Message #3 from dxmivi
Fetzer: The Last Word?
Sat, 14 Feb 1998 21:31:33 -0600
Deja News - The Leader in Internet Discussion
Let me respond to the person some are now calling Uncle Fester. Then I
will try to resist any further comment because I think it serves no real
purpose to argue with someone who, at times, in recent posts, comes off
sounding almost like a mental case. Perhaps he enjoys arguing, and he
likes the idea that JFK researchers who are drawn into fighting with him
are pulled away from more productive uses of their time. Martin Shackelford
and Howard Platzman took him apart like the intellectual tinker-toy
set that he is, but, like a deaf, dumb and blind energizer bunny, he
just keeps right on going. And his supporters either don't care or don't
This is an extremely difficult person to reason with, because he invents
his own ridiculous logic/proof system and thinks he is fooling people
into believing this system makes sense when a ten-year-old child who is
above average intelligence should see through it very quickly. I will
expose this comical "proof" methodology later in this post.
I am not connected to any of the anti-cult organizations that try to
show the world how evil the Moonies are, as he wrongly asserts, (without
any backing - as he does often on JFK issues). I had to spend hours
studying and searching for information that demonstrated that Paragon House
is part of the Moonie propaganda effort. I thought perhaps Fetzer would
realize what a monster he is in bed with, but instead, he responded with
unfounded and ludicrous accusations about me seeking to deprive him of
his right to free speech. Mr. Fetzer, is free to exist as an approved
asset of the Unification Church if he likes. I obviously was not certain
that he was aware that he is a tool for their goals, but that does not
stop him from incorrectly claiming that I was aware of this. The Rev. Moon
and his organization, themselves, are the source for the much of that
Let me say that I have Fetzer's book, and have, like Martin, read enough
of it to see how shockingly bad the parts of it he has authored really are.
I cannot recommend the book, and I realize that bad publicity may help
to sell it as well as favorable reaction, but it is worth the risk to
expose the degree of worthlessness of Fetzer's contributions to it. There
have been many poorly written books on this case from both sides. People
should not waste their money on this one, despite the fact that Fetzer
somehow convinced people who are credible (such as Crenshaw and Kizzia) to
make contributions. This is my opinion, and I feel the need to express it.
The absurdity of labeling Martin Shackelford a disinformation agent was
the catalyst for my involvement. Jim deserves far worse treatment for that
than the things that I have said about him in the previous two posts. Now
he seems to have declared war on me for trying to make people aware that
he was accepted as a part of the Moonie propaganda machine. He knows I
was careful not to say whether I knew he was aware of this. He also knew
that I was also careful to state that I was not even sure the person who
recruited Fetzer for the Moonies knew this. Let me show the readers just
how Fetzer twists the statements of those that dare to challenge his
surprisingly amateurish JFK assassination work.
But first, let's see an example of his paranoid and/or provocative
assumptions that have no basis in reality. I want Fetzer's contributors,
supporters and those that endorsed the book on the dust jacket to pay
careful attention to what I say in this post. I will also demonstrate how
Fetzer employs an extremely poorly-reasoned logic and proof system to
assert that certain things he claims about the JFK assassination are
transformed from conjecture into what he claims is certainty and truth.
Why he chose to respond to my post on the weberman.com news group (now
run by queenbee.net, I believe) which few people even subscribe to, makes
little sense, since I did not post any of this to that group at all.
He states in his rambling and confusing response that my latest post
(which suggested he sever his ties to the Moonies) was intended to end
in his "conforming to the expressed wishes and desired (sic) of dxmivi
and Deja News."
Allow me to educate Mr. Fetzer on dejanews. Dejanews provides an online
archive of news group posts and also serves as a vehicle for making
posts on the groups. I have never met anyone at dejanews. How he jumps
to mindless conclusions about them allying with me in some sort of
conspiratorial cabal to "smear" him speaks volumes about the quality
of all of his work. He builds on mistaken or unproven assumptions to
weave a web of specious and false statements of "fact" that seem nothing
more than paranoid and incompetent ravings. So much of what is in his
questionable writings follows this maddening torture of logic that it
renders Fetzer's "research", in my opinion, to be virtually useless.
He accuses me of "guilt by association", but what about the unlucky
persons that are now associated with his book that has come to be known
behind the scenes (by those who see through it) as "Assassinating Science."
