Professor Secretly Trashes Merton Book

Thomas Merton, the great Roman Catholic writer, spent his entire religious career, from his acceptance into the Cistercian Order in December of 1941 until his tragic death in Thailand at the age of 53 in December of 1968, as a monk at the Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey near Bardstown, Kentucky.  If for Merton’s legions of admirers, the Gethsemani Abbey is “Mecca,” then the independent Catholic university, Bellarmine, some 40 miles to the north in Louisville is “Medina.”  In 1967, Merton bequeathed his voluminous papers to Bellarmine, which had been founded by the local diocese as Bellarmine College in 1950.  Since his death it has become the home of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University and the headquarters of the International Thomas Merton Society.  There are a number of other Thomas Merton Centers,…

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Befuddled Juror in Thomas Merton Book Verdict

Befuddled Juror in Thomas Merton Book Verdict My copy of the quarterly Merton Seasonal, published jointly by the International Thomas Merton Society and the Thomas Merton Center of Bellarmine University, has arrived, and I see that they have finally stopped ignoring The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation, written by Hugh Turley and yours truly and published in March of 2018. The Winter 2018 edition upon the 50th anniversary of Merton’s untimely and mysterious death in Thailand on December 10, 1968, is on the general theme of Merton’s demise. On the cover is a photograph of Merton’s grave marker at his home Gethsemani Abbey near Bardstown, Kentucky. The modest black and white magazine, 43 pages in length, contains six articles and two…

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Daniel Best: Trump’s Vince Foster?

Hey, Donald, do you see anything fishy here? Snopes.com, of all people, has a good summary of the basic known facts in this very recent high-level suspicious death case: On 1 November 2018, the Trump administration’s senior adviser on drug pricing reform, Daniel Best, was found “unresponsive” near the garage door exit of a Washington, D.C., apartment building. He was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. A statement released the same day by Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar mourned Best as a “friend and colleague” but addressed neither the circumstances nor the cause of his death. No other details were released to the public. Two weeks later, on 15 November, the office of Washington, D.C.’s chief medical examiner announced that…

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Scarce News on Admiral Stearney’s Death

If you are a regular reader of The Jerusalem Post you would have learned on December 1 that the top officer for all U.S. Navy operations in the Middle East, Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, had been found dead in his home in Bahrain. The Reuters wire story that The Jerusalem Post was simply passing on was an official statement from U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, John Richardson. The statement gave no cause of death or any other information except to assure us that foul play was not suspected. If you get your news from The Washington Post, on the other hand, you wouldn’t even know that much, right up to the time that I am penning this report. Try searching “Scott Stearney Washington Post” and…

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Who is Donald Trump?

(Editorial Note: This piece originally  appeared on Dave Martin’s site in May 2017 but has lost none of its timeliness since then.) Now that our newly elected president has quickly and unceremoniously dropped all pretense of being opposed to the neocon-neoliberal American Empire agenda, one has to wonder why the mainstream media, led by The Washington Post and The New York Times, seem to feel the need to keep pounding away at him so viciously. His cabinet, with its Wall Street and Goldman Sachs connections, looks just like what we would have gotten had Hillary Clinton been elected, and so does his foreign policy. His United Nations ambassador, former Marco Rubio supporter and Republican pro-Israel establishment darling, Nikki Haley, has probably been…

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Deep Politics 101: Infiltration, the Testimony of Darthard Perry

I came across this video on YouTube some months ago and it made an impression on me. It is from a program that was aired in 1980, on a Black Television network in the U.S. It is an interview with one Darthard Perry, who was a paid F.B.I. infiltrator in various Black organizations in the 1970’s. Mr. Perry describes how he was recruited and provides detailed inside information into the way this sort of infiltration works. He even answers various other questions to which one might wish to know the answer, such as: what was the pay like? The video is on the long side, but I would strongly encourage people to watch the whole thing. I would venture the…

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What We Know about Thomas Merton’s Death

