Wednesday, August 31, 2016
The Manson Family was a quasi-commune led by murder-conspirator Charles Manson that arose in the California desert in the late 1960s. Formation- San Francisco followers: On his release day, March 21, 1967, Manson received permission to move to San Francisco, where, with the help of a prison acquaintance, he moved into an apartment in Berkeley. In prison, bank robber Alvin Karpis had taught him to play the steel guitar. Now, living mostly by panhandling, he soon got to know Mary Brunner, a 23-year-old graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Brunner was working as a library assistant at University of California, Berkeley, and Manson moved in with her. According to a second-hand account, he overcame her resistance to his bringing other women in to live with them. Before long, they were sharing Brunner's residence with 18 other women. Manson established himself as a guru in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, which during 1967's "Summer of Love", was emerging as the signature hippie locale. Bugliosi said in his book Helter Skelter that Manson appeared to have borrowed philosophically from the Process Church, whose members believed Satan would become reconciled to Christ, and they would come together at the end of the world to judge humanity. Expounding a philosophy that included some of the Scientology he had studied in prison, he soon had the first of his groups of followers, which have been called the Manson Family, most of them female. Upon a staff evaluation of Manson when he entered prison in July 1961 at the U.S. penitentiary in McNeil Island, Washington, Manson entered "Scientologist" as his religion. Manson taught his followers that they were the reincarnation of the original Christians, and the Romans were the establishment. He himself strongly implied that he was Christ; he often told a story envisioning himself on the cross with the nails in his feet and hands. Sometime around 1967, he began using the alias "Charles Willis Manson." He often said it very slowly ("Charles' Will Is Man's Son")--implying that his will was the same as that of the Son of Man. Before the summer ended, Manson and eight or nine of his enthusiasts piled into an old school bus they had re-wrought in hippie style, with colored rugs and pillows in place of the many seats they had removed. They roamed as far north as Washington state, then southward through Los Angeles, Mexico, and the southwest. Returning to the Los Angeles area, they lived in Topanga Canyon, Malibu, and Venice—western parts of the city and county. It was November when the school bus set out from San Francisco with the enlarged group. In 1967, Brunner became pregnant by Manson and on April 15, 1968, gave birth to a son she named Valentine Michael (nicknamed "Pooh Bear") in a condemned house in Topanga Canyon and was assisted during the birth by several of the young women from the Family. Brunner (like most members of the group) acquired a number of aliases and nicknames, including: "Marioche", "Och", "Mother Mary", "Mary Manson", "Linda Dee Manson" and "Christine Marie Euchts". Manson's presentation of himself: Actor Al Lewis, who had Manson babysit his children on a couple of occasions, described him as "A nice guy when I knew him". Through Phil Kaufman, Manson got an introduction to young Universal Studios producer Gary Stromberg, then working on a film adaptation of the life of Jesus set in modern America with a black Jesus and southern redneck "Romans". Stromberg thought Manson made interesting suggestions about what Jesus might do in a situation, seeming strangely attuned to the role; to illustrate the place of women he had one of his women kiss his feet, but then kissed hers in return. At the beach one day, Stromberg watched while Manson preached against a materialistic outlook only to be questioned about his well-furnished bus. Nonchalant, he tossed the bus keys to the doubter who promptly drove it away while Manson watched apparently unconcerned. According to Stromberg, Manson had a dynamic personality with an ability to read a person's weakness and "play" them. Trying to co-opt an influential individual from a motorcycle gang by granting him access to "Family" women, Manson claimed to be sexually pathetic and convinced the biker that his outsized endowment was all that kept the "Family" females at Spahn ranch. On one occasion, the enraged father of a runaway girl who had joined the "Family" pointed a shotgun at Manson and told him he was about to die. Manson quietly invited him to shoot before talking to the man about love and, with the aid of LSD, persuaded him to accept the situation. Involvement with Wilson, Melcher, et al.: The events that would culminate in the murders were set in motion in late spring 1968, when (by some accounts) Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys picked up two hitchhiking Manson women, Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey, and brought them to his Pacific Palisades house for a few hours. Returning home in the early hours of the following morning from a night recording session, Wilson was greeted in the driveway of his own residence by Manson, who emerged from the house. Uncomfortable, Wilson asked the stranger whether he intended to hurt him. Assuring him he had no such intent, Manson began kissing Wilson's feet. Inside the house, Wilson discovered 12 strangers, mostly women. Over the next few months, as their number doubled, the Family members who made themselves part of Wilson's Sunset Boulevard household cost him approximately $100,000. This included a large medical bill for treatment of their gonorrhea and $21,000 for the accidental destruction of his uninsured car, which they borrowed. Wilson would sing and talk with Manson, while the women were treated as servants to them both. Wilson paid for studio time to record songs written and performed by Manson. Wilson introduced Manson to entertainment business acquaintances. These included Gregg Jakobson, Terry Melcher and Rudi Altobelli (the last of whom owned a house he would soon rent to actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski). Jakobson, who was impressed by "the whole Charlie Manson package" of artist/lifestylist/philosopher, also paid to record Manson material. The account given in Manson in His Own Words is that Manson first met Wilson at a friend's San Francisco house where Manson had gone to obtain cannabis. The drummer supposedly gave Manson his Sunset Boulevard address and invited him to stop by when he came to Los Angeles. Spahn Ranch: Manson established a base for the group at Spahn's Movie Ranch, not far from Topanga Canyon Boulevard, in August 1968 after Wilson's manager evicted the Family. The entire Family then relocated to the ranch. The ranch had been a television and movie set for Western productions. However, by the late 1960s, the buildings had deteriorated and the ranch was earning money primarily by selling horseback rides. Family members did helpful work around the grounds. Also, Manson ordered the Family's women, including Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, to occasionally have sex with the nearly blind, 80-year-old owner, George Spahn. The women also acted as seeing-eye guides for Spahn. In exchange, Spahn allowed Manson and his group to live at the ranch for free. Squeaky acquired her nickname because she often squeaked when Spahn pinched her thigh. Charles Watson soon joined the group at Spahn's ranch. Watson, a small-town Texan who had quit college and moved to California, met Manson at Dennis Wilson's house. Watson gave Wilson a ride while Wilson was hitchhiking after his cars had been wrecked. Spahn nicknamed Watson "Tex" because of his pronounced Texan drawl. Helter Skelter: In the first days of November 1968, Manson established the Family at alternative headquarters in Death Valley's environs, where they occupied two unused or little-used ranches, Myers and Barker. The former, to which the group had initially headed, was owned by the grandmother of a new woman in the Family. The latter was owned by an elderly local woman to whom Manson presented himself and a male Family member as musicians in need of a place congenial to their work. When the woman agreed to let them stay if they'd fix things up, Manson honored her with one of the Beach Boys' gold records, several of which he had been given by Dennis Wilson. While back at Spahn Ranch, no later than December, Manson and Watson visited a Topanga Canyon acquaintance who played them the Beatles' White Album, then recently released. Manson became obsessed with the group. At McNeil, he had told fellow inmates, including Alvin Karpis, that he could surpass the group in fame; to the Family, he spoke of the group as "the soul" and "part of the hole in the infinite. " Alternative theories: There are alternative theories to the Helter Skelter scenario and whether or not it was the actual motive behind the murders. According to Manson murderer Bobby Beausoleil, it was actually Beausoleil's arrest for the torture and murder of Gary Hinman that instigated the Manson Family's ensuing murder spree—enacted, in order to convince police that the killer(s) of Gary Hinman were in fact still at large. This has been substantiated by an interview with both Truman Capote and Ann Louise Bardach of Bobby Beausoleil in 1981. For some time, Manson had been saying that racial tension between blacks and whites was growing and that blacks would soon rise up in rebellion in America's cities. He had emphasized Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, which had taken place on April 4, 1968. On a bitterly cold New Year's Eve at Myers Ranch, the Family members gathered outside around a large fire, listening as Manson explained that the social turmoil he had been predicting had also been predicted by the Beatles. The White Album songs, he declared, told it all, although in code. In fact, he maintained (or would soon maintain), the album was directed at the Family itself, an elect group that was being instructed to preserve the worthy from the impending disaster. In early January 1969, the Family escaped the desert's cold and positioned itself to monitor L.A.'s supposed tensions by moving to a canary-yellow home in Canoga Park, not far from the Spahn Ranch. Because this locale would allow the group to remain "submerged beneath the awareness of the outside world", Manson called it the Yellow Submarine, another Beatles reference. There, Family members prepared for the impending apocalypse, which around the campfire, Manson had termed "Helter Skelter", after the song of that name. By February, Manson's vision was complete. The Family would create an album whose songs, as subtle as those of the Beatles, would trigger the predicted chaos. Ghastly murders of whites by blacks would be met with retaliation, and a split between racist and non-racist whites would yield whites' self-annihilation. Blacks' triumph, as it were, would merely precede their being ruled by the Family, which would ride out the conflict in "the bottomless pit", a secret city beneath Death Valley. At the Canoga Park house, while Family members worked on vehicles and pored over maps to prepare for their desert escape, they also worked on songs for their world-changing album. When they were told Terry Melcher was to come to the house to hear the material, the women prepared a meal and cleaned the place, but Melcher never arrived.
