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Other Hoaxes / Utah Flash Fans Duped by Michael Jordan Hoax
« on: December 08, 2009, 04:46:19 PM »

Utah Flash Fans Duped by Michael Jordan Hoax

Flash owner promised showdown, delivered sham

His Airness has left the building. Not that he ever entered it in the first place.

That's what some angry fans at Utah's McKay Events Center found out when a Michael Jordan-lookalike showed up at the Utah Flash's home opener.

More than 7,500 fans came to the NBA D-League game, hoping to see Jordan play one-on-one against former Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell -- who he humiliated for a poster shot his last NBA finals --  at halftime. But when an imposter stepped onto the court, the crowd booed furiously. In an attempt to subdue the angry crowd, cheerleaders threw free t-shirts into the stands, but irritated fans threw them right back.

The well-scripted hoax began back in September, when—in his induction speech—Jordan called Russell out on some of the latter's trash talk. Hoping to capitalize on the rivalry, Flash owner Brandt Andersen threw down the gauntlet, encouraging a one-on-one competition and offering $100,000 to a charity of the winner's choice.

Jordan never responded to the challenge, but that didn't stop Andersen from promoting it.

In fact, Andersen went so far as to hire a Jordan-lookalike to walk around the local businesses of Orem, Utah, creating buzz that the basketball legend was actually in town. A YouTube video of the Jordan imposter eating at a local restaurant made its rounds online.

Andersen seemed to buy into his own hoax, saying "We did think there was a chance he might be here," reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Russell knew about the scam and played into it, building up the crowd's excitement at the fateful game. But when the 7,500 people found out they had been duped, they stormed out of the stadium.

"This was done in fun," Andersen explained in the Utah Flash Owner's Blog. "If you did not see it as fun or you feel we went over the top, I am sorry."

As part of his apology, Andersen is offering free tickets to a future Flash game to fans who attended the home opener.

"If you were offended by the stunt I sincerely apologize," he continued. "Good or bad, I hope it got you talking. I hope you were entertained."

Oh, we are most certainly talking, Mr. Andersen. But the words we're using can't be printed here.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

Copyright NBC Local Media / NBC Chicago First Published: Dec 8, 2009 1:29 PM CST

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Conspiracy Theories / 9/11 conspiracy theories
« on: December 08, 2009, 04:14:29 PM »

There is so much information about this, that it's impossible to post it all here, check out these links:
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Conspiracy Theories / The Bombing of Pearl Harbor
« on: December 08, 2009, 03:52:39 PM »

On the evening of December 6, 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president of the United States, received a message intercepted by the U.S. Navy. Sent from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy in Washington, the message was encrypted in the top-level Japanese "purple code." But that was no problem. The Americans had cracked the code long before that.

It was imperative that the president see the message right away because it revealed that the Japanese, under the heavy pressure of Western economic sanctions, were terminating relations with the United States. Roosevelt read the thirteen-part transmission, looked up and announced, "This means war."

He then did a very strange thing for a president in his situation.


The Japanese secret declaration of war never reached the people who needed to hear it the most - Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the unit's commanding general, Walter Short. Pearl Harbor, it was common military knowledge, was where the Japanese would strike. If they struck.

At dawn the next morning a Japanese squadron bombed Pearl Harbor and the surprise attack was just that, a complete surprise. At least to Kimmel and Short and the 4,575 American servicemen who died.

It may not have been such a surprise to Generals George C. Marshall and Leonard T. Gerow and Admirals Harold R. Stark and Richmond Kelly Turner. They were the military's top brass in Washington and the only officers authorized to forward such sensitive intelligence to outlying commanders. But the decoded war declaration did not reach Kimmel and Short until the morning, with the attack well underway off in the Pacific.

Marshall and Stark, supreme commanders of the U.S. Army and Navy respectively, later testified that the message was not forwarded to Kimmel and Short because the Hawaiian commanders had received so many intercepted Japanese messages that another one would simply confuse them.
Internal army and navy inquiries in 1944 held Stark and Marshall derelict of duty for keeping the Hawaiian commanders in the dark. But the military buried those findings. As far as the public knew, the final truth was uncovered by the Roberts Commission, headed by Justice Owen Roberts of the Supreme Court, and convened eleven days after the attack. Like another investigative commission headed by a Supreme Court justice on a different topic more than twenty years later, the Roberts Commission appeared to have identified its culprits in advance and gerrymandered its inquiries to make the suspects appear guilty. The scapegoats were Kimmel and Short, who were both publicly crucified, forced to retire, and denied the open hearings they desired. One of the Roberts Commission panelists, Admiral William Standley, would call Roberts's performance "crooked as a snake."

There were eight investigations of Pearl Harbor altogether. The most spectacular was a joint House-Senate probe that reiterated the Roberts Commission findings. At those hearings, Marshall and Stark testified, incredibly, that they could not remember where they were the night the war declaration came in. But a close friend of Frank Knox, the secretary of the Navy, later revealed that Knox, Stark, and Marshall spent most of that night in the White House with Roosevelt awaiting the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the chance for America to join World War II.

A widespread coverup ensued. A few days after Pearl Harbor, reports historian John Toland, Marshall told his top officers, "Gentlemen, this goes to the grave with us." General Short once considered Marshall his friend, only to learn that the chief of staff was the agent of his frame-up. Short once remarked that he pitied his former pal because Marshall was the only general who wouldn't be able to write an autobiography.

There were multiple warnings of the Pearl Harbor attack concealed from the commanders at Pearl Harbor. The Winds Code was perhaps the most shocking. That was an earlier transmission, in a fake weather report broadcast on a Japanese short-wave station, of the words higashi no kaze ame. Which means, "east wind, rain." The Americans already knew that this was the Japanese code for war with the United States. The response of top U.S. military officials? To deny that the "winds" message existed and to attempt to destroy all records of its reception. But it did exist. And it was received.

Completely apart from the cloak and dagger of cryptography, the Australian intelligence service, three days before the attack, spotted the Japanese fleet of aircraft carriers heading for Hawaii. A warning went to Washington where it was dismissed by Roosevelt as a politically motivated rumor circulated by Republicans.

A British double agent, Dusko Popov, who siphoned information from Germany, learned of the Japanese intentions and desperately tried to warn Washington, to no avail. And there were others.

Why would Roosevelt and the nation's top military commanders sacrifice the U.S. Pacific Fleet, not to mention thousands of servicemen - an act that could justifiably be deemed treason? They had concluded long before Pearl Harbor that war against the Axis powers was a necessity. The American public would surely bring the public around.

"This was the president's problem," wrote Rear Admiral Robert A. Theobald who commanded Pearl Harbor's destroyers, "and his solution was based upon the simple fact that, while it takes two to make a fight, either one may start it."

"A Small group of men, revered and held to be most honorable by millions," wrote Toland, "had convinced themselves that it was necessary to act dishonorably for the food of their nation - and incited the war that Japan had tried to avoid."

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Conspiracy Theories / The Assassination of John Lennon
« on: December 08, 2009, 03:34:14 PM »

The scene outside New York's spooky old Dakota apartment building on the evening of December 8, 1980, was as surreal as it was horrifying. John Lennon, probably the world's most famous rock star, lay semiconscious, hemorrhaging from four flat-tipped bullets blasted into his back. His wife Yoko O-No held his head in her arms and screamed.

A few yards away a pudgy young man stood eerily still, peering down into a paperback book. Moments earlier he had dropped into a military firing stance - legs spread for maximum balance, two hands gripping his .38 revolver to steady his aim - and blown away the very best Beatle. Now he leafed lazily through the pages of the one novel even the most chronically stoned and voided-out ninth grader will actually read, J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye.

The Dakota doorman shouted at the shooter, Mark David Chapman, "Do you know what you've done?"
"I just shot John Lennon," Chapman replied, accurately enough.

It was a tragedy of Kerkegaardian pointlessness. There was only one apparent way to squeeze any sense from it; write it off as random violence by a "wacko."

"He walked past me and then I heard in my head, 'Do it, do it, do it,' over and over again, saying 'Do it, do it, do it,' like that," Chapman, preternaturally serene, recalled in a BBC documentary several years after going to prison. "I don't remember aiming. I must have done, but I don't remember drawing a bead or whatever you call it. And I just pulled the trigger steady five times."

Chapman described his feeling at the time of the shooting as "no emotion, no anger…dead silence in the brain."

His unnatural tone sounded all-too-familiar. British lawyer/journalist Fenton Bresler took it as a tip-off. Chapman was a brainwashed hit man carrying out someone else's contract.

"Mark David Chapman," writes Bresler, "is in many ways as much the victim of those who wanted to kill John Lennon as Lennon himself."

Prosecutors, as a loss for motive, opted for the cliché: Chapman did it for the attention- the troublesome American preoccupation with grabbing that elusive fifteen minutes of propels many a daily-newspaper-journalist-cum-pop-sociologist into raptures of sanctimony. But Arthur O'Connor, the detective who spent more time with Chapman immediately following the murder than anyone else, saw it another way.

"It is definitely illogical to say that Mark Committed the murder to make himself famous. He did not want to talk to the press from the very start….It's possible Mark could have been used by somebody. I saw him the night of the murder. I studied him intensely. He looked as if he could have been programmed."

O'Connor was speaking to Bresler, and publicly for the first time. Bresler's book Who Killed John Lennon? Offers the most cogent argument that Lennon's murder was not the work of yet another "lone nut."

Conspiracy theories abounded after the Lennon assassination, many rather cruelly fingering Yoko as the mastermind. Another focused on Paul who, by this line of reasoning, blamed Yoko for engineering his arrest in Japan on reefer charges. The Lennon conspiracy turns up on radio talk shows with some frequency, where hosts fend off callers with the "Why bother to kill that guy?" defense.

