Dear friends, colleagues
While some of you have known me for years, in many guises, curator, guide, films, colleague and as well as a friend , one thing which those whom have known me both professionally and personally will agree on is, like most academics, I have zero tolerance for academic misconduct. Religious fraud is bad enough but scientific/academic misconduct is like a virus in that irrespective of one’s religious view, ranging from atheistic to believer, it can affect us all. In the world of anthropology which is where I began my career there is little deliberate fraud, however in biblical archaeology where I have spent the last four decades it is replete with deception, manipulation, dishonesty for various reasons, some political, some religious and some financial. Being non-discriminatory I have taken a vocal stand against all three over the years, at times at the expense of my career which now is at stake here.
Israel is a small country and one’s reputation and name is continually under public scrutiny and in the end, the ultimate question is, have we contributed in some way to advancing science and archaeology? Alternatively, in the search for fame and fortune, which is the issue being discussed here, powerful media and personal interests from abroad have encroached upon what once was a honest profession. Science, religion and archaeology are at risk and in an attempt to silence academic critics a small but financially powerful group within the media has chosen to react via libel ligation (silencing lawsuits). Their primary effect is not legal action, but an attempt to silence public criticism and freedom of expression in order to advance their own parochial interests. The ideology of ‘silencing lawsuits’ is perhaps best illustrated by Scientology’s L Ron Hubbard who wrote “The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment …If possible, (can) ruin one utterly.”
As you are well aware, ‘where threats of libel begin, freedom of expression ends’ thus I’m in dire need of contributions to establish a defense fund to cover legal costs. If this cannot be met, then they win by default and science, archaeology and freedom of expression will suffer the consequences. Sorry to be so blunt but this is where it now stands, I have near total academic support from colleagues, but for what we have in integrity, they have in financial resources.
Have a look at the website I just put up www.joezias.org and for further information see the Time Magazine article by Nina Burleigh whom many of you may well know (unfort. Time says he is an archaeologist, he is not) and then the acerbic blogs which follow in order to have an idea where those suing me stand in the public eye.
The 2,000 year old tomb shown here in the Jerusalem snow has the world’s earliest NT inscriptions written in stone, accidentally discovered by myself and interpreted by colleagues in 2000.
Shalom and thank you for listening and your support.
- The Battle In the Courts: Zias v. Jacobovici (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- A Feud Between Biblical Archaeologists Goes to Court (world.time.com)
- Pseudoarchaeology Meets Archaeology… in court? (ahotcupofjoe.net)
- Eric Meyers on Scholars and the Media (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
If someone sues you for it, if the judge is smart he’ll toss it out–
A Dallas judge dismissed a lawsuit last week against a former Navy chaplain praying for another person’s harm, citing that such prayers, referred to as imprecatory, are not illegal, as long as they do not directly cause damage to someone. The case concerns Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain who used Psalm 109 to pray against Mikey Weinstein, described as a Jewish agnostic and the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), an organization that seeks to distance religion from the military, Dallas Morning News reported.
If I were sued every time I prayed an imprecation the courts would be clogged so that no other case could be heard for a generation. A favorite is Psalm 137. Ps 55:15 is useful too. 69:28 is a fine standard fallback. And nothing is quite as frequently utilized as Ps 58:6, especially when I’m watching the Penguins of Pittsburgh.
[The absurdity here is that he was sued in the first place. What insanity inhabits the minds of so many litigious Americans. They sue for anything. They sue for everything. Get over yourselves!]
Even if you agree with the notion that lawsuits are a legitimate means to settle disputes, I hope you’ll consider the effects on scholarship if film-makers like Mr Jacobovici sue persons who disagree with their conclusions. First they came for Joe Zias because he criticized Simcha’s work and next they’ll come for you when you write a review of a book that doesn’t please its author or its publisher.
You can sign the petition urging Simcha to drop his suit here (where you can also see the list of signatories).
- A Petition Calling on Simcha Jacobovici to Drop His Suit Against Joe Zias (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Robert Cargill on Simcha’s Suit (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
Please, if you’re so inclined, add your voice to those asking Mr Jacobovici to drop his suit against Joe Zias. Here’s why Simcha’s being asked to do so:
1- Because suing persons with whom one disagrees over ideological matters and scholarly issues is inappropriate.