"Ready, Set, Don't Go" is a country song performed by American recording artists Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus. It was released as the lead single from Home at Last, Cyrus' tenth studio album. The song is a soft country ballad with some use of pop and soft rock elements. The song has received different interpretations though, in actuality, Cyrus wrote the song several years before its release when his middle daughter, Miley, moved to Los Angeles in order to pursue an acting career with an audition for the Disney Channel Original Series Hannah Montana. "Ready, Set, Don't Go" received critical praise, with reviewers complimenting its lyrical content. It also reached positive commercial responses for Cyrus, compared to his downfall in previous years. Peaking at number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100, it became Cyrus' first entry on the chart since "You Won't Be Lonely Now" (2000). The song's accompanying music video was directed by Elliot Lester and features some of Cyrus' home videos; it received a CMT Music Award nomination at the 2008 CMT Music Awards. The song eventually became re-released as a duet with his daughter, pop star Miley Cyrus. At the time of the single's release, she was 14 and enjoying the success of her debut album Meet Miley Cyrus. The duet version became Miley's debut in country music and received better commercial outcomes. It reached its highest international peak in the Billboard Hot 100 at number 37 and became Cyrus' first international chart entry since "Could've Been Me" (1992). Cyrus, with and without his daughter, performed the song at several venues, most notably Miley's first headlining concert tour, the Best of Both Worlds Tour. Background and reception: Home at Last's adult contemporary style. It is set in common time with a ballad tempo of 76 beats per minute. The song is written in a key of D major. Cyrus' and Miley's vocals each span two octaves, from B2 to B4. The verses use a chord progression of D-Bm7-G twice, followed by Em and A, while the chorus uses G-A-D twice followed by G-Bm-Em-A-D. The song's lyrics were written by Cyrus and Casey Beathard. Cyrus discussed Home at Last in an interview with Calvin Gilbert of CMT News in which he said the song was about children growing up and moving on, from his own experience of moving his family to Los Angeles to help Miley with her acting and singing career. Amazon.com's Tammy La Gorce commented, "Hannah fans will fall for 'Ready, Set, Don't Go,' a dad-to-daughter song that sweetly underscores the love in Cyrus' real-life heart." Jeffrey B. Remz of Country Standard Time wrote that the song "finds Cyrus in good form." Chart performance Solo version: "Ready, Set, Don't Go" debuted at number sixty-seven on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs Chart which led to an appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending August 4, 2007. The solo version debuted and peaked at number eighty-five on the Billboard Hot 100. "Ready, Set, Don't Go" became Cyrus' first appearance on the Hot 100 since "You Won't Be Lonely Now" (2000), which peaked at number eighty. It also peaked at number forty-seven on Hot Country Songs and number fifty-eight on the canceled Pop 100 chart. Duet version: The duet version of "Ready, Set, Don't Go" enjoyed much more commercial success than the original version due to Miley's popularity. It debuted at number eighty-five in the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending October 27, 2007. On the week ending January 26, 2008, the song ascended to number 40 on the Hot 100, becoming Cyrus first top 40 hit since his debut single "Achy Breaky Heart" (1992), which peaked at number four. The song ultimately peaked at number 37 on the Hot 100 for the week ending February 16, 2008. It also peaked at number four on Hot Country Songs, Cyrus' first top ten on the chart since "Busy Man" (1999) peaked at number three, and number forty-four on Pop 100. In the Canadian Hot 100, the song debuted at number 94 for the week ending on November 24, 2006. For the week ending February 2, 2008, the song reached its peak on the chart, at number 47. It became Cyrus' first international chart entry since "Could've Been Me" (1992). Music video: The music video for "Ready, Set, Don't Go" was directed by Elliot Lester. The video begins with a close-up of Cyrus' hand playing an acoustic guitar. It then transitions into showing him. He is sitting on top of two black trunks in a dark, vacant room, wearing a lavender-colored shirt with a gray tee underneath, jeans, and cowboy boots. As Cyrus continues playing the guitar, images of Miley appear on the background. The images range from Miley's infant to teenage years. As Cyrus sings, nodding his head and flipping his hair intensely, a variety of home videos are played. This continues for the rest of the video. The scene ends with a video of Miley leaving in a yellow taxi cab is shown in the background. The final scene has Cyrus with Miley as she takes her first steps and he says, "alright". The video received a nomination for "Tearjerker Video of the Year", but lost to Kellie Pickler's video for "I Wonder" at the 2008 CMT Music Awards. Live performances: Cyrus premiered "Ready, Set, Don't Go" on June 9, 2007 at the CMA Music Festival. Cyrus introduced the song as a duet on October 9 on Dancing with the Stars. Cyrus joined Miley on The Oprah Winfrey Show on December 20 to perform the song. "Ready, Set, Don't Go" was most notably performed on the Best of Both Worlds Tour. On selected dates, Cyrus and another one of his daughters, Brandi, joined Miley to perform the song as an encore. On April 14, 2008, "Ready, Set, Don't Go" was performed as duet at the CMT Music Awards. The performance begun with Cyrus, wearing an open white shirt with a brown tee underneath and jeans, playing an acoustic guitar that was strapped to him. By the line, "wherever they are", Miley, wearing a multicolored cocktail dress, joined him from the back of the stage. On January 19, 2009, the song was performed at the Kids' Inaugural: "We Are the Future" event in celebration of Barack Obama's inauguration. Dressed in a graphic tee and jeans, Miley finished performing "Fly on the Wall" and asked for Cyrus to join her onstage to perform the song. Cyrus was dressed in a black tee shirt, jeans, and a black leather jacket.
The Book of Abraham is an 1835 work produced by Joseph Smith that he said was based on Egyptian papyri purchased from a traveling mummy exhibition. According to Smith, the book was "a translation of some ancient records purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus". Since its publication in 1842, the Book of Abraham has been a source of controversy. Non-Mormon Egyptologists, beginning in the late-19th century, have disagreed with Joseph Smith's explanations of the facsimiles. They have also asserted that damaged portions of the papyri have been reconstructed incorrectly. The controversy intensified in the late 1960s when portions of the Joseph Smith Papyri were located. Translations of the papyri revealed that the rediscovered portions bore no relation to the Book of Abraham text. LDS apologist Hugh Nibley and Brigham Young University Egyptologists John L. Gee and Michael D. Rhodes subsequently offered detailed rebuttals to some criticisms. University of Chicago Egyptologist Robert K. Ritner concluded in 2014 that the source of the Book of Abraham "is the 'Breathing Permit of Hôr,' misunderstood and mistranslated by Joseph Smith." He later said that the Book of Abraham is now "confirmed as a perhaps well-meaning, but erroneous invention by Joseph Smith," and "despite its inauthenticity as a genuine historical narrative, the Book of Abraham remains a valuable witness to early American religious history and to the recourse to ancient texts as sources of modern religious faith and speculation." Background: The Book of Abraham is an 1835 work produced by Latter Day Saints movement founder Joseph Smith that he said was based on Egyptian papyri purchased from a traveling mummy exhibition. According to Smith, the book was "a translation of some ancient records purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus". The book has five chapters, and is often accompanied by three "facsimiles", or reproductions of of vignettes which appeared on the original papyri. According to Smith's explanations, Facsimile No. 1 portrays Abraham fastened to an altar, with the idolatrous priest of Elkenah attempting to sacrifice him; Facsimile No. 2 contains representations of celestial objects including the heavens and earth, 15 other planets or stars, the sun and moon, the number 1000 and God revealing the grand key-words of the holy priesthood; and Facsimile No. 3 portrays Abraham in the court of Pharaoh "reasoning upon the principles of Astronomy". Of note, the Book of Abraham text is a source of some distinct Latter Day Saint doctrines, which Mormon author Randal S. Chase calls "truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ that were previously unknown to Church members of Joseph Smith's day.” Examples include the nature of the priesthood, an understanding of the cosmos, the exaltation of humanity, pre-mortal existence and the first and second estates, and the plurality of gods. Discovery of papyri and their sale to Joseph Smith: Several papyri and eleven mummies were discovered near the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes by Antonio Lebolo between 1818 and 1822. Following Lebolo's death in 1830, the mummies and assorted objects were sent to New York with instructions that they should be sold in order to benefit the bereft heirs of Lebolo. Michael H. Chandler eventually purchased the mummies and artifacts and began displaying them, starting in Philadelphia. Over the next two years Chandler toured the eastern United States, displaying and selling some of the mummies as he travelled. On June 30, 1835, Chandler exhibited his collection in Kirtland, Ohio; according to a promotional flyer that Chandler had created, the mummies "may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David". At the time, Kirtland was the home of the Latter Day Saints, led by Joseph Smith. Smith—who had claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates that had been inscribed with "reformed Egyptian" text—took an immediate interest in the papyri, and soon offered a preliminary translation of the scrolls to Chandler. Smith claimed that the rolls contained the writings of Abraham and Joseph (as well as the tale of an Egyptian princess named "Katumin"). He wrote: With W. W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery as scribes, I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt, etc. — a more full account of which will appear in its place, as I proceed to examine or unfold them. Smith, Joseph Coe, and Simeon Andrews soon purchased the four mummies and at least five papyrus documents for $2,400. In October 1835, he began "translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients." In doing so, Smith worked closely with Cowdery and Phelps. The result of this attempted deciphering was a collection of documents and manuscripts now known as the Kirtland Egyptian papers. One of these manuscripts was a bound book simply titled "Grammar & Alphabet of the Egyptian Language", which contained Smith's interpretations of the Egyptian glyphs. The first part of the book focuses almost entirely on deciphering Egyptian characters, and the second part deals with a form of astronomy that was supposedly practiced by the ancient Egyptians. The majority of the pages in this tome were penned in July 1835, and of note, most of the writing in the book was written—not by Smith—but rather by a scribe taking down what Smith said. The "Egyptian Alphabet" manuscript is particularly important because it illustrates how Smith attempted to translate the papyri. First, the characters on the papyri were transcribed onto the left-hand side of the book. Next, a postulation as to what the symbols sounded like was devised. Finally, an English interpretation of the symbol was provided. Smith's subsequent translation of the papyri takes on the form of five "degrees" of interpretation; each degree represents a deeper and more complex level of interpretation. Following the supposed deciphering of the Egyptian alphabet in July and October 1835, Smith ostensibly translated the majority of the Book of Abraham in November 1835 and did some minor revisions in March 1842. In translating the book, Smith dictated and Phelps, Warren Parrish, and Frederick G. Williams acted as scribes. The complete work was first published serially in the Latter Day Saint movement newspaper Times and Seasons in 1842, and was later canonized in 1880 by the LDS Church as part of its Pearl of Great Price. The fate of the papyri after Smith's death: After Joseph Smith's death, the Egyptian artifacts were in the possession of his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, and she and her son William Smith continued to exhibit the four mummies and associated papyri to visitors. Two weeks after Lucy's death in May 1856, Smith's widow, Emma Hale Smith Bidamon, her second husband Lewis C. Bidamon, and her son Joseph Smith III, sold "four Egyptian mummies with the records with them" to Abel Combs on May 26, 1856. Combs himself later sold two of the mummies, along with some papyri, to the St. Louis Museum in 1856. Upon the closing of the St. Louis Museum, these artifacts were purchased by Joseph H. Wood and found their way to the Chicago Museum, c. 1863, and were promptly put on display. Sadly, the museum and all its contents were burned in 1871 during the Great Chicago Fire; today, it is presumed that the papyri that formed the basis for Facsimiles 2 and 3 were lost in the inferno. After the fire, however, it was believed that all the sources for the book had been lost. Despite this belief, Abel Combs still had ownership of several papyri fragments and two mummies. While the fate of the mummies is unknown, the papyri was passed