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Old August 6th, 2009 #21
Karl Radl
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Originally Posted by Igor Alexander View Post
I'll look over the material you linked to once I have more time and energy.

It had never occurred to me that Hoffman's scholarship might be dodgy, though I can't say I'm surprised.
You wouldn't know unless you specialised in the jewish question as one of your scholarly interests (it is one of mine as those who know me privately on this board are well aware). The reason you wouldn't know is because much of his work is drawn from legitimate sources (although some of them, such as Stuart Kahan's 'The Wolf of the Kremlin', are more than a little dodgy), but it follows the same style as Creationist writing in so far it relies on a lot of 'quote mining' rather than in-depth discussion and analysis using the actual arguments purported by the authors (i.e. it misrepresents quotations in order to suggest something that is not the case in the cited work).

As far as I know Hoffman doesn't read Hebrew (classical or modern), Aramaic, Yiddish or even fluent German so I am yet to understand how he can quote Yiddish sources, for example, accurately unless he's been paying for translations for a long time (or he has a jude friend with a lot of time on his or her hands).

Duke is another one who follows a similar strategy, but it is far more obvious in Duke's case that his 'work' is based on very little actual research and until his university publishes his doctoral dissertation (as far as I know they haven't) nobody is going to be able to tell how intellectually valid it is (despite it apparently getting past muster it doesn't mean that its a good piece of work). Hoffman has at the very least done some intellectual work, however flawed it may be, where-as I can tell Duke hasn't particularly (again its a matter of checking his citations, which I have done some spot checking of).

Unfortunately most of the best books regarding jews and particularly Judaism are only availabe in French and German with English language material being quite poor in cogent anti-Semitic literature with some important exceptions (such as Hilaire Belloc).

Quote:
If the people praising him for his "serious" books were to read some of the conspiracy material he's written, like his essays in Apocalypse Culture 1 and 2, they would have a much harder time taking him seriously.
Well writing conspiracy material per se doesn't disqualify one intellectually as a conspiracy thesis for anything is as potentially valid as any other, but the key is to understand the logic used and the evidence used for that logic as well as the key points of the argument. If you find that to be inadequate then you have a potentially strong basis from which to critique the argument.

I'd personally consider Nesta Webster as a valid secondary source if one wished to argue a conspiracy, because her work contains detailed footnotes to original sources as well as a large quantity of secondary sources as well. However that is quite different from Hoffman, because she usually notes where her sources disagree with her and will spend a little time critiquing them as she feels necessary. Comte Leon de Poncins is another example in so far as he was a 'quote miner' who used the quotes for valid discussion of his subject matter without distorting the meaning of the original author (he was cleared of this in a French court at least once after 1945).

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Several years ago I asked him for the source of a quote he had used in Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare and I never got an answer from him. Seems he has a habit of evading these kinds of requests.
He does and if you engage in debate what seems to generally happen is that he will reply 2-3 times using a variety of sources, but if you look up his sources and then correct him he very quickly stops replying since he just runs out of 'quotes' so to speak to use.

As a slight demonstration of his character in relation to 'Judaism Discovered': Hoffman has made quite a big thing that Amazon removed his book from their store. Hoffman's claim was this was censorship and that the jews were trying to 'stop him getting the truth out' (etc). However this came up on a thread a few months ago here and I decided to look into it.

It turns out that Amazon removed Hoffman's book, because Hoffman put an endorsing quote on the cover from a conservative rabbi called Shaul Praver who then complained saying he had never told Hoffman he was a Talmid Chacham (Torah Scholar) and that the email this claim was derived from actually had meant something else and had never used those words.

Hoffman was then asked by Amazon to produce the email Praver sent him. If he could produce it and it said what he claimed it did: they would stock his book with the quote on the fly-leaf. If he could not then they would not stock the book until such time as the fly-leaf was changed to remove the quote, because stocking such a book left Amazon open to a potential law suit from Praver (and it is simple manners not to make up or alter quotes).

