By R. D. Flavin
“I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights!”
Quote from Pres. Warren G. Harding (1865-1923)
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The Barnes Review is an anti-Semitic web site whose primary propaganda goal is disparagement of Jews and denial that the Nazi Holocaust ever occurred. The home page of the Barnes Review has included articles with titles such as "The Myth of the Six Million" and "Jewish History, Jewish Religion," which states, "When the Roman historian Tacitus pointed out 19 centuries ago that the Jews are unique among the races of man in their intense hatred and contempt for all races but their own, he was only repeating what many other scholars had discovered before him."
The Barnes Review is named after Harry Elmer Barnes, once a well-known and respected World War I historian and revisionist whose obsession with conspiracy theories led him to virulent anti-Jewish bigotry and support for Nazi policies during World War II and to a later belief that the Holocaust was a hoax. It was founded by Willis Carto, who also founded the extreme right-wing Liberty Lobby and the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), another organization engaged in Holocaust denial. Carto founded the Barnes Review after he was forced out of the IHR in 1993 in an apparent dispute over funding and ideology.
Shortly after the commencement of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, the Barnes Review was associated with an attempt to exploit anti-war sentiment by circulating fake whistleblower memos on media bias in the Iraq war.
The September/October 2001 The Barnes Review: “Rediscovering the Forgotten White Ancestors Of Many American Indians.”
Some years back, an article appeared in The Barnes Review about the ongoing Burrows Cave hoax. The trashy and poorly researched article, “Mystery Cave Could Prove Ancient Visitors Were Here” by John Tiffany, featured an allegation that I was a thief. I’m still struggling to temper my response...
My reply is at “Fun BC Forum,” which contains posts from a public online forum which has now become ...private. Enjoy!
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The following year, a friend in Chicago sent me a copy of the Chicago Reader, one of the finest alternative weekly newspapers in the country. Well, even the 'finest' make the occasional mistake and the issue contained a poorly written and shoddily researched lead-story on the so-called “Waubansee Stone.” Well, a website that’s based on the book, EARLY CHICAGO: A Compendium of the Early History of Chicago to the Year 1835 when the Indians Left by Ulrich Dankers and Jane Meredith (2000; River Forest, IL: Early Chicago, Inc.), comments:
"[The] Waubansee stone [is] a glacial boulder that appears to be red granite, about eight feet in height, with a face carved into one of its upper surfaces, reported to be that of the Potawatomi chief Waubansee. The stone was hollowed out on top and is believed to have been used earlier by the Indians to mill corn; later the unordinary stone was hauled within the stockade of the second fort, and a talented soldier chiseled the face. Much later the sculpted form was purchased by the Hon. I.N. Arnold and stood for years on the lawn of his residence on Pine [Michigan] Street; following the great fire of 1871, the stone was placed atop a pile of collected fragments; existent within the Chicago History Museum." For further info and notes, the online material is here.
The Chicago Reader article on the Waubansee Stone,"The Riddle of the Rock" by Jeff Huebner, presented the opinion that the stone may have been carved by Phoenicians some 3000 years ago and cited a “Frank Joseph” as an authority. This did not please me on many, many levels. First, my hometown weekly published a fluff-piece as a lead-story, second, they allowed for some hypothetical Old World sailors to take credit away from Native Americans, and third, they used the most infamous hate-crime and pedophile creep imaginable, Frank Collin, as an “authority.” What follows next is from my online articles on Collin and Burrows Cave. The Windy City certainly let a foul one pass with that article and their lazy replies. For shame, Chicago! Stinky onion? How about reporting the truth instead of just selling copy? In Chicago, ‘alternative’ has apparently become anti-native...
Combined from the Collin and Burrows’ articles referred to above:
[Note: A recent story in the Chicago Reader (Huebner 2002a) about “The Waubansee Stone” featured Frank Joseph, editor of The Ancient American, who “didn’t actually view the Waubansee Stone till the early 1980s, when he embarked on a career in ‘cultural diffusionist’ studies...” Right. Frank Collin, neo-Nazi and pedophile, gets out of jail and becomes ‘Frank Joseph’. I wrote the Chicago Reader and expressed my disappointment (Flavin 2002). The author’s reply was pure wiggle (Huebner 2002b) and a columnist reasoned "that when someone starts out life as a Nazi, there's nowhere to go but up (Miner 2002)." Ouch.]
