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WHAT HAPPENED TO PAUL MIRECKI? (Phony Hate Crime Alert)
Michelle Malkin ^ | December 7, 2005 | Michelle Malkin

Posted on 12/08/2005 8:26:48 AM PST by PJ-Comix

Kansas University's Paul Mirecki, the controversial religious studies professor whose planned course on creationism and intelligent design was canceled after he derided Christian conservatives as "fundies," was allegedly beaten on Monday morning by two unidentified white men who he claims targeted him for his views. The Lawrence Journal World reported:

Douglas County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the reported beating of a Kansas University professor who gained recent notoriety for his Internet tirades against Christian fundamentalists.

Kansas University religious studies professor Paul Mirecki reported he was beaten by two men about 6:40 a.m. today on a roadside in rural Douglas County. In a series of interviews late this afternoon, Mirecki said the men who beat him were making references to the controversy that has propelled him into the headlines in recent weeks.

“I didn’t know them, but I’m sure they knew me,” he said.

Mirecki said he was driving to breakfast when he noticed the men tailgating him in a pickup truck.

“I just pulled over hoping they would pass, and then they pulled up real close behind,” he said. “They got out, and I made the mistake of getting out.”

He said the men beat him about the upper body with their fists, and he said he thinks they struck him with a metal object. He was treated and released at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

“I’m mostly shaken up, and I got some bruises and sore spots,” he said.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Officials are classifying the case as an aggravated battery. They wouldn’t say exactly where the incident happened, citing the ongoing investigation.

The sheriff’s department is looking for the suspects, described as two white males between ages 30 and 40, one wearing a red visor and wool gloves, and both wearing jeans. They were last seen in a large pickup truck...

If Mirecki was indeed the victim of this alleged crime, it is a travesty and a shame, and the alleged assailants should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

There is, however, another possibility: It could be a hoax. Mirecki's reticence, lack of specifics, and odd behavior are raising some doubts. Says one skeptic:

If a pickup truck was driving behind you in the early morning in a deserted rural area, and two men got out holding a large metal object, and you were still in your car, would you get out to go talk with them? ... How did those in the pickup truck find him? Were they waiting at his house? In that case Dr. Mirecki should have noticed them right away. How would they just randomly find him in the middle of the country?

Asking such questions may seem mean-spirited, but given the prevalence of staged hate crimes since the Tawana Brawley hoax two decades ago, skepticism is warranted. Just last year, an assistant visiting professor at Claremont McKenna College was sentenced to prison after she staged an anti-Semitic hate crime against herself. Earlier this year, a lesbian student at Mt. Tamalpais High School in Marin County, Calif., faked several anti-gay incidents to garner attention and sympathy.

Curiously, earlier Wednesday, Mirecki resigned the chairmanship of KU's religious studies department. (Resignation letter here.) According to Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mirecki resigned on the recommendation of his colleagues. Strange. Do they know something we don't?

***
I obtained the front sheet of the police report filed Monday from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office (redacted to protect Mirecki's personal information):

paulmireckiredact.jpg

As you can see (click for larger view), there's not much there. In a phone interview, sheriff's spokeswoman Lt. Kari Wempe could not provide much more detail. She did tell me that Mirecki could not recall where the incident took place. And she said that 20 minutes ensued between the time the incident allegedly occured and when Mirecki reportedly contacted authorities. "It seems like a long time to me," Wempe noted, but declined to elaborate.

More weirdness via the University Daily Kansas.com: Officers clarify Mirecki attack details.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office initially labeled the attack on Professor Paul Mirecki a hate crime.

But the office removed the title today, calling the labeling a mistake.

Lt. Kari Wempe said that the error occurred Monday morning when the attack was reported.

Officers wrongly transmitted the information over the police radio, she said. It is not classified as an aggravated battery.

So what exactly is it?

I contacted the Lawrence Memorial Hospital for more details on the nature of Mirecki's injuries. Citing HIPAA regulations, a hospital spokeswoman declined to provide any more information. She did state that Mirecki was not hospitalized, as many MSM reports have claimed, but came to the emergency room and was "treated and released."

Mirecki told one reporter that he had "got the hell beat out of me,” but now the once-accessible professor is clamming up:

On Wednesday, Mirecki said he would no longer be giving interviews to the media.

"I've got too much of backlash from the reporting," he said.

One of Mirecki's colleagues, professor Timothy Miller, who once headed the department, said members of the faculty talked with Mirecki about his options before he made his decision to resign.

