The Reality Behind Corporate Media’s “Stomp-On-Jesus” Frenzy

After the nine day media frenzy over my public observations that the Sandy Hook School massacre likely didn’t transpire as the news media reported, I was left to ponder whether anything productive came out of the “news” production where I reluctantly played the starring role. Unfortunately, after many news cycles the public remains as much in the dark on the specifics of the shooting as it was on December 14th. This should be expected as major media proceed with coverage that sensationalizes events and defames individuals while leaving readerships and audiences largely uninformed.

Another example of this phenomenon that has hit close to home involves Deandre Poole, a colleague in my department at FAU. Like me, Poole has been placed up on the media scaffold and vilified, his livelihood and personal welfare threatened mainly as the result of a news media that is far more concerned with provocation than enlightenment.

When I first heard about the “Jesus stomping” incident something didn’t seem right. Poole, who was a student in one of my graduate seminars in the mid-2000s, never came off as an overbearing or arrogant individual that would seek to impose his will on anyone. On the contrary, he’s always been a gentleman, not to mention a notable success story for our program since he went on to take a doctorate at Howard University.

Since 2002 when I joined FAU the administration has on numerous occasions emphasized that in accordance with state and federal law faculty respect the religious beliefs of all students—whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any other faith. For example, if a student is absent because of a religious observance the absence is stricken from their record and an effort is made to provide them with the opportunity to complete tests or other activities they may have missed. The same holds true if a student sought to sit out for such an exercise. Moreover, a student would not be ostracized or dismissed merely for her or his aversion to such an activity.

With these things in mind I was led to ponder whether something more took place in the classroom that day between Dr. Poole and student Ryan Rotela. What if the student perhaps caused a scene of some sort? Speaking as someone who’s had to deal with a variety of instructor-student situations, this scenario appeared much more plausible than Rotela’s somewhat vague account where he presents himself as the victim.

The situation was worsened when FAU administrators played into the media’s hands by apologizing for the incident rather than publicly explaining how the student’s allegations were likely inaccurate. After all, university officials knew exactly what transpired.

On March 31 Poole finally broke his silence, and his remarks confirm a betrayal of his Alma Mater and employer before a news media primarily concerned with perpetuating a story based on its own poorly researched reports. “Poole said that, as best he could tell, only one student in the course had an objection,” Inside Higher Ed explains.

That student — whom Poole did not name in the interview, but who has come forward in local news reports saying he was suspended for objecting to the exercise—refused to participate and then said repeatedly … “How dare you disrespect someone’s religion?” After class, the student came up to him, and made that statement again, this time hitting his balled fist into his other hand and saying that “he wanted to hit me.” While the student did not do so, Poole said he was alarmed and notified campus security and filed a report on the student. That action, he said, not the student’s objection to the exercise, is why the student briefly faced disciplinary action.

Nevertheless, while an April 1 WPTV News Channel 5 report highlights the intense harassment Poole has received, it fails to even mention the fundamentally contrary narrative he has placed on the record.

The fact that the public have barely been provided the opportunity to contemplate Poole’s account is further complicated by the “soundbite culture” that corporate media and lazy journalistic practices actively cultivate. Such media are well aware that impressions and what one desires to believe routinely triumph over information, analysis and reflection. Once a story frame and/or caricature of an event or figures are established news media are far more inclined to reinforce that frame rather than backtrack and correct their initial reportage.

In my case the biases generated from how the public has been conditioned to judge “those who traffic in conspiracy theories”—or worse, a professor who considers the meaning behind such peculiar topics on the public’s dime. For example, after a writer from the purportedly “alternative” New Times interviewed me somewhat aggressively for two hours, he proceeded to contact dozens of colleagues and even my spouse for dirt that might bolster the “wacko conspiracy theorist” frame. When he couldn’t come up with any tales of me marching around in my underground bunker he simply wrote an article highlighting carefully selected quips from “one of the countries most hated professors.” This is the type of reportage even press lords like Joseph Pulitzer sought to ameliorate a century ago through the establishment of journalism schools.

When I was contacted by a journalist recently concerning the media frenzies surrounding Poole and myself, I asked him if he knew what date the classroom occurrence between Poole and Rotela took place. When the writer replied that he believed it was March 4th—“at least that’s what Rotela claims”—I pointed out that that was not possible because on that date the university was on spring break. I further inquired whether he checked with FAU’s Police Department to inquire whether a report existed on the incident. He said he had not, and in admitting such he spoke for every journalistic outlet covering the story.

The fact that such information was overlooked attests not only to the knee-jerk assumptions of such news organizations, but also the poorly conceived and unimaginative journalistic practices that continue to leave so many in the dark today.

In the end given the excessive mediated pageants of the “conspiracy theory” and “stomp-on-Jesus” professors, it is safe to conclude that with few exceptions corporate news media have little desire to question and interrogate official pronouncements, inform and challenge their audiences, and thereby promote a more meaningful public discourse. Instead, their primary objective is to furnish titillating bread and circuses that will capitalize on the public’s information deficit long enough for the next freak show attraction to be identified, puffed up and wheeled before the nation.

68 thoughts on “The Reality Behind Corporate Media’s “Stomp-On-Jesus” Frenzy”

  1. “Instead, their primary objective is to furnish titillating bread and circuses that will capitalize on the public’s information deficit long enough for the next freak show attraction to be identified, puffed up and wheeled before the nation.”
    This is what I find so cognitively challenging to understand. How is this possible in a country with over 9,000 schools of higher education? How is it possible that all of those who graduated from these institutions do not require more from the society that they now are a functioning contributer? I need to understand…that is my primary motivation in this life. I need to understand….not believe.
    When did we learn to accept the “panem et circenses” that we are fed daily by the asymmetrical power structure…and, why would we even participate in such a freak show? These are the questions that must be addressed so that we might expel the false paradigm of inanity and irrelevancy. Anything else is merely the spinning of wheels.

