Upside down.

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your kind attention to my posts. This is just to let you know I’m taking a brief respite from this blog for the summer months, in order to rest, refresh and devote time to a fiction project I’ve been working on for many years now, and hope to finish soon.

I also have some Sandy Hook field research planned, which will take me hither and yon. I look forward to sharing that with you on my return.

In the meantime, please enjoy a brilliant performance of “Non piu mesta” by Frederica Von Stade in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” (Cinderella) ~ a scene in which forgiveness is offered to the cruel, the deceptive and the unjust. (Click on the link above.)

Cinderella, upside down

We have a long way to go before such offerings can be made to those behind the Sandy Hook illusion. That’s why I appreciate the view presented in the final footage of the opera video ~ in which the current upside-down version of reality is made clear.

But things have a way of turning around.

We’ll persist.

Yours ~ Cinderella



A retrospective in crime.

An article recently appeared in FOTM (Fellowship of the Minds) on the exploits of a funeral home and embalming service at 623 Main Street in East Hartford, Connecticut: Hartford Trade Service and River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium. Both businesses are long associated with one Kevin K. Riley. You can find that article here.

River Bend, front copy

The reason for FOTM’s interest in the flat-footed, squatty establishment depicted above is because it’s purported to have been where the bloody remains of the alleged Sandy Hook massacre perp, Adam Lanza, were cremated. Supporting evidence for this is in the  FOTM article.

Partners in estate plundering and other venal crimes. The problem: the establishment has a squalid history, having been the vortex of crimes committed by a pair of conspirators, Kevin Riley himself and his bookkeeper, Yolande Faulkner. In 2011, after a four-year investigation, the duo was proven to have robbed the estates of multiple deceased people, falsifying their records, plundering their valuables and selling their real estate. And they took advantage of a lucrative state contract to swindle and double-bill their way into multiple court dates and Hartford Courant articles. (See links in the timeline below.)

For this, Riley went away to the poky for eight months after sentencing in 2011, and Faulkner was slapped with fines and community service, later reduced due to purported  hardship: Faulkner cares for a disabled husband and aged mother.

Adam’s post-mortem handler. And yet, Riley’s business was chosen  in 2012 to handle the remains of the most heinous perpetrator of child killings in recent Connecticut history — after Riley’s license was revoked and his business ostensibly ruined.

How could this be? Why would the State of Connecticut – itself the victim of Riley’s double-billing schemes – seek out his business to handle such a potentially controversial body of evidence?

Two Kevins? Critics/trolls of FOTM’s article have said the equivalent of, “So what?” (And much worse.) They claim that by 12-14-12, Kevin Riley had been succeeded by another Kevin – one “Kevin Davidson”- whose name appears on the sign of the cement block establishment:

Signage, River Bend copy

While that’s evident (if debatable) it doesn’t explain another glaring oddness.

One Yolande. In February 2016,  an employee of Kevin’s named “Joe” handed a business card to a potential customer of River Bend Funeral Home after he wrote a name (“Yolande”) and phone number on the reverse side. (The number has been blurred in the photo below for privacy reasons.)

Kevin's Business Card copy                   Back of card, number blurred

It turns out that “Yolande’s” phone number belongs to Yolande Faulkner, Riley’s bookkeeper and co-conspirator. So at least one-half of the larcenous duo is still operating out of 623 Main Street.

A chain of opportunistic crimes. Cinderella thought it would be interesting to unravel the back-story to all of the above, so we constructed a footnoted timeline. The timeline, with comments beneath it, follows.

Note the interesting real estate transactions that correspond with difficult times in the Riley biography, particularly in 2010-2012, when the gavel was about to come down. (One might add that it took that gavel a long time to descend on Riley’s head.)


