Mandela Effect Decoded
- Breakdown -
by John Lash
The "Mandela Effect" derives its name from an historical figure whose death some remember as having occurred in the late 80s or early 90s of the 20th century, while others remember it as having occurred in the 21st Century on December 5, 2013, confirmed in the current record. However, residue exists that may be taken as evidence for the memory of Mandela dying in prison 22 years earlier. The book English Alive, written by Kathleen Heugh and Anita Kennet, published in South Africa in 1991, states:
The current record of an event remembered and the residue of the same event remembered in another way are key elements in any discussion of the M.E.. Consistent with the Effect, the memory in the current record tends to exclude and occlude the other or alternative memory. In the case cited here, those who stand by the current record will claim that the authors have made a factual error and misreported the events of the time.
This instance of residue proving that Mandela died in the late 1980s or early 1990s, has been widely cited as an explicit and irrefutable example of residue that confirms the occluded memory and contradicts the current record which puts his death in December 2013. Advocates of the Effect rely strongly on such evidence. However, there is a problem here which no one, to my knowledge, has so far pointed out. Note that the sentence is not merely quoted but the actual text of the book is reproduced. To the "Mandela-effected" (as they are sometimes called), this is even more convincing evidence of the truth of their occluded memories. The problem is, the authors say that Mandela's death in July 1991 brought to nothing the peace accords negotiated in January 1991. Hold on. How could his death in August invalidate negotiations conducted in January, eight months earlier? Is there a factual error here, throwing this residue into doubt as to its veracity?
Perhaps, and it is certinaly a troubling detail which could invalidate the residue. The interpretation of the passage depends on whether the January negotiations were merely talks leading to the accord, or talks sealed by an agreement. But the record shows -- New York Times, dateline Johannesburg, 1991 -- that the accord was signed on September 14, 1991, and the article mentions Mandela as still living. Negotiations leading to the signed argeement were ongoing from May 1990, but I find there is no specific evidence of talks in January 1991, and certainly not of an accord reached at that time, apart from the mention in this citation. Well, this is problematic. The citation refers to the January accord, not merely to talks that might lead to it.
Establishing reside is basic to the study of the Effect, to determine if it is real on its own terms, or merely due to misremembering and ignorance of facts. This example, standing at the origin of the phenomenon and involving the name given to it, shows brilliantly that establishing residue is a meticulous and sometimes tricky exercise. Neverthless, clear and irrefutable examples of residue do occur. Their present what I call the premium instances of the Effect.
As explained in the Introduction, occlusion refers to something being overwritten and consequently concealed by something else. In each incidence of the Effect, you see an occluding factor and an occluded factor. The occluding factor is supported by the memory evidenced in the current record, what you will find in the printed and electronic media if you research the topic today. The occluded factor is the alternative memory that may be, but is not always preserved in residue.
Here is a simple formula that may be useful as a mnemonic device (an aid to memory and conceptualization) expressing the relation of the two memories:
Looking at this formula from time to time can steady concentration on the baffling operations of the Mandela Effect, which tend at moments to get blurred and distorted. The formula states:
The case of Mandela's death defines the Effect which comes to be named after him. In many instances, the occluded memory is not supported by evidence in the form of residue. In this unique case, the inceptive example of the Effect, it clearly is. Of course, it could easly be objected that the authors of English Alive made a factual error. End of story, there is no Mandela Effect, just misremembering and mistaking facts. Such a response typifies the mindset of those who hold the occluding memory (M1), who generally will not allow the occurence of genuine alternative memories. They presume an exclusional view (power of one).
By contrast, those who hold the occluded memory (M2 ) do allow for others to hold a different memory, no conflict or argument required. Generally speaking, the Mandela Effect is not divisive in the manner of, say, flat earth theory. At least it does not have to be. Unfortunately, those who hold the occluding memory supported by the current record tend to reject and ridicule those with alternative memories.
Without residue, those who hold the occluded memory (M2 "That's how I remember it having been, not as it is remembered today.") have nothing but their subjective conviction to stand against those who hold the occluding memory (M1: "That's how it is remembered today, and it has always, exclusively been like that."). Those who hold the occluded memory are said to be impacted by the Effect, while those who hold memories consistent with the current record are not.