Only Bresler's thesis, that Chapman was a mind-controlled assassin manipulated by some right-wing element possibly connected to the newly elected (and not even inaugurated) Reagan apparatus of reaction, transcends the confines of pure speculation, extending into the realm of actual investigation.

Even so, Bresler's book a little too often substitutes rhetorical questions ("What does that steady repetition of a voice saying 'Do it, do it, do it,' over and over again in Mark's head sound like to you?") for evidentiary argument. We can forgive him for that failing. Bresler tracked the case for eight years, conducted unprecedented interviews, and extracted a ream of previously unreleased government documents. But unlike researchers into the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, he did not have volumes of evidence gathered by any official investigation, even a flawed one, to fall back on. The New York police had their man, the case was closed the very night of the murder - and, anyway, what political reason could possibly exist for gunning down the composer of "I Am the Walrus"?

In building his case, Bresler established some key points that put the lie to any "Who would want to kill an aging rock star?" brush-off.

Richard Nixon, his administration and other right-wing politicians (including ultraconservative ancient Senator Strom Thurmond, who personally memoed Attorney Gerneral John Mitcell on the matter) were fixated on what they saw as the Lennon problem. To them, the politically outspoken singer-songwriter was an insidious subversive of the worst kind, the famous and beloved kind.

          J. Edgar Hoover shared their concerns. One page of Lennon's FBI file bears the handwritten, block-    
          lettered, under lined words, ALL EXTREMISTS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED DANGEROUS.

          The government went all-out to deny Lennon his longed-for permanent U.S. residency, and more
          than that, to deport him altogether (that was the subject of Thurmond's memo).

          Lennon's FBI file - at nearly three hundred pages as chubby as Hoover himself - reveals that he was
          under "constant surveillance." Nor did the G-men keep a particularly low profile around the ex-
          Beatle, apparently attempting to harass him into silence or at least drive him nuts, similar to the
          tactic they had used on Martin Luther King, Jr., a few short but eventful years earlier.

          In late 1972, when the "surveillance" was at its peak, Lennon told humorist Paul Krassner, "Listen, if
          anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident."

          The FBI and the CIA tracked Lennon at least from his "Free John Sinclair" concert in 1969 until 1976 -
          even though by then Lennon had won his immigration battle and dropped out of not only political
          activism but public life altogether into what turned out to be a five-year period of seclusion. His
          apartment was watched, he was followed, his phone was tapped.

Placing a person under "constant surveillance" and ordering that person executed are admittedly two different things. Nevertheless, Bresler's point is that the government did not consider John Lennon a harmless rock 'n' roller whose awkward entrance into the world of political activism often carried a high cringe factor (as in his Montreal "bed-in").

He was viewed as a dangerous radical who needed to be stopped.

And in a way that official paranoia might have been justified, because as embarrassing as Lennon and Ono's political publicity stunts occasionally became, John Lennon was always capable of seizing the spotlight and speaking directly to millions of young people who venerated him.

With unfettered access to the media, his power was immense, at least potentially so, and recognized by more experienced radicals like Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, who linked themselves to Lennon, clinging to close that they made the rock star uncomfortable.

Lennon was killed just four years after the intense FBI/CIA surveillance ceased. In those intermittent years, Jimmy Carter was president - a Democrat who kept the two gestapo-ish agencies more or less in check.

But in December 1980, when John Lennon's first album in half a decade was high on the charts, Carter was a lame duck chief executive, having lost his reelection bid to Ronald Reagan. Reagan's campaign was managed by career secret agent William Casey, who under President Reagan became the CIA's most freewheeling chief since Allen Dulles. The new far-right administration would reassemble the intelligence services and grant them a cheerful carte blanche.

The forces that tried desperately to neutralize Lennon for at least seven years lost power in 1976. Lennon's government dossier ends in that year. In 1980, as those forces were preparing to retake control of the government, "dangerous extremist" John Lennon emerged from retirement. Within a few months he was murdered.

The paper trail that might support the conspiracy theory is a little thin, however. It doesn't extend much beyond the airline ticket found in Chapman's hotel room; a Hawaii-New York connection departing December 5. But Chapman had actually purchased a Hawaii-Chicago ticket to depart December 2, with no connecting flight. The ticket found after his arrest had apparently been altered. None of his friends knew that he traveled on to New York. They thought he went to Chicago for a three-day stay.

Bresler concludes that the Lennon assassination, which, as Chapman himself noted in a rare interview, "ended an era," bears similarities to another assassination that took place twelve years earlier: the murder of Robert F. Kennedy.

RFK's apparent lone killer, Sirhan Sirhan, and Chapman (coincidentally?) shared a defense psychiatrist. But while Dr. Bernard Diamond couldn't skirt the obvious fact that Sirhan was under hypnosis (Diamond wrote it off as self-hypnosis), he labeled Chapman a "paranoid schizophrenic."

The court disagreed. Chapman even now has never had more than routine psychiatric care since entering his guilty plea. He was not sent to a mental hospital, but to Attica State Prison. He was judged legally "rational."

Bresler clears up a few widely disseminated misconceptions about Mark David Chapman:

          While any mention of his name is now accompanied by the phrase "deranged fan," Chapman was
          anything but. He was no more or less ardent a Beatles/Lennon fan than anyone of his generation.  
          His real rock hero was Todd Rundgren, a cynical studio craftsman who could not be further from  
          Lennon in artistic sensibility.

          Notwithstanding Chapman's announcement months after the murder that he "killed Lennon to gain
          prominence to promote the reading of The Catcher in the Rye," Chapman never exhibited
          strong feelings about the novel until shortly before the shooting. (Catcher, Bresler muses, may
          have been used as a device to trigger Chapman's "programming.")

          After the murder, major media ran bizarre stories of Chapman's supposed growing identification
          with John Lennon - at one point he even "re-baptized" himself as Lennon, according to Newsweek.
          These stories were all quite fascinating, but there was no evidence to back any of them up. (It is
          true that when Chapman quit his last job he signed out as "John Lennon," then crossed the name
          out, but Bresler interprets this, reasonably, as Chapman saying, "John Lennon, I am going to kill  
          you," rather than "John Lennon, I am you."
          Chapman was not a "longer." He was for most of his life a normally social individual and a camp
          counselor who had a special rapport with kids.

Bresler also notes that when Chapman signed up for a YMCA overseas program, he selected an odd destination: Beirut - a perfect place, says Bresler, for Chapman, a once gentle soul, to be "blooded," that is, desensitized to violence.

A final note to the mystery of Mark David Chapman: As he was ready to go to trial and his diligent public defender was winding up six months spent assembling Chapman's defense, the accused killer suddenly decided to change his plea to guilty. His lawyer was perplexed and more than a little perturbed. But Chapman was determined. He said he was acting on instructions from a "small male voice" that spoke to him in his cell.

Chapman interpreted it as the voice of God.

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Conspiracy Theories / The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
« on: December 08, 2009, 03:18:33 PM »

It was must after 6:00 on April 4, 1968, and Martin Luther King, Jr., was standing on the second-floor balcony of Memphis's Lorraine Motel when a sniper's bullet cut through the evening air. Playfully bantering with his driver one moment, King was on his back the next, a pool of blood expanding around his head. Minutes later, the civil rights leader was dead.

The ostensible assassin, captured months later, was James Earl Ray, a petty crook who hadn't shown a previous aptitude for any criminal enterprise more elaborate than gas station stickups and a prison escape. As the result of a deal between his attorney and the prosecution, Ray pleaded guilty and received a ninety-nine-year sentence. But he immediately recanted and, insisting his innocence, has attempted to secure a retrial ever since, without success.

Did Ray kill Martin Luther King? Two and a half decades after the fact, a small mountain of accumulating evidence tends to corroborate Ray's broadest claim that he didn't fire the fatal shot. We now know of that indelible day in Memphis shifts suspicion rather dramatically.

In the days and hours leading up to King's murder, and extraordinary phalanx of government agents, informants, soldiers, and spies quietly filed into Memphis. Their business remains murky, purposefully so - government documents that might shed light on the case are still stubbornly classified.

However, they clearly had little interest in protecting King. His increasingly vocal opposition to the Vietnam War and outreach to impoverished whites had begun to stoke fears of revolution in the streets. Army intelligence, which had spied on King for decades, considered him to be a subversive and possibly a communist. Now they clambered to develop plans that might undercut King's agenda, especially his upcoming March on Washington, billed in a panicky Pentagon intelligence report as "a devastating civil disturbance whose sole purpose is to shut down the United States government." King was the domestic equivalent of the enemy being fought overseas: "a Negro who repeatedly has preached the message of Hanoi and Peking."

Against this martial backdrop, King had returned to Memphis, vowing to restage a nonviolent march in defense of striking sanitation workers. The previous week, a King rally there had erupted into a riot that injured sixty and left one person dead. Egged on the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's hysterical "blind" leaks to the press, the media was now billing King's return as a "dress rehearsal" for looting and rioting in Washington.

Enter the feds, surreptitiously, almost as if they had declared war on King:
In advance of King's visit, the army's 20th Special Forces Group, based in Alabama, had dispatched Green Beret soldiers to various cities in the South, including Memphis. Their mission: Making street maps, identifying landing zones for antiriot troops, and scouting sniper sites -supposedly to crush civil disorder. But the 20th was chock full of Special Operations Group vets, who in Vietnam had worked with the CIA in clandestine operations, including assassinations. According to a former army counterintelligence major quoted in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, "They couldn't let a lot of these crazy guys back into the States because they couldn't forget their training." So the army "dumped" them in Birmingham's 20th SFG. "The rural South was 'in-country," the major said, "and at times things got out of hand." The Ku Klux Klan became the 20th's domestic intelligence network, dubbed "Klan Special Forces."

According to army records obtained in 1993 by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, on April 3 army agents from the 111th Military Intelligence Group arrived in Memphis, where they shadowed King's "movements and monitored radio traffic from a sedan crammed with electronic equipment."

