Of all the thousands of cases of academic corruption, few have been more infuriating than the saga of the Amy Bishop murders. It is a distillation and concentration of all America’s evils into a single incident.
Higher education is the single most corrupt institution in American life, but Americans know little about it. Universities are multi trillion-dollar behemoths with many PR firms protecting them from reality. The Ivy Leagues in particular are obsessed with “reputation management.” “Harvard” is a magic word. This power developed through product placement, utterances in television and movies, scripted newspaper columns and the elite alumni of these places. None of it is real.
On February 12, 2010, the incompetent biology professor Amy Bishop shot up a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama, killing three and wounding three others. She had a history of violent outbursts going back many years. The official story is that she was passed over for tenure and lost her temper. Like all official stories, it is false. The University ignored her history of violence and instability when hiring her. She worked at the University for six years. The killings were quickly pushed under the rug, and few people outside Alabama even know who she is.
Of all the campus killings over the last 15 years, this one alone has not been understood or dealt with by the press or the university. They continually defend and make excuses for Bishop. The reason for this inability to cope is that Bishop is the most authentic, most fitting and most accurate symbol of American academia. She is female leftism in the academy with all its predictable results.
Amy Bishop is female and Jewish. With a wealthy family, this guarantees her whatever she wants at the Ivy Leagues and in academia more broadly. Being rejected for tenure is the first time she has ever heard a “no” in her life. There is no reason to work all that hard with this birthright. This is demonstrated by The New York Times, Psychology Today and the New Yorker calling her a “genius” and romanticizing her motives.
Bishop published almost nothing despite having very little work to do, two graduate assistants, several secretaries and a huge salary. The only reason this could exist is that she was incapable of biological research and she never thought she needed to be. The New York Times reports,
Dr. Michael L. Shelanski, chairman of the department of pathology and cell biology at Columbia, said that while standards might vary at other universities, “we would not hire her nor would she be recommended by the department for tenure.”
In the same article, she’s called a “genius” as a matter of course. All who knew her agreed on one thing: the Harvard mystique was her obsession. That she received her degree from there granted her aristocratic status. This is a fact of life, but not reality. Those who know higher education realize the mystique is the result of money and power, not strict standards. Her delusion of competence led to the shootings. It was an expression of rage that her birth was insufficient and unsustainable. Reality had not gone away entirely. The real meaning of the term “paranoia” is an “excess” of “reason.” In general, it means that someone demands the world conform to her ideological concepts rather than the reverse. Its the intellectual who lets her conceptual thinking take on a life of its own. Its a form of delusion.
The Boston Globe says Alabama needed “Harvard people” to gain more “respectability.” They had little concern for her actual ability or violent past. She demonstrated no academic ability. She was unable to “talk shop” during the day. Rather than admit they made a mistake, the University of Alabama hid behind the “eccentric academic” mythos. Had they taken responsibility, they would have to admit that their system rewards the paranoid, if they’re of the right gender, school, and ethnic group, rather than the person with ability.
Yet, even the wildly sympathetic New Yorker article said her degree was “local scandal number 1.” No one thought she was competent and no one through she earned her degree. Her dissertation was weak and her intellect very average. Her students almost unanimously called her “stupid” and “incompetent.” This is a common phenomenon among professors, especially female ones.
Such professors are everywhere, especially coming out of the Ivy Leagues. The status of the Ivy League colleges and universities also lies at the heart of these killings. The notion that a Dartmouth education is superior to that of the local state school is a maddening and frustrating prejudice that will not go away. The belief is that the standards are extremely high. Yet, standards are a matter of the individual professor, not a school. Further, standards at the Ivy Leagues have no relationship to students since teaching is not the purpose of these institutions. Its a nonsensical prejudice.
At Harvard or Penn, you become an employee of a professor or a lab, doing his research and using that work to build your own. The student is not the priority: the institution and the professor are the focus. If you are useful, you pass. For females, all white, male professors realize that even an indirect accusation of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior can end a career without the slightest inconvenience for the accuser. No evidence is required and the accuser is never identified. Women pass partly for this reason too. This explains the surfeit of idiots coming out of these schools, using alumni networks and the magic of names to maintain their reputation.
