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 Dave Cullens Columbine

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thelmar

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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 26, 2019 10:07 pm

Norwegian wrote:
The last message was addressed to the one suggesting that Cullen 'lies and lies and lies'. I can tell you right now, that that is obviously_not_the case. Neither are everything that he says opinions. Pretty much many things that he says are backed up by other reseachers. Also, its possible to find sources which supports hes views quite clearly. You find these statements and resources on Peter Langmans webside and on aColumbinesite. In other words its downright wrong to say that he does nothing more but lie, but hes interpretations differ from that of Kass on some points. I decided to read it, because Ive done reseach for a little while, so far Ive read up on Brooks Browns book. But reading bits here and there and watching different interviews I though it was high time to start digging deeper. And therefore Im now going through Dave Cullens book. I honestly would say that it gave me more to for, and much material to reseach. In other words I wouldnt advice People not to read it, Even though I gather that for some People hes highly controversial.

I would never discourage anyone from reading Cullen's book. Whether people like it or hate it, it's a huge part of what is out there about the case and you can't have a complete picture of things unless you see it from all sides.
But I would caution people to learn as much as they can, directly from the police reports, witness statements, etc. before reading his book. Starting with a good foundation will help the reader recognize what might not be accurate and what they may want to look into for themselves. I remember back when I first started getting interested in true crime stuff and I'd read a book and think that everything in the book was true to exactly how something had happened; looking back now I see how naive that was but I think a lot of people do that. It was only after I started getting more interested in specific cases, learning more from other sources, that I realized that sometimes the book that is supposed to be the best representation of the case actually blurs the lines between fact and fiction.

If there is anything I've said about what is in Cullen's book that you can't find or want to confirm, please let me know and I'll help you track it down. I try very hard not to pick out parts of his book that I disagree with unless I can cite something that supports why I think he's wrong. I'm not a Columbiner, I don't fetishize Eric and Dylan, I don't think bullying was the sole cause of Columbine, and I don't hate Cullen (although sometimes the things he says drive me to distraction and I do find him to be dishonest). I've just learned enough about the case that I don't think that his book deserves the amount of praise it has gotten. I think there are far better, more informative, more accurate books and other writings on the case. I think it's important that people know that.
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 26, 2019 10:26 pm

thelmar wrote:
Norwegian wrote:
The last message was addressed to the one suggesting that Cullen 'lies and lies and lies'. I can tell you right now, that that is obviously_not_the case. Neither are everything that he says opinions. Pretty much many things that he says are backed up by other reseachers. Also, its possible to find sources which supports hes views quite clearly. You find these statements and resources on Peter Langmans webside and on aColumbinesite. In other words its downright wrong to say that he does nothing more but lie, but hes interpretations differ from that of Kass on some points. I decided to read it, because Ive done reseach for a little while, so far Ive read up on Brooks Browns book. But reading bits here and there and watching different interviews I though it was high time to start digging deeper. And therefore Im now going through Dave Cullens book. I honestly would say that it gave me more to for, and much material to reseach. In other words I wouldnt advice People not to read it, Even though I gather that for some People hes highly controversial.

I would never discourage anyone from reading Cullen's book. Whether people like it or hate it, it's a huge part of what is out there about the case and you can't have a complete picture of things unless you see it from all sides.
But I would caution people to learn as much as they can, directly from the police reports, witness statements, etc. before reading his book. Starting with a good foundation will help the reader recognize what might not be accurate and what they may want to look into for themselves. I remember back when I first started getting interested in true crime stuff and I'd read a book and think that everything in the book was true to exactly how something had happened; looking back now I see how naive that was but I think a lot of people do that. It was only after I started getting more interested in specific cases, learning more from other sources, that I realized that sometimes the book that is supposed to be the best representation of the case actually blurs the lines between fact and fiction.

If there is anything I've said about what is in Cullen's book that you can't find or want to confirm, please let me know and I'll help you track it down. I try very hard not to pick out parts of his book that I disagree with unless I can cite something that supports why I think he's wrong. I'm not a Columbiner, I don't fetishize Eric and Dylan, I don't think bullying was the sole cause of Columbine, and I don't hate Cullen (although sometimes the things he says drive me to distraction and I do find him to be dishonest). I've just learned enough about the case that I don't think that his book deserves the amount of praise it has gotten. I think there are far better, more informative, more accurate books and other writings on the case. I think it's important that people know that.