  2. I understand there is more to the story, BUT… how can a teacher or institution be called “respectful of other religions” when students are told by a person, in a position of power, to stomp on the name of the one that is a key figure in that religion?? I am a Christian and that is not respectful of my religion, sir! I equate the name of Jesus to God. Why in the world would I stomp on my God and how does someone pushing that agenda on me show respect to me?? Seriously, I don’t understand how you, or anyone at FAU, the college I graduated from, justify that one! Get real Dr.! If this was done to Mohammad, or Buddha, there would be FAU teachers and admin lining up to get that professor fired ASAP.

    1. What if it were done on the US Constitution? I doubt there would be much of an outcry. After all, “it’s just a goddamn piece of paper.”

      1. One of the reasons Buddhism is my favorite religion is because of these two statements I’ve seen sometimes mentioned in association with ‘Big bad Mr. Buddha”: 1) ‘If you see Buddha on the road, kill him.’ 2) ‘Who is Buddha? Buddha is shit on a stick.’

        Modern people, Americans in particular, trained in iconography and idolatry; rush to judgement and are altogether incapable of understanding or even considering–context.

        Damned fools. Over-educated, under-educated, over-paid, under-paid; all damned fools with few exceptions.

        Great work, Tracy, one of the few.

        Ned Lud

      2. Really? The US Constitution is stomped on nearly every day – if not by a foreign interest, then by those who we elected to serve in our government… or the people they appointed. We’re all tired of being stomped on and having to defend our rights.

        Then we catch a story of a professor who instructed his class to stomp on Jesus? Is nothing sacred anymore, not even one’s own religion? And you’re going to blame the media for his vilification? You can point to the grass-roots, word of mouth route for this one – not the media. This story exploded across Reddit, Facebook, email accounts, and every other user-dominated media platform available. I was forwarding this story to everyone I knew. I was angry about it when I heard what happened – and I am *still* angry about it. Individuals were insulted at their core and quickly spread the word. The media had no choice but to pick it up.

        There are more productive and less insulting approaches to perform that intended instructional exercise. My wife is a college-level professor and have a career in business and assist with graduate-level courses as an adjunct. You can offer no defense of this man, I don’t care how positively you speak of his character — and I do not consider myself a good Christian. He crossed a line and deserves the fallout.

      3. Ned, the other one that the Buddha used that I think of often: “The Buddha is a finger pointing at the moon. Don’t confuse the finger for the moon.”

        A lot of what passes for orthodox religion in all its various forms are people who insist on mistaking the finger for the moon, deifying the finger, or in myriad other ways completely missing the chasm between the material expression and the interior truth. For Christians, a generous dose of Jacob Boehme is often salubrious for those with clear and disciplined intent.

      4. Dr. James blog posting is not about the moral efficacy of Poole’s actions. The blog post is about how the media misrepresented/ omitted the facts. You should read the blog-post again. Dr. James never “defends” the actions of the professor. Stick to the issue and you will see a lot more of the world. I promise you.

      5. @Aged Ascetic:

        Yes, exactly. Do not mistake the finger for the moon…

        This is why rebellion and tempestuousness aimed against the ‘standing army’ (the ever-present political and economic {pseudo-religious, pseudo-scientific} orthodoxy) is so vital on the one hand (by people seeking freedom and knowledge) and so viciously accused and derided (by the established orthodoxy seeking monopoly and control) on the other…

        Only a Buddha (or to a lesser degree, one authentically aspiring to their Buddha-nature) can understand any of these finer points.

        Jesus died at a young age, Buddha lived into old age; but both knew what they were talking about.

        Thanks for comment.


    2. Mrs C,

      Without all the facts, how can you even make a judgment about what this professor ( Poole ) may have said?

      What about context? What if ( and this is is hypothetical- because we have no facts other than the student’s charge ) the professor had prefaced with this statement?

      “If you profess to follow the teachings of Jesus, but in your life, you are spewing hate and engaging in corruption, then essentially you are stomping on the very life of Jesus and what he represented.”

      That would be the equivalent of the bible stating , “Faith without works is dead.” (ie worthless).

      If this were the exchange, would you feel he was showing disrespect for Christianity or the student?

      The problem, as Dr Tracy has taken the time to research and eloquence to state, is that we haven’t been given the entire factual story by the media. Just sensationalized garbage.

      Frankly, I want to hear both sides, and have a logical discussion about this exchange before I make a judgment either way. Wouldn’t you agree that would be the most fair and respectful approach?

      “In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are.” ~C.S. Lewis

      1. I was referring to the author’s statements about FAU and the teacher being religiously sensitive and questioned the truth of his statement in regards to the exercise. That I do know about and can discuss since the author himself opened the door to this line of dialog. If he had not made the statement I would not have responded. Knowing more of the story won’t change the author’s comments along these lines one bit.

        I have graduated from FAU about 13 years ago and also resided in the Boca Raton area for roughly 20 plus years. Currently I reside in India for the last 14 years. I was discussing this situation with a Sunni Muslim man here in India that works with me and asked him what he would do if I asked him to participate in an activity like this with Mohammad’s name. He said he would beat me and if I stepped on his Koran he would beat me. He also said that this was wrong to do with Jesus’ name as well since Muslim’s consider Jesus a prophet. So I do think that religious people from different backgrounds would have a personal problem with the activity, so again I ask, why do it??

        If you prefer not to discuss the activity itself and merely talk about this case from a completely non-religious viewpoint then go ahead and try it. For many folks out there that attitude simply won’t work and that is something you all miss in this discussion. The act simply can’t be divorced from the faith/religious aspect no matter how hard some folks would like to try. For some of us THAT is the real story and we aren’t happy about it.

        Here in India they have laws against putting down someone’s faith or their spiritual leader. This type of activity would not be allowed in their schools and maybe we should see the wisdom that they have in dealing with things like this. Maybe if the teacher in question had merely used some wisdom and good judgement in avoiding this hot button activity in the book he would have avoided all the mess it created and we would be discussing something more enjoyable.

      2. Mrs C.
        I hear your fervor and understand your sensitivity regarding articles of faith, but…
        Perhaps that was the point of the exercise.