For a graduate student in philosophy at Princeton, for example, the “student” merely does research for six-figure professors. The “student” attends a seminar where the professor shows up a few times summarizing their research. The students are to then write papers on it. This is exclusively to provide quality research for the professor who also has professional assistants and a battery of secretaries. If it is useful, he is given a “point.” When you get 10, you may do your dissertation. Hence, at any time, a Princeton humanities professor has between 300-400 full time researchers doing his work, mostly for free. He does nothing. He does not teach, he does not do research. This is the system at its worst.
This is not an education and Princeton, in this regard, is not a school. The Ivy league professor gets between $150,000 and $750,000 yearly with full, guaranteed job security, all things considered. Tenure has been chipped away with the power of women mentioned above. Professors are not isolated from the Regime they serve. As a consequence, white males act more radical than the radicals to place them beyond reproach. This is the proverbial shrill, white male leftist. He lives in fear while also having the easiest job in human history.
This is certainly an easy system to manipulate, and Bishop did it well. This writer knows from experience that student opinions are never taken seriously. Each university class ends with an evaluation filled out by all students and shown to the professor in anonymous form only after grades have been submitted. These should be of capital importance yet, they are meaningless. It would be like a salesman never being judged on what customers think of him.
Bishop could not teach and knew almost nothing about her field, so said these evaluations. When trying to teach, she merely read from the text. She published nothing of note. This means that professors are not hired or fired based on objective ability, but on grant obtaining potential and ideological conformity. The bizarre truth the University sought to cover up is that this did not bar her from employment at the University of Alabama and did not interfere with getting a doctorate from Harvard.
This is far from the worst. After the Virginia Tech shootings, the level of campus fear and hysteria was very high. The only way Bishop’s violent past could go unnoticed is if there was a deliberate attempt to cover it up. She had a criminal record and a history of violent scandals that often showed up in Massachusetts papers. In 1986, she rampaged around her neighborhood with a shotgun, shooting it at her house. One burst hit her brother, killing him. This never came up in the hiring process, though it was a major local scandal. Shockingly, she was never charged with a crime. This after she pointed the shotgun at Braintree cops who tried to disarm her. Still, no charges. No explanation was ever given. The New York Times, while largely defending the killer, asked this stupid question:
Did someone intervene to save Amy Bishop from prosecution? Her mother served on the town committee, an elected legislative panel of 240 members that set the town’s spending. Or was Amy’s release merely a town’s way of caring for its own, the way small towns do?
When the answer is an obvious “yes,” it’s a stupid question. The act of raising it is a means of dishonestly raising doubts in the reader’s mind. The article goes on to say that “helpful neighbors” cleaned up the crime scene immediately after it occurred. It is sad that there are some who might believe that. Such an act is, of course, a felony.
Everyone involved with the case agrees she shot her brother deliberately in an argument. It was first degree murder. Local police hid evidence and refused to share important facts of the crime with the District Attorney both at the time and at the time of her hiring in Alabama. Any background check would have uncovered all this.
There is more:
Bishop was also a suspect in the attempted pipe-bombing of Dr. Paul Rosenberg, a Harvard M.D. who was evaluating her doctoral work. The “tenure killer” was known to quarrel with Rosenberg, who escaped harm as the bomb was unable to detonate. The police chief in Huntsville is working with the FBI to determine more about Bishop’s involvement in the bombing attempt.
She saw herself as an untouchable aristocrat and thus, had an a priori claim to precedence. Once, at an IHOP near her home, she randomly attacked a woman sitting at her preferred seat. She simply demanded she get up. When the woman asked why she should give up her seat, Bishop replied, “I am Dr. Amy Bishop!” The system inculcated this self-delusion. It feeds it to this very day.
