THE SINGULARITY

The Epstein thing is fascinating, as perhaps the only current example of an issue where nobody will trust or accept the official view of events irrespective of political beliefs.

People want the world to be more interesting than it is. People want life to be like the movies. That is the basic appeal of conspiracy theories. Plus, speculating is fun. No, seriously. It is. I get it. In this case and as usual, it requires people to assert with a high degree of confidence that they know how something works without really having any idea what they're talking about.

Obviously Epstein's death is extremely suspicious at best. However, a few things need clarifying before we can jump with any reasonable certainty to "omg murder."

First of all, the idea that an aged pedophile would kill himself in prison is plausible and given more credence by Epstein's previous suicide attempt (or maybe attempts). In a vacuum, it isn't hard to believe at all that he would commit suicide.

The question on which every suggestion that he was murdered (or was somehow the victim of foul play) hinges is: what does "suicide watch" mean in the context of the facility where he was held? This is where everyone's rampant speculation has really blossomed. Suddenly the world is full of experts who know what a Federal correctional facility's suicide watch is like.

If "suicide watch" means that someone walks past the cells every 3-5 minutes to check on the occupants, then it is entirely plausible that a person could commit suicide under those conditions.

If "suicide watch" means that the person is under nonstop observation (presumably by camera) then it becomes considerably less plausible. It would be very difficult, in fact, to believe that someone watching Epstein hang himself would neither notice what was happening nor have time to intervene.

Yet even under the latter conditions, it's not impossible that this really was suicide. Have you ever met a prison guard? They're like cops, but lazier. It's also not impossible that someone tasked with staring at a bank of monitors for hours on end could let their attention wander. Maybe the people responsible for watching him are just bad at their job. That's not hard to imagine.

With all that said, the idea of a high profile inmate on suicide watch committing suicide without intervention is highly suspicious. It makes perfect sense that ears would perk up and that everyone would reflexively question that version of events. I cannot imagine what kind of investigation could be done that would produce a result that would NOT be rejected by a large part of the population, but I hope a more complete version of events emerges. Whatever happened, conspiracy theories about this event will persist until long after this presidency ends.

29 thoughts on “THE SINGULARITY”

  • (loudly angry-typed on Facebook yesterday)

    Okay, let's entertain this idea. It's a conspiracy.
    How many people do we need to make this conspiracy work?
    – First, we need the guard(s) that are supposed to check on him.
    – Then, we need the supervisor(s) who make the schedules for the guards that are supposed to check on him.
    – Then, we need the guy(s) who assign the cells, to make sure that Epstein falls under the "supervision" of the supervisor(s) of the guard(s) that are supposed to be watching him.
    So, we're up to let's say three to six dirty cops at this point. No problem, right? EXCEPT: how do we identify these people? Now we need somebody pretty high up in the prison system, who can tell us "you need to talk to Haynes, Johnson, Ricardo, Gomez, and Stosh". THAT guy will have to be pretty senior, and know all of these people well enough to know which ones will risk their careers, reputations, and freedom, just for a new boat or a beach house on the Jersey shore.
    So we're up to a handful of dirty cops, and one senior official at the bureau of prisons. But we're not done yet.
    – Then, we need some vicious criminal mastermind like Hillary Clinton, in charge of such a massive secret intelligence apparatus that she's able to, without any trace, make contact with all of these people, on short notice, convince them to take part in the plan, send instructions, and start to arrange payments. This is some Jason-Bourne-level shit, but Hillary is clearly a genius and more than capable of it.
    EXCEPT: of course she isn't doing any of this herself, she has some slick Cliff Robertson-lookin-like guy who is the spymaster, and he hires some Max Von Sydow-lookin-like guy to handle all of the dirty work. Gotta have a couple layers of plausible deniability.
    So our shopping list for the conspiracy is now:
    – a half-dozen or so dirty cops
    – one senior Bureau of Prisons official
    – all of the bad guys from the movie "Three Days of the Condor",
    and
    – Hillary Clinton.
    And you think this is more likely than a rich guy who was by all accounts a piece of shit, seeing his world crashing down, deciding to kill himself, while a couple screws eat an extra donut instead of walking down the hall like they're supposed to?

    …don't be a fucking idiot.

    Movies aren't real, man. And besides, Cliff Robertson is dead.

  • GREAT post, thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading anyone who critiques the ridiculousness of conspiracy theories but also does it in a way in which they understand why the exist and have for centuries. I believe they are a direct result of alienation, as you said, people don't know what the hell they're talking about, and that makes them uncomfortable, humans need to make sense of things and when we don't want to do the actual work and research we just make shit up. Similar to religion in my eyes but I digress, as someone who works in a secured facility, specifically for the civilly committed as Mentally Ill and Dangerous, there is no doubt in my mind Epstein committed suicide. If anyone in the world would want to commit suicide it would be that guy, which makes it more interesting that he was not on 15 minute checks, and didn't have a camera on him at all times, which you correctly pointed out people aren't always watching. At best, it was gross negligence. Now, I think anyone has a reason to be cautiously suspicious and I have a sneaking suspicion that this negligence was not a simple coincidence, it could've been but, I truly believe someone provided him a lethal cocktail of pills, which he or his "associates" help facilitate. We know he didn't cut himself, or hang himself, initial reports sound like cardiac arrest which would support my theory.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you're critique of conspiracy theories and to tell someone my "theory" on the matter. I enjoy your work.