to Combs' nurse Charlotte Benecke Weaver, who gave them to her daughter, Alice Heusser. In 1918, Heusser approached the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) about purchasing the items; at the time, they were not interested, but in 1947, they changed their mind and bought the papyri from Heusser's widower husband, Edward. In the 1960s, the MMA decided to raise money by selling some of its items which were considered "less unique". Among these were the papyri that Heusser had sold to the museum several decades earlier. In May 1966, Aziz S. Atiya, a coptic scholar from the University of Utah, was looking through the MMA's collection, when he came across the Heusser fragments; upon examining them, he recognized one as the vignette known as Facsmile 1 from The Pearl of Great Price. He informed LDS Church leaders, and several months later, on November 27, 1967, the LDS Church was able to procure the fragments, and according to Henry G. Fischer, curator of the Egyptian Collection at the MMA, an anonymous donation to the MMA made it possible for the LDS Church to acquire the papyri. The subsequent transfer included eleven pieces of papyri, including the original of Facsimile 1. Three of these fragments were designated Joseph Smith Papyrus (JSP) I, X, and XI. Other fragments, designated JSP II, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII, are thought by critics to be the Book of Joseph that Smith referred to. Egyptologist John A. Wilson stated that the recovered fragments indicate the existence of at least six to eight separate documents. The twelfth fragment was discovered in the LDS Church Historian's office and was dubbed the "Church Historian's Fragment". Disclosed by the church in 1968, the fragment was designated JSP IX. Although there is some debate about how much of the papyrus collection is missing, there is broad agreement that the recovered papyri are portions of Smith's original purchase, partly based on the fact that they were pasted onto paper which had "drawings of a temple and maps of the Kirtland, Ohio area" on the back, as well as the fact that they were accompanied by an affidavit by Emma Smith, stating that they had been in the possession of Joseph Smith. Analysis and translation of the papyrus by Egyptologists: In November 1967, the LDS Church asked Hugh Nibley, a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University (BYU), to study the fragments. Nibley was a polyglot, but not an Egyptologist, and subsequently studied under John A. Wilson in an attempt to learn enough about Egyptian hieroglyphics to translate them himself. The LDS Church published sepia photographs of the papyri in its magazine Improvement Era in February 1968, although a translation was not provided at the time. The editors of an independent quarterly journal, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, arranged for and published translations of the papyri courtesy of several Egyptologists and scholars, including: John A. Wilson (University of Chicago, Oriental Institute), Richard Anthony Parker (Director of the Department of Egyptology, Brown University), Klaus Baer (University of Chicago, Oriental Institute), and Jerald Tanner (independent scholar). Other translations and analyses have been performed at various times since 1968 by Mormon and non-Mormon scholars, including Michael D. Rhodes (BYU), John Gee (BYU), and Robert K. Ritner (University of Chicago). The translation by both Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists conflicts substantially with Joseph Smith's purported translation. Perhaps most notably, the transliterated text from the recovered papyri and facsimiles published in the Book of Abraham contain no direct references—either historical or textual—to Abraham at all, and the patriarch's name does not appear anywhere on the papyri or the facsimiles. Edward Ashment notes, "The sign that Smith identified with Abraham is nothing more than the hieratic version of a 'w' in Egyptian. It has no phonetic or semantic relationship to Smith's 'Ah-broam.'" BYU scholar Michael Rhodes summarized the content of the papyri as follows: "The Hor Book of Breathings" is a part of eleven papyri fragments ... from three separate papyri scrolls. Joseph Smith Papyri I, X, and XI are from the Book of Breathings belonging to Hor (Hr) the son of Usirwer. Joseph Smith Papyri II, IV, V, VI, VII, and IX all came from a Book of the Dead belonging to Tshemmim (Ts-sri.t Min.), the daughter of Eskhons (Ns-Hnsw). Finally, Joseph Smith Papyrus III is part of Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead belonging to Neferirtnub (Nfr-ir(.t)-nbw). Examining JSP I, Egyptologist Klaus Baer translated the writing on the right of the vignette as follows: The prophet of Amonrasonter, prophet of Min Bull-of-his-Mother, prophet of Khons the Governor ... Hor, justified, son of the holder of the same titles, master of secrets, and purifier of the gods Osorwer, justified ... Tikhebyt, justified. May your ba live among them, and may you be buried in the West ... May you give him a good, splendid burial on the West of Thebes just like ... The hieratic text found to the left of the vignette (i.e. the "Small Sensen" text) on JSP I was initially translated by Parker. His translation is as follows: This great pool of Khonsu Osiris Hor, justified, born of Taykhebyt, a man likewise. After (his) two arms are fastened to his breast, one wraps the Book of Breathings, which is with writing both inside and outside of it, with royal linen, it being placed (at) his left arm near his heart, this having been done at his wrapping and outside it. If this book be recited for him, then he will breathe like the souls of the gods for ever and ever. Furthermore, the Joseph Smith Papyri have been dated to the late Ptolemaic or early Roman period, 1500 years after Abraham’s supposed lifetime. This fact—combined with the presence of apparent anachronisms within the book itself—seems to contradict Smith's statement that the papyri were "written by Abraham's own hand upon papyrus." The "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar": Several criticisms of the Book of Abraham have been brought forth that hinge on evidence found in the "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar". One such argument focuses on the aforementioned document and its connection to Joseph Smith Papyrus XI, also known as the "Small Sensen" papyrus (this scrap of papyrus was originally attached to JSP I). The "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" contains an arrangement of correlated characters from the Small Sensen papyrus; on the left-hand side of a given page, a series of Egyptian character appear, and on the right, an apparent translation of these characters is given. While the "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" only contains an explicit correlation between Egyptian characters and their purported English translation for Abraham 1:11–2:9, the document itself suggests that the hieroglyphs from the Small Sensen papyrus were used to translate much of the Book of Abraham. This is supported by a quote from James Ratcliffe Clark, the author of the 1955 book the Story of the Pearl of Great Price, who wrote: "I have in my possession a photostatic copy of the manuscript of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s translation of Abraham 1:1 to 2:18. The characters from which our present Book of Abraham was translated are down to the left-hand column and Joseph Smith’s translation opposite, so we know approximately how much material was translated from each character.” The correlation between the "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" and the Small Sensen papyrus has thus led many critics to assert that the Book of Abraham text most likely came entirely from the Small Sensen papyrus, rather than a hypothetical lost section (as is often asserted by apologists). Jerald Tanner, for instance, wrote “Joseph Smith apparently translated many English words from each Egyptian character. The characters from fewer than four lines of the papyrus make up forty-nine verses of the Book of Abraham, containing more than two thousand words. If Joseph Smith continued to translate the same number of English words from each Egyptian character, this one small fragment would complete the entire text of the Book of Abraham. In other words, the small piece of papyrus i.e. the fragment known as Fragment XI appears to be the whole Book of Abraham!” Critics further assert that the evidence found in the “Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar” indicates that Smith did indeed attempt a direct, literal, and comprehensive translation (as opposed to a merely spiritual or divined translation, as some contend). Milan Smith, for instance, argues that "it appears that Joseph Smith believed some of the papyri themselves contained the actual writings of ancient patriarch". He points to the instance wherein Josiah Quincy, the future mayor of Boston, met Smith and was shown the papyrus. Quincy stated, "Some parchments inscribed with hieroglyphics were then offered us. They were preserved under glass and handled with great respect. 'That is the handwriting of Abraham, the father of the Faithful,' said the prophet." Critics also point out that, as seen in the “Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar”, Smith often used a single Egyptian character to derive dozens of words (e.g., the Egyptian character found on the Small Sensen text that means "this" was translated by Smith into 59 English words), and that he often failed to determine where an Egyptian character began or ended (e.g., he combined and split other Egyptian characters to derive his translation). The facsimiles- Early criticism of the facsimiles: Sometime in 1856, when the Jospeh Smith Papyri were on display in the St. Louis Museum, Gustav Seyffarth, a then-visiting professor at Concordia Seminary, viewed them and made the statement: "The papyrus roll is not a record but an invocation to the Deity Osirus, in which occurs the name of the person, and a picture of the attendant spirits, introducing the dead to the Judge, Osiris." Later that same year, a pamphlet containing the Book of Abraham's facsimiles made its way to the Louvre. Here, Theodule Deveria, an Egyptologist at the museum, had the opportunity to examine the facsimiles published as part of the Book of Abraham. He recognized them as "common Egyptian funerary documents, of which he had examined hundreds." With that being said, he argued that many of the hieroglyphic characters had been poorly transcribed and that several areas in the facsimiles seemed to have been reconstructed based on guess work. Consequently, Deveria concluded that Joseph Smith's explanation was "rambling nonsense." Despite this condemnation, no deliberate effort to counter Deveria's arguments seems to have been made at the time. Then, in 1873, Deveria's interpretation, juxtaposed with Smith's interpretation, was published in T. B. H. Stenhouse's book The Rocky Mountain Saints: A Full and Complete History of the Mormons. This time, the LDS Church responded by reiterating that the Book of Mormon was divinely inspired, and that it was likely that the Book of Abraham's source papyri held two meanings (one accessible to a lay audience, and another accessible to the priesthood). In 1880, the book was officially canonized by the Church. Several decades later, in 1912, Episcopal Bishop Franklin S. Spalding sent copies of the three facsimiles to eight Egyptologists and semitists, soliciting their interpretation of the facsimiles; the results were published in a pamphlet entitled, Joseph Smith, Jr. as a Translator: An Inquiry. The eight scholars recognized the facsimiles as portions of ordinary funerary documents, and some harshly condemned Smith's interpretation. Egyptologist James H. Breasted of the University of Chicago noted: "These three facsimiles of Egyptian documents in the 'Pearl of Great Price' depict the most common objects in the Mortuary religion of Egypt. Joseph Smith’s interpretations of them as part of a unique revelation through Abraham, therefore, very clearly demonstrates that he was totally unacquainted with the significance of these documents and absolutely ignorant of the simplest facts of Egyptian writing and civilization." Flinders Petrie of London University wrote: "It may be safely said that there is not one single word that is true in these explanations". Likewise, Archibald Sayce, Oxford professor of Egyptology, stated: "It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith’s impudent fraud .... Smith has turned the goddess Isis in Facsimile No. 3 into a king and Osiris into Abraham.” The LDS Church defended the legitimacy of the book by contending that these scholars' methods were faulty. Perhaps most notably, LDS apologists argued that, because many of the Egyptian experts had claimed that the facsimiles were reminiscent of similar documents, or that certain areas on the facsimiles appeared different from known funerary texts, these scholars were merely ignoring potentially key differences in the facsimiles so that their arguments might seem effective. Such a line of reasoning is exemplified by a note written by Church historian B. H. Roberts: "Yes, or some other change might be suggested, and by such a process some other meaning may be read into the place and make it different from the translation of Joseph Smith." The Church eventually hired one Robert C. Webb (the pen name of J. E. Homans), to defend the veracity of the Book of Abraham. In his 1915 work The Case Against Mormonism (in which he claimed to have a PhD, despite this being a deception), he collected several interpretations of Facsimile No. 1 from Egyptologists that sounded unrelated to the layperson (i.e. that the facsimile represented: "an embalming", "the Resurrection of Osiris", or "Anubis guarding the embalmed mummy") and claimed: "If any of these Egyptologists is right, therefore, this drawing must have been radically altered in several essential