She once had one of her children’s teachers fired for a perceived personal slight has been suppressed. That she violently threatened the driver of an ice cream truck to never come on their street again because her kids were “lactose intolerant” is never spoken of, not even as the woman stood trial. The most WABC could come up with was that she was an “odd ball.” the press reports on bishop, totally silent after a few days in 2010, were laudatory, that is, except that she killed three people. Any criticism of Bishop is met with outrage by leftists. A quick glance at the comment section for any of the articles referenced in this paper will show this.
With all this, Alabama not only hired her over 200 highly qualified applicants, but kept her on for six years. It is impossible that the university or the other professors were not aware of both her incompetence and her violent history. Bishop knew that these facts were known. Inevitably, she started to think she was a superhuman, invincible and untouchable aristocrat. Outside of mass murder, she was.
Finally, as students were dropping out of her classes at alarming rates, she was denied tenure at her six-year review. She heard “no” for the first time. Because of her impossibly easy life, she developed no coping skills. It is like someone raised in a totally sterile environment sent swimming in the Hudson River. This is a huge part of the reason she went on a killing spree. She had no idea what to do with rejection. She never needed to work before, and the system bowed before her regardless of objective facts.
As she developed in this environment, in her mind, objective facts no longer existed. This is why those three people are dead. This is also why the press, as well as academia in general, will not talk about it. this is why the University of Alabama claims no responsibility for the shootings. Had this been properly analyzed, academia would be exposed for the world to see. Three dead professors is a small price to pay to keep that from happening.
Amy’s is a very simple case. She was a narcissist in an almost a pure form. The narcissist has several well known diagnostic elements. All were present in Bishop’s psyche. Included in this are a delusional sense of self, usually a claim to power or status, first of all. Second, the subjective awareness that this self is fictional, making exposure their greatest fear. Third, because they know it is false, they develop an insane jealousy of others who truly and actually have that identity legitimately. Fourth, narcissists all have an immensely strong sense of entitlement and, importantly, a total lack of empathy with others. It’s rare that one person embody a personality disorder in such perfect form, but Bishop seemed to be following a script.
Bishop was no sociopath, since she had a conscience. She knew she had no right to be at Alabama and no right to a doctorate from any university. A sociopath would be totally unaffected by this knowledge. The narcissist knows the self they have constructed is false, however deeply buried this knowledge might be. The sociopath has the bliss of being totally unaffected by the evil they think and do. The narcissist suffers endlessly since their knowledge of their lies and fraud is always just below the surface.
Narcissists also lie constantly. Knowing they are not who they say they are, they slowly build up a reputation they do not earn. One example of this can be found in The New York Times,
She and her husband had developed an automated cell incubator that was supposed to keep finicky cells, like nerve cells, alive longer and make experiments easier. The university, which would share in any proceeds, was trying to market the device, and the university president, David B. Williams, predicted that it would “change the way biological and medical research is conducted,” according to The Huntsville Times.
This device is pure fantasy. Only after the killings did academia finally, albeit grudgingly, admit it never existed. Williams was aware that Amy was a fraud since he is capable of basic critical thought and logic. Had she not gone off the deep end, the charade would have gone on until her retirement. Proving their corruption, the University is refusing to cooperate in any civil suit against Bishop. This means they fear exposure. They have even refused to comply with basic discovery requests and the families had to file a motion to compel. It might be noted that it took her five years for Bishop to finally apologize to the families of the victims. She admits to killing these people, but will not admit wrongdoing. Her attorney has tried to impose a gag order on all civil lawsuits.
Compare this to Penn State. When Jerry Sandusky was arrested for child molestation, the university fired Joe Paterno because one man said, upon informing him of Jerry’s misconduct, Paterno took no action. As it turns out, the alleged witness saw nothing at all. By firing Paterno, the University then made it impossible for Sandusky to defend himself, since it was a de facto guilty plea. Penn State was utterly fanatical about its desire to show compassion for the victims long before they knew if there was any evidence behind these claims. Alabama, on the other hand, with a confessed mass murderer in prison, takes no responsibility for its total lack of interest in Amy’s sordid past.