        In an article linked in a comment below, it states that

        “The intent of the FAU classroom exercise is to promote critical thinking and draw attention to the sensitivity surrounding symbols in religion and politics. The best colleges encourage their students to question authority and challenge institutions – be it government, in business or in matters of religious faith. That is the best way to teach young people to avoid politically correct thinking.

        It is worth noting that the instructor got the idea for this class exercise from a textbook on intercultural communication. According to book, the exercise is intended to show students the power of symbols.”

        If universities avoid all hot button topics, then climate change, racism, feminism, sexism, economics, anarchy vs establishment, philosophy, psychology, politics, abortion, religion, states rights, big government, NAFTA, Immigration, the constitution and much of the arts will probably then be out of the question. Not to mention sports topics can get fairly heated.

        In my opinion, it’s better to examine than it is to censor.
        But differing opinions are what makes the world go round.
        Wouldn’t it be a dull existence if we all thought alike? 🙂

      3. Yes, let’s always make sure that we never have “hot-button” discussions. I believe that if your type of policy (in India) were implemented, it could aptly be characterized as the suppression of free speech. Keep in mind that I would never personally “stomp” on Jesus. But I would always defend the right to do so.

        1. Sara, I don’t endorse the typical closed minded American way as the best way anymore.Their system is not perfect but neither is ours. I see some value in the way other people groups/nations handle faith dialog, or other problems, in order to achieve a greater good of living in harmony with other people. People in India are very keen to dialog about different faiths and belief systems so there is freedom in that regard. They also have learned to walk the fine line of respecting what other people believe without denigrating them. What they try avoid is the silly pettiness and name calling we in the States mistakenly say is free speech. All that really is showing others is how disrespectful we Americans can be. Think the book Ugly America is appropriate when I see comments on blogs or watch American TV. I think we in America can learn some lessons from others that live outside of our country. I am open minded about seeking solutions that may originate outside of my home culture and would encourage others to be the same. If it works well with a billion plus people without stifling dialog isn’t that a good thing?

          Seriously, this activity would be considered a waste of precious school time in other countries. They are too busy putting out doctors, engineers, nurses, and school teachers. To have a teacher that is not teaching due to a silly mistake would be a disgrace to them. It would defeat the whole purpose of education and I tend to agree with that one. On that note I will leave all this silliness. God bless FAU and God bless Americans! I love both.

  3. Who elevates the Constitution to their God or their Holy Book, whatever that may be to you? Seriously, I think there are people in Boca that would have more of a problem stomping on the Constitution than the name of Jesus. If this teacher was so sensitive to other’s religious beliefs why didn’t he just avoid the activity all together?? Does FAU admin force FAU teachers to go strictly by the book or they are fired? Imagine if a teacher, or a person of authority, asked you to stomp on the name of your child, or your spouse,or your parents, anyone that you love and would that make you feel?? I understand you are making a point that there is more to this story but when you are saying someone, or FAU, is sensitive to ALL religious beliefs when the facts point out that that isn’t true, someone has to speak up! We do want the whole truth don’t we?? Otherwise we are hypocrites.

    1. This is interesting, a “true” Christian who is sensitive to the teachings of Islam? Have you ever read the Koran? Why would you defer to the muslims on this issue in any event? You sound ridiculous and contradict your own Moral Authority.

      1. I have read the Koran, and many Muslims have read the Bible, so they can debate on this topic with some knowledge. Yes, I am sensitive to other religions, unlike FAU and this teacher. The Bible says for believers to live in peace with others, as much as possible, there is no contradictions in scripture on this. Most American Christians don’t live this out because they believe the official government story on 9/11.

        The point you missed was that not only did this teacher, and FAU, insult Christians inside the classroom, and outside of the classroom, he also insulted other faiths as well. Not a small charge, don’t you think?? This goes way beyond attacking someone personally with petty comments. Try and think more globally about issues. Americans tend to think the sun rises and sets with just us, that is far, far from the truth in this day and age.

  4. You are not surprised, I am sure, regarding the intentional vilification of “certain” individuals. As an unashamed Christian, I am quite used to selectivity and insinuation by those who “champion” religious freedom.
    I agree with the tenor of the post: selectivity rarely breeds competent journalism.

  5. Prof. Tracey: I read that Mr. Poole said that”most” in the class did not participate. In the quest for understanding,I want to know just what this exercise was and what he hoped to accomplish? I have yet to have read anything which provides a clear understanding of just what the exercise was all about. Nothing about this has made sense to me from the outset. Thank you. (btw,I have been very grateful for your persistence re. the Sandy Hook affair).

    1. The author of the book, who is a professor at a small Catholic college in Wisconsin, has been interviewed several times on this and has insights on the exercise. See, for example, here.

      1. Thanks for the information,Prof. Tracey. I understand the exercise now;however,it seems to me that many outspoken Christians are having their faith challenged/tested almost on a daily basis. Hopefully,it will continue to become strengthened.

      2. Prof. Tracy,I just noticed that I misspelled your last name…I apologize. I think I now understand what Mr. Poole was attempting to convey in the exercise. IMO,the administration might want to back off and allow him to continue teaching as he has probably learned at least as much as his students.

  6. “…students were told by the class instructor to write “Jesus” in large letters on a sheet of paper and to place the paper on the floor in front of them. The students were given a brief time of reflection and then were told to step on the paper and tell the class how they felt.”

    Is this an accurate description of Dr. Poole’s classroom exercise?

    Dr. Poole “focuses on the role mediated messages play in shaping individual attitudes and beliefs concerning issues of justice and inequality, and examines how leaders, organizations, and other influential authorities dominate and oppress marginalized groups of people.”

    Okay, we got it. He made a Christian student angry, kind of what a “marginalized” person feels on a daily basis, or so the lesson might be trying to teach.

  7. My recollection was that the professor was receiving threats and that is why he was on leave and that the lesson was out of a textbook. That led me to search for what that lesson could of possibly been intended to be. Here’s an article defending him and it indicates it could of been used to demonstrate freedom of speech or how you should not blindly believe or do what authorities tell you. Since the professor already told the students they did not have to do it, he could of made the latter point by praising the one student who stood up for what he believed in. The teacher in SC was fired for stomping on a flag. Choosing religeous or American symbols, should be out of bounds, just like yelling fire in a crowded place is. At least you did not have the Governor after you!

