"He that controls the Present --- Controls the Past"
George Orwell -- 1984
"MARIJUANA, or Hashish,a subtle, crazing drug which is being surreptitiously sold in U.S. in the form of cigarettes. Narcotic officials named it 'The Assassin of Youth,' and state that it is as dangerous as a coiled rattlesnake. Its effects when smoked vary with different Individuals. It may make of its victim a philosopher, a joyous reveler, a mad insensate, or a fiendish murderer. Its purveyors whisper into the ears of Am. youth the wonders of a new cigarette with a real thrill, and without harmful effects. Students are lured to its use by promises of resultant keenness of mind, the easy solving of problems, an aid in exams. An addict was hanged in Baltimore in 1937 for a criminal assault on a ten-year-old girl. In Fla. a crazed youth killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister. In more than 30 cases of murder or degenerate sex crimes in 1937, marijuana proved to be a contributing cause. See Hashish." -- The New American Encyclopedia 1938 to the mid-50's
Who would argue with something that was in the encyclopedia, in all the encyclopedias? After all, for much of the general population, Encyclopedias act as a barometer of the truth, a source for the common person of reliable scientific and historical knowledge. They are held in such esteem that most of us (like a trusting child) automatically have faith that what they are saying is both truthful and accurate. But if there's one thing the Reefer Madness campaign can show us; it's that this has not always been the case. To emphasize this point it is interesting to note that the same " New American Encyclopedia" that carried the above definition for Marihuana, also carried the following definition under the word "Hemp".
"Hemp---Commercial name for the textile fibers yielded by several unrelated plants, but strictly used only to describe those produced by Cannabis sativa, native to s. Russ., Per., and parts of China. This plant is characterized by a straight undivided stalk, usually from five to eight ft. high, but sometimes attaining a height of 18 ft. The best hemp comes from Italy; it is also cultivated in Russ., the Philippines and elsewhere. It is mostly used in the mfr. of rope and strong twine, and is woven into sail-cloth and fire-hose. For making canvas and sacking it has been largely replaced by jute, which is cheaper. The Arabs give the name hashish to a preparation of the leaves. Hemp also has useful medicinal properties."Many of us (including this museum curator) would find it difficult to make sense of these two definitions for what is in fact the very same plant. Maybe it is this fact that makes encyclopedias such an interesting area of study for today's students of propaganda and disinformation.
The list of contradictions can very literally go on and on---seemingly with no apparent logic behind it. And for students of disinformation, maybe it would be best not to look for logic where logic is not there to be found.
ENCYCLOPEDIA'S OF EVIL
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