The Strange, Unverifiable Tales of Jim Garrow

You remember Jim Garrow, the guy who spread the unbelievably ridiculous claim that President Obama tried to nuke Charleston, South Carolina, don’t you? He’s not to be confused with Jim Garlow, a self-declared prophet and Christian right leader. Garrow lives in Guelph, Ontario and the local paper there did some investigating on some of his other claims. They came back as unverifiable and sound like tall tales of a professional liar to me.

Jim Garrow says he made “a lot of money” as the owner of many language schools in China, and he has said that millions of those dollars have been used to fund a baby-rescue operation in that country.

Garrow, 65, claims to be, and has been touted to be, personally responsible for rescuing more than 48,000 girl babies in China from potential infanticide. But it appears that his Bethune Institute, and its charitable arm, Pink Pagoda Girls, have gone silent, their websites dormant.

The Guelph Mercury cannot verify the status of these organizations. Efforts to contact them through all listed telephone numbers on their websites resulted in out-of-service messages.

Last year, online payment processor PayPal froze the account of Bethune Institute and requested banking and other documentation from the organization. Garrow said in a recent interview that funds that had been frozen were now released.

An attempt to access PayPal through a course registration page on the Bethune Institute website triggered an alert stating: “This recipient is currently unable to receive money. There is a problem with the merchant’s PayPal account.” Garrow was asked in repeated emails to explain why PayPal is unavailable on the site, but he did not respond to the request.

Garrow, an occasional right-wing political commentator for mostly U.S.-based online and radio talk shows, is currently raising money for his legal defence related to criminal charges for firearm possession…

During an interview in the driveway of his modest, two-storey Guelph home, Garrow said that in the interests of “safety” he will never reveal information about the inner workings of his Pink Pagoda Girls operation, information that could verify his claims.

After repeated email requests for additional information, he refused to provide the names or locations of the Chinese orphanages he is purported to be affiliated with, the names and locations of the families that are purported to have adopted Pink Pagoda Girls rescued babies, or offer the names and locations of his language schools in China.

Garrow was asked to provide information to verify his claim of having saved babies in China, but refused.

“It’s called safety,” he said. “It’s a safety and security issue for the babies and those who take them into their charge.”

On May 29, he was asked via email to provide information to prove his claim of having rescued 48,000 babies in China. “Can, but will not,” he wrote in response.

Asked during an in-person interview whether Bethune Institute and Pink Pagoda Girls had been shut down, Garrow said both are still active. He said in a previous Guelph Mercury report that Bethune Institute was affiliated with more than 165 schools in China. The Bethune Institute website features four schools — Living Waters, New Life, New Hope, and Grace — but withholds their locations.

“No, they’re not gone,” he said in his driveway of Bethune Institute and Pink Pagoda Girls. “Just because you can’t find them online doesn’t mean they’re gone.”…

Garrow’s biography on the Pink Pagoda Girls website states he was the runner-up for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, a claim that cannot be proven due to a 50-year embargo on revealing the names of Nobel nominees. He claims to have been the runner-up to U.S. President Barack Obama for the prize in 2009.

Garrow began using the honorific “Dr.,” after receiving an honorary degree from a theological college in North Carolina. Garrow told the Guelph Mercury in 2010 he received the honorary degree for his work in China.

So, he claims a fake doctorate to call himself “Dr.” He claims to have been runner-up for the Nobel Peace Prize, which he cannot possibly know. He may well have been nominated, but hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people are nominated every year. Virtually any public official or prominent person in the world is allowed to nominate people. But the identities of those nominated are not revealed, much less the number of votes they received. I think it’s safe to say that Garrow is a fabulist, to say the very least.

Over the last few years he has made several appearances on right-wing radio and online political broadcasts in the states.

He has stated at various times that U.S. President Barack Obama plotted to detonate nuclear bombs in the U.S., that the president introduced a new “litmus test” requiring U.S. military personnel to be willing to fire on Americans, and that the Obama administration would claim to have made contact with extraterrestrials to boost its sagging popularity.

In the interview in his driveway, Garrow indicated that Obama may have had a hand in his current legal challenges. “I’m not very popular with Mr. Obama,” he said, referring to the charges against him for firearms possession. Garrow said in the interview that he found a pistol in his trailer that he said was put there deliberately, or planted by someone. That is what the weapons charges against him stem from, he said.

Last year, he asserted on one of those programs to have worked as a covert operative for the American government for 45 years, but was relieved of his duties because of his criticism of the Obama administration.

The statement has been often referenced in online right-wing subculture forums. But Garrow declined to answer a question sent to him by email asking what the word “operative” referred to, or what government agency he worked for and what his duties were during a career that would have started in his late-teens.

Seriously, how many people have claimed to be a secret agent in order to bolster their credibility, if not with right-wing “news” sites then with women in a bar?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I was a secret agent. But then I told someone. Now I’m just an agent.

  • flex

    A genuine Hap Shaughnessy.

  • Larry

    A genuine Hap Shaughnessy.

