Web links related to the Back of the Book program of March 20, 2000

Jeez! This one's taken a long time. Besides lousy service from RCN I've also had some things to do this week that have interfered with getting this page updated. It's Monday 3/27/2000 11:20:01. I've gotten some feedback from the little talk I did on the con man Dennis Lee who was featured on another WBAI program. I am just not a fan of con men. I'm not even done updating this page yet, so here's the usual advice to check back in here again in a couple of days.

Word has reached me that at the funeral for Patrick Dorismond on Saturday, March 26th, WBAI colleague Errol Maitland was arrested and beaten by police. We've heard conflicting stories about whether or not all charges against Errol have been dropped; one source says that he's going to be arraigned in his hospital bed today. He's definitely still in the hospital, and is reportedly handcuffed to the bed. Get well soon, Errol!

The job action by the freelance reporters and stringers for Pacifica Network News is still ongoing. The Pacifica National Board has met lately, as well, and you should see some of the people they've seated on the Board! Look at the Pacifica Theft Menu to find out more.

The Web cast of tonight's program was working at 11:07 PM, so I bet it's working for Back of the Book. Unfortunately, this may not be the case for much longer. WBAI's wacky General Manager, Valerie Van Isler, has not paid Porus dot com the $2,500 she'd promised to upgrade their carriage of WBAI. This feed may cease to exist soon.

Paul Williams of UFO Desk is arranging for this feed. And we thank Porus dot com for this feed.

“Emmanuel Goldstein” of Off The Hook is maintaining this feed.

So I just had to talk about this guy Dennis Lee who's a con man running a scam about “free electricity.” He's done time for fraud in California, coincidentally over phony energy scams. I sincerely hope that no WBAI listeners get caught up in this guy's scam. This guy has a whole panoply of goofy products that he's trying to sell to suckers. All of them are phony. They would have to violate the laws of physics in order to work, and so they don't work.

Besides the “free electricity” scam, which involves a machine that Dennis Lee has never constructed and will not demonstrate, he's also selling welding machines based on something called “Brown's Gas,” which is really only hydrogen and oxygen from electrolyzed water. Here's what con man Dennis Lee says about his welder. And here's what some others have to say. Apparently this thing is not only goofy, not only does it not work, but it's actually dangerous and has the potential to kill the unwary!

This guy Lee has been going around the country doing shows to net more suckers. He took out an ad in USA Today that cost $70,000 to publicize these shows. To get seventy grand he had to fleece a lot of suckers. Here are some reviews of a couple of these shows from skeptics who attended them.

This con man's money angle is multi-faceted.

  1. First, there are the “materials.” Dennis Lee will send you two video tapes and one book he's published if you ask for them. He requires that you send him a $100 deposit , “to ensure we could get our materials back. ” And he calls this a “Free Look!” Who really believes that two video tapes and one book costs this guy $100?

  2. The second angle is that he gets people to sign an agreement where he says he'll put a “free electricity” machine on their houses within a year. These people pay $275 for this promise. They're supposed to get together another 49 people who will also pony up $275 each. Part of the agreement, however, is that Dennis Lee gets $75 off the top, and it's non-refundable. He also gets to keep all of the interest that might accrue on the $200 that's left. Given the overall criminal nature of his enterprise one can easily harbor serious doubt about Mr. Lee ever returning any money at all when he fails to deliver.

  3. The big jackpot, however, is the dealerships that Dennis Lee is selling. He says that he's covered the entire United States of America by selling 2,000 dealerships. But if you'd like to buy one then perhaps he could find someone who will part with their lucrative dealership. He claims that some suckers have plonked $100,000 for these dealerships, and will not seriously consider any offers under five figures. This raises the question of why the faithful would sell off their dealerships, which would be worth unimaginable millions of dollars each once Dennis Lee demonstrates even one “free electricity” machine, for so little? I guess that some suckers don't stay suckers.

One skeptic named Eric Krieg has become a major critic of Dennis Lee. Mr. Krieg is an electrical engineer and apparently gets demonized by con man Lee in some newsletter he puts out. Krieg has a lot of experience with Dennis Lee's con games and he has many links to debunk Lee and his scams.

Since the program, I've been contacted by one Mr. J. Michael Hall, who is a dealer in Mr. Lee's “products.” Here is the E-mail exchange he and I had.

Subject: Dennis Lee
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 09:37:40 -0500
From: "J. Michael Hall"
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul Martin;

If Dennis is such a scam that you libel him without hearing his side, them maybe you should have him on your show to hear the other side. But that would mean that you are open-minded and from your attack without asking Dennis anything, shows that you are not! It is a shame that someone who preaches free speech rights does not give people that same right when he slanders them without having ever met or talked to him.

Mike Hall

Subject: Re: Dennis Lee
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 19:50:55 -0500
From: "R. Paul Martin" <rpm@glib.com>
To: "J. Michael Hall"
CC: Paul Williams

J. Michael Hall wrote:
> Dear R. Paul Martin;
> If Dennis is such a scam that you libel him without hearing his side,
> them maybe you should have him on your show to hear the other side. But
> that would mean that you are open-minded and from your attack without
> asking Dennis anything, shows that you are not! It is a shame that
> someone who preaches free speech rights does not give people that same
> right when he slanders them without having ever met or talked to him.

Thank you for writing, Mr. Hall.