I agree, I don’t know if it’s because I’m exhausted. However you seem to be saying what  I want to say much better than me.


And I don’t know many people on this board that think bullying was the sole cause. I certainly don’t.

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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2019 5:15 am

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Oh I absolutely agree on that. That was my point, too. I hope People Will read it in order to get a more complete picture of what happened. And hopefully there are other books out there too, which can help be informative
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2019 8:29 am

Something a little different than bullying. Devon mention something really interesting in an article and I can definitely empathize with these feelings. She had said that when Dylan would walk into a room, even if he was just wearing jeans and a T-shirt people would ostracize him, people would say oh he doesn’t belong here. a lot of people didn’t understand him. I’ve gone through that a lot in my life. I am no different than everyone else. I am an educated woman, I dress normally, I actually feel quite vanilla sometimes yet some people think I’m weird. It’s odd

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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2019 9:03 am

I am more annoyed at Cullen in his press interviews. The man puts on an air of superiority and he never takes it off. When asked esp about Dylan he talks as if he knew him. Almost as if he raised him and they were friends. He knows exactly how Dylan felt and what he thought. And he presents that all as factual. The man is full of cognitive distortions and he places a lot of them onto Dylan and I just dislike it.

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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Mar 01, 2019 4:41 pm

I kind of feel like Ive learned a lot by reading the book. Even though Ive allready reseached Columbine to a certain degree, beforehand I found hes book to be informative. Its the second book I have delved into on Columbine. I tried Comprehending Columbine but I allready started to question it after a while, when the author described EH as goth. I though that was thoroughly debunked, allready. The whole idea that they were nazis etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 1:44 am

I will never understand how a person can read a book that completely fabricates the thoughts and feelings of the main characters (where those thoughts and feelings are used to convey a very specific message/story) and then say they learned a lot about the event... and not be able to acknowledge that what they read gave them a fictional understanding, which is not an understanding at all...

I am just baffled at how unwilling people are to let go of a story that was completely made up. He didn't just get "a couple" of facts wrong. He got several "facts" incorrect in the book, but what Cullen did was worse than just not getting the facts right... he literally invented an entire narrative from start to finish and wrote a fictional account of a real event, passed it off as real, and somehow got praised for writing "the" book on Columbine when it's literally fiction.

Cullen is the original fan fic writer...

I won an early copy of Parkland and barely made it out of the prologue alive. I struggled to page 61 and I am not convinced he wrote Columbine. The Parkland book is 100x worse. There's no way Cullen wrote Columbine on his own. More likely scenario is he created the outline and after ten years his publisher poked him with a cattle prod and said, "hurry up, here, we'll help you" and then sent in an editor to rescue the project.
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 5:19 am

How do you know? Ive read the journals of both Klebold and Harris, and therefore Im inclined to say that I know Dave Cullen didnt fabricate their feelings, generally speaking. A lot of what he says is confirmed in Dylans diary. That he was constantly sad and depressed and that he had a hard time getting into a relationship with a girl. And Erics rage and lack of regard for human kind. Ive read their journals. This isnt something that Cullen or any other author made up. Of course, I do believe that hes wrong on certain things. I believe that its pretty obvious that they felt like outsiders. Dylan clearly mentions this in hes journal. IDK to what extend he actually was, but of course Im not sure that he ever saw it himself. So I believe that he May be wrong right there. Im more willing to accept what Kass has to say, right there.

Other than that you find so many different sources for the attack that I believe that its possible to Come up with different interpretations. Getting into the mind of a mass murderer def is easier said than done. When I said that Ive learned a lot it means that Ive found New information to dig into.

What Ive been stating here is that hes right on many things, but probably wrong on other things. It May not be the best book to dig into, but it certainly isnt bad generally speaking and based on stuff that Ive allready digged into.

