The Turkish televangelist Harun Yahya, also known as Adnan Oktar, is a controversial figure in Turkey, controversial among other things for his litigiousness—scores of websites in Turkey, including WordPress, have been banned at his behest—so forgive me for couching my language in the utmost of circumspection. He is best known for sending his anti-Darwinian magnum opus, the Atlas of Creation—weighing in at more than 13 pounds—to tens of thousands of journalists worldwide. No one knows where he received the money for this project. I received a copy and quite liked and appreciated the book, which is beautiful.
My father, David Berlinski, is known among other things for skepticism about the neo-Darwinian synthesis. Many years ago, when I first arrived in Turkey, Mr. Oktar invited my father to an all-expenses paid conference to discuss his views. My father was initially excited until I informed him that alas, Oktar was also known as a Holocaust denier and a rapist, that he had been charged with blackmail, extortion, possession of unlicensed weapons, sexual intercourse with minors, cocaine possession, fomenting a theological revolution, and keeping a stable of uncannily beautiful, wealthy women in concubinage. He was said to beat them regularly. The indictments against him suggested that his followers were encouraged to plunder their parents’ bank accounts, sell their assets, and hand them over to his organization. He was arrested, confined to a mental hospital and diagnosed with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and schizophrenia. Some of his former followers hold that Oktar not only believes the return of the Mahdi is imminent, but that he is the Mahdi.
When I explained this to my father, he was quite disappointed; an all-expenses paid trip to visit his daughter had sounded to him like a terrific deal. Apparently, it sounded that way to Sean Stone—son of Oliver Stone, now Sean Ali Stone, for he has converted, or rather reverted, to Islam, having had—well, I suppose the correct expression would not be a Road to Damascus experience in Iran, but it was something similar. What resulted was surely one of the most hilarious—and strangely touching—hours in televangelism history.
Now, the Turkish justice system being what it is, there is no way to know whether all of the claims about Adnan Oktar are true; he says the confessions were extracted under torture (quite possible), and most of the charges were ultimately dismissed. But I’ve heard enough anecdotes about him from people who know him to worry that many of the stories about him are true enough. And he was, without a doubt, a Holocaust denier. I was less pleased to receive some of his other works, including Judaism and Freemasons, a Turkified interpretation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which informed me that the principal mission of Jews and Freemasons in Turkey “was to erode the spiritual, religious, and moral values of the Turkish people and make them like animals.” He has since revised this view, along with his views of the Holocaust, and is now an admirer—indeed, a passionate advocate—of Jews and Freemasons. It was all a big misunderstanding, he says.
Despite the unpleasant rumors about him, Oktar has a tremendous following: He has served as an adviser to several Turkish politicians, and his stalls feature prominently at book fairs throughout the Arab world. But stranger still, he has received glowing encomiums from conservative congressmen in the US—he takes a strong stand against terrorism, which seems to be good enough for them, no need to fuss about the details. This culminated in an invitation to America, where, according to his website,
A conference was held at the US Army, Lackland Air Force Base, in the city of San Antonio of the state of Texas by a representative of Harun Yahya. The subjects The Collapse of Darwinism and the Fact of Creation and Miracles of the Qur’an were told to the attendees, made up of soldiers with the ranks of specialist sergeant, non-commissioned officer and captain, in the morning and in the evening respectively. American and non-Muslim soldiers listened to the lecture with admiration. At the end of the program, the soldiers who were listening to the lecture were asked if they would like to have a Qur’an. Most of the soldiers in attendence raised their hands, and each was presented a Holy Qur’an and works of Harun Yahya.
A medal was presented to the Harun Yahya representative to be delivered to Mr. Adnan Oktar by a captain and it was noted that no other speaker was presented with such a gift ever before. It was also stated that they want to organize a wider-scaled and greater program to be attended by the whole air base in the following months.
This appears to be precisely what happened; the report was confirmed by the Lackland Public Affairs Office. It is good to know that our armed forces are preparing for all contingencies, including the return of the Mahdi.
Even more strangely, Mr. Oktar is feted by orthodox rabbis in Israel. Israeli diplomats regularly appear on his show. I have no idea why his guests never seem to consult his web page: None seem to understand that his vision for the world involves creating a new Ottoman Empire from Eastern Russia to Western Nigeria, unifying the Islamic world under Turkish leadership.
Perhaps it is because Mr. Oktar cuts quite the suave figure, with his well-groomed beard and white linen suit, and is always accompanied by dazzlingly gorgeous young women—and men, for that matter—dressed in expensive clothes. On his show they stare at him in mute admiration. And there is this: The man is charming, and oddly sweet, in a way. I have no idea what he really believes now, but on television, he manages to project both genuine religious faith and a passionate longing for peace—who could quarrel with that?—even though this leads him to distinct inconsistencies of perspective, particularly when he agrees wholeheartedly with all of his guests, seriatim, even though their theological and political convictions are so profoundly irreconcilable that only a schizophrenic could entertain them all simultaneously–which is perhaps why his physicians decided that he was, in fact, a schizophrenic.
The story of Yahya’s encounter with Sean Ali Stone is not precisely breaking news—this happened some weeks ago—but I think it worth mentioning, not only for its hilarity, but for what it says about the general confusion about who is who and what is what in this part of the world, a confusion that is exceeded in Turkey only by the confusion in America.
I reproduce herewith the highlights of the exchange.
OKTAR BABUNA (Presenter): Good evening, we are continuing with our program insha’Allah. We are together with Onder, Ender and our brother, famous producer Oliver Stone’s son Sean, with his new Muslim name Sean-Ali Stone and with our dear Master. Here you are Master.
ADNAN OKTAR: Well my God, what an honor this is, what a great beauty. Welcome Sean. How are you?
SEAN STONE: Thank you. I am good, how are you?
ADNAN OKTAR: Alhamdulillah Masha’Allah. You’re becoming a Muslim has caused a great joy and a great happiness for the whole Muslim world. Everyone loves you very much. You are very much loved in Turkey as well. Your friends here love you very much too. May Allah give you beauty, goodness and abundance. Insha’Allah may you become our brother in the Paradise as well, you are our brother in this world anyway. How is it? Did you love your brothers? How was the effect of the care and attention you received in Turkey on you?