"There's been lots of conversations about what's good for professor Mirecki and what's good for the department," Miller said. "I hope this new development will be positive on both fronts."

Miller said he hoped Mirecki and the department could put the controversy behind them. There are students to teach and finals are coming up.

"We're living under quite a cloud and quite a burden these days," Miller said. "Paul has had a pretty rugged two weeks, and we've got work to do."

Interesting, no?

***
Bloggers covering the story from all sides:


Brainster's Blog
is skeptical. So is Sean Gleeson.

More from The Moderate Voice and Classical Values.

Telic Thoughts boils down what's known and not known and rounds up the outrage of bloggers/commentators who have accepted Mirecki's version of events wholesale.

Stay tuned...

***
Update: Conflicting information about Mirecki's physical appearance the day of the attack in this article (hat tip: Verum Serum):

[Margaret] Rausch [an assistant professor of religious studies] said she last saw Mirecki at the religious studies department’s monthly faculty meeting on Monday [the same day as the alleged attack] and noticed “big swollen spots” on his face.

“It transformed his face,” she said.

Jesse Plous, New York senior, and Tiffany Jeffers, Shawnee senior, are enrolled in Mirecki’s Dead Sea Scrolls class. They said they didn’t notice bruises or scratches when they met for class at 12:30 p.m. Monday [about six hours after the alleged attack].

Lindsay Mayer, Holbrook, Ariz., junior, another student in the class, said she might have seen a small bruise on the side of his face, but said injuries weren’t extremely noticeable.

Mirecki didn’t show up for class on Wednesday. The students said Mirecki had never mentioned the controversy in class.

“It’s a good class, it really is,” said Plous. “It’s too bad he’s been steeped in controversy. I hope it pans out for the guy.”

Meanwhile, a Daily Kos diarist claims the attack is a "terrorist act as defined by the Patriot Act" but backs down from his claim that the alleged beating left Mirecki "within [an] inch of his life."

***
Related:

Hate crime hoax at Ole Miss

Colleges perfect milieu for hate crime hoaxes
Unhinged: The Mugshot Collection [scroll down to Kerri Dunn]
Another hate crime hoax
Crimes of the phantoms
Tawana Brawley goes to college
Muslim "hate crimes"
Myth of the Muslim hate crime epidemic


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: academia; antichristian; christhater; crevolist; evosranaway; fakehatecrimes; fraud; hatecrime; hatecrimehoax; ku; liar; malkin; michellemalkin; mirecki; paulmirecki
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The leftists NEVER seem to learn. If you stage a phony Hate Crime, the truth will eventually come out.
1 posted on 12/08/2005 8:26:50 AM PST by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix

"The leftists NEVER seem to learn. If you stage a phony Hate Crime, the truth will eventually come out."

But, even when their lies are confirmed, the MSM almost always takes the position that it really doesn't matter that it was all a fake, it COULD have happened and, therefore, we should all be concerned about and empathetic to the "victim."


2 posted on 12/08/2005 8:31:01 AM PST by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
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To: PJ-Comix
The leftists NEVER seem to learn. If you stage a phony Hate Crime, the truth will eventually come out.

The reason they keep trying is they are each the smartest person in the world, smarter than us, smarter than the others. Just ask them.

3 posted on 12/08/2005 8:32:32 AM PST by magslinger (At the end of the day the only truly educated people are autodidacts.)
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To: PJ-Comix
The DUmmies were all over this like white on rice yesterday, As soon as I read the report it smelled fishy to me. I would love to see if this guy is willing to submit to a LDT, if not it should be looked at as a false filing and he should be charged.
4 posted on 12/08/2005 8:38:40 AM PST by Abathar (Proudly catching hell for posting without reading since 2004)
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To: PJ-Comix
"Mirecki could not recall where the incident took place"

Unless he was beaten into a coma (which is obviously not the case), this statement alone makes his story preposterous. The guy is a fraud, like that other leftist prof in CA who fabricated another supposed "hate crime"....
5 posted on 12/08/2005 8:40:01 AM PST by Enchante (Democrats: "We are ALL broken and worn out, our party & ideas, what else is new?")
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To: PJ-Comix
But it really doesn't matter if the truth eventually comes out.  It's a busy world, people read headlines.  Now everyone knows, this poor, kindly, intelligent professor was beaten within an inch of his life by the knuckle dragging Christian fundies.  If it turns out to be fake later, they'll never know.
Owl_Eagle

(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,

 it was probably sarcasm)

6 posted on 12/08/2005 8:45:07 AM PST by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Enchante
The guy is a fraud, like that other leftist prof in CA who fabricated another supposed "hate crime"....

