I hesitate to join the show. But against my better judgement, I’m
going to do it anyhow.
What show you ask? Why, the only show in town! “Terror In Littleton,”
“Massacre In Colorado,” Yeah, that one.
When I flip on the tube, it’s the same old stuff. The usual array of
photo-ops and sound bytes: teary- eyed kids hugging each other; Swat
team members running behind protective vehicles, leading kids out of the
schoolhouse. The best shots are shown over and over (the favorite seems
to be the one of the Swat team pulling a wounded boy — arms dangling
and bloodied — from an upper-story window (what heroes!).
And, yep — here they come. The grim-faced anchors … hairspray in
place, stock phrases in hand. And, even worse, the parade of “experts”
— the usual group of psychiatrists, psychologists, guidance counselors
and politicians, each offering their wisdom on an array of topics: grief
counseling, early warning signs, violence in the media. …
The same phrases pop up again and again: “tighter gun laws,”
“parental responsibility,” “children who have lost their way.” All the
lines sound practiced — canned.
Grab the channel changer. Flip.
More kids. More interviews. (Each one a testimonial to the illiteracy
of today’s youth.) The anchors let the kids babble on until they’ve got
their fill of sound bytes, then promptly herd them off camera to and
bring on the next performer.
Flip. More of the same. Flip … flip … flip. …
Good Lord! What am I doing watching this crap? Waste of time.
Nothing happening here. (How many hours did I spend watching coverage of
the Simpson trial, when I promised myself daily I wouldn’t do it?) Been
there, done that, thank you. I’m outta here!
Only problem is, I’m not.
I’m going to ignore my own wisdom, and jump into the fray. Throw in
my two cents. Why? Because I have to — that’s why.
Flashback: My editor, Joseph Farah had sent me an email at approximately
2:30 on the afternoon of the massacre. The email was short and to the
point. Farah informed me that he’d decided not to run any further ads
for my “counter-culture bookstore” on WND. (After my first book”
Secrets Of The Super Snoopers
unprecedented success, I followed up with two more books:”
SuperSnoopers Guide To the Internet, Volumes 1 and 2.
The orders poured
in. I literally couldn’t keep the books in stock. Figuring I had a good
thing going I began to add titles to my store, ultimately winding up
stocking nearly 200 books, covering everything from do-it-yourself
investigations to electronic surveillance to identity changing, as well
as a new selection of “survivalist” type books — including a wide array
of titles on self-defense and firearms.
When Farah’s email came, I was angry. (I was not aware at this point
of the Colorado massacre.) I fired off a terse email asking — in not
very polite terms — what had prompted this sudden decision. (Sure I
have my own audience, but it’s nothing compared to the 3 million
WorldNetDaily viewers who would — through my ad on WND — pass by my
storefront every day.)
Farah wrote back that he wasn’t comfortable selling some of the
titles I kept in stock, and that he’d had a number of complaints. He
said my books made WND look like a “terrorist organization.” He sounded
genuinely apologetic. I told him I understood, but frankly, I was still
bugged. So I was selling books on weaponry? Hell, every other column by
Claire Wolfe (whose book company, Loompanics publishes many of the
exact same “offensive” titles I stock) is promoting guns in just about
every other column she writes. Was Farah planning to censor her too?
Farah and I spoke later on the phone and had a very friendly
conversation. He said maybe later he’d run my ad, but “on a day like
this,” it just wasn’t a good idea.
Though I was embarrassed to say so, I had no idea what “day like
When I hung up, I flipped on the tube. It was approximately 5:00 p.m.
on the afternoon of the schoolyard massacre, so there was literally not
a single channel that wasn’t covering the story.
My first thought was: “I’ve seen this before.” (Sorry, but when
you’re in the news game you get jaded.) I flipped the channel hoping for
a rerun of the Brady Bunch. No dice. There was no way to escape the
massacre coverage. To me, the images looked like stock footage. Kids
being herded out of a school by SWAT team members. Hmmm. No shots of the
shooters, thus far. … Flip. … Another anchor mentions black
trenchcoated teens were the killers. My interest level rises a notch,
but not because the story has any special value. (To be perfectly
honest, I was angry that because of some stupid kids, I’d be losing a
lot of revenue on my bookstore.)
