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Oliver Stone and Judyth Baker


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1 hour ago, Larry Hancock said:

That's easy enough to do at least through Amazon.  You can make a list of titles and look for their relative standings in both electronic and print versions.  You will find the comparable sales for each book - at least relative to all Amazon sales.  You can also use World cat to find sales to libraries.  Those will give you some basic measure of sales, especially since retail store front is not all that big a deal these days.

Didn’t realize it was that easy. I never really looked into it

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2 hours ago, Bart Kamp said:

Rob Clark did a podcast on the conferences.

I am warning you beforehand it will not be easy listening for some, but I personally thought it was good and voiced my sentiments quite well.

 

I consider Rob a friend, as I know Bart does, as well. Rob and I differ a lot on the idea of conferences/gatherings/events etc., but I understand everything Rob is saying, and I understand where he is coming from. There is much good and bad that can be said of gathering. One thing that he absolutely nailed were the numbers. Rob's show and my show have comparable numbers. Yet, Rob is correct, we'll have speakers say "no" to coming on the show (where they'll get heard by thousands of people in the first 4-6 weeks), yet they'll jump at the chance to speak to 150 people in Dallas. And I think he's correct that demographics have a lot to do with that. Older researchers see conference invitations at the top of the research food chain. Younger researchers are more apt to understand the numbers of podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. But numbers are numbers. He's also correct that books are overpriced at the conferences (and by a lot). I discounted the magazines I took to Dallas. I wanted to get it out there. Did I hand them out for free? No. I had to buy them; but I discounted them, and I didn't raise the price for conferences. Rob is correct in a lot of this episode. It's a good one by him, and I say that as someone who finds a lot of value in the conferences.   

Edited by S.T. Patrick
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2 hours ago, Bart Kamp said:

Rob Clark did a podcast on the conferences.

I am warning you beforehand it will not be easy listening for some, but I personally thought it was good and voiced my sentiments quite well.

 

Listened to it earlier today. Even though it didn’t get into the assassination itself I thought it was one of his better episodes. I liked that he let go and really told you what he thought.

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Parts of the podcast are funny. Rob wonders why Stone didn’t make any more ‘edgy’ political films after JFK, somehow forgetting that Stone made NIXON, multiple documentaries on South American politics, and has a new long JFK series in production right now. So I’m not sure what Rob was getting at there. And skipping political stuff, I like ANY GIVEN SUNDAY a lot.

He makes some good points about Baker and Trine Day using the event to make some bucks. But I personally wouldn’t disregard the collegial benefit some of these conferences have. Some members of the community are probably glad to know they’re not pursuing things solo. And at Greg Parker’s JFK conference a few years back I learned as much from fellow attendees as I did from the presentations.

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I listened to the podcast. It came across as sour grapes. Why won't these people come on my show? Podcasts are the future, etc. 

Well, I was lured into that kind of thinking myself 15 years ago or so. I thought books were over and that websites were the future. You can expand your thinking on a website. You can correct your mistakes. I thought I would be on the cutting edge and create something new...a mammoth book on the assassination...that was 100% free. 

But it never really caught on. Nor did any other website, including this one, in my opinion. 

When I visited Dallas to speak at the 2009 COPA conference, however, I learned something I kinda wish I hadn't learned. People came up to me in Dealey Plaza--I kid you not--and asked me for my autograph or if they could have their picture taken with me, or both. I joked around with a few of them, and discovered that most of them had never even visited my website, but that they'd seen one or more of the videos I'd created with my friend Brad, which he had put up on youtube. 

Well, that's the thing, you see. Youtube is easily digestible...and easily forgettable. As are podcasts. One a week, in the same monotone...they run into each other. Tune in next week when I further expose the evil "them." It's like Kolchak the Night Stalker but without the delightfully cheezy special effects. 

Conferences still exist for the same reason Broadway still exists and classical concerts still exist. Sitting in an audience and listening to a well-dressed someone try to demonstrate their ideas (or even tell their story) is a vastly different experience than walking around a kitchen while a disembodied voice blathers on. 

Now, that said, Rob makes some good points.

1.The Judyth Conference is an embarrassment. Apparently, it's not as bad as it used to be, but it's still not okay. 

