Weekend Roundup 13-07-2007

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...

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Paul Collins's picture
Member since:
14 January 2006
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3 years 5 weeks

A legendary Character died this week in Canada. The Queen knighted him in the 90's too.
Mr. Toronto dies at 92
SANDRA MARTIN

Globe and Mail Update

July 11, 2007 at 5:43 PM EDT

Honest Ed Mirvish, the man who invented the discount store in Canada, saved the Old Vic Theatre in London, England and, with his son David, built the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, died early Wednesday morning at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. He was 92.

A salesman, an entrepreneur and an impresario, Mr. Mirvish was also a well-known philanthropist. He was a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a Member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of more than 250 awards. He leaves his wife, Anne; his son, David, a theatrical producer; three grandchildren; his sister, Lorraine, and his extended family. The flag at Toronto's city hall will fly at half mast on Thursday.

The funeral service will take place at Beth Tzedec Synagogue located at 1700 Bathurst Street, south of Eglinton Avenue, on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. followed by a strictly private family Shiva. Instead of flowers the Mirvish family has asked that donations to support up and coming entrepreneurs be sent to the Ed Mirvish Educational Memorial Fund c/o The Benjamin Foundation, 3429 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON, M6A 2C3.

A brilliant marketer, a canny businessman, a workaholic and a retail visionary, Mr. Mirvish built a discount empire that in its day was a model of entrepreneurial chutzpah. His privately held, strictly cash business took him from poverty to wealth and earned him a surfeit of cultural capital.

Toronto icon 'Honest Ed' Mirvish dies at 92
Theatre community mourns 'an icon'

Zany antics and an enduring support of the arts, especially live theatre, earned him an affectionate place far beyond the commercial reach of his store. His rise from discount merchant to owner of the Old Vic and the Royal Alexandra Theatres enabled him to rub shoulders with royalty and hang around with stars of the theatrical world, including Peter O'Toole and Sir John Gielgud.

Honest Ed's, the bargain emporium at Bloor and Bathurst Streets in Toronto that he opened in 1948 by cashing his wife's insurance policy, grossed about $1-million in four years later, and he never looked back.

Among the life lessons he loved to pass on: Bright lights lure customers like moths; the bigger the display of merchandise, the more people buy. As good as his word, he decorated the store with a mammoth sign decorated with 22,000 light bulbs and luridly painted signs.

”No exchanges, no refunds, no credit, no delivery and short hours,” Mr. Mirvish liked to boast. ”By eliminating all those services you should be able to pass on those services to the customer.”

Despite his brash approach to business, Mr. Mirvish, who was soft spoken and had a courtly manner, was a dapper dresser, even down to patent-leather black shoes. He never had a secretary, never accepted government subsidies for his theatrical productions, never took his operations public and almost always paid cash. At its height, his empire included a city block running south from Honest Ed's; Markham Village, a residential street of brightly painted Victorian houses that he rented cheaply to artisans and book dealers; and the stretch of King Street West that housed his theatres, The Princess of Wales and the Royal Alexandra.

”I never like to talk about money,” he would say, by way of deflecting questions about his personal net worth. ”I don't think it's important once you are not hungry. After a while, you're nothing but a caretaker or a custodian.”

”He stands apart. He was a marvellous merchandiser and marketer, particularly of himself,” retail consultant John Winter said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

”Honest Ed's was the department store of choice for new immigrants, whether it was Hungarians after 1956 or whoever,” marketing consultant Richard Talbot said. ”He was an icon for Canadian retailing. When we talk now about putting entertainment back into retail, Honest Ed's always had entertainment. He had this weird idea: Why don't we carry merchandise my customers might like and actually be open when they want to shop?”

Ken Jones a marketing professor at Ryerson University said Mr. Mirvish "was a real visionary in creating a major discount department store in the downtown environment in an area which was heavily ethnic. He was very price promotional and he developed a unique brand – Honest Ed's – which was weird and whacky. He was a consummate entrepreneur.”

Yehuda (Edwin) Mirvish was born in Colonial Beach, Va., in 1914, the same year the Panama Canal opened and the First World War broke out. His father and his two aunts, all of them were born in Kiev, had been sent by their mother to the United States to flee the pogroms against Jews in Russia.

The eldest sister, Rebecca, married Harry Mensh, an entrepreneur who owned hotels, restaurants and taverns in Colonial Beach, a resort town six hours by excursion boat up the Potomac from Washington, D.C. The second sister, Jennie, married Louis Herman, a wholesale auctioneer in Baltimore.

