Monday, January 25, 2021

Inauguration Predictions Come True?

 Did Inauguration predictions come true?

Current artist drew the 21 year comparison.

See also the blog posting I wrote in the past about Senator Kamala Harris being our future president, as shown in an Andy Thomas painting.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

The Dirty Little Secrets of Twilight Forteans

The Dirty Little Secrets of Twilight Forteans 

"Next time the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.” ~  Sterry Ks

The following discussion contains thoughts on holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis, regular Nazis, Nazi sympathizers, fascists, anti-Semites, anti-zionists, racists, bullies, abusive men, and more. Also mention is made of William Grimstad, Jim Brandon, H. P. Lovecraft, Susan Saxe, Walt Disney, Charles Lindbergh, Philip Johnson, and others.

“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly. The world is messy, there are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids. And share certain things with you.” ~ Barack Obama, October 29, 2019.

Past is Prologue

Let us begin at the beginning of this episode.

With Blake Smith, at Cryptid Con, September 9, 2017, Kentucky.

Blake Smith with the Matt Griffith model of the Dover Demon, Cryptid Con, September 11, 2017. Photo by Loren Coleman.

On the last day of the year 2020, Blake Smith of MonsterTalk and other podcasts, posted that he "wouldn't be that excited about meeting a Nazi holocaust denier...I'm very disappointed at how respected he apparently is in some Fortean circles."

Having done some research, Smith had found that the author of The Rebirth of Pan (1983), one Jim Brandon, who, as well, authored Weird America (1978), was noted by me and others in the Fortean literature. Brandon was also the author of other, non-Fortean, books, including Antizion and The Six Million Reconsidered


"Brandon" was more than a Fortean author, he was something else.

Smith passed along that "Both [of the latter books] were written by William Grimstad, a professional anti-Semite. Grimstad is also a registered foreign agent of the Saudi Arabian government and the Saudi Embassy paid him $20,000 in June 1987 for the blatantly anti-Semitic Antizion."

Smith continued later with "do you repudiate this Nazi lover or just want to keep hiding his 'secret' racist alter-ego?"

And "It really bothers me, @CryptoLoren, that you've promoted his work for so long while protecting his Nazi alter-ego yet spend so much time talking about secret twilight language and hidden meaning. Red Dawn. The Matrix. Is the only 'Neo' you can't see the one in front of 'Nazi?'"

Finishing out the year, Smith wrote: "I just want to make sure we all know that William Grimstad (Jim Brandon) is a neo Nazi."

The Daily Grail chimed in with this: "Some worthwhile information for Forteans when evaluating the work of ‘Jim Brandon’ (nom de plume of one William Grimstad), of The Rebirth of Pan fame. He was a straight up white supremacist and Holocaust denier, associated with David Duke."

On January 1, 2021, even though I have a long history of anti-racism and anti-fascism in print, in action, and in conversations with associates, I found myself combating claims that I was "promoting" a Holocaust denier "without adding any Nazi disclaimers," as Smith tweeted on the first day of the New Year.

Blake Smith then wrote on January 1, 2021: "All I'm asking is that going forward either don't promote Brandon, or introduce him as a Nazi."

My reply was to the point and said "I’ll have more to say but not on Twitter. 2021 deserves better than to continue with a culture of tweets."

Also in another January 1, 2021 tweet, Smith wrote: "Just do better, Loren. That's all I'm asking."

I am not willing to rush into quick replies via tweets. That's not me. Besides, I understand "defensiveness" is not a great approach to discussions like this. My response, via this blog, had to be thoughtful.

A couple of thoughts, first.

On April 13, 2011, "Lauren" at Goodreads wrote: "William Grimstad is a published Holocaust denier." 

It's a fact known to well-read Fortean writers; in conversations with associates since the 1980s, I was asked, "Who is Brandon?" I answered the query completely, that he is a revisionist, Holocaust denier, anti-Zionist, and I disagree deeply with all those thoughts I've learned about from him, but not through tweets. (Because many of these conversations were held in person, and in earlier, pre-Twitter times, I do not have, what "cancel culture" folks call, "receipts.")