Nov. 1, 1956: Kevin Kelley Riley is born

Early years: By the eighth grade, young Kevin Riley knows he wants to become an undertaker and embalmer; During his schooling and apprenticeship toward this goal, he works at various odd jobs, as hot dog vendor, horse groomer, junkyard worker and truck washer1

Jan 17, 1979: 1281 Ridge Road, North Haven, CT is quit-claimed to or inherited by Russell & Sarah Davidson; See

Oct. 17, 1985: Joseph & Todd J. Warzecho purchase 623 Main Street, East Hartford for $85,000; See:

1987: Kevin Riley founds the Hartford Trade Service1

July 1991: Using profits from Hartford Trade Service, K. Riley founds Coventry Funeral Home1

1998: Denise and Kevin Riley are still running the Coventry Funeral Home on Route 44 in Coventry while living in the back of the house with their three young children, ages 6, 10 and 121

June 22, 2001: This is the date that Hartford Trade Service, LLC is described as first being “registered” as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company”; The “principal” is listed as Kevin K. Riley, Manager, with a business address of 623 Main Street, East Hartford, but with a residence address of 20 Pinney Road, Somers, CT; The “agent” is listed as David A. Ruth (who was Riley’s attorney at one time); The agent’s business address is listed as 1159-A Boston Turnpike, Bolton, CT; The business ID is 0684625; The current business status is described as “Dissolved”; See:

Oct. 31, 2001: Joseph and Todd J. Warzecho quit-claim 623 Main Street, East Hartford to Todd J. Warzecho (3/4 int. C/O Preferred Auto Rentals) See:

2004: K. Riley lands an exclusive lucrative contract, worth $500K, with the state of Connecticut to bring bodies to Farmington for autopsies and provide a decent burial in cases where no members of the immediate family are available 2

July 2005: When Shirley Sullivan of Bridgeport dies, K. Riley is named fiduciary of her estate; Riley hires another licensed funeral director, Salvatore Spadaccino, out of Monroe, CT to appraise the home; Spadaccino is an ex-con, convicted of drug trafficking in 1986, See:; Spadaccino’s appraisal ($175,000) falls short of the court-ordered appraisal by $85,000; The house is sold to Lucien Investors, Inc. an LLC with one member, a John Diema, a realtor who works for the same parent company as Spadaccino: ERA Shays Real Estate; Obviously this is a cozy arrangement; After Lucien buys the property, it is sold to a Stamford banker for $305,000 a few months later; K. Riley charges the Sullivan estate $15,000 for a funeral no one attends2a, 7

October 2005: K. Riley double-bills the estate of Helen Gall of Columbia, CT for transporting her remains (his contract with the State covered this service); charging $13,000 for a funeral, while adding in duplicate or frivolous charges3,4

July 28, 2006: Hartford Trade Service, LLC, purchases 623 Main Street, East Hartford for $230,000 from Todd J. Warzecho (3/4 int. C/O Preferred Auto Rentals) See:

August 2006: K. Riley takes the body of Meriden resident Julia Drozd to Hartford Trade Service for cremation and burial; he is later accused by Drozd’s attorney, John Miller, of selling Drozd’s belongings and renovating her house for the purpose of selling it; Probate Judge Brian Mahon orders an investigation by the state Dept. of Public Health; Riley and his attorney, David A Ruth, call Riley’s actions “an honest mistake,” saying that Riley had turned over proceeds from the sale of Drozd’s possessions in an auction house; Riley portrays his actions as charitable because the house was in poor condition, inhabited by Drozd’s mentally ill son, Robert, who had been found in the house with his 3-day-old dead mother2

Nov. 2006: Bridgeport Judge of Probate Paul Ganim removes K. Riley as fiduciary of the Bridgeport estate of Shirley Sullivan, deceased July 2005; Ganim’s decision follows Riley’s suspicious sale of Sullivan’s house and questionable fiduciary fees (see July 2005 above)2a