  8. Looks like the ‘war of words’ continues. Critisizers of Poole use the word ‘stomp’ in their headlines, which means, ‘tread heavily and noisily, typically in order to show anger’ whereas one of the meanings of ‘step’ is ‘move to a new position’ which in an instructor-student-classroom scenario certainly can imply encouragement to engage in the state of critical enquiry to further understanding the strength/weakness and nature of one’s own beliefs especially when we engage in the controversial.

    I chose this particular meaning of the word ‘step’ because D. Poole made public statements in his interview with ‘Inside Higher Ed’ claiming….”he has been connected to churches all of his life, has served as a Sunday school teacher, and understands the power of the word “Jesus” on a piece of paper because he cares deeply about Jesus. I am very religious,” he said. “I see how the name Jesus is symbolic. For people like myself, Jesus is my lord and savior. It’s how I identify myself as a Christian.”

    Common sense tells me that if Poole makes a public claim to be a christian, he would not be making a contrary action of coersion against his students in a classroom exercise.

    In the CBS Miami report on the student’s perspective there is a clear contradiction where it states the student said, “The student refused to ‘step’ on Jesus” and then states “Anytime you ‘stomp’ on something it shows that you believe that something has no value. So if you were to ‘stomp’ on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value,” said Rotella. HERE WE SEE THE ONGOING WAR OF WORDS!!

    The situation D. Poole finds himself in, reminds me of how the learning environment in both lower and higher education now resembles a long piece of pavement filled with a million cracks one can stumble and fall into. Its clear to me that D. Poole as a teacher is having a personal experience with an educational environment that has been under-going, ongoing social engineering transformation and holds a ‘self-annihilating’ trend pushed by a psycho-social pervisity that erodes when it is touched!

    Its almost ironic that Jesus is well entombed or buried in this quickly developing situation because he historically represents the concept of ‘crucifixion.’ A teacher is being crucified here by the media, by social opinion, by collective society, with no forethought about his life, future, well-being, self-esteem, self-preservation or ensured survival, as the pillars that support his life are damaged to a teetering state.

    This reminds me of Jesus’ statement ‘forgive them Father for they know not what they do.’ I clearly see here that he was referring to the collective society which unconsciously observed and took part in the governed decision of his own times, to crucify him.

    Once again, we see that if we do not study history, it keeps repeating itself!

  9. What is remarkable about this incident is the apparent inability of the instructor, Deandre Poole, to explain why an exercise that, on the face of it, was grossly offensive to Christians was not, in fact, offensive.

    You defense of Poole also fails to provide a clear justification for the exercise. Moreover, if Poole’s classroom explanation was as non-existent as suggested by the accounts so far made available to the public, it is understandable that a Christian student might have been angered by an exercise that was highly provacative.

    Rather than attacking the media for reporting, apparently correctly, what happened, why not present a clear account of the exercise and the context in which is was presented. One might, then, be able to make a reasonable judgment about the affair.

    But I expect this will be censored, as with my last comment on this blog.

    1. Your last post was not “censored.” Rather, it was posted and thereafter I pointed out how you have in the past been cited as posting questionable info here. The only way the above post makes sense is if one had not read my article, which expressly states the grounds for critiquing the news media re this affair.

      1. “I pointed out how you have in the past been cited as posting questionable info here”

        I am sorry but you are either confused or making stuff up. And if you deny that, please cite one example of “questionable info. (that I) posted here.”

        1. You accused Prof. Jim Fetzer of sowing discord in the 9/11 Truth movement. Fetzer even contacted you personally to correct the widely circulated disinformation. Thus you are quite aware of the incident to which I refer. Subsequent to this you criticized my referencing Alex Jones and Webster Tarpley in The Last Liberal Intellectual, to which I responded and posted. However, I’m not going to post two or more comments where you’re essentially grieving the same thing.

      2. Alex Jones and Webster Tarpley are unimpeachable in terms of the information they research and present. Occasionally, they disagree on how to interpret the information (particularly the circumstances around Chris Stevens’ murder in Benghazi), but they are highly credible sources, despite the MSM’s attempts to smear them.

        I suspect that “Canspeccy’s” handle is a reflection of his predilection to dismiss all possible conspiracies as “canspeccy theories.” In response, I suggest Conspeccy check out how Webster Tarpley does in a debate with “Among The Truthers'” Jonathan Kay. (Hint: he decimates him.)

        And to give a shout out to Alex Jones and Inforwars, the fastest growing conspiracy is a belief in the New World Order — 33% and intensifying.
        Here you go, Canspeccy:

      3. OK, James, I think I get it. Anyone who disagrees with your assessment of the facts is posting “questionable info.”

        But in case you have even a slight propensity for fairness in debate, I will respond to your points.

        You say that I accused Prof. Jim Fetzer of sowing discord in the 9/11 Truth movement. But this seems a reasonable interpretation of Professor Fetzer’s public statements.

        For example, I published an email from Professor Steven Jones in which Jones states:

        “JF casts aspersions on my research regarding the use of thermates at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 — which is fine as long as he provides serious technical objections, which he has not done. At the same time, JF is promoting on the web site notions that energy-beams from WTC 7 or from space knocked the Towers down.”

        Professor Jones’ allegations appear to be justifiable as your readers can judge from Prof. Fetzer’s own comments that are reported here. I think that to most readers, Fetzer’s remarks would be seen as largely unscientific, argumentative, logic chopping aimed at discrediting a piece of serious and potentially most important scientific observation. But you can make what judgement you you like about this without accusing others of bad faith if they disagree with you.

        As for Fetzer’s ideas about space-based beam weapons taking down the Twin Towers, there seems to be absolutely no convincing reason to believe them, and thus they simply pollute the discussion and make those who question the official 9/11 narrative appear irrational.

