Friday, March 23, 2007

Refusing to Admit the Obvious: Sungenis's Einstein Quote is Fraudulent

Recently, Robert Sungenis wrote an article in which he further entrenched himself in anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. The vast majority of his article serves as its own rebuttal, but there are a few issues that may eventually be addressed. Because of the disturbing parallel to what Bob has done to Roy Schoeman (eagerly accepting and using a fraudulent quote to attack him), Bob’s tortured, continued defense of his blatantly fraudulent Einstein “quote” at CAI will be addressed first. He writes:

R. Sungenis: No, the quote is not “fraudulent,” it is merely put together with ellipses from what Einstein himself said. I have thoroughly rebutted Mr. Forrest’s claims.

R. Sungenis: Mr. Forrest has his facts wrong. The quote was separated by ellipses, and thus it was not “cobbled together.”


Once again, here are the facts:

A) Bob first claimed that he found this “quote” from Collier’s magazine (Article). He did not. After being confronted, he eventually admitted that he found it somewhere else but refused to disclose where:

“Let me admit to you that I did not get the original quote. I copied the quote from another source. Regardless of the source…” (Article)

Although, he later contradicted himself and misstated the facts when David Palm also brought up the fraudulent Einstein quote:

“I didn’t admit anything. I said the quote was from Collier (sic) magazine, and nothing more.”

In his latest response, he simply declined to interact with this specific issue at all (the source for the “quote”). Again, a simple google search reveals white supremacists, Neo-nazis, and other anti-Semites as the most common purveyors of this fraudulent quote: Google Search

If you have difficulty bringing up this search, it is because Google filters it due to the objectionable nature of the material. You have to disable the filter.

B) The actual Collier’s issue in which the article appeared was tracked down, purchased and a scanned copy of each page was provided for Sungenis and everyone else: (Article). The direct links are:

Page 1,
Page 2,
Page 3,
Page 4

C) Here is the fraudulent “quote” as used repeatedly by Robert Sungenis to “prove” that the charge of anti-Semitism is “nothing but a clever ploy” and that Albert Einstein thought so as well:

“Anti-Semitism is nothing but the antagonistic attitude produced in the non-Jew by the Jewish group. The Jewish group has thrived on oppression and on the antagonism it has forever met in the world…the root cause is their use of enemies they create to keep solidarity.”
Article 1, Article 2, Q and A #26, July 2006, Article 3

Is Bob’s latest attempted defense true, that this quote is “not fraudulent”, “not cobbled together” and “merely put together with ellipses”? Examine Bob’s “quote” again (directly above), and then review what Einstein actually wrote, in greater context. I have put in bold italics the fragments that Bob’s source used:

The members of any group existing in a nation are more closely bound to one another than they are to the remaining population. Hence, a nation will never be free of friction while such groups continue to be distinguishable. In my belief, uniformity in a population would not be desirable, even if it were attainable. Common convictions and aims, similar interests, will in every society produce groups that, in a certain sense, act as units. There will always be friction between such groups-the same sort of aversion and rivalry that exists between individuals…

The formation of groups has an invigorating effect in all spheres of human striving, perhaps mostly due to the struggle between the convictions and aims represented by the different groups. The Jews too form such a group with a definite character of its own, and anti-Semitism is nothing but the antagonistic attitude produced in the non-Jews by the Jewish group. This is a normal social reaction. But for the political abuse resulting from it, it might never have been designated by a special name.

At this point, eight paragraphs of material are written by Einstein in the article, eventually leading to this:

In the foregoing I have conceived of Judaism as a community of tradition…
perhaps even more than on its own tradition, the Jewish group has thrived on oppression and on the antagonism it has forever met in the world. Here undoubtedly lies one of the main reasons for its continued existence through so many thousands of years.

Quite a different story. We can see that it was certainly not Einstein’s intent to paint anti-Semitism as a “clever ploy” of the Jews concocted to cow gentiles, as Bob framed it. This is sophistry, plain and simple. Einstein was merely making general sociological observations and applying them to Jews as well in the first two paragraphs. Minority groups that do not readily assimilate and instead hold to their distinct identity tend to create friction with the larger population. This is normal and expected. However, in the case of Jews, that friction has resulted in particularly serious political abuses…such as those witnessed in Nazi Germany.

