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Conspiracies! Conspiracies All Around Us! (They're Coming To Get Me....) Part One: Jack the Ripper

By Dragomire in Op-Ed
Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 10:57:01 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

This is a four-part series dealing with the fascination of today's society and conspiracies thought to be put forth by governments, people, extra-terrestrial beings, their pets, etc. One of the most prevalent things about the Information Age is how fast said information travels. With the advent of the Internet, and its wide adoption by people within their homes, it is literally as easy as a finger press to get the newest information.

In this series, I will focus on 3 main events that have built up innumerable conspiracy theories (and other theories beyond conspiracy) over the years, some theories sounding so ludicrous you wouldn't expect them to be believed...but they are, by some.

Part one will deal with Jack the Ripper, the infamous serial killer of Whitechapel, London, in 1888. Part two will deal with Roswell, New Mexico, and the UFO sighting/downing. Part three will deal with the Kennedy Assassination(s). Part four will deal with the effects these conspiracy theories have on society as a whole, if any, as well as my thoughts on why these theories arise.


What is a Conspiracy?

Dictionary.com defines conspiracy as:

1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act
2. A group of conspirators
3. Law. An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.

When most people talk of conspiracy theories, they speak of a group of people, mainly in high-ranking government positions, who conspire to hide the truth from the general populace to either protect themselves, or to further their own agendas. People concoct theories, some of them very elaborate (and some very far fetched), to explain why certain things seem to go unanswered to the public. In some extreme cases, people who believe in these conspiracy theories become extremely paranoid about everyone and everything in their lives.

Conspiracy theories range from idiotic ("Our pets are secretly aliens, bent on world domination!"), to semi-plausible or even plausible ("The government knows who really killed JFK." And I'll elaborate on this theory in part three). Conspiracy theories seem to be, by and large, a product of the Twentieth Century. With the advent of radio, telephones, television, and the Internet as ways to move information quickly from one part of the globe to the other, it is very easy for people to become caught up in them, even if just for fun.

The first conspiracy theory of this series, however, began in the late Nineteenth Century.

Case One:
Jack the Ripper

Beginning on August 31, 1888, the infamous Jack the Ripper left a trail of gruesome murders in his wake. From August 31, 1888, until November 9, 1888, Jack the Ripper killed, and mutilated 5 prostitutes in the Whitechapel section of London. After that date, he seemed to just disappear. No more murders of the style were committed in Whitechapel after the killing of Mary (sometimes Marie) Kelly.

The murders are still unsolved to this very day. Because they are unsolved, however, a host of theories involving everyone from the Jews of the area all the way up to Queen Victoria's involvement have sprung about. As to which theories are true? It's anybody's guess. No one who was alive at the time is around to elaborate on the details today.

Methods Used in Murder

Jack the Ripper was something of an oddity in killers. He not only killed his victims, but also mutilated the bodies, often removing organs from the scene. All the victims shared a few things in common, however. With the exception of Mary Kelly, every prostitute was in her forties, Mary Kelly was only 25. Each victim suffered a strong slicing of the throat, which severed the Carotid Artery, and esophagus, killed each victim. Each victim, with the exception of Mary Kelly, was found in the street, or other area where they would be easily found, or the Ripper could have easily been seen. Apart from these, however, various things were done to the bodies.

The first official victim (there were other similar murders before this, but this is the first one considered to be actually called a Ripper Victim) was Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols. Her body was discovered on August 31, 1888, under a window of a residence belonging to a Mrs. Green. There were several cuts on her body, as well as incisions in her abdomen, which severed the tissue within her abdomen severely. She was missing some teeth, as if she had been violently struck in the mouth, as well as other bruises upon her face and neck.

After only a cursory examination, it was ruled Polly had been killed where her body had been found, even though police evidence suggests there was very little blood around the body or in the gutter nearby. Also Mrs. Green testified that she was a light sleeper, and was not disturbed while she rested that night by any unusual sounds. Many people then, and today, believe she was killed elsewhere, and then her body dropped at that place.

The second victim was found 9 days later, on September 8, 1888. Annie Chapman, AKA "Dark Annie", was found in the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street. This time, however, the bloodied fence, and area seemed to indicate that she was indeed killed where her body lay. The back yard had many other buildings surrounding it, all with windows that could see into the yard, and yet no one heard, or saw the killing (save one man who was in the adjacent yard, but all he heard was a woman say "no!" and then something hitting the fence that separated the yards; he did not investigate what it might have been).

Annie's body was in much worse shape than Polly's. Her head was almost completely severed by the incision across the throat; bruises about her face (although her teeth were intact); her abdomen was completely cut open and her intestines thrown over her shoulder; her uterus, upper portion of her vagina, and most of her bladder had been completely removed; all of the incisions for removal were done with the precision of a well trained surgeon. It should be noted, however, that the examining pathologist remarked that he was unsure how only one person could have done such precise surgical work in the space of a quarter hour. The pathologist remarked even if he had it down to an exact routine, it would still take him the better part of an hour.

The next two victims were killed within an hour of each other.

Elizabeth Stride was the first of two victims on the night of September 30, 1888. Reports vary as to what actually happened, but the appearance is that a lone man did not kill her by at least one of those reports. Or, at least-- if the report is to be believed-- the Ripper was not alone, and had an accomplice to make sure things went well.

Elizabeth's body was not mutilated, however. Her throat had been cut in the same manner as the other 2 Ripper Victims, but it is believed that the arrival of Mr. Louis Diemschutz frightened the Ripper off before he could mutilate the body. Mr. Diemschutz was also fairly sure the Ripper was still around when he entered the alley, because his pony was acting very nervous.

Catherine Eddowes was found dead later that night. Like "Dark Annie" her intestines had been strewn about her shoulder; her right earlobe had been cut off; her nose had been cut off; her face was slashed multiple times; her eyelids had been cut through, almost cut off; her left kidney was completely removed; as well as massive cuts within her abdominal cavity.

The final official Ripper murder was that of Mary Kelly, on November 9, 1888. This murder was a bit different, in that the Ripper killed her in her own bed. But, by being secluded within walls, with no chance of prying eyes, the Ripper did his most damaging work yet.

Mary's body was completely mutilated. Both of her breasts had been cut off; her face was cut to beyond recognition; many of her internal organs were removed, and some placed under her body; her heart was missing; as well as other details which are best left for the reader to read on his own terms. There are also pictures of this grisly scene, which are not for the faint of heart. A list of references online will be given at the end for reading and visual reference.

The Beginnings of Conspiracy

Many theories exist about who the Ripper really was. There were three main suspects in the case, but no convictions were ever made.

Montague John Druitt was one such suspect. Some believe he was the Ripper, even those within his family. He committed suicide by drowning himself in the River Thames shortly after the Mary Kelly murder. If he was the Ripper, his suicide would have indeed ended the killings.

Aaron Kominski was another suspect. A Polish Jew, he was often seen walking the streets of the Whitechapel section of London. He was also known to be clinically insane. However, he did not appear violent. He was not a suspect until 1894.

Francis Tumblety was Scotland Yard's prime suspect in the case. An American born doctor, he had a history behind him. You can read much of it here. Among the reasons he was suspected were: his failed marriage to a former prostitute, his collection of human wombs, he fled from England after being detained in connection with the murders, and his "abortion" practices on prostitutes.

The Conspiracy Thickens

It is believed that Jack the Ripper was a well-educated person. His precise removal of human organs, as well as the speed in which the murders were completed would indicate someone trained in the surgical arts. The speed might also indicate that he was a field surgeon for the military before becoming a serial killer.

However, the local police at the time did not take this seriously. They professed that the murderer was not an educated man, as an educated man would do no such thing. It was said he might have been a tradesman, or perhaps a butcher. Some police even suspected the Jews of the area or other foreigners.

There are some oddities that exist that can appear to have some form of conspiracy going on.

Apparently the Ripper left a note, scrawled in chalk on a wall near the body of Catherine Eddowes. The note was remarking about the Jews of the area, and Commissioner Warren had the note washed off. He defends his actions to the home office in this letter.

The police, who were on a very high alert up until the Mary Kelly murder, were put back on normal status the very next day. No real reason is given for this. But it almost seemed like the police knew the Ripper was done, if the stories are to be believed.

And then there are some of the more far-fetched theories.

One such theory has Prince Eddy secretly seeing (or even marrying) a Catholic commoner, named Annie Cook, and them having a child, named Alice. Once the Monarchy and Parliament officials found out, they moved to silence anyone, and everyone involved.

