(images from Wit of the Staircase)
Theresa's story had actually been figured out soon after she and her soulmate Jeremy Blake committed suicide. They were not murdered. They did not fake their deaths as part of an elaborate, alternative reality game. They were not harrassed by Scientologists, at least nowhere near the extent Jeremiah Duggan was. I don't think they were even harrassed by anyone, no more than any of us are trolled on. Theresa was a drug user. She was also mentally ill. She was on a path to embarassment. She was a plagiarist and liar. She had a strong dislike for older people. She had just turned forty. She killed herself out of self-pity and shame.
I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. I'm not going to do anyone's homework. If anyone wants to figure out this story, it's a computer and a few mouse skills away. However, I will lend a helping hand. I'll provide links and add my schtick to the process. I will not dwell on this story. I do feel that if Theresa and Jeremy could speak, they would want the truth to win the day. They wouldn't want to become immortal in the form of convolution. They were peaceniks. They were sincere in wanting to live in a decent world. No one desires mental illness. These were not bad people. They aspired to be good. They simply got in over their heads and couldn't escape their self-inflicted hysteria. Theresa went insane. Jeremy followed her.
All the conspiracy theories revolving around their deaths are bogus. "Alex Constantine" is a dirtbag. Dreamsend is either insane or paid disinfo. Same with Jeff Wells and many others.
There was a website called Theresa Duncan Central.
It pretty much is what it claimed to be: A One Stop Source For Budding Duncanologists.
One's best bet is to start from the beginning. That blog was only around for a few months, but it pretty much solved the mystery. Here are the archives from August, 2007. Here are the ones from September. If one scrolls down to the end of each link, one can proceed upward in order.
"Alex Constantine" is pushing the idea that Media Bistro and the CIA were behind Theresa's death. One of the shady reasons he gives for that ludicrous notion is the fact that an early article helping explain Theresa's demise was written by Kate Coe for LA Weekly. "Constantine" claims it was a hit piece. That's not all. According to Constantine, "[Kate Coe] is a self-avowed anti-Semite with CIA ties."
The truth is Theresa Duncan was a serial plagiarist, an insane conspiracy theorist, someone who lied about her college background and age, and a drug user. A lot of proof for most of those allegations can be found through perusing her Wit of the Staircase blog. Folks were led to believe by Theresa, that she was an accomplished writer. She parlayed that notion primarily through producing her blog. However, much of that website actually contained passages that were lifted from other sources.
I think Theresa was aware that at some point this was going to become common knowledge. She had already been busted plagiarising a perfume review for Slate Magazine. I figure she had to be scared about the world finding out this action was par for the course; That when this revelation would come to fruition that her blog was a facade, she'd go from aspiring starlet to being thoroughly discredited.
She focked up. The skeletons in her closet were starting to emerge. She took the easy, gutless way out with suicide instead of facing the music and atoning. She could no longer talk rings around journalists. She had accumulated a moral debt that could no longer be covered up.
My feeling is that Theresa Duncan didn't realise that everything we write on the net is open to scrutiny. Otherwise, why would she have ever thought she could get away with her plagiarism? I don't doubt that she felt she was being harassed by the Church of Scientology. However, I do believe most of that was delusion. Unfortunately for herself, she had become an admirer of Jeff Wells and Rigorous Intuition. She fell for his brand of kookiness. She bought into the idea of a government sponsored, satanic ritual cult and MKUltra program being in full operation.
Towards the end she went overboard. On May 13th, 2007, she penned a blog entry titled, The Trouble With Anna Gaskell. The post evntually got white walled and is now only available through Archive.org. I think whoever is running her website Wit of the Staircase should take the whole thing down. It has been established without a doubt that she was a plagiarist and kook. Why not allow her to rest in peace by deleting her displays of mental illness?
That sentiment may make me appear as a hypocrite, as I was dismayed with Antoinette's taking down of Dave Weintraub's website exposing Daily Kos and its vigilante moderating system. However, Dave wasn't insane. That's the big difference. Nearly everything he posted was backed with proof. Any few mistakes he made were retracted. Dave would not have wanted his work deleted. I believe Theresa would not want her website still visible. She knew she was a plagiarist. Deep down she had to know she was suffering from mental illness in the form of being a conspiracy theory kook. If she had eventually sought treatment and conquered her demons, she'd still be alive, and that website would be deleted.
Children of the Staircase, meet Jim Cownie, above, also known as Des Moines-born, New York local artist Anna Gaskell's (top) legal guardian after the odd and unhappy coincidences of each of her parent's separate sudden deaths....
