Invention

 

It reflects great credit on Howie, Pepper, McEwan and the rest of our society that original thinkers are attacked less in our society than among the Bulgar tribes. Admittedly psychiatrist Dr. Bryan Robinson and my then wife unsuccessfully conspired to try to drug me while I was negotiating a million pound fee with Clive Sinclair for sale of my computer patents. However, such attacks on original thinkers are more rare than they could be, given society’s paranoid fear of new ideas, a fear surely as great as that among the Bulgars. Note that not only the lecturers, but also the students, boycotted my lecture on The Catt Anomaly to Cambridge University Engineering Society

Ivor Catt   26 july 03

From Arthur Koestler, “The Thirteenth Tribe”, pub. Hutchinson 1976.

 

P34

.... around AD 740 .... a travelogue by an observant Arab traveller, Ibn Fadlan ....

 

p40

Among the Volga Bulgars, Ibn Fadlan found a strange custom:

 

“When they observe a man who excels through quickwittendess and knowledge, they say: ‘for this one it is more befitting  to serve our Lord.’ They seize him, put a rope round his neck and hang him on a tree where he is left until he rots away ....”

 

Commenting on this passage, the Turkish orientalist Zeki Validi Togan, undisputed authority on Ibn Fadlan and his times, has this to say: ‘There is nothing mysterious about the cruel treatment meted out by the Bulgars to people who were overly clever. It was based on the simple, sober reasoning of the average citizens who wanted only to lead what they considered to be a normal life, and to avoid risk or adventure into which “Genius” might lead them.’ He then quotes a Tartar proverb: ‘If you know too much, they will hang you, and if you are too modest, they will trample on you.’

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