And now, presenting what may very well be the stupidest question ever…

March 4, 2010

Just tweeted this evening by a self-described “prochoice Christian”:

If chastity and abstinence works [sic], where did Jesus come from?

No, seriously.

You need a license to drive and own a gun, but anyone with a computer can use the Internet. Explain that.


A fresh case study in KJV-only dishonesty

August 8, 2009

A few years ago, I wrote a post about the history of my exposure to KJV-onlyism: especially the way I have seen the movement’s nonsensical claims, when left unchecked, tend to escalate into greater heights of foolishness.

This post generated about 9 or 10 comments. For a relatively low-traffic blog such as mine, that’s a pretty decent number. Of course, being a low-traffic blog, once a post disappears from my front page, by rights it’s pretty much forgotten, even by me.

Nonetheless, every so often a new comment will pop up on even a 3-and-a-half-year-old post like that one. This happened about two weeks ago, when a poster calling himself/herself “KT” (I assume the latter) wrote:

Oh just thought someone might like to know that in the book The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft (I know I shouldn’t have it…) the Hermes Club is noted and it was clearly occultic through and through and praised in this secular book. W & H [i.e. B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort] were members according to your article. I don’t think from the looks of things they were doing too much stuff on Greek and Roman culture in this club!!!

The second edition of The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft1 is available from Amazon.com and has a limited preview of the contents available. While it did not include any pages from the H’s, it did at least have the complete index, so I was able to look up any references to the Hermes Club. There were none, although there are multiple references to Hermes, Hermes Trimestigus, and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This aroused my suspicion. Nonetheless, that didn’t mean the book said nothing about the Hermes Club, only that it hadn’t been indexed.

A quick check of the local public library’s online catalogue confirmed that it holds both the first and second editions of The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, so I requested both, and waited for them to be transferred to my local branch. I had the opportunity yesterday to sit down with these volumes and inspect them for myself.

I wasn’t surprised with the results. Neither edition mentions the Hermes Club of which B. F. Westcott was a member while an undergraduate. There are multiple mentions of the Greek god Hermes, of course, usually in an entry on some aspect of Greek pagan mythology: not at all surprising in a book on this subject matter. But how can The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft note that it was “clearly occultic and praised through and through” if it doesn’t mention it at all?

The following excerpt, however, is notable information from the entry on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which may shed some light on how KJV zealots think:

The key founder of the Golden Dawn was Dr. William Wynn Westcott, a London coroner and a Rosicrucian. In 1887 Westcott obtained part of a manuscript written in brown-ink cipher from the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, a Mason. The manuscript appeared to be old but probably was not. From his Hermetic knowledge, Westcott was able to decipher the manuscript and discovered it concerned fragments of rituals for the “Golden Dawn,” an unknown organization that apparently admitted both men and women.

Westcott asked an occultist friend, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, to flesh out the fragments into full-scale rituals. Some papers evidently were forged to give the “Golden Dawn” authenticity and a history. It was said to be an old German occult order. Westcott produced papers that showed he had been given a charter to set up an independent lodge in England. The Isis-Urania Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was established in 1888, with Westcott, Mathers, and Dr. W. R. Woodman, Supreme Magus of the Rosicrucian Society of Anglia, as the three Chiefs. The secret society quickly caught on, and 315 initiations took place during the society’s heyday, from 1888 to 1896.2

Well, there you go. Guiley says nothing about the Hermes Club co-founded by Brooke Foss Westcott, but it has plenty to say about the Hermetic Order co-founded by William Wynn Westcott. Obviously our friend KT is not telling the truth. Whether she is lying, or reporting unreliably because of sloppy reading, I leave to the Loyal Readers to decide for themselves.

But KT is merely following in the footsteps of KJV-only high priestess Gail Riplinger, who never met a fact she couldn’t distort. Gail the Ripper also cannot keep her Westcotts straight. She attempts to connect B. F. Westcott with occultic practices, writing: “Westcott took the wand and relayed it into the 20th century.”3 In a lengthy footnote, she then explains how

[t]he articles on Hermetic doctrine in Blavatsky’s Theosophical Dictionary “were contributed at the special request of H. P. B. by Brother W. W. Westcott.” She mentions B. F. Westcott, the subject of this last chapter, several times in her other books. B. .F. Westcott’s son points out that his father’s signature was almost always read as W., not B., preceding his last name. . . . The similar identity of these two is not a matter of historical record.