Jan 2007: The CT State Dept. of Public Health seeks a summary suspension of K. Riley’s embalmer’s license and his licenses to run the Coventry Funeral Home and Hartford Trade Service on the basis of a 44-page report that reveals violations, including double-billing, using unlicensed embalmers, using his state contract to solicit private business, as well as selling off assets of dead people’s estates without documentation and charging high costs for funerals few people attends; Riley is also accused of improperly cremating Julia Drozd, falsifying her death certificate (with the wrong date) and selling off her belongings; Riley’s new attorney, John Droney, argues that Riley deserves a hearing and that his rights “are being trampled”; The CT Board of Examiners of Embalmers and Funeral Directors postpone a decision to revoke Riley’s license 3

March 2007: K. Riley faces 21 charges under the investigation of Edward D. Bergin of the State Public Health Department, but is allowed to operate his businesses while hearings continue; More details emerge, including the double-billing of Helen Gall’s estate, routine overbilling, charging for hearses never used and overcharging for urns; Bergin questions why Riley took 43 days to cremate Gall’s remains, keeping her in cold storage while charging the estate $50/day; He reveals that in the Drozd case, Riley changed Drozd’s address to his own, took possession of her and her mentally ill son’s mail, and “cleaned out” her house; Oddly, Riley never submitted a funeral bill in the Drozd case, Bergin reveals, and there remains confusion as to how he was paid 4

May 29, 2007: This is the date that River Bend Funeral Home and Crematorium, LLC is described as first being “registered” as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company”; The “principal “ is listed as Kevin K. Riley, Manager, with a business address of 623 Main Street, East Hartford, but with a residence address of 20 Pinney Road, Somers, CT; The “agent” is listed as David A. Ruth, Esq. (who was Riley’s attorney at one time); The agent’s business address is listed as 1159-A Boston Turnpike, Bolton, CT; The business ID is 0901394; The current business status is described as “Dissolved”; See:

June 2007: A marathon probate court hearing in Meriden is held on the Riley case before Judge Brian Mahon; in an unprecedented move, probate court officials agreed to transfer all probate cases Riley was involved in across the state to the Meriden court; Probate officials also refer the cases to Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane’s office; During the hearing, Riley insists that he was “doing a job for the medical examiner’s office that no other funeral director … wanted to do…” 5

July 2007: Claiming to be “financially drained” by his legal problems, K. Riley sells hisCoventry funeral home to Philip and Jessica Pietras for $800,000; Riley continues to run his other businesses at this time, but is “no longer an employee” of the newly named Coventry Pietras Funeral Home; Riley is allowed to stay in the house until he can find “alternate living arrangements” 5 In his testimony before the state board, K. Riley blames the media for his plight, as well as the managers he put in charge after he suffered two heart attacks. “I’m not the ghoul I’ve been portrayed as on the front page of The Hartford Courant,” he is quoted as saying.6 Riley’s attorney, John Droney, calls the proceedings led by investigator Bergin a “witch hunt,” and Riley accuses Bergin of attempting to “hoodwink” the board. The health department’s attorney, Diane Wilan, focuses on testimony that Riley used unlicensed embalmers and did not provide services with fixed prices.6 The board, at this point, is expected to make a decision about Riley’s license in November 2007; however, another year will pass before this happens

Sept. 2007: Investigators from the chief state’s attorney’s office seize records from both ofRiley’s businesses – the Coventry Funeral Home and Hartford Trade Service – including computers and employment records; a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 27 by the CT Board of Examiners of Embalmers; some concern is expressed by one of the probate administrators involved (James Lawlor) that the board of examiners may dismiss many of the charges8

 May 20, 2008: A new embalmer suddenly enters the picture: Kevin C. Davidson of North Haven, whose licensing information (under #2698) is listed multiple times on the State of Connecticut e-licensing website; See:

Dec. 2, 2008: K. Riley is fined $10,000 by the Connecticut Board of Examiners of Embalmers and Funeral Directors for allowing unlicensed employees to perform embalming; the Board votes unanimously that this is the only charge by DPH officials that could be proved; Riley is allowed to keep his funeral license9

Feb. 2009: Investigators from the state’s attorney’s office search the Weston Auction House, (where Riley’s employee, Yolande Faulkner, works part-time as bookkeeper) situated close to the Coventry Funeral Home; they look for records of jewelry and other items sold there that they believe were taken by Riley from homes of the deceased10