On the day of King's assassination, "eight Green Beret soldiers from an 'Operation Detachment Alpha 194 Team' were also in Memphis carrying out an unknown mission," per the Commercial Appeal.

According to then-Memphis police detective Ed Redditt, "an hour and a half, no more than two hours" before King's assassination, he was summoned from his command post adjacent to the Lorraine Motel and whisked away to police headquarters. Redditt was one of only two officers assigned to protect King. In the police Chief's office, "It was like a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," he later told author Mark Lane. "In this room, just before Dr. King was murdered, were the heads and the seconds in command of I guess every law enforcement operation in this area…The Sheriff, the highway patrol, army intelligence, the national guard. You name it. It was in the room.
Redditt was introduced to the U.S. Secret Service agent who claimed to have flown out from Washington to warn him that a group in Mississippi had put a contract on his head. Redditt, an African American, was ordered to relinquish his post and go home. the supposed "death threat," Redditt learned years later, turned out to have been a false alarm.

The first person to reach the mortally wounded King was Marrell McCullough, supposedly a black radical, but in reality an undercover cop keeping tabs on the minister's entourage for the Memphis police and the FBI. According to Mark Lane, shortly after the assassination McCullough was also working for the CIA.
The local cops behaved plenty suspiciously, too. Memphis's director of police and fire services removed the two black firemen stationed at the firehouse adjacent to the Lorraine Motel. The firehouse, Station 2, became the stakeout where Detective Redditt would surveil and protect King - until Redditt, too, was yanked from the site.

According to FBI documents, the Bureau had recently heard of some fifty threats against King's life, the latest just three days before his death. Despite the warning signs, the local police withdrew their tactical units several blocks away from King's motel. They also failed to seal off streets or issue an all-points-bulletin after the shooting. Consequently, the killer - or killers - had an open escape route.

The assassination was immediately dubbed the work of that familiar American archetype, the nonpolitical loner. And two months after the murder, London authorities arrested James Earl Ray, the leading suspect. Ray a forty-year-old white fugitive, had indeed fled Memphis moments after the fatal shot was fired. Without a doubt, he had some connection to the killing - a fact he has never contested.

The evidence aligned against Ray certainly looked convincing, perhaps too convincing. It included fingerprints on a .30-06 rifle with sniper's scope, which was found on the sidewalk outside a seedy rooming house opposite the Lorraine Motel. Ray had in fact checked into a room there under an alias earlier that day. Bundled with the gun were an assortment of Ray's personal items, including his prison-issued radio taken during his escape from lock-up the previous year.

Witnesses at the boarding house reported seeing a dark-suited man, presumed to be the new "tenant," rushing through the second-floor hallway moments after the shot rang out. He was described as carrying a long package. A minute or so later, patrons in a record store beneath the boarding house saw a similarly clad man rush by the store window, dropping the package onto the pavement with a conspicuous thud. Moments later, they saw a man in a white Mustang bolt away from the curb in a screech of burning rubber.

It didn't look good for Ray, to put it mildly. Not only did the window in Ray's room face the Lorraine Motel balcony, but so did the window in the common bathroom on the same floor, where several witnesses claimed the gunshot originated. The furniture in Ray's room had been rearranged to facilitate access to the window, and among Ray's personal effects ditched on the sidewalk below was a pair of binoculars he had purchased that afternoon.

Ray's inarticulate claims didn't help his case. He insisted that he had been the dupe in a plot organized by a mysterious character named Raoul, whom he described variously as a "blond Latin," a "red-haired French Canadian," or an auburn-haired "Latin Spanish." According to Ray, Raoul had hired him in Montreal the previous year as a courier in a gun-smuggling venture.

As Ray told it, he had purchased the damning rifle and binoculars at Raoul's behest. The rifle was to be a demo model for prospective illegal buyers. Although his boss told Ray to stay near his car parked below the flophouse, Ray claimed that he had driven to a nearby gas station. When he returned to the boarding house, he later asserted, pandemonium was in full swing. Assuming that Raoul's gun deal had gone awry, Ray claimed that he hightailed it out of town, only learning later that King had been gunned down.

Though the official version of events seems to present an open-and-shut case against Ray - bolstered by his initial guilty plea - there are more than a few discrepancies:
Numerous witnesses reported that there were two white Mustangs parked outside the fleabite boarding house in Memphis. Could a man of a similar physical build and attire have impersonate Ray, conspicuously dropping the rifle for the benefit of bystanders, and then peeling away in a car just like Ray's?

For Ray to pack his easily traced personal effects with the supposed murder weapon is the height of criminal stupidity. For him to then dump the incriminating package in plain view of witnesses, a few steps away from his car, is just plain unbelievable. On the other hand, someone trying to frame Ray might do just that.

Only one "witness," Charles Stephens, identified Ray as the man seen fleeing from the boarding house. At first Stephens denied that Ray was the man who rushed from the bathroom, but after languishing in jail for a spell as a "material witness," Stephens changed his story. Later, however, he recanted and complained that he was coerced into signing a false affidavit.
According to Grace Stephens, her husband wasn't even in the building when the shot rang out. It was she who saw a man fleeing down the hall, not her husband. "There's no doubt in my mind," Mrs. Stephens claimed from the beginning. "That wasn't James Earl Ray. It was an entirely different man."
To be sure, the Stephenses aren't the most reliable of witnesses; at the time both were drinking heavily. In a move that certainly seems suspicious, though, soon after her husband was jailed, Grace was illegally confined to a mental institution. According to her lawyer, she was "shuttle off" to the nuthouse because her loud claims threatened the Memphis prosecutor's case against Ray.

Though the rifle and sundry items packed around it were covered with Ray's fingerprints, uncharacteristically it took the FBI weeks to match them to Ray the escaped convict. And none of Ray's prints were found in his room, nor on a box filled with bullets.

There are other mysterious occurrences that belie the lone-nut scenario: On the lam in Toronto, while he was holed up in a boarding house, Ray was visited by a person who has come to be known as "the fat man." The fat man hand-delivered an envelope to the frightened fugitive. Apparently Ray wasn't concerned that this supposed stranger might be a policeman, for according to the hostel keep, her reclusive guest uncharacteristically met the man at the front door. It would seem that the mysterious stranger delivered a wad of cash, for the very next day Ray bought a plane ticket to London.

Canadian authorities later located the fat man, who rattled off an implausible story that nonetheless satisfied the police: He had stumbled upon an envelope bearing Ray's address and decided to return it to its owner. But when author Philip Melanson tracked him down and confronted him years later, the fat man said that he had refused to testify in 1968 in order to avoid getting "a bullet in my head." Later, he added, without elaborating, "Ray and those people are gangsters. They'll kill anyone."

But the best and spookiest evidence of a conspiracy consists of Ray's use of sophisticated aliases during the months leading up to the assassination and directly thereafter.

All four of Ray's aliases have one very crucial connection: they were names of real people living in close proximity to one another in Toronto, Canada. But Ray visited Toronto only once in his life: while on the lam, just after King was assassinated. Yet he had been using several of the false identities months before the assassination. How had Ray come by these names? Typically, Ray's explanations have been evasive.

Melanson tracked down the Canadians, and the scenario he details in his 1989 book, The Murkin Conspiracy, is downright chilling. Months before the assassination, Ray was using the alias, "Eric Starvo Galt." Melanson discovered that, during the same period, the Toronto man named Eric Galt was signing his middle name, St. Vincent, as "St. V.," scribbling lopsided circles for the periods, so that the full name looked to the uninitiated like "Eric Starvo Galt." In an impressive bit of detection, Melanson found that at some point, the real Eric St. Vincent Galt changed his signature, and began signing documents and personal checks as Eric S. Galt. At about the same time, the recidivist American crook James Earl Ray changed his alias to "Eric S. Galt." And this was months before Ray's first and only visit to Toronto!
There were other uncanny parallels between Ray and the Canadians whose names he apparently filched - especially Galt. Ray bore a striking resemblance to Galt. Both had scars above their eyes. In fact, the other Canadians also had facial scars. Four months before the assassination, Ray - the two-big holdup man - underwent plastic surgery, which modified his "very distinctive pointy nose," according to Melanson, and made him look even more like the real Galt. Moreover, the Canadian Galt was a skilled marksman who often toted guns in his car to and from the shooting range and who had visited cities of the American South frequented by Ray.

Melanson's point is very persuasive: These parallels cannot possibly be coincidences. Was someone trying to draw attention to these four hapless Canadians? In fact, that's just what happened. During the search for King's assassin, they became unwitting victims of Ray's aliases. At the time of "the greatest manhunt in history" Galt saw his name blazoned in banner headlines. Had the FBI not identified Ray's prints on the rifle, the innocent Galt would almost surely have become the prime suspect.

What was the point of this sophisticated legerdemain with Ray's aliases? According to Melanson, Galt was the key. "Galt was more than simply a cover: He was man who could be implicated in the crime, at least temporarily, while Ray made his escape." The other two Canadians lived conveniently near Galt, and police might erroneously conclude that the real Galt had stolen his three "aliases" from them. In short, the unsuspecting Galt was set up to be the "wrong man."

The parallels "were surely the result of conspiratorial planning rather than coincidence," concludes Melanson, adding that "This was beyond the capacities of a small-time loser like Ray."

Melanson argues that the conspirators probably selected Galt and cribbed his vital stats by gaining access to his top-secret security clearance file. For Galt was an employee at a Canadian defense firm working on a classified missile project for the U.S. military. His file was kept by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The CIA routinely trades information with the RCMP, raising the possibility that American intelligence had a hand in Ray's elaborate odyssey - and the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

While some assassination researchers believe that Ray was a completely innocent "patsy," others suggest that he played a part in the plot, albeit maybe not as the triggerman. Melanson, who belongs to the latter school, suggests that had Ray reached his ultimate destination, Angola, he would have been discreetly murdered.