Much of the harassment of me and Mr. Wit was also conducted by the Church Of Scientology in L. A., who Cownie also no doubt also "does business with." U.S. Intelligence "black ops" and "psy ops" have long relied on (or just outright invented) religious cults (including the Manson Family--Charles Manson received 150 hours of in-prison Scientology "auditing"), biker gangs, and the like in Federal Counterintelligence prorgrams in order to disrupt the counterculture since the 1960s. Read more about the CIA and cults here and couch jumping, Katie kidnapping mind controlled movie star Tom Crusie's meeting with Scooter Libby and State Department head Richard Armitage here.
While this ongoing illegal harassment of Wit using Federal employees (or their "cut-out" counterparts) and Federal funding (your Homeland Security tax dollars at work!) is meant to deprive us of work and our livelihoods and even sanity, the harassment also has a curious sexual focus on Wit that mirrors this J. Edgar Hoover campaign against Black Panther organizer and actress Jean Seberg.
Like the Federal "Cointelpro" campaign that deliberately drove Seberg to suicide, the smear campaign against Wit and Mr. Wit uses as its basis pre-existing, completely invented smears started by married art professor Ralph Rugoff and his student girlfriend Hilary Chartrand in order to cover up their 2000 affair while both worked at the California College of Arts And Crafts. This is something that sharp-eyed Wit accidentally discovered during one particularly dreary art dinner in November of that year. Hilary Chartrand is friends with Anna Gaskell, who is also known for carrying on affairs with her married professors in order to have access to ethics-challenged art world log rollers like NY Times critic Roberta Smith and her husband Jerry Saltz. (See article below.)
To add the final dessert topping to this apocalyptic art world sundae, Mr. Wit says that normally dour Cownie frequently made jokes about child molestation as a "training" tool. This wouldn't be so fucking spooky, friends of the Staircase, if Des Moines wasn't the land of the Project Monarch/U.S. Intelligence rumored disappearance of Johnny Gosch and the odd resemblance of poor little Johnny to Bush White House gay hooker-psychological operative Jeff Gannon....
"Dreamsend" was another admirer of Jeff Wells. He wrote thousands of posts at his lame forum, including many good ones critiquing Scientology and Lyndon LaRouche. After the Theresa-Jeremy suicides, he became a prolific blogger on Theresa Duncan. But unlike those who put into perspective how Theresa had spiraled into insanity, Dreamsend promoted her convolution and took it further than anyone could have ever imagined. Is Dreamsend insane, or is he the proverbial disinfo writer? It's hard to make a definitive call on that. One reason I am hedging towards thinking he is paid disinfo, is because he eventually deleted all of his various blogs. Yet, I admit this is my opinion. I have looked closely through a page of one of his websites through archive.org.
I will share various excerpts from that. I'm surprised he hasn't put a robots.txt on the domain. I am having deja vu feelings with my take on Andy Stephenson's and Jeff Wells' forms of internet convolution. I'm having a problem believing Dreamsend was sincere in his kookiness. It's possible. I admit there is no way to know for sure. He might have tried to become a grifter. I did notice a donation box and his pleas for cash to continue with the schtick.
Duncanology as an Alternative Reality Game
August 12th, 2007
I have only barely begun putting stuff up over there, but my plans include: links to major articles and already extant sites, links to the sorts of “clue” pages that no one else is paying attention to, research into the people involved including discussion of who might be behind this and also links and discussion of the very serious themes, such as child trafficking that the ARG creators are either exploiting or hoping to draw our attention to.....
I’d like to highlight a comment made in reply to my last post. It is the first comment from someone who actually bothered to really look into what I’ve been saying. It’s really not that hard to find this stuff, though he is particularly keensighted. I’m going to post his entire comment, just ’cause it made me happy. I’ll have just a few additional comments along the way. Thanks “Not a Monarch” for actually having a look at this material.
I had never heard of an ARG until a couple of days ago when I dropped into the middle of DE’s investigation’s here. It has taken me until today to read back thru all the posts, comments and links. I wanted to be caught up to the present before posting my own ARGish findings so as not to clutter the comments with duplications.
I have to say, throughout these posts, DE has consistently encouraged readers to do their own explorations, and to join their efforts cooperatively with his, but besides a couple of notable exceptions, it seems his readership is universally lacking his self-directed spirit of inquisitiveness. *sigh*
I spent ooooh…. maybe 30 minutes (a fraction of the time spent actually reading thru this thread!) clicking around here and there and came up with these gems: ....
2) How about the foreshadowing of the “silencing” of the Wit over a year before her suicide from the weirdly literary blog called Staircase Witch: (DE pointed me in this direction.)
