Amidst that stash of ancient writings of mine that I uncovered recently was this post I put up in some forum or other (I may or may not have written about this in print as well, for a biweekly column I was writing). The formatting crap and other stuff I had to strip from this brief piece was mind-boggling. The “contact info” at the bottom will give you a clue.

Sherman Skolnick, I discovered within the hour using that new-fangled Google thing, died in 2006 at age t9; he was paralyzed by polio at age six and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Among other things, he was a 9-11 “truther” and believed that the Pope was using the Jesuit Order to control human events. You can see what he thoughts of the Clintons in the piece below.

A point I meant to make in that introduction to this ongoing series which is linked above but did not is that The Crazy has always been with us. Not as mainstream and working in the shadows, but the genesis of what appears to be a nation, or a significantly portion of its populace, going mad has been with us since Saint Ronnie served as a frontman for a bunch of California millionaires.

CONSPIRACY NATION 

I’m not quite sure exactly where or when I stumbled upon Conspiracy Nation, Possibly when I went wandering the Web in the wake of Oklahoma City, visiting all the sites frequented by the militia maniacs and other paranoids. Or it could have been from one of the posts offered up in various CompuServe forums with mind-numbing frequency by a nutcase who signs off each message with a huge drawing of what he purports to be an American Eagle. Whatever. I found it.

Conspiracy Nation s an electronic newsletter out of Chicago with daily, and sometimes more frequent, editions. A guy named Francis Brian Redman is listed as editor-in-chief and posts the messages, generally with this caveat: “I neither necessarily agree nor disagree with either all or parts of the following.” In essence, this seems to be primarily an outlet for the often outrageous “information” gathered by one Sherman H. Skolnick, who is described thusly: “Since 1963, Mr. Skolnick has been founder /chairman, Citizens’ Committee to Clean Up the Courts, investigating judicial bribery and political murders.

Skolnick, who also “investigated” Watergate and the JFK Assassination, has a public access television show in Chicago where he advances his theories.

I can’t tell you much more than that about the folks behind this operation. When I decided a week or two ago that I would write about it here, I sent a message to Redman requesting an interview. Unfortunately, I did so in the worst possible fashion: posing several questions up front that I’d want to ask. Dumb. It was certainly not an approach likely to receive a favorable hearing from someone in the paranoia profession (or anyone, for that matter).

In any case, this was Redman’s reply (which also included what I thought were evasive dismissals of the questions I’d proposed): “Seriously, as you have shown yourself to be incredibly biased, do you really think I would bother doing an interview with you?”

I tried to get around that in my response: “As someone once said, ‘I neither necessarily agree nor disagree with either all or parts’ of the implications in my questions. And if each of us only does interviews and has discussions with people with whom we already agree, there won’t be much chance for new ideas developing, information being expanded or the possibility of new insights, will there?”  But I had blown it. Redman’s final posting: “Given that there are many alleged ‘journalists’ out there who do ‘ hatchet jobs’ on their poor victims, and given that you have introduced yourself to me as being unreasonably biased to begin with, I think it reasonable that I decline to be interviewed by you. Please cease communicating with me on this matter; I already ave a huge volume of mail to go through. Thank you for your consideration.”

Hatchet job? Hardly necessary when dealing with card-carrying members of the “Vincent Foster was a spy and murdered,” “Bill and Hillary work for the CIA” crowd. Consider these recent Skolnik postings:

 “I’m very disturbed that the ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of this country — that is, the President, the First Lady — are involved in some *horrendous* criminality and that the First Lady, apparently, prior to the time she was in the White House, was involved in some horrendous, apparent treason, with the one that is now dead (which some people felt was murder) — that is, Vincent Foster, Jr.”

 “One White House reporter, I believe, has already sent out a bulletin to the radio stations that she’s a correspondent for, and has made the statement that Democrats have told Clinton he must resign by July 29th….<[>and two days later] Late breaking: reliable sources inform Mr. Skolnick that Democrat leaders have talked to Clinton and demanded that Clinton resign by July 29. These same sources say that Clinton *will* resign.””

 “Bill Clinton, as Arkansas Governor, was part of CIA’s gun and dope smuggling through the airport at Mena. Some of his campaigns for Governor were financed by Atlantic Research, a Virginia-based reputed arms supplier and CIA contractor. With the proceeds of the dope and arms smuggling, Bill has a secret interest in a tens of millions of dollars Swiss account, code named Chelsea Jefferson — Chelsea being his daughter’s first name and Jefferson his middle name.”

Understand, this stuff is tame compared to what’s driving the real loonies out there. But if you want a peek into the dark shadows on the edge of rational political thought in the belief that the best defense against creeping idiocy is foreknowledge or, come to think of it, if you’re an incipient loony yourself, you can get Conspiracy Nation emailed right to your desktop (better than a plain brown wrapper) by sending the message “subscribe conspire My Name” to listproc@prairienet.org.

Don’t tell them I sent you. Don’t tell anybody I sent you.

Jack Curtin can be reached at “jcurtin@ix.netcom.com,” on the Internet, “72437,506” on CompuServe
and “jayjacey” on America Online.
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