Mr. Mirvish's father, David, was not so lucky, at least in material terms.

A dreamer who was supposed to become a rabbi in Russia, he went to work instead in a Baltimore saloon for a relative of his brother-in-law, Mr. Mensh. There he met Anna Kornhauser, another teenage immigrant. They married in 1912 and moved to Washington with their two-year-old son in 1916 to start a grocery business. It foundered and seven years later the family, which by now included a younger boy named Robert and soon a girl named Lorraine, moved to Toronto so that Mr. Mirvish, a Free Mason, could try his luck selling The Encyclopedia of Freemasonry.

Although there were plenty of Masons in Toronto, few of them wanted to pay $50 for an encyclopedia. David Mirvish eventually returned to the grocery business, operating a small store on Dundas Street West. As his son wrote in his 1993 autobiography, Honest Ed Mirvish, ”He loved to sit in the store and read up to six newspapers a day. He also gave credit to customers who couldn't pay. Which is why the store was always insolvent – and why, after school I worked.”

After his father died in the spring of 1930, Mr. Mirvish quit school and went to work as ”the proprietor of a completely bankrupt store.” He was 15 and in his third year of high school. In his autobiography, he wrote, ”Somehow I ran it for the next nine years. Or it ran me.”

The first thing he did was to replace the 60 watt bulbs with 200 watts. Whenever they didn't have enough money to pay the electricity bill, the power would be cut and Mr. Mirvish would light the store with candles. He rose at 4 a.m. bicycled to local markets to buy fruit and vegetables and got back in time to open the store at 7 a.m.. His mother clerked while he stocked the shelves and set the prices. His brother also quit school, at 13, to work in the store. Like his father before him, he offered credit even to customers he knew could not pay.

Although the family kept the business open during the long years of the Depression, they finally called it quits in 1938, and Mr. Mirvish went to work for Leon Weinstein, a local kid who started a chain called Power Supermarkets.

By then, Mr. Mirvish had met Anne Maklin a painter and singer from Hamilton. They married in 1941 and lived in the family duplex while she worked a variety of jobs including the Sports Bar, a clothing store that they opened with their wedding present money ($175), the cash from her insurance policy ($212), and a loan from the bank ($202). Soon they were making money because of his ability to make deals in the rag trade on Spadina Avenue and the new spending power of young women who worked in munitions factories during the war and wanted stylish clothes.

Their real break came at the end of the war when the owner of their building died and left his property to the University of Toronto. Thanks to a great deal from the university, Mr. Mirvish paid $5,000 down and carried a $20,000 mortgage for what became, and still is, the stretch of real estate that contains the flagship store in the Mirvish emporium.

By now, Mr. Mirvish was a father – his only son, David, was born Aug. 29, 1945, the day after their wealthy landlord died – and was sick of selling dresses. ”They required too much service. And they just weren't exciting,” he explained in his autobiography.

So, with Mrs. Mirvish temporarily at home with the baby, he went back into dry goods, buying the entire stock from a burned-out Woolworth's store in Hamilton, evicted the shopkeepers in the other shops in the Bloor strip running west from Markham Street and piled his merchandise on orange crates on the sidewalk in the spring of 1948.

Over the entrance he hung a sign: NAME YOUR OWN PRICE! NO REASONABLE OFFER REFUSED! As well he had placed ads in the local newspapers claiming: ”Our building is a dump! Our service is rotten! our fixtures are orange crates! But!!! Our prices are the lowest in town! Serve yourself and save a lot of money!

The place, which at first was only open on Saturdays, was mobbed. ”Finally I'd found my true forte,” he wrote in his autobiography. ”Customers could wait on themselves and choose what they wanted. While I stayed strictly planted behind the cash register.”

The name Honest Ed's was a spoof on what he hated about obsequious and hypocritical advertising. As the persona of Honest Ed, he enlisted Dick MacDougal, a local character known to everybody in the neighbourhood as Dirty Dick. ”The archetypal drunken bum. Dick was skinny, totally toothless, perpetually filthy, with stubbled chin, cauliflower ears, and a corkscrew nose,” Mr. Mirvish wrote in his memoirs. ”In return for our letting him sleep in the store's basement, he'd shovel the sidewalk and stoke the furnace when he wasn't guzzling kickapoo juice.”

