Who Is John "Birdman" Bryant?


John Bryant is a philosopher, logician, cartoonist, libertarian, award- winning-poet, and the author of 40 books (available thru this website) and hundreds of popular and scholarly articles. He did his undergraduate work at Antioch College and the American University, receiving his B.A. in mathematics in 1968. His works have been praised by Nobel laureates and many other distinguished men and women, and he is listed in Who's Who in the World and other prestigious biographical volumes. Among his many accomplishments are the development of Relative Modal Logic, the discovery of Bryant's Law and the Fundamental Theorem of Utility Theory, and the solution of numerous troubling paradoxes, including Hintikka's Paradox, the Allais Paradox and the Gambler's Paradox. Mr Bryant's scholarly publications in logic and philosophy have appeared in academic journals in America and a number of foreign countries, while his popular articles and cartoons appear from time to time in the American alternative press. In addition, Mr Bryant has been deeply involved with the philosophy of the extended family movement, and this involvement won him local media recognition several years ago for founding and directing an innovative extended family program at the Unitarian Society of Germantown in Philadelphia. Mr Bryant was dubbed "Mensa's resident iconoclast" by Tom Elliott, the legendary high-IQ organization's book review editor (Mensa Bulletin, Oct 97), was labeled the "Birdman of Pinellas County" (FL) by a local radio station, and is one of the few individuals in the world to have had three separate laws passed specifically against him (for the infernal crime of bird feeding). He writes the libertarian, iconoclastic and very politically-incorrect Birdman's Weekly Letter, available free via email from john@thebirdman.org . A 24-page catalog of his books is available via snailmail from the Socratic Press, PO Box 66683, St Pete Beach FL 33736- 6683. His webpage may be found at http://www.thebirdman.org which has a complete list of his books along with descriptions and reviews.


What Makes John Bryant's Books So Controversial?

As the reader can see from the book reviews on this website, John Bryant's works have attracted the praise of many of the world's most successful and celebrated men and women, including Nobel prizewinners. But in spite of this recognition, Bryant's books are still known only to a relatively small audience. The reason for this is undoubtedly Bryant's determination to speak frankly on every topic which in his view needs an airing, no matter whom it may offend. But of all the ire-arousing topics Bryant has dealt with, the most controversial by far is his politically incorrect treatment of race, ethnicity, gender and similar topics, and especially Jews, since such discussion has been made taboo by the liberal media. The upshot has been that Bryant's works generally arouse liberals to a fever-pitch of hatred and mouth-frothing irrationality, with the result that his books have been subject to a media blackout. (For more information, see Books Which Are Politically Incorrect.)

Bryant's philosophy stems from a thoroughgoing libertarianism, which holds that men are happier and more productive in a society of minimal government regulation. Thus not only does a libertarian philosophy forbid government from mandating racial or other group regulations (who to go to school with, who to hire, who to rent to, who to do business with, etc), but also forbids government from telling the individual whether he must wear a seat belt, whether he can work in an 'unsafe' workplace, whether he can own a gun, whether he can spank his child, whether he must send that child to school, whether he can pay in cash, whether he must pay 'minimum wage', whether he can build a house without the approval of an architectural board, whether he can have a business without the approval of a zoning board, whether he can drive a 'gas guzzler' car, whether he can install a 'water guzzler' toilet, and all sorts of other petty and tyrannical regulations that have become the norm in recent years.

But if Bryant's rejection of Big (and Ugly) Government is maddening to liberals, it is equally maddening to conservatives, who are just as addicted to totalitarian schemes as liberals, albeit different ones -- forbidding recreational drugs, forbidding porn, forbidding prostitution, forbidding abortion, forbidding blasphemy, forbidding flag-burning, enforcing racial segregation, requiring military service, and so forth. In particular, Bryant has upset the political right by mocking prudery and celebrating healthy and joyful sexuality (see The Great Mysteries of Sex -- Solved! And Other Filth), and by skewering conventional religion and superstition (see Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Religion, Science and Superstition...).

But while Bryant loses little love over the totalitarian fantasies of either liberals or conservatives, he is equally scornful of the nonsense of libertarians, including their boneheaded flirtation with anarchism, their de facto embrace of political correctness, their ignoring of groups in the process of celebrating the individual, and their sciolistic reductionism which values everything in terms of economics, thereby omitting such gigantic political realities as race, nation and culture. (Some of these issues are discussed in an essay on this website. A complete discussion of libertarianism can be found in either of Bryant's two books Libertarian Dirt or Handbook of the Coming American Revolution.)