There's a few variations on this theory, which is fairly new (first proposed in the 1970's), some have Mary Kelly as the nanny of Alice, and she with her friends, Dark Annie, Elizabeth Stride and Polly Nichols, trying to blackmail the government after a raid by government agents left Annie Cook in an insane asylum and her lover found out to be Prince Eddy. Then a zealous agent took it upon himself to silence the prostitutes, permanently. In this version, Catherine Eddowes' murder is a mistake, because she used the name Mary Kelly when she was arrested for public drunkenness earlier that evening.

Other variations have it that the other women were witnesses to Annie's wedding to "Albert", and thus were silenced once the Monarchy found out about the wedding. This particular version was the basis for the Graphic Novel entitled "From Hell" written by Alan Moore, and later adapted into the movie "From Hell" starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham.

This particular theory tends to have many holes, but it is quite popular.

Another theory is that Prince Eddy himself did the murders, but his whereabouts at the time of the murders seem to be well documented, and out of the country. It is also fairly suspect that he would even have the knowledge of human anatomy, much less the ability to quickly perform eviscerations and amputations.

The Annie Cook Theory also adds in the involvement of the Free Masons. Of course any theory indicting the Free Masons would be easy enough to substantiate on the fact that the Masons are very secretive of their inner workings, and would simply deny any interviews and requests to view their documents. Thus their refusal to answer questions would be as damning as holding the knife to some people. Some claim that the position of Dark Annie's and Catherine Eddowes' bodies were in ritualistic Masonic poses. As to the truth of these implications? I'm not a Mason, so I can't say either way. However, it should be noted that Free Masons do tend to be some of the largest contributors to charitable institutions all over the world. Their secretive ways are more than likely the way of keeping the group an "old boys club".

Other theories point toward multiple Rippers, all helping each other. Some claim these are government agents, and this theory normally only arises in conjunction with the Annie Cook theory.

There's even a theory that proclaims that Lewis Carroll was the madman himself!

There are at least 21 suspects in this case, either by wildly imagined references--such as those supposedly found in anagrams of Carroll's works; to those that seem more plausible--like Druitt or Tumblety.

All in all, this case will likely never be solved, unless someone can actually go back in time and videotape the actual Ripper in action. About the only facts we know is that he butchered at least 5 women (some say more) in a span of four months. He appears to have had quite a good working knowledge of human anatomy, especially female human anatomy. He was fast, and efficient--doing his murders in plain view, and not getting caught. And he probably hated women, or at least prostitutes, due to the fact that his killings seemed to be methodical punishments toward them, instead of just killings.

References:

Casebook.org A comprehensive directory of all things related to Jack the Ripper, as well as unsensationalized views of the theories.

Crimelibrary.com This particular section dealing with Jack the Ripper.

World Wide Serial Killer's Homepage with quick facts about the case.

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Conspiracies! Conspiracies All Around Us! (They're Coming To Get Me....) Part One: Jack the Ripper | 143 comments (122 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
Those are the boring conspiracy theories (2.69 / 13) (#1)
by psychologist on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:59:25 AM EST

The really interesting theories are the ones that are happening right now
  1. Is Osama Bin Laden in the USA?
  2. Is Sharon blackmailing Bush?
  3. Is the Iraq war not a war at all, but just a media blitz?
  4. Does Israel want to take control of the Iraqi oil reserves?
  5. Is the earth really globally warming?
  6. Is aids real?
  7. Was Aids created by Dr. Death?
  8. Are the Palestinians the real Jews of history?
  9. Was 911 by the Israelis?
  10. Was 911 by the Americans?
These ones have got a possible outcome. The other ones you talk about are old and noone will ever know for sure.

911 (2.50 / 2) (#2)
by tombuck on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:10:15 AM EST

Is the US's emergency services phone number, therefore surely illustrating that 9/11 was truly America's plea for help.

--
Give me yer cash!
[ Parent ]

Let's not forget.... (4.66 / 3) (#3)
by Dragomire on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:14:39 AM EST

pyschologists real life conspiracy theory: that MOSSAD has agents in K5 waiting for him to slip up and trap him.

[ Parent ]
Lets not forget (none / 0) (#6)
by imrdkl on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:45:20 AM EST

1. The Jews will crush all enemies with the direct assistance of G-d.
2. the beast is alive and well and waiting to meet you
3. Heat, fire, and drought will continue to plague our great nation until we return to the way of Justice and strive for fair use.
4. white supremacists are behind all US terrorism.


[ Parent ]
seen on a bumper sticker yesterday: (none / 0) (#65)
by ethereal on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:29:19 AM EST

"dog is my co-pilot"

I'd be more worried about d-g, myself :)

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Which Dr. Death? (none / 0) (#18)
by jonathan_ingram on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 09:53:30 AM EST

Was Aids created by Dr. Death?

I doubt it, given that he was hanged on Thursday May 7, 1896 at 10:25am.
-- Jon
[ Parent ]

The South African one [en coffee] (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by psychologist on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 11:12:06 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Israeli wanting to take over Iraq is no conspiracy (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by cb on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 01:12:51 PM EST

"Like Duh" does not a conspiracy make.

[ Parent ]
Let's post our guesses. We'll chuckle later on. (4.33 / 3) (#25)
by Shren on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 01:31:42 PM EST

Here's my guesses!

  1. Is Osama Bin Laden in the USA? Unless he's been secretly captured, No.
  2. Is Sharon blackmailing Bush? No.
  3. Is the Iraq war not a war at all, but just a media blitz? Yes.
  4. Does Israel want to take control of the Iraqi oil reserves? No. Well, they wouldn't turn them down, but I doubt it propells national policy.
  5. Is the earth really globally warming? The presence of humans on this planet is causing climate changes. Warmer? Cooler? Dryier? Wetter? I feel this much is certain - beyond that is a realm for the experts. Maybe the ice caps will melt and the Sarhara will bloom with the extra water. Maybe California will dry up like an extra-crispy Boston-style potato chip then fall into the ocean. Who knows.
  6. Is aids real? Yes.
  7. Was Aids created by Dr. Death? No.
  8. Are the Palestinians the real Jews of history? Mu. Stupid fucking question. The day people stop bitching about how badly thier ancestors were treated is the day this conflict evaporates. I propose we carve off a piece of your homeland (or even your backyard) and give it to the Gypsies, as they died in gas chambers too.
  9. Was 911 by the Israelis? No. Countries don't fit in cockpits.
  10. Was 911 by the Americans? No. No, see 11.


[ Parent ]
Gas chambers? (none / 0) (#143)
by annenk38 on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:27:12 PM EST

Although, strictly speaking, the existence of the gas chambers is not the product of a conspiracy, it remains one of the most persistent urban legends in history. Many prisoners themselves genuinely believed in them (and I can't blame them). Other legends -- the soap made from human fat, books bound in human flesh, have also been popularized.

And if my left hand causes me to stumble as well -- what do I cut it off with? -- Harry, Prince of Wales (The Blackadder)
[ Parent ]
Answers. :-) (4.80 / 5) (#26)
by _Quinn on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 01:34:59 PM EST

  1.  No.  Antigua is much nicer at this time of year.
  2.  No.  Bush isn't bright enough to be blackmailed.  But Cheney's been staying away from the public for a reason...
  3.  Minipax will be visiting shortly.
  4.  Duh.  Yes.
  5.  Duh.  Yes.
  6.  Duh.  Yes.
  7.  Of course.  He's also responsible for ebola.
  8.  No.  There are no real Jews; they all packed up and left for Alpha Centuri, and left us with cheap imitations.
  9.  No.  911 is run by the local telephone companies.
  10.  Yes. 911 is run by the local telephone companies.
-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]
AIDS (4.50 / 2) (#66)
by hbw on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:30:07 AM EST

6. Is aids real?

No, the millions of "victims" all faked their apparent deaths and are now gleefully having tea with Elvis at an unknown location.

I have discovered a truly marvelous signature, which unfortunately the margin is not large enough to contain.
[ Parent ]

Central Africa (none / 0) (#95)
by jesseerdmann on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:35:37 PM EST

There are some leaders of central African nations that are most ravaged by AIDs/HIV. Or maybe it was just that AIDs drugs don't help... Bah, I can't remember and I'm too lazy to research. Regardless there are actually people in power preventing their people from getting they help they need to slow the AIDs epidemic because they believe some aspect of it is a hoax.

[ Parent ]
Victims of AIDS vs. Medicine companies in Africa (none / 0) (#133)
by hbw on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 01:43:36 PM EST

Yes, that was happening recently in South Africa. The government, led under Thabo Mbeki, didn't hand out medicine to those in need of it.

Basically, the medicine company charged a huge amount of money, that the average citizen didn't have, and so the major activists in this area sued the company for letting all these people die instead.

The activists won, and now medicine is given out (for free, I think).

I have discovered a truly marvelous signature, which unfortunately the margin is not large enough to contain.
[ Parent ]

Don't forget... (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by widoxm on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 07:58:05 AM EST

...my favourite conspiracy theory. The difference here is that the evidence is still available for debate.