Do you mean the Claremont Professor who spraypainted Hate Speech all over her own car?

7 posted on 12/08/2005 8:47:04 AM PST by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: PJ-Comix
Jesse Plous, New York senior, and Tiffany Jeffers, Shawnee senior, are enrolled in Mirecki’s Dead Sea Scrolls class. They said they didn’t notice bruises or scratches when they met for class at 12:30 p.m. Monday [about six hours after the alleged attack].

Usually injuries show up worse over time. If the kids in his class didn't notice anything, it doesn't sound like much.

Basically all we had was a guy with some injuries and claims about how it happened and the liberals/atheists have a feeding frenzy over Christians. There was absolutely nothing to support the contention that this was the work of creationists/Christians to begin with. That was all pure speculation on the part of some and now that the whole issue has been exposed, the ones hardest on the Christians have all dropped the incident as if were a non-issue and slunk back into their holes.

8 posted on 12/08/2005 8:47:17 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: PJ-Comix
Local Kansas City TV News reported that the prof has resigned. There are also unconfirmed reports the attack was faked and the cops found out.
9 posted on 12/08/2005 8:47:21 AM PST by Crucis Country (Crucis)
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To: PJ-Comix

Hate Crime?....is this guy Gay?


10 posted on 12/08/2005 8:49:16 AM PST by Seeking the truth (0cents.com - Freep Stuff & Pajama Patrol Stuff)
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To: PJ-Comix

When this story came out, my first thought was "this is a hoax". Hope all the information comes to light. After reading this article I'd say this loser just joined the Ward Churchill ethics department.


11 posted on 12/08/2005 8:49:32 AM PST by Sisku Hanne (The Old Media, Democrat party & the Left are grim MILLSTONES for our troops)
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To: Owl_Eagle

Not only Christian Fundies but they were also driving a large pickup!

We all know what that code means!

I'm surprised the good Professor left out the gun rack & Stars & Bars decals!


12 posted on 12/08/2005 8:51:21 AM PST by Seeking the truth (0cents.com - Freep Stuff & Pajama Patrol Stuff)
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To: PJ-Comix

Sounds like he has "Mental issue" I suggest he not take a plane ride anywhere without his medications.


13 posted on 12/08/2005 8:51:54 AM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: PJ-Comix

bump for publicity


14 posted on 12/08/2005 8:51:59 AM PST by VOA
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To: Seeking the truth

I"'m surprised the good Professor left out the gun rack & Stars & Bars decals!"

I understand his leaving out the "Stars & Bars" decals or license plate, since in my 63 years on this earth, I have never seen either. I have seen lots of "Southern Cross" or "Starry Cross" decals and license plates but never a Stars and Bars.



15 posted on 12/08/2005 9:05:27 AM PST by Long Distance Rider
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To: PJ-Comix
I believe he claimed he was on a dark rural road but I ran across this. I know it's WND but the guy has interesting points.

They pulled over and got out, and then, as Mirecki tells it, he too got out on a dark country road to confront them.

But...........

Mirecki lives in a subdivision about two miles south of the Lawrence campus. Given the time of day, around 6 a.m., and the place of Mirecki's residence, skeptics are hoping that the Douglas County Sheriffs ask Mirecki to which breakfast establishment he was driving. Most places open at that time of day and would be in Lawrence proper. Mirecki's trip to town is all along well-lit streets.

Mirecki now mum on alleged beating

16 posted on 12/08/2005 9:07:16 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: PJ-Comix

That's true and this guy is left of the leftists!


17 posted on 12/08/2005 9:09:48 AM PST by Sunshine Sister
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To: PJ-Comix

I'm SHOCKED! SHOCKED I tell ya!


18 posted on 12/08/2005 9:20:30 AM PST by Travis McGee
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To: PJ-Comix

"Fake, but accurate."


19 posted on 12/08/2005 9:24:53 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam Factoid:After forcing young girls to watch his men execute their fathers, Muhammad raped them.)
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To: PJ-Comix
And, I want to know...what has happened to the Grand Master of the Evos...?
20 posted on 12/08/2005 9:25:29 AM PST by Mamzelle
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