Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Fantasists I have known

Protocols is checking out info on Marc Gafni / Winiarz, and has some emails regarding his claimed Oxford credentials. "Always check the references" is sound advice, together with "Always check the footnotes". In a long career working in the Jewish community, I have come across numerous fantasists, let alone the occasional con man (not that I am saying that Gafni is necessarily either, as I know nothing about him). They range from the yeshivish Sefardi who claimed that he was a consultant brain surgeon and nuclear scientist ("they only call me in on special projects"), last heard of employed in a responsible kashrus capacity by a leading Bet Din, to the shoe salesman who claimed to be a major Canadian investor and was wined and dined by various Israeli municipalities and ministries for several weeks until some of us in Jerusalem stopped to think. Plus a few!!! The most outrageous, still hanging around J-m I believe, claimed (claims?) to be a survivor of Babi Yar who was smuggled into England in the middle of the war, became an Anglican vicar and then mysteriously 'discovered his roots' and became an anti-missionary campaigner. Despite compiling a formidable file on this character -- who, for various reasons I believe to be the most far-out Evangelical Christian you will ever meet -- the one thing I never found out was his real name, which is certainly not S****l *****ng. (Anyone have info? pshaviv@netaxis.ca is the address, or post here).

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