Still, I don't think any of these conspiracies are quite as funny as this one.

Apollo (5.00 / 3) (#50)
by macpeep on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:43:46 AM EST

The sad thing with the "Apollo hoax" people is that their arguments are such utter obvious bullshit. Among the worst arguments I've seen are:

a) "the flag waves in the wind! how can the flag wave if there's no air and thus no wind?"

Of course everyone can clearly see in the pictures that there is a crossbar on top of the flag, holding it up. And it's only "waving" in the pictures where the astronauts are driving the flag pole into the ground and violently shaking it.

b) "no stars in the sky! clearly, it's in a studio"

Of course there are no stars in the skies in the pictures, just like there are no stars in the skies in pictures taken of a bright object (or with a flash) at night on earth. In order to get the stars, they would have had to use so long exposure times that the moon surface in the pictures would have been totally over exposured.

c) "every picture taken by the astronauts was successful! too much to be a coincidence!"

Not every picture was successful at all. They took over 15000 pictures on the missions, and 15000 more automatic pictures, plus a few hours worth of video material. Of those 15000 manual pictures, from what I've personally browsed them online, for example on the NASA Apollo lunar surface journals, I'd say maybe 2/3rds could be considered "failures" and only maybe 1 picture in 10 could be considered "good". Many of the pictures are completely blurry or over- / under xposed etc.

d) "there's no crater under the lunar module, which there should be, from its engine"

Yes there is, but it's not very big, just like a helicopter on earth doesn't cause a huge crater when it lands on a beach. Remember that the moon's gravity is only 1/6th of earths so the power needed just before touchdown when the LEM is hovering is quite minimal. Also, there's no athmosphere so only the dust directly hit by the rocket blast would be affected (the rocket blast doesn't cause a wind or a whirl of any kind since there's no medium to carry that win).

e) "the shadows / lights in many pictures are totally wrong. there are clearly many light sources"

Usually, the arguments are that objects near eachother have shadows that don't align properly. Of course, shadows, which are projections of an object to a surface, will only align if the surfaces are aligned. If you have a person in a slope and another person standing on even ground, their shadows will not be parallel even if the sun is the only light source. And if there are several light sources, each object should have several shadows. You don't see that anywhere in the pictures, do you? Of course there kinda is another light source that is giving some ambient light on the moon (in addition to the sun): the earth. Anyone who has experienced a full moon on a winter night with snow on the ground knows how much light it can provide. Well, consider the fact that the earth is a lot bigger than the moon and reflects light a lot better. It's actually a quite bright source of ambient light on the moon. As is reflections from the lunar surface itself, much like snow in the winter on earth. That's why some object that are "in the shadow" are not completely pitch black.

There are lots of other arguments too, of course, but they usually fall apart just as quickly when examined with even a bit of logic and rational thinking.

It's going to be interesting to see what the arguments will be when ESA sends Smart-1 (that's the name of the probe, right?) to the moon in 2003 to take high resolution pictures of the surface, including of all Apollo landing sites. When the LEM descent stages and lunar rovers will clearly be seen in the pictures, what's the argument going to be then? A conspiracy between ESA and NASA?

Of course the strongest argument killer of all is the fact that if the moon landings would have been faked, don't you think the Soviets would have blowed the whistle on it 30 years ago? It would have been the biggest propaganda victory EVER for them!

[ Parent ]

The greatest conspiracy (3.23 / 17) (#20)
by QuickFox on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 11:31:15 AM EST

The scariest conspiracy of our times is the world-wide conspiracy among governments, businesses and so-called "environmentalists" all banding together to ignore and silence any information about the planet-wide threat of dihydrogen monoxide pollution.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
True story (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by sean23007 on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:38:21 AM EST

At my high school, there is a large contingent of activists who are against anything that might hurt somebody or something... someday. Once day, I guess they heard about the evils of dihydrogen monoxide, and how dangerous it obviously was, due to its presence in so many bad things. These fun loving activists took the matter straight to the administration, and convinced them that our school would pioneer the ban of dihydrogen monoxide. Signs went up, posters were posted, chants and rhymes were concocted. Nobody stopped to think. It got really big, and went on for about a week. We all went home on Friday terrified of dihydrogen monoxide, and came back on Monday to a school devoid of any such posters. The administration had no recollection of any "dihydrogen monoxide," and repeatedly requested that anyone asking about it leave the offices immediately. Meanwhile, the science teachers seemed to be smiling much more than usual. If asked about dihydrogen monoxide, they would all begin to chuckle. If asked whether or not dihydrogen monoxide was really just water, as the name seemed to suggest, they would all fall on the floor, laughing hysterically.

I have the distinct feeling that the teachers finally went in to the offices and laid down the what's what on the administration. Heh.

Lack of eloquence does not denote lack of intelligence, though they often coincide.
[ Parent ]
-1 whats the point exactly? (5.00 / 3) (#31)
by farl on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:52:29 PM EST

-1. Seems like this is a good history of Jack the Ripper, and as such, is a good writeup. However, the conspiracy theory aspect of it is trite and rather undeveloped. You mentioned that you will develop some more information on the conspiracy aspects and how they affect modern society in episode4 of this, but maybe you should consider doing that AS you tell the various subparts. This will show the story actually has some merit to it.


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
Agreed (none / 0) (#34)
by lightcap on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:04:44 PM EST

This story has potential, but as farl stated above, the theme (for which you intend to write 3 more parts) is way underdeveloped. So, Jack the Ripper is one of many conspiracies out there. Why did you highlight this one, and what is there to be learned to take into the next part of the series?

Good research, just develop it a bit, resubmit, and you'll get +1 from me. For now though, -1.
Mommy, what were trees like?
[ Parent ]

apologies your hainous (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by RickySilk on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:33:27 AM EST

Enjoy it for what it is and let the guy tell the story how he wants to. What are you the leader of the curmudgeon renegade squad or what?

RickySilk
kung foo let us waste your time
[ Parent ]
On ancient conspiracy theories and good books (4.50 / 2) (#33)
by tudlio on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:00:13 PM EST

I think conspiracy theories go back a lot farther than the 20th century, or even Jack the Ripper: consider the destruction of the Knights Templar for purportedly conspiring against King Philip of France.

A great book on this topic is Everything Is Under Control by Robert Anton Wilson (one of the authors of the Illuminatus Trilogy).




insert self-deprecatory humor here
I"m about to say the same thing. (none / 0) (#35)
by superdiva on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:12:26 PM EST

In this series, I will focus on 3 main events that have built up innumerable conspiracy theories (and other theories beyond conspiracy) over the years, some theories sounding so ludicrous you wouldn't expect them to be believed...but they are, by some.

Having one late-19th Century British example and two mid-20th Century American examples of conspiracy make your essay uneven: you need more variety. Why are your examples the "3 main events" in conspiracy theory?
_____________________________________________
[ Parent ]
Re: On ancient conspiracy theories and good books (none / 0) (#43)
by schwar on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:03:09 AM EST

I've recently read a book on this subject called The Templars by Piers Paul Read which I found to be an excellent and easy to read account of their entire history.

[ Parent ]
Foucault's Penduluum (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by spliff on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:46:12 AM EST

Umberto Eco's novel also deals with the Knights Templar, Masons, the Rosicroix, and such. An intelligent and paranoid consipracy novel.

[ Parent ]
Excellent book! (3.00 / 1) (#125)
by florin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:54:17 AM EST

A must read. Incredibly intelligent, you can read it on multiple levels (as a policier, as a philosophical novel, etc.). Very complex and challenging also.

[ Parent ]
Grr. (4.66 / 6) (#36)
by StephenThompson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:51:56 PM EST

Your commments act as if conspiracies are some sort of joke, something to be laughed at like the tooth fairy. However, conspiracies do exist. The Mafia for example is a well known conspiracy which was only recently shut down in the US. The 9/11 bombers were members of a conspiracy. Nixon did conspire to break into Watergate. R Hansen did conspire to steal secrets from the government. The Rosenburgs were conspiring with the KGB. If you are so stoneheaded as to not believe any conspiracy simply because it is a conspiracy then you are nuttier than the theorists you ridicule.

Also... (4.50 / 2) (#41)
by ideophile on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 11:49:55 PM EST

The article fails to make a distinction between conspiracy and conspiracy theory. The author does well enough to present the known historical facts of the Jack the Ripper case. Yet his treatment of the theories surrounding the events that took place in Whitechapel is threadbare. The enumeration of 'far-fetched' theories lacks historical context, and he lists them as though their suspicious elaboration is evidence against their relevance. At this, the conspiracy theory is dismissed as the aberrant story dreamed by a ill-functioning society. Which -- perhaps -- is the case.