Hoffman did not produce the email as far as I know and his book was removed until such time as he complied with Amazon's condition of stocking it. I emailed Hoffman for his version of events and he did not deign to reply (I did read his article on it, but it didn't prove very convincing at all rather just a lot of egocentric rubbish).

Personally I think that is a pretty equitable treatment of him, but he cried persecution like a 'caust victim. I just don't like the man after corresponding with him for a little while and even offering to help him correct the basic errors of interpretation and sourcing in his work (only to get it thrown in my face as the result of a temper tantrum).

Quote:
The thing with a 1000+ page book like Judaism Discovered is that just reading the thing is a chore in itself,
It is a long book, but that's the point of quote-miners they tend overawe people with the scale of their sourcing and so forth. Jews tend to use exactly the same tactic when I debate them so I have gotten used to going through reems of sources, which I have usually read and annotated anyway.

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and after that, how many people are going to go spend hundreds of hours in a library checking Hoffman's sources?
That's why I said above you wouldn't know that Hoffman is intellectually bogus unless you somewhat specialised in the jewish question as one of your scholarly interests. The reason for that is if you are interested in the JQ intellectually you would likely have read a good portion of the work he cites and know the fundamentals of the major sects in Judaism as well as the general outline of jewish history. Therefore you would know he is not being honest with his sources state nor what Judaism actually uses to make its anti-gentile case (it is far more implicit than explicit).

As I said, and he himself admits, his arguments are largely drawn from Johann Andreas Eisenmenger's work 'Entdecktes Judenthum' (Judaism Uncovered) and more specifically from Stehlein's English translation of 1748 (which Hoffman has himself republished a facsmilie version of). Eisenmenger was a scholar and one of the key critics of Judaism when he wrote his two volume treatise (first published in 1700) after having studied with rabbis for one-two decades. Eisenmenger's work is scholarly and intelligent, but it is three hundred years old and necessarily includes gaps in knowledge and interpretation that are evident today but were not in Eisenmenger's time.

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Almost no one is going to that, which means that Hoffman can get away with saying just about anything.
Very true, but as with anything when somebody does go and look into it. Hoffman's strategy fails much as when you do the same thing with many jude 'scholars' you find exactly the same thing i.e. their interpretations are obviously wrong and often their 'facts' are too.
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Last edited by Karl Radl; August 6th, 2009 at 07:02 AM.
 
Old August 6th, 2009 #22
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I see nothing wrong with what Igor is doing. Hoffman's work is public and he should expect to be criticized publicly.
 
Old August 6th, 2009 #23
Igor Alexander
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@ Karl Radl: I've looked over the material you linked to and it appears that Michael Hoffman did indeed include a fictitious G.I. Joe-inspired name in his list of Soviet jews.

I wonder what his game is. Is he laughing at us? Trying to discredit us? Merely trying to make a fast buck?

The scary thing is that typing "Dragonsky" into a search engine shows that dozens of sites have replicated Hoffman's list.

During the flap over Michael Hoffman's book on Amazon, I reflexively took his side, but now I'm wondering if he was being honest when he claimed that Amazon had "banned" it. It's possible Amazon may have refused to carry the book over a technicality (a legal complaint from a rabbi who did not want his name to appear on the dustjacket or something like that), and that Hoffman decided he could use this to boost sales by claiming the book was "banned" because it poses a major threat to "the Cryptocracy."

I doubt Judaism Discovered is more of a threat to the system than, say, Culture of Critique, and Amazon hasn't banned any of MacDonald's books (or any other books critical of jews, for that matter). A few years ago Hoffman wrote a book called Judaism's Strange Gods that covered the same ground as his latest and it wasn't "banned" by Amazon either.
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Last edited by Igor Alexander; August 6th, 2009 at 05:04 PM.
 