Which brings us full circle to the quasi-chimerical "Raoul," Ray's purported master. Ray had supposedly met Raoul in Montreal. In 1968 a Canadian journalist tracked down a "Raoul-like" character in that city. Named Jules Ron "Ricco" Kimble, this American expatriate also was known as "Rolland" or "Rollie."

Although the House Select Committee on Assassinations report stated that Kimble denied any evidence of the murder, in 1989 he told reporters John Edginton and John Sergeant that he had in fact been involved in the conspiracy that killed King. According to Kimble, the plot involved agents of the CIA and FBI, the "mob," and Ray. (Kimble is serving a double life sentence in El Reno, Oklahoma, for two murders he says were political.)

Kimble now claims responsibility for introducing Ray to a CIA operative in Montreal who arranged for Ray's aliases. But was Kimble, himself, the mysterious Raoul? Unfortunately, the story gets murkier, for reporters Edginton and Sergeant cite an anonymous "ex-CIA agent" as confirming that the Agency employed a Canada-based operative who specialized in creating false identities. That operative's name? Raoul Maora.

The evidence of government involvement in the King assassination is admittedly circumstantial. But taken together - the massive presence of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement operative in Memphis, the discrepancies in the evidence against Ray, the Canadian aliases, and the fact that Ray seems to have had a sophisticated support network that kept him on a payroll - the scenario gets, well, curiouser and curiouser.

The FBI's alleged absence from the scene of the crime is particularly odd. The Bureau claimed that it hadn't had King under surveillance in Memphis. For years, however, he had been the target of Hoover's pathological crusade to destroy the "Black Messiah," as King was known in Bureauspeak. That the FBI would innocently call off its unrelenting dogs just as King's "threat" to law-and-order types was cresting stretches credulity to the snapping point.

Did the FBI's illegal campaign against King go beyond its well-documented character assassination? An FBI memo dated less than a year before King died in Memphis seems prescient: It stated that a CIA informant "feels that somewhere in the Negro movement, at the top, there must be a Negro leader who is 'clean' who could step into the vacuum and chaos if Martin Luther King were either exposed or assassinated."

No heir apparent ever emerged - although ultrasuspicious conspiracy trackers note Jesse Jackson's public appearance soon after the shooting in a shirt stained with the fallen martyr's blood - but by hook, crook, or sheer dumb luck, Hoover and his bully boys got their wish.

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Conspiracy Theories / The assassination of Pim Fortuyn
« on: December 08, 2009, 11:59:23 AM »

First I need to say that none of the information below is based on my political views, and a discussion about these political views is absolutely not the discussion I want to arouse. This is about the inconsistencies surrounding the assassination of this Dutch politician.

This is a case I followed myself for quite a while, since this was big news in Holland at the time and still a subject in many discussions. Pim Fortuyn was the first assassinated politician in The Netherlands and therefore both his supporters and opponents were shocked by this assassination.

He made some controversial statements during his political career, but I have to tell you that 'Freedom of Speech' is something that 90% of the people in Holland will defend to death. It's a very important right we have and will always defend, and whatever your political view is, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and free to air it. I agree some might go a bridge too far, but STILL they are allowed to have that opinion, you don't have to agree with it, you don't have to respect the opinion, but ALWAYS respect the fact that also that person can have and air that opinion.

Pim Fortuyn also had an opinion. He seemed far-right to me at that time, because of how he was portrayed in the mainstream media. As I grew older (and wiser?) I read some more about him, his life, his views, the way he was portrayed and the circumstances surrounding his death. I learned that this case was not as black and white as they wanted us to believe.

Let me tell the story of the political life and assassination of this politician, who has been stating multiple times that he was being demonized and threatened, before he got shot on May 6, 2002.

Pim Fortuyn

Born                 :
Wilhelmus Simon Petrus Fortuijn on February 19, 1948 in Driehuis, The Netherlands
Death         :
May 6, 2002 (aged 54) in Hilversum, The Netherlands
Cause of death      :
Assassinated during Dutch Election of 2002
Occupation      :
Politician, Author, Columnist, Public Servant, Sociologist, Professor
Title                 :
Doctor of Philosophy
Political parties      :
PvdA (1974-1989), VVD (around mid 90's), LN (2001-2002), LPF (2002)
Religious beliefs   :
Roman Catholic

Pim Fortuyn was a Dutch politician, author, columnist, public servant, sociologist and professor who formed his own party, Pim Fortuyn List (Lijst Pim Fortuyn or LPF).

Fortuyn was the centre of several controversies for his views about immigrants and Islam. He called Islam "a backward culture" and said that if it were legally possible he would close the borders for Muslim immigrants. He was labeled a far-right populist by his opponents and in the media, but he fiercely rejected this label and explicitly distanced himself from far-right politicians such as the Belgian Filip Dewinter, the Austrian Jörg Haider, or Frenchman Jean-Marie Le Pen whenever compared to them. While Fortuyn compared his own politics to centre-right politicians such as Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, he also admired former Dutch Prime Minister Joop den Uyl, a socialist. Fortuyn however repeatedly described himself and LPF's ideology as pragmatism and not populism. Fortuyn was openly gay.

Fortuyn was assassinated during the 2002 Dutch national election campaign by Volkert van der Graaf, who claimed in court he had murdered Fortuyn to stop him from exploiting Muslims as "scapegoats" and targeting "the weak parts of society to score points" in seeking political power.

Political career

In 1992 Fortuyn wrote "Aan het volk van Nederland" (To the people of the Netherlands) and declared himself as the successor of the charismatic but controversial Dutch politician Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol.

A one-time communist and former member of the social-democratic PvdA, on 26 November 2001 he was elected by a large majority as "lijsttrekker" (sort of first man on the list) of the newly formed "Leefbaar Nederland" (Livable Netherlands) party to participate in the Dutch general election of 2002.

On 9 February 2002, he was interviewed by the Volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper. The statements he made were considered so controversial that he was dismissed as lijsttrekker the next day. In the interview Fortuyn said, among other things, that he favored putting an end to Muslim immigration, if that were possible. Having been rejected by Leefbaar Nederland, Fortuyn founded his own party LPF (Pim Fortuyn List) on February 11, 2002. Many Leefbaar Nederland supporters transferred their support to the new party.

As lijsttrekker for the "Leefbaar Rotterdam" party, a local issues party, he achieved a major victory in the Rotterdam district council elections in early March 2002. The new party won about 36% of the seats, making it the largest party in the council. For the first time since the Second World War, the Dutch Labour Party found itself out of power in Rotterdam.

For the next three months Fortuyn gave hundreds of Interviews and statements about his political ideology and ideas. In March he released his book "The Rubble of Eight Purple Years" (Puinhopen Van Acht Jaar Paars) with he used as his political agenda for the upcoming general election.

Political views

Views on Islam and immigration

In August 2001, Fortuyn was quoted in the Rotterdams Dagblad newspaper, saying, among other things, "I am also in favor of a cold war with Islam. I see Islam as an extraordinary threat, as a hostile religion." In the TV program Business class Fortuyn said that Muslims in Netherlands did not accept Dutch society. Fortuyn appeared several times in the TV program Business class, moderated by his friend Harry Mens. In this program it has been suggested that his words were interpreted rather harshly, if not wrongly. For instance, he said that Muslims in the Netherlands needed to accept living together with the Dutch, and that if this was unacceptable for them, then they were free to leave. His concluding words in the TV program were "I want to live together with the Muslim people, but it takes two to tango."

On 9 February 2002, he made further controversial statements in a Dutch newspaper, this time the Volkskrant. He said that the Netherlands, with a population of 16 million, had enough inhabitants, and therefore, the practice of allowing as many as 40,000 asylum-seekers into the country each year had to be stopped (however, the actual number was not that high and already falling at that time). He claimed that if he became part of the next government, he would pursue a restrictive immigration policy while also granting citizenship to a large group of illegal immigrants.

Remarkably, he said that he did not intend to "unload our Moroccan hooligans" onto the Moroccan King Hassan. Hasan had died three years earlier. Furthermore, he considered Article 7 of the constitution, which asserts freedom of speech, of more importance than Article 1, which forbids discrimination on the basis of religion, life principles, political inclination, race, or sexual preference. However, he distanced himself from Hans Janmaat of the Centrum Democraten, who in the 1980s wanted to remove all foreigners from the country and was repeatedly convicted for discrimination and hate speech.

Fortuyn proposed that all people who already resided in the Netherlands would be able to stay, but he emphasized the need of the immigrants to adopt the Dutch society's consensus on human rights as their own. He said "If it were legally possible, I'd say no more Muslims will get in here", claiming that the influx of Muslims would threaten freedoms in the liberal Dutch society. He thought Muslim culture had never undergone a process of modernization and therefore still lacked acceptance of democracy and women's, gays', lesbians' and minorities' rights, and feared it would dismiss the Dutch legal system in favor of the shari'a law.

One of Fortuyn's fears was of pervasive intolerance in the Muslim community. In a televised debate in 2002, "Fortuyn baited the Muslim cleric by flaunting his homosexuality. Finally the imam exploded, denouncing Fortuyn in strongly anti-homosexual terms. Fortuyn calmly turned to the camera and, addressing viewers directly, told them that this is the kind of Trojan horse of intolerance the Dutch are inviting into their society in the name of multiculturalism."

When asked by the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant whether he hated Islam, he replied:
“I don't hate Islam. I consider it a backward culture. I have travelled much in the world. And wherever Islam rules, it's just terrible. All the hypocrisy. It's a bit like those old reformed protestants. The Reformed lie all the time. And why is that? Because they have standards and values that are so high that you can't humanly maintain them. You also see that in that Muslim culture. Then look at the Netherlands. In what country could an electoral leader of such a large movement as mine be openly homosexual? How wonderful that that's possible. That's something that one can be proud of. And I'd like to keep it that way, thank you very much.”

