Monday, May 19, 2008

Iran Promotes Holocaust Denial in U.K.

This post follows up on an earlier post concerning Nicholas Kollerstrom (read here), a former research fellow in the Science and Technology Department of University College of London who uses his respectable credentials to market Holocaust denial, "9/11 Truth", and other insane conspiracy theories (read here and here and here, in an article called "Nutball City Limits" and here). Professionally, Kollerstrom specializes in using computer technology to analyze the work of historical astronomers such as Issac Newton. He also devotes a great deal of time to attempting to put a respectable veneer on Holocaust denial of the sort espoused by Fred Leuchter, and promoting "9/11 truth", such as the idea that neither of the American Airlines flight that were crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11 actually flew on that day and that the victims on board the planes are actually still alive or never existed (read here or here).

Kollerstrom's wackjob activism recently got him dismissed from his fellowship (read here). Some of his allies in the "truth" movement have now decided that he's a Mossad mole deliberately disgracing their cause (read comments here).

While making enemies at home, this nutty professor has found friends among the lunatics running Iran. Iran owns an 24-hour English language TV news station (available on cable in the UK) called PressTV via which it promotes the truth according to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Their version of truth seems to correspond to the truth according to Kollerstrom with respect to the Holocaust. In fact, they've given over a substantial webpage on the PressTV website to promoting Kollerstrom's pseudo-scholarly Holocaust denial (read here).

Dr Nick Kollerstrom

Iran also uses PressTV to promote conspiracy theories about the July 7, 2005 London subway bombings. Here, from Youtube, is a PressTV program promoting "London Subway Bombing Truth". This slick interview program was produced in Britain and hosted by PressTV presenter Yvonne Ridley (read here and here and here and here), the British journalist who was taken hostage by the Taliban in 2001 and subsequently converted to Islam. Before working for PressTV, Ridley worked for al-Jazeera, but was fired either for accusing her boss of shopping at the Jewish-owned Marks & Spencer (read here) or (as she claims) for refusing to suppress news of U.S. atrocities against children in Iraq and Afganistan (read here).

A screen grab from IRNA TV, Iran's new state-run English-language 24-hour news, shows presenter Yvonne Ridley

By the way, Ridley's program features Bilderberg conspiracy fruitcake Tony Gosling. (Read about him here. PLEASE read Gosling's website either here or here. Another of his websites is here.) Chip Berlet has called Gosling "a major source of right-wing populist conspiracy theories tinged with apocalyptic millennialism". I would agree with that, but without limiting Gosling to right wing ideas. Gosling, a quirky sort of guy, identifies himself as a leftist and is a member of the Green Party, while promoting ideas associated with the extreme right and with cultists such as David Icke. Gosling's conspiracy theories are explicitly religious (some based on the Bible, many focusing on Masons, Illuminati, Jews, etc.) and transcend limitations of standard political ideology. (Some of his ideas about Jews are available here and here.) Incredibly, Gosling has been a candidate for local political office and is an officer of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). To bring this full circle, Gosling and Kollerstrom are associates (read here). Gosling recently posted here (about 3/4 of the way down the page) that Kollerstrom is considering a lawsuit against bloggers who reveal his Holocaust denial activism.

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A side note:
As you know, Iran is led by a self-described "academic". Ahmadinejad uses his degree in traffic control (of course, without specifically describing his field of expertise) to put a veneer of respectability on his espousal of Holocaust denial, conspiracy theory and religious fanaticism. He also uses this credential to pose as an advocate of academic freedom, even as he imprisons and kills professors and students who are accused of holding ideas contrary to his own (i.e. sane ideas as opposed to his mad ones). He may be one of history's best examples of why academics should stay within their area of expertise. (I also hear that Teheran's traffic is terrible.)


Anonymous said...

Talk about conspiracy theories, I think you need counselling mate. If you watch the whole Agenda show on the July 7 Bombings you will see it is fair and balanced with excellent counter arguments as given by guests Bob Ayers and David Aaronovitch. You seem to be very selective with the truth and the facts - both extremely worthy qualities which you seem to have a long distance relationship with.
Furthermore, if you go on to the Press TV website and go into the archive system of my show The Agenda, I defy you to find any programme devoid of balance - unlike this rather ghastly little blog.

Adam Holland said...


I'm not exactly sure what you dislike about me or my blog because you don't say. You mention conspiracy theories, but don't specify. Feel free to take a deep breath and write back with specifics.

Let's talk about conspiracy theories. Why do you think your employers promote them? Why do they promote Holocaust denial? Why do they provide a forum for those who deny the facts of the subway bombings and 9/11 or who absurdly blame Israel for these crimes? The answers may not be clear to you, but they are clear.

Is it difficult for you to report the news when your employers are so deeply opposed to free speech? I guess they have no problem with the subject matter you report on. How do you feel about working for a dictatorship that has imprisoned and killed countless innocent people arbitrarily or for political reasons or "heresy" or thought crimes or for being gay or female or simply because a neighbor informed on them or a religious cop disliked their clothing?

PressTV's denial of crimes against humanity is a work in progress. Every day it covers up the crimes of the ayatollahs who pay your checks, the "sins of omission" mount. Oh wait -- sins of omission are inadvertent -- your omissions are deliberate. Those are the worst kind of sins for a journalist, aren't they?

You call my blog "ghastly". The ghastliest thing that I can imagine is working for mass murderers. The fact that they deny past mass murders and plan for future ones seems entirely consistent, don't you think? Oh're not free to answer that question, are you?

Feel free to take potshots at my blog in whatever terms you choose. My hands are clean. Are yours?

Anonymous said...

I watched program in question and I found Yvonne actually favoured Ayers and Aaronovitch. It left me frustrated actually. I thought lt may have been a deliberate decision in order that nobody could accuse the program of Bias.

Either that or just that Aaronovitch, specifically, saw fit to try and dominate the discussion - without actually providing any answers to any of the points raised.

Adam Holland said...

PressTV Watcher:

I'm at a disadvantage in that I haven't seen the program, only the Press TV webpage to which this post links.

To state a very obvious point that apparently eludes you, Press TV's goal in "covering" (actually promoting) Holocaust denial is to engender doubt and confusion about well-established historical facts. They are motivated to do this by anti-Semitism. By the way, what motivates you? A love of history?

If, as you say, Ridley favored those who advocated on behalf of history against those who advocate drivel, it just goes to show how idiotic the Holocaust deniers' position really is. From what you say, perhaps even those who want to support this absurd position are sometimes embarrassed to do so. (I'll withhold judgment on that until I can see the program myself.)

Now what's next for Press TV, a debate between an astronomer and someone who claims the moon is made of green cheese? I wonder if you'll find pro-astronomer bias in how that's moderated.


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