Old August 6th, 2009 #24
Karl Radl
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Originally Posted by Igor Alexander View Post
@ Karl Radl: I've looked over the material you linked to and it appears that Michael Hoffman did indeed include a fictitious G.I. Joe-inspired name in his list of Soviet jews.
Well most of the list is rather shall we say dodgy: some of the names are real juden, but often he misrepresents what they did, what they were etc. No miracle in terms of the jews and bolshevism argument (its easy to do so given how many anti-Semitic and anti-Communist works use incorrect lists usually stemming from the 'Black Hundreds' in some way), but its just surprising that he manages to invent new distortions.

Quote:
I wonder what his game is. Is he laughing at us? Trying to discredit us?
He's more or less said it himself a few times in so far as he feels 'called by God' to write this sorts of stuff without being too cliche he does seem to have a 'Messiah complex'. I also suspect he views himself as quite literally the new Eisenmenger who is the father of modern anti-Semitic critique of Judaism and therefore has pretensions of becoming such an infamous expert and author of a standard reference work (to 'convert' the devil's children to the light of Christ if you want to use the phraseology of the 'Christian Missions to the jews' personally I'd rather see them experience the double tap).

To me he comes across as somebody who doesn't know nearly as much about his subject matter as he would like people to believe as you can easily see from his lack of discussion of his sources and the specific implications of that concept in his work (little different from most 'intellectuals' who associate with 'WN'). He only operates in the easy to navigate waters of pop theology rather than the deep and very dark waters of the intellectual side of theological critique (anti-Semitic or not).

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Merely trying to make a fast buck?
Well he was a journalist and apparently he writes his books in order to make his living. He also, like Duke, charges outrageous prices for them given what they are.

Quote:
The scary thing is that typing "Dragonsky" into a search engine shows that dozens of sites have replicated Hoffman's list.
It happens in so far as if you put a source out there that people like and find useful in their arguments then they are going to use it. It is what some writers have suggested is part of the 'negative spiral of conspiracy theory' in so far as Hoffman's articles get used as part of new more lunatic theories (such as Zionism created the Third Reich) or provide justifications for said theories. Essentially building a pillar of sand on a tower of cards.

It is exactly the same reason that people use the 'Prince of the Jews' letter to 'back up' the Protocols, because it seems cogent, but in fact isn't. Although in that case I'd be far more charitable, because it might seem that way unless you had read something of the jewish institutions in the Ottoman Empire in the late 15th century.

Quote:
During the flap over Michael Hoffman's book on Amazon, I reflexively took his side, but now I'm wondering if he was being honest when he claimed that Amazon had "banned" it. It's possible Amazon may have refused to carry the book over a technicality (a legal complaint from a rabbi who did not want his name to appear on the dustjacket or something like that), and that Hoffman decided he could use this to boost sales by claiming the book was "banned" because it poses a major threat to "the Cryptocracy."
Well I know that's what happened, because I asked both Amazon and the rabbi himself independently of each other and they both told the same story. Having previous experience with dealing with Hoffman I would say it is the kind of thing he would do as he is very quick to use fallacies of authority when he has the opportunity to do so.

The complaint had to do with the rabbi's name being affixed to a description of Hoffman on the cover that he never gave and Amazon asked Hoffman asked him to produce the email and they would allow it to be stocked (as it would be fair use and accurate). Hoffman, true to previous form, did not provide the email and Amazon stopped stocking that book (not his other books).

I think you can still buy it second hand on Amazon, but Amazon don't stock it themselves but rather allow the transaction to occur through their site.

Conspiracy theorists tend to have this thing about needing to feel persecuted from time-to-time (in order to keep them feeling nice and important [jews do a similar thing and are also extreme prone to believing in conspiracies where they are 'main players'/'victims']) and this is merely Hoffman's way of suggesting that the conspiracy's 'pawns' are 'out to get him' and to 'stop him speaking the truth'.

It is also good free publicity for his book (since people will take up the cause and run with it informing more people about his book and making them believe that if it is 'banned' then it must have something especially cogent to say) and his arguments since there are so few authors of any real note in 'WN' or anti-Semitism currently it is easy for the cowboys and shysters to come in and start proclaiming 'da twoof'. Since 'WNs' tend to be on the look out for solid arguments against the jews, but know very little about jews and are hence unable to distinguish the bad from the good [I am not assigning blame, but rather stating an unfortunate truism].