Other views

Pim Fortuyn claimed to be neither right wing nor left wing, asked for more openness in politics, and expressed his distaste for what he called "subsidy socialism". He furthermore criticized the media as a "Siamese twin" of the government.

He wanted smaller-scale organization of public services such as health, education, and the police, making extensive use of the possibilities of information technology (for example, a surgeon conducting an operation remotely at a local hospital). Critics said his plans would require building hundreds or thousands of new institutions at enormous expense, but Fortuyn said no extra funds would be allocated until inefficiencies had been removed.

He also held liberal views, favoring the drug policy of the Netherlands, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and related positions.

He wanted to merge the army and air force to save money, retaining only a separate navy, but also favored re-instating compulsory military service, giving youngsters the choice between military service and a new form of public service (in which they would help in hospitals or retirement homes, for example). It is often said that he wanted to disband the army and the air force; however, Fortuyn denied this on 24 March 2002 in a business TV program.

Assassination and aftermath

On May 6, 2002, at age 54, Fortuyn was fatally shot by Volkert van der Graaf in the head and chest as he was leaving the building of a radio station where he had just given an interview. Nine days before the election, a usually peaceful and calm country was rocked by one of its few political assassinations since the slaying of Willem van Oranje (William the Silent) in 1584 during the Dutch uprising against the rule of Spanish King Philip II.
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Van der Graaf was pursued by Fortuyn's chauffeur and captured while still in possession of the gun he used to kill Fortuyn. There was some relief that van der Graaf was a deranged vegetarian and animal-rights activist (Fortuyn's policy he most objected to seems to have been a proposal to lift a ban on mink farming), rather than a jihadist.

Van der Graaf confessed to the crime. Some months later, he received an 18-year prison term. This light sentence is regarded as an injustice by many of Fortuyn's supporters, particularly because the court seems to have accepted in part the defense's argument that Fortuyn was a danger to society.

An immense outpouring of grief followed the assassination. Even people who had not supported him politically lamented the loss of a talented man struck down by an assassin's bullet in a country that prides itself on its calm and rational politics. His death was seen by many as proof that something had gone seriously wrong with the country.

The elaborate funeral featured the slave chorus from Verdi's Aida blaring from loudspeakers and Fortuyn's beloved dogs, Kenneth and Carla, as the chief mourners.

Fortuyn's remains were then transferred to Italy, where he owned property. After his coffin was loaded into a plane, two fire engines on the runway at Rotterdam airport spouted jets of water and formed a rainbow in the sunlight.

Soon, a number of shrines and memorials appeared at Fortuyn's home, at the scene of the crime, in front of Parliament in The Hague, and at the Gay Monument in Amsterdam.

Peter Jan Margry has investigated the messages left at these sites, characterizing them as expressions of grief, condolence, and dismay; declarations of affection and love; attributions of metaphysical qualities to the person of Fortuyn; and angry threats of retaliation, specifically for the perceived "hate campaign" against Fortuyn in the media.

The most immediate result of Fortuyn's death was that all parties ceased campaigning, though the election was not postponed. Since the date of the election was so near, there was no time to reprint the ballots. Technically, people could still vote for Fortuyn, which is what 17% of the voters did. The LPF received 26 seats in the 150-seat chamber, making it the second largest party in Parliament.

Sexual misconduct accusations

In 2005, Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries obtained a secret report of the intelligence department of the Rotterdam police. It became clear from this report that Fortuyn, along with several other members from his party, had been the subject of investigation by the intelligence services. An anonymous informant claimed that Fortuyn had engaged in sex with Moroccan youths aged between 16 and 21; this would have been legal under Dutch law. However, the report contained factual inaccuracies, and the trustworthiness of the original source could not be verified.

The assassin

Volkert van der Graaf (born July 9, 1969) is notable for confessing to the murder. Born in Middelburg, Van der Graaf was a self-described animal rights activist.

On May 6, 2002, Van der Graaf shot Fortuyn, and was arrested shortly thereafter. Van der Graaf stated that he assassinated the populist Dutch politician in order to "protect weaker groups in society," but later expressed doubt over whether his actions were justified. His hearings started August 9. His trial started on March 27, 2003 and continued till April 15, 2003 when he was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison. During the trials, suggestions of insanity were rejected. The trial generated large interest from the Dutch public, especially Fortuyn supporters. Van der Graaf appealed for the reduction of the sentence to 16 years, but on July 18, 2003, the appeals court upheld the previous punishment.
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The questions surrounding the assassination

It was made known that Volkert van der Graaf has admitted that he was responsible for the murder of Pim Fortuyn. Teletekst News says: "Matt Herben isn't convinced that Van der Graaf acted alone. He has requested that the Justice department investigate the matter fully. Marijnissen, leader of the SP party is also intrigued as to whether van der Graaf acted alone." It's also possible that van der Graaf acted alone but that there were other people who knew and allowed it to happen. Even though no hard and fast conclusions can be drawn from this murder-case, DaanSpeak feels it's important to examine all the facts and possibilities surrounding this case.

  • What raises lots of questions (and therefore doubts) is that the police knew very quickly who to arrest and happened to have a six-man strong team already wearing body armour ready to arrest the suspect within minutes of the murder. In fact they had arrested van der Graaf before the ambulances arrived to take the injured Fortuyn to hospital. This speed doesn't compliment the police but raises even more questions.
  • The police from the Gooi en Vechtstreek region were assisted by a half-platoon of police from the Zaanstreek-Waterland police precinct who were coincidentally passing the scene at the time of the murder. The group was driving past the Mediapark when they heard about the shooting over their police radio. According to their spokesman these passer-by policemen offered their immediate assistance."

The actual arrest of van der Graaf was carried out by police from the local Gooi en Vechtstreek precinct.

  • The ambulance that was sent to assist Fortuyn arrived at the Mediapark only to find the gates locked due to a computer malfunction. The minutes extra that it took for the ambulance to enter via another entrance ensured that they would be too late to be of any assistance in saving Fortuyns life. Officials say it took between 12 and 15 minutes for the ambulance to reach the stricken Pim Fortuyn, however eyewitness, Reporter Peter De Vries says: "The story the police are giving about the ambulance isn't accurate. It took 20-30 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. I've asked other people that were there and they all say the same thing."
  • In the Dutch-TV program "Jensen!" announced Pim Fortuyn that if he should be assassinated, the establishment would be as responsable for his death, as the killer. Two months later he was gone.
  • On October 18, newspaper The Telegraaf leads with a thick headline shouting that Fortuyn was being "bugged by the AIVD (Dutch MI5)." writes Theo van Gogh. "Kay van de Linde, campaign organiser of Leefbaar Nederland also thought; 'Pim you're being paranoid.' But the indications became stronger and stronger. There were things made public that only we could have known about." Van de Linde isn't the only one who believes that Pim Fortuyn was being bugged, various former acquaintances of Fortuyn have said the same thing to the Van den Haak commission who are investigating the security of Fortuyn. Van de Linde has since withdrawn his allegations. The Netherlands is "eavesdroppingland" according to experts, in a single month there is more eavedropping in the Netherlands than there is in the US in a whole year. It's ridiculous to suggest that Fortuyn wouldn't have been considered a threat by the establishment.
  • Negligent government and law enforcement bodies failed to protect Pim Fortuyn, despite clear warnings, an independent inquiry concluded. But no amount of police protection would necessarily have prevented Fortuyn, who hated security, being shot by an animal rights activist, its report adds. The report, drafted by an Amsterdam judge, says the inquiry did not seek to apportion blame for Fortuyn's death. Nevertheless, it says that the police, civil servants, government ministers and the secret service were all guilty of shortcomings. Fortuyn fell victim, it suggests, to the Netherlands' famously open society, in which only the prime minister receive special protection. "The system for the personal security of citizens in the Netherlands is in no way geared to protecting persons against a murderous attack by a person who has formed a definite intent to commit the act and has acquired the means to carry it out," it says. "The system is not geared up for this, for the simple reason that no murders of this kind have occurred in the Netherlands for a very long time." The report says Fortuyn's hatred of security and his failure to keep the authorities informed about the threats he received were a mistake. It may be used by Fortuyn's brother Martin to sue the authorities for negligence. Its authors, aided by the Dutch secret service, had unprecedented access to information, including Fortuyn's computer and email account. There were 25 separate incidents in the months before his death, they said, which should have set the alarm bells ringing. The authorities were in a position to know about at least 14 of them. Not all of them were credible threats to his life, but taken together they were more than enough to warrant some kind of police protection. "Both the incidents themselves and the context in which they occurred were in themselves sufficient reason to provide Fortuyn, in the course of the period from February to April 2002, with a form of personal security and protection." "The obvious question is why he was not given it." Thirteen of the 25 incidents were direct threats to his safety by email, fax and the post. Eight compromised his physical safety, and ranged from his being pelted with a beer can and "pies" containing faeces and vomit to being confronted by angry Moroccan youths in a restaurant in the Hague. An intercepted telephone conversation between two animal rights activists saying that he should be dead was also counted, as were broader and earlier threats of blackmail and violence relating to his personal life (he was openly gay). Volkert van der Graaf, the man who was arrested within minutes of the shooting, was alleged to have broken his long silence last month to say that he had killed Fortuyn because he had been worried about his growing political influence. The report recommends a radical improvement of that coordination between government and law enforcement bodies, and with elections coming next month the authorities have carried out threat analyses for all the party leaders assigned protection.
  • In order to leave no stone unturned it's interesting to bring the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) into the picture for a moment. In the Volkskrant newspaper of February 1 this year, Fortuyn said on the day of his murder that he wouldn't necessarily support the Dutch JSF development. Was Fortuyn killed by the CIA? The American secret services have already made it clear that they work in the interests of the Military-Industrial complex and hasn't shied away from taking action on foreign soil. Maybe to claim that the CIA was behind the murder of Fortuyn is going too far. although I thought it was worth mentioning and fact is that only 6 weeks after his death, the LPF (now lead by Matt Herben) unanimous voted in favor the Dutch involvement in the JSF...
What about the Al-Qaida conspiracy theory? Why would the government want to get rid of him?