particulars. In view of their disagreements, it will be necessary to demonstrate any conclusions drawn. Will some learned person be pleased to tell us what this scene represents? Otherwise, how can we condemn Joseph Smith for 'fraud'?" Facsimile No. 1: Joseph Smith claimed that Facsimile No. 1 portrays Abraham fastened to an altar, with the idolatrous priest of Elkenah attempting to sacrifice him. The Book of Abraham makes explicit reference to this facsimile, noting: "That you may have a knowledge of this altar, I will refer you to the representation at the commencement of this record." Egyptologists, however, claim that it is a vignette taken from a version of The Book of Breathings, also known as the "Breathing Permit", copied for a Theban priest named Hôr. Facsimile No. 2: Joseph Smith claimed that Facsimile No. 2 was a representations of celestial objects. Egyptologists, however, argue that the figure represented by Facsimile No. 2 is a common Egyptian artifact called a hypocephalus. Hypocephali were placed under the head or feet of the mummified person to restore bodily warmth. The hypocephalus in question was prepared for an individual named Sheshonq. Facsimile No. 3: Joseph Smith claimed that Facsimile No. 3 represented Abraham sitting on the Pharaoh's throne teaching the principles of astronomy to the Egyptian court. Egyptologists, however, interpret this as a scene from the 125th chapter of The Book of the Dead, in which the deceased person for whom the scroll was made is presented before the Egyptian god Osiris. Surrounding Hôr and Osiris are the goddess Maat, the god Anubis, and the goddess Isis. Hieroglyphics at the bottom of the scroll identify Hôr, the deceased. Surrounding Hôr and Osiris are the goddess Maat, the god Anubis, and the goddess Isis. It is likely that this vignette appeared at the end of the same papyrus scroll that featured the vignette which served as the basis for Facsimile No. 1. Questionable reconstruction of lacunae: Several Egyptologists, including Deveria, Klaus Baer, Richard Anthony Parker, and Albert Lythgoe noted that portions of Facsimile No. 1 appeared to be incorrectly depicted—based on comparison with other similar Egyptian vignettes—and suspected that they had been reconstructed from lacunae (i.e. gaps) in the original papyri; Larson notes, "Some elements in several of the drawings appeared to Deveria to be guesswork, probably incorrect restorations of missing sections of the original papyri." Indeed, when the original papyri were later discovered, a comparison of the facsimiles with the papyri and the Kirtland Egyptian Papers revealed that the areas on Facsimile No. 1 which Egyptologists claim look modified (e.g. the heads of "the idolatrous priest" and the "angel of the Lord", the priest's knife) are the same sections that are missing from the extant fragment (i.e. Fragment I). This lent credence to the Egyptologists' conclusions that Smith filled in these areas himself. Egyptologists have also criticized Facsimile No. 2 for containing false reconstruction of lacunae, suggesting that Smith reconstructed portions of the vignette with characters from another papyrus. Critics note that an incomplete version of Facsimile No. 2 is found among the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, part of which are in Smith's handwriting. Comparing the published version of Facsimile No. 2 with the version from the Kirtland Egyptian Papers and the newly rediscovered papyri reveals that characters from a different papyrus fragment were used to fill in the missing portions of Facsimile No. 2. Michael Rhodes notes: "A careful examination of Facsimile No. 2 shows that there is a difference between most of the hieroglyphic signs and the signs on the right third of the figure on the outer edge as well as the outer portions of the sections numbered 12–15. These signs are hieratic, not hieroglyphic, and are inverted, or upside down, to the rest of the text. In fact, they are a fairly accurate copy of lines 2, 3, and 4 of the Joseph Smith Papyrus XI, which contains a portion of the Book of Breathings. Especially clear is the word snsn, in section 14, and part of the name of the mother of the owner of the papyrus, (tay-)uby.t, repeated twice on the outer edge. An ink drawing of the hypocephalus in the Church Historian's office shows these same areas as being blank. It is likely that these portions were destroyed on the original hypocephalus and someone (the engraver, one of Joseph Smith's associates, or Joseph himself) copied the lines from the Book of Breathings papyrus for aesthetic purposes." Apologist responses to criticism of the facsimiles: Latter-day Saint Egyptologist John Gee, counters the idea that Smith reconstructed the lacunae by claiming that eyewitness descriptions of the papyri during Smith's lifetime described a complete document, free of lacunae. Thus, Gee argues that the facsimile is an accurate reproduction of an original document that has since suffered significant damage. Gee gives as an example "the man with a drawn knife", a portion that is no longer extant but was reported in both apologetic and critical writings of the time. Some apologists also believe that there are differences between the vignette and other comparable vignettes that render the standard interpretation incorrect. Apologists have also challenged the Egyptologists' means of interpretation of the facsimiles, stating that the papyri may have been created by a Jewish redactor, adapting Egyptian sources of the time. Apologists give examples of such Jewish adaptations to help explain how the facsimiles can support Smith's possible translation of the book. Mormon apologists also allege that the assertion that Smith's reconstructions were flawed—an assertion that has been put forth by several Egyptologists —is mere speculation, and that Smith's reconstruction was either correct, was done so as to make the images more aesthetically pleasing, or was inconsequential to the original interpretation of the Book of Abraham. Hugh Nibley of Brigham Young University notes that the seemingly misidentified characters in Facsimile No. 3 may have been participating in a ritual where both men and women can be represented by the opposite sex. Nibley also argues that Smith's interpretation of the facsimile avoids making "romantic and quite unjustified conclusions" (e.g. identifying the seated person as Pharaoh, identifying the two feminine figures as Pharaoh's wife and daughter, or as Abraham's wife Sarah); instead, Nibley contends, Smith's interpretation of the facsimile is consistent with modern understandings of "the court scenes on other biographical or autobiographical records" (for instance, that the figure in the center of a stele is usually the owner and "usually some personal servant or palace officer attendant on Pharaoh", and that Smith indeed identified one of the center figure as a servant-cum-waiter named Shulem). Apologists also cite parallels between the scenes depicted on the facsimiles and several ancient documents and other Jewish writings, maintaining that there is no evidence that Smith studied or even had access to these sources. Examples include: the attempted sacrifice of Abraham and his subsequent rescue (a similar story was preserved in a Coptic encomium only translated into English in the 20th century), Abraham teaching the Egyptians astronomy (this is recounted in the aforementioned Coptic encomium, and is mentioned by Eusebius, quoting Pseudo-Eupolemus, in his work Praeparatio evangelica), and God teaching astronomy to Abraham. Other criticisms: A religious criticism brought forth by Charles M. Larson is that, because God rebuked and punished the Israelites anytime they lapsed into paganism or mingled with the followers of other deities, and because the New Testament claims that "God does not use pagan or ungodly vessels to bear his Truth", the claim that the Book of Abraham was found in Egyptian religious documents (i.e. pagan documents, by Biblical definition) conflicts with the Bible. Defense of the book: A number of theories have been presented in defense of the official LDS Church position that the work is a revelation from God, through Joseph Smith, which tells a true story of actual events from the life of Abraham. The most common of these arguments is that Smith interpreted the documents by revelation, rather than a standard "translation" of text from one language to another, in a process similar to his translation of the Bible. In 2014, the LDS Church published an essay on its website which acknowledged that Joseph Smith's notes concerning the meaning of some Egyptian characters are inconsistent with "those recognized by Egyptologists today" and that "Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham." However, the essay points out that it was not uncommon for ancient Egyptian vignettes to be placed some distance from their associated commentary, thus text adjacent to and surrounding facsimile 1 may not be a source for the text of the Book of Abraham. The essay concluded that "the truth of the Book of Abraham is ultimately found through careful study of its teachings, sincere prayer, and the confirmation of the Spirit" and "cannot be settled by scholarly debate concerning the book’s translation and historicity." Other apologetic arguments do not deny the meaning of the papyri as determined by Egyptologists, but in addition propose that the hieroglyphic text has some hidden meaning. Some apologists argue that there are other messages and meanings embedded in the text along with the Egyptologist's translations that are unknown to us. For many years, Hugh Nibley, for instance, preferred the argument that the Sensen text has two meanings: one that can be determined by standard translation, and another than can only be divined with something like the Urim and Thummim, or a seer stone. Similarly, Richley Crapo and John Tvedtnes proposed that the Sensen text may have merely been a mnemonic device, used "to bring to mind 'a set number of memorized phrases relating to Abraham's account of his life.'" Crapo and Tvedtnes argued that, were one to compare the literal meaning of the hieroglyphic characters found in the Sensen text with the Book of Abraham, certain parallels could be found; for instance, the first hieroglyph found the in Sensen text means "this", and Crapo and Tvedtnes pointed out that the opening of Abraham 1:11 reads, "Now this priest had offered..." This argument was popular within LDS circles, but Klaus Baer criticized it because the supposed parallels offered were "related by no visible principle" and instead seemed to have been made ad hoc. Still other arguments concern the origin and nature of the Joseph Smith Papyri. In response to criticism that the documents are too young to have been written by Abraham, H. Donl Peterson argued that the papyri may be copies of an original which was either written or commissioned personally by Abraham, and thus the copies could be considered "by Abraham's own hand" in the sense that they were derived from an original. A similar argument proposed by Michael Rhodes is that the facsimiles that are found in the Book of Abraham represent a corrupted version of a document originally written by Abraham, and Smith gave the interpretation of the original document. Finally, Kevin Barney has proposed the idea that the facsimiles were not created by Abraham, but by a Jewish redactor many centuries later. In regards to the connection between the Sensen text and the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, some argue that a relationship exists only because the latter is a product of Smith’s scribes (as opposed to Smith himself), who, out of personal curiosity, were trying to reverse-engineer the meaning of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. In other words, this hypothesis posits that the scribes wrote down the characters from the Sensen text and then, via speculation, attempted to match the characters with what had been revealed to Smith. However, Smith's own diary entries (as collected in the History of the Church) record that in July 1835, he was "continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham", which suggests Smith was actively involved in the creation of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, thus weakening this apologetic hypothesis. It has also been argued that the methodology used by modern Egyptologists to translate ancient records is unreliable and unstable, and therefore produces flawed and nonsensical translations. Thus, the modern translations of the Joseph Smith Papyri as produced by Egyptologists are not to be trusted. This line of thinking was used by Nibley in his 1975 book, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri. He wrote: "To the often asked question, 'Have the Joseph Smith Papyri been translated?' The answer is an emphatic no! What, then, is the foregoing? A mechanical transcription, no more What we have is a transmission rather than a translation of the text Though as correct and literal as we can make it, the translation in the preceding chapter is not a translation. It is nonsense." Finally, it has been proposed that the remaining papyrus fragments are only part of the complete original papyri. In 1968, Walter Whipple estimated that the fragments constituted roughly one-third of Smith's original collection of papyri. Later, in 2000, Mormon Egyptologist John Gee provided a graphical comparison of the relative extent of the known fragments to other complete examples of similar scrolls, which indicated the total at about twenty percent. Others, however, have challenged this notion, contending that the majority of the papyri have been recovered. Andrew Cook and Christopher Smith, for example, argues based on a physical analysis of fragments from the scroll of Hôr that only 56 centimeters could be missing from that scroll. This contrasts with an LDS scholar's earlier estimate for the length of the missing portion. Still others have suggest that fragments may have only been a starting point for reconstruction.