Quote:
I doubt Judaism Discovered is more of a threat to the system than, say, Culture of Critique, and Amazon hasn't banned any of MacDonald's books (or any other books critical of jews, for that matter).
Well neither Hoffman or MacDonald (in his trilogy about jews) are threats to anything in particular. MacDonald's work is far more scholarly, but as he well knows, since I've discussed this with him, I feel his theory falls flat on its face, because it misses out the majority of jewish behaviour and argues only from selective points in history rather than taking a much more holistic look at it and the obvious exceptions to his theory.

Amazon is a business and will always place the rational economic man motivation over all other considerations although it will pretend it is piously supportive of the current en vogue trends (such as 'stopping global warming', 'anti-discrimination' etc).

It should be noted that racialism does not fight the 'system' (the Reds like to pretend to do that and it will never get you anywhere as Lenin rightly pointed out), but rather fights Semites and other racial rubbish that currently hold positions of power and exist within European countries that were originally nations in a slightly wide sense.

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A few years ago Hoffman wrote a book called Judaism's Strange Gods that covered the same ground as his latest and it wasn't "banned" by Amazon either.
Indeed and 'Judaism Discovered' is merely a longer version of 'Judaism's Strange Gods' as well as other weird interests of Hoffman's.

Is Hoffman cashing in on the success of 'Judaism's Strange Gods'?

I suspect so. After all if he doesn't sell books he might have to given up his current lifestyle for something more befitting a Traditionalist Catholic with pretensions of being especially pious (i.e. lay monasticism).
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Last edited by Karl Radl; August 6th, 2009 at 06:25 PM.
 
Old August 6th, 2009 #25
Igor Alexander
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Originally Posted by Karl Radl View Post
Well writing conspiracy material per se doesn't disqualify one intellectually as a conspiracy thesis for anything is as potentially valid as any other, but the key is to understand the logic used and the evidence used for that logic as well as the key points of the argument. If you find that to be inadequate then you have a potentially strong basis from which to critique the argument.
To clarify, I wasn't saying that the fact of having written conspiracy material per se would discredit him; I'm saying that the conspiracy material he in particular has written would. I'm thinking specificially of the essay King-Kill 33 which he co-authored and which I posted excerpts from in this thread.

Sure, there is a logic to the essay; if you believe that there's no such thing as objective reality and that schizophrenics are really misunderstood geniuses rather than mentally ill.
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Old August 6th, 2009 #26
Igor Alexander
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Originally Posted by Karl Radl View Post
I'd personally consider Nesta Webster as a valid secondary source if one wished to argue a conspiracy, because her work contains detailed footnotes to original sources as well as a large quantity of secondary sources as well. However that is quite different from Hoffman, because she usually notes where her sources disagree with her and will spend a little time critiquing them as she feels necessary. Comte Leon de Poncins is another example in so far as he was a 'quote miner' who used the quotes for valid discussion of his subject matter without distorting the meaning of the original author (he was cleared of this in a French court at least once after 1945).
Well, there is a difference between a conspiracy researcher and a conspiracy kook. I think a strong case can be made that there was a conspiracy to establish the Federal Reserve, but that's a far cry from reaching the conclusion that the JFK assassination was a psychodramatic ritual murder based on nothing but a bunch of word associations on a map. The latter approach might be fine for a surrealist artist, but not for one who is claiming to have uncovered an objective truth.

To paraphrase what Sherlock Holmes said to Dr. Watson, "it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has enough data." Theorizing with insufficient data is precisely what most conspiracy kooks do. They connect the dots, but without having enough of them, and thus end up creating the picture they want rather than uncovering the real picture. They let the right side of their brains (creative) go wild without ever consulting the left side (rational); ideally the two hemispheres should be working together in a complimentary fashion.