But the author doesn't follow up on this. Conspiracy theories, along with urban legends and chain-mail, are the vestiges of folklore. If we treat them as reflective of the society that creates them, it is possible to see how the fears, suspicions, and hang-ups of the collective are manifested in the conspiracy theory.

Finally, if the author intends to explore "how fast [...] information travels" in the Information Age, why Jack the Ripper? Simply because the author did most of his research online (as is rather obvious) does not make this a commentary how technology has changed how we get, read, or understand information.

:iP:

[ Parent ]

Failed conspiracies vs "successful" cons (4.00 / 1) (#69)
by 8ctavIan on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:46:31 AM EST

You mentioned The Mafia, Watergate, Hansen and the Rosenburgs. These are good examples of failed conspiracies. I think what the author is trying to point out is the public fascination with what I would call "successful" conspiracies - where we are not close to knowing what really went on. I think that's why they are labeled conspiracies in the first place. The public feels that they have been denied information and they usually feel that those in power are holding back something. Who really murdered President Kennedy, for example, is something that the American public, according to most polls, feels was not investigated in a satisfactory fashion. So it becomes, in my opinion, a successful conspiracy theory. The poster has included it in his intro, I think, for that reason


Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. -- H.L. Mencken
[ Parent ]

You ridiculous scaremongers... (2.00 / 2) (#38)
by kevsan on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 09:50:09 PM EST

Jack the Ripper was obviously innocent! This vast right-wing conspiracy that attempts to besmirch his good name must be stopped at all costs!

+1 FP.

-K
Pshaw... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by gusgus on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:04:19 AM EST

...Jack the Ripper was obviously just another liberal myth.

[ Parent ]
You mean... (none / 0) (#68)
by Jazu on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:38:00 AM EST

like the moon?

[ Parent ]
right he was actually (none / 0) (#104)
by pantagruel on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:44:52 PM EST

Jack the disembowler

Damn right-left-wing Juwe Freemasons



[ Parent ]
Now, now. (none / 0) (#119)
by kevsan on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:37:14 PM EST

Was this post bad enough to merit a 1, considering its overwhelmingly funny nature? Perhaps that was just it! The negative moderation was simply jealousy toward my often intimidatingly skillful wit!

-K
[ Parent ]
Jack the Ripper (4.50 / 2) (#39)
by dwyn on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 10:59:43 PM EST

It is a well known fact that Jack the Ripper is now in service of the Vorlons.

YESSS [n/t] (none / 0) (#56)
by martingale on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:57:13 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Shameless plug (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by michaelmalak on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 11:12:42 PM EST

Hey, I've already purchased a text ad for it, but mod this down anyway if you must (or maybe it'll get deleted as spam :-)

The sheer volume of conspiracy theories is why I started UnderReported.com. I'm addicted to reading and researching conspiracy theories, and discovering that about a third of them are true. It takes a lot of time to figure out which ones are true. Often conspiracy stories are half true, where "half" can apply in a number of different ways -- half the facts are correct, half the statements are substantiated, or the sources are halfway reliable.

I track down stories to their original mass media foundation and/or to official government documents and/or to verifiable places where newsworthy individuals record their statements (e.g. their own websites). For the past year or two, I've just been e-mailing these "verified" conspiracy stories to a couple of friends. But now I decided to dump them into a PostNuke blog.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver

Yeah.. how in the world.. (none / 0) (#42)
by Kwil on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:02:04 AM EST

..can people believe conspiracy theories? Maybe it's cause the government uses logos like the one in my sig?

-------
I thought they were supposed to hide the conspiracy.

Just ignore the fnords n/t (none / 0) (#75)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:23:47 AM EST


--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Pardon my ignorance of modern medicine (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by broken77 on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:10:21 AM EST

But, were organ transplants done back then? If so, is it crazy to think that this was a group of unethical people (including a physician) who took these women's organs for the sake of massive profit for rich women who needed them? And the reason it stopped is either fear of getting caught or they only had a few black market jobs to do? And the fact that the bodies were mutilated in other ways could just be smokescreen, to make it look like it was done by a psychopath instead of what it really was? I'm also unfamiliar with the specifics of the case, so sorry if this is off-the-wall.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz

Interesting, but... (none / 0) (#48)
by sean23007 on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:48:41 AM EST

Your idea is interesting, but there is a fatal flaw in the premise that these women were murdered so that their organs could be harvested and sold to wealthy women who perhaps needed them. Namely, these women were prostitutes, and only the vagina and/or uterus were removed from each corpse. No rich woman of the time would want the vagina or uterus of a prostitute, as that would be extremely dangerous. Also, I think transplanting a vagina is tricky business even today, I can't imagine how difficult and dangerous it would have been a century ago.

Your theory would be more reasonable if the organs taken were more easily transplantable, such as the liver or kidneys.

Lack of eloquence does not denote lack of intelligence, though they often coincide.
[ Parent ]
Kindeys (none / 0) (#53)
by Dragomire on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:35:15 AM EST

Catherine Eddowe's left kidney was removed. However, she was suffering from a diseas, Brights or Blights it was called, IIRC. Even if they were transplanting kidneys and other organs in the 1880's (which they weren't AFAIK), a diseased kidney would be no good.

[ Parent ]
Ah.. (none / 0) (#58)
by broken77 on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:57:35 AM EST

I guess I didn't read closely enough. I thought they all had organs removed (besides the uterus and vagina). But, one of them had their bladder removed, and the last victim, Mary Kelly, had most of her organs removed apparently:
...many of her internal organs were removed, and some placed under her body; her heart was missing...
Ah well, it is kind of far-fetched, now that I realize that only a couple of them had transplantable organs removed.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

What about vivisection? (none / 0) (#71)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:05:40 AM EST

Has anyone considered the possibility that diseased organs were what the ripper was interested in - for study?


--
To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

No transplants then (none / 0) (#80)
by thebrix on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:12:57 PM EST

In fact, both anaesthesia and general surgical techniques were so primitive at the time anything inside the abdomen was practically off limits to surgeons (assuming they intended to preserve and repair it) ... from memory the first successful internal operation was within a few years of the Ripper.

Certainly in the United Kingdom, until the 1890s (and even later in rural areas) appendicitis was always fatal, for example.

[ Parent ]

Back then... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by nusuth on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:36:25 PM EST

They used to clone full humans to harvest organs because the medicine technology wasn't as advanced as today, which left transplanters without any immunity repressors. Using genetically identical stuff was the only way to overcome rejection problem. They had to grow clones until adolescence because younger organs wouldn't fit; surgery wasn't much advanced back then either. Actually 15-16 years would have been ideal but using sexually mature people was perceived as dirty.

Although cloning itself was cheap, many poor people couldn't feed a dozen clones for years, expecting to harvest at most one with appropriate age. Consequently, the technology was practically limited to those who were rich or noble.

After Victorian era, killing our 12 years old identical sons/daughters was perceived inhumane and the practice was banned. In fact old physicians were so ashamed that they removed any references to cloning from history, leaving word of mouth the only way to pass distorted information.

It is a known fact within closed circles that freemasons still use the technique to lengthen their lifespan. This is the real reason why human cloning creates a lot of "ethical" arguments and currently banned in many countries - masons want to keep the longevity to themselves.

Come on, this is a story about conspiracies, why shouldn't I be allowed to create one?

[ Parent ]

don't forget Frankenstein... ;-) (none / 0) (#124)
by florin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:44:18 AM EST



[ Parent ]
transplants (none / 0) (#103)
by pantagruel on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:42:11 PM EST

this thread seems a little off. I might be fine with conjecturing transplants of kidneys, but kidneys harvested in dirty london streets at the dead of night from extremely poor prostitutes? So the Dr. stuffs it in a dirty hanky, brings it in the next day and just sews it in the patient?

[ Parent ]
Who's to say (none / 0) (#113)
by broken77 on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:51:57 PM EST

They didn't take the women somewhere else, the dispose of them on the streets when they were done?

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Polly Nichols (none / 0) (#114)
by Dragomire on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:00:17 PM EST

Her body was the only one found where it seems that she was killed elsewhere and then dropped in the street. The other bodies all had enough blood and evidence of arterial spray nearby to chow they were killed where they were found.

There was only enough blood around Polly Nichols' body to fill about a wine glass and a half. There was also no evidence of arterail spray (from the slicing of the neck) on the wall next to her body.

[ Parent ]

When you get to Area 51... (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by MickLinux on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:24:41 AM EST

When you get around to dealing with Area 51, don't forget to include some commentaries on what they were really dealing with, out there.

