Godwin’s Law of Astrology

Godwin’s Law of Astrology

Godwin’s Law of Astrology

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
March 4 2008 1:30 PM

Godwin’s Law of Astrology

An article by D'Arcy Doran from the AP is reporting that back in WWII, the UK hired an astrologer to help them fight the Nazis.

Oddly enough, Louis de Wohl turned out to be a total fraud, and the British government soon found themselves in trouble.

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Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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A series of events led his work to be introduced to Sir Charles Hambro, the head of Britain's Special Operations Executive, who hired de Wohl, and gave him a great apartment in an exclusive area of London. De Wohl eventual won the rank of army Captain. However, he soon became a bit of a problem, making grandiose claims about himself and publically embarrassing high-ranking officers.

His exploits are outlined in the article, but here's my favorite part:

According to the released MI5 correspondence, senior officers offered a number of proposals on how to "dispose" of de Wohl, including interning him in a camp or moving him to a remote corner of the country. Two other options are blanked out.

I would love to see what was blanked out.

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Eventually, the Brits caught on:

I have never liked Louis de Wohl _ he strikes me as a charlatan and an imposter," reads the first line in the astrologer's file. The letter is typical and appeared to be signed by Dick White, who went on to become the head of Britain's domestic spy agency, MI5, in the 1950s.

[...]

"I have no doubt if I checked up his successes, I would see that he had more than an equal number of failures, but I have not the inclination nor the time to do so," Hambro wrote.