There are a lot more conspiracy kooks out there than legitimate researchers, and a whole lot of cynical opportunists also. People should be careful. Memorize the most common logical fallacies and stay alert for them whenever you read conspiracy material (the same applies to anything from the MSM, too). You'll find most conspiracy books and videos are rife with such fallacies.

What the legitimate conspiracy researcher does should be almost indistinguishable from investigative journalism, crime solving, or scientific investigation. Legitimate conspiracy researchers won't be afraid to debate their theories with honest critics. They'll be open to being proven wrong.

Legitimate conspiracy researchers should be embarrassed to be associated with the people who wrote King-Kill 33.
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Last edited by Igor Alexander; August 6th, 2009 at 09:50 PM.
 
Old August 6th, 2009 #27
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Originally Posted by Karl Radl View Post
As a slight demonstration of his character in relation to 'Judaism Discovered': Hoffman has made quite a big thing that Amazon removed his book from their store. Hoffman's claim was this was censorship and that the jews were trying to 'stop him getting the truth out' (etc). However this came up on a thread a few months ago here and I decided to look into it.
Just so you know, I hadn't gotten to this part of your post yet when I brought up this same subject in message #23.

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Originally Posted by Karl Radl View Post
'Entdecktes Judenthum' (Judaism Uncovered)
Judaism Uncovered and Judaism Discovered, uh? Hmm...
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Last edited by Igor Alexander; August 6th, 2009 at 10:18 PM.
 
Old August 6th, 2009 #28
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Originally Posted by Karl Radl View Post
Well most of the list is rather shall we say dodgy: some of the names are real juden, but often he misrepresents what they did, what they were etc. No miracle in terms of the jews and bolshevism argument (its easy to do so given how many anti-Semitic and anti-Communist works use incorrect lists usually stemming from the 'Black Hundreds' in some way), but its just surprising that he manages to invent new distortions.
While I saw that there were quite a few other names on his list that were problematic, the Dragonsky thing stood out to me because it really does seem like he took the name from a G.I. Joe figure. That goes way beyond sloppy research; it's a deliberate fabrication and one in which he seems to be thumbing his nose at his readers.

Slightly off topic: do you consider the information in Frank L. Britton's Behind Communism to be accurate?
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Old August 6th, 2009 #29
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Well he was a journalist and apparently he writes his books in order to make his living. He also, like Duke, charges outrageous prices for them given what they are.
His newsletters cost between $5-10 and if the one I own is any indication, they're made up of fewer than a dozen photocopied pages. Hey, if he can find buyers for them at those prices, then all the more power to him, but I wouldn't call that good value for money (still, it's better than what Lyndon Larouche charges for his).

In a way, I find Hoffman operates much like the secret societies he denounces. In these societies, they deliberately hold back "secrets" from the "Initiate" which the Initiate won't become privy to until he's reached the next grade or rank, and on and on it goes. With Hoffman, his writings (at least in the conspiracy field) never bring any real light to the subjects he talks about, but they hold the promise of doing so -- if you keep buying his books, tapes, and newsletters. Hoffman is like a guru -- only He can read the subliminal "Twilight Language" of "the Cryptocracy" and translate it into terms that us mere mortals can understand (so if you want to know what's going on, you had better keep buying his books and newsletters).

Hoffman actually claims in one of his books that the glasses used in the movie They Live to detect the aliens were named after him. Maybe he's right... or maybe he's just a megalomaniac.
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Old August 6th, 2009 #30
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Conspiracy theorists tend to have this thing about needing to feel persecuted from time-to-time (in order to keep them feeling nice and important [jews do a similar thing and are also extreme prone to believing in conspiracies where they are 'main players'/'victims'])...
When you get right down to it, the holocaust is nothing but a conspiracy theory.
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Old August 6th, 2009 #31
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Since 'WNs' tend to be on the look out for solid arguments against the jews, but know very little about jews and are hence unable to distinguish the bad from the good [I am not assigning blame, but rather stating an unfortunate truism].
WN is politics, not academe, and as such is more concerned with propaganda than truth. That's normal, it's to be expected, there is nothing wrong with that. That doesn't mean, though, that I think it's a good idea to lie, distort, or to fabricate stuff, even though such fabrications have worked many times in the past.