For years, most people believed the photograph of Dirty Dick hanging under the sign saying Honest Ed welcomes you, actually was a likeness of Mr. Mirvish. He liked to tell the story about the cops calling his mother to bail out her son every time they picked up a drunk Dirty Dick, concluding that ”she'd always go down to the Western Hospital or the Don Jail and haul him back to his cot in the cellar.”

It was at Honest Ed's that he launched his cash-only policy, even though consumer credit ballooned in the decades of his biggest entrepreneurial success.

”No exchanges, no refunds, no credit, no delivery and short hours,” he would boast about his business philosophy. ”By eliminating all those services you should be able to pass on those savings to the customer.”

He also introduced daily door-crasher specials to lure customers into the store early. Sure, he would take a loss on the price of 9¢ eye glasses or red bloomers, but he would more than recoup that on the other merchandise customers bought. Within five years, the store was taking in $2-million annually in gross sales.

In 1957, Mr. Mirvish felt he was wealthy enough to afford a home in Forest Hill, but his inspection amounted only to a bathroom count.

”It had six bathrooms so I didn't care about the rest of the house. I figured I'd arrived,” he said at the time.

Throughout the 1950s, Mr. Mirvish acquired houses behind his store on Markham Street against the day when he would want to expand again.

Although he had to fight City Hall because the street was zoned residential, he finally won the day. Accompanied by clowns and brass bands, he opened his expanded 65,000-square-foot, four-storey store on Oct. 23, 1958.

Four months later, Nathan Phillips, then mayor of Toronto, pushed the button to illuminate the ”World's Largest Readograph,” a 20-foot by 135-foot sign containing 4,800 feet of neon tubing and 1,500 copy panels. The energy surge caused blackouts on the neighbouring streets.

Today?

Honest Ed's has the biggest electric sign in the world, with 23,000 flashing light bulbs.

Of all his crazy promotion stunts – and they included Noah's Ark and Pink Elephant Sales, he thought the Marathon Sale and Dance in February, 1958, was the wackiest. It ran for 72 consecutive hours, which meant that he was fined for staying open after 10 p.m.

A ”Wilderness Girl” named Janet Benson made the 1,450-kilometre trek from a village west of Fort William, Ont., (now Thunder Bay) to Toronto on a dog sled to publicize spot sales in the store, including a washing machine for $1.89, and a mink stole for $1.98. The big draw was the marathon dance in which couples shuffled around trying to last for 72 hours and win the $1,000 first prize. Some 80,000 customers crowded into the store during the three days and nights of the marathon, spending $75,000, six times more than Mr. Mirvish had ever made in a week in February, the slowest sales month on the calendar.

Four years later they did it again – as a Twist Marathon to capitalize on the dance craze made famous by singer Chubby Checkers.

He had his share of fights along the way. Back in 1959, a pharmacist named Norman Englander tried to set up a discount drugstore in Honest Ed's. Mr. Mirvish had no objection, renting the pharmacist 72 square feet for $6,000 and 6 per cent of gross receipts. The Ontario College of Pharmacy refused to register him, and the Wholesale Drug Companies wouldn't deal with him. All of this was on the spurious grounds that selling bargain-priced drugs did not serve the common good. So, Mr. Mirvish went to the press – ”Abject persecution,” one columnist complained – and then to court. Eventually the Supreme Court of Ontario ruled that the college of pharmacists had no right to refuse to register a qualified pharmacist, and Mr. Englander was back in business, filling 6,500 prescriptions in his first year at Honest Ed's.

Another major brawl back in the early 1950s was about early closing hours.

”I've always felt any merchant should be able to charge as little as they want and stay open as long as they want to” he wrote in his autobiography. ”After all, it's their business, their labour, and their time."

When he opened Honest Ed's, the local bylaw said retail establishments had to close by 7 p.m. The Toronto Police Dept. sent 16 officers in the middle of the night to check out his dance marathon and laid four charges against Mr. Mirvish. This time he paid the fine without arguing, calculating that it was small potatoes compared with their gross from the marathon, but by flouting the embargo against staying open late, he had drawn press and public attention to a silly bylaw that was changed not long afterward. Now, many stores are open 24 hours.

Honest Ed's was one of the first big discount stores in North America, predating Walmart. His penchant for buying low and selling cheap got him into trouble with brand-name manufacturers who tried and failed to organize a boycott of his store in the 1950s.

Mr. Mirvish developed his marketing philosophy early and he never changed it: Fulfill a need; go against the trend; keep it simple. That is why, for example, he opened his store in the downtown core in a suburban era of burgeoning shopping malls and he never developed a branch-store system.