SEAN STONE: I’ve got it. I can speak Turkish now. It is a tremendous country culturally. I feel like there is many ghosts and many much conflicts that come to this land you know. East and West meeting here. From Alexander the Great building his empire from here to the Byzantines. You know the Byzantine Empire, the East Rome, the invasions of the Crusades were launched really because the Byzantine Empire called upon the Crusaders for help against the Muslims. But then Islam conquers and still reigns here in Constantinople, Istanbul. [Note: This remark was met with tactful silence.] So I think it is an amazing, an amazing country with a tremendous history. And the Turkish people are proud people, a mixture of many different times in a way, it is like many different centuries coming together and this place is the center of the world I think.
ADNAN OKTAR: Sean is a radiant person. He is very well mannered, very decent. As far as we see, as far as we observe he is a very positive person. His father is a very famous producer. And Sean has played parts in his father’s movies. Right? Masha’Allah. His voice is very characteristic, he has a very high-quality style. I am hearing his voice as if I am watching a historical movie. And he has a nice stature and all that, masha’Allah, he is very handsome. May Allah give you goodness, beauty and abundance. May He give goodness to both your father and yourself. May He deem all of you brothers in the Paradise. May Allah lead all of us to the right path insha’Allah. That is nice and well. You will be going to Iran as well from here?
SEAN STONE: That is my plan. Iran next … to bring some peaceful energy you know, as an olive branch and peace.
ADNAN OKTAR: Masha’Allah. They love you very much in Iran as well. And they love you very much in Turkey too. You are very much liked in all the Muslim world.
SEAN STONE: Hopefully the whole world soon, will eaqually love me but also come to embrace Islam and at least the principle of One God, One Creator that creates all of us. Every man and woman is made in His image, the One image, you know the image of God. … Insha’Allah. It is funny when I accepted Islam, the imam was named Nassary. We have talked a little bit about why I came to Islam. But afterwards he was very insistent that Mahdi is coming because people need it. It’s like, he said it’s like the stock-market. It is demand, it is supplying the demand. It is basic economics. Mankind, humankind needs the Mahdi. They need the spirit of the Mahdi to come and fill their hearts. And remind them that we are here thanks to God. You know, not just thanks to random chance, not thanks to man, but thanks to God. And so that was a very important moment at the time of my acceptance of Islam was talking about the Mahdi.
ADNAN OKTAR: He is very good natured, Masha’Allah. He is very positive, very kind, very humble. I mean that also caught my attention very much. He is like a friend of yours among you. He is very cordial, right? He is not assuming a special type of manner, a special type of attitude. He acts in a modest, sincere humility that befits a Muslim and that suits him very well. His childhood was very cute and his older ages are very cute as well. Masha’Allah.
SEAN STONE: What I’ve always appreciated about Islam is the word Islam, submission. I think this is a tremendously powerful point that people have to understand that the most powerful person in the world is also the most humble. Because he only can operate thanks to God, thanks to the power that God gives him. So even if you can be the King Solomon but you will have no power unless it is by the power of God.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes. And by that reason you are being protected by Allah. That is why you are healthy like this, that is why you are handsome like this. That is the reason why you are this much loved and you will be loved even more.
SEAN STONE: I have a question for you. Do you think. … what role does the Ark of the Covenant play in the Mahdi’s return?
ADNAN OKTAR: That will be presented to the Jews as an evidence to prove that the righteousness of the Mahdi. All the Jews will then confirm that the Mahdi is a fact, that he is true. I mean with that proof the majority of the Jews will become Muslims. That is because there will the original of the manna inside the Ark. Manna preserved inside a container, many holy relics belonging to the Prophet Musa will be discovered inside. The original of the Torah will be discovered and these will of course have a very positive effect on people. I mean these constitute a very strong evidence for a sincere, conscientious person to become a Muslim. But these will be found by the hand of Hazrat Mahdi. I mean they will be found with Hazrat Mahdi being instrumental in their discovery.
SEAN STONE: So inside the Ark, we are told that there is the manna. Manna.. What does that mean exactly. Manna is the food of the gods, right? Doesn’t that come … I mean what is it, is it a liquid or what is it? Does it come from the brain or what is it? Manna?
ADNAN OKTAR: I can show you manna if you like. Is manna here? We have had it in a bottle?
OKTAR BABUNA: It might be at home Master.
ADNAN OKTAR: Let them bring it here to me so that I can show it to Sean. Have you never seen manna?
SEAN STONE: No, never.
ADNAN OKTAR: Let me have it brought here. My Freemason friends brought that for me especially. That is a special substance obtained very difficultly, that can only be presented to high ranking Freemasons. It can only be preserved inside water. If left in a dust form it can pass through the glass and come out, that is the kind of substance it is. It is a strange substance.
SEAN STONE: Did they tell you what it is made of? What is the source of it?
ADNAN OKTAR: It can be produced from vegetables. But the one they mostly emphasize is the one produced from gold. The one given to me was manna obtained from gold.
SEAN STONE: The white gold or the normal gold?
ADNAN OKTAR: Normal gold as far as I know.
SEAN STONE: This is one of the secrets of alchemy. The elixir of life, right? This is what they called it.
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course, I have not yet tasted it, I wouldn’t know.
SEAN STONE: May be you should try it.
ADNAN OKTAR: May be it has a time for it. May be in the future, may be later.
SEAN STONE: Are you scared that there is poison?
ADNAN OKTAR: It is not a poison, it is a useful substance. My Freemason friends use that. I mean when they use it causes a powerful increase in their perception, I mean in their perception regarding the sensations coming from the outside. And that sometimes creates excitement in people. I mean, manna can be something that not every person can handle. I mean, it creates an extraordinary increase in people’s power of seeing, hearing and thinking, in the immenseness of their horizon of contemplation. That might sometimes be traumatic for people. I mean. it is not something everyone can do.
SEAN STONE: It is very true. This is why the priests, historically only the priests would drink the manna, the food of the gods. Only the priests could handle this, this ability to see.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes. Inside the Ark of Covenant, the original manna from the time of the Musa will be found. The real manna.
SEAN STONE: Different than today’s?
ADNAN OKTAR: It is the same. But it is very important that it would be made by the hand of the Prophet Musa himself.