It also needs to be said that these days, most academics are nothing but propagandists.
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Old August 8th, 2009 #32
Karl Radl
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Originally Posted by Igor Alexander View Post
While I saw that there were quite a few other names on his list that were problematic, the Dragonsky thing stood out to me because it really does seem like he took the name from a G.I. Joe figure. That goes way beyond sloppy research; it's a deliberate fabrication and one in which he seems to be thumbing his nose at his readers.
Well that is kind of why I used it, because I don't see how it is possible that he got that name, because as far as I know that isn't even a Russian or jewish surname but rather an obvious stereotype of a Russian surname in the Anglophone world. It would thus be very hard to make that kind of mistake, but make it he did.

Quote:
Slightly off topic: do you consider the information in Frank L. Britton's Behind Communism to be accurate?
Well its fairly standard stuff: a lot of the information is incorrect, but it would not have been within Britton's power to check it at the time of writing. The pamphlet is basically a long list of standard 'Black Hundreds' claims as one can see by comparing its content to Nesta Webster's 'World Revolution', Denis Fahey's 'The Ruler's of Russia' and Maurice Pinay's 'The Plot Against the Church' and noting the similarities and differences (also note Britton’s affection use of Stolypin’s, who associated with the Black Hundreds after his father was killed in 1905 [I think], work). It also includes a fair amount of material from the ‘McCarthy’-era, notably references to people like Whittaker Chambers whose wife was supposedly a jewess (I haven’t checked that), and the Rosenberg’s etc. This last part is probably the best bit in so far as it includes information, which should be fairly easy to check, but the thesis of the pamphlet doesn’t stand up to any but the most cursory examination. Since the problem with it, as with most arguments relating to jews and bolshevism, is that it struggles to find the powerful jews from the mid-twenties onwards since they start to notably decrease in obvious positions of power in the Soviet Union from the initial revolution to the death of Lenin and then go into free fall with the progression of Stalin’s era. Hence Britton is forced to turn to facts that do not corroborate his thesis, e.g. the jewish spies in the US, and rather problematic reports about Stalin and Kaganovich being close.

Basically the lists are too old to be of any real use (and so inaccurate as to be of negative value and there's the whole thing about Stalin's children etc), but if you want to research the argument further then I would suggest reading Erich Haberer's, 2004, 'Jews and Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Russia', 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press: New York, which will give you a grounding in this argument from a more modern standpoint.

The argument is a potentially good one (as long as it isn’t rabidly overstated and made as part of a general case about jews and the political left), but it needs seriously cleaning up because you only need to show disproportionate jewish involvement rather than complete jewish control to evidence the thesis of the jew as a revolutionary in that context. There is no need to refer to Britton really since you can compose a much sounder argument by using the standard histories and other texts relating to the era to build a modernised argument rather than one dating from the Russian civil war.

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WN is politics, not academe, and as such is more concerned with propaganda than truth. That's normal, it's to be expected, there is nothing wrong with that. That doesn't mean, though, that I think it's a good idea to lie, distort, or to fabricate stuff, even though such fabrications have worked many times in the past.
'WN' is politics, but it isn't good politics in so far as it exists in the area of 'fuzzy politics' i.e. politics that has very little idea what it stands for. It isn't that 'WN' needs to be academic it is rather that it needs people to build its theory for it since it is notoriously intellectually light beyond what can really be effective.

I am notoriously opposed to most intellectuals, but when you have people seriously recommending people like Alex Jones and Jeff Rense as valid ‘sources’ of anything in particular then you have a very serious problem. It is because of this lack of intellectual backup that ‘WNs’ turn to people like Michael Hoffman, because he seems to give standard anti-Judaism arguments some basis in fact. Every powerful political movement starts from a solid intellectual basis and ‘WN’ doesn’t have that. I can name some of the basic works of National Socialism’s philosophy if you’d like to read examples of what NS was and is built on, but I can’t name ‘WNs’, because as far as I can see it has next to nothing.

