The Dark Side of Shakespeare (A Trilogy by W. Ron Hess)
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Article 1 - Rare Dreame **********
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Article 3 - Signatures **********
Article 4 - Illit Shaxper **********
Article 5 - Munday Press **********
Article 6 - Ziggurat Jig **********
Article 7 - Tree of Sunne **********
Article 8 - Poor DNB Woes **********
Article 9 - Heywood Bard **********
Article 10 - Euphues SONs **********
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Article 12 - Latin Poems ***********
Article 13 - Bad Ciphers **********
Article 14 - Willobie **********
Article 15 - SacvylesOA **********
Article 16 - Groatsworth **********
Article 17 - Ox's Medicine **********
Article 6 **********

Five Satirical Parables (Originally Appen. T of the trilogy)



What Will Happen to All the Unemployed Orthodox Professors?

"Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when

it can be recalled and perhaps remedied." -- Pearl S. Buck

Posted Nov 2003


T.1 -- Should we pity all those poor orthodox Professors who will be obsolete?

Please pardon me if I inject a touch or two of humor, but given the absolute certainty with which they've ruled the roost for centuries, their unwaivering refusal to doubt their orthodox position, it is a bit ironic to envision the impending disruption to so many comfortably smug lives. I truly worry for my good friend Prof. Alan Nelson of Berkeley. He has devoted more than a decade to researching, writing, and publishing a mammoth biography of the Earl of Oxford, during which he gathered a tremendous amount of quality information, at which I've been privileged to take a few peeks and to somewhat use here. I've nothing but praise for his research abilities, and admiration for his generosity in sharing what he's found. Unfortunately, he can't seem to avoid scurrilous interpretations and conclusions from the evidence. Because he has been bred in the orthodox universe where usurer bumpkins become "natural geniuses," and Aubrey's flatulences become biographical keystones, Prof. Nelson's book will undoubtedly take each piece of evidence and twist it into prurient interpretations so that Oxford will come off as a feckless, bubble-brained, "horse's ass," as quoted of Nelson by his opponent in her 2002 debate with Richard Whalen. But, Prof. Nelson is like a fish swimming upstream into Niagara. Ultimately the evidence in this book and elsewhere will wash him back out to sea, and his "horse's ass" attribution will likely be the last testament to a very intelligent man who went wrong somewhere in his career. Was it during his early junkets to Cambridge, UK, while he prepared his respected studies, Early Cambridge Theatres and Records of Early Cambridge Drama? Did he fall under bad influences that made him see the world as a burlesque of reality whenever he contemplated Shakespeare and the Earl of Oxford?

After his book has gained wide recognition, then refutation, then ignominy, what will he do next? Will he be forced to retire in penury to that tawdry rest home for worn out orthodox scholars, where they sit around all day mumbling to themselves about how wonderful it was to have been educated in rural Stratford-upon-Avon nearly 450 years ago, how it's unnecessary to know WHO Shakespeare was as long as we know he was a "natural genius," and how Greene's Groatsworth of Wit was directly aimed by a man in death's grasp at a bumpkin who had never been heard of before 1593? Will the nurse come by to mop his brow and wipe the spittle from his chin as, like A.L. Rowse, he too slips into a senility in which "unqualified to have an opinion," or "everyone knows Oxford was a roaring homo," become the last fulminations his deteriorated mind is capable of uttering? Perish the thought that such a thing should happen to so intelligent a man!

But, it didn't have to come to this. Back in 1994 when I first encountered Prof. Nelson, I made a gift to him of a copy of Prof. Lambin's Voyages de Shakespeare en France et en Italie (see Appendix A), and a week later he gave it back to me, saying he appreciated my gesture, but he was too busy with his other pursuits to really read it. Subsequently, he conducted an ad hoc graduate-level course for Peter Moore and me in how to transcribe the letters of the 17th Earl of Oxford and other Elizabethans. I learned a great deal from both of those scholars. And in our quiet discussions, Alan occasionally admitted that, "It is very difficult to defend the man from Stratford." Yet, he persisted in relating that because he was finding out so many tawdry things about Oxford, he felt Oxford could be eliminated as a candidate for Shakespeare based on bad character alone. And since he believed Oxford was the best unorthodox candidate for having been Shakespeare, he carefully explained that eliminating Oxford would leave "only the orthodox candidate still standing." I laughingly suggested there was "still Derby," and protested that in any case there was much about Shakespeare's works which argue "he wasn't always a nice guy." So Alan's rationale and strategy seemed to be a poor one over all. In the end, he slipped inexorably from the light into darkness, and I fear his mind's eye has been blinded to the facts of WHO and WHAT was Shakespeare!

Yes, I really do worry about Prof. Nelson and others of his stripe. At some time in the not too distant future they will be the Dodos of the Earth, waddling about looking comical as heartless opponents bash-in their crooked-beaked heads with fact-laden cudgels, and as they prove too silly to hide from their disgrace. Consequently, the time has come for all Professors to reappraise their credos, to decide whether their outlook on Shakespeare has been leading them somewhere worthwhile, or whether they're just "dead in the water." Could it be they are all fated to be stuffed and mounted in some museum, or to become eccentric characters in Lewis Carroll fairy tales?