2- Because Joe Zias certainly isn’t the only person to object to Mr Jacobovici’s various ‘findings’ and thus shouldn’t be singled out in what for all appearances looks to be a simple vendetta.
3- And though we certainly understand that every person is free to travel legal avenues to redress wrongs, we feel that this suit simply harms the field of academic research and may stifle dissident voices to variant theories.
4- If successful, Mr. Jacobovici’s (who according to all accounts is a humorous and engaging person) action may inadvertently choke out dissident voices by means of monetary threatenings and academics simply cannot sit by and allow that chilling effect on scholarship to take place.
Signatories as of 12:16 p.m., Feb. 10th, 2012:
Jim West Petros TN 37845 United States
Oded Lipschits Tel Aviv 69978 Israel
Yuval Goren Tel Aviv 69978 Israel
Antonio Lombatti parma 43125 Italy
Emanuel Pfoh La Plata 1900 Argentina
Thomas L. Thompson Copenhagen Denmark
Travis Kolber Hod Hasharon 45201 Israel
David Willner Efrat 90435 Israel
Loren Crow Eugene OR 97401 United States
james m nordlund Fargo ND 58102 United States
Rochelle Altman Arad 89000 Israel
Carol Ann Bernheim Jerusalem 91080 Israel
Hani Davis Jerusalem 92302 Israel
Thomas Verenna Easton PA 18042 United States
Mark Goodacre Durham NC 27708-0964 United States
Niels Peter Lemche Copenhagen 1150 KÃ¸benhavn Denmark
Shaul Porrat Jerusalem 9672 Israel
Oded Borowski Decatur GA 30033 United States
Robert Dietel Everett WA 98201 United States
Matthew Collins Lilburn GA 30047 United States
Nancy Ainsworth Shelburne VT 5482 United States
Claude Vigneau, Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada
Peter Wong Fanling Hong Kong
Zachary Wong Hong Kong L4c 8t1 Hong Kong
Yvonne Ip Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong
Ho Chit Lun / Hong Kong Hong Kong
Alan Chan Hong Kong Hong Kong
Zev Radovan Jerusalem 93108 Israel
Piers Mitchell Cambridge CB2 1QH United Kingdom
sam tsang NT Hong Kong
Murphy Yeung HONG KONG Hong Kong
Anderson Chan Kowloon Hong Kong
Victoria Wong hong kong Hong Kong
Ada Lui NT 852 Hong Kong
Kennie Kam Yen Yin Mansion Jordan Hk Hong Kong
Jack Kilmon Houston TX 77090 United States
Frances Oppenheimer Jerusalem 97277 Israel
Addi Baker Melle 49326 Germany
Carmen Yau Hong Kong 852 Hong Kong
Prof. Donald Ortner Washington DC 20013-7012 United States
Phillip Davies Sheffield S7 1HL United Kingdom
Koon Pong Lau HKSAR 852 China
Steven Cox Salt Lake City UT 84119 United States
Robert Brenchley Birmingham B16 8JQ
Ed Wright Tucson Arizona 85721
Frank Strazzulla Rockwell North Carolina 28138 United States
John Granger Cook LaGrange Georgia 30240 United States
A South Carolina woman is suing the bar that served her alcohol as a minor the night she had a car accident that left her paralyzed.
Chelsea Hess, 22, is also suing the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the town of Bluffton and Beaufort County for negligence for allegedly not maintaining the road shoulder she drove her car over in her accident.
Hess was 20 years old on Aug. 8, 2009 when she went to Jock’s Sports Grill in Beaumont, S.C. for a game of billiards, according to her lawsuit.
She alleged that she ordered an alcoholic drink at the bar and was served without being asked for her identification. The legal drinking age in South Carolina is 21.
It’s sad that she’s paralyzed but she chose to order booze and she chose to drink it and she chose to drive and her condition is completely her responsibility. But she’s chosen the ‘point the finger at the other guy and tell him it’s his fault’ avenue so beloved these days. It’s not my fault, it’s yours…. Total depravity’s signature move.