Only at the end of this footnote (and never in the main body of the text) does Riplinger admit:

The connection between B. F. Westcott and the activities attributed to the possible allonym W. W. Westcott are speculation on my part.4

Well, there you have it. In the alternate universe where KJV-onlyists spend their waking hours, similar means same. What matters is not factual accuracy, but how well a factoid supports KJV-onlyism. Supporting the system trumps integrity. So what if the lives of Brooke Foss and William Wynn Westcott are well known, and there’s no way they are the same person. Hey, close enough.

So what was the Hermes Club? If we are to believe Riplinger, it was an occultic secret society, as she writes in a section titled “Hermes: Alias ‘Satan'”:

As a Cambridge undergraduate, Westcott organized a club and chose for its name “Hermes.” the designation is derived from “the god of magic . . . and occult wisdom, the conductor of Souls [sic] to Hades . . . Lord of Death . . . cunning and trickery.” . . .

Author of the Occult Underground cites Hermes as the entry point of scholars and philosophers into the occult. Westcott’s “Hermes” club met weekly for three years from 1845-1848, discussing such topics as, the “Funeral Ceremonies of the Romans,” “The Eleatic School of Philosophers,” “The Mythology of Homeric Poems,” “the Theramines” [sic] and numerous undisclosed subjects.5

Sounds spooky, until we realize that Riplinger is trumping up charges again. All too frequently, reality is quite boring, which is why we need conspiracy theorists to invent a more interesting one. Riplinger frequently cites the biography of Westcott written by his son – usually wildly inaccurately, but I assume she at least takes it seriously as a reliable source. Here is what Arthur Westcott has to say about the Hermes Club:

Westcott’s most intimate friends during his career as an undergraduate were J. Llewelyn Davies, C. B. Scott, and David J. Vaughan. These four, together with W. C. Bromhead, J. E. B. Mayor, and J. C. Wright, were the original members of an essay-reading club, which was started in May 1845, under the name of “The Philological Society.” At a later date the society took the name of “Hermes.” The society met on Saturday evenings in one or other of the members’ rooms, when a paper was read, and a discussion, not infrequently somewhat discursive, ensued. The following were the subjects of papers read by my father: – The Lydian Order of the Etruscans; The Nominative Absolute; The Roman Games of (or at) Ball; The so-called Aoristic Use of the Perfect in Latin; The Funeral Ceremonies of the Romans; The Eleatic School of Philosophy; The Mythology of the Homeric Poems; The Theology of Aristotle; Theramenes.” . . .

At times the philosophic gravity relaxed, as witnesses the following entry in the minute-book under date 8th May 1848: “Mr. Vaughan having retired to his rooms, and Mr. Davies within himself, the rest of the society revived the ludus trigonalis [i.e. a Roman ball game], and kept it up for some time with great hilarity.” Presumably Westcott took his share in this hilarious revival, though it did not form part of the discussion on his paper concerning Roman Games of (or at) Ball. . . .

The last recorded meeting of the society took place on 15th May 1848. . . . Whether the society survived to discuss the character of Philopœmen or not is not apparent. Probably not, for the four faithful members of the club had now graduated. There is an entry in the minute-book which indicates that in March the end was near. Above the initials B. F. W. occur these words: “Let me here offer my heartfelt tribute to a society from which I have derived great pleasure, and, I trust, the deepest good – not least under the feelings of today.” The subject that evening had been “The Condition of Women at Rome”; but the discussion had wandered over a wide field, and, in its latest stages, was concerned with a comparison of Plato and Aristotle.6

Well, that’s a lot less spooky. The Hermes Club was simply an essay-reading club, formed by some schoolmates, to discuss topics of interest to classics students. When most of them had graduated, the group dissolved. Of course, essays on Roman ball games and Latin verb tenses don’t quite convey her negative sentiments, so she simply omits them from her citation.