(Note, here’s how you get to “Staircase Witch from Duncan’s blog. She mentioned “badfeminist” as one of her favorite sites but didn’t provide a link. You google it and then click a link…it won’t work. The site was pulled but you can still get a Google cache. The site that pulls up via the Google cache for badfeminist.blogspot.com has the comment from “Staircase Witch” which links to the blog entry NaM mentions. Finally, I had pointed out that one of the films mentioned as her favorite was “The Double Life of Veronique. But check out what NaM found on her Blog itself - DE)
This is pitiful. Basically Dreamsend and his followers were into scouring the net for clues to explain his conspiracy theory surrounding the Duncan/Blake suicides. It didn't dawn on them, that it had already been figured out.
Here they were spreading the myth that a blog called The Staircase Witch could somehow provide clues to the "real" story.
Here's what they found alarming with what Staircase Witch wrote on February 6th, 2004.
You have heard of what the French call l'esprit d'escalier--"the wit of the staircase"--that absolutely perfectly brilliant retort that comes to mind after one has left the party and is ascending to one's room--but you have never heard of the "witch of the staircase," that beguiling, mischievous enchantress who secretly ties one's tongue and does not loosen it until clever repartee is no longer of use. Somewhere along the way, as a child, I misheard this phrase, and although soon enough corrected was disappointed that no such magical lady existed.
Once upon a time, I had another online diary, in another place, and it was a different kind of blog, one that has grown so unwieldy over time that I've grown tired of keeping it and would like to start again, somewhat more anonymously, building a different sort of circle, writing different kinds of posts, posts that are somewhat more careful and thoughtful. This is the blog I should have kept, with the things I should have written. Because the witch of the staircase is nothing if not all about second chances at wit, even if only for an audience of one.
As an amateur internet cybersleuth, I can assure you the good readers that coincidences do happen. I actually don't understand what Dreamsend and Not a Monarch thought this link was supposed to show, but it was the type of stuff Dreamsend would pack into his website; Purely convoluted rabbit hole stew.
More from Not a Monarch:
3) And as DE is predicting, foreshadowing of a happy ending: (This one I found on my own- Eric Weaver posted a comment after Glenn O’Brien’s eulogy on Wit’s blog)
“In Another Life
Posted July 30th, 2007 by Eric Weaver
Categories: Personal/Off-Topic ....
The original post by Eric Weaver can be found here.
Driving through the forest along the Oregon Coast from Charleston to Coos Bay, I saw a blonde, braided woman riding a mountain bike down the winding highway through the trees. Wearing big, dark sunglasses and rain gear, she was somewhere between 35 and 45, and her bike was piled high with camping gear. She looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place her. Maybe 200 feet behind her was a man, somewhere between 35-45, dark hair and a week-old beard, riding behind her…his bike also piled high with camping equipment.
And just for a fleeting moment, I saw Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake heading down the coast through the Oregon forest, happy, no place in particular to be, enjoying the cool weather, ocean breeze, and scent of pines.
In an alternate universe, hopefully that’s what’s happening, right now.
From that and other stuff, this is what Not a Monarch concluded:
So that is enuff to convince me that a “game” is afoot and that DE called it. Kudos DE....
Lets all of us, everyone, spend yer 30 mins clicking around, get it over with and lets move on.
P.S. DE I agree with your comments about the intense learning curve. It certainly has been fruitful to a point, although I don’t buy your hopeful “some good coming out of this somehow” scenario. (You are probably right….DE)
And this is what Dreamsend had to say:
Now, imagine what would happen if 10 or 100 people started doing what my new friend Not a Monarch did. We could bust this thing wide open.
What Not a Monarch nor Dreamsend failed to include in their "analysis" was Eric's entry made a week earlier explaining what was up.
I found out tonight that another incredible creative colleague from Magnet Interactive has died: Theresa Duncan. Theresa was the creative genius behind many different projects in film, interactive media and prose. Theresa apparently killed herself on the 10th of this month…I found out through a writer who contacted me looking for more information. Even more tragically, her partner Jeremy Blake swam out into the Atlantic to join her in death a week later....
You see, Dreamsend was trying to peddle the theory that Theresa and Jeremy had faked their deaths, that it had been an elaborate scheme, an alternative reality game. For those unacquainted with ARGs, the most famous one was the Blair Witch Project. It is most often a marketing tool.
More from Dreamsend:
I started this whole thing with a theory…that somehow, against all reason, this Duncan suicide was the beginning of a rather elaborate online “alternate reality game.” Didn’t make me real popular but then again, most of what I write has the same effect....