        In this connection, it is worth considering Fetzer’s role in the discussion of Sandy Hook. As I pointed out here, In December 2012, within a week of the Sandy Hook Massacre, Professor Fetzer published, under the auspices of the press agency of America’s currently most hated enemy, namely, Iran’s PressTV, an article entitled Mossad death squads slaughtered American children at Sandy Hook, which aids the work of discrediting Sandy Hook conspiracy theories in four ways.

        First, by associating conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook with an enemy of the United States.

        Second by associating conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook with virulent anti-Semitism.

        Third by associating conspiracy theories with defamation of the US Government.

        Fourth, by associating conspiracy theorists with evidence-free speculation.

        As for Alex Jones and Webster Tarpley, I suggested you be careful about citing them since they are clearly capable of spouting the looniest of lies, in which connection I gave specific examples, which you can confirm for yourself by following the links from this blog post.

        1. Posted on behalf of Prof. James Fetzer, who has had unusual difficulty responding to this specific post.

          When it comes to “questionable info”, CanSpeccy appears to be in a class by himself. My falling out with Steve Jones had its roots in our differences over the scope of theories that Scholars should address. I have discussed this in detail on “Founder’s Corner”,, and in “Wikipedia as a 9/11 disinformation op”. He should know better.

          Moreover, the inadequacies in his theory of nanothermite have long since been demonstrated to be unsound. T. Mark Hightower and I have published three articles about it, which were available before The Toronto Hearings took place and ought to have been acknowledged at the time. See, in particular, which leave no doubt that I was right:

          “Has nanothermite been oversold to the 9/11 Truth community?”

          “Is ‘9/11 Truth’ based upon a false theory?”

          “Nanothermite: If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”

          Moreover, while I promoted Judy Wood’s work because I believed that it deserved more research (including in comparison to nanothermite), I have long since become convinced that she has not accomplished the task of explaining what happened to the World Trade Center and that she and the members of her group have degenerated into a cult:

          “Judy Wood and DEWs: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

          “9/11 Truth will out: The Vancouver Hearings II”

          “Mini Neutron Bombs: A Major Piece of the 9/11 Puzzle” with Don Fox, Clare Kuehn, Jeff Prager, Jim Viken, Dr. Ed Ward and Dennis Cimino

          The notion of space beam weapons having taken down the towers was her theory rather than mine. On Sandy Hook, once again, he should know better, since I have continued to publish about this subject and the evidence this was a scam has only grown stronger and stronger, where it is perverse of him not to acknowledge my additional research:

          “Sandy Hook: Huge Hoax and anti-gun “psy op” (with Dennis Cimino)

          “The Nexus of Tyranny: The Strategy behind Tucson, Aurora and Sandy Hook” (with Dennis Cimino)

          “An Open Letter to FAU Faculty, Staff and Administration about Sandy Hook”

          That CanSpecy should be so careless and sloppy in his reports on my activities, when my articles are easily accessible via “Veterans Today, Jim Fetzer” suggests to me that he is not an honest broker but has an agenda, which is far removed from exposing truths and appears to be devoted to promoting falsehoods. That is disgusting.

      4. If I may,
        I’ve read Prof. Fetzer’s explanation of the essence of the disagreement between him and Prof. Jones and it seems that Fetzer did not want to exclude the possibility of other explanations for the Towers, ect. destruction.
        I can understand the Jones side of the argument that physical thermate evidence was found and that should therefore be the main thrust of a working hypothesis. I think the disagreement was over the breadth of what that hypothesis should be.
        I think it’s important to be careful of the language we use when we attempt to paint these difficult subjects with a broad brush. I cringe when I hear the term “New World Order”. I’ve listened to Alex Jones for 13 years and I still don’t know what the hell he’s talking about when it comes to that.

        1. I think that’s a fair assessment of the exchange. There were likely several elements at work that day.

          Re NWO, I recollect that at the time I had trouble understanding what G.H.W. Bush was talking about either.

      5. Ted Havilcek, why don’t you review the conclusinve evidence I presented instead of flatly asserting what is entirely false; namely, that Alex Jones and Webster Tarpley are “unimpeachable in terms of the information they research and present.”

        But since you are too lazy to do the research here is one U-Tube video that will prove to anyone who can be bothered with the facts that Tarpley is prone to talk unadulterated rubbish.

        And much more of Tarpley’s lies and nonsense here, all with the enthusiastic endorsement of Alex Jones.

        I would provide further examples, but as James seems to share your faith in the veracity of Tarpley and Jones, I assume this will be moderated out, so there is likely no point in writing at greater length. But anyone interested might just google “Alex Jones lies.”

    2. Mr. CanSpeccy writes in an oxy-moronic way:

      … a Christian student might have been angered by an exercise that was highly provacative.

      … And thus demonstrating that the Christian Grasshopper has more to learn about Christ’s true teachings and how to apply them.


      1. … And thus demonstrating that the Christian Grasshopper has more to learn about Christ’s true teachings and how to apply them.

        You may or may not have a point. Was teaching Christians to be tolerant of blasphemy the point of the class? If it was, the point has yet to be made here. And it remains open to question how tolerant Jesus was of blasphemers. Jesus was quite capable of uttering warnings about hell fire. Your interpretation of the scriptures will not correspond with that of many others.

        What the incident suggests to me is a degree professorial insensitivity to the culture of Christians. Also, a considerable degree of arrogance, since Professor Poole sought to punish the student for his emotional reaction to what the student apparently perceived to be an insult to his religion.

        Maybe, if properly understood, Professor Poole’s classroom exercise of stamping on the name of Jesus was not an insult to a Christian student’s religion, or if it could reasonably be understood as an insult, maybe it was not intended as such. But in that case why did the professor not seek to talk calmly with the student and seek either a basis for agreement, or grounds on which one side or the other might offer an apology? Perhaps he did, but if so, we know nothing about his having done so.

        So, to this point, I would say that although Professor Tracy is fully entitled to express his support for a colleague, the public has no basis for a definite conclusion about what happened, why it happened or who, if anyone, was culpable. Under those circumstances, it seems that FAU had little choice but to apologize to the student. Perhaps he didn’t deserve an apology, but if the administration was in any doubt, then it did the only thing reasonable.