Trying to share my insights, I have found, via tweets, is not conducive to detailed exchanges. It often is, as I said in one reply, a "trap." 

Besides, many of us, established in the field, are aware that Jim Brandon/Bill Grimstad is extremely litigious. As someone said during this exchange, people were unsure if calling Grimstad "names" constituted slander and were opening themselves up to torts. What if, for example as they put it, he was "only" an anti-Zionist and not an anti-Semite, when he was discussing the reality of the Holocaust, and where did hate crime begin and his freedom of speech end? It was a bit scary for penniless Forteans. Righteous fury is noble, but sadly, not always practical.

By the time in 2020 this was being re-examined, one person was asking me to do one thing and Blake was asking me to do what some might read as the opposite. I was getting confused in TwitterLand. After all, I joined Twitter in August 2011, but I've been blogging since 2004, had written articles beginning in 1969, and publishers had been releasing my books from 1975 onward. 

I'm old-fashioned; I think deeply before writing. And still, in the face of ridiculous personal accusations and with an eye on distancing myself as completely as possible from Brandon/Grimstad and his repugnant beliefs, I did try to appease Blake and others by deleting the "offensive" tweets where I was purportedly "promoting" a Neo-Nazi, and by adding disclaimers on previous blog postings, as recommended, although nothing I had written promoted or even referenced Brandon's later, vile, and controversial work.

To "Hayley Stevens," who had joined Blake Smith's thread, and was celebrating getting "free coffees" in response to what she was saying in supportive response to Blake's tweets, on Twitter and her personal blog, I replied on January 1, 2021, "I am being responsive to both of your points ~ as diverse as they might be. I am surveying my output and seeing what makes sense to insert awareness keyed to focused postings that are referenced most often. If you know my output, you know I have been against fascism since 1947."

I was not being sarcastic. I was born in Norfolk, Virginia, at the end of World War II, with my abusive father still in the U.S. Navy, near the naval base. Everyone in my family had just spent the war fighting fascism in the Pacific and Nazis in Europe. My Native grandmother was killed by a white man. I was bullied by vets because I was a Vietnam War C.O. (There's more, but there will be a Part Two.)

As a person whose own family fought Fascism and Nazis on the front lines, I should be, and am, offended at the bold implication that I somehow support either. But rather than sink into the impassioned vulgarity of the vocabulary-deficient, I’m choosing to look at this critically, and while I will not forget, I will forgive.

Ms. Stevens wrote back: "Okay, I understand. I thought you were just providing that you'd always used disclaimers when this was in fact a recently added one."

By the end of the January 1, 2021, Blake Smith sent me a two-word tweet: "Thank you."

Enter "Jim Brandon"

"Jim Brandon," little did I know when I first began reading him, is more than an innocent Fortean. That is a false persona, but just as many began learning in 2020, when they did a little research, he is a neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier, and anti-Semite. I found this out through researching the life of "William Grimstad."

In many ways, Sun Tzu's advice was my path in this realm: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." But this was 2020, and I apologize for not keeping some friends even closer.

So how did we get here? 

Forteans first became aware of William Grimstad after his appearance in the Spring 1978 issue of Fortean Times magazine. Grimstad wrote an essay on his findings, entitled “Fateful Fayette,” in that issue.  

As one commentary said years later, "Since then, the subject has been expanded upon and expounded upon by many other researchers, most notably by author Loren Coleman. Coleman suggested that Lafayette visited certain places in America for symbolic and spooky reasons."

William Grimstad's "Fayette" theorizing passages were viewed as conceptual Fortean folkloric facts that are fictions or nonfictions, but, first and foremost, they were seen by me as ideas.

I shortly afterward wrote an article for Fortean Times in which I saw evidence of Fortean events happening in Devil-named places.  That piece was one I had been working on for a time, long before I heard of Grimstad/Brandon.

In "Devil Names and Fortean Places," in Fortean Times, no. 29, Summer 1979, I retroactively analyzed specific locations to discover indigenous peoples and colonial settlers had named these areas after sinister entities to forewarn travelers and future homesteaders they might want to be careful in exploring and living in those spots.