It was most likely that, if Fortuyn would not have been assassinated on May 6, he would have won the elections and be prime minister.  In my honest opinion he was more of a threat to the Dutch government than to foreign countries and Al-Qaida, because his main goal was to solve problems in own country.  Other parties did not want to form a coalition with the LPF and most parties did not agree with his political agenda. The Al-Qaida conspiracy theory was mentioned in the mainstream media, which makes me think that the rumor was spread intentionally.

With this ‘single’ action Fortuyn was out of the way and the environmental movement was in bad light. That's good, if you want to further expand Schiphol  each year, and want to overbuild the entire green heart of the Netherlands with office buildings.

What also points toward foul play of the government are the sexual misconduct accusations and in particular, the way this info was obtained and published in the mainstream media in November 2005. An official of the AIVD, the national security service, sells his car to a private individual. That person finds some floppy disks, with details about investigations on Pim Fortuyn personally. The investigation was focused on the sex life of Fortuyn, who would have had sex with underage boys. Sound familiar? This is the best way to help the downfall of someone with influence.

This raises some questions:
First: Would Fortuyn put his political ideas at stake just for his own sexual pleasures?
Second: An employee of the AIVD just leaves these diskettes with highly sensitive material in his car when selling it? Don’t you think you would double check your car for personal belongings before selling it? I can’t believe you would have those floppies mistakenly under your seat…
Third: Volkert van der Graaf was sentenced up to only 18 years''. This means that with good behavior he’ll be out in 10 years.  A murder of a political head,  a direct attack on democracy and he did not get the highest punishment in the Netherlands? That’s weird, even for The Netherlands with our low sentences.

06/05 - A movie by Theo van Gogh

A Dutch Film maker and admirer of Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, was filming a movie about his assassination and the conspiracy theorie behind it in 2004: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
He didn’t believe in a conspiracy? I don’t believe that, because before he could finish it, he was murdered on November 2, 2004 in a busy Amsterdam street in the middle of the day…You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Conspiracy Theories / Conspiracy Theories
« on: December 08, 2009, 04:31:41 AM »
You all might have noticed that it's more quiet now. Less MJ news and it's possible we will have not much news until January, since the arrest of Murray is  not to be expected for a while.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login is redirecting more and more lately to conspiracy theories, and today even to a youtube about the Michael Jackson conspiracy, a book written  by Aphrodite Jones (You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login).

I personally don't think that You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login is playing games, not at all actually. I think they are trying to make something clear to us.

I created this new category for those who want to discuss these conspiracies, we all know there are many known conspiracy theories about people that became of big influence in this world like John F. Kennedy, Princess Di, Martin Luther King and of course also Michael Jackson. Also there are the 9/11 and Titanic conspiracies. Lots of things don't add up in these cases, but we only know what the media is telling us. I myself was a little naive at first on these matters, thinking that these theories are everywhere, but not in my own safe homeland. The more I thought about it, the more I found stuff in THIS country as well that have too many stories with inconsistencies. We will start with 2 Dutch conspiracy theories here, to make you aware of the fact that it's not just happening in the US, it happens in your own country as well.

By studying these theories we might be able to understand the path that You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login wants us to walk in order to find the truth, and that's what we are here for, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Please share your knowledge here.


Tags: JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Pearl Harbor, Martin Luther King, Titanic, Princess Di, 9/11, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon / Conspiracy Theories

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Well now this is a weird article:

FIRST PUBLISHED: December 2, 2009 5:01 PM EST
New York, NY --
NEW YORK (AP) — As the old saying goes, “If you like this kind of thing, you’ll like this.”

Mirroring too many other celeb-reality shows that come pledging a personal glimpse at their subjects, “The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty” is stagey, self-conscious and, most of all, self-serving on the part of its participants.

But if you’re a fan of Michael Jackson (always offstage but seldom out of mind), or even the observable members of the Jackson 5 — Marlon, Tito, Jackie and Jermaine — you might enjoy this time spent with them.

The six-hour A&E series premieres at 9 p.m. EST, Sunday, Dec. 13, with back-to-back episodes. The high point of those first two hours comes when Jermaine Jackson cries.

Tearfully, he recalls the dark days of 1976, when the rest of the group leaped to CBS Records while only he stayed behind at Motown, being loyal, he says, “to where we started.”

“Do you know what it is to be alone? Just to be alone?” says Jermaine, choking up. “I’m out in the streets and kids are saying, ‘We don’t want your autograph, ‘cause you’re the one that broke the group up.’”

“When you came back to the group, it was one of the best, favorable memories of my life,” says Tito as the foursome shares hugs all around.

It’s hard to believe this is really the first time Jermaine has ever expressed his hurt from that rift with his brothers, as he claims. And it’s hard to overlook the fact that, during this scene of high emotion, all of them seem carefully arranged on their sectional sofa for maximum visual effect.

Even so, there’s something real going on here. It’s a nice break from all the canned, rote stuff.

The premise of the miniseries (at least when filming started last January) seems to center on the Jackson 5, including Michael, reuniting for their 40th anniversary.

OK, so we assume that Mike would be in the series too. Preparing for the anniversary, filming started in January (6 months before his 'departure'), so big chance we will see him a few minutes.

The other four brothers start planning a tour and a new album — “the best album we ever made!” Jackie crows.

They exchange lots of stock dialogue like, “I think we owe it to the fans” and, “We’re family. We’ll be the Jackson 5 till the day we die.”
Well, if you read between the lines, you can assume he means Mike is not dead, because they are still the Jackson 5  ;)

They make self-pitying remarks about the way the media abuse them, for example, “Your fans will be there for you. You have that marriage with them from day one. It’s the media that tries to come between that.”

That darn marriage-wrecking media!

They also get on each other’s nerves. In the studio last May, Jermaine records a vocal track, then heads off to lunch. Jackie decides it’s unacceptable and erases it.

“You won’t believe what happened in the studio today,” Jermaine tells his wife back at home. “I did these vocals, I was very excited about them, and the next thing I know, they were erased.”

The first hour (which includes a sentimental, staged-for-TV journey to their childhood home in Gary, Ind.) ends with the news of Michael’s death in late June.
OK, so they started in January, which means there is footage from 6 months before Mike's 'departure' and 5 months from after June 25. Yet they only have 1 hour of 6 on that first 6 months? That is odd...  :?

Even before his shocking death, it’s hard to discern from the miniseries what Michael thought about his brothers’ plans for the reunion. His involvement is apparently assumed. But he is only seen in archival footage and heard singing on the soundtrack.
So 6 months of filming and NO footage of Mike??? LMAO, what didn't he wanted us to see? That he looked better then we all assume? That the pics of skinny Mike is older than thhey are telling us? Or that his 'departure' was not on June 25, but much earlier? Food for thought at the least...

And he’s regularly mentioned.

“Your brother was the biggest artist in the world,” the Jacksons’ attorney, Virgil Roberts, tells them in the second episode, a monthafter Michael has died. “It’s put a special spotlight on you. You’re the living legacy.”

As Roberts speaks, the Jacksons’ album and tour seem to still be in the picture, at least for the sake of justifying this miniseries.
Or for the sake of money, OR Mike will still be a part of the tour. I guess time will tell.

But Jermaine isn’t in the image (and his commitment to the group is called into question) when he misses the official photo shoot. He later tells his brothers he had an eye infection.

Some reunion. And four more episodes to fill.
Yeah, with what??  :lol:

MJDHI Announcements / MJHD threads
« on: December 02, 2009, 02:50:53 PM »
I have noticed there are lots of threads about MJHD being closed, but I ask you NOT to post any more threads about this. There are enough now spread over the forum and there has been enough drama about that site.

For people that are only here to talk about MJHD, I am asking you to join their chatroom, it's still open.
If not, could we please go on with the investigation of the hoax?

Thank you all.

This Is It / Sneek peak of the DVD extra's
« on: December 01, 2009, 10:45:43 AM »
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It has been a while since we posted our last blog, but we have been doing some research. It’s a lot of information, but we advise you to struggle through it all, otherwise it’s hard to understand.

This blog is for all bad reporters of this world, that should be ashamed of themselves. We are not reporters or Michael Jackson fans, and even we took the effort to dig a little deeper to see what can explain all the things in his life that seems strange at first sight. After this post you all will be wondering the same as we: WHY did nobody see this earlier, WHY isn’t there one doctor that recognized it, or if someone did, WHY didn’t they stand up for him. Now we will stand up for him and we hope all you lazy reporters that only write lies just to sell your story will be ashamed of yourselves. We have no medical background and even we could connect the dots by doing some research on the net. All these years Mike has been bashed, called names and belittled because of his actions, appearances or behavior. No one took the effort to take a look at what could have caused all this. After reading a lot of medical articles, this is what we have found and this is what will explain everything. We are not claiming it to be the absolute truth, but after reading this entire blog, we think you will all agree with what we think is the main cause of all Mike’s actions, appearances and illnesses.

So grab your RedBull and take a seat, here we go.

