Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cat People: Enemy Action?

"Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action." ~ said by Auric Goldfinger, in Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger, 1959.

There have been more zoo animal attacks, with one resulting in a fatality in New Zealand and another a death in South Zealand. A cluster of such incidents has occurred since the weekend. What's going on?

First the latest news, and then I'll share a review of recent incidents.

On Wednesday, May 27, 2009, senior zookeeper Dalu Mncube (pictured below, with a lion) was mauled to death by a white tiger at Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens as eight horrified tourists, including two young children, witnessed the attack.

Northland Police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett confirmed that, at about 11am on Wednesday, two keepers went in to clean the white tiger enclosure when the animal attacked Mncube. (The time of 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2009 in New Zealand, converts to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday May 26, 2009, in the Pacific Time Zone/North America.)

Despite the best efforts of the other keeper, the royal white Bengal tiger wouldn't let go. Mncube, who had saved a colleague in an attack earlier this year, died at the scene before an ambulance arrived at the park.

The tiger has since been shot dead. The other keeper was not injured.

The tourists who watched the attack - six adults and two children thought to be from England and New Caledonia - were being offered counselling through Victim Support.

The South African, known as "Uncle Dalu," had been the park's senior cat handler since Craig "The Lion Man" Busch was sidelined following a business dispute with the park's boss, his mother Patricia Busch. Craig Busch says the fatal mauling of a keeper at the park is "absolutely tragic."

Zion Wildlife Park is home to 42 rare lions and tigers.

Mncube had saved fellow park employee Demetri Price during a white tiger attack in February 2009, after he used his hands to open the animal's jaws. Price required surgery after he was attacked by the cat who had been spooked by a pride of lions. The zoo has had a series of incidents in recent years making it "controversial," according to the New Zealand National.

Meanwhile, from New Zealand to South Zealand, as in Denmark, it was discovered on Monday, May 25, that on Sunday, May 24, a zookeeper apparently decided to die by suicide by having Bengal tigers there maul him to death.

The body of a former employee of Næstved Zoo was partly eaten by white tigers after the man broke into their enclosure on Sunday night.

One of the Næstved Zoo's white tigers.

Ekstra Bladet newspaper reports that the remains of the man were found by zoo staff on Monday morning. An investigation showed that the man broke into the tiger enclosure with a flammable substance, where he set fire to the straw and opened the door to the animals’ cage so they could get access to him.

The man had been employed as an animal keeper at the South Zealand zoo for ten months, where he was described as having a deep fascination with the zoo’s Bengal tigers. He developed a mental illness last winter which resulted in him losing his job due to the perceived security risk, according to the Copenhagen Post.

"'Hm,' said Bond. 'Bogeyman stuff.'" ~ Ian Fleming, Live and Let Die, 1954.

The animal incidents constitute a remarkable cluster.

Is what is taking place here merely the reflective factor at work, where humans don't notice how frequent these types of events occur until they are brought to their attention? Is it all coincidence? Or an enemy action?

So, of course, I compiled a list, to ponder the short view of the long weekend.

Jane Randolph, who starred in the two Cat People film noir classics of the 1940s, as the “other woman,” died earlier in the month.

Let's look at this recent animal incidents cluster:

Zookeeper Dalu Mncube was killed by a white tiger at a zoo in New Zealand. Wednesday a.m., May 27 local date. (Tuesday, May 26, USA.)

An elementary-aged girl Bailey Rhine Stine was attacked by a pet mountain lion on Lones Road in Columbiana County, Ohio, near Lisbon. Monday a.m., May 25.

A former zookeeper died (apparently by suicide) from being killed by two Bengal tigers at a South Zealand, Denmark, zoo. Sunday late p.m., May 24.

A 14-year-old female mountain lion escaped from the Brit Spaugh Zoo, before being shot and killed by police at the Kansas zoo. Sunday p.m., May 24.

A moose was killed in Thompson Lake, Oxford County, Maine, after it began swimming around boats. Sunday p.m., May 24.

A female moose wandered into Portland, Maine, and was killed by police when it was deemed a danger to the public. Sunday a.m, May 24.

A zookeeper was bitten in the leg by a 3-year-old Bengal tiger at the Memphis Zoo. Sunday a.m., May 24.

Royal Bengal Tigers have killed 36 people in Bangladesh during the first four months of 2009. The tigers prey on villagers in the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world and home to the Royal Bengal Tigers. In the mangrove forest in Bangladesh, at least 100 people are killed by the Royal Bengal Tigers. The villagers also kill tigers wandering around their village, at the rate of a dozen tigers a year. Sunday, May 24, Digital Journal.

Enemy action, indeed?

A great deal of Bengal tigers appear to be in the mix above, in an ongoing war that seems to be going in both directions.

On May 24, 2009, the The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or the Tamil Tigers admitted that its founder and leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, was dead and declared a week of mourning starting the next day. The Sri Lankan war that had begun in May 1976, was over, according to the BBC News.

Or maybe it is only the The Butterfly Effect at work?

Malta Today reports that naturalists have recorded thousands of painted lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui) migrating over the Maltese islands. Sunday, May 24.

New Moon - Sunday, May 24, 2009, 12:11 Universal Time.

"Love of life is born of the awareness of death, of the death of it." ~ Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me, 1962.

(Thanks to Cryptomundo correspondent and Aucklander celebrity, Club Bizarre's Mark Wallbank for the Kiwi news tip.)

Added later...

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Butterfly Effect: Moon/Tiger/Temple Attack/N-Bomb/Punjab Riots

On Sunday, May 24th, a New Moon was in the sky, a Bengal tiger at the Memphis Zoo bit a zookeeper, a Sikh religious leader was killed in Austria, and then a nuclear bomb was exploded in North Korea and riots occurred in Punjab.

Meanwhile, on May 24th, Malta Today reported that naturalists have recorded thousands of painted lady butterflies, above, (Vanessa cardui) currently migrating over the Maltese islands.

Charles Hoy Fort, author, skeptic and iconoclast wrote about the interconnectedness of nature and the butterfly effect before the term was coined in his books New Lands and Wild Talents. In New Lands he makes reference to a migration of birds in New York that could cause a storm in China.

Was Charles Fort (August 6, 1874 – May 3, 1932) ahead of his time?

In Lo!, Fort wrote:

Horses erect in a blizzard of frogs -- and the patter of worms on umbrellas. The hum of ladybirds in England -- the twang of a swarm of Americans, at Templemore, Ireland. The appearance of Cagliostro -- the appearance of Prof. Einstein's theories. A policeman dumps a wild man into a sack -- and there is alarm upon all continents of this earth, because of a blaze in a constellation --

That all are related, because all are phenomena of one, organic existence -- just as, upon August 26th, 1883, diverse occurrences were related, because all were reactions to something in common.

* * *

Sweden -- and it was reported that wild fowl began to migrate, at the earliest date (Aug. 16th) ever recorded in Sweden --

Flap of a duck's wings -- and the twinkles of a star -- the star and the bird stammered a little story that may some day be vibrated by motors, oscillating back and forth from Vega to Canopus.

So the birds began to fly.

~ Charles Hoy Fort, 1931.

The idea that one butterfly could eventually have a far-reaching ripple effect on subsequent historic events seems first to have appeared in a 1952 short story, "A Sound of Thunder," by Ray Bradbury about time travel.

The term "butterfly effect" itself is related to the work of MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz, and the name stems from Lorenz's suggestion that a massive storm might have its roots in the faraway flapping of a tiny butterfly's wings. His 1972 paper is entitled "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?"

The butterfly effect was first described in the literature by Jacques Hadamard in 1890 and popularized by Pierre Duhem's 1906 book.

The butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. Small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system. This is sometimes presented as esoteric behavior, but can be exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position.