The Book of Abraham is a work produced in 1835 by Joseph Smith based, he said, on Egyptian papyri purchased from a traveling mummy exhibition. According to Smith, the book was "a translation of some ancient records purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus". Smith said the papyri describe Abraham's early life, his travels to Canaan and Egypt, and his vision of the cosmos and its creation. The work was canonized in 1880 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as part of its Pearl of Great Price. It thus forms a doctrinal foundation for the LDS Church and Mormon fundamentalist denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement though is not considered a religious text by the Community of Christ. Other groups in the Latter Day Saint movement have differing opinions regarding the Book of Abraham, some rejecting and some accepting the text as inspired scripture. The book contains several doctrines that are unique to Mormonism such as the idea that God organized eternal elements to create the universe (instead of creating it ex nihilo), the exaltation of humanity, a pre-mortal existence, the first and second estates, and the plurality of gods. The Book of Abraham papyri were thought to have been lost in the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. However, in 1966 several fragments of the papyri were found in the archives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in the LDS Church archives. They are now referred to as the Joseph Smith Papyri. Upon examination by professional Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists, these fragments were identified as Egyptian funerary texts, including the "Breathing Permit of Hôr" and the "Book of the Dead", among others. As a result, the Book of Abraham has been the source of significant controversy, with critics claiming it is a fiction created by Smith, and Mormon apologists defending its authenticity. Origin: Eleven mummies and several papyri were discovered near the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes by Antonio Lebolo between 1818 and 1822. Following Lebolo's death in 1830, the mummies and assorted objects were sent to New York with instructions that they should be sold in order to benefit the bereft heirs of Lebolo. Michael H. Chandler eventually purchased the mummies and artifacts and began displaying them, starting in Philadelphia. Over the next two years Chandler toured the eastern United States, displaying and selling some of the mummies as he traveled. On June 30, 1835, Chandler exhibited his collection in Kirtland, Ohio. A promotional flyer created by Chandler states that the mummies "may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David". At the time, Kirtland was the home of the Latter Day Saints, led by Joseph Smith. Smith – who had claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates that had been inscribed with "reformed Egyptian" text – took an immediate interest in the papyri and soon offered Chandler a preliminary translation of the scrolls. Smith claimed that the scrolls contained the writings of Abraham and Joseph, as well as the tale of an Egyptian princess named "Katumin". He wrote: With W. W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery as scribes, I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the scrolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt, etc. – a more full account of which will appear in its place, as I proceed to examine or unfold them. Smith, Joseph Coe, and Simeon Andrews soon purchased the four mummies and at least five papyrus documents for $2,400. In October 1835 he began "translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients." In so doing, Smith worked closely with Cowdery and Phelps. The result of this attempted deciphering was a collection of documents and manuscripts now known as the Kirtland Egyptian papers. One of these manuscripts was a bound book titled simply "Grammar & Alphabet of the Egyptian Language", which contained Smith's interpretations of the Egyptian glyphs. The first part of the book focuses almost entirely on deciphering Egyptian characters, and the second part deals with a form of astronomy that was supposedly practiced by the ancient Egyptians. The majority of the pages in this tome were penned in July 1835, and it is worth noting that most of the writing in the book was written not by Smith but rather by a scribe taking down what Smith said. The "Egyptian Alphabet" manuscript is particularly important because it illustrates how Smith attempted to translate the papyri. First, the characters on the papyri were transcribed onto the left-hand side of the book. Next, a postulation as to what the symbols sounded like was devised. Finally, an English interpretation of the symbol was provided. Smith's subsequent translation of the papyri takes on the form of five "degrees" of interpretation, each degree representing a deeper and more complex level of interpretation. Following the supposed deciphering of the Egyptian alphabet in July and October of 1835, Smith ostensibly translated the majority of the Book of Abraham in November 1835, followed by some minor revisions in March 1842. In translating the book, Smith dictated, and Phelps, Warren Parrish, and Frederick G. Williams acted as scribes. The complete work was first published serially in the Latter Day Saint movement newspaper Times and Seasons in 1842, and was later canonized in 1880 by the LDS Church as part of its Pearl of Great Price. Content of the work- Book of Abraham text: The Book of Abraham tells a story of Abraham's life, travels to Canaan and Egypt, and a vision he received concerning the universe, a pre-mortal existence, and the creation of the world. The book has five chapters. Chapter 1 recounts how Abraham's father Terah and his forefathers had turned to "the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt". Chaldean priests then sacrifice three virgins to pagan gods of stone and wood, and one priest attempts to sacrifice Abraham himself before an angel comes to his rescue. The text then examines the origins of Egypt and its government. Chapter 2 includes information about God's covenant with Abraham and how it would be fulfilled; in this chapter, Abraham travels from Ur to Canaan, and then to Egypt. In Chapter 3, Abraham learns about an Egyptian understanding of celestial objects via the Urim and Thummim. It is in this chapter that Abraham also learns about the eternal nature of spirits pre-earth life, foreordination, the Creation, the choosing of a Redeemer, and the second estate of man." Chapters 4 and 5 contain expansions and modifications of the creation narrative in Genesis. In Chapter 4, the gods (there are over 48 references to the plurality of the gods in Chapters 4 and 5) plan the creation of the earth and life on the earth. In Chapter 5, the gods complete creation, and Adam names all living creatures. Nearly half of the Book of Abraham shows a dependence on the King James version of the Book of Genesis. According to H. Michael Marquardt, "It seems clear that Smith had the Bible open to Genesis as he dictated this section i.e., Chapter 2 of the 'Book of Abraham.'" Smith explained the similarities by reasoning that when Moses penned Genesis, he used the Book of Abraham as a guide, abridging and condensing where he saw fit. As such, since Moses was recalling Abraham's lifetime, his version was in the third person, whereas the Book of Abraham, being written by its titular author, was composed in the first person. Distinct doctrines: The Book of Abraham text is a source of some distinct Latter Day Saint doctrines, which Mormon author Randal S. Chase calls "truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ that were previously unknown to Church members of Joseph Smith's day." Examples include the nature of the priesthood, an understanding of the cosmos, the exaltation of humanity, a pre-mortal existence, the first and second estates, and the plurality of gods. The Book of Abraham expands upon the nature of the priesthood in the Latter Day Saint movement, and it is suggested in the work that those who are foreordained to the priesthood earned this right by valor or nobility in the pre-mortal life. In a similar vein, the Book explicitly denotes that Pharaoh was a descendant of Ham and thus "of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood". This passage is the only one found in any Mormon scripture that bars a particular lineage of people from holding the priesthood, and, while nothing in the Book of Abraham explicitly connects the line of Pharaoh and Ham to black Africans, this passage has nevertheless been used by some – but not all – LDS adherents as a scriptural basis for withholding the priesthood from black individuals. Chapter 3 of the Book of Abraham describes a unique (and purportedly Egyptian) understanding of the hierarchy of heavenly bodies, each with different movements and measurements of time. In regard to this chapter, Randal S. Chase notes, "With divine help, Abraham was able to gain greater comprehension of the order of the galaxies, stars, and planets than he could have obtained from earthly sources." At the pinnacle of the cosmos is the slowest-rotating body, Kolob, which, according to the text, is the star closest to where God lives. The Book of Abraham is the only work in the Latter Day Saint canon to mention the star Kolob. According to the Book: Abraham saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; ... and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. Based on this verse, the LDS Church claims that "Kolob is the star nearest to the presence of God and the governing star in all the universe." Time moves slowly on the celestial body; one Kolob-day corresponds to 1,000 earth-years. The Church also notes: "Kolob is also symbolic of Jesus Christ, the central figure in God's plan of salvation." The Book of Abraham also explores pre-mortal existence. The LDS Church website explains: "Life did not begin at birth, as is commonly believed. Prior to coming to earth, individuals existed as spirits." These spirits are eternal and of different intelligences. Prior to mortal existence, spirits exist in the "first estate". Once certain spirits (i.e., those who choose to follow the plan of salvation offered by God the Father of their own accord) take on a mortal form, they enter into what is called the "second estate". The doctrine of the second estate is explicitly named only in this book. The purpose of earthly life, therefore, is for humans to prepare for a meeting with God; the Church, citing Abraham 3:26 notes: "All who accept and obey the saving principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ will receive eternal life, the greatest gift of God, and will have 'glory added upon their heads for ever and ever'." Also notable is the Book of Abraham's insistence that there are many gods, and that "the gods" created the Earth, not ex nihilo, but rather from pre-existing, eternal