It was called project Aurora, it was the design and development of the world's first hypersonic plane (spaceplane, eventually), and the hypersonic drive is a big square drive that ionizes air, and thus creates what looks like aurora borealis.  Back on "Kingdom of Nye", there was a UFO-ologist who was excited about the strange glows and strange square-engined UFOs.  When I heard that, I practically laughed, because I had worked at the 1988 booth at the Bourget Airshow, explaining an 80-ft model of the National Space Plane (essentially the Aurora) to tourists.  

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.

Patricia Cornwell's Theory... (4.75 / 4) (#46)
by curunir on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:35:24 AM EST

There was a Primetime program about Patricia Cornwell's (crime novelist) investigation into the Ripper murders. She ended up spending about $4 million on her investigation and claims to be %100 sure that her suspect is the ripper. Her theory is pretty convincing. Her suspect is an artist named Walter Richard Sickert (someone you failed to mention).

Here's the link for anyone interested.

re: Patricia Cornwell's Theory... (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by Maserati on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:23:43 AM EST

That sounds reasonable to me. She's staking her reputation, admittedly as a crime writer (a good one). She's certainly done a thorough investigation. The trick is, the suspect drowned himself in the Themes so no body is available for DNA comparisons.

--

For the wise a hint, for the fool a stick.
[ Parent ]

Sickert... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by Dragomire on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:31:33 AM EST

Actually, the entire Monarchy/Parliment involvment theory arose from Sickert himself, or so his son claimed. The BBC ran a special on this in the 70's, wherin they interviewed Sickert's son as a source. He told them of the theory about Annie Cook, Prince Eddy, the baby Alice, and Mary Kelly being the nanny and such.

Another author then took that theory further, claiming Sickert was involved in the conspiracy as well. After publication of the book, Sickert's son recanted his story, claiming he made the whole thing up.

This author is hoping to prove her theory, but like all the other theory's, it's got holes in it, and will most likely not pan out, especially after almost 114 years. The evidence just isn't there for people to go over anymore.

[ Parent ]

A bad theory (2.00 / 1) (#127)
by eviltwin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:50:04 AM EST

The cornwell theory is a rehashing of a discredited theory and if you do a bit of reading of reputable authors you will quickly find out why...

All generalisations are false, including this one.
[ Parent ]
Freemasons (3.00 / 5) (#54)
by EvilNoodle on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:37:10 AM EST

Taken from memory and no time to research links but...

It was the 3rd degree in maosonry that called for anyone revealing their secrets to have their throat cut across and their torso opened up and their lights (organs) thrown over their left shoulder.

The note on the wall in chalk is thought to have said "the new jews will not be to blame". They used a masonic spelling of Jews and the "new jews" is a reference to the masons who's entire symbolism is cabbalistic taken from jewish lore.

The reason the head of Scotland Yard would have removed the implication is that he was probably a freemason. To this day Scotland Yard has at least one room set aside as a masonic lodge.

"the Juwes..." (none / 0) (#55)
by Dragomire on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:53:07 AM EST

"The Juwes will not be blamed for nothing" was the quote, IIRC. The quote can be found on the casebook.org site.

I don't speak Yiddish, but supoosedly the spelling of Jews as Juwes is Yiddish, or at least according to Sir Warren's letter to the home office.

[ Parent ]

yiddish (none / 0) (#102)
by pantagruel on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:37:19 PM EST

that has to be wrong. I remember for example that jewishness or pertaining to jews in yiddish would be yiddishkayt; in other words I'd lay odds that the yiddish for jews would be something like yiddim(like the multiple in yiddish for a goy is goyim) - in fact I just did a check on google for yiddim and yiddish, and while it was near to being a googlewhack it did strongly imply that in fact yiddim is a multiple of jew.

[ Parent ]
They write Yiddisch with Hebrew letters. (none / 0) (#123)
by Apuleius on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 12:18:20 AM EST

Making this issue a red herring.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Codswallop. (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by loaf on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:03:06 AM EST

"To this day Scotland Yard has at least one room set aside as a masonic lodge."

Bull.

Floor number and location, if you would. Otherwise, leave these baseless allegations where they belong - in the past.

There is recent legislation mandating any senior public official's (police or otherwise) masonic credentials to be registered - thus their place on selection committees (and so on) be scutinised within the bounds of cronyism.

[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 0) (#62)
by EvilNoodle on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:56:34 AM EST

It's mentioned in Stephen Knight's book - The Brotherhood (this book is generally OK but the sequel is utter rubbish)- and as I was frequenting Grand Lodge at the time to do some research I asked a 31st degree mason if this was true. He confirmed it and said they use a function room in Scotland Yard and at one point there were two masonic lodges active in Scotland Yard.

[ Parent ]
Levels of Tolerance (none / 0) (#63)
by loaf on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:09:41 AM EST

That they "use a function room in Scotland Yard and at one point there were two masonic lodges active in Scotland Yard" is not the same as your first allegation.

All this says is a group of masons meet in a function room - having a room set aside for them implied official sanction, which will have never been true (even if plausibly unofficial from senior members of the hierarchy).

I've no doubt that Scotland Yard harbours dozens of social groups (masons, bridge, quiz players and goodness knows what else) who might occasionally use a function room to meet in. This does not equate to being officially welcomed - or even tolerated.

[ Parent ]

More (none / 0) (#64)
by EvilNoodle on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:24:40 AM EST

Stephen Knight alledged that the function room was "set aside" as a masonic lodge which implies it was not used for other purposes. Also, this was in the 1980s, before anyone was obliged to admit membership and if it was possible to maintain lodge meetings of any kind in Scotland Yard in the late 20th century how much easier would it have been to do so during the time of Jack the Ripper.

[ Parent ]
Juwes (none / 0) (#61)
by seb on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:40:03 AM EST

"The Juwes are not the men That Will be Blamed for nothing" is the graffito which was rubbed off the wall, in most accounts.

Jubelo, Jubela and Jubelum were the three men said to have murdered Hiram Abiff, the (sort of) patron saint of Masonry.  A re-enactment of the murder forms part of the 3rd degree initiation rite.  This is recorded in numerous tracts on Masonry.

However, it is pure speculation that collectively these three characters are known as 'Juwes.'

For an excellent survey of a vast range of Ripperology and an analysis of the significance of the Ripper in western culture, see the appendix of From Hell by Alan Moore.  (The book is far superior to the film, by the way).

[ Parent ]

Masonic oaths. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:57:19 AM EST

they may have changed the oath, but that's not what I promised in my 3rd degree.


--
To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

Re: Freemasons (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by Yekrats on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:03:19 AM EST

"Taken from memory and no time to research links but..."

Right-o.

When I was inducted into the 3rd degree of Masonry, what I went through was nothing like that. Also, I wasn't told the secret Masonic (mis)spelling of "Jews," nor did I receive my tickets to the exclusive Scotland Yard pleasure club.

Dang, I've been robbed! :-)
-- Yekrats

[ Parent ]

oaths (none / 0) (#82)
by EvilNoodle on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:22:37 PM EST

The oaths were changed to remove the gory parts. This may have happened as a direct result rom the bad press Stephen Knight's book created as it was sometime during the 1980s.

[ Parent ]
The ritual has not changed much recently... (none / 0) (#93)
by Yekrats on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:33:17 PM EST

My father-in-law has a fairly old ritual book. I'm pretty sure it's from the early 80s. (Not sure about the exact date, but I'm sure it's pre-1986.) There are only minor (almost insignificant) changes between his book and mine. It seems to change very slightly every couple of years or so.

By that token, however, it could have been gory in the distant past, as you say. I don't know. I've not seen an older ritual than that. Of course, there are also variances depending on which region and country the ritual is performed in. Each area has their own subtly different way of doing things.

Hey, I just found lots of good information about Masonry (and anti-Masonry) at this site: http://www.masonicinfo.com/

Best wishes,
--Yekrats

[ Parent ]

ritual (none / 0) (#126)
by EvilNoodle on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:58:16 AM EST

The Lodge of Emulation in England is the only one that sticks to the letter if the 'original' rituals although even they were moving towards toning down some details last time I explored them. Sadly the website you have pointed to trolls out the same old rubbish (Masonry is 300 years old etc) and objections that are not real objections - such as it is very prone to a political coup (investigate the jacobites), that lodges are not monitored so while you can get lodges of librarians and lodges of policemen, you could easily get lodges that are a cover for child abuse rings.

[ Parent ]
Yekrats is a Mason agent! (none / 0) (#138)
by hans on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:20:22 AM EST

Yep, I've brilliantly deduced that Yekrats was sent here by the order of the Freemasons to gently & humorously guide us away from the belief that Jack the Ripper may have been a Freemason.

It's all a bloody conspiracy!!!



[ Parent ]
that was interesting (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by chia on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:48:52 AM EST

up until the point when the conspiracy theories started to come out. it would have been more intersting if you had explained more about the 3 suspects, for instance why was Montague John Druitt suspected even by his family???? this is not really a great conspiracy casue the conspiracys are really a load of bollocks tacked on after the fact, and since nobody knows what happened or ever will, they persist. dumb.


