I'm going to take my time with this, because there's something I want to convey, and I want to get it right.
My work has been largely ignored for many years--since 2003, when I released my documentary, "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America," and even before, when I was maintaining this website as the supporting site for the film-in-progress. So, let us say, for more than two decades.
That's a long time to be shunned.
Sometimes I have expressed my frustration; and sometimes I've been philosophical about it. But always, underneath, I couldn't help but wondering, "why?" Not in a vague way--I mean, in a specific, articulate way. So what you do when you want to logically solve a problem, is you trouble-shoot.
I learned how to trouble-shoot when I was in video production. You're setting up to videotape, say, a speech. You've got power; you've got the tripod up, and you've run the cables for your audio. But there's a terrible, loud hum in the audio, and you have 15 minutes before the talk begins. If you can't solve it, the job is ruined (and, if you happen to be freelancing for someone else, your chances of ever being hired by that producer--and any of the other ones, if word gets around--are slim).
So you start posing hypotheses, and you start testing them, by altering one variable at a time. When I practiced this technique, I didn't know much about electronics. I didn't have to. All I needed to know was the principles of troubleshooting--which, as it turns out, are basically the scientific method.
So the first hypothesis is that the power cables are running parallel for too long, too close to the audio cables. You separate them--no go. Next hypothesis is that the cable attaching to the camera input jack is faulty. You swap it out. No change. Third hypothesis is what I'll call "dirty power" (I don't know what that is, but I know it can cause this problem). I attach a "ground-lifter," one of those 50-cent rubber or plastic pieces which eliminates the third, round ground plug.
The audio is clear. That was the problem, and you have five more minutes to compose yourself before the speech begins.
Now, the question is, why is my work being ignored so vehemently? And it really is aggressive. It's like attending a party, and literally, not a single person will talk to you. If you try to talk to them, they act like they don't see you. Or even worse, they are polite, but then they walk away.
I've been experiencing this for 20 years.
So first hypothesis, I could be wrong. Maybe I'm imagining the strength of my results. I test that, and they test out okay. It's not that.
How about, people don't read e-books? But some people read e-books, while hardly anybody wants to read mine. So that's not it.
How about, my books are too long? People don't want to read 2,280 pages. But the do read this much--it's just that it's entertainment. Someone who will read a shelf full of romance fiction, or science fiction, totalling, say, 8,000 pages, won't read my book which is only a third as much.
Maybe it's dull reading--but it's actually fascinating reading. I made sure it was. Yes, it has to be scholarly; but it's one heck of a ride, if you have any kind of brain and like detective logic. It has intrigue, humor, love, idealism in the face of adversity, and pathos--and there is an incredible research finding every 10 or 20 pages. So it's not dull.
But maybe nobody likes to read anymore. Maybe they prefer video.
I decided to eliminate all those problems at one master stroke. I created a video which is only a half-hour long, which presents definite proof of something both fascinating and outrageous--that Mathew Franklin Whittier was the real author of "The Raven." And then I followed it up with even more evidence--so that the thing is proven several times over--and this video, also, is only half an hour long. Then I began bringing it to people's attention.
I posted the sequel in the middle of the day, yesterday, meaning. Sixty people had watched the first one (average length of time watched, seven minutes). But last time I looked, do you know how many people have watched the second video? One.
Now, this is the result you would expect from garbage. If I put out rank nonsense, and announced it, I might get 60 people who begin to watch it, and stop, saying to themselves, "This is utter horseshit, and not worth my time." But it's neither garbage, nor horseshit. Then, when presented with the second video, of course they won't bother to watch any more garbage.
But I have eliminated that variable. It is definitely not garbage. It is defintely real evidence, and real proof. There is no question, this time.
Now we have only one variable left, and that is people making irrational snap judgments, and going into denial. That has to be the explanation, because I have swapped out all the other possible causes.
It means that people assume it can't possibly be true, because it so radically contradicts what they have been taught to believe since childhood. That belief is so powerful that it actually distorts their perception, so that they perceive garbage when they are actually viewing good content.
Now, I have had that experience, myself. Some time back, I ran across what appeared to be Mathew's lampoon of a newly-published book.* I thought he was sarcastically making fun of the author, and his writing ability. I knew the lampoon was Mathew's--I recognized it by style. But I misunderstood his intention. So I found a copy of that book online, and I wrote in my first book, that the writing was stilted and insufferable, or words to that effect.
Come to find out, recently, that Mathew, himself, wrote that book! He was defending himself against the critics, in-character. So I went back to the book I thought was insufferably stilted, and actually, it is one of the most elegantly-written pieces Mathew ever produced.
When I had earlier looked it up, I had merely glanced at it, seeing what I expected to see. I hadn't really given it a chance.
That, apparently, is what's happening with my two videos. People are dipping briefly into the first one, merely to satisfy themselves that their prejudiced opinion is correct.
I remember reading that for eleven years, J.R.R. Tolkien couldn't get his book published. At this point, it was one very large work, not having been broken down into a trilogy. Nobody would touch it. If they read it at all, they didn't see much of value in it.
What it's going to take for people to appreciate my work, I don't know. But the results of this little video experiment have had a profound effect on me. I know what the problem is, now, and it's nothing to do with my work being substandard, or unreadable, or that it is poor research, or any other such objection. The problem is in the minds of the people who reject it. I don't have to secretly question myself, anymore. I'm sure of it, because I've tested it.
The URL's for those two videos are, again:
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*"The Mistake of a Lifetime: or, The Robber of the Rhine Valley," by "Waldo Howard" (Mathew Franklin Whittier).
Music opening this page, "Won't Touch This," a parody by the author
of "U Can't Touch This" by M.C. Hammer