The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 91, titled:
With Chris Brennan and astrologer Patrick Watson
Episode originally released on October 22, 2016
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcription by Mary Sharon
Transcription released June 24, 2021
Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode was recorded on Thursday, October 20th, 2016 starting just after 11:43 p.m. in Denver, Colorado and this is the 91st episode of the show. For more information about how to subscribe to the podcast and help support the production of future episodes by becoming a patron, please visit theastrologypodcast.com/subscribe. This is a follow-up episode to the one that I recorded with Patrick Watson on September 28th where we talked about some of the controversies surrounding Hillary Clinton’s birth time. Since that time, some new developments have taken place after I released that episode a few weeks ago, so we thought it would be good to check in again in order to give an account of what has happened since that time. You can find out more information about Patrick on his website @patrickwatsonastrologer.com. Patrick, welcome back to the show.
PATRICK WATSON: Thank you very much for having me.
CB: All right, let’s see. Before we get started with the discussion, just a few quick announcements about the giveaway we’re doing this month because we have two new sponsors for the next four episodes of the show. So, the giveaway is for patrons of the show who donate on the $5 and $10 tiers and the drawing will take place four episodes from now on episode 94. So, the grand prize for patrons on the $10 tier this month is a free pass to the upcoming conference that’s being hosted by the National Council for Geocosmic Research. This is probably going to be the biggest conference event of 2017 and it’s being held in Baltimore, Maryland from February 16th through the 20th, 2017. The conference is titled The Many Faces of Astrology and the focus will be on the diversity of the astrological tradition. The conference will feature over 60 speakers from around the world speaking on five different tracks that will cover just about every facet of astrology that exists. There’ll be a number of pre and post conference workshops, a number of lunchtime learning sessions, a banquet, and much more. It’s truly going to be the conference event of the year and I’ll be there along with many other astrologers that have appeared on the podcast including Kelly Surtees, Leisa Schaim, Demetra George, Ian Waisler, Christopher Renstrom, Rick Levine, and many others. So, you can find out more information about the conference at ncgrconference2017.com. So that’s the grand prize we’re giving away next month for people in the $10 tier.
For people in the $5 tier, the giveaway prize is a copy of the software suite that is specifically designed for Hellenistic and traditional astrology called Delphic Oracle. Delphic Oracle has been developed over the past 20 years as a software program that incorporates many of the techniques that have been recovered as a result of the recent translations of ancient astrological texts. It excels in particular at timing techniques and it’s capable of calculating every major Hellenistic timelord system that’s currently known about from the Greco-Roman tradition of astrology. It’s pretty much the go to program that Patrick and I used to calculate Zodiacal Releasing and annual perfections and it was instrumental in our work on the presidential elections these past few years. You can find out more information about Delphic Oracle at astrology-x-files.com. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is become the patron of the astrology podcast through our page on Patreon at the $5 or $10 tier and then you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing with the winners of this month’s giveaway being announced sometime in the next month or so, in episode 94 of the show. For more details about the monthly raffle and links to find out more information about each of the prizes can be found on the description page for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com. So, with those announcements out of the way, let’s get started with the show.
Welcome back. It’s been a few weeks I guess since we last talked. We last talked in episode 90 which is right at the end of September, and it’s been kind of a crazy few weeks I think we can agree since then, right?
PW: [Patrick laughs] Yeah, I think so, real almost.
CB: Yes, there’s definitely some very surreal and very strange moments that we were not anticipating as well as the moments that we did anticipate and some definite like we called it moments I think you could say. [Patrick laughs]
PW: Yeah, a little bit of a victory lap, but I mean a Pyrrhic victory because we ultimately still didn’t have the one thing that we all really want, which is the real time. So, it unfortunately doesn’t have the happiest of endings, but we’ll get there someday.
CB: Sure, exactly, someday. So, I wanted to preface this discussion with just a few statements. I had some trepidation about doing it and I’ve been going back and forth over the past few days after I got back from the ISAR conference about whether to do this episode because it involves shedding a spotlight on some not great events that have happened in the community recently and I went back and forth between it seemed like it was impossible to talk about this subject without doing that, without basically putting a spotlight on some stuff that is potentially embarrassing to some people or potentially some people might not want us to talk about or could cause some tension in the community for us. And ultimately though, I felt like there was basically a choice between just not saying anything at all and just pretending that none of it happened over the past month which seemed absurd or just getting into it, but trying to approach in a very respectful manner or at least to whatever extent we can.
PW: Right. And I know I’ve been a bomb thrower and I’ve done some calling out in my own rivaled fashion, but I think leaves for our purposes here, you know? I think we’re on united front to address this from a more of a journalistic standpoint and just focus on what’s happened. I mean, we just want to talk about what’s actually happened just documenting it. So, there’ll be no more mention of turd burgers and so forth in this podcast.
CB: Okay, I will hold you to that. And yeah, the purpose here is to set the record straight, document what’s happened over the past month because we did a really good job in the last episode and it seemed everyone really loved our first-hand account of what we’ve been doing over the past 10 years in trying to figure out Hillary Clinton’s birth time and all the research that’s gone into that both on our part as well as in the broader community and some developments happened over the past few weeks that are like the next step in that story. We need to set the record straight and we need to do this episode as a follow-up to the last one in order to do that. And this is important because a lot of misinformation basically was put out there recently and it does not look at the present time like some of those involved will be attempting to clarify things, so that falls to us. It’s a delicate balance, but let’s do it. Let’s try.
Okay. Where did we leave off? We left off, we recorded the last episode on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 and what had just happened is that on September 25th of 2016, this announcement was put out on the ISAR Facebook page that an astrologer named Marc Penfield had obtained a AA time for Hillary Clinton. And for those not familiar with the Rodden rating system, a AA time is restricted to only those times where the birth certificate is actually in your hand. So basically, according to this announcement, they were claiming that Marc Penfield had gotten the birth certificate and was holding it in his hand and they basically announced that he would unveil it on the second presidential panel which was set to take place on October 16th at the very end of the ISAR conference that was taking place that week. And so, for anybody who’s not cut up, you should probably listen to episode 91st because this is very much a follow-up and a companion to that and you’re not going to understand a lot of the context of this episode if you don’t listen to that one first. So, for those of you though who are caught up, so just a review. So, ISAR makes this announcement and it generally just sparks outrage in the community. I think that’s fair to say, right?
PW: Yeah. Well, I mean, there was a maelstrom of comments on the Facebook page and yeah, it wasn’t just like a few people. It seemed like it was quite a few others who were a bit peeved at the news.
CB: Yeah, yeah. It was widely denounced. I mean just in generally, people were offended that they would get a piece of data like that so close to the election because at that point, it’s about a month and like a week out [Patrick laughs] right, and withhold it.
PW: And then to withhold it from the people who were going to be speaking publicly about making a prediction was just another level of… I mean it’s hard. How else do you take that? How does one interpret that other than not being very considerate of the needs of the panelists that was selected to make this public presentation with the media watching as well?
CB: Right. And that was the other half of it that I was privately pissed off about it and then I’m sure some other panelists were not happy about. But for the most part, the public was just annoyed that they would use this to attempt to promote a conference and they would delay releasing it for another few weeks when so many astrologers were issuing predictions that were dependent on the birth time and therefore could or would want to revise their predictions if it’s true that they found a birth time that was completely different than the one that everyone else had been using up to that point, which was generally either the 8:00 p.m. time or the 8:00 a.m. time. And then on top of that, so if that wasn’t bad enough publicly, then ISAR didn’t even tell the panelists and I had to approach the president of ISAR and the organizer Ray Merriman and say, “This isn’t all right and you need to release the time before the panels because releasing it the day of the second panel at the very end of the conference means that none of us are going to be able to incorporate it into our predictions which means all of us could be wrong and that could not just make each of us individually look like idiots, but it could be bad news for the entire astrological community if we uniformly get our predictions wrong because you specifically have withheld information from us.”
PW: Well, and to be fair, wasn’t Ray saying for a while that it was Penfield’s request? I mean, in some sense, the blame might have formed more squarely on Penfield as opposed to the ISAR leadership.
CB: Yeah, and that’s one point that’s unclear because Ray would often put it off and say, “This is Marc’s decision and I can’t force Marc to do otherwise. If he says he only wants to release it on the day of the second panel, then there’s nothing I can do and that’s his right.” And that was actually a point of dispute because honestly, even that seems sketchy and I think he should have probably put his foot down and said, “No, that’s actually wildly inappropriate, Marc. If you are the reason why this is being withheld, then you need to release it to the other panelists.” Even if he’s not going to release it publicly to everyone, at the very least, as a colleague and a fellow person on those panels, he needed to release the data ahead of time. So, there was always some ambiguity though to me at least about how much of that was Marc and how much of that was Ray, and we’ll come back to that later for reasons that I’ll explain later. So, me and two other panelists threatened to walk basically saying, “I’m not going to do this. We’re going to leave the panel if you don’t release the time early, if you’re claiming that you have in fact obtained the birth certificate.” And after a day or two, they relented and suddenly, Ray said that he was able to talk Marc into releasing it early. But then what was really messed up at this point, this is where I come back to that previous point, is they wouldn’t just give it to us right then. They said, “We’re going to release it in an interview in the ISAR newsletter in a week like later this week on Sunday or Monday.” And by this point, it’s only like Monday or Tuesday when they finally agreed to release it. So, they actually waited almost a full additional week in order to release it in what turned out to be a YouTube video eventually or like a 10-minute YouTube video where he confirmed that it was at 2:18 time and he gave his story about how he obtained it. And so, what’s messed up about that is that either Marc for some reason delayed it for another week in order to use it as a promotional device for ISAR, which I’m actually dubious. I actually don’t know actually who held it back at that point or it was Ray who decided to delay it for another week until Sunday in order to maximize it for this misguided attempt to promote the conference at the last minute. So, I don’t know who it was. But either way, it’s like either Marc was being a jerk about it or Ray was being a jerk about it. I don’t think we’ll ever know the full story. But either way, it wasn’t good.
