Dennis Lee, His Critics and the "Skeptics"
By Wade Frazier
Note to My Readers
Dennis Lee's Critics
Mr. Skeptic and Friends
Mr. Skeptic and the "Crackpots"
Mr. Skeptic and Mumia Abu Jamal
Mr. Skeptic and McDonald's
Dennis Lee’s Past - A Quiz
A Note to My Readers: Many readers of this essay are reaching it directly from links on other sites. This essay is a minor part of this site, and a minor part of my energy writings. Far more is written about Dennis and my days with him elsewhere, especially at this link and this one. This essay was written to demonstrate the nature of the criticisms I have seen launched at Dennis since 1986. I have had virtually no dealings with Dennis’ organization since the late 1990s and very little from 1989 to now, and this essay does not endorse what Dennis is doing today, partly because I am not qualified to venture an opinion on it. A major point of this essay is showing how Dennis’ critics lie about his past. It is particularly telling when people resort to lying to make the case that Dennis is a criminal. If people want to shoot holes in what Dennis is doing these days, they can have at it, with my blessings. They should do it with integrity, however, and not scrape up libelous newspaper clippings to make their case. If they want to be taken seriously as a “defender” of the public or assailant of Dennis’ integrity, they need to demonstrate some integrity of their own. The official documents are available, for anybody who does the legwork. Dennis publishes many of them himself.
Dennis and I largely parted ways in 1988, partly because I am not the warrior he is. I had to take time to lick my wounds, and have traveled other paths. Dennis and I are human, with our foibles, but if we were crooks, we would have to be the stupidest ones on earth, working much of our adult lives for free. That is not how true criminals play the game. There are at least two sides to every story. I know what I saw, and if people wish to challenge the veracity of my experiences, they are welcome to try, but I have never seen any of my challengers do any of the necessary homework, as they launch their fact-free opinions from their keyboards.
Dennis Lee's Critics
This essay was written from the perspective of having many years of experience watching Dennis in action, and seeing and fielding countless criticisms of his free energy/alternative energy efforts. I wrote it in response to the merciless derision and libel I have seen directed Dennis’ way in the media since 1986, and on the Internet since 1996.
Dennis became involved with the energy industry in the 1970s, and has been trying to transform it ever since. I rode in the saddle with him for a few chapters of his adventures, and have been watching from a distance since the 1980s. I witnessed about twenty attempts to steal his companies while I was with him, and they succeeded twice. I helped Dennis rebuild a couple of times.
During my years with Dennis, I encountered thousands of people. A phenomenon I regularly saw was the constant criticism of what he/we were attempting. Dennis is about the quickest thinker I have ever seen, and perhaps the most creative. He has tried nearly every possible avenue to getting alternative energy developed.
Dennis approached Wall Street numerous times; he tried getting large energy companies interested; he directly sold the equipment and hoped for financing later; he almost got into bed with a household name international marketing firm; he almost had a billion dollar deal put together to finance his unstoppable (at least honestly) marketing program for his heat pump with a household name corporation; he used volunteers; he surrounded himself with Christians; he tried numerous marketing/financing programs that he usually devised himself; he formed nonprofit organizations; he tried grassroots movements; he talked with foreign national governments; he talked with many free energy inventors and tried developing their technologies; he tried media campaigns; he tried direct mailing campaigns; he tried telemarketing campaigns; he tried buying out electric companies; he tried working with anti-nuclear protesters; he talked with numerous billionaires (and they never parted with a dollar); he tried working with numerous environmental organizations; he tried getting movie stars involved with him, he tried doing it from jail; he considered trying it in foreign countries; he rented out a ballroom in Washington D.C. and invited every politician in town to attend his meetings, to work with him on bringing free energy to the marketplace responsibly; his companies have marketed, built and installed his technologies. I do not know what he has not tried, and Dennis does nothing halfway. He is immensely talented, and made a worthy attempt with all those techniques.
Perhaps the most common reaction I saw when describing our latest attempt or situation to people, be they potential employees, potential dealers, strangers, friends, family, etc., was their instant criticism. After hearing about what we were attempting for less than one minute, or perhaps as long as five, people would often chime in with something such as, "Aha, I know what you are doing wrong, you just need to (fill in the blank)." Their helpful advice always consisted of something tried before, or was something quite naïve, such as giving it to the energy companies, letting them bring free energy to the world. The energy interests have buried more technologies with the potential for free energy than the world will ever know of. The energy interests have ruthlessly crushed many energy-saving technologies, even ignoring what I lived through with Dennis.
The most naïve comment (and perhaps the most common) I have heard regarding the predicament of bringing free energy the world is this: "If it is so great, why can't I buy it?" Being naïve is no crime. Naïveté is the starting point when we enter the world. I lost mine honestly. Naïveté (at least regarding the "real" world) is a state where we have a mistaken worldview due to our lack of experience, and think others share our view and act as we do. Clinging to our naïveté, when our eyes tell us otherwise, leads to denial. Believing the energy companies are a consumer's best friend reflects a mentality one might find on children's television shows, but the corporate world, contrary to popular opinion, only embraces innovation if it increases its profits.
The larger and more monopolistic an industry is, the more it can throw its weight around, wiping out competitive and innovative upstarts. Energy, transportation and medicine are three classic cases of that phenomenon. Energy production methods have not fundamentally changed during the past century, if we ignore, as Einstein said, the "one hell of a way to boil water," nuclear energy. Alternative energy still comprises less than one percent of energy consumption in America. The automobile and its internal combustion engine have not fundamentally changed since Henry Ford. Many superior engine designs were invented during the 20th century. The reason they are not in cars today is that the level of investment in current technology makes sure Detroit does not convert.
Today’s medical paradigm is insane. Drugs and surgical procedures, with extremely few exceptions, are the only legal "medicines" in the United States. That is not because they are the best, but because they are the most lucrative. Watching alternative cancer treatments being wiped out by the dozen, or seeing books banned, burned and attacked because they suggest that changing our diets can reverse our health problems, is indicative of a tremendous racket that rakes in the cash as millions die needlessly.
Competition is a nice Economics 101 concept, but all capitalists hate the idea of competition. Competition is hell on profit margins and makes for an uncertain future. Eliminating the competition is the arguably the primary goal of every industry and profession, particularly their trade and professional groups.
Nearly everybody likes to criticize Dennis, but precious few will actually help him. The loudest critics usually try stealing from him while they lambaste him.
Dennis is the eternal optimist and does not like hearing "bad news." He has a way of turning the darkest outcome into an opportunity. That is a mixed blessing and he could be accused of being a Pollyanna, although it is not true. His eternal optimism is partly based on his faith. As the Dalai Lama once said, optimism is the only attitude worth having when faced with dire challenges. The eternal optimism of a promoter of Dennis’ stature is a challenging fit with the mentality needed to investigate and develop technologies. Visionaries see the goal, and "realists" get there. It is rare to find one person possessing both attributes in great measure. Dennis is not the universal man, and I doubt that any exist in today's world. He is not a scientist, nor does he need to be. He has his important role to play, but does not need to do it all. Yet, it was educational to see him understand some technologies better than the engineers who worked for him. Dennis was heavily involved in developing the heat pump technology that he used to market. Scientists and engineers do not have all the answers or insight either, and are often amazingly blind to unorthodox data and theory, being so indoctrinated by their training that they cannot think past their textbooks.
Dennis has been learning painful lessons about developing and marketing new technologies, although he has probably also been subject to the "game theory" strategies of the energy gangsters, being subtly sabotaged. I know of no person more fit to lead the effort to bring alternative energy to the marketplace, although I wish there were a hundred like Dennis, so he would not be the target he is. Dennis is prominent by default. He is doing something that anybody else could do, but his combination of integrity, talent and courage may be unique. The answer for those asserting that they can make it happen (usually asserted while attacking Dennis) is "Nothing is stopping you from doing it yourself. Dennis has no monopoly on it."
I will not denigrate the many noble efforts that have been made during the past century, but I know of nobody who staged a better attempt at breaking through the stranglehold that the energy gangsters have over humanity. Dennis had them quite frightened for a while, to the point where they offered at least a billion dollars to make him go away. Dennis’ associates will ride his coattails while he is flying high, and when the energy gangsters attack, his associates see their golden opportunity to steal the business. Dennis has had his company stolen numerous times. Have the thieves ever done anything productive with what they stole? No. It always crumbled in their hands, and they gutted the ship as it sank, stealing every dishonest scrap they could. Dennis makes it happen. There are always those appearing on the scene, thinking they can do better. If only they tried building it from scratch as Dennis has. That requires far more integrity than they possess. Instead, they try stealing what Dennis built.
Dennis has never really written his life story. There have been pieces of it in books such as My Quest, but if his full story were ever told, it would sound ridiculous. Dennis is a promoter of no mean order, but he need not stretch anything when discussing his life. He has his virtues and failings, as with all of us. What makes Dennis "great" is not his marketing genius, his entrepreneurial savvy, his audacity, his clever mind or promoter’s talents. It is his integrity and great heart.
Mr. Skeptic and Friends
Since 1990, I have studied the “skeptics” at length. Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Martin Gardner and James Randi have all been prominent members of the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), and the CSICOP publishes the Skeptical Inquirer. Their use of the word "skeptic" is an Orwellism. They are skeptical of everything but their beliefs, which they consider "facts." While there were some skeptics whose work I had some respect for, they were relatively few. For every article in the Skeptical Inquirer that impressed me with the reasoned investigation of a researcher, even if I did not always agree with their conclusions, two articles left me shaking my head. The same goes for the magazine Skeptic. The CSICOP skeptics supposedly investigate paranormal phenomena, as the name of their committee suggests, but I have never heard of them finding evidence of the paranormal. I found it easily when I was a teenager, which makes me wonder what kind of investigators they are. Here is a humorous primer on how the "skeptics" operate.
In 1996, Dennis mounted national speaking tours, promoting technologies and talking about free energy. In September 1996, he finished his second national tour of the year in Philadelphia. Five thousand people attended the show held in the sports arena where the Philadelphia 76ers played. I readily admit that he did not "demonstrate" much that was impressive regarding free energy at his Philadelphia show. Dennis is not my first candidate to explain the physics of the technologies he promotes, but he was showcasing a few technologies that have extraordinary potential and was talking to a lay audience. Even if hydraulic heat engines could not produce free energy, they would represent the first new heat engine cycle in a century, and might sweep aside nearly all the others.
Billions of dollars should be spent developing hydraulic heat engines, even if they could not produce free energy. Just as Detroit swatted down, froze out or bought out all the new engine designs, they surely could not be trusted to develop new engine designs. At the Philadelphia show, among the five thousand attendees was Mr. Skeptic, who was an aspiring debunker and founder of a Philadelphia skeptic group.
The day after the Philadelphia show, Mr. Skeptic had up a web site, claiming to investigate Dennis’ “claims.” I had already written one book that was more of a diary of my experiences. I reproduced a medical quotation section from it, and an earlier essay that I wrote on American history. During October 1996 I wrote 400 new pages of text and slapped the whole thing onto the Internet in November 1996.
As I published my web pages and registered them with the various search engines I searched the Internet, seeing if there was anything out there about Dennis. I found Mr. Skeptic's web site. For the next five months we engaged in a cordial dialogue. I allowed him to call me at home, and we had a three-hour conversation. Mr. Skeptic's web site was rather large, and devoted megabytes of information to Dennis. Mr. Skeptic said that his wife was irritated with the hundreds of hours he spent on Dennis. The man was obsessed with Dennis. Mr. Skeptic used one word all over his web site and in my discussions with him. It was the word "fraud." He obviously thought Dennis was a crook. He speculated loud and long on that issue. He even listed fraud hot line numbers to every state government.
I knew Dennis was not a crook, and had plenty of experience in defending him over the years. I began a dialogue with Mr. Skeptic, presenting my case. If nothing else, I tried encouraging Mr. Skeptic to perform some actual investigation. There were heat pumps in Philadelphia that he could have tested, customers he could have talked to, true investigation he could have performed to see if Dennis was crooked or crazy. Merely sifting through the legal documents regarding the various governmental cases against Dennis was stunning. The best book Dennis has written about his experiences was The Alternative, available even today for $25.00 at his company. That book provides plenty of official documentation and witness affidavits that clearly present the government's cases against Dennis. The book is strongest when Dennis merely documents what he lived through, and arguably weakest when he ventures into right wing conspiratorial theorizing.
Although Dennis became the biggest case in Mr. Skeptic's skeptical career, I became increasingly disturbed at how Mr. Skeptic avoided investigation. Dennis has dealt with many establishment hacks over the years who were on the government/energy company payrolls and whose jobs were to discredit him and destroy his companies. Dennis had no patience with Mr. Skeptic from the beginning, and it was understandable. Mr. Skeptic took a position from the start and virtually never wavered from it. I have almost never seen a skeptic say there was anything legitimate in what they investigated. Why did they bat 1000? Could they have perhaps made up their mind before they began investigating? Is that practicing skepticism?
My experiences with the skeptics' work did not make me too optimistic about Mr. Skeptic, but I tried to get him to at least investigate. The man seemed determined to not perform any investigation. Since about 1990, Dennis has not tried to market his heat pump, per se, but was trying to marry the large evaporator from his heat pump to a hydraulic heat engine to make free energy. To investigate Dennis’ potential crookedness, the logical place to start would be looking into his past, investigating what he sold, seeing how crooked that might have been. Mr. Skeptic said that he would not investigate the heat pump, since Dennis was no longer selling it. He said he only cared about free energy. My position with Mr. Skeptic was approximately, "Okay, take that position, but admit that you know nothing about the man, and you have plucked your fraud speculations from the thin air."
