This Is Not An Odd Book Discussion: Stop talking about Texas!

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

This is not a political rant. This is a common sense rant.

I have noticed online some disturbing statements from unhappy Romney-ites. Once it was revealed that Australia was not really the paradise they thought it would be to escape godless Socialism, eyes fell on Texas. Let me clear up a few problems with the idea of hoards of white, disappointed folk rushing my state in the hopes of creating a new republic when Texas engages in a bloody war against the USA to secede:

1) Texas is not about to secede. I know Perry spoke of it but Perry said a lot of things (I was of the opinion he deliberately tanked his presidential chances by saying loony things – he didn’t want to be president any more than I do), and despite being Governor, he really isn’t the boss of us. David Dewhurst is the boss of us and he has higher political aspirations and won’t risk them suggesting that Texas engage in what can only end up being a giant, bloody clusterfuck. Outside of Texe Marr enclaves of utter lunacy you will not find the mass of Texan bosoms heaving for secession. We are devoted Americans, though many of us value our state as much as we value our country.

2) I do not know where the idea that Texas as a whole hates the Democratic Party came from, but a simple Google will show you that a full 40% of the state voted for Obama. National election-wise we are a Red State but in terms of popular vote we’re more a purply-magenta color. We are not your default angry-white-dude Eden.

3) If common sense fails you and you find yourself on a modern day wagon trail coming to Texas thinking we will soon be a new country and a conservative stronghold, please understand that you may want to step lightly as you barge into my home state, a place where even the housewives are armed. It’s untrue that all liberals eschew pro-2A ideals, just like it’s untrue that Texas is about to secede. We won’t take well to Romney carpet baggers rushing down here and telling us what to do.

Yeah, I know all those people bloviating online have no intentions of moving here. But of all the reactionary things said in reference to Obama winning, this one is so dumb. At least when whiners in 2004 sniveled about going to Canada when Bush won, Canada made sense to the ideals of liberal butthurt.

Seriously, how hard is a Google. If the only places you can find sources for Texas secession as real possibility are infowars and the comment sections on a variety of AM radio stations, then don’t pack the car (or babble about packing the car). If the people who are commenting that Texas is about to secede are using Confederate Flags as their user icons, mayhaps they have a far different agenda at work than simply longing for “freedom.” If you don’t bother to look up how the actual popular vote went in my state, you will miss the better opportunity to go to Oklahoma, which is a far Redder state than Texas.

In fact, may I make a suggestion? Oklahoma: A Much Better Choice for Unhappy Romney-ites!

ETA: Yes, yes, a bunch of you are sending me a Fox News graphic showing that “thousands” want to secede from various states all over the Union. Maybe even tens of thousands? All I can say to this is that 26 million people, give or take a few, live in Texas. Even 500,000 people wanting to do anything in Texas is such a meaningless number that I cannot help but lip fart at anyone who thinks that signing online petitions means anything. If half a million people in Texas want to secede, that means about 2% of the state wants out. At any given moment 2% of the state wants all sorts of damn fool things they ain’t gonna be gettin’. I imagine 2% of Texans want to legalize meth, want to make it legal to beat postal officials on sight, want to make church attendance compulsory and similar half-baked notions that are near and dear to the lunatic fringe.

But that 500,000 I mentioned is a generous number since not even 100,000 Texans have signed the online petition. One hundred thousand butthurt souls wanting a bloody war of secession equals about .3% of the state. I imagine .3% of the state want to have sex with a tree. .3% of the state want to write snake handling into the constitution. .3% of the state want to eat your dog. And not even that many people want to secede.

So go on being butthurt while the national media eggs you on the way they egged on Alec Baldwin when Bush beat Kerry. All less than .3% of you. Tell Alex Jones I said hello.

2083 by Anders Behring Breivik, Part 4: All About ABB

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Now begins the last installment of my look at 2083.  If you’re just now joining the discussion, this is the fourth in the series.  You can click these links and go straight to Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

Throughout the previous three looks at Anders Behring Breivik and Fjordman, I did my best to remain on topic with the text only.  I still will derive most of Part Four from the manifesto text, but I will also be using information from the news and other sources as I discuss what I think this text reveals about Breivik.   If one reads the text closely,  Breivik reveals a lot of answers to questions that are troubling people.   I also think the text reveals a lot about Breivik’s motives in a way that gives lie to the idea that stopping Islamic immigration and ending what he refers to as cultural Marxism were his only goals.

In Part Three I mostly discussed the things that Breivik planned and the things he actually did.   Because of the level of plagiarism that Breivik engages in throughout the manifesto, it is hard to look at his writing and know if the words are indeed his, but there are patterns that emerge, times when it seems like writing flows and when it seems like he is parroting ideology from others in an awkward manner.   When he writes from a place of experience or a place of emotion, it flows smoother and simply feels more real.  So I tell myself that there are times I know I am reading Breivik’s actual thoughts, as well as text that is not plagiarized.

I need to explain that I am looking at his manifesto the way I read any text.   I am looking at the whole of the document – how it is arranged, how the writing appears, what Breivik considers important, what he does not.  There is truth in this manifesto of lies.   You know how it is when a seasoned poker player can judge the hands of the other players at the table?  It is because the other players, even as they try to present a flat demeanor, have what are called “tells.”  A finger twitches, eyes dart to the left, someone unconsciously clears his throat.  And the experienced poker player knows.  Breivik’s manifesto is littered with tells.

While I hope I am not sounding too arrogant, I am a reasonably good “poker player.”   I’m no expert on literary construction.  But I fancy that because of my time in the trenches of odd books, strange books, bizarre books, and the people who naturally accompany such books, I have a pretty good grounding in the unusual mind.   I also had some excellent teachers and professors in my day who instilled in me a habit of engaging with words in a manner that, at times, makes reading very involved for me.  So I fancy that I enter into Part Four with some skills for analyzing text.

But at the same time, I will be engaging in psychological analysis of Breivik that should likely be taken with a grain of salt.  In a way, psychoanalyzing him will be no different than analyzing other literary characters because in its way, this manifesto is as much a piece of fiction as any novel.   I don’t need a psychological degree in order to discuss the mental state of Emma Bovary, Gregor Samsa, or Catherine Earnshaw.   But if I acknowledge that I am analyzing the text in the same way that I would a fictional novel, hopefully that will make it clear that this is just speculation.   Once the professional psychological reports come back,  I have no doubt large chunks of this entry will be proven completely off-base.  As you read this, please keep in mind I am doing my best to discuss Breivik in relation to what I think his manifesto tells me about him, with some news articles to bolster the opinions I posit. I could be very wrong.

And all that having been said, I think I’m right on more than I am wrong.  I wouldn’t have written all this out if I didn’t have some belief I was right.

So let’s look at the insight the manifesto text gives us into the mind of Breivik.  Let’s look at how his text arrangement and emphasis show his priorities.  Let’s talk about what some of his plagiarism really means.  Let’s look at how so much of what he writes contradicts itself.   Let’s see if some of the initial media responses to him are borne out in his manifesto. Let’s see if we can pin down the mind of a killer via the words that meant so much to him.

2083 by Anders Behring Breivik, Part 3: Breivik

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Before I begin discussing Anders Behring Breivik’s words from 2083, I want to remind any new readers that this is a four-part series.  You can read my take on Fjordman’s articles from 2083 in Part One and Part Two.

I am dreading writing about Anders Behring Breivik.   Whether I understood it consciously or not, I began discussing Fjordman because he was so much easier to write about.  His words, even as they appalled me, were words I knew he thought were true, plus there is the added benefit that he never killed anyone.  Fjordman’s passion indicated that he was emotionally connected to his dreadful topics.  At no time did I feel like I was reading the whole truth when I was reading Breivik’s own contributions to his manifesto.  Many times he read emotionally flat even as he was discussing war and executions.

I don’t think anyone will ever see the real face of Anders Behring Breivik and that is why I dread writing about him.  He wears many faces and in so doing, hides his real motives.  He is a man who carefully constructed an image before his rampage and is carefully maintaining that image even after his arrest.  I can make no assertions that I have nailed Breivik because I am not a psychologist.  All I can say is that as a person who has a vast interest in strange ideas and strange people, I have met many people who had or still have ideas I find anathema to a healthy world.  Some of these people were friendly, intelligent and affable and their strange beliefs took back stage to the whole of their personality.  Some were dark, dangerous people whom I never hope to see or correspond with again.  But every one of them was a real person, charming and glib, or earnest and odd, or determined and frightening but there was a core of humanity to them that could not be denied even as I was appalled with elements of their ideologies.  Even when I wanted to shake Fjordman, the reason I wanted to shake him was because he is real, someone whose words could create an honest, human reaction.

