Hours before Jeffrey Epstein choked out his last, agonizing breath, a handful of nostalgic patrons in Milford, New Hampshire, pulled into the local drive-in movie theater, one of the few remaining in this once-powerful country, to watch a special screening of Jurassic Park. A great obsession of my childhood, Jurassic Park hasn’t aged especially well in the twenty-six years since its release, not because the T-Rex isn’t still beautifully frightening—can’t you just imagine its jaws crashing through the ceiling as we speak—but because all of the characters are simple stereotypes, each of whom has personality, but none of whom is human. My personal favorite is still Dennis Nedry, the gluttonous, narcissistic oaf who takes a bribe to steal dinosaur embryos and deliver them to his employer’s chief competitor.
I’ve never understood how Nedry planned to get away with such a massive case of theft, one which would have certainly generated headlines in the international press for many months. Did he hope to disappear? If so, then how did he think a bloated American eyesore like himself could go missing and unnoticed in a foreign land? Perhaps I would understand his judgment a bit better if I had read the novel on which the film was based, but I never did, and so, my uneducated belief is that Nedry avoided an inevitable prison sentence only because an oddly cuddly dinosaur disemboweled him. As he bled out, did he think that his fate was worth those not-so-lavish dinners he’d devoured on a Costa Rican beach? Or did he think that he might have been better off paying his own bill?
A similar question might have entered Jeffrey Epstein’s mind seconds before his brain expired for want of oxygen in a tenebrous dungeon in Manhattan. He died violently, and he died alone—save, that is, for the murderer whose hands fractured his neck. That last embrace was courtesy of people far more powerful than Epstein, people who befriended him in no small part because he could, and often did, supply them with a seemingly infinite supply of beautiful women, “many of them … on the younger side”, to quote our current president. Epstein got high on his own supply, of course, and I have no doubt that he relished his encounters with those beautiful women, but still, I have to ask if it was worth it. Was all of that sex, much of it forcible and brutal, worth being strangled in the middle of the night? Was it worth spending the last several weeks of your life sitting in a cell, perfectly aware that this murderer was coming? I can imagine you thinking it would be worth it, had the thought crossed your mind while you were losing yourself in dumbfounding hedonism on your private island/insane asylum, but once the man in black caressed your throat, still did you believe the juice was worth the squeeze?
Even Nedry probably wasn’t dumb enough to think that getting ripped apart by carnivores would be worth a few million bucks. Then again, Epstein raked in a lot more cash than Nedry ever could, and he was dining on something decidedly more exclusive than sliced mango. Perhaps the biggest difference between these men is that we know who paid Nedry: a corrupt researcher and developer named Dodgson (as an aside, the actor who played Dodgson in Jurassic Park was later convicted of raping a teenage girl and sentenced to six years in prison). Meanwhile, Epstein was never given a chance to convincingly explain where and how he amassed his fantastical fortune, and only the pathologically optimistic would ever believe that this secret will eventually be exposed. It shall remain abstruse, plunged into the irretrievable darkness of state secrecy. Epstein will never tell his story in court, which is precisely the point: he was murdered to prevent the world from hearing a tale far more scandalous than anything we’ve received from WikiLeaks. Cheer up, Julian Assange: at least they don’t have any reason to murder you!
If it is almost impossible to generate public support for a noble man like Assange, then it shall be doubly difficult to persuade Americans to look deeper into the incredibly suspicious circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death. The ends justify the means, so says conventional wisdom, and as long as the piggish psychopath met a grisly end, there is no cause for complaint. It is very disheartening to observe the intellectual complacency, let alone the moral misdirection, of the American people, but the Epstein case seems to be provoking our crudest instincts. Anyone who questions the official narrative will be exiled as a mentally unhealthy conspiracy theorist at best or a shameless apologist for a rapist at worst. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that, in the aftermath of the shootings in Dayton and El Paso, the perpetually trustworthy FBI declared that conspiracy theories somehow pose a threat of (to?) domestic terrorism, so it’s entirely possible that I will be escorted to a mental health clinic because of what I have written tonight. Well, at least I know what Trazodone will do to me.