In the 1990 film Havana, the Robert Redford character, Jack Weil, a 1950s gambler, tells Roberta Duran (Lena Olin), "And a butterfly can flutter its wings over a flower in China and cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. I believe it. They can even calculate the odds."

It is a common subject in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with "what if" scenarios where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes. The butterfly effect was invoked by fictional chaotician Ian Malcolm so memorably in the novel Jurassic Park and the movie adaptation. Needless to say, the ultimate movie about this is The Butterfly Effect (2004), with Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) attempting to redo or undo his past/present/future.

The larger meaning of the butterfly effect is not that we can readily actually track such connections, but that we can't.

There do seem to be large examples, of course, of "sensitive dependence on initial conditions." One is developing on the world stage in Austria and in India right now.

There was a New Moon on May 24, 2009, 12:11 Universal Time. At the Memphis (Tennessee) Zoo, a 3-year-old Bengal tiger named Kumari bit a zookeeper in the lower calf on Sunday morning.

The Memphis Zoo's Kumari, which was part of May 24th's global events.

Furthermore, the US Geological Survey detected what it called a 4.7-magnitude earthquake in North Korea. The tremor struck at 9:54 a.m. (Korean local time) on Monday, 375 kilometres north-east of Pyongyang at a depth of just 10 kilometres. What had occurred was a major nuclear bomb had been denoted by North Korea in that country, at 8:54 p.m., Sunday, May 24, 2009, (local time in Washington, D.C.).

Elsewhere, thousands protested in the Indian state of Punjab on Monday, May 25, 2009, torching a train, vehicles and shops after a Sikh preacher was killed on Sunday, May 24, in an attack on a temple in Austria's capital Vienna, police told Reuters.

Authorities imposed a curfew on parts of the state and the army was put on standby after members mainly of the Dalit or "untouchable" community protested against the attack in Vienna that killed one of their leaders, according to police.

"The situation remains tense but under control," said senior superintendent of police R.K Jaiswal, from Jalandhar town in Punjab where the violence was centered.

At least 16 people were wounded on Sunday, May 24, 2009, when six armed men attacked two preachers visiting from India with a gun and knives during a ceremony in a Vienna temple.

Guru Sant Rama Nand, 57, died in the night after an emergency operation, police said. The second, Guru Sant Niranjan Dass, 68, is in a stable condition.

Both had suffered bullet wounds.

The Guru who died was said to be from the Dera Sach Khand, a religious sect which draws large support from the Dalit community and is considered separate from mainstream Sikhism.

Sikhism officially rejects caste but social hierarchies still prevail in the state, and followers who protested from the Dera Sach Khand identified themselves as from the Dalit caste.

Activists from a powerful political party, which draws its support mainly from Dalits, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), have joined the protests.

On top of being popular among the lower castes, Dera Sach Khand also differs from mainstream Sikhism on religious points, some of which draw the ire of pious Sikhs, analysts say.

"Sects like the Sach Khand broadly follow Sikhism but make their own diversions and as such cannot be included in Sikhism," Dr. Parmod Kumar, a political scientist, said.

"The Dera Sach Khand follow a living guru which Sikhism cannot accept at all," he said. "Sikhs react strongly to this and that is why the clashes between the Dera followers and mainstream Sikhs occur."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called upon people in Punjab to "maintain peace and harmony": "Invoking the teachings of the Gurus, I appeal to all sections of the people in Punjab to abjure violence and maintain peace," he said in a statement.

Sometimes the butterfly effect, which is so often misunderstood, seems rather obvious.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Plot Or Not?

"I'm just a patsy," uttered by Lee Harvey Oswald, at 7:55 PM Central Time, Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, per reporter Seth Kantor's notes; located at Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XX, page 366 (20H366).

Associated Press writers Michael Hill and Jim Fitzgerald begin to unravel the story behind the "Temple Plot" headlines of the day, when they write:

The four men accused of plotting to bomb New York City synagogues and shoot down military airplanes with missiles are down-and-out ex-convicts living on the margins in a faded industrial city.

One is a petty criminal who spent a day in 2002 snatching purses and shooting at people with a BB gun from an SUV. His lawyer calls him "intellectually challenged."

Three have histories of drug convictions, one of them for selling narcotics in a school zone. The man prosecutors portrayed as the instigator of the scheme said he smoked pot the day he planned to blow up the temples.

They went to Wal-Mart for cameras to photograph their targets and had to call around to various contacts to get guns, prosecutors said.

But if they sometimes seemed amateurish, the men were dangerous people fueled by their hatred for Jews and America, prosecutors said. The plotters managed to get their hands on what they thought were lethal explosives and a surface-to-air missile system, only to find out that they were inert devices supplied by the FBI....


But some in the radical conspiracy and alternative media are not buying it...

"The loudest alarm we should be sounding every day of our lives, in every imaginable forum and street corner, if we would have any hope of halting this black op, false flag, Arlington Road process, is the clarion alert to all Americans that every domestic 'terror' plot or actual attack should always first be assumed to be a U.S. government covert action, until proved otherwise. ~ Michael Hoffman, author of Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare and Masonic Assassination.

The Associated Press has compiled the following list of the known alleged domestic terrorist plots foiled since September 11, 2001, according to American authorities:

- May 2003: A naturalized U.S. citizen from Kashmir living in Columbus, Ohio, is accused of planning to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge, pleads guilty to supporting al-Qaida and is sentenced to 20 years in prison.

- June 2003: The FBI charges a group of men in Virginia with being part of a conspiracy to support holy war overseas. In all, 11 men eventually were convicted in what the government described as a "Virginia jihad network" that used paintball games as training.

- August 2004: U.S. authorities announce evidence of a yearslong plot to attack financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J. Eventually, five men plead guilty in London.

- August 2004: Two men are arrested on the eve of the Republican National Convention in New York on suspicion of plotting to blow up a subway station. They are sentenced to prison.

- August 2004: Authorities arrest two leaders of a mosque in Albany, N.Y., and charge them with aiding in a plot to buy a grenade launcher to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat. They are later convicted of counts relating to money laundering and conspiracy.

- August 2005: Four California men, one the founder of a radical Islamic prison group, are accused of conspiring to attack Los Angeles-area military bases, synagogues and other targets. Three were convicted; one awaits trial.

- February 2006: Three men are arrested in Toledo, Ohio, on suspicion of providing material support to terrorists. One is accused of downloading videos on the use of suicide-bomb vests.

- April 2006: Two Georgia men are accused of videotaping buildings in the Washington area, including the Capitol and the World Bank, and sending the video to a London extremist active on jihadist Web sites.

- June 2006: The FBI announces arrests in Miami and Atlanta in the early stages of a plot to destroy the Sears Tower in Chicago, FBI offices and other buildings. A federal jury convicted five men of plotting to join forces with al-Qaida. A sixth was acquitted.

- July 2006: U.S. authorities announce the arrest of Assem Hammoud, a Lebanese man they claim was plotting to bomb New York City train tunnels to flood the financial district.

- May 2007: Six men were arrested in a suspected plot to attack soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey. Five were convicted of conspiring to kill military personnel and four were sentenced to life in prison; another got 33 years.

- June 2007: Four Muslim men are accused of plotting to destroy New York's Kennedy Airport, kill thousands of people and blow up a jet fuel artery. They have pleaded not guilty.

- May 2009: Four men are charged in New York with plotting to attack synagogues and shoot down a military plane.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spider-Man Suicide

Spider-Man 3 is a 2007 film written and directed by Sam Raimi, with a screenplay by Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent. The character Jennifer Dugan, a reporter in the film, was played by Lucy Gordon.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2009, Gordon died by suicide in her Paris apartment, France-Info radio reported on Thursday. She was found in her flat in the city's 10th (district) arrondissement. Gordon lived in a £2,000-a-month two bedroom rented apartment in that bohemian arrondissement of Paris, an up-and-coming area popular with young professionals on the Right Bank of the Seine.