Riplinger’s latest tree-slaughtering missive, Hazardous Materials, promises more of the same. The Highland Host has been reading it (under duress, I am certain) and posting some of his impressions. In his latest, he accurately notes that Riplinger’s usual modus operandi is simply to cast her enemies in as bad a light as possible. The general thrust of this new book appears to be to try and discredit any study of the original biblical languages. The most recent issue of the Riplinger Report, her email newsletter, touts HazMat thusly:

Learn about the corrupt source of new versions and the problems with: . . . Greek-English Lexicons by Moulton, Thayer, Danker, and Liddell. . . .

All Greek-English New Testament lexicons plagiarize the first Greek-English lexicon written by Scot and Liddell. He [sic] harbored the pedophile author of Alice in Wonderland (who yet today remains a suspect in the Jack the Ripper case). This lexicographer permitted him to take improper photographs of his daughter Alice, for whom he [sic] named the famous child’s story.

I’ll leave the historical inaccuracies regarding the relationship between Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, Alice Pleasance Liddell, and her father Henry Liddell to others. I shall pause only to snigger that Riplinger actually takes the claims that Dodgson was Jack the Ripper seriously. I do wonder why she sees the need to discredit Liddell and Scott, as this is the standard lexicon of classical Greek, not the koine dialect of the Bible. Perhaps she feels that studying Aeschylus in the original is just as fruitless. (I wonder which translation of Seven Against Thebes is the inspired one?) But go back up to my citation of the Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, and note that W. W. Westcott consulted with a Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers.

Spooky. Is there a relationship? Can Riplinger trump one up quickly enough for her next book?

Hey, close enough.

Footnotes

1 Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft (New York: Facts on File, Checkmark, 1989).

2 Ibid., 156.

3 G. A.  Riplinger, New Age Bible Versions (Munroe Falls, OH: AV Publications, 1993). I do not own a paper copy of this work. Shortly after its publication, and presumably with the approval of the author, a KJV-onlyist fan of Riplinger made an electronic copy of NABV available on his bulletin-board system, which was active for most of the 1990s. Any page numbers I refer to therefore correspond to the electronic copy, and I will also include a chapter number to assist in locating the source of the citation. This quotation appeared on page 852 (in Chapter 30).

Any KJV-onlyist feeling I should cite a more authoritative edition of NABV is invited to remedy the situation, at his expense.

4 Ibid., 866-68 n. 128.

5 Ibid., 809-10 (chapter 30).

6 Arthur Westcott, Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, vol. 1 (London: MacMillan, 1903), 46-48.


More 9/11 Truther Science! revealed

June 10, 2009

Over the past few years, I’ve seen a whole bunch of Science! used by the 9/11 “truth” movement to prove that there is no possible way a plane crash and the resulting fires could have caused the collapse of steel-framed skyscrapers such as the World Trade Center. These would-be CSIs have modeled the twin towers with such accurate representations as chicken wire and paving slabs, stacking desk trays, and Microsoft Flight Simulator-generated videos.

But this guy tops them all with his Scientific! prowess:

I’m no materials engineer, but I can find at least three holes with this experiement:

  • Each tower of the World Trade Center was a massive, load-bearing structure of about a quarter of a million tons. A frying pan is, well, a frying pan – and it needs at least a few strips of bacon in it before it can be considered “load-bearing” in any sense.
  • If that pan is like any other stovetop frying pan I’ve seen, it’s actually aluminum, not steel.
  • But assuming for the sake of argument that it is steel, notice how at about 3:45 he puts it back on the element and it rocks. I thought they manufactured frying pans flat-bottomed. Looks like fire can deform steel, after all.

Sometimes these Truthers are so out in left field with their Science!, you have to wonder whether they’re some sort of pardody. Unfortunately for our educational system, this one appears to be completely earnest.

(H/T: the tireless Screw Loose Change.)


Toys for Tyrants?

December 16, 2008

There are certain places around the world that I am convinced are loci of all sorts of foolishness. Berkeley, California comes to mind as the capital of hippy-dippy weirdness, as do Idaho and Michigan, home of various “militias” and “survivalists.” Another such locus is Austin Texas. It earns its wings as a Nexus of Nuttiness for housing not one, but two high-profile nuts.

One nut is Texe Marrs, who never encountered anything that wasn’t a grand conspiracy meant to usher in the New World OrderTM. (For example, Marrs has actually argued that vaccinations are a ruse to inject citizens with mind-control nanobots to be controlled by low-frequency transmissions from giant dish antennas disguised as World Cup soccer stadiums. No, you weren’t dreaming that you read that.)