Four hours later I was still watching TV. I’d forgotten all about my
“plight.” I had –despite myself — become totally wrapped up in the
story (even though to me there was still nothing particularly remarkable about
What was more even more peculiar was that I had this horrible
sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Additionally, I felt a strange thickness
in the air around me; it was almost palpable.
I went over to the computer and turned it on. Boom. My website
hit me in the face. The sick feeling in my
stomach got worse, and the “thickness” in the air seemed somehow more
dense. I went to my bookstore and started going through some of the
titles for sale (to be honest, when I started adding books, I just
ordered en masse from the publishing company, often not paying attention
to particular titles). In addition to the new stock of books on firearms
and homemade weapons, I noticed a book on razor fighting. On my “cults
and brainwashing” page I saw that I was selling a collection of personal
letters written by mass murderer Charles Manson. …
Thankfully, I saw that I didn’t have any books on homemade bombs. I
called a friend (another journalist — someone, like myself, who is
a gun owner) and asked him: “Do you think that if I sell this type of
book on my site that in any way makes me culpable or responsible for
The reply came quickly: “Hey, if they don’t find it on
your site, they’re gonna get it somewhere else.”
OK. I’d been reprieved. (At least temporarily).
Something on the tube caught my eye. A female reporter on NBC had
managed to get hold of one of the killer’s (neither of the murderer’s
names had yet been revealed) website and was showing some of the pages
It was exactly what you’d expect. Satanic imagery, Badly drawn
demons. 666’s, lyrics from some stupid Industrial band. Again, nothing
anybody wouldn’t have expected. I had already built a fairly decent MO
of the killers: punkers; into industrial rock and Goth; gun-nuts.
Probably into computer war-games.
The anchor mentioned she’d found the killer’s site on AOL. Hoping the
site handn’t yet been pulled, I dialed into AOL and did a search on the
word “trenchcoat.” Boom! There it was! In addition to the killer’s
(whose nickname was WurmHole) home page — on which he announced … “I
kill who I don’t like … I waste what I don’t want … I destroy what I
hate,”– there were a number of links to other TCM (Trenchcoat Mafia)
The phone rang. It was Chris Regan — a colleague from WND — who was
calling me with some other links to the killer’s sites. Regan mentioned
that on the eve of the murders, that (Matt) Drudge had run a piece that
referred to the group not as the Trenchcoat Mafia but as The
Homosexual Trenchcoat Mafia … putting another spin entirely on
this thing. But for some reason Regan told me, Drudge had almost
immediately pulled the piece, and (remarkably) no other site had touched
This seemed weird. Political correctness … in a situation where 15
or more people had been murdered in cold blood? No way!
A picture began to emerge of the group of kids called The
(Homosexual) Trenchcoat Mafia. They ranged in age from 16 to 23. Some
had already graduated from school. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were
due to graduate from Columbine High in less than two months. There were
(at my count) at least twelve — and probably more — members of the TCM
— some of them female.
Regan had sent me some links to explore further. One of them listed a
bunch of user profiles of a number of the TCM members. It was
fascinating stuff, though it was impossible to say for sure that it
hadn’t, in fact, been written by pranksters or wannabes.
If they were real, however, they painted a frightening picture of a
well thought out, pre-planned massacre that clearly involved more than
two persons. One post (now gone from AOL) read, “We’ll show y’all whose
the boss on April 20.” Another said, “Congrats to my bros for killin’
all dose f–kin’ jocks on 4/20.” The post promised more such events to
come in the near future.
I called some of my hacker sources who were much more familiar with
the Computer Underground. Nope, these guys were for real, I was
informed. They were well known on certain chatrooms and hacker sites
throughout the Net. Some of them were experienced hackers. Others had
reps as “serious” bomb and weapon junkies.
For some reason, I noticed that the sickness in my stomach had seemed
to have been quelled by this “investigative” phase I’d moved into. I
really had no reason to do be doing this; I had no intention of writing
anything whatsoever about this issue. After all, my column runs on
Friday. There was no way — even assuming I came up with a fresh angle
— that I could “break” anything. By Friday this thing would be totally
Despite this, I kept going.