Gordon took her own life, just two days before her 29th birthday. Police said her boyfriend, told them he woke to find her hanging.

He was still being questioned Wednesday night, but the spokesman stressed it was believed Gordon died by suicide.

Neighbors said the boyfriend told them Gordon had been deeply affected by the recent suicide of a friend in Britain. But one neighbor said she had heard "a couple rowing" the night before her body was found, according to the Daily Mail.

UPI is running with the graphic headline, "U.K. actress Lucy Gordon found hanged."

Lucy Gordon left two suicide notes before hanging herself in the Paris flat she shared with her cinematographer boyfriend, her father said today.

Gordon detailed her last wishes regarding her estate on one piece of paper and left a letter for her parents on another.

Her father Richard Gordon said a post-mortem examination proved she had died from hanging and that no other marks were found on her body. He spoke today to end speculation that the death might be anything other than suicide.

Lucy Gordon’s boyfriend, revealed today as top cinematographer Jerome Alveras, was asleep in the Paris apartment when the actress hanged herself on Tuesday night.

Her father said: "We speak to him daily and he is also distraught."

Almeras - the cinematographer behind last year's Kristin Scott Thomas hit film I've Loved You So Long - has spent two days since the suicide being questioned by police about his 28-year-old lover’s apparent suicide.

Almeras, a Frenchman in his 40s, rushed out of the two-bedroom rented flat and alerted a nearby shopkeeper, but it was too late to save Gordon.

An experienced camera operator, Mr Almeras has worked on numerous films, including Cineman, in which Miss Gordon had a role.

The film, a comedy, is currently in post-production. It was not clear if the couple had met on the set or if they knew one another previously.

Since Gordon's debut in the 2001 movie Perfume, Gordon appeared in about a dozen films, including French director Cedric Klapisch's The Russian Dolls, American filmmaker John Krasinski's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, as well as Spider-Man 3. Other films she did include Frost, The Four Feathers*, and Serendipity.

Lucy Gordon starred with Audrey Tautou in Les poupées russes, The Russian Dolls (2005). Tautou played Sophie Neveu in the 2006 thriller The Da Vinci Code, paired with Tom Hanks.

Gordon recently wrapped production on Joann Sfar's anticipated biopic about late French singer Serge Gainsbourg (April 2, 1928 – March 2, 1991) entitled, Serge Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. In the film, Lucy Gordon plays Gainsbourg's lover -- actress and film director Jane Birkin.

Gainsbourg died of a heart attack. Birkin, born December 14, 1946, is still alive. Gainsbourg and Birkin are the parents of actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (born July 21, 1971).

Birkin was first married, from 1965 until 1968, to John Barry, an English composer who wrote the musical score to the James Bond movies. Their daughter, the photographer Kate Barry, was born in 1967. In 1982, Birkin gave birth to her third daughter, Lou Doillon, from her relationship with the director Jacques Doillon.

"The film 'Gainsbourg (a heroic life)' owes a lot to Lucy Gordon's generosity, kindness and the immense talent," Sfar and the film's producers Marc du Pontavice and Didier Lupfer said in a press release sent out late Wednesday night in France. The film will hit Gallic theaters next year.

Lucy Gordon (May 22, 1980 – May 20, 2009) was born in Oxford, England.

[Watching Spider-Man getting hammered by the giant Sandman...]
Jennifer Dugan: It's hard to believe what's happening. The brutality of it. I-- I don't know how he can take anymore.
Anchorman: This could be a tragic day for the people of New York. It could be the end of Spider-Man.


The Four Feathers is a 2002 American drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, starring Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Djimon Hounsou, Kate Hudson and Lucy Gordon (who played Isabelle), a historical drama about cowardice.

Lucy Gordon is shown at the premiere of The Four Feathers with the poster visible behind her with images of Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson.

Heather Ledger died between Crosby and Lafayette Streets in SoHo, New York City, on January 22, 2008.

Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter.
Rue Lafayette,
Paris, 1891

Thanks for linkages from Todd Campbell and Theo Paijmans, as per the comments.

Also, please see Pseudoccultmedia's Lucy Gordon posting. Notes about the age being the same for Gordon & Ledger, Birkin's father being an intelligence officer, butterfly & other imagery and much more are detailed.

:-) Thank You.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dr. Watson '09

The cerebral and celibate (old meaning) hero of this film is Dr. John Watson, a reflection of Dr. Conan Doyle.

Robert Downey Jr. brings the legendary detective to life as he has never been portrayed before. Jude Law stars as Holmes' trusted colleague, Watson, a doctor and war veteran who is a formidable ally for Sherlock Holmes. Rachel McAdams stars as Irene Adler, the only woman ever to have bested Holmes and who has maintained a tempestuous relationship with the detective. Mark Strong stars as their mysterious new adversary, Blackwood. Kelly Reilly will play Watson's love interest, Mary.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Thriller, Adaptation and Mystery
Release Date: December 25th, 2009 (wide)
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Produced in: United States

Robert Downey Jr. ... Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law ... Dr. John Watson
Rachel McAdams ... Irene Adler
Mark Strong ... Blackwood
Eddie Marsan ... Inspector Lestrade
Kelly Reilly ... Mary

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was the author of fifty-six short stories and three novels with Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson M.D., as the principal characters.

Conan Doyle was not a particularly active freemason. One widely quoted report in the October 1901 Masonic Illustrated claims: "While at the seat of war, he attended the never-to-be-forgotten scratch lodge at Bloemfontein in company with Bro. Rudyard Kipling." In fact, Kipling was in Bloemfontein only between March 17 and April 3, 1900, a period when Rising Star Lodge No. 1022 E.C., the only lodge meeting in that part of South Africa, did not meet. At an April 5, 1900 meeting letters were received by the lodge from both Lord Kitchener and Conan Doyle, expressing their regrets at being unable to attend. A "loyal resolution" to be sent to the Prince of Wales was proposed by Kitchener at an April 23, 1900 meeting; a document signed by both Lord Roberts, who had not been present at the meeting, and Conan Doyle. The minutes of the lodge’s November 7, 1901 meeting refute the newspaper report and deny that Bros. Doyle and Kipling had ever visited their lodge. Also in 1900 Conan Doyle was made an honorary member of The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) No. 1 in recognition of his acceptance of an invitation to speak at a Burns' Night Dinner.

There is no mention of Freemasonry in his autobiography, Memories and Adventures and it is said that "Dr. Doyle looked in on Freemasonry and soon looked out again." There are, however seven distinct and several other oblique references to Freemasonry in his fiction. [AQC 104 & 105]

A prolific writer and an early proponent of a tunnel connecting England and France, he was also responsible for introducing downhill skiing into Switzerland, metal helmets for combat soldiers and the inflatable life-preserver for sailors. He makes a number of Masonic references in his writings, none of them key to his story development.
Initiated: January 26, 1887
Passed: February 23, 1887
Raised: March 23, 1887
Demitted: 1889
Rejoined: 1902
Demitted: 1911
Phoenix Lodge 257, Southsea Hampshire

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wesleyan Shooting Linked To Protocols of the Elders of Zion

Police investigating the shooting death of a Wesleyan University student found a copy of an infamous anti-Semitic book (Protocols of the Elders of Zion) in her suspected killer's hotel room, according to newly released court records.

Stephen Morgan, 29, appeared in court Tuesday at a brief hearing attended by several of his relatives, including his parents. Morgan smiled at them and tried to wave, despite shackles that kept his hands behind his back.

