Saturday, June 25, 2016

An Octagonal Peg

In 2001-2007, I wrote a weekly column that appeared in several newspapers in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. The following piece was a newspaper column published in May of 2005.

* * *

An Octagonal Peg

My great, great, great grandfather came to America from Sweden and settled in Minnesota among the mosquitoes and Chippewa Indians. His surname was Bergqvist. Since most people in the new land had trouble spelling his name, he changed it to Burquest. It didn't do much good though, almost everyone still misspells it.

To my knowledge, everyone named Burquest in America is somehow related to me. My grandfather's brother's son (second cousin?) is named Bret Burquest. My parents, short on originality, thought it was a neat name and gave it to me. The other Bret Burquest is a psychiatrist who resides in North Carolina.

I did an Internet search on my name and found it on 208 websites. About 70 of them are related to Bret the psychiatrist; the rest refer to me. If there's a third Bret Burquest out there somewhere, he's keeping it a secret.

When my four novels were published five years ago, they were listed on Now they're for sale on dozens of websites. Unfortunately, no one reads novels anymore – they're too busy surfing the Internet.

However, the most interesting discovery about tracking my name on the Web was finding some of my newspaper columns reproduced on other websites. Obviously, certain individuals have found my columns on the website for The News ( and copied/pasted them elsewhere. I started writing weekly columns in February of 2001 – a total of 230 so far. About half of them are now archived on the newspaper website.

In May of 2004, I wrote a column titled Conspiracies in High Places about the connection between the sighting of flying saucers in Washington State in 1947 and the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. This column has been reproduced on many websites, including (a site supporting Wicca beliefs which include the religion of witchcraft) and (a site that includes the latest UFO sightings).

In June of 2004, I wrote a column titled Bilderbergers and Hackensackers detailing the recent meetings of an organization called the Bilderberg Group which is made up of the most influential and wealthiest people on the planet who meet secretly every year to manipulate the world into a one-world governmental system. My column appears on and other websites that monitor the activities of this nefarious organization.

In September of 2004, I wrote three columns leading up to the 2004 presidential election where I encouraged consideration for third-party candidates. Portions of these columns appeared on various political websites that included feedback from readers. Referring to the author of the column (me), a respondent on, the official site for the Libertarian Party candidate, wrote, "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The round pegs in square holes. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius." Very perceptive indeed, however I'm more like an octagonal peg in a trapezoidal hole.

In October of 2004, one week before the presidential election, I wrote a column titled Bonesmen and Barbarians about a secret society at Yale University called "Skull and Bones" where George Bush and John Kerry, the two major presidential candidates, each had been selected for membership. It seems our choice for leader of the free world was between two rich guys who belonged to a cult of devil worshippers.

In December of 2004, I wrote a column titled Albert Pike chronicling the life of the infamous Civil War general and supreme leader of the freemasonry movement in the United States. The column is displayed on, an impressive website that apparently attempts to expose freemasonry as evil.

It's flattering to learn that strangers find my column interesting enough to reproduce them on other websites, even if they skew my ramblings to fit their own point of view. My scattered thoughts and words of wisdom will now be floating around on the Internet in perpetuity, or until we run out of electricity, whichever comes first.

Pushing the human race forward is a heavy task but someone has to do it.


Quote for the Day -- “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." H.L. Mencken

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where life is what happens when you can't sleep.

A Tunnel for Turtles

The U.S. Congress often passes spending bills that contain "earmarks" (added amendments), which are quite often ridiculous pork projects.

"Absolutely, we need earmark reform, and when I am president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely." Barack Obama -- declared in his first debate with John McCain during the presidential cycle of 2008.

When Barack Obama became president he vowed, "You know, the days of just pork coming out of Congress as a strategy -- those days are over."

In February of 2009, President Obama signed the so-called "Stimulus Bill" -- not only did this piece of legislation fail to stimulate the economy, but it also contained many pork projects, including the following

  • $3,400,000 to build a tunnel for turtles providing safe passage under a Florida road.

  • $8,408 to Florida Atlantic University to test whether mice get drunk after consuming alcohol.

  • $389,357 to pay college students in Buffalo, NY, to record their volume of daily marijuana usage and malt liquor drinking.

  • $100,000 to a theater, inspired by Che Guevara, in Minnesota to produce socially-conscious puppet shows.

  • $1,200,000 for a study of erectile dysfunction in obese men in the San Francisco area.

  • $384,949 to Yale University for a study titled "Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior, and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia."

  • $600,000 to distribute trees to wealthy Denver neighborhoods.

  • $152,000 for a study to prepare lesbians for adoptive parenthood.

  • $1,300,000 for signs reading "Project Funded by Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

Perhaps, President Obama was merely making grandiose statements to make himself look good, rather than being honest about his true character and lack of conviction.

"It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.” P.J. O'Rourke

Quote for the Day -- “I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Thomas Jefferson

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where more government always means less freedom.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Evil Dybbuk Box

A dybbuk is a malicious spirit entity able to haunt and posses the living.

In 2003, Kevin Mannis, the owner of a small antique business in Portland, Oregon, purchased a box at an estate sale.

The box had once belonged to a female survivor of the Holocaust in German-occupied Poland named Havela who escaped to Spain. Havela had purchased the box prior to her immigration to the United States.

Havela's granddaughter told Mannis that Havela had brought the box to Spain after the Holocaust. When Mannis learned that the box was a family heirloom, he offered to give the box back to the family, but the granddaughter refused to accept it. She claimed the box had been kept in Havela's sewing room and never opened because there was a dybbuk inside the box.

Upon Mannis opening the box, it contained the following items

  • Two pennies dated in the 1920s
  • A lock of dark hair bound with a cord
  • A lock of blond hair bound with a cord
  • A small golden wine goblet
  • A dried rose bud
  • A candle holder with four octopus-shaped legs
  • A small statue engraved with the Hebrew word "Shalom"

Mannis gave the box to his mother on her birthday whereupon she suffered a stroke on the same day.

Numerous other owners of the box have reported strange phenomena pertaining to the box.

Mannis experienced a series of horrific nightmares when in possession of the box. These same nightmares were shared when visitors stayed at his house when the box was present. Other owners of the box also shared the same nightmares involving an evil-looking old woman who was a female demon when the box was present. Every owner of the box also claimed that smells of jasmine flowers or cat urine emanated from the box

Iosif Neitzke, a student at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, was the last person to auction the box on eBay. He reported that the box caused his hair to fall out and lights in his house to burn out.

Neitzke sold the box to Jason Haxton of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. Haxton subsequently began having strange health problems -- Head-to-toe welts, hives and coughing up blood.

Haxton consulted some Jewish Rabbis in an attempt to figure out a way to reseal the dybbuk within the box once again. Then he proceeded to remove the resealed box to a secret location, which he refuses to reveal.

If you should encounter a mysterious sealed box, somewhere in the vacantly of Kirksville, Missouri, or elsewhere for that matter, it would be wise to travel rapidly to a distant location.

Quote for the Day -- “May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.” George Carlin

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where strangeness is often a daily occurrence.