I gave examples in Fortean Times and my followup re-writes of Devil-, Hockomock- (Algonquin for "devil"), Diablo-, and similarly named sites.

Grimstad's article pointed out something similar with “Fayette-named” places. The precursor namers were tied to America's founding fathers (mostly Freemasons), and the idea seemed novel.

Please note. I was not "promoting" Grimstad, but talking about examining an idea, and instead wondering about the elements of the theory, such as General Lafayette's 1824 "tour of America" when he was welcomed to Masonic lodges all over the country. This was "credit," not "praise" for an idea. It was not the "promotion" of the author.

I was young and naive about the author but started digging and found the writer - one William Grimstad, using the name Jim Brandon - wrote a book entitled Weird America (1978) and was planning a followup, The Rebirth of Pan (1983). I was in the process of getting my book Mysterious America (1983) ready for publication.  In the final editing of my 1983 book, I inserted a harshly written passage about the "Fayette Factor" (my invented alliteration) in my "Name Game" chapter, and said, frankly, read The Rebirth of Pan, to form your own opinions. 

This person’s ideas on the name game fit within my earlier correspondence I'd had with John Keel about names, in the late 1960s. These included McDaniel, Reeves/Reaves, Maddox, Allen, and Hill from Keel, and ones like Wetzel, Decatur, Hobbs, Rowan, Logan, and Coleman, from me.

By extension, I knew nothing about Brandon/Grimstad’s Holocaust denier background when he offered to give me his Pan book 38 years ago, which he had autographed. Blake Smith’s 2020 quip about “not wanting to meet with a Holocaust denier” is temporally out-of-context.

When I learned of Grimstad’s background as a far-right supporter, revisionist, Holocaust denier, and more, I was horrified. Realizing I could not rehabilitate him, at all, I felt I could cherry-pick his “Fateful Fayette” ideas and decided to interpret what I wanted of his Fortean notions as the “Fayette Factor.”

In the 1980s, despite my recommendation that folks read The Rebirth of Pan, I didn’t see that as “advocating” on the behalf of Grimstad, so much as asking people to “critically digest” it. What I found was people were not even reading it and continued to base their opinions on a reflective sense of its contents.

I am only human, and oftentimes a weak one, at that. As a young man, when I realized that Grimstad was known also as a Holocaust denier, I was shocked by my naivety. I was instantly reminded of an experience (almost a post-traumatic flashback) of my Enema Bandit investigations of Illinois. Soon after John A. Keel began corresponding with me in 1969 (when I was 21), he wrote me after he heard I was looking into the Enema Bandit crimes. Keel told me that people in New York City engaged in sexualized games where they urinated on each other in "golden showers" and gave each other enemas, as "fun." I was aghast and embarrassed by my Midwestern innocence; I had no idea.

My creeping skin moments when hearing those behaviors shot through my body again when I learned Grimstad did not consider the Holocaust a fact, and, indeed, was a Holocaust debunker. How could I reconcile the neo-Nazi stance of Grimstad in a Fortean cosmos? I could not. More importantly, I did not.

The most unfortunate thing about Hayley Stevens' December 31, 2020, comments: "You're either anti-fascist or not. There isn't an option where you just ignore the fascism because it's inconvenient. You don't tip toe around Holocaust denial," is that they are soooo very incorrect.

However, if one begins with an untrue premise, naturally, they must be excused for painting me with the broad strokes they are using on their assaults.

Stevens blogs: "For context, Jim Brandon/William Grimstad (whom I’m going to just call Brandon from here) is the author of a book called The Rebirth of Pan. I’m not overly familiar with this book (I haven’t read it)...."

For those who have been paying attention, Grimstad allegedly appeared in the "counterculture" even before the Fortean Times piece, via Robert Anton Wilson (Cosmic Trigger, 1977), to Timothy Leary, John Lilly, San Francisco Phoenix, the S.L.A., and Patty Hearst. 

Flash forward to 2021, what happens when people become "woke" to Lovecraft, Crowley, Hoffman, and the others who are "horrible people?" The stampede to the doors will be incredible.