  • I WAS NOT finished!

    It's not likely that there was a conspiracy involving multiple levels of the cogs and levers of gummint.

    OTOH, it's exceedingly likely that we will NEVER see an unredacted report on the incident.

  • I don't conspiracy theory, but I find it hilarious that the right's go to conspiracy theory on this is Killary Clinton and the Clinton Murder Machine when Trump is nominally over the federal corrections dept and was the one most recently implicated in being a shit bag. The surface bullshit of that being the Occam's Razor selected conspiracy theory…. I can't.

    Anyway, yeah, soft old pedophile offs himself instead of spending the rest of his life being brutalized in federal prison is clearly the most likely answer. If a person is determined to not be alive anymore there is very little that can be done to prevent them from killing themselves. Life finds a way.

  • It was Hilary Clinton. Anyone who read issue #271 of Hilary Clinton: Ninja Assassin could have figured it out. The plot in #271 involved a legitimate gun owner pulled in for some minor infraction(*) trying to stay alive in a federal prison and surviving several assassination attempts before Hilary steps in and has to "take care of things" as she put it. She's pretty hot in the whole up the walls and through the bars sequence. Wow! How could you guys forget?

    (*) I think he shot off 50 rounds in a Best Buy on Black Friday. What kind of normal person hasn't wanted to do that?

  • Michael N Nitabach says:

    According to all credible news outlets, he wasn't even on suicide watch anymore & had been taken off several days before.

  • Selena Giampa says:

    I don't want to admit this but here goes: I was on "suicide watch" after an arrest for a mental health incident. It consisted of me being in a cinder block cell for 19 hours with no kind of comforts (literally me with a very thin pad on the floor and a toilet/sink. No blankets, etc). There was a small window in the door, maybe 1' x 1'. The guard sat outside. Not even facing me. Just looking in every so often. She refused to speak to me no matter how much I begged and cried and they refused to let me see a doctor. I wasn't very determined, but honestly, it would have been really easy for me to make it happen. When I was released, I was sent to a mental health facility for evaluation. If his "watch" was anything like mine, I have zero doubt he managed it himself.

  • Any time I see someone saying this was a conspiracy, I feel compelled to ask them if they know what Occam's Razor is, and if they don't, follow up with "If you don't shut up Imma cuttyer with it." Just to mess with them on multiple levels.

  • All a conspiracy requires is that somebody made it known to somebody with the power to put even a little bit of pressure on the prison that maybe it would be best if Epstein was taken off suicide watch. Individual guards do not have to be in on the conspiracy, just follow orders that make their lives easier anyway. Maybe somebody literally killed him. Even that would only require a conspiracy of 3 people or so. But if Clinton, or Barr, or even somebody lower down on the totem pole simply intervened and put the slightest bit of pressure for Epstein to be taken off suicide watch that would be sufficient to call it a conspiracy.

  • I don't doubt he killed himself. I do doubt he had no 'help'. He was not in solitary confinement (unless I'm mistaken), he was in contact with his lawyers; he could have had some assistance, in the form of pills offered *in case* he decided death was preferable to spending the rest of his life behind bars. He was not going to get a deal and he was not going to spill all his clients' and friends' dirty secrets.
    I'm sure many inmates facing life in prison would opt for dying on their own terms; I'm equally sure he was in a unique position to be successful.

  • 1. Occam's razor does not apply as soon as somebody involved has a motive to mislead you. If Occam's razor applied to murder investigations, they would never get solved.

    2. Most of the attempts to preemptively discredit the possibility of a conspiracy rely on interpreting "conspiracy" in the most byzantine possible way and then declaring it impossible. It doesn't have to be that complicated, and the less complicated it is the more plausible it is.

  • The fact that with such a high profile prisoner who had already "attempted" (reportedly) suicide with as many potential powerful enemies was NOT treated with kid gloves and placed in a "safe" environment was in itself a conspiracy.
    As for potential complications for a "conspiracy" making it to onerous for one to exist I suggest that if this were so that criminal defendents who "flip" on their partners would not need to be housed in "safe" houses etc.
    Not to mention that prison guards are not renown for their honesty, ethics or principles.
    Remember the line from the usual suspects where it was said that the greatest feat of the devil was to convince people he did not exist. So it is here.
    Was there a "conspiracy"?
    I do not know nor do I beleive that we will never know.
    Was the conspiracy no more then allowing a severely depressed individual facing what, for practical purposes, a life sentence in an enviroment that does not treat kiddie rapist's very well the tools and oppurtunity to kill himself?
    Possibily with some sort of drug introduced in food, or prescriptions that would heighten the depression?
    I just have a hard time beleiveing that a facility used to holding high profile prisoners and keeping them alive would be so incompetent to allow this to happen.
    Or is the incompetence the conspiracy?

