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Mandela Effect Entrance Exam

Proposed by John Lamb Lash


Write a three-sentence paragraph stating your present idea of

1 who Nelson Mandela was,

2 what he accomplished in life, and

3 how he came to be regarded by the world at large.

Write from your current knowledge at the moment of taking the exam. Do not research Nelson Mandela by looking at internet material, YT clips, or consulting any books. Do not ask anyone about him. Do not look over entries that are already posted in the comment section or FB page linked to this exam. Simply state what you know about him at this moment, right now, apart from any research and free of external input.

Post your entry in the comment section of YT channel Mandela Effect Decoded (oral commentary)

Coming soon on Facebook...

Or email to Gnostic Code X

By entering the exam you give permission to have your entry cited in the investigation of the Mandela Effect (INTRO) underway on metahistory.org. You will not be identified by name or email or any other reference.

This entrance exam is the portal my proposed "Gnostic investigation" of the so-called Mandela Effect. I appreciate your cooperation in a rational and civil manner. All responses that do not meet the requirements of the exam will be deleted from FB and YT platforms linked to this endeavor. No trolling or nasty and insulting comments permitted.

By proposing an exam, I may risk coming across a little stiff and stuffy, like a schoolmaster. Be not concerned, I will not be scoring your entries like a teacher usually does. There is no authoritarian attitude here, no intention to judge anyone. But you may wonder, why propose an exam if there will be no grades for it? In that case, without knowing your score, or even having a score, how can anyone pass the exam?

You will know the result of the exam due to the effect produced in your mind when you hear the purpose of it.

Reflect on that statement a moment. It asserts that the result of the exam arises in your own mind, once you learn what it's purpose is. Take the exam first, and the reason I invite you to take it will be revealed after you have submitted your entry. Yes, there is a risk involved: the risk of learning something about how your mind works which may have escaped you up to this moment. Imagine that.

Anyone may take the exam, regardless of what you think about the Mandela Effect. You do not have to believe the Effect is genuine. You might consider it a psyop, or dismiss it as an epidemic case of misremembering, whatever. The "exam" is an exercise to test your intelligence, designed to show you something about how you view the world, regardless of how you view the Mandela Effect. That is the challenge here. Consider it as an opportunity to measure your IQ, but not in the ordinary sense of that term. Call it instead your PSYQ.


PSY (or PSI) is an abbreviation used in numerous ways, all referring to the genres of psychic phenomena and psychological study. All interests, themes, and activities denoted by PSY relate in some way or another to how the psyche works. The well-known compound term PSYOP denotes an operation that works upon the human mind and emotions with the intent of distorting reality and programming behavior. It is a tactic of trickery and deception. If you are targeted by a PSYOP, you will be tricked, conned, confused, duped, mislead, and misdirected in ways that advance the agenda of those who aim to deliberately deceive you.

Just about everyone today knows what a psyop is, and can cite an example of two. Goodness knows, they abound in this day and age. But how can you measure your innate capacity to detect a psyop? How good at it are you? It takes a certain kind of intelligence, special savvy and observational acumen, to see how a psyop is working on you. Your PSYQ is the IQ ("intelligence quotient") of your capacity to detect that you are being psyopped, and fathom how is being done. This entrance exam is a simple exercise designed to test your PSYQ and reveal how vulnerable you are to being duped and misled.

Calling this exercise an "entrance" exam uses a play on words. The double entendre cues your attention to a particular state of mind or mental entrainment. The exam is designed to produce insight about how you hold narratives of the world. It does so by engaging your probative faculty, the sense for truth that can be verified.

probative: having the quality or function of proving or demonstrating something; affording proof or evidence. "it places the probative burden on the defendant"

An entrance is a way to get into something, to access a subject or a location. Yes, but entrance used as a verb, en-TRANCE, describes a state of mind, the condition of being in a trance, mentally captivated, under a spell. The exam is designed to show if you are entranced or not.

No one can fail the exam. There is no wrong answer. The way you answer shows your intellectual capacity to detect if you are in a trance. That capacity, in turn, determines how well you will do in following this investigation intended to decode the Mandela Effect. Think of the exam as a benevolent trick played on your mind to free your mind. Rather like a Zen koan. It reveals your mindset for the purpose of freeing your mind. Or at least presenting you with the option to free your mind. The choice to so is of course entirely yours.


"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." So what's in a name?

The Mandela Effect was named by self-styled "paranormal consultant" Fiona Broome some time in 2010. As the story goes, Broome was attending the Dragon Con convention, an event that occurs annually since 1987 in Atlanta, Georgia. The convention is a gathering of professionals and fans involved in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books. At some point in the events of the day, when Broome found herself chatting with other participants, the subject of Nelson Mandela came up, more or less at random, one would have to suppose. She was surprized to discover that some of the people in the conversation, including herself, were convinced that Mandela had died in the 1980s in prison, while others insisted fervently he was still alive.

