On occasion, while thus foraging, one of these ants will become infected by inhaling the microscopic spore of a fungus from the genus Tomentella, millions of which rain down upon the forest floor from somewhere in the canopy above. Upon being inhaled, the spore lodges itself inside the ant’s tiny brain and immediately begins to grow, quickly fomenting bizarre behavioral changes in its ant host. The creature appears troubled and confused, and presently, for the first time in its life, it leaves the forest floor and begins an arduous climb up the stalks of vines and ferns.
Driven on and on by the still-growing fungus, the ant finally achieves a seemingly prescribed height whereupon, utterly spent, it impales the plant with its mandibles and, thus affixed, waits to die. Ants that have met their doom in this fashion are quite a common sight in certain sections of the rain forest.
The fungus, for its part, lives on. It continues to consume the brain, moving on through the rest of the nervous system and, eventually, through all the soft tissue that remains of the ant. After approximately two weeks, a spikelike protrusion erupts from out of what had once been the ant’s head. Growing to a length of about an inch and a half, the spike features a bright orange tip, heavy-laden with spores, which now begin to rain down onto the forest floor for other unsuspecting ants to inhale.
"Showing some worrying symptoms..."
"Those afflicted, if discovered by the workers,
are quickly taken away and dumped far away from the colony."
"Like something out of science fiction,
the fruiting body of the Cordyceps erupts from the ant's head."
"And it's not just ants that fall victim to this killer....
There are literally thousands of Cordyceps fungi...."
It was at this point in history, just as the human mind had taken this tremendous evolutionary leap forward - evolution always proceeds by leaps, like an electron jumping from one orbit to another - the the mind parasites struck in force. Their campaign was cunning and far sighted. They proceeded to manipulate the key minds of our planet. Tolstoy glimpsed this truth in War and Peace, when he declared that individuals play little part in history, that it moves mechanically. For all of the protagonists of that Napoleonic war were moving mechanically - mere chess men in the hands of the mind parasites. Scientists were encouraged to be dogmatic and materialistic. How? By giving them a deep feeling of psychological insecurity that made them grasp eagerly at the idea of science as 'purely objective' knowledge - just as the parasites had trid to divert Weismann's mind into mathematical problems and chess. The artists and writers were also cunningly undermined. The parasites probably looked with horror upon giants like Beethoven, Goethe, Shelley, realizing that a few dozen of these would set man firmly on the next stage of evolution. So Schumann and Holderlin were driven mad; Hoffmann was driven to drink, Coleridge and De Quincy to drugs. Men of genius were ruthlessly destroyed like flies. No wonder the great artists of the nineteenth century felt that the world was against them. No wonder Nietzsche's brave effort to sound a trumpet call of optimism was dealt with so swiftly - by a lightning-stroke of madness. I shall not go into this matter at length now - Lord Leicester's books on the subject documents it exhaustively.
Now, as I have said, the moment we recognized the existence of the mind parasites, we escaped their cunningly laid trap. For it was nothing less than a history trap. History itself was their chief weapon. They 'fixed' history. And in two centuries, human history became a parable of the weakness of human beings, the indifference of nature, the helplessness of man confronting Necessity. Well, the moment we knew that history had been 'fixed', it ceased to take us in. We looked back on Mozart and Beethoven and Goethe and Shelley, and thought: Yes, great men would have been two a penny if it hadn't been for the parasites. We saw that it is nonsense to talk about human weakness. Human beings have enormous strength when it is not being sucked away every night by these vampire bats of the soul.
- From The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
Thanks to Jeff G. for re-minding me about THEM.
Mind Control by Parasites By Bill Christensen
Remote Control Device 'Controls' Humans by Yuri Kageyama
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE MUSEUM OF JURASSIC TECHNOLOGY: MEGOLAPONERA FOETENS: STINK ANT OF THE CAMEROON OF WEST CENTRAL AFRICA
BoingBoing on Mr. Wilson's Cabinet Of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology by Lawrence Weschler
New Scientist: Parasites brainwash grasshoppers into death dive
And, I really, really wanted to just post the linked image below under the title HUMAN SKULL WORMS but even I have my limits.... You know, brain worm parasites in a moose skull are acceptable but a cancerous human brain covered in maggots crosses the line. (But O how I loved writing that sentence.)