“The world will be rid of Norman Golb when he dies” (and other highlights from Raphael Golb’s appeal)

After his arrest, Raphael Golb lied about sending emails he later claimed were "parody." Now, in the appeal of his conviction on 31 felony and misdemeanor counts of forgery, criminal impersonation, identity theft, aggravated harassment, and the unauthorized use of a computer, Dr. Golb is making more false statements. One must ask, at what point will he begin to resemble the main character in the famed tale of a boy who couldn't stop lying?

After his arrest, Raphael Golb lied about sending emails he later claimed were "parody." Now, in the appeal of his conviction on 31 felony and misdemeanor counts of forgery, criminal impersonation, identity theft, aggravated harassment, and the unauthorized use of a computer, Dr. Golb is making more false statements. One must ask, at what point will he begin to resemble the main character in the famed tale of a boy who couldn't stop lying?

As I was perusing Dr. Raphael Golb’s appeal of the 31 guilty verdicts against him in the case of the People of New York v. Raphael Golb (in case you missed it, Dr. Golb was found guilty of 31 felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, criminal impersonation, forgery, aggravated harassment, and the unauthorized use of a computer), I stumbled across this interesting claim on pages 69-70:

‘”And Cargill concluded a lecture at the Society of Biblical Literature by suggesting that “the world will be rid of Norman Golb when he
dies.”‘ (Appeal of guilty verdict in the case of the People of New York v. Raphael Golb, § Argument, IV, A)

I chuckled. I did so because I specifically remember this very issue coming up during my testimony when Dr. Golb’s defense attorney, Ron Kuby, cross-examined me. Before we examine whether or not the above statement is true, here is the transcript of the exchange from pages 763-768 of the corrected court transcripts of my cross-examination by Dr. Golb’s defense attorney, Ron Kuby:

