Does the poster below offend you?
It is a symbol of the anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany that led directly to the Holocaust.
What, you may ask, does this have to do with the study of the UFO phenomenon? Unfortunately, more than you might think.
Jeff Rense has a very popular talk radio show, and an affiliated website, that are looked to by a lot of people for information about the UFO phenomenon, conspiracy theories, and other paranormal subjects.
However, that’s not all you get at http://www.rense.com/. In the past three weeks, for example, you will find the following “columns” –
1. 17 May – “Auschwitz Dead – From Four to 1 + Million – Or Less!” (www.rense.com/general65/aauc.htm) by Dick Fojut, who refers to the Holocaust as “the Aushwitz-Holocaust ‘legend’” and urges readers to “decide for yourselves whether the greater claim of 6 million murdered Jews is also false – or (to politically benefit the State of Israel) has been enormously exaggerated…”
2. 17 May – “Anne Frank’s Diary – Some Honest Questions.” (www.rense.com/general65/aan.htm) It makes the outrageous claims that the Diary was “very substantially adapted and enlarged [by Otto Frank] for financial gain” and that the result is “a fraudulent document… which helps promote sympathy for Zionism.”
3. 13 May 2005 – “The Holocaust Belongs to All of Us” by Jana Janus (www.rense.com/65/hol.htm) which includes the following “reportage” – “World War II and the Holocaust seem to have become the exclusive property of the Jews. They dictate what the facts are. They make the documentaries and the films about it. They control the publishing industry that prints the books and the textbooks on this subject. They get to tell everyone what to think about it… The Jews must not be allowed to OWN the Holocaust. They must not be allowed to consider it their exclusive property!”
4. 2 May 2005 – A column with the title “Zundel Update – Two POW Letters from a German Prison” by Ernst Zundel sympathiser Ingrid Rimland (www.rense.com/general64/zundelupdatetwoPOW.htm). For those not aware, Zundel is a notorious Holocaust denier and anti-Semite that Canada had the good sense, after a long legal fight, to deport back to his native Germany. To describe him as a Prisoner of War begs the question – just what war is he fighting, and against whom? Anyone who knows anything about the Zundel case knows the answer to that question.
This isn’t history, or political science.
This isn’t studying the Nazis, or the Holocaust, in order to learn something.
This is Anti-Semitism, plain and simple. It might not be as direct as the poster shown above (although in some cases it is), but that doesn't make it any better. Indeed, it might be even worse - anti-semitism, masquerading as "academic study" and the "free exchange of information." Mac Tonnies, at his excellent blog Posthuman Blues, recently noted the current of anti-Semitism that runs hand in hand these days with those who sit on the fringe of the conspiracy theory-ism (which is itself a fringe - see http://posthumanblues.blogspot.com/2005/05/forteans-as-populist-intellectuals.html). This echoes Jerry Clark, who once wrote, sensibly, “My experience is that if you scratch a conspiracy theorist, a bigot bleeds.”
William Cooper was an excellent example (Michael Salla, take note).
Unfortunately, so are the postings that can be found at Rense’s website.
Now, Rense sticks a disclaimer on his website that states, in part:
"The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any such posted material or parts therein."
The full disclaimer can be seen at www.rense.com.
No disclaimer, however, is sufficient to evade responsibility for providing a forum for this kind of material. It is not a question of freedom of speech (the cloak of intellectual respectability that Rense seeks to wrap himself in); it is a question of knowing right from wrong.
Rense’s disclaimer is moral cowardice - at best.
Well, sometimes you are known by the company you keep.
Ufologists have a responsibility to inform themselves of stuff like this, and then walk away from any invite to appear on Rense’s show. I know whereof I speak – a few months ago, I appeared on his show to talk about the Aztec case. I assumed he was just another radio host, and it was just another show, like SDI. I now know different, and I regret appearing on his show. I will not do so again, and I urge everyone in the UFO field to follow suit.
I've spent years, in and out of university, studying the Nazis, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. I take to heart the words of Martin Niemoller, a decorated WWI submarine commander who became a Protestant pastor and anti-Nazi (he spent the war in a concentration camp), and who wrote, after the war:
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out.”
We must never forget, and we must never hesitate to speak out.
That's my disclaimer.
For information on the Holocaust, see www.pbs.org/auschwitz/, www.ushmm.org (the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum site), www.vhf.org (Survivors of the SHOAH Visual History Foundation), and www.remember.org - all four are good starting points. Also, check your local video store for two films - The Wannsee Conference, and Conspiracy. And, of course, Schindler's List. For reading material, a good place to start would be with the testimony from the Nuremberg Trial, which can be found at most law libraries.