The same cannot be said of Breivik.  Even taking into account the number of articles he reproduced from Fjordman and other Islamophobic writers, there was not much of Breivik present in his manifesto.   That sense of no one being at home was not helped by the fact that he often reproduced chunks of text from other writers without attributing it, leading to the impression that those words were his.  He outright plagiarized Ted Kaczynski.  I swear at times I felt like I was reading slightly repackaged essays from William Lind.   Hundreds of pages of  Breivik’s interpretation of historical events, political actions and religious beliefs, all as absorbing as entries from supermarket encyclopedias.  And about as facile, too.  His criticism of political correctness/cultural Marxism showed about as much understanding of the Frankfurt School and reactions to the New Criticism as an answer to a high school essay question.  And one assume those high school essayists would know not to crib entire entries from Wikipedia.

All of the plagiarism accusations, all of them correct, popped up after the manifesto was discovered and bloggers ran it through software that detects unfair usage.  People seemed jubilant in a manner I could not understand because, on its face, who cares if a mass murderer of children plagiarized his brick of a manifesto?  There are far more moral issues to discuss when talking about Breivik.  The plagiarism, rather than being one more example of the criminal nature of Breivik needs to be looked at in terms of what it represents.  Plagiarism is a form of lying, a form of intellectual theft, and when one steals the ideas of others, it can point to the notion that the plagiarist is trying to either align himself with ideas he thinks are brilliant or he is trying to cover up a lack of confidence in his own writing.  I think Breivik’s plagiarism points to both but it also points to something else I will discuss Part Four.

There were moments when Breivik wrote in an extemporaneous, personal style, like in the sections where he reproduced his diary and discussed actions he truly performed.  But even when he was talking about himself, he often used trite devices to distance himself from his exposure.  It was as if he realized he was talking about himself too much and wanted to distract from it, but couldn’t stop writing about himself even if he tried.  For instance, he produces an “interview” called  “Interview with a Justiciar Knight Commander of the PCCTS, Knights Templar” and for a few minutes, I thought that maybe, perhaps I was reading the words of a compatriot in Breivik’s scheme.  He makes references to having comrades in arms as well as ideology.  But no, it was an interview with himself (and whether or not I think the text proves he acted alone is something I will touch on in in depth my fourth article).

When someone who borrows ideology from others, when someone plagiarizes the key points of his manifesto, when he writes as if he has a book open in front of him, yet carries on an interview with himself that goes on for 64 pages, that is a clue of sorts.  That clue is that his personality is more important than his ideology.  I will later make the assertion that Breivik has a personality disorder, an armchair psychiatric diagnosis to be sure, but for now, Breivik to me is sui generis because he is so bland and so self-absorbed.  He is a media-age monster, grooming his image before and after his rampage.   It is almost as if how he is perceived is more important than how his actions are perceived, and that will be a key discussion in my part four.

As a woman who knows far more about mass murderers and sociopaths than I ever planned to discover, Breivik is a monster unto himself.  He lacks the simmering hatred with a catastrophic trigger that is associated with most mass murderers.  For a religious man, who discusses Catholicism as a means of conquering his greatest foes, he talks about it dispassionately and incorporates little of it in his daily life, the Knights Templar cover notwithstanding.  In fact, the only time I sensed Breivik was showing emotion was during the first pages of his manifesto when he discusses the utopia he feels like he lost out on because of cultural Marxism, and during some of the discussions of cultural Marxism itself.  When he expressed anger in the sections about Islam, the anger very much seemed borrowed from other writers.  I sensed none of Fjordman’s urgent paranoia.   In fact, I wonder if Fjordman was Breivik’s favorite writer because Fjordman had something Breivik lacks – a passionate identity.  Breivik’s utter lack of self outside of his interest in his appearance is remarkable.

Breivik, even in his manifesto, comes across as vain, isolated, and more of a Walter Mitty fantasist than a mass murderer driven by religious bigotry.  At times his manifesto read more like an RPG manual, casting a strange light over his use of video games to train.    I wonder if, in a narcissistic haze, he saw all of his victims as two-dimensional characters in the self-centered game going on in his head. He comes across more as a man trying on roles – Mason, Knight Templar, Eurabian theorist, chemist, marksman, international criminal and male model – than a man who was driven by hate for Islamic immigration or such deep love for his country he had to protect it at any cost.   And there is a reason for those disparities, one all too common.

The reason is that Breivik is a liar.  He lies to himself and he lies to us in his manifesto.  He hid a key motive for the murders behind hundreds of pages of vaguely relevant information. He isn’t crazy – people with personality disorders can be terribly deluded but they are not insane.  He is simply a fabulist, a man who hated the life he was born into and the life he had come to live and was willing to do anything to redefine himself.

Does this mean he was not influenced by Fjordman?  Of course he was.  I think I made my case for how it is Fjordman’s violent rhetoric influenced Breivik.  And in terms of common sense, you don’t reproduce article after article from another writer in your mass murder manifesto unless you are influenced or inspired by them in some way.   Even had Breivik never read a word of Fjordman’s work, it still would have been violent, bigoted and misogynistic.   It is just Fjordman’s great misfortune that his loaded mini-manifestos found a reader willing to take his words to heart.  But I think Fjordman may have influenced Breivik in a way that no one could have anticipated, a way no one can hold Fjordman responsible for.  I think Breivik, who already had distaste for Muslims and feminism, found Fjordman so intoxicating because he longed to have the influence that Fjordman had and probably still has.

Fjordman was a part of a tightly knit group of Islamophobes online.  People in that oeuvre looked up to Fjordman.  They found him to be a great thinker.  And Breivik even wanted to meet Fjordman but was rebuffed.   I cannot entirely make the case that Breivik had an ideological and sociological crush on Fjordman, but it sure seemed likely when I finished the manifesto.   And this is a stretch, but I also wonder how Breivik truly felt about Fjordman refusing to meet him.  In his manifesto, he makes little jabs at men who blog and do not act.    It is sheer speculation but it has a ring of truth to it that if Breivik could not meet his idol, if he could not become a part of the thinkers who fueled his ideology, he would best him in some manner.

But that’s just one of the theories floating in my head.  While Breivik was decidedly an Islamophobe, there definitely other motives that fueled his rampage.  The very way he begins his manifesto is a very good clue that he has mixed motives.  The beginning is not an overview of atrocities attributed to Muslims, but rather a discourse on how the family of the 1950s cannot exist in a politically correct world.  I intend to make the case in Part Four that Breivik was as equally motivated by twisted emotions about what he considers the destruction of his own family as he was the need to end Muslim immigration in Europe.  Though in his manifesto he gives a reason for why he did not shoot Muslims, the fact that he shot young people, teens, having fun at a summer camp, speaks to motives in addition to Islamophobia.  It is more in line with his loathing of cultural Marxism, but even that only goes so far.  By shooting teenagers, he violated even his own outline of the “traitors” who needed to die first.  He shot to death dozens of teenagers because he was striking out at a country he felt deprived him of the family and youth he thinks he deserved and missed out on.

So, in my estimation, Breivik is a liar both to himself and his audience, and his motives go further than just a look at his hatred discussed disjointedly and blandly in his manifesto.  Given that much of his manifesto is the work of others, either attributed or plagiarized, and that his pages and pages of historical revisionism and examples of Bad Things Muslims Have Done Over The Past 1400 Years are just regurgitated facts from Islamophobia sites, I don’t even see the point of discussing them.  Discussing Fjordman’s anti-Muslim beliefs is discussing Breivik’s anti-Muslim beliefs.  You can find analysis of those parts of his manifesto elsewhere, and in the comments on those sites you will find refutations that are then refuted and in turn there is more refutation but there is never a conclusion.  A True Believer in conspiracy theory cannot change his or her argument and non-believers are foolish even to try and convince them to see reason on an online venue.  So I am not going to examine all that minutia and those “facts” repackaged and filtered through Eurabia conspiracy theory.  It would just be my facts against their facts and it would be a colossal waste of time.

Instead, I intend to examine this manifesto in two ways.  In this article, Part Three, I want to discuss the framework Breivik set up for the massacre and the things he actually did to prepare.   I warn you – Part Three is the  least interesting part of my analysis and probably reads that way.  But it is worth looking at, I think.  Breivik  may be lying about some of the things he did, but that framework at least seems to have some authenticity to it.  The framework, in which he analyzed who should be killed, how to go about it, evasive maneuvers, etc. was clearer and seemed less copied and false than all the facts he vomited up.