The other nut is, of course, talk-show host Alex Jones. Like Marrs, Jones is no stranger to the grand-scale conspiracy theories – he pretty much spearheads the whole 9/11 “truth” movement, after all – but if a Marrs theory is a buffet table of global intrigue, Jones seems to prefer his conspiracies portioned out in little snacks like dim sum.

Here is an example from Friday’s program. Alex tries to reveal the true purpose of the Marines’ Toys for Tots program, which is to “acclimate the public” to seeing armed soldiers in the streets of the New World OrderTM:

I have to hand it to the Marine sergeant he spoke to: despite all of Jones’ attempts to bait him with multiple items of conspiracy wingnuttery, he didn’t bite, and managed to plug Toys for Tots about four or five times. (Talk about keeping cool under fire!)

Jones’ broader argument appears to be that frequent appearances of military personnel in uniform: in schools, at sporting events, doing Toys for Tots, and so forth, is nothing but a “brainwashing” campaign intended to get the public used to seeing the military in the streets. After the clip posted to YouTube, Jones intones, “The troops bring you toys,” in a nasal, sarcastic tone, as though Marines had never collected toys for children before. Toys for Tots began in 1947 and went national a year later. The program has been going on for 60 years, so the claims made in the program that seeing uniformed military personnel in public is unusual, just don’t hold water. They should be at least as familiar as a bell-ringing Sally Ann volunteer. Besides, who doesn’t know at least one soldier?

Have a woo-woo Christmas and a whackadoo New Year.


Celebrating 16 years of kookiness

February 9, 2008

My last entry a few days ago got me thinking about all the various bizarre radio personalities I have listened to over the years, particularly those that have come and gone. I can still remember the first day that I sat down with a shortwave radio and heard conspiracy theorists for the first time: January 20, 1992. My roommate had just brought his ham radio from home and had been playing with it, and I wanted to see what else I could hear. After scanning the dials and hearing some foreign-language broadcasting and a few hams (naturally talking about their equipment and little else), I accidentally came across the late-night broadcast on WWCR at 7.435 MHz. And the rest was history.

A little disclaimer is probably necessary at this point. For me, conspiracy theory is almost strictly entertainment. Naturally, I believe there are such things as conspiracies, which occur every time two or more people agree to do something illegal. But conspiracy theory, on the other hand, is a worldview in which no major events happen by accident or outside the control of a shadowy group of powerful people. This I reject. However, continual listening to conspiracy radio and other kookery has had a couple of side benefits. First, it has sharpened my critical thinking skills. When someone like Alex Jones, for example, reports that Ann Coulter has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, it is important to remember that Jones habitually blows mundane facts right out of proportion. The truth is that Coulter did say so on Hannity & Colmes, but her skill with words doesn’t come out nearly as well on live television as it does in writing, and she has since backtracked on that statement. This hasn’t stopped Alex Jones from claiming that The Powers That Be have already selected Clinton as the winner. Second, it made me realize (a few years before learning it in political science class) that newsgathering organizations are as much about agenda-setting as they are about merely “reporting the news”; they have other, competing interests such as political axes to grind, ratings, or advertising dollars, that affect what stories are reported, and how. (And let’s not forget how all the major networks have been caught red-handed at some time manufacturing the news!)

So without further ado, here are the most significant “go-to” guys that I have listened to over the last 16 years for my nightly fix of nuttiness.

