Fake Secret Agent Found Dead

The author of Jihad!, a best-selling book about the "secret war" in Afghanistan, has been found dead in an Antwerp garage, apparently murdered. He had been outed as an imposter and his book exposed as fraudulent. I wrote a column that sums up the case so far, posted on Joey Skaggs' Art of the Prank web site.



If "Aquarius" was the National Anthem of a generation, the prose poem "Desiderata" might be considered its Pledge of Allegiance. "Desiderata" still appears, both commercially as a plaque or poster, and posted on the 'net as someone's favorite words to live by. And the claim is usually attached that it is ancient, or at least quite old, having first appeared at a Baltimore cathedral in 16-something. Actually, "Desiderata" is not only a modern work but it is still under copyright, and those who profit by it may be subject to legal action. The facts of the matter may be found at this urban-legends site.

While we're at it, might as well note that the St. Francis Prayer seems to be also of modern vintage.