Web links related to the Back of the Book program of May 15, 2000

Currently it's 5/17/2000 09:09:11, and I think I may be done with this page. I never did get to the mail because the Saddle Pals were having so much fun. We did cover some superstitious issues though, along with some other things.

By the way, does anyone have an air check of the last half hour of the May 1, 2000, program? I screwed up the air check and I'm missing that last half hour.

Besides the job action against the Pacifica Network News, there's also information about the current trial of Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi on the Pacifica Theft Menu.

The Web cast of tonight's program was working earlier this evening, so it should be all right for Back of the Book. Unfortunately, this may not be the case for much longer. WBAI's wacky General Manager, Valerie Van Isler, has not paid Porus dot com the $2,500 she'd promised to upgrade their carriage of WBAI. This feed may cease to exist soon.

Paul Williams of UFO Desk is arranging for this feed. And we thank Porus dot com for providing this feed.

So we had the “Saddle Pals” reassembled for Sunday's program. The Saddle Pals consist of Max Schmid, who has a Web site, Uncle Sidney Smith, who doesn't have a Web site but sometimes wishes he had one, and me.

Back of the Book is always different when the Saddle Pals show up.

Speaking of Maxwell J. Schmid, he was interviewed by Wired recently regarding Jean Shepherd and old time radio.

The third “secret” from that Fatima scam has been revealed. Well, sort of. It was something about a Bishop in white being killed. When I was a kid I was so looking forward to this stuff being revealed in 1960.

The Vatican has posted the statement by the Pope's own Cardinal Angelo Sodano regarding the stupid “third part” of what they're now referring to as the secret Fatima letter.

As Uncle Sidney and I said on the air, this was a letter supposedly given to three little kids in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Who gave them the letter, or at least the information they wrote down in the letter? Why the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM), of course! Well, that's what they say. Uncle Sidney and I, having been raised Roman Catholic and gone through the Catholic school system, were indoctrinated, drilled and worked up into a grammar school frenzy about the revelations that would come from this letter when it was to be finally opened by the Pope in the year 1960.

For those who were not heavily indoctrinated in this scam, here's the story: three kids were neglecting their shepherding duties and told their parents that they were seeing visions of the BVM by a little spring in Fatima. The more gullible adults believed the three brats and talked it up among the dimwitigencia of Fatima. After a while people were showing up to watch the kids have their “visions.” Eventually a whole lot of superstitious fools showed up to watch. None of the adults ever saw the BVM, but the kids made believe they were talking to an invisible person. In the end, the kids said that the BVM was done appearing to them. She had to go get her hair done or something. But they said she'd given them a message to give to the Pope. In grammar school the teachers seemed to be saying that the BVM had given the envelope containing the letter to the three kids. But I'm not seeing that claim anymore, so we can now assume that the brats wrote something down themselves and sealed it in an envelope. Of course to a little kid in the year 1917, the year 1960, is impossibly far in the future. And for two of the kids it was, as they died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. One of them, however, is still kicking. She's a 93 year old nun. She's been in a convent since 1929. What a waste of a long life.

Oh yeah, the big, public miracle of all of this was that a throng of deluded superstitionists claimed to see the sun fall to the Earth, or something like that. There appears to be a more embellished version of it, but there's a miracle for you.

Lots of Catholic school kids were hot about the opening of that letter throughout the 1950s. But 1960, came and went and we heard nothing more about it. We'd been ready for Earth shattering announcements, but we heard only silence.

On the program Uncle Sidney said that he'd searched throughout the Internet for something about the famous Fatima letter, but he'd found nothing. I was also surprised to hear of this revelation of a “third secret” of that letter. We were never told that this was supposed to be a secret. We were told that the letter would be opened by the Pope and its contents revealed to the world.

Of course the fact that the letter was nothing but bullshit contrived by three kids with seriously overactive imaginations didn't lend it to being revealed by a probably quite embarrassed Pope John XXIII, who would have been the one to open it in 1960. So it was quite a surprise to read an Associated Press report that a “third secret” had been revealed.

Even some of “the faithful,” as non-ordained Catholics are called by the priests, are taken aback at these revelations. They predict nothing to us and they say nothing directly. It's all interpretation.

Now I've found a Web site devoted to this superstitious claptrap, and they do say that the first two parts were revealed. Supposedly the first two “secrets” were that World War I would end (not exactly rocket science), World War II would begin and that the Soviet Union would rise and fall. Of course the Russian Empire had already fallen apart and was in Communist chaos by the time these goofy visions of the BVM ended in October 1917. It was front page news.

This latest secret is about a Bishop in white walking among the corpses of martyrs who falls down, apparently dead, under a hail of gunfire. The Vatican is now saying that this relates to the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981. Gosh, what a useful prediction.

By the way, here's what the surviving member of the trio says that merciful dog spelled backwards has in store for folks who don't toe the Roman Catholic line.

Is this Wednesday the end of the world? I so doubt it. Some of the usual cuckoos were saying that on May 5th, the planetary alignment would cause big problems. NASA laughed that off. But some of the imbeciles are now saying that the world, having failed to end on the fifth, will go on May 17th.

I went to a building I've seen for years on Friday. Turns out it's in back of and a couple of blocks west of the building that WBAI is in these days. It's currently called “The AIG Building,” but what was this art deco palace at 70 Pine St. originally called?

Listener, and former WBAI engineer, Claude has come through with some information on that building at 70 Pine St. He says it was originally called the Cities Service Building, and it was built in 1932. You can find out a little more about it by scrolling partway down this page.

The movie Battlefield Earth came out last week, and it's getting some of the worst reviews any movie has gotten in years. Here's a sampling: The Miami Herald, The Arizona Republic, Salon The New York Times, why even the dullards at The Post thought it was crap. A Scientology opponent has gleefully assembled many reviews of this turkey. Of course a lot of this has to do with the fact that it was John Travolta's pet project and it's based on a pulp fiction book written by his guru the late Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Some even think it may be a recruiting film for this wacky thing that I'm not sure we can even call a superstition.

There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that these issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

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