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Greetz, Souza & Mo

This is a double post because of the importance of this information, click here for the other thread: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Michael's Speeches / Michael's Oxford Speech - March 2001
« on: November 23, 2009, 06:24:56 PM »
The Kids - Oxford Speech

Oxford University, March 2001 by Michael Jackson

Thank you, thank you dear friends, from the bottom of my heart, for such a loving and spirited welcome, and thank you, Mr President, for your kind invitation to me which I am so honoured to accept. I also want to express a special thanks to you Shmuley, who for 11 years served as Rabbi here at Oxford. You and I have been working so hard to form Heal the Kids, as well as writing our book about childlike qualities, and in all of our efforts you have been such a supportive and loving friend. And I would also like to thank Toba Friedman, our director of operations at Heal the Kids, who is returning tonight to the alma mater where she served as a Marshall scholar, as well as Marilyn Piels, another central member of our Heal the Kids team.
I am humbled to be lecturing in a place that has previously been filled by such notable figures as Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X. I've even heard that Kermit the Frog has made an appearance here, and I've always felt a kinship with Kermit's message that it's not easy being green. I'm sure he didn't find it any easier being up here than I do!
As I looked around Oxford today, I couldn't help but be aware of the majesty and grandeur of this great institution, not to mention the brilliance of the great and gifted minds that have roamed these streets for centuries. The walls of Oxford have not only housed the greatest philosophical and scientific geniuses - they have also ushered forth some of the most cherished creators of children's literature, from J.R.R. Tolkien to CS Lewis. Today I was allowed to hobble into the dining hall in Christ Church to see Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland immortalised in the stained glass windows. And even one of my own fellow Americans, the beloved Dr Seuss graced these halls and then went on to leave his mark on the imaginations of millions of children throughout the world.
I suppose I should start by listing my qualifications to speak before you this evening. Friends, I do not claim to have the academic expertise of other speakers who have addressed this hall, just as they could lay little claim at being adept at the moonwalk - and you know, Einstein in particular was really TERRIBLE at that.
But I do have a claim to having experienced more places and cultures than most people will ever see. Human knowledge consists not only of libraries of parchment and ink - it is also comprised of the volumes of knowledge that are written on the human heart, chiselled on the human soul, and engraved on the human psyche. And friends, I have encountered so much in this relatively short life of mine that I still cannot believe I am only 42. I often tell Shmuley that in soul years I'm sure that I'm at least 80 - and tonight I even walk like I'm 80! So please harken to my message, because what I have to tell you tonight can bring healing to humanity and healing to our planet.
Through the grace of God, I have been fortunate to have achieved many of my artistic and professional aspirations realised early in my lifetime. But these, friends are accomplishments, and accomplishments alone are not synonymous with who I am. Indeed, the cheery five-year-old who belted out Rockin' Robin and Ben to adoring crowds was not indicative of the boy behind the smile.
Tonight, I come before you less as an icon of pop (whatever that means anyway), and more as an icon of a generation, a generation that no longer knows what it means to be children.
All of us are products of our childhood. But I am the product of a lack of a childhood, an absence of that precious and wondrous age when we frolic playfully without a care in the world, basking in the adoration of parents and relatives, where our biggest concern is studying for that big spelling test come Monday morning.
Those of you who are familiar with the Jackson Five know that I began performing at the tender age of five and that ever since then, I haven't stopped dancing or singing. But while performing and making music undoubtedly remain as some of my greatest joys, when I was young I wanted more than anything else to be a typical little boy. I wanted to build tree houses, have water balloon fights, and play hide and seek with my friends. But fate had it otherwise and all I could do was envy the laughter and playtime that seemed to be going on all around me.
There was no respite from my professional life. But on Sundays I would go Pioneering, the term used for the missionary work that Jehovah's Witnesses do. And it was then that I was able to see the magic of other people's childhood.
Since I was already a celebrity, I would have to don a disguise of fat suit, wig, beard and glasses and we would spend the day in the suburbs of Southern California, going door-to-door or making the rounds of shopping malls, distributing our Watchtower magazine. I loved to set foot in all those regular suburban houses and catch sight of the shag rugs and La-Z-Boy armchairs with kids playing Monopoly and grandmas baby-sitting and all those wonderful, ordinary and starry scenes of everyday life. Many, I know, would argue that these things seem like no big deal. But to me they were mesmerising.
I used to think that I was unique in feeling that I was without a childhood. I believed that indeed there were only a handful with whom I could share those feelings. When I recently met with Shirley Temple Black, the great child star of the 1930s and 40s, we said nothing to each other at first, we simply cried together, for she could share a pain with me that only others like my close friends Elizabeth Taylor and McCauley Culkin know.
I do not tell you this to gain your sympathy but to impress upon you my first important point : It is not just Hollywood child stars that have suffered from a non-existent childhood. Today, it's a universal calamity, a global catastrophe. Childhood has become the great casualty of modern-day living. All around us we are producing scores of kids who have not had the joy, who have not been accorded the right, who have not been allowed the freedom, or knowing what it's like to be a kid.
Today children are constantly encouraged to grow up faster, as if this period known as childhood is a burdensome stage, to be endured and ushered through, as swiftly as possible. And on that subject, I am certainly one of the world's greatest experts.
Ours is a generation that has witnessed the abrogation of the parent-child covenant. Psychologists are publishing libraries of books detailing the destructive effects of denying one's children the unconditional love that is so necessary to the healthy development of their minds and character. And because of all the neglect, too many of our kids have, essentially, to raise themselves. They are growing more distant from their parents, grandparents and other family members, as all around us the indestructible bond that once glued together the generations, unravels.
This violation has bred a new generation, Generation O let us call it, that has now picked up the torch from Generation X. The O stands for a generation that has everything on the outside - wealth, success, fancy clothing and fancy cars, but an aching emptiness on the inside. That cavity in our chests, that barrenness at our core, that void in our centre is the place where the heart once beat and which love once occupied.
And it's not just the kids who are suffering. It's the parents as well. For the more we cultivate little-adults in kids'-bodies, the more removed we ourselves become from our own child-like qualities, and there is so much about being a child that is worth retaining in adult life.
Love, ladies and gentlemen, is the human family's most precious legacy, its richest bequest, its golden inheritance. And it is a treasure that is handed down from one generation to another. Previous ages may not have had the wealth we enjoy. Their houses may have lacked electricity, and they squeezed their many kids into small homes without central heating. But those homes had no darkness, nor were they cold. They were lit bright with the glow of love and they were warmed snugly by the very heat of the human heart. Parents, undistracted by the lust for luxury and status, accorded their children primacy in their lives.
As you all know, our two countries broke from each other over what Thomas Jefferson referred to as "certain inalienable rights". And while we Americans and British might dispute the justice of his claims, what has never been in dispute is that children have certain inalienable rights, and the gradual erosion of those rights has led to scores of children worldwide being denied the joys and security of childhood.
I would therefore like to propose tonight that we install in every home a Children's Universal Bill of Rights, the tenets of which are:
1. The right to be loved without having to earn it
2. The right to be protected, without having to deserve it
3. The right to feel valuable, even if you came into the world with nothing
4. The right to be listened to without having to be interesting
5. The right to be read a bedtime story, without having to compete with the evening news
6. The right to an education without having to dodge bullets at schools
7. The right to be thought of as adorable - (even if you have a face that only a mother could love).
Friends, the foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a part, you have to know that you are loved.
About twelve years ago, when I was just about to start my Bad tour, a little boy came with his parents to visit me at home in California. He was dying of cancer and he told me how much he loved my music and me. His parents told me that he wasn't going to live, that any day he could just go, and I said to him: "Look, I am going to be coming to your town in Kansas to open my tour in three months. I want you to come to the show. I am going to give you this jacket that I wore in one of my videos." His eyes lit up and he said: "You are gonna GIVE it to me?" I said "Yeah, but you have to promise that you will wear it to the show." I was trying to make him hold on. I said: "When you come to the show I want to see you in this jacket and in this glove" and I gave him one of my rhinestone gloves - and I never usually give the rhinestone gloves away. And he was just in heaven.
But maybe he was too close to heaven, because when I came to his town, he had already died, and they had buried him in the glove and jacket. He was just 10 years old. God knows, I know, that he tried his best to hold on. But at least when he died, he knew that he was loved, not only by his parents, but even by me, a near stranger, I also loved him. And with all of that love he knew that he didn't come into this world alone, and he certainly didn't leave it alone.
If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can he dealt with. A professor may degrade you, but you will not feel degraded, a boss may crush you, but you will not be crushed, a corporate gladiator might vanquish you, but you will still triumph. How could any of them truly prevail in pulling you down? For you know that you are an object worthy of love. The rest is just packaging.
But if you don't have that memory of being loved, you are condemned to search the world for something to fill you up. But no matter how much money you make or how famous you become, you will still fell empty. What you are really searching for is unconditional love, unqualified acceptance. And that was the one thing that was denied to you at birth.
Friends, let me paint a picture for you. Here is a typical day in America - six youths under the age of 20 will commit suicide, 12 children under the age of 20 will die from firearms - remember this is a DAY, not a year - 399 kids will be arrested for drug abuse, 1,352 babies will be born to teen mothers. This is happening in one of the richest, most developed countries in the history of the world.
Yes, in my country there is an epidemic of violence that parallels no other industrialised nation. These are the ways young people in America express their hurt and their anger. But don't think that there is not the same pain and anguish among their counterparts in the United Kingdom. Studies in this country show that every single hour, three teenagers in the UK inflict harm upon themselves, often by cutting or burning their bodies or taking an overdose. This is how they have chosen to cope with the pain of neglect and emotional agony.
In Britain, as many as 20% of families will only sit down and have dinner together once a year. Once a year! And what about the time-honoured tradition of reading your kid a bedtime story? Research from the 1980s showed that children who are read to, had far greater literacy and significantly outperformed their peers at school. And yet, less than 33% of British children ages two to eight have a regular bedtime story read to them. You may not think much of that until you take into account that 75% of their parents DID have that bedtime story when they were that age.
