Thursday, May 20, 2010


The trio of Cargill, Schiffman and Goranson get stung. They have only themselves to blame for the pain they have inflicted on the Golb family and upon themselves.  And they are supposed to be intelligent academics. 

John Bandler, attorney for the people, doesn't know what he has walked into. It is nothing short of scholarly rough and tumble, claim and counter-claim, now conducted largely by the internet. The focus is the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their origins. No subject arouses the emotions more than this. All scholars in the field are just about as guilty as each other, if guilty is the right word. What may be considered 'normal' behaviour in any other field, is a world away from 'normal' when it comes to Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

For an experienced scholar such as Lawrence Schiffman, it should be "water off a ducks back".  He has complained to the Courts. There are plenty of others who could have done exactly the same, but haven't. Lawrence Schiffman is quite capable of fending for himself.  John Bandler's talk of 'victims' in his Preliminary Statement is a total misrepresentation. The so-called 'victims' are well and truly hardened academics, and that goes for Robert Cargill too, even though he has come late to the Dead Sea Scrolls. As for John Bandler saying that the defendant's motions are a 'bully pulpit', this is pathetic. They are simply to be expected as par for the course.

And it isn't just professional specialists in the subject who like to get involved. Why else do academics write books? Non-specialists, like myself, join-in too with this maelstrom.   And believe me, the 'unqualified' come-in for far more stick from the academics.  But we have to take it on the chin, personal criticisms, sarcastic comments from aliases, sarcastic anonymous comments, and anything you care to mention. There is no bleating to the courts for the likes of ourselves. Neither would I and most others dream of doing so.  You see its OK for the academics to say what they like, but some academics believe it isn't OK for non-professionals to have an opinion, even about something which the academics can't agree on amongst themselves, like the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Raphael Golb is a non-specialist, non-professional, in the subject, like me.

The two together side by side, the Jew and the 'Christian', Lawrence Schiffman and Robert Cargill, at SBL New Orleans, November 2009.  I wonder what they discussed! Methinks that Robert Cargill doth protest too loudly everywhere on the internet, on both his and Schiffman's behalf.  Cargill floods the internet with all sorts of irrelevancies, anything to smother the fact of his betrayal of Norman Golb and his son.

Did Lawrence Shiffman file his complaint to the courts because he feared that New York University would conduct an investigation into his alleged plagiarism of Norman Golb? Were the e-mails too pointed for comfort?  Has Lawrence Schiffman ever given credit to Norman Golb for anything? Has he ever apologised to Norman Golb? He should. Israeli journalist Avi Katzman (Haaretz, Jan. 29, 1993) asked Schiffman: “in different articles you have published, you have not hesitated to take over portions of Golb’s theory without acknowledging as much, and without giving him appropriate credit?” Shiffman replied “This isn’t the issue. There’s no innovation in Golb’s theory. He can say what he wants. The idea that we’re not dealing with a sect is self-evident. Does he think that he wrote the Bible?” Well, the idea that the scrolls were not about a sect was NOT self-evident, to most scholars and at least for a long time to Schiffman.  Even then he managed to confuse the issue.

Why didn't NYU investigate the plagiarism of Norman Golb's work by Lawrence Schiffman?  A child could recognise it.  Is Lawrence Schiffman such an influential figure that he can bluster his way out?  In the words of a recent comment, Lawrence Schiffman "should retract the misrepresentations, publicly acknowledge the failure to credit the originator of various arguments, and arrange for proper footnoting to be inserted in future editions", as well as apologizing to Norman Golb.
 The National Post has an article on "The Curse of the Scrolls" in which Larry Schiffman is interviewed: "I don't know what caused the transition from the proper intellectual discourse," professor Schiffman said (hypocritically) in an interview with the National Post.  It began, professor Schiffman, when you ignored Norman Golb's original work of 1980.  Schiffman is a liar. He knows very well what caused "the transition from the proper intellectual discourse".  It seems the Norman Golb has been bashing his head against a brick wall ever since. There has been no way through the thick skin of Lawrence Schiffman.    

In his blog of March 07, 2009, James Davila (ratty) of St. Andrews, adds his voice to a chorus of other cronies gleefully crowing in agreement with Risa Levitt Kohn , “I ASSUME WE’LL GET LESS MAIL NOW” - sounds like a Salem witch trial.
What Davila meant to say was, it was so blindingly obvious that the e-mails were from an alias, we knew Lawrence Schiffman would realise exactly the same, so we didn’t bother to inform him. This proves the opposite to what Risa Levitt Kohn said in her National Post interview, "This is not an academic dispute".  The dispute is an academic issue. Davila quotes, among others, Mark Goodacre of Duke, as having received e-mails, who, apparently did nothing.  They saw nothing out of the ordinary about receiving messages from someone with an unusual name, that were worth reporting to Lawrence Schiffman, except Robert Cargill. James Davila, Mark Goodacre, and Robert Cargill are friends of Jeffrey Gibson, who positively promotes the use of aliases. These academics meet every year at SBL, so they knew what it was all about.

Lawrence Schiffman and Robert Cargill, who wrote this in 1980?  The manuscripts "are remnants of a literature showing a wide variety of practices, beliefs and opinions.... removed from Jerusalem before or during the seige.... Determination of the nature of their concepts and practices.... may best be achieved not by pressing them into the single sectarian bed of Essenism, but by separating them out from one another, through analysis, into various SPIRITUAL CURRENTS which appear to have characterized Palestinian Judaism of the intertestamental period."