What he lost in terms of savings on bulk purchases, he gained in having only one store to supply, staff and oversee. His location was a boon when the east-west Bloor–Danforth line of the subway opened in 1966, with a stop at Bloor and Bathurst, only steps away from Honest Ed's emporium.

He did buy property, though, usually paying cash at bargain prices and watching it increase in value over the years. He bought up the rest of the late Victorian-era houses on the west side of the first block of Markham Street intending to knock them down to create a parking lot. The residents protested, the city refused the application because the street was still zoned residential.

Coincidentally, Mrs. Mirvish, who had had serious singing ambitions as a young woman, was restless. It was said that she was thinking of leaving Toronto to study art in New York City. Mr. Mirvish never divulged publicly whether it was the fear of losing her that persuaded him to turn the Markham Street houses into an urban artist's colony, but he did acquire the houses on the other side of the street, painted them all pastel colours (following a suggestion from his wife) and leased the premises to art dealers and artisans, including his son David who operated an art gallery on the street for several years.

Eventually the city renamed the street Mirvish Village and designated it, and Honest Ed's store, tourist sites.

”She's a sculptor and an artist and she would force me to cultural events that ordinarily I wouldn't have seen.” Mr. Mirvish once said, explaining that she had sparked him to embark on his own short-lived artistic career.

”Anne took me to an art show in New York and one of the exhibits was just a mattress nailed to a wall with the stuffing and springs jumping out of it. I thought I could do as well as that.”

He made two sculptures from bits of machinery and placed them in the lobby of the Poor Alex, a fringe theatre near Mirvish Village that was one of his less-celebrated creations. ”Anne took one look, called David to say I was ridiculing art and made me remove them.”

By the 1960s, Mr. Mirvish was looking for new ventures and toyed with the notion of buying the Victory Burlesque Theatre (an old vaudeville house on Spadina Avenue that had been turned into a strip house) and transforming it into a legitimate theatre. The theatre experts he consulted advised him that buying the Royal Alexandra on nearby King Street would be a much better investment, if it ever came on the market. The Royal Alex, which was built by Cawthra Mulock, scion of two Family Compact families, in 1907 for a cost of $750,000 was for sale in 1962 at less than one-third of that figure. The building was distinguished both architecturally and theatrically. Among the greats who had appeared on its stage were Orson Welles, Paul Robeson, the Marx Brothers, Katharine Cornell, Jessica Tandy, Sir John Gielgud, Raymond Massey, Mary Pickford and Hume Cronyn.

Egged on by his wife and his son – ”Anne and David had always loved the theatre. And I had always loved bargains,” he said later – Mr. Mirvish acquired it for $200,000 cash and the promise not to raze the building and to run it as a legitimate theatre for at least the next five years. After that, he could convert the building and property into another use, if the theatre could not sustain itself.

Instead, he spent twice the purchase price renovating the theatre, replacing the original tea room with a bar, furnishing the lobby with his own Louis XV furniture, hanging framed photographs of famous performers who had appeared in the theatre in the lobbies and staircases and mounting a marquee sign outside with 1,362 flashing light bulbs.

Audiences and critics raved about the reopening of the Royal Alex on Sept. 9, 1963, even though they panned the premiere production of Never Too Late starring William Bendix. Having got himself into the precarious live-theatre business, Mr. Mirvish embarked on another risky venture. There were very few places to eat near the Royal Alex in those days, and even though Mr. Mirvish, had made his money by down playing service, he decided to open a restaurant. He bought the six-storey dry goods warehouse next door to the Royal Alex $525,000 cash, decorated it with antiques and stained glass that he had picked up at bargain prices, hung out a blazing sign advertising Ed's Warehouse and opened for business on Jan 20, 1966.

One critic described the decor as ”Baroque bordello.” The food was simple – roast beef and Yorkshire pudding – and the prices cheap. Two of the regular patrons – mayor Nathan Phillips and his wife – taught him a money-saving lesson. Mrs. Phillips always asked to have her prime rib served with the bone still attached. ”It finally dawned on me,” Mr. Mirvish later said, ”that if dem bones were good enough for the mayor's wife, other diners might like them too.”

He told the restaurant staff to save the bones, barbeque them and sell them separately – which they did with great success. Later he calculated that before offering ribs on the menu, the restaurant had thrown out $65,000 in its first two years of operation. ”That's 10 times more than my father earned in his lifetime,” he lamented.