matter. This shift away from monotheism and towards polytheism occurred c. 1838–39, when Smith was imprisoned in the Liberty Jail in Clay County, Missouri (this was after the majority of the Book of Abraham had been supposedly translated, but prior to its publication). Smith noted that there would be "a time come in the which nothing shall be with held whither there be one god or many gods they shall be manifest all thrones and dominions, principalities and powers shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have indured valiently for the gospel of Jesus Christ" and that all will be revealed "according to that which was ordained in the midst of the councyl of the eternal God of all other Gods before this world was." Facsimiles: Three images (facsimiles of vignettes on the papyri) and Joseph Smith's explanations of them were printed in the 1842 issues of the Times and Seasons. These three illustrations were prepared by Smith and an engraver named Reuben Hedlock. The facsimiles and their respective explanations were later included with the text of the Pearl of Great Price in a re-engraved format. According to Smith's explanations, Facsimile No. 1 portrays Abraham fastened to an altar, with the idolatrous priest of Elkenah attempting to sacrifice him. Facsimile No. 2 contains representations of celestial objects, including the heavens and earth, fifteen other planets or stars, the sun and moon, the number 1,000 and God revealing the grand key-words of the holy priesthood. Facsimile No. 3 portrays Abraham in the court of Pharaoh "reasoning upon the principles of Astronomy". Interpretations and contributions to the Latter Day Saint movement- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: The Book of Abraham was canonized in 1880 by the LDS Church, and it remains a part of the larger scriptural work, The Pearl of Great Price. Community of Christ: The Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, does not accept the Book of Abraham as canonical, although it was referenced in early church publications. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite): The Strangite branch of the movement does not take an official position on the Book of Abraham. The branch notes, "We know that 'The Book of Abraham' was published in an early periodical as a text 'purporting to be the writings of Abraham' with no indication of its translation process (see Times and Seasons, March 1, 1842), and therefore have no authorized position on it." Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holds to the canonicity of the Book of Abraham. Loss and rediscovery of the papyrus: After Joseph Smith's death, the Egyptian artifacts were in the possession of his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, and she and her son William Smith continued to exhibit the four mummies and associated papyri to visitors. Two weeks after Lucy's death in May of 1856, Smith's widow, Emma Hale Smith Bidamon, her second husband Lewis C. Bidamon, and her son Joseph Smith III, sold "four Egyptian mummies with the records with them" to Abel Combs on May 26, 1856. Combs later sold two of the mummies, along with some papyri, to the St. Louis Museum in 1856. Upon the closing of the St. Louis Museum, these artifacts were purchased by Joseph H. Wood and found their way to the Chicago Museum in about 1863, and were promptly put on display. The museum and all its contents were burned in 1871 during the Great Chicago Fire. Today it is presumed that the papyri that formed the basis for Facsimiles 2 and 3 were lost in the conflagration. After the fire, however, it was believed that all the sources for the book had been lost. Despite this belief, Abel Combs still owned several papyri fragments and two mummies. While the fate of the mummies is unknown, the fragments were passed to Combs' nurse Charlotte Benecke Weaver, who gave them to her daughter, Alice Heusser. In 1918 Heusser approached the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) about purchasing the items; at the time, the museum curators were not interested, but in 1947 they changed their mind, and the museum bought the papyri from Heusser's widower husband, Edward. In the 1960s the MMA decided to raise money by selling some of its items which were considered "less unique". Among these were the papyri that Heusser had sold to the museum several decades earlier. In May of 1966, Aziz S. Atiya, a coptic scholar from the University of Utah, was looking through the MMA's collection when he came across the Heusser fragments; upon examining them, he recognized one as the vignette known as Facsmile 1 from The Pearl of Great Price. He informed LDS Church leaders, and several months later, on November 27, 1967, the LDS Church was able to procure the fragments, and according to Henry G. Fischer, curator of the Egyptian Collection at the MMA, an anonymous donation to the MMA made it possible for the LDS Church to acquire the papyri. The subsequent transfer included eleven pieces of papyri, including the original of Facsimile 1. Three of these fragments were designated Joseph Smith Papyrus (JSP) I, X, and XI. Other fragments, designated JSP II, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII, are thought by critics to be the Book of Joseph to which Smith had referred. Egyptologist John A. Wilson stated that the recovered fragments indicated the existence of at least six to eight separate documents. The twelfth fragment was discovered in the LDS Church Historian's office and was dubbed the "Church Historian's Fragment". Disclosed by the church in 1968, the fragment was designated JSP IX. Although there is some debate about how much of the papyrus collection is missing, there is broad agreement that the recovered papyri are portions of Smith's original purchase, partly based on the fact that they were pasted onto paper which had "drawings of a temple and maps of the Kirtland, Ohio area" on the back, as well as the fact that they were accompanied by an affidavit by Emma Smith stating that they had been in the possession of Joseph Smith. Controversy and criticism: Since its publication in 1842, the Book of Abraham has been a source of controversy. Non-Mormon Egyptologists, beginning in the late 19th century, have disagreed with Joseph Smith's explanations of the facsimiles. They have also asserted that damaged portions of the papyri have been reconstructed incorrectly. The controversy intensified in the late 1960s when portions of the Joseph Smith Papyri were located. The translation of the papyri by both Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists does not match the text of the Book of Abraham as purportedly translated by Joseph Smith. Indeed, the transliterated text from the recovered papyri and facsimiles published in the Book of Abraham contain no direct references, either historical or textual, to Abraham, and Abraham's name does not appear anywhere in the papyri or the facsimiles; Edward Ashment notes, "The sign that Smith identified with Abraham is nothing more than the hieratic version of a 'w' in Egyptian. It has no phonetic or semantic relationship to Smith's 'Ah-broam.'" University of Chicago Egyptologist Robert K. Ritner concluded in 2014 that the source of the Book of Abraham "is the 'Breathing Permit of Hôr,' misunderstood and mistranslated by Joseph Smith", and that the other papyri are common Egyptian funerary documents like the Book of the Dead. Ritner later said that the Book of Abraham is now "confirmed as a perhaps well-meaning, but erroneous invention by Joseph Smith," and "despite its inauthenticity as a genuine historical narrative, the Book of Abraham remains a valuable witness to early American religious history and to the recourse to ancient texts as sources of modern religious faith and speculation." Book of Joseph: As noted above, a second untranslated work was identified by Joseph Smith after scrutinizing the original papyri. He said that one scroll contained "the writings of Joseph of Egypt". Based on descriptions by Oliver Cowdery, some, including Charles M. Larson, believe that the fragments Joseph Smith Papyri II, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII are the source of this work.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Monday, August 29, 2016
Adam John Walsh was an American boy who was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida, on July 27, 1981. His severed head was found two weeks later in a drainage canal off of the Florida Turnpike. His death earned national publicity. His story was made into the 1983 television film Adam, seen by 38 million people in its original airing. His father, John Walsh, became an advocate for victims of violent crimes and the host of the television program America's Most Wanted. Convicted serial killer Ottis Toole confessed to Adam's murder, but was never convicted for this specific crime due to loss of evidence and a recanted confession. Toole died in prison of liver failure on September 15, 1996. Although no new evidence has come forth, on December 16, 2008, police announced that the Walsh case was closed as they were satisfied that Toole was the murderer. Case history- Kidnapping and murder: On the afternoon of July 27, 1981, Revé, Adam's mother, took him shopping with her to the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida (26°00′46″N 80°10′30″W). They went together to the Sears store and entered via the north entrance. Revé intended to inquire about a lamp which was on sale, and left Adam at a kiosk with Atari 2600 video games on display where several other boys were taking turns playing games. Revé completed her business in the lamp department at approximately 12:15 pm. She said that she returned to find that Adam and the other boys had disappeared. A store manager informed her that a scuffle had broken out over whose turn it was at the kiosk and a security guard demanded that they leave the store. The security guard asked the older ones if their parents were there, and they said that they were not. It was later conjectured by Adam's parents that he was too shy to speak to the security guard, who presumed that he was in the company of the other boys, and as such the security guard made him leave by the same door as them (which was the Sears west entrance). His parents believe that after the other boys dispersed, Adam was left alone outside the store, at an exit unfamiliar to him. Meanwhile, unable to find Adam in the toy department after returning from the lamp department, Revé had Adam paged over the Sears public address system and continued to look for him throughout the store. She eventually by coincidence ran into Adam's grandmother Jean inside the store, who helped her search for her son. After more than 90 minutes of fruitless searching and public address pages which failed to turn up Adam, she called the Hollywood Police at 1:55 pm. Two weeks after his disappearance, Adam's severed head was found on the evening of August 10, 1981. It was discovered by two fishermen in