Clearly, we do not have to ask ourselves where all of this pain, anger and violent behaviour comes from. It is self-evident that children are thundering against the neglect, quaking against the indifference and crying out just to be noticed. The various child protection agencies in the US say that millions of children are victims of maltreatment in the form of neglect, in the average year. Yes, neglect. In rich homes, privileged homes, wired to the hilt with every electronic gadget. Homes where parents come home, but they're not really home, because their heads are still at the office. And their kids? Well, their kids just make do with whatever emotional crumbs they get. And you don't get much from endless TV, computer games and videos.
These hard, cold numbers which for me, wrench the soul and shake the spirit, should indicate to you why I have devoted so much of my time and resources into making our new Heal the Kids initiative a colossal success.
Our goal is simple - to recreate the parent/child bond, renew its promise and light the way forward for all the beautiful children who are destined one day to walk this earth.
But since this is my first public lecture, and you have so warmly welcomed me into your hearts, I feel that I want to tell you more. We each have our own story, and in that sense statistics can become personal.
They say that parenting is like dancing. You take one step, your child takes another. I have discovered that getting parents to re-dedicate themselves to their children is only half the story. The other half is preparing the children to re-accept their parents.
When I was very young I remember that we had this crazy mutt of a dog named "Black Girl," a mix of wolf and retriever. Not only wasn't she much of a guard dog, she was such a scared and nervous thing that it is a wonder she did not pass out every time a truck rumbled by, or a thunderstorm swept through Indiana. My sister Janet and I gave that dog so much love, but we never really won back the sense of trust that had been stolen from her by her previous owner. We knew he used to beat her. We didn't know with what. But whatever it was, it was enough to suck the spirit right out of that dog.
A lot of kids today are hurt puppies who have weaned themselves off the need for love. They couldn't care less about their parents. Left to their own devices, they cherish their independence. They have moved on and have left their parents behind.
Then there are the far worse cases of children who harbour animosity and resentment toward their parents, so that any overture that their parents might undertake would be thrown forcefully back in their face.
Tonight, I don't want any of us to make this mistake. That's why I'm calling upon all the world's children - beginning with all of us here tonight - to forgive our parents, if we felt neglected. Forgive them and teach them how to love again.
You probably weren't surprised to hear that I did not have an idyllic childhood. The strain and tension that exists in my relationship with my own father is well documented. My father is a tough man and he pushed my brothers and me hard, from the earliest age, to be the best performers we could be.
He had great difficulty showing affection. He never really told me he loved me. And he never really complimented me either. If I did a great show, he would tell me it was a good show. And if I did an OK show, he told me it was a lousy show.
He seemed intent, above all else, on making us a commercial success. And at that he was more than adept. My father was a managerial genius and my brothers and I owe our professional success, in no small measure, to the forceful way that he pushed us. He trained me as a showman and under his guidance I couldn't miss a step.
But what I really wanted was a Dad. I wanted a father who showed me love. And my father never did that. He never said I love you while looking me straight in the eye, he never played a game with me. He never gave me a piggyback ride, he never threw a pillow at me, or a water balloon.
But I remember once when I was about four years old, there was a little carnival and he picked me up and put me on a pony. It was a tiny gesture, probably something he forgot five minutes later. But because of that moment I have this special place in my heart for him. Because that's how kids are, the little things mean so much to them and for me, that one moment meant everything. I only experienced it that one time, but it made me feel really good, about him and the world.
But now I am a father myself, and one day I was thinking about my own children, Prince and Paris and how I wanted them to think of me when they grow up. To be sure, I would like them to remember how I always wanted them with me wherever I went, how I always tried to put them before everything else. But there are also challenges in their lives. Because my kids are stalked by paparazzi, they can't always go to a park or a movie with me.
So what if they grow older and resent me, and how my choices impacted their youth? Why weren't we given an average childhood like all the other kids, they might ask? And at that moment I pray that my children will give me the benefit of the doubt. That they will say to themselves: "Our daddy did the best he could, given the unique circumstances that he faced. He may not have been perfect, but he was a warm and decent man, who tried to give us all the love in the world."
I hope that they will always focus on the positive things, on the sacrifices I willingly made for them, and not criticise the things they had to give up, or the errors I've made, and will certainly continue to make, in raising them. For we have all been someone's child, and we know that despite the very best of plans and efforts, mistakes will always occur. That's just being human.
And when I think about this, of how I hope that my children will not judge me unkindly, and will forgive my shortcomings, I am forced to think of my own father and despite my earlier denials, I am forced to admit that me must have loved me. He did love me, and I know that.
There were little things that showed it. When I was a kid I had a real sweet tooth - we all did. My favourite food was glazed doughnuts and my father knew that. So every few weeks I would come downstairs in the morning and there on the kitchen counter was a bag of glazed doughnuts - no note, no explanation - just the doughnuts. It was like Santa Claus.
Sometimes I would think about staying up late at night, so I could see him leave them there, but just like with Santa Claus, I didn't want to ruin the magic for fear that he would never do it again. My father had to leave them secretly at night, so as no one might catch him with his guard down. He was scared of human emotion, he didn't understand it or know how to deal with it. But he did know doughnuts.
And when I allow the floodgates to open up, there are other memories that come rushing back, memories of other tiny gestures, however imperfect, that showed that he did what he could. So tonight, rather than focusing on what my father didn't do, I want to focus on all the things he did do and on his own personal challenges. I want to stop judging him.
I have started reflecting on the fact that my father grew up in the South, in a very poor family. He came of age during the Depression and his own father, who struggled to feed his children, showed little affection towards his family and raised my father and his siblings with an iron fist. Who could have imagined what it was like to grow up a poor black man in the South, robbed of dignity, bereft of hope, struggling to become a man in a world that saw my father as subordinate. I was the first black artist to be played on MTV and I remember how big a deal it was even then. And that was in the 80s!
My father moved to Indiana and had a large family of his own, working long hours in the steel mills, work that kills the lungs and humbles the spirit, all to support his family. Is it any wonder that he found it difficult to expose his feelings? Is it any mystery that he hardened his heart, that he raised the emotional ramparts? And most of all, is it any wonder why he pushed his sons so hard to succeed as performers, so that they could be saved from what he knew to be a life of indignity and poverty?
I have begun to see that even my father's harshness was a kind of love, an imperfect love, to be sure, but love nonetheless. He pushed me because he loved me. Because he wanted no man ever to look down at his offspring.
And now with time, rather than bitterness, I feel blessing. In the place of anger, I have found absolution. And in the place of revenge I have found reconciliation. And my initial fury has slowly given way to forgiveness.
Almost a decade ago, I founded a charity called Heal the World. The title was something I felt inside me. Little did I know, as Shmuley later pointed out, that those two words form the cornerstone of Old Testament prophecy. Do I really believe that we can heal this world, that is riddled with war and genocide, even today? And do I really think that we can heal our children, the same children who can enter their schools with guns and hatred and shoot down their classmates, like they did at Columbine? Or children who can beat a defenceless toddler to death, like the tragic story of Jamie Bulger? Of course I do, or I wouldn't be here tonight.
But it all begins with forgiveness, because to heal the world, we first have to heal ourselves. And to heal the kids, we first have to heal the child within, each and every one of us. As an adult, and as a parent, I realise that I cannot be a whole human being, nor a parent capable of unconditional love, until I put to rest the ghosts of my own childhood.
And that's what I'm asking all of us to do tonight. Live up to the fifth of the Ten Commandments. Honour your parents by not judging them. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
That is why I want to forgive my father and to stop judging him. I want to forgive my father, because I want a father, and this is the only one that I've got. I want the weight of my past lifted from my shoulders and I want to be free to step into a new relationship with my father, for the rest of my life, unhindered by the goblins of the past.
In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.
To all of you tonight who feel let down by your parents, I ask you to let down your disappointment. To all of you tonight who feel cheated by your fathers or mothers, I ask you not to cheat yourself further. And to all of you who wish to push your parents away, I ask you to extend you hand to them instead. I am asking you, I am asking myself, to give our parents the gift of unconditional love, so that they too may learn how to love from us, their children. So that love will finally be restored to a desolate and lonely world.
Shmuley once mentioned to me an ancient Biblical prophecy which says that a new world and a new time would come, when "the hearts of the parents would be restored through the hearts of their children". My friends, we are that world, we are those children.
Mahatma Gandhi said: "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Tonight, be strong. Beyond being strong, rise to the greatest challenge of all - to restore that broken covenant. We must all overcome whatever crippling effects our childhoods may have had on our lives and in the words of Jesse Jackson, forgive each other, redeem each other and move on.
This call for forgiveness may not result in Oprah moments the world over, with thousands of children making up with their parents, but it will at least be a start, and we'll all be so much happier as a result.
And so ladies and gentlemen, I conclude my remarks tonight with faith, joy and excitement.
From this day forward, may a new song be heard.
Let that new song be the sound of children laughing.
Let that new song be the sound of children playing.
Let that new song be the sound of children singing.
And let that new song be the sound of parents listening.
Together, let us create a symphony of hearts, marvelling at the miracle of our children and basking in the beauty of love.
Let us heal the world and blight its pain.
And may we all make beautiful music together.
God bless you, and I love you.

Questions about the forum and/or website / Posting - BBcode info
« on: November 22, 2009, 07:38:33 PM »
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MJDHI Announcements / Welcome to the new board!
« on: November 22, 2009, 05:03:00 PM »
Hey guys,

Due to some forum problems lately and weird glitches and because it's not possible to get the database from forumotion, we have decided to make a whole new board and put a link here to the old board as a read-only. This forum is locked now, but all the posts are saved and accessable.

This is a new database on our own server and therefor more stable and it is easier to make a back-up, you only need to make a new account by registering again.

I ask you all that if you have recently posted, to copy this from the old board to this board, so we can continue where we left the old board.

I hope you like the new forum and will get used to it soon. We hope to have tackled the problems now, but if you still have any problems or questions, please let us know.

Souza & Mo

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