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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

My response to the Arkiv group of academics


The Arkiv group of political academics claims that it came into being this year in order to:
"... challenge convenient myth or self-serving ideological interpretations of the past according to the ‘public record’. Narratives of the past require assessment according to what the evidence obliges us to believe. Arkiv dedicates itself to that task."

In other words, Arkiv clearly states that it bases its polemic on available "evidence". It also states that it took its name from Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.

Cic Saor readers will be interested in my response to the above assertions and in Arkiv's review of Anne Cadwallader's recent book Lethal Allies, in which they make dubious reference to my own book on collusion - A Very British Jihad. Arkiv's review can be read here:

I have posted my reply to this Arkiv article but it is still awaiting moderation. So readers may read it here in the meantime. I refer both to their comments on collusion and their invoking of Søren Kierkegaard:

From Paul Larkin BA Hons. Scandinavian and Celtic Studies (UCL) – author of “A Very British Jihad”.

Dear fellow academics, I would be grateful if you would allow me to make the following two brief points in the context of your reference to my book in this article. It is a surprise to me that you, as learned scholars, make reference to my book without at least a passing reference to the important evidence I present therein. My book was the product of years of research and investigation and has nothing to do with a “blaming the Brits” agenda as you assert. Specifically, the blame for collusion lies with the clearly undemocratic and unaccountable UK intelligence services and their cohorts operating in Northern Ireland. As I make clear, the British as a people had no knowledge or say in the cold blooded actions of the secret state.

This article asserts that there was no overarching system of collusion between the security forces and loyalist killer gangs. I believe my book gives clear proof that collusion was indeed systematic and a matter of Dirty War policy. To my knowledge, no other book has serialised Brian Nelson’s prison diary, which is accepted as an historically verifiable document whose references to events cannot be in doubt. In a nutshell, what my book shows is that the security forces not only inserted (or reinserted) Brian Nelson into the top of the UDA’s intelligence structure in the mid 1980’s but that in a crucial period in the late 1980s, cleaned, pruned and updated the UDA’s intelligence files on alleged republican targets and then handed them back to Nelson for further dissemination amongst the UFF killer gangs I refer to in my book. This is the definitive moment in the appalling series of murders and injuries that were to follow. The military personnel who assisted Nelson in updating his UFF target packs are all known to the MOD and senior intelligence personnel and the handing back of these files, involving a joint FRU/RUC operation cleared by the TCG system, is a matter of established fact. In other words, Army and Police commanders and above them military and intelligence strategists in Whitehall made policy decisions that allowed this macabre series of events to unfold. In effect the secret British state knowingly gave a lethal carte blanche to the most viciously sectarian and murderous element of Northern Ireland’s society. It is for that reason that I call it a “Jihad”. If the Arkiv group is saying these events did not take place, I would like to see its evidence. If the Arkiv group accepts that the above events and operational decisions did in fact take place and were made, its assertion that there was no overarching policy of collusion is shown to be false.

I should state that in the time between the publication of “A Very British Jihad” in 2004 onwards, not one commentator on collusion has chosen to address the cleaning and updating of Nelson’s files by military intelligence.

The Arkiv group says in its mission statement that is has adopted its name (Arkiv) in honour of Søren Kierkegaard, whose life and works I have studied (and translated) in some detail. Arkiv uses Kierkegaard’s rightly famous quote that – “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” But, with respect, Kierkegaard’s quote is being used incorrectly here. The original quote (in Danish orthography of the 1800s) says – “Livet maa forstaaes baglænds. Men ... det maa leves forlænds.”, which literally translates as “Life is understood backwards, but is lived forwards.”
All Kierkegaard scholars agree that Kierkegaard spent his life trying to convince people that only they as individuals could find their true selves. Nobody else, including Kierkegaard, could do it for them. It is for this reason he is known as the father of existentialism. Thus, when Kierkegaard refers to “understanding life”, he is referring to each individual’s understanding of their own lives and how they as individuals must live life going forwards. Kierkegaard is utterly subjective and utterly self reflecting and Kierkegaard would only be happy if Arkiv were to use his words as a mirror to help individual members of the Arkiv group discover their true selves. Not as a manifesto statement going outwards into society. This is the opposite of what Kierkegaard intended in his life’s work. In other words, the world of social politics and political polemic was anathema to the man you have invoked as Arkiv’s guiding light.

@Paul Larkin
Gaoth Dobhair
Mí na Samhna. 2013
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Title: My response to the Arkiv group of academics
Date posted: 29 Nov '13 - 10:10
Filed under: General
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