T.2 -- Does the orthodox myth shipwreck on the shoals of dating the works?

In Appendix B, we summarized proposed evidence for early dating of the plays, including those early "origination" allusions to Don Juan of Austria which were touched on in Chapters 4 and 5. As I said in Hess-1999, this was not intended to pretend to be "authoritative" in setting or assigning dates, but rather to illustrate to the reader how truly complex the process is, and how truly absurd any "authority" is (such as E.K. Chambers, Riverside, or Elliott and Valenza) who would pretend otherwise. This leads to our first lesson in our quest.

Moral # 1: Beware of orthodox professors bearing gifts of certitude in dating Shakespeare

-- they're foisting-off something flimsy and untenable which we must reject!

Let's seek spiritual guidance for dating Shakespeare. The Judeo-Christian Bible explained complex concepts through satires (as in David's mocking of Saul), visions (as in Revelations' apocalyptic view of a grotesque future heavily influenced by Zoroastrian symbology), and parables (as in Jesus' quite different stories of the withered olive tree in two Gospels). Parables in particular can be instructive as well as entertaining. Such as the following four examples:

Once upon a time, living in a cave east of Jerusalem and west of Kathman-du, there was an ancient Guru who allegedly knew how to date Shakespeare's works. Approached by a disciple, the ancient Guru imparted the following four parables with their titanic implications:

Parable I: A visiting Professor at Cambridge U., fresh from his rendezvous with "Jumping Judy," and a bit tipsy afterwards, wandered back to his flat and discovered his keys had fallen out of his pocket en route. It was 3:00 a.m., cold, dark, and he knew he had to find the keys. Where should he have looked? The answer of course: under each lamp-post and nowhere else! Why? If the keys were anywhere else he wouldn't be able to find them in the darkness, and so he had to search only where he had certainty he'd find them if they were there (borrowed from Physicists' search for exotic phenomena predicted by Quantum Mechanics).

Parable II: While distracted by his beloved "J.J.," our Professor had his tickets stolen and was forced to take steerage on the S.S. Titanic. At night he was summoned to the Bridge as the gigantic ship plummeted toward a field of mountain-sized peaks of ice off in the moonlight. The Captain pointed at the pieces of "evidence" manifested by icebergs, and asked the Professor to advise him about what sort of sub-surface structure there was. The Professor was informed: 1) the huge ship had a huge rudder that required making strong steerageway in order for it to function, 2) turns had to be begun many miles in advance, and 3) any collision, even a glancing one with a sub-surface feature, would certainly sink the ship. How did the Professor advise the Captain? The answer of course: damn the icebergs and full-speed ahead! Why? Since every course was equally likely to be catastrophic, the ship needed to set the most obvious course to avoid visible ice by the widest margin and keep up rudder speed.

Parable III: The Captain was unable to accept the Professor's head-strong advice, so the ship backed all engines full. Through a miracle it coasted to a stop right in the middle of the iceberg field without having yet seriously collided with anything. However, surrounded by great hulks of ice, bobbing and looming around and over the ship, the Captain couldn't tell which way to steer or how to best get out of danger. How did the Professor advise him? The answer of course: abandon ship and get in the dinghies! Since the ship couldn't effectively maneuver, and it was too perilous to remain where the ship was, the only hope was to get everyone into the only structures which could be maneuvered in the iceberg field.

Parable IV: To their horror, the Captain and Professor found there were only a handful of dinghies onboard, not enough for thousands of passengers. They had to decide how to save the most number of people from perishing. What did the Professor advise about who to be evacuated and who to be left behind? The answer of course: take the able-bodied men and crewmen first and abandon all the women, children, and any old professors! Why? Everyone had slim hope of surviving in the first place, and attempts to chivalrously save dependent people would only founder the dinghies along with the ship. So, if there was any chance to save anyone at all it must have been that those who could row the strongest had to be saved first. The others could just sit back, get comfortable, and go under while listening to the band play on with the same old refrains!

What do the ancient Guru's four parables teach us? The answers reflect our Appendix B:

Parable I shows that no matter how difficult it is to accept that there are dating allusions in each play, if those are our best lamp-posts, we must explore all of what they offer;

Parable II shows that no matter how rigidly orthodox professors refuse to recognize there was sub-surface structure connecting all the pieces of dating evidence, there certainly was such a structure, and their disregard of the larger structure and stubborn refusal to see any but the most obvious evidence has headed them toward disaster;

Parable III shows that when the evidence piles-up against those we've trusted, and they've gotten us into tight places, it's best to let our own resourcefulness rule our destinies; and

Parable IV shows that professors are not only fallible, they are also quite certainly expendable if they don't offer positive assistance in getting us where we must go.

We can be charitable by throwing those lemmings a lifeline or two, but in the end theirs is a hopeless cause fraught with disaster. And we don't want to be too close to them when they go under.

Moral # 2: Let wrong-headed professors go down with their wrong-headed ship!