To my knowledge, Mr. Skeptic never even parted with $12.95 to get The Alternative. Immediately after the Philadelphia show, he called Dennis’ company to try getting a free copy because he was an "investigator." I have performed far more investigation than Mr. Skeptic will ever pretend to, and I have never asked for free materials, particularly from somebody I was planning on writing unflattering things about. Mr. Skeptic even advertised how much money he had, giving out his broker's contact information so people can confirm his healthy bank account balance, so he could back up his “reward” for indisputable evidence of free energy. As the months went by, Mr. Skeptic was confirming my worst suspicions about the skeptical movement. Being civil to the man was becoming a challenge. He continuously concocted psychological theories to explain how Dennis' followers were deluded, or Dennis was deluded, or I was deluded, in denial about what a con man I had been taken by. They were some of the more strained theories I had encountered, but there was a consistency to them. At every turn, Mr. Skeptic defended the establishment. I had been developing the opinion that the skeptical societies were little more than establishment attack dogs, scientific and otherwise. Mr. Skeptic is clear evidence of that theory.
The general skeptical attitude is that everything the establishment does is good and righteous, while anything not promoted by the powerful is suspect. That may seem an extreme assessment, but it is formed from a long time of examining the “skeptical” world. The skeptics believe that the government faithfully hunts down the crooks that threaten society. Although Mr. Skeptic had apparently not bothered obtaining the official documentation regarding the continuous prosecutions of Dennis, he wrote that Dennis’ perception of being a victim of establishment persecution was a "delusion." Even when he admitted that perhaps the sheriff’s deputies stole technical materials during the raid, Mr. Skeptic theorized that they did so because they were overzealous in protecting the public, not because they were corrupt.
In far right circles there is a phenomenon known as Holocaust Denial, where a number of "scholars" are trying to rehabilitate the image of fascism and Uncle Adolf. They make out the Jewish Holocaust to be a fiction, dismissing the testimony of many thousands of death camp survivors, the testimonies of Nazis who worked in the camps, and engaging in what I have to call intellectual fraud.
Mr. Skeptic specialized in Corruption Denial, dismissing the testimony of nearly everybody closely involved in the Dennis issue while launching his theories, which invariably defended the establishment. For reasons not entirely in my control, my web pages came down in April 1997 and I did not communicate with anybody associated with Dennis for years.
Mr. Skeptic was a skeptical "hobbyist." He was not a true professional as James Randi is. Randi tutored Mr. Skeptic as they debunked a technique known as Touch for Health, Mr. Skeptic learning at Randi's knee. Mr. Skeptic finally hit pay dirt with his investigation of Dennis. He had an article published in the Skeptical Inquirer in the summer of 1997. Mr. Skeptic unmasked himself. Putting up a web page is one thing, but submitting an article for publication is an entirely different matter.
There is plenty of official documentation regarding the prosecutions and "convictions" of Dennis. The Alternative clearly lays some of it out. One thing is clear if one follows Dennis’ story: the last thing he does is cover-up his past, particularly regarding the legal system’s attacks. His books lay them out in excruciating detail. Investigators are inundated with official documentation if they begin researching his case, being treated to search warrants, investigator reports, court transcripts, witness affidavits, court rulings, prison records, etc. For anybody who begins researching Dennis’ case, what is impressive is the documentation he provides.
Mr. Skeptic’s article is glib and condescending, in standard Skeptical Inquirer style. Mr. Skeptic begins his article with some facts, such as he attended a show in Philadelphia where Dennis talked a lot and did not demonstrate much. I have no argument with that. There were some reasons for that, partly governmental and not in Dennis’ control. Mr. Skeptic scoffed at that notion.
Then Mr. Skeptic spent a few paragraphs comparing Dennis to his snake-oil model. At best, Mr. Skeptic evidenced no investigation of the existing and marketed technologies, but hung his hat on whether Dennis had free energy. Mr. Skeptic’s theorizing was amusing and I thought the article harmless until the final paragraph, where Mr. Skeptic committed libel. It was not a gentle, unknowing libel. Mr. Skeptic was too knowledgeable to chalk up that paragraph to ignorance. He knowingly lied, but was calculating about how he lied. It would be no surprise if a lawyer reviewed Mr. Skeptic’s article before publication. That article was the crowning work of Mr. Skeptic’s debunking career. He is quite proud of it.
Mr. Skeptic quoted a newspaper that libeled Dennis. Mr. Skeptic wrote,
“The Utah…News reports that Lee was indicted for fraud in New Jersey in 1975, charged with fraud in the state of Washington in 1985, and pled guilty to two felony counts of consumer fraud in California in 1990 in connection with the sale of his energy-saving heat pump kit. Well, what the hell... they say Jim Bakker is planning a comeback, too.”
During 1991 and 1992, Dennis tried reviving his venture after getting out of jail the first time. He became involved with the Patriot Movement, which is located in the northwestern United States and has more than a tinge of white supremacy associated with it, along with many self-serving “leaders” who seem more interested in selling videos than turning America around. Dennis became high profile in the movement, to the point where other “Patriot” leaders felt they had to discredit him. The Mormon Church was so alarmed that they allegedly threatened ex-communication to any member who became involved with Dennis. “Coincidentally,” a Utah newspaper published some libelous articles about Dennis. Of all the massive documentation surrounding Dennis’ cases, much of it official and published by Dennis himself, Mr. Skeptic quoted a Utah newspaper regarding the government's cases against Dennis.
The official record is clear. The 1975 indictment had to do with unintentionally bouncing some checks as his company was going out of business, when a customer put a stop payment on a big check to his company. After getting poor (and probably intentionally poor) legal advice, Dennis naïvely pled guilty to fraud for bouncing some checks, a decision that still haunts him. Dennis was not charged with fraud in Washington in 1985. He was charged in a civil matter regarding consumer protection issues, and if anybody committed a crime, it was the Attorney General’s office and their buddies. Their efforts killed one of Dennis’ employees.
Dennis did not plead guilty to two felony counts of consumer fraud in California in 1990. He pled guilty to not filing a form and paying fifty dollars regarding a civil law. Civil law is not criminal law, and is called "civil code" in the business. His guilty plea amounted to not knowing about the filing requirement (and subsequently believing that he was not required to file) and getting a ruling from the courts on it, and Mr. Skeptic knew it. In addition, the situation regarding his so-called guilty plea is far different from how Mr. Skeptic and others have reported it. The plea was that Dennis in fact did not file the form, but the deal was that the courts would rule on the constitutionality of the law as it applied to Dennis' case. The courts reneged on that deal, and never held up their end of the "bargain."
That situation of U.S. courts violating their own deals is as American as apple pie. Ask the Native American tribes how often the U.S. government and courts honored the treaties that they forced on the natives, which was a fraudulent strategy crafted by George Washington. In one rare instance when a tribe prevailed in court, the Cherokee tribe won in the U.S. Supreme Court, and the sitting president, Andrew Jackson, openly stated that he would ignore the court's ruling, and the genocidal Trail of Tears followed soon after.
Mr. Skeptic wrote that Dennis "pled guilty to two felony counts of consumer fraud" in California. In The Alternative, Dennis produces his prison records and court transcript of the proceedings. The judge said that:
"One of the things that we must keep in mind here is that the defendant has not been convicted of theft, he's not been convicted of a crime that requires or there's been any proof by an admission or otherwise that the defendant is convicted of intentionally defrauding people."
Dennis also reproduces his prison records that plainly stated the "offense" he was in prison for: "Failure to register marketing plans. (A misdemeanor.)" and cited the civil code that Dennis "violated." Anybody who had performed the elementary step of reading The Alternative, which thousands of people have, would know that Dennis did not plead guilty to felonious fraud in California.
In Washington, Dennis was not prosecuted for fraud. With those prosecutions, the mind-boggling fraud was perpetrated by the Attorney General's office, the electric companies, the sheriff's department, the District Attorney's office, the Superior Court, etc. In Washington, Dennis’ company was charged in a civil matter. Fraud is a criminal matter, not a civil matter. The Washington civil suit was an unconscionable fraud. The Deputy Attorney General who prosecuted the lawsuit (whose conscience eventually got to her, and she quit her job in the midst of bludgeoning Dennis’ company) made her case in her correspondence with Dennis, trying to entice him to settle her lawsuit. She stated that she could find a violation of the law, even if there was never any intent to deceive anybody.
Ms. Deputy Attorney General based her entire case on a letter from a person who innocently misunderstood one statement made in the video pitch Dennis’ company used. She seized on the fact that one person in the entire state misunderstood one thing Dennis said. In her letter to Dennis, she made it clear how she would get him. She stated:
"… It is important to underscore that the consumer protection lawsuit is a civil suit… state does not allege, nor does it need prove that the defendants intended to deceive or deal unfairly with their customers…Rather the issue is whether representations have the tendency or capacity to mislead regardless of the intentions of those who make them…the seller's state of mind is excluded. Intent to deceive or act unfairly is not an element of proof in a Consumer Protection cause of action; similarly lack of intent is not a defense for the seller."
Dennis was the only person in the state singled out that way. Mr. Skeptic is familiar with Dennis’ case and the documentation surrounding it. For several years Mr. Skeptic published a page of mine where I outlined the facts of the cases against Dennis, referring to the exhibits in The Alternative that present the government's cases. I wrote that essay partly in response to Mr. Skeptic's complaints that he was hearing too much from Dennis’ defenders (I was not the only one), and he would like to see the government's case presented. I presented it with the government's own documents, right from Dennis’ book.
When it came time to go on the record about Dennis, what did Mr. Skeptic do? Instead of referring to the readily available official documentation regarding the cases against Dennis, Mr. Skeptic did some digging and discovered libelous comments made by a newspaper, and then presented it as his evidence that Dennis was crooked. In Logic 101 classes, what Mr. Skeptic did is called "appeal to inappropriate authority" and the logical fallacy of “omitted evidence.” If we are prudent and logical, and if the voice of authority stares us in the face, telling us what their legal actions against Dennis were, we accept their rendering of the issue, or at least give it weight. What we do not do is ignore them, scraping around for a rumor about their actions that suits our uses better. Not only is it crudely dishonest, it abandons the most elementary standards of scholarship and logic.
Ironically, Mr. Skeptic gave a better endorsement of Dennis than I ever could. After spending hundreds of hours "investigating" Dennis, when it came time to go on the record, Mr. Skeptic resorted to a logical sleight-of-hand. His motivation has been laid bare, and there is no reason to take him seriously as a "debunker." To be polite, he is a propagandist. His Skeptical Inquirer article told me more than I needed to know about the skeptics. I have seen Carl Sagan display dishonesty that was shocking. I have seen evidence of James Randi not quite playing straight. Mr. Skeptic's libel removed my lingering, charitable doubts about the skeptics’ motivation, and the Skeptical Inquirer publishing such a scandalous article proved to me what kind of rag it is.
It is also worse than that. I informed Mr. Skeptic about his misrepresentations of Dennis’ "criminal" past years ago, as have others. I knew that Mr. Skeptic was being intentionally deceptive with his presentation of Dennis' "criminal" past, or he had seriously impaired intelligence. Instead of uttering a thousand mea culpas when informed of his libel, Mr. Skeptic stepped up his attacks, harping on Dennis’ "criminal" past. During the summer of 2001, Mr. Skeptic campaigned against Dennis, to, in his words, “put him away” in prison. Mr. Deputy could not have found a better soul brother in his efforts to “protect the public.”
Over the years, people have defended Mr. Skeptic’s libel. However, they never defended it by addressing the facts of his libel. The worst of them simply ignored the facts and called me names and played other games of obfuscation and misdirection. The best of his defenders made excuses for his state of mind, calling him either sloppy or too eager to play debunker. Early drafts of this essay presented in greater detail the context of Mr. Skeptic’s libel, but my editor thought I was belaboring the facts. In 2006, it became clear that some people still need it spelled out. For more information on why Mr. Skeptic’s Skeptical Inquirer article was consciously dishonest, see this footnote.
Mr. Skeptic's web site gives the appearance of thoroughly debunking Dennis and his efforts. Appearance is the operative word. Here is a final example of the criticisms of Dennis on Mr. Skeptic's site. He reproduces an anecdote from a person who once introduced Dennis to a crowd.
The man wrote:
"I first ran into him at the Global Sciences conference in 1989 in Denver. At that time, I heard several reports of an incident at a supplemental presentation he set up, which was not part of the actual conference proceedings. Because it was not a regularly scheduled part of the conference, I was not in the room at the time. Therefore, a friend arranged for me to see a video of the incident. A noted Tesla technology researcher came into the room, and when given an opportunity, asked a pointed question as to why none of Lee's investors had yet received any money back. Lee then went into a bizarre diatribe against this individual, accusing him of having murdered an 8-year old girl. Eventually the researcher left the room, as it appeared the incident was about to degenerate into a physical fight."
The man summed up his version of events with: "I came away with the impression that Dennis Lee is a singularly dangerous individual."
The "noted Tesla technology researcher" was in fact a hit man from the Bonneville Power Administration. His "noted Tesla technology researcher" image was the latest sheep’s skin that the wolf wore, and many at the Global Sciences meeting thought that a bona fide corporate hit man was a sincere researcher and their friend.
