Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 10 Num. 89 ======================================= ("Quid coniuratio est?")
Four Dangerous Minds Said To Be Planning Invasion Of Small School
Panic Sets In! --------------
Gerald Posner and "Chip" Berlet Help "Circle the Wagons!"
Will YOUR College Be Next!? ---------------------------
An article in the Los Angeles Times, dated August 21, 1997 ("Community College Course Claims JFK Conspiracy"), warns readers of an apparent stealthy attack planned by certain "conspiracy theorists" on an idyllic community college. Said to be part of the invasion were SHERMAN SKOLNICK, a telephone-addicted mutterer on supposed dark plots, DAVE EMORY, who spreads his seductive ideas via small radio stations, JOHN JUDGE, a local Washington, DC character, and MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER, sometime scribbler for a fringe newspaper.
The ever-alert L.A. Times warns that the South Orange County Community College District "has approved a course that claims a conspiracy was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and has committed $5,000 for flying in four guest speakers..."
Rushing to guard against such conspiracy ideas being discussed on, of all places, a college campus, was the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which may have been correct in accusing ONE of the four invited speakers, Mr. Piper, of anti-Semitism. From there it was just a short hop-skip-and-a-jump to the conclusion that "if one speaker is anti-Semitic, others must also be." At least that is what the L.A. Times article directly states in its headline, "SOME scheduled speakers contend [JFK] killing was planned by Israel."
Although too-trusting Americans may wonder how such as SKOLNICK (himself an orthodox Jew), EMORY (a well-respected anti-fascist researcher), and JUDGE (a tireless investigator of CIA skullduggery) could possibly be "anti-Semitic," Gerald Posner (an "Oswald did it" stalwart) and John Foster "Chip" Berlet (described as an "examiner of authoritarian thinking") were quick to stomp out the question. Regarding the fevered thinkers about to shamble onto campus, Posner exclaimed that he was "aghast" at hearing of the planned course. He added that a conference on conspiracies behind the Kennedy assassination strikes him "as similar to the notion that the Holocaust was a hoax." John Foster Berlet, named after beloved State Department personage John Foster Dulles, on hearing of the sneaky thought-crime attack on the hallowed halls of academe, exclaimed, "Oh, get out of here!"
Others were not so kind regarding the planned invasion of the Hallowed Halls of Correct Thought. "All of this is out-and-out anti-Semitism," fumed Cheryl Altman of Saddleback Community College. Roy Bauer, a philosophy instructor at Irvine Valley Community College, called the invited guests "crackpots." And Joyce Greenspan of the ADL darkly warned that some of the planned speakers write for the feared "extremist organizations." (Since Skolnick writes for Conspiracy Nation, among other publications, the inference is clear: CONSPIRACY NATION ITSELF MAY BE AN "EXTREMIST" ORGANIZATION.)
This editor has learned that a puzzled Sherman Skolnick never made a definite committment to attend the proposed conference. Reportedly, John Judge had never even been formally asked to attend. Emory and Piper could not be reached for comment as we go to press.
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