So, we recorded that last episode a few days before the video was released and that’s the point where we left off last time. But what’s interesting is that we had already worked out most of what would happen and it turned out after the video was released that most of what we had inferred actually turned out to be correct. So, what we want to discuss in this episode is what happened between the release of that video and now, basically over the last three weeks. So, I guess we start with the video or the things surrounding the video. Before we get to the video, we have to set the stage for there was some other-
PW: Right. Before, there had been rumors since at least early August that Penfield was using a 2:18 am time. So, there were at least a few astrologers who [unintelligible 00:14:39:23] at the time that he was going to be announcing and that ultimately ended up being the time that he did announce, so it was already out there somehow. And yeah, we suspected that he originally got the time from Zayin Cohen and that was what he ended up-
CB: Everybody suspected that at that point because it was in the Astrodatabank entry.
PW: Right. And he did admit that in the video that he basically got that one of his sources for the time was Zayin Cohen. He had submitted that time to Astrodatabank in 2005 and then Penfield picked it up in 2007 and published it in I think it was AFA. Yeah, AFA Journal article in like March of 2008. And as soon as I heard that, [Patrick laughs] unfortunately, I’d had my discussion with Zayin Cohen before this video came out. So once Marc Penfield was for sure sourcing the birth time from Zayin Cohen, that was a big red flag because Zayin Cohen had revealed to me in private conversation that it was actually 1:18 a.m. and he got very defensive when I asked about whether I could see the certificate and basically acted in a way that is indistinguishable from someone who probably didn’t have it at all.
CB: Right. And his story from the beginning was highly implausible and that’s the thing that really annoys me about this whole thing is going all the way back, if you look at some of the earliest articles in the AFA, I’m calling it the AFA Journal, but it’s actually just their news, their mail, or print newsletter called astrology today. And there’s two articles, one from 2007, one from 2008, or maybe they’re both from 2008 and one of them is from [unintelligible 00:16:55:30] and she cites Zayin Cohen for this time. So, it’s being floated around by Zayin Cohen at this point, but in the article in 2008, it’s like she says, “And Zayin Cohen says that he may or may not work for the Israeli Secret Service or the Mossad and that that’s how he obtained the birth time.” So, it’s like already, which is-
PW: That’s also in contradiction to what he told me as well which is that he got it through his connections as a lawyer. So, is it from being a Mossad agent or is it from being a lawyer? [Patrick laughs] That was already kind of a weird incongruency.
CB: Yeah. I mean, the secret agent story already like anybody’s bullshit meter should be going crazy at that point. But for some reason, there were some older astrologers who took this story seriously starting in 2008. One of them was known [unintelligible 00:17:51:17] who published an article about it citing Zayin for the time in 2008 and the other one was Marc Penfield who also in 2008 wrote an article where he cited Zayin Cohen for the time. So, Penfield has been using this time and endorsing it ever since 2008 and he was taking it from an explicitly sketchy source. And then more recently, it’s like we were able to confirm that Zayin Cohen was sketchy because when you talk to him, he said, “No, no, no, the time that I submitted to Astrodatabank that they list there that’s a typo that’s been up for 10 years and in fact, the time should be 1:18, not 2:18 or something.” Right?
PW: That’s right. And he said it was 1:18 a.m. and then to the Scottish astrologer Mark Cullen, he told him that it was 2:08. And when Mark Cullen asked Zayin Cohen why he had given me a different time, he said it was to get rid of me because I’ve been rude to him. But when I found that out, I decided to take a radical step of publishing the private conversation to prove that I’ve been nothing but civil to him and that 1:18 was the thing he said to me, and he more or less admitted to deliberately giving out false birth data.
CB: Right. And he said it just right off, you were just like, “Hey, I wanted to ask you about Hillary Clinton’s birth time.” And then he’s just like, “Oh, yeah, it should be 1:18 rather than 2:18.” So, it’s like there’s no pretext for-
PW: Yeah, it was the first thing he said. He got defensive to see evidence. I didn’t think I was being particularly hard on him necessarily. But again, he was acting in the same way that someone would act if they really didn’t have something to back up their claim and was still staying by it.
CB: Right. I mean, the big thing that people need to understand with respect to the Zayin Cohen thing and that is like I kept trying to convey this over and over to Ray, but he wasn’t listening or wasn’t getting it because if you look into Zayin, it’s really clear that Zayin is either just like a straight up bullshit artist who just makes stuff up or he’s actually mentally disturbed. And that’s actually something people need to be aware of and that especially newer astrologers need to be aware of. Most like experienced astrologers know this, but every once in a while, you will run into somebody who genuinely is not altogether there and where there’s something off about them in the-
PW: And this may sound like a dramatic claim, but really [Patrick laughs] I mean, this anecdote about Zayin’s “wife” is almost too strange to be believed, but it is absolutely true. So, would you like to explain that?
CB: Yeah. And let me set that up just because this is the final thing that for us, we were able to confirm just how sketchy Zayin is. Patrick, you contacted Zayin in early August asking about the time and he said it should be 1:18 rather than 2:18. Mark Cullen around the same time period also contacted Zayin and asked and then to Mark Cullen, he says, “No, it should be 2:08 instead of 2:18.” And then so right around the same time not long after that, Mark adds Zayin as a friend on Facebook and then around the same week, Mark gets another friend request from somebody else whose name is Karen Victoria Cohen, who the profile is purporting to be Zayin Cohen’s wife. And so, what’s funny about that is that after all the story broke and there’s all the furor over Marc Penfield and then all the speculation about Marc Penfield getting the time from Zayin Cohen and then people wondering if Zayin Cohen was a legitimate source, there must have been a ton of people emailing Zayin Cohen over the course of that week and probably to some extent, pressing him on this whole birth time issues. So, at some point in early October, I get a message from Mark Cullen saying, “Hey, Zayin Cohen’s wife just put up an announcement today saying that Zayin has colon cancer and that he’s going to die soon, so you and Patrick should probably lay off of him.” So, at first, I was like, “Oh, that’s terrible. That makes me feel bad.” But then I thought about it and was like, “Wait a minute. Could you send me the link to the profile?” And he sends me the link to the profile and it’s the fakest Facebook profile you’ve ever seen. I’ve seen some fake profiles in my day because I get a lot of spam profiles that try to add you and then spam your page, but this was so poorly done and overtly fake that I was almost offended at how shabby it was because it’s just pictures of some supermodel.
PW: Right. And actually, it’s funny because I shared the profile to my wife and within one minute, she said she was able to source the pictures to a Swedish model Anna Nystrom that is from her yoga pants series. [Patrick laughs] So, within a minute, she was able to source the photos outlined and some of the photos belonged to a different model. So yeah, it wasn’t even the same person. Yeah, it was just a different glamorous photo of a very beautiful woman. And so, yoga pants, very nice photos, but yeah, clearly not of Zayin’s wife. [Patrick laughs] It’s stretching a little far to believe that would be a likely union. [Patrick laughs]
CB: And this is the statement that actually was sent to me that was put out and this is why you need to understand the extent to which this guy was going to not mess with people, but to lie in like really horrible ways. So, the message that was post on her page said, “Ask everyone to either pray or send good vibes to Zayin. His doctor is suspecting colon cancer, so more tests next week. He’s lost seven pounds in two weeks, and his white blood count is up, and his hemoglobin keeps getting lower. I’m worried. And he says he feels he’ll be gone within 18 months. His daughter nor I or Ashley can lose him. He said his book would be his swan song. I can’t think that way. Thank you, Karen.” And it’s like that sounds really terrible if you think that that’s an actual message and that immediately evokes sympathy, but then when you look at this profile page and you realize that it’s actually a fake page and this is actually Zayin himself writing this message in order to garner sympathy from the community whose otherwise just inundating him with questions about, did you make up this birth time? Why are you giving out false different versions of the birth time now to different people? And you realize that this is somebody using a fake profile and trying to garner sympathy in order to distract from this really terrible thing that he did that finally blew up in his face, which is inventing a false birth time, claiming it was from the birth certificate and then he got it because he was a secret agent, and then giving out different versions of the birth time to different people more recently, you realize that this is not a good guy that we’re dealing with and that this is the source, this is the guy who Marc Penfield got the birth time from originally that he’s been using for the past eight years or more ever since 2008. So, in order to understand the basis of this story, you have to fully understand the extent to which this birth time came from not just an unreliable source, but somebody who’s actively not well and actively up to no good in the astrological community.
Right. So that’s one of the points that we eventually realized that I was then frantically attempting to convey to Ray, the president of ISAR saying, “You need to slow down with this. I really would be careful about promoting this and endorsing this time and putting the weight of ISAR behind it. There’s stuff that is amiss here and you may not want to take it too seriously. You may want to slow down to research it more before continuing to promote it.” So, what happened next? So, next, the video interview was finally released on October 2nd. And what it was, was an interview where Ray Merriman and Shelley Ackerman who were going to be the two MCs of the two presidential panels at the conference, the international panel at the very start of the conference and then the panel of US astrologers at the end of the conference, they interviewed Marc Penfield in a short 12- or 13-minute YouTube video basically that was just like a webinar talk or phone talk that they recorded and then posted it on YouTube. So, Marc finally unveils the time in this video. He says he’s been using the time since 2007 and cites the 2008 AFA Journal article. He also cites if you go back and look at that article and this is one of the additional claims that he introduced at this point, he says, “This time was cooperated by Hillary’s cousin.” But if you look at the 2008 article where he got that from, he just says, “According to “the internet”, Hillary’s cousin also says 2:18.” And I can’t find any references to this 2:18 cousin thing on “the internet” anymore, so whatever it was that he got this from back then is long gone by now. And one of the points that you made is that’s a highly dubious claim to begin with, right?
