JF Ptak Science Books Post 1204 [Part of our Bad Ideas series.]
Sometimes things aren't what they seem, and then sometimes they're not what they seem not to be, and then there are these things, below. These small pamphlets are very reaching examples of finding gold or silver or muffins or whatever in a sow's ear, finding a hope for belief where there wasn't room for any, logically speaking. But there's always room for belief and faith, which takes on myraids of appearances, from believing in paper money to believing in heaven--in these cases, our writers believed in the unbelievable, creating and then believing in "innermost secrets" where there were no secrets and were no insides.
Both of the examples below relate to the kidnapping of the 20-month-old son of Charles Lindburgh in 1932. The crime was an extraordinarily national event, with seemingly everyone in the country following the case During the two-month hunt for the baby and the subsequent trial and execution of the man who was seen as responsible for the child's kidnapping and murder, there were fantastic numbers of claims from people who had solutions to the mystery, or had been in contact with the kidnappers, or some other sad, imaginary relationship to the event. The examples below [both of which are available for purchase at our blog bookstore] claim to have incredible insight into the real nature of the crime, which of course goes blindingly beyond the simple matters of the case and on to include massive colusions between the U.S. State and Justice Departments, "international bankers", F.D.R., Kaiser Wilhelm, and "the Japanese government". And more.
The first example was published in 1942 by something called "The Mothers and Daughters Committee". This group used the address of 280 E. 21St Street, Brooklyn, New York, which today is a six storey building with 96 apartments, and I suspect that the MADC back there in '42 was nothing more than a crank in apartment inthis building. The thinking is too confusing and the references too many amnd too busy to actually do this thing justice by de-threading it, but suffice to say it claims that the F.B.I. was shielding "the international criminals"who were truly responsible for the crime--I'm not sure how F.D.R. works his way in there but it has something to do with "international bankers", communist conspirators, traitors in the State Department, and "needy" lawyers, all brought together in a choking confluence to do harm somehow to American society and morality.
Now our second towering example is this four page pamphlet, received by the Library of Congress (and probably nobody else) on 1 October 1943, which divines the origins of World War Two and the kidnapping of the Charles Lindbergh baby to a complex and impossible cabal of Japanese “War Lords”, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, the assassination of Leon Trotsky, the League of Nations, Elihu Root, “3 cent gallon kerosene”, the South Manchurian Railway, and some sort of “historical documents of posterity countersigned by Tokyo and Berlin” in the possession of Mrs. Renee Valentine (“Secretary”) of Staten Island, New York.
The entire affair began with “co-tenants of the kidnappers band in small studio building owned by a relative of a former U.S. Senator” under the instigation of “Germany, Japan and certain Arnold Benedicts types” brought about by the end of the “Jap-Russo” War of 1905.
We are told it was an “inside job”.
Somehow Teddy Roosevelt gets involved with Kaiser Wilhelm in arranging for the Russians to pay indemnity to the Japanese in terms of a land agreement of Southern Manchuria, opening the way to exploitation of China by the Japanese. Something else happens, the South Manchuria Railroad gets thrown in as well as four competing U.S. banks and Elihu Root and a failed League of Nations agreement which upsets a balance of power and brings “the Astors, Canterbury and the Guggenheims” into competition with the Japanese and Kaiser Wilhelm, doing something to the Treaty of Washington.
After this incredible and unconnected and partially non-existent series of events is both untangled and entangled before our eyes, the writer reaches the lonely and very solitary conclusion that “the necessary documents to prove these charges (??) could be secured through the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby”. I was waiting for the author to make a case for Lindbergh's real-life (and long held) Nazi sympathies, but that just didn't happen.
I really have no idea of what the writer is talking about, but the failure of making any connection whatsoever with any of the “facts and circumstances” is magnificently appalling, and has moved itself from the realm of being so bad that it isn’t even “bad” anymore. It is that singular sort of “badness” that makes the printed words seep into the paper and disappear before your very eyes, and the only thing that you can say is "wow".