SEAN STONE: But then why would the Ark of the Covenant … it could kill people, it was, like, radioactive, almost. Right? There were people, priests, who were not allowed, who were not supposed to interact with it would actually die when they approached the Ark.
ADNAN OKTAR: It is at the bottom of the Lake Tiberias at the moment. Some of the holy relics are in the caves of Damascus and some are in Hatay, in Turkey. They are inside caves in Hatay, inside several caves.
SEAN STONE: But then again, they can’t approach. It takes a certain person, a certain type of person to actually approach the Ark.
ADNAN OKTAR: Only the Mahdi will be able to open it. Other than him, no one is allowed. I mean no one can handle that other than the Mahdi. But when the Mahdi opens it, since this is a point known in the Torah as well, I mean since this is something known to the whole Christian world as well, since this is an explicit miracle, I mean since this is a wonder, a miracle impossible to deny, many people would embrace Islam. The Ark is there as it is at the moment, in its original form. That ark is made up of gold. It is also explicitly stated in the verses of the Qur’an. Allah says that it is protected by the angels. No one can damage it.
SEAN STONE: The Ark is one of the keys. They were other components of the Ark, were there not? Inside of the Ark, aside from the manna, is there anything else that is needed to activate it? How do you say it? It is almost like, I am told, there might be different pieces to the Ark that have to come together at this place.
ADNAN OKTAR: The Ark is full of love and is compassionate towards Hazrat Mahdi. Yet when other people touch it, it has a deadly effect. That Ark has only permission for Hazrat Mahdi, no one other than him can open it. If they attempt to open it, just like those who did before, received the retribution of it, the same thing will happen. As you know, when that Ark was opened it was protected with a curtain, in order to prevent the public seeing it, it was protected while being opened and closed.
SEAN STONE: I thought you’ve said that they will bring the manna. Now they are bringing the manna? They are bringing it?
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes, I am having it brought.
SEAN STONE: What about the grail. The holy grail, do you think this is a physical chalice used by Christ, by Jesus? You know the grail, cup?
ADNAN OKTAR: Everything that the Prophet Jesus has used is holy. The properties of the Prophet Jesus will be found as well. And that is again predestined for Hazrat Mahdi. After that, the Christian world, the Jewish world and the Muslim World will sincerely believe that the Mahdi is true. I mean, they will come to see this in a way that it will be impossible to deny. For instance look, I am saying that it is at the bottom of the Lake Tiberias, yet no one is able to take it out. I am saying its place openly, look I am pronouncing it explicitly. Under the mud it is at the bottom of the Lake Tiberias at the moment. But they cannot take it out. I mean no country, no state can ever be able to do that.
SEAN STONE: Do you know if they have tried? The governments, or people have tried to take the Ark?
ADNAN OKTAR: They cannot try, they are even unable to think about it.
SEAN STONE: The Nazis were trying. The Nazis were looking for the Ark.
ADNAN OKTAR: They did but not at the bottom of the Lake Tiberias. They looked for it elsewhere.
SEAN STONE: In Africa, right?
ADNAN OKTAR: They looked for it in irrelevant places.
SEAN STONE: Indiana Jones never found it!
Perhaps it is unnecessary to point this out, but in case you missed it, note that Sean Ali Stone’s theological Weltanschauung would appear to derive entirely from his careful, hermeneutical study of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
We could stop here, but the fun isn’t over. The interview continues with a discussion of the way the Mahdi might be recognized:
ADNAN OKTAR: Looking young even in advanced ages, that is a characteristic unique to Mahdi.I mean there will never be such a severe collapse in Hazrat Mahdi. He has the appearance of youth that will not be proportional with his age. I mean he doesn’t look like his age. What else?
OKTAR BABUNA: He has very few siblings
ADNAN OKTAR: Our Prophet says that he will have very few siblings.
OKTAR BABUNA: His birth will be in secret, says our Prophet.
ADNAN OKTAR: He says that his birth will be in secret. I mean his birth will not be in a hospital or declared in public, so it is stated that he will be born at home.
OKTAR BABUNA: There will be a very slight protrusion on his nose and he will have slanted eyes.
ADNAN OKTAR: Oh yes, there is a very slight protrusion on his nose, says our Prophet. And he says that there is a very slight concavity on his forehead. So he says his forehead is not convex but concave. Sorry?
ENDER: He will be an orphan.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes he says that he will be an orphan. So his father would be dead.
OKTAR BABUNA: He is mentioned as the King Messiah, the son of Yusuf (Joseph), in the Torah.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes. Yet if we let Oktar explain these, people will say; “That is directly you!””
SEAN STONE: Looks a lot like you, actually!
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes, he looks like me and like people who look like me, insha’Allah.
SEAN STONE: I wonder, if we took manna and we touched it, what would we feel?
ADNAN OKTAR: There is still time for it. I will tell you when.
SEAN STONE: I think we will fly.
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course, there will be a tremendous sharpness in your conscious. Your visual efficiency will increase. Your point of view will deepen. But it might be harmful for you at this stage. I will tell you when it is time.
SEAN STONE: I will trust you then.
ADNAN OKTAR: Insha’Allah.
SEAN STONE: Insha’Allah. I think we will wait the next time, when we do manna together.
Sean Ali Stone discusses the optimal circumstances for “doing manna.”
“When we do manna together.” Yes, truly, that’s just what he said.
On occasion, I am asked why I don’t write fiction anymore. The answer, I suppose, is that I no longer see the need.
Let’s move along from Sean Ali Stone and explore Mr. Oktan’s description of the reception his acolytes received in San Antonio–this from another episode of his program, in which his guests were representatives of the Iranian State television channel IRIB:
ADNAN OKTAR: On the air base [in San Antonio, Texas], they gave me a medal on the air base. The whole thing is a question of approach. origins. That is something they have in common with the evangelicals. They are also awaiting such a Messiah.
INTERPRETER: We all know that a number of things have to happen in order to speed up the coming of the Messiah. In particular, there has to be severe disorder in the Middle East and wars have to break out. The Zionist structure in Israel and the evangelicals in America are working together on this.