  • No doubt he committed suicide, but unfortunately it will live forever because of the circumstances. I had heard that the guy kept folders of blackmail material, but find it most interesting that people of a certain political persuasion jump to “Clinton!” instead of “Trump!”, where both men were documented in Epstein’s social orbit.

    Second quibble, sometimes the conspiracy theories are right, Ed himself wrote an article not long ago about that airbase carved out of a mountain. Someone really did kill Kim’s brother with nerve agents and Russian spies really did (and do) kill people with poison umbrellas. There always has to be a kernel of truth to keep the myths going.

  • Time to clarify concepts and define terms. First off, “conspiracy theory” is one of the most overused and misused terms in modern political parlance. It’s supposed to signify something objectively far-fetched. It’s come to signify just about anything other than whatever the lazy partisan tossing it about considers to be the conventional wisdom, as if absence of evidence is evidence of absence. And where Epstein’s death is concerned, without yet even an autopsy finding of manner of death, there’s little reason to confer an more than “apparent” to suicide anyway.

    There are even gray areas within suicide, under these circumstances, among other perfectly plausible scenarios short of Big Ed’s specious binary of the dubious default to “omg Murder”. It’s true that bureaucratic incompetence or indifference is still as likely as anything despite Epstein’s celebrity. So is that guards and/or other officials were bribed or otherwise induced to look away, or to assist a suicide, including by Epstein himself. Not as lurid as Whitey Bulger’s end, true, but strings may have pulled here as with “unexpected” last-minute custodial housing moves for Bulger.

    That’s a “conspiracy theory” upon arrival when we get down to brass tacks? What’s the exact difference between that in this case and the current default “theory” of solo or unabetted suicide? A “conspiracy” is an agreement between two or more to do something the participants all know is illicit or illegal. More than one person would be needed for any plausible alternate theory—even if an abettor agreed he was doing something wrong, as opposed say to someone from whom Epstein cajoled help or a blind eye because they agreed death was justice.

  • Then again, maybe he knew that the feds had found his stash of incriminating evidence and that he might have a better death, now than he would have after the feds leaked it all to the tabloids.

    Do you stay up too late, after mom thinks you've gone to sleep so that you're overtired and just can't write anything that makes sense to other people or does the ritalin make you this way?

    Whataboutism is not a really good tool when it's the only one you have. Your equivalencies* ? They aren't.

    You still need to dig up some information to back up your assertions about Ed's reaction to the unfortunate events of Sept.11, 2001.

    Or don't bother, as you know it's not true.

    * They're fucking laughable.

  • NY Times report is that he was not on suicide watch at the time.

    "Mr. Epstein was placed on suicide watch after the incident on July 23 and received a daily psychiatric evaluation, according to a person familiar with his detention. He was removed from suicide watch on July 29 and returned to the special housing unit, a segregated area of the prison with extra security, this person said."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/10/nyregion/jeffrey-epstein-suicide.html

  • The real question is why he was taken off suicide watch so soon after his earlier attempt. It's not implausible that that was due to bribery — bribery by Epstein himself, since he was apparently so determined to do himself in.

  • Wait. So the people saying that the body was a ringer while the real JE was smuggled out to a private airfield where he was flown to Tel Aviv for facial reconstruction are totally full of shit? After being asked to believe that tRump was elected legitimately, I'm never sure what's real any more.

  • I'm pretty fucking foily, but the idea that a guy who hasn't been Pres for 20 years and his wife (a failed Presidential candidate) managed to kill a federal prisoner is laffable (sic). I tend not to think our current Pres* (h/t Pierce) "did it" either. It's like the Kennedy hit(s), only way less important. Who knows? I'm not outraged, though I would like to see Ms. Maxwell charged. (As if!)

  • schmitt trigger says:

    One thing we can be certain;

    More than a handful of people in the correctional system are getting their asses chewed, big time.

    Or perhaps they are being rewarded, and now they live in the Cayman Islands.
    See what I just did?

  • Updated autopsy reports that epstiens neck was broken in several places.
    Hardly sounds like a suicide by self stranglation

  • I agree with k. Several broken neck bones? How did he mange that with a bed sheet he wasn't supposed to have, tied to a protuberance that wasn't supposed to be there? And there were MANY people with motive to silence him, up to and including Mossad, who are notoriously unsentimental about expunging former assets turned liabilities(cf Robert Maxwell).

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