On a recent trip to New Mexico I was introduced to an indigenous American deity named Kokopelli. His image appears on T-shirts, hats and wall decorations.

While the flute-playing character is primarily related to fertility, Kokopelli is also considered a trickster, part of a long line of mythological characters who operate outside conventional morality.

I deal with facts, evidence and logical argument on this web site. But beyond that, I also read a lot on the Internet that is written by various characters. Some folks are extremely sincere sounding in their opposition to Barack Obama and their belief in some of the conspiracy theories discussed on this blog. On the other hand, there is almost certainly intentional deception and that is the imprint of the trickster.

Certainly the most prominent example of the trickster in nObama culture is Ronald Polarik (not his real name). Does he really have a PhD? Is he really a graphics expert? Is he really a handwriting expert? His analysis calling Obama’s birth certificate a forgery is one sure fake.

Another example is Janet Porter if she is indeed the original source of the “travel ban to Pakistan” myth (instead of just its carrier).

The third trickster is the Bishop (not his real name) Kweli Shuhubia who claims to have confirmed with an unnamed Principal Registrar confirming Obama’s Kenyan birth and the top secret status of his certificate.

Sometimes I feel a bit of the trickster from Leo Donofrio, and certainly from Beckwith and Ed Hale.

About Dr. Conspiracy

I'm not a real doctor, but I have a master's degree.
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17 Responses to Kokopelli

  1. Bob Weber says:

    Dr. C: I pretty much agree with the above although with Donofrio I think it’s more that he suffers from serious mental problems. His posting on Free Republic where he told of being followed by men in yellow suits and agents disguised as homeless people was so outlandish that I don’t see how anyone could take it seriously. His stories were more in the nature of paranoid-schizophrenic hallucinations. On the other hand, some of the commenters on FR did seem to take them seriously! Go figure!

  2. mimi says:


    “After he made that post, I did a bit of googling and reading and found the real motivating factor for his quest. He is pretty sure that Obama is the literal Anti-Christ. He tries to claim that the post linked above, where he hopes “That One” gets assassinated by the beast (yup, Leo, the Secret Service *will* be visiting…they don’t take that stuff lightly) is satire.

    Sadly for Leo, the Internet has a long and literal memory. Once you get a couple of the search terms right, the Truth opens before one like a flower in springtime…”


    Mario leaves a comment there as well.

  3. Andrew A. Gill says:


    Did you see this thing?

    I feel bad about what I’ve said about the guy in the past, because he seems to be genuinely troubled and it’s more tragic than anything else.

    (I also came here to mention that I first found out about Kokopelli about 15 years ago through a site called milk.com — My Itty-bitty Little Kokopelli — so I’m very well acquainted with the guy and your analogy is very appropriate.)

  4. I can never tell when Donofrio serious and when he is trying to pull our legs.

  5. Bob Weber says:

    A.A.G: Regarding the link you posted, when I heard Donofrio described as a “retired lawyer” and read some of his early stuff I drew a mental picture of an elderly eccentric who had handled wills and probates all his life, and in retirement writes long, tendentious essays “proving” that Marlowe faked his own death and then produced his plays using a previously obscure fellow named William Shakespeare as a front. As it turns out, Donofrio is fairly young, and the entry you linked to shows that he’s not merely eccentric, he has serious mental problems.

  6. I do notice that retired professionals tend to get all sorts of kooky ideas. Alexander Abian, professor emeritus of Mathematics at Iowa State, thought that blowing up the moon would stop AIDS and cholera.

  7. Expelliarmus says:

    I can’t find evidence that Donofrio ever practiced law long enough to “retire” from it… more like he never got started. Unfortunately New Jersey does not make it easy to search records to verify status as a lawyer; I have my doubts about Donofrio (no record that I can turn up of him ever practicing, other than his own claims).

  8. Mario Apuzzo says:

    Dr. Conspiracy:

    The motif, the raison d’etre of your blog is conspiracy. But I am missing something. Can you please explain to me where the conspiracy is in someone asking that Mr. Obama produce to a competent public authority conclusive proof of his being born in Hawaii and that Mr. Obama also show that he is an Article II “natural born Citizen.”

    Mario Apuzzo, Esq.

  9. The theme of this web site was inspired by an article at Salon.com: Why the stories about Obama’s birth certificate will never die.

    There is some debate among those who study conspiracy theories whether the Obama citizenship denial ideas are properly called conspiracy theories. There are certainly those on the Internet who hold that there is a conspiracy in the federal government regarding Obama’s Selective Service System registration, and those who allege a cover up by Hawaiian officials from the governor’s office on down. Various conspiracy theories have been advanced to explain the denial by the federal and state courts of all the anti-eligibility lawsuits. The Wikipedia currently has an article on Barack Obama Citizenship Conspiracy Theories, but the general article on conspiracy theories does not list it. We will just wait to see how the history of conspiracy theories will treat this.