Found this review:
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 10:41 am

Lizpuff wrote:
I am more annoyed at Cullen in his press interviews.  The man puts on an air of superiority and he never takes it off.  When asked esp about Dylan he talks as if he knew him.  Almost as if he raised him and they were friends.  He knows exactly how Dylan felt and what he thought.  And he presents that all as factual.   The man is full of cognitive distortions and he places a lot of them onto Dylan and I just dislike it.

I do too, Lizpuff. In fact, I didn't enjoy reading Cullen's book because I felt he doesn't understand basic psychology (spoiler alert: He's not a psychologist). He doesn't mention evidence that contradicts his conclusion, or try to refute it with sound logic. Also, he doesn't delve into much into brain chemistry. Psychopaths, who are on the extreme end of the antisocial spectrum, are wired to seek rewards no matter the costs. So, therefore, psychopathy manifests itself childhood. Yet, all we have that supports Cullen's conclusion is Eric's propensity to light fires (pyromania is a common psychopathic trait) and steal (Jeff Kass states that in New York, Eric and his childhood friend stole some lighters for fireworks). Above all else, there's not much evidence to support common traits that all psychopaths have: a vainglorious self-image. Jeff Kass, I think, is correct when he states that Eric's ego comes from a place of inferiority, although I must admit this is unusual. Usually, self-loathing leads to depression and suicidal behavior, not Napoleon-like complexes. That's not to say I've never come across this behavior; it's just unusual. Klebold's profile is typical, Eric atypical.
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 12:08 pm

How do I know?
Because that's exactly what he did. He recreated scenes and literally inserted thoughts, ideas, and feelings into their heads as if that's what they were thinking.

He took their writings and used them as a template for a FICTIONAL story.

That is a far cry from reporting what happened.

For example, he exaggerated the scene in the basement tapes where Dylan was passing his gun around and it got caught in his coat... he wrote Dylan's internal dialogue about how much he hated his nose.

That, my friend, is fiction.

It doesn't matter if he "got a feel for" their thoughts and "general" outlook on life... that's not "factual" that's called fiction, and it's what makes his book BASED on a true story, not a true story. That's just a fact... it's unarguable.

The problem is, reading his book makes people feel like they know who Eric and Dylan were, and it's based on assumptions and long stretches... based off of things they wrote, but they are still massive leaps in assumption.

How does he know what they were feeling while they were killing people? He doesn't. It's all fabricated, it's fiction.

You don't get to write a book based on a true story, then pass it off as a definitive account of "what happened."

That's called a lie.
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 1:09 pm

The problem summed up is this: Cullen wrote a fictionalized account of the tragedy that even the victims say is incorrect in terms of how he retold their stories (without interviewing them) and he passes the book off as a factual, definitive account.

As a fictional reconstruction based on a true story, written by an author who took a creative license with dialogue reconstruction, if you like to read fiction, it might be a good book.

If you want a book that actually depicts what happened, to the best of what we can know from reports and interviews, Cullen's book is not that book.

The problem is that these two are collapsed and people mistakenly think by reading Cullen's book, they're learning about what happened at Columbine.

I don't read fiction, it's never interested me, so I wouldn't like the book even if it wasn't misrepresented.

I will say that Cullen does have MANY valid points, that a lot of people disregard and toss him out because of his misrepresentation with his book, but that's an entirely different discussion.

It's not even about nit picking the "facts" he got wrong, it's a deeper problem...

Cullen was never a journalist, this is a fact. He was a creative writer that somehow ended up covering Columbine. Non-fiction is not his genre. Of course he wrote Columbine as creative non-fiction. That's what he does. Of course he didn't interview people for his book, he was never and still isn't a journalist. Journalists are habitual interviewers. He had to learn how to interview people in order to cover Columbine, and he still didn't get it solidified in his habitual ways of operating as this new thing called a "journalist."

Instead of acknowledge he was a total newbie and made mistakes, he gets defensive, angry, and calls people "turds" and other asinine names on Twitter and Facebook before he blocks them and makes a big show of it like a 2-year-old having a tantrum.