There are some out there who seem to think this manifesto should not be discussed at all because parts of it read like The Anarchist Cookbook combined with some volumes from Paladin Press and to discuss it is to aid in the dissemination of such information. I find that laughable at best because there is nothing in this manifesto that the average teenager cannot find in several minutes using a Smart Phone.  Moreover, refusing to look at this section because it is deemed too dangerous to discuss just perpetuates the thought that Breivik had to have had help or financial backing, and feeds the fear that there is a sinister group of people training to kill Muslims and liberals in Europe.  If nothing else, this manifesto shows what the so-called super-empowered individual can accomplish on his own, which is cold comfort, I know.

All of that having been said, I don’t intend to reproduce any content that could prove a legal liability to this site or to my web hosting service.

In Part Four, which will hopefully come no later than early next week, I will discuss common questions the manifesto answers, Breivik’s emotional motives that fueled the murders, what I consider to be a personality disorder that is evident even to those who did not read 2083, and other inconsistencies and issues that cropped up as I read his “interview” and his diary.  That, I think, will be infinitely more interesting than this discussion.

But if you’re still here with me, let’s discuss Anders Behring Breivik.

2083 by Anders Behring Breivik, Fjordman: Part Two

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Today begins the second part of my look at Fjordman, the blogger who inspired  and was frequently cited by the Norway killer, Anders Behring Breivik (whom I will refer to as ABB throughout the rest of this discussion).  If you have not read part one, have a look at it here.

It would appear that my discussion of 2083 went a little viral, so welcome new readers!  I also welcome all comments, even those that may disagree with me entirely.  I encourage people to stick to reactions to the text but, of course, I understand political discussions will be inevitable where such a document is concerned.

It should also be mentioned that yes, I am verbose as a rule. Sorry about that but if length bothers you, you likely were not going to be interested in a quote-laden discussion of a 1500 page manifesto anyway. Also, please bear in mind this is a discussion of the book, not a review as such. I’m not judging the literary merit of the manifesto as much as I am just trying to reveal what the manifesto really contains and the minds of the people involved. I mean, I guess someone could review Mein Kampf or The New Libertarian Manifesto with an eye to the quality of the prose, but I really don’t recommend it.

2083: A European Declaration of Independence was so much more than a look at anti-Islam viewpoints that led to murder.  It contains a number of critiques, from how hip hop music is destroying black culture in the United States to misogynistic rants that contained rape apology.  It has reproductive ideas that sound like science fiction and instructions on how to make poison bullets.  It is all over the map. In many ways, I am glad I read this because it is a mistake to think that ABB was a lunatic who was just gunning for socialists whom he considered responsible for Muslim immigration.  His master plan, derived from the ideas of other thinkers, had something unsettling in store for almost everyone who wasn’t a white man. As progressive as we like to think we are, many of the more virulent ideas present in 2083 are rampant in political and social elements in the United States.

ABB is only a monster to us because he took his ideology to heart and shot people instead of blogging about it.  But he is only unique in how he displayed his hate.  And he is even less unique when you realize that all of his ideas came from other people.  As I said in my first article, in so many ways, Fjordman is more interesting to me than ABB, because Fjordman’s brain is on display here far more than ABB’s.  ABB is violently derivative.

This second part of my look at Fjordman will be when I show my snark teeth a bit more because it is going to cover  his misogyny that at times gives lie to his nationalist leanings, the messy contradictions present in Fjordman’s theories, his misuse of pop culture and literature, and some of the utterly bizarre things present in his writing.   Yeah, there will be snark.  I won’t be able to help it. Also, part two is mostly just a reaction to some of the more bizarre elements of Fjordman’s thought processes and misinterpretations. Mostly, this will be a look at the mind of a man who really is driven by hate to the point that he is rabid, inconsistent and just flat out weird.

Though I also mentioned in Part One that I find Fjordman infinitely more interesting than the murderer who cloaked himself in his ideas, Fjordman did not ask for any of this.  I did try to make a case that Fjordman engaged in rhetoric that seemed fated to send a True Believer on a violent rampage, but the fact is is that Fjordman was writing in that false, protective cloud that seems to envelop so many bloggers.  We write and write and write and it never seems possible that we could, without overtly meaning to, inspire someone to shoot up teenagers on an island.  Blogging is a new weapon in the arsenal of using the written word to change the world and Fjordman has, for me at least, become a cautionary tale.   And as I said before, Fjordman is not pitiful, but he is definitely pitiable.  That is, he is pitiable when he isn’t actively pissing me off.  There are some things that no woman outside of the stay-at-home-daughters in the Vision Forum can read and not be filled with disgust.

So let’s begin Fjordman: Part Two.

2083 by Andrew Berwick, aka Anders Behring Breivik

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Book: 2083: A European Declaration of Independence

Author: Andrew Berwick, real name Anders Behring Breivik

Type of Book: Paranoid manifesto, conspiracy theory

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Sigh…

Availability: It’s all over the Internet.

Comments: (edited to add: I mistakenly refer to the site Gates of Vienna as Gates of Brussels several times in this discussion. Mea culpa and I would change it but this article has been reproduced several places and the mistake is sort of cast in e-stone. Just know that the site is Gates of Vienna.) When I learned that the Norway mass murderer had salted his manifesto all over the Internet shortly before he went on his rampage, I knew I was going to have to read it. After all, I read odd books. And more to the point, I have an unapologetic interest in the aberrant mind. From all the commentary I read online and from news reports, Anders Behring Breivik was a fundamentalist Christian, he was a fascist, he was a racist, he was an Aryan supremacist, he hated Muslims, he was a loner, he was a part of a larger anti-Islam group, he was a lunatic, he was a mastermind – he was all kinds of inconsistent things and I wondered what was correct and what was the typical media rush to judgment.  I wondered if the people who were postulating about him and his sources had actually read the manifesto.

So I read it. Every last word. I will admit that at about page 1200 things at times got a little vague for me. Reading every word of this disjointed, strange monster of a manuscript would make even an Adderall addict bleary. I also admit that after a while, all the articles explaining the horrors of Islam and all the terrible things Muslims have done wore a bit thin. I have a feeling that were I forced to read some of them again, it would be like I was reading them for the first time. That’s okay  because all that “evidence” was not likely to be of much interest to me anyway. It’s largely unimportant because I examined this manifesto from the perspective of a person interested in strange minds and conspiracy theory. On both fronts, this manifesto was quite interesting.

Strangely, Anders Behring Breivik (to be called ABB from here on out) is not the most interesting part of this manifesto. Rather, it was the cast of characters who led him to the conclusions he reached and provided confirmation for his strange ideas. Most notable is Fjordman. So notable is Fjordman that I intend to devote two entries to discussing him. Initially, I declared Fjordman to be a complete asshole, and parts of that assessment still seem true, but as I reread and wrote my discussion, I began to find him pitiable. Not pitiful, but definitely pitiable.

Fjordman, who revealed his identity recently as Peder Jensen, a 36-year-old man who seems largely unremarkable, greatly inspired ABB’s thoughts and the terrible rampage that killed 77 people. Because Fjordman influenced many of ABB’s ideas, it seems logical to me to discuss him first. You see, though much of this manifesto consists of articles from other writers, the bulk of the articles came from Fjordman. If you have not read or browsed the manifesto, many articles from anti-Islamists are reproduced in full in the manifesto. Part two of this three-part manifesto was almost a static wiki of articles from other people. Though my eyes admittedly glazed over at times, I believe I counted 40 articles from Fjordman reproduced throughout the 1500 pages. Though there are articles from other writers (one of them a hilarious pearl-clutching treatise on the horrors of rap music), Fjordman’s words take up the most space and show a very clear path of how his words affected ABB. Though there are theories about a Brit in Malta who may have influenced ABB’s rampage, the fact is Fjordman’s paranoiac and violent rhetoric influenced ABB’s mindset and his plans more than any other writer or thinker. In fact, the subtitle of this manifesto comes from the title of one of Fjordman’s articles, and the date of 2083 seems very much influenced by estimates that Fjordman posits about the decline of Europe if Muslim immigration is not stopped soon. So logically, for me at any rate, to understand ABB, we first must talk about Fjordman’s articles and the part they played in ABB’s anti-Muslim fears.

Before you read part one of my discussion about Fjordman, there are some things I would like to share with you, gentle reader. Unpleasant things. Of course, I will never not be a little shocked when I discover a whole mess of people willing to accept conspiracy theory as irrevocable fact. I may devote my life to reading books about conspiracy theory, but it is unsettling when it hits home how deeply people can believe in it. It was shocking to realize that there are people who take the word of Bat Ye’or, the woman responsible for creating what I like to call The Protocols of the Elders of Mecca, as historical truth. It was horrifying to realize that people like Diana West (ahahahaha!), Daniel Pipes, and Robert Spencer are not laughed out of every quarter of contemporary political thought. It was disgusting to realize that there are no depths too low for the likes of Glenn Beck, Pamela Geller and Debbie Schlussel to sink as they try desperately to keep their names and ideas relevant in the minds of those who live and breathe race hate and bigotry.