I have great respect for David Mantik and am just amazed as to why he
would be associated with someone who employs such twisted logic. Fetzer's
work makes JFK researchers, in general, look kooky "by association." The
titling of Mantik's chapter as "Special Effects in the Zapruder Film: How
the Film of the Century Was Edited" does not accurately characterize
the speculative and inconclusive nature of the evidence offered in the
chapter. Fetzer, and all his Lancer panel full of "experts" has proven
nothing. I don't know for sure that the Z-film was not altered, but
adding up all of these "anomalies" still fails to "prove" any alteration.
Most of them can be very easily and quite conclusively discounted. And
I would guess that Fetzer is bitter towards people like Martin Shackelford
for having the desire and knowledge to do exactly that. Jim Fetzer
asserts that "The author has taken a part of a lengthy post that
placed my involvement with Paragon House in perspective and extensively
edited it, even to the extent of cutting out the most important sentences
I could care less about the other publishers of his books. They are
obviously not relevant to making clear that he is associated with a
notorious cult. In fact, they show that Fetzer doesn't need the
endorsement or support of the Moonies and doesn't have to take their
dirty money because other publishers might have published them. I
"edited out" nothing and was presenting only the information on the
Moonies and Paragon House because the other books had nothing to do
with the point I was making. This is another example of Fetzer's
methodology. He states assumption as fact and then builds upon it to
twist and distort for effect. He speaks of my post as being "a case
study in propagandistic (sic) techniques" but would be more accurate if
he was describing his own tactics rather than my own. It is almost
useless to attempt to debate a person who thinks this way, because
no matter how you debunk his claims and point out the procedural
absurdity in his logic, he will act as if he had won the argument.
Here is a further example of his twist-doctor management of the
Paragon House publications that he has been involved with and how I
"edited out" the other work he has done. He states: "All of this
information, however, has been edited out by Deja News to create a
false impression that my publishing revolves about Paragon House,
which is not true."
I made no such assertion that he was exclusively published by Paragon
House. And Dejanews' involvement is a figment of Fetzer's paranoid
delusions about who is out to get him. Is dejanews run by "scumsucking
pigs" as he labeled Martin Shackelford? Am I also a "disinformation
agent" as he characterized Martin, with not a shred of evidence other
than the fact that Martin, like myself, is probably just sick and tired
of "experts", like James Fetzer, who present themselves as authorities
on the assassination (who could be more accurately described as
literary quacks who do more harm than good to the "search for truth"?)
The lone nutters have a field day when they see work of the quality
as that presented by Jim Fetzer. The media and public officials rightly
run for cover when they encounter Fetzer and people like him.
And what are the readers of these battles between Fetzer and Shackelford
and Fetzer and Platzman and Fetzer and myslf going to think? They might
just recognize his tactics and determine that his book is probably more
of the same illogical and nonsensical raving. Fetzer asks, "And what
does Geoge (sic) Bush have to do with my books?" The answer is obvious.
Bush claimed that The Washington Times was free of Moonie influence. I
demonstrated in the last post that this was not the case. Fetzer makes
a similar assertion about Paragon House. I showed this to not be the
case (without accusing Fetzer of being aware of this reality). He
now seems to claim that I did just that. This tactic of distorting
the opposing side's argument was continually evident in his debates
with Martin and Howard. Fetzer asserted Martin had not even read his
book when he never claimed he had read anything other than certain
sections which he has commented on. Is there any point to argue with
him about his claims (which have no basis in fact to start with)? I
don't know if these posts have achieved anything other than to make
people wonder about Fetzer's ethics and to question his methodology of
"proof." There may also be some value in setting the record straight.
As to his system of proof described in the chapter titled, "Assassination
Science and the Language of Proof", I want to cite an example of the sheer
absurdity of the logic employed. In a section where he describes Jack
White's "compendium of Zapruder film anomalies" he also lists a guy
Jack mentions named Robert Morningstar, (who is so wacky in his theories
that even the Lancer Z-film panel seems to have excluded him from
participation). Fetzer, in his acceptance of all of this non-evidence
"If these observations of anomalies are well founded, then the film has
been subject to alteration. These observations of anomalies are well
founded. The film has been subject to alteration."