Paper by David Martin and Hugh Turley presented to Thomas Merton Symposium, Pontifical Antheneum, Rome, Italy, June 13, 2018 The state of knowledge of Thomas Merton’s death can best be described as highly unsatisfactory.  Michael Mott’s 1984 authorized biography, The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton, has been taken as the last word on the subject. Everyone who has written about Merton’s death since then—and there are many—has apparently accepted his explanation of how Merton was electrocuted by a defective fan, departing from his description on occasion only with their own embellishments, based solely upon imagination rather than new research. This is unfortunate, because Mott leaves a lot of loose ends.  First, he quotes directly from the just-then-revealed conclusion of the Thai police report, a document that only a…

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“Performance Artists” versus The First Amendment

(Editorial Note: Readers are invited to weigh in on the 64,000 dollar question: Is Alex Jones some sort of shill?) Inflammatory radio host Alex Jones is besieged with lawsuits brought by Sandy Hook parents who claim to be “defamed” by the content of his broadcasts. America’s loudest rant monger appears to be fulfilling a central role in a broader play that could seriously undermine the First Amendment. Most recently Jones, who maintain via his counsel that the Newtown massacre itself was genuine, has agreed to defray the plaintiffs’ court costs for bringing suit in Texas should the judge find it frivolous. Concurrently media platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Spotify are now censoring “Infowars” for purported “hateful” content. Jones’ ex-wife and conflict-of-interest show…

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“Seth Rich Confidante” Escaped to Russia

Edward Snowden and John Mark Dougan are both relatively young American whistleblowers who have been granted political asylum by the Russian government. Dougan could be the more important of the two “fugitives,” but almost no one in the United States has heard of him, while almost every halfway-informed person has heard of Snowden. This fact speaks well of Dougan, suggesting that he might well be the more genuine of the two. Snowden is a former CIA operative who spilled a lot of beans about surveillance of the public by the National Security Agency (NSA), perhaps beans that they really didn’t mind seeing spilled. Dougan is a former Marine and former police officer who used his considerable computer skills to embarrass the leadership of his former…

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The Muslim Rape Army Is Coming to Getcha! Further Thoughts on Reclaiming Reality

The Brawl that Wasn’t A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. Mark Twain Sometime a bit over a year ago, I came across an article describing a big brawl that occurred in, of all places, Murmansk, way north in Russia. The story, in the Daily Caller, by one Jacob Boesson, is entitled: Refugees Go Clubbing In Russia, Harass Girls, Wake Up In Hospital The Next Morning. The story is dated February 4, 2016, but the events described would have taken place on the previous weekend, on Friday 29 January. “A group of 51 refugees were brutally assaulted outside a night club in Murmansk, Russia, after they groped and molested women at a night club…

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Faith, Reason, Fanaticism, and the Deeper Meaning of “The Donald”

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em Perhaps the greatest historical archetype when we think about religious fanaticism and intolerance is the Spanish Inquisition, in particular the fearsome figure of Tomás de Torquemada, the first Grand Inquisitor. The historical backdrop is that, in the wake of the Reconquista, centuries of back-and-forth conflict between Muslims and Christians, the Christians eventually regained control of all of Spain; the last Muslim stronghold, Granada fell in 1492. As Christianity gained the upper hand, many people who were formerly Muslims or Jews decided to become Christians. However, it was widely believed that many (most?) of these conversions were not sincere, but rather, made for reasons of expediency. Now, when you look at this problem in a more…

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The Show Must Go On

A Night at the Theater One evening a gentleman decides to go to the theater. There is a play showing that is reputed to be a very funny comedy. It’s hilarious, people are raving about it. At various points in the middle of the performance, hecklers disrupt the play, shouting disparaging insults at the actors on stage. At first, the actors on stage ignore this and carry on in their roles, but then, at some point, some of them lose patience with this, and respond to the hecklers. Let’s say it begins when an actress on the stage, who is portraying a very prim, proper lady in the play, goes completely out of character and responds to the hecklers with…

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A Framework for Reclaiming Reality

I believe I first read George Orwell’s essay, Politics and the English Language, as part of the reading list for an English 101 college class. I was a teenager at the time and I don’t believe I really understood what Orwell was getting at. I think my understanding was at the superficial level. I mostly just took it to be a screed against crappy writing — which it is, of course. But it is much more than that. Some of the ideas in that essay were later developed in his magnum opus, the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, wherein the government of Oceania are designing a new language called Newspeak, which brings to mind the current-day scourge of “political correctness”. Come to think…

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