CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
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The Book of Whispers: Being a Looking Glass

The most profound secrets lie not wholly in knowledge, said the poet.  They lurk invisible in that vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident as the lightning—the seeker's soul.  Solitary digging for facts can reward one with great discoveries, but true secrets are not discovered—they are shared, passed on in confidence from one to another.  The genuine seeker listens attentively.

No secret can be transcribed, save in code, lest it—by definition–cease to be.  This Book of Whispers collects and encodes more than one hundred of humankind's most cherished secrets.  To be privy to the topics alone is a supreme achievement, as each contains and nurtures the seed of its hidden truth.  As possessor and thereby guardian of this knowledge, may you summon the courage to honor its secrets and to bequeath it to one worthy.

September 6, 2019 (permalink)

Here's the scorpion of secrets.  "What's up with all these secrets?  No one knows -- that's the point."  From Salem's 1995 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #scorpion #secret #vintage yearbook #secrecy
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July 22, 2019 (permalink)

"News whitewash.  Whispers tell more.  Thank God for rumors."  From the Kansas State Collegian, 1975.
#vintage headline #rumor #whispers
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June 23, 2019 (permalink)

From Zritel', 1905.
#vintage illustration #secret #art #don't speak #my lips are sealed #hush
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April 27, 2019 (permalink)

Can the world keep a secret?  From The Judge, 1916.
#vintage illustration #world #anthropomorphism #secret #art
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January 28, 2019 (permalink)

"Keep it bouncing; that's all the secret, keep it bouncing."  —Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
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January 26, 2019 (permalink)

From Le Journal Amusant, 1903.
#vintage illustration #whisper #art #faun
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August 10, 2018 (permalink)

From an ad in The Judge, 1922.
#vintage illustration #vintage ad #art #don't worry be happy #why worry #secrets #promises #key to happiness #secret of happiness
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August 1, 2018 (permalink)

From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1904.
#vintage illustration #macabre #death #skeleton #art
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July 8, 2018 (permalink)

The profoundest secret: the universal parity of existence.  From John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman (referring to Pisanello's "The Vision of St. Eustace").
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May 31, 2018 (permalink)

From Kladderadatsch, 1929.
#vintage illustration #art #easter bunny #rabbit #bunny
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February 27, 2018 (permalink)

Here's why mountains are bewitching.  From The Pendulum, A Novel by Cora G. Sadler, 1912.
#occult #silence #mountains
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February 13, 2018 (permalink)

Carnations are the woman you once knew, only they have learned new secrets.  This revelation is whispered by carnations themselves in Literary Love-letters, and Other Stories by Robert Herrick, 1897.
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January 2, 2018 (permalink)

"A ghost is a walking secret."  From Hood's Magazine, 1846.
#ghost #secret
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December 3, 2017 (permalink)

"Whisper whisper," from The Fairy Family, 1874.
#vintage illustration #fairy tale #whisper #art
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November 19, 2017 (permalink)

"'Do you mean'—the rest was whispered in my ear."  From The Millionaire Baby by Anna Katharine Green, 1905.
#vintage illustration #secret #art #whispering
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October 26, 2017 (permalink)

#vintage illustration #sphinx #art
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October 15, 2017 (permalink)

#whisperers #save the world
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July 8, 2017 (permalink)

"It is horrid"  From English Illustrated, 1896.
#vintage illustration #art #horrid
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May 31, 2017 (permalink)

Here is revealed the secret of the river:
"Have you, too, learned that secret from the river: that there is no such thing as time? ... [t]hat the river is everywhere at once, at the source and at its mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, at the sea, in the mountains, everywhere, at the same time, and that it possesses only a present, without any shadow of a future?" —Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
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April 19, 2017 (permalink)

"What is the secret to contentment?  It is where we place our trust and dependence." —Rich Hensen, Finding the Jewel in Job Loss
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