By 2:30 a.m. I was still hard at it, fueled by umpteen cups of
coffee. Somewhere during those hours, photos of the two killers had
shown up on the web. That was the first time I recall feeling shocked.
These weren’t long haired, heavy metal, body-pierced Marilyn Manson
types. No dyed-black hair or earrings. Nope. Just two geeky looking
kids, both wearing “normal” haircuts, smiling out at me from my computer
I tried my best to picture these two wimps walking through the
school, laughing … blowing people away.
Only two nights earlier I’d had dinner with five ex-high school pals.
Even though over thirty years have passed, I could see us
perfectly in back in the 60s, wearing our standard outfits (we were some
kind of cross between preps and surfers at the time): baggy white
Penny’s t-shirts and black Jack Purcell tennies. Then I tried to imagine
the murder scene in Littleton happening in the halls of my old high
school. It was, quite simply impossible.
The sense of unreality, plus the need to “find out ” (find out
what… I kept thinking) kept me on the Net, searching out any
miniscule fact I could lay my hands on.
Around 3:00 a.m. I hit a homerun. I found a mirror site of Eric
Harris’ (the other killer’s) website. Some of the stuff I’d seen before,
but this time there was more. The first thing that struck me was the
“Hitler” connection. It smacked me in the face. This was a kid who spoke
fluent German, and who listed his favorite chatroom as “ich bin ein
auslander” (I am an outsider). The site (which has now been removed by
AOL) showed 7,666 hits. Of course it’s been well trumpeted by the media
that the murders had been committed on Hitler’s birthday. Both killer’s
sites displayed the date 4/20 a number of times. No, this was no
Weeks earlier I’d written a column called “Hitler: The Second Coming.”
I’d taken more flack for that column than any other I’d written since
I’d started working for WND. Thirteen innocent kids … 6 million Jews
— it was all the same. It wasn’t a matter of numbers. It was a matter of
what was behind these acts, and there was only one word for that.
Inside myself, I knew that Hitler’s Second Coming was a reality.
Finally, I flipped off my computer. It was about 5:00 a.m. and the
sun was beginning to come up. I still had traces of the sick feeling in
my stomach, but the thickness in the air I’d felt earlier seemed to have vanished.
I awoke at the sound of the morning paper plunking down in the
driveway Unfortunately I’m stuck with the L.A. Times. I grabbed it, made
a fresh pot of coffee, and began leafing through the pages. There was
precious little new information. Certainly no mention of the “Homosexual
Trenchcoat Mafia.” Not in the “liberal” L.A. Times (where a good deal of
the staff are homosexuals).
After a few cups of coffee, I gathered my thoughts. The first thing
that struck me was a question I’d as yet failed to consider. This
massacre had lasted over three hours before the two (for the record, I
firmly believe there were more than two) killers took their own lives.
According to reports, the SWAT team had arrived on the scene 20 minutes
after the first shots were fired. The ordeal didn’t end until around
3:30 when the killers were found dead in the school library. Question:
What the hell did that SWAT team do during those three hours?
Yeah sure, we’d all seen the photos of them routing the kids from the
school, but one thing was clear. They hadn’t engaged the killers.
Isn’t that what the SWAT team is supposed to do? Go into the
thick of the battle and save lives?
Let me repeat: Three hours elapsed while these two demon-possessed
punks had strutted through the hallways blowing people away. Saying
“Peekaboo” before blowing one girl’s face to smithereens. And not one
SWAT team member engages these kids in a gunfight.
Sorry. Something’s wrong here.
Now I was mad. I placed another call to Chris Regan, knowing he had a
military background, and asked what he thought.
“Yeah,” Regan said, “My mom (Elizabeth) said the same thing.”
“So what happened?” I asked. “Why didn’t they go in full-scale and
just take em out?”
“Because the mentality now with the police is — SWAT team or no —
they don’t want any casualties,” Regan said. “They won’t put their lives
on the line.”
“So what did they do?”
“They sat on their asses until they called in a military vehicle so
that they could approach the school using it for cover.”
Sure enough, a later show turned up an interview with the SWAT team
commander, who echoed exactly what Regan had told me. “We didn’t send
our men in right away, because we didn’t have any way of recognizing the
killers from the students,” he stated (with a straight face).