Mr. Skeptic has frequently announced that he "debunked" and otherwise disposed of Dennis. Dennis feels that Mr. Skeptic may be clandestinely working for the energy interests or some agency such as the CIA. It is difficult to distinguish provocateurs from freelance, low integrity operators, as they largely act the same. I would respect Mr. Skeptic’s work more if he was a paid provocateur, as the BPA Hit Man was, but like Mr. Texas, Mr. Skeptic is probably free-lancing his efforts, for reasons only he knows.
The media attacks that accompanied Dennis’ 1999 tour were sickening. Diane Sawyer even smeared him on national television, after loading up her sling with mud for several years.
Dennis’ case is a classic example of the complete ethical bankruptcy of our legal system and power structure. I have read numerous media accounts of Dennis, and they nearly always use the "you lie, and I'll repeat it" tactic that Mr. Skeptic used. Tell a lie often enough and it will never go away. That was how Goebbels operated, and the mainstream media works the same. The mudslinger always wins.
In nearly every account I have read since 1986, they continually referred to Dennis’ “criminal” past. The latest libelers never, ever say that his "guilty plea" in California was concerning a civil law, and he unintentionally broke the law because he did not know about it (nor did anyone else in California). They constantly have said "felony, felony, felony." One site even reproduces Dennis’ plea in California, the plea says "felony" at the top of it, which is true, but that is telling about one percent of the story, if that.
According to how the Ventura County courts (home of the Rodney King beating verdict) interpreted the statute, nearly every businessman in California should have been behind bars. In kangaroo court, however, Dennis was singled out from 100,000 of his peers for a million-dollar bail. In kangaroo court, unintentionally breaking a civil law that nobody has ever heard of becomes a "felony." That would be bad enough, but the prosecution committed numerous bona fide felonies while persecuting Dennis, including theft, espionage, threatening witnesses, destroying evidence, threatening employees with prison for working at our company, not to mention the numerous, blatant lies they told daily, in the courtroom and elsewhere.
Ventura County officials today state that Dennis was crooked and pled guilty to crimes. Dennis stood in court and made it clear that he was not pleading guilty to any "intent to defraud anybody." The judge replied that he understood that plea, and asked the prosecutor herself if she agreed, and she said "That is correct. Your Honor, in dismissing the 487 [fraud - Ed.] counts, I believe we dismissed the counts that carried with them the intent to defraud." Dennis did not plead guilty, nor was he convicted of intending to deceive or defraud people, but I have never seen a media article, or anything written by Mr. Skeptic, that admitted such. The only "crime" that Dennis has ever admitted to (or has been convicted of) is unintentionally bouncing some checks more than twenty-five years ago as his company was being wiped out in the general mayhem of America's first energy crisis. A customer putting a stop payment on a large check to his company made those checks bounce. Why do none of those reporters or Mr. Skeptic report the truth of matters?
Mr. Skeptic and the Crackpots
A prominent piece of Mr. Skeptic's web site is a "crackpot" page. He put substantial effort into constructing it. His crackpot page is a compendium of links to “crackpot” web sites. I have read the work of Jewish Holocaust deniers, the militias, and the political spectrum’s right and left ends. Dennis was prominent in the Patriot movement. Many people associated with Dennis’ organization have some very alternative thinking. I have studied fringe science for a long time, and have studied the paranormal since I was a teenager. I was acquainted with many of the sites that Mr. Skeptic listed as crackpot sites.
Once I hit Mr. Skeptic’s crackpot page, I was treated to X-Files music and the moving image of a ghoul, is if it were trying to grab me. Other images were big eyes that blink (paranoid eyes), a flying ghost, a marching religious zealot, and other “funny” images. He listed well more than a hundred links to “crackpot” sites. Few will argue against there being many strange groups out there, and Mr. Skeptic linked to many, but his derision and commentary were telling. His categories were: Hate Groups, Dizzy New Age Groups, Total Schizo, Just Stupid, Strange Hobbies, Political Crackpots, Pseudo-science, Religious Nuts, and Other Lists of Crackpots. As if his headings were not informative enough, he provided commentary: “This broad really hates men… more pro Waco wackos… a wacky female channeling cult… hot headed gays,” and so on.
Mr. Skeptic has linked to some strange sites, but a fair number did not seem to justify his ranting. Some were not in English. He labeled many things not mainstream thought as crackpot, even if it was from some of the most respected intellectuals alive. Here are a few examples of some of those "crackpot" sites.
Mr. Skeptic and Mumia Abu Jamal
Mr. Skeptic linked to a group of activists trying to prevent the execution of Mumia Abu Jamal. Mr. Skeptic listed that group under "Hate Groups," alongside neonazi groups. Mumia Abu-Jamal is one of the world’s most famous political prisoners. He was on death row for a crime he supposedly committed in Philadelphia, which has one of America’s most corrupt police forces (in late 2001, his death sentence was thrown out by a judge, in one of the greatest victories for human rights organizations in recent years). For years, Frank Rizzo headed Philadelphia’s police force, and it was legendary for its brutality and corruption.
For generations, the FBI has been a key element in destroying American social movements. The FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO program during the 1960s and afterward was specifically designed to wipe out political activists. Black, Native American, student, anti-war, and civil rights activists were among those targeted by the FBI for “neutralization.” The FBI virtually wiped out the Black Panthers, murdering a number of them outright, such as Fred Hampton. The FBI personnel behind Hampton’s murder were openly disappointed (when talking to their FBI buddies) that they did not murder more “niggers” in that operation. Many others were railroaded into prison on a variety of fabricated charges. The FBI often worked closely with local police. The worst offenses were committed in Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles, Oakland and Chicago. Today, the Bush administration is reviving COINTELPRO-type activities in its “War on Terror,” which many groups are viewing with horror. They have not forgotten COINTELPRO, even if it has been flushed down America’s Memory Hole.
Mumia Abu-Jamal helped establish the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Panthers. His political career goes back to age 14 when he protested at George (“Segregation Forever”) Wallace’s 1968 presidential rally, and was beaten and arrested for his trouble. He became an influential journalist who the intensely racist Philadelphia police hated. During his career, Abu-Jamal interviewed such people as Julius Erving, Alex Haley and Bob Marley, and his work received national recognition, ending up in the Associated Press and on National Public Radio. Philadelphia Magazine named Abu-Jamal as one of its “people to watch” in 1981, citing his “eloquent, often passionate, and always insightful interviews (which) bring a special dimension to radio reporting.” For the FBI and Philadelphia police, Abu-Jamal had long been one of their “people to watch.” He was under surveillance for years, and had been openly threatened by Philadelphia policemen.
In Philadelphia, radical blacks formed an organization called MOVE. MOVE was a back to the earth, militant, self-help movement for the blacks. Its leader, John Africa, became in incendiary political figure, a great orator who spoke out against the system’s exploitation of black people. Predictably, the group came under fire from the Philadelphia police. They regularly harassed and beat MOVE members, sometimes murdering them. Abu-Jamal produced journalistic criticism of the police regularly, earning him the hatred of the police and then Mayor Rizzo. At a press conference, Rizzo openly called for silencing that gadfly Abu Jamal. Not long after that ominous comment by Rizzo, Abu Jamal found himself on death row.
In 1978, Philadelphia police laid siege to a MOVE home with 600 police. In 1985, the Philadelphia police made history when they dropped a firebomb from a helicopter on a MOVE neighborhood, murdering six adults (including John Africa), five children and burning down sixty homes.
Kangaroo Court has been a standard feature of the Philadelphia judicial system. In recent years a scandal has rocked Philadelphia, as more than one hundred prisoners have been released due to irregularities in the judicial process, such as paying witnesses for perjured testimony to gain a conviction.
Abu-Jamal was moonlighting as a cab driver one night in 1981 when he saw the common scene of a Philadelphia policeman beating a black motorist. The motorist was Abu-Jamal’s brother. It may have been a case of mistaken identity, as the brothers looked alike. Abu-Jamal stopped the cab and tried to stop the beating. In short order, Abu-Jamal and the policeman were lying on the ground with gunshot wounds.
Therein lies a mystery. Abu-Jamal survived and the policeman died. The official record is clear on the matter: Abu-Jamal was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death on charges of first-degree murder. The two main witnesses who convicted Abu-Jamal were both under Philadelphia police influence because of their criminal records. Compelling evidence exists that their testimonies were fabricated. Several other witnesses to the crime had testimony supporting Abu Jamal's innocence, and their testimony was suppressed. Similarly, the police fabricated a "confession" by Abu Jamal, months after Jamal supposedly made it. The bullet removed from the policeman could not be matched to Abu Jamal's pistol (he had it because he was moonlighting as a cab driver in inner city Philadelphia, an understandable situation). Abu-Jamal had been on death row since his conviction. There were many irregularities with his trial and conviction. The judge who sentenced him to death sentenced more black men to death than any other active judge in the United States. They used to call judges like him “hanging judges.” Six former prosecutors have gone on the record, stating from experience that no accused person had a chance at a fair trial in that judge's court.
When one of their own dies, police go out of their way to make somebody pay, and it was apparently too good to be true when a bleeding Abu-Jamal was found lying next to the policeman. I have seen Kangaroo Court in action myself and Abu-Jamal’s case reads like a textbook example. Abu-Jamal was perhaps America’s only political prisoner on death row.
One thing is clear: Abu-Jamal is a talented writer. His reputation as a journalist was deserved. Just before his scheduled execution in 1995, he published Live from Death Row. It is an eloquent series of essays, especially being written from death row. As in Dennis’ case, writing from prison is considered a crime in the minds that often run our prison systems, particularly when the writing does not flatter the jailers or judicial system. Abu-Jamal was served with a misconduct report for writing the book. In 1997, Abu Jamal published another book, Death Blossoms, Reflections from a Prisoner of Conscience.
In 2000, All Things Censored was published, which had a compact disc that played the radio commentaries that Abu Jamal gave from a death row telephone. National Public Radio scuttled its plans to air those commentaries, under pressure from various political groups, in one of the more egregious instances of American censorship during my lifetime. Those radio commentaries, given from death row, must rank with the best journalistic performances in history, and they are actively censored in the United States.
During the summer of 2001, the courts denied the testimony of Arnold Beverly, who admitted that he shot the policeman Abu Jamal was convicted of killing. Beverly’s testimony is quietly and competently delivered, yet sensational in its implications. According to Beverly, he was a professional hit man who killed that cop as part of a police-assisted hit. According to Beverly, that cop was too corrupt even for Philadelphia, and other cops had him killed, as he was infringing too greatly on the Philadelphia police’s protection racket. Abu Jamal was just in the “right place at the right time” to end up on death row. Beverly’s open confession was refused as evidence regarding Abu Jamal’s innocence, but may have had something to do with a judge throwing out Abu Jamal’s death sentence not long after Beverly delivered his testimony.
The groups trying to save Abu-Jamal’s life were the standard left wing groups that have been speaking out against racism, murder and other outrages in our society and around the world. People such as Nelson Mandela, Salman Rushdie, Elie Wiesel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson, Wole Soyinka, ex-attorney general Ramsey Clark, Vaclav Havel, actor Michael Farrell (Alan Alda’s sidekick on the TV show M.A.S.H.), Ed Asner, Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple), author E.L. Doctorow and many others spoke out. "Hate Groups" such as Amnesty International, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, the European Parliament, and members of the governments of Japan, Denmark, Belgium and others also tried preventing his execution. I was involved with trying to prevent his execution. In all, global organizations whose members number in the millions protested his impending execution. It is almost incomprehensible that Mr. Skeptic listed a group trying to prevent an execution as a “Hate Group.”
One agonizing issue regarding executing a journalist is that America is about the world’s only "free" nation with a death penalty, and one of six nations that executed juveniles in the 1990’s, and today is the only nation that will officially execute children. We are the world's leader in executing people for crimes they committed as children. The issue of Abu Jamal is illustrative of our nation's barbarity.
Mr. Skeptic and McDonald's
Mr. Skeptic classified a group of people protesting McDonald’s' corporate practices as a "Hate Group," describing their site as having a "neo-PC hatred of McDonald’s restaurants.” The McDonald’s case is another instance where the powerful have tried silencing a voice of dissent. In one sense, calling McDonald’s protestors a “Hate Group” is aligned with the skeptical philosophy, where huge corporations and other powerful groups can do no wrong, and anybody who challenges them has a screw loose or are “Hate Groups.” The McDonald’s situation epitomizes the havoc that corporate practices wreak on the population and environment.
McDonald’s helped pioneer the notion of “fast food," and has been the leader in industrializing the eating experience. The McDonald’s protest situation covers vast territory. McDonald’s is the world's largest user of beef, and second place in chickens. Raising animals to slaughter and eat is a tremendous waste of resources. The West's meat-eating culture is creating large-scale environmental devastation. The numbers are overwhelming. To produce a single pound of meat requires 2500 gallons of water. It takes 100 times more water to produce a pound of meat as a pound of wheat. Animal flesh is a terribly inefficient method of producing dietary protein. In the watery Northwest, more than half of its vast water supply is used to raise livestock for meat. The meat and dairy industry in California consumes half that state’s water supply.
The global political-economic order, led by the United States and huge transnational corporations such as McDonald’s, rules the world. Anybody who steps out of line or tries opting out of the global capitalist system will invariably be visited by U.S. troops or a U.S.-financed destabilization effort.
The McDonald’s phenomenon is a classic example of how rampant capitalism is destroying the planet. In bringing assembly line strategies to the eating experience, everything has been reduced to the lowest common denominator. The McDonald’s strategy has been to sell vast amounts of cheap food with a low profit margin per unit, and the profits attained by the huge volume of food sold. It is a standard corporate strategy, and what has it cost the planet?
