Why Con Artists Seduce Us

Bernie Madoff, Elizabeth Holmes, Anna Sorokin, and the "Tinder Swindler" share one trait.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

In 1841, P. T. Barnum staged one of his most fantastical shows. At the time, his rival Charles Wilson Peale had made a fortune entertaining crowds with "mesmerism" (hypnosis). Peale billed his show as a slice of scientific progress with high brow appeal. Mesmerism…

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