a drainage canal alongside the Florida Turnpike near Vero Beach, Florida (27°33′35″N 80°39′47″W), almost 130 miles from Hollywood. The Florida Highway Patrol was informed of the discovery at 7:30 pm on August 10. Indian River County and St. Lucie County divers searched the canal. On the morning of August 11, as Hollywood, Florida police rushed dental records to Vero Beach to compare them to the found remains, John and Revé Walsh appeared on the national news program Good Morning America. On the program, the Walshes said that they were still clinging to hope that their son was alive; a $100,000 reward had been posted for his safe return. The recovered remains were positively identified as those of Adam Walsh shortly after the Walshs' Good Morning America appearance, and the confirmation made national news headlines. Using the recovered head, the coroner ruled that the cause of Adam Walsh's death was asphyxiation and that the decapitation had occurred after death, perhaps to render his remains unidentifiable. The state of the remains suggested that Adam's death had occurred several days before the discovery of his head. The rest of Adam Walsh's body has never been recovered. Investigation: John and Revé Walsh personally believed that the Hollywood police department botched the treatment of their son's disappearance, first the missing persons investigation, then the investigation into his murder. After some investigation, police eventually concluded that Adam was abducted by a drifter named Ottis Toole near the front exterior of the Sears that afternoon, after being instructed to leave by a security guard. He lured Adam into his white 1971 Cadillac with a damaged right bumper with promises of toys and candy, then proceeded to drive north on Interstate 95 toward his home in Jacksonville. Adam, at first docile and compliant, began to panic as they drove on. Toole punched him in the face, but as this just made the situation worse, he then "walloped him unconscious". While Adam was knocked out, Toole drove north on the Florida Turnpike to a deserted service road just north of the Radebaugh Road overpass in northwest St. Lucia County (27°32′07″N 80°36′35″W), and raped him for around two hours. When Toole realized Adam was still breathing, he strangled him to death with a seat belt, dragged him out of the car, and decapitated him with a machete. Toole later claimed to have disposed of Adam's body by incinerating it in an old refrigerator when he returned to Jacksonville. He drove around with Adam's severed head in his car for a few days until remembering it was in there, and then threw it into a canal, just north of where he said he killed Adam. He claimed that he wanted to make Adam his adopted son, but given the close relationship he had with loving parents, this was not very feasible. The police ultimately lost the bloodstained carpet from Toole's Cadillac, the machete used to decapitate Adam, and eventually, the car itself. DNA testing was in a rudimentary state in the early 1980s and it was not possible then to determine the source of the blood found in the Cadillac. Toole, allegedly a confidant of convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, repeatedly confessed and then retracted accounts of his involvement. Toole was never charged in the Walsh case, although he provided seemingly accurate descriptions as to how he committed the crime. Several witnesses also placed him in the Hollywood area in the days leading up to Adam's disappearance. In September 1996, he died in prison, aged 49, of cirrhosis while serving a life sentence for other crimes. Afterwards, his niece told John that her uncle made a deathbed confession to the murder of Adam. His confession was viewed as reliable, since he and Lucas confessed to or implicated themselves in more than 200 different homicides, most of which they accurately described with details only the culprit would know. In 1997, Hollywood Police Chief Rick Stone conducted an exhaustive review of the Adam Walsh case after the release of John Walsh's book. At the time, Stone was a 22-year veteran of the Dallas, Texas, and Wichita, Kansas, police departments and had been appointed Hollywood's chief of police in the previous year. Although the crime was 16 years old at the time of Chief Stone's review, he provided an analysis of the evidence, including reviewing taped interrogations of Toole by Hollywood Police Detective Mark Smith. Stone says his review found evidence to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Toole murdered Adam. Both Toole and his close friend, convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, were notorious, Stone noted, for confessing to crimes they committed and recanting. In 2007, allegations earned widespread publicity that Jeffrey Dahmer, arrested in Wisconsin in 1991 after killing more than a dozen men and boys, was also named as a suspect in Adam's murder. He was living in Miami Beach at the time Adam was murdered, and two eyewitnesses placed him at the shopping mall on the day Adam was abducted. One of the witnesses claimed to have seen a strange man walking into the toy department where Adam was abducted. The other said that he saw a young, blond man with a protruding chin throw a struggling child into a blue van and speed off. Both witnesses recognized the man they had seen as Dahmer when pictures of him were released in the newspapers after his arrest. Reports showed that the delivery shop where he worked had a blue van at the time. He preyed on young men and boys (the youngest being eight years older than Adam), and his modus operandi included severing his victims' heads. When interviewed about Adam in the early 1990s, he repeatedly denied involvement in the crime, even stating; "I've told you everything—how I killed them, how I cooked them, who I ate. Why wouldn't I tell you if I did someone else?" After this rumor surfaced, John Walsh stated that he had "seen no evidence" linking his son's kidnapping and murder to Dahmer. On December 16, 2008, Hollywood, Florida, Police Chief Chad Wagner, a friend of John, announced, with him present, that the case was now closed. An external review of the case had been conducted and police announced that they were satisfied that Ottis Toole was the murderer. Legacy- Children found: The 1983 television film Adam was created based on Adam's story, and had 38 million viewers on its first airing. Each of its the three broadcasts (1983, 1984, 1985) were followed by pictures and descriptions of missing children. A hotline was also active to take calls regarding the children. The pictures and hotline was ultimately credited with finding at least 37 missing children. American rapper Bizzy Bone, who was abducted by his step-father as a child, was reunited with his mother after a neighbor recognized a photo of him shown at the end of the 1983 broadcast. Laws and organizations for missing children: In 1984, the U.S. Congress passed the Missing Children's Assistance Act, owing in part to the advocacy of the Walshes and other parents of missing children. The act allowed the formation of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). The Code Adam program for helping lost children in department stores is named in Adam's memory. The U.S. Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act on July 25, 2006, and President Bush signed it into law on July 27. The signing ceremony took place on the South Lawn of the White House, attended by John and Revé. The bill institutes a national database of convicted child molesters, and increases penalties for sexual and violent offenses against children. It also creates a RICO cause of action for child predators and those who conspire with them. The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016, which provides budgetary allotments to continue programs passed in the 2006 Act, has as of August 2016 passed the U.S. Senate and awaits consideration by the House. John Walsh: Adam's kidnapping and murder prompted John to become a long term advocate for victims' rights. As a result of his outspoken advocacy, John was approached to host the television program America's Most Wanted, which he did for 25 seasons. Walsh's work on the show has seen over 1,000 fugitives captured and imprisoned. Societal and psychological effects: The publicity of the Adam Walsh case and the widely watched television movie Adam also created what was described as a mid-1980s panic over stranger abductions, one out of proportion to their numbers and one which has persisted for decades. Richard Moran, criminologist at Mount Holyoke College: "The case created a nation of petrified kids and paranoid parents. Kids used to be able to go out and organize a stickball game, and now all playdates and the social lives of children are arranged and controlled by the parents...the fear still lingers today." Early estimates by the NCMEC would state that as many as 20,000 children a year were abducted by strangers, and public service spots relayed the perceived danger. A 1985 Pulitzer Prize exposé discussed a "numbers gap" between the claimed number and other statistics, such as that the FBI investigated a total of 67 abductions by total strangers in 1984. By 1988, even as the NCMEC lowered annual estimates of stranger abductions by 80%, "early estimates had a life of their own". A 1990 study of child abductions found that 99% of them were family related. In the 10–15 years between 2000 and 2015, the number of missing children ultimately killed has been decreasing in its own right, attributed partly to new technologies like mobile phones that allow calls for help.
The FBI Victims Identification Project (also known as VICTIMS) is an active research project within the FBI Laboratory to create a national database containing all available records of unidentified human remains. The goal of VICTIMS is to create a federally sponsored national database of unidentified remains. Currently there are many groups attempting to bring closure to an estimated 40,000 unidentified human remains cases nationwide, but VICTIMS is the first attempt to produce a comprehensive approach to the problem. Current status: Currently in the data gathering stage, VICTIMS will contain a variety of forms of information that may assist in the identification of unidentified human remains. This information includes case data, biological data, photographs, facial reconstructions, anthropological data, radiographs and dental charts. The project is requesting United States agencies with unidentified human remains to contact them to enter their cases into the database. Project team: The VICTIMS project team consists the FBI Laboratory personnel, personnel from the FBI Visiting Scientist Program administered by Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and the prime contractor Guiding Beacon Solutions. Guiding Beacon, a management and technology consulting firm from Pennsylvania, is providing the technology and data collection efforts for the project.