Before long, Mr. Mirvish had acquired more property along King Street and opened more restaurants. By the mid-1970s, Mr. Mirvish had six of them, serving close to 6,000 meals – from Italian to Chinese – on busy nights. They ran full tilt until the mid-1990s when, faced with competition from a range of high end restaurants and bars in the area, Mr. Mirvish began closing his down. The last to shut was Old Ed's in 2000.

Two decades after acquiring the Royal Alex, Mr. Mirvish bought the Old Vic Theatre in London. Although he had never been in one of England's most famous theatres and had never even been to London, Mr. Mirvish had heard tales of the Old Vic from touring actors including Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole.

He heard a tip that the Old Vic was up for sale in June, 1982, and that impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber had offered £500,000 and that director Trevor Nunn was pledging a similar figure. Thinking Mr. Webber was bluffing, Mr. Mirvish put in a bid for £550,000 and was stunned to learn that he had clinched the deal.

”For a guy who considered himself pretty shrewd with a deal, I'd overbid them by about a hundred thousand bucks,” he complained later. Still, when Mr. Lloyd Webber offered to take the theatre off his hands for £600,000 pounds he said no. He said no again when the British impresario asked if he could come in as partner.

When a big fuss arose in England about a foreigner's buying up a national treasure, Mr. Mirvish flew to London and held a press conference to defuse fears that he might be intending to move the old Vic to Toronto, the way London Bridge had been transplanted to the United States.

On the contrary, he said, he wanted to restore it the way he had refurbished the Royal Alex. He finally won over the hostile media when he declared, ”They're calling me a foreigner. But I'm really just a lad from the colonies.”

The Queen rewarded him with a CBE, making him a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a gong that Mr. Mirvish, typically, translated into Creator of Bargains Everywhere.”

He claimed he spent almost $4-million upgrading and sprucing up the aging theatre to its high Victorian splendour. At the reopening on Oct. 31, 1983, he personally welcomed the Queen Mother, the Old Vic's patron, to the theatre and escorted her to her seat.

There were rumours that he had greeted her by saying ”Hi, I'm Honest Ed,” but he denied it. Although he did not know it at the time, a building across the street called The Old Vic Annexe, was part of the deal. After letting The National Theatre use it as a rehearsal space for more than 15 years, he sold it in 1998 for close to $3-million.

His next and final foray into theatre-building was to turn the parking lot next door to the Royal Alex into a new venue, named The Princess of Wales. He had had the idea for building a temporary theatre in the parking lot to accommodate Miss Saigon when it finished its London run. When he learned that it would cost $10-million just to mount Miss Saigon, he consulted David and they decided to go for broke once again and build a new theatre.

”....I had the feeling that the fastest growing trend in theatre was bigness!” he wrote in his autobiography. ”Shows like Cats, Les Miz, and Phantom of the Opera were also breaking records. The top stage producers of the nineties were selling vastly expensive yet hugely visual presentations which the public was buying like mad.”

The Mirvishes built a state-of-the-art facility with a huge stage and 2,000 seats. The theatre cost $50-million ($23-million in construction costs, $20-million for the land and $7-million in additional parking). It was the first privately built theatre in Toronto since the Royal Alex in 1907.

Staging Miss Saigon cost another $12 million. The Mirvishes requested and received permission to name the theatre after Diana, Princess of Wales, who acquiesced in a letter in which she wrote, ”I am delighted to be associated with a project which, I am confident, will be of great importance to the City of Toronto, a city of which I have many fond memories.”

The official opening was May 14, 1993, 10 years after the restoration of the Old Vic and 30 years since the reopening of the Royal Alex. Les Miz ran at Royal Alex for 15 months after its 1989 opening and another 16 months in two subsequent productions and then for 22 months in four separate national tours for a total run of 4½ years in Canada before a combined audience of six million people.

Honest Ed wasn't all about the bottom line.

A hobby that turned into an obsession was ballroom dancing. He and Anne took dancing lessons before his son David's bar mitzvah in 1958. Mrs. Mirvish dropped out after a couple of classes and took up jazz instead, but he was hooked. For decades, he spent Tuesday and Thursday evenings twirling and whirling and trotting the fox around the Arthur Murray Dance Studio.

For somebody who billed himself as cheap, Honest Ed was a generous soul. Beginning in the late 1980s, he hung a sign on his store every Christmas saying ”You've got a date with a turkey.” He then gave away more than 1,000 frozen birds to the needy and shipped enough food to a Salvation Army shelter to give another 2,000 people a turkey dinner. Nobody enquired too deeply into how much he paid for the turkeys. For years, he went down to The Toronto Star so that he could personally read the proofs of his ads, all the while casting a glance at what the competition was offering so he could go them one better.

