Friday, August 29, 2008

Amazon Censors Hoffman's "Judaism Discovered"

[Just for the record, I am not the only self-published author in the Movement who has troubles with censorship. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the work of Michael Hoffman II need to be. - HAC]

Should Hoffman Edit his Book to Suit Amazon?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dear Michael,

I am quite certain that your book is divinely inspired. Therefore, it goes without saying that God will provide a solution. If anyone knows how to play hardball, it's Him. Do you know exactly what portion of the book is "in dispute," or if that is indeed even the case? Has anyone informed you as to exactly who this "rabbi" is? I am only 300 pages in, and it is obvious that you have, by sheer necessity, and as irrefutable proof of the case against this religion, quoted numerous works with meticulous referential treatment.

It would probably prove to be very costly at this point, but perhaps, at some juncture - if it would not defeat the purpose of Judaism Discovered, or open a whole new can of worms (with rabbis coming out of the woodwork to make similar claims) - you could produce a slightly "redacted" version that leaves out the alleged "offending" material, and then disseminate that particular material in a different fashion.

For instance, as was done with the Talmud in times past, you could provide a "key" to the work in question: chapter, page, verse, and then direct readers to a place, perhaps on the internet even, where the work, or that particular part of the work, could be found in its full, original form. In short, you could use one of the rabbis' own tactics against them. That the "powers that be" would then allow copies of Judaism Discovered to be sold on the Amazon website is, of course, another question altogether - in which case it would be obvious as to what's really going on here. Perhaps we already know that, but it's just a thought.



Dear XXX

Thank you for your early, positive evaluation of my book.

Oh, yes, I know the identity of the rabbi, although in my opinion he is just serving as a front man for a much larger operation.

Amazon's offensive against Judaism Discovered is, I think, aimed not only at interdicting the book, but drawing me into another form of jeopardy should I, at this point, do anything more than respond to their nonsensical basis for the embargo, i.e. that the book casts a rabbi in an unpleasant light, and is misleading. This is so obviously a canard and pretext for censorship that it does not need refutation. For example, Jerome Corsi's latest literary attempt to "Swift Boat" a Democrat, in this case his screed on Obama, is riddled with misrepresentations and falsehoods, but Amazon proudly sells it (needless to say, I am not in any way, shape or form a Barack Obama supporter).

In 1999 I believe, Amazon took the side of the Church of Scientology and banned a book and that embargo was not lifted until the media publicized the ban. The ban on my book has not received publicity even from high profile Christian opponents of the Talmud, much less the mainstream media. Until Amazon's ban receives significant publicity, this is basically a case of me bringing a knife to a gunfight.

As for your suggestion that I slightly modify Judaism Discovered, knowing me as well as you do, you should know that in response to pressure, censorship or intimidation, I will never change one word in my book. They will have to kill me first.

It's all a moot point anyway. This book is unknown. It is being purchased by collectors and specialists, many of the latter are people as much on the margins as I am. After the first edition is sold out, it could go out of print.

People wonder why I don't immediately appear on this or that internet radio program. They have no idea what my life is like. I spent sixteen months writing Judaism Discovered after spending almost three decades researching it. I looked forward to the perod when I would finish it and take some time off.

Then the hard-working lady who staffs our shipping room as a semi-volunteer was deluged with orders. If I had abandoned her to her work load, what would happen to our operation if she were to quit? We brought a teenager in to assist the lady part-time; now both were drowning in orders for the book. Consequently, I have been working in that little shipping room ever since. We have gotten caught up somewhat, so now I must attend to the house where I live, which needs repairs and maintenance. I must personally do that work.

We have nearly broken even as far as revenue goes. The book is paid for but not the loan, not other bills I got behind on while writing the book and who knows what income there will be in the future. I am giving consideration to seeking full-time outside employment so I can get a dependable income and health insurance; in which case this will be my last book for a long time.

You see how prosaic it all is. As I said at the end of my Desideratum essay, Judaism Discovered is going to have to win allies and supporters on its own merits -- people seeing what it represents and what it could do and then pitching in any way they can.

I am at the end of a long cycle of labor. I gladly wrote the book and I will gladly suffer for the truths it contains, if need be. But I do not have the resources to fight Inc. other than to document their misprision and ask those who are concerned about knowledge, inquiry and freedom, to do what they can. Other than that, you will find me scraping and painting an old, overcrowded house, and cleaning out a garage in late August and early September. I wish it were otherwise. I wish I had an institute behind me. I wish I had a millionaire behind me. I wish rain was Guinness Stout.

I thank God for choosing me to write this book and in the scheme of things eternal, I am a very fortunate man. But getting back down to earth, here I am an obscure scribbler with powerful enemies who intend that Judaism Discovered will never be noticed by the people who need it most. In my poverty and obscurity I soldier on. I only ask at this stage of my life that people will not judge me as "not doing enough." I have done all I can for the present, in the rarified world of intellectual endeavor. It's a miracle that God sent us the generous people who sacrificed so much so that the book could be written.

And I have confidence that this book was not written in vain. But just as God challenged me to write it, perhaps now he is challenging other people to make it better known and to invest in its author. And if not, then life's big wheel keeps on turning, as mysteriously as ever.

Michael Hoffman II

The HOFFMAN WIRE is a public service of

Independent History and Research
Box 849

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barnes and Noble says they will have it October 1st:

* List Price: $55.00
* Online Price: $41.25 (Save 25%)
* Members Pay: $37.12

Amazon isn't the only bookseller, you know.

But just in case, he might want to get it ready to mirror on the Internet.

Dave 08292008/1746

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

I have purchased this book directly from the publisher and it is phenomenal. Unfortunately, I doubt that many people will read it. I am always startled and amazed when I discover how FEW people read the books that I read...the books that I consider excellent....the books that should earn their authors millions of dollars. The author of this blog is one of those people and there are so many others. It reminds of me a line from one of my favorite movies...."They are always paying the wrong people in this world".

And why on earth should Mr. Hoffman alter his work in ANY WAY to please and mollify and those chosenites who really are not chosenites AT ALL?

He shouldn't and he won't and I do believe that God is on his side.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of my friends are turned off by Michael. Yes, he does have a bit of the self-important, indulgent chip in him. But READ his books!! His books are dead on for explaining Judiasm to the masses who think its fine to live in the same neighboorhood as Jews, work with Jews and have Jews as friends. A bunch of us go on an annual ATV outing the 3rd week of September every year. This year one of the guys says he can't go because he's going to his neighbor's kids' (and his son's best friend) "bar mitzvah". Oy vay!!! And this guy talks about what a patriot he his. Yeah, right.

6:47 AM  

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