2. There is a clique-y nature to CAPA, as there was to COPA. Having attended and spoken at both Lancer and COPA/CAPA conferences, I have some perspective on this. Lancer was designed in part for tourists. As a consequence, Debra always made sure to invite some of the actual witnesses to the conference. This provided some of those attending with a cheap thrill, and some of the more-serious minded with otherwise hard-to-gain access. By attending Lancer Conferences, I was able to have chats with the likes of Buell Frazier, William Newman, Mary Moorman, James Tague, H.B. McLain, Kenneth Salyer, Robert McLelland, Aubrey Rike, and James Jenkins. And that's not even to mention more controversial figures like Abraham Bolden, Beverly Oliver, Tosh Plumlee, and yes, Judyth Baker. But COPA/CAPA is a different story. Its membership consists largely of doctors and lawyers, and its purpose is less to entertain and provide its attendees with a sense of what happened than to provide its members with a sense of what's coming next. To wit, much of this year's conference was dedicated to discussions of recently released documents, the possibility of upcoming mock trials, and Oliver Stone's upcoming TV series. 

P.S. There was an ironic twist to Rob's rant. He said how great it was to meet Tink Thompson. Well, for some, that would be worth the trip. From attending conferences, I have been able to meet and discuss the case--sometimes quite briefly, and sometimes quite extensively---with the likes of Robert Groden, Jim Marrs, Larry Hancock, William Turner, Sherry Fiester, Jim DiEugenio, David Kaiser, Cyril Wecht, Tink Thompson, John Judge, Mark Lane, Walt Brown, Max Holland, John McAdams, Gary Aguilar, Gary Murr, John Newman, Peter Dale Scott, Paul Hoch, Jefferson Morley, David Talbot, Doug DeSalles, and Bill Simpich, along with relative youths like Debra Conway, Alan Dale, Robert Wagner, David Josephs and Matt Douthit. 

For me, it's been worth it. 

Edited by Pat Speer
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What an amazingly extensive list.

Much of the entire JFK assassination research brain trust.

P.S. There was an ironic twist to Rob's rant. He said how great it was to meet Tink Thompson. Well, for some, that would be worth the trip. From attending conferences, I have been able to meet and discuss the case--sometimes quite briefly, and sometimes quite extensively---with the likes of Robert Groden, Jim Marrs, Larry Hancock, William Turner, Sherry Fiester, Jim DiEugenio, Cyril Wecht, Tink Thompson, John Judge, Mark Lane, Walt Brown, Max Holland, John McAdams, Gary Aguilar, John Newman, Peter Dale Scott, Paul Hoch, Jefferson Morley, David Talbot, and Bill Simpich, along with relative youths like Alan Dale, Robert Wagner, David Josephs and Matt Douthit. 

For me, it's been worth it. 

 

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As a brief follow on to Pat's remarks - and having worked with Debra for over a decade on the Lancer conference and serving as speaker chair for many years  - I would point out that our strategy for conferences was three fold.  First they were viewed as an educational opportunity for people new to the subject (that usually constituted at least a third of the audience and in the earlier years we often had teachers bringing classes with up to thirty or more students attending).  There was also a "tourist" aspect since many people wanted to experience the venues associated with the assassination for themselves - which meant walking and bus tours often expanded to areas such as the Dallas jail or other sites that were normally hard to get into.

Second, we needed to have some published authors who were familiar to the more experienced attendees, giving them a chance to judge them in person and interact with them.  Podcasts and YouTube are fine but lack the personal context of having real personal dialogs; to that extent we often had break out groups which allowed for topical focus and interaction.

The third element was perhaps more important since we viewed it as a research and resource conference - in the days before the internet life was much different so document collections were presented and made available, in paper and later on CD. For many without access directly to NARA that was the only option to do document research.  Beyond that the conference served as a platform to talk about research - I remember quite well Rex Bradford's first presentation on the potential of pdf files and html for research.  Now everyone takes that for granted but it was ground breaking in the days before the Mary Ferrell Foundation or Black Vault. 

Along with that we always tried to bring in what I would describe as "deep" researchers that did not publish but who did amazingly detailed and professional research - the list for that is long but Gary Murr, John Hunt,  Ian Griggs, John Newman,  (who did his first document presentation on Mexico City, to the amazement of everyone at the time) and and many others shared information with the conference as their venue - sadly some of them never were able to publish so the DVD's of their presentations are the only record.  Fortunately others eventually did get their work in print.

I'm not sure if the time for that sort of conference is past - certainly we don't have annually breaking stories from document releases as we did when the ARRB work was coming out.  The teacher and student attendance diminished over time - even with Lancer doing teacher/program donations. Much of what we did then has shifted to the internet, many of the witnesses and participants in Dallas events have passed.  Everyone will have to judge for themselves but to a large extent that was what the Lancer conferences were about, it was a mix, with a sincere effort to serve multiple types of attendees.  I don't think it produced fragmentation although there were a few "scenes" during presentations, until we got that under a bit more control.  And some avid discussions in the hallway.  On the other hand there was some really good collaboration in the hallway...and in the bar of course.

