First, a few words of introduction. The original edition of
my Ranto page happened to include a passing
reference to Hammer Horror movies (as a natural context
for the imperative of the verb
to live), which I was
surprised to discover attracted a stream of complaints from
Esperantists. What were they being so touchy
about? Well, it didn't take me long to deduce the
HIDEOUS SECRET they were so
desperate to suppress…
[images hyperlinked for the convenience of low-end browsers]
To avoid any charges that this page presents a somehow jaundiced
view of matters, I suppose I'd better set the record straight by
including some historical footnotes.
It is TRUE that Dr LL Zamenhof worked as an oculist.
The references to him as
a Polish occultist that I keep
running into are WRONG (besides, he identified not as a
Polish Jew but as a Russian-Litvak adherent of
It is TRUE that his middle name was Lazarus –
and furthermore that his death occurred exactly a half-century
before my birth. (That's right: I was born on the fiftieth
anniversary of Zamenhof's death… and then
Sarah Michelle Gellar was born
on the sixtieth.)
However it is completely UNTRUE that he vowed to return
from the grave and wreak a dreadful revenge.
It is TRUE that members of the Japanese Oomoto cult worship
Zamenhof as a god.
But the idea that they kidnap monoglots for hideous ritual
sacrifices is BASELESS.
It is TRUE that
Esperanto was originally the
(pen-)name of the Doctor, not the name of his monstrous
However, it is NOT TRUE that he had a hunchbacked
assistant named Ido.
It is TRUE that William Shatner starred in a sixties
movie with Esperanto dialogue… oh, and the killer
Halloween wore a Shatner facemask.
But NEITHER of those movies featured his singing
talents. Censors were stricter in those days.
It is TRUE that Father Schleyer,
inventor of Volapük, claimed that God told him to do it.
However, any suggestion that his translation of The Lord's Prayer
began ash nazg durbatulûk is
It is TRUE that the Esperanto for tomcat is literally
man-cat, and that the best the language has to offer for
But anybody who tells you that the Esperanto for
bela lugosi or that
malice vespertilio! means
what a warm evening! is
a bare-faced LIAR.