A letter written by a possessed Nun hundreds of years ago has been decoded with the help of the dark web.
Sister Maria Crocifissa Della Concezione, a 17th-century Italian nun, claimed to have written the letter while possessed by the Devil. The account of her writing the letter is certainly strange. Other nuns in her monastery found her one morning, covered in ink and clutching a strange letter. The letter was written in an indecipherable code of symbols, which at the time was believed to be the language of the Devil.
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Researchers at the Ludum Science Center in Sicily believe the letter to be a mixture of languages like Greek, Arabic, and Latin. Sister Maria herself was a skilled linguist, so she may have invented the language. Regardless of its etymological origins, the letter confounded all who tried to decipher it for over 300 years. Some of the world’s best code breakers were stumped by the way it was written. This led to the letter becoming notorious among code breaking communities. In the 1960s, the monastery that Sister Maria belonged to even offered a month-long vacation for any resident who could decipher the message. However, none could manage it.
Recently, the researchers finally decoded the letter using an algorithm they found on the dark web. They loaded this algorithm with the languages that they thought Sister Maria used and successfully worked out what it said.
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“God thinks he can free mortals,” it reads. “This system works for no one,” it continues. The letter also describes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as “dead weights.” It also rambles a range of reasons as to why Sister Maria should abandon God and discusses the river Styx from Greek religion.
The researchers believe that she may have suffered from schizophrenia, which could have caused her to hallucinate dialogues with the Devil and write the letters. Daniele Abete, the director of the project, told The Times of London, “I personally believe that the nun had a good command of languages, which allowed her to invent the code, and may have suffered from a condition like schizophrenia” She also added that she has been contacted by a wide range of Satanic organizations nevertheless. We’ll never know the true source of the messages for sure.
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While this letter has been decoded, some of what Sister Maria wrote may never be understood. Records state that Sister Maria composed several letters while seemingly possessed by the Devil. However, all the letters but one mysteriously disappeared over the years. Who knows if the other letters will ever surface?
Even if the other letters are never found, this innovative use of the algorithm from the dark web could prove very useful for cracking a range of other so far unbreakable codes. Examples of coded message that are important to break are three of the four messages the Zodiac Killer sent to the police, a strange message found on a dead man on an Australian beach in 1948 and the Voynich Manuscript, a medieval book filled with images of unknown plant species that is completely unreadable.
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