        And the faculty of FAU and other institutions may learn from the incident that they need to show as much sensitivity about Christianity to Christians as they almost certainly do show about Judaism to Jews and about Islam to Muslims. That would be a hard lesson for the liberal-left dominated universities to learn.

        1. There you go again, CanSpeccy. There is actually a good deal of information out now, especially since Poole has defied the gag order. In my view the Palm Beach Post has done some of the better reportage. See, for example, here.

        2. There is actually a good deal of information out now, especially since Poole has defied the gag order. In my view the Palm Beach Post has done some of the better reportage. See, for example, here.

      2. The sensationalist media blew it out of proportion. Why is this so difficult to understand? The professor had no ill intent towards Christianity, as he is a devout Christian himself. As for those who would take offense to seeing someone stomp on the word Jesus written down on a piece of paper I suggest you chill out. Read some Jonathan Edwards regarding his view on graven image worship and or its misapplication– Clue: the word Jesus on a piece of paper is not Jesus.

      3. @James: There you go again, CanSpeccy. There is actually a good deal of information out now, especially since Poole has defied the gag order.

        I don’t know where you think I am going again, but I had not previously discussed the question of whether the “step on Jesus’ name” incident was blasphemous, and I see nothing in Professor Poole’s statements to the press, that deals with this question.

        However, I will concede the point that, technically, the exercise, if blasphemous, is according to the Gospel of St Matthew, forgivable (Matthew 12:20-32). Nevertheless, blasphemy remains a sin, which means that asking Christian students to step on the name of Jesus is provocative.

        But what is most interesting is the broader context, which I addressed in a response to Leviathan’s comment about Alex Jones and the NWO.

        As noted in that response to Leviathan, I accept Professor Pooles’s defense that he was simply doing his job, and think that, to this point, he has been shabbily treated by FAU.

    3. @Leviathan: I cringe when I hear the term “New World Order”. I’ve listened to Alex Jones for 13 years and I still don’t know what the hell he’s talking about when it comes to that.

      I wonder why anyone would listen to Alex Jones for 13 years without knowing what he was talking about!

      But as James points out, the New World Order is a well established name for a plan for global governance as announced, for example, by President George H. W. Bush.

      Bush is quite explicit, the goal is a world “governed by the rule of law, not the law of the jungle,” which translated freely means death to the sovereign nation state. Hence the current wars, cultural and military.

      The idea dates back to the 19th century when the telegraph, the steamship and the machine gun made credible the idea of a global empire.

      The British seized on the idea of developing their empire, which controlled one quarter of the World’s population, into a global confederation of states. The idea was promoted by Cecil Rhodes, his banking friends including Lord Rothschild, William Stead, long time Editor of the Times, and Alfred Milner, a key figure in the development of Britain’s early 20th century foreign policy.

      The work of this group led to the formation of the Roundtable Groups, including the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization that is today staunchly behind the creation of an American dominated global empire.

      But the NWO concept was also latched onto by the Commies, who preached global revolution and it is, naturally, the hope of every United Nations bureaucrat.

      So instead of cringing at the term NWO, you should learn something about it: the conspiracies, wars and revolutions that the idea has inspired and the processes of nation state destruction that it now drives.

      To achieve the destruction of the sovereign nation state, i.e., the process of global genocide as the term “genocide” was defined by Raphael Lemkin, it is essential to destroy the distinctive cultures of both nations and civilizations. Hence the war on Islam, aka, the war on terror, and also the war on Christianity. That is why the “stomp on Jesus incident is highly significant.”

      Prof. Poole seems to have been caught up in something far beyond his comprehension. By his own account, as reported in the press yesterday, he was simply “doing my job,” i.e., asking students to perform an exercise in the textbook.

      This seems plausible. Unfortunately, professor Poole was not equipped to think through the broader implications of the exercise. Had he been able to do so, he would surely have had the discretion to either omit it from his class, or simply discuss it, giving ample consideration to objections raised by Christian students.

      It is sad, but absolutely typical of present-day academia, that no attempt at mediation was made. Had the participants in the dispute been invited by a competent Departmental Chair or Dean to engage in a moderated discussion of what had happened, the issue could surely have been resolved.

  10. Professor Tracy, your account of the Jesus stomping incident is depressing. I certainly hope there are professors in the USA who are hated more than you are. I am with Mrs C. I don’t mind insulting indivivuals, especially religous loonies, but but don’t want to insult a whole collection of people unecessarily because of what they were taught in their childhood.

    But the worst of the matter is that you did not state ex;pllicity that Poole is an Af;rican American. Do you think that”s irrelevant? Racism is a central fact of our political culture, and it is expressed both directly and indirectly in the media. It is also a major factor in the intensity of hatred directed at Poole. And the racism is largely both disguised and displayed in the religious ideology that diverts attention from it.

    You point out that the media stated it happened on the wrong date. Who cares. You point out the junk truths and keep the central truths unmentioned.

    Another central truth is that Poole is a dingbat. He doesn’t have the sense he was born with to require such an objectionable display while being Black. God knows what he was thinking. Of course he should be supported to get his job back, but an elementary realism is called for.

    Now that is quite different than you calling out the media on the Sandy Hook caper, since that serves a larger and worthy purpose. Sandy Hook is the first truly Orwellian homicidal conspiracy where the actual event may or may not occurred. And that is worth objecting to no matter what color you are, because an Orwellian police state is being imposed in the USA, and every effort must be made to stop it or at least slow it down.

  11. Given the text book author’s perspective, it is clear this would be a very effective teaching tool in a Christian university. Unfortunately in today’s world, speaking of God in the public school system is virtually outlawed. A posting today said, “They have banned bibles in schools, but encourage them in prisons. Would there be less prisoners if they were allowed in school?’ Do not be discouraged, we commenters and probably alot of just readers, are the public! We saw something terribly wrong with the entire SH deal and sought out the truth. We appreciate all the effort and sacrifice those who exposed it have invested and this forum that gives many intelligent folks a voice! CBS did a short, criptic clip yesterday on how they obtained the college records of the convicted mass murderer. Did you know the President’s speech writer is the brother to the president of CBS?