I should have plenty of company, too: my Twitter feed is overflowing with mockery of the official narrative, that which declares that Epstein committed suicide. My compatriots in the underground and in the alternative media have no patience at all for the government’s account, which is deeply encouraging: to see such unambiguous contempt for such a sloppy lie immediately after the lie was told confirms that this perfidy, sanctioned by the state, is impotent unto those who are disciplined enough to do just a little bit of research. There is, of course, still research to be done, still a glut of propaganda to be rejected, propaganda which is becoming louder all the time.
This morning, CNN fine-tuned the official narrative, polished it, and flooded the airwaves with it, thereby ensuring that millions of Americans would brush up on the morning’s propaganda as they pretend to be working. The author of this piece, a traitor to journalism named Holly Yan, spent an ordinate chunk of space explaining that Epstein was not on suicide watch when he died and, also, arguing that he should not have been. The propagandists are keen to promote this controversy, the debate over whether Epstein should have been on suicide watch; in doing so, they can try to frame the story as a boilerplate case of botched protocol, which is entirely superficial. In questioning the adherence to protocol, they are actually assuming that the official narrative is true, and distracting us with this dependent question. It’s a subtle bit of trickery, but not so subtle that it can’t be found out.
The conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s death are restricted to a few brief sentences in the middle of the article. In fact, only one conspiracy theory—the argument that the Clintons put a hit on Epstein—is mentioned at all, and only because it provides Yan with an opportunity to criticize Trump. For the record, Trump did tweet about the “Clinton body count”, but it’s doubtful that he did so for any other reason than to gin up his base, and I’m not sure that his dilettantism is helpful, anyway. In any case, Yan makes sure to restrict and reframe all of the skepticism surrounding the official narrative to another one of Trump’s embarrassing escapades, which amounts to little more than a pseudointellectual ad hominem attack.
Now, don’t get too comfortable, conservatives: the right-wing media is equally guilty in this effort of discreditation. At the same time that Yan was publishing her swill, Joe DiGenova, never one to pass down an opportunity to humiliate himself, called into Mornings on the Mall and indignantly declared that every correctional officer assigned to Epstein’s case should be fired for negligence and/or incompetence. Again, this argument is valid only if we accept the official narrative, and at no point in his tedious harangue did DiGenova suggest there was anything even vaguely suspicious in that narrative. When host Mary Walter mentioned, albeit without conviction, the credible claims that Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were involved in the pedophilic enterprise, you could hear the timidity in DiGenova’s voice: he was too scared to address the implications of the allegations, and he was all too eager to spend the second half of his speaking engagement talking about the Mueller report, of all things!
Right-wing writers have also taken this opportunity to preach the virtues of privatization of the prison system. DiGenova does make this claim directly, but he does lament Epstein’s supposed suicide as a failure of government in the same way that, he believes, single-payer healthcare would be a failure. Ann Coulter, meanwhile, has explicitly called for private prisons directly in the wake of Epstein’s death. Again, both positions cannot be taken seriously except as ancillary features to the official narrative.
If the corporate media and its beneficiaries are promoting the official narrative, then who contradicts it? According to liberals and conservatives alike, the position I have taken here, that Epstein was murdered, is insincere and inorganic, and the only reason I believe it is because I have been influenced by “Russian bots” on Twitter. I really don’t need to dignify such a lazy dodge, but I think I speak for most of us in the underground when I say that I rejected the official narrative before I read a single commentary: as soon as I heard that Epstein killed himself, I knew we were being sold a whopper.
In relying on the threadbare claims of nefarious Russian bottery, the propagandists may have tipped their hand. How do these apologists for the empire, from Marco Rubio to Seth Abramson, know that Russian bots are spreading this misinformation? If the pattern of behavior is so obvious, then surely they could point these bots out to us, no? My friends, there are no Russian bots. If there are, then they haven’t reached me, despite their supposed omnipresence. Might it be that the modern Russian hysteria is not neo-McCarthy so much as neo-Bigfoot?
Clearly, we can’t rely on imbeciles like Yan and DiGenova to educate us, and that’s fine with me. There are plenty of thoughtful researchers working on our behalf, and we will continue to support them and to stand by them, no matter how tough the going gets. Thank you for standing by me tonight. I’ll write for you again.
P.S.: if I see you in a psychiatric hospital, we’ll be sure to catch Jurassic Park on VHS.