Circus Day Is Over, by Tiffany Thayer

(From the Fortean Society Magazine, No. 6, January 1942. This caused a falling-out between Mr Thayer and several of the other founding Forteans.)

Your secretary and a few of his esteemed colleagues brought the Fortean Messiah to town with bass-drum and redfire in the tradition of P. T. Barnum and Billy Sunday—a tradition honored by time if none other. Now, however, since all the world has taken up the bass-drum so stridently, it is more Fortean to eschew those methods and to insure outselves an auditory by whispering. We’ll be heard the better by contrast.

This does not mean that the Fortean Society will shirk its duty of calling attention to the crimes of Our Betters, far from it, and, accordingly, we quietly charge that the present international hostility is the most ghastly fraud ever perpetrated in history with the possible exception of the Holy Inquisition. By that is meant that the headlines you consume each day as “news” are not really news at all but are only the latest releases to us dupes of our daily capsule of dope. Every time you listen to a “news” broadcast on the radio you are taking poison through the ears.

* * *

Our Shepherds—the politicians and bankers of the world—chiefly those of the United States, Germany, England and Japan—planned this gigantic hoax upon their peoples in all personal friendliness years ago. They decided what should happen now—and it is happening and will continue to happen very much according to schedule until every possible dollar has been squeezed out of the emprise and every last vestige of our already farcical “freedom” has been taken from us.

* * *

The reason for this condition is, clearly, to preserve tottering, rotten institutions which mankind—partially enlightened by the events of 1914 to 1918—was undermining diligently, intent—as the commonality has ever been—upon self-betterment. It is this determination for self-betterment which puts the fear of God into Our Betters perennially and demands military regimen for the rest of us on an average of at least once every twenty-five years. For present-day “civilization” operates on the working premise that the overwhelming majority of mankind is stupid, cannot be enlightened, and is happy to remain swinish or doltish; and the only way that lie can be maintained, sustained and perpetuated is by the use of such bludgeons as this one they cll “War and another, called “Authority.” These great hammers re dropped on our heads every time we raise them because Our Betters do not sit securely in their superior seats by any virtue of theirs but only by beating us back from around their legs.

The second crime of Our Shepherds which Your Secretary will mention in his quiet session is one in which “Authority” has been the bludgeon, but before we take it up, a word in praise of a man who might have played one of the largest parts in this, the most ghastly fraud since the Inquisition, but who refused.

He was a King—the King of England—and had been better loved as Prince of Wales. He is now known as Duke of Windsor, presently “employed” as Governor of the Bahamas . . . This man renounced a throne, and it was given out by the lie-mongering press that he renounced his birthright for the love of a woman. The statement was made that this man could not marry this woman and keep his crown becuse the woman was an American.

Here take some time out to smile For —it was to aid the same Britain which was alleged to have raised that objected that Our Shepherds led the despised Americans to “War.”

Of course, nobody with an IQ of more than 6 and 7/8 believed the story at the time, but how many suspected the truth?

How many knew what the politicians of the world were planning? Who was present in Windsor Castle to her the leaders of the world’s greatest nations—theUnited Sats, Germany, how own England, Italy and Japan—tell Edward of Windsor that a repetition of 1914-1918was going to be necessary to prevent the people of the world rom claiming their birthright? How many heard Edward VIII, the uncrowned King of England, say to the other members of that most select of all clubs—The War-Makers: “No gentlemen. I will not do it. . . I will not be party to your murderous scheme for the enslavement of minions. I am not even grateful for the opportunity. . .  You forget that I was still a lad when your Club found this necessary the time before. You forget that I was duped along with the rest at that time. I was taken in by your flag-waving and your drum-beating—but I lived to learn that you and your class and myself and my class aren’t worth fighting for.

“I visited trenches in 1914 and bread-lines in 1930, You gentlemen dug those trenches on paper years before common men dug in the mud—and you and I created those bread-lines. Now you are asking me to go on playing that same unspeakable game—perpetuating trenches and breadlines to infinity—or—worse: you are asking me to help you deprive the peoples of the earth of their last shred of self-respect, the last glimmer of hope for human integrity.

“No, gentlemen. . . You may take the crown of England and stick it—on the head of one of my brothers: there are plenty of them—and one, at least, will be ready to do this for you. I refuse.”

Edward of Windsor couldn’t stop the pans the War-Makers had in hand but he could refuse to further them or to participate in them. Now, we cannot all be Governors of the Bahamas, but we can follow the honorable and upright example of Edward VIII part of the way. We can shut off the radio, stop reading newspapers and stay away from the movies. Their “war” stops automatically as soon as you do these three things.


Circus Day Is Over, by Tiffany Thayer