The Angler, the Carp and the
by Robert Faurisson
Once upon a time there was an angler who, on meeting a
stranger, said in a frantic voice: "It's a miracle! I've
just made a unique, an unprecedented catch: in yonder
stream, it so happens, I hooked a two hundred-pound carp."
The stranger, who, as luck would have it, was a sceptic, a
disciple of Pyrrhon, one of the school of Saint Thomas, in
short, a revisionist, asked, in a guarded manner, whether
he might see the monstrous catch.
"Would you, by chance, be casting doubt upon my word?"
inquired the angler, adding: "It's quite simple: if you
don't care to believe me, I'll show you the place where I
The revisionist objected that what interested him was not
so much the place as the fish. Nonetheless, he ended up
conceding: "All right! Let's go see the place!"
Once at the spot he noted that, in the way of a stream, all
that lay before him was a rather modest trickle of water.
He took it upon himself to make this remark to the angler
and pointed out that never could a carp of such size have
cavorted in a current so sparse.
He called a few passers-by to witness and, before them,
went so far as to poke fun at the angler. He thought
himself entitled to maintain, in a mocking tone, that there
existed in France no carp of such weight. For him, in his
own words, the amazing carp had about it too much of the
scent of a farcical Jewish recipe for stuffing, or of some
Hebraic fiction. With a snigger, he brought up Tobit's
magical fish and the Leviathan monster, along with
the "great fish" (which was not a whale) that swallowed
Jonah, him of the miraculous rescue at sea.
What followed was to prove that he had spoken too much.
The angler considered that the sceptic, in scoffing at him,
had ridiculed all anglers and hunters who, in France, were
legion. As he saw it, there was danger afoot and so he must
act. In effect, such insolence threatened to bring
discredit upon the thrilling tales of which anglers and
hunters were at times so prolific. Thus the angler
proceeded to lodge a grievance with a well-established body
bearing the name "Fishing, Hunting and (Biblical)
For some time, this organisation had made a speciality of
targeting the revisionists in their entirety. The latter,
at their end, found fault with the venerable body for being
too quick to take offence, for behaving irascibly and often
carrying on with an ungodly carping over nothing. Of
substantial electoral weight and frantically courted from
left,right and centre, the said organisation was accused by
the revisionists of deploying some especially violent
militia groups. The revisionists went so far as to assert
that "Fishing, Hunting and (Biblical) Tradition" was part
of a vast pressure group: "The Biblical Lobby." To which
claim their opponents retorted, perfectly coolheaded, that
no such lobby existed.
The impudent carp-doubting revisionist was sued by the
organisation for personal injury caused, the group claimed,
by allegations that were both untruthful and malicious.
The court handed down its ruling.
At first, it allowed itself to hold that, far from being
untruthful, the revisionist's remarks on the magical carp
might very well be accurate. But, in a latter instance, the
court got a better grip on things. It ruled that, despite
everything, the revisionist, in his statements taken as a
whole, his failure to show charity towards the angler and
his want of penitence might well have been inspired by
malice. As a result, the revisionist found himself forced
to pay heavy fines and damages.
Still, in the years that followed, the criminal persisted.
He renewed his observations and questions about the
phenomenal carp. He was challenged in other lawsuits,
assailed with more fines, administered some firm physical
punishments (one of which left him at death's door),
dismissed from his post, cursed. All to no avail. Doubtless
the devil drove him.
To silence the revisionist and his ilk for good, a heavy
blow was called for.
It was dealt on the 14th of July 1990. It is on the
symbolic date of July the 14th that in France the people,
in the name of democracy and republican virtue, commemorate
the taking and destruction of the Bastille in 1789. On the
same occasion, they commemorate the abolition of the
privileges of birth and the advent of a new era of liberty,
equality and fraternity. A salutary recourse to Dr
Guillotin's machine had at times been needed in order to
make those who remained insensitive to the beauty of such
ideals see reason. On 14 July 1990, then, there appeared in
the Journal officiel de la Rèpublique française a special
law, made to measure and designed to have an effect just as
automatic as that of the guillotine's blade.
Straightaway, it prohibited, without examining the
substance of the question beforehand, any challenge to or
casting of doubt upon the stories told by a certain
category of anglers and hunters. Deputies and Senators had
passed this law in an atmosphere of democratic terror,
brought to boiling point thanks to the providential, albeit
sickening, affair known as "the Carpentras cemetery
To ground their prohibition in law, the legislators turned
to a judgement pronounced, nearly a half-century earlier,
by certain victors who had proceeded to try certain
vanquished. The victors had got the brilliant idea of
setting up an international military tribunal in order to
punish those vanquished. Devising their own laws and rules,
the judges and prosecutors had, in their wisdom and of
common accord, decreed: "The Tribunal [i.e., themselves]
shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence" (Article
19 of their Charter). They had also specified: "The
Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common
knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof" (Article
21). By a last provision, they had taken care to warn the
accused that any accusatory reports made by the victors'
various commissions would be admitted with no discussion
allowed since thereof the Tribunal "shall also take notice"
(Article 21, continued).