I'll admit and I have admitted to my faults, but please don't accuse me of supporting Holocaust deniers just because you didn't do your own homework. 
“Never wrestle with a pig,” as George Bernard Shaw said. “You both get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

Grimstad's Anti-isms Are Everywhere

Despite the claims of those who have not read The Rebirth of Pan, and now are critical of those who have read it, it is not difficult nowadays to discover it is a well-known fact that Grimstad is a Holocaust denier. But here's the rub, Grimstad dropped the Brandon identity since 1983. For those who looked, nevertheless, finding that Grimstad had a history of Holocaust denial was easy.

Many people, post-George Floyd, post-the toppling of the Albert Pike statue, are applauding themselves for bringing forth that Jim Brandon-Bill Grimstad held neo-Nazi beliefs. They should be applauded. But it was already part of that history that some of these same people throw to the side, in their anti-boomer push for renewal. 

“Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana.

One such example concerns the line: "If a Jew be called upon to explain any part of the rabbinic books, he ought to give only a false explanation. One who transgresses this commandment will be put to death." This is alleged to be a quote from a book titled Libbre David (alternatively Livore David). No such book exists in the Talmud or elsewhere.[149]The title is assumed to be a corruption of Dibre David, a work published in 1671.[150] Reference to the quote is found in an early Holocaust denial book, The Six Million Reconsidered by William Grimstad.[151] ~  Talmud

[James Shelby] Downard was assisted in many of his earlier works by his good friend, William N. Grimstad. Grimstad is better known as Jim Brandon, author of the Fortean classics, Weird America: A Guide to Places of Mystery in the United States and The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit. In the early 1970s he was assisted in his writing and editing by John and Darlene Cox in Lake Havasu; then, later in the early 1980s he resided with John and Karen Bissell in Estacada, Oregon where Karen typed his manuscripts and John assisted with research. ~ James Shelby Downard 

The Tentacles of Influence

Those who did read his two 1978-1983 Fortean books, discovered Grimstad’s created alter-ego "Jim Brandon" did not place any hidden plot of neo-Nazism in these Fortean books. Do not read my words as saying I supported his fascist tracts (which, of course, even when I did not know about them or when I did). Quite the opposite. But I felt a reading and using of his databits or “Fortean units” of analysis, as they were called at the time, were not diffuse tentacles of an octopus that would infect the Fortean world. For heaven's sake. They were about unexplained phenomena, creatures, ley lines, and weird names.

In a parallel world - that of the universe of H.P. Lovecraft - we all realize today that the extreme racism and Nazi sympathizer tendencies of that honored, respected horror-goth fiction writer’s Cthulhu infiltrated his tentacles everywhere. Lovecraft’s influence may be beyond comprehension.

If readers of Jim Brandon’s two works from 1978-1983 can point out to me any Holocaust denying in his Fortean speculations, I say ignore Brandon and I shall be the first one to root them out with you.

But do people wish me to quit mentioning or merely to “drop in” a tag that "Jim Brandon" is a Holocaust denier or a neo-Nazi every time I write about him? Should I not credit his concepts or stop crediting him as a source? Would my actions fringe on censorship and lockstep obedience as practiced by the fascists or communists, which indeed, ironically, now seems to be demanded by the "woke"?

Something tells me there are no right answers, but I'll attempt an action anyway.

Blake Smith writes: "This is me asking you to not support literal Nazis by hiding or covering for their background. I'm asking you to stop sharing Grimstad's work with colleagues UNLESS you also let people know that his other hobby is denying the holocaust."

And, from Smith, after he said I was deleting some items to add clarifications: "Scrubbing history is not the same as being responsible. All I'm asking is that going forward either don't promote Brandon, or introduce him as a Nazi."

Beside disagreeing with the implied meaning of "promotion," I have, to a fault, a habit, reputation, and practice of "crediting" people forever for concepts, writings, art, and other items that I use from them.

But that's my psychological fight against the "imposter syndrome," as I hardly think I deserve the praise I often receive.

So let me try this. Henceforth, since I have built, researched, banked, and booked almost 40 years of effort and thought into the "Fayette Factor" and the "Name Game" via my "Twilight Language" writings, I will take on the full ownership of this "Fayette" concept. It is not a secret, it is not an idea hidden, but it is mine. "Jim Brandon" and "Bill Grimstad" gave it up by being Holocaust denier(s) and not coming forth with apologies, new editions, or reprints of The Rebirth of Pan.