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On 12/11/2019 at 5:17 AM, Pat Speer said:

I listened to the podcast. It came across as sour grapes. Why won't these people come on my show? Podcasts are the future, etc. 

 

Then you missed the point Pat...it's not sour grapes. I have a core of regular contributors and I'm more than capable of doing my show with no guest at all. I was making a point about why authors that spend months and months researching, more months writing, footnoting, indexing, and editing, would rather spend money to travel to Dallas, tote along a couple boxes of books, be limited on time and content, be heard by only maybe 100 people if you're lucky, and maybe sell 5 books if you're lucky. As opposed to guesting on a show and being able to address everything you want from the comfort of your own home, with a targeted audience of several hundred or thousands of listeners already interested in the subject.  I just don't understand it..I'm not saying podcasts are the future, but I am saying if these conferences continue as they have been without changing, they will be the past. The numbers don't lie...

 

Edited by Rob Clark
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16 hours ago, Anthony Thorne said:

Parts of the podcast are funny. Rob wonders why Stone didn’t make any more ‘edgy’ political films after JFK, somehow forgetting that Stone made NIXON, multiple documentaries on South American politics, and has a new long JFK series in production right now. So I’m not sure what Rob was getting at there. And skipping political stuff, I like ANY GIVEN SUNDAY a lot.

No, I meant any decent films after JFK, I haven't forgotten Nixon, which had it's problems...Snowden, which didn't even get a theatrical release, or Any Given Sunday which anyone could have directed, add it to the list of any gritty drama or sports focused film. Nobody cares about South African politics, and his new doc is nothing new if you've read the updated Destiny Betrayed. The next question is who will distribute it, where it will be shown, and who will see it.

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2 minutes ago, Rob Clark said:

Then you missed the point Pat...it's not sour grapes. I have a core of regular contributors and I'm more than capable of doing my show with no guest at all. I was making a point about why authors that spend months and months researching, more months writing, footnoting, indexing, and editing, would rather spend money to travel to Dallas, tote along a couple boxes of books, be limited on time and content, be heard by only maybe 100 people if you're lucky, and maybe sell 5 books if you're lucky. As opposed to guesting on a show and being able to address everything you want from the comfort of your own home, with a targeted audience of several hundred or thousands of listeners already interested in the subject.  I just don't understand it..I'm not saying podcasts are the future, but I am saying if these conferences continue as they have been without changing, they will be the past. The numbers don't lie...

tlgsnip.png

I basically agree. if anyone spoke at the CAPA conference hoping to sell a lot of books they would have been disappointed. But I'm not sure anyone did that. Most of those speaking were not plugging a particular book. The books for sale in the hallway were mostly older books--either published by Deb Conway--or brought to Dallas by Andy of the Last Hurrah book store. Their prices were not unreasonable. Deb was selling 4 conference DVDs for 20 bucks.  The one table I found problematic was a table set aside for Groden's books--for which the asking price was grossly inflated. Ironically, the one book I bought was a Trineday book--James Jenkins' book--which I already had as a download but wanted as a hard copy. I paid 7 bucks for it, only to realize 50 pages in the book was repeated in place of 50 pages that were missing. I returned the book and got my money back. 

Now, there may have been some disappointed authors at the Judythcon, but that's another story.

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18 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

I listened to the podcast. It came across as sour grapes. Why won't these people come on my show? Podcasts are the future, etc. 

Well, I was lured into that kind of thinking myself 15 years ago or so. I thought books were over and that websites were the future. You can expand your thinking on a website. You can correct your mistakes. I thought I would be on the cutting edge and create something new...a mammoth book on the assassination...that was 100% free. 

But it never really caught on. Nor did any other website, including this one, in my opinion. 

When I visited Dallas to speak at the 2009 COPA conference, however, I learned something I kinda wish I hadn't learned. People came up to me in Dealey Plaza--I kid you not--and asked me for my autograph or if they could have their picture taken with me, or both. I joked around with a few of them, and discovered that most of them had never even visited my website, but that they'd seen one or more of the videos I'd created with my friend Brad, which he had put up on youtube. 

Well, that's the thing, you see. Youtube is easily digestible...and easily forgettable. As are podcasts. One a week, in the same monotone...they run into each other. Tune in next week when I further expose the evil "them." It's like Kolchak the Night Stalker but without the delightfully cheezy special effects. 

Conferences still exist for the same reason Broadway still exists and classical concerts still exist. Sitting in an audience and listening to a well-dressed someone try to demonstrate their ideas (or even tell their story) is a vastly different experience than walking around a kitchen while a disembodied voice blathers on. 

Now, that said, Rob makes some good points.

1.The Judyth Conference is an embarrassment. Apparently, it's not as bad as it used to be, but it's still not okay. 