  • Tom Valentine was the very first person I ever heard on shortwave, apart from foreign-language and amateur broadcasts. He used to have a program called “Radio Free America” that ran from 10-midnight EST every weekday on WWCR. Although the first broadcast I heard was fairly mundane (likely about the presidential primaries then under way in 1992), it wasn’t long before the bizarre nature of American commercial shortwave manifested itself: bizarre financial conspiracy theories by anti-Semitic economist Eustace Mullins, Ruby Ridge, the Waco seige, the Bilderbergers, alternative “medicine” – and, on Friday nights, junk science. “Radio Free America” was sponsored by Liberty Lobby, an organization headed by professional Jew-hater Willis Carto, and so Jewish conspiracy theories (including the so-called “Jewish tax” on kosher food) featured prominently. The most memorable program I heard was a Friday night interview about the Philadelphia Experiment, an apocryphal military project intended to render naval ships invisible that supposedly resulted in some rather horrific effects. While Valentine was generally ready to believe anything someone told him, as long as it contradicted the mainstream, the phone calls coming in that night about time travellers and similar phenomena were too much even for him. In the summer of 1993, Valentine was followed by, and he had an ongoing feud with,
  • William Cooper. For a while in 1992 and early 1993, “Radio Free America” was followed at midnight by “The Hour of the Time,” hosted by one Milton William Cooper. This program was the perfect midnight listening: it began with an air-raid siren, a deep voice announcing that “It is the Hour of the Time. Lights out for the curfew of your body, soul and mind,” then marching feet, dogs barking, and women screaming. The program itself consisted of an hour-long monologue by the creepy-sounding Cooper on the subject of the day. The first time I heard this program, he was explaining the Illuminati code words in the Bette Midler song “The Rose.”1 Later he would also decode the occult imagery in Disney fare such as the Lion King. He and Tom Valentine had an ongoing feud at one point, with Cooper accusing Valentine of being a Freemason or Illuminist (based on a book Valentine had written about pyramidology and his supposed affiliation with an occult organization called the Stelle Group); Valentine, in return, accused Cooper of being a CIA disinformation agent. William Cooper was probably the most paranoid personality I have ever heard of. He died in 2001 in a hail of police bullets rather than be arrested, after he had threatened a passer-by with a handgun. But before that, after his radio program became inconvenient to listen to, I had started listening heavily to
  • Brother Stair. R. G. Stair, the “Last Day Prophet of God,” was actually one of the first personalities I ever heard on shortwave – again, on that first night, where his program came on at 2 am weeknights, after Valentine, some “prayer line” program, and low-rent Gene Scott wannabe E. C. Fulcher. In those days, Prophet Stair’s program was a pre-recorded half hour, rather than the 24/7 broadcasting he would later do. But what he lacked in quantity, he made up for in intensity: the leather-lunged “prophet” would scream at the top of his lungs about the evils of women in short hair, women in pants, going to church on Sunday, living in cities, watching television, and whatever else struck him as wrong. Theologically he was a mess of Seventh-day Adventism, Branhamism, Arminian Holiness and hyper-Calvinism (no, really!), King James Onlyism, and various other incompatible belief systems. Stair would frequently proclaim that The End Is Nigh thanks to some astronomical phenomenon in the news, such as comets Hale-Bopp or Shoemaker-Levy. But he really went off the deep end in about 2002, when he got on the “Planet X” bandwagon, declaring The End Is Nigh because Planet X would cross Earth’s orbit and flip the planet on its axis in May 2003. Whoops, nice try there, “Prophet.” Not long after this, Stair got in trouble with the police because he couldn’t keep his hands off the young ladies on his compound, and went to jail. Since reruns were boring, I moved on to
  • Texe Marrs. Texe cashes in on his credibility as a former Air Force officer, university lecturer, and published author (his book Dark Secrets of the New Age was a Christian bestseller in 1988) to promote blithering nonsense in the name of Christianity. I like to quote what Phil Johnson said about him in his famous bookmarks: he never met a conspiracy he didn’t like. Over the years Marrs has bought into the usual banking/New World Order/Illuminati conspiracies, but he also was banging the “Planet X” drum (which gave him yet another opportunity to hawk stored food, which no doubt had been taking up unnecessary space in a warehouse since Y2K) and other assorted nuttery. To give you an idea just how out to lunch Marrs is: in 2002 he claimed that the numerous World Cup soccer stadiums being erected were really giant antennas in disguise. Their purpose was to transmit instructions, via extremely low frequency (ELF) radio waves, to nanobots – injected into unsuspecting citizens who thought they were getting a vaccine – which would then proceed to kill the subject or control his mind. No, really: he meant this seriously.2 Anyhow, my current address has lousy shortwave reception, so now I listen to
  • Alex Jones. I had heard Jones on and off in the years prior to 9/11. His use of the Imperial March as theme music was unmistakable. In recent years, however, he has risen to become the King of Konspiracy Kooks thanks to his spearheading of the so-called 9/11 “truth” movement. His Hoarseness’ favourite schtick is “bullhorning”: like some sort of 20th-century Don Quixote, he uses an electric megaphone to tilt against the windmills of the New World Order, the 9/11 “inside job,” and the extermination of 80% of the world’s population so that the global elite can have life-extension technology all to themselves. In June 2006, he was detained by Customs in the Ottawa airport when he came to bullhorn the meeting of the Bilderberg group; in all fairness to Jones, he hadn’t done anything wrong and being a raving lunatic isn’t a crime.

