[FPSPACE] Re: Cosmonaut Cover Up

Robert G Kennedy III robot@ultimax.com
Thu, 26 Jul 2001 13:42:30 -0300

This theory has been presented in at least two other videos that I know
about: /The Rise and Fall of the Russian Space Program/, and /Behind the
Race to the Moon/. They were produced in 1997 by a "Global Science
Productions" in Beverly Hills, and marketed by /Final Frontier/ magazine.
The HQ of /FF/'s parent company, ATG Media, was also in Beverly Hills. The
publisher of /FF/, and then-president of ATG was Michael Kobrin, who gets a
lot of face time on both videos, pushing the cosmonaut-before-Gagarin
theory. I don't know what his qualifications as a historian are - I've
never seen a single relevent article about Soviet space by him in print.
Readers may also remember that /FF/ had a strong appeal to Trekkies (fans
of the old TV show, Star Trek).

In reality, GSP is a Scientology front organization. These videos were
probably produced at a video mill in the high desert compound in Hemet,
California. One of the so-called Church of Scientology's (CoS) top attack
lawyers is Helena Kobrin, of Beverly Hills. Several possibly disgruntled
workers at /FF/ complained to me that the magazine was being run at one
point as a cash cow for the benefit of a few folks at the top, which they
called a "Scientology thing". Management promised employees stock options
partially in lieu of salaries which never materialized, and had a habit of
stiffing vendors and stretching net 30s into net 90s.

For the record, I state the marketing folks I dealt with at /Final
Frontier/ always treated me right - they paid invoices on time, and always
delivered quality products as promised. My sense was that the
aforementioned problems were in the (recent) past. Having said that:

The Ilyushin theory is bullshit, as is GSP, CoS, and their myriad scams. I
can't think of any good reason to peddle BS theories when so much good
primary source material about the Soviet space program has been out there
for years, thanks to the diligence of members of this listserv. Most of the
material in the two videos is accurate, and the production values are
decent, so why make them when the truth would sell just as well? It
irritates me to no end.

Well, the secret to good propaganda is to adulterate the truth, commingling
your real message with indisputable fact. Since so many space exploration
enthusiasts and Star Trek fans are, let's face it, "starry-eyed", they
probably constitute a good target population for recruitment by CoS.
Peddling this stuff is one means of testing their gullibility and hooking
them in. I can only conclude that these guys are deliberately corrupting
the discourse for murky motives of their own.

A cautionary note: A number of well-known figures from the Space Race get
face time on these videos, e.g. Linney, Krantz (?), others. No doubt they
thought they were doing legit interviews. There are world-class experts in
our peculiar little discipline on this list - when approached with
interview requests, you folks in particular need to do due diligence on
your requestor, and whatever organization is backing that person up.
Skepticism is indispensible to science; it is your responsibility as
scholars. Otherwise, you may find your good name being endlessly coopted to
lend credibility to someone else's illegitimate purposes.

DDAY wrote:

>The show argues that Gagarin was not the first Russian launched into
>space.  Instead, Vladimir Illushin was the first.  Of course, their
>evidence was pretty lacking.  They only quoted a few "experts" on this,
>none of whom I ever heard of.  Has anybody heard of:
>-"Dr. Thomas Maggard, U.S. Navy Historian"
>-"Gordon Feller, Publisher, Space Business News"
>-"Dr. Dennis Ogden, Reporter, British Communist Worker newspaper"

Robert Kennedy, PE