October 1, 2009: Yolande Faulkner, the bookkeeper for Hartford Trade Service, is arrested and charged with first-degree larceny; She is held with bail set at $250,000 and is arraigned at Superior Court in Hartford, charged with one count each of Corrupt Organizations and Racketeering Activity, first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and 10 counts of second-degree larceny; Faulkner’s court date is set for Nov. 13; Riley’s arrest is believed imminent by his attorney10

October 15, 2009: Details of the double-billing schemes of K. Riley are revealed in a 49-page arrest warrant unsealed on the same day he’s arrested (October 15, 2009); In sum, Riley double-billed the Department of Social Services and the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner more than $25,000 combined; In many instances, he charged the State transportation and burial fees while charging the same amount to the deceased’s estate; The warrant also details Riley’s schemes to steal valuables from the homes of deceased people Riley was entrusted by the state to serve; Riley posts $500,000 bail and is scheduled for a court appearance October 29; He is charged with one count of Corrupt Organizations and Racketeering Activity and multiple counts of first-degree larceny, second-degree Larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and forgery; In addition to Riley, another office worker at Hartford Trade Service, Sheri Blews, is arrested; The arrest warrant discloses that, in the Julia Drozd case, according to employees’ testimony, Riley found and presumably kept up to $24,000 in cash found in the Drozd home11

2010 (month???): Kevin Davidson Realty is said to be established in 2010 at 1281 Ridge Road, North Haven, CT; See

February 9, 2010: K. Riley is arrested in his Somers home and charged with 63 counts of second-degree larceny; Prosecutors from the state’s attorney’s office charge him with double-billing the state for cremation containers 62 times, amounting to $8,440. He also over-billed families for containers, in the amount of $7,130; The Courant report on Riley’s arrest describes him as operating “the Riverbend Funeral Home and Crematory in East Hartford,” not “Hartford Trade Service” as previously 12

Aug. 27, 2010: K. Riley is convicted and pleads guilty to a long list of larceny and double-billing charges, and is ordered to pay restitution of $62,902; He faces a two-year prison sentence; Likewise, his “co-conspirator,” Yolande Faulkner, is found guilty and faces a two-year prison sentence for larceny charges, ordered to pay $13,296 while facing a possible two-year prison sentence; Court dates for both are set for November; Officer Sheri Blews is likewise charged, and her case is pending; in the Courant article covering the convictions, it’s revealed that Riley’s victims include the estates of Anne Drysdale of Stamford and Joseph Chionski of West Hartford, which were plundered for the sale of items (including Tiffany and sterling silver items) by Faulkner at Weston Antiques13

Oct. 25, 2010: This is the date that Hartford Trade Service, LLC is described as being “registered” as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company” at the 623 Main Street East Hartford address; The principal listed is “Kevin Davidson” (manager), with a residence of 9 Lawncrest Drive, North Haven; The agent listed is also “Kevin Davidson” of “1281 Ridge Road, North Haven, CT” (business and residence address); The business ID is listed as 1018891; The business status is described as “Active” See:

Nov. 8, 2010: This is the date that River Bend Funeral Home and Crematorium, LLC is described as “registered” as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company” at 1281 Ridge Road, North Haven, CT 06473 – NOTE: This is a RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS owned by Russell & Sarah Davidson; See Jan 17, 1979 ; The principal and agent is Kevin Davidson of the same Ridge Road address; the business ID is 1020079; The business status is “Active”; See:

Jan. 3, 2011: Hartford Trade Service, LLC sells 623 Main Street, East Hartford to Kevin Davidson Realty, LLC for $280,000;  See:

Jan. 4, 2011: The expiration date for River Bend Funeral Home’s license (#649) as listed inThe State of Connecticut’s elicensing website:]

Jan. 4, 2011: The granted date for River Bend Funeral Home’s new license (#666) as listed in The State of Connecticut’s elicensing website:] (The license is said to be active until 6-30-2016)