The future should hold no quarter for twilight Forteans. At all.

I have been warning people for a long time about a subculture of school shooters, synagogue worshipper murderers, and racist mass shooters who were actually picking dates and locations because they are neo-Nazis. The not-so-hidden messages in events like the 6/10/2009 attack on the Holocaust Museum are worthy of raised awareness. I am an enemy of the fascists and to attempt to censor me takes out someone who has authored hundreds of anti-fascism alerts.

Glass Houses and Nazi Sympathizers

"Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones." ~ Old European Proverb

Events have a way of giving life's lessons to all of us at every turn.

Blake Smith's calling me out for not mentioning that I knew for perhaps the last 30 plus years that William Grimstad is a Holocaust denier every time I mentioned Brandon/Grimstad gave me pause for thought. Should I go back and revise everything I've written? 

As I was thinking about this, I saw that Blake Smith retweeted the remembrance that CBS News Sunday Morning had just broadcast about the death of Gilligan Island's Dawn Wells. I saw that on Sunday on television, and it was a piece from Mo Rocca with Ms. Wells at the "Walk of Fame" in her hometown of Marshfield, Missouri. It showed her "star" and then flashed on the two stars next to hers ~ Amelia Earhart and....

Wells' star was right next to Charles Lindbergh's "star."

Charles Lindbergh? Should Blake Smith, Mo Rocca, and CBS News have posted this video with disclaimers? 

After all, Charles Lindbergh wasn't without controversy, as Esquire mentioned in March of 2020: "Lindbergh wasn’t shy about his white supremacist and anti-Semitic beliefs. In 1939, he wrote for Reader’s Digest that Americans 'can have peace and security only so long as we band together to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood, only so long as we guard ourselves against attack by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races.' According to him, Hitler 'accomplished results (good in addition to bad) which could hardly have been accomplished without some fanaticism.'"
“A few Jews add strength and character to a country, but too many create chaos,” Lindbergh wrote in a 1939 diary entry. “And we are getting too many.” 

Lindbergh "became a spokesman for the America First Committee (sound familiar?), which advocated for the US staying out of the European war, and counted among its 800,000 members future Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart and president Gerald Ford. It also included some of the nation’s most prominent anti-Semites, like Lindbergh’s close friend Henry Ford. (When asked what they talked about during Lindbergh’s visits to Ford’s plant, the automaker reportedly replied, “When Charles comes out here, we only discuss the Jews.”) And Lindbergh was one of the organization’s spokesmen."

Lindbergh's Nazi sympathizes tarnished him, and as Esquire ends its piece, "But his affection for Germany survived the war: He fathered seven secret children in the nation during the 1950s and ‘60s by three women that included a pair of sisters.

What does America do about all the land mines in our history filled with Nazi sympathizers and Holocaust deniers? Of course, if you are a member of the new America First movement, as alleged neo-Nazi sympathizer Don Trump is, you become President of the US. The media should have called him out at every turn, but they didn't, which leads us to the current atmosphere of heightened awareness.

What of the creative, intellectual, and mostly white male list of the others people talk about? How far should we go in ignoring the ideas and works of Erza Pound, Walt Disney, Edward VIII, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and Philip Johnson because they were alleged, verified, or known Nazi sympathizers?

So back to those glass houses, for a minute.

The Stupidity of Architect Philip Johnson

We all are human. Some of us go about the job of being human foolishly.

Philip Johnson's Glass House is a museum in New Canaan, Connecticut today. This souvenir building replica is a treasure to collectors.