In Chapters 2 to 7 and Appendices A & B, we've seen underlying structure to Shakespeare's plays, and even to some of the poetry, explaining who he was, where he traveled, what his concerns were, and who he allied with. Later, in Appendices F to I, we found he was or regarded himself as a heraldic knight-errant, a powerful man with far-reaching quests. Such a description was completely inappropriate for Mr. Shakspere, the antipathy of a romantic knight. And yet, by the 1590s even Oxford was already beginning to complain of lameness, old age, and to busy himself with a mundane concern about tin mines. So, dating attempts pointing to the late-1580s to 90s and beyond were likely just revisions for later productions of "old plays" rather than new ones. In short, Shakespeare's plays likely all "originated" in the 1570s to mid-80s, a period when Oxford was undeniably the "Paladin of England," a co-champion or champion of every tournament he entered! Orthodox scholars have been so inept in their dating, and are constantly bickering over evidence which moves each of the works closer and closer to the time-frame proposed here, chiefly because they put on blinders and refuse to look at the 1570s and early 80s for better evidence to chew on.

Moral # 3: Let them eat earlier cake!

Appendix O showed us an inability to demonstrate that Mr. Shakspere was literate enough to sign his own name, the inferior arguments about the "Clayton loan," and the even sillier "Shake-scene" arguments. Similarly, the absurd "Stylistics" theory of E.K. Chambers, Riverside, and Elliott & Valenza (E&V) is one more pillar of orthodox scholarship which must fall because of its many violations of truth, logic, and common sense (indeed, we've seen that Halliday, 680, in 1952 admitted this pseudo-evidence had by then been discredited). Prof. Donald Foster has been forced to publicly admit that his Stylistics-related "Shaxicon" system was in error to have identified as by Shakespeare the 1612 Elegy by W.S. So shall E&V's own stylistics experiments be seen as errors. The only factor keeping all of the orthodox absurdities propped-up is that of "authority," where no one has probed with those straight-forward, common-sense, boyish questions that would strip off "the Emperor’s new clothes." I am that "boy" now crying out, "the orthodox scholars are naked!"

T.3 -- What was the right-holy Fifth Parable of the Ancient Guru?

His disciple once again approached our ancient Guru about dating Shakespeare's works, this time bearing a copy of Elliott & Valenza's October 2000 article that attacked the article of Hess-1999. The disciple told the Guru that when he'd discovered the apparently authoritative, earnest, and well-intentioned works of Prof. Ward E.Y. Elliott and Prof. David Valenza (both at Claremont-MacKenna College, located in Los Angeles, CA), he'd assumed that the exemplary credentials of those two men would add weight to their methods and conclusions. Yet, noting that Prof. Elliott's degree was in Political Science and Valenza's was in Math, he asked himself if Elizabethan History and Literature mixed with computerized statistical analysis might have been a bit beyond their academic and practical expertise? Worse yet, he found that hopes were unmet for

civility, objective analysis, and honest repentance from Elliott & Valenza in their response to the 1999 article by Hess, Bloch, and Chow. The two completely ignored warnings that their 1991 article had committed grave errors against the science of Statistics. Worse yet, in their responding article they unrepentantly and arrogantly compounded those errors with more and graver errors yet. To demonstrate their haughty disdain for questions of their transgressions, Elliott and Valenza resorted to sarcasm and misdirection in their reply, even to the extent of quoting out-of-context phrases from the 1999 article simply for the joy of briefly and unfairly being able to attack the disjointed statements they had thus created. The duo's strategy seemed to be more to confuse their readers than to explain their flawed position.

Disappointed in those two wayward academics, the disciple wanted to know if there was validity to Elliott and Valenza's approach to dating Shakespeare. The ancient Guru replied, "No great philosopher capable of four good parables is worth his salt until he's polished off a fifth," so the disciple was asked to return the next day while the Guru began to drink to his Muse. The next day the hung-over Guru related the following parable, which was said to have a profound lesson:


(An instuctively true parable in response to "Can the Oxford

Candidacy be Saved?" from the October 2000 The Oxfordian)

"One deceit needs many others, and so the whole house is built in

the air and must soon come to the ground." -- Baltasar Gracian

[Note: All dates are apparently B.C.E.]. Back in the ante-diluvian world before Noah, in Mesopotamia there lived a misguided Professor by name of Ian Vee, whose great goal in life was to help construct a huge Ziggurat upon which to worship false gods, sacrifice veracity and honor, and escape to the top of in case of Biblical flood. Given the rudimentary knowledge of his time, Ian Vee might be excused for his abuses to the sciences, especially to Statistics, even when he had been chastised by other Professors who knew Statistics far better than he. They warned it was wrong to try to use Statistics on data which was poorly determined, such as "dates" assigned to Shakespeare's works; but such pieties went in one ear and out the other with Prof. Ian Vee. In a repetition of his errors, Ian Vee compounded his impiety by adding further low crimes and misdemeanors for which any High School or undergraduate student would have received academic discipline had they been hauled before an institutional tribunal. To save Ian Vee from such a well-deserved fate, the scolding Professors decided to regard his 43-page long (long, long,...) and rather humorless numbers-obsessed article as a dim-witted satire. Accordingly, this parable was devised in order to be more informative for the general public than Ian Vee had tried to be.