In the third paragraph quoted above (again, eight paragraphs removed from the other two), Einstein speaks of the fact that oppression can strengthen. As an explanation for why the Jewish group has survived for so many thousands of years, Einstein says, "Perhaps even more than on its own tradition, the Jewish group has thrived on oppression and on the antagonism it has forever met in the world." (Collier's, p. 38) In other words, while the Jews have (like many other ethnic groups in history) met oppression and antagonism at the hands of other ethnic groups, the Jews have (unlike other ethnic groups in history) been strengthened and invigorated by that antagonism - apparently, it activates their strong drive to survive. In fact, a similar thing may be said of Christianity. It has historically thrived on oppression rather than crumbling under it.

One will inevitably note several important facts:

1) The third fragment of Bob’s “quote” (“the root cause is their use of enemies they create to keep solidarity”), arguably the most important for firmly establishing the meaning Bob sought, is completely fabricated. It does not exist, period. Bob has yet to even simply acknowledge this documented fact.

2) As you can see, the first two sentences of Bob’s “quote” are actually fragments of longer sentences in the Einstein article. Yet they are presented in Bob’s “quote” as complete sentences. This is also false. Ellipses should have appeared both before and after each of these sentences and they don’t.

3) Not only are the first two sentence fragments fraudulently presented as whole sentences, they are presented as though one follows immediately after the other. This is another outright falsehood. Bob’s fraudulent quote has absolutely no ellipses between them. Again, eight paragraphs separate these two fragments in Einstein’s article.

4) The only ellipses in Bob’s “quote” (ellipses are typed as “…” in order to denote that text has been omitted) are between the second sentence and the third:

The Jewish group has thrived on oppression and on the antagonism it has forever met in the world…the root cause is their use of enemies they create to keep solidarity

The problem, again, is that the third sentence does not exist in Einstein’s article at all. So the ellipses here obviously don’t help Bob.

5) Even if Bob’s quote did use ellipses in the correct places (which it does not), this would still be completely illegitimate. First, to use ellipses to join two sentence fragments, making them appear as a continued train of thought, when in actuality they are separated by eight paragraphs, is ridiculous. As demonstrated above, the context surrounding the two fragments is different. Einstein was addressing two distinct issues in the context of those sentence fragments.

To give you a more concrete idea of what Bob is defending, let’s try this with the Bible and one of Bob’s books:

First, from the Bible:

“All who are of Israel are Israel. They shall be called children of the living God…for the Jews will always be more loved by Him than the Gentiles.”

(First sentence taken from Romans 9: 6, second sentence taken from Romans 9:26, followed by a completely fabricated phrase)

One doubts Sungenis would defend this particular “quote” (and neither would we).

Now let’s extract a “quote” from Sungenis’s book, How Can I Get to Heaven?:

“God is pleased with us. It is a personal righteousness that God can recognize…because we attack Jews without ceasing.”

Again, one hopes Bob would not defend this “quote.”

(First sentence taken from page 45, second from page 48, followed by a completely fabricated phrase).

In any case, the fact is that Albert Einstein never indicated in any way that the charge of anti-Semitism is “nothing but a clever ploy” concocted by Jews to cow gentiles. It’s plain nonsense and, sadly, that doesn’t seem to matter to Bob.

The question is, how long will Bob leave this blatantly fraudulent quote up on his website? He has been informed about the problem for 7 months now. Perhaps Roy Schoeman should be pleased that it only took Bob a couple of weeks to remove the fraudulent quote he used to attack Roy.

At this point it might be worth a quick review of Bob’s accuracy and source problems:

Without sufficient corroboration, any information, especially in these kinds of sensitive areas, is as good as false. We have all learned our lesson, . . . (apology from the Mr. X affair, c. May 2003).

[L]et me offer my sincerest apologies…I know that some of the words I chose and some of the sources I used tended to incite offense. I can assure you that such will be the case no longer. (Open Letter dated 18 Sept 2006.)

I already told them that I would check and recheck my sources and speak charitably in my critiques (Question 60- jews?)

...our sources and facts will be checked and rechecked… (Question 55- Michael Forrest and the boys, emphasis his)

Our sources will be checked and rechecked, and if there is a questionable source, we will inform our reader so that he can judge the content and the source for himself. (Question 16)

As we do so, CAI is going to make a concerted effort to clear up the so-called “source problem,”…plan to silence the “source critics” once and for all.
("Christopher Blosser and the Catholic ADL")

Especially for those who remember the “Mr. X” debacle, this is all particularly ironic. Bob intended to attack William Webster for his purportedly illegitimate use of ellipses. He claimed that Webster used them in such a way as to seriously distort the meaning of what the Early Church Fathers wrote.

One standard for me, another for thee.