So, Fetzer claims that, in his opinion, the "observations" are well founded
and therefore concludes, (without any room for doubt), that the Z-film has
been tampered with. None of these "observations" are any more than
conjecture, theory, speculation or in many cases demonstrable falsehood.
And Fetzer's system of proof is so laughable that you wonder how he
had the nerve to present it at all. People have been asking me if I
think you he is an idiot. It is possible, and I am assuming that he will
say I accused him of this as being a certainty - because that is his
pattern of behavior, that he just might be pretending to be an idiot.
Why would I theorize he is acting as if he is dumb and crazy rather
than actually stating with certainty that he is a moronic kook?
I have to say that I have no definitive answer to that.
I could speculate that it is Fetzer who is the disinformation agent, but
then he would probably claim that I stated that I am sure he is, when
I have no idea why he's acting this way or what exactly motivates him. I'll
leave the accusations delivered without certainty of "proof" to Fetzer.
Fetzer states in reference to my own and dejanews' imagined attack on
Fetzer's "freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom of
"Something extremely dangerous is going no (sic) here, but it has
little to do with me or my Paragon publications."
Yes, something "dangerous" is going on here. Mr Fetzer has been accepted
in certain academic circles as an "expert". Mr. Fetzer has also been
welcomed into the stable of Moonie-endorsed authors. I don't know why,
but for the sake of his own credibility, (which is rather low, for other,
unrelated reasons), I am merely suggesting that he discontinue his
role as a paid representative of the Moonie agenda. He is not only
resisting this sensible step, but has resorted to his usual tactics
of attacking the messenger, distorting the record, misrepresenting
the intent of any who dare criticize him and continuing to argue
with absurdly wild and unfounded accusations that much more reasonable
and knowledgeable persons such as Martin Shackelford are "disinformation
agents" or "scum sucking pigs"?
Will Fetzer continue to attack with animalistic ferocity, any who commit
the unspeakable heresy of pointing out flaws in his reasoning? You can
bet on it. Will he continue to accept Moonie money? Probably. Am I
going to get flamed with great hostility by him and subjected to
malicious misinterpretations of the things I have said? I expect this.
Will he continue to assert that I am a representative of some anti-cult
faction when I am in fact a researcher who opposes bad work on the JFK
case which makes all of us look like candidates for the nuthouse? I
would guess so. Will he admit that dejanews could care less what I or
anyone else thinks of Uncle Fester and his assassination of science?
I doubt it, but anything is possible, including alteration of the
Z-film. It just remains that it is an extremely unlikely possibility,
and despite the ravings of Fetzer, it has not, by any means, been proven.
Fetzer's last post, which is confusingly merged with paragraphs
from my last post is reprinted below.
> The 13 Feb 1998 post from firstname.lastname@example.org, which eventually cites as a
> source for its allegations about the Moonies "Robert Perry and the Con-
> sortium" but not the identity of "dxmivi", which I would like to know,
> represents classic smear tactics of guilt by association. The author
> has taken a part of a lengthy post that placed my involvement with Par-
> agon House in perspective and extensively edited it, even to the extent
> of cutting out the most important sentences found therein. The author
> also attacks Peter Coveney, who is an outstanding human being and some-
> one utterly underserving of these gross and immoral assaults. If any-
> one has been looking for a case study in propagandistic techniques, I
> offer a pure example from "Deja News". My comments are indented below.
> Fetzer and Moonies
> Fri, 13 Feb 1998 01:01:19 -0600
> Deja News Posting Service
> James Fetzer has supplied additional information about
> his association with the Moonies. He acknowledges
> that he knows that the publisher of several of his books,
> Paragon House, is owned by the Moonies. Jim Fetzer states:
> This paragraph puts a subtle twist on my response, which was open
> and chock-full of information about my publishing activities, in-
> cluding two more books for Paragon, ten for Kluwer Academic Pub-
> lishers (with an eleventh forthcoming), one for Rowman & Allanheld,
> two forthcoming from Oxford University Press, and of course the new
> book, ASSASSINATION SCIENCE, from Open Court. It also elaborates
> upon my editorial work, including co-editing SYNTHESE and editing
> MINDS AND MACHINES, as well as serving as the series editor of two
> book series, STUDIES IN COGNITIVE SYSTEMS and EXPLORATIONS IN PHIL-
> OSOPHY. (See my previous post, "Re: Professor Fetzer & Paragon
> House" 11 Feb 1998, for more information.) Considering how much
> more I have published with Kluwer, I would have thought that Deja
> News would want to investigate them! All of this information, how-
> ever, has been edited out by Deja News to create a false impression
> that my publishing revolves about Paragon House, which is not true.