As with the errors committed by John Payne Collier (the 19th century orthodox Shakespeare Professor and notorious forger), Ian Vee's errors one day will be exposed, universally condemned, and history will show that he gratuitously destroyed his own reputation. He would have contributed more to science and Shakespeare studies had he agreed that his earlier articles were in error and set about to correct for them. Instead, he chose a course leading one day to his being branded as a purveyor of error and chicanery. Such a pity that any Professor should be so shamed!

The business of thoroughly and completely overturning Ian Vee's errors must wait for others who have more time and print-space available to them than this short parable is limited to. That was because Ian Vee's numerous articles over more than a decade were not simple expositions, but rather they were one layer of fallacy built meticulously upon other layers of fallacy, higher and higher, until a gigantic Ziggurat-of-Babel had been built. Like Marley's ghost, he had forged the chains which will encumber his academic reputation for all eternity; and he must ponderously dissolve into a void of disrepute until redeemed by certain dark spirits of academic forgiveness. One of the brightest of those spirits will be the late Prof. Bloch, who lamentably now scolds Ian Vee only from the grave.

The foundation of Prof. Ian Vee's Great Ziggurat-of-Babel encompasses two problems we all must share in Elizabethan history and literature: 1) the general Sumerian frothiness and murk of many of the historical sources of that time, compounded by 2) the unparalleled use in that time of pseudonyms, anonymity, and collaboration in authorship projects. The first condition is a difficult stumbling block for researching into the biography of any common man of the time, only slightly less so for a relatively well-documented high nobleman, such as a member of the family of the Queen's most trusted minister, William Cecil, the 1st Baron Burghley. Cecil's son-in-law was Edward DeVere, the 17th Earl of Oxford; Cecil's grandaughter's husband was William Stanley, the 6th Earl of Derby (Oxford's son-in-law); and Cecil's sister's 2nd son was Sir Francis Bacon. If filling-in the whereabouts, doings, and motives of those fairly well-documented noblemen is difficult, doing as much for lesser mortals is almost impossible. Especially since all of those noblemen were demonstrably literate, whereas most commoners should be presumed to have been illiterate unless proven otherwise. Those orthodox scholars who gleefully create fictionally-conjectural biographies, travels, education, and literacy for their historically-deficient Shakespeare candidate, Mr. William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon, must be rejected wherever found.

Concerning the foundation's second condition, quite likely many works not now regarded as Shakespeare's will someday be shown by indisputable automated processes to have likely been by him, and at least some of those works now attributed to him will be convincingly demonstrated to have been partly or wholly contributed by others. An "artificial intelligence" process which may soon completely end this controversy was discussed in Hess-1998 and in Appendix S above. Prof. Ian Vee would have done better to carefully examine that article in order to search for more objective ways to analyze Shakespeare's works than the clearly-biased and farcically-twisted approaches he has persisted in. But he had a decade of prideful publications which trapped him into his folly.

Level 1 of Prof. Ian Vee's Great Ziggurat-of-Babel encompasses the spongy and mucky stratum shoved up from the depths in order to form the orthodox Stratfordian case for Mr. Shakspere. The fact is, in her authoritative 1985 article "Shakespeare in the Public Records," Jane Cox of the British Records Office established that the six signatures of Mr. Shakspere on legal documents can now be regarded as quite likely not having been made by him at all. Since the six scrawls were the only examples of writing reasonably attributable to Mr. Shakspere, this completely undercuts any attempts to demonstrate that Mr. Shakspere knew how to write even his own name, let alone Hamlet. This eminent determination therefore shoves Mr. Shakspere back into the arms of his illiterate father, mother, wife, children, and most of the leading citizens of his home town, among whom all would "make their marks" rather than sign their names (a daughter married a physician and once did sign her name, apparently the crowning literary accomplishment in a family otherwise quite educationally-challenged throughout generations of bumpkinship).

Added to this was Mr. Shakspere's utter deficiency in the crucial area of travel to Italian locales which were vividly and accurately depicted in the many Shakespeare plays set in Italy (a fact well-established in Georges Lambin's 1962 Voyages de Shakespeare en France et en Italie; see Appendix A above). Moreover, failures to demonstrate that Mr. Shakspere had been educated in anything more intellectual than glovemaking, usury, real-estate investing, tax evasion, or grain-hoarding, and the fact that the inhabitants of Warwickshire used a dialect (different nouns, verbs, idioms, and pronunciations) unintelligible to those using the London dialect we recognize as "Shakespearean," have long eroded any thinking-person's ability to accept the orthodox myth connecting Mr. Shakspere and authorship. And then there was Peter Moore's 1997 article in The Elizabethan which demonstrated from orthodox Kenneth Muir's list of sources that Shakespeare appears to have stopped reading books and attending new plays after 1604 (the year that the 17th Earl of Oxford died, vs. Mr. Shakspere's years not ending until 1616). These are but a few of the many arguments throwing doubt on Mr. Shakspere (see Appendix O above).

The final analysis for Level 1 is that, however many difficulties there may be for accepting any other candidates for authorship of Shakespeare's works, arguments that Mr. Shakspere was author of anything at all are totally vacuous, odorously flatulent, and quite fraudulent. Barring some materialization of "new evidence" after 400 years of searching, even if Ian Vee does succeed in debunking Oxford as a reasonable candidate for having authored Shakespeare's works (which far better men than he have thus-far failed to do), his own candidate's absolute disqualifications are patent, numerous, and presently irrefutable. Which Ian Vee has chosen to ignore in favor of false assumptions about Mr. Shakspere as a prolific author spanning several decades during which evidence shows nothing but illiteracy. In short, Ian Vee would have done better to have chosen for his authorship candidate a man who was demonstrably literate, educated, and well-traveled.