So it’s possible…maybe….that the people behind this, a collection of artists and media theorists and who knows who all else…have just such a goal in mind. I truly hope this is the case....
I’ve faced attack, ridicule and suspicion for these articles, but all I’ve done is allowed you to follow my own thinking process. I have invited everyone to join in…to work on their own piece of the puzzle. Whether that is to follow the ARG trail, or work backward and check out who might be behind this thing. Or investigating the issues that have been raised themselves…child trafficking, mind control and cults, media complicity, etc....
Now, for those of you whining that I’m not looking into Cownie or Scientology enough I will simply add that I was looking into Scientology long before any of this ARG business began. And I’ve written about them some and plan to write about them more. Who knows, maybe they are even the ones who targeted me and led me on this “wild phone-box chase.”
And for Cownie, well, that’s a person, not an institution. If you think I’m going to go carelessly flinging accusations of child molestation and pedophile rings at a man without extremely solid evidence, think again. I don’t have much, but I have no intention of giving what I do have to the Cownie family at the order of some judge in a libel suit.
For those of you wanting someone to jump right into those waters, you don’t need me anyway. Alex Constantine is on the case. He’s been writing about mind control topics for many, many years. There should be plenty of material there to get you started. As for Duncan herself, there’s no need for me to compile what fragmentary and scattered information we have about who she really was and what she was really like. The encyclopedic seaword site has all of that for you. And for those of you who have accepted the ARG nature of this material, more than a few clues scattered among the articles, images and contents....
One of the primary reasons behind my “mommy make it stop” freak out post, was to “suss out” exactly what sorts of people these were. While I did not get much “sympathy” from certain people with that post, I realize I ALSO did not get much in the way of taunts, either. In addition, the Dream’s End bashing died down a bit… So I’m still withholding judgment on who is behind this. My initial take that the guys behind this ARE the bad guys has to be balanced with the realization that all the seeming targets…Cownie (I have not researched the guy myself, but Alex Constantine is totally into it) and Scientology, MKULTRA, etc…are awfully juicy targets to go after. But on the other hand, Scientology’s relative quiet on this doesn’t even let me rule out that THEY are behind this. Ditto Lyndon Larouche, about whom I’ve had little good to say. If some group were to target me who had a bunch of people with expertise and lots of time on their hands and who were based in Virginia..well, that would be the group....
I had, however, speculated that they might be “good guys” after all. While I don’t believe in “Project Monarch” per se and am angry at how that whole thing has dominated internet discussions of the very real MKULTRA, there really is a major world network of child traffickers and the like. Google Mark Dutroux, for example. That stuff is very real and I have always assumed that intelligence agencies are involved as once you get someone sucked into that vortex, then all it takes is a couple of photographs and you control the person for life. Again, Dutroux’s Belgium is a very good example....
To repeat, Dreamsend's basic premise was that the deaths were faked as some kind of marketing gimmick. It doesn't get much more kookier than that on the net. I find it hard to believe he really thought he was onto something. To me, this all looks like crazy B-movie type credibility.
Rosenbaum hasn’t done the big reveal yet about his growing doubts that Blake actually did commit suicide but that should happen soon enough.
Perhaps I’ll be simply a little footnote when the full story of this gets told, if it ever does. But at least remember this: ya heard it here first....
All those sites out there which are so concerned about spreading the Theresa Duncan conspiracy theories…why don’t you stop linking to my site? Just ignore me.
If you are so certain there is nothing to see…then stop looking....
Whatever this is is far too big for me to tackle alone. And I wasn’t planning on it, though evidently I’m the only human on the planet that thinks this thing is, in truth, a massive ARG. In fact, if you could sit right here with me, it would be trivially easy to demonstrate that this thing exists and has purpose. If you have explored the few avenues I’ve taken you on, then you already know this for yourself....
In any event, there are people with actual discussion forums already in place which could be borrowed for this sort of thing. I’d avoid Rigorous Intuition, though. They don’t take to kindly to all this here ARG talk....
I am exhausted and on edge. Despite wanting to take this in good humor and in stride, the games are starting to get to me. All of my private messages were erased at “Rigorous Intuition” and Jeff says he has no idea how that happened but it must be someone is “hacking in and fucking around.” Jeff doesn’t even talk like that.