PW: Yeah. Hillary only has one cousin and that cousin is Oscar Downey Jr. and he’s been on record criticizing Hillary’s mother as being anti-Semitic and being petty and holding grudges. And apparently, according to Bernstein’s book in Charge, Oscar hasn’t been on speaking terms with Hillary for a long time because of a dispute in the family about who is going to be paying for some medical procedure for one of her brothers. And so, the idea that Oscar Downey Jr. would have at the behest of astrologers asked Hillary’s mum for Hillary’s birth time is very, very strange. [Patrick laughs] So yeah, that doesn’t seem very reliable.
CB: Sure. And we don’t even know where it came from because it’s nothing that’s documented anywhere else and he just cites the internet, which is really crappy in terms of like as a researcher, a really poor way to cite anything that could have come from Zayin Cohen himself. For all we know, that could have been part of Zayin’s original claim is that he didn’t just get the 2:18 time, but that somehow it was also been cooperated by the cousin and nobody else realized that was a totally absurd claim to be making. Who knows? Because Penfield didn’t do a good job of explaining where he got that from back in 2008 and wherever it was, it’s long gone now because I’ve done every search possible and I can’t find anything. So, Penfield adds that it’s like an additional collaboration in the interview video, but it’s basically BS. And if you go back and you look at the 2008 article, you see that his primary source is just Zayin Cohen. So, this guy that we’ve talked about who’s a little bit off and who’s clearly just making up the time and probably rectified it from the beginning. So, he’s somebody that claims to have gotten the birth certificate because he’s a secret agent or something, but in fact, he probably just rectified it and then is putting that forward as if it’s a legitimate time. And that’s it’s actually interesting because one of the things that came out in the week after this furor over the announcement about Marc Penfield getting the time but not releasing it is that all of the data collectors and the people in the community that have worked with data collection and that worked with Lois Rodden and stuff came out saying that Marc did not have a good history.
Okay, we’re starting again. So, we had a brief interruption. So, just to pick up that train of thought, so we have this time from Cohen, Zayin Cohen ironically, probably invented or rectified the time and then was putting it forward as coming from the birth certificate. Ironically, Marc Penfield, it turned out when this announcement came out, one of the things that happened in the community is a lot of data collectors started talking about how Marc Penfield didn’t have a great history, and one of them was Frank Clifford who gave this account. Frank Clifford had worked closely with Lois Rodden towards the end of her life in the field of data collection and that he characterized Penfield as Lois’s like nemesis or something at one point to the extent that she had really called him out for sometimes rectifying times and then submitting them as AA data and other things like that. So, I think we’ve discussed that previously. So, we’ll have to go into it super, but I think you were going to make a point about that.
PW: Well, yeah, I was just going to say that Frank Clifford isn’t someone who necessarily has an agenda or something against Marc Penfield. He was just celebrated at ISAR for winning best article from 2014 to 2016, so Frank Clifford’s account of Marc and his relationship with Lois Rodden and his checkered past with data collection isn’t coming from a place of vindictiveness. He’s a respected astrologer. So, just in keeping with our journalistic and documenting attitude towards this.
CB: Sure. Yeah, so there’s definitely red flags and reasons to be skeptical about Marc’s stories. So, he finally gave the story in this YouTube video. He says that he called the records office in Springfield, Illinois in late September. The story he gave was that he called the vital records office in Illinois and had a brief two-minute conversation with some random woman in that office where he established a system of giving out possible times and then she was supposed to say that it was wrong if he gave a wrong one or remain silent if it was correct, which he characterized as some journalistic trick to circumvent what would otherwise be clearly against the law because Illinois is a closed state and so you’re not supposed to be able to get somebody’s birth data unless you’re a family member or unless the person has been dead for a long time. So eventually, Marc claimed that when he came to the 2:18 time that she was silent thus confirming that time and I’m not sure I don’t think he said this in the video, but he said it elsewhere and I think it was an interview with somebody else that is all took place in like a two-minute timespan. Yeah. So, in the interview, it’s like when this is happening in the YouTube video, it’s like Shelley points out that this approach was featured in the movie All the President’s Men to which Penfield then enthusiastically agrees with which I thought was interesting because that acknowledges that he’s seen this movie and that perhaps this is actually where he picked up this idea that somehow you could use that to circumvent the laws in a closed state like that. And he said something like it’s a trick that reporters use all the time, which I’m curious if that’s even true or even plausible in this context.
PW: Well, I asked Yogita Patel, the author of The Wall Street Journal article on Hillary’s time, the investigative reporter who did all that great work with the claims for Hillary’s time and I asked her specifically if she would be able to do what Marc Penfield did and she said that she wouldn’t even bother. [Patrick laughs] And she’s like, of course, yeah, she knows the answer would be no. And this is supposedly I think that journalists do all the time and he is a journalist who is hard on this issue and she didn’t think it was worth her time to even bother dealing with the Illinois State Office. So, I think that’s a bit disingenuous, inaccurate at best at least according to a real reporter.
CB: Sure. So, Marc tells the story, it’s all very brief. This is like a 10-minute YouTube video. And what’s annoying is it’s like Ray and Shelley in this video didn’t really ask any useful follow-up questions. They did ask some questions, but they weren’t really useful or pointed ones that would have clarified some of the underlying issues with some of these parts of this story that are implausible or that need to be addressed and those didn’t really get adequately addressed, which is basically what we anticipated in the last episode. We anticipated that there was going to be this announcement, they we’re finally going to confirm the 2:18 time, but then it was going to raise more questions than it actually answered and that’s basically what happened. And that’s additionally annoying because originally, I was asked if I wanted to be involved in this interview, but at first, it was just supposed to be if I wanted to interview Ray about whatever Marc had said to him about this birth time. And so of course, I said no, because that sounds pointless. But later, when it turned out that they would be actually interviewing Marc directly, I asked to be involved so that I could ask some of the important questions that needed to be asked about this birth time to get to the bottom of it and I was basically ignored. So, things could have been clarified in this video, but it was like another step where instead of doing that, it just created more problems.
PW: Yeah, I didn’t know if you wanted to go into any of the additional reasons why the story from Penfield about the call to the Illinois records office is implausible.
CB: Yeah, I mean, we’ll get to that in the next section just in terms of reactions to the video. So, the final thing though is they conclude the video by saying that it’s AA data. And that’s one of the recurring themes here that’s particularly annoying throughout this entire thing is them misunderstanding or not having a clear understanding of the Rodden Rating system and what AA data is and they kept constantly referring to it as AA data which is just patently false because AA data is only when you have the birth certificate in your hand and at no point did Marc claim to actually have the birth certificate in his hand. And I was going back and forth over the course of the two weeks between thinking that either they just didn’t understand the Rodden Rating system and so they were misspeaking constantly even though they were corrected like 100 times or that they were just saying that in order to puff this thing up into something that it wasn’t for promotional purposes. But either way, it was like a reoccurring and it’s like still happening sort of annoying thing where it keeps getting framed as AA data even though it’s obviously not. So, the video ends.
So, then after that comes a week basically of reactions to the video and there wasn’t as much furor compared to the original announcement, it was much more muted, but there was definitely some skepticism from different people after the release of the video. In particular, there were some skeptical posts on Skyscript and the Astrodienst forums where people started talking about this and investigating it and talking about its plausibility of Marc’s story, basically. And this is where a lot of the discussion about Marc’s sketchy history with data collection came into play also, the discussion about how the original time from Zayin was clearly rectified, which that was more important at that point once Marc had confirmed he was using the 2:18 time and that he originally got it from Zayin Cohen because the disconnect there is basically your premise then is that some crazy guy rectified the birth time to an exact minute of 2:18 and then several years later, Marc is claiming that he confirmed that with the birth certificate essentially and it’s highly implausible that somebody correctly rectified the time and then it was confirmed later on because that’s a rare occurrence in the astrological community. So, it raised the likelihood that Marc was probably making up a story rather than the idea that Zayin was actually like James Bond to begin with and that somehow came up with the birth time or the birth certificate because he’s a secret agent.
So, finally, the way he described it as happening about contacting the vital records office came under scrutiny because that story seemed very implausible the more and more you looked into it. And so, I think this is where some of your interactions with some of the people on the forums comes into play, right?
PW: Right. Well, yeah, on the Astrodienst’s forum, there was some very interesting posts from a person who was only identified as Piscean and this person seemed very annoyed at this story and was very, very skeptical of Marc Penfield’s claims and actually went the extra step of notifying the head of the Illinois State Records Office where… Actually, I should remember that. First, this person contacted the head of the County Cook Records Office which is not the same office that Marc Penfield claimed to have contacted. He said that he contacted the Springfield Office of the State Office, but this person contacted the County Cook Clerk’s office and basically got the response that this would never have happened and this is totally illegal and that all their staff are very well trained to not do this. And I suggested that maybe we need to do the same thing with the state offices. That’s actually where he claimed to have made the call. What’s strange is a few days after that, I got an anonymous email, well, it was a screencap of a conversation between Joseph Aiello and another person who I can only presume to be possibly or potentially Piscean, but it was anonymous so I wasn’t given confirmation. Yeah. Yeah, the name Joseph Aiello, he is the division chief, he’s the head of the vital records of Illinois. And so, I checked the email, I checked the phone number, it all seemed to match and he basically said in this email that the information that Marc Penfield was giving was misinformation and hearsay.