Latte art is a method of preparing coffee created by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso and resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of the latte. It can also be created or embellished by simply "drawing" in the top layer of foam. Latte art is particularly difficult to create consistently, due to the demanding conditions required of both the espresso shot and milk. This, in turn, is limited by the experience of the barista and quality of the espresso machine. The pour itself, then, becomes the last challenge for the latte artist. History: Latte art developed independently in different countries, following the introduction of espresso and the development of microfoam, the combination of crema and microfoam allowing the pattern; it presumably was initially developed in Italy. In the United States, latte art was developed in Seattle in the 1980s and 1990s, and particularly popularized by David Schomer. Schomer credits the development of microfoam ("velvet foam" or "milk texturing") to Jack Kelly of Uptown espresso in 1986, and by 1989 the heart pattern was established and a signature at Schomer's Espresso Vivace. The rosette pattern was then developed by Schomer in 1992, recreating the technique based on a photograph he saw from Cafe Mateki in Italy. Schomer subsequently popularized latte art in his course "Caffe Latte Art". At the same time Luigi Lupi from Italy met Schomer on the internet and they exchanged videos they made on Latteart and Cappuccini Decorati. Chemistry: Latte art is a mixture of two colloids: the crema, which is an emulsion of coffee oil and brewed coffee; and the microfoam, which is a foam of air in milk. Milk itself is an emulsion of butterfat in water, while coffee is a mixture of coffee solids in water. Neither of these colloids are stable – crema dissipates from espresso, while microfoam separates into drier foam and liquid milk – both degrading significantly in a matter of seconds, and thus latte art lasts only briefly. Technique: Latte art requires first producing espresso with crema and microfoam, and then combining these to make latte art. See microfoam: procedure for how microfoam is made; this article concentrates on the latte art once the foam is made. Before the milk is added, the espresso shot must have a creamy brown surface, an emulsion known as crema. As the white foam from the milk rises to meet the red/brown surface of the shot, a contrast is created and the design emerges. As the milk is poured, the foam separates from the liquid and rises to the top. If the milk and espresso shot are "just right," and the pitcher is moved during the pour, the foam will rise to create a pattern on the surface. Alternatively, a pattern may be etched with a stick after the milk has been poured, rather than during the pour. Some controversy exists within the coffee community as to whether or not there is excessive focus on latte art amongst baristas. The argument is that too much focus on the superficial appearance of a drink leads some to ignore more important issues, such as taste. This is especially relevant with new baristas. Styles: There are two main types of latte art: free pouring (pattern created during the pour) and etching (using a tool to create a pattern after the pour). Free pouring is far more common in American cafés, and requires little additional time in preparing a drink. Free pouring: The two most common forms of poured latte art are a heart shape and the "rosetta" or "rosette", also known as "fern" which resembles a type of flower or fern. Of these, hearts are simpler and more common in macchiatos, while rosettes are more complex and more common in lattes. For free pouring, the cup is either kept level or tilted in one direction. As the milk is poured straight into the cup, the foam begins to surface on one side (due to the tilt). The barista then moves the pitcher from side to side as they level the cup, or simply wiggle the spout back and forth, and finishes by making a quick strike through the previously poured pattern. This "strike" creates the stem portion of the flower design, and bends the poured zig-zag into a flower shape. A more direct pour and less wiggling yields a heart shape, and minor variation (reduced lobes, larger stem) yields an apple shape. More complex patterns are possible, some requiring multiple pours. Some examples of advanced latte art techniques are that of the tulip, wave heart, swan, or even a scorpion. Etching: Etched patterns range from simple geometric shapes to complicated drawings, such as crosshatching, images of animals and flowers, and are generally performed with a coffee stirrer of some sort. Etched latte art typically has a shorter lifespan than free poured latte art as the foam dissolves into the latte more quickly. A crude but quick method with cappuccino is to pour chocolate powder through a metal cutout in which an image, typically a flower, has been incised. This is favoured by chain coffee shops like Costa where speed is of the essence when serving large numbers of clients during peak times. Variants: Latte art is made by adding microfoam to espresso. Similar patterns, though much fainter, can be achieved by adding microfoam to brewed coffee, as in a café au lait or tea. Alternatively, patterns can be etched in the crema of an espresso, without adding any milk, in order to yield espresso art.
The conspiracy theories relating to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, a United States Senator and brother of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, relate to non-standard accounts of the assassination that took place shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated during celebrations of his successful campaign in the Californian primary elections while seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. president. The perpetrator was a 24-year-old Palestinian immigrant named Sirhan Sirhan, who remains incarcerated for the crime as of 2016. However, as with his brother's death, Robert Kennedy's assassination and the circumstances surrounding it have spawned various conspiracy theories, particularly regarding the existence of a supposed second gunman. Such theories have also centered on the alleged presence of a woman wearing a polka dot dress claiming responsibility for the crime and the purported involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency. Many of these theories were examined during an investigation ordered by the United States Senate, and were judged to be erroneous by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which investigated on the Senate's behalf. Second gunman: The location of Kennedy's wounds suggested that his assailant had stood behind him, but some witnesses said that Sirhan faced west as Kennedy moved through the pantry facing east. This has led to the suggestion that a second gunman actually fired the fatal shot, a possibility supported by coroner Thomas Noguchi who stated that the fatal shot was behind Kennedy's right ear and had been fired at a distance of approximately one inch. Other witnesses, though, said that as Sirhan approached, Kennedy was turning to his left shaking hands, facing north and so exposing his right side. As recently as 2008, eyewitness John Pilger asserted his belief that there must have been a second gunman. During a re-examination of the case in 1975, the Los Angeles Superior Court ordered expert examination of the possibility of a second gun having been used, and the conclusion of the experts was that there was little or no evidence to support this theory. In 2007, analysis of an audio recording of the shooting made that night by freelance reporter Stanislaw Pruszynski appeared to indicate, according to forensic expert Philip van Praag, that at least thirteen shots were fired even though Sirhan's gun held only eight rounds. Van Praag alleged that the recording also revealed at least two cases where the timing between shots was shorter than humanly possible. Van Praag also alleged that an analysis of the Pruszynski tape reveals the firing of more than eight shots was independently corroborated by forensic audio specialists Wes Dooley and Paul Pegas of Audio Engineering Associates in Pasadena, California, forensic audio and ballistics expert Eddy B. Brixen in Copenhagen, Denmark, and audio specialist Phil Spencer Whitehead of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Some other acoustic experts, through their own independent analysis, have stated that they believe no more than eight shots are recorded on the audio tape. On November 26, 2011, Sirhan's defense attorneys William F. Pepper and Laurie Dusek filed a 62-page brief in Los Angeles federal court which asserts that a bullet used as evidence to convict Sirhan was switched with another bullet at the crime scene. The brief claims that this was done because the bullet taken from Kennedy's neck did not match Sirhan's gun. Pepper and Dusek claim that the new evidence presented in their brief is sufficient to find Sirhan not guilty under the law. The security guard: Thane Eugene Cesar has been consistently cited as the most likely candidate for a second gunman in the RFK assassination. Cesar had been employed by Ace Guard Service to protect Robert Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel. This was not his full-time job. During the day he worked as a maintenance plumber at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank, a job that required a security clearance from the Department of Defense. He worked there from 1966 until losing his job in 1971. Dan Moldea wrote that Cesar began working at Hughes in 1973, a job he held for seven years and a position Cesar said required the second highest clearance level at the plant. When interviewed, Cesar stated that he did draw a gun at the scene of the shooting but insisted the weapon was a Rohm .38, not a .22, the caliber of the bullets found in Kennedy. He also claimed that he got knocked down after the first shot and did not get the opportunity to fire his gun. The LAPD, which interviewed Cesar shortly after the shooting, did not regard Cesar as a suspect and did not ask to see his gun. Cesar stated that he did own a .22-caliber Harrington & Richardson pistol, and he showed it to LAPD sergeant P. E. O'Steen on June 24, 1968. When the LAPD interviewed Cesar three years later, however, he claimed that he had sold the gun before the assassination to a man named Jim Yoder. William W. Turner tracked down Yoder in October 1972. Yoder still had the receipt for the H & R pistol, which was dated September 6, 1968, and bore Cesar's signature. Cesar therefore had sold the pistol to Yoder three months after Kennedy's assassination despite Cesar's claim in 1971 that he had sold the weapon months before the murder. Author Dan Moldea wrote that Cesar submitted years later to a polygraph examination performed by Edward Gelb, former president and executive director of the American Polygraph Association. Moldea reported that Cesar denied any involvement in Kennedy's assassination and passed the test with flying colors. Manchurian candidate hypothesis: Another conspiracy theory relates to a Manchurian candidate hypothesis, that Sirhan was psychologically programmed by persons unknown to commit the murder, that he was not aware of his actions at the time, and that his mind was "wiped" in the aftermath by the conspirators so he would have no memory of the event nor of the persons who "programmed" him. This theory was supported by psychologist and hypnosis expert Dr. Eduard Simson-Kallas after 35 hours of work with Sirhan in San Quentin prison in 1969 after his conviction. Sirhan claimed then, and has continued to claim since, to have no memory of the assassination or its aftermath. The woman in the polka-dot dress: Some witnesses stated that they observed a woman in a polka dot dress in various location throughout the Ambassador Hotel before and after the assassination. One witness, Kennedy campaign worker Sandra Serrano, reported that around 11:30 pm she was sitting outside on a stairway that led to the Embassy Ballroom when a woman and two men, one whom she later stated was Sirhan, walked past her up the stairs. Serrano said that around 30 minutes later she heard noises that sounded like the back-fire of an automobile, then saw the woman and one of the men running from the scene. She stated that the woman exclaimed, "We shot him, we shot him!". According to Serrano, when she asked the woman to whom she was referred, the woman said "Senator Kennedy." Another witness, Evan Freed, also saw the girl in the polka dot dress. This report was connected by alternative theorists such as with another report of a girl wearing a polka dot dress who was supposedly seen with Sirhan at various times during the evening, including in the kitchen where the assassination took place. Serrano stated that preceding her supposed encounter with the polka-dot dress girl, she heard a series of shots that sounded like a car backfiring. However, following this claim, LAPD criminologist DeWayne Wolfer conducted tests to determine if Serrano could have heard the shots from her location. He found that there would have been a change in sound level of ½ decibel at Serrano's location resulting from a shot being fired in the kitchen of the hotel, and concluded that she could therefore not have heard the shots as she claimed. Additionally, Kranz commented in his report that Serrano admitted to fabricating the story following further interviews with investigating officers and that he was unable to find evidence to corroborate any aspect of the original account. Conspiracy advocates have pointed out that Serrano could have been the victim of witness intimidation. Retired LAPD officer Paul Sharaga has stated that as he was responding to the shooting in the hotel, an elderly couple reported to him that they saw a couple in their early 20's, one of which being a woman in a poka-dot dress, who were smiling and shouting "We shot him... we killed Kennedy... we shot him... we killed him". Sharaga also stated that he filed official reports of the incident, which disappeared, and that his reports were never investigated. CIA involvement: In November 2006, BBC Television's Newsnight aired a twelve-minute screening of Shane O'Sullivan's documentary RFK Must Die. O'Sullivan stated that while researching a screenplay based on the Manchurian candidate theory for the assassination of Robert Kennedy, he "uncovered new video and photographic evidence suggesting that three senior CIA operatives were behind the killing". He claimed that three men seen in video and photographs of the Ambassador Hotel immediately before and after the assassination were positively identified as CIA operatives David Sánchez Morales, Gordon Campbell, and George Joannides. Several people who had known Morales, including family members, were adamant that he was not the man who O'Sullivan said was Morales. After O'Sullivan published his book, assassination researchers Jefferson Morley and David Talbot also discovered that Campbell had died of a heart attack in 1962, six years prior to the assassination of Kennedy. In response, O'Sullivan stated that the man on the video may have used Campbell's name as an alias. He then took his identifications to the Los Angeles Police Department whose files showed the men he identified as Campbell and Joannides to be Michael Roman and Frank Owens, two Bulova sales managers attending the company's convention in the Ambassador. O'Sullivan stood by his allegations stating that the Bulova watch company was a "well-known CIA cover".