Today, I learned that eighteen individuals in LeRoy, New York have been suffering inexplicably from a strange neurological disorder that caused them to develop “uncontrollable twitching and verbal tics.”
No one seems to be able to explain the root cause behind these behaviors, but I had a wild theory. I was curious where LeRoy, New York was located. When I checked, I was not surprised to find it was in Western New York, an area of high fracking activity.
So I decided to do some more research. Where there any shale deposits in LeRoy?
Well, it turns out that at least five natural gas wells ring the school building:
“Five natural gas wells owned by the LeRoy school district ring the junior-senior high school building, which opened in 2003. The wells have undergone the controversial procedure known as hydraulic fracturing, state environmental officials said. About 25 western New York school districts own gas wells, though none have more active wells than LeRoy.”
Those who follow this blog know that I am an unabashed supporter of the free market and maximizing the exploitation of whatever energy resources we have, while simultaneously shifting to cleaner sources of energy. That said, I draw a line when people’s health starts to suffer from the impact of said exploitation.
So what’s the official explanation of what is going on?
The New York Department of Health issued a report “ruling out environmental or infectious causes behind the illnesses in LeRoy.” Experts are attributing the illness to conversion disorder, a fancy euphemism for hysteria.
That might as well call it witchcraft, because people do not start twitching independently and for significant lengths of time.
However, the plot thickens.
One mile from the school, there is a Federal Superfund Cleanup site where the government stores a chemical called TCE that was spilled during a train derailment in 1970.
Whether the illness is caused by contaminants introduced by the fracking process, TCE that leaked into the environment, or a mixture of both is unclear.
But mass hysteria? What is this, the Salem Witch Trials?
Or wait, ergot may have been responsible for the Salem girls’ peculiar behavior.