In 1986, he made a concession to his age – he was 72 – by bringing David into the business. Nonetheless he continued to spend mornings in the store, the noon hour at one of his restaurants and the afternoon working on his theatre operations. Except on those nights when he was committed to ballroom dancing, he was usually in bed by 10.

At an age when most had retired, Mr. Mirvish remained active and in good health.

”I don't go to doctors,” he told The Globe in 1992. ”I'm not being smug about this. If something hurt me, I'd run. But if I have a little ache or pain I don't go to the doctor. The next thing he'll say is go to Florida and sit in the sun.”

Florida was not his idea of a good time. ”It's okay for a few days, but I have more exciting things to do. I like action.”

On his birthday, he threw an annual party for himself at the store on Markham Street, giving out presents to customers and hiring clowns and jugglers to roam the street entertaining crowds as large as 60,000 people who showed up for free pizza and pasta. The city always returned the favour by declaring July 24 ”Ed Mirvish Day.”

Mr. Mirvish had a fixed rule that employees must retire at 65 – until he himself turned 64. He immediately scrapped the concept and let anybody stay on the payroll as long as they wished and remained productive.

He went to the store every morning and worked on his theatre operations in the afternoons until he turned 89 and suffered a serious bout of double pneumonia. He missed his birthday party that year, but organizers still served 25,000 free hot dogs, 20,000 bags of potato chips and presented large cheques to local causes.

He made his first public appearance in more than a year in May, 2004, when he arrived in a wheelchair pushed by Toronto Mayor David Miller at the Fairmount Royal York to receive the Jane Jacobs lifetime-achievement award from the Canadian Urban Institute. A month later, the Mirvishes made it a family affair when father, mother and son were granted honorary degrees by the University of Toronto for their contributions to arts and entertainment.

As for his final retirement, he jokingly suggested that he wanted to be cremated, have his ashes sealed in a large hourglass that would not only be put on display at Honest Ed's but also turned every hour so that his employees and his customers could say: ”There's good old Ed ... still running.”

earthling's picture
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Poor guy. But it seems at least he had a life. Some people don't. At least he tried.

----
meetings, n.:
Where minutes are kept, and hours are lost.

Quibus_Licet's picture
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I'm new. I've just signed up in order to comment on a point that I feel is important; however, I have had your feed in my newsreader for sometime and greatly appreciate the stories.

And sorry for potentially causing a stir on my fisrt post/comment, but ...

There should be different descriptions regarding the Conspiracy Times. Your link says that they reviewed Jonathan D. Moreno's Mind Wars, when in fact, the review is 100% verbatim (ie, plagiarized) from a Richard Thieme review on July 3rd, 2007 posted at Counterpunch. The Conspiracy Times omitted the first 2 paragraphs, left the rest of the review (word for word), added one single sentence at the very end, and didn't attribute the review to Richard Thieme, thus making it look as if it originated there, thought up solely in the mind of the anonymous poster.

Similarly (and there might be more), Roundup 10-07-2007 has a link to Conspiracy Times, saying they comment on "Boeing's Psychic Lab". This article, likewise, originally appeared at a Wired Magazine blog post by Noah Shachtman.

I have no problem with mirrored content, and duplication of content is in fact invaluable for research as the original source can never be guaranteed to exist indefinitely. However, one has got to give due citation (author and original URL) if an entire resource is being mirrored. I'm sure everyone is in agreement.

If Thieme and Shachtman gave permission to Conspiracy Times to post these stories, along with allowing their names to be omitted as the authors, then I apologize for the insinuation. I highly doubt this is the case, however.

cnnek's picture
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Quibus

Thank-you for your imput. It was very helpful. We need to know these things! But, I assure you that we would never intentionally post a pelagerized article, especially not Greg!

In any case, I'm looking forward to future conversations with you.

What do you think?

cnnek

{You Can Teach People How To Think Or What To Think; But, You Can't Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think!!!}

Quibus_Licet's picture
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Just thought I'd let somebody know about it. The only way I knew myself is that I had already read those two stories at the original sources, and then when I saw the links to Conspiracy Times and it turned out to be duplicated and unattributed versions of what I had earlier read - well, what's a person to do?

I have no other motive except to state the fact of the matter. Greg, or others reading this, can use the information as they see fit.