For the last 2 or 3 years, some of the people I respected most as I attempted to explore many of my areas of interest on that board and then here, turn out to be in the game. It was all an act. And beyond that, whatever meager reputation I had on the internet for the work I’ve done has been thoroughly trashed over at RI. I have been threatened with legal action, threats to have my blog “obliterated” have been made…and I even was for awhile, apparently, communicating directly with Robert Eringer, the CIA spook discussed in a previous post. If it wasn’t him, he sure is someone VERY familiar with certain situations at the very least. Everything I’ve done has been called into question and there is no chance of recovering this blog for the purposes it was originally intended for....
Theresa and Jeremy are alive. It is all a game. It is sophisticated, well financed and has been in preparation for at least two years.... Thanks for listening.
Here's just a bit more.
Remember, I’d received a “clue” from “Nathan” pointing to a comment on the Rigorous Intuition blog made three weeks before Duncan’s death which seemed to indicate foreknowledge of Duncan’s death. “Aloha to a lonely wit” was the phrase. No one seemed to find that too significant…but coupled with all the cryptic messages, posted before and after Duncan’s death as well as the interlocking series of very odd blogs, some of which overtly mention “secrets”, it was proof enough to me that people who at least THINK they are behind an ARG have been building one since before Duncan’s death. More on that when I list some links to pages of interest.
Nathan was disappointed that I’d printed the clue about the “diary” and closed that particular avenue. I told him that I didn’t have the time or the skillset (I actually suck at ARG type puzzles, to be honest) to go chasing those clues and simply to say what he wanted to say.
From there, I received an email from “Jamie Cheney.” She claimed to have been the one to provide the information to Jeff Wells at RI about the fact that Anna Gaskell’s brother Jon was editor at a newsweekly called “Pointblank” when it released what he later claimed was an “April Fool’s Hoax” about children, mind control, snuff films and Project Monarch. We have commented already on just how hilarious a hoax about snuff films and child sex slavery is, and questioned why Gaskell never received any disciplinary action whatsoever.
Well, I was surprised to learn that, according to Jamie, “Nathan” is none other than Johnny Gosch. In fact he has several other alter personalities as well, including the much discussed Jeff Gannon, AKA Jeff Guckert, the alleged former male prostitute who came to public notice by not only getting press access to Presidential press conferences but to the White House itself. Naturally, I have written Gannon in order to get a comment.
Here is Jamie Cheney’s description of all this, printed as received:
Nathan is one of Johnny Gosch’s personalities. I saw Johnny about 7 times before he left the Indian reservation in Minnisota (you know that state where the bridge collapsed). Let’s just say that Johnny and I are “the marriage of two scandals.” And let’s just say that Johnny has two children.
Jeff Gannon is one of Johnny Gosch’s personalities as well. And Jeff has abandoned Johnny’s family. And Johnny is pissed. So Johnny through Nathan, gave me the anagrams to post on R.I. because he knew that after Duncan published her diatribe about Gaskell on her blog and basically said she was a mind controlled slave (you know like Johnny), she was going to get hit….fast.
I mean it’s crazy but the whole thing is true…Jeff is Johnny and Johnny is Nathan and Nathan used to be called Raven but he changed his name when they got to Washington. It seemed innapropriate.
I also received a photograph of what appears to be a young Johnny Gosch in front of a blue, castle-shaped birthday cake. The fact that the pic was in color was important to “nathan” as he suggested no one but Gannon could have it, as it was sent to him by Noreen Gosch in order to “spur his memory” or something along those lines.
In any event, they confirmed there is an ARG, with the somewhat unlikely twin goals of combatting child sex-trafficking and providing some valuable prize for the “winner”. Nathan tells me that the ARG is, indeed, well financed....
I'm done. The true story of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake is pretty easy to figure out. This other stuff, wow, is outright craziness. And the only reason any of it matters, is because this was the kind of stuff Theresa Duncan was dabbling into. My opinion is that if she never came across Jeff Wells, she might still be alive today. I believe her demise was fueled by her propensity to believe certain internet convolution.
The drug use couldn't have helped. The gnawing fears of being exposed as a serial plagiarist had to be terrifying. Perhaps if she had avoided the convolution, she could have eventually admitted and atoned for her transgressions. She wasn't the first person to get busted plagiarising. Getting caught at that is not something that generally leads to one taking their own life.
I think the kookiness combined with drug use drove her over the edge. I believe Jeremy was so into her, that he followed her down the same path. This is all so very sad. Perhaps folks should absorb what truly happened with Theresa and Jeremy, but then pay respect to all the good they produced. For all their human frailties, they were ultimately good people who went insane. They were not Hitler and Eva Braun.
Here one can view her acclaimed, animated video The History of Glamour.
Rest in peace, Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan.
(at a war protest)
(Theresa interviewing conspiracy theorist Father Frank Morales in her loft)