Propaganda also always has to have an arguable factual base since if it does not then it will not succeed. Propaganda also must never go against the grain of public opinion and rather most exploit the grain to its own advantage. ‘WN’ traditionally goes against the grain and that is one of the major reasons why it has had very little success.

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It also needs to be said that these days, most academics are nothing but propagandists.
Everything is propaganda and especially what academics write, but then I am not somebody who believes in the fallacy of the 'marketplace of ideas' being the 'way to the truth'.

It needs to be understood thought that ‘WN’ has no monopoly on truth in fact as far as I am aware ‘WN’ shoots itself in the foot regarding its factual argument largely because the milieu accepts all kinds of lunacy as ‘fact’ and takes ‘reactionary’ (for lack of a better term) positions (such as Islamists kill jews equals Islamists are good people without factoring any coherent ideological framework that should be there if one claims to even just be a racialist), which then drive potential friends away.

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When you get right down to it, the holocaust is nothing but a conspiracy theory.
True enough, but you need to argue as such and to evidence that fact by pointing out how it corresponds to the standard framework used to understand ‘conspiracy theories’.

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His newsletters cost between $5-10 and if the one I own is any indication, they're made up of fewer than a dozen photocopied pages.
That’s daylight robbery although a useful factual tit-bit: thank you.

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Hey, if he can find buyers for them at those prices, then all the more power to him, but I wouldn't call that good value for money (still, it's better than what Lyndon Larouche charges for his).
Not really: I’d just say it is an indicator that shysters are still very able to con our folk out of their money to give them a painfully thin ‘cause’ or ‘solution’ that they can then believe and run with.

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In a way, I find Hoffman operates much like the secret societies he denounces. In these societies, they deliberately hold back "secrets" from the "Initiate" which the Initiate won't become privy to until he's reached the next grade or rank, and on and on it goes. With Hoffman, his writings (at least in the conspiracy field) never bring any real light to the subjects he talks about, but they hold the promise of doing so -- if you keep buying his books, tapes, and newsletters. Hoffman is like a guru -- only He can read the subliminal "Twilight Language" of "the Cryptocracy" and translate it into terms that us mere mortals can understand (so if you want to know what's going on, you had better keep buying his books and newsletters).
That is essentially how conspiracy authors/publishers, dispensationalist ministries, leftists, anti-racism experts, quite a few ‘WN’ leaders and quite a lot of other shysters work. It is what I’d generally term the American model of business propaganda based on some jewish merchantile methods of conning their customers. You might like to read the jew Werner Sombart’s ‘The Jews and Modern Capitalism’ and Theodor Fritsch’s famous anti-Semitic critique of it: ‘The Riddle of the Jew’s Success’ being the English translation of that work.

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Hoffman actually claims in one of his books that the glasses used in the movie They Live to detect the aliens were named after him. Maybe he's right... or maybe he's just a megalomaniac.
It is standard stuff really: the conspiracy salesman has to find someway to make himself feel important, persecuted and at the same time show himself as an authority to his conspiracy consumers (Hoffman obviously believes that if he is shown to have something to do ‘with the movies’ it would reflect positively on his credibility).

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Well, there is a difference between a conspiracy researcher and a conspiracy kook.
Well it is a graded and somewhat marginal difference, because both are rather fuzzy and hard to define, because by the nature of making the argument of a conspiracy you will be viewed to a degree as a kook unless you couch it in nice verbiage as historical materialism likes to.

The only way, in my opinion, to differentiate between those whose work should be considered as somewhat serious is:

1) Look at their thesis. Is it plausible and does it correctly flow from their stated and unstated logic?

2) Do they discuss and/or answer actual or potential counter-theses? Are these discussed in-depth and reasonably before being disregarded?

3) What kind of sourcing have they used? Have they used lots of different sources on the same subject area or have they have used just a few sources spread out over different subject areas?

4) Do they use multiple sources in more than one different language?

