Author Topic: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books  (Read 79666 times)

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Offline Helen_Azar

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historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« on: February 27, 2008, 01:01:48 PM »
I am starting this thread again, and hopefully when the original is retrieved, it can be merged. Does anyone remember where we left off?

Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 01:13:31 PM »
I am starting this thread again, and hopefully when the original is retrieved, it can be merged. Does anyone remember where we left off?

I logged off at 9:30 pm (Mountain time). Annie had just posted an offsite link I did not have a chance to open. It may have been related to Ms. Wilson's attendance at a conference.
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Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 01:29:14 PM »
Post heading: Dr.Strangelove or How I Stopped Frothing at the Mouth and Learned to Respect Peter Kurth

I learned one very important thing when this thread in its original form vaporized, and that is this: I have a new-found respect for Mr. Kurth. I don't share his beliefs (don't really even comprehend them), but I admire the fact that the man has guts and the courage of his convictions. He's outspoken, passionate, welcomes challenges (even heated, ornery ones) and DOES NOT FEAR THE WRITTEN WORD. I just cannot imagine this man requesting anyone to cover for him anywhere, anytime. I appreciate this now more than ever.

Jenn
"The censor's sword pierces deeply into the heart of free expression." Earl Warren

"...and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 01:32:19 PM »
Let's see. I posted three issues I had with FOTR, where the authors' sources, when checked, did not check out.

1. Had to do with the grand duchesses' trip on the Rus, and the description of how they were treated by the guards. Possible implications of rape. We can get the exact quote from the book and discuss that farther.

2. Maria's relationship with one of the guards during the imprisonment, and the IF's reaction to it (implications of an "impropriety on Maria's part, possibly sexual relationship and the family "disowning" in a sense). Again, rigtht now this is alleged, until we can get the exact quotes from the book.

2. The "Romanov remains' DNA results are 'fishy'" issue. Simon argued that the authors had admitted their mistake about that. Belochka asked for a link as to where they retracted their statements about DNA (if it was in public). Simon said that they never said that the DNA was inaccurate, etc. Again, we have to get quotes from the book. Which led us to Annie mentioning the recent conference where Penny Wilson gave a talk, which was called something to the effect of: The Romanov remains and Anna Anderson, who was she?, where according to Annie, PW implied that the Romanov bones are no authentic. Annie, if you can repost what you said, that would be good.

And finally, the last post I saw before the thread was deleted was made by AGRBear, who posted one of Penny Wilson's old postings. I happen to have that post, so here it is:

Quote from: AGRBear on July 25, 2005, 11:28:26 PM
Here is some additional information from Penny on AA's child:

Yes.  She was quite adamant about the child's birth, and claimed a date in -- I think -- December 1918/January 1919 for the birth.  This is in the court records, along with her statement concerning the possible death of Alexander Tschaikowsky -- which AA claimed happened in a street-fight, but which can't be verified independently.

This date of birth, of course, places conception in the early months of 1918 -- unthinkable for people when the theory was that she was Anastasia, because that would mean one of two things:  That rape had happened in Tobolsk, on board the Rus, in the Ipatiev house, or all three; or Anastasia had had consensual sex while in captivity, presumably with a guard.  Either way, when she -- AA-as-Anastasia -- left the Ipatiev House in mid-July 1918, she was pregnant.


This of course refers to the Rus trip and implication that Anna Anderson was Anastasia... Issue #1.

Lets take it from there. If anyone else remembers anything else, you can post it here...



Offline Annie

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2008, 02:21:54 PM »
Yes, that is a big issue. Sigh, it's going to be so hard to start again, it was a great thread. When I saw this, I had hoped it was the old one brought back from storage. I'll go regroup my info and come back to post more. Thanks for trying again, I guess that's all we can do now.