So, in order to verify this, in order to corroborate this, I decided, well, the YouTube video was already out. At that time, Justin Moyer from The Washington Post was already on this story potentially going to be… Yeah, we’ll get into that more, but I guess I’m explaining why I felt like at that point, it was okay for me to actually just find by myself to see if he knew about this video and if the claims being made about him were true. And so, I did contact him and he got back to me and said the exact same thing that he sent the person who sent me the anonymous email and it was almost like a stock response. But it further confirmed the idea that this is just something that doesn’t happen and it certainly wouldn’t happen in a two-minute conversation. And the fines or rather the penalties in Illinois are unusually stiff, I would say, for a violation of someone’s privacy in revealing a part of a birth certificate or part of a piece of data from someone’s birth certificate involving $25,000 fine, they consider it a class four felony so that would be like three years in prison. And it just seems highly implausible that an employee would risk this just because Marc Penfield was charming on the phone and all that Marc Penfield himself would risk his own freedom in telling people about this time.
Now, I know that some people have considered this turning in astrologists into the authorities and I think that it was made public. The fact that this had happened, it was made a public fact in a YouTube video that anyone could watch. It was used to sell more tickets for a conference which was been covered by national press, even international press. So, the idea that I personally was turning in an astrologer by trying to confirm or disconfirm his account with the head of vital records in Illinois I think it’s [Patrick laughs] moot at that point. It’s already out there. The cat is out of the bag, you know? And if what Marc Penfield was saying was true, then his freedom would be online, but something tells me that Penfield is going to be a free man.
CB: Right. So, the general point was just that some astrologers contacted the administrators in the vital records office and the administrator said basically, that’s an absurd story that did not happen and that would not happen because we train our people very thoroughly not to give out data over the phone like that. And so, he was saying basically that there’s no way that that happened. And this raised the general point which is, why would anybody risk their job? Why would some government worker risk their job for some random stranger who just cold called them and started asking for the birth time of one of the most famous people in the world in a two-minute conversation for something that because it’s a medical record would obviously be logged in their computer systems if anyone accessed it. So, this led to a lot of mounting skepticism over Penfield’s story as we were getting closer and closer to the conference to the point where we couldn’t completely rule it out. It was like there was some nonzero chance or some like 1% chance that maybe Penfield did just call some government worker up out of the blue and they have a two-minute conversation where he set up this elaborate system of like, yes, no answers in order to get this birth time. But it made it much more and more like highly implausible that he was telling the truth.
So interestingly, around the same time, only two or three days after the original announcement, Ray started saying that Penfield was sick and may not make it to the conference all of a sudden. So, we started off with ISAR making this huge announcement that Penfield has gotten AA data on Hillary Clinton’s which implies that he had the birth certificate in hand and that he will only release it at the second panel at the conference in exactly two weeks. And then there’s this huge fear from the community just lots of really angry astrologers saying, “That’s really messed up. You should release it right away. Don’t sit on this for two or three weeks.” And then suddenly, out of the blue two or three days later, suddenly Penfield’s not feeling well and may not show up to the conference after all. So, they went from saying one day that he’ll be there in two weeks and he’ll only release the data then to suddenly, two or three days later, they’re like he may not make it to the conference after all. What’s interesting about that is Marc actually lives in Los Angeles which is very close to where the conference actually took place and so he’s really close to the conference, but he didn’t actually end up showing up in the end, and we’ll get to why that is in just a minute.
So, at this point, it’s like I urged Ray Merriman, the president of ISAR to release the time as early as he could so that we could research it so that all the panelists could research it, but also to be very careful about promoting it and generally, most of those requests were basically ignored. I gave him several helpful comments on the draft of an announcement that he was going to give out about the birth time. Many of those comments were ignored or removed in a way that like made the time seem more plausible than it actually was. I tried to urge him to include the point that Zayin Cohen had given out two different versions of the birth time. So, in total that Zayin had given out three different versions of this birth time recently, but he only mentioned one of the alternative times that Zayin mentioned. So, he left out a critical detail that makes the original time seem even more implausible. So there became a point where it seemed like generally Ray believed that that was the correct time and wanted to promote it and that was a large part of what was going on there for a while. And at a certain point, he was basically over committed so that it seemed like he was starting to brush off things that didn’t look good. So, for example, Ray had ISAR send out a survey on October 6th after the video had been released specifically about the birth certificate thing that they’d been doing with Penfield and it was only open very briefly for like two or three days and all of the questions were written in this totally slanted or leaning manner basically asking if ISAR did a community service by promoting what they kept referring to was a AA birth time even though their claim was true, it was not because there was no birth certificate in hand.
So, it was clear that it seemed like Ray was using this survey as a pretext to justify what had just happened even though there was all this controversy surrounding it. And many people that I know didn’t answer the survey because it was so obviously slanted and it wasn’t clear if it was anonymous as a result of that. So, most of the people who did answer probably didn’t know the full story but only what had been presented in the video interview, so they assumed that it was legitimate given the weight that ISAR was giving to it essentially. So, at this stage, in a few day aftermath after the video, we had strong suspicions that Penfield was making up the story but we couldn’t confirm it and ISAR was essentially doing everything that it could to promote and endorse the time at that point, or at least Ray and Shelley were and they were using the apparatus of ISAR and so I want to be careful about making that distinction because I don’t think the entire ISAR board was on board with this and that it was something that was being done… [crosstalk 00:51:14:22] Well, not behind because it’s like they saw what was happening more or less so they weren’t aware of exactly what was going on with the panelists, I don’t think but it was being done unilaterally and this wasn’t like a commission of ISAR board people constantly promoting this time and making these mistakes and not listening to reasoned calls for being careful about this, but it was just like one or two people that were trying to use this to promote the conference.
And they started putting out statements through ISAR trying to justify the time and saying that the jigsaw rectification program for Astrolabe for Solar Fire that this somehow also came up with a 2:18 time or something close to it and so they used that to confirm that this confirms that it’s the correct time. But it’s like the jigsaw program, it’s not like a scientifically accurate program or it’s not like a reliable rectification program all the time. If it was, then somebody would have won like a Nobel Prize already for this program that can rectify birth times accurately by just knowing some dates in a person’s life. But it’s like in reality, it’s not. It’s just like I don’t want to bash the program too much because I’m not trying to attack the programmers or something like that, but it’s just like a crappy rectification program of which there are many and to argue that because jigsaw generates a time somewhat close to that as well as several other times does not at all validate that this was the correct time and it does not take away all of the different reasons why Penfield’s story did not make sense. So, there are just different things like that like with a survey and with the statements of jigsaw that were being done to attempt to bolster and validate this time even though there were issues with it. And so, to that extent, ISAR or whatever the apparatus of ISAR was very much being used to promote this at this point and to convince everybody that this was correct.
So, the next chapter of our story is basically that on October 10th, out of the blue and somewhat miraculously, I was contacted by a reporter named Justin Moyer from The Washington Post and he had just heard from a friend or something that there was some controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s birth time and he wanted to see if there was a story there. And his timing was really weird for many obvious reasons, but what was interesting is that with our timing with recording that last episode, we released it on September 29th. We recorded on the 28th and released on the 29th. And that same day, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal released a story that she had been working on for about a year on Hillary Clinton’s birth time on September 29th the same day that we happened to release our podcast. And both Patrick and I had talked with and had worked with that reporter over the past year while she was investigating this story and trying to see if there was a legitimate story there that there was a controversy over Hillary Clinton’s birth time and if any of that actually originated with Hillary or if it was just the astrologers being weird or something like that. And she actually did a lot of amazing work and tracked down a lot of leads and was able to disconfirm a lot of things that the astrological community took for granted, so she actually released that story on the 29th in an amazing coincidence with us releasing our podcast and you were actually quoted in that, right, Patrick?
PW: The Washington Post article?
CB: Well, The Wall Street Journal article.
PW: Oh, no. Well, she used some of the things that we talked about, but ultimately, the only reference to me was that I had predicted that Obama would win in 2012 which, hey, listen to that. I’ll take that. But [Patrick laughs] no, she asked for some clarification on things like the houses and signs and a lot of it wasn’t stuff that actually made it in because it ended up being outside of the main point of the article, but I think it showed that Yogita is very serious and really tried hard to take astrology for that as I thought she did a good job of actually trying to wrap her head around some of these astrological concepts and it was encouraging to know that [Patrick laughs] mainstream reporter was actually trying to understand astrology on its own terms.
CB: Sure, yeah. It was definitely a good article and it was interesting and so it came out right then. So, like a week later on October 10th, I’m contacted by this Washington Post reporter and he’s asking about Hillary’s birth time and he actually hadn’t heard of the other article in The Wall Street Journal up to that point, so I had to tell them the news that somebody already covered the story. But then, on the positive side, I was able to say, however, there’s been a new development since that story was released because the Penfield birth time story wasn’t able to be fully incorporated into Yogita’s article in The Wall Street Journal. So, I told this guy from The Washington Post about that and gave him the overview of what was happening and I said, “Maybe you could look into this because there might be a story here.”
PW: So, I actually have a question about that. Did you tell him to contact me or did he just contact me independently? Because he contacted me right around that time as well.
CB: Yeah, I don’t know. Well, because he had already listened to a little bit of our podcast and he didn’t listen to the whole thing because it was too highly technical and too long and so I don’t think he was able to follow it, but he already heard both of us on that podcast. So, he may have already contacted you simultaneously to me because I got back to him really quickly, but then after I gave him the overview of this story, he was like, who else should I talk to about this? And you were one of the people I mentioned in addition to others. So, then what happens is he gets in contact with you and through a series of things, you actually get a hold of Penfield’s number and you gave it to the reporter, right?