So, I think it's important to remember who Dave Cullen is in terms of his writing experience and background. They call him a journalist because his articles were published on a news website (Salon.com), but that does not make him a journalist. He literally was not a journalist until he started covering Columbine. Not by semantics, but in reality. You'll need to dig into his work and his resume to find out why this is so. He used to openly share his resume and all work experience online. You can find it on archive.org now in the Way Back Machine.

Cullen=not a journalist
Cullen=creative writer (fiction)


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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 1:11 pm

It's a known fact that Cullenbine was a mashup of made up facts, overblown theories and just straight up falsehoods. I believe it was [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] who created a thread going chapter by chapter showing everything that was wrong in that book.

I enjoyed it the first time I read it because I didn't really know much about Columbine.
Once I researched the massacre, I started seeing very quickly that his book was just plain wrong about many things.

If you want an accurate book, check out Jeff Kass's book.
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 1:13 pm

Ah yeah good point there, Cullen's book is a good tool for learning discernment as a researcher, I will give it that much credit. Once you research enough, you realize it's mostly inaccurate.

If he just presented it as a work of fiction based on a true story, there wouldn't be a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 1:55 pm

Probably because when you write a book at about 200 pages you cant cover absolutely everything. Hes book isnt centered around other authors, but mainly the two boys, the massacre and so on
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 2:10 pm

@Slippy is it? I cant find any evidence of that other than the fact that corrected some of the errors he had made in hes book. Only People Ive seen trying to refute the book is Randy Brown and Jeff Kass, and Jeff Kass doesnt actually go against the book itself, but rather some interpretations of it and the whole thing about Erics dating habits. And that he believes that Dylan was not so much a follower of Eric. Other than that, Ive Only seen Ralph Larkin and the community of Columbiners and Ralph Larkin, for what its Worth comes up with some pretty bizarre conclusions himself. For instance that Eric was a goth, and I though this was heavily debunked. It gets me thinking that he seems to be bying into the myth.

And of course, Columbiners: If you lived with this notion that this was some kind of revenge for bullying, of course you wont be happy if someone comes along and tell you otherwise. In that case it makes perfect sense that some People Will get pissed at Cullen.

Yeah, the book has a few flaws, but fairytale book? Far from it. Ive done reseach before getting into the book and calling it a mythology. Im sorry, thats Just nonsense
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 2:14 pm

I also think something that many people don't see or understand is that tens of thousands of people identify with Eric and Dylan because they relate to the experience of feeling alone, worthless, isolated, and bullied (whether or not it's perceived or actual), BUT what's forgotten often is that... they went through with a murder mission, and few can relate to that. Many can relate to WANTING to kill people, but they never did.

So, from Cullen's perspective, he's focusing on what separates Eric and Dylan from those who just thought about killing people, or never pushed to make it happen. There is a difference, and one does need to have diminished empathy to do what they did.

Whether that diminished empathy was born, conditioned, or self-created, isn't easy to identify, but from Cullen's view, someone who has never set their sights on murdering their classmates, the easiest answer is psychopathy (for Eric), which, even if true, only explains the mechanism by which he was able to easily set aside or compartmentalize his feelings for other people... it's not the same conversation as motive.

People who don't want what society has to offer can easily let their own desires overpower their feelings and empathy for others because they aren't motivated by the reward/punishment system society has setup.

But here's the thing... we can't know if Eric was born with a tendency toward less empathy because he's not here to test. We also can't take his words at face value, not because he may have been lying, but because all of us only have our own experiences... people who don't have high levels of empathy don't know they don't have high levels of empathy. You learn to mimic other people and say the words and you get the concept, and in your experience you really think you're being empathetic (or.. insert any other quality here).

Just because Eric said he cared about people, or felt bad, or that he said he has empathy, doesn't mean he actually did - this is something hard to explain but it's so important.

I'll give you an example from my life. All my life I thought I could read people's faces and emotions and body language. I created an entire life where I was certain I read people correctly. It was something I had been learning since I was a kid. Right? Nope. Took a test, turns out, I can only identify intense facial expressions of extreme happiness or anger. Anything in between and I am clueless. I have to analyze a person's face up and down to figure it out. And, I thought everyone hated me while I was growing up. Not true. I am friends with most of the people I thought hated me and it was because I was reading people wrong but I thought I was reading them right.