What?! Did I hear right? Hey Sarge — the killers (besides the fact
that they were attired in all black and wearing trenchcoats) were the
guys with the guns!
So the cops waited outside, and then they evacuated the students that
were in the SAFE parts of the school (that is, where no gunfire was
taking place). Incredibly, these “heroes” lead the kids right across a
heavily bomb-laden area of the schoolyard, ordering them to “jump over
the bombs.” Ouch!
Hmmm. Maybe now I had an angle. Jump on the cops. However, I’m sure
by today somebody’s already done that. If they haven’t, well, then I’ll
say it; The cops (SWAT Team) BLEW IT!!!
Speaking of blowing it, where are the interviews with these kids’
parents? Are we too busy “praying” for them (and their screwed up
offspring) that we don’t want to offend the media by asking the mothers
and fathers of these two sickos some hard questions. Are you telling me
they had no idea that little Dylan and Eric were … uh, weird? What
were they doing out in the garage all those hours?
I looked at my watch. It was just a little after 2:30 p.m. Just about
time for school to let out. On a whim I took a drive by my old high
school, which is some fifteen minutes from where I live.
Over 30 years later, it looked graffiti scarred and tarnished. The
bell rang. Out came the kids.
I sat in my car, watching them.
The first thing that struck me was that they looked so … small. Not
young. Just … small. What was most different from my high school days,
was the dress. Boys wore moustaches and beards. The various cliques were
immediately noticeable by their costumes. The baggy pants gangbanger
look. Tons of backward baseball caps. Lots of stupid haircuts. I did not
see one single girl wearing a skirt!
A bunch of pasty faced Goths emerged, sauntering slowly across the
street to the Ralph’s market. Over in the parking lot I watched as the
kids got into some very expensive cars. The clothing was deceiving.
No poor white trash here. These were kids who could afford $30,000
When I got back home I flipped on the computer. I spent the rest of
the day looking through an amazing array of occultic sites on the web. I
also found, with not the least bit of trouble, at least a half dozen
sites that taught — in explicit detail — how to make pipe bombs (not
to mention undetectable poisons, computer viruses and a vast array to
other homemade weapons). Hell, compared to this stuff, my site was Disneyland.
I flip on the TV. Oh, Lord … there she is. Dr Joyce Brothers,
looking positively ancient (despite numerous facelifts). Brothers is
uttering the usual psychobabble: Snatches of phrases bombard my ears:
“Depressed kids,” “Suicide is aggression turned inward,” “Murder is
aggression turned outward.”
Flip. A roundtable of “experts.” Brent Bozzell says we need to go
after Hollywood smut-mongers like Oliver Stone. Dennis Prager says we
need to get rid of the word “forgive.” “I hate these kids and I’m not
ashamed to say it,” he says smugly. Some politician with stick-out ears
says the answer is “stricter gun laws.” Pat Buchanan turns on him,
calling this a “knee jerk reaction.”
Normally these people are merely irritating. But, in the face of the
actual reality of the killings — which I am still feeling — I would
like to line the lot of these buffoons up and execute them, one by one
(with paint gun bullets, natch).
The media circus has now replaced the actual event. Discussion of
“the issues” is nothing more than an excuse for stations to sell
advertising. Meanwhile, the “experts” plug their latest books, and log
in more time on the tube, loving every minute of it (despite their overt
“concern” for the dead kids).
Yeah, right. …
So what does it all mean? I’m sorry to say — absolutely nothing.
What will we learn from it? Absolutely nothing. (And even if we did
learn, it’s already clear that people don’t act from “knowledge.”
They act from things called “impulses” and “emotions” which exist at the
subconscious level. Thus “intellectual knowledge” is irrelevant.)
Will anything change? No, it will not. Maybe a facelift here and
there. Maybe a new law, some new safety measures will be put into place.
But will anything at the heart of this issue change? No. Not one iota.
Do I have any advice? Yes, I do. Turn us off. (By “us” I mean the
“opinion” makers — yes, that includes me!) What I’m saying, is that in
order to come face to face with the actual issue here — which is a
real, living tangible presence — you must first have quiet. You can’t
hear your own heart with Dr. Joyce Brothers and the rest of the clowns
yakking in your ear.