PW: Yeah. The astrologer Steven Stuckey had mentioned publicly on Facebook that he was more willing to trust Marc Penfield because he had talked with him on the phone and they’d had a two- or three-hour long conversation and that through this process, he felt like he really trusted that Marc was telling the truth. So just on a lark, the reporter was asking me if there was a way he’d contact Marc Penfield because he’d had trouble finding his phone number. And that’s interesting because when I asked Steven Stuckey about it, he said that he wasn’t sure why there was such an issue with my Penfield’s phone number because apparently, he’s been hard to access by phone for a while, but he had a phone number for him and I asked him if he would be okay giving it to Justin Moya and he agreed. Apparently, Justin Moya used the number and was able to get in contact with Penfield and at that point… Do you want to continue the story?
CB: Yeah. That is when our story takes a dramatic turn and from what we understand, basically, the reporter calls up Penfield, and Penfield basically just, I don’t know, if it was you could say immediately because I don’t know how long their conversation was. But effectively, he immediately and unequivocally retracted his story as soon as this reporter got in contact with him and totally said that he made up the birth time and that this is just something that he does and-
PW: He said he exaggerated a bit and it’s just a part of his personality, which might be one of the most truthful, it’s been said in this whole story. [laughs]
CB: Well, then it fits in with what other data collectors were saying about his past, which is that he had been known to rectify times or to come up with times and then submit them as if they were AA data, and this is something that he did especially early in his career. And there’s some sentiment that maybe he got better later on, but evidently not. So this is really wild because you got word of this on the night of October 11th, and you told me about it. But the story that we got back from the reporter was Penfield has completely retracted the time and said he made it up. However, the reporter was saying that Ray and Shelley were sticking with the story, and we’re inexplicably doubling down on it, thus making that the official position essentially of ISAR and of the upcoming conference that was about to start like a day or two later with the two presidential panels of people who had been told and repeatedly convinced that this was “AA data” over the past two weeks leading up to that.
PW: Sometimes it’s just too hard to admit that perhaps you were mistaken. I think that’s the only thing that really explains why they would have done that after having it confirmed in the national press that Marc Penfield retracted his story. And yeah, that was really cool. That was a cool phone call with Justin Moyer. And he’s like, “Yeah, he totally retracted.” And I was like, “What?” And I’m like, “You’re the first person I called. Well, you’re the only person I called.” But right after that, I was like, “Oh my God.” Chris, it was a funny moment.
CB: Right. And we were all screaming, and then Lisa was excited as well. And my neighbors were yelling at me to shut up. So we knew by the night of October 11th, and that means that Ray and Shelley knew by the night of October the 11th because they had been told by the reporter. But then I flew out to the conference on October 12th, and there was already a speaker party that night. So all the speakers were already there. And then the conference itself opened on October 13th and that night was the first presidential panel. And the article wasn’t released until the morning of October 14th, so second day of the conference, the first full day of lectures. But none of the panelists were informed that Penfield had retracted the time. And this is where things get a little bit messed up, and this is where some of the drama that occurred at the conference comes into play. Yeah, so it’s like the people, the two people involved in promoting the time were told that Penfield has retracted it, but they either refuse to believe it or refuse to acknowledge publicly that that had taken place, and didn’t tell then the people who needed to use that birth time what happened.
PW: They’d have to read Washington Post to get that news.
CB: Right, which The Washington Post article came out on October 14th, and it was beautiful because you were quoted in the title of the article, and the article is titled “This is not to be trusted: Astrologers are battling over Hillary Clinton’s true birth time,” and I’ll link to it in the description page for this episode. It’s a brilliant article, everybody should read it. And there’s two really important sort of long paragraphs that I wanted to read just in order to give you the main points of the article. So one of them is the reporter talking about calling up Penfield. And he says, “So Penfield offered up some possible times to the employee.” So he’s describing like Penfield’s original claim from the YouTube video about how he supposedly came up with this time. And he says, so Penfield offered up some possible times to the employee, he said. And when he got to 2:18 time, the employee said nothing. So proof. And then he says, or not. In an interview with the Washington Post, Penfield retracted his claim. And then it says quote from Penfield. “I tried to, but she wouldn’t play along,” he said of trying the Woodward and Bernstein on the Illinois state employee. Penfield, who said he was 75 and in ill health, said he saw the 2:18 birth time reported on the internet in 2007, but his comment in the ISAR video about confirming it was “a bit of an exaggeration”. And then it goes on, it says, “It’s part of my personality,” he said, then it keeps going. It says, Melaney Arnold, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said an employee would never provide birth time information over the telephone. So says “a definitive no,” she said. It keeps going, it says, whatever Penfield’s interpretation of Clinton’s chart, his 2:18 AM birth time was promoted as part of an ISAR conference this weekend in Costa Mesa, California. So the article goes on and basically starts pointing out how, even though Penfield had just retracted the time and even though the reporter had just informed the ISAR president and the other person who was doing the promotions for the ISAR conference, doing the press promotions or whatever, who was Shelley Ackerman, that those two were basically ignoring it and still sticking with the time. So it goes on in another sort of long paragraph and says, “Asked about this discrepancy, Ackerman, who was doing press for the event and will appear there to discuss Clinton’s 2:18 AM chart, wondered whether Penfield was protecting someone in the Illinois Health Department.” And then it says quote from her, “What I’m thinking happened is that someone in the office got their head handed to them,” she said, “I wonder if Marc is taking steps back to protect whoever this person was.” Then it says, Raymond Merriman, the president of ISAR, was surprised to hear on Thursday that Penfield had walked back his claim. Then it says, “And that’s a stunning bit of information to me,” he said, but Merriman said the 2:18 time still could be correct, calling Penfield “an honorable person.” And then it says, “I can only assume he’s given that info because he doesn’t want the stress related to the controversy,” he said. Ackerman said there are many reasons people might wish to conceal their birth time. And there’s more to the article, but those are really the main, most important points, which is basically Penfield’s retracted, and then you have these other two who are sticking with the time for some inexplicable reason, basically because they just spent the past two weeks promoting it like really aggressively to the astrological community and then suddenly had the rug sort of pulled out from under them when it turned out that what a lot of people had been saying was true, that Marc was probably making it up. And then Marc basically said to the national press, to the Washington Post itself, “I did in fact make the birth time up, and ‘it’s part of my personality’.”
PW: Yeah. And as to show the Ackerman’s concern that he’s trying to protect someone in the office, well, if he was really interested in doing that, why would he have released it in the first place? I mean, it’s totally, that doesn’t make any sense.
CB: Right, it’s absolutely absurd, and that’s totally just them. As far as I’m concerned, that’s them, that’s the narrative that they started then promoting at the conference to people privately. Because of course, they didn’t announce this publicly, they didn’t announce to the panelists that Penfield had retracted the time. They still haven’t announced it to the ISAR membership. It’s October 21st now as we’re recording this, and they haven’t announced that Penfield retracted the time to their newsletter, who they previously promoted it to so much. So as far as I’m concerned, that’s just them trying to rationalize still how this could be valid and how it couldn’t have been or how it wasn’t in fact a huge up on their part. But it’s an absurd claim because Penfield was fine promoting this in this big press release through ISAR, and then he was fine saying that he was going to get on a panel at the conference and announce it to all of this media that Ray and Shelley had spent a long time gathering. They got The Guardian there.
PW: Right. I mean, there was going to be media attention there. I mean, no one can say like, “Well, it’s unfair of the Washington Post asking a real question about it, but it’s totally fine if just some other random…” This wasn’t being kept secret, this is deliberately being publicized to the idea that he’s trying to protect someone’s identity or something. It’s all clearly, I mean, it’s can’t swallow our pride.
CB: Right. I mean, they are the ones that publicized it, there’s no doubt about that. They’re the ones that publicized it. And furthermore, he was going to if he had gone through with it, he was going to publicize it even more widely because they had done their best to get as many media outlets there to the conference as possible, who would have then taken down the story once it got on the panel. But instead, because they announced it ahead of time and then there was huge pushback from the community, they were forced to accelerate that, they put out a YouTube video, which is the very video that gets embedded in the Washington Post article.
PW: Basically if it wasn’t for Justin Moyer coming out with this article, if it wasn’t for him, this would have just continued unabated.
CB: I mean, it would have been a situation where it would have stayed where we left off in the last podcast, which is that we strongly suspect that Marc is just making this up and he does not have a good history, and the original person who introduced the time is clearly a phony and is clearly not someone to be trusted, the Zen koan person who originally introduced the time, but we don’t have any hard evidence beyond those very strong suspicions and the very implausible nature of his story to prove that he’s lying. And so it’s just going to be one of these things that people are going to go different ways on. And that unfortunately, they’re going to keep promoting this 2:18 time and taking Marc’s story for granted despite how implausible it is and partially just in order to promote this conference. But yeah, but then sort of magically, this reporter came along, called up Penfield, and Penfield probably panicked at that point because he got caught in what was probably just a little white lie initially that sort of snowballed and built up and sort of got out of hand. But it was at that point, when you’re getting contacted by the Washington Post, which is the newspaper that originally broke the Watergate story, that’s when you know you screwed up.
PW: Ironically, the Washington Post, right? Because Woodward and Bernstein work for the Washington Post.
CB: Yeah, exactly.
PW: Yeah. [laughs] Wow. I hadn’t even thought about that.
CB: Exactly. And from the movie that was made about that was where he probably got the idea for this absurd, sort of what he’s calling a reporter’s technique of telling the person to be silent if it’s correct and to say no if it’s wrong. So it sort of comes full circle there. So anyways, so we’re at the conference now. We’re in this bad situation because what happens is the first conference opens, we know privately that this story’s about to drop and that Marc Penfield’s retracting it but that Ray and Shelley aren’t saying anything, and the first panel happens right away on October 13th, on the evening of October 13th. And yeah, I mean, there was no statement issued about the retraction through ISAR. And so what happened is the first panel takes place on the night of October 13th, and then at least one of the panelists used the 2:18 time. And as far as I know, they had not been told by the ISAR leadership that Penfield had retracted. And what was interesting–
PW: Was that EmaKurent?