Jan. 5, 2011: The expiration date for Hartford Trade Service’s license (#467) as listed in the State of Connecticut’s elicensing website:

Jan. 5, 2011: The granted date for Hartford Trade Service’s new license (#667) as listed in theState of Connecticut’s elicensing website:; (The license is said to be active until 6-30-2016)

Jan. 25, 2011: K. Riley is sentenced to 8 months in prison and forced to surrender his funeral director and embalming licenses; He must repay the estates he stole from as well as two state agencies he double-billed; He must also perform 100 hours of community service during each of the three years of probation after release from prison; Y. Faulkner receives a 5-year suspended sentence and must pay full restitution in addition to 100 hours of community service during each of three years of probation; Judge David Gold grants clemency to Faulkner, who cares for a disabled husband an elderly mother, because he says “prison would be more punitive to those she cares for rather than her”; He describes Riley and Faulkner as “good people who’d lost their way” 14

Feb 15, 2011: The state of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health lists this as the date Kevin Riley (#002251) voluntarily surrendered his license as funeral director and embalmer:; Compare this with the items listed for January 4 & 5 for the same year.

May 25, 2012: Kevin Davidson purchases 9 Lawncrest Drive, North Haven from Michael Zumbo for $233,500

Sept. 12, 2012: 623 Main Street, East Hartford is quit-claimed to River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium (whose agent is “Kevin Davidson”) by Kevin Davidson Realty, LLC; See:

Dec. 14, 2012: After the Sandy Hook event, in which Adam Lanza allegedly takes his own life, it is decided that Lanza’s remains will be cremated in secret; The alleged death certificate of Adam Lanza lists “Hartford Trade Service” as the funeral facility in Box #33 – with an illegible signature next to it and the license number “2698,” which turns out to be that of Kevin Davidson (See May 20, 2008 above); Also, see:

Feb. 14, 2013: Y. Faulkner’s sentence is modified after she completes 200+ hours of community service; She is placed on conditional discharge from that service so that she’ll have time to care for sick family members; She is ordered to make a $1,000 charitable donation in lieu of the time 15

Dec. 2013: K. Riley purchases the Demers Home at 129 Springfield Road in Somers, CT forabout $95,000; The home is a leaky, vermin-infested derelict rooming house that Riley will sink an alleged $200,000 in the next year and a half, removing 30-40 trees, filling nine dumpsters with garbage and hoarded junk, and renovating 16

April 26, 2015: K. Riley holds an open house at the newly reno’d Demers Home, which he has renamed Tall Pines Rooming House, LLC; He is reported to be renting rooms there for between $150 and $250 per week16

Dec. 16, 2015: This is the date that Kevin Davidson Realty, LLC is said to be registered as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company” at 623 Main Street, East Hartford; The principal and agent are recorded as the same person, Kevin Davidson: Davidson’s business address is listed as 623 Main Street, East Hartford (the address of record for Hartford Trade and River Bend) with a residential address of 9 Lawncrest Drive, North Haven, CT 06473; The business ID is 1193087

Current (2016): All State Estate Liquidators & Cleaning Service, a company operated out of a P.O. Box address in Bolton, CT, continues to be run by Yolande Faulkner; See:; Faulkner, who appears to divide her time between Bolton and Vernon,       neighboring towns in Connecticut, recently placed one of her residences, a lavish log home, on the market; The current asking price as of May 2016: $359,900; See:


1 “Rileys Have Home Sweet Funeral Home,” Lisa Goldberg, Hartford Courant, 3-08-1998

2 “A Mortician’s Unusual Undertaking,” Colin Poitra and Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 11-05-06

2a “Funeral Director On Hot Seat,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 11-17-06

3 “Funeral License Ruling Delayed,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 1-12-07

4 “Investigator Lays Out Funeral Director Case,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 3-30-07

5”Man Sells Funeral Home As Legal Woes Continue,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 7-07-07

6 “Funeral Director: I’m Not A Ghoul,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 7-20-07