5) When doing a spot check of their sources: do the sources actually specifically argue that point? Is the source’s argument or fact cited accurately? Is the source itself credible and if not does it include a credible source for its assertion?

That’s very basically what I would, personally, consider when making a general evaluation of a bit of conspiracy work. It is very basic and somewhat sketchy, but I am trying to be understood rather than explaining in depth in the manner of a paper of method.

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I think a strong case can be made that there was a conspiracy to establish the Federal Reserve, but that's a far cry from reaching the conclusion that the JFK assassination was a psychodramatic ritual murder based on nothing but a bunch of word associations on a map. The latter approach might be fine for a surrealist artist, but not for one who is claiming to have uncovered an objective truth.
Well I am not a great fan of the idea of ‘objective truth’ intellectually, but in terms of making an argument that something is or was said way then you have to make your thesis believable and if it is not then you had best include extensive and exact sourcing as well as making sure every counter-thesis is answered in detail.

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To paraphrase what Sherlock Holmes said to Dr. Watson, "it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has enough data." Theorizing with insufficient data is precisely what most conspiracy kooks do. They connect the dots, but without having enough of them, and thus end up creating the picture they want rather than uncovering the real picture. They let the right side of their brains (creative) go wild without ever consulting the left side (rational); ideally the two hemispheres should be working together in a complimentary fashion.
We always theorise with insufficient data, but the key is that the information that we derive from the data must always logically flow and not be made up of unevidenced logical leaps of faith. In essence if we apply the state of knowledge to the information in any meaningful way we should come up with a plausible thesis that has to be taken seriously if we have considered all the data without simply brushing it all aside and cherry-picking their data.

What most people, and that includes most ‘WNs’ I have talked to, do is they take certain bits of information and assume them to be bits of data and then try to make new information out of existing information without actually checking back to the source of the data by understanding the knowledge that was used to create the original information. Thus they build in Butz’s clever metaphor: a giant with feet of clay.

It isn’t something unique to conspiracy theory, but they tend to just use worse information than most other people and to be more inherently gullible on the point of ideology: ‘lets question everything but our new sources of information’.

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There are a lot more conspiracy kooks out there than legitimate researchers, and a whole lot of cynical opportunists also. People should be careful. Memorize the most common logical fallacies and stay alert for them whenever you read conspiracy material (the same applies to anything from the MSM, too). You'll find most conspiracy books and videos are rife with such fallacies.
Indeed you should be careful, but quite frankly nobody is ever going to see every logical fallacy that is used. I don’t and I don’t expect others to, but I don’t expect people who regard themselves as ‘elite’ or the ‘vanguard’ of any political and/or intellectual movement to be able to see the basic ones that occur both in their own literature, their opponents literature and ostensibly neutral literature.

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What the legitimate conspiracy researcher does should be almost indistinguishable from investigative journalism, crime solving, or scientific investigation. Legitimate conspiracy researchers won't be afraid to debate their theories with honest critics. They'll be open to being proven wrong.
Well I wouldn’t put investigative journalism anywhere near science or crime solving since both use a particular method, which is, almost necessarily, at odds with investigative journalism. The latter builds a thesis up to sell that thesis as propaganda, while the other two build a thesis that fits the facts as known and then test that thesis. You have to separate the idealism from the hard reality of things like journalism as well as in science (but in science there is little room for speculation).

Intellectual theses should be tested (for example by thought experiment), but I haven’t come across many journalists who would even want to put their theses to the test let alone the ‘investigative journalism’ books that I have read (for example Jim Marrs’ work: ‘The Rise of the Fourth Reich’, which was just simply awful).

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Legitimate conspiracy researchers should be embarrassed to be associated with the people who wrote King-Kill 33.
Out of interest what is a ‘legitimate’ conspiracy researcher: it sounds somewhat like an oxymoron. I am just curious why you use that term for it: although I think I have a good idea what you mean.
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Last edited by Karl Radl; August 8th, 2009 at 10:59 AM.
 
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