On the meat front, McDonald’s has been a leading influence in revolutionizing how animals are raised. In order to sell the greatest amount of meat at the lowest possible price, the practice of factory farming came into being. I used to say that if a person visited a slaughterhouse and saw what was done to animals to produce their tasty burgers, bacon, and hot dogs, most people would become vegetarian on the spot. Today with factory farming, people only need to visit where the animals are being raised to become vegetarians.
Visiting today’s chicken and pig factories is a hellish experience. In the drive for maximum profit and minimum costs, fast fading are the days of pigs wandering around a farm, or a barnyard full of chickens. Today's pig and chicken factories are the ultimate triumph of farming's industrialization. Those pigs and chickens live their entire lives without seeing the light of day. They are kept in cages stacked to the ceiling, and fed drugs, antibiotics, hormones, cheap feed, and stimulated to produce the largest weight gain in the shortest amount of time for the least amount of resources used.
Across America's heartland, pig and chicken factories are replacing farms. Seventy percent of America’s pigs are raised in pig factories today, and half of America’s small family farms that raised pigs have gone out of business during the past decade. The traditional American farmer is not doing the work anymore. America's underclass, such as Mexican immigrants, work in the farm factories owned by huge agribusiness corporations. It is among the lowest-paid work in America, down there with picking beans. Chicken factory workers have injury and illness rates far higher than coal mining and construction. Meatpacking is America’s most dangerous job, with a serious injury rate five times the national average. In the pig factories, the workers are supposed to wear gas masks because the excrement fumes are overpowering. Even so, according to the American Lung Association, 70% of those pig factory workers develop respiratory disease symptoms, and 58% have chronic bronchitis. Workers have died numerous times by being exposed to excrement fumes. The pigs do not get gas masks.
Pigs are among earth’s most social animals and are probably smarter than dogs. As pigs are crammed into cages, the stress of their inhumane environment leads them to kill each other and engage in cannibalism. In factory farming, pigs, chickens, sheep and cows become “production units” with zero quality to their lives. They are merely machines to turn feed, drugs and antibiotics into profitable flesh. Another problem introduced by pig factory farming is the issue of pig excrement. Across America today, there are lakes, almost oceans, of pig excrement from the factories. Nobody is quite sure what to do with it. It is a problem similar to the nuclear waste lakes at nuclear facilities across America, although fortunately, pig excrement is not radioactive…yet.
A protégé of mine previously worked at a chicken company where they raised egg-laying hens. They raised them from egg to sale. One day he told me about the business. At their facility, they had huge incubators where the eggs hatched. As the chicks hatched, they were immediately swept onto a conveyor belt, beginning their corporate careers. The first people the chicks met were known as “sexers," who turned them over to see what sex they were. If the chick was female, it could look forward to a life expectancy of less than two years. Outside of the factory setting, chickens can live to be twenty years old, and average nearly ten. If the chick was male, the sexer dropped it into a chute that led to a grinder where the chick was instantly shredded and carted off as hazardous waste.
The female chicks were immediately put into pens and fed. That company only raised chicks to egg-laying age. They produced an egg-laying hen for about 50 cents apiece. Without antibiotics and drugs, factory farming would be impossible. The confined quarters breed disease, so all factory animals have antibiotics as part of their feed. About half of America’s antibiotic production goes directly into animal feed.
In a few months, the chicks have been fed and stimulated to maturity and are ready to begin their egg-laying careers. The modern egg factories typically have cages stacked to the ceiling. Inside those huge buildings the lighting is manipulated (simulating night and day) to gain maximum egg production. The chickens are crowded several to a cage that is about the size of an oven. The chickens can barely move. Identical to the pig situation, the crowded chickens engage in anti-social behavior, attacking, killing and eating each other. The solution implemented by the geniuses that designed such systems is to de-beak the chickens. De-beaking is done by cutting off the top-half of their beaks, a process performed with no anesthesia, obviously, and a procedure that kills many chickens from sheer shock.
The chickens lay about an egg a day under the factory conditions, far more than normal egg-laying hens used to lay. After about eighteen months of life, the hen’s back end blows out due to the stress of excessive egg laying. About twenty percent of the chickens die under those conditions, and do not make it to eighteen months. Those dead chickens are called “spent fowl” in the industry parlance. The “spent fowl” is sold to soup and pet food companies. My protégé told me that the production managers lamented the fact that the hens only produced for about a year before their “ass blew out.” Another ingenious solution is being developed for that problem: genetically engineering chickens that will not explode for perhaps two years of production. Here is a quote by one of those hard-working biological engineers, stating with pride and not a trace of irony, “At the Animal Research Institute, we are trying to breed animals without legs, and chickens without feathers.” He might reach his goal one day.
Chickens without feathers are easy to pluck, and animals without legs will not “waste” energy moving around, and instead put that food energy to better use, such as getting fattened up. A similar situation exists in dairy farming. Dairy cows used to live to be about twenty years old. With the new factory methods, a dairy cow will live to be four is she is lucky. Dairy cows are artificially inseminated and artificially stimulated to keep producing that milk. That is why they do not live long. Another byproduct of the dairy industry is the male offspring. Similar to the chicken industry, if the young animal is female, life is “good.” If the offspring is male, a common fate is becoming a veal calf. Veal calves are produced by methods not far removed from what the Nazi doctors dreamed up.
A veal calf is a similar byproduct to those superfluous male chicks, although their careers last longer and there is an economic value to them. Veal is treasured for its tender, pale flesh. How do they produce such tender, pale flesh? A veal calf is put into a cage and chained so he cannot lie down, but must stand. He will spend his entire life there. In that manner, he is purposely kept from exercising, keeping his muscles soft, which is how the softness is produced. The pale flesh is created by purposely malnourishing the calf. Veal comes from calves fed a diet designed to make them anemic, hence the flesh’s pale color. Such conditions are ripe for disease, so the calf’s diet is liberally laced with antibiotics and drugs. Even then, veal calves suffer from diarrhea and other maladies. After about six months of that existence, never seeing the light of day, the calf is slaughtered. Veal is a menu delicacy, which, like pork, is another one of America’s “white meats.” Hundreds of thousands of calves meet that fate each year in America.
As always, the goal is maximizing profits by keeping costs low. The trends are obvious, the goals understandable. In the constant quest for more production, a few years ago Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) was introduced to produce even more milk from those beleaguered cows. Steve Milloy and Elizabeth Whelan think BGH is another wonderful agricultural innovation. That system truly is faithful to the materialistic viewpoint that has prevailed in the West for centuries. Factory farming is a logical conclusion of that mentality. In a world where the prevailing view denies humans the benefit of souls, animals are far, far down that contrived scale of creation.
Another byproduct of that worldview is the practice of animal experimentation. Tens of millions of animals are killed in American laboratories each year for “testing.” The apologists for that practice are well paid and many, telling us how “vital” animal experiments are for our standard of living and health. The apologist’s standard argument is that if we ever stopped the practice, it would seriously impact our health. Animal experimentation is called “necessary” for everything from winning the war on cancer to testing shampoo. Many people do not agree. There are many groups trying to abolish those inhumane activities. They propose alternatives to every animal experiment there is.
The only rationale for our treatment of animals is “might makes right.” We murder tens of millions of animals in "experiments" each year because we can. Few seem to ask themselves if such a practice is ethical, but from both Christianity and science come ready rationales. God put us in charge of the animals, to do with as we please, so goes the popular interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Science has declared that we are the crowning achievement of evolution. Although we possess no souls, according to the materialistic scientism of Carl Sagan and friends, less evolved beings such as animals are there for our use. Similar logic has justified slavery, genocide and a host of horrors. If humanity survives the coming transition, a new level of awareness will take root, and we will desire to harm no living thing. For all the grotesque justification for animal experimentation, not all doctors and scientists are of the same mindset. Here is a quote from a founder of the Mayo Clinic.
"I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil."
The world’s most evil people do not staff McDonald’s. They are just pioneers and one of the most successful practitioners in an evil system. The protestors took on McDonald’s to protest the system, McDonald’s being a logical target.
With all the bad publicity they have received in recent years, McDonald’s investigated the possibility of using free-range eggs, but abandoned that idea upon learning that “free range” eggs are 50% more expensive than factory eggs. On the issue of cows and beef, McDonald’s has long been known to buy the cheapest beef it can. In California, the beef industry is large and I had friends in the business. One buddy told me a story regarding a cow auction he attended, where the corporate buyers assembled to buy their supply. The McDonald’s buyers were infamous for buying the cheapest cows they could. As a McDonald’s crew began loading their bedraggled purchases into the cattle cars, one cow collapsed. The law states that a dead animal cannot be used for human consumption. It must be properly slaughtered. The industry is prepared for collapsed cows. The McDonald’s crew had a winch on their truck that they attached to the collapsed cow, and hauled it aboard. If they could get the cow into the slaughterhouse while still alive, it would be legal meat. My buddy told it as a funny story.
In the dairy industry, the cows’ bodies become depleted from the stresses of their lives, which is why they do not live long. Similar to “spent fowl,” when a cow collapses, the industry term is “downed cow.” Those “downed cows” are sold to companies that make their flesh into something fed to the American public.
That multifaceted evil ultimately takes a human toll. Human consumers of factory-farmed animals eat flesh loaded with antibiotics, drugs, hormones, and other chemicals, as well as the hormones that misery and fear produce. About 20-30% of all supermarket chickens are infected with live salmonella bacteria (although recent efforts by the USDA are lowering that number; the meat is not from healthier birds, it is just free of salmonella). Hundreds of Americans have died due to bacteria-infected hamburgers. Mad Cow Disease has made its appearance, caused by feeding cows their ground up relatives, in another ploy to increase those profits. Other nightmares are sure to follow. The solution to those mounting problems are other technological “fixes,” such as subjecting it to radiation as a way to kill the diseases increasingly appearing in the food.
In the 20th century, menarche steadily decreased in the industrialized nations. A meaningful comparison is Hong Kong versus Mainland China. Hong Kong has an industrialized diet, and 25 of McDonald’s 50 biggest outlets are in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, menarche dropped to 12, whereas on the mainland it is still 17. A prime suspected culprit is the growth hormones the meat was raised with. Since McDonald’s first arrived in Hong Kong, the average teenager has gained 13% in weight. Americans are history’s fattest people.
Nutritionally, McDonald’s food is indefensible, as is virtually all fast food. It is high in saturated fat, sugar, salt and dozens of additives, and low in fiber, vitamins and minerals. An internal McDonald’s memo surfaced that frankly admitted, “We can’t really address or defend nutrition. We don’t sell nutrition and people don't come to McDonald’s for nutrition.”
What do people go to McDonald’s for? They go for a cheap, fast, tasty meal. Children go there to play on the McDonald’s playground, get toys from the latest Disney movie (McDonald’s is the Disneyland of food), and see Ronald McDonald’s’ smiling face.
McDonald’s workers are among the lowest paid workers in their industry, and the retail food industry is one of the lower paying industries to start with. As with virtually all corporations, McDonald’s is staunchly anti-union, firing pro-union workers. The employee turnover is immense, at more than 100% annually (I have seen as high as 300% in America). McDonald’s also helped pioneer another profitable labor practice: hiring part-time workers. Part-time workers receive minimal employee benefits. Companies such as Wal Mart and United Parcel Service have emulated such practices. In standard neocolonial fashion, those cute toys given away with Happy Meals are usually made in sweatshop conditions in Asia.
The trash created by fast food is staggering. Fast food establishments create a prodigious amount of trash. Every American city has fast food trash blowing in the wind.
The fast food revolution is also chopping down the rainforests. It is bigger than just McDonald’s, but McDonald’s is part of a neocolonial system whereby rainforests are being chopped down to produce cattle ranches so Westerners can have cheap beef. Although McDonald’s now avows that their beef will not come from ex-rainforest land, they have led the juggernaut that has produced the trend of chopping down the rainforests to pasture cattle, getting the world hooked on beef. Brazil is a notorious example. Cattle ranching in devastated rain forest areas is about as ecologically unsound a practice as there is. Tropical rain forest soils are thin, and cattle ranching on those soils is disastrous, quickly turning the rain forest into lifeless moonscapes.
McDonald’s is no more rapacious than any other corporation, at least consciously. They are going for the profit, as all corporations do, and if they must use sweatshop labor and factory-farmed animals, turn cropland into far less productive pasturage and sell their product with a clown’s smiling face, so be it. All fast food companies play the same game. McDonald’s was just the pioneer and most successful practitioner. McDonald’s is the logical conclusion of industrialization, capitalism and materialism brought to the eating experience. One way that McDonald’s kept criticism of their practices from being very public was suing anybody who spoke up, which is another standard corporate practice.
In England, a handful of people protested McDonald’s practices. In 1985, six people handed out flyers titled “What’s wrong with McDonald’s?” In 1990, McDonald’s threatened lawsuits against the protestors. Four backed off, and only two had the courage to continue: a barkeeper and an ex-mail carrier. They were affiliated with Greenpeace.