It could be argued, however, that both groups are impacted by the Effect, but in different ways. The difference being, the group who hold the occluding memory consistent with the current record deny there is any such phenomenon in the first place. What does not exist cannot effect them, they assume. But denial of the Effect does not prove that the occluded memories are invalid and unreal. Those who hold the occluding memories attribute instances of the Mandela Effect to misremembering, mistaking of facts, or false memory syndrome enigmatically shared by a large number of people in exactly the same way. They pass off what is baffling to those who admit being impacted by the Effect as a mere mistake or "confabulation."
In short, those who hold the occluded memory admit and allow that both versions are valid, while those who hold the occluding memory do not. The latter are massively in the majority around the world, but the former may by now run into hundreds of thousands, and their number appears to be escalating.
If the matter ended there, it would be easy to dismiss the M.E. as some kind of bizarre abberation of human memory. Consensus resides with the group who see no change. Those who do see it are perhaps deluded. But it does not end there. Far from it. No matter how much evidence in the current record supports the occluding memory -- JIF has always been the brand name of that peanut butter, never JIFFY -- if there is any residue in evidence of the occluded memory, well, "Houston, we have a problem." Or is it, "We had a problem"? Those who deny that the M.E. is a genuine phenomenon of a baffling kind, possibly paranormal in origin, had/have a problem -- because residue is something real and tangible that cannot be dismissed by anyone who values evidence and the proof-process.
In the current debate on the Mandela Effect, you frequently hear the expression "in this reality." For example, "In this reality, the place is called The Home Depot, not just Home Depot. Many people remember the name of the business as Home Depot, but in this reality it is not shown that way." "In this reality" refers to the objective evidence of the current record, as well as the subjective evidence of those who hold the occluding memories. But, if residue of Home Depot, contrasted to The Home Depot, can be found in some artifactual form such as a photo, film clip, artistic reproduction, electronic file, etc., then such residue also exists "in this reality." Doesn't it?
"In this reality" is not a rigorous term for investigation of the Mandela Effect. Likewise for the commonly heard expression, "on a different time-line." The group holding the occluding memories and the group holding the occluded memories appear to be operating on different memory-lines, not different time-lines. If a couple, say, Jane and Dave, sat together in the theater for the premiere of Interview with a >THE Vampire, they would experience seeing the title at the same moment. At that moment, the title would read either way or they might both see it in the same way. Later it would be remembered differently by each of them. And to this day, Jane and Dave still live in the same moment, as we all do, existing in the same time-line, but able to experience divergent memory-lines.
To be clear, I would argue that there are not two time-lines in play, but two memory-lines operating in the same linear timeframe. The linear continuity of time is not split by different memories of what happens in the course of time. "Time is unity." (A line from the film Lucy, released August 2014, which in some ways may have predicted the origin and purpose of the Mandela Effect.) There is no rational basis for presuming such a split in time. The split occurs in recollection of events over time, in the recall process operating through time, not in time itself.
TERMS IN USE
Here is a list of some useful terms for analysis of the Mandela Effect, including some innovations of mine*. Please note, these terms are merely suggested, not imposed or enforced:
Example of how the terminology fits the phenomena : another fine > NICE mess exhibits comedic flair, suggeting how the cause of the M.E. likes to use humor to get your attention. Also, it illustrates a case of the text/talk anomaly. Finally, it works as a decode prompt: it hints at the difference between fine and nice which, when you examine it, indicates that there are two ways to approach the M.E., through ignorance ("nice", nescient) which may include ignoring it entirely, or with finesse, intellectual skill, higher knowing. The latter would be the gnostic approach.
Here I list 15 categories of the Mandela Effect in a breakdown derived from the hundreds of reported cases. To my knowledge the list covers all the various types of instances of the phenomenon so far under consideration. If it proves to be incomplete I will revise it in the course of the investigation.
The first instance of the Effect, named after Nelson Mandela, occupies a class by itself. Call it category X. This category deserves special attention as it exhibits the marks of an encoded set, although it is not a set or cluster of effects. It is a stand-alone case that presents the example of other instances of the Effect which I will show to be encoded. In other words, the naming of the Effect after this individual is not random or arbitrary. The name of the individual is encoded with information that refers to the purpose of the Effect. Thus it can be said that the label "Mandela" is a decode prompt cueing or coaching those who seek to investigate the Effect.
So, that is the breakdown in textual form. For a spoken commentary go to the Tracking Page.
J:L:L 25 February 2017 East Patagonia
Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2017 by John Lash.