    Had to look up who that was. I see Garrow as Walter Mitty but either works.

  • caseloweraz

    In the interview in his driveway, Garrow indicated that Obama may have had a hand in his current legal challenges. “I’m not very popular with Mr. Obama,” he said, referring to the charges against him for firearms possession. Garrow said in the interview that he found a pistol in his trailer that he said was put there deliberately, or planted by someone. That is what the weapons charges against him stem from, he said.

    So saith the man who claims to have saved 48,000 female children in China. Such work would require great discretion as well as close attention to security. Yet he apparently cannot even secure his own residence.

  • caseloweraz

    Last year, he asserted on one of those programs to have worked as a covert operative for the American government for 45 years, but was relieved of his duties because of his criticism of the Obama administration.

    It’s plausible that the Obama administration might have removed him from such a position. What’s not plausible is that he ever held such a position in the first place. It would have required him, a Canadian citizen, to swear to defend the Constitution of the United States.

  • samgardner

    Claiming to be a secret agent *boosts* your credibility???

    If it’s false, you’re a liar. If it’s true, you’re a professional liar.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    At first I thought of Jim Garrison, the former New Orleans District Attorney whose conspiracy theories became the basis for Oliver Stone’s JFK movie.

    What baleful influences take over the minds of persons named Jim Garr__?

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    According to some female friends of mine, the “secret agent” thing is a common lie/delusion. A number of them have dated ninjas, Navy Seals, CIA/NSA, mafiosi and the guy who holds the state HS record for passing yardage.

    It’s all guys afraid of being labeled as beta males.

  • moarscienceplz

    A genuine Hap Shaughnessy.

    Yep. I think a couple dozen rolls of duck tape would come in handy right about now.

  • Morgan

    Bwahaha! Early in the list of nonsense I thought “yeah, and I suppose we don’t have the security clearance to check his SEAL service record”, and then…

    Last year, he asserted on one of those programs to have worked as a covert operative for the American government for 45 years, but was relieved of his duties because of his criticism of the Obama administration.

  • busterggi

    Garrow was doing a Dolezal , he is actually Nick Fury. ignore the eyepatch thing, he’s a master of disguise.

  • marcus

    ArtK @ 8

    Well actually the SEALS recruited me because I was already a ninja. I was drafted by the ninjas after setting the state HS record for TDs and running yardage (passing is for wimps). After my stint in the SEALS a joint CIA/NSA task-force requested my help in assassinating Kim Jon Il (which we did) we almost had Kim Un too but then we were betrayed by Obama.

    Thanks, Obama!

  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    Aaarrrgh! It’s DUCT tape! For taping joints in HVAC DUCTS. It’s not duck tape.

    To avoid confusion, I usually call it 100-mile-per-hour tape.

  • lofgren

    No, it’s duck tape. “Duct” tape is the result of a folk etymological confusion. From wikipedia:

    During World War II, Revolite, then a division of Johnson & Johnson developed an adhesive tape made from a rubber-based adhesive applied to a durable duck cloth backing.

    The tape came to be used on air ducts at least a decade later, and acquired the “duct” tape moniker some time after that.

  • NitricAcid

    Well, at least I’ve never claimed to be a secret agent in order to pick someone up.

    Then again, I’ve never picked anyone up.

  • blf

    I’ve never picked anyone up.

    Use more duck tape? The stuff is fairly strong, and you’ll eventually be able to get the person off the ground.

    Or take a hint from Archimedes, and use a lever. Or compound pulley. Simply duck-tape the pickupee to the other end…

  • Jared James

    When I was really in the military (as an airplane mechanic, not a SEAL) we used duck tape to stick a guy to the ceiling. It was a beautiful thing. He eventually fell asleep, I suppose out of boredom with waiting for someone to come and cut him down.

  • naturalcynic

    Duct tape trope From the site, it makes a nice baby sitter. I don’t know why you would want to pick up Adam from Mythbusters, but it’s done that too.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    I hope he also gets sued by the estate of the late Dr. Norman Bethune.

  • frankb

    Garrow said in the interview that he found a pistol in his trailer that he said was put there deliberately, or planted by someone. That is what the weapons charges against him stem from, he said.

    If Garrow found the pistol how did the police get involved?

  • dingojack

    Uh – don’t you mean ‘nonverifiable’? [/pedant]

    Dingo

    ———

    Perhaps Garlow was aiming for Brigid O’Shaughnessy

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty — Survivor

    ArtK

    Heh, I almost married a “lycanthrope”. The Jackass was also utterly convinced that the Vatican was “out to get him” for “knowing too much”.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    sigurd@19 that Garrow calls his language school the Bethune Institute is one of the funnier things about his claims to be an intelligence insider menaced by evil socialist Obama. I wonder how the American cranks who believe Garrow would react on learning Bethune is considered a hero in China for his work with Mao.

  • Jared James

    dingo @21: I bet she did in his partner. A man’s supposed to do something about that kind of thing, even if they didn’t like one another much.