> "With respect to Paragon House, I was initially contacted by two
> philosophers, John Roth of Claremont Graduate School and Frederick Sontag
> of Pomona College, who were editing a series of textbooks for undergradu-
> ates, asking if I might be interested in authoring an introduction to the
> field of cognitive science. I liked the idea and soon found myself work-
> ing with an excellent in-house editor, Peter Coveney, now the Executive
> Editor of M.E. Sharpe, Inc., of Armonk, New York. When I discovered the
> house was owned by the Moonies, I had a lengthy talk with Peter, who as-
> sured me that the publishing house was independent of any editorial con-
> trol from the Moonies."
> George Bush has assured the world that The Washington Times is also
> independent from editorial control of the Moonies and Sun Myung Moon.
> As we shall see later in this post, this is obviously not the case.
> It seems that persons on this news group do not realize the significance
> of an association with a Moonie-owned propaganda organization. This is
> an exercise in character assassination and there is no intent to imply
> guilt by association in this message. Jim Fetzer may not realize what
> it means to be welcomed into the stable of Moonie-endorsed authors. If
> he does not, this may serve to enlighten him. If, on the other hand, he
> knows and does not care, then everyone should view his writings with
> suspicion, no matter what the subject matter may be.
> I am sure relieved to learn that "This is not an exercise in char-
> acter assassination and there is no intent to imply guilt by as-
> sociation in this message"! And what does Geoge Bush have to do
> with my books? "Jim Fetzer may not realize what it means to be
> welcomed into the stable of Moonie-endorsed authors." Of course,
> I have also been welcomed into the stable of Kluwer-endorsed au-
> thors, of Rowman & Allanheld-endorsed authors, of Oxford Univer-
> sity Press-endorsed authors, and of Open Court-endorsed authors!
> So what exactly does that mean in any of these cases? I find it
> fascinating, moreover, that the quotation from my response to the
> original Deja News post EDITED OUT THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCES:
> "Many publishers and other media outlets are owned by corpora-
> tions with quite diverse interests, of course, and everyone in
> a situation like this must decide what to do for themselves. I
> stayed with Paragon and have now published five Paragon books."
> Here are some examples of the reasoning exemplified in this post:
> As I understand it, Dominos Pizza is owned by a family that is
> opposed to abortion and funds anti-abortion activities. Those
> who order Dominos Pizzas, therefore, must be (conscious or un-
> conscious) tools of the anti-abortion movement! NBC Television,
> as I understand it, is owned by General Electric, a corporation
> that has in the past managed to pay no (or practically no) cor-
> porate taxes for decades. Those who watch programs on NBC must
> therefore be (conscious or unconscious) tools of anti-government
> policies, since without tax revenues, there can be no government!
> Most corporations--related to publishing or not--have diverse in-
> terests, and each of us must decide what to do in each instance.
> Special interest (in this case, anti-Moonie) groups seem to have
> no scruples at all in their efforts to promote their message, even
> to the extent of advancing baseless smears of American citizens in
> the exercise of their rights (such as, in this instance, the right
> to freedom of speech and freedom of the press) when they are not in
> sufficient agreement with their own narrowly-defined point of view!
> Fetzer says he believed Mr. Coveney's assurances that Paragon House was
> "independent" of Moonie control. He may believe this, but it is not
> necessarily true, and just because he says he believes this, does not
> exclude the possibility that he knows that they are not independent.
> is also the possibility that Coveney was deliberately misleading Fetzer.
> This is a particularly offense example of the propagandistic smear.
> Peter Coveney is an outstanding human being whom I know very well.
> My experience is completely consistent with the his assurance that
> the house is NOT under Moonie EDITORIAL CONTROL. Certainly, in my
> experience--which has now extended over about ten years--there has
> been absolutely NO EFFORT by any member of the editorial staff to
> exert any improper influence of any kind! I have witnessed absolute-
> ly NO Moonie influence WHATSOEVER regarding any of the books that I
> have publisher or that others have published in the same book series.