7 “Unseemly Undertaking,” Tribune Digital – The Courant, 8-20-07

8 “Records Seized from Funeral Businesses,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 9-20-07

9 “Funeral Chief Fined $10,000,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 12-04-08

10 “Aide to Funeral Director Arrested – Bookkeeper Charged With Racketeering,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 10-02-09

11 “Funeral Home Owner Charged with Racketeering,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 10-16-09

12 “Funeral Director Faces More Charges,” Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant, 2-09-10

13 “Funeral Director Who Plundered Estates Is Found Guilty,” Dave Altimari and David Owens, Hartford Courant, 8-27-10

14 “Funeral Home Director Sentenced To 8 Months,” David Owens and Dave Altimari,, Hartford Courant, 1-25-11

15 “Sentence Modified For Bookkeeper in Funeral Scam,” Hilda Muñoz,, Hartford Courant, 2-14-13

16 “Miraculous makeover: Once filthy Somers rooming house undergoes stunning transformation,” Lauren Quirici, Journal Inquirer, 5-24-15


What should we make of the odd coincidences in the above timeline? For instance, consider Kevin Davidson Realty – an entity that mysteriously popped up like a daisy out of a corpse in 2010 – the same year that Kevin Riley was arrested in his Somers home and charged with 63 counts of larceny.

That same Kevin Davidson Realty would later purchase 623 Main Street on Jan. 3, 2011 — just a few weeks before Riley was sentenced to prison on Jan. 25, 2011.

Then, in September 2011, Kevin Davidson Realty turned over 623 Main Street to River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium for a cool $0. (And wouldn’t this be about the time Riley was released from prison?) Before and since that time, Cinderella could find no evidence that Kevin Davidson Realty had/has taken part in any reported real estate transactions — at all.

Yet, like three passed-over peas in a pod, Kevin Davidson Realty, Hartford Trade Service and River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium currently share the same business address.

One Yolande. Two Kevins (?). Three businesses. Maybe it means nothing. But one question persists: Why did the State of Connecticut trust the remains of Adam Lanza to a business steeped in deception and opportunistic crimes? A business that ripped off the people of Connecticut by double-billing services rendered to the most exploitable of the exploited – those who die alone, without living relatives or companions competent to defend them against criminal acts.

Well, dear reader. You tell me. ~C







Was mental “health” Sandy Hook’s real quarry all along?

As Sofia Smallstorm points out in her blogpost titled “Mental Health, Not Gun Control,” the mind controllers are hatching new schemes to ensnare and program anything that falls outside of their predetermined norms.

The prize catch: Children.

See Smallstorm Blog’s post here, which refers you to a thought-provoking article on SETRA, “a new bill/act for psychological testing and programming.”

Mental health reform – by itself and linked with gun control – is still being debated in Congress, with support on  both sides of the aisle. But even one of the most vocal proponents of mental health reform, Sen. Chris Murphy (D/CT), admitted that he is “uncomfortable having mental health framed as a response to gun violence because it risks drawing an inherent connection between mental illness and violence, which doesn’t exist.” {My bf} Go here for that quote.

Nevertheless, despite those facts, mental health reform as a means of curbing gun violence received a big cheer this spring — in the form of an op-ed piece co-authored by Nichole Hockley and Mark Barden, which appeared in The Hill. In “The Time Is Now To Pass Mental Health Reform,” the Sandy Hook pair opine as follows:

“… early identification and intervention in mental health care can help stop gun violence before it happens. That’s why we are calling on Congress to pass mental health reform now – before another threat is overlooked and another school or neighborhood is devastated by preventable loss.”

You can see where all of this is heading, pun intended. The article on SETRA provides a catalog of intrusions that may be the head trip all public school children in the U.S. will be required to take.

Don’t delude yourself that home-schooling is a way out of the trip/trap. Let’s not forget which famous Sandy Hook parent once home-schooled her mentally ill child: Nancy Lanza. The mind-control crowd might be able to use that, too, to widen the net.




A modern masque.