CB: Yeah. So it was Ema. And so what was interesting about that is in the panel itself, Ray actually tried to cover his ass a little bit on the panel by asking Ema a leading question, where he said, he asked her whether she’d been using that birth time prior to ISAR promoting it essentially, and I’m not quoting it exactly, but that was the gist of the question from what I recall. Unfortunately for him, she basically responded saying that she had only started using the time after ISAR announced it and started promoting it, which meant that ISAR was directly responsible for one of their panelists using a false birth time, especially since they had not informed her or any of the other panelists at this point or at all even up until today that the time had been retracted by Penfield. So that’s a point that really me off and that still I’m kind of raw over because of the way that this entire sort of debacle was handled. And while I don’t like sort of like calling somebody out or like whatever the repercussions are surrounding talking about this so openly, this is the reason why I feel it’s necessary to do this because as a community, we need to make sure that things like this don’t happen again, and there needs to be some kind of protocol potentially for dealing with things like this because was a huge disaster. I mean, it could’ve been worse, and to some extent, we’re overplaying it and certainly I’m blowing it out of proportion because this is something I’m very passionate about in terms of the presidential election and predictions and researching Hillary Clinton’s birth time, which is a topic that I’ve been on for 10 years now. And other things like professionalism or the perception of astrology in the media or amongst the public and all these different things where I’m probably more concerned about that than like the average astrologer. But nonetheless, it wasn’t a cool thing. It wasn’t even a cool thing from a personal perspective in terms of that one astrologer who didn’t know that she was using a time that had been retracted by the source.
PW: Right. I’m super passionate about this issue too just because I think it’s super important for making predictions and doing astrological research and I’ve gotten important presidential birth data before, and I would never have done something like this with it because I think it’s just too important to hold back. And it’s got to be legit, you’ve got to be able to provide the PDFs, but you have to do it legally. I mean, that’s what’s most ethical, and I think that’s another sort of thing that’s kind of troubling, which is that in defending Marc Penfield’s time, the leadership of ISAR are essentially saying that it’s okay for an astrologer to claim, to be breaking laws if it means getting birth data. And I can’t reconcile that with ISAR’s ethics.
CB: Yeah. And there’s a lot of things surrounding that that are probably things that do need to be talked about as a community issue. I mean, there’s tons of sort of spinoff things that we’re going to have to talk about this as a community. But that’s one of the reasons why first we have to outline what happened because we can’t learn and grow from this if we don’t actually talk about…
PW: Have a real record of it, right?
CB: Right. So it’s difficult, it’s not easy, and it’s a little touchy of a subject, but that’s what we’re trying to do here. So on the first panel, it’s like the first panel didn’t go that well. All of the panelists had trouble keeping to their four-minute time slots, and I think just about everybody went over, some more than others. There was one person who said something about Hillary not making it to inauguration day, and this ended up getting repeated in the press, which I felt was unfortunate for reasons that I’ll come back to.
PW: Right. Although, by not making it, makes it sound like she’s talking about death or something. My impression of when she was talking about that is that she was saying that she didn’t think inauguration day would happen on January 20th, but that Hillary would be inaugurated president, just not on that day. So I mean, and there could be reasons for a delay. Cold weather has delayed public inauguration ceremonies as well as when it falls on a Sunday, but yeah, I mean the press were there for anything juicy, and that was the right thing to say to get a bit of attention. I agree that it’s a bit unfortunate just because people can rush to dire conclusions pretty quickly from just a little sentence like that.
CB: Yeah. And I’m desperately trying to find it because I’m pretty sure she was speculating about health issues. And I thought it was implied that she was saying it was something more dire than that. In the LA times, it ended up getting quoted as “I just don’t see that inauguration taking place,” she said, speculating about the possibility of a health issue like a flu, which is the inference on the part of the reporter. Because this came up again then on the subsequent panel, and then it just spiraled into like death predictions and all sorts of things like that. But I was pretty sure that it got started with that initial statement on the first panel that was, I don’t know, we’ll come back to that later. So at the first panel, Ray and Shelley did their best to get as much press there as they could and even held a press event earlier before the opening in order to issue statements. And while these articles are generally favorable towards astrology at the beginning of the conference, none of them really came off as particularly good, and they also repeated and promoted stuff like the 2:18 time, which at that point you have to remember that even though Ray and Shelley knew it been retracted, they were still promoting it at that point to the press despite knowing that it had been retracted by Marc, which is a little messed up. So, then we get to the conference itself. And so over the next few days early in the conference, at some point like really early on I had a very tense conversation in the hallway with Ray and Shelley, where I urged them basically not to double down on this 2:18 birth time now that Marc had retracted it, and basically told them that even though it might be hard and embarrassing to backtrack on that now given how much they had promoted it over the past few weeks, it would be a lot worse in the long-term if they doubled down, especially for the broader astrological community and for just the appearance of astrology in the press because it didn’t look good for Marc to have retracted this, but then a bunch of astrologers to say that it was still valid, especially since the story itself just didn’t seem that plausible in terms of how Marc had originally framed it. So what happened at that point early in the conference is that Shelley in particular started promoting this narrative that Penfield was just saying that to the reporter in order to protect his source at the vital records office or in order to cover his own ass or something like that because she said people online had been threatening him with legal action. And this actually became the narrative that they were promoting in order to explain how the time that they had been promoting for several weeks was still accurate but while Penfield was now retracting it.
PW: And that claim that people were threatening him with legal action is inaccurate. People were stating what Illinois state law says is the penalty for the crime that Penfield was essentially admitting to and that ISAR was publicly promoting. So I think that’s a bit different from threatening legal action. No one can claim damages. Only I guess Hillary Clinton’s privacy, as well as the state of Illinois birth records laws are the only violated parties if this story were true. So no one was threatening Marc with legal action, I don’t think anyone wants anything bad to happen to Marc, I think we just all wanted the truth, and I think we got it in the Washington Post.
CB: It’s like Penfield himself wasn’t being threatened, but it was just being pointed out that if his story that he was claiming originally at least was remotely true, then talking about it publicly like he had been doing and promoting that story publicly would have been incredibly stupid because then he’d basically be promoting or sort of advertising that he had broken the law and that whoever his source was had broken the law. And so the whole point of that was not that Marc himself was being threatened, the point was that it’s extremely unlikely that he’s that dumb to be promoting that a crime had been committed. And instead it was more likely that this was just another justification for why this was probably a made up story in the first place. Even if he wasn’t a particularly reliable data collector, especially early on, he at least is familiar with data collection and the laws surrounding it. So he would know very well what the laws were in Illinois and which ones would have been broken if he had actually been successful in what he was attempting. So yeah, I mean, I urged Ray and Shelley not to promote this narrative on the second panel at the end of the conference because if they did, then I’d be forced to present the alternative and in my view the more plausible theory, that Marc had actually made up the exchange to begin with which is more or less what he basically admitted to in the Washington Post article. So they both eventually sort of walked away eventually. And later I sort of went up to Ray again and tried to explain that this was not personal but I was just wanting to set the record straight, and that I had thought that the whole story with Penfield was implausible from the start because it originated as a rectified time from Zen koan. And he seemed at that point to be kind of surprised at the idea that the original time by Zen was rectified, even though I felt like I had already explained that several times before over the course of the past couple of weeks. So ultimately since Ray and Shelley never told any of the other panelists about Marc retracting the time, I ended up having to go around to each panelist individually in order to check in with them, see if they were even using Hillary’s birth chart to begin with rather than a mundane chart or something else, and then let them know that Marc had retracted the time because it became clear that this was not going to be publicized at the conference. So that was a weird situation to be in, and it built up a lot of tension towards the second panel which was set to take place at the end of the conference on Sunday, October 16th in the evening. So eventually, that second panel did take place. And in terms of the subject of our discussion here, it was actually strangely anticlimactic in terms of the birth time issue. Because what ended up happening is it seems like they backed down, and neither Ray nor Shelley really brought up the 2:18 time. And so there was no opportunity either to argue about it or to note that Penfield had retracted it. So it just basically wasn’t discussed. And even though we shared the Washington Post article on Facebook and it got a lot of likes, and I’m sure a number of other people shared it, Marc’s retraction otherwise has not been mentioned to the ISAR community. And I think there was a newsletter that just came out a day or two ago where it was not mentioned in there either. So I ended up just saying, “I’m using the 8:00 AM time because it works better for the techniques that I’m using and it matches her chronology better.” And that’s it, that was basically the extent of the discussion of the birth time issue on the final panel. So the final panel ended up being a mess itself and ended up being this sort of chaotic, not very pleasant or professional sort of thing on its own for completely other reasons than had to do with all of these sort of like wild predictions about like death and attacks and all sorts of other stuff taking place that I felt was a bit sensationalist and kind of tasteless. But that’s almost sort of, I guess, a story for another time maybe when I do my recap with Austin and Kelly on Monday. So you had to go early, so you didn’t make it to the second panel?
PW: Yeah, that was very unfortunate. But yeah, I didn’t actually get to see it, but I heard you got some applause for your little speech at the end.