McDonald’s sued for libel, asking $30 billion in damages. It blew up in their faces. What would have become one more marginalized tale became a global story when McDonald’s sued those two people. A $30 billion corporate giant tried silencing two people for telling the truth. It became the longest trial in Britain’s history. Libel laws in England are different from United States libel laws. McDonald’s pressured the court as much as possible. Money and power talk very loudly in the courtroom, although from behind the scenes. The judge’s mouth moves, but the corporate voice is heard. The trial was rigged in a number of ways, and McDonald’s was awarded 60,000 pounds. The way the libel laws in England were executed, the judge found in favor of McDonald’s although no libel was proven. McDonald’s was not put in the position of proving libel, as Americans know it. The defendants were put in the position of “proving” that their charges against McDonald’s were not overstated for rhetorical purposes. McDonald’s’ lawsuit could not have been brought in America. McDonald’s bit off far more than it had bargained for. The bad publicity McDonald’s received far outweighed their legal victory, although the McDonald’s juggernaut rolls onward with undamaged revenues and profits. In Mr. Skeptic’s mind, those English activists were a “Hate Group.”
There is a silver lining in the McDonald’s' story, so far. Since that libel suit and other events, such as protests, McDonald’s has begun setting standards for animal treatment from its suppliers of eggs, chickens, pork, milk and beef (beginning in 1999). It is a step in the right direction, and a step in the right direction is better than a step in the wrong one, and we significantly have those "hate groups" who took on McDonald’s to thank for it.
Mr. Skeptic had a link to Steven Milloy's "Junk Science" pages, calling it "A great compendium of Junk Science." Mr. Skeptic was an admirer of Milloy, who was also flaying those "crackpots" and their "junk science." The sarcasm and ridicule that pours forth from Milloy’s web site can be breathtaking.
The notorious Cato Institute, Julian Simon’s old haunt, helps fund Milloy. Milloy stepped into Simon’s shoes as Cato’s leading environmental adjunct scholar. As with all good propaganda, there are nuggets of truth amongst the disinformation. Milloy allows that America’s health habits are responsible for a great deal of suffering, in an admission of the obvious. He is similar to Julian Simon and Elizabeth Whelan, where he has apparently never met an agribusiness or petrochemical company he did not like. He lets others make many of his editorial comments. He will not always get in the line of fire himself, but will reproduce nearly any pro-chemical piece he can find. What he and Whelan have done repeatedly is look to the Washington Times as their paper of record. The same person who runs the Moonies owns the Washington Times. It is about as far right a publication as this nation has.
Milloy reproduced a Washington Times article that extolled the virtues of Olestra (the miraculous, indigestible "fake" fat that has given many consumers diarrhea attacks, and God only knows the long-term effects), an article where the author is openly disappointed that Olestra is not a universal food additive quite yet. Milloy reproduced an article from an Australian organization that believes a major part of air pollution may be caused by grass. His organization, The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), promoted Bovine Somatotropin (BST), more popularly known as Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH,). Milloy reproduced a New York Times editorial saying that 100,000 people dying each year from adverse drug reactions is “no epidemic,” as it represents 0.5% of all hospital drug treatments. That is many times the number of people who die from illegal drugs each year. Milloy reproduced a University of Washington study that suggested that being old and fat was healthier than being old and thin. Here is a clever Milloy quote, epitomizing the tenor of his work: “Schering Plough says its competitor's product (Ex-Lax) causes cancer. I say Schering Plough deserves a junk science enema!”
Milloy stated, “One in three Americans develops cancer as a function of being alive.” That is another example of the false logic of assuming the average is normal. Milloy adheres closely to the “you get old, you get cancer, you die” medical establishment party line.
I also saw a new twist on the dirty money angle. While Whelan has largely made it a secret where her money comes from, Milloy was somewhat open about it. In answering the “Who pays for the Junk Science Home Page?” question, Milloy’s web page replied: “The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition. But who pays isn't important; the substance is. Steve figures he has the junk science debate won when an opponent raises a collateral issue like funding.” In November 2001, the American Journal of Public Health published a lengthy investigation regarding how the Phillip Morris tobacco company launched an aggressive public relations campaign to forestall second-hand smoke lawsuits, in the wake of a 1992 EPA report that identified second-hand smoke as a Group A human carcinogen. In conjunction with APCO Associates, its public relations firm, Phillip Morris launched an effort to promote “sound science” in February 1993. Three months later, TASSC was born, and one of its stands was debunking the notion of the harmfulness of second-hand smoke. The American Journal of Public Health Internet article links to internal documents, unearthed in litigation, between Phillip Morris and APCO that show that TASSC was their joint creation. TASSC had the gall to publicly call itself a “grassroots” organization. A genuine grass roots activist’s term for TASSC is an “Astroturf” organization. Corporate America has funded many fake “grass roots” organizations that advocate corporate positions from a “neutral” perspective.
Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber have published articles at PR Watch regarding Milloy and his connections with the tobacco companies. Early in his career, Milloy was a lobbyist with Multinational Business Services, Phillip Morris’ “primary contact” in the lobbying world regarding the second-hand smoke issue. When Phillip Morris went on the “sound science” offensive against the EPA and other environmental and health organizations, Milloy was picked to head TASSC. TASSC was merely one of a number of efforts by Phillip Morris to defend its deadly product from governmental censure. The goal was rigging the science to make it nearly impossible to declare that second-hand smoke was hazardous to health. Phillip Morris had other clandestine campaigns to fight cigarette taxes and make the ban on smoking in public places a freedom issue. Phillip Morris created the “National Smokers Alliance,” another fake “grass roots” organization that tried lifting smoking restrictions in the name of freedom. They tried linking the smoking issue to regulations on food additives and auto exhaust, showing how governmental regulations were unnecessary meddling with corporate freedom. The Phillip Morris campaign is an instructive example of how the dark side of the force operates, and Milloy is one of its front men.
In order to attack EPA findings and other scientific results, Phillip Morris concocted the “sound science/junk science” duality, “sound science” being the (Phillip Morris-sponsored) research that found cigarettes benign, and “junk science” being anything that contradicted it. Unsurprisingly, Milloy then championed the term “junk science.” Milloy has led other efforts, teaming up with Elizabeth Whelan and other corporate “scientists” in 2000 to lead a campaign named “No More Scares.” According to their corporate logic, scientific findings regarding health damage caused by corporate chemicals and waste are needless “scares.” It dovetails with Whelan’s Toxic Terror work. Whelan and Milloy make strange bedfellows, as the only corporate product Whelan has ever assailed, to my knowledge, is tobacco.
Although TASSC is officially defunct, Milloy’s site (junkscience.com) is still up as I write this in November 2001. It is now on the public record that Milloy ran a tobacco company front organization, posing as a scientist promoting public health. I wonder if any criminal laws might apply to his efforts. Unfortunately, the so-called “consumer protection” investigators I have seen have a rabid desire to put Dennis away, but will not touch people such as Milloy with a ten-foot-pole, not wanting to tangle with his patrons.
TASSC is a spiritual cousin of Whelan’s American Council on Science and Health. As with Julian Simon, TASSC and Milloy have trolled the scientific and press release waters for whatever supports their pro-corporate position. Mr. Skeptic was a Junk Science fan, and thought Milloy’s pages were a great list of “crackpots.” Mr. Skeptic reads my work, keeping the link to this essay active on his site, and since this essay was first published, he quietly took down his “crackpot” links to the Mumia Abu Jamal activists, the McDonald’s protestors and Milloy.
Mr. Skeptic’s listed Dennis under “Just Stupid” and “Pseudo-science.” This essay will finish dealing with Mr. Skeptic with one last link. He listed Covert Action Quarterly under “Total Schizo,” describing it as a “great zine for conspiracy buffs.” That made me think he may work for somebody else, such as the CIA. He has the debunker vocabulary down pat, using more than one pejorative in the same sentence. “Zine” is a hip word that describes a fun, counter-cultural publication, often published from somebody’s bedroom, usually a fan magazine about underground music groups. It is not substantial enough to be called a magazine, so the diminutive “zine” came into being. If Mr. Skeptic read and comprehended an issue of Covert Action, he would know that “zine” is about as far from describing that magazine as one can get. I subscribed to Covert Action for several years.
It is probably the most respected publication regarding exposure of our spy agencies. One of Covert Action’s founders was Phil Agee, the legendary CIA agent who first exposed what the CIA really did, from an insider’s perspective. Inside the Company, CIA Diary was published in 1975 and dealt the CIA a blow from which it is still recovering. The United States hounded Agee across the globe after his book was published. His book On the Run documents how he was expelled from one European nation after another, until he gained political asylum in West Germany. On the Run documents how the CIA tried stopping him from writing his book, to the extent that they tried luring him to Spain to “neutralize” him, whether from a Kangaroo Court scenario or outright murder is still classified. Noam Chomsky and Ralph McGehee have contributed articles to Covert Action.
If people could only pick one publication to find out how America is really run, Covert Action might be it. “Zine” does not describe that magazine. The pejorative “conspiracy buff” shows either Mr. Skeptic’s political infancy or that he knows what he is doing. “Conspiracy buff” is a standard establishment label for anybody who challenges authority. “Buff” is a denigrating term that often portrays serious investigators as hyperactive stamp collectors. “Conspiracy” does not apply to what Covert Action investigates, unless everything our military, CIA, NSA, FBI and corporations do is a “conspiracy.”
There is a political spectrum in America, generally seen as extending from "left" to "right," but those terms can be misleading. There is great overlap in the "left" and "right," which are supposedly on opposite ends of the spectrum. Noam Chomsky would rather we stopped using those terms, although he has used it in correspondence with me, calling himself part of the "left press." "Left" and "right" have become clichés in many instances, but I will use it broadly here, realizing that they can be limiting terms.
America’s mainstream politics are actually right wing, dominated by the rich. To the right of the mainstream are folks such as the militias, the Patriots, the Ku Klux Klan, The Spotlight, fundamentalist Christians, the John Birch Society, Holocaust deniers, etc. There are many conspiracy theorists in their ranks, and sometimes the word “buff” might apply. There definitely are some strange theories there in the far right, but I have seen too many strange things to laugh at them all. Significant aspects of their theories ring true, and I have had real world experiences that attest to some of them.
The majority stands left of the mainstream. Or at least they think to the left, but most still shuffle along with the herd management the elite perform, keeping everybody riveted to the tube, reading the daily newspaper and going to work every day. The “mainstream” does not really respond to the needs or wishes of most people. To the left of the “mainstream” are feminists, environmentalists, civil rights activists, peace activists, homeless advocates, gay activists, communists, socialists, child advocates, animal rights activists, advocates for the elderly and probably most of Christianity.
The right and left both point out the establishment’s abuse of power, but the way they see it happening differs. It is a conflict similar to two views of history known as the “Great Man” and “Mass Movement” views. The “Great Man” view has a few extraordinary people changing history’s course, making their way into the history books. The “Mass Movement” view sees history as the cumulative story of humanity, and the historical figures, although great as some of them may have been, were like a ship's prow. It is what we see first, but there is plenty behind it. It is like the space program. Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the moon, but the effort of a vast number of people got him there.
The right often subscribes to the “Great Man” dynamic, and consequently sees many dark societal aspects resulting from the actions of relatively few people, usually conspiring together. The right often poses “conspiracy theories.” I do not agree with many of them, but also believe many could be true, to a degree, and I have not encountered many that seem to beam in from Neptune. With our steeply hierarchical social systems, where a few hundred people have as much wealth as a few billion, mutual self-interest is something obvious to those at the top. Many conspiracies have played out over the millennia. Julius Caesar was one of six Caesars in a row deposed by Senate conspiracies. During the past generation, the owners of America’s professional baseball teams were repeatedly convicted of conspiring to keep players’ wages (relatively) low.
The left sees history more as mass action. One prominent area of left scholarship is known as “structural analysis,” or “institutional analysis.” Those studies look at how society is organized, particularly regarding its major institutions, and analyze how those shape society’s function. In general, they do not explain the major events of history with conspiracies. They see the sweep of history as the result of how millions and billions of people live their lives, and they also admit the important role elites play. Chomsky and Covert Action may go too far in dissociating themselves from “conspiracy theories.” Chomsky wrote a book to debunk the notion that JFK was assassinated because he was too much of a “dove” on Vietnam. It created a stir in left circles. A noted left scholar, Michael Parenti, had a vigorous dispute with Chomsky’s views on the JFK matter, and stated that there is a “conspiracy phobia” on the left. I took Covert Action to task in 1995 for its rather breezy reviews of Kooks and the 50 Greatest Conspiracies of all Time. Much of the theorizing in those books was not nearly as way out as the Covert Action reviewer made it seem.
In general, those two often-competing viewpoints can also be called “conscious” and “unconscious.” With conspiracies, events turn out just as a select few want them to. In structural analysis, the system produces the outcome without conscious design. The situation should not be oversimplified, but that is the general trend that I have noticed, and believe it also has to do with one’s spiritual beliefs. Religious people generally believe that a creator consciously designed the universe. They do not believe they are here by accident. The prevailing cosmology as promoted by Carl Sagan and others is that “In the beginning, there was the Big Bang,” and through fortuitous accidents of chemistry and physics, life evolved. Nobody designed it that way, it happened by accident. Karl Marx’s dialectical materialism has been influential.
In general, the structuralists have the Big Bang and the Theory of Evolution as their Book of Genesis. The “conspiracy theorists” believe that nothing happened by accident. It is fascinating to study those divergent points of view. There is merit in both viewpoints, and limitations in each. Obviously, Covert Action is not the “zine for conspiracy buffs.” For Mr. Skeptic to make that statement either displays his political naïveté or shows that he is a disinformation expert, working for somebody in clandestine fashion. I have generally believed the “clueless theory” more than the “conspiracy theory” regarding Mr. Skeptic, but I could be wrong.