But as unpleasant as all of this is, it is important that we understand how common conspiracy theory is in some form or other for a good many people in this world. For many the natural impulse is to dismiss ABB as a crazy man, and we dismiss him as a lunatic at our own risk because if he is a lunatic, so are many, many others. It is hardwired into the human brain to believe strange things, I think, and it’s hard to look at a man like ABB and realize that he is just one of many, a man who is different solely because he took things just one step further. That is why I ultimately feel pity for Fjordman. Fjordman, a True Believer in Bat Ye’or’s Eurabia conspiracy theory was building castles in the air via his online essays, never once thinking that his words, taken at face value, could have been seen as a call to arms.

We have a vested interest in dismissing all violence as crazy, labeling people like ABB as The Other, but his views are derived from other people and are influencing other people even after anyone with common decency would dismiss him. Killing innocent teenagers for a bizarre political and social agenda should have rendered ABB’s ideas untouchable for anyone with sense and a conscience – Fjordman is appalled by what happened on Utøya – but there is a fringe element who see what ABB did as being the work of a patriot. Think I’m exaggerating? I don’t recommend visiting Pamela Geller or Debbie Schlussel’s sites because if you do, you are rewarding their dreadful antics to draw attention to themselves. Rather, check out the analysis of some of these people on sites like Loon Watch, Spencer Watch, and, interestingly enough, Little Green Footballs. (It had been years since I had visited Little Green Footballs. Last time I visited the site, it was a hive of scum and villainy. Discovering the site is no longer devoted to race hate and biogtry was perhaps the sole pleasant element to come from reading 2083.)

Before I begin my discussion of 2083, I need to make it clear, very clear, that I am not discussing any specifics of the immigration situations in other countries or the specifics of Muslim immigration in Europe. I am not qualified to discuss it and I have no interest running to ground all of the statistics, determining what information is sound and what information is not. But even though the sites I have read that discussed some elements of 2083 focus solely on the question of Islamic immigration, there is so much more than that to be found in 2083. So much, in fact, that what began as just another of my long-winded looks at strange writings turned into what I think will be a four part series: two entries about Fjordman and two entries about ABB.

But being who I am, only part of the manifesto interested me. If you want a hard political look at Muslim immigration and the social implications of it, there are plenty of political sites on both sides of the issue to accommodate you. My examination of Fjordman will look at his beliefs and an analysis of his writing. My examination of ABB will be to look at his plans and his theories, and some postulation about his brain because I cannot resist the urge to armchair psychoanalyze him. And it should be mentioned that I am not going to stray from the text. Everything I discuss about either man comes directly from 2083, and to make it clear, every word from Fjordman comes from articles that ABB found so important that he reproduced them in full in 2083. I also will end up snarking some because, given the text we are discussing, how can I not? Some ideas, even those that lead to tragedy, have an arrogant comedy in them that cannot be ignored by a woman who has a black belt in sarcasm.

So begins Part One: Fjordman.

Gods, Genes and Consciousness by Paul Von Ward

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Book: God, Genes and Consciousness: Nonhuman Intervention in Human History

Author: Paul Von Ward

Type of Book: Aliens, hidden history, alternate history, whacked theory

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Because the book attempts to explain how modern man and culture have been shaped by the intervention of space aliens.

Availability: Published by Hampton Roads Publishing Company in 2003, you can get a copy here:

Comments: I bought this book with the intention of having an “Alien Intervention Week.” I bought five books on the topic and got two in before my inner Edina Monsoon burst forth. (I consider Edina Monsoon to be my id, and have had far too many people tell me I reminded them of her in moments of hyperactivity or boredom.) I read the first book, a tiny little book that was more of a survey and felt heartened. I thought, “Hey, maybe this isn’t all boring crap!” Then I began this book and Edina was not impressed and felt I needed to go and buy some new clothes online and eat some chips and salsa. I read a chapter and muttered under my breath. I played the Ramones at full volume and wandered downstairs to find the vegan gummi bears. I bribed myself to finish each chapter because unless a book is really just an egregious pile of dishonest crap, I have to finish it. This is not an egregious pile of dishonest crap sort of book. It is simply Not Relevant to My Interests. I wasted copious amounts of time between each chapter. I watched Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift videos on YouTube because it seemed a better use of time. I cleaned the toilet. I ate lots of snacks. I told my inner Edina to hush so I could finish the book and when I was finished she said, “Fine! Are you happy? Because I’m not!” I wasn’t either.

But I read this thing and I’m gonna discuss it. Because this is a level of weird that never really interested me that deeply (just one of those things – I cannot read enough about Satanic Panic but aliens don’t do it for me, odd book-wise), I was forced to read carefully to prevent my mind from wandering. Who knows, as I write this I may have some sort of epiphany that I really do enjoy reading about alien intervention. But really, all I know as I am typing is that I sort of dread the Zecharia Sitchin tome I’ve got sitting on my bedside table.

And I have to mention, because it always bears repeating, that when I slip into snark discussing this book, it is not the fault of the author. Paul Von Ward sets out his thesis and uses all sorts of religious texts to draw what to some may seem like reasonable conclusions. In the eternal argument of “made” versus “just happened” I sit firmly in the camp of “just happened.” I don’t think God, gods, or aliens shaped the earth in any manner and am still amused at people who look at the world of 4,000 years ago and marvel that our ancient ancestors could, you know, build stuff like pyramids, as if being human, brain-wise, was really that radically different than being a human now. Humans are marvelous and remarkable. Don’t discount them when it comes to measuring things, cutting things, hauling things and assembling things.

Cult Rapture by Adam Parfrey

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Book: Cult Rapture

Author: Adam Parfrey

Type of Book: Non-fiction, conspiracy theory, history, sociology, pop culture

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Well, the cover was pretty much a dead giveaway, what, with the David Koresh angel of justice drawing. But then you factor in that Adam Parfrey, owner of Feral House and an all-around-odd-content kind of guy, wrote most of the articles in the book and you’ve got an odd book on your hands.

Availability: Published by Feral House in 1995, it’s out of print, but you can still get a copy relatively cheaply online:

Comments: Lord a’mercy, I love books like this. I love these sort of collections of whacked culture, weird theories and weird people. If you’ve read Apocalypse Culture or Apocalypse Culture II, you have a good handle on what to expect from this book, though I sensed a healthy amount of snark from time to time. Or maybe I was just projecting my own snark. But even if there was not any snark, it was still a fun, entertaining book.

Over 15-years-old at this writing, much of the book could seem dated to a person who needs to be up-to-date on their high weirdness and occult-goings-on. Luckily, I need no freshness when it comes to topics odd. But even taking into account the relatively dated elements of some of these articles, this collection was informative, interesting, saddening, silly, funny and in some respects quite disgusting.

So, to make it easy on myself, I’m just gonna discuss the articles in the order they occur, but I will group the ones that left me with literally nothing to discuss at the end. I think my verbosity where certain articles are concerned may be a very good look at my id at the moment. Clearly harmless crazies, Nazis, gross people and certain areas of feminist thought incite my love of typing.

Liquid Conspiracy by George Piccard

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Book: Liquid Conspiracy: JFK, LSD, the CIA, Area 51 & UFOs

Author: George Piccard (can’t find a current site or blog for Piccard so if anyone knows if he dwells online, let me know and I will update this)

Type of Book: Non fiction, conspiracy theory

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Conspiracy theory is always odd and this is no exception.

Availability: Published by Adventures Unlimited Press in 1999, I purchased this from my local amazing strange book source, Brave New Books, but they are revamping their online store, so for now, you can get a copy here:

Comments: Okay, this book and others like it are why I decided to ax I Read Everything and make it just an occasional sidebar to this site. You see, I read so much faster than I write and when I take too much time to discuss a book after I have read it, with some books it feels like I have forgotten huge chunks of the content. This happens especially with scatter-shot conspiracy theory like this because at some point, most of this stuff eventually covers the same ground. I mean, I will always know Icke’s alien lizard theory from James Shelby Downard’s mystical topography but unless you are a conspirator rock star, it can be hard to keep things straight unless you discuss the book within a few days of reading it. In order to give my first odd love its due, I need to just focus on the weird, you know?

And this book is wonderfully weird. And in some ways it makes sense and in other ways I can see how I lost the thread of how all of this held together, but Liquid Conspiracy explains an interesting theory, to some observable level of success, though it was all a bit mutable. It’s supposed to be mutable, though. It’s liquid, you see. But give Piccard his due, as he has a pretty interesting theory on how things work behind the scenes and under the surfaces.