  12. I read the article, the comments and followed the link to the statement by the Catholic educator who developed this exercise in questioning the hold cultural/religious symbolism has on the psyche. The American flag and US Constitution are important because they represent our history, our most valued attachments to what we are. Personally, I am affronted when the flag is burned in anger or the Constitution is dismissed as “quaint” or a relic no longer viable in modern society.

    Are we too sophisticated to find intrinsic value in past accomplishments, so cool we have lost touch with meaning?

    Dr. Poole may have been well-schooled on paper and meant no harm, but he did not handle the situation with a degree of finesse. Why bring in the police? Seems he could have sat down and explained himself.

  13. Sorry, I did not finish my thoughts. Kept getting interference and told to sign in or register; tried and got sidetracked by computer machinations.

    What I wanted to say is that the student was out of order and out of control in a classroom situation, Dr. Poole may have gone back to default position and saw the anger directed at him as indeed racist–as someone else suggested. Then we’re off and running down the well-beaten path to old hangups. I am a senior citizen and cannot recall a time when race was not simmering on the back burner of social discourse.

    Also, Christian, white America is faced with dilemmas never encountered in our history. Multiculturalism, in theory is wonderful; in practice, it is an explosive and volatile brew. Change must come naturally over time. Forced feeding, as we find in so many environments, will only exacerbate the fears. Many mean well but they stumble over their own feet.

  14. One dirty little secret of college prof. jobs is how many qualified, credentialed pros want your job and those of your peers because of the excellent pay and benefits.

    On the issue of how Christianity has been treated over the years, and I have heard some pretty outlandish and now disproven positions from Yale credentialed doctorate teachers, such as that the historicity of Jesus is highly questionable a view that is now uniformly rejected, just check the Wikipedia article on the topic; or that the Bible does not explicitly condemn homosexuality, again clearly nonsense but not as a unique subset as sensuality, self indulgence, unloving treatment of others is the larger problem.

  15. JB, I am not asking anyone on this blog to think like I do or even become a Christian, or even believe the Bible. I am asking FAU and people in positions of authority at that college to be sensitive to what I believe. There is a huge difference. If one wants to dialog about the Bible, Jesus or my faith I am all for an open debate. If you walk away unconvinced I have no problem with that and would never un-friend you from my social circle. I accept that, I accept that other people have different ideas about God.

    I am a minority here in India both in my faith and my skin color. I understand completely these issues at a much deeper level than I ever did while living in the States. I am an elementary school teacher and have taught here in India with children that are Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Catholic, Jain and anything in between.

    In India one can dialog about their faith freely. Faith is a part of everyone’s life. If you go to the store and talk about God or Holy books they will pull up a chair, offer you tea and dialog on your faith and their faith for hours. The laws here draw the line in denigrating another’s faith, Holy Book or guru of that faith. It is called respecting other’s sensibilities and it all works quite nicely for a billion plus people in living in harmony. Maybe we in America should look into it if we want to live in harmony with others on this planet.

    Maybe we in America need to wake up to the fact that our schools rank so low in many subject matters compared to other schools around the globe because we spend way too much time insulting other people groups/faiths with pettiness and have to back track to apologize for stepping over the line. Just think of all the wonderful things Poole could be teaching right now if he was a tad more sensitive to other belief systems. Seriously, is it worth it?? Doesn’t look like it from across the pond.

    1. Mrs C..

      I love when people of different faiths are able to converse, find common ground and examine differences.
      Even here is the states, I have had many opportunities to have in depth conversation with persons of many different religions…from Muslim to Wiccan.

      And I agree that there is no reason one ever needs to denigrate a person’s beliefs to promote their own.

      But, I think the original intent of the article was to point out the sloppiness and irresponsibility of the media regarding this particular incident. Without factual context, it is impossible to make a reasonable judgment.

      Too often, the media uses its unchecked power to inflame, defame, and promote an agenda, entirely manipulating public discourse. They rarely simply include just the facts) then allow a sensible conversation (such as the one we are having now) to examine an incident within that context.

      Honestly, I so distrust the media’s accounts, that I could never make a judgment unless I personally called and talked to the professor himself, the accuser and those in the class that day. Because there is such a lack of journalistic ethics, I just don’t believe anything that I read in the news.

      Thank goodness Dr Tracy is spotlighting this issue.

  16. People who are paying attention are not surprised the teacher picked the name of Jesus for students to stomp on. Christ and Christians are increasingly under attack. We can read about attacks against Coptic Christians and their churches in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Palestine that are singled out for destruction by the forces of anti-Christ. The book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian bible, relates of the terrible persecutions (genocide) of Christ’s followers in the last days. Poole’s excercise, as a “symbol” of hatred for Christians, helps set the stage for the persecutions prophesied to come. Poole ignored and violated his university’s own rules apparently assuming no one would strongly object as long as the object of defamation was Christ. Like a good coward, he chose the safest target. Poole didn’t dare to insult any of the other major religions, particularly Judaism or Islam.

    By his own actions, Poole shows he is a false Christian. One of many wolves strategically placed among the contentedly grazing sheep. Alas for Poole, one ram was alert to what was “symbolically” going on..

    Also it’s ironic, if not hypocritical, that Poole who seems so fond of symbols that he had no problem symbolically stomping on Jesus but didn’t hesitate to involve real police and real disciplinary action when a student also used symbolism by smacking his fist into his own hand.

    Questioning lies about Sandy Hook do not even remotely fall into the same category as publically demonstrating contempt for Christ. They’re polar opposites.

    1. Jamie,
      I saw your link and forwarded it to two people. They tried to look but it didn’t come up. Now it’s gone. Can you still access it?

      1. I had the same problem. I forwarded the link to my mom and my fiancé, only to discover that it has now been removed. I had a feeling that would happen so I took screenshots, but I’m not sure how to post them on here.

  17. Well I have mixed feelings about this event, mostly though I concur with posters who feel like they don’t have enough information on what actually transpired. I don’t like to make judgments without facts. It sounds bizarre and unwarranted though. The notion that the prof’s race factored in is also bizarre given that nowhere but here have I even seen his race mentioned.