So shut off your radios. Turn off the TV, Flip off the computer. Now
… just sit with this thing — and look at it. If you’ll just do this
one thing, you may have a “chance” that something may take place.
I’m not trying to be “cosmic.” Quite the contrary. I’m trying to get
you to touch the reality of this thing. Because it’s not separate from
The most valuable moment for me during these past few days were those
moments in the darkness when I came into contact with my own sense of
responsibility. Yes, that’s right, I said “my” responsibility. I am
talking about my responsibility in not facing the evil that exists
within myself. Let’s make it clear, if it is not by now. There is only
one issue here — and that is the issue of “evil.”
That thickness in the air in my office … that sickness in my
stomach. That was my body and mind reacting to evil. I didn’t realize it
at the time, but it’s absolutely clear to me now that that’s what it
I’m not here to convince you of the reality of evil. If you don’t
believe in it, or if you say it’s too simple, I say you’re a fool. If
you admit it, then it’s not necessary to talk about it, discuss it, or
even “understand” it. All you have to do is to LOOK at it. And you will
find, much to your horror, that you are NOT separate from that thing we
call evil. No, it is there, a living, breathing thing. And worst of all,
it is (both inside and outside) YOU.
Once you come into contact with evil, here is the next thing you must
do: Don’t try to do anything “about” it. Just look at it. If you feel
like you want to puke, go to the toilet and puke. The thing you must
not do is to try to lessen the impact of the experience by
explaining it or analyzing it.
Now if you actually do this (I am doing it right now as I write these
words), you’ll notice something curious taking place. I can only put it
like this. You’ll see that evil — and it is a real, tangible thing, not
just a “concept” or an “idea” — does not like to be “looked” at. Evil
is a coward. When confronted directly, it seems (don’t ask me why) to
shrivel and shrink. I’m not saying it goes away, but it definitely
recedes. To use a corny phrase, it crawls back under the rock from
whence it came. And when this happens, that allows some “space” to exist
in you. Where before this space was filled with this “stuff,” now you’ve
got some new breathing room. (Sorry, but words are really inadequate to
describe this whole process).
You may experience — if you go through with this little experiment
— a peculiar sense of emptiness. Again, don’t DO anything. The
emptiness is similar to what a drunk feels like who is trying to kick
the bottle. Or what a lifetime smoker feels who’s going cold turkey. In
coming face to face with evil, and doing nothing about it … you may
feel empty and lonely. You may get the shakes. Why? Because you’re
kicking out an old friend — an addiction.
I’m not going to get into a spiritual discussion here. I’ve taken too
much time already. I’ll simply say that the notion that man IS evil…
or, better put, that evil exists within every man is — for me at least
— an absolute reality. I can’t speak for you, but I can absolutely say
that evil exists within me. And I can also tell you that the evil in me
is not different from the evil that was in those two kids who walked
through the halls of Columbine High, blowing away their classmates. It
is the same evil that was in Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson, and a host
of others. It is the same evil that is THICK in the air today. Evil is
our prime polluter in the 90s. And there is nowhere you can go to on
this globe to escape it.
So let me make it clear. If you’re serious about this thing … about
wanting to change, about wanting to “do something” I’m telling you that
this is the only thing that you can do. We are a sick society.
There is a illness out there. Every single one of us has the illness.
You must cure the illness in yourself. Forget the other guy. You can’t
get rid of his illness. If your children are sick, you are even sicker.
You must deal with your own illness first; only then can you deal with
your children’s illness.
Words are cheap, and that’s all these are: words. Over the next weeks
you’ll be hearing lots of words. Words like faith … guidance …
counseling … understanding … prayer … compassion.
These are empty words. They may make you “feel” good, but they are
worthless. Turn them off. Forget them.
This is not a sociological or political or religious “issue.” This is
not something to be “discussed.” It’s not about “the deterioration of
the American Family” or “gun control”or Marilyn Manson or video-games.
That’s all bulls–t. It’s an evasion of the actual issue.
The only issue is evil–and you can deal with that issue
… right here … right now, if you’ll shut up and just
look at it.
Try it. I guarantee, you won’t like it. But in a world in
which evil is, hands down, winning the (spiritual) war that is at
the very heart and center of virtually every issue — political,
sociological, religious — it’s virtually your only chance of survival.