[Twilight language footnote: William Morgan (1774–1826?) - a York Rite Royal Arch degree Freemason - was a resident of Batavia, New York whose disappearance ignited a powerful anti-Freemason movement in the United States in the early 19th century. After stating his intention to write a book exposing Freemasonry's "secrets," Morgan was arrested and kidnapped on September 11, 1826. Then Morgan was apparently killed. His disappearance sparked a public outcry and launched the formation of a new Anti-Masonic Party.]

Stephen Morgan is accused of murdering Johanna Justin-Jinich, of Timnath, Colorado, in a college bookstore cafe near Wesleyan. The May 6, 2009 shootings and subsequent police warnings that the killer might be targeting Jews sparked fear throughout the region until Morgan surrendered to police two days later at a convenience store in nearby Meriden.

Evidence seized by police from Morgan's hotel room, his car and his laptop computer is filed at the Middletown courthouse under a temporary seal that expires this week. But police descriptions of the items under seal are available to the public.

The documents note that police recovered a copy of Protocols of the Elders of Zion from Morgan's room at the Best Way Inn in Middlefield.

The book is a widely read text now generally debunked as an anti-Semitic hoax purporting a plot by Jews seeking world domination. It's considered a pretext for anti-Semitism in the early 20th century and remains influential in those circles today.

Police also confiscated an iPhone, a digital video camera, receipts, clothing, a kiteboard, bullet magazines, a gun case, a portable computer hard drive and receipts from a red Nissan Sentra that was registered to Morgan and found parked near the bookstore after the shooting, court documents show.

The records also detail new writings attributed to Morgan two hours before the death of Justin-Jinich, who was Jewish, that said: "I have to kill Jenn. I think it's OK to kill Jenn and kill the Jews at this school. ... The want and need to kill Jenn and the Jews is there."

It wasn't clear whether the newly released anti-Semitic comments were written in papers or on the computer, but they were similar to comments in his journal, previously made public, in which he wrote: "I think it okay to kill Jews and go on a killing spree at this school."

Authorities have said Morgan and Justin-Jinich knew each other since at least 2007, when they attended a six-week summer program at New York University. Police records show Justin-Jinich filed a harassment complaint against Morgan, accusing him of calling her repeatedly and sending abusive e-mails, but she did not press charges.

Defense attorney Dick Brown said Tuesday that he may ask for a probable cause hearing that would require prosecutors to lay out their case, and was granted a postponement until June 9 so he could discuss the merits of the hearing with Morgan and his family.

Morgan's relatives declined to comment to reporters.

Connecticut law gives anyone accused of a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment to ask for a probable cause hearing within 60 days. The hearing would allow both sides to introduce evidence and call witnesses.

Source: May 19, 2009, 5:53 PM EDT "New anti-Semitism described in Wesleyan shooting," By Katie Nelson. AP.

Father of Suicidology Dies

Edwin S. Shneidman has died.

I knew Ed, and he was a kind enough gentleman to praise my "copycat effect" work in print. He also understood the "twilight language," being a scholar of Herman Melville. See, for example, Henry A. Murray, "Dead to the World: The Passions of Herman Melville," in Essays in Self -Destruction, ed. Edwin S. Shneidman (New York: Science House, 1967).

Schneidman truly was one of those rare father-figures in the field of suicide prevention. His kind demeanor touched many who were lucky enough to have worked with him. He always passed along encouraging thoughts about my research in his letters. What a good soul he had. I can't say much more about him, as I am in a bit of shock to hear this expected but still sad news.

Mark Goulston has written a good remembrance at Huffington Post.

Also, allow me to pass along this rather complete obit:

"Edwin S. Shneidman dies at 91; pioneer in the field of suicide prevention"

By Thomas Curwen Los Angeles Time, May 18, 2009

Edwin S. Shneidman, a pioneer in the field of suicide prevention and a prolific thinker and writer who believed that life is enriched by contemplation of death and dying, has died. He was 91.

He died Friday afternoon at his home in West Los Angeles, according to his son, Robert. He had been in poor health for the last few months.

Shneidman, one of the founders of the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, believed that two simple questions -- "Where do you hurt?" and "How may I help you?" -- could begin to unlock the suicidal impulse.

Shneidman, along with Norman Farberow and Robert Litman, established the center in an abandoned tuberculosis hospital on the grounds of Los Angeles County Hospital in 1958. Staff members offered counseling and support over the phone to the depressed and suicidal. It represented a radical idea in mental health care in America.

Research into suicide -- and suicide itself -- was largely shunned and stigmatized. In time, the Suicide Prevention Center captured the popular imagination in movies and books and became a national center for studying the enigma of suicide.

Shneidman viewed suicide as a psychological crisis and -- as did Albert Camus -- as the "one truly serious philosophical problem."

"Suicide is a complex malaise," Shneidman said. "Sociologists have shown that suicide rates vary with factors like war and unemployment; psychoanalysts argue that it is rage toward a loved one that is directed inward; psychiatrists see it as a biochemical imbalance. No one approach holds the answer: It's all that and more."

The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Shneidman was born in York, Pa., in 1918. He grew up in Lincoln Heights, where his father owned a department store at Broadway and Griffin Avenue.

He attended UCLA and in 1940 earned a master's degree in psychology. After serving in the Army during World War II, he received a doctorate in clinical psychology from USC and studied schizophrenia as an intern at the VA hospital in Brentwood.

One morning in 1949, he was asked by the director to write letters of condolence to the widows of two young veterans, one who had hanged himself and one who had shot himself. Suicide, as a clinical study, had never interested Shneidman, but he decided to research the two cases.

At the coroner's office in downtown Los Angeles, a clerk directed him to the ledgers of the city's dead, housed in a subterranean vault filled with dust and the smell of motor oil. What was supposed to be a two-hour visit turned into a daylong affair.

The study of suicide and the more radical proposition that it could be prevented became his life's passion. "No one has to die," he was fond of saying. "It is the one thing that will be done for you."

Starting in 1955, Shneidman played a major role in funding the work of the Suicide Prevention Center with grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. Most famously, the center helped the city coroner determine that the death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962 was suicide. Its methodology was the psychological autopsy, an interview method developed by Shneidman, Farberow and Litman.

Shneidman left the center in 1966 and organized a national suicide prevention project that in three years saw the number of prevention centers in the country grow from 15 to more than 100. He also founded the American Assn. of Suicidology, the first professional organization devoted to the study of suicide.

In 1970 he became a professor of thanatology at UCLA. By 1972, federal grants for suicide prevention and its study had ebbed, and Shneidman's national prevention project was shut down. His theories, which focused upon the psychological and sociological causes of suicide, were an increasingly difficult sell in an era of budget cuts, pharmaceutical interventions and neurological research.

In later years, the Suicide Prevention Center, which received its funding from the city of Los Angeles, was nearly shut down before being incorporated into programs offered at the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center.

Shneidman, however, was undeterred. An indefatigable writer, the author of 20 books, including the 1973 work Deaths of Man, which was nominated for a National Book Award, he avidly advanced his own theories and perceptions about suicide, disarming most critics with wit, understatement and considerable knowledge.

"You don't understand psychopathic murder by slicing [Jeffrey] Dahmer's brain, and you won't get E=MC2 by slicing Einstein's brain," he says. "Unfortunately, it's in the mind. And the mind is not a structure. It is an ephemeral concept."

He edited a dozen books and was the founding editor of the quarterly journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. In 1987 he received the American Psychological Assn. Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Service.

Slowed by diabetes, cancer and congestive heart failure, Shneidman spent his last years receiving guests at his home in West Los Angeles.

Flattered by the attention, Shneidman nonetheless stayed devoted to suicide and the works of Herman Melville. The two, he argued, are more compatible than you may think. Moby-Dick is all about suicide, he often announced, as he read its first paragraph:

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul . . . I account it high time to get to the sea as soon as possible. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. . . . "

Shneidman is survived by four sons, David, Jonathan, Paul and Robert, and six grandchildren.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Louisiana School Shooting = Boy Dies

Justin Doucet, an eighth-grader at the school, died shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday morning, May 23, at Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma.