That is all the writing I plan to do regarding Mr. Skeptic. I do not plan on analyzing or dealing with his work anymore. Readers might ask why I have devoted so much effort to him. Unfortunately, as with Elizabeth Whelan, Steve Milloy, Julian Simon and others, the media has presented Mr. Skeptic as a man with credible things to say. The media has repeatedly portrayed Mr. Skeptic as the primary critic of Dennis and his efforts, making him seem a valid critic. As Dennis has been making national noise on and off over the years, there have been numerous media accounts regarding Dennis, including a nationally televised documentary where Mr. Skeptic is Dennis’ prominent critic. This essay was partly intended to show what kind of critic Mr. Skeptic really is, and Dennis' critics in general.
I have never seen the mainstream media fairly present the facts of Dennis Lee’s life and efforts. Mr. Skeptic and others have followed their lead. Mr. Skeptic long ago revealed himself to me as a disinformation specialist. Such people always misrepresent Dennis’s past, particularly the years I was with him. In June 2003 I had an unexpected encounter with Mr. Skeptic on the Internet. He is more strident than ever, repeating his disinformation as if it was a collection of diligently-researched and carefully-presented facts. Mr. Skeptic’s efforts have influenced others who have publicly written about Dennis. I was spurred to create this quiz. People writing about Dennis’ “criminal” past can test their knowledge before publicly embarrassing themselves while libeling Dennis.
For those who answered more than one hundred of the above questions accurately, I will agree that they know Dennis’ past quite well. They would almost certainly also know that he is not a criminal pulling off history’s biggest free energy scam. Across the Internet and elsewhere have appeared the most indefensible libels and slanders about Dennis. Wildly irresponsible numbers and allegations have been thrown around. Again, it is highly ironic that Dennis’ critics to accuse him of being a crook, and lie and misrepresent his past in order to do it (even if it is carelessly repeating the lies and misrepresentations of others). For those who want to criticize what Dennis is doing today, they can have at it. I have not talked to Dennis for several years, and am not sure what he is up to today, but I doubt that anybody will ever convince me that he has criminal intent. For those who want to keep writing about Dennis’ “criminal past,” and how he got rich off all those “suckers” (Mr. Skeptic’s favorite label these days) from the trailer parks, “patriot” groups and churches, they should first try their hand at this quiz. If they wish to credibly challenge this material, they should adduce some impressive facts, along with astute interpretations of them. Recycling libelous newspaper clippings, calling Dennis an “idiot,” and the many other dishonest/careless/weak-minded tactics that I have seen since 1986 will fail to convince honest and intelligent readers.
 Dennis Lee, The Alternative, p. 66.
 Dennis Lee, The Alternative, exhibit 9C.
Dennis Lee, The Alternative, exhibit 1B. Ms.
Deputy Attorney General sent Dennis the evidence that she needed to make the consumer
protection charge stick. Dennis was marketing
his heat pump under his Systems for Savings plan,
where the customer only paid what the system was proven to save in energy bills.
In the video pitch that Dennis’ salesman played for their prospective customers,
Dennis ended his speech with something like, “You only have to pay what the system
is proven to save you in energy costs. You
might say that your electric company is paying for the equipment.” Dennis made that tape after he realized that
the shadowy interests who had been trying to destroy his company were the electric
interests in Washington State. The clear-cut violation of the law that Ms.
Deputy Attorney General rather gleefully presented to Dennis was a letter from
a prospective customer who viewed that tape. The
prospective customer wrote that he believed, after watching the tape, that the
electric companies would mail him a check each month if he bought Dennis’ heat
pump. The prospective customer was obviously
not very asttute, but Ms. Deputy Attorney General had what she needed: she had
proof that one person in
 This will be an inordinately long footnote, nearly a section in itself. Sagan was something of an enigma. On one hand, he was the most famous living scientist, until he died a few years ago. On the other hand, there is the question of why he was so famous. He was an astronomer/professor who dealt with a wide range of disciplines beyond his formal training, but his contributions to science did not really befit his popular stature. On one hand, Sagan was a sober voice of reason in science, even of conscience, especially when dealing with environmental or military issues. He could be quite sensitive when writing about dolphins or religious fanatics. Yet he also could be dogmatic, arrogant, pompous, and - which is the issue that concerns this section the most - dishonest. Sagan wrote in the realm of science, although some of his colleagues say that at times he did not hold up his end on collaborative efforts, being too busy with his more famous activities. Where he kept to astronomy and other aspects of his professional discipline, he never did anything Nobel-worthy. His claim to fame was being a popularizer. His book Cosmos spawned a TV series, and that is what made him a household word. There is nothing wrong with that. Einstein is history’s most famous scientist, justifiably so, and he spent much of his time trying to make his ideas understandable to the lay audience.
Hugh Martin analyzed Sagan's use of language in Cosmos, and his analysis was not flattering (see "Sagan's Pseudo-Sagacity: Style as a Reflection of Character (or Lack Thereof)" in The Velikovskian, vol. III, No. 4.). To millions of Americans, Sagan was the voice of science. He regularly wrote articles for Parade Magazine, a Sunday newspaper supplement with an audience of eighty million Americans. There is a burden of responsibility in being the voice of science for millions of people. Martin analyzed Sagan's use of language in addressing his lay audience in Cosmos, and laid bare Sagan's lofty prose for what it was: pompous. Using words not typically encountered by the audience they are writing for is a problem that popularizers must face, and how they face it is an important test of their craft’s execution. In Cosmos, Sagan used the words: hubristic, doxological, eschatology, circumjacent, occulted, dryad, maenad and vouchsafed. Hubristic (not "hubris" which is fairly common, but "hubristic") is a word people will never see, except in the dictionary…and Carl Sagan's writing. The use of such five-dollar words is questionable in addressing the Cosmos audience, but that was the least of Sagan's crimes against the English language. In Cosmos, Sagan also used: irreparable, interstices, transmogrified, immolate, provocation, distillation, plenum, concatenation, palpable, fecundated and integuments. The problem with Sagan's use of those words was that he used them improperly. To introduce another big word, Sagan was writing malapropisms. Instead of making things clearer for his readers, he confused them. That is a mistake that a thirteen-year-old boy can make, having a blast with his first thesaurus, but for Sagan to use such highfalutin words, and use them incorrectly, is less than helpful. Sagan would also write meaningless yet impressive-sounding sentences such as "The Cosmos is rich in the subtle machinery of awe."
If people are going to use big, esoteric words to a lay audience, what is their purpose? It should be to relate big, esoteric ideas in a way that the audience can understand, so they walk away better educated. That is the popularizer's ideal, to educate the uninitiated. When people use those big words to a lay audience, an audience that trusts them and they cannot even use those words properly, it is not educating them, but the opposite. Sagan would throw also out nuggets to his readers about how evolution and space cameras work in Cosmos, but he would be wrong. Sagan was committing popularizer charlatanry. As far as his image versus reality with his book Cosmos, Sagan was a fake. What Sagan was doing, and his readers may have lapped it up, was making his writing seem sophisticated and full of meaning. Everybody felt dazzled with his mind and the ideas he discussed, feeling good that they could even pronounce the words that Sagan was using, realizing that actually understanding what he was writing was less important than being impressed with his command of the language. With Sagan, it sometimes seemed that the bigger the word, the smaller the idea. Martin ended his critique with "Good English is honest English. Dr. Sagan's language is dishonest. A lot of people buy his books because they think they're buying difficult but profound thoughts simplified by a remarkable mind. Dr. Sagan is ripping these people off."
Sagan was not only the world's most famous scientist, he was also the world's most visible "skeptic." Sagan wrote numerous books and articles to debunk "fringe science" and the paranormal. The Demon-Haunted World was Sagan's last debunker book. I pick the book up from time to time, then put it down in my anger and dismay. Not all of Sagan's observations are off the mark. Some of what he has to say about the scientific establishment and other issues are worthy. One big problem is when he has no idea of what he is writing about and tries to appear an expert. One of the standard words in the debunker's lexicon is "pseudoscience." Sagan uses it dozens of times in The Demon-Haunted World. What does "pseudoscience" mean? Literally, it means "false science." It means something that is not science, parading around as science. What is science? There is a wide range of philosophical literature on that subject. The philosophy of science has a long history. Henry Bauer says the scientific method is a myth, an ideal seldom achieved. Thomas Kuhn says that scientific revolutions are the result of questioning the founding presumptions of a scientific discipline, and the new "paradigm" that science adopts may not be any more "correct" than the old paradigm, and what makes one prevail over another is the allegiance of the scientists, not really how right or wrong it is, if that can even be determined.
How does Sagan define and use "pseudoscience"? On page 13 of The Demon-Haunted World, Sagan gives examples of pseudoscience and why he calls them that. Sagan gives examples of paranormal events, such as if "dead people could take control of your hands and write us messages…or if our dreams could…accurately foretell the future. These are all instances of pseudoscience. They purport to use the methods and findings of science, while in fact they are faithless to its nature - often because they are based on insufficient evidence or because they ignore clues that point the other way." This site discusses metaphysics/mysticism and gives examples of the wide range of paranormal phenomena that I have experienced and produced. If, as Carl said, "dead people could take control of your hands and write us messages," that is a form of what is known as automatic writing. It is only one variation in a wide spectrum of phenomena known loosely as channeling. Channeling, in one form or another, is as old as history. People have been speaking for the dead, or having the dead speak or write through them, for thousands of years, or so they say. For the skeptics’ benefit, I will grant that the phenomenon has not been "proven" the way they want, which holds for every paranormal phenomenon that they have ever looked into. That is partly due to standards of evidence that rest on presumptions that defeat the very purpose of the "investigation." Yet, if I think my dead Aunt Betty is writing me a message through my own hand, how am I pretending that I am practicing science? I am not. How can it be pseudoscience when it does not even pretend to be science? At that point, Sagan is making the dishonest or ignorant assumption that science is the arbiter of reality, or at least what Sagan calls science and what Sagan calls reality. It is at that point that Sagan dons his priest's robes, becoming the authority of REALITY. The assumption that Sagan is making, and hoping his readers fall for his ruse, is that if something is real, it can be validated by science, and if science cannot validate it, it is not real. The greatest physicists did not believe that line of reasoning, but a much lesser light did, one who was the very pope of his materialistic faith. Sagan laid down a slippery slope of false logic, hoping his readers went along for the ride he prepared for them, where he denigrates and dismisses anything that materialistic science cannot explain. If science cannot explain it, or does not even have the tools to explore it, Sagan calls it pseudoscience. If my dreams show me future events, and I think they are valid, how am I pretending to practice science? I am not. If I think it is real and valid, am I practicing pseudoscience? According to Sagan I am. Since the practice of Western science is only a few centuries old, when the oracle of Delphi was in action thousands of years ago, how was that "pseudoscience," when science did not yet exist? Sagan pretended that science was something it is not. If I do not accept Carl's presumptions, I will not go skipping merrily down the path he has tried laying for his readers. This can seem like quibbling, but Sagan's materialistic writings and "investigations" have often done the opposite of bringing light into this world.
One of most egregious instances of Sagan's dishonesty was his treatment of the Face on Mars issue. On June 2, 1985, Sagan authored an article in Parade Magazine, a newspaper supplement in millions of Sunday newspapers across America. It was a name-calling article that had me thinking that maybe there was nothing to the Face at all. For the informed, however, Sagan’s article was an amazing piece of disinformation. Sagan knew exactly what he was doing. He was not misinformed. He knowingly lied about significant aspects of the Face on Mars controversy, and one lie qualified as a Big Lie.
Sagan was writing for the lay audience in Parade, addressing a readership in the tens of millions. A great burden of responsibility attends writing for the lay audience, as the “expert’s” science had better be as accurate as possible, because millions of people will read and heed their words, and are generally cannot tell if they are being deceived. Sagan did the opposite, taking advantage of his position to dispense scientific disinformation, not information. Sagan was aware of the independent image analysis being performed by various specialists, and the intriguing results being produced. His Parade Magazine article was artful, where he denigrated the qualifications of the image analysis researchers without naming them, calling them “amateur astronomers, flying saucer zealots, and writers of aerospace magazines.” His name-calling was one of five propaganda devices Stanley McDaniel analyzed on pages 148-158 of The McDaniel Report, and here is the Big Lie. The process of taking photographs from a probe millions of miles from earth, transmitting them, receiving them, and processing them is not perfect. One imperfection can be missing pixels from the images obtained. One term for them is “transmission error dots.” The raw images that came back from Mars had transmission error dots in them. It was a typical artifact of processing space probe data in the 1970s. Image analysis and processing is a sophisticated field. A number of the independent researchers who analyzed the Mars images were image analysis professionals, and during the years of following The Face on Mars controversy, I have become familiar with the rudiments of image analysis. There are many processes that can be used on images to refine them, and the professionals who worked on The Face images used everything in their bag of tricks. About the first thing the professionals did to the images was “remove” the transmission error dots. It was one of the process' most elementary steps. They used a program that interpolated values from neighboring pixels to arrive at a value to replace the missing data. Every processed image had the transmission error dots removed as a matter of course. Sagan studied the processed photographs that the Face researchers had produced long before he wrote the Parade Magazine article. Accompanying the Parade Magazine article was a photograph of The Face, but it was oddly processed, adding false color and obscuring its features. Strangely, the transmission error dots were left in. Such processing made little sense until reading the article and seeing the propaganda point Sagan made with the image. Of the many transmission error dots in the Face image, one fell where one might fancy a nostril. Every researcher knew it was a transmission error dot and not a nostril, something Sagan knew quite well. It was beneath mention to anybody familiar with the issue. A five-year-old boy could have figured out that the transmission error dot was not evidence of a “nostril.” Everybody associated with issue knew it. Sagan was writing for the lay audience in Parade, however, and his performance would have made Goebbels proud. Sagan stated, “If we look more carefully at the image, we see that a strategically placed ‘nostril’ is in fact a bit of lost data in the radio transmission from Mars to Earth.” The obvious implication was that the “flying-saucer zealot” investigators were being fooled by the transmission error dot, influencing their belief that The Face was artificial. Sagan made the researchers look like idiots to millions of American readers by telling a lie so cheap, so big, that there is no conceivable excuse for his behavior. Sagan knew exactly what he was doing. When I understood what he had done, my respect for his debunking work fell to about zero. Such behavior is blatantly dishonest. Sagan could also be quite arrogant in private. During the pre-Parade days of the Face on Mars controversy, Sagan received a lengthy report draft on the Face image with the reply, "It is not whether you're right or wrong sir. You have not even entered the discussion." (see The McDaniel Report, p. 157, n. 4) In The Demon-Haunted World, Sagan reproduces his Parade article nearly verbatim, and even repeats his "nostril" canard. Stanley McDaniel and crowd have been gracious regarding Sagan's disinformation efforts, and lauded his admission in The Demon-Haunted World, that the Face bore closer scrutiny. For his admission to be buried amidst his regurgitation of his Parade article, Sagan's acknowledgement was faint praise indeed. Sagan even wrote, "There was an unfortunate dismissal of the feature by a project official as a trick of light and shadow, which prompted a later accusation that NASA was covering up the discovery of the Millennium." (see The Demon-Haunted World, p. 53). The most famous dismissal by a project official was Carl Sagan's Parade article! Did he keep a straight face while writing that? Brian O'Leary, who was, with Sagan, the world's leading Mars expert for many years, was incensed with Sagan's Parade article, although Brian's big heart apologized for his anger toward Sagan, posthumously (see McDaniel and Paxson, eds., The Case for the Face, pp. 42-43.).