ADNAN OKTAR: And we are striving to stop this war. America would normally be considering an operation against Iran. Notice how America has surrounded Iran with air bases. U.S. air forces has surrounded Iran like a noose. They are ready for that, there is not an unprepared structure there. Consequently an attack from Israel would simultaneously be supported by an American attack. This is a very grave risk. We have for long been striving to prevent this. I concentrate on it because it is so important. I will be receiving guests in the next few days and we will be discussing it with them as well.
INTERPRETER: Zionist ideology owes its own existence to the idea of the promised land.
ADNAN OKTAR: True.
INTERPRETER: And it wants to achieve this. It has numerous objectives, such as the reconstruction of the Temple of Solomon, the Jews all coming together in Israel and Jerusalem being declared as the capital city. This is the basic belief of such an objective. How can there be a common foundation with such aims? This lies at the root of these people’s belief.
ADNAN OKTAR: I asked them about this. I have talked to them about this. I asked if the state is supreme, or the King Messiah. I asked; “Do you think that the Israeli state would be superior than the King Messiah?” They said, “no, for us the King Messiah is the state personified.” Also according to us the Mahdi is the King Messiah. They [Jews] also said that the person you call the Mahdi is who we know as the King Messiah. When the Mahdi appears, Israel will be completely liberated. The Mahdi will govern them with the Torah. There is a hadith of our Prophet about that. And there will be a time of great ease for them. The walls will be torn down. They will spread all over those promised lands. They will live in peace and comfort. The Mahdi will guarantee their security. They will follow the Mahdi. So the promise in the Torah will be made good. They have no doubt about that. But they want it to happen at once; that is all. They are very worried by this belief in the invisible Mahdi. They believe in the coming of a visible, recognized Mahdi, a loving Mahdi, the King Messiah. They established the Sanhedrin assembly, as you know. That happened for the first time in thousands of years. That is a sign of the coming of the Mahdi. They will ask the Sanhedrin assembly whether they recognize the Mahdi.
INTERPRETER: So under these circumstances, Judaism will get into a conflict with 1000 years of their belief.
ADNAN OKTAR: 3000 years.
INTERPRETER: Let’s say thousands of years, this is in conflict with their traditional belief. I mean this will be the exact opposite of their beliefs.
ADNAN OKTAR: It is in perfect agreement with their belief. They will go along with true belief and abandon the false.
INTERPRETER: For us there is only one truth: Islam and the Qur’an. So you mean that everyone will go down that road and follow Islam and the Qur’an.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes, they will become Mohammedan Jews, while we are direct Mohammedans. Christians will be Mohammedan Christians. That is the whole matter. We will not turn them away from the Prophet Jesus,, they will love him even more. We will not turn them away from Moses, they will love him even more. We will not turn them away from the Torah. We will ensure they are even more devoted to the Torah, the true Torah.
INTERPRETER: Also in the Ahl-al Sunnah belief, the coming of Hazrat Mahdi and that a Golden Age will be experienced, is a fact certified with the hadiths. We know this and accept this and then insha’Allah, Muslims will reign across the world. But when we look at contemporary global politics, international Zionism is really working very well. With its various branches, they dominate the global economy; they dominate science and various other sectors. They dominate politics and are working hard for their own interests. Is the thing you have in mind possible in the near future Master? As I say, they are working really hard for their own ambitions.
ADNAN OKTAR: They are working, but Israel, the state of Israel, is not as powerful as people think.
INTERPRETER: One must not regard Israel as being Israel alone. As I have already said, Israel is international. America is also Israel.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes, that is true, yes, the Jews there [in U.S.] are wealthy and stronger. But that is how Allah has ordained history. They also have to go along with the course of history. The whole issue, the key problem here is, the reason why there is no Islamic Union now is, the reason of the delay in the coming of the Mahdi is Iran’s belief in this invisible Mahdi. When that is done away with, when they hold the same views as Sunnis, when they believe in a visible Mahdi, Israel will have no more objection. Notice how this statue has masons’ gloves, a masonic apron, compasses, a masonic scarf and a beard.
INTERPRETER: He is asking about secret Jews and the conversos.
ADNAN OKTAR: Secret Jews.
INTERPRETER: Crypto-Jews and conversos, Sabbateanists…
ADNAN OKTAR: Actually, to say the truth, I mean if we are to state the fact honestly there is no such organization. I mean there are Jews by race, and they watch out for and protect one another; but there is no such belief, no such religious organization [as crypto-Jews]. If there were, they could not hide from our enquiries and those of the state. It would definitely be seen. Because we enter their meeting and their homes and everywhere. We have all kinds of means. They have no such belief system. There may have been an organization set up by admirers of Sabbatai Zevi at the beginning, in Ottoman times, but that gradually faded away. It failed to survive as a powerful tradition. But Judaism survives because it is based on the Torah, and that will continue to do so. They will follow the true Torah in the time of Hazrat Mahdi as well. Our Prophet states this explicitly in the hadiths. He says that his descendant, the Mahdi, will govern Jews with the original of the Torah and Christians with the original of the Injil. But a visible Mahdi, not an invisible one. A Mahdi born to a mother and a father.
INTERPRETER: Alright Master, again in Europe, during the Renaissance and the Reformation; for example, the establishment of the Protestant Church–those people who subscribed to Kabbalist philosophy, for instance Erasmus, and the people influenced by them such as Martin Luther, and the Protestant sect that emerged and was reconciled with Judaism, these people who emerged from inside Christianity.. Could you tell us something about that process?
ADNAN OKTAR: Protestants are by no means welcomed to the Jews; because Protestants represent the greatest threat to them. The Protestants say that all Jews will die, with the exception of 120,000 of them. This is, of course, terrifying for the Jews. Why should a Jew advocate such a system? I mean, 120,000 Jews out of millions is a tiny number. The Protestants say they will all be slaughtered apart from 120,000. And they say they will do that themselves. They say they will first collect them all in Israel, as if to make things easier. Then Jesus the Messiah will come, they say, and slaughter them all. Who they are really awaiting for is the dajjal (anti-Christ), because what is the guilt of these millions of Jews who are totally inoffensive. On the contrary, by means of the Mahdi the Jews will come to have faith in the End Times and will become Muslims. There is a hadith about that. A great many will come to faith. We trust the hadiths of our Prophet, and we act accordingly. That is enough for this section of the documentary. Let this be enough for today. Then we can carry on later. Insha’Allah.