I also thought I felt emotions I never actually felt. Until I took some tests, I really thought I was experiencing what others were.

Another example, people would talk about having fantasies and one day a friend asked me, "so, what's your fantasy?" I said I didn't have one. She explained to me that she closes her eyes and visualizes a scene and experiences it. I didn't know people did that. I thought fantasies were concepts where you just created a scenario that sounded fun... I also didn't know people pictured the characters in a book when they read... I was reading the newspaper when I was 18 months old and I read fiction as a kid and I never pictured the scenes or the characters. I took the information in as pure data... and until I was in my 20s, I had no idea people actually got images in their minds when they read.

So, we all think we're absorbing information and having experiences similarly to other people, but that's not true, when you dive into defining and pinning down these concepts that are so wiggly... you find they're not only hard to define, but Eric stating that he has empathy is not a reliable source for whether or not he has empathy. If he wasn't experiencing empathy the way most people do, then he wouldn't even know... he would be experiencing HIS version of empathy, which could be extremely shallow or just a general feeling of a slight fondness for someone...

But even if he was deficient in empathy by birth (and not conditioned to be), even if the label psychopath fits, which it might - we can't say either way - that label would only explain why it was so easy for him to override the consensus of morality and indulge in his impulses...

But... for those who identify with Eric and Dylan, calling Eric a psychopath pulls that right out from underneath them, so they have to oppose it. The inner thoughts are, "I understand Eric, and I'm not a psychopath... he wasn't, either" something like that. The moment Eric is a psychopath, that person can no longer identify with Eric.

See, I call Cullen out for misrepresenting his book, but, it's really just a book that reflects the lenses through which he views Columbine. It will tell you more about HIM than it will about the facts. Unfortunately, the only way to get close to what happened is to read all 35,000+ pages yourself...

But for those who don't have the time or interest, reading books is a good substitute...

But... each person who writes a book about Columbine is retelling the story from their personal experiences because that's the view of the world they have. Columbine is a window into Cullen's worldview. Those with similar experiences and worldviews will love his book because we all love what agrees with us...

It just depends on what level you look at his book from.

The 5,000-foot view, where the book is simply a reflection of the facets of Columbine that he was drawn to... or...

The microscopic view, where his book is a demonstration of his blind spots in regard to not just Columbine but the mindset that leads to this kind of violence...

If you want to know what happened, you have to read the reports and put it together yourself. Books will help, because certain things will stand out and then you'll go research them and find out what's true and what's been fabricated...

Researching Columbine is a journey, it's going to take everyone somewhere completely different... and each facet plays a role in the totality... even Cullen...
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 2:40 pm

I can Only speculate,but sometimes I tend to think that exaggerates a bit at hes own Will. I know I do, as I get easily annoyed with People that are too convinced that they are right. Stuff like that can be exhausting. I share your views that Columbiners are for the most part more empathetic with the bullying narrative rather than sympathetic to the Crime itself. Even though IDK how much of the bullying is accurate and how much of it is false. This article suggests that he was bullied, but that the bullying was exaggareted by the media(this is not very unlikely, given that many withness accounts propably confused the two boys with the TCM)
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 1:23 am

slippy123 wrote:
I believe it was [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] who created a thread going chapter by chapter showing everything that was wrong in that book.

I actually made the thread so that people more knowledgeable than I could compile the errors Cullen made, creating a handy dandy guide for any newfriends that want to know just where Cullen got it wrong and how. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is a frequent contributor to the thread and has been greatly helpful.

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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 4:49 am

Why not Just look at the whole perspective of where he got it right and where he got it wrong?
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Mar 05, 2019 7:53 pm

That was a pretty darn good thread!!
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PostSubject: Re: Dave Cullens Columbine    Dave Cullens Columbine  - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Mar 08, 2019 11:25 pm

Cullen's Columbine is a good book to get people interested in the case and really nothing more. Hopefully, they do their own research and learn everything he wrote falsely about.
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