I have indeed heard Mr. Lee's “side” on WBAI a week before I did my program. His “side” is snake oil, plain and simple. Did you hear the program or did you only read the Web page? If the latter, then let me assure you that I said much more about Mr. Lee, and his criminal activities, on the air.

In fact, if Mr. Lee is not in fact a convicted criminal, and if any of his machines do indeed work as he advertises then I have libeled him big time. But I am confident that Mr. Lee's credentials as a convicted criminal are valid, and I can tell that his various free energy devices, all of which are variations on the tired old perpetual motion machines of the past, are hokum. The fact that he's trying to gouge money out of people for these fake devices constitutes fraud.

So if Mr. Lee disagrees with any of this please do invite him to sue me for libel.

As for free speech, Mr. Lee has had time on WBAI to try and defraud listeners. I just provided some counter balance for those listeners.

As for open mindedness, there's a difference between being open minded and being stupid. I am open minded; I am NOT stupid enough to believe Mr. Lee's false claims of “free electricity” and his other scams. I do not need to meet Mr. Lee in order to know enough about him from what he says to realize that he's a con man engaging in a fraudulent enterprise. I've never met Adolph Hitler either, but I know that he was a bad man. Or is Hitler something else you, Mr. Lee and I disagree about?

And what of you, Mr. Hall? Are you merely one of Dennis Lee's faithful “investors?” Or are you in on the scam yourself? Do you stand to make a profit from Mr. Lee's criminal activities?

It is my ardent hope that Mr. Lee gets imprisoned again soon for a long time, along with all of his partners in crime.

PS - I'll be putting your E-mail to me and this reply up on my web site.


On the previous program I talked about the massive particles that are probably making the galaxies heavier than astronomers had thought they were in the past. There's a controversial claim by some scientists in Rome, Italy that they have detected and weighed these massive particles called WIMPs. This would certainly support some theories of the universe, and be a major physical discovery. The Roman effort is called CRESST, the Cryogenic Rare Event Search with Superconducting Thermometers. However, an American group of scientists who are also working on a separate project to detect WIMPs claim that they have not been able to detect them, and they question the Italian group's claim.

It's pretty well accepted by scientists who work in this area that the dark matter of the universe is not something your or I would find familiar. Here's a link to some general information on the search for dark matter.

I synopsized some of the developments that came from the Fourth International Symposium on Sources and Detection of Dark Matter in the Universe, which was held in February in Marina Del Ray, California. A lot of this stuff is so damned new that I haven't found solid, relevant Web sites about it yet. I'll keep on trying though.

Here's an example of what I mean. The main thing about this Web page I'm linking to is its graphic, but they don't explain the graphic! The explanation of it is this: some scientists have looked at the gravitational lensing effects visible in photographs of distant galaxies. They have taken the lensing effects into account and inferred the distribution of dark matter from it. So this is a good guess at what the structure of the universe might look like in one part of the sky if we could see the dark matter. Here is what can be seen optically in this same area, which is called galaxy cluster Abell 2218.

I've bribed certain high officials and the vernal equinox of 2000 will occur at 2:35 AM, during this radio program. We'll observe this special Back of the Book event. Here's my chart of the seasons.

So here's the mail I got to on the program. Yeah, I'm still way behind on the mail. I'm going to make a determined effort to catch up on the next program.

Subject: you might like this
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2000 13:46:30 -0500
From: North American Shirley
To: rpm@glib.com

New study shows it's more than one, two, three for rhesus monkeys

Monkeys trained to recognize one through four also respond to five through nine

(Washington, DC) --- Animals can not only be taught to count, but actually understand the concept of numbers according to new research published in the January issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Process, published by the American Psychological Association.

Columbia University psychologists Elizabeth M. Brannon, Ph.D. and Herbert S. Terrace, Ph.D. designed experiments to discern whether monkeys could learn rules for putting objects into categories and then apply those rules to a new set of objects.

In their study, the researchers created computer displays with one, two, three, or four abstract elements such as circles, ellipses, squares, or diamonds of varying size and color. Three monkeys were then trained to touch each display in numerical order - two in ascending order, one in descending order. Overtime the monkeys were trained on 35 different displays. The researchers then tested the monkeys on 150 new displays and their performance did not falter.

However, in order to determine whether the monkeys understood the relationship between the numbers (e.g., that four is greater than three), the researchers tested the monkeys again, this time using pairs of numbers the monkeys had never seen before - five, six, seven, eight, and nine.

In the first round of testing with the higher numbers, both monkeys who had been trained to respond in ascending numerical order ordered the new numbers correctly 75 percent of the time. In subsequent tests, during which correct answers where positively reinforced, all three monkeys responded correctly at a level above chance guessing.

“This is the first instances where we're seeing expertise developing in monkeys,” says Dr. Terrace. “The results of these experiments provide compelling evidence that number is a meaningful dimension for rhesus monkeys.”

The researchers also point out that these monkeys were trained on their ordering skills for approximately six months and estimated that it takes children learning numbers thousands of repetitions to master similar concepts. The researchers also found several performance similarities between monkeys and people on similar tasks. For example, the monkeys are more accurate and quicker to order pairs of numbers the further apart the numbers are - in other words, ordering three and nine is easier then ordering three and four for both humans and monkeys.


Article: Representation of the Numerosities 1-9 by Rhesus Macaques, Elizabeth M. Brannon and Herbert S. Terrace, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Process, Vol. 26, No. 1. FULL TEXT AVAILABLE FROM THE APA PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE.

There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that these issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.

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