What we’ve accomplished so far
April of 2017 will mark the tenth anniversary of the launch of the online Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. During that time we have had many impressive achievements, as those of you who have followed us know. I would even say that I believe we have won the argument on the merits. Not only has the Birthplace Trust proved unable to rebut our declaration, or to write a declaration of the case for the Stratford man so we can see who signs theirs, but time after time our replies to their efforts to discredit us have put them to shame. We’ve shown repeatedly that we can go up against them and win, and they are afraid of a fair fight with us. Why else would they
pass up £40,000 just for proving what they say in their own book is “beyond doubt”?
The case for reasonable doubt about Shakspere’s authorship has only become stronger in the last ten years. Virtually all of the new evidence that has turned up during that time favors our position, not Stratfordians’. This evidence is summarized in a new document now on the SAC website titled "Beyond Reasonable Doubt." So compelling is the evidence overall that it now seems virtually certain that Shakspere was not the author. We tried to stage a media event in London to make an announcement to that effect, but it did not work out. So, despite our best efforts, we cannot claim to have achieved our objective of “legitimizing" the authorship issue by the 400th anniversary of Shakspere’s death. Our main obstacle, by far, is getting media attention.
From the beginning, our main adversary has always been the Birthplace Trust in Stratford. We have scored many important victories against them. I will not recap them here, since most of you know of them already. Most importantly, over 3,700 of you have now signed the Declaration, making it possible to determine who authorship doubters really are, as opposed to the false negative stereotype pushed by the Birthplace Trust and its Stratfordian allies that doubters are all just a bunch of psychologically aberrant conspiracy theorists.
Our 3,729 signatories include 1,427 with advanced degrees (619 doctoral degrees, 808 master’s degrees), 633 current or former college or university faculty members, and 68 notables, including our three patrons Sir Derek Jacobi, Mark Rylance and Michael York. Other notables include Jeremy Irons, several leading academics, such as Distinguished Professor Dean Keith Simonton, one of the world’s leading experts on creativity and genius; and former Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O’Connor.
The largest category by academic field, among both faculty and all college graduates (2,880 total) is those in English literature (530), followed by those in the Arts (335), Theater Arts (249), Math, Engineering and Computers (181), History (179), Law (178), Other Humanities (178), Education (177), Unspecified (171), Natural Sciences (151), Social Sciences (150), Medicine/Health Care (142), Psychology (115), Management (108) and Library Science (36). It is no longer credible for the Trust to claim that the phenomenon of doubt is due to some “aberration” when talking about so many well-educated people who don’t fit the stereotype.
Please continue to call attention to the Declaration. Urge people to read and sign it at every opportunity. It is still one of the best short introductions to the controversy, and it has the advantage of offering something to do about it. The number and quality of our signatories makes everything we’ve done, and still plan to do, possible. The Declaration is online at DoubtAboutWill.org. Hard copies are available at our Downloads page.
New strategy going forward
Given the success we have had so far, we see no need to make any major changes to our current strategy. Legitimizing the issue remains a worthy goal, and once it is achieved the question should soon be resolved. Looking ahead, the next big milestone is the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio in 2023. Hopefully then we will all celebrate a new scholarly consensus that the Folio cannot be taken at face value. But pushing our goal of “legitimizing the issue” back seven years is unwarranted, given where we are now. Therefore, our new goal is to score a breakthrough as soon as possible, preferably within a couple of years. Evidence refuting Shakspere’s authorship already exists, so now it is only a matter of calling attention to it.
As always, our first target is the Birthplace Trust in Stratford, principal defender of Strtatfordian orthodoxy. As you all know, the Trust has a clear conflict of interest as one of the leading tourist destinations in the UK. What wasn't clear until recently is the extent of the corruption at the Trust: its willingness to misrepresent, conceal, and even falsify evidence in order to preserve the status quo and protect its own financial interests. Unfortunately for them, their “Authorship Campaign,” launched in 2011, provides ample documentation of their willingness to promote falsehoods and unwillingness to correct them after they have been pointed out. This leaves the Trust open to being exposed and discredited in the media, calling all they say into question.
The focus of our new strategy is gaining media attention. We have a specific plan, but I can’t say what it is, other than to say that we plan to hire media professionals, and to do that we need to do a little fundraising. We expect the plan to unfold in two phases. For Phase One we think we will need to raise at least $10,000. If Phase One succeeds, we should have no difficulty raising whatever is required to implement Phase Two. The SAC normally operates on a small budget, so we have not needed to set a fundraising target until now. For this new stage of our campaign, fundraising is more important. Please donate as generously as you can.
Please make a year-end donation
Please help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 to support our new plan by making a donation to the SAC. We would like to raise the entire amount within the next three weeks – by the end of this year, if possible. No amount is too small. If just a quarter of our signatories were to donate $10.00 each, we would be there.
The SAC is a US-based IRS tax-exempt charity. Donate online via PayPal (click on the link shown above), or send a check made out to “SAC” to: SAC, 310 North Indian Hill Blvd, #200, Claremont, CA 91711 USA. (You do not need a PayPal account to donate via PayPal. All you need is a major credit card.)
New edition of "Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?"
If you have not yet done so, please support the SAC by purchasing a copy of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? – one of the best books ever written on the case against Shakspere of Stratford. All proceeds go to the SAC. We wrote SBD? in response to Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy, sponsored by the Birthplace Trust. Because their two main titles are nearly identical, they appear together at Amazon, much to the embarrassment of the Trust, since our book, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?, rates much better.
A newer edition of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?
is now available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon. The new edition is virtually identical to the first, published by Llumina Press in May of 2013. Llumina recently went out of business, and we republished using CreateSpace. The new book has the same title and cover as the original. It was published on October 25, 2016, and is available at Amazon.com in the U.S., U.K.,
Canada, Europe, and at bookstores worldwide. If you look it up on Amazon, be sure to get the current, 2016 edition (a few copies of the Llumina paperback may still be available), using the following identifying information:
Paperback / ISBN: 978-1537005669 / 280 pp / $20.95 / £17.12
E-book (Kindle) / ASIN: B01MG5WIA8 / 280 pp / $5.99 / £4.90
If the new paperback edition doesn’t appear first, click on the line that says “See all formats and editions,” then click on the symbol shown in front of “Paperback,” then select the edition dated “October 25, 2016.”
John Shahan, Chairman, SAC