Offline Annie

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2008, 02:26:09 PM »
Post heading: Dr.Strangelove or How I Stopped Frothing at the Mouth and Learned to Respect Peter Kurth

I learned one very important thing when this thread in its original form vaporized, and that is this: I have a new-found respect for Mr. Kurth. I don't share his beliefs (don't really even comprehend them), but I admire the fact that the man has guts and the courage of his convictions. He's outspoken, passionate, welcomes challenges (even heated, ornery ones) and DOES NOT FEAR THE WRITTEN WORD. I just cannot imagine this man requesting anyone to cover for him anywhere, anytime. I appreciate this now more than ever.

Jenn

I have to say I disagree. Having read many of his posts, and been on the negative recieving end of them, from my personal experience, I think he does indeed fear the written word if it disagrees with him,  and does not welcome challenges to his beliefs. Outspoken and passionate cannot be denied but that is not always a good thing. I am sorry to say, I have much less respect for him after seeing him and meeting him online. In fact, my experiences with him and Penny have taught me never to be starstruck of any writer, anyone who writes a book is no better or no worse than the rest of us. They should not be given special favors or consideration others would not receive. They are, after all, just people expressing their views online like everyone else.

Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2008, 03:04:31 PM »
Post heading: Dr.Strangelove or How I Stopped Frothing at the Mouth and Learned to Respect Peter Kurth

I learned one very important thing when this thread in its original form vaporized, and that is this: I have a new-found respect for Mr. Kurth. I don't share his beliefs (don't really even comprehend them), but I admire the fact that the man has guts and the courage of his convictions. He's outspoken, passionate, welcomes challenges (even heated, ornery ones) and DOES NOT FEAR THE WRITTEN WORD. I just cannot imagine this man requesting anyone to cover for him anywhere, anytime. I appreciate this now more than ever.

Jenn

I have to say I disagree. Having read many of his posts, and been on the negative recieving end of them, from my personal experience, I think he does indeed fear the written word if it disagrees with him,  and does not welcome challenges to his beliefs. Outspoken and passionate cannot be denied but that is not always a good thing. I am sorry to say, I have much less respect for him after seeing him and meeting him online. In fact, my experiences with him and Penny have taught me never to be starstruck of any writer, anyone who writes a book is no better or no worse than the rest of us. They should not be given special favors or consideration others would not receive. They are, after all, just people expressing their views online like everyone else.

Hey Annie, I understand completely where you're coming from. I am respecting him in the very narrow sense that, as far as I can tell, he faces his critics head on and not quaking in the bushes because he doesn't like what's being said. Whether he's making any sense or behaving decently or facing up to facts are other issues. And you are right not to be star-struck...by anyone.

Jenn
"The censor's sword pierces deeply into the heart of free expression." Earl Warren

"...and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 03:05:35 PM »

I have to say I disagree. Having read many of his posts, and been on the negative recieving end of them, from my personal experience, I think he does indeed fear the written word if it disagrees with him,  and does not welcome challenges to his beliefs. Outspoken and passionate cannot be denied but that is not always a good thing. I am sorry to say, I have much less respect for him after seeing him and meeting him online.

I agree...


So moving right along, we were also asking for the "corrected" sources from FOTR which are claimed to exist, which AGRBear claims to have seen. If she can post them here (addressing at least the fist two issues), that would be great.

Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 03:24:25 PM »
Robert, I have to thank you personally for standing up for the integrity of the original thread. It means a lot coming from someone who wasn't deeply involved in it. The integrity of the posters deserves to count for something too, especially the ones who use their real names.

I would like to be crystal clear about my posts. I write what I think, I am not afraid to stand by what I say and won't deny my own words here or in court, I love a good debate, welcome the opportunity to learn, to be challenged and to be corrected. My full name is Jennifer Lynn Sherwood and I'm addicted to books. So once more into the breech of an author's obligations.

(Sorry to digress guys, but this was gnawing at me).
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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 04:02:20 PM »
Simon had made some comment about the allegations of rape on the Rus, and said something to the effect that "well Gibbes was there."

