Let’s take a look at LTC Dave Grossman’s claims of being a “Pulitzer Prize” nominee It would appear that there is the usual factual disconnect between what John Giduck’s most ardent supporters claim and what the facts appear to be. There also seems to be the usual profit motive involved in the form of fooling police and military into buying books.
First, I’ll start by saying that as a retired military field grade officer and former West Point professor, LTC Grossman knows the difference between truth, lying, and “quibbling” which is the use of evasive statements or technicalities….
Honor, as it is understood by the Corps of Cadets, is a fundamental attribute of character. Honor is a virtue which implies loyalty and courage, truthfulness and self respect, justice and generosity. Its underlying principle is truth. It is not a complicated system of ethics, but merely “honest dealing and clean thinking.” If a cadet is true in thought, word, and deed, there is no question about his meeting the standards of the Corps. On the other hand, quibbling, evasive statements, or the use of technicalities to conceal guilt are not tolerated at West Point.
– MG Maxwell Taylor, West Point Superintendent (http://www.west-point.org/users/usma1983/40768/docs/taylor.html)
LTC Grossman’s Claims of Being A Pulitzer Prize Nominee
Dave Grossman’s official widely communicated narrative is that his book, “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. This blog post will demonstrate that it is not.
You can find Grossman’s claims of being a Pulitzer Prize nominee all over the internet. A quick google search of “grossman pulitzer prize” (without quotes) will generate more than 3 million search results including Amazon and many well known police/military web sites. For simplicity, we’ll just stick with LTC Grossman’s false claims on his own website and other verifiable first person sources.
Here is a capture current as of this blog post from LTC Grossman’s bio page on his website, SheepdogSeminars.com
Since that page can be easily changed, let’s look at several statements that LTC Grossman made to the New York State Legislature in 1999:
Statement of Lt Col Gave[sic] Grossman
Before the New York State Legislature
I am Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army, (Retired). My expertise in the area of human aggression and violence includes service as a West Point psychology professor, a professor of military science, the author of a Pulitzer nominated book and numerous peer reviewed encyclopedia entries on this topic.
The application of this to the military is outlined in my book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. This book was nominated for the Pulitzer prize for nonfiction in 1995, has been translated into Japanese and Italian, and is currently being used as a standard text in numerous universities and academies, to include West Point, and the California Highway Patrol Academy.
So we have at least two clear statements that not only “On Killing” was nominated for a Pulitzer but also that it was nominated in 1995.
WHAT DOES PULITZER SAY A “NOMINEE” IS?
The Pulitzer website is very clear as to what a “nominee” is. A “nominee” is defined as the following:
A Pulitzer Prize Winner may be an individual, a group of individuals, or a news organization’s staff.
Nominated Finalists are selected by the Nominating Juries for each category as finalists in the competition. The Pulitzer Prize Board generally selects the Pulitzer Prize Winners from the three nominated finalists in each category. The names of nominated finalists have been announced only since 1980. Work that has been submitted for Prize consideration but not chosen as either a nominated finalist or a winner is termed an entry or submission. No information on entrants is provided.
Since 1980, when we began to announce nominated finalists, we have used the term “nominee” for entrants who became finalists. We discourage someone saying he or she was “nominated” for a Pulitzer simply because an entry was sent to us.
By using the term “nominee” since at least 1999, LTC Grossman has been claiming to be one of the two non-fiction finalists for the award in 1995 as he claims. He isn’t.
His name can’t be found in the entire list of 1995 winners or finalists which is here:
Nor can LTC Dave Grossman’s name or published title be found at all in the entire Pulitzer online database covering back to the 1940s
try the search yourself….
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE WHAT LTC GROSSMAN CLAIMS IS A NOMINEE?
Let’s look at another case to see how anyone can become an “entrant” which is what LTC Grossman claims is a “nominee”
An entry form and $50
It’s not uncommon for Pulitzer entrants to claim to be nominees. Here’s how it works: Though there are only three nominees, known as nominated finalists, in each Pulitzer category each year, there are more than 2,000 entrants. One could say that all of them were “nominated” by someone. If all Pulitzer entrants could be called nominees, any publisher could give all its authors that honorific by submitting an entry form and a check for $50.
The Pulitzer rules make clear that the only people to be known as nominees are those finalists chosen by the Pulitzer juries.
Besides violating the official rules, such claims mislead the public. Tell readers that you’re an Academy Awards nominee, and they’ll understand that you’re one of the few finalists, not one of the many entrants submitted by movie studios. It’s exactly the same with the Pulitzers.
And in addition to misleading the public, such false claims rob honor from the actual nominees.
WHY IS THIS AMBIGUOUS CLAIM TROUBLING?
LTC Grossman is a well known trainer of police on a number of topics. One would expect that police would expect the highest level of integrity from those that train peace officers.
– This claim of being a Pulitzer Proze nominee calls Mr. Grossman’s personal integrity into question. All someone did was pay $50 and fill out a form. He’ll likely claim that he “didn’t know” as did Johah Greenburg in the MSNBC link above, but Mr Grossman is an academic and a former West Point professor. As noted in the Pulitzer webpage FAQ, Pulitzer entrants have been told the difference between “entrants” and “nominees” since 1980.
– This is not the first time that Mr Grossman has “quibbled” about his credentials. LTC Grossman claims to be an “airborne Ranger” (also clearly claimed in the statement to the NY Legistlature link), however, there is no evidence even from the LTC himself that he ever served in any of the three Ranger Battalions. He may be the only graduate of the 8 week Ranger course that doesn’t know the difference between an “Airborne Ranger” and a “Ranger School graduate”. LTC Grossman also teaches about his self described science of “killology” yet has never served in combat or killed anyone.
– Mr Grossman apparently has had business associations with a similar group of people selling services to police and the government that seem to have similar integrity or actions that a layman can easily see as against the law. John Giduck published a book in which he has first hand conversations about being in Russia with the Beslan siege supposedly ongoing but actually was in Colorado at the time those conversations would have taken place. John “Andy” Anderson, co founder of Archangel Group with John Giduck and who had made false claims to have been a high speed Department of Energy employee, also had conversations recorded by a journalist in which Mr. Andy Anderson appears to have provided defense advice in the Sudan in violation of ITAR statutes. Joseph “Joe” Bail who serves as the Police Commissioner for Chester, PA and apparently received a $20,000 honorarium from Archangel Group that appears to be a violation of the PA State Ethics Act. All three of these people are involved with Archangel Group which publishes Terror At Beslan which Mr. Grossman has sold and marketed at his seminars for years.
I’ll leave it to the reader to determine the whys of someone that sells books and training for a living to likely fudge the difference between paying $50 and filling out a form to being an actual Pulitzer Prize nominee. My opinion is if, like John Giduck, Mr. Grossman is knowing lying about his background to sell you books and seminars, what else is he lying about? See the links below to learn more about the circle around that mutually promote and defend each other.
I still laugh about how cops pay a guy that never killed anyone for advice about killing. How dumb is that? You may as well be sitting in a Grossman lecture about menstrual cramps.
We’ll have more on LTC Grossman coming soon.