I assume the reader by now grasps the point about the state of mind of Mr. Oktar, his devotees and his Iranian guests, so I will not reproduce the rest of the interview in full, but I can’t allow this priceless segment to pass neglected:
THE INTERPRETER: As far as we know, we think that the Kabbalah lies at the root of the philosophy of international Zionism.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes.
THE INTERPRETER: here is also Kabbalistic thinking in that. At the end of the day, they have targets within this ideological framework that are by no means innocent ones. And we think that the Kabbalah represents the infrastructure of this. I am saying what I have drawn from your books.
ADNAN OKTAR: The global leader of the Kabbalists was my guest here recently. How long did they stay?
OKTAR BABUNA: Three or four days.
ADNAN OKTAR: They stayed three or four days and talked with me. They brought me a Torah dating back 100 years or so. As a gift.
THE INTERPRETER: What was the name? He is asking me for a name.
ADNAN OKTAR: What was his name?
OKTAR BABUNA: Yehuda Berg.
ESMAIL HAJ HEYDARI: Yes. Yes.
THE INTERPRETER: He had asked his name.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yehuda Berg, yes. I talked with him and could tell from his language that he will serve the way of the Mahdi. But if you read their philosophy it is very complicated and seems to have nothing to do with Islam. But I saw that within that system they will serve Islam and the way of the Mahdi and are doing so even now. It is child’s play for a Muslim to put an end to the service to disbelief and Satan. It is very easy, one just has to use one’s intelligence and conscience. Disbelief does not have such a great, irresistible force. Allah tells us in a verse that Satan has no such power, that he has no power over true and pure believers. He says that he only has power over those who submit to Satan. It [the Satan] has a compelling power over them. But he has no power to compel Muslims to do anything. I , for instance, am in contact with Yehuda Berg, and there are world-famous Kabbalists, as you know..
THE INTERPRETER: Like Madonna.
ADNAN OKTAR: Sorry?
THE INTERPRETER: Kabbalists like Madonna.
Again, why bother with fiction?
Mr. Oktar, to his great credit, invites guests of every religious and national persuasion to his show. Dr. Ely Karmon is an adviser to the Israeli Ministry of Defense and a senior research scholar at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. He lectures on terrorism and guerrilla warfare at the IDC and the IDF Military College. I would not have though he would have enough free time on his hands in these troubled days to pitch up on the Yahya Channel, but apparently, he does.
ELY KARMON: I’ve looked to some of your books, some of your beliefs, and I was very amazed, I would say, that you have such a strong voice against radicalization and for fraternity. You also invited several Israeli personalities. I would ask you, as you know much better than me Turkey, what should be done inside Turkey where we know that more and more anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish feelings are appealing, and this visit of the leaders of Hamas is one sign, because they were received like heroes, like brothers, and they received a lesson that was negative. So what should to be done, in your opinion, in order to bring this peaceful message and friendship message to a larger part of the Turkish population?
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course these meetings have a positive impact. For instance, I am expecting members of the Israeli Parliament in the days ahead, to come as our guests. They will have various meetings here. These things are of course useful in establishing a more moderate climate. But the Torah has shown the solution. If a Jew attaches no importance to the Torah then he is not a [real] Jew anyway. He would then be something totally different. And according to the Torah, Allah says that He will destroy people if they reject this spirit of peace, this spirit of love, the spirit of the King Messiah in the Torah. Therefore, there will be no more problems in Turkey. No more problems in Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere else once people accept the King Messiah, once they become aware of the Mahdi. But otherwise, everyone can see the world revolves around pain and afflictions; there are loud preparations for war going on in the world. And there is tension everywhere. But Allah reveals in the Torah that this will immediately come to an end with the King Messiah, the Mahdi. And our Prophet describes it in detail in the hadiths. It would be very wrong to ignore this, it would be quite foolish. There is but one rational path, and we must solve this matter by approaching it rationally and obeying Allah’s commandment on the subject.
ELY KARMON: I would like to ask you one more question which is also quite sensitive, not related to relations between Israel and Turkey, between our people and your people. Because I am looking around the world on the strategic level in the last ten or fifteen years, I have researched–or investigated if you want–quite a lot about what happens in Pakistan, because Pakistan is a country which has a huge influence on what happens in the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and we see that war is waged there in Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan, in Afghanistan is worse and worse, I don’t see a real solution with the efforts of the Americans or their coalition; but what is more disturbing is that in Pakistan itself, for the last fifteen or twenty years, is a very violent and bloody fight between the Muslims, I mean between Sunnis and Shiites on the one hand, between various Sunni fractions such as the Deobandis and Barelvis and even between Pakistanis of Indian origin of Mujaddidis and those living in the Karachi area. So this is not a conflict of ideas, but it is a conflict of sectarianism and a lot of blood, and bloodshed is flowing there, so I think that, my impression is, that Muslim leaders, especially religious Muslim leaders, do not make sufficient effort to try to influence the people there, because most of this kind of conflicts are coming from religious leaders which are- I think don’t know how or why they’re- so radicalized. So I think that only on the religious level, if religious leaders in the Muslim world will raise their voice and try to work and put more psychological pressure on the leaders in Pakistan, and I speak about the religious leaders, in order to try to refute this kind of conflicts which are influencing a lot of countries.
ADNAN OKTAR: Most of the time, each and every single one of the religious leaders espouse different ideas, different worlds and different views. Separate heads and minds generally tend to repel one another. I mean people are successful when they coalesce around a single mind. Yet, thirty scholars do not make one Mahdi. That is why those who regard what it says in the Torah as nonsense, as fairy tales, are making such a great mistake. The time of the King Messiah, awaited for the last 3,000 years, whom the Jews have prayed for day and night, has come. Look at the Torah and you will see the signs. Look at other Judaic commentaries. You will see that especially the year 2012 is the last significant date, that it is the time of the Messiah. These things are not nonsense or fairy tales. People will obey the Mahdi and the Messiah, whether they want to or not. And so this fragmentation in the Islamic world, and the acts of bloodshed you list will end with the coming of the Messiah, that is the Mahdi. Otherwise the bloodshed will continue simply by getting worse exponentially. State oppression upon Jews, upon devout Jews, will continue to grow. And they will increasingly oppose the state. Events and bloodshed will continue among the Shiites. There will be conflicts between Shiites and Sunnis. Christians will become involved. The only solution is to follow the King Messiah, the Mahdi, awaited for the last 3,000 years. If people regard this as a myth, that means the end of the world has come. But through His compassion, through His mercy, Allah will produce His Mahdi, His Messiah. You will see this. The people of Israel will see this. We will see this; we will all see this. All that is needed is for wise men, for rational people, good people, to talk to one another and analyze this matter in a sincere manner.