An analysis of the text of FOTR pg140-141 using the known evidence. (my additions in bold)
"'The women, as Buxhoeveden recalled, had been ordered "to leave our cabin doors open all night. No one undressed." [Through the open doors, the soldiers leered at the grand duchesses]this phrase added by the authors, there is NO factual evidence to support the statement, and it is asserted as FACT and not identified as speculation [refusing, as Volkov later learned, to "leave them in peace"]Completely false. Volkov stated the GDs WERE LEFT IN PEACE. The abuse reached a cresendo as the night wore on. exactly what abuse? again, abuse is stated as fact when there is no support in the evidence.   Gibbes, locked away in his cabin, listened helplessly, as he later told his son George, as the drunken guards harassesd the grand duchesses, "It was dreadful, what they did,"  the former tutor recalled.  The "terrifed screams" of the girls, Gibbes said, haunted him, "to the end of his life."When Gibbes was deposed by Sokolov within months of the event, HE SAID NOTHING about abuse or screams or anything else. This statement was made literally decades after the fact, and saliently in House of Special Purpose George Gibbes made NO MENTION of this event on the Rus. "Rodionov, who was in charge of the evil-looking detachment, insisted on padlocking Alexis and Nagorny into their cabin, even though it was made clear that the child might need a doctor. The girls, on the other hand, were forbidden to lock their cabin door." (HOSP, pp. 102-103) 
 
"Almost certainly, the Grand Duchesses were subjected to taunts, and perhaps lewd advances at the hands of the drunken Latvian guards, how this progressed as the evening wore on is impossible to determine." Saliently, there is no cited evidence to support this supposition at all, much less "almost certainly'. To the contrary, Buxhoeveden writes specifically that only the assigned guards came near them, the others stayed on their assigned part of the boat, see "Left Behind" - "The rest of the soldiers did not come near us and spent the day on their part of the deck, singing and playing the accordion.  Some had fine voices, and it carried us back to happier days,..."
 
"no matter what took place, it is difficult not to believe that the experience had a profound traumatic effect on the young women, particularily grand Duchess Olga. Once she arrived in Ekaterinburg, Olga was withdrawn, silent, and did not mix with her sisters, perhaps indicating that she suffered some significant trauma. "  Buxhoeveden says Olga N. was showing these syptoms in April, weeks BEFORE the voyage on the Rus: cf. Life & Tragedy..."Olga Nicholaevna was in a state of great anxiety. She longed to join her parents, for whose fate she trembled, and, on the other hand, she feared the move for her brother, both on account of his health and also for fear of what the move might lead to" at Ch. 31; or perhaps for myriad of other reasons including imprisonment itself under increasingly difficult circumstances. - cf: Gilliard Ch. 22 "The conditions of the imprisonment were much more severe than at Tobolsk. Avdiev was an inveterate drunkard, who gave rein to his coarse instincts, and, with the assistance of his subordinates, showed great ingenuity in daily inflicting fresh humiliations upon those in his charge. There was no alternative but to accept the privations, submit to the vexations, yield to the exactions and caprices of these low, vulgar scoundrels."
 
"The near veil of silence surrounding the events of that night, however, is not difficult to understand, given the exalted position of the Grand Duchesses; ... to present them as paragons of all moral virtue  or perhaps the "silence" is because NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENED so no one had anything to say. ie: the entire diary entry of Gilliard:
"Monday May 20th - At half-past eleven we left the house and went on board the Russ.  She is the boat which brought us with the Czar and Czarina eight months ago.  Baroness Buxhoeveden has been granted permission to rejoin us.  We left Tobolsk at five o'clock.  Commisar Rodionov has shut Alexei Nicholaievich in his cabin with Nagorny.  We protested: the child is ill and the doctor ought to have access to him at any time.
"Wednesday May 22nd - We reached Tiumen this morning."
or here is the ENTIRE discussion on the subject in the Sokolov investigation's report made AFTER interrogating all surviving passengers of the Rus(pg 146)
    "Here is how the journey of the imperial children went under the command of Rodionov:
     "From Gilliard's deposition: "Rodionov behaved very badly. He closed off from outside the cabin in which were found Alexei with Nagorny.  All of the other cabins, in particular those of the Grand Duchesses were not to be locked from inside, under his order."
     "The morning of May 22, the imperial children arrived in Tiumen."