Now, if you think the “liquid conspiracy” in this book refers to copious amounts of acid, you are not alone, because that was my first thought too, that all of this revolved around LSD and its impact on JFK, the CIA, etc. But really, Liquid Conspiracy refers to the information Piccard claims he received from a man called Kilder, a man who worked for the RAF during WWII and in his capacity as some sort of governmental flunky managed to find out who the men behind the curtain are and what they want to do. It is, as referenced in the book, a “Grand Unification Theory of Conspiracy.”

The elderly Englishman contacted Piccard with his information and unloaded it all before he died and Piccard did his best to verify it. Luckily, Kilder had a photographic memory (one day I will go off on a rant about how it is eidetic memory does not mean what people think it means and how it is often more than not a relatively useless trait, but that day is not today) and wrote a lot of things down. Of course, the skeptic in me is always immediately ready to snert when a clerk in some governmental agency is able to get the lowdown on the conspiracy controlling the world because, you know, it’s a damn conspiracy and you’d think they’d be a little more careful in how they disseminate their evil plans, especially when they know they have a clerk with a photographic memory who has access to their nefarious plans, but all I can do is give my head a shake, refuse to approach this with reason, relax and enjoy the show. I advise that you do the same.

Relax… Because here it comes. The Liquid Conspiracy features all the usual players in conspiracies that control the world. The Knights Templar, the Knights of Malta, the Masons, the Illuminati, the Rothschilds, Adam Weishaupt, the Federal Reserve, the Catholic Church, Skull and Bones, Nazis, aliens, Communists and on and on. You’ve likely heard it all before or read it on websites that are generally nothing but a wall of Geocities text with a series of eyes in pyramids blinking at you when you reach the bottom of the page. And really, it’s nothing new. There are men behind the curtain, lots of them, some with competing interests but all with a common goal of keeping us, the common men, so distracted from their goals that they keep us in chains and we wreck our interests as they keep all the power and the money away from us.

But the conspiracy Kilder shared with Piccard is that all of the forces that seek to control the world entered into a pact.

The Knights, the Elders, and the aliens made a pact. The conspiracy–its character subtly changed with their recent collaboration–made its final plans for the coming One World Order. The dangerous union of the Freemasons, the Illuminati, and the Templar Knights and the Roman Catholic Church with the support of the Grey aliens, brought to an end a fifteen hundred year struggle. These rival groups came together to put aside their previous animosities and to forge an invincible power.

And why not. Why wouldn’t the Masons, the Illuminati and little green–er–gray men join together? In unity there is strength, right? The proof for this alliance is what Piccard calls “The Breakfast with the Kingmakers of ’45.” Present at this breakfast were representatives of all the major conspiracies, twelve entities in total, and it was then they merged together to form a sort of perpetually moving, form-fitting, Lycra-blend conspiracy.

The new conspiracy was an entity unto itself. Using ritual magic and technologies still never spoken of, the attendees initiated an incredible device. A poltergeist of sorts, an ever-evolving energy form which would transfer power inner-dimensionally, from thought to reality. This curse (and I use these terms with reservation, for there is no other terminology to describe it) would grow, mutate, and adapt to the desires of its masters. The will of the secret world government would come to manifest physically. Still, actual temporal involvement was absolutely required. But with the aid and intelligence of their psychic contraption, their desires faced no opposition in the realm of the feeble masses.

So, it’s not just the aliens and the Trilateral Commission and the Masons and the Illuminati and the greasy soul of Prescott Bush we got to worry about. It’s a device that can… I don’t know… control our minds and adapt our reality on behalf of all these combined conspirators. Yeah, this is one helluva theory. All based on the photographic memory of some British clerk and who am I, in all seriousness, to argue with that.

You think I am being sarcastic? Well, maybe a bit, but for me conspiracy theory in a very real manner is not dissimilar to religion, an attempt to explain that which seems hidden, mysterious, beyond comprehension. There is a gossamer thread that runs from being very suspicious about the Federal Reserve to believing that there is a bizarre cabal that uses an inexplicable “psychic contraption” to blur things so we cannot see how they are perpetually working behind the scenes. One is a reasonable but at times paranoiac topic, the other is an attempt to create a story to force the world into a mechanism that to them makes more sense than the randomness that often surrounds world events, and it is all too easy to start with one and end up wallowing in the other. Human beings like believing strange things. It is a part of who we are as a species.

I mean, is a “psychic contraption” uniting the Bilderbergers and the Catholics and the aliens really that more outlandish than a talking bush afire or immaculate conception or some awesome guy rising from the dead? Of course that’s up to the individual but atheist though I am, I recognize that wacky beliefs fuel the world and I have always wondered why some wacky beliefs make the cut for widespread belief and some don’t. I suspect it is personal salvation and a sense of a larger presence looking out for us in a positive manner, something that most conspiracy theory lacks, but the cynics among us might think that makes conspiracy theory more believable.

But an angel Moroni brought Joseph Smith golden plates and a British clerk named Kilder remembered a bunch of fantastic stuff, wrote it down and shared it with Piccard and there isn’t a whole lot of proof for either happening so all you can do is decide whether or not you believe. I don’t believe either, mainly because I lack of capacity for belief but conspiracy is amazing to me in the same way religion is because I love seeing what it is that make people believe and how beliefs evolve. Conspiracy is a religion, pure and simple, a religion without a savior, and in a way, that makes it all the more amazing. So yeah, I give this no credence but I don’t have to because I love it for what it is, not for its truth or reality.

So back to Piccard. After chapter one, the rest of the book becomes his version of world events filtered through the lens of his take on the conspiracy controlling the world, and even without this filter, this book is a good conspiracy primer because it covers pretty decently a lot of territory, from Operation Paperclip to LSD as a CIA means of mind control and how it influenced the Kennedy administration, the JFK assassination, Area 51 and UFOs, MK-ULTRA, Jim Jones, the general complete anomaly that is the state of Ohio and AIDS. This is just a small sample of what this book discusses and like I said, if you remove the whole Liquid Conspiracy you still get an excellent overview of conspiracy and high weirdness in general. I could spend a lot of time dissecting the weirdness but this is not new weirdness outside of the Liquid Conspiracy. All that is different is the interpretation of the forces behind it. So if you are new to conspiracy, you could do a lot worse than begin your trip into this cloudy place of utter paranoia reading this book.

So I say read it. I haven’t been able to find out much about George Piccard online and that’s a shame that this guy may have petered out at some point, but this kind of thing gets exhausting for men who are not made of stern and lunatic stuff, like Alex Jones. But even as a side player in the madness, I think Piccard deserves a look.

Apocalypse Waiting to Happen by Dr. John Coleman

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Book: Apocalypse Waiting to Happen: The Plagues That Threaten Us All

Author: Dr. John Coleman

Type of Book: Non-fiction, conspiracy theory, disease

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Well, I bought it at the marvelous Austin book store, Brave New Books. That’s a good clue as to potential oddness. The content cinched the deal.

Availability: Published by World in Review Books in 2009, you can get a copy here:

Comments: Take this statement for what it’s worth but it took me forever to write this discussion because I came down with a case of the flu that will not go away. If I were paranoid, I would be very concerned.

Man, I am definitely going to have a good time examining this book in close detail because it combines all the best things I have come to love in lunatic screeds predicting the end of the world, but before I begin, I have to say that books like this make me long for the days of ‘zines. Really, this book is a long form ‘zine, or maybe a very long newsletter. This book should have been written on an electric typewriter, single spaced, no margins, hand-written corrections in the margin and mailed to everyone who signed up for it. This book took me back to those days long past, wherein the only way one could get a hold of a strangely-spelled, interestingly-reasoned screed was to wait impatiently by the mail box.

If you are of the right mind, this book will amuse you to no end. Because when you pick up a book that is ostensibly discussing the diseases that could mark the end of the world, and the disease “Guillain Barre” is spelled “Guillane Barre” on the cover and in the table of contents you find a chapter called, “The Terrible Toll of NRSA,” you know you are in for one hell of a time.

There are moments of complete coherence wherein you think, “Hey, Dr. Coleman may be on to something, though he seems like he may be overstating it.” Then there are moments of utter lunacy wherein you think, “What sort of doctor is this guy anyway?” I still have not been able to determine what his doctorate is in, or if he is an MD, but the little bit of research I did showed me that Dr. John Coleman is a man who should have already been on my radar because he is a conspiracy theory Renaissance Man. Sometimes I am disappointed in myself but I comfort myself with the knowledge that my new Kindle and I will rectify my Coleman deficiency as soon as possible.