> Let me illustrate how insideous is the line of reasoning that is be-
> ing used by dxmivi: Mother Teresa says that her work for the poor
> is intended to further their spiritual well-being. Mother Teresa
> may believe this, but it is not necessarily true, and just because
> Mother Teresa says she believes this does not exclude the possibil-
> ity that Mother Teresa knows that this is not the case. There is
> also the possibility that Mother Teresa is deliberately misleading
> everyone who receives her posts in order to promote her own agenda.
> This kind of argument can be used on almost anyone about anything.
> Fetzer also says that he believes that Paragon House is not profitable.
> He states:
> "Publishing is a mixed bag for the Moonies, as I understand it, however,
> since Paragon appears to lose money."
> I went on to say, "Our relations have been completely profession-
> al"! dxmivi could now repeat his argument of before by claiming,
> Fetzer may believe this, but it is not necessarily true, and just
> because Fetzer says he believes this does not exclude the possi-
> bility that Fetzer knows this is not the case. There is also the
> possibility that Fetzer is deliberately misleading everyone who
> may ever receive his posts in order to promote the Moonie agenda!
> (It must be useful to have all-purpose, off-the-shelf, smears!)
> It can, of course, also be turned on dxmivi. Consider: dxmivi
> says this is not an exercise in character assassination and there
> is no intent to imply guilt by association in this message. He
> may believe this, but it is not necessarily true, and just because
> dxmivi says he believes this does not exclude the possibility that
> he knows that this is untrue. There is also the possibility that
> dxmivi is deliberately misleading everyone who receives his posts.
> If Paragon House looses money, that does not mean that it isn't worth
> the loss, if it furthers the propaganda purposes of the Moonie cult.
> It also may be a useful write-off for the Moon organization, if it is
> a money looser. If it does make money, and Fetzer seems uncertain about
> this, it supports the cult and its "goals" with its financial gains.
> Great! If it makes money, then that's good for the Moonies, and
> if it loses money, then that's good for the Moonies, too! So no
> matter what the situation, it must be good for the Moonies! All
> I can say--and I am not the Paragon House accountant, so I cannot
> make assertions with certainty--is that my experience with Para-
> gon House suggests to me that Paragon is, in fact, a money loser.
> Let's look at the circumstances of the acquisition of Paragon House by
> the Moonies. The following excerpt was taken from:
> Here followed an extremely long message about the Moonies that
> I have deleted insofar as it has nothing to do with me, except
> insofar as I am not conforming to the expressed wishes and de-
> sired of dxmivi and Deja News! They are attacking me because
> I am not doing what they want me to do! My freedom of associ-
> ation, freedom of speech, and freedom of publication are under
> assault! When they are done with me, they will come for you!
> Jim Fetzer has been selected to be part of the Moonie information
> machine. He may not know how evil Rev. Moon is. He may think that
> Paragon House is free from control, but that is not the case. Every
> author who is selected and invited to write for them is seen as an
> integral part of the Moonie agenda. I will not accuse Fetzer of
> deliberately and knowingly furthering that agenda, but, if he has any
> conscience, he will immediately disassociate himself from their efforts
> to "create a just and harmonious world order" (Moon's words).
> He should break away from Moon's "vision" that "included the creation
> of a worldwide publishing program, of which Paragon House Publishers
> has become the center of this effort." (Quote from Moonie site).
> Our thanks to Robert Parry and the Consortium, where much of this
> material exposing the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Professors World Peace
> Academy, International Cultural Foundation and Paragon House was found.
> Visit them at: http://www.delve.com/consort.html
> -------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------
> http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Post to Usenet
> Just think about it! I am a university professor with tenure
> who is paid to conduct teaching and research on the basis of
> my best scholarly abilities. If I were now to kowtow to the
> self-serving demands of dxmivi and Deja News, it would repre-
> sent the abdication of every principle of academic freedom
> for which higher education in the United States is supposed
> to stand. I cannot abide a narrow special interest group of
> this kind deliberately subjecting American citizens to slan-
> derous attacks for exercising their Constitutional freedoms
> and rights! Something extremely dangerous is going no here,
> but it has little to do with me or my Paragon publications.
> James H. Fetzer
> McKnight Professor
> University of Minnesota
> Duluth, MN 55812
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