Level 2 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's willful persistence in applying Statistics to applications ill-suited to statistical use. This was discussed by the two letters to the editors from Dr. Chow and the late Prof. Bloch in the 2000 The Oxfordian. It was also discussed at some length in the Hess-1999 article which Ian Vee has chosen to satirize rather than to heed. In-as-much as he has chosen to not confront the illegitimacy of his use of Statistics, his willful persistence is inexcusable, and all of his charts and graphs are so much detritus. Particularly when he argues that his data points form more aesthetically-pleasing distributions, or smoother curves, than those used by others. For, as the Hess-1999 article amply demonstrated, the alleged smooth distributions were completely attributable to Ian Vee's "circular reasoning" which created "statistical dependency" where none should exist (using style elements to derive dates for the plays, then circularly using dates of the plays to statistically graph against style elements). To see such silly games played with the pseudo-evidence of "stylistics" by orthodox flim-flammers, it's no wonder that Halliday (680) admitted the whole mess had been discredited at least by 1952.

One does not need a PhD. in Political Science to see that Ian Vee has committed gross fallacies in this area. Although one can imagine other underhanded dabblers in Poli-Sci (like certain politicians) trying to pull wool like this over the public’s eyes, it's difficult to imagine that a competent, tenured, ethical, full-professor at an accredited college would try to do such a thing. We can only hope that Prof. Ian Vee will wake up to his errors and apologize!

Still under Level 2, Prof. Bloch’s letter to the editor in the 2000 The Oxfordian criticized the whole approach of trying to apply Statistics to something so vague as the dating of plays; and in Dr. Chow's letter to the editor was a proposed Statistical application which would show the extent to which Ian Vee's schemes demonstrate dependency (or circular reasoning) in his statistical applications. In fact, the more his distributions resembled a smooth progression, the more likely they were demonstrating dependency and circular reasoning. Unless Shakespeare was a mechanical automaton, his style used in his plays and the specific dates of those plays should be nearly independent, and therefore not dependent on each other. Ignoring that statistical fact, Ian Vee deceptively counted on the naivete of his audience (and of his opponents?), to try to pull the wool over as many eyes as he could. This has always been the orthodox Shakespearean tactic of all-too-often resort -- baffle the public and treat your opponents as if they were idiots!

Level 3 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's choosing to apply graph points, implying precision, to data elements which even their Riverside source normally assigned ranges to. This was amply discussed by the Hess-1999 article he has chosen to satirize. Figure 4 of that article illustrated the poofy marshmallow-smear nature of earliest-likeliest-latest dating for each of the plays. It was admitted that Figure 4 and its deliberate imprecision was difficult to comprehend, let alone use for an informed and informative graphing and statistical application. Yet, if Shakespeare's writing processes spanned years, maybe decades, as Hess-1999 persuasively argued, then Figure 4 would be more honest than other distributions. All the more reason why Ian Vee was in error to persist in his absolutely fallacious pretense that each and every Shakespeare play was written in precisely-one and only-one year (often in just weeks?). Even if he was to be granted the ability to collapse a marshmallow-smear into a singularity, Ian Vee has ignored the fact that nearly all Riverside dating "sources," which he indirectly depended on, supported an earlier dating regime as proposed by Hess-1999 (after making appropriate corrections as described in the Hess-1999 analysis). Consequently, Ian Vee was accepting the Riverside dates without intelligent analysis of the obvious flaws incorporated into them, and was shamefully trying to foist-off this regime onto a statistical analysis for which it was never intended nor justifiably applicable. He should be everlastingly hexed by the great and powerful gods of Statistics and non-fuzzy logic!

Level 4 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's gullible acceptance of Riverside and orthodox magician's tricks, such as the "n.e. equals new" and the "1598 Meres list equals a firm indicator" dicta. As the Hess-1999 analysis showed, even Riverside itself abandoned those tricks when it was felt advantageous for their arguments, normally in a most glib and deceptive manner. That Ian Vee persisted in those tricks, which are no better than "shell-game" slights-of-hand, was not in the least to his credit. Even orthodox scholars are divided on how to interpret "n.e." and Meres, so Ian Vee's passing this on to his audience without qualification was deception without responsible analysis. Without better justification, dating regimes using those tricks should be rejected.