A masque was a form of entertainment popular in 17th century courts, involving singing, dancing, acting, costumes, theatrical stagings, myths, fables and excess. Nobles would mix with masked players and local amateurs would be invited to play their parts. Often, a masque would involve a great deal of fawning over an elite on an occasion such as a royal birth. And, usually, it would be rife with political sub-text. At its conclusion, everyone would unite in an artificial show of peace, light and concord.

In his 1965 novel, The Magus, John Fowles sets a masque within the microcosm of a beautiful Greek island. There, the protagonist and victim, Nicholas Urfe, is repeatedly duped by his wealthy host, Maurice Conchis, who snares him with false autobiography and an elaborate illusion, a form of psychological warfare.

Urfe is alternately titillated, intrigued and outraged by the game. Greek gods and Victorian figures leap out from behind rocks and shrubs; Nazis reenact an atrocity that took place in the island village; and a set of beautiful blonde twins leads Urfe on a not-so-merry chase. There are plenty of bit parts to go around, from maid and handyman to physician and teacher and scuba diver and village traitor/monster/murderer … etc. But in truth most of the cast are expert mind-magicians. The novel ends in a form of treachery that neither the reader nor Urfe himself is psychologically prepared for – and remains unwilling to accept until the ambiguous final pages. What he longs for at the end is the genuine article.

Even so, he is maddeningly inclined to give his beguiler and “god,” the Magus, the benefit of the doubt. This is true even after the ultimate betrayal: the faked death of a woman Urfe loves. Even after learning that he has been thoroughly duped, his psyche shipwrecked on a fake reef, Urfe demonstrates ambivalence toward his torturers. Why? Because Urfe wants the mystery. (1) He wants the beautiful illusion to replace banal reality. And he’s hardly in a position to cast stones at Conchis: Urfe comes to recognize himself in the moral inventory that Conchis forces him to take.

I have read the book (both the original and revised versions) many times, not only because I enjoy Fowles’s prose, but also because it’s a manual of sorts for the brave new world(2) we find ourselves beached upon, where it’s normal and acceptable to remain delusional. Those who, like Urfe, struggle to tear back the scrim are the perceived losers, paranoid and driven toward an encounter with oneself in the dark mirror.

Who would be willing to pay such a price?

The Magus, like its cinematic successor, The Matrix, is about the cost of an examined life. No one who commits to the red pill is going to come out of it happier and ahead by worldly standards. The flawed protagonists of our time, like Urfe, are bound for disillusionment with the world, with themselves — “… for in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”(3) But many of us believe that an unexamined life is costlier in the long run.

Thanks to television, technology and Tavistock, contemporary masques are increasingly difficult to penetrate, but it can be done with diligence and a healthy dose of humility. A 360-degree, 12-D cognitive grasp is, of course, impossible.  And for that reason, it may be tempting to cast aside one’s limited perceptions in favor of the big drowning eye of mass media.

But we let ourselves and others down in doing so. In the story, the real story, behind the murder of JFK, behind Project Paperclip; behind Roswell and the UFO phenomenon; behind 9-11, Agenda 21 and the faked killing of Osama Bin Laden; behind eugenics and all of the wars of my lifetime; behind the Clinton, double-Bush and Obama presidencies; behind the Sandy Hook massacre and the ultra-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership; behind MK-Ultra and the pedophile rings run by elites – behind all of these stories lie our stories, our personal biographies. We have an obligation to, at very least, unmask the face in the mirror. Because the lies of governments and media corrupt us all.

While telling the truth remains a “revolutionary act,” and I heartily applaud all who do it, narrating the story is an interpretive act, one that links fact to metaphor. In that spirit, the following:

In the hamlet of Sandy Hook, where a reported massacre of schoolchildren took place on December 14, 2012, there are few main roads. One of these, Riverside Road, stretches in a northeasterly direction from the center of the village up and up, then meanders and eventually aligns itself with I-84. It’s a road well-positioned to get you out of town and onto the highway.