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. O Wilde
that (comment) was interesting (none / 0) (#60)
by alge on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:14:49 AM EST

...up until the "up until" part.

vi er ikke lenger elsket her

[ Parent ]
hmm (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by chia on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:06:17 AM EST

youre right - i even bore myself sometimes...


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. O Wilde
[ Parent ]
A Freemason did it? Not bloody likely. (4.33 / 3) (#72)
by Yekrats on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:18:21 AM EST

I am a Mason, and I find it highly unlikely that a member of our order did such a horrible thing.

I'm no expert in Masonic history, but 100 years is not so long ago in our order. I doubt the ritual I've been through has changed that much in that time. I can also safely say there are no Masonic rituals that I've seen resembling the gruesome acts of that madman. Yick.

Yes, we are a society with some secrets. Yes, we are tight-lipped about our ritual. Rest assured: Murder, even amongst our brethren, would not be something we would keep quiet about.

Speaking as an ordinary guy from the inside, the secret stuff is not that big of deal. (I was a bit disappointed: "That's it?" I wanted to know where the Holy Grail was or something. :-) For the most part our secrets have to do with identification of other members, and how to conduct meetings. Most aspects of Masonry (our membership, lodge halls, charters, finances, and charitable deeds) are all out in the open. Our Order is based on morality, godliness, and self-improvement. Not like Jack at all.

Jack the Ripper was no more of a Mason than the main character in The Cask of Amontillado. :-)

Sometimes people are afraid of what they do not know about. So, I can understand those feelings concerning Masonry. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask. I will answer to the extent that I can, and hopefully alleviate any concerns.

--Yekrats

Interesting (3.00 / 2) (#74)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:12:40 AM EST

Speaking as an ordinary guy from the inside, the secret stuff is not that big of deal. (I was a bit disappointed: "That's it?" I wanted to know where the Holy Grail was or something. :-) For the most part our secrets have to do with identification of other members, and how to conduct meetings. Most aspects of Masonry (our membership, lodge halls, charters, finances, and charitable deeds) are all out in the open. Our Order is based on morality, godliness, and self-improvement. Not like Jack at all.

I suspect that a lowly "ordinary" mason does not know what goes on at the higher levels of masonry. Indeed the pyramid symobol is thought by some to represent this "levels" of knowledge, with each layer in the pyramid controlling the layer below.

Think about it, how would you as an ordinary mason know if there is some secret upper level of masonry, if it is by invitation only ?

I am reading "The Hiram Key" at the moment, It is an extremely interesting book, filed under "fiction" in some masonic libraries, it a historical investigation which tried to suggest that masonry has its origins in the king-making rituals of ancient Egypt. It suggests amongst other things that Jesus was a freemason, and that there may be some interesting holy relics in the masonic temple at Roslyn in Scotland.

My personal take on the masons is that they are put in place to ensure the survival of the current power structures in the event of overthrow by radical revolutionaries. Possibly inflitrated by the security services, having a large number of police memebers, and containing many intelligent and respectable people, the network can quickly move into any new governing system that comes along, and push it back in whatever dirction the leadership wants.

But that's just my paranoid imaginations. What I find disconcerting about the masons is that as an atheist, I am not allowed to join. I have to profess a believe in a divine creator. This seems slightly odd to me. I wonder if any masons out there could enlighten me as to why this should be so ? Atheists are not all bad people. Would it matter if I lied about this on my application ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Requirements for Membership (none / 0) (#77)
by gauntlet on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:38:17 AM EST

I seem to remember it being explained to me that as long as you would promise to defend Christianity (on the grounds that you would defend any belief system, or whatever other grounds allow you to make such a promise) you need not ascribe to it.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

According to the FAQ (none / 0) (#81)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:14:14 PM EST

The Grand lodge of England's FAQ states: Freemasonry requires a belief in God and its principles are common to many of the world's great religions. Freemasonry does not try to replace religion or substitute for it. Every candidate is exhorted to practise his religion and to regard its holy book as the unerring standard of truth.

Yet it goes on to slightly contradict itself when it says:

Freemasonry does not instruct its members in what their religious beliefs should be, nor does it offer sacraments.

It clearly does instruct its members that they should believe in God, since is will not admit atheists.

I wonder if this will change any time soon ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

no. (none / 0) (#87)
by akma on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:45:17 PM EST

Atually, since an athiest can't join, he can't be a member. And the part that you say is a contradiction says that they don't instruct their members. So no contradiction. Think about it.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
Not quite (none / 0) (#91)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:14:39 PM EST

What happens if a mason loses his faith ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

good question. (none / 0) (#94)
by akma on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:34:39 PM EST

And that'd be a situation I've only come across once. The man demited (quit) on his own accord as he no longer met the prerequisites for membership.
How that would be handled would vary from grand jurisdiction to grand jurisdiciton though. I don't think that is an eventuality they were trying to address in their FAQ though and goes a bit too far into the realm of nit picking. ALso, I'm not a UGLE member, and don't have a copy of their Book of Constitutions at hand. So I simply can't give a detailed answer.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
I just think its a bit sad (none / 0) (#98)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:49:51 PM EST

That well-meaning atheists are denied the opportunity to become masons. I suppose there are good historic reasons for it.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

(The Secret) Levels of Freemasonry (4.00 / 1) (#83)
by Yekrats on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:31:26 PM EST

There are only three levels of Masonry, so I am at the highest level, right now. This information is relayed to me by many very reliable sources. But maybe that's just what they want me to think! :-)

There are several other organizations which are affiliated with Masonry, like Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners, Eastern Star, and others. Sometimes these are erroneously referred to as the "higher levels of Masonry." I'm not involved in any of these affiliated groups so I can't say much about them. My Father-in-Law is a 33rd in Scottish Rite, and is involved in Eastern Star.

From what I understand of those affiliated groups, the York Rite and Eastern Star seem very Christian-Bible-oriented. (We share the same Lodge with an Eastern Star chapter, and they often forget to put away the Christian flag when they are through with meetings. We can't have that flag flying during our meeting!) Scottish Rite, on the other hand, seems to be more secular.

It is true that no athiest may become a Mason. Belief in a devine creator is one of the core values of Masonry, and our Order built around that tenet. Note, that it does not matter if you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or from some other monotheistic religion.

I have nothing against athiests, and I respect you for your belief. That's fine. I have many friends that are with you on that point. But Freemasonry a private club for men that have a belief in a devine creator, among other things. I didn't make the rules, I just accepted them upon entering. Metaphorically speaking: You're probably also not going to enjoy yourself in a book club, if you don't know how to read.

I've seen the Hiram Key, but have not read it. I know people that have; perhaps I'll borrow a copy. I have heard those legends of Freemasonry's connections with Jesus (from the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" mostly) and think that it's an interesting idea, but probably not very accurate.

Thanks for your insight.

-- Yekrats

[ Parent ]

Thats the problem with secrecy. (none / 0) (#88)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:52:37 PM EST

It creates an atmosphere of mistrust, not least amongst the general public. If you hide something, it is natural curiosity for people to want to know more. In that sense I suppose the secrecy aspect could act as a recruitment aid.

But maybe that's just what they want me to think! :-)

Problem is, there is no way to know whether you are simply a man who likes to spend time at the lodge, or an unwitting member of a global conspiracy! That would worry me slightly. As would the goings on with Propaganda Due masonic organization in Italy.

Nonetheless I find it a fascinating subject from a historical perspective.

I didn't make the rules, I just accepted them upon entering. Metaphorically speaking: You're probably also not going to enjoy yourself in a book club, if you don't know how to read.

Quite, but Masonry describes itself as a secular organization and goes as far as to ban the discussion of religion, It seems odd to exclude someone because they don't believe in God. My question was whether there are any moves afoot to change this 'discriminatory' practice ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

hrm (none / 0) (#92)
by akma on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:27:29 PM EST

No. The likelyhood that regular masonry will be dropping the requirement for a candidate to profess a belief in a supreme being is next to nill. There are however some "bastard children" (for lack of a better term) of masonry that do not have such a requirement. Some not only have no religion requirement, but also get involved with poitics to a limited degree, such as the Grand Orient of France. There are some disadvantaages in joining such bodies though. Visiting the regular lodges out there that make up the mojority of masonry is pretty much out o the question in most instances as there is no mutual recognition allow visitation. THere are a couple of exceptions supposedly, but I have no first hand knowledgeof those.