Level 5 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's use of a stylistic continuum based on line-ending percentages, which he labeled "internal evidence." Even Riverside's source (Halliday, 680) admitted these had lost credibility before 1952. So, Ian Vee has ignored this warning by his orthodox colleagues and has persisted in applying the discredited methodology to his bogus statistical application. In Hess-1999, to avoid lengthy argument about those line-ending percentages and their invalidity, the authors simply pushed the argument off by accepting "for point of argument" that a continuum existed, that there was an "earlier, middle, later" relationship among the plays which might be described by such a continuum, and that IF such a continuum existed, plays for which no better criterion can be assigned for dating might use the hypothetical continuum for transferring dates from Riverside's spongy dating over to the more firm dating proposed by the Hess-1999 "anchored" dates. Ignoring all of the carefully worded explanation for this transfer in Hess-1999, Ian Vee despicably extracted wording out of context and then glibly asked, "Where did Hess get all those eleven-and-a-half-year lags? (81)" The answer of course should be that the lags came from Riverside and other orthodox sources being unable to date those very same plays well enough to call them "anchored." Consequently, it was Riverside, and by extension Ian Vee himself, who were the sources of the lags. All he has had to do was to give firm dates for those plays, dates relying only on evidence of authorship (not on performances, publications, or other non-authorial evidence), and he might be able to justify his atrocious criticism of the Hess-1999 "stylistically transferred" tentative method. In other words, since he's chosen to dismiss the Hess method, the burden is now entirely on him to replace it with a better one, at least as well-documented as was the Hess-1999 approach. The fact is that in several places Hess-1999 rejected the whole concept of dating the plays by means of a hypothetical continuum, even proposed alternative interpretations for the distribution of play datings, and only adopted the concept for point of argument in showing Ian Vee's 1991 article to have been falsely self-certain.

Level 6 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's apparent rejection of valid evidence contributing to earlier dates for the plays through the abundant use by Shakespeare of imbedded allusions to 1570s and early 1580s events, personages, and concerns. These were obliquely argued, then ignored, by Riverside in its meticulous listing of early sources for each play (even though they sneakily opted for 2nd editions and English translations where 1st editions and reading from untranslated foreign or classical-language texts would have placed those sources much earlier). These were also argued rather persuasively in Admiral H.H. Holland's, Eva Turner Clark's, and the Senior Ogburn's books. Yet, Ian Vee did not even acknowledge the "allusional approach" which those sources used, versus the approach used by orthodox scholars of "external evidence" (which only counts non-authorial evidence, such as public performances and publications of plays). Clearly, the different approaches weren't reasonably comparable: because the Riverside sources and the Oxfordians' approaches essentially all showed the EARLIEST sources and dates at which Shakespeare BEGAN to work on his plays; whereas the orthodox approach only showed the LATEST dates at which plays under those names first existed (in most cases, Ian Vee and his sources were not even certain that any play used the same text included in the 1623 1st Folio, so that The Tempest performed in 1611 may as well have been a play derived from material by Marlowe or Kyd for all he knew!). Ian Vee's persistence in trying to statistically compare in graphic form those Oxfordian apples with orthodox oranges was another shell-game trick in his desperate attempt to mount the insupportable!

Level 7 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's borrowing from "Star Trek's" Babel-speak technique in his apparent drive to depict himself as a "pioneering" adventurer into academic realms "where no man has gone before." What he didn't want his audience to know was that men have been going there for over a century, and occasionally some wreckless soul like E.K. Chambers would attempt to use the stylistic continuum (isn't that where the "Star Trek" character "Q" comes from?) at the same time that Baconians were attempting to "discover" weird ciphers imbedded in each and every Shakespeare work. Ian Vee apparently believed his adoption of a numeric-massage mechanism entitled him to create his own arcane language, as pioneer folk have always done on the frontier.

As a Level 7 example, whenever something went wrong in "Star Trek," the Captain held a senior-staff meeting in his "ready room" and invited substanceless Babel-speak such as, "Captain, I believe we can reverse the inertial stabilizers and depolarize the warp core, then we'll eject the mass interrupter into the temporal disturbance and explode ourselves through sub-space dimensions into a better timeslot relative to replays of old 'Flash Gordon' movies." After Mr. Data reported, "But Captain, the odds against surviving an encounter with 'Ming the Merciless' are 1,009.36 to one," the inevitable calm and assured reply from the Captain of, "Thank you. Gentlemen, make it so!" would resolve all plot difficulties. Poof, fictional problems were solved by creating a fictional language, fictional applications, followed by fictional and magical solutions!

So, in the headiness of Level 7 (with evident pride in his location between Hollywood and Disneyland; possibly near the Burbank studios where the original "Star Trek" series was filmed), Ian Vee inserted his own nonsensical, made-up, masturbatory Babel-speak which only he and perhaps a handful of others worldwide (such as his great antagonist, Prof. Donald W. Foster) were capable of fully understanding or even caring about. Thus, he ejaculated such phrases as "internal evidence" (which did not include allusions "internal" to each play, as referred to in Level 6 above; but it did include such unproven concepts as line-ending percentages), and "external evidence" (which apparently meant anything which could be vaguely rationalized to show a limit to the earliest or latest a play could have been written, such as first productions on the public stage or quarto publications). Both of these were needlessly arcane and ill-defined by Ian Vee, not just because there was a growing body of oddball literature which preceded his own use of it, but also because he wished to flummox his audience into thinking he was a "Hollywood guru" who knew what he was talking about, where the rule of thumb was "If you must ask for a definition, you're too stupid to understand the concept which it represents!" Those excesses were supplemented by "colloquialisms," "archaisms," "most's," "discounts," "baselines," "remarks," "I-5" (iambic pentameter, which he argued about in most peculiar ways), "grub," "rejections," "not yet tried," "editing?," "prosody," "cautions and caveats," "counterindicators," "echo," all the various "endings," "negative-trending," and onward and beyond. Following "Star Trek," whenever Ian Vee found himself in a tight spot, he felt entitled to abandon readily understandable English and build his own Babel-speak universe of "arcanisms" not in the dictionary which would magically mean exactly whatever he wanted them to mean, and do whatever he wanted them to do. Poof, the problem was solved!