CB: Yeah, I mean, I basically… And I guess I can say that part, that was the other messed up part in order to round out this whole messed up story, is that the panelists on the second panel got an email about a day or two before the second panel, it was two days before the second panel, saying we’re changing the entire format and that I was going to have four minutes in order to introduce what my tradition is and what my approach is and the theory of the techniques I use, and then four minutes after that to demonstrate the techniques I use, how they apply to the presidential election and demonstrate what my prediction is. And then they basically said, “Yeah, so we’re getting rid of that. We’re collapsing those two four-minute segments down into one four-minute segment where you have to do everything. And then we’re going to ask you a bunch of random questions about world events that we’ve just come up with and that you haven’t prepared for because you’re now at the conference.” And this is two days before the panel is going to take place. So I was not happy about that. I went up asking if… I basically said, “I don’t have much to say about these questions. These are either mundane questions that I don’t have techniques that are outside of the purview of the techniques that I use or they’re questions that are outside of the purview of astrology in general or they’re just questions that I have not prepared for. And therefore don’t have much to say about…”
PW: This is like, will the next president be more popular than Obama or something? Right?
CB: Yeah. It’s stuff like that, it’s like…
PW: Which would be, well, depends on who you ask, right? Yeah, that’s kind of a non-astrological question in a way.
CB: Yeah. It ended up just being, stuff like that and just ended up being… I mean, it devolved into and there ended up being a lot of leading questions about, will inauguration day take place? Or at one point he asked, is it true that the media is conspiring against Donald Trump or he sort of implied almost like is the election rigged or something like that, which yeah, I mean, it just ended up being kind of ridiculous, and there ended up being a lot of statements thrown around, and I ended up at the very end of it making a statement just saying that I wanted to represent those astrologers who were not making any extreme predictions like that or those who had reservations about predicting things like death or terrorist attacks or whatever so openly and so brazenly, especially in an open gathering like that, where supposedly the media was supposed to be there and where there had been an active attempt to draw the media for this panel. So that’s sort of a whole other separate discussion, but it like ends or sort of is the capstone of what seemed like just a mess in general when it came to these presidential panels. So the conference itself other than that, one of the things I should say is the conference itself was great. And the ISAR board, the board as an entirety or as an entity, actually did a really good job of putting on this conference. And while I have a lot of criticisms for how the presidential panels were handled and some of the things related to that, I absolutely commend the board, including Ray and some of the things that he brought to the organization over the past couple of years that were like innovations in this conference that I think were really good and really impressive like having some of the speakers chosen based on a democratic vote or having a new and innovative bookstore in the trade show that held book signings and Q and A’s with authors or the location of the hotel that was really nice and just tons of great stuff. It actually was really amazing.
PW: It was a great conference, yeah, it was so good. It was particularly awesome for me too because I got the chance to speak through the intercession of the Association for Young Astrologers, and I greatly regret that I did not give a shout out to the Association for Young Astrologers for helping set me up with my first lecture at an astrology conference. So yeah, they helped me pop my lecture cherry, and I’m very grateful to them. And AYA has a new president which was cool news that came out of the conference as well, [Aliyah 31.49]
CB: Yeah, [AliyahWesler 31.51] I think is how you pronounce her name, right?
PW: Yes. We’ll ask her. We’ll find out in a very angry worded email I’m sure.
CB: Right. So she took over for Austin Coppock as the president of AYA, and you gave your first lecture at a major conference that was very attended and very well received. You were cited in the Washington Post in an article that I’ll link to in the description page for this episode. I won an award which I’ll talk about more later, but that I was very happy about from the ISAR membership for best audio visual production for the podcast. So actually, that was amazing and got up and accepted the award and made a brief speech. And yeah, there was a lot of really amazing things. I gave a talk on zodiac releasing where I outlined the actual techniques of how I came to the conclusion or I mean, the techniques that both you and I share. So basically how at least in terms of zodiac releasing, how we came to the conclusion that Hillary would win the election based on that technique. And I’m actually going to be selling that, I’ll probably put a link for that because I’m going to sell the recording for that on my website. So there should be a link up by the time this recording is out if anybody wants to purchase that. I saw a lot of other great lectures at the conference, including a lot of other good free speech lectures by newer and younger astrologers like yourself, but also other astrologers like Alex Zolotov and [Aliyah’s] lecture and lots of other people. So it was actually a great conference.
PW: And I thought one of the best lectures I saw was LeisaSchaim. She did such a good job with her profectionslecture.I thought it was very, very well done. Should definitely check out her work. Is it leisaschaim.com?
CB: Yeah, leisaschaim.com. She gave a great lecture on annual profections, and she also included sort of the other half of one of the techniques that you and I also used that implied to us that Hillary would win the election in November, which is the 12-year profections technique. And just looking at the repetitions in her life every 12 years starting on her birthday which she’s about to have later this month on October 26th, right?
PW: Yeah, that’s right.
CB: So that begins the repetition of a 10th house profection year, and if you take that back in 12-year increments, you end up at very important pivotal turning points in her career, including when she first got into the White House in 1992 which was two 12-year increments ago. So Leisa outlined all of that in her lecture. And I think she’s also going to release that recording on her website soon. So I’ll link to that in the description for this episode. So it was a great conference. We’re obviously being really down on certain aspects, in criticizing certain aspects of it because this is something that you and I were really passionate about, especially politics and birth data collection is like two of our things that we’ve done a lot of over the past few years. And so to see some of the screw ups that occurred over the past month with this was really hard I think for both of us to sort of witness in slow motion. Because it was kind of like a slow motion car wreck that both of us saw coming and I attempted to stop at various points, but it was just inevitable.
PW: It was just going to happen. But I mean, hey, at least the record shows that, and I think this record will also show that it didn’t go down without some resistance.
CB: Yeah. It wasn’t through lack of trying.
PW: And I think we also showed that the astrological community is capable of rising to the challenge and the standards we should be trying to meet as astrologers in the integrity of our birth data sourcing. And even if that means that we have to challenge our fellow astrologers, that’s what may sometimes be necessary for the good of our practice.
CB: Yeah. I mean, we need to raise the standards in the astrological community, and I’m hoping that that’s one thing… I don’t want to situate this completely as a generational thing, I do think…
PW: Right. Because there are great astrologers in the older generation who I will miss dearly. [laughs]
CB: Yeah. I mean, there’s great astrologers and there’s crappy astrologers in every generation. So it’s not purely a generational thing, but I do want to, in terms of the future generations of astrologers, raise the general bar of what the baseline should be or what should be acceptable at a bare minimum and to continue to push that upwards in order to sort of raise all boats within the astrological community so that we sort of strive for excellence within the field in order to improve things internally, but also improve our sort of external standing in the world as well, including how astrologers are just perceived by the public. And that was one of the things that was annoying about this, is just we look like idiots when some birth time is promoted and then some guy retracts it, but then another group is saying, “No, it’s still valid.” And it didn’t look good, that was the ultimate thing in the Washington Post article, which is that while you and I were happy because we were able to have our theory validated which is that Marc probably made up the time and that was like a little victory for us in terms of getting some closure on that. For the community in general, it was not a good thing. And there were several comments on Facebook and stuff saying that this is a dark day for the astrological community. So evidently, some of the summary points for this is evidently we need to have rules surrounding stuff like this because it’s not a given that people will always act with integrity. The community definitely, I personally think needs to develop a better framework for how presidential panels like this should be conducted. It’s too big of a community issue where it often ends up representing astrologers as a whole in the press every four years for it to be done haphazardly as this one was done. That was one of my major takeaways from this, is I felt like many aspects of this were done very haphazardly. I think that’s not okay because it’s often one of the few times when astrologers do end up in the press, and that was true this year. To some extent, it was much more true 12 years ago. In 2012, astrologers got a lot of press for the presidential panel that took place at UAC in 2012. And I know I got quoted by Reuters or the Associated Press or something, and Nina Gryphon did as well. And then she ended up doing an interview on CNN and stuff. So it’s like this is too big of a community issue where we end up representing all astrologers for it to just be done in this very lax or this very random sort of way. There needs to be more of a community process, and there needs to be more thought put into it so that it’s done more carefully and more deliberately. Yeah. So I mean, at some point I hope I’m not going to pursue this because I don’t know if I’m going to continue sort of staying in sort of astrological or political astrology as a general area because I have other focuses that I might want to go towards instead, but I definitely at least want to write some sort of manifest at some point of an outline of if we’re going to keep doing presidential panels as a community, these are some suggestions I would have in order to improve the process and in order to make sure that it runs as smoothly as possible and that it ends up representing all astrologers well and that it’s done carefully. So other than that, other lessons for this, don’t take anything for granted surrounding birth data collection, always go the extra step to verify your sources. And even though sometimes you’re forced to, if you have any sort of option, don’t take people for granted, especially random strangers that you don’t know. If you can get the birth time yourself or if you can contact the source yourself, then do it. Don’t just assume like some of these people did since 2007 or 2008 when some of these astrologers took Zen koan statements for granted that he had the birth certificate in his hands. Especially if they’re saying that they’re a secret agent, don’t just take that stuff for granted. Ask for proof if they have it in their hand, ask for proof. And if they don’t provide that, that raises some doubt and you need to be more careful about that.
PW: And if necessary, check where the the images of your wife on Facebook actually come from, double check.
CB: Do a reverse image search and make sure that the astrologer who you’re taking your birth time for granted from that his wife is not a fake profile, and that it’s not just like a Swedish underwear model. [laughs] Let’s see, what are the other concluding points? I mean, we’ve already made the statement where the conference itself was great. This is mainly about the presidential panels, and this doesn’t apply to the entire ISAR leadership, but just certain people and that even those people did some good things. So we’re not entirely trying to be down on them completely. But at the same time, we needed to document this because it doesn’t seem like it’s otherwise going to be talked about, and there were some important but difficult sort of lessons here that we need to learn from as a community. Otherwise, this is just going to repeat itself again at some point in the future, and it could be worse. I mean, there’s many aspects of this story that could have been… What would have happened if somehow the press picked up on this even more, if it became like a bigger media sensation than it already was? We could have looked even worse than we already did in this one article that came out in the Washington Post. So one of the big take-home lessons is also if you make a mistake, then you own up to it.