In the town Cut Off, Louisiana, Sheriff Craig Webre says a middle student shot himself in the head after allegedly firing a shot at a teacher inside a Lafourche Parish school. (La fourche = the fork.)

The shooting happened Monday morning, May 18, 2009, at Larose-Cutoff Middle School. (La rose = the pink.)

Sheriff Webre says the 15-year-old boy fired one shot into the classroom but didn't hit anyone. The 8th grader fired a shot into a ceiling. CNN says the student apparently was aiming at a teacher. The student then ran into a boys' bathroom and shot himself in the head.

The student was rushed to a hospital and a sheriff's spokeswoman says he is listed in critical condition. The school was locked down following the shooting.

"I see everyone is wearing bullet proof vests and a helicopter is circling overhead," a driver passing the school told WWL radio. Students were being taken to a nearby VFW hall.

Deputies did not release the name of the student, according to the local news station WAFB.

+++LA update
Justin Doucet's friends saw him as a quiet, friendly kid — they had no idea what macabre fascinations apparently lurked in a skeleton-adorned journal and a notebook labeled his "deadly diary."

The day after the eighth-grader shot himself in the head with a tiny pistol in a school bathroom, authorities displayed journals Tuesday that detailed his plans to shoot four students and his disappointment that he wouldn't have enough bullets left to kill a police officer.

Authorities offered no motive for his desire to kill other students, and ultimately he only hurt himself. He fired a shot over a teacher's head but didn't hit her. No one else was injured.

Doucet, who remained in a coma Tuesday, was apparently fascinated by the Columbine High School shootings in 1999 in Littleton, Colo., when two teens went on a rampage that left 12 high school students and a teacher dead.

"The writing shows a very troubled person who has some anger issues," Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre said on Tuesday. "He was fascinated with the Antichrist and the end of the world."

A small journal with a black cloth cover decorated with tiny skeletons and a spiral notebook labeled "Deadly Diary II" in pencil were in Doucet's camouflage backpack, Webre said.

Among the items in the backpack was a pencil drawing of himself, with the words "Disturbed Mind" next to the head, wearing a shirt with the rock band AC/DC's logo and their song "Highway to Hell" written on it. He also is shown wearing camouflage pants and combat boots.

Underneath the picture were the words "The LCO Gunman," referring to the Larose-Cut Off Middle School, where Doucet donned camouflage pants, went into Jessica Plaisance's classroom, and fired a shot. Then he went into the restroom and shot himself.

His .25-caliber, nickel-plated pistol had two spent shells and three bullets in it, Webre said.

The young man, who had no disciplinary problems at school and hadn't been in trouble with the law, gave a detailed description of what he hoped to do Monday, Webre said, including the date and time.

Doucet bemoaned his lack of more firepower, which would keep him from shooting a police officer. He had apparently taken the pistol from his father's house during the weekend and had no additional bullets, Webre said.

The plan was to shoot a sixth-grader, seventh-grader, and two eighth-graders then take his own life, Webre said. No specific targets were named, and authorities do not believe anyone else was involved or even knew of Doucet's plan.

A search of his home turned up a clipping about Columbine, Webre said.

About 500 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders attend the school in a rural community of about 7,000 people, some 70 miles southwest of New Orleans.

The school reopened on Tuesday with about half the students in attendance. Three walkthrough metal detecters were set up at the entrances. Webre was not sure if they would be permanently installed.


Furthermore, the same afternoon as the LA shooting, a man loading a rifle was arrested in the alley near Portland High School, Portland, Maine. There is late breaking news, also, of a college-age person being shot on the Harvard Campus around 5:00 PM Monday, May 18, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The young man who was shot on the campus of Harvard University Monday evening has died.

He's identified as 21-year-old Justin Cosby of Cambridge, a former student at Salem State College and a graduate of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said Cosby was shot once in a stairwell inside an annex to Kirkland House, a Harvard dormitory.

It's an area that's locked and can only be accessed by students. But investigators say no Harvard students were involved in the shooting.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Obelisk of Angels & Demons

One of the overwhelming symbolic images of the new film Angels & Demons (2009), based on the book of the same name, is the towering obelisk located in a fountain in Rome, Italy, in the Piazza Navona. It is shown in movie trailers and the film in sweeping cinematic shoots to make it the focal point of your attention.

Since Egyptian, Roman, and Masonic obelisks have been mentioned here several times, and even was the recent final focus of the Queen Beatrix assassination attempt at De Naald, here's a closer look at the obelisk in Angels & Demons.

According to the book Angels & Demons (2000), a fictionalized story is shared about the Altars of Science in Rome, consisting of four locations, each representing the four elements—earth, air, fire and water, which are believed to be the "Path of Illumination," a trail to the meeting place of the Illuminati in Rome. The "altars" were hidden as religious artwork in order to avoid the wrath of the Vatican and secure the secrecy of the Illuminati. The artworks that make up the Four Altars were all sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The book lists the artworks as:

Earth — Habakkuk and the Angel in Chigi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo
Air — West Ponente at Saint Peter's Square
Fire — The Ecstasy of St Teresa sculpture at the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria
Water — The famous Fountain of Four Rivers at Piazza Navona

Gian Lorenzo Bernini erected the fountain atopped by the Egyptian obelisk and a dove, a symbol of Pamphilij, in 1651. Situated in the middle of Piazza Navona, viewed from the south, the statue of the Danube is on the left and the statue of the Ganges is on the right. Photo (at top): November 1, 2005.

The "Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi" (Fountain of the four rivers) by Bernini in Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy, topped by the "obelisk of Domitian." Photo: Stefan Bauer March 9, 2005.

This fountain means to depict allegories for the four great rivers in the four continents recognized by the Renaissance geographers: the Nile in Africa, Ganges in Asia, Danube in Europe, and Río de la Plata in America.

Each has animals and plants that further carry forth the identification, and each carries a certain number of allegories and metaphors with it. The Ganges carries a long oar, representing the river's navigability. The Nile's head is draped with a loose piece of cloth, meaning that no one at that time knew exactly where the Nile's source was. The Danube touches the Papal coat of arms, since it is the large river closest to Rome. And the Río de la Plata is sitting on a pile of coins, a symbol of the riches America could offer to Europe (the word plata means silver in Spanish). Also, the Río de la Plata looks scared by a snake, showing rich men's fear that their money could be stolen.

Each is a river god, semi-prostrate, in awe of the central tower, epitomized by the slender Egyptian obelisk (built for the Roman Serapeum in AD 81), symbolizing by Papal power surmounted by the Pamphilj symbol (dove). A Serapeum is a temple or other religious institution dedicated to the syncretic Hellenistic-Egyptian god Serapis, who combined aspects of Osiris and Apis in a humanized form that was palatable to the Ptolemaic Greeks of Alexandria.

The Vaticano is located in Rome, in Saint Peter's Basilica. An ancient Egyptian obelisk, it's first known Roman move was when it originally was raised in the Forum Iulium in Alexandria by the Prefect Cornelius Gallus on Octavian's orders around 30-28 BC.

De Naald (in English The Needle), is the obelisk monument in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn that became the final resting place for the April 30th assassin Karst Tates' automobile.

Obelisk, Heliopolis, Egypt

Cleopatra's Needle, London, United Kingdom

Cleopatra's Needle, New York, New York

Obelisk, Cairo, Egypt

Tring Park Pinnacle, Rothschilds' Vale of Aylesbury, United Kingdom

Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown, Massachusetts

Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

Cleopatra's Needle, Rosicrucian Park, San Jose, California

La Tour Eiffel vue depuis l'Obélisque, place de la Concorde, Paris, France

Monday, May 11, 2009

US Soldier Kills 5 Fellow Soldiers

A U.S. soldier opened fire at a counseling center on a U.S. base Monday, May 11, 2009, killing five fellow soldiers before being taken into custody, the U.S. command and Pentagon officials said.