Curious if this discrepancy of recall was a case of widely held false memories, or perhaps a paranormal phenomenon worth investigating, Broome began looking for other, similar anomalies. She founded MandelaEffect.com to document such cases.

On the residual evidence that Mandela died some twenty or so years before the alleged conversation took place, see here.

So it appears that the name given to this baffling phenomenon of mnemonic anomaly is arbitrary. Or is it? The death of Nelson Mandela presents the inceptive case of the phenomenon named after him. It also establishes a category of the Effect, comprised of what might be called the "alive again" instances. These instances now include various celebrities, comedians, a world-famous preacher, and sundry others. Although Mandela's case belongs in this category, due to being the first instance of the Effect to be named, it stands alone, sui generis, in a class by itself.

To my knowledge, no one so far has asked if the naming of the Effect might somehow be relevant to how it works. Or even to its purpose. Many investigators beside myself are pondering long and hard on the purpose of the Mandela Effect, if it has one. Everyone impacted by it is bound to wonder about this as well. But to my knowledge, no one has inquired if labelling the Effect with the name Mandela might itself be indicative of how the Effect works. If it might signify something about the nature of this phenomenon. If the name is arbitrary, arising from a random topic in a conversation, then that would not be so, clearly not. But what if it is so?

What's in a name? Or what specifically is in the name Nelson Mandela? Well, Nelson means "son of Neil", and Neil is an ancient Gaelic/Celtic word meaning "champion." There is a clue to be examined later in this investigation. As for Mandela, it means "almond" and "shock" in German. Hold those associations in mind. I'll return to them in the Breakdown, the first level of the four-stage investigation.

So, the inceptive case of the Effect concerns different memories of the death of a known individual -- his death. The difference in memories of the date of his death is central to initial recognition of the Effect. True, obviously, everyone knows that by now. But what about his life?

Is the life of Nelson Mandela, as well as his death, relevant to the Effect named after him?

Do the facts of his life reveal something about the Effect?

What could they possibly reveal?

What are the facts of his life?

What is his life story?

Is there something in his life story that relates to the origin and/or purpose of the Effect?

Considering these questions, you can see how the entrance exam is designed: it concerns the narrative of a man's life that you hold in your mind. Right now, unedited, in just the way you construct that narrative based on what you know about the man, the essential facts of his life and how it has come to be viewed by the world at large.

Assuming that the name is arbitrary, it could as well have been the Elvis Effect, if the initial case of conflicting memories had concerned the death of Elvis Presley. Or how about Audrey Hepburn, the actress known world-wide for her roles in My Fair Lady, Breakfast at Tiffany's and other films and plays? She was born in 1929 of exotic Austrian-Dutch lineage. Toward the end of her life she was involved in humanitarian causes, acting as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. How much do you know about the last years of this woman's life? Did she die in 1993 of stomach cancer, or a little earlier, during her second marriage, late in the 1980s?

If there had been confusion about the year of her death, prompting a discussion among Fiona Broome and others at Dragon Con in 2010, the Mandela Effect might have been named the Hepburn Effect.

But it is no so named. And not by chance, either. I assure you of that. But don't take my word on faith. Sign on to his examination, follow the investigation, and find out for yourself.


As it stands now, the name Mandela is a cue that looks like this: person > death. (I shall have quite a lot to say about cueing and clueing in the investigation ahead.) Attention goes to the death of the person, but that could be misdirection. The cue can also look like this: person > life. The exam I propose follows that cue. Hey, look over here instead. Consider how Mandela lived rather than when he died.

Whatever may be assumed at the outset of this investigation about the Mandela Effect, it is fair to say that this phenomenon presents a signal or signalling process. It captures human attention at the level of everyday observation: the sign reading Home Depot now reads The Home Depot, what you used to hear as "It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood" is now "It's a wonderful day in this neighborhood," the brand name Depends is now Depend, and so on through hundreds of incidences. In short, the Effect depends on immediate noticing of trivial details of everyday life which reveal inexplicable changes, and these changes in turn depend on holding memories of what existed before the change occurred. The Effect impacts observation and memory with a double whammy. It is a two-phase signal.

Whatever its origin and purpose, the signal coming through the Mandela Effect is now propagating massively through the human psyche. A signal points to something, like a lighthouse does, or it may encode a message, as morse code does. What would happen if it were possible to decode the Mandela Effect and discover its true nature, both as a signal emanating from a specific source, and a message presented in a cryptic manner that requires your closest attention, so that it can teach you something? Stick around and let's find out.

May your attention be rewarded by the truth.


JLL :: February 2017: Matangi Shift

Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.