ELY KARMON: I think that your visit could really influence the public opinion, to see a religious leader which has such a friendly attitude to our people, so I hope to see you here as soon as possible.
Now, if you confine yourself to reading the transcript, you might wonder how Ely Karmon could imagine that even one of the above-mentioned sentences would prove reassuring to Israelis. But really, it’s all in Oktar’s demeanor. He manages to sound so affable while making these pronouncements that it is almost possible completely to overlook what in fact he is saying.
The former Israeli ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, also seems to have a bit of excess time on his hands; he too dropped by the Yahya studio for a long chat about regional geopolitics:
ALAN BAKER: … now I understand the flotilla incident was a very emotional incident for Turkey but in actual fact, Mr. Erdogan’s negative relationship began long before the flotilla incident when he actually insulted the President of Israel in front of world television. So there seems to be something far deeper here than politics, and this is what makes me, and many other Israelis very very concerned.
ADNAN OKTAR: Look, let me give you some important evidence and you can understand it from that. Such actions may take place for political reasons. But it is the practicalities that matter. And what do we see in practicalities? Turkey has set a missile shield up in Malatya in order to protect Israel. It is setting up a missile, radar system. And the main, I can almost say only, aim is the protection of Israel. And Turkey is taking a great risk here. It has signed up for this, even though it has become a target itself. In the event of a nuclear attack, the nuclear missiles will be stopped within Turkish air space. And Turkey will be at risk. Yet it still takes such an extraordinarily altruistic measure for the sake of protecting Israel. This by itself is clear proof of how much Turkey, the Turkish government love Israel and are determined to protect it. Words are unimportant. It is that actions that speak louder. I also stand as guarantor for the Prime Minister. Do not concentrate on his words against Israel; in his heart, character and soul he is an exceedingly affectionate, compassionate and pure individual. He is sincere and well-intentioned. You can trust him. You like and trust me, so believe in what I say. No problems would arise on that.
ALAN BAKER: Well, thank you; I’m very happy to hear this. I mean, it’s a great relief.
I suppose it is an ambassador’s job to be diplomatic, but I wonder if he watches Mr. Oktar’s show regularly. For example, this episode of Mr. Oktar’s intervew with the Iranian journalists Saeed Mostagaci, a producer for IRIB state television, and Seyed Yasser Jebraily, the chief editor of the Azadnegar News Agency, did not leave me feeling greatly relieved:
ADNAN OKTAR: Masonry is, after all, a system formed by weak people under the control of Allah. One might assume that they act on a plan, but actually freemasonry is a gathering which acts according to the plan Allah has set up. Satan acts within the knowledge of Allah, within the limits of power bestowed by Allah. Freemasonry acts within the limits of power Allah bestowed upon them as well. There is always a need for opposites. For instance, Pharaoh was a Mason, he acted against the Prophet Moses with all his might, but there was a need for his existence. If the Prophet Moses (pbuh) had such a powerful set off, if he were to become the Prophet Moses; Allah realized that by using Pharaoh as an instrument. I mean without the Pharaoh, there wouldn’t be a Prophet Moses. For instance, Nimrod was also a Mason, he was an atheistic mason, Allah used him as an instrument and brought the Prophet Abraham forward. Freemasonry existed at the time of our Prophet as well; they came out against our Prophet with all their might, but that opposition enabled Muslims to get stronger and become victorious. Without that opposition, Muslims remain inactive; for instance, the occupation of Iraq excited Muslims. When Afghanistan was invaded, Muslims got excited as well. Without such an attitude, an idleness, languor and reluctance about the dominion of Islam comes upon Muslims. In order to provide this Allah uses the freemasonry organization. And Allah assigns Hazrat Khidr to assure that.
SAEED MOSTAGACI: How does the new generation recognize this? Can we say supporting imperialism and Zionism from this cult and ideology, could we give us a line that we can recognize new Freemasonry? Can we?
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: I think he means that what is the form of the new version of Freemasonry? How we can detect that these lines of idea is related to Freemasonry?
SAEED MOSTAGACI: In the simple form, in a simple formula, can we say supporting imperialism; like America? And Zionists from these lines, from these cults, from these ideologies, from this science, could give us a form that we can recognize this new Freemasonry?
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: Just for completing Mr. Mostagaci’s idea, we want a simple formula to detect who is the current Freemasonry, who is the current enemy of Islam and what is the duty of Muslims regarding that.
ADNAN OKTAR: Muslims should be in a state of unity. There are some people who provoke Muslims against this unity. For instance, they make discrimination between Shia and Sunni, they discriminate against Jaferites, they discriminate against Wahhabis. They try to give prominence to the hodjas who makes such discrimination, who encourages such discrimination; they present such people as valuable. That is a dissension. Giving prominence to those Muslim hodjas who want to unite Muslims would be a good attitude, that would be the correct move. The truth of the matter is that freemasonry does not have a power at all. I mean there is the short-sightedness and laziness of some Muslims. Or else, if the Muslims were to form an alliance and love each other, there would be no capitalist danger or masonic danger in the world; there would not be a danger of masonry or the power of Satan; nothing remains and the atheistic Masons will be all crumpled up. The door to religious freemasons would be opened. Consequently Muslims should be ambitious to unite around the system of the Mahdi; Allah has shown us the solution for the mischief and dissension all around the world. He has shown us the way to solve the damage caused by atheistic freemasonry, the damage done by the persecutors. Almighty Allah tells us to “unite around Hazrat Mahdi.” That should be done. The Christian world should gather around the Prophet Jesus Messiah. If one sees Mahdi as a dream, I mean if he sees his existence as impossible, then that means they consider Masons to be rightful. That means they consider atheistic Masons to be right and that they deserve the trouble. But if they believe in the words of our Prophet, if they unite around the system of the Mahdi, then there will be an instant shower of mercy, and Islam would dominate the world instantly. Masons will be happy, Zionists will be happy; everyone will be happy, everyone will adhere to Islam. Let the prominent Muslims unite; let the leading ones among our Shia brothers, among our Jaferite brothers and Wahabis unite and let us form an alliance about the system of the Mahdi. Once an alliance on the subject matter of the system of the Mahdi is established, once it is confirmed, it means that freemasonry has ended that day. It means that wild capitalism and the system of the dajjal has ended. If Muslims fail to do that, they would have nothing to say about the system of the dajjal, the system of the dajjal will then prevail, progress and crush them. But in destiny Almighty Allah pitied Muslims, even if Muslims laze about, the system of the Mahdi would still prevail, it will dominate the world in any case. However we should still use all means, Jaferite, Shia, Sunni all sincere Muslims, all wise Muslims, all men of good cause, all real Muslims who fear Allah and who love Allah, Muslims who hate hypocrites, sincere, candid Muslims should come together, let us study the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (saas). The time for Hazrat Mahdi has come, the portents have all been realized, it is impossible to ignore, let us unite, let us search for the Mahdi, let us abide by Hazrat Mahd, let us establish the unity of Islam, so that the world would be saved, so would freemasons, so would everyone else.