Flavin, Richard. 2002. "Letters to the Editor: Secret Identity," Chicago Reader, Vol. 31, No. 16, Sect. 1, p.3. Unedited version: "To the Editor: Recently the Chicago Reader ran a story about a local enigmatic stone and featured comments by "Frank Joseph," an author, public speaker, and editor of THE ANCIENT AMERICAN magazine. "Joseph" is the pseudonym of Frank Collin, the half-Jewish, ex-neo-Nazi, and convicted pederast, who achieved infamy for, among other things, threatening to march in Skokie. Those who work with "Joseph" (his publishers, radio-talk show hosts, and others) know of his true identity and horrible past, but claim he's a changed man. Today "Joseph" deals with such fantastic topics as Atlantis, UFOs, and specializes in a revisionist history which seeks to minimize the accomplishments of Native Americans and argues for a significant influence by Europeans and other Old World people before Columbus. It's one thing for crackpots to overlook Collin's past, because his interests coincide with their own, and another for the Chicago Reader to use this sicko as an authority. It's a shame his homecoming wasn't better publicized."
Huebner, Jeff. 2002a. "The Riddle of the Rock," Chicago Reader, Vol. 31, No. 14, Sect. 1, pp. 1 and 16-18.
Huebner, Jeff. 2002b. "Letters to the Editor: Jeff Huebner replies," Chicago Reader, Vol. 31, No. 16, Sect. 1, p.3. Huebner writes: "While I find his past indefensible, I can defend his right to espouse ideas about North American prehistory, as unpopular and far-fetched as they may be."
Miner, Michael. 2002. "Hot Type: News Bites," Chicago Reader, Vol. 31, No. 16, Sect. 1, pp. 4 and 5. After mention of a "spirited letter to the editor (Flavin 2002)," and discussing a past assignment involving Collin, Miner writes: "My view is that when someone starts out life as a Nazi, there's nowhere to go but up. If today Joseph is peddling the wacky theory that the Waubansee Stone -- the mysterious carved boulder that was the subject of Jeff Huebner's January 4 Reader cover story -- was sculpted by visiting Phoenicians 3,000 years ago, that's a lot less odious than the racial theories Collin pronounced back in the 70s. But Flavin sees a line from then to now. On his website, www.flavinscorner.com, he asserts, "The current rhetoric of Frank Collin is familiar to any reader knowledgeable of his past, as when Collin writes of an 'Aztec holocaust,' or discusses 'misegenation,' and 'racial identity.'" Flavin tells me, "In fact, some of his magazine articles and books are actually being marketed in some skinhead catalogs." Flavin, who describes himself as a "struggling novelist," lived in Chicago until 1994, when he moved east. He's a fantastic-archaeology buff himself but takes it far less seriously than Joseph: "If a couple of Romans did come over here, who cares?" As a writer, he's turned Frank Joseph into a cottage industry. He tells me he's had at him in the Greenwich Village Gazette and New City and the CD-ROM database Ethnic Newswatch, as well as his own Web site. I reached Joseph by phone and inquired about his unusual path through life. "I have nothing to say about that," he responded." Any reader, but a Chicago reader, it seems.
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Sigh... Some say we should make lemonade when handed lemons and others insist there’s no such thing as bad publicity (as long as they spell your name correctly). Bigger sigh... A couple of months ago I walked into a Barnes and Noble bookstore (or, perhaps, it was a Borders bookstore, but they now merge as mall-based stores and lack any independent recommendations and a knowledgeable staff), and I noticed a cheap magazine with a mention of “Burrows Cave” on its cover. I picked it up, flipped through a few pages, and discovered a couple of short paragraphs about me. And, facts were wrong, but at least they gave a correct link to my web-page on the Burrows Cave hoax. Flattered? Nope... Insulted? Yup... Response? Such crap isn’t worth my time and the only reason the article is mentioned here is as an easy example of the observation from the late Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1996; New York: Random House), when he reminded us that every newspaper features an astrology column, but none provide a regular featue on astronomy. Folks want to read and hear about what might be possible, not what’s improbable and how we’ve been deceived.
