Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and I’m probably in on the scam with you – or I am a fool.
James Cameron’s next project may well be a film about Hiroshima. Sure, after the powerful show of solidarity he gave to our troops in the largely Oscar-free Avatar, you are probably thinking, “Hey, this will be a fair-minded project that shows that dropping the A-Bomb on Japan was a tough but necessary decision which ended up saving hundreds of thousands of American lives – and probably millions of Japanese.”
Pellegrino and Cameron
Surprise! Instead, it promises to not only be another round of America-bashing but, moreover, one based on the work of a gentleman with a demonstrated track record of fraud and distortion. Cameron’s long-time pal, Dr. Charles Pellegrino, wrote The Last Train from Hiroshima, the book that Cameron wants to turn into a movie. It’s a shattering tale of horror told in part from the point of view of an American flyer who deeply regrets his participation. There’s just one little problem with this important new addition to the historical canon – it seems to have been largely made up by the good doctor. But, of course, Cameron would not be the King of the World if he let a little thing like rampant fraud get in the way of some gratuitous America-bashing.
So who is Charles Pellegrino – and I use the title “Doctor” here loosely, since this clown’s academic credentials are on par with Dr. Dre’s? Well, for one thing he does not appear to be a PhD holder from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, as he has claimed. At least, that was the finding of a reporter from The Telegraph. Those wacky Brit newspapers and their reporters – going out and actually investigating and reporting instead of acting as unofficial stenographers for their favorite leftist subjects can turn up the darndest things!
Now, to be fair, The Telegraph reports that he has an explanation. “Pellegrino countered that his degree was revoked years ago in a dispute over evolutionary theory but later reinstated.” Sure, as we all know, New Zealand is a hotbed of sheepherding and creationism. Pellegrino is clearly just another martyr to pure science victimized by the insatiable evangelical frenzy of the anti-evolutionary kiwi mobs rampaging across those idyllic islands.
Of course, Pellegrino’s reinstatement – in fact, the degree itself – appear to be news to the very institution that supposedly granted the doctorate in the first place. It seems that the only evolution going on here involves Pellegrino’s ever-morphing excuses.
And Pellegrino has plenty to seek to excuse – as well as a powerful benefactor willing to do so. Pellegrino and Cameron have been buddies for quite a while, and this is hardly their first controversy. The award-winning (well, not lately) director even scribed the introduction to Pellegrino’s book Ghosts of the Titanic (2000). As Michael Parit points out in his devastating New York Times review, it appears that pretty much the only parts of that book not spun from whole cloth are that there was once a ship called the Titanic and there is an ocean called the Atlantic.
Naturally, Cameron worked with Pellegrino again. He even contributed yet another forward to Pellegrino’s next book, 2007’s The Jesus Family Tomb. This time, the multi-talented Renaissance man was busy finding the remains of Jesus Christ and his relatives. Cameron then took it a step farther and executive produced a Discovery Channel special based upon Peelgrino’s theories. Except, as the Israeli Antiquities Authority charitably described it, Pellegrino’s theory and his alleged “evidence” were utter “nonsense.”
Now, as one might expect, the discovery of the mortal remains of Jesus might have just a few minor implications for the world’s billion or so Christians, if you count completely undermining the notion of the Resurrection and therefore entire basis of their faith. The effect of undeniable proof that Jesus was mortal would be profound – and not just to those ultra-evangelical creationist New Zealanders.
So one might think that Cameron would pause for a moment to ensure, before taking such a leap, that his “expert” was, you know, not a complete fraud. But sometimes, stories are just too good to check, and given the opportunity to slam Christians, Cameron eagerly allied himself with a guy who shouldn’t be trusted to accurately recap an episode of Gossip Girl.
And now Cameron is doing it again by embracing a demonstrably fraudulent “history” of how America ended the war that Japan began. The only reasonable explanation is that it is because Pellegrino’s tall tale supports his preferred narrative of America as the villain.
Cameron responded to the AP’s inquiry about Pellegrino’s Hiroshima book by saying, “All I know is that Charlie would not fabricate, so there must be a reason for the misunderstanding.”
That does not fly. A “misundertanding” involves a good faith but incorrect analysis of the facts and evidence. Manufacturing those facts and that evidence is something completely different – and much more sinister.
Cameron has no excuse, and his eagerness to embrace Pellegrino’s fantasies indicates something more than just gross recklesslessness. The claims of fraud regarding of Pellegrino’s Titanic book were no secret. The charges that Pellegrino’s Jesus Family Tomb claims were bogus were no secret. And Pellegrino’s inability to answer specific allegations about The Last Train from Hiroshima - about historical figures no one (especially Pellegrino) has records of, his reliance on imposters and his claims of statements allegedly made by actual participants that contradict every other statement the participants ever made – is damning.
This isn’t a mistake. This isn’t an alternative point of view. The only reasonable conclusion is that it represents a conscious decision by Cameron to again embrace falsehood to further his own nihilistic agenda. And that’s just plain evil.
Cameron doesn’t hide where he stands – except to soft pedal his anti-troop leanings whenever he’s called on it. He detests the society and culture that made him wealthy and he embraces the most patronizing kind of native fetishism. He buys into the global warming scam from the comfort of his mansions. He lends moral support to eco-terrorists from behind his phalanx of security guards.
In short, he’s nothing unusual in Hollywood. So one big question remains: Is Cameron in on it, or is he just a fool?