On Riverside Road we find the famous Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, where people gathered after the incident. At the southwest corner of the firehouse, curved roughly like a fish hook from the long fishing-line arc of Riverside Road, is Dickenson Drive, the street address of  the once and future Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Driving northeast from the firehouse roughly 200 meters, we come to 28 Riverside Road, the address of the Newtown Underwater Search and Rescue (NUSAR), a non-profit organization of volunteer divers situated in Sandy Hook. These are first-responders to accidents involving the many lakes, rivers and streams in neighboring vicinities, notably the Housatonic River and its watershed. NUSAR’s Web and Facebook pages are readily found by doing a search.

The group appears to be made up of stocky, stalwart men and women, some of them professionals in the community. Besides conducting underwater search-and-rescue missions, members of the team provide water and safety instruction. Beyond that I cannot speculate as to character or conscience – they appear to be a committed assembly. If you click here, you’ll find various photos of NUSAR trucks, boats and members.

Scroll halfway down the page to find a group photo of the NUSAR team around a memorial plaque. It reads: “Dedicated January 19, 2013 [Map of Connecticut with the familiar Sandy Hook ribbon and heart] In memory of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School / Our hearts are broken / but our hope is unbreakable.”

To commemorate the Sandy Hook incident, NUSAR members conducted a memorial dive, not in Connecticut, but in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at a site known as Dutch Springs. This would seem strange to those outside of the scuba diving milieu, but there’s a simple explanation.

Dutch Springs is an aqua-park, a little mecca for divers, where families who scuba-dive can enjoy an adventure vacation searching for underwater attractions. One of these is a submerged yellow school bus  that has been part of the underwater landscape at Dutch Springs since October 1995. With its doors and windows removed, the bus was sunk to the lake bottom (depth 50′) to give professional divers an opportunity to practice “penetration skills.”

On January 19, 2013, NUSAR members affixed the plaque quoted above on the submerged school bus at Dutch Springs, attaching it to a space where a window had once been. Click here for the memorial video on Youtube. It’s profoundly disturbing to see the little bus now bearing the signs of galvanic corrosion as the divers swirl around their sign, the sign they have made to commemorate dead children.

I have no reason to believe this act of tribute was cynical or disingenuous on the part of the divers, people prepared to save lives. Cinderella hasn’t interviewed them. It isn’t clear that there is consensus among its members about the Sandy Hook event or, indeed, about anything at all. During a recent (Jan. 2016) anti-gun rally in Newtown, one of NUSAR’s members, Brian Solt (assistant chief), offered rhetoric from the opposition, defending the second amendment and saying that the gun grabbers “don’t speak for me.”

We must accept that the underwater scene of January 19th, 2013, in and of itself,  wasn’t part of the conspiracy to sink the evidence.

But I offer it as a metaphor for the rest of the Sandy Hook story, which is, indeed, a sunken treasure of anomalies, destroyed evidence, buried records (and glaring errors and omissions in official ones), redacted language, and slowly dissolving witness accounts amid multiple sea-changes in the narrative.

The submerged school bus with its memorial plaque seems an apt and ironic symbol for the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre investigation and its political outcome. I will leave you to ponder it, alongside this famous verse, “Ariel’s Song,” from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, I.ii. 482-90:

“Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.”



1) I would argue that God has given us a galleon of mysteries to ponder, beginning with the Incarnation and Resurrection. The dance of the grebe, the migratory pattern of the hummingbird, the spiral staircase of identity contained in our genes, numerical constants and patterns, the diatonic scale – these are real mysteries, too. We don’t need the manufactured, self-destructive ones of modern “magi,” the intelligence agencies, the political class, the banking conglomerates and the presiding principalities. And while a good mystery novel can be a valuable traveler’s companion, “Who am I?” is still the greatest mystery of all.

(2)”Brave new world”: References to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in which that phrase was first coined, are scattered throughout Fowles’s novel. The phrase became the title of another book by Aldous Huxley that describes almost to a hair the kind of world we’ve come to accept as normal and “real.” But, of course, it is neither.

(3) Ecclesiastes, 1:17-18