Satanic verses: Dark Web helps decode 17c letter penned by ‘devil-possessed’ nun
Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione was writing letters at the convent of Palma di Montechiaro on August 11 1676, when she claimed that Lucifer was attempting to lure her into serving evil reports La Stampa.
She then wrote a note that included a variety of symbols and languages including Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic and Runic. In the intervening centuries, scholars, cryptographers, mystics and occultists have tried and failed to decipher the text.
Recently, a team from The Ludum Science Center in Sicily happened to stumble upon an algorithm on the Dark Web which allowed them to decipher the seemingly unintelligible code.
“We heard about the software, which we believe is used by intelligence services for codebreaking,” said Daniele Abate, director of the center, as cited by The Times.
“We primed the software with ancient Greek, Arabic, the Runic alphabet and Latin to descramble some of the letter and show that it really is devilish,” he said.
The newly minted translation of the bizarrely complex letter has fuelled speculation that not only was the nun a rather talented linguist but also that she may have been schizophrenic.