Q (from Golb Defense Attorney Ron Kuby to Dr. Robert Cargill):  Earlier on cross-examination, Dr. Cargill, I made reference to a paper that you had prepared related to this case and your experiences. Do you recall this?
A (Dr. Robert Cargill to Golb Defense Attorney Ron Kuby):  This is the paper to which you referred in November?
Q.  Yes.
A.  Yes, I think you mentioned that paper earlier.
Q. Is it fair to say that that was entitled “Scholars Behaving Badly?” It’s got a longer title to it but that’s part of it?
A.  That’s the principle portion before the colon title, yes.
Q.  And this was an exclusive to Archaeology magazine?
A.  I’ve never published in Archaeology magazine.
Q.  I’m sorry? Dr. Cargill, just take a look at the document marked page one, scan it silently to yourself if you please, and after you’ve satisfied yourself and you know what it is.
A.  (The witness complied.)
Q. What do you recognize that to be, sir?
A.  This is a document that I wrote for consideration of publication for Archaeology magazine?
Q.  So you sent it to Archaeology magazine for publication; is that correct?
A.  I was working with an editor there.
Q.  And did they publish it?
A.  No, sir.
Q.  Could you hand it back, please?
COURT CLERK:  And that is marked as?
MR. KUBY:  H-1.
Q.  And with respect to this article, you’ve delivered variations of this article in the form of a lecture; is that correct?
A.  I have not delivered variations. I’ve delivered one redacted variation of that article, the one that we’ve already described at SBL.
Q.  And this article, you wrote this article, right?
A.  Yes.
Q.  Did you end the article by saying, “Unfortunately the words of Shrine of the Book Curator, Magen Broshi, still appear to echo true today.” Quote “When will be we free of Golb? When he dies.” Close quote. You wrote that?
A.  I’m sorry?
Q.  You wrote that?
A.  Magen Broshi wrote that.
Q.  You were quoting Magen Broshi?
A.  In the initial draft, in the first draft of this article, I had a lot of things, and things that we ended up redacting out of the article thinking the article is too long.
Q.  But in the Society for Biblical Literature lecture that you gave on November 23rd, you included that portion in the speech that you gave, did you not?
A.  I do not recall.
Q.  You do not recall?
A.  Including that portion.
Q.  Well, we’ll hold that for now. Magen Broshi – you identified him in this article as the Shrine of the Book Curator, correct?
A.  I believe so.
Q.  And what is the Shrine of the Book?
A.  The Shrine of the Book is a building that contains many of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It’s a part of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Q.  So it’s an important institution in your area of work?
A.  In my area of work, yes, it’s an important place.
Q.  And you were aware, were you not, that in an interview with the newspaper Ha’aretz, Magen Broshi said, “When will we be free of Golb? When he dies.”?
A.  I read that quote in Dr. Golb’s book. That’s when I learned of that quote.
Q.  And you saw fit to quote it in your papers, correct?
A.  No, I did not. I saw fit to include it in the original draft of the paper, which was later redacted from the paper. No one every publicly saw that.
Q.  Pardon me?
A.  No one ever publicly saw that.
Q.  I’m not asking you that question, you wrote those words, correct?
A.  I quoted Dr. Broshi in the early draft of a document that I wrote.
Q.  And when you say you included it in your paper, that is the portion that you had said, simply to quote, “Unfortunately Broshi’s words are still true,” you mean by that it’s unfortunate that you wouldn’t be rid Norman Golb sooner than his death?
A.  No, sir, that’s not what I meant.
Q.  Do you know how old Norman Golb is?
A.  I do not.
Q.  Do you have any idea?
A.  I would have to speculate.
Q.  Any notion of how long you have to wait to be free of him?
(District Attorney) MR. BANDLER: Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained.
Q.  You also wrote, did you not, that Norman Golb will, quote, “fight his litigious losing battle until the bitter end?”
A.  I’m sorry, are you quoting from a draft of a manuscript I wrote?
Q.  I am asking you if you wrote the following words?
A.  I don’t recall. I mean, we would have to see if it’s in a draft of a manuscript that was never published.
Q. Did you ever deliver those words to the Society of Biblical Literature on November 23rd?
A.  I don’t recall.
Q.  You don’t recall. Is this the kind of thing you would remember if you had done it?
A.  No.
Q. Because it’s so commonplace to attack Norman Golb, it just doesn’t ring a bell anymore?
THE COURT: That’s an extraordinarily large…  I will direct the jury to disregard it and the witness not to answer it.

In the above exchange, we find Dr. Golb’s defense attorney, Ron Kuby, doing his job: attempting to impugn my credibility to the jury. But it quickly became obvious to the judge and the jury that Mr. Kuby (or Dr. Golb, who many suspect did much of the “research” for his own defense) made a mistake. The defense mistakenly thought that I had read the draft article I had submitted to Archaeology as my 2009 SBL paper. They obviously had not attended the lecture or heard it, but simply assumed that I had read the draft article to the SBL session. At one point, they even bluffed and asked me if I wanted to hear a CD audio recording of the paper:

Q.  Now you lecture from time to time as well, is that correct?
A.  I do.
Q.  And one of the lectures that you gave was on November 23rd of last year, correct?
A.  Yes, sir.
Q.  The Society Biblical Literature is that where it took place?
A.  It was either ASOR or SBL, they meet together.
Q.  And you have sort of turned your experience with this case into a academic paper, haven’t you, if that’s an unfair characterization, please correct me.
A.  Yes, I wrote about, I think it’s safe to say I wrote about the proceedings of this matter, yes.
Q.  And you did it in what I’ll call a formal paper?
A.  I did it in a paper presented, I believe – and I’d have to check if I’m wrong – at the Society of Biblical Literature. It may have been ASOR but it might have been SBL.
Q.  And you published a review of this as well in the Archaeology Review as well?
A.  Of this paper? Not to my knowledge.
Q.  At the November 23rd lecture? And this lecture was before whom again?
A.  It was again to my recollection the Society of Biblical Literature, it was a session on online research. There are different sessions within the Society of Biblical Literature. You can give a lecture on the Books of Samuel, a lecture on the prophets, and they have one on technology and the use of research.
Q.  And in that lecture did you say the following, quote, “Despite Norman and Raphael’s many criticisms, the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibits were experiencing tremendous success and Norman Golb was still not being invited to speak at the museums lectures. Our patient vigilance had begun to payoff and the Golbs were experience increasing difficulty in getting out their message,” end quote?
A.  If it’s not word for word, that’s consistent with something that I said in the lecture.
Q.  Well, would you like to listen to a CD of that?
A.  Sure. No, but I guess you’re going to play it anyway.
Q.  No, I’m not.
(Court transcripts of the cross-examination of Robert Cargill, p. 759-760)

