See the nazi. Be the nazi.

When I first read the sad tale of Fairleigh Dickinson University adjunct professor Jacques Pluss, I thought he was a liar who’d been caught in his lie.

Pluss joined the Nationalist Socialist Party and, among other things, hosted a neo-Nazi Internet radio show. He then outed himself — using the timeless device of an anonymous letter — got fired, and now claims he did the whole thing in the name of Research.

It had all the plausibility of a john claiming that he wasn’t really soliciting prostitutes. He was just trying to understand what it was like to be a john. And get caught. And then, you know, like, write a book about it someday.

That was my takeaway after reading the account posted on Chronicle.com.

But now, after reading this piece by Paul Mulshine at the NJ Star-Ledger, I’ve changed my mind. This is just too perfect:

It now turns out Pluss is not a Nazi; he’s just a post-modernist. The other day, Pluss posted an article on the History News Network Web site (http://hnn.us/) titled “Now It Can Be Told: Why I Pretended to Be a Neo-Nazi.” The episode, he writes, was inspired by the great French deconstructionists Jacques Derrida and Michele Foucault, who had insisted on “the need for the historian to ‘become’ her or his subject.”

What is most telling is that when Pluss isn’t composing his thoughts for publication, he comes across as a tad bewildered. He is surprised that his ex-colleagues didn’t respond to his research experiment “academically” and “intellectually” (!) and reports that the “misfits” who were the subject of that research are now bothering him with death threats.

Question: What was he thinking?

Answer: That’s the problem! He was thinking!

On the other hand, he could get his book deal, and live happily ever after . . .

[tags] Jacques Pluss [/tags]

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5 Responses to See the nazi. Be the nazi.

  1. Jack says:

    Pretty interesting stuff. Who was the author who pretended to be a black man for a while and wrote a book about it? Of course, I don’t think his crowd had that big of a problem with that.

    – Jersey Perspective

  2. Kirsten says:

    Hi, Jack :-)

    It was John Howard Griffin.

    And now we also have “Self-Made Man” — Norah Vincent posing as as a man.

    And Clarence Beeks, who spent some time as a gorilla, but as far as I know he never got a book contract.

  3. Dr. Jacques Pluss says:

    Kirsten, I appreciate your taking the time to add your voice to the rather one-sided debate over whether or not I truly “outed” myself, and so forth. At the very least, you’re able to understand that my actions from joining the NSM in February, 2005 to resigning in October, 2005 were meticulously thought out — and very difficult, at times, for me to bear, since I had to play a role which I myself found vile. In fact, I’ve already got my book deal, since I own Aargau Books, LLC, which is not a self-publishing firm. We have a branch in New Jersey and another in Aarau, Switzerland, and cater to authors who have written works which might not find a place in the larger, mainstream publishing houses. Yes, it’s true that our first volume, entitled “Jumping Fences. An Artfully Crafted Madness,” is my autobiography done in the form of a novel. It is completely non-political and describes my life with horses and my struggle with serious injuries sustained in Vietnam in 1972. If anyone is interested in the Press, they can view it at http://www.aargaubooksllc.org. For an emotive review of my thinking (and feelings) about the neo-Nazi’s (aside from what’s been done by HNN, The Chronicle, and so forth), one can check out my http://njneo53.blogspot.com. Thank you again for your attention to my work. Oh . . . I’m hoping the volume on the neo-Nazi’s will be available around the end of the year. Before that, we may do a volume of poetry. Dr. Jacques Pluss.

  4. Kirsten says:

    Hi, Jacques,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog, and best of luck with your book.

  5. Dr. Jacques Pluss says:

    Hi, Kirsten — Just to give any readers who’ve been following the “Infiltrator” story an up-date, another (better) blogspot to check (rather than njneo53.blogspot.com) is http://aargauhistorian.blogspot.com. The blogspot noted as njneo . . . seems to have been tampered with in some way, and no longer works properly. I’ll keep you and your readers informed on new developments. There’ve been a great deal of neo-Nazi phone threats, I’m having my phone tapped, and so forth. Lovely. But I suppose I will have to “put up” with the nonsense until, eventually, the wacky White Power groups will move on to their next bad dream. Thank you for wishing me luck with the book! Dr. Jacques Pluss.

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