 Being an un-witting drone in a conspiracy...that I don't see. You simply aren't required or expected to do anything that I could see that would support such a thing. If anything, just the opposite is true.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]

I suppose the point is this. (none / 0) (#99)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:07:27 PM EST

I could lie about my beliefs in order to become a mason, but I won't. Conversely others who do not have the same scruples that I do will lie and get admitted. The ban on atheists seems slightly counter-productive to me.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

That depends (none / 0) (#106)
by Gully Foyle on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:49:40 PM EST

On who you want to attract

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Well there you have it. (none / 0) (#110)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:02:25 PM EST

Again it boils down to our inability to determine whether the freemasons are a benign group of people working for the betterment of themselves and mankind, or something more sinister.

What do you think ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Not a lot (none / 0) (#111)
by Gully Foyle on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:15:49 PM EST

Maybe the people at the top might know people who know people, but the rank and file are just a bunch of blokes hopping around with their trouser legs rolled up. No more a conspiracy than the old Etonians who wear their school ties to job interviews.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Problem with Secrecy (none / 0) (#101)
by Yekrats on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:21:56 PM EST

"...Masonry describes itself as a secular organization and goes as far as to ban the discussion of religion, It seems odd to exclude someone because they don't believe in God. My question was whether there are any moves afoot to change this 'discriminatory' practice?"
I would be very surprised if that requirement would be lifted. Belief in God is one of our core values.

We have a nondenominational prayer at the beginning of every one of our meetings, but you are right in saying that we do not discuss religion during our ceremonies. I guess I don't understand why you would be interested in getting into Masonry if you are not even slightly a spiritual type.

If you're simply wanting information about Masonry, there's scads of information on the Internet, some more accurate than others, shall we say. I found lots of good information here:
http://www.masonicinfo.com/

Best wishes,
-- Yekrats

[ Parent ]

Atheists (2.00 / 1) (#85)
by Irobot on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:32:32 PM EST

Atheists are not all bad people.
Only most of them. Those godless communist heathens! Next thing you know, they'll be challenging the "Under God" clause in the Pledge of...oh, wait...

Irobot

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. -- Margot Fonteyn
[ Parent ]

The burden of proof is on Religionists. (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:39:21 PM EST

So far no Religionist has managed to convince me of the existance of God. I require a higher standard of proof than blind faith. Most Atheists are bad in the same sense that most Religionists are bad, in that we all fall short of the glory of the (non-existant) God.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Maybe not bad, but dumb (none / 0) (#89)
by RyoCokey on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:57:48 PM EST

I find it kind of interesting that an Atheist would demand proof of a god, yet believe that he does not exist when it is patently impossible to disprove such a thing. An Atheist is someone who accepts as a given a negative proof, while mocking people for even considering a positive one. Surely such a person is... well, not very good at logic.

An agnostic, on the other hand, I could understand completely.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
I don't believe in God. (4.50 / 2) (#90)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:12:21 PM EST

An Atheist is someone who accepts as a given a negative proof, while mocking people for even considering a positive one.

Please show me exactly where I mocked anyone ?

I perfer to describe myself as an Atheist, because Agnosticism implies that one is not completely sure about one's disbelief in the thousands of deities available for worship. I am completely sure God(s) do not exist. But then again, I am completely sure the sun will rise tomorrow morning. Sure there is a microscopic statistical possibility that I am wrong, but for all functional purposes, based on my observations, I am not.

The question of who/what created the universe is a pointless consideration for humans. Do fish in a pond know who or what dug the pond ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Odd statistics (none / 0) (#134)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:27:06 PM EST

Sitting on a rock with but the most primative tools to gaze outward into a unfathomably huge cosmos, and having only the dimmest recollections of most of our history, it seems a little odd to say you are "completely sure" other mysterious beings do not exist. It sounds more like a very unscientific and self-centered wish that a superior being does not exist.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
so... (none / 0) (#130)
by automaton on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:18:09 AM EST

So you belief in pink bunnies running the universe from their evil planet named Pink Prime, just because the negative cannot be proved?

[ Parent ]
Completely missed the point (none / 0) (#135)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:29:27 PM EST

I do not believe such is the case, however, I certainly don't hold a uninformed faith, in the absense of knowledge that it is impossible for the bunnies to exist. To do so would be as absurd as starting a sentence with "So you belief"



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
Strict Atheism... (none / 0) (#140)
by rtechie on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:32:51 PM EST

What you're talking about is "strict atheism" which very few people adhere to. Technically speaking "strict atheism" amounts to disbelief in EVERYTHING because "God" is so poorly defined that it can describe just about anything. This is the problem with most traditional "proofs" of "God", they can prove something, but the "God" they prove isn't consistent with common definitions thereof (like Jesus).

In practice, most atheists reject a particular subset of gods (in the West, YHWH/Jesus, in the East Allah, Brahmin, Budda) and leave it at that.

[ Parent ]

Jesus the Freemason? (3.00 / 1) (#97)
by Alarmist on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:39:14 PM EST

My personal take on the masons is that they are put in place to ensure the survival of the current power structures in the event of overthrow by radical revolutionaries.

If this is the case, I don't see how Jesus, a guy who was pretty revolutionary himself, could have been one of them. This is the same guy that supposedly made the Sanhedrin reach for the Excedrin and who said, "I have come not to deliver peace, but a sword." Sounds pretty revolutionary to me.


[ Parent ]

Perhaps he was a reactionary not a revolutionary.. (none / 0) (#100)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:13:48 PM EST

Or perhaps not, but organizations do have a tendancy to evolve from their original purposes. Also organizations can be hi-jacked, or simply drift to different positions due to social change. I don't think there is any prospect of determining a clear answer to the issue of Jesus's masonic connections.

What is very interesting is the Masonic temple at Rosslyn in Scotland. Even if it doesn't house some of the ancient Qumran scrolls, the decorations (including aloe and american Maize) make it clear that our conventional understanding of history requires revision.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

re: A Freemason did it. (none / 0) (#76)
by PenguinWrangler on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:25:09 AM EST

<MandyRiceDavies>Well you would say that, wouldn't you?</MandyRiceDavies>
"Information wants to be paid"
[ Parent ]
no (3.50 / 2) (#84)
by EvilNoodle on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:32:32 PM EST

Joining the masons does not suddenly cure someone someone of being a psychopath. You also fail to mention what degree you are at as this makes a lot of difference to your understanding. The masons are very open to abuse, but they have got a lot better at self regulation in the UK in recent years. It wasn't until the late 1990s that they started throwing people out of masonry for committing serious crimes. Up until then it was still every brothers duty to protect other masons (potentially even if you were head of Scotland Yard and the psycho you're hunting is a also a mason). P2 began as a masonic lodge.

[ Parent ]
One thing to note: (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by Dragomire on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:53:09 PM EST

By saying it is impossible for Jack the Ripper to have been a freemason, is exactly the same as the police saying it was impossible for the culprit to have been an educated man.

It is entirely possible that he was a Freemason, in as much it is entirely possible he wasn't.

Just joining the Freemasons does not eradicate any psychotic tendencies, as much as not being a Fremason does not contribute to psychotic tendencies.

Whether he was, or wasn't, a Freemason is something that will likely never be solved at this point. This coming September marks the 114 year anniversary of the first official Ripper killing. In all honesty, if the case hasn't been solved by now, there is very little chance of it ever being solved.

[ Parent ]

Okay, I'll bite... (5.00 / 1) (#116)
by MickLinux on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:34:18 PM EST

This is the conspiracy column, after all.  So...  a reference, then three questions, then another reference, then a couple more questions.

Go to your Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, and read the entry under Abbe Barruel.  Then read the introduction.  (the book will probably be in your public library, if you cannot otherwise get a copy.)

Now...  three questions:

(1) Was the author, to your knowledge, correct when he wrote affirming that there was an unspoken but nonetheless true conspiracy against Christ and his alters, and kings and their thrones?

(2) Based upon the claims of the introduction, and your own knowledge, how successful have the freemasons been in running revolutions?

(3) If you read between the lines on the Abbe Barruel statement:  if the conspiracy still existed today, would it not still be denied, but nonetheless true?

Now...  go back and read up on Mithraeums that have been unearthed.  Then read about the practices of Mithraism.

(1) How much symbology has seemed to transfer over from Mithraism to Freemasonry (how much looked familiar?)  

(2) How well do the goals of Mithraism match the goals of freemasonry?

(3) From the death of Mithraism, until the recrystalization of the knights clubs into Freemasonry, how long would you measure this to be?

Once you've answered these questions, we can go back to reality, and context... but I do ask them in all seriousness, though they are rather conspiracy-theory-ish.  However, I don't get extremely upset about it.  

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.
[ Parent ]

hrm (none / 0) (#136)
by akma on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:37:07 PM EST

One point that would seem to undermine a lot of that guy's claims: the Vatican just recently discovered a document in which the Pope had found the Templars innocent of all charges...just prior to attacking the Templars. (Most likely as has been claimed for many years, they were attacked to get their wealth, and as a very nice way for the King of France to both get out of paying back the money he owed the templars, and to pick up some extra cash at the same time.)