Philip Johnson (July 8, 1906 – January 25, 2005) was an American architect best known for his works of modern and postmodern architecture. Among his best known designs are his modernist Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, and postmodern 550 Madison Avenue in New York, designed for AT&T. He died when he was 98, and by then had been able to reflect on a large mistake in his life.
Between 1932 and 1940, Johnson was an "antisemite, fascist sympathizer, and active propagandist for the Nazi government". He attempted to start a fascist party in the United States. As a correspondent for the newspaper Social Justice, which was edited by the antisemitic cleric Father Charles Coughlin, he made several trips to Germany, sympathetically covering the huge Nazi rally at Nuremberg and the German invasion of Poland in 1939....
Johnson sought to distance himself from his views on Nazis after the outbreak of World War II. In 1993 he told Vanity Fair, "I have no excuse (for) such unbelievable stupidity. ... I don't know how you expiate guilt." ~ Philip Johnson

This is something more than the habitual matter of trying to reconcile a great artist with his vile politics, as with Richard Wagner or W. B. Yeats. Even on those terms, Johnson is a bit more like Ezra Pound—not just a creator in his own right, but someone who fostered the talents of many others, and whose enthusiasm for a terrible cause took him far from his friends and his country. Yet Pound’s star was brightest before his adventures with Fascism, and dimmed thereafter. Johnson managed to abjure his past and, on the march toward an exceptionally successful career, leave it behind. ~ The New Yorker, December 12, 2018.

Philip Johnson's name will perhaps be fading. Architects are asking the Museum of Modern Art "to remove Philip Johnson's name over fascist ties.

Johnson's self-described "unbelievable stupidity" is catching up to him, but are those who appreciated his masterpieces of architecture to be excused for liking his works?

Will Your Truths Set Us Free?

I've met many people in my life, from all sides of the political and cultural spectrum. 

Sometimes my time with these individuals was on purpose, and other times meeting them has been by chance. Meeting Jim Brandon, I eventually discovered William Grimstad. Was I supposed to have turned and run away from the revelation? Is that not, indeed, "scrubbing history?"

It's happened before. In the 1970s, I was working with women inmates at a prison, to learn what social services I could assist them in receiving for their children. On my first day there, I was introduced to a prisoner who was instrumental in organizing the women. She was Susan Saxe, a Weather Underground fugitive and one of only ten women ever to make the FBI's most wanted listSaxe ended up serving seven years in prison for her part in a bank robbery in Massachusetts in which an accomplice shot and killed Boston Police Department officer Walter Schroeder. 

Talking to her gave me the sense that leftwing politics in her mind could be merged with a Fortean point-of-view. I listened. I had empathy and sympathy. But I agreed no more with her attack politics or the murder she was involved with than I did with that of a neo-Nazi. 

Indeed, Saxe's current blog describes her as a "lifelong radical activist, intersectional in outlook since back in the day when we just expressed it as the idea that 'everything is connected.'"

At its most intense, members would be berated for up to a dozen or more hours non-stop about their flaws. It was intended to make group members believe that they were, deep down, white supremacists by subjecting them to constant criticism to break them down. The sessions were used to ridicule and bully those who didn't agree with the party line and force them into acceptance. ~ Weather Underground

One person's truth is their/her/his own, and not mine, whether they are from the left, right, or the excluded middle.

The heart of the matter is, there is a much more effective way to build social justice movements. They happen in person, in real life. Of course so many brilliant and effective social justice activists know this already. “People don’t understand that organizing isn’t going online and cussing people out or going to a protest and calling something out,” Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, wrote in How We Fight White Supremacy.
Calling-in engages in debates with words and actions of healing and restoration, and without the self-indulgence of drama. And we can make productive choices about the terms of the debate: Conflicts about coalition-building, supporting candidates or policies are a routine and desirable feature of a pluralistic democracy. 
You may never meet a member of the Klan or actively teach incarcerated people, but everyone can sit down with people they don’t agree with to work toward solutions to common problems. 

~ "I'm a Black Feminist. I Think Call-Out Culture Is Toxic." Loretta Ross, New York Times, August 17, 2009.

This multitentacled posting details my thoughts on "The Dirty Little Secrets of Twilight Forteans."

Also look at the Dunning-Kruger Effect,

One last thing. While I acknowledge I have credited certain direct "name game" ideas to Brandon/Grimstad, I also have a history of being critical of the political side of his views.

A year exactly before Blake Smith felt I needed to be reminded of this, I engaged Twitter with yet another round of this. As long as I have referenced Grimstad, I have been questioned and addressed this:

What people delete has no bearing on what I said. We were discussing Grimstad.