SAEED MOSTAGACI: But Wahhabi, the cult that was created by Zionists. What is related between Wahhabi, Shia and Sunni? I think that any relation between two of the sects, that one of them is created by Zionism and two of them, Sunni and Shia, belong to Islam.
TURGUT AKSU: Wahhabis are listening to Zionist people do you say?
SAEED MOSTAGACI: [It] is created by Zionists.
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: Wahhabi ideas are created by Zionism.
ADNAN OKTAR: No, there are many reasonable Wahhabis, many powerful people among them. They can be detected one by one, I mean there are very wise, sincere people from the (Saudi) Royal family who set their hearts on the system of the Mahdi. If only Turkey and Iran united, if only Pakistan had united, if only the scholars were to form an alliance, the Wahhabis would submit to that in any way. That would not be a point of discussion. I mean Egypt, Turkey these are great countries; Iran, Pakistan once they say yes to something, then the matter would be closed with that .
SAEED MOSTAGACI: That is right. But we have many documents that Wahhabi ideology by Muhammad Abd-al-Wahhab and Mr. Hempher, the famous spy of Britain in England. Wahhabi ideology was created by those and was expanded by Ali Saud that were charged by some Zionists like Sir Lawrence, Thomas Lawrence known as Lawrence of Arabia. For all of these we have many documents that this ideology is Zionist ideology. But when fans of this ideology will see Hazrat Mahdi, exactly go to the Islam, the real Islam; Shias and so. But the Wahhabi ideology is a Zionist ideology.
TURGUT AKSU: And you have many documents?
SAEED MOSTAGACI: Not me, these documents are issued in many of the…
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: They are for everyone.
ADNAN OKTAR:Yes .
SAEED MOSTAGACI: Diaries of Mr. Hempher’s were issued and the book…
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: Mr. Hempher was a spy in Saudi Arabia and in his memoires he has mentioned that this idea was created by Zionism.
SAEED MOSTAGACI: And the relation between Thomas Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, and Ali Saud is…
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: Is explored, disclosed.
SAEED MOSTAGACI: And issued everywhere.
ADNAN OKTAR: The Saudi regime is like a tower made up of cardboard; I mean it is exceedingly weak. It is a system that would instantly collapse with any blow, with any hitch. That is to say, it is the weakest, most powerless regime, most powerless state structure is in Saudi Arabia, in the Wahhabi administration. There are some right-minded, enlightened members of the Royal family among the Wahhabis and their hearts are open towards the system of the Mahdi. But first they would like to see a power. I mean when they see that power, I have a sincere conviction that they would instantly submit, and I have knowledge in that respect. Even if only Iran and Turkey form an alliance about the system of the Mahdi, even if it was only among Iran and Turkey, the matter would be closed. I mean there would be no need even for Egypt and Pakistan. That is the whole issue; forming an alliance about this. That is why, if there are individuals among the scholars in Iran who are not stern -but see that they should not be stern- who are sincere, who fear Allah and who are candid; those who do not fear people, but only fear Allah –we cannot talk to those who fear people. If we get together, the Mahdi will appear like the light of the day and will be seen. We can very easily come to an agreement, it will very easily be understood, there is nothing to misunderstand. Turkey and Iran are two super powers. Once Iran says yes to something, Pakistan would instantly say yes, Iraq would instantly say yes, Syria would instantly say yes, Jordan would instantly say yes. Once Turkey says yes to something, Egypt would instantly say yes. All the Sunni states in the region would say yes. Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria would all say yes, there is nothing complicated, there is nothing difficult either. Let us put our trust in Allah, let us do this, (President) Ahmedinejad is very sincere but there should people who support him, there are many people who try to pull the rug out from under him, there are sinister people, there are people who seek the approval of the people, not the approval of Allah; a leader should be protected from such people. See how the roads will then be opened, how will everything be beautified. Israel would embrace the Mahdi. They are waiting for the Mahdi, they are also waiting for the Mahdi under the name King Messiah, Shiloh. Once the friends of Allah get together, they would instantly find the Mahdi.
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: You talked about the Islamic governments in the world after the coming of Imam Mahdi. İslam’ın hakimiyeti. And in other places in your books, you have said that we, Muslims, should try to reach what Imam Mahdi wants for us, what Islam wants for us. And reach something that is Islam implemented in our lives. But there are some people who do not want to see Islam implemented in our lives. For example in Iran, we have former president Mohammad Khatami who recently said that even Imam Mahdi should not be obeyed by people. The government should be elected by people, regardless of anything, just a majority should vote and elect the government, and Imam Mahdi will be the teacher not the governor. What is your idea about this? Do you think that Imam Mahdi will be governor? Should we try to implement Islam in our lives? Or not; Imam Mahdi will not be the governor, we should not obey him and just now in our new lives we should obey what the majority of the people say, what the majority of people decide. What do you think about that?
ADNAN OKTAR:He [Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh)] would of course not interfere with the governments. Mahdi would not have time for such a thing anyway. Mahdi is someone like a father whose ideas are benefitted from, who is loveable, who is loved by the whole society, who gives spirit, love and understanding of beauty to society, whose words are kept by everyone, who is obeyed. Consequently what he said is right.