So, in just the cover and the table of contents, I already know this book’s content is going to be a bit iffy and my suspicions are played out in the text. This book is ostensibly a treatise on the diseases that could potentially end mankind as we know it, and it takes all kinds of very interesting turns while offering some information that turned out to be more or less factually correct when I looked into it and some that is simply the stuff of conspiratorial dreams (and that is a statement anyone should take advisedly because though I am deeply interested in illness as a topic, I am a liberal arts sort of gal, not a scientist).

It’s hard to buy into the alarmist nature of the book but all conspiracies are alarmist and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I knew I was in for a ride when I read this (and from here on out, just know I am not going to enter the traditional [sic] when there is a grammar, spelling or structural problem in Dr. Coleman’s text because it would become tiresome):

The cardinal sin being committed against God and man by the spiritually wicked men in high places is the destruction of mankind through so-called “natural means.”

Okay, so I now know Dr. John Coleman is going to look at this via a Christian filter of the Apocalypse, which is just fine with me because as an atheist I don’t have any dog in that fight but it also means I will be able to dismiss some of what he considers proof. We also know that we might venture into the idea that some of these diseases threatening us are not natural in origin. Hoo boy, I am very excited now. You should be, too.

Despite the fact that I know that very excellent conspiracy awaits me, I have to say the hands-down best parts of this book are all the left turns that come out of nowhere. The sort of shifts in content that make you shake your head and wonder if you missed a page or something, and realize no, it’s not you. The quote I give above is at the top of page 2. Dr. Coleman then spends three paragraphs discussing disease and how it is that the death toll of disease far outweighs casualties of war plus some fear of Socialist government, which was sort of a “What?” but still mildly topical in context, then :RECORD SCRATCH:

This book is not about politics per se, so I will confine my remarks to posing the question that so badly needs to be asked: What in God’s name are our soldiers doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?

No matter how tragic the Columbine School and the Virginia Tech massacres of April 20, 1999 and April 16, 2007, they cannot be viewed as anything other than sad and terrible occurrences. What is so savage about it all is that the victims were not allowed by law, to defend themselves.

Okay, so we now know this is going to be a roller coaster of weirdness. We now have a pretty good window into Dr. Coleman’s mind: the government is going to kill us with disease, governmental action that Dr. Coleman does not like will be called Socialist and he is pro-gun to the extent that he thinks high school freshmen should carry them to school. And if it sounds like I am mocking Dr. Coleman, maybe I am a little, but mostly I have mild affection for people with mindsets complete different than mine because without them this website would be basically a shill for Eraserhead Press. And, it has to be said, I have been known to harbor one or two wacky ideas myself…

Of particular interest to me was Dr. Coleman’s take on the Clinton presidency refusing to destroy all of the smallpox samples housed with the CDC:

In 1996 the World Health Organization demanded that all existing stocks of smallpox viruses be destroyed. At first the United States was vociferous in its demands, that all nations possessing stocks of the virus join the U.S. in destroying such stocks. All of a sudden, having gotten a taste of what it is like to be mass killers in Serbia and Iraq, the governments of Britain and the United States did a 180 degree turn. “We are not going to carry out our previous decision” (to destroy the smallpox hoard), said Clinton “just in case the U.S. may need them in the future.” This startling announcement came on April 22, 1999. Mark the date well. Future historians will trace the start of the coming apocalypse to this date.

Having read enough Richard Preston to ensure I lost sleep, I have a different take on the U.S. refusal to destroy their smallpox stocks. You see, disease is a form of mutually assured destruction and nations talk a big game about getting rid of disease stocks and nukes but such stores are preventative measure to keep other countries from using disease as a form of warfare because they know we could just return the favor. Moreover, in the event a country launches a dirty bomb against us and we don’t have samples of the disease to make a vaccine, we are sitting ducks. Unpleasant, but true. Stocks of nukes and stocks of disease make for better diplomacy in a world wherein seats of political power are occupied by egoists and madmen. Interestingly, before declaring Clinton the worst sort of bastard for reneging on the U.S. promise to destroy smallpox stocks, Coleman, who has already shown little use for dictatorships and Socialism in general, declares:

When apprised of Clinton’s decision not to destroy our stash of deadly smallpox viruses, Mikhail Shurgalis, Russia’s spokesman on the treaty, denied his country has any stocks of smallpox. Iran and China also deny holding any Biological Warfare stocks.

Okay, I don’t think Dr. Coleman is twisting facts and ideas to suit his particular hobbyhorse. I think riding his hobbyhorse gives him a strange myopia. Does he really trust Iraq, Russia or China’s word on whether or not they destroyed their smallpox stores? And say Clinton had believed them and sometime in our lifetime we found out those nations in fact had their smallpox stores and we had destroyed our disease deterrent as well as the means to make a vaccine? Policy in such matters is cloak and dagger to be sure but not nearly as straightforward as Dr. Coleman seems to think. “Oh, China and Russia say they no longer have smallpox viruses? That’s good enough for us. Those countries have never given us cause to doubt them before,” seems to be the reasoning where disease stockpiles are concerned. Would such a naive approach work in nuclear disarmament? Probably not.

The overall structure of Dr. Coleman’s book makes some level of sense and as a rule, I can see where he is coming from as this sort of conspiracy is nothing new – the government wants us sick and covers it up, the government accidentally makes us sick and covers it up. Many people exhibit this manner of thinking, notably Jenny McCarthy, and it was therefore not that surprising to see it in action here.

Autism in children may be the result of vaccinations. British doctor, Stephen Walker, was the first to discover a possible link between child vaccinations and autism on June 3, 2006. This has led to speculation among medical researchers that there must be a common factor somewhere, but discovery of what that factor is, remains beyond reach. Are we being used as human guinea pigs?

Well, we might be, but not via vaccinations. Stephen Walker has come out and admitted he cannot prove a link between the MMR vaccine and autism and as of right now there is not a single link between vaccinations and autism.

But Dr. Coleman is all too willing to go that extra step in the course of his paranoia despite the fact that one of his own sources has backed down from his initial findings:

We know now vaccines injected into children weaken their immune system and leave them vulnerable to other diseases. Could it be that the grand design is to make children vulnerable to infectious plagues, which will then sweep millions of people to their deaths in far greater numbers than the Black Plague of the 14th Century? After all, didn’t Bertrand Russell say that there had to be a return of the Black Plague. Vaccinations have become the chic way of allegedly warding off terrible diseases, but what we are learning through research into such illnesses as chronic fatigue syndrome is that the more prevalent the inoculations programs are, the more there is a growing incidence of strange and exotic diseases, which hitherto, were unknown or only occurred in limited numbers.

It’s actually extremely questionable that vaccines weaken a child’s immune system when the end result is that children with these vaccinations do not develop mumps, measles, German measles, whooping cough and all the myriad childhood diseases that made children die left and right. And if you don’t get Dr. Coleman’s riff about Bertrand Russell and why his musings on the Black Plague are de facto evidence of anything sinister in the government to sicken people, it’s discussed in the book and evidently in some of his other books and I will touch on it more in a bit. But yeah, it’s conspiri-tastic. And bless Dr. Coleman for associating vaccines with the word “chic.” When I get my next flu shot I better get a Chanel bandaid. I also dispute the idea that CFS is new or burgeoning as it is a disease that most commonly afflicts women and the annals of medical history are crammed with depictions of sickly, easily tired, wasting, neurasthenic women. CFS has been around for a long time but like most auto-immune illnesses, there is still very little known about it.

But don’t get me wrong. I love conspiracy theory but I have no issue discussing where it falls short and can be dangerous. Hell, the conspiracy about vaccines has led some to believe that Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine advocacy has a body count. So while I am largely amused by Dr. Coleman and quite interested in reading more of his books, the fact is, he sort of doesn’t mind mixing it up in a way that makes it hard to swallow even the passages where he gets things right. The government is at fault, Bertrand Russell is somehow behind it, and that’s all well and good because heaven knows Russell could stand to be taken down a peg or two posthumously. But given all the conspiratorial bends this book takes, the following was… shocking… and upsetting to a liberal gal like me:

The incidence of all strains of hepatitis, A-G, is very heavy in Central and Latin America and India, and immigrants from these areas are not screened when they are arrive in the U.S., so that there is a vast pool of infection — a veritable reservoir of hepatitis in our midst. In California the situation has become so serious as to border on panic as more and more people are discovering that they are infected with hepatitis C. Yet, in spite of the terrible dander, concerned citizens who demand medical screening for immigrants are called “racists.”