Level 8 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's opting for sarcasm, misdirection, and misquotation as a frustrated fallback-position when he found himself utterly outclassed in the interdisciplinary tools and knowledge needed to handle the task which he had chosen, and which task has been over-simplified by him, so much as to depart from reality (he's not analyzed anything about the date-assignments used by his Riverside source, which date order departs from other orthodox orders, including Halliday's chronological order!). In short, he's not demonstrated the intellectual capacity to do in a systematic way the tasks he chose and defined. So, he's selected inferior, out-of-date, discredited source material (the line endings), and when that material was questioned he's dodged the need to do his homework better, and instead attacked his criticizers with sarcasm and out-of-context underhandedness. Also, he's ignored the opposition's arguments by changing the subject (such as to pick on poor dead Louis Benezet, who he felt confident he could beat 8 out of 10 rounds; but it's those remaining 2 out of 10 body-slams from Benezet’s carcass which give us pause!).

Still on Level 8, Ian Vee had not directly adopted A.L. Rowse's famous huff from the 1989 and 1992 PBS "Frontline" specials, that unorthodox scholars are "not qualified to have an opinion" about Shakespeare's authorship. However, Ian Vee's adoption of sarcasm and misdirection betrayed his apparent belief in that huff, that unorthodox authors and an unorthodox audience were beneath his haughty contempt. Hess and his collaborators might retort with even more authority than Ian Vee that he has demonstrated gross misapplication of Statistics to 16th century sociological, historical, and literary issues with which he pretended to be familiar (and even an expert in), but which were really well beyond his grasp.

Level 9 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's not providing a larger context for the discipline which he used; to show that line-endings analysis has been applied successfully to other authors anywhere in any timeframe. Particularly with the collapsing of Donald Foster's related scheme, we should be very skeptical. Aside from Shakespeare, why have we not seen other orthodox scholars discovering line-ending continuations in Kyd's and Marlowe's works, or Wordsworth's and T.S. Elliott's for that matter? This entire discipline, in addition to the fallacies pointed out earlier, seems to have been invented expressly for analyzing Shakespeare, and more expressly for dating Shakespeare's plays (normally it's not well-applied to his poetry). Thus, it hasn't been, and really can't be, gauged and tested against other similar uses to determine its validity.

Still exploring Level 9, the roots of the line-endings technique appear to have come out of late-19th century Orthodoxy's need to combat Baconian ciphers and Baconian claims that some of the plays were written post-1616 (when Mr. Shakspere was dead and Bacon yet lived on until 1626). So, orthodox wizards with an unhealthy fetish about things which could be counted (as on an abacus), invented an "involuntary cipher" to be found in Shakespeare's line-endings and not-coincidentally used it for dating all the plays to a stretch of about 1592 to 1613, corresponding to Mr. Shakspere's supposed literary career (some orthodox scholars, like Hotson and Sams, have challenged the Chambers dating regime, and tried to roll it back by a half decade or so). This is a very suspicious process which Ian Vee has continued to perpetuate for his own uses! The fact was that the line-endings fetish couldn't be applied to other authors precisely because it was invalid and basically a fiction. Nothing could have been more ludicrous than when Ian Vee ran his fiction backwards to show where his distributions touched zero percent at such and such a date, which then either favored or disfavored one candidate for the works over another.

Level 10 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's choosing his own battlegrounds and defining his opponents' positions only in terms favorable to his own desired outcomes. Thus, if there was "evidence" found which could be arguably contrary to the line-endings continuum which was so vital to his purposes, he would choose to classify that evidence as "colloqualisms" or "negative-trending" and then shuffle it off to a footnote (see his pg. 95, endnote # 11). Also, he was never to be found running Excel trends against anything which could be determined by intuition in advance to favor unorthodox conclusions. Thus, his report of "flat, equivocal trendline" information was really just putting his foregone conclusions into pseudo-scientific jargon, not conducting an objective analysis. Fair and reasonable tests never occurred to him, such as running the best 1/3 of the "possible-Oxford" poems (which he arbitrarily dismissed through the convenient excuse that Steven May was not sure of them), against the equivalent-length worst of Shakespeare. He consistently chose tests designed to show Oxford's 1560-70s attributes to have been different from the 1st Folio's 1623 punctuation, grammar, and style (apples vs. oranges again; as Peter Moore noted in his 1990 article, it was additionally adulterated by use of Riverside's 20th century punctuation, vs. the 1st Folio!).