    I don’t have a firm opinion myself as to exactly what one should call the fantastic beliefs regarding Obama’s Kenyan birth, or the persistence of demonstrably false stories such as the 1981 travel ban to Pakistan. But I do think that the kind of thinking which leads people to believe passionately in the truth of what are at best rumors about Barack Obama, is the same kind of thinking that leads people to believe in conspiracy theories.

    The definition of “natural born citizen” might seem to be a purely legal question and unrelated to a conspiracy theory. However, Leo Donofrio opened the door when he claimed President Chester A. Arthur engaged in a cover up to hide the fact that his father was a British citizen when Chester was born. Further, the notion that natural born citizenship requires two citizen parents is something believed by some with a passion akin to that held by conspiracy theorists, when in fact no competent legal authority, no law or Supreme Court case (except maybe Dred Scott) agrees with it. It is an idea, like the “flight to Kenya” that is believed, but without rational basis.

    The other reason I think Obama Conspiracy Theories is a good title for this web site is that this site tries spoof the tabloid style evidence (and the actual tabloids in the case of The Globe Magazine) supporting the rumors about Barack Obama. I could have called the web site “Obama Urban Legends” or “Fringe Thinking about Obama” but that would have lacked the punch of Obama Conspiracy Theories.

  10. mimi says:

    He refers to his law career here…

    “you’d be interested in ONELOVESTORY
    Thread Started on Mar 11, 2003, 1:36pm
    The following are liner notes to the film I’m submitting to Trigger Street in the next cycle. I think you’ll be into it

    I am the author of internet cult phenomenon “ONELOVESTORY”, written under the alias BURNWEED. In 1994 I was at a low point in my life, a failed law career led to me being a singer in a failed rock band inspired by the 89/90 Manchester Rock/Rave explosion.
    In 1994 my band broke up and I was in a bad way. Angels intervened.”

    There more… here:

    He is using the name “The Paraclete” there. He also uses “burnweed”, “lee donofrio”, “leo donofrio”, and in his band he goes by “Jet Wintzer”. There might be another alias or more? Who knows?

    I do think he has a small, cult following. Or, maybe he just says so. Hard to know.

    He is a character. Gotta give him that.

  11. Heavy says:

    Doc, what you cal “Rumors” we call “Questions”. There is a BIG difference.

    All your guy has to do is answer the questions. Then, there could be no rumors. But then, this site would be out of material and that would be a shame.

    I rather enjoy seeing THE ONE’S minions make excuses for his utter disregard for the Constitution.

    You see, the human mind can justify anything is you wish hard enough for something. That’s kind of the foundation for liberalism.

  12. Bob says:

    You see, the human mind can justify anything [if] you wish hard enough for something.

    Oh, the irony.

  13. A. Kibitzer says:

    Assuming that you are indeed Mr. Apuzzo, you know that your demand to see a birth certificate is not sincere. Your complaint in Kerchner v. Everybody sets forth the tired argument that a “natural born citizen” must have two citizen parents. It is an admitted fact that Barack Obama Sr. was not a US citizen, so you are seeking a document that has zero bearing on that argument since, again, Barack Obama Sr.’s citizenship is an admission.

    There certainly must be a conspiracy of some kind afoot, though, in the constant recycling of the canard – made by you under Federal Rule 11 in your complaint at paragraph 54 that “travel to Pakistan” was not permitted in 1981. Had you bothered to look no further than this site, you would find links to two travel articles in the New York Times during 1981 which specifically described the requirements for travel to Pakistan at that time. Indeed, among visitors to Pakistan in 1981 was the pope and the press corps covering that visit, which included US reporters.

    The funniest allegation, and one which has a habit of appearing in these complaints, is that Maya Soetoro Ng and Barack Obama have made “conflicting statements” as to his place of birth. No human alive is competent to testify as to his or her place of birth. Bringing Maya into the allegation is hilarious since it is absolutely clear that she is Barack’s younger half-sister, and of course would have no first-hand knowledge of his place of birth in any event.

    If your case is so strong, why do you bring up such ridiculous allegations, such as the implication that a person not even alive in 1961 would have any knowledge of where a person was born in 1961? Seriously.

  14. Actually he has a huge cult following, the NBC deniers.

  15. There is a big difference between questions and rumors. Rumors are assertions made without evidence. If you want to see assertions, read the text of Kerchner v. Obama.

  16. Bob Weber says:

    Leo is back: He has a bizarre posting on “The Right Side of Life” website commenting on Lt. Easterling’s “Obama is a usurper and impostor” story. You have to read it to believe it. As I was saying, he has serious mental problems. His status as Hero of Birfistan tells you a lot about the birfer movement.

  17. Expelliarmus says:

    “A failed law career” suggests that he couldn’t find a job? or find paying clients? Or figuring out how to draft a coherent pleading and file it properly?

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