Golb’s defense attorney, Mr. Kuby, didn’t want to play the CD of my SBL paper because he didn’t have it. Had he actually been in possession of the conclusion of my 2009 SBL paper entitled, “Scholars Behaving Badly: ‘Charles Gadda,’ Raphael Golb, and the Campaign of Anonymity on the Internet to Promote Norman Golb and Smear His Rivals,” he’d have heard the following conclusion:

Finally, scholars should be reminded that they cannot force their legacies upon history; rather, our legacies are the product of a lifetime of research, instruction, publication, and collegiality. Today, scholars must collaborate and work together—within the parameters of peer review and professional conferences—and must not attempt to substitute these established practices with self-published articles and campaigns of online intimidation. The days of the old scholarly model of ripping your opponent’s position (and them personally) are over. Today, it is important for scholars to work cooperatively, with colleagues to bring about responsible scholarship. Because you must never forget: the island is always watching.

Thank you for your time.

Obviously, the conclusion of my SBL paper was different from the unpublished draft article that I had submitted to Archaeology. But that reality didn’t fit what Dr. Golb’s defense wanted to argue. So, he attempted to mislead the jury into thinking that I read the draft Archaeology article as my SBL paper, which was simply not the case. But, we see again that Dr. Golb’s defense team was not interested in the truth, or even the facts, but rather in continuing their attempt to smear me (and Dr. Schiffman) by simply making things up.

So, back to Dr. Golb’s appeal. There are ultimately two problems with the statement, “And Cargill concluded a lecture at the Society of Biblical Literature by suggesting that ‘the world will be rid of Norman Golb when he dies’,” in Dr. Golb’s appeal. First, Dr. Golb’s defense again intentionally misleads those unfortunate few interested enough in reading through the 111 pages of rehashed red herrings and irrelevant excuses presented in the appeal by failing to inform the reader that this statement is actually a quote from Shrine of the Book Curator, Dr. Magen Broshi, which he made to the newspaper, Ha’aretz, on October 4, 1991.

In fact, the defense counsel knew this, because they had not only asked me about it during my cross-examination, but had quoted it and properly attributed it to Dr. Broshi in their earlier Motion to Dismiss the charges against Dr. Golb, pages 4-5:

This suggestion was accompanied by widely reported defamatory statements, including the assertion by Magen Broshi, director of the Shrine of the Book museum in Jerusalem, that Norman Golb was a “revolting polemist, an opinionated trouble-maker” who had “filled the world with his filth,” and of whom “we will be free … when he dies.” (Haaretz, October 4, 1991.)

The defense counsel contradicts reality (and its own court filing!) by claiming in their appeal that *I* made the statement they themselves correctly attributed to Dr. Broshi earlier in their motion to dismiss.

Go figure.

Of course, what’s ironic about Dr. Broshi’s quote is that I would have never known about it had Dr. Golb not published it on page 230 of his own book, Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.

So Dr. Broshi said it. Dr. Golb repeated it on page 230 of his book. Dr. Golb’s defense team repeated the quote in their motion to dismiss, and specifically asked me about it during cross-examination. But according to Dr. Golb’s appeal, *I* made the quote.

I shake my head.