On Tuesday, May 12, Maj. Gen. David Perkins told reporters that the charges were filed against Sgt. John M. Russell of the 54th Engineering Battalion based in Bamberg, Germany. Russell was taken into custody following the Monday shooting at Camp Liberty.

Perkins said the dead included two doctors -- one from the Navy and the other from the Army. The other three dead were enlisted personnel.

The shooting occurred at Camp Liberty, a sprawling U.S. base on the western edge of Baghdad near the city's international airport and adjacent to another facility where President Barack Obama visited last month.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called the shooting a "terrible tragedy" and said Obama planned to meet with Defense Secretary Gates later in the day to discuss the matter. Gibbs said the president's heart goes out to the victims' families and wants to know what happened.

A brief U.S. statement said the soldier "suspected of being involved with the shooting" was in custody but gave no further details. A senior military official in Washington said three others were wounded, but the U.S. military in Baghdad said nobody else was hurt.

In Washington, Pentagon officials said the shooting happened at a stress clinic, where troops can go for help with the stresses of combat or personal issues. It was unclear whether those killed were workers at the clinic or were there for counseling. No details were released about the gunman or what might have provoked the shooting.

"Anytime we lose one of our own, it affects us all," U.S. military spokesman Col. John Robinson said in Baghdad. "Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this terrible tragedy."

Separately, the military announced Monday that a U.S. soldier was also killed a day earlier when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Basra province of southern Baghdad.

The death toll from the Monday shooting was the highest for U.S. personnel in a single attack since April 10, when a suicide truck driver killed five American soldiers with a blast near a police headquarters in Mosul.

Attacks on officers and sergeants, known as fraggings, were not uncommon during the Vietnam war as morale in the ranks sank. However, such attacks are believed to be rare in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2005, Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar was sentenced to death for killing two officers in Kuwait just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In June 2005, an Army captain and lieutenant were killed when an anti-personnel mine detonated in the window of their room at the U.S. base in Tikrit. National Guard Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez was acquitted in the blast.

Additionally, there have been several incidents recently when gunmen dressed as Iraqi soldiers have opened fire on American troops, including an attack in the northern city of Mosul on May 2 when two soldiers and the gunman were killed.

Also Monday, a senior Iraqi traffic officer was assassinated on his way to work in Baghdad. It was the second attack on a high-ranking traffic police officer in the capital in as many days.

A car cut off Brig. Gen. Abdul-Hussein al-Kadhoumi as he drove through a central square in the capital and a second vehicle pulled up alongside and riddled him with bullets, police said, citing witnesses. Al-Kadhoumi was director of operations for the traffic authority.

The gunmen were armed with pistols equipped with silencers, the police added on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Incidents involving gunmen armed with sophisticated weapons, including silencers, have been on the rise since a string of high-profile robberies in April.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sherlock Holmes Killer Found Dead

George Zinkhan killed "Dr. Watson." Now Circe and Madison have found Zinkhan's body, ending the mystery of where the killer is. His body is at GBI Headquarters in Decatur, Georgia, and the rest of the story will be told next week.

On Saturday, April 25, 2009, George Zinkhan, a 57-year-old marketing professor at the University of Georgia, shoot to death Marie Bruce, 47, Zinkhan's ex-wife, Tom Tanner, 40, and Ben Teague, 63, all members of Town & Gown Players at the Athens Community Theater, Athens, Georgia. The killings took place outside the theater building. The local theater group was staging a performance of "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure," the weekend of the shooting.

Actress Marie Bruce was collecting money for the theater lunch that was occurring, and which had begun at 11 a.m.. It was meant to give past and present Town & Gown Players a chance to catch up and meet each others' families.

Ben Teague and Tom Tanner, both set designers, mingled with guests, inside the theater and on the patio. Tanner was to play the role of Dr. John H. Watson in that night's production of "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure."

A week after Zinkhan's Jeep was found, two cadaver dogs — Madison, a 7-year-old Australian shepherd, and Circe, a 5-year-old German shepherd — picked up a scent around 9:50 a.m. Saturday, May 9th, and found Zinkhan mostly buried "beneath the earth" 10 minutes later, said Athens Clarke County Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin.

The search had been scaled back from the initial 200 officers from local, state and federal agencies the day the Jeep was found to teams of eight to ten searchers a day for the next week. And while search and tracking dogs had been used in the initial search, cadaver dogs from the volunteer civilian organization Alpha Team K9 Search and Rescue weren't brought in until Friday.

Along with Zinkhan's body were two guns that match those described by people who witnessed the shootings. Officials said there was no indication that anyone else helped Zinkhan bury himself and that the body had started to decompose.

But they remained tightlipped about any other details, saying they'd reveal a cause of death, how long he'd been dead and other information at a news conference next Tuesday. For now, the discovery is "another sad chapter to the story," said Bob Covington, Zinkhan's neighbor. The professor dropped off his children at Covington's home after the shootings.

"It's been two weeks of people being on pins and needles, every time you see a police car," Covington said. "I think this will ease a lot of tension. People can get back to their lives and move on from this horrible tragedy."

Saturday, May 09, 2009

De Naald Attack: 8th Person Dies

An eighth person has died in the wake of the assassination attempt on the Dutch Royal Family. (See here for full details on the attack.)

De Naald (in English The Needle), is the obelisk monument in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn that became the final resting place for Karst Tates' automobile.

A woman died of her injuries more than a week after a man plowed his car into a crowd during a parade, becoming the seventh victim of a failed attack (#8 when the attacker is counted) on the Dutch royal family, authorities said Saturday, May 9, 2009.

The 46-year-old woman, whose identity was not released, was among about a dozen people struck down in the April 30 attack. Apeldoorn municipality spokesman Toon Schuiling said she died Friday night, May 8, 2009, in a hospital, the same evening as more than 1,000 people gathered for a memorial service.

Five bystanders died on the day of the April 30 attack near Het Loo palace in Apeldoorn and another died the following day. The car's driver also died. Four other people remain hospitalized.

The car rammed into a stone monument (the Masonic structure pictured above) after speeding through the crowd, narrowly missing an open-topped bus carrying Queen Beatrix and other royal family members.

Police say the car's driver, identified by Dutch media as Karst Tates, admitted attempting to attack the popular monarch shortly after his car came to a halt. He did not give a motive.

The attack on the Queen's Day national holiday raised questions in the Netherlands about the level of security surrounding the royal family.

For more on the symbolic linkages, copycat evidence, and video concerning this attack, please click here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wesleyan Arrest: Jews & Students Targeted (Updates)

May 8, 2009 Update

A man who Connecticut police say sparked two fearful days at a university by killing a student and threatening a campus shooting spree surrendered Thursday night, May 7, 2009, after seeing his photo in a newspaper.

Stephen P. Morgan, 29, was taken into custody about 9:15 p.m. after stopping at a Cumberland Farms convenience store in Meriden, about 10 miles from the Wesleyan University campus.

Clerk Sonia Rodriguez told The Associated Press that she didn't recognize Morgan when he came in and scanned the newspapers. He asked to use the phone but had trouble dialing, so he asked Rodriguez to dial the police department for him.

After he finished his call, Morgan walked outside to wait for police, Rodriguez said. She didn't realize there was anything wrong until several officers arrived and threw Morgan to the ground to arrest him.

When police told Rodriguez that Morgan was wanted for Wednesday's fatal shooting of 21-year-old Johanna Justin-Jinich in Middletown, "I got nervous and I started crying," she said. "I just got very, very scared."

