The thing about Audrey is that she was passionate and honest and available. The first time I spoke to her on the telephone I understood how available she was. It was in the tone of her voice, her openness, her enthusiasm. She was there. All the way. The next day she came to the house and we went up the outside stairs to my office and I knew in about ten minutes that she would become my right-hand man.
We had each arrived in Baja Mexico three years earlier but had never run into each other. She had moved south to run a real estate business on the Baja coast, rented a fine house for herself, her father, her autistic brother and her two sons. Six weeks after settling in, the real estate venture was purchased by a Japanese bank in Mexico City and closed down. Audrey had to move her family to house on a dirt road on a desolate hilltop some seven miles outside of town. There were no telephone lines so having a computer was a useless exercise. She began doing odd secretarial jobs around town for four dollars an hour.
I discovered her passion for politics first. She was a right-wing conservative American patriot – make that PATRIOT in caps. An America-First Patriot. She was an orthodox, but rather lapsed, Roman Catholic. In the moment her political passion was focused on the attempt of George W. Bush to gain the Republican presidential nomination. She despised Clinton, Gore, those around them and what they stood for – primarily the rewriting of the Constitution. At least once every morning we would go out on the terraza where she would smoke furiously and defend conservative politics and past Republican administrations against my inclination to want to undermine her confidence in them.
Audrey judged Bush and Gore from a left/right, liberal/conservative perspective while I tended to judge each by how their parties stood in relation to the ideal of liberty, both at home and abroad. My view was that they had both failed historically, both domestically and with foreign policy. Because no political party will ever put liberty before its own success, Audrey was consistently frustrated with how I engaged her. Nevertheless, every day she would get into it with me. Her passion for the success of George Bush, the Republican Party, and conservative ideals was all consuming.
Audrey knew nothing about revisionist theory and had no particular interest in it. That was all right with me because I needed secretarial help, nothing more. That’s what I thought. At the same time there was a lot of back and forth crossing our desks about the Campus Project and she began to understand something about what I was doing. She told me later that she had had reservations about associating with me. She had never known a revisionist, but suspected that I was some kind of bigot, certainly anti-Jewish, perhaps even a racist. She said she had been prepared to quit the moment I revealed my true colors. As she saw what revisionists were actually doing, however, she began to dip into the literature. It was very easy for her to understand that no matter who was right about revisionist theory, that censorship should be condemned and intellectual freedom encouraged.
Audrey was very open about herself and her family. She told me about the early death of her mother, even some of the subsequent peccadilloes of her father – laughing as she told me how she had told him that she had told me and how he was scandalized. She told me about her marriage to an Australian that ended as soon as it happened but produced her son Anthony. And she told me how she was so devastated by the stories and pictures of poverty and dying children in Haiti that she adopted a Haitian boy to be a brother to her natural son. She named him Jonathan and he turned out to be a fine boy and he and Anthony became brothers in every human sense of that word.
I never fully understood her passion for the welfare of children everywhere in the world. Even when she was broke and isolated and doing odd jobs at four dollars an hour she was working with a Mexican agency to set up an adoption service to search for American families that would be interested in adopting Mexican orphans. She was ready to kick off the program via the Internet when she started working for me, but problems arose with other women working on the program, Mexican bureaucracy was impenetrable, and one thing after another went wrong until she found that was facing possible charges for “selling” Mexican babies to Americans. It was a mess. She had to let it go. She was devastated by the affair. To make matters worse, she had found a little girl who had been orphaned and Audrey had wanted to adopt her too. Now it would be impossible.
So she was as close to being broke as she could be. She had her family to take care of, the problems with the Mexican adoption program to settle, her utter commitment to the Bush people and their race for the presidency, and now she found she was growing increasingly interested in revisionism. While she didn’t have a firm grasp on revisionist theory, she understood very quickly that there was something wrong when professors argued that revisionist text should be censored and suppressed, and that they were unwilling to debate revisionists themselves. She began taking books home with her at night and in the couple hours before bedtime, drinking mescal and tequila with her father, she began informing herself on the issues. By the time Bush was elected, a thrilling moment in Audrey’s life, she had become a Holocaust revisionist.
Audrey performed the office work that I needed to have done, and had one idea after another how to promote CODOH and the work. Networking was her cup of tea. She kept in touch with everyone, and everyone she kept in touch with appreciated her attention. I handed off more and more responsibilities to her. I had started her off at six dollars an hour, a very good wage here, then eight dollars, then ten percent of the gross income that came in. She was, truly, my right-hand man.
One day shortly after she had started to work she had shown me an article she had written for the English page in a Tijuana paper. It told the story of an ordinary taxi ride she had taken, what had gone on between the passengers, the cab driver and herself. It was a small, straight ahead article that showed no real promise and I did not think about her as a writer. Then one day she did an article for Smith’s Report about a trip she had taken to Germany as a college student, her obligatory visit to Dachau, her horror at what she thought she saw there, and finally her refusal of an offer from a young German man to help her get across a busy intersection because he was “tainted” by the history of his country. She wrote about how she day-dreamed now of returning to Germany and with luck finding that man and apologizing to him. It was a fine article. And it was perhaps that afternoon that Audrey Pinque became MacKenzie Paine, revisionist activist extraordinaire.
