EPISODE XX: THE STRANGE MIND OF NIKOLA TESLA

Nikola Tesla was brought into the world during an intense lightning storm, borne at exactly midnight, two factors that led his mother to call her son a child of the light. Nikola was always an unusual child and growing up his personal memoirs describe how he would be inundated with visions of his future, the most prominent the one when he saw Niagara Falls lighting up the world - one of the greatest accomplishments of Tesla’s adult life.

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Tesla was never bound by the conventions of society, in fact, he tested them on every level. From the academic realm when he determined that DC current was not the best way to go about electricity and then had the vision to dream up an alternative (pun intended!) to Direct Current (DC). The war between AC and DC headed by Tesla and Edison became a defining feature of Tesla’s early career, a war that he ultimately one after the World’s Fair in 1895.

 Nikola Tesla and one of his mortal enemies, Thomas Edison (date unknown)

Nikola Tesla and one of his mortal enemies, Thomas Edison (date unknown)

But Tesla didn’t stop there, in fact, he was an eccentric on many levels, including socially. Many now suspect that the inventor suffered from some degree of mental illness or imbalance, perhaps a case of Asperger's in light of Tesla’s many displays of bizarre behavior, including his hatred of hair and germs, as well as his inability to pursue a relationship with the opposite sex despite many ladies displaying penchants for the man.

As Tesla grew older, his ideas grew stranger and stranger, many of them pushing his credibility to the brink of destruction. In some accounts, Tesla is said to have adopted elements of eastern philosophy made popular by Swami Vivekananda, an eastern spiritualist leader who championed ancient metaphysical ideas central to Yoga and Vedanta. Tesla supposedly is said to have meant Vivekananda at a party held by Sarah Bernhardt and adopted Sanskrit terms to describe concepts of Matter and Energy in an attempt to determine the relative of both to one another. Ultimately Tesla failed to demonstrate the interchangeability of matter and energy through mathematical equations and was upstaged 10 years later by the breakthroughs of Albert Einstein.

 Tesla at work in his Wardenclyffe Laboratory

Tesla at work in his Wardenclyffe Laboratory

The connection between Tesla and Eastern philosophy in regards to energy is fascinating. Tesla made many statements alluding to the central source of energy, that energy populate the air and with the right frequency one can tap into anything… one can split the earth, a building etc. This is the intersection where the idea of HAARP, weaponized weather and earthquake conspiracies meet. Tesla was fascinated by the energy potential of the ionosphere and was determined to demonstrate that energy could be harnessed and transported globally without the use of wires. Tesla’s World Wireless System was ultimately the progeny of this idea and Tesla went on to make many predictions as to how this could be used - practical applications such as the smartphones we enjoy today.

 Wardenclyffe Facilities, Colorado

Wardenclyffe Facilities, Colorado

While many of Tesla’s ideas bled into the science-fiction realm, such as the Death Ray that he claimed to have constructed a working model of yet never revealed to the public, Tesla was an innovator beyond his time and a visionary that could not quite match with any of his contemporaries, who subscribed to a much more capitalistic method of invention and innovation. One individual who played a similar chord as Tesla was none other than Ed Leedskalnin of Rock Gate/Coral Castle and similarities in these two men’s ideas are striking. They both wrote their notes in a cryptic style of writing that lends itself to fictional realms, and both were incredibly secretive about some of their greatest accomplishments - for Leedskalnin the amazing feat of quarrying and transporting 30 tonne blocks of limestone into what was later christened Coral Castle Rock Park, while Tesla, on the other hand, kept his greatest invention - the Death/Peace Ray - entirely to himself after unsuccessfully soliciting Allied Powers to invest in the technology as a anti-aircraft defensive strategy.

 Tesla and financial backer, Westinghouse. Tesla explains his model of rotating magnetic field

Tesla and financial backer, Westinghouse. Tesla explains his model of rotating magnetic field

Both Tesla and Leedskalnin often referred to energy as pervasive and seemed to contain a similar esoteric perspective on energy and electromagnetism as ubiquitous in nature in ways that have yet to be harnessed by mankind. Whether there was any substance behind the allusions remains to be determined. Many who have studied the notebooks of these brilliant men have determined them to be curious but of no real value to the scientific community. But perhaps the key has yet to be unlocked by the mainstream, perhaps the epistemological premises these men adopted have yet to be considered by the masses… but alas,  we may never have the real answers behind the cryptic minds of Tesla and Leedskalnin.

Regardless of the applicability of many of Tesla’s far-out ideas, the man himself is deserved of more recognition than our society allows for, arguably. A dreamer, an inventor, and always an innovator to the core, Tesla is inspiring for all these reasons and more.

What’s your favourite Tesla myth/conspiracy? Shoot us an email at intotheportalmailbox@gmail.com or comment below - we’d love to hear from you!

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Written by Amber Rae Bouchard