I’m sure I could talk in depth about some of the other nuts that have entertained me over the years: Chuck Harder, Pete Peters, “Bo” Gritz, Ted Gunderson, Art Bell, David J. Smith, and Dave VonKleist and Joyce Riley, just to name a few. But the above are the true crème de la crème of kook radio: the ones I would give 4/4 black helicopters.

Footnotes

1 Some say love, it is a footnote: Coincidentally, the late Aaron Russo, who produced the movie The Rose, was a tax-protesting conspiracy theorist himself: shortly before he died, he produced a “documentary” titled America: From Freedom to Fascism.

2 Extremely Low Footnote: If you thought that a former Air Force officer and assistant professor of aerospace studies should have known that there is no way that a nanobot could receive ELF transmissions (where would it put the required miles-long antenna?), well, now you know better.


Mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be moonbats

February 6, 2008

Somehow, this doesn’t actually surprise me.

I was listening last night to the Monday podcast of conspiracy-mongering nutcase Alex Jones‘ show. He promised a surprise guest later in the program. This turned out to be none other than country music legend, hippy-dippy peace activist, and fellow Austinian Willie Nelson.

It didn’t take long for the conversation to take a turn for the weird, as Jones asked Nelson almost right off the bat for his views on 9/11. The answer:

I saw those towers fall, and I’ve seen the, an implosion in Las Vegas, there was too much similarities [sic] between the two, and I saw the building fall that didn’t get hit by nothing, so how naive are we, you know, what do they think we’ll go for? . . . The day it happened, I saw one fall, and it was just so symmetrical, I, uh, wait a minute, I just saw that last week at the, you know, uh, casino, over in Las Vegas. And you see these implosions all the time, and the next one fell, and I said hell, there’s another one. And they’re trying to tell me an airplane did it? And that’s, you know, I can’t go along with that.

Here’s WTC 7 not getting hit by nothing:


Well, marijuana is psychoactive.

The Red-Headed Stranger earns himself a nice shiny DIM BULB du jour, for observing while possibly high. Let’s add a couple more bulbs into the box for Alex Jones and his hangers-on, for thinking that a prominent member of the cannabis culture can actually explain reality to the rest of us.


Reclaiming History – holy moly!

June 10, 2007

A few days ago, Fred Butler posted a favourable impression of prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi (best known as the prosecutor of Charles Manson and the author of the bestselling true-crime book Helter Skelter, based on the Manson murders), with respect to his newest book, Reclaiming History, about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

At the time I had already placed a request for the book at the public library. It arrived (by surprise) yesterday, so I went to pick it up.

My first impression: This book is heavy. Anvil heavy. Family Bible heavy. New York City phone book heavy. I was reading it on the bus, and now my arms ache just from holding it up. It’s oversized and still comes in at over 1500 pages – and if that isn’t enough reading for you, it includes a CD-ROM just for the endnotes. When it gets published in paperback, I think they might have to do it in two or three volumes, because I don’t think perfect binding is even physically capable of containing that many pages.

Anyway, I’m about 100 pages in, maybe a little more, and I’m quite enjoying it. Bugliosi makes no secret of his contempt for JFK conspiracy theories, and this new book purports to debunk them. A few years ago I was willing to entertain the possibility that JFK’s death was not all it seemed. But then I read Gerald Posner’s book Case Closed. No more. I’m fully convinced that John F. Kennedy died a meaningless death at the hand of Communist and general failure Lee Harvey Oswald. Interestingly, I’ve skimmed a few sections of Bugliosi’s book, and it looks like he really doesn’t like Posner, even though they reach the same conclusions.

I’ve never tackled 1500 pages before in three weeks. It’ll be interesting to see if I can finish Bugliosi off before I have to hand the book off to the next borrower. I’d hate to have to read such fascinating subject matter in shifts.