But, there’s another problem with the statement, “And Cargill concluded a lecture at the Society of Biblical Literature by suggesting that ‘the world will be rid of Norman Golb when he dies’,” in Dr. Golb’s appeal: I NEVER QUOTED THE QUOTE!

The defense mistakenly assumed that I had read from the draft of an article that I had written and sent to Archaeology for publication. However, we decided not to publish the article, which means no one ever read the draft of the article except me and the Archaeology editor, and apparently Mr. Kuby (who somehow managed to obtain a copy of the draft of the article). The defense was attempting to make me look bad by trying to argue that I read Dr. Broshi’s quote to a session at SBL. The only problem is, I didn’t use the line in my SBL paper! I told Dr. Golb’s defense counsel that I couldn’t recall using that line during cross-examination. Unfortunately for Dr. Golb’s defense counsel, I did not. But that didn’t stop the defense from attempting to tell the jury that I quoted the quote in my paper. And when the jury saw through Dr. Golb’s lies and found him guilty thirty-one times, it didn’t stop Dr. Golb’s defense from stating the flat out lie that I concluded my SBL paper with the words, “The world will be rid of Norman Golb when he dies.” It never happened, and yet, there it is in Dr. Golb’s appeal, presented as if it were fact. Simply amazing!

The defense is not only misleading the court (and the public by posting the appeal online anonymously), but it is also flat out lying when it claims in their appeal that I said something in a lecture that I did not.

Of course, in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Dr. Golb can make up whatever he wants in his appeal because it is “protected speech.” But the NY DA will simply point out that the appeal is full of lies and misstatements, and the appellate court will make the appropriate judgment.

But this just shows once again what we’ve come to expect from Dr. Golb and his defense team: the demonstrated, repeated willingness to mislead any who will listen, misrepresent facts, and flat out lie in a desperate attempt to blame someone – anyone! – for Dr. Golb’s own crimes.

10 Responses

  1. I skimmed the appeal, and I am not a lawyer, but most of it sounded like they have a strong case. I don’t accept their argument that sending emails in Dr. Schiffman’s name was some kind of parody or satire because usually parody and satire have to be obvious in some way.

    I think their whole argument is that slander and libel are not crimes anymore, but should be treated as civil cases only. They cite a lot of laws and cases to back that up. I think they also have a good case about identity theft being about stealing property through fraud or something like that .

    I personally don’t like the idea of someone going to jail with dangerous criminals where they can get raped or killed as a punishment for sending emails trying to show that Dr. Schiffman was a plagiarist and that you did something he didn’t like in your scholarly work (sorry, I already forgot what what that was.) I think this should be a civil case. No one should go to jail for this kind of behavior. He mostly stuck to scholarly issues in his emails, so I don’t think anyone can say he committed some kind of fraud for financial gain which is what identity theft should be about.

    The jails are overcrowded already and real dangerous people are walking the streets. I don’t want a dangerous person let out of jail to put an email prankster in jail in his place. I understand he bothered you a lot, but jail for him could actually be a death sentence. He does not look very strong to me and I don’t think he would survive very long in jail.

    Kenneth Greifer

  2. kenneth,

    thanx for your email.

    ‘I think their whole argument is that slander and libel are not crimes anymore, but should be treated as civil cases only.’

    they’ve already argued this. most of the appeal is just rehash, with some more recent events tossed in. they tried all of this in the motion to dismiss. golb testified in his own defense and was shown to be a liar and completely unreliable. he attempted to argue that his speech was parody, but wouldn’t admit to making the speech in question.

    they got to ask all of their questions, they got to take their shots at larry, and the jury still found him guilty 31 times. kuby is a good lawyer, and made this interesting, but i wouldn’t be surprised if the appeal was dismissed.

    and no, he did not ‘mostly stick to scholarly issues.’ his intent was to harm and destroy careers, including mine, which would have been a civil case, until he began impersonating and harassing. at that point, it became criminal, and he was appropriately found guilty. you can’t let people off because they didn’t kill someone. the defense wants to argue this relative defense, but he still committed a crime (actually, a bunch of them), and is still making false statements in an attempt to shirk responsibility.

    we can disagree on this, but it’s pretty straightforward.

    thanx again, bc

  3. Is a link to the actual appeal filed with the court available on the web?

  4. yes sir. it’s here: http://raphaelgolbtrialtranscripts.wordpress.com/
    (i’ll post it on my who is charles gadda site when i have time so that viewers don’t have to navigate their ip addresses to the ‘anonymous’ golb site.)