Therefore, in both personal behavior and academic accomplishment, both Harvard and Alabama knew she was a disaster. Bizarrely, her academic research seems to have been based on the same outline. For decades, she did nothing but hand in the same material over and over. She even put this on her faculty website. Since it was public, this means the entire state system was aware of Bishop’s incompetence.
She claimed three publications, two of which were in the Journal of Neurochemistry, an open source journal, not an academic one. Several feature the names of three of her children as authors. None are real. No one noticed until she killed a few people. Her papers were as bogus as was the lab she claimed to own. One of her papers turns out to be a press release. Her company, “Cherokee Labsystems” never existed, yet she claimed that her research took place there. She also claimed to work for NASA and a host of other absurdities too numerous to mention. The University of Alabama refused to check on these. For six years.
The most scandalous element in the whole affair was the sympathetic press. Almost never speaking of the dead or their families, all American newspapers sympathized with the murderer.
The New York Times says she was “a respected scientist. . . a grant-winning scientist and mother of four whose business prospects seemed bright.” Other than being a mother, not a word of this is true. ABC News called her a “brilliant scientist.” They also say she was well liked by students and compare her to John Nash. Their reporting was sympathetic to the killer. One article in the entire internet says the truth:
This case highlights the fact that our academic institutions in America have developed an alternative universe view of morality and performance. While it is nearly impossible to get fired once tenure is obtained, even a combative, insular, incompetent wack-job like Amy Bishop was kept employed as a professor when it was clear that she had no business interacting with other students or faculty.
She did not shoot professors because she was denied tenure, she shot at them because a) she was a murderer with a history of killing; b) she believed she was a Nietzschean genius that was invincible and c) she knew she had no right to even graduate, let alone be given a job or tenure. When she was denied tenure based on no teaching ability and no publications, she went into a rage about the “absurdity of the tenure process.” She was joined by many at the time.
The worst example of media coddling is the New York Times. They actively defended her once arrested. They refused to call her a murderer and say she “allegedly” killed these people, despite the fact that these were public acts she confessed to. “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity” they rhapsodize. The Times quotes approvingly “dozens” of commentators writing “I do not approve of what Dr. Bishop did, but I understand her frustration.” Calls for her freedom from jail are constant “because she might cure ALS” we’re told. She did nothing related to that affliction, which the same publication in February of 2010, admits.
The New York Times article from June 16 2010 is entitled “Between Brilliance and Rage.” “Rage,” in the leftist lexicon, is always a justified phenomenon, especially when felt by a woman. Yet, the same publication just a few months earlier reported that
Neurobiologists say Amy Bishop did not actually have an exciting new idea for treating degenerative nervous system diseases like multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s. And her invention of a better petri dish did not seem like something that is needed or wanted in research laboratories.
Under normal circumstances, an institution so utterly incompetent – and with such deadly results – would be under the public glare for years to come. Academia does not have to do the needed soul-searching it so desperately requires. The truth is that Bishop is typical of the female academic: unqualified, entitled, pushy, shrill, brittle and self absorbed. She is one of a million wealthy, insecure, nasty female “professors” who know they were pushed to the front of the line and, as a result, must squelch this fact at all costs.
Amy is responsible for these murders. After her comes the University of Alabama that knew of her violence and mental illness and hired her regardless. After that, Harvard, bears responsibility. That they permitted her to receive a doctorate shows the level of intellectual rigor there. They are also responsible also for not bothering to alert Alabama about their newfound “genius.” The media, yet again, is at fault at the most general level. They helped create this class, the institutions that nurture it and the “scholars” that continue to defend it.
As always, nothing will happen. Academia is insulated from the public who see it as similar to Hogwarts. Very few know how professors operate, since the title itself carries with it prestige and almost magical knowledge. The only hope for justice is that budgets get tighter and tighter. Maybe someone will look into how these billions are spent. When the hammer comes down, even the tenured won’t be safe. This author’s personal prediction is that, despite being in prison for life “without parole,” she is released within twenty years.
The site referenced has reproduced her dissertation out line and that of previous, as well as subsequent, papers and research. It is identical. That only one small blog bothered to mention this shed some light onto the status of journalism in American life.