The Way To A Woman’s Brain Is Through Her Stomach

I'm reading a booked called Medical Meddlers, Mediums and Magicians by Keith Souter, which has a lot of great stories about Victorian hacks and frauds, or people who truly believed in their spiritualist work, crazy though it may seem to us today.

One such man was German doctor Justinus Kerner, who was fascinated by things like clairvoyance, animal magnetism and natural phenomena. He wrote  extensively about his chief patient, Friederike Hauffe, "a somnambulist and possibly epileptic young girl who was apparently a gifted clairvoyant. She was the daughter of a local forester and was said to have the ability to 'read with her stomach'. Apparently she would lie down and have documents placed on her bare abdomen, before describing what was in them" (116-117).

My only issue with this book is that the author rarely tells (or even hypothesizes) about what might really be going on. He never even says things like, "This phenomenon has never been explained", so I go, "Oh. Is that the end of the story?"

What we need is for Scully to come up in hurrrr and rationalize the heck out of it with some voice-over narration. Gillian Anderson makes everything better.

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