PW: And that’s difficult to do, but yeah, I mean, we’re not perfect. I think there’s a much greater dignity in owning to a mistake than to keep denying it.
CB: Sure, sure. So yeah, I mean, I think that covers most of the main points that we wanted to cover. Is there anything about this whole story or about this whole debacle that we didn’t get to that we meant to touch on? I mean, the upshot is that we still don’t know what Hillary Clinton’s actual birth time is for sure.
PW: Yeah. I mean, that’s really annoying. We do know that when Hillary turns 75 years old, which will be on October 26th, 2022, that a genealogical copy of her birth record would be available. And so from my understanding, that’s usually when they take information that’s on the birth certificate and they write it down onto that slip of paper. So it is possible that in just a few years time, we could have final confirmation of the time that is on her birth certificate provided that it’s copied. And so we may finally get some closure on this, but we may have to wait a bit. What’s very unfortunate is that if she dies before the age of 75, then it’s still closed, it’s still locked for another 20 years. So we’re pulling for you Hillary, you got to live past 2022 so that we can get the final answer on your birth certificate. [laughs] I mean, I’m pulling for her anyway to not die before any natural life or rather before any unnatural end to a naturally long life. So I don’t want anything bad to happen to her is the point. [laughs] So, yeah.
CB: Exactly. And so the upshot is that we don’t know what the birth time is, there’s several speculations that are about… The important thing though is being clear that they’re all speculations at this point. Nobody has the birth certificate, there are many conflicting reports as we discussed extensively on the last episode, so nobody knows for sure, everybody has… Patrick and I have our very strong suspicions, and you can see those lectures that I mentioned earlier in order to understand why we think that or why I would feel confident enough making actual predictions based on what is a speculative chart. But the point is to not claim that you have an AA data when you’re using what is essentially a speculative time. And certainly not to make up stories about it in order to attempt to validate it or something. I mean, that’s the most mysterious thing ultimately, is we’re probably never going to know how this whole thing played out or how it came about three weeks ago or a month ago or why Penfield did what he did and how it kind of snowballed out of control in the way that it did. I tend to suspect that it was probably just some blow off from Marc that he was going to make in his slides or something like that, where maybe he said like a little white lie in order to validate this time that he’s demonstrably been using for at least eight years now when he was about to be on a presidential panel, where perhaps he would be asked or where he’d be prompted in order to say why are you using this time or what makes you think that it’s valid? And maybe it was at that point that he wanted to be able to say something more tangible about why he was using this time that otherwise seemed a little sketchy in terms of its sourcing. I don’t know and I don’t know if we’ll ever know. And now the narrative, there’s still going to be a pushback in terms of the narrative being that he was trying to protect his sources now suddenly, and that’s why the 2:18 time is still valid and why his retraction doesn’t mean anything. But who knows?
PW: Right. Well, I think that would be potentially verifiable because I imagine that if the story were true, that given the amount of media attention that’s on Hillary because she’s a presidential candidate on the verge of potentially winning presidency that a story about a woman who divulged her birth time to an astrologer and got fired for it because she actually did it, no, I think that would make the news. I think that would be a thing that would be talked about, that would be something that we should get people’s attention. And I think, whoever he talked to if he really talked to her, she’s going to keep her job presumably for as long as she does a good job. No one’s getting fired, no one’s getting charged, and that’s because it’s not true.
CB: Right. I mean, yeah. And that’s the sad thing. It’s like if the story was true, hypothetically, even if you accepted that it was true, then it was like because he decided to promote it in the way that he did, he’s already probably gotten that person fired if it was true. And additionally he had or was planning on withholding the time for until the last minute from a bunch of his colleagues so that even if somebody wants to argue that the story was true, it doesn’t paint him in the best light. Whereas if the story was false, then it means that he didn’t actually just jeopardize some random poor woman’s job, but instead he just made it up.
PW: You’re right. The only thing that could make this even crazier is if we finally do get Hillary’s birth certificate in 2022 and the time is 2:18 AM, I literally would not know what the hell to make of that. So it would mean like Zen was like correct all along, but then he was the most unreliable correct person ever. I mean, I think the chances of that happening are obviously very low, but wouldn’t that be something? [laughs]
CB: Yeah, that would be a very funny, funny twist, and we’ll be around to… I would immediately up to that. But that seems extremely and incredibly unlikely at this point. So I’m not that worried about it, in the same way that we weren’t that worried before the video was even released if you go back and listen to our podcast, because of how much evidence had built up that made it seem implausible. And ultimately, that’s one of the lessons I think people need to take in terms of data collection, is that you need to take all of these different sort of data points and all of these different clues and then ultimately see where the preponderance of the evidence lies. And if it comes out looking not very good, then you need to err on the side of caution. And that’s the biggest issue with what happened here is that there was not enough caution, but instead sort of grabbing on something that wasn’t very stable in order to accomplish something else which was promoting a conference. And in the process that ended up creating a huge debacle, both within the astrological community that affected people and some of the predictions that they needed to make affected people doing their job, but also outside of the astrological community where it got picked up in the press and it made astrologers look bad.
PW: One thing that we should probably acknowledge too just to be completely fair is that despite the fact that we both think that it’s probably 8:00 AM based on the techniques that we use, that really where the preponderance of the evidence lies, at least for what we have, it seems like 8:00 PM is definitely more consistently reported as a time for Hillary. And I mean 8:00 PM really has more solid evidence. I mean, if 8:00 PM was the only time being reported and that had the sources that it did, it would be I suppose A-rated at least.
CB: Yeah, because it’s from Hillary herself, and we talked about that extensively in the last episode just in terms of you and I actually know, partially thanks to some of the work that Yogita Patel did in terms of researching the Wall Street Journal article that the evidence for the 8:00 PM time is actually much more substantial than anybody even realizes because a number of the… If you go through the entry of Astro-Databank and you go through some of the 8:00 AM times and try and follow the leads to the sources, you’ll see that a bunch of them get knocked out pretty quickly.
PW: Now having said that, I did still find at least a couple of instances where 8:00 AM was recorded as a quote. So I mean, it is still the case that both times are floating out there, but it’s just that 8:00 PM is the common one. So I mean, in our estimation, we are kind of going against the grain, and that’s why I’m saying kind of in the interest of full disclosure, I think it’s just fair to admit that while we consider the 8:00 AM time to be the one that we are acknowledging, that that’s taking a riskier position in light of the evidence for 8:00 PM.
CB: Yeah. And well, I mean, the difference is that we’re being very clear that we’re using a speculative time where we repeat that pretty much any time we use the chart.
PW: Yeah. And that’s one thing I really regret about the Washington Post article, which is that I guess I didn’t make it quite clear enough that the time is still unknown. Because I gave some statements supporting my view about the 8:00 AM time. And so some people kind of called me out on that, and that was fair. I obviously can’t control exactly what he got, what exactly he chose to emphasize, but what I said, I didn’t correctly state that it is still unknown despite my strong feeling about her being born at 8:00 AM. Well, not strong feeling, it’s not a feeling. It’s a whole reasoned argument according to transits to the Mid-heaven angles, [unintelligible 54.21] from the lot of spirit, profections, etc.
CB: Right. The ruler of the Ascendant, the triplicity rulers [inaudible 54.28]. And I mean, you probably said because I read that section, and you basically probably said the same thing I did, which is, he asks, “Why do you think that’s the correct chart?” And then you’re like, “Well, because it’s the most eminent chart that day based on this, this, and this technique. And then it matches her chronology in this, this, and this way.” But then that comes out more like an endorsement that this is the true chart or that this is definitely the time rather than your informed judgment about what the correct birth time seems to be, even despite the preponderance of the evidence, including me myself two years ago asking Hillary Clinton at a book signing and her saying somewhat non-committally, “I think it was 8:00 PM.” So yeah, we’re out on a limb here, but we’re also doing it with sort of full disclosure that it’s speculative and that’s the most important thing, is when you’re working with a speculative time or when you’re working based on a hunch or based on an informed judgment or whatever, just say that. And while that’s not as reliable as using a recorded time or what have you, at least you’re being honest and you’re being straightforward and there’s something about that that I think is respectable. All right.All right. I think we did it, so people can find out more information. You’re going to keep writing. Are you done writing articles for the election? Are you just waiting until election day or are you going to do some more?
PW: Yeah, I’m trying to fit them in whenever I can. And I’m actually going to be starting to record some lectures or providing some of my research in lecture format. And so I’ll be working on those probably in the next few weeks or months. So that’s something new to expect from my outputs on the web, and this will also be available through my Patreon as well.
CB: Excellent. So where can people find out more information about your work?
PW: You can go to my website at www.patrickwatsonastrologer.com.
CB: All right, excellent. Well, thanks for joining me to talk about this, and I’m sure we’ll meet again some time to talk about some other related topic. Hopefully, I want to say not having to return to this topic again, but if we do, hopefully it’s with good news that the birth time has finally been uncovered.
PW: [laughs] Yeah, thank you very much, Chris. This was a pleasure. And yeah, I know you’ve kind of avoided talking about the election, but yeah, I think it would be a great thing to get into that a little bit, at least in a future episode.
CB: Yeah. Maybe we can do a post-mortem or something like that. I mean, in the meantime like I said, I’m putting out my lecture on zodiac, releasing that shows most of my argument for why that technique indicates that Hillary will win in November. Leisa’s putting out her profections lecture that shows how that technique indicates it. And yeah, maybe we can review all of that after the election.
CB: Alright. Well, that’s it then. All right. Well, thanks everyone for listening and we’ll see you next time.