Morgan is being held on $10 million bond and is due in court Friday morning.

Justin-Jinich was shot several times inside a bookstore cafe just off campus by a gunman wearing a wig. Authorities have said Morgan and Justin-Jinich have known each other since at least 2007, when Justin-Jinich filed a harassment complaint against him while they were enrolled in a summer class at New York University.

An official with knowledge of the investigation told The AP that police stopped Morgan shortly after the shooting, spoke to him and let him go, only to later realize he was a suspect.

When police confiscated Morgan's car they found a journal in which he spelled out a plan to rape and kill Justin-Jinich before going on a campus shooting spree, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is under investigation.

Wesleyan officials said that police told them that Morgan targeted Wesleyan students and Jews in his journals. Justin-Jinich, of Timnath, Colo., came from a Jewish family, and her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor.

Morgan's brother Greg told the AP that Morgan wasn't anti-Semitic. His family issued a statement pleading with Morgan to turn himself in "to avoid any further bloodshed."

Greg Morgan did not immediately return calls placed by The Associated Press after police announced the arrest. There was no answer at the home of Morgan's father.

A woman answering the phone for Justin-Jinich's father said the family had no comment Thursday night on Morgan's arrest. She would not identify herself.

Apparently applying the lessons of Virginia Tech, police and administrators locked down the 3,000-student campus and stepped up patrols as authorities launched a hunt for the killer.

"We are all breathing a little easier with this news," Wesleyan President Michael Roth said Thursday night.

Wesleyan officials had told students to stay indoors and staff members to stay home. Most buildings on campus, including cafeterias and the library, were locked Thursday. Normally bustling sidewalks were empty, and police cruisers patrolled the campus of the elite liberal arts school.

In dorms, students in flip-flops, gym shorts and pajama pants shuffled downstairs to pick up box lunches.

Brenna Galvin, a sophomore from Amherst, N.H., said her family was considering bringing her home. "It's hard to know what to do," she said. "Really, we're just trying to keep in touch with people at home."

The university's Usdan Center was opened briefly Thursday night so students could have dinner, but they were asked to return to their dormitories by nightfall. Officials planned to open the university library on Friday and start returning the campus to a normal schedule.

Middletown's only synagogue, Congregation Adath Israel, across the street from the bookstore, was closed Thursday and congregants were considering canceling Sabbath services Friday night and Saturday.

"It was a no-brainer to close the building until we knew more information," synagogue president Eliot Meadow said.

On Thursday afternoon, police got an arrest warrant charging Morgan with murder.

The shooting stirred memories of the Virginia Tech shootings, in which a deranged student killed 32 people and himself. A panel that investigated the 2007 massacre said university officials erred by not acting more quickly to warn students. Police had mistakenly concluded that the first two victims were shot as a result of a boyfriend-girlfriend dispute.

Sebastian Giuliano, mayor of Middletown, a city of 48,000, immediately thought of that tragedy as he saw five police cars race by Wednesday. "Don't tell me it's another Virginia Tech situation," he said.

The shooting occurred early Wednesday afternoon as several hundred students gathered for a concert held annually to allow students to blow off steam before finals. Police and university administrators moved everyone indoors and canceled the concert.

Police gave the all-clear late Wednesday afternoon and said there was no danger, but did an about-face two hours later, warning students to take immediate shelter.

Police said evidence uncovered at the scene prompted the renewed warnings, but they offered no details. Later Wednesday, they released a surveillance photo of the gunman and said they were looking for Morgan, a former Navy man who university authorities said had no connection to Wesleyan.

"Everything we did was based on information we received from Middletown police," Wesleyan spokesman David Pesci said.

There was more confusion when the university posted a photograph purportedly of Morgan on its Web site, only to use a photo of another man. It was replaced Thursday afternoon by two images supplied by police.

Cornell University professor Stephen Morgan thought it was bad enough that he shares the name of a man accused of murder.

But then an assistant showed him a Web site with a photo supposedly of the suspect. What he saw was a decade-old picture of himself.

The sociology professor's photo was posted on Wesleyan University's Web site along with details of Wednesday's fatal shooting of 21-year-old Johanna Justin-Jinich. The image was then broadcast nationally.

Wesleyan says it got the photo from police. Police say they never released the image.

Morgan thinks the photo was taken for his Massachusetts driver's license when he was a Harvard University graduate student. Wesleyan eventually replaced the photo: The Hartford Courant


The last day of classes for the year was Tuesday. Final exams are scheduled to begin on Monday.

Morgan and Justin-Jinich had known each other at least since 2007. Police records show she filed a harassment complaint against Morgan when they were enrolled in the same six-week program at New York University. In a complaint filed in July 2007, Justin-Jinich said Morgan called her repeatedly and sent her insulting e-mails.

One of the e-mails warned: "You're going to have a lot more problems down the road if you can't take any (expletive) criticism, Johanna."

Both were interviewed by university police, but Justin-Jinich decided not to press charges.

In a statement read to reporters outside his parents' Marblehead, Mass., home, the Morgans said they were "shocked and sickened by the tragedy" and extended their condolences to the victim's family.

They added: "Steve, turn yourself in right now to any law enforcement agency wherever you are to avoid any further bloodshed.

We love you. We will support you in every way and we don't want anyone else to get hurt."

Penny Wigglesworth, who lives in the same upper-middle-class neighborhood, called them a "model family" and described Morgan as pleasant and polite.

Justin-Jinich would have graduated next year from Wesleyan. She was a 2006 graduate of the Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school outside Philadelphia.

"It's just a tragic irony that her grandmother would survive the Holocaust and she would be gunned down in a bookstore," said Eric Mayer, a religion teacher at Westtown School who was her academic adviser.

Wesleyan officials said a memorial vigil for Justin-Jinich will be at 1 p.m. Friday in a campus courtyard.

May 7, 2009 Update:

Jews and students at the prestigious US college Wesleyan were warned Thursday to stay indoors as a hunt intensified for the gunman in the slaying of a student at a local cafe.

Police said there were fears that the suspect, still on the loose, may be targeting Jews and students from the university in Connecticut.

"Evidence uncovered overnight suggests that Mr Morgan may be focused on the Wesleyan community campus as well as the Jewish community," said Lynn Baldoni, chief of police for Middletown.

"Investigators have been in contact with Wesleyan University and leaders of the Jewish community, urging both to be extra vigilant," she told a news conference.

College president Michael Roth ordered "all students to remain inside their residence and to remain vigilant." Staff were told not to come to the campus, unless requested to do so.

A notice on the Wesleyan website said the suspect had voiced threats against Jews in his journal.

"Although he apparently had a direct link to the victim but no other connection to the Wesleyan community, we have now been made aware that he expressed threats in his personal journals toward Wesleyan and/or its Jewish students," the statement said.

Johanna Justin-Jinich, the May 6th victim, was Jewish.


Middletown, Connecticut police have identified the victim of a shooting at a Wesleyan University bookstore as a student from Colorado.

Police say Timnath, Colorado, native Johanna Justin-Jinich was shot several times Wednesday afternoon, May 6, 2009, by a disguised gunman at the bookstore in downtown Middletown. Police say they are still searching for the gunman, whom they described as a white male with a thin build, who had apparently been wearing a wig as a disguise.

Johanna Justin-Jinich, 20, was a junior at the university. According to reports, she was shot several times while working a shift in the Red and Black Cafe. A gun was recovered from the Broad Street Books store, where the cafe is located.

Middletown police are still looking for the gunman. Mayor Sebastian Guiliano told the Associated Press the shooting "didn't appear to be random."

Police released a photo of the suspect but would not confirm newspaper and TV reports that he is Justin-Jinich's ex-boyfriend.