 
"Those on board the ship were unable (being locked up) or unwilling (through fear of reprisal ...) again, suppostion without evidence, yet stated as fact...This may be the key to the events of that night: shame and humiliation at not being able to come to the defense of the helpless Grand Duchesses might well account for Gibbes' "worst memory.


I also found that I had said this, and I believe it is one fundamental obligation of authors:
ANY author writing what purports to be accurate historical non-fiction must keep what they know "for sure from the evidence" separate from their speculation and imagination based on that evidence.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2008, 04:24:03 PM »


So moving right along, we were also asking for the "corrected" sources from FOTR which are claimed to exist, which AGRBear claims to have seen. If she can post them here (addressing at least the fist two issues), that would be great.

I did give an answer.

It was eliminated as was the thread.

I assume FA changed his mind.   So,  until I know what happen,  I'm going over to my forum where I'm working on the timeline of 10:30 PM 16 July 1918 to 25 July 1918 which deals with the execution and buriel of the nine in the mass grave and the 2 who were said to be burned and buried elsewhere.


AGRBear

PS  FA and I posted at the same time, evidently.   

PSS Since this is FA's forum,  he can and does eliminate what he does not want posted.

 PSSS: I cannot comment  about the events on the Russ because FA has told me I could not, so, until I have permission, Bear must remain a mute on the events which occurred on the Russ.







« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 04:42:50 PM by AGRBear »
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2008, 04:28:13 PM »
So moving right along, we were also asking for the "corrected" sources from FOTR which are claimed to exist, which AGRBear claims to have seen. If she can post them here (addressing at least the fist two issues), that would be great.

IMO, this thread isn't the ideal place for this issue. If we want to analyze specific particulars of FOTR and its sources, I think that belongs on a thread solely about FOTR.

It's been made abundantly clear that there are mistakes in FOTR. To bring the discussion back to topic, it seems to me that we should be discussing the authors' obligations now that those errors have been discovered.
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Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2008, 04:31:23 PM »
In my wildest dreams I cannot fathom how editorial error could account for the disconnect between King's and Wilson's own words and Rob's cogent analysis. Bear, Simon or anyone in contact with them, how do King and Wilson account for this? Not a challenge, just a question.
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2008, 04:39:31 PM »
In my wildest dreams I cannot fathom how editorial error could account for the disconnect between King's and Wilson's own words and Rob's cogent analysis. Bear, Simon or anyone in contact with them, how do King and Wilson account for this? Not a challenge, just a question.

King and Wilson did post an explanation of this and a couple other issues on their forum many months ago. To the best of my knowledge, they said the error regarding the Rus testimony had to do with incorrect placement of footnotes. Unfortunately I never thought to copy and save their statement, and their entire forum is no longer accessible. If we had a copy now, I'd be interested to see whether their explanation would satisfy readers' concerns.
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Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2008, 04:40:23 PM »
So moving right along, we were also asking for the "corrected" sources from FOTR which are claimed to exist, which AGRBear claims to have seen. If she can post them here (addressing at least the fist two issues), that would be great.

IMO, this thread isn't the ideal place for this issue. If we want to analyze specific particulars of FOTR and its sources, I think that belongs on a thread solely about FOTR.

It's been made abundantly clear that there are mistakes in FOTR. To bring the discussion back to topic, it seems to me that we should be discussing the authors' obligations now that those errors have been discovered.

Sarushka, when I initiated the thread in its original form, I didn't want to limit discussion to any one author or book, hoping to avoid the Kurth/King/Wilson personal vendetta charge. The thread has stayed true to topic, with slight forays into fiction and movies as well. If I understand you correctly, you would want a separate thread for each author and each book?
"The censor's sword pierces deeply into the heart of free expression." Earl Warren

"...and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32