I’m sorry she’s paralyzed. But she has no one to curse but herself for it. Thankfully, her self indulgent ignorance didn’t injure anyone else. If she had, though, I’m sure she would be blaming them too.
Poor thing. She’s so crippled by fame that she can’t manage to drag a towel off of a rack.
One of Gag(alot’s) former personal assistants
… claims, among other things, that she ensured “the promptness of a towel following a shower and (served) as a personal alarm clock to keep [Gaga] on schedule,” according to court papers. O’Neill says her services were required at her “earliest waking hour” or for “spontaneous, random matters in the middle of the night.” Another former PA claims she was required to sleep with Gaga most nights, because the singer didn’t want to be alone, and that the two shared showers and makeup time. A Gaga rep dismissed the lawsuit as “completely without merit.”
Ick. How deranged does an adult person have to be to suffer such self absorption? I suppose she thinks she was born that way. And she’s right. She was born completely curved in on herself and that apparently hasn’t changed one iota.
I hope her assistants win a boatload of money and Gag has to buy off the rack from hence.
Bob left the following in comments to the earlier post but I’m elevating it to a posting of its own since it is vintage Cargill: intelligent, sage, and precise.
Simcha Jacobovici is suing Joe Zias. *Suing* him…in court…for money.
I guess arguing a case on the merits of the argument is just not Simcha’s strong suit. Apparently Simcha prefers *lawsuit.* (It’s simpler, there’s more money in it, and you don’t have to mess with all those pesky archaeological *facts*.)
There *really* must be a *lot* of money at stake if Simcha is claiming $1 million dollars in damages. I don’t know of any legitimate archaeologist in the sciences and/or humanities who makes that amount of money per project. Oh wait…
It just goes to show why Simcha does what he does. When scholars ask, “Why does Simcha continue to make unsubstantiated claims about religiously-based archaeology to the public when scholars have vociferously opposed every claim he’s made for a decade?” we now know the answer: money. BIG MONEY. MILLIONS OF DOLLARS money. And Simcha will resort to suing his critics to protect his money.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. For Simcha, it is, and always has been, about the money. Not scholarship. Not facts. Remember, this is an entertainer who fully admits: “For the record, I am not an archaeologist, nor am I an academic.” (- Simcha Jacobovici, “The Nails of the Cross: A Response to the Criticisms of the Film,” p. 45.) It has nothing to do with religion whatsoever. Nothing to do with faith. Nothing to do with the advancement of the study of archaeology, Judaism, Christianity, or for that matter, sound reason, rationality, or logic. It is, and always has been, about the money. It is about profits for his business, Associated Producers, Ltd., as evidenced by this lawsuit. As we now see, when Simcha’s profits are lost in a down economy with a TV market that is becoming saturated with fake documentary shows making sensational archaeological claims about aliens and conspiracies, in Simcha’s mind, it simply *can’t* be the market saying, “No more. We’ve had enough. The demographic is saturated with Indiana Jones wannabes,” or a network saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” It *has* to be someone’s fault. Someone has to be blamed, and the money must be recouped. So, Simcha sues a vocal critic. It is, and always has been, about the money.
How much do you want to bet that this law suit was filed a couple of months before the release of Simcha’s ‘next big thing’? Wouldn’t it be something if this lawsuit was simply part of a media strategy to intimidate critical scholars by suing someone just prior to the release of some crazy new claim. The cherry on top would be another ossuary claim, because the world doesn’t have enough sensational ossuary controversies. Just watch. Let’s see if this is what happens. If so, Simcha will have proved me correct, and the world will know precisely what this is all about.
Exploiting the masses using rampant speculation to make a profit for a corporation – now *there’s* an Occupy movement I can get behind. “Occupy Simcha”. I am part of the 99% of scholars who are tired of the unsubstantiated speculation, circular arguments, and damage to the discipline of archaeology.
Robert Cargill, PhD
Truly well said Robert. I hope the judge in the case is as wise.
- Why is Simcha Jacobovici Suing Joe Zias? (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)