In my opinion, the artificiality of the Face on Mars has not been settled. Numerous web sites today deal with the issue, Richard Hoagland's The Enterprise Mission most prominent among them. NASA was guilty of eliminating about 90% of the data from the recent flyby image by removing 75% of the pixels and truncating the data's gray scale values, things they did not tell the public when the photos were released, and only partly admitted to when Hoagland and others publicly took them to task for it. There is good reason not to trust NASA's motivation on those issues. If NASA had processed a photograph of my face the way that they did that first Face image, my mother may not have recognized her son. The second image, the full one obtained in 2001, rules out artificiality for many, but there are still striking geometric features, such as its “headdress.” Although I do not lose any sleep over it, I await better data that might come along one day.
Sagan performed similarly in "debunking" other areas of the offbeat and paranormal. His performance on the Sirius-Dogon mystery was an instance of him shouting from his bully pulpit in the public eye, never allowing the other side to air their responses, and even continuing to write as if there was no credible opposition to his views. See Jerome Clark's Unexplained!, pp. 346-348 for a short summary of the performance of Sagan and his "skeptical" colleagues on that issue.
Another area of Sagan's debunking was his 1974 performance at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) symposium on the theories of Emmanuel Velikovsky. Sagan presented a paper that discussed his "ten problems" with Velikovsky's theories. I stumbled into that controversy several years ago and have read about 10,000 pages of material regarding Velikovsky's theories and the scientific establishment's attacks on him. I delved much further into the Velikovsky issue than I originally intended, partly because the legitimacy of his theories is contested, although on science’s fringes. His theories represent an ambitious synthesis of several areas of study, including mythology, geology, psychology, physics and astronomy. His theories cover such a broad range of topics that it would take many years of study for one person to properly assess. I do not believe Velikovsky's reconstructions of several planetary near-collisions in historical times, but I have not been quick to dispose of his theories into the "crackpot" bin, and I doubt there should be such a bin. The body of theory Velikovsky promoted is known as "catastrophic" theory. There is still heated debate regarding the legitimacy of Velikovsky's theories. I have taken up the study of the topic as a hobby, but it will take years of study to properly assess his theories as a whole, and I probably will never succeed in making a learned and complete assessment of his theories. However wrong Velikovsky may have been, how "uncredentialed" he was in many areas of speculation, he was treated mercilessly by the scientific establishment ever since his Worlds in Collision was published in 1950. Ironically, one of the few scientists who gave Velikovsky his ear was Albert Einstein, an academic colleague in Berlin in the 1920s, and a fellow Jew and Princeton resident in his last years. When Velikovsky's prediction that Jupiter would be found to emit radio waves was unexpectedly confirmed in 1955, Einstein was impressed, offered to help Velikovsky get other scientific testing done on his theories, and when he died soon thereafter, the one book open on his desk was Worlds in Collision. When space exploration data from NASA and the Soviet Union confirmed more of Velikovsky's predictions, interest was renewed in his theories, leading to the AAAS Symposium in 1974. In reality, the symposium was designed to publicly put the nails in Velikovsky's theoretical coffin. Sagan led what astronomer Tom Van Flandern called a "sneak attack." Their papers were given in a rigged forum, where Velikovsky was not given a chance to review their papers before they were presented, in order to properly respond to them. Sagan's presentation was the centerpiece of the symposium, and his paper was delivered with some of the smug demeanor that he was noted for. One of his one-liners made fun of Velikovsky's theories about what might have been deposited from Venus' atmosphere on earth in a planetary near miss. After Sagan delivered his paper, he never allowed himself to debate Velikovsky in a fair forum, and his bully pulpit job at the AAAS Symposium permanently killed any interest in Velikovsky's theories by the scientific community. The debate of his theories today takes place on the scientific world’s fringes. Velikovsky was not the first catastrophist, nor was he the last. Curiously, catastrophic theories are more acceptable today than in Velikovsky's day, being presented by credentialed scientists, the most accepted put forth by Bill Napier and Victor Clube. Recently there were two movies about asteroids/comets crashing into earth, as catastrophic theory has entered the popular imagination. Velikovsky's name probably should not be uttered in the same breath as Einstein's, but he did not deserve the attacks he received from the scientific establishment. The astronomer Harlow Shapley, who led the attack on Velikovsky in 1950, wrote a threatening letter (he waged a boycott) to Velikovsky’s publisher, calling Velikovsky’s work the “Black Arts.” However accurate Sagan's critique of Velikovsky may have been, the way he delivered it, letting his reputation outweigh his arguments (obvious by his never dealing publicly with the issue again; his paper was supposed to be a deathblow to Velikovskian theory) was the kind of unfair treatment that Sagan would later display regarding the Face on Mars issue.
There is much more to say about Sagan's career as a defender of the scientific establishment and a debunker, but not here.
 Randi has put up a “reward” for many years for “proof” of the paranormal. It used to be a $10,000 reward. Apparently, debunking can be a lucrative career, and Randi has raised the reward to $1 million (apparently also with donations from supporters of his cause). Mr. Skeptic has worked with Randi, and apparently got Randi to extend his reward to Free Energy. I asked Dennis about it, and he said Randi’s reward was written so that Dennis could never collect it. Randi apparently wrote his "offer" with the skill of the cleverest lawyer, giving himself an "out." I would never stoop to going after Randi's money, and I doubt Dennis would have. His "The money was never safer" (Flim-Flam, p. 252) boast/joke clearly displays his mentality. Randi's "offer" is not made in the spirit of impartial investigation, but more as an arrogant boast that he is right, and dares the world to prove to him otherwise. I thought about Dennis' comment on Randi's offer, and wondered if Randi was hedging his bet a little. I studied Randi’s work over the years and he seemed honest, if perhaps narrow-minded. Recently I read something that made me wonder about Randi’s integrity. In Dennis Rawlins' account of a CSICOP scandal (they fudged their numbers, and it would be the last time CSICOP did any original research), he wrote unflattering things about Randi. Rawlins was and is a firm “skeptic” of paranormal phenomena, but he also professed to believe in doing honest research into the subject. Rawlins’ experience gave plenty of evidence for the political nature of CSICOP and its mission. Honest skeptics doing what they think is honest investigation is laudable, if limited by the investigator’s beliefs. Those who appear to be less than saints run CSICOP, as with virtually every other organization. Mr. Skeptic's indefensible libel piece on Dennis is one example of many. The Rawlins scandal evidenced the ugly power politics that plagues nearly every organization. Phil Klass wrote a rebuttal to Rawlins' account of the scandal. Rawlins too-cleverly titled his essay "sTARBABY." Rawlins should not be taken at his word about the scandal. Klass' rebuttal at least seemed to stick to the facts, but in Klass' inimitable style, he could not refrain from making many observations on Rawlins' character and integrity (none of them flattering), but the title Klass chose for his rebuttal was the typical class CSICOP is known for. Klass titled his article "Crybaby." Rawlins had intimate interaction with James Randi while the scandal began unfolding. Randi was apparently involved in doing damage control on Rawlins. According to Rawlins, Randi was part of an effort to keep Rawlins quiet and in line with the debunking program. Rawlins wrote that Randi spent considerable time with Rawlins, and threatened him to keep him silent. The scandal was brewing in 1978, and Randi apparently did his part in trying to keep the scandal from becoming public. According to Rawlins, Phil Klass was also one of those trying to keep the scandal quiet. Rawlins' account confirmed my experiences with the CSICOP crowd, but one thing surprised me. Back when Rawlins was with CSICOP, Randi’s “challenge” was only $10,000. During Randi’s long, soulful talks with Rawlins, Rawlins says Randi admitted that he planned on never paying out the $10,000 reward because, “I always have an out.” See Rawlins, sTARBABY, The Velikovskian, vol. II, no. 1, p. 39. Rawlins further states that Randi plays policeman, judge and jury for his “challenge” tests, and “thus has never supported my idea of neutral judgment of CSICOP tests.” Rawlins said that Randi’s motivation, as revealed in a confidential memo Randi wrote, was keeping the issue quiet so the “irrationalists” would have nothing to crow about, because CSICOP could “not afford to wash its dirty linen in public." If what Rawlins wrote was true, and I have little doubt it is not, and I heard Dennis say almost the same thing, then Randi may have to join company with Carl Sagan. Randi seemed a true believer in his cause, but having an “out” on his challenge shows that he may not be quite the true disbeliever he presents himself as. Randi may be one more debunker of questionable integrity, but one with the gall to put up a $1 million challenge he may plan on never paying, because he gives himself an "out."
Richard Milton (whose site is defunct as of early
2008), analyzed Randi's million-dollar challenge on his web site, and presented
an instance of somebody submitting his entry to Randi, and Randi’s telling reply.
Claiming to have not eaten for years is certainly an “extraordinary claim,” and Randi has publicly stated that such claims can be submitted him for testing. In fact, Randi has staked his reputation and CSICOP’s (Randi was recently the CSICOP president) on his challenge relating to paranormal phenomena. However, when a claimant submitted himself for testing, instead of setting up a test that can easily prove or disprove the claim (put the man in a locked room, with access to water and no other nourishment, and periodically weigh him), Randi refused to accept the claim for testing, instead calling the man a “liar and a fraud” for even making the claim. It appears that Randi’s response indeed exposed a “liar and a fraud,” but it was not the claimant who was exposed. This is not the only time that Randi and his organization has played it far less than fairly regarding his million-dollar challenge.
In an interview with Mr. Skeptic in the 1990s, Randi said that a debunker should never make up his/her mind about the phenomenon being investigated until the evidence is examined. It would be nice if Randi would take his own advice.
The debunking/investigating that may do some good for the world is telling the real story about fluoride, telling the real story about the cancer racket, exposing our murderous political system for what it is, showing how legitimate our energy industry is. That kind of "debunking" could save millions of lives, make this world a vastly better place and perhaps help save our species from self-annihilation. Of course, that kind of debunking takes on the powerful and can lead to misery and an early death. Debunking psychics does not.
Trying to show the world that Uri Geller is a charlatan is pedestrian debunking. Where the Randis of the world have fallen into their holes is not in believing that Geller is a fraud. If he is, sure, expose him. I know people who do not think Geller is a fraud (with credible stories to tell), but may be a trickster, always keeping somebody like Randi guessing. That is not the hole Randi fell into. The hole he fell into was not believing that Geller had no paranormal ability, but believing that Randi himself has no paranormal ability. Because Randi, Sagan, etc. believe that they are merely bags of chemicals, although complicated ones, they project that belief onto everything that they see, practicing materialistic fundamentalism. If Randi was able to open his mind just a little, he could readily produce paranormal phenomena for himself, and not just for the sake of the phenomena. Once people witness or produce irrefutable paranormal phenomena for themselves, it often leads to the idea that maybe they are not just a bag of chemicals, and that leads to a certain comfort that all the materialistic "science" can never take away, and can open up new realms to explore, such as the realm of the soul. Reality is not out there, it is in here.
Having paranormal ability and what it entails has nothing whatsoever to do with superstition, although Randi thinks so. Superstition, as with materialism, is putting the power outside of one's self. Walking the light path is putting the power into ourselves, and granting others their own inner light. The Randis and Sagans of the world are trying to banish that inner light, although they seem to think that sterile reason is all the inner light anybody needs. Fundamental materialism is a dreary philosophy, but it somehow exhilarates the world’s Sagans and Randis, although it seems to have been part of making them such reportedly unpleasant men.