Terrible dander, eh? One would think a panic about an infectious disease that reduces lifespan would be more than a dander but maybe I shouldn’t nitpick that. Instead let me nitpick facts. In the United States, the vast majority of people who currently have Hepatitis C contracted the disease before blood was tested for the diseases as a matter of course in refined tests to find the disease, which was developed in 1990. Since accurate screening began, the number of people who contract Hepatitis C has fallen dramatically. In the current climate, the top causes for Hepatitis C transmission are via risky sexual and drug usage behaviors. Because Hepatitis C is blood-borne, there is some risk from food-handlers, and to be blunt, no one really knows all the potential methods of transmission but blood seems to be the most reasonable risk.

But as a whole, it is, in fact, racist to say that people from Central and Latin America and India who have Hepatitis C are more likely to become drug abusers and engage in unprotected sex, and statements like this one, a statement Dr. Coleman makes several times in the book, is a rallying cry for people who desperately need to cling to something to prove motive behind their race hate. Moreover, most people well-versed in epidemiology will tell you that we have far more to fear simply from legal travel. A disease like Hepatitis C is small beans compared to the capacity for a super-flu to spread and cause a pandemic because of the ease of rapid air travel. Immigrants with Hepatitis C are the least of our troubles.

But the weird statements don’t stop there, and it would be disappointing if they did:

In a sense, HVC [Hepatitis C] is worse than HIV because there is no indication at the onset of the disease that one is really ill.

Well, actually, there isn’t a whole lot at the beginning of HIV contraction that lets you know you’ve contracted the disease. Obviousness of infection and delay of symptoms are actually a common trait of both conditions.

Then there are the delightful statements, like this one:

It is more desperately urgent, that we defend our liver!

Ignoring the implication that we are all sharing a single liver, I shouted a comma-less variant of this exhortation the day I stopped drinking.

Now here is why Dr. Coleman is such an excellent conspirator: He lays out interesting information that may or may not link together ideas but never really follows through, which is one of the hallmarks of excellent conspiracy:

A horrific outbreak of the Black Plague occurred in 1348, dislocating the wage and price structure producing major economic and political conditions and social crisis, and carrying away millions of people. We are presently living in the middle of economic and political conditions closely paralleling those of 1338, which fit in with the predictions of Ziegler who said a great plague would come by the year 2020. This also confirms the expectations of Hecker who said that each succeeding plague would be more virulent that the last. In 1347, famine in parts of Europe, notably in what is now Italy, helped the spread of the Black Plague. Compare this with Africa today, where millions are dying from starvation and AIDS.

Actually, Dr. Coleman rides off the rails with the AIDS comparison because despite the sheer horror of AIDS, the fact remains that it does not kill with the rapidity of yersinia pestis. A person with AIDS can live a very long time and the way the disease is spread is more selective so while it is a pandemic in parts of Africa, it is not even in the same class of rapid-death disease spread we are discussing when we talk about Black Plague. But this is a tantalizing passage because Dr. Coleman is not talking about Nostradamus-styled predictions. Phillip Ziegler is an excellent source for information about the history of the Black Death and it would have been nice if Dr. Coleman had told us how the economic and political conditions today closely parallel those of 1338 because having read Ziegler (admittedly many years ago), I don’t see the correlations. The Hecker he is referring to is J.H. Hecker and I know nothing of his work so I don’t know if Hecker is a good source, but this could have been such an interesting section if Dr. Coleman had laid out for us how we are looking at a political climate and social climate that could result in a plague. I think such conditions are here. I’ve read enough writers like Laurie Garrett to know that things could become quite dire quite quickly if conditions were right. I just want Dr. Coleman to better explain his alarmist utterings.

And I gotta tell you, his section on MRSA, though he calls it “NRSA” in his table of contents, was damn informative. I have family in the medical community who have echoed that MRSA is a nightmare, that once a hospital has a MRSA contamination, getting rid of it is dicey, that unions prevent some hospitals from removing from service nurses who test positive as being carriers for MRSA via the nose tests, and that in many cases, surgery is a crap-shoot (and if you ever read much about prion diseases, you will fear surgery for the rest of your life, believe me). I had to have a steel plate put in my ankle two years ago and I recall the weird things people told me to do after surgery. One nurse told me that after surgery that I needed to go home and run the hottest water I could stand over my incision, no matter what the doctors said. I didn’t because it would have hurt like 20 bastards in a bastard boat but I always wondered if she told me this because she felt this was a deterrent to MRSA. The parts about MRSA are as jumbled and use as interesting grammar as the rest of the book but here Dr. Coleman was on point and his paranoia, while perhaps overblown and strangely stated, was not out of bounds when healthy teenagers are picking the infection up in locker rooms and dying from it.

And then there are other sections where he starts off strong, with cogent, well-thought out points, but then he just veers off course, falls down the mountain and crashes in the valley below. In an excellent paragraph explaining what he failed to explain in the passage about the Black Plague, Dr. Coleman explains in detail how poverty, overcrowding, and crappy government in Brazil have led to a perfect storm for AIDS that could lead to a complete pandemic. Then he follows that with this:

The monsters in the Club of Rome and those running the Global 2000 mass extermination program are well pleased with their work. Barring a change of plan – – which appears totally unlikely – – billions of people will die of AIDS this decade. If Lord Bertrand Russell and H.G. Wells were alive today, they would look upon AIDS as a providential gift, a dream come true.

Dr. Coleman explains earlier in the book what the Club of Rome is and why Bertrand Russell and H.G. Wells are among history’s greatest monsters (they evidently are a part of a plot to kill off “useless eaters”) but I’m weary, the explanations are suitably lunatic and until I read his books on the topics themselves, I will not discuss them, but I wonder why, in the face of actual evidence of wrong-doing that causes problems in the here and now we have to ascribe these ills to the machinations of two dead Brits, one so priapic he barely had time to manage his sex life with decorum, let alone plot to destroy the world a century after his death.

Dr. Coleman’s information about AZT, the drug used to treat AIDS is another instance wherein Dr. Coleman may have been presenting excellent information but the fact that he thinks that Bertrand Russell was a part of a cabal to kill off the world makes it hard to know if AZT is the poison that Dr. Coleman says it is. That’s one of the few times conspiracy theory makes me unhappy – when conspiracy folk may have an excellent point but you can’t trust in it because of all the lunacy that accompanies it. A very basic Google proved that AZT is not in fact the miracle drug I had initially thought it to be. But it is… unsettling that many of the voices who bring us dissenting information are as untrustworthy in their own way as the the standard sources of news.

His take on flu viruses, especially H1N1, was timely but also unnecessarily alarmist:

According to a top scientist for the United Nations, who examined the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, as well as the victims of HIV/AIDS, concluded that H1N1 possesses certain transmission vectors that suggest that the new flu strain has been genetically manufactured as a military biological warfare weapon.

He goes on to cite “scientists,” who are evidently working for the UN, who say that H1N1 was a human-engineered disease, which doesn’t pass the basic skeptic sniff test. The H1N1 virus subtype has been identified for almost a century, both the avian and swine infections. I can only assume that the horror of it creating a Spanish flu-type pandemic (which was caused by the avian H1N1 virus) is one of the reasons people feared this disease so much and as I have begun to note, fear is the cause of most conspiracy. However, unless anyone can give me the mechanism by which they think this known disease was mutated to make it similar to Ebola, I call shenanigans. I can only assume that the reason anyone would link H1N1 to Ebola is because the former on occasion and the latter always cause a cytokine storm in the sufferer. But the cytokine storm was an element of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic so again, we’ve known for almost a century that cytokine storms can happen in flu and it would be hard to say that a flu that causes a cytokine storm is anything new.

The conspiracy continues, and this seems especially odd since Dr. Coleman understands in Brazil how poverty, overcrowding and bad government contribute to the spread of disease:

…I believe that Swine Flu will return with a vengeance once the creators of the virus have finished their new genetic model and it is once again released to run amuck throughout the world. Certainly there have been several major pandemics in the U.S. (poliomyelitis, Spanish Flu and Avian Bird all proven or suspected). With Swine Flu, there should have more than likely been well over a thousand fatalities. But what was the actual count? The only fatality was a child. Of course that has changed but why is it that so many more deaths occurred in Mexico than anywhere else. Other races, even other Hispanics, appear to contract a much milder form. Was this due to the lack of medical facilities and the state of the slums around Mexico City and other major cities? But if one looks at Rio de Janeiro and its infamous “favelez” slums –far worse than anything found in Mexico — the theory does not hold up.

Well, the epicenter of the Swine Flu outbreak occurred in Mexico City, not Rio. Had it started in Rio, would we wonder why people in Mexico City slums didn’t fall as fast or as often? No. Where a disease begins is hit the worst. North and South America had time to react and the disease spread simply didn’t occur the way some panicked epidemiologists suspected it would, exactly as what happened with recent outbreaks of SARS and Avian Flu. And as a whitey white white, I got H1N1 and have never been sicker so I am unsure where the idea that other races are less affected comes from – the people who died in the U.S. were not in slums nor were they uniformly of Mexican descent. My anecdata and the actual data simply do not bear out Dr. Coleman’s beliefs.