But even as Bryant has criticized conventional religion, he has devoted much effort to developing a world-view which combines the timeless non- theological insights of Christianity with modern philosophy and psychology (see The Most Powerful Idea Ever Discovered). Beyond this, Bryant has set out in detail his plans for creating an entirely new form of non-theological church which serves the same spiritual and social needs as conventional churches, but far more efficiently (See the applicable essay in Explosive Revolutionary Ideas...). His overall approach to philosophy is set forth in his masterwork, Systems Theory & Scientific Philosophy, which presents a totally new and revolutionary approach to the "big questions" of philosophy via the science of cybernetics/systems theory.

But if Bryant has been a dissenter in religion and philosophy, he has also been a dissenter from medical orthodoxy (see Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Health, Disease and Medicine...) and conventional science (see the previously-mentioned Religion, Science and Superstition). Indeed, this latter book devotes an entire section to laying waste the well-known "skeptical" organization CSICOP, and is especially notable for a proof of the reality of UFOs based on elementary probability theory (first published in the Bulletin of the high-IQ organization Mensa) and a dialog between Bryant and several members of CSICOP who try (but fail miserably) to answer a challenge to their "skeptical" UFO opinions.

No discussion of the controversial nature of John Bryant's works would be complete without mentioning The Mortal Words of JBR Yant, a collection of Bryant's witticisms, sparkling observations, mini-lectures and similar material on every conceivable topic, which are notable for breaking taboos left and right, politically and otherwise. Mortal Words should secure Bryant's reputation as a reincarnation of such classical doubters and cynics as Montaigne, Mencken, Wilde, La Rochefoucauld, and Bierce, to say nothing of more modern personalities such as Philip Wylie and Lenny Bruce, and should leave no doubt that Bryant is not merely one of the most controversial writers ever, but also one of the most quotable.

But Mortal Words is important for another reason, for it has been the model for many of Bryant's other books, since a goodly number have been written in the same style as Mortal Words -- short, punchy quotations or mini-essays, often funny and sometimes outrageous, but always thought- provoking. All books designated as Mortal Words Special Topics books are written in this style, and constitute a collection of Mortal Words-type material on a single topic or set of related topics.

One of Bryant's most unusual attacks on conventional thinking is found in Better Than Shakespeare. While Bryant considers himself a defender of Western civilization against the one-world multiculturalists, he has not hesitated to point out the insufficiencies of this tradition; and the chutzpah which he exhibits here in calling Shakespeare an incompetent poet and in daring to rewrite his sonnets will surely raise the hackles of traditionalists. But Bryant is no "deconstructionist" or any other of the modern barbarians now attempting to jettison Western civilization; rather he is a lover of poetry and the sonnet form, and has taken an opportunity to demonstrate that Shakespeare was onto something, even if he did not have the skill to bring it off. And make no mistake -- the fact that Bryant has juxtaposed each Shakespearian sonnet with the corresponding one of his own creation makes it indisputably obvious that if Shakespeare was once regarded as the language's greatest poet, Bryant has surely bettered him. (Note: The remainder of Bryant's poetry will be found in Leaves of Grass and in the poetry section of Bryant's Law and Other Broadsides.)

While the controversial nature of Bryant's writings has caused him to be attacked for many things, no one has ever said he was boring; and it is our belief that Bryant's books are some of the most interesting to be found anywhere. And while those with special interests will probably have no hesitation about which book they wish to start with, those with more general tastes may wish to begin with one of the books listed in the Introductory section. These include two books containing samples from other books (Explosive Revolutionary Ideas... and The John Bryant Sampler, which is a shorter version of ERI), plus Mortal Words (discussed above) and Bryant's Law and Other Broadsides (a large book of essays with a poetry section).

The fundamental reason why John Bryant's books are controversial is that Bryant is absolutely uninhibited in his search for truth, no matter where that search may lead, and no matter whose sacred cows get turned into shishkebob (In this regard, the reader may be interested in Bryant's Information, Free Speech, Censorship and Truth). Adding to the controversy is Bryant's rapier wit, which compounds the injury of exposing falsehood with the insult of laughter. The result is that Bryant's books are unlikely to win acceptance by the masses, but instead are directed at that hard-core group of stubborn individualists who put truth before kindness and knowledge before comfort. If you have the courage to read John Bryant's books, we urge you to order them -- we guarantee you'll be delighted or your money will be promptly refunded.


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