The JFK Assassination Research Community and Me
When Hidden History was published in November 2014, I naturally assumed that the JFK research community would be drawn to it. After all, I’d spent over a decade on the most high-profile internet forums, posting regularly and even as a moderator on London’s Spartacus Education Forum.
However, despite the unexpected success of my book, this natural demographic base has all but ignored it. There have been some notable exceptions, of course. Douglas Caddy was very supportive from the beginning. So was John Barbour. Vince Palamara wrote a nice review, as did Jim DiEugenio. Roger Stone loved the book, and will be writing the Introduction to the paperback version, due for publication this July. But the vast majority of those I’d come to know and interact with, in a cyber sense, over the years, have avoided any mention of Hidden History like the plague.
John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s death is mentioned sporadically on these forums. Whenever it is, I usually try to post something about my investigation into the case, which I humbly suggest produced some groundbreaking information, and was recounted in Hidden History. But even there, posters seem to pretend my work on the subject doesn’t exist, and will instead refer again to internet articles from 1999.
I’ve tried to wrap my mind around all this. Are some posters simply jealous? Certainly, I alienated a number of those I denigrated for being “neo-cons,” or mere pseudo proponents of conspiracy. I also incurred the wrath of many of the most immature “researchers,” who insisted on name-calling, foul language and threats as part of their “debating” tactics.
On Facebook, I have nearly 1,500 friends. The majority of these are people interested in either the JFK assassination, 9/11, or a variety of conspiratorial subjects. Yet when I post about my book, invariably few of them even “like” it, yet alone comment. When I shared former Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s glowing comments about one of my interviews, the response was negligible from the “conspiracy” crowd, most of whom I know deeply admire her.
On another occasion, I shared actress Susan Olsen’s (who played Cindy on The Brady Bunch) promo link to the interview I was going to do on her LA Talk Radio show. The only “like” and only comment came from Olsen herself. Early on, when I posted the news that Hidden History had reached #1 in two different Amazon categories, or when I notified my Facebook friends that it had sold out, resulting in an additional printing, it garnered a bit more attention, but never much from the JFK research crowd. As time went on, and more copies of the book were sold, it actually seemed as if it was getting less attention from “researchers.”
I understand that many, if not most, JFK assassination researchers treat the case as if it occurred in a bubble. I’ve tried to point out numerous times that these events are inevitably intertwined. The corruption didn’t start on November 22, 1963, and didn’t stop with the publication of the Warren Report. On the contrary, it’s an ongoing process, a way of doing business. That should be obvious to astute observers by now, but to many well-respected researchers, such talk is beyond the pale.
I won’t mention any names. But it’s beyond perplexing to recall all the JFK forum regulars who told me how much they were breathlessly awaiting my book, only to encounter absolute silence from them after its publication and surprising success. Older books like JFK and the Unspeakable continue to be promoted on Facebook and the forums, but my book is evidently anathema to these same posters. David Talbot’s Devils’s Chessboard hardly needs the promotion of these researchers on Facebook, but they promote it there relentlessly. Talbot is just one of many high profile figures that were interested in, and received a review copy of Hidden History, yet never even responded to my follow up regarding their impressions of the book.
It remains an inexplicable phenomenon that a book lauded by the likes of Cynthia McKinney, Roger Stone, Cindy Sheehan, John Barbour, Jerome Corsi, Rob Dew of Infowars and many others, has been virtually shunned by the hordes on the internet who are supposedly obsessed with the subject matter Hidden History largely addresses. I’m left to wonder just who is buying and reading it.
Because of the near lack of support I’ve received from what should logically have been my default base, the sales and interviews that exceeded my wildest expectations seem all the more astonishing. If the public support of Cynthia McKinney didn’t impress them, then I suppose nothing will.
Reading some recent threads at one of these forums reminded me again of just how naive some of these posters are. There are JFK assassination researchers who actually support Hillary Clinton and believe she will just continue the “good” things President Bill Clinton did. Perhaps, then, much of their reluctance to mention my book is based upon their misguided allegiance to the phony “left” and “right” paradigm. If you can’t see how corrupt politicians like the Clintons are, then you probably aren’t going to like my book.
If this sounds like sour grapes, perhaps it is. But it’s a bizarre kind of sour grapes, since my book has done much better than I thought possible. The non-support of JFK assassination researchers hasn’t hindered sales, but it does bother me. The silence is worse than criticism. I’d actually prefer that some of them would post about it, and demonstrate its flaws. But they don’t do that. Instead, they avoid any mention of Hidden History. Whenever I’ve referenced it at a pertinent spot in a particular discussion thread, the thread pretty much stops.
I’ve commented before on how dysfunctional the critical community is. It always has been, to some extent; but the fracturing, the petty disputes, the professional envy, is more pronounced now than ever. Many who have never written a single book cling to their own particular theories, and label anyone who dissents as a “disinfo agent” or a “troll.” “Respectable” researchers adamantly maintain there were no shots from the front, or that Oswald was not being impersonated, or that there were no suspicious deaths, or that Steven Witt was the Umbrella Man.
I once tried to get researchers to rally around a very simple conclusion, a media talking point, that would express our collective thoughts on this issue. Here is the thread I started about this on the Education Forum: Can We Agree On A Consensus Statement Regarding Conspiracy? You can read for yourself just how successful I was.
To put it mildly, my experiences over the years with the often bombastic, difficult personalities who gravitate to JFK assassination research, have created a powerful rift between us. I still post there sometimes, when the spirit moves me, but we are separated, and maybe ultimately headed for divorce. They ridicule the likes of Alex Jones and Coast to Coast AM, two of the most conspiracy-friendly press venues that exist. They have a very restricted view of what is and isn’t “respectable.” As I’ve told them many times, the establishment press isn’t going to listen to them, or like them, no matter how “neo-con” and reasonable they try to appear.
I’ve been researching the JFK assassination since 1975 or so. The subject continues to fascinate me, and I will always be drawn to it. But the vast majority of those who call themselves “researchers,” and post regularly on internet forums, hold no such fascination for me. On the contrary, I’m done trying to analyze them or debate them.
I’ve been thinking about writing this blog entry for quite some time. It isn’t easy to express my thoughts on this, without sounding whiny and over-sensitive. But it had to be said, and hopefully readers will understand where I’m coming from.