The Martyrdom of

Thomas Merton



Recent articles and poetry

Epistemological Mystery and Thomas Merton


How have the narrow and the gauche,

Flaunting “econ,” “psych,” and “soash,”

Eclipsed their intellectual betters,

Our once exalted men of letters?

They’ve certainly never shown that they

Have more perceptive things to say

About life’s deeper mysteries

With formulae and indices

Than our tested bards and sages

Whom we’ve trusted through the ages,

But for no reason demonstrated,

Our literati abdicated…

 

Except for Merton,

Who was assassinated.


- David Martin

So Wrong about Thomas Merton's Death


To the tune of Patsy Cline's “So Wrong.


We've been so wrong

For so long;

So many have lied

About how Merton died,

We were wrong, oh so wrong.


We've been so wrong

For so long.

How could we guess that they'd fool us like this?

We were wrong.


No shower-wet hand

Ever touched a bad fan.

That was just a ruse.

What Merton got

Was the fruit of a plot.

You must know whose.


We were so wrong

For so long;

Now we've seen the light,

And we must make it right.

We were wrong.


No shower-wet hand

Ever touched a bad fan.

That was just a ruse.

What Merton got

Was the fruit of a plot.

You must know whose.


We were so wrong

For so long;

Now we've seen the light,

And we must make it right.

We were wrong.


-David Martin


"A cry was heard from his room and he was found in his bedroom, lying on the floor and grasping an electric fan.  Merton had come out of the bathtub, slipped on the tiled floor, and grabbed a fan to break his fall.  The fan electrocuted him and he died instantly ."

Becoming Who You Are, Paulist Press

- James J. Martin, SJ


"...in Bangkok, on a warm day while taking a bath, he slipped in the bathtub, grabbed an electric fan and was electrocuted."

Thomas Merton, a Man of Contradictions,

Loyola Press

- James J. Martin, SJ


"...stepped out of a bathroom shower during a visit to Bangkok.  Slipping on the wet floor, he grabbed a poorly wired fan for support and was electrocuted."

Thomas Merton: Still Controversial

America Magazine-James J. Martin, SJ


"He takes a shower.  On his way out of the shower, he slips, grabs a fan, and is electrocuted.

Who Cares About the Saints?

Loyola Productions

James J. Martin, SJ

Post-Christian Man


Look up to the organization

With the proper awe and fear.

Bow down to your earthly betters,

And safeguard your career.


Neither sun nor moon will smite you

In daytime or at night,

If you keep your waters waveless,

Regardless of what's right.


Your temporal protectors

Will neither slumber nor sleep,

As long as you are one

With the company that you keep.


With sovereignty unchecked

By any Higher Power,

The purposeful collective

Displays its finest flower.


That purpose is whatever

Our vulgar fancy wills

When no one's eyes are lifted

Unto the Psalmist's hills.


- David Martin


(Psalm 121 updated)

“Then there is the case of Thomas Merton, an influential theologian and outspoken opponent of the U.S. policy in Vietnam, who died in Thailand in 1968.  Merton was found electrocuted by a handheld hair dryer that had fallen into his bathwater.  This was especially suspicious since Merton was bald and would have had no reason to use a hair dryer.  He was found dead in the bathtub.”


An Easy Burden, Harper Collins


-Andrew Young


Andrew Young, former Congressman, UN Ambassador, and Mayor of Atlanta.

Wise Monkeys?


Why haven't they looked into Merton's demise?

Here's what's occurred to me:

Our scholars have all averted their eyes

Out of fear of what they might see.


    - David Martin