Audrey’s innately sound character was now going to be tested. She recognized the fact that the gas chamber story was is in the hands of the Holocaust Industry, and that it was worth hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars to those who exploited it. She saw how the Israelis were squatting on the Palestinians like some prehistoric beast, always using the issue of Jewish victimization by others to legitimate their actions. That behind all the “victimization” was the Holocaust story. It was becoming all of a piece to her, as it has to most revisionists. And she could see that her hero, President George Bush, had no more intention of being forthright about any of this than Clinton had been. Within weeks of his gaining the Presidency, Audrey was beginning to back away from Bush and his crowd. She was no kid, she was in her forties, but she was allowing her world to turn itself upside down – on principle.
The Palestinian affair grew explosive. Palestinian kids with rocks and slingshots were facing off against Israeli tanks. The kids did something to her. She began networking with Palestinians through the Internet. It was the unfairness of the fight, the poor and defenseless against the rich and powerful. It was young men and even children with rocks and slingshots squaring off the tanks. It was the double standards of the U.S. Government, favoring the occupiers over the occupied. And then it was the photos of the young men killed and maimed by Israeli Jews, with American arms, that created in Audrey’s mind the concept of The Bully. Israel, backed by the U.S. – The Bully.
In early 2001 the telephone company was able to run a line up the hill where Audrey was living. Now she could get Online. She could work at home. She could double the time she spent at revisionism, which was had become her new passion. For a while she continued to work for me and started working for her self at home. She put her networking abilities to the test and was soon in contact with Palestinians in North America, Europe and Palestine. She developed an outreach concept titled Truth Seeking Missiles – polemical articles about The Bully and the Palestinians distributed over the Internet worldwide. She was on her own. She raged, I think I can use that word, against Israeli brutality against Palestinians, particularly the children. We saw less and less of each other. One day in town she told me, “Bradley, you’ve created a monster.” It was a compliment. I wondered how I had pulled it off. I hadn’t really done anything specific.
For a while we still had our back and forth via email. Now I was in the position of arguing that it wasn’t just a matter of The Bully killing Palestinian kids. Palestinian radicals were killing Israeli kids too. That the deliberate killing of children should not be segmented into the good deliberate killing of children and the bad deliberate killing of children. But she had made a choice. Revisionist theory had been the springboard. It had undermined her commitment to Republican politics because Republicans were doing nothing to deter the killing of Palestinian children. It had undermined her passionate patriotism because she saw that it was Americans, the U.S. Congress, who were paying for the killing of Palestinian children. And revisionism had undermined her orthodox understanding of the history of the 20th century and all the blather about a unique German monstrosity and a unique Jewish victimization.
All her passion now was focused on the Palestinians, particularly the children. She was being absolutely honest about the pain and despair she was beginning to feel for Palestinians. She was available to every Palestinian everywhere in the world, and would work for them, work to save their children, work to put the Bully back in its cage. She was consumed with her new work. There was nothing else she wanted to do.
Last Fall Audrey decided to return to the U.S. She had a job offer working with a new, radical conservative radio station in Alabama. It took everything she could beg or borrow to get her family out of Mexico and her household goods hauled to Alabama. They arrived the week before Christmas, 2001. Before she left she brought us her 24-year-old parrot Cyrano, two cats and a kitten. My wife was enchanted, still is, with the parrot and holds long unintelligible conversations with him in Spanish. One of the cats ran off. The kitten disappeared. But the big fat white cat, that we had given to the boys when it was yet a kitten, is still with us.
Over the last months Audrey and I have been in irregular contact. For various reasons we have been in almost daily contact the last three weeks. I had been encouraging her to put up her own Website and she had decided to do it. A few days ago Audrey mentioned that her Webmaster was a Palestinian living in Palestine. I didn’t think that was a very good business idea. I told her, half-jokingly, to not even think of going to Palestine but to bring the guy over here to Alabama. She said that it was out of my hands, that she had talked with him via the telephone for hours, that she was in love and that they were “thinking of Italy.”
The next night Audrey, her father and brother and her two sons Anthony and Jonathan were driving to Huntsville to have Chinese food to celebrate Jonathan’s thirteenth birthday. At a rural intersection in the dark they were struck on the driver’s side by a van traveling at high speed. Audrey died at the scene. Her father was hurt but is expected to be okay. Neither Audrey’s brother nor her sons were injured. So now the special passion that was hers is gone, the special honesty, and she is no longer available to any of us. There appears to be no reason for what happened. Nothing to learn from it. This is simply how the gods arrange our fates. Who knows what will happen before this day is out?