Level 11 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's use of a "little black box" called the "Shakespeare Clinic" to churn-out results which he then trumpeted as if those had been the results of 50 rabbis locked in separate rooms to independently and authentically produce the Talmud! We don't know what was in that little black box, and Ian Vee admits that his criterion has mysteriously continued to change. If so, why has he not forthrightly denounced his prior results for which he's apparently had to continually correct? We may theorize that if we were to use a beer can opener to pry the lid off his little black box, we would find a handful of tipsy, woefully-underpaid undergraduate student slaves stumbling around inside a hamster wheel, with hangover outputs similar to the 10,000 monkeys typing randomly at typewriters until one day one of them churned out the first paragraph of Hamlet! Well, maybe not quite so randomly, since these little monkeys might have known that if they didn't give Prof. Ian Vee the slam-dunk against Oxford that he gave subtle and not-so-subtle hints he wanted to see, they could kiss that "A" grade goodbye. If so, these would not be the first nor last academics to sacrifice their scruples in the Shakespeare Authorship Debate due to blatant and/or subtle pressure from orthodoxy to conclude only what has been predetermined by orthodoxy to be acceptable, proper, and "right." Grades, positions, professorships, grants, fellowships, sabbaticals, awards, and tenured status may all be at stake if anyone nods away from Stratford!

Level 12 encompasses Prof. Ian Vee's decade-long failure to embrace, correct, and apologize for absurd errors in his original "Clinic's" approach to evaluating Shakespeare, as noted by Moore and mentioned in Hess-1999. Perhaps he is no longer checking for occurrences of exclamation points (!) when he has compared Shakespeare's poetry to Oxford's 1570s poetry (the ! point was adopted only after the 1590s!). But he has yet to state as much, to acknowledge and apologize to the world for having employed such a silly standard in the first place, and thus his honor and credibility has suffered. Now, since we have earlier determined that his entire methodology was thoroughly bogus (see Levels 2, 3, 5, & 9), we really do not want to have Ian Vee give us or anyone else a "data dump" of his current methodology. No matter how his methodology may appear reasonable on the surface, there are numerous Levels in which he has been seen capable of mucking-up even the holy grail if he ever laid his sinful hands on it.

Level 13 is where all self-respecting Ziggurats must have a Biblical "high place" from which virgins and first-born can be sacrificed at an altar. On this high place, Ian Vee has sacrificed his veracity through overweening pride in his proximity-to and intellectual dependence-upon Hollywood and Disneyland (probably somewhere in "La-La-Land"). He's used that to justify rewriting history in his own image, to define as history only that which seemed to him acceptable fodder for a movie script. This was most obviously applied when he used the movies Antz, Pokemon, and Ninja Turtles (see his pg. 81) to assert it was impossible for Oxford to have written plays in the 1570s and early 80s; that Oxford could not have then kept them for private and Court productions until near the end of his life (when the plays began to dribble-out piecemeal, often in unauthorized "pirated" copies and "bad" quartos, with many plays appearing in writing for the first time only in the 1623 First Folio).

Our Chapter 6 noted that orthodox Andrew Gurr's 1996 book (56-7) established existence of an avenue in the late 1570s to early 80s for Oxford to utilize semi-public boy companies under his control for processing uncensored, privately-produced plays through the venue at Blackfriars theater which Oxford conveyed to his secretary, John Lyly. After that, through cooperation from the Lord Chamberlain's control over Court productions, modified versions of the private plays could reach all the way up to being seen in royal entertainments, and without any of the private plays necessarily having been entered in the Stationer's Register nor censored by the Master of Revels, nor ever having been given the same titles they might have had in 1623. As to the rest of the process, U.S. News & World Report, June 26, 2000, pg. 61, had an article by Jay Tolson, "But that's not what I wrote! Or is it?," which described a modern-day process of scholars unearthing preliminary-but-unpublished literary works by famous authors, editing them without authorization, and publishing them for profit (while claiming to be doing tribute to the now-dead authors). Might this have had late-16th & early-17th century antecedents? Ian Vee's expert analysis: "No one would expect such a thing to happen, and it didn't" (81), because Hollywood and Disneyland wouldn't have had this kind of process in their movie scripts, and their movie scripts have always been true to history, right?

A Concluding Benediction: May one of the Hollywood "Oscars" club Prof. Ian Vee to within an inch of his tenured status as he plummets thirteen levels into the Sumerian ooze below him! If we could write-in some sex, car-chases, and Karate violence, the overthrow of Ian Vee's Great Ziggurat-of-Babel would be worthy of a movie screenplay. Cut, block, and print it!

What Did the Guru's Fifth Parable Teach Us? The orthodox Great Ziggurat-of-Babel was not erected in a day, nor by Prof. Ian Vee alone, and it has been sustained by the droning tread of worshipful throngs of orthodox scholars, many who owe their livelihoods and reputations to at least pretending to believe the orthodox Mr. Shakspere was the author Shakespeare. Overthrow of that edifice will not be accomplished in a day either, nor by slaying or discrediting one or a few idol worshipers. Rather, we must erect a solid monument of our own, one whose foundations are deep and strong, with solid masonry of polished stones, meticulously laid with excellent mortar. Then, the masses can choose between the crumbling orthodox mound of dissolving clay and the gleaming acropolis opposite to it. At that time, the life of the 17th Earl of Oxford will be seen to be such a close model to everything of value in Shakespeare's works that no one will ever be able to look upon Mr. Shakspere again without seeing a gross abomination of false idolatry!

The Dark Side of Shakespeare (a Trilogy by W. Ron Hess)