 Mr. Skeptic first published a web site about Dennis in September 1996, the day after Dennis’s Philadelphia show, and I began communicating with him in November 1996. By early 1997, Mr. Skeptic stated that he had spent hundreds of hours “investigating” Dennis. Mr. Skeptic often could not get his basic facts straight about Dennis, but one thing became clear early in our brief Internet relationship and during a three-hour conversation with him in early 1997: Mr. Skeptic was becoming increasingly desperate to demonstrate that Dennis’s efforts were inspired by criminal motivation, and the word “fraud” constantly spilled from his mouth and keyboard. In the legal world, fraud is a criminal matter, because it makes a determination regarding the accused’s state of mind. If somebody has been convicted of or pled guilty to fraud, the legal finding is that their intent was to deceive their victims. Dennis has never pled guilty to intentionally deceiving anybody, and has never been convicted of that crime. Because of the intent aspect of fraud, it has always been defined and prosecuted under criminal law. Civil law, on the other hand, does not deal with criminal intent. In both Washington and California, Dennis was prosecuted and “convicted” under civil law.
In Washington in 1985-1986, there were never any criminal charges brought against Dennis or his company, so fraud charges were never filed. Not only was Dennis not prosecuted for fraud in Washington, the Deputy Attorney General leading the prosecution officially stated that Dennis’s state of mind was not on trial.
In California, the prosecution was waged using civil law. When they originally arrested Dennis with a million-dollar bail and handed out promotions all around, they piled on some fraud charges (so they could try for life-in-prison, as life in prison for a civil law “violation” would be a bit of a stretch, even for them). When I mortgaged my life to give Dennis a prayer in those rigged proceedings, it led to Dennis’s release on his own recognizance within six weeks of my quixotic gesture. Once Dennis was free and able to defend himself, the prosecution quickly dropped all of the criminal charges. In open court the prosecution admitted that they were not prosecuting Dennis for criminal intent, which the judge also made clear. That is why Dennis calls himself the “accidental felon,” because the prosecution and court admitted that they never demonstrated criminal intent, and Dennis’s prison records even said his “crime” was failing to register his marketing plan under civil law, which was classified as a misdemeanor. In kangaroo court, failing to file a form and pay $50 becomes a felony, even though the lawyer who wrote the law estimated that up to 100,000 Californians had committed the same “crime,” and Dennis is the only person ever who will ever spend time behind bars for that “crime.”
In addition, the settlement in Washington and plea bargain in California were only accomplished by the prosecution and judge taking people hostage and forcing Dennis to capitulate. In Washington, the prosecution took Dennis’s customers hostage, and Dennis only settled because his customers voted for him to settle. Dennis calls it the dirtiest deal he ever did. In California, the judge took Dennis’s attorney hostage.
The official records are clear: Dennis was not prosecuted for fraud in Washington; he did not plead guilty to fraud, and was not convicted of it, in California. Dennis has published those facts in his books, usually by presenting or quoting the official documentation (court transcripts, prison records, official correspondence from the prosecutors, etc.). Mr. Skeptic had all of that information in his hands by late 1996. For several years (and it may still be true) Mr. Skeptic maintained an essay on his site from my original 1996-1997 website that presented the evidence of what happened to Dennis in Washington and Ventura, which cited the many official documents presented in Dennis’s books. I stopped interacting with Mr. Skeptic in April 1997, when I left Dennis’s company.
The official documentation regarding the prosecutions of Dennis has always been readily available; the officials in Washington and California have always been happy to present their documentary evidence to anybody who asked, even express-mailing it.
None of the official documentation that Mr. Skeptic ever saw demonstrated criminal intent on Dennis’s part. As Mr. Skeptic interacted with people who knew the facts of Dennis’s journey, because we had been there, we always easily invalidated his theories about Dennis’s criminality, which he tacitly admitted by abandoning his new line of “evidence” that Dennis was a criminal, and doggedly searched for others. It took some digging for Mr. Skeptic to find the articles he quoted at the end of his Skeptical Inquirer article. If Mr. Skeptic even cited those 1992-1993 articles accurately, they are about the only articles I am aware of that actually lied about the legal actions against Dennis, insofar as stating that he was prosecuted for fraud in Washington and pled guilty to fraud in California.
Mr. Skeptic’s article should be put into its proper context. His article was not an off-the-cuff post in an Internet forum, an ill-advised email or part of his many writings on his website. The Skeptical Inquirer article was Mr. Skeptic’s initial fifteen minutes of fame. The aspiring debunker finally made the big time, having an article published in the house organ of the “skeptical” movement. His use of those libelous articles was a careful and conscious act, because those were about the only existing documents that he might credibly cite that “proved” that Dennis had criminal intent. Mr. Skeptic had to present a veneer of academic respectability, particularly in a magazine that claims to speak for rational people. When it came time to go on the record, did Mr. Skeptic cite any official documents? He did not even cite the many libelous articles that were written in California and Washington, but found something from a Utah newspaper that provided the “facts” he needed to make his case.
Libel is not only intentionally defaming somebody, but it is also having a reckless disregard for the truth while attacking somebody in print. If Mr. Skeptic did not commit libel with his Skeptical Inquirer article, then nobody has ever committed that crime.
When I allowed Mr. Skeptic to call me in early 1997, I did not have time to talk with him, but I could not get him off the phone. During the three-hour conversation, it became clear that he was fishing for dirt, and really did not want to understand the multifaceted, harrowing challenge that Dennis took on when he began pursing alternative energy. Several times during our conversation, Mr. Skeptic led the discussion to where he hoped the dirt was, and would then exclaim, rather triumphantly, during my explanation, “There is where Dennis committed fraud.” I would then try to explain what happened, to give a fuller picture, and then Mr. Skeptic would lead the conversation in another direction, to end up with, “There is where Dennis committed fraud.” He was like a broken record, and I said to myself, my patience waning, “This guy just doesn’t get it.” When I read his Skeptical Inquirer article several months later, I realized that he did “get it,” quite clearly. When he found nothing that proved that Dennis had criminal motivation, he dredged up libelous newspaper clippings to make his case. It is ironic that Mr. Skeptic committed criminal libel in his quest to paint Dennis as a crook. But just as George Bush will likely never find himself on a war crimes tribunal docket, or Bill the BPA Hit Man will never be charged for any of his immense crimes, Mr. Skeptic will never find himself prosecuted for his libel, because he was committing his crimes on behalf of the people who run the world, whether he did it wittingly on their behalf or not.
For a moment, let us continue to give Mr. Skeptic the benefit of the doubt. His reporting that Dennis was prosecuted for fraud in Washington and pled guilty to fraud in California was obviously a false rendering of the events. Mr. Skeptic was repeatedly informed that he had committed libel, a libel that was easily proved. If Mr. Skeptic possessed a shred of integrity, he was given ample opportunity to display it. He could have mitigated his crime by contacting the Skeptical Inquirer and having the libel retracted. To my knowledge, Mr. Skeptic has never even acknowledged his libel, calling his article “funny” on his debunking site. Far from uttering any mea culpas, Mr. Skeptic has only stepped up his rhetoric since 1997, constantly harping on Dennis’s “criminal” past. Mr. Skeptic attacked Dennis on a site devoted to exploring the “enigma” of Dennis Lee in early 2006, and began by noting that Dennis “pled guilty to multiple felony counts” in California, which is technically true but misleading. If Mr. Skeptic can deceive his readers into thinking that Dennis pled guilty to criminal intent, his disinformational task becomes easier.
It is difficult to overstate Mr. Skeptic’s crime in the name of “skepticism.” Many corrupt public officials were compensated quite handsomely (1, 2) to remove Dennis from the alternative energy scene, as well as paid provocateurs. Millions of dollars were spent, both officially and in under-the-table graft, to convict Dennis of criminal intent in California. They never did, and instead “got” Dennis for failing to file a form and pay $50. The judge in the case even openly admitted that failing to file that form was his crime, and they never even tried to prove criminal intent after Dennis got out of jail and was able to defend himself. The full might of the local judicial system could not convict Dennis of criminal intent, and Mr. Skeptic always knew it, but when the time came to go on the record, he cited newspaper clippings that he knew to be libelous to make his case that Dennis pled guilty to criminal intent. Mr. Skeptic’s libel, while not as egregious as Mr. Deputy’s great crimes, unmasked himself to anybody with eyes to see. In late 2008, I also became more than half convinced that Mr. Skeptic is being compensated for his “skepticism.” I could be wrong, but too many strange events happened around the time that Mr. Skeptic set up his Internet presence as a “skeptic” for me to chalk it all up to coincidence.
Mr. Skeptic is dishonest, criminally so, and all of his writings about Dennis should be read, if they are worth reading at all, with that in mind.
 See Dennis Lee’s The Alternative, p. 63.
 See Dennis Lee's My Quest, p. 6.
 The literature is vast in this area. There are three epic books written or edited by Churchill and Vander Wall: The COINTELPRO papers, Cages of Steel, and Agents of Repression. Also, see the periodical Covert Action Quarterly, and Parenti, Dirty Truths. The crushing of dissent and positive action in this country is merely the domestic version of what the United States has been doing to countries around the world for many years. For the international versions of that phenomenon, see Chomsky, Deterring Democracy; Chomsky and Herman, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism, and Blum, Killing Hope. For the latest target of the FBI and our police state – environmentalists – see Helvag, The War against the Greens.
 See M. Wesley Swearingen’s FBI Secrets: Agent’s Exposé, pp. 88-89.
 Weinglass. Race for Justice. p. 270.
 For instance, in 1996 Raymond Carter was released from ten years behind bars, with a judge ruling that his conviction was obtained by a police officer paying a prostitute $500 for the appropriate testimony. The policeman in question is currently in prison himself. Information located at Mr. Skeptic’s “Hate Groups” web site, the organization Refuse & Resist! at 305 Madison Ave., Suite 1166, New York, NY 10165.
 See Weinglass. Race for Justice for a succinct summary of the judicial irregularities that lead to Abu-Jamal’s conviction. Weinglass was Abu Jamal's attorney, so some bias is expected, but millions of people think the same way Weinglass does. The evidence shouts out at rational observers. "Justice" would not be served by executing a gadfly journalist.
 According to Amnesty International, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Yemen are the only nations that have executed people for crimes committed as children since 1990. The United States has executed more children than those other nations.
 Robbins. Diet for a New America. p. 367.
 Robbins. Diet for a New America. p. 368.
 See Eric Schlosser’s article in Mother Jones, August 2001.
 Gowe, R.S. Director of the Animal Research Institute in Canada, quoted at the conference on “Livestock Intensive Methods of Production,” Ottawa, Dec 6-7, 1978. Cited in Robbins. Diet for a New America. p. 64.
 Charles Mayo. .Quoted by William H. Hendrix, New York Daily News, Mar. 13, 1961. Cited in PETA fact sheet. “Animal Experimentation: Sadistic Scandal.” May 15, 1997.
 Kovel, Joel. “What’s Wrong with McDonald’s?” Z Magazine, September 1997, p. 28.
 Kovel, Joel. “What’s Wrong with McDonald’s?” Z Magazine, September 1997, p. 26.
 Kovel, Joel. “What’s Wrong with McDonald’s?” Z Magazine, September 1997, p. 26.
 Kovel, Joel. “What’s Wrong with McDonald’s?” Z Magazine, September 1997, p. 26.
 By Henry I. Miller. “The cutting edge of cutting calories.” The Washington Times, April 16, 1998.
 CSIRO Australia “Keep Off the Grass - Reduce Air Pollution” media release, April 20, 1998.
 Press release of February 9, 1994. “Pure Food Campaign Viewed as Disservice to Sound Science. TASSC Attacks Critics of Bovine Somatotropin (BST).”
 “Drugs That Kill Instead of Cure” Editorial, The New York Times. April 18, 1998.
 “Weight Loss, Not Weight Gain, A Health Risk For Older Adults.” University of Washington. Press release of April 8, 1998.
 From Milloy’s “Junk Science at Large, Hall of Shame” page, downloaded on April 20, 1998.
 Milloy, Steven. “Relax...You Might Not Be Doomed” Public Risk. February 1997.
 From the “About Junk Science FAQs,” downloaded on April 20, 1998.
 See Elisa Ong and Stanton Glantz’s “Constructing ‘Sound Science’ and ‘Good Epidemiology’: Tobacco, Lawyers and Public Relations Firms,” American Journal of Public Health, Nov. 2001, Vol. 91, No. 11, pp. 1749-1757.
 There is a short book that lists dozens of those fake environmental organizations titled, The Greenpeace Guide to Anti-environmental Organizations, published by Odonian Press. Those fake environmental organizations are one more avenue of assault on the environmental movement, mainly bankrolled by large corporations.
 See PR Watch, third quarter 2000, vol. 7, no. 3, “How big tobacco helped create ‘the Junkman.’” See also from the same issue, “The Usual Suspects: Industry Hacks Turn Fear on Its Head.”
 Gore Vidal wittily calls the "two-party" U.S. political system "one party with two right wings." He even has purposely confused the two on national TV, referring to a suited chap who called himself a liberal "the conservative" and vice versa, while they "debated." See Vidal, The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, which is a brief, extremely engaging and funny introduction to Vidal's views on the U.S. political environment.
 Chomsky, Noam. Rethinking Camelot, JFK, the Vietnam War and US Political Culture. Boston: South End Press, 1993.
 See Parenti, Michael. Dirty Truths. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1996. pp. 153-191.
 Smith, Phillip. “Off the Shelf” Book Review, Covert Action, Summer 1995.
The Next Section: The Handiwork of the BPA Hit Man (33K)
Return to My Home Page (The address on the Internet of my home page is http://www.ahealedplanet.net/home.htm)