    I just wanted to add something to the Sandy Hook issue. I recently learned that Asperger’s is not considered a mental illness in the DSMV; a friend whose son suffers from it told me this. That means that all this mental health background check talk is founded on a lie. The autism community fought to make sure it was categorized as a brain disorder or malfunction but not as a mental illness so the notion that Lanza would somehow have been stopped via ‘mental illness’ prevention or whatever hysteria the gun grabbers are promoting is simply a lie. The columbine shooter was also a known criminal and he could have been stopped had the criminal justice system acted properly. One survivor of the Aurora shooting has come out and made issue of the reality that Holmes was merely sick in character, not mind. The list goes on and on. Why is the federal government lying to the people to suspend the Constitution? Why aren’t more skeptics pointing this fallacy out?

  18. Isn’t treading something underfoot, or even just hitting something with the bottom of a removed shoe some kind of insult to Muslims? Maybe its an insult to everyone else too, and nothing more. Maybe the exersize got exactly the result it was supposed to. Simply to insult someone, and to see if anyone had the guts to stand up for their God. As a college graduate I can look back and say that pretty much every class that wasn’t hard science or math was on some level insulting me with indoctrination, and it has taken a long time to see it for what it was. College is voluntary. You get what you pay for. Anyone who doesn’t want their religion, or belief system dumped on needs to stay away from such places. Go to a university sponsored by your religion. I wish I had.

    1. His name was almost certainly not Jesus because Jesus was a name unknown to the Aramaic-speaking Palestinians of Jesus’s time.

      More interesting is the question of whether the person known to us as Jesus ever lived.

      Most of the gospel account of the life of Jesus, the virgin birth, the delivery in a stable, the specific miracles, the resurrection and ascent unto heaven, were all features of much earlier Egyptian myths and Greek Mystery Religions.

      Much of the gospel must, therefore, be a cut and paste job.

      But the reality of Jesus life is immaterial. What matters, at least politically and historically, is the social impact of story about Jesus, whether true or false. As stated by Nikolay Nikolayevich in Boris Pasternak’s great novel, Dr. Zhivago:

      What you don’t understand is that it is possible to be an atheist, it is possible not to know if God exists or why He should, and yet to believe that man does not live in a state of nature but in history, and that history as we know it now began with Christ, it was founded by Him on the Gospels.

      The Christian gospel is the basis of a civilization now in dissolution. The New World Order can come into existence only with the death of Christendom, Islam and every other national or civilization system of belief. Hence the covert encouragement by the Western states of the denigration of Christianity.

    2. Thoughts? Just one: This is stupid

      Anglicizing foreign names is both necessary and harmless. To argue that when we translate we must pronounce every word from every language just as they pronounced it is akin to demanding that we don’t translate at all.

      Of course, when a name has a meaning, we don’t translate it, we transliterate it. Cephus, AKA Peter, for example, means “rock.” We don’t call him Rock, for good reason: no one is that stupid. But in Greek, there is no such name as “Peter”; it is Petros. We don’t call hime that, either, and we don’t have to. It is not wrong to anglicize names, and when we do so we are not misidentifying the person we’re talking about. And consider this. The Bible is written in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. These languages use alphabets alien to our own. There is no exact match, character for character from those languages into the Roman alphabet we use.

  19. Sorry, but Poole is an attention seeking idiot at best. Stomping on Jesus is not only disrespectful to Christians, it is devoid of any sense. And why did Poole have to choose Jesus? Why not Torah, Koran, the American flag, or the picture of liberals’ deity – Barry O? Perhaps Poole was jealous of Prof. Tracy’s fame and decided to get some public attention for himself. Stupid and quite unoriginal. America already has plenty of morons urinating, defecating and placing insects on Christian symbols.

    1. Can’t imagine that Poole did this to attract attention–especially not of this kind. After all, he’s not the one who ran to the press and is now only reluctantly speaking.

  20. Perhaps misguided attention-seeker Mr. Poole could redeem himself by requiring his students to stomp on The Communist Manifesto. Communists, after all, murdered over $250 million people and continue to pose the greatest threat to humanity. I am afraid, however, such stomping exercise would result in Mr. Poole’s immediate termination and mark the end of Mr. Poole’s academic career.

    1. That would of course require students to read a bit more than they typically would in an entire term, so they may understand what they’re “stomping on.” In reality, the entire “stomping on” meme sprang from both major media and bloggers. It bears little resemblance to the actual exercise Poole oversaw.

  21. James –

    Sorry to comment on this thread but the “Free Speech at Florida Atlantic University” post is apparently closed to comments.

    You indicate at the end of the post, “The administration is now taking formal disciplinary action against that faculty member.”

    How disgusting. I hope your students and fellow faculty members defend you. All you have done on this blog was to ask the questions that are on the minds of thousands of people who are also scratching their heads over the official inconsistencies with SH.

    I have not read anything here at MHB that I thought was inflammatory or slanderous. I thought CNN and Cooper *were* slanderous and inflammatory toward you.

    You’ve been very even and objective in your treatment of SH. And this is in the realm of your area of scholarship, right?

    When PC turns into Inquisitions, we are all in very deep trouble.

    I wish you luck and want you to win.

  22. Interesting that the student with the balled up fists overlooked the ‘turn the other cheek’ doctrine as Jesus instructed eh?

    1. You are assuming the “prof” isn’t lying.
      It was a typical liberal egghead move.
      I’m glad the kid called him on it.
      Anybody want to explain how all that crap helps someone get a decent job?
      If anyone finds a job that requires stomping on mohammed, I’m applying.
      And who was taking the word of the propaganda dept. of the commiecratic party about what date they “think” they heard? Come on.

  23. Your blog has been a pleasure for me to read and a breath of fresh air. It is nice to have an intellectual break from the propaganda that is constantly spewed out by corporate media outlets. Thank you Dr. Tracy.

  24. How much of the lack of journalistic imagination is due to fluoride in conjunction with the politically correct atmosphere so pervasive today?

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