death on August 13th, 1910||Prediction made March 11, 1910.|
|73||17||Horse race prediction|
|90||17||Leo Tolstoy’s death on November 20th, 1910||Prediction made April 10, 1910.|
|108||17||Horse race prediction|
All predictions possible to come true at the time of this writing did. Horse racing predictions produced a total of $10,450 in winnings, all of which were donated to the local mason’s lodge.
Variola major and variola minor were successfully modified using a combination of plant extracts and chemicals. A modification using sodium perborate and plant extract ilex vomitorium generated a virus capable of conferring precognitive abilities to exposed humans. 20.7% of subjects treated with the modified variola major virus made various predictions that were proven true.
Until now, prophecy has remained outside human control. With the results of this investigation, it seems possible that humankind may have produced prophets in ancient times or in backwards regions of the world. Civilized man, however, will soon be able to grasp events that are yet to come. We may be able to avoid terrible fates or even shorten the wait for the second coming.
Several future studies are needed to make full use of this proof-of-concept work. It is of unequivocal importance to determine how long the effects last. As of yet, it is known that at least one patient continued to make successful predictions up to 108 days following treatment. As part of this study, determinations of how to control and hone these abilities would be necessary.
It is necessary to determine how to channel these predictions into useful actions. Prophecy is useful only if new decisions can reduce bad outcomes and maximize good. The immutability of the future must be determined.
The authors would like to thank Dr. J. Polk of Mississippi for his work. He maintained scrupulous records on nearly a third of the total subjects in the initial screen. This paper could not have been completed without his invaluable assistance.
- Lister, J. “On the Antiseptic Principle in the Practice of Surgery.” Lancet. 1867; 95 (2418): 4-6.
- Pasteur, L. “De l’extension de la theorie des germes a l’étiologie de quelques maladies communes.” Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences. XC. 1880; 14: 1033-1044.
- Koch, R. “Die Ätiologie der Milzbrand-Krankheit, begründet auf die Entwicklungsgeschichte des Bacillus Anthracis.” Cohns Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen. 1876. 2 277: (1–22).
- Ivanovsky, D. “Uber Die Mosaikkrankheit der Tabakspflanze.” Bulletin Scientifique Publie Par l’Academie Imperiale des Sciences de Saint-Petersbourg / Nouvelle Serie III. 1892; 35: 67-70.
- Paschen, E. “Was Wissen wir uber den Vakzineerreger?” Munch Med Woeachr 1906; 53: 2391-2393.
- Negri A. “Ueber Filtration des Vaccinevirus.” Z HygInfektKrankh. 1906; 54: 327-346.
H.R.R. Gorman fashions dark stories by night and makes drugs by day as a pharmaceutical process engineer. He grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and was the first person in his family to attend and graduate college. He obtained his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD in chemical engineering and now has come back to North Carolina with his nuclear engineer husband and vicious attack-Pomeranian. In between processing pharmaceuticals and delving into fiction, Dr. Gorman likes playing Dungeons and Dragons. You can find more of his writing in the Dark Divinations, Lethal Impact, and Collective Fantasy anthologies.
This fictional artefact is presented as a scientific article with research beginning in 1909 and published in 1911. It was inspired by medical atrocities such as the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study, the Henrietta Lacks story, and the North Carolina eugenics movement. All of these events were conducted by people who at least claimed to believe they were helping humanity as a whole, but many others suffered in the meantime. I explored the slippery slope between helping others and helping self by examining how a pair of doctors, presumably working for the common good, could turn people into the more clinical entity of “patients” or “subjects” in order to do their work. The fictional artefact presents the work of physicians who discovered a cruel method of predicting the future. While they take the theoretical high road by not keeping their winnings at horse races, they still use their findings to justify further research into the precognitive effects of their modified smallpox.