 

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]

Neither here nor there (4.00 / 1) (#141)
by MickLinux on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:54:04 AM EST

The author of this book was a mason writing as positively as he could. Freemasons are permitted to write whatever they want, true or not, and are allowed to agree or disagree.  However, that book, the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, is most generally accepted by freemasons as being accurate and correct.

Regarding the questions of innocence of the Templars, I googled around, and found no sites that were actual news sites.  However, if the story out of pharo.com is true, then it would sound to me like they were heretically wrong, they were engaged in practices that were bad in nature (try reading "That Hideous Strength", one of C.S. Lewis' worse works of fiction) regardless of the reason.

But what the Templars were or were not is irrelevant to what the Freemasons represent or do not represent.  

At that, though, I said that I don't get terribly excited about the Freemasons.  Why?  Well, I have confidence that God's plans outweigh the plans of his creations.  His creations can plan and interface with history someone, but they are not the Lord of History.  So I'm not terribly worried.

The part where it makes sense to question freemasonry, though, is in the bit about "He who aids a prophet in his job receives a prophet's reward".  It works both ways.  If you, out of desire for social status, aid and abet a theft, then you are a thief.  In the end, your reward is inherent in what you helped accomplish.

In the same way, if Freemasonry does represent a struggle against Christ and his altars and kings and their thrones, it really isn't going to make a lot of difference in the end...  except to those who branded themselves as "one who fought against goodness itself."  

Well, if they inadvertantly helped out of ignorance, then there isn't going to be much branding there, nothing more than "I can't believe I was so dumb."   But a person should try to judge for himself whether his actions are good or bad.  So it is more than appropriate to test freemasonry and see if they are the type of organization you want to belong to.

So do I think freemasonry represents a conspiracy, or a bunch of them?  For most men, probably not.  For some, almost definitely:  you can't run a hundred-some revolutions without conspiracy.  Do I think that they represent a conspiracy against Christ?   I think it is possible, and if true, it is very bad.  Do I get upset over it?  No.  God will deal with everything on his own time.  Do I think freemasonry is an okay thing to do?  No.  Given the nature of the evidence...  no.

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.
[ Parent ]

Alistair Crowley was a FreeMason (none / 0) (#120)
by xtremex on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:18:08 PM EST

He got up to the 44th Degree which is similar to the Pope in the order. He was dissapointed in how it made a mockery of Gnostic rituals, so he left the order and formed the Golden Dawn.... By 1888, he was considered the most evil man in the world....

[ Parent ]
Well, okay... (4.00 / 1) (#131)
by Yekrats on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:21:29 AM EST

Although there are only 3 degrees of Masonry, your point may still be valid. I don't know a lot about Crowley, but it's possible he may have been a Mason.

Fact is, I now concede it's possible that a Mason could also be a freak, wacko, murderer, or conspirator. Simple statistics would say that in any large population of people, you're going to have a few of those. For me to argue otherwise would be foolish. (I'm not sure why I made such bold statements, except for maybe the lively conversation. :-) Yeah, that's the ticket...)

However, those that act freaky, wacky, murderous, or conspiritous, they are not acting very Masonic. Furthermore, if you are someone who can lie well, and can tell people what they want to hear, you might be able to get in the door. We have a pretty good screening process to try and keep the Masonic nut cases to a minimum, but even with that, I'm sure bad apples get in.

-- Yekrats

[ Parent ]

An Original Templar... (none / 0) (#137)
by xtremex on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:12:27 AM EST

Alistair Crowley was one of the original members of the Bilderburgers! He was a Templar before the FreeMasons became merged with the Templars...

[ Parent ]
I am quite sure... (none / 0) (#128)
by runlevel0 on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:27:35 AM EST

I am 100% sure that it wasn't a geek.

[ Parent ]
Masonry is basically a men's club... (none / 0) (#139)
by rtechie on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:13:30 PM EST

Like the Elk or the Moose lodges. Except that Freemasonry is an explicitly Christian men's organization (though this has been watered down somewhat). Members have traditionally been upper class, or upper-middle class white men. Freemasons aren't any more or less moral than the average members of thier class. Yes, it's true that a great many influental and powerful men have been Masons. Since it's an organization mainly consisting of rich white men, this shouldn't be suprising. Harvard has produced even more powerful and influential men yet nobody is talking about the great "Harvard conspiracy". The secrecy is really just a shitck. In reality, Masonry is pretty boring.

[ Parent ]
Nitpicking (none / 0) (#79)
by spliff on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:52:41 AM EST

Your Methods Used in a Murder opens with a statement that the Whitechapel murders were an "oddity," yet the next paragraph states that several similar murders had occured previously. I realize that space and detail are always at a premium, yet the article could be more consistent by either addressing the contradictions or removing the odd set.

um...they're pretty sure they know.... (none / 0) (#105)
by fluxrad on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:44:52 PM EST

I really wish I could remember the details on the discovery channel special they did on Jack The Ripper about a year ago, but to sum it up, they think they know who it was.

In fact, most experts on the case are pretty sure the police know who did it all along but refused to arrest him because A) they knew him (may have been an ex cop) and B) "well, he was only killing prostitutes."

One of the other pieces of evidence that supported this theory was that as soon as this gentlemen moved out of London, the murders "mysteriously" stopped.

I only wish I had more information from the documentary so I don't just sound like the guy who "heard from a friend of a friend of a friend" that JtR was "so and so," but suffice it to say, the experts are 99.9% sure of who Jack the Ripper was, and more importantly, that they knew it all along.

now if I could just remember his name....?

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
AHA!!! (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by fluxrad on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:50:29 PM EST

The special was called "The Hunt For Jack The Ripper" on the History Channel (I know, don't believe everything that you see)...

If you'd like to watch though, here's the next showing:

History's Mysteries
The Hunt for Jack the Ripper
Thursday , August 15 12:00 PM-1:00 PM


--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Don't whistle while you piss. n/t (1.00 / 1) (#109)
by ape descendant on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:01:14 PM EST



Male or Female? (4.00 / 1) (#112)
by Kintanon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:18:53 PM EST

Why is there always the automatic assumption that Jack the Ripper was Male?

Kintanon

Jill the Ripper (none / 0) (#115)
by Dragomire on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:25:48 PM EST

There are a few theories that Jack was a woman. Most of the Jill the Ripper theories have the woman being a midwife. However, midwives would not really be trained to find kindeys, the liver, and other such in women.

[ Parent ]
Curious (none / 0) (#117)
by Kintanon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 07:39:14 PM EST

What about someone who regularly dealt with corpses? Perhaps an undertakers assistant or something of that sort? It's amazing what one can learn when motivated...

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

most were male (none / 0) (#121)
by Dragomire on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:49:19 PM EST

As with most professions in the late 19th century, most positions dealing with medicine, or the care of/examination of bodies after death were handled by males.

[ Parent ]
assumption that Jack the Ripper was Male (none / 0) (#118)
by blkros on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 07:55:23 PM EST

Basically, because of the strength that it took to do these crimes, and the speed in which they were done. Also the fact that most serial killers are men.

[ Parent ]
John Douglas (4.00 / 1) (#129)
by automaton on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:08:59 AM EST

If you're interested in serial killers and such, read the books by John Douglas (Mindhunter, Journey into Darkness). He was working for the Investigative Support Unit of the FBI, doing profiling and the such (think Clarisse Starling). While the book is a bit pop, it has some really valid points about the likely suspects in such crimes, some cases, etc. Many crime novels have some very strange criminals, which are unlikely (the transvestite, the homosexual, etc.). While in reality, it is most likely the spouse, or a member of the family. Since Jack killed prosititues and removed their genitals, a likely suspect is male, since only men get angry at womens genitals... Also, statistically speaking, there aren't that many female serial killers.

[ Parent ]
What does David Icke have to say on the subject ? (none / 0) (#122)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:50:37 PM EST

Between them, David Icke and Jeff Rense seem to cover just about every conspiracy in the book. I would be very surprised if Icke didn't have a position on the identity of Jack the Ripper. Probably he was an Anunaki Lizard from the lower forth dimension.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long

Jack the Satanist... (none / 0) (#132)
by limbic on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:38:35 AM EST

Thanks for the excellent article. Regarding Jack the Ripper, last Sunday's UK Observer newspaper has an article about him titled "New Ripper suspect's ritual killings obeyed occult decree". Apparently there is yet another suspect. This one is called Robert Donston Stephenson and he was a Satanist. You can read all about him in the article.

Conspiracies! Conspiracies All Around Us! (They're Coming To Get Me....) Part One: Jack the Ripper | 143 comments (122 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
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