  5. I’ll see what I can do about posting the recording of what Dr. Cargill actually said, which should settle this matter once and for all.

  6. the only thing i should love more than your posting the audio of my sbl speech is for you to post the video of that speech, complete with powerpoint.
    in fact, now that you mention it, i may have a copy of it around here somewhere. thanx for the reminder…


  7. I would love to see a link to the video/audio if you post it, Dr. Cargill.

    In any event, I can post a quote from a correction to Raphael Golb’s appeal brief, which now appears at the link of http://raphaelgolbtrialtranscripts.wordpress.com/
    Erratum: At pp. 69-70 of the brief, the words:

    … concluded a lecture at the Society of Biblical Literature by suggesting …

    should read:

    … concluded an “exclusive” that he submitted for publication to Archeology Magazine by suggesting …

    So it appears that there was no deliberate attempt to misrepresent your words, else there would be no correction posted. In complex legal filings such as these, minor errors inevitably creep in, but what is nevertheless apparent, is the underlying sentiment/content was, indeed, expressed by you in some form. I would hope that someone of your stature would be above such petty statements.


  8. damn straight! (and glad he’s still paying attention.)

    unfortunately, dr. fredrics, i must disagree with your conclusion. there was indeed a deliberate attempt to misrepresent my words, for i corrected the defense during my cross-examination, and yet they still chose to misrepresent the facts long after the trial was over and dr. golb was found guilty. it was no minor error; mr. kuby spent considerable time questioning me about it, as the transcripts demonstrate, yet there it appeared in the appeal. it’s not about ‘petty’ statements, it’s about stretching, nay, fabricating so-called facts to fit a delusional version of ‘reality.’

    so no, kind sir, ’twas was not an error, rather, dr. golb has shown once again that unless there is constantly someone to call him on his flagrant misstatements, he will continue to lie, as he has shown time and again.

  9. Hi Folks,

    Even good lawyers tend to learn to be a bit dubious, so while I will tentatively accept this whole shtick from Robert about the Norman Gelb quote, in the big picture it is a distraction.

    Remember, when Ron Kuby and Curtis Sliwa had that radio show, Kuby would do his shout-outs to the prisoners (hold on, Raymond, the appeal is going in next week, try not to get into any fights !) and Sliwa (who has his own baggage) refers to lawyers as “liars for hire”. Kuby is one with probably more integrity than most (he likes Robert Cargill personally due to the generational and counter-culture bonding, the kewl factor) but still they tend to learn the tricks of the trade.

    In other words, in the picture of this abominable felony case, the little quote (which would simply be bitter speech anyway) is inflated way beyond the real issues.

    Personally, I think this is a case which has made very bad law. And I have major concerns about how it became a NY felony case whether some clubbiness of the cultural and political elite was involved.

    And I tend to agree with Kenneth above that civil court is the only place this case should have been. Or .. at absolute maximum … a low misdemeanor case. That this case became a felony prosecution is a true horror that can have repurcussions against sound and free integrity speech for the years to come.

    And since Joel Cargill will not disclaim an intention to go after civil $ (and has indicated that goal earlier in the blog discussions as a purpose and a direction) I really can not consider his comments as particularly meaningful and objective when he talks about justice, fairness, etc.

    If Joel Cargill publicly and clearly disclaimed any intention of a civil $$ goal against Norman Golb, then I would take his position as more worthy of consideration and his comments as well-conceived and without blemish, even if faulty at conceptual core, on this prosecution.

    Steven Avery
    Queens, NY

  10. who is joel cargill?

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