From: "The Burrows Cave: African Gold in Illinois?" Described as "A cave that Russell Burrows claims to have discovered in 1982 allegedly contained inscribed gold and stone artefacts [sic], human remains and a golden sarcophagus that has been linked to the Mauritanian king Juba II." Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 13, Number 5 (August - September 2006); PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia. Tel. +61 (0)7 5442 9280; Fax: +61 (0)7 5442 9381 by Philip Coppens © 2006; PO Box 13722, North Berwick EH39 4WB, United Kingdom. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.philipcoppens.com.
"Another example of how the cave became a hostage in other people's battles is the story of Richard Flavin, who used the cave to persecute Frank Joseph. For more than 15 years, Joseph had nothing to do with the story until, in his position as a writer for The Ancient American magazine, he became interested and eventually wrote a book about it (The Lost Treasure of King Juba; Bear & Co., 2003).
But Flavin instead focused on Joseph's past as a neo-Nazi (dating back to the early 1970s) and uses this as ammunition to "prove" that anyone suggesting the cave could be real is hence a neo-Nazi. Flavin met Burrows on a few occasions, but his interpretation of events is spurious at best and his account reads more like that of a Christian missionary in the lands of the "primitives" or a communist witch-hunter of the 1950s than a scientific approach to the subject (see http://www.flavinscorner.com/falling.htm). "
Ouch, as a descriptive explanation of my feelings, ...worked for awhile, but ...life and kooks continue and truth really is stranger than fiction.
So, last week I used, to quote our Pres. George W. Bush, “the Google,” and entered in my name to see ...how the listings were going. The first two were links to my web-site, the second two concerned some fellow who is apparently good at whatever sport he’s involved in, and the fifth Google listing ...caused me to laugh so hard that I nearly passed water in my shorts. I didn’t, of course, though I’m still giggling at the silliness of the image.
Screen-cap of a Google search for “rick flavin” from last week.
I failed with a WHOIS search through Network Solutions, telephoned a few Little Pigs Bar-B-Q restaurants in Florida and South Carolina, through GIS I located similar images with signs concerning “WELCOME MISS USA 2006 CONTESTANTS!!! AFTER PAGEANT ALL YOU CAN EAT (online here), and another about “LIQUID DIET LOUNGE HALA HALA HALA TWO IN THE PINK & ONE IN THE STINK (online here). The "Hala Hala Hala" is found in many languages and contexts and readers are encouraged to e-mail their insights and definitions to me.
As I also maintain an account with GoDaddy.com, I telephoned them for some possible background information on the web-site which had posted the ...offensive images. A nice tech-guy quickly found the various images and wisely offered that they were all “photoshopped,” that is to say, unknown individuals could and did type in whatever they wished to on the Little Pigs Bar-B-Q restaurant sign. Good answer and GoDaddy.com tech-support gets my endorsement (and, perhaps, some more money, at least for another few months).
THE END IS NEAR? GAY SITE? WTF?
I wish “Reason’s Greetings” to all, a sincere ‘Merry Christmas’ to those few Christians who don’t wish to damn me to some level of Dante’s version of ‘Hell’, ‘Happy Holidays’ to those religious and spiritual folk that feel this time of year is special regardless of terminology, and last, though of the utmost personal importance, I wish for peace on Earth (POE, as I’ve previously converted and used as an acronym). I extend good will to all and offer a promise that next year will be better. Much like Christmas represents the birth of a baby who could achieve wonderful things, so too, tomorrow holds the promise of being better. It’s up to us. Let’s work together.
Regards, hugs, a few complaints, yet to all ...my fondest wishes,