2. There is a clique-y nature to CAPA, as there was to COPA. Having attended and spoken at both Lancer and COPA/CAPA conferences, I have some perspective on this. Lancer was designed in part for tourists. As a consequence, Debra always made sure to invite some of the actual witnesses to the conference. This provided some of those attending with a cheap thrill, and some of the more-serious minded with otherwise hard-to-gain access. By attending Lancer Conferences, I was able to have chats with the likes of Buell Frazier, William Newman, Mary Moorman, James Tague, H.B. McLain, Kenneth Salyer, Robert McLelland, Aubrey Rike, and James Jenkins. And that's not even to mention more controversial figures like Abraham Bolden, Beverly Oliver, Tosh Plumlee, and yes, Judyth Baker. But COPA/CAPA is a different story. Its membership consists largely of doctors and lawyers, and its purpose is less to entertain and provide its attendees with a sense of what happened than to provide its members with a sense of what's coming next. To wit, much of this year's conference was dedicated to discussions of recently released documents, the possibility of upcoming mock trials, and Oliver Stone's upcoming TV series. 

P.S. There was an ironic twist to Rob's rant. He said how great it was to meet Tink Thompson. Well, for some, that would be worth the trip. From attending conferences, I have been able to meet and discuss the case--sometimes quite briefly, and sometimes quite extensively---with the likes of Robert Groden, Jim Marrs, Larry Hancock, William Turner, Sherry Fiester, Jim DiEugenio, David Kaiser, Cyril Wecht, Tink Thompson, John Judge, Mark Lane, Walt Brown, Max Holland, John McAdams, Gary Aguilar, Gary Murr, John Newman, Peter Dale Scott, Paul Hoch, Jefferson Morley, David Talbot, Doug DeSalles, and Bill Simpich, along with relative youths like Debra Conway, Alan Dale, Robert Wagner, David Josephs and Matt Douthit. 

For me, it's been worth it. 

Pat, I took your photo in the plaza when we met there 11/23/2019 :)

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, sky and outdoor

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7 hours ago, Rob Clark said:

No, I meant any decent films after JFK, I haven't forgotten Nixon, which had it's problems...Snowden, which didn't even get a theatrical release, or Any Given Sunday which anyone could have directed, add it to the list of any gritty drama or sports focused film. Nobody cares about South African politics, and his new doc is nothing new if you've read the updated Destiny Betrayed. The next question is who will distribute it, where it will be shown, and who will see it.

Welcome to the forum.  Fresh input is important.  Your 83K viewers is impressive.  Hope they are all aware of the value of open discussion of the subject here.  As well as the historical importance of older threads in the search for the Truth.  

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Snowden, which didn't even get a theatrical release

I'm not sure what you're talking about there. SNOWDEN was released theatrically in 2,443 theaters in the US, and also released theatrically in numerous countries worldwide. 

Quote

Nobody cares about South African politics

Maybe. Stone's documentaries were about South American politics though. And please don't respond that 'nobody cares about South American politics' as I'm sure if pressed I could nominate some South Americans who feel differently.

And yes, anyone could have directed ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, but they probably wouldn't have directed it as well as he did. I'd rather watch ANY GIVEN SUNDAY again before some of his other movies, and I like those other movies - though JFK is my favourite. And I think $40 is a decent price to see Stone give a keep-at-it-guys speech in person at a banquet, if they included a decent meal with it. Why hasn't he done more stuff like JFK? Stone did mention onetime a big, thoroughly prepared fictional movie he was trying to do on the My Lai massacre, with what he described as one of his best scripts. From memory, it wasn't made because the lead actor got cold feet at the last minute. So it doesn't seem like Stone just gave up on things with a shrug.

I have read DESTINY BETRAYED. The documentary will still be something new, as I don't recall seeing 20 or more JFK assassination experts discuss elements of the case, with accompanying archival footage, while I made my way through the book. And most of the big JFK assassination researchers - and pretty much all of them with a good new book to promote - appear on BLACK OP RADIO reguarly, so I'm not sure how many are falling through the cracks and just doing conferences only.

 

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1 hour ago, Anthony Thorne said:

I'm not sure what you're talking about there. SNOWDEN was released theatrically in 2,443 theaters in the US, and also released theatrically in numerous countries worldwide. 

 

SNOWDEN was only released in 29 markets (Cities) in the US...apparently mine wasn't one of them. It only made $21 Million domestically, and 37 million worldwide...with a $40 million budget. That's a dud in my opinion. After JFK,  Heaven and Earth did 5 million worldwide on a 33 million budget. Nixon did even worse making only 13 million worldwide on a $44 million budget.

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