SAEED MOSTAGACI: So [former president] Khatami says that nobody should obey him? Is he right?
ADNAN OKTAR: Muslims would not listen to [former president] Khatami about such a matter. Muslims in general are important in this. There are many professors, many people like former president Khatami in our country as well. I mean there are some interesting people, people who do not accept the Ahl al-Sunnah belief, the Jaferite belief, the Sunni belief , there are many such people. Such opinions are not important; I mean a person’s being famous, gaining recognition or taking an office within the structure of the state would not make him superior than the Mahdi. Mahdi would not be counseled, he would be the one who would advise others. I mean it is not possible for anyone to lead Mahdi by advising him, Mahdi is the one who leads people with his advice. Consequently hundreds, thousands of people like former president Khatami will come up, that is very reasonable. The conviction of Muslims in general is clear. It is very clear and people completely abide by the system of the Mahdi. Mahdi is true in the Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliqi, and Shafi schools and the expectation for Mahdi is very high at the moment. That is because the world is waiting for salvation. Former president Khatami being against him [would not matter]. People like Anwar Sadat or Saddam [Hussein] have all come out against the system of the Mahdi. The late Libyan President Gaddafi has come out against it as well. But if you noticed people, did not listen to them. People advocates what is right and true.
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: Just one more question I have. Is it possible?
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes please go ahead.
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: You’ve talked about the weakness of capitalism as a sign of, capitalism as a symptom and as a representative of masonry, Freemasonry. Do you believe that the current movements in the Western world against capitalism is a sign of that weakness?
TURGUT AKSU: In the United States?
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: In the US, in the Western countries.
SAEED MOSTAGACI: And other countries, many countries.
SEYED YASSER JEBRAILY: There is a movement against capitalism. You consider that these movements will further weaken capitalism and Freemasonry?
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course, I mean capitalism is very barely standing upright. That is to say it is in collapse, it is in a state of coma. They are just barely trying to keep it alive. There are the capitalists of the world and they are trying to keep it alive with all their might but the system does not keep up. It is going towards death in front of the eyes of the whole world. That is ensured by the blessing of the system of the Mahdi. That is Allah showing His Power. It is the same with the economic crisis in the world. It is metaphysical, it doesn’t have an explanation. It started in 2007, and I have said that it will go on until 2014. First they said no, they said that it will end within a year, in the end the IMF accepted what I have said, made an official statement and declared that the economic crisis will go on until 2014. They have seen that they are nothing in the face of Allah’s Power, and this statement of mine about 2014 was a metaphysical statement; I mean the declaration they have made about this matter does not have a scientific aspect. They just communicated what they have heard from me.
Mr. Oktar was somewhat more circumspect about these views, of course, when he appeared as a guest on the Rusty Humphries show:
TALK RADIO: Why is it then all of the, most of the terrorism around the world is being caused by Muslims around the country and not Darwinists? And I’m not a Darwinist, I’m a creationist like you. But why are so many murder attacks are being committed by Muslims?
ADNAN OKTAR: They are Darwinists, people who have received a Marxist education, though their ID documents describe them as Muslims. When asked they say, “We are Muslims.” But we see their true faith is Darwinist, Marxist thinking. In other words, they are people who have adopted the terror methods of Lenin and Trotsky and even of Ho Chi Minh. It is impossible for anyone who really loves and fears Allah to hurt and kill people. It is impossible for them to commit terrorist acts, oppression, murder and torture.
TALK RADIO: So these people are not Muslims, they are socialists or communists?
ADNAN OKTAR: A person’s ID document may describe him as a Christian, or a Jew or a Muslim. But then there are also his real beliefs. If his true beliefs are Darwinist, materialist and Marxist, and if he then goes on to insist he is a Muslim, then that is a dishonest language. That is because if he believes in the Qur’an, he should act accordingly. But if he believes in Marxism, then he has a totally different way of thinking.
TALK RADIO: Should the Shariah law be the law of the world?
ADNAN OKTAR: This exact equivalent of that is the moral values of the Qur’an. So of course love, peace and brotherhood must rule the world. The alternative is the system of shaytan.
TALK RADIO: But does that include stoning? Does that include the burqa? Does that include the violence that comes along with some of that, the female castration?
ADNAN OKTAR: I have told you before. The Qur’an teaches us affection, compassion, love, friendship and democracy. It teaches forgiveness, loyalty and virtue. That is the idea, the belief that pervades the Qur’an. In the time of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) and the Prophet Jesus, the King Messiah in other words, we are told that not a drop of blood will be spilled, that nobody’s nose will even be made to bleed and that wars will come to a complete end and that the weapons will be completely abated. This is explicitly referred to in the Gospel and the Torah. It is described comprehensively and in detail in the hadiths. In essence, trust in the Mahdi and the Prophet Jesus. They will do what is best for the world.
TALK RADIO: Mr. Adnan Oktar, there is one more thing before I let you go. There are 5 million Americans listening to you right now. What is your message for America?
ADNAN OKTAR: I love the Americans much, much more than you imagine. They are joyous, democratic, fine and loving people. I beg Allah to grant them successful and luxuriant lives. I beg Allah to allow them to see the Prophet Jesus. I express my fervent love for them. I love all Jews in the same way. I love all my Muslim brothers more than my very soul. My love and respects to them all. Insha’Allah, we will go there too with the Prophet Jesus, the Messiah(pbuh). We will embrace one another there and eat and perform our prayers together, insha’Allah. Those will be most excellent days.
TALK RADIO: Well, I look forward to that day. It was a pleasure meeting you Mr. Adnan Oktar. The name of his books, well he has 300 books; but the Atlas of Creation is the big one available in all languages. He has also written the best seller Islam Denounces Terrorism. Mr. Adnan Oktar from Istanbul, Turkey. Thank you so much for being on the Rusty Humphries show.
What more is there to say? If I were to write a novel with dialogue like this, I promise you it wouldn’t be able to sell it. I’d receive polite rejection letters from editors in New York who would tell me, tactfully but firmly, that they just didn’t believe in these characters.
Yet they exist–all of them. I didn’t invent a word.