And it spirals down the rabbit hole from there, with incendiary insinuations that the WHO sat on information about the outbreak of Swine Flu in Mexico, the WHO may have started the outbreak and bizarre and completely unscientific assertions that it is impossible for “four different viruses from three different animals” to mutate into a single disease.

And that’s the worst part of this whole thing, the sour note at the end of this symphony of sickness: Dr. Coleman has interesting points that are made suspect or outright overshadowed by some of his more lunacy-laden beliefs. I haven’t read anything else by Dr. Coleman – maybe he has a line on information that will completely redefine how I think about Bertrand Russell – but there is enough truth in so much that is terrible in medical history that I really don’t need to know about the Club of Rome or a plan by H.G. Wells to believe terrible things have happened and have been covered up. The presence of such whackadoodlery taints the points that Dr. Coleman could drive to town and take to dinner. Hell, I consider myself a skeptic but still believe Edward Hooper’s research that indicates that AIDS is a zootrophic condition that jumped from simians to humans as a result of the development of an oral polio vaccine in Central Africa. That’s some hard core conspiracy right there but it doesn’t require a cabal of long dead elites – just the hubris of a few men who hid the bad things they did and a compliant and easily redirected medical community and press that would not and still refuses to look hard into the issue.

So, I can’t really recommend this book unless you, like me, like nothing more than out-there conspiracy and stories of disease. I think Dr. Coleman’s works, however, are going to appear here again soon, because I have had ill-will for H.G. Wells after discovering he was a plagiarist of the worst sort. I really want to believe Dr. Coleman that Wells was indeed a terrible, terrible man. But there are far better books that make the case for conspiracy and illness. Tackle one of those first before reading this. But I intend to start reading Dr. Coleman’s works apace. He seems a man who will offer a ton of insanity with a few ounces of clarity and frankly, a few ounces of clarity combined with the entertainment of good conspiracy are worth it for me.

The Covert War Against Rock by Alex Constantine

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Book: The Covert War Against Rock

Author: Alex Constantine (and yeah, I am submerged in his site right now, reading about Duncan and Blake – brb after I have fallen off the deep end entirely)

Type of Book: Rock and roll, conspiracy theory

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: It posits unusual theories about the deaths of famous rock stars.

Availability: Published by Feral House in 2000, you can get a copy here:

Comments: Okay, by now, if you’ve spent any time reading here, you’ll know I am highly skeptical of much conspiracy theory despite the fact that I can’t ever read enough about it. Yet, even as a skeptic, I have a conspiratorial bent to me, depending on how much my belief is beggared. I think there was a covert CIA plot to kill JFK. The more and more I read about the death of RFK, the more uneasy I am about whether or not Sirhan Sirhan acted alone and if his current mental state is due to organic schizophrenia. So embracing such ideas means that a little part of me believes that elements of the American government could want specific celebrities dead. And while some of this book seemed unlikely to me, some of it that hit my belief-o-meter. I’ll need to read more and research more before I can completely buy into some of this content, but there was a lot of information in this book that had the ring of truth to it.

I was surprised at how much of this I knew before reading this book – I’ve clearly absorbed more conspiracy than I thought. Very little of it was new, yet I am surprised by my reactions at the parts that were new to me. I mean, I always suspected there was much more behind the deaths of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh than just cancer and a gun shot, respectively. I mean, when the CIA decides to destabilize an entire country, it isn’t too much to believe that they would also take steps to assassinate reggae musicians who, through their charisma and music, were overt leaders against American political control. Did Bob Marley really get cancer via a copper wire put in boots given to him by the son of a head of the CIA? I tend to think maybe not, but then again, I also live in a world where dissidents get killed via ricin in an umbrella gun.

But the part of this book that was the most new to me was the section about Tupac Shakur. I recall clearly when he died but I thought little of it. He had seemed like a gangsta to me and gangstas sometimes get shot. I didn’t (and mostly still don’t) listen to rap and knew little about the man, to be honest, but the media portrayal of him painted a picture that substituted itself for real information about the man and his death. Constantine’s research into Shakur’s death revealed a completely different picture of Shakur for me, and pointed to very sound reasons why there might have been a conspiracy to kill him. That Shakur was the heir apparent to an activist family, one of whom escaped from prison and defected to Cuba, the way the shooting occurred, the seeming lack of police attempts to solve the murder, all make it seem as if there were some sort of conspiracy to kill Tupac and obfuscate the investigation.

Aside from the belief that Mama Cass Elliot may have been the victim of government-sponsored assassination, there was not a single case in this book that I could say, “Pants!” to (Cass Elliot died of an undetected heart defect, nothing more, nothing less). Whether or not you think the government killed John Lennon, Phil Ochs, Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison, Constantine raises interesting questions about time lines, government interest in these performers and details that were blurry then and blurrier now. (Actually, I did invoke underpants when I read Constantine refer to Donald Bains’ The CIA’s Control of Candy Jones. I found the book so lacking in anything approaching proof that I didn’t even want to keep the book once I discussed it here. Candy Jones was a victim of her own sad mind and the utter incredulity of Long John Nebel, not the MK-Ultra program or the CIA or anything else.)

Of all these deaths presented in this book, it was Michael Hutchence’s that affected me the most. Born in 1970, neatly sandwiched between the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, I was too young to be as interested when most of the stars in this book died, or, in some cases, I was not alive yet. But INXS was a band I adored as an adolescent and young adult. I recall seeing INXS perform on their tour for Listen Like Thieves. Terrence Trent D’Arby opened and despite being in nosebleed seats, my friends and I danced and danced, thrilled to be there. Shabooh Shoobah and The Swing are two of my favorite pop albums ever. His death just seemed so unlikely – death by auto-erotic asphyxiation? Really? The information Constantine presents about elements of Hutchence’s death, important details that never made the public airways, genuinely make me wonder about Hutchence’s demise.

All in all, this was an interesting book. It took itself seriously and as a result, I took it seriously. Constantine certainly knows his conspiracy, and he can write a tight sentence. I think the chapter on Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls is worth the price of admission, and the chapter on Marley and Tosh was a welcome double feature. I don’t buy all of the content in this book but it raises a lot of questions, which, when you are dealing with content of this sort, is often the best anyone can ask for. I mean, I still think Mark David Chapman acted alone, but just because he beat the government to John Lennon, that doesn’t mean the government did not want him dead. This the oddbooks corollary to “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.”

(However, aside from Mama Cass and Candy Jones, this book did strike a major discordant note with me. Maybe rock conspirators can help me out. Constantine asserts that Joan Baez claims she is a survivor of ritual abuse via the Monarch Project. However, the sources he uses combined with his specific verbiage do not support that Baez ever said she was a victim of ritual abuse. Though he says Joan makes this claim, his actual sources never verify anything except she is a vocal opponent of torture and that she has been in intensive therapy. So I fired up the ol’ Internet to see what I could find out.

After several hours spent online reading lots of assertions that Baez survived the Monarch Project (and cringing as the sites pinged my anti-virus software), all I could find were people saying that because her father worked for Cornell, the supposed site of many government mind control experiments in Ithaca, and because she wrote a song called “Play Me Backwards,” which has lyrics that can be interpreted as the words of an abuse survivor, Baez was a victim of mind control. I could not find a single source with a direct quote from Baez indicating she was a victim of the Monarch Project. Those sites that claim she says such a thing use her song lyrics as a de facto admission on her part, which in my mind is hardly the same thing.

More troubling is that the longer I read, the more familiar the phraseology the sites used became. In fact, I began to think there was a single source that asserted Baez was a victim of the Monarch Project, likely based on the fact that she once lived in Ithaca and wrote a disturbing song, and endless others cited that first source. See for yourself what I mean. Google “joan baez ritual abuse.” Soon the phrase self-described victim of ritual child abuse will become very familiar, as all the sources for this information seem to be revisiting one original source that I cannot run to ground. If the belief that Baez was a victim of such abuse is stated outright by Baez somewhere and I missed it, I would love it if someone would direct me to the source. That she has been through intense therapy and speaks out against torture is not enough proof in my books. Interpretation of song lyrics is not enough proof either. Baez has worn her beliefs and attitudes openly for years, speaking out about injustices. If she was a victim of the Monarch Project, I would expect there to be a direct quote from her saying so, not innuendo about song lyrics. So if it is out there and I densely overlooked it, please direct me to it. Leave a comment here, or e-mail me. Some of you send me some pretty interesting e-mails so if anyone knows the answer, I think one of my readers might.)