At this time, that is, in the period of 1945-1946, some
strong-minded fellows jeered at a justice by which, in
their words, Samson, with the blessings of the Eternal (God
of armies and vengeful God), cynically assigned himself the
right to judge one whom he had just overwhelmed and held at
his mercy. Some wags made sarcastic remarks about military
justice which, according to them, was to justice what
military music was to music. Happily, by the 14th of July
1990, or almost half a century later, the minds of the
population had been so adjusted by years of proper guidance
that it had become unseemly to talk such madness, to let
fly such witticisms. All now marched in step and in the
same direction. Under a seeming diversity of opinion, all
had at last understood that Good and Justice were always on
the side of the victors, and Evil and Crime on the side of
the vanquished. Necessarily.
Armed with this law, French judges no longer had to judge.
They needed only to submit. They duly executed, with the
most exquisite grace, and rulings rained down upon the
It may also be said that today the heads both of "Fishing,
Hunting and (Biblical) Tradition" and of the Lobby-That-
Does-Not-Exist ought to declare themselves fully satisfied.
The magical carp has become an object of worship. Museums
are dedicated to it, richly endowed by the French taxpayer.
The radio, television and newspapers chime with a thousand
tales confirming the Carp's existence for us. In the course
of it all, this Carp has acquired a capital C. It has
become the Unique, the Ineffable and the Indescribable
(here again with capital letters). It is nowhere to be seen
but it is everywhere. Its story is taught in all the
schools of the land. Adolescents listen open-mouthed to the
old anglers and hunters, male and female, who come to
dispense (in return for hard, cold cash) their astonishing
testimonies about the Golden Carp. As if seized by a joyful
frenzy, a thousand institutions pour forth streams of gold
and silver to the national and international associations
assembling the millions of witnesses who, having one day
seen the magical Carp, afterwards dispersed to all points
of the globe.
Abroad, these witnesses have, for the most part, amassed
fine fortunes, attesting to their know-how and indubitable
honesty. To these rich folk, the banks today spontaneously
bestow hefty offerings. The insurance companies do
likewise, along with the museums, factories, laboratories,
telephone companies and railways. "A worldwide stampede
into servitude," claim the vile revisionists, taking a
phrase from Tacitus; but, as everyone knows, the Roman
historian was nothing but a Nazi; in a famous work
dedicated to them, had he not sung the praises of the
If one believes the newspapers, the truth of the story of
the Golden Carp is hardly contested any longer and, each
day, the rich grow richer.
Yet, the rumour maintained by the sceptics remains current.
To such a degree that - sad to say - even the anglers and
hunters seem taken with doubt. Of course, without
interrupting their usual moaning and chanting, they cry out
against and attack more than ever the horrid breed of
revisionists but these acts of theirs are, precisely, but
swipes, shouts and complaints. Where are the arguments?
What must be offered in reply to the few doubters who still
demand to see the Carp or, barring that, its depiction?
What is one to say to those who piously visit the spot
where the angler made his miraculous catch and who still
see there only a babbling brook? But, to begin, what is to
be done in the face of the simple, stupid and nagging
observation made by the Sunday angler or the laboratory
scientist according to whom the species of carp that dwell
in the rivers of France can never have produced a specimen
of two hundred pounds?
The truth of the matter is that doubt gnaws at our [noble]
anglers and hunters. And they no longer make a secret of
this. "The day when we are no longer here, no-one will
believe in the fabulous Carp any more", they cry.
The revisionists smile. In their turpitude, they retort
that history, at least such as it is conceived by
historians worthy of the name, is precisely made of events
to which the witnesses have vanished, or will one day
vanish. Then, in their perversity, they dare to add that,
on the other hand (again from a historian's viewpoint),
what does risk being erased with time are rather the
poppycock, the tall tales, the lies of one's day and age.
And, with insolence, they dare to conclude: "Such is the
lot that, inexorpofably, awaits the story of the Golden
Carp, which is nothing but an outrageous lie, a pure
legend, a wild nonsense, an abracadabric April Fool's
How can the story of the divine Carp be saved from the
accursed revisionists' constant efforts to undermine it?
At this dawn of the new century, in these excruciating
times, that is the question haunting the high priests and
worshippers of the lucrative Golden Carp. By their side, a
good number of others are also seeking an answer to this
harrowing riddle, which carries a thousand political and
monetary implications. More and more, one may notice all
sorts of people wondering: the historians to heel, the
journalists at the trough, the politicians with their
scandals to hide, the idolaters of the Golden Calf or the
servants of the Almighty Dollar: "How, yes how," they ask
themselves, "can we save the worldwide religion of the
divine Golden Carp from ruin?"
They are losing all hope of finding a solution.
And everything goes on as if the revisionists, sure of
their work and sniggering behind the scenes, held the key
to the mystery.
This essay appeared in the April 19, 2001
Z-Gram of Ingrid Rimland.