A wig was recovered at the scene of the fatal shooting at the bookstore near the Wesleyan University campus.

Police have identified the suspect as 29-year-old Stephen Morgan, the Associated Press reported. It's unclear where he lives. A Wesleyan spokesman said he had no known connection to the university.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Masonic Image of Napoléon

Napoléon Bonaparte died on May 5, 1821. The 5 feet, 7 inches of his height was normal for his time, but the British newspaper cartoonists had him shown as much smaller for political reasons.

His famous "hidden hand" images were a broadcast signal of his links to the Freemasonry Brotherhood.

The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries, by Jacques-Louis David, 1812. Below, when he was younger.

The following drawing demonstrates the "Sign of the Master of the Second Veil," (7th Degree Mason) from Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor, 1866.

View other "hidden hand" examples, here and here.

John W. Booth, whose membership among Masons is today mostly expunged.

George Washington, whose Freemasonry membership is celebrated.

"The evidence in favor of a Masonic initiation previous to Napoleon’s assumption of the imperial title is overwhelming:
The initiation took place in the body of an Army Philadelphe Lodge of the — Ecossais — Primitive Rite of Narbone, the third initiation of the 'Ecole Communique' being an advancement in that Rite. These initiations took place between 1795 and 1798." ~ J.E. S. Tucket, "Napoleon I and Freemasonry," Ars Quatuor Coronatorum vol. xxvii (1914)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Clinton-Era Attorney Dies By Suicide

Mark Levy, 47, a prominent D.C. attorney, former member of President Bill Clinton's administration and current chair of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP’s Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy practice, died by suicide, on April 30, 2009, in his firm’s D.C. office.

Mark Levy

D.C. Police spokeswoman Helen Andrews reported that officers were called to a Washington office building where the firm is located early last Thursday morning for the report of a shooting. She says investigators believe a man had taken his own life.

His death was an apparent suicide, according to the Legal Times, citing several lawyers at the firm. The incident -- reportedly a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head -- occurred on the 11th floor of 607 14th St. NW. Levy was discovered by a co-worker at about 8:00 a.m. in his 11th-floor office. He evidently left a note at his home saying he loved his family and instructing his wife on how to handle family finances; the attorney’s 20-year-old son (sadly) found the note and called police.

The news comes one day after the firm laid off two dozen lawyers, including Levy, due to the troubled economy, reported The Fulton County Daily Report and The Washington Post.

“With sadness we confirm that Kilpatrick Stockton attorney Mark Levy died this morning. Mark Levy was well known and highly respected for his successful appearances before the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Bill Dorris, co-managing partner, Kilpatrick Stockton, in a statement on Thursday. “We offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Out of respect for his family, we cannot offer additional comments at this time.”

Levy had been a member of the Clinton administration where he served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's civil division between 1993 and 1995 and served five years in the Solicitor General's office.

After a stint in the Solicitor General’s office, Levy joined Mayer Brown, where he was a partner. In recent years, he had argued 16 cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the firm’s Web site.

Levy attended Yale University's law school with former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and more recently worked on fundraising for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, said Dennis Gingold, an attorney who was working with Levy on a case.

He was a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and an appellate columnist for National Law Journal. Last month Levy was named a 2009 D.C. Super Lawyers -- a recognition given to attorneys that attain a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Kilpatrick Stockton was formed in the 1997 merger of Kilpatrick & Cody, founded in 1874 in Atlanta, and Petree Stockton, founded in 1918 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It has about 500 attorneys in ten offices around the world. Levy worked out of the D.C. office.

The death comes after the chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac killed himself earlier in the month. David Kellermann was found dead by hanging, April 22, 2009, in the basement of his northern Virginia home. Colleagues had noticed he was under stress and had suggested he take time off.

Other recent suicides, high-profile ones, are not going unnoticed by the media.

Financier Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet is shown on Nov. 30, 2007. De la Villehuchet, who lost more than $1 billion of his clients' money to Bernard Madoff was discovered dead Tuesday, December 23, 2008 after dying by suicide at his Manhattan office. (AP Photo/Sipa Press, Guy Gurney)

Mark Levy's image, lower left hand corner, has been added to ABC News' gallery of "econo-cide" members.

ABC News uses the Levy suicide as a kick-off to a long discussion on what they are calling "econo-cides," self-inflicted deaths linked to job losses, evictions, and the recession. They include murder-suicides and suicides in the growing "celebrity deaths" tally.

Other sources, here and here.

Thank you.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Chupacabras Flu

The panic seems to be behind us. We are not in the midst of the 21st century's version of the Black Death. But could this news cycle have been put into some kind of different perspective? Is it too late to rename the flu?

Maybe someone should have thought more clearly about the name used for this near-pandemic media-driven panic. Certainly, a short survey of what the most apparent association that comes to folks' mind has hinted at a waiting and willing candidate.

I, therefore, with no disrespect to the eyewitnesses to this cryptid or the sufferers of this influenza, nominate for future use the moniker: The Chupacabras Flu.

At Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, just a block from the Jardin in the Centro, in Mexico, one may observe the many murals and galleries that line the arched walls. One of them is the above Chupacabras mural. Note the panic in the people. Source.

"Even the mask-wearers tell you the whole thing could well be some big nothing cooked up by the media and reminiscent of the mythical beast Chupacabra[s] — Mexico’s bloodsucking equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster." ~ Helen Popper, Reuters.

"Some Mexican citizens are looking at the health scare through a political prism. 'Remember all the arguende (hoopla) about the chupacabras?' said Oscar Sanchez. Like the stories of the mythical blood-sucking beast that captured hefty media attention a few years back, the Ajijic deliveryman suspects that extensive coverage on the spread of swine flu will serve as a smokescreen to downplay some disturbing national news that is on the horizon. 'It’s the kind of hype that politicians use to distract people from really bad things that are happening around them.'" ~ Michael Forbes, Guadalajara Reporter.

"Others refused to believe the severity of the outbreak, including soft drink and cigarette vendor Maria Bautista Flores, who compared the current panic to the mythical Chupacabras that terrorized rural Mexico in the mid-1990s through tales of an alien creature snatching goats and sheep." ~ ~ David Agren, For Canwest News Service.

"Others wonder aloud if it’s an outright government fabrication to distract the Mexican people from the recession, poverty, national debt, violent crime, drug wars and corruption that face the U.S.’ southern neighbor, much like the 'computer breakdown' which wiped out an opposition candidate’s lead in the 1988 presidential election or the fabricated Chupacabras and 'contaminated milk' scandals of the 1990s." ~ Alexis Charbonnier, Special to the Daily Journal.

Do I hear a second to my nomination of The Chupacabras Flu?

P.S. "Chupacabras" is the singular and plural form of the noun, which is a Spanish word meaning "goatsucker."

Although Wikipedia uncritically lists the 2007 claim of a Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur that the word “chupacabras” was coined by him in 1995 (!), a much earlier origin was referenced on the Cryptomundo blog in 2005.

The word "chupacabras" was spoken on television in the year 1960, in an episode of the TV western, "Bonanza." The word “chupacabras” was said by a Mexican character who was talking with one of the Cartwright family characters about a creature that sucked the milk from goats, hence it being one of the “goatsuckers,” and may have been an allusion to the birds, whippoorwills.

Zoologically, night jars and whippoorwills are members of the Caprimulgiformes (goatsuckers) and thus are called “Chupacabras” in Spanish. It seems a natural extension of this usage that a cryptozoological creature, a new cryptid sucking the blood from goats, would also be called a Chupacabras.

“Chupacabras: It’s sort of like Jennifer Lopez, kind of cross-cultural.” - Loren Coleman, as quoted by ABC News, 1999.

Of course, the more appropriate cartoon now might be a Chupacabras chasing a pig.

:-) Thank You.