The Parasite Underground
Today the members of the underground community infecting themselves with parasites find one another on Facebook groups with names like “helminthic therapy support” and “helminth incubation.” They ask questions about which diseases respond to helminths or see wrenching posts from people who recently acquired hookworm, felt terribly ill and now wonder why their joints hurt more than before. Others cheer them on, sharing their own experiences and pointing out that symptoms often worsen before they feel any better.
Success stories, when posted, invariably inspire a chorus of congratulations followed by questions — which species worked the best? Moderators curate up-to-date lists of these successes, some of which link back to their authors, making them somewhat checkable. They also include failures, in an attempt at balance. Documents list substances that users have found may accidentally kill parasites, like oregano oil and nitrous oxide.
